Watch RWISA Write: Jan SIkes

RWISA TOUR (1)

Happy Monday, and welcome to another installment of the Watch RWISA Write Showcase. What a great way to spotlight the talented authors of RWISA, and give you the chance to sample their work. If you like what you read, please visit the author’s RWISA Author page to see more of their writing and learn a little more about them. 

 

\Today, I’m so very privileged to host Jan Sikes, the author of the Flowers and Stone series. A touching true story of love that survives an incredibly difficult situation, I highly recommend it. Now, please read on for a great short story from Jan Sikes.

jan

 R-E-S-P-E-C-T

By Jan Sikes

Henry Jacobsen ran gnarled fingers through 84 years of living and swatted at a fly that buzzed around his head. The sun warmed his old bones and he turned to face his longtime friend. “You know, Aaron, what the world needs now, is for people to show a little more respect to each other. Back in my day, if I acted or talked disrespectful, I got my hide tanned.”

The wooden boards underneath Aaron’s rocker creaked in syncopated rhythm with his movement. “Yep, Henry. Times are different nowadays.”

Henry timed his chair rhythm with Aaron’s. “Before I came to stay here, I had a house over on Boulder Street. There was a family a few doors down that was always borrowing things from me, but somehow they never remembered to return any of them.”

Aaron nodded. “I’ve had it happen to me many times.”

“I pulled into the driveway one day just in time to see the oldest kid unscrewing my water hose. By the time I parked the car and got out, he had it slung over his shoulder.” Henry’s frown deepened. “It’s frustrating when you can’t move like you used to.”

He gazed across the green manicured lawn of the Post Oaks Retirement Center as if viewing some long-ago forgotten scene.

“Well?” Aaron prodded. “What did you do?”

“I hollered at him and asked what in the world he thought he was doing. And you know what he had the nerve to say to me?” Henry screwed up his face.

“Nope.”

“He said that he was taking my water hose so he could wash his motorcycle.”

“Don’t that beat all? Aaron clicked his tongue. “Didn’t even bother to ask you.”

“I saw red. I lit into him like nobody’s business,” he growled. “The nerve. Take a man’s things like they meant nothing.”

Aaron shifted to take the weight off his bad hip. “There was a day when I would’ve jumped a guy for pulling a stunt like that. But those times are over for me. At this point, I’m doin’ good just to make it from the bed to the bathroom without embarrassing myself.”

“Yeah, me too. But, I tell you, I didn’t take it lying down. I told him what a rotten, no good, worthless human being he was and that he’d better put the water hose down or I’d call the cops and turn him in for stealing.”

“What did he do then?”

“He laughed in my face…told me I was too old to use the damn water hose anyway and he needed it.”

“Why, the nerve!”

“I marched myself inside and called the cops. When they came, I gave them a list of everything they had so-called borrowed and said I wanted it all back.”

“Did you get it?”

“Yeah. In pieces. The weed eater was battered and wouldn’t start. My shovel was broken in half. The water hose was split in two pieces. All of it was in shambles. Just no respect. That’s what the world has come to.”

Silence spun a web between the two old-timers who’d seen more than a lifetime of battles.

“I remember when I was in the Army. Nobody ever pilfered in someone else’s belongings. I did two tours overseas, fighting for this country and now I have to wonder what for.” Henry’s voice trembled. “The way folks carry on is a shame. Just no regard for one another.”

Aaron halted the rocker and leaned forward. “You’re right, Henry. The mess things are in is downright disgraceful. Take for instance the presidential election. Now, I can’t say I agree with the candidate who won, but for people to go out and tear stuff up, turn on friends and family who voted for him, and get consumed with hatred is ridiculous. No one is willing to bend.”

“Never saw anything like it,” Henry agreed. “I remember when John F. Kennedy won the election in 1960. People spoke out against him because he was catholic. But, they weren’t filled with the kind of hatred they are today. It pains me to think about what kind of society our grandkids are growing up in. For old geezers like ourselves, it don’t really matter all that much. We’re on our way out.”

“Dinosaurs. Men like us with backbone and decency are disappearing just like those prehistoric creatures did. I’d sure like to see something that would give me hope for the future. Hope for our country.” Aaron’s rheumy eyes glistened.

Henry pushed up from the rocker and stretched. It troubled him more than he could say that his grandchildren were growing up in these unstable times. A tired old man needs salve for his weary soul.

Just as he was about to shuffle inside, he saw his grandson, Micah, bounding across the lawn.

Micah waved. “Hi, Grandpa.”

Henry waved back.

Breathless, Micah reached the two men. “Hey, Gramps, look at this beautiful spring day. How about I bust you out of here and we go fishing?”

Henry chuckled. “That’s the best idea I’ve heard in a long time.” He turned to Aaron and winked. “There’s our hope. This young man knows how to respect his elders.”

With that, he joined his grandson. It didn’t escape his notice that Micah slowed his steps to match his grandfather’s or that he held the door while they went inside.

Respect. That’s what Micah demonstrated.

And, it’s precisely the healing the world now needs.

* * *

Thank you for supporting this member along with the Watch “RWISA” Write Showcase tour today. We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author: 

RWISA  author page for Jan Sikes: goo.gl/UuJ6Gc

* * *

Thanks so much for joining me today. I hope you are having a great Monday, especially if today is the start of your work week. Please join me tomorrow, when I will be hosting another talented RWISA author.

 

Contact Information
 
Twitter: @rhanidchae
                 @rhanidchaebooks
 
Facebook Page: https://m.facebook.com/rhanidchaeauthor/

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

 

Watch RWISA Write: Wendy Scott

RWISA TOUR (1)

 

Thanks for joining me on day six of the Watch RWISA Write Showcase. What a great way to spotlight the talented authors of RWISA, and give you the chance to sample their work. If you like what you read, please visit the author’s RWISA Author page to see more of their writing and learn a little more about them. 

