"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

2/26/10

Hurricane Elliot - Friday Fiction

35k in 28 days
20345 / 35000 words. 58% done!



Fiction Friday,button,karlene



Welcome to my contribution to Fiction Friday, hosted this week by Shelley Ledfors at The Veil Thins. Make sure that you head over to her blog and link up with your own fiction. Or, if you just want to read some great fiction (ALWAYS great in my opinion!), head over to Shelley's blog and check out the links there.
This was only my second entry in the FaithWriters' Writing challenge - entered in July of 2006 for the "Walk" challenge. I am picking this story to post today because 1)I like it - though it could use polish (which I'm not doing for this, FYI LOL) and because MY "Hurricane Elliot" (no - this is NOT a true story, but the characters are VERY based on my family - names have been changed) has a birthday this weekend. Except he's turning NINE (of course, he WAS five when I wrote this story - but still!)
Hope you enjoy it. (and yes, I HAVE posted this for Fiction Friday before- but I couldn't resist!)


HURRICANE ELLIOT

"Inside voice, please!" Melody Winford looked disapprovingly at her 5-year-old son Elliot. "You'll wake daddy."

"OK," Elliot whispered as he sprinted across the living room, jumped over the fire truck he'd left on the floor, and bounded up the stairs to his room two steps at a time.

"And walk, Elliot, WALK!"

Melody sighed and slumped down in her easy chair. What a workout that kid gave her! They say children his age, especially boys, are full of energy, but Elliot's pep dribbled out his pores. If she had a brick for every time someone said "I wish I had his energy," she could build the Tower of Babel in her back yard. She always told the "Elliot energy seekers" they were welcome to it - as long as they didn't give it back to him.

Now there was humor with a slice of truth in it. Melody loved her son more than she could ever express, but why did he have to be so high-strung, so loud, so hyper? If only he didn't fiddle nonstop, wasn't in perpetual motion 24/7, wasn't...

CRASH

"Melody!" her husband Greg said groggily from the bedroom. "Is everything all right?"

"Checking," she answered, whispering a short prayer under her breath, as she sprinted up the stairs toward Elliot's room.

She looked into Elliot's bedroom to find at least five dozen books sprawled about the floor, his bookcase flat on the ground. Elliot - either oblivious to what had happened, or having dismissed it seconds ago - was sitting on his beanbag chair in the corner, reading, of all things, Go, Dog, Go.

Spouting out a quick "thank you, Lord," Melody walked through the book minefield and put the bookcase back in place, making a mental note to have Greg come up and anchor it to the wall later that day.

"Everything's fine, Greg," she shouted down the stairs, "Go back to sleep, dear."

As she started putting the books back, Elliot looked up from his reading.

"Sorry, mommy."

"It's OK, honey. You just need to be careful."

"I know," he said as he began picking up the books and helping put them back on the shelves.



*******

"Elliot! Greg! Dinner!"

Elliot bounced (literally) out of his room and down the hallway to the top of the stairs.

"Elliot the kangaroo is ready for dinner," the boy giggled. "Boing, boing, b-"

A series of bumps, thumps and screams came from Elliot's direction. The older Winfords ran for the stairs, where they found Elliot sprawled across the landing, his arms and legs every which way.

"I'll call 911," Greg said breathlessly as he sprinted for the phone.

"Elliot, are you OK, honey?" Melody asked, as she cradled her son's head in her lap.

"I didn't walk, mommy."



********
 

"Wow, TWO casts!" Elliot looked down with pride at his wrapped up left lower leg and right lower arm. "Too cool!"

As Greg wheeled him down the hospital corridor in his wheelchair, Elliot asked everyone who passed by to sign his casts. Though stopping every three feet was getting old, Greg and Melody were glad the fall hadn't broken their son's spirit, and resigned to humoring him.

"My! What happened to you, young man?" a woman with salt and pepper hair and a matronly look asked.

"I didn't listen to mommy when she told me to walk," he said sheepishly. "Wanna sign my cast?"

She tittered, "Certainly. What is your name, young man?"

"Elliot. E-L-L-I-O-T. What's your name?

