42 comments

Contemporary Inspirational

Come close fellow writer. I have truths to tell and there are questions you must answer. If we aren’t honest with each other now, we might not get another chance. We have until midnight and the clock is ticking.


First, I must ask you why you’re here. Why does your painstaking heart pour onto the page? Why do your fingers tap, tap, tap on keys that click and clack? What’s in it for you?


This question needs consideration and I’ve sprung it upon you, so I’ll start by telling you my secret.


It’s the love of language. Letters with no meaning of their own join to form words far greater than the sum of their parts. Glue binds them, but allows them to be free. When they are young, they are a white canvas brimming with potential. When they are old, they hold wisdom far deeper than you ever imagined. They are like you and me.


It's the song of a story. An adventure, a quest. With the whole world to explore where should a bold hero go next? Perhaps she’s a detective, watching bodies pile high. Or perchance a widow, praying to the sky? And if the sky’s the limit, then what is beyond? A destination, a journey, let’s follow along.


It’s the connection causeway. Through this pale, blue light shining on your face, you can see me. I am here, running through the electric pulses in your brain. My mind is in yours; we travel together. If we bond canonically, we bond forever. When I read you, I understand you. You dropped a drip of your soul into the ink of your pen. So I picked it up, took it home and put it in pride of place on my memory shelf.


And sometimes it’s desire. A desire to be heard, to scream to the world. You’re cruel, you’re flawed, you’re not what I thought you would be. If I could remake you, what would I do? I’d take longer than seven days that’s for sure. A desire for glory, for history and humanity, for myth and legend. To add my needle to the haystack and hope it does not topple the whole damn mess.


You’ve had time to think, can you give me an answer? I hope so, as we have more to cover. Tick-tock, my friend, tick-tock.


Second, I must hear your idea. You’ve spent an age mulling it over. Where did it come from? The universe asks. I ask it too.


The answer, on the surface, is simple; it came from you. From your very beginning, at your very core, and all of the pieces that made you. Each decision that passed through your head, each opinion that gave birth to another. They entangled, entwined, eloped and opined and spat out what you see before you.


Now you must push your idea forward. It’s a tenuous notion, and brittle. If you speak it too loud it might break. If you speak it too quiet it might fade and be lost. You must grasp it with both hands. But how to grasp a thing that swirls in the air, that squirms like a cat on the run?


It needs flesh. At the moment it’s a mere silhouette. Is it a tormented spirit whose scars run deep; will they win the war with themselves? An unlucky romantic, caught off-guard, will he find what he knew all along? Or is it more cerebral, perhaps a posited future with plucky remarks on the world we live in today?


Whatever it is you must breathe your lifeblood into it, for you, my friend, are a writer.


Third, I must give you a warning. You and I, we live in our heads. We wander the hallways of daydreams, we stalk the corridors of nightmares, we tread the line of madness. If you’re not careful you’ll see more of me than you expected.


To get lost in passages of you, is a circle, a circle, and none of it true. Spend too much time there and you’ll find out you’re alone. No connection, just reflection. A world filled with you in every mirror, and in the face of everyone you meet.


And so, you reach for what’s real. In reality there are colours you see: the reds, the golds, the greens. There are also colours in hiding, colours you could never imagine in dreams. Unless you know, unless you’ve lived, unless you’ve experienced ultra-violet lightning. If every idea is built from you, then the quest’s to expand your definition. To write is to live and, more importantly, to listen.


Now we’ve covered the premise, it’s time for the meat. It’s time to discuss your technique. Oh what’s that? You’ve gone vegetarian? It’s ok, we all have those days where we want to cry, now is not the time to be shy.


The ingredients are all waiting for you eagerly in the pantry, and you, the chef, are tasked with creating a delicious dish. It must contain the following: a crisp base of plot on which to spread your sauce. You should feel the snap between your teeth. A creamy sauce of setting, so rich and smooth, you may want to take a dip. A dollop of character arc, a twist of foreshadowing, and finally, an acquired taste - a dash of killing your darlings.


Will it smell of heaven? Will it light my thoughts on fire? I want to know; I keenly await your concoction. Too long and all your work will burn, too short and you’ll soon learn that in cooking the time is crucial, but it too easily slips through your fingers.


Tick-tock.


Would you look at that. Our time is up. Midnight is now. All too short, but I’m afraid I must leave you. Is that relief I sense? You mean you didn’t want to practise the present tense? Well then, I must warn you there is still work to do, but from here on out, it’s over to you.


November 16, 2022 23:37

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42 comments

AnneMarie Miles
15:46 Nov 18, 2022

You've captured us all with this one: "You must grasp it with both hands. But how to grasp a thing that swirls in the air, that squirms like a cat on the run?" Wow, way to make us feel superior, because what a task that is! To be able to wrangle the intangible and transform it into something tangible, that is a true magic. I love writing about writing, I love reading about writing. I love that you included a little rhyme throughout, the poet in me is beaming! Rhyme is not easy. I love the approach to this prompt, how you incorporated our l...

