Friday, September 29, 2017


Good morning!
Sorry I don't have a story for you today. But, next week I should have Part One of a brand new fiction story for you! So be sure you come back.

What was my week like? Well it was good. 😊😊 Yes, I did get all my files recovered!!!!!! πŸ˜„ I took my computer in Monday morning, but didn't hear anything that day or evening. Tuesday morning he called me and said they'd been able to recover everything, my files, my music, my pictures, my desktop. But I couldn't pick up my computer until Wednesday because he had to get everything copied over to the flash drive. That was okay with me.

Tuesday morning was busy anyway with teaching writing classes. My middle class is a lot of fun to teach as we get into some really good talks about why we do what we do, or the importance of learning whatever we are working on.

Wednesday was rainy and chilly. Autumn was definitely in the air! I went to the library and got a new library card. It had been many years since I had last used my old one, and I needed to get a new one. It's rather fun to have one again. And I checked out a book to read on Sunday. It's really hard not picking it up and starting it sooner, but I'm trying to be good and wait. When you get new books, do you start reading them right away, or do you wait? It was around 2 that afternoon before I went over and picked up my computers and the flash drive. Now I have them here. I'm just waiting now for my new computer to arrive so I can copy my files to that one. And yes, I already have a plan for backing them up. 😊

I got some writing done this week. Not much, but I did write Wednesday evening, and last night I got 1k written! We don't have the kids tonight, so I should be able to write again, and I should be able to write tomorrow night. I've already written more this month then I did in July or August. But that's not saying much. πŸ˜› Right now I'm a little past 9k words.

Oh, my Christmas books! You wanted to see pictures, didn't you? I'm warning you, they're cute. πŸ˜‰

Here they all are!

The backs. I can easily hold all of them at once as you can see.
I told you they were cute. 😊 They look even better in real life. Right now they are in line to be checked once more before I make the final corrections. Many of the covers need to be lightened up just a bit. For some reason they were printing darker than they should be. And yes, I am planning on making kindle books out of each of these, but the paperbacks themselves will only be $4.00 each.

And that's it for now. Don't forget to show up on Read Another Page on Monday for the first day of our Five Fall Favorites party! And next Friday I should have a story for you. Thank you for being willing to wait.
 Will you be back for the story next Friday?
Are you coming to the party?
Do you like the Christmas books?

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Rainbow Week

Good Morning FFFs,
Sorry, I don't have any fiction for you today. There are two reasons: One, I didn't have time to get something new ready, and two, Wednesday happened so I didn't get anything old ready. But let me tell you of my Rainbow Week.

Green Saturday
Green for progress, lots done, being outside, etc. Dad and I washed 22 out of 23 windows in our house both inside and out, and the screens. It took us nearly all day as 11 of those windows were upstairs and that meant we had to get out the ladders to reach them. And many of these windows hadn't been washed in years, so they were filthy!

Sunday was some quiet pastel.
Not sure just what color it was. We had rain that morning during church. We needed a good rain as things were dry. Then, in the afternoon, I spend about 4 hours readings. I got the last half of an almost 500 page book read. :) And yes, I will admit that toward the end I read a little faster.

Blue Monday
Aren't many Mondays that color? You have a long list of things you are going to work on and get done, but things always seem to take longer, and you have more interruptions, and other things happen you weren't expecting. And I didn't get as much writing done as I had hoped.

Yellow Tuesday
It was a good day. Nothing spectacular. Writing classes went well, I made good progress on things, and I got 1,000 words written! I even had time to read a little in the evening.

Black Wednesday
No, I wasn't selling anything like on Black Friday, and no, it wasn't storming. My computer, the one with all my book files, my covers, my short stories, my images, my fonts, my–well, everything really, that wasn't backed up–decided not to turn on. Well, it did turn on at first, but it was having trouble, so I restarted it. It hasn't turned back on since. I took it somewhere and they said it had a corrupt operating system. That means that all those files are stuck on that computer. I was told it might turn on sometime for a few minutes, and then I can get as much off as I can, but . . . I'm hoping and praying we'll be able to get the hard drive out and be able to get at least some of my files that way.
Now you know why it was a Black Wednesday

Purple Thursday
Still unsure of my files on my computer, but thankful I have an old computer I can use for some things, I was able to send emails and such. My mom, sis, and I went to our new library that morning. Wow! Very nice. I'd like to go there and write. We checked out some things and then came home. So that was some of the red in the purple. The blue came in the afternoon when I waited and waited, and waited, for the mailman, hoping he would bring me my proof copies. He finally arrived just before supper time. No books. :( But the evening was better because my grandpa had come down and we went to a concert together. It was good, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I sometimes do because my mind kept going back to my computer and all my missing files.

