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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Funny (10/04/12)

TITLE: Check Your Emails
By Adele Threadgold
10/04/12


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I was doing the usual pottering around in my garden, which means I was talking with myself discussing my options, when I heard a voice suggesting I go in the house and check my emails. “Was that me?” I asked myself – which is not that funny if you know what I am like: always talking to myself. But why would I ask myself if that was me? Surely I would have known if I told myself to check my emails. Stranger than fiction.


Anyway I continued to potter on in the garden when I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Who was that?” I asked the trees around me…They didn’t answer surprisingly enough. How funny: first I´m hearing voices and now feeling taps on my back.


Feeling slightly unnerved I continued on cautiously, not knowing if I was losing my mind or not. I could feel fear setting in but when I remembered God´s word: Perfect love casts out fear and fear not I am with you.


So, I started declaring to the garden my boldness in God and continued on my way banishing the fear.
“Check your emails.” There is was again – a distinct voice coming from behind me… Oh err definitely going mad there´s no-one here.


By now I am trembling a little, so I decide to do something really bizarre, funny even, I answer: “Why do you want me to check my email?” – Silence of course, what did I expect? But at this point I could no longer concentrate on the gardening.


With boldness I put down my gardening tools and entered the house more like a mouse than a man. “Is anybody there?” A bit of a dumb question to ask – I know who is going to admit to being in my house?? “Be bold; be strong for the Lord your God is with you!!” I encouraged myself.


Feeling slightly braver, I approached the living room. “Check your emails”… There is was again… but I couldn’t see anyone. Who is talking to me? I wondered. Could it be an angel? But why would an angel tell me to check my email? There was only one way to find out… Go and check my emails.


I went timidly into the office that had the afternoon sun´s shadow cast over it. I opened the door as quietly as I could so as not to surprise the intruder. The door squeaked as it opened, I found myself holding my breath.


I inched in quietly thinking about what God had promised me…never will I leave you or forsake you and the Lord is my helper I shall not be afraid – what can man do to me.


With a sudden burst or valor I sprang into the room. It was empty but on the computer screen flashing in a bright blue color were the words “Check Your Emails .”


I moved a little closer to see a small play button on a virtual recorder illuminated next to a small announcement “free activated voice reminder” and a little post-it note left on the side of the screen – in my own hand writing:
Remember to turn off voice activated reminder before you go out.”


Ah that explains it I thought with an embarrassed chuckle… And the tap on my back? My back door keys tied around my neck so I didn’t forget where I´d put them. Funny


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lynn gipson 10/11/12
I love this story....an example of modern tech in our world. I changed my phone ring to the sound of children laughing and for days couldn't understand why I would hear the sound of happy, giggling children when I suddenly realized it was my cell phone ringing in another room! Well written and most enjoyable! Keep up the good work.
CD Swanson 10/11/12
Hahahahahahahahahaha. This was so clever and funny at once. Nicely done. Thanks.
God Bless~
Judy Sauer 10/11/12
Your story held my interest. It was easy to feel myself as you. Two words of advice:

1. Whenever quoting Scripture it is helpful for readers to know the reference and translation. Such as (Matthew 7:7 NIV)

2. Find creative ways to reword your writing. Too many "I" references have so much potential for creative writing. For example; rather than starting a sentence with I, find ways to rephrase so I isn't how you reference yourself.

This sentence:
I am gardening and heard a voice telling me to check my email.

Could be rephrased as:
While gardening one sunny spring day a message kept rewinding through my mind; go inside and check your email.

Keep writing and keeping the reader's desire to keep reading. Nice job!
Marie Hearty 10/12/12
I like how you made the story suspenseful and it made me want to keep reading. Well done.

God bless.
Jana Kelley10/12/12
Ha ha! This was great. Nicely done. I was in suspense. I kept wondering what was going to happen so I kept wanting to read. Ending was great...because we've all done silly things like that...or at least I have! Good job.
Noel Mitaxa 10/13/12
Well-written with a touch of suspense and self-deprecation. Great work.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/13/12
This was a fun story. I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat, eager to see how the mystery would unfold. I also liked how you made it a simple explanation. It wasn't the ending I was expecting and I always enjoy it when a story takes me somewhere I'm not anticipating. (I thought for sure the voice would alert the MC to some near disaster) By deviating from that path, you show the reader that God is with us in times of distress--but he is also near when we are just puttering around the garden.

You do have some wonderful showing lines but I'd encourage you to try to replace passive verbs like was with more active ones. By switching your lead sentence around just a bit, you could have a fantastic attention grabber. This is just an example to show you what I mean: While puttering in my garden, I heard a deep voice command me to check my email. The hair on the nape of my neck stood up as I spun around searching for the mystery intruder. Something like that will grab the reader's attention immediately while simultaneously painting a vivid picture.

This piece did have me smiling and chuckling. I was a bit dense about what the keys had to do with anything until someone in my mind clearly said Duh that's what felt like a tap--the keys must have jiggled and bumped the MC's back! :) So I totally can relate to the talking to one's self and having quite an animate conversation at that! I also liked how the MC could bring up so many Bible verses. It shows there is a reason why the Sunday School teachers have kids memorize verses. (Though make sure you reference them either in parentheses or with a * and a footnote. BTW footnotes don't go to the word count so it wouldn't send an entry over 750 words) You never know when you might need God's word to comfort you. I think you did a delightful job on this piece and I look forward to reading more of your stories. Nice job.
Garnet Miller 10/14/12
How funny! I often do things like that when I'm alone and then laugh.
CD Swanson 10/19/12
Congrats and God Bless~