Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Jessica Evans : Act Now!

Sometimes I pretend my writing day is an infomercial.

In my mind, I hear an announcer’s voice, male, boisterous, Southern charm, indeterminate age. He prods, cajoles, demands my attention with grandiose claims about what his product can do for me.

Act now and receive a lifetime supply of words.

Only for a limited time – write one paragraph and get another free.

I see the jarring flash of an in-store special, like K-Mart with those blue lights, only these are clear, the color of everything and nothing, like kaleidoscopes from pressing on my eyeballs too long.

Pervasive, these claims.

All I have to do is start. Begin. Press a button and let my words flow like water from the springs of Tepelena in Albania where entire cafes are built around the rushing constant roar of water coming out of the mountain.

I want to build my day around my words just like that café.

But for as strong as the infomercial announcer is, I still sit motionless.

There are errands to run and laundry to do and meals to prep. A house to care for, a family who needs tending. Herbs which should be watered. Other, better, greater writers whose words should be read. Miles to be run. Cities to explore. Trails to be hiked.

The dark screen reflects my face back. My glasses reflect back the screen and, in this way, I enter a parallel universe where my reflection begets my reflection. Somewhere from the distance I can make out church bells; a quarter of an hour has passed while I’ve danced with this imposter writer woman who doesn’t believe in what she’s doing.

There are plenty of other products on the market, the announcer tells me. But this is going to revolutionize your way of life.

It’s going to make every sentence easier to construct. Your metaphors will shine when you use it. Never again will you have a misplaced conjoiner, or a dangling modifier interrupt your craft.

I’m telling you right here right now, this is the way of the future.

The parallel universe attempts to draw me back in, a charlatan screen which shows me what I want to see. I shake my head.

Listen, he says, you don’t have to take my word for it. Just listen to what other people have to say about this great product.

A word-siren-sister-friend who is inviting, alluring, and who makes me want to want more smiles and nods her head. She radiates positive, sunshine on the first crisp day of spring, the kind of magnetism that only a few ever have. Her bright face makes the corners of my lips rise into the most advanced yoga move I’ve ever learned – a smile.

Seriously, she tells me, there’s no stopping you. Life is abundant and all you have to do is welcome it in. I don’t know how else to say it. The best thing I’ve ever done is get started. I wasn’t sure I could do it but once that momentum gets moving, it’s the best feeling ever.

See? the announcer asks. That’s all it is, friend. One simple step and just like that, magic in your hands.

Jessica Evans is a Cincinnati native currently living in a Bavarian forest. She’s the author of a novel, a collection of poetry, and a number of short stories and flash pieces. A previous Pushcart nominee, Evans spends most of her life in front of a screen. When she’s not creating worlds with her fingers, she is an avid runner, Olympic lifter, yogi, and adventurer.

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