 My guest today is Author, Wendy Scott. Her short story will give you a glimpse of her talent, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Wendy Scott

 Navigator by Wendy Scott

Luke’s body whirled through the portal in a kaleidoscope of starlight and rainbows. Burnt ozone stung his nostrils, and his stomach roiled as if live dragonflies flitted inside. He clutched his grandfather’s palm tighter, the only connection anchoring them together while they spun into the void, guided by the compass in his grandfather’s other hand.

“We’re here.” His grandfather’s words whistled with wheeziness.

He released Luke and turned away, pocketing the compass, but his old man’s movements weren’t quick enough to hide the tremors or his shortness of breath.

A mountain breeze, tinged with smoke ruffled the tussock grasses underfoot. In the valley below, Luke pinpointed a chimney on a cluster of shacks beside fenced paddocks. Had the old man’s sense of direction faded and cast them adrift?

“Follow me.” His grandfather rolled his shoulders back, lifted his head high, and led the descent.

Mindful of their journey’s mission doubt dragged at Luke’s feet. At only twelve, would he be found worthy? He didn’t want to think about his grandfather’s declining health if their bid was rejected.

Metallic scent tainted the air as they skirted past the dwellings; a one-room cottage, barn, and a smithy. Orange coals smoldered on the forge, hammers, and tongs lined up in military precision, but the pockmarked leather apron hung empty from a hook on the open door.

Without pause, his grandfather guided Luke out the back to the horse corrals. A bear of a man with arms like anvils leaned against the fence. Leather pants and knee-high boots sheathed his legs, but his chest was bare except for a star patterned tattoo, staining his chest muscles indigo and cobalt. At their approach his head swiveled, snaring the pair with a deep ocean gaze. Dryness etched Luke’s throat.

“Navigator, so many years have passed, I feared you would not return.”

Luke’s grandfather bowed his head. “Farrier, events have been unkind, but I keep my promises. My grandson had agreed to assume the responsibility in the place of his father who died when he was a babe.”

The men spoke as if Luke were a phantom, but he remained silent, remembering his grandfather’s instructions only to speak when asked a direct question by the otherworld farrier.

Grass scented warmth huffed through Luke’s hair. A midnight coated horse towered above his head. A white star marked the stallion’s forehead.

Luke clambered up the railings, but he still had to stretch to trail his fingertips along the horse’s snout. His breath caught when he gazed into the depths of the creature’s starlight eyes.

Firm fingers clasped Luke’s shoulder, and the farrier bowed towards the steed.  “Kasper approves of you. Come inside.”

The temperature in the smithy scorched the hairs inside Luke’s nose, and sweat trickled beneath his tunic, but the farrier worked the bellows until the coals combusted into flames. Next, he sprinkled a handful of sand into the hearth, and the fire danced into violet and malachite hues.

“You understand, old friend, without the enchantment your life span will be reduced to mortal years?”

My grandfather nodded.”These old bones grow weary, and the pathways are becoming muddled. My time is past. Luke is young, but he is pure of heart. “

The farrier studied his friend for a moment before he reached out with his palm. “Navigator, of your own free will do you relinquish your powers to your grandson?”

The old man answered by dropping his compass into the farrier’s outstretched hand. “I do.”

The farrier’s otherworld stare scrutinized the boy, and although the being didn’t touch him, a prickling sensation rippled up Luke’s spine. After several heartbeats, the farrier inclined his head. “Your soul is free of darkness, but perhaps you are too young yet for any temptations to have challenged your values.”

“He’s a good lad. I vouch for him and will guide his path.” His grandfather squeezed Luke’s shoulder.

Calloused fingers gripped Luke’s chin. “Are you sure you want this? It’s not too late to back out and live a normal life. Be warned, once you accept you are bound for life. Each time you enter here seeking my help a non-negotiable toll must be paid.”

Before crossing over doubts had plagued Luke’s thoughts, but after tasting magic, he couldn’t settle for a dull life on the farm when his world had been opened to the lure of other realms.

Luke moistened his lips. “Navigator blood runs in my veins. I’m young, but I’m ready.”

The farrier released him. “Do I have your solemn vow you will only guide your passengers by the way of the light?”

Heart thundering, Luke focused on the compass. “I swear I’ll follow the true pathways.”

Light glinted off the chain as the farrier dangled the compass into the sparking coals. “Hold out your hand.”

Luke flinched, expecting his skin to sizzle when it touched the metal, but the compass was cool. He didn’t feel any different. Had the transfer worked?

The farrier clasped forearms with the older man. “You owe me one last favour, but I will redeem what’s due at another time.”

“As always it will be an honour to serve.” Luke’s grandfather stepped away.

“Navigator, peer into the fire.”

Several moments passed before Luke responded to his new title. Within the flames, he spied a young woman’s face, whose striking features seared into his memory.

“One day she will seek your skills, and when she does you must bring her to me.” The farrier crossed his arms.

Questions burned in Luke’s mind, but he’d been schooled on the protocols, so he suppressed his curiosity, and lowered his eyes. “As you command.”

The farrier ushered them into the yard and bid them farewell. “Keep your promises, follow the light and your direction will always be true.”

Outside Luke paused, blinking. A glittering path lit the way up to the portal.

Unshed tears gathered in his grandfather’s eyes. “The navigator’s sight is now hidden from me.”

Grasping the compass in one hand, Luke held out his other hand. “Come grandfather, I will guide you home.”

***

(Navigator is a prelude and companion scene to Fire Hooves – yet to be released by Wendy Scott).

* * *

Thank you for supporting this member along with the Watch “RWISA” Write Showcase tour today. We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

RWISA Author page for Wendy Scott: goo.gl/N5esr8

* * * 

I hope you enjoyed this visit with Wendy Scott. Please join me again tomorrow, when I will be sharing the work of RWUSA Author, Jan Sikes.

