Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quote of the Week: Hosea Ballou, on Happiness

Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit.
-Hosea Ballou


Wednesday Writing Exercise
Write a short backstory (<300 words) for a character who has counterfeit happiness, and doesn't realize it yet.

1 comment:

  1. Carl had everything. He had a lab of his own, great funding, a couple of perky grad students. At twenty-eight, he was a tenured professor with a doctorate. There was nothing - nothing - that he lacked, he decided as he propped his feet on the desk.

    He wondered where he should go for lunch. Camille's? Shorty's? He hadn't eaten a homemade meal since he'd turned eighteen and left his drunken sot of a father behind for a real future. With his salary, he didn't have to. Another gourmet meal, or a quick stop at the deli? Delightful.

    Maybe he'd invite Laura, the blonde TA. He was pretty sure she'd put out for a good recommendation to that internship she wanted. He'd send her off happy, too, and just in time to meet next year's eager assistant... Just like he liked them, eager and temporary.

    Rick and Stewart passed by the door, bags in their hands. The other professors were jealous of his youth - that's why they never invited him to join them. Carl let himself smirk. Not that he'd lower himself to hanging out with the dumpy crowd of ancients that he had to call his colleagues. Nope. Carl was too cool for that.

    Carl had everything he had ever wanted - money, prestige, security. He didn't need friends. Or clingy women. Or his broken father. Or homemade food.

    There was nothing - nothing - he lacked. And didn't that make him happy?