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Josh and I started out barely speaking. I was wondering how to get the coversation moving when Sheriff Whitey pulled into the road ahead of us.
He stopped the car and waited for us to get up next to him.
His face told a story that neither I or Josh wanted to hear.
” Josh I just came from…”
“Let me guess one of my aunt’s houses and Roberta has decimated the entire place. Even the ashes are gone.”
The face on our county sheriff’s face showed that there was more fact than Josh wanted to hear.
“No not quite she has decimated both of your aunt’s places. At both times there was blue red and white bolts of lightening. I am sorry Josh.Why would she do that? That’s your entire family. But she didn’t touch Ina, why?”
The two men sat there trying to figure it out. When it hit me.
“She didn’t bother Ina because she never lied to Roberta. Even when they fought Ina was always straight up with Roberta.”
“You’re right Ella. Ina raised me just the way she told Roberta she would. By you own omission when there was shouting at the asylum. Ina was honest with my mom.”
Whitey scratched his head.”I am not following.”
“The day that Ina and Roberta came to words. Ina told her that Josh was a grown man and Roberta better realize it.Or just roll over and die.” She didn’t pull any punches and she didn’t coddle her. Roberta must have known she was telling her the truth.” I reached out to touch Josh only to have him pull away.
He seemed to be having trouble with the fact I was trying to help him at all.
I moved Dan on up the road and left the men to talk.
“Damn, why didn’t I think of that? I’ll tell you something Josh. You had better change attitudes or you will drive that woman away. She would be a heck of catch for somebody. I know a couple of men that are looking to lay claim. You best think about that.” Whitey replaced his hat and backed his car back to go the other way.
Josh sat on Hellion thinking about everything he’d just heard. Looking up toward the woman who had been ahead of him. She was already heading down into the bottoms. He saw her stop and look back his direction. Sure wish I could tell her how much she means to me. The big horse shook his head up and down as if he was in agreement.
I am not sure why I showed up three days later with my sleeping bag, clothes, and sturdy boots. I also had the only thing my foster dad had ever given me. A Smith and Wesson .38 with extra boxes of shells. The 4:10 shot gun was a present to myself after I graduated from college and had my masters. I entered West Virginia University School of Medicine on a full scholarship the next semester. My grade point average had never dropped below a 4.0. The shotgun and a shooting range had made sure that happened. I took to target practice every time I got fraustrated.
I rode up on old Dan a horse I boarded at Harold Grimes house. Something had told me Josh was going to take off with out me. He was saddling his big roan by the name of Hellion when I showed up.
He watched me come down the hill in my cowboy hat and boots. He didn’t recognize me. He moved to get his gun as I dismounted. Until Jeb bounced out and tried to knock me down by putting his paws on my shoulders and trying to lick my face.
Only then did Josh realize that I was under the hat. I could tell he was irate at the idea of me having figured out that he was going with out me.
“I hope you will be ready to go in less than an hour. I can repack my stuff to be on the trail by then I forgot to put some jerky in my saddle bag where I can reach it.”
“Did you bring water?” He huffed at me.
“Two canteens and two extra water bottles just in case. I am not willing to give up my youthful appearance by not being hydrated. I also have dehydrated fruit and cheese and crackers packed in between my shells.”
“You would never be willing to let me do this alone would you?”
I reached out taking my binoculars to my eyes. “Since I don’t see any pigs flying. I am sure that means not a chance in…. well you get the picture. Now hurry up and let’s go. I am intending to be at the opening by dark.”
In recent months the last 24 months for me anyway I have been trying to take the advice of a very prominent writer. And the one thing that is being pushed is leave reader asking questions. Why does the character have so much fear or,anger? Why is she hanging around with the goofball friend? Why does she put up with the jerk of a boyfriend?
Yet when I do this I am told that there are not enough answers because as one rejection letter put it. “This story has no merit in today’s society.”
Now I realize that wanting to make people care about your characters is the hardest thing you possibly do.
But I have a question. Before you start putting stories in the rejection pile? Shouldn’t you actually read more than the first ten pages? Shouldn’t you actually read the story instead of skimming pages and then dumping it as no good?
I get a lot of rejection letters. But not one of the publishers and agents that have sent my rejection letter to me will ever convince me that they actually read the entire manuscript and gave it a fair chance.
All because I don’t have the two main characters at each others throats for the first hundred and fifty pages and then mauling each other the last quarter of the book.
Yes I believe there has to be conflict in a story. I don’t believe it has to be between the two main characters. What happened to a time when people worked together. Do not say its boring because everyday life is not boring and people do work together.
My story was too sweet for some publishers and then I was turned down by a sweet publisher.
I am beginning to think self publishing is the way to go.
Today started with a fast trip to go to Missouri for my job. But I got to where I was to pick up and the freight wasn’t there.(I haul for a package company. Within 300 miles of Indianapolis) So seems the load they sent me after had been sent out the day before on a national logistics company. It had arrived and been signed for by 11:21 this morning. Before they had even contacted me but the message had not got to the right people.
So I go to the the home office e where they tell me that they don’t have anything. So I get almost home to find out they have a load if I want it going up by Fort Wayne. So I go back get the package at rush hour and head North.
Traffic is horrific I get into bumper to bumper traffic and have to hit my brakes to keep from hitting the guy in front of me, who is avoiding the semi in front of him. But the girl behind me doesn’t see me hit my brakes. So she hits me.
So I spend the next hour dealing with the paperwork and the cop. Who puts the wrong insurance down on the report.( that is going to be a hassle to straighten)
Then I spend another hour trying to get past the local concert venue that must have had a Really Big Show( to quote Ed Sullivan)
So I get to my destination only 28 mins late. (The customer wasn’t upset thank goodness.
And I get back into town just in time to deal with the traffic from the concert that has just let out.
So what makes this a blessed day?
Well the customers were not Unhappy they each got the packages they needed. Both will use us again.
As far as they accident I go e praise to God for no one getting hurt. In that traffic it could have been a massacre.
And I truly hope the concert was good for as much traffic that was going to and from it.
So I guess it’s a matter of perspective. What I learned was don’t panic and give God the praise even when the worst is happening. It will work out one way or another.
Maybe not the way you want but it will work out.
This old world makes you stop and think on a daily basis. But are we thinking about the right things. Do we give God the credit he deserves in our life. Here is a list of things I have been thinking about lately,
Giving praise to our Lord,
Making my prayers more effective,
Praying for our troops
Wondering what is on the other side of the Milky Way ( the cosmos nor the chocolate bar)
Enjoying the early summer evenings
Enjoying my husband of Twenty some years.
Thanking our Lord for my family and friends.
What I don’t think about on a regular basis,
What is in style
Office politics( in my company or in the country for that matter)
Who has done what to who on any or all television shows.
What I do care about is giving praise and thanks for my life to the good lord.