Friday, May 26, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-May 26, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

I know I'm posting this a little late, but it's been a busy week. Not crazy like last week was.  Just busy.  I had appointments and errands to run that required a lot of driving, and my boys have t-ball, which means taking them to practices and games. I'm ready for some relaxation over the weekend.

And yay for a three day weekend!  I'm definitely happy about that.  The weather also looks like it's going to be pretty good for those three days, so I'm sure we'll be doing some outdoor activities as a family.

The kids are also excited because next week is their last week of school.  Bring on summertime!

What would you like to celebrate?


Friday, May 19, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-May 19, 2017



It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

Have you ever had one of those crazy weeks that leave you stunned, and not in a good way?  That was this past week. There were family feuds.  A family member had a rare and scary medical emergency.  (I don't want to share details for sake of privacy, but I can tell you that the person involved is okay and doing as well as can be expected.)  I am now celebrating the fact that life seems to be on an even keel again. At least for now.  I hope it stays that way.

The boys started T-ball this week.  They're very excited about this.  Zoe and I got to enjoy watching them practice.

My writing suffered slightly, which is to be expected with a week like we've had, but I'm getting back to it now.  I'll happily celebrate that.

What would you like to celebrate?


Friday, May 12, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-May 12, 2017


It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

The weather has been absolutely wonderful most of the week. We had some rain at one point, but the rest of the time it's been warm and sunny.  The boys have enjoyed playing outside.

Of course, all this outside play can get a little rough and tumble.  Last Saturday, Lyle was riding his bike and trying to show off for one of his classmates who lives across the street. This means he was going too fast and not paying attention. He ended up wiping out and landing face first on the sidewalk. He broke his glasses and split his forehead open right above one eye.  It was a bloody mess, and it resulted in a visit to the emergency room.  Fortunately, the doctor was able to glue it and Lyle was in and out of there quick.  The damage could have been so much worse.  And you know what he wanted to do first thing when he got back home?  He wanted to ride his bike again. That kid doesn't let anything get him down for long.

Lyle also turned six yesterday.  He got to take cupcakes to school to share with his classmates.  Kids grow up so fast.

Jude is happy because his class is going on a field trip to the zoo today.  The weather is supposed to be great all day, so that's something to celebrate.  I'm hoping he has a good time.

What would you like to celebrate?


Friday, May 5, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-May 5, 2017


It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

The weather here was cold and rainy for several days, but it's warming up and the sun is coming out again.  We took advantage by spending time at the park after the boys got out of school the last couple of days.

The boys had their spring concert at school last night.  They always love performing on stage, and they had a great time.

Writing continues to go reasonably well, and I'm pleased about that.  If I keep it up, I might actually achieve all the goals I set myself for the year.  Fingers crossed!

What would you like to celebrate?




Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: May 2017


It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time for another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group! Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has recruited another wonderful group of minion co-hosts: Nancy Gideon, Tamara Narayan, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Michelle Wallace, and Feather Stone.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website!

Congratulations to the authors included in the newest IWSG anthology Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life, which is now available.

I love the question for this month, so I'll jump right into it.

What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

Oh man, I've done a lot of interesting internet searches over the years.  If any non-writers got a look at what some of them were, they'd likely be horrified.  Just last week, I did the search "how long does it take for a pool of blood to coagulate?" I did it for a story I'm writing right now.  I've also done searches about how long it takes for various poisons to kill an average adult.  Those don't sound too horrific, do they? :)

What weird or cool things have you had to research for your writing?


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Z is for Zoom



For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I’m writing drabbles based on words I got from a random word generator.  A drabble is a short piece of fiction of exactly 100 words.


Enjoy!

Zoom

Mike climbed into the Cosmix Model 27-B Racer and fastened the harness.  He’d been eyeing the sleek black and green hull of the ship for months, daydreaming about taking it out for a spin around the system.
He’d passed the flight test in a bulkier and far less attractive shuttle.  Now he was getting his chance.
Then he got his clearance.  He slid out of the shuttle bay, and the star-speckled blackness of space embraced him.  Mike accelerated, savoring the way his body sank back into the seat as he zoomed through the deep. 
He didn’t plot a course.  

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Y is for Yikes!



For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I’m writing drabbles based on words I got from a random word generator.  A drabble is a short piece of fiction of exactly 100 words.


Enjoy!

Yikes!

The world can be a strange place.  Estelle knew this already.  Still, none of her previous experiences prepared her for the sight that greeted her when she went to bed on a mild Saturday evening in April.
The room was dark, lit only by the moon.  She didn’t notice the hulking shadow in front of her bed until she smacked straight into the thing causing it.  The body was muscular and sticky.  Dozens of eyes glistened as they looked at her.
“Yikes!” she yelped.
Then the creature wailed too before leaping out the open window and dashing across the yard.

