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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Happy (07/12/07)

TITLE: One Moment of Happiness
By Cathy Kane


Tick, tick, tick….Cate rolled over and stared at the bedside clock in disbelief. She had been lying in bed, wide awake, for hours…mentally reviewing every sentence, weighing every word, considering every punctuation mark. Oh, gee! She hoped she had not used too many exclamations points! She was a sucker for explanation points, but the judges didn’t like them. She stuffed a pillow over her face and groaned out loud.

“Will this night ever end?” she moaned. “This is when it pays to live in the Pacific Northwest. I can see the results at 6:00 a.m. rather than 8:00 like my Southern friends.”

Cate crept out of bed and found her robe. She would tiptoe into the kitchen and make a cup of tea, without disturbing her husband. Then, she would read for a while. Kate took a cautious step forward only to feel herself tumbling over Rainy Day, her Old English sheepdog, who had decided to camp out on her side of the bedroom floor for the night.

“Whoa,” she cried as her arm hit the night stand, knocking off a pile of books.

Frank tumbled out of bed in alarm, as Rainy Day barked wildly. “What going on?” Frank bellowed in a tone that set the cats flying from the foot of the bed. “Cate, are you okay? It’s the middle of the night. Why aren’t you sleeping? You said that you were exhausted.”

Cate looked sheepishly at her husband and apologetically at her dog. She rubbed her arm. Thank God, it was only bruised.

“I’m sorry, Frank. But, it is Wednesday night,” Cate replied, as if that explained everything.

Frank sighed heavily. “Come back to bed, Cate. You can’t keep stressing this way, even if it is Wednesday night. I thought that you were going to pray about your attitude.”

“Oh, I have prayed repeatedly, Frank,” Cate assured him dramatically, climbing back into bed. Rainy Day jumped up next to her and licked her sore arm consolingly. “I just can’t get any peace. Let’s face facts. I’m driven. I’m competitive. I’m addicted to blue ribbons.”

“Well, what about checking your motivation…putting it all in perspective…honing your skills…having fun…enjoying the opportunity to creatively express yourself?”

“You’re right,” Cate consented. “I am making way too much of this. It’s just that M.J. said that she would be saving a seat for me in Advanced and it looks like I’m destined to be a permanent resident of Intermediate forever.”

Frank threw back his head and laughed. “Surely not, forever. You have done really well in a short period of time.”

“That’s before they changed the challenge style. I found it so much easier when different genres were assigned. But, now, they just toss out words like ‘confident’ and ‘happy’. All my stories are starting to sound the same. Oh, pooh! I just can’t adjust to that type of writing challenge.”

“You know what, Cate? Even if you stay in Intermediate forever, I will still love reading your stories and so will our friends and relatives. Now, let’s get some sleep, okay?”

Cate cuddled up next to her husband. Rainy Day settled down again on the bedroom floor, visibly relieved that the situation was, at least, temporarily resolved. The cats slunk back onto the bed, one by one.

Hours later, Frank awoke with a start. Cate had overslept. Frank was happy that his wife was finally getting some rest. She was such a perfectionist and worked so hard on those stories of hers. Actually, he had never liked fiction written by female writers. Women always feminized their male characters. But, he had to admit, Cate had talent and he was proud of her.

With a heart full of hope for some emotional respite for his wife, Frank booted up the computer.

“Let’s see. What was the name of that site? Beliefwriters? No that wasn’t it,” he muttered. “Ah ha! There it is.” Frank clicked on the Intermediate level.

Frank’s shout could be heard all the way to the bedroom as his wife flew down the hall with Rainy Day at her heels.

“Second place,” Cate trilled, rapturously. “I’m on my way to Advanced! Wait until M.J. sees this!”

Cate savored the sense of accomplishment and the thrill of seeing the blue ribbon residing proudly at the top of her story.

But Cate’s happy moment was short-lived as she took a close look at the new weekly writing challenge.

