Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The Writer's Life (05/13/10)
By Connie Dixon
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
The aroma of fresh perked coffee drifted up the grand spiral staircase. My husband is a saint.
After filling my favorite Starbuck’s mug, I wrapped up in my chenille bathrobe, a Mother’s Day gift from daughter Kimmy, and wandered out on the wrap-around porch. I had considered snuggling in my cozy featherbed all morning, but really needed to get started on my new novel.
Muhammad Ali, our 3-year old Boxer came bounding around the corner, leash hanging from his jowls. Ken walked him routinely, and just because he was out of town, Ali had not planned to forgo his adventure. He dropped the leash at my feet, looked up with those big brown eyes and whimpered shamelessly.
Oh, for Pete’s sake, a little walk on the beach is not going to put me that far behind.
Clad in white Nikes and red jogging suit, we headed side by side down the cobblestone path, through the dunes and onto a sparsely populated portion of sandy white shore. Unleashed, Ali took off chasing seagulls, sandpipers and anything else that moved. He was beautiful to watch, all that energy wrapped up in one big muscle. Several minutes later, I called his name. He screeched to a stop, did a 180 and headed towards me at full throttle. This move scared me a little…since the time he misjudged the distance and bowled me over. Today I got lucky.
Entering through the cherry red doors, I went straight to my office above our bedroom. I never tired of watching the ocean through its diamond-paned windows. It was really too warm to start a fire in the Rumford fireplace but I always got so much inspiration from the sound of a crackling fire.
If I leave the windows open it won’t get too warm in here.
Finally, I was ready. My novel, the third in a 4-volume series commissioned by Randolph Publishing House, was about to be born. The first book in the series had taken three years to get published, but once it reached the shelf, people bought it, read it, and begged for more. The sequel came easily. Now however, ideas were harder to come by and I had become my own worst critic. With a deadline hovering over me, what had started out as an enjoyable pastime was turning into a weight on my shoulders. I hoped once I got started, the joy would return.
Positioned in front of the window, laptop in place, Ali resting his head on my slipper-clad feet, I was geared up.
…Dressed in black, Susan returned to the empty parsonage. Why would God take David from her at such a young age? How would she make it on her own? She fell onto the bed weeping…
A movement outside caught my attention. Someone was driving up the dirt road leading to our cottage. The car looked like…
My cell phone rang. Caller I.D. revealed Darla Spencer, my best friend since high school.
“Darla, is that you coming up my drive way? What are you doin’ in town, I thought…”
“Girlfriend, no time for chit chat. Meet me at the front door…we’re going to lunch. I’ve got some great news!”
“See you in a minute.”
I hadn’t seen Darla since she went to take care of her Mom at Christmas. I hurried to get dressed.
Three hours later, we arrived back at the house and found Kimmy and Sam waiting on the porch swing, talking and laughing like teen-agers.
“Hi guys, what are you two doing here on a week day?”
“Mom, where’s Dad, we’ve got some news!”
“He’s out of town…what news?”
Kimmy looked at Sam, then hesitated. “We wanted to tell you both together…at the same time.”
“Tell me what? What?” The excitement in my voice became hysterical. “You’re pregnant aren’t you? I’m going to be a grandma aren’t I?”
We joined in a group hug and spent the next few minutes congratulating each other and suggesting names.
Once everyone left, it was 7:00. How did this day get away from me? I was exhausted.
I went upstairs, filled the claw foot tub with a hot bubble bath, lit some candles and crawled in with my latest Danielle Steele book.
Tomorrow, I will get a fresh start on my new novel.
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