Fake Harry

Two HarrysPreviously on Betsy’s Blog…

Betsy and Harry, the white gerbil who is Betsy’s Guide on her Quest to become a successful independent authorpreneur,  have been spending quality time with Skipper, a Habit Formation and Implementation specialist sent by the International Muse Council to help Betsy develop goals and habits.  After a long and arduous process similar to birthing an elephant, Betsy has finally set out to form a concrete habit – writing every day.

Having worked on this habit for several days, Betsy has come back to her brain to report on her progress.  (It should concern everyone that she has to “come back” to her brain.)  However, something seems to be amiss.  Her brain seems a little dim and fuzzy, as if she is viewing it through an antique looking glass.  And does Harry feel okay?  He looks…funny.

What’s going on here?  Let’s see….



*Betsy enters brain*  *stops*  *looks around*  It looks different in here.

It looks the same to me.  *Harry steps out of the shadows*

Hi, Harry!  *Betsy gestures around brain*  It’s  dark in here.  Normally the lights are on.

And nobody’s home.

Oh, ha ha.  I was just coming to report in on my writing.  Is Skipper here?

No.  *Harry steps forward*  *jumps up onto sofa*  She was called back to the Muse Council.

Oh.   Okay.  *Betsy studies Harry*  You look different too.

Different how?  *Harry settles on arm of sofa*  

*Betsy shrugs and goes to sit on the cushion next to him*  I don’t know.  You just look…gray.

Ah.  *Harry scratches his side*  I’ve been wandering through your brain.  I must be dirty.

Yeah.  *Betsy tilts head*  You know, you sound different too.  More, I don’t know, formal.

*Harry shrugs*  I am merely trying to up my game, so to speak.  Skipper said that the Council requested it.

Oh, well then do it because I don’t want to lose you.  *Betsy relaxes*  So, I wanted to talk to you about–

I wanted to talk to you too.  *Harry folds paws*  I was very disappointed with your last blog post.

*Betsy straightens*  You were?

Yes.  I thought it was stupid.

*Betsy puts fingers to lips, aghast*  Stupid?

Please.  *Harry waves paw*  All of that hemming and hawing just to arrive at the conclusion that your goal was to be an author, which is what your Quest is anyway?  And that your habit should be to write?  What a waste of everyone’s time.  No wonder Skipper went back to the Council.

Oh.  *Betsy frowns* *toys a with dangling brain cell*  I guess I was feeling self-conscious, so I tried to force it.

*Harry sits on his haunches*  You are in the public eye, in however limited a fashion.  You must be careful about what you say and you must always be perfect in how you say it.  Any mistakes or missteps will be judged.

*Betsy squirms in seat*  See, that’s been bothering me.  Knowing that people might read what I’ve written and then come to conclusions about me, or misunderstand what I’m saying…it makes me uncomfortable.   Plus, when I think about it, I feel pressure to perform.

The Internet is forever.  *Harry nods*  You must always be aware of that.  You must always be flawless.

Flawless?  Aren’t I supposed to be honest?  “Unto thine own self be true” and all that?  If I know people are looking and judging me, I won’t write anything.

You can’t be honest.  You can’t afford to be.  You need the audience and you need their approval.  You must write to please if you want to sell books.

No…  *Betsy studies Harry*  *Gets slowly to her feet*  No, that’s wrong.  I have to be honest to the story and I have to be truthful.  I can’t write to please the audience or force things just because I know people are watching.

*Harry shakes head*  This is a business.  You must always be aware of the people watching you and write accordingly.

*Betsy steps back a pace*  I have to be true to who I am.  I have to be authentic.  The readers will know if I’m not.

*Harry jumps onto the sofa*  *Advances towards Betsy*  Be who you are?  Please.  *laughs nastily*  Don’t worry about that.  Worry about the people you know and how they will view you.  Worry about the comments you get and the emails and the reviews.  Worry about making missteps and mistakes and having people get angry at you.

But I want to tell a good story–

No!  *Harry slashes paw*  You want to SELL a story.  You want to MARKET a story.  That’s what matters.

*Betsy puts hands up to mouth* *eyes wide*  Who are you?

*Harry smiles* *shows teeth*  I’m Harry.

*Betsy shakes head violently*  No you’re not!  My  Harry would never say those things.  My Harry would never try to Guide me down these paths.  My Harry knows I have to be who I am.  My Harry knows that if I’m constantly aware of the people reading what I write, I’ll never write anything.

You’re right!  *corner of brain opens*  *light streams in*  *a figure appears, silhouetted against the light*

Harry?  *Betsy gasps*  *Looks from gerbil on sofa to gerbil standing, paws on hips*  There are two of you?

No, there ain’t, doll.  There can be only freaking ONE of me!  *True Harry advances on Fake Harry*  Get out of here, you Minion of Misdirection!

*Fake Harry raises soot colored paws clenched in fists*  Foiled again!  Curse you, Quest Guide!  

Darn right your foiled.  *Harry cocks out a hip*  Now hit the road.

*Fake Harry shakes fist*  You haven’t seen the last of me!


*Betsy sinks down on sofa*  Wow.  *Looks around brain*  It’s so colorful in here now.  *Looks at Harry*  And you’re so white and sparkly

*Harry climbs up on Betsy’s knee*  *grins at her*  You knew, babe.

I knew what?

You knew that creep was trying to Guide you down the wrong path.  You knew you had to be true to yourself.

That’s because of you.  *Betsy scratches Harry’s ear*  Who was that?

*Harry shrugs*  What I said.  A minion of misdirection.  Probably sent by that Dark Voice jerk who lives in your brain.  

*Betsy thinks for a moment*  Do you think he’s gone for good?

*Harry sighs*  No, kid.  He’ll be back.  Sometime.

*Betsy rolls eyes*  Wonderful.  Another foe to battle.

*Harry shrugs*  Hey, if it was easy everybody would do it.

*Betsy smiles*  True.


To be continued….


fake harry





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