Have you ever tried writing a story in just 200 words? It's not easy, since you have to introduce at least one
character, set the scene, and make something interesting happen. It's a great
exercise and better than a crossword puzzle for sharpening your mind!
Golden Doughnut" is a short story contest where each 200 word entry must
be based on the photograph provided. This year's contest was judged by Craig Johnson, the bestselling author of the Longmire
series and I'm excited to report that my story, "The Monster Within",
made it to the top 12. Hooray! All 12 stories are worth the read and, as I
said, they are very short.
Just in time for Halloween, here are the 12 creepy stories:
people have read "Al Franken, Giant of the Senate" but I bet I'm the
only one who read it in a dark shuttered house with a tiny flashlight as
Hurricane Irma raged on, pounding trees and battering utility poles until they
were just poles. Luckily, I had saved your book for a rainy day (the rainiest),
which was also the longest day of my life (excluding childbirth).
millions of Americans, I've suffered anxiety, anguish, and angst since Election
Day. Okay, I'm completely freaked out--and the bad news just keeps on coming.
I'm ashamed to admit that I hadn't thought about how government functioned
since passing civics class in junior high so I had a lot of catching up to do.
With the help of Wikipedia and other non-fake news, I got up to speed and then
prayed our checks and balances would protect us from the ignorant, pernicious
grifter whose favorite hobbies were bullying and sexual predation. And
to do something, anything, I joined an army of other middle-aged women who wanted
to fight back. (Our motto: "We're not paid protesters, we're your
mother.") After participating in the Women's March in Miami I joined the
League of Women Voters, the ACLU, and Indivisible and then sent money
everywhere--Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Human Rights Campaign, Sierra Club,
NRDC, the ACLU again, and so on. I went to rallies, signed hundreds of
petitions, joined activist FB groups, sent e-mails, made phone calls, mailed
postcards, and registered people to vote. I spoke at a rally and even organized
a protest! My husband of 30 years didn't bargain for a 56-year-old hippie
activist with radical bumper stickers on her car, but for better or worse,
there's any silver lining to all of this, it's that people are waking up and fighting
back. Personally, I've gone out of my comfort zone so many times I couldn't
find it with GPS. Still, it's daunting, depressing, and so, so difficult. Your
book made me laugh and gave me hope. It inspired me to keep going. If you can
do it, I can do it! If nothing else, the fact that I've gained fifty new
Facebook friends since November tells me one thing. I'm Good Enough, I'm
Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!
first time, all in one place, the award-winning books, "A Trip to the
Hardware Store & Other Calamities," and "I'm Not Talking About
You, Of Course," PLUS seven bonus essays. What a collection! If this
doesn't make you smile, then you're not even trying.
"A Trip to the Hardware Store" These humorous essays explore such quirky topics
as: disastrous home repairs, ("A Trip to the Hardware Store"), an
unfortunate dinner party ("Dinner is Served"), the truth about lazy
people ("Lazy Bones"), the weird life of a debt collector ("Your
Account is Past Due") and obsessions with gadgets ("Gadget
Girl"). Other essays examine how surreal the aging process is ("Where
Did the Time Go?"), why you shouldn't judge a person by their job
("Beyond Belief"), and how to complicate simple transactions
"I'm Not Talking About You, Of Course" A collection of humorous insights into important
topics ranging from annoying pet people ("I'm Not Talking About You, Of
Course"), to analyzing your inner child ("Irrational Fears"), to
living like the Amish in the aftermath of a hurricane ("A Jolt of
Electricity"). Other essays examine just how much damage can be caused by
a sneeze ("It All Started with a Loud Sneeze"), why it is so
complicated to buy a tube of toothpaste ("Ask Me No Questions"), how
a parent's obsessive hobbies can become an inescapable vortex ("Crazy
Hobbies"), and why spending the night in a sleep clinic is like being
abducted by probing aliens ("Nightmare at the Sleep Clinic").
If you don't see yourself in each of these
entertaining essays, then I'm not talking about you, of course.
So, I found this cool blog called "Map Your Mystery"
that organizes cozy mysteries geographically and I thought "What a fun
Christine (because it's her blog, lol) and she graciously agreed to read and
review my Jamie Quinn box set. I'm happy to report that she liked it and wrote
a lovely review:
recommend her blog. Here's the description:
About the Blog
The setting of a mystery
book may not be as important as the clues surrounding the mystery, but in cozy
mysteries, it adds to the flavor. Speaking of flavor, there are many, many cozy
mysteries with all types of businesses as the central focus - bake shop,
knitters shops, libraries, charmed bakeries and so much more. The businesses as
well as their location make for a fun read.
My plan with this blog
is to take you on a tour of the United States (at first) and plot out where
your favorite mysteries are set. Maybe you will find a mystery you have not
read or a business you might want to own yourself.
If you have a favorite
book or a location you would like to recommend, please email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. If the book is one of a series, make sure you send
the title of the first in the series. I'm like that - need to read from the
beginning of the series.
may know, I have a fondness for wombats--even if they are the reason my poor
protagonist Jamie Quinn can't be with her boyfriend, Kip. Check out this short
video of the cutest baby wombat ever, you'll see why. :-)