Friday, May 18, 2018

David Ben-Gurion - Part 1

Good morning FFFs,
I didn't have anything to post, so after looking through my archives, I decided to repost this story I wrote when I first started this blog. I shared it in February of 2009! Yeah, that was a while ago. I wonder if anyone thinks I should publish it as a kindle book. Any thoughts would be welcome.

This week has disappeared rapidly. I designed the covers for my June and July short stories. The June story is ready to send to my beta readers, and my July story is almost written. I'm hoping to get them sent out to beta readers at the same time so that July's story will be ready to publish before the 4th. I haven't been back to my "horse ranch or Camp NaNo" story for a while. Mostly because I needed to get the next two month stories written. But I heard back from a ranch in SD and they said they'd be happy to answer questions for me. I sent them a list yesterday. I'm looking forward to hearing back from them.

Not much is going on here. The weather gets into summer mode, and then decides it isn't ready and drops back into spring. Last night it was 60º but during the day it was 90º. At least the humidity wasn't bad at all yesterday. But earlier in the week it was only in the 80s and we had to turn on the AC because the humidity was so bad you didn't want to do anything.

Tomorrow I'm planning on mowing the yard and maybe doing some other yard work. Some things need trimmed, or weeded. It's time to put away the bird feeders. Well, except for the hummingbird feeders.

Now here is the first part of the story. I hope you enjoy it.

David Ben-Gurion, Leader of Israel

May 14, 1948. The hours slowly passed by approaching midnight when the British Mandate would end. It was afternoon in the Art Museum in Tel Aviv as a short stocky man, whose dark eyes flashed with determination and courage, began to speak, reading from a piece of paper with great feeling. A small group of men and women listened with passionate intensity. The lights in the room shone on his bushy white side hair and nearly bald head. The moment that he had dreamed of, struggled towards and fought for was fast approaching.
“In the Land of Israel the Jewish people came into being. In this land was shaped their spiritual, religious and national character. Here they lived in sovereign independence. They created a culture of national and universal import and gave to the world the eternal “Book of Books.”. . .” On he read, until at last, reaching the end of the paper, he laid it on a desk. The tension in the room grew as he silently reached for a pen. Two other men crowded forward to watch this historic event. There was a glint of a smile in those dark eyes as he boldly signed his name, David Ben-Gurion. As his pen scrawled across the paper, his thoughts flashed back nearly fifty-one years.

The Early Years
“David! Have you read the news?” In his home town of Plonsk, Russia (now a part of Poland), eleven-year-old David Green looked up from the book he was reading.
“What news, Father?”
“About Dr. Theodore Herzl.” Young David looked puzzled. Slowly he shook his head. His father quickly explained, “Herzl is an Austrian Jew, and he has just called together a congress of Jewish delegates to meet in Switzerland! The delegates are from many different countries.”
“But what are they meeting for?” David interrupted.
“To try to secure a national home for Jewish people in the land of Palestine!”
“Palestine! Oh, Father!” David’s eyes shone with excitement - the same excitement that was in his father Avigdor’s heart. After his father left him, David sat staring at the book in his hand, yet not seeing it. A homeland for their people, his people. For centuries the Jewish people had been persecuted and oppressed in almost every country where they lived. The Jews were the troublemakers and scapegoats; the fewer there are the better the world will be seemed to be the general idea of most of the rulers towards these people of the Bible. And yet, the Jewish people continued to live and dream of maybe one day returning to the land of their heritage where they would be free to live as their ancestors had. Now maybe all this talk that David had heard all of his life would become a reality. As the days went by, there was much excitement in the house over this wonderful news, but it was soon subdued as Sheindel, David’s quiet, gentle mother, died giving birth to her eleventh child. Though overcome with grief, Avigdor did his best to fill the place of both father and mother to his children.
The years passed by swiftly and at 15, David, always more serious -minded than his friends, was an able leader for the cause of Zionism (a Jewish homeland) in Russia. He helped form a group of youths all interested in Zionism. Like Ezra, the scribe of the Old Testament, who returned to Palestine from Babylon some 25 centuries before them, so these youths (Their group was called “Ezra”) were eager to go for the first time to Palestine. Five years passed. The persecution of the Jews during the Russian revolution and afterwards increased greatly before David was prepared to leave his family and the land of his birth to travel with a friend to Palestine.