\Contact Information

Twitter: @rhanidchae
                 @rhanidchaebooks
 
Facebook Page: https://m.facebook.com/rhanidchaeauthor/

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

Watch RWISA Write: Gwen Plano

RWISA TOUR (1)

I hope you’re enjoying the Watch RWISA Write Showcase. What a great way to spotlight the talented authors of RWISA, and give you the chance to sample their work. If you like what you read, please visit the author’s RWISA Author page to see more of their writing and learn a little more about them. 

 My guest today is Author, Gwen Plano. I sure hope you enjoy her touching short story as much as I did.

Gwen Plano (1)

Love at First Sight

By Gwendolyn M Plano

 “It doesn’t seem real. It just doesn’t seem real.” Mom muttered as she ran her hand over the curves of dad’s headstone. Sighing deeply, she stared blankly into the horizon.

After a few minutes, she turned and faced me. “I tell myself that it must be real.” She seemed to want my approval. “The stone says we were married 70 years. It must have happened; I must have been married. But, but…why can’t I remember?” She searched my face for answers.

Stooped from the burden of years now elusive and sometimes vacant, mom held my arm while she walked to either side of the monument.

“I saw him in a dream. Did I tell you that?”

“No, mom, I don’t think you did.”

“He was young, like when we first met.”

“Really? Could you tell me about how you met?”

“How?” Mom’s eyes darted to and fro as she struggled to answer. Then, as though the curtains lifted, she responded.

“Yes…yes, I can tell you how we met.”

“Let’s sit here, mom.” I led her to a cement bench under a tall oak tree near dad’s grave. “Now tell me how the two of you met.”

Mom took a deep breath and began. “It was during the war. I remember it now. It was 1944. There were posters in our high school which asked us to sign up to work at the Consolidated Aircraft factory in San Diego. They needed help building B-24 bombers. We called the bombers the Liberators. My sister and I and several of our girlfriends decided we wanted to help our country. Most of the boys in our class were enlisting in the army or navy. We wanted to do our part too.”

“Like Rosie the Riveter?”

“Oh, yes! We all wanted to be Rosie. Your grandparents didn’t much like the idea, but they knew the families of the other girls, and since we’d be living together and would watch out for one another, they finally agreed. After all, it was the patriotic thing to do.”

I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of mom being Rosie and asked where she lived.

“We lived with Aunt Lena on India Street in San Diego. She put in bunk beds for us. At night, we’d wash out our clothes and tie the pieces to the bedsprings so that they could dry overnight.”

“When we arrived at Consolidated, they gave each of us a uniform – blue pants and jacket. And, we had classes for a week or two. Most of us were assigned the job of riveting. It’s hard to believe, but there were about 20,000 women working at the factory. The assembly line was a mile long, and believe it or not, we built about nine bombers a day. Isn’t that amazing?”

“That is amazing, mom.” Pride glowed from mom’s face, and I couldn’t help but feel proud of her as well.

“I was assigned to the wings. I hate heights, but I’d climb on top of those wings and pretend I was sitting on the hood of a car. I didn’t get afraid that way. One day, when I was sitting up there, holding a riveting gun, your dad came by.”

“Hey,” he said. “What’s your name?” I thought I might be in trouble, but he smiled, so I smiled back.

“It’s Lauretta.”

“Well, Lauretta, you’re doing a great job. If you need anything, let me know. My name’s Jim, and I’m the foreman for this area.”

I put my arm around mom’s shoulder. “My goodness, mom, you were on the wing of a bomber when you met dad?”

“Sounds funny, doesn’t it? But, yes, that’s the first time we talked. I didn’t pay much attention to him, but my sister would whisper to me, “There he is again. I think he likes you. He keeps looking this way.”

Mom lowered her eyes and giggled. “Of course, I didn’t believe her.”

After pausing a bit, she continued. “Your dad started walking home with us in the evening. He lived further up the hill from us, so it wasn’t out of his way. Mind you, I was wearing the company uniform and had my hair in a bandana, so I was hardly a beauty.”

“Anyway, one day he asked if I’d like to come up to his place. And, I was stupid and said okay. That’s when I learned about the facts of life. You know, sex.”

“You didn’t know before then, mom?”

“No, but he taught me that night.” Mom giggled and put her hand on her face. “He wanted to get married right then. But, I told him no, he had to talk to my parents. We needed to do it right. Besides, I hardly knew him. There were a lot of shot-gun marriages those days. We all thought the end of the world was coming, and well, young lovers didn’t hold back.”

“So, you and dad became lovers?”

“You know the answer to that, don’t you? When I didn’t have my cycle, I knew I was pregnant. Your dad was elated and didn’t hesitate to talk to your grandparents. Of course, I was ashamed. But, I want you to understand something. You might have been the reason we married, but you were not the reason we stayed together for 70 years.”

“Did you love him, mom?” The question came out before I could filter it.

“I did, I just didn’t know I did. Your dad would tell anyone who would listen, ‘When I saw Lauretta on the wing of a B-24 bomber, I knew that she was the one for me.’ He’d say it all the time, ‘She’s the one for me!’” Mom giggled as she thought about this story. “Your dad always said it was love at first sight. But it wasn’t that way for me.”

“What do you mean by that, mom?”

“Well, love is a strange word, isn’t it? Your dad seemed to know from the first time he saw me that he wanted to marry me. I didn’t feel that way. I think my focus was romance or dreams. And, your dad wasn’t the wooing type.”

“I believe I fell in love with him after you were born. He thought you were the most beautiful baby in the whole world. In fact, I think he was happiest when he was holding you. He’d sing to you and rock you to sleep every night.”

She dropped her head, and tears rolled down her cheeks. My tears fell as well.

“He was a good man, a faithful man. Did I tell you his promise?”

I shook my head, and said, “no.”

“You know that he grew up hungry, right? During the Dust Bowl, his family barely survived. In fact, two of his sisters died.  Well, your dad promised me that his children would never go hungry. He would make sure of it. And, he did. He worked two jobs most of our marriage, and you kids were never hungry.” She paused and looked into my eyes.

