Friday, November 17, 2017

Something Different - Part 7

Good morning FFFs,
I'm more in a fall mood this week than I was last week. The weather has been warmer this past week which might have something to do with things. Not that it's been really warm, but it's been in the upper 50s - upper 60s. And the last few days have been sunny. Our yard is covered with leaves! And I mean covered. When we rake all the leaves down to the sidewalk for the city to collect (isn't that nice of them to come collect all our leaves?), we fill up almost the entire section near our house with mountains of leaves. Of course kids love playing in them.

This week I've already written close to 4k! I did get stuck on this Christmas story on Wednesday, but I was able to connect with some of the girls from my "NaNo Cabin" and they helped me brainstorm. Now I just have to get it to all come together. I will tell you right now though, this is too long of a story to post on my blog. It's already 14k words. And I haven't reached the end. But you can expect a new Christmas book next year. πŸ˜‰

Today is the last day of my Christmas Collection Blog Tour. Stop by Read Another Page if you haven't already done so, and go read the reviews and interviews. You might learn something new.

And here's the final part of this story. I hope you've enjoyed it.

Something Different
Part 7

    Abby nodded and Lindsay continued.
    “Mrs. Willman was there! I wondered if she had something to do with this since she seemed to know so much about it when I talked to Dr. Willman that first day. And several other people were there as well. The principal of the Christian school and some board members, or something. Anyway, they showed us around and let us ask questions. Then they let us write on the chalkboards and sit at the teacher’s desk. Oh, Abby, I want to teach there!” And Lindsay’s hands tightened into fists at her sides as she tried to fight back her almost overwhelming desire to scream. Drawing a deep breath, she went on. “Then we were all told to find a seat. Everyone else went outside except one older gentleman who is the son or grandson of someone who actually taught in that school! Doesn’t that just give you chills to think about?” She kicked off her shoes and tucked her feet up under her before going on. “He gave us a set of papers and a pencil, and then told us we were going to take the teacher’s exam!”
    Abby’s eyes widened. “Just like that? No time to prepare or anything?”
    “Just like that. I was so thankful that I had looked up what they were like, so I at least had an idea of what to expect. I don’t think anyone was really prepared. Unless it was Sharon. But that gentleman is a certified teacher and had the right or authority, or whatever it is, to give us the tests. And we had to do them right there. In those desks. And no phones were allowed. I forgot to mention that he asked us to turn our phones off for the duration of the test.”
    “Didn’t he trust you?”
    “Probably, but they don’t want your phone to ring, or beep, or something when you are in the middle of a test. The test took us a good long while. Next came lunch. Most of us ate out on the porch. I discovered Grandma’s friend and spent the entire lunch time hearing all about the schoolhouse and the history of it. Oh, Abby, it was so exciting!”
    “Sounds like it. But it’s several hours after lunch, what happened next?” Abby prodded when Lindsay sat staring at the opposite wall with a dreamy expression on her face. “Lindsay. After lunch?”
    “Huh? Oh, sorry. They had us all stay outside, and we took turns going inside to be interviewed in person for ten or so minutes.”
    “Were you nervous?”
    “Yes! I don’t know how well the interview went because I can’t really remember a thing about it except that I had to tell why I wanted to teach there. I don’t think I’ll get the job though, even though I want it so badly.”
    “Why ever not?” Abby demanded.
    “I probably looked like a scared kid. Sharon and one of the guys, Jared, were as cool as though they applied for positions at one-room schoolhouses on a regular basis. One of them will probably get it, if one of the outside group doesn’t. I wish I had more of your poise when talking.”
    “My poise? Ha! Lindsay, you have the poise you need. You get passionate about what you love, and you give all you have to whatever is before you. If you don’t get the job, it’s because God has other plans for you. But don’t give up hope until there is a definite no. Got it?”
    Lindsay nodded. “Thanks. We’re supposed to hear by Monday evening. I’m not sure I’ll be much good in class that day.”
    “How do you think you did on the test?”
    “No idea. Dr. Willman was right. It was harder than I was expecting. I’d like to take it again when I’m not so nervous and see how I do.”

    Lindsay’s phone rang while she and Abby were eating supper Monday night. Picking it up, she looked at the  number and her face grew pale.
    “Answer it,” Abby ordered.
    Swallowing hard, Lindsay tried to say something, but it was only a croak. Quickly clearing her throat, she tried again. “Hello, this is Lindsay.”
    There was a long silence on Lindsay’s side as she listened to the voice on the other end.
    “Uh huh. . . . You did? . . . Yes. . . . I will. Thank you. Goodbye.” Her hand was shaking as she hung up and set the phone back down on the table. “I . . . I . . .” She lifted her eyes and looked at her best friend. “I got it. I’m going to teach. In the little one-room schoolhouse!” Her voice rose as the reality sank in. “Abby, I got it! I get to do it!” Her excitement was met with a delighted hug from Abby.
    “You’ll do a great job. Did they say anything about what you have to wear?”
    “An e-mail is being sent to me with more information.” Shoving away her plate, Lindsay grabbed her laptop from the counter, and opened it. “I didn’t think I’d get it,” she breathed almost to herself. “But I did. I’m going to teach!”

