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Mr. Maul
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[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              The blank page mocks me the same way Friday mocks the other days of the week. Especially Wednesday. The hump day. The middle child of the Day family. Middle children tend to grow up to be serial killers. But even serial killers can manage to get books written.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              My name is Johnny. Jonathan, actually, but only my parents call me that. Everyone else calls me Johnny. A few friends call me John. I also had an ex-girlfriend who called me "Nny" after some comic book or something. She was kind of weird. No one, and I mean no one, calls me John Boy. Or rather, no one ever makes that mistake twice.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              I come from a normal family, I guess. A mom and dad who have been married nearly twenty-three years, an older brother and sister, a dog named "Ambrosius." Well, maybe having non-divorced parents and a pet whose name came from a David Bowie movie isn't necessarily normal, but you understand what I mean. I guess "average" would be a more adequate adjective, but only if the quotation marks stayed.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]               It's Tuesday morning. I've been up all night. Again. Too many distractions, nowhere near enough attractions. I'll just occupy my mind with trivial cognitive clutter for another two or three hours, find nourishment, and then take a twelve hour nap. Wake up. Do it again. Lather, rinse, and repeat. A brutal cycle, I know, but I'm not complaining.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              Six months, no progress. I'm convinced I have ADD. Diagnosis is not the answer, though. The last thing I need is to be speeding on Adderall all day. I'm already up all night as it is. It doesn't need to turn into a twenty-four/seven, prescribed, uncontrollable, and highly-regimented affair. Allmychildren, I can see it now! Running around, synapses buzzing like honey bees on meth. Multi-tasking faster than mother octopus with toddler octuplets. Horrible. Hypertension, bruxism, tachycardia, arrhythmia, nystragmus, savage paranoia, aneurysms, hemorrhaging, death. Oh, no. No amphetamines for me. I can barely take a Ludens without seizing. Although, I don't think there'd be any notable difference in my post-mortem accomplishments compared to my current progress.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              Six months I've been staring at that blank page, and for the entirety of those one hundred and eighty days (approximately), that snow-white sheet of paper has sat there, all smug and condescending, just like papers do. It silently laughs at my inability to not only write coherently, but also creatively. Every minute that goes by and nothing is written is just one more minute that cursed piece of paper has won. Inanimate objects are the bane of my existence, second only to gravity.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              When my brother turned twenty years old, he changed. Not over night, but steadily nonetheless. He said he wanted to make a difference in the world. I bought him a recycling bin. He joined the Peace Corps. I guess saving trees wasn't big enough for him. That was nearly two years ago. I haven't seen him since. Sure, he writes frequently, calls on Christmas and such, but still, two years is a long time. A lot can happen in two years. People grow old and die. Towns build and raze buildings. Television series get the green light, only to be cancelled halfway through the pilot. Change is inevitable. Too bad nobody ever told that to this Godforsaken piece of paper.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              Six months. Six long months I've been trying to write a story for my Peace-Corpsing brother. Six months, and what have I got to show for it? One solved Rubik?s Cube, a 1/300th scale model of the U.S.S. Arizona (complete with entombed sailors - horrible, I know... what was Milton Bradley thinking?), a fist-sized hole in the wall, sixty-three empty Jones bottles, ten pounds, one inch, two cavities, a broken door, a clock radio that's been blinking the wrong time (with a minus three hour and twenty minute deviation, exactly) for two months, five books full of unsolved Su Dokus, one sprained wrist, a ticket stub from a Regina Spektor concert, a beard, goatee, and a mustache, a new (used) car, three ex-girlfriends, twenty DVD's, a new (used) PA system, three speeding tickets, twenty-thousand plus (and counting) mp3's, a lost/stolen wallet, two wasted laptop batteries, one and a half fistfights, two A's, one B, and a C. In other words, absolutely nothing.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              It's not that I don't want to write a story for Darryl. That's not it at all. I would love to sit down and churn out a hefty manuscript or a healthy-sized book. Heck, I'd be tickled retarded to write a Nobel Prize-winning Great American Novel for him. It just all boils down to Inspiration versus Distraction. These two factors are not literally battling each other, per se. It's more of an eating contest of sorts. They see who can out-eat the other, thus outweighing him as well. Unfortunately for me, my Inspiration is so devastatingly crippled by anorexia, he makes Ally McBeal look like the sumo champion of the world. Even Ethiopian children are disgusted by my Inspiration's appearance. Back to sumo wrestlers, let us not forget big ol' Mr. Distraction, a creature so morbidly obese, he makes sumo champs look like Annie McBeal. Even at this very moment, Distraction is on his way to an all-you-can-eat lard buffet, and he is definitely going to be hopping the lines. It still befuddles the living daylights out of me as to how two intangible abstractions can have eating disorders. That'd be like - [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              "[B]Johnny![/B]" My sister was standing in my doorway.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              "[B]You KNOCK first![/B]"[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]               "[B]Your door's broken anyway, so it doesn't matter.[/B]"[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              "[B]Umm... yeah, it does. It's called manners. You don't just barge into someone's room.[/B]"[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              "[B]The door was OPEN![/B]"[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              "[B]Whatever. What do you want?[/B]"[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              "[B]Mom wants you to take care of the trash.[/B]"[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              "[B]Why? Is it sick?[/B]"[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              "[B]What?[/B]"[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              "[B]Never mind. Tell her I'll do it in a bit.[/B]"[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              "[B]Tell her yourself. I'm not your own personal Western Union.[/B]"[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              "[B]No kidding.[/B]"[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              Lana can only stomach so much of my guff before she just has to leave. She exited my doorway, acting as if she hadn't heard my last remark.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              "[B]SHUT MY DOOR![/B]" I yelled.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              "[B]It's STILL BROKEN![/B]" she rebuked from the living room.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              "[B]Stupid, inanimate, broken door,[/B]" I muttered, making repeated attempts to force it shut, but to no avail. I ended up just wedging my skateboard up against it to hold it shut. Might as well get some use out of that thing. Only cost me ten bucks (used), though. That's a little thing I like to call, "bargain shopping."[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              I sat back down at my (once-discarded, now-salvaged) desk, hoping I might be able to stare-down the paper into submission, perhaps even intimidating it into writing itself.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              Elapsed Time: ten minutes. Yet another victory chalked up for the ex-tree. I retire to my bed. The meal can wait. Right now, I require self-regeneration. Unconsciousness. Slumber, if you will. I pray to the sadistic, schizophrenic dream fairy for something half worth writing about to occur during my R.E.M. cycles. I turn on the fan, tune the clock radio to an in between station, allowing the soft and soothing white noise to quietly haunt my room. I turn the light out, lie down, and then turn [I]my[/I] lights out.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1][COLOR=DimGray]              See you on the other side.



