Friday, August 31, 2018

The Mysterious Solution - Part 2

Good morning FFFs!
It rained almost all day and was as dark as early morning or late evening almost all day. This morning the sun is coming up in a sky washed clear of storm clouds. the earth is wet from the showers, but the air is cool. We have the windows open now. I can hear a few cicadas and early birds. It looks like a beautiful morning. It's supposed to be hot later today so we'll enjoy the cool weather while we can.

How was your week? Mine was one of those weeks where you play "catch-up" all week. At least that's what it's felt like. I did teach on Tuesday, but 4 of my students weren't here, so that made the day a little shorter in the teaching realm. I've been trying to work on the FFF party, another book of family letters, prepare for more writing classes, write, get my September cover ready for the story, and get settled into this computer. I still don't have all my files on here, but I'm getting them added slowly as I need them. And I'm not putting on files that I don't use or need right now.

A few changes are taking place. One is the change of CreateSpace to KDP. I'm still unsure about this move. Part of the trouble right now for me is that I am planning on getting a few new things published soon, but I don't want to have proof copies on CS when the move comes. So I'm waiting to hear back from them. If the change isn't going to be until almost the new year, then I'm fine. If it's going to be in a few weeks, I'll wait. I'm just afraid it'll be happening right when I don't want it to. :P

The other change is going to be fun, exciting, and quite interesting, I'm sure. If you've been reading this blog for long, you'll know that my dad and I have participated in the Citizens' Police Academy, the Citizens' METZ Academy, and the Sheriff's Citizens' Academy. All three times were very interesting, and I learned a lot. Well, not too long ago my dad learned about a new program. It's kind of the same thing as the others, only this is the Highway Patrol! We just found out yesterday that we were in. Classes start next Thursday and last for 5 weeks. I'm hoping to get reports written after each class, but we'll see how things go. Would you be interested in reading my reports for the classes?

Well, here's the second half of this story. I hope you enjoy it. Perhaps it will even make you cry. :)

The Mysterious Solution
Part 2

Last week . . .

It wasn’t until late the next night that the professor again opened the door to his laboratory and entered. This time he wore no glasses.
Some time later, with tears streaming down his cheeks, he descended the stairs. “It works!” he cried. “Now to become famous! And then--” He was so excited that, even though it was nearly the middle of the night, he flung wide his front door and shouted, “Hear all you good people! I, Professor Stovkewetsky, your fellow townsman am about to be known all over the world! And you, my fine friends and neighbors shall all share in my glory!”
Before he had finished this joyful burst of news, windows had been flung wide up and down the street. There were murmuring voices heard, but the professor couldn’t tell what was being said. He naturally assumed it was congratulations and good wishes, so with a final shout he returned to his own house.

Very busy were the next few days for Professor Stovkewetsky. He carefully prepared the last of his new novel and dipped dozens and dozens of sheets of paper in his new mysterious solution and hung them up to dry.
At last the day came when Prof Stovkey loaded his old truck with boxes and drove off to the printer leaving the townsfolk shaking their heads.
“Oh, the poor man,” said one woman to her neighbor, “he is gone insane.”
“He has indeed. Imagine waking the whole town up in the middle of the night to say that he would be famous.”
“Yes,” added a third person with a shake of the head, “and now driving off with that load in his truck. I wouldn’t be surprised if he never made it back.”
“It is a pity,” yet another woman put in, “and he used to teach in the university too.”
“I suspect too much learning has driven him crazy.”