“Your dad kept his promises.”

Mom grew silent. Her face turned from animated to expressionless, and I did not know what to think. She whispered something that I had to ask her to repeat. She sighed and looked at me again.

“It just doesn’t seem real.”  

* * * 

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Gwen Plano’s RWISA Author page: goo.gl/u5cov6

* * * 

I’m so glad you stopped by today to enjoy the work of Gwen Plano. Please join me tomorrow,when I am privileged to host RWISA author, Wendy Scott.

Contact Information
 
Twitter: @rhanidchae
                 @rhanidchaebooks
 
Facebook Page: https://m.facebook.com/rhanidchaeauthor/

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

Watch RWISA Write: Beem Weeks

RWISA TOUR (1)

 

Thanks for coming back today to check out the Watch RWISA Write Showcase! Each day of August spotlights a different RWISA author on more than 55 blogs around the world. This will give you a glimpse of these incredible authors, and give you the chance to sample their work. If you like what you read, please visit the author’s RWISA Author page to see more of their writing and learn a little more about them. 

 Today, I am thrilled to bring you the work of one of my favorite authors, Beem Weeks. He is the author of one of my favorite books, Jazz Baby. If you haven’t read it, please go to Amazon and check it out. You won’t be disappointed!

Beem Weeks

 Wordless

“What’s that word say?”

“That’s an easy one, Daddy. Just sound it out.”

Levi Bacchus can’t read. 36 years old, and he’d never learned the meaning of a single sentence.

“I just ain’t cut out for this, Jamie Lynn.”

The girl’s countenance dropped in disagreement—just like her mother, that one.

“So, you’re a quitter now?” she bellowed, sounding too much like the woman who’d walked out of their lives two years earlier.

Levi took offense. “Mind your manners, Missy. I ain’t never been called no quitter.”

“Reading is something everybody should be able to do, is all I’m saying.”

“It’s easy for you,” Levi argued. “You’re just a kid, still in school. You have teachers telling you what to do and how to do it. I’m just too old for learning.”

The girl narrowed her gaze, jabbed a finger into the open book. “From the beginning,” she demanded.

His heaving huff meant he’d do it again—if only for her sake.

Words formed in his head before finding place on his tongue. Some came through in broken bits and pieces, while others arrived fully formed and ready for sound.

Jamie’s excitement in the matter is why he kept trying. Well, that and the fact he’d long desired the ability to pick up the morning paper and offer complaint or praise for the direction of the nation. All those people in the break room at the plant held their own opinions on everything from the president to the latest championship season enjoyed by the local high school football team.

“That’s good, Daddy,” Jamie said, patting her father on the arm. “That’s really good. You’ll be reading books before too long.”

A smile worked at the edges of his lips, refusing to go unnoticed.

“I’d like that, Sweet Pea.” That’s all he’d say of the matter. If it came to that, well then, he’d have accomplished something worth appreciating.

Levi harbored bigger notions than merely reading books. When a man can read, he can do or be anything he wants to be. His own father often said a man who can’t read is forever in bondage. How can a man truly be free if he cannot read the document spelling out the very rights bestowed upon him by simple virtue of birth? No sir; being illiterate no longer appealed to him.

Of his immediate family—father, mother, two older brothers—only Levi failed to attend college. Oh, he graduated from high school. Being a star quarterback will afford that sort of luxury. But when those coaches from the universities came calling, low test scores couldn’t open doors that promised more than a life spent in auto factories.

He’d seen a show on TV about a man who’d been sent to prison for five years for armed robbery. While there, this man learned to read, took a course on the law, and became a legal secretary upon his release. Eight years later, he’d earned a law degree and opened his very own practice.

Levi didn’t see himself arguing cases in a court of law—defending criminals most likely to be guilty just didn’t appeal to his sense of right and wrong. What he did see, however, is the need for a good and honest person to run the city he’d forever called home.

“Think I could be mayor?” he asked his daughter.

Jamie Lynn always grinned over such talk. “Everybody has to have a dream, Daddy.”

It’s what she always says.

Everything begins with a dream.

She gets that part of her from her mother.

“Once I can read without stopping to ask questions,” he mused, “maybe I’ll throw my hat into the ring, huh?”

“There’s nothing wrong with asking questions,” she answered, weaving wisdom between her words.

*      *      *

She’d been a girl scout, his daughter—daisies and brownies before that. It’s the other girls who bullied her out of the joy that sort of thing once offered. Straight A’s have a way of making others feel inferior, even threatened.

But Jamie Lynn isn’t the type to pine or fret. She chose to tutor—and not just her father, either. Kids come to the house needing to know this and that among mathematics or English or science. Her dream? To be a teacher one day.

And she’ll accomplish that much and more.

Her mother had that very same sense about her as well. She knew what she wanted in life, and cleared the path upon which she traveled.

High school sweethearts they’d been, Jamie Lynn’s mother and father. She’d been the pretty cheerleader, he’d been the All-American boy with a cannon for an arm. She went to college, he didn’t.

But she returned to him, joyfully accepting his proposal for a life together. Her degree carried her back to the high school from which they’d both graduated. This time, rather than student, she became teacher—American History.

Levi went to work building Cadillacs in the local plant. It paid well, offered medical benefits and paid vacation time. Life settled into routines.

Then came their little bundle. This didn’t sit well with the newly-minted history teacher. No sir. It’s as if Levi had intentionally sabotaged his own wife’s career in some fiendish plot to keep her home.

Words of love became “stupid” and “ignorant” and “illiterate ass.” She walked out one evening and never came back to the home they’d built together.

A former student, he’d heard—five years her junior. They’d ran off together, supposedly making a new home somewhere out west.

Levi didn’t challenge it. He received the house and the kid in exchange for his signature on those papers he couldn’t even read.

Jamie Lynn, she’s the light that shined in his darkness, showed him there’s still so much more living to be done. And learning to read, well, that just added to the adventure.

