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Showing posts from March, 2012

Flash Fiction Fridays: The Long Arm of the Law

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Here is a piece from Travis Haselton, whom you probably remember from his last submission, "A Blizzard in the Mojave: An Old West Christmas Story." Enjoy.



A Western Man
By Travis Haselton


His old Ford truck made a dull lull as he pulled into the gravel driveway. The wood floor of the porch enhanced the steady rhythmic sound of his boots. KNOCK, KNOCK. If she hadn’t known who it was already, she would.

“Come in” she said.

He removed his black Bailey hat as he stepped in. “I heard what happened, Tracy. He ain’t gonna get away with it.”

“It wasn’t that bad,” she said.

“Is that so?” He pulled her hair away from her face revealing a bad bruise under her left eye. “Can’t just let people do this to ya.”




She looked into his eyes and wondered how big of a mistake she made leaving this man. “What are you gonna do Travis? Arrest him? He’ll be back on the streets in two days as usual.”

“He split us up, tried runn’in you off of your own ranch, and now he beats you. He’ll be answering to m…

Boudicca: The Warrior Queen

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This Women’s History Month has brought us a few interesting predicaments as some here in the United States seem to be launching a verbal and ideological war against women. I have already called for us to re-embrace the word “feminist” and have paid my respects to those I have long admired on International Women’s Day
Today, on this last blogpost of March (besides Flash Fiction Fridays, of course), I have chosen to highlight a woman who, when her husband’s pacifism and desire to avoid conflict with the surging Roman Empire ended with a terrible turn of events, led a march that burned down Londinium and shook Rome and its patriarchy to its core — Queen Boudicca of the Inceni.
Boudicca was married to Prasutagus of the Iceni who, in an attempt to keep the peace with the Roman Empire, became a client/king and submitted to answering to the Roman ruling class. When he died, Prasutagus left his kingdom to his two daughters and the new Roman emperor to ensure tranquility for his people. 



In Cel…

Check This Out

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Want a chance to win a digital copy of A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One)?

Stop by Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews blog to read an excerpt, check out my interview and enter the giveaway.

Thanks!

Flash Fiction Fridays: Caffeine is a Wonderful Thing

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Hope you enjoy this piece by Janel Gradowski who recently released another volume in her 6:1 series of short stories and flash fiction, Revenge.



Precious Sleep
By Janel Gradowski

The heavenly aroma of brewing coffee greeted Allison when she walked into the kitchen. Jeff must have started the coffee maker before he headed into the shower. Usually Allison got up before him, making toast and scrambled eggs while enjoying the dark quietness. The swampy insomnia over the last few weeks had made mornings feel like she was entering a dark tunnel with no light at the other end.

The bathroom door clicked open, and Jeff hurried through the kitchen, rubbing his hair with a towel. “I’m running late. Can you fill my travel mug? Just leave it black.”

Allison opened the upper cupboard and stared at the array of mugs and glasses. Her mind was tripping over itself, trying to remember which insulated tumbler was Jeff’s favorite, or if it even mattered. She chose a shiny, stainless steel one and grunted …

Lucky 7 Challenge

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Monday, Melissa Gardiner over at My Unpublished Life tagged me in The Lucky 7 meme, a challenge for writers with WIPs.


Here are the rules:

1. Go to page 77 of your current WIP.
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs, and post them as they're written.
4. Tag seven authors.
5. Let them know.

It is a fun way to get some feedback on your work, don't you think?

So, here is page 77 of Until My Soul Gets It Right. Unfortunately, this sample hits right in the middle of dialogue between Bibliophile Catherine Elbert and Katie McLellan, the owner of Christmas Bells, on Catherine's first full day in Portland, Maine, so I'm going to post the full page so you can get a better feel for the novel.


“Overwhelming, actually. I prefer this little place. No light-up plastic Jesus. No atrocious blinking flamingo lights.”

“And here I was, hoping to buy some illuminated chili peppers for my new apartment.”

“Can’t help you. But if you were going to hang them …

You Know You Want To...

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Happy Monday, everyone!

A quick reminder that April Flash Fiction Fridays submissions are due Friday, 3/23. Send your 1,000-word or less stories to karen@karenberner.com. Put "Flash Fiction Fridays" in the subject line and include a short bio and links (bookseller, blog, website, etc.) with your story.

All I ask is that you sign up to follow Bibliophilic Blather, so we can build our online writing community.

Thanks much!

Flash Fiction Fridays: Delicious

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Happy Friday, everyone. Today, we have an interesting piece by John Wiswell. Enjoy!


