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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "A Man is Known by the Company He Keeps" (without using the actual phrase). (01/31/08)

TITLE: The Write Brothers (and Sisters)
By Bob Zoellner


“What are you doing honey?”

“I’ve got to get this done, it’s due in the morning,” I said in a hurry, hoping she would just drop it and let me get back to work.

“But I’m tired, it’s almost midnight, that light is in my eyes, and the pounding of your keyboard is keeping me awake.”

O.k., so she wasn’t going to let it drop.

“Well, what else am I going to do? I haven’t had a chance to work on this until now, and you know that my deadline is 9 o’clock in the morning. I’ve got to get this done.”

If only our place wasn’t so cramped. If we had the room, we wouldn’t have to have this weekly conversation.

“You know how important this is to me. I get a lot out of this process. If I could do this another day, another place, another way, I would.”

“But this isn’t even a paying gig. Is it really life or death, especially since it's usually so late before you finish?”

“You know I have to hone my skills. This is the only way, and I’ll bet I’m not the only one. A lot of other people are probably in the same boat.”

“You mean their hobby annoys their spouses, too?” she said with a slight chuckle in her voice, now fully awake and obviously not really that mad at me any more.

“Well,” I said slowly, ready for the “fight.” Besides, making up is kinda fun. “I do use you as a source of my inspiration. Do you find that annoying, too?”

“Only when you don’t change the names in the story and make me look a little less than perfect to your online friends.”

A little less than perfect? Most of my pieces are non-fiction. “When have I ever done that?”

“You haven’t,” she said, laughing at my discomfort. I wonder how many other FaithWriters.com challengers have to put up with this kind of abuse.

All right, I think I’m done with this game. Maybe I should just turn out the light and go to sleep. I could miss a week of the challenge. What would that hurt?

“Yeah right, yopu're just like all the others. They couldn’t stand missing a week, either.”

Wait a minute, I didn’t even say that out loud. Am I that transparent?

“Honey, you’ve told me enough about the people on the message boards. You’re as neurotic as they are. That Challenge-thing has gotten inside your head. And, although you don’t post on the message boards as much as some people – are some of them really in the thousands of posts? – you writers are all alike.”

“We are, are we?” I’ve lost this battle.

“You want feedback, pout when you don’t get it, wonder if anybody is really reading your stuff, stay up all night to try and beat the deadline, fret about how you’re going to chop one hundred words from your submission to get under the word count limit, and wonder if Deb can really be as nice as she seems.”

“Wow, are you good.”

Now I really wanted to go to sleep.

“One more thing, hon.”

What now, I thought. I don’t think I can take any more of this. “What is it?”

"Has there been any thought of a support group for spouses of FaithWriters.com’ers? We could use the help.” She was laughing now.

“I don’t know, but that probably could be a profitable site. Now leave me alone. I’ve got a deadline to meet.”

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This article has been read 490 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Holly Westefeld02/08/08
Am I keeping company with spies, as well as writers?
Who's going to help me catch my head and get it back on my shoulders?
You're right. This addiction takes hold quickly and forcefully.
Joanne Sher 02/09/08
Hey - I resemble that remark! ;)
(though I AM one with "thousands of posts")

This was a fun read - I'm sure MANY will relate to this.
Sara Harricharan 02/12/08
Ooooh! This is too funny. I have to ask though...how did you know that the challenge is so addictive? ^_^ I chuckled all the way through this once I figured out the setting. There was one typo with "You're" and a few places where I think the dialouge got tagged onto the thoughts of your MC, otherwise, this was a hilarious and well done read! ^_^
Jan Ackerson 02/13/08
Hilarious! You're keeping company with a great group of people, that's for sure.
Shelley Ledfors 02/13/08
Ah, good. I'm the comments link is working this time. I loved this entry! It's just too funny (and too true!) Great job.
Lyn Churchyard02/14/08
Oh dear, now the truth comes out! We DO have web cams in our computers and we weren't even aware of it. You have captured the topic just perfectly with this one. Well done Bob... I'm still chuckling.