Some people haven’t figured out I am selective about what challenges I take on and focus on those I think I have locked down.
So when they asked me to come up with an original story on the fly I said I would tell them about the girl named after the sixth month and the unexpected meeting of a guy named Johnny.
Laid out the basic framework and said she was fighting not to admit that Johnny was her best friend and the person she trusted to never go away.
They said that wasn’t fair because it sounded like a story that many had told, seen or heard before.
I laughed and said they hadn’t established parameters that said it had to be something that no one had heard before.
“You wanted something on the fly and I gave you that and I can give you more if you want.”
They dared me to continue and I said “He told her that he had written letters that would be of interest and that she knew how to find them if she wanted to.”
That led to more scoffing and accusations of not really meeting the mark and I laughed again.
“Sometimes the best stories provide a general outline and framework for the reader with the goal of allowing the reader’s imagination to fill in the gaps.’
They conceded and so I marked that down as the third victory of the last five weeks.
Smart writers recognize you have to work even when the muse is distracted and or on some sort of walkabout because you have to produce regardless of circumstances.
They also know the importance of being prepared to produce at any time because sometimes the ideas show up unexpected and unsought.
Those are moments when you do what you can to run with the moon and place those words upon a page, be it electronic, papyrus or blood on a leaf.
When the electric thrill touches you the idea of letting it go is anathema. It doesn’t matter if the content isn’t of the quality you hope for either– you answer the damn muse.
You pound it out because the more you do to connect the easier it becomes in the future and you can always polish a first, second or third draft.
Talked with the younger Mr. Wilner about something different but not unrelated.
“When you are giving a presentation and expect to field questions you can walk in and wing it or you can be prepared to take control and tell a story.
Every story has a beginning, middle and end.Be prepared to share those three elements and you will probably come out the other side.”
Twenty-One Years Later
We’re less than one hour away from the 21st anniversary of 9/11. Not going to try to go real deep here other than to point out the obvious.
Roughly 3,000 people woke up that day and prepared to go about their days. They all had different ideas of what their day would look like.
Some expected an ordinary experience and some hoped for something more but none expected that to be their last.
Most of us will not know when our last day will be until that day comes and even then we may not know until the very end.
So we don’t always approach the days with urgency. We don’t always tell those we care most about how we feel or make important changes because we think there will be another day to do it.
Sometimes that other day never comes so you better live and love hard now because you never know when or what will happen.
It might be cliche, but it is real.
To me the best way to honor those who didn’t get that choice is to try and take advantage of what we learned from the opportunities they didn’t get to take.