30-Day Diary: Vol. 1. Dazed Writer

Note to Reader: If you are reading this page it’s truly a story-in-progress, which began on Sunday, July 24, 2011 with hopes of adding a chapter or scene, complete or incomplete for one month. Feel free to leave a comment, a critique, a concept or character.

Sunday July 24 Day One
“Is he the one?” Leah asked.
“I don’t think so,” Rebecca said.
“You have time,” Leah said.
“This dating thing is not easy. Especially long distance,” Rebecca said.
“It’s a blessing.” Leah laughed. “You’re not ready to date.”
“Leah!” Rebecca hugged her sister. She put her suitcase in the backseat and slide into the passenger’s seat. Leah revved the engine and plowed out of the airport parking lot.
“Now you can concentrate on producing your play and not finding a husband.” Leah said.
“And what about Mom?” Rebecca asked.
“Mom means well, but you don’t need a husband to survive. She’s old-fashioned.”
“But she liked this one,” Rebecca said.
“How about you?” Leah held the EZ pass up to the windshield.
“Do you want me to Velcro that to the window?” Rebecca said. She stared into the darkness of the night with one thing on her mind, him. The man she spent three months talking to via cell phone, Google messenger and then after thirteen days she knew he wasn’t the one. Yet he was everything she had prayed for.
“Sis,” Leah said.
“Whatcha ya thinking?”
“I thought he was the one,” Rebecca said.
“How do you know he isn’t. You didn’t…”
“No, I didn’t sleep with him or compare him to.”
“Then how do you know?” Leah asked. “You know when John and I met I didn’t like him and had no plans to marry him.”
“And look at the two of you 30 years later, four beautiful and successful teenagers.” Rebecca didn’t want to hear her sister’s story, she’d heard it before.
“Was he nice?”
“A complete gentleman.”
“Did he…”
“We went out to dinner, cooked dinner, went to a play. He even bought me roses and baked me a pecan pie.”
“Oh your favorite,” Rebecca said.
“In the mornings we discussed devotions, in the evenings we prayed.”
“Prayed you wouldn’t rip off your clothes and straddle him.”
“Girl you crazy. But that’s just it. I didn’t seem to be physically attracted to him at all. He took his shirt off and I thought put that shirt back on.”
They giggled. Leah continued, “Here’s the worst part. The man reminds me of Mom’s second husband. And he’s fully assured of who he is.”
“Peter!” Leah put her hand up to her mouth. “Peter was the best thing that happened to Mom, even Mom knows that.”
“And there I was turned off because I felt like I was kissing my stepfather.”
“Oh that’s not good. Well at least you told him it wouldn’t work.”
“Well.” Rebecca stuttered closing her eyes and shaking her head. “Actually he asked if I was ready for a husband.”
“He’s smitten with you, huh.” Leah chuckled. “Maybe you should give him one more try. Possibly invite him here.”
“Wouldn’t that be leading him on.”
“If you didn’t tell him…”
“Oh look I’m home,” Rebecca said ready to end the conversation. She had too much on her mind to think about. She kissed her sister goodnight and grabbed her suitcase out the back seat. “Bible Study tomorrow.”
“No, John and I have tickets to Kirk Whalum concert.”
“Enjoy.” Rebecca walked into the dark house. She flipped the hallway light on and walked to her bedroom contemplating if she should call and let him know she had arrived home safely.

Monday, Day Two
Rebecca removed her clothes kicking them to the corner of her bedroom. She tossed her iphone on the bed and strode to the shower. The warm water rushed over her. She lathered her skin thinking of him and the days they shared together. Why couldn’t she repeat his name. He was kind. He was gentle. He made her feel safe. He had a 800 credit rating. He was debt free. He treated her like a lady. He was spiritually strong. He appreciated her. Yet it was too soon and he had said the word, the four letter word that made her want to run. And she had run before and from another. Only this time this one had said it after only four months. Five months too soon. However, she knew, she knew he wasn’t the one. He had most of the traits on her list, yet something about him didn’t make her quiver, didn’t make her miss him when she step on the plane, or when she step into her quiet abode. She wanted to miss him. She wanted to call and linger over his voice, which first captured her. She wanted to talk sweet nothings in his ear. But something was missing. The hardest thing was how to let him go.

