Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Where'd You Come Up With That?! Wednesdays: "The Sixtieth Year"

"The Sixtieth Year" is a short story about Alice: Alice and her husband, Sam, are coming up to their 60th anniversary when the unthinkable happens. Sam dies of a heart attack, leaving Alice alone in this world of new-fangled things where she doesn’t belong. Her heart aches to be with her husband, so much so much so that she longs to die to be with him. 

I started writing Alice's story back in 2007 when my dad was first diagnosed with prostate cancer. One of my first thoughts was what would Mom do without him. At that time they'd been married 46 years. I couldn't imagine losing someone who shared my life for long. So, I stared writing the story of Alice, a women so distraught over her husband's unexpected death, that she, too, no longer wanted to be a part of this world. 

I didn't finish the story until 2013 when Mom passed away. She was diagnosed with peritoneal cancer in late 2011. She went through chemo, had surgery in early spring 2012, went though more chemo, but passed away in July 2013, leaving Dad to be the one alone.

Dad was devastated. He had so many emotions. He was inconsolable. I had never in my all life seen my Dad sob. I saw him tear up at my Grandma's funeral and caught a glimmer of tears in his eyes at my Uncle's funeral, but never saw him actually weep with so much grief. 

He felt guilty because Mom died and he was still here fighting his cancer. He was lonely, depressed, and didn't want to live without her. He stopped all treatments. 

After watching what Dad was going through, it was through tears I started writing Alice's story again. I finished the story within a few months, but didn't really do much with it. 

We lost Dad about 14 months later on September 7, 2014. The only comfort I can take in all this is that they are no longer suffering and they are together. 

So, the Alice character is sort of a combination of Mom and Dad. She is tough but lacks the will to go on with life. I do believe that people can die from a broken heart and loneliness after losing someone who was so part of their life. 

I decided it was time to share Alice's story. You can read Alice's story at Alfie Dog Fiction

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Where'd You Come Up With That Wednesdays?! "My Friend, Clarence"

"My Friend, Clarence is a not your ordinary imaginary friend story. Jeremy's imaginary friend is deaf, and he is a serial killer. 

Jeremy convinces Clarence to turn himself in for his latest murder, but when Jeremy arrives at the police station signing to an empty chair beside him and giving the detective details that only the murderer would know, he becomes the suspect. 

So, how does Jeremy clear his name? With DNA of corse!

I watch a lot of true crime shows on the ID channel (Investigation Discover), and DNA always plays an important role in solving murder cases, especially cold cases. Then I thought DNA would be a good way to prove the existence of an imaginary friend. 

My husband and I discussed Clarence's DNA (He does have good suggestions at times). He suggested Clarence have alien DNA, and while this is a good idea, it just didn't fit with my story line. Alien DNA would have taken me in an entirely different direction. 

I decided to make the Clarence character a little more realistic by having Jeremy use sign language to talk to him. For Jeremy to learn sign language to talk to his imaginary shows you just how much he believes in the existence of Clarence. 

It may seem strange to create an invisible, deaf, serial killer, but it makes Clarence more interesting. ;)

You can read about Jeremy and Clarence in Flashes of Fiction: Volume 3. along with other speculative fiction stories. 

You can also listen on iTunes and audible.

Grandma's Scrapbook: Grandma’s bags are packed, and she is ready for a death vacation. 

Destination...3009: Jim finished building his time machine, and he’s ready to see what advances the future has to offer, but he is stunned by what he doesn't find. 

My Friend, Clarence: Jeremy knows intimate details about the murders of several young girls. He claims his friend, Clarence, is the perp. The only problem--Clarence is Jeremy’s imaginary friend 

The Weed Whisperer: Simon is a gardening guru. Weeds never dare to grow in his garden or flowerbeds, but Simon learns that weeds will attack if provoked. 

One Man's Trash: Sometimes a good deal isn't always what it seems.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

"The Sixtieth Year" Available from Alfie Dog Fiction Soon

My short story, "The Sixtieth Year," will be available from Alfie Dog Fiction on May 20th. This story will also be the Where'd You Come Up With That?! Wednesdays entry also on May 20th. 

This is a story about Alice, an elderly lady who is just dying to be with her husband after his sudden death. It's sort of romance/fantasy story, and it has an interesting story behind it.

I hope you check back next Wednesday to read about how I can up with the short story "My Friend, Clarence."

