27 Sunken Cathedral Challenge 


Kahle: welcome to loose leaf, a multi-author writing journal, where we talk goals, the ups and downs of writing and where we try to warn you off our greatest pitfalls. We'll keep it short because you don't have much time and we'd rather be writing. 

Charity: Hi, Hillary. Hi Kahle.

Good. Everybody had a busy week. 

Hillary: Holidays are coming. 

Charity: So I've heard a rumor Khale that you're actually in school right now, too. That's 

Kahle: completely 

Charity: false. Okay, good. Cause I was going to freak out and go, how are you doing 

Hillary: everything? But people will be talking about you. No. 

Kahle: Yeah. Sydney heard her say that and was like, what the freak is she talking about?


Charity: good. Cause I was like, Oh no, I'm like eating up some of his precious time with 

Kahle: no, no, I have, I have electrical school one night, a week. It's like four hours, but it's just once a week. 

Hillary: So let's hope that's what she was talking about then whoever it was. 

Kahle: Very confused. 

Charity: Just made me think he's gone to grad school and we didn't know it.


Kahle: I'm not going to do that. 

Charity: Good to know. Good to know. I just had to ask because I was like, Oh my gosh. Oh, well, I noticed everybody sent in, uh, their pieces. It feels like forever since we were together. It's been what, at least two weeks, weeks, two weeks. It's been a lot. I was 

Hillary: thinking the same thing. It's a long time.

Charity: Luckily we had those interviews to plug in, but I've missed you guys. All right. So kale, why don't you remind everyone what the challenge was that you issued? 

Kahle: Listened to a piece of music, took a few minutes to take notes and then played the song again and wrote a short story inspired from some thing about the music or very short.

Yeah. Yeah. So the song was about five minutes and 20 seconds long. We listened to the sunken cathedral, um, by Claude Debussy and. This piece is very interesting because the piece we listened to was actually re a, a recording of a S of sorts of Claude WC playing it. It was from, uh, a player, piano roll. I think that he punched out or someone punched out.

Under his direction. I'm not entirely sure on that, but that was the piece performed as he would perform it. And one of the many cool things about this song is that the way that WC intended for it to be performed, follows the golden mean in the speeds that he takes in the lengths of the sections. They.

All follow the golden mean? Um, it's very cool. So, 

Charity: okay. I'm going to sound stupid. I don't know what that is. Can you explain that? I'll be honest. I have no clue. 

Kahle: You're you're fine. You're fine. There is a pattern that recurs all throughout nature and it is a mathematical pattern. It's the pattern that, um, conch shells grow in.

And pine cone, pine cones, swirl in that pattern. Um, there, those are the only two that I can think of off the top of my head, but it's everywhere. When you start noticing a snail shell. 

Charity: Yeah. Yeah. Kaia used that, uh, in a lesson, she taught our family one time and she had all of these images of it happening in nature.

So I don't know why. I didn't remember that when you said that, I was like, Oh, that's what that's called. 

Kahle: I think because referring to with music is a little weird, but, um, That's 

Hillary: very reminiscent of so much in nature. I mean, it's very organic and, um, a lot of the, we subconsciously pull those kinds of rhythms into a lot of the things that we do.

Um, and so I don't know. I feel like music fits that really well. I mean, music and nature kind of go hand in hand to me. Yeah. 

Charity: Cool. Well, that was a fun challenge. I really enjoyed it. It was something totally different, which, which I needed after. So who wants to go first?

Hillary: Everybody's


Charity: So a little disclaimer, I may have. Intellectually cheated on this at all. Like that. Explain that. So since the name was, uh, the sunken cathedral, I made a conscious. Choice that I was not going to use a water anywhere in this, um, because I wanted to challenge myself and I wanted it to kind of fit where my heart is.

And it really made me think of this story idea that had already been percolating. So that's where the cheek came in. It wasn't totally fresh. But, um, what I wrote actually is not the scene that would fit the music. So yeah. My bit doesn't fit the music at all. 

Kahle: It fits the music. When I read it, I was going to 

Hillary: say, yeah, it still has the same arc and just scene.

So yeah, 

Charity: so the scene actually envisioned would be later where he's just drifting through space. Cause I thought space and water kind of have that same feel in my mind. I think. But my brain said, you must start at the beginning. So that's where I started. So, and I also combined it with another song that I love, uh, ashes of Eden.

