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03 Mar 98

Terrible Literary Error

I wrote something for the entry today that was so scabrous, so embarassing and uninspired, that I have torn the insipid lines from the electronic page, and thrust them forever in the little gray digital rubbish can.

Never, ever again, will I write a story in which a couple goes into a drugstore to purchase a bottle of Feminine Wiles. Seven paragraphs of weak, foolish, execrable nonsense, the kind of bad writing that lazy sophomores, their belly-flaps folding over from too much beer and meat sandwiches, write in a dreamy state of fantasy. Such a sophomore thinks his thoughts unique. He believes some magical muse of Rum and Coke might descend and straddle his pen, moving the quill nib across the milky page by dint of gentle rocking.

There is no such muse for me. I slog through, and mostly, feel such a deep humiliation at this product that I think it might be better to stop, freeze off the tips of my fingers, and burn the keyboard.

And then there was the abduction. But I'll tell you about that when I'm calmer.


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

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