"Mrs. Grayson," the woman said.

"Do you listen to your mommy, Mrs. Grayson? You should, you know."

"Yes, Elliot, in fact, I do. Even when I don't want to, I try to do just what my mother told me," Mrs. Grayson replied.

"Now Elliot, it was delightful talking with you, and I hope you feel better soon, but I have an appointment to get to, and I need to run."

"Thank you! But-Mrs. Grayson?"

"Yes, Elliot?"

"Walk, Mrs. Grayson - WALK!"

**

Thanks for reading! Be sure to stop by Shelley's blog for more great fiction.

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

2/25/10

Monday Manna for March 1 - Hosanna

35k in 28 days (YIKES! just a few days left!)

19833 / 35000 words. 57% done!



Monday Manna

The purpose of Monday Manna is to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word.

On the first and third Mondays of each month, anyone who wants to participate can post their thoughts on a specific verse--posted here at my blog on the Thursday before, to allow you to chew on it over the weekend. It doesn't have to be long -- just a few thoughts, a picture you feel helps express it, a poem, a short story, a devotional. Just post it on your blog on Mondayish (early OR late is fine, by the way!), then come back here and link up in the MckLinky gadget that will be at the bottom of MY post at o'dark thirty that morning.

Okay - I have to admit that just about every time I have chosen a verse for Monday Manna, I've had a reason I chose it. Sometimes it relates to something that happened in my life. Other times it's really been challenging me. Or some other reason. But this week I can honestly say that I have NO idea why I have chosen this verse in particular. It was in my "Bible in a Year" reading for Wednesday, and it jumped out at me. I'm certainly familiar with it - and I'm anxious to see what the Lord puts on my (AND YOUR) heart to share about this.
Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,"Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" Mark 11:9 NIV
Hope this verse inspires you. See you back here on Monday(can you BELIEVE March is that close?)!


Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

2/24/10

Still: Word-Filled Wednesday

35k in 28 days
19483 / 35000 words. 56% done!

Welcome to my contribution to Word-Filled Wednesday, hosted this week by Susan at Forever His. Be sure to stop by her blog for more visual inspiration from scripture.

Resting in the Lord has not been my specialty lately. In fact RESTING in general has been a bit of a challenge for me. This scene I saw made me long for rest - but what we ALL need to remember is that resting in Him does not require a serene background, or even silence. All we have to do is be still and know.


Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Pssalm 46:10 NIV

Thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to visit Susan's blog for more


Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

2/22/10

My Gumbyness - An Update (or would that be Gumbiness?)



18441 / 35000 words. 53% done!

Three weeks ago, I shared my plan to attempt to write 35,000 words during the month of February. In this post, I laid out my plan and goals, which included writing 1,250 words a day (on average) and breaking out of my comfort zone - stretching like Gumby to reach the top of this mountain of words.

Well, this month has but seven days left in it, and I believe it is safe to say that I am NOT going to meet my original goal. If you look at my ticker above, you will see that I am barely past the halfway point.

Of course, that does not mean this time has been (and will continue to be) a waste. For every day this month so far, I have worked on my WIP. And,God willing, this will continue through the rest of February, and on into March, April, and beyond.

I've gotten to know my characters much better.

I've learned that it is okay not to write a story from start to finish (yeah - I didn't know this. REALLY).

I've allowed myself to write "through" points that needed to be researched, figuring I can always go back and fill in the blanks later.

I've learned that my brain will not explode (at least it hasn't yet) if I attempt two write two different parts of my story at the same time. In fact, it seems to be the best way to work on my manuscript both longhand and on the computer.

I've learned that a rough draft is JUST THAT - rough. There is NO way I will be ready to enter the first chapter of this thing in the ACFW Genesis this year (next year, however, is another issue!).

And perhaps most importantly, I have learned that I LOVE this story, and that I WANT to work on it daily. And I THINK I have learned what a reasonable-yet-challenging writing/words per day/week/month goal is for me.

Watch for my "final" thoughts on this challenge in a week or so. But, for now, I can say that I've made some serious progress on Handmaiden To A Princess, and that I may have even developed a "habit" of making progress on my word count.  And THAT is a habit I'd like to keep.

