The Always Unfinished Novel

When I was younger my adventures always consisted of magic in faraway lands that I created in my backyard with my cousins. Or their backyard. Sometimes we'd go inside and pretend to have Elvish wine at a tavern (the kitchen) or go down into the castle dungeons and sneak around (the downstairs – which actually just comprised of the computer den and their bedrooms).

We'd take our fake, plastic swords and go fight invisible orcs. We'd hop onto the backs of our dragons and fly around our grandma's huge property. One time I literally thought I had found a dragon egg – or perhaps a fossil of a dinosaur egg. I was so convinced that I ran inside my grandma's house and grabbed my aunt, who was visiting, and dragged her outside with me to come check. It was the strangest thing. The "egg" was perfectly round and had little cracks running through it. It was sitting on top of what looked to be a small animal's den, or a snake hole.

My Aunt, being the joker she is, reached her hand into the hole and promptly started yelling and wiggling around like something had bit her, and when I started freaking out, she burst out laughing and pulled her hand out of the hole – which was, of course, perfectly fine. She then picked up the "egg" and handed it to me. It was made of something that felt like rubber. I felt the disappointment starting in my chest.

"It's an old softball," she said. "It's probably been out here for who knows long and the sun has baked the cracks into its shell."

I sighed. "I knew it wasn't really anything… but it looked like an egg, didn't it?"

"Yep. It sure did. Maybe you should write a story."

So, later – months later, actually – I did. But it never went anywhere. None of my stories ever get finished – except for one, and I didn't like that one at all. The only reason it got finished is because I didn't work on it hard enough for it to take more than a couple of months. When it was done, it was a piece of crap, and I vowed to never write anything that horrible again.