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

TITLE: Deadlines, Delays and Determination
By Beth B


It was a warm summer day. After running a few errands, I headed for home. It was after one o’clock before I turned on my laptop. My focus was not to check on emails, but to revise my story for submittal. Today was the deadline. My husband was working from home. We had different agendas – both needing to stay focused.

“Something is wrong with the computer,” remarked my husband.

I heard what he said, but really wasn’t paying close attention. He had an older computer, so I just assumed his browser crashed or surfing the Internet was going slower than usual. I was working in Microsoft Word and wasn’t on the Internet. I had a deadline … I needed to stay focused.

My husband disappeared and was gone for awhile. Really, I did notice. I turned, as he plopped into his chair and cupped his hands behind his head … and sighed. He captured my attention.

“I just talked with an AT&T representative. He confirmed that our wireless Internet portal is dead.”

“You mean kaput … done … as in no Internet connection?”

“Yep. We won’t have access to the Internet until Monday. That’s when the new portal will be delivered.” His problem had become our problem.

Today is Wednesday. Four to five days without Internet access – that would be a challenge. My piece needed to be submitted before midnight. All my hard work would be to no avail, if I didn’t acquire Internet access before the end of the day. What could I do? My mind began mulling, searching for possible solutions.

Wednesday is our “sharing day”. Although I hadn’t come up with any solution for my dilemma, we still had our sharing time. It’s our time of sharing Bible passages that have touched us during the week or other helpful information related to the writing life. It’s a time for encouragement and learning. I couldn’t concentrate. I was still mulling possible solutions. We could go by the library, but they close at five. That wouldn’t work. My husband could send it tomorrow morning from his office, but that would be too late. It needed to be sent today.

“Hey, I have an idea. Starbucks has free wireless Internet connection.”

There is one close to the house. I was overjoyed … a solution. Thank you Lord.

Immediately after dinner, we drove to Starbucks with my trusty laptop safely sitting on my lap.

Then the fun began. We sat in the car, parked in front of Starbucks. My husband was in the driver’s seat, and I the passenger. Although it was evening, the sun hadn’t set yet. It was still warm. The sun shined directly on us, which made it difficult to see the computer screen. My husband held up a towel to block the sun rays.

“I’m getting sun-burned. I might need to rub on some sun screen,” he said.

I began laughing.

“I’m sweating; I’m going to need another shower,” he teased.

I laughed so hard, my body shook. I could hardly function. But one must not be deterred … I had a pressing deadline.

“I think they’re closing soon. The employees are cleaning up inside the café."

I looked up. Sure enough, employees were bringing in chairs and tables from outside.

“What time is it?” I asked.

“It’s 7:50.”

They must close at 8. I have ten minutes. All this time I prayed, Lord, help me finish and send this before they close. After formatting the story, rereading it one last time – I sent it – with only a few minutes to spare. By the way, it was one of the stories I submitted to Faith Writers.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jeanne E Webster 06/19/10
Enjoyed your story about last minute submissions and could sense the need for haste. I bet many of us have been through the final dash to submit. They say it's good practice in meeting deadlines, and that is certainly true.

Your writing skills are very good and the story nicely developed. It is shortened up a bit much and would love to read it in a fuller format. Blessings.
Dee Yoder 06/20/10
Ha ha ha! I could really relate to this story! Life without Internet is daunting, to say the least, for a writer. I was very engaged in the story line and characters.
Mildred Sheldon06/23/10
Oh how I can relate to your story. I think most writers have been there and when the situation is over you breathe a gigantic sigh of relief. Good job.