Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Writerís Skill/Craft (04/22/10)
TITLE: Breathings of Your Heart
By Laury Hubrich
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Kaci blames me for the useless dribble she writes. Itís not me. I whisper to her again. Will she listen? ďFill your paper with the breathings of your heart.Ē I wish I could claim the quote; but itís from Wordsworth. His muse whispered it in his ear so many years ago.
I think she heard me, finally. One word stood out from the quote and set her to task. Itís hard to believe something so tiny has the ability to capture her imagination and hold her for ransom when Iíve been practically beating her over the head with ideas. Kaciís lost now. She forgets the rest of her chores. The only thing that holds her attention is an urge, a yearning to set words to paper and then arrange over and over.
It begins with an embryo and grows into an infant. She coos and baby talks to it, admiring its beauty. Before she even realizes, it morphs into a child. Baby talk doesnít fit anymore and she plays with the words. She rearranges them then steps back and admires this new creation.
Kaci reads and rereads. Again she sees it canít stay the way it is. There is room for growth. The pages turn to teenage years and from teen years it goes to adulthood. Once again, though, something isnít quite right.
Sheís written herself right into a box. I remind her of prepositions. Kaci must dig her way under it or rise above it. She could try to go around it or plow on through. A box is a terrible place to be stuck, almost worse than the writerís block that loomed in her way in the first place.
She pushes her chair away from her desk. Totally frustrated, she gets on with her day but her mind never leaves her story completely. She sits on her knees, her hand grips the toilet brush handle as it swishes around the bowl.
My job is done. All I can do is watch. I donít worry. I know sheíll figure her way out of the mess sheís made. What sheís written certainly will work, but she would never be pleased if she settled.
I see the transformation. Her eyes get wide. She plops the brush into the water and leaves her chores behind. She trips over the forgotten vacuum cleaner and looks at the dusty monitor. Her fingers fly across the keyboard. Before long she figures it out. I knew she would.
I read over her shoulder. Itís good. Kaci likes it, too. She started with an embryo of a product and ends with a mature, complete masterpiece. The problem is, she leaves it in the file. It gets buried between hundreds of other stories. I tell her it has a place in the world. I encourage her to find it a home but Kaciís too scared. She would rather hold onto it tightly then face rejection.
Here we sit, her and I, at an impasse. I donít understand. If it were my story, I would fight hard to get it published, but itís not, although I did help birth it. I refuse to coddle her when sheís upset sheís never been published. I do have my limit, after all.
Kaci is a writer. She is an unpublished one but a writer all the same. I know sheíll eventually let her creations go out into the world to either fly or crash to the ground but right now sheís not ready. Her emotions are too fragile. Itís best she keep on writing, honing her craft.
When Kaci finally remembers her talent is from the Lord and shouldnít be buried, then sheíll be ready. Her skin will be hardened and ready for rejections and her head will be prepared when acceptance comes, free from pride.
I hear Kaci whisper, maybe to me. ďFill your paper, Kaci, with the breathings of your heart.Ē
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