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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Review Chain

Sometimes all you need to get yourself going again is to remind yourself why you do what you do.
This is my entry for the Review Chain January 2021 Contest

“Deep breaths… I can do this…”

“Keep your eyes on the prize, champ. Just… a little… further…”




I finally did it. Through many trials and tribulations, hard work and several mentor figures that were like the father I never had, except I did have one and they all died and… what was my point again…?

Oh, right. Finally, I have managed to capture the fearsome, almighty…!



With a sigh I flop down on the couch, looking at the stuffed animal I had caught in my old bug net. Four days, and I still couldn’t bring myself to write a single goddamn word.

Luckily, I currently didn’t have to meet any deadlines, but all this lazing around is starting to grate on me. Believe me, I tried every known trick under the sun, and yet… here I am.

I suppose that means there’s really only one thing left for me to do. Oh yeah, that’s right: I’m going to rummage through the attic and hope for a miracle…!


I confess haven’t been in the attic since… erm… ever, now that I think about it. After moving here about three years ago I just crammed any surplus boxes up here and never looked back, so to speak.

It’s almost impressive just how thick dust can get. Almost. So, while I initially planned to just be up here for the rest of the day, I quickly decide it would be much better for my health if I just grab a random box and take it down to my…’office’.

Well, it’s the room with my computer, so I suppose so. After a quick un-dusting (is that a word?), I open the box and find myself looking at a bunch of books. Oh, not just any books, though. These books all defined my childhood! My mother used to read them to me, back when she still could…

Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes, Holes, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter… good god, that brings back some memories. The thing that catches my eye the most out of all of them, however, is a leather-bound notebook with the word “Stories” made of carboard glued onto it.


I seriously forgot about this little thing. It must be… thirteen years ago now…? My aunt, who was a relatively well-known author back then gave it to me and encouraged me to write any and all ideas for stories and characters into it. That’s what really got me started as an author in the first place.

Well, okay, maybe that’s a bit of an over exaggeration, but it definitely was a major contributor to the whole ‘When I grow up, I want to be an author!’ thing.


Sitting down with it at my desk I brush a finger over the letters. I already feel nostalgic and I haven’t even opened it yet. A slight feeling of apprehension zaps through me. I remember helping a friend of mine move a few weeks ago. We found one of her original sketchbooks at the back of a shelf. I swear she was close to throwing that thing out of the window several times while flipping through it.

In some corner of my mind, I suppose I hope that flipping through these old stories will help me get out of this rut I’m in. But in doing so I would most certainly set myself up for disappointment, no?

Ah, no sense in delaying any longer.









I open the book, and it feels like I opened a door straight to my childhood. Just sitting here, flipping through all the ideas that sprang into the mind of twelve-year-old me is… quite the nostalgia trip.

Knight and castles, pirates in space. Adventure, action. Even some really, really corny dialogue… ouch.

A talking fish commandeering a flying van. A horse carriage riding through a kingdom of clouds. Planets being shrunken and stuffed into snow globes to be sold on an alien market. A flat world where everything is like… a 2D Side-scroller. It’s all very rough, but…

A plane that works underwater and could fly through the planet to get passengers to the other side quicker. A few stories that are basically just Atlantis. Aliens replacing people with lizards, but everyone acts like nothing’s wrong. I think I had a fever dream about that once…

Sentient Dolphins. The end. Huh. Sure.


It’s funny how well I can imagine most of these characters and scenarios by just reading about them. Like, I can almost picture them standing here in the room with me. I guess I can consider my imagination officially kickstarted again.

You could say that all these stories were hidden away for years in some far-off corner of my brain if you want to get metaphorical.

By the time I close the book it’s dark outside. Huh. Time can really fly if it wants to.


The good news is that I feel reinvigorated. Like, mentally. Physically, I crave food right now. But I have this strange feeling that the next time I sit down in front of my computer I won’t have a problem coming up with words anymore.

Or not. I probably just spoiled it. The important part is that I remember why I wanted to become an author in the first place. That might not help me move past this block (or any subsequent one, really), but at least for the moment I once again know why I’m doing all this.

