Read an eBook Week #Tbt

Ah I vaguely recall my start as an independent writer; it almost seems like a lifetime ago.

I can’t even remember how I found [the oddly named] Smashwords, but I am glad we connected. Mark Coker’s publishing platform really simplified my life.

And then Draft2Digital with Books2Read came along with their pretty little layouts and boom I had a new crush. And a new distributor.

But I never left Smashwords.

By the way, it is true Smashwords and Draft2Digital are merging and I think that’s a good thing.

I’m not sure if Smashword’s support of the annual Read an eBook will continue in the years to come, but it is going on right now through March 12th. I, of course, am participating. Several of my books are available free or at a drastically reduced price. Just scroll through and check it out.

I believe The Perpetual Series was the first, or one of the first books I published with Smashwords; that was in 2013. Can you believe that?

I recall making the cover from a photograph I had taken of a flower blooming in the yard. Sadly, that flower never returned.

… that flower and so many other things.


Happy Thursday Y’all. XoXo

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique

For the Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique & the Stories Behind My Oddities

The Plate: The plate was made expressly for ENG-SKELL CO. The funny thing is I had never paid attention to that detail before rinsing it off for this week’s photo challenge. For the last fifty years it has only been known as the three plated plate. That sounds absolutely ridiculous I know but if you were to ask any one of my siblings they would agree and probably wonder what ever happened to the highly coveted three plated plate. Well kids, now you know.

I have no idea how my family acquired the offbeat plate but it certainly stood out among the everyday serving set, generating many battles and negotiations. One brother would barter, “I’ll give you two matchboxes and a chicken leg if you let me have the three plated plate.” “You’ve got a deal but just for supper. It will be mine again tomorrow.” The other would agree.

Democracy worked for quite some time but like all systems we reached a point when negotiations broke down and civil war erupted. In order to keep peace mother took the beloved dish off the table. Literally. We would have to find something else to fight over.

Fast forward a few decades and I am sole proprietor of the three plated plate. I don’t recall exactly when or how I gained possession of the weighty tan piece of Wallace China. Well maybe I do but if I told you – I’d have to kill you.

The Ring: The unique amethyst ring was found on a beach about 33 years ago and no one knows I hid it came forth to claim it. It appears to be missing a stone in the center. For years a tiny pearl rested there but superglue does not last forever. Recently I was attempting to re-glue the shiny white mineral as my daughter watched. I told her about finding the ring so many years ago and about the pearl I placed there, the one I had picked from my jaw after eating a plate of oysters. “How can you be sure it’s a pearl and not part of your tooth?” she asked. “Because it is smooth and round, I don’t think a piece of tooth would be smooth and round.” I told her. “But you can’t be sure can you?” she giggled. “No I can’t.” I confessed. We had a few good laughs and pondered the ring’s history before I put it away once again and stored the pearl in a Ziploc bag for the tooth fairy further analysis.


The Bowl: I adore this bowl. Not only for the beautiful and unique pattern but because it was a gift. It was during a ladies pinterest project I noticed the woman across from me had a hodgepodge of glassware. I had to walk over and see this bowl with all of its lovely features. I am not a dish collector (I don’t even do pinterest) but I do enjoy peculiar things. Seeing how I admired the dish the nice lady gave it to me. No, really! She said, “Do you want it?” Of course I said yes seeing it was already in my purse.



They Always Come on Sunday (Alzheimers Awareness Month)

I always enjoyed Sundays, especially Sunday dinner. My grandmother was an excellent cook and she would rise early on the Sabbath to prepare a lavish meal fit for a wedding. As I recall it was after a delicious meal of chicken casserole, fresh cut green beans and scalloped potatoes that Edward Fry proposed to me. Edward’s father owned half of Cherokee county, the mill and the lumberyard. I remember Grandma was initially thrilled and credited her Italian Cream cake as the irresistible bait. My memory fails me as to why we argued later and she refused to give me the recipe. Whatever it was it didn’t hamper my love of Sundays.

Friends and family would stop by after church or after fishing all day, one seemed as restful as the other. They knew me and I knew everyone in the community.