*      *      *

The night came when he read an entire chapter from one of Jamie Lynn’s old middle school books—straight through, unpunctuated by all those starts and stops and nervous questions. By the end of the month, Levi had managed the entire story—all 207 pages.

“We have to celebrate, Daddy,” she insisted.

It’d been the silly draw of embarrassment that twisted his head left and right, his voice saying, “No need to make a fuss, Sweet Pea.”

But fuss is only the beginning. “Dinner and a movie,” she ordered. “Then we’ll stop off at the mall and pick out a few books that you might like.”

There were stories he recalled from his boyhood; books other kids clutched under their arms and took for granted. Stories that stirred so much excitement in those young lives.

They’d belong to him now.

“You’re finally blooming, Daddy—just like a flower.”

And so was his daughter.

A teacher in the making.

* * *

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour.  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

RWISA Author page for Beem Weeks: goo.gl/WA7xiS

* * * 

Thanks again for stopping by my blog today. Please join you tomorrowwhen I will be showcasing  author, Gwen Plano.

 

Rhani D’Chae Contact Information
 
Twitter: @rhanidchae
                 @rhanidchaebooks
 
Facebook Page: https://m.facebook.com/rhanidchaeauthor/

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

Watch RWISA Write: Laurie Finkelstein

RWISA TOUR (1)

Welcome back to the Watch RWISA Write Showcase! Each day of August spotlights a different RWISA author on more than 55 blogs around the world. This will give you a glimpse of these incredible authors, and give you the chance to sample their work. If you like what you read, please visit the author’s RWISA Author page to see more of their writing and learn a little more about them. 

 

Today I am thrilled to bring you the work of RWISA author, Lauri Finkelstein. I hope you enjoy this thought-provoking short story.

laurie-finkelstein

 Bulletproof est

By Laurie Finkelstein

The bulk, padding, and steel plates weigh me down. The protection of a bulletproof vest is necessary. No matter the weather, I wear the cloak. The weight is a burden, but I trek on because wrapped is the only way to navigate my journey. The jacket protects my heart from being blown to crimson shards of death.

A direct hit is avoided for days and nights, lulling me into calm and complacency. “All will work out fine,” I tell myself. The truth tells a story I want to change. All my will and might does not make an impact to stop the bombardment.

Experience and time separates me from tragedy. At any moment, the bullets strike. Inside or out. My house cannot provide security, nor can a million people surrounding me. With nowhere to hide, I am a target. Shelter and safety are nonexistent.

Discharges are held back while luck and grace harbor me. The slugs will come, however, in a piercing barrage without warning, and will pummel me.

Knocked to the ground, I am immobilized and rendered helpless. My breathing is halted. My movements are stopped, and I understand what assaulted me.

The shockwave subsides, and in small increments, I am able to take in air. Incapacitated, I continue to lie until I am rescued by the rational thinking buried under an avalanche of pain, doubt, and fear. My thoughts check my vitals to make sure I am in the here and now. “Stay in the moment,” I tell myself. “I can manage this. I will persevere.”

“Rise,” I command. The mass of the garb constricts my movement, but I stand, analyze what must be done, and begin to act. The warrior in me comes out. Battles will be fought. My impervious attire gets me through another crisis, and its weight comforts me. Without the guise, I am unable to prevail against the onslaughts, which pop out of the dark corners of another day.

Yes, my vest is cumbersome, but without my swathe I will not withstand the painful projectiles. Clips are filled, ready to punch and knock me down, disabling me should I forget for a moment to cloak myself within my protective armor.

My bullets are not made of lead, surrounded by a dense metal. The projectiles do not come from terrorists intent on decimating me. The ammo does not come from a police state or a dictator’s command. A barrel is not involved.

My bullets are made of depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Composed of irrational thoughts, insipid ideations, and ignorant rationalizations, they are crushing invisible forces. The capacity to shatter my resolve and render me dysfunctional invades me.

My unsociable enemy is treatable, but never disappears. My therapists validate my experiences of being trapped, resentful, guilty, shameful, ill-equipped, grief-stricken, lost, uncertain, and disabled. My growth in therapy helps me accept the challenge with compassion and empathy in my heart.

Throughout my lifetime three stages will haunt me.

Stage one is the onslaught of rounds. The crisis mode. The shock and pain.

Stage two is being slammed down, breath taken away. Sabotaged. Terms and feelings of the emergency are acknowledged.

Stage three is advocacy for myself. Stand. Breathe. Make decisions. Tools in hand to counteract the depression and anxiety and OCD. Utilize appropriate response and care.

Encouraged by others, I enroll in Toastmasters. Time for me to improve my public speaking and thinking on my feet. Professional and compelling ways of expressing my views is a talent I want to possess. Persuasive interactions are in reach. My computer with Google as my guide, I find the Toastmasters website. The rules and guidelines answer many of my questions. Ready to take on the challenge, I enter my credit card information and become a member. A direct thrust knocks me down.

At first, I don’t understand what attacks me. My heartbeat begins speeding up. My gasps for air speed up. My head spins with dizziness. The mighty effects of terror hammer me to the ground. Despair sinks me deeper into the attack.

Stage one. The thought of standing before people enunciating in a clear voice avoiding “ums” and “ahs” strikes with negative force. In a semi-frozen state of fear and regret, I struggle to make sense of my attacker. Groups of Toastmasters are warm, safe environments to learn public speaking and leadership skills. “Warm and safe,” I remind myself. Still my heart beats faster and my breath diminishes by the second. A ghost of recognition appears before me. Panic is familiar.

Stage two. My history tells me to take an extra Klonopin. Scared to death is not an option. Upon reaching my medicine cabinet with weak, wobble-producing legs, I discover my pill case empty. In my next move, I check the bottle. Empty. My heart beats faster and my limbs go numb. Sweat trickles down my forehead. My last attempt before I collapse in a heap of despair, I call my pharmacist. My trembling voice separated from my body explains my attack and lack of pills. “How fast can you fill the prescription?” my quivering voice speaks out. “Is ten minutes okay?” the pharmacy technician asks.

