Writing Wednesdays & A Writing Sprint link up

Because I’m a writer & storyteller and enjoy weaving words together into tapestries of stories both real and imagined, I’ve dedicated Wednesdays to my creative writing. I am currently working through the revision of The Dream Quest, a story about a young man named Daniel who embarks on an incredible quest based on a series of dreams he has involving people he’s never met, however, this week I’ve hit a snag in the revision process; mainly that being Mama took priority and there was more revision than time available this week.

So, I’m playing along on the Writing Sprint Prompt this week.

As always, the Writing Sprint prompt appears at the end of this post and offers an opportunity for you to freewrite for 15 minutes without the so-called help of your inner critic. No overthinking. No stopping. No editing. No worries. No inner critics. Daily writing exercises help writers grow, improve and free their writing. The only rule is that you must leave a comment for at least one other writer who’s included their link. That’s it. Other than, free yourself from your doubts, your fears and your inner critic and have some writing fun with us!

{oh, and a quick p.s. If you’re joining the link up, please grab the Writing Sprint logo below and include it on your blog post, along with a link back to this page. Thanks!}

serving God & others through writing
serving God & others through writing

Writing Sprint Prompt: Lost & Found

“It’s okay, Essie,” Sam whispers in his daughter’s ear. His typically spritely 12-year-old hugs his neck and he can feel her tears falling inside his shirt collar. “We’ll just retrace our steps, right?” He gently lifts her chin with his hand so she can see his face. “Right?”

She nods but her tears continue streaming down her cheeks.

“Come on,” he says. “We’ll start in the dining car.”

He takes her hand and she lets him lead her down the narrow aisle between the seats, wiping tears with her other hand. Every few moments, she traces the spot on her neck where the necklace should be and the tears fall again.

——–

Daniel sits across from Julie watching the landscape move past their window, but barely noticing its beauty. They are probably two hours outside of New York City, and the Connecticut shoreline sparkles beneath the October sun. He should be used to this now. The traveling without really knowing what he’s looking for. Who he’s looking for. Across the table, Julie taps her fingers on her spoon in a rhythm only she hears. He reaches across the small, formal table covered by a white linen table cloth with a small vase of fresh flowers in the center and covers her hand in his.

“It’s okay, Julie,” he says.

“Right,” she says and begins tapping the fingers of her other hand.

The waiter approaches with their coffees and he pulls his hand back and out of the way, accidentally knocking his notebook off the table. When he leans over to pick it up, he notices the glint of something silver. He traces the delicate silver chain with his fingers and looks closely at the pendant, an intricate Celtic design. Immediately his mind takes him back to a park near his childhood home. He is climbing the stairs to the slide; his mother sits on a bench watching him, her hand playing with the intricate Celtic pendant hanging at her throat. She used to tell him that it was her good luck charm, though he fails to see what good luck it ever brought them.

“Someone must be missing that,” Julie says, drawing him back to the train’s dining room.

“Yeah,” he says.

“What are you going to do about it?” she asks.

“What?”

“The necklace?”

“Right.” Daniel looks around the car and wonders how many passengers are on the train who may have come through the dining car.

——–

Sam glances over his shoulder at Essie and is relieved that she has stopped crying. He hates when she’s hurting and he can’t make it better, but this, this he should be able to fix. He whispers a desperate plea to God that they will recover the necklace. After all, hasn’t Essie been through enough, he thinks, having to watch her mother fade away from her too quickly as the cancer diagnosis came much too late. How could they miss it? How long was it there before they found it? This trip was supposed to give them both a chance to just be and maybe, to begin healing. He smiles at his daughter and she gives him her best forced smile.

That look radiates her mother too strongly and Sam looks away and out the window. So much of Essie is her mother, her thick wavy strawberry blonde hair, her blue eyes, the way the dimple in her cheek deepens when she smiles, even a forced smile. He can’t help but smile despite the hurt he feels. Essie carries her mother, his wife, with them everywhere. He squeezes her hand as they enter the dining car.

“Let’s start with our waiter,” Sam says and Essie nods, holding his hand tighter now.

——–

Daniel looks toward the bar where the wait staff is gathered. “I guess I’ll start with them,” he says and Julie nods. He pushes himself out of the chair and bumps into Sam, causing him to drop the necklace.

“Sorry,” Daniel says. He leans over and scoops up the necklace, the pendant swaying back and forth.

Essie’s eyes widen and she stops in front of Daniel. “Daddy,” she whispers and Sam turns around, his eyes tracing the path of his daughter’s gaze.

 

This Week’s Writing Sprint: Lost & Found

This week, have your character either lose or find an object, pet, or set of directions. Explore how this event opens up unexpected possibilities for your story. Will two characters meet for the first time because of this mishap? Will your protagonist be late arriving somewhere as a result?

 Give us what you’ve got with as much detail and dialog as you can muster in 15 minutes. And most of all, have fun. Free your writer from your inner critic. When you’re done, come back and link up what you’ve got! And remember to give some encouragement to at least one other person in the link up community. You can post to the link up party until next Tuesday night. Hope to read you there!

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11 thoughts on “Writing Sprint: Lost & Found

  1. I agree with the others, the amount of writing you were able to form in 15 mins is crazy. Besides the fact it is like a piece taken out of a book. Very well put together. Intimidating! (I know I’m not supposed to compare experience levels, is supposed to be a compliment!)

  2. The adverbs, the adjectives. just beautiful in general. It makes me want to step up my adjectival and adverbial games. I love the connection the dad has with his daughter, his care for her, the way they are trying to heal together. I never had that with my parents. It’s inspiring, but mostly, I JUST WANT TO BE AS GOOD AS YOU AT USING MODIFIERS. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Brad! I appreciate your feedback, especially hearing how the relationship between the dad and his daughter came across to you as a reader.

      {p.s. I may be a little bit too heavy with the modifiers; it’s something I’m working on, too}

  3. I’m impressed with the length of this. It seems like you must have flown in those fifteen minutes! Even when I’m trying not to think too much about what I’m writing, I don’t think I could get this much down in fifteen minutes. Of course, I want to know who Julie is now, and if Essie and Sam are significant to the plot of your story. I also love the fact that the necklace was Celtic in design, since I’m just a tad obsessed with Ireland, hah! You should run out of time to do a revision more often, because these sprints are fun for the rest of us. You shouldn’t miss out!

    1. I may have to do both! I miss the writing sprint stretch; it’s been too long. But it was definitely fun to get in the groove. I uncovered the writing prompt last night and had it floating around in my head. I was thinking it linked with a new character in The Dream Quest.

      You will see this scene and these characters again. And Julie is someone I know because she is in the draft of the novel; but I’ve since realized how much of an overhaul this NaNo draft needs – ha!

    2. p.s. During the NaNo experience last year, I did a lot of their writing sprints; I think that’s how I’ve learned to write a lot of words & details in short amounts of time. I got pretty good at getting 1,000 words in 30 minutes or less…not always good words, and sometimes just great bits of story…

    1. Thanks, Jeff!

      Just so you know, it doesn’t always work that way. I’ve been thinking about this story/novel for several weeks now and got stuck with some revisions this week. I think I was eager to dive into some new writing and add a new character.

      For me, if I can see a scene playing out in my head, I can write it more quickly. That’s how this one worked today!

      1. Well consider me impressed still. Writing is something I used to feel fairly confident with years ago, I appreciate this chance to try and stretch myself and hopefully get better.

      2. I’m glad you’re here! I think the more of these kinds of things we do as writers, the stronger we get.

        And thanks. For reading & encouraging. And for linking up!

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