Category Archives: Interview

Witch’s Moon (A to Z Blog Challenge)


**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

**To read the first part of this story line: Venus Ascending


“Witch’s Moon”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros sat uneasily on the couch. He had come straight from work, filing the information he had gathered in the last few days. Mr. Palmont was recovering from the attack by John Peters; so far, no new sightings of the fugitive were at hand. He informed Rovas that the boy, Gerald, started to relax when he was assured that his father was not going to die. Mrs. Palmont agreed to interviewing the boy when Gerald could.

Across from him sat Berrak Rovas and her niece, Kristina. Tina, he kept having to remind herself, which she did every time he called her by her full name. Gil still felt guilty about holding back the story of her niece, and, more so, the information about the girl herself. Berrak was holding Tina’s hands; Rovas was behind him, leaning against the wall by the window.

“Tina, please, I know this is hard, but the Sargent Detective needs…”

“Gil. I’ve always called him Gil.”

He sighed. “Fine. Gil…please tell him what you told us.” He nodded at Gil, who had his notepad and pen out. Tina took a deep breath in, held it, and let it out slowly.

Tina had been aware of the man who committed the murders. The other girls in the house did keep her away from him. Lily, the madame, told her he liked it rough and, knowing that Tina wasn’t up for any of that, tried to make sure she stayed out of sight. It didn’t always work out, although it should have. He had a set schedule: he always made a reservation for the night of a full moon.

One night, she got bored, and hungry, in the attic while he was there. Thinking he’d be occupied by this point, she snuck downstairs to make tea and a snack. He was sitting in the parlor playing with Elise’s hair, her fingers in his mouth. It looked like he was biting on them.

“The red head was Elise, yes?

Tina nodded and continued. She shivered a bit as she told them of the way this john looked her up and down. He tried to call her over, but Lily interceded by catching his attention. Tina ran upstairs; she got a huge lecture from everyone the next day.

“Did his name ever come up?”

“They called him Vic. That’s all. No last name.”

“I made another mistake one other time: I had to go…y’know. The bathrooms were downstairs, and I couldn’t wait. He saw me that time as I came out of the attic door. I looked, but…they had just come up the stairs as I…” she was getting excited and tried to calm herself down. “Elise rushed him into her room and closed the door. Fast and loud.”

Gil looked at her, then Berrak, who was, at this point, staring at him. Rovas interjected: “Tina, I know this is not easy. I do understand why you did not tell us this before,” keeping to himself “but I wish you had, dammit.”

“What about that night?” Gil prodded.

“Yeah. I was warned he was going to be there, Elise again. His favorite. Lily threatened me to stay out of sight. I was in my room, reading, when Lily came in with a tray of tea. She didn’t want me going downstairs for anything.”

“Gil, yes, the only prints we found were the unknown ones, which we believe came from Tina. It seems Lily liked to play the madame part to the hilt, like in an old time brothel. White gloves and all. We found the garments scattered around, but it wasn’t outright obvious at the time.”

Tina nodded. “Anyways, she left the tea, closed the door, and I poured myself a cup. Next thing I know I was in the back seat of your car with the two of you up front. Didn’t mean to scare  you with my screams, but…”

Gil smiled at that memory. It took awhile to calm her down.

“All right, well. Vic, most likely Victor. I’ll have to go have a look at her records. There were a list of initials, with code for what the repeaters liked; thanks to your deciphering what they meant. I’ll look to see if we can get at least the initial of the last name out of this and take it from there.”

“Gil, if you need any help…”

“Yes, Inspector,” he smiled again. “I think I can manage this. We may have a break in this after all. Tina, I want to get a sketch artist with you, see if you can give us something more we can use.”

She nodded, getting up as Gil did. She was giving him a hug. Rovas moved away from the wall and crossed the window.

A bullet shattered through the window.

Berrak screamed.

“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. As this has progressed, it’s become something more for me. I wasn’t planning to do such a connected story line, but it’s the way it has worded out for me. I hope you’ve been enjoying this, mistakes and all.

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1300 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.


Unbridled Fury (A to Z Blog Challenge)


**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

**The first parts of this story line: Red Canvas, Still Life in Scarlet, and Tea and Soliciting


“Unbridled Fury”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Berrak was in the back seat of the car while Gil drove. Khazarian at first insisted she sit up front, but she refused three times. He had tried to join her in the back, but she wanted the space, as much space three people in a sedan could afford. Rovas sat up front, drumming his fingers on the door rest. She needed to think.

