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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: This Side of Paradise (not about the book) (07/14/11)

TITLE: No Murder Mysteries in Paradise
By James Brown


Strong writers engineer multiple streams of conflict to evoke emotional responses from their readers. To them, a story without conflict is like the taste of an egg white bland and flavorless. Somehow, they develop the tiniest affront into a category four hurricane. How I envy them.

I believe every writer aspires to pen the great masterpiece that brings tears to the eyes of every reader. Heartbreak, tragedy and calamity become the tools of our trade. What devious minds we have. Yet, we focus so much on this immediate dilemma that we fail to prepare for the future.

This side of Paradise, conflict inundates us like a flood; but what will we do in Heaven the land of no pain or tears. Well, the immediate thought is that well write hymns of praise. However, a quick look at Psalms reveals a landslide of despair and distress.

At one point, King David said hed like to be a doorkeeper in the house of his God. What a perfect occupation for those of us who understand the importance of a strong opening. Along that line, wed make great rugs because no one knows how to hook like a writer (except a fisherman).

I wonder if basket weaving will rank in the top ten occupations since we are such masters at weaving intricate subplots within subplots. If the bottom drops out of that, we can fall back on the time honored tradition of making necklaces. You see, weve spent a lifetime stringing words together, so who better to sequence beads?

I wonder if we will enjoy Heaven better than most since we understand the value of active participation. Wed make fantastic hosts and hostesses. Whenever we discovered someone searching for their mansion, wed show them where it is, not tell. With great, swelling word pictures, wed describe Paradise from Gods point of view, since thats the only one that matters ... and He is the only true omniscient narrator.

I do have one unnerving fear concerning Paradise however. Im terrified that when I arrive, Im going to be greeted by an adverb. I would absolutely, positively, utterly, completely and totally find that to be one of the very worst things that I could ever have happen to me.

It saddens me that short stories will be extinct in Paradise. I love short stories, but in heaven they have three strikes against them. First, they are short. Nothing about Heaven is short I mean it goes on and on forever. Which leads to strike two a good short story has a beginning, a middle and an ending. Eternity never stops, there is no ending. Factor in the third strike stories need conflict and you can understand why they are out.

So, I guess Ill struggle along here this side of Paradise, writing stories filled with conflict and maybe even a murder or two. Ill continue to lace my manuscripts with the theme of redemption the basis for the grandest conflict of all until I cross over. Once there, I rest confident in the fact that Ill have many avenues to utilize my experience as a writer.

Dont be surprised on the day you pass through the pearly gates if you find me waiting. I promise I wont spoil the ending for you. Ill simply show you to your room and let you lose yourself in the wonder of eternity where we all live happily ever after.

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This article has been read 370 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Amica Joy07/22/11
How very clever! I love it. In heaven we will be on an eternal expedition! New places to be discovered all the time!! What a great idea - to think that we take our profession or our most loved pastime to heaven ... What will carpenters do up there? Psychologists will have to dig into the wonders of God's mind instead ... Musicians and singers will most certainly not be out of a job... Great story.
marcella franseen07/26/11
Very clever! I would like to think that we'll have words, colors, experiences, etc. to work with that our finite minds can't even begin to imagine this side of Paradise.:) I do like your point that there will be no more conflict. What a thought! Thank you for taking me out of this life and into the next for just a moment.
Linda Goergen07/27/11
On this side of paradise this certainly proves you can masterfully weave a delightful story FULL of humor, wit, original thought and awesome visual detail!! This is one the most creative stories I have read in a long time! I laughed out loud at being greeted by an adverb in Heaven!!! I love, love this! Fantastic job! I am sure God has something planned to keep your creative mind busy in Heaven! LOL
Noel Mitaxa 07/27/11
Very entertaining read, and I love the subtlety in your humour. You have a great gift.
Dee Kyalo10/13/14
Awesome gift you have!