FFfAW: A New Alliance, Flash Fiction

FFfAWLouiseStoryTellersAbode

Photo credit:  Louise at Storyteller’s Abode

She walked over and Henry bristled.  “I’m here to be alone,” he said, curtly.

“Oh, I’ll just have a seat.  You won’t bite.  I can tell. Your body language says it all.”  She set down her huge bag and sat, carefully holding her dress down.  “You’re definitely overdressed.”

“So are you,” Henry said, realizing he’d been sized up.  He moved his equally stuffed bag to the other side.

“How long since you cut yourself loose of your chains?” She asked.

“A year,” Henry replied, smiling.  He thought he’d figured her out.  “How about you?  A pretty young woman, walking the beach, overstuffed bag.  Do you sleep here?”

“Do I look crumpled and wrinkly? Of course not.  This is how I pass the days.  Two years.”

“Sorry, no offense.”

“Okay.  Are you free for lunch?”  She replied.

“Why not?”

Two years and twenty beaches later, Henry was still wandering the shores with Kaitlynn.

 

**This Flash Fiction challenge is hosted by Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/fffaw-challenge-week-of-may-23-2017/

How it works:  A prompt photo will be provided each Tuesday to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.   Linking for this challenge begins on Tuesday and runs to the following Monday evening.   Please credit photo to photographer.  The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try and stay within this limit.

Please check out other stories inspired by this prompt.  I hope you like what I cooked up.  No two are ever alike!

An Author Discovered: Eva Pasco

An Enlightening Quiche

Allow me to introduce Eva Pasco, a fellow author that I have met in Goodreads and Facebook forums.  Eva’s book, published for just a year now, has been making waves, and I admire her marketing strategies.  She is also a tireless supporter of other indie authors.  Read more about Eva below!

Today’s guest—Acclaimed Contemporary Women’s Fiction author, Eva Pasco

A Jill-of-all-Trades in the progression of life—a factory fatale gluing eyes on pairs of lion slippers at Capitol Heel Lining, collating booklets at Sidney-Higgins Bookbinding, getting downright dirty while screwing at H & H Screw Products, and teaching in the third-grade classroom trenches—Eva Pasco turned a corner after retirement.

AuthorEva P.

Reviving a dormant flair for writing, she braved the arduous journey along the Indie author’s untrammeled path, a route chosen to bypass literary agents and take full control of the publication process from cover to copy through the genre of Contemporary Women’s Fiction.

 

Her recently published novel, ‘An Enlightening Quiche,’ has received much acclaim:

 

Midwest 5-Star Review

2017 ATAI Fiction Finalist (5-Star Badge)

Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Seal

Underground Book Reviews (Perfect Pitch Pick)

1st out of 77 Books Set in Rhode Island (Goodreads)

 

In one sentence, what is ‘An Enlightening Quiche’ about?

 

 An heirloom quiche recipe and baking rivalry turn up the heat during the aftermath of a tragedy in Rhode Island’s mill town of Beauchemins.

 

Who is your specific reading audience and why?

 My book is specifically written for women 40 and older. I write with this age group in mind because having been there and done that, I can infuse my stories with realism that squeezes every ounce from the pulp of life: dreams and disillusionment; darkness and light; emptiness; fading beauty; displacement; love and sacrifice …

By the time women have reached the age of 40, they’ve earned the type of story that pays them respect and exonerates the lives of ordinary women who are often unsung heroines.

 

What would you say is the single most important idea you’re sharing in your book that is really going to add value to the reader’s life?

 

Letting go!

 

We cannot allow our past to hold us hostage any longer than it already has without confronting and coming to terms with it.  Doing so will give us the courage to overcome adversity and empower us to make a change for the better.  Otherwise, we become our own worst enemy!

 

 If you could compare this book with any other book readers might already be familiar with, which would it be and why?

 

I’m going to cite My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout because her book and mine focus on the theme of complicated mother-daughter relationships. Whereas, Strout’s novel exposes a relationship through the portal of a hospital visit, my portal is an heirloom quiche recipe for my protagonist to decipher the past and turn her life around.

 

In addition to having written two novels, Eva has composed over one hundred Memoirs about growing up during the Sixties, as well as numerous essays pertaining to the era, and her native state of Rhode Island.  She also writes a weekly blog related to writing and social marketing.  All of her literary works can be viewed on her web page at Authors Den where she updates her status daily, and you’re welcome to follow her:

 

http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

 

You can also find her on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/EvaPasco

 

‘An Enlightening Quiche’ @ Amazon: https://amzn.com/B01LX9UXWV

 

Silent? #poetry

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(c) 2017, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

I am only silent

since I think before I speak. 

I am only silent   

because I’m not ready.  Don’t rush me. 

