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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Blog (10/20/11)

TITLE: Settled
By Tracy Nunes


In the pre-dawn hours of a frigid Saturday, Lizzie sat before her computer engaged in a battle unaware. Sleep eluded her, the TV bored her and a book required too much linear concentration. The starts, stops and clicks of managing a web log afforded her the right environment for her dark-of-the-night fuzzy brain.

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"Aaagh! You'd think I'd have resolved this by now!"

"We did"

"We did?"

The silence of no reply made her keenly aware of her fatigue and confusion by contrast. Lizzie went back to bed. After some tossing, the pillow finally became a friend at last.

Sunday night after dinner, Lizzie headed to her computer. Her brain was buzzing with things to write, but Mack stopped her,

"Honey, want to take a walk in the snow and then come back and have hot chocolate in front of the fire?"

"Oh, I'd love to Mack, but I have some ideas I need to get down on paper for the blog. They say you shouldn't allow too much time to pass between posts. It can make my blog irrelevant and it might affect my stats. You know, it's like building a relationship with my readers. Once I have it I need to maintain it."

Mack looked confused for a moment, then tilting his head slightly and looking into her eyes, "Yeah, I guess it is something like maintaining a relationship."

"Thanks for understanding, Honey. I won't be long."

She headed to her desk, fighting the sense that she was missing something.

Stretching her fingers like a virtuoso about to execute a masterpiece, Lizzie began to type as fast as her fingers could keep up, the flow of creativity giving her the thrill she lived for,

"My readers will love this one!"

She reached for her Bible to search for a verse to go with her topic but not quickly finding one, she turned to an online Christian website. She typed the terms in the search box and sorted the results to find a fit, not stopping to check the context of the verse to make sure she was using it accurately; the message justifying the means.

"I'm sure it's okay to do that in a pinch. Writers do that all the time."

She inserted the verse into her text. One thing led to another as her post took on a life of its own. Lizzie jotted down ideas for a series to base on this post and sat back with great satisfaction. She glanced out the window, realizing it was dark outside and the hour was late. Mack had fallen asleep on the couch.

Lizzie got up early on Monday morning and checked her stats page to see how many comments she'd received. She sat down on her chair with a disappointed thump. The only comment was from her Uncle Frank, "Great job, my little Lizzie Girl! Uncle Frank is proud of you!"

That was nice. She could always count on him to cheer her on, but she'd hoped she'd get a lot more comments than that. Clicking off the computer, she walked away discouraged, fighting the urge to push it off of her desk.

By the afternoon, when she anxiously checked it again, she had received twenty three very positive comments. Lizzie's mood soared.

In the pre-dawn hours of the next day, Lizzie sat before her computer engaged in a battle unaware. Sleep eluded her, the TV bored her and a book required too much linear concentration. The starts, stops and clicks of managing a web log should have afforded her the right environment for this dark-of-the-night fuzzy brain.

But, an unwelcome sense of disquiet enveloped Lizzie; menopausal hormones explaining only part of her sleeplessness and agitation.

Clicking on the comments tab she saw that she'd now received fifteen more comments, mostly raves about what a great writer she was and a few about how much her writing had changed their lives. Pleased at first, but by the time she'd read the last comment, the feeling of again missing something important chipped at the edge of her satisfaction.

At that moment, she caught a glimpse of the driveway and Mack getting into his car, not having said goodbye before leaving for work. After a sad glance back at the house, he slowly drove away.

"We did settle it, but you forgot. You are settling for scraps under my banquet table."

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This article has been read 575 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Melanie Kerr 11/03/11
Excellent stuff. An example of showing not telling about how these things can take over. I felt sorry for the husband - and then the conviction hit me that I do exactly the same thing to my husband! Excellent writing. A compelling and convicting rad.
Theresa Santy 11/03/11
Oh man that last line killed me -- it was brilliant. You have masterfully described the horrific senseless cycle so many bloggers (myself included) can fall into when priorities are not in focus.
Margaret McKinney11/03/11
Aahhh, I love that last part with the husband driving away! I agree that you showed us what was happening, and very well, too!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/06/11
This really pulled at my heart. I wanted to scream "Pay attention to your husband!" It may seem silly to some but I often get jealous that my husband spends more time with his computer than me. Well done!
Linda Goergen11/07/11
This was terrific! Such a relevant message! Wonder just how many people out there ignore the people in their “real” life to more saturate themselves in the “fantasy” of the computer world!
You gave such a vivid view in the husband being ignored and her being too blind to see! And even worse than ignoring the people in our lives, is ignoring God while we sit hours on the computer! That last line packs the final punch! This is so powerful and my absolute favorite read so far!
Sydney Avey11/07/11
Ouch! Last night my husband went to bed with no dinner because I was blogging! Amazing how addicted we get to feedback.
I thought Mack might end up communicating with his wife by commenting on her blog. Have to admit, the last statement did not connect the dots satisfactorily for me, but story well told, point well made.
C D Swanson 11/09/11
WOW! This was so powerful and masterfully done! I am sitting here in awe how you managed to take the "topic" into such a deep area of society today.

This could be just about any couple I know. Many have said the computer "can be the instrument of the enemy" if used in excess - clearly this was the case here.

Fantastic job! Phenomenal!

God Bless you~
Noel Mitaxa 11/13/11
Challenging stuff and very credibly expressed. Succinct emotional pictures and dialogue that sticks to your theme. Very well presented.
Beth LaBuff 11/14/11
Wow! A chilling warning. Excellent work! Again, wow!
Kristine Baker11/15/11
In my book, this is a winner. Surprise ending was perfect. I easily get lost in writing too.
Theresa Santy 11/17/11
Congratulations Tracy!!!
Lillian Rhoades 11/17/11
Congratulations, Mate :-) Job well done!
C D Swanson 11/17/11
This was such a powerful story I loved this! So glad it made its way into recognition.

Congratulations on your well deserved HR win! I look forward to your future entries.

God Bless you~