So here we go. He stared at the computer readout his heart slowing before beating furiously. They were out of time and they weren't ready. Hundreds of years of preparation and they were going to lose everything. His name. What is it? Okay. Maybe I should start all over. Also. I did not name any of these people because I was trying to 

Hillary: like, can't name them on the fly.

Kahle: Oh man. I thought that was so cool. Actually, I didn't realize that it was just a filler.

Charity: That's my filler. I've got his name. I've got Gabe, I've got 

Hillary: name of, 

Kahle: it was like some kind of like broken memory that this guy was having. And he couldn't remember her name, but he was like tracking everything, but all he could pull out.

All he could pull out was like this kind of beginning of a story. Anyway. Dang. I weight 

Charity: intelligent.

Kahle: I'm not whatever. No, no, no. 

Hillary: Of course. 

Charity: Okay. Let me just start that all over again. Ashes of Eden. He stared at the computer readout his heart slowing before beating furiously. They were out of time. And they weren't ready.

Hundreds of, years of preparation and they were going to lose everything, his name, what is it? His wife appeared at his side, resting her hand on his shoulder. It's time was all he could say her hand contracted in a squeeze. Then did what she'd been trained to do. She sounded the alarm, it blasted across the science compound across the city, across all of Eden.

We have to get to the launch pad. She hurried to the door, the colony ship. Isn't ready. He followed his heartbreaking with each minute. How much time did they really have? No, but the name of ship is all the genetic material is loaded. The nav unit programmed. We just have to launch it, but it only carries one, a new fear Rose to choke him.

Yes. Her name didn't say anything else. Her face was set determined. What are you thinking? He grabbed her, stopping them in the middle of the hallway. You will go, you will save our people that took too much time. Five minutes is not a long time to write. 

Hillary: Awesome. My honest first thoughts were, how cool is it that you go back to that?

You're. Like the instinctual writing when you do this. Okay. It was pretty cool. I, I loved what you did. I thought it was interesting. I knew you told us that what the scene that you had thought of was somewhere else in the story. And so reading this, I was like, Oh, so we may not even know this person later on.

I mean, this is like, you're setting this up for someone else and we're getting to know this, these people together, and she's actually the main person in the scene. Right? But she's, she's out, she set this up for him. That was kind of cool. 

Charity: Yeah. And th the fun part is, so in that five minutes, I only got 190 words.

And after that I put a little line, so that's where I stopped. And I wrote another 800 words just to kind of keep going while the story was in there. So this was great kale. Thank you. It got me to sit down and write in December, which. It doesn't happen a lot. So thank you. I appreciate that. Cool. Okay.

Who's going to go next. 

Kahle: I could go next if you want it. Okay. So this is reticence in the memory of a God.

Yeah. It might surprise you to know, to find out some of the things I have seen, some of what I have caused to come about. Women men, a child, many children, animals, plants, the rush of life. I've been with them all riding through the wind, curling on the shores, adoring the splendor of my creation. High above the world.

I could look down and see what were the goings on such beauty, but such darkness in the hearts of men and beasts would rear its head hearts of men so easily swayed purchased bemused set upon by lusts and appetites. Animals have instinct, not willing to hear the cries around them. Some would rise up.

Others would fall hearts bursting with passion. Yes, that was once another time amidst the darkest hours, a few rows up, curious how they are so quickly forgotten. So quickly they fade into the mists of time.

Charity: I just thought that was so lovely. I liked all of the visual components. I can't get that 

Hillary: very literary. You can feel the song in 

Charity: it. And I thought that was samurais in the fall. 

Hillary: Well, and it's just, it's just beautiful words. It's just, they flow. It's all. Poetic in a way. And so it does feel very much like music.

Charity: Yeah. And I think you should be really proud cause like, I feel like you have emotions in there. Like my first drafts are always boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Later I have to put the emotion in, but like I can feel the emotion, like the song, like Hillary said in what you managed to get in those few short minutes.

So done. 

Hillary: The other thing I like is that you both managed to name your pieces. It's like dang reticence of a God. That's cool.

Dang. I guess almost the song, but yeah,

Kahle: I love it. Hillary I've really liked yours. I'm excited to hear your read. 

