I am currently and FINALLY seeking representation by a literary agent for my newest completed manuscript. It will be two years in November that I have been working on this one, and I am beyond excited to be querying agents. I have also started up a writing blog with my friend Matt Keenan. We're currently posting chapters of our story, We Keep On, on Tuesdays and Fridays. The blog is called Plot Brownies, because our stories are short and sweet! Check it out here: PlotBrownies.com
I am also back into the swing of college life, and enjoying it again this semester! If you're curious, I attend the University of Maine, and am majoring in Business Marketing.
Lastly, I am working on my seventh novel, and am about 15,000 words into it now. For those of you who don't speak in word count, that's approximately 60 pages in book form. This novel is more on the contemporary side than anything I've written before, but has a spin of thriller in it. I'm SO excited about this one, and can't wait to see where it goes.
Now that you're all updated... today's post is a short story! I don't think that I've ever posted any of my fiction on here, so this is something TOTALLY different from anything I've posted in the past. It's a story I wrote a few months ago (when I say few, I mean like six). I was going to submit it to magazines for publication, but decided to put it here for you all to read for free! Without further ado, enjoy The White Bench on the Left, a story that I hope will make you smile.
The White Bench on the Left
Winter seemed much sadder than the summer, because the old man with the paints and the bucket hat didn’t sit outside, and his lawn wasn’t mowed, and I couldn’t dream about what kinds of things he was painting. By the time the sunny season rolled onto the calendar, I had all but forgotten about the old man, but then there he would be, painting away, adding a few wrinkles to the collection on his face. I once asked Mom if we could stop and talk to the old man. She told me that we couldn’t, because she had errands to run and things to do, and we didn’t want to bother an old man, because his time and his paintings were none of our business. I am going to tell you that I was not one to question, nor disobey my mother. I came home when I was supposed to, I didn’t sneak out when I got older, and I ate all of my vegetables, even if they happened to be brussel sprouts and peas. However, when it came to the old man with the bucket hat and the paintbrush, I couldn’t let the idea of him get away. Going to the old painting man was the first and nearly the last time I ever disobeyed my mother.
It was a sunny Tuesday afternoon, and I was supposed to be biking to my piano lesson. I was eight years old, and my instructor was close enough that I could bike to her, but not close enough to walk to. My mother was gone running her errands—probably picking up more brussel sprouts and peas, I’m sure I thought—and she wouldn’t be back until just before dinner. I was scheduled to leave at 1:15 to get to my lesson on time, and instead I left at 12:50. I buckled on my black helmet, pulled on my white sneakers, and biked my pink bicycle to the old man with the bucket hat. The sun beat down on my freckled shoulders as I biked, the sounds of birds chirping and cars speeding past me an orchestra in the summer air. I could feel my heart thumping in my chest, more at the notion of disobeying my mother than at actually meeting the old man. I nearly biked right past his house, but felt a burst of courage at the last moment and pulled my breaks. Dust flew up behind my back wheel as I skidded to a halt, and I nearly toppled over, catching myself at the last moment. The old man looked up at me over the easel, the paintbrush paused in his hand. He waved with his other hand, and I waved back. The moment of truth, the saying second: To go, or not to go? I put my kickstand down, looked behind me to make sure that Mom hadn’t followed me, and walked right up to the old man.