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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)

TITLE: The Turning Point
By suzanne brook


Jane smiled as Mark walked into the room, for it made her realise that all she had strived for was in vain. As he took her hand and pulled her to her feet, her past endeavours fell to the floor. If only she had realised earthly endeavours were in vain when she was younger she would have taken a different path.

Jane had a gift of writing and loved spending time alone with nature, listening to the wind whisper sweetly through the trees to her heart on its way to some distant location. Spending time watching the clouds drift dreamily or the white crested waves caress the shore: oh! how her heart longed for these simpler times, but the words of her parents rang in her ears – that it was important to get a job, settle down and raise a family - these things take priority in life.

So she turned her back on her dreams and did what was expected of her. She went away to college, studied to be a nurse and gained recognition for being a leader; she was soon in a position of authority. Jane fell in love with Mark, married and had two children, but the marriage became window dressing as Jane was immersed in her work.

This all came tumbling down one day when her son, Andrew, was hit by a car on the way to school. Jane was called out of a meeting and was informed that Andrew was at the hospital; rushing to the intensive care ward she was told that Andrew was still in surgery. While sitting down and waiting for some news, she started to think about her past dreams. Looking up she saw Mark coming through the door; tearfully they embraced and comforted each other as they waited. Eventually the doctor came and told them that Andrew was going to be fine and they could see him in a little while.

This wake up call for Jane and Mark brought changes to their busy lifestyles and they started spending time listening to each other’s dreams for their lives. This new dimension to their relationship opened up the discussion of what is important and how could they achieve their dreams. They decided that a change of lifestyle was the way to go and get off the treadmill of society’s expectations and to explore other avenues.

When Andrew was discharged from hospital he came home to attentive parents. That was six years ago, and the search for the country change was long but they eventually found a retreat in the mountains north of the city where they could still work but at a slower pace than the city, and today Jane and Mark live happily in their country retreat with holidays by the sea so that all aspects of life can be appreciated to the full.

Jane and Mark assist at the school one day a week. Mark works with students having difficulty with woodwork, while Jane assists students with their writing and is co – editor for the school paper. To be able to assist students with their dreams was part of their change away from the constraints of society.

Jane sat daydreaming by the window thinking of all the twists and turns of life. Her thoughts were still riding on the crest of the wave as she heard the front door open and close, she turned to find Mark approaching, and he pulled her to her feet. They waltzed around the room so glad past endeavours had long since vanished as they lived out their dreams.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 02/01/08
I love the gentleness of this story.

There's a lot of "telling" here, and not as much "showing." As a writing exercise, consider doing a search on "showing, not telling" and re-working this piece.

It's a very strong story, and I'd love to see it polished up a bit. Your writing skills are very evident.
Laury Hubrich 02/02/08
I agree with Jan. This is very well-written. It would help if you added dialogue. Make an interaction with your characters. Keep on writing. You have the gift!
Marlene Austin02/02/08
Excellent portrayal of how life's crises often promote great changes. Nice job. :)