writing

2300 and not even a chapter done

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Hello everyone! I am so excited I couldn’t wait to publish what I am about to tell you…

I have finally managed to get the first 2000+ words done for what will hopefully be my very own novel.  Right now I have three main working ideas for stories but since this story has the most written and probably the most worked out about the details, I thought I would share a piece. Feel free to comment away (positively or critically); Please note that this is a FIRST DRAFT and while I hope to be a good writer, I was hardly ever a good grammar student.

Anyways, here it is:

Chapter One: Meeting for a Meeting

Anna mumbled to herself as she burrowed through her closet like digging puppy dog.

“I cannot believe I am even concerned about what I should wear! It’s just another meeting.”  But she was more concerned than ready about her appearance and how she looked. Her eyes ran her closet again and again, her hands pulled back the hangers one at a time looking for the attire she knew would look best on her.  Her thoughts racing through her mind

“I never go with the intention of dressing up.  It’s just this once-I feel as though something important is coming.  I need to be ready—to look nice without all the special effects.” Normally the dress was white, just like all her other clothes, but the moment Anna touched it the dress would beginning to reveal its true nature.  She knew she had found the one. The dress was simple yet elegant, with cuffed chiffon sleeves and a heart shaped neck line.  It revealed just enough to catch a well-mannered man’s attention but concealed enough to turn away the sleazy, desperate jerks at a dinner party.  She slipped it on, gathered her hair out of the way to carefully pull up the zipper from behind while glancing over towards the mirror.  This dress always just fit right.  No matter how much time had passed or for what event Anna decided to wear it for.  After she smoothed out the wrinkles-Anna pleasantly remembered how the fabric cautiously touched the back of her legs just below the knee.

“Always the perfect spot” she thought.  Anna never owned nor wanted a dress to land above her knee — no matter how skinny, how tall or how beautiful she was. Not only was anything above the knee one of the most unflattering parts of her body but it seemed the shorter the dresses seemed to be, the more untangled her emotions  would become.  She could not figure out why but she imagined it had something to do with the sexed-feeling short attire created.  As a result, Anna never wore a swimsuit, never wore shorts and never wore a dress above the knee.

The dress wildly flourished from its blank white canvas into a dark royal bluish-purple galactic night sky setting with flashes of shimmering diamonds meant to represent the millions of stars shining throughout deep space and time. It was a perfect image for a night such as tonight. Anna was thankful her emotions had not run off on an unrelated tangent to the evening’s events.  She knew now that the dress would remind others of the great accomplishments that the Emotions Global Organization, or E.G.O.,  had made in science and space travel.  People always thought of E.G.O as a psychologically based organization-looking to understand the emotions of others and of those defined as Emomans (emotion-based humans) such as Anna. Rarely did people remember the great strides the group had made in harnessing light travel and its connection to space, time and the Milky Way.  So Anna wanted to make a bold yet subtle statement about E.G.O’s science connections and between her comet-flamed hair and spaced-themed attire, she thought she was making the most subtly bold statement possible.

“It’s just another meeting” she sighed again in thought. To Anna-every E.G.O. meeting was just another meeting. She had seen and heard them all. Special demonstrations, video presentations of old and new material, and all the unique guests ranging from the new hire in the copy room (who did manage to provide a lengthy and rather lackluster presentation of why one must shred all documentation to protect paper fraud) to dignitaries and leaders from around the world. Yet somehow Anna knew that this evening was meant to be different. The Chief had been unnaturally stressed and overbooked with meetings, especially with the new Investigative Division, or ID, of E.G.O.  And he had purposely not included her in the discussion of the project despite their morning ritual of catching up over coffee and tea. In fact, yesterday the Chief had Anna just drop off his cup of joe with a lack of dialogue and a slam of his office door.   She knew he was up to something. Something extremely important.

So Anna made the extra effort to look clean and classy for the evening’s festivities.  It would show the Chief that she was not just the innocent child he had brought into the organization, but a woman.   And with her starlit dress and jeweled necklace, there would hopefully be others noticing her new look.