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Edward Latham
19:54 Nov 18, 2022

Thanks Anne Marie! I was a little nervous to try some rhyming, but it just kind of seeped into the story as I think it suited the voice of the narrator. So happy it worked for you! And I often feel the same, I sometimes feel a bit guilty about giving critiques so thank you for yours - it certainly wouldve been a good option I think, and you're right perhaps the ending would've stuck a little harder if I had gone a more tragic route! I look forward to reading yours this week too!

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AnneMarie Miles
05:00 Nov 19, 2022

When rhyming seeps easily, take it! Even those who have had success with rhyme in the past still agonize over it. Finding words that rhyme is nice and dandy, but finding words that rhyme and making them fit well together without feeling forced is hard! I think there's nothing wrong with offering critiques; they're valuable and improve our own writing, but it is something I am still learning to do. I thank you for taking it with grace and humility! Until your next work of art :)

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Lily Finch
04:04 Nov 17, 2022

I like what you did here. It is clever. I think anyone who reads this will feel the same way. Well done! Engaging the reader in the story and keeping them in step about how they are a writer the entire way through is brilliant. Your juxtaposition of reader and writer works too well. "Whatever it is you must breathe your lifeblood into it, for you, my friend, are a writer." - this empowers the reader and puts them into the writer's role. "A desire for glory, for history and humanity, for myth and legend. To add my needle to the haystack a...

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Edward Latham
21:05 Nov 17, 2022

Thank you lily, I tried to work on my prose in this one, so I'm happy you found some favourite lines that you enjoyed! Yes I liked the needle and haystack metaphor too. Our own stories are so important to us, but they're a drop in the ocean with how many are out there.

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00:27 Nov 23, 2022

Lyrical, poignant, wise. The narrator is a dear friend, arm around the shoulder. I would meet him in cafes for lunch every day :) 1000x this --> "You and I, we live in our heads."

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Edward Latham
16:08 Nov 23, 2022

Thanks so much Deidra! Hopefully we can both get out of our heads and make it to some cafes sometime!

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17:45 Nov 23, 2022

Edward, who are you kidding? We'd find a way to cancel and curl up with a book instead :) hahahahahahah

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Philip Ebuluofor
13:44 Nov 18, 2022

Fine work. It holds interest from the beginning to the end.

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Edward Latham
19:45 Nov 18, 2022

That's great to hear, thanks for taking the time to read Philip!

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Philip Ebuluofor
09:23 Nov 19, 2022

Welcome.

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Michał Przywara
21:45 Nov 28, 2022

A fun read, and how fitting a story about writing has such word play :) There's a number of lines that stood out to me, including: "It's the song of a story." I like that. "a dash of killing your darlings" naturally. "My mind is in yours; we travel together." This stood out. This whole passage. It's something I often think about, but a story isn't actually finished when it's written, is it? It takes a reader reading it to actually finish it, and so stories end in as many ways as there are readers. Writer and reader form a bond through...

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16:02 Nov 23, 2022

Brilliant imagery and poetic voice. I think you captured this topic on an internal and integral level. Your ending is a beautiful call to action after the explosion you presented. It brings perspective in a deep way. Now I want the narrator's take on revision.

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Wendy Kaminski
12:18 Nov 22, 2022

...WOW! You really knocked this out of the park! I am scrambling to click the "Follow" button, and can't wait to read more of your offerings. I particularly loved not only that you've captured every bit of the essence of this journey and la raison, but also that the lyrical portions reminded me of an ancient chorus, and were particularly evocative of how long humans have been singing this song. So effective, and so genuinely enchanting! Thanks for the great read!

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Edward Latham
14:03 Nov 22, 2022

So happy you enjoyed, thank you for the very kind comments!

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06:55 Nov 22, 2022

Good story Edward. There were a couple of moments when I briefly came out of the story, perhaps moments when you're being a bit too clever (stop it! This story's about making ME feel like the clever one! Right?) But other than that a compelling read from a unique point of view.

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Edward Latham
08:13 Nov 22, 2022

Thanks Marcus! Can I ask what moments those were? Always good to improve if I can!

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Tommy Goround
23:13 Nov 20, 2022

Hi

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BRUCE MARTIN
21:57 Nov 20, 2022

Hi, Edward, Very interesting and beautifully written story! You have a great command of imagery. I really enjoyed it.

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Edward Latham
10:48 Nov 21, 2022

Happy you enjoyed Bruce, thanks for reading!

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Russell Mickler
18:57 Nov 20, 2022

Reads more like poetry than prose - it pulled me in with the tempting ‘fellow writer’ and held on through the end. I think it’s still with me though … that nagging little muse compelling me to write on my phone at 2am :) well done!

