Friday, February 23, 2018

HitH - Simply Trusting - Part 2

Howdy, FFFs,
I see you were all too busy to do much reading last week. That's okay. This story isn't going anywhere. Well, it's going somewhere as in I'm writing it, but it's not going somewhere as in leaving the blog. So you can read it later.

How was your week? I had a good week.
Friday we decorated for the Widows' Luncheon. We did a picnic theme this year and had such fun! It really didn't take long to decorate.
Saturday was the Luncheon. Everyone loved the decorations. And everyone wore a hat! We had invited everyone to wear their picnic hat, but since I knew many wouldn't have one, I brought all my hats, plus three from a friend, and set them all out so people could borrow one. I wasn't expecting everyone to wear one, but they did. Each person found a hat and wore it! The group picture was so cute!
Sunday afternoon I got to read. I finished my 24th book for my reading challenge, and then read another book. We watched "Chariots of Fire" while we ate supper.
Monday it rained, but it was warm. I wrote that night.
Tuesday it rained and got cold. It was almost 70ยบ when we ate breakfast, but within half an hour afterwards, it had dropped to the 40s. And by the time I taught writing classes, it was in the 30s. I got 1,200 words written that night.
Wednesday was cold and icy, and cloudy. Church that evening was cancelled because we were supposed to get more freezing rain. So I wrote another 1,200 words instead of working in the nursery.
Yesterday was pretty normal. Except my mom took my oldest nephew out to shop for his birthday, and then out for lunch. In the late afternoon and evening the kids were over here so their parents could have a date. The kids wanted to play dress-up. So I let them. Then they wanted to do a play. So, spur-of-the-moment me, had to come up with characters, get them dressed, and then figure out what the play was about. It actually worked! And "Newsy Jones" saved the day! I'm thinking of writing this story in a play form and posting it here. Would you enjoy it?

That's it. Here's your story this week. I'll be back next Friday with part 3.

Simply Trusting
Part 2

    Monday was a blur of activity to Belle, what with the washing being done and the children rushing about here and there. Everything seemed utter confusion at times. Rome and Kade, as though to make up for their good behavior the day before, got into one scrape after another until Ali was sent up to the fields to fetch Pa or Zeke. Belle tried to help where she could, but not being used to the way things were done, felt as though she were only causing more trouble for her aunt.
    “Auntie, should I take Mattie and Benny outside out of the way?” she finally asked.
    Looking up from the washtub, Aunt Lillian pushed back her hair from her face. “Goodness, Child, if’n ya can keep track of ‘em, yer welcome ta take ‘em. Think ya can manage if’n Tabby goes ‘long too?”
    “I can try.” She picked up Mattie and held out her hand to Benny who had been clinging to his mother’s skirt and crying. “Come on, Benny, let’s go outside and I’ll tell you a story.”
    Tabby inched closer from the corner where she had taken herself. “Me too?” she whispered.
    “Yes,” Belle smiled. “And Si and Sade if they want to. Come on, Benny,” she coaxed.
    With Tabby there, Benny gave in and allowed his cousin to take his chubby little hand. As they started out of the house, Belle broke into song.

“Simply trusting every day,
Trusting thro’ a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small,
Trusting Jesus, that is all”

    Together the four children made their way to a rock on the sunny slope where they sat down.
    “Now I’ll tell you a story,” Belle began, settling Mattie in her lap. In a sweet voice she began to tell of the little children who came to Jesus and the disciples who tried to send them away. “But Jesus loves children. He told his disciples to let the children come to Him.”
    “Did they?” Tabby wanted to know.
    “Yes, and Jesus let them sit in His lap, and He blessed them. Jesus loves all children.”
    “What if they ain’t good?” Tabby demanded, looking over toward the house where Pa had disappeared inside with Ali.
    Belle gave a sad smile. “He still loves them, but it makes Him sad when they aren’t good. If they will let Him, He will help them be good.” She watched as her uncle came out of the house with Kade and Rome and led them around the house and out of sight. A sigh escaped her lips, for she wasn’t used to children as determined to get into trouble as those two young cousins.
    “Ya sing a song now?” Tabby asked.
    “Yes, I can sing now,” Belle replied, and she began singing the song that was in her mind.

“Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by;
Trusting Him whate’re befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Brightly doth His Spirit shine
Into this poor heart of mine’
While He leads I cannot fall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.”

    Ali sat down beside her and Belle finished the chorus and then stopped. “Does Auntie need us?”
    Ali shook her head. “She said ya had taken the young’uns out ta tell a story. Did ya tell one?”
    “What about?”
    “Jesus blessing the children.”
    “I ain’t never heard that. What happened? They won’t mind if’n ya tell it again.”
    Belle looked at each young face. Four-year-old Tabby looked eager, Benny satisfied to listen to anything, and the weight of Mattie in her lap suggested that she had fallen asleep. “All right. I’ll tell it again.” It was a longer story this time, for Ali asked questions and wanted to know many things. Belle did her best to answer them until at last Ali fell silent.
    “Hmm,” Ali mused, looking at her cousin. “How’d ya learn that story?”
    “I read it in the Bible.”
    “Kain’t ya teach me ta read soon? I ain’t never learned how, an’ I reckon it’d be nice ta know.”
    “All right. We’ll have our first class here, but–” She looked down at Mattie’s dark head, “What do we do with Mattie?”
    Taking off her apron, Ali laid it in the shade and picked up her sleeping sister. “She can take a nap out here’s well as not.”
    “Everyone needs a little stick,” Belle began, spying a patch of dirt.
    At that Benny’s eyes lit up. He loved sticks.
    Soon Ali, Tabby and Benny were gathered around their teacher as she showed them how to write the letter A. Si and Sade, still hesitant and unsure about this stranger, hung back and watched for a long time until Sade ventured to get a stick. Belle, sensing that any word spoken to either her or Si might send them back into their shells, pretended she didn’t see them and went about instructing the others.
    Benny didn’t do well in copying the A in the dirt, but Ali did and Tabby, after some help from Belle, made a remarkably good A which brought praise from her cousin and a smile to the shy girl’s face. And, although she didn’t say anything, Belle smiled at how well Sade traced the letter in the dirt.

Have you ever been in charge of younger kids outside?
Did you ever try to teach someone their alphabet?
Do you want to read about "Newsy Jones"?

Friday, February 16, 2018

HitH - Simply Trusting - Part 1

Good morning Friday Fiction Fans!
I actually have a story for you today! Or at least part of one. :) I finally remembered to get it ready last night.

I've had a good week. It was busy at times, I got some reading in, and some writing. I babysat my nieces and nephews for several hours on Tuesday (9:45-2:30) and then in the evening from 7:30 until 9:15. That last time we got the youngest one. He's almost 7 months old and crawls. But he wanted held that night because it was bed time. He got mad at Papa's beard because it brushed his head and wasn't soft. Oh, did he cry! I finally got him calm, and he grabbed the zipper of my sweater in one hand, my shirt in the other and stuck his thumb in his mouth and sucked it fiercely as he cuddled. He later got over it, but would complain when he tried to play with Papa's beard. It was rather funny. :)

The weather here has been really nice! On Wednesday it was in the 60s and we had the windows open some. Then yesterday it got into the low 70s! It was really windy, but it was so nice! This morning it's cloudy and in the 30s.

Later this morning my sister and I are headed over to decorate for the Widows' Luncheon that is happening tomorrow. Three other friends are joining us to decorate. I can't wait! :D

But here's your story. If you haven't read "Hymns in the Hills" go up and click on the tab at the top. I added chapter 3 to it. This is the start of Chapter 4. Each chapter is about 4k words long. But instead of giving you a thousand words each week, I gave you 700-800 so that it would last 5 weeks. :) Enjoy!

