Thursday, June 9, 2011

Unanswered Prayers

This week, we'd like you to write a scene that includes a happy ending.
Surprise us. Don't give us what we expect.

The address on the fat yellow envelope was shaky. That's because Anya's hand was shaking when she wrote it.

"WFM Publishing's editors are interested in the book proposal you sent on February 10th. Please send a hard copy of the full manuscript to my attention for further consideration." That's what the email said. At least, those were the words that mattered. Please send manuscript. Interested. Consideration. They seemed like magic words, the "abacadabra" that would make her lifelong dream come true.

Hazy, half-formed pictures of literary success floated around in her brain like watercolor dreams. Book signings, rave reviews, book clubs, bestseller lists...all the things a successful author enjoyed. Most of it scared her. Fame? Terrifying. Public speaking? Mortifying. Marketing? What was that? Getting published was the only part of the dream that Anya had focused on; she pushed the realities of it away.

Anya dropped the envelope in the mail. Should she tell her husband? Would it be better to surprise him if she sold her book? She thought about the look on his face if she just casually handed him an advance check of many thousands of dollars. (Big dreams! Anya smiled to herself.) Would it sell enough that she could become a full-time novelist? She could hire an au pair and spend blissful hours writing, in some sun-filled corner room.

Weeks went by, then months. Anya imagined how she would furnish her writer's den. She speculated on how many books she'd have to sell to make it into a higher tax bracket. She thought about a sequel. Movie rights!

Then she looked at her little daughter, four years old and freckle-faced. She looked at her husband. He was as much a part of her as her own heart was. They had developed the kind of marriage that simply works, with love and laughter filling their home as naturally as cool freshness filled it on a rainy day. There was room in her life to write, because he was so supportive. Anya had crafted the life she wanted. Writing that bestseller was an old dream, but she wasn't as sure about it anymore. Maybe it wasn't the right time for that wish to be fulfilled. Maybe she was just losing her nerve because change is so frightening.

She opened the letter, and smiled.

"Thank you for letting us consider your novel for publication. Unfortunately, it does not fit our needs at the current time. Please contact us again with your next project."

Anya didn't need a happy ending. She had a happy now.

Always, feel free to comment! Trish in AZ


  1. Well done! I liked the unexpected ending.

  2. Okay, this should be a lesson to me! I dream of just the scenario you wrote every single day, but I shouldn't always be chasing that dream. I should focus on how happy my life is even without that particular part of my dream coming true.

    Excellent post. Excellent happy ending! Thanks for making me think :)

    Stopping by from TRDC.

  3. I love the twist on the ending!

    But I'd still be very sad if I got that letter. ;)

  4. Great set-up and building of interest! I was so excited for her - and then totally got her happiness, even though she didn't get her golden ticket.
    Yeah, I'm with Cheryl, I'd still be a bit bummed if I got that letter :)

  5. Oh wow! Very unexpected ending! Nice!