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Prompt: The jaded writer contemplated the pile of mail

BEGIN WRITING:

The jaded writer contemplated the pile of mail, not that there would be anything in it to stir the creative juices. He picked it all up in disgust and carried it to the table next to his overworked shredder.

Might as well just sit here to begin with, he thought.

“You’ve been pre-approved.” That went straight into the machine. He dug through the pile looking for more of the same thing. Amex, Capitol One. Only three of them today. Slurp! The shredder happily ate them all.

Catalogues. No need to even shred these. Eddie Bauer, Penney’s Big & Tall, Trash. Victoria’s Secret…hmm…oh, that one was addressed to someone on the next block. He set it aside to peruse later while he ate his TV dinner.

Moving on. Electric bill. Geez, how could he have used $95 worth of KW in one month! That went into a pile to be paid when the bank balance was a little healthier.

Ads, and more ads. A Pennysaver stuffed with glossy flyers from discount furniture stores and Grand Opening sushi houses.

And then, suddenly, just as he was about to send all the rest for a quiet ride into the recycle bin, he spotted an envelope, a real, first class envelope from Random House. Almost unable to believe what he saw, he checked the address again: Paul Simpson, 676 Whitmore St.

Yes, it was really for him! He tore it open and found a personal, professionally written letter from Associate Editor Karen Hays:

Dear Mr. Simpson,

PENCILS DOWN

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