Queen Victoria’s Brooch



“What do those men want, William?” Anne whispered. William and Anne were crouched in the bushes at the base of the arch bridge. Three men had attacked them about a mile away, grabbing Anne’s sweater, but they had outrun them and were hiding.

“I don’t know. We’re just tourists,” William said. They had only been in Europe two days. They heard the men run onto the bridge.

They waited for what seemed a long time and heard the men run off the bridge. They crept up the bank, peering at the road leading off the bridge. There stood one of the men, acting as a sentry. He rushed forward and grabbed Anne but discreetly.

He whispered for her to unfasten the brooch she had on her sweater and give it to him. She did as he wished.

The man ran off. William and Anne started laughing. Her brooch was a copy of the famous Queen Victoria’s Bows brooch. It wasn’t worth anything. The thieves had been fooled! #amwriting #amblogging #writing #flashfiction

*This post sponsored by FFfAW

Thanks Priceless Joy!

Song Lyric Sunday – The Moody Blues

The theme this week for Song Lyric Sunday is “scary.” On the surface, you may not seem why a song called “Forever Autumn” by The Moody Blues could be considered scary. Oh, not scary in the traditional sense of the world. Not haunted house scary where you walk through the house and creatures jump out at you, but the kind of scary that reaches down and freezes your soul.

The lyrics to “Forever Autumn” are below. As you read them, you’ll see that, in the first stanza, the season is changing from fall to winter and the writer feels the winter will be much more bitter because they have lost someone important to them. In fact, they want to leave they are so frightened of winter arriving. Scary. I know the feeling of losing someone important.

That scary feeling is reiterated in the chorus, which is the second stanza and again in the third stanza.

The Moody Blues convey, in Forever Autumn, what a frightening, panicked feeling it is to lose someone important to you, someone you love and they compare it to the feeling some get when the fall season changes to what could be a bitter winter. I know the feeling.

Lyrics to Forever Autumn by The Moody Blues
The summer sun is fading as the year grows old
And darker days are drawing near
The winter winds will be much colder
Now you’re not here.
I watch the birds fly south across the autumn sky
And one by one they disappear.
I wish that I was flying with them
Now you’re not here

Like a song through the trees you came to love me
Like a leaf on a breeze you blew away

Through autumn’s golden gown we used to kick our way
You always loved this time of year.
Those fallen leaves lie undisturbed now
Cause you’re not here

Like a song through the trees you came to love me
Like a leaf on a breeze you blew away

Forever Autumn album – Moody Blues


Sponsored by Linda

#weekendcoffeeshare 10/29/2016


Good morning, everyone! It’s good to see you this Saturday morning. Won’t you please come in and join me for coffee. I also have tea for my fellow tea lovers. You can choose from regular or decaf coffee. I can offer you arabica or if you really want a kick, robusta. I would be glad to make you an expresso. I have black flavored tea which is delicious – hot cinnamon spice. I also have the green tea equivalent in both regular and decaf. You will love it. I happen to have a little special tea today. It is called Pur-reh and it is an ancient Chinese fermented tea with a very earthy taste. Please help yourself!

If we were having coffee today, I would share with you that my writing studio is basically finished! It was hard work, but it is ready to start the month of November and NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. Of course, I’ll also be blogging from there. So, I’d like to share a few pictures with you because some of you have asked for them. Here goes:


A big desk with computer equipment although not all has been moved in yet.


A bookcase waiting on its books.


The writing studio’s mascot, my dog, Betsy, lying on MY comfy couch.


Every writing studio needs a rocking chair, sitting beside an old-fashioned heater.

So there you have it – the bare bones of my writing studio, though there is nothing “bare bones” about  my dog! Soon, it will have books and papers stacked all over it and Betsy will be lucky to find a place to nap. Right now, I am just focused on doing some outlining of my novel and getting ready to start characterization and writing in earnest, aiming for a first draft by early December.

I hope others of you are going to participate in NaNoWriMo! It will be a busy month. Thanks for taking my tour! #amwriting #amblogging #writing #NaNoWriMo

*This post was sponsored by Diana, at http://parttimemonsterblog.com

Thanks, Diana!




#SoCS – Oct. 29/16


Sometimes I struggle with stream of consciousness writing. I have stuff in my head that is private and must remain private even though it would be cathartic to speak about it. I also have stuff in my head that I can speak about but it all gets mixed up together. I want to keep it in, but I want to get it out! Especially today. I’m dealing with a situation that I suspect some of you may have dealt with so I’m just going to put it out there and see if anyone has experienced something similar.

