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I’m reading Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell right now and I just finished the chapter on Beginnings.


The weather was so damp of heat it filled my lungs with water. I could feel it bubbling in my lungs and it made me cough.

Typical of me – to catch a cough at midsummer. Maddy looked at me with concerne, but I explained I swallowed a fly. They didn’t have to know the cough hadn’t left me since I had pneumonia in February. It always brings up the ugly topic of returning to doctors, who think it’s psychological rather than physical.

I kept reading my book, knowingly flipping the pages. Perhaps too often, but my mood was ruined. The crickets kept singing and the wheezing sensation in my lungs grew. I knew I had to go inside as soon as possible or I’ll be coughing the whole upcoming week.

“I’ll make some tea,” I searched for an excuse, “you want one?”

“Darling, it’s 37 degrees out here! Who would want hot tea?”

I was already up from my bolstered pillows, eager to leave.

“I would,” I said, “just felt like having one. Black, with lemon.” I sensed cough come up, but forced it down. “And a tint of sugar while I’m at it.”

She laughed like the wind we were missing so much, soft and clear. “In that case, darling, make me a cup, too.”


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