I don't know what today's color will be. Perhaps my proof copies will come today. We might be babysitting the kiddos. If you could be praying that I could at least get my book files off my computer, that would be very much appreciated. And I am going to get something to back them all up from now on! Every time I create a new book, I'm backing it up. If I design a new cover, I'm backing it up.

Anyway, this is really long. It's probably a good thing I don't have a fiction story for you. You wouldn't have time to read it. :)

Here is an invitation for you! I hope you all can come and join the fun! The Grand Prize is sitting on my desk here and I'm getting a bit jealous of the one who wins it. ;)

I can't ask you about the story.
Have you ever had a computer act this way?
What colors would you describe your week?
Are you excited about the party?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Started and Story Prompt

Hello, FFFs,
If there are any faithful Friday fiction fans left. ;)

The weather has warmed up and now feels like summer again. But we've had some really lovely, cool mornings, some chilly nights, and some beautiful days. Now a few days of heat won't be too annoying. :) We haven't had a frost yet, so the trees haven't turned. But it is a little early for that.

This has been a good week. A busy one, but a productive one. All my Christmas books were ready to order the proof copies by Monday. I got Dylan's Story corrected and ready to order my final copy. No, it's not published yet. But I'm going to be doing a blog tour of it when the time comes, so if you have a blog and want to be a part, let me know. :) (I've never, ever done a blog tour with any of my 15 published books! I'm excited, nervous, and have no clue what I'm doing, so it's a good think I'll have someone putting it all together for me.)
And then on Tuesday, after I taught writing classes, I worked on formatting Finding Joy. And some on the cover.
On Wednesday I finished the cover.
Yesterday morning I ordered all 9 proof copies and copies of Dylan's Story! :D I can't wait till they come! I'll try to share a picture of the Christmas books on here if you want to see them.

Now, on to other things. For some time now, I've been thinking of this blog. I guess it started last year when I decided to re-post stories I had posted years ago. Now I'm wondering if I should keep doing that. I could keep posting my personal updates every Friday, since some of you only have time to read that anyway. And then when I had a new story to share, I could post it. But it's a bit difficult to decide on what story to re-post, and then wonder if it's just filling space or if it's being read. What do you all think? July and August were terrible for writing anything to post. This month I've been working on a story, but it's not finished yet, so I can't post it.
Let me know what you are thinking.
  • Should I keep re-posting every Friday if I don't have a new story?
  • Should I just post my personal update if I don't have a new story?
  • Should I just post when I have something new for you to read?
Help me out! :)

As I was telling you, I haven't had much chance to write anything new. And I didn't have much chance to pick a story to re-post. So  . . . I decided to give you the start to one story. I needed to just write something and this is what came out. If you'll give me some basic ideas for what you think happens next, maybe I'll actually write it. :)

And the other is a story starter, or a story prompt that I dreamed. Yes, I woke up just after I thought this line and found it rather amusing. So, either write a story using that line, or give me an outline for a story for it. :) Have fun!

    The day was warm, warmer than most autumn days, and I knew it wouldn't last. Before long the air would be brisk and frosty. The leaves of the tall trees which marched across the landscape like a rag-tag army were changing already. Soon they would spread a carpet of riotous colors across my lawn and the long driveway. Nuts dropped from the few nut trees with soft thumps and from somewhere a chattering squirrel could be heard, the cry of a bluejay and softer twitters of sparrows and finches sounded from the feeder. I gave a long sigh and started my rocking chair creaking slowly back and forth, back and forth.
    Time slipped by slowly as it so often does when one is alone and idle. I had nowhere to go and nothing to do, so why shouldn't I sit there and enjoy the warm afternoon? That was before it happened.
    It was so startling, so unexpected, so . . . well, perhaps I should just tell you the story.

And now the Story Starter or Story Prompt.

She was heartbroken, and so was her dishwasher.

Did you laugh over that last Story Prompt? I do.
What do you think happens in the other story?
And what should I do about this blog?

Friday, September 8, 2017

Riding "Bear"back

Good morning FFFs,
It really has felt like fall here this week. One night got as low as 49ΒΊ which, for us, is quite unusual for this early in September. There are crows out, the squirrels are acting crazy with their nuts and just in general. We had a Rough Legged hawk in our yard the other day. We've never seen one before. Nuts are dropping from our pecan tree onto the sidewalk and our roof. The trees may not be turning yet, but fall is coming!

