How I met Maggie & Almost Killed Clara #TBT

I was wading in the surf on Matagorda beach one warm, sunny day exchanging dialogue with Clara.

I had known Clara for about ten years and I have to admit, conversing with her was like pulling teeth. I don’t want to say she was dull, but she was too quiet and a tad introverted.

Don’t get me wrong, Clara is a lovely girl. She is smart and pretty and sweet and kind, but she was just too darn nice for the most part. Too calm, too reasonable, too… dull! There, I said it!

Anyway, as I was wading in the surf, dragging my feet (literally to scatter the sting rays) I was thinking how I might kill her. I know that must sound horrible, we had been comrades for so long, but she wearied me. Her unspoiled, hoity-toity, prim and proper, everything by the book personality made me want to send her sailing face down with the outgoing tide. I think she knew it (she has that sixth sense thing, you know).

I didn’t expect Clara to fight me; it wasn’t in her nature. She had been so silent and distant, I thought she had given up on life and maybe she wanted to die?

I had mulled it over and over in my mind and finally come to terms with my decision. Clara no longer served a purpose and she must be done away with.

Suddenly the voice of a perky little blonde caught my attention; she was running down the beach waving and shouting,

“Hey y’all wait for me.”

Oh my lord, I thought, while trying to ignore the thin, tanned Mississippian’s approach.

splash back.JPGGet it over with. I quickly shoved Clara toward the incoming wave but she didn’t budge; her feet were planted too firmly.

“Don’t make this difficult, just relax and go with the sea.” I filled my lungs with sweet, salty air and and shoved, harder this time. Again, she did not move and to my surprise she pushed back!

“Hey! Hey!” The Mississippian yelled, “What are you doing? Leave her alone dammit!”

I’m not sure why I obliged this person whom I had never met, but I stepped back.

I studied Clara, standing there quiet and unshaken. Her eyes fixed on mine and oddly, I no longer saw her as timid, dull and passive. I recognized the quiet strength she had held all along. “Do you know her?” I asked, referring to the woman approaching us.

Clara shook her head slowly and smiled, “No but you do. You met her on a trip to Biloxi once.”

I was speechless.

“Hey, I’m Maggie,” the lady smiled as she looked past me and held out her hand, “you must be Clara.”

I suppose it’s true that opposites attract. I watched Maggie come alive and in doing so she saved Clara.

*This is a story about a story. Clara and Maggie are safe and sound (for the most part) inside a fictional series.

Read about their meeting in Book 1

Thankfully there is no law against writers killing their characters and no penalty for attempted murder. 😉

Where Do Stories Come From (Friday’s free for All)

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HaPpY Friday Y’all. 🍻

The History of Read an Ebook Week (Tuesday’s Tell All)

Did you know it was a woman named Rita Toews who started the Read an Ebook Week? Yep.

Read an Ebook Week brings together ebook retailers, publishers, authors, device-makers and untold thousands of readers who join in this international literary event.

For one week only, publishers and authors offer thousands of original ebooks for free and at deep discounts to encourage book lovers around the globe to give ebooks a try.

Smashwords participates in the event every year.

Admittedly I have not given Smashwords the proper time and care I should have – because to tell the truth they were a great help to me years ago when I went independent.

I hope to remedy my negligence now by actively participating in Read an Ebook Week.

For this week (March 07-13) the price of my titles at Smashwords have been deeply discounted with a price range of $1.99 to $0.00.

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HaPpY reading Y’all.

IWD (Inter-national)

Happy Monday world!

Today is International Women’s Day.

Inter-national.

So here’s to women all over the world, cheers 🥂.

Sadly, a lot of women don’t have the luxury of “celebrating” #IWD2021; many do not have the privilege of internet access to participate much less promote.

Let us remember those women. 🙏🏼

I visited the IWD website and copied the below questions/challenges.

“How will you help forge a gender equal world?
Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.

So, what will I do for #IWD2021?

Personally, I am just going to keep chasing my dreams, standing up for what I believe and being me.

That in itself is a challenge… and an achievement.

And, I will share this poem which was inspired by a matriarch I once had the pleasure of knowing.

Women’s Liberation 

We did not burn our bras but wore them proudly
Holding–supporting–glorifying the mammary glands that would feed the next generation
For the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
We did not give animated voices to our vaginas for the world to hear
but let them speak in secret whispers that moved mountains.
We did not make a spectacle in the streets to prove our equality
For we knew in our hearts [already] that we were superior.

Page 235 from Getting Me Back

Thoughts on Writing (Throwback Thursday)

The following snippet was taken from Getting Me Back (The Voices Within)

Whew. I was somewhat…

Errr-umm…

Bitter? Maybe?

Giggles to self.

My opinion remains unchanged and I make no apologies. Nope, none.

However I do Thank God that my feathers are re-oiled and I can laugh at myself [and the entire human race] again. Because laughing is sometimes all we have at our disposal. 🎭

Thoughts on Writing (The Requirements of an Author)

DESIRE: A CONGENITAL need to tell the story.

Determination: It is not enough to walk a couple of blocks or run five miles on a treadmill, come prepared to hike the Himalayas and explore the abyss.

An exoskeleton: A thick skin will not suffice – no indeed. Colleagues and critics are apt in the sadistic art of shaving and burning the thickest of flesh; their tireless wheel of pumice leaving the toughest callouses raw and bleeding. They will thin your skin; get beneath it and prove your vulnerabilities. Like a flesh eating bacteria they will consume you – kill you if you let them.

A poker face: Never let them see you sweat.

Gratitude: Because no one owes you anything! 

Grace: For the rise and the inevitable fall. 

Pills and booze and smoke: Because it is a hard and hateful world and you are not a god-damned ant.

And [YaY] with Uri out of the way I’m welcoming the sunshine and trying on swimsuits.

Happy Thursday World. 🥂

Life & Death (Tuesday’s Tell All)

The gruesome photograph that inspired the title [and the book cover] for Once Upon a Dead Gull.  That was roughly eight years ago and [amazingly] this cover hasn’t changed much.

A peculiar short story anthology, I admit, but it was written for the horror genre.
Even more peculiar is that none of these stories are about a dead gull.
The poor seagull’s parting gift to mankind…  to me, was simply to give life to a book title and cover I had been struggling with.

Fast forward eight [very short] years and one [bitter] historical freeze and…

No, I don’t have a new book release to announce but I do have a dead bird.

I couldn’t save the beautiful little bird but I did (in a poetic way) paint him back to life.

My skill level does not do him justice.

Real Life Inspires (Friday’s free for All)

Q: Is any of your fiction true? Do you write about real life?

A: Well yes and no. For example a visit to Rockford Illinois for my granddaughter’s graduation inspired the following scene which takes place somewhere in the historical Lake-Peterson House.

Our dog Leia was the inspiration for the physical description of Gus and that is her on the cover.

Chapter Twenty Five

Mary paced the empty hallway on the third floor of the ancient house. She counted fifteen steps from one lamp to the next and wondered if the people below could hear her. The dark corridor seemed to grow shorter with each lap along with her patience. She considered unlocking her mind so she could tap into the thoughts of those around her but intuition advised against it. Occasionally she paused to listen at the door; each time she found the words indecipherable and returned to pacing until a gentle creak caused her to stop.

“You may go in now.” A flat voice announced as the heavy door gave way. Sunbeams flooded the hallway and Mary squinted at the figure in front of her; at the starched white cap and unwieldy dress which were as outdated as the house.

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