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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Writing (01/11/07)

TITLE: Writer's Block-Searching for Serena
By Sara Harricharan


Jonas scowled into the fog, wishing it would lift and ease his worries rather than clinging stubbornly to the dewy ground. If he could see where he was going, it’d be easier to track his wife-

Pushing away from the keyboard, I scowled at the computer screen, the Microsoft word file glaring back at me.

“You okay?” Andy, my husband, of 9-years mumbled the question around a mouthful of sandwich.

“I can’t get these characters to come alive.” I looked to him miserably.

He chewed thoughtfully. “Which story?”

“Novel.” I corrected. “This is my sequel, remember?”

Andy’s eyebrows knitted themselves together. “The best-seller or the other one?”

“Make me a sandwich and I’ll tell.” I bargained, my stomach rumbling as I eyed his mouth-watering handful.

He grinned, turning back to the kitchen. I clicked “save” before trotting after him.

It was a matter of minutes before he set the masterpiece in front of me on a blue china plate, with a paper napkin tucked underneath.

Seating himself across the counter, he waited to hear my dilemma. “The sequel is for the best-seller.” I began. “Remember Jonas and Serena?” I took another bite, as he thought about it. “No? Okay, they’re the two MC’s. Book one, meet and marry. Book two, married a few years, Jonas discovers Serena disappears early in the morning.”

Andy’s brow furrowed once more. “Why?” He asked.

My head hung. “I’m not sure.”

Andy nodded slowly, thinking as he slid off the stool. “Finish your snack, and get your riding boots and jacket.”

I blinked, surprised. “Where are we going?”

He winked.

I didn’t argue, stuffing the remaining bites of sandwich in my mouth, heading for the coat closet.

I managed to catch up to my darling husband as he brought my favorite mount to the back porch, all ready to ride. I looked for his horse, but only saw Duskin.

Andy chuckled, mounting and extending his hand to help me up. Duskin started to move as I held on tight, beginning to whisper.

“Shhh!” Andy whispered back, turning Duskin towards the east fields.

My mystery ride continued, I fell asleep, only to be tickled awake a moment later to stare at a large gray rock, sitting out in the middle of nowhere.

We dismounted and I followed Andy to the rock. He boosted me up, climbing up behind and promptly lying down. I looked at him in puzzlement. He motioned for me to do the same.

Grimacing, I dropped to my knees, gingerly easing myself down on the rock.

It was cold. Freezing, even, but Andy didn’t seem to care. “Up.” He murmured, pulling me close.

I stared up into a vast expanse of gray-blueness. After careful scan, I dared to whisper. “What am I looking for?”

Andy propped himself up on one elbow and covered my eyes with his free hand. “Listen.”

I didn’t hear anything at first.

I say at first, because it was the second that I heard something. Strange-sounding, I guessed it to be the wind. A faint cry trickles through the air, soft rustles accompany a quiet whinny. I didn’t have the faintest clue what I was listening for.

“…and please Father, give her the words to write, to fill the empty pages you’ve gifted her…”

Andy’s murmured prayer was barely audible, his hand moved as I turned, his eyes closed, his face peaceful, upturned to the sky.

The image etched itself in my mind as his lips continued to move, but I could no longer heard his voice.

Pictures and words flew through my head, fading away as quickly as they’d come and then I heard and I don’t know if I’ll ever hear again.

The wind sounded like many voices in song. The rustles of grass, like running water, the bird call and Duskin’s whinny, all blended together in something I can’t begin to describe.

In my frantic effort to pen another best-seller, I’d forgotten the One who’d given me the idea, forgotten how I’d written it.

Thank you, Father. I prayed, sitting up suddenly.

I knew why this was so familiar.

Page 237 of my best-seller, Jonas meets Serena while riding to a rock at the end of the resort’s fields.

A smile tugged at the corners of Andy’s mouth. He knew I’d figured it out. I reached over and smoothed his forehead. Thank you, Father, for Andy.

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This article has been read 1862 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kathie Thomas01/19/07
I liked the reminder of going back to basics - the original reason for starting something and remembering that God is at the base of what we do.

You hadn't mentioned earlier in the piece about the place being familiar but did at the end - thought that perhaps mentioning it earlier would be better so that you could explain why at the end. Or perhaps I missed it although I did go back and read it again.

All the same, enjoyable to read.
lynn rodgers01/22/07
and i thought i was the only one God gave writes block when i forget about him. last night at church we ahs a prayer/worship time. i had a pen and spraps of paper. GOd craked out 2 poems
Joanne Sher 01/22/07
I love this take on the topic! Your description is wonderful, and I love how you pulled it all together at the end. I agree that you might have wanted to mention a bit earlier that the location was familiar - but that is minor! Wonderful stuff!
william price01/22/07
Very nice. Some great lines. I loved the opening. Keep up the good work. God bless.
Sally Hanan01/22/07
You came up with a good story. While writer's block isn't the most original idea for a challenge entry, you managed to make it about much more than sitting with a blank mind in front of the keyboard.
When you only have 750 words to play with it makes more sense to take one setting and one incident to fill that space. You put two into this one - your kitchen and the outdoors. I think if you had shortened the block and sandwiches considerably, you could have done the storyline more justice. One more thing - you mention the plate color, the napkin etc., but try not to list these things, rather include them, i.e. she followed the blue outline of the milkmaid's face on the sideplate with her finger as she tried to word her anxiety. That way we can be inside your MC's body feeling and seeing with her.
I liked the descriptions you used in the second half, and you gave the whole thing a good mix of description, dialogue and narrative. Good job!
darlene hight01/23/07
Fun read and I loved the descriptions. Alot of personality came through this piece.
Jan Ackerson 01/24/07
I like the way you portrayed the relationship between the husband and wife..."make me a sandwich..." Nice, realistic touch.
Leigh MacKelvey01/24/07
I really, really loved this. All the way through, it gave me a sense of the husband-wife relationship. The little touches and descriptions were wonderful. I liked the ending when she remembered the familarity of the setting. You surprised your charater,as well as your readers! I would place this one if I were a judge. ( too bad I'm not!)
Loren T. Lowery01/24/07
As R. Regan was fond of saying."There's nothing wrong with the inside of man that the outside of a horse can't fix"; and now I see a hand-up from a loving spouse can come in handy, too.
I know I find much peace and joy and inspiration from riding my horse, Krissy. Thanks for sharing.
Patty Wysong01/24/07
I really enjoyed the husband-wife interaction and her confusion. I could feel it...
Betty Castleberry01/24/07
Love the interaction between the couple. This was thoughtfully written and an enjoyable read.
Edy T Johnson 01/25/07
I found you, Scarletfury! I see I shall have to spend more time reading in Intermediate.

You do have a great writing-talent gift from God, obvious in your knack for pulling the reader into your story. I think you had just the right amount of description to flavor the dialog and give us a good "picture" setting.

One thing surprised me. The husband actually pulled the writer away from her work! (My poor husband just gets "Scram!"-med away so I can hang onto my train of thought :)

Thank you for your comments on my writing, too. I appreciate you, Friend!
Amy Michelle Wiley 01/26/07
I want a husband like that! Hehe. Great story!
Jan Ackerson 01/29/07
Welcome to the FW 500! I'm going to feature this on the Front Page Showcase for the week of February 26. Look for it on the FW home page.
Allison Egley 02/27/07
Oh, this is great. I agree with Amy. I want a husband like this! Someday... Someday. lol