Writing Advice from a Squirrel

The squirrel says, “You probably want to rethink this. I don’t think this is going to make anyone happy.”

I ask, “Why not? Everyone is going to love talking pets.”

The squirrel says, “I am not a pet, and I suspect I have what, maybe two to eight years to live? Sentience is wasted on me. It’s like I have a terminal condition. Why the hell did you want to make me talk?”

I say, “I’ll get famous and then I will have a platform and be able to sell my book.”

The squirrel says, “That’s the worst reason ever. I can’t begin to tell you how bad that is. First off, I read your book. It sucks. Second, you invented a ray that teaches English to squirrels and you are trying to publish a fantasy romance?”

I say, “Not just squirrels, it should work on any mammal.”

The squirrel asks, “Did you have to make me so smart?”

I reply, “I wasn’t aiming for any particular limits on intelligence. Making sure your vocal chords could handle speech was the hard part. Organizing brains was easy in comparison.”

The squirrel says, “Great, now I want to go run in traffic. Honestly, try and use it on yourself, you might write better.”

I think about it and put the talk ray to my head. It shouldn’t hurt anything. I pull the trigger and pick up my book.

I pitch it into the woods. “You’re right, squirrel. My writing sucks.”

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