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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Writing (01/11/07)

TITLE: Writing Maranda
By Jan Ackerson


Maranda covered her face with her pale hands and wept bitterly, her golden tresses veiling her ivory arms. Her world had shattered forever with that knock at the door…

I paused at my computer, grinning. This was my first foray into the world of romance writing, and I was nailing it. My characters were practically writing themselves, and all I had to do was throw a few extra adjectives and adverbs into each paragraph.

Her porcelain cheeks stained with tears, Maranda grasped the photograph of Rodrigo that adorned her mahogany bedside table. “Oh, Rodrigo,” she whispered quietly, clasping the silver frame to her flawless bosom…

I was startled by the doorbell. Muttering, I stomped to the hallway, wondering who dared interrupt me when the words were flowing so freely. A delivery truck idled in the driveway, and a man with a clipboard stood on my porch.

I yanked the door open, peeved by the interruption and anxious to get back to Maranda’s weeping.


The man looked down at his clipboard. “I got a delivery for Jennica Groves. That you?”

I wasn’t expecting anything, but…”Yes, that’s me.”

He waved at the truck. There was a flurry of activity, then three men started toward the house, struggling under the weight of a square box no bigger than a microwave, but obviously very heavy. I opened the door and they dropped it on the living room floor with a thud.

“What is it?” I asked, the sound still reverberating.

“Writer’s block, ma’am.” The three helpers were panting and wiping their foreheads.

“Wha—a writer’s block? I didn’t order that! Take it back!”

“Sorry, lady, no can do. I just deliver ‘em.” He tipped his cap and the crew hustled away.

I turned and stared at the box. A writer’s block—how ridiculous! Kneeling to remove the packaging, I found that I couldn’t budge the thing at all. It must have weighed several hundred pounds.

Well, who cares? I left the block and returned to my computer.

Maranda’s sapphire eyes filled…

Maranda’s aching heart…ached…

It was hopeless. I had no idea what Maranda was going to do once she stopped crying. All I could think about was that block. Who sent it? How could I get rid of it?

For several days, I wrestled with the block. I tried to chip away at it and broke my only screwdriver. I bruised three toes kicking the thing. Having heard that Coke would eat through anything, I poured an entire bottle on it. Nothing happened.

Maranda twiddled her thumbs…

Maranda skipped about the room…

No use. I couldn’t write anything with that writer’s block around. I decided to clean the house instead. I was dancing with the feather duster when I heard the doorbell chime. Now what? I peered through the curtains; a young woman stood on the landing, looking vaguely familiar. I opened the door.

“May I help you?”

“I’m Miranda. Can I come in?”

My life was getting stranger and stranger. But I had to admit that she certainly looked like Maranda. Golden tresses, porcelain skin…”Um, sure.” She pushed past me and plopped onto a chair.

“So, here’s the deal,” she said. “I don’t like the way you’ve been writing me. First of all, you spelled my name wrong. It’s M-I-R-A-N-D-A, okay?”

“But I—“

“Yeah, whatever.” She waved a hand in the air. “And listen, how about giving me a better personality? Some spunk, maybe? I’m really tired of this weeping and sobbing routine, you know?”

“Uh, okay, I can do that—“

Miranda leaned forward and patted my arm. “Listen, you’re not a bad writer. You made me real beautiful—I like that. Just lay off the damsel-in-distress stuff, okay?”

I nodded, still stunned to be conversing with my protagonist in my own living room.

She continued. “Just so you know—Rodrigo doesn’t die. I think he does, and I let Pemberton comfort me, and then Rodrigo returns and I have to choose. Everyone thinks I’m going back to Rodrigo, but it turns out Pemberton is cooler after all. Got it?”

“Okay, but Rodrigo—“

Miranda snorted. “He’s all tanned skin and flashing black eyes, but he’s never had a deep thought in his life.” She stood up, tossing her hair. “So—are we all set? I’ll just be taking this, then.” With no effort, she lifted the writer’s block to her shoulder and walked outside, pausing briefly to flash me a charming smile—her lips dewy, her teeth like pearls.