(Keyboard Photo by Kriss Szkurlatowski. Pen and Paper Photo by Stig Andersen: courtesy of stock/xchng)

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

2/19/10

Friday Fiction: "The Company We Keep"

35K in 28 days
16777 / 35000 words. 48% done!




Fiction Friday,button,karlene


Welcome to my contribution to Fiction Friday, hosted this week by Sherri at A Candid Thought. Make sure that you head over to her blog and link up with your own fiction. Or, if you just want to read some great fiction (ALWAYS great in my opinion!), head over to Sherri's blog and check out the links there.
 I wrote this piece quite a while ago for the FaithWriters Writing Challenge. The entire piece was inspired by the quote that is found near the very end of the piece. It is still an issue I am grappling with myself, and I have found that whenever folks read it, a discussion starts up. Hope it does again ;)

The Company We Keep

“Let’s see: Grimm, Haggard, Hardy… Hawthorne. There it is!”

Virginia Collier gingerly slid the volume from its place on the shelf and brushed the dust off its edge. Cradling it in her hands, she meandered toward an overstuffed chair beside a small table in the corner of the room, where she had placed a cup of tea moments earlier. Easing into the chair, she curled her feet under her and opened the book to the first page.

Virginia smiled. This was one of her favorite parts of the day. Her youngest was napping and the twins would be off the bus in 20 minutes or so. She’d gotten the cleaning and a load of laundry done and afternoon snacks were on the table. Now she could enjoy a few moments to herself until she had to get back into “mommy mode.”

She wasn’t always able to carve these times of solitude out of her busy day as a mother, wife and volunteer. But she certainly tried, and was generally successful a few times a week.

During those precious minutes, she’d generally do a little something for herself. Usually, she would pray, call a friend, or perhaps do her devotions or Bible study. But today, she’d decided to curl up with a classic.

An avid reader since childhood, Virginia had majored in English in college. She’d kept every one of her required literature books, and purchased several others. Add to that her husband’s love of books and the Colliers had quite a home library.

Since she’d become a Christian a few years before, however, she hadn’t spent much time up in their library. She’d added a number of Christian books to her collection, but they were kept on shelves in a different room – simply because the library bookcases were filled. This was the first time she’d sat down with a novel from college in at least a year, if not longer.

Glancing up after finishing the first chapter, Virginia practically dropped her book.

“Good book, Mom?”

Virginia looked into the twinkling eyes of her daughter, Sarah.

“Good heavens! How long have you been standing there? I didn’t hear you come in.”

Sarah tittered. “Just a minute or two. Steve’s downstairs eating. You must have really been into that book. He even slammed the door when we came in.”

“Guess I was. It’s one of my favorite novels I read in college.” Virginia stood up and handed the volume to her daughter.

Sarah looked at the cover as the two walked toward the kitchen. “The Scarlet Letter? What’s it about?

“Well, there’s this woman, Hester Prynne, who…um…”

“What, mom? What?”

OK, God, how do I explain this to my nine-year-old daughter without making it sound like a trashy novel?

Virginia took a deep breath. “It’s about a woman who sins with a man, and the consequences of their actions.”

“Cool.” Sarah headed for the table to grab a snack. Her twin was already there, munching on a cracker and reading from a piece of paper in his notebook.

Virginia walked to the table and tousled Steve’s hair. “Have a good day?”

“Yup. I’ve gotta do my math homework, then can I go outside?”

Virginia nodded, starting to putter about the kitchen, beginning her daily dinner preparation.

I wonder how many of the books we have up in that library are “Christian?” How many of them teach lessons I don’t want my kids to learn? I mean, Hester, Chillingworth and Dimmesdale seem to get what they deserve in the end – but how many others up there are teaching just what we’re trying to avoid teaching to Sarah and Steve?

A piece of paper slipped from the pages of the cookbook she was opening. Upon inspection, Virginia found a short list of quotations. Smiling, she remembered often jotting down things like this in college, when she heard something she didn’t want to forget.

“‘We should be as careful of the books we read, as of the company we keep. The dead very often have more power than the living.’ Tryon Edwards”

“What, mom?”