Hillary: Okay, this is one of my thoughts though, too, because well, it's instinctual writing. I mean, I write romance because that's what I fell into, but instinctually, why a fantasy girl. And if you see it in here, but she's actually Elvis, the girl that I'm writing 

Kahle: about.

Okay. I couldn't 

Hillary: tell needed it. I didn't want to spend too much time on description. So I'm like you have five minutes, 

Kahle: this scene, both of you guys as scenes are so flipping cool. I'm like, ah, I see things like, yeah. 

Hillary: Okay. So mine has called no title.

That was synchronized. That was awesome.

All right. 

Charity: Only our patriotic followers will ever see that. 

Hillary: I don't think I even saw it. I don't know what you're talking about. No, just up 

Charity: at the exact same time.

Hillary: Okay. Awesome. Little extra content there. Okay. Here we go. Um, golden hair fell around fair skin. The maiden reached the delicate finger out, touching the surface of the glassy water. He was alone again, 300 years of waiting and still he did not come ripple spilled from the point where her finger touched the Lake for image distorting under there under the change she thought for a moment, she saw a face next to her, and then it was gone a sound crushed in the distance and she knew the army would be there soon.

It had been prophesied. But she was supposed to stand with another and still she was alone. Why do you watch and leave your people to squander their safety? She turned at the sound of his voice and felt her body flushed at the side of him. Where have you been? Our people have not only been left, but there that have lost their faith.

She has a stated anger and need warring within her. You have come back though. You come to stand with me. He looked to the mountains, the smoke rising across the Lake and nodded. It is the only way. And you will leave when it is through, he turned back his eyes burning into her heart, charring, the hole that had been torn through it.

When he left only if we succeed like serious, so terrible with my first draft, anytime I do a reading, I like to stop and correct myself, like every few lines. It's ridiculous. 

Charity: But yours has that feeling in it too. Like you just feel this worrying emotions within her and like the ending. I have all these questions and that's like a great start.

I'm like, 

Kahle: Oh my gosh.

Hillary: I only knew vaguely where it was going to go, honestly. And the thought process, when you listen to the song, you hear so much more of the story. I mean, really in my head, I could almost go through a full, Oh several scenes at least, you know, it's not a book that like, Quite a segment.

And then when you get to writing, you're like,

Kahle: how do I fit any of that in here?

Charity: Yeah. Yeah. But that's why I think it's such a great challenge because it does get your mind working, thinking about this greater story that, you know, you can't write in that short amount of time, but I was sitting and taking notes. I hope that was allowed, like, as it was, as I was listening, I was writing.

These are the emotions I'm getting from it. Should I 

Hillary: take a note though? Smart journey. No names because I knew she all, I knew that she was Elvish. Like I could see her dancing kind of by the water or something like this, the night thought it was going to go a completely different direction to be honest.

But like I, when I got to a point where I needed names, I'm like, go loud.

Kahle: I've got one. You can steal. 

Hillary: I mean, I'd love to hear it. I'd love you. And you do really good job naming characters, but I don't know if this is ever going to go anywhere. 

Kahle: I really hope it goes somewhere. It's true. It's real good. I want this story to happen, even if it's only like a short story, but even if it's only like 5,000 words, like, 

Hillary: you know, that'd be awesome.

I could do some short story stuff. And then if I ever do end up writing my wife fantasies, then I'll have the. Reader magnet 

Charity: or a story seed that you need to expand? 

Hillary: You know, I actually, well, and that's the thing, because I've got so many stories already jumping around in my head. Um, I really thought I'd try and write something off of one of those.

But I don't know when you sit and you listen to the music, it kind of tells its own story. So I thought it was interesting. You said, I mean, you made a conscious choice charity not to use water in there and I'm like, Ooh, I used to water. I didn't even realize. 

Charity: Yeah. But yeah, because it feels very underwater than music.

I could even not reading title. You can feel that. And 

Hillary: so are 

Kahle: you familiar? Sorry. Are you familiar with the story of the sunken Cathy? Either like once a year or once every decade that the cathedral would rise up out of the water and then start sinking back down again. So, yeah. 

Charity: And this is a real thing where 

Kahle: this is like a German or French or something fairytale.

Hillary: What is that? There's a, Oh my gosh. There's a musical about a story like that. I don't can't think of it. There's a, like an Irish. Oh yeah. 

