Essay — Story Time

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Well, it’s the middle of June. The flower gardens are all planted and blooming nicely. The new pickup truck is running like a champ. Ditto the Hermle clock. Even the bluebird eggs have hatched safely and the fledglings have flown away.

At the moment no trips are planned and there isn’t even a holiday or a birthday on the horizon. What to do? Kick back, relax, take a ride to the beach, read a book, play bunco, go out for another lunch?


And that’s when the editor of Top Drawer Ink, who also happens to be my favorite one and only daughter, pulls me from my doldrums. “I’ve found a great writing contest,” she says. “Do you want to collaborate on a story?”

Image source: Harriet Roosevelt Richards (1867-1932), Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Image source: Harriet Roosevelt Richards (1867-1932), Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

“Yes,” I answer. YES! YES! YES!

She sends an outline and the two of us get busy–plotting, locating settings, thinking up characters, giving the hero, the heroine, the villain, names and problems.

Soon emails with chapters are flying back and forth–hurry, hurry, there’s a deadline to meet.

Just before the due date the story comes together, but we’re not done yet. There’s still the re-read, the rewrite and the proofread.

Then, finally, the pages are printed out, boxed up and mailed off.

Will our efforts win the prize?

We never know. But whether the final result brings a publication notice or a rejection slip, it hardly matters. The fun, for me, is in the trying–

–and the working together.


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We write. Visit us in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue.

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