Writing Update and A Weird Poem

Literal blog title is very literal. How are you, my readers? I am weird. I mean, I’ve always been weird, but right now I am in a really weird head space. More on that later. Below are some writing updates in picture form. I do have an interview and a new play coming up. Check them out!

I had the wonderful opportunity to remount my historical play “Nancy’s Story” with my talented friend Ubunibi Afia Short at the Telford Ruritan Club. She is gorgeous. I am hot and sweaty and tired.

I will be a guest on Dan-A-Plooza on October 16th. The interview will stream live on his Facebook page. I’m sure to talk writing and all things Halloween.

My cemetery play “A Spot on the Hill” is back for its 8th year. We have 12 new stories to share. If you’re in the Jonesborough area those days, please come and see this funny, beautiful, and poignant show.

So, how is my writing going? I’m still on the possibly self indulgent self therapy kick. In other words, I am still working on my Stranger Things fanfiction right now, and that’s pretty much it. I imagine I’ll do a spooky writing challenge for October again. I do enjoy those, even when the stories go off the wall bonkers, and they usually do. I love that my readers are enjoying my alternate Stranger Things-verse where Steve Harrington is a medium. You can read the whole series here at this link https://archiveofourown.org/series/1614052. I am currently on part four of the series. The following memes sum up my writing right now perfectly. Always love a good meme.

And now for a truly self indulgent, weird, awkward poem. Read on if you’d like, or go read something else. Either way, I hope you have a nice day.

"Cave Dwelling or Dwelling on Caves"

I've been thinking about caves recently
Dark caves
Caves with small spaces
I've been thinking about getting stuck in caves
About people who have died in caves
People who got stuck and couldn't get out

Last night when I should have been sleeping
I got lost on the Internet
Went down a rabbit hole
Dwelt in a cave or two
Learned about John Edward Jones and Floyd Collins
People who got stuck and couldn't get out

After two nights of little sleep
I trolled the Internet until 3:00 am
Until my eyelids drooped and my bones felt numb
But my mind was racing
Scanning the articles for every tragic detail

I spend my time in cemeteries
I spend my time dealing with dead people's stuff
I spend my time living in what remains when your soul has moved on
I know people die in all kinds of ways
Fire, flood, hail storms, a fall in the shower
But there's something about a cave
Something about getting stuck

I spent my weekend in a lovely place
With lovely people who mean the world to me
But it felt like a misguided attempt to reconquer my youth
Revisit what was but can never be again
Maybe I went in expecting too much
Maybe I can't deal with reality

When I was younger, I crawled through a cave
In fifth grade we stepped over a barbed wire fence
Crawled into a cave where people had died
Our counselors led us through darkened rooms
I crawled on my belly through water and tight spaces
I loved it
I never thought twice about the danger
Anything could have happened to us
We could have gotten stuck
But we didn't
One girl broke her ankle, though
But I didn't

All it takes is pressing on the wrong rock
Crawling a little too far in the wrong direction
A piece of equipment breaking 
A refusal to turn back even when things are getting bad

I'll never be in a cave like that again
Now I crave well marked paths 
Safety rails
Gift shops

My life is not high risk
So why am I researching caves?
Why do I empathize with people who are slowly dying
Suffocating as they're crushed
Suffocating because they're stuck
There's no room to breathe
No room to give

And I wonder, where was the rock?
Where was the narrow pathway?
What was the equipment that broke?

But it's a beautiful day
I do what I love
I am surrounded by people I love
I have nothing to complain about

I worked 105 hours in nine days
We have less money than that in our bank account

Where was the rock?

I have so much to do
So I research caves
And people who died in caves
People who got stuck and couldn't get out

The alarm goes off in four hours

I can read one more.

Here’s to spooky season being just around the corner and to Hocus Pocus 2! #writingupdates #fanfiction #badpoetry

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Fanfic Is the Only Thing Keeping Me Sane

Greetings, readers. In many ways, life goes on as normal here at the compound. My work is pretty much back to pre-pandemic normal, too. All the summer events are back at full tilt and then some. I thought for a minute the lessons of resting we learned in 2020 would stick, but no we’re back to the grind, harder now than ever before, like we can make up for lost time. I am to blame, too. My staff and I willingly scheduled a lot of events, knowing we’d need to keep up. I’m so busy sometimes I don’t have time to think about the state of the world, which is both a blessing and a curse. I haven’t had time to wrap my mind around the most recent decisions from the Supreme Court here in the United States. Instead, I retreat into my little writing hole, specifically my fanfic writing hole. One day, I’ll have to crawl out of it and face the world and my own, original writing again. For now, it’s like therapy. I love the community. I love the instant feedback. I like living in someone else’s world for a while. So, I press on, not really changing the world in any way, but adding a bit of art to it, I guess. I don’t know. I’m straight up in a weird head space.

My mood.

Let’s see, what else has happened since we last checked in? Oh yeah, my spouse and I finally got Covid after successfully avoiding it for two years. It wasn’t fun, but I am thankful for medicine and vaccines. It could have been much worse. We also got a new cat. True story, I was trying to catch a groundhog at work with cantaloupe and caught a cat instead. That is a thing that would happen to me.

Anyhow, if you’re interested in Stranger Things and fanfiction, I have a new entry in my series where Steve Harrington is a medium.

Here’s the link to the series on Archive of Our Own. Maybe I should write a story on the blog again? Maybe that will get me back into my original stuff? Not the worst idea I’ve had.

#writingupdates #fanfiction #strangerthings

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An Ode to All the Pets I’ve Loved

Content Warning, this blog deals with pet loss and death in general.

My black cat of eleven years and eight months, my mini panther, passed away this week. He is the third cat we’ve lost within three years. We had several older ones, all around the same age. Duncan had cancer; a particularly rare kind brought on by a negative vaccine reaction. We did two surgeries, but it was aggressive, and we couldn’t afford cat chemo. We enjoyed life for as long as we could, but it became too much this week, and we helped him cross over. I have lost two dogs and four cats, and I grieve all of their losses differently, but I am angry about Duncan’s. Angry because I did everything right, and he still got cancer, maybe from a vaccine he didn’t arguably need because he was an indoor only cat. Mad because I am very pro-vaccine, and this makes me equivocate, even though I will continue to get my other pets vaccinated. It is cold comfort, though, that such a reaction is rare. I am mad because even at the end, his heart and lungs were strong, it was everything else that was failing him. Eventually I will stop being mad, because you can’t live like that forever, but for now I am angry.

The most magnificent of panthers in 2012. Photo by Cassy Davis.

As you do with the loss of any loved one, I’ve been going over all the memories we had together. I know we are extremely blessed to have been loved by such an amazing creature for almost twelve years. Some memories of Duncan are definite, his wide eyes, his allergy problems that caused him to sneeze a lot. He seemed to go out of his way to come up and sneeze in my face. Once, he sneezed in my open mouth. He hated it when I sang. I guess he thought I was in pain. He’d come up and stand on my chest and get in my face. (I don’t know when I’ll be able to watch the movie adaptation of “The Last Five Years” again because that was my favorite thing to watch and sing, and he was always on my chest.) Duncan had this imp that danced in his soul. He was fascinated with our dog Charley, would literally hang off his legs, but that dog refused to eat his face. I’m sure they have found each other in the next life. He bedeviled his sister Aldonza and tussled with his brother Smudge. He tussled with Hairy, Katy, and Jacob when we brought them into the house. He moved houses with us. He was the first pet that was mine and Kyle’s exclusively. When we got married, I already had my dog Katie and my cat Aldonza.

Picture in the hold house in 2010. This was when we lived upstairs in just one room. I have no idea what was on the TV behind me.

Looking back through this timeline, I was getting frustrated that there weren’t more, large memories of him that stood out. I have so many about Aldonza, Charley, and Smudge because they were such BIG personalities. That’s when I realized, Duncan was always there, this steady presence rolling with the punches. He was there to greet me at the door. He was there on the bed, whenever I peeked into the bedroom, and the last few weeks he was on his nice soft bed in the closet. Now, he is none of those places, at least not physically. I miss that steady presence. Losing him was like losing the last, final connection to the old house I lived in for almost twenty years. I realized I had compartmentalized that part of my life, that house, into a separate part of my brain. Losing him was closing a door.

First photo I took of Duncan when he came to live with us in August of 2010. Look at that great flip phone quality.

Logically, I know we do this as people. We make rooms in our brains, but this is the first time I had stumbled upon my separate rooms. I knew my childhood was kept in a different space, but that made sense. This was a part of my adult life, though, that I’d created a separate storage space for, and I was surprised to find it. Maybe this is me coming to terms with being 37? I don’t know what it is.

So much can change in ten years. We have photos hanging on our wall that were taken in the backyard of our old house. All three of those animals are gone now, Charley, Aldonza, and Duncan. Now we have three new cats; Hairy, Katy, and Jacob, who have never known life with us outside this space. I’m tripping over time. Maybe it’s because the last two years have somehow been twenty. I’m tripping over death. Maybe that’s because we’ve lost three pets in three years, or maybe that’s because we’ve been surrounded by death with the pandemic and now war. Maybe it’s because a dear friend of mine lost her spouse to a tragic death at a young age only a month ago.

Duncan and Charley in the family photos in 2012. Aldonza had already bolted. I had to get a solo shot with her. Photo by Cassy Davis.

I try not to look at my pets now and think, “I’ll remember that when you die.” I want to enjoy the moment, and eventually I will get back to that. But I always worry that I don’t spend enough time with them, that I don’t take time for moments. I work a very demanding job. I help my family a lot, and I try to have a social life, too, and support my friends. In all of this, do I leave my pets at home alone, albeit cared for, to live their lives? I’m on a spiral. I know it’s a spiral, and I’ll dig myself out eventually. I am taking time this weekend, though, to breathe and live and grieve.

Jacob, Duncan, Hairy, and Katy on the bed earlier this week. I called them my “fearsome foursome.”

Ducan was named after my workplace, known as the Duncan House. He was a stray we found. My cat Jacob is also named after a work building. I found him at the office, too. Duncan’s other name was Duncan Idaho, after the character in the Dune series. My parents love that series. Duncan Idaho lives many lives, and I know I will see my Duncan again, someday. A friend of mine posted this conversation from Dune on my Facebook page, and it perfectly captures my emotions right now.

“Paul Atreides: Duncan!

Duncan Idaho: Paul. I was just on my way to say good-bye to you. I have to go on ahead, alone. I won’t be seeing you for a while.

Paul: I wish you were coming with us.”

I already miss this face.

Goodbye for now, sweet Duncan. Thank you for always being here, for being present. Thank you for loving us and allowing us to love you.

Here’s an ode to the four cats, two dogs, one rabbit, and countless hermit crabs and fish I have loved and lost along the way. This is also for my three cats who are still very much here, reminding me that every day has some joy in it. I call it, “Living with You.”

Photo by Cassy Davis.

Living with you is


Interrupted sleep

Like, no sleep

Like, oh my gosh, why won’t you lay down?

Living with you is


Cleaning up vomit,

So much vomit

How can a living thing puke so much?

This house is mostly vomit.

This house is mostly fur.

Tumble weeds of fur

Are you all trying to create a sibling?

Living with you is

Weird quirks

You attack feet

You attack the wall

Seriously, stop eating the paint off the wall.

You hiss at the dishwasher

You talk nonstop

You don’t talk at all

You refuse to drink out of the water dish the “normal” way

Living with you is

No privacy

The bathroom is for everyone.

Living with you is


The wall

The carpet

The door

My clothes

My bedding

My phone cords

My flesh

My CPAP hose


You make me snowflakes.

I consider hanging them on the fridge.

You unwrap the Christmas presents

You steal the Baby Jesus from the Nativity

Living with you is


Escape plots to get rotten potatoes on the other side of the fence

Rolling on dead ducks

Snuggling up to your sibling when they had once been your mortal enemy

Living with you is


Medicine at certain intervals


Sleepless nights for another reason

Altering my life to fit your needs

Praying you pass peacefully at night

Praying you’re still here in the morning because I want more time

Watching you slip away as you age

Watching you remain irrevocably you

Saying goodbye in a room with white walls

Being there for “hello” and “see you again”

Living with you is

Unconditional love

Sharing your memories for years to come

Keeping your ashes safe

Planning to scatter your ashes with mine when my time comes

Living with you is




A reason to get up on hard mornings

(You won’t shup up until I feed you, I have to get up.)

Living with you is

Permission to take a moment to watch you

Watch you enjoy life

Watch you live life

Watch you bathe in the sun

Watch you chase a bug across the floor

Please kill that bug.

Living with you is

Life itself.

Poem by Anne Mason; In memory of Buttercup, Bunnicula, KatyDid “Katie,” Hermit, Booger, Gully, Charley, Aldonza, Smudge, and Duncan. I also think there was a crab named General Custer, and maybe one named Fishsticks.
The last picture I took of Duncan. Note how Katy is staring at him adoringly. Everyone adored him.

I need to get back to writing. I miss it. I have one fanfic to finish, two others kicking around my brain. I have a dragon novel to edit. Short stories, mostly about murder, to tackle. (All short stories are about murder, right?) The point is, I need to get back to it. It makes me happy, and I clearly need some of that right now. Time is short and life is fleeting. But if we’re lucky, we get to love someone, be loved in return, and do something that makes us happy along the way.

Thanks for reading. I’ll get back to my regularly scheduled programming soon.

But in other, happier news, my sister’s health is much better. She will soon be showing off her art at a maker’s fair at the local art center. You can see some of her work on her website at https://www.jgfellerscreative.com/shop.

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Stealing Lincoln via SART On Demand

I have some great news to share, that I should have shared much sooner via my blog. My ten minute play “Stealing Lincoln” is currently a part of Script Fest 2021 through the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre. The play premiered several years ago via the Red Eye festival, but it’s been a while since it’s been onstage. It’s a virtual performance, but it’s so well done. I am thoroughly pleased. It’s an honor to partner with SART. They were my first artistic home on the campus of my alma mater Mars Hill University. I used to stage manage for them professionally, and I love going to see plays there. They have worked hard to keep the theatre going during the pandemic. I highly suggest you get a virtual ticket for Script Fest, and not just for “Stealing Lincoln.”

Tickets are available HERE. (The graphic said it’s available through November 30th, but the ticket button still works, so hopefully you can still get in if you haven’t seen it.)

If you want to read the true and strange case of the attempt to steal Abraham Lincoln’s body, I suggest this article. I didn’t make the story up, I promise you. This is why I love history so much.

Such a fantastic director and cast.
I love how they presented it.
It was also really cool to watch it on television.

While you’re there, check out the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre’s upcoming 2022 season.

#playwriting #historicalplays #absurdhistory

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We Made it to 2022 . . .Now What?

Happy New Year! I haven’t updated in a while, naturally. Last time I wrote a blog, my family was still in the throws of Covid-19. I am happy to report that everyone made a full recovery. We are all still here, and we got to celebrate the holidays together. Grateful and thankful doesn’t being to cover it. We are still careful, of course, especially with the Omicron variant. Thank goodness for vaccinations, and for at home tests, although they are hard to come by sometimes and can be expensive. They do provide a level of comfort, though.

The family on Christmas Day.

Sadly, I didn’t do very much writing in 2021. Work and family matters took precedence. I am proud of writing more blogs, especially during the Halloween writing challenge, even though that turned into the weirdest story I’ve ever written in my life. I am also proud of my play Nancy, the story of Elihu Embree’s enslaved woman and her family. I look forward to sharing Nancy’s story more in 2022, and I hope I can finally find out what happened to her after Embree’s death. I hope she was freed. I also wrote a very compelling 7th edition of the cemetery play A Spot On the Hill. It was probably our most successful one.

Ubunibi Afia Short as Nancy.
Cast of A Spot On the Hill, photo by Osie Casey.
My spouse and I in the play this year. Photo by Osie Casey.

As far as 2022 goes, I’m not sure what my writing goals are. I feel a little scarred by the last two years. Don’t we all? I’m going to start small. There’s a Stranger Things fan fiction I really need to finish on Archive of Our Own. I also need to seriously start editing my dragon book with hopes of it being published in 2023. We haven’t had a Mountain Gap Books meeting in a while. Again, family matters, especially family health matters, took precedence. So, I’m not sure what our future publishing schedule looks like, but we’ll figure something out. My cousin got me a self care planner. (Self care, it’s a good goal.) I’ve put small writing goals in there, at least for January. I’m trying to take it a month at a time.

So, out with the old and in with the new.

I hope you all have a wonderful new year. I’ll be checking back in with updates. For now, I can check my first of the year blog off my list. Ah, yes, new year’s, the time of year Anne actually follows through with her “to do” list before she abandons it. But who knows, maybe 2022 will be different.

My fearsome foursome having a new year’s meeting.

#NewYear2022 #WritingGoals #HonestBlogging

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Oct 31: All Hallow’s Eve

We’ve reached the end of my October writing challenge and of this story. As I type this, my black cat Duncan is on my lap, my Jack-O-Lantern is flickering beside me, and Rocky Horror is playing on the TV. I’m also eating way too much candy. So, it’s definitely still Halloween in this house.

Thanks for hanging in there through this challenge and this story. I had no idea when I started the places it would go. I don’t know if this is a comment about higher academia or what, but here it is. Also, I am very much a product of higher academia and have benefited from it. Still, I have seen the toxicity of it nearly eat my friends alive. Like everything, it has two sides to it.

My Jack-O-Lantern with a curious Katy cat.
Fall at the family compound.

Prompt, All Hallow’s Eve.

“One Year Later

Gregor finished his lecture. The students seemed utterly confused and a little frightened. It was his best lecture yet. They all filed out at the end of the hour, happy to be leaving, but especially happy to be leaving for their own Halloween festivities.

As soon as they were gone, Gregor reflected on that night a year ago. Dr. Hozier had been found guilty on all four counts of murder. It’d helped that he’d left a detailed account in his journal in his house. (Always the braggart.)

Now Gregor was a full professor, what he’d always wanted. That night 365 days ago seemed like a distant memory, except for one thing. Gregor looked around and removed a key from his jacket pocket. He used it to open a secret drawer in his desk. Inside that drawer was this pickled head of Richard, his former colleague and mentor. He’d kept it from the cops, lied about it. Why had he kept it? Maybe to remind himself of where he’d been, maybe to remind himself of what he was capable of.

