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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Subjective Business

What makes you fall into a story?

  Mood. Voice. Style. Cadence. 

What keeps you there?

  Suspense. Flow. Tension. Passion.

What makes it full?

  Setting. Characters. Plot. Dialogue.


What makes all of these things "good" or "bad"?

  Subjectivity. Preference. Expectation. Attachment.

How do you write a story people will connect to?

  Choose. Your. Words. Deliberately.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Quote for the Week

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
      ~ Walt Disney

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Grimm Hairy Tail

One of my writing groups had a challenge to rewrite a fairy tale whose main character has been swapped from a different fairy tale. Here's my take: a spot of humor on this crazy Friday...


Once upon a time, in a dark and scary wood--

"Seriously? You're gonna go with dark and scary? Why not tenebrous or ominous?" Hare said. His silly smile interrupted by those awkwardly gigantic front teeth.

Tortoise frowned and looked up from his desk; his pen still in his stumpy paw. He breathed in and out. Twice. Trying to keep his slow and steady composure. "Who is writing the story my dear friend?" He blinked bulbous eyes.

Hare slouched on Tortoise's desk, looking over his paper with that ever-twitching nose of his. "All right, have it your way, but really 'Once upon a time' is kind of cliche. Don't you think?"

"You have your own paper, why don't you--"

"I already wrote a story Side-kick.  And you still weren't done, so I thought I'd help."

Tortoise sighed. "Thank you, but I really don't need your help."

"No really, how about this," Hare stretched his arms out in front of him as if he were visualizing some grandiose production.  "No one has ever been brave enough to enter the ominous and tenebrous woods behind Happy Valley until now..." He paused for dramatic effect. "Whatdya think?" 

"I think it's nice, you should write another."

"Another?" Hare's face fell and his ears drooped down passed his shoulders.

"Unless you have a better idea." Tortoise offered, but he knew there was no other idea. He and Hare had been locked up in that stone tower for weeks now. And truth be told, Hare was grinding on Tortoise's patience. That pink nose that never stopped twitching, that annoyingly cute little fluffy tail, and his ever-present chatter! The rodent wouldn't stop talking for a moment! Tortoise was delighted when he found two quills and some parchment paper. He'd encouraged Hare to write, thinking that for all the activity in his, excuse the pun, hare-brained head, he'd have tons to write.

But, alas. The thoughts in Hare's head weren't necessarily numerous, it was just that the inside of his brain was less like a sponge for knowledge and more like a pinball machine. The same idea just bounced around in there until it popped out between his buck teeth.

It was hopeless, they were trapped in that tower together, for eternity. All because Tortoise had made one hasty decision--at that fluffy animal's persistence--and ventured with him down that stupid rabbit hole!

"Hello!"

A voice from the outside!

Tortoise rose, Hare twitched nervously. Both of them reluctant to approach the one window. The last time they'd approached, it had been nothing more than a mockingbird.

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel! Let down your hair!"

Tortoise smiled. Surely one more hasty decision wouldn't hurt.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Total Destruction

So, it's the end of summer. What does that mean? The county fair of course! And what's synonymous with the fair? Well, right, lots of things, but around here the best part of the fair (besides your yearly dose of elephant ears) is the demolition derby!

That's right: TOTAL DESTRUCTION!

So, I'm sitting in the bleachers watching these cars ram into one another for fun, and our whole section decides to cheer for this one particular driver. Why? Well, his car was the smallest out there. And he was giving the biggest hits. He was having a blast. He was losing his bumper, taking hits, and his car was bashed, beyond recognition, into a vehicle half its original size.

The one thing I kept thinking as I watched him go up against the big guys was that he wasn't giving up. He wasn't giving in. He wasn't letting intimidation rule or deter. And he was having a blast.

So, what have I learned from this great night of pure fun and entertainment in the form of bumper cars for adults?

Even if the odds are stacked against you, and you face fear, rejection, critique, or whatever life throws at you...

Never. Give. Up.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Quote for the Week


The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.
 ~ C. S. Lewis

Monday, August 15, 2011

Book Residue

You know how it feels when you read a book and it sticks with you? You think about it when you aren't reading it. You're excited to get back to it, to crack open the binding and lift our your bookmark and let your eyes turn pure black and white into live action like a movie in your head.

