Hard Work


“Mom, I’m embarrassed,” the boy said.

His mom was working around in their tent, trying to straighten the bed clothes from the night before and get the boy dressed for school.

“It’s my turn to have the boys over for a campfire, but they don’t know where we live. That we live in a tent.”

“Son,” his mom said. “You have to tell them I can’t find work.”

“I’ll try, Mom,” the boy said. “Some of their parents are out of work too and they are worried. Maybe they’ll understand.”

“They will, Son.”

“I love you, Mom.”

97 words

#amwriting #amblogging #writing

Photo credit Jan Wayne Fields

*This post sponsored by Friday Fictioneers

Thanks, Rochelle!

Share Your World – 2016 Week 48


 Cee’s Photography Blog has a cool challenge that I’ve decided to participate in for a bit. The title is self-explanatory. Let’s see if I can do this! Cee asks four questions and a bonus question.

1. Do you like to eat foods with nuts or no nuts in them?

Probably no nuts, though I like nuts by themselves especially Brazil nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios. All of these provide minerals to our bodies that are important.


2.  If someone made a movie of your life would it be a drama, a comedy, a romantic-comedy, action film, or science fiction?

I would say it would be a drama with some romance thrown in. You know who you are! There hasn’t been a lot of comedy, but there may have been some science fiction, at least it’s felt like that, particularly recently!

As a child and young adult, I’ll go with a lot of dysfunctional drama. As an adult, I’ve had a pretty normal life with occasional bouts of drama and romance. Recently, throw in high drama and perhaps a bit of science fiction, along with romance!

3. Who talks real sense to me?

I actually have a lot of people who talk real sense to me. Sometimes, I feel like a child! Friends and family. They all mean well. Often, I ASK them to talk real sense to me!

4. What is my favorite board game?

I don’t have one unless you count cribbage which has a board of sorts. My Dad taught me to play and few people around me know how. It’s a Northerner’s game.


Optional Bonus Question:

What am I grateful for this past week: This is an easy one. The good medical care in the U.S.

What am I looking forward in the next week? Another easy one. Starting to work on a new consulting project!


Have a nice week, everyone!

The Letter


June 18, 1899

Dear Miss Chandler:

Thank you for your letter concerning our patient, Mrs. Monica Chandler. I understand that you recently discovered that she is your mother and would like to know her condition and whether you can visit.

Mrs. Chandler came to us almost 20 years ago due to a diagnosis of post-partum depression. I believe this was after the birth of her second child, a female. She was committed to our institution by her husband, August Chandler.

For the last five years, Mrs. Chandler has been in a catatonic state, despite the efforts of our doctors. She has never had visitors to my knowledge. Although you can visit, I don’t think you or Mrs. Chandler would find such a visit very satisfactory.


Dr. Charles Wetherly

Medford Mental Facility


#amwriting #amblogging #writing

*This post sponsored by Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.

Thank you, Priceless Joy!

It’s Not This Time of Year Without….

It’s Not This Time of Year Without… making sure that the wildlife, particularly the birds and deer, that inhabit my property have enough food and shelter. My property has been designated as a National Wildlife Federation habitat. That just means that I have the resources on my land to sustain the needs of the wildlife. Water, food, shelter, and so forth. Since I live in the woods, it’s not hard to provide those resources although I do supplement the natural resources to make sure that there is enough for the wildlife that have been pushed into my land by land development all around us.

Since it is still autumn, the squirrels and chipmunks are busily gathering up the nuts that have fallen. The birds still have a few berries to eat. The deer eat both. But just the resources on my land is surely not enough for the plethora of wildlife that frequent my property — from deer, birds, and the small rodents to raccoons and the more exotic foxes and beavers.

Since I do live in a hardwood forest, I have many species of birds visiting my property, particularly woodpeckers. They require a special kind of food to get them through the winter.

The woodpeckers prefer suet that I hang in suet feeders from the trees. When the big pileated woodpecker is around (see picture at the top of the post), the suet vanishes rapidly because it is almost as big as a chicken. When all the species of the woodpeckers are feeding, I buy a lot of suet. They will also eat seeds and nuts from specialized types of hanging feeders. Not only do I have to have food out for the birds but water as well and I have to make sure it is not frozen in winter.

I have dozens of other species of birds. The ones that are here all the time are cardinals, finches of all types, nuthatches (who eat what the woodpeckers eat), thrushes, flickers, sapsuckers, mourning doves, wrens, juncos, and many others. This list is certainly not exhaustive. Many other birds pass through when they migrate. These birds love black-oil sunflower seed and safflower. The finches like thistle and the big blue jays love peanuts. Be careful if you buy mixed bird seed. It is usually full of filler.

