Self-Distancing, Panic Buying: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

It’s calving season in Central AZ. This is just one of the cuties I saw on a drive about a week ago.

I started staying home last week so I’m about a week and a half into my isolation. Hubby excepted, of course. Most of my friends are doing the same. I saw a friend of mine walking her dog by my house the other day and I ran out to say hi, ten feet apart, of course. Sunday I ate the last of my homemade coconut milk yogurt so I made some more. It will be ready on Monday. Hubby does the shopping for us, and reports the stores still with many empty shelves. To keep busy I found a Youtube site, Lunch Doodles by children’s author Mo Willems. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmzjCPQv3y8  The series is set up for children but it thought it was fun and some good practice for me to illustrate my own children’s story. I’m also involved in a Pixar workshop on storytelling. You can find it at https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/pixar/storytelling. I figured that Pixar has a great storytelling set up and is very successful at it so I thought I’d check it out. I’ve done two sections so far and have really enjoyed it. So if you’re looking to strengthen your writing skills, check it out. Both the doodles and the storytelling are free! Final thing, if you aren’t doing Facebook, you might want to come back. Tons of people are posting recipes, (I can’t eat regular bread but the post on cast iron skillet bread looked so good!), games and exercises for you and the kids, fun links to games, movies, art, music, and so much more. Just scroll by any post that you dislike and get to the good stuff.

Stay safe. Stay well.

I don’t often do this but with the store shelves continuing to be empty I thought I’d post this piece by author Angela Chrysler www.angelabchrysler.com. The entire newsletter is full of great advice, but this part of her post seemed especially significant to me.  It’s on panic buying and to be honest, I’ve found myself doing the same things, the last time I was in the store. So, with many thanks to Angela, here’s her post on:

The 5 Stages of Panic Buying.

I first started seeing panic buying two weeks ago in early March. Was 7 March really only that recent ago?
I didn’t panic buy in Stage #1. I stood back, wrinkling my brow and asked, “What? Toilet paper?” I didn’t panic buy in stage #2 when herd mentality kicked in. I knew how to recognize the lemming stage. I did however panic buy in stage 3 with the, “Oooh! I finally found this!”
Here are the multiple stages of panic buying and how to control them as they hit.
 
Stage #1 – “How we feel in control when things are out of control.”
Summary:
I see Olaf in Frozen II sitting in the forest with children who proceed to shove crystals into his face. “This is how we feel in control when things are feeling out of control.” It’s an old instinct that runs deep and, if you can’t recognize it, you most likely will have it. If you’ve ever been without, it will hit you harder than most. Think of those who lived during the First Great Depression.
The problem with it:
This is the stage that sets off the chain reaction to all the other stages. It leads to economic downfall and an imbalance of supply and demand. This Stage is the stage that starts all other stages. It is the catalyst. The cause that creates the effect.
How to recognize and stop it:
Are you buying what is not on your list? Do you need it now? Are you being emotional or logical? First and foremost, are you scared? Every one of these stages is a fear response, but this one more than most because it is the least logical. Nothing more. Be honest with yourself. Be aware of it, and remind yourself that buying that extra gallon (or five) of milk will not solve the issue. You will still have a possibly lethal virus running rampant around you. You may still get sick. You will just have one (or five) more gallons of milk to store in your fridge. Buying that milk will not stop the virus.  
 