I’m silent because I think things through,

because there is so much, 

Not because I’m less than you. 

I’m silent not because there’s nothing there, 

but because there’s so much there

beyond this moment.

When all is shuffled and well-placed,

I shall no more be silent.

 

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare: Out of Chaos…

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Happy Saturday, fellow bloggers.  What a much needed Saturday it is!  Work has been hectic lately, life has been hectic, even my writing has felt hectic.  Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share!  If we were having coffee today, on the 13th of May, I’d tell you:

Somedays work is really a challenge as we move closer to the end of the year.  However, I did something with my students to end out the week:  Collaborative Discussion.  I am pleased to say that I enjoyed it!  Yes, they’re still antsy because of Spring and the impending end of the school year, yes, I had to remind some of them to stop being silly, but they even made me laugh at some points.  I got to see that some of them have really grown in their thinking about our texts and in their self-expression.  That was priceless.

Life is, well, life.  I miss the A to Z Blogging Challenge, but I wouldn’t have time to blog every day anyhow.  I’ve had a hard time with my son turning 21.  I had to set some rules in writing for the household, which took some thought.  Still, I’m glad I did it.  It’s not easy seeing your child make mistakes or bad choices, and it’s also not easy standing back to see them fall flat on their face just to learn their lesson.  I had many years to teach those lessons, but he had two different households and two totally different parents influencing him.  I’ll go no further so as not to make this a venting session about my ex.  🙂

Writing.  I said it was hectic.  I regret not having time to enter the short story challenges here on WordPress.  It’s easy to meet other inspired writers that way, and it’s so rewarding to create a little world within 100-250 worlds.  I guess I miss that, too.  I’ll have to miss it because I’m working on editing my full-length time travel novel in the hopes of publishing it this summer.  It’ll be self-published, of course, because that is the way I do things right now.  Over the last month or two, I’ve read two books about self-publishing and promotion, one by Derek Murphy, which was very helpful and packed with ideas.  I recommend it.  The title is Guerrilla Publishing.

In the Writing/Author world, I have published a short story on Smashwords about a stray dog’s life until meeting his forever home called From Lost to Loved, A Stray Dog’s Tale for free download.  I have two freebie programs going on in the effort to get my name out there a little further.  One is a limited time Instafreebie where people can get my first novella, Made for Me, in digital form free when they sign up for my newsletter.  See it and sign up at https://instafreebie.com/free/UsMtE . The other is an Amazon giveaway of the e-book, Seeing Through Sampson’s Eyes, the darker, more dangerous progeny of Made for Me.  It only runs until about 9 p.m. tonight (May 13th), EST. This giveaway is aimed at getting more Amazon followers.  Plus, two more people will be reading my sci-fi, coming of age tale of a young woman whose dad wasn’t fully human.  Before tonight, you can enter at https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/35b50ae59e6ba24d

Why all of this at once?  I started the Amazon giveaway last night when I just had no energy for editing.  The brain must be in the right place, you know, and I was tired. When I am ready to release my full-length novel, I won’t have time for the rest of this.  These freebies can only help to get my name and my work out there.  I’ve had 74 entries for the Amazon giveaway since last night!  When I do the novel release, I may have to invest in a Twitter service for my other novels.  Plus, who knows if I may be editing and getting these last minute ideas for the novel right up until publishing?  I’ve never done so many stages of a novel for publication.  Some tell me this is how it’s really done.  I’m learning, though.  Now, I should stop talking about editing, and go back to actually editing!  I hope everyone has a great week!

The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Emily at nerdinthebrain.com.  I urge you to write your own #weekendcoffeeshare.  Be sure to use the hashtag in your post, then visit Emily’s latest at http://www.nerdinthebrain.com/weekendcoffeeshare-the-one-where-im-off-exploring-wacky-stuff/  and add your own to her link-up.

*If you’re wondering about my “chaotic” title, it’s just something jumping around in my brain that hasn’t found a place to land.  I couldn’t hold it in, though.  It sort of needs to take root before becoming a full idea.  I hope it didn’t cause confusion or leave you disappointed in the details of my week.  🙂  Hectic/ Chaotic.  All different shades of meaning.

An Author Discovered: W.T. Fallon

I’ve decided to share, at least once or twice a month, posts about the authors whose books I am reading (or have read).  I found my latest discovery while searching Author/bloggers on Goodreads.  I have begun reading W.T. Fallon’s Fail to the Chief, an interesting novel with a premise that really drew me in.  So far, it is wonderfully absurd political satire and a little like the movie “Idiocracy,”  where the President will be elected via a reality TV show. I am really enjoying it so far and look forward to perusing Fallon’s blog a lot more!  The following is W.T. Fallon’s guest post.

