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Fear Factor: Mine goes to 11

In my ongoing quest to make this writing thing real, I have determined to share bits and pieces of what I’m writing on. I’m looking at it as a sort of exposure therapy. By repeatedly sharing snippets of what I’m working on, hopefully I’ll condition myself to believe that sharing my work is a positive thing rather than something to be avoided on pain of death. Or if it helps, think of me as being in one of those programs with steps and embarrassing myself to the point of nausea is step 1. So here’s my first attempt, it’s supposed to be fairytale-ish. And it should go without saying, this is as rough as rough gets because it’s #nanowrimo people! And I’m over 10000 words behind my intended goal. Here goes nothing!

The Sun opened one suspicious eye and cast its golden glare over the horizon. Had it seen nothing more than a few bleary eyed sheep absently munching away on the hillside, it might have given a colossal yawn and rolled over for an extra 40 winks. Which wouldn’t have made for a very interesting story would it? The title would have been something like “The Day We All Slept Late” or “The Day We Repeatedly Stubbed Our Toes On the Way to the Bathroom” or even “The Day We Drank A Lot of Coffee in the Dark.” No, I think we can all be thankful that the sun’s illuminated gaze happened to fall on something it found interesting and felt worthy of closer study.

A furtive figure hurried down the hillside, startling the drowsy sheep, only to slow to a creep as it neared the little house nestled alone in the curve of the valley. The Sun, curious now, opened its other eye and light spilled over the landscape, drenching the little house, both upstairs and down in its glow. The buttery light melted and flowed over the front porch, washing over the neat row of shoes waiting by the door, before it rolled on to the back yard, past the clothesline, empty and waiting; past the chickens asleep in their coop; past the dog, white at the muzzle, who with a wet and snuffling snore defended his sleep by draping a paw across his eyes . The light flowed on, trickling through the kitchen garden and out the other side to seep unevenly into the dappled niches of the cornrows that spanned acre after acre of bottomland. Reaching the furthest margin of the plowed rows, it stopped dead at the edge of a thick wood. Here the light pooled and would go no further, lapping at the edge of the forest like a spent wave laps at the edge of a sandy shore.

And…now I feel sick. But step one is done!

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13 Responses

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  1. Robin O'Bryant says

    Jodi, you are an amazing writer. I would NOT blow smoke. I was PISSED off when this ended. Keep writing. That fiery hot shame is common to all writers. We’ve ALL got to learn to get over it. Love ya! R

  2. jodi says

    I love you, RaRa!!!

  3. Josie says

    Jodi, it wasn’t just good, it was beautiful. Loved it :)

  4. jodi says

    Aww! Thanks, Josie! I can’t wait to tell you about where it’s going. I actually think I’m pretty clever for coming up with it. :)

  5. Aimee Estes says

    I want to read more. PLEASE keep writing.

  6. jodi says

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Aimee! I’m trying really hard to keep my ADD at bay and stick to this one.

  7. Helen says

    Please finish the story! I want to find out what happens next! You are a very talented writer Jodie, there is nothing to be ashamed of in that story. Your style is better than a lot of published authors I’ve come across. Keep writing!

  8. anna says

    i really liked it too, and want to read more! i think that’s a really great indicator – if only a small extract is enough to want to keep reading… (here’s me getting my metaphorical pom poms out and cheering you on to keep writing – it’s not good cheering because we brits don’t know anything about cheerleading, but it’ll make you laugh)

  9. Stacy says

    Keep going! And going and going and going……
    ;)

  10. jodi says

    Anna, your metaphorical pom poms were GREAT for a laugh. And I’m excited to tell the rest of it, which I’m choosing to believe is also a good sign. Writing around all these boys, though…I’m thinking it’s going to take a while. ;)

  11. Anne Riley says

    Yay! Very nice imagery! Keep at it, lady!

  12. Barbara says

    Ooh, I was right there following the sunlight move across the landscape. Excellent job of making it a sentient part of the story. It reminded me of a curious puppy or a small child. Nano got derailed by a family death for me this year but my spirit is with you, Jodi.

  13. jodi says

    Barbara…I am so sorry for your loss. I’m definitely not going to “win” nano this year, but I’m so thankful for having it kickstart the process.



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