Stage #2 – The Lemming Stage.
Summary:
“Everyone was buying the giant balls of butter, so I got on for each of us!” This is one of my favorite lines from 3rd Rock from the Sun. Sally Solomon came home with four turkeys when she experienced her first Thanksgiving in Season 1. We do this because when monkey sees, monkey does. We don’t understand WHY everyone is buying toilet paper, but we assume they have news that we don’t have and stopping to ask for an explanation could result in you losing out while others grab and run. Act first. Ask later.
My husband is an Aries: the one astrological sign that likes to mess with people…because he can.  “Ooh!” My husband said and dramatically snatched up a kitchen sponge, clutching it to his body protectively, then, slunk away as if someone would wrestle it from him. “What’s that?” Shoppers around him instantly zoomed in to the wall of sponges and started stocking up. Seriously people, pay attention to your emotions specifically the impulses driven by fear.
I also call this stage the “lemming” stage as these are the panic buyers who buy because they see everyone else doing it.
The problem with it:
This stage feeds the next lemming beside you. Panic breeds panic. While Stage #1 launches the downfall, the lemming stage builds the momentum and keeps it going until nothing is left. Still largely fear-based, this stage doesn’t have a drop of logical thought around.
How to recognize and stop it:
This one is easy. The ONLY reason why you would panic buy in stage #2 is because you consistently saw the same item in everyone else’s cart OR you went to a store, saw that the shelf was almost bare and you grabbed the last two cans of dog food before remembering that you don’t even own a dog. Or you were one of the ten shoppers who saw my husband clutching the sponges to his chest. Ask yourself, am I buying this because I need it or because I saw what others are doing?
 
 
Stage #3 – The Adrenaline Stage –
“Ooh! I haven’t been able to find this!”

Summary:
Still fear based and still no logic in sight. I did this yesterday at Target. I found THE LAST packs of tissues!! (I didn’t need them). They were travel sized, BUT THEY WERE MINE (I didn’t need them)! “At Last” played in my head. I cried, actually cried, with relief. I wouldn’t even put them in the cart. They were MINE (I didn’t need them).  
The problem with it:
This one is tricky because it has the illusion of logic attached to it…even though it doesn’t. Did you read the part where I said I didn’t need them? Yes. Buying something because you finally found it looks logically, but if you’re buying something for anything other than need, it isn’t logical. It’s emotional. I have $6.00 less in my wallet than I had yesterday for something I don’t need, and I took from someone else who actually may need it. It was this event yesterday that led me to writing this article.
How to recognize and stop it:
Recognizing this stage is simple. Did you ever use the phrase, “I found it!?”Before you buy ask, “Do I need it?” If the answer is no then yes, you are in stage #3. If you DO need it, you’re not panic buying UNLESS…You are buying more than you NEED. Logically determine your need before you buy. Not sure if you need it? Then ask yourself, “Can I do without this?”  
 
Stage #4 – The Stage of Overthinking Foresight –
“I found it NOW, but what if I can’t get it when I need it?”

Summary:
This is the stage that has not happened yet…but it will. This stage will hit alongside Stage #5. You can and probably will have Stage #4 and Stage #5 at the same time. There is one subtle difference: Stage #5 can last for years, even a lifetime. Stage #4 will only last for a month or two after the demand drops and supply can finally recover.
This stage will hit when toilet paper does make its way back on the shelves. This is the one I feel the most. I could easily buy 3 dozen packages of toilet paper when they FINALLY hit the shelves…just because I can’t trust they won’t be there. I know others will have the same feeling. If we don’t keep Stage #4 in check, we could easily start the whole cycle over again, prolonging the supply deficit.  
The problem with it:
This will keep mandatory essentials scarce. It will continue to keep the bare shelves bare. It will start panic buying over again from Stage #2.
How to recognize and stop it:
This is the first stage that is not only emotional, but it is VERY logical. This is why Stage #4 is so dangerous. One could easily convince themselves why they need to buy and will stock up. It is easy to recognize, but not so easy to stop. In fact, it’s downright DIFFICULT to stop. It’s simple. Imagine the paper product aisle in Walmart fully stocked. What would you do? If you answered, “Buy it all” you are probably in Stage #4. What I recommend is the following:
Consult an old grocery list. One you used March 2019.
Buy only what is on that list and ONLY in the quantities you would have purchased in March 2019.
This stage truly is the “it looks easy on paper, but in practice…” I know. I’m right there with you. This stage is going to be hard.
 
Stage #5 – Trauma Induced Stage –
“I missed you! I’m getting you now because I finally can! I finally feel empowered! I will never live without you again!”

