Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tuesday's Stuff and Things

To continue with the prompts I’ve been working on… Marian (welcome to Something She Wrote!) gave me this one:

A plain wooden box, with hinges. Across the lid are carved the words DO NOT OPEN.



She found it among her great-aunt’s old things in the attic. She’d been digging for that elusive file of important estate paperwork, but when her hand grazed the small mahogany box, the document search was forgotten.

“Interesting,” she said aloud, her otherwise-meek voice filling the large space. “And quite mysterious, to boot.”

She traced the hand-carved words DO NOT OPEN with her forefinger.

So should she, or shouldn’t she?

“Of course I should. Who finds an amazing old box and doesn’t open it?”

Following a firm nod of her head, she used her thumbs to crack the lid. Realizing she’d closed her eyes against the anticipation, as if worried over what she would find, she laughed at herself.

A look at the now-open box revealed a ring – a diamond solitaire, dainty and held atop a tarnished setting – and a small creased and yellowed strip of paper. Her hands trembled as she smoothed the handwritten note.



My dearest Arabelle,
By now you’ve learned of my demise, and I only wish it could have been some other way. It’s with sorrow for our future lost, our love forgotten, that I leave this token of my love. Wear it always, and know of my deepest devotion to you.
Love always,
Earnest

She gasped as her heart wrenched over the words written to her aunt so long ago. Her mind spun. Who was Earnest? Did great-uncle Bernard know about him? And to what demise was the note referring?

How she wished there was someone to ask, someone to answer her questions…

21 comments:

Josh said...

still loving these prompts J! and i can't wait to read your book :)

Joanne said...

It's nice how positive feedback (a ms request!) inspires us to write more. Write on, Janna! Have been following the writing-nook renovation updates, looking forward to seeing the final project. Then you'll really be inspired to write!

Terri Tiffany said...

You are kind of where I am with writing, I need to focus on my second book but I feel in limbo. It was good to read your plans and it gives me a good push too!

Janna Qualman said...

Thanks, Josh. I try to assume you're not biased. ;)

Joanne - I think you're right. I can't wait to fill my new space!

Terri - I tried to come up with that term "in limbo" last week, but it was completely evasive. Thanks for using it here; it describes exactly how I've been feeling regarding my big projects.

Rachel Burton said...

What a fun prompt passage!

And good luck with your full out there! It really is inspiring. I've started outlining a new WIP, thinking, I have to have something else just in case...

Kathryn Magendie said...

Good luck with the MS! :-) I'll keep my fingers crossed, that is, when they aren't going tippity tappity tip tap tippity tappity tip...et cetera!

Janna Qualman said...

Rachel - Thanks! I heard you also had a full request, so best of luck to you, as well. :)

Thanks so much, Kathryn!

Turkey Lurkey said...

So, when are you going to post the answers to her questions? Who gave her the ring? Who is Earnest? :)

Have fun painting.. and don't forget to open the windows! Paint fumes can effect your writing!

Still sending positive vibes to Avalon!

WendyCinNYC said...

Good luck with Avalon, and with your new WIP. I'm trying to focus on WIP #2 as well.

Angie Ledbetter said...

There are always such good nuggets here! Wishing you much success and flying fingers with WIP2. *Hey, maybe we can say "NIP" instead of WIP? Novel in Progress?* ;)

Janna Qualman said...

Turkey - I think YOU should answer the questions for us! ;)

Thanks, Wendy. I hope we both hop to it!

Thank you, Angie. I'm glad to hear you like the "nuggets," because I wasn't sure how well they've been received of late. :) And I like that: NIP.

Melanie Avila said...

Ooh cool! I really like this. I can tell it works because I had to remind myself that YOU also wrote the letter, not just the stuff around it. Great work. :)

Janna Qualman said...

I did? Oh, yeah! I did. :D

Thanks.

Michele said...

Awesome! I loved reading this, Janna! I'm drooling for more! ;-)

*smiles*
Michele

Melissa Marsh said...

You've hooked me! I want to read more!!!

So glad that you're starting the second novel. :-)

Barbara said...

Please continue the story. I want to know more!

Janna Qualman said...

Michele! I'm so glad to see you. And look at that profile pic - you look FANTASTIC! Hugs.

Wow, Melissa, thanks for the great feedback! You, too, Barbara!

colbymarshall said...

First of all, I agree that it is soooo much easier to write when you are on a high from requests and feel really good about your writing.

Yeah, it may even take months, but all you can do is launch into your new project and try not to think about it! (impossible, but I'm saying it anyway ;))

Janna Qualman said...

It's tough not to dwell on time... but fortunately we've got a lot going on right now, and it all helps the days pass quickly. Hopefully it'll all be of benefit in the long run. Thanks, Colby. :)

Marian said...

Hi Janna! Thanks for using the prompt, and I like the start of your story. This could be a great romantic suspense.

I thought that if I found a box carved with the words Do not open, I'd put on gloves, hold it at arm's length, take a deep breath, squeeze my eyes shut and open it. No, wait, maybe I could open it with a broom handle. From the next room.

But now that I think about it, though, imagine a box carved with Open Me - like the bottle and the cake in Alice in Wonderland. This might be even more dangerous - because someone wants you to open that box. Someone wants it very badly.

Fun...

Janna Qualman said...

Marian, that's awesome! Really, really cool. I like the way you think. :)