Non-Fiction Review: Here If You Need Me

    Title: Here If You Need Me: A True Story Author: Kate Braestrup Publication Info: Little Brown & Co., 2007. 211 pages Source: Gift from a friend   Publisher's Blurb: Ten years ago, Kate Braestrup and her husband Drew were enjoying the life they shared together. They had four young children, and Drew, a Maine state trooper, would soon begin training to become a minister as well. Then early one morning Drew left for work and everything changed. On the very roads that he protected every day, an oncoming driver lost control, and Kate lost her husband. Stunned and grieving, Kate decided to continue her husband's dream and became a minister herself. And in that capacity she found a most unusual mission: serving as the minister on search and rescue missions in the Maine woods, giving comfort to people whose loved ones are missing, and to the wardens who sometimes have to deal with awful outcomes. Whether she is with the parents of a 6-year-old girl who had wander

WEP: Long Shadow

      The WEP posts every second month with a prompt and a bunch of short stories or other creative writing. This month's prompt has inspired me to something a little less conventional, but I'm feeling ready to write a little about it. This is non-fiction, and personal.  291 words; Comments only.  LONG SHADOW A small decision can cast a long shadow. The choice to go for an evening bike ride. Or how far back do you trace the decisions? A move to a new town? The refusal to give night rides after one accident? Or can we blame it on COVID? Because if not for the pandemic, we would have been deep in training for a strenuous July trip to the Swiss Alps. Or was May 8 too early to have shifted from bikes to trails? I can't be sure now. The decision he made was to ride his bike after dinner, when it was a little cooler, and the sun was no longer beating down on everything. It seemed like a reasonable choice at the time. As far as I know, it was the last decision he made, and the sha

Photo Friday: Antarctica #7: Remains of the Whaling Past

These reports from our trip are feeling more and more like glimpses of a distant past, both personally and in this world where no one is traveling anywhere too far from home. Certainly not internationally! It's good to look back and remember, and this post is the first of two where it's all about history. In particular, the grim history of whaling.   Mikkelsen Harbor was used first by sealers, then in the early 20th Century by whalers. It's not much of a place, and I think they must have mostly just done some basic butchering before hauling the blubber off to someplace else (like Deception Island--I'll get to that in a couple of weeks) to be processed. Approaching the island in the harbor, where the whalers had what look like seriously inadequate shelter. (Photo by Dave Dempsey) The skeleton of the whaling boat is poignantly set off by hundred of whale bones. The animals rule here now. We tourists slogged a long way around through the mud when a large seal (out of sight

Writer's Wednesday

Somehow I missed my usual Monday post... again. Maybe it's not usual anymore. I'm kind of off reviews, so that doesn't leave a lot. But this is Wednesday, and time to check in on the progress with the works in progress. IWSG story: working my way through editorial suggestions--thanks Roland and Jemima for offering both suggestions and the encouragement to keep going. Death By Donut: Progress on the edits got a bit shoved aside by the need to make real progress on the story if I'm going to make the Sept. 2 IWSG deadline . That's because we're off again at the end of this week, this time to take Eldest Son to Colorado to start graduate school. If it seems like I'm spending a lot of time traveling away from home... that's deliberate (though this trip had to be made regardless, it didn't have to be extended with some backpacking...). I know in this time of COVID I probably shouldn't travel more than necessary, but I'm trying to stick to the wilde

Friday Flash: The Space Explorer is back!

That's right--I'm back with a bit of new flash fiction after all these months, and it's everyone's favorite Space Explorer! It ran a little long, at 1175 words, including the title. Xavier Xanthum and the Galactic Sandwich Xavier Xanthum, Space Explorer, relaxed aboard his good ship Wanderlust. Kitty Comet hovered over his lap in the zero-g living space. For the moment, Xavier was content to let Larry drive the ship. Comet mewed, and Xavier stroked the cat’s back, pressing it into his lap. Immediately the mewling changed to a roaring purr. Cat and spaceman alike relaxed, content. “Captain, your presence on the bridge.” Xavier groaned. The AI only got formal when something was wrong. Xavier set the cat gently aside and shoved off toward the control room. Comet continued to float in a curled position, drifting slowly with the air currents until she came to rest against the ventilation grate. Xavier shot into the control room, which Larry had so grandly called the bridge.

IWSG: Writer’s Update

Purpose:   To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Posting:   The first Wednesday of every month is officially   Insecure Writer’s Support Group   day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!   Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! If it links to Google+, be sure to change it as Google+ is going away in January. Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back. Let’s rock the neur

Repost: Create a Teacher's Guide...

... a great post from fellow Voyagers anthology author Louise Barbour. Congratulations, you have written and published a children's book! Now comes the hard part, promoting and selling your book.           "My" Book ~ The Anthology Containing My Short Story                                         "Dare Double Dare"                                         The IWSG on Instagram                           Background Photo by Louise MacBeath Barbour                                             One way to do this is to create a user-friendly teacher's guide  that you can use during school and library visits, in presentations at conferences, or as an exhibiter at industry events. Yes, it's fun to share your book with children,  but make your book user-friendly for teachers   and they will buy copies to use in their classrooms. Also, parents who homeschool their children wi