In Palestine
The first night David spent in Petah Tikvah, the Gateway of Hope, he couldn’t sleep for happiness. He was in Palestine! Breathing deeply, he smelled the corn, heard the donkey's bray and felt the breeze that rustled the leaves in the fruit orchards. Petah Tikvah was a small village with swampy, mosquito breeding ground. There were some fruit orchards, but it was definitely not the “land of milk and honey” that it had been when the first Israelites conquered the land under the leadership of Joshua. Finding work in Palestine in those days of 1906 was hard if you were an untrained immigrant. Finally, after persistent searching, David found a job.
“Here, fill this wheelbarrow with manure at the stables; take it down to the orchard and mulch the trees,” he was told. “And make sure you spread it thickly.”
David did as he was instructed, and day after day mulched the trees with manure. The swampy area he was working in was full of mosquitoes, and he soon came down with malaria.
“Go back to Plonsk,” the doctor told him. “This climate is too hard for you.”
But David wouldn’t go back even though his malaria came back every two weeks. For a year David hauled manure and fought malaria. Then he and a friend traveled north into the frontier area of Nazareth. There, with forty-six other young men and women, he labored to clear the rocky soil. They weren’t planning on living there long, only long enough to make the ground ready for a small settlement. David worked hard for two years, living with the others in five wooden huts. It was there that his malaria left him for good, and though the work was strenuous with not a lot of food or fresh water, he always looked back on it as a happy time. There was just one problem. The Arabs kept stealing animals and equipment. The workers themselves were too tired to keep guard at night, and so a group of Jewish men, Shomrim (watch-men), were appointed to each frontier village as guards.

In time, David made a short visit back to Russia to visit his father. On returning to Palestine, he was asked to help edit the first Hebrew newspaper in Jerusalem. His co-editor was Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, who was also from Russia.
“Hmm,” David murmured to himself as he paused before signing his name to his first article. “Green. That really doesn’t sound very Jewish or very strong. I need a new name. One that will identify me forever as a Jew. I know! From now on, I will be David Ben-Gurion, son of a lion-cub!”
And so it was that from that time on, David Green was known as “Ben-Gurion.”
Have you ever read much of David Ben-Gurion?
Are you eager for the June short story?
Who does the mowing at your house?

Friday, May 11, 2018

My Camp NaNo Story - Part 3

Good morning, FFFs!

I hope you are enjoying some lovely weather! We had to turn the air conditioning on this week for the first time this year, but yesterday it was off all day. And right now the windows are wide open, and the breeze is very pleasant.

I was gone Monday evening to a very delightful picnic with some old friends and their families. The weather was perfect! And I got to hold all five of the babies. The oldest baby being my 9 month nephew, and the youngest being a little guy just over 2 months. Then there was a 4 1/2 month old girl, a 6 month girl, and another little guy who is a week younger than my nephew. Talk about fun!

Tuesday was warm. By afternoon my creativity felt like it had melted into a pile of mush. Not so good for writing. After we turned the AC on, it got better.

Wednesday my mom and I went to the library! And I got books! I've only read one so far: "Word After Word After Word" by Patricia MacLachlan. It was a delightful story.

Yesterday was the big ride. My nieces and nephews were over (except Busters, the youngest) and we had decided to go for a bike ride out a nearby path. My mom and sister took Ti-K and Buddy in the van with Buddy's bike. The others had to ride their bikes to the start of the path with me. The day was cloudy and cooler, perfect for riding. After riding just over 1/2 a mile on the path, we reached the bridge and stopped to throw rocks into the the creek. Then, while Mom, Sis, and Ti-K went down to a large rock bank and had fun there, the rest of us rode our bikes another half mile to a road. And then the 1/2 mile back. Another stop at the creek. And then back home. Those of us who were riding back to the house ended up riding over 2 miles. We ate a picnic lunch outside, read a few books, and then the kids got picked up.

As far as writing goes, I did get my June story written. Well, I haven't re-read it and edited it. I plan on doing that today. Then I'll hand it to my editor. I'd like to start work on my July story, but I haven't figured out a story yet. I do have a sort of idea, so we'll see how it goes. :)

I'm glad you are enjoying this new story. I kind of like it too. :) Here's the next part. Enjoy!

