Slow Pokes: Short story on the changing world of writing.

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"No one will ever know who I am, I'm a nobody-writer from nowhere. I've had a thousand rejections from all the major publishers. It seems my destiny is never to be read, another nameless soul lost to the sands of eternity." Johnny's face twisted into a pained grimace, you could tell his heart was tied up in a pretzel knot of self-deprecation.

"What's the use in writing if I know no one will ever read my stories?" He looked at me for some kind of comfort or wisdom; luckily I was ready with the answers. I don't know much, but I do know the world is constantly changing, and I also know a bit about the Internet.

"Well, you could quit altogether, become a door to door knife salesman, or if it's really bad- hey, suicide's an option! But seriously, you've been locked away in your room reading and writing for too long, things have changed brother."

Johnny looked up from where he was holding his head in his hands. He snorted, "What's the answer then? Don't tell me it's your bloody Information Technology computer world; you guys think you've got all the answers. You probably also have the recipe for the world's best pizza, the equation that solves the riddle of space travel, a new gadget that regulates bowel movements, and the ingredients necessary for a deodorant that makes chimpanzees smell like roses!"

Johnny's face lit up with an intensity I hadn't seen in ages, his cheeks went bright pink as his words sputtered out in rapid succession using the last of his current breath. However, I stayed calm. Hey, these Tai Chi classes were obviously doing their job!

I spoke softly and clearly, " I don't have all the answers buddy. But, do you know what E Books are? Do you know you can publish your own work on the Net, send it to a multitude of publishers at once electronically? You can also join writer's chat rooms and web log journals on-line to get constructive criticism from professionals and other amateurs like yourself. I smiled my famous Cheshire cat smile. Poor Johnny looked astonished, his eyes bulging wide.

Excitedly he asked, "What is an E Book?

"It's an electronic text. You can download whole books off the Net in a few minutes, even old out-of-print books. You can put your own E Book on a website. You can even access publishers' sites and find out what their specific criteria and policies are."

Sitting straight up in his chair Johnny Jenkins Jr. ripped out one of his famous (among our friends) stream-of-consciousness poems:

Slow Pokes

Purple turtle faster than the hare
Super sloth flying, wind in her hair
Master slug puts himself into fifth gear
Simon Snail hang-gliding without fear
How fast does the Sun fly through Space?
How fast does a smile appear on your face?
Why are humans so slow to know?
When will they finally take control?

We both burst out laughing. It was good to see Johnny back to his old self. Then I remembered something really cool I'd wanted to tell him.

" You know when you're talking about a quotation from a book you love, like the Seafarer Rat's tale in Wind in the Willows, but you just can't find it to show it to me.

"Yeah." said Johnny.

"Well, in an E Book you can use your word processor's (like Word) search facility to find those quotes instantly just by typing in the words you remember!"

Johnny looked totally transformed, " That is incredible!" he whispered.

"You see, computer technology is here to help all people, we don't have all the answers to life-but we are evolving. However, I would like to know that world's best pizza recipe right now. Pizza technology is also very important to human evolution!"


Publication Date: Tuesday 3rd February, 2004
Author: Jesse S. Somer View profile

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