I Become A “Real” Writer

1 09 2011

I Become A "Real Writer"

It was only yesterday, well Wednesday actually, I remember it well. I was a happy but serious gardener, a good husband, an obedient son. I was a good law biding citizen too, paid my bills and my taxes, didn’t drink really, no drugs anymore, I’d given up playing stud poker up in the mountains years ago. I stay close to home now most of the time, piddling in my garden, reading a good book every now and then.

I also read 2 Israeli newspapers online everyday to keep up with what’s going on in the Middle East. I keep up with the news over there cause I keep waiting on peace to break out and I wait and I wait and I wait and, well I’m still waiting…. I read the New York Times online so I know what the folks in middle America think, what they’re reading, the average American, you know folks who live on Long Island whose average income is around $2,000,000 a year and who pay less taxes than I do….:-)

I read the Washington Post online cause ever since their reporters broke the Watergate story and got the best of “Tricky” Dick Nixon, well let’s just say that anybody who could get the best of Nixon must be doing something right, I mean the didn’t call Nixon “Tricky” for nothing…..;-)

I also enjoy reading several technology websites so as to keep up with the latest in high tech. The latest electronic toys that are always making our lives better and easier and happier. Happier, like when I read that the new computer I bought just last week is already out of date and useless and won’t run any of the “new” software that was just released yesterday…..:-)

I read the Anniston Star so I know what’s happening state wide and locally. If any law maker is taking bribes from gambling interests I want to be the first to know about it.  And when our law makers actually do something that is actually for the public good, I want to be the first to know about that too…..:-) When many our area civic organizations and charities do something to help others in need I like to read about that, it always restores my faith in human nature. In Alabama we got a lot of civic organizations and charities that do a whole lot of good….

And I like to keep up with what’s going on with the Anniston City Council, cause all the Saturday Night Live episodes are reruns now and I’ve seen them all before but the Anniston City Council meetings are always new, always different and always funnier than anything on Saturday Night Live since John Belushi died…. :-)

Myself , I’m a blogger of little stories about gardening and small town life. My little stories aren’t great literature by any means but I enjoy writing them. And they’re posted here on my self published blog, where if folks want to read them they can. And it always makes me happy to know someone, anyone has taken the time to read one and if they didn’t want to read them, well they wouldn’t have to even know I had written them if they didn’t visit my blog online.

I guess you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned the Piedmont Journal yet. My hometown newspaper, the newspaper I’ve read faithfully and always enjoyed for over 50 years now and always encouraged others to read too….You see like I said up until Wednesday I was a happy person. Piddling in my garden, always planning something new for our garden with my wife Linda, writing goofy little stories here on my blog everyday for my friends. You see my readers are my friends or at least I like to think of them as such….Yes I had a good life till Wednesday, but now, now all of that is over, KAPUT…. And just let me tell you why, why that is…..Let me tell you here and now…..:-)

That little sneak Eddie Burkhalter, who I always thought was a really talented as well as ethical writer/ journalist for the Piedmont Journal. Ethical that is till yesterday’s Piedmont Journal came out. Eddie Burkhalter who was supposed to be my “friend”. My friend till yesterday’s Piedmont Journal came out. Yes fellow gardeners, THAT Eddie Burkhalter. The guy who published one of my little stories in the Piedmont Journal yesterday and that for all intents and purposes will end my simple but happy life FOREVER….:-)…..I just know it…..

They’ll be no more staying close to home. I can see it now, I’ll be away from home almost all the time, constantly doing speaking engagements. Reading excerpts of my little stories for all the adoring fans I’ll have now all across Calhoun County. Autographing the article that folks have torn out of the Piedmont Journal for me to sign…:-)

And before you know it the Anniston Star will start publishing my little stories too. My little stories will be published right next to what happened at the last Anniston City Council meeting, nobody will think my little stories are that funny anymore compared to what’s going on with the Anniston City Council….:-)

Then the New York Times will start publishing my little stories. They’ll want me to compile all my little stories into a book. I’ll have to go up there for book signings, more speaking engagements. I’ll probably end up reciting some of my little stories at Carnegie Hall… I’ll for sure win this years Pulitzer Prize….:-)