Now onto hair and makeup. Anna’s hair was her defining character. Along with her beautiful pearl shaped eyes. You see, being an Emomans has some minor advantages. Since one wore their emotions “on their sleeve”, their appearance could chance at any moment. Yet it still required the standard attention to detail and practical grooming habits of your average human. Except for Anna. She had the uncanny ability to arrange her hair in such a way that would line in exactly with how she felt. Tonight she had beautiful black curls that fell down to the middle of her back with flashes of purple and blue streaks to match her dress.

*******************************************

While she was adding the finishing touches of her makeup, Anna heard the door bell ring.

“Coming” she yelled, as she quickly tip-toed across the wooden floor of her condo to pick up her wedges laying near the front door.  She quickly glanced over at the kitchen stove, checking the time before opening the door: 7:00. He was early. But then again, the Chief was always early.  A habit he wanted to instill in every member of the E.G.O. A habit that Anna had not quite grasped yet.  She was hoping for once-for at least this one night-that the Chief would have taken his time to grease his bald head or straighten his tie for just a few minutes longer. It would have given her a few minutes more to style her hair or decide on a matching eye shade before he arrived.  Instead  he had shown up earlier than usual-even for the Chief.  Another awkward behavior displayed by the man who never acted out of the ordinary.  Something important must be part of the new announcements for tonight.  Anna quickly grabbed her shoes, checked the peephole and unlocked the chain-linked lock and deadbolt to see her oldest and dearest mentor-friend pacing on the other side of the door.

“I hope you’re ready.” The Chief ushered himself in before Anna could formally say anything and continued talking.

“I’m sorry I’m a little early but I forgot one small detail.  When I said I would be picking you up  I forgot to say that I’m also responsible for picking up the evening’s guest.”  Anna’s forehead burrowed again.  Another unusual maneuver and purposely left out detail from the Chief.

“A reminder would have been helpful.” Anna chimed in.  She was getting frustrated at the Chief’s intentional lack of inclusion. The Chief gave her a quick grin out of the corner of his mouth. Anna could tell he was trying to be sincere while realizing her disappointment.  But she didn’t have time to contemplate the Chief’s emotions any further.

“I hope you don’t mind, then, me finishing my face on the way over. ” She grabbed her travel makeup kit, a couple colors of eye shadow and her favorite necklace she commonly referred to as “Ice Fire.”  It was a blue string of reflective heart-shaped beads, varying from white to yellow to orange that started at the back of her neck and increased in size until they reached a single red heart that hovered over her chest.  The heart was surrounded by cerulean colored stones that appeared to glow whenever Anna felt a sensation of love or charity.  It had been an anonymous gift left in her office mailbox a few months back with no tag, no note, no nothing.  She attempted to return it to its rightful owner but for some reason, the necklace always spoke to her-tugged at her heart strings.  Anna was glad when no previous owner came forward.  As for the reasons why the necklace spoke to her – and only to her- she had no idea.

“He doesn’t live that far away. Let’s get going-I have the car is waiting downstairs.”  Anna shuttered back into the present.  She scooped the round wine glass quickly off the kitchen counter for a last minute swig of water.

“The car?” By this point, the Chief was already grabbing her coat and half way out the door.

“Yes-the car. You know-something with four wheels and a horn under the hood?”

“I know what a car is, Chief. I just didn’t know E.G.O. had “the car.”

“Actually, its a Chevy Suburban and yes, there is “the car.”  It was purchased several years ago, when the Organization wanted to promote itself.  But E.G.O doesn’t do a lot of traveling. That’s the problem and advantage  with being based in a major metropolis like New York.  The need for an actual car, let alone a large car, is almost pointless.  The clicking of the rails on the subway or the sweet hum of the city you hear while walking across any of the grand plazas takes precedent over any four-wheeled gas guzzling box.” Until that moment, Anna had forgotten The Chief’s deep love for self-sustaining communal life.  Now she was reminded that maybe she should get him a herb garden gift set for Christmas instead of another sarcastic coffee mug.

“I guess you’ve made your point.”

