Welcome to the second edition of Leighgendary Shorts.
This week we will be discussing Writer’s Block (The Weston Files Book 1) by Hank Garner.
Writer’s Block was published by Hank Garner on July 14, 2015. The first in a series of stories that flesh out the mythology of the fictional town of Weston. There will be a series of shorts that fill in some of the holes and form the connective tissue to the “Westonverse.”
Stu Remington is a successful novelist. He’s sold millions of books and his fans eagerly await the last installment of his trilogy, but Stu can’t finish it because he doesn’t know what happens next. To combat his writer’s block, he types a nonsense story on an antique typewriter, and to his amazement, the story comes true. What happens next will change Stu’s life forever.
Hank Garner is one of the best Indie Authors out there. He has a permanent spot on the top shelf of my Leighgendarium. You will get pulled into the worlds he writes about and love spending time in them. Hank also writes stories with heart.
I love the way Writer’s Block starts out, “There are few things in life that are worse than looking at a blinking cursor on a blank white screen.” I bet that is true, for those that write. I have started a story and I know it does suck. Stu’s publisher has been waiting almost three months for the story manuscript, he keeps looking at his phone waiting for his agent (Janet) to call him, and yet he doesn’t know how the story is going to end.
We also get to understand Stu a little better. To him, the blank screen with the cursor is a problem but he understands that there are bigger problems out there and more important occupations. He has letters from fans that tell him how much his writings mean to him, and that just makes the problem worse in his mind.
Stu then does what we all do when we have a problem that needs fixing….he goes and Googles How to fix writer’s block. He reads article after article on how to help fix his writer’s block. Nothing helped, except for one article that said to just “type something completely different, a palette cleanser.” Stu thinks this is a good idea and heads to the kitchen to get the Selectric typewriter he bought at a garage sale for five bucks.
He starts to type and writes the following: The bear walked into the bar and ordered a pot of honey and a side of crackers. The bear was a fabulous dancer and quickly won the hearts of all the bar maids. A truck driver walked in and caught the bear dancing with his girl and now the bear is a handsome rug in the middle of the bar.
After typing that funny story, Stu takes his dog for a walk, comes home and makes a quick bite to eat. He takes his food to the back porch to eat. “The back yard is just the way it has been for the last ten years, except the swing set is rusted and sagging from non-use. I sit in the dark and the memories flood in.”
The next morning, we find out that he does not sleep in the master bedroom, he gets up and gets his morning cup of coffee going. While the coffee is getting ready he heads outside to get the paper. He sits down with his paper and coffee and reads: “Local Watering Hole Receives Uninvited Guest.” Yep, you guessed it. A bear walks into the bar and got “a little frisky” with one of the ladies there. The boyfriend of a barmaid walks in and shoots the bear. The owner says he will turn it into a rug. Stu is stunned. He can’t believe this happened. It is his story come to life.
While he is still shocked by this, Janet calls and tells Stu that she will be there Friday. They are going to sit down and come up with a plan for the next book so she can take that plan back to the publishers.
Stu knows that the AAA baseball team, the Weston Raiders, really stink….bad. He decides to type another story on the typewriter. He writes how the pitcher, who the night before couldn’t throw a strike, throws a shutout. But the pitcher isn’t the only one having a good night, the other eight players have a great game as well, four of them hitting home runs.
After writing the baseball story, Stu takes Rolo out for a walk. Stu is feeling good and decides to take the long route. While walking Stu meets Ashley and her mom Debby. Stu talks with Debby while Ashley pets Rolo. While talking to Debby, Stu finds out that Ashley has cancer. She just went to chemo that morning and can get drained of energy pretty quick. When it is time for Ashley to go inside she asks Stu if he will bring Rolo back over again? Stu tells her that he will walk him by here and if he sees her he will stop and let her pet Rolo.
Stu heads home and for the rest of the day he tries to write the story he is supposed to be writing. Stuck. He is still stuck. That evening he takes Rolo out for his evening walk. He finds himself on Ashley and Debby’s street and walks by their house. He slows down and sees them inside watching TV, Ashley doesn’t look well. Stu stands for a moment as Rolo looks at the house. He keeps on walking. Again, he ends the night just like the last, looking at the backyard and swing set that has not changed, except for rust, in ten years.
