Proceeds from What the Wind Picked Up go to Samaritan's Purse, a non-denominational Christian organization helping hurting people around the world.
The members of ChiLibris, all multi-published Christian novelists, remember when they had the same fear. Something they've all discovered is that it isn't the idea that is so unique--since the same basic stories are told again and again, and we never tire of hearing them. What's unique is the expression of those ideas.
To show new writers that they can relax about their ideas--and to simply celebrate the diversity of their storytelling gifts--the members of ChiLibris undertook this book. Each writer made something different from the same basic idea. Each of the 21 short stories in this book use the same five elements:
The first line: The wind was picking up.
Pursuit at a noted landmark
Unusual form of transportation
The last line: So that's exactly what she did.
As you enjoy these vastly differing variations on a theme, relax about your own marvelous ideas and concentrate instead on writing the very best novel you can. Because what readers want isn't so much an idea that's never been done before, but the story told with your style, your wit, and your voice.
What the Wind Picked Up contains delightful stories from your favorite Christian novelists, including James Scott Bell, Mindy Starnes Clark, Angela Elwell Hunt, Nancy Moser, and Robert Whitlow. As an added bonus, the members of ChiLibris share their most valuable lessons about the writing life.
WHAT THE WIND PICKED UP includes DeAnna Julie Dodson's short story:
The wind was picking up. Alice pulled her ermine cloak more snugly around her slender shoulders and somehow felt the cold all the more. One last night. One last night of freedom.
She caressed the pampered kitten nestled on her velvet pillows, stroking it until her body relaxed again. It was not yet tomorrow.
Fers Doré was a beautiful city, prosperous, peaceful, the chief residence of Duke Édouard himself. From her marble balcony high up in the Duke’s palace, Alice could see the town, rising up from the placid sea, cobbled streets and snugly timbered houses and busy shops all centered around the glorious, heaven-reaching Cathedral of Fers Doré. Shuddering, she huddled even more deeply into her cloak. A funeral and a wedding would take place in that cathedral tomorrow. The funeral of the old Duke and the wedding of the new Duke. Her wedding. Her funeral.
But she would have this marble palace to shelter her, ermine to warm her, countless attendants to serve her. What was there to dread in this? And, lest she forget, she would have the lovely Cathedral to delight her eyes anytime she chose to look down. Looking down on God Himself. Was there anything higher to which she could aspire?
Bon Dieu, she prayed silently, if this marriage is not right, free me from it.
She turned, startled and then frowning to see a man, half shadowed by the velvet crimson of the drapes, wearing the livery of a castle servant and a heavy key around his neck, staring at her.
“How dare you come here, sirrah?” She narrowed her eyes. “You were not sent for.”
“Alas, no, my lady, but I was sent.” The man stepped from the shadows and made a courtly bow. “To serve you.”
Her sapphire eyes flashed. “I have no need of your service.”
The man laughed, not unkindly, and again she narrowed her eyes, this time studying him more closely.
“You are an insolent rascal, I must say.” Her taut mouth softened a little, just into a snide smirk. “And in what have you deemed I am in need of help?”
He shrugged a little. “Leaving this place perhaps? Perhaps not attending Duke Édouard’s wedding tomorrow?”
“Nonsense!” She felt a blush creep up to her cheeks, hot in the frigid night. “Why should any woman refuse such an honor as the Duke has bestowed upon me?”
“It is writ on you plain as day, lady, no matter your words. If I have read amiss, I most humbly beg your ladyship’s pardon. But, if not, I can help you.”
She took a step back from him, a little afraid of his ability to read her face, her thoughts.
“Who are you?”
“I am called Will, my lady.” Once again he bowed.
“Will,” she mused, looking him over more closely.
He was comely enough, tall and well grown, and respectful enough, too, she supposed, but with a certain frank boldness that set him apart from the great majority of the servants she had ever met. Will. William?
“Does not Duke Édouard have a brother called William?” she asked. “The one who renounced his claims to Fers Doré last spring in Édouard’s favor?”
“Lord Roland William, lady, and should now be Duke Roland William.” His dark eyes grew darker. “Lord Édouard has kept him these eight months locked away in the tower above you. Until he could make his claim secure by his alliance with your ladyship’s father.”
“Why was not Duke Averiel informed?”
“The old Duke had been ill those same eight months, lady, and hardly could tell night from day all that while. He had meant Lord Roland William to have Fers Doré and, if you will pardon my boldness, your fair self along with it. But, alas, his heavenly Master had laid other plans for good Averiel and has since summoned him.”
“But poor Roland William! To be so long imprisoned!”
“Why, lady, you sound as if you pity the man.”
“So I do. Why should you think otherwise?”
“His cell is now empty, no thanks to Édouard. But I had thought imprisonment a light thing to you, seeing you come to it so willingly.”
“A duke’s palace is hardly a prison.”
“Shackles, no matter how skillfully gilded, still bind.”
Again his voice was cool and soft and, again, she felt as if he could read her soul. Her sharp retort died before it reached her lips.
“What am I to do?”
“I can help you, lady.”
She began to pace, pleadingly looking up at the vaulted ceiling ornamented with gold filigree. “I met the Duke but yesterday! Papa said Duke Averiel was a kind man and I thought sure his son would be the same. But he frightened me somehow when we finally met, and to know he’s betrayed his brother–“
“I can help you, lady,” Will repeated gently.
“But he will never let me go now.” Her pacing grew faster and faster along with her breath. “What could I say to him? ‘I thank you most sincerely, Monsieur le Duc, but I should like to go home now’? Oh, bon Dieu, what am I to do? Papa has made the bargain. I have made the bargain! I have–”
“My lady!” He took her by the arms and forced her to look at him. “I can help you.”
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