Clover’s Thanksgiving: A What Matters Most Deleted Scene

Hey warriors! I’m so sorry it’s been so long since I wrote a regular post, but here we are, back to writing! In this post, I took a What Matter Most deleted scene, edited out any spoilers, and analyzed why I didn’t include it after the first round of edits. Hopefully this post will be fun and perhaps helpful! Let’s dive in.


Clover’s Thanksgiving

“Move out of my way, darlin’! Would you get the casserole out of the oven?” My mom orders, speed-walking past me with a pot of mashed potatoes. It’s Thanksgiving, and, surprisingly, my house is a hectic place. It rarely has any action, but today my mom is waitressing her own family and my dad is praying he won’t be fixing his own things. Having seven cousins, two uncles, and three aunts in your house when you’re used to two adults who aren’t often home and one quiet teenager is a wild adventure. 

I think about this as I pass Uncle Jack and try to ignore Nora and Patrick’s loud arguing on my way to the commercial oven that my mom thankfully talked my dad into buying for her last year. If we didn’t have that, this would be an even more hectic place. Mom’s fabric oven mitts sit on the counter, waiting for me, so I slide them on, smiling at the floral pattern. She really needs new ones, since I bought these for her when I was six, but they’ve protected my mom’s hands as she’s baked many desserts and meals. I pull on the metal handle of the oven, releasing the delicious aroma of the Irish potato casserole. I reach for the casserole, and I’m about to pick it up when Sean grabs my shoulders. I jump, almost launching the casserole, but thankfully it remains in the oven. I glare at Sean as I actually take it out. “You do realize that would have burned both of us, right?” I scold him.

Sean’s green eyes are wide as he stares at me, but as I scold him, he has the decency to blush. He’s taller than me, but he’s only twelve. He, Uncle Joseph, Aunt Maeve, and Nora came all the way from Ireland to visit us on the most family-oriented American holiday of the year. “Sorry, Clovsie,” he says, his voice cracking awkwardly and his Irish accent in full swing. 

I roll my eyes at the nickname. “Just think before you act next time, ok?” I use my foot to knock the oven door closed again and I set the casserole on the counter.

“Thanks, darlin’,” Mom says, giving me a tired smile as she grabs a thermometer to check the casserole. 

I nod. “Anything else I can do?”

She shakes her head, even though I know there’s plenty I could help with. “Just go enjoy your cousins.”

“Ok. Let me know if you need help though,” I tell her. 

She leans over and hugs me, her apron smelling sweet and savory like all the food she’s been cooking.  “Don’t worry about me. I’ve got it under control.”

I don’t really believe her, but I walk into the living room where Nora and Patrick are still arguing, and Makenna, Liam, and Jaime are sitting on the couch on their phones, glancing up at the drama once in a while. Keira, the youngest cousin at age six, is playing with a toy in the corner of the room, but she keeps looking at the older ones, wanting someone to play with. I decide to see what’s happening between Nora and Patrick and then play with Keira, so I walk closer to the war zone.

“YOU BROKE IT! STOP DENYING IT!” Nora screams. Her Irish accent makes it almost feel comical, but in her hand is an iPhone 12 with a cracked screen. She’s sixteen and has a boyfriend who she said she was supposed to call about now, so I can see why she’s mad.

Patrick’s face is red with rage, and his muscles are bulging as he squeezes his hands into fists. He boxes, and I wouldn’t get in his way if I were Nora. Plus he’s almost nineteen.“STOP ACCUSING ME! THE ONLY FREAKIN’ THING I DID WAS TAKE IT FROM THE CAT!” I’m grateful Keira’s in the room, because otherwise Patrick might curse. 

“YOU JERK! A CAT DOESN’T BREAK A PHONE.”

As if to prove her wrong, Cheshire, who’s been sitting on the coffee table, jumps down, swishing his tail, and nearly knocks Patrick’s phone to the floor. 

Patrick’s eyes go wide as I dive for the phone, catching it. 

“Sorry, Nora,” I tell her, getting up and handing Patrick his phone. “Cheshire is a rather obstreperous cat.”

“What the heck does that mean?” she asks. She still looks mad, even though she knows by now that Cheshire’s at fault. “Do I look like I’m in the mood for your big brains stuff?” The way her dark brown hair frames her face and her green eyes shoot daggers, she reminds me of a scarier Ryleigh.

I blush. “Sorry. It just means that he’s hard to control.” I avoid adding that she’s rather obstreperous as well. 

Nora rolls her eyes and sits down to call her boyfriend. Apparently the phone still works.

I turn to walk toward Keira, but Patrick grabs my arm. “Thanks, Clovsie,” he says. “She’s…” He bites his lip, glancing over at Keira. “Crazy.” 

I shrug. “I mean, everyone has their good and bad moments.” I refuse to throw anyone under the bus, especially not my family. 

Patrick grins, his dark eyes lightening up a bit. “I don’t see you having a bad moment though.”