Friday, April 28, 2017

X is for X-Ray, An Anthology Review, and Celebrate the Small Things-April 28, 2017



For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I’m writing drabbles based on words I got from a random word generator.  A drabble is a short piece of fiction of exactly 100 words.


Enjoy!

X-Ray

Being a teenage mutant isn’t easy, though I could have had it worse.  My buddy Raymond has glowing skin.  He looks like a neon glow stick.  It sets him apart from everyone else, and his mutation isn’t useful for much unless you don’t have a flashlight.
I got x-ray vision.  As a hormonal teenager, I thought it was great at first.  Then it got difficult to look people in the eye.  I’ve also been accused of being a creep on numerous occasions. And slapped.
And don’t get me started on what I’ve accidentally seen my parents doing at home.  Yuck.



I received an ARC of the anthology Where Words Fail, Music Speaks in exchange for an honest review.  First, for those of you who aren't familiar with the project, I'll refresh your memory.


Where Words Fail, Music Speaks is a collection of short stories and poetry by writers from all walks of life.

Each story is based on the titles of 90s Britpop songs, including Come Back To What You Know, Bittersweet Symphony, Animal Nitrate, Disco 2000, and more.

Our list of authors is: Kyra Lennon, Clare Dugmore, Annalisa Crawford, Ker Dukey, Wesley Copeland, Robb Turburville, D H Sidebottom, Audrina Lane, M.B. Feeney, Karen Frances, S.J Warner, Scout Dawson, Kimberly Morgan, Maddie Wade, Rebeccalou Heronpontin, Andrea Coventry

All proceeds from the sales of this anthology will go to Clusterbusters.



And now for my review.

First of all, I love the premise of this anthology.  Music is a tremendous source of inspiration for many.  I also love that this is a charity anthology and the proceeds from its sale are going to such a great cause.  Kudos to all of the writers involved for coming together to make this happen.  You rock!

I love the sheer variety contained in this collection.  There's a wonderful mixture of poetry and short stories, all from great authors.  There was also a wide spectrum of human emotion showcased here.  There was love, there was heartbreak and loss.  There was also a lot of hope.  There were also some pieces that delved into the world of the bizarre.  Of course, I say this as a good thing.  I'm all for having a dose of the strange in my fiction.

This anthology is worth your time and money.  No matter your tastes, I think you'll find something here to love.





It's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

We had fun visiting good friends last weekend.  The weather was good, so the kids played outside together.  It was good to have some adult conversation while the kids were distracted.

My husband bought me a TARDIS coffee mug, and it just came in the mail yesterday.  It looks awesome!  I'm grateful that he does nice things like that for me.

Speaking of husbands doing nice things, he bought us tickets to the Metallica concert that's happening in Newton, IA on June 9th.  It's an anniversary gift since our 10 year anniversary is the week before that.  Considering the song "Nothing Else Matters" was the first song we danced to at our reception, this gift makes perfect sense.  It's going to be weird not having the kids for a night, but I'm excited about that.  I can hardly believe we've been married for almost 10 years already.

I submitted a short story this week.  That makes four submissions so far this year, or one per month.  I'm definitely proud of myself for that one.  It isn't easy to keep up the momentum, but I hope I can.

What would you like to celebrate?


Thursday, April 27, 2017

W is for Wake


For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I’m writing drabbles based on words I got from a random word generator.  A drabble is a short piece of fiction of exactly 100 words.


Enjoy!

Wake

My grandfather’s wake was going as expected.  Nicely dressed people offered condolences.  Mom and Grandma dabbed at their eyes with tissues.  Dad ducked outside to get some fresh air.  I tried not to fidget with the hem of my dress.
Death made the air feel heavy.  I didn’t know how to respond to the kind words offered to me.  With a small smile?  A simple thank you?
This turned out to be the least of my worries.  Who’d have guessed the zombie apocalypse would kick off just then with Grandpa sitting up and trying to shamble out of his coffin?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

V is for Vampire


First of all, I have a post up about coming up with writing ideas at the Parallels blog today.  Check it out if you're interested!

Now on to the matter at hand!

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I’m writing drabbles based on words I got from a random word generator.  A drabble is a short piece of fiction of exactly 100 words.


Enjoy!

