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Tag: Weekend Writing Warriors

Weekend Writing Warrior 9/11/16 #8Sunday

clown-motelFor September I’ll be pulling from several related short stories I wrote this summer, all dealing with the apocalypse.

Today’s story, tentatively called “The Graveyard,” was inspired by a town I passed through while wandering the country this summer: Tonopah, Nevada, home to the “haunted” Clown Motel located right next to an old graveyard filled with plague victims. Fun. :)

* * * * * * *

The plague hit quickly and deadly. In the course of just a couple weeks nearly half the town was dead, with those left alive torn between caring for the sick, burying the dead, or fleeing the county before they were struck down too.

With Pa taking the easy route and hightailing it out, and Ma dying right off, that left me the task of looking after the young’uns, and my older brother to bury the dead. Then the plague took him too, and most of the little’uns, until it was just me and baby Nylen after the plague was gone.

Pa had wanted a right proper homestead but there ain’t really any call for farming in the Nevada desert. He’d always talked about moving – west to California or north to Dakota Territory – but Ma’s people were here in Nye County and so she put her foot down. I thought about moving me and Nylen somewhere too, but where does a sixteen-year-old girl even go? So we stuck around, nearly the only folks still in town, determined to make the best of a bad situation.

* * * * * * *

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 9/4/16 #8Sunday

I’m switching gears and for September, I’ll be pulling from several related short stories I wrote this summer, all dealing with the apocalypse.

The first one, “Special,” is about a pair of twins, Niko and Tevi, and a unique ability Tevi has.

* * * * * * *

“Mishla,” our grandmother Yaya told Mother even before my brother and I were born, “the baby you carry is special, like my uncle Niko, the great general who fought so hard in the third war. You must name your baby after him.”

Mother had just learned Father had been killed in the fifth war, despite fighting so hard, and although she would’ve preferred to name my brother after him, she was too heartbroken to argue with Yaya.

Growing up, Niko didn’t do anything special. He played with the other children in the caverns into which we’d moved to shield us from the airstrikes. He matched their outlandish stories about their dead fathers’ exploits with ones about our own father, trumping them by including the adventures of his namesake, even though no one had heard of him.

One day, when we were about eight and Niko was running screaming with the others playing king of the hill, he pulled out the boldest story of all: “I have grass growing under my bed.”

Szymon paused from shoving him off our dirt pile hill. “No one has grass growing anywhere.”

* * * * * * *

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 8/14/16 #8Sunday

Spice Pirates coverFor July and August, I’m pulling from “Spice Pirates,” my long short story that I’d planned to have live on Amazon already but other deadlines have been getting in my way. So, fingers crossed it’ll be soon!

Rosamaria’s sick brother Basil just wants to be a pirate, so she enlists the help of her friends Origano, Clovio, and Anisa to take him on a pirate adventure. But then the REAL pirates show up….

For this scene, someone stole all Origano’s money so he stole some food from Rosamaria’s father’s food stand. She chased him, went through his belongings, and discovered a treasure map.

* * * * * * *

“Rosita!” a voice boomed.

“Papa,” she cried. “I must get back to the stand.”

Before he could react, she grabbed the map from his hands, tore it in two, threw half at him, then then hitched up her skirts and ran down the alley.

Origano thought to chase after her, but what good would it do if her father, whom she’d said hated pirates, were at the stand? Instead he sunk down against a wall, head in his hands. He’d bought that map from a tinker passing through his village and had no idea as to its authenticity; he’d planned to follow it as soon as his ship had landed. And now this beautiful girl thought he was a pirate and had half his map! He shook his head and sighed. What had he gotten himself into?

* * * * * * *

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 7/24/16 #8Sunday

Spice Pirates cover

For July and August, I’m pulling from “Spice Pirates,” my long short story that I’d planned to have live on Amazon last week but it was a really busy week (I taught a high school enrichment class, plus with the water line to my house still not fixed and no AC with heat indexes 100+ degrees I spent more time trying not to be here) so my plan now is to have it uploaded to Amazon today and live by Monday, in which case I’ll update this post.

Rosamaria’s sick brother Basil just wants to be a pirate, so she enlists the help of her friends Origano, Clovio, and Anisa to take him on a pirate adventure. But then the REAL pirates show up….

For this scene, someone stole all Origano’s money so he stole some food from Rosamaria’s father’s food stand. She chased him, went through his belongings, and discovered a treasure map.

* * * * * * *

“You’re a pirate,” she whispered, a gleam in her eyes and a big grin on her face.