Untitled Story
Part 3

    That’s what Austin thought he had heard before. So they had seven days to pack everything they owned up, and head north. “I’m going to go to the park to make sure Drew has company until everyone arrives, okay? The girls are next door.”
    When his father nodded, Austin turned to leave, but at the gate his dad’s voice stopped him.
    “Austin, I’m sorry. I should have told you all this before. I should have insisted on more time to pack up. I should have–”
    “It’s okay, Dad,” Austin broke in. “We’ll get through these next crazy days. We can be glad so much stuff is already packed up from showing the house.”
    Slowly Mr. Sparks nodded. “I don’t know how to pack up a house, Austin. That’s why Mimmie is coming.”
    “It’ll work out. I’ve got to go now.” His dad nodded, and Austin left the yard and broke into a jog, his mind whirling with shock waves from his dad’s bombshell. Packing. Moving. Aunt Mimmie coming. That at least was good. Aunt Mimmie was Dad’s youngest sister. Her real name was Colleen, but she looked so much like her oldest sister, Rachel, that Rachel had nicknamed her Minnie-Me when introducing her to others. When Colleen was old enough to talk, she called herself Mimmie in her attempts to say Minnie-Me, thinking that was her name. The nickname stuck, and close friends and family seemed to forget her real name.
    Mimmie was single and often came down to visit her brother and his family. When Mrs. Sparks had been diagnosed with cancer, Mimmie had come down and spent nearly a month with the family. They had only seen her twice since the funeral.

    Arriving at the park, Austin paused to glance around while he caught his breath. He had run faster than usual. The park was almost empty, and he quickly spotted Drew on the swings.
    Striding over, Austin sat down on the swing beside his younger brother and set it in motion. Neither one said a word for several minutes. Then Austin, slowing his swing, looked over at Drew. “Are you okay, Buddy?”
    Drew didn’t answer but pumped higher.
    “We can ask Aunt Mimmie if she knows of any ball teams nearby.”
    At that, Drew stopped pumping. “It won’t be the same.”
    “I know.”
    “I’m mad at Dad.”
    “Because he didn’t tell us sooner?” questioned Austin.
    “No, because we have to move at all. I don’t mind vacations up at the ranch, but who wants to live in that old trailer? I like where we live now.”
    “I do too.”
    “Then can’t you get Dad to change his mind?” Drew let his feet drag until he stopped, then twisted in the swing until he was facing Austin. “Can’t we just move to a different house or something? Do we have to leave this town?”
    Austin wasn’t sure what to say. His brother was hurting and wanted answers, but he didn’t know if he had any that would help. “Listen, Buddy, you know that Dad hasn’t been the same since Mom died. Everything around here reminds him of her, and it hurts. He told me he had been praying about what to do and then Grandpa called and told him we could stay in the trailer. He said it had been updated.”
    “How updated?”
    Austin shrugged. “I don’t know. But I do know that Dad needs a change. Perhaps after he’s been back at the ranch for a couple months, he’ll be back to his old self and we’ll find a better place to live and–”
    “There is no better place than right here,” Drew said stubbornly. He looked around. “Some of the guys are here. I’m going to go practice.” He jumped off the swing as he spoke and picked up his bag.
    Giving a long sigh, Austin closed his eyes and let his shoulders drop. He wasn’t sure if Drew would put up a fuss later about leaving or if he’d decide to take things in stride. He thought the girls would be okay once Aunt Mimmie was there. As for him, his feelings were mixed. He loved Grandpa’s ranch and the freedom of the wide rangelands, not to mention his love of a certain horse. But on the other hand, the Sparks family had lived in that house since before Drew was born. Austin didn’t really remember any other home. They had friends, and a church, but the thing that hurt the worst was Mom’s grave.
    Giving himself a shake, Austin stood up and sauntered over toward the baseball diamond where Drew and a few of his pals were tossing the ball. If he had known Dad was even thinking of leaving . . . But no, that wasn’t fair, Dad hadn’t even known what he was thinking.
    “Help us, Father,” Austin prayed again. “We’re a mess right now, and I don’t see how it’s all going to come together.”

Have you ever played a sport?
Do you have a special aunt like Aunt Mimmie?
Have you ever been on a long bike ride?

Friday, May 4, 2018

My Camp NaNo Story - Part 2

Oh, hello.
I forgot it was Friday. Well, I knew it was Friday, but I hadn't thought about posting at all until I got on my blogger account. So I guess I'll post.