Charity: There's a Irish. Uh, I know. What are you thinking Brigadoon? 

Hillary: Yes. It's like bringing to him. I love that story. That show story, whatever. 

Charity: Well, um, I know we are going into the holiday busy season, so I know my goals are, have nothing to do with the writing.

If I do get any writing, it'll be like bonus. Cause I'm not planning to start writing again until January, but do you guys have anything you are planning the next couple of weeks. 

Hillary: Um, I do, I am working on my cozy mystery. I'm probably halfway through it and I need to get that finished this week. I'm trying to get it turned in, uh, because I think the first chapter is, or the first section is due in January or earlier, so it needs to be done.

So I'm working on that. 

Charity: Did you find some of your plot structure that you were trying to pin down? 

Hillary: Yeah. Yeah, no, all of that plotting and stuff that I've been doing has been really helpful. I've been, but it honestly it's changed so much. And that's what happens with that. I think. Well, and I was thinking before we started, you know, we talked about what are our greatest pitfalls this week.

And so I was thinking back on that, and what's been my pitfall or what have I learned or any of that stuff. And I just like really, I feel like I'm just really learning how I write still. You know, really learning what works and what, how that functions for me, this process, um, because I really do have to write through a pretty full draft and then kind of throw it out the window and go back and start again.

Um, because like once I've gotten through that, I know basically now what I want the story to be or what it needs to be. And then if I go back and try to work within the same words, Um, it traps me into what it was before. And so it it's a little tricky for me. Um, but at the same time, I don't want to lose all those words.

Charity: Totally understand. Um, I know it's been a long time since I talked about the goal of the science fiction, rewrite of the hand of Ottawa. And a couple of months ago, I was very excited to break it up into three books, make her older. And I started that. I rewrote the first two chapters of her individual book making her 16 instead of 12.

And my writers group loved those chapters. They're like, this is going to be awesome. And I stopped and I've been thinking about that a lot and it's because it changes everything and it's no longer the story I wanted to tell. It could be a great story. But that a hundred thousand words of already written will basically have to be trashed.

And that's a lot of words to throw away. And like I said, I, and I was trying to like, so am I holding onto it because I don't want to throw that away or am I holding onto it because she's a totally different character now. And it's the theme of it will have to change. Cause it's. She can no longer be the vehicle for what I wanted to say.

Does that make sense? So now my brain is like, Oh, what do 

Hillary: I do? Okay. Yes, those are really good questions. I'm curious though, what you wanted to say that couldn't be, couldn't be done with an older character. 

Charity: She, she will not have the same innocence. No, no, not. She just won't. I mean, there's a. There's a difference between what a 12 year old knows and what a 16 year old knows and understands.

And so a lot of that just, you know, 12 is I kind of see that as that cusp of crossing from the blissful ignorance of how horrible the world can be and what that might mean for you. Um, and so her learning process. Could be different. 

Hillary: They had a lot more discovery of that tragic newness 

Charity: in this. Yeah. And being that age, the people around her kind of had this instinctual urge to protect that innocence because everything is falling apart, that they wanted to kind of give her that as long as I could.

And then that combined with the spiritual elements. We're kind of what solidified this goodness in her, whereas like a 16 year old, you're like there's dating there's boys. There's like all this other stuff. And so her reaction to the plot line would be totally, totally different. Like 16. I would be like, I just envisioned more tears, more anger, more just.

in general, which would take the story a completely different, different way. Like I said, not necessarily bad, but it wasn't worth

Hillary: it. Doesn't necessarily have to do that either. Um, but those are, I mean, it does you're right. It changes things, but I mean, you can. I think you can also tell our characters where to go and you can make her an innocent.

I've never 

Charity: been able to tell my characters where to go. 

Hillary: You're like, that's funny. No. Wow. 

Charity: Those authors that could do that, kudos to them. I have never been the boss. So I was like, well, I could just rename them and do a completely different story because, but I'm like, The whole point of that was just to make it more marketable.

And I'm like, well, if I've already told the story of wanting to tell, I don't know, it's just that, that question. Why am I writing? Is it for money? And to say what I've been trying to say. So I don't know. I still think there's a lot of work to be done on it, but anyway, 

Hillary: well, is there a ways to still tell that story?

