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The Rite to Write
by Joanney Uthe
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Aa ... Bb ... Cc

I see a dog. I see a cat.

This summer we went on a trip. We went to Mount Rushmore. It is in South Dakota. We drove a long time. Mount Rushmore has men carved on a mountain. It was big. We climbed the trail as high as we could. It was fun. We saw a mountain goat. That was my summer vacation.

Once upon a time in a far away land lived a young maiden who always wore yellow. She lived in a little hut that was made of yellow bricks with a yellow roof. Her pride and joy were her yellow tulips and roses that she grew in front of the hut. She spent her days watering and caring for these flowers. She gave them to her friends when they were sick or when someone got married.

One day a handsome gardener came into her village. He noticed the yellow house with yellow flowers. “May I assist you in your garden?” he asked the maiden. The maiden had heard of the gardener before and knew he was the best, so she accepted his offer. She decided to let him work while she went away for the weekend to visit her sister.

When the maiden returned, she was shocked to see that her beautiful yellow roses and tulips had been replaced with flowers of all different types. There were bluebells, pansies, orchids, and impatiens of every color. Dispersed among the others were remnants of her yellow tulips and roses.

“What have you done with my garden?” She bent down to pick up a rose bush from the pile of debris. “My beautiful roses, my beautiful tulips....gone.” As she looked up at the flowers, her eyes say her house in the background of the multi-colored garden. The contrast of the flowers brought out the yellow of the house, making it look like a bright yellow sun. It was like looking at the house for the first time.

The gardener came up behind her and looked at the masterpiece he had created. “You are like this house among the people of this village. You are hidden away behind what you know, but it is time to shine and to let people see the real you.”

Silence filled the air as Corissa pondered her next move. This was no ordinary game of chess. Each move could determine the fate of her friends, the fate of many. How she had ever gotten involved in this mess was something she would have to fathom another time. Right now her concentration needed to be on the board in front of her.

She hesitated as she reached for the rook. Second-guessing herself was just as dangerous as not evaluating every move. If her opponent took her bait, she could save her friends and the others. Her mind refused to think of the possibilities of torture they would endure as a consequence of a failed calculated risk.

“Check,” an evil laugh came from her opponent as he captured her rook.

Corissa studied the board carefully, wanting to be absolutely certain her plan was operational. She looked up at her opponent, repulsed by the evil she saw in his eyes. Never before had a chess game taken this much of her mental energy, this much of her heart. “For my friends, especially for Brock,” she thought as she moved her pawn diagonally to the spot from which her rook had just been captured. “Promote it to a queen.” The calm in her voice surprised even herself. “Check Mate.”

Bobbi Jo feared going to her mailbox, especially on Mondays. There was no logic to the trend that brought rejection letters to her mailbox on Monday more often than any other day, but the trend existed. Over the last year, she’d been submitting writing articles more frequently, bringing more rejection letters. She’d had a few things published, but the acceptance letters were outnumbered by tiring rejections.

Reaching into the mailbox, Bobbi Jo took a deep breath and said a prayer for emotional endurance of what she would find. Her mail contained eight envelopes; two bills and six from publishers. She cautiously opened each one, bracing herself for the worse. Two of the five were rejection letters. One asked to see the full manuscript of her book. The remaining three letters informed her when her articles would be published. Mondays weren’t so bad after all.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Dowd 22 Jul 2008
I forgot to say thank you for your comment on the Memory Challenge, "John Three Sixteen." Thanks! It meant a lot to me...Helen
Helen Dowd 22 Jul 2008
Yes, Joannie, I see the progress here. Good stuff! I spotted the one mistake, but someone else pointed out this minor "eye-passover", as I call it...And yes, I too know about those rejection letters...But it takes only ONE acceptance letter for you to be on your way to becoming a published author...I did it, so can you. (Maybe you already have!) And you are obviously much younger than I am...Keep up the great work.(I wrote an article called, "The Right to Write Responsibly" -- similarity in title, but not in content.)..Helen
LauraLee Shaw 30 Jan 2008
Yes, I got it immediately. This is fabulous. Also makes me excited to think that maybe someday a positive letter will come in my mailbox along with the rejection ones. ;0
Jan Ackerson  30 Jan 2008
Excellent, Joanney! I love the progression of this writer's work. I wish I had thought of this idea; it's very clever.
Joanne Sher  30 Jan 2008
Very clever, Joanney - I DID get it. (and it feels good to comment on an entry this week - even if it didn't make the challenge.)
Pam Carlson-Hetland 30 Jan 2008
This is a very creative piece, Joanney. I got it. The progression is so evident. Excellent writing.
Sara Harricharan  24 Jan 2008
I have to say that I like it, even though I don't really 'get' the whole piece. The different glimpses in between the different people, made it easy for the reader to connect with at least one of them. Great stuff! ^_^
Edy T Johnson  24 Jan 2008
Very clever! I see the development of a writer, learning the basics, the ABCs, moving on through school assignments to writing actual stories. The "rite" or ceremony the writer passes through to accomplishment is so creatively demonstrated, here. Your title is perfect, and you definitely "show" rather than "tell" the reader your subject. Great job, Joanney. I'm so sorry your computer was down so you didn't get this into the challenge.
Valora Otis 24 Jan 2008
If I had just read the title first I would have understood better! Silly me! I really liked watching this writer develop. It was like looking into a mirror of my childhood. Thanks for showing us rather than telling us how this came to be. Good writing Joanney!
Gerald Shuler  24 Jan 2008
Too bad this missed the challenge. It would certainly have been another one better than mine. I really enjoyed the progression of this one.
Catrina Bradley  24 Jan 2008
Oh, yah, I get it. This is very creative and PERFECTLY on topic. This writer learned to crawl, practiced (obviously), and ended up with success. VERY good. Pink ink (cuz it's not major enough to be red): "say" was supposed to be "saw" here: "her eyes say her house." Beautifully done. So sorry about your internet problems!!


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