She clicked off the shower, slide the door opened, grabbed the towel, and hurried to the ring of her phone. “How are you?” she asked.
“How long have you been home?”
“About an hour.” She dropped her towel and slipped on her plaid cotton gown.
“Did your sister pick you up?”
“She did.” Rebecca knew he was being kind. However she was feeling overwhelmed by his voice, his questions.
“I miss you.”
“I enjoyed your company,” she said yawning into the phone.
“Oh, you must be exhausted,” he said. “Shall we talk tomorrow.”
“I have to go to the studio in the City,” she said.
“Okay, I’ll let you get some sleep.”
She pressed the disconnect button. Then sent a text.

i’m home
good flight
wanna talk
not tonight, still angry with u
get over it
see you in the studio at noon.

Rebecca turned off her phone and knelt in prayer. She stayed on her knees for only minutes but it seemed like hours. She attempted to pray for clarity about the budding relationship, about the man who proposed, informally. More like I need a woman like you in my life. And when Rebecca decided to hold her ring finger up and sing Beyonce’s “Put a ring on it.” The next day, he took her to the jewelry store to pick out engagement rings. She gasped. God had a sense of humor. Rebecca didn’t feel worthy of a relationship and especially a man who was nice, naughty, respectful. She just didn’t have feelings. None.

Dear Diary,
Another lame story. What’s gonna happen to Rebecca and how is she every going to recognize the man that really loves her. This is a story told too many times. This story writing is the pits. My agent is not going to be pleased I haven’t finished this short story. Really is there something new. How can I make this story work. It’s obvious this man, who doesn’t have a story is in love with Rebecca and Rebecca is running from love. But why? Hmm. Let’s see if I can create something. Maybe I should read the story fix or structure something, one of the ladies mentioned at the writer’s group. But God knows I’m at a point in my writing when I despise writing exercises and how to’s. You just have to write. Just do it and recall all the stuff you’ve read and there’s so many books and workshops and conferences floating in my head Yet I can’t seem to get this short story structure going. Oh, well since inspiration isn’t my muse, I’ll return to the story tomorrow. After all 28 more days before deadline.

Tuesday Day Three
Dear Diary,
I’m giving up on this writing thing. It’s just not working. My life is becoming my art and art my life.

Thursday Day Five
Actually, it’s day four I skipped a day. But who’s reading my diary anyway. No one is interested in the diary of a writer. Really. What’s going on here. This entire idea of starting a blog in which I write something everyday started after watching the movie Julia Julia. I tried that with blog post and it didn’t pan out. Then I watched the movie again a few days ago and decided to change my strategy and write about being a writer. It’s up to the reader to figure out if this is a story or a diary entry. I thought something experimental would be great. Of course, writing in my journal is truly procrastination. And procrastination is not good. I just missed the deadline for a writing contest. Maybe I should just send my manuscript to the publisher anyway. I have a love hate relationship with writing. And lately I just want to toss it away and let it go. Then I have the urge. I see other books on shelves. I hear the journey of other writers. Next, I think if God gave me this writing ministry then what next and am I supposed to just stop. It’s get worse when I think about the spiritual aspect of writing and as a ministry. Maybe what I’m writing brings God no glory. After all, I’m a rebel. I want to read real Christian journey, real faith stories when crap happens and you just give up on God, turn your back on him or not. I like to read and write about the issues that truly matter. Yet I must be careful in this writing, which I have been discovering on my journey..life reflects art and art reflects life. So, in a sense I attempt to write fiction to mask my life, yet when a nonfiction piece haunts me and it begins to surface and I write…you guessed it publication is in the air. However, my life is on display. Then I remember what one writer said, most people, and the percentage is low because people are not reading that much, (as one person told me put on the screen and I’ll tell you if I like it) –I digress–people who read a writer’s work rarely know the writer. Although that may give comfort, some of the first readers of one’s work are friends and family of the writer. Of course, not all the time.

Okay back to how I’m going to complete this story for my agent in less than thirty days. How many times does a writer get commissioned for a piece of writing. Well, for me this is a first. My first agent, but not my first commissioned fiction piece.

