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Writer's Block

By C. L. Beck
© 2008


The willowy blonde sat in her Big Bird jammies, a chocolate cupcake in one hand.

Putting my pencil between my teeth, I re-read the words I'd written and then erased them. Next I drew a tulip with eyes, a nose and a goatee … and then my mind wandered.

“Writers are a superstitious lot,” I announced.

“Ummm,” my husband, Russ, replied. I wondered if that meant he was listening or he liked the looks of the donut sitting on my desk.

“I’m not superstitious, though,” I continued. “LDS authors never are.” I looked at my pencil. No wonder my writing was going nowhere; I wasn’t using my Scooby Doo pencil.

After searching for it for ten minutes, I gave up and pulled out my rabbit’s foot. Attaching it to my lucky pen, I started again.

She sat in her Big Bird jammies, a Twinkie in one hand.

I opened the Wite-Out and covered what I'd written. I didn’t have writer’s block, I was just … not getting any good ideas. My mind wandered again.

Is Wite-Out indelible? I wondered. If not, maybe I could use it for Halloween make-up in the fall. Just to test it, I painted a thin, white mustache on my upper lip and was putting the finishing curves on when…

“Are you having fun?” Russ asked, tapping me on the shoulder from behind.

I spun around in my chair, frantically trying to rub it off before Russ could see it. Who would’ve guessed that Wite-Out could dry so fast?

“Just thought I’d get prepared for the ward Halloween party,” I said, rubbing my lip to no avail.

“You’re painting your face for Halloween in the summer?” Russ raised his eyebrows. “Are you sure you aren’t having a problem of some kind?”

I sighed. “You’re right. I’m really, really blocked.”

Russ patted my shoulder. “Maybe you should eat more fruit. Prunes ought to do it.”

Apparently Russ thinks he’s a comedian. Despite that fact, I started thinking … no, not about prunes, but about being blocked. “Do you think every profession has its own form of blockage?”

“Probably,” Russ said, handing me an apple for good measure. I started scribbling as thoughts flooded into my mind:

Chimney sweeps must get cinder block.
Lifeguards are plagued by sun block.
General contractors definitely have building blocks.
Brick layers probably get patio blocks.
And oooo—world famous chef, Emeril Lagasse, certainly develops chopping block.
Does an urban planner get city block?
If so, a woman who sews blankets must have quilting block.
Then again, it seems like a quarterback would have the worst case of all—block and tackle.
At Halloween, does a skeleton get spinal block?
There’s no doubt that joggers have stumbling block.
The manager at Sothebys has auction block.
Drivers at the Indy 500 must have engine block.
Are Olympic sprinters plagued by starting block?
And I think it’s safe to say that convicts get a cell block.
Last, but not least, there’s Russ. He’s a therapist, and I’m positive he’s got a mental block.

As I dotted the last period in the list, Russ said, “Are you done?”

Sticking my lucky pen into its lucky spot in the drawer, I replied, “Yup, and I feel much better now.”

“How come?”

“Because I’m glad to know I’m not the only block head out there.” I patted my head, pleased it was back to its regular, round shape. Then, picking up the car keys, I headed to the door.

“If you’re going out, there’s one thing you might want to get at the store,” Russ said, following me.

I stopped with my hand on the door knob. “What’s that?”

“Something to take off your mustache."


What's playing on my radio: Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue by Crystal Gayle
What's playing on my TV: Nothing
What's playing in my head: Same as what's on the radio.

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