I roll my eyes, smiling. “Thanks, but I’ve had plenty.” It’s all I can do not to think about my stupidity these past few months.

He shrugs. “I haven’t seen any.”

I almost say “do you want to?” but then I realize that Patrick wouldn’t be scared in the slightest and that it would be a curious thing to say, so I shrug back before walking over toward Keira. 

Keira beams at me when I sit down across from her and holds up her stuffed cat. “This is Princess Emily Matthew. You wanna play?”

I nod, keeping a straight face even though I’m laughing inside. Keira and I play with Princess Emily Matthew until Mom calls us for lunch. 

As the cousins and I stampede into the dining room, I smile. I have a lot to be thankful for. Especially the fact that my name isn’t Princess Emily Matthew.


Why I Cut the Scene

Since What Matters Most was a NaNoWriMo novel, I was in the depths of fall and surrounded by preparations for Thanksgiving. The idea of a thanksgiving scene had bubbled below the surface from nearly the beginning, so I finally decided to write it. When I was editing, however, I realized that this scene just confirmed again parts of Clover’s character that were already clear. We met her family, but they weren’t important here. No part of this scene has anything to do with the plot, which is why I’m able to post it. I was sad to cut it because I felt it was written well, but it does much better as an extra scene than as a part of the story.

Thanks for reading this! I’m sorry I missed Middle-of-the-month check-ins this month, but I’m open for September submissions! I’ll be sharing the official guidelines in the next post (along with a Limited Teen’s Guide to Limited Time!), but the guidelines are also on the middle-of-the-month check-ins, which I linked above. Would you have cut this scene? What’s the hardest scene you ever had to cut? What makes you cut a scene? Let me know in the comments! See you next time!

[Reblog] Comparision: Old to New Writing

Hey warriors! I meant to get a fresh post out today but because I’m recovering from an oral surgery and didn’t finish the planned post because of medicine and healing, I thought I’d spotlight a friend instead! I hope you enjoy her post! Go give her a follow!

Recently, my posts have been a little different from the normal poems, short stories, and character interviews. Though I will still post those, my …

Comparision: Old to New Writing

Middle-of-the-Month Check-In: July

Hey warriors! Welcome or welcome back to Words! How are you all doing? It’s been a month (how, I don’t know) since I last checked in and it’s that time again, so let’s dive in!

Me

  • An amazing friend of mine from Salt Lake City came to visit for the first time in two years! It was such an amazing day…
  • We went on a day trip to Denton, Texas! I’ll be posting about that on my other blog soon, including my shopping haul. 😜
  • I posted for Diamond’s Camp Happy Heart twice this month! Go check out her blog. It rocks.
  • My family finally found time to plant flowers! Between COVID in May and commitments we just hadn’t done it until now. I’ll insert a gallery of photos after this section.
  • The Star That Always Stays came out on July 12! It’s so good so far! I haven’t quite finished it though because….
  • I have a church camp and a conference in the next two weeks! This camp is the highlight of my year…. I love it so much! But two weeks away from home means a lot of planning and packing. It also means that all posts during that time are written and scheduled in advance so I won’t be responding to comments for a little while. But still talk to me! I’ll answer as soon as I get the chance.
  • Last but not least, my family went through our homeschool library! I may do a bookshelves tour in the future if anyone is interested. We have a lot of books. 😅😂

My Blog

My Writing

  • What Matters Most needs more development than I originally thought. I want to give it room to be the best possible so I’m taking a break until I can focus on it and then I’m expecting it to be nearly a year before it will be 100% ready for publishing.
  • I decided that, when I do NaNoWriMo this year, I’ll work on either What Matters Most’s sequel or I’ll work on The Lies I Believed. Since it’s narrowed down it will be easier to plan when October comes around.
  • I wrote two short stories and a poem this month. They are all posted above in the blog section.

You

For those who don’t remember, this portion will be where I feature my favorite little snippets of writing, photography, or art that you guys send me through my contact page! (For photography and art you will need me to respond before you can send the files.) For this month, I’m featuring Emma’s writing!


What is the purpose of a story?

Is it to entertain you, to occupy the dull hours of a night or day?

Is it to help you escape, to live in another’s world for a few hours, only to eventually have to return to your own?

Or is the purpose of a story to teach? Are stories merely nicely-decorated conduits for information, meant to make the learning go down easier? Are they like the flavoring in sickly-sweet cough syrup, which disguises the medicine’s bitter taste but doesn’t quite do it well enough to make the medicine taste good?

Is a story meant to promote a cause? To sell a product? To convince an audience to believe that what you say is true?

Maybe a story is all of these things.

But maybe not.

Maybe a story has one purpose, and one only—to glorify God, the best storyteller of all.

God is the ultimate author. He has written us here on earth so that we may glorify Him, and He is more than worthy of all the glory that our stories can give Him.