Someone is trying to steal my identity. I suppose that’s what she is trying to do unless she is simply trying to torment me, which is possible. Identity theft is the most horrible thing. In my case, the person I suspect is a computer hacker. So she plays with me as if I were a mouse and she is the cat. She thinks it bothers me a whole lot more than it does as I simply deal with each instance of possible identify theft as it happens. It is a lot easier to deal with than she thinks as companies, banks, other financial institutions have become more savvy about this problem and notify their customers immediately if anything at all suspicious occurs.

So as Ms. Computer Hacker attacks one account or a social media site, I simply close them. I figure she is doing me a favor. I don’t need as many credit cards as I have so, poof!…..they are gone. That much less for her to attack. She started this onslaught with my PayPal account. It’s closed. Somehow, she opened a new one in my name. It’s closed. I’m wondering how many times I will have to do that. She’s attacked my Facebook Messenger site. She wiped out many of my contacts and kept me from getting any Message Requests. Well, ok. I can restore my contacts. I have reported this to Facebook and we will see what happens. I would like to get my Message Requests. I’m hoping Facebook will go after her. I don’t think this kind of thing amuses them.

Then, she made a charge on my American Express card. That charge has been taken off. I’ve been issued a new card. I guess she will also try to hack it although American Express is now after her. There have been other things she has tried to do or done as well.

If you ever find that someone is trying to steal your identity, the thing to do is be vigilant. Check your bank account daily or more than once a day. Look at your credit card statements frequently. If you see anything strange on your social media sites, check it out.

You see, in my humble opinion, computer hackers, especially those people who do malicious things like create viruses. Or hack into other people’s lives such as what I’m  experiencing, don’t have a life of their own. They sit all day and stare at a computer screen and have the screwed up idea that is a life. We all know it is not. In my case, working at a computer is my job. Of course, I do spend other time on the computer – shopping, talking to my friends, researching. The things we all do. What I don’t do is try to destroy other people’s’ lives.

These identify thieves enjoy that. I wonder what they would do if they actually had to live a real life. Oh, I know. They couldn’t. They wouldn’t have a clue how to live a real, fulfilling life. Would they try to destroy people’s lives in person as opposed from behind a computer screen? Probably not. They don’t have the guts. The fragile computer screen protects their fragile egos from the world. I hope my computer hacker winds up in prison. If she crosses the line and I can manage it, she will. #hackers #amwriting #amblogging #writing #SoCS

Sponsored by #SoCS

Thanks, Linda!

Calling All Fiction Writers!

It’s NaNoWriMo Month starting November 1. For those of you not familiar with NaNoWriMo, it means National Novel Writing Month. It you join the NaNoWriMo movement, you will be committing to writing that novel you want to write and writing a first draft this November, in 30 days, and writing the first 50,000 words.

Yes, it makes me want to scream to but I am going to DO IT! The bottom line is that you just do your best. But, at the end of NaNoWriMo (November 30), there may be prizes! So you really do your best. You can and should have a writing buddy to help get you through the trauma and I would love for one of you to be my writing buddy. Just let me know if you’re interested after you sign up for the program!

Go to the NaNoWriMo webpage to sign up and get all the details. Here it is. Take a look at all the cool gear.

Good luck with your writing! I’ll still blog at least twice a week so I will see you here – or there – or both!  #NaNoWriMo


Smoke Gets in Your Eyes


Do you believe in magic in love? That is what “smoke” refers to in the old Platters song, actually recorded in 1933. There is discussion about that interpretation, of course. But, smoke getting in your eyes, in a love song, seems pretty clear to me. Let’s dig a little deeper.

First, my own bias. I do believe in magic in love – still. I think it’s rare. I don’t think most of us will ever find it. I think those of us who do find it better hold on to it tightly as we likely will not ever find it again. I think it is the reason that romance novels and romantic erotica is the most popular genre of fiction. We seek to read about people, even fictional people, who either have found that magic or who are seeking it. Look at the book series beginning with 50 Shades of Gray. That book is actually in the genre of romantic erotica as there is love present. It is not pornography. I’m not a fan of 50 Shades because I don’t think it is well-written but it has certainly shown what our society is looking for.

We are looking for the magic in love. We want to find that perfect relationship where you have love between two people – compatibility in love – but you also have to have compatibility in sex. Novels like 50 Shades have shown us that if nothing else. Perfect compatibility in love and in sex is incredibly hard to find. Unless you do find this magic, you are going to be unhappy in some aspects of your relationship.