The story has characters. The story starts with a problem. Well, let’s see Rebecca is unsure about the new man in her life. That’s good. But it’s boring. I mean. Really. I guess the key is who else is in her life and what has happened to her in the past to make her question the man she contemplating. It’s evident her sister Leah is concerned for her. And Rebecca envies her sister’s marital life. In addition Rebecca’s mom doesn’t want her to be alone. Now the question is for me the writer: is Rebecca divorced, single, on the rebound? Which trait makes a good story read. She works in the studio. But what does she do in the studio. And this is a Christian story about faith, maybe not redemption, but something that gives the reader a moment to pause and think about her own faith: weak, strong, flexible.

Friday, Day Five
Today, Rebecca did not speak to me. Yes, characters speak to the writer. Don’t you speak to God. Creation speaking to creator. I guess that’s why it is said amongst writers that we are like God: we create people and situations for them to survive. Anyway, I don’t equate myself not even as a writer to being God-like. That’s way to much pressure.

I believe she did not speak because I am cheating on her and her story. A few weeks ago, a virus crashed my system. I did not have a back up. However, I was completing the last section of a novel…revising actually, and lost all the changes. –I’ve already lamented.– One morning, I realized the majority of the revisions had been sent to my writer’s group and my office email. I darted downstairs to retrieve those sent emails. I was so relieved, but still bummed that I had to revise again. One does not get inspired to write, one has to write to stay inspired. Take it from me. Anyway, I lost my inspiration, my motivation, my way. Then a morning devotion reminded me to complete what I have finished. Hence, Rebecca is a new story and the other novel revision need to be complete for my agent to pitch, my writer’s group to read. Still I want to know what to do with Rebecca. Maybe she doesn’t even have a story.

Well, I’m off to polishing this novel in the making.

Saturday Day Six
Eleven pages edited and I’m on a role. Just do it is the key. And I think I know where Rebecca’s story is heading. In the august issue of the new yorker a play was written about a marriage ending after 22 years. I thought this is my story, I mean Rebecca’s story. Of course I have to see the play, but write a draft before seeing the play, which opened yesterday. An artist doesn’t want to steal from another artist although Solomon says there is nothing new under the sun. And when you really analysis tv, music, books, movies isn’t the story line the same just different actors, music scores, fashion and technology.
Thus Rebecca’s story is about finding herself after divorce. She will encounter the indulgence of sexual sin and then the loving arms of a man she could never imagine God would send her. And yet still she is not sure if he’s the one. Knowing that God has much for her Rebecca soon realizes after several dates that she is worthy of love, that first she can financially take care of herself, then she can maintain a household, next she is physical attractive, and final a man is willing to love and take care of her. She is able to step back and care for herself. She is not the woman who was tossed aside after 21 years of marriage and told she was worthless, hopeless, and racist. Instead she explores the person she’s always been and then out of nowhere, content in her single life the man with all her list qualities, and more, appears. He brings her coffee in the mornings and then she meets him again on the walker’s trail, where they talk about the Great Migration. They seem to just meld as if they’ve known each other all there lives. One morning he invites her to the theater another morning he insists they see Shakespeare in the Bar. Ironically, she had just penned the date one her calender to take part in the readings at the bar. Even when Rebecca and Paul disagree it turns her on. They smile. He says…

