Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Monday, September 7, 2020

Writing A Best-Selling Amish Romance

 It’s a Saturday morning in August, and I find myself sitting at a table surrounded by Amish people. What?  I’m having a book signing event at the Hartville Marketplace and Flea Market. It is a vast market with many table vendors outside and numerous stores inside that operate year-round. The place is a popular shopping destination for the local Amish population.

I am set up in a store that sells miscellaneous items, including a large selection of Amish books. Apparently, these books are very popular since there is a steady stream of Amish people browsing and buying these books, while the sales for my book “Turkey Terror At My Door!” that morning remain sparse. This is really starting to fizz me off! The Amish are outselling me!

I was impressed by the popularity of these books among the Amish. These

people must love to read. I guess they don’t watch much TV. I started to think about how I could sell my books to this hot market.

I could change my book titles to “Just Make Me Some Strudel”, “Will There Be Free Electricity?” and “Turkey Dinners At My Store!” but the content would still be too worldly for Amish tastes. They wouldn’t understand any of the cultural references, i.e., “what’s a computer password?” and “why is your underwear green?”.

When the crowd clears out for a moment, I skimmed through a few books to find out what the big attraction is. Most of these books are romance novels with the heroine perusing a love interest. Then I had an epiphany. I should write an Amish book! It doesn’t look that difficult, especially for such a skilled wordsmith as I. And may I remind you, I have authored three, that’s three, books. So, I soon started writing my first Amish book “The Yearn To Churn,” which I plan to release next year by Wilber Yoder Publishing, provided the wood chips arrive on time to power the printing press.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 3 of The “Yearn To Churn”:

Emma stood across the road and watched the wagons being loaded that morning. Suddenly, her eyes came upon a new worker. He was tall and rugged, as if his body had been chiseled out of a limestone quarry. His hair was long and flowing. His beard thick and healthy. Even from across the road, his eyes sparkled in the early light.

“Who is the new person?” Emma asked her friend Collette.

“That be Amos”, she replied. “He’s Levi’s cousin. He was workin’ at a farm up north, but he be workin’ down har for a bit”.

Emma wanted so much to meet Amos, so at the first chance at the community gathering that weekend, she slyly moved over to attract his attention.

“Hello. I’m Emma”, she gushed.

Amos just stared at her with those diamond-like eyes.

Emma, slightly flustered, tried to continue the conversation. “I hear your name is Amos?”

“Yar”, replied Amos.

“Do you like it here?” inquired Emma.

“Yar”, replied Amos.

Sensing Amos was a man of few words. Emma decided to take a chance. She was shy, one of the shyest girls in the village. But she was struck by this manly young lad from up north. So, she followed her inner voice.

“Maybe you could help me churn my butter sometime? I’m having problems finishing it off.”, she blurted out.

YARRR!, replied Amos

Emma took that last expression as a “Yes” since it had been uttered with so much emotion. And Emma did have the yearn to churn. She thought about Amos’ strong hands on hers, as they moved the churn up and down. Up, then down. Up, then down. Until the act produced the sweet, creamy butter. Emma’s daydreams would give her feelings like lying down in the fresh meadow at dawn, when it was heavily moistened by the dew.

She tried to hide her feelings from the other girls,but it was apparent to everyone something was going on.

“Emma! You missed another stitch! You’re not having thoughts about Amos, are you?” exclaimed Collette.

“Of course not!” stammered Emma, blushing brightly.

“Well, your face resembles an amaryllis! You’re not thinking about a-marry-llishing him, are ya? You shud pay more attention to yar quiltin’.”

All the other quiltin’ girls: Tee hee. Giggle, giggle. Tee hee hee!

While over in the male’s camp:

I hard that gurl Emma asked you ta churn? said Levi.

“Churrn!, barked Amos

“Churrnnn!!!, yelled Levi

All the other camp boys: Churn, churn, churn, churn! Churn, churn, churn, churn. Churnnnnnnnn!

Yes, Amos, although he had problems communicating it, had the yearn to churn.

Emma attempted to talk with Levi over the next several days, but all she could get from him was “Yar”. She pondered what might get Levi to join her in the barn to churn. Her yearn to churn was getting stronger.

But early Tuesday morning, she heard all the girls excited and giggling up a storm.

“What’s all the commotion?” she asked.

“Oh, Lovina is up in the barn with Amos. We think there are churning!”, squealed Greta.

Emma was so sad. It was as if a horse hoof had stomped on her heart. She was supposed to be churning with Amos, not Lovina. None of the girls liked Lovina. She was only too friendly with the boys and would churn with any of them on a moment's notice. When she walked, she would flick her foot to the side, giving the boys a glimpse of her thick, strong ankles. The type of ankles able to pull  a  plow through a dry field.  Some of the girls even thought Lovina rubbed butter on her face to give her that smooth, creamy complexion.

But no matter what the other girls thought of her, it was a fact that Lovina’s butter was the sweetest, creamiest butter in town and all the boys had the yearn to churn with her, and she was more than willing to oblige.

Emma ran to the meadow and cried. Today, the meadow seemed dry and dusty. Emma was so distressed; she was still sobbing that evening.

“Don’t you be all worried, you’ll win over Amos’ fancy eventually”, assured Collette.

“No, oh, no! It’s going to get much worse tomorrow”, cried Emma.

“How?” inquired Collette.

“They churned so much butter they ran out of milk!” explained Emma.

“Oh, no!” gasped Collette

“You just know that hussy Lovina is going to take Amos into that dairy barn and let him milk her cow, Miss Bessy. That cow has the biggest teats in the whole county.”, sobbed Emma.

“Miss Bessy has yar great teats. Thar biggun’s, yes they be ”, sighed Collette.

“Once Amos gets his hands on those teats …. I fear I’ve lost Amos for good”, said a dejected Emma. Her yearn to churn still burning.

“Do boys like big teats?” interrupted Sarah, Emma’s little sister.

“Let me explain something to you”, said Collette, pulling the young girl aside.

Meanwhile, things were much more uplifting in the boy’s cabin.

“Oh, so I heard yur did some churnin’ today, ya? asked Levi.

“Yar, churn, churn! grunted Amos.

“So, wot do yar do wit Lovina on Wednesday?” asked Levi.

Amos’s eyes widened. A huge smile covered his face.

“Yar, teats!  Yar, big teats!” crowed Amos.

The rest of the boys: Teats, teats, teats, teats …..

Watch for the sure to be Amish best seller, “The Yearn To Churn” in 2021!