It Could Get Deep (ms)

Well now,” I thought, “this is a fine puddle of mud I’ve gotten myself into.”

My old friend Tom Flannery had just proposed (and I agreed) that we would each write fifteen hundred words a week and publish them. As evidence that such a project was not out of reach he cited Hemingway at 500 words a day, the late Chicago columnist Mike Royko at 900 words a day, his own father at 700 daily. Staggering output when viewed from my standpoint of only a few hundred words a week. Good thing I was able to get him down to a thousand.

In deference to my age Mr. Flannery agreed that I should have the choice of topic. My piece would come first then be added to by him, in his own style of course. We thought two five hundred word pieces a week would be good for openers though it might turn out that if things got rolling a one thousand word opus was not out of the realm of possibility. That would be favored by each of us for such a magnificent literary effort would get us off the hook for the entire week. We would then be free to pursue our other interests all the while waiting for the dreaded announcement that the other had finished an installment and it was time to get moving again.

Unlike Hemingway we would write using computers whereas he was one to write with pencil while standing up. I do like some of Hemingway’s pieces but I draw the line at standing. There’s nothing like a good easy chair to make the words flow like water down a creek after a spring rain.

So, we parted company on that fateful afternoon each mulling over in his mind the necessary business of coming up with ideas that might blossom into full-blown epic tales of wisdom and insight with a dash of humor now and then. There are a lot of folks out there doing that sort of thing, offering wisdom and insight, so it is imperative that we do so in a manner which allows us to stand out in the crowd. There is a larger motive afoot you see.

One of the selling points was that if we worked diligently producing a thousand words a week we would end up with fifty-two thousand words each at the end of a year assuming we took no vacations. Together we would amass over 100 thousand words which could in turn be printed in handsome fashion and sold nationwide. Tom thought each piece ought to be exceptional thereby guaranteeing a bidding war among publishers for our efforts. I suggested he check the book stores for works by some “celebrities” and the titles to be found therein. He would doubtless conclude as I had that we might not need to reach too high to beat some of the competition.

So, off we go down the path to literary glory walking in the footsteps of giants like Twain, Hemingway and Steinbeck to mention just a few. I think we’ll have a good time. Why even as I write this I can feel the mud getting deeper and I don’t imagine there’s any way of telling just how deep it’ll be before we’re finished.

–Mike Stevens

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~ by admin on December 5, 2010.

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