Outside the living room window trees sing with Cicadas in mating, and the rise and fall of children’s voices can be heard from the alley. Cars pass and walkers walk, in front of the old Dutch colonial on historic Mt. Vernon Drive.
Inside the house she sits on her aging pottery barn sofa, in her pink robe, yellow tablet in her hand.
It is past noon and she has only been up since 11:30. Depressed from an argument with her grown daughter, she struggled to find a reason to get up.
The thought of writing is what sent a surge of hope to her heart, and gave her energy to come downstairs.
As she sat, she stilled the noises in her mind and tried to listen to her spirit. She wanted to feel like Jeremiah the prophet who said, “…his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in, indeed I cannot.”
The “weary” part of “holding it in” she identifies with acutely. For years she has been fighting a call to write.
As Jeremiah said when the Lord told him to prophecy to the Israelites, “Ah Sovereign Lord, …“I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”
She argued with God also, “Am I being deceived, do you really tell me to write?”
For Jeremiah the response to his argument was quick, “Do not say, “I am only a child.“ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.” Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
For her the unction to write is in the still small voice, and simultaneously in the strange immediate awareness, of being mere flesh before an omniscient God.
And so she had written, for two newspapers. When she inquired at the papers about freelancing for them, she was hired immediately, after submitting samples of her writing.
She also tried to interest herself in writing online for a Christian organization. Following advice to” write from your heart,” from Stephen King’s counsel to the aspiring in his book, “A Memoir of the craft-On Writing,” she had joined the online writing club and submitted an article, or should she say, story?
The results were less than encouraging. She remembers someone from the critique circle called her character in the submitted story, “ADHD.”
On reflection she realizes she was in fact too thin skinned in her response to the critique circle, and was at this moment ready to brave another attempt at submitting a story to the online Christian organization.
She looked through the wavy glass of her window, she saw the vivid blue Arizona sky, and chewing on her pencil she mused, “ this weeks writing challenge is the word Exam, … hmmm…”
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