I am feeling a bit accomplished this morning, as I did meet the goal of 2,500 words yesterday! I also signed up for another writing project, an essay in non-fiction, with a goal of approximately 4,000 words due in 13 days. (I know, I’m a glutton for punishment, but I couldn’t resist…I’m a writer!) Here is a link to the contest for those that may be interested: Creativenonfiction.org

I would really love to have some feedback on the content from the excerpts, so please feel free to leave a comment, and share your thoughts or ideas. If you or someone you know would be interested in participating, just use the “Join Project” to the right to sign up.

I have heard several writers say that it is difficult to find uninterrupted time to work on their writing projects, and I know this is true. As a mom and home-school teacher, among other titles, it is often that I find myself getting up at 2 or 3 in the morning in order to have quiet writing time. I tried staying up late to work, but by the end of the day, my brain just doesn’t seem to have the same creative flow as it does early in the morning.

So onto today’s adventures…

Excerpt for today is the beginning of Chapter 2 – Visions

The weathered old barn was like an icon to the town of Snow Crest. It was the first barn built in the area. A huge two story frame built of strong timbers, painted a fiery red with deep green trim, it stood out in stark contrast to the white winter snows as a colorful landmark. It had often been used as a gathering place for the town meetings before the town hall had been built. As Jason and Lee were crossing the north field, a voice called out from inside the barn, “Good morning boys! We’re in here”.

Brian Harrison and his wife, Sarah, had bought the old farm fifteen years ago when Brian retired from the ministry. He had been the preacher of a small Pentecostal church in a town twice the size of Snow Crest for almost sixteen years, and his fierce passion for God still showed. Many people still referred to him as Pastor Brian due to the parable-like stories he often told.

As the boys approached the barn, they could hear excited voices and giggles. They found Pastor Brian kneeling down in the fresh straw, holding something close to his chest. Next to him were Sarah and Kirie, both full of smiles and giggles, and in the straw in front of him lay Missy with her newborn pups. Missy was quite calm and looked rather pleased with her new delivery. The pup that Pastor Brian was holding began to squirm and cry softly, and as he gently placed the pup back with its mother he said, “You did good Missy”.

Lee thought back to the day six months earlier, when Missy first showed up in town. She was a matted, dirty mess, half-starved and limping along. As she was crossing the church parking area, she didn’t even seem aware of the people there. When Pastor Brian saw her, he approached slowly. Speaking softly, he called out to her with a hand stretched out in an offer of friendship. The dog looked at him briefly with such a sadness in her big brown eyes, and then sat down. Pastor Brian continued talking to her as he crept closer. He slowly put his hand on her cheek and gently began to stroke her face. Her eyes never left his, until he squatted down in front of her. She bowed her head down and pushed it against his chest, as if giving him a hug of gratitude. Pastor Brian gently picked up the golden retriever and placed her in the car next to Sarah. Sarah smiled approvingly and began stroking the dog’s matted fur. And that was how Missy had become a member of the Harrison family.

Sarah said, “Well, I guess I’ll be losing my little helper for a while”. Almost as if she understood, Missy stood up and placed her head in Sarah’s lap. Sarah smiled and said, “It’s alright girl, I know you’ve got an important job to do here with your new babies”. She continued, “And I know you’re going to be such a good mommy”. Sarah turned to her husband and said, “Looks like we’ll need to fix her up a bigger bed in the house now”. As Brian studied his wife’s face, he knew their “family” had just increased by three. He had originally said they would find good homes for all the pups when they first discovered that Missy was pregnant. But he knew there was no fighting his wife’s love for her animals. Missy had become a constant companion to Sarah, and had brought so much joy to her heart. Now there would be three more. Brian smiled as he looked into Sarah’s twinkling eyes. He had never been able to resist those beautiful pools of deep blue.

Jason spoke, “Looks like we have an additional project to work on today”, smiling at Pastor Brian. Jason knew that look on the pastor’s face. He remembered seeing it in his own dad, whenever he gave in to his wife’s requests. Jason wondered for a moment if men were ever able to win, or if God had perhaps given women some kind of secret power over men to help them get their way. As if reading Jason’s mind, Pastor Brian smiled and said, “It’s no use to argue with a woman’s heart”. Then he said, “Well, I guess we better get busy”.

Sarah and Kirie remained in the barn with Missy and her pups, while Brian and the boys went to find materials to begin building a new dog bed. Kirie asked, “Can I hold one”? Sarah said, “I don’t think Missy will mind, as long as you hold it gently and with love”. Kirie scooped up one of the pups, and Sarah instructed her on how to hold it up close and properly, so as not to hurt or upset it. Kirie was thrilled to hold the little bundle. She said, “I’ve never seen anything so tiny and beautiful before”. Then her face turned a little sad. She said, “My dad would never allow me to have a dog”. She continued, “He says it’s too much work and responsibility for me to handle”. Sarah patted the young girl’s arm and said, “Perhaps you can help me with these little ones”. Kirie’s brilliant smile returned as she said, “Oh Miss Sarah, I would love to help”! She was so excited she almost forgot she was holding one of the pups. Suddenly she became very serious as she spoke to the tiny puppy. She said, “I will have to work very hard to learn how to take care of you, to try to remember everything Miss Sarah says. But I promise to do my very best, and I will ask God to help me so I don’t forget”.

Sarah knew that Mason Allen loved Kirie with all his heart, but at times he seemed a little over protective of her because of her learning disability. When his wife died in the crash that had caused Kirie’s brain injury when she was just two years old, it had left him to raise Kirie alone. Even with all his family’s money, he could not bring his wife back, and he could not heal his daughter’s brain. This had caused Mason to withdraw into himself. He did not know how to deal with the pain of losing his wife, or the fear of raising his daughter alone. When it became apparent that Kirie had a learning disability, Mason tried to protect her by keeping her confined and away from people. He knew how cruel people could be, with insults and sneering, or how easy it would be for Kirie to become a target for abuse. So Mason took Kirie out of the public school in second grade and hired a private tutor for her. Whenever Mason took Kirie into town with him, he also took her nanny along and instructed them to remain in the car while he took care of business. But being the curious and friendly little girl she was, Kirie often spoke to people passing by, at times just to share a happy thought she had with them. Everyone knew her father and his family. They were one of the founding families of Snow Crest, and the family had made their fortune from the old gold mine. Kirie’s smiles and joyful greetings were mostly welcomed by the townspeople, though some seemed a little uncomfortable when she was around. And there were a few that did make cruel remarks to Kirie about her disability, but she just kept on smiling and ignored what was said. Her father tended to treat her as if she was too fragile to handle much of anything, and that was more painful to Kirie than the insults. She wanted so much to please her dad, to make him proud of her.

**End of Excerpt**

Well, that’s the excerpt for today. I hope you enjoyed it. Please share your thoughts and input in the comment section, I’d really love to know your thoughts! I’d also appreciate some feedback on the website, as this is the first time I’ve created a site myself. I wanted to gain firsthand experience with design, so your feedback on it would be a tremendous help.

Quote for the day: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanks for visiting, and read well, write well.  – Amber Lea

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