Friday, June 30, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-June 30, 2017

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

The boys had a great time at my sister-in-law's wedding last weekend.  I might also be biased, but I think they look quite handsome all dressed up.  Zoe also looked adorable in her dress.  So did the bride, of course!

I had a productive morning on Tuesday.  While the boys had their library program and Zoe was playing with her toys, I wrote, edited, and submitted an entire story.  Yes, it was a flash fiction piece, but it still made me feel pretty accomplished.  That feeling gave me a creative boost for the rest of the day.

I'm making good progress on a short story I'd like to submit sometime soon.  I'm hoping to get that done in the next week or two.  With the 4th of July holiday next week, I can't say for sure whether that will happen, but I guess we'll see!

What would you like to celebrate?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-June 23, 2017

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

The Kickstarter campaign for the 2018 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide is going well.  I'm also going to be taking part in a Facebook author party that Dreaming Robot Press is hosting next week.  That should be a fun way to interact with people, and I'm looking forward to it.

I've been in a writing slump the last few weeks.  Many of you know how that goes.  Fortunately, I seem to be getting back into the swing of things, and that's done a lot to improve my mood.  I tend to get grumpy when writing isn't going well.

My husband's youngest sister is getting married this weekend, and the weather is supposed to be beautiful for the occasion. Lyle is also supposed to be a ring bearer, and he looks handsome in his outfit.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

WEP Challenge: Bridges

It's time once again for the WEP Challenge courtesy of Yolanda Renee and Denise Covey!

The theme this month is bridges.  I thought a lot about this one, but in the end, this story kind of flowed out of my fingers, taking twists and turns on its own.  It's always fun when that happens, isn't it?


The Bridge to Home

Serafina leans forward, resting her forehead against the night-chilled steel support.  The water below slides beneath her feet in a rush, the moonlight occasionally catching upon poorly defined shapes she’s not certain she wants to see clearly.  She takes a deep breath, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to fill her lungs.  Not anymore.
The distinctive sound of footsteps on the ancient wood planks of the bridge fill the otherwise silent night.  Serafina doesn’t bother to turn to see who it is.  She doesn’t need to.  Only one other person knows to find her here.
“You’re not going to do it, are you?” Harley asks, her typically mellow voice tight with concern.   The wood groans as she settles beside Serafina.
Serafina doesn’t answer, because she honestly doesn’t know.  She’d have told her best friend if she did.  They’d never kept anything from each other before.
The silence stretches out, tugging on the air between them until it’s pulled so tight that it feels as if the night itself might snap from the tension.
“What if he was right?” Serafina finally asks.  “He seemed so sure, and they never found a body.  You’d think three years would have given them plenty of time to do that.”
“It also would have given Jax enough time to get in touch with you if he was still alive.”  Harley’s words don’t sound cruel, but they cut just the same.
Serafina pulls away from the hand Harley tries to latch around her wrist.  She can’t expect her to understand the sheer need thrumming through her veins.  “Jax was the only family I had left.  What else am I supposed to do?”  Their parents disappeared one night a decade prior without explanation.  Jax, who was eighteen at the time, took care of Serafina.  Just before she herself turned eighteen, he started telling her stories of merpeople and unseen underwater kingdoms.
“I need to go home,” he’d told her, his emerald eyes burning bright with what she feared was madness.
“But you are home.”  Serafina had tried in vain to convince him of that, but he couldn’t be swayed.
Harley sighs.  “Jax was a wonderful brother, okay, but he had problems.  You know that.  You told me all the stories.  And I get it.  Maybe you need to believe that he and your parents are still out there somewhere going about their lives and waiting for you to join them.  I can’t blame you for that, but if you do this, you’ll only end up killing yourself, and that won’t solve anything!”
Serafina stands up, Harley’s panicked words reminding her of the fateful night that Jax had brought her here to this bridge.  His fluffy brown hair had almost danced in the breeze, the moonlight reflecting off his bright eyes as he climbed over the railing.  Tears were streaking down Serafina’s cheeks, her nose running from all the crying she’d been doing in the car.  “Please, Jax, you can’t do this.  Don’t leave me!”
“You can come with me,” he’d insisted.  “We can go together.”
She felt so sure at the time that he was committing suicide in from of her, and distraught though she’d been, she wasn’t prepared to follow through with that.  She shook her head resolutely.  “No, I can’t, but I don’t know if I can stay here without you, either.”
Jax’s smile was soft and a little sad.  “You’ll be just fine, Fin.  Don’t doubt that.  You can come when you’re ready.  I’ll be waiting.”  Then he let go, and she looked on in horror as the angry water below swallowed him whole.
She’d been so sure at first that he died that night, but the years that followed ate away at that certainty, and the stories Jax told, ones he said that their parents passed on to him before they left, seeped into the holes until nothing but a need to see all of them again remained.
Harley is speaking in a rush behind her, but the words won’t reach her ears, as if Serafina is already under water and unreachable.  “Take care of yourself, Harley, and don’t worry about me.  I’ll be fine.”  Her voice is confident.  Strong in a way that it hasn’t been in a long time.  “I will miss you, though,” she adds after a moment.
Then she lets go.  The freefall lasts only a couple of seconds, but the lightness in her bones makes her spirit soar.  I’m coming home!
Dark shapes swirl just below her as her body pierces the water’s surface and sucks her under.

