Today is the day that we who are participating in the April A to Z Challenge reveal our themes (if we have one).
This is my first year joining all these wonderful people for this challenge. I’m super excited! I thought hard about a ‘theme’ for the challenge and finally figured out what I wanted to do.
My theme is going to be writing another story with my character DeeDee Watson, P.I, from ‘The Man in the Fedora.’ The Fedora story will be finished this week and then April 1 will start the next story. I’ve titled that one “The ABC’s of Death”.
There will be recurring characters, such as William Holden (the Fedora), the little dog Tee, Dee’s mother and brother and a few others.
This story will be more dark and tense then the Fedora story. Dee is hired to investigate a suicide that might actually be a murder. It’s her most dangerous case yet. Will she survive it? Come join me every day in April and see how she does!
Each chapter will be a letter of the alphabet. So it will go something like this;
(Chapter one) Another Case
(Chapter two) Badass Time
(Chapter three) Caught in the act!
And so on…….
Some chapters might only be a few hundred words, some longer. I think it’s rather ambitious for my first time, but I’m hyped and ready to tackle it! Hope you will join me and while you are at it, click on the A to Z challenge button on my sidebar and check out a few more bloggers who have joined. This is going to be a busy and exciting month!
I’ll give you a peak at the ‘book cover’ that I made.
If we were having coffee, I would invite you in for your favorite beverage, be it coffee, tea, coke, water, etc. We would sit down at the kitchen table and have a nice visit.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you I may be getting new neighbors soon, as the one place next to us is up for sale and the place across from us is being cleaned up and fixed up. I don’t know if it will be for sale or not as the place has been empty for the nearly two years I’ve been living here. From what I understand the old man who lived there had died in there and his only child was in jail for ‘white collar crime’.
The last few weekends someone has been there fixing the place up and today there is a U-haul there being filled with the stuff that was inside. Sam and I were just ‘observing’ these things when I took him out to do his business. We aren’t the nosey type, really. 😉
If we were having coffee, I would mention Spring has come, although today it doesn’t seem like it, as it’s pretty cool out. Officially though, Spring is here. Even the birds know it as they are busy building nests and the trees are budding out. Despite us having a bit of a snow storm earlier this week where it dumped about 8 inches (20cm) on us. It’s all gone now thank goodness.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you how excited I am about the A to Z Challenge reveal tomorrow. It will be great to see everyone’s reveal posts and what they are doing for the challenge. I will be having a post of my own tomorrow, so please watch for that as I’m doing the challenge this year too.
If we were having coffee, I would confide that I am determined to have something published this year. I will probably go the self-publish route, but I’m not ruling out sending out something to agents or/and publishers. I am done with procrastinating out of fear. I am going to do it! I have a best friend who has confidence in me and she is pushing me to do this (in a nice way, of course). I’m not getting any younger, so now is the time to just shove my fears aside and get it done. Wish me luck!
If we were having coffee, I would want to know what is going on with your life. What exciting things do you have planned or hope to accomplish this year? I would refill my coffee mug and whatever you are drinking and I’d listen to you tell me all about things. That is what a good hostess and friend does.
So until next time, have a wonderful week and don’t be a stranger!
The #WeekendCoffeeShare is the brainchild of Part Time Monster. Please go visit and click on the linky to see other posts being done with beverages. Thanks!
Hope the start of the first Spring weekend brings sunshine and melting snow. This week for Flashback Friday I’ve brought forth a short story I wrote way back in December of 2012. Edited, of course. Hope you enjoy!
The Missing Item
Wanda stood in the middle of the room with small fists on hips. Her eyes looked in each nook and cranny of the room and didn’t see it anywhere! Where did it go to? My word. It’s not that big of a house, how could it have disappeared so easily?
Blowing her breath out impatiently, she thought to herself, she really didn’t have time for this. She needed to get to the meeting! Turning around quickly she ran up the steps to her bedroom. Maybe, she thought, she missed it the first time she looked there.
