Monday, April 25, 2005


Congratulations to M.R. for winning "Squirrel's Story Starters" for April!!!! She penned a delightful story.

Congratulations also goes out to K.M. for honorable mention.

Both of these stories ran neck and neck and I had to have outside help to decide a winner. Congratulations, girls!!!!!!!!!!!

When I was at ACRW conference last year, Kathy Ide's parents drove us to a four story bookstore in Denver. The story I was working on at the time features a S.W.A.T. officer for the hero. I found a S.W.A.T. magazine there and bought it, not realizing it had a picture of a very intense individual aiming a machine gun on the front cover. That issue was all about weaponry. Also during the conference, they gave these floating hand things away. So I switch flights at St. Louis and of all the people in line, guess who they pull out to go through their suitcase in front of all the other people?

Yep. Me.

So the nice, tall, latex-gloved security officer places my suitcase on the table and proceeds to unzip it. What's the first thing he sees? That S.W.A.T. magazine and that floating body part. He just stops what he's doing, lifts the magazine with two fingers, and his left eyebrow as he's staring at me. I giggle when I get nervous. So I begin to giggle. And I can't stop. And he's holding this magazine up, his questioning gaze turning from me to it and back. Then he picks up the severed hand with his other gloved hand. I'm giggling uncontrollably now and have hives all over my neck, back and arms because everyone around us is staring, wondering what the hold up is. I finally figure out he's waiting for an explanation. I look at him, shrug, smile sweetly and blushingly, and say, "You don't want to know."
Brow lifts higher and brow number two joins it, he says, "Oh yes. I do. And you're going to tell me."
I realize he's serious. But I feel another wave of giggles erupting as I envision my husband having to come rescue me after I've been apprehended by security, and interrogated in some dark airport boardroom by the FBI and CIA. (You have to remember, I have a writer's imagination.)
I tell him, "Well, I bought it at the Tattered Cover."
He blinks exactly three times and I can tell this answer is not going to get me through security. This is St. Louis, MO. And the Tattered Cover was the bookstore in Denver.
"I'm a writer. I just came back from a writer's conference and I bought that for research."
"Hmm-Hmm," he says. Now there are three, count them, three security guards going through my stuff and a LOOOOONG line of irritated, yet curious onlookers behind me who are about to miss their flights because of the delay caused by this fake severed hand and this magazine.
He dug through my dirty clothes (How embarrassing) and lifts up my Bible. Shew. I see the grin erupt over his face and the sparkle glimmer in his eye.
"Am I going to find any other severed body parts in here?" he asks, a smile tugging one side of his mouth higher than the other.
Relieved, because I now realize he's kidding with me, in my nervous state, I blurt the first thing that comes to mind, "No, sir, you certainly won't. I hid the rest better."

He chuckled, closed the suitcase and waved me through while the stream of passengers behind me zoomed past in all their glaring glory. At some point on the flight home, I stopped trembling and began to chuckle about it.

You, God, created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created. Revelation 4:11 NLT

Dear God, as you have delighted yourself in us, even when we had no thoughts of you, please help us to delight ourselves in you. Let nothing take your rightful place in our hearts. Be first. Help us love you laps ahead of everything and everyone else.


Set up:
Hero's background: His mother was controlling. He thinks a wife will control him, therefore he avoids commitments at all cost. Has always been tought that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you want something, go after it. Has to feel like he's in control at all times.

Heroine's background: Shy, sweet, tought never to make waves. Don't pursue things, let them come to you. Avoids situations of control at all costs.

She catches his eye and he determines to "Chase her" even though he's never had to chase a woman in his life. A mishap causes them to meet.

Write a 500 word or less scene. I'd like you to use at least the hero, or heroine above, preferrably both in your story.

This sentence, or variant of it, MUST be in the story somewhere, preferable the Hook.

"As the slow heat from the blush of mortification crawled up her chest and neck, Murial cringed at the mess she'd made, and prayed for the sidewalk to open up and gobble her this instant."



1 comment:

Robyn said...

Squirl! Cool blog. It seems weird to see the gang away from Steeple Hill, doesn't it?

When I stopped laughing, I realized your security guy is great hero material! And that story would be a great kick-off to a suspense. (Just thought I'd give you first crack at it. If you don't use it, I will.)