The house offered nothing new to any of them. No clues, which no one expected, but especially no new insight. It was frustrating to her on so many levels. She understood why Zarian kept the secret of her late brother’s child, Kristina the product of an affair Berk had had while still married to Eva. She was mad at Berk and upset with Zarian, with feelings of anguish for a niece she did not know until that day she had.

Gil’s phone rang. Rovas clicked it on and held it up for Gil to hear. “Could you hold on,” Gil’s face whitened, “Sir, put it on speaker.” Rovas did. “OK, please repeat what you said. Inspector Rovas is in the car with me.”

Gil put his foot down on the pedal while Chief Inspector Dole grudgingly, Rovas heard in his voice, said: “John Peters tried to kidnap the Palmont boy again. The boy’s father is on his way to the hospital; Mr. Palmont had picked Gerald up from school. Peters was waiting by the car with a gun. He tried to snatch the boy but Mr. Palmont rushed him. The gun went off in the melee. Gerald broke free and ran to the school as the school guard and other parents were running towards the scene. Peters fled.”

“We’re on our way back,” Rovas told Dole. “How bad is it for the father?”

“Not good, I’m afraid. A lot of blood loss, but one of the parents on the scene was an EMT. She was able to help until the ambulance showed.”

“What school again?” Gil asked. After the Chief Inspector read off the information again Rovas hung up. “Damn,” Gil muttered.

“What, Gil?” Berrak asked, still leaning over the front seat, her arm around her husband.

“The EMT. I’ll bet you it was Jill. Her daughter goes to that school. I knew the Palmont’s moved for protection, but I didn’t know which schools.”

The car flew on the road. Inside, all three were alone in their thoughts.


After checking the scene at the school, Rovas wanted to go to the hospital to talk with Mr. Palmont. Jill was there when they arrived; she was with her daughter, Sara, and Mrs. Palmont and her children. Gil went over to them, getting a hug from Jill and a “mooommmm” from Sara. Rovas and Berrak briefly spoke with Mr. Palmont, then checked in with Janice and April. Gerald was curled up in a knot and pressed against his mother. She shook her head: it was not the time for questioning.

Gil said he would follow as Rovas and Berrak went to find Mr. Palmont. Berrak stopped outside of the room, holding onto her husband’s arm.

“When this is done, I want you to promise me something.”

He nodded.

“I want to meet Kristina.”

“Berrak, I don’t think…”

“That is the problem: in this instance, you weren’t thinking. I want…no, I will meet with Kristina.”

Rovas looked at her, arguing within himself. Looking in her eyes, he could only nod.

They went into the room hand in hand.
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. As this has progressed, it’s become something more for me. I wasn’t planning to do such a connected story line, but it’s the way it has worded out for me. I hope you’ve been enjoying this, mistakes and all.

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1600 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Conversation Inquisitive (A to Z Blog Challenge)



“Conversation Inquisitive”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

The waiter dropped off their drinks, took their lunch orders, and left the table.

Rovas watched him walk off before turning to his lunch mate, Sargent Detective  Gil Katsaros. “Again, thank you for joining me.” He sipped his coffee. Bitter. “They over-roasted the beans. Again. I think I will join you in sharing this bottle of wine.” He pushed his cup aside, wishing Berrak, his wife, could teach these people how to make a proper cup of coffee. He poured himself half a glass of the red.

“Salute!” Katsaros offered. They clinked their glasses and sipped the wine. “It is a pleasure, Inspector. Far better to meet here than in the squad room. Too much death, too many egos.” He paused, looking at his former commander. “If you don’t mind my asking, what is troubling you? I’ve seen that look on your face before.”

Rovas studied the glass in his hands. Katsaros waited, this process well familiar to him. “It’s the “Old Lace” murders. It is still bothering me.”

“It’s solved, Inspector.”

“Yes, Gil. It’s solved.” Katsaros was taken slightly aback. Rovas rarely called him by his first name.

“The problem is not that we have the murderer in hand, case closed. Fait accompli.” Rovas shook his head.  “It was how it was accomplished. I don’t believe in coincidences, as you well know, yet…here we are. With all that I put into this case twelve years and ago, and then last month, and in the end the damning evidence that solidified the closure was…given to us, by chance. If Micheal Avgoustidis had left his flooring alone, or done the work as the previous owners had set out to do, we would never have had Maria’s diary. Her killer would still be walking around, free.”


“Khazarian, please. I am no longer an inspector, nor your chief,

“Sir, I…” Katsaros stopped, noticing the moue on the face across the table. “Khazarian, then. You know more so than I that luck, a perpetrators mistake, sometimes these things and more plays as important a part in solving a case as the amount of investigating we do.”

Rovas nodded. 

“Is there something else that is troubling you? This should be a celebratory lunch.”

Before he could answer, the waiter returned with their food: Salade Niçoise for him, liver and onions for Katsaros. “You’ll die of clogged arteries, the liver swimming in butter like that,” he said, pointing with his knife. 

“Better that then a bullet or a slit throat, I always say. Better to die from pleasure, no?” A large smile appeared after a good sized chunk of his lunch was consumed.

“So you’ve always said” Smiling in turn, Rovas stared at his salad.

“Inspec…Khazarian. Eat. Why is this bothering you so?”

How could Rovas put into words his feelings of inadequacy in the way the case was tied up? He fought the idea of retirement, but at the back of it all, were his better days behind him? Did he retire not just for Berrak’s sake, but deep down he felt that he was not at his best any longer? The fear that his usefulness was truly at an end?

Gil put his fork and knife down, his attention solely on the Inspector. The Inspector. No matter what he wanted to be called, that is what he was.

“Sir, you have solved more cases, been integral to putting away so many monsters. You have given closure to so many families of victims. The others,  and I,  were proud of serving with you. Are proud. We are still proud of that, and nothing can take that away.” He waved the approaching waiter away. “You deserve this time to spend with your wife, deserve the time to finally relax. So much has happened over the years. You need it. She needs it.”

“You know me that well, eh?” Pausing, Rovas made a decision.  “What if I told you that my working on this case was not a fluke? That I have this need to examine some of my cold cases, that I hope to put them to rest? That I feel I must do this?

And..yes, yes. You are right. Things do fall into our laps, at times, or scurry out of the way just as we need them most. I just have always been more satisfied knowing I had more than a passing hand in it all. I hope to do so while I am still here.”

Picking up his knife and fork, the Sargent Detective smiled and answered: “It will be a pleasure “working” with you again. Sir.”


“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy what I’ve got planned.

Yesterday, Memories (non-fiction)


In Memory

My mother passed away on October 14th, 2012. One major reason I haven’t been writing, or that my meager attempts have been sombre. My father died on October 15th, 1999, which has still sent shivers through me, that they parted this earth one calendar day apart (although thirteen years passed).

It’s Halloween, a holiday she did enjoy, seeing all the children in their costumes, playing like she was afraid of the “scary” ones, cooing over the very cute tots and babies coming out for their first Trick or Treating, and giving out bags of candy (each bag had to be the same, piece by piece, number by number, so she felt no child felt cheated).  It’s been one of my favorite holidays as well…not so much this year.

She was “known” in our family as the “family historian,” being able to recall all the family stories, connections, etc. This she did orally, rarely writing anything down. Which is a shame: those stories now only reside in the memories of those who listened, and if we don’t write them down, they’ll be gone.

I did find her beginning attempts to write some of the history down, colored through her lens. I’m posting it here where I normally write my own fiction. Not sure when/if I’ll really come back to this blog with any real attention. I hope you enjoy her early memories.

Yesterday, Memories…by

Edith A. Nager: 1926-2012

(1)          My mother and father met and married in Odessa, Russia. Papa had served in the Russian Army for five years and then was discharged. I have a picture of him in his uniform. He was quite dashing. He came to America first and then sent for my mother. This was before the First World War

(2)          The day I was born my father declared it a holiday. He kept my three oldest brothers home from school. The other two were too young for school. There were five boys and now me. The truant officer came to the house and asked why they were home, and Papa said: “After five boys, a girl was born!” That fine gentleman stayed and helped Papa celebrate.

                Mama said, and I quote her: “This is it! If it’s another boy, no more!” Papa ran through the building knocking on doors to tell them the good news. He finally had a daughter.


(3)          Saturdays, my mother did not cook. Papa said it was Mama’s time off. He went to the kosher deli and bought Pastrami, Corned Beef, Specials (knockwursts), Salami, Knobelwurst (very garlicky salami), and rye bread. The mustard came in paper cones. Oh my, how delicious it all was. Mama made the potato salad.

                Saturday evening after sundown was the time to turn on the radio and listen to station WEVD. It was Jewish music and singing. It was OK, but Sunday morning was better. Same station, but it was all about “Troubles of People” and “The Bintel Brief,” as well as more music and singing.

