This is a work of fiction. A short story of just over 400 words.

Adam stared at the keys of the typewriter for perhaps the hundredth time that morning. The paper curled in the roller above had been blank since it had been inserted, seven days earlier. Not a single typed character marked its pristine whiteness. The new ribbon, carefully wound in place at the same time, waited patiently for its first assignment. Stretching his arms above his head, Adam settled his position in the smart new office chair. His fingers hovered over the keys, and he stared at them once again.
So much greatness had come from these three lines of jumbled letters. They had helped some to win The Booker Prize, and others The Pulitzer. Poems that had made grown men shed tears, and books that had given hope to those in despair. They had recorded historical events, ended love affairs, and noted scientific advances.

And he couldn’t manage one sentence.

To gain inspiration, Adam checked his notes once more. List of chapters, principal characters, places and time-line. He knew the beginning, the middle, and the end. Off by heart. All he needed to do now was to flesh it out, breathe life into the people and places he recognised so well in his imagination. He had gone over it enough times, after all. In his mind, he could see the finished book, the last page, the dedication. He even had the book-jacket photograph picked out, and had written the short blurb to accompany publication.

Time for lunch.

It was undoubtedly inadvisable to drink two large glasses of claret with his reheated lasagna. The afternoon was a blur, interrupted by having to go out onto the small balcony for numerous cigarette breaks. That’s what he got for marrying a non-smoker. He doubted that Hemingway ever had to leave the typewriter to smoke. Thinking about it, did Hemingway actually smoke? The thought preoccupied him. He would have to look that up somewhere. Maybe he was thinking of Orwell. There was a writer who enjoyed a cigarette.

Before he knew it, it was approaching five. Adam became flustered. Sherry would be home just after six, ready for her white wine before the meal that he hadn’t even started to prepare. She would be full of tales about this and that in the office. What she said to him, after he had said that to her. He went over to the desk and placed the cover over his typewriter. Time to start dinner.

He would get back to that book tomorrow.


28 thoughts on “QWERTYUIOP

  1. I don’t procrastinate, but sometimes life gets in the way of writing. I did, however, pen lyrics to two melodies recently, one on Friday, and one on Sunday. I don’t ever experience writer’s block. If I sit down to write, my mind’s ready to go. Of course, I write at a snail’s pace (an average of 3-4 hours per page). What I like about this blog entry, Pete, is not so much what you say about time management, procrastination, or writer’s block, but rather your pointing out how a few simple keys can be used to generate a rich body of literature.


  2. And that’s why I get up so early in the morning to write so that when cocktail time comes along, it matters not if my vision blurs and I forgot to make dinner. πŸ˜‰ You did a fine job with this bit of flash fiction, Pete.


  3. Very well written, Pete!! I inhaled every word almost without breathing πŸ˜‰ Very much looking forward to the follow up.
    Wishing you a lovely evening in Beetley.
    We went to Morston and picked the first samphire of the year, now the sandy job is awaiting the cowork of the four of us …
    Best regards,
    Dina & co Xx


    1. Sorry, Dina. This is a one-off! Glad you enjoyed it, but it was deliberately short, just illustrating the dilemma faced by many ‘writers.’
      Love from Beetley, Pete and Ollie. X


    1. Claret seemed appropriate, Sue. If he isn’t working so he can write his novel, I am presuming some spare cash. They have some income from his wife’s job of course. Perhaps she will tell him off about the wine, hence his fluster.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A familiar experience for many writers, Pete. I can’t manage the drink at lunchtimes anymore, even on holiday. I did work with a 4-5 pints at lunchtime crime reporter some years ago! Well written….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Rich. From you, that is high praise.
      The ‘blurred afternoon’ is something I have experienced after daytime wine-drinking. I thought I would get that in…
      Best wishes, Pete.


  5. I know the problem well. It took me fifteen years to figure it out. The paper was in the typewriter upside down. Once I rolled it out of the machine and put it back right-side up, the words flowed. Then some idiot talked me into buying a computer. Turning CRTs over isn’t so easy. Forget turning the flat screen over. Just when I solved writer’s block for the 20th Century, they changed the damned Century.

    Liked by 1 person

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