Today is day 120 of InkStains, and I must admit, I have not yet written today’s story.
It’s still early.
In the past four months, I have taken one free day from each (I’d allowed up to three per month, but cannot stop writing long enough to take that much time away).
I have written some stories that prove to me I can write a story, but don’t necessarily show the level of artistry for which I strive. I’ve written stories I think are absolutely amazing. I’ve written a few nonfiction pieces that have been fun and interesting. I’ve written true things and I’ve written honest things. I’ve gone through a dozen ink cartridges and a handful of Moleskine notepads. (The next will be red.) I’ve written true life, fantasy, horror, romance, science fiction, crime, experimental, new age, memoir, historical, pseudo-science, literary, and inspirational. I’ve written about roads and maps and cities and black holes. I’ve written about gods and thieves and children and shadows and ninja and chocolate.
Some days, I write, and I want to show the world what I’ve just done. I come away with a sense of excitement and artistic accomplishment, I feel I must share it.
Some days, I remember that I am an artist, I am a writer, and many of the other roles I play are simply roles I play.
Here are a few random lines from the past month:
I met a poet once alongside a gas station near the off ramp of some highway. He insisted the stars rained their dust upon us every night, if we could see the stars, but closer to the cities and all the bright lights you lost the blessings of stardust. I disagreed.
“Oh,” he says, lowering the camera. “I didn’t see you there.” But he doesn’t see her there now.
Over the course of thousands of years, the Mountain was born, and it struggled against its brothers and sisters until it became the tallest and mightiest of all the mountains.
Maybe she’s the bird, the raven, stalking your every move, following you, the scent of your breath and your sweat.
You need rope. Or a whip. A whip will always work if you don’t have rope.
She stares at her reflection in the mirror waiting for it to get something wrong.
“I said I’m not an angel,” she says, “but you must never stop believing that I am one. I’m too vain to suffer anything less.”
The world within his frame of reference is rigid and unchanging.
He said, “I have a gun.”
I raised my glass. “And I have scotch.”