I also provide shelter for the birds in the form of bird houses and plat

As for the deer, I provide them with salt and mineral blocks scattered around the property. I also make major purchases of field corn for them and there are often twelve deer at a time standing around the feeding troughs, does and bucks alike. I give them apples as we have them. Sometimes, I think the deer are going to walk right into the house if I’m late in feeding them. Hunting season thins the herd a bit but I have a very high deer population where I live. Raccoons share the corn with the deer.

For me, it surely isn’t this time of year without making sure these animals are well-fed, watered, and sheltered. We have taken their habitat and the least we can do is try to give a bit of it back to them. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #wildlife



Just Some News….

Good news! Some of you know that I was recently approached by a large firm about becoming their Subject Matter Expert in finance for a project they are undertaking. After some negotiation, taking their test, and talking to their recruitment manager, I got the job! I’m excited about it. I can’t reveal any details as I’m under a non-disclosure agreement but I am happy with it.

I will still work on my novel, blog right here on WordPress, write articles, and, most importantly, spend time with my friends. I’ll be busy but I want to be busy. I have no desire to quit work. It’s not that time for me yet. I still feel the desire to work. Who knows? Maybe I always will.

Many of you wished me well in this venture and I want to thank you!


#weekendcoffeeshare 11/26/2016


Good morning, everyone! Please come in and share a hot beverage with me. I have coffee, just about any type you want to try. I also have hot tea, my personal hot beverage of choice. There are many varieties. Take your pick. My favorite is hot cinnamon spice. I even have it in green tea. The apricot is also excellent. Let’s go to my writing studio and I will tell you what’s been going on this week. I have exciting news!

I’ve had a revelation this week with regard to the novel I’m writing! Writing my novel just has not been going very well. I’ve been blocked but it has been more than that. The story just wasn’t coming together like it was supposed to. Then, suddenly, this week I realized why. I was writing it as a romance novel. It isn’t a romance novel at all. It is a psychological thriller! After I realized that, the entire story suddenly made perfect sense. I could put the characters where they were supposed to go and the plot just fell into place.

This epiphany happened, of course, in the middle of the night. I got up out of my bed, came to my writing studio, and wrote the prologue with a psychological thriller in mind and I knew it was going to work. I did a little more work on it, just to solidify it in my mind. By that time, it was almost morning and there was no point in going back to bed. I just stayed up and got some work done.

I feel so much better about my novel. I have quite a bit to rework but it is going to be so much better written as a psychological thriller. That’s all I’m going to tell you in hopes you will read it when it is published! Imagine a romance that turns into a psychological thriller. I hope that’s enough to peak your interest!

That’s what I’ve been doing during the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s been a quiet, sedate holiday other than that. I’ve been flying around the house, thrilled that I figured this out.

The other exciting thing that happened this week was that I connected with an old friend, someone very special to me. I feel like it was a miracle to make this connection again but this is all I’ll say about it right now. I’ll leave you in suspense. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #thriller #Psychological

*This post sponsored by parttimemonsterblog.com

Thanks, Diana!

#SoCS November 26/16


What an interesting two weeks it has been since I last posted a stream of consciousness post! My psyche is all over the place so I hope I can write, and you can follow, this post. It may not be pretty.

Of course, November is the start of the holiday season. I don’t really do the holidays or I should say I do it on a very limited basis. No reason to go into all the reasons but I will say that I lost both my parents at Christmas so that sort of did me in regarding the holidays. I do still like Thanksgiving, but I don’t have much family around anymore. I suspect many of you can relate to me when I say that my friends have become my family although I do still have a few close family members. I hate to say it but I am usually glad when the holidays are over. I really don’t mean to be a Scrooge.

I have some really fun events coming up during the month of December with my friends. I’m looking forward to those. I love to spend time with them. Several lunches. I’m also going to watch a performance of The Nutcracker with a friend later in December at a wonderful venue at a city nearby. Can hardly wait for that.

The last half of 2016 has been difficult for me. I had a really bad experience in my personal life. Actually, that is an understatement. It was a devastating experience. The kind that affects you for the rest of your life. I’m starting to get over it or maybe I should say get past it. I’m realizing that I was duped. My part in this was that I was too innocent and trusting. That is my nature, perhaps unfortunately. At my age, I don’t understand how I still remain so trusting but that seems to be the case. So I certainly own my part in this bad experience. I was not told the truth and even worse, I was convinced, over and over, of a lie. When that was revealed, it was humiliating and demeaning. I have had a really hard time coming to terms with it. It is starting to happen and I’m feeling better. To be honest with you, there was a long period of time when I didn’t think I’d ever feel better. I’m very grateful to my friends who were such a great help.

Here in the Ohio Valley, Kentucky to be precise, it is finally late fall and cold. Our weather has been unusual and very warm for fall. We’re supposed to have more warm weather on the way. The weather is definitely changing. I can remember, as a child, we had snow by now and snow on the ground until February. Now it’s 50 degrees and we are supposed to have weather even up to 60 degrees soon. No rain to speak of and we are in a moderate to extreme drought. November used to be a wet month here.