And that’s at least worth something, right?



And that's that!

First of all, I hope everyone who reads this had a pleasant year so far. Wasn't even going to write anything so "soon" again, but once more a contest gave me an excuse to write something.

It's very subtle, but I hope you can figure out that I used the image instead of the prompts this time. Joking aside, I do hope you liked this little story, and I'll see you all... well I mean, when I publish my next story.

Anyway! Yeah! Bye!

Submitted: January 14, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Arcturus. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Hi! Can I just say that I love this story! It's a great and really enjoyable read, and it's short enough that it doesn't just go on.

I love the story behind this, and the fact that it's about overcoming writer's block (which I feel I am currently going through) is a great reminder about why it is that we love to write. I might well look through some of my old stories from a few years ago, see if

Fri, January 15th, 2021 3:08pm


I am so sorry. I didn't mean to deliberately spam you. For some reason, Booksie keeps publishing my comments before I finish writing them. I was trying to review your writing, but it kept just cutting me off. I'll carry on from where I left off...

I love the story behind this, and the fact that it's about overcoming writer's block (which I'm currently going through) makes it pretty relatable. I really enjoyed this short story, and love how you've written ij present tense, as I don't read many short stories in this tense. Keep writing, and I'll make sure to check out some of your other pieces of writing,


Fri, January 15th, 2021 3:13pm


I... am just going to reply to this last one and hope Booksie has calmed down :D

Anyway: Thank you! I was actually experiencing a bit of writer's block myself trying to come up with a story for this contest, but eventually it just kind of... "clicked" that this is exactly what it could be about.

Sorry to hear that you're going through writer's block yourself. Fingers crossed it's over soon!
On a final note: Good luck with your own contest entry!


Fri, January 15th, 2021 8:09am


This is honestly wonderful. It made me feel nostalgic with my mind flashing memories of books I used to read in my childhood and how excited I was despite how illogical the plots could be in reality. Well, then what's the use of imagination then? Haha. I could relate to your work so well especially the blocks one feels as a writer amidst voices saying you're just wasting your time apart from getting that inspiration to write. That line "And that's at least worth something, right?" hit me hard. You have no clue how uplifting this was to me. Thank you so much! Wish you good luck in the competition :)

Wed, January 20th, 2021 8:37pm


I'm happy to see that something I wrote had any sort of impact on someone :3 Thank you for reading and good luck to you, too!


Thu, January 21st, 2021 11:21am

Harris Proctor

Great job, Arcturus :)

I hope your year has been pleasant as well.

I liked your story very much. Is there any ADD mixed in with that writer's block? There is sooo much in mine :) The distracted mind/stream of consciousness right off the bat works well and the teddy in the net is a nice touch.
I do wonder if that style buries the contrast between the wonders in the book and the mundane realities of a dusty, forgotten attic. But then, I wonder if there needs to be more of a stream to sweep one into the attic for the first time ever. I don't think this story needs anything, but I do want to try and offer some thoughts by way of constructive criticism.
Anyway, the stories, flashing by in rapid-fire fashion, inspire the same nostalgic joy in this reader as they do in your narrator. The resolution works great, and I can't help but imagine what magic is tucked into the other neglected boxes :)



Thu, January 21st, 2021 7:16pm


Well, I'm glad you liked it! :)

Maybe a little ADD is mixed in, yeah. Though, I really only wanted to convey that Mr. Protagonist is bored out of his mind. In hindsight, I maybe could've gone for something like "I haven't been to the attic ever since I needed to get *item* while working on my last book" to create a bit of symbolism, but I'm happy with how this story turned out regardless.

Cheers and good luck with the contest!

Thu, January 21st, 2021 11:51am


I love looking at old stories I wrote, sometimes I just have to shake my head at it and wonder what I was thinking. But it's always fun, and it always gets the imagination going. I really enjoyed your story and how it showed that reminiscing from days gone by can spark motivation now. I liked seeing how they went from a bit downhearted to more inspired. Sometimes we just need a reminder why we're doing this.

Fri, January 29th, 2021 1:28am

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