Gregor smiled and closed the drawer. Outside his class, three students remained. “Man, Professor Jenkins is the worst,” one of them commented.

“I think he takes pleasure out of ruining our GPA,” the other bemoaned.

“I’m afraid I’m not going to graduate because of him,” the third added.

“Someone should really do something about him,” the first remarked. “But what?”

“I don’t know, but someone that awful, karma has it out for them,” the second ensured.

“He did survive the death of all his friends,” the third reminded them.

“That doesn’t excuse his asshattery,” the first replied. “Trust me, he’s going to get his.”

Gregor came out of the room at that time and the students scattered. Gregor smiled. He ruled with an iron fist. Out of the corner of his eyes, he thought he saw a flash of something. It looked like . . . No, it couldn’t be. It was his mind and the anniversary playing tricks on him. He could have sworn he’d seen Death. Gregor shouldered his bag, hunched his shoulders, and headed out into the night.”

#writingchallenge #Halloween #spooky

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Oct 29-30: A Cemetery & Devil’s Night

Happy Halloween! I’m a little behind, what with the ongoing Covid situation in my family compound. I’ll finish up the writing challenge tomorrow, on what is really Nov 1st, but I think it still counts.

The spouse and I got to go to a Halloween wedding yesterday. I was Nadja from “What We Do In the Shadows” and they were Ralph Wiggum from “The Simpsons” as Idaho. It’s a deep cut. (We’ve taken several Covid tests and only went because we are negative)

Just a reminder that I have spooky stories on demand via Haints and Hollers ebook. You can get it here. Also, you can enjoy some scary short stories in my eBook Comes In Threes. It’s available here.

Cover art by Jeanne G’Fellers.

Prompts, A Cemetery and Devil’s Night.

“Gregor did what needed doing, and then he walked into the Red Masque Ball with the most confidence he’d ever felt in his life. Gavin’s party was kind enough to let him borrow a mask, a Devil’s mask. It was eerily perfect for the task at hand. He soon spotted Dr. Hozier in his plague doctor’s mask. Hozier was a little surprised to see him, but he played it off.

“I suppose I should have stepped out into the solitude of the cemetery and called from there,” he quipped as he pulled Gregor aside. “Is the deed done?”

“Yes, and the proof is outside in Matt’s car, since you slashed the tires on mine.”

Dr. Hozier smiled. “Oh yes, I did do that. I also singlehandedly murdered all your competition. You should be thanking me.”

“Please come out and see the proof. I want this horrible night to end,” Gregor did his best to sound desperate.

Fortunately, Dr. Hozier complied. He followed Gregor out, gloating all the way. “My car’s on the other side of the cemetery,” Gregor explained as the noise of the party grew dim behind them. Say what you will about the Red Masque Ball, they were respectful of the cemetery.

As they walked, there was a noise, it was an odd noise, almost like fingernails scratching against marble. “What was that?” Hozier asked.

“I didn’t hear anything,” Gregor commented.

“How far to the car?”

Gregor smiled. “Just a little further. Wouldn’t be smart to park too close.”

Suddenly, Matt’s undead body lurched out from behind a tombstone. Hozier screamed and stumbled back. Dwight came from behind and Neil appeared at his side, boxing him in. “No, this isn’t possible! I killed you all!”

“You did, but I have brought them back,” Gregor proclaimed.

“No! This can’t be real!” Hozier tried to run, but zombie Matt held him fast.

“On any other night, no, but you forgot to take into account the power of this night, the Devil’s night!” Gregor grabbed Richard’s head and threw it at Hozier. The other man caught it.

Dr. Hozier looked down. At that moment, Richard opened his eyes and said, “Boo!”

Hozier screamed again. He dropped the head, clutched at his heart, and then fell down dead. Gregor looked up to see Death standing there. He waved at Gregor, smiled, and was gone, taking Hozier’s soul with it.”

#Halloween #writingchallenge #spooky

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Oct 27-28: An Old Church & Fancy Dress Party

Another short entry for today. There’s still a lot going on in my family. Halloween is usually my favorite holiday, but this year is less fun and truly terrifying for many reasons. I’ll try to have longer entries for the end of the story.

Prompts, An Old Church and Fancy Dress Party.

“The steeple of the Church of the Dearly Departed came into view. It was an old church, but a grand church. It wasn’t really used for religious services anymore, it was more of a party venue. And once a year, it hosted the Red Masque Ball.

Gregor pulled off into the woods, leaving plenty of space between him and the old church. He was near the cemetery, filled with crumbling stones. Through the trees, he could see everyone in their fancy dresses and masks. He needed to act quickly.”

#Halloween #writingchallenge #spooky

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Oct 25-26: Dearly Departed and Captured Soul

How are you all? Are you hanging in there, still along for the ride? I’ll be honest, I just figured out where this ride is going. Also, there are many things going on in my personal life right now. After a year and a half of trying to keep Covid at bay, it has found us at my family’s compound. Right now, I am negative and my spouse is negative, but my mom has it, my nephew has it, and my sister has it. Mind you, we’re all vaccinated, but also extremely immuno compromised, that’s why we’ve worked so hard to avoid it. My sister is currently in the hospital with Covid pneumonia, but she’s ready to fight. Tonight’s entry will be short. I am exhausted, for a lot of reasons.

I revived my Scar Disney Bound for the Halloween edition of the StoryTown Radio Show on Monday. We record before a live audience, so the costume plays.

Prompts, Dearly Departed and Captured Soul.

“Gregor wasn’t sure what his life was anymore. But here he was, driving through the night, with a decapitated but still animated head in the front seat and three moaning zombies in the back seat. He’d taken Matt’s car and loaded his colleagues in the back. Fortunately, the bike Gavin had leant him had contact info written on it. He was able to call Gavin and drive to meet him and his group. They had performed the same spell on the bodies of Matt, Neil, and Dwight, but some of their ingredients were running low, so the results weren’t the same.

“What’s wrong with them?” Gregor asked as his former colleagues lurched around.

“For starters, they’re dead,” Sheila remarked.

“They’re low on juice,” Gavin explained. “It’s like running on a low battery. We’ve captured their souls for a bit longer, but there’s not much there in terms of brain activity.”

“It’ll work,” Gavin decided.

Now here they were, all in the car on their way to the Church of the Dearly Departed.”

#Halloween #writingchallenge #spooky

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Oct 23-24: The Clocks Change & A Beautiful Scarf

The seventh season of my cemetery play A Spot On the Hill has come to an end. It was an amazing experience and the weather was perfect. I could not have asked for a better cast, and the audiences were so appreciative. Here are a few shots from the second weekend.

I also have another play, a ten minute play, set in a cemetery that is part of A Mourning Hollow. You can purchase the theatrical anthology through Amazon.

Prompts, The Clocks Change & A Beautiful Scarf.

“Gregor worked quickly in the dark. Did Dr. Hozier have to leave the power off? Of course he did, the jerk. It was kind of fun, though, it was like going back to his roots, working by the light of the Bunsen burner. It reminded him of when he first started, before Richard was his adversary, before any of this. It almost made him feel bad to hack Richard’s body apart, but it had to be done, and his zombiefied state actually made it less messy. 

He was dissolving a limb when the phone rang again. Gregor startled, but managed not to drop acid on himself. With a huff, he returned to the kitchen and answered the phone.

“Tick tock. Tick tock,” the familiar voice reminded him.

“I get it,” Gregor replied and hung up.

He returned to the task at hand and worked until his fingers were numb, but the minutes continued to pass by. “I don’t think you’re going to make it,” Richard’s head observed. Gregor had set it on a nearby counter.

Gregor had to stop. His hand was cramping. He, too, was fearful of the time. He stood to stretch his back, and his eyes caught site of the calendar illuminated in the candlelight. His eyes grew wide with realization. “No, we’re going to make it. And do you know why?”

“Blind optimism?” the head remarked.

“No, because time changes tonight!” Gregor pointed at the calendar. “We get an extra hour.” He looked down at the head, and for a moment he felt pity for Richard. He felt pity for all of them. No, it couldn’t end this way.

“Dr. Hozier doesn’t get to win,” Gregor decided. He recalled the last phone call they’d shared. He’d heard background noise. Lots of voices and a church bell? His eyes grew wide again. “I know where he is, Dr. Hozier. He left, after he killed the others, and he went to the Red Masque Ball. I doubt he even saw you. He doesn’t know you’re, well, this.”

Richard’s eyes grew wide, too. “He came here on a whim, thinking you’d realize my house was closer.”

“I say, we go to him and give him the shock of his life. Show him exactly the hell he’s wrought,” Gregor proclaimed.

The dismembered pieces of Richard’s body were left in the tub. Gregor found a beautiful scarf in a drawer and made it into a sling. He’d wanted to put Richard’s head in a backpack, but Richard had protested. He was claustrophobic.

“My mother’s scarf,” the head lamented as Gregor tucked it inside the makeshift sling. “She’d be glad it brought me comfort one last time.”

“Don’t say things like that,” Gregor remarked, very uneasy. “It reminds me you were human once.”

“If it makes you feel any better, my mother was a saint, so I doubt I’ll be seeing her again when I get to my final resting place.”

“Well, my mom was hell on wheels, so we’ll probably have eternity together,” Gregor sighed.”

#Halloween #writingchallenge #spooky #weirdashell

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Oct 21-22: Raven and An Unexpected Phone Call

Life got real busy last weekend, folks. So, I am a bit behind. Forgive me. I did get to learn about Victorian mourning customs on Thursday at our History Happy Hour. I knew some, but now I know so much more. It was fascinating, and disturbing.

Death tintype with eyes painted on. Terrifying. Thank you to the Pipitones for sharing their collection and knowledge.
On Friday night I was a generic Princess for a three year old’s Halloween party.

Prompts, Raven and An Unexpected Phone Call.

“Gregor stumbled back from the bodies of his dead colleagues. The night seemed so eerily still around him, and then suddenly a raven burst forth from the trees behind him. It swooped over his head and he screamed. Gregor probably screamed all the way back around to the front and into the house. He slammed the door behind him, turning every lock. It was so dark inside the house, too. Where had the moon gone? It had been swallowed up by the clouds.

“What is it?” Richard’s corpse asked.

Gregor could just make him and the bike out in the dim light. “It’s Neil, Matt, and Dwight. They’re - they’re dead!”

“Did you kill them?”


“You haven’t succeeded at killing anyone tonight,” Richard remarked.

Gregor couldn’t believe they were having this discussion. “That’s not the point!”

At that moment, a phone rang. “My emergency line in the kitchen,” Richard commented. “No one has that number.” He finally sounded scared.

Gregor slowly made his way to the kitchen in the dark. He found the phone and answered. “Hello?”

“Those others were taking up your time, keeping you from the task at hand,” the cold voice of Dr. Hozier replied. “Remember, the clock is ticking. Tick tock. Tick tock.” Then he hung up, but Gregor held onto the phone until the busy signal beeped through.”

#Halloween #writingchallenge #spooky

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Oct 20 – Dead Leaves

As predicted, today was tiring, but it was also good. It was good to have a big school group back on site. I also gave a pretty awesome spooky tour this evening. I definitely got my steps in today, probably over 10,000. I’d like to thank the full moon for the spooky tour energy.

Full moon behind the courthouse.

Today’s prompt, Dead Leaves.

“Gregor begrudgingly found himself playing Matt’s stupid game. He was able to get outside eventually and check on the corpse in the bush. “Get rid of them,” Richard enforced.

“I’m trying,” Gregor whined. But Richard was right, he had to find a way to stop the game, or at least get out of it. Maybe he could lure them outside and lock them out?

Good fortune worked in his favor for once and soon everyone was outside, stumbling around the yard. They’d had a lot to drink. Gregor led them around the side of the house and then double backed to the front. He left them gleefully howling at the moon in the back yard. He wrestled Richard and the bike out of the bush as quickly as he could and made a beeline for the front door.

He was almost there, when he heard it, nothing. The howling had stopped. “They’ve stopped. Why did they stop?”

“Who cares?!” Richard whispered.

Gregor cared, or at least he was curious. He shoved the bike and Richard through the front door. He fell over with a clatter and a, “Hey!”

Gregor closed the door. And ran to the back of the house. It was clear why his coworkers had stopped howling. There, under the moonlight, on top of a pile of dead leaves, were the bloodied and very deceased bodies of his peers. Their throats had been slit.”

#Halloween #writingchallenge #spooky

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Oct 18-19: Black Cat and Moonlight at Midnight

I’m back! It’s such a busy two weeks with Halloween events. In addition to the play, I am doing macabre history tours through our historic town. Also, we have a big school group tomorrow, and it’s the first big school group we’ve had since pre-Covid, so I’m a little rusty. I know I’ll be worn out tomorrow.

I’m still finding ways to celebrate the season, that aren’t work related. I love the show Halloween Wars on Food Network. It’s a little different setup this year, thanks to the pandemic, but it’s still fun. They took away the pumpkin part of it, though, not sure why. I love watching the pieces of scary, edible art come together.

Prompts, Black Cat and Moonlight at Midnight.

“Gregor stashed the bike, and Richard, in the nearby bushes. He slowly crept into the house on high alert and ready for anything. He was still scared out of his mind, though, when the black cat came hurtling trough the air at him. The cat screamed, he screamed, and then someone . . . Laughed?

His jerky colleagues, the ones who had slashed their tires, came around the corner. Gregor looked down to see a Halloween decoration had been thrown at him.

“Real funny, guys.”

“You should have seen your face,” Matt cackled.

“What are you all doing here?” Gregor didn’t have time for this.

“I got a key to Dick’s place when he went out of town. I water his plants,” Matt explained.

“Yeah, we were going to scare him,” Dwight added.

“Why isn’t he with you? Did you kill him or something?” Matt asked.

Gregor tried not to look guilty. “No. After our outing, he had to go and meet Dr. Hozier.” Yes, he could go ahead and plant that seed, put all the suspicion on the real killer.

Dwight grimaced. “He’s the only person worse than Richard.”

“You look like hell, Gregor,” Neil observed. “Do you need a glass of water?”

“I’ve had a rough night, okay? Someone slashed the tires on my car.” He gave them all a pointed look.

“We didn’t do that,” Neil protested.

“Naw, man, we’re not assholes.” Matt picked the stuffed cat up off the floor. “Sounds like you ran afoul of some Yuletide pranksters.”

“Hey, let’s see what vintage Richard has in his wine fridge,” Dwight suggested. The party moved to the kitchen.

Gregor managed to excuse himself to go outside. “It’s the guys,” he told the corpse in the bushes. “Matt, Dwight, and Neil.”

“Oh, Lord, they’ll drink my good wine.”

Gregor rolled his eyes. “That’s hardly the worst of our problems.”

“Get rid of them,” Richard hissed.

“Well, obviously.” Gregor returned to the house to find a glass of wine had been poured for him. He was on a tight schedule, but he could also use a glass of wine.

He drank it down, contemplating how he could get rid of his colleagues. Just as he finished the glass, the power went out.

“That blows,” Neil remarked.

“Yes,” Gregor thought. “Now they’ll leave.”

The moonlight streamed through all the windows. It illuminated the house in a creepy glow.

“Guess we should head out,” Dwight suggested.

“Or,” Matt spoke over him, “we can play moonlight tag.”

“Moonlight tag?!” That was the most ridiculous idea Gregor had ever heard.

The elegant grandfather clock in the house struck midnight. “Come on, Matt, it’s midnight,” Dwight pointed out.

Matt smiled. “Even better.”

Also, if you need even more Halloweenie goodness, check out this cool light show. https://youtu.be/SbK8lMi0CBk

#Halloween #writingchallenge #spooky

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Oct 16 & 17 – A New Home and The Red Door

Here’s another double edition. We lucked out with the weather this past weekend and were able to successfully perform A Spot On the Hill outside for all three shows.

Prompts, A New Home and The Red Door.

“Wait! Stop, stop right here!” Richard’s reanimated corpse commanded.

Gregor begrudgingly agreed, but he was secretly thankful for the break. His calves were killing him. “What is it? We have a long way to go to get to my house.”

“I know that road.” Richard struggled to point to the dirt path to his right, Gregor’s left.

“That’s not a road.”

“It’s a road, trust me. I live down there.”

“Nice attempt to lure me off onto a dark road, but we’re going to my place.” Gregor tried to move again, but Richard started to struggle.

“My house is down there!”

“I’ve been to your house, and it’s not in the deep, dark woods,” Gregor argued.

“I moved a few months ago. I wanted more privacy.”

Gregor huffed. “All the stuff we need is at my house.”

Richard rolled his eyes. “We’re both chemists, Gregor. I daresay whatever you have at your house to dispose of my body, I have at mine.”

They compared notes and soon Gregor was steering them down the dark road.

“At least I’ll get to see my house one more time,” Richard sighed. “I do love it. Lots of windows. It is my dream house, and I only got to live in it two months. That’s irony, right?”

Gregor pedaled even harder and soon lights began to come into view. Sure enough, a stately house appeared on the horizon. It was ostentatious. Of course it was. It had dozens of windows, all lit up.

“You leave your lights on when you’re out?” he inquired.

“Security feature,” Richard replied.

The front of the house had a beautiful red door and it was standing open, swinging in the night breeze. Gregor brought the bike to a halt. “Do you also leave your front door open?”

“That I do not do.”

Well, crap.”

#Halloween #writingchallenge #spooky

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Oct 14-15 Conkers & A Torn Flag

I’m a bit behind. My cemetery play A Spot On the Hill went into production this week. Here are my entries for Thursday & Friday.

I am playing Betsy Cooke in the show this year. I’ve heard so much about her & her work in the library. I hope I am doing her proud.

The prompts for this edition are Conkers (look it up) and A Torn Flag.

“Did you say he killed you?” one of the other members in the group asked.

“I didn’t kill him!” Gregor protested.

“He was going to kill me, but someone beat him to it.” Richard’s corpse struggled to sit up. It was a rather revolting site to watch.

“Dude, how many people don’t like you?” asked a man dressed like a jester.

“Gavin, what do you have to say for yourself?” The woman gestured to the friar.

