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

I Was Human 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, contemplating Jeremy and the nature of her own humanity – or perhaps, lack thereof…

I Was Human

I know I’ll go to Scrimshaw on Friday – but this is only Monday, and it’s not even nine o’clock yet. My Monday life has been empty – my entire life, really. Each morning, I slink past my colleagues upstairs, and hide myself down here, as though I have no place or business in the rest of the library. I can’t even recall their names.

I was human in the train station with Jeremy. But I haven’t been, here.

Now I’m noticing and thinking, not hiding. I remember the woman I sat beside at the station, the way her painted drawstring mouth cinched up her closed face.

What will Rose find when she meets Jeremy at Scrimshaw?

Can she learn to be human at work?

Is she too much like the woman at the station?

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.

It’s been a busy week in Shan-land. Last Friday, my best friend and I took a day trip to Lenox, Massachusetts. Saturday was a relative’s housewarming party – a beautiful, big place by a glacier-carved lake. Sunday, we were along the Erie Canal for our last week at the Waterford Harbor Farmer’s Market, and Monday, we closed out the season at our local library’s market, as well.

Because I had a cold last week and missed two workouts in my 5K training program, I’ve gone for a walk/jog every day this week to catch up. I attained that goal today (Thursday, as I type this), and tomorrow I’ll be able to do my on-time workout to close out the week.

The kids and I also have plans to go see the new My Little Pony movie tomorrow, and then I’ll be gearing up for a weekend that includes both a swap meet/motorcycle show, and a fall festival. And next week is a whole other adventure; I’ll share the details of that next weekend.

Until then, may you and yours find joy!

Looking for more #8Sunday?

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

Of Battenberg Lace 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, contemplating the gift given to her by a shabbily dressed man, and beginning to see her m life in new ways….

Of Battenberg Lace

How can Jeremy afford to eat there, or have this kind of money, and claim not to need it?

Another question –

Why have I spent so many days hunched and huddled away in this desolate little office?

Jeremy created beauty, in only a few moments, with only a newspaper and his skills. I have time and abundance, and yet, this space is devoid of character. What did that say, about me?

I’ve never before imagined what my office could be. There’s a window high up in this basement – it’s bare, but I can reach it, and there’s a shelf beneath where I could place potted flowers. Curtains would add softness. I’ve always been fond of Battenburg lace…

What makes Jeremy and Rose so different?

Will Rose act on her new ideas?

Will she meet Jeremy again?

Why does he want to meet her there?

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.

I’m running a bit earlier this week. I’d love to say it’s that I’ve gotten everything into order, and things are ticking along like a train on the track….but if I did, I’d be giving you a second work of fiction.

Honestly, it’s that I’m not likely to have time or focus to do this tomorrow or Saturday, as I’ll be spending both days away from home – exploring cafes with my best-friend-since-forever; and then a homecoming party.

Then, Sunday and Monday, we’ve got the final markets at two of our venues. It’s going to seem strange not going there each week – but next weekend, our round of fall festivals, craft fairs, and even a large swap meet kick into a higher gear for the next several weeks.

We’re also expanding a bit. I’m experimenting with adding some writing to what we offer, and we’ll also be launching our “gift buckets” – an actual royal blue bucket with either 3 or 5 sauces. We can make a few ahead, or make them custom to guests’ tastes.

But first – posting this, and finally getting around to those visits I’ve been trying to make all week!


Until we meet again, may you and yours be well!

Get more #8Sunday reading!

Posted in "Monday Morning Coffee", Blog Hops and Fests, Marketing my Writing, Short Stories, Weekend Writing Warriors, Weekly Features, Writers' Resources, Writing Sample

“Nearest the Fireplace” 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 – a hundred dollar bill folded into the shape of a thorn and containing a message whose first line read, “Your kindness went beyond guilt, or a token gesture, and has touched me deeply.” Now, the rest of the message…

“Nearest the Fireplace”

I’d like to learn more of you. If you wish, you may meet me at 6pm this Friday, at the address below. I’ll be at the table nearest the fireplace. The money, I leave you as a gift; do with it what you will. I have less need of it than you might suspect.

With gratitude to my fellow human,

Lost Jeremy.”

The address is for Scrimshaw, one of the finer restaurants in this part of the city, notable for its large koi pool and the real trees, strung with tiny lights, that grow in its covered arboretum.

Does Jeremy need the money?

Will he appear at Scrimshaw?

Will Rose?

Why does he want to meet her there?

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.

I’m pushing up against the deadline for posting, yet again… eventually, I’m going to find ways to blend the creation of this new business, and my writing. I’m certain of it – but it’s still all very new, and I tend to find myself scrambling to get things done more than I would like, at this point.

It’s in a good cause. After a few weeks plateau, business-wise, we’re back in a growth phase, as we shift from farmer’s markets to craft fairs, and expanding into the retail market. It’s exciting – and, for me (the marketing/branding/design/business administrator), it’s also a LOT of learning as I go.

We’re nearing the end of Rose and Jeremy’s story now – and I’ve given almost no thought at all to what I’ll share next (except that, as I typed that, I had an idea!). Stay tuned…if it turns out to be one I still like in a week or two, I’ll reveal it then.

Until next week, may you and yours be well!

Looking for more #8Sunday? 

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, 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, Life Writing, Writing Samples

Deeper Than Thought 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:


A shabbily dressed man returns kindness with kindness, and a connection has been forged.

Deeper Than Thought

The 6:53 pulls in – and he says, softly, “It’s time for you to go back to your own life, now, kind Rose.”

“Will I see you again, Jeremy? Please say yes!” I sound as breathless as the three girls chattering about Hunter and his dimple.

“Perhaps, dear Rose. Perhaps.” He leans in, wafting a faint note of cologne– another grace note; another mystery. I want to nuzzle him, to press against him, to offer myself to him. The desire runs deeper than thought, from hidden animal places within me.

Will Rose finally get on a train?

What will she do with the newspaper rose Jeremy made for her?

Is she going to tell him how she feels, and what she wants?

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 went a little topsy-turvy when I had a frightening car breakdown with my son in the passenger seat, but I’ve more or less recovered from the resultant chaos.

I’m moving #8sunday back to my blog – some folks are having a hard time commenting on my Squarespace website. Until I can figure out why this is happening, it’s better to move it to a place I know is working as it should (although I’m not exactly getting to comments as quickly as I should…this is an extremely busy time IRL – but I will get to them, as soon as I can.

Until then….

If you’re looking for more #8Sunday, click this link, or the icon below!