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Edward Latham
10:56 Nov 21, 2022

Careful Russell, 2am is past midnight, who knows what will appear on the page ;). Thanks for reading and really appreciate the encouragement!

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Rebecca Miles
18:10 Nov 20, 2022

I have nothing to say except this is a love poem to writing and I adore it. Writers of the world unite in the love of language 📚♥️

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Edward Latham
12:33 Nov 21, 2022

It certainly is! I'm pretty new to writing so I've felt a lot of these feelings for the first time recently and blurted them out here. That you like it makes me want to keep going!

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Francois Kosie
17:35 Nov 20, 2022

This was fantastic. I love it. "Second, I must hear your idea. You’ve spent an age mulling it over. Where did it come from? The universe asks. I ask it too." I somehow feel encouraged by this. "But how to grasp a thing that swirls in the air, that squirms like a cat on the run?" That is a great description of what the process feels like. "colours you could never imagine in dreams. Unless you know, unless you’ve lived, unless you’ve experienced ultra-violet lightning." Awesome stuff!

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Belladona Vulpa
10:28 Nov 20, 2022

The first part captured my interest, then I stayed for the rhythm and the content. Some of my favorite phrases were: "You dropped a drip of your soul into the ink of your pen." and "If you speak it too loud it might break. If you speak it too quiet it might fade and be lost. You must grasp it with both hands." Spoken truths with such grace, I just love the images that you created and how everything flows naturally and takes its place on the page.

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Liv Chocolate
23:32 Nov 19, 2022

Glad to have discovered your writing! I especially enjoyed the cooking metaphor. I personally found this prompt to be the most difficult. The only idea that came to mind for me on this prompt was something related to Cinderella, yet you found a way to cleverly create an entire piece out of this prompt and a quality one at that. Looking forward to seeing more of your work!

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Edward Latham
17:56 Nov 20, 2022

Thanks Liv, really appreciate you reading!

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Marty B
17:26 Nov 19, 2022

Great take on the prompt and perfect for the audience here ;) I see my own clock ticking so, must go 'grasp it with both hands.'

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Edward Latham
13:59 Nov 20, 2022

Thanks Marty, and good luck, hope you beat the clock! :)

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Susan Catucci
15:17 Nov 19, 2022

Man alive, what a read! After all that, I should be exhausted, I would think, but instead I feel energized and electrified. Whatever you tapped into to mine all that rich literary gold, if I were you, I'd keep digging. Who knows what other treasures await! Wonderful!

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Edward Latham
16:17 Nov 19, 2022

It was one of my more spontaneous pieces, so perhaps I need to try that more often! So happy you enjoyed Susan!

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Susan Catucci
16:31 Nov 19, 2022

That's something I wondered about because there's a natural flow to the piece that I thought contributed to its appeal. Spontaneity can be so effective, especially when it comes from the heart and then the head. And I have tons of appreciation for a good rhyme! :)

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Sophia Gavasheli
15:00 Nov 19, 2022

Fantastic! I absolutely love the rhyme in this story; I felt like I was listening to a bard recounting an epic quest and I could hear the narrator's voice in my head. I also like how you explore how we writers think of and write stories; it's a fascinating topic for sure. On a nit-picky note, it felt a bit awkward transitioning from rhymed to unrhymed sections. Granted, I know it would be very difficult to make the whole story rhyme, but perhaps a greater consistency would enhance the story's rhythm and flow.

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Delbert Griffith
13:04 Nov 19, 2022

Writing about writing is always fun to read, but you went beyond that when you delved into your soul - which is my soul - and wrote about it as pertaining to writing. I'd love to quote my favorite lines here, but it would basically be the whole damned story. So many riveting images you created! I'm in love with this piece because it understands me. But will it bring me flowers? LOL Fantastic job, Edward. Simply fantastic.

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Edward Latham
16:43 Nov 19, 2022

Haha that would be the icing on the cake, free flowers for all who read! I was hoping that people on Reedsy would relate to it, so I'm really glad that you do! That's for the awesome feedback as always Delbert!

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Aeris Walker
19:25 Nov 18, 2022

I think when writing about writing, writers run the risk of sounding redundant, but what you created here was so fresh and new. It certainly felt like you poured your heart into it; it was beautiful, honest, and so very relatable--for many of us, I'm sure. Writing is vulnerable and intellectual and lonely and it can make you a bit crazy. You captured all of those feelings in this. There were dozens, but these were some of my favorite lines: "You dropped a drip of your soul into the ink of your pen." "And sometimes it’s desire. A desire to ...

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Edward Latham
17:31 Nov 19, 2022

Thank Aeris, I'm glad you thought it was fresh, it was definitely a more spontaneous piece for me. I was inspired after reading some of fahrenheit 451 for the first time and the beautiful prose in there led me to trying some of that myself! Your writing never fails to be amazing, so to hear you like mine too makes me feel very encouraged!

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