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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Michael K on September 17, 2008

The Glitter of Fame

My family lives hundreds of miles from here, across the mountains, across the valleys, and across the sea. I haven't seen them in months, maybe even years; I've sort of lost track of time since I started my new job.

The real tragedy is, I've been so busy I haven't even had a chance to send them a message to let them know how I'm doing. People told me that the entertainment industry would wreak havoc on family life. They told me that once my face was splashed on every poster and magazine, I'd completely forget those who supported me and encouraged me along the way.

I haven't forgotten, but I simply haven't been able to get away for a visit. Besides, no one can make me feel guilty; my family hasn't exactly gone out of their way to visit or communicate with me either. It's almost like they're afraid to get involved in my new life - as though they also might be captured by the bright lights and the glitter of fame.

They never approved of my job choice. I remember Father sitting down with me and saying, "The road to success, fame, and glory, it is a treacherous road, with hidden dangers, like jagged reefs at every turn, waiting to tear you apart." Blah, blah, blah.

Mother was no better. She shed many tears, and spent many hours cautioning me of the dangers of my career choice. Even when I was at home, I felt like I was at school, with all the constant lecturing.

But I didn't care. I saw the opportunity to make waves, I saw the tempting glitter of glory, and I was blinded by it. Forgetting every warning, every caution, I fell for the promise of fame. I took the bait and fell for it, hook, line, and sinker.

Don't get me wrong, I do love my job, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. But sometimes I feel like I'm drowning in the limelight, and I long for the quiet obscurity of home. Even though my parents were constantly moralizing at me, constantly disapproving of my goals and aspirations, still they are my family, and I still love them. With them, I am home. Sometimes, despite the adoration and adulation of the crowds, I feel like I don't belong here at all; I'm like a fish out of water.

Is it wrong, once in awhile, to escape the craziness of unending paparazzi, and submerge oneself in the still, quiet, love of family?

Donne once said, "No man is an island entire unto himself," and now I understand what he meant by that. So I'm going on vacation. I'm going to leave it all for a few days and go back home to visit the family, to let them know that I really do still care, that I love them all, even though I haven't heard from any of them since I've been here.

But I need your help, because my boss doesn't want me to go. I'll tell you what. I'll bring you back ten thousand clams if you'll open the gates and look the other way. Sea World will do just fine without me for a few weeks.

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