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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Writer’s Skill/Craft (04/22/10)



The early morning sun spilled across the pine wood floors, floors that had been scrubbed white over time, their tongues lying quietly in grooves. McKenna liked this old house because it inspired her. Every corner of this farmhouse held secrets, secrets hidden from her 21st century eyes. The pond behind the house was her asylum, her place to listen to the warm and float along the streams of remembrance. It was here that she could create and writing had now become her true passion.

She felt the pangs of anxiety creeping over her like a thousand sand fleas. The pendulum’s swing of the old oak schoolhouse clock on the den wall was a constant reminder that the revision of her article was fast coming due and she was stuck! Just a few short weeks ago she had heard from Highlights Magazine that her article about hummingbirds had been accepted. They had suggested some areas in the article that needed editing and every writer dislikes revisions.

She reached for her “writer’s notebook;” something that one of her teachers in her writing class had advised them to do. She kept it with her at all times. One can never know when or where an idea will pop up or when one will come across an article or story that may inspire at a later time. McKenna liked to develop scenes and she often jotted down metaphors that were strong enough to walk alone.

She went into documents on her computer and pulled up her article, “FLOWER KISSERS”. Reading it as if it were the very first time, she wanted to see it her through the editor’s eyes. The opening paragraph had been a good “hook” to draw the reader in. As she read the rest of the article she realized that there were some areas that desperately needed tightening up. A lot of what she had in the body of the article could be deleted, as it gave no real substance to the article itself. She now feared that she would be short on word count, but the revisions after having been completed gave strength to the article and actually enhanced it. The word count remained in the proper guidelines. Whew!

She recalled the words from one of her teachers, “If you want to write…WRITE. Do it every day and make certain that you carve out time in your day to have a quiet time that will be uninterrupted (if possible)”. Another thing she recalled was “write what you know”. Those were some important and useful tips that McKenna had integrated into her writing repertoire.

She printed out the revision, tucked it into a manila envelope and placed it on the foyer table to be taken to the post office in the morning. Now she felt the adrenalin rush, one task accomplished and the birthing of a concept for another article began to take root in her mind as if it were a living organism.

She poured another cup of coffee; it’s aroma exhilarating, and with her “writer’s notebook” in hand she sat in front of her computer. Her fingers twitched with excitement in anticipation of typing words, sentences and paragraphs, creating a concept into a living-breathing story. Words last forever! Even Jesus said, “heaven and earth will pass away but my words will last forever”. She hugged herself, pulling her blue cable knit sweater close to her thin body and smiling she whispered, “I am a writer.”

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This article has been read 434 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 04/30/10
It's amazing to have something you've written published! I hope you go far.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/30/10
This is really great. You hit the nail right on the head and gave writers some excellent advice.
Theresa Santy 04/30/10
This piece was beautifully written, and you have a strong talent for similies and metaphors. In Par. 1, the sentence beginning with "The pond behind the house.." -loved this!

I also loved the paragraph, which began, "She recalled the words from.." I thought this captured important elements of writing.

But my favorite paragraph is the last one. And my favorite sentence was one that included: pangs of anxiety...like a thousand sand fleas--soo perfectly descriptive.

The only thing I can think of to strenghen this essay is to chop off the first paragraph. What?! It's so beautiful, with such exquisite writing. I agree, but, the action, power, and emotion begins with paragraph 2. If you absolutely couldn't bear to part with it (which I understand, since I myself, LOVE this paragraph), I would place it after paragraph 2, where it would follow "...jotted down metaphors, which..." Then, this paragraph would become a fabulous example of (her) magnificent metaphors.

But, even without the change, this is a beautiful, well-crafted piece, and a joy to read.

And, I loved the title Flower Kissers! What a clever name for a hummingbird article.
AnneRene' Capp05/01/10
You have a beautiful flair for words and you knit them together so eloquently. You pulled me into your account and I felt all that you had to say as if it were me.

And whatever you do with the first paragraph....definitely don't get rid of but like Theresa said, incorporate it!
Jan Ackerson 05/03/10
You definitely ARE a writer!

Ironically, the paragraphs that descriibed her writing process didn't grab me as much as the ones at the beginning and at the end. Maybe some more editing is in order?

The last paragraph in particular did exactly what it was intended--it felt "settled" and just right.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/06/10
Congratulations in placing in the top 10 in your level.