The sheep explain why this blog is going silent for the foreseeable future. I'll be back if I've something to announce - let's hope that day dawns sooner rather than later. As for now...back to actual writing - not writing about writing. Thanks to all of you for reading this blog and...
WRITER: (timidly) Hello?
WRITER: (louder) Hello?
WRITER: (even louder) Is anyone here?
There is the flash of a match being struck and a lantern lit in the distance. A white shape becomes visible.
SHEEP #1: Yes?
WRITER: Are you one of the writing sheep?
SHEEP #1: Yes.
WRITER: I thought you lived somewhere else.
SHEEP #2: We’re everywhere.
SHEEP #3: If you need us, we will come.
SHEEP #1: That’s dangerously close to plagiarism.
SHEEP #2: It’s a phrase which has become part of the vernacular which a huge compliment to the author of said phrase.
WRITER: Can they not handle the truth?
SHEEP #3: (pointing a hoof) Don’t start.
SHEEP #2: Ignore them. (takes a step forward) How can we help?
WRITER: I just wondered…
SHEEP #1: Don’t use that word.
WRITER: What word? Wondered?
SHEEP #1: No; just.
SHEEP #2: We hate that word.
SHEEP #3: It clutters up manuscripts.
SHEEP #1: Don’t worry. This is your first draft. ‘Just’ at will.
WRITER: I wondered what you get asked the most.
SHEEP #2: Our best bits of wisdom?
SHEEP #3: Our greatest hits?
SHEEP #1: Easy. Stop reading about writing and write.
WRITER: Excuse me?
SHEEP #2: Why? What did you do?
SHEEP #1: Did you leave a mess? Do we need a mop?
SHEEP #2: Have you ever noticed that the mop looks a lot like Uncle Murray?
SHEEP #1 & #3: Poor Uncle Murray.
WRITER: What happened?
SHEEP #1: It was a tragic case of A Fence Too Far. Well, too high, really.
SHEEP #2: We’ve digressed.
SHEEP #3: Sorry.
WRITER: You were saying…
SHEEP #1: Writers need to write. It sounds simplistic, but it’s not. It’s far easier to read about writing or write about writing --
SHEEP #2: Or talk about writing.
SHEEP #3: Don’t get me started. Get thee behind me, Facebook!
SHEEP #1: If you want to finish something, then finish it. Writing is work.
SHEEP #2: Sometimes I think it was easier when writers were up in their chilly attics, pounding away on their typewriters.
SHEEP #1: Or dipping their pen nibs into bottles of ink.
SHEEP #3: Taking a break to warming their chilblained fingers before a flickering coal fire.
All three sheep sigh.
SHEEP #1: But now, you’re all posting status updates and commenting on blogs and tweeting and pinning and complaining you’ve got no time to write.
WRITER: You’re right.
SHEEP #1: Of course we’re right.
SHEEP #2: We’re the sheep.
SHEEP #3: Go away now. Write.
WRITER: Yes, sir. (writer leaves)
Sheep #1 blows out the lantern. In the dark:
SHEEP #2: I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
*It's a Sorkin thing.