    The scarlet leaves of the sumac, the yellow of the silver maple, and the brown of the oak trees danced in the breeze outside the windows of the small schoolhouse. Energetic clouds raced across the sky in a constant game of tag while the sun shone benignly down from its blue throne.
    “Good morning children,” Lindsay said with a smile as she stood before her first class, “My name is Miss Crawford.” Turning around, she felt the gentle swish of her soft brown dress about her ankles as she picked up a piece of chalk and deftly wrote her name on the blackboard. She was doing something different, and she prayed that her influence would tell for eternity.

Do you like surprise tests?
Do you get nervous waiting to hear about something?
Did you visit my Blog Tour?

Friday, November 10, 2017

Something Different - Part 6

Good morning, FFFs!
It's a lovely fall morning here. There's a light frost on the ground, but the sun is coming up and the sky is mostly clear. There are leaves all over the ground, but some of the trees are not ready to give up the last of their leaves. After five days of cloudy weather, we were delighted to see the sun again on Wednesday.

I taught my last writing classes this week. Well, at least until January. 😊 I am working on my list of things to get done before Christmas! But my desk really needs cleaned off. It's a mess. I've done some reading this week, and worked on blog posts.

Speaking of Blog Posts, put it on your calendar to come to Read Another Page on Monday! That's the start of the Christmas Collection Blog Tour! I think there are 22 bloggers signed up to be a part of it not counting myself. πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ I'm super excited about this as it's my first ever Blog Tour for any of my books! There are interviews, book spotlights, book reviews, and I can't wait to read all the posts.

Writing. Yes, I did get some writing in this week. I actually got two days of writing 1k or more! This story is really coming along. And then when this is finished, I have another short Christmas story to write.

Everything is going by much too quickly! I want to enjoy things, not rush through them. So, let's take time to actually enjoy each day this coming week, shall we?

Something Different
Part 6

    “I don’t know for sure. Grandma said her friend had told her that each applicant would hear back even if they didn’t get the position. I just don’t know when that will be. Oh,” Lindsay wailed, “I hope I can concentrate on my own classes!”
    “You’ll have to, if you want to teach,” Abby informed her bluntly. “You don’t think they’ll choose someone who is failing in her classes, do you?”
    Somehow Abby’s words calmed the butterflies in her stomach, and Lindsay drew a long deep breath of the chilly air. She would wait. And while she waited, she’d put a hundred and ten percent effort into her own studies, if for no other reason than to keep herself too busy to think.

    Days passed. They marched steadily onward with a relentlessness that left no doubt that autumn was not going to drag its feet. Though she worked hard on every assignment she received in class, often doing more than was required just for the sake of keeping busy, Lindsay felt that the days must surely have passed for choosing the teacher. But she still had heard nothing. She said not a word to Abby, but her friend seemed to know what she was thinking and tried to encourage her.
    “It’s only been a week since you turned in your application,” she said one evening. “If it’s as Dr. Willman told you and people are applying from across the country, it’s going to take a long time to go over them all. And if everyone wrote as much as you did, it’s going to take even longer,” she finished with a little laugh.
    “I know. I just wish I could hear something. No one on campus seems to have heard anything either. And there wasn’t much time to get the word out on campus here before we had to turn the applications in.”
    A tune began to play from the pocket of Lindsay’s backpack, which sat on the floor near the couch where Lindsay was reclining. Reaching over, Lindsay felt around and pulled out her phone. A glance at the number brought a puzzled expression to her face.
    “Anyone you know?” Abby asked.
    Lindsay shook her head and answered. “Hello?” A sharp intake of breath and then a slightly quavering, “Yes?” alerted Abby that it was an important call. “Uh huh. . . . Of course!” Fanatically Lindsay sat up and made writing motions to Abby.
    Quickly handing her a notebook and pen, Abby held them steady as Lindsay jotted down an address, a time and a date.
    A few more words were exchanged before Lindsay hung up and, dropping the phone on the couch beside her, sagged against the back.
    “What?” demanded Abby. “Was it about the school?”
    “Yes. They want to meet me out at the school Saturday morning, but they made it clear that they haven’t made a decision yet.” She stared from the writing on the paper up to her best friend’s face. “I’m going to go see the schoolhouse.”

    It took every bit of Lindsay’s effort to concentrate on her own studies, but when Friday afternoon arrived and she had nothing to work on, she grew restless. If it hadn’t been raining, she would have walked off some of her nervousness and excitement on campus, but it was, and Lindsay paced the hall, the stairs, and the small confines of their apartment. Finally Abby tossed aside the book she was trying to read.
    “Sit,” she ordered as Lindsay wandered through the room for the seventh time. She pointed to a chair she had pulled out from their small table. “We may as well see if we can get your hair to go easily up in the correct style for a one-room schoolhouse. If you get chosen we won’t have hours to spend each day getting it up.”
    “Oh, Abby, I hadn’t thought of that. If I have to dress the part, what am I going to wear? I don’t have anything that looks like it’s from the eighteen hundreds.”
    “Don’t worry about that. Let’s just focus on your hair right now. Do you know how it’s supposed to look?”