Monday,August 1 Day Seven
“No woman makes me works this hard,” he says. “You’re a tough cookie.”
Rebecca smiles to herself thinking she would do anything for Paul. She would have his babies if she wasn’t barren or even liked children. First the gaining weight and protruding stomach, then the birth pains, followed by crying babies, sticking hands, tumultuous twos, terrible three, feisty fours, and then teenage years. And during the entire time trying to maintain and tone your body. Rebecca had seen her sister Leah’s mothering cycle four times and even their own mother had six children. If it was one thing about marriage Rebecca did not want besides being a submissive and obedient wife, a stupid idea, it was childbearing years. There was no way and no man had every made her feel as if she wanted to give up her income or single status to bear children. Not even God had placed that desire in her heart. Yet here was Paul. Paul was not a hottie, as her friends would say, he didn’t have a six pack, or muscular arms. He didn’t have a high powered job, or a three-bedroom house or even a new car. However, he had charm, he smiled and laughed and enjoyed every moment of life. He was debt-free and truly loved God. He didn’t just sit in a pew on Sundays, he taught Sunday School a class for bachelors, he led a grievance support group on Tuesday night and sang in the men’s choir. Paul appreciated theater, nice restuarants, movies and hikes. He was an advanced hiker, yet was patience with Rebecca. His first gift to her was a pair of sturdy hiking boots. The thing was Paul didn’t let Rebecca get away with much. He called her bluffs. (rewrite note.. scenes: Rebecca receiving gift of hiking boots from Paul. Paul calling her bluff. The tough side of Rebecca, the soft side of Rebecca.) (Note to self.. possible use these characters for Nano contest and this writing everyday will help me write 1600 words a day. I think that’s the daily word count. Plus I don’t have to think about spelling and grammar for Nano.)

Tuesday, August 2 Day Eight, August 2
Today was a meaningful writing day. I sat in the car shop waiting for an unexpected car repair from 10:00 a.m.-2:00p.m. I took my manuscript with. And at least edited 20 pages. AMazingly last week, I was lamenting at missing the deadline for a contest, in addition to the revised pages I had lost now having to revise again. On Sunday, Novel Rocket devotion was clear: God can not use what is not complete. SOmetimes a writer’s work needs revision before the next step. And the phrase perception is not always reality hit home again because I was grateful to not only sit and read with a editor’s eye– finding tons of comma splices and too many ands–now I have sharpened those first 35 pages editors and publishers request when submitting fiction manuscript pages. I was grateful. Then I made contact with someone attending a ACFW conference and now I’m beginning my networking. Truly, I’m stoked.

During dinner I sat down to watch an in progress movie with my daughters and the Sassy Weather Girl made me think of Rebecca. What obstacles will she have to overcome. In addition if Paul stays in her life will he too be able to withstand the heat in Rebecca’s life. Seeing Bridemaids made me think of that. From that movie I took away the lesson sometimes you have to fight for your life. I don’t think we realize that at all. Not everyone has connections or knows someone and even as Christians God’s grace should give us that advantage. Yet, I know firsthand that sometimes being at the bottom and clawing your way out is not easy and God’s mercy is all that you have.

I like the names Paul and Rebecca. I don’t want disease to befall them, or death of any sort, or losing a job–sounds cliche. I thought maybe Rebecca could have something to hide. Something she is ashamed of, something her family makes her feel regret for, something she believes God is punishing her for. But I have no clue which means the story is stuck before it gets started. Hmm.

Rebecca climbs in the bed thinking of him the man she knows she does not want to have a relationship with. She is grateful he is not close. She wants (writer’s note check verb tense) spark. Not sexual spark. But passion, passion for life, passion for just being alive. It’s so hard to explain. The phone rings. It’s two o’clock in the morning. She is wide awake. It is Marcia. THe phone rings a second and third time before she clicks the green button on.
“Are you back in town?”
“Hello to you too.”
“How was it. DId you…”
“No, I did not sleep with him.”
“Was he icky?
“No he wasn’t icky.”
“Then why didn’t you.”
“Cause I told you I need something more than sex. I need a man to turn me on before I get in bed. It needs to be mental.”
“Girl, what if he turns you on in your head and not in the bed. You need to test.”
“Marcia, I’m tired. I have no gossip for you okay. I did not sleep with him and if I did I would not tell you. You have a big mouth.”
“Well, I”m glad you didn’t. Cause single ladies have to show they can call the shots in a relationship. I have someone I want you to meet.”
“Oh, he’s an editor or publisher or something in your field and he may be able to help you with your writing.”
“What makes you think I need help?”
“I read your blog: Diary of a Writer. That’s lame.”
“Do you like the story?”
“Girl I do. I posted on FB. Hopefully your hits will increase.”
“CHat tomorrow. I’m exhausted.”
“Will you meet my friend?”
“Are you dating him, sleeping with him, falling in love with him?”
“None of the above, we bumped into each other at the theater…”Meet Vera Stark” was awesome.”
“I told you.”
“You know your theater.”
“I’ll see you at the studio for lunch. I’ll bring lunch.”
“Burgers and fries. I’ve eaten like a skinny woman for ten days.”
“Death by Chocolate cupcakes, too.”

