Mashed Potato Surprise

The family sat down for Thanksgiving dinner. She had cooked quite a dinner and he had helped. Everyone was at the table and they were both carrying the dishes of food to the table when she heard a crash. She turned around and he had dropped a large bowl of mashed potatoes on the floor, splattering them everywhere. They were everyone’s favorite dish.

He smiled, walked to the table, and pointed his finger. A lightning bolt appeared and at the end, a large bowl of mashed potatoes.

She said, “Hmm, so why have I bothered cooking all these years?”

 

Thanks to Charli at the Carrot Ranch

 

 

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The Abstraction

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The old man had entered the contest for wood sculpting six months ago. Now, at the deadline, it was finished. As the crowd walked by and viewed his creation, they remarked that he should not have carved a living tree. His vision wouldn’t have worked on a dead one.

As more people viewed it, he wondered if the world had forgotten abstract art. Did everything have to be realism? He got angrier by the minute at their criticisms and tried to explain abstraction.

He got angry and threw his ax in the middle of the tree.

He won the award.

 

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and Friday Fictioneers!

 

I’m Going to Miss Bob

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Have you ever come to a fork in the road in your life where you had to make some hard choices? See that picture above? That’s Bob. A rather rare species of wood stork. Bob illustrates what has been a rather hard choice for myself and my family.

Wood storks like Bob only live along the far southern coast of the United States. Seldom do they frequent your yard and you have the chance to get to know them up close and personal. But, I had the opportunity to get to know Bob and so many other wonderful things over the last ten years on Pine Island, a barrier island off the Gulf Coast of Florida.

We discovered Pine Island in the spring of 2009 quite by accident. It was love at first sight. It is a wildlife lover’s paradise and a slice of Old Florida thrown in for good measure. Pine Island used to be a place primarily for commercial fishing, until the tourists discovered it. It still isn’t frequented as much for tourism as Sanibel Island or Marco Island due to its lack of sandy beaches. The beaches are rocky and filled with mangroves. But if you love wildlife, beautiful tropical birds and fish, exploring and hiking, and really nice people, you would love Pine Island.

We started going there every year, at some point during the cold Kentucky winters. Since it is off the coast of Ft. Myers, Florida, it is warm and dry all winter. Lovely weather. We loved it so much we bought a small place there. But time marches on and it finally became obvious that the drive of 1100 miles one way was going to finally be too far and that finding a housesitter for weeks or months on end was going to be impossible. We made the decision to sell our place on Pine Island. That certainly doesn’t mean we’ll never go back. It does mean we won’t be residents and we won’t be wintering there in the future.

There are so many things I’ll miss. Bob, of course. The beautiful fishing pier at Bokeelia. The little town of Matlacha. The awesome seafood. That beautiful ocean. The weather (but only in the winter!). The really nice and often delightfully eccentric people. The wonderful restaurants. The opportunity to observe exotic wildlife and birds up close and personal including ospreys and bald eagles. The chance to see my friend, Amy, and so very much more.

To me, Pine Island represents one of those wonderful interludes in life that you love looking back at and it makes you happy that you were there and sad you had to leave. I’ll always hope to go back. But, if life happens and for some reason, I don’t make it back to Bob, I’m a lucky girl that I got to be there at all. Not everyone gets to experience such an interlude in life. Maybe I’ll write about it someday.

Now it’s time to move on to the next Great Adventure and we’re thinking the Great Lakes, particularly Lake Superior, the land of my ancestors.

I wouldn’t trade my time at Pine Island, and with Bob, for the world.

#weekendcoffeeshare – 11/3/2018

Good morning, everyone! Thank you for joining me for our #weekendcoffeeshare this week! It’s cold outside today. I hope you can make your way through all the fallen leaves on the ground. You can see a picture of our fall color above. Those trees are in my backyard! We measure leaves in the fall here by the foot! Please come in and fix yourself the hot beverage of your choice. I have several kinds of coffee and tea, so pick your pleasure!

I haven’t had a #weekendcoffeeshare for a couple of weeks and I apologize. It’s been a very busy time at my house. I try to find four or five hours to write every day, which is sometimes difficult, and then the rest of the day is taken up by a million little (and sometimes big) things. The most important thing is always my writing, but sometimes, the most pressing thing is Tucker, my eight month old Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

Oh, Tucker! That boy not only requires, but demands a great deal of time. He looks like a grown dog, but he’s still a baby with a puppy brain. When I look at how big he is and how much he looks like an adult male, it’s hard to remember. Tucker is now 35 pounds which is very close to the size he should be at maturity. Cardigans don’t mature until they are two or even three years old so I shudder to think of his size at maturity! 🙂 He’s very sweet, but he requires a lot of training. You can see a picture of Tucker, my yard long dog, above!

Now, down to business! I am still working on characterizations and settings for my novella that may actually become a novel. I have no way to know at this point. Novellas are usually around 40,000 words. Above about 60,000 words and you are approaching the word count of a novel. Since the public’s attention span seems to be getting shorter all the time, the word count of novels is getting lower. So I don’t know what I’ll have when I’m finished!