And when you finish the book you still think about it. About how it made you feel. Or about what you learned. Or you recall your favorite part with a smile.

You replay the story in your head and think: "Wow. What a good book."

I call it book residue. That powerful pull that links you emotionally to a story. I strive for it in my own work, but I love it when someone else's words grab a hold of me that way too.

It makes reading so much more than just reading.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Strange Ruins

“How many times do I have to tell you?  Don’t play in Mrs. Peterson’s yard!”  Andy watched his mother’s familiar scowl through the bangs on his bowed head.  She was busy patching up his little brother’s skinned knee.  His fourth this summer.  They’d only been out of school for seven days—if you included the weekend.

“You boys can’t keep…”  She stopped.  Andy lifted his head.  His mother bit her lip.  Andy’s heart skidded into its next beat.  Her eyes moistened with a reflective coating.  She stood.  She pressed the bloodied cloth she’d been applying to clean Jake’s knee into Andy’s hand.  Then she walked away.

“What’s wrong?”  Jake’s higher-pitched, young voice asked.  Andy returned a rueful gaze to his brother. “Andy?”

He couldn’t answer.  He was stuck there, feeling the tear, that had dripped from his mother’s eye, heavy on his wrist.  The bloody rag was still in his palm.  He’d made his mother cry.  Again.

“We have to stop playing in Mrs. Peterson’s yard.”  Andy said softly.

“Is it because I got hurt?  I promise Andy, I won’t fall next time!  I’ll be a good explorer!  I’ll—“

“It’s not because you got hurt Jakey.  It’s because,” he looked into his little brother’s hopeful eyes.  How could he take that away from him?  Mrs. Peterson’s yard was the only thing left.  The last normal thing Since…

“It’s because you aren’t trained yet for that type of mission.  You can’t keep going on expeditions you aren’t fully prepared for.  No one in their right mind would.”  He smiled as brightly as he could muster and ruffled his brother’s dark brown hair.

“Who will train me?”  Jake looked suddenly worried.  “Dad’s—“

“I will!  Of course.”  Andy didn’t want to hear that his father was gone.  He didn’t need to hear it.  He remembered every day.  Every painful moment of every day. 

It didn’t mean Jake had to suffer for it though.  What happened had nothing to do with Mrs. Peterson or her yard. 

Father knew how to be careful!  It was all an accident!  Mother not letting them play archaeologist in Mrs. Peterson’s yard was just silly!  If you fall off the horse, get right back up.  Try again.  Face your fears. Isn’t that what father had always said?  In fact Andy was certain that’s what his father was doing right now!

He wasn’t dead.  He couldn’t be!  Andy didn’t care what those men said.  He didn’t care about any of it.  If there was no body, there was no proof.  His father was missing.  Missing!  Not.  Dead.

“Thank you Andy!  And I’ll be just like Dad?”  Jake’s comment had not come at the right time.  Andy could see his white-faced mother stop in her tracks.  She’d composed herself quickly and was returning, that comment had her composure melting. 

“You will not be just like your father!”  She said it so quietly.  Andy closed his eyes. 

“But Dad was the best!  The best archaeologist in the whole world!”  Jake thought highly of their father.  Andy wouldn’t dash those thoughts.  Dad was the best to him too.

“Jacob Timothy, hear me right now,” Andy’s mother started.  He knew her heart hurt, because his did too.  Jake was too young to understand that this time their father wouldn’t be returning. 
Yes he would!  Andy reminded himself.

“Mom,” Andy’s voice was soft. 

“I’m sorry.”  She tried to stop the tears and she reached to hug them both.  “Now, what would you like for supper?”  She asked.

*****
After dinner, Jake fell asleep quickly.  Andy moped through the house, but straightened when he saw his mother.  She tried hard not cry in front of them.  He gave her the same courtesy. 

“You’ve grown up so much.”  Her eyes harbored regret.

“I’m practically an adult.”  Andy thought a smile might lighten the mood, but he couldn’t muster one.


“You’re fourteen.”  His mother managed a grin, but it was fake.  It didn’t matter.  She was being strong for him, the way he was for Jake. 

“So.”

“So?” 

“What were you doing when you were fourteen?  Saving the world or something I bet.”  Andy joined his mother at the meticulously scrubbed dining room table.  “One lasagna at a time.”  Andy felt the unfamiliar sensation of a smile warm his face.  His mother smiled too, but then her face froze.  She was seeing a memory.  And something about it had her worried. 

