Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Manuscript (04/29/10)
TITLE: wasted years
By Elizabeth Cain
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Maria was awakened when she heard the phone ringing. She stood shakily to her feet, wiping her tear stained cheeks with the back of her sleeve.
“Hello?” Her voice cracked as she spoke into the speaker.
“Good evening Maria, this is Amelia.” The cheery voice of her editor responded, “I just wanted to let you know that I have the papers for you to sign at the office. Do you want to come over now, or shall I hold on to them?”
“Amy, I don’t… I just...I don’t feel at ease about publishing my book.”
“What?!” Amy sounded shocked, “You have the makings of a best-seller on your hands! If you are worried that your writing needs to be polished—”
“It’s not the writing, it’s the story.”
“The story is amazing! What could you possibly not like about it?”
“It doesn’t correspond with my beliefs. I am a Christian, but I doubt you could tell by reading my story.”
“Maria,” Amelia said gently, “A writer’s job isn’t to share beliefs, but to tell a story. And the story you have is one of the best I’ve ever read.”
“All writers have a set of personal beliefs they follow, and they naturally portray that in their writing. I was wrong in thinking my writing didn’t have to match what I believed. I’m sorry Amy; I just can’t publish that story.”
“Are you absolutely sure about this? I mean, you once told me how much being an author meant to you. Are you really willing to let this opportunity pass you by?”
Maria had to hold back the tears. “I am positive. As much as I’d like to see my name on a cover, I’d rather have my name forgotten than preserved on a book that displeases God and pollutes my testimony.”
Amy sighed, “I think you are making a mistake, but if I can’t convince you otherwise I guess there is nothing left to say. I wish you luck with your writing, though. You have skill; don’t let that go to waste as well.”
“Thanks, Amy. I wish you the best too.”
Maria felt the tears run down her face as she hung up, but she felt a huge weight lifted from her heart. A smile spread across her face and she felt at peace. She went to her writing desk and after laying her Bible down she opened a new word document. Her fingers darted across the keyboard, her eyes transfixed to the screen as she made a second attempt at being an author. She paused and glanced over at the open Bible, reading the fifth chapter of Ephesians again. Simple and short as it was, the fourth verse stuck out to her the most. It read: “Obscene stories, foolish talk, and course jokes—these are not for you. Instead let there be thankfulness to God.”
(I used the NLT Bible for verse reference)
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