Daily Archives: March 15, 2013

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

“It was a dark and stormy night.”

I typed that line at the top of the page. Then I leaned back in my chair and just stared, stared at the sheet of white paper peeking out from the top of the typewriter, mocking me.

“’It was a dark and stormy night.’ Is that all you can think of? How about a flash of lightning followed by a slow roll of thunder across the dark sky, wind blowing through the trees, the rattle of windows, the sound of rain hitting the roof, yes, lots and lots of rain?”

I tore the page from the typewriter in frustration and anger, crushed it into a ball and tossed it in the direction of the waste basket. It hit the wall and bounced off, missing its target to join the many other wads of paper scattered about. I reached for a clean sheet of paper and fed it into the typewriter.

I turned the roller until a small portion of the virgin paper emerged above the keys. I sat up straight, took a deep breath, and prepared to type.

The keys sang out: click, click, clickity-click, click . . .

I was composing a short story, a great piece of literature, perhaps a great novel in its infancy.

I paused and looked at what I had written: “It was a dark and stormy night.”

“Hemingway could do better.”

“Hemingway does not impress me,” I replied. “If your intent is to mock me, you really must do better than Hemingway.”

“Hemingway won the Nobel Prize, or have you forgotten?”

My frustration with my own lack of creativity was increasing.

“I am sure that even Hemingway had dry moments from time to time.”

“Dry?” I answered with a note of contempt in my voice. “He drank more than that big fish the old man in the boat claimed to have caught. Need I warn you,” I continued, “you can be replaced?”

“With what, a computer?”

“And why not?” I asked. “Technology is everywhere today. Why even books are digitized.”

“No great writer ever used a computer,” my antagonist continued. “And may I add, no lover of books would ever read one on a screen.”

I folded my arms and stared down at the typewriter.

“Now, put some mood music on the phonograph, pour yourself a drink, and get to work.”

I ripped the paper from the typewriter, crumpled it, and tossed it on the floor with the others, and placing a new sheet in the typewriter, I began to type.

“It was a dark and stormy night.”

Until next time, be good to all God’s creation and always walk under the mercy.