“Andy, how would you like to go to Israel?” 

Andy’s heart thrummed wildly.  To his father’s—well were his father was missing?  “Jake?”

“Jake better come too.”  She looked serious.

“I’ll help you pack.”

*****
They boarded Uncle Kenny’s private plane the very next morning.  

“Kris, if this doesn’t go well,”

“I know Kenny.”  Andy heard his mother speaking to her brother in whispers.  “I’ll handle it.”

“Good morning Andy.  Early huh?”  Uncle Kenny put out his hand and Andy smacked it.  Jake did too, then he let out a huge yawn.  “It’s going to be a long flight boys, so get comfortable.”

Andy watched his mother gaze out the window silently.  She’d been very quiet since last night.  Andy still didn’t understand her, but as Jake’s head nestled into her lap and his breathing pegged him as asleep, Andy’s mother turned her eyes to Andy.

“I met your father when I was fourteen.”   She said solemnly.

Andy was stunned.  His mother looked younger.  A new fire hit her eyes.  Andy was suddenly more interested in what his mother had to say than anything else.  Her crooked smile reminded him of Chelsea Day for a moment—just a moment though.

“I was walking home from school with Josh Gr—well, the most popular boy in school if you can believe that—“  She blushed.  His mother actually blushed.  As she continued her story, Andy found himself so absorbed  in her words, he forgot about the pain of his missing father.

“I first noticed your father when he appeared from behind the dilapidated house on Red Street.  No one ever went there.  It was a house abandoned when Old Man Johnson left.  But much of his stuff was left there to rot.  Your father was covered in dust from head to foot.  I couldn’t even tell what color his hair was. 

He froze when he saw us approaching, no idea we were there.  He stopped and dust fell onto the sidewalk.  I stifled a giggle, but I couldn’t help but stare into those green eyes. 

“Whatcha doin’, Punk?”  Josh had a way of making others feel intimidated, and stupid. 

“None of your business.”  The dirty boy pushed his glasses up with a filthy finger and clutched his books closer.  “Hi Kris.”  His smile at me somehow lured my heart.  I don’t know if it was the pure courage that let him flirt with me in front of Josh, or if it was the fact that he still looked cute under all that dust.  But I smiled back. 

I barely recognized him at school the next day.  But he sure recognized me.  “Hi Kris.”  I closed my locker door.  He held out his hand to me, “Ben, Ben Thomas.”  He cleaned up well. 

“The Dust boy?”

The way he pursed his lips was even cute.  “Oh.  Yeah.  About that,”

“Walk me to class?”  His eyes lit up, and pulled his serious face into a slight smile.  He walked me to all my classes that day.  And that whole week.  When we were in school we were inseparable.  But as soon as he dropped me off at my front door, I knew I wouldn’t see him again until the morning.  I pried often in the beginning, but I couldn’t bear the wounded look in his eyes when I asked him about his family or his home.  So I stopped.  Well, not completely.  One late spring evening, I thought I’d ask him something again. 

“So Ben, what were you doing in Old man Johnson’s yard?”  I asked him.  His green eyes changed, they darted away from mine.  I caught his arm before he could leave.  “Ben?”

He sighed.  “If you really want to know, meet me there tonight.”  There was a hint of fear in his eyes that had me intrigued.  There was nothing about Ben Thomas that I didn’t want to know.

As soon as the sun set I was walking down the dirt path to Old Man Johnson’s home.  The light was on.  A light rather.  One of those lamps you use to fix cars.  I followed the beam around the back of the rickety house.  Ben was there.  He was wearing a tool belt, complete with a flashlight, a pick-axe and a rusted knife.  His filthy hiking boots had returned.  He looked at me through those spectacles. 

“You came.”

“Of course I came.”  I don’t know why, but my heart fluttered. 

“Well, you might be sorry you did.”  He grabbed a sweater and motioned for me to follow him and we headed farther across the property.  With the sun gone, the cool desert air began to set in, I didn’t think I was shivering until Ben draped his sweater on my shoulders. 

“Why?”  I asked, not remembering how much time had passed between his warning and our long walk across the dark, traveled path in Old Man Johnson’s yard.  Ben stopped mid-stride and looked at me. 

“I like you Kris.  You’re different from other girls.  You…stick around.”