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Where'd You Come Up With That?! Wednesdays- "Operation Onion"

Operation Onion is a short story about Samuel Clemens, a young man born with a strange affliction. His body emits different unpleasant odors that change with his mood. Samuel's story is about his journey to find his place in the world. His mom told him God doesn't make mistakes, but Samuel isn't so sure. 

This idea came to me because I hate body odor! I was standing in line at a grocery store and the person in front of me did not smell too pleasant, and my husband suggested maybe the person couldn't help it. That's what got me thinking--what if someone had no control over how they smell? What could possibly cause it? How would he deal with it?

I gave it some thought and realized you can't really control your mood, even if you pretend to be happy on the outside, you may still be feeling sad, angry, or even nervous on the inside. So, I tied mood with odors and came up with Samuel, aka Stinker. 

The story is light-hearted and humorous, and here's what one Amazon reader had to say about "Operation Onion":

"OPERATION ONION: HYSTERICAL!!! (And I just raised it from 3 to 5 stars!) Seriously: I was laughing so hard I finally gave up. Went into the other room and read it aloud to my husband. This one alone would have been enough, but so far I have liked them all!

Samuel Clemens was born with a problem. Because of that problem his Mom gave him the nickname Stinker. Seems that even at birth he could not hide his feelings: he smelled differently depending upon his mood. Made for some unbelievably funny stories (for the reader), and a very difficult life for Samuel. Can you just imagine trying to get through school or find a job with such a problem?

The ending to this story was great! Would not have thought of that in a million years, but it was the perfect solution! Way to go Stinker! Glad it finally worked out for you!"

"Operation Onion" was first published in Separate Worlds.  Now, you can read about Samuel Clemens in Flashes of Fiction: Volume 1 from Amazon Kindle.

You can also listen to the stories on audible and iTunes. 

Happy Reading! (and listening)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Where'd You Come Up With That? Wednesdays: Coming Soon!

All my life I've been told I come up with some strange ideas. My mom would often ask me, "Where do you come up with that stuff?!" I've also been told I'm weird, and then again, some people say I'm creative or imaginative. So, whether I'm a creative genius or just plain strange, you can be the judge when you read Where'd You Come Up With That? Wednesdays blog posts. 

Each week, I'll tell you the inspiration behind the story. Sometimes an idea is sparked by something someone said to me that day, and other times, I get ideas from a dream. Sometimes, I'm not even sure where it came from! (hehe) Where writers are concerned, there's always a story behind the story. 

I think this is a fun way to connect to readers and give you all some insight into the inner workings of the writer's brain.  bwahahaha!!

Check back Wednesday, May 6th to find out the what stirs up ideas inside my mind. 

In the meantime...

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

LitPick Interview Next Week

Wow! It's almost March! And time for my LitPick interview "Six Minutes with an Author." The interview is scheduled for March 2nd. It will be posted on the LitPick site and LitPick on Facebook.

I have two YA stories on LitPick with reviews.

Ally Ally Oxen Free is  short story about a little boy with a strange hobby. It's just a little creepy and a fun story for all ages.

It received a five star review by a LitPick reviewer.

Alfred C. Bogeyman is about three boys and a dog on a mission to give this boogieman a taste of his own medicine.

It's a fun story that is a little bit scary, while being a fun read.

This short story has two 4 star reviews on Litpick

I'll post links to my LitPick interview next week on my Facebook page.

Happy Reading!

Friday, February 20, 2015

My Writing Dream...And Article Burnout

My dream is not to be rich or famous. My dream is just to make a decent living writing fiction. Why? I'm really burnt out when it comes to writing on subjects of no interest to me.

I am an introvert. I don't like being the center of attention, and I don't need a lot of money to be happy. My dream is to spend my days writing fiction, not non-fiction.

Right now, I spend my days writing articles and blog posts for companies on a variety of different topics, but some of these topics are boring. I love writing about gardening and plants, but when it comes to dentists, plumbing, lawyers, bankruptcy...etc...I'm burnt out.

Over the years I've written so much on this boring topics that some days  I feel like I don't have it in me to write one more dentist or plumbing article, but someone how I come up with an idea--I have to because it pays the bills.

But, lately I'm so burnt out, I'm surprised smoke isn't coming out of my ears!

I'm not ungrateful that I have a job writing, and I can work from home. My introverted self loves it, but I feel after writing for other people for years, I'd love to be able to write what interests me. 

So, what am I going to do about it? I'm going to keep writing my stories and getting them out there to the readers, and hope that one day I can make enough money from my fiction writing that I can retire from nonfiction writing and live in my own little fictional world. 

Happy Reading!