We did it my friends! We completed the initial week of our seven week challenge.
I struggled to be honest. Wrote bits and pieces, volleying between journaling and poetry until I settled back into the comforting embrace of fantasy.
Whether you wrote 500, 1000, or 100 words, be proud of what you accomplished! (If you would like feedback on what you wrote or wish to provide feedback to others, please email UnshelveTheWriter@gmail.com).
Two writers gave permission to post their week one creations. Please join me in congratulating A.L. and Laurie on a fantastic start to the challenge!
ODE TO AN EX
by A.L. Dowdell
to my wheel,
of all my
So I built
and the edges
with a force
and a rage
of its own.
by human hands,
a million sandbags
or empty, shallow
It can break
I’m tired of
drown in this
you call a
I’m tired of
and I’m finally
BUT FIRST PARIS
by Laurie Hong
Looking at Paris in this light, I know I am doing the right thing. As I am flying into the Charles de Gaulle Airport, I am excited to start a new chapter of my life. Gazing out the window, I see the apricot red sun rising over the horizon. I planned my trip to arrive on Bastille Day so I could see the fireworks tonight.
I sway from side to side in the taxi as the driver zig zags around the boulevards. I feel like a passenger in a Mario Kart on steroids. When the taxi pulls up to my building, the owners immediately come out to greet me. They speak to me in French with only a few words of English sprinkled in. But I could tell from their smiles and gestures that they are thrilled that I showed up. They help drag my suitcases up to the 4th floor. With no elevator in sight, I can’t imagine that I will have to walk up and down these flights of stairs every day for the next two months. My short-term rental looks like a closet compared to the brochure picture. But I cheer up when I draw back the curtains to reveal the Eiffel Tower in the distance.
As this is my first day in the City of Light, I want to capture that perfect photo with the iconic landmark. I don’t bother unpacking my luggage. Putting on my running shoes, I head back down the stairs. Waving to the owners, I take off down the narrow cobblestone streets. My heart is beating fast as I glimpse the tower in the distance. The aroma from cafés and bakeries linger at every corner.
When I jog to the front of the tower, I turn my head upward. Bang! I crumble to the ground. What did I hit? I rub my forehead and eyes. There is a small cut on my right knee. A man has fallen next to me. He gets up and helps me sit up. Although I feel wobbly, I am entranced by his gentle hazel eyes with the perfect five-o’clock shadow. His hands are warm as he holds my shoulders.
“Ça va? Vous allez bien?” he says. His Parisian accent sounds heavenly yet serious at the same time. He didn’t appear fazed at all from bumping into me.
“I’m … ok,” I whisper as I try to stand up. But I tumble back down on the grass.
I rub my eyes again. Suddenly I am jolted awake. The nurse shifts my wheelchair on the deck of my Memory Care facility. I must have dozed off again. She readjusts the blanket over my legs. Looking out between the tall buildings, I watch the sun slowly setting over the mountains.
**Laurie Hong is retired after working many years in the accounting field. When Laurie is not busy being a docent for her local museum, she likes to garden, read long novels, and take walks with friends.**