Getting Canceled - Short Story


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Introduction

Hey readers,

Here is a short story about a writer getting canceled. This one is a little strange with it's narrative, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

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Literary Quote




“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.” - Cassandra Clare


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Word Of The Day


foozle - to bungle, to play clumsily


In the sentence - If I tried a trick out of turn, I might foozle and lose prestige.

HEARTS AND MASKS|HAROLD MACGRATH

Actual Pen

Writer's Birthday


Billy Collins was born on March 22, 1941.

E.D. Hirsch was born on March 22, 1928.


Information found on Born Glorious

This Day In Literature History


Literary related events that happened on March 22


1978 - Robert Frost Plaza, at California, Drumm & Market, San Francisco, dedicated

1991 - NY Daily News begins using motto "Forward with NY"

Literature Fact


“I am.” is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.


Fact found on Fun Facts About

New Book Release

Literature Trivia


The answer to yesterday's question was Herman Melville wrote Moby Dick in 1850. It was published in 1851.


Today's question - What is the bestselling book of all time?


Hint - the key part of the question is the word book.


Come back tomorrow for the answer.

Getting Canceled - Short Story


A writer sat at his desk, ready to write his next novel. At least it appeared that way to any onlooker. On the inside, he was hesitant about his place in the field.

What if this book doesn’t sell? I spend all that time writing something and make no money from it. Boy, that would suck. Talk about wasting everyone’s time. I don’t know. Maybe I should have gone into business or something. It’s not like there is much money in writing. Nah. I do it for the joy of it anyway, for the love I have for the art. I don’t know, recently that has even disappeared. Why does it feel that the more I write, the less I enjoy to write? Am I still doing this for the fun of it? Like when I was a kid. I don't know. Sometimes I can't help but wonder why I am doing this.

His agent came into the room to talk of his next book, one that the writer was not interested in writing. “I have been thinking about that next book of yours. Coming along, I bet.”

“Oh. Yeah. It’s great.” He hasn’t even started it. What happens if a writer uses a word that he doesn’t know? Do you think that happens a lot? There are a lot of words in the language. It’s not like writers can learn all the words out there.

“I know what your book needs.”


A story. The writer thought to himself.


“Contradiction. That makes it appear with more purpose. Make it like a drug, but don’t make it a drug. Make people need to live with it but have no cure for it, so that way there are no bounds to what we can do with it. Yes. Yes. People need to become addicts to it but never diagnosed. That’s the trick. Good addicts. Make them all good addicts.”

“But drugs are bad.” The writer missed the point.


“Be funny, but not too funny. Be serious, but not too serious. Be political but not too political. Be radical, but not too radical. But more importantly, make it like a drug with no cure.” He left.

thumbs down pens and words

That is something to think about. The writer thought. It would be embarrassing not to know the definition of a word that I use in my story. Yeah, but nobody knows all the meanings. People just know the general definition, like a synonym.


The agent came into the room. “You are canceled, man. People don’t like what you said in that story you wrote.”


“Sure.”


“You know the story that you said that one line. I mean, I thought it was fine at the time too, but it turns out it is not. No big deal though, we got this. We’ll use this as a sort of rebel side of your personality. You can become like a Raider or Bad Boy Piston. You revel in the freedom you have, and sometimes you overdo it. Your art reflects the rebel, the cowboy, the outlaw that you are, and nobody can change that. You do what you want. You’re a bad guy, with demons, that’s all. Yeah. Yeah. We’ll angle it like that.” He left.


The writer continued to overthink his situation. What if I use words that readers don’t understand? That would be awkward. I don’t want to act too bright, but I can’t use small words. People will think I am stupid too. I don’t need that either. Did he say that he wanted me to be a rebel? I never rebelled against anything. Man, maybe I should have been a businessman.

words readers understand quote pens and words

The agent came back into the room. “Just learned that you are no longer canceled. People want to read your next book.”

“Sure.”

“This gives us a chance to spread to a wider, more mainstream audience, one that anyone can read and enjoy. We don’t need your book to be under one genre either. Young adult, sci-fi thriller, literary, we can have the book be on all shelves and be accepted by all; it can appeal to everyone of all ages. You can become a sage of wisdom for the masses to learn of life. A voice of his time that reflects the wrongs and rights of our age. We can highlight your mass appeal.” He left.


The writer thought some more. What if I create a whole new language for my book? That wouldn’t offend anyone. I can say whatever I want, and it would be cool. Then again, I would have to take all the time creating new words and meanings. I don’t want that. Why didn’t I just become a business major?


The agent popped into the room. “Hey, so you are canceled again. People can’t stand some things that you said one time.”

“Ok.”


“We can still make this work, though. When this whole thing blows over, and someone else is canceled, and peopled forget about your cancelation, we can present your book as a redemption part of your life. Despite all the problems that you faced with all of this, you prevailed and wrote this great novel. You recovered from being canceled, becoming a new and better man. Even if people don’t like your book, they will respect the perseverance you showed through this controversy. This won’t stop us. We can use this, don’t worry.”

What if I say some mean things about people and people take them the wrong way? It’s not like I ever meet the reader. Will the audience know that I said it in order to advance the story? Will people take it too personal? I can have a character say something terrible, and then a stranger thinks that I am bad. That would suck. A redemption story? Is he talking about my book? I don’t ever remember thinking of redemption in the outline. Wait, did I ever make an outline for this? I should have stayed in college and gotten a good job at a big business.

“Hey, so you are no longer canceled.”

“Ok.”

“This can give us a chance to get a celebrity involved with your books. Perhaps write a review or get it featured on their lists. We can get one of those try-hards to pretend to read your book, which should help sales because people love when actors recommend a book. Also, what do you think of writing for a more foreign audience? I’m not only talking about your local bookstore but all bookstores across the world. What do you think, being a bestseller worldwide? I hear that French is the language of the future. That can help you get a bigger fanbase, which is more money for you and me. I got big plans for you, buddy.”

farewell goodbye say pens and words

What if I add too many words to the story? Like my book is 700 pages long. That is too long. No one wants to read that many words. I don’t. Did he mention something about celebrities reading my book? Boy, that will be strange when I don’t know them too. Do you think a celebrity would be upset if I never heard of them but ask for a book review? That seems rude.


The agent came in one last time. “You’ve been canceled again. Don’t worry. Don’t worry. I can make this work. This is not a setback at all.”

The write closed his laptop. Sometimes I don’t know why I do this.


Ending

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Greg Luti is an editor and blogger on pensandwords.com. His favorite writers are Robert Frost and Charles Bukowski. He enjoys reading up on history, watching comedies, and playing video games, when he is not writing down a few notes for his next piece. He started this blog out of his love for literature and hopes that the reader shares that same passion.

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