Write, Writer, Write!

At a literary meeting and lunch I attended, a chap at my table asked me, after discovering I was a writer in my retirement.

“What makes a writer write? Or to put it another way, why do writers write?”

We were all on our second glass of wine, so I wondered if this fella was trying to wind me up or was he serious with his question.

“Do you do any writing?” I asked probing.

“Not really, but I love reading.”

So I decided to take his question seriously.

“There are many motivations and reasons that writers write.”

“How about you personally?”

“Writing gives me great satisfaction but ultimately I want to be READ,” I said forcefully.

“Some people say writers just write in hopes of making lots of money,” said my lunch mate quizzically.

“That is simply not true in 99% of writers.”

“What do you like to write about?”

“My recent book, “24 Traumatic Hours, Twice!”, has a dark theme with plenty of drama and tension. I also throw in a bit of  philosophy.”

I reached for the wine bottle on our table and topped up our glasses.

“What are some other of your reasons for writing?”

“Well, I started writing full time in my retirement. It’s what keeps me alert to the world. There is so much ego food in sharing my unique voice and point of view. There’s a sense of fulfillment that comes with that. My mind is filled with characters and stories and I’m eager to get them on paper.”

“So, you keep a hold on life by writing?”

“That’s right! Writing also allows me to unload my emotions, impressions and opinions. My curiosity about life is my driving force. Writing is therapeutic.”

“Do writers get lonely when they’re writing?”

I smiled and said:

“Writers have a world inside their mind, usually more than one, and you’re never really lonely with all those characters and stories in your head.”

“What are the major goals of writers?”

“To entertain and to inform,” I said confidently.

“Can you elaborate, please?”

“Well, writers are driven by the need to Communicate. With that need is another need, the need to Share, and behind that is the need to be Understood.”

“Writers have lots of needs!” said someone laughing.

“Doesn’t everyone?” I countered.

“How would you conclude this interesting conversation?” said a chap taking a sip of his wine.

“Well, writers write because it’s the way we EXPRESS ourselves best. Everyone has their best method of expression. With writers, it’s words on the page and using those words to connect to an audience. We also desire to leave a legacy. We want to leave something behind that lasts.”

All the lunch guests clapped.

I continued:

“There’s an old adage that says, “The spoken word passes away; the written word abides.”

With that we all clinked our glasses together.


My second book:

“24 Traumatic Hours, Twice!” which is in paperback and on

the Kindle platform, is selling better as a paperback than as an

ebook, so far.

It’s worthy of attention that many people still like their books in

paper print so they can hold them and turn the pages physically.

But it’s great to be READ no matter whether it’s electronically or

in paperback.

The Joy of Collecting

“Why do people collect things?”

This question was asked at a literary meeting I attended recently. It came up because the people at my table were discussing their collections of books.

“I have a collection of “self-help” books from the 70’s when “self-realization” and “self-fulfillment” were cultural aspirations,” I interjected.

“Oh yes, the aspirations of the Baby Boomers, I remember the time well,” said a senior citizen.

“Lets get back to the question of Why Collect?” someone said loudly.

“Well, I think the motivation sometimes is investment but mostly just for enjoyment. It’s a fun hobby. You can expand your social life by attending swap meetings or you can exchange information with like-minded souls.”

“All this talk of collecting habits reminds me of a story about an elderly lady that collected egg cups. She had 1100 of them in all shapes, sizes and colors.”

“Boy, that’s a lot of egg cups!” someone laughed.

“Well, this lady was a widow and she wanted a companion. She went to a dating agency to find some suitable ones.”

Everyone at the table chuckled.

“She eventually was introduced to a single gentleman who also collected. He had 1500 gnome statuettes!”

They got married and bought a house together. They put their collections in the attic, which was huge. It was the most bizarre thing you ever saw. 1500 gnomes, 1100 with an egg cup beside it.

“Isn’t this a beautiful sight?” said the gentleman to the lady while they were viewing the spectacle.

The lady smiled broadly.

“You’ll have to collect  more egg cups, darling, because 400 gnomes don’t have an egg cup beside them,” said the gentleman.

The old lady spent her remaining years collecting 400 more egg cups to put up in the attic!

This truly was a UNION MADE IN HEAVEN!

Shakespeare Fear!

I was taking a walk in a strange part of town when I came upon a pub named “The Bard”. I often took these walks into the unknown for a change of scene.


I decided to go in and have a beer after all I was a writer. The décor was a replica of Elizabethan England. Panels of dark wood on all the walls resplendent with large tapestries hanging all around. There was a lot of red and dark green colours on the booths and barstools. Also on the walls were oil paintings depicting all of Shakespeare’s 38 plays. There was very low lighting.


I sat at the bar opposite a painting of the Seven Ages of Man from “As You Like It”. The bartender brought me my beer and before I could take a sip a fella jumped up on the stool next to me. He looked like he was scared to death! He ordered a beer and a shot of whiskey, which is called a “boilermaker” because it will make you hot under the collar quickly! My stool mate gulped down the shot and then took a sip of beer.


“Boy, this place is spooky! All these tragedies hanging on the walls, even that picture of the ages of man is scary!”


“Are you acquainted with the bard’s work?” I asked, hoping he would calm down.


“Not much, I find his stories scary even the comedies.”


“Relax, these stories are about life, they are about the human condition. We all go through tragedy and comedy in our lives.”


“It’s the way he uses words, they go straight to your soul, it’s like being under analysis by a psychiatrist.”


I smiled, this chap was amusing and he didn’t even know it.


“You should try reading some of his plays because I’m sure you would enjoy his stories highlighting the human condition.”


“Well, I’ve been having bouts of insomnia lately and some hallucinations with voices in my head.”


The man needed help. Was Shakespeare the answer, I wondered?


“I’ve found that Shakespeare must have had an understanding of how the mind works because he inserted this understanding in his characters.”


My stool mate looked incredulous.


“You mean to tell me that reading Shakespeare can inspire me to be more reflective about my own behavior?”


“That’s right! Look at the symptoms you’ve just stated. They suggest impaired cognitive function and mild psychiatric breakdown.”

He was staring into space, now.


“What play did that come from?” He stammered.


“Macbeth, he had the same symptoms.”


“My father has dementia, any play with that in?”


“Yes, King Lear, his speech was impaired with madcap outbursts. He veered from not recognizing his own daughter to moments of clarity, all suggesting dementia.”


“Wow! All that from reading Shakespeare! I have a friend with bipolar disorder, any play with that in?”


“Yes, Hamlet, his mood swings and rage, his highs and lows made him melancholic and impulsive, which are indicative of bipolar disorder.”


“My God, this is amazing and spookier than ever!”


“So my friend, you don’t need to fear Shakespeare, just read him for an illumination of the Human Experience.”


“What about his confusing language?”


“He coined many words and phrases in the English language. If he couldn’t find the word he was looking for, he invented it!”


“Well, after listening to you I’m not sure if I should study Shakespeare.”


“Think it over carefully,” I told him firmly.


He walked out the door mumbling: