Melt (Out of the Mouths of Babes) #RDP

 

Sandwich, Lunch, Grilled Cheese, Meal Photo via Pixabay, (c) Dustytoes

“Mama, when cheese melts, is it still cheese, or is it bread and cheese?”

“Yes, hon, the cheese is still cheese, but now it’s even more enjoyable. ”

“I love bread AND cheese, and tomatoes!”

Mrs. Vincent put two slices of tomato on his sandwich.  “You should! Now they’re all better than they were before. Such a great combination!”

“Add pepper, please?”

Mrs. Vincent added a dash of pepper.  “Is that just right?”

“Yeah.  It’s not as boring now.  Is that why America was called a ‘melting pot’?”

“It still is my dear. Remember why you love it.  Don’t let anyone tell you different. ”

(c) Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2019.

 

*Follow ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com to receive the daily prompt!

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Weekend Coffee Share, 7/20. Writing, Living, and Hanging with the Dog.

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali

It has been another really hot week, but I have managed.  Several days were half cup days, one day iced coffee, and today was a glorious full brewed cup of coffee day! You may drink whatever you like, my friend.  I’m sorry you missed the dog-walking this morning.  We ran into two neighbors with dogs, and after the initial barks and noise, I walked with them, and the dogs all got into line, like going on a walk with their brothers/sisters.  It was great.  Now to cool off.  Let’s sit down for a few minutes…

My days have been a joyous celebration of mostly introvert heaven and a little bit of friendship time. There is the joy of deciding for myself what I’ll do each day. Coffee hour on the front porch (usually cut short by the heat); my dog enjoys sitting there off the leash, sniffing the air and making noise at passersby. There’s beach time, no more than once a week, but having gone three times this summer so far, it is still more than the usual Sept. to May time frame. Reading hour, writing hour, social media/blog/book news time, Netflix hour during lunch (as I have already binged all that I will binge for this summer. I’m looking at you, Ozark, Stranger Things,  and Seasons 1-2 of The Handmaid’s Tale); then there’s exercise HALF hour with yoga hour twice in the week. I’ve taken to walking with my dog in the park or walking on the beach in sockless sneakers for a half hour. It’s a great way to get a tan without being a target for sunburn. So, I think I have divided my time in a healthy way, with occasional visits to our nearby sports bar where I play trivia. They have an awesome chicken wrap for dinner, and my son likes to go there, too, so that takes care of dinner!

Many folks I know are planning or are on vacation, and I’m just waiting until the end of July for a short St. Augustine getaway. I’m saving money though, so I am thinking about places to go this Winter and maybe a family trip next summer.

Author Progress Notes(2) My new graphic!

On the author front, I’ve pretty much wrapped up most of the writing I wanted to do.  The Malachi manuscript is with a beta reader now, and I get random ideas for the Ellie manuscript now and then, so I am writing them down.  I get what I think are excellent ideas for dialogue, so I have a jumbled mess in her Word doc, so at some point I will need to make an outline.  I know how it begins and how I want it to end, the rest will come to me.  I made the graphic above in a burst of coffee fueled energy, and the joke is, it contains an outline, as if I planned everything ahead! You can see from the statement before this, I am largely a pantser and only plan when I know I have to tame the wild weeds growing rampant in the lush field of my mind.  Actually, the joke should come after my next paragraph, so I suppose I’m just being ironic today.  🙂  Maybe there will come a day when I’ll follow the outline.  Are you shaking in suspense?

DetoursInTimeAudible Coming Soon In Audiobook! This is the audio bookcover.

The Detours in Time audible version should be done in August or July, and I have put Undercurrents in Time up in ACX.com for auditions.  I’d like it to be released shortly after the Detours in Time audible version.  Seems like a sound decision.  I also added Made for Me, my first published fiction book (novella length) to a group effort of selling our .99 books.  Made for Me is light sci-fi that describes what a “weird date” might be like in the future and then explores the relationship that fellows, a sort of societal taboo.

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If you’d like to learn more or download Made for Me, a light read with an unexpected ending, it can be found on Amazon, Made for Me on Amazon

It is also available at other retailers such as B&N, Kobo, and Apple by clicking this link:  https://books2read.com/u/4Xo50v

On the topic of world domination, I guess am 1/1000 of the way toward my goal of having my books on the shelf in every country.  I am not a Math person though, so we may need to add some zeros. 😉

That’s all I have for today!  Life is good, my friends!  Have a great week.