The next morning, Rebecca poured coffee in her to go cup and grabbed her satchel and laptop bag. A refreshed day. By day, she taught teachers how to teach writing classes. At night, she purchased and stocked antique books.

Wednesday August 3 Day Nine,
He stood against the wall with a wide smile, and a grande skinny latte, two cups.
“Hello, lovely.” He kissed her on the forward. Samuel was six feet six. He towered over Rebecca. Samuel was Rebecca’s best student, but she did not tell him that or the other writers. Samuel had published six short stories since enrolling in Rebecca’s Renaissance Writers’ Workshop, Session A met in the mornings every eight weeks on Tuesdays, Session B eight weeks on Fridays, and Session C four weeks Tuesdays and Fridays. afternoons. Samuel came Tuesday and Friday mornings, and had been coming since the inception, six months.

“Thanks for the latte, but on your salary I prefer you not spend five bucks on coffee for me,” Rebecca said taking the cup from his hand and gingerly parting her lips to sip the steamy libation.

“Another acceptance, Rebecca.”
“Congrats.” Rebecca knew Samuel was more than interested in her. But she was tired of dating; therefore ignored Samuel. She had just had enough of the men in her life from her father, brother, brother-in-law, to male suitors that insisted she was the wife they had been looking for all her life. When she was in her early twenties and in college it was easy to tell guys to get lost, piss off, she was just not interested. Now, in her maturing years, she hated to think about how old she was although for women in the 21st century getting older meant: fabulous, fit, flirty at forty, fifty and sixty. Shoot Erica Kane, Susan Lucci per se, was 64 years old and thin as a rail. Rebecca looked at Samuel. Samuel was awkward and adorable. The fun they would have. She stopped, erasing those thoughts from her mind. She was a new woman. Well, not really new but like a caterpillar in the transformation stage. And it hurt. She focused on her morning devotion: ”

  • Do not throw away your confidence;it will be richly rewarded.”
  • “Good morning, Rebecca,” Archie said.
    “Have a good trip?” Peter asked?
    “Restful.” Rebecca tried to focus on the rest of the verse ”

  • You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” Hebrews something. 10:35-36 (NIV).
  • “What up?” Lisa belted. Rebecca tried not to be judgmental; yet she couldn’t not understand why such a beautiful woman wanted to imitate a man–a ghetto man at that.
    “Hey,” Rhonda said. “It’s been a tough week of writing. I got a piece published in the New York Times.”
    Rebecca jumped up. “I knew you had in it you,” she said hugging Rhonda. She’d have to bring in a cake next week to celebrate.

    Thursday, August 4, Day 11
    Losing track of the days…maybe this diary should be daily blog post. Maybe I should change the structure…Oh I missed Sunday, July 31.. so technically this is day twelve. I should go back and created a fake day.

    Rebecca celebrated the victories of her students’ publications. It was the only way to celebrate. She recalled the day her first book arrived fresh from the printer. Her agent, Margo Stevens, had invited her to lunch at The Modern at MoMa. Margo greeted her with a bottle of Dom Perginon and six copies of her book, “Wellspring Women.” Rebecca inhaled the newness of the pages, brushed her hand across the sheets, caressed the binding, flipped the pages, took a photo of the cover with her iphone and posted immediately to Facebook. She drank the entire bottle of champagne and devoured soups, salad, entree, dessert and coffee. The book had taken her five years to finish and two months to publish. A miracle is what her sister Leah said. A pure miracle. Rebecca smiled at the thought of her sister.
    “God loves you, Rebecca, and there’s nothing you can do about, but come on over to this side of the fence,” Leah commented on Rebecca FB status.
    Rebecca still couldn’t fathom this unconditional love her sister talked about. This faithful God that forgave sins despite. Rebecca didn’t believe God and anyone else could forgive her for that day, that day when…
    “Uh, Miss. Me had a hard time coming up with an ending for the story. I don’t like this writing thing. That Jamacia Kincaid makes it seem so easy.” Bonnie plopped in the seat next to Archie sitting next to Peter sitting next to Rhonda who was slouching next to Lisa who was eyeing Samuel. Samuel had his eye on Rebecca the entire class. Rebecca could feel his eyes caress her from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. Sometimes his eyes seem to stare into her soul as if he could read her mind, feel her thoughts. She did not like it. The last thing Rebecca wanted was to fall in love, to be in love, to find love, to feel love. She really needed to finish her next series “Wellspring Men.” She laughed… the men in her life were the art, the characters for her piece in progress, which is probably why it took so long to write. Men were not complicated creatures only when they: fell hard for the wrong woman, divorced the wrong one, cheated on the right one, expected sex without strings.