    The autumn sun was bright in a sky washed clear by yesterday’s rain, and only a light breeze tickled the splendidly dressed branches of the trees on campus. It was after noon when Lindsay parked her car and climbed out in front of her dorm. In a daze she entered the building, not paying any attention to the alluring colors and warm sunshine. Slowly she walked up the stairs and down the hall. Stopping before her own door, she stood, silently staring at nothing until the door was flung open and Abby stood before her.
    “Well? Did you get it?”
    “I don’t know.”
    Abby pulled her inside and shut the door. “What’s come over you, Lindsay?” She gave her a little shake and then pushed her down onto the couch. “What was the schoolhouse like?”
    Some of the stupor left Lindsay, and her eyes began to glow as she told of the small schoolhouse, painted red on the outside with a bell in a little shelter on the roof, a stack of wood beside the porch, and the white trim around the windows. “Oh, Abby, it’s the most delightful place I ever saw! There’s a stove inside to keep it warm, real blackboards, old fashioned desks, and a little platform with the teachers desk up on it. There’s a door near the platform that used to just go outside, but now it goes to a little hall and the bathrooms. There is an outside door in the hall though. And there’s a coat room when you first come in, so the children can hang their coats and a shelf for them to put their lunch pails.”
    “But who was there, and what did you do besides look around?” Abby demanded.
    Lindsay blinked. “Oh, sorry. Sharon and three other students from college were there as well as five other applicants. I didn’t know the two guys who were from here, though I recognized them, but the other girl is Jeanette–somebody, the friend of the Carmichaels.”

What makes you give 110% effort into something?
Even if you weren't going to teach, would you like to visit that schoolhouse?
Will you be joining me on Monday for the Blog Tour?

Friday, November 3, 2017

Something Different - Part 5

Hello FFFs,
It's dark outside. Can you believe the time change is this weekend? Or that it is November? That's crazy. And, while I'm getting excited about Christmas and all the decorating, and books, and music, and such, it doesn't seem right. It can't be almost Thanksgiving, can it? The weather certainly didn't help the feeling any yesterday. It got to around 80ΒΊ! Not the kind of weather that makes you think Christmas and Thanksgiving.

So, what have I been doing this week? Let me think a minute.
Oh yes.
On Sunday the choir sang for church, then Sis and I went down to the gym early and set up the food for the fellowship meal afterwards. We also had a baby shower for a family in church. The afternoon I spent reading.
Monday was a busy day with getting things done and then my nieces and nephews came over. Even the baby got to come over and spend a little over two hours! He did great. He talked and smiled, laughed with Grammy, took a nap on Papa, and was happy to watch his siblings. We also celebrated Funny Boy's 8th birthday! How can my buddy be 8?
Tuesday I sent out a lot of review copies of my Christmas books to those who are participating in my Blog Tour. (If you have a blog and haven't signed up, but want to, let me know.) I taught writing classes, then worked on other projects. I did get just a little bit of writing in.
Wednesday was one of those days when I just couldn't seem to think, couldn't focus on anything, and didn't want to. So I read. I did get things done in the afternoon, and in the evening I worked as a substitute in Cubbies at church.
Yesterday Mom and I went shopping. We actually were looking for some new Christmas decorations! That was fun! We found some and I'm looking forward to using them and sharing pictures with you all later. I did write last evening and am now ready to get a new Christmas story to my editor.

And that, my dear readers, is a quick look at my week. How was your week?

Something Different
Part 5

    “I don’t know,” replied the first speaker, “but they’ll probably want some outgoing personality type. I mean just think how hard it would be to teach twenty kids all different ages, all at the same time. And no computer.”
    “Yeah, that would be hard. Hey, I wonder if Sharon would be interested. She’s always talking about teaching and has so many ideas. We should make sure she’s seen it.”
    The other nodded and then they turned to leave, saying a casual hi to Lindsay as she stood against the wall as though waiting for someone.
    As soon as they were gone, Lindsay crossed the hall and read the paper. It didn’t tell her anything she didn’t already know. But hearing the talk had raised her doubts about getting the position. If someone as vibrant, friendly, and creative as Sharon applied, what chance did she have? Sharon was always a leader in things, and she was outgoing and brimming with ideas on any subject. She could direct twenty children in a one-room school with no trouble at all, of that Lindsay was sure, while she, on the other hand, loved children and worked well with them, but when it came to large crowds or her peers, her confidence vanished.
    The words of Dr. Willman came back and she squared her shoulders. “I’ll just forget about Sharon and everyone else. I’ll do my best on the application and leave the rest up to God.”

    It was mid afternoon before she had a chance to do more than look over the application. She was a little surprised that there was so little about what qualified you to teach. But if that part was lacking, other parts were not. She was requested to tell why she wanted to teach, and what she wanted to get out of it. It also asked her to give an overview of what she thought a typical day in the school would look like under her care. At this she nearly laughed. One of the things she had done over the weekend was research one-room schools and what was taught and when and how. Grateful for the ideas she had gleaned, she started her outline on a blank paper in her notebook. It wouldn’t be perfect, she knew, but it was at least a start. She could rework it later before copying the final version down to hand in.

