Category Archives: Interview

KingCon: Haverstraw Library’s annual comic convention! Saturday, August 3

Standard

546856858456

I have been honored to be a panelist at a

Modern Speculative Writing Program!!!

Speculative Fiction is a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements. It includes Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Magic Realism, and so much more. Speculative fiction writing takes the imagination as far as it can go, and then some.

Located in beautiful Rockland County (less than an hour northwest of NYC), the Haverstraw King’s Daughter’s Public Library is holding their annual comic convention, KingCon. Yes, the pun fits.

Taylor Voght, author and MFA at Manhattanville College, will be our moderator as we delve into what makes Speculative Writing so attractive, contemplate the nature of sequential narration, and share what inspires us to write as we do.  Sitting beside me will be noted authors and editors Michelle Levy and Gerrit Overeem.

This is Haverstraw’s SDCC and NYCC, just without the mile-long lines!!

I hope you can make it. If so, stop by after the panel and say ‘Hi!’

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2019: KingCon!!

Haverstraw King’s Daughters Public Library
10 W. Ramapo Road
Garnerville, NY 10923

Modern Speculative Writing

1 pm – 1:30 pm, Community Room
For all ages. Speculative fiction requires using your imagination to create entirely new worlds, and it has never been more popular! In this panel, learn from science fiction and fantasy authors Taylor Vogt, Stuart Nager, Michelle Levy, and Gerrit Overeem on how to write your own speculative fiction novel. All attendees will leave with the tools to write their own story!

KingCon2019EventsFlyer

Ponderings: Sunday Stealing Questions

Standard

images

PONDERINGS

Quote from Host Bev Sykes of sundaystealing.blogspot.com and the blog “Funny the World”.

Welcome to Sunday Stealing.
This feature originated and published on WTIT: The Blog. Here we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. (Past hosts include: Our first – Judd Corizan, Mr. L, Kwizgiver and Bud) Cheers to all of us thieves!
This week’s questions were originally from: Thought Provoking Questions

1. Do you own your things or do your things own you?

I’d have to say both. There are a lot that’s “When in doubt, throw it out!” and (too many) that are “Mine! Mine! Mine!”

2. Would you rather lose all of your old memories or never be able to make new ones?

Hard one. I live too much in the past, and the negatives surface way too often. New ones: that’s a fear, already, as I get older.

3. How do you deal with someone in a position of power who wants you to fail?

Happened to me way too often; it’s why I prefer working for myself, but I can be a real PITA to myself as well. In the past, keep going on until I can find a way out (job; etc)

4. What do you have that you cannot live without?

Friends and family.

5. When you close your eyes what do you see?

Whatever is running through my mind at the time. Vivid thinker.

6. What sustains you on a daily basis?

Hope. Wavers way too often.

7. What are your top five personal values?

  1. Living with a positive moral value system
  2. Empathy
  3. Openness in communication, thoughts, experiences
  4. Humor
  5. Being creative

8. Why must you love someone enough to let them go?

It’s a hard thing for me: see above-living in the past. If they really need to leave, I hope it’s to their betterment, in whatever way they wanted.

9. Do you ever celebrate the green lights?

Big time. Biggest thrill is hitting a long patch of green lights while driving. Try 2nd Ave (Manhattan) in the middle of the night. I’ve made it from 91st street down to 12th without a red light.

10. What personal prisons have you built out of fears?

Having to push myself to leave the house.

11. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?

Get my work published.

12. Why are you, you?

Heart and mind. I do not think linearly, mainly non-conformist, question authority, am a bit rebellious, and I embrace my inner child and my inner darkness. Pretty sure it all comes from seeing others and going “that’s not how I want to live.”

13. If you haven’t achieved it yet what do you have to lose?

I assume this goes with #11. Procrastination gets in the way; fear of never achieving it. I see the problem there.

14. What three words would you use to describe the last three months of your life?

Hectic. Painful. Lonely.

15. Is it ever right to do the wrong thing?  Is it ever wrong to do the right thing?

Both depend on who/what sets the judgment of “wrong thing/right thing.” One example: people were fined (arrested?) for cleaning national parks during the “shut down.” I think that’s a no brainer: clean up the garbage.

16. How would you describe ‘freedom’ in your own words?

Nothing left to lose. Yeah, I know.

17. What is the most important thing you could do right now in your personal life?

A mutual love, caring, sharing, enjoyable, and respectful (of each other) relationship. Oh, wrong answer. Right now, stop procrastinating. 

18. If you could ask one person, alive or dead, only one question, who would you ask and what would you ask?

My dad. “What drove you to survive through the things you experienced?”

19. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

The process of sharing fun learning experiences without needing an end product.

***************************************************************

 

Real Neat Blog Award: Peachy Keeno

Standard

real_neat_blogger_award

So, second time in two weeks, I have a blogging award. Never heard of this one before, but it was created by Dear Kitty: Some Blog in 2014.

I was nominated by someone new (to me) who I discovered, again, through the 2018 AtoZ Blog Challenge. The blogger behind A Creative PTSD Gal is busy busy busy. She writes from the heart, and it has been a pleasure to discover her. Two blogs, a whole big family, life…and she does it. Not everyone can. Since she writes a bit more personal items, I don’t think it’s in my wheelhouse to go deeper into her reasons. Check out the above link and I think you’ll be pleased you did. Thank you for the nomination. I hope I can remain neato keeno.

Here come the rules:

The Rules:

  1. Display the award logo: DONE
  2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog: DONE
  3. Answer the questions of the one who nominated you: See Below
  4. Nominate 5-10 bloggers: See Below Below
  5. Ask them 7 questions: See Below Below Below

PTSD Gal’s Questions for MOI:

  1. What is the most difficult part of your artistic practice? I try not to write during the day because of interruptions (phone calls, mail, meals, life). I usually like starting about 11:00 pm EST.
  2. What has been the most difficult thing to date that you have written about? My one man play based on my father. He was a survivor of Auschwitz.
  3. Do you limit yourself to edits? Not sure how to answer this one. I hate editing, but I know it has to be done. I’ve gotten better as I’ve aged, like a fine cheese.
  4. Snack or no snack when writing? Beverages always; snacks only when my taste buds cry.
  5. What or who encourages you to keep posting to your blog? Right now, I push myself. It keeps me from negative things.
  6. What did you want to grow up to be when you were little? A scientist &/or a comic book writer.
  7. Do you have a writing buddy? (Dog, cat, fish, snake etc…) Nope. I’ve got dust. Does dust count?

Bloggers I nominate are:

Seven Real Neat Questions:

  1. What car would you own if money is no question?
  2. What author would you like to sit down with and pick their brains?
  3. What is your favorite story about Winter?
  4. If you had to “Kill Your Baby” (talk to Stephan King) in a book/story you’ve written, who are you most sorry you had to do in? If you haven’t, who should get the axe?
  5. What book have you read more than once?
  6. One of these is real: Magic (Paranormal) or UFO’s. Which one, and why?
  7. What is YOUR favoriteist blog posting from your blog(s)? Please copy and paste your link here

Witch’s Moon (A to Z Blog Challenge)

Standard

**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

“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)

Standard

**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

Unbrideled

“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)

Standard

conversation

“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.”

“Inspector..”

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

“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)

Standard

In Memory
1926-2012

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

Standard

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.

So…

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

ZenCherry

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)

Standard

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.

Now.”

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.

Gorp

****************************************************************

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!

Bwwaahhahaaaaaaaa…ahem.

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)

Standard

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.

**********************************************************************************

…AND THE WINNER IS…

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.