I've had a productive week. Not only did I get some things for the Grand Prize for the coming blog party (if you're excited about the coming Five Fall Favorites party, let me know in a comment!), but I got some writing in! This is the first time since back in July that I've written every day so far this week. Except Sunday when I don't write. Now, I haven't written 1k each day, but I have written. And I'm working on a fall story. Hopefully I can get it done in time to let you all read it before winter comes. :P

And guess what? I got all 8 Christmas books formatted (using a very lovely template designed by Perry Elisabeth!), and the covers all put together with the spines, and everything uploaded yesterday. I hope you are excited about these cute Christmas books as I am! Now I need to format the interior for "Finding Joy" and design the final cover. Then I'll have to make corrections in "Dylan's Story" and hopefully I can order everything at once. Wouldn't that be a fun box to arrive! Nine proof copies and a final copy of another new book. Sounds exciting to me!

I had no idea what to post today. I didn't have anything new, and I wasn't sure if I should try to do a two or three part story or not. So I went looking in my archives and came across this story. Actually it is an essay about a "family vacation" that I wrote about seven years ago. My students and I were tossing out ideas for a made up vacation story that was to be written as an essay. We made a key word outline and then all of us wrote our version of the story. They were hilarious! So, enjoy this lighthearted story, get a good laugh at it, and please, tell me what you want to read next week.

Riding "Bare"back

My family and I love to go hiking. When we go we usually explore many trails hoping that there will be one which will lead to an exciting adventure. Unexpectedly I found it. After it was over I wished I hadn’t found it since it involved getting lost, encountering a bear and being out in a thunderstorm.

We were hiking along a path which had many curves and turns in it, so when I got distracted, it was easy to get lost. At least I think so. Spying something shiny on the ground, I stooped to examine it. Was it gold? After testing it with my teeth, I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t gold, but I dropped it in my pocket anyway. When I glanced up, I discovered that my family had vanished! I started on again; however, I unknowingly took the wrong path. Rapidly I sprinted, trying to catch up with my missing family. Hearing a sound just ahead around the next turn, I hurried on so as not to get lost.

Imagine my terrified surprise when suddenly, instead of my family, I encountered a bear! I screamed! I couldn’t help it, I was so scared. The grouchy, grumpy grizzly turned slowly with a growl. Before he could come close to me I was clambering up a slender tree very quickly. Gasping for breath, I paused on the highest branch just out of the bear’s reach. Then, with an unexpected crack, the branch broke beneath my weight which dumped me on the bear’s back. Instantly the bear began to lumber away in fright while I hung on for dear life. Never will I forget that ride. Before I could gather my senses enough to let go, a branch smacked me on the side of the head, causing me to tumble into a small stream. Although I was thankful to have survived my encounter with the bear, I was still rather bewildered.

When the thunderstorm broke just after I landed in the stream, it took several minutes to register the fact that I needed to get out of there. I lay in the water stunned. A blinding flash of lightning followed by ground shaking thunder roused me from my stupor. “I must get away!” I thought as I staggered to my feet. Stumbling along, I tripped over a tree root and fell. Beyond the trees I glimpsed a dark hole. Slowly, painfully, I worked my way towards the cave which I had seen. Once I fell. Twice I tripped. On I went. At last I made it only to fall exhausted and breathless on the floor of the cavern. It was then that I noticed other sounds besides the thunderstorm; my family was there waiting. Boy, was I surprised.

I will never hear a thunderstorm again without remembering the grumpy bear which I rode when I got lost. After that experience, I don’t love hiking as much as I did. Seeking an adventure is no longer as extremely important to me as sticking with my family. The most exciting part of my getting lost was riding “bear back.”

So, did you laugh at it?
What is a family vacation memory you have?
Are you excited about the coming Five Fall Favorites party?

Friday, September 1, 2017

A Good Summer - Part 5

Good morning FFFs,
It's the first of September! Can you believe it? Already summer has come and is now waving goodbye. Soon we'll have trees dressed in their fall leaves, the nights will grow chillier and the days shorter. . .

Here I sit dreaming. I'd better get on with this or I won't get it posted. :)

This week has been busy and good. I've gotten things done, and that always feels good. :) The planning for Kate's and my Five Fall Favorite party is coming right along! Yes, we are doing another one of those really fun blog parties. And we have new bloggers to join us, an incredible Grand Prize, and more! So, mark your calendars for the first week of October!

I still haven't written at all. Writing seems to have slipped away into some hidden corner of my mind and is sleeping. What will it take to rouse it again? I do need to do a little writing and add a new ending to one of the Christmas stories before I publish it. But after that, I don't know. I'd like to get back to writing, but I feel that I need to get some books finished and published first. Would you like that?