That is not the case now. People visit but it’s not the same. I hardly know these visitors. I have seen a few of them before but I haven’t a clue to what their names are and I am a bit suspicious of their intentions. They are just faces, acquaintances, people I presumably know though I do not recall precisely how we met. A few of the faces gathering are not familiar at all.  They smile and let on like they know me personally; like we’ve shared more than a cordial conversation or a hot cup of coffee. I find their behavior to be crass and much too assuming. They try too hard; with all of their grinning and nodding and batting their bloodshot eyes at me. It’s a ploy to seem sincere.  They impose and pester me with niceties and the constant can I get you something as if this was the wake of a dead man and I was the widow.

Darrell (that’s what he calls himself) sits down beside me and pats me on the leg. When he’s not touching me he’s cooing and awing like I’m a goddamn baby. I try not to speak to him because it only encourages his vulgar behavior. He must be a hundred years old. The flesh beneath his eyes hangs in folds of blue and purple. One would think the puffiness would plump up those dark circles but it doesn’t. I stare at his hand when he lets it rest on my thigh. It looks like a gardening fork draped with crepe paper and it’s cold. He makes me nervous. I move my leg away from him but he insists on petting me. He reaches toward my face, not in a hurried way which is good. I am faster than him and watch his eyes tear up when I land the second slap against his loose jaw. “You nasty son of a-” Before I can hit him again one of the faces catches my wrist and yells “Mother!” Darrell assures her it’s okay but the woman holding my hand argues, “No, it is NOT okay.” I can tell she is upset as she firmly nestles my hand into my lap. I don’t know her very well but when I look into her eyes I feel it’s safe to trust her. Eyes are the mirror to the soul, I heard that somewhere once.

The sun is shining, casting a light midway across the quilted tulip bedspread. That is a sure indicator that it is past 10 AM. Usually when the rays peek over the headboard I am sitting upright with a cup of coffee half consumed and watching… what is the name of that morning show… Oh well, It doesn’t matter.

“Would you like your egg scrambled or poached?” he asks. I cannot see his face but I know the voice and my heart smiles.

“Scrambled please.” I purr, in my best seductive voice. I love Saturdays. Darrell lets me sleep in and serves me breakfast in bed. I know after the last bite of toast he will kiss the crumbs from my lips and we will make love. I unbutton my gown in anticipation.

“The kids will be coming for dinner.” he says, his voice coming closer. I sit up, smooth my hair and lick my lips. “Charlotte is home for Winter break, she will be coming too.”

“Who is Charlotte?”

“David’s daughter.” he replies. I can’t see his face yet but I sense the change in his tone, cracking slightly over the tinkling of cup against saucer.

“And who is David? Do I know him?”

“He’s your son Beth. Our son.” He says and softly sets the tray across my lap. How is it he has aged so bitterly?

“We have a son named David?… David? Oh yes I remember sweet little Davy. He made me a jewelry box last Christmas… a cigar box covered in dry pasta and painted gold. What did I do with that box? Davy is my baby.”

“He is not a baby anymore Beth.”

“I know that silly!” I tell him as I pick at the ugly lumps of yellow lying before me. “Liz, Liz is the baby now.” Liz, the woman with the eyes I can trust.

“Eat up. Liz and Ron are bringing your favorite dessert and you know you can’t have sweets on an empty stomach.”

“Liz is my daughter; she makes the best Italian Cream cake.” I’m not sure why I said that but it makes him happy.

“Yes sweetie, yes, yes, yes.” Pecking out kisses on my forehead like a starving rooster, he hoovers over the bed smiling. Amidst the rays of sunshine he looks like an angel, a weary angel. His once beautiful face is lined with worry and too many sleepless nights.

“They always come on Sunday.” More words from my mouth, their origin a mystery.

“Yes, yes they do.”

Some days the birds are the only things I understand. The context of their chirps doesn’t change much. Words, warping and twisting themselves into a rope, strangle me. English is a foreign language, a dialect that seems barely recognizable, one I must strain at to recall. Each sentence is a puzzle and I search to find the words that fit… their place, their meaning. Signs and gestures, imported expressions and faces that that fade with the sun – I suppose they are more amicable than the demons at sundown.

I know that one day I will awake and find me gone, forever lost in that void of timeless confusion surrounded by strangers I once loved. Each day is like the next, a never ending procession of things I cannot explain in a world I do not understand.  With one transitory exception, they always come on Sunday.

Dedicated on behalf of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month November 2012 by Janna Hill