Have Pen Will Write

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Thoughts of a Writer while Traveling.

Submitted: October 09, 2016

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Submitted: October 09, 2016



"Final Boarding Call for Flight 845 heading to Boise."

There is a story in that sentence alone. "Final Boarding Call." Definitive. Declares that this is it. You had your chance and now you are not coming with us on this trip. Suspenseful too. What happens to the person that misses the final boarding call? Where would that person have been? Possibilities are endless.

I was leaving Seattle recently to head to Boise on a business trip. I was sitting in the waiting area, jotting down a few thoughts and ideas for possible story ideas, when I met another writer.

"Working on a story?" He asked.

I looked up from my notebook. "Yeah, just need to kill some time before the flight. You working on anything good right now?" I said.

He moved the tip of his glasses down to the end of his nose. "A writer never reveals his secrets. You will just have to wait for it to be published." He said.

I laughed. Writers have a special kind of kinship. We are the ones that are carrying on a tradition that could have quite honestly started at the beginning of time. There are a lot of us working today. No matter where you are, public or private, a writer is at work. Documenting everything going on as he or she sees it. 

I looked at my new friend and smiled. "It has to be pretty good," I said.

"I hope so," He said. "It is something that I have been working on for a while. I read something about Helicopters and want to do something with it."

"War story? Spy or Action?" I asked. 

"Not sure," He said. "I keep toying with it, but nothing seems to click."

"I know what you mean," I said. I started mentioning very briefly my series character I have been working with. He raised his eyebrows.

"How many stories have you done with him?" He asked.

I tilted my head. I couldn't quite remember the number. "About 22 published, 15 more ready to go." I said.

"At least you have something though," He said. 

"I might, but I don't like how his stories are turning out lately. It seems very soap opera like to me. This last one I had him come home from a family reunion only to punch out his step father." I said.

"Who hasn't wanted to do that?" He asked.

I laughed. "Well sure, but it is hard to take a character in a new direction." I said.

We laughed and went back to work on our respective stories.

It made me think. Writers are competitive but every now and then we put our pens down and discuss the craft without sharing ideas. Ideas are the most precious things a writer has. If he shares what his current work is, the person hearing it may use it for their own work and the writer will have lost a precious opportunity to develop an original idea. 

Just so happened, my new friend and I were sitting in the same row. He had the middle and I had the window. We both chuckled at the situation.

"Oh good lord, two writers in a row. This can't be too good." He said. 

I laughed. "People who are quieter than normal on a plane? Man oh man."

"Better make it three." 

We both looked to see a beautiful woman standing infront of us.

She was a brunette wearing a sweatshirt and yoga pants. She was carrying three notebooks and a John Grisham novel. She at the aisle seat.

"Nice, is that his new one?" My friend asked.

"Nah, it's one from a few years ago." She said.

"He is one of the greatest." I said.

"That is for sure. He went strictly commercial for a while but then he started branching out. Doing some kids series, legal thrillers and the occasional regular fiction. I wanna try and follow that pattern." She said.

"I'm Robert Logan," I said.

"Albert Jensen. But you can call me Al," My friend said.

"Becca Bartow," She said.

"Don't you have a Travel Blog?" Albert asked.

"Yeah. It's called Have Pen Will Write." Becca said.

"Clever word play." I said.

"Yeah, my family loved Have Gun Will Travel. When I graduated college, I decided that I was gonna be a Travel Writer. Been at it for 5 years." Becca said.

"Wow, that is pretty good." I said. "Been to any cool places?"

"Been all over the world, but the best stories to be found are in Boise." Becca said.

"Boise?" Albert asked.

"Absolutely," Becca said.

The writer in me wanted to inquire more about the possiblity that may lay in Boise for story gold. But I decided to get back to work on my own story at hand. I was working on an essay. It was a rare move for me. I always respected essayists like Christopher Hitchens and Norman Mailer and Greg Gutfeld, but I could never focus myself. I think writing styles can determine if you are successful or have to improve upon your work. I stick to Short Stories because I always liked the simplicity of them. "Do a lot with a little" was how they were described to me at one time. 

We were up in the air. The crowd was noisy and the stewardesses just didn't care about regulating the law on the flights. It didn't matter to us. We were all at work on our respective stories. Albert was scribbling away furiously at his notebook. Becca's pen was floating along the lines of her notebook. Cursive writing will do that. I on the other hand, was reading over my work and not satisfied. My essay was on Rual Montana. I was recently there for a research trip. I was driving down the long back country roads and I came across an old Cowboy leaning against the tailgate of his Pickup Truck. It was a very fascinating image and I thought that an essay might be the best way to describe what I saw and what the image meant to me in particularly.

After a couple of hours we landed. The three of us got off the plane together and went down to claim our baggage. It is weird when you see writers in public. More often then not you can identify them when they carry a notebook in one hand and in the other they are twirling a ballpoint pen in the other. 

We said our goodbyes and exchanged phone numbers. We were all in Boise for about the same length of time. We were gonna meet up for dinner and maybe even get a little writing in too.

Writers. You never know what's gonna happen next. Or do you?

© Copyright 2018 Robert Logan. All rights reserved.

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