Summary:
This stage will arrive alongside stage #4. But, when stage #4 dies out, stage #5 will stick around a little (or a lot) longer. This one is the one that could stick with any one person for the rest of their lives. This is where the trauma of having no toilet paper for 3 months could easily result in keeping a year’s worth of toilet paper for the rest of your life. Do you remember that weird quirk your grandmother had where she always saved every last piece of wrapping paper no matter how mangled it was? Or your grandfather who kept every newspaper because there was always a way he could use it later? Yeah. That is what Stage #5 looks like years later.
In short, Stage #5 is what the trauma of doing without leaves behind.
The problem with it:
It is a trauma that, if left unchecked, could result in a mind or severe case of hoarding. It can lead to storage problems, financial ruin, or, in some cases, severe forms of clutter.  
How to recognize and stop it:
Does the thought of not buying 6 months’ supply of toilet paper renew feelings of panic? Do you literally fight back tears or violently lash out if someone tries to prevent or question the quantity of toilet paper you purchase? If any part of this stage fills you with a massive waves of emotion, you’re probably in stage #5.
If it is a mild case, to stop it, apply the methods of stage #4. Again, easier said than done. If it is an advanced case, a licensed therapist may be in order.

I know that made my blog post longer than normal but I thought it important that we examine our own emotional situation and work together to get the supply lines back to normal.

Giveaways:

Hooray! The St. Patrick Day giveaway still live! This is one of our shortest giveaways and sure to be shut down any day now, so be sure to click on the link right away. As always, we ask that to win, you follow us on one or more of several social media, or our newsletters, or our websites. You don’t have to join all of them, but to find out more about the many wonderful authors, you’ll want to do that. Here’s the link. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ or go to https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2703c98f110/  Sign up today!

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, April 27th at 1pm. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Phoenix Fan Fusion, May 21st – 24th. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Payson Book Festival, July 18th at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Payson AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

CokoCon 2020, September 4 – 7th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe, 2100 S Tempe, AZ. This event hasn’t been cancelled yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on AmazonAppleBarnes and NobleKobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

An APW Chapter Meeting, Book Reviews: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Arizona Professional Writers logo

Last week was a whirlwind but everything was accomplished! This week I have only one meeting. That’s our Rim Country Chapter of the Arizona Professional Writers. We have a lot of fun and learn interesting things about the writing and publishing world at these monthly meetings. This month is what I like to call a sharing month. We give our members and guests a chance to talk about what they’re working on. Everyone always has such interesting stories and they work on such a wide variety of projects from poetry, scripts, plays, inspirational work, general fiction, mysteries, romance, westerns, scifi, fantasy and so much more. This includes peoples non-fiction work like newspaper and magazine articles and memoirs. If you’re in
Rim Country, we’d love to see you at the meeting on Wednesday at 1pm. If you’re not in Rim Country, find a writer’s group near you and join in. It’s good to come out of our heads for a little while.

Since I’ve become an author, I know how important it is to give authors a review of their books. So, I have been doing that with every book I read. Right now, I have 3 books read that I need to write quick reviews for. Two of the books are James Patterson, Alex Cross novels. One is Sweet Confections by Danyelle Ferguson. I post these reviews on Amazon, BookBub, and on Goodreads. After I write them it’s easy to copy and paste the reviews on each platform. How about you? Do you write reviews for the books you’ve read? I know I appreciate every review. Hinty, hint!

Giveaways:

Hooray! The St. Patrick Day giveaway is now live! This is one of our shortest giveaways so be sure to click on the link right away. As always, we ask that to win, you follow us on one or more of several social media, or our newsletters, or our websites. You don’t have to join all of them, but to find out more about the many wonderful authors, you’ll want to do that. Here’s the link. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ or go to https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2703c98f110/  Sign up today!

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, April 27th at 1pm. More info to follow.

Phoenix Fan Fusion, May 21st – 24th.

Payson Book Festival, July 18th at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Payson AZ.