Wanda looked under her bed, in her dresser drawers, in her nightstand, then she tackled the closet. Nothing! Shaking her head she went back downstairs. She couldn’t believe she lost it! Her first real responsibility for the club and she misplaced it.
She plunked down on the couch and replayed in her mind every place in the house she had been this morning. Wanda had it when she had breakfast, she remembered. She had it on the table next to her bowl of oatmeal.
Wanda remembered she was just finishing her coffee when the phone rang. She talked to Shirl for a few minutes and then went to finish getting ready for the meeting. She came back downstairs and it was gone! She looked at the empty kitchen table and under it, but nothing!
She heard a loud …….caw! Caw! CAW!
She glanced over at the bird stand where her pet raven was spreading out his inky wings, dancing to some unheard music. Blackie, a huge raven was her best friend and sidekick. They had been together for years. Smiling at him she suddenly saw something shiny in one claw. There it was!! Blackie had it!
Wanda ran over to the stand and took a closer look at what Blackie held. Yes! She reached over and tickled his tummy, his favorite thing in all the world, tummy tickling. His claw opened and she was able to finally get back the talisman he was holding.
She smiled with relief, she was so afraid she had lost it and they needed it for the ceremony tonight. It was going to be an exciting night for Wanda, her initiation into the upper ranks of the coven.
“If we were having coffee” is the brainchild of Part Time Monster. I first saw this nice casual catch up kind of post by Nerdy of Nerd in the Brain and I’ve been reading them in other blogs also for a while now.
I love the casual, friendly tone of these posts, so I thought I would do one of my own. To read other’s please click on Part Time Monster’s name above and join in! Thanks.
If we were having coffee, I’d smile and welcome you to sit a while and relax with your favorite cup of coffee or tea.
If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about my busy week of writing. I’ve been trying to finish the last chapter(s) of “Man in the Fedora”, so I can go on and start my April A to Z challenge posts.
I would tell you that I may have bitten off more than I can chew, as my challenge is going to be quite ambitious. I won’t be able to tell you what it is yet, as the reveal date is not till March 23rd.
If we were having coffee, I would confess that this week has been a rather hard one for me as I’ve been trying to get all this done while not feeling well. I might have picked up some kind of stomach bug as my tummy is hurting and I have not felt good all week. I’m even having problems eating and for me that is quite serious! 😉
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the husband is on a new pain medication as his old one of Percocet’s were not doing the job. These are much more powerful according to the doctor. This is his first week taking them, so we are experimenting on the dosage. This morning he said he is feeling more pain-free, so maybe these will help. Fingers crossed. Of course, we know that it’s only temporary and eventually he will need even stronger. But, for now we will take the good.
If we were having coffee, I would smile and tell you I think Spring has come to my corner of Alberta, Canada! We have been having warm weather with lots of sunshine. The trees are in bud and the birds have been busy. Yesterday it was up to 68F (20c). For the middle of March that is fantastic! I love Springtime.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you about Sam’s day of pampering and how his groomer was super excited because he let her trim his nails. Tammy, Sams groomer has been grooming Sam for about 3 years now. She is super patient and loving towards the little guy. But, for all this time he would not let her (or me) trim his nails. He might be small, but boy is he quick! He will squirm and wiggle and yelp like he is being killed when we would attempt to do his nails. I would have to take him to the vets to get them done.
Wednesday he let Tammy do his nails and she was super excited! The last barrier of his trusting her was finally down. When I first got Sam I made the mistake of taking him to different groomers and they managed to hurt him. So he is not a very trusting little guy. When I found Tammy though I knew she would win him over. She comes to the house pulling her grooming trailer and does a wonderful job with him! I’m so glad I found her.