“Oh, nothing, Steve. Just some food for thought.”

Virginia strode purposefully toward the Collier library. 

**
 Thanks for reading! Be sure to stop by Sherri's blog for more great fiction.


Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

2/17/10

Winners!

35k in 28 days

16236 / 35000 words. 46% done!

Today is the day! On February1 17, 1999, I first accepted Christ as my Savior. And I've been celebrating for a week now, with a giveaway. And...today...I am announcing the winners!

If you recall, I have THREE books to give away - and I am a contributing author in each of them. Thank you to everyone who entered - I enjoyed hearing your salvation testimonies, AND your favorite verses.

And now...




The winner of is

Barbara! (send me your snail mail, Barbara, and I will get the book off to you in the mail right away)




The winner of is


PATTY! (just watch your mail, girl. I KNOW where you live! hehe)

And last, but CERTAINLY not least




the winner of is
 







KAYLEE! Again - send me your mailing address so I can get the book out to you.
Again - thank you for participating in my giveaway, and blessings to you on my rebirthday!



Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

2/15/10

VIP: Monday Manna

35 k in 28 days

13881 / 35000 words. 40% done!


First, a couple FYIs for ya :D

I'm at Exemplify today, continuing my Mothers of the Bible series. Pop on over and check out my thoughts on Hagar. Would love to see you there!

Be sure to enter my 11th rebirthday giveaway - you have a chance to win one of three books! Click here to check out the post and qualify to win.  Deadline is tomorrow night!

And NOW to the business at hand:






Welcome to Monday Manna. The purpose of this meme is to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word. On the first and third Monday of each month, anyone who wishes can post their thoughts on a verse I introduced at my blog the Thursday before. It doesn't have to be a long post -- just a few thoughts, a picture you feel helps express it, a poem, a short story, a devotional.

Anyone is welcome to participate. Just put a link to your Monday Manna blog entry in the MckLinky gadget below, and check out others' thoughts.

This week's verse is all about gifts (appropriate, don't you think?). Here it is below:

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Mine are below.

**
Ever since my daughter entered kindergarten this last fall, she has wanted to be the VIP. There is a new one each week in Mrs. Rylaarsdam's class. The VIP gets to make up a poster to hang on the wall for all in the class to see. Plus, this special person gets lots of other special privileges during the week. Early the week before, the "VIP folder" gets put in a kindergartener's cubby. Whoever gets it gets to be the VIP the following week.

Almost every week since the first week in September, my daughter has said something about wanting to be the VIP. I always know ahead of time who the VIP will be the following week - because she will tell me. She would always say she hoped she would be the next one. And it never happened.
But this past Thursday, it was different. My daughter didn't just tell me she wanted to be the VIP. She asked me to pray that she would get to be the VIP next. She had never asked me to pray for it before.
So, at bedtime, when I prayed over her, I prayed, out loud, that she would get to be the VIP after Khaleed (one of her classmates). And she smiled.

But now I was a bit worried. How would she react if someone else got to be the next VIP? Would it shatter her trust in the power of prayer? Would she stop praying? So, I decided to do something about it.

You see, Friday was her class Valentine party, and I was planning to attend. I would just pull her teacher aside and see if I couldn't "finagle" her schedule a bit so that my daughter WOULD be the next VIP. That way I wouldn't have to try to explain God's perfect will to a six-year-old.

So, the next day, I went to the party and told Mrs. Rylaarsdam the situation. She went over to her schedule, which had apparently been set for months, and looked. No "finagling" was necessary.
Annika was already scheduled to be the VIP the following week.
And what does that say, I might ask, about my OWN faith? About my desire to "fix" God's will? About my worry that God would NOT provide a good gift to my daughter, as He promised, just because she asked? (Matthew 7:11)

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

My daughter, as of this writing, still is unaware that her prayer has been answered just as she wants it to be. She'll find out today or tomorrow, likely. I hope that it is as much a boost to her faith as it was to mine. But, to be honest, I'll bet she won't be surprised. She asked. He delivered. Simple as that.

**

Thank for reading. Be sure to read the other posts below, and link up your own! Can't wait to read them.

