This was a strange weather, busy days, exciting moments week. :) Where should I start?
The weather is always a good place, right? Well, on Monday we got snow! It ended up about 2 inches. Enough to cover most of the grass and great for packing. "Priscilla and Amy" went out and had a snowball fight. :) I'm sure that will be mentioned when "they get up north this winter." Only a bit of snow remained on Tuesday and then Wednesday it rained. Yesterday it was sunny and in the 50s. Told you it was strange. :)
Busy days. Well last Saturday I spent nearly all afternoon down at my best friend's house working on the new cover for the soon to be republished "Home Fires of the Great War." It looks really nice. On Tuesday we baby-sat two little ones (Sweet-pea just turned 2 and J-J is nearly 1) for some friends from 7:15 am until 4:15. They were such fun and so easy. Around lunch time we added Pickle Puss, Goof Ball, Funny Boy and Doodle Bug. We were glad we could take them outside to swing and play. Then we added the 5 N. children to the mix and things got lively. :) It was a full but fun and busy Valentine's Day. On Wednesday I had two writing classes to teach and I didn't get ready for them until that morning. :} I had to write a paragraph about "problems with toothbrushes." :) This afternoon some families from church and some other friends are going bowling.
Exciting moments - One was on Saturday when I came home after working on my book cover. I had some mail. I had stumbled across a world poetry contest a few weeks back and just because, I decided to enter one of my poems. Well, I found out that my poem had made it into the semi finalists and they wanted to publish it in a book of poems! I didn't think the poem was that good. :) Last night I just about finished getting my book ready to publish except for the cover which has to be finished!
Well, that has been my week in three short paragraphs. I did get some writing done as well.
This story was so delightful to write. Anna gave me some great instructions and after starting it once in one place and getting stuck before I was very far, when I started it in another place it flew along and now Mom and I are both rather wishing it was longer. :)
Characters: 3 (including Narrator) (I had to let a few other people get in at the very end or you wouldn't have liked the ending.
Tense: First Person
Length: Two Friday's Worth (approximately 2,000 - 2,500 words)
Special Instructions: Portray fear through narrative, without saying "I'm afraid."
Oh bother! I don't have the picture for you! I would take one now but my sister-in-law has the card reader. I'll try to get it up by next week. Let me know what you think of this first part.
Lost in the Dunes
Everywhere was sand; mountains, hills and more mountains of the gritty stuff. No matter which direction I turned, the golden dunes were to be seen. Libby had sunk down, exhausted, and waited for me to point the way home. Even Chad, when he slipped coming up that last slope, hadn’t made a move to get up. I could still see him almost to the top, but not quite up to us. We didn’t have much water left, for none of us had any idea that we would still be here, far from any sign of civilized life this late in the day.
“Come on, Chad,” I called down to him. “Get up here.”
“Can you tell which direction to go?” he hollered back without stirring.
What should I tell him? If I admitted I had no idea, Libby might panic, but I couldn’t lie. I decided to compromise. “We need to have a conference, and I don’t want to have to shout.”
Slowly, as though he didn’t really care if he ever moved again, Chad climbed the rest of the way up. It is hard work climbing sand dunes. If you’ve never tried it, you haven’t a clue just how tough it can be, for you slip and slide with each step.
“I’m here,” he panted at last. “Now what?”
I sat down too, noticing the stark contrast the setting sun made on the dunes; one side was black while the other golden. The ripples in the sand made by the recent winds were clearly visible.
“What are we going to do, Devin?” Libby looked at me confidently.
“Well,” I began, not quite sure what to say. “We know which way is west . . .”
“Duh,” Chad snorted, “we know which way is east too, but what good is that going to do us?”
Chad was a great friend, though he could sometimes be exasperating. He did have a point though. What good was it going to do us to know the directions? We still didn’t know which way to go to get back home. We had wandered so much during that storm that I was completely mixed up.
“Devin?” Libby’s voice broke my thoughts. “What are we going to do?”
Chad spoke before I had a chance to reply. “Hey, see that grass stuff down there?”
Libby and I nodded.
“Why don’t we go down there. It sure would be easier to walk than on these hills.”
“But what if--”
“Oh, Devin, let’s,” Libby pleaded. “I’m tired of fighting my way along and up and down these things.”
“But--” I began again.
“Aw, quit trying to act like you know so much,” Chad complained. “We all know we’re totally lost in the dunes and it will be dark soon. Let’s at least get comfortable.”
“That’s just my point,” I tried again. “We are lost and--”
Libby clutched my arm with a slight scream. “Lost! Oh, Devin, I want to go home!”
“We’re going to, Lib,” I told her, glaring at Chad. Why did he have to start her thinking about our being lost? Of course we really were, but if Libby, who was only eleven, didn’t think about it, she would continue to think this was just a great adventure. Now, however, I wondered if she would go hysterical on us. She did last year when she, Elliot and I got twisted around on the trails at Yellowstone. Elliot had to slap her to get her to calm down. But Elliot was nineteen. I wished he were with us now. He’d know where to go or what to do, but he was off in the army. The last thing he said to me was, “Devin, you have to be a man now.”
“Well, are you coming or not?”
I blinked and looked up. Chad was starting to slide down the golden side of the dune.
“For what?” he scowled, “So you can tell us you know which is your right hand now?”
I said Chad could be exasperating. He was just barely thirteen, ten months younger than I was. One thing I knew, we had to stay together. It would be much harder to find three people by themselves than it would be to find three people together. “No,” I replied, “I just think that when the helicopter comes, it will be easier to spot us up here than down in the valley.”
“What helicopter?” he snapped back. “You know there hasn’t been a single one in sight. Not even a glimpse of one all day. They won’t ever find us here. We’ll have to spend the night out here and be eaten by who knows what kind of wild creature. We’ll be dead long before they can get any kind of helicopter or plane way over here to find us!”
“Devin!” Libby cried, “Take me home! I want to go home now!”
For a minute I didn’t know who to take on first, Libby, who was growing more terrified by the second, or Chad who kept going on about how no one would find us and if we weren’t eaten we’d starve to death. Neither one was helping my feelings any. “Libby,” I ordered, pushing away her hands that were clinging to my torn jacket, “stop acting like a baby. We’re going to get home!”
An almost hysterical laugh came from Chad. “Yeah we’ll get home, for our funerals.”
That was it. I knew I had to stop Chad from making himself and the rest of us more nervous than we already were. “Stop it Chad!” I hollered at him. “We are going to be okay. Now cut out that kind of talk.”
“And what are we going to do when the sun sets all the way, huh? No one can find us in the dark. There aren’t even any helicopters in the sky anywhere. You can see for miles and no one--”
“Shut up!” I half slid and ran down the steep slope and slapped him good and hard across the face.
It stopped his words but it also made him mad and we were soon wrestling and fighting as we continued to slide, stumble and roll down the mountain of sand. I knew if I could get somewhere with something solid beneath us I could overpower Chad, but on that constantly shifting surface we just rolled over and over, now and then striking into rocks hidden by the sand.
I could hear Libby shouting something from somewhere, but we were moving too quickly to tell what she said. At last we reached the bottom and I quickly rolled Chad over and knelt over him, pinning his arms under my knees. We were both gasping for breath. “Now,” I panted, “will you please be quiet and quit scaring all the common sense out of yourself and Libby?”
Think it is worth coming back
for the rest of it next week?