    Friday, August 5, Day 12
    The group pulled out their manuscripts. Rebecca handed back edited copies. Often times she spent more time editing student copies than commenting. She promised herself no more line by line edits, just summary comments.Each group member was responsible for reading work the week before. It made critiques easier and offered more in class writing time.

    “I’ll start,” Bonnie said. Her short story was about a widow, whose husband died of a heart attack, foul play was discovered six months later. Bonnie was on her fourth revision. She couldn’t move beyond descriptive details and include dialogue. Usually her dialogue was stale and didn’t move the story along.

    “You started last week,” Archie said. “If I hear about one more blossoming flower that withers like their love I’m not coming back to this class.”

    “No one cares about the retired librarian who’s daily routine is so boring he bores himself,” Bonnie said.

    “I like the retired librarian. First of all he’s 56, he’s been married two times, takes care of all three of his children,” said Peter.

    “But what makes him jolt. Why do reader’s even care about him Make him single never married and dating online,” suggested Bonnie.

    “So you like the retired librarian,” Archie said. He stared at Bonnie.

    “No, he’s to darned boring. Reminds me of “Stranger than Fiction” and you can’t do that it’s been done before.” Bonnie looked at Rebecca. “What do you think?”

    “Character background. What makes the librarian tick? What is his goal? What if his daily routine was shuffled around and he couldn’t follow his planned schedule?” Rebecca suggested. She too did like the retired librarian. The story bored her senseless, yet it was clever. Reminded her of Jeff Ben’s novel Albert, Himself. With a bit of work, Archie could create a simple character struggling with turmoil. “I suggest reading Albert, Himself or Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener.”

    Rhonda slouched further in her seat with her arms crossed over her breasts and her left ankle crossed over her right. “The widow and the retired librarian should meet and get married.” She winked at Peter. “I like the widow, but when are we going to find out how her husband died or who killed him. Your short story is 15 pages long and still no climax, turning point, aha. You’re killing me with drivel of memories and longing. But the scene of their honeymoon stuck on an island for two days without food is incredible. The feel of the sand on their bodies, the expanse of the ocean gives them fish for food and water for bathing and well you know. And Archie what I dig about the librarian is how he plans, prepares, and feeds those homeless men at that shelter every Thursday.”

    “Maybe he should meet a girl at the homeless shelter, but she’s a tramp and…”
    “We’re not doing Pretty Woman, Rhonda.” Lisa popped her gum. “I apologize my kids were sick this week and my husband lost his job, I didn’t read anyone’s work and I need to get a job. No more writing for me. I just came tonight to say goodbye.” She sniffled.

    Saturday, August 6, Day 13
    Rebecca smiled, but sighed inside. She had worked hard for the workshop to not become a therapy session. One thing that rubbed her the wrong way was writers’ groups in which more than 30 minutes was spent talking about personal matters and not the craft and business of writing. She had been kicked out, literally, asked to leave two groups this year alone. All because she smirked. Well a little more than smirked. Rebecca said,”I didn’t come here to talk my personal life or listen to anybody else’s issues, I cam her to talk about writing.” The host politely told her she could leave whenever she wanted. Another writer, a Brit, told her she had invited herself so she could uninvite herself. Rebecca got up, but not without giving each person her comments about their stories.
    She tried to recall that verse. That Hebrew verse about confidence, its reward, perseverance, will of God, receiving his promise. For too long she doubted herself, her confidence in many of her decisions. Her confidence plummeted the day of the accident. Rebecca was in her own head. She heard Samuel critiquing Archie story, but she was not listening. The accident. The crumpled bodies. The sirens. The blood. Images whirled in her head. Shattered glass. Blue sippy cup. Brown teddy bear. New York Times crossword puzzle.

