I have just completed my rough draft of my second Challenge submission. This one has to have some steam to it, which I am not used to writing! Interesting is all I can say. I had to call up all of those images portrayed in every love story I have read and truth be told, my face got a little red. So this is what these challenges are for. So you think you can really write? Well prove it! Hmmm… This is harder than I thought! It is so very fun though and I am reaching my words per day goals. I can’t wait to post for you all to read. I have to submit it first and that’s not for another week. I better get editing!
The Challenge results are in! I did not win. That is not a surprise to me and I am totally ok with the results. The ladies who beat me had stories far greater than mine. I did it for the experience and to learn what other people thought about my writing. I received some very positive feedback that I will carry with me. I did something right! The people who are members are so gracious and helpful. They answer all of my questions with care and great advice. I am really enjoying all of the threads and forums with writing activities and information. Lots of work and a little anxiety, but I am actually writing everyday. What? I know!
Words to live by
As Meggan sank into her seat a loud sigh escaped her lips. She hadn’t even noticed it until a frail voice brought her out of the trance that held her captive.
“Are you alright, dear?” The voice asked her.
Meggan looked up from her purple Rhinestone encrusted cellphone with a, “Huh?”
“You seem distraught about something. Can I help?” The woman facing her asked with concern washing over her face.
“Who was this woman?” Meggan thought to herself. “Distraught! She thought only her English teacher talked like that.
“I, ahh, I’m fine.” Meggan relayed, using every bit of restraint not to roll her eyes.
“What is your name, dear?” The woman asked with a pleasant smile. Something in that smile began to set Meggan at ease.
She hadn’t felt at ease for three days and her hasty exit didn’t help. The time passed so quickly. She had a ticket and appointments at the college and her roommate would be expecting her. Though dread hung over her, she knew she had to leave.
“My name’s Meggan. Meggan Callahan.” She sighed again wondering if she should move to a more private spot.
“I’m Mrs. Helmsworth,” The woman said leaning forward, patting Meggan’s hand, “I’m on my way to visit my grandchildren in New Hampshire. I haven’t traveled anywhere since my beloved Gerald passed away. It’s been two years already.” She said in the frail voice.
“Why does she keep saying, dear?” Meggan wondered to herself. “She doesn’t even know me. Was this woman going to keep talking the whole trip? Just her luck. First the stress of leaving, then the text and now this woman who wanted to tell her a life story she had no interest in hearing. Great!” Meggan complained inwardly as she threw her hands in the air.
The woman hadn’t noticed Meggan’s frustration and kept speaking. “When I was a girl I traveled all over. I went to college out East you know. I traveled to California to visit my girlfriend’s family. I met my Gerald traveling to Florida for spring break.” The woman said with a smile that lit up her entire face. The memory obviously brought her great joy.
“Was she for real? Spring break? Did they have that when she was in school?” Meggan thought growing more impatient by the minute. She was contemplating moving to another seat when the woman continued, again.
“My Gerald was a real gentleman. He was so handsome in his green Army dress uniform. We had only three short days on the beach before he had to fly out, but it was enough to know who I would spend my life with. It seems like yesterday.” Mrs. Helmsworth looked lost in her own thoughts.
Meggan could not believe what she just heard. “Three days and this woman knew who she would spend her life with? Two years and a whole summer hadn’t brought her that kind of confidence. She thought maybe she knew, but she was obviously wrong.” She agonized internally.
Before she could help it she looked up to listen more intently. The older woman seemed pleased to have her attention and continued.
“You know the war was almost over at that time. My Gerald was a hero. He was injured and they wanted him in Washington to give his accounts of the attack. That’s why our time was cut short.” She sniffed and Meggan reached into her purse.
The woman seemed visibly upset and Meggan moved forward to offer a tissue. She could hardly believe she was doing it, but the woman’s story and emotion grabbed her and held on.
“He promised he would find me when he returned.” she continued.
“And he did?” Meggan surprised herself and Mrs. Helsmworth who now held her gaze. It was the first time Meggan had spoken during the story.
“Well of course he did,” Mrs. Helmsworth stated. “We were married for 65 wonderful years until he went home to our Lord. My love for him is as real now as it was all those years ago.”
“How could you know after 3 days that you loved him and that it would last?” Meggan let the question fall like a bomb.
“Things were simpler then, dear. The distractions were few. We were looking for a life companion,” she stated sweetly. “And we trusted God had a plan for us.”
“Well I thought I had it all figured out. 2 years I was patient with Billy. He told me over and over that we would be together forever even though all he wanted to do was party and run around. He never took anything seriously. And then I told him I was going to school in Michigan.” Meggan drew in a long breath and shook her head.
Mrs. Helmsworth remained quiet.