Um, with the new character making it marketable, but like just changing up how it's told. Um, yeah, but it's like you had, you already have solidified in your mind to the way that all of those pieces come together for the younger Eliane Elena. Yes. Yes, yes. Um, and so. I think it's still, it's probably still possible to tell with an older character, but it would ha it would be different and you'd have to figure out what that new method was.

Charity: Yeah. Because I think for the changes, there would have to be different scenarios, different scenes and different, lots of different, and my brain doesn't want to let it go. Yeah. So how about you kale? 

Kahle: I am. I'm really intrigued with the idea of this rewrite that you're talking about. So you have a series that is public.

Charity: Well, right now it's one book. It's one book. It's one big thick book that needs a lot of work, but I just stuck it out there and kinda kept silent about it. 

Kahle: Okay. And so what you want to do now is 

Charity: break it into three. Cool. So the book that's published has three parts and it's dual, uh, point of view between Elena and Amarin and it covers about seven years, multiple planets.

It's a space opera, lots of stuff going on. Uh, and so basically I would break it up into book. One would be just her book. Two would be just him. That's the one that I, that terrifies me cause it's all his military years and I've got to do a lot of research. And then book three is when they finally reunite after I even shortened the timeframe to five years instead of seven.

And, uh, cause I was making her older and I didn't need it to be so long. I've been reading some more military Saifai to kind of get my head back in that space. And I downloaded, um, the art of war. 

Kahle: I love 

Charity: that book because I thought a lot of his lessons can be based on some of those points. And I've always heard that Naval battles transfer to space really well.

The problem is when I read a Naval battle, I look at it and go. What the heck am I reading?

Kahle: Like, what is this people throwing oranges? I don't understand. 

Charity: Yeah. So, and I would love to dig in and, and, you know, I've been playing with it cause it's like all in code it's letters and numbers and. Yeah, military speak. 

Kahle: And I'm like, I know like  you sunk my battleship. 

Charity: Exactly.

Kahle: This is where, uh, I'm so 

Hillary: sorry. That was my level of understanding right there. You don't have to be sorry at all. It's like I read one 

Charity: and I'm like, I have no idea what just happened. Let's go 

Hillary: watch a movie. Like, did they survive? I just need a one-liner right here real quick. Ooh. 

Kahle: Ooh. Uh, man, I just have all these weird things.

Uh, there's also this story about a Confederate, like a Confederate submarine. They freaking had submarines in the 1860s and they were horrifically dangerous, 

Hillary: but, 

Kahle: uh, yeah, you should look that one up too. It's pretty interesting. Uh, 

Hillary: hail possessor and much knowledge 

Kahle: boiler. They died. They died real bad. And it was horrible.

This freaking submarine sink, like four or five times, and everybody died and they just kept out of the ocean, cleaning it and being like, next crew happened, we're going to train. Oh my gosh. But it disappeared for like over a hundred years. They could not find where it was. Okay. And then somebody found it and they've done all these studies and like they figured out exactly what happened.

And that's pretty interesting. The concussive blast from the torpedo, they were trying, they had a torpedo on a pole.

And when it exploded under water, it pretty much instantly killed everybody from the concussion concussive blast 

Charity: dude. Very well. 

Kahle: I know we have like four and a half minutes left, but I love to talk about this crap, so, okay. If any of that helps you, I'm glad, but it probably doesn't. So thanks. Nope. 

Charity: It's all great stuff.

Cause I seriously have this list of when I'm ready to write this, dig into these things. So that will go onto my list and I just I'll keep working on other projects until my brain says, okay, this is what you're going to do. Um, and I think it's because Alina is such a fully developed real character. It's hard to change her.

So fundamentally. Yeah, it's kind of like that first novel. When I made her older changed her name, killed her parents. She became a different person. I was like, Oh, I know what to do with this person. And you know, I don't know what he's doing. Yeah. So anyway, 

Kahle: but, um, well, my, uh, my writing goals include just continuing writing Bruce's story.

Cause that is the slowest pace. Right now, but, uh, so doing a couple more Christmas videos this month, because that has been really fun. When 

Hillary: did the Christmas videos. 

Kahle: Um, just music videos. I 

Charity: know I was actually gonna say we should post one of them on our, 

Kahle: Oh, you don't have 

Charity: to be that. Well, I can't cause you haven't sent it to me, but it was awesome.