Welcome to the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! #RRBC #RWISA 7/18

Welcome to the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! Around WordPress this week, members of the Rave Reviews Book Club will be sharing writing samples and information about other authors in this organization called RWISA, the Rave Writer’s International Society of Authors. 

Today’s writing sample is from author Ron Yates.

Burning Out in Tokyo

By Ronald E. Yates

 

Clayton Brandt stood just behind the glass doors of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry building waiting for a let-up in the storm that pummeled the hot Tokyo pavement. Wisps of vapor rose into the air as the rain hit the warm ground.

 

He searched the eight-lane boulevard in front of the MITI building for an empty taxi. He knew it could be a long wait before an empty cab came down Sakurada-Dori. Thousands of bureaucrats glutted Tokyo’s Kasumigaseki district, and whenever it rained, it seemed like all of them wanted a taxi.

 

“Son of a bitch!” he said, his words echoing through the lobby. Two middle-aged Japanese bureaucrats standing nearby looked over at the tall foreigner. They understood that English phrase.

 

Clayton grinned. “Ame-ga futte imasu,” he said.

 

The two men looked at one another and then back at Clayton as if to say: “Yes, we can see it is raining. But is that any excuse for such a rude public outburst?”

 

Clayton sighed, opened his umbrella, and stepped out into the downpour. He turned right and hurried through the governmental heartland of Japan, maneuvering his 6-foot, 3-inch frame through the crowded sidewalk glutted with black and gray umbrellas. Sometimes the edge of an umbrella held by a much shorter Japanese man or woman slashed at his throat or slapped against his face. Whenever it rained, and the umbrellas came out, Clayton always felt Gulliveresque—like a giant trapped in a forest of undulating toadstools.

 

He looked up at the leaden April sky. The rain had drenched Tokyo for the past four days, covering the ground with a pink and white patina of delicate sakura blossoms. A slow rumble of thunder curled between the squat granite structures of Kasumigaseki. Clayton looked at his watch. It was four-thirty and the evening traffic was already crawling. He had hoped to get his story written and filed by six o’clock, but the briefing about Japan’s angry reaction to Washington’s decision to bar the U.S. government’s purchase of Japanese supercomputers had taken longer than usual.

 

The sky rumbled again, and bolts of lightning streaked overhead. A taxi pulled up outside the Ministry of Health and Welfare and was disgorging three Japanese bureaucrats in dark blue suits. Clayton closed his umbrella and dashed for the cab splashing through rivulets of water as he ran. The three men had barely climbed out before Clayton bolted past them and into the rear seat. He gave the driver his destination, closed his eyes, and rested his head on the seat back as the taxi inched its way back into the gridlock.

 

Every so often, his eyes opened just long enough to take in the somber Tokyo landscape. The perpetually gray skies of Tokyo didn’t do his already sepulchral spirit any good. In fact, very little seemed to buoy his disposition these days. He couldn’t help it. He felt depressed and probably a bit too sorry for himself. A few hours before the MITI briefing, he had suffered through another of those telephone “chats” with Max, the foreign editor of Global News Service in London about expenses and the need to cut back on costs.

 

“O.K., O.K. Max,” Clayton had sighed bleakly into the phone. “I get the picture.”

 

The exchange ended with Max suggesting that Clayton not be such a “cowboy.” A “cowboy?” Why? Just because he was from Oxford, Kansas and not Oxford, England? It wasn’t easy working for a bunch of Brits when you sounded more like Garth Brooks than Sir Laurence Olivier. But he knew what Max meant.

 

Clayton was an iconoclast in a profession that increasingly rewarded conformity rather than individualism. Newspapers today all looked alike, loaded with the same predictable stories about the same predictable events. It was rubber-stamp journalism practiced by rubber-stamp editors who worked for rubber-stamp publishers who worked for boards of directors who wanted twenty percent operating profit margins above all else—quality journalism be damned.

 

He went over the notes he had hurriedly scribbled during the MITI briefing, searching for the lead of his story. His pen scratched heavy lines under the words “ill-conceived” and “studying our response.” Then he stuffed the notebook back into his bag.

 

“It’s over,” Clayton thought to himself as he watched the snarl of cars and trucks crawl along Uchibori-Dori through Kokyo-Gaien, the large plaza that fronted the walled Imperial Palace. It was as if today he had been forced finally to confront the inevitable mortality of his professional career; or at least of his particular brand of journalism. He was writing the same boring stories over and over again. Where was the challenge? The sense of accomplishment?

 

Clayton exhaled and gazed out the taxi window at the striated, ashen facades of drenched buildings. They reminded him of the mascara-smudged faces of women weeping at a rainy graveside.

 

He closed his eyes and nudged his mind away from the depressing Tokyo landscape. Soon it was obediently shuffling through old images of another, more beguiling Asia. It was an Asia of genial evenings spent beneath traveler palms; of graceful, colonial-era hotels in Singapore and Malaysia with their chalky plaster facades and their broad verandahs peppered with rattan settees and peacock chairs; of slowly turning teakwood paddle fans that moved the heavy night air with just enough authority to create a light breeze, but not enough to obliterate the sweet scent of evening jasmine. THAT was the Asia he missed; the Orient of the past.

 

Yes, it was ending. Clayton could feel it. It had been a good run . . . A good career. But now the journey was ending, like a train that had roared through the night and was now pulling into its last station. How many times had he almost gotten off only to be lured back on by the promise of what lay ahead at the next stop? How many times had he been disappointed by that decision? How many times had he been rewarded? At first, the rewards outweighed the disappointments, but in recent years, as he had grown older, the regrets seemed to have gained a definite edge.

 

For one thing, the passengers kept changing. And the conductors. And the engineers. But what did he expect? Wasn’t that the way the world worked? What was it that Tennyson had written: “The old order changeth, yielding place to new?”

 

Clayton shuddered. Was he the old order? Should he be yielding? Was he burned out?

 

Maybe he was becoming the old order, Clayton thought. But he wasn’t burned out just yet. And if there was any yielding to do, he wanted it on his own terms. The trouble was, the gulf of time between his past glories and the imminence of the callow, computer savvy handlers in the home office who controlled his destiny was becoming almost unbridgeable.

 

Most of his career predated cell phones and computers. For the computer literates at Global, his life’s work might as well be stored on some remote database. As it was, he existed only in yellowing newspaper clips, aging telexes, and letters of commendation that were kept in his personal file back in London. And nobody bothered to look at that stuff anymore.

 

It made no difference, Clayton thought. In the mutable, evanescent province that modern journalism had become, it was ancient history. Hell, HE was ancient history. He was like a piece of old journalistic parchment—readable, but, unlike a computer, much less utilitarian.

 

What Clayton needed was another journalistic rush . . . A story he could get hold of and play like a newly discovered Mozart piano concerto. He needed something . . . Not to satisfy the yuppies back at Global, but to give him a reason to get back on the train and to leave the station again.

 

The taxi slewed to a stop like a wooden bathhouse sandal skidding along a wet tile floor. Clayton looked up. They were in front of the Kawabata Building.

 

“Kawabata Biru, desu,” the driver announced.

 

Clayton fumbled in his pocket, handed the driver a one thousand yen note, and waited for his change. Then he bolted through the swirling Tokyo rain and put his shoulder against the massive glass and steel doors of the Kawabata Building. Unlike most of Tokyo’s modern structures, the Kawabata Building didn’t have sleek automatic glass doors that hissed serpent-like and opened automatically at the approach of a human being. It was a pre-war relic—an architectural throw-back with cracked marble floors and a fading art deco interior that had somehow survived the allied bombings.

 

The building’s deteriorating facade, which was the color of dead autumn leaves, seemed to glower at the world—like the rumpled brow of an angry old man. But the tumble-down building had an undeniable individuality in a country that too often prized sameness, and that was the reason Clayton liked it and had refused an offer to move into one of the new glass and steel “smart buildings” that soared over Tokyo’s Otemachi district.

 

He paused to talk for a moment with the old woman who operated the small grocery and newsstand tucked away in the corner of the lobby. From his many conversations with her, Clayton had learned that the old woman had operated her little concession since 1938 and knew the building’s history better than anybody.

 

She smiled as Clayton’s towering frame bent toward her in one of those peculiar half bows that Japanese make when they are in a hurry. Japanese could do it with a certain grace; but not Clayton. When this big foreigner bowed, he always looked like he was on the verge of crashing to the ground like a gingko tree struck by lightning. Nevertheless, she liked this gaijin. Ordinarily, she merely tolerated foreigners, but this one had a solitary charm. He was big, but not threatening; assertive, but not arrogant.