And then, then at some trendy little bookstore in New York City’s Lower East Side I’ll probably meet a rich good looking 30 year old woman who’s already been married 4 times and I’ll probably end up having an affair with her. I’ll end up losing my wife and my garden too…Lord I’ll lose all my coneflowers and my old fashioned climbing roses. My wife will marry again and some other man, a total stranger will be deadheading my roses before the ink is even dry on my divorce papers…:-)

I’ll start drinking heavily. I probably wreck my car on the way to receive an award from the Washington Post for having the most popular column in their newspaper since the days Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward wrote about the Watergate Break In…:-) I’ll be known as that “drunken Jewish redneck writer from Piedmont, Alabama”……The New York Times and the Washington Post will both drop my columns, no more little stories published. They’ll take back my Pulitzer Prize like they took away the Presidency from Nixon…I’ll be ruined. I’ll be finished. I’ll be the most unhappy person in America. My lovely wife gone, my garden gone, some nitwit stranger taking care of my roses and my wife….:-) My friends won’t talk to me anymore, nobody will want to read my little stories about gardening and small town life….And why?

I’ll tell you why fellow gardeners….All because of  that sneaky Eddie Burkhalter. He’s the one who asked me if it was alright to publish my little story about the Mill Village Reunion in yesterday’s Piedmont Journal. If I’d only known last week what I know now about what being a REAL WRITER is, well I’d have never let him publish my little story in the Piedmont Journal. I’d have never told him, “yea sure Eddie, thanks so much, I really appreciate it. I’m sure tickled you’re going to publish my little story in the Piedmont Journal. I don’t even know what to say”…..

Well fellow gardeners I’ll tell you now what I’d say…..I’d have looked that sneaky Eddie Burkhalter right in the eye and said, “Write your own little story Eddie Burhalter!!! Write you own little story about the Mill Village Reunion and have it published in the Piedmont Journal. You lose your wife and family. You get arrested for drunk driving on the way to get your Pulitzer Prize…..Not me, no way, I’m a happily married man, a good son, a good citizen, I don’t drink, I don’t gamble and there ain’t no way I’m letting some nitwit stranger deadhead my roses……..:-) You wanna be a REAL WRITER? Then you write your own little story…..:-)

Paul From Alabama


Of course most everything I wrote above is big lie. Well most everything……:-) I do read all them newspapers online and I do subscribe and read the Piedmont Journal and the Anniston Star and have ever since I can remember…..The lying part is about me being anything but grateful to Eddle Burkhalter of the Piedmont Journal. He was nice enough to read and then publish my little story about attending the Mill Village Reunion and I sure appreciate it and want to thank him from both Linda and myself….While I’m at it I wanted to thank Bob and Diane Murphy for inviting Linda and me to the reunion in the first place. It was an honor to attend with all the folks I met there. The usual folks you meet at things like that. The folks that do so much for our community all the time. The ones who when asked to do something always volunteer. The ones who like I said who were and are the “heart” of our town….

One little aside before I go. When I walked into the room upstairs at the “Y” and saw all them people from the Mill or Mill Village I thought to myself, “I reckon these folks are wondering just what I’m doing here at a reunion for the Mill Villiage. Lord have mercy what am I going to say when someone asks me what I had to do with the Mill or the Mill Village” and then it hit me. I decided to go all the way. I just walked to the first group of folks I saw talking together when I got inside and said without even saying hello first, “its so nice to be here, you know I was one of the big bosses at the Mill for a good many years.” and for one second nobody said a word and then everyone just burst out laughing and I felt much easier and right at home, just like I really had been a big boss at the Mill. Good Lord fellow gardeners, I’m such a liar……:-)

Paul From Alabama



21 responses

1 09 2011

Loved it! You should be writing a weekly article for the Piedmont Journal….are you listening, Eddie?!

1 09 2011

Kay? Thanks so much for reading the story and thanks for your nice comments. I knew someone besides my mother was reading my little stories. I told my brother that but he didn’t believe me…….:-)

1 09 2011
William Grasser

Something seems familiar -
hmm - Chicken Little or the Hen that Could…….

Congratulation on getting published, my friend! Great to hear about your success.

How many copies did you collect to save, share, and frame?

