Well, I have a few paragraphs begun of a new short story. It's not Taking Her Life Back yet. It's another one called Summer Memories about a young girl named Kellie who will discover that she has Turner Syndrome, a genetic condition in which a second X chromosome is either completely missing, or is missing/incomplete in some cells. The condition universally causes short stature because two copies of a certain gene on the X chromosome are needed for long bone growth. More seriously, Turner syndrome usually results in infertility, and there can be complications with the heart and kidneys.
There are still some details to work out and plan in the story, but at least I've got a start. For some reason, it is so much easier to write blog posts! Oh, well. The story will eventually get done. I may end up working more on it tonight, but no guarantees. Kellie has an older brother, Kris, who has become sort of a bully to her in recent years. Her two best friends are Stephanie and Ian. I have to work on fleshing out these characters, as well as the parents. So far what I'm thinking is that Stephanie is tall and will provide a contrast to Kellie's lack of physical development, prompting Kellie's parents to take her to the doctor to investigate. The story may end up spanning several summers, and it may be a summer later than her 10th year that her parents truly notice enough of a difference to seek medical testing and advice for Kellie.
Eventually, I'm planning on creating a collection or two of short stories on my website that will hopefully be publishable. There's a self-publishing website called WriteLife that seems like it would be a very nice resource once I'm at that point. For all you fiction writers out there who have sites and blogs like this, I'd love to hear from you and get ideas, see what you've done, etc.
Here's an excerpt of what I have so far in the story. If it seems she has greater maturity than what might be expected at her age, I've been envisioning that Kellie is writing her story years later in her life:
Summer vacation was always the best time of year, filled with long sunlit days of delightfully warm weather and the complete relaxation of not having school or homework for a whole three months! It was the final day of school, and I'd actually shed a few tears at having finished fifth grade. Elementary school was over, and in the fall my two best friends and I would be starting middle school. There had been no fanfare celebrating this huge transition, no graduation ceremony to commemorate our accomplishment. It felt strange to simply get on the bus at the end of the school day, and know that it was for the final time at the only school I'd ever known.
That evening, Mom had put together a special dinner as a "graduation" treat. Fried chicken, corn, and biscuits...my favorite! She'd also baked a white cake with vanilla frosting, making everything from scratch. It was a perfect time, with the only thing ruining the meal being my bratty older brother Kris. He never could pass up the opportunity to tease me...as if I didn't have enough of that at school for being so little! At least at school, the teasing was for the most part good-natured. Not so with Kris. We used to be closer when we were younger, but he was in seventh grade and had long since turned mean. Not only did he tease mercilessly, but he kept trying to act like I was an annoying little sister who was always trying to tag along after him. I admit that a couple of years ago when we started drifting apart, I missed him and did try to get him to spend time with me again. But after about two months of this treatment, I stopped trying and instead began going out of my way to ignore and avoid him as much as possible.
"Hey, Shorty! Hand over the corn!" he demanded, smirking. He knew I hated that nickname, no matter how much I tried to pretend otherwise. Not that I was skilled at hiding my emotions, but Mom's advice to not react to teasing seemed sound. If they didn't get a rise out of me, eventually they'd give up. It had yet to work, but I remained optimistic that it eventually would.
Wrinkling my nose, I replied, "No! It's closer to you."
Before Kris could start in with a retort that would try to draw me into a bickering match, Dad cut in. "Kris, Kellie, no bickering at the table. And Kris, this is Kellie's evening. So don't spoil it by bothering her."
I flashed Dad a grateful look for his support.