Shark Café
By John Wiswell

I'm at the Shark Café like every Monday morning. It was a long night, so I'm pounding Double Hammerheads while the yuppies sip Maco and Great White Chocolate. Great White Chocolate? Like that's even shark anymore. They might as well sell candies here — but of course, they do. Gummybears and jellyfish are right next to the dried shark fin. Some days you wonder if shark has gone too populist.

Just when I’m thinking darkly of Shark Café, along rambles a good reason to support them. Wearing only flip-flops, jeans and Mardi Gras beads (in August) comes a man, swinging his arms in the ASL sign for “Shark Cruelty.”

“Shark is murder! Shark is murder!”

A couple of businessmen pick up their laptops and cups and leave for the subway. The others leave the open-air part, heading into the safety of the glassed-in part of the Shark Café. I could never drink in there. Smells like …

Quotable Writers

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A few years back, I received a deck of cards, In Their Own Words, which featured some wonderful quotes from world-renowned writers. I'd like to share two of those with you today.


"One of the things awriter is for is to saythe unsayable, speak theunspeakable and ask difficult questions."
-Salman Rushdie

"Try again.Fail again.Fail better."
-Samuel Beckett

Words to ponder on this Monday morning. Have a productive week.

Flash Fiction Fridays: Intense

The Root of the Onion Tree
By Kathryn Handley


Pursing her berry-crush lips and smoothing the lines of her black checked on white, silky Canasta top, Mabel reached for the glass knob on the upright radio. As Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” crooning lowered to a stop, she heard a slow moaning sound rising, drifting in the torn, screened-in door.

Damn cat. “Keep your drawers on, Suzie,” she screeched and moved directly to the picture of a young stud in military garb where she slammed it down with a thud.

Outside, fragile onion skins sashayed from the thick chestnut tree branch and landed soundlessly on the earth below. Almost at the root of the onion now, Ben’s eyes twitched and watered. The furious rubbing of his eyelids with little boy hands close to drove him crazy, yet he continued, stopping now and then to peer through a translucent peel to look at the mottled-blue sky.

Not again.  Not again, mother.  It’s not my fault.  You shouldn’t…

She said it twice.The first time Ben blanked on it, and…

International Women's Day

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Today, let's celebrate those who have gone before us for their talents, courage and fierce determination. 

Here are some of the women I have admired throughout my life, all of whom made the world a better place. May we strive to do the same. 















To me, International Women's Day is not only about those who have made a huge impact on the world, but also those who make our individual worlds better places. I wish my mom were here today so I could tell her how much her example of kindness, love and strength made an indelible mark upon my soul. 
I leave you with a song, "Shaking the Tree" by Peter Gabriel and Youssou Ndour.















Editing for Grammarphobes: A Wednesday Quickie

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I haven't done a grammar post in awhile, so here is a quickie courtesy of Sue Sommer's wonderful book, The Bugaboo Review.

wanton/wonton


Wanton is an adjective meaning "lewd or immoral."


Wonton is a delicious kind of stuffed Chinese noodle.



Feminism is NOT a Bad Word

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fem·i·nist  [fem-uh-nist] adjective 1. advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.
When my son’s AP U.S. History teacher asked his students last year how many of them were feminists, do you know how many hands went up in the class?

One.

I am proud to say it was my son’s. Not one girl in that entire class thought of herself as a feminist. My heart sank when he told me. Not one female.

Feminism has somehow become a bad word. “Feminists” allegedly tried to ruin the traditional family back when I was a child. How dare women want to be something else other than mothers and wives! Don’t they know a woman’s place is in the home?

In her February 8 column, bane of existence Phyllis Schlafly wrote the following.

“The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 2 on a straight party-line vote. That proves again that the feminists control the Democratic Party, and also is a refreshi…

Flash Fiction Fridays: Oh, No!

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Flash Fiction Fridays is back to an open prompt, any topic, any length up to 1,000 words, until October. Katrina Byrd starts us off today with an excellent piece about a most unfortunate incident.


Exposed
By Katrina Byrd


Mary Lyn can sit up there on the front pew dressed in all white looking like one of God’s sweet angels all she wants. We all know that she’s hell on wheels. She owns Big Mama’s, the only restaurant in Hot Cakes, Mississippi. My sister, Lerleen, works for her. Says she’s loud, cusses like a sailor, and she’s cheap. Won’t even pay minimum wage. Lerleen says that Mary Lyn even dares to have a mister on the side. That’s probably why she’s at church without her husband this morning.

The light from the warm sun filtered through the stained glass windows casting an array of colors over the small building and the well-dressed “Christians” inside, as Reverend Scucchi lifted his large hands upward. Who ever heard of an Italian preacher in a Black, Southern Baptist Church, but th…