They're Just Words

… or are they??

website of author Paula Offutt


Many years ago I wrote a story about a young woman who returns home, but she returns home in such a bad shape that no one recognizes her but her closest friends from high school (guess what age I was when I wrote this??).

What I did this time is I have the young woman not exactly returning home, but arriving in a small town airport after receiving word that her aunt – who she didn’t know existed – had left her everything in her will.

Right now Airport is…struggling. I know where it is going but its not getting there easily. It has been interesting to see how I create it. It is still small in word count, but is far from being shelved.

It is a story of growth and of ‘finding yourself’. She is given the journal her aunt kept after she (the aunt) learned she had cancer. It is her journal of her process of accepting death. As she reads it, she learns about herself (and about her aunt).

Sometimes I feel I have bitten off more than I can chew on this one. This piece is the one I work on when I am feeling….down or in a funk. I open myself out and pour that raw soul-ness into the character. As a result, there are some excellent scenes so far.

I have the Main Character (MC) as a young woman with a disability. I just can’t seem to decide what kind of disability. A friend of mine suggested I use my own. At 16K words, I need to decide now before it gets too big to make such a major change.

UPDATE: Can’t believe I never put this here. Bad Paula, no brownie. Airport was published online as a short story I titled “Arrivals and Departures” in Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal way way back in 2005. I’ve gotten a lot of comments about it since then which is why Airport remains on my hard drive and not in remote storage. You can see a list of my other published work elsewhere on this site. That page I keep up-to-date. Promise.

UPDATE: (7/4/13) I have been wanting to write a play and this story, as Arrivals and Departures, may be used for my first attempt. It will be a while, though, as I am learning as I go. And I am going slowly since I am self-learning.