2019 Short Story

Night Garden

“Come on, Edward, don’t be scared!”

The brother saw the edge of his sister’s curls, and then her little hand held out to his. It had always been this way, from the time she was five years old and discovered the storeroom in the cellar beyond the washing room where the laundry bags sat like scary soldiers. He’d never ventured that far in the darkness but she’d just taken a flashlight and, while the parents and the nanny wondered where she’d gone after supper, went and had a look past the creaky door of the storeroom.

“Come on, Edward!” she’d said then. “There’s treasure’s inside!”

And he, like a fool, had gone. The ‘treasures’ back then had turned out to be nothing more than a musty pile of old books that used to sit in the upstairs nursery.

Now, fifteen years later, she was insisting that he follow again. Through an old brick archway, into the night of the ancient Spanish streets to wander and see the lights.

“They’re supposed to beautiful!” she gasped in excitement. That childish pleasure in her eyes defeated him.

After all, when he was a boy of ten, he’d overheard the parents say that one of them was sick. One of them wouldn’t live to see that time when adulthood settled and childhood was left behind.

It had scared him, when he’d heard those words. The parents had sounded so sure. Either he or his sister was sick. One of them wouldn’t make it to adulthood. What else could they have meant except that one of them was going to die soon?

And so, he’d allowed his sister to lead him places he’d never intended to go. Into musty storerooms and giant libraries. Through busy market places, and noisy concerts. From talking to the funny man who brought the post, and she’d gone to asking him to carry in the tea tray when she had her friends over. She’d made him stand, and bow, and introduce himself to them.

She’d even brought about him making his first friend and then asking the girl he admired out for a walk in the afternoon sunlight.

“Come on, Edward,” she always said, dragging him forward into a life he couldn’t see the possibilities of but had to face. Traveling through the darkness of the unknown for the promise of twinkling lights in the distance.

It must be her that was sick, for he’d grown huge, strong and robust. She was delicate, innocent and unable to see impediments. One such as she couldn’t survive, right?

And so he always did what she asked.

It was there, a short while later, as they leaned against a winding wall, on vacation in Spain, and looked at the twinkling lanterns of the quaint village windows, that she explained what it all meant.

“Don’t be silly Edward, I’m not sick!” she laughed. “You’re the one they were scared of never reaching adulthood!”

“What do you mean?”

“Because you never spoke or wanted to leave your room! They were afraid you  wouldn’t learn maturity or to make your way in life! But look at all you’ve accomplished already. You’re the one who taught me to be brave. All those times you faced your fears for me. That’s what adults do, isn’t it?”

“I suppose it is.”

She patted his big arm with her small hand “You don’t have to be scared, you know. The darkness hides the future from us, but that doesn’t mean there’s no good to be found. You just have to trust as each new year rolls in, full of the unknown. Take the light of God with you, and you’ll find treasures on the way!”

He had a look at all the twinkling lights spread out like a flower garden below them. Really, all he had to do was refuse to grow up like she did. Embrace childish hope, in God and the future.

Happy New Year, my friends!

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Unraveling the Mystery Writing

Clue

So this year for NaNoWriMo, my story idea, which popped in my head while I was shelving books at the library, is a Fantasy/Mystery.

OrientExpress

Now, I’ve never written a Mystery before. In fact, since I generally like to just start writing without planning anything and then figure it out as I go, I was intimidated by the idea. ‘I can’t write mysteries,’ I told myself.

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But here I had this golden idea. I decided to plan some beforehand and give it a try! Face a challenge, get out of a rut, kick it up, and so on. I just wrote two chapters and feel fine about how they sound.

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So here I am with chapter three staring at me in the face. Uh… nothing. Oh! I should introduce a Red Herring-Daring-Do! Today is officially ‘Red Herring’ day, and wondering how to go about this.

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I suddenly understand why the great mystery writers tend to center their stories in a mansion, or a train, or a cruise ship. Because this allows for a convenient bank of familiar faces, from which the author can draw from to choose red herrings!

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Woe is me! Oh, what have I done to myself!!!

Terrific Birthday So Far…

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First, the nice lady at work said it was my 57th, therefore my ‘Ketchup’ birthday. “Thanks,” I replied. “That helps!”

Also, this little gift was set out for me in the break room. I really love those twinkle lights!

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Then Bekah, my youngest, left me a succession of birthday cards… please note, the Otter. Which actually looks like my Otterby character in my book.

OtterbyBirthdayCard

Then I discovered she’d bought me THIS nifty purse for my birthday. I LOVE it. ‘Junior Scout’, I said, ‘that’s what I look like!’ Now, when I carry my wonderful purse, I’m not a 57 year old, plump, grandma. I’m on an adventure! I should write more adventures!

IndyPurse

Of course, to start off the day appealing to the long ago, teenaged girl who still lives inside me, I thought of this. A little hot guy to start off the day. (Sorry, Rick, my love, but I hadn’t met you yet!)

So, okay all my other kids! This stuff from Bekah. Top that! Ha ha!

Autumnal Walk

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Here is Gladys and Astraea, waiting for a subway.

And the rest was a beautiful Autumn day,

One of those little moments that come your way.

And say, cherish, cherish.

My Strong Vine

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Hold onto love. Never let it go.

His love is the highest, the fullest for the soul.

 

Jesus is my friend, I’ll say it again,

He’s been so sweet to me.

The only time that life made sense,

When He gave innocence and clarity.

 

Smug, I sat when all went well,

Although young I was so mature.

