Since I first began writing, the majority of my content has been in the non-fiction category. But there have also been moments of creativity when an idea sparked my imagination and a story began to unfold.
As I was cleaning out my office files, I found an old folder with several stories that I had started but never finished. One in particular caught my attention. It was only a basic one paragraph idea, not even to the outline stage, but it stuck in my head. So, over the weekend I took the idea and just let it loose.
This morning I decided to give a little preview of what I have so far. It is designed to be a short fictional story for kids and young teens.
This is the first chapter:
Once upon a time there was a beautiful fairy named Wisdom. She carried in her heart all the secrets and knowledge of life. But she lived in a world filled with darkness, pain, terror, and hate. Wisdom knew what was needed to bring light and goodness into the land of mankind, but every time she tried to help, she was rejected and ignored. Finally, with a heavy heart, she created a magical cloak that made her invisible and hid herself away from the world.
After many years of wandering, Wisdom found a new land. This new land had not been infected by the evil darkness, so Wisdom decided to make it her home. She spent centuries creating many beautiful and wondrous things, but she had no one to share them with.
From her loneliness, Wisdom gave birth to 4 children. To each child, she gave unique talents and abilities in order for them to survive the encroachment of the world of man, for she knew it was growing and would soon reach them.
To her firstborn son, Integrity, she gave the gift of honor and loyalty, to always do what was right and good, no matter what the cost.
To Courage, her second son, Wisdom gave the gift of a brave heart, always ready to face any danger or fear.
Wisdom gave her daughter, Hope, a huge heart filled with faith and dreams of glory. She also had a magical voice that sung straight into the heart.
And to her youngest daughter, Freedom, Wisdom gave the gift of unrestrained independence. Freedom did as she pleased, determined to fully enjoy all the goodness that life had to offer.
One day, when they were still young children, they stopped to rest by a stream after a long run through golden fields. As they sat quietly enjoying the cool breeze and listening to the sound of the water gently swirling over the smooth rocks, they heard a raspy voice behind them. As they turned to look, a large bear approached, hobbling on three legs.
He called to them, “Please, help me! My foot is broken, and it hurts so much”.
Integrity said, “We will help you. Lay down here beside us and let us see what we can do”.
Thankful for the offer, the great bear laid down his massive body with a thud and uttered a sigh of relief.
As Hope held the giant paw in her lap examining it, the bear said, “I was eating berries from the bushes over the mountain when a man appeared. I offered him some of the berries, for they were plentiful and very tasty. But he seemed angry, and instead began throwing long pointy sticks at me, so I ran away”.
After a long drink of water that Integrity brought in his hands, the bear continued. “The man chased me over the mountain and as I was running between the rocks, I stepped into a hole and my foot got caught. But the man was very close, and I was afraid. So, I pulled with all my strength to get free and as I did, I heard a loud crack and felt a sharp pain in my foot”.
The children had heard stories of man from their mother, but they had never seen one. Freedom asked the bear, “What does man look like”?
The bear replied, “I never saw one before today, but he looked much like you, except his eyes. His eyes were not kind and gentle like yours”.
Suddenly there was a strange noise, a high-pitched whirring sound. As they were turning to look, a long spear struck the ground right beside them. Then they saw the man. He was running toward them, yelling words they could not quite understand, but they knew he meant to harm the bear.
Without hesitation, Courage jumped to his feet, instinctively taking the spear in his hand. He stood in front of the bear and his sisters, as Integrity joined him.
The young boys were not sure what to do, but they knew they had to protect the bear. As the man came closer, still yelling, Courage raised the spear and shouted, “Stop” in a voice that came out like thunder. It surprised the man, and he did stop.
As he stood there looking at them, Integrity asked him, “Why are you trying to hurt this bear? What evil has he done to you”? The man replied, “It is a bear, it must be killed”.
Freedom stood and joined her brothers, saying, “It is not a crime to be a bear. He has done nothing wrong, and his life does not belong to you. Go away and live your life in your land”.
Courage pointed the spear at the man, and said, “I will not let you kill this bear, and if you do not leave, it is you that will die”.
There was something different about these children, though the man could not tell exactly what it was. But it frightened him. Knowing that he was outnumbered, he said angrily, “When you let down your guard, the bear will eat you. Then you’ll be sorry you didn’t let me kill it” and he turned to leave.
Then Hope spoke. It was the most beautiful and gentle voice the man had ever heard, almost like a sweet lullaby. She said, “The bear was trying to be your friend, even offering to share his breakfast of berries with you. I think you need to learn to love others”, to which Freedom interrupted with, “Even if they are different from you”.
And with that, the man left and the children took the bear home to Wisdom, so that she could heal him.
The man considered their words on the long journey home, and he could not shake the gnawing feeling in his heart. He could not understand why those children had helped the bear. But their words and actions were still in his head when he arrived at his village.
As he shared the story with his people, they listened in amazement, some believing, others laughing at his tale. It was a story that would be talked about for a long time to come. (End of chapter 1)
Well that’s it so far. What do you think? Any thoughts, or suggestions?
I always appreciate feedback (even the negative side…just be gentle), as it helps me to improve my writing skills. So I hope you’ll take a minute and leave a reply.
