Writing about writing

Archive for May, 2015

Scott and Elizabeth–A Love Story

*As you can see from the date below, I wrote this story more than 10 years ago.  I ran across it as I was cleaning up the files on my computer and thought it might be fun to share with you….It brought a smile to my face, so maybe I ought to pursue finishing it….?????

September 23, 2004 (1st draft written February 4, 2003)

A Love Story

            Elizabeth couldn’t believe how late she was going to be for one of the most important events of her life.  Up late packing to leave for a two-year opportunity to study at Oxford University in London, she’d finally fallen asleep what felt like only moments before her alarm went off.  Unfortunately, that snooze button was too much of a temptation and now, after breaking all records to get ready on time, Elizabeth is running across campus focused only on getting in line before everyone marches onto the football field. Elizabeth hikes up her skirt and graduation gown and runs faster.


Before Elizabeth realizes that she has bumped into someone, she falls flat on her butt with her skirt up over her head.  Quickly scrambling to her feet, she realizes that she is losing precious time because one shoe and her cap have magically disappeared.  Elizabeth is intent on finding her shoe and cap, so she doesn’t notice the tall, handsome young man who is still sitting where he’d landed from the force of their impact.  He is watching Elizabeth with an amused grin.

After attempting to speak to her several times, he soon realizes she is too distracted to notice him.  Scott hasn’t been used to this kind of response from girls.  Girls certainly had always fallen for him, but not literally.  Very few girls, in fact, had resisted his charm, and he always had the impression from the girls he dated that they were only looking for a good time—just as he was.

So when Elizabeth doesn’t even acknowledge him, Scott continues to sit and wait for her.  But as soon as she finds her cap and her shoe, she is off and running.

Stunned that she doesn’t notice him, Scott continues to sit and watch this marvelous young woman run to the football field.  A slow smile creeps wider and wider across his face until he’s grinning like a silly schoolboy.  With a chuckle, he jumps up, purposely strides towards the stadium, and falls into the back of the line—immediately behind this woman he has quickly decided he’s going to marry, but whose name he doesn’t even know.

Because Elizabeth is so intent on looking for her friends on the field or her family up in the stands, Scott has plenty of time to admire her throughout the long ceremony.  She isn’t what others would call beautiful, or even pretty, but she has a radiance about her that makes her fun to watch.  Scott noticed as they’d marched onto the field that she is a good foot shorter than he and that is in heels.  She’s a little stocky, but not unattractive.  She has gorgeous long, curly brown hair that she is wearing down and pulled back so she can get her cap on her head.  Even though she is wearing glasses, Scott notices that her eyes are a puppy-dog brown.  Her make-up is smudged in spots on her face, obviously from putting it on in a hurry.  And she has a smile that already lights up his world!  When she stood up in her chair to wave at her family and blow them kisses, his skin tingled, even through his gown and dress shirt, where she rested her hand on his shoulder in order to support herself.

Scott casually drapes his arm across the back of her chair just so she’ll have to touch him again, but she never does relax in her seat as the speakers drone on and on.  This curious young woman continues to sit up straight on the edge of her chair and stands every so often to look around.  She is holding her program tightly in her hand and both her legs bounce up and down.  She just cannot sit still!

When it comes time to call out the graduates, because there are almost a thousand graduating that day, the Chancellor calls out the departments rather than individual names.  When the English Department is called, even though this young woman is at the back and all her friends are at the front, she stands up and cheers as if she is standing right in the middle of her own crowd!  A few people sitting near Scott and Elizabeth can’t help laughing at her.  She either doesn’t notice or doesn’t care; Scott can’t tell which, but he can’t help laughing along with them.  In fact, he’s so caught up in her excitement, he jumps up and yells and screams right along with her.  Suddenly, she jumps into his arms and gives him a huge bear hug!  Before he even realizes what he’s doing, he lowers his head to hers and gives her a big, wet, sloppy kiss—right on the mouth!  She doesn’t appear shaken by their exchange, but Scott is so taken off balance that when he attempts to sit, he falls over backwards!  So there lies the best looking guy in school with his feet up in the air for a second time that day—too stunned to move.

Amazingly, the young woman notices that he’s fallen and she turns to help him back up.  Feeling playful, Scott isn’t any help.  In fact, he’s laughing so hard, he can’t get up no matter how hard he tries.  The girl starts laughing and the next thing they both know, she is on top of his chest and their giggles prevent them from making any move to get up.  Scott wraps his arms around her and they finally calm down enough to at least sit up.  Scott continues to hold her in his arms so she is sitting on his lap.  It is another few minutes before they are calm enough to attempt to stand.  Before they do, Scott casually plants a soft kiss on her inviting cheek and another on the top of her head as soon as they’re both standing upright.  The young woman promptly puts her cap back on her head and turns to wave to her family in the stands.  He turns to see if he can tell which family is hers.  It isn’t a difficult thing to do—there is a whole crowd of people, almost as short as “his girl,” waving and blowing kisses in their direction.  Because he just can’t help himself, Scott smiles and waves back.  The young woman doesn’t notice, but her family sure does!