Stage three. My inner voice tells me to be brave. Think of a serene place. My happy place. Take deep soothing breaths. My toolbox is ransacked for more options until I come to grips with the present. The dispensary is too far to hike, so I must drive to pick up my pills. Cranked engine. Foot on pedal. Brake released. My self-talk takes me on a wild ride to the drug store. My trembling legs walk me to the back of the aisles. The friendly face of the tech reassures me. The credit card transaction is signed with a jellylike hand, completing the purchase.

Back in my car, I down the remedy with tepid water from an old bottle sitting in my trash. My panting is steadier, my heart pounding a little less. Within thirty minutes, I am relaxed, able to pursue my day. Ready to reassess my decision to become a Toastmaster. The choice is sound and important.

My bulletproof vest is worn as a badge of honor and survival. Without my garb, I would be a prisoner in my house, hiding in bed. Sick to my stomach. Useless.

The stigma of mental illness must be broken. My vest is worn with pride. I am a survivor. I am the voice of one in every five Americans experiencing the assailant. I am not alone.

* * *

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Laurie Finkelstein’s RWiSA Author page: goo.gl/smL2F8

* * *

thanks for stopping by and supporting the Watch RWISA Write blog tour. Please join me tomorrow, when  I will be bringing you the work of Beem Weeks, author of the phenomenal Jazz Baby.

 

Rhani D’Chae Contact Information
 
Twitter: @rhanidchae
                 @rhanidchaebooks
 
Facebook Page: https://m.facebook.com/rhanidchaeauthor/

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

 

Watch RWISA write: Karen Ingalls

RWISA TOUR (1)
Good morning, and welcome to day two of the Watch RWISA Write Showcase! Each day of August spotlights a different RWISA author on more than 55 blogs around the world. This will give you a glimpse of these incredible authors, and give you the chance to sample their work. If you like what you read, please visit the author’s RWISA Author page to see more of their writing and learn a little more about them. 
Today, I have the privilege of sharing the work of Karen Ingalls. I hope you enjoy her delightful short story.
 * * *
Karen Ingalls

A FISHY DAY

It was one of those wonderful August days when the sun was high and warm in the sky. The big cumulus clouds slowly drifted by, creating designs that filled Jim’s imagination, who at nine years could see all kinds of amazing sights. He had been playing with his model airplane in his aunt and uncle’s yard, where he spent the summers on their ranch in San Diego, California. Staying with Uncle Leon and Aunt Helen was always a special time of adventure, fun and farm work.

“Jim, do you want to go to the pasture with me? We’ll check the water trough for the cattle,” Uncle Leon asked, at the same time he took his handkerchief and wiped some perspiration from his tan brow.

“Oh, yes,” Jim responded with great excitement. He ran to the front porch and put his treasured airplane on the table next to where Aunt Helen sat in her rocking chair.

Uncle Leon walked over to the Allis-Chalmers tractor and stretched his long, thin legs up and over onto the metal seat. “All right, Jim, you can come on up now.” Jim awkwardly managed to climb up and grab hold of his uncle’s hand, who swung him onto his lap. With the turn of the key the tractor began to vibrate and the engine roared. Shifting the gears into forward, Leon yelled, “Here we go!”

The pasture was a favorite place for Jim with its rolling hills, oak trees, and green grass. It was always a peaceful place where a boy could run until he was out of breath, and then fall onto the grass and let the wind gently blow over his panting body. Many were the times that Jim would spend his days, just climbing in the oak trees pretending he was hiding from some enemy, or shooting squirrels with his imaginary rifle.

He and his uncle drove through the pasture until they came to a large trough sitting by a water pump on the top of a knoll. The cattle were grazing some distance away, but their occasional moos could be heard.

Uncle Leon helped Jim off the tractor and then sauntered up to the trough. “Not much water left so we best get this filled up.”

Jim was leaning over the trough where the top of it just reached his chest. “What can I do? I want to help.”

“Well, now, how about you pump the water in once I get it primed,” replied Uncle Leon with his usual smiling face. He was happy that Jim wanted to help, but he also knew that pumping water would be a big job for such a young lad. Once he had the water flowing with each downward motion of the pump handle, he instructed, “Okay, young feller, it is your turn now.”

Jim eagerly grabbed the handle and standing on his tiptoes, pushed it down, smiling happily when the water gushed into the trough. He repeated the pumping for as long as he could, but all too quickly his arms and shoulders began to ache. Jim did not want to admit that he was getting tired, but his uncle knew and said, “How about if I do it for a while?”

Once the water neared the top, Jim leaned over cupping some water into his hands. “This is the best tasting water I’ve ever had,” Jim thought to himself. He slurped several handfuls into his dry mouth.

Looking over at his nephew, Leon asked with a twinkle in his eye, “Did you see that fish drop into the water from this here pump?”

“What fish?”

“Why, that fish that came right out of the pump into the trough. I thought sure you would have seen him while you were drinking the water.”

“No, sir. I didn’t see any fish.” Jim wiped his mouth with his shirt sleeve and earnestly looked in the water.

“Well, he must still be in there.” Uncle Leon leaned over the trough looking for the mysterious fish. “Now isn’t that something. I can’t see him anywhere.” He peeked a look at his nephew, who now had eyes as big as saucers. “I wonder if you accidentally swallowed that poor little fish while you were drinking all that water.”

Jim stepped back from the trough and began to rub his stomach. “I don’t think so, sir.” The minutes passed and Uncle Leon continued to wonder out loud what happened to the fish. Jim began to imagine that the fish was swimming in his stomach. “I don’t feel so good,” Jim said as he stretched down on the cool grass.

Seeing that his nephew was fearful and feeling sick, Uncle Leon laid down next to him and pointed up towards the clouds. “Jim, look at that cloud up there. See the little one next to the big puffy cloud?”