I haven't gotten a lot written this week, but I have done some. I just haven't felt like writing. Maybe it was because Camp ended Monday night. (Though a few of us are still hanging out in the cabin.) I'm working on getting my May story ready to publish, and trying to write one for June. Perhaps I'll get one for July written too while I'm at it. Maybe I should just write all the rest of the months while I'm at it. I have August's written, I have an idea for October, so that just leaves Sept., Nov., and Dec. Any ideas are welcomed. The story has to be around 4k words though, so no really complicated plot, please. ;)

We've had some warm sunny days this week reaching the 80s. Then it rained yesterday and was only in the 60s. I think it's supposed to get warmer again today and reach the 70s. I'd like some more days when it was in the 70s not the 80s.

Boy, I can't seem to think of anything interesting to say this morning. I think my brain is already off with my June story, running through the things I need to do today, planning on what I should do this weekend, and other things. I suppose that means I should just go get to work on things and leave you in peace to read this next part of the story with no name.

Unknown Title
Part 2

    Fighting the frustration that rose inside him, Austin let out a sigh. “Dad, it’s going to be okay. We’ll survive the move. It’ll just take some getting used to. And you know the four of us kids love the ranch. South Dakota may be states away from Arkansas, but it’s still in the land of the free and the home of the brave. And Dad,” Austin paused until his dad lifted his head, “God will still be with us.”
    Swallowing hard, Mr. Sparks nodded. “Thanks, son.”
    “I’ve got to finish cleaning up.” And Austin rose, shoved the chair back under the table and returned to the sink for the dishcloth to wipe off the table. His life had been completely turned upside down once again. He didn’t know how his younger siblings would react to the news of their move, nor how his dad would enjoy working on the family ranch again.
    “Lord,” he prayed, “we really need Your help. I don’t know what these next few days are going to be like, but I don’t think it’ll be easy.”
    The hesitant way his dad spoke his name alerted Austin that there was more news. He looked over his shoulder. “Yeah?”
    “Would you tell the kids?”
    “Don’t you think you should?”
    Mr. Sparks let out his breath sharply. “I guess I should.” Then with shoulders stooped and hands shoved in his pockets, he headed outside to the backyard.
    “Ugh!” Austin groaned, rinsing the dishcloth and bracing himself for an outdoor explosion. Dad had never been very tactful when it came to announcements; it had always been Mom who paved the way and got everyone excited about whatever was going to happen. But Mom was gone.
    Loud voices suddenly filled the peaceful quiet of the morning. Drew’s high treble was easy to make out. “What? I can’t go now; I got baseball!”
    The excited voices of the twins filled the yard as Austin watched his younger brother race toward the house. He couldn’t tell if the girls were eager to go or upset, for he couldn’t see their faces from the window.
    The screen door slammed behind him and Austin turned. “Drew–”
    The boy rushed through the kitchen without a word and on to the bedroom the brothers shared. A few moments later he reappeared with his bag of baseball gear over his shoulder, a cap on his head, and a scowl on his face.
    “Where are you going?” Austin asked.
    “I got practice,” was the short answer before Drew stormed from the house and down the sidewalk in the direction of the park where his team practiced.
    “Yeah, you have practice,” Austin muttered, glancing at the clock, “in about an hour.” For a moment he debated whether to follow his brother or let him have some time to cool off first.
    The screen door slammed again and two pitiful faces appeared before him.
    “Austin,” Addy began, “Dad says we have to move to the ranch.”
    “But we don’t want to go,” LeaLea protested. “We won’t have any friends there.”
    “Oh, come on, girls,” Austin said, sitting down and motioning them over. “You both love the ranch. And think of all the horse rides you’ll get to take. All your friends here are going to be jealous. And don’t forget we’ll get to see Grandma and Grandpa, and all our aunts and uncles and cousins. Did Dad say that Aunt Mimmie was coming next week?”
    The sad faces brightened a little at the mention of everyone’s favorite aunt. But they fell again when Addy remarked, “Dad says we’re going to stay in that old trailer. I’m not going to like that. Come on, LeaLea, let’s go see if Hannah can play.”
    Hannah was their next door neighbor, and the three girls had a play date nearly every Saturday morning at nine o’clock. Nodding at LeaLea’s questioning glance, Austin followed his sisters to the front door and watched until they were let into the neighbor’s house. Then he turned and looked about him.
    The living room walls were hung with framed photos of past years, books filled the shelves, and the end table held a stack of Taste of Home magazines. They were old, for Mom hadn’t had time to renew another subscription before– Blinking, Austin turned away. He wasn’t in a mood to face all the memories this small house held. With a shake of his head he headed outside to find his dad.
    Mr. Sparks sat on one of the outdoor chairs and stared vacantly before him. Austin paused a moment. “Hey, Dad,” he said at last, approaching the table and resting a foot on the seat of the other chair.
    Mr. Sparks looked up.
    “When did you say Aunt Mimmie was coming?”
    Austin nodded. That was probably good as he figured it was going to take them a long time to get everything packed up. Only they didn’t have a long time. “When do we have to be out of the house?”
    “The end of next week.”

