A Pin Too High – FF – 4-29-16

This is Friday Fictioneers, where a 100 word story based on this photo that follows should tell a quick story. Thanks Rochelle for the hosting duties.


The actor listened to his director as he described the physical feats he expected of his high-dollar martial arts trained franchise. As he considered the Oscar winning directors words he replied.


“But Jackie, it’s the highlight of the movie and you love doing your own stunts. Your stunt double cannot do what I ask.”

“Nor will I.”

The director stared at the writer whose face reflected concern.

“What can I do?”

“You first. If you do, so will I.”

The newspaper account identified the highest rolling pin as the fatal blow to the septuagenarian when he attempted the “impossible stunt”.


NaNoWriMo – The Postmordem

What does it look like to be crushed by an idea you embraced with such excitement and enthusiasm in its buildup? I think the picture that follows can sum up my response.plane

What I envisioned as a 747 arcing across the sky over the month of November headed for at least a 50,000 word beginning of my first published novel instead is holding its place as a 29,039 word beginning. Rest assured I have not thrown in the towel or the landing gear on this quest. But I do know this, 50,000 words in 30 days is a monumental task, one I had known in the preceding years and avoided at all costs. But in 2015 I thought it would be worth the effort. I can say it was not.

I got tied in with NaNoWriMo.org (for free or I would not have done it) and they go to great lengths to try to encourage you and get you involved with other writers. This is all fine and well if you have scads of time to devote to such. But if you intend to tap out the average of 1,667 words per day to stay on pace it leaves little time for anything else. NaNo

I did attend one write in, which is a physical gathering of those taking part in the month long exercise at a local site. With the exception of the two liaisons from the event there was one other writer and myself, so not much opportunity to feel a part of a community. It is true that writing is a solitary adventure and most of your motivation has to come form within, but you would think  writers would jump at the chance to share a brief time with others.

The novel I am in the midst of writing was not the problem, that story is in my head, begging to be transferred to the computer. The issue is the demands of writing it within such a short and yet hectic time period. Consider the holiday that falls within the 30 day period. Then I can add in the fact that I left the country for a week long mission trip. Of course I knew that going in, but in the early days when the enthusiasm was tied to adrenaline I was able to get ahead of the pace and felt I could easily reach the goal.


So in summary I guess I would say this experience confirmed what I already believed, that NaNoWriMo is not for me. I will finish this novel and get it ready to be published either with a traditional publisher or by publishing it myself through Amazon or another means. It is my greatest desire at his moment after the things that are always bigger priorities (spouse, children, job, etc.). I suppose I will have to try to find another avenue to develop a writer network of friends.






Chimera 66 #11 – Kaleidoscope

Kara peered through the small hole and watched with wonder as Terence slowly rolled the end.

“How did you do that?”

“I just turned it,” Terence said.

“Oh I know that, I mean how’d you get the bat inside?”

“Bat? There’s no bat!”

“See for yourself,” Kara offered.

Terence traded places and marveled at the bat flying around when Kara turned the end of the device.


Written for Chimera 66 #11. You can find other responses by following this link: http://www.grammarghoulpress.com/chimera-66-writing-challenge-11/

Caitlin’s Doubt

Something in Caitlin’s eyes worried her father. She was a vision in the gorgeous dress. Wes waited anxiously ninety feet away.

“Daddy,” she said unsteadily.

“What’s wrong?” he knew the voice.

“It’s nothing,” she nodded the feeling away.

“No honey, it’s not!”


Micro Bookends 1.23 – DOCTOR [micro] NO

OK all you micro-fiction fans, here is another to test your skill. It is one managed by David Borrowdale from across the pond and runs each Thursday from 5 AM U.K. time Thursday until 5 AM U.K. time on Friday. You have a beginning word, ending word and 90 to 110 words including them to tell your story. The story is added to the comments page for judging. Each week a different judge is selected, but lately has been the winner from the previous week. I have added my effort for this week to the comments, but will add here in hopes of sharing this opportunity with those that frequent the Fiction Playground.

You can follow this link to David’s post : Micro-Bookends

Here is my response as it appears in the comments:

You Are Served

“Doctor Framingham? Paging Doctor Framingham, your table is ready.” The slim, regal looking maître de surveyed the room but saw no one moving in response to his page.

