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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Expert (09/05/13)

TITLE: When you just love doing it
By P. J. Baker


“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young...” (1Tim 4:12 NIV)

Charlie and his mom were watching a TV show about a dinosaur skeleton that was uncovered in somebody’s back yard. A man with a big beard and a sunburned face was explaining excitedly it was a stegosaurus, and it ate only leaves and plants.

“Who is he?” asked Charlie.

“He’s the expert. He who knows everything about this dinosaur.”

Charlie thought for a second. “Am I an expert in anything?”

His mom hid a smile. “No, sweetheart. People only become experts after they have studied very hard at their subject for years and years, so they tend to be older. Even older than Gramps!”

Charlie tried to imagine someone older than Gramps, but he couldn’t. Then he fetched his spade and started digging in the back yard. But he didn’t find much, only a few old marbles and a catapult he’d lost last summer.

“Charlie, look what I got!” His mom was at the back door waving some paper. They were print outs of other dinosaur skeletons.


“I was just printing them out when the computer crashed. I don’t know how to fix it. Could you go and ask Ned’s Dad if he could come and take a look. He’s an expert in computer things.

Charlie took the dinosaur skeleton pictures over to show Ned.

“Cool!” he said. Charlie told him all about the TV show they’d seen, and what the expert had said. “Do you want to help me dig?” asked Charlie.

Before they left, Charlie asked Ned’s dad to come and fix the computer.

By teatime, they had dug up three pink stones, a rusty key and a coin. But no dinosaur bones. As they sat down to eat, Ned’s dad popped up from under the computer.

“I’ve unplugged it all, then plugged it all in again, and it’s still not working!” He scratched his head. “Aha! It could be…” He fiddled around and soon the screen came on, but it was just a blank blue screen.

“I know who could really fix this problem, a real computer expert.” He dialled a number and invited a real expert to visit.

The doorbell rang. Charlie answered it. It was Duncan Smythe, a boy from his primary school. Duncan had sandy hair and was several years older than Charlie.

“Hey Duncan. What are you doing here?”

“Ned’s Dad called me about a computer problem. I sometimes help with the computers at his office.”

“You’re the expert? I thought experts had to be old!”

Duncan laughed, and started pressing different keys, then removed something from the back of the machine. He blew on it, rubbed it with a cloth then replaced it. Several seconds later the computer lit up. It was working again!

“Nah. I just get computers, you know? A friend taught me one or two things, then I just tried stuff out and it’s easy, you know? When you just love doing it.”

Charlie’s mom appeared with 3 mugs of hot cocoa. “Wow, Duncan, that’s amazing, you really fixed my computer! Thank you very much!”

“He’s a computer expert Mom.”

“Yeah, you must be naturally gifted at computers.”

“I guess so. But I work hard too. Hey, want to play ball?”


Charlie, Ned and Duncan went out and played ball.

“Wish I was an expert basketball player” Charlie aimed at the basket, but missed.

“Maybe if you spent less time digging around in the dirt and practised!” Ned winked.

They all laughed.

“You wait till I discover the next dinosaur skeleton!”

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This article has been read 166 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Nancy Bucca09/12/13
Great story, and you make a marvelous point about how easy it is to become an expert at something "when you just love doing it." Good food for thought.
Larry Whittington09/12/13
I liked your beginning verse. It added to the whole story.

The conversation flowed well.

The computer problem fix sounded like what we had to do to the old games we used to play. a little moisture was needed to get a good connection.

Is "printout" one word or should it be print out?
Judith Gayle Smith09/13/13
Cute. A lesson surprisingly learned!
Richard Hicks09/14/13
Good work on this piece. It flowed very well as a story and a valuable lesson we all need to hear. Keep writing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/17/13
This is a charming story. I think you did a nice job of building the characters. You also did a nice job of introducing the conflict. Sometimes when adults write kids' stories they tend to have an adult resolve the conflict, but you had a kid do it, and the comment about practicing came from a kid too. That is a great resolution.

I did notice you used the word expert quite a bit, but you really didn't need to because the topic was woven throughout the entire story. Perhaps instead of expert, you could have used paleontologist and IT manager or even computer geek, though some may think that derogatory and you'd want to avoid that. I'm married to a computer geek, and use the term witness love.

You did nail the topic and have a wonderful knack at storytelling. I loved the characters and did a fantastic job of using dialog and vivid descriptions to move the story alone.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/20/13
Congratulations on ranking 9th in your level! (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards)
Jan Ackerson 09/23/13
During the break in the Weekly Challenge schedule, I’d like to invite you to the FaithWriters forums, where I’m holding a weekly free “class” in various writing strategies. Participation is strictly voluntary, but I give free and timely feedback on all contributions. I’d love to have you drop by! http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=67