Posted in "Monday Morning Coffee", #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Published Works, Short Stories, Weekend Writing Warriors, Weekly Features, Writing Sample

This Riddle of A Man for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:


Rose is at work on a Monday morning, exploring the gift given to her by a shabbily dressed man, when she discovers something unexpected.

This Riddle of A Man

It’s a hundred dollar bill, crisp and new, as though it’s never been used or folded, until it became a thorn. Had it been in his paper, the whole time?

It reminds me of a fortune cookie – and, as I open it, a folded slip of paper is revealed, like a fortune tucked within the thorn.

Who is this riddle of a man? How could he have a hundred dollar bill, or give it away, when his own need was so great? The money is the thorn, the sticking point. I set it aside, not understanding it, and take up the little piece of paper, unfolding it until it’s about the size of a business card. There’s a message, written in a tiny, precise hand:

“Greetings,

Your kindness went beyond guilt, or a token gesture, and has touched me deeply.

Who exactly IS Jeremy?

Where did he get the money?

Is there more to his note?

Any guesses?

Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review, edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

Last week, I totally forgot to do an #8Sunday post – until about Monday afternoon! I think the fact that I posted the previous segment, “The Thorn,” early in the week prior (after prepping it and forgetting to post it the week before), threw me off.

Or it was working a two day festival the week after our son turned 16, the legal driving age in our state…

Either way, I forgot, and unintentionally left people hanging with a mysterious amount of unfortunately imaginary money…hopefully, I’ve answered that question, at least.

I’ve also found a way at last to work visits into my weekly routine, so I’ll be better at those from this point forward.

Read more #8Sunday right here!

Posted in "Monday Morning Coffee", #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Marketing my Writing, Published Works, Short Stories, Weekend Writing Warriors, Weekly Features, Writers' Resources, Writing Sample

The Thorn for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

 

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’

Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

Confession Time: This post was listed as part of last week’s collection, but when I checked on it earlier in the week, I realized I’d forgotten to, you know, hit that “Schedule” button in my editor…so, a week belatedly, here it is!

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:


Rose is at work on a Monday morning, exploring the gift given to her by a shabbily dressed man who occupies her mind.

The Thorn

My fingers explore the petals and then the stem – and stick again on the thorn. It’s a different texture than the rest of the creation, sturdier, and green-brown…

I bring the rose closer to my face, and take my magnifying lens from the top drawer, so that I can get a closer look.

The thorn is made of money.

“Not the twenty I gave you, Jeremy, please!” My whisper rasps through the quiet. I meant the money to offer him comfort; I don’t want it now, if it means that he’s hungry and cold.

I tug at it experimentally, and it pulls free of the sculpted rose, to lie in my hand. It’s not my twenty.

Where did Jeremy get the money?

Why did he use it to make the thorn?

What will Rose do next?

Any guesses?

“Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review,  Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

Another week…and, as I type this on Friday, I haven’t been much better at the visiting and answering comments thing…my only defense is that it’s been A WEEK.

Yup, all caps.

I won’t go into detail here, but, if you’re so inclined, you can read more about it here [#weekendcoffeeshare/#SoCS post]. Here’s the bullet list of highlights:

  • Sunday: Farmer’s market; test drove and bought 2007 Subaru Forester.
  • Monday: Paperwork; eclipse; picked up Forester; farmer’s market.
  • Tuesday: Looked for second car; put down payment on 2005 Subaru Outback.
  • Wednesday: 20th wedding anniversary; lovely dinner out.
  • Thursday: Purchased business website for Chef Bluebeard; spent night in emergency room – husband with abdominal pain (suspected appendicitis; turned out to be gall bladder).
  • Friday: Made reservations for midweek getaway in the fall; picked up Outback; dropped off Forester for repairs; packed Outback for weekend markets. 
  • Saturday: Market #1; workout; lunch out; shopping.

We have the #8sunday you’re  looking for!

Posted in #8Sunday, Life Writing, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

A Drab Little Lizard for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:


Rose is at work on a Monday morning, engulfed by musings inspired by the ragged, compelling man she met during her morning commute.