One interesting setting I’m developing is New York City, circa 1943. I need to develop two settings, one in Brooklyn where I’ve never been and one in the middle of Manhattan, where I have been but obviously not in 1943! Manhattan is surely proving to be the easier of the two. I’m having to do a deep dive into research to find much about Brooklyn in the middle of World War II. This is a novella (novel?) full of different settings so I’ll gradually mention a lot of them! Both my protagonist and antagonist are traveling around a lot.

Traveling is another issue I’m having to deal with. Travel in 1943 and today are completely different. My antagonist has travel provided. My protagonist does not. I’ll talk more about this next week.

Feel free to stay and finish your beverage. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll hope to see you next week!

 

Thanks to eclecticali

 

 

 

Haunted

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“It’s always darkest before the dawn.” That old quote popped into her head at 4 a.m. It wouldn’t be daylight soon this morning since the Earth was spinning toward the shortest day of the year. She was still awake at this ungodly hour, as she often was, yearning for the light.

She couldn’t sleep until it was daylight. The old dreams, the terrible dreams of her childhood, haunted her, and she knew she couldn’t sleep until dawn when they would subside. She remembered them when she awoke, screaming, but only for a few seconds. Only the light chased them away.

 

Thanks to Charli and the CarrotRanch!

One-Way Glass

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Doors to her were only a symbol. They had always kept her out, excluded her. From the time she was a child, she’d felt like she was on the outside looking in. She wondered if that clear blue pane would allow her to see inside. No doubt it was one-way glass. Doors were always one-way.

Since she’d become an adult and developed courage, she’d insisted on being allowed into the doors she thought were important to her. A difficult door had been to her career. It was not a career particularly open to women in those days. She had to push her way, kicking and screaming through that closed and locked door. It disillusioned her. During her career, she had to knock down one door after another.

Now she found herself fighting against the most difficult door of all. Time and age. This time, she wanted to stay on this side of that door, but she was being pulled toward it by an irresistible force. She didn’t want to go.

170 words

 

Thanks to Priceless Joy and Jade M. Wong for the photo prompt.

Beached

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Do you know what it feels like to be drowning? Not to be able to catch your breathe? It feels like you’re a fish out of water. Flopping on the shoreline. Gasping. Choking. Even if you manage to wriggle your way back to water, it hurts to breathe. You can’t swim very powerfully.

It feels like it does when your beloved leaves you and you feel like you’ve been punched in the gut. You can’t catch your breath for a few seconds. Even when you finally do, it comes in short, hard gasps. You might take a few steps, but you grab at your stomach. Overcome with pain. Bending over as if that will help.

Some people are like wolves or bald eagles or penguins. They mate for life. If their mate is gone, they find their way alone. Lonely, but with their memories. Occasionally gasping for breath like the beached fish. You may see them walking along the beach and if they raise their head, you’ll see the pain shining out of their eyes.

175 words

Thanks to Priceless Joy and to Jodi McKinney for the photo prompt.

 

#weekendcoffeeshare -10/13/2018

Good morning, everyone! The picture posted above of the ocean is in memory of the Hurricane Michael victims.

So glad you could join me here at my home and have coffee with me this morning! I have set up a coffee and tea bar in my kitchen for your drinking pleasure. I wish we could have coffee on my deck, but fall has come to #Kentucky and it’s too cold. So grab whatever beverage you want and let’s go to my writing studio!

Kentucky was still hot and in the midst of full on summer until about four days ago. That’s pretty unusual for this time in October. Then, four days ago, the season suddenly changed, cool weather arrived, and fall is here. I’m glad! It was the most humid summer in Kentucky that I can ever remember. The cool weather is so refreshing!

If we were having coffee, I would ask each of you how your writing is coming along? I also hope just the general course of your life is going wonderfully. The world, at least in the U.S., seems to be an increasingly difficult place in which to live. I hope it’s being kind to you.

A few weeks ago, I promised one of you who was reading my #weekendcoffeeshare, that I would talk a little about my use of Scrivener in writing my novella, so I’d like to fulfill that promise.

For those of you who don’t know, Scrivener is a very powerful writer’s software program. It is very detailed and complex, but you don’t have to use all the functions. You can, of course, write your entire manuscript on Scrivener which I will try in the future. Since I’m not familiar with it or wasn’t until this past week, I’m going to write my manuscript for my novella on Word, but use some of the functions of Scrivener for specific things.

