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 A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, Challenges and Contests, Kifo Island Chroincles, Life Writing, Novel Excerpts, Parenting, Round Three 2017, slices of life, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Sample

The Aftermath of Growth: August 30, 2017


Hey there!

After last week’s frenetic pace, this week has been less intense.

We’ve had our Sunday and Monday markets, and I slept well every night. Tuesday morning, I went for a 3.31 mile walk with my almost-16 year old son. We discussed tentative plans for his Saturday birthday and a radical feminism blog he’d read from and wanted to critique for some ideas that weren’t exactly based in reality….to say the least.

Honestly, it’s still Tuesday as I’m typing this – it tends to be a restful and recuperative day, and it’s better if I don’t try to take on too much. But Wednesday will be devoted to shopping with my daughter, because, while the aftermath of business growth may be a more restful period, the aftermath of my children’s growth is that they need larger clothes! I took Jeremiah shopping for his “standard uniform” – grey cargo pants and blue T-shirts – in July, before his camping trip, but Lise needs new cooler-weather clothes to fit a body that’s considerably more womanly than it was as last fall approached. Her taste in bedding has changed, too, so there will be some major updating of her overall “style.”

I’m growing, too… but in ways that are a bit less concrete or easily put into words. A bit ironic for a writer, isn’t it?

How have you grown lately?

  • Trueborn Series: Add 3,333 words/week to Foul Deeds Will Rise (until draft completed). 2,514/3,333. Primary goal; good progress.

He watched the man and the child as they talked, standing there by the pyre that still smoked faintly. The child poked a stick into the embers.

When the last one dies, Lasu will be forever gone.” He had the thickness of tears in his voice. Lasu had been huntmother to many; was she to a child who would nay ever be a hunter? Truth, she had a softness in her soul that would permit such a thing.

  • 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. I’ve requested words as part of the Author’s Notes forHighly Classified Mission,” Checked site and signed up on the list for prompt posts. Primary goal; good progress.

  • Blogging: Revise/maintain regular blogging schedule for August and September. Outline/draft working schedule for October/November.. WIPpet in progress; simmering #weekendcoffeeshare and #8sunday. Primary goal; a bit of progress,

  • JuNoWriMo blogpost drafts: Organize and schedule raw material for completion and revision. Spend 1 hour/ week on this project. .1 hour; began prepping two posts for Chef Bluebeard’s blog . Secondary goal completed for this week.

  • Other Platforms: Spend 3 hours/week with my Facebook Writer page ; Instagram, 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. 40 min/3 hours; mins/ Stretch goal; good progress.

  • Hometending: Complete 1 hour hometending/week. Adapted goal; .5/1 hr.

  • Selftending: Spend time with my beloveds, friends, and myself; get at least six hours of physical activity. Catch up Baby Steps to 5K; meditate and journal 8x/week. Activity 4.25/6 hours. Meditate/journal 3/8. Solid progress.

  • Paying It Forward: Spend 3 hours/week on back business for local crit group; and 2 hours/week on beta projects Spellfire’s Kiss and Stained Blood. Crit Group: .25/3 hours. Finished Chapter Two of SK, sent to author; 1 /2 hours.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

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

Posted in "Monday Morning Coffee", Blog Hops and Fests, Life Writing, Marketing my Writing, Published Works, Weekend Writing Warriors, Weekly Features, writing, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

I’ve Invested Nothing 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 her contact with a shabbily dressed man has her seeing her office  – and maybe her life – in a new way.

I’ve Invested Nothing

I have only what’s needed to conduct my task of archiving documents, and filling research requisitions for professors and graduate students.

I’ve invested nothing of myself here. If I quit this job tomorrow, would anyone notice?

I sit down at my serviceable, if not quite steady, metal desk. Setting my purse down on the right corner, I open it, and tenderly withdraw Jeremy’s rose. Maybe I’ll buy a vase to put it in at the chapel thrift store – I might even be able to find a warmer coat for Jeremy, or at least a heavier shirt…I want to see him again, and know that he’ll be safe and warm.

What would Jeremy think of Rose’s office?

Will Rose take action, or sink back into life as she knows it?

If she takes action, what will it be?

Any guesses?

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

I’m still not doing as well as I want at visiting my fellow #8sunday participants, but I do feel things moving to a more even keel as we adjust to a self-employed life with less tension, since we decided to cash out on a modest investment or two and use the funds to replace the car, fund some much-needed purchases, have a financial safety net during the transition, and invest in moving the business to the next level.

I’m still working on my major revision class, marketing, and self-publication. I’m also reading and working through Prosperity for Writers, which is a mindful approach to shifting perceptions and attitudes toward, well – prosperity through writing.

Now, once I get better at fitting visiting and commenting into this growth, I’ll be golden! Yo that end, I’ve pulled several posts into my Pocket account, and hope to be able to read/comment upon them during odd quiet moments at our Sunday morning market. I can do that right on my phone. I’m hoping that will be the answer to my quandary.

