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Story in Literary Fiction added 3 new photos.What would you do if you had a chance to, right now, start your life again? What have you achieved? Is it what you wanted? Are you satisfied? Here's the idea. On occasion, life forces new directions that demand a new “you.” How would you make a better "you"? Take the example of a brilliant workaholic doctor who reaches the height of his profession. He faces a crisis. He has to change his way of living to survive. (Excerpts from the award-winning novel "McDowell." (mcdowellbycoles.com)--Two successful print female journalists are watching a TV special presented by an incompetent woman journalist they know well and dislike. “Good Evening,” Amara said, sitting in a director’s chair with her legs crossed, her skirt hem two and 3/8’s inches above her knee, an open leather folder on her lap, but she's obviously staring at the teleprompter. “I’m Amara Ude. Tonight we examine the astounding career of Hiram McDowell, the President’s nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services. It’s a story of hardship, determination, persistence, devotion, caring, precision, and accomplishment. Hiram McDowell... ““It’s all fluff, isn’t it?” Paige said.“What else would you expect?” Condoleezza responded.“He’s not a saint.”“Maybe he’ll make a good Secretary of Health and Human Services,” Condoleezza proposed. Neither thought that.“Not if he needs to stay in one place for more than a few days.”“Well, maybe moth-eaten integrity and spotty family devotion don’t count as deterrents to cabinet members’ appointments. And maybe he can accrue ideas mountain climbing in Nepal.” She laughed.On TV, Amara narrated scenes from McDowell's early years in Louisville, teaching in Denver, the International College of Surgeons in Chicago, the foundation headquarters in New York, and then brief scenes of the hospital he founded in Nepal. Before the end, Amara introduced the author who collaborated on Hiram’s memoir and told the story of an heroic rescue during an earthquake. Amara began her closing.“That’s not the picture of the man we would have presented,” Paige said.“Never. And nothing of any depth,” Condoleezza replied. "And I doubt the rescue bit."“False reporting. Sentimental rubbish.”“And nothing to believe he has any special skills or traits to do any better than the guy that rotates your tires every six months.” --So here's a guy arrogant and proud. He 's stomped on a lot of innocent people, ignored implied courtesies and respect of potential friendships, failed in love and family, but his name went in the top five hundred list of most influential people in America. Then he's accused of a felonious death, goes to prison, escapes, and must exist as a criminal fugitive. Here's a glimpse of his new life--a desolate country scene in a Montana farm house. A family with a disabled child has taken him in. The experience begins the change in his life.On a summer evening after dinner, Selena was in her bedroom. She came out in an ankle-length white nightgown, barefoot, carrying a hand-blown glass bowl partially filled with water. She sat on a three-legged stool. Maud closed her book and laid it on the floor by the chair. “Pops,” she called to the kitchen. Pops came out and sat in a chair at the table.Selena’s freshly washed and dried long hair glowed with a youthful golden radiance. With slow deliberation, she dipped the fingers of her right hand in the water inside the transparent glass vessel on her lap and she began slowly circling the rim until a sound emerged, course and variable at first but with a quick adjustment, even and constant with a strange ethereal quality. She sang with a single tone in perfect pitch with the sound from the glass vessel. Her voice was pure and full without vibrato. Then she progressed to intervals--a minor third, a sixth, a major seventh. She continued for fifteen minutes then unassumingly stood and went back to her room. No one spoke, struck by the beauty of the presentation. Maud sat with her head back, eyes closed. Pops remained at the table, his head in his hands. The next morning Hiram saw Maud reading and drinking from her ever-present cup of coffee. “That was beautiful singing . . . what Selena did last night,” he said. Maud said nothing. “She should sing out in public. Make a recording to sell. It’s really cheap to do.” “Really?” “She’s unique. I’ve never heard a voice like that. Her presentation was beautiful.” “You’d see her doing night clubs. A celebrity?” “No. But she could entertain a lot of people and make money doing it.” “She used to sing at the church before it closed.” “She has a spiritual quality that shouldn't be limited to a church.” “What do you think she wants?” Maud asked. “I don’t think she knows her potential,” he said. “To do what?” “Produce and enjoy a valuable profession entertaining.” “And why would she do that?” “To be successful.” “But what is this success? What do you think that means to her?” Hiram tried to block his rising frustration at Maud’s persistence in questioning the obvious. “I don’t know. Admiration for her talent. Financial independence.” Maud got up bringing her coffee cup and sat down at the table where Hiram was working. “You were pleased with what she did for you. She made you feel good.” “I was awestruck.” “She did it for you, you know. She likes you. And she wanted to give you something of value. Something without strings attached. Uniquely hers, too. She doesn’t think in terms of success and money. Subtle meanings, competition, maneuvering mean nothing to her.” --After his escape from prison, McDowell knows no one, he's alone in the world, and he wants to create a "normal" life. He encounters humans he's never known before and he begins, accidentally and of necessity, to find a new way to exist that delivers satisfaction. It can’t live for just survival and procreation . . . or wealth, power, fame, . . . or even a key to heaven. He changes from a life of striving and winning without sympathy, empathy, caring, or love, to an interest in those he encounters . . . and a genuine attentiveness as to who people really are and to understanding their needs. This story is told in prose as literary fiction--imagination, drama, in-scene delivery with strong characterization, themes and meanings, and a purpose for telling a story that might last as an art form. Literary fiction enlightens characters and readers with enjoyable discoveries through the medium of well-crafted stories that can suggest thoughts and actions for analysis for self-awareness and human understanding. You can READ MORE of McDowell’s narrow escapes and growing satisfaction with a new life he never would have anticipated. Available in print, eBook, online, audio. mcdowellbycoles.comLEARN MORE about writing fiction:http://storyinliteraryfiction.com/essays-on-writin… ... Read MoreShow Less
Posted 2 days ago
Pat Greene, Alejandro Valencia and 23 others like this
Steven AcejoI definitely wanna check this story out.
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