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[FONT=Arial]I can honestly say that I've never had block that bad. Two weeks was my high mark, but [I]six months[/I] would have driven me up the wall, back down, around all four for maybe seventy laps, and then I might have started knocking things down.

Hmm. What to say? Well, a couple of the center paragraphs felt a little thick, especially the one about Inspiration vs Distraction, but offhand I can't really see anything that looks out of whack. Some excellent stream of consciousness going on, though. Bravo.

Oh. Wait. You changed tense near the end, except for most of the final paragraph. Easy thing to do; I fought a tense change for half an hour in a recent post because that's how I heard it writing itself, and boy was a sneaky little bugger. Anyway, here it is:

[QUOTE][SIZE="1"][COLOR="DimGray"]Distraction is on his way to an all-you-can-eat lard buffet, and he is definitely going to be hopping the lines. It still befuddles the living daylights out of me as to how two intangible abstractions can have eating disorders. That'd be like -
              [B]"Johnny!"[/B] My sister [COLOR="Red"]was[/COLOR] standing in my doorway.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/QUOTE]
Keep it in present for the entire thing. "My sister [B]is[/B] standing in the doorway," etc., etc. You know what to do.

Very nice piece of work. I enjoyed it.

[B]Edit:[/B] Oh, and thanks for teaching me how to indent. You have no idea how much I appreciate that.[/FONT]
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