    Tuesday evening, Abby arrived after a late class to find Lindsay hard at work, papers spread across the table, her shoes kicked off and her hair pulled back in a ponytail.
    Lindsay shook her head and scribbled madly for a few minutes. Then she looked up. “No, the application.”
    Abby’s eyes widened. “It takes this much effort to fill out an application to teach in a one-room schoolhouse? Yikes!”
    Glad of an interruption, Lindsay stood up and stretched. “Maybe I am overdoing it a little, but Dr. Willman said I would be up against people from all over the country.” She looked down at the papers. “And I heard today that Sharon is applying.”
    “Sharon Gladstone?”
    “Yep. And if I’m to stand any chance against her, I have to do my very best.”
    For a moment Abby was silent. Setting her backpack beside the couch, she said, “Let me change into something more comfortable and then I’ll come help.”
    Staring at the door that had closed after her friend, Lindsay was dumbfounded. Abby wanted to help her? She knew she had been praying with her about it, but this was different. As soon as Abby came back, Lindsay burst out, “You want to help me? Why?”
    “If you want to teach in that schoolhouse this badly, the least a best friend could do is lend a hand in applying or preparation. Now,” she continued, seating herself in the other chair at the table, “what do I do?”
    For hours the two girls worked. Abby reading over answers, pointing out grammar mistakes, or suggesting better, clearer ways of saying something. Together they made a school schedule, not just of one day, but getting a little carried away, they planned the entire week, which Lindsay then copied in her neatest hand. “I thought of typing it,” she told Abby, who had risen to find something to throw together for supper, “but they didn’t have computers back then, and I thought they might want a sample of my penmanship.”
    “I hadn’t thought of that,” Abby replied. “I wonder if it’ll make a difference. Sandwiches or pizza?”
    “Sandwiches. I don’t want to risk pizza sauce on my papers. I don’t know if it’ll make a difference either. Maybe it’ll hurt my chances.” She frowned. “Perhaps I should send both. It doesn’t say what form to send them in.” Twirling a piece of hair around her finger, Lindsay looked at the schedules she had already copied. “Abby, if I don’t get to teach here, what am I going to do with these schedules and lesson plans? I don’t think I want to just throw them away. Not after all this work.”
    “You could use them in the school play and be the teacher.”
    Lindsay’s eyes grew wide. “No thanks! Dressing up and acting on a stage is not my idea of fun.”
    “Yet you call dressing up and spending a full day teaching a room full of children fun.” And Abby shook her head.

    “Abby, save me a seat,” Lindsay said as the two friends hurried down one of the leaf strewn paths toward their first shared class. “I want to drop these off at Dr. Willman’s office.” And she held up her application, all neatly stapled together as the instructions had said.
    “Why don’t I just wait for you?”
    “Do you mind?”
    Abby shook her head. “Why would I mind? It’s a lovely fall morning.”
    It took only moments to drop off the papers, and then the girls continued on their way. “When are you supposed to hear back?”

Do you have a friend who would help you like Abby helped Lindsay?
Do you ever worry that something could be done better by another person?
Are you getting excited about Christmas?

Friday, October 27, 2017

Something Different - Part 4

Good morning FFFs!
We might have had our first real frost last night. :) It's too dark to see what the roofs look like, but it was supposed to be in the 30s. And tonight is supposed to be 28ΒΊ!!!!! Finally we're getting real Autumn weather. πŸ˜‰ Maybe this will be what we need to turn the trees fully before all the leaves come off. Of course our yard only has trees that seem to turn yellow. But there are others in the neighborhood that turn red.

Guess what I did last night? I wrote! You know, like on part of a story kind of writing. I actually remembered how! πŸ˜²πŸ˜› I only wrote 400 words, but I realized I hadn't written anything since the 3rd! That's 23 days of no writing!!!! I know, that's just sad, but I'm really hoping that I can now get back into it every day since the books are all published.

Oh, if you didn't read my post on Read Another Page, you might not know that Finding Joy is finally published! But it is. πŸ˜€ The Christmas books are published, but not available yet. Unless you want to pre-order the kindle versions. I'm releasing them on the 13th of November in my first ever Blog Tour. If you have a blog and want to be a part of their release, let me know and as soon as I get the form to fill out, I'll send it your way. 😊

But now back to our regularly scheduled program. Enjoy this next part of the story.

Something Different
Part 4

    “Show me what to do, Father,” she breathed. “I feel like I should try to teach there, but I only want what You want.” With her heart still asking for wisdom, Lindsay strolled slowly along, her hands in the pockets of her sweater.
    The unexpected tones of the clock tower striking the hour filled the late afternoon air. Lindsay started and turned to look up at the black face of the clock which stood out clearly against the white ornate work around it. Surely it wasn’t that late? “Abby is going to think I did something crazy,” she thought, quickening her pace.

    Arriving somewhat breathless at the door of her room, Lindsay pushed it open and stepped inside. “Whew! That wind is really picking up. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had rain tonight.”
    Abby walked into the living room from their small kitchen. “Good, I’m glad to see you didn’t let them do it. Where have you been?” she demanded, adding, “I was about to call your phone.”
    Taking off her shoes, Lindsay pulled out her phone and dropped it beside her backpack. “Glad I didn’t do what?”
    “Let some of the girls cut your hair.”
    Lindsay laughed. “If I’m going to teach in a one-room schoolhouse, I’ll need long hair to look the part. Besides, I like my hair the way it is.”
    “So do I,” Abby retorted good-naturedly. “Now come help me in the kitchen and tell me what on earth took you so long.”
    After washing her hands, Lindsay donned an apron and set to work, telling Abby about her phone call and her impromptu meeting with Dr. and Mrs. Willman. “They suggested I spend the weekend praying about it, and talking to Mom and Dad. I have another meeting with Dr. Willman on Monday morning to talk about it again. I think Mrs. Willman must know quite a bit about this project, for she asked me several questions and pointed out some things I hadn’t thought of.”
    “Maybe she’s part of the group getting the whole project organized.”
    Lindsay shrugged. “Maybe. I’m going to call home tonight and talk it over with my parents and see what they think. You’ll pray about it too, won’t you?”
    “Of course I will. I may not have any interest in teaching, but it sure would be fun to photograph!”

