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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Editor (05/27/10)

TITLE: The Refiner's Fire
By Jody Day


The Refiner’s Fire

“He cut you up into little pieces!” the author cried.

“I know, I feel like a sales flyer on coupon day. I had it coming though, don’t you think?” the story said.

“No! I thought you were some of my best work. I don’t know where to begin. I hardly recognize you,” the author whined.

“Well, for starters you could correct the spelling. Then the distractions will be out of the way and you can start fixing me,” the story said.

“But I used the spell checker. How could I have missed all those misspelled words and grammatical errors?”

The story shuddered. “I hate that thing. It’s so humiliating, scanning over me and suggesting dumb changes. It wants you to capitalize every first word of a sentence, it’s so clueless. I feel violated after you run me through that thing. Besides, it only catches what you misspell because your right hand is faster than your left on the keyboard. You spent all that money on that fancy dictionary and those grammar manuals. You should crack them open once in a while. Come on, get to work.”

“You are a mere skeleton of my original idea. I will totally have to rethink you,” the author complained.

“Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones….now hear de word o’ de Lord,” the story sang.

“Oh, great, mock me.”

“Well, if you aren’t going to revise me, I might as well sing. De leg bone connected to de foot bone…”

“Oh all right, back to the drawing board.”

“That’s the spirit. Don’t be too hard on the Editor. He only wants the dross to rise to the top so I can be as pure as possible; do the most good. It’s a good idea, Author, but you just need a little refining. Help me, I want to shine. I have work to do out there in the world.”

“My mind is blank. I don’t know what to do now,” the author said, staring into space.

“I noticed you haven’t prayed much over me. Where do you think you got the idea from in the first place? The Creator is just waiting to help you develop me into a kingdom tool. Ask him. I’m freezing with all these holes in me,” the story said, shivering.

Six months later…

“Story, you are published in a magazine, a national magazine no less,” Author crooned.

“I know, and I’ve seen the world and have been translated into three languages. Hola, Bon Jour, Ciao!”

“Smarty pants, but have you done any good?”

“Well, thanks to the Creator, the Editor and you there have been some interesting developments. I wish you could see their faces when they read me,” Story said.

“Me too,” Author sighed.

“There have been thousands of little “seed planting” changes in peoples lives, you know, line upon line. We contributed to what the Lord was already doing in their lives. For some it is a beginning, for others a continuing, and for some it is full blown fruit bearing,” Story said, beaming.

“Good to hear,” Author replied, tears welling up.

“I’ll just tell you one more specifically. The magazine was sitting on a table in a hotel room. A very sad looking man checked into the room. He put several bottles of pills on the table and got a glass of water. He noticed the magazine on the table and picked it and read me. He dripped tears all over me. I think it was the part where your character finds out about the unconditional love of God. I think he was changed. More importantly, he picked up the Creator’s Book and started to read after he finished me. That’s the goal, right? Point them to the Creator? He flushed the pills down the commode.”

The author could not speak. He lovingly picked up the pages of his story and put them away. He gathered the story he was working on and shipped it off to his Editor with a very nice thank you note. He knew his current story was probably full of dross, but he looked forward to the skimming process.

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This article has been read 698 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ashley Nicole 06/03/10
Ah, I must share the irony to glorify God. Your article was about the Lord using our writing to point people to Him and God used your article to direct and encourage me on a few issues in my life right now. Thank you. Your writing read like you've been published already. I did wonder if there was a reason between the alternating capitalization of "story" and "author." Your piece to me was very well-crafted, effective, and instructive without being preachy.
Ashley Nicole 06/03/10
Oh, if you're inclined to respond, how did you indent your paragraphs?
Sandra Carter06/03/10
This was a pleasant, eye opening story, with humor and purpose.
Dusti (Bramlage) Zarse06/04/10
Fantastic. You had me laughing several times, and you definitely put the job of the editor in a positive light! I thought this was great writing. Well done.
Jan Ackerson 06/04/10
Extremely creative--I'd never thought about my stories' feelings about being worked over!

I notice that a previous commenter asked about indenting. Actually, it's preferred that you keep HTML to a minimum--just italics, bold, centering. If your piece should get an EC, the editor (yep, the editor!) has to remove all of the HTML code manually.

Loved the back-and-forth between your two main characters. Very well done.
Karen Laskowsky06/04/10
If stories could talk to their authors, this might very well be what they would say.

A nice and lighthearted way to look at the editing process.

Also a nice reminder that we just don't know how what we write touches another.
Mildred Sheldon06/06/10
What a unigue way of writing about an editor. I enjoyed this very much. Good job and God bless.
Amanda Brogan06/10/10
I think this is every Christian writer's dream and goal for their stories . . . to make a difference in people's lives, always pointing them closer to Christ. I know it's mine. And I can tell it's yours too. ;)

Thanks for a wonderful story with a home run message.

Congrats on getting Third!