Blogosphere special: the “Show me yours” Blogfest!

Blogosphere index

Okay, today is the day of the Show me yours Blogfest, in which bloggers share a 500-word passage from their Nanowrimo 2010 writing and go comment like mad on each other’s excerpts!

So, here’s mine. It’s from the very beginning of “The Angel’s Charlie,” and does a really good job of setting the scene, I think:

Nothing made sense when Richard opened his eyes.

It wasn’t like things had been that clear in the moment before he opened them either, really. The last thing he could clearly remember was driving home after a late night in the office, and then… well, he’d still been sitting down, but somehow it had been obvious that he wasn’t in a car anymore. As far as he could tell now, he was in the chapel of a church, which hadn’t been the case for far too many months, really, and it definitely wasn’t Ottawa Street Baptist, either.

He started to explore the material available in the back of the pew in front of him. Old-fashioned looking hymnal, so probably not an evangelical denomination. Catholic? No, the decor didn’t really look Catholic… maybe Anglican. Aha, little visitor’s cards to drop into the collection plate, with spots for name and address. But they’d have the name on the card – yeah. ‘Episcopal church of the Good Shephard’, and an address on Delaware Street. It didn’t really ring a bell, except that he thought something was slightly off with ‘Episcopal.’

“I’m afraid that there won’t be a worship service for a while, young man. Are you in need of prayers?”

Richard looked up quickly to see an older man in a sedate uniform standing near the chapel doors. Quickly he rose to his own feet. “Not really, reverend… though a good word with the Lord Father is always appropriate, I suppose. Maybe we could pray together, before we leave, actually. But – but I have to say I’m a little confused, not sure how I got here.”

“I’m afraid I can’t help you with that, my son, though I assumed you walked in,” the reverend said, chuckling slightly. “When I saw you sleeping in the pew on a Tuesday night, I suppose I assumed – that you just didn’t have any better shelter from the cold. Perhaps I was wrong.”

“Yes, the last thing I remember, I was on my way home… do you have any idea how I’d get to Queenston Road from here?” The reverend looked blank. “The Research in Motion headquarters?” Still no real recognition. “It’s not too far from the big university campus.”

“Ah, well, then, you’re just down the street from campus,” the reverend told him more brightly. “I can point you that way, at least. And you can check in our parking lot to see if your car is there, of course.”

“Thank you.” Richard took a breath. “What about that prayer, then?”

“I think that would be a good idea.” The two men sat down on one of the nearby pews. “I’m reverend Hynes, by the way.”

“Richard Horwood, and nice to meet you.” Richard closed his eyes. “Father in heaven, I’m feeling very lost and confused right now, but I know that to you, the way that I should follow is clear and straight. Please guide me in your infinite wisdom, and lead me along the path that leads to your service. You have blessed me with many gifts in my life, I am thankful for them all and give praise to you. Amen.”

“Dear Father, your servant Richard is in need of aid,” the Father added. “You know what his needs are better than I do, or he does, so help him along his way, and give him the strength to carry his burdens for your sake. All glory to your name, Amen.”

UPDATE: Okay, as of this writing, I’ve given feedback to 15, out of the other 34 bloggers who’ve participated in this challenge, and it’s been a really fun experience. If I haven’t posted a comment to your excerpt yet – I’ll do my best to get to you sometime this week – and for the 7 people who signed up and haven’t posted excerpts yet, I’ll keep checking your blog too.

This event has been really very much in line with what I wanted to be doing with Blogosphere Mondays – finding other bloggers who are sharing their own writing, letting them know what I thought, encouraging them – and attracting new readers to my own blog as well. Kinda fortuitous that the whole thing happened to be scheduled on a Monday already!

Out of curiosity, I started tracking the length of the different posted excerpts – partly because mine was stretching the 500 word limit. Well, I wasn’t alone. 22 of the excerpts were more than 500 words, ranging from 505 up to 972 words. (My 567 was more or less in the middle of that pack.) And there was one person who was exactly on 500, and twelve who were less, going from 257 up to 498. Sorry, my numbers geek is coming out to play now.

Oh, and all 3 of the founding blogfest members were over the 500 word limit that they imposed – 533 to 647 words. 😉

Happy Blogfest, everybody.

13 Responses to Blogosphere special: the “Show me yours” Blogfest!

  1. Sarah Ahiers says:

    ooh very nice. I really want to know what’s going on. How did he get there? Is there something a little paranormal going on perhaps? And what kind of Research of Motion is he involved in? Curiouser and curiouser.
    Great job!


  2. You are right – it sets the scene perfectly. It has mystery and intrigue, and right away we know religion is involved. Love the title as well!


  3. Rebecca T says:

    hmm… I want to know how he got there! And I kind of get the feeling that he’s not really where he thinks he is 🙂 nicely done.


  4. I’m with everyone. My interest was piqued right away and I want to know more. Very well done.

    Thank you for participating!!


  5. L'Aussie says:

    This dialogue is beautifully done. Very intriguing. You have me wanting to keep on reading. Happy New Writing Year!


  6. “Nothing made sense when Richard opened his eyes.

    It wasn’t like things had been that clear in the moment before he opened them either, really.”

    This opening is witty and a little bit wry – I like how Richard seems able to go with the flow of strange events, even as he’s trying to figure things out. Thanks for sharing, Chris. I’m so glad you took part in this blogfest!


  7. lisa-marie says:

    A very nice introduction to the story and the character of Richard. I’m curious if Richard is really anywhere near where he thinks he is, since the reverend didn’t seem to recognize either the road Richard mentioned or the building. I wonder if he’ll end up at the correct University! Thanks for sharing your story! Happy writing!


  8. Thanks for the encouraging words, everybody!

    Sarah: It’s the company that designs ‘Crackberries.’


  9. Summer Frey says:

    Not an imposition, just a suggestion… 😀 And I’ll proudly admit to being 647. 🙂

    I find it quite interesting that he started looking through the stuff in the back of the pew. Not exactly the reaction I’d have, but it tells a lot about the character, doesn’t it?

    Nice excerpt. Thanks for participating, and I, at least, appreciated the numbers game. 🙂


  10. Stephanie says:

    I’m with Summer on that. I thought how odd that he’d start thumbing through the material in the pew. That told me alot about the character. I enjoyed this piece very much. Great job!


  11. Okay, why does reading the ‘material’ seem odd to you? Can you put your finger on a reason? I didn’t think about that as a conscious character choice for Richard, and it’s probably what I would do if I were in that situation. I have questions, and there’s something within reach that probably provides some answers! 😉


  12. I agree–I like the way the scene is set for the reader. Thanks for sharing your excerpt!


  13. Donna Hole says:

    Excellent beginning. Love the character and the setting. Good work developing it all. I like the way you leave us hanging for the next scene – where is he going and what will he find. More questions to be answered. I’m intrigued . .

    LOL on the word counts. I’ve been participating in blogfests for a while – sometimes its the only writing I accomplish in a given month – and I can assure you its rare to completely stay within the proscribed word counts. Writers write, ya know (lol).



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