    On Monday morning Lindsay arrived for her meeting a full ten minutes early. For a minute she was surprised to find Mrs. Beck behind the desk instead of Amy, but then remembered that Amy only worked there part time when she wasn’t in classes herself. Sitting down in the outer office, Lindsay tried to still her racing heart, and wiped her sweaty palms on her skirt several times. She didn’t know what was going to happen at the meeting, but it was difficult to wait.
    When the door opened and the dean stepped out, Lindsay rose, her mouth suddenly dry. Would the doors of the school be shut in her face?
    Dr. Willman motioned her in with a smile, and as soon as she was seated, he asked, “What do you think now?”
    “I still want to do it, sir. If I can. My parents are both on board too. I know it won’t be easy, but–” she broke off and swallowed hard.
    Folding his hands, Dr. Willman rested them on his desk and leaned slightly forward. His brown eyes held a friendly twinkle that his students all had come to know and love, while his gray hair demanded the respect he deserved. For a long few minutes he didn’t speak, only looked at Lindsay until she was sure he could read every her every thought and could tell how quickly her heart pounded.
    “All right, Lindsay,” he said at last. “I’m going to give you the application to fill out. You are not the only one who will be applying though. And probably not just from here. The school spread the word about this project pretty far, and there are probably going to be applicants from across the country who, like you, think such an opportunity is too good to pass up.” He paused a moment as her shoulders dropped, then went on, “But no matter who applies and who gets chosen, I want to remind you that God never makes a mistake. Fill out the application as well as you can, and turn it in to Amy or Mrs. Beck no later than Wednesday evening.”
    Almost numbly, Lindsay nodded. She would get to apply, but so would hundreds of others probably. What could a lowly sophomore have to offer? Though she was studying teaching, she had never taught before, at least not in a real classroom. Yes, she had helped with her younger siblings, and had even done a pretend one-room school with the neighbor kids when she was sixteen. But this–well, this was different. After several tries she managed to swallow the lump that rose in her throat and took the papers the dean offered her.
    “Now,” Dr. Willman said, leaning back in his chair behind the wide desk, “lets talk a little about your classes and what you would have to do if you were chosen. And don’t get your hopes up,” he added quickly. “I have no part in choosing a teacher. This is just to be prepared if something should come , as I don’t think you’d have much time later.”

    There was no time for Lindsay to even look over the application papers after her meeting with Dean Willman, for her first class of the morning started ten minutes later across campus. It wasn’t until she was ready to leave a building to head for lunch that she overheard some other students talking about a notice on the bulletin board.
    “Teaching in a one-room schoolhouse. That would be different.”
    “Yeah, but who’d want to do it?”

Do you have trees that turn red?
Are you excited about cold weather or would you rather have hot?
Do you want to help with my Blog Tour?

Friday, October 20, 2017

Something Different - Part 3

Hello FFFs!
I can't decide if it's supposed to be spring, or fall. Yesterday my sister and I went walking in the morning and it felt like spring and smelled like spring.🌷 But it looked like fall.🍁 And the leaves crunched underfoot. Funny weather. We still haven't had a hard frost yet.

So, what did I do this week? I corrected Christmas book after Christmas book. I corrected "Finding Joy" and got the cover finished. I uploaded it yesterday, so we'll see if it is ready to go. Hopefully so, because I'm wanting to release it soon. πŸ˜ƒ (Stay tuned to Read Another Page!) The Christmas books are still not quite done. I'm getting the covers in the final format to upload, but I do have all the interiors ready. I was going to do them all last night, but I accidentally uploaded the wrong interior and cover to the wrong title. πŸ˜› Yeah, crazy. I decided I should stop.

I can't believe it's the 20th of October! Only one full week left! This is crazy! My mind is spinning with the things I need to get done before December comes around. It didn't matter before, but suddenly I don't have a lot of extra time. And as for writing? Ha! What's that? 😜 I'm really, really hoping that after I get these books finished, I can write again. Pray for inspiration! I have a story started that I think you would all like (it's Christmas, so probably won't come out until next year), but every time I sit down to write, my mind goes blank. I'm going to have to just do it, I think. Anyway, I'd like to write some other non-Christmas stories too.

Anyway, that's that. Here's the next part of this story. I hope you enjoy it!