By that time, Anna had followed the Chief down the stairs of her complex and towards the shiny new black Suburban parked illegally on the street in front of her building.  The Chief grabbed the front door and helped Anna into the vehicle then quickly moved jogged around to the driver’s side.  He turned the key, released the brake and zoomed off towards the next step on his evening’s taxi route. Anna sat quietly, pondering all of the Chief’s curious behaviors over the past few weeks, including tonights actions. Using the car? Arriving early? What could be so important that would cause the Chief to overreact in every action he preformed? Or why he continually hide himself from her view during what appeared to be extremely important gatherings? Maybe because she is tonight’s special guest. That he would finally reveal her true nature to E.G.O. Or maybe it was just her emotions running around in her head. Whatever the reason, she figured that there was no use confusing herself with questions about “what if” scenarios.  She decided to start with an easy focus.

“So who are we going to be picking up?”  The Chief appeared to ignore her

“Huh?”

“I said who are we going to be picking up?” Distracted as always, Anna thought.

“Oh, yes. The special guest. Well-I’ll let you see for yourself. He lives right around the corner.”

Anns could see that her dress design was starting to twist and turn from the galactic dark blue beauty to a midnight blue filled with white and silver lines cutting across the pattern like glass.  The design change even made her more upset for she was determined to keep the same attire for the entire evening and not let her emotions get the best of her.  She had only learned recently that her thoughts and feelings could work together in attempt to control her physical appearance so that random hair explosions or pounding headaches didn’t debilitate her for an afternoon or an entire week.  Nevertheless, Anna was still frustrated that the Chief continued to keep secret all of the evening’s festivities.  She rolled her eyes at him and laid her head to rest in the palm of her hand positioned carefully against the handle of the door.

The car brakes screeched to a halt.

“Looks like we’re here!”

“Oh joy” Anna huffed.

“Hey-you should be lucky I even included you tonight.” The Chief unbuckled his seat belt as he simultaneously opened the door and shut of the car.

“Why don’t you wait here in the car while I go get our guest. Shouldn’t be more than a minute.”

“Sure. But be sure to bring him out without a bag over his head. I’d like to meet the person I’ll be sharing a car ride with.” Anna could tell her eyes were beginning to turn the same pattern as her dress.

“Don’t worry. Just promise me you won’t jump out of your seat.” The Chief smiled back.

Anna relaxed into the leather seat.  Somehow knowing the Chief was not going to hide any longer was a soothing and comforting feeling. She was able to regain her composer and the bitter sharp glass lines began to fade. Anna managed to retrace her emotions and bring back the original pattern of her current attire, solar systems and all. Her eyes went back to a soft moonlit midnight- until she looked up out the partially cracked window towards the combination of footsteps approaching the vehicle she was sitting in. First she saw the Chief, galloping in wide strides towards the driver’s door.  He turned to reveal a man she knew all too well but at the same time not at all. He had been promoted recently to E.G.O. Investigative Division and commissioned with a task of investigating something “top secret” and off limits to even the Chief at times. His name was Freddie Graham. And Anna, for once, was glad she was sitting down instead of standing.  For she would have definitely collapsed on her knees by the sight of Freddie in a sleek black suite complete with black dress shirt and tire.  Especially as the twinge of shimmering blue sheer fabric that flickered with every moment of his body towards the car.

My ever present writing Challenge

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The other night my husband and I were walking around Barnes and Noble and I was talking about how I was becoming a writer just like him. And as I made this comment I was thinking about the possibility that I had been a writer and never known it. Mostly because when I was a child in third grade I wrote a story called ” a Trip to Pianoville” about a girl who didn’t want to practice and fell asleep on her piano keys one night only to be taken to PIanoville by her piano to learn from famous composers, from notes and from different “keys” the importance of learning how to practice. Of course, in the end the girl learns that practicing is what makes you sound beautiful and she won 1st place at her piano competition. For a third grader, this story is amazing. The fact that I would write something so creative as a 9yr old kid still impresses me.

Then I came to realize that it isn’t that I am a writer, per se, but that I am imaginative. Creative. I try too often to think outside the box in an attempt to understand things or to interpret things. This I have been doing for several years. And now, it presents itself in my writing.