Meggan continued, “Michigan has an excellent engineering program. And I want to be an engineer! He can’t understand that. I got a text,” She held up her phone, “he said he couldn’t wait for me. He was ready to move on.” It spilled out before she had a chance to stop it. A tear fell from Meggan’s cheek and it was Mrs. Helmsworth’s turn to offer a tissue.
“I am sorry, dear. I wish it had ended differently for you. Even though it’s difficult we have to remember, above all else, that God does have a plan for our lives. You won’t know what it is, but it will be the perfect plan for you. You can count on that.” She smiled and sat her hands in her lap.
The older woman across the row from Meggan sat her head back and closed her eyes.
“The rocking of this train sure is relaxing. I had better rest a spell,” Mrs. Helmsworth said, “I have a long journey ahead of me. And so do you dear.”
If you want to listen to a song that is real to the very last word of it, listen to I drive your truck, by Lee Brice. I was reading a book on creative writing and one of the excersizes was to listen to your favorite song and feel what they want you to feel and write about it. Well that’s not my favorite song, but it’s one of them and when I listen to it I can see every single scene as plain as watching it on TV.
I know those country roads he burnt up. I know the field he tore up to let loose the pain he felt. I can smell the black dirt flying in the air as he spins the truck around and around. In one line he says his mom asked if he had been to visit his friend’s grave. He says, “That stone ain’t where I feel you anyway!” That’s raw, real emotion that exposes the heart of the song.
I just love the images the song produces. “89 cents in the ashtray. A 1/2 empty Gatorade on the seat. Cowboy boots and a Go Army shirt folded in the back.” That’s fantastic imagery that every writer hopes to make their readers see. I know I strive to make my readers see what I see. It’s so plain, yet so powerful!
“All the pain is a cloud of dust. I drive your truck, I hope you don’t mind.” Man that is so awesome. What a greatly written song!
Ok so now when I say adventure your mind probably travels somewhere tropical with lots of jungle or lots of water and swarming sharks. Or maybe it travels to the top of a snow-covered mountain and your holding a snowboard or climbing gear almost nearing the top. Or maybe even still your inside of a speeding race car rounding the next corner.
Well I am not an ordinary adventure seeker. We just got another rabbit. And I ordered chickens. And I looked at another cat today. And decided to get a female companion for the male rabbit. Busy day? That is an understatement. Not enough adventure for you? Well it’s plenty for me. We have 3 children and with all of those animals I expect the hi-jinx to increase 10 fold.
We lost Stella who was our first rabbit. She was pure white with pink/red eyes. She was great. But in a thunderstorm her latch on her cage broke and she bolted. 6 days later the neighbor called and said he saw her in their yard. Mitch bought a live trap and they almost caught her, but her wild instincts kicked in and we haven’t seen her since. I am sure she’s now getting ready to have babies even though my husband doesn’t think she would cross breed with a wild hare.
So now we will become rabbit and chicken farmers. Maybe by next summer we can get a goat! Ooohhh, can you say BIG adventure. Hahaha! Have a great day!
I am so excited to start a new adventure with Harlequin.com. There is so much support and such great opportunity with them. The challenges are realistic, the goals attainable and the benefits will help me grow into the writer I aspire to be. Already the juices of creativity have begun to stir. Every day, one day at a time, one hour at a time the written word will be captured for future readers to enjoy. I hope and pray some of those words will be mine!
The first challenge: Strangers on a train. Stay tuned for a sneak peek as soon as I submit it!
I am adding some book reviews to my Window Seat page. Feel free to visit and check out the books. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
So last night was so fun! Ben my oldest son had a 4-H meeting. The car was unavailable so we had to drive Mitch’s truck to it. Generally speaking I don’t like driving the truck. It’s huge, it’s dirty, and it’s full of tools and crap that he just keeps sticking in there for lack of a better storage place. But it has it’s advantages too. It has air conditioning, it has a CD player and when you rev the engine it sounds pretty cool! So we are on our way and I push the play button on the CD player. Def Leopard Greatest Hits starts to play and before I know it we are rocking down the road and having a blast! All three kids are rockin’ out and loving the music. On the way home when I hit the dirt road I revved up the engine with the music blaring and I felt like I was back in high school. It was pretty fun!
Dirt Road Anthem anyone?
We have been enjoying the most beautiful and glorious evenings of late. We do not have a very long summer, so anytime it is extra enjoyable we try to soak it all up! The fireflies are extremely active right now. I wrote a little poem about them. And if you know me you know my affinity for frogs, so I added a couple of lines about them too!
Flash of green
Flash of yellow
Here no There!
Are the flashes in sync?
Do they relay a message?
mesmerized by motion
dark becomes magic
Enter a frog orchestra
Chirp, Croak, Chirp, Croak
with nothing visible by eye
Sound becomes my soul sense
except for the flash
Here no There!