Sigh..More Writing Criticism

Alan J. Schwarz
5 min readApr 26, 2021

The call came in at precisely three eleven am. It was from my ex-wife whose name I will not reveal for a number of very good reasons. Once you read this story you will understand.

‘’Alan, are you awake, I had to call you, it is of the utmost importance.’’ The truth was if I wasn’t awake before I was now. ‘’What’s the problem, are you okay? Do you need me to call an ambulance? Tell me, tell me, what’s going on.’’ There was a silence on the phone. The pause lasted a good ten seconds.

‘’Thanks for your generous offer of calling an ambulance, I am physically fine, but mentally I’m hurting.’’ I started thinking that maybe the pandemic had really taken a toll on her and I felt terrible. She was the mother of my son, and I always tried to get along with her. ‘’Alan, you have unfortunately caused me some serious distress.’’

I was dismayed, what could I have done. I once told a dirty joke featuring Little Billy, but I couldn’t think of anything else. ‘’I apologize for whatever I may have said or done to cause you so much discomfort, I promise you I didn’t mean anything.’’

I thought I could hear a ‘’hrumph’’ on the other end of the cell. ‘’It’s not what you’ve said, it’s what you’ve written. Have you ever gone back and read any of the short stories you’ve been writing and posting. One of the last ones was about skid marks in bed. Do you think it’s wise to share with the world that you don’t know how to wipe your ass?’’ I tried to explain it was fiction and I was cut short. ‘’If that’s a fact, why in another story that you posted about Issac Bashevis Singer did you include the line, ‘’only write what you know.’’

I went into a defense about extrapolation and how my stories weren’t connected when I clearly heard the words, ‘’so full of shit.’’ I waited for a beat and said ‘’I think you’re taking my stories way too literally.’’

The next response was anger. ‘’Alan, excuse me for saying it but you are a jerk, what are people supposed to think about your character when you write stories like ‘’Sex with my Friend’s Wife’’ and ‘’Getting Screwed.’’ Are you trying to win some kind of porn award? There are more lewd, crude, and lascivious titles but I won’t name them. Honestly, it gives me heartburn thinking about the fact you thought they were any good. I hate to tell…



Alan J. Schwarz

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.