If we were having coffee, I would admit to you that I have been fighting my depression for several weeks now. I don’t use medications or therapy. Never have. Lately, I have been thinking maybe it’s time I sought some help. Still thinking about it as I take enough medications, I don’t want to take any more. So I fight the good fight. Some days I win, some days I don’t. Being unwell does not make it easier, but I won’t give up. I just keep smiling and moving forward.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the husband and I had visitors last night. His brother and sister-in-law came over for about an hour or so. I have to admit I enjoyed the company as I know the husband has. We don’t see too many people anymore since the husband became disabled. I think his ‘friends’ are uncomfortable around him now, they don’t know how to handle his pain that is very apparent, so they stay away. A shame as it’s now that he needs friendship and companionship the most. Why are people uncomfortable around a sickness? It’s not like he complains about it, he is very stoic. Just a wandering thought I would put out there between us.
If we were having coffee, I bet we would have a lot of laughs and good times. I would refresh your cup and we would enjoy our visit. Thanks for stopping in!
For today’s Flashback Friday, I didn’t go too far back. Only as far as Feb of last year. I thought I would dust it off and display it once more. It’s still one of my personal favorites as far as stories go. Hope you enjoy it!
I wrote this story as part of WordPress’ Weekly Writing Challenge. We were to write a 1000 word story based on a picture. This is the picture my story is based on.
Juanita trudged up another hill, carrying her paints and brushes in sack over her back. No one seemed to know Juanita’s exact age, not even Juanita herself. She had been orphaned at a very early age, left to fend for herself in a hard climate, sparsely populated.
Today her gray hair was swept back in a ponytail, her clothes ragged but clean. Her face lined by the harsh sun until you couldn’t distinguish one line from another. Her toothless mouth wide in a smile of pure joy. She loved her life, hard as it was. She knew nothing else, so was content with what she had.
She taught herself to paint early in life after she found a few used brushes and paints behind a small shop. Years passed and she became better and better at her chosen work. She sold a few paintings to the frequent tourists to provide food, clothing and her precious paints and brushes.
One day she saw an old abandoned building, sitting alone and forgotten. In her mind, she saw a blank canvas, a beginning of something beautiful. So she started her painting. She loved her old town, the people in it as they had been kind to her all her life. She wanted to give something back and all she had were her paints and her imagination.
She wanted to give the old building life again. With her vivid blues, reds, yellows, greens and purples she painted from sunrise to sunset. Soon the townspeople began to come and watch her paint. They would drop off pitchers of water and baskets of food.
They watched her paint and sometimes heard her sing softly to herself as she painted life into something that was left for dead. That building even got a new person to live in it, as Juanita painted a man in the window content with his work.
When someone saw she had run out of a certain color, a new jar or tube would show up on the doorstep the next morning when she trudged up that hill to the building. Juanita would just smile, and continue with her work. Her painting was the talk of the town and they would ask the other, “Have you seen what old Juanita is doing to that old building? It is a work of beauty!”
Juanita painted what she knew about life, what she enjoyed. Her neighbors plowing their fields in the hot sun. Ribbons the color of the rainbow gently swaying in the wind. Oxen and cactus and the rare flowers of the desert. She painted them all in a mural that was a beacon to everyone who came through her town.
The townspeople began calling the building “Juanita’s Joy.”
One day someone noticed Juanita did not show up to paint on her building. They got some friends together and went looking for the old woman. They found her in her old ramshackle hut. The town doctor said she died peacefully in her sleep. The always joyous heart, giving out as she slept.
They gave her a fine funeral, buried her under a large tree near her beloved painted building. The whole town mourned a quiet woman who always looked at life with eyes full of color. The owner of the old building donated it to the town in Juanita’s name. They put her paintings inside for all to see and it was run as a gallery for young and old artists.
One day a beautiful sign showed up on the building.
A place for all to enjoy beauty in all its glorious colors
The week is almost over! Soon it will be the middle of March already! How time flies when you don’t want it to!
I do hope you enjoy my new Sam and Me comic. March has come into my area of Alberta Canada like a passive aggressive cow that’s jealous of the lambs and lions of March. The wind! The wind!