CokoCon 2020, September 4 – 7th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe, 2100 S Tempe, AZ

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on AmazonAppleBarnes and NobleKobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

I’m Literary! Giveaway Opens, Fruit Trees Pruned: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Just after I posted last week, I received news that a story I wrote last August, had been accepted and was just published. The way it happened was that I met a woman, Rosemary Dombrowski, a poet from Arizona State University, who was doing some pre-book festival work with sixth-graders here in Payson for us. She has this literary magazine she and some of her students and other instructors work on, called Writing For Peace. https://writingforpeace.org/gardens-in-the-desert-cultivating-awareness/ It turned out they were accepting short stories and poems and art for the upcoming Winter 2020 edition. The theme was Gardens in the Desert, Cultivating Awareness. Even though my fiction isn’t considered literary, an idea immediately popped into my mind and I wrote it up.  After I sent it in, I just forgot about it. Then a few days ago, I was contacted by the staff to check my story for correctness. A week later, boom, I have a link to the electronic copy. I hear an actual paper version will be published later this year. I’m looking forward to that as there are wonderful stories in there and stunning artwork. Want to check it out while it’s free? Click on the link above and it takes you right to it. My story, A Little Bit of Light, is in the Fiction link. Enjoy it and the other stories, art, and poetry.

Peach tree from 2019

I mentioned last week that it was time to prune my fruit trees. I actually got it done. I managed to sprain my wrist in the process but the two pears, the peach, and the nectarine trees have all been cut back, crosswise branches trimmed and the trees are now ready for spring. The rosebushes and the lavender bush all still to be done but that will get done eventually too. How about you? Are you able to garden yet or do you still need to wait for the snow to leave?

Giveaways:

Hooray! The St. Patrick Day giveaway is now live! This is one of our shortest giveaways so be sure to click on the link right away. As always, we ask that to win, you follow us on one or more of several social media, or our newsletters, or our websites. You don’t have to join all of them, but to find out more about the many wonderful authors, you’ll want to do that. Here’s the link. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ or go to https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2703c98f110/  Sign up today!

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, April 27th at 1pm. More info to follow.

Phoenix Fan Fusion, May 21st – 24th.

Payson Book Festival, July 18th at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Payson AZ.

CokoCon 2020, September 4 – 7th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe, 2100 S Tempe, AZ

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Super Bowl, Happy February, House Decorating, The Party : Monday Blog Post

In my backyard, a Rufus Sided Towhee

Newest News:

Apologies. I scheduled this for Monday the 3rd and I’ve spent all week trying to get it to post. So, given that, here’s the post.

So Sunday was Superbowl. We didn’t have big company or anything, but I still made chicken wings but with an oriental-style orange ginger sauce. I bought a half ring of shrimp to nosh on and made my own queso for the tortilla chips. Pretty low key. What was your fav snack for the big game? Did your team win?

Anyone else glad it’s February? I thought January lasted an extra four weeks at least. Nothing bad happened to me or my family. It just seemed like an extra long month.

Hubby has decided to paint the second bathroom. I guess he wants a project. He’s decided to paint it a light sage green. My feeling is that I don’t care, as long as it isn’t horrible. Anyone else let the spouse do the decorating? It’s just really not my thing.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my serial story, The Party. I know I’ve missed the last two Fridays. I’m a little overwhelmed with ideas about it, to be honest. That means I should be writing, but it’s sort of like standing in the grocery store cereal aisle. Just so many choices! Anyway. I think I have at least one character’s future identified. There may also be some joining up of characters. A big surprise for them because aside from my destroyed family, none of the characters know each other. We’ll see how it goes. If you’ve been reading the serial, if you like it or have a comment, feel free to drop a line or two in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Giveaways:

The St. Patrick’s Day giveaway will start soon. I’ll post links as soon as I get them.

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, April 27th at 1pm. More info to follow.

Phoenix Fan Fusion, May 21st – 24th.

Payson Book Festival, July 18th at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Payson AZ.

CokoCon 2020, September 4 – 7th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe, 2100 S Tempe, AZ

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

My 2020 Calendar, which I’ve titled Arizona Reflections, is still available. The beautiful pictures of Arizona wildlife, insects, reptiles, and landscapes relaxes me every time I look at them. The wall calendar has both U.S. and Canadian holidays listed and blocks for keeping track of appointments. You can find the calendar for purchase at: http://www.lulu.com/content/legacy-lulustudio-calendar/arizona-impressions/25183877. Alternatively, you can go to my website, at my Books and Other Products page and it’s the first thing you see. I hope you enjoy it.