In spite of the dire predictions, Professor Stovkewetsky did make it back to the village two days later with a beaming face; he appeared in the market place the following day with a box of books.
“Come and buy my newest book,” he urged. “I guarantee it will make you cry. If it does not, your money will be given back to you. Now wouldn’t you like to try the story? It will be the most touching thing you have ever read.”
Many were the skeptical looks the professor and his books received, but a few persons, more out of pity than a desire to read what the professor had written, bought some books and the professor was satisfied. For several days Prof Stovkey sold his books in the village market, eagerly asking those who had purchased the book earlier if they had read it yet. No one had.
It wasn’t until fully two weeks and three days after he sold his first book that a villager came up to him in the market.
“I don’t know how you did it, Professor Stovkewetsky,” the man said shaking his head in wonder, “I never cry when I read books, but yours certainly made me cry. Why, I could hardly see the words for my tears.”
“Ah, I’m delighted you enjoyed it,” replied the professor in great satisfaction, rubbing his hands together. “I knew it would be a success.” He added as the reader of his book turned away, “Soon I’ll be able to hire a cook!” and he laughed gleefully in delight.
A crowd gathered around the village man who had read the book. “What was it like?”
“Did you really cry as he said you would?”
The man nodded. “I did cry, but why I don’t know. It is perplexing. When I think back on the story, I remember nothing that would make me cry, yet when I read the book, I couldn’t keep the tears away.”
“Ah, mysterious!”
“I must get one and try it.”
It wasn’t long before word of his touching novel spread throughout the village, and even those of the surrounding towns and cities began to come to buy this much talked of book. Soon the fame of it reached beyond Russia and Professor Stovkewetsky was kept busy preparing his special mixture, dipping and drying his papers, and taking truck load after truck load to the printer.
It was a joyful day for him when at last a cook was established in his kitchen. Many were the delightful meals that cook stirred up which were neither raw nor burned, and for many years Professor Stovkewetsky lived in great comfort from the sales of his last novel. Many a newsman came to interview the now famous author about his success, but Professor Stovkewetsky never would reveal his secret to them.
And the folks in the village marveled at the professor’s success and puzzled over the strange books, for when it was read aloud only the reader would cry while the others just looked on with dry eyes. It was certainly very mysterious.
It was only many years later that he told his cook what he had done. “You see,” he began, “I created this odorless mixture with which I saturate my pages. When those pages are before you, the undetected essence in them creates the need fro tears. Then the moving places in my book are printed on the special paper and my readers cry whether they want to or not. It has proved very effective.” He smiled. “And it has given me enough money to have a cook.” He sighed deeply and raised a large forkful of pie to his lips.
And so, Professor Stovkewetsky lived the remainder of his life eating food that was neither raw nor burnt and spending his days mixing his tear-jerking invention, dipping his papers and printing his novel. He never wrote another story. And people still puzzle over their tears, but only Professor Stovkewetsky and his cook know the mysterious solution.

Did you cry?
Have you ever attended a Citizens' Academy?
Are you ready for September to come?

Friday, August 24, 2018

The Mysterious Solution - Part 1

Did any of you even notice that today's post is not coming around 7:30 in the morning? You probably didn't even think about the fact that this is later than usual. Well, it is.

I'm on Vacation!!!!

This week I'm at my grandparents and all those projects I brought along to work on? Yeah, the ones that are still sitting in my bag. I haven't touched them. I wasn't planning to be this much on vacation, but when I was just exhausted and feeling emotional Sunday night, I knew I needed a break. There's been a lot of stress, craziness, and busyness the past few months. So on Monday I didn't do anything productive! I did check my emails a few times. It was wonderful! I did it again on Tuesday, and Wednesday, and . . . Well, you get the idea. It's amazing what a few days of vacation can do. I highly recommend it.

But, lest you think all I've been doing is sitting around doing nothing, here's a quick look at some of the things I've done. And they are not in order by days.
  • Worked Sudoku puzzles- Both the Regular and the Extreme
  • Bike riding to breakfast with my grandpa. We came home in the rain. :)
  • Walking almost every morning with my sister
  • Bringing up an old chair from the basement that my grandparents are getting rid of
  • Watching Little League World Series games
  • Finishing a "Sticker-by-Number" calendar for my aunt
  • Working jigsaw puzzles
  • Seeing an owl and a fox (Hey, this is the city folks, we don't see those things usually.)
What have you all been up to this week? Has school started in your neck of the woods?
This story is one I wrote a number of years ago. A friend told me she wanted a story that made her cry but not because of the usual things. This was my story.