And every story bears the mark of its author’s Creator. In the triumph of good over evil, in the sacrificial love of a father or mother for their child, in the anguish of a heart groaning over the darkness of the world, and in the quiet peace that comes when that groaning heart finally sees the light

What is the purpose of a story?

Is it to entertain you? To provide escape or relief? To force-feed you a message, or to advertise?

No.

The purpose of a story is threefold: truth, goodness, and beauty.

With these three together, we will point to the Maker of all, who wrote the story of the world, and by whom our story is continually being written.

Truth. Good stories portray the world as both dark and light. The world is not safe, but the world is not hopeless. In it there is unspeakable cruelty and evil, but there is also unspeakable grace.

Good stories must point to truth. If they do not, then they have failed to display the Maker the way He truly is.

Goodness. A story with no light is no story at all. Yes, the darkness is pervasive, but to show only the darkness is to ignore the better half of the picture. There is goodness in the world, and a good story will show it: goodness standing against evil with courage and strength, and goodness that can never be overcome by the dark.

True stories must point to the good. For how can vice with no virtue show us a virtuous God?

Lastly, beauty. Beauty is the color to the painting of humanity. It takes a cold stone and makes it a marble sculpture; it takes cloth and paint and makes it a breathtaking masterpiece. What is true and good should be beautiful, and what is beautiful must be true and good.

Beautiful stories point to our Creator better than any dry prose. He is true beauty. And how can something remind us of Him—our father, lover, and friend—if it is not beautiful?

This is the purpose of a story. Every good story bears the mark of our God, and our God is true, good, and beautiful.

Perhaps, using stories, we can fight back the darkness and let our light shine more.


That was really thought-provoking and beautiful! Don’t you agree?

I’ll be putting up a submissions page soon (hopefully. A lot is going on, so I won’t promise it immediately), since the contact page is somewhat difficult for files. But next month’s Middle-of-the-Month Check-In is already open for submissions! Make sure you submit your best work in 1 image or 1000 words or less and keep it clean please! I can’t wait to see what you guys have for me next month!

Now I’d like to take this last paragraph to ask you some questions because you warriors are amazing. You can answer as many or as few as you want, but this is my chance to get to know you better and to learn what you guys want from me! So here we go. What have you done this month so far? How are you doing? What would you all like to see from me in this next month? How are your projects going? Let me know in the comments! See you soon!

Middle-of-Month Check-In

Hey, warriors! Welcome or welcome back to Words! Today’s post is a little different from my usual ones, and, if you guys like this, let me know so I can make it a regular thing! I’m just going to give a brief life update and writing update (not all that much… these posts aren’t meant to be stressful or cause anger/offense/jealousy!) I’ll divide it into four sections. Let’s dive in!


Me

  • I have been pretty tired lately, which has meant less productivity.
  • I got back into a blog schedule, which means that if you follow all of my blogs you’ve seen some fun content!
  • I recently helped with my church’s VBS. I’ve never worked harder and this was my third, but it was so worth it… even if I did wake up early and come home with a headache every day.
  • I took my first ACT test and went to a public school building for the first time since second grade! That was interesting….

My Blog

My Writing

  • I got back into journaling for the most part after struggling during VBS
  • I’m about to dive into the alpha edits of WMM
  • I rediscovered an old story that… if I ever get time… I might fix.
  • This month hasn’t been the best, writing wise.

You

This portion will be where I feature my favorite little snippets of writing (no more than 1,000 words please and try to keep it short and very clean), photography (again, clean please), or art (you know by now) that you guys send me through my contact page! (For photography and art you will need me to respond before you can send the files.) I’ll try to feature as much as possible but I may not be able to feature yours, although I will try to respond with positive feedback because everyone rocks! If you guys like this, I might start adding themes. For this month, I’m going to feature Maggie’s amazing short story, since it really embodies the theme of Words!


“More.” The little boy’s smile was contagious as he

watched the teenager add a scoop of strawberry ice

cream to his cone.

“More.” The woman took the cup of water from her

husband, who held her hand while she went through

the pangs of childbirth.

“More.” Adjusting the tire pressure slightly, the man

grinned at his grandson as they admired his very first bicycle.

“More.” The young woman winced as the dress was

tightened, then smiled at her beautiful wedding dress in the mirror.

“More.” The man’s greedy hands closed around the

coins, tossing them to his comrade.

“More.” Taking a couple flower pedals from her

husband, the woman sprinkled them over the new

grave of her son.

Words.

More words.

But less words.

mean more.


Isn’t that amazing?! I love it so much!


Now I’m going to take this last paragraph to ask you some questions because you guys rock! You can answer as many or as few as you want, but this is my chance to get to know you better and to learn what you guys want from me! So here we go. What have you done this month so far? How are you doing? What would you all like to see from me in this next month? If you’re an author, what’s your current project? What are your plans and hopes for your writing? Do you like this post? Would you like to see more of these? If I do more of these, should I do themes or leave them open to anything? Let me know in the comments! See you soon!