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Mom’s Birthday, Martin Luther King Day, Women’s March 2020, The Party: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

So, had she lived, mom would be 83 today. Her birthday fell on what used to be Washington’s Birthday, but is now Martin Luther King Day. To my mom, happy birthday. I miss you very much. I have no plans for this three-day weekend, I’m retired after all. I do plan to remember the struggle of our neighbors without white skin and to work so that everyone has the same level of respect and opportunity throughout this nation.  

I attended the local Women’s March on Saturday. We had some great speakers. Did a short march down our main street, and just felt recharged and invigorated after spending the morning with such a wonderful group of compassionate, involved women and men. Were you able to attend a march near you? Leave a comment!

On the writing front. Last week did this blog post, another one for another blog, and did a chapter on The Party for Friday. It felt good to get back in the writing saddle after such a long break. I have some great ideas for The Party. I’m enthusiastic again.

Giveaways:

I missed the Valentine’s Day giveaway. I’m not sure how. However, I am signed up for the St. Patrick’s Day giveaway. I’ll post links as soon as I get them. I’ll post the Christmas winners as soon as I’m notified.

Where will I Be?:

Tempe FanCon. It’s this Saturday! January 25th from 10am to 4pm at the Tempe Public Library. Come in cosplay costume or not. It’s up to you. I’m at table 77 of over 90 author tables. So much variety. Panels, other entertainment, food vendors. Come on out and enjoy the lovely winter weather and find some great books. Check the website for directions, the site plan, and a list of the authors!

Phoenix Fan Fusion, May 21st – 24th.

Payson Book Festival, July 18th at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Payson AZ.

CokoCon 2020, September 4 – 7th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix Tempe, 2100 S Tempe, AZ

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

My 2020 Calendar, which I’ve titled Arizona Reflections, is still available. The beautiful pictures of Arizona wildlife, insects, reptiles, and landscapes relaxes me every time I look at them. The wall calendar has both U.S. and Canadian holidays listed and blocks for keeping track of appointments. You can find the calendar for purchase at: http://www.lulu.com/content/legacy-lulustudio-calendar/arizona-impressions/25183877. Alternatively, you can go to my website, at my Books and Other Products page and it’s the first thing you see. I hope you enjoy it.

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

The Party: Chapter 19 – Duncan Angelson

Yes, this is political. I offer you trigger warnings for language and sexual and racist slurs and comments. Future episodes may also contain rape, abuse, and other unpleasant things.

Chapter 19: Duncan Angelson

Duncan stood at the head of the conference table. As President Master’s Chief of Staff, it was his responsibility to lead this meeting. It was an assembly of the movers and shakers of the new party. The People’s Party. More like the oligarch’s party he thought. But that would have been bad branding. Joe Evans sat to his right. The leader of this committee of blood-sucking bastards. Greed was the main goal. The only goal, really. As long as the money flowed into their coffers, they didn’t care what kind of atrocity they perpetrated on the land, air, water and especially the people. He didn’t know what had happened. He’d been a firebrand in his college days. Power to the People. Now. Now he didn’t know what he was. A turncoat. A traitor.

He pulled his thoughts from the self-flagellation and pointed at the screen. He’d just played the video from Collinwood. Two hundred and seventy-four people, men, women, and children were recovered from the town. A few were driving out just moments before the bombing, the rest were refugees from the town edges. They’ve all been interrogated, the children sent to the reeducation centers. They didn’t know anything anyway. The adults have been sent to the factories or in the case of the women, the uneducated sent to the farms or the brothels, the educated to the research centers and computer farms. Low end work, of course.

Heads around the table nodded. This group had decided that women were to be homemakers or low-end admin workers. The move immediately cut the workforce in half. Along with that move, girls had been taken out of school after the sixth grade. They had enough education to read and write but not enough to be a threat. Barefoot and pregnant, they’d laughed after they’d voted on the restrictions. Duncan had heard an earful from his own wife when the bill passed in Congress. A high-end lawyer, she was furious and gave him a complete recitation on all of the laws this new bill broke. It didn’t matter. She was kicked out of her firm and as a partner, received her share of the business but of course it had to go into his account. Hers had been closed. Can’t have the little ladies with their own money now. Could we?