W.T. Fallon: Why I Wrote Fail to the Chief

The day I came up with the idea for my novel, Fail to the Chief, I was running on the treadmill, and watching a 24-hour news channel. I realized election coverage is a lot like a reality show—candidates are followed 24/7, commentators yell questions at them, and just when you think you know who’s going to win, someone throws a wrench into things and everything changes.

So if it’s pretty much just a reality show anyway, why not go all the way and let people vote from their couches like we do for other reality shows? I read years ago that more people voted for American Idol than voted for president in the last election. Wouldn’t voter turnout be better if people didn’t have to drive to the polls and stand in line?

Of course, the idea of online voting isn’t new, and usually, the answer to that is, “But, hackers!” But the idea of making the election an actual reality show where people could vote without leaving the couch? That interested me. (Measures to prevent hacking are addressed in the book.)

What would this reality show look like? I immediately pictured the shows I watched, but with candidates for contestants. You’d have your typical reality show host, the obligatory well-tanned guy in a tuxedo introducing the contestants, giving them a shoulder to cry their totally fake tears on, and basically expressing no opinion whatsoever, because that’s what reality show hosts do, right?

Now, enter the contestants. This was around December of 2015, so the 2016 presidential race was just heating up, and there were tons of real candidates on both sides of the aisle for inspiration. I imagined various characters competing on this reality show to elect a president. What could happen on a reality show that couldn’t happen in real life? What would we learn about the candidates if we really followed them around with cameras 24/7?

I had been writing satire about politicians for my local Gridiron Show since 2012, and in December of 2015 there was no shortage of colorful characters in the presidential race, all ripe for satirizing.

Then there are the challenges you see on reality shows. I remembered things I’d always wanted to see in a presidential debate: A boxing match between candidates, a debate where the contenders were hooked up to polygraph machines, candidates being forced to work at real jobs like us regular people, a debate where the candidates had to play a drinking game instead of the audience choosing to do so. Who wouldn’t want to watch a debate where the candidates had to take a drink every time someone said something trite, overused, or eyeroll-inducing? None of those things are going to happen in real life, but I was able to make them happen in my book.

I had been writing about a chapter a week, and would probably still be writing it if I hadn’t lost my job. I was unceremoniously fired two days before my birthday—because nothing says happy birthday like a pink slip—and replaced with a ten-buck-an-hour intern. My employers promised I had done nothing wrong, they were just, “going in a different direction.” Yet when I went to file for unemployment, they claimed I had been fired for cause. At that point, I said, “Screw it, I’m going to finish my novel.”

So I took all my anger and frustration and put it into my book. There are a lot of scenes where regular people describe their problems with unemployment, the economy, etc. Many of those were inspired by my life as a two-time college graduate, living with my parents and struggling to find a job in a bad economy. Going into debt for a college degree that turns out to be worthless, working multiple minimum-wage jobs as a college graduate, and the unemployment office’s efforts to help people “find jobs” were all things I explored.

In one scene, an unemployed worker tells a candidate how the unemployment office required her to attend a “find a job” type class. She was given instructions on how to get her GED (despite having a college degree), how to go to trucking school (despite the fact that for some people, backing up a large truck is a public safety hazard), and how to learn English as a second language (although she already knew it as a first language). That’s the kind of help I encountered at the unemployment office, and it was of no use to me, or anyone else in the room. But that’s our government for you, and I decided to write about its futility through the lens of a reality show to elect a president.

Book Blurb

After years of emceeing insipid singing competitions, TV personality Bryan Seafoam can’t wait to host “American President,” the world’s first reality show to elect a president of the United States. Finally, an opportunity to be a real journalist, digging up dirt and playing hardball with the top ten candidates.

But it doesn’t take long for the contestants to start slinging mud at Bryan – literally, when billionaire candidate Ronald Chump is challenged to dig his proposed moat along the Mexican-American border himself. Forced to work in a fast food restaurant, an anti-minimum-wage-hike candidate learns his coworkers are struggling to survive with multiple jobs and claims to have solved the unemployment problem in his state-leaving Bryan to duck ketchup bombs from customers. To make matters worse, Bryan’s producer pressures him to be nicer to the candidates, and his former crush, now an experienced political correspondent, shows up-and shows him up at every turn.

When a cheating scandal rocks the show, Bryan begins to suspect it’s just the tip of a very underhanded iceberg. Will trying to expose a plot to wreck the most hysterical, er, historic election in history cost Bryan his career-and his personal life?

T. Fallon’s Bio

T. Fallon believes if you can’t say something nice, you should say something funny and totally true. She has few marketable skills, but is highly talented in the areas of sarcasm, satire, and snark. For the past several years, she has written for the local Gridiron Show, and last year she started a blog called Sharable Sarcasm. The 2016 election provided so many opportunities for humor that she decided to write her first novel, a political satire called Fail to the Chief. She was recently published on The Satirist, and has been writing for Humor Outcasts since September of 2016.

