My Writing Is Toast!

(More burnt and more crisp second time around)


Hell and fury, I hate this damn toaster. Tell me, is there a toaster in the world that makes perfect toast? Setting the bloody thing is near to impossible. A month out of its box, with ten settings to meet even the pickiest person’s personal preference; you’d imagine, would you not, that setting the level at 5 would give me medium toasted bread, right? Nope, setting 5 singes the toast. Setting 4…when it pops up, leaves the slices of bread limply hanging over the machine. If I stand over the toaster to watch for the perfect brownness, something will always distract me from my purpose. But look, this is not remotely interesting? Hell, I bet half of you have stopped reading already. Let’s forget the damn toaster; I’ll eat a banana.

I seldom leave my home before writing 500 words, by which time daylight has crept from behind the Mendocino hills. There are cleverer people than me in the world; I think that is what I meant to demonstrate in telling you about the intricate workings of the toaster. I have no qualifications with which I can justify my thoughts to you about writing; or even explain to you why I like to write. I’ve seen vastly more intelligent men than me fail when trying to put their thoughts on paper, not because they lacked ability, or didn’t have a sound knowledge of correct grammar, but because they didn’t understand what value there is in the enjoyment of writing.

Recalling my youth, I was incapable of thinking widely or deeply. Nor did I consider myself an individual thinker. I was poorly read, never finishing my education, preferring the need to be off and running, and that running has afforded me many advantages along the way, not least of which was the lack of personal interest to remain in control of any undertaking started.

I’m not exactly certain when the creativity bug; or whatever else it can be called, kicked in. I think maybe I was simply born with that defect, but whenever, it saved this seventeen-year-old dreamer from life’s disappointment. Perhaps, like the Titanic, I was on my way to the new world without considering what the consequences might be… consequences that were accompanied with bone jarring results. A sinking like no man should have to bear. It first began when sitting in my bedroom, through the night softly typing on a Smith Corona typewriter trying not to wake anyone, feeling smug about the adventures taken on paper.

Secrets formed paragraphs, bigger secrets became pages, until eventually all those secrets joined up to become a book. I’ve always immersed myself in secrets. First keeping them safe, later discarding them, or revealing them to unsuspecting persons.

If you’re meant to be in love, trust me, you will be. It will seek you out somehow, somewhere. So, today writing is the lover who visits my bed with undressed ideas, naked wanderings between the sheets, or from the bathroom to the study.

I didn’t expect to fall in love. I did, however, and yes, it was that head over heels stuff. It came as quick as it left. Like an idea comes by, and you believe with all your heart it will make a best selling novel; and you keep it secret. But the secret of love was real, and that was a difficult thing to deal with, because ultimately the idea of love left me and that space could not be filled with words.

Following that grief, or that idea, I was looking for a starting point. The beginning hook to keep me going the rest of my life. In writing a story, the beginning is when an idea takes hold. The rest should be simple, shouldn’t it? Take the reader step by step in a nice easy fashion; be clear and concise, have a beginning, middle and an end. Hallelujah, a book. Not, however, a book in which a publisher will show any interest, or a loved one come back to read.

Call it cliché, call it economics, call it whatever, but if a hundred books get published, ninety-nine authors won’t make enough money to buy a good bottle of wine. So, that said, and being an unpublished author, I can damn well start my story, and end it where the hell I like.

And now all the tenacity, the rigorous purpose, the seriousness, and the strength of that seventeen-year-old are devoted to becoming the best, the most known unknown author. It’s kind of fun.

So I write. I treasure no possessions and if my life has any value, it is only in the appreciation others have for me. If they love me, like me, wish me well, then my life is rich enough.

Writing came late. Perhaps it came at the right time. Maybe it’s still too early.



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Harry Hogg

Harry Hogg

I was born in London, adopted, lived my youth on an island off the coast of Scotland. Now living between Colorado, Missouri, California. I write to be loved