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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Encouragement (02/23/12)

TITLE: My Grandma Dorothy
By Vicki J. Cypcar


My Grandma Dorothy was my kindred spirit. She was an accomplished pianist and writer. From the time I could write she encouraged me to keep a journal. While growing up I kept in touch with her through writing letters. In return she would send me beautiful typewritten letters, always on stationary with little violets on it – her favorite flower.
Although my grandma has been gone several years now, I am still deeply inspired by her. I sometimes feel that she is close. One day I found a shoebox full of all the letters she wrote to me over the years…all yellowed from the passage of time. Her poetic prose tugged my heartstrings and resuscitated my dream of becoming a writer.
In March of 2011, I handed over my employee ID badge of my employer. The heavy glass double doors closed and locked behind me. I crossed the parking lot and got into my Honda exactly the same way I had for six years. I didn’t shed a single tear. It was a heavily contemplated resignation. After all it had become routine and safe, with a weekly paycheck. But I knew it was time to move on. Why? Because over the course of my life the author in me was dying. The routine work week had extinguished the fire in my heart to write happy endings and I yearned to awaken from my vertical coma.
That was nearly a year ago and I have been writing ever since. New doors have opened, opportunities have knocked… and I’m writing. I am not out to be the next J.K. Rowling. If anything I have learned just how many people love to write, whether it is strictly for recreation or striving to pen the next bestseller.
Grandma Dorothy knew I was a writer long before I did, and she was the one who demonstrated to me how magical words could be. Nobody could ever replace my grandma but I find comfort in communicating with other writers. I suppose we are all kindred spirits, encouraging one another on this rugged path – one word at a time.

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Member Comments
Member Date
PamFord Davis 03/01/12
Complicated story to share: Two of my cousins married (the bride was an "adopted child" so it was accepted). As a result, there was no change of the last name! Their children had to refer to their grandparents by using first names. My cousin often referred to her "Grandma Dorothy!" I enjoyed your salute to yours!
Donna Wilcher03/02/12
What a beautiful legacy your precious grandmother left behind in you. Your strength of character to walk away from what most see as security into your life's calling is to be commended. Thanks for sharing this lovely story!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/08/12
Oh you are so right it takes a special person to be a writer. It's not easy to write down your most intimate thoughts and share them with a world of strangers.

I can tell your grandma was a very dear person to you but I would have liked to have known more about her. Because she will always be vivid and alive in your mind, you'll have to work extra hard to transfer that spunk onto paper for the reader to feel like they too knew Grandma. The best way to make your character come alive is to show the reader what she was like. Paint a vivid picture. Grandma rocked in her chair, her pen and paper tucked beneath her cushion. When thought came over her, she'd whip out her pen and write furiously. Something like that will give the reader a picture in their mind and make the character leap from the page.

I believe you have tons of delightful stories that only you can tell. The best way to get them out is to write, write and write.