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Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 23rd Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

Good Morning! I did something interesting yesterday; I searched through over 100K photos in search of a new cover photo for A Second Chance. I narrowed it down to two and sent the choices off to Caligraphics for their opinion. I found one initially that I fell in love with, I thought it was absolutely perfect and the rep from Cali emailed me and asked if I realized the photo I selected was more than 5x the normal going rate. Leave it to me to have expensive tastes.
Needless to say, I went back to the drawing board and looked at photos until my eyes crossed. As I said, I narrowed it down to two. My favorite has no price listed (nothing on the one site has prices listed) and my second choice, from a different site, is only $19 (less than the average price of $25). I’m waiting for a response from the rep to see what he thinks of my selections.
I am a little nervous because the selections I made are quite a bit different than the current cover. I was not able to find a photo of an old English country manor house that would work, if I found a possibility, I would zoom in for a closer look and find a car, a satellite dish or some other modern gadget, and to be honest, none of the choices absolutely thrilled me. So I decided to go the couple in an embrace route instead. The choices of couples in Victorian garb are nearly nil, so clothing was out. Are you getting the gist of why I’m nervous??? I don’t want the book to come across as erotica since it is far from it. I’m pretty sure they will be sending me mock-ups and, if allowed, I will post the choices, and get your opinions before I make a final selection.
 
Yesterday’s challenge was:
 
Truth is stranger than fiction…
 
My spin on “Truth is stranger than fiction” is “Truth is funnier than fiction”. Here is a prime example. A hundred years ago in a previous life, I used to work for a big name financial firm. One of my functions with the firm was to travel to clients so I could present and explain retirement packages to their employees. I was making one of those trips to a client out in Connecticut, when on my way to the train station a freak blizzard hit – I’m telling you, half an hour before I left there were beautiful blue skies and there were only scatter flurries in the evening being forecasted on the weather report. By the time I reached the train station there was over four inches of snow on the ground. I slide into a spot in the parking deck, gather my luggage and make a beeline to the platform, because my train was due any second. I race though the terminal, up one set of stairs and down another, and manage to get onboard as the doors are about to close. I find a seat as the train pulls away from the station.
 
Winded, but please I made it in time, I settle in and watch the scenery through the window and asking myself when I had I moved from New Jersey to Siberia? We were traveling through near whiteout conditions, but I was safe and warm and heading north at a good clip, so we would probably outrun the storm.
 
About twenty minutes into the trip, the train makes a funny noise, starts to slow, the lights dim and then finally go out completely just as the train coast to a stop. Since it is afternoon, and even with the storm raging, there is still enough light that we can see. Everyone looks confused. Finally there is a crackle and a disembodied voice comes over the speaker. “We seem to be experiencing some technical problems which we hope to have fixed shortly. Please be patient and we apologize for any inconvenience.” A collective groan goes through the car.
 
I ran out of time – but since this is yet another true story, I think I will finish it for you:

 
Over the course of the next two hours, we would receive updates, but as we waited, the dim light had faded to complete darkness and no power also meant no heat and it was getting really cold, but at least we were dry and not in the elements. The snow was well over a foot deep by this time and there was no sign of it stopping.
 
 
Then another announcement, they couldn’t fix the train; we were being picked up by another train. We gathered our things and prepared to disembark. Please keep in mind, I am on my way to a client's, therefore I am dressed appropriately to go to a client – in a suit and heels. Also, there is a REALLY good reason trains pull up to a platform, the reason being the distance between the last step off a train car and the tracks is a good six feet. So there I am, one foot on the last step, the other dangling in space in a fruitless attempt to find the ground, my pencil skirt hiked up around my waist and a blizzard howling around me.

 
The story of the commute from Hell goes on, and believe it or not, it becomes even more comical, but I have wasted enough of your time. Hopefully you got a chuckle from my rather indelicate predicament.

 
 
Your Next Challenge is (something different):
 
 
Write a story using the following words: Turkey, Motorcycle & Kiss
 
 
You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.