It has been pretty windy over in these parts. Today is the first day in a long while that the wind isn’t blowing poor Sam right off the porch. If he really could fly like in my comic, I think he would enjoy it more. 🙂
I’ve been busy around here. I know you haven’t seen me around as much, but I promise it’s for a good reason. I’ve been working on the final chapter(s) of “Man in the Fedora.” Also, in April I am doing the A to Z Challenge. I think you will enjoy what I have planned for that. Stay tuned, as March 23rd is the A to Z Challenge theme reveal. My project might be a bit ambitious so I do hope we are all up to it! Or at least I hope I am!
Hope this weekend was a great one for you. As you know, most of us are on Daylight Saving time. We had to set our clocks one hour ahead. I don’t understand why we are still doing this old practice. Makes no sense anymore. At least to me. What is your opinion?
Since Spring Training has started, I’ve certainly got pitching on my mind, Modern Philosophers.
However, not all pitching is limited to the type that takes place on a baseball field.
I’ve been thinking about the wildly successful Blog Pitch Party I threw back in July, and I thought it was time to host another.
As you know, I’m also a screenwriter. When I was lived in California, I’d get invited by producers to a pitch meeting. Basically, they’d ask about my scripts, and then based on a few sentences from me, they’d decide if they were interested in reading any of them.
I thought that same progress would work perfectly with blogs. Why not bring a little Hollywood to the blogging world, Modern Philosophers?
In the comment section, pitch your blog. Give us the name, a link, and up to three sentences describing your blog.
Hello people! Hope this day brings you joy in some form.
For today’s flashback Friday I’m bringing back a short story I wrote in September 2012. I did a bit of editing, of course. Why is it one can always find ways of improving on a story? I do hope you enjoy one of my earliest endeavors.
Was It A Dream?
His lungs burned with the effort of running. Yet he ran on. He could hear his pursuer behind him as he ran. His feet were bloody, cut up by the sticks, small stones and leaves underfoot. The trees overhead swayed with the wind. His ears were full of the sound of his battered feet hitting the barely seen trail and his labored breathing.
He was terrified because he couldn’t remember how he got to this place. He didn’t know what he was running from. He just knew that he needed to get away. He didn’t even know what was chasing him or why. Just glimpses of something not human, eyes glowing green. The sweat pours down his face and stings his eyes as they search for someplace to hide.
He was desperate to stop and catch his breath. He was afraid if he did he would collapse and that thing would be on him. His fear was pushing him on, his desire to live was driving him to keep breathing and to keep running. He didn’t want to die.
It seemed to him that the sounds behind him were growing fainter. He hoped he had finally outrun it. He spies something off to the side that looks like a shack. He makes a sudden turn without slowing down. A hundred yards or more and he was at the run down building. His shoulder hits the door and it crashes open.
He slides to a stop inside, turns and slams the door shut again. Quickly looking around he spots a wooden chair and pulls it over to jam under the door knob. He collapses in the middle of the room, his breath ragged. He wipes his sweaty face with what’s left of his shirt. He forces his breath to slow, his ears listening for any noise outside. He closes his eyes to listen. But there is nothing to hear. Not even insects. It was eerily calm.
Suddenly there was a loud crash against the door! A large body was slamming against it, but the chair and door don’t give. His heart pounding, he desperately searches the shack for some kind of weapon. Anything to make him feel he might have a chance. He notices a number of small windows set high in the walls. No way for anything to crawl through. A cot with rotted bedding sits against one wall. A large empty fireplace is against the back wall. He notices a heavy, hooked fire poker laying half in and half out of it. It could do some damage if necessary. As he holds it in his hands he instantly feels better, for at least now has a weapon.
He surveys the rest of the shack. Shelves with unknown, rusted tins are on the wall opposite the rotting bed. A small round table sits in the middle of the room with the mate of the chair under the door knob laying on its side next to it. The table has a thick layer of dust on it. Doesn’t look like anyone has been inside for decades. He suddenly notices in the gloom another door next to the fireplace. It was smaller than a normal door, maybe a closet he thinks. He remembers noticing as he ran to the shed, that it was built against a large mountain. So the small door couldn’t lead to outside. That could be a lifesaver he thought, as that thing outside couldn’t surprise him from the back of the house. Or it could mean his death as he had no way out of the shed except through the front door.