“I’m sorry, okay, Sheila. Tristan was going to check the bottles for me,” Gavin explained.

“Are you really going to blame Tristan? He had to go to his grandmother’s funeral tonight.”

“I don’t mean to interrupt your petty squabble here, but what I am supposed to do with that?!” Gregor pointed to Richard.

“You can take me to the hospital so they can fix me,” Richard fired back.

“Oh, no, that won’t work, dude. You’re dead, like so dead.”

“Yeah, the spell will wear off in about five hours,” Sheila informed them. Richard was crestfallen. “But maybe you can get justice against your murderer before the clock runs out?”

They both perked up at that. “It’ll be much easier to get you back to my place now.” Gregor stood and tried to help Richard up, but his legs were less than cooperative. “Get your feet under you.”

“If someone hadn’t slammed my body into every rock and tree, this would be much easier!”

Gregor huffed and looked at the group. “Can any of you give us a ride?”

“We don’t drive here. We ride our bikes,” Gavin replied.

“How old are you all?” Gregor wanted to know.

“How are we supposed to get on a bike?” Richard asked from the ground.

Several minutes later, Gregor was sitting on a bike with Richard strapped to his back. Since his legs were already broken, they folded them up. He was fastened to Gregor with conkers on strings, of all things. Apparently, the game was good for relieving stress and Gavin was British. Richard was still having trouble sitting upright, though.

“Do you have anything else? It’s hard to keep my head up.”

“What do you need to see? You’re dead,” Gregor remarked.

Gavin stepped forward. “I have something.” He produced his flag and started to tear it.

“No, Gavin, not your sigil,” one of his friends bemoaned.

Gavin would not be dissuaded. “No, this is my mess, it’s my job to make it right.” He ripped the flag into multiple pieces and secured Richard’s corpse to Gregor’s back. With fond wishes, the unlikely duo road off into the night.”
These are conkers, also known as horse chestnuts. Apparently the point of the game is to break your opponent’s conker.

#Halloween #writingchallenge #spooky

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Oct 13 – Color Blind

Something weird happened today. My mom’s work number rang around lunch. Caller ID said it was me calling her, but I have never called her on that number. I do have that number in my phone, but my phone didn’t even show a purse or pocket dial. She says she answered and it sounded like someone was crying on the other end. She kept saying my name, but no one answered and then the call cut off. She called me in hysterics, and I had to talk her off the ledge. I have no way to explain this except to say that maybe my number was spoofed. I’m sure there is an explanation, but a tiny part of me is worried it might be some sort of premonition. There’s a short story where a woman keeps answering the phone at home and hears someone crying. It happens for a year, and then her husband dies and in her distraught state at the hospital she calls home and she answers, but in the past. She realizes then she’d been calling herself from the future. Anyhow, now that’s kicking around in the back of my head. If it happens again, I’ll definitely write about it.

On to today’s prompt in my fictional story. The prompt is Color Blind.

“Gregor watched as the group, all dressed like they were from Medieval times, put their instruments aside and gathered in a circle. The one dressed like a friar raised his hands in the air. “The time is at hand, my friends,” he announced. He produced a large apothecary bottle full of blue liquid from behind his back. 

“We should get going,” Richard’s ghost pointed out.

“Yeah, yeah, in a minute.” Gregor shook his hand at the ghost and kept his eyes fixed on the group. They reminded him of his LARPing days. Oh, how he missed those days.

“Repeat after me, my friends. Quod semel avulsum est, iterum totum est.” The rest of the group followed his lead. When they were finished, he tossed the bottle into the flames. The glass shattered and the air filled with blue smoke.

“Did it work?” the friar asked.

“No, my limited collector’s edition figurine is still broken,” another member of the group replied.

“I said, we need to get going.” Richard tapped Gregor on the shoulder, but Gregor felt it. He looked over to see Richard’s reanimated corpse. He screamed. The corpse screamed.

Richard reached out and tried to wrap his hands around Gregor’s neck, but it didn’t work very well considering he had several broken bones. “Why are you choking me? I thought you were over it,” Gregor gasped.

“Turns out I’m still mad. You were going to kill me!” Richard shouted.

The two of them fell through the bushes into view of the group. Everyone screamed. Richard had to give up his choking effort. “Alas, my poor broken body,” he bemoaned.

Gregor sat up. “What do you expect, you’re dead.”

“Dead?” a woman in the group spoke up. She looked at the friar. “Gavin, did you mix up the bottles again?”

“No, I tossed the green bottle in the fire,” he defended.

“Damnit, Gavin. You threw the blue bottle. You haven’t mended our broken stuff, you reanimated the dead.”

Gavin winced. “Sorry, y’all. You know I’m color blind.”


#Halloween #spooky #writingchallenge

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Oct 11-12 Grandfather and Folk Music

I was a little under the weather yesterday since I got my flu shot, so I didn’t write a blog, but I’m back today. Also, get your flu shot. It’s important, especially this year.

Halloween tree at my doctor’s office.
Rehearsal continues for A Spot On the Hill. Show opens on Friday!

Today’s prompts, Grandfather and Folk Music.

“Gregor knew he should get up and press on, but he couldn’t muster the energy. He kept staring up at the stars. “My grandfather told me not to go into higher academia, you know, told me it was cutthroat and ruthless. This coming from a guy who spent half his life in the military, but he kept on insisting. I didn’t listen, obviously. No, I was going to cure some major disease or make some huge discovery and win a Nobel prize, but where am I?” Gregor glanced over at the body tangled up in the tree limbs.

“I did admire you, you know, until you stole my research and thwarted my publishing attempts, and I know you did it to me because someone else did it to you. Guess my grandfather was right.

Gregor took a shuddering breath. It felt like the weight of the last 20 years was pressing down on him. “That same grandfather, he was Jewish, and he told this story from the Old Country about a king and his servant. The servant came to the king one day, all upset because he had seen Death in the garden and knew he was going to die. He asked the king to borrow his fastest horse so that he could travel to the next town ten miles over and escape Death. The king lent him the horse, and the servant rode off. The king went out to the garden and Death looked really confused. ‘What’s the matter?’ the king asked. Death replied, ‘I am supposed to kill your servant today in a town 10 miles from here, but unless he rides on the fastest horse, I do not see how he can get there.’ Then my grandfather said it was fate, and you can’t fight fate. Maybe this is fate, right here, right now.”

Gregor fell silent and the night was enormous around him. “Are you kidding me?” a voice spoke up and Gregor almost screamed. “Get your sorry ass up. Get my body up, and get moving.”

Gregor looked over to see Richard’s ghost hovering nearby. “I thought you wanted Dr. Hozier to kill me?”

“I may hate you, but I hate him even more. I’ve thought about it, and that asshat does not get to win. He couldn’t even manage the department’s budget properly.”

Gregor sat up. “Right?!”

“I may not be able to help you physically, but I know how to motivate you, Gregor. If you get to your apartment and dispose of my body, I promise to tell you something, something I should have told you a long time ago. And then you’ll take Hozier for all he’s worth.”


“Now get up and get going!” Gregor sprang to his feet and removed the body from the limbs. “Can you not hit my body on every branch.”

“I’m doing my best. I hadn’t planned for a giant tree.” As Gregor finally managed to extricate the body, a strange noise caught his ear. It wafted along on the night air. It sounded like a song his grandfather would have played, a song from Eastern Europe. “Do you hear that music, or is it in my head?”

“I hear it,” the ghost confirmed.

Gregor lay the body back down and slowly crept to the thicket of bushes ahead of them. He peeked through to see some sort of ceremony taking place complete with lutes and lyres. “My grandfather was right about something else. The woods are weird at night.”

#Halloween #writingchallenge #spooky

I guess I need to figure out what conkers is.

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Oct 9 & 10: A Special Birthday and Branches of a Tree

I was able to get away for a little bit this weekend and make a trip with some college buds to the Carolina Renaissance Faire. It was good, but always too short, as it always is. Here are some pics from our adventures.

Playing catch-up tonight. Prompts, A Special Birthday and Branches of a Tree.

“Gregor had found the car key, and now he found himself crammed into the wayback of an SUV with Richard. “Thanks again for the assist, man,” Kevin said. Not to Gregor’s surprise, there was booze in the car. Kevin took a swig from a mystery bottle and offered it to Gregor, who declined. “You really saved my birthday,” Kevin concluded.

“Happy birthday,” Gregor said. It was more of a reflex than anything else.

“Thanks, man. I’m 22 today. Can you believe it?”

“And you wanted to dress up like a zombie?” Being a researcher, Gregor was genuinely interested in this bit.

Kevin got a little teary eyed. “My buddies here got me the greatest gift of all, the chance to overcome my greatest fear. I am terrified of zombies, but now I am a zombie, and I’m hanging out with a bunch of zombies. They signed me up for the dash, we got dressed up, we rolled up and yeah I freaked out. . .”

“But then we took him to drink in the woods and now he’s fine, and he’s ready to party with some zombies!” one of the others shouted.

“Zombie birthday fun! Zombie birthday fun!” they all began to chant. Kevin looked at Gregor expectantly, and he joined in.

“This is the best! This is the best!” Kevin crowed when the chanting stopped. “Man, your friend is really out of it. You sure he’s all right?” He reached out and poked Richard. Gregor really wished he wouldn’t.

“He just needs to sleep it off,” Gregor assured.

“Once you conquer your fear of the undead, Kevin, maybe you can conquer your fear of the dead,” one of his friends spoke up.

Kevin visibly cringed. “You don’t like dead people either?” Gregor probed.

“No, man, if there were a dead body in here, I’d jump out of the car now.”

“Imagine that.” Gregor couldn’t help but laugh.

“What about you, man, what are you afraid of?” The question caught Gregor by surprise, as did the intensity on Kevin’s face. Gregor was suddenly at a loss for words.

The car slowed to a stop. They were close to the main road now, thank goodness. Soon Gregor would be home with his charge and he could do what needed to be done. He saw flashing lights ahead.

“Look at this traffic,” one of them bemoaned.

“Cops, cops, hide the booze,” another instructed.

Gregor’s heart fell into his stomach. As soon as the car had stopped, he was opening the trunk. “Where are you going?” Kevin asked.

“Thanks for the ride. My house is real close. I’ll go the rest on foot.” He pulled the body out after him, closed the trunk, and carried Richard back into the wood line.

He was at least closer to his house. He just needed to get around those cops. Gregor was pretty familiar with this terrain, but there had been some heavy rains lately. His foot slipped on an incline and before he could stop it, he and Richard were tumbling down a bank.

They landed in the branches of a recently felled tree. As he regained his faculties, Gregor gazed up at the stars above him. “Is this where you saw your life going when you were in undergrad?” Gregor wasn’t sure who he was asking. Was he asking the heavens, God, Richard?

“That’s my greatest fear, you know, that I’ve done all this for nothing. Years and years of schooling, endless research and writing, and what has it all been for? Where do I find myself, tangled in the limbs of a tree with my dead mentor. Really makes you think, doesn’t it?”


I hope you all have a good week. #writingchallenge #Halloween #spooky

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Oct 8 – A Lost Key

Happy Friday! Tonight’s post will be short. The spouse and I are with friends for our annual, 2020 not withstanding, trip to the Carolinas Renaissance Fair. This is the first time we’ve been away overnight since early 2020.

Today’s prompt, A Lost Key.

“Gregor and his charge pressed on through the night. How was he supposed to get back to his place before sunrise at this rate? “Don’t suppose you have any ideas,” he quipped to the corpse.

“You killed me. You’re on your own,” Richard’s ghost replied from somewhere. Gregor couldn’t see him, but he was colder all of a sudden, so he knew the ghost was there.

Gregor rolled his eyes. “Were you not paying attention ? I didn’t kill you, Dr. Hozier did.”

“You were planning on killing me. Now you’re aiding and abetting.”

“If you’re not going to be helpful, go away,” Gregor griped.

“I hope he kills you, too,” the ghost remarked and then it was gone.

Gregor took a breath and stopped. He really needed a plan. Before he could think too much, he heard voices. Suddenly, a person crashed through the bushes. He was followed by two others. Gregor shouted and dropped the body. The first person screamed, too. The light from his flashlight illuminated his chest and face. He was pale and also kind of green and had gashes on his face. His clothes were also in tatters.

“Oh, man, I’m sorry. Did you lose your car keys? I came over here to piss and dropped ‘em.”

“Kevin, did you find your keys?” one of the others asked.

“No, I found these other guys.” Kevin looked down at Richard’s body and Gregor’s heart almost stopped. “Oh, man, your friend is passed out. Gnarly make up job. Are you all in the Zombie party, too?”

The annual Zombie Midnight Run! Gregor was saved. “Yeah, we were, but this idiot here can’t hold his liquor.”

A thought occurred to Kevin as he swayed on his feet. “Dude, do you all need a ride?”

Gregor truly was saved. “Yes, yes we do.”

Kevin swayed some more. “Awesome! Find my keys and we’ll take you along!”

#Halloween #writingchallenge #spooky

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Oct 7 – Professor

Watching all the Treehouse of Horror episodes of the Simpsons. This Halloween tradition is much easier thanks to DisneyPlus. (Not a paid advertisement, just appreciation.)

Somewhere in season 13 or so, of over 30.

Today’s writing challenge prompt, Professor.

“Gregor whirled around. A loan figure slowly stepped out of the shadows and into the only light. It was a dingy streetlight, and it bathed everything around it in this sickly, yellow glow. It made Dr. Hozier look paler than usual. Richard’s ghost was suddenly nowhere to be found.

“Dr. Hozier, but why?” Gregor managed to ask.

The former head of the department cocked his head and considered his colleagues for a moment. “I’ve watched you idiots ruin my department for years now.”

“We were cleaning up your mess.”

“You convinced me I was crazy, turned the students against me, took my tenure.”

Oh, yeah, they had done that, or at least some of it. Dr. Hozier had done plenty of it himself. “Richard there was the worst offender.” The Professor pointed to the body. “You were further down the list. I figured framing you for Richard’s death was enough, but it’s become clear to me that you had planned to off him yourself.”

Gregor sputtered. “I never . . .”

“You have the worst poker face, spare yourself. You wanted him dead. I wanted him dead. He’s dead. The question is, who gets the blame? I’ll cut you a deal, Gregor. You dispose of this body for me, and I’ll put in a good word with that journal for you.”

“The Anals? But Richard shut me out.” Did Gregor dare to hope?

“Again, Richard is dead. You have until sunrise, just to make things dramatic.”

“Wait, how are you going to know what I do?” Gregor’s eyes narrowed.

“I know a lot of things, and I’m always watching. Maybe I made a deal with the Devil tonight? Maybe I made a deal with Death itself?”

That struck a nerve. “And if I fail?” Why had Gregor asked that? His therapist was right, he really was his own worst enemy.

“You go to jail for Richard’s murder, or I kill you. I haven’t decided yet.” Dr. Hozier turned to go.

“If you gave me a ride, it’d be much faster,” Gregor pointed out.

“Yeah, I’m not getting any DNA in my car.” With that, Dr. Hozier was gone, swallowed up by the night.”

#Halloween #writingchallenge #spooky #kindofabsurd

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Oct 6 – Over A Bridge

Welcome back for another installment. Fall is my favorite season where I live. And even though the temperatures haven’t quite reached fall level yet, the leaves are changing and that smell is in the air. Fall always makes me feel like there’s magic in the air, dancing just around my fingertips.

As seen outside the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center. #onlyinjonesborough

Today’s prompt, Over A Bridge.

“Gregor waited for hours. His phone kept track of the minutes as they crawled by. He heard the others finally get in their car and leave. And yet, he still waited. He guessed Death wasn’t coming back, and maybe that was a good thing. 

Gregor pushed the ladder back out. He didn’t know what else to do with the body, so he shoved it out of the loft. It hit the ground hard. Good thing Richard was already dead. Gregor climbed down the ladder. He almost made it to the ground, but his foot slipped on one of the bottom rungs and he fell hard on his backside. He was all right, after a moment, but the same couldn’t be said about his phone. It was smashed.

Gregor managed to drag the body back to the clearing, but he was worn out. He retrieved the blanket and wrapped the body in it. Finally, the blanket’s purpose had been fulfilled. He noticed his coworkers had raided the picnic basket, taking most everything, including the drugged wine he had planned to give Richard right before he was going to jab him in the eye. Oh well, he’d worry about that later.

Gregor dragged the wrapped body down to his car. The blanket made it a little easier. When he got to the parking area at the bottom of the hill, he found that their coworkers, in their infinite kindness, had let the air out of the tires on both his and Richard’s cars. He really did work with jerks. Gregor hoped they did drink the drugged wine and died in a fiery car wreck. Maybe he could take out the whole department?

With a curse, he pulled Richard’s phone back out. His was dead, but he figured he could guess Richard’s password and call AAA. If he could just get back to his house, Gregor could stick to his original plan. And even though he hadn’t killed Richard, he could still dispose of the body appropriately. Unfortunately, Richard’s phone had just enough juice left to flash at him once before going dark.

Gregor wanted to scream into the night, but he swallowed it down. Without knowing what else to do, he pulled the body on. If he got back to the main road, maybe he could figure something out. He heaved Richard onward into the woods. They crossed the old bridge over the creek. Richard’s head hit every uneven plank, and that gave Gregor some satisfaction.

“This is all your fault,” he told the body. “If you weren’t such a jackass, not everyone would want you dead, and I wouldn’t be out here dragging your corpse around.”

Richard’s head hit another board with a thwack. “Hey, take it easy!” a voice spoke. Gregor knew that voice. He looked up and there was Richard, or the ghost of Richard, standing before him. Gregor did scream this time, and the ghost screamed.

“You killed me!” the ghost accused.

“I didn’t kill you!” Gregor protested.

“No, but I did,” came another voice from the shadows.”

#Halloween #writingchallenge #spooky

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Oct 5 – A Ladder

I love a good, spooky short story. Whether this will turn out to be one, time will tell. I love Edgar Allen Poe and his brilliance when it comes to horrific short stories. I’ve written some spooky shorts of my own. You can read two of them in Haints and Hollers, a compilation of horror stories from Appalachia, published by Mountain Gap Books. You can pick up a copy via Amazon.

