The Square Peg – Shut Up and Leave Me Alone!
© S. Bradley Stoner
“What are you doing?!”
“I’m thinking,” I replied to one of my inner voices.
“No, you’re not… you’re playing Mahjong.”
“It helps me think.”
“Baloney,” said another inner voice, “you’re procrastinating.”
“No, I’m THINKING. This helps me think.”
“There’s no need to shout, for Pete’s sake. It’s not like we can’t hear you,” rejoined a third. “Look, you need to get back to work on the space infrastructure book… you haven’t done anything on that in a week.”
“No,” interjected the first, “you need to wrap up the novel. You’ve been working on that for years. It’s about time you finished it.”
“Better finish editing that romance,” said the second. “At least that will earn you a little money.”
“If he finished the novel, that could earn him a pile of money,” protested the first.
“Oh posh!” cried the third. “Your co-author just told you The Case for Pandora is starting to sell… finish the next one! You know they will make money!”
“Peanuts,” the second said sourly. “Besides, no guarantees on either of the other two. The romance editing job is a lock.”
“Geez, guys, give it a rest, will you? I’ve been pounding the keyboard for years. I need a little time to myself.”
“Spoken like a true procrastinator,” said the second.
“Yeah,” added the third, “why do you want to take time off… it’s not like you’re getting any younger.”
“Exactly,” the first intoned solemnly, “you could shuffle off this mortal coil tomorrow… leaving everything unfinished.”
“Shakespeare?? You’re going to quote Shakespeare to me? Seriously?”
“Hey, you can’t argue with the Bard, pard… the man will live forever… and you could too, if you’d just get busy.”
“Bard, schmard,” snorted the third. “That’s the past… the future is in space travel. I mean, you just have to look at where Musk, Branson, and Bigelow are going. Finish the infrastructure book and help them get there.”
“Somehow, I don’t think they need my help. They seem to have a pretty good handle on things.”
“Now you’re just being self-deprecating… knock that crap off! You and your partner have some bold ideas… it’s time to boldly go…”
“Don’t you dare quote Star Trek to me!”
“Just sayin’, bro.”
“Crimeny!” shouted the first, “you know as well as I do, that science crap doesn’t sell worth a damn! Adventure, excitement… that’s what the public wants. Finish the damn novel!”
“Oh, come on!” blurted the second. “Just look at the statistics… romance outsells both of those lame genres...”
This was going to drive me around the bend. I mouse-clicked on the little speaker symbol on Mahjong and let the monotonous music flow, trying to drown out the voices in my head.
“What the hell are you doing?!” all three chorused.
“I’M THINKING DAMMIT! SHUT UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE!”