He repeated the call at least a half-dozen more times before moving to the next name on his list. He repeated the same process with name after name on his list.

From the kitchen Chef Andre chuckled with glee. Erroll Lazenby was a top notch maître de, but he was no food critic. His slanderous opinion of the new signature dish made Andre feel payback was justified. The phony guest list wouldn’t trace back to him.

“You are feeling inadequate, no?”

Chimera 66 #10

“Find a hole!” the sergeant screamed. Soldiers dove every direction as the cruise missile completed its path. Debris and shrapnel covered them over like new-fallen snow.

“Like quicksilver!” Corproal Sampson screamed. “They’re gonna level the place!

“Damn squids jumped the gun! We had another five minutes!” Sergeant Cole griped.

“Damn fly boys are next, we gotta get clear!”

“Echo platoon, bug out! I repeat, bug out!”


Written for Chimera 66 #10. You can find other responses by following this link: http://www.grammarghoulpress.com/chimera-66-writing-challenge-10/

Mutant 750 #25

Jack knew it was the perfect gift. This would finally drive the last wedge between Casey and Edward. He had battled with the slick Yankee all semester for Casey’s heart. He had money, position and a lot of smarts. All Jack had was the ability to listen. But he listened very well and heard Casey’s deepest desires. She wanted to see some of nature’s greatest sights. The Seven Wonders were a long term dream, and one he wanted to give her when they were married. For now he was happy to serve up smaller doses of happiness. He felt like this one would seal his northern compeitior’s fate. It was a stone from Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland. A piece of a Guardian Stone that lined the ridge and was one of Casey’s favorite places.

Casey had shared numerous times her dream of touching one of these columns. While he could not take her there yet or bring one to her, he could deliver a small piece that had weathered away. He knew Edward had neither heard nor listened to her like him. He loved Casey like he had no other before and knew he would no other after. He rubbed on the piece of stone wrapped in the scarlet square of fabric he placed it in six days before. He could not wait to see her face.

The growl he tried to suppress when he entered the common area of the student center, while muffled, was loud enough to draw some attention from those nearby. They lookedup, but then just as quicly returned ot their conversations. Edward was sitting with Casey, decked out in a new suit, obviously from a famous designer. Casey did not seem particularly impressed by it, but still she could have left the table if she felt uncomfortable.

“Casey!” Jack said as he reached the table and drew to her side.

“You made it back in one piece!” Casey said with a smile.

“Of course.”

“Pauley,” Edward said, referring to Jack by his last name only.

“Fugartawne,” Jack replied in kind.

“Casey I have something for you. It is something I came across on my journey and I think you will find it particularly special. Jack reached in his backpack and produced the object, still wrapped in the scarlet fabric and held it in his hand for Casey to retrieve. But Casey never got her chance as Edward snatched it from Jack first and proceeded to climb atop the table and call for everyone’s attention.

“Excuse me friends! Excuse me please! I must have everyone’s attention. It seems Mr. Pauley has brought us a special gift.” He hoisted the wrapped stone high over his head as if it was a trophy and he was a grand victor.

“Edward, stop!” Casey ordered, but the young man continued amid a spatter of laughter and jeers.

“I am not sure of you know, but Mr. Pualey has recently completed a jaunt to the isles,” Edward continued. “It seems Professor Michaleson needed him to slough around gathering keepsakes to litter the geology labs. We all know how much little Jack likes to play with rocks.”

“Edward, this is not funny!” Casey half-shouted.

“No, no Casey it is not. Playing with rocks could lead to Boulder’s disease or perhaps even Gravel Pit Itch or some other malady.”

Before Casey could object again Jack swept Edward’s feet out from under him and managed to catch the scarlet package as it slipped from his grip. While the crown hooted and cheered at the villain’s demise, Jack took Casey by the hand and led her out the side door into the courtyard. They ducked behind a statue out of sight and Jack took a deep breath before trying again.

As I said before I found this when i was away and I think you will find it to be something special.

“What is it?”

Jack proferred the object again, and this time Casey’s face twisted in wonder as she tried to imagine the treasure inside.

“Open it,” he said.

She pulled the red stirngs at the top and expelled a gasp when the fabric fell away to reveal Jack’s surprise.

“Don’t tell me this is what I think it is! You didn’t!”

