Writers on Writing – Mitchell Waldman

Why are you a writer?

I’ve always been an avid reader and read many bad books (many bestsellers) as a kid, thinking, “I can do that!” Well, better, really. And I thought I had something to say. Words were my voice in an otherwise anonymous existence on the planet. Now, many years later I realize that better writing is not always what readers are looking for and that everybody and their uncle is a writer. Still, I have something more to say, so will continue on my writing journey, hoping someone will listen to my words.

What was your first writing success?

My first writing “success” was in the second grade when my story won a prize in the school’s writing competition. I stood on the platform before the entire school, my knees shaking until I got to the end and spat out the last line which contained the story’s final twist (and which I then realized contained a bad typo which changed the whole meaning of the story).

Where do you write?

At home, on my lunch break, whenever I can find the time and inspiration.

How do you fit your writing round the rest of your life?

It’s not easy, but you do what you’ve got to do, making time when you should probably be doing something “constructive.” I mean, the lawn is getting way too high and I’m sure something around the house needs to be fixed.

Are you a planner or do you dive straight in?

I pretty much attack my writing with a kernel of an idea, dive in and see where it goes. A lot of time it goes nowhere, but, hell, I gave it a shot. Other times the idea sticks, keeps my interest, and seems worth pursuing and finishing.

What is the biggest compliment your writing has received?

My books, “Petty Offenses and Crimes of the Heart,” and “A Face in the Moon” have received numerous compliments from reviewers, such as the review by fellow fiction writer, Perry Glasser (author of, among other books, Dangerous Places) of my short story collection Petty Offenses & Crimes of the Heart, who said that “Readers will come away from this book better for having spent time with Waldman’s well wrought characters, all sprung from the heart of an exacting writer gifted with compassion.” And I thought, wow, that was humbling, that felt great. Compassion. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what every writer should be focusing on.

The Miracle Man – Mitchell Waldman

4400 words General Fiction

An aging alcoholic receives and has to figure out what to do with a gift bestowed on him which turns his touch to magically produce what he desires.

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On a brisk spring day, Jack Crowley opened the door to his rooming house on Oak Street and headed down to Sassy Sue’s Diner for his mid-morning meal. A little sustenance before he made his way to The Dead End for his first drink of the day. Jack wondered whether Johnny would have the clam chowder on yet, and his stomach growled in anticipation. He moved a little quicker down the sidewalk, his stomach doing somersaults by now, but he stopped cold when he heard a whistle that sounded like it came from above. Looking up, to his surprise, he saw a tiny man with a green hat sitting on a branch, whittling a piece of wood with a pocket knife.

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