The next morning comes and Stu rushes for the newspaper, he has to know. He doesn’t even grab the coffee on the way to his office. He opens the paper and BOOM! Everything he wrote about the baseball team has come true. He can’t believe it. He takes Rolo for a walk through town but then decides to go back home and work on his story.
Of course, after trying to write the story for several hours, he has nothing. He then goes to the typewriter and pulls out a clean sheet of paper and types: In Saturday night’s drawing, it was revealed that a Weston convenience store sold the sole winning ticket of the multi-state lottery. The store sold the winning with a match on all eight numbers. The numbers were 11-22-48-98-34-73-42-03. The payout on the exact match is twenty two million dollars. The winner is encouraged to come forth with the ticket and claim the prize. Does Stu really have a magic typewriter?
Stu takes Rolo for a walk and decides to go by Ashley and Debby’s house again. When they walk by the house they notice that no one is home. An elderly neighbors sees them and they start to talk. Stu learns that Ashley was having a hard time after the last round of chemo and is gone to the doctors. He also finds out that Ashley’s Dad left once things got tough.
Once home, Stu goes to the typewriter to write again. Weston girl cured of cancer, doctors are stumped and calling it a miracle. Ashley Jacobs was released from her doctor’s care after a series of tests showed that the leukemia she had been battling was completely gone. Ashley is expected to live a long and healthy life.
Stu feels great after writing that. He decides to really change. He cooks real food and then takes a shower, pulls out new clothes, and shaves. He feels like a new person. He then pulls out the first book in his series and falls asleep reading it.
Stu wakes up, it is Thursday morning, and one of the pages to the book is stuck to his face thanks to some drool. He runs to the computer and before he knows it he has written a ten thousand word outline for book three and how the hero will get out of his jam, he even sets up book four. He realizes that he hasn’t had his coffee or read the paper. He runs for the paper. He scans the paper looking for one story. It isn’t there, but why would the paper write a story about a girl who had leukemia but is cured with no signs of the disease?
Rolo barks at him and he realizes he hasn’t taken Rolo outside. They go out for a walk and once they get near Ashley and Debby’s house, Rolo takes off running and the leash slips out of his hand. Rolo is jumping and licking Ashley before he can stop it. Stu apologizes to Debby. Debby tells Stu it is ok and invites him to sit outside with them. They talk for a while. Ashley starts to get tired so Stu and Rolo leave. Once they get back home, Stu types the first five chapters of the new novel.
The next morning is Friday. Stu gets up and gets ready to show Janet the ten thousand word outline and the first five chapters. He prints the outline and five chapters and puts them in a manila envelope. He then takes the winning lottery ticket and places it in another manila envelope and writes a name and address on it.
He gets to the diner before Janet. Once she gets there she starts to tell Stu how important it is that they come up with something. After she is done lecturing Stu, he hands her the manila envelope with the outline and five chapters. She loves what she reads. He then asks her to do one last favor before she leaves, deliver the manila envelope to the person on the front but do not tell them who it is from. She looks down and sees: Debby Jacobs, 1211 Poplar Lane.
End Of Story
What happens next?
Can Stu write more than one story in a day on the typewriter and they come true?
Will only the lottery ticket story come true since he wrote it before the Ashley story? Will the lottery ticket not come true since at first he was thinking about himself? or was he? Will they both come true since the lottery was not until Saturday?
What happened to Stu in the past? What happened to his wife and kid?
What does the future hold? Will Stu and Debby eventually get married?
As I said, Hank Garner is one of the best Indie Authors out there. I love his stories. I love how they have some kind of supernatural element along with a real human element. Whatever the future holds for the people in Weston, I am sure it will be amazing and heartwarming all at the same time.
So tell me, what do you think happens?
Also, don’t forget that voting is still going on for the next Leighgendary Shorts. You can vote every twelve hours. The voting will end Wednesday night at midnight. I will announce the winner on Thursday. The voting is very close again. Make sure to vote for your favorite.