Afterward: Inspiration for Little Angel Helper

My first live story, "Little Angel Helper," is complete.

Phew (wipes brow). What an experience. For 17 days in a row, I wrote between 600 and 3,000 words. Thank you, Dunesteef hosts (Big and Rish), for the writing prompt and the inspiration to put a story out there for all to see (scary!) as I was writing it. They both finished their stories as well, and I believe the fourth participant, Katherine, is still going on hers.

When they first presented the prompt ("Despite being warned about them, someone plays a claw vending machine game . . . and wins big"), and suggested the event begin the following Monday, I spent the weekend coming up with a detailed outline of the story I wanted to tell. I think that helped me a lot in terms of not writing myself into a corner, which happens to me frequently as a pantser (one who writes by the seat of their pants, not an outliner). The idea had been floating around in my head, and the prompt solidified what I wanted the story to be.

What inspired this story?

I've always wanted to write a story with a special needs character like my sister, Andriana (Aunie for short). She was the inspiration behind Marie.

Aunie and me

I also liked the idea of something or someone giving a character direction in an unconventional way. Marie's character had many limitations, but she also had the ability to see something others could not. Guardian angels are not new or original in stories, but my hope is that Marie's little angel helper was a fresh take.

That said, I'd appreciate any comments that people would like to make. Whether any of the things I hoped for came across or not, whether the story dragged on too long or stopped too soon, whether the characters were believable or not, etc. Anything, really, would be great.

I thought I'd close out this writing event with some fun pictures of Aunie. She is such a joy in my life. Sadly, we don't live near each other anymore, which makes the times we see each other that much more precious. At visits, she always greets me with excitement and a big hug, even though she's not a hugger by nature. She has a fun sense of humor and an adventurous spirit. I thank God for her and Larisa. I'm blessed with two wonderful sisters.

Aunie Baby, as we like to call her

Magic Carpet ride at Magic Kingdom
Sweet smiles
Fun-loving sisters
Tickle fight!
Aunie, Larisa, Bria
Make a silly face
We love Disney!
Aunie's favorite ride, Snow White!
Aw sweet (an Aunie phrase)
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas at Magic Kingdom
Animal Kingdom~ Seriously! We love Disney :)
Master of funny faces
Christmas all together
Visiting Aunie
Sarah Connor and the Terminator (from her favorite movie T2) visited Aunie for her birthday!
I can relate to both Paulina, the "teacher" from the story, and Bradley, Marie's brother. I've learned so much from Aunie throughout the years. She reminds me in simple ways how much fun life can be, how enthusiasm shouldn't be squashed, how so many things that seem important really aren't, how much every single person on this Earth really does matter, and how this precious life God has given me should not be lived halfway, but lived to the fullest.


  1. Bria, I did like this story quite a bit. I thought you did a great job on the characters. I could also relate with what both Paulina and Bradley were experiencing, and I could tell as I read the story that you must know someone with special needs. I did get a bit frustrated when Bradley changed his mind again after seeing the bookie the first time. But then you sold me on his reasoning, and I was in it through to the end, with a wonderful pay off.

    1. Marshal, I so appreciate your kind words! Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.


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