Suddenly Prose


Adverbs are one of the spices of life, a word like “suddenly” is so serviceable in prose.

Suddenly reminds me of a bird story that plays out regularly. I am a most irksome neighbor. Given the passel of dove that loves my yard I so often damage their calm and send them into full throttle emergency dove take off. The scene is a blur of color; they explode into the air, and make that tinkling bell sound as they gain altitude.  Off they roar into the protective branches of a pine tree still within sight of me, their heads bobbing, they eyeball me guardedly.

I have not become accustomed to their surprising aerial escapes nor have I stopped being amazed at how suddenly they forget all the bother from a few seconds ago. I hastily scatter some food and I disappear, then, they return, land, and un-scatter, perhaps still wary, and suddenly make the dove chow disappear from the grass.

pexels-photo-203088.jpegSuddenly tells how something is accomplished.  Suddenly soup is just not in my DNA. I admit one thing is better done quickly. Sticky bandages adhering to my mammalian skin I am looking at you.

I love slow brewed tea. I would be confused if sunsets were suddenly over. Floodwater suddenly receding from my door is fabulous.

Telling how something gets done is made suddenly easier by employing adverbs. Then, given a little time the other parts of speech can get to work and help the writer make something of meaning.

Writing Buddies

Bring on hungry grizzly bears, dry-rotted zombies, and myriad Martians. I can deal with them. I can deal with DMV lines, lost luggage, snafus at drive-thru’s, sure they are all in a day’s existence – my modern world.

What breaks me down, what really gets my flight response revved up, and my old habits kicking- in the door of my willpower is that blinking cursor on the first blank page of a document file, the horror.

Sometimes I break out in a cold sweat gazing upon a clean white computer screen. I may not even have a deadline, but I sit fixated on the vast expanse between the margins. Like an iceberg on an ice-covered continent surrounded by an icy ocean with the dark frozen depths of sub-zero space surrounding the entire planet. Then I freeze frame focused on the monitor my eyes wide.

I don’t have a network of writing buddies but sometimes I wished I did. I’m imagining semi-reliable friends with similar interests and shared problems, like ‘writing blockage’, ‘plot constriction’, ‘antagonist’ irritation. There is no over-the-counter remedy for those distresses.

It feels uncomfortable, nagging even. I have this really terrific missing plot and absent sketches of killer characters, albeit for a short story, but this story could be hands-down ripe for submission if I could only make it through the opening and the first five-thousand words. Okay, word-counts vary; I just chose a number by throwing a dart at the board my Ouija board is broken.

These writing buddies I have conjured would help inspire or taunt me into getting the job done. They’d meet with me and we’d kvetch on our latest failure, irritation, or that person they saw at the Big Box Store. Ice broken, a caramel macchiato later and the writing buddies safely removed from the scene the first 2,000 words with editing come as smooth as the waxed lanes of a bowling alley.

Maybe not the best short-story, but one I’d be pleased to submit to the Sherpa of Massive Manuscript Mountain every publisher tends.

Sometimes sending the pages to the publisher or to an agent is enough– submitting a piece, now that makes me happy. Very pleased to see it sail from my tiny island of story ideas to make its own way (or not) among others of its kind.

Bon voyage short-story, hope to hear from you soon.