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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Writer's Challenge (NOT the FaithWriters Challenge) (06/10/10)

TITLE: Writing Time
By Karen Laskowsky


Karen pulled the little notebook out of her pocket and flipped it open. She sighed as she turned several pages filled with hasty scrawls. She had several day’s worth there and hoped that maybe today she’d find the time to get them transcribed into her ideas file on the computer. If she were really fortunate, she’d not only got them transcribed, but then she’d get to the story idea that had been rolling around in her head for a day or so.

She jotted down the latest cute thing that came out of the mouth of her two-and-a-half year old son. Since the day he spoke his first word, and then sentences, that boy had been a treasure trove of “Kurtisms”. Even at his young age, he had a way of saying things that were not necessarily wrong, they were just different. He gives me so much to work with, she thought.

“Mom! Kurt’s in my room again! No Kurt! I told you to leave my stuff alone! Now get out of my room! I have to get ready for school! Mom!”

Karen went into Katie’s room to redirect her son’s attention toward breakfast. “”Come with me, Kurt, Oscar’s on, and your cereal’s ready to eat.”

Turning to her daughter, she said, “Katie, when you’re finished getting dressed, go eat your breakfast while I take my shower.”

Out of the shower, she drove Katie to preschool and took Kurt with her to run errands and do the grocery shopping. After putting away the groceries, it was almost time to pick up Katie and have lunch.

Over lunch, Karen managed to squeeze in a short devotion with the children, and then it was time for naps. Both Katie and Kurt hated taking naps, but naptime was Karen’s respite. Most of the time, only one child would sleep, and the other would remain awake fooling around, or making noise to wake the other one up. Today was the same.

Karen cast a longing glance at the computer as she decided out of desperation to try to get the kids to fall asleep by going for a drive. Without naps, they would both be cranky by dinnertime.

Karen drove them around the neighborhoods in her town. The slow pace put both kids to sleep in about fifteen minutes. When she was sure the children were really down, she parked the car in the shade, opened the windows and pulled out the notebook.

Just as she began to put a few words on paper, someone’s car alarm went off. Kurt woke up, and no matter how much she drove around, he was not going back to sleep. Resigned, Karen drove back home, and by then Katie was awake too.

In the afternoon, there was laundry to do, stories to read, fights to break up, playgrounds to play in, dinner to be made, and then before she knew it, Karl was home from work and it was time for dinner.

After dinner, it was a family walk, bath time, bed time for the kids and finally time to get the dishes done. Karen plunked herself down in a chair and spent about an hour yawning her way through a conversation with Karl before crawling, exhausted, into bed.

Today, like most days, the best she could hope for was to take a few hasty notes in a growing pile of notebooks. On a very good day, she might get her notes transcribed. What Karen didn’t know was one day, in a not so busy time, those notes would be the inspiration for all kinds of stories and articles.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lizzy Ainsworth06/17/10
Oh gosh, I know how you feel. I'm not a Mum, yet but that will happen in the next few years. However, I was governess to 11 children under 11 earlier this year and I basically didn't even try to write until I went home for a few days.
I hope you found all sorts of inspirations from your kids, I know I did when I was governessing.
Dee Yoder 06/20/10
Yes--this is a perfect description of most writer's lives! Time to edit, time to write, time to contact publishers/agents, etc. etc. etc...never time for it all! I felt the pain of this busy writer's life. Great story.
Catrina Bradley 06/20/10
Very well written! The mom's story flows well from morning til night, and it kept my attention throughout. I like the ending - gives me motivation to keep scribbling hasty notes for "some day".
Joanne Sher 06/20/10
Really love the hope at the end of this - and I can SO relate to this. Enjoyed this piece.
Brenda Shipman 06/20/10
Such a vivid account of a typical day. Great job conveying the desire to write, along with the frustrations that accompany life as a mother to young children (I remember those days so well!) Only two typos in first paragraph: several days' (apostrophe goes after the "s"), and got should be get in last sentence. No big deal, and did not distract at all from grabbing my attention and holding it to the end. I can't imagine you staying in beginners' level very long!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/21/10
Oh you did a wonderful job describing a mother's busy day. It was all quite vivid and I could easily see it playing out.
Mildred Sheldon06/21/10
I can only imagine how a mother would find time to write while taking care of kids, house and all the in between chores. You did a fantastic job in putting the writers life into perspective.
Sharon Eastman06/23/10
As the grandmother of a 2 1/2 girl, I can identify with the "Kurtisms." Most are adorable and unforgetable. You have accurately described the life of a busy homemaker/writer, who has a challenge with writing time.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/25/10
Congratulations on placing in the top 8 of your level.