Attention: some creative punctuation ahead!


A Drab Little Lizard

No, I will see him again – I have to! Have to know he’s all right – or at least alive, in this harsh winter.

On the door of my office is a small, artfully handmade sign – a joke, of sorts, from my early days here, placed by some anonymous co-worker. A drab little lizard, puffing out smoke, with a magnifying glass in one talon. It was perched on a stack of scrolls and old curling pages, and beneath was the proclamation:

Beware, all ye who enter here, for it be the lair of a Document Dragon!”

If this is my lair – this former service closet, with its tiny attached restroom – what does that say about me? I’ve been here most of three years, and, other than the sign, and my yard sale coffee-maker and chipped ceramic mugs, there’s nothing here that’s my own.

Will Jeremy survive the winter?

Will Rose see him again?

What does her lair say about her?

Any guesses?

Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review,  Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

In personal news, I’m emerging from the cocoon of my four-month Chaostivity Marathon. I’ve completed all of the current batch of homeschool paperwork. It’s the busiest time of year for that; the end of year reporting for 2016-2017 and beginning of year planning for 2017-2o18 overlap. But all that remains now is to get confirmation of both kids’ IHIPs for the new year, and I’ll be free of state-mandated paperwork until December 1.

I’d hoped to visit more of my fellow #8sunday folks last week, and answer all comments, but that hasn’t happened as I type this on Saturday evening (although it might by the time you read this sometime after 9AM Sunday morning).

Two weeks ago, my Accomplice’s employer informed him that he would be letting him go, because business was down, and he was having a hard time making ends meet. Since my husband is the highest-paid employee, it was seen as a cost-cutting measure.

It’s the latest in a chain of financial uncertainty that began a little over a year ago, when he was released from his nine-year tenure at a kitchen he’d launched, so that the owner’s son could be installed as the chef. We’ve been getting by with a lot of imagination, making do, and scraping by; thankfully, we don’t have house or car payments to deal with.

We’re now making the leap to self-employment. My chef husband launched his hot-sauce business 3 months ago, and, this week, we’ve added two additional farmer’s markets to the one we’ve been doing since late June. We’re scouting out others, as well as local events and smaller specialty markets that could sell his sauces when we’re not physically present (at the moment, we’ve got one elderly and limping Subaru, and no clones, so there’s only so much we can do).

Behind the scenes, I’m honing my craft through a major revision class, because I’ve realized I need to develop confidence and a more efficient approach in order to move my many works-in-progress to the Completed column. I’ve started delving marketing and self-publication, so that once I have work revised, I can move confidently forward with the process of offering my words to the world at large.

And, on my birthday, I took a leap of faith, and launched my Patreon page. This was hard, and took me as long as it typically takes to gestate a human baby, in large part because I was raised never to ask for what my parents termed “a handout,” or to “toot my own horn,” which was seen as bragging or conceit.

Sometimes, the hardest part of attaining a goal is getting past the voices instilled in our heads by those who raised us…but I’m learning, and growing.

Now, I just need to learn how to fit visiting and commenting into this growth…

If you’re looking for more #8Sunday, click this link!

Posted in #8Sunday, A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, Life Writing, Novel Excerpts, Round Three 2017, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, WIPpet Wednesday, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Growth, Diversely; August 6, 2017

Hey there!

Ever have lots of things you want to do – but only a couple of things Well, most of my week was spent between Chef Bluebeard’s Flavor Enhancement Sauces and homeschool administration.

Sometimes, that’s how things go. Most of “my own things” were set aside while I was occupied with those – but the admin is winding down now, until the next, less intensive round is due on December 1, and I’m getting closer to a point when I can put the business matters on more of a maintenance schedule….both of which will, obviously, allow more time for my writing and other projects.

If you’d like more details on the week just past, I’ve written and photographed bits and pieces of it in my #weekendcoffeeshare post.

So, though I didn’t get to many of my goals this week, I’m feeling good, because I’ve freed up more time to work on them through the rest of the month.