    Sunday, August 7, Day 14
    Dear Diary, It’s 2 am and no internet service on this mountain.
    Monday, August 8, Day 15

    Tuesday, August 9, Day 16

    Wednesday, August 10, Day 17
    Dear Diary, Off the mountain, in a dorm room. Need sleep. What will happen to Rebecca. What story will she reveal.

    Thursday, August 11, Day 18
    Dear Diary, Rebecca will be authentic and real. The truth will hurt her and those that think they love her. Rebecca just wants the wounds to heal. I thought she was going to be a divorcee. But instead something more dramatic, something more painful, homicide. I’m not sure I could deal with the death of my niece and my husband. However, it does happen. A few years ago, a 18-year-old girl was in a car accident and killed her sister. It was her birthday and excitement consumed her. That girl ached with pain. Ironically that year, she sat in the front seat of my literature class. Her story unfolded in an essay assignment based on Linda Brewer’s “20/20”: write about a car ride.
    Several years prior to this incident, a father drove his children to a baseball game. His four-year old daughter was not buckled. Yep, you guessed it. Amazing now I’m writing a story that needs a wound for a character and I pull from real life. The amazing thing is it’s not my life. That’s good. Most people ask, where did that story come from. I believe after the first book, especially fiction the writer moves from autobiographical. But then again what do I know.

    Friday, August 12, Day 19
    I need to wrap this story up. I’ve missed several writing days and its due in less than 10 days,
    Saturday, August 13, Day 20
    Tomorrow I will send more time editing. Some how Rebecca has to come to terms with this. But who will help her. Again this idea is too long for a short story what was I thinking. I should know better. After all a professor once told me I have “long legs.” And here I am once again trying to create a short story. Well we will see what happens.

    Sunday, August 14, Day 21
    Rebecca opened her eyes. She did not see the circle of writers. She saw white hospital walls, nurses and doctors donned in scrubs and an IV attached to her arm. Her parents stood next to her on each side of the hospital bed. Tears dripped down her mother’s cheek. Her father’s head bowed in pain she had seen when things had gone wrong. And things had gone wrong.
    “Where is Katie and Daniel?” Rebecca said.
    “It’s not your fault,” her mother said in that motherly tone trying to comfort a scrapped knee.
    Rebecca sat up. Her viscera shook. Her mouth grew pasty. She knew. She knew something was wrong. She gulped. “Where is Daniel?” Daniel and Rebecca were like a hand in a glove on a below zero wintery day. Together warming, caring for each other at all times. In the mornings he would bring her coffee in bed and sing bits of Al Jarreau’s “We’re in This Love Together.”
    “An eight-wheeler served in front of you,” her father said.
    “And Daniel, Daniel. Where is he? Katie. Are they in…” Rebecca stuttered over her words.
    “Honey, they–” Her mother begin to sob, uncontrollably. No words exited her mouth.
    “Were killed in the crash.”
    Rebecca began to whimper.

    “Are you okay?” Samuel said. His Barry White voice jolted Rebecca back to the writer’s circle. “My story was touching wasn’t it?” Samuel asked.

    Monday,August 15,Day 22
    Samuel knew Rebecca’s story. Samuel knew Rebecca’s heart. Samuel loved Rebecca and would do anything for her. He didn’t even enjoy writing, but upon meeting her at the wedding, he knew that if his best friend Daniel did not take her hand he would. Samuel envied Daniel. Daniel was a man of integrity. Samuel was not, but Rebecca was the type of woman who could change him. Actually he would change for her and change with intentions. Daniel taught him how to be an upstanding man. How to court a woman who he wanted. Rebecca had many of Daniel’s traits. Samuel wanted to love Rebecca as a woman should be loved with his heart, his mind, and his soul. Yet, he knew the one thing that stood in their way. Rebecca turned her back on God after the accident. Rebecca faith wobbled like a boat on crashing waves. Samuel knew he couldn’t save Rebecca. He did not want to be her savior, her angel, or the man who helped her through. So, Samuel chose only to be her friend because she was Daniel’s widow.

