Sunday, November 22, 2015


On November 1, 2015 a willful nine year old girl introduced herself to me, and asked me to write her side of the story. Reluctantly, I replied, “I’m afraid we’ve never met, and I’ve just signed up for NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth with the goal of finishing a memoir that I began five years ago. I’m afraid you’ve asked the wrong person for help.”

She cocked her head to one side, looked me square in the eyes, and then tilted her head to the other side. “Nope, you’re the write person. I don’t know why I picked you, but my gut tells me that you can help me.”

“What is your name? I’ve taught school for decades and perhaps
we’ve met.” I offered.

“My name is Rebecca Kate Temple, and my friends call me Becca or Hound Dog.”  

“Hound dog,” I laughed. “I grew up with a little sister who once carried the nickname Hound Dog, and sometimes we called her “Stormy.”

I felt the determination grow in that little girl’s spine. She began poking at my side, making me laugh. “Come on, please write my story.  I need help, now.” For a moment I felt tears well up inside my old body. “Rebecca Kate, I will do the best job I can for you, but sometimes I get distracted and don’t finish things I start. I want you to know that upfront.”

“Are you saying that you are not dependable, or are you making excuses?” She asked with her arms crossed over her chest, and her right arm on top. “Young lady, did no one teach you to respect your elders.” I demanded.

Her head and shoulders dropped. I felt her strong spine and spirit weaken and shrivel up inside of me. Her energy began to fade, “No, wait. Don’t leave me, Miss Becca. You are right. I make excuses for things I’m afraid to do, for the things I don’t know how to do. I don’t like failure.” With that last word I felt a shiver inside of her, inside of me.

Meekly, her voice replied, “I don’t like failure either, but I have failed, and I bet you have too. Maybe if we work together we can make this story right.” I saw a glimmer of hope in her eyes. I nodded approval and sighed deeply, “Partners then Miss Becca. You may call me Letty. Now where do we start?”

Somewhat belligerently she retorted, “You’re the author. You figure that out. I will just tell you what happens along the way. Oh, if I forget something important can you go back and put it in the story?”

“I bet I can. I bet I can." I studied this deal, this idea for quite sometime while those green eyes starred at me.  "What shall we call this journey?" I asked and offered her my handshake.

“The first story is called Out of Step and the second story might be called SideStep, then there's always Step By Step and In Step. WE will just have to wait and see.”  Before I could take my hand back and argue, she reached out and took my hand, my heart, and my head. 

Thanks to NaNoWriMo here is what I’ve learned of Miss Becca since the first of November.

Naughty, nervy
Outgoing, outspoken
Willful, willing
Rambunctious racehorse
Imaginative, impetuous

11/1    2,438 words
11/5    6,723 words
11/9   11,729 words
11/13  17,247 words
11/18  23,333 words just 26,667 words to go by Nov. 30. Come on Becca help me out.
11/20  28,241 words. I'm getting there. Only 21,759 words to reach the goal of 50,000 words!
11/28  33,084 words.
11/30  35,380 words.  Didn't make the 50,000 goal but plan to finish this story.

P.S. I'd like to thank my person of "Inspiration," my cousin Patty. In her first year of retirement she wrote and finished her first novel. Six months later she published and sold it on, Thank you Patty for showing me commitment and determination.  This is the link for her novel                  The Habitant by P.L. Weaver


  1. Letty,
    I loved this story. I hope you continue. Though you have two characters, sometimes I think they may be two parts of the same person. Good writing!!!!

    1. You nailed it on the head, to use a cliche from my childhood. Thank you Martha for your insightful comment. I plan to sit down after Christmas and continue writing. Becca is simply disrupting my early morning sleep, insisting that I write every morning. SAdly, she is right, but she doesn't realize that the holidays require more energy from me.