Hands Off My Ships, Mother! – Friday Fictioneers 03/31/17

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PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

Since his mother brought him to the port when he was a child, Peter was fascinated with  seagoing vessels. He collected watercraft of every design, including the models constructed with glue. His mother’s purge of most of his collection was still a sore spot. No, wait it was all of his collection but the tug boat. Sure they were living on her waitress salary in a small apartment, but still it was his world then. Now the port was his.

“Let’s see you try to get rid of my new collection Mother!”

friday-fictioneers

Destiny Waiting – Sunday Photo Fiction – 3/26/17

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Cal listened to the gentle lapping of the water against the long bridge allowing it to almost hypnotize him while he made his way along the wet boards. A passing rainstorm still left the sky with some deep blues which could mean the promise of more.

In the distance Cal was sure he could see the form of a person on the angled poles set on the sides of the bridge. What was the person doing? As he accumulated a few more steps he realized the person was a young girl. That young girl! The one he watched in the market every weekend.

“Hello,” she said as drew near.

“How do you do that?”

“What?”

“Walk on these without falling, especially when they are wet?”

“Well, I promised myself I would do this until you asked me out. I have been doing it for almost three months now, so I suppose what they say about practice makes perfect must have some truth.”

“You think I am going to ask you out?”

“Aren’t you?” she said blinking her deep azure yes as she smiled.

“Yes,” Cal said. “But first, what is your name?”

“Destiny. Destiny Wayne,” she said smiling.

 

2017 A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

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Today is finally, finally the day. Or as my son used to say when he was too young to really understand the concept “Today is today!” What day would make me so excited? The day when I get to unveil the topic I will square up to for the 26 post A to Z Challenge that begins April 1st.

For those few unfamiliar with the A to Z challenge it is a blogging juggernaut in its 7th year, begun by Arlee Byrd @ Tossing it Out  and a wonderful way to do a number of things:

  1. Create great content
  2. Make new friends as you discover other blogs
  3.  Comment on others work, giving them meaningful feedback
  4. Be part of something so much bigger than you are

Why is it bigger? Because in the past years as many as 2,000 bloggers from various platforms have taken their swipes at the list I gave above. Can you imagine all the potential new friends you can make in the month of April?

If you want more of an official explanation or want to join, there is still time you know, you can click here: A to Z Challenge.

Okay, so enough background about the A to Z. Let’s unveil the theme, huh?

In November of 2016 I entered and completed my second National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write at least 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. I was able to write 71,000+. How did I do that? I had a clear idea of what I wanted my novel to say. That is right, I am a plotter. I like to outline my novel before I write it.

Continuing that idea I decided to approach the 2017 A to Z with a plan to map out another new novel idea. As I began to put together my novel premise it really filled in quickly as I used the A to Z letters. I may just do all my novel planning this way.

Yes, I know I am delaying, but part of promotion is getting you interested. Since you are likely very interested if you are still reading I will give you what you came for.

In the 2017 A to Z challenge I will be giving you the inside scoop of my new novel I will write called the Steel Horse Saviors.

Steel Horse Saviors is about three Civil War veterans, two Yankees and one Rebel, who take their steam locomotive west to seek their post-war fortune. In the process they encounter Clementine O’Grady an auburn-haired beauty fighting to save the family business. There is a villain just as in any story, a rival lumber baron who is just days away from ripping control of O’Grady Timber & Lumber Company from Clementine O’Grady’s grasp. The locomotive team must decide if they have traveled far enough away from their own demons that they can stay around long enough to battle Clementine’s. The 29 year old beauty will find herself drawn to each of these strangers for different reasons.

As part of my promotion ahead of the A to Z Challenge  I have been using Hootsuite and Twitter to toss teasers using the #atozchallenge hashtag.

SHS

One of the exciting extensions of this is that one of the A to Z co-hosts, J Lenni Dorner has already endeared themselves to me by re-tweeting every single tweet I have generated over the last week. Not only that but others have joined in re-tweeting and have begun to generate some buzz. I guess that means my posts better be worth the time of my visitors, huh?

This is my third time with A to Z. I completed it once and failed miserably two years ago because of a death in my family and of our family pet. But this year I have decided to double down and make this a significant event in my writing life. I invite you to come back beginning April 1st to see what all this buzz is about.

Just know I intend to pop about reading theme reveals myself starting today so I can build a list of blogs I intend to visit and make my new haunts. If you want o read about other A to Z Themes click here: A to Z Theme Reveal.

Holey Outlaw Canvas – CRFF – 03/16/17

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“What is this?” Inspector Clouseau said as he turned the piece of contraband over in his hand as he surveyed the scene of the latest Art Hater Serial Killer murder.

“Once it was called a canvas,” Yvette said. “For art.”

“Art! Art has been outlawed for a decade!”

“Legislation cannot stop passion, Inspector.”

“Perhaps not, but a slug can,” he said nodding to the lifeless form.

“So we assume AHSK found out about the victim’s art and came calling?”

“Assume nothing, dear Yvette. Check the desk calendar.”

“It just says Moriarty!”

“Holmes’ nemesis? I though he liked all art!”