                The “Troubles of People” were some of the saddest tales you could hear. Husbands came to the Promised Land first and became Americanized. They met other women, forgetting about the wives and children back home. Sometimes it was a three hankie story.


(4)          Sunday brunch was out of this world. Bagels, bialys, pumpernickel bread, sweet butter, cream cheese, Muenster & farmer cheese; Belly lox, a large smoked white fish, and pickled herring in cream sauce with onions. Of course, a large salad: lettuce, tomato, cucumber, radishes and green pepper. We ate and talked. Everyone showed up for this feast. My brothers: Lou, Phil, Ezra, Sam, Bernie and me…and of course, Mama and Papa.


(5)          My brother Bernie gave me a lot of grief. He was the youngest of the boys. He used to tell me I smelled like a flower: it was called a stink weed. One day, he came home from school and went to the medicine cabinet. He took out a box of Feenamint. He got a box of Chicklet’s Gum and replaced it with the laxative. Some of the boys in school were giving him a hard time, so he got even. They never bothered him again. We gave him a new name: we called him “Dr. Fleckel.”


(6)          Walking with a group of girls and boys along the Gran Concourse to Fordham Road you could window shop. The stores stayed open till 9:00 p.m. We went to Rushmyers on University Avenue for Ice Cream in the summer and hot chocolate in the winter. We’d also go to 161st Street to Addie Valin’s and the Roxey Deli.

                Trolley cars in the summer, the sides were heavy metal mesh so you would feel cool. It cost five cents each way and some of us would take a ride in the evening. We went all the way to Throgs Neck and back. This was before A.C.

One Lovely Blog Award…Yes, It Is Too


It was the 2012 Memorial Day Weekend, and I get a pleasant surprise: I have been honored TWICE with the One Lovely Blog Award, as passed on to me by Allan Douglas of Simple Life Prattle and The Write Stuff (and fellow Triberr buddy).

How could he bestow this upon me twice? One is for here,Tale Spinning, the other is for my Non-Fiction blog, BornStoryteller.

The “rules” are simple:

  1. Thank the person who awarded the award (Thank you Allan) and link back to their blogs: Click HERE and HERE
  2. Tell SEVEN things about yourself that no one knows (but two blogs… 14.. but…14? TMI)
  3. Pass on the award to (15) blogs you follow and like/admire/wish they were yours.
    1. I’ll do as many as I can.


Seven Things :

  1. I’ve lived on the East Coast of the USA all my life, but have visited more than half of the states now.
  2. I read SciFi, Fantasy, Thrillers, Mysteries, and then the occasional other book. Existentialism, anyone?
  3. I wish the lyrics to John Lennon’s song Imagine were achievable.
  4. People find me unfocused in my field of interest (the arts); I find myself versatile.
  5. I believe in ghosts, but not vampires and werewolves. Especially not shimmery vampires.
  6. I like both cats and dogs; I do NOT like fish, as pets or otherwise.
  7. I have never gone to a demolition derby or a monster truck thingy; I’d like to, at least once.

In no particular order, blogs I pass this along to, and you should give them a look/leave a comment (tell ’em I said Hi):

Woman Wielding Words

The Eagle’s Aerial Perspective

Ghost Cities

My Rivendell


The View Outside

David Powers King

Cherie Reich-Author

No Wasted Ink

Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World

Daily (W)Rite

Raising Amelie

Sonia Rumzi

A French Yummy Mummy in London

Rock the Kasbah

The Grant of Malice (Evil Genius Blogfest)


The Grant of Malice

Mr. Donald Furrows, Human Resources Assistant Manager, shifted in his plush leather chair, shuffled the papers in his hand a bit, put them down on the mahogany desk, and put his right index finger into his tight white shirt collar, pulling slightly, then pulling it out. He glanced up, then down, cleared his throat three times, turned two pages over, pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, folded his hands, fingers intertwined.

cough “So, Ms. Swathorn…you’re applying for the…the…”

“Evil Genius Grant. Yes, I am.” Cynthia Swathorn crossed her legs. She noticed Furrows look at them: she had worn her favorite short black dress and back seamed stockings, knowing the effect her long legs had on most men, and a number of women.

He looked up, and then she continued. “Only men keep getting the grant and title. It’s discriminatory. You hear about Lex, Dr. Moreau, The Brain, Rick, Boris…on and on, but…Mr. Furrows, I am a genius. And I am most definitely evil.”

She leaned towards the desk. The low cut top of her dress caused Mr. Furrows another uncomfortable moment of leering. The feeling was extended much further when he raised his eyes slowly and saw the malevolent smile on her face, and the glint in her eyes.

cough “Feminine wiles do not an Evil Genius make, Ms. Swathorn.”

“Cyn. Call me Cyn. I like the cheesiness of it, and it does evoke so much. Wouldn’t you agree, Mr. Furrows?” She sat back in her chair and recrossed her legs.  “Another cookie? I had time to kill this morning, so I baked. A little bribery?” She coughed a small laugh.

“No thank you, Ms. Swathorn…Cyn,” he quickly amended. “I have looked over your grant proposal, your Villainous Vitae is extremely impressive-excellent schools, each and every one. Recommendations from many of our past recipients…but, it’s just never been done, Ms. Swathorn. Discriminatory, maybe, but we’ve had problems in the past. No one seems to take a female evil genius seriously.”

“Notice the red hair?”

He nodded.

“Serious. Deadly serious. I was blond. No one takes blonds seriously. I know you noticed my figure. All deceptive maneuvers. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? I do…I certainly do. I also know that you’re protected from actual physical threats, and I was thoroughly searched before I entered this room. I gave the two guards a cookie each for a job well done.

“What you don’t know is that my grant proposal, while really well thought out, was just a lark. I knew it was good enough to get me in here. I’m that smart. It’s just a bit…much. Tunneling systems; fault lines; untold death and destruction: the good ol’ North America split into two…easy-peasy.

“So, the cookies?” Cyn leaned in close to the desk, resting her elbows on the glossy wooden top and cupping her chin in her hands. “You’ve heard the adage that ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?’ Well, it’s also a great way to introduce something special.”

Furrows’ eyes bulged.

“No, no poison…that would be old hat, and unworthy of the grant monies. You’ve probably noticed your stomach doing little gurgling noises, yes?”

He nodded.

“I call it Gorp. Sounds like Gorp, so…” she smiled. “Here’s the deal: Gorp plays havoc with your body, once it ruins your digestive track. The bathroom will be your buddy. Then, if not appeased, Gorp goes bonkers. Aches and pains like you can believe. Right now it’s tummy time.”

“We’ll find an antidote. We have the best evil minds at our call.” Gorp.

“Well, yeah…you do, but…they all got a package of cookies yesterday. Special trial offer, ‘CynFully Good Bakes’. I would say most, if not all, the top evil doers (and some of the “good guys”)  are ensconced on their porcelain goddess right now.

Now, here’s the thing: I put in a genetic ‘blender’ that keeps Gorp morphing, changing as it goes along. No set pattern after the first bout, no repeat loops, nothing lasting long enough to devise a fix. The subjects I tried it on: five days, six days max. Then…bye bye. Sign the grant paper, Mr. Furrows. Sign it.


Cyn leaned back, adjusting her dress, top and bottom, and recrossed her legs.

Gorp “…and if I do…you have a fix for this?” Gorp

She nodded. He signed both copies and stamped them with the official seal.

Dropping a small red tablet onto the desk (having retrieved it from the hem of her dress, one place the guards were not very through with checking), Cyn got up, took her copy, and smiled as she folded it up and put it in her suitcase.

“Oh, Mr. Furrows,” she said, as she had reached and opened his office door, turning back towards him: “You’ll need a new pill in five days. Sorry, but the antidote doesn’t seem to last very long. Gorp likes to hang around. If you’d like another one, and ones after that, you might want to consider putting me up for the Lifetime Achievement Award. All that money coming in, year after year…and a plaque too. I’ve always wanted a commemorative plaque. Hear from you soon?”

She blew him a kiss.  Laughing a very righteous sinister laugh (the guards and Furrows thought to themselves), Cyn walked out with deadly precision.



Author’s Notes:

The Evil Genius Blogfest is the brainchild of a young lady who only goes by the handle The Golden Eagle. Her blog, The Eagle’s Aerial Perspective is celebrating it’s Two Year Anniversary today (February 27, 2012). Quite an accomplishment, and a blog well worth connecting to. There are others who are participating in this very fun blogfest: click HERE to visit the linky list of other Evil Genius stories.

Happy Anniversary, GE!


OH…if you’ve gotten this far down, I’ll also be involved in The AtoZ Blogfest that runs every April. Last year was my first foray and it also really set me on the road that Tale Spinning has led me. They are looking to get 1,000 people to sign up; I was in the 1100’s last year. It was an amazing month, and I got to “meet” some great writers.

I also met my (now) sweetie, the woman I adore and love,  through it, and I couldn’t be happier.

Give it a shot. If you have a writer hiding deep down inside you, this will help set it free. Sign up by clicking HERE

Sonnet: Where Shall We Go? (plus: #REN3 side contest winner)


Where Shall We Go?

Where shall we go, my friend, on open sea?

Taking a journey,  together alone,

Looking forward to what we could so be

Seeing how far, how soon,  we match in tone.

No one to rush us headfirst into storm

We move as we need to; no right; no wrong.

Comfortable, we, no need to perform

Expectations tossed; our closeness is strong.

But, clouds will darken, oh yes, sad  but true,

Trying to unravel the good cares sown

Escalating fears, making old seem new

Setting us off course, untrue…ill winds blown.

O, stay the long path alongside of me.

O, take what is offered, no strings, deeply.



I asked for suggestions, created a poll, people voted on what those suggestions…and…we have a winnah!

The Compass w/Hidden Weapon, as suggested by Richard Hughes of Writing and Living blog got the nods in the poll voting.

And..since this is my gig, and I can kinda do what I want…the runner up in #’s with six votes (to Richard’s eight) will be the hidden weapon: Sonja of Chapter by Chapter gets a nod for suggesting a Small Glass Knife!

For those not in the know, and for those known who do know, and all those in-between, I offered a contest to my readers and (especially) the amazing writers of The Rule of Three blogfest. As a co-host, (Damyanti Biswas, Lisa Vooght and JC Martin my partners in crime) of this blogfest, I have a wee bit of leeway to do a few things extra. So…I ran a side contest due to an opening I had in the last part of my serialized story: Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show.

I had an item given to one character from another, “something cold and hard.” Nothing specific, not a good writing (or improv) thing to do.

Thank you Richard & Sonja,  and all others who submitted (and for those who voted).  I will now attempt  to finish my story using this item to help Gid…or, not. Yes, I have not written the story yet. Haven’t even thought about it. Really.

Richard & Sonja  will get a nod, somehow, in the story, will appear in the afterword, AND…I will be doing an email interview with Richard that will appear on my other blog, BornStoryteller.

Prompts and Circumstance: Final #REN3 Prompts


First…it is the Final  Countdown…

And Now…The Week Four Prompts

Remember: you must use at least one of these prompts.

  1. The misfortune is resolved/accepted.
  2. Relationships mend/ are torn asunder.
  3. The final event becomes another secret for generations to come.
  4. There is a new arrival in town.

Don’t forget: At the TOP of your post, please include the following:

  • Links to all three previous stories
  • The prompt(s) you are using for this last section
  • Word Count

What Comes Next:

  • In November, Damyanti, Lisa, JC and I will be going over the stories, choosing our favorites, sending them back and forth, and choosing our shortlist entries. We have a number of prizes, but they are limited. We have a LOT of great stories, and this is going to be tough. Really, really tough.
    • (Now is the time for Bribing the Judges!! 😉  )
  • The poll of the shortlisted entries will go up on the 2nd of November (Wednesday). On this date,  we request all participants to sign up on this new linky list  for a  Postmortem/analysis/reflective feedback post.
  • You will then be able to also vote on your favorite of the shortlisted stories. 
    • The voting will close on Wednesday,  9th of November.
    • Winners will be declared on Friday, November 11th.
  • We also have a few other surprises to announce…well, one really big one, which we’ve kept under wraps, and another that has been hinted at. So… stay tuned and look for an email or two before it’s announced  on our four blogs.
      • (Hope that has gotten our writers excited. I SO want to tell you, but I’d have to kill ME if I did that).

Contest News:

CONTEST: What did Mississippi Lil give to Gid at the end of  Chapter Three of my story (click here)?

Hi Folks: I’m actually very serious here. You can thank Golden Eagle for this idea: she innocently stated, in the comments section of This Weeks Posting, that she was wondering what was the  ” something cold and hard” Mississippi Lil gave Gid, to “use it well”.

So…what was it?

Be inventive, staying within the confines of what I’ve been setting up here,  be  descriptive. in something “normal” in what you think she passed to him. Or be descriptive inventive.  ;)  Just be specific. I don’t need a storyline, just that “thing.”

Post those thoughts in the comments section by 5:00 pm (EST), Sunday October 23rd.

On Sunday night, I will post a poll for  you to vote on. The poll will only be open for  24 hours (from when I post the poll-time tbd): it will close on Monday evening October 24th.  The item that gets the most votes will be it. It could change the story, and that would be fun for me to work around. Yes, I have NOT written Part Four yet. Haven’t even started word one on it. I’ll start the story after the poll closes.

What will you get? Mentions here, links to your website, fame and glory, and I’ll do one of my Writers Interviews with you, that I post on BornStoryteller (my other blog). How is that? Best as I can do. Hope you’ll join in.


Rule of Three Writing Blog Challenge: First Prompts & Amendment


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Grab this code for the badge created by the wonderful Portia Burton, Concept by the equally wonderful Lisa Vooght

Amendment to the Posting Guidelines

Due to popular demand, we have opened the posting window to a 48 hour slot:

Wednesday to Thursday. Please  post on those days only. Thank you.

The Prompts:

You have 34 days from now (9/1/2011)  to dream up the first part of the story which should be based on one or more of the following prompts:

  • There is an argument
  • There is fear of an impending misfortune
  • There is a humorous circumstance
  • Someone might fall in love

The Challenge

Each week’s installment would be based on a prompt we give the week before.

Each week you will post a story focusing on one of your three main characters through: their Point of View; their story as seen by another or told by another;  however you see fit. How they interact is up to you, the writer.

The fourth week will be the culminating story.  What will be the outcome of their actions…or inaction?

Word count 500600. Please do not exceed the limit.

The Storyline: The Town of Renaissance

Renaissance is an outpost town in the middle of nowhere, but many routes pass through or beside it. The desert is encroaching on one side (to the West), a once-lush forest lies to the East and South. A large river runs through the forest, but it is not close to the town. Mountains are to the North, far, far away, and when you look towards them you don’t know if they are an illusion or real. Closer by are the smaller hill chains that fed the mining, creating caverns and passages underground.
The town has had a number of identities throughout its history: A trading post; a mining town; a ghost town until it was rediscovered; a thriving community; the scene of a number of great battles; the scene of one great tragedy (that led to its Ghost Town standing); a town of great joys and celebrations, and so much more.
At this point in time, there is a general population of 333. A mixture of a community. It boasts families that have lived there for generations upon generations, but they are in the minority, and are not in positions of power. There are traders who have come back here, at the end of their many travails, to settle in. The new families and power-players have taken this as a last refuge for themselves, hoping to rebuild lives torn apart on the way here.
Everyone has a secret.
Welcome to Renaissance. Enjoy your stay.

For the full rules, click here

Help spread the word by tweeting this blogfest at #REN3 on twitter, or share on Facebook or Google + with your writer friends.

Your Co-Hosts for the Rule of Three Writing Challenge:

Three absolutely wonderful writers. Please check out their blogs by clicking on their names:

Damyanti Biswas

Lisa Vooght

JC Martin

The Interview Series

JC Martin,      Lisa Vooght,      Damyanti Biswas
Interview with our illustrator, Portia Burton

In Case You Missed It-Our Teaser Trailer:

Interview With the Writer: Damyanti Biswas of Daily (W)rite


In April 2011, most of you who have been reading BornStoryteller and Tale Spinning know I was involved in two blogfest challenges. That is what got the writing bug back into me big time. It also introduced me to some amazing people and some amazing writers (the two are not exclusive).

Damyanti Biswas of Daily (W)rite is one of those who is both of the above, and more. Not only have we gotten to know each other through our writing, but we have exchanged many comments, emails, REAL LIVE LETTER WRITING LETTERS, Skype conversation, and now…drum roll, please…we have joined (with Li of Flash Fiction and JC of Fighter Writer) to produce our own blog fest: The Rule of Three Fiction Writers Blog Fest, rules and such will go up by Wednesday August 31st, 2011. YES>>>Tomorrow!! Check out a little bit of a tease after the interview.

Interview 3 of the Rule of Three Co-Hosts

Can you tell us a little bit about Damyanti the Writer?

First off, Stuart, I’d like to thank you for this awesome opportunity to answer questions on your blog!

To answer your question: before I started writing, there was too much of Damyanti. Now, every once in a while, Damyanti disappears, and there is just the Writer. My aspiration now is to make Damyanti disappear as much as possible, and let only the Writer remain.

How would you describe your writing style? Are you a blogger who writes, or a writer who blogs? Is there a difference?