Suddenly his nose picks up the smell of smoke. He turns around and sees smoke curling in through the cracks of the front door. Damn! Whatever was out there was trying to smoke him out! In desperation he looks around the shack. There has got to be another way out! He can’t die like this! He won’t die like this!
Taking short shallow breaths as the smoke gets thicker he remembers the small closet door. He races over to it and pulls it open. Maybe by some miracle there will be something inside that can save him. As he pulls open the small door, and he gasps in hope! It wasn’t a closet. It was a door to the inside of the mountain! It was lit by strange crystals. He had never seen anything like it! Briefly he wonders if he was running from one danger into another. But, as he heard the wood behind him crackle with flame he knew he didn’t have a choice. He had to move forward. Behind him was certain death.
He closes the door behind him and walks forward. The crystals give off a glow as they light the way for him. He hopes that because of the fire, whatever is behind him won’t find the small door. The path inside the mountain curves to the left as his bare, bleeding feet raise little clouds of dust.
As he walks he notices the path heading downward, he’s walking further into the heart of the mountain. He spies a bundle of what looks like rags ahead of him. As he gets nearer he sees the bones. Human bones. He can’t tell how old they are, not even from the rotted cloth. His heart skips a beat, but he knows he has no choice but to keep going forward.
As he walks, he loses his sense of time. Seems like hours since he first walked through that small door. Just as he thinks the path will never end he walks into a large cavern.
The strange glowing crystals cover the walls, lighting it up as if the sun shone inside. He stood in awe of the beauty. The colors were clear and pure. The silence unbroken. He is so tired. He can’t resist sitting.
Just for a minute he thinks. I have got to rest just for a second. He leans back against one of those crystals and feels a slight warmth. His hand still held tight to the poker. As his head begins to drop to his chest in much-needed sleep, his ears pick up a noise. It’s very slight, but in the quiet of the cavern it echos against the walls. His head pops up, his eyes searching for the source of the noise. He scurries behind the crystal as he sees something that strikes terror in his heart.
A creature floats inside, slowly coming right towards him! It has green glowing eyes, in a face that is hidden by a cowl. The eyes glow brighter as they fix on him. He saw no feet. Just a light-colored robe of some kind. It went from head to foot in a silvery type material. There was nowhere to run anymore! Just as the creature floats closer he feels himself fading, he slips down and his eyes close. His fingers relax and the poker slides away.
He gasps awake, sitting straight up, terror on his face. He glances around and can’t believe his eyes. He’s home! In his own bed! Was it a dream then? Just a dream! Frantically, with his heart still beating hard he looks around his familiar room. Nothing is changed. Everything is as it should be. He sighs with relief. He swings himself to the side of the bed. His feet hit the floor and he winces in pain. Glancing down he feels the blood drain from his face.
His feet are dirty, bloody, and hurt like hell. Then he notices the smell, like smoke that drifts from his torn T-shirt. No! It had to have been a dream! Right?
My mind tumbles here and there,
never settling on one thing
too many ideas, thoughts,
some vague, some terrifying,
many ‘what ifs’ or ‘what-nots’
how do I decide what to do?
If the mind won’t settle on one thing
I want to write, yet cannot
to read, to draw, to paint, to to to…..
not enough hours in the day
I have the ‘have to’ fighting with the ‘want to’
so neither side wins
As the mind won’t settle on one thing
The weariness goes deep into my bones
the frustration of it all
the more I wrestle with ideas
the more elusive they become
playing hide and seek within my soul
come out, come out, do not hide from me
but the mind won’t settle on one thing
I get moody, angry, even bitter
I resent the things I must do
as they take precious time away,
time I could be using for all the ideas
sliding across the slippery slopes within
I can’t get the mind to settle on one thing
I feel as time is going by too fast
that I am racing in something I cannot win
My mortality is fading as I grasp at shadows
Not yet, not yet, not yet, they whisper
maybe not ever I sigh back
as my mind won’t settle on one thing