“Stick.  Around?”  I wasn’t sure whether a comment like that should offend me.

“Yeah.  In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t keep many friends, and it’s not for my lack of attracting attention, if you know what I mean.”

I knew what he meant, but I was pretty sure he didn’t.  The reason girls gravitated toward him initially was, well, he was cute.

He led me into a small rickety room, like a treehouse without the tree.  It was stationed behind an overgrown patch of sagebrush, out in the middle of nothing.  I didn’t expect what I saw inside.  He lit an oil lamp and oil raced across clay trenches in the room lighting the whole place in moments. 

“No more hiding.”  He whispered, but I caught his shy stare looking at me out from under his bangs.   

Hiding?  What was he talking about?  I let my gaze wander around the room.  Maps I was unfamiliar with, coins, pottery, other old items littered the table in what seemed to be a cluster of loose organization.  A hollow stump with a collection of old bowls, a small desk littered with ancient-looking animals.  Strange things.

“Where did you get all this stuff?”  I touched a clay animal of sorts, a dog.  His eyes practically glowed. 

“Do you like it?”  He asked.  “You can have it.  If you want.”  His smile faltered. 

“Did you find all this, here?  On Old Man Johnson’s farm?”

“Not…really.”

“Not really?”

“Do you believe in magic?”

I laughed.  What was I supposed to say?  He was serious though. 

“My father did.” He continued.

“Oh, did he now?”  I was beginning to understand why others didn’t exactly ‘stick around’.

“Yes.  That’s why he built this place.  But, I never knew.  I’d always thought he abandoned me.  But I know now, he didn’t.”

“Ben, I don’t understand.”  He watched me take a step back from him and made no move to follow.  Embarrassed at my automatic withdrawal, I deliberately stepped closer again.  His crooked smile and tilted head were enough to make me want to keep walking closer, but I stopped, and laughed nervously.
He held out his hand and looked at me.  I took it and followed his lead to the hollow stump.  A board across the top of it gave support to the odd collection of dishes.    

“My mother changed my name after my father disappeared.”  He went on.  “It used to be Johnson.”

“Oh.”  I couldn’t say more.  “You, you’re…”

He nodded.  “My father is missing.”

“Have you told the police?”

Ben laughed.  It wasn’t a happy laugh, it was more a condescending chuckle.  “The only reason I’m showing this to you is because I like you.  And you deserve to know the truth.  People you care about always deserve to know the truth.  Always.  So, if I don’t come back.  You’ll know I haven’t abandoned you.” 

I stared at him.  I didn’t run.  I didn’t scream.  Ben wasn’t crazy.  He didn’t seem crazy.  He seemed, hurt. 

He reached out and moved a glass bowl.  It was upside down on the desk.  Under it was a strange disk.  It looked almost iridescent in the oil light.  He hovered his hand over it and faced me. 

“I know a lot about how it works,” he chuckled again, “but not even close to everything.  I found my father’s notes.  He was on the verge of cracking something big.  But his gateway must have been crushed.  He’s out there, and I’m going to find him.  As long as mine remains intact I’ll be able to come back.  If not.”   He handed me the clay dog I’d admired earlier.  “You’ll know why.”

He held his hand over the disk.  I waited.  He touched it.  The wind didn’t ruffle my clothes, or the oil fires.  But I watched it sweep around him.  I clutched the clay dog to my chest and tried not to scream.  It died down as quickly as it lit.  Ben was gone.  I was alone. 

I sank to the floor with my back against the dried wooden walls of his shed and shook.  It wasn’t real!  It couldn’t be real!  I waited for him.  It was the most terrifying hour of my life.  But the air started to stir again.  The wind struck up.  I watched in wonder and horror as Ben returned.  He was a bit worse for wear, his tussled hair was full of burs, and his clothes a dark, dusty mess.  But his smirk was warming, and he held an old bowl. 

“How…”  My voice trailed, but the only thing I remember clearly is how I felt at that moment.  I raced over to his filthy hide and wrapped my arms so tightly around him.  Tears collected on my cheeks.

“Kris,” He started.

“No!  Don’t you ever do that to me again!”  I hugged him tighter.  Then I leaned back to look into his eyes.   “Where were you?”

“I—I,”  His shoulders sagged.  “My father is an archaeologist.  This disk will take you to ancient ruins.”