Image by Jeanne G’Fellers
Image by Jeanne G’Fellers
Image by Jeanne G’Fellers

Now it’s time to check in with Gregor and his ever growing misadventure. Today’s prompt, A Ladder.

“Gregor sprang into action. He pulled the body aside, spread the blanket out, and did his best to cover the blood stains. He placed the picnic basket on top of the blanket, and with a strength he didn’t know he had, he dragged the body of his expired colleague into the woods. 

Gregor didn’t stop once the clearing was out of site. He kept going, his arms straining and sweat poring down his face. Now the blasted jacket was too hot. He could hear when the others reached the spot. “Wonder where they are?”

“The basket’s right here.”

“You think they ran off into the woods?”

“Gross. Richard has higher standards than that.”

“Any wine in that basket?”

“Oh, yeah.”

“Grab a bottle and let’s go looking.”

Panic gripped Gregor’s throat. What was he doing? Where was he going? Also, why was Death still hovering around him?

“Don’t you have somewhere else to be?” Gregor huffed through gritted teeth. Death just shrugged, very noncommittal and very annoying.

At least the answer to where he was going presented itself to Gregor. The old, abandoned barn appeared before him. Why it was here in the middle of the woods, he wasn’t sure, but he was glad it was. The old, creaking ladder on the side of the building led up to the loft. Gregor made his way to the ladder, his arms about to give out. Wait a minute. How was he supposed to get the body up there? No way.

As if anticipating his query, Death plucked him from the ground and placed him in the loft, him and the body both. It was like flying on a large, frigid cloud. “Why did you do that?” Gregor wanted to know.

Death shrugged again. “Because I could. I’d get that ladder, if I was you.”

Gregor scrambled over and pulled up the ladder. Just in time, too. He could hear the others approaching.

“Wonder if they’re making out in that barn?”

“Richard! Gregor, where are you?!”

“Onlly, olly, oxen free.”

“Text Richard, see where he’s at.”

Gregor managed to pull Richard’s phone back out and silence it before it could chime. He refused to breathe until the others decided to go back to the clearing.

“Whatever, let’s go back and eat that fancy cheese.”

Gregor drew in a long breath. “What should I do now?” he asked Death.

“I don’t know. This is your mess. See you later.”

“What does that mean?!” Gregor didn’t like the sound of that at all.

Death smiled. It was not comforting. “Take it how you like.” With that, Death was gone, leaving Gregor and the body all alone.”
This is actually one of the ladders inside the 1913 Washington County Courthouse on the way to the clock tower.

#Halloween #WritingChallenge #Spooky

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Oct 4 – A Thin Jacket

Happy Monday. It’s a full week of work and rehearsal for me as we put my annual cemetery play together. Our historic cemetery is one of my favorite places to be. It’s so peaceful on top of the hill. I understand why that spot was picked. It’s an honor, too, to tell the stories of the people who are buried there. (Insert Hamilton lyric line here.)

Rehearsal this evening in the Old Jonesborough Cemetery.
If you’re in the area, get your tickets now at www.Jonesborough.com/tickets

Now it’s time for another edition of my short story. Where will the prompt take us today? Let’s find out. Prompt, A Thin Jacket.

“Gregor ran up to the body lying on the hill. He’d never seen a dead body before, at least not in real life, but this guy had to be dead. There was blood everywhere. Gregor had never anticipated so much blood. Without thinking, he fell to his knees before his felled colleague and wrapped his hands around his neck, as if trying to stop the flow. It was pointless, though, for many reasons. He’d wanted this to happen, right? Yes, but at his own hands. Gregor pulled his hands back. They were covered in blood, the blood he’d wanted to spill. 

Now he was angry. Who had done this? Who had cheated him of his moment? Gregor’s eyes scanned the wood line, but it was getting dim. Dusk had descended. Without thinking again, Gregor wiped his hands on his jacket.

“Bad mistake, that,” a voice spoke from his right. Gregor screamed and jerked. He looked beside him and there stood a tall, thin figure dressed all in black. It had sunken eyes and sallow face. It had to be . . .

“D-d-death?” Gregor dared to ask.

“None other,” the shade replied.

“Why are you still here?”

“This seemed interesting.” Death pointed a boney finger at the body on the ground. “If you plan to get away with murder, you shouldn’t wipe your victim’s blood on your jacket.”

Gregor winced. “I didn’t kill him,” he protested.

“But you’re the one here,” Death observed. At that moment, the dead man’s cellphone chimed. “You going to get that?” Death asked. Gregor hid his hand in his jacket and wrestled his colleague’s phone from his pocket. He didn’t need to unlock it to see the message on the screen.

“Dude, we’re coming to crash your picnic with Gregor. That little creep is always good for a laugh. We’re parking now.” Just then, Gregor heard the sound of car doors closing down below. His fellow coworkers, they’d be on him soon.

Gregor’s blood ran cold, and even though it was a warm evening, he was suddenly freezing. He wished he’d brought more than a thin jacket.”

See you all tomorrow! #Halloween #writingchallenge #spooky

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Oct 3 – Something Witnessed at Sunset

Today, I got to watch some stories through the virtual National Storytelling Festival. Hopefully they’ll be back in person next year. My spouse and I watched the ghost stories, and they were on point. I especially loved Tim Lowry doing The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe. Those stories put me in the perfect mood for part three of the Halloween writing challenge.

Tonight’s prompt is Something Witnessed at Sunset.

“Gregor climbed to the top of the hill. The blanket was draped over one arm, and he carried a laden picnic basket in the other. The sun was setting, painting the sky a deep, rich red. Yes, this was the perfect time. Ahead, he could see the other man waiting for him, his victim, completely unaware. There stood the man who had made his professional life a living hell for the past ten years, but no more. It ended this evening, here and now. Gregor knew that all he had to do to lure his nemesis out was to stroke his ego, invite him to his favorite observation spot, bring his favorite wine and expensive cheese and present him with the opportunity to ramble on and on about his brilliance. Given his plans, Gregor supposed he could have skimped on the cheese, not bought the expensive stuff, but looks were important.

The picnic basket was getting heavy, and Gregor struggled to pull it up. “Need a hand, gimpy?” the other man called down. For once, Gregor was gleeful to hear the accursed nickname. Soon he’d never have to hear it again.

“I’ve got it,” he assured the man. “You just wait, enjoy the sunset.”

“Oh yes, enjoy the sunset,” Gregor thought. “Enjoy the sunset before I jab this corkscrew in your eye.”

Gregor was drawing near to the top, practically giddy, when he heard it, or thought he heard it. A small, sharp whizzing noise, like a supersonic insect. It whizzed through the air from the clump of trees to his left. It hit the other man with a thwack, striking him straight in the neck and passing right through him, disappearing into the night on the opposite side. The man barely reacted before he fell straight to the ground, blood gushing from the bullet wound in his neck.

Gregor dropped the picnic basket.

That’s it for right now! Tune in tomorrow for another installment. #Halloween #writingchallenge #spooky

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Oct 2 – A Blanket

Went to NC today for a long overdue visit with my spouse’s parents. Covid19 has kept us apart for periods of time this last year and a half, but thanks to negative tests we were able to go up this weekend. (We’re also fully vaccinated.) It was a lovely day of sharing, fig picking, and flower admiring.

A happy bee
All the figs!

Here’s my writing challenge for today. It will be shorter because we’re in the car, and I have a limited amount of time before I get carsick. Hopefully this will help to build the tension in the story, though. The theme is “A Blanket.”

“Gregor wondered what type of blanket one brought to a murder. What sort of blanket was required for wrapping a dead body in? Probably something sturdy. He supposed he couldn’t ask the employee at Bed, Bath, and Beyond that. He asked about camping instead. What sort of blanket stood up to the great outdoors? If a bear attacked his campsite, what type of blanket would fair best? He was relatively satisfied with his purchase when he left the store. The blanket was even a pleasing color, but that hardly mattered. It would be red, stained crimson before the trip was over.”


#Halloween #writingchallenge #spooky

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Oct 1st – Turning Leaves

Happy October! This is my favorite season, and Halloween is my favorite holiday. Usually the month kicks off with the National Storytelling Festival that fills the streets of my town Jonesborough. For the second year in a row, the festival has had to go virtual, thanks to Covid19. I miss the festival. I hope they’ll be able to be back in person for their 50th in 2022. Still, there is something pleasant about watching the stories on my TV with a glass of wine. Their production quality is top notch.

Me watching my favorite Storyteller Donald Davis with my glass of red.

My first novel The Summer Between is now three years old! This book will always hold a special place in my heart. You can still purchase it through Amazon and directly through Mountain Gap Books.

Graphic by Jeanne G’Fellers

As promised in my last blog, I am about to embark on an October writing challenge. I hope the story will come together in the end and that each piece will stand on its own. You can never tell with a challenge. The first prompt is Turning Leaves.

“He stood on the hill, looking down at the valley below. This was his favorite spot in the fall. The leaves were changing, and some trees looked like they were bleeding, their crimson leaves falling to the ground, almost like blood dripping from an open wound. The trees knew the benefit of letting things die. Some people could take a lesson from that. Some people needed to take a lesson from that. And he was going to make sure those people learned.”

Tune in tomorrow and every day after for a new piece of the story. Let’s get our October on!

The Challenge

#October #WritingChallenge #Halloween

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Things That Scare Me

Hello, world. How are you? I’m all right, I suppose. It’s October tomorrow, my favorite month of the year. That’s a bright spot, and most of my usual fall activities are back in some capacity. We are doing my cemetery play again. A Spot On the Hill is back for a 7th season. Show dates are Oct 15-16 and 22-23. I’ll post a link to tickets in an upcoming blog. I’ll be doing my True and Chilling Tales Tours again this October, too. Life is busy, per usual, but it’s all about balance because the pandemic rages on around us. It canceled some of our plans, and we’ve had to change other ones. Pivot, pivot, pivot. I’ve known more people impacted by the Delta variant than at any other time during this pandemic. I’ve also known people, some in my extended family, who have died over the last month. It’s hard to know how to process it all. It’s been hard for a while. If someone has figured it out, message me.

I’ve decided to do another writing challenge for October. The last few years I’ve done it on social media. This year, I’m going to use the blog. It will give me a reason to check in every day. I promise to keep the snippets short. That’s part of the fun, and the challenge.

The writing challenge I’ll start tackling Oct 1st.

There are other things going on in my life to be concerned about, beyond the pandemic. There’s illness and infirmities. There’s upheaval and turmoil in the lives of people I care deeply about. There’s someone I’m very close to that is really struggling right now with illness, and I worry that the time we have to spend together is drawing to an end. I am nowhere near ready for that. I’ll never be fully ready, but especially not now. These are the things that keep me awake at night, the things that scare me. This poem has been kicking around my head for days. I wanted to right it down somewhere.

“I Have Never Known This Life Without You”

I have never known this life without you

Which is ironic, since we’ve spent so much of it apart

Distance in age, distance in stages of life

Me in kindergarten, you having your first child

Distance in geography, Texas to Tennessee and all the spaces in between

Distance in the form of a wall, a large, monstrous, nightmare of a wall that masqueraded as love but was anything but

I feared the wall would cut us off completely, but then the light came through

A beautiful wrecking ball saved us both, saved us all

But still there was distance, college, graduate school, work commitments

Here and there, come and go, see you for the Holidays

I’m an adult and for once we’re almost on equal footing, but not quite

We dance to the same tune, but our steps are not in sync

We’re always slightly off in different ways

I have never known this life with out you

But I’m afraid I’ve never loved you like I should have

I’m afraid I’ve never known how to love you, how to be there for you

Was the distance too great?

Did I arrive too early? Did I arrive too late?

You introduced me to the concept of souls living multiple lives

Have we always known each other? Do we miss each other in some lives, only to be reconnected in the next?

In other lives, did we travel together, did we laugh more? Were we closer in age? Did we play Barbies on the living room floor?

Sometimes, in the dark of night, I worry this life was a mistake, that our souls weren’t supposed to cross, but here we are, and that’s why everything’s off

I have never known this life without you

In the sunlight, when I look out at the garden or see your novel on the shelf, I know we’re where we’re meant to be, even if the dance is off

You are the reason I am published

You are the reason I look at the world with a tilt of my head

You are the reason I know true love when I see it

You are the reason I talk to trees

I have never known this life without you

But oh, I am so afraid

Afraid I am woefully unprepared to support you

I say the wrong things, do the wrong things

I have no answers, only questions, and you have enough of those

I am angry at the world on your behalf

I am no Samwise Gamgee

And time feels like sand slipping through my fingers and there’s nothing I can do to stop it

Why? Why after all this distance, when we’re finally in the same place, are we still so far apart?

And I

Have Never


This Life



I Am No Samwise Gamgee

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Updates from My Small Corner of the Writing World

Once again, it’s time for me to check in and say I need to blog more often and then disappear for a while only to resurface months later and say the same thing all over again. It’s frustrating, but also kind of comforting in a way. (It’s mostly frustrating when I get my annual bill and realize I’m not getting my money’s worth. And there’s no one to blame but myself.) Anyhow, enough rambling. Summer goes on here at the compound. Veggies are plentiful, as is the virus in our area, unfortunately. We’re back in semi-isolation here, which is borderline maddening. I’ve been feeling a lot like Sisyphus recently. There were two wonderful months of getting together and not wearing masks and gathering for family meals, and now it’s all been shot to pot thanks to the Delta variant. We are all vaccinated, but several members of my household are severely immuo-compromised and unfortunately breakthrough infections happen even if you’re vaccinated. I feel like this giant rock has rolled back down hill and crushed me, and there’s nothing I can do but shove it over and start pushing it back up the hill again. Will it crush me all over again? I don’t know, but I do know I can’t be the only one feeling this way.

There are still work events to do, despite the surge. Money has been invested, and it’s very hard to throw the brakes back on once they’ve been completely released. Most of my events are outside, thank goodness, but I can’t do that forever. Once again I am questioning my fall and winter events and wondering what the future months hold.

In other, non-virus news, we welcomed a new cat to our household this summer. His name is Jacob. I rescued him from work, just like I rescued Duncan 11 years ago. They’re both named after people who owned the old house I work in. Unfortunately, Jacob caught an upper respiratory infection, which he shared with Duncan. They were both sick. Duncan had had his second tumor removal surgery, which was more involved this time, and he was struggling to heal from that. He does have cancer, and the virus knocked him for a loop. He was hospitalized for two nights. He is still recovering, but he is doing much better. All of this happened the week we were supposed to go on vacation. We did not go anywhere. Maybe it was for the best? I would like a do over, though, because that was a very stressful way to use my vacation hours. (First world problems, I know. I know.)

Jacob in all his glory. He’s about seventh months old. We’d forgotten what it was like to have a kitten.
Duncan is very clingy in the recovery ward that is our bedroom. He is still quarantined from the other cats. I’m very happy he’s still with us, but I would appreciate less cat snot on my face.

I’m not doing a whole lot of new writing right now. I probably should. It might help my funk. We’re having record breaking attendance at work, though, and at the end of the day I’m just tired, so I don’t write. One of the bright spots this year, though, is my original, history-based play Nancy about Elihu Embree’s enslaved woman. It’s been my goal for years now to tell her story so that she’s known as well as Embree. Embree wrote The Emancipator in 1820, which is the first publication dedicated solely to the abolition of slavery. It only had seven editions, because he died in December of that year, but you can read them all online here through the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. I encourage you to read it.

While he was writing the paper, Embree was also an enslaver. He owned Nancy and her five children. The historical record is complicated. At one point, Embree owned her, sold her, and then brought her and her children back. Once he brought them back, he claims to have educated the children, provided them with a place to live, and paid them for their labor. He was certainly concerned about what would happen to Nancy and her children when he died, and the first two pages of his will are about them. It’s still not clear whether or not they were manumitted after he died. I am still actively searching for that answer. I had the honor of working with area actress Ubunibi-Afia Short to bring Nancy’s story to the stage on Juneteenth at the Embree House Historic Farm. (Elihu spent part of his childhood on that farm.)

Actress and playwright after three, sold out shows.
Afia in action. Photo by Mark Larkey.

This is only part one of getting Nancy’s story out there. We will be performing the play again at Washington College Academy on November 13th. We will also be performing the show on November 19th as a part of the NAACP’s annual banquet. It’s an honor to be able to share her story and to do so with such an accomplished actress. I’m also working on a museum exhibit Nancy, and I’d love to figure out a way to get her story into the public/private schools. (Of course, all of this depends on Covid, but I hope we’ll be able to do it.) My whole job as a historian and writer is to find these stories that have been overlooked and bring them to the light. I have never felt more accomplished in my job, and that’s a good feeling.

In other writing news, I’ll be a guest on Dan-A-Plooza’s Facebook livestream with Dan Hawkins on Friday, September 10th. I worked together in the theatre with Dan, and he’s become quite the entertainment streamer. I’ll be talking about my eBook Comes in Threes which is a collection of short stories available on Amazon.

Maybe I should write another short story for the blog? It would probably be depressing and dark. Most of my short stories are depressing and dark. Does anyone want to read that kind of stuff right now?

#writing #blogging #catmom #overthispandemic

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“Comes In Threes” Ebook Release April 27

How are you all feeling? Honestly? Truthfully, I have been better. I’m struggling to go from pandemic survival brain to pre-pandemic planning all the events for my work and museums’ brain. There’s been no time to go from one to the other. I don’t know why I ever thought there would be, but my mind is reeling in place nonetheless. Good news, my family compound is now fully vaccinated. That’s a great relief. Still, I feel sort of numb. I read a great article in the New York Times earlier this very day that described the emotion I’m feeling, “languishing.” It helped me to put a name to it. The article also had some ideas for how to overcome it, but it’s a process. You can read the article here – https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/well/mind/covid-mental-health-languishing.html.

In other news, I do have an exciting announcement. This time next week my latest Ebook collection of short stories is available through Mountain Gap Books. You can preorder Comes In Threes from Amazon now!

Cover art by Jeanne G’Fellers for Mountain Gap Books.

“Two boys. One girl. Three different eras. Three different short stories. One outstanding author. Whether these tales provoke heart-warming feelings or heart-palpitating dread will be up for you to decide.” (I did not write the teaser, but I appreciate the sentiment.)