Vampire

The years accumulate, piling one atop the other.  Sedimentation builds rocks over time.  The process is agonizingly slow.  Stuart wonders how many rocks have formed since he was born all those millennia ago.  How long has it been now?  He’s long since lost track. 
How many names has he taken?  Countless monikers ceased to fit, and he shed them like dry husks.
The faces he’s known have all blurred together.  He used to keep a journal, noting the important ones and the events that made them special, but that kept the wounds of losing them fresh.  
He’s weary of bleeding.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U is for Ubiquitous


For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I’m writing drabbles based on words I got from a random word generator.  A drabble is a short piece of fiction of exactly 100 words.


Enjoy!

Ubiquitous

“Ugh, that song,” Joel grumbled.  “I hear it everywhere I go!”
Cindy nodded, sipping her soda.  The radio was barely audible over the clattering plates and chattering customers, but it was enough.  “I know what you mean.  It’s as ubiquitous as people who can’t parallel park.”
Joel raised an eyebrow.  “You can’t parallel park.”
“See what I mean?  That illustrates my point.”
He honestly didn’t know what the point of the conversation was anymore.  The badly auto-tuned vocals and uninspired lyrics were melting his brain.  He covered his ears, but the song played on in his mind, mocking him.

Monday, April 24, 2017

T is for Traitor



For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I’m writing drabbles based on words I got from a random word generator.  A drabble is a short piece of fiction of exactly 100 words.


Enjoy!

Traitor

“You traitorous swine!” Jonah cried, holding the sword aloft.  “How dare you betray us this way?  How has it come to this?”
Emilio lay on the floor, his hands held up in surrender.  “I’m sorry!  Take anything from me!  Just spare my life and I will go!”
Jonah shook his head.  “Nothing but your spilled blood will appease me.”
“What in the world is going on here?  You’re supposed to be cleaning your room.”
Jonah and Emilio turned to see their mother standing in the doorway.  Jonah let the foam sword fall to his feet.  “Our plans have been foiled.”

Saturday, April 22, 2017

S is for Shadow


For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I’m writing drabbles based on words I got from a random word generator.  A drabble is a short piece of fiction of exactly 100 words.


Enjoy!

Shadow

“No one said causing the apocalypse would be easy,” The Shadow whispered.
Scarlett shook her head.  The Shadow had been visiting her entire life, delivering messages into her impressionable ear.  “If this is what I was born to do, why should it be hard?”
“Fulfilling your destiny is never easy,” The Shadow replied.  “If you never struggle, you can never take pride in your work.”
She sighed.  Empathy certainly made her hesitant to bring about the end of the world.  The idea of failure also kept her from refusing to do so altogether.  What was a teenage girl to do?

Friday, April 21, 2017

R is for Restraint, Where Words Fail Music Speaks Release, and Celebrate the Small Things-April 21, 2017

I have a lot of stuff for you today, so I hope you stick with me! Let's start with today's A to Z piece!



For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I’m writing drabbles based on words I got from a random word generator.  A drabble is a short piece of fiction of exactly 100 words.


Enjoy!

Restraint

Don’t do it.  No matter how much you want to strangle him, it isn’t worth it.  Just walk away.  You can do it.
“It’s easy,” he continued with a wave of his hand.  “Anyone can write a book.  You shouldn’t complain.”
I trembled, my hands clenched into fists at my sides.  I’d never exercised such restraint before.  Part of me didn’t know why I was even holding back.
He’s not worth getting in trouble over, I reminded myself.
“I could write a book if I wanted to,” he said.  “I just don’t have the time for that sort of thing.”


I hope you enjoyed that!  Now let's move on to the next tidbit I have for you today!

I'm excited to be taking part in the release blitz for the Where Words Fail, Music Speaks Anthology, which is out now!  (I'm currently in the process of reading an ARC of this, and I'll have a review for you soon!)


Where Words Fail, Music Speaks is a collection of short stories and poetry by writers from all walks of life.

Each story is based on the titles of 90s Britpop songs, including Come Back To What You Know, Bittersweet Symphony, Animal Nitrate, Disco 2000, and more.

Our list of authors is: Kyra Lennon, Clare Dugmore, Annalisa Crawford, Ker Dukey, Wesley Copeland, Robb Turburville, D H Sidebottom, Audrina Lane, M.B. Feeney, Karen Frances, S.J Warner, Scout Dawson, Kimberly Morgan, Maddie Wade, Rebeccalou Heronpontin, Andrea Coventry

All proceeds from the sales of this anthology will go to Clusterbusters.





Okay!  Let's take a deep breath and move on to the final part of this post!



And last but not least in this monster post, it's Friday!  Let's Celebrate the Small Things with Lexa Cain!  Tonja Drecker and I are her co-hosts.