“Oh, no,” she wailed. “I will be in Advanced forever…”

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This article has been read 965 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dianne Janak07/19/07
Wow... you would not believe just how much you shared ME in your story.. Love it and you nailed it... the whole drama of this wonderful site!
I love the struggle... it is so REAL LIFE! right?
Joy Faire Stewart07/19/07
So true to life...loved the cats and dog involved too. Your details were perfect.
Myrna Noyes07/21/07
:D :D :D I just got around to reading this! :D :D :D It is sooooooooo true-to-life!! How DO you do it???? :D :D :D Very perceptively written, I must say! :D :D :D Hee-hee-hee!!!!!
Loren T. Lowery07/23/07
What a great, true-to-life story, espcially the part about the husband's wise words : )
Honestly, this is a testament about keeping on keeping on, knowing inside that we have something good to share and reaching for that goal that always seems to be just out of reach. And, once we do grasp it, finding their is another goal just beyond once again.
Great Job!
Jeanette Oestermyer07/23/07
A real-life down-to-earth article. I wonder if everyone has that inner hassle with what they wrote for the challenge, or thinking of changes they should have made.
This one hit home for me. I might not lose sleep, but I often do a lot of thinking. Good job
Lynda Schultz 07/24/07
You know, we are always being told not to do what you just did, but you did it SO well. Love the story and the wonderful honesty. Well done.
Kevin Rodgers07/25/07
This is great! I laughed out loud as I read this...I'm still laughing actually! I feel the same way about the challenges. This story is so true to me...It was as if I myself wrote this story...well, without 'Rainy Day' and I don't have a husband named 'Frank'!HaHaHa! Very entertaining story!
Dee Yoder 07/25/07
I'm sure you know that all we FW's are laughing our heads off as we read this! I especially liked: "It's Wednesday night." But of course, what further explanation is needed? I love this sooo much. And I'll make a deal with you: you go to Advanced, and I'll take your place in Intermediate! I don't mind staying in Level 2 for a looonng time. :) Unique and, yes, happy!
Marilyn Schnepp 07/26/07
A very "True-To-Life" type story...which should go over well with the Judges; as they too have "been there/done that"...good luck! A Fun Read! well done.
Kristen Hester07/26/07
CONGRATULATIONS! You're moving to Advanced AND you'll be in the book. By the way, have you spying on me? This is MY story. I am so glad I am not the only one with these feelings. This is WONDERFUL!!!! I live in Texas so I get the results one hour earlier but for the first time have considered moving west. lol!
Joy Faire Stewart07/26/07
Congratulations on your well deserved 1st Place win. I think your writing is fantastic.
Joy Faire Stewart07/26/07
Contratulation also, on your EC win!
Seema Bagai 07/26/07
As a fellow west coaster, I can relate to this piece. Wonderfully written. Congrats on the win!
Marilee Alvey07/26/07
I'm right with you in this story. I'm like my son was in baseball. I strike out and I'm sad for a day, but if I hit a home run out of the park, well, I sail through the week with the comforting reminder that I earned a blue ribbon. It was fun to relive that excitement with you. I shared your joy when I went to visit my son in Phoenix. Hey, I should visit him more often! Thanks for sharing this story where we all are stars....for a moment!
Loren T. Lowery07/26/07
Cathy, Way to go! This was such a fun, honest piece of writing! Keep on keeping on and we'll see you in Masters in no time!
Myrna Noyes07/26/07
WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! :D WAY TO GO, MY FRIEND!!! I will warm up the seat next to me in Advanced! :) I am particularly pleased that this story won first place in Intermediate AND earned you an EC!! (I'll take any claim to fame that I can--no matter how small!) I am doing the "Happy Dance" in your honor! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!
Sheri Gordon07/26/07
Congratulations on your EC. This is really good -- I think you captured most of the FW writers (even though we like to pretend those blue ribbons aren't important). :) Great job.
Amy Michelle Wiley 07/27/07
haha! Too fun! Loved the references to the Pacific NW and the challenge--I can identify with both. Oh, and there is hope for the addiction. I've gone what, three topics now without submiting, hehe. (been trying to get some other writing projects done)
Laury Hubrich 12/15/08
This is hilarious! Very good writing! I love how the husband got involved. So funny and so ME! Addicted to the max:)
Marita Thelander 12/16/08
I am sitting here smiling...boy, can I relate to this one!