Thursday, January 29, 2015

Friendship and Continuing the Story

When I was first out of college, I worked office jobs through a temp agency. It provided income until I landed my first full-time job. My first assignment involved processing registrations for a national convention.

I met my friend Heather at that assignment. Eighteen years later, she remains one of my closest friends.

For about six months, Heather and I worked together, just the two of us, in a conference room with a lakefront view. Two low-level employees with the best office in the building! Because we were together all day, every day, we chatted nonstop and grew close fast.

One day, Heather seemed downcast. I couldn’t cheer her up with dumb comments. So I tried something I knew would she couldn’t resist. Not with her forever-young personality.

I wrote the first sentence or two of a story. I don’t recall what the topic was, except that it was random. Because our desks sat ten feet apart and walking struck me as inefficient, I added another aspect to bring a grin to her face: I balled up the sheet of paper and tossed it her way.

“What’s this?” she asked, uncrumpling the ball it to find a story that begged her continuation. A grin crept across her face. I had her hooked.

That marked the first of many stories. From that point on, Heather was addicted. When least expected, a wad of paper would land on my desk. Heather had picked a random topic. Animals, fresh fruit, Elton John, Farmer MacGregor, a guy named Homer. Anything worked for us. She’d send me a sentence. I’d add a sentence or two, wad it up, and toss it back—usually aiming for her water glass. The process gave us a laugh, and it sparked our creativity as we tried to outwit each other. I’d threaten to kill off a character right when  love story was about to take shape, and she’d plead to keep him alive.

Fine, Heather. [*eye roll*] He can stay alive. ;-)

When we’d had our fill with each story, Heather crammed it into a folder she kept hidden in her desk drawer.

Last week, Heather was ill, and for whatever reason, she decided to sift through boxes in storage at her house.

From one box, she pulled out a folder—and discovered our old stories.

The next day, I received a message from Heather on my phone. The beginning of another story.

A hippo she named Joe. A koala I named Arlen. A massive tidal wave that carried Joe from his home in Asia all the way to the coast of Australia, where the two friends met. What caused the tidal wave? The hippo farted, of course. Don’t judge. It’s Heather’s and my world.

Never give up!

John Herrick

Today's Playlist: "Cool Kids" by Echosmith

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went CrazyThe War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy by Bill Carter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great insight! I'd wondered for years why the Jay Leno/Conan O'Brien scenario unfolded the way it did, and why NBC announced five years in advance Leno's replacement date and successor. Five years is an eternity in television and so much can change. That said, I enjoy reading how these media people make decisions because we think a lot alike. A terrific read.

View all my reviews

Monday, January 19, 2015

Blog Interview - Brandi Breathes Books

Between These Walls blog tour coming soon! I'll release details down the road.

In the meantime, here's an interview with Brandi Breathes Books. Thanks for welcoming me (and the new novel) to your blog!

Never give up!

John Herrick

Today's Playlist:  Storyline by Hunter Hayes