Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chat Pack Challenge 20 – Happy Birthday To Me

Today’s question: What is the one thing you are most fearful of doing?

Happy birthday to me! I’m a quarter of a century old today and had an amazingly blessed day. There are two flower shops in the small town I live in and I think I alone have kept them in business a bit longer today. I had three bouquets of flowers sent to me at the office – one from my parents, one from my aunt and uncle and one from a lady who just felt like giving me flowers because she thought I’d written a nice story about her in the paper.

All my birthday flowers (plus the just-because flowers). Oh, and chocolates. Someone got me chocolates too.

Yes, I know I am spoiled.

In response to today’s question, the one thing I’m most fearful of doing is not giving my best effort one hundred percent of the time.

While I’m really scared of spiders and creepy bugs, I can always find a shoe or some other object to squish them with and then carry on with my life. But failing at something because you didn’t try hard enough? That’s something that haunts you for the rest of your life, knowing you could have done better.

So what about you? What are you most fearful of? (Note: your birthday present to me could be answering today’s question in the comment section!)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Chat Pack Challenge 19 – The Young Journalist

Today’s question: What is the highest award you’ve ever won or highest honor you’ve ever had conferred upon you?

The Young Journalist

The highest award I’ve ever received was back in 2009 at the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s annual convention when I was named the Outstanding Young Journalist for all weekly newspapers in the state.

This remains one of my proudest moments.

The Outstanding Young Journalist award is only awarded to two individuals each year, one for weekly newspaper journalists and another for daily papers. The recipient must be under the age of 30 and can only receive the award once in their lifetime.

I was 19 when nominated and had just turned 20 when they announced my name during the formal banquet to which it was my first time attending.

My mind was whirling a million miles a second as I looked around the room in complete shock. People were beginning to stand and applauded. A gentleman to my left heartily slapped my shoulder and a lady across the table leaned forward to say her congratulations. My editor was on my right, beaming, laughing with a huge smile on her face. When I continued to just sit there, she kind of pointed towards the stage and mouthed something like, “go!”

As I walked forward – it felt more like I was floating – random people reached out to shake my hand and those who I then barely knew were greeting me with smiles. I could barely get my brain wrapped around it all.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Chat Pack Challenge 18 – What is Dull?

Today’s question: What do you think is the dullest topic to discuss?

What is dull to you?

I’m breaking it down today, going honest Abe on you all. That means no short story in this post and just straight up truth speaking from my lips—er, finger tips.

The answer of today’s question of the day is from the real me.

And the answer to what I think is the dullest topic to discuss is...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Chat Pack Challenge 17 – The Wedding Gift

This story was inspired by a true life tale. Maybe because Valentine's Day was just last week is why this one came to mind.

Today’s question: What is the most heartwarming/uplifting human-interest story you’ve ever heard?

The Wedding Gift

We were almost ready, hair and makeup done, the gals all had their dresses, and all that was left was to slip me into the white gown.

There was a knock at the door and a voice from the other side jokingly called out, “Are you ladies decent?”

We all giggled and one of my bride’s maids ran to the door to check who it was. Then she stepped aside and let my fiancé’s brother into the room. He was wearing his black suit and silver tie, more dressed up than I’d ever seen him before. In his hands was a package in red wrapping with a write ribbon and bow.

Tears began to well up in my eyes and I didn’t even know what was inside my future husband’s gift yet.

My friends and soon-to-be brother-in-law all started laughing and giggling at me. My face was burning because my smile couldn’t grow any wider.

“Don’t you cry now, you’ll ruin your makeup!” one of my sisters was teasing.

Then I was holding the package, carefully removing the paper. Inside was a little wooden box.

I opened the lid.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Chat Pack Challenge 16 – The Big Oops

Hey everyone, wow, isn’t it amazing how quickly life can take you in a different direction than you had intended to go?

My month long self challenge to write a short story or post in January came to a screeching halt when I became overwhelmed with a large work schedule, family health issues and other obligations I had pre-committed myself to prior to beginning this challenge. I moved in the middle of all of this and had to make a couple of unexpected trips half way across the state for various reasons.

And now I’m absolutely convinced that when life sees you trying to succeed with a goal it will throw anything it can to knock you down.

If you get knocked down, that’s okay. No matter how strong you are or you think you are, you will get knocked down at some point.

The important thing is to get back up.

Thanks to Twitter pal @alexalvar7 for prompting me to continue my #ChatPackChallenge by tweeting, “Who cares about deadlines? Just keep writing.”

So, without further ado, here is today’s question with my short story (fiction) answer: What is the costliest mistake you’ve ever made?