Monday, February 23, 2009

Fiction: Complete

The day has come! It's Monday and, as promised, I've got a copy of Sam's Letters to Jennifer ready to go.

We had some awesome responses to this post about a 70-year-old envelope I got at an antiques fair. I'd asked you guys to write something based on its information, and 7 phenomenal pieces were the result.

All you ladies (no dudes, really?) did super. But, hard as it was, I did have to pick just one. And I chose the piece from...

Kelly! As a scrapbooker, she doesn't claim any writing talent. But she should! Here is her moving piece:

Nellie sat against the wall, feeling the icy wind whistle through the cracks and seep under her worn sweater. In front of her were two girls, sisters, playing with a scrap of a doll. The oldest sister tied a handkerchief around the cloth body, hiding the many imperfections. Nellie lowered her eyes into her arms. She wasn’t old enough to know the words, but her heart knew it was hard to watch this small family.

Downstairs the front door hit the wall. A small commotion followed and then silence.

A moment, an hour later--time meant so little here--a woman walked through the girls’ dormitory. She held out a hand to Nellie and the girl took it silently. With soft footsteps the two made their way to Father Flanagan’s office.

Perched on the edge of a chair, hands clasped tightly in her lap, Nellie waited.

“Nellie,” Father said. “These are for you.” In his outstretched hand Nellie saw three small packages. Shyly, Nellie reached forward and took the candy. “Thank you,” she whispered.

“You may go back and play now,” Father told her gently.

Nellie slid down till her toes touched the floor and scooted quickly from the room. Back inside the office the woman looked to Father Flanagan. “The letter?” she questioned. Father shook his head. “They cannot take her, poor dear.” The woman’s eyes filled with unshed tears. “Will you tell her?”

“Later,” Father replied. “For now, let her enjoy the chocolate.”

Just brilliant, Kelly! Are you sure you don't want to take up writing?


All the other ladies deserve mention.

Jenni - You should take your story further, as you mentioned. There's a great tale to be told with your words! Loved it.

Angie - Oh my gosh. Such a heartfelt piece; it evokes such rich emotion! Thank you for sharing this with us.

Vesper - Welcome to Something She Wrote! And thanks for participating. I was surprised to learn you're so young! You keep at this writing thing, chick. You've got something. :)

Barbara - You so well captured the life many likely lived. Made my heart sad - in that way I so love because it's due to good writing. Excellent!

Melanie - Love that you made it a present-day story, looking back on an old letter. And the helicopter seeds, I remember playing with those! An awesome thing we all likely remember; it connects us all to the story. Great stuff!

Joy - I really loved where you went with this; that the circumstance came about only temporary, until things are more adequate for Nellie. Such a full story; there's so much behind the scenes of what you wrote. Well done!

Keep at it, all of you. I suggest writing fiction blurbs whenever inspiration hits - even when you're working on bigger projects. It's good for motivation and creativity, and can even help with mental block.

Thank you again, ladies. I'm so honored to write alongside you talented women.


JLC said...

That was a great piece! Congrats!

Jenni James said...

YAY! I'm sooo glad you chose this one! When I read it I was just amazed! It's awesome! And I loved all the entries too! Incredible. I loved all the different takes on it all. Thanks for posting this contest. Jenni

Melissa Amateis said...

What a neat project you did, Janna! Sorry I didn't participate - think it was that nasty sore throat and general icky feeling that prevented me from taking part.

Congrats to Kelly! Very nice piece.

Terri Tiffany said...

She should be a writer!! I feel so out of the loop:( I would have participated so I will catch the next one! Dealing with a cold and with some goals this week.

Joanne said...

Kelly definitely should consider writing. Plot wise, structure wise, she gid a great job. She can begin her writing by expanding this piece! Congrats.

Author Jessica Nelson said...

Congrats Kelly!

Melanie Hooyenga said...

Congrats to the winner. That really is moving piece. :) Great contest Janna.

Janna Leadbetter said...

Turk - She did great, don't you think?

Jenni - It was fun!

Melissa - I think I saw you're feeling better, right! I hope the uckies are long gone.

Terri - I'll try to do another one sometime in the near future! Hope all is well.

Joanne - For sure!

[Kelly, are you getting this? ;)]

Jessica - Maybe you can join in next time. :)

Melanie - Thanks!

Barb Davis said...

Congratulations Kelly!!!!!

Kelly said...

Wow! I just walked in the door from attending my grandpa's funeral. After a six hour drive with a toddler and no husband, an emotional day with my family, and a cold and empty house I sat down to read all of this! Thanks Janna! And thanks for the many compliments-- ya'll made my otherwise dreary day.

colbymarshall said...

What a lovely piece of writing! Congrats to all who participated!

Anonymous said...

That old letter turned into a fabulous story! She must write some great copy to go along with her photos.


Angie Ledbetter said...

Those were great! Kudos to the winner, who really should investigate writing for the public. :)

Jen said...

Wow...congratulations, Kelly! That was really wonderful work. I'll join the chorus suggesting you look into taking up writing. :)

Neat contest, Janna!

Anonymous said...

Awesome, congrats to Kelly!

Janna Leadbetter said...

Barbara - *smiles*

Kelly - You deserve it!

Colby - It was great participation. Maybe next time we'll get more. :)

FringeGirl - Who would have thought, from a simple envelope?

Angie - Totally!

Jen - She's been holding out on us. ;)

Kimmi - Awesome for sure!