He waited until Jim nodded his head and said, “I think so.”

“It kind of looks like a fish, doesn’t it? I wonder if that is the fish that was in the trough.”

Jim looked at his uncle, then up at the clouds, and then back at his uncle who was smiling from ear to ear. Uncle Leon laughed and began to tickle Jim’s stomach. “Or, is that fish still here? Where is that fish?”

Jim laughed and joked right back while he patted his uncle’s stomach. “No, I think that fish is right here!”

Soon they both stopped laughing and just looked at one another. “I hope I don’t tease you too much,” Uncle Leon said.

“Oh no, Sir.” Jim looked at his uncle and went on to say, “I like to tease my younger brothers. Mother is always telling me not to do it too much. She doesn’t want them to cry.”

“Well, I would never want to make you cry.” Uncle Leon put his big hand on Jim’s head. “Do you know why?” Jim slowly shook his head back and forth not wanting his uncle to remove his hand. “I love you too much to ever make you cry for any reason.”

With tears in his eyes, Jim whispered, “I love you, too.”

They spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the sun, the warm breeze, and just being next to one another in the grass, watching the clouds drift by. It was a special day that Jim always remembered with a smile.

* * *

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH RWISA WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author.
RWISA Author page for Karen Ingallsgoo.gl/PqY5hh
 * * *
Thank you so much for stopping by today. Please join me tomorrow, for a day with RWISA author Laurie Finkelstein.
   
Rhani D’Chae
Contact Information

 
Twitter: @rhanidchae
                 @rhanidchaebooks
 
Facebook Page: https://m.facebook.com/rhanidchaeauthor/

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

Watch RWISA write – day 1 of this fabulous showcase!

 

RWISA TOUR (1)

Hi everyone! Welcome to the Watch RWISA Write Showcase! Each day of August spotlights a different RWISA author on more than 55 blogs around the world. This will give you a glimpse of these incredible authors, and give you the chance to sample their work. If you like what you read, please visit the author’s RWISA Author page to see more of their writing and learn a little more about them. 

So to kick off this amazing month, please welcome Yvette Calleiro!

Yvette Calleiro

Words

By Yvette M Calleiro
The written word and I
Are cherished friends,
Embracing each other’s thoughts and emotions
Like kindred spirits,
Dancing on clouds.
Bosom buddies who gossip and giggle
And gasp at all the same moments.
She and I are equals,
More than that, really.
We are two parts of a whole,
Complementing and complimenting the other,
Perfect beings.

The spoken word and I
Skirt around each other’s social circles.
We stumble around awkward pauses,
Unable to pull the perfect word or phrase
From our filing cabinet of knowledge.
Ease and grace flee without a moment’s notice.
She is more skilled than I.
She whispers her intricately woven ideas into my mind,
But her delicate strength is no match for
The hills of anxiety and the mountains of insecurity
That obstruct her path to freedom.
Before her words can reach my tongue,
They unravel into shreds of confusion,
Left unspoken.

If only the written word and the spoken word
Could meet…
They would live in perfect harmony.
But alas…
It is not meant to be,
Neither willing to leave her domain,
Each content to dance alone,
And I…
I am stuck in the middle,
Pulled in both directions,
Reveling in the comfort of the written word,
Needing the spoken word to survive.
But still I dream
Of the day when my words will intermingle
And a new love affair can be born.

* *  *

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH RWISA WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

 Yvette Calliero’s RWISA Author Page: goo.gl/64Nbam

                                  Twitter: @Callierobooks

* * *

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Please join me again tomorrow for another great RWISA post!

 

 

Words of Wisdom From Author Kim Cox

This is a great post by Indie author, Kim Cox. I had to share. 😀

The Indie Spot!

Greetings, readers! Today I am welcoming author Kim Cox to The Indie Spot. Kim is sharing some of her experiences as a writer—in her own words! Take it away, Kim…

My Writing Style

writing

Writing Techniques

I don’t think I have any writing techniques. I don’t do any of the things good writers should or are supposed to do. I don’t write every day, don’t set a certain time to write. If there is a certain time, it’s late at night. I seem to be more creative at night, and I’m not a morning person anyway. That may come from working third shift for a while when I was younger.

I don’t have a space where I write. I used to but my home office went away when we made it into a bedroom for my mother-in-law. I think we’d planned to put a smaller desk in my library but…

View original post 1,067 more words

!#RRBC Springtime Book and Block Party

 

Good morning, and welcome to my blog. I’m located in Tacoma, Washington, in the glorious Pacific Northwest.

I have some great prizes to give away, and all you have to do is leave a comment on this post for a chance to win one. The prizes on this stop are: (1) e-copy of Shadow of the Drill, (1) e-copy of A Perilous Thirst, (1) $10.00 Amazon gift card, and (2) $5.00 Amazon gift cards, for a total of 5 prizes. If you win one of my books and would rather read a different one, just let me know and I’ll be happy to send your choice.

I thought I’d try a different kind of post today, so I’m bringing you an interview with Gabrielle, the “author” of my newest release, One Dyke Cozy. I hope you enjoy it.

* * *

RD – Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview, Gabrielle.

G – Thanks for asking me to do it. This is my first interview as an author, so it’s really exciting for me!

RD – What prompted you to write One Dyke Cozy?

G – I don’t really know. I think I just wanted to share a few memories of Shy. She was a major factor in my life for so many years, and I wrote some of it down in a notebook. I figured someone might read it after I was gone, at some point. But then I realized, it’s easy to put a book on Amazon now. So I decided to upload what I’d written, and maybe more people would read about Shy.

RD – What is your favorite chapter in the book?

G – The one about the prom. Shy was hilarious that night! Getting her into a dress was hard enough, but when she saw the thong, I thought she was gonna throw a gasket. And once we got there, and she and her date had a few drinks, they cut loose like there was no tomorrow! People were talking about them ’til the year ended. It was just crazy.