    Tuesday, August 16, Day 23
    Rebecca looked up at Samuel. She glimpsed Daniel in his eyes. She felt Daniel in Samuel’s heart. She heard Daniel when Samuel spoke.
    “Did you catch the alliteration, the cadence of the sentence?”
    “I did,” Rebecca lied. “I knew you were a natural.” She did from the moment he spoke at the wedding as the best man. His words were lyrically, beautiful, heartwarming. Samuel was Daniel’s best friend; like a brother. Rebecca recalled overhearing Daniel and Samuel chat two days before the weddings.
    “Man, if anything happens to me,” Daniel said.
    “I gotcha back,” Samuel said. “But it’s all good.”
    “She’s the one,” Daniel said.
    “Cause you know.”
    “If I hadn’t asked her out first you would have.” They bumped their fist together.
    “You know that.”
    “God, has a woman for you,” Daniel said.
    “I don’t want a woman, or a relationship,”Samuel said. “I want intimacy, a wife, a friendship. You know when divorce isn’t a question, not even a choice despite the battle.”
    “You want a warrior wife,” Daniel said. “But are you willing to stay on the battleground and fight?”
    “I am,” Samuel said. In forty-six years, Samuel had never been married and didn’t understand relationships. After five months he was ready to walk away. No, Samuel did walk away. Daniel stood firm. Rebecca was his second wife, but his heart. Samuel envied that about Daniel. He stayed with his first wife through infidelity, two miscarriages, unemployment, death of her father, and rehab of her brother. He prayed, continuously weeping like the prophet Jeremiah. Samuel told him to leave especially after her unfaithfulness. But he didn’t. Daniel stayed. “Man, God will fix us.”
    Wednesday, August 17, Day 24
    “That’s a risk I wouldn’t take,” Samuel said.
    “Faith is risk. God tells us to take a risk. And a risk is not always success.”
    “I’m not feeling you, man.” Samuel said. “Women are complicated and I’m not risking my heart to love.”
    “That was one relationship and it was long distance,” Daniel said.
    “Samuel, Samuel.”
    Samuel snapped out of the trance. Staring at Rebecca was like staring at Daniel.

    Thursday, August 18, Day 25
    The circle disbursed.
    Friday, August 19, Day 26
    Samuel and Rebecca were the last in the workshop room. Rebecca looked at Samuel. Samuel looked at Rebecca.
    Saturday, August 20, Day 27
    “I have another class this evening,” Rebecca said.
    “I know,” Samuel said.
    “You remind me so much of him,” Rebecca said.
    “He loved you,” Samuel said.
    “But you saw me first, didn’t you,” Rebecca said.
    “He’s my friend,” Samuel said.
    “All this time, you said nothing,” Rebecca said.
    “Daniel knew, but it was too late,” Samuel said.
    “Did the two of you make that movie pact were friend takes care of friend’s girl in the end?” Rebecca asked.
    “The moment he laid eyes on you and I knew he was smitten. So, yes, we made an unspoken pact,” Samuel said. “Rebecca,” words stuck in his throat.
    Sunday, August 21, Day 28
    Dear Diary, I had no idea this story was going in this direction. I have to print the entire story out and read it. Do I have something here? I mean something experimental. Can the reader tell if the journal-keeper is Rebecca or me, Angela. I can’t tell whose keeping the journal now. I’m sure you think this is a hoax, but it’s not. This writing everyday for 30 days on a blog in which anyone can read at anytime is tough. At the end of the 30-days, the agent wants the piece. So, I really have not choice but to keep going. Did you expect Rebecca and Samuel to become one in the end? It would be nice, huh. I was at a conference and the an editor mentioned that in romance it’s easier for the reader to accept the love interest to be a past lover, high school interest, but someone the guy or the girl met before, instead of someone new. Ironically, in the past ten months I have been told that three people are now in relationships with people they met in high school or college…20-30 years later. Art is life..life is art.
    Monday, August 22, Day 29
    Tuesday, August 23, Day 30

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