Joe Evans grinned and slapped the table. “That’ll slow down the insurgents, now, won’t it?”

The men around the table laughed. “Now, Duncan, What’s the scoop? Anyone know about the insurrection?”

“A few had been stops on the underground. A place for escapees to stop for rest and food. None of the people we gathered up were of any importance.”

“Damn shame. It would have made some good TV to have a couple of hangings.” Joe looked around the table then back at Duncan. “How are you doing on the releases of the few we gathered up that weren’t really black or chink?”

“We’ve run the criteria through the database. We have about three hundred possible men to release. The first twenty-five have been investigated and proven to be good candidates.”

“What do you mean by that, good candidates?”

Duncan looked to the right end of the conference table. Rory Calhoun asked the question. Calhoun was the CEO of Agraland, a conglomerate of factory farms, genetically modified seed production, and pesticide manufacturing. He profited a great deal from the free female farm labor and the forced servitude of men in the chemistry and manufacturing fields.

“Just as your committee laid out.” Duncan said. “Miniscule racially impure DNA, no problems in their assignments, good conduct at their factories.”

“Submissive, you mean,” the man next to Calhoun said. The men all laughed.

Duncan smiled. “Yes. They have all conformed to the requirements of the factories they were sent to, didn’t cause a fuss, and are all healthy.”

“Should be.” Calhoun made a face of disgust. “My racehorses don’t get treated that well.”

Duncan knew that the man from Kentucky objected strenuously to the agreed upon treatment of the people doing the slave labor. That’s exactly what it was and in his complaints said so himself. His ancestors didn’t treat their slaves with state-of-the-art medical care and well-balanced diets. He didn’t see why he should waste money on it for his own slaves. The rest of the committee, thank all that was decent, disagreed. “Perhaps so, but don’t you have the best productivity ever?”

He grunted. “That’s so. But it costs a fortune.”

“But less than before, right, Rory?” Joe Evans asked.

Cowed, Rory Calhoun agreed. Joe brought them back on track. “So, Duncan. When are they to be released?”

“If you all are good with it, next week. We have a whole media circus lined up for it.” He looked around the room. “What about their wives and kids? It was never brought up.”

Rory Calhoun rolled his eyes. “For Christ’s sake, Duncan. Now you want to release their families?” He shook his head. “Camel’s nose under the tent if you ask me.”

Joe Evans nodded. “Perhaps. But if we release the man, it will look bad on the TV if his wife and kids aren’t with him.” He thought for a moment. “I say, let’s try it with these first twenty-five. Get the wives and kids out of wherever they were sent and have them arrive just after the men are released. It will make great TV.”

“It would make the party look benevolent.” Duncan looked around the table. “Show of hands for releasing in a week with wives and kids?”

Joe Evans was first with his hand up. The rest followed. Last of all was Calhoun. “I still think this is a bad idea. You do for one, we’ll have to do for all.” He raised his hand. “But let’s see.”

“Motion is carried,” Duncan said. “That’s all for today, gentlemen.”

The men around the table began to stand up, chatting with their neighbors. “We haven’t gotten you out to the farm for dinner yet,” Joe said to Duncan. “Emily said Saturday would be perfect. Come out early. She wants to brag about her garden to Monica. We can shoot some skeet before dinner. Casual dress for the afternoon. Formal for dinner. I have some people for you to meet.”

Duncan nodded. “Perfect. I’ll tell Monica. Anything I should prepare for?”

“No.” Joe laughed. “I’m bringing the Eastern Federation Defense Secretary, Illy Romanov. Thought some personal connection would be helpful.”

Duncan inwardly groaned. “Sure. Some of our defense people too?”

Joe slapped him on the back. “Of course. See you there.”

Duncan watched him leave the room with Calhoun. Smarmy bastards, both of them. Really, he thought. Where did I go wrong?

Thank you for reading.

