Stop Chasing So He Will Say I Do – FFPP – 03/23/17

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner is one of the quartet of weekly photo prompts I try to frequent each week. I noticed a post over on Joe’s Musings, my mother blog called My List of Regular Blog Challenges is getting a lot of interest and it was created long before I found this, so does not list it. I need to get that remedied.

But anyway Roger Shipp @ A Writer’s Community hosts this event on a weekly basis. He is very generous in allowing 200 words to spin a tale inspired by the picture provided. Give it a whirl!

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https://pixaby.com.en/police-security-safety-protection-869216/

Marty jammed his radio onto his belt so he could use both hands to loosen his belt a notch. He loved the Japanese quick service kiosk in the airport food court.

He noticed a young woman acting a little strangely and could feel his “spidey sense” kick in. That is what his sons called it when he knew they were up to something and thwarted their plans before they could execute.

The girl seemed especially nervous as she waited in line to get through security. Marty positioned himself so he could watch what she did.

As soon as she cleared security she began to move very fast toward the gate area. Marty followed, watching her tug at a backpack that looked heavier than it should be. When the girl saw him she began to quicken her pace.

He lost sight of her and feared the worst. He had his walkie to his mouth when he rounded the corner to see the girl down on one knee pr0posing to her fellow who was about to board a flight to Africa. Her backpack was open with a small karaoke machine blaring a popular love song. It was a good thing Marty was a romantic.

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Hide the Triplets – FF -03/24/17

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Copyright – J. Hardy Carroll

 

“Personally I like the rounded look. We are basically making a bunch of spikes, almost weapons on these fence panels,” Harmon said as he toiled on the order for the massive fence that would line the perimeter of J. Hardy Carroll’s estate.

“Mr. Carroll was very specific Harmon. He wants this design and this one only,” Butch the boss man replied.

“Makes you wonder what he is protecting or hiding,” Harmon commented.

“Only a set of the prettiest triplets God ever created. Louie said they are models.”

Harmon knew this, it was why on this panel he made it weaker.

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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.

IWSG – 2/1/17 – How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

insecure-writers-support-group-badgeThis is my initial response as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. It is not because I am an anomaly, one of those writer’s who exudes so much confidence I never doubt my ability. No, in truth I am just as full of questions about my ability as anyone who puts together a collection of letters with the hopes it will be recognized as a work of art as anyone.

I have been blogging on WordPress for about 4 1/2 years, so I have seen the IWSG logo for a while now. Why I have not taken the initiative to join before this time is one of those questions with an easy answer. No one wants to admit their doubts. None of us willingly steps up to declare that the possibility of irrelevance scares us into submission too often. But I am growing as a writer as I cross the many hurdles that are real and imagined. I want to rub elbows with other doubters as I also connect with those who have won the battles that lay before me.

I also want to answer the question posed this month: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader? I think it has made me more critical. I see more plot holes as I look at other works. This includes movies and television as well. I can distinctly remember a plot hole in a television series I loved and still to this day I think about it. It is not very often I will stop reading a book, or watching a program or movie, but it does happen, usually because something is either so out of place or the plot just does not capture my attention.

I find myself taking mental notes now when I read authors I really like, taking apart their characters and plot devices to see how they tick. I want to be able to make such a good story that my readers will crave more of my writing. I expect all the best writers operate this way, so why not follow their lead?

I enjoy any opportunity to connect with others in this solitary world of writing. While it can be a lonely pursuit, opportunities like this narrow down the field of folks to ones willing to share a piece of their world. It is difficult to share your struggles with those who do not face similar obstacles or challenges. They just look at you like they are thinking “why do that to yourself?” Because I have that desire burning deep inside me, although you cannot see it or understand it, I think.

So I think that will do it for my first IWSG post. I look forward to meeting all of you over time and who knows what kind of connections I might make here?

