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God bless you today and every day. Remember, "A joyful heart is good medicine" (Proverbs 17:22-NASB). Blessings and health to you and yours.


Note: Unless otherwise noted, all photos on this blog taken by Diane Stephenson

Sunday, October 4, 2009


As a member of InScribe Christian Writers Fellowship, I periodically receive word challenges. It's a little competition between whoever chooses to enter. We are given specific instructions and a limited word count. We usually have several days to complete these challenges. Then our 'challenger' takes off anything that would identify the entrant, publishes them on the forum and we all get a chance to vote. There is no prize, but voters get to comment (anonymously) on each entry if they so choose. This is a great help towards improving our work. I just received notice tonight that I won the current challenge, so thought I would share it with you.

First, here is the challenge we received: Describe in 200 words or less someone who looks bored. Do not use any form of the words 'yawned,' 'stared' or 'sighed.' Here is another good exercise for the old "show don't tell" rule. You just might be surprised what you come up with. I would like you to give your piece a title - the title is not included in the word count.

Here is my winning entry.


The young girl slouched in the overstuffed chair with her feet plopped on the hassock. A book sprawled open on her lap. Her eyes focused somewhere-or nowhere-beyond the pages of the book. Elbow propped on the worn arm of the old chair, she absentmindedly leaned her chin in her open hand. Fingers drummed softly on her tanned cheek. A lazy fly buzzed aimlessly in the window. Without turning her head, her languid eyes glanced in that direction. She breathed in deeply and slowly let out a whisper of air through pursed lips. She closed the book and stretched her arms over her head. Slowly one foot dropped to the floor; the other followed. She stood. Leisurely, as if searching for something, she scanned the den. Not finding what she was looking for, she sauntered into the kitchen. One after another she opened the cupboard doors and shut them again with no obvious purpose. She shrugged her shoulders. Bare feet padded down the hall to the bedroom. Sue flopped on the bed. As her head sunk into the down pillow she threw an arm across her forehead. Consciousness faded as sleep prevailed over the monotony of the day.

Are you bored yet? I must be honest with you, there were only three entries, so my first place doesn't really mean very much. But there were some very encouraging comments from some of the voters. It was a good exercise in 'showing, not telling', an admonition that writers hear over and over again. Boring story, maybe, but good training in painting a word picture. Hope I didn't bore you too much. I wouldn't want to think you are now doing what the young girl in my 'story' was doing.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Diane,

    I actually loved this descriptive posting! I felt like I was in the room with her.

    KUDOS on winning the challenge!

    Sandy :-)