Lots of things come in threes; courses in a meal, trilogies, primary colors, celebrity deaths.

Fair warning, these are not the happiest of stories, but they are good stories, in my opinion. Some of them, in fact all of them, have their unsettling moments. They also have their moments of triumph. I don’t tend to write happy short stories. I write suspenseful short stories and thought provoking short stories, but the ending is never tied up in a pretty bow. I’m especially excited because this Ebook contains a short story I wrote years ago while going to college at Mars Hill. I wrote it for a class. I’ve loved that story from the moment I wrote it, and I’m so happy it is finally being published.

Here’s a sneak peek from “The Boy on the Red Bicycle.”

The young boy peeked out from behind the wall.  He was only visible for a moment, but it was the third time the man had spotted him.  The sporadic appearances of the boy were the only thing keeping the man’s interest in the here and now.  The company at his table was warm and inviting, but only in the sense that it was required to be so.  The witty banter and conversation topics were old, and the food was by no means spectacular.  It was like every other afternoon he’d spent at the café.  The waiters changed.  The company changed, but never the scene.

            “What do you think, James?” the person across from him asked.

            “That we have every right to do so,” the man replied.  This was a good, solid answer, and it could be used for any question these days.  His company seemed pleased by this, and they responded with the appropriate nod.

            The boy appeared for the fourth time.  James watched him as the conversation stalled with routine progression.  The boy was bolder this time, and he edged himself around the corner.  With quick, stubby fingers, he reached out and tried to snatch some food from the nearest tray.  The boy was not quick enough.  One of the waiters spotted him and called out.  Another waiter hurried over and engulfed the boy’s tiny wrist in his hand.  He shook the boy’s hand until the crust of bread fell from it.  “Oh, let him have it,” James thought.  The waiter smacked the boy for good measure before pushing him out.

            “Go on!  Shew!  Get out of here!” the waiter called.  Satisfied he’d righted the wrong, he returned to his position on the sidelines.

            James watched the small, colorless figure retreat without a fuss.  “Excuse me, but I’m afraid I must adjourn for the afternoon.”  He stood and bowed to the ladies.  There was always someone to bow to.

What happens next? Who is this boy? What is his story? Purchase a copy of the Ebook and find out.

I transformed this short story into a problematic play. One day I’ll fix the play, but this is step one in getting the story out there.

Happy reading!

If you’re “languishing” like me, I hope you can find your way out of it. I’m trying. I’m trying.

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Shout Outs Part One!

So, I’ve been trying to write this post for months. I was working on it in February when my computer crashed, and I haven’t made it back to my blog since. Whoops. 2021 has been eventful so far. (Because, why not?) We had two cats that required surgery at the first of the year. Duncan had a tumor removed. Katy had bladder stones that had to be evacuated. Here’s a shot from our kitty convalescence ward.

I’m happy to report that all the cats are doing well right now. We would not have gotten through the surgeries and all the expenes without assistance from our friends and families. In the spirit of lifting others up, I wanted to shine a light on some of my talented friends in the meat of this blog. When good karma comes to you, you should help spread it around. This is by no means a comprehensive list of the talented people I know.

First up, this author and artist is more than a friend, she’s my older sister. Jeanne G’Fellers is probably the first friend I ever had. I am in awe of her skill as an author. I love curling up with one of her books. She’s also the driving force behind Mountain Gap Books. This past year, she returned to her artistic roots and has been making amazing mixed media pieces. I look forward to her homemade cards and books at every birthday and holiday. You can now purchase her oiginal art, along with her books, on her new website! Check it out!


One of her pieces will be featured on a banner in Founder’s Park in Johnson City for a year! I can’t wait to go and see it and take her picture under it. It’s nice to have exciting moments to look forward to. My sister is also an advocate for the LGBTQ Plus comunity and the disabled creatives community. She is a super star, and I hope one day to be a tenth of the force in the universe she is.

Halloween creation from my sister.
I’m always getting fun stuff like this.

The next creative pair I’m featuring I met in playwriting school at Hollins University. Their friendship helped me get through that program. Since then, we’ve driven to New Jersey for their wedding and will hopefully go on a cruise someday together. Ricky and Dana Young-Howze tackled 2020 with a ferocity that moves mountains. As theatre critics, they turned their talents to reviewing digital shows and shining a spotlight on theatres that tried and succeeded in keeping theatre going, in spite of the pandemic. You can read The Young-Howze Theater Journal here. In addition to being advocates for theatre, they are also advocates for social justice and equity.

In February, they hosted a digital theatre awards show on their YouTube channel. I didn’t see a lot of the shows they reviewed, but I watched the awards show, and it was one of the most uplifiting things I’ve ever seen in my life. It meant so much to the creative artists who have struggled so hard this past year to keep the creative flame alive and pay their bills. You can watch the awards show and Ricky and Dana’s other videos on their YouTube channel. As Dana and Ricky are first to point out, “2020 is the year theatre didn’t die.”

My creative friends on my TV!

My last feature for this blog is Cassandra Snow. They’re an author, theatre owner, and Tarot professional. I met Cassandra in college at a Halloween dance. They were a rabbit. I was Anne Boleyn. We’ve been friends ever since. I have their frst book Queering the Tarot, and I look forward to getting a copy of their second book Queering Your Craft. I really know very little about Tarot reading, but I know they’re a mover and shaker in their field, and I could not be prouder of them. Check out their publications on their website . They also has a Patreon! Cassandra advocates for the LGTBQ Plus community, dsiabled creatives, and modern witchcraft.

I really know the most amazing people, and they inspire me every day. I’ll do another of these blogs to highlight another set. It can easily be a series!

As far as my own writing goes, I am finally getting back into working on my dragon book Flying Upon One Wing. Pandemic fatique is real, and I’ve been hit hard by it recently. My goal is to have that book edited, for like the umpteenth time, by the first of May. I’ll try to post more blogs about that process as it continues. Soon, I’ll have a fun announcement about another release! We had a Mountain Gap Books meeting outside last month, because pandemic, and it was revitalizing to plan out the year. Good things are coming, including vaccines! The entire compound is almost fully vacinated, and that is definitely something to celebrate.

Stay safe! Stay creative!

Mountain Gap meeting essentials.

If you’d like to see me act out historic moments from Jonesborough’s past with my cats and other household objects, check out the “At Home Amateur Museum Theatre” series on the Chester Inn Museum’s YouTube channel.


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I’ll Take Those Odds Part Five and Shelved is Released

So, my goal of writing a story over multiple blogs in order to get myself to blog more frequently, didn’t quite work as originally planned. Oh, well. Hopefully you all enjoyed the story, though. The final part is below. You can read the other four parts in previous blogs. Maybe I’ll do better in 2021? I’m not going to make a New Year’s resolution for it. I’m notoriously bad at those.

In more exciting news, Shelved: Appalachian Resilience Amid Covid-19 was released on December 14. This anthology was specially written and curated during the ongoing pandemic and published by Mountain Gap Books. It features work from some of my favorite Appalachian authors, including Jules Corriere, Jeremy Greco, and Jean Bruce. I have three Haikus and a short story in the anthology. Get your copy today! If you get a copy, make sure to leave a review.

Order here trough Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Shelved-Appalachian-Resilience-Amid-COVID-19/dp/1732972028/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=shelved+anthology&qid=1609449265&sr=8-1

Shelved is available now!

In terms of my other writing, I finished my Lucifer (TV)/Scooby Doo inspired fanfiction. If you’re interested in reading such things, you can find it HERE.

Now I need to get back to and finish my Stranger Things ghost story sequel I sort of abandoned earlier this year. Apologies to people who were invested in that story. I’m getting back to it.

This year was A LOT obviously, for many people. Most of my writing was fanfiction because it made me happy and was a nice distraction from the dumpster fire all around me. Overall, though, I was very lucky this year. I know 2020 was harder on other people. My main goal in 2021, besides getting my Covid-19 vaccine, is to get back to my own, original writing. No hard, set dates yet, but hopefully I’ll have a new book out sometime in the coming year. When I have dates, I’ll let you all know.

In the meantime, enjoy the end of “I’ll Take Those Odds.”

Stay safe. Stay festive. Happy New Year!

Charlotte only saw Death two more times after that. The final time was years later when she died, but the second time she saw Death was in the summer of 1952. Albert was 34 years old. He was happily married with a child of his own. Little Katherine was the apple of Charlotte's eyes, and she was more than happy to spend her days with her grandchild as Albert worked and Katherine's mother completed her studies.

Polio had been going around the town, and several children had fallen ill. The disease had already crippled one child in the neighborhood and killed another. Katherine hadn't been feeling well, and Charlotte felt that old fear creeping up inside her as she watched her granddaughter try to sleep off her fever. It was a hot day in June, and what little breeze there was lightly blew the curtains through the open windows.

Charlotte looked out the window and that's when she saw Death casually strolling down the street. Their suit was a bright, summery green. Her breath caught in her throat. Without a second thought, and no plan whatsoever, Charlotte threw open the door and ran out into the street. Death's eyes flashed when they saw her, and Charlotte wanted to melt into the ground and disappear. What was she doing out here?

"Why, if it isn't Charlotte Reeves." Death smiled and Charlotte swallowed hard. "To what do I owe the pleasure?"

"Are you here for the Price's little boy?" she asked, her voice less than steady.

"I don't believe that's any of your concern." Death cocked their head. "I gambled with you once, Charlotte, I won't be doing it again. How's Albert?"

"He's well."

"And you seem well," Death observed. "So, someone else must not be."

Charlotte declined to answer. "The Prices love their boy very much."

"Yes, don't they all?" Death continued to stare at her. "Maybe they'll be resourceful and offer me a deal, or a trade? But then again, very few people are as clever or as foolish as you."

The eerie silence grew between them. "Go home, Charlotte Reeves," Death instructed.

On numb feet, Charlotte turned and went into the house. When she looked back out at the street, Death was gone. The following morning, Katherine's fever broke. It had only been a virus. The same morning, the little Price boy was admitted to the hospital and placed in an iron lung. He did not return home.

Charlotte never looked for Death again, until they intentionally came for her.

"And that's the story of why you're still here on this Earth," Death told Albert. "Your mother bought you a hundred years."

Albert's eyes misted over. "My mother loved me so much."

"Yes she did," Death concurred. "She still does."

Albert tried to swallow, but his tongue was too thick. "Did, uh, my mother really best you?"

Death leaned in. "There are two versions to any story, Albert. In one, your mother beats me fair and square. In the other, I made an intentional mistake. Which one do you prefer?"

Albert gave a weak smile. "The first one."

Death nodded their head. "Me, too. Are you ready to go now?"

"Yes. I'd really like to see my Mom again."

Death smiled. "See her you shall." They held out their hand and Albert reached up and took it without a second thought.

End of Story

Thanks for reading! May your New Year be a brighter and better one.

Jonesborough, TN, from the top of East Main Street on a sunny day in June. This was one of my top pictures of the year, according to Instagram.
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“I’ll Take Those Odds” Part Four

It’s October, my favorite time of the year! And even though the pandemic has altered some of my holiday plans, I’ll still decorate my house and enjoy a good bonfire or two and maybe find a corn maze. I’m also really excited about all the quality, spooky TV this October. We’re currently watching Ratched on Netflix, and I am eagerly awaiting the release of The Haunting of Bly Manor this Friday. The Haunting of Hill House was so good, so I hope this next season is just as spine chilling and unsettling. It must be acknowledged that The Haunting of Hill House was nothing like the book. I expect The Haunting of Bly Manor will only borrow loosely from Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. As an author, how do I feel about this? I wonder if Shirley Jackson and Henry James were still alive, how would they feel? I don’t know. I’ve never had someone borrow pieces of my work to create something else. I probably wouldn’t mind if it was as good as The Haunting of Hill House.

Photo by David Menidrey on Unsplash

Anyhow, spooky season is back, and I’m ready not to sleep at night for reasons beyond the upcoming election and the pandemic and the overall state of the world. I’ll take fictional horror over real horror any day, thank you very much.

Speaking of horror, this is a good time to remind you that you can purchase Mountain Gap Book’s Haints and Hollers: New Ghost Tales from Appalachia from Amazon and the Mountain Gap Book’s website. It is excellent under the covers or campfire reading.

Now, on to the writing. Here’s part four of my short story in progress, “I’ll Take Those Odds.” I’ll include a few lines from part three to get us back into the story.

"Excellent. Second player bids first." Death set their glass down, indicating they'd like another pour. Charlotte filled their glass as they studied their hand. 
"I bid ten," Death decided. 
Charlotte nodded and looked at her hand. That was a high and sure bid. "Double nil," Charlotte replied after a moment.
Death laughed. "Bold, Charlotte Reeves, bold. It will be a shame to kill you."
"Bold moves are all I have left," Charlotte explained. She discarded three cards from her hand and took three more from the pile. 
Death leaned in, propping their elbows against the table. "Now the question is, did those three cards just help you or hinder you?"
Charlotte licked her lips. "Let's find out."

"Excellent." Death smiled. They considered their cards for a moment before making the first move. As they were doing so, Charlotte noticed their glass was empty and refilled it. "If you're trying to get my liquored up so I'll mess up, it won't work. I'm not mortal, so I don't get drunk."

"That wasn't my aim," Charlotte assured. 

"Being a nice hostess, then, are you?" Death took a drink and eyed her over the glass. "You wouldn't be the first person to try that trick." Death smiled again. "Your turn, darling."

Charlotte examined the cards on the table, took a breath, and made her fist move.

And so it went, as the minutes ticked on. Death would play and Charlotte would play. A glass would be drained and filled again. Albert would breathe heavily from his crib and Charlotte would fight the urge to go and check on him. At least he was breathing. All the while Death was telling her stories, stories about the people they'd bested, stories about the people who'd lost. 

"Want to know who the biggest crier was? Go on, guess," Death goaded.

"I don't have the faintest idea," Charlotte replied, her tone calm but cold.

"Alexander the Great, wailed the entire time. 'Oh, please don't take me! Please don't take me, I have so much more to live for.' He would not shut up." Death chuckled and took a drink. "Abraham Lincoln was surprisingly stoic, considering the circumstances. Maybe death was preferable to politics?"

Death played another round and Charlotte paused in her motions. "What's the matter, can't follow suit?"

Charlotte ignored them and played a spade. Fortunately for her, it was a low spade. "Looks like I win again." Death reached over and collected the cards, adding the trick to their pile.

"Careful you don't sandbag," Charlotte commented.

That seemed to ruffle Death just a little. "You concentrate on your own hand, Charlotte Reeves."

The air in the room got uncomfortably cool. Charlotte cleared her throat. "Who else made a big fuss when you took them?" she asked. "Who else would surprise me?"

Death considered it for a moment. "Napoleon, although that's probably not surprising. Men tend to cry more than women."

"Also not surprising," Charlotte added.

"Except when children are involved, of course," Death leered. They watched her for a moment. "Genghis Khan was especially fun." Death leaned back and launched into the story.

When the story was done, the game was almost over. Neither of them had reached 500 in the first hand, so they'd had to draw again, but now the end was close. "You said you don't know where husband Frank is, right?"

"That is correct. He is still among the living, somewhere."

"And you don't know what my future holds?"

"My suspicion is it ends tonight."

"But if it doesn't, you can't tell me where I'll be in a year's time?" Charlotte pressed.

"I'm not a prognosticator, no."

Charlotte nodded and they played on in silence, but it was less than comfortable. In those last moments, Death was finally starting to pay attention to the cards on the table. The liquor had run dry, and there were no more stories to be told. "Wait a moment . . ."

"500!" Charlotte proclaimed.

"That's not possible." Death scrutinized the cards. "You cheated," they accused.

"You can't cheat death," Charlotte pointed out. "But you can beat it, fair and square."

"How?" Death was dumbfounded.

"Because you and I are the same, neither of us is God. You don't know what will happen tomorrow anymore than I do. And you don't know everything about me. You said I grew up rough and tough, and that's the truth. I grew up at my Daddy's card table, and I learned everything there is to know about life and death at that table." She took a deep, cleansing breath and looked Death right in the eyes. "Albert will be staying with me."

Death laughed, high and loud. Then their face turned terribly serious and it seemed less human than ever before. "You may keep your child, Charlotte Reeves, for now. You tell no one of this night, do you understand me? No one!"

"I understand."

"Your win saves him this time, but it does not make him immortal," Death pressed on. "If he rolls out of his crib or falls from a tree, or succumbs to the next, foul pestilence, he's mine. Do you understand that?"

"Yes," Charlotte replied, her voice barely a whisper.

Death leaned back, their expression softening. They looked fondly about the small house. "Enjoy your life, Charlotte Reeves, such as it is."

And with that, Death was gone, leaving only a lingering chill behind. Charlotte sat for a moment longer, frozen to the chair. Then she sprang into action, going to the stove and stoking the fire before hurrying to the crib and collecting Albert carefully into her arms. He fussed a little. "It's all right, Albert, Mama's got you. Mama's always got you."

Copyright Anne G'Fellers-Mason, 2020

I think there’s one more portion left to this story. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it.

Usually this time of year I’m in rehearsal for “A Spot On the Hill,” the cemetery play I do every year. The pandemic has changed that this year, but you can watch past stories from the show on the Chester Inn Museum’s YouTube channel.

Until next time, friends, get your spooky on in a safe manner!

Photo by Łukasz Nieścioruk on Unsplash
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“I’ll Take Those Odds” Part Three

I’m back! I didn’t necessarily mean to take a three week break, but such is life. I’m fighting my usual, sinus malaise that comes with the changing of the seasons, so I don’t have as much energy as I usually have. Also, my spouse and I finished The Big Bang Theory, which we have binge watched during this pandemic, and it was a nice catharsis. We watched the show late into the night as we sat up with our ailing cat Smudge. He’s gone now, at peace, and seeing the words, “The End,” after the final episode brought us both to tears.

We also watched the first part of season five of Lucifer, which may be my favorite current show. That of course inspired another story set in that universe. You can check it out at Archive of Our Own. It’s called “And I Would Have Gotten Away with It, Too, If It Weren’t for You Meddling Kids . . . And Devil,” and it’s the Lucifer/Scooby Doo mashup you never knew you needed. It contains probably my favorite line I’ve ever written. “At that moment, the side door to the church opened and in strolled the Devil with a deli tray.”