Are you a tactful announcement maker?
Would you have felt like Drew or the twins?
Do you want the next part next week?

Friday, April 27, 2018

My Camp NaNo Story - Part 1

Good morning FFFs,
It's a sunny morning here. Still in the 40s, but it's supposed to warm up to the upper 60s or low 70s. Things are really starting to look green. Since we've had such a strange winter/spring these last two months, most of the trees haven't leafed out like they usually have by this time. Now they are starting to.
This past week has been good and not good. The good in that I've been able to write most days, I only have 400 words left to reach my Camp NaNo goal, I had a birthday, and I've sold a few kindle books and a couple paperbacks. The not so good is that I've been fighting some allergy thing. It's gone from just something annoying, to an ear ache, to a bad sore throat, to a cough, to headaches. Yeah, fun. :P Okay, not so fun.

If you haven't seen it yet, I am celebrating my birthday this week! You can get all the info on Read Another Page. But just remember, if you are going to order any of my books from Light of Faith, and want them sighed, do it before Saturday night because you can use the code BIRTHDAY and get 20% off! And the Triple Creek Ranch kindle books are all on sale for $1.99 right now. The price returns to $4.99 Saturday night.

Here's the very first part of my Camp NaNo story. Much to my delighted surprise, I've actually worked on this story all month! Now I need to do some more research before I get much farther into it. I hope you like it.

[It needs a working title]
Part 1

    Stirring his cold scrambled eggs around on his plate, Austin Sparks frowned. They were dry. Again. In disgust he pushed them to the side of his plate and looked across the table to where his dad sat buried behind a newspaper. He assumed his dad hadn’t even noticed the dry eggs, the half burnt bacon, or the sour orange juice.
    “Austin,” a young voice whispered.
    Glancing to his left, Austin raised questioning eyebrows as his younger sisters. They were twins and he didn’t know which had said his name.
    “Do we have to eat our eggs?” Addy asked.
    Wordlessly he shook his head. If he couldn’t stomach them, he doubted his younger siblings could. Well, except for Drew. The ten-year-old had cleaned his plate and was busy licking the butter knife. “Did you want more eggs, Drew?” he asked.
    “Nope. Can I be excused?”
    Mr. Sparks didn’t move, and after waiting a moment, Austin nodded. “Take care of your dishes.”
    The twins took Drew’s permission for their own and scooted back their chairs quickly, no doubt eager to get out into the warm summer sunshine away from the gloomy kitchen.
    The kitchen hadn’t always been gloomy, Austin recalled, standing up and carrying his own dishes to the sink. When Mom was still alive the whole house was bright and happy. After dumping the cold eggs into the garbage disposal, Austin ran it before turning the water to hot and filling up the sink in preparation for washing the dishes. Everyone took turns washing the dishes, and Saturday mornings was Austin’s turn.
    The sound of the children outside on the swings brought back memories of the hours Austin had spent outside on those swings with his mom pushing him. For the first seven years of his life it had just been his mom, his dad, and him. Then Drew came along, followed two years later by the twins. A smile crossed Austin’s face as he recalled the commotion the arrival of Adeline and Avonlea had caused.
    “We’re moving.”
    Dropping the glass he had just picked up, Austin turned slowly. “What?”
    Still at the table, Mr. Sparks folded the newspaper slowly and laid it on the table. “To the ranch.”
    “Grandpa’s ranch?”
    “Dad, you hate that ranch.” Sudsy water dripped from Austin’s hands onto the tile floor, but he took no notice of it.
    His father shrugged. “It’s better than nothing. And we can’t stay here.” Pain filled the man’s eyes and spread across his face as he looked about the room. His wife’s death six months before had left him with little will to go on.
    Turning back to the sink, Austin mechanically washed the rest of the dishes and rinsed them before he said, “When are we leaving?”
    “Next week.”
    “Dad!” This time Austin grabbed the back of a chair, spun it around and straddled it backwards preparing for an argument. “You can’t expect us to just pack up our whole lives in a few days and move states away. It’s going to take longer than that. Not to mention going through Mom’s stuff that’s in the attic.” The pain in his father’s eyes deepened, but Austin ignored it. “Why do we have to move so suddenly? What about your job?”
    “I was let go yesterday. And,” he shifted in his chair, “the house sold.”
    “Our house?”
    Mr. Sparks nodded, rubbing a hand over his rough chin. He hadn’t shaved that morning. “Your aunt Mimmie is coming on Monday. She’ll help. Grandpa said the old trailer on his land has been updated, or something. We’ll stay there. At least until I can find a better place.” He looked up at his son, pleading in his eyes. “You’ve got to help me, Austin; I just can’t do it here any more. The memories . . .” He shook his head and looked away. “It’s too much.”
    Austin didn’t reply. Since cancer had claimed the life of his mom, he had watched as his dad had withdrawn more and more into himself, grieving for the love of his life and seeming to forget the four children she had left him. He also seemed to forget or to ignore the healing God offered him, or so it seemed to his son. Drawing a long breath, Austin nodded. “Okay, Dad, but it’s not going to be easy.”
    “I know. But Austin, I can’t keep going here. I’ve tried. I didn’t know what to do. I’ve prayed, and when your grandpa offered us the trailer, I felt it might be a step in the right direction, especially since work–” He cleared his throat. “Then I got a call from the realtor saying there’d been an offer on the house. A better offer than I had hoped for. Papers were signed yesterday.
    Letting out a frustrated sigh, Austin gripped the back of the chair. “But why didn’t you tell us this sooner? Drew’s going to be upset when he has to leave his baseball team.”
    “I thought he liked the ranch?” Mr. Sparks looked unsure.
    “He does. Or at least last year he did. But that was later, after the baseball season ended.”
    “I didn’t realize he’d started playing already this year.” Defeat filled Mr. Sparks’ voice and, resting his elbows on the table, he buried his face in his hands.
    Silence filled the kitchen.

