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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Leola on October 14, 2014
"Christopher Columbus had a dream. That's not odd. It is strange that he knew specifically what he wanted to do in life. It's also odd that his dream didn't lie dormant like a field of potatoes where the soil is never turned over. He lived his dream. He took the risk of becoming successful or becoming a failure.

My question is, what did this man tell himself everyday? Why was he so courageous? I? I am always afraid to take the second or third step while painting, walking a strange road or writing a poem or essay. What did he have that I don't see growing in my life?

Perhaps, Columbus was a Godly man. I don't know his life story. I can only guess. Maybe he sat in a pew every Sunday. Listened to a preacher preach about being a doer instead of just a speaker of thoughts. Probably, his preacher made passivity seem repugnant as a rotten potato stinking in the kitchen. His preacher might have given an exciting, positive example from the Bible. For example, David going out to kill a giant named Goliath while he was still just a young man of average height and strength. Not armed with shield or helmet like Goliath just armed with pebbles he picked up from the ground for his slingshot.

On another Sunday, he might have spoken about Jonah. A man too afraid to visit a helpless city named Nineveh. In this ancient city the people needed a zealous preacher. A huge fish swallowed Jonah.The lesson is God wants obedience. Obedience is a form of doing something.

In my mind, I can see little Columbus listening with his mouth open and his eyes stretched wide. Perhaps, after church he went home and drew a crayon picture of a whale and a stick man going down a slippery mouth. I think he might have carried that drawn picture in his thoughts for the rest of his days especially while he was out on the high seas.

Sometimes that kind of courage is with us from the day we're born. I can digest the fact about his risk taking. What really makes me inspired is he knew specifically what he wanted to have courage doing. He knew his purpose was exploring not tailoring, not farming and not making wine. He never turned from the mindset to become an explorer. He didn't waffle about. He didn't forget his dream and need to write it down. He didn't need toplay an organ first. He stuck with "I'm an explorer." This is what I want to do come a winter blizzard or whether all my neighbors call me a fool. I'm made to do this thing. So he did it.

For that reason and many other reasons of fortitude we remember him in the Twenty-First century. Probably, our children and their children will remember him too. He is an inspiration to those still dreaming, those still frightened, those still planning how to do their thing at the right time. Because of him and others like him maybe I will take two more definite steps to reach my dream or climb my mountain."

Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus sailed
with three ships-
The Nina,
The Pinta,
The Santa Maria.
He had a dream.
The world was not flat.
It was as round as his
mother's Sunday plate.
He laughed.
He sang his sailor's songs.
He weaved a net for fish.
All because he believed in
his dream while
all the men in the tavern
and the dancing ladies joked
and called him "done for Columbus."

He didn't listen.
Instead he sailed around and
around and around until he
made himself dizzy with the
love of a geometric object called
a circle which we call earth.

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