Part of me knows I should be focusing more on my original work, but writing fanfiction makes me really happy. And, yeah, part of it is the instant gratification of someone leaving a comment and wanting more. Also, I’m enjoying playing in worlds right now where the structure has already been built. Maybe that’s representative of my other fatigue or the struggle that is 2020? I don’t have an answer to that, but I do know I’ll get back to creating my own worlds someday soon.

Speaking of my own writing, here’s the next edition of my shot story, “Ill Take Those Odds.” When we left off, Charlotte was about to play a game of cards with Death. I’ve included a little bit from last time to get us back into the story.

Death laughed full and loud. “This is different. I’m so amused, I’ll entertain your little game. What do you propose, Charlotte Reeves?”
Charlotte swallowed hard. “A drink and a game of cards.” She indicated the table set up by the window.
Death followed her gaze. “That does look inviting. What are the stakes?”
Charlotte released the crib and folded her arms across her chest. “I win, you don’t take Albert. He gets better and he lives a full life.”
“And if I win?”
Charlotte swallowed again, but her voice was clear. “You take us both.”
“You would do that for him?”
“We’re all each other has in this world. I won’t go anywhere without him,” Charlotte insisted.
Death smiled. “I’ll take those odds.”

And now, here’s part three.

Charlotte walked over to the table. She didn't want to leave the crib, but Albert was safe, at least for now. Charlotte hoped her steps didn't seem as nervous as she felt. Inside, she felt like she would shake apart. 
"What game do you propose?" Death asked as they joined her. They unbuttoned their waistcoat and had a seat, eager to begin.
"I get to pick?" Charlotte was surprised.
Death smiled. "No, on second thought, I think it will be dealer's choice tonight." They picked up the cards and began to shuffle the deck. "What game to choose?" 
Charlotte refused to look Death in the eyes as they sized her up. She busied herself with pouring the drinks. She had to work hard to keep her hands from shaking. "They just outlawed that stuff, you know," Death pointed out.
"Yeah, I read something about that in the paper." Charlotte handed Death a glass, still not meeting their eyes. 
"But here we are nonetheless." Death clinked their glass against hers, and Charlotte flinched a little. "Cheers."
Death set the deck down, satisfied with the shuffle. "I think we'll play a game of Hearts. Seeing as you wear yours on your sleeve, Charlotte Reeves, this game should be right up your alley."
"Fine." Charlotte took a drink and swallowed hard. The whiskey never went down any easier.
"I'll let you draw first," Death offered.
Charlotte took a steadying breath and reached out to take a card. She didn't like it. It was a bad draw. She felt her stomach tense, but fortunately Charlotte had another option. She discarded the first card and drew the second, sending up a silent prayer that this one would be better. She wondered for a second if God was anywhere in the room tonight. If He'd want any part of this? 
The second card was better and Charlotte released a breath she didn't know she'd been holding. She was going to have to get control of herself and her poker face. This wasn't poker, per se, but the stakes had never been higher.
"Lovely." Death reached out and drew a card. They decided to keep it. 
After that, they went back and forth selecting cards. "You're not the first person who's challenged me to a game for the fate of their mortal soul," Death mused.
"I didn't think I was."
"I've been challenged to cards, baseball, a foot race, a boxing match. I played a rousing game of tiddly winks once." Death smiled fondly and took a drink.
"How many times have you won?" Charlotte wasn't sure why she asked. She didn't really want to know.
"Oh, my dear, I never lose," Death boasted. They took another drink. "But I must say, you're the only person to offer yourself in the bargain. I had a bake off once with a particularly distraught mother, but in the end I took her child, and left her my rhubarb pie recipe. She did have other children asleep in the house, though. You, on the other hand . . ." Death looked around the empty room. " . . . are decidedly alone."
"That's thirteen cards each," Charlotte spoke. The deck had been divided.
"Excellent. Second player bids first." Death set their glass down, indicating they'd like another pour. Charlotte filled their glass as they studied their hand. 
"I bid ten," Death decided. 
Charlotte nodded and looked at her hand. That was a high and sure bid. "Double nil," Charlotte replied after a moment.
Death laughed. "Bold, Charlotte Reeves, bold. It will be a shame to kill you."
"Bold moves are all I have left," Charlotte explained. She discarded three cards from her hand and took three more from the pile. 
Death leaned in, propping their elbows against the table. "Now the question is, did those three cards just help you or hinder you?"
Charlotte licked her lips. "Let's find out."

Copyright Anne G’Fellers-Mason, 2020

That’s it for now. Also, I do not proclaim to be an expert at Hearts. I Googled how to play the game with two people. If I got something wrong, let me know.

To learn more about the flu pandemic in Washington County, TN, check out this virtual exhibit from the Heritage Alliance and the Chester Inn Museum, “If You Don’t Watch Out: The Influenza Pandemic in and Around Washington County, September 1918-February 1919.”

Also, last time I told you I was working on a salmon gelatin mold for work. Well, I completed said mold and even ate it. To see my exploits, check out Homecooked History Special Edition Part One and Part Two.

Take care, everyone, and stay safe.

Photo by Sergi Viladesau on Unsplash

Featured post

“I’ll Take Those Odds” Part Two

Last week I returned to my blog and the writing world. I also started an in-process story inspired by the current pandemic that continues to rage around us. Here’s where we left off last week on the fist installment of “I’ll Take Those Odds.”

“Tell it to me, please?” Albert asked again. “Grant the wish of a dying man?”

Death licked their lips and leaned forward. “Seeing as you’re on your way out and can’t tell another living soul, here goes.”

And now, here’s the next part. Happy reading.

January 17, 1919

Charlotte poured two glasses of whiskey and placed them on the table by the window. She looked out at the night, but it seemed bleak and cold as ever. Charlotte took a swig out of the bottle before setting it between the glasses. She fought the urge to spit it out and swallowed against the burn. The amber liquid danced in the light of the oil lantern. The small room was hot with the wood stove burning in the center. Albert was quiet in his crib, save for the constant wheezing. At least he was finally asleep, she told herself.

Charlotte walked to the chest of drawers in the hallway. Her fingers shook as she fought to open the top drawer. The drawer started to squeak at first, and she stopped, terrified she’d wake Albert. He was still asleep, though, so she pulled the drawer open slowly and took out the well worn deck of cards. As she closed the drawer, her eyes looked up the wall to the picture that hung there. The man in his uniform stared back at her, his eyes unseeing but seemingly judging nonetheless. “You’d do the same thing,” she told the picture. “You have no place to judge.”

Charlotte took the deck to the table and placed it next to the bottle. She fought the urge to take another drink. A hoot owl called outside and she startled. Oh, screw societal norms she thought and took another drink. Charlotte gagged on the liquor. She placed the bottle back and stole a look into Albert’s crib. He was asleep, thankfully, but his breathing was uneven. He was covered in sweat and the area around his nose was encrusted with mucus. If she wiped it off now, he’d wake up, and this was the first time he’d slept soundly in days.

She took a steadying breath and returned to the table, sitting in the chair beside it, her eyes searching the darkness that waited right outside. Her hands absentmindedly picked up her knitting. She was working on new socks for Albert. He would need them soon. He had stopped growing when he fell ill, but he would get better, and he would need the clothes then. Another bird or perhaps a stray cat made a sound outside and Charlotte’s head jerked up. She almost stabbed her finger with her needle. Silence once again followed, and she took another breath.

Charlotte returned to her knitting, trying to lose herself in the task at hand. Then, she heard it, the unmistakable noise of a porch board creaking. Her breath caught in her throat, and she returned her knitting to its basket. The porch creaked again, and then she heard the screen door open. She bit her lower lip as the front door knob turned. Charlotte jumped to her feet and moved to the crib, positioning herself between the crib and the door.

The old door opened slowly. She had not locked it, but she was certain it wouldn’t have mattered if she had. In walked a person, impeccably dressed in a gray, four piece suit with a bowler hat to match. The person closed the door and turned to size the room up in a perfectly casual manner. Charlotte wrapped her hand around the top of the crib and waited. The person looked at Charlotte and the face wasn’t cruel. It was shockingly kind and extremely amused. “Well, hello,” the person spoke with a warm and open smile.

“Hello,” Charlotte tentatively replied.

“You’re up past your bedtime,” they quipped.

“Haven’t been getting much sleep.”Her hand tightened around the crib.

“Usually I sneak in unseen, much like Santa Claus.” They smiled again, but this time it wasn’t as warm.

Charlotte took a steadying breath and assumed her full, five foot two frame. “I know why you’re here, and you won’t be taking him.”

“I don’t think you have any say over that.”

“You already got the Millers down the street, took all four of ’em, and the Turner’s two boys. You don’t need mine, too.”

The person cocked their head. “Again, I don’t think you have any say over that.”

Charlotte managed to stand a little taller. “I’m his mother. I think I do have a say.”

The person laughed lightly and removed their hat. “I know all about you, Charlotte Massey Reeves. Youngest of five, only girl in a house of boys. Grew up rough and tough. Never wanted to be a wife, or mother, but you were willing to become both when you married Frank Reeves in the spring of 1917. But then came the war, and Frank had to enlist. He went to France and you stayed here, had a son.”

Charlotte was not so steady on her feet now. “How do you know all that?”

The person smiled a third time, and this time it was anything but warm. “I’m Death. I know all kinds of things.” They looked around the room a second time. “Where is Frank now?”

“You took him,” she spat back at the figure.

Death laughed and it was far from comforting. “I assure you, ma’m, I have not.”

Charlotte’s heart sank. The telegram from the Army had said missing in action, but it hadn’t said dead. But as the months had drug on, Charlotte had just assumed. The last letter Frank had written her had been concerning. Frank had not been happy with the war. He had told her that if anything were to happen to him, that she was to move on, find another God-fearing man to raise his child. Charlotte was afraid he’d gotten himself killed on purpose.

“Do you know where he is?” she summoned the courage to ask.

Death looked at their hat, moving it from one hand to the other. They looked back at her, looking her directly in the eyes. “I don’t know everything, but I know he’s not with me. Could still be unidentified in a foreign hospital, or some prisoner camp?” they shrugged.

Charlotte shook her head. Frank had run off somewhere. That was the first thought she’d had when she’d received the telegram, but than death seemed easier to accept. Frank had loved her, sure enough, but he did have a wondering eye. She’d known that and had married him anyway, despite her better judgement. He’d probably found some French girl in need of help and . . . No, she couldn’t think about that now. Albert was all she had, she was sure of it, and she was all he had. Death would not be taking him tonight, she was sure of that.

“As pleasant as this all is, I do have business to conduct.” Death put their hat back on and set their jaw.

Charlotte inched back as far as she could, until the crib was against her back. “I’d like to propose a change.”

Death laughed full and loud. “This is different. I’m so amused, I’ll entertain your little game. What do you propose, Charlotte Reeves?”

Charlotte swallowed hard. “A drink and a game of cards.” She indicated the table set up by the window.

Death followed her gaze. “That does look inviting. What are the stakes?”

Charlotte released the crib and folded her arms across her chest. “I win, you don’t take Albert. He gets better and he lives a full life.”

“And if I win?”

Charlotte swallowed again, but her voice was clear. “You take us both.”

“You would do that for him?”

“We’re all each other has in this world. I won’t go anywhere without him,” Charlotte insisted.

Death smiled. “I’ll take those odds.”

Copyright Anne G’Fellers-Mason, 2020


I have to hop off and go prepare a gelatin-based salmon salad from an old, Knox Gelatine cook book. It’s job related, don’t ask. Being a historian is never boring. Watch for that video on the Chester Inn Museum’s YouTube channel next Saturday. I’m sure I’ll be linking it to next week’s  blog.


Next weekend my work will be hosting our first ever Taste of Tennessee event featuring lots of local, foodie goodness. Check it out! The full program for August 22 is available at our website here. 


See you all next week!

Featured Image – Photo by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash

Featured post

Finding Time to Write Amidst the Chaos

Straight up, I haven’t been too good about this. This pandemic keeps going and it’s finally made its presence known in my neck of the woods in Washington County, TN. Case counts and hospitalizations are high. Schools are online right now and we’ve got a mask mandate through the end of the month. At work we continue to adapt, but I’m honestly getting tired of treading water. I had more fortitude in March/April. Now sometimes the urge to sink is overwhelming. On a positive note, my mother’s broken arm continues to mend. I’m back living in my house after living with her to help out since early March. I came back to my house in June because she was doing better and also because my oldest cat Smudge was ailing. Unfortunately, he passed away last week, but we got to spend a wonderful last week with him. Still, it was another blow in an already hard year. We lost Aldonza in March of 2019. Sometimes I feel like I’m a walking, gaping wound. I know I’m extremely lucky, though, because there are people all over the world suffering through MUCH worse. But it doesn’t make my pain hurt any less.

There’s my updated. Wish it was peppier. Here are some pictures from the last few months.


(First pic, the family the last time we were all together in May 2020, before we had to start distancing from one another due to health reasons and some of us having more public jobs than others. Second pic, me sporting my mask and my Victorian garb in the Chester Inn Museum. This was part of our attempt to encourage guests to wear masks before the mandate. Third pic, our bees made honey. In case I didn’t mention it, my spouse and I are beekeepers now. Fourth pic, my sweet sweet Smudge near the end of his time on this realm. Fifth pic, our four kitties earlier this year. Now we’re back to three.)

In the writing world, I did win a Haiku challenge, which I covered in my last blog. I had promised to share my other three entries then, but they have since been accepted for publication in the Shelved anthology from Mountain Gap Books. I hope to have a short story in that anthology, too. More info on that publication as it becomes available.

At work, we’ve been looking to past epidemics and pandemics to help contextualize the current one. Since I work in museums, we’ve been pouring through records for the Spanish influenza from 1918-1920. I had two short stories in mind for the Shelved anthology. This one didn’t get written in time, so I’ve decided to write it in stages via my blog. Maybe this will help me write more blogs? Here’s hoping.


I’ll Take Those Odds

July 4, 2020

The rhythmic beeping of the hospital machines was white noise now, and even though he was so tired, Albert found he couldn’t sleep. The oxygen cannual in his nose provided him with enough air to keep his heart beating, for now, but the rest of his energy was gone. He didn’t understand how he was still awake, even for a minute. The light from the window shone through the curtain and hurt his weary eyes. It had been night last time he’d checked, at least he thought it had been. He must have gotten some sleep, then. It didn’t feel like it, though. He felt like he’d never slept once in is 102 years.

The bustling of the hospital was a low level buzz on the other side of the door. They were trying to save someone. He was sure of it. The nurses were busy whisking a ventilator off to a soul that needed it to live. He’d told them he didn’t want one, that 102 years was long enough. It was much more than some got. Albert had made his peace with death long ago, on the shores of Okinawa. He’d survived the war, though, married and had two kids, five grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren. It didn’t make leaving them any less painful, but he knew he couldn’t be greedy with time. He couldn’t cheat death forever.

Albert thought he heard his room door open and someone walk in. It must be one of the nurses, come to see if there was anything he needed, anything they could do to make him more comfortable. His eyes looked up slowly, but it wasn’t a nurse at all. This person wasn’t decked out in full hazmat gear. They didn’t even have a mask on. For a second, Albert wondered how they’d gotten in. But then they smiled, and Albert realized he knew this face. He thought he’d dreamed this face when he was young, just a little over a year old. This was the face that’d looked down on him in his crib when he’d been sick with the flu. It was a sincere face and beautiful in its androgyny.

“Hello, Albert. It’s good to see you again,” the person spoke. “It’s been a long time. More than 100 years.”

Albert felt his chest lighten. It hurt less than it had in weeks. He also found he was able to speak without those terrible, hacking coughs. “I – I know you.”

The person smiled again. “Yes, you do.” They looked around the room for a spare chair.

“I thought I dreamt you.”

“Most people think that.” The person pulled the chair from the window by the bed, unbuttoned their waistcoat, and had a seat. They were dressed in an impeccable, blue suit with a dark bowler hat to match. They removed their hat and placed it on their knee, and their brown, bobbed hair framed their face nicely.

“You’re dressed up for church, or a funeral,” Albert observed. He mulled it over for a moment. “Is it my funeral?”

The person casually observed the machines. “Not yet. Not quite.”

Albert nodded, only slightly disappointed but also slightly relieved. “I don’t remember what you were dressed like last time. I just remember your face.”

The person thought it over. “I think it was my gray suit. I’ve been around since time began, but I can’t get over the fashion of the late 19th century, it was just so dapper.”

Albert chuckled a little. It hurt, but not as much as it should have. “Have you come to take me away?”

“Eventually.” The person leaned against the bed rail and placed their chin on their slender hands. They watched Albert for a moment.

Albert took the deepest breath he was able to. “I’m ready, Death.”

It was Death’s turn to chuckle. “I’m not.”

Albert turned his head slightly to look them in the face. “Why not? It’s your job, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” Death surmised. They pressed their lips and leaned back in the chair. “But you’re the first person I ever lost in a bet.”

Albert’s eyes grew wide. “My mother always said she won me in a bet. Whenever I did something reckless, she’d say, ‘Albert, I won you fair and square, don’t you go risking your life.'”

Death smiled fondly. “Your mother was the best card player I’ve ever met.”

“Will you tell me?” Albert pleaded. His mother had come close to telling him once, when she’d been near the end of her life, but she’d decided against it, told him it wasn’t a decent story.

Death cocked their head. “You don’t think you’ll be seeing your mother soon enough to ask her yourself?”

Albert shook his head. “I don’t know how it works, but even if we get to meet again, she won’t tell me. She said it wasn’t a decent story.”

Death chuckled again. “I don’t know if I’d call it salacious, but it’s a good story.”

“Tell it to me, please?” Albert asked again. “Grant the wish of a dying man?”

Death licked their lips and leaned forward. “Seeing as you’re on your way out and can’t tell another living soul, here goes.”

Copyright Anne G’Fellers-Mason, 2020


There’s the first installment. Tune in next week for more, and I mean that. I’m going to make myself mean that. To help pass the time, I’ll keep listening to Taylor Swift’s new album “Folklore,” which is kind of the soundtrack to my current angst and melancholy. I’m holding out for the new Killers’ album which has been delayed by the pandemic.