Thanks for reading! And have a Happy Monday. – Amber
I’ve been working hard all week, and now my brain is feeling a little weary and fried. So, I decided to change things up a bit and just have some fun.
I think I’ll start with a little insight into my personal life.
One of my top favorite things to do in life is laugh, and sharing that laughter with others. In my youth I discovered storytelling as a way to inspire such cheeriness, though being labeled a class clown in school earned me no favor with my teachers.
It was in fact, that very same type of storytelling that started me on the path to being a writer 20 years ago.
It all started in an online chat room with me sharing something that one of my kids had done that made me laugh. Several folks gave smiley faces and “liked” it, and then someone asked me a question about kids. That sparked another story which also included one of our pets. From there, the stories and conversations grew and I began receiving quite a few suggestions to consider writing as a career.
So, that’s how I got started. Now onto the good stuff…
Currently there are 5 cats and a German Shepherd living in my cabin. (Actually it would be more accurate to say they own the place and just allow me to live here because I feed them and buy them toys.)
Allow me to introduce the crazy critters:
I’ll start with the German Shepherd, since there’s one in the photo above.
His name is Frodo Buggins (and for Lord of the Rings fans, no, that is not a misspelling). It is “Buggins” because he “bugs” everyone.
Frodo is a gorgeous (though slightly chunky) 5 year old. He is totally OCD about playing fetch or catch. It’s what he lives for!
He has the longest tongue I’ve ever seen in a dog, and it doesn’t seem to really fit into his mouth. Quite often his tongue just hangs loosely out of his mouth and sort of jiggles while he pants, flinging spit everywhere, especially right after he’s had a big drink of water. (I know, it’s one of the gross things about dogs.)
Typical of the German Shepherd breed, Frodo is exceptionally intelligent though he often exhibits a stubborn mentality that earned him the nick-name of “Jackass”, which he also now answers to.
One of Frodo’s all-time favorite games to play is chasing the laser light. (The cats are pretty crazy about it as well, but not as zealously as Frodo!) It is absolutely hilarious watching an 80 pound ball of furry fury, bowling over anything in his path as he tries to catch the elusive little red dot. But because of his OCD nature and never wanting to quit, I had to set some boundaries, incorporated as part of the game.
First of all, I named the dot “Spot”. Frodo knows that Spot sleeps in the little pen in the drawer next to my chair, and he will stand there staring at the drawer, waiting for Spot to come out to play.
When I pull the laser pen out, Frodo becomes so tense and focused that at times I worry he will pop-a-gasket in his head and explode! In order to teach him some patience, I make him wait as I release Spot from the pen into my hand (and yes, I talk to it and say, “Hi Spot. Are you ready to play with Frodo?”) Then I “toss” Spot out onto the floor and the chaos and laughter begins.
Though Frodo is quite agile, it is still amazing to watch him try to make a full 90 degree angle turn at full speed. Such attempts have wrecked furniture (or anything else he plows into), and left a few bumps and bruises I’m sure, on his backside from the wipeouts. I’ve also had a few bruises from some of his less-than-graceful attempts at victory.
Once he has created or sustained enough damage, usually in about 10 – 15 minutes, I tell Frodo, “Okay, it’s time for Spot to go night-night”. He immediately stops and watches, as I put my hand down to the floor and Spot returns, and disappears back into his little pen. Frodo gives it a sniff and then rolls his eyes at me in discontent as I put the pen back in the drawer.
In addition to his intelligence and agility, Frodo has achieved mastery over the art of eye-rolling, head-tilts, and facial expressions. While he may not have the power of the human language, he still speaks to me. Sometimes it’s in the way of slinging insults or half-hearted threats at me, such as he is right now, sitting at the door of my office with a toy in his mouth and glaring at me. He is clearly telling me that it is time for our morning romp, and if I don’t go play with him, he will inflict some punishment on me, such as knocking over his water bowl or using one of the cats for a squeaky toy.
Since one of my many masters has spoken, I guess that will be it for today.
I hope the peek into my private world brought a little smile, and didn’t scare you off. Next week I’ll introduce the feline members of the clan. Perhaps I will dedicate Fridays to some light hearted humor if that would be okay. Let me know what you think in the comments, and please feel free to share your own stories too. I’d love to hear from you!
Have a happy, fun-filled, and blessed weekend! – Amber
A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.
As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. Mom taught me to love the Word of God. Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spellbound for hours each evening. He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bill and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars.
The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn’t seem to mind, but sometimes Mom would quietly get up – while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places – and go to her room read her Bible and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave.
You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt an obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house – not from us, from our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four-letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never confronted.
My dad was a teetotaler who didn’t permit alcohol in his home – not even for cooking. But the stranger felt he needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (too much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man/woman relationship were influenced by the stranger.
As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave.
More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Morningside Drive. But if I were to walk into my parents’ den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.
His name? We always called him “TV”.
He has a sister now. Her name is “computer”, and a cousin named “cell phone”.
(Author Unknown, but seems to have appeared in circulation on the internet around 2007)
Just something to think about: What we allow to consume our minds also consumes our hearts. And from our hearts, our life flows. What’s flowing from you?