I wrote well when I was younger. I loved essay exams in high school and creative writing assignments, but that is as far as I ever took it. Anything longer than 3,000 words was like a flat-earther looking at the sea's horizon. The only English courses I took in college were mandatory curriculum requirements and all writing ceased. Unfortunately, when I was sixteen, a character was born in my head. He is a great character and I always wanted to tell his story. For two decades, Herb would pace ceaselessly about my brain fogging up the insides of my corneas as he looked longingly out of his prison windows. Was this a life sentence? Would Herb ever get to come alive? One day, after restless nights, Herb's hope for freedom was reborn. I came home with a MacBook, a five subject spiral notebook (I wanted an old school black and white composition book but couldn't find any with college ruled paper), and a four pack of bold point Pilot Precise Grip Roller Ball Pens. I had never been to a Starbucks or any other coffee shop for that matter. Now, I found myself chugging the magic, brown elixir (not bourbon) and outlining and creating a world for Herb. Two years and 92,000 edited words later, we both wept. Herb's story sucked; it was awful. The parole board decided to keep Herb locked up. But Herb wasn't alone this time. There were others looking out of my eyes; characters that had been born with their own stories. They were hopeless, hopeless that their stories would be dashed upon the rocks. One of the characters sprang up and attempted to rile the hopes of the other inmates. "Can't you see?" he yelled. "Can't you see he has done it!" He even piqued my own curiosity and he was just a figment of my imagination. "He has written a story," he continued. "Sure, it wasn't a great story, but a story nonetheless. Stay positive! Stay interesting! For you may never know when it is time for him to write another story. And that story, your story, could be the one that's great!" I feel guilty when I want to write about my other sons and daughters, dragons and demons. It was supposed to be Herb's time; it's not fair. Maybe Herb was selfless in that he laid down his life that others might be free. The other guy is right; I did put together a complete manuscript. That has to mean something, right?