Simply Trusting
Part 1

    Ali leaned closer. “What’d ya tell ‘em, Belle?”
    Staring off at the window panes where the evening light seemed to shimmer, Belle clasped her hands together and began composing out loud. “Dearest Mama and Papa, I have so much to say. First off, I miss you both, but I am safe at Auntie’s. You’ll never guess, Mama, at least I don’t think you will, at least you never told me, but I have a dozen cousins here. And these are just Uncle and Auntie’s children. I heard there are more, for Uncle Nathan is married, but I haven’t met them yet. I will tell you all about them once I have.
    “But I am going to start with the ones I have met. Zeke and Ez are the oldest and they are five years older than I am. Next comes Jess–” Belle broke off abruptly and said, “I know the names that you are called, but what are your given names?”
    “I weren’t given nothin’,” Rome complained. “She give you somethin’ Kade?” And the small boy glared across the table at his brother.
    “Hush,” Jess scolded. “Kade weren’t given nothin’ neither. Belle jest wants ta know yer real name.”
    “Rome is my real name,” insisted that fellow indignantly. “I ain’t got no other.”
    “Yes, ya has,” Ali said. “It’s the name ya get called if’n yer in a heap a trouble.”
    Rome’s eyes widened. “I ain’t tellin’ that when I ain’t done nothin’.”
    Before anyone else could say anything, Belle broke in. “Rome,” she tried to explain, “your real name isn’t just for when you get in trouble, it can be used if you want to be fine and proper. Then you tell someone your real name. Mine is Isabelle, but everyone calls me Belle. When I am introduced to someone of importance, I tell them my real name, not the short name that those who love me call me.” She smiled as she watched a look of understanding begin to creep across her young cousin’s face. “My name is Isabelle Standish, what is yours, sir?”
    “Roman Russum.”
    Belle’s gentle hand was reached across the table as she said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Roman Russum.”
    Coloring, Rome shook her hand quickly and then ducked his head.
    Turning to the cousin beside her she again introduced herself and asked his name.
    “I’m McKaidric.”
    “I’m pleased to know you, Mr. McKaidric.” Belle let her bright eyes rove over her other cousins. “Am I going to have to introduce myself to each one of you in order to learn your full name?” she asked.
    “Reckon so,” Ali giggled.
    “We’ll be here all night,” Jess sighed, and then without waiting for an introduction added, “I’m Jessica.”
    Belle smiled, nodded and moved her eyes to the younger twins. Sade and Si, having finished their supper, had been staring at their cousin, but the moment her eyes rested on them, they looked down and Si scooted closer to Ez. “How can I learn names when the younger ones won’t talk?”
    “It’s Sadie and Simon,” Jess replied. “An’ Pa has Tabitha; Benjamin,–he were named after Pa–is sittin’ with Ma.” She looked around, gave an exclamation and sprang from the table, but Zeke beat her to the stove and snatched up the baby before she could touch the hot surface.
    Mattie, finding herself deprived of her exploration, set up a howl and struggled to get down. That seemed to end the introductions and the lesson on polite manners, for Mrs. Russum rose and said, raising her voice to be heard about the screaming baby, “Start cleanin’ up the dishes girls.” She turned to take Mattie, but Zeke was handing her over to Ez and the child’s screams subsided.

    As the girls prepared for bed, Belle asked, “Ali, what is your full name?”
    “And yours Riss?”
    Riss’s voice was quiet as she replied, “Clarissa.”
    “Oh, what a lovely name. And are Ez and Zeke, Ezra and Ezekiel?”
    Climbing into bed, Ali nodded. “An’ Mattie is really Matilda. But we aint’ never called them longer names less we’re in a heap a trouble.” She gave a sigh and added, “Then we’re likely ta get a lickin’ an’ the name.”
    Belle didn’t answer but read her verse, knelt in prayer and then silently crawled into bed as Jess blew out the light and the room became dark.
    There was a long moment of silence before Ali whispered, “Belle, are ya mad?”
    “No,” came the whispered reply. “Why should I be mad?”
    “Well, ya ain’t never said nothin’ after I said that ‘bout our names.”
    “I was just thinking.”
    “‘Bout what?”
    “About how lovely your names all are, but no one ever uses them to make you feel proud of them.”
    “Weren’t you ever called yer full name when ya got in trouble? Or did ya never get in trouble? I kain’t seem ta picture ya bein’ bad.”
    Belle gave a long sigh. “Yes, I have been bad many times, Ali, and sometimes Mama or Papa would use my full name, but it was always said in a tone of loving reproof, and I knew I hadn’t pleased the Lord Jesus.”
    When no answer came from her cousin, Belle closed her eyes and thought back over her day. It had been a very different kind of Sunday than she had ever experienced before. “Did I please the Lord Jesus today?” she wondered, unaware that two other persons in the house were silently singing the hymn she had sung that morning in the wagon.
Do you get called your given name, or a  pet name?
Have you had to explain the difference in names before?
Have you enjoyed spring weather this week?

