Friday, August 26, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things-August 26, 2016

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

The kids started school on Tuesday, and they're loving it so far.  I can't believe my boys have gotten so big.

I've been drowning in edits this week, though I've been making progress.  I'll be glad when the edits for this novella are done!  The good news is that I don't think I'll need to make any major changes from here on out.  It should all be minor stuff.

My husband got an inflatable boat from his job for working there for five years.  He and the kids are super excited to try it out.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate so that can happen sometime soon.

What would you like to celebrate?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Kyra Lennon's Final Score: Part 1

New Release

Final Score: Part 1

Book 5 in the Game On Series

by Krya Kennon

Leah Walker and Radleigh McCoy have overcome a lot of personal demons to be together, but what happens when everything they’ve worked to build is threatened? 

With wedding plans in full swing and Leah settled into her role as a stay at home mum, life is just about perfect. However, an unexpected job offer sparks tension between the couple, and when someone from Radleigh’s past shows up in Westberg with a life-altering revelation, Leah and Radleigh’s relationship is shaken to the core. 

Just when Leah and Radleigh seemed to have it all together, their happy home is ripped in two, leaving them both with some tough choices to make. Will they be able to overcome their problems and make it down the aisle, or will outside temptations make them say goodbye forever?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things-August 19, 2016

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

WEP is happening this week!  For any of you who don't know what that is, you can check out the website.  If you're curious about my entry for it, you can find that here.

My son Lyle got glasses this week.  He's excited about them, and he's been taking great care of them so far.  Here are a couple of pictures.  His older brother Jude had to get in on the action, of course.

I've been trying to set weekly writing goals for myself, and I've met all of them for this week!  That's pretty exciting for me, especially since life frequently gets in the way of writing time.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

WEP Challenge: Gardens

It's time for another WEP Challenge with Yolanda Renee and Denise Covey!  This month's theme is: Gardens.

The story that came to mind with this prompt is a bit strange and disturbing, but hey, that's all right.  I hope you enjoy it!

Flora and Fauna

Flora tugged at the skirt of her pink dress.  The garment was patterned with yellow daffodils, tiny bluebonnets, and lovely little violets.  The pink shoes and pink bow that adorned her blonde hair matched perfectly.
She listened to the tinkle of children laughing as they darted between the rows of peonies and tulips.  She imagined running like the wind, the reds, purples, yellows, and greens blurring around her like the colorful whirlwind of a painting.
Two hands clamped down vicelike on her arms, pinning them to her sides.  “Stop fidgeting.  You’ll tear your dress.”  Her mother’s alto voice ignited a surge of bitterness.
What if I want to tear the dress?  She ached to ask the question, but she knew the consequences would be severe.
Her mother let go of her arms, her hands going instead to adjust the tangerine sundress she was wearing.  “Stay here like a good little girl.  I’m going to talk to the Greenwalds.”  Her mother scuttled toward a tall, dark-haired man with a rich baritone voice and his petite wife with the bright red hair.
Flora sighed, keeping her arms obediently at her sides.  Mom didn’t want a kid.  She wanted a doll to look at.
She’d been to a lot of these garden parties over her ten years of life, and they were all the same.  Other kids got to run around and have fun.  Mom got to drink wine and socialize.  Dad got to stay inside the house.  Flora got to stand off to the side and look pretty.
Her mother glowed whenever friends praised her for raising such a “well-behaved daughter.”
“She’s so quiet,” they said.
“We hardly realize she’s there.”
“She looks like a doll.”
I may as well be a doll, Flora thought.  That’s what Mom wants me to be.
Rage simmered as she watched her mother and guests move freely about the garden.  Bees buzzed between the flowers, and a sparrow washed itself in the black marble bird bath.  The plants and the food each emitted their own distinct odors, and all she could do was take a deep breath and savor those smells, tormented by the temptation.
Everything else was filled with life.  Everything but her.
I may as well be a statue.  I’m a decoration, anyway.  Maybe if I stay still for long enough, Mom will forget that I’m a person.
The more such thoughts ran through her head, the angrier she became.
If I could become a statue, I would.  I’d hold so still that I turn to stone, and maybe she’d eventually miss me.  Maybe she’d feel bad she never let me play.  She might even cry.
Flora tensed her muscles, determined to turn to stone.
I am a statue.  I will not move.
She willed her bones to turn to the same kind of decorative rock that composed the walkway.  She prayed that her muscles would solidify, and that her blood would stop flowing.
She deserves this.  She needs to see why she should have been happy with the daughter she has.
The party went on around her, everyone oblivious to Flora’s dark thoughts.  The sun tracked steadily across the sky, the reddening light shining through the pungent branches of the mammoth lilac bush. 
Then the guests began to leave, making their apologies for having to go so soon and thanking Flora’s mother for such a splendid party.  They left by twos or threes through the white trellis, which was covered by a sprawling trumpet vine.  They laughed and chatted on their way out, the sounds of their voices soon swallowed by the falling of night.
Flora’s mother started clearing the dishes and wiping down tables.  Though she was expected to fly into action to assist with the cleanup, Flora had a new goal that couldn’t be tossed aside.
I am a statue.  If this is the way she thinks she wants me, then let her have me like this.  Let me turn to stone.
The sounds of tiny scuttling feet told Flora that the creatures of the night were coming out to play.  The brush of fur across her foot startled her, but she surprised herself by remaining rigid.
This is easier than I thought it would be.  Even the animals think I’m a statue.
“Flora!  I need you to help me!” her mother shouted angrily.
She’d gotten under her mother’s skin.  Flora would have smiled about that, even tried to smile, but the smile never came.  Her face had lost most of its feeling, and the muscles didn’t respond.
A few moments passed, and her mother stalked over to where she stood, nostrils flaring.  “Flora!  Why aren’t you listening to me?  Honestly, I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but . . .”  Her mother’s voice trailed off, her eyes going wide as she looked down at the hand she’d just placed on her daughter’s arm.
“Flora?” she said softly as she squeezed the flesh, only to find it unyielding.
Mommy!  Flora tried to call out, but nothing responded.  Her heart should’ve been hammering, but it was beating abnormally slowly.  Mommy, help me!
“Flora!  Answer me!”  Then the panicked woman turned and screamed to anyone that might hear.  “Someone help!  Please help me!”
Her father came, but his efforts to rouse her were also unsuccessful. 
By the next morning, Flora’s once peach skin had turned gray, and her blood no longer flowed through her veins.  Her parents sat at her feet for hours on end, pleading with her to do something that she simply couldn’t do.
Flora saw the police come, saw the incredulous looks on their faces as her mother and father explained what had happened.  A few days later, they were escorted away in handcuffs, and she never saw them again.
Months passed and the garden was swallowed by weeds.  Birds perched on Flora’s shoulders each morning as they sang to the world.
There were no more garden parties. There was only Flora and fauna.