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

2/12/10

Handmaiden To A Princess (rough draft excerpt): Friday Fiction

35k in 28 days

11449 / 35000 words. 33% done!

Be sure to enter my 11th rebirthday giveaway - you have a chance to win one of three books! Click here to check out the post and qualify to win.  Deadline is next Tuesday night!




Fiction Friday,button,karlene


Welcome to my contribution to Fiction Friday, hosted by Vonnie Blake at My Back Door. Make sure that you head over to her blog and link up with your own fiction. Or, if you just want to read some great fiction (ALWAYS great in my opinion!), head over to Vonnie's blog and check out the links there.
For those of you who have been reading my blog regularly, you know my current Work In Progress is a book I'm calling Handmaiden To A Princess. It is set during the time of King Saul, and tells the story of Rivka, the handmaiden to Princess Michal, who ends up being King David's first wife.

I am currently working to get as much of my rough draft written as fast as I can (that's what my 35k in 28 days thing is), and I'm doing all right that way.

I thought, just for fun, I would post short excerpt of what I've written over the past week and a half. This is going to be in the beginning of the book - probably one of the first few chapters. King Saul is having a banquet. His entire family is there, and they are expecting an emmisary as guest of honor. Michal has asked her handmaiden to come along and stay with her. Again, keep in mind this is a VERY rough draft. Hope you enjoy it nonetheless!

HANDMAIDEN TO A PRINCESS excerpt
THE BANQUET

A pounding on the table silenced the room, and led all eyes to turn toward the head of the table. The king sat there, his glass raised and his eyes fiery.

“Jonathan, my son, where is the emissary?”

The prince stood and scanned the room, worry in his eyes. “He doesn’t appear to be here, Father.”

“And why not? Was he not called? Does he so dishonor the king of Israel by shunning this banquet?” His volume increased, and face reddened, with each word.

Jonathan walked toward his father, resting his hands on Saul’s shoulder. “He is not dishonoring you. I am sure of it. Perhaps he is running late, or has been unavoidably detained.”

The king pushed his son, making him fall to the floor. “I am the Lord’s anointed! The king! He must be found and punished. He is plotting my overthrow. He is off in the caves with his army, planning to kill us all by the sword when we are least prepared. In fact, his plan is to come soon, during this very banquet, when we are unarmed.” The dining table shook with his pounding fist, and each guest, including the queen, had stepped back toward the rear of the dining room. Only Jonathan, just arisen from his fall, remained within a few cubits of the raving monarch.

“Sit down, Father.” Jonathan attempted to ease his father into his chair. “The emissary is not plotting against you. He is simply detained. I will send one of my servants to find out what is keeping him. There is no reason to make these assumptions.”

Saul pushed his son away yet again. “You are on his side! You are plotting to take the kingdom from me as well! How dare you?”

“Father, you know me better than that. I am loyal to you, both as a son and as a subject. When have I done anything to make you doubt my dedication?”

“You are all against me! All of you!” Saul rose and grabbed a spear from behind him. Just as he was about to throw it, one of the servants slipped it from the king’s hands and ran to Jonathan, handing it to him.

Rivka, shaking in the corner, almost fainted when she saw what happened next. Michal, who had apparently moved away from her handmaiden during the uproar, tiptoed toward the king.

Once she was three cubits away, she stopped and looked into her father’s raving eyes.

“Papa? What’s the matter?”

“What’s the matter?? It’s a mutiny! Everyone is against me. I must rid myself of these traitors.” The king took a step toward his daughter.

“It’s okay, Papa. Can I come sit on your lap? I’m scared.”

The mumbling of the guests, and their gasps, filled the air.

‘There is no reason to be scared, my little one.” Saul’s voice had tempered to a loud talking volume. “I will keep you safe.” He took another step toward her, as she did the same. They were now a bit more than an arm’s length apart.

“Please, Papa?” Rivka couldn’t see the princess’ eyes, but she was certain they were pleading. She’d seen that look many times before.

“Come, my dear Michal.” He beckoned her forth, sitting in his chair. She tiptoed toward him and sat on his left leg, leaning her head into his chest. Saul ran his hands through her hair and mumbled to her, she doing the same.