1 09 2011

Not that many, I don’t have an exact number but you know, however many copies a $100 in quarters would buy……..:-)

1 09 2011

Since that story was published you’re off the hook for not writing for several days. I’ll have to go online and read it again. Hope someone at the nursing home shows it to her. Good job, Paul.

1 09 2011

Thanks Diane, glad you enjoyed it. It’s good to be “off the hook”….If not you tell me and I’ll take her a copy……;-)

1 09 2011

Rhino ; Good Job Paul…

1 09 2011

Thanks Rhino…Linda and me are still thinking of you……You take care……

1 09 2011
Nell Jean

No wonder they thought you were dead. Most of them went to your funeral when the accoutrements of being a big mill boss killed you.

1 09 2011
Freda P

i am so glad I know a consumate liar….great stuff, paul

1 09 2011

Well there was all that pressure of being a boss, all that responsibility for production quotas, so many supervisors after my job but mostly there was the problem of me never being inside the Mill in the first place. No wonder it killed me…….:-) P.S. I hope you catch some of that rain coming your way. Not sure it’s going to make it all the way up here, but maybe it will…….

1 09 2011
Diane Formby Brewster

Paul, don’t feel bad about never going inside the mill. I didn’t go in until I was probably a Jr. in high school. At that age you reall don’t appreciate what hard work it was. So sad SCT is gone. Maybe when I come back by to bring the iris we can have a conversation devoted to the mill and, of course, flowers.

1 09 2011

You chair has been reserved and Linda has made some kinda Lemon bar concoction that she can freeze and we can have them with some coffee, they are delicious. Just what you need for good fall weather and good conversation…….

2 09 2011

You missed the part about losing your blog following because you’ll be too busy to blog anymore or we’ll be considered insignificant free-loaders compared to the people who are willing to pay to read your best-sellers. ;-)

Congratulations on getting published!

3 09 2011

My readers “insignificant freeloaders”!!!….Bom, wash your mouth out with soap and take two table spoons of Castor Oil and don’t call me in the morning or ever again……:-) All my “best sellers” will be available at the Piedmont Library for free, I know they’ll stock my book cause my best friend is on the Library board…..:-) I don’t really need to sell any books as I’m independently wealthy, I was smart enough to invest all my money in Lehman Brothers right before they went broke……..:-) My little stories will always be for free as long as I can pay my high speed internet provider, which the way the economy is going looks to be about another month…:-)

4 09 2011
Karen Warmack

I love to read all your little stories.. whether they be online or in the Piedmont Journal.. I love how you grab us and hold us right there till the very end. Thats an awesome talent you have there Paul. Thanks for sharing with all of us!

7 09 2011
Nell Jean

Are you experiencing Real Writer’s block or have you had another spell? Real Readers start to worry when too many days go by.

7 09 2011

You are a real reader, a real writer, a real gardener- and a real good fellow.

7 09 2011

If you’re not going to write more than this then I want a refund.

8 09 2011

Dearest Nell Jean, Lydia………I’ve unfortunately been a bit under the weather here lately. I was in Atlanta the last two days seeing my ENT doctor who gave me a clean bill of health as far as any cancer reoccurrence in my head, nose or throat area. I still seem to have some kind of anemic problem with my blood and I’m going to do a PET scan to see if they find anything there. With my history that’s just being careful. I’m looking forward to writing again something outrageous and or earth shattering as soon as I get my batteries charged up again. What I miss as much as writing is chatting and talking to you both but I’ll be doing that too…..On my way this morning for some more blood tests. As far as you flyingdj, I’ve checked with my accountants and your refund is being processed now. The check will be on an out of town bank, just a little bank in a little town in Albania….Please try to cash it during regular business hours in Albania…….:-)

No joke you folks take care and thanks for touching base with me. I hope to be writing and rambling like my old self before you know it.

P.S. While I was filling up the feeders yesterday when we got back from Altanta the birds were flying around my head like, “Hey Paul, if you got to go to Atlanta to the ENT fine, but how about feeding us before you go next time”….My birds are so demanding, kinda like flyingdj, perhaps I’ll give my birds a refund too……..:-)

Paul From Alabama and from every doctor’s office in a 3 state area………:-)

9 09 2011

So, it sounds like, what you are saying, is that I am not going to get my gold bars back for the refund.

Now I know why mom always liked Robyn and Ralph more.

Get well soon.

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