And now, here's the last part of your summer mystery. :) Enjoy!

A Good Summer
Part 5

    It was mid afternoon when Patrick, Kathleen and Angelina, armed with cookies and cool water from the well and feeling very brave, set off for the barn. At the foot of the ladder they hesitated and looked about. No one was to be seen and all was quiet in the loft. Without a word, Patrick started up, followed closely by his twin and a little more slowly by Angelina.
    “If you are up here,” Patrick spoke bravely though his knees were shaking, “we wish you’d come out just, for we brought you more cookies and—”
    “We’d like to be your friends if you aren’t a bad person entirely,” Kathleen finished.
    “Kath!” Patrick hissed reprovingly.
    A sudden noise arrested their attention. It was coming from a shadowy corner.
    Angelina, still on the ladder, froze, clinging to the sides and staring, not sure if she wanted to stay, and yet not quite daring to move. The twins, without realizing that they had done so, clasped the other’s hand and fairly held their breath.
    “No I ain’t a bad person entirely,” a voice said, followed by a slight groan. “Mama brought me up better’n that.” A slight figure crawled from behind a pile of hay and stood up. The boy wasn’t much larger than the three children and he moved towards them with a decided limp.
    On seeing that, Patrick let go of Kathleen’s hand and moved over to help him while Angelina climbed up into the loft and Kathleen made a place to sit.
    It wasn’t until the boy, who wasn’t much older than eleven, had eaten three cookies and drunk two glasses of water that anyone spoke.
    “What is your name? Where did you come from and why are you hiding in the barn loft?” It was irrepressible Kathleen who broke the silence.
    The boy gave a slight laugh. “Name’s Harry. Came from New York originally, but my folks died an’ I was sent out to live with some cousin who didn’t want me. He died an’ I’ve been on my own ever since.”
    “But why were you hiding in the barn?” persisted Kathleen.
    “‘Cause I hurt my leg an’ didn’t figure nobody’d give me work if I was hurt. Thought I could stay here for a day or two . . .” his voice trailed off and he looked down with such a look of discouragement that Angelina said,
    “There is no need to stay up here.”
    “Not at all,” Patrick agreed quickly. “Uncle Dan and Aunt Nancy would be for taking you in.”
    “I ain’t goin’ back to no orphanage,” Harry declared fiercely.
    “Tis not likely they’d be sending you neither,” Kathleen put in.
    It took some persuading by all three children before their new friend, for so they considered him, would come with them to the house.

    Mr. and Mrs. Cutlass were both sitting on the porch when they saw the children approaching.
    “Now who is that with them?” Mrs. Cutlass asked.
    “I’m not sure, but I suspect it is the same one who has been using our pump and sleeping in our barn loft. I’m glad the children have convinced him to come up to the house. I’m sure he could use a good meal tonight, Nancy.”
    “I’d be happy to fix him one. But he’s hurt,” she added, noticing that the young stranger limped and was helped along by Patrick.
    Mr. Cutlass only nodded.
    Uncle Dan and Aunt Nancy welcomed the new young guest with smiles and kindness. Uncle Dan attended to the injured leg while the girls helped Aunt Nancy prepare supper, though Angelina was of more help than Kathleen who kept running back to say something to Harry or Patrick.

    It was while everyone was still eating that a sudden rumble startled them all.
    “Look at them clouds!” Harry exclaimed.
    “And feel that breeze!” Aunt Nancy added as the wind tossed the curtains about and ruffled the tablecloth. It wasn’t dry and hot as it had been but pleasant with a hint of moisture.
    Uncle Dan had stood up and moved out to the porch. “The rain’s coming!”
    A few minutes later the rain did come, gently but steadily and everyone gathered on the porch to watch it, breathing in the fresh scent and listening to the drops pattering on the roof.
    Mr. and Mrs. Cutlass looked about them and exchanged smiles. Kathleen was sitting on the porch rail alternately sticking a foot out in the rain and bringing it back dripping wet, laughing and chattering. Angelina on the floor, her arms clasped about her legs, was sitting silently with her chin resting on her knees, watching the rain. Patrick was roving about the porch, commenting now and then about the effects of the rain on different parts of the yard, while Harry sat on the porch swing, his injured leg resting on a chair, a look of contentment on his face.
    “Well, Nan,” Mr. Cutlass remarked quietly, “We’ve got rain and four young ones. It should be a good rest of the summer.”

Do you think Harry stayed with the Cutlasses?
Did you enjoy the ending of this story?
What do you want to read next?