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Archive for June, 2012

I wish to welcome Natalie Star-Kroll. Where great stories begin here…

Hello, I’d like to thank Dvora for hosting me on her blog this week. This week on our virtual blog tour we were instructed to visit a website with photo prompts. Then we were to write a story based on the photo we chose. The photo jumped out at me off the page and I knew I had to write this scene. It was a scene that I didn’t get to put in my original novel, but wanted to share. So here goes…

ImageThe Perfect Proposal (A short story from The Keeper), by Natalie Star

Most girls dream of their weddings from the time they know what a wedding is. Billie did, when she was in elementary school she used to dress in her mother’s white linen nightgown, pick flowers from the garden for her bouquet, and wear lace doilies on her head to practice for her big day.

Later in life, when she was in college, Billie didn’t fantasize so much about the wedding itself, but on the proposal. She and Tyler were in love, they talked about getting married. So Billie dreamed of the one proposal she knew she couldn’t have.

She envisioned them in their special field. Full of green grasses, a multitude of trees, and mountains all around as far as the eye could see. Their special place held so many memories for her, and she wanted that one important event to be a memory there as well.

Being hundreds of miles away she knew it wasn’t a possibility. But a girl can dream.

In her last year of college, Tyler picked Billie up for their typical dinner and movie date on a Friday night. She should have known something was going on by his demeanor. He was anxious and acting a little strange.

“Tyler? Is everything all right?” Billie asked.

“Yeah…yeah. I’m just nervous we won’t get a seat; you know how busy Friday nights can be. I should have made a reservation.” He ran his hand through his hair.

“It’s fine. We can go somewhere else if it’s booked.” She reached for his hand and entwined their fingers together. His palm was sticky with sweat. The only time his skin was ever like that was when he felt sick. “Are you feeling okay, your hand is—“

“Sorry.” He pulled it away and wiped it on the thigh of his jeans. Billie reached for his forehead to check his temperature. He felt fine.

They arrived at the restaurant early before the dinner rush only to be turned away. Once seated back in the car Tyler sank back into the driver’s seat and put both hands over his face. “I’m sorry. I can’t believe I didn’t call. I just got sidetracked today and I forgot.”

“It’s okay, let’s go get something from the sandwich shop and eat in the car before the movie. It’s fine by me as long as I get some food.” As if on cue her stomach growled. “See? Hungry.”

He smiled a small smile and started the car. The drive wasn’t far at all, just three short blocks. Inside while waiting on their order, Billie was looking at the items for sale on the wall near the register. There were different jams, jellies, wines, sauces, breads, and kitchen items. She saw a picnic basket, and to try to cheer Tyler up she grabbed it along with a bottle of wine.

“What are you doing with that?” he asked.

“Let’s have a picnic…like we used to in the field.” She knew by his reaction it was the right thing to do. His face, blank at first, slowly came to life with a smile that lit up the room. It was so sincere that his dimple to the side of his mouth was visible.

“That’s perfect!” He grabbed her up in an embrace so tight she almost couldn’t breathe, but his smile was infectious and all she could do was grin back.

After paying for their purchases they hit the road. Tyler had no destination in mind. He just drove.

“Where are we going?”

“Don’t know yet.”

“We’ll miss the movie if we go too far.”

“I don’t mind missing it if you don’t.” He looked to her and she shook her head.

They drove for about five minutes. Sunset was coming soon.

“I know of a place we can go. Can your stomach hold out for another minute or two?”

“I don’t know…” She chided.

Tyler pulled the car up to a small park just outside of the town. There was a family packing up to leave. No other cars or people were in sight. “Perfect,” he said.

Billie got out of the car and headed with the picnic basket to the gazebo in the center of the park. Tyler walked a few steps behind her and she could hear him taking several deep breaths.

“Hey, are you sure you are all right? You don’t sound okay. You’re breathing funny.”

He chuckled nervously. “Never better.”  He ran up behind her and grabbed her by the waist causing her to drop the basket.

“Now look what you’ve made me do.” She bent over to pick up the few things that scattered out, and turned around to scold him. Whatever she was going to say she forgot.

Tyler was on one knee holding open a black velvet ring box. Inside was a simple gold band with a single solitaire diamond.

Whatever preconceived notion she had about a proposal, it was gone the moment she laid eyes on him. He knelt in front of the gazebo steps, holding the ring proudly, and he never looked so handsome. The sun was setting and the pinkish-orange glow lit his sweet face. She looked down at the ring and it sparkled radiantly in the light.

“Billie, I’ve loved you since I was five, and I always will. Will you let me love you forever as your husband?”

