A Thousand Words A Day

A writing journal _____________________________ PROFESSORBLOG@HOTMAIL.COM

writing: _ Christian Writers _ _ NaNo _

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Reader, writer, podcast listener, and TV watcher. And real nice guy.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

This is the story that I wrote as part of the "Whisper Exercise" we did at the writers' group this month. This is the assignment where you listen in on someone's conversation and create a story about that. In my case, since it was relatively quiet in the book store, I wandered around just looking for someone interesting, and wrote on them. So after about 5 minutes of observing a young lady reading through four books on writing business plans, I spent thirty minutes writing this: Enjoy.

Oh God, I have got to get out of this place. Actually, not this exact place, I don’t mean this bookstore. I mean I have got to get out of my life. The bookstore is not so bad. I have my cute little orange cell phone, a caramel mocha from the café, and my heroine Gwen Stefani empowering my through the pillowy soft head phones.

I know that I could just buy the four books. I know that, but that is the point. The books are going to tell me how to make enough scratch so I can afford the books next time I need them. Of course, by then I won’t need to buy the books, because the wisdom I can glean from them tonight will be enough to –

Stop! Deep breath, girl, deep breath. Chill out. Memo for next time: Get decaf caramel mocha!

I stretched my legs tight, feeling the muscles pull against themselves. I shook my head one way, then the other. Shake it out, shake it out. You have got to do this, girl.

Yellow legal pad, check. Two new blue ink pens, check. Four books about writing business plans, check. Dreams of untold riches, check. Dreams of success, check. Dreams of getting out of my little rat hole apartment, check. Dreams of getting out of my rat hole relationship with a rat hole boyfriend, check. Dreams of getting out of my rat hole life, check.

So here I am. I spread out the books in front of me on the little table. Come on, wisdom, just jump on out and into my brain. I need you now. Really, how hard can it be to start a new business? Martha Stewart is not that much smarter than me. And how about those burned out hippies, Ben and Jerry? You have got to be freaking kidding me. And I am not going to even mention Orville Reddenbacher.

Okay, first I need an idea. An idea, an idea, an idea. I tap the coffee cup with a pen in rhythm with “Ex Boyfriend.” Sing it, Gwen, sing it.

It is not like I am looking for a huge money making idea, like Velcro or that guy at that company in that place that invented those yellow stickie notes. I’m just shooting for something more like those grippers you put on pencils and pens to make them comfy. That cannot be so hard to do.

An unmet need. That is what I need to find. Ah, here it is. I tapped the paragraph in the second book that caught my eye. “Is there anything in your day to day existence that you wish were different?” Other than an apartment and a boyfriend, I suppose they meant. “Have you ever said to yourself, ‘What I need is a - - - but it did not exist? That is an idea for a business.” I thought about this advice, trying to make heads or tails of it. Then I waited for the lightning bolt. And I waited. And I sipped some mocha. And I waited. Where was my inventor’s lightning rod?

The bolt from the blue never came. Drearily, I packed up my stuff and headed back out of the store. You know, when it really gets down to it, my apartment is not that bad. I actually have a decent job, all things considered. I don’t hate my work and I have health insurance. Just between you and me, Barry is not even that bad a guy. I sighed heavily. Well, I suppose a girl has got to dream, right?

So that ws the exercise that I wrote. I do not think that it is that bad, all things considered. I like having these assignments, both at the meetings and between them. I never took a creative writing class, so this is my time with a variety of exercises. It is not what I would have selected for myself, but that is probably the point of joining a group. I will write more about the group and what we did and where it is going later. Now I want to move on to an update of my academic writing.

I sent my completed, finished paper off to the journal that has agreed to publish it. They needed four copies and the paper on diskette. The problem was finding a diskette mailer that I could send off in the envelope with the copies. I know that does not sound too terribly difficult, but it was tougher than you may imagine. And of course I am convinced that I did not use the proper format and that it will still be rejected. I am not counting any of those chickens until thay hatch and will not believe that it will be published until I see it in black and white. But I finished it and it is done and sent off. Next week I need to send the paper to the reviewer at the conference who will discuss my paper after I present it. Then I am set and I can relax for a bit, just waiting for the publication. Well not exactly, now that i think of it. I still have to prepare a presentation. In finance, we don't just read the papers as is done in some disciplines, we prepare a presentation -- ten minutes or so. The only trick of that is knowing whether they have PowerPoint or not, or an overhead or not, so you have to overprepare. I am currently underprepared for that part of the assignment.


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