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About a year ago, the leader of my writers’ group gave each of us an assignment. Mine was to write a scene where conflict between characters did not resolve in a positive way. As I have a penchant for writing themes of redemption, this assignment was a stretch for me.

I had no idea what I’d write about. But before long, a weird idea came to me. I brought together the most unlikable people from four of my novels and wrote a short play about them. The cast of characters included Reverend Harry Hahn from BLESSED TRANSGRESSION, Jesse Jordan from A.K.A. SUZETTE, Terence Buckwalter from DAUGHTERS OF SEFERINA, and Katherine Hudson from A WEEKEND WITH FRANCES.

The personal business of each of these characters led them to Brown County, Indiana. They met when all four of them showed up at a restaurant in Nashville to buy pizza.

After placing these characters together, my only job was to watch their interaction in my mind’s eye, and to record what happened. True to form, each of them manifested their unlovely personality traits. What unfolded was horrible. I was aghast. This was a case where I traumatized myself by my own writing.

Thankfully, my group leader never called in the assignment. So, the only person who ever saw the piece was my husband. He agreed with me that the ugly drama never needed to see the light of day.

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