He did this music number for our women's group at church and uh, saying and harmonized with themselves and played all the instruments. It was really cool. 

Hillary: I at least have to send that to me for show. 

Charity: It was, it was really good. 

Kahle: So that's my goal. And then I had the idea earlier this year that I really wanted to rewrite, um, a couple of my mom's favorite Christmas stories.

Like have you guys read the Christmas orange? 

Hillary: I think so. Yeah, it rings a bell. 

Kahle: So the Christmas orange is a story of these boys at an orphanage. Um, it starts off they're playing stick ball. The kid hits the stick through the window. Every year, everybody gets an orange for Christmas and people like carry their orange with them for days before eating it.

Like the skin gets all hard on the outside before they try to eat it just cause like, it's the thing they get. 

Hillary: If they never get anything, 

Kahle: they never get anything. He doesn't get an orange. He busted the window and all day he goes around the school and everybody has their orange and he's like, Oh my gosh, my life is over.

And that night somebody runs to him and get like, just like all of the teammates on his little stick ball team. Took a piece off of their orange so that he could have an orange. And so they, they went ahead and they didn't keep their oranges for days and days and days like normal. It's it's touching my mom cries every single time, like full on tears and yeah, it's important for our family.

I've wanted to do a rewrite and make it a lot longer of a story. It's uh, it's about a two pager right now and I'd like to make it about eight. So add some actual, like, like the development, do some, um, some texts, some talking. So I just want to expand it a little add in some dialogue. Um, Really like spend a little more time inside the kid's head.

Maybe do some more time leading up to the stick ball game, like see how things are a normal day before, like how the morning was right before the stick ball game. And then, you know, see a change in attitudes from the adults, like something. That signifies and then being able to see the kids come there for him and like be there for him.

So that'll be really cool. We'll see. We'll see, I started writing it on my phone and it's yeah. I need a computer so I can see more of it at once. 

Charity: That'd be a great Christmas present for your mom though. 

Kahle: Yeah. Yeah. That's what I'm, that's what I'm hoping. So. 

Hillary: Cool. 

Charity: Very cool. What'd you guys have anything else you want to add before we wrap up?

I don't think 

Hillary: so. I think we've had some fun tonight. It's been 

Charity: great. So do you think we want to try to meet sometime before the new year? Or do we want to just like, I have one more interview I can post. 

Hillary: I think we should try it. I let's just look at each week as they come and say, Hey, can we meet this week?

And if we can, let's do it. Okay. 

Charity: Sounds good. Cause we'll be here. Um, Make sure. My mom's not around. Our kids are actually coming home tomorrow. My mom and my youngest son do not know. They think they're coming home next week. So that's why this week has been totally crazy for me because I had to finish quilts.

I had to get bedding, washed. I had to clean the bathrooms and I lost a week. So, uh, yeah, so we're excited, but. 

Hillary: That's fun. No, we have one daughter home and another one coming in a week and a half. So I'm doing that. I'm actually finishing a quilt downstairs too. That's to go away tomorrow and it's not done either.

Charity: I finished well, mostly fish state. It looks awful. The bow, it looks great. The binding looks awful. I want to pick it all out and start all over, but I have no time. So no, 

Hillary: it'll be fine. It's together in this way. They can love it. 

Charity: Yeah. It was one of those things where I'm like, I haven't done a binding in 10 years and muscle memory was not kicking in.

Hillary: That's one of my things my mom says, though, she's like, perfect. Is the enemy of finished or something like that. Now it's done and they can enjoy it and they're 

Charity: going to use it until it wears out. Anyways, 

Kahle: I'm going to write that on my whiteboard. 

Charity: What was that again? 

Hillary: Perfect. Is the enemy of finished? I think I'm saying it wrong, but that's essentially what it is 

Charity: writing too.

Hillary: Yeah, but that's what all my stories look the way they do, because I totally have that concept. And I'm like, it's done. It's fine.

Charity: it was so good to see you though. And yeah. And get to chat and hopefully we'll get at least one more in before the new year and yeah. Cool. Shall we close up? Yeah, go for it, Hillary. 

Hillary: Me. No, I think it's Kale's turn, man.

sleepers out there. Either keep writing or start writing. .