 

“So, Oba-san, Genki datta?” Clayton asked, combining the Japanese honorific for “grandmother” with the less formal interrogative for “how are you?”

 

“Genki-yo,” the old woman replied. Clayton picked up a package of Pocky chocolates and placed a one hundred yen coin in the old woman’s hand.

 

“Sayonara,” Clayton said as he turned and scuttled toward the bank of elevators.

 

“Sonna ni hatarakanai ho ga ii desu!” the old woman called after him.

 

Clayton smiled and nodded over his shoulder. The old woman was right. He was working too hard, and where was it getting him? Back on a train to oblivion?

 

“Oh, get over it,” Clayton thought as the elevator door closed. “You’ve got a story to write. Feel sorry for yourself AFTER you make your friggin’ deadline! Besides, what else do you know how to do, you old hack! Burning out is not an option.”

 

The End

 

*Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again, for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Ron Yates  RWISA Author page

Lofty thoughts. #RDP

Nature, Landscape, Kaçkars, Mountains

Photo via Pixabay.

“Lofty thoughts” by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

When I was a child, I seemed to have a pleasant ability to lift myself out of my current reality and imagine things that would take me away from boredom or desperation.  It may not totally fit the definition of ‘lofty,’ but this is what I think of when I hear that word.  Some of the later experiences were not all positive as a teen, but I’ll focus on the ones that “lifted me up.” I only remember a few incidents, and I don’t know why.  Are they all that I can remember?  Perhaps they were all related to dreams, and having such a vivid imagination, I of course would see wild things when my subconcsious took control?  I read somewhere that the conscious actually does control the subconscious.  Still, some dreams mean nothing other than giving a vivid picture to some feeling, fear, or hurt that already goes on inside.  That’s what I believe, anyway.

  1. We were on a cross country trip when I was four, maybe five.  It was early morning, and I looked up in the sky to see that the sun was coming out, and the moon was trying desperately to fit itself, squeeze itself,  back into the curtain of darkness that was already fading away on one side of the sky.  It had to try quickly before the sun chased all the darkness away.  I have a feeling I probably dosed off again, because this situation never resolved itself before my eyes.
  2.  I was about eight and attending a summer camp where we tried to get closer to God.  I was falling asleep at bedtime, and some noise woke me up;  it was like I felt myself fall down back down into my body from where I had been floating.  Holy smokes! Did I have the ability to levitate at age eight?  No, it was more likely a vivid imagination, a dream so real I had the sensation of floating up until I awoke out of it.  And no, it wasn’t a near death experience, either.

The image of the sun and moon seemed so real to me, I  did not believe it was a dream.  Some dreams seem so real because they are trying to tell you something, for me, that I was compelled to try to bring things to life with my words. I want to make it as real for you as it seems for me.  I’m still trying, depositing a stone of reality within every flood of fiction.

*You can join the daily prompt fun by following ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com and you can view other entries to this challenge at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/07/16/rdp-tuesday-lofty/

Welcome to the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! #RRBC #RWISA 7/15

RWISAWatch Write Showcase Tour

Suzanne Burke

Welcome to the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! Around WordPress this week, members of the Rave Reviews Book Club will be sharing writing samples and information about other authors in this organization called RWISA, the Rave Writer’s International Society of Authors. 

Today’s writing sample is from author Suzanne Burke.

THURSDAY’S CHILD

By  Suzanne Burke.

Copyright 2019.

 

She hadn’t really intended this to happen. Oh, sure, she’d thought about it often enough, but thinking about something didn’t make it a crime. A convergence of circumstances had prompted her choice. Regret was such an outmoded commodity.

She checked her latex gloves fitted well, and flicked her dark eyed gaze across to where Peter Cameron lay, still and silent. “You brought this on yourself, Peter. Did you think me a complete fool?”

Carol moved across to the edge of the bed and stood over him. She reached down and flicked the blonde hair back from his forehead, then gently rested her hand there.

“You’re cold. Shall I fetch you a blanket?” Her laughter soothed her.

The man’s eyes were now open, and Carol revelled in the fear she witnessed in their blue depths. “Ah, there you are. How do you feel?” She laughed again. “Oh, silly me. You can’t feel anything. Can you? Such a handy little drug, and no taste I believe, especially in your malt whiskey.”

Peter Cameron’s blue eyes registered the words and Carol watched on as he commanded his brain to activate his fingers, his arms. He had no control of his voicebox. His brain refused to obey. He remained still.

“Oh, don’t fret so, darling. You’re not going to die … yet. The paralysis will last just long enough for my needs. It’s all in the timing. You need to helplessly contemplate what I may have in store for your immediate future.”

Carol walked away from him, and headed for the bar, whistling happily in anticipation. She placed his used glass and the bottle of Glenfiddich into her handbag, then poured a stiff belt of burbon into a paper cup, and seated herself comfortably on the sofa in the large living room and admired afresh the warm ambience of her surroundings.

“The best that all my money could buy.” Her voice brought her comfort.

She drained the cup and refilled it. When empty she crumpled it and placed it alongside the other items now concealed in the bag.

The wall clock reaffirmed that she had an hour remaining before company arrived. She nodded in satisfaction and rested.

With twenty minutes remaining she stood and checked on her captive one more time. “Not long now.”

A low groan came from the bed.

Carol gently stroked his cheek. “Are you terrified, my darling? Your eyes tell me you are. Good. That’s as it should be.”

Carol smiled in satisfaction and left the room, content to wait this out for a few minutes. At exactly 11.02p.m she heard the front door open and close again. A musical female voice called out, “Peter? Darling, where are you?”

Carol listened carefully from her dark space in the hallway. She held her breath as the woman came into view and she watched her enter the master-bedroom in search of her lover.

“Waiting in bed for me, darling? That’s different. I thought we were going to share a late supper.”

The woman sounded disappointed.

“He can be very disappointing. I agree.” Carol said from the doorway.

The woman jumped in fright and managed to say “Oh, my God. I’m not, that is, we aren’t, this isn’t.” She shut her mouth when her frightened eyes took note that her lover’s wife was standing in front of her wearing latex gloves and aiming a gun at her head.

“It isn’t what? An affair? Oh, please. Do you expect me to believe that you’ve come here to my home every second Thursday at 11.00p.m for 3 months to do something innocent?  Go ahead, enlighten me. I’m a reasonable woman. Convince me I don’t have a reason to hate you.”

“Please! I’m so sorry. It doesn’t mean anything.”

“Oh, no, Thursday’s Girl. It means everything. The others meant nothing to him, therefore I ignored them. Ah, but you, you’re different. Turn around, let me take a closer look at you.”

Carol walked across to the shaking woman and prodded her with Peter’s handgun. “I said turn around.”

The younger woman nodded and hurriedly complied.

“He does love a tight ass. Long legs too. That’s always a bonus.”

“He doesn’t care about me. It’s a … a fling.”

“Nice try.”

“I’ll end it and never see him again. I promise. I’m sorry, please. Let me go.” The woman was sobbing now.

“Don’t you want to know how I know your special?”

The woman shook her head. “I’m not ….”

“Shut your stupid mouth and listen!” Carol barely controlled her anger and shoved the nozzle of the Glock into her rival’s chest.

She drew a deep calming breath and lowered the gun slightly. “I know, because he’s been happy. Happier than he’s been for many years. The only thing that’s different in his life since the advent of his peculiar behaviour is you!”

Carol fished inside the pocket of the coat she was wearing and drew out a small velvet box. “He brought you this little diamond trinket from Caliago. His jeweller of choice. It’s an engagement ring for you, Thursday’s Girl. The ring size is smaller than mine, and besides I only wear emeralds. My contact at the jewellers tells me it’s worth upwards of one million dollars. I do hope it’s insured. Give me your hand. Let’s try it on for size.”

The hand the woman held out was shaking. Carol nursed the gun, and held out the jewellery box. “Now place it on your finger. Don’t be stupid enough to flex your hand. Slide it on.”

The diamonds glistened as the ring slid into place perfectly.

“And lastly, should you think me presumptive, then don’t. You see our darling Peter visited our attorney to get the ball rolling for divorce proceedings. I can only wonder that he made such a stupid mistake. Our attorney was the one I recommended twenty-years ago. He earns every cent of the additional fees I pay him every month.”

Peter groaned again from the bed and his lover stood there watching on, too afraid to move.

Carol smiled. “How tragic love is. How very sad that you came here to end your relationship. Peter Cameron had never been denied anything in his life. He couldn’t take the rejection. He apparently decided that if he couldn’t have you, then nobody would.

The woman began to scream, and Carol laughed with pleasure. “Oh, yes, scream. Go right ahead! We do love living out here. There’s a righteous freedom in having no near neighbors.”

The woman was still sobbing as Carol sat next to Peter on the bed and shot her three times in the chest. She calmly watched as the body was flung backward by the impact and dropped to the floor.

Carol gazed down on her for long enough to see the faint hold on life vacate her eyes.

Carol checked the spandex gloves, satisfied that they’d worked as they should. She placed the weapon down for a moment as she removed the other things that she’d need from the bureau.

Peter’s arm felt like a dead weight as she wrapped the tourniquet around his upper bicep. The veins responded beautifully, and Carol inserted the syringe and watched in fascination as her husband’s body jerked several times. She watched him begin to foam at the mouth. She watched him die. “Heroin is so deadly, if you don’t get the dosage just right. I believe it’s referred to as a ‘hot shot’.

She placed the Glock in his right hand and checked to ensure the trajectory married up with the bullet’s impact on his dead companion. Carol squeezed his fingers closed around the weapon with his finger on the trigger, then let his arm drop and the gun lay loosely in the dead hand.

Carol stood back and admired her handiwork. Content now she hurried outside.

She ran to her car secreted behind a tall stand of trees and drove it into her driveway, behind the visitors Porche. She let the car idle and punched in 911 on her iPhone.

“911. What is the nature of your emergency?”

“Please! Help me. I need help! Please!” The voice was frantic.

“I’ll help you, Ma’am, but I need you to calm down. Please tell me what is happening.”

“I heard a woman screaming! Then I think there were gunshots! Now I can’t hear anything. Please! Please, I beg you, please hurry, I think my husband is inside. Should I go in? I have to help him!”

“Please give me your address.”

Carol gave it.

“Do NOT enter the dwelling. Police and Paramedics are on the way. Stay on the line with me. Are you close to the house?”

“I’m outside in the driveway.”

“Please move away from the property. Stay away from the windows. They’re on their way.”

***

CNN breaking news.

“In breaking news! The body of United States Senator Peter Cameron has been found at his home. A crime scene now exists. Early indications from our sources indicate that another body has been found at the scene. Murder/Suicide has not been ruled out.”

“Tragically it was the senator’s wife who made the grim discovery. She is reported to be resting under sedation. In deep shock as these events unfold. Police at this stage don’t believe that a third party was involved in the tragedy.”

Carol listened to the excited broadcaster and smiled.

Then she settled down in her pristine hospital bed and drifted off to a contented sleep.

#

 

*Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again, for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Suzanne Burke  RWISA Author page

Welcome to the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! #RRBC #RWISA 7/15

RWISAWatch Write Showcase Tour

Fiza Pathan

Welcome to the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! Around WordPress this week, members of the Rave Reviews Book Club will be sharing writing samples and information about other authors in this organization called RWISA, the Rave Writer’s International Society of Authors. 

Today’s writing sample is from author Fiza Pathan, a chilling entry, be sure to read to the end.

The Star Pupil’s Diary Entry by Fiza Pathan

Dear Diary,

I had a wonderful day at school today. I got a star and I’m going to tell you all about it.

I’m eight years old, but I’m the tallest boy in the class. I, and the other kids in my neighborhood, study at the school down the block. Actually, our school was once something terrible; it was a disgusting Christian church, something called “Catholic.” The school officials tore it down and made it into a proper school for us kids.

So, I went to school today. I was the first one there so I got the biggest teddy bear to do my training with. The kids who were late got teddies that were way too small, the cheap ones that our soldiers stole from the hands of fleeing Jewish kids before they shot them in the head.

My teacher made us do our practice training in the morning. He handed us our daggers. We each checked with our fingers if they were sharp enough. Since I was early to class, I got to demonstrate. I put the dagger on the neck of the teddy and slit it the way my teacher had taught me to do. The other students followed me, but I was the best at cutting off teddy’s head.

“The jugular,” my teacher scolded another student who was cutting the wrong part of the teddy. “The jugular and do it slowly; it should make them cry.”

After dagger practice was over, we all sat and singing practice began. Singing is important; it touches souls and bring them closer to God.