Something Different
Part 3

    It was Lindsay’s turn to laugh. “I’m not sure, sir. That is, I have time to talk now, of course, but I don’t want to interrupt anything. I didn’t really think I could get in to see you now. I just came–”
    “Then let’s have a chat now since my wife is in no hurry.” And Dr. Willman opened the door to his office and flipped on the light. Motioning Lindsay to enter ahead of him, he asked, “Is this a private matter?”
    “Oh, goodness, no! I don’t mind talking about it on the lawn with all the students around, though I’d be afraid one of them would want to do it, and I so want to have the fun of doing it myself, if I could only make it work.” Lindsay took the chair he motioned to.
    The door shut, and Dr. and Mrs. Willman seated themselves in chairs facing Lindsay. “Now, suppose you start at the beginning and tell us what is going on,” Dr. Willman suggested. “I brought my wife in because she often understands women better than me.”
    Lindsay smiled at the look exchanged between the dean of the college and his wife, and then launched into her story with an eagerness and animation only her closest friends knew she possessed. She told about her longing to do something different, her grandma’s letter, and what she had learned from her grandma, finally ending with, “That’s the story. I really want to try teaching in that school, if I can. Have you heard anything about it? Do you think it’s a good idea? Would it work? I don’t need the credits for all the classes I’m taking, so I think it wouldn’t hurt my chances of graduating. But do you know about the little schoolhouse?”
    “Yes, actually I do. The principal of the Christian school has been talking to me for sometime now about it. But the schoolhouse wasn’t done and for a while it looked like it wouldn’t get done in time for any classes this fall.” The dean crossed one leg over the other. “But tell me, what makes you want to attempt such a challenge?”
    For a moment Lindsay was silent, trying to clarify her thoughts and emotions well enough to share them. “I guess it’s several things. I love history and I’ve always enjoyed reading about one-room schools. There’s something about it all that just seems to be calling my name and I–” she shook her head. “I just don’t know how to explain it. I feel that I have to do it, if I possibly can!”
    “Have you prayed about it?”
    Lindsay’s eyes dropped to the floor, and she fiddled with a button on her sweater. “No, sir. I just found out about it about an hour ago and was interested, so I called my grandma, then came here and . . .” her voice trailed off. She should have taken the time to pray before coming and bothering a man as busy as Dr. Willman. “I wasn’t sure that I could do it. I mean, I don’t know what is required from the teachers to allow them to teach . . .”
    “As far as the requirements, I think you would fit. They will do a background check on any applicants, and those who wish to teach must take and pass the teacher’s exam.”
    “The old one?” Lindsay’s head lifted and her eyes glowed.
    The dean nodded. “The old one. But don’t think it’ll be a piece of cake. I think their standards were higher back then than they are today in some areas. However, I have no doubt you’d be able to pass it. But, Lindsay, passing the exam, or even teaching in the one-room schoolhouse isn’t going to satisfy your longing, if it’s not what the Lord wants you to do.”
    Lindsay nodded.
    Mrs. Willman spoke for the first time. “Lindsay, you said you love history, but what about the other subjects? You know it will be all branches of studies, not just history.”
    “I know. I may not be as good at some subjects, but I could brush up on what I’m not confident in. I think science is my weakest subject.”
    “Are you prepared to start each day of school off with prayer, Bible, and a song?”
    Somehow Lindsay had a feeling that Mrs. Willman knew more about the one-room schoolhouse affair than her grandma. “Yes, ma’am. And I know there might be a lot that I haven’t thought of yet.”
    Shifting in his chair, Dr. Willman uncrossed his leg. “But it hasn’t scared you off?”
    “No, sir!” Lindsay’s reply was quick.
    “I see. We’d have to talk about your classes and other things, but that can come later. Why don’t you spend time this weekend praying about it, talking to your parents, and really seeking the Lord about it all. The teacher who takes charge of those children will have a huge responsibility. She may only have each group for one week, but it will be a week most of the children will remember for the rest of their lives.” His voice was sober, and Lindsay felt a strange sense of awe at the thought
    Was she up to such a task? Only a week, but remembered for a lifetime. She swallowed.
    Dr. Willman rose.
    Lindsay stood also. “I will. Thank you sir, for listening.”
    With a smile, Dr. Willman held out his hand. “I’m glad you felt like you could come, Lindsay. I’ll have Amy schedule you a meeting with me for Monday morning. Do you have any early classes?”
    Lindsay shook her head. “Not until ten.”
    Together the three of them walked into the outer office. The meeting for Monday was set, and after a few more words, Lindsay took her departure.
    A brisk wind had sprung up and the leaves swirled across the lawns, the trees danced, and Lindsay drew in a deep breath. Autumn. The longing to do something was still there, still gnawing on her spirit, and though her wild eagerness had abated with the reminder that nothing should be done without prayer, she still wanted to teach.

Would you want to teach in a one room schoolhouse?
Have you ever gotten excited over doing something and forgotten to pray?
Do you have spring or fall like weather?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Something Different - Part 2

Good morning FFFs,
It's quiet right now. Only the singing of a cardinal can be heard. The six kids are all sleeping still! They were all really tired last night. All except Ti-K, rode their bikes with me to the park and then back again yesterday. Well, L ended up going back in the van because his little legs were tired. We'll have the kids until after supper tonight when their parents get back from their anniversary trip. It's hard to believe they've been married for twelve years!

Let's see, this week. I didn't write. But I did make the corrections in one Christmas story. :) And I released my new book, "Dylan's Story." :D It's the first novel I've published this year! Kind of crazy since I was doing 2-3 books a year. But don't worry, I have another Long novel coming soon, and the eight Christmas books. Hopefully I can get more done next week.

Enjoy this next part of this story.

