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Fiction Inspirational American

While Writing

   Sitting alone in my office, I began my latest short story when this happened. 


   “Hi dad!” said my daughter Tyler, age 9. 


   “Hi babe,” I said. Not looking up from my computer. 


   “Whatcha doin?” she asked.


   “Working on a story.” I said.


   “You sure have a lot of hobbies,”


   “I don’t think so. I really don’t have many.”


   “Look at all these different books. You should know how to do everything,” she said.


   “Hardly, I like to read but I can’t do everything.”


   “Looking at the shelf you have enough books to speak Arabic. Can you speak Arabic?” She asked. 


   “I know some, but not all of it. I’ve tried to learn it but when will I get to use it?” 


   “Oh,” 


My wife enters the room. 


   “Sam is outside complaining about the trash blown around by the wind last night,” she said.


   “Great, Sam, the angriest hippie I’ve ever met.” I looked at her and back at the computer mocking Sam’s attitude about life. “I am Sam, I have a problem for every solution. Where there is happiness I will water it down with disappointment. Where there is hope I will show you failure. Where there is right I will show you wrong. I am Sam the greatest agitator known to man!” 


   “Well, you need to clean up the trash cans,” she said. 


   Tyler giggles then starts asking about my books again. 


   “So, you have a book on how to play guitar. Do you know how to play the guitar?” she asks.


   “No, not yet. Someday maybe. It’s one thing I’d like to learn.”


   “What about the books on woodworking, do you know how to do that?” she asked.


   “I know a lot about it but there’s always something else to do. Besides, it’s expensive.”


   “How expensive?”


   “They say the best way to become a millionaire by woodworking is to start out as a billionaire.” I replied.


   “What does that mean?”


   “It means you will spend a lot of money to make very little.” 


   “Oh,” Undeterred she kept asking questions. “What is American Sign Language?” 


   “It’s the way people who can’t hear or speak talk with their hands.”


   “Your hearing is bad. You have hearing aids. Can you speak sign language?” she asked. 


“I’m learning it slowly. I can still hear but it’s getting harder. Maybe someday I will need to learn it just to talk to you.”


My wife reenters the room. 


“I just got off the phone with Aunt Lucy. It looks like her kidneys are failing. She may need a new one.” 


“Well mine are already spoken for and I’m planning on selling one to pay for Tylers’ braces.”


“Not the point, you need to call her and talk to her.”


“OK.”


“Dad, what are kidneys?” Tyler asked.


“They are like water filters for your body. Everything you drink goes through the kidneys before you pee.”


“Oh,” But her questions kept coming. “What is natural healing?”


“It’s a book I found on how to cure sicknesses without going to the doctor.”


“Do you know how to cure sicknesses without doctors?” she asked.


“No, it’s on my list to learn.”


“What does “survival hacks” mean?”


“Well, if you were to go hiking and you get lost in the forest you can use these ideas on how to survive.”


“Have you ever been lost in the forest?”


“No, not yet.”


“Well, you have enough books on it.”


“Yeah, well someday I’ll have to try some of those things out.”


“By getting lost?”


“No, I mean, trying them out to see if the ideas actually work.”


“Have you ever tried any of them?”


“I’ve tried a few things. But I’ve never really had a need for them yet.”


“Oh,”


My wife steps back into the room. 


“I’m getting hungry for dinner. What about you?” she asked.


“Yeah, I could eat.” 


“What are you thinking about having?” she asked.


“I’ll have one of our premade meals in the fridge.” 


“Are you sure that’s what you want?” she asked.


“Yeah, that’s why we made them.”


“I was thinking about steakhouse for dinner.”


“Well, why didn’t you start with that? Of course I’ll eat a steak.” 


“I knew you would.” she said.


“Why do women do that? Men are simple, feed them steak. Make them happy. Tell them they are going to get lucky that night and he’ll do whatever you want.” 


“Men are animals.”


“And?”


“You should be ashamed.”


“I’m not.” I said. Then she left the room


Tyler continued talking to me about my books. 


“So are you ever going to do these things?” she asked, pointing at the books. 


“Well, someday I’d like to do all these things. I just never have the time or the money.” 


“So their hobbies that you don’t get to do. Right?”


“Well, some I’ve done. Some I’ve started and not finished. Some I’ll get to when I get a chance.”


“I don’t know if I want hobbies. Why not just watch TV?”


“There is more to life than watching TV. Some people make a living from their hobbies.”


“Like how?”


“You listen to music don’t you?” 


“Yeah,”


“Many of those singers and songwriters started as a hobby. Now they do it all the time and make money.”


“Do you think you can make money off of your hobbies?”


“I have many dreams for my hobbies. I’d like to enjoy what I do but if I could make money I wouldn’t turn it down.”


   “I’m going to find a hobby.” she said.


   “Like what?”


   “I don’t know…”


“Hobbies are great distractions from the worries and troubles that plague daily living.”

                  Bill Malone.


January 30, 2021 01:43

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26 comments

Hallie Blatz
02:38 Feb 05, 2021

I liked how you told almost the whole story through dialogue! It was really neat.