It's been a challenging week, so I'm mostly grateful that it's Friday.  We had a major car issue this week, in that our Taurus has had a catastrophic issue.  It's never a good sign when you're driving with your children and you hear a terrible cracking sound, after which the car starts making terrible thumping noises and shaking.  Oh dear.  We haven't finished assessing the damage yet, but it isn't good.  I'm just glad this happened close to home and at a low speed.  It could have been far worse.

Poor Zoe also has an eye infection, although it doesn't seem to be bothering her that much.  She still seems like a happy baby, so I'm glad about that.

At least my writing is still going well.  I'll celebrate that.

What would you like to celebrate?


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Q is for Quantum



For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I’m writing drabbles based on words I got from a random word generator.  A drabble is a short piece of fiction of exactly 100 words.


Enjoy!

Quantum

“I’m going mad,” Ruby said, glaring at the open science textbook in front of her.  “I don’t think anyone can study quantum physics without losing their minds.”
No one could hear her, of course.  There was no one else in this desolate section of the library.  Not this late at night.
She tried to picture what the pieces of paper and the wood of the table looked like at the quantum level.  Then she stopped.  She didn’t want her brain to implode.
Shaking her head, she returned to her reading.  Mad or not, she had an assignment to finish.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

P is for Peace and Write, Edit, Publish



Today is a slightly different day.  Every other day throughout the A to Z Challenge, I've written a drabble based on a word I got using a random word generator.  Today, I'm writing a poem based on the word PEACE.  This is, of course, due to my participation in Write, Edit, Publish.  Thank you to Yolanda Renee and Denise Covey for hosting this event.

Since I've been doing drabbles, which are pieces of fiction of exactly 100 words, I set myself the additional challenge of making my poem also be 100 words in length.  Poetry isn't my strongest area, so this was tough, but I hope it works!

Peace

Joy may grow in darkened spaces
And comfort found in unlikely places
Discord and strife will persist
Yet hopelessness we shall resist
Kindness is the seed we sow
With the wish that it should grow
On and on the torch is passed
Flames of love shall always last
Through times of trouble, dark and cold
The flame is sheltered by the bold
Strength of character and conviction
Carry us on despite affliction
Hold fast to that which fosters good
As children are taught they should
Be a force for joy, never cease
For that is how we create the peace.


Word Count: 100
FCA

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

O is for Oblivious and Maski Release Day!


For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I’m writing drabbles based on words I got from a random word generator.  A drabble is a short piece of fiction of exactly 100 words.


Enjoy!

Oblivious

“I get the feeling I’m missing something important,” Sarah said, tapping her chin thoughtfully.
Ian nodded.  “I’m not surprised.”
“It’s weird, because I feel like we’ve had this conversation before,” she continued distractedly.
“We have.  Once a year, in fact.”
She sighed.  “For the life of me, I can’t think of what it is.”  She approached the refrigerator to retrieve a cold can of Coca Cola, passing the calendar on the wall as she did.
That day’s date was circled in red marker and clearly labeled ANNIVERSARY.  Ian smiled.  Oblivious as Sarah was about such things, he still adored her.


*     *     *     *     *     *




Maski: Broken But Not Dead
By Joylene Nowell Butler
Psychological Thriller
$4.99 eBook ISBN 9781939844385

An IPPY Silver Medalist!

To the Breaking Point...

When Brendell Meshango resigns from her university professor position and retreats to her isolated cabin to repair her psyche, she is confronted by a masked intruder. His racial comments lead her to believe she is the solitary victim of a hate crime.

However, is all as it appears? After two bizarre days, the intruder mysteriously disappears but continues to play mind games with her. Taught by her mother to distrust the mainstream-based power structures, and with her stalker possibly linked to a high level of government, Brendell conceals the incident from the police. But will her silence keep her safe?

Then her beloved daughter, Zoë, is threatened and Brendell takes matters into her own hands. To save Zoë, Brendell searches for the stalker and confronts not just a depraved madman but her own fears and prejudices.

Purchase Links:

“Joylene Nowell Butler gets straight to the story, taking you from one happening to the next and keeps you turning the page.” - Martha A. Cheves, author

“A psychological thriller filled with suspense, action and drama...” - John Bell, 93.1  CFIS-FM: Prince George, BC

“Riveting and beautifully written. You won't be able to set it down.” Judith S. Avila, author

Joylene, Métis, is the author of Dead Witness, Broken But Not Dead, and Break Time. She and her husband and their two cats reside in Canada for the summers and Nayarit for the winters. They believe life should be an adventure. https://cluculzwriter.blogspot.com/