Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Employment (01/26/12)
TITLE: To be or not to be… employed
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EMPLOYMENT: To seek or not to seek; that is the question. Or, maybe Shakespeare had it right in Hamlet when he coined the phrase, â€śTo be or not to beâ€¦â€ť Myra hadnâ€™t looked for a job in more than 20 years. Thatâ€™s not to say she hasnâ€™t worked at all; she just doesnâ€™t seek it; rather, it finds her. In fact, truth be told, sheâ€™s not seeking employment now, but has found herself hanging out in a newsroom anyway.
â€śDonâ€™t you feel even a tad bit guilty about wasting your God-given talents?â€ť asked her writing coach (Frances) during their weekly session. Myra could only laugh at that question.
â€śWhatâ€™s so funny, Myra?â€ť Coach asked. Myra had to scramble to explain her giggles.
â€śLook coach, I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s the issue,â€ť Myra said. â€śIâ€™ve spent most of my life feeling guilty over one thing or another. The truth is I get overwhelmed with the responsibility of telling peopleâ€™s stories, especially when I feel Godâ€™s telling me to do it. Before I know it, Iâ€™m doubt my ability and never feel worthy of the writing opportunities that come my way.â€ť
â€śReally? Is that why you hid out on the coast and didnâ€™t write a thing for almost ten years?â€ť Coach chided. â€śChurch work and journaling doesnâ€™t count, Myra!â€ť
â€śItâ€™s not like I didnâ€™t write anything, I did write that one challenge piece for the FaithWriters web site,â€ť Myra defended herself.
â€śOh, thatâ€™s right! And when was thatâ€¦ 2006? Hmmm. That would be, letâ€™s seeâ€”six years?â€ť
Myra looked down at her keyboard and took another sip of her coffee.
â€śYouâ€™re stalling. What do you have on your screen right now?â€ť
â€śAnother writing challenge piece,â€ť Myra admitted.
â€śWhatâ€™s the topic?â€ť
Coach couldnâ€™t help herself; she let out a deep belly laugh that everyone in the coffee shop heard. â€śSorry,â€ť she said to everyone turning to look and see who was laughing so hard on a Monday morning.
â€śIâ€™m having quite a struggle with this one. I talked to my boss about it yesterday and she had a simple solution. â€śRemember, weâ€™re not doing this for the money,â€ť she said.
Coach couldnâ€™t seem to resist asking, â€śSo what time tomorrow is this challenge thing due?â€ť
â€śOkay, I admit it. The deadline is tomorrow morning at 9:59 a.m.; 750 words,â€ť Myra said sarcastically.
â€śDo I need to ask how close youâ€™re to being done? How many words to you have?â€ť Coach asked with a smile.
â€śIâ€™ve got 486; itâ€™s fiction. That means I should make deadline since I get to make it all up,â€ť Myra said.
â€śSo, youâ€™re finally doing fiction. Does this mean you might actually dust off that novel of yours?â€ť
â€śI already have and, no, Iâ€™m not showing it to you yet,â€ť Myra chirped.
â€śThatâ€™s fine, as long as you donâ€™t bury your imagination again. Myra, you keep reminding me of the guy who buried his talent in Jesusâ€™ parable in Matthew 25:14-27,â€ť Coach said. â€śWhy donâ€™t you get out your old fiction pieces and see what you have there. I think youâ€™ll find that youâ€™ve buried more than one talent. By the way, when was did you write your first short story?â€ť
Myra pondered that suggestion seriously. â€śI wrote it in eighth grade, 1964; wow, that was 48 yearsâ€”with no interest for Jesus. Iâ€™ll dig it out of storage for you. Do you think these weekly challenges on the web will give me more peace with my newspaper deadlines, too?â€ť
â€śItâ€™s sure worth a try! Actually it could polish two sides of your coin, your fiction and your nonfiction at the same time. At any rate, Iâ€™ll hold you accountableâ€”every week from now on,â€ť Coach said.
â€śI saw that coming,â€ť Myra responded. â€śI guess weâ€™d better get a move on. Hereâ€™s the clipping I promised last week.â€ť
â€śThanks,â€ť Coach said as she looked at the headline and length of the story. â€śGood job Myra! This employment opportunity is really working out for you. Itâ€™s good to see you moving forward,â€ť Coach said as she gathered up her purse, stuffed the clipping in as she stood to leave.
Closing her laptop and standing up, she hugged the coach. â€śWeâ€™ll see. Iâ€™m committed to not quit and the newsroom staff seems to like having me hang around.â€ť
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