Here are the lyrics of the Platters song, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes:”

They asked me how I knew
My true love was true
I of course replied
Something here inside cannot be denied
They said “someday you’ll find all who love are blind”
When your heart’s on fire,
You must realize, smoke gets in your eyes

So I chaffed them and I gaily laughed
To think they could doubt my love
Yet today my love has flown away,
I am without my love (without my love)

Now laughing friends deride
Tears I cannot hide
So I smile and say
When a lovely flame dies, smoke gets in your eyes

(Smoke gets in your eyes, smoke gets in your eyes)

Smoke gets in your eyes

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In the first stanza of the song, one line says that all who love are blind. That may be true for very young people but as you mature, I think you can love and see the faults of your true love. Two mature people can work on problems in their relationship but there is one thing they cannot work on. The magic. The magic, the chemistry, between two people is either there or it’s not. If it’s not, there isn’t anything you can do to make it happen. In this writer’s opinion, the magic causes the smoke to get in your eyes, but it does not completely blind you. The magic includes both sexual chemistry and the chemistry you feel from deep, emotional love. You can’t have a complete relationship without both.

The next stanza of the song refers to smoke in a different way. The true love has gone, left, deserted the other person. But, that does not necessarily mean that the love has died. It is a very sad situation for the person left behind and then, smoke gets in your eyes because you cannot hide your tears. The smoke causes you to cry because your true love is no longer with you. Perhaps there were circumstances that caused your true love to leave. I am of the opinion that if you find the magic, the true chemistry I have mentioned, it never goes away, whether you are together or not.

Don’t let the smoke blind you to something wonderful. Try to learn to recognize what is real and magical and what is not. #romance #lovesongs #love #dailyprompt #amwriting #amblogging #writing

20th Century Masters – The Millennium Series: The Best of The Platters (Remastered) by The Platters
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Collaborative Horror Story

This collaborative horror story is in response to a challenge issued by Chuck Wendig at his blogsite, Terrible Minds. The authors cited below wrote parts 1 and 2 and I wrote part 3. Thanks to Chuck and the other authors!


Part 1: Part 1

Part 2: Part 2

Part 3:

“Mother, are you all right?” I cried as my mother tried to get up off the floor.

“Run, baby, run. Get out of here. He’s here to kill you,” she said as the man/monster struggled to rise from the slick floor. Slick with the blood he said he wanted.

I stood there, knife still in my hands, not knowing what to do except that I had to protect my mother and myself from this horrible creature lying on the floor.

The man/monster was screaming in frustration, not able to regain his footing to rise from the floor. As he struggled, I ran to help my mother up. As I did, I asked her who this creature was and why did it want me and my blood. Again, its long arm flew out and almost grabbed me but I dodged just in time. I got to my mother and helped her rise.

“Mother, I don’t understand. Why am I bleeding so much? There is this thing….this creature…..trying to come out of me!”

Crying, almost screaming at her, I told my mother I had to know what was happening, who this creature was, what he had to do with me. My whole body was slick with blood and mucus and some kind of horrible goo coming from the monster. Something was hanging down between my legs. I was only a young girl. None of this made any sense to me. This was only my first monthly cycle and some creature from hell had shown up. I only had on my top and my mother’s baggy black emergency panties. I was so embarrassed and frightened. I was also scared for my mother.

Suddenly, the creature got some traction and sprang up from the floor, not six feet away from us. The dent in its skull had completely healed.

It screamed in an otherworldly voice and said, “Now, young woman, I’m taking my blood back. You’ve had it all these years and I’ve had to do without it. You are giving it back to me now. I’ve been waiting and watching for my first opportunity.”

“Your bitch of a mother thought she could stop me with the salt, the drawn curtains, the silver crosses,” the monster cried in his raspy voice. “But, you broke the salt line,” he said, as he cackled sounding less human with every second that passed.

“Your blood is mine,” the monster screamed as it lurched forward, swinging its reptilian arms at me. I kept backing up until I finally got behind a straight-backed chair. I picked up the chair and starting poking it, pushing it back, frustrating it. My mother, still trying to stand up in the blood and goo, was coming toward them.

“Mother,” she shouted, “what’s it talking about?” She had to find out why this thing thought her blood was his. Her mother made a wide circle around the man/monster. It was so focused on me that I didn’t think it even saw my mother right at that moment. Mother motioned to me to be quiet.

I kept poking at it with the chair while it was jumping from side to side, trying to get past the chair and get to me. I had put the knife I had grabbed into the waistband of my mother’s panties with my hand feeling for the knife to make sure it was still there. All the while, my mother was making a wide circle and creeping up behind the monster.

There she was. Right behind the monster. Mother screamed as loud as she could and when the monster turned toward her scream, she bashed it in the face with the baseball bat with all her strength. Blood spewed from his nose and some of his teeth fell out. I jumped forward, took the knife out of my waistband, and plunged it into the monster’s heart with all my strength. It fell to the floor screaming.

It was still. My mother came around it and grabbed me, pushing me backward, to the rear door of the house. She said, “You have to get out of here. Right now. It’s not dead and it will kill you.”