So, last post I presented a character from a story I have conceptualized for the last couple of years. I have always wanted to write a story much like how Madrash stories are written–with the intent to communicate a great Christian truth and understanding of how to live without stating the obvious. I think its every writer’s dream to write something and see people come to conclusions on their own without help from the author. So i got into writing my ideas down, creating the characters I knew in my head and started formulating the world that this tale would take place in (something I learned is key for stories and novels–a setting 🙂 )

BUT…

instead of growing in this tale with its complicated theological revelations and breakdowns–I have begun to create other stories that appear to write themselves. Another story (or set of stories) that I am working on is dog rescue in Alaska. I love the state. I have not only meet but volunteered with dog rescue groups here and in Alaska and want to take some of the tales I have seen or learned about and write stories from the dog’s perspective. I do not plan on copying specifics (like names of dogs, groups, etc.) but there a lot of common trends in dog rescue (like health issues, breed restriction issues, even the same sad tales of “cannot take care of dog anymore”) that those involved see over and over again. The reason I chose Alaska is because I believe it gives me the most opportunity for contrast in the story lines. For example, while I can have a pit bull get rescue due to breed restriction issues–I can also have a husky “mix” get left in the middle of the woods and survive for months before coming up to humans (almost white-fang like.) Or i can have a shepherd get caught in a fast flowing stream trying to cross to safety and have a helicopter transport. Or a bear attack surviver. Or just having animals survive the cold weather would be a story in itself. I would choose colorado or some place similar but I have been to alaska  (and I’m going back in less than a month) and I can learn more from the people who are actually there as opposed to guessing storyline.

My third story that has just exploded on itself is this sci-fi type story about what if people’s emotions were a physical trait you could see? It’s called “Emotionality” and its about a couple that gets involved in space/time travel to an alternate universe where emotions are visible to all. Your eyes, your hair, things change when your emotions changed or take over. This originated out of a dream one night so I just started writing down everything that comes to mind and suddenly I had a story. I swear this is crazy. I have the chapters already laid out, scenes within those chapters (about 4 1/2 done out of the 10 chapters) and have probably about 1 chapter clearly written. It’s just insane. I’ve always wanted to write my theological story and yet THIS comes out. Don’t worry–I’m letting this story run its course first so I get it all down. It also has potential for multiple story lines ( based on what happens in this book so I’ll leave that for now 🙂 )

Not that I mind being distracted by my own writing… but hopefully nothing else come to mind while I’m trying to get these three stories put together. I really want to finish a novel. I think it would be a great accomplishment. So I’m working on trying to finish my creative writing certification (Groupon purchase through a school just to get some basic story line knowledge) and then finish up these stories. Who knows where this will take me. 

Character sketches

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Some of you are aware that i have started the beginnings of writing a novel. It is a spiritual journey -type story with the intent of not making the Christian church look fluffy or completely flawed in hopes to inspire others that it is not breaking away that causes strength but building up and reform (yep-true Lutheran here!)

So as a “benefit” of reading my blog, I thought I would release bits and pieces of the characters and storyline, possibly some chapters as they come along. I will let you know that is a great “work in progress” and that all that follows are the copyright of me-Sara richter. (Aka don’t steal my plots people!!)
Anyways, I thought I would introduce you first to the title and the main character of the story:

Title: Searching for Something Unknown

  
Character: Serafina (Fina) Manfredo — she is a mid-twenty-something recently returned home from completing her undergraduate degree. Though she would love to work in her field of study (history), she falls back on working for the local amusement park (that is slowly going under.) If you can image her-she is average. Average height, average weight, average build. But she strives to be nothing like average.  Has natural dark brown hair but has red roots that flash in the light. However, Fina struggles with trying to understand herself at this time in her life and in a way to deal with it dyes her hair in flashy colors (like bright orange, blues, teals, “neon green,” etc.) It also makes her mother mad enough but nothing so drastic her mother would disown her or kick her out of the house.  She wears jeans and a t-shirt most of the time, has maybe one formal dress and thinks make up is for clowns.  Raw and real is her mantra-spiritually, physically, fashionably and relationally. 

Fina goes through a lot of change in this book. From depressed and oppressed young adult, desperate for life both on a personal, spiritual and communal level to one active, involved and lived out as pa full Christian life. She has a couple close friends, meets a couple men that spark her interest and deal with an over controlling mother and a non present father (wink wink not in the non present way you think.)

She is also fed up with her home church. There is no life and those attending are more concerned with their societal self image they rarely hear the message preached each week. And Fina has no idea how to change things without hurting or leaving those she has grown up with her whole life. 

  
Next time: fina’s mother and father ….or maybe a part of chapter one