The Mysterious Solution
Part 1
Rebekah M.

In a little town in Russia, there lived an odd, and if the reports are to be credited, rather eccentric man. For many years he had been a professor in a nearby university and had written and published many a novel, none of which had sold more than a hundred copies. However, it was not his writing which caused the whispers among the village folks, it was the strange rumors going around about his experiments.
Some people said he locked himself in his house for days at a time and wouldn’t answer the door. Others reported lights on in an upper room late into the night. In the market place the women talked together in low tones.
“Have you seen Prof Stovkewetsky?” asked one woman selling vegetables.
“Not for several days,” replied another behind her stand of potatoes.
“He came to my stand last week and bought all my red flowers. He would only take red,” chimed in a third mysteriously.
“And I heard,” a fourth spoke up as she joined the group with her market basket on her arm, “that several large packages have arrived for him from America.”
“You don’t say!”
“I wonder what he is about.”
“Is he writing another novel?” A sixth person, drawn by the low toned conversation had drawn near and added her question.
The second woman replied, “If he is, then why such secrecy and why did he buy all my red flowers?”
“My house is just across the road from his and things have been very mysterious.” And the speaker looked as though she could tell things of great interest if she so chose.

By himself, away from gossiping, wondering, speculating tongues, Professor Stovkewetsky was very busy in his laboratory on the second floor of his house. He was muttering half aloud as he carefully strained a strange looking mixture into a pan and began to heat it on his little stove. “Heat over low temperatures. Add Q plus ten spoonfuls of X. Stir the onions in cold water while the Q and X amalgamates. Cover R3G with . . .” So, muttering and murmuring, he shuffled here and there mixing, heating, stirring.
He had been at work for weeks, months even, trying to find the special formula which would make him world famous. With no one did he share his idea for fear they would find the correct mixture before he did, and if they did, well, his dreams would perish. The very thought of such a thing happening caused Professor Stovkewetsky to sigh and place a hand over his stomach while a look of dejection crept across his usually placid face.
Having retired from teaching, Professor Stovkewetsky or Prof Stofkey as his students called him behind his back, was now able to devote his entire time to his work. Days passed as the professor labored tirelessly day after day and often far into the nights. At last he was ready for the experiment.
Nearly giddy with excitement, Professor Stovkewetsky cleared a place on a table where he placed a large, square, glass dish. Stringing up some twine across the room, and getting a dozen sheets of plain paper out, he was ready. After donning glasses, a clean white frock, a face mask and gloves, he ever so carefully poured a clear mixture into the glass pan. It was only enough to cover the bottom of the dish about a quarter of an inch, but the professor smiled behind his mask. Then, with fingers which shook with excitement, he placed one sheet of paper into the liquid.
Watching the paper as it absorbed the moisture was a fascinating process which required all of Prof Stovkey’s attention. At just the right moment, with extreme care, the paper was removed, held dripping over the pan for exactly thirty seconds and then hung from the twine to dry while another paper was placed in the mixture. Each of the twelve pieces of paper received the same careful attention and treatment.
Taking off his gloves and face mask, though he left his glasses on, Professor Stovkewetsky sniffed.
“I don’t smell a thing. Maybe I have hit on it at last! But I must wait until the paper is dry before I can really test it.” So saying, he left the room, carefully shutting and locking the door behind him, and went downstairs to eat whatever he could find in the house.
He had not been a successful cook in his younger years, so now he ate everything raw or burned. “When I am rich and famous,” he would say to himself, “I’ll hire some good cook to work for me.” And he would sigh and place his hand over his stomach again.
It wasn’t until late the next night that the professor again opened the door to his laboratory and entered. This time he wore no glasses.

Have you read this story before?
What do you think the Professor is up to?
Did you notice that this post was later than usual?

Friday, August 17, 2018

It's Friday?

Good morning FFFs!
It's a rumbling, rainy morning here. It sounds like the perfect weather to curl up with a good book, or just go back to bed. :) But I have things to do. I always seem to have things to do.