“Mother, I’m not going anywhere without you and I want to first know what in the hell this creature is talking about.” They heard a noise in the other room.

“It is your FATHER, my dear. He was exposed to a huge dose of radiation when he was working as a scientist in a lab at the university and, for some reason, he did not die. The doctors initially told him that blood transfusions from someone with his own blood antibodies might not only save him but restore him to his former self. But, it’s been too long and he has lost what was left of his mind and escaped from the facility.”

There was scuffling, a dragging noise, and some growling from the other room. I was crying and walked straight to the telephone, dialing the university. I was able to reach the lab, right as the creature who was my father drug himself through the door, growling and screaming as he came. The wound in his chest was almost closed. My mother started screaming and placed herself in front of me. I was determined to reach the lab and get someone to come get him. Then, I would donate my blood to him.

I was on hold, waiting on a Dr. Holden to answer. My father was within 10 feet of my mother and I and reaching his long arms out toward us, trying to knock my mother out of the way. She kept hitting him with the bat she held in her hands. Finally, Dr. Holden answered and I stammered out what was going on. Dr. Holden said the police would be there immediately in order to sedate and pick up my father and return him to the lab.

At that moment, my father brutally knocked my mother out of the way and she fell hard 20 feet away. In one hand, I had the phone. In the other hand, I had my knife. My father and I were face to face. I talked. I tried to tell him that I was going to give him my blood. That help was on the way. He cocked his head back and forth, back and forth. I thought he might understand what I was saying. I heard sirens in the background coming ever closer. Dr. Holden was screaming on the phone, but I couldn’t understand what he was saying. I heard my mother moaning. I could tell she was terribly hurt.  My hand tightened on the knife.

I heard the law enforcement officers pull up to the house right as my father reached for me and I raised the knife. That’s the last thing I heard.



Horror Collaboration: The Dark Fairy

Chuck Wendig of the blogsite, Terrible Minds, sponsored a horror story collaboration as a writing challenge over the last three weeks. I wrote the first part of a story called The Dark Fairy and two other excellent writers wrote Parts 2 and 3. Here is the entire story for your reading enjoyment:

The Dark Fairy




#weekendcoffeeshare 10/22/2016


If we were having coffee today, I would be so excited to see all of you! I would want to know what is happening in each and every one of your lives. I feel like I’m getting to know so many of you and I’m interested in what’s going on with you. We are quite a community, I think!

If we were having coffee, I would offer you regular coffee or decaf along with regular tea or decaf. You would have your choice of green tea, black tea, or oolong tea. Sometimes, I switch over to oolong as it is a nice change. I have an excellent green tea from China that some of you might enjoy. I have a strong Russian black tea that is serious business if you really need a jolt this morning.

I also have an excellent chicory coffee as I know some of my guests love chicory or you can choose from several blends of coffee including a maximum strength or a lighter breakfast strength.

I have added hot chocolate as it is getting cool here where I live. Please pour yourself whatever pleases you. We’re having our beverages in my dining room today. Please join me!

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you about the project of converting my sunroom to my writing room. It is almost finished and I am now in the decorating phase. My biggest challenge was heating and cooling but I was able to solve that problem. I still have the issue of window coverings. RIght now, I’m only using window shades, but I want something more insulating and decorative than that. Does anyone have any ideas? If you do, please let me know in your comments and I appreciate it!

I was able to fit a small bookcase in my new writing room. That’s where I will put all my dictionaries and other books on writing. Sometimes, I still like to consult hard copy books. I had to have another electrical circuit put into the room due to the high electrical usage in there. Not only will there be more than one computer operating at the same time, plus a lot of lights, but also a pretty powerful electric heater in the winter and a window air conditioning unit in the summer.

I’m concentrating on artwork for my writing room. I’m using some funky and odd things I’ve picked up. My friend gave me a beautiful shell coaster for my tea. I’m also using pictures I have edited myself, then had them printed and framed. Most of these pictures have been taken during my travels. I’m gradually looking for pictures I took in Europe during my visits there.

I’m thrilled that I’m actually going to be able to have some plants in my writing room. My house is dark since I live in the forest but the writing room is filled with natural light. I know I want a beautiful Boston fern hanging over a window. Any suggestions for more hanging plants or a nice plant to sit on top of my desk? The room gets morning sun. I would love it if you would give me suggestions in the comments.

That’s all that has been going on with me. I would love to hear what is going on with you. If you have suggestions about plants for my writing room or window coverings, please let me know in the comments. Thank you!

I’ve so enjoyed having you for coffee. Please come back next week! #weekendcoffeeshare #writing #amblogging #amwriting

This post is sponsored by Parttimemonsterblog.com

Thank you, Diana!