Jack smiled as a response, leaving his mouth closed for the moment.

“This is part of a Guardian, I can tell. It has the telltale marbling on the outer perimeter!”

“I knew you would love it.”

“Not only it, but you!”



This is written for Grammar Ghoul Mutant 750 #25 which you can find here: http://www.grammarghoulpress.com/gg-writing-challenge-25/.

Why Do You Leave – Yeah Write 205 – WWC – Fiction

Manuel stood clutching the wrinkled photograph of Mariana from the Lake Michigan dinner cruise, the one of her in her little black cocktail dress. It had been four long years since that happy time. Their celebration of nuptials just prior to her deployment with her combat support unit in Afghanistan was the last happy moments he could recall. After the roadside bomb shattered her Humvee and rendered her a shell of herself he had never been able to reclaim the love of his life.

“Why? Why Mariana, why do you go away?”

Manuel had not noticed his wife’s good friend, Sophia approach.

“She doesn’t realize what she is doing,” she said softly. Manuel flinched and pivoted quickly, showing his surprise at her presence.

“I’m sorry, you were so deep in thought you did not hear me,” Sophia explained.

“What are you saying? She doesn’t know what she is doing?”

“I went with her to see the neurologist yesterday. He says there is something triggering her mind, throwing it back to the day she left for Afghanistan. You see that is the last day she remembers very well. Whatever this trigger is keeps sending her back to that moment.

“It’s me,” Manuel said as he squeezed out the tears overwhelming his eyes.

“No honey, it is some event.”

“I keep trying to get her to remember the dinner cruise, The Chicago skyline, the smells or anything else to bring her back. Each time I try she just seems to float away. It is like losing her again and again.”

“Then you have to let that pass, at least for now. Try another way to get her back,” Sophia said.

“It’s not fair. She loves this country. We have it so much better here than in Cuba. She just wanted to do her part, to support her new home and show she was just as willing as any other American to serve her country. Why did it have to be her? Why are we trying to change a culture that has been this way for centuries?” Manuel said through heavy tears.

“I don’t know Manuel. I think you join a long line of family members demanding answers to these questions. You just have to try harder with Mariana using another approach.”

Manuel embraced his wife’s friend and turned to walk home. Along the way he racked his brain for another way to reach his wife. Seeing his front door he finally set tled on a new approach. But would it work? Would she respond any differently?

From the bottom of the short stair case he could see her folding laundry. The army way was ingrained as it always would and the neat piles showed her training had not been lost with all the other pieces of her life. She offered a familiar smile as he opened the door to enter.

“I was thinking we could ride over to the boardwalk after supper and try the ferris wheel,” Manuel said.

“Are you trying to sweet talk me Manny?”

“Is it working?”

“Perhaps!” she said cocking her head and batting her long eye lashes.

She stood and he pulled her into an embrace. She sighed contently as he held her. He hoped this would finally be the way to reach her.

“We can’t stay too long dear. I must finish arranging my gear. The bus for the base leaves at 0600 tomorrow morning.”



Sophie’s on the Case – MFtS – 3/16/15


A body suddenly crashed through a plate glass window at the Brigadier’s house. This wasn’t the first time such had happened but it would be the last. Because this time it was Neville Flanagan Gustaf, the Brigadier himself lying in a pool of blood. Too many men, women and children had died at his hands. No one would mourn his passing.

“Morning Detective,” an officer said. “Are you working solo today?”

“No. Tom is looking around downstairs. No movement of the body?”

“None since I got here,’ The officer replied.

Sophie knelt to examine the body more closely. She fished a small flashlight from her blazer pocket and clicked it on. A few sweeps around the neck and she stood with a knowing expression.

“I am confident to rule this a homicide,” she said. “There is bruising around the victim’s throat that was sustained peri-mortem. Someone either tried to or strangled the Brigadier before he fell through the ceiling.”


For those new to my fiction writing let me take a moment to introduce you to one of my recurring characters, Detective Sophie Marcus. Sophie and her partner Tom, investigate murders for the Charleston, South  Carolina police department. I imagine Sophie in her late thirties to early forties, about Five foot and a half, with light brown hair and emerald eyes.

Unless Barbara objects I will follow this story for four more weeks finishing the entire story in 1,000 words. I hope you enjoy. Please comment and tell me what you think!