“What are you all doing back there?” The king’s voice was almost jovial. “Come join us for the banquet. I see the emissary is arriving right now. Go on now and take your seat, little one. I have royal business to attend to.”

**

Thanks for reading! Be sure to stop by My Back Door for more great fiction.


Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

2/11/10

Monday Manna for February 15 - gifts


35k in 28 days


10622 / 35000 words. 30% done!

Be sure to enter my 11th rebirthday giveaway - you have a chance to win one of three books! Click here to check out the post and qualify to win.  Deadline is next Tuesday night!


Monday Manna

The purpose of Monday Manna is to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word.

On the first and third Mondays of each month, anyone who wants to participate can post their thoughts on a specific verse--posted here at my blog on the Thursday before, to allow you to chew on it over the weekend. It doesn't have to be long -- just a few thoughts, a picture you feel helps express it, a poem, a short story, a devotional. Just post it on your blog on Mondayish (early OR late is fine, by the way!), then come back here and link up in the MckLinky gadget that will be at the bottom of MY post at o'dark thirty that morning.

My husband gave me a beautiful bouquet of roses (early) for Valentine's Day. They are gorgeous. He did a good job picking a gift for me. But God does even better. The verse for this coming Monday is a good reminder of this.

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11

 Looking forward to your thoughts (and mine!) on this verse. See you back here on Monday. And don't be afraid to tell your friends. The more the merrier!

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

2/10/10

Almost My Eleventh "Rebirthday" - a Giveaway Celebration!

35K in 28 days

9914 / 35000 words. 28% done!

Time flies!

On February 17, 1999, I was reading through the book of Isaiah, and finally realized that Jesus was THE Suffering Servant. It was on that day that I humbled my heart and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior--to save me from my sins. Raised in the Jewish faith, I finally realized that the Messiah HAD come.

What better reason to celebrate? Firstly, if you would like to read a bit longer version of my salvation testimony, along with some of the changes that have happened in my life since that day, check out my salvation anniversary post from last year.

But you're here for the giveaway, right? Well, it's a pretty big one--at least as far as MY giveaways have been. I will be giving away three - yes, I said THREE - different books. I truly love each of them (and NOT just because I am a contributing author to each one!).

And now, without further ado: the PRIZES!






Delivered, a Peculiar People Collaboration is the book that has most recently come out. I just gave away a copy of this one last month. If you want more information about it you can click here or here.






Women of Passions; Ordinary Women Serving an Extraordinary God is a collection of women's testimonies of God's power, put out by Heart of God International. This book includes an expanded version of my salvation testimony, along with dozens of other incredible stories by amazing women of God. For more information on this book, click here.







Hidden in the Hymns, is a Faithwriters' Writing Challenge anthology. Those of you who know even a little about me likely realize that I am a FaithWriters' junkie (and promotion hound LOL). This book has 100 stories selected as the best of this particular quarter of the Writing Challenge. It happens to include my very first Editor's Choice, a silly little piece I called "If Corn Had Ears." (The other stuff in here is even BETTER, by the way. MUCH so!

SSO those are the prizes. How do you win, you ask?? Well, since this celebrates my spiritual birthday, I figure the contest should be spiritual in some way, yes? So here are the rules:

To enter, you need to leave a comment on this post with either a BRIEF summary of your salvation testimony, or a favorite verse. If you wish to do both, that is fine. (one entry for each - up to two per person)
 Also, if you own one of these books already, or have a certain one you would RATHER have than the others, include that in your post as well. I can't make any promises, but I'll do the best I can.

You have until TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16 at midnight to enter. I will announce the winners on my actual rebirthday - February 17.

Thanks for playing along. I look forward to checking out your verses, and hearing how you came to Christ!

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

2/5/10

The Good Witches - Fiction Friday

35K in 28 days

4554 / 35000 words. 13% done!