Something Different
Part 2

    She read the letter through once, then started over and read it more carefully, pushing herself up from her lounging position as though to better take in what she was reading. At last she gave a little laugh. “That sounds like fun. I wonder if I could.”
    Abby looked up from a long letter she was perusing. “What does?”
    “Grandma wrote to tell me that a friend of hers, who lives somewhere near here, owns land that has an old one-room schoolhouse on it. It’s been restored, and Grandma writes that they are going to use it for teaching before turning it into a museum.”
    “A museum sounds interesting. Wait! What did you just say about teaching there again?” Abby let her letter fall in her lap and gave her full attention to Lindsay.
    “It says here,” and Lindsay read from the floral stationary, “‘it’s been agreed to give the public school children a real taste of what a one-room school was like. They are going to take a mixture of students from first through eighth grade to attend the school together for a full week. They are estimating that it will take almost until Thanksgiving for all the children in the nearby Christian school to experience it. The only trouble is, they don’t have a teacher. They want one who is young, as many teachers of old were young, and one who wouldn’t mind teaching under such conditions.’ Doesn’t that sound like fun?” She looked up, her eyes sparkling.
    “No.” Abby was quick with her reply. “I don’t want to teach there or anywhere else.”
    Lindsay laughed. “Well, you aren’t learning to be a teacher. I think it sounds wonderful.” She glanced back down at her letter. “Grandma says that they did install real bathrooms in the back so the students wouldn’t have to use an outhouse.”
    “Well, that’s good. But still, how would you manage all the grades together?”
    “Just like a mom homeschooling, I guess.” Suddenly she bounced bolt upright. “That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to see if I can get the job of teaching in the little one-room schoolhouse. I wonder if I’ll have to dress the part?” She shivered with excitement, but her smile widened. “Oh, wouldn’t that be fun? I’m going to go call Mom, no, I mean Grandma right now. I’ll have to talk to the dean, and my professors. I wonder how much teaching experience I have to have? Back then they just had to have their teacher’s certificate. Hmm.”
    “Lindsay Crawford, you are something else! You haven’t even finished your sophomore year of college and you want to quit to teach in a one-room schoolhouse for a few weeks?” Abby shook her head and sighed resignedly. “What’s the use? You have that look in your eye. Go make your phone call.”
    Slipping her shoes back on, Lindsay reached into her backpack and pulled out her phone. “I’ll be back when I know something.” With a wave, she hurried from their room, down the hall, and almost skipping down the stairs, she darted outside and away from the front door. It took but a few moments to dial the number on her phone, then she waited. Grandma didn’t have an answering machine and sometimes took a few minutes to reach the phone. On the seventh ring, just as Lindsay was about to hang up, Grandma’s bright voice answered.

    By the time she had hung up, almost thirty minutes later, Lindsay was fairly bursting with pent up excitement. Tapping the phone on her hand, she thought. Should she run up and tell Abby where she was going? Or should she go directly to make an appointment to meet the dean. “I should make an appointment first,” she decided, knowing that she might not get to see Dr. Willman until Monday if she waited too long. Quickly she tucked her phone into the pocket of her sweater and set off at a brisk walk back across campus. If running had not been banned from the campus grounds except for track meets or things of that nature, Lindsay would have run. As it was, however, her rapid walking soon took her down the almost empty paths, through the maze of buildings, to the structure that housed the dean’s office.
    Stepping into the office, she smiled at the receptionist who looked up. “Hi, Amy.”
    “Hi, Lindsay, what brings you here?”
    “I want to make an appointment to see Dr. Willman.”
    “All right. What about?”
    Still breathing quickly from her rapid walk, Lindsay blurted everything out in one rapid sentence, not pausing except to catch a quick breath. “I want to talk about taking the teacher’s exam and teaching this fall in the one-room schoolhouse because I know I could do it, and– I’ve just got to do something before this weather drives me crazy!”
    Amy’s eyes widened and her eyebrows rose. “Are you feeling all right, Lindsay? You look rather flushed. Why don’t you sit down, and I’ll call the nurse.”
    Lindsay burst into laughter. “No, thanks. I’m fine, really, Amy.” She drew a deep breath. “I know it sounds crazy, but that’s the whole of the matter. I want to talk to him about it. Grandma’s going to talk to her friend, and I really hope I can get it!” She clasped her hands together.
    Amy didn’t look convinced but said, “Just a minute, I have–”
    The side door opened, and Dr. and Mrs. Willman stepped into the front office. The dean looked a little surprised to find one of the students there, but glanced from Lindsay to Amy. “Did I miss an appointment?”
    “No, sir,” Amy began, “Lindsay just arrived.”
    Dr. Willman looked at Lindsay’s excited face. “Is it an urgent matter?” he asked, smiling.
    “I don’t know. I mean it’s not urgent, but I’d rather have it than lose it to someone else because I’m just longing to try it!”
    Mrs. Willman’s bright laugh filled the room. “Take time to talk with her, Ken. At least find out what it is she hopes no one else gets before she has a chance. I’m in no hurry.”
    “Do you have time to talk now, Lindsay?” Dr. Willman asked. “Or did you just come to make an appointment.”

Would you want to teach in a one room schoolhouse?
Do you ever get so excited about something that you can't talk very well?
Are you eager to read "Dylan's Story"?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Something Different - Part 1

Good morning FFFs!
Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for the Five Fall Favorites Grand Prize! (Or 2nd or maybe 3rd place prize.) So make sure you go enter! (Just go click on the Read Another Page tab to get there.)

I don't have time to write much today. I have party posts to go read. :) And an interview for Homeschooled Authors for finish. (I'm being interviewed there next week.) I have a house to clean, "Dylan's Story" to make into a kindle book, things to take care of, and more. But . . .

I do have part one of a new story for you! :D So enjoy!

