No, no, no…don’t skip the post.
I may have written myself into a corner.
Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I’ve made a writing commitment and I’m not sure how I’m going to deliver.
I’ve promised you Short Story Friday, and you’re getting a short story today.
I’m working on a larger project. Giving you the details might spoil it, if my struggle writing it doesn’t get there first. Suffice it to say that it’s a collection of short stories and that I need many, many more before that collection is complete.
It seemed to be an easy task. I mean writing heart warming stories about home. What could be so difficult about that?
So, I had to make a choice today. I do not have another story from the project ready to post. So, here’s another piece I worked on some time back. Like all the others, it remains a work in progress.
Skip finished dressing at the gym, he stopped to put in his mobile order for his morning latte at Starbucks. It would be ready and waiting for him when he arrived. He liked the technology and the convenience.
He knew that all of the financial gurus talked about the “latte factor” and how much he could save by simply brewing his own coffee, but that would require driving back home which was in the other direction from the studio. And, forget about having the battery acid they brewed at the office. He had complained. He had offered to buy them a new coffee maker. But Gladys, the office manager, liked it that way, and after more than forty years with the agency, Gladys usually got what she wanted.
“Morning, Skip” the barista nodded to him as he reached the counter.
“Mornin’. See you tomorrow.”
Back in the Jeep he buckled up and headed downtown.
“Not much longer,” he thought.
He hadn’t told anyone yet, but he was making plans. Enough of the copywriting for the agency. He had almost enough freelance business to head out and be independent. He’d be able to get that one bedroom apartment over by the beach.
He’d support himself on the contract work and in the evenings he’d write the great American novel.
That was the plan anyway.
At the office, Dave called him in to talk about the latest project.
“I’m almost done,” Skip told him. I just have one more round of edits.
“Almost doesn’t pay the bills,” Dave reminded him.
Skip knew that. And he hated it every time Dave said that.
Or maybe he just hated Dave.
Why did he let Dave irritate him so much? He had accepted long ago that the only way he was going to be happy was to get the hell out of this agency and work for himself.
He was so close.
Okay, the other things that would make him happy would be the beach apartment where he could write wearing a sweater with arm patches with a glass of his favorite bourbon nearby.
Or a bottle.
Not today, however. He had to get this project finished.
So, he went to his office and shut the door. That was a sign to his coworkers that he was not to be disturbed.
Dave, of course, routinely disregarded that sign and would interrupt him on a regular basis.
“I’ll get this done faster if you stop bothering me,” he glared.
“Deadline.” Dave said and shut the door.
“Jackass,” Skip thought and then realized that he’d typed the word instead of just thinking it.
About thirty minutes later he wrote the last line of the copy. He thought it was pretty good.
No, it was damned good.
He saved the document and ran a secondary spell check and grammar check.
Then he printed it for one final review before emailing it to Dave.
“That ought to get him off my back.”
Just before Skip headed out for his lunchtime walk by the river, Dave entered his office again.
“Nice work. Some of your best.”
Skip wanted his best work to be his letter of resignation and it would. Soon.
Not soon enough.
The walk by the river helped to calm his nerves and put him in a better frame of mind.
Back in the office he reviewed the list of the remaining projects. The next deadline was Friday. So he gave himself permission to surf the web for a few minutes. Maybe he’d find that lucrative contract he’d been looking for.
After deciding there was nothing on Facebook worth reading, he reviewed the project list for the office, then he looked at his own freelance project list.
He was never great with math, but he started adding some things up.
Based on what he had in savings, and what he knew that he could pull in from the freelance projects, he realized that he was closer than he thought.
“I can do this.”
“I can do this really soon.”
He knew that he wouldn’t be moving to the beach right away. But a year or so with the freelancing, and the cutting of expenses, and he’d be able to find that apartment.
He grinned thinking of the look on Dave’s face when he read the resignation letter. He had to be there.
Heck, it might have to go on Instagram.
The heck with it. He wasn’t going to get any more real work done for the agency today. His brain was too fried.
So, he pulled up the short story he’d been working on.
He tried to find the right words to describe a chalk outline without actually saying chalk outline.
Then he imagined what a chalk outline of Dave’s body would look like.
“No, don’t do that, man,” he told himself.
Against my better judgement, or lack thereof, I have decided to participate in this year’s #100DayProject. It’s an Instagram challenge to select a creative project, work on it every day for 100 days, and share your progress on Instagram.
I was hesitant to try the project because I still struggle to find my best art medium and I didn’t just want to do Photoshop images. So, I’m pulling out the markers and the sketch pad and I plan to choose a focus word every day to illustrate, or mind map in some fashion. I figure I’ll be developing a writing prompt book along the way. That’s the plan anyway. Follow me on Instagram (link in the sidebar) to watch my progress, or lack thereof.
The project begins on February 13th.
American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer, Clint Black, was born on this day in 1962.
THINGS YOU SHOULD READ
“Revenge” of the AARP Hippies
Dana Loesch’s Chapter and Verse
How to Read a Play as a Manual for Novel Writing
Julia May Jonas at LitHub
BORN ON THIS DAY
1902 – Charles Lindbergh, American pilot and explorer (d. 1974)
1906 – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German pastor and theologian (d. 1945)
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.
Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
1913 – Rosa Parks, American civil rights activist (d. 2005)
1947 – Dan Quayle, American sergeant, lawyer, and politician, 44th Vice President of the United States
WHAT I’M READING
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.