Looking for more #8Sunday?

Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Kifo Island Chroincles, Novel Excerpts, SoCS, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekly Features, Writing Samples

Empty Places for #SoCS August 19, 2017

(brand-new badge from J-Dubs)

 

Note: This post contains suggestions of adult material. PG-13.

Empty Places

Did she want to be alone? To live here, by herself, without Tim? Stay here, and not run off to Devin, asking him to fill the empty places inside her?

“Well, why not?” Her voice sounded strange in the room – different and more echoing without Tim’s things. Or was that all in her head?

So many questions, and really no answers. That was scary in the same way it had been every time she left the courtroom in her mother’s custody. She’d always known she’d end up back in the courtroom, then a foster home – and, sooner or later, back in another courthouse, leaving with her mother again, with no one asking her if that’s what she wanted, because it was cheaper for the state if she wasn’t a ward of it.

Maybe that’s why she and Tim had worked. He didn’t know anything at all about that part of her life, or how fast she’d been willing, once upon her time, to drop her pants for anyone who’d let her get in what was in theirs. It didn’t matter whether they were men or women – or even how many there were, sometimes.

It was only about the empty place. Only now, years later, did she see the truth.

She’d been trying to fill herself, exactly the way her mother had. Only, what she had done with sex, her mother had done with heroin.

She’d always blamed her mother for that, for the destructive addiction that had eventually killed her, and left Drea parentless. But she was the same. Her destructive addiction just hadn’t killed her.

But who was to say it wouldn’t, if she didn’t find a healthier way to fill the voids?

Will Drea find a way to heal her emptiness?

Who is Tim, and where has he gone?

What’s next for Drea?

This snippet comes from my novel-in-progress, The Last House, from my Kifo Island series. I expect to finish this draft by the end of the summer.

This post is my entry for Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consicousness Saturday (#SoCS), where the weekly prompt is “pant,” used any way we choose. To read more unedited stream of consciousnes pieces, click on our brand-new badge at the top of the post, or right here, for post listings.

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 Blogfest Entries, Just for Fun!, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

A Music of Their Sorrow for #SoCS August 5, 2017

High above, the venting holes for the cookfires showed the stars. Niaan remembered a time when she’d lain on the ledge, demanding to see the stars. Kaivelt’s stars. Xanaas had stood for her, even against the Huntleader’s wishes, made walls of furs so that she could see, and still be warm and tended.

She’d dreamed of Kaivelt – but he was absent from her mind, now, as he sometimes was.

She needed him now, but he was out there somewhere circling a small yellow star on a planet called Earth, or Terra 3. Strange, faraway names. Would that world sing to him, as Aletris once had for her?

If the stars were lower, closer to the ground of her world, could she reach up, and dance her way back to Kaivelt, as she had when she was a child, and so was he?

Would they ever come together, truly?

“Huntleader?”

“I’m not your -” But she stopped herself. She couldn’t continue to refuse the name they’d given to her, or the role it assigned to her. Tacivaar was gone, stalking her as his prey. Shinjao was gone, off to seek what was needed for the days to come. Xanaas was gone to the End Hunt – or whatever awaited a healer who had served long and with compassion. Sylain and Teslyn did as much as they could – but they were not Hunters, and not Trueborn, and had not the knowing that came of all those lessons trapped in the stifling little room in Mother’s Keep, meant to make a Kai out of her while Vaara was hidden away in a forgotten chamber.

“I beg pardon of you, Huntleader -”

Teslyn’s voice was soft, hesitant – lost, as Niaan had never thought to hear it. They were all lost. The Tribeless who had escaped with their lives, and nothing more than those. The wounded, some of whom still might not live, even more so now that Xanaas did not.

All of the Pridekeep, lost, bereft of their Huntleader, so that they put her in his place, and made of her what they had need of from her.

“No pardon is needed of me, Teslyn. I beg mine of you. I heard the child’s missive, and did nay come.”

“I would I had nay need of you. Sleep is what Sylain says Xanaas ordered…but there is no other fit to light his pyre. I thought mayhap you would -”

“Yes. It will be honor to offer him his Final Welcoming.” She pried herself out of the nest. She could smell the fires, and the lingering scent of those Welcomed yesternight, and the two nights before. How many more nights, before there were no more dead to tend to?

She followed Teslyn to the entrance of the Pridekeep, wondering why her limbs felt like the heaviest of Osiraan’s branches.

She heard the Pride before she saw them. They made a music of their sorrow, with all notes woven into the tapestry. Her mind played with the thought of Rachyl weaving this song into patterns and colors – the borders the lowest of the moans and the highest keening wails….

This post is my entry for Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday (#SoCS), where the weekly prompt was “high/low.” It is a brand-new snippet from my novel-draft-in-progress, Foul Deeds Will Rise, part of my Trueborn series.