Age brought heartbreak, the risk of love,

Now I only know one thing for sure.

 

No matter how I fail Him,

Or how far I wander away,

Even though I don’t produce much

Or say what I should say,

 

Though I don’t bring much behind the shield,

I hold in front of my face,

I’m trusting Him to keep me,

All good gifts come down from His grace.

 

Now be a child again, and run and play.

When night is past joy will stay.

 

 

Chantiki Makes Her Entrance…

… In my next offering! This is just a fun, smaller project which I was able to share with my extremely talented artist daughter, and a good friend of mine, who contributed one article.

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I wrote most of the content, and I found some of the vintage photos from royalty free sources.

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Here’s a small sample of Chantiki’s advice column:

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ChantikiKerchief2

I’ve had a lot of fun writing a 1-off magazine! And, working with Meribeth while she did the design and the layout, I got to have MORE fun hanging out with my grandbaby Gladys!

Here’s a photo of Meribeth, Gladys and my grandbaby Astraea, at the library where they live.

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Thank you, Lord, for my many blessings!

 

Moonlight Express; Or, I Finished My Story!

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I finally wrote ‘The End’ on my 130,000 word novel that I’ve been working on since November! Okay, I admit it. I need to go through and clear out a few thousand words. It’s just possible that they’re not all golden! But it feels good to finish this story, about a boy who’s the ninth son of the ninth son of the ninth son in the city of Moonlight, and the guard that goes with him on  his mission to save the city.

We’ve got underwater creatures as big as buildings. We’ve got cliff dwellers and creepy octopus creatures and night rides in the sea.

And guess what I saw when I stepped outside just now. The glowing light of the full moon! I fell blessed. How perfect, thank you, Lord, that I get to create art!

Only Tired… Hmmm

only tired

Look at this interesting picture I found. It was apparently a song entitled: ‘Only Tired’. Now my husband has been gone all week so he’s not here for me to ask. I look at this picture and I wonder. What does it mean?

She’s sitting outside holding a letter. She looks dumbfounded. Above her head a heavenly chorus is honoring a crown.

So, you tell me. Why is this called, ‘Only tired’? Does the letter say something like this:

‘Dear Pondera, I’ve been REALLY tired, while I knoweth that thou art merely ONLY tired. Thereforeth, I’m handing the throne down to you. May the angels rejoice at the choice. Exhausted, Queen McClean’

Or perhaps the letter is a sad one. Someone has gone home to heaven, where the heavenly chorus sings to Jesus the King. Why then is she ‘Only Tired’? It’s a puzzler.

Ooh! I know! She’s a Sunday School Teacher, sitting in the garden, pondering how to teach the children about Jesus the King. She sees the heavenly future so clearly but the little ones are too busy building with earthly blocks and chasing each other around the yard. She wants to point them to the glory going on in higher realms. Only she’s tired.

Galatians 6:9:

Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in.

Also, look at this! The Bible has such beautiful words! As an author I love finding passages like these, and thinking of being tired, I’m feeling like I’m getting older too!

Ecclesiastes 12 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Remember God in Your Youth

12 Remember [thoughtfully] also your Creator in the days of your youth [for you are not your own, but His], before the evil days come or the years draw near when you will say [of physical pleasures], “I have no enjoyment and delight in them”; before the sun and the light, and the moon and the stars are darkened [by impaired vision], and the clouds [of depression] return after the rain [of tears]; in the day when the keepers of the house (hands, arms) tremble, and the strong men (feet, knees) bow themselves, and the grinders (molar teeth) cease because they are few, and those (eyes) who look through the windows grow dim; when the doors (lips) are shut in the streets and the sound of the grinding [of the teeth] is low, and one rises at the sound of a bird and the crowing of a rooster, and all the daughters of music (voice, ears) sing softly. Furthermore, they are afraid of a high place and of dangers on the road; the almond tree (hair) blossoms [white], and the grasshopper (a little thing) is a burden, and the [a]caperberry (desire, appetite) fails. For man goes to his eternal home and the mourners go about the streets and market places. Earnestly remember your Creator before the silver cord [of life] is broken, or the golden bowl is crushed, or the pitcher at the fountain is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed;

A Post Of-olda-post-Clip Show

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Here is the first pic I eva did, of smiling bird and pat-a-kit,

Of blogging dreams and playful times, and spouting fluff and near-rhyming rhymes,

ThoughtfulMe

Here’s a pic of me, bearable after I took 20 other selfies,

Unfortunately, this was a while ago, my hair is grayer, no!

Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade 1941

Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade 1941

And here for some reason we have Bogart in ’43,

Absorb some coolness in the blog, and forget he’s smoking,

garden dance black and white

I love to write poems based on pics with a story dream,

Like this one of romance and her contented gleam,

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Or a pic like this, her ancient computer alight,

She’s concentrating on bringing a story to life,

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Oh, on this blog I’ve had many things to share,

about children, and God and journeys from here to there,

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Ancient sunlight, vintage hopes, happy endings, and inner telescopes,

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Book covers, cuddly bits, Friends and no politics,

BatBackScreen

Here is a pic of my back windshield, there’s a bat! I said, blatant and unconcealed!

(Ha ha, just to show you my bat-cave coolness is real,)

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Perhaps there’s not an audience for this my cheerful room,

And throngs won’t see my goofy thoughts arise to hold off gloom,

Still I’m glad that someone did, and maybe it was YOU.

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Thank you, dear friend, I really appreciate your views!!!