Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

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A Friend Who Sticks Closer

I think I mentioned I’m a writer. (Maybe, oh, a thousand times.) Today, I thought I’d tell you about the first story I ever sold.

I’ve always loved stories–first reading them, then making them up. In the early ’80’s my man bought me a typewriter for Christmas, because he’d picked up on my need to write. But I didn’t have many writer friends, and the writing support was a little sparse since Gary was on twenty-four-hour call in the oil field.

And to be very truthful, I didn’t know what I wanted to write. (Or how to write it. Did I mention English grammar and I weren’t on very good terms in high school?) All I knew was that I wanted to make up stories and have other people to read them.

I typed my story and sent it to R-A-D-A-R, which is no longer called R-A-D-A-R.

Standard Publishing will have new Middler Sunday school curriculum in the Fall of 1999 and R-A-D-A-R, 8121 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati OH 45231 will be changing its name. The new theme list (available for SASE) calls it the “New Middler Take-Home Paper.”

I prayed about the story and for God’s will as I wrote it, but I didn’t hear from  R-A-D-A-R for a few months. On the day of my Granddad’s funeral in 1987, I came home to find a letter in my mail box.

They bought it! I was so excited!!! Not because of the money (believe me, it wasn’t much) but because someone wanted to publish something I’d written. WOOHOO!

R-A-D-A-R bought all rights to my little story, so it’s no longer mine, and to be honest, it wasn’t very good. I’ll share some of it, though.

Here’s how I wrote it–


My oldest son was a very social kid, and I wanted my character, Charlie, to be like him. He never saw a stranger, and was always ready to befriend a lonely kid.

I gave him my great-granddad’s first name and gave my nephew’s first name to the other main character. The foster-mother was named for Omega’s bff’s mom.

I called the story, THE FRIEND. R-A-D-A-R didn’t change the title, or very much in the story. 😦 They probably should have.

Here’s a little of the story–

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