Friday, November 16, 2007

creative challenge book give-away

I have been visiting Athol Dickson's blog for a while now, but I had not read any of his books. So I decided I should, and boy howdy, you don't just read them, you experience them.

I want to give away a copy of River Rising. It is one of the best books I have read, ever.

You've heard the term "weaving a story"? Well, that's exactly what this author does. You see little threads come and go. Little pieces that give you just a bit of information, but leave you with more questions than answers. Until the end where it all ties up beautifully and every piece makes perfect sense.

This story is history, mystery and spec fic; three of my favorite genres. Set in 1927 in the deepest of the deep south, the mouth of the Mighty Mississippi. Blacks and whites hang out together at the general store, work together, eat together and shake hands like equals; but the most important thing they can't seem to do together.

This is a Christmas story, yet it isn't set at Christmas and never even mentions it. But it is Emanuel -- God With Us.

For me, reading this book was a bit like being caught up in a river. There were times that it was calm and beautiful and made me smile and then I went under and thought "no, I don't want to go there!" and I was bounced around a bit and finally deposited on the shore at the feet of the one I love most. A bit battered and breathless, but weeping for joy.

Ok, so if you are interested, here's what you do -- you have to earn the chance here, man-- go to this site, pick any of the prompts you like and leave your creative effort in the comments. I won't be judging your entry, nobody will. I will take you and put you in a hat and draw one of you out. But I think we all could use a creative challenge now and then, even those of us who write, paint, whatever. We need to do a little something different now and then. Plus, I love reading what you come up with!

Edited to add: I guess I need to give you a dealine. One week from today-- the day after Thanksgiving-- I will draw a winner!


  1. Prompt 102
    If I could invent something to help mankind, what would it be?
    In my house I have a cordless phone. I cannot tell you how many times I make a call and set that phone in strange and weird places. What I love is there is a small button on the base of this phone and when I push the button the phone beeps very loudly. I follow the sound and It is GREAT. My invention would be the same idea but a small button somewhere on my cell phone or van or in my house or all of the above where I could push that little button and my car keys and purse would beep very loud. It would help both womankind and mankind. How? It would save countless minutes for the women and for the men a lot less frustration with the women. It would make for happier marriages and families. :)

  2. If my name gets pulled out of the hat, draw three more and give the book to the third person. :) I have my copy and love it.

    I'm a sucker for creative endeavors though. Promt 186 says freewrite for 5 minutes using this opening line: Behind her, the noise escalated.

    So, I'm setting my timer, ready?

    Behind her, the noise escalated. She wanted to stop but couldn't. Having already upset the balance of things, she had no choice but to run deeper, further, run to a place she'd never been. She heard it coming closer, felt the air rush by her as it grabbed for her.

    Why now, why after so long did it come out again? She hadn't noticed the summoning of the bad thing, how did it happen this time?

    Was it the smell. The lilacs? Could that have disturbed it? The fresh rain on the spring air, the sweet scent. Not like the fall, the air was woodsy and smelled like black dirt and wet leaves in the fall. The spring air was warm and sweet, different than air in any other season. Spring was not supposed to bring with it this...this...

    Its closer now, she could feel it, sense it. If it got her, it would envelope her and God knows how long she'd be gone this time, last time they said she was in her...

    That's it. Five minutes up. :)

    P.S. I call copyright LOL I"m pasting this into my "story ideas" folder.

  3. P.S. Thanks for the site with the prompts!

  4. Well, shoot, Michelle! What the heck is it? What's after her? You can't do that.

    I just won't even put you in the hat, how about that? But thanks for participating anyway!! I like your story, even it is does lack closure.

  5. Thanks for the kind words, Kay, and the giveaway! I love the way you're using writing to celebrate writing.

  6. Prompt #66 The Worst Meal I’ve Ever Had

    I was only ten. What would you expect me to do? There I was sitting in the back seat of my parent’s old white station wagon, looking at my feet, desperately trying not to draw attention to myself. No one else was around.
    Church had been over for at least fifteen minutes and everybody else was milling around outside the building, chatting away. My friends and siblings were darting in and out of the crowd, laughing. All the children…except me. I was hoping not to be noticed. When you are one of six children, it’s not always that difficult. Soon Dad and Mom approached the car, with my brothers and sisters in tow. Dad peered into the back seat at me.
    “What are you doing, honey? Are you feeling okay?”
    “Yes, I’m fine, Daddy.”
    “Wait a minute.. I thought you were going to Lisa’s house for lunch today..”
    “But I don’t want to go, Daddy.”
    He looked at me with raised eyebrows. “Why not?”
    “I just don’t want to go”.
    “You promised Lisa you would go to her house today. She’s looking for you. Now, out of the car and go find her.”
    “No buts.. you promised. You must carry through on your promises..”
    With heavy heart I slipped out of the car, and waved a feeble goodbye to the famly. My plan was foiled. I would have to go to Lisa’s and risk another lunch of the dreaded sticky, gummy, overcooked macaroni casserole.. the one I almost choked and barfed on last time. I prayed for a strong stomache as my best friend called out my name, excited that I was spending the afternoon with her.

  7. MondaythroughSunday - Good news...something like you mentioned does exist my sister-in-law got one for my husband for his keys and wallet...but I think we lost the directions - haha - how pathetic is that?

  8. Oh Kay,

    I wanted to thank you for the excellent book recommendations you give :)


  9. Prompt 296

    List 7 Reasons to Turn Down a Marriage Proposal

    1. Differing religious beliefs and practices

    2. If there has been physical violence or verbal abuse – a person promising not to do it again isn’t enough. Extensive counseling would be necessary before committing to marriage

    3. Don’t get married on a whim and be sure to seek premarital counseling first.

    4. Unwillingness of one individual to seek pre-marital counseling

    5. Vastly different spending, saving, and giving habits

    6. Parent or close friend advises against marriage after much prayer. Friends and family who love you may recognize something that young love and the anticipation of marriage has blinded you to…

    7. Don’t marry someone who has personality traits that annoy or exasperate you. Don’t marry a person that you expect to reform after the honeymoon because you can’t and won’t change your spouse. The only person you can change is yourself with the help of God.

    * I guess you can tell that I was a counselor before having children because of the references to counseling. Even two amazing people who are 100% committed to the Lord and each other will face challenges in marriage that are out of their control oftentimes, so its good to have a solid base and an understanding of how the other person has dealt with issues in the past.

  10. Wise advise, Robin. I would have had seven smart-alec reasons, LOL.

  11. I finally finished "River Rising" today. Actually I had barely started it shortly after you posted here originally, but I put it aside until this week when I decided I either had to read it or return it to the library. Great book! Thanks for recommending it!

  12. One other thing Kay - I posted on my blog and linked readers to your blog for a review. You did such an excellent job describing the book without spoilers :)


I love to hear your thoughts!