I have been doing a lot of writing and a lot of thinking about what I’m going to write. I have fiction on my mind although I also have some pieces I want to write that are non-fiction. I like to write non-fiction for the WordPress Discover Challenge. I’ve been participating in a lot of flash fiction challenges which are quick and fun. I really enjoy Chuck Wendig’s horror challenges though I never imagined myself writing horror.

Linda, I read your post about your call from the supposed Microsoft technician. Obviously a scam. I’ve had a call like that and I just hung up but your idea about having some fun with this guy is a great idea. Someone made the comment that you should work with him and pretend you are on an Apple computer to confuse him. I think that’s a great idea!

Have a good week, everyone! #amwriting #amblogging #writing #ChuckWendig #FFfAW

*This post is sponsored by Linda G. Hill

Thanks, Linda!

Mind the Gap: The Knowledge Gap

When I saw this week’s Discover Challenge, I actually heard the big bang that occurred with the collision of my two careers. I received my doctorate degree in Business/Finance in 1988 and taught on a university level for many years. Writing is a second career that began with academic writing during my university career but expanded during and after that time into both non-fiction and fiction writing.

The concept of Mind the Gap is a familiar one to doctoral students. Our real purpose is to learn to do original research, not learn to teach, which is simply a by-product of our education. We learn to teach because we have to learn the material in our fields in order to do effective original research. That doesn’t mean we all become good teachers. That is another essay for another time.

My field was and is finance; specifically, corporate finance and financial institutions. Simply put, I studied larger business and big banks. Everything about larger business. What makes them tick. How to analyze their operations. How to advise them. How to value them. And much more. When I finished my courses in finance, banking, and statistics and was ready to write my dissertation, that is when “mind the gap” really became an issue. Doctoral students have written many papers up to that time. But there is nothing more important than the dissertation, which is nothing more or less than a book that you write about an original concept in your field. Not to mention the fact that you have to write a dissertation in order to graduate.

“Mind the gap” is the gap between existing knowledge, in my case, in corporate finance and banking and knowledge that is yet to be determined. I know that sounds very esoteric but in everything, there is knowledge yet to be determined. Business, science, technology….you get the picture. Else, we would never have the next iPhone. So, my task was to determine what my topic would be for my dissertation. Where did I think there was a gap in the knowledge in my field.

At that time, banking regulation was going out the window. Banks were beginning to merge and expand and the big regional banks we have today were being born. Banking executives seemed to think that bigger was better. At least, they thought it was more profitable and earned their shareholders more money. There was my topic. Was that true? There was the “gap.” No one yet knew if bigger was, indeed, better in banking.

I will spare you the details of my dissertation. (Trust me, you do not want to know.) But, in general, what I studied was whether or not banking expansion caused increased and even abnormal returns in banking. The bottom line was yes, in the short run, but no, in the long run. Think about this. I finished my dissertation on this topic in 1988. The financial crash that almost took down our economy that we all remember was at the end of 2007. What happened? The big banks were engaging in activities that were earning abnormal returns for them. It worked, in the short run. In the long run, many of them failed and many more were bailed out by the federal government.

There again is the “gap” I’m speaking of. The gap in the banking literature in 1988 was in the research on bank returns in the absence of the regulations they had always been under. By 2007, the premise I had studied in my dissertation had been addressed in the “real world” and had been proven to be correct. That gap in knowledge had been filled in. I had proven in my dissertation that banks do not earn excess returns in the long run as they become increasingly unregulated. They did, but only for a short time. Unfortunately, it seems to be happening again. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #banking

Mother, May I?


As they drove home from the city, the sky looked ominous. They were late and her mother was going to be waiting on her dinner. They had needed time to themselves today. Her mother was always there. They never had any alone time. She hated thinking things like this. Her mother was ill. They had stayed as late as possible and had even had a wonderful French dinner.

Because her mother felt badly, she didn’t want anyone else to feel good so she always gave them the evil eye when they laughed even the tiniest bit at home. Sometimes she shocked herself at the sound of her own laughter, she heard it so seldom.

As they got out of the car, they heard voices in the house and laughter. What could that be? They raced inside. There sat her mother with friends, talking, laughing, looking quite guilty. She sat down at the table and cried. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #romance #depression

*This post sponsored by FFfAW.

Thanks, Priceless Joy!




Buried Treasure


Raven asked her mother, “But, Mother, that’s part of our guest house. Why can’t we open the door?”

Her mother shivered, feeling that Raven was old enough to know the truth. So she told Raven about the old dwarf that lived behind the blue door and guarded the buried treasure left by her father.

Raven’s mother told her that the buried treasure was given to the dwarves and fairies living near them because Raven’s father had tried to trap the small creatures to sell them to the traveling circus.

Raven stared at her and collapsed at her feet.

(98 words)

Sponsored by Friday Fictioneers

Photo by CEayr