I mentioned last week that I’m developing the setting for my novella. Scrivener has a cool way for developing your setting. You can develop multiple settings and insert them into your manuscript when they are needed. I’m using the setting function because my novella does indeed have multiple settings. Since I’m writing historical fiction, I have to research each setting and Scrivener is a good way to summarize each setting and save all my notes. Then, as I write the manuscript using Word, I can refer to those notes in Scrivener.l

When I get bored with developing the various settings, I switch over to developing my characters. Scrivener also has a very nice interface for character development. You can develop characters with deep attributes and have your notes at your fingertips. In historical fiction, I have to find out the way each character would have spoken, the clothes they would have worn, how they would have reacted to current world events of the time, and much more. I can keep those notes on Scrivener and refer to them as needed as I’m developing my characters. I can develop each character on Scrivener, with prompts, and accomplish, I think, more complete character development.

In checking out the Scrivener software program, I found that if you type your manuscript in Scrivener, there is a function that converts it to Word. I also found that Scrivener will put your manuscript in the format necessary to self-publish on Kindle publishing. I will report more on Scrivener as I use it more. I’d love to hear what each of you think of this program?

On a personal note, I’m home on top of my mountain this fall. The leaves have not really started to turn yet so it is a very late fall. It will be beautiful here when they do. My plans for the fall and winter is to write and finish this novella. It will be a race to get it done, but this is my goal. I try to write 4-6 hours per day. My puppy, Tucker, usually has something to say about that, but he’s starting to get better. He’s 7.5 months old now. I just realized that I don’t have a current picture of him, but I’ll post one the next time I write a #weekendcoffeeshare. I’m going to try to write the occasional blog post just to change things up for me.

I’d love to hear your stories. How is everything with you and what are you doing this fall?

Thanks to Eclecticali

Brett Kavanaugh: Men – It’s Not About You

Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as the newest Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States this weekend. After Dr. Christine Ford’s testimony and Judge Kavanaugh’s follow-up testimony, I’m disgusted for many reasons. One of the reasons is that men seem to be making this issue all about them. It’s not. It’s about the victimization of women since the beginning of time.

Don’t you think we know that there are good men in the world? In fact, most men are good men. Someone, however, is attacking one out of every three women, aren’t they? But that is not the issue and if you think it is, you don’t understand the problem at all. First, the issue is that the justices on the High Court should have spotless reputations. We already had Clarence Thomas on the court who was accused of being a sexual predator by Anita Hill during his confirmation. We don’t know if he is/was or not. Now we have Brett Kavanaugh and regardless of what you may say, there is no way, now, that we will ever know if he is a sexual predator. Allow me to explain.

The explanation involves the second issue. A woman simply would not put herself through what Dr. Ford went through if there was not something to her story. She did not tell her story at 15 years of age because she was frightened. Frightened of her parents, her school, her attacker, and so many more things. She tried to put it behind her and move on. She couldn’t and went into therapy. Then, Kavanaugh was nominated for a position on the Supreme Court.

An investigation ensued or so President Trump told us. Trump not only did a disservice to Dr. Ford. He also did a disservice to Justice Kavanaugh because now, because of a sham of an investigation, we will never know if Kavanaugh is guilty or innocent or if Ford was telling the truth. This wasn’t a trial so the rules of innocent until proven guilty do not apply. A large percentage of the population will always wonder about Kavanaugh just like we wonder about Clarence Thomas. Trump could have allowed the FBI to either clear Kavanaugh’s reputation or prove that Ford was correct.

Don’t we have to wonder why he didn’t?

#weekendcoffeeshare – 10/4/2018

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Good morning! Thanks so much for joining my #weekendcoffeeshare! Grab a cup off the kitchen island. I’ve got just about any coffee that you desire and several varieties of tea, both black and green. Join me in my writing room. I’m so happy to have you this morning.

I promised I would try to return to my blog at least for the #weekendcoffeeshare even though I’m deep into working on my novel. I would love to talk to you about my progress this past week.

Writing a novel is certainly a process. Since I am writing historical fiction, I am doing a lot of background research in advance. I have to make sure that my story is set in the proper context from beginning to end. Just think of what this encompasses! It is a story set during World War II and parts of it are in the U.S.,  but other parts are in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres of the war. Even though I studied World War II in college, this requires a deeper level of understanding.

Since my novel is set in the early – mid 1940’s, everything was quite different than it is today. The cliches people used and the way they talked, the clothes they wore, the modes of transportation, the Depression-era mentality. I’m having to research all of that. Fortunately, I have a source for primary research. My mother, though she is gone now, kept boxes of World War II memorabilia. It is a gold mine for primary research for the novel.

In summary, I have been doing research this week on the settings in my novel. World-building, I guess. Making a lot of notes. I have a stack of note cards and, on each one, is a part of the setting. My settings will be in Kentucky and Northern Michigan, U.S.A., the Northern Atlantic Ocean on a War ship, the Pacific Ocean on a War Ship, various islands in the Pacific, and brief periods in the cities along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.. It’s a big job just to get the setting right, particularly when writing historical fiction.

Personally, I”ve had a disappointing week. One of my cousins and I were going to take a trip to Marquette, Michigan. Unfortunately, that trip fell through. I’m not going to be able to go until the summer of 2019.

How are all of you? How was your week? Your writing projects?

Until next week….

Rosemary