On Sunday I realized I hadn't started a story for this week. Even worse, I didn't even have an idea for a story. I decided to give myself grace, maybe do a free writing exercise in place of a story, and simply accept my physical and creative limitations.
But then, that same day, an idea walloped me. Not just any idea, but an idea I'm absolutely in love with. I did something I haven't done since I started my story-a-week challenge: I wrote nearly three thousand words in one day. That meant staying up until two in the morning on Sunday night, but hey, I was on fire!
Here's the pitch for my short story THE TIFFIN BOX:
Sylvie is vacationing on the small island of Cheung Chau off the coast of Hong Kong when she and her daughter discover an abandoned holiday bungalow overgrown by jungle. Picking their way through the dilapidated rooms, they stumble upon what they think must have been the servant's quarters. There they unearth an old fashioned tiffin box -- an enamelware set of dishes that stack together and lock in place with a clasp. Their find is intriguing on its own, but when they open the box, a fifty-year-old letter falls out. Sylvie tells herself it's most likely a laundry list -- nothing important. But when they meet an elderly gentleman on the ferry home who offers to translate it for them, Sylvie finds out a secret kept by a long-dead servant girl is a secret that could taint her own world as well.
Confession time: I'm not quite finished. I have a little over three thousand words, but I haven't felt well the last couple days (probably as a result of my into-the-wee-hours writing binge). I also needed to figure out how to end the story. I had a few different ideas and needed to figure out which one was best before I plowed through.
Still, I'm excited. I love Sylvie's character. She's an upscale expatriate British woman living in Hong Kong and it was fun to write in her voice, even though the story is written in third-person. Oh, and if you're wondering, that's part of Cheung Chau Island in the picture above.
I do have a favor to ask. Would any of my blog readers be willing to critique this for me when I'm done? I would appreciate the feedback. Maybe I could critique the first few chapters of a novel in exchange? Let me know in the comments or email me (a2sonnichsen (at) gmail (dot) com) if you're interested.
Hope you're all having fabulous Tuesdays (or Wednesdays for those not in America)!