“I’m—” He stopped. He wasn’t, of course, but he wasn’t a fool either, and if this girl respected pirates, if he could use her awe as a way to get something to eat, then he could be a pirate. “It’s not something you walk around bragging about.” There; he hadn’t confirmed it, but he hadn’t denied it either.

“I’ve always wanted to meet a real pirate.” She stuck out her hand and said, “I’m Rosamaria.”

“Origano.”

* * * * * * *

* * * * * * *

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 7/17/16 #8Sunday

Spice Pirates cover

I’ve taken a couple weeks’ break because I was on vacation; my son and I roadtripped out to California at the beginning of the month and internet access was spotty.

So since it’s a new month (although towards the end of it), let’s switch stories. For July and August, I’m going to be pulling from “Spice Pirates,” my long short story that’ll be released on Amazon this week.

Rosamaria’s sick brother Basil just wants to be a pirate, so she enlists the help of her friends Origano, Clovio, and Anisa to take him on a pirate adventure. But then the REAL pirates show up….

Here’s the beginning:

* * * * * * *

Origano’s ship arrived in the harbor at midmorning. There was nothing auspicious about it, nothing to portend that fortune and disaster would fall on the town or that the lives of its most prominent families would soon be irreparably altered.

The ship was an average merchant vessel: a bare-bones crew collected from ports around the world; cargo of varying worth from those same ports that they hoped to sell for enough of a profit to reach the next port, or at least enough to buy an evening of much-needed debauchery; a dozen or so passengers; and Origano.

He hopped off the gangway onto the dock with a satchel over his shoulder, a straw hat jauntily on his head, and a spring in his step. He’d made it safely across the ocean and was now free in the New World, with no overbearing family to tell him what to do or what to be. Free to find his destiny.

His stomach rumbled. Before his destiny, he must find lunch.

* * * * * * *

Post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 6/26/16 #8Sunday

coverLet’s continue with the five-part story I’ve been posting from this month, “A Family Tradition,” in my short story collection, The Futility of Loving a Soldier.

Background: Joos, who served in WWI (and whose story is told in the first part of “A Family Tradition”), is estranged from his son Maarten, a man who served during WWII and has spent his life battling his father’s legacy, as conveyed by his single mother, Ophélie. Joos has shown up at Maarten’s house, but Maarten isn’t sure if he’s ready to reconcile.

* * * * * * *

“It’s a lot to ask, so out of the blue,” Joos said, “ but at the least, I’d like to see my grandsons. I can only guess at what you’ve told them, and I want them to know who I really am.”

Who was Joos, really? Nothing but an old soldier making up excuses for missed chances and regretted choices. Maarten brushed aside the similarities crowding his mind, focusing instead on the picture his mother had always painted. He would never be like Joos.

“I bet we have a lot in common, Maarten.”

He stared at his father, his face hardening. How dare this man come here now, thinking they were anything alike!

* * * * * * *

My grandfather during WWII

My grandfather during WWII

The Futility of Loving a Soldier is on sale for just $.99 (regularly $3.99) – pick up a copy to read more about Joos and Maarten, as well as how the legacy extends through three more generations of sons. Available everywhere – Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords

Then post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 6/19/16 #8Sunday

coverToday is Father’s Day, and what better way to celebrate than to continue with the five-part story I’ve been posting from this month, “A Family Tradition,” in my short story collection, The Futility of Loving a Soldier.

Background: Joos, who served in WWI (and whose story is told in the first part of “A Family Tradition”), is estranged from his son Maarten, a man who served during WWII and has spent his life battling his father’s legacy, as conveyed by his single mother, Ophélie. Joos has shown up at Maarten’s house, but Maarten isn’t sure if he’s ready to reconcile.

* * * * * * *

“Ophélie wrote me to tell me you’d enlisted; she wanted to rub in that you were in combat and weren’t a coward like your father.” Joos stared at his son, his hands still playing with his hat, and said, “I sent her so many letters, trying to get her back and trying to see you, asking for forgiveness.”

“She never forgave you.” Even on her deathbed, Ophélie had cursed Joos.

“And that’s why I’m here, Maarten—I have cancer, most likely only a couple months left. There’s nothing the doctors can do, but I don’t want to die without you understanding my side of what happened. I want you to forgive me and to know what happened wasn’t my fault.”

Forgive my father?

* * * * * * *

oscar

My great-grandfather in his WWI uniform (left) with his brother and sister.

Will Maarten forgive him? And how will this decision affect Maarten’s relationship with his own sons? Get a copy of The Futility of Loving a Soldier to find out!

Then post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 6/12/16 #8Sunday

coverFor June I’m continuing to pull from my short story collection, The Futility of Loving a Soldier.

It’s eleven stories about veterans and their relationships with family and friends.

