The Blog

The Book I Will Write #9

The Book I Will Write by John Henry Fleming is a serial novel-in-emails about a would-be writer named John Henry Fleming who is desperate to publish a book. THE BOOK I WILL WRITE is a work in progress; readers are invited to make comments and influence the outcome. Fleming has begun exchanging emails with an editorial assistant at Knopf, Mary Ann Lankowski, under the nose of her boss, Senior Editor Roberta Hollymore.

 

 

 

RANDOM BOLTS OF GOOD JUDGMENT

Dear John Henry,

I apparently read your email late last night, and I apparently wrote a reply, which I apparently either forgot to send or kept open on purpose. I’ve been known to get struck by random bolts of good judgment when I’m drunk. Whew.

I said things to you I never thought I’d say to anyone. I don’t even know where all those pent-up feelings came from. Apparently, they’re there. Apparently, they want to attach themselves to you. Anyway, the email I wrote made me cringe so badly, I deleted it in horror without even reading the whole thing.

I was going to play it safe and not reply at all. I was going to delete whatever follow-up emails you planned to send. But, look, here I am at work and Ms. Hollymore hasn’t even arrived yet (she’s been known to drink, too, usually without the benefit of those random bolts of good judgment), and I made the mistake of reading your last email again and it worries me a little, all this talk of drowning and thanking me always.

You’re not considering offing yourself, are you? I don’t want to be responsible for that. I know I wouldn’t really be responsible, but the thought would occur to me, and I don’t even want the thought to occur to me. That sounds more selfish than I meant it.

I hope your novel is going well. I hope you write a lot of good pages. I hope you’ll publish it someday, too.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but would you write back just so I know you’re okay?

Annie

Tags: , , ,

About John Henry Fleming

John Fleming's stories have appeared in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, The North American Review, Mississippi Review, Fourteen Hills, and Carve, among others. He is the author of The Legend of the Barefoot Mailman, a novel, and Fearsome Creatures of Florida, a literary bestiary. He teaches creative writing at the University of South Florida and is the founder and advisory editor for Saw Palm: florida literature and art. He blogs at johnhenryfleming.com.

1 Awesome Comments So Far

Don't be a stranger, join the discussion by leaving your own comment
  1. Kelly Lynn Thomas
    August 8, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Funny, touching, and it even made me cringe a little (the best fiction always does).