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Showing posts from May, 2021

Steps #writephoto

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It's not my usual time for flash fiction, but the constraints of the #writephoto blog hop don't fit well with the usual, and why not a Monday flash?  If you’d like a regular flash fiction prompt, consider popping over to KL Caley’s website New2Writing.com , and check out the Writephoto section on the menu. There’s a new prompt every Thursday, with stories due by the following Thursday. KL provides reblogs and a round-up post to give all the entries a chance to shine.  This week's photo is a guest photo from writer Jemima Pett , and inspired a story I'll be sure to haul back out for National Library Week. Here's the photo:     I wasn't sure where I was going when I started with this, but I can't say I'm surprised to find where I ended up.  About 800 words. Steps Myttha paused, her gaze traveling up the stairway, one step at a time. Once she climbed up there and crossed over the bridge, there would be no turning back. Though she wanted and needed what s

Photo Friday: Grand Canyon, Part 3

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It was a near thing, but I made it with Photo Friday on Friday! It's long, but to paraphrase Mark Twain and Blaise Pascal, I didn't have time to write a shorter post. If you missed them, click here for Parts One and Two of my Grand Canyon rafting adventure. I'm covering two days per post so far, though with some major hikes coming up as well as some days when we didn't do much, that may vary. Day 5 On day three or four I had wondered if 16 days would feel like a rather long trip. A couple of days of wind-blown sand made it clear that there could be conditions that would make it feel that way. But on the whole, it was starting to feel right, being on the river, and a realization was dawning that 16 days might not be enough. Excitement mounted in the morning as we took a little extra time to pack bag lunches in preparation for our first substantial hike. Morning preparations   Readying the dory for the day's row Ten miles down the river we pulled in to camp by Escal

Writer's Wednesday: Struggles

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Death By Donut has launched! The Pismawallops PTA series is, at least for the moment, at rest. I am free at last to follow up with the new sleuth who took up residence in my brain over a year ago. Or am I? It feels like everywhere I turn with my new characters I come crashing up against something that feels too personal, or too disturbing. I could try to write a mystery without a murder, but it's not just the primary death--it's people's backstories with their losses and traumas, all sorts of things. I'm a little scared to move forward. Am I afraid of my own feelings, or of what others will think if I write something that few people will actually know resonates with my own experience? And isn't writing about our own pain part of what we do? I could shift from mystery to other genres, but for one thing, mysteries are what I write, what I know how to write and what my readers are coming to expect. For another, I think the basic problem will always be there: I now kn

Nonfiction Audiobook Review: The Pioneers

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Title: The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West Author: David McCullough. Read by John Bedford Lloyd Publication Info: Simon & Schuster Audio, 2019. 10hrs 23 min. Source: Library digital resources   Publisher’s Blurb: As part of the Treaty of Paris, in which Great Britain recognized the new United States of America, Britain ceded the land that comprised the immense Northwest Territory, a wilderness empire northwest of the Ohio River containing the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. A Massachusetts minister named Manasseh Cutler was instrumental in opening this vast territory to veterans of the Revolutionary War and their families for settlement. Included in the Northwest Ordinance were three remarkable conditions: freedom of religion, free universal education, and most importantly, the prohibition of slavery. In 1788 the first band of pioneers set out from New England for the Northwest Territory u

Friday Flash: A Dangerous Thirst

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 We have an all-new story for you! As a way of warming up for work on the next novel, I hunted up some random story prompts, and found an opening paragraph in my files. That paragraph is pretty much all gone, but it gave me the following story. I would categorize this as comic horror.   A Dangerous Thirst Half mad with the shaking, whimpering, head-throbbing withdrawal, I charged across the room. I would have that drink. I must have that drink, and damn the cost. I could not give up the cup of coffee the bookshelf had taken prisoner. A direct charge at the line of leering, jeering knick-knacks did no good. They closed ranks around the steaming paper cup with its stylized and sanitized green mermaid, and I dared not reach between their ranks to claim my prize. After all, it seemed, my addiction hadn’t yet driven me to utter madness. I deeply regretted buying that bronze statuette of an ancient Greek warrior—he was small, but looked more than capable of using the sword to whack off some

It's a Release Day Party!

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Grab some donuts and coffee and join the party... it's Release Day! Nothing ruins your day like a fresh corpse with your coffee Election day’s almost here, and the island’s new pool is on the line. JJ should be all in with the campaign, but when a prominent Island businessman drops dead at her feet in the Have-A-Bite Bakery, someone has a mystery to solve. JJ’s fiancĂ©—police chief Ron Karlson—is out of town. Who else is there? JJ is missing her sweetheart, tired of the winter rains, and distracted by everybody’s questions about when the wedding’s happening. Even more worrying, her foster-daughter’s father has failed to show up on schedule. No wonder JJ’s struggling to wrap this one up before someone else bites into the wrong donut. There’s no time to lose, because something truly essential is on the line: saving the bakery—and JJ’s favorite espresso brownies! Death By Donut  Pismawallops PTA Book #5 Amazon Smashwords Kobo B&N Nook Apple Books   Regular and Lar

Photo Saturday: Rafting the Grand Canyon, Part 2

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Okay, so I guess I've just accepted that for some reason I can't ever do my Friday posts on Friday. Maybe because days of the week have lost all meaning? Whatever. I'm back with Part 2 of the great Grand Canyon rafting adventure, Days 3 & 4. (This is taking too long, but there are so many photos! Even two days at a time it's hard to pick a reasonable number!) Before I get started--just a reminder that Death By Donut is out tomorrow! More info here . Day 3 Morning is chilly, as most of them turn out to be. I'm camped close enough to the kitchen to hear when the day's unlucky guide gets up to start the coffee. By 8 a.m. we're just about ready to launch. Passengers wait for orders from the guides to bring more things to strap to the rafts. It's a beautiful morning on the river. Guide Jed relaxes while assistant Bekah--an experienced CA river guide learning the Colorado--takes a turn at the oars. We stop for camp before lunch, in order to do our first h