Follow on Social Media:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/wtfallon/

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/wtfallonauthor

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/58625570-w-t

Blog:

https://sharablesarcasm.wordpress.com/

 

Excerpt:

 

Bryan tapped the tablet again. “Here are the suggestions. Number one comes from Avery L. on Facebook, and it says, and I quote, ‘We spent almost ten million in taxpayer money last year for upkeep on the White House, including half a million on flowers alone, and almost three million on annual holiday decorations. Is all that really necessary? I mean, how many flowers do you really need in a ginormous mansion? Couldn’t you cut that spending down to five million?’”

“That sounds like the fiscally responsible thing to do.” Morganstern straightened his tie and turned to face the nearest camera. “When I was the head of Cheatham Bank, the largest banking group in the country, we didn’t waste money on unimportant things like decorations or paid vacations for employees. I even limited the amount of money we spent on toilet paper each month. If the employees ran out, they just had to find another solution.”

“Actually, according to an exposé into your inhumane HR practices, it just caused them to use more expensive printer paper for, ah, alternative purposes.” Haverty stepped between Morganstern and the camera. “I understand some also used the widely-distributed company newsletter with your picture on every cover.”

“Yes, and I installed security cameras to catch every employee who took that newsletter to the bathroom, and I fired every last one of them.”

“Perhaps now would be a good time to hear your plan for job creation,” Haverty shot back.

Bob Fuller stopped twisting his hemp necklace around his fingers long enough to groan. “I hope you at least printed that newsletter on recycled paper.”

Morganstern made a sound that was somewhere between a grunt and a chuckle. “Hmmph. Of course not, recycled paper costs twice as much, and it’s used.”

 

Book Link:

 https://www.amazon.com/Fail-Chief-W-T-Fallon-ebook/dp/B01LYON1F2

 

FailtotheChief

One Year Anniversary! #indiewriter #amwriting #RRBC

OneYearBadge

It’s my one-year anniversary with Rave Reviews Book Club!  I’ve just renewed for another year with them because 1.  the exposure can’t be beaten  2.  I’ve gained readers and reviewers through them  3.  I am part of a network of authors on Twitter who all help each other build a platform and gain exposure.  All of this is really priceless, especially for an Indie author.  I’m still new and still learning things almost daily to help my author promotion and platform, but this book club has really helped.  I’ve been featured as book of the week, invited as a guest on two blog radio talk shows, part of a Book trailer party that got my book video seen, and have been welcome to many other opportunities, some which I haven’t tried yet, but I may do so this year.  (There are a writer’s conference and the Spring Blog Party that I have yet to try).  If you’d like to know more about this Book Club and author’s resource, go to http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com and see if you might want to join!

There is also another anniversary worth celebrating here.  It has been one year and one month since I self-published a book!  I’m still writing and getting ready to publish another, but I’d like to thank all of the helpful people I have met through various Facebook and other online groups as well!  I’ve learned invaluable lessons such as where to get attribution-free photos, how to use Canva, what are some alternate e-book publishing venues, and how one actually writes a good blurb.  I’m still working on that one!  I love the camaraderie among indie authors, and though self-publishing is a time-consuming venture, I plan to continue!  Look for news in June regarding my new release, a time-travel novel, and the Facebook event I have planned.

Along with the self-publishing journey, it was a year ago in January when I started blogging here at WordPress.  I am so thankful for the bloggers I have met who share other writers’ material and posts and offer regular chances, such as Jackie’s “Echoes of My Neighborhood” at acookingpotandtwistedtales.com and Daniel Ray’s Re-blog opportunities at dreambigdreamoften.com.  That and the many writing prompt opportunities, as well as the #weekendcoffeeshare, have helped me to meet more writers, network, and learn more about sharing my writing in multiple ways.  Thank you, fellow writers!

 

Free Short Story, appropriate for kids age 7 to 97+. From Lost to Loved, a Stray Dog’s Tale. #shortstory

This was a labor of love.  While I reside in sci-fi and paranormal tales, I’ve loved imagining my dog’s background story.  I also wrote this with my students in mind, hoping to one day share this story with them.  Give it a download and see what you think!

Blurb: What if your adopted shelter dog could tell his story? Have you ever wondered why he freaks out when the kitchen timer goes off, or he gets defensive when he meets a tall man? Consider the origin story of Bixby, as Pamela imagines the long journey of his life before they found each other and he became part of her family. Appropriate for children and adults aged seven and up.

 

Lost to Loved

Available in many digital formats at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/722693