Word Count: 993

Monday, August 15, 2016

A Monday Blog Tour Stop

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Today I'm over at Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog for another blog tour stop.  Please feel free to stop by and say hello!  

Friday, August 12, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things-August 12, 2016

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

I've spent a fair bit of time watching the Rio Olympics this week.  While I typically don't watch sports often, there's something exciting about the Olympics.  I've mostly watched the women's gymnastics and both men's and women's swimming events.  All I can say is that these athletes can do some amazing things.  It's amazing to watch them.

I finished a first round of edits for Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People.  Now I'm going to set it aside for a week or two to work on other projects.  Then I'll do another edit and work on getting it ready for release.

Both of my boys spent a lot of time riding their bikes this week.  Now they can both ride without training wheels, though there have been a few bumps and scrapes as a result. It's all part of being a kid, though, and they've had a great time!

What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Check Out Another Blog Tour Stop!

Hey everybody!  I'm over at Cathrina Constantine's blog today as part of my Self-Help 101 or: How to Survive a Bombardment With Minimal Injury blog tour!  If you want to read my tips on how to write humor, feel free to check it out!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Celebrate the Small Things-August 5, 2016

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

I've been busy with revisions.  Since I finished the first draft of Self-Help 1o1 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People, I've been deep in revision land.  It's hard work, but it's satisfying to know that I've made it this far.

I also have an idea brewing in my mind for a short story that might be interesting if I can get it down on paper.  I love having new ideas!  It's such an exciting time.

By this time next week, I should have back-to-school preparations for my boys pretty much wrapped up.  I'm looking forward to having all of those tasks done, because then I can just enjoy their excited anticipation of being back in school again.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Insecure Writer's Support Group: August 2016

It's the first Wednesday of the month again, so let's get started with another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group!  Alex J. Cavanaugh  is our leader, and his minion helpers for this month are: Tamara Narayan, Tonja Drecker, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Lauren @ Pensuasion, Stephen Tremp, and Julie Flanders.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website!

I'm celebrating some good things this month.  On Sunday, I finished the first draft of the third novella in my Self-Help 101 series.  I'm planning on releasing Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People on September 27th.

Earlier this year I announced that I'd had a story accepted to the upcoming anthology Circuits & Slippers.  This anthology features popular fairy tales told with a science fiction twist.  It now has a Goodreads page that you can check out.  The book is due to come out the last week of September, which happens to be the same week I'm releasing my next novella. That should be a busy and exciting week indeed!

Now it's time for me to answer the question of the month!

What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now?  Collecting dust or has it been published?

I can say this much.  My first piece of writing as an aspiring writer could never be published.  Not unless I become famous someday and decide to publish it to show people how it's possible to go from having no clue about how to tell a good story to achieving success through hard work and determination.

I wrote that first story when I was in 1st grade.  It was long (120 pages, though my writing was large and I was using wide ruled paper) and rambling.  I didn't know anything about how paragraphs and and punctuation worked, so it was largely unreadable.  The story itself, from what I remember, involved hot pink snow, dinosaurs, airplanes, and flying saucers.  I can't remember much else about the story line now, as it has been sitting, gathering dust, at my parents' house.  I haven't looked at it for many years.

Though the story was terrible, I'm glad I wrote it.  I'm glad that I wrote every awful story I did as a kid, because that helped me learn and grow as a writer.  I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't written them.

What's your insecurity this month?  What happened to your first piece of writing?