How do you deal with the times when life pulls you toward some things, and away from others you really want to dive into?

  • Trueborn Series: Add 3,333 words/week to Foul Deeds Will Rise (until draft completed). 1,120/3,333. Primary goal; some progress.

Mayhap there was something in that which she could learn from.

“But not this night, old one.”

“I am scarce a hand older than you, my little rabbit, my Kai.” It was a warm and welcome whisper in her ear, only for her, even with all the Tribed ears so near. Sparks leaped and danced.

“Nay – I speak to he who rests there,” she pointed to the pyre, and Xanaas’ body upon it. “He has earned respect, and his rest, and better than to have the Huntleader gone when it is his time for Final Welcoming.”

“I’ve been listening to stories, my Kai. It seems that he would far rather have you here, than the one called Tacivaar.”

  • Story A Day September: Choose themes for main stories (Solemates, my November NaNoWriMo project) and TnT fanfiction drabbles; plot to the degree possible. Put out general call for word prompt lists. In the simmering stage for the main stories. Primary goal; a bit of progress.

Trip might think he’d imagined the whole thing, or had the wrong Vulcan.

Except for the way she smelled. Her scent was even more potent than he remembered. It filled the small space, and it was definitely doing things to him that Jon would notice if he looked, and Trip sure as hell didn’t want to try to explain that.

Social Media:

  • JuNoWriMo blogpost drafts: Organize and schedule raw material for completion and revision. Spend 1 hour/ week on this project. No organizing, but a #writingcrew sprint gave me the idea for how to do it! Simmering. Secondary goal.

  • Other Platforms: Spend 3 hours/week with my Facebook Writer page; Instagram; and Pinterest, and Patreon. Continue with Twitter #writingcrew and #AllStarTrek sprints/chats regularly. Dabble in other social media (LinkedIn, Medium, Quora, Wattpad, etc.) 1 hour/week. 1/3 hours; mostly Patreon, for monthly post; one post each to Instagram and Facebook Writer page. Played a bit on Quora. Stretch goal; good early progress.

  • Unschooltending: Draft kids’ 2017-2018 IHIPs (Individualized Home Instruction Plans), due Friday, August 4, and draft fourth quarter reports (due September 15), since those are easier to do in conjunction with each other; submit Lise’s test results, which got lost in the hustle. IHIPs are submitted to school district. Reports are complete, pending final proofing, which will happen Sunday. Excellent progress.

  • Hometending: Complete 3 hometending sprints/day 5x/week; an additional sprint in all rooms except the kids’ (since they don’t want me in their rooms); and 3 yardtending sprints/week. 2/5 hometending sprints complete; study. Not the best week for hometending; the focus was on paperwork and business that took us away from home. Very modest progress.

  • Selftending: Spend time with my beloveds, friends, and myself; get at least one hour of physical activity 5x/week, and two hours of strenuous activity weekly (including Baby Steps to 5K); meditate and journal 8x/week. Carrying over from last month’s busy-ness. This month will be better for selfcare; I’m important, too! Activity 2/5; Strenuous: 1hr/6 min/2 hours. Meditate/journal 7/8. Moderate progress.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!
We’re on Facebook, too!

Farmer’s Market Table from July 31, 2017. Chef Bluebeard is open for business!
Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Society Threw Him Away for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:


Rose is at work on a Monday morning, but she can’t escape from memories of the ragged, compelling man she met at the train station.


Society Threw Him Away

I’ve never made a point of lingering to exchange greetings. I reach the stairs that lead to my office, and descend, alone. But the rose is in my bag, and I can feel Jeremy’s kisses across my forehead. I’m not as alone as I’ve been every other Monday.

Remembering the coat that couldn’t keep him warm, and his chapped hands moving with such confident artistry, warms me and, at the same time, chills me. I imagine him sitting in the coffee shop, no longer huddled, breathing in the rich smells, sipping and eating while he indulges in his paper. Society threw him away without noticing the quick intelligence in his eyes, or the kindness in his gentle voice – but I notice, and I won’t throw him away, in my own heart, even if I never see him again.

