May 07, 2014

Looking forward to Summer Writing Projects – Ramona Heikel

Of the many pieces I have started writing and not finished, there are only a handful that stay uppermost in my mind.  But what of the others?  I keep them in binders and enjoy revisiting them because there is a kernel of possibility in each one.  I am a packrat of drafts, it seems.  In my wildest dreams, I will one day have the time, energy and motivation to take each one and ponder it until it blossoms, or goes back to sleep.

Now, the truth is I am not currently working on any projects, except the odd blog post, because I don’t seem to have time or mental energy.  But!  The school year is winding up, and I will have time for writing soon! 

My top priority is a children’s Christmas story that I started in about 2009 at the request of some friends at church.  They decided we needed an original story for our children’s Christmas production and asked me to write it.  An idea came to me and I wrote like crazy for the two weeks before the production.  I don’t know when I’ve had more inspiration and joy in writing!  The adults loved O Holy Night, but while it was being read aloud in the rocking-chair-and-pajamas scene, I realized that it dragged in the middle.  (I got my cue when the preschoolers started yawning and sprawling themselves out on the floor!). 

A couple of years later I presented it to my writing critique group, who gave me excellent feedback and suggestions…and it’s been waiting for the editing to begin ever since!  And it might have kept waiting indefinitely if it hadn’t been for my artist friend who wants to illustrate it.  She recently sent me several sketches, and I’m wildly excited to make the words as good as her art.  Hopefully, I can make the required edits early in the summer and then look closely at the art. 

There is one part in the story that touches me deeply, and I want it to touch readers deeply too.  If it does, they will understand what being close to the Lord does to our souls.

Here is a little piece of the story:

           One night, Harold the mouse tried to work up the courage to leave the nest in the dried grass to get some berries for his growling stomach.  Manfred, his brother, joined him.  Their whiskers trembled like the dried leaves on the bush.  The two shivered together for a few minutes, but neither would make the first move.
“It’s not far to the berry bush,” Manfred said.  “But I’m still scared.”
“Me, too,” said Harold.  “I wish night time wasn’t so gloomy.”
The wind howled and the grass slapped them.  “Ouch!” Manfred said, moving away from the sharp blades of grass.  “It’s that wind!  And those strange noises it makes.”
“But what about that new guy, Ralphie?” Harold said.  “Nothing seems to bother him.”
“Sure wish I knew what makes him so brave,” Manfred sighed.  “Let’s go back inside.  I’m not so hungry after all.”  They disappeared into their hole to join their family in the warm nest.

Here’s wishing all my fellow contributors inspired ideas, writing and re-writing for their own projects!

Posted by Ramona


  1. Nice writing, Ramona - both the story sample and the blog post! All the best with your projects!

  2. Well that was a teaser. Well done, Ramona! You are wise to 'try out a play' first. That's what potential drama and play publishers want you to do. Sounds like a sweet play and I do love the name, Manfred!

  3. I like it!
    I know what you mean about UFOs (unfinished objects). So helpful to have someone prodding with enthusiasm. Perhaps we as a group should have a workshop at the conference where we bring our unfinished pieces and prod each other.

  4. Ramona,
    Thanks for sharing so honestly. I love the way you talk about pondering your ideas until they "blossom or go back to sleep." :) Thanks for sharing this snippet. I enjoy children's stories and look forward to when this story is in print!

    Eleanor, what a great idea for a workshop :)

  5. Ahhhhhh, that is so sweet! I LOVE any kind of Christmas stories and yours sounds so whimsical. Your are so blessed to have friends prodding you along! Keep at it, miss pack-rat, this one will blossom!
    Pam Mytroen

  6. Loved it. Keep up with the inspirations.

  7. Oh, Ramona, I can so identify with your situation, waiting for the school year to end so I would have more time, energy, and motivation to write. I too have valuable comments on pieces I've sent to contests or presented to my writing group, but I haven't gotten back to them either. I guess that makes me a packrat of drafts too.

    I encourage you to finish this delightful piece about Harold and Manfred. If our stories can touch our own hearts, there is strong potential for touching the lives of our readers.

  8. I just love being in this community of writers and seeing how we rarely have the ideal writing conditions, but that's okay because we're sending "thumbs-up" signals across the miles to each other to keep on working at it. Thanks for the immensely encouraging comments, dear friends!


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