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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write something in the YOUNG ADULT or TEEN genre (06/07/07)

TITLE: The Eyes Have It
By Victoria Weathers


My name is Ashley Nichole. One of five Ashley Nicholes in our school’s senior class alone. I am the unattractive and disappointing progeny of my star athlete father, Rick, who was the captain of the 1983 State Champion Millerville Panthers football team and my, you guessed it, head cheerleader mom, Jennifer.

Mom and Dad are like celebrities in Millerville. They are adored by everyone. They’ve been together since the seventh grade. It’s enough to make even the sappiest of romantics hurl. Dad runs his own successful landscaping company and mom is his secretary slash bookkeeper. She has an eye for beauty and coordinating colors so she lends that talent to the R & J Landscaping Company as well.

I am a disappointment because I am, what most often is described as “husky” meaning that I am a size 9 in a size 3 world. My mother insists that “my body could match that lovely face of mine” if I would only be more active. The trouble is not laziness…it’s lack of coordination. I am a bit accident prone it seems. It is for the good of the team that I don’t try out.

My passion is painting. I love water colors. It is a tricky medium but I find it forgiving. I’ve learned to make flaws and accidents work for me instead of fighting them. I can get lost in my paintings creating a world where I fit in.

Everyone expected me to be the next star athlete or beauty queen. Somehow, I inherited the flawed end of the gene pool. Mousy brown hair, fair skin and when I say fair I mean my legs almost glow in the dark. My best feature is my blue eyes. That has given my mother hope. Her mantra with me has been “play up those gorgeous eyes.”
It seems every Christmas or birthday I will receive, among my other gifts, the newest, latest, greatest defining mascara to accentuate my one redeeming feature. Playing up my eyes does take attention off my mouth full of braces.

The braces are due to come off day after tomorrow. I can’t wait. I have to give Dr. Anderson props though. It seemed I had teeth coming from everywhere. In two years he has managed to get them to line up at attention. Some of those little soldiers didn’t want to fall into ranks and had to be coaxed. They waged their little war of discomfort but eventually Dr. Anderson won out and they straightened up. It was at the orthodontist office that Daniel and I started talking.

Daniel is a wrestler. He never noticed me in school, in spite of my “gorgeous eyes.” One day our appointments were scheduled at the same time. Our wait time had been longer because of some emergency that had to be worked in. My mom, always trying to propel me to the front lines socially struck up a conversation with him and his mom.

“Amanda Dixon! How are you? I haven’t seen you since the Fall Festival last year.”
“I’m doing great. Daniel is keeping me busy with his wrestling and all. I am sort of the team Mom…but you know how it is, any thing for Daniel.”
“Yes. We’ve tried to get Ashley to get involved in some extra curricular activities but you know how kids are…she won’t even consider it because and her parents suggested it.”

Did she just say “suggested it?” Daniel looked at me and smiled as I rolled my eyes. Mom and Dad had employed ever weapon in their arsenal from guilt, to bribery, a direct order. They only dropped it when I accidentally knocked over the Gatorade table while putting back on my hoodie after being benched for missing the volley ball and blooding Chloe Clark’s nose with the heel of my shoe. Apparently, I went into sort of a spin and my leg flew up…you get the picture. I was impressed secretly that I managed to get my leg up that high.
“Parents are a bit intense aren’t they?” Daniel said with a grin.

My heart skipped a beat. Daniel Dixon actually spoke to me. I’m not invisible after all.
“I know. Especially mine.” I could barely get the words out…what a dork I must sound like.
“Is that an IPod Nano you’ve got?” He said as he moved to the empty waiting room chair beside me.
“Yeah. I got it for my birthday along with some mascara.” Thanks Mom you are the greatest.

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This article has been read 517 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kristen Hester06/14/07
Cute and fun! I really like this one. The voice is real. I can relate to her feelings. Good job.
Joanne Sher 06/15/07
Great voice - it is right on! Wish you had more words to expand this - that dreaded word limit, eh? I noticed a couple of punctuation error, but nothing major. Great detail.
Catrina Bradley 06/16/07
Very cool entry. This sounds like a teen wrote it - so natural. Sad that 9 is considered "chunky". :( I read an entry about an anorexic before this one, and I see the connection. Love the last line!
Jacquelyn Horne06/19/07
Oh, the shyness of moving through teen years. Good story.
Mo 06/21/07
Yes, the voice is great. Good job!