We sang the national anthem. Teacher said I was the best singer and patted me on the head.

“Now, who knows a good English song, a hymn for our nation?” our teacher asked.

Every kid was stumped. They knew plenty of English songs, some of them were American. But you couldn’t sing those songs anymore. They knew “If I Was Your Boyfriend” by that Justin Bieber nonbeliever and “That’s What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction, another group of nonbelievers—may the devil plague them!

But no one knew a hymn in English to our cause. Not a single kid. Well, everyone except me!

I raised my hand and teacher smiled.

He asked me to stand up and sing in place.

The other kids turned to look at me. They were jealous because they were not as smart as me.

I put my hands behind my back and stood straight like I do when singing the national anthem. I opened my mouth and began to sing:

We for the sake of Allah have come under the banner,

We for the sake of our Caliph have torn the world asunder;

We for the sake of our raped sisters will kill the ones responsible,

We for the sake of our nation will die, but not before we become incredible.

I didn’t know the meaning of raped, but daddy had taught me this song while we were fleeing India to come here, to this land of milk and honey. Daddy taught me a lot of songs and hymns as we fled India. We almost got caught, but our fake passports worked. Daddy is so smart. He is now working as a soldier here.

“Bravo, my son,” my teacher said, and he shook my hand. The other kids clapped, but some spat on the ground with disgust.

“Bravo, my son,” my teacher said again, holding me by the shoulders and looking into my eyes. “You are a gem of a man already. You get a star for this.”

And I did; a star made of metal shining like gold, the ones soldiers put on their uniforms. I was so proud that I couldn’t stop smiling.

The teacher then said it was almost time for prayers, but before that, did any of us kids know who we were deep in our hearts? Many kids answered:

“We are Allah’s blessing in flesh.”

“We are the terror of the Westerners.”

“We are the protectors of our faith.”

“We are true worshippers of the almighty.”

But the teacher said all their answers were wrong. I knew that too, because I knew the real answer. Teacher then asked me, “Tell me, son, who are we?”

I smiled, fiddling with my gold star before answering: “We are men who love death just as some people love their life; we are soldiers who fight in the day and the night.”

My teacher clapped, and so did the other kids, except for the ones who yet again spat on the floor and gave me angry looks.

We spent the rest of the day praying, going to the mosque that was once a church. They called it Lutheran, which sounds so ugly. I then came home, and here I am writing in this diary, which Daddy gave me to record the fun time I’m having here in this new country, the place where Allah truly lives with his beloved people.

I’m so happy to have earned my star. I’ll wear it tomorrow to the next beheading on the main square of those bad men who were trying to escape heaven, this place where we stay. I love beheadings. I take pictures of it on my uncle’s cell phone. I love the blood, snapped bones, and torn veins the best.

Tomorrow, our class will burn crosses at the beheading. I will burn not a cross, but a small statue of Mary, mother of that prophet who sinned against us. I’ve never burned her before, not because I haven’t gotten a chance to do so, but because . . . her eyes, her eyes when they look at me are funny.

Well, it’s time to go for prayers. I shall write later.

Yours always,

Alif Shifaq of the ISIS children brigade,

3 Bel Anif Mansion,

Sultan Saladin Road,

Raqqa,

ISIS Syria,

March 12, 2015.

*

After the fall of ISIS in Raqqa, an American soldier with his entire team were on the ground for inspection purposes. It was the year 2017, and the whole city had been razed to the ground.

The American soldier’s name was Emmanuel, and as he walked over the immense quantity of rubble, he spotted something.

It was a diary. A bit battered due to the bombing, but in good shape.

The hand of a preteen was found holding a pen beside it. The hand only. Not the rest of the body. The body had been incinerated.

Emmanuel lifted the diary and dusted it. He took it along with him, jumping over a pile of dusty teddy bears with their throats cut.

“City of the dead,” Emmanuel intoned, as he opened the diary to read. The first thing he read was an inscription in black ink from a fountain pen. It was done in calligraphy—skillfully done.

 

We are men who love death just as you love your life,

We are the soldiers who fight in the day and the night.

 

Emmanuel sighed and turned a page.

***

 

*Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again, for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Fiza Pathan RWISA Author page

Weekend Coffee Share, 7/13. A Writer’s Life.