“Ancient?  What?  Why?”

“There is some strange link between them and,” he paused.

“I’m in too deep now.”

“Ancient ruins have stories.  All archaeologists believe so.  But some of them aren’t ruins at all.  Some of them are disguised portals, like these.  They take you to other civilizations.  Like I said, the map,” he raced excitedly over to the table and picked up one of the older maps.  It was hand drawn by two sets of hands.  One more experienced, the other crude.  I guessed it was Ben’s continuation of his father’s work. 

“You intend to find him, don’t you.”  I asked sadly.

He turned to me.  “Yes.  And to finish his work as I try.”

“Is there a way to make it less dangerous?”  I asked him, my eyes tingling.

“Um, I th-think so.”  He must have been trembling too.  I stepped closer to him.  Worry enveloping my heart for a moment.  He was closer to me too.  I leaned in.


Andy watched his mom bow her head and close her eyes with a sweet smile on her face.  He wanted to say, ‘what?’ he wanted to know what happened next.  She opened her eyes, that smooth coating of contained tears covering them, but this time it was a happier cry.  Andy cocked his head.

“Well, there’s no reason to share our first kiss now, is there?” 

Andy swallowed, embarrassed.  Then realization of what his mother was saying hit him.

“You think Dad found another one of those portals?”  Andy asked, his voice nearly cracking.

His mother turned that grave, adventurous stare of hers on him again.  “I know he did.”

Monday, August 8, 2011

Quote for the Week

Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.
                      ~Albus Dumbledore

And since I can't resist:
Q: Who is your favorite Harry Potter character?


Mine?
A: Remus Lupin

Friday, August 5, 2011

Perspectives

So something occurred to me the other day while I was feeding my dogs (I'll get to that part in a moment).  You know that old adage "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"?  It's true, but not just physical beauty, right?

Let's face it, as writers we get a lot of rejection.  Rejection letters from agents, publishers, and editors.  We face rejection from opinions of friends, family, critique groups, judges, etc, etc.  But even from ourselves!

We love our work...we hate our work! Rinse. Repeat.

The thing is, because rejection is such a part of this business, I think it's important to turn some of that awful feeling (yes, it happens to all of us) into something useful.  I don't buy the whole "you need to have thick skin" argument.  And I'll wager most of you don't either.  It's not about having thick skin.  It's about taking the good with the bad, and letting the good get the better of you.  After you've had your private moment to wrestle with the bad of course.

It's about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and learning from your mistakes.  It's about letting go of what you can't control, persevering toward your goals, and making that darn lemonade!

See, when I went to feed the dogs the other day, the bag slipped, fell, and sprayed dog food all over the kitchen floor. At first I was frustrated with myself for not holding the dog food bag right, mad that I'd made a mess to clean up, but then I saw things from their point of view...hmmm a bunch of kibble all over the kitchen floor.  It was a free for all.  And you know what, I didn't have to clean it up, AND I didn't have to feed the dogs supper.

It's about seeing the beauty and embracing it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Cave


“That doesn’t look like a cave.”  Anya laughed lightly at Deanna’s drawing. 

Deanna scrutinized her picture.  It looked fine to her; there really wasn’t much to drawing a gaping hole.  “What do you mean?  It has all the natural elements of a cave!  It’s dark, mysterious, foreboding.” 

“Clearly you don’t know much about caves.”  Anya had a way of smiling that made you think she had an agenda.  “I mean, have you ever been to a cave?”

“I don’t like the way you said ‘been’.  It was very cave-like.”

Anya just smiled back adventurously.  “Would you like to go to a cave?”  The gleam in her eye was familiar somehow. 

When Anya arrived half-way through the school year, novelty singled her out like a plague.  But Deanna befriended her.  Anya reminded Deanna of someone she’d always wanted to be friends with. They’d become fast friends actually.  Inside the halls of school they were rarely separated.  They sat together at lunch, walked together in the hallways, and passed each other notes in class. 

She just wasn’t sure if Anya would remain her friend if she found out how truly boring she was.  After all, caves?  When Deanna invited her new friend over after school, her intended plans for a fun afternoon were spoiled immediately by storm clouds. So it was Anya’s idea to draw.  