If you’re looking for a wonderful piece of historical, fantasy fiction to read, I suggest Striking Balance by Jeanne G’Fellers. Read more about the book on her blog! It was my first time being sited as a recourse. Historian achievement level unlocked. Also, a huge congratulations to my sister Jeanne on her tenth novel! Now that’s a huge accomplishment.



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I’m Still Here and Still Writing

Hello, all! So, I haven’t written a blog since September of 2019. Oops. My bad. I can’t blame it all on the Covid19 pandemic, obviously, but a lot of other stuff was going on before the world fell to pot. The Executive Director of the Heritage Alliance where I work retired at the end of September. I had been acting director for the organization since March when she went on extended medical leave, but I officially became the Executive Director in November. Since then, life has been busier than usual. I’m now in charge of two employees, a core of amazing volunteers, and at least five historic buildings and thousands of artifacts and documents. We had all these plans going into 2020, but then I was met with a challenge that no leader is prepared for, no matter how long they’ve been in charge. Life handed us all a pandemic. Needless to say, plans have changed.

In addition, right before the pandemic really made its presence known locally, my mom fell and broke her arm right below the shoulder. (Because we do everything extra around here.) I’ve been living at my parents since the first of March, helping take care of my mom and making sure my parents don’t have to go to the grocery store during these scary times. I’m happy to report that my mother is doing very well and on track for a full recovery.

So, what have I been up to writing wise these past few months? Well, Mountain Gap Books has pushed back the release of Flying Upon One Wing, my mid grades fantasy fiction all about dragons. It’s for the best, there’s a lot of editing work I need to do on the book. (This is what happens when you write the first draft when you’re 12.) I love the book, though. It was the first one I ever wrote. It’s my baby. I look forward to spending more time with the story and getting it out there for a 2021 release.


Flying Upon One Wing Cover WORKING


In the meantime, enjoy this working cover art featuring illustrations by my wonderful and talented friend Lauren Anderson. I can’t wait for you all to see more of her beautiful art inside the book!

So, have I been working on editing my dragon book? Well . . . Yeah, I know I need to get on it, but I have been writing. Last summer, I completed a ghost story set in the Stranger Things universe. I started a sequel for that story earlier this year, but then it went on hiatus when my mom broke her arm and the pandemic shut everything down, including my office and museums. I plan on getting back to it now, though.

In case you’re interested in getting caught up, here’s a link to Stranger Things: A Ghost Story and here’s a link to the sequel in progress “Somewhere Between Life and Death You’ll Find the Perfect Medium.”

I have been binge watching some great shows during this trying time with the rest of the country. My spouse and I recently finished Lucifer, and I was enthralled with the characters and the world. So, naturally I wrote a piece of fanfiction set in that universe. To check out my Lucifer story “Joy To You and Me,” click on the title. Obviously, I own none of the characters in any of my fanfictions, I just enjoy being inspired by them and the ability to share the work via Archive of Our Own. Writing these little stories, even though they’ll never be published in another format, makes me happy and eases my stress for a little while.

Okay, so what about original work? Well, I have being doing a lot of scripting for the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum’s YouTube page. Our museums may be closed to the public, but my WONDERFUL staff has been hard at work creating digital content with our historical resources. We’ve launched several video series, including Social Distancing with the Victorians, Amateur at Home Museum Theatre, and Homecooked History. Follow our YouTube channel and come along on our silly, historical adventures. We promise education and hilarity.

I’m also considering submitting some Haikus to the McKinney Center’s Haiku writing challenge. I haven’t written a Haiku in a hot minute or two. If I actually get it together, I’ll post them here next week. To learn more about the challenge, visit the McKinney Center’s website and look them up on Facebook! The Haikus, and you can submit up to three, are due by May 6.

Also, there’s a really exciting submission opportunity with Mountain Gap Books! Like everyone else in this world, Mountain Gap’s plans for the year have changed. Book releases have been postponed and festivals have been canceled. But, out of the darkness comes new opportunity. Submit now to Shelved: Appalachian Resilience During Covid19. To learn more about the process, visit Mountain Gap Books’ website. Submissions are due by June 14, so get to writing! (I know I need to.)




Be well, stay safe, and write/read on!

#writingupdate #FlyingUponOneWing #originalworks #fanfiction #ArhciveOfOurOwn #Covid19 #historyathome #Shelved #MountainGapBooks

Featured image Photo by Michel Porro on Unsplash

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Spooky Saturday – Haunts and Happenings

Well, it’s only been three months since my last blog post. Oops. I always say I’ll try and do better, and I really want to, but I also know life is REALLY busy, so I’ll do what I can do. I am excited to announce that I have two, short stories coming out in the new, spooky anthology Haints and Hollers: New Ghost Tales from Appalachia published by Mountain Gap Books. The anthology will be released on September 23rd, but you can preorder now on Amazon! There will be a launch party next Saturday, September 21st at The Corner Cup in Jonesborough.


Pieces and Parts Haints and Hollers


I’m so excited to be a part of this anthology full of authors from Appalachia. Some of them I know, some I do not. Their stories are so refreshing and spellbinding, and it’s an honor to be in such wonderful company. The anthology has all kinds of ghostly, spooky, and scary stories. I both love and hate being spooked. This is my favorite time of the year!

Here’s a sneak peek at one of my stories, “Pieces and Parts.”


           “Who are you?” Tucker asked, and even his voice sounded distorted to his own ears.

“A friend,” the man replied in a warmer tone.  “And, a purveyor of magic.”  He reached out with one hand and produced a large coin from beyond Tucker’s ear.

Tucker suddenly felt more at ease.  This was recognizable.  “That’s not magic.  It was hidden up your sleeve.”

“Perhaps it was,” the man replied.  He let the coin go quickly, but it did not fall to the ground.  No, it floated in the air.  Tucker gasped.  He felt the air around the coin, but there were no wires.  The coin began to rotate before him, and Tucker could not take his eyes off the spinning silver.

“What do you fear, Tucker?” the man asked.  “Death?”

Tucker shook his head.  “We’re all gonna die.”

“Then what do you fear?”

“Not living,” Tucker spoke in a small voice.


Pick up your copy of Haints and Hollers today! Also, for your reading pleasure, I’ve finished a new fanfiction set in the Stranger Things verse entitled Stranger Things: A Ghost Story. It totally has spoilers for season three, so be forewarned. It’s also perfect for this fallish, spooky time of year. (Here’s hoping we finally get some fall weather here in Tennessee and get rid of these 90 degree days.)

Below are some fun pics of authorly things I’ve been up to since my last blog.



Me posed in my steampunk, time travel attire for Voices of the Chester, an original play I wrote that was performed in June.

Me and my wonderful sister Jeanne repping Mountain Gap Books and selling our titles at the local Mr. K’s con in July. Also, Darth Vader highly recommends The Summer Between.

(Featured Image – Photo by Tertia van Rensburg on Unsplash)

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#WIPpet Wednesday Number 1 Voices of the Chester

I apologize for my absence from this blog. It has been a busy time at work and home. Last week I got the opportunity to perform my newspaper-based play “Things Are Changing” with my spouse for a National Youth Summit Woman’s Suffrage. We’re also rehearsing for my newest piece of museum theatre, Voices of the Chester. This unique experience will lead guests all around the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum and share the stories of the people who lived there, worked there, and stayed there during the building’s long history. (FYI, the building has been standing since the late 1700s.)

It’s my first time doing a play like this, and I’m excited about the possibilities. I also have a stellar cast that is working so hard to bring my vision to life. I’ve included an excerpt from one of the stories below.

This week (5/29/2019) I’m 29 sentences from the story of Sarah Roberts, an orphan who was bound to Dr. Chester to work at the Chester Inn. She was bound along with her brother James Roberts. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about her story, except that she was bound to Dr. Chester until she reached the age of 18. After that, she disappears form the written, historic record, but I based her story on what I knew of the building and town at that time.

Sweeping, that’s all I do, and make beds. Mornings come early, most days before first light. The mattress is small, especially now that James is all legs and arms. It’s safe, though, and warm enough, so I don’t complain too often, except when I wake up with a foot in my face. First thing I do is get dressed and then check the fires in the rooms, make sure they’re still alight. Once the guests begin to stir, James and I tend to the chamber pots. It’s our job to empty them and scrub them, put them back under beds.

Dr. Chester’s place has five bedrooms. There’s a great big chimney on either end and a small front porch that always needs sweeping. There are lots of houses in town, James says nearly 30, and there are more being built every day. All the people and the horses are always kicking up dust.

The days are full of tasks, from helping with the cooking and cleaning in the kitchen, to washing linens, to mending clothes, to tending to the horses, and always, always sweeping the porch and the main stairs. Days when court is in session are the busiest. There’s people coming and going, in and out, with their dusty, dusty boots. Some days I think I should just sew the broom to my hand.

Sometimes we help Dr. Chester in his apothecary shop. When we’re down there, he’ll read the bottles to James, teach him his letters. I know my letters, too, but James gets more time with it. A family came to call the last time we were working. They needed some medicine for their sick daughter. I could tell they loved her; by the way they were talking about her. James says it doesn’t do us any good to remember our parents. Maybe he can’t remember them. I remember, a little. I remember someone loved me, and she was warm and soft. They loved us enough to give us names, Sarah and James Roberts. That has to mean something.

I know I should be grateful for what I have, and I am. We’re not out in the streets.

Voices of the Chester will be performed on June 14-16.


*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that. 

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#WIPpet Wednesday Number 10 Flying Upon One Wing

Happy May Day! I can’t believe it’s May already. It seems like time moves faster every year. Today would have been our sweet Aldonza’s 15th birthday. Sadly, she left us in March, but we celebrated in her memory. We know she’s having fun where she is now.

On an exciting note, one of my dearest friends Cassandra Snow celebrates the publication of her first book today. Get your copy of Queering the Tarot today! You can buy on IndieBound, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

This week (5/01/2019) I’m sharing the first paragraph of Chapter Five in Flying Upon One Wing, my middle grades fantasy fiction. Things in Ezklick’s life are not going as expected. The young dragon finds himself in a strange place surrounded by strange creatures. To catch up, take a gander at my WIPpet two weeks ago where Ezklick met the grumpy gryphon Gordo. (Points to myself for alliteration.)

#WIPpet Wednesday Number 9 Flying Upon One Wing


Ezklick was awake again. Day had fallen into night. Strange shadows danced across the floor and across his paws. The young dragon jerked his head up quickly. He did not recognize this place. His panicked eyes took the room in three times before his memory began to catch up with him. He was hurt. Some large bird creature had brought him here. “It’s not home,” he lamented. “But you’re safe,” his mind suggested. Yes, he was safe, but he was not in the safety of his caretaker’s wings. That was the only safety he was willing to accept wholeheartedly.


*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that. 

#FlyingUponOneWing #editing #midgradesfiction #dragons

Photo by Zak Boca on Unsplash

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#WIPpet Wednesday Number 9 Flying Upon One Wing

Somehow, I missed last week’s WIPpet. But I’m back on track this week.

This week we return to Chapter Four in Flying Upon One Wing, my middle grades fantasy fiction. Things in young Ezklick’s life have taken a turn for the different, and possibly worse.

This week, I’m sharing 21 sentences from Chapter Four for 04/17/2019. (4+17=21) I’ve shared a bit from two weeks ago at the top to get us back into it.

Ezklick watched as a creature, the likes of which he’d never seen, stepped into view. The creature walked on two legs. It had neither claws, nor wings, nor scales. Many long strands of something goldish white fell from its head and stopped where its legs began. For covering, it wore something brown and long that moved with the creature as it moved.

The creature smiled sweetly at Ezklick.

It didn’t seem threatening. Ezklick didn’t shy away when this new creature bent down before him and spoke in a comforting voice. “I’m sorry Gordo scared you. He was only curious.” The creature nodded its head back at the large bird. Gordo squawked quietly, as if suggesting he was more vexed than curious.

Ezklick took a closer look at the black bird and realized it really wasn’t a bird at all. Gordo had the head of a bird. He even had wings like a bird, but his body was more like a dragons. He had four paws and a tail, but he wasn’t covered in scales.

“You were lucky he found you,” a new voice remarked. A Golden Scaled King emerged from the shadows. He was a tall dragon, and he filled the space. A silver chain ran around the scales on his neck, and a tiny brown bag dangled from the end of the chain. Ezklick had only seen a Golden Scaled King from afar. They tended to live away from the Red Evening Skies and the Brown Scalers. He had never been this close to one. They were said to be the wisest of all dragons.

“Yes, I find him, bring him here, and you give him my bed,” the gryphon lamented in his own tongue. “I should have eaten him instead.” The Golden Scaled King gave Gordo a sharp look. Gryphon tongue, while foreign to most, was perfectly understood by his ears.

*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that. 

Featured image is not Gordo, but it is an awesome free image of a gryphon I found by FerianMoon on DevianArt.

#FlyingUponOneWing #editing #midgradesfiction #dragons

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#WIPpet Wednesday Number 8 Flying Upon One Wing

Spring has sprung in Northeast Tennessee. This week I’m skipping ahead to Chapter Four in Flying Upon One Wing, my middle grades fantasy fiction. Things are very different for Ezklick from where he left him last week at the end of Chapter One.

This week, I’m sharing 22 sentences from Chapter Four for 04/03/2019.

   Ezklick was falling, falling down a never-ending hole. He was screaming as loud as his lungs would allow; but no one was listening. Wait, no, someone had to be listening. Ezklick could hear another sound in the darkness, like some type of bird. The further he fell, the louder the squawking noise became. Ezklick thought he would be falling forever. The instant this thought entered his head, he hit bottom.

Ezklick’s eyes opened slowly. Suddenly aware of terrible pain in his left wing, he tried to move, to lift it, but it was pinned down. Ezklick grimaced and looked around, trying to identify the blurry figures around him. There was that terrible squawking noise again! Ezklick blinked twice, bringing the world around him into focus. To his surprise, a giant black bird was standing not two feet away from him, squawking directly in his face. Ezklick yelped in fright. He tried to get up, tried to run; but the pain shooting down his back kept him firmly in place.

“Gordo, leave the poor thing alone,” a gentle voice reprimanded.

Ezklick watched as a creature, the likes of which he’d never seen, stepped into view. The creature walked on two legs. It had neither claws, nor wings, nor scales. Many long strands of something goldish white fell from its head and stopped where its legs began. For covering, it wore something brown and long that moved with the creature as it moved.

The creature smiled sweetly at Ezklick.

What has happened to the young dragon to put him in this predicament? Who and what are these strange creatures he’s found himself surrounded by?

*WIPpet Wednesday (link temporarily broken) is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that. 

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

#FlyingUponOneWing #editing #midgradesfiction #dragons

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#WIPpet Wednesday Number 7 Flying Upon One Wing

So, I last posted at the end of January, and even though that was less than two months ago, it seems like two years has passed. I apologize for my absence, and I’ll try to do better the rest of this year. Some good things and not so good things have transpired since last I blogged. In the good news department, my family went to Greece! The country was beautiful, the people were charming, and the history was amazing. It was truly the trip of a lifetime.



On a not so good note, our sweet kitty Aldonza passed away last week. She had stopped eating again. The tumor was back, and she was tired. We didn’t want her to suffer, so we made the decision to help her on her journey. Now we are adjusting to a life without her, a house without her. She was the talkative one out of our group, and the house is too quiet. We were able to recount her many adventures before she passed, and there will most certainly be Aldonza books in the coming future.




In my authorly world, Flying Upon One Wing is off to my editors and beta readers. I’m also working with a very talented illustrator, and I’m excited about the prospects.

This week, I’m sharing more from the first chapter. I’ve got 41 sentences for 03/26/2019. (3+26+2+1+9) I’ve included a little bit (in red) from my last WIPpet post to help ease you into this week’s selection, especially since it’s been too long.


Morning’s breath entered the cave, scattering bits of shell about, blowing a piece out of the cave and onto the ledge. Ezklick followed it. He waited until it stopped, then he dropped down close to the stone and began to stalk the shell. Walking on silent paws, Ezklick crept closer and closer. Shangalaya watched with amusement as he prepared to lunge. Ezklick jumped forward and struck his target directly on the mark. The shell crumbled into pieces. Giving his opponent one last crunch, Ezklick stepped aside so his mother could see his victory.

Shangalaya smiled and stepped fully out onto the ledge.

She walked to the center and sat down on it. Ezklick remained near the front. He looked up at the sky and blinked. The entire forest spread out before him, the many pine trees wet with morning dew. The air was warmer in the mornings now. The days were getting longer, and summer was well on its way. A bird shot out of one tree and disappeared into another. Somewhere nearby, a dragon roared a morning yawn. Ezklick roared in return but did not receive an answer.

Ezklick turned to his caretaker, a smile upon his snout. She smiled back, her soft brown eyes staring into his. He walked to her, and she closed her eyes as he clawed his way up over her snout and onto her back. He looked down into her eyes as they reopened.

“What was my other caretaker like?” he asked her. It was his usual question of the morning. “Did he look strong, like me?”

“Oh, no, he was never as strong looking as you,” she assured him.

“Tell me again what he said about the stars.” Ezklick settled himself at the top of her head.

“Every night he would fly toward the heavens. He always said he was going to pluck a star out of the sky. And when he did, he would bring it to me.” Shangalaya sighed. She’d told and retold this story several times, but it always made her sad to speak of it.

“Did you ever get a star?”

Shangalaya looked at the sky. The last few, visible stars were fading away into the dawn. “No, he never picked one.”

“Why did he leave us?” Ezklick asked. Everyday he saw other dragons his age with both their caretakers.

“I don’t think he was ready to be a caretaker to eight dragons. When I told him about you all, he flew off to be alone for a while. There was an accident, though, and he fell.” Shangalaya rested her head on her paws.

“Did he love you?”

“Very much, and he would have loved all of you.”

Ezklick could see the tears in Shangalaya’s eyes. He rubbed his scales against hers affectionately. “I’ll get you a star,” he assured her. “I’ll bring you the biggest, brightest star in the sky.”

