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a guest Dec 15th, 2019 99 Never
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  1. It is no secret that the winter months are hell on us creative types. I have been asked by many this exact question: You, that guy, how the hell do you do it? Continue writing while not under duress and all that. Well, my dear readers, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I don’t. I have never written a word of prose from the period of sometime in November to late February. I just don’t have it in me. Even if I did, I would find that it is shit and strike it from the hallowed pages of mine word processing program. And I know why you’re here, you’re here to figure out from me how to fix that issue. Well, as autodidactic as I am, I’ve got no idea. I have some theories, of course, and I shall try to exemplify them in this story for you. Without too much delay and in as few words as you can set a stage as possible, our story begins in a wintertime park with an open play piano, our two personages a young woman at the piano and a man equally as young passing by, both dressed in requisite winter layers in whatever town you choose to believe this is, and the reasoning for their choice meeting or possible tryst being the young woman playing a work familiar to the man, one Gustav Holst’s Jupiter, the ¾ part where the french horns get the melody. A smile lit up his patrician face and he then proceeded to walk over in rhythm to the piano and say these words in a high baritone that, though nasal, had sundry good qualities I cannot exaggerate:
  2. “It’s truly a bringer of jollity, isn’t it? I’ve never heard such a jovial interpretation on the piano in my fifteen years. What else can you do?”
  3. “Oh,” the young woman said, stopping and looking up at him and exclaiming in her own high alto. “Well, I can do a lot, really. Chopin, Stravinsky, Holst as you already know, Emerson, and some other...moderner stuff.”
  4. “Well,” the young man said, extending his hand to her, “As long as you don’t hit me with four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence I shall be fine, because such a thing would not be in accordance and compliance with the laws of amusement. That is to say, I garner quite a lot of enjoyment from speaking to you, a woman whose intents I cannot tell, race I cannot tell, and whose name eludes me.”
  5. “It shall elude thee no longer,” she said, grinning a bucktoothed smile. “Joan de Arc, the next queen of pranks. Thankfully, I’m not playing games right now. My name is Joan Egbert, I’m a junior, I live in an ordinary house, and I have ordinary parents. As for my race, it doesn’t really matter.”
  6. “That it doesn’t,” he said, “I suppose I shall respond in turn. I live with a rather large and somewhat extended family, our house is ordinary for a normal-sized family but not for us, I too am a junior, and my name is Ross Lalonde. I have an undying umbrage with most contemporary fantasy authors, and yet, there is no better way to describe what I write but that. We’re in the same boat, Joan, if not in that way then in how we both enjoy music. Anything a minor third above that in waltz time that you think you can play?”
  7. “I can see right through you, you know,” Joan said, “And yes. I too have read it. I’ll play it if you truly wish for me to, but fair warning: I’m going to improvise upon it.”
  8. “I’d love to hear that, jazz cat,” Ross said, and as she attacked the piano with her own rendition of the young man’s piano refrain, the hammers falling with grace in the cold and dry breeze, her face in a concentration and a passion few had seen before, he contemplated the meaning of all things from his vantage point of scant meters from the fortepiano. This, like many other things, was stopped by her lack of resolve, that is to say, she played the dominant chord with a seventh on top of it and stopped. Disconcerted by this, he resumed speaking, this time up in the meat of the tenor. “Wait, why’d you stop all of a sudden? That’s an incredibly tense chord, I demand you finish. I beseech thee.”
  9. “Look, Ross,” Joan said, “Can’t we talk? That’s what I want, and deep down that’s what you want. And I know just the topic to talk about.”
  10. “Of course,” Ross said, “Don’t you feel that it’s rather hard to keep doing art in these tumultuous times of the year? What keeps you going?”
  11. “Well, it’s simple,” Joan said, “I get fresh air and exercise a lot. That’s why I’m here, it helps me think better. What about yourself?”
  12. “My way is easy as well,” Ross said, “I think it away. Since people have said that I cannot write a single bad word, I should believe them, no?”
  13. “You’re a smart man, Ross,” Joan said, “I would love to read your works. Perhaps we could read them over coffee? Together?”
  14. Ross then laughed, his laugh a low and sophomoric laugh more fit for a stoner than a man of his breeding, excepting the fact that he didn’t care, and said: “I’m not smart, you’re smart. God, you’re asking me on a date? What a go-getter. Straight up gung ho. That’s an interesting word, we should search that up. I’d love to go on a date with you.”
  15. “What kind of a gentleman like yourself,” Joan said, grabbing his phone, “hast gone bereft of a lady myself’s boon? How about this time, next week, this exact place?”
  16. “That sounds good, I’ll text you later,” Ross said, before waiting for five hundred microfortnites, at the end of which Joan began playing a bossa nova bassline. “I deserve that. So, wanna talk about Homestuck? I’ve got ten more minutes before I have to part.”
  17. “I believe the more proper usage is ‘abscond’,” Joan said, “And what would we even talk about? The epilogues? I got into it earlier this year, I haven’t read them yet. I probably should.”
  18. “Oh, you should,” Ross said, “Though, I can’t tell you why. Obama being canon, maybe, but I too have not read them. I’ve heard they’re very cathartic.”
  19. “I love catharsis,” Joan said, “That could come from my joining so late in a phase of introspection and melancholy.”
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