Friday Speak Out!: My Masterpiece

Friday, September 11, 2015
by Sharon Ostrow

The children are napping, sweet respite! This is my chance to write, and I am intoxicated by the idea of enticing the muse. I am in love with my new laptop, and I ignore the typewriter that beckons me from its banishment in the closet. Its future is to collect dust bunnies, poor thing but I will not be swayed, for I am at last up to date with the modern world, the computer my partner in creating a great literary work. I am confident, prepared to create a masterpiece.

Fingers poised over the keyboard, I am ready to fill the blank screen with words of genius. The time is now. I am a genuine writer at last, set to make my mark in literary history. After I am interviewed on Oprah agents will beg for my attention. I envision my picture in the newspaper as an “upcoming new writer.” I imagine myself at book signings as I tour all over the world. My name will be listed among famous authors such as John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, and Pearl S. Buck.

The words flow quickly and I can hardly type fast enough to keep pace with my mind. The beginning paragraph is awesome as I hook my readers in with the first sentence. My voice is clear and strong yet gently entreating and the point of view is consistent as each mesmerizing sentence builds towards the scintillating climax. My sentences are fluid, my choice of words perfect with just the right mix of adjectives and adverbs and I have not allowed disagreeing verbs, dangling participles, naughty gerunds or sloppy slang. The syntax is perfect.

I pay no attention to the ringing phone. Lunchtime passes unnoticed except for the grumble of my stomach. This is what writing is all about, complete devotion to one’s talent. Before I know it all I have left is the final proofread. I follow submission guidelines exactly. Every space, every line is precise on the page. Every word is spelled correctly, every “i” dotted and every “t” crossed. The final draft is complete. Now, one last spell-check.

“Mommy, I’m hungry!” A child’s voice startles me and for a moment I am distracted. Quickly I touch my finger to a key, and then…. The screen is blank and the realization hits. I have deleted everything! Too late I remember someone telling me that should save my work periodically as I go along. Hindsight, how clear you are! My masterpiece is gone, like spilled milk that cannot be put back into the glass. Ah well, such is the life of a writer and I must do what I must do. I start again, after feeding the kids lunch of course, and maybe I should dust off the typewriter.

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Mother, grandmother, lover of nature, poetess, blogger of blogs, survivor of domestic violence, Sharon has been writing all her life and inherited her passion for the written word from her grandfather and her father who were both published historians of a local history book (edited by her mother who also loves language) of her hometown. She has been published in small literary magazines (now out of print). She is working on a poetry chapbook, her memoirs, and her family history. Her blog, It’s All About the Journey: She currently resides in Washington State, in a small community near the Columbia River.

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!



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