Susan RusieCongratulations to Susan Rusie for Winning the July 2021 Barefoot Writing Challenge! (Your $100 prize is on its way!)

The challenge was to write an essay that answered this prompt:

This month, the United States celebrates Independence Day. What does independence through writing mean to you?

Susie shared an uplifting musing about the kind of independence she hopes writing will bring. Enjoy her winning submission:

It Doesn’t Get Any Better than This

By Susan Rusie

“It’s time to get up,” my husband says to me. “I’m going to work on a contract project for a developer in the area for a few hours. See you later.”

“Okay,” I reply as I start to sit up sleepily and try to wake up.

I slowly get up, put on my slippers, make myself a cup of coffee, grab a bowl of cereal, and head over to my desk in the next room.

I get on my iPad and look at the projects I need to work on for my clients.

I only have two.

I’ve already completed the rough draft for an article that’s due tomorrow. The other project is an email I need to write for a product this same client is selling.

Good. I can knock those out rather quickly.

Before I get started, I look out the window in the living room at the beautiful 10-acre property we now own as the sun streams in the window. It’s so hard to believe we are finally living in our dream home: a two-story, four-bedroom house, with a garage and a finished basement.

This is what dreams are made of.

I get to work, revising my article. When I’m satisfied that all my i’s are dotted, my t’s are crossed, and my grammar and punctuation is just the way I want it, I proofread it one more time and email it to my client.

One project done.

Now I start on my email. It takes me about an hour to research similar products that my client is selling, but I have my notes ready.

I go over my notes, write the email, check it over for errors and fix any I see, and hit Send.

Whew!! I’m done.

I look up at the clock and it’s two hours later.

About that time, my husband pulls in the driveway.

“I’m home,” he calls out as he walks in the door.

“Okay,” I reply. “I finished up what I needed to do today. What would you like to do for the rest of the day?”

He thinks for a minute and says, “Let’s go for a ride.”

“Okay.” We hop in the car and take a ride down to Bardstown, see a few of the local sights, eat at Talbott Tavern, and drive around a little bit more before we head home.

I look over at my husband and say, “It’s been a great day, hasn’t it?”

“It sure has,” he agrees. “Now we just need to start planning some other trips we’ve been putting off. Let’s start with going back to Gettysburg next month.”

“Yes, let’s do that.”

About that time, my alarm goes off.

Darn it.

It was just a dream, but it felt so real.

I guess I know what my next goal is: to make this dream a reality.