Did this catch your interest?
Do you feel sympathy for Austin? or Mr. Sparks?
Have you ever had to move suddenly?

Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday Again?

Please tell me it's not Friday!
I'm not ready for it to be Friday. I haven't even replied to comments from last week! Sorry! *promises to do that today*

You want to know why I was caught by surprise by Friday? Let's see . . .

Last Friday and Saturday I was at the TPA Convention in Wichita. It was a lot of fun. Somewhat slow on Friday, but more people on Saturday. I sold about 20 books which was nice. My best friend and I drove home Saturday night.

Sunday morning I was so tired from several nights where I didn't sleep well. (I never sleep well the first night in a hotel.) I had a hard time staying awake in Sunday School. But my sister was kind enough to let me take her place in the nursery during church so I could stay awake playing with the little ones. That afternoon I took a nap. I don't usually take a nap on Sunday afternoons as I like to read. But I just couldn't stay awake.

On Monday I played Catch-Up. I'm afraid I didn't do so well. I was still tired.

Tuesday was kind of different because I didn't have writing classes to teach. Instead I worked on a lap quilt for someone and listened to an audio book with my sister. But that was in the morning. I was able to get some other things done in the afternoon and wrote! I also kept playing "catch-up."

Wednesday found the sun shining again though it was cooler. But it wasn't cold. It was more of the same with listening and hand sewing the binding on the quilt in the morning. Then other things and writing later. I thought I might start sharing a bit of this new story I'm working on with you all, but I haven't gotten anything ready yet. Hopefully next week.

Yesterday I finished the quilt. Wrote another thousand words, and babysat my three youngest nieces and nephews. I'm also fighting allergies or a cold of some sort. Not fun.

So, sorry I don't have a story for you. I did think about it once. But then forgot all about it. But you'll have to come to Read Another Page on MONDAY! Yes, I am going to be posting a day early next week on that blog. Why? Because. *whistles Happy Birthday* *looks innocent* *hints at something special* You'll just have to come and find out. I'm excited about it!

And that, said John, is that.
Where is that quote from?
What did you do this week?
Would you like to read a bit of my new story?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Convention Day!

I'm getting this ready at night when I want to go to bed. :P

Good morning FFFs!
Sorry, no story today. I was too busy this week to get anything ready. I had my final writing classes to teach, followed by a pizza party.

Then things were rather crazy trying to keep writing for Camp NaNo, and get things ready for the trip to Wichita! But I did it! After a fashion. ;)

And here we are. My best friend and I drove to Wichita, met up with Jesseca, and set up part of our booth. Then BF and I went back to check into the hotel and waited until Kate arrived. Then the four of us went out for ice cream, and then took a walk in the 80º or warmer weather. That was fun. After dropping BF and I back at our hotel, Jesseca and Kate headed on their way. So, to tide you over until later (check my Read Another Page blog on Tuesday), enjoy these pictures. Sorry there aren't more.

