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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)

TITLE: Total Immersion
By Carole Robishaw


“Liz, set the table for me.”

“Liz, I need you to set the table, now!”

What am I going to do with that girl, trying to get her attention is nearly impossible. Walking into the other room, I called again, “Eliza T, I’m not calling you again.” Sigh, I should have known.

Eliza T was sitting up on the edge of the couch as if a string was attached to the top of her head, clutching her book, eyes rushing over the page, and breathing fast.


“I know, Grandma, I know. Please, they just found an important clue and they almost have the case solved.”

“That’s nice, but it’ll still be in exactly the same place five minutes from now, after you’ve set the table. Now, put the book down and come help me,” I commented over my shoulder as I walked back into the kitchen.

“Yes m’am,” as Liz reluctantly complied. “I’m sorry, but I just needed another few minutes. I was almost at the end of the chapter.”

“You know, child, you are so much like me, it scares me sometimes. I would rather bury myself in a good mystery than eat or sleep, or just about anything. Your grandpa often tells me he could set an atom bomb off under my chair and I would just say, ‘in a minute, just one more minute’ and keep on reading for another hour, or more. But, there comes a time when you have to learn that there are priorities, and getting our dinner is one of them.”

“I know, and I’m really hungry, too, dinner smells wonderful.”

“Humph, hold that butter for the biscuits, not me.” I turned my face away, to hide my grin while trying to sound stern. “Grandpa expects dinner on time, and you have to help me if you want to spend your summer here, that was the agreement, you help with the chores, and you get to spend the summer immersed in my library.”

“Immersed, that’s a strange word, it sounds like I’m going to drown in books. Or be soaked in them like you do the dishes. Immerse…hmm…”

“Immerse like when you were baptized.” I quipped. “Or totally absorbed into something, extreme concentration, like when we read.”

“Oh Grandma, I love to be immersed in a book, to become part of the book. My heart races as they rush to solve the clues, or someone is threatened, and I’m worried they won’t discover the danger in time. I feel like I’m right there with them, it’s so hard to leave it, even long enough for dinner.”

“I know, Liz, many a night I’ve sat up all night reading, because I just had to know ‘who dunnit’ before I could sleep. I noticed you had a flashlight under your covers in bed last night. Good thing this is summer, and you don’t have to get up early for school.”


“Ahh, potatoes and gravy, pass me the gravy please, Liz,” Grandpa asked as he held out his hand for the pitcher.

“Are you going to smother your potatoes, Grandpa?” Liz asked as she giggled. “Or are you going to submerge them?”

“What’s this? Is this some new game you’re playing?”

“We were talking about the words immerse and concentration, and all the ways they can be used.”

“Immerse, well, how about absorbed? Did either of you come up with that, I get to see a perfect example of it every time one of you picks up something to read, be it a book or a cereal box, or whatever has words on it.”

“Yes, Grandma already got me on that one.”

“What about plunge? You plunge into your reading! Or bury, as in ‘your nose is buried in another book’?” I piped up, chuckling.

“Oh, I have another one,” Liz cried, “Engage, as in totally engaged in the plot.”

“Or there’s always dip or dunk” Grandpa stated as he flourished his gravy dunked biscuit.

“Well, I think we better concentrate on our dinner, as I have a freshly baked apple pie cooling on the shelf for desert,” I laughed. “And we can plunge our forks into the pie after we smother it with homemade ice cream, and then we’ll need to sink into a comfortable chair while everything settles into place.”

Grandpa then retorted “I think we have been deluged enough with words, lets apply some concentration to our food. I think we’ve compacted enough into this dense conversation.”

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This article has been read 651 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 08/02/08
I enjoyed the banter here. Nice job with the dialog.
Chely Roach08/04/08
This was very cute. I loved Liz, and her inability to put down a book...most of us here can probably relate:) Good job!
Laury Hubrich 08/04/08
Very good job! Loved it and could totally relate!
Tim George08/04/08
Good use of dialogue Carole. My Grandmother loved to play word games at the dinner table as well. Hang in there my dear Watcher.:)
Marlene Austin08/04/08
I totally related with Liz - I can't put a mystery down, either. :) You really gave your characters depth. Nice job. :)
Edmond Ng 08/05/08
Reminds me of the verse ...

But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body. (Ecclesiastes 12:12 NAS)

Interesting way of conveying the need to concentrate. A very good read with a sense of humor ... lets apply some concentration to our food. LOL (",)

Julie Seeto08/05/08
This was a fun read. I could really relate to Liz - I had wanted to live in the school library when I was much younger.
Karen Wilber08/05/08
This was fun, really fun, to read. I enjoyed all the different words and synonyms and shades of meaning --and you made their banter seem so natural. Cool.
Lyn Churchyard08/06/08
Carole, this is one of the best I've read this week. The dialogue was real and the characters engaging. I can so relate to the Grandmother. My 13 year old granddaughter is a twin to Eliza. She would also rather read than do anything else. Well done.
Yvonne Blake 08/06/08
(smile) Having fun with synonyms? I was that way too..reading into the night under the covers.
I liked all the dialogue.
Well done!
Deborah Engle 08/06/08
Great fun!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/06/08
I love wordplay and reading--obviously, I was submerged in your story.
Sharlyn Guthrie08/06/08
This made me so hungry! I also enjoyed reading it. i like the relationship portrayed between the girl and her grandparents.