The familiar cogs of my day stick, then lurch forward again, reminding me of the train.

Will Rose return to the station to see Jeremy?

Is he safe and warm in the coffee shop?

What’s next?

Any guesses?

Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review, edited by L.S. Engler.  Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

This week, Shakespeare in the Park with my teen was a go. We saw A Winter’s Tale – I had no prior exposure to the play, so it was fresh. I liked much of it – although I found the ending rather too indicative of the way women were viewed in that era, and too often still are today.

I’m still recovering from four months of writing challenges. Much of this week was taken up by working on my husband’s new hot sauce business, and then homeschool reporting. Nearly finished with that, at least, and then things will settle down enough that I can make the rounds to other Eight Sentence Sunday writers – I’ve missed you all!

And, on that note….

Check out more #8Sunday!

Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

A Rare Music for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:


Rose remembers the words of a shabbily dressed man she met on her commute to work.


A Rare Music

“Why do they all look through me or past me, or at me as though I’m dog droppings on their shoes?”

Within his rough and reddened fingers, behind his downcast eyes, there was the vision and sensitivity to create this masterpiece from a simple newspaper page. It catches like a stick in the cogs of my assumptions, the familiar boredom of my Monday life.

As the train slows for my stop, my finger traces the thorn and the leaf – the leaf’s edges are softly serrated, but the thorn’s point pricks sharply. I slip the rose into my bag, placing it carefully so it won’t be crushed or torn. It will be hidden, my secret talisman, glowing in my soul.

As I walk the two blocks to the university library, the crunch and cadence of my boots in the crust of snow, the beat of my heart, the passing of my steaming breath, make a rare music.

No one takes note of my arrival; the other staff members are chatting or occupied with their own business.

Will Rose return to her workaday life?

Will she ever see Jeremy again?

What will she do now?

Any guesses?


Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review, Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

Yesterday was my birthday. Had a chance to go to Shakespeare in the Park with my teen son and fellow fan of the Bard. But a minor car issue reset our plans – and, instead, I had a quiet evening at home, with my favorite goat cheese crouton, poached pear, and pecan salad, topped with my Accomplice’s blackberry pomegranate dressing.

It was a good night – and there’s another play next week. =D

Get more #8Sunday here!

Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

How Do They Live? for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:


Rose has a newspaper rose made by a shabbily dressed man whom she finds compelling. As she takes her commuter train to work, she reflects on the experience of meeting him.

How Do They Live?

I hold his rose, and wonder.

How does he survive, alone on the streets? How does anyone? Especially now, with winter stretching for months ahead, and the nights falling well below freezing? Where do the forgotten humans go, when it’s killing cold outside?

How do they live?

Again, my cloak feels like a weighted accusation of excess, of plenty when others have not enough. I’ve remained carefully unaware, pretended not to see, not to notice, not to be either part of the problem, or the solution. But now I hear Jeremy’s voice in my mind.

What will Rose do now that she’s so aware?

Will she ever see Jeremy again?

What will she do with his rose?

Any guesses?

“Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review,  edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

On Saturday, my Accomplice and I attended a Wine and Food Tasting held by a local Lions Club chapter. It was held in a yacht basin, and he was there to represent the restaurant where he works. His employer also said he could sell his artisanal hot sauces, so I was there to offer those, as he served up fresh-grilled Cajun catfish and dirty rice.

The food ran out in about an hour, and we shifted our focus to the sauces, setting out our samples and signage. We already had our new shelf stocked. We sold seven bottles – that’s pretty good, as it’s a fledgling cottage business that’s only existed for about 3 months.

My Accomplice makes the sauces by hand – it’s a labor of passion for him – but I do all the labeling, signage, platform building, and marketing….and I’ve essentially been learning as I go. It’s keeping my brain very busy (and kept me from getting to as many other #8sunday folks as I wish I was).

And, on that note….

If you’re looking for more #8Sunday, click this link!