Best Friend and me on the 3 1/2 hour drive.

 This is our corner of the booth. Look like fun?

Wish you could all be there tomorrow!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Hurray for Newsy Jones! - Part 2

Hello FFFs,
I don't know about you, but I feel like I've been trying to win at "Catch-Up" all week and still haven't done it. Not to mention the crazy weather we are having! Of all the crazy weather we've had, this week has got to rank in some of the craziest.

Sunday– Easter, it was cold and rainy, and we actually had things coated with ice because it got so cold. Now some of you won't think that strange. But our daffodils have bloomed, we have buds on our lilac, the tulips are starting to bloom, and the trees are covered with buds and blossoms. Some trees have even lost their blossoms and gotten leaves.

Monday– It got into the 40s. The ice melted. I tried to catch up on things and get some things done. But . . . I had to get the key to my polling place, Mom and I went to a thrift store, and so that put me behind. I managed to get 520 words written for my first day of Camp NaNo. Not impressive, but some.

Tuesday– It was really windy when I got up at 4:30. And it was in the 60s! It was a slow day at the polls as far as voters go. We only had 82 people come vote all day long. But it didn't really feel slow like we all expected. Two of the ladies read my Christmas story that isn't published yet. Then in the afternoon I asked for some ideas for my new story that I'm working on this month. Boy, that was fun! They had all sorts of ideas! Suddenly the story that had a good start but had kind of died, had new life and plenty of things to have happen. I even have an ending. :) Oh, sometime during the late morning the temperature dropped from 70º to about 40º in about 15 minutes.

Wednesday– Started off around 25º. Dad and I took my car to get it checked out before my trip next week. The all 7 kids came over about 11, and didn't leave until 1:30ish. It was fun to have them, and to get to play with the little guy. :) I did get a wonderful amount of writing in that evening thanks to a lot of sprints with fellow Campers.

Thursday– This morning I actually got to go listen to an audio with my sister for a while. (I'd been trying to do that all week!) But then I worked with my BF on her website for over an hour. I attempted to get the April story finished in the afternoon, but I didn't. I haven't found a scene break image yet. And I don't have a synopsis written. But I did get 1,400 words written. It was up to 75º in the afternoon.

Today– I haven't had much of the day, but I know I need to clean the house. And finish the April story, And write. Oh, and we're supposed to get freezing rain, snow, and sleet tonight with a low of 21º. :P So much for spring.

But if you actually read all that, I'm impressed. I'm not even reading it all again. I have other things to do. I'm sure you do to. But here's the end of this story. Oh, and just so you know, personality wise, these characters fit the actors. ;)