Something Different
Part 1

    The sky was overcast as Lindsay slung her dark backpack over her shoulders and stepped from the brick building with her classmates. There was some conversation about plans for the weekend, but Lindsay only heard it with one ear. Classes were over for the a long weekend at college, and she was glad. Not that she usually minding any of her classes, or her professors, but today she was restless. The air held a bite to it that spoke of colder weather, of crisp autumn days, and she longed to get off campus and do something. Something different, something special.
    Drawing a deep breath of fresh air, she started her walk across campus to her dorm. Already the trees were changing into their autumn dress, and she paused a moment to admire them. She loved the variety of colors and the diversity of the leaves when they fell and were swirled around together by the wind. There were orange, rust, and gold, mixed still with the green leaves that hadn’t yet succumbed to autumn’s call. It was glorious. She drew a quick breath and felt again that urge to do something new, to change, to follow a different path.
    Quickly she buttoned her scarlet sweater, glancing down at her brown shoes. A smile crossed her face. “I could almost be a tree myself with my brown shoes, brown hair, and my red sweater. Even my dress looks like autumn.”
    She gave another sigh, this one longer and deeper, and shook her head. “I can’t stand here dreaming all afternoon,” she told herself decidedly. “I don’t know what I want to do, but standing here isn’t it.” Her classmates were scattering like the leaves which blanketed the green grass when the wind blew. “Something’s going to happen, or I’m going to do something,” she whispered to herself, starting forward along the paved walkway behind another student. “I just know it.”
    This was Lindsay’s second year at college. She was enjoying it, thankful for its Christian focus and the friends she had made. It didn’t bother her that it wasn’t an Ivy League university; the college had a charm all its own, and she reveled in it.
    All the way back to her room, she pondered the question of the rest of the afternoon and the long weekend. Friday was a holiday from classes which gave her three whole days of freedom. A glance up at the light gray clouds which almost covered the sky made her predict that it wasn’t going to rain anytime soon. “But what to do,” she moaned, stepping inside and running lightly up the stairs. Hurrying down the hall on the third floor, she stopped before her door and pulled out her key. Before she could insert it, however, the door opened from the inside and her roommate and best friend stood before her.
    “I heard you coming,” Abby said, her blue eyes twinkling.
    “I’m not that loud,” Lindsay retorted with a grin.
    The door shut behind the girls, and Lindsay dumped her backpack onto the table before sinking onto the couch. “What plans do you have for this afternoon and weekend?” she demanded.
    Abby looked surprised. “None that I know of, why?”
    Lindsay shrugged. “I don’t know. I just feel like I’ve got to do something or I’ll go crazy!”
    Laughing, Abby kicked off her shoes and curled up in a chair. “That might be interesting. What do you think they do with students who go crazy here? Would you have to go to a counselor or would they just ship you home?”
    “Probably just ship me home.” Lindsay took her own shoes off, pulled loose her ponytail and ran her fingers through her long hair. “But seriously, Abby, I’m restless. I feel that I must get out and do something different. This weather is beautiful, and I want to do something! If I had a rake, I’d go rake the leaves into a huge pile and jump in them.”
    “That would cause quite a stir, I’m sure,” Abby replied. “And some of the other students would probably join you, if they weren’t taking pictures and videoing the whole thing.”
    Sighing again, Lindsay slid down on the couch and rested her head again the armrest. “Can’t you think of something we can do?”
    “We? I thought this was just you. Take a book and go read on one of the benches beneath the trees.”
    But Lindsay shook her head. “Too normal. I want something different. Maybe I should get my hair cut.”
    “Don’t you dare!” And Abby sprang upright as though Lindsay already held the scissors.
    “I won’t. But that’s how desperate I feel. Now can you think of something?” She watched as her friend relaxed once again in the chair. “Maybe a drive out into the countryside would satisfy me.”
    “I doubt it.”
    Lindsay had to agree. Just driving wasn’t going to fill the longing that gnawed inside her; she’d have to get out and actually do something. But what?
    A knock sounded on their door, and the girls looked at each other, neither making a move to answer it.
    “Come in,” Lindsay called.
    “Hi!” Sharon pushed open the door and stepped inside. She held a handful of mail. “I picked up my mail and saw you hadn’t gotten yours yet, so I thought I’d bring it up.”
    “Thanks.” Lindsay held out her hand. “Sharon, what are you planning on doing this weekend?”
    Turning around as she was about to leave, the blonde girl looked a bit surprised. “I don’t know. Probably catch up on my sleep and maybe read. There’s a book in the library I’ve been longing to get my hands on, but I haven’t had time. I just hope it isn’t checked out. Why? What are you two doing?” She looked first at Lindsay and then at Abby.
    “We don’t know.”
    “Lindsay is going to do something new.”
    Sharon looked interested. “Oh? What?”
    Idly flipping through the mail, Lindsay shrugged. “That’s the trouble. I don’t know.”
    “Well, have fun,” Sharon said. The door clicked shut behind her.
    “Anything interesting in the mail?”
    “I got a letter from home and one from my grandma. Here.” She held out the rest of the envelopes. Once Abby had them, Lindsay opened the letter from home and read it silently. It was full of home news but nothing really interesting or exciting. After folding the paper with her mom’s handwriting, she slipped it back into its envelope and opened her grandma’s. Grandma didn’t write very often, so Lindsay wondered what she had to say.

Have you ever felt like Lindsay?
What did you do?
Have you entered the Five Fall Favorites giveaway?