Rebecca Sorge

September 6th

2nd Hour

Summertime Bestseller

I was supposed to be writing the greatest novel in the history of man. Yet all I was managing to do at the moment was pound my head against the keyboard.

Ironically, this was hurting my back more than my cranium, but that wasn't the point. The point was to come up with a story that would blow J. K. Rowling outta the water. You can guess how well that was going. To ice this already bitter cake, my over-bearing and over-demanding older brother wanted the computer. And I said 'Sure, I'll be done in a minute!'

Sure, I'll be done in a minute, and I'm sure Albert Einstein will come tearing through our front room in a horse-driven chariot singing to the tune of who knows what. I haven't even started, much less come to the 'I'll be done in a minute' stage of authoring a literary work. I don't think I've ever reached that glorified moment. But on a more rational side, (I'm mildly surprised I still had one), I had been on the computer for a good four hours, and no matter how much of a failure those wasted minutes were, it was someone else's time to take the controls of our favorite modern convenience.

Why was it that during the few times I ever got my sticky fingers on the console, my muses fled to some outer ring of the currently barren field between my ears? Either that or they stayed just out of reach of my lasso and fishing line...

Despairingly, I stared at the blank screen...ah yes, the same screen that I had been looking at every day, every week, all summer long. It was a taunting chimera that liked to dance to the tune of 'Kryptonite' on my nose while laughing madly at my vain attempts to write a coherent paragraph, much less a masterpiece.

Pounding my head on the well-worn keys for the fourth time, I looked up to see the first words I had spawned all day-an illegible string of letters that had popped up due to my unique methods of acquiring migraines. Somewhere I heard the faint sound of something snap, crackle, and popping into oblivion. I think it was my brain. That would explain the funny shattering sound, i.e. whatever was left of my sanity. Then again, it could have been Eienstein streaking through the living room, with nothing but that chariot...

I slumped back in the chair, glaring at my fingers and willing them to work together with the (dry) well of knowledge in my head, just this once. The summer had reached its closing act, and so had the golden opportunity to hold my printed, bound, and hardcover tale of action and adventure. The magical thing known as time had run off without me, and soon the lazy afternoons of sunbathing and surfing the net would be over. And with them my chances of retiring early.

Watching my soap bubble dreams fade like so many poorly made tee-shirts, I grimaced and slapped on the best 'doomed hero' face I could muster and gritted my teeth. No deadline would defeat this old warhorse. They'd have to give me flowers, dinner, and a movie first! Knitting my brow, I cracked my knuckles and began typing furiously. Not wind, nor rain, nor a fragmented hard drive could keep me down. That's right, 'GET THEE BEHIND ME, Writer's Block!'

Words flowed onto the page, each sentence worse than the last, but I didn't care anymore. Just so long as I got my words, my own words on paper, I'd sleep peacefully that night. Besides, that's what editing was for! You could practically smell the smoke rising from the keys at the rate I was going. It's a mystery why the fire alarm never went off...

Finally, I tilted back my chair, grinning happily. Giving a sigh of pure joy and pleasure, I looked at the nearly full page. Ah, sweet, sweet, English language, I knew you would never forsake me! Or at least I thought I knew until I read the drivel glaring back at me from the shiny luminescent screen. Did I write that? Did I write THAT?!

Depressed, defeated, and broken, I sighed and dramatically pushed the 'Delete' key. My least-favorite, but most often thought of phrase came to mind - 'back to the drawing board.' Closing out of Word, I turned off the monitor, resisting the urge to give into my primal instincts and rip my hair out. Calling to my brother, I managed to drag myself out of the oddly comfortable wooden chair. The seat didn't even have time to release my body heat before my brother had already logged onto the net, completely absorbed in whatever he was doing. Well, I won't be getting back on anytime soon...

Plopping down on a stool in the kitchen, I opened a can of applesauce, mentally evaluating my last attempt at a novel. Yeah, it had all the potential of a chimpanze with access to a keyboard. My mom looked up from where she was chopping cantaloupe, raising an eyebrow at my less-than chipper face.

"So how's your story coming?"

I looked up and smiled...

"Oh, it's going great!"