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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Green (10/22/09)

TITLE: The One That Got Away
By Laura Manley


Brenda had pushed the envelope before, but it was now late Wednesday evening, and she had nothing to show for her weekly writing entry. Today there had been no time between physical therapy, checking up on a sick friend, finding someone to watch the twins during those times, and having dinner on the table for a very travel-weary husband. She decided she would have to burn the midnight oil, or forget about submitting her entry.

Over the past few nights, the wannabee writer had come up with two fairly good stories...but they had very little to do with the topic – green. Besides that, Brenda prided herself in being a perfectionist and she wasn't going to submit something that wasn't up to her standards. One day she was going to be up there with the really good writers; even take home a prize or two. In the meantime, she would continue to hone her skills.

Brenda bit into her pencil out of frustration, wondering where the ones in charge came up with the weekly topics. She was sure they must sit around a large conference table and think of how they might torture those who thought they knew something about writing.

She took a deep breath; in fact, several deep breaths. It was going to take everything she had to get through the night. Brenda picked up her gnarled pencil and reached for her writing pad laying on a stack of papers in which only she could have found anything.

Brenda wondered why she was so frustrated, now scratching her head with the lead end of her pencil. 'Why not give myself some lead poisoning at the same time,' she thought, laughing at the thought of it..

Brenda decided to start a list of potential “green” things to write about:

1.Green grass (too ordinary)
2.Green grass of home (better, but not much)
3.Green hills of Scotland (not)
4.Green frogs (research)
5.Feeling green around the gills (nah!)

She was getting giddy as the night progressed. Her next entry made her laugh out loud.

6.The green stuff that comes out of your nose when you have a cold (disgusting!)

Brenda's original plan, which was obviously out the window now, was to submit her entry early in the week. Unfortunately, the twins had been suffering from number 6, her husband was out of town most of the week, and the dog had a case of the runs. 'Yikes!' she thought.

Brenda stood up to stretch her legs and strolled quietly down the hall to check on the twins. Her husband, weary from traveling almost all week, had bathed them and put them to bed. “Thank you, Lord, for this man you put into my life,” she said to herself, giving God the glory and honor He deserved.

She walked through the kitchen on her way back to her desk and fixed herself a cup of hot chocolate. That would soothe her frazzled nerves, she concluded.

Back at her desk, Brenda sat down and looked aimlessly at the screen. Where was this story going to come from? she questioned herself. She wondered if this was going to be “the” week she didn't meet the deadline.

* * *
Brenda did not immediately hear her husband shuffling about the house. She did hear what she thought was running water. Confused, she looked down at her desk. The hot chocolate she had made for herself during the night sat there untouched.

A few minutes passed before she realized she had spent the rest of the night at her computer...ASLEEP! She was almost frozen in the moment, afraid to check her writing site to see whether she had submitted an entry.

First, she went to the writing program she used in writing her articles and stories. There was nothing new in “recent documents.” A huge lump formed in her throat and tears began to well up in her eyes. She knew then that she had fallen asleep before she had been able to get her entry completed, let alone even started.

As Brenda sat at her computer, she vowed there would never be a repeat of this week. She decided that what happened to her had been the signs of a “green” writer! As that thought crossed her mind, she realized she had had the makings of an entry all along.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Allison Egley 11/01/09
Hehehe I liked this. Cute.

In general, try to stay away from using the writing challenge as part of your story. If you were to share it outside of FatihWriters, people wouldn't understand.

An interesting tidbit... There is no "large conference table." The whole of Faithwriters is run by two people who live on two different continents!

I'm sure a lot of people who enter the challenge can relate to your main character's problem. I know I can!
Colin Swann11/02/09
I've read quite a few entries this week but I enjoyed this piece best of all so far. Thanks. Colin
Marie Fink11/02/09
We just can't avoid the business of the day sometimes. Clever idea for your entry. Over use of the word, "Brenda." Try other synonyms such as, "this aspiring writer," "tired as she was, she," "The sleepy novice," "The exhausted author,"...etc.
Virgil Youngblood 11/04/09
All writers relate to your MC's deadline predicament. Since you asked, more "showing" and less "telling" would make this story even more interesting, I think. Your writing certainly shows promise.
Ruth Brown11/04/09
Yes she had our nightmare. It could happen to any one of us.
Very Clever.
Sarah Elisabeth 11/04/09
Ah, well done! I loved how you tied in the "green" topic at the end. Spot on!

One thing I noticed- the paragraph after item #6 covers your MC's hectic week. You had already mentioned that early on, so I stumbled a bit reading it again.

This is a story I'm sure all writers can relate to. Good job and keep writing!
Catrina Bradley 11/04/09
You definitely nailed the challenge "madness". Been there, almost done that, but I've never slept all the way through the night. I've missed some deadlines by falling asleep tho. :) Your writing is very good for your level - I expect to see you move up soon!
Edmond Ng 11/04/09
A very candid and humorous way of expressing how all of us feel about writing for the challenge! I agree about the overuse of 'Brenda' in the story. Apart from the disgusting green stuff from the nose, I enjoyed the story thoroughly. LoL (",) ROFL!