Shangalaya smiled. “I’m sure you will, Ezklick; I’m sure you will.”


*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.  

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

#FlyingUponOneWing #editing #midgradesfiction #dragons
Continue reading “#WIPpet Wednesday Number 7 Flying Upon One Wing”

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#WIPpet Wednesday Number 6 Flying Upon One Wing

It’s quite cold here in Northeast Tennessee. I’m wishing I had a dragon of my own to keep me warm. Fortunately, Aldonza is doing well and improving every day. Her stitches and feeding tube are out and she’s getting back to herself. I enjoyed sitting on the bed earlier today with all my furbabies. The time we have together is so very precious.


Here’s my Big Three.

This week, I’m sharing more from the first chapter of Flying Upon One Wing as Ezklick continues his journey past his siblings to the front of his cave. Sometimes the most arduous journey is the one you take every morning. I’ve got 30 sentences for 01/30/2019. I’ve included a little bit (in red) from my last WIPpet post to help ease you into this week’s selection.


Sarahia blinked her eyes, and they quickly grew wide with concern. “Move, you’re standing on Shing!” Ezklick looked confused. He was standing in an empty spot, but Sarahia continued. “You’re standing on Shing!  Move!  Move!”

Ezklick backed away quickly and bumped into Frickus. “Hey,” Frickus moaned as he opened his eyes.

“What’s going on?” Gallant asked as he sat up with a yawn.

“Ezklick, do you always have to get up so early?” Geneva whined.

“Geneva, do you always have to whine?” Frickus fired back at her.

The entire cave was awake, and Ezklick found himself in the middle of it. He looked up and his eyes met those of his mother. She was awake. “Come on, Ezklick,” she assured.  Somewhat sheepishly, Ezklick finished his journey to the front of the cave. “It’s all right.  Go back to sleep,” Shangalaya instructed the rest of her young. There were a few more rumblings and complaints, but most of Ezklick’s nest mates did as they were told. None of them really wanted to be awake that early. As Ezklick passed, Shangalaya nudged him forward playfully with her snout. Ezklick perked up as she did so. She wasn’t angry with him. Ezklick had always been an early riser.

Morning’s breath entered the cave, scattering bits of shell about, blowing a piece out of the cave and onto the ledge. Ezklick followed it. He waited until it stopped, then he dropped down close to the stone and began to stalk the shell. Walking on silent paws, Ezklick crept closer and closer. Shangalaya watched with amusement as he prepared to lunge. Ezklick jumped forward and struck his target directly on the mark. The shell crumbled into pieces. Giving his opponent one last crunch, Ezklick stepped aside so his mother could see his victory.

Shangalaya smiled and stepped fully out onto the ledge.


*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.  

Photo by Tyssul Patel on Unsplash

#FlyingUponOneWing #editing #midgradesfiction #dragons

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#WIPpet Wednesday Number 5 Flying Upon One Wing

Hello, all! Life has been anything but simple as of late. (Is it ever?) Our oldest cat Aldonza had to have surgery to remove tumors from her abdomen. And yes, I did name her after one of my favorite characters ever written. Points if you can name the piece of literature she’s from. This is our sweet baby.


She’s doing a little bit better every day, and we’re hoping for a full recovery. We know it’s not a permanent fix. We’ve only borrowed time, but we’ll enjoy every moment we have.

My spouse is currently in two plays, and we don’t see much of each other, and this past Monday our septic tank backed up into our house. So, nothing short of exciting. I thought with the significant other’s show schedule I’d have plenty of time to read, edit, and write, but that has not been the case thus far. I’m slowly getting back into it after life had other things to say.

Last time, which was many weeks ago, I shared from the first chapter of Flying Upon One Wing. This week I’ve got 23 sentences from Chapter One for 01/23/2019. I’ve included a little bit (in red) from my last WIPpet post to help ease you into this selection.

Ezklick stood and stretched.  Like all good stretches, it was accompanied by a yawn.  After the yawn came the challenge he faced each morning.  Ezklick picked up a front paw and placed it gently across his brother Gallant.  Carefully, and quietly, he did the same with his other front paw.  Ezklick continued the process until all four paws, and tail, were safely across.  The young dragon breathed a sigh of relief.  He’d crossed the first barrier with success.

CRUNCH. Ezklick looked down at the broken eggshell beneath his paw. Broken eggshells cluttered the cave’s floor. It had been a year and a half since they had all hatched. Shangalaya kept the pieces of their eggs, though. They served as a reminder, perhaps, of a time when the cave was not so crowded. Ezklick looked around to make sure no one was disturbed by the crunch. Satisfied with his stealth, he knocked the pieces out of his way and continued. Carefully, he stepped over his sister Annersten. Next, he hurtled the mountain known as Percy. His tail tapped Frickus on the shoulder as he passed. Ezklick kept his eyes on Frickus, hoping his brother would not wake. His right paw bumped into Sarahia as he continued to back up, his eyes still fixed on Frickus.

“Ow.” Sarahia opened her eyes.

“Sorry, Sarahia,” Ezklick whispered as he looked down at his sister.

Sarahia blinked her eyes, and they quickly grew wide with concern. “Move, you’re standing on Shing!” Ezklick looked confused. He was standing in an empty spot, but Sarahia continued. “You’re standing on Shing!  Move!  Move!”

*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.  

Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

#FlyingUponOneWing #editing #midgradesfiction #dragons

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#WIPpet Wednesday Number 4 Flying Upon One Wing

Sorry I’ve been out of the blogging game for a bit. I went to the beach and then I committed myself fully to the Holiday madness. But now it’s time to do some serious editing on Flying Upon One Wing. Gotta get my edits on, and then I get to have a fun conversation about illustrations with one of the best artists I know. Exciting times!

This week I’ve got four paragraphs from Chapter One for 01/02/2019. Reminder, they’re dragons who live in a land called the Pine Forests and they’ve been at war with one another for a long time.

“The sky broke its morning blessing upon the Pine Forests.  As the stars faded into memory, a young dragon awoke and grew restless.  It was hard for a young Red Evening Skies to lie still for long. Time moved too slowly and the entire day waited outside.  The tiny cave seemed crowded and dull.

Ezklick lifted his head and looked around.  Shangalaya, his mother and caretaker, slept peacefully at the entrance of the cave.  The mother and father always slept at the entrance to the cave.  That way, if something should happen during the night, the caretakers would be the first to know and first to respond.  In Ezklick’s cave, though, there was no father at the front.  There was only Shangalaya., whose red scales glistened in the little light filtering in around her.  Her face bore an expression of peace and contentment.  Sleep was one of the few times she could get some peace.  Ezklick’s seven nest mates were scattered about him, and he would need to wind his way around them to get to the front of the cave.

Ezklick stood and stretched.  Like all good stretches, it was accompanied by a yawn.  After the yawn came the challenge he faced each morning.  Ezklick picked up a front paw and placed it gently across his brother Gallant.  Carefully, and quietly, he did the same with his other front paw.  Ezklick continued the process until all four paws, and tail, were safely across.  The young dragon breathed a sigh of relief.  He’d crossed the first barrier with success.”

*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.  

#FlyingUponOneWing #editing #midgradesfiction #dragons


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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! 2018 was quite the ride. My first novel The Summer Between was released on October 1, 2018. I’ve been extremely pleased with its reception. Check out some reviews here and order a copy through Amazon today!

Play wise, my full length play With These Hands had its second performance, this time hosted inside at the McKinney Center. Also, my cemetery play A Spot On the Hill celebrated its fifth year and continued to raise money for cemetery preservation and museum programming.

I look forward to 2019, to continuing to share history through various mediums and to publishing the first novel I ever wrote, Flying Upon One Wing!

Summer Between Cover



My book release at the Corner Cup in Jonesborough! I have the great fortune of living in the most supportive community.




A family business. We started Mountain Gap Books this year! Showing off some of our titles at Fine Art in the Park.


The cast of A Spot On the Hill sporting our serious faces.


The cast of With These Hands prepares for the last show.


Sharing The Summer Between and some writing exercises with the teen group at the Bristol Public Library. This was one of my favorite moments of the year.

Here’s to 2019! Thanks for following along on this journey with me!

#HappyNewYear #yafiction #TheSummerBetween #FlyingUponOneWing #WritingGoals

(Photo by Cristian Escobar on Unsplash)

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#WIPpet Wednesday Number 3 Flying Upon One Wing

‘Tis the most busiest time of the year, for some of us. My work’s large fundraiser/Holiday event was last Saturday, so I haven’t been able to write/edit a lot lately. That will change soon, though, because I have some serious time off staring me in the face. My goal is to have Flying Upon One Wing completely edited before I return to work after the Holidays. For now, I’m continuing to share from the Prologue.

This week I’ve got 35 sentences from the Prologue for 12/05/2018. I’ve included a few sentences from my last WIPpet (two weeks ago) as an intro for this week’s entry.


“The dragon lunged at the Unicorn, and a fight ensued. Their cries were heard throughout the forest. At the end, the Unicorn lay dead, her horn clutched in the claw of a confused dragon. The dragon truly had not meant to kill the Unicorn but in a fierce moment he had.

In another moment, Unicorns and dragons alike surrounded him. The Dark Dwellers pleaded his innocence, the Unicorns clamored his guilt. The High Dragon Council did not know what to do. Then a plague hit the Forests, and the dragons fell ill. The only cure came from the Unicorns’ fine hairs. The dragons could not afford to lose the friendship of the Unicorns. Without them, all dragons would perish. The young Dark Dweller was executed. Betrayed by their own species, the Dark Dwellers turned their backs on the other dragons. One misfortune grew into another. Soon a war was upon the land. The Orange Dusks sought to end the war, but it was a task they could not achieve. The war exhausted the Orange Dusks and their gentle hearts.

As the war reached its twentieth year, the last of the Orange Dusks died. Land moved from one side to the other. The Dark Dwellers would be beaten back only to reform and advance once more. For a time the war quieted and there was talk of peace. The leader of the Dark Dwellers was called to meet with the King at the Court of Dragons. An agreement was not to be reached, however. An assassination attempt ended all proceedings. The Dark Dwellers were beaten back once more. Punishment upon crippling punishment was inflicted upon them, but a change in leadership led to a new energy among the Dark Dwellers, a new fervor, a new desire to triumph.

The last ten years of the war had seen the rise and fall of the Dark Dwellers. For a time, the Dark Dwellers held the Court of Dragons and were in charge, but they could not hold on forever. Starvation and ruin forced them to peace, a false peace. There was no treaty, there was no accord; there was only a pause, a break in the fighting. After thirty years of war, not a one of them remembered how normal, daily life should be led.

The forest was divided, Dark Dwellers to the East, Unicorns to the North, and the other dragons everywhere in between. Life went on and renewed itself. Winter turned to Spring.  The uneasy silence lasted a year, then two, and then three. Dragons continued to live their separate lives. The Dark Dwellers hated the Unicorns and all the other dragons. The other dragons hated the Dark Dwellers in return, and the Unicorns, tucked away in the Vale of the North, viewed all dragons as vile. This was no peace; this was only a momentary break.”


*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.  

#FlyingUponOneWing #editing #midgradesfiction #dragons

(Photo by Thomas Quaritsch on Unsplash)

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#WIPpet Wednesday Number 2 Flying Upon One Wing

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I have much to be thankful for this year. In fact, I heard a wonderful story the other day about a lady who sought out a copy of my book The Summer Between because she thought it might help her grandson who is starting college soon. She went all around town before someone finally pointed her to the Visitor’s Center, where she bought two copies. I appreciate her persistence,and I hope they enjoy the book.

I had the opportunity recently to perform my one woman show “A Sojourn in Jonesborough” at Jonesborough Middle School. I had two wonderful audiences of eighth graders who asked amazing questions


I also had the opportunity to do a reading from The Summer Between and share some writing exercises with the teen program at the Bristol Public Library. Again, a wonderful group of students. The future is looking bright.


This Saturday I get to share the Christmas story at the Jonesborough tree lighting again this year. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. Since Jonesborough is the Storytelling Capital of the World, I get to craft an original story that highlights a Christmas memory.

On the WIPpet front, I am still hard at work on editing Flying Upon Wing. This week I’ve got 21 sentences from the prologue for 11/21/2018. I’ve included a few sentences from my last WIPpet (two weeks ago) as an intro for this week’s entry.


“Despite their best efforts to coexist, the dragons were banished. They wandered the earth. Eventually the dwarves took pity on them and offered the dragons the haven known as the Pine Forests. It was a thick, wooded area full of caves, and it was far from the world of Man.

In the Pine Forests, the dragons flourished and their numbers grew.  Many different kinds of dragons developed: the Golden Scaled Kings, the tallest and wisest of the dragons; the Brown Scalers, the best hunters; the Red Evening Skies, who could soar to the highest heights; the Dark Dwellers, the most loyal to any cause; and the Orange Dusks, the kindest and gentlest.  When the Unicorns, driven by Man and his love for the hunt and their horns, arrived and sought shelter in their forests, the dragons held a council and agreed.  The Pine Forests were not solely dragon territory; but safe haven to any in need.  The Dark Dwellers, however, were not fond of the newcomers.  The Unicorns began to take the Northern lands; the lands the Dark Dwellers liked best.  “Move to the East,” the other dragons suggested.  “The East is filled with caves unclaimed.  The caves are dark and vast, exactly how you like them.”

“But the East is filled with sink holes and flood plains and many other dangers,” the Dark Dwellers protested.

“Haven’t the Unicorns suffered enough?” the other dragons responded.  One by one the Dark Dwellers were pushed from the Northern lands until the Northern lands became the Vale of the North, the land of the Unicorns.

One day, a young Dark Dweller wandered into the Vale.  He did not like the East.  He wanted the Northern lands back.  The young Dark Dweller came across a Unicorn drinking from a stream.  When the dragon approached, the Unicorn knew it had not come for a good purpose.  The dragon lunged at the Unicorn, and a fight ensued.  Their cries were heard throughout the forest.  At the end, the Unicorn lay dead, her horn clutched in the claw of a confused dragon.  The dragon truly had not meant to kill the Unicorn but in a fierce moment he had.”


*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.  

#FlyingUponOneWing #editing #midgradesfiction #dragons


(Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash)

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#WIPpet Wednesday Number 1 Flying Upon One Wing

Hello, November! Spooky stories are over, at least for now, and now it’s time for me to turn my attention to editing and formatting Flying Upon One Wing for publication in 2019. This is the first book I ever wrote, back when I was a wee 12 year old. I remember it well, the red notebook and the pink/purple Lisa Frank pen. This is the only thing I’ve ever written where I instantly knew the title first, no questions asked. It’s never changed, and it never will.

This week I’ve got 18 sentences from the prologue of Flying Upon One Wing for 11/07/2018.

When the universe was young and the world new, dragons emerged from the darkness.  Dragons were first to tread the Earth’s sod; first to marvel in the Earth’s beauty. By the time Man came along, dragons were ancient. Man learned to live with and work alongside dragons. In return, dragons assumed responsibility for protecting Man from the evils of the world, and, for a time, Man and dragon lived together in peace.

     Like all things, though, peace is impermanent. The dragon population grew, as did Man’s.  Man began to complain about food. “Dragons take too much food for themselves.” Man began to complain about water. “Dragons drink all the lakes dry.” Man began to complain about a space to call his own. “Dragons take up too much land. We need more room to build our villages.” Despite their best efforts to coexist, the dragons were banished. They wandered the earth. Eventually the dwarves took pity on them and offered the dragons the haven known as the Pine Forests. It was a thick, wooded area full of caves, and it was far from the world of Man.”

*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.  

#FlyingUponOneWing #editing #midgradesfiction #dragons

(Photo by Evgeni Evgeniev on Unsplash)

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#WIPpet Wednesday Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! This is easily my favorite holiday. This year is a little different. We’re going to Nashville to see Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live! I am very excited. Here are our costumes. Points if you can name these characters and their iconically bad movie.


This week I’ve got 31 sentences from my short story Causing a Scene (tentative title) for 10/31/2018. I shared this story last weekend at Brews & Boos. I really love it and look forward to developing it further.

The end of last week’s snippet is included in maroon.

Sadie walked straight to her. “You playing hooky, little Alice?” The girl didn’t reply, which again, wasn’t odd. “Your whole family playing hooky?” No response. “Your mama out of town or something? She finds out you all laid low, she’ll bust your britches.” Silence. “Why are you in your nightgown? No one at home would dress you?”

Little Alice turned her body ever so slowly, her left hand rising and pointing back behind, back to the Keefhaver house. It was only a block down the street and you could just make out the top of the house sticking above the trees. She pointed straight up to the attic, her eyes never leaving Sadie’s. There was no emotion in those eyes. No shyness, no fear, no sleepiness, nothing. Sadie began to feel uneasy and her throat clenched tight. The part of her lunch she’d eaten felt like a stone in her gut and she wasn’t interested in the rest of her biscuit. She felt cold all over, just like she had when her father had met her here two years ago.

“Oh no,” Sadie whispered. She turned her head to see who else was in the schoolyard, who else was nearby. When she looked back, little Alice was gone. A part of Sadie had known she would be. Without hesitation, Sadie walked straight up to the nearest kid, Clara Brownlow.

“Did you see little Alice just now?”

Clara gave her a funny look. “No. None of the Keefhavers are here today. Must be sick, or dead or somethin’,” she laughed.

Sadie dropped her biscuit and headed for the school gate. “Where are you going?” Clara called after her.

“I have to go. Tell Ms. Smith I’m sick or something.”

“I’ll tell her you’re crazy!” Clara shouted.

That wasn’t the first or last time someone would call Sadie crazy.

They’d called her crazy since the mine accident, since the day her father died. They called her crazy for seeing him that morning in the schoolyard, when he was already dead underground, and they also called her crazy because she knew the truth. The mine collapse was no accident. Her father had caused it on purpose. He’d killed himself. Maybe that’s what he was trying to tell her that morning? Maybe that’s what he’d tried to tell her the night before when he’d come into her bedroom and stood at the foot of her bed? He’d been alive then, sure enough, but he still hadn’t felt right. 


*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.

#storytelling #scarystories #originalwork

(Photo credits, Photo by Aimee Vogelsang on Unsplash) 


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