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, where the Florida temperature may tempt you to take your coffee iced, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali

Be sure to check out my flash fiction for this week (there is one, a quick read on one young man’s struggle growing up): Take a Hike #RDP

This week, I was fortunate enough to have lunch with a writer friend at Whole Foods Tuesday and lunch with a teacher friend on Wednesday!  I am passionate about writing and passionate about teaching, so both days, I was fueled.  Sometimes it doesn’t feel like much is going on with my writing, but I really do have a lot in progress and a lot of ideas in the hopper.

In fact, I wrote a Facebook post about this, as I really am working on a lot this summer, but I tell people, “No, I’m not working a summer job.”  People need to appreciate the work a writer does, though.  Here is the post:

I am a Writer Living the Dream, Edition 1~
1. Since I am an introvert (mostly), I am find staying inside a few hours this morning at my laptop, promoting the Undercurrents in Time Kindle and working on the next book, “Malachi,” a natural thing to do. I’ve posted on Facebook & Twitter about the promotion. Crossing my fingers. Sold 1 yesterday and 1 today.    Undercurrents in Time is the sequel to Detours.  You can check it out or order it here: Undercurrents in Time on Amazon

-1. Conversely, being able to sit so long at the laptop doing “book stuff” (which includes sometimes seeing what everyone on Facebook is up to), makes me stiff and causes lower back pain. So, I get up when it screams at me. I got up to type this, in fact. 
2. In my blog world on WordPress, I am promoting some other authors who are part of this online Book Club where authors or readers read and give reviews, sometimes getting reads and reviews.  I also plan to put more Flash fiction there in the next weeks; I am just itching to do so. It will be on my own schedule, though.  The blogs on other authors are for members of Rave Reviews Book Club and RWISA (an International Writer’s Association).  They are under the category of Authors Discovered and can be found by clicking that category to the right of the page or try clicking this link to see the most recent posts on the various featured authors:   https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/category/authors-discovered/
3. I’ve sent the first few pages of the work in progress “Malachi” to a writer friend for thoughts and ideas. I am not sure who I am marketing it towards, but it intersects with events and characters in Detours in Time Book2 (Undercurrents in Time).  Mom said, it’s really different, that I am “branching out.” This could only be a good thing, right? Though I’ve read it’s good to find your own niche, however, I want to do different things as well, and I don’t like formulaic advice. Gotta be me! I also have contacted two professional beta readers about this new manuscript. I have typed the whole book including the ending! Now, I just need to see if there are plot holes that I can’t see, as it is my own personal work of art. We aren’t that objective about things we create and love. I love all of my books and my characters, how could I not?
4. I sent a newsletter yesterday to 365 people who don’t seem to care. Each time I send one, 5-7 unsubscribe, but that happens when they may have signed up just to get a freebie. My freebies are only short stories or previews now. Learning as I go. Haven’t tried for new subscribers in a while, but I will soon.
5. This felt good, though: I chose a chapter that I think is quite interesting in “Malachi” that I will put through Calbri (not sure about the name) to put in BookFunnel as a free sample. I’ll let you know when it’s available!
6. With the writing of “Malachi,” I have interjected the character of Ellie from Undercurrents in Time. Lines come to me while I’m driving or brushing my teeth. I’m writing down bits here and there and then will develop my outline for the book to follow “Malachi,” starring Ellie, who is another unique character from Undercurrents in Time. They will both intersect in Ellie’s book as well (yet to be titled).
7. I anxiously await the narration to be done on the Detours in Time audiobook as I am hoping I will gain lots of new Detours readers/listereners in that way, and it should come out this fall, between Sept. and Nov. is the plan. I have decided on text for the audition for Undercurrents in Time as well so I need to set that up on the Audible production site.
8. When people ask if I am working this summer, I say no. I guess I love doing this stuff, but let’s be honest:  It is work. Call it a labor of love!

So, that pretty much sums up my week!  On Friday morning at 9:30 a.m., it was 80 with 88 degree humiture, and my dog and I couldn’t quite take coffee hour on the porch; we had to go inside.  I took him to the park Thursday around 10 and he was panting so much.  I need to start waking up earlier!  My summer Netflix habit has had me staying up until midnight watching Ozark, an awesome but dark show sort of like Breaking Bad but set in hillbilly country, and the first season of Outlander.  This is what teachers do in the summer, isn’t it?  I’m sure I won’t have much time once school starts.  Have a great week and enjoy what is left of summer!