Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Grrr! (01/28/10)
TITLE: Right on Topic
By Connie Dixon
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“I’m gonna hit the sack Sweetie, will you be joining me?”
Floyd was such a romantic. He hated going to bed by himself. But Sally, his wife of 25 years, rarely retired with him these days. She had become obsessed with writing and Floyd couldn’t convince her to pursue her passion earlier in the day.
Flipping her blonde curls back she quipped, “I can’t help it, my creative juices surface in the evening. I have to compose when I’m feeling inspired.”
Floyd had stopped fighting the battle. He figured it was just another phase that would run its course in a year or so. There had been lots of other fads – scrapbooking, photography, jewelry, tole painting…you name it, Sally had tried it and collected all of the paraphernalia that went with it. The guest bedroom was stocked like a craft store with picture frames, wooden birdhouses, scrapbooking supplies, terracotta pots and beads, beads, beads.
“I thought you were going to give it up this quarter. You said you don’t “get” quirky and weren’t about to waste a lot of time on topics that didn’t interest you.”
“Oh Floyd, I just can’t stay away. I have to enter the challenge this week. I came up empty last week because the idea I had was so lame, even you couldn’t have found anything positive to say about it. The week before that, I entered but really shouldn’t have. That story was horrible.
“Really, you think so? I liked it…a lot!”
“I know, I wish you were one of the judges…maybe then I’d get some good ratings.”
“Well, goodnight Sweetheart, I’ll look forward to reading your masterpiece in the morning.”
Sally slipped into her sweats and settled into her comfy, lime-green lazy-boy with a hot chocolate in one hand and her laptop in the other. As the computer came to life, she pondered the topic: Grrr. Who comes up with these ideas, anyway? I love doing research, I love finding Bible stories that parallel the topics, I love stretching my imagination - but grrr? Ow? Huh? My goodness, this is going to be a long quarter.
Staring at the blank screen, Sally decided to make some popcorn. I’m more productive when I graze.
Glancing at the word count, she saw the number seven. The single digit was a long way from the 750 words she hoped to come up with, and those seven words, including topic, title, name and date, didn’t even count.
Besides the vernacular associated with our furry friends, Sally theorized some additional possibilities for the expression grrr: aggravated, upset, bothered, perturbed, discouraged, irate, incensed, enraged and so on.
By now she was certainly experiencing the meaning of all of these terms as the blank screen remained so and the clock struck 11:00 PM.
Discouraged, Sally started weighing the consequences of not entering for the second week in a row. There would be no yellow boxes, no encouraging words from her friends, no hinting on Monday, no brick throwing on Wednesday and no hopeful anticipation of placing high in her level or of winning a coveted editor’s choice award. By now, she could barely keep her eyes open and she had absolutely no inspiration, brilliant or otherwise.
She headed for the bedroom. Maybe I’ll get an idea in the middle of the night and pull it together early tomorrow. Grrr…
Sleep and morning came quickly. Sally opened one eye as Floyd began to stir. Before jumping out of bed he gave Sally a little peck on the cheek and whispered a cheery, “Good morning, Shakespeare! How’s the story coming?”
“I take it that means you didn’t come up with anything.”
Sally glanced at the clock: 7:30 AM. If I’m going to enter, I have to start writing now! I can’t procrastinate another minute.
Suddenly, an idea came to mind. Why hadn’t she seen it before? Her annoyance, her irritation, her indignation at not coming up with a unique idea…was all ample ammunition for this silly topic.
Yes, yes, yes, I think I can do it, I can beat the deadline.
She began to type as fast as she could and after what seemed like just a few minutes she asked, "now what times is it Floyd?”
“Ten minutes to 9:00!”
Sally’s slipper-clad feet skidded to a stop as she roared: “Grrr!!!”
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