This week has been a jumble of trying to get things done and other things.
Writing classes started this week, and I have 9 students in 4 different classes all on Tuesday morning. It was a bit crazy, but things went well.
I also got a new computer! I'm really liking it, except that the CD player won't pull in the disc all the way and play it. I may end up having to send the computer back because I use that player regularly. But I wanted to keep trying it a little longer and see if there is anything else that is a problem. That's one reason I haven't moved all my files over.

The rest of the week have been such a mixture of this and that, writing, editing, getting ready for writing classes, practicing the violin, and being distracted by Little League. Sometimes I felt overwhelmed by everything. I wanted to run away to a cabin and hide. Other times I wanted to get the entire list of things done. I was planning on getting a longer story for you this week, but with everything going on, that didn't happen. So I just picked one. It was one I thought of posting a few weeks ago, but never did.

But if you want something else, my August story, The Way to Go is Free today and tomorrow.


It was quite chilly when I crawled out of my sleeping bag and, unzipping my tent door, stepped out into the crisp morning. Everything was quiet and still. The brown grass at my feet crunched with each
footstep. Stately, old pine trees stood guard on the bit of land which juts out into the aqua and teal lake where scarcely a ripple disturbs its placid face. Across from my camping site, on the other side of the lake, march row upon row of trees, up the mountainside, until the snow-covered cliffs halt most of them.
     I gave a sigh of contentment. This was the first time I had gotten to be alone for more than fifteen minutes since the whirl of things began. I don’t know when the whirl started exactly, it just seemed to creep up and then I was in the midst of it all. Now at last maybe I can get some much needed rest, to try to sort things out, to understand, to consider, to decide. Out here alone I hope to be able to find the peace and joy I had. Alone? No, not really. My Heavenly Father is here and that is all I need. It was His hand that guided through all: weddings and funerals, births and deaths, over-work and no work at all, excitement of courtships and heartache of breakups, tornadoes and earthquakes, political unrest and political victories; all combined to frazzle a mind already bewildered with the many decisions of everyday life.
     I think I’ll just sit here today by my campfire and let the quietude of the mountains and water calm my feelings as I read the dearest book in the world. How can I help but grow refreshed when the Author of each word and thought is my Lover and Friend, my Father, my Savior, my Jesus? If I knew Him not, I would surely be the most miserable of all persons. Some people thought my coming away into this wilderness alone was just a way of trying to escape from everything and hide. They were somewhat right. I am hiding from everything. But not as they think. My Hiding Place is the Rock in a weary land, the Shelter in storms, a Tower, a Shield, a Refuge. No, I don’t expect everything to be perfect when I return, but it will be okay. The sun on those snow covered peaks is glorious!
     The birds are singing above me, and I hear a squirrel chattering somewhere. Maybe I’ll go sit on that rock in the sun. No worries, no cares, no thought for tomorrow. Isn’t that how life is supposed to be? I can echo the psalmist when he penned the words, “Oh that I had wings like a dove, then would I fly away and be at rest.” But it wouldn’t be the same rest which the Shepherd gives to His sheep. On the whole, I am glad, thankful even, that I have a heart which can feel pain and joy, love and sorrow, and my Savior’s matchless, boundless, endless mercy, grace and love!

My days alone here are ended. I’m going back to be ”in the world but not of it.” Peace and rest fill me as I go with my All-In-All.
Have you ever felt like you needed to get away from everything?
Have you ever actually gotten away?
What sort of story do you want next week?

Friday, August 10, 2018

What Am I?

Hello, FFFs,
How are you doing? I'm doing well. It's been a busy first part of the week, and then I've been trying to catch up on things, including sleep. ;)

Saturday– My dad, Sis, and I went out to help knock doors all Saturday morning with my brother, his family, and 7 others. It wasn't bad in the morning as there was a nice breeze, but it sure got hot later! We got a lot of doors knocked.

Sunday–A much needed day of rest! Usually I read all afternoon, but I was so tired that I had to take a few cat naps in the middle of my reading.

