Writer's Bloc by Horace Brickley

“I just don't know what to write. I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do with this couple. The man really loves the woman, but he can't express his feelings, and the woman really loves the man, but she doesn't trust him. I can't get past this scene... I just can't resolve this problem. What should I do, guys?”

“She could disappear suddenly, and then the man could spend his waking hours trying to find her, but also sleep with women while she's gone,” said Murakami.

“Is that really romantic?”

“Of course, why wouldn't it be? It speaks to the dissent and plight within the human soul and the spirit of the nomad that resides within all men,” replied Murakami.

“You could also have the man call her a whore, drink, and then go watch a bullfight, or go hunting or some shit,” said Hemingway, “also I like what the Chinaman said about the sleeping with other women. That works every time; draws them back like moths to light.”

“I am Japanese,” said Murakami, “why don't you go find that bar fight that has been looking for you for the past fifty years.”

“Pardon me... I like what the Jap said about sleeping with...” said Hemingway.

“You are a buffoon,” said Murakami.

“Guys! Damn it! Next suggestion please... this isn't that kind of story.”

“She could marry someone more refined and proper for her,” said Austen.

“And then she divorces him and comes back to her one true love, the protagonist!”

“No, that would hardly be right for a story. He will lament about losing his one true love, almost die, and then make a pragmatic choice and marry someone that is more fitting,” said Austen.

“Do they fall in love?”

“Love is but a fleeting feeling. He comes to terms with the fact that love is just a dalliance, and does what is befitting his station,” said Austen.

“No, that's awful. Next suggestion please.”

“He could try men and beat poetry,” said Ginsberg.

“I don't see the story going in that direction either, Allen. But thanks anyways.”

“He could kill her,” said Poe, “and then become sickened with guilt and....”

“Find her still-beating heart in a drawer or something?”

“That could work,” said Poe.

“Again, not really where I wanted to go with the story.”

“He could wake up and realize it had all been a dream! A frabjous hullabaloo!” said Carroll.

“Seriously? That's the worst ending ever.”

“In all my days of taking opium,” said Poe, “I have never talked such nonsense.”

“Please... someone give me something that I can actually work with.”

“She's murdered to cover up a huge pharmaceutical conspiracy,” said Grisham.

“Monsters come through a doorway from an alternate universe and carry her away to a different version of 2011 New York. One where McCain is president and cars run on...” said King.

“No... no...”

“He's compelled into service in Africa, and he must avail himself of such petty notions of love in order to serve the empire,” said Conrad.

“Terrorists,” said Clancy.

“Vampires,” said Rice and Meyer simultaneously.

“You guys are the worst. Have you even read my story?” said David.

“It was light outside, but the ephedrine put a thick haze on my vision. My mind buzzed like a cicada on a humid night. I had to get down to the gas station before they caught on to my trail,” said Thompson.

“He invites her to go visit this fishing village and they are ambushed by fish people and taken to a cave where they witness an unspeakable, indescribable, Eldritch horror! Iia Fthagan! Iia DAGON!” said Lovecraft.

“I've got the solution,” said Tolkien, “you must send them on a long journey and fill their world with all manner of mystical creatures, but make sure to explain every custom and history and language quirk, as well as anyone and anything that they cross paths with. That is an absolute must.”

“Great. Very helpful everyone. I guess I'll just write and hope it works out.”

“I've got your solution,” said Palahniuk, “you have them bang it out for a while, not expressing their true feelings. Get real descriptive with it, too. Talk about every kink and every load. Talk about the sweat on their asses, you know what I mean.”

“Yeah, I hear you, go on.”

“Then you have them slowly realize that they like each other, but the have a huge fight and separate for a bit,” said Palahniuk.

“Good I like that, false progress, then what.”

“Then you have them express their feelings in the best way they can, fuck it out again,” said Palahniuk.

“And that's how you end it? That's not really climatic.”

“Nah, you can't end it like that. What is this a Harlequin romance novel? Nah, she turns out to be crazy and he's Jesus, and then blow some shit up for no goddamn reason and have the whole thing be an alien experiment or an African death curse,” said Palahniuk.

“Do you explain that as you go? Or do you just drop that on them in the end like a Deus Ex Machina?”

“You do whatever you have to do. Just twist it up, and then call your publisher,” said Palahniuk, “Hey, have I shown you my dogs, man? These guys are awesome.”

“How did any of you people get famous?”

“Bro,” said Sparks, “she has to die of cancer in the end. Or, he needs to get shot or something. Tragedy, bro... it's what put Shakespeare over the top. Then you sell that script and cash those movie checks.”


Horace was born in Vallejo in 1984. His family and he moved up to Washington in 1991, and they lived in a heavily wooded area on the edge of a small town. There wasn't much to do out there, so he got to writing stories to entertain himself. He's always had an interest in writing, but he only started writing stories on a regular basis in the last two years. He teaches history and English, and is heading out to Asia to teach abroad this year. He keeps a blog of his short stories at horacebrickley.blogspot.com.