Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Legacy of Writing

Today I'm a guest on Jessica Patch's Blog. I'm talking about my first kiss and all things romance.
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I've wanted to be a writer since I was about ten years old.

My oldest daughter discovered her desire to be a writer at an even younger age of seven. She's now eight and has more completed stories than I do!

Last week we found a box of stories from when I was young. I pulled a random one out of the pile. There is no date, but judging from my spelling and grammar, I imagine I was about twelve when I wrote it.

I read it out loud to my daughter as she silently listened.

In the midst of the story, it came to an abrupt end - I must have forgotten to finish it! I jokingly said: "Oh, no! What happens next?!?!"

She looked up at me with her great big green eyes and said in a hushed tone: "Can I finish it?"

I didn't even hesitate, but handed her the story. She ran off to her room as fast as her feet could carry her. Thirty minutes later she handed me back the story, with an ending.

At the risk of sharing a story with a thousand mistakes, on my twelve-year-old part, I thought I'd present this combined story.

It took twenty-one years to finish - at the hands of two child authors. I can't wait to see where my daughter's dream will take her.

Graveyard Confessions
By Gabrielle VanRisseghem (1992) & E. Meyer (2013)

The figure sat in the corner of the lonely graveyard. The night was dark and cold. And the moon gave a good light.

A widow got up from her dead husband’s grave. Just as she turned to leave her eye caught sight of the dark figure. She noticed the figure was shaking. The widow felt sad for the person.
Hesitantly leaving her spot, she walked over. She could see it was a young woman. Her knees to her chest and her head hung just enough so you could see her lower chin quivering. The girl was dressed in rags, from her worn soles on her feet to the ripped brim of her hat. Her jacket was brown with torn pockets and ripped sleeves. Her dress was of a deep green velvet, but the hem was torn and the dress was stained with mud and whatever else the young girl had managed to get into.

“Child, child?” The widow said in a wee whisper. She slowly lifted her head. Her deep green eyes shining up at the lady. Her long brown, fluffy hair pulled back into a loose twist.
“Yes,” she managed between sobs.

“I was wondering. Would you care to come to the restaurant around the corner?” The widow asked.
The girl nodded and stood up to leave.

The two women walked on in silence. The widow felt small compared to the girl.
Coming into the busy street, lights were everywhere. The widow could see the lovely features of the girl. She had high cheek bones and her lips were of a perfect shape. They were parted, slightly. The girl had beautiful green eyes, which were very large and round. Her hair was brunette and she was at least five foot seven. She didn’t even have a handkerchief to blow on. She walked like a proper young woman, but still her frame was shaking with sobs.

“Here it is. By the way, my name is Mrs. Anna Crasing.”
“My name is Amanda Lawrence.” The girl spoke in a thick English accent.

The two picked a spot by a big window.
Now it was time for Amanda to look over Mrs. Crasing. She was small. With deep brown eyes and dark brown hair. Her nose was sharp and her lips narrow and small.

Mrs. Crasing ordered coffee for them both. “Now dear, Amanda, start from the beginning.”
Amanda wiped her eyes and nose a few more times.

“It all started back in 1898 when my father and mother both died in a bad accident. My brothers, Benjamin and Samuel, they talked me into coming to America. We went to New York…”
I walked off the plat form and Sam, only eighteen, and Benny, only seventeen, know how to take care of me of sixteen.

“Benny, where is Sammy taking us to live?” I asked Benny.
“He said he had written to a man, Karl, Karl something. He said Sammy and I could work in the thread mill. He asked if there was a job for you. Said he’d talk to his wife. Never wrote back.”

As we came off the ship, all the sounds and looks were different. I could see people everywhere I looked. Since we came from a high society family, each of us had saved a large amount of money to start us off. We were set.
A man met us at the gates of the harbor. He brought s to a large building with many windows. From there we were set up in a large room. It had three beds. It was large all wood floors, white walls and a new electrical light was hanging from the ceiling. I was amazed at the light, for England didn’t have electric lights, yet.

The following day my brothers left for their work at 6:00 a.m. I got up, put on my dress of blue cameo. I walked down to the main floor and I found Mrs. Nowlwide. She was the wife of the man who found my brothers a job.
“Mrs. Nowlwide?” I called into her office.

“Yes.” An older woman with gray hair stepped out of a back room.
“Hello, I’m Amanda Lawrence. I’m living upstairs, your husband said I could find a job here.”

The lady gave me a warm smile.
“I just put a sign in the window for a waitress for the restaurant.” She was talking of a restaurant in the hotel I was living in.

“Could I apply for it?” I asked her. She nodded and handed me a form and a pen. I filled it out. She looked it over.
“Yes,” she nodded. “This will work. Do you know where the kitchen is?”

I nodded.
“Good, go there and ask the head cook, Miss Solonal, for an apron and tell her you’ll be the new waitress. She’ll show you what to do.” The woman smiled and I left.
(My story ends)
(My daughter's new ending)
“I did not notice I’ve seen her in the jailhouse when I was 6 years old. My dad said that she was a robber then. I went to do my job. A couple hours later I was robbed, my brothers were kept as slaves and that’s why I was in the graveyard. They got killed. I thought I could not make it and that’s where you come in.”

The widow said, “I lost family, too. Do you want to be my daughter?”
Amanda didn’t hesitate. She said yes.

A few months later, Amanda had everything her heart could desire.
The End.

What about you? If you're a writer, when did you know you wanted to write? If you're not a writer, how old were you when you knew what you wanted to do in life?

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Next week I'll be at the My Book Therapy Deep Thinkers Retreat in Florida, so I'm taking a blogging break! I'll be back to the blogosphere next Friday. Happy Blogging.


  1. Gabe, what a great story - both about your early love for writing that has been passed down to your daughter and the story the two of your wrote together. I love it!! Thank you so much for sharing.

    I wrote my first stories (that I remember) when I was 13. I kept them in school folders and for a long time they were in a hope chest in my mother's bedroom. After she died (17 years ago), I looked for them, but couldn't find them. I would love to read them again, but guess I'll never have that chance. :-(

  2. What a precious moment of bonding between you and your daughter, Gabe! Wow...and both of you are incredibly talented. Love the story! Love you guys!


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