Monday–I spent the morning and afternoon working on projects. Then after supper I headed out to join my brother in knocking more doors. We worked until after 8:30. Then we met up with some others who were also knocking doors. Then it was time to put up some "Vote Today" signs. I put some up on the way home, but decided to get my dad before I went and put up the last signs at a polling place in a not so nice neighborhood.

Tuesday–Election Day! We started out by sign waving! Finally! A family joined us who had never done it before. The kids loved it! Even when it started raining. We just held umbrellas and our signs and kept on shouting. :D I went with my BF to vote. That was strange since I don't remember the last time when I actually voted on election day. Next my brother dropped two nephews off and the three of us headed to a polling place to hold signs. It rained off and on that morning. Then, after lunch, the sun came out. I now have a nice sunburn. We stayed there until 4:45. That evening we headed to my brother's watch party. It was late before the final results came in. He had lost by 46 votes. It was a bit of a shock at first, but then it really felt like the hand of God. He may have lost, but, as our sheriff told him, "You made a difference in the county. You and your family even if you didn't win." And it's okay. God has something different in store for him.

Wednesday–Trying to catch up on sleep, and different things. That night the church's puppet team (my oldest niece and nephew were a part this time) did their final performance for church, so we all went and watched. They did great!

Thursday–Trying to get more done, things worked on. I actually wrote last evening! I haven't written since the 2nd! You know what? It's rather fun to write. ;)

And that's a look at my week. How was your week?
I was looking through old stories trying to decide what to post when I came across this poem. I decided to share it today instead of a story. Leave a comment to tell me what you think the answer is.

What Am I?
Rebekah Morris

I have no wings, but I can fly,
Just close your eyes and I’ll slip by.
I use no fuel and eat no food,
I’m never late for that would be rude.
I never sleep yet am not awake,
And I’m sorry, you can’t toss me in the lake.
For love or money I can’t be bought,
Though more of me many have sought.
I race and I creep, I’m slow and I’m fast,
But I’m always the same as I’ve been in the past.
I’m certain to continue as when I began,
For though I am young, I’m older than man.
I’m tossed aside by the careless, looked down on with contempt,
Yet from my relentlessness no one is exempt.
I have no fear of danger,
To love I am a stranger,
You’ll use me every day until you die,
So tell me please, what am I?

Friday, August 3, 2018


Good morning FFFs,
Sorry, I don't have a story for you this time. After finishing the last story, I haven't had time to write a new one, and I haven't gone through my old ones and picked one to republish. But, since it seems that most of you have been busy with other things anyway this summer, you can just catch up on this last story.😃

What have I done this week?

Sunday – It was a wonderful day to relax. It was rainy and cooler. After church we visited some and then came home and ate lunch. I spent my afternoon reading.

Monday–Thursday – It was a stay-at-home week which was wonderful! I didn't have any writing students. (Regular classes will start on the 14th of this month.) We didn't babysit (though we will this evening), and the temperatures have been in the 60s in the mornings so Sis and I have gotten to get out and walk! Lovely! I did work nursery at church Wednesday night, only there were no little ones and the other worker and I ended up sitting in the nursery talking the whole time. And then I practiced music.

But there are other things I've been working on during the days. I finally finished listening to the audio of my book Finding Joy. And Dylan's Story is almost ready for me to proof listen to as well. I'm trying to get my August short story finished so I can publish it. I've finished two chapters of Hymns in the Hills, gotten ideas for some of the other month stories, worked on some Five Fall Favorites planning, scanned pictures of my grandparents in the 1940s, worked on blog posts, and a host of other things. I actually feel like I've been making progress on getting some things done instead of just treading water, or doing enough to keep me going but not really getting anywhere.

Tomorrow is the last Saturday before the elections, so I'll be heading out to knock doors and do some sign waving for my brother. It's supposed to be hot, but maybe the morning will start out nice.

And that's it. I'm hoping to get a lot done today, though I never feel like doing much after I clean the house. Does anyone else ever feel that way? Probably not. Oh, well. Hopefully next week I'll have a story for you all to read. If anyone wants to read one. 😉