I don’t know if I have a defined writing style. I try to experiment with my writing as much as possible–if I reduce it to a recipe or a method, it won’t remain exciting for me. I became a blogger before I was a ‘writer’. But slowly, as I began to struggle through my writing, I realized that my blogs had become about writing. Today, I’m essentially a writer who blogs. Of course, there’s a difference…writers who blog tend to focus a lot more on writing and reading, and their writing voice shines through in their blogs.

What writer(s) have inspired you, and why?

Too many to name. I’ve talked about this in detail recently in this post, and wouldn’t clog up your post with it. I’ve read almost all my life, and my writer-heroes have changed with the seasons. I’m a voracious reader, and there are few genres that I avoid— I love and feel inspired by different writers for different reasons.

You just self-published your own ebook. Can you tell us about it?

My debut ebook is called A to Z stories of Life and Death. It was born during the A to Z challenge created by Arlee Bird and supported by a few other awesome writer-bloggers. I wrote 26 short shorts in the 26 days of April 2011, and on the suggestion of a few of the regular readers, I decided to edit those into a book. The book is also available via Smashwords.

To tell you more of what the book is about, here’s the blurb:

How do you judge a teacher toying with the sexuality of her teenaged student? A boy who decides to murder his mother? What thoughts rage inside a pedophile serial killer before he shoots himself? These are some of the premises of 26 stories of life and death, based on the 26 letters of the alphabet. They question the concepts of beauty, truth, and morality, by revealing the face of the other side.

Why self publish?

I think there is a big difference between self-publishing today and ten years back. Earlier, writers used to self-publish because they could not make it past the gatekeepers of traditional publishing. Today, a lot of traditionally published and successful writers are also going the (electronic) self-publishing route. The publishing world is in state of flux, and writers need to keep up with the technology that is bringing about this change. I published the e-book as an experiment, to teach myself the steps involved in getting a book out there on Kindle and Smashwords, and I have to say I have learned a lot. I’ll continue to seek both traditional and electronic publishing.

What other work have you had published that you are most proud of?

My stories have been published in various print publications by Monsoon Press, Marshall Cavendish and MPH. I think I was proud of each work as I sent it off, and I still love them, in a way. I know I can write better stories today than an year ago, but I imagine that is not a bad thing.

I know you like Blogfests. Can you tell us what excites you about them? What was your favorite one?

Blogfests encourage a tremendous sense of community, and I love that. The ones I like best are those that involve a writing challenge: the harder, the better. I have had a lot of favorite blogfests down the years, most of them involving the writing of short fiction, and it is hard to mention just one. Of course, I’ll take this opportunity to plug our month-long fiction blogfest, The Rule of Three: all information available on  Wednesday August 31st.    I’ll urge readers to head over to one of our blogs for the guidelines and sign-up! (links will be edited in/provided for all four blog pages as of Wednesday; until then, use the links above to go to individual blogs…Stu)

Now that you’ve published your A to Z book, what is your next “big” project?

I’m working on a novel, and a collection of short stories. I’m looking towards getting them traditionally published. I’m also planning another A to Z collection to publish as an e-book, and am writing several stories that will be published as e-books as well.

If you could have a summit with world leaders, and they HAD to answer your questions, what two or three questions would you want answered most?

I don’t know that there is any use asking our world leaders any questions, because they would only answer in platitudes. But some of the questions would be:

What are you doing today for our environment, so we can pass on a better world to our children?

Can you take the some of the same pay- cuts and suffer the same hardships that you expect your country-people to suffer?

Is there anything else you’d like us to know, or a question/challenge you’d like to give our readers?

Like any writer who has recently published a book of fiction, I’m dying to know what readers think of A to Z Stories of Life and Death…so if the blurb makes them head over to the book and they read it, I would like to ask what they think is good about it, and also point out the parts they think could be better.

Damyanti Asks Three questions for the readers:

  1. What makes you pick up a book?
  2. Do you only buy books from one genre?
  3. What would persuade you to spend your money on a book that does not belong to your favorite genre?



About Damyanti:

Damyanti lives more in her head than in this world, adores her husband, and loves her pet fish and plants. She is an established writer for magazines and journals. Her short fiction has been published in the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Muse India and in print anthologies by Marshall Cavendish, Monsoon Books, and MPH publications. You can find her at

Connect with her online:

Twitter: damyantig

My Blog:

Email: atozstories at gmail dot com

And, here is that teaser hint I promised you above. Enjoy!