Fiction Friday,button,karlene

I am honored to be hosting Friday Fiction this week for the lovely Karlene at Homespun Expressions. Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of my post to read even MORE wonderful fiction - and PLEASE link up yourself with your own contribution!
I was absolutely FASCINATED with the research I had to do on this story, which I submitted to the FaithWriters' Writing Challenge during the infamous "genre quarter." I was somewhat familiar with the history of this time, but had no idea of some of the details. This is based on actual people--especially the MC. Hope you enjoy, and learn something.


The Good Witches

"I don't like it one bit! My mama ain't a witch." Dorothy Good put her hands on her hips and gritted her teeth.

Her father, William Good, rapped her on the head and put his finger over his lips. "You watch your tongue in public, girl. And you get started on dinner. You got to be the woman of the family for a while now."

"Yes, papa."

Dorothy bowed her head and walked away from the Salem town square toward a small campfire in the abutting woods. There she started a couple onions and a potato boiling in a stew pot over the fire. Despite being only four years old, her mother had already taught her how to prepare a hearty meal out of anything she could get her hands on. The onions were growing alongside the edge of the woods, and she'd snagged the potato off the ground in front of Samuel's Grocer, where a customer had likely dropped it.

"Just because mama gets mad sometimes and talks to herself don't mean the devil's got her," Dorothy mumbled, stirring the meager provisions with a stick she'd picked up. "Do I ever miss her."

Her father approached the fire and sat beside it.

"Papa?"

"What, child?"

Dorothy stopped stirring the vegetables and looked straight into her father's eyes. "Are they ever gonna let mama outta that jail?"

He sighed. "I dunno. If she's guilty of witchcraft they sure won't."

Dorothy's eyes were afire. "But she isn't, papa. She isn't!"

Her father shrugged.

**

Dorothy, accustomed to joining her mother begging for food and shelter from the locals, had given up on seeking assistance from the townsfolk more than a week previous. Whenever she approached anyone, it seemed they gave her disapproving looks or called her a witch. Papa had warned her to stay away from the locals, lest she be arrested as well.

Instead, she spent much of her time in the woods, venturing into the town square only to get food or some other necessity.

"Look! It's the devil's spawn!" A girl in her early teens walked toward Samuel's Grocer, where Dorothy was scanning the walk in front of the shop for dropped goods.

"Am not, Miss Ann Putnam. And my mama is NOT a witch." Dorothy kicked dirt at her accuser.

Gasping, Ann wagged her finger at the girl. "How dare you. I'll make sure you're sorry you even spoke to me, you little witch."

**

"An apple!" Dorothy picked the shiny piece of fruit off the ground and brushed it off with the edge of her ragged skirt. "Papa will be pleased."

Inspecting the apple closely as she ambled down the street, the girl bumped her shoulder against a man about as tall as her father.

"'Scuse me," she mumbled under her breath, trying to hurry back into the woods.

"Come here, little lady." The gentleman put out his hand.

Dorothy paused and glanced about, debating whether to approach the man or run away. His smile convinced her to do the former.

"Yes sir?" she asked in her most polite voice.

The man's smile quickly turned to a smirk as he grabbed the girl and began carrying her toward the Salem courthouse.

"Dorothy Good, you are under arrest for afflicting another with witchcraft."

Dorothy kicked and screamed, but was unable to wiggle out of the man's grasp.

"Just like her mother," the officer growled as he placed her in a holding cell. "Just like her mother."


Author's note: Dorothy Good, age four, was arrested and interrogated in late March of 1692 and held in a Boston prison for 9 months in chains. She was the youngest person arrested for witchcraft during the Salem Witch trials, and, according to her father William, was permanently damaged from her ordeal. Her mother, Sarah Good, was one of the first women arrested for witchcraft in Salem in early March of 1692, and was executed by hanging in mid-July of the same year.
 

Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out the links below for more great fiction.





Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

2/3/10

Doorframes and Gates - Word-Filled Wednesday



35k in 28 days
2401 / 35000 words. 7% done!

Welcome to Word-Filled Wednesday, hosted this week by Penny at Pennyraine. Be sure to stop by her blog for more visual inspiration from scripture.

The verse popped into my mind yesterday evening (it's from an ABSOLUTE favorite passage from the OT), and this picture was one of the first I found in my search.

 
 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:9

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Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

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