Well, OK. I wasn’t working. I was just staring at the screen.
Fine. OK. I wasn’t staring at the screen, I was playing a flash game. But I was thinking about working.
Then I spilled my tea on my keyboard and jabbed at it with a paper towel and the next thing I knew the screen was all swirly and blue and then a man appeared there.
Well, he wasn’t really a man. For one thing, he was blue. Also, instead of legs, he was made of swirling smoke. He had a turban and a black goatee.
And he looked at me like he was bored and he said, “I am the Genie of the keyboard. I am here to grant you three writing wishes.”
“You have been granted three writing wishes. You may wish for whatever you want, as long as it has to do with writing.”
“Oh,” I said. “So, what you’re saying is, I’ve fallen asleep in my computer chair again.”
“May we please get on with this?” he said. “I have to be in Salt Lake before dark.”
“Well,” I said, “I suppose I should try to correct some of my flaws. Like… I’d like to be more disciplined, you know? I’d like to sit down and say I’m going to write for an hour, and then actually do that.”
“Is that a wish?”
“Sure. I wish that I could be more disciplined in my writing habits.”
“Now you are more disciplined!” He snapped his blue fingers and golden sparkles flew from the screen and settled on my hair. I felt the moral certitude of self-discipline flowing through my veins.
“What is your second wish?”
“Hmmm.” I was a believer now. I needed to be careful and not waste these! “I wish I was better about outlining and crafting out my stories before I begin so I didn’t have to spend so much time rewriting and restructuring in my 2nd draft.”
“Done!” He snapped again and silver dust sprinkled down around me. Instantly, I could see story structure in my head and understood how to fix my current project. “You have a final wish. What is it?”
I stood and stared out into the backyard. “I want a writer’s shed,” I said. “I want it air conditioned, with good high speed Internet. A mini-fridge and a microwave. A comfy chair, a nice desk. And I want to be able to go up a flight of stairs and have a little patio on the room with a swing and a canopy. And an ever-stocked ice-bucket with my choice of beer. Oh! And a bathroom. It has to have a bathroom, with maybe a shower. And a sound system that just knows when to play coffee house jazz or upbeat classic rock or, you know, just play some white noise.”
“Of course,” the genie said. “Is that your wish?”
I nodded. I want a writer’s shed so bad I have already drafted out three versions.
He snapped his fingers. Shining white sparkles flew from the computer screen, out the window, and began to form the shape of the writer’s shed I’d imagined.
…and then I woke up. No genie. No magical discipline, no sudden ability to draft intricate outlines and… I glanced out the window and sighed. And no writer’s shed.
Guess I’ll just have to find those things on my own.