Today’s excerpt comes from the second of five related stories, “A Family Tradition.” This one is about Maarten, a man who served during WWII and has spent his life battling his father Joos’s legacy, as conveyed by his single mother, Ophélie.

In this excerpt, continuing from last week’s, he’s just arrived home from a Scouting trip with his sons, to find a strange car in the driveway. Once inside, he comes face-to-face with his father, whom he hasn’t had any contact with in over thirty years – although his father claims to have written to him on a regular basis. Maarten’s mother never told him any of this.

* * * * * * *

“Listen, Maarten.” Joos’s words were clipped. “Your mother left me – I didn’t leave her. She thought I was larger than life, that I would somehow carry her away from a farmer’s life and make all her big dreams come true, but times were tough for us, starting out. She was impatient, and less than honest herself, because the big inheritance she’d always mentioned never materialized. I tried to support us, God knows I tried. I wanted to work it out, to make our family work, but Ophélie wanted excitement. She wanted some hero—”

“Which you’re not.”

* * * * * * *

promo

The Futility of Loving a Soldier is on sale this week for just $.99 – pick up a copy to read more about Joos and Maarten, as well as how the legacy extends through three more generations of sons. Available everywhere – Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords

Then post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 6/5/16 #8Sunday

coverFor June I’m continuing to pull from my short story collection, The Futility of Loving a Soldier.

It’s eleven stories about veterans and their relationships with family and friends.

Today’s excerpt comes from the second of five related stories, “A Family Tradition.” This one is about Maarten, a man who served during WWII and has spent his life battling his father Joos’s legacy, as conveyed by his single mother, Ophélie.

In this excerpt, continuing from last week’s, he’s just arrived home from a Scouting trip with his sons, to find a strange car in the driveway. Once inside, he comes face-to-face with his father, whom he hasn’t had any contact with in over thirty years – although his father claims to have written to him on a regular basis.

* * * * * * *

Was Joos really as bad as his mother had led Maarten to believe? He knew all about his temper and his cowardice in the First World War.

“He had the chance to save his family and he didn’t,” Ophélie had told her son. “And then he lied about it. He claimed he and his brother were war heroes, but they weren’t, they were nothing but cowards. Don’t you be a coward like him.”

Maarten hadn’t been a coward. He’d enlisted right after Pearl Harbor had been hit and had tried his best to serve, but he’d been sent to Algeria, not France or Italy, to work on trucks instead of shooting Krauts. He’d tried a second time, but Catherine’s cajoling had kept him out of Korea.

Now he was raising his own sons to be soldiers, to be tough, to be heroes—the opposite of that man in the living room.

* * * * * * *

Read more about Maarten’s and Joos’s struggles by picking up a copy of The Futility of Loving a Soldier, then post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

Weekend Writing Warrior 5/29/16 #8Sunday

coverFor May I’m pulling from my short story collection, The Futility of Loving a Soldier.

It’s eleven stories about veterans and their relationships with family and friends.

Today’s excerpt comes from the second of five related stories, “A Family Tradition.” This one is about Maarten, a man who served during WWII and has spent his life battling his father Joos’s legacy, as conveyed by his single mother, Ophélie.

In this excerpt, continuing from last week’s, he’s just arrived home from a Scouting trip with his sons, to find a strange car in the driveway. Once inside, he comes face-to-face with his father, whom he hasn’t had any contact with in over thirty years.

* * * * * * *

“You have such a beautiful family,” Joos said once they were gone, “such a beautiful home.”

“What are you doing here?”

“I was passing through town, and I thought I’d stop…” he started, but his voice trailed off under Maarten’s withering stare.

“How’d you get this address?”

“Your mother sent it to me, years ago, and I’d always meant to stop by, but with work, and not wanting to intrude… and I never got a response to all the letters I sent you, when you were growing up.”

Maarten’s eyes narrowed as he said, “I never got any letters from you.”

“I sent them—every six months or so, birthdays, Christmas.”

“I never got them.”

“I sent them.” Joos’s jaw clenched and Maarten’s thoughts turned to the one picture he had of his father, taken on his parents’ wedding day, where Joos’s fist was clenched in the picture, a sign of his anger, as Ophélie had often pointed out, and his quick temper; if she’d known he was a fighter, a liar only after her for the money he thought she had, she’d told her son again and again over the years, she never would’ve married him.

* * * * * * *

 

Read more about Maarten’s and his son Artie’s struggles by picking up a copy of The Futility of Loving a Soldier, then post a link to your eight sentences blog entry, or join the fun at the Weekend Writing Warriors website.

And if you’re a writer, sign up to be a Friday Five author, which gets you and your latest work featured on my blog.

 

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