Word Count: 761

Friday, June 16, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-June 16, 2017

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

I went to a Metallica concert last Friday, and it was awesome! The concert was outdoors, and it was a hot day, but we had a good breeze that kept us cool.  Other than the fact that bottles of water cost $7 (I knew it would be high but wow!), it was a great experience.  I'm definitely glad we went.

The kids started their library reading program this week. They enjoy it every year, and it gives them a chance to read and spend time with their friends.

The other big thing I'm celebrating this week is the latest anthology opportunity that's come my way.  I submitted a middle grade science fiction story months ago, and I was feeling a bit insecure about it.  After all, it was my first time writing a middle grade story.  When I got the news that it had been accepted for the 2018 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide, I was ecstatic!  What writer isn't happy to get news like that?

The publisher, Dreaming Robot Press, launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier this week to help cover publication costs. One of the main goals of this campaign is to supply copies of the books to libraries so lots of kids have the opportunity to read these stories.  I would appreciate it if some of you could help spread the word.

That's all I have to say for now.  What would you like to celebrate?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

2018 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide-Kickstarter

Hey everyone!  I hope you all had a great weekend.

I'm here to let you all know about the latest anthology project I'm privileged to be a part of.  The 2018 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide is composed of 24 stories written for middle grade readers, though all are free to enjoy them.

The publisher, Dreaming Robot Press, just launched a Kickstarter campaign to help with publication costs.  One thing they aim to do is donate copies of the book to libraries, and the Kickstarter helps make that possible.

Please help me spread the word!  I want this campaign to be a success.  Here's a pre-written tweet for anyone who'd like to give this project a shout out.

Help support the #Kickstarter for the 2018 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide! #anthology #scifi @dreaming_robot

Thanks in advance for any help you can give!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-June 9, 2017

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

Though my husband had our 10-year anniversary last week, we'll be celebrating it today.  The kids are all going to have a good day with their grandparents.  The boys are excited to go swimming with their cousins and to spend the night.  It'll be weird being without them, especially Zoe, since this will be the first night I've been away from her.  Hopefully everything goes smoothly.

So what are my husband and I planning to do with our child-free day?  We're going to a Metallica concert.  I haven't been to a concert since I was 19, and this is a fitting one for us to go to. After all, Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" was the first song we danced to at our wedding.

What would you like to celebrate?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group-June 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 is the great Alex J. Cavanaugh.  This month's minion helpers are J.H. Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website!

This month's question is: Did you ever say "I quit"?  If so, what made you come back to writing?

I've never considered quitting writing entirely.  There have been days when I've been beyond frustrated and wanted to quit specific projects.  Sometimes I've even come to the conclusion that giving up on a project is the best course of action.  And there have been times when I've told myself "I should stop submitting my stories.  If they're getting rejected so often, why do I even bother?"  Fortunately, I never followed through with this thought.  I keep going because I've heard successful writers talk about all the rejections they accumulated before making it.  Persistence may indeed pay off.

And why do I keep writing even when I feel frustrated?  I love it.  It's that simple.  Even if I never got anything published, I know I would still write.  It's too much a part of who I am to ever give it up.

Have you ever been tempted to quit writing?  What keeps you going?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Celebrate the Small Things-June 2, 2017

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

Today the boys have their last day of school for this school year.  They're really excited, as I'm sure you can all imagine.

Today is also a pretty big day for my husband and me.  We got married ten years ago today.  It's crazy to think how quickly that time has gone.

A lot has changed in those ten years.  We've had three children.  Neither of us looks quite as young and trim as we do in our wedding photos, but we're still happy together.  I'll celebrate that any day.

What would you like to celebrate?