"They say in every lifetime, you take at least one secret to the grave."
"And in that moment, it all made sense. She had been there all along."
"It started out exactly as I had expected and ended poorly, really poorly."
"I'm not impressed by much...but this time, my God."
These are samples of the opening lines that I'm trying on for my first short story throw-down with my really good friend from undergrad.
He's a fantastic writer. Always has been. He was the trained one. I was just the struggling Philosophy major who dabbled in the written word. He read all of the classics. Understood method, technique, theory, and spent the time to get into the hearts of the really good pieces of literature.
And so, last week, he challenged me...well, to be fair, I told him that I would be the first of the two of us to write the great American novel...and he said, bring it.
We're under the gun to write a piece of fiction or non-fiction in a short story essay format by the end of next month...which seems like a shit ton of time, but it's really not. We're both parents with varying degrees of craziness in our lives and so, the fact that we're taking it on seriously, gives me hope that writing may be a permanent part of me and more than just a passing fancy.
The one and only rule is that we're doing this to get better. And so, when it comes time to critique, we have to be brutally honest and real with the other writer.
To which I think...great. I'm more like "The Fault in Our Stars" and he's more like Ray Bradbury or Stephen King and well, the genres and styles will definitely be interesting.
Here's to getting better and putting ourselves out there even when there's no guarantee for anything other than showing up to the gauntlet.