May 25, 2014

A Layer of Dust by Vickie Stam

I know they're in there. Behind the closet door. They remain still. One on top of the other. Concealed by a thin layer of dust. I think of them often. They lay in wait wondering if I'm ever going to let them move on. I can almost hear them whispering. "You're not finished with us yet." Do they long to reach their journey's end? Sure they do.

It's not as if I've never felt the pleasure of launching a great story. Some of them have actually made it farther than that pesky little white golf ball that doesn't seem to want to leave the end of my club. I might not be able to drive a ball very far but I have sent a few stories quite a distance. I just can't promise that every protagonist will land smoothly between the pages of a prominent magazine or book. And it's not for my lack of trying on either account. There's a familiar cliché that reminds me to keep trying.

I will admit that I've struggled along the way when it comes to writing fiction. I reach a certain point and the word flow dries up. My train of thought abandons me. I wonder where the story's going. That's when my focus revisits my true desire to write non-fiction.

In saying that, there's a story that clings to my heart much like a child taking refuge behind their mother's legs. They often sneak a peek for one brief second before retreating back to the safety net of her legs. God knows I feel this story tugging at me. As soon as the words spring to life on my computer screen I feel that same urge to retreat. Like the child behind their mother's legs I too have my own safety net. I quickly tap the delete button and seal each word behind the wall of my heart.

For now I'll share an exciting time that occurred three years ago when a white envelope appeared in my mailbox. A contests return address embellished the envelope in bold red letters. I tore a piece from the bottom right hand corner and slipped my thumb inside carefully opening it to expose the letter. The paper swayed back and forth in my trembling hands. I read every word without taking a breath. My short story made it to the second round of judging. Unbelievable! It garnered a second look. That letter encouraged me to keep writing.

From there I wrote a poem, something I wouldn't normally write. It was just a fun little rhyme. I'm not even sure what prompted the idea. Then one evening while I was waiting for my writing class to begin the woman sitting next to me asked, "What are you reading?" When I told her it was a poem I had written, she asked to see it. I reluctantly handed it over. I could hear each word falling softly from her lips and then she chuckled out loud. I nervously gawked around the room.

"This would make a great children's story!" She announced.

I shifted in my seat yet smiled inside. She saw something I hadn't. That poem travelled a long way to a contest in Chicago. It didn't win a grand prize but it did generate more inspiring feedback.

Every now and then I blow the dust off my "great children's story" and enjoy reading it once again.

An excerpt from..... "The Farmer's Clock"

In the foyer there he stands
Sleek and tall he looks so grand
The time he cannot tell no more
Both his hands point to the floor
Every hour he does not chime
All he needs is one good wind
Dust collects on top his head
The farmer thinks that he is........

I'm not currently working on anything in particular and in time God will grant all that I need.


  1. I've had that sensation as well when I go to open a letter that could be either a rejection or a contract... Sometimes I leave it till last and sit down first. :)

    I wish you and 'the farmer' the best of luck

  2. Thanks Tracy. It's hard not to get too excited when an envelope shows up in the mail but I don't get down about it either. Writing adds so much to my life that I'm simply grateful that's it is part of who I am no matter where it ends the closet or in a book.

  3. I can relate to how you feel about retreating to the safety net of non fiction Vickie! I lose confidence in the middle too! But if you have such a passion for writing, I am sure you will get past that middle, whether it is poetry, fiction, or any other genre. I really like your poem!
    Pam Mytroen

  4. I hope that the story that clings to your heart will get written, sometimes the child needs to be prodded out from hiding. Your writing style is easy to read. Thanks

  5. Thanks Pam & Jocelyn for sharing your comments. I'm sure one day I will write that story that I long to share. God is always at work in me. I'm also glad to know that I'm not the only one who has a little safety net or can at least relate to one.

  6. I appreciate the peace you reveal when you share that you are not currently working on anything in particular, knowing that God, in His time, will grant you all that you need. A good reminder for me to rest in His peace.

  7. I appreciate the peace you reveal when you share that you are not currently working on anything in particular, knowing that God, in His time, will grant you all that you need. A good reminder for me to rest in His peace.


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