Short Story Of the Day (flash piece), Sam is a Writer by Bill Chance

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”
― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

The Window at Molly’s, the street (Decatur) unusually quiet, with notebook, vintage Esterbrook pen, and Molly’s frozen Irish Coffee

I have been feeling in a deep hopeless rut lately, and I’m sure a lot of you have too. After writing another Sunday Snippet I decided to set an ambitious goal for myself. I’ll write a short piece of fiction every day and put it up here. Obviously, quality will vary – you get what you get. Length too – I’ll have to write something short on busy days. They will be raw first drafts and full of errors.

I’m not sure how long I can keep it up… I do write quickly, but coming up with an idea every day will be a difficult challenge. So far so good. Maybe a hundred in a row might be a good, achievable, and tough goal.

Here’s another one for today (#41). What do you think? Any comments, criticism, insults, ideas, prompts, abuse … anything is welcome. Feel free to comment or contact me.

Thanks for reading.

Over the last few summers I have gone to New Orleans for a Writing Marathon. Even though last year’s was a disaster – I always look forward to it a lot. Let’s see – I learned about the New Orleans Writing Marathon on November 11, 2012 when Candy ran into one of the participants at breakfast at St. Vincent’s Guest House.

Obviously, it was not going to be possible to pull this off live this year. So they did a virtual writing event instead. It was fun, not as fun as the real thing, but cool nonetheless. We did three writing sessions –  one10 minutes, and two 20 or so.  That gives me three entries. I did edit them a bit and change the point of view. It is what it is.

Sam is a writer.

Everyone has their addiction. There are dope addicts with their needles and pipes. Exercise addicts – skinny and sweat. Alcoholics, foodies and bulimics.

You don’t get to decide if you are an addict or not – if you think you are, you are, if you don’t think you’re an addict – well, addicts don’t always know they are addicts. Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.

When Sam was young he said that since everyone is an addict it was important to pick a good addiction. Now, older, he’s not even sure that you can choose your addiction. Yeah, maybe you can steer your course a little one way or another – but for the most part you don’t choose your addiction, your addiction chooses you.

Sam is a writing addict. There are all the hallmarks. There two stacks of Moleskines – one stack are full books, the others waiting. There are tins full of fountain pens. There are three laptops and a crazy portable keyboard. There are two computers, one set up in such a way that it can only be used as a word processor.

He can’t go to sleep at night unless he has written at least an hour. He can’t, really. He’s tried. When Sam is hit by writer’s block it’s like a junkie with no heroin in town. Horrible. Withdrawls.

Sometime the withdrawal is so painful Sam is forced to pull a Jack Torrance – His sentence of choice is The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog…. Written over and over again. It has all the letters at least. But it isn’t satisfying, it is like a vampire with only raw hamburger.

So Sam writes. Does He write well? Usually not. But there is that rush when He falls into the writing and the world disappears. The rush. Another addict’s word.

That’s Sam’s addiction. Word Counts – hours spent scribbling.

But now Sam needs to change his addiction. He needs to get addicted to editing. Because writing isn’t really writing. Writing is typing. Editing is writing. But in Editing there is no rush – except maybe when you are finished – and Sam is never finished.

That’s what an addiction is all about. Never finished.







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