RD – If I remember correctly, you were eight years old when you met.

G – Yep. She moved in next door and it just went from there. We were best friends from day one.

RD – In the book, it didn’t sound like you had much in common.

G – No, not really. We were raised in very different households. My mother came from a “good” family and had some pretty definite ideas of how a girl should be raised. Plus, she was religious and that affected what I could or couldn’t do. Shy’s family was the complete opposite. She had pretty relaxed parents, and got away with murder, compared to me.

RD – Speaking of her parents, how did they feel about her being gay?

G – Well, they weren’t accepting, but they tolerated it. I think they thought it was a phase, and all she needed was to meet the right guy. Yeah, that was so gonna happen!

RD – I got the impression that Shy didn’t take life too seriously.

G – Not at all! She always said we had to find our fun where we could, and that’s exactly what she did. She was always getting us into stuff. Not trouble, so much as…stuff. She loved movies, and we used to go to the cinema, buy a ticket, and then spend the day sneaking into the other shows. We had to be kind of creative to not get caught, but that was Shy’s department. And she was good at it.

RD – The book implies that you drank a bit.

G – A bit? Let’s be real – we drank a lot! We were young, and her parents kept alcohol in the house. So we started drinking early, and it was just a thing. We cut back a lot in later years, but we definitely did drink.

RD — Why did the song The Dance affect you so strongly on your way to see Shy?

G — I’m not sure. The reference two dancing is a euphemism for the things we experience in our lives. In the song, his reference to dancing with the woman he loves is actually referring to the time he spent with her. He could have avoided the pain of loss by not being involved with her in the first place, but then he would have missed all of the wonderful things that happened during their time together. He would have missed the dance. The song brought home  to me everything that happened during my time with Shy. During our dance. And I realized, no matter how much it hurt losing her, I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. And it made me realize I had to break the promise I’d made to her during our last conversation. I had to do right by Mr. Happy.

RD – What can you tell us about Mr. Happy?

G – I’d rather not talk about him, if it’s okay. It’s just too hard, even after all these years. I know he’s part of the book, so I should be able to talk about him, but I just can’t. It took everything I had to write the book, and it was as hard to write about Mr. Happy as it was Shy. I know it must seem weird for me to talk about her and not him, but I’ve never really talked to anyone about him. I’ve had to talk about Shy, now and then, but I’ve never talked about him. Maybe keeping him private is why I can talk about her. I don’t know.

RD – It’s okay, I can understand that. What have you done in your life that you credit to Shy?

G – Pretty much everything. Let’s see, I didn’t marry young, and that’s a big thing. In my family, it’s what girls do. We get married by the time we’re eighteen and then let our husband take care of us. We don’t work, we’re active in church and the kids’ school, and we really don’t do anything for ourselves. I lived differently, and It’s because of Shy. My first husband was a total bad boy, and I never would’ve even considered him, if Shy hadn’t taught me to keep an open mind. Turned out, he was a loving, dedicated man who wanted a partner, not a possession. We opened a restaurant together, and ran it for several years until a stroke took him. I’m divorced from my second husband, and that wouldn’t have happened without Shy’s influence either. Women don’t get divorced in my family, and I’d have stayed ’til the bitter end. But I knew she’d have been on me to get out of the marriage and not care how it looked. To do what was right, and best, for me. So I did, and it was the best thing I could’ve done. Aside from that, I’ve travelled a bit, I sang in a rock band for a couple of years, I even spent a few summers hitch hiking across the country just for kicks and giggles. I wouldn’t have done any of it, if I hadn’t known Shy.

RD – I can tell she meant a great deal to you.

G – She was everything to me. She still is. Even now, I constantly hear her telling me to take a chance, to lighten up, to enjoy my life. To howl at the moon. And I do howl, every chance I get. I owe that to her.

RD – Thank you for stopping by today. Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?

G – Thanks for having me, it’s been awesome! Well, I hope people read my book. It seems we pass through life, and unless we do something amazing, no one remembers us. Not really. Shy didn’t impact the world in that kind of way. But she did impact me, and I want her to be remembered. Even if it’s by people who never knew her.

* * *

Here is a little bit about my  books

People come into our lives for a day, a season, or a reason. Shy came into my life for a reason.

http://goo.gl/QTS6Xq

 * * * 

Born of Circumstance, Bred for Revenge

On the bloodstained streets of a northwestern city, the enforcer known as the Drill stalks his prey.

https://t.co/QzD2ODjvKk

* * * 

It’s 1987, and a gay vampire walks into a bar…

A different kind of short story.

http://goo.gl/4HSpxu

* * * 

 

The bad guy is about to learn what “bad” really is.

 

* * *

Thanks for joining me on day day at the Block Party. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog. There are a couple of other fantastic authors on tour today, and you can find them in the BLock Party line up by following this link: http://goo.gl/2dM3GO

* * *

Contact Information

Twitter: @rhanidchae
@rhanidchaebooks

Facebook Page: https://m.facebook.com/rhanidchaeauthor/

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com

 

 

#RRBC Springtime Book and Blog Block Party!

This is an awesome post, and I just had to share.

Writing and Music

Welcome to the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB Springtime Book & Block Party!

This stop is being brought to you from Plano, Texas

What I’m giving away on this stop:

One (1) $5.00 Amazon Gift Card

One (1) $10.00 iTunes Gift Card

Two (2) Copies of Discovery – Poetry and Art eBook

Number of winners for this stop – Four (4)

For a Chance to win, please leave a comment on this post.

And, I’d be thrilled if you’d share it on Social Media.

I cannot tell you how excited I am to bring to you the Poetry and Art book, Discoveryin eBook format! 

First and foremost, I want to thank Jan Hawke for her hard work formatting the artwork and poems to convert to eBook. She did a phenomenal job. The clickable links in the Table of Contents take you directly to a specific poem or piece of…

View original post 561 more words