But caves?  Of all the things to do on a rainy Friday, Anya wanted to draw caves. Deanna went with it.  But to actually explore a cave, now that didn’t sound safe. A little too adventurous.  A little too un-ordinary.  Very un-Deanna. 

“I really don’t think that’s a good idea.  And—and there aren’t any caves around here.”  Deanna’s nervous chuckle escaped even though she tried to hide it.

“Have you no sense of adventure?”  Anya smirked as she picked up her own drawing and handed it to Deanna. 

“Not really, no.”  She managed a start of a smile, but when her eyes fell on Anya’s drawing it melted.  She looked up from it too quickly, surprise evident on her face.  “Where did you get this?”

“I drew it.”  Anya said casually.

“No,”

“Yes.”  Anya shifted to her knees and her crisp, green eyes met Deanna’s.  “I did.  Right here, in front of you.”

Deanna didn’t know what to say.

“Deanna, I need your help.”

“Help?  What for?”  She asked confused.  Something in Anya’s carefree face suggested urgency.

“Drawing might not be something you’re that great at.”  Anya let the agenda smile lighten her face again, but only slightly.  “But painting pictures, I think, with a different tool?  Words perhaps?  Now that might be your forte.”

Deanna let the drawing slip from her fingers and she nearly shivered under Anya’s green gaze.  “Words?”  She choked. 

Yes, Anya looked familiar.  Too familiar.  If you took away the white button-up shirt and fade blue jeans and dressed her in that patchwork blouse, those brown breeches she’d stolen from her brother, and put that heavy amulet around her neck, the one with the intricate carving of the dragon…

“We miss your father too.”  Anya pulled Deanna from her thoughts; her face turned sympathetic.  She unbuttoned the collar of her white shirt and Deanna’s breath caught.  The amulet.

Deanna’s blood went cold and she stood; she took a step back from whomever it was that knelt on her bedroom floor.  But Anya is such a common name, isn’t it?

Anya rose.  Her eyes were pleading.  “I think you can finish where he left off.”

Deanna drew away sharply.  Whatever kind of joke this was, it wasn’t funny.  Anger bubbled up causing her to fight unfriendly tears.  This was the meanest trick anyone had ever played on her.

“I don’t know how you’re doing this—but this is wrong—I can’t,” Deanna paused to let her shaking voice steady.  “I need you to leave.”

“Deanna, no, don’t banish me!  It was hard for me to come here.”

“You’re not welcome here!”

Anya looked as if she would utter a curse, instead pleading words poured out of her mouth, “Since you don’t wish me to stay I have to go, but please, please Deanna.  You’re the only one who can help us.  You are the only one who can finish this.  Right now our world is in peril.  Since your father left it’s been stuck that way.  We need your help.” 

Deanna watched in horror as Anya faded!  A girl of flesh and bone was dissolving into nothing.  Into air!  

“You’re the only one that knows us well enough Deanna, you’re the only one that will listen to us!”  She was nothing but a dim refection now.  “You know where to find me.” 

Deanna could do nothing but stare at the empty space in front of her.  She sank onto her bed.  There was no explanation for what just happened.  If her father had gone crazy before he died she might at least have some scientific backing for this, but he hadn’t.  It had been cancer. 

Deanna’s eyes fell on her bedroom floor; on Anya’s drawing.  It was the very same.  Her father’s cave.

Deanna sneaked out of her room, slipped down the hall, and carefully lowered the door to the attic. 

The heavy scent of must descended from the unused room.  She climbed the stairs, letting the hotter air welcome her into what had been her father’s study.  She found herself drawn to the small circular window at the apex of the house and nestled there, beside the box.  She blew the dust shards off the lid and slid the cardboard top off.  It was still inside. 

The paper was slightly yellowed with age, the typing a lighter gray, but still readable.  She lifted it carefully from the box and held it on her lap like she used to when she read it while he was alive.  He’d let her.  He’d called her his little editor. 

She ran her fingers across the crinkled page.  It was beautiful.  Her father’s words.  Her father’s imagination.  Her father’s livelihood poured into paper that her mother had banished the moment he died.   
It had always been so real to Deanna.  The drawing on the first page looked uncannily like Anya’s picture.  Underneath it, in fancy letterhead, the title was printed in all caps.  Deanna’s finger slid over the two small words: THE CAVE.    

Maybe she could finish it.  If Anya helped her.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Quote for the Week

"A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others."
~Ayn Rand
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