Hurray for Newsy Jones
Part 2

    From her window in the library, Miss Marian saw the sheriff stride back toward his office. Those men must have denied robbing the bank. “But I wonder what that soldier has in his saddlebags,” she mused, eyeing the soldier’s bags leaning against the side of the hotel. For Miss Marian, to wonder was to act. Quietly she slipped from the library, crossed the street, and crouched down using her parasol as a shield from prying eyes. Had Newsy Jones been nearby he would have heard her startled, “Oh!” But he was not nearby.
    Giving a sigh, Sheriff Tompkins reluctantly turned around. Why couldn’t Miss Marian stick to being the librarian?
    Newsy Jones also heard the call and quickly drew near.
    “I saw money in that soldier’s saddlebag! Quite a lot of money. Of course, I didn’t go digging in it, but it was quite visible on the top!” Miss Marian was almost out of breath with her discovery.
    “What?” ejaculated the sheriff. Suddenly all signs of discouragement and worry vanished. Without so much as a thank you, he hurried to the town square once more.
    “Sir, come with me,” he said, gripping the soldier’s arm firmly. “You’re under arrest.”
    “For what?” sputtered Private Sam, dropping his paper and looking about him in confusion.
    “For robbing the bank. Now let’s go.”
    Watching it all, Newsy Jones shook his head. He knew it was doubtful that the soldier had helped rob the bank because he had just bought a paper from Curly not long before the bank was robbed. “But I suppose there might have been time,” he thought. “But I need proof.” He looked around. Where was Curly? She was never around when he most needed her.
    It took Newsy Jones a good twenty minutes before Curly was found reading their own paper. Quickly he told her what she needed to do, and Curly, always eager to help her friend, rushed off to the library.
    Walking back more slowly so that Curly would have time to distract Miss Marian and get her away from her window, Newsy Jones passed by the jail.
    A sudden commotion caught his attention. Juan, from Mexico had been standing at the barred window talking to the soldier when the sheriff suddenly appeared.
    “Ah ha!” Sheriff Tompkins exclaimed, grabbing Juan from behind. “I caught you! You’re under arrest now too, for robbing the bank.” With that, poor Juan was hustled inside and locked into the cell next to Private Sam.
    “Juan would never rob the bank,” Newsy Jones said to himself. “I’ve known Juan for a long time now, nearly eight days. He would never do a thing like that. I must find a way to prove he and that soldier didn’t do it.”
    Quickly he neared the hotel where the soldier’s saddlebags still rested in the shade of a bush. A quick glance at the library window showed that Miss Marian was not there. “Good,” Newsy Jones thought, “Curly will keep her busy for at least ten minutes.”
    Darting behind the bushes, the newsman pulled the saddlebags over and looked inside. “Army pay,” he muttered, finding a slip of paper with the money Miss Marian had seen. “It’s just his Army pay.”
    After crawling from behind the bushes, Newsy Jones set off for the bank, hoping to find something there to help him. Soon his sharp eyes spied two shiny gold pieces in the dust. At first he thought they were gold coins, but picking them up he discovered that they were tokens from a fancy club in the nearby city.
    “Hmm,” Newsy Jones thought. “This looks an awful lot like someone from the city robbed the bank. And it reminds me of something . . . What was it? That’s it!” He snapped his fingers. “About four weeks ago another town was robbed, and the robbers had dressed to look like two newcomers in town. But they were caught later, however, and they were both members of this special club. I wonder if it’s the same two men, or if it was other members of the same club? I’ll wire my friend.”
    Trying not to attract attention, Newsy Jones hurried to the telegraph office. The attendant was friendly but not nosy. Within five minutes of sending the message to his fellow newsman, Newsy Jones had a reply. The robbers had escaped from jail just the other week.
    “It has to have been them,” Newsy Jones murmured to himself as he turned to go.
    “Wait a minute, Newsy Jones,” the telegraph operator said, “Here’s another message for you.”
    It read: Robbers just caught trying to rob city bank. No other money found.
    Rushing from the telegraph office with the tokens and telegraphs in his hand, Newsy Jones paused on the sidewalk. Should he go to the sheriff first or look for the stolen money? The money. It had to be found and the sooner the better. Remembering the sort of places the robbers had hidden the stolen money from the other town, Newsy Jones hurried to the edge of Little Silverton There, after a little looking, he discovered a large sack filled with the stolen money in a hollow among the rocks.
    In great excitement, he went back to town and got the sheriff. After showing him the tokens and the telegrams, he took him out and showed him the stolen money.
    “I guess I should let those other two men go,” Sheriff Tompkins said. “I’m glad they didn’t do it, but I wish I had gotten the real robbers.”
    “Don’t worry, Sheriff,” Newsy Jones said, “they’ve been caught trying to rob another bank.”
    Somehow Miss Marian heard about the discovery of the bank money and hurried over, not even remembering to lock up the library. “Sheriff!” she called when she arrived.
    Sheriff Tompkins sighed.
    “Sheriff, this is the second time you’ve locked up the wrong people,” she scolded. “You really should be more careful.” She shook her head and her hat fell off. “Oh, I really should get a new hat,” she exclaimed, brushing off the hat and setting it back on her head.
    Newsy Jones didn’t say anything, but he couldn’t help thinking that Miss Marian herself was largely to blame for this mistake, for if she hadn’t been so nosy, the sheriff would never have suspected Private Sam and Juan.
    When the two innocent men were let out of jail, they thanked Newsy Jones for his help.
    “Hurray for Newsy Jones!” Curly shouted. “He saved the day.”
    “Si,” Juan, from Mexico agreed, “that he did.”
    “If it hadn’t been for Newsy Jones, my two day pass from the Army wouldn’t have been any fun,” Private Sam said. “Three cheers for Newsy Jones!”
    These were given heartily, but Newsy Jones didn’t stay to listen to them. He and Curly started off for the newspaper office. Newsy Jones had a story to write.

Did you enjoy this story?
Who was your favorite character?
What has your weather been like?