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06:13 Feb 05, 2021

It’s a style I’m working on. I’m practicing keeping my stories as present tense as possible. I never realized how hard it would be to eliminate “was,” “were,” and “had been.” I’m already doing a few rewrites of my old stories to improve them for later. Robert

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Hallie Blatz
16:00 Feb 05, 2021

That’s cool! Present tense is my favourite so I don’t notice that stuff, but I can’t really write third person so I guess we all have our weak points.

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Hallie Blatz
16:00 Feb 05, 2021

That’s cool! Present tense is my favourite so I don’t notice that stuff, but I can’t really write third person so I guess we all have our weak points.

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Bonnie Clarkson
22:22 Apr 01, 2021

You got the child's dialogue just right.

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02:15 Apr 02, 2021

Thank you! I’m glad you liked it! Robert

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Amarah Friedman
21:11 Apr 01, 2021

Great story! You do an excellent job giving your characters life and personality without much narration. I appreciate the inquisitiveness of the kid, too. It's a good mode to understand the hopes vs the fears and move along the plot.

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02:14 Apr 02, 2021

Thank you I’m glad you liked it. If this is your style check out my story “Achieving A Dream.” I’m looking forward to reading your stories. Keep in touch! Robert

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Amarah Friedman
12:53 Apr 02, 2021

Will do! You've inspired me to try writing a story this way :D

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Maria Moore
13:51 Mar 16, 2021

I was all geared up to read 'Ghost Ship', but, then, my eyes travel downward and I just had to read this story. It is so cute and very well written, with only 1 misspelled word that I could see. I was feeling this had actually been a conversation that you had with your daughter, so much so, that I could see the girl, when she was asking the questions. And, what made the story, so, believable was the way that you told it mostly in dialogue. Also, the transitions from daughter to interrupting wife and back and forth, did not feel confusing. I...

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Maria Moore
14:03 Mar 16, 2021

Also, what makes, it very believable, is how much I can relate to subject matter, of the story. I have a lot of books and have so many hobbies that I would love doing and several that I have done, but haven't the money to pursue the hobbies. Since I can't afford the hobbies, but can come up with great ideas, I may have to just write the ideas, as a hobby book, for those that have a hard time thinking of stuff to create. A friend, that I used to know, before she passed, had to use instructions for any craft or recipe. She told me that she li...

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14:52 Mar 16, 2021

Maria, I can’t thank you enough for you kind words. I’ve tried this style once before in a story called “Achieving A Dream” I wrote a few months back. I like dialogue driven stories as well, seeing as you want to know what is said next. Do you have something you’d like me to read? Please let me know. If you get a chance to read a few other stories I hope the mix of imagery and conversation blend well together and provide you with a great experience. I’m always accepting of honest feedback. Thanks again and I look forward to talking w...

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Maria Moore
19:29 Mar 16, 2021

You're welcome. I have 3 new submissions; 4 in total. You can choose which you wish to read. Their titles are, as follows: "The Opposite of Opposites Attract" "Crimson Eden" "The City Doesn't Kill You" My first, ever, submission, was "One Android's Journey To Live". I am not bummed, too, much, that I didn't win with it, because I really didn't adhere to the prompt guideline. I was very nervous while writing it, but I had fun with the story. I appreciate any feedback that you may want to give and whole-heartedly welcome it.

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Steven Taylor
00:01 Mar 16, 2021

I too am a man of many hobbies 😂

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00:16 Mar 16, 2021

Hey Steven, oddly enough I was looking at my bookshelf when this prompt came up. It seemed to fitting. Robert

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Steven Taylor
00:32 Mar 16, 2021

I read the first few lines and couldn’t help but look at my own bookshelf, littered with knowledge I may never use. I relate to this story, and I look forward to reading your others.

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02:44 Mar 16, 2021

Great! I see your fairly new to the site. Have you had much feedback on your writing? Robert

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Steven Taylor
11:51 Mar 18, 2021

Only recently on my prompt entry “Dear Diary”. I’ve only recently picked up my pen after nearly 20 years without seriously writing. I’ve so many stories to tell, and I hope to receive a lot of honest critique!

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16:32 Mar 18, 2021

Cool, only suggestions I have are reading up on some ideas for current trends in writing. There are several books or even web posts to help with that stuff. Can’t wait to see your work. Let me know when you’ve put out something. Robert

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Echo Sundar
17:09 Feb 16, 2021

Great story!! Having an all dialogue story is heard but you pulled it off!! Great story to read :)

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22:24 Feb 16, 2021

Thank you so much! I always appreciate your taking the time to read my work. Please let me know if you have a new story you'd like me to read. Robert

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Echo Sundar
22:26 Feb 16, 2021

No problem! And If it's not to much to ask I have a new story called 'what if it's not a him' I really would appreciate some feedback! Have a nice day!

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Echo Sundar
22:26 Feb 16, 2021

No problem! And If it's not to much to ask I have a new story called 'what if it's not a him' I really would appreciate some feedback! Have a nice day!

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9 P🎈
07:49 Feb 06, 2021

Hi Robert, the title's so unique.........and the story seems so realistic, the dialouge work is amazing. Great work👍 Have you read my newest story so yet?😊

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03:06 Feb 07, 2021

Well, thank you! Oddly enough I was looking at my book shelves thinking about how many hobbies I have and this prompt came up. I had to write a story about it. Robert

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