My Dead Hookers

They lay there, stripped, twisted, and shamed, but pretty in all their potential. I flip through their pages, like silken hair, wondering what went wrong, searching for that first sign of trouble. It is there, hidden deep between lines and the words. Their stories bleed ink, so giving and feverish with want and need, to be looked upon, admired, loved, that their loss fills me with blame and disappointment.

My unpublished stories, I call them my hookers because they want attention, validation, and of course, a little cash would be nice too. I try to make them attractive and entertaining, but hell, it’s a tough world out there, and now my beauties lay slain and hemorrhaging across my desk. They will be autopsied, but the coroner (my muse) will declare it a wasteful, barbaric homicide and demand additional manpower (that’d be me).

I know there will be more. That’s the way of this tough life called writing. But what does one do with lost potential? Scarred beauty? Where, how, and what do you do with your dead hookers?

FYI: I have nothing against hookers, dead or alive. I think my best friend was a hooker, my husband sometimes calls me hooker, and I found some strange things in my grandmother’s closet once.

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9 thoughts on “My Dead Hookers

  1. You bury them deep in a corner of a rarely-used flash drive, and a year later, you dig them up to see how they've decomposed. Then you get to the messy, smelly business of resurrecting them. If they're still a shambles, shoot them through the brain. If they're beautiful, send them out again.If you'd ever like to send me something for a fresh pair of eyes, feel free. I love editing and beta-reading. And I won't be offended if you don't. PS I just got my first rejection on a piece I worked a year on. A YEAR. It scared me to write it. And now it's been rejected. *sigh* Will send it out again…

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  2. Funny post. Yeah, I exhume those dead hookers regularly too. Often I just go in a completely different direction. Take a character or a setting or a line of dialog that I like and just work from there.

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  3. You say "hookers", I call 'em "orphans". Every time I boot up the current WIP, I see them lined up in a row, staring at me with their sad little eyes, like puppies tied outside a store, on a short leash, and it's raining, and they're hungry.The point is, they are still a good part of you, and they are part of the burden you bear as a writer who really wants to be doing this.Stephen King writes, "If you would write, approach the page with a serious mind." And Neil Gaiman chimes in with, "Writers – real writers – finish things." And so those orphans / hookers sit, waiting for love. Ultimately, some of them will become something, maybe the best of things – and others will merely fade away…. which is all to say – do your best by them, and make sure what you choose to finish is worthy of the time you spend with them.

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  4. Hi, Erin. Funny, I never gave those stories that I have laying around names. Oh, they have titles, but I never thought of them as dead hookers or anything. Hmmm? Interestingly, I have spent some time wondering what I might yet make of them. There's something usable there, isn't there?-Jimmy

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  5. R.S. Bohn – Love the way you think. Thanks for the invite and good luck with your beauty.Chris R. – Thanks for stopping by. Yeah, sometimes a story just needs a new take; good advice.Chris A. – You are much more politically correct! And equipped with great quotes at that. Thanks for the feedback.James – I agree with you; there must be something there or it wouldn’t have come to exist.John – Too funny; though I think the preacher’s voice works!Sean – Thanks for the good feedback; I must remember that various forms of work also includes those that are finished and dusty.

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  6. I like that – hookers. It's kind of what they are. I have a whole graveyard full. Every now and then I'll exhume them, and sometimes patch them together to make something new, like frankenstein's monster.

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  7. You kill me, Erin. I love (LOVE) the way you think. That being said, I never consider anything truly lost or dead. (Almost) everyone or anything can come back if given a different perspective, planted in the right soil, removed from a circumstance. I think of my unused stories as fruit or wine, ripening in a cellar or airy attic, waiting for its time in the sunshine, which may or never come. I truly believe it depends on the collective subconscience of the universe, what do people need, what do they want, what do they believe? The greatest pull is what you will intuitively reach for when the time is right.

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