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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Achievement (03/08/12)

TITLE: Where There's a Will, There's Always a Way!
By Laura Manley


Call it what you will, but Sandy called it one of her biggest achievements.

She grew up with a dad who wouldn’t quit at anything. He was not an educated man, having only gone through the seventh grade; however, he was a very learned man. Once Sandy’s dad got going on a project, there was no stopping him. She was glad that was the legacy he had left her.

Sandy was passionate about sewing so when her fancy-schmancy sewing machine went on the fritz, she was beside herself.

“Brad,” she said in an almost whiny voice. “I need to take my sewing machine in for repair? I don’t know what’s going on but it just made a noise like it was an alligator chopping away at his prey and it won’t feed my fabric through!”

Brad was sitting at the computer when Sandy made the plea for her sewing machine. He didn’t move from what he was doing. Sandy knew better than to ask him then, so waited until dinner; but no matter how she pleaded, the answer was no.

Sandy was the only Christian in the home and when Brad heard about what Sandy was doing for the church or for the ladies of the church, he didn’t take kindly to it. Now Sandy was asking to have her sewing machine repaired and as far as Brad was concerned, he was certain it had something to do with the church.

Sandy didn’t pursue the matter; she knew better. But she drew on her dad’s determination and she was going to get that sewing machine fixed, if she had to do it herself.

She figured the problem was in the feed dogs on the machine which pushed the fabric through when she sewed, so that figured out; she would go online to help resolve the problem.

After Sandy knew Brad was asleep that night, she slipped out of the bedroom very carefully. She shuffled down the hallway in her slippers and zipped her bathrobe up as she went to what had become her sewing room. The research Sandy had done earlier in the evening hadn’t produced the results she needed. So, she knew what she had to do next. When in doubt…read the instructions! She found her manual sitting on the edge of the cutting table in her sewing room. She sat down for some serious reading!

Sandy went through several chapters when all of a sudden, she had an ah-hah moment! The feed dogs weren’t working properly because she needed to push the button that lifted the needle automatically! ‘It’s amazing what you learn when you read the instructions,’ she thought as a smile started to form.

The next morning, Sandy got Brad to remove the screws she thought she needed loosened. When she went to replace them later, she faced another problem! One of the screws dropped down into the machine and Sandy couldn’t retrieve it. Now what?

Sandy was not going to quit now! After trying to use the machine with only one screw and discovering that wasn’t working, she decided to buy some new screws the next day.

Sandy’s first stop the next morning was the local hardware store. The man who helped her had just the size screw she needed; however, they were too long. She didn’t want to go to the specialty store he suggested so she put on her “Martha Stewart” hat and took the 98 cent package of screws home. She would get a screw the length she needed or die trying.

By the time she got home, Sandy had managed to figure out exactly what she was going to do. She loved her dad for having taught her the perseverance he had used in so many instances. Out came the wire cutters! They had seen Sandy through many things and she was hoping they wouldn’t fail her now.

Out into the garage she marched and after only two screws…SUCCESS! She knew she could do it and she did! She marched into the dining room where her momentarily useless sewing machine sat in its temporary home. She tightened the new screw first and voila…it worked like a charm!

As an accomplished repair person by now, Sandy sat back rather proud of herself and knew her dad would feel that same pride if he knew of her achievement! ‘Thank you, dad!’ she thought as she pulled her chair up closer to start her next sewing project!

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This article has been read 417 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/17/12
I really admired your mc's perseverance. The details made it sound like it was a true story. I enjoyed following her steps to achievement.
Catrina Bradley 03/17/12
I'm so proud of Sandy! She sounds like me - My husband (Brad, btw) calls me tenacious. Tiny red ink - try not to over-use exclamation points - let your writing speak of the excitement and you won't need them. Great story!
Glynis Becker03/17/12
I wanted to cheer! A fun read with a great ending. There were a few spots where the action could have been "shown" rather than "told", but a wonderful entry all the same. Keep it up!
Amanda Brogan03/17/12
I loved Sandy's respect and good attitude toward her non-believer husband. I'm thinkin' that she may achieve more than sewing machine success that way! (1 Corinthians 7:16-17)

Good story. Your character is inspirational!
Allison Egley 03/17/12
I like this story.

I think you may have used the ! a bit too much. Generally speaking, they should be used VERY sparingly, and when you do use them, they should almost all be in dialogue. If you use it too much, it looses is punch when you really need it.

Nice job on this one. Keep writing.
Donna Wilcher03/17/12
I loved your MC's tenacity! She just didn't take "no" for an answer! Love it!

Great work, very well written all the way through!

PamFord Davis 03/18/12
I loved the perseverance in your MC and her references to her father. My Dad had little patience & a short temper- would have said something like, "Throw it out the window!" I'm so glad our heavenly Father has both the patience and the wisdom to fix us!
Joanne Sher 03/19/12
I love how she persevered through every step. If only I can be like that!
Geoffrey johnstone03/20/12
Simple story told in an interesting way. You have a talent for writing. I hope you keep it up.
C D Swanson 03/21/12
Yes! Great job...powerful execution, and totally on topic. WOnderful job.
Thank you for this.

God bless~