A Figurine Of Speech

Serious writers have to answer questions about where they get their inspiration and how long it took them to write their masterpiece. How long did it take? Only three weeks? Bullshit! No way! I don't believe you! That's not writing! That's not the answer I was looking for. Give me something that I want to hear. A year! Yes. That's better. A year and maybe a few months more. Time well spent on a book that is a whopping forty-eight pages. Forty-eight! Forty-eight in a year? That's weak, and thin, and okay then, three weeks sounds better now that I can picture it, but it still sounds like a bit of a stretch back in on itself.

Visual verbal somersaults! You read them with the ease of your eyes washing twisty thought pictures in a waterfall of words. Splashing! Crashing! Falling on the rocks! Cold as ice buckets filled with a heavy mist, hanging from the branches of fir trees that catch wind of the matter and dump the rest upon the both of us. Writer and reader playing together in a waterfall as it is being written.

How do serious writers get inspired? They dive in! They know the water will soak through their clothes and drown their cell phones down Gadget Creek—and their shoes will fill up with water, soak through their socks, and sag them toward the bottom—yet no matter how serious this realization is, diving in's the only way! To dive in and be swept away, knowing nothing can be brand new until it hits you in the face! Gurgle! Gurgle! Glug! Glug! Glug! Tumbling through the rumbling troubling waters, clinging to the branches and rocks, gasping and grabbing for air while being torn apart! All the serious writers eventually wash up on the shore and either cough up gallons of inspiration or drown and lie face down.

Gack! Hack! Vomit! Here, I found this stone at the bottom of the river. I thought you might like to see it. So I gobbled it up and Hack! Gack! Kack! There it is. It was the only way to bring it with me. To gulp it up. The current was too strong to do otherwise. Look! It tore off all my clothes! I'm naked! And my fingers were too busy trying to find air to be able to hold onto something as silky as a water rock. So when I saw it, I quickly imagined that I had swallowed a small statue of Jonah who was swallowed by a whale. For four days and three nights, I thought I would crap it out. But it stayed inside me so long that I forgot about it until now, when I coughed it out, naked, wet, and happy to be alive.

Please take it. It's yours. I coughed it up for you, specifically for the moment when I'm asked about inspiration and taking myself seriously as a writer. I'll say something like "inspiration is inside you always for at least three days, like Jonah, peeing in the corner of your stomach." And you'll know exactly what I mean, literally. It's a figurine of speech!

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