An Irish Fall – FFPP – 01/05/17

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He would always remember that day in October when he saw her auburn hair for the first time. Even the beauty of the North Carolina section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, something he had anticipated enjoying for the first time in his life, could not outshine her. Her face was angelic, like something in a catalogue of porcelain dolls.

But it was her voice. That lovely Irish brogue that captivated him. She acted shy at first, but he realized it was more like coy as she found her footing with him through their conversation on the overlook. What he expected would be a ten minute pit stop easily morphed into an hour long date with his destiny.

Carey did not believe in fate. He was a Christian, feeling that any positive experience was sent by God. Allison was that and more, he was positive of that by the time they shared the gorgeous sunset. He drew in a quick breath when she leaned in to let her lips touch his. Was that fireworks bursting in his head? Or was it just the thrill of someone new. He was fine with any explanation.

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This is my first try at Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. It is a weekly writing challenge designed for both the flash fiction newbie and the more experienced writer. Using the provided photo you are budgeted 200 words to make your story. I live about 90 minutes from the Linville Aqueduct, which is the inspiration for this week’s prompt.

Gears for today – FF -1/06/07

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Photo Credit: Sandra Crook

 

It took years to raise the money. Bake sales, birthday calendars, doughnuts, basically anything that could be monetized was put into the hopper as a device to raise the necessary money. But it was the awarding of the recognition as a historic site that finally granted the proper impetus to allow the renovation to succeed. The wood was new, but the steel sections were original.

Barry could feel the hair on his arms bristle when it came time to give the big wheel its first action in sixty-three years. If this happened without fail he would have work for years.

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Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Carrie Me Over – Sunday Photo Fiction – 01 Jan 2017

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“So she will signal us it is okay by dousing the lights?” Cal asked.

“Yes,” Mike nodded. “When the lights go down that means she has reached the control room where she can also disable the electric gate. Once that happens we are home free.”

“If she doesn’t get caught,” Cal stated the obvious, the worrisome part of all of this adventure. So far Carrie was regarded as a friend to the state, an asset really. Her father was the man in charge, so she had great latitude in her movement, one of the big reasons Mike befriended her.

Being labeled as subversive meant their lives would never know freedom. Mike and Cal could not stomach that kind of life, so they were about to embark on a harrowing attempt to race the thirteen miles from here to the border and freedom. If they could get out of this first enclosure. Everything depended on Carrie and her stealth.

Cal looked at his watch and back at the lights. It was past the time they agreed on for her to make her move. Had there been complications? Was she discovered? Was she really with them?

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The Target in the Haystack – FF – 12/16/16

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“Is he still holding the rifle?” Jared asked.

“Yep!” Kelly said into her phone. She looked around the corner of the barn to see Farmer Dave pacing the porch.

It was a harmless prank, one Jared needed to complete to join the fraternity. But now he was stuck in the feed ring where hungry horses were quickly destroying his cover. If he was exposed to Farmer Dave he would be arrested if not shot for trespassing.

“How long ago did he feed them?” Kelly asked. ‘They are eating like they are starved!”

“I sure picked the wrong place to hide!”


For Friday Fictioneers

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How Can You Forget Reality? -FF 12-09-16

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Photo Prompt Copyright Lucy Fridkin

 

“Even with this virtual reality thingy it’s impossible to imagine,” Haley said. She slowly turned as she watched the scenery.

“You have to consider the fact no one thought it would come to them either,” John replied. “Hawaii was just a non-descript chain of islands, not even thought of as a state on that morning.”

“Imagine waking up to see the sky full of death!” Haley replied.

“Yes, many people had their lives taken on that day. Seventy five years makes a lot of people forget the horror.”

“How could you forget?”

“Sometimes you have to so you can live!”

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ph1207Today is the 75th anniversary of the most devastating attack in U.S. military history. Also the impetus of the United States entering the Second World War. Pearl Harbor is something we still remember, even those who were not alive at that time. We cannot let this and other lessons fade as we move on with our freedoms. It is because of those who fought and died in these times we can do what we choose today.

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