Welcome to a fabulous day in the grand state of Alabama.
Today, it is my pleasure to welcome Author, Robert Parlante. This creative mind takes us on a unique journey, where WE get to come up with the ending. And, as if today couldn’t get any better, continue reading to find out how you can enter for a chance at one of Robert’s books!!
Plotting a Different Ending
As a young boy, I always enjoyed visiting the peculiar couple who lived in the grey-weathered clapboarded building hidden away near an abandoned anthracite coal mine in Pennsylvania.
I called the old man the “junk dealer”, and she the “book lady”. I liked reading stories in the woman’s stash of pulp magazines. Zane Grey’s Western magazine was my favorite. As soon as I finished one story I would begin another and often read the same story over again trying to plot a different ending. I practically had the stories and alternate endings memorized, and I would go outside to reenact the plot. Cowboys and rustlers. The beautiful teacher abducted by the evil mine boss. My trusted dog Lassie would help me save the day! There was no limit to what my brain could conjure up on a humid summer day in coal country.
I also liked to scavenge the areas around the abandoned mines searching for treasures left behind after the mines stopped operating. When I stumbled upon a length of rusted metal for the old man, he acted like I had brought him a million dollars as he added his new treasure to his junk collection. I once brought back an empty cobalt-blue glass bottle that glistened like a sapphire gem. It was probably worthless but the old man treated the bottle as priceless, telling me it was fit for a king or queen’s crown. I tried immediately to incorporate that plot line into one of the stories running through my overactive imagination.
As a young boy, there was never a time I did not have a dog, and every one of them was named Lassie, male or female. I was obsessed with the movie “Lassie, Come Home” filmed in 1943. Between Zane Grey and Lassie, I had everything I needed to conjure up life-and-death stories where some young hero comes to the rescue.
One day while on another scavenger hunt, I heard a strange sound coming from the mine area and the surrounding waste heaps. It was a faint wailing, sounding desperate, like a crying baby wanting to be fed. When I honed in on the place it was coming from, I walked up to the edge of a cavernous excavation. As I scanned the deep ravine I saw a dog who had fallen off the edge and landed onto a narrow ledge about 50 feet above the crater’s bottom. Had the fall just happened or did it occur days ago? It had to be some time ago, because the dog was skinny and hardly moving.
There was no escape! There was no way for me to reach the desperate dog from the top. There was no way for the dog to jump off the ledge and survive the leap. Who to call? No phones. Certainly, no cell phones. I stood frozen looking down at the helpless animal. No matter how much I tried to figure out a rescue, I came up empty. As I considered the likely outcome, I found myself fighting back tears. I sat on the ground and imagined I was stroking the desperate animal, hoping it would be a source of comfort like some mystical hand.
As I eased back toward the edge of the ravine, there was stone silence. I was immediately heartbroken. I made up stories where I could change the ending or soften the hard parts with a happy thought or a redeeming gesture. But this time I sensed I would not be the hero. Or, was I?
Readers, here is a writing challenge. How would you plot the ending of this real-life story?
About today’s guest:
Bob has always been a writer, having crafted his first short story in the 7th grade. But the necessities and priorities of life came first making it more important to work at regular paying employment. He was a food researcher, a technical writer, environmental engineer, a site manager for a pharmaceutical manufacturing location, a director of external affairs, and the most meaningful vocation in his life, a minister. Bob has both BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, New Jersey. He also has a MBA in Organizational Behavior from Iona College. He met his ministerial requirements through Berean Bible Institute and Alliance Theological Seminary. He was credentialed with the Assemblies of God since 1996 and ordained in 2001. He served as an associate pastor with Englewood Assembly of God church for over 10 years in Englewood, New Jersey. He is married to Angela, and they have three children and nine grandkids!
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Thank you so much for joining us today.
Will you accept Robert’s challenge? How would you plot the ending of his story? Comment below with YOUR ENDING and be entered into today’s giveaway! One lucky person will win a Kindle version of one of his books. All you need to do is be creative, be unique, and accept Robert’s challenge!!
Until next time……………………Happy Reading & Reviewing!!!