Finally, graduation is over.  Scott reluctantly stands up to march out.  When they had marched in, he had been behind “his girl;” now he is in front of her.  He knows that she might disappear into the crowd very quickly if he doesn’t do something to keep her near him.  Very casually (but he does notice that his heart is beating a mile a minute), he steps aside to allow her to go ahead of him.

As she rushes past, Scott turns on the charm and smiles at her, “I’m Scott.”  When she doesn’t respond, Scott taps her on the shoulder and repeats himself.

“Hi, Scott,” and she quickly turns around and has to run to catch up to the line in front of her.

Determined not to let her get away, Scott strides quickly after her and takes hold of her arm.  Obviously upset, she turns around to face him with a determined fire in her eyes, “May I help you?”

Stammering, Scott manages a weak, “I said that my name is Scott.  What’s yours?”  And he flashes her the smile that had won so many hearts before.

Elizabeth puts her hands on her hips and blurts, “Why do you want to know?”

Shocked by her obvious disdain, Scott pauses and, before he can formulate an answer, Elizabeth turns and disappears into the crowd.


I hate working out but….

To those who know me, it is no secret that I HATE working out.  I am short, fat, and proud of that, as Pooh says.  images (40)

I used to be very active–when I was a LOT younger:  swimming, biking, going to theme parks and running all over the place, and just being a whole lot more active than I have been in recent years.  I never saw my activities then as “working out.”  I just did those things because that’s what we did and we had so much fun doing them.  I loved being with friends and family and being active with them.  When I was in my early teens, I did put on some extra weight, but I was never FAT.  Being short, though, makes someone like me look big when we have any extra weight on us.  But I was still able to run, jump, ride my bike, and keep up with the best of them when we’d go to theme parks or other places where we’d do a lot of walking.

Somewhere throughout the years, I have quit being active beyond walking from my house to my car, from my car to my office and vice versa.  I even sit down down an awful lot while teaching.  I’ve had health issues over the years that have attributed to my lack of activity, but recently, I have felt better than I did even when I was in my twenties.  So I no longer have “health issues” as an excuse not to work out–not to be active.  I just don’t want to.

I know I need to do something to be more active….and not just for my own health and well-being but also because my son is watching everything I do and determining much of his future based on what he sees me doing–or not, as the case may be.  He is a bit chubbier than he should be at his age, but thankfully,he’s still active enough that he’s keeping the weight gain at bay.  If not for myself, then at least for him, I need to work out–be active–so I can be an encouragement to him to continue to be active.

I bring this up in a blog about writing because it has occurred to me that as much as I hate working out, my students hate writing.  From my point-of-view, it makes NO SENSE whatsoever that ANYONE would ever hate to write.  I mean, it’s just so wonderful!  There are many studies that have been done that discuss the importance of writing in our lives–how beneficial it is in so many ways, especially in regards to healing.  As an instructor of literature, I live by the adage that you haven’t learned something, REALLY LEARNED something, until you’ve talked and written about it.  I love writing about what I read!

I love writing about my daily life.

I love writing about my thoughts and feelings.

I love writing about the cute things my son says.

I love writing about my friends–who they are, how much I love them.

I love writing about my family–what is going on in their lives, how much I love and miss them every single day.

I love writing about the books I read.

I love writing about the movies I watch.

I love writing about writing!


How in the world is there anyone who doesn’t?

But there is.

And the reality is that just as I wonder how there are those who hate to write, there is someone (many someones) out “there” who wonder how in the world there are people like me who hate to work out.  They LOVE to work out.  I spoke to a young man a few weeks ago who works out for a minimum of two hours every single day.  When I asked him why he does it, his simple, surprised response was, “Because I love it.”

That’s when it struck me….here I spend one class after another telling students about the benefits of writing in every day of their lives, not just within the confines of my classroom.  And I believe every word I say.  Writing IS beneficial in a thousand ways for every single person.

But (I tell myself) so is working out–being active.  Those who do work out–who are active on a daily basis–can give me just as many beneficial reasons for being active as I can give for writing.  And, to my chagrin, they’re right–as I am.

So….here’s the epiphany:  if I believe in the benefits of writing as much as I do (and trust me, I do) and I want my students to understand those benefits to the point that they write if not every day, then at least as often as possible, then doesn’t it behoove me to understand that the benefits of being active every day are just as important????  And if my students believe me enough to actually write–at least for my class, then shouldn’t I give being active the same chance in my own life?

Just because we don’t like doing something doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do it.  The same goes for so many other things in our lives that we don’t LOVE to do. When we KNOW it’s something that will benefit us–be good for us, then we should quit complaining and just do it.

Will I ever love to work out?  Probably not.  At least not the same way others love it.  Will most of my students ever love to write?  I doubt it.  Many of them do learn to appreciate its value, at least.  I can learn then to appreciate the value, the importance, of being active on a daily basis.

So in honor of my student who said that he “loves working out” as much as I love writing, I’m going to give working out my best shot.  He gave writing his best shot while he was in my class….can I do any less when it comes to working out?


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