Real Work & Writing

I think Word has issues with its databank of known words.  Yesterday I polished up my submission to this month’s Glimmer Train Press’ competition.  That went fine.  It was when I started my real work things went from fine to not so fine.

My problem is for all my callous ways, I think I may still be an idealist.  See, I was asked to write a position paper on the death penalty for one of my politician.  I’ll leave out my position, but there is a reason I brought up the position paper.  It was supposed to be one of those quick position papers.  Yeah, when have I ever gotten off that easy?  It went from a one day “Change My Mind” position paper to I’ll be working through next week.  (Why do I feel like I’m in college again when I write these papers?)

The funny thing is no one reads position papers.  Seriously, what member of the American public wants to read a dry, boring research paper?  Actually, what member of Congress wants to read a dry, boring research paper?  No one likes position papers.  But, they do sometimes sway our politicians’ positions.  A well-defined and properly defended argument will trump emotions from time to time.  Yet, those same pages of argument will put most people to sleep.  Trust me.  I’ve read one or two position papers – or a dozen hundred – and even when I am interested in the subject position papers put me to sleep.

Anywho, the more I was surrounded by highlighted pieces of paper printed off Westlaw, the more I found myself sketching out a new short story.  As very dry, very professional descriptions of how executions are carried out were copied onto my hard drive, a bit of magic happened.  Those dry stories weaved their way into a story I had already written.  A sketch of a death scene in an execution chamber formed on my screen.

I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing when my real work finds its way into my writing.  Guess it’s to be expected that you write what you know about.  Let’s see how far this whole thing goes.

(PS: Did you know that the Drug Enforcement Agency seized Alabama’s sodium thiopental in March of this year?  I’m not kidding.  And all of our drugs used in lethal injections are bought from companies overseas.  Those countries just happen to be countries where executions are illegal, and countries that lecture the US on our use of the death penalty.  Both facts I find highly interesting and thought you might find interesting.)

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