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This article has been read 1759 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Teri Wilson01/18/07
Oh my gosh... love it, love it, love it!!!! So clever and creative. Absolutely wonderful.
Niki Tschirgi01/18/07
Great story. I didn't want to stop reading. Each word flowed to the next and the creativity was refreshing. Thanks for posting for all of us to read!
Delores Baber01/18/07
What a creative imagination you have. A writers' block. Love it. And love the conversation changing the course of your "story". Excellent!
Ann Grover01/18/07
Captivating and clever... to the last word. I don't know how you come up with your ideas; they're always brilliant.
Crista Darr01/18/07
ROFL! This is one of my favorite entries ever. Bravo!
Joanne Sher 01/18/07
Oh, my! Do I ever LOVE this! I was laughing out loud, LOUD! I love the personality you have "the real" Maranda especially. LOL
Helen Paynter01/18/07
Ok, I know I said I wasn't going to read it til tomorrow, but I couldn;t wait. And this is why - because you always pull a brilliant rabbit out of the hat. I love it.
Mo 01/18/07
Wow, very nicely done.
Kathie Thomas01/19/07
Great read! I had wondered about the spelling of her name, but then names seem to be spelt all sorts of ways these days - I'm sure it's just to be different.
Folakemi Emem-Akpan01/19/07
How I wish one of my characters would help get rid of writers block when it gets dumped at my door.
I had such fun reading this and I say only a master can pull this off.
Hope this places.
Jen Davis01/19/07
So very clever and creative. An absolute thrill to read. I now have a new all time favorite. I loved it!
L.M. Lee01/19/07
great! very creative
janet rubin01/20/07
Yes, very cool entry. Funny too.
Sally Hanan01/20/07
Definitely my favorite read this week :)Thanks for the laugh.
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/20/07
This was delightful. I do so wish characters spoke to me! The idea of making "writer's block" animate was inspired. You are, indeed, a most creative writer.
Marilyn Schnepp 01/20/07
It looks like SRO here...but I'll squeeze in my 2 cents worth anyway - just for the record. "Super!" That shouldn't take up too much space. PS: Creative too! Absolutely spellbinding and I loved it...(now I'll go back downstairs where I belong) Enjoyed the trip to Masters!
Cheri Hardaway 01/20/07
Brilliant, clever, creative... Wow. Blessings, Cheri
darlene hight01/21/07
Gosh, I hope my protaganist shows up! This is brilliant! Very fun!
Sandra Petersen 01/21/07
So that's what a writer's block is. This was funny! What a clever idea down to the last adjective and adverb. Another great job!

william price01/21/07
Very nice. Thank God some of my characters can't come speak to me. I'm sure I'd be in jail by now for character assassination. Another very entertaining entry. God bless.
Pat Guy 01/21/07
Oh Jan! This is magnificant! Waht a masterpiece! I don't know ... this is just IT!
Libby East01/21/07
wow, you win my vote, but it doesn't count! I loved the creativity in this. I couldn't wait to get to the end to see what was going to happen. Bravo!
Betty Castleberry01/21/07
Shucks, I wish I had written this! It is just too cute and too clever, and too creative, and, and... Well you get the idea. Bravo!
Donna Powers 01/21/07
Absolutely excellent! I echo the sentiments of everyone else! Thanks for sharing this
Marilee Alvey01/21/07
Okay, winner! Jan, you take the cake...or, in this case, the prize. Innovative, humorous, thought provoking. We'd better be true to our characters or they'll pay us a visit! Your story was snappy, lively, and all the rest. It didn't take you long to establish a definite character for Maranda...or Miranda! You're an excellent writer, Jan!
T. F. Chezum01/21/07
Brilliant, clever, creative ... all of the good words have already been used to describe this, but they're all understatements. Great job.
Amy Michelle Wiley 01/21/07
Ha! I love it, love it!
Chuck Livermore01/22/07
Hah! Three buff shipping guys to carry it in and she hoists it to her shoulder to carry it out. Now that's a strong character. This was a delight to read.
Karen Deikun01/22/07
This was great fun. I've had the block delivered but can't remember any of my characters flipping it over their shoulders! Thanks for the belly laugh.
Leigh MacKelvey01/22/07
Jan, couldn't have been any better if Fabio had shown up with Miranda!You just gotta stop this, you gotta stop amazing me every week.
Sharlyn Guthrie01/22/07
You had me laughing out loud. I won't be answering the door for any delivery men real soon. This is sooooo original and fun.
Tabiatha Tallent01/23/07
Loved this. I've had a couple of those deliveries myself. LOL
Venice Kichura01/23/07
Very creative take on "writing". I think this should place high!
Trina Courtenay01/24/07
Another favorite! I do believe if there were a Faithwriter's Idol you'd win by a land slide this week. Awesome job! Loved every word you penned.
Laurie Glass 01/24/07
What an absolutely delightful piece. And even though it was on the lighter side, you wrote it in such a way that I was still hanging on every word and eager to see what would happen next. Amazing. Loved it.
Patty Wysong01/24/07
Ditto what the others said!! I LOVED it! I needed a strong dose of humor right then, thanks for the laugh, it was GREAT! :-)
terri tiffany01/24/07
Oh wow- however do you think of something like this?? This was so funny and cute and very clever! LOVED the dialogue of each of them!! I want your mind!!
cindy yarger01/25/07
Clever. The physical writer's block was great.