Friday, February 9, 2018

Searching for a New Story

Good morning Fans,
I don't have a story again today. Sorry. I was going to get some of "Hymns in the Hills" ready, but that didn't happen. I think it's because I'm missing a day or two. Not sure which days, but it can't be Friday already.

This week has been busy teaching Writing Classes and getting things ready for the Widows' Luncheon that was supposed to happen tomorrow, but due to a forecast of freezing rain tonight and tomorrow, we had to decide to postpone it. (Many people live a distance away.) So that'll hopefully take place next Saturday. But things didn't get decided until last night.

I worked in Cubbies on Wednesday night, so I didn't get anything written.
Earlier this week I heard that a cover designer was having a sale on all her pre-made covers. So off I went to look at them. Well I saw one. Actually there was more than one. But there were two I really liked, but one in particular caught my eye. But I didn't have a story that fit it. So the search began. Could I come up with and write a story for that cover? I figured if I could at least get a good start on one, I could get the cover and then finish the story. Well I started writing on Tuesday and got 1k written of a story. But after looking at the cover again yesterday, I don't think this story will fit it. So I either start again, or I forget it. Not sure what I'll do. I also have Hymns in the Hills that needs written. And eventually I'll have to write my June and July stories.

Oh, the other thing you might be interested in is the Christmas story that I finished, got corrected and am working with a cover designer. I would have done the cover myself, but all I could think of was a burning barn. Not exactly what you'd think of for a Christmas cover, right? And this is a different sort of Christmas story. It takes place in AZ.

If you haven't already heard, my February story is now published. I just haven't added it to my website. Maybe I can do that this afternoon. It's called "Forget Not."

Well, hopefully I'll have something for you next week.

Have you been writing anything?
Do you have bad weather forecasted for tomorrow?
Have you been reading any interesting books?

Friday, February 2, 2018

Just an Update

A lovely February to all you FFFs,
Changing the calendar yesterday felt so strange. I wasn't in the least bit ready to move on to another month. I wanted to protest.

So, I don't have a story for you today. That means you can do a little catching up reading from other places on my blog. Old posts with short stories or longer stories are just waiting to be discovered once again. It's probably a good thing I didn't have to worry about posting today. This week has been one of those crazy sort of ones where my brain just doesn't want to focus, or else there are to many things to focus on and it can't decide what is most important.

I did get my March story written, so that's good. Those of you who are signed up as Beta/Test readers will get notified near the end of the month. If you aren't signed up and don't know what I'm talking about, you can go to Read Another Page and find the place where you can sign up to be a Test/Beta reader. Right now I'm trying to get a short kindle story published each month this year. January's got done, and February's is almost ready to be released.

What is my brain so busy about?
  • Getting my February story corrected, formatted, and the cover finished.
  • Correcting 2 chapters of "Hymns in the Hills."
  • Editing my March story which still doesn't have a name.
  • Writing!
  • Planning for, preparing, and in general, getting ready for the Widows' Luncheon (at church) that's on the 10th and I'm in charge of it for the first time. We have 11 widows and almost all of them have 2 Secret Sisters, and this is the luncheon that we reveal who those ladies were.
  • Trying to get reading in here and there.
  • Taxes that need filed.
  • Organizing some files on my computer so I can find things and so I don't have quite so many.
  • Replying to emails.
  • Keeping up with all the books being read for the Reading Challenge (which is so much fun!).
  • Preparing blog posts for Read Another Page. (Part 3 of my bookshelf tour will be on Tuesday.)
  • Babysitting my nieces and nephews.
  • Life in general.
And that, my dear readers, is what I've been doing. And I'm sure I haven't mentioned some things.

How was your week?
Does you brain ever get too busy?
Which story are you going to go read?