Thursday, April 30, 2015

Of Coffee Cakes and Orphan Trains | Writing Update

I am always a little hesitant to publicly update my "WIC" (works in progress) because I know my past of unfinished projects. But, trusting in the Lord's direction in guiding me, here's a glimpse of what has been going on in my writing journal.

Coffee Cake Days
The idea for this new short story came one morning when I had gotten up early, spent quiet time, and then was preparing breakfast. Out of all of the short stories that I have currently written, it is probably the most auto-biographical. Meg, a homeschool graduate, is learning many of the lessons that I learned (amidst many struggles!) in balancing time with God and time with her family. The main lesson that Jesus has seemed to bring to my life over and over is servanthood. It's easy to read the Bible and agree with its teachings -- but am I applying it to my daily life?

Here's an excerpt from "Coffee Cake Days":
"Read to me!" Crystal was back in the room, this time with a book in her hands.
"Okay, okay!" Meg flipped her legs over the edge of the bed and jumped to the ground. She let Crystal trail behind her as she hurried to the living room and sat on the couch.
"But I wan' 'nother un." Crystal held out the book she had selected with a small pout.
"Well choose one but be quick about it."
Crystal squatted by the bookshelf and flipped through the books. When she stood up and turned around, an impish grin lit her face. "Ac'ally, I wan' four." True to her word, she had selected four books.
"I said one, so it's going to be one," Meg said firmly.
The toddler looked down at her selection, her mind in debate before selecting her favorite and bounding back to Meg. Nestling beside her, Crystal put a chubby arm around Meg's back as Meg began to read.
That night in bed, Meg stared at the dark wall. Today had been hard to keep her goal of twenty chapters, but she had done it. She should feel satisfied, but instead, a frustrating bubble welled inside of her. Lord, what is it? What am I doing wrong? I'm trying to draw close to you but ever since graduation it seems like a failure. Please, Father, show me what You would have me to do.

Journey to Love
I am praying about doing a novella series called Orphan Journeys - what links together the orphans in all of the novellas is that they travelled the American orphan train at one point in history (historical tidbit: there was also an "orphan train" that brought children from London and Liverpool, England, to Canada). My first novella is Journey to Love (if the Lord allows, I also have plans for Journey of Choice and Journey of Redemption - plus a few others floating around). Main character Marie has become a part of the Bowles household in body, but she's not so sure about being the child they had always prayed for.

First two paragraphs:
Marie glanced down the row of children, and a shiver slipped up her spine. She took a slow, deep breath as she turned back to Mrs. Rawson. Look pleasant, Mrs. Rawson had said - was her pasted smile supposed to be their example? Marie pressed her lips into a small pucker as Mrs. Rawson attempted to give the final admonition before the crowd was admitted into the room.
The close eye of Mrs. Rawson urged Marie to answer the questions and examinations of the couples that crowded around her. According to Mrs. Rawson, who wouldn't want her? A sturdy thirteen-year-old with a back and mind to work. Or were they looking for a boy? Marie glanced sideways at the long line of boys - some bordering into manhood. The crowd was decidedly thicker there.

I would greatly appreciate your prayers as I work on these two projects. Recently, writing time has been very limited as my family and I continue working on our house (you can see updates at my family's blog: I'm not concerned about getting these projects done quickly, but I am concerned that in writing these, I am sensitive to the Lord's leading and what He would have me to write.


Rebekah Neal said...

Praying for you as you seek the Lord with these projects, Amanda!

Amanda T. said...

Thank you SO much, Rebekah!!! I so much appreciate it!

"He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30

Anonymous said...

Continuing to pray for you, Amanda!! I loved reading a little bit more about "Coffee Cake Days"!

~ Kenzi

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