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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Start (01/16/06)

TITLE: A New Day's Commencement
By Rachel Rudd


After years of waking before the first rays of dawn, the habit was hard to break. Emily slowly stood up from the low bed and walked to the kitchen. She grabbed her morning coffee and her Bible and found her cozy chair overlooking the back yard.

Normally, she would read for quite a while before she began to speak to the Lord. This morning, however, she could not focus on the words. Instead her mind began to turn back the hands of time and remind her of former joys and sorrows.

She thought of when she first met her husband and their quick engagement and wedding. How she rejoiced when she discovered she was pregnant four months later! Their decision for her to remain at home to take care of the family had been an easy one. Then the years passed quickly as three more children arrived in short order after the first. Suddenly they were starting school and, just as quickly, it seemed they were finished. How she treasured those times of wiping away tears, soothing a hurt ego, and even comforting broken hearts!

But now they were all either settling into homes of their own or finishing college. Her heart rejoiced at their accomplishments but especially at their character. Not one of them had ever strayed from the Lord or Biblical principles.

Something felt amiss, though. Her memory once again brought her back to her younger years when she was in school. While the others her age wanted success and money, she remembered the longing in her heart to do something worthwhile-she wanted to teach.

The first sight of dawn began to appear as sparkling diamonds on the horizon.

How wonderful it must be to see the light of learning glow in a child's eyes! How great it would be to be the one to turn on the switch!

Long fingers of sunshine began to stretch out over the edge of the world.

Why could she not still fulfill that dream? She had been an avid reader over the years. She always loved to learn and even followed along in her children's academic work.

A fiery head peeked over the edge of the world shining its first bright light.

Would it be possible for her to get accepted into a college at her age? What would the other young collegiates say? She decided she did not care. She knew what her goal was and she knew what she had to do.

The sun finally broke from its sleepy awakening and burst forth in full splendor to start the day.

She would go down to the local college and get an application today.

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This article has been read 1132 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 01/24/06
Good for Emily! If you expand this, be sure to add some conflict, which increases your readers' interest. It reads like the first chapter of a book...well done.
Karen Heslink01/26/06
I agree with Jan's comment. This does sound like the beginning of a book! If you decide to continue this writing, I suggest you present some of the dfifficulties of getting into college and develop the inward conflict Emily has over going back to school.Empty nester moms returning to school is very common today, and if you live near a college it would be easy to do some live interviewing of older students. I hope you decide to continue the story!
Maxx .01/30/06
Congrats on your win! The first is always the sweetest! Polished style and smooth delivery. You hit the theme dead on. I'd have liked to see a little more "showing" vs "telling".. but that's just my style preference. Loved the images of the sunrise. Perfect.
Betsy Tacchella02/01/06
Nice story. It resonates with my own journey. At 63 I'm working on my Masters. It's never too late to follow a dream.
Deborah Porter 04/23/06
Hi there!

I'm just preparing all the winning entries for inclusion in the FaithWriters' Anthology for last quarter, and need to get a short bio note from you (written in the third person), to include with our "Meet Our Authors" section. If you are at all unsure what to write, it may be worth checking some of the bio notes at the end of the articles at FaithWriters' Magazine (http://www.faithwritersmagazine.com). Once you have your bio note ready, could you please send it through to me at debporter@breathfreshair.org

Thanks for that. Look forward to hearing from you.

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator and Editor, FaithWriters' Magazine)
Angela Logsdon07/12/06
I love the imagery in this story. A sunrise is very difficult to describe and you did it beautifully. It really spoke to me.