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2017 A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal Teaser

o6cmeq.jpgIt is almost time for  the A to Z blogging challenge to begin! Over twenty-six non-Sunday days almost two thousand bloggers will post daily with the letter theme of the day about topics as various as you can imagine. For bloggers this is a wonderful opportunity to concentrate on some goals. Like writing more as well as more often. Also it gives us solitary soldiers a chance to identify others with our interest to build professional as well as personal relationships. This is a perfect tie in to my personal goals for 2017 as explained in my post: My 2017 Writing Goals. Plus, if we do a good enough job with our posts we can secure a few new readers/followers for our work.

I have to admit, even 6  days out from the official theme reveal day I am bursting to share mine. I won’t because that as I understand, is one of the main tenets of promotion. Build anticipation. I am not a marketing genius, yet, which is one of the reasons I have not taken the dive into self-publication, but I am learning rapidly the dos and don’ts of this world.

Many people do not care for Twitter, thinking it just a mindless pursuit. It can be if you do not utilize it to your advantage. I begin to understand just how to do that during this past November when I completed my first NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. Most bloggers/writers know, but in case you are a casual reader stopping buy it is a form of controlled madness where we attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

Some people don’t understand the insanity. They ask why don’t you just finish the one you are working on, why write another? As with all things when you concentrate too long on one thing the ideas become stale. With multiple works in progress you can bounce back and forth to give your best work. I know I am bouncing around, but what I got from the NaNoWriMo Twitter experience was that it can limit your audience to those really invested in the same thing you are.

Again, I will not jump the gun to reveal my theme, but I am terribly excited about it and cannot wait to first of all share it and then write about it during the A to Z Challenge.

I Rode the Dragon to School – SPF – 02/19/17

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Grandpa Joe loved having Davey over for the weekend. The kindergarten aged boy had a great imagination and could spin a tale worthy of the best story teller in the world. Grandpa Joe knew something really good was in the works because Davey had been consumed with activity all morning. He had been flipping through photo albums, seemingly more enthralled the more he looked.

“Grandpa Joe did you like school?”

“Yes. Don’t you?”

“Sometimes. When we learn about animals I do.”

“Before long you will be able to read stories about all kinds of cool things, like cops and robbers and knights and dragons.”

I wish I could have gone to school back when you did,” Davey said smiling as his mind worked.

“You do?”

“Yes. I think we could have had a lot of fun.”

“Well we did not have that fancy new school bus to ride like you do,” Grandpa Joe said.

“I know,” Davey said.”But the way you had was much more fun,” Davey proclaimed.

“Oh really?”

“Yep. Grandma Pam said you are so old you rode a dragon to school!”

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Bring on the Water – FF – 02/10/17

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Photo Copyright – Ted Strutz

 

I wasn’t born the day the two men from T.V.A. made their way to my Grandpa’s house. The day they told him they needed his good farmland, the land he, his dad and granddaddy had loved and worked .

“I will be right here when the water comes,” Granddaddy stated emphatically, pointing to the exact spot he would stake his life.

The T.V.A. men nodded solemnly and returned to their job further down the valley.

There was several folks watching when the water came that day.

What they didn’t know was that granddaddy’s chair was anchored with four huge concrete blocks.

friday-fictioneers

The Man from Barleyfield – SPF – 01/29/17

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copyright ceayr

It had been five days since anyone had seen The Man from Barleyfield. Everyone knew him, oh yes everyone. He was the one who handed out $100 bills on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Some said he was a billionaire real estate developer from the northeast, others though they heard him speak of Gulf of Mexico shrimping boats while still others were sure he owned big timber operations in the American west. Wherever the money originated he seemed to have plenty.

Every morning the crowds gathered by the Penley River channel to watch the dragging operation. His little white rowboat still bobbed on the water anchored in place where the authorities believed The Man from Barleyfield was last seen. Before long the crowds began to diminish. The excitement of the free money soon ebbed away and people talked about The Man from Barleyfield less and less.

On a train platform in Seattle a man in a worn sport coat set a old hounds tooth hat on his head, straightened his tie and set out on his right foot toward a new adventure. It took almost seven months to get rid of the $30 million he had swindled from First National Bank in Fargo, but now that it was gone he was ready to begin his life anew.

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Helping Nemo – FFPP -01/26/17

FFPP012617.pngIt’s Nemo! It’s Nemo!” Charlie said as he circled the small pond so he could watch the multi-colored fish move between the limits of his small world.

“Do you think that might be Dory?” Charlie’s mother asked. She encouraged this bit of harmless imagination in the hopes it might occupy Charlie’s busy mind for a little while. She was nearly exhausted from a day of wrangling her three year old through clothing stores whilst trying to augment his wardrobe as well as her own. The three year old boy was not patient in any regard, wanting to run off at the first chance.

“No mommy, Dory was funny. This fish is boring,” Charlie assessed.

“Why do you think she is boring?” his mother asked.

“All she does is swim around Nemo. This fish does not do that, it is not Nemo’s friend.”

Audie was surprised at how much thought her son put into this analysis. He obviously took in more than she gave him credit for doing.

“She will not help Nemo find his dad, so we have to,” Charlie said.

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Written for the weekly Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner hosted by Roger Shipp on A Writer’s Community.

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