She felt tears welling up in her eyes as she dropped to her knees and took the ring from the box. “Yes. Yes, a million times.” She handed him the ring and he placed it on her finger, it was the perfect fit. She held out her hand and moved it so the last few minutes of remaining sunlight would shine off of it. “It’s beautiful.”

“A beautiful ring for a beautiful woman. Thank you for saying yes. You don’t know how happy you’ve made me.” She pulled her gaze from the ring to see Tyler beaming and teary eyed.

“Yes, I do, because you make me just as happy, if not more. I can’t wait to be your wife. I love you, Tyler.”

He wiped tears from her face and kissed her softly. She kissed him back and put her arms around him hugging him tight. He pulled back to look into her eyes.

“I wanted to do this back home, and I know this isn’t the field—“

“No, it isn’t…but it’s perfect.” And in her mind it truly was.

***

Natalie Star is the author of the paranormal romance novel, The Keeper. She lives with her husband and two children in Hampton Roads, VA. She loves to spend time with her family (her children are avid soccer players), and aside from reading and writing, she loves camping, hiking and taking photographs.

Natalie enjoys hearing from her readers; you can find her at these following sites:

Book Trailer on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8x0K05MHWA

http://www.authornataliestar.com

http://authornataliestar.blogspot.com

https://twitter.com/#!/iamjustnatalie

https://plus.google.com/u/0/116484157865842677580/posts

http://www.shelfari.com/nataliestar

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5424878.Natalie_Star

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Author

Purchase sites: http://authornataliestar.blogspot.com/2012/01/keeper-where-can-you-find-it.html

Fun, Sun and Cracker Jacks!

Fun, Sun and Cracker Jacks!.

Fun, Sun and Cracker Jacks!

I drove school bus for many years and I found two things to be true.  Kids love to learn, stories tend to do the trick for me.  I remember one girl not having any money for mothers day gift.  She said something to a friend and they said, “Just ask your Dad for money!”  She sat there looking at her friend and I could see in her eyes that that was not an option. She dropped her head down and starred at the floor to school. So I went home and wrote The Old Washing Machine.  In those days I would go to the schools and read stories to the children during my mid break from driving.  Most of the time I wrote stories to help someone figure something out. How to deal with an issue and be successful.  After I read the story in library time, the following week when all the kids boarded the bus she looked at me and said she had taken all her art supplies and made her mother a picture with bottle caps, pop cycle sticks, cotton, buttons and so forth.  She looked up at me with this smile that absolutely brought tears to my eyes.  She marched herself back to her seat and sat much taller that day and I knew with one simple story how much power I had with my pen and paper. My daughter had caught a bug on Friday for school on Monday and well the bug didn’t make it and she was so sad, had nothing for show and tell.  Well I wrote Bug in a Bottle for her, its good to catch them in a jar but for a short time, then you need to let them go so they can be home safe and sound. So catching the bug night before and letting it go after school is the ticket.  

I wrote stories for 10 years entertaining children but the one I remember the most was the story I wrote for a boy who shuddered.  I was not trained in this but knew how to express myself in the story Heckamor the Turtle, after I read the story he asked me for a copy. So I went home drew a few pictures and stapled it together and gave it to him.  Well after bus driving I became a para educator and in the school I was working this 6 foot gentlemen came up to me and asked me if I remembered him.  I was speechless and said, “I am so sorry, I do not, but usually I have to remind myself who I am.” We both smiled and he said, “You gave me a book in elementary school, Heckamor the Turtle.”  I was speechless, he didn’t studder and handsome man he turned out to be. He thanked me for the story and my eyes just teared up.  He said the book is sitting on his shelf all these years.  I am blown away at the idea I had such an impact and that is why I am now publishing them. If I can just do that to one child at a time, it is worth a life time of work.  Sometimes a child will not ask a question because they think it is dumb.  I was told that a million times when I was young, but I always believe any question is a good one not matter what others think.  Some kids just need to know more, with pictures, funny story, Mom being a Italian chef for tea days.  I won’t go there, but Moms and Dads have a big impact on there young’ins and I wish the world wasn’t so busy that one could stay home, but since that is not relevant, I will keep writing my short stories to give a little present in each one for each individual child. To touch one at a time for a better life is all I am aiming for and getting to read them aloud, my favorite things to do in the whole world.  Thank you for your viewing and I am blessed with a touch up from above to get a gift of myself to all the children in the world.

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The Increditable Kim Mutch Emerson, “Welcome”

 

 

 

It’s a sad time in my life when I don’t have time to read. I feel lonely and out of place; depressed and abandoned by my dearest friend, the Book. As sad as it is, that is where I find myself right now. I hold a full time job that zaps my emotional energy during the summer months and I run a full time business promoting authors and their books. Between these two full time positions I am working furiously on a novel of my own, so the closest thing to reading a book for me right now would be flipping through the pages of my dictionary.

 

Oh come on, you have to admit that can be pretty darn exciting. Just flip one open and see where you land. Today I flipped to “offroad”. Now that can be an adventure waiting to happen. What if you were traveling through the dessert and went offroad into the barren wasteland. What heart stopping escapade could be right around the next sand dune?

 

The next page I randomly picked had the entry “William Frederick Cody”; otherwise known as Buffalo Bill Cody. I didn’t know his real name was William Frederick. I think he made a wise decision when he changed it. I mean, can you imagine the bullying that would have gone on? I can see the other rough and tumble type calling out, “hey William Frederick, hold it right there or you’re dead where you sit.”

 

And now see, the sparks of my imagination begin to fly! What if Buffalo Bill was up yander in the hills above the silver mines of Nevada? What if he knew there were trouble a foot and he had his pistol drawn waiting to save the day? What if the bad guys in black hats were chasing Calamity Jane through the dark and narrow pass?

 

I guess I am not depressed after all. The dictionary is my friend.

 

 

I would like to introduce Kim Mutch Emerson!

 

Author, KD Emerson was born (or is that hatched) several years ago. We won’t go into how long it has been because she has this fantasy that she is still a teenager off to conquer the world. She has a passion for the written word and assisting other writers in becoming the best they can be. She also loves to promote others and cheer them on to victory. Follow her on twitter @MstrKoda or you can find her at www.masterkoda.com and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/kimmutch.emerson

Bullying

Being a bus driver for 10 years and working as a vocational assistant I have seen bullying up front and close.  It is a hard subject to talk about because so many personalities are involved.  I have found that kids tend to take things to far on a school bus.  Everyone is cramped and one feeds off the other.  Ignoring kids sometimes is a good way to go about something but alot of the times words work best.  I am appalled at what they did to the bus monitor. But i have been in the same boat many times as a bus driver.  Some tend to think we are lower class, can’t get a job anywhere else and bottom of the barrel.  This is so far from the truth it is silly to think some think just that.  Drivers have to have there wits about them and be able to multitask and watch kids in a tiny mirror and control them along with watching traffic, turning corners, watching cross walks, dogs, cats and bats sometimes.  I began writing stories when I was a driver.  I would sit at home and write a story about something a child would be upset about. Or a story how to relate to someone else when you do not understand where they are and why they are doing the things they do. If that made sense, I hope.  I wrote Bug in a Bottle because a child brought bugs in a jar to school to show her friends at show and tell.  Well they didn’t make it, she kept them in there too long.   So I told her, its fun to catch them but you have to let them go so they can home to there families too.  I read the story to her class later on that week and she understood more what to do by a simple story.  I wrote a story about a boy who was teased and so he learned a way to put his sorrows and the kids on the street learned of his secret and changed the outcome.  Stories play a big part for kids.  I wrote them just to help a few, but as the years went by, I believe I have helped many children through a simple moral stories written from my heart to my children and to the children in the classrooms.  Fudnickle Brown was written because a child was so silly in class and clumsily.  When the kids laughed at him, he took it so hard and began to hate his classmates and began to act up. So  I wrote the story to show him, the kids were laughing with him, and just because your different doesn’t mean you can’t fit in.  In the case in the book, Fudnickle Brown just needed to be in the right school.  He went to the wrong school, he may not of fit in but the children learn to love him and accept him and were sad when he left. Even tho you are different you don’t have to think you are wrong or strange, qualities come in many different ways.  I hope someday my stories will hep kids in school be more a friend then a teaser.  I think we all just want to be lov’d even the bullies.  I found to be true one girl was so mean she created her issues.  Saying sorry was out of the question until I had a talk with her and said, “Are you afraid to say you are sorry for teasing.”  She said, “Yes, its doesn’t matter I already made the mistake.”  My heart fell and my tears welled up in my eyes and I just smiled at  her and said, “I feel where you are I have been there myself.”  I said saying your sorry doesn’t always seem as if anyone hears you or notices, but they do.  If you work enough on changing and tell people that you want to be different. Every morning when you wake up, alone in the bathroom look in the mirror and say out loud to yourself.  “Good morning, I love you and think your a great person. I am pretty!”  When I did it for the first time I felt uncomfortable but as it goes you will find you have three friends for life. Me Myself and I!  I loved driving bus, when a child would climb up onto my bus and say, “Good morning Bus Driver” or tell me something exciting that happend that weekend, my eyes just sprinkled.  Children are our gifts from god and we should do everything in our power to explain how to be kind, understand others, share love.  Well I am done, just a thought for the day.  ❤ life!

Mr. Scott Sheldon Interview of a writer.

 

I am asking Mr. Scott Seldon the question, who is your favorite writer and how does it impact your writing experience.  Take it away Mr. Scott Sheldon…

 

I have many favorite writers, but when I have to pin it down to a single most favorite writer, only one name comes to mind. Isaac Asimov was deservedly one of the greats of his day. Just his fiction alone is engaging, but his wit an humor comes out even better in his essays and interviews. If I could meet one writer from any time, it would have been him.

 

Not only do I enjoy his writing style, the worlds he created in his stories draw me in. Whether it is the stories of Susan Calvin, the mysteries with Elijah Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw, the sweeping Galactic Empire, the intrepid people of the Foundation, or any of his other settings, I feel that I am there.

 

I’ve always felt in tune with Asimov’s writing. My favorite story that came from his typewriter was Bicentennial Man. It was his favorite as well. My goal as a writer is to attempt to be as creative a storyteller as he was and to try and instill my writing with that same intensity that made his books so popular.

 

 

Scott Seldon lives with his family in Colorado and works as an IT administrator. Visit his website (sites.google.com/site/scottrseldon/) for the latest updates and to find where his books are sold.

 

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Stalk your dodgy creativity down in three steps.

“guest posts today by jennifer starks”

  • Stalk your dodgy creativity down in three steps.

    Some days, I get up and I feel excited by how much inspiration is bubbling below my cool, newly blonde streaked, exterior. Other days, I get up and think crap! How am I going to get this scene/chapter written when there’s such a lack of visual brilliance going on upstairs? I’d love to tell you those crap days are far and few between, but they happen more than I’m going to talk about. Luckily, I was able to hold my muse down and brainstorm a solution for this awful problem.

    First, identify the problem. Do you have a lack of motivation or a lack of inspiration? If it’s the first one, your problems will soon be over because there is only one solution for laziness. STOP! Get a pen and paper. Find your laptop, Ipad or tablet. Hell, scroll a few lines in the sand with a stick for all I care. The goal here is simple. Write. Do. Get off your butt and be active. If you’re not willing to do that, you’ve already lost.

    Now, if your problem is lack of inspiration, you can continue with my 3 step solution and the next step would be wander aimlessly. This can be figurative or literal. Peruse a store, watch TV or go to a movie. If getting dressed isn’t something you’re in the mood for, get lost in thought, or, here’s a novel (haha novel) idea, read a book. These things will shift the mind back into a relaxed place where your artistic side doesn’t feel such pressure to perform.

    I can’t tell you how long this step lasts. There’ve been times when a quick trip to the thrift will get my ingenuity flowing again. Other times, I’ve had to cycle through everything I mentioned above twice before that stubborn muse of mine would sing.  Keep with it. No matter how long. I promise eventually it will work.

    The final step is taking advantage of the creativity you’ve stalked down. Life gets in the way. I’ll be the first one to admit it, but if you feel those first stirrings of inspiration just as its time to pick your kids up from school that doesn’t mean you should let it slip away. You’ve got a smartphone. Email yourself a few quick lines on that scene you’re struggling with. If there’s a pen and a McDonald’s bag hanging out in the front seat, use it to jot down an awesome/funny one liner that just came to you.

    So, let’s recap.

    The 3 Steps that will help you stalk your creativity down go like this:

    1. Identify the problem as one of two things. Lack of motivation or lack of inspiration. If it’s a motivation problem: quit feeling sorry for yourself and WRITE! If it’s an inspirational problem, proceede to step 2.
    2. Wander aimlessly. Get out of your office and go for a walk. Take pictures. Shop. Get your hair did. Watch TV or lose yourself in a book. Give your nugget the zoning out time it needs.
    3. 3.       Seize those words! Once you’ve tracked that creativity down, don’t let it lose you in traffic. Jot down anything that will remind you of how wonderful you felt the moment your inspiration came flooding back. I don’t care if it’s a shoddy email or three sentences on a fast food napkin. Seize those words like the savvy stalker you’ve become.

     

    Jennifer Starks has been writing since the tender, but still wise beyond her years, age of eight. She gets giddy at the thought of visiting a bookstore, loves that good ole Library smell, is most at home on the couch reading or at her desk writing. She adores her children (though they make it entirely difficult to keep any kind of writing schedule) and is humbled beyond belief to have a mother who fostered her love of the arts and a husband who supports the lifestyle even when it means listening to her type at 5 AM. Messy Death will be Jennifer’s debut novel. Updates on its progress can be found at www.jenniferstarks.wordpress.com

    Twitter: @princessjen20

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/princessjen2020000

    Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Minshall-Starks/376756749003411

    Email: princessjenjs202000@gmail.com