NANOWRIMO, To Do List, Friday Flash The Party, Giveaways News: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

So how is National Novel Writing Month going for me? Well, I’ve had a dearth of motivation this last week and skipped writing from Tuesday through Saturday. Well, Saturday I spent on the road. I had a meeting in Tucson so there was about four hours each way on the road, plus the meeting I attended and a lunch and social couple of hours afterward. That has put me behind. Not so far I can’t catch up, but I’ll have to work harder and longer to get the words in that I need to complete the NaNo challenge this year. When I do write, the story seems to be moving along. This is after, It’s All About the Girl, had a particularly slow start. No matter. The words are flowing and I should finish the month strong. I cannot believe the month is already half over with. That’s what happens when you spend so much time in other worlds. LOL!

In between writing sessions I’m like most women, thinking about Thanksgiving, and beyond that Christmas. Planning needs to be done. People invited over. Presents to be acquired. Candy to be made. I also haven’t finished updating everything needed to be done for the Payson Book Festival, so that’s nagging at me in the back of my brain. Lots to do. I’m sure many of you are in the same situation. My plan is to just take one thing at a time and get it all done. Hope your plan works for you!

Oh. And I missed my Friday flash fiction post on my serial, The Party. It fell into that same lack of gumption as It’s All About the Girl. However. I have been thinking about it. It looks like I have about eleven characters. Somehow, before the end of the story, they’re all, or at least most of them, are going to intersect in some way. I have no idea how. I do have a glimmer of how the story could end. I’m really writing this by the seat of my pants so hang on. It’s going to be a ride.

Giveaways:

The Ghoulishly Great Reads Halloween Author/Blogger giveaway is now over! Twenty-two authors are participated giving us a $66 Paypal grand prize plus 22 other great prizes and 22 free books. Soon I’ll have the list of winners, which I’ll share with you.

The Christmas giveaway is now open! For my giveaway I’m featuring a copy of Slave Elf and a $10 Amazon gift card. There are 21 other great prizes available and a $72 Grand Prize in PayPal cash. I hope you can stop in and try for a prize here.

Where will I Be?:

December Mesa Book Festival. The date is December 14th from 10am – 5pm and the location has changed to 225 E Main St, Mesa. This is the Benedictine University, for those familiar with Mesa. I am sharing a booth space with the wonderful Marsha Ward. The site only promotes the author registering the table, so you’ll only see Marsha’s name, not mine. But I promise, I’ll be there. You can find all the details and a map at https://anthology.org/category/mesa-book-festival/.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

My 2020 Calendar, which I’ve titled Arizona Reflections, is now available. I love doing these calendars. The beautiful pictures of Arizona wildlife, insects, reptiles, and landscapes relaxes me every time I look at them. The wall calendar has both U.S. and Canadian holidays listed and blocks for keeping track of appointments. You can find the calendar for purchase at: http://www.lulu.com/content/legacy-lulustudio-calendar/arizona-impressions/25183877. Alternatively, you can go to my website, at my Books and Other Products page and it’s the first thing you see. I hope you enjoy it.

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Veteran’s Day, NANOWRIMO, Gratefullness: Monday Blog Post

Airman 1st Class Wilcox

Newest News:

Happy Veteran’s Day! The youngster in the above picture is me. Airman 1st class. I had no idea what I was doing, where I was going, or what the future would bring. Fortunately, mostly good stuff and for that I’m grateful. May the vets in your life have nothing but happiness from now on.

Yay! It’s November and with it, National Novel Writing Month! This is the annual challenge to all writers to put your editing brain in the closet and just write, write, write! As of Sunday morning, I’ve written almost 18,000 words so far. I have transitioned to the next All About Bob story, which right now I’m calling, It’s All About the Girl. This story isn’t flowing as well as the last one but not everything is perfect. I’m slogging along on it and with luck will have it done sooner rather than later and be able to start the last one, It’s All About Home. If you’re writing this month, good for you. Hope you get it finished. If you’re a reader, brace yourself. All of these stories will be out in about a year.

I have been putting my gratefulness posts on my author page. So click on over to my author page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts/, and check it out. Share what you’re grateful for as well!

Giveaways:

The Ghoulishly Great Reads Halloween Author/Blogger giveaway is ending soon! Twenty-two authors are participating giving us a $66 Paypal grand prize plus 22 other great prizes and 22 free books. So jump on this giveaway, over on my website