I wrote him a letter (Final Draft)

Thank you reader for taking the time to read my short.                                                                                                 Any and all feed back is thoroughly welcome.


Step One:

I chose  the poem, 'Hannah Armstrong' and a mention of 'Anne Rutldge' from Spoon River Anthology. I resonated with the mother trying to help her sick child.

After reading a good amount of 'Spoon River Anthology' poems, then doing research on the book,  I came across some very interesting information in that two of the poems had a direct link to Abraham Lincoln.  This fully intrigued me.  

One of the poems was about Hannah Armstrong, an actual friend/relative of Abraham Lincoln. The other, about Anne Rutledge, who in his younger and single years, was a romantic interest of his.

I resonated with Hannah, she a parent trying to do whatever it took to help her sick child  and that nothing or nobody was going to prevent her intersession on his behalf. She reminded me of a moving train, at first it goes slow but once it gets momentum, you could not stop it even if you tried.  

Step Two: 

Draft Two: FINAL



Draft One;


With this information in hand, I proceeded. Today, June 17; it took me eight hours to write my short plus a few hours of editing. Now it's done and in a PDF format,  ready for feedback.


Step Three: Logline: 

A distraught mother unable to help her sick son in the army, reverts to her last resort; contacting the United States President.


Hannah Armstrong

I wrote him a letter asking him for old times’ sake

To discharge my sick boy from the army;

But maybe he couldn’t read it.

Then I went to town and had James Garber,

Who wrote beautifully, write him a letter.

But maybe that was lost in the mails.

So I traveled all the way to Washington.

I was more than an hour finding the White House.

And when I found it they turned me away,

Hiding their smiles. Then I thought: 

“Oh, well, he ain’t the same as when I boarded him

And he and my husband worked together

And all of us called him Abe, there in Menard.”

As a last attempt I turned to a guard and said:

“Please say it’s old Aunt Hannah Armstron, 

From Illinois, come to see him about her sick boy
In the army.”

Well, just in a moment they let me in!

And when he saw me he broke in a laugh,

And dropped his business as president, 

And wrote in his own hand Doug’s discharge,

Talking the while of the early days,

And telling stories.


While thinking about which poem from 'Spoon River Anthology' to choose, I kept in mind:

#1 -  Budget and how to make it as low-cost as possible.

#2 - I wanted an upbeat story, nothing morbid and depressing or full of angst. 

#3 - Closely follow the poems heart beat.

June 18:

Ooops - I just read in the FAQs about keeping all the drafts. This final submission is pretty much the same as the very first PDF I uploaded. The only difference is some typo corrections and some name changes for clarity; Guard was changed to Security Guard  1 & 2. Door Guard 1 & 2 -- 2 was changed to Sad Door Guard. I added a sentence to one of the dialogues of The President for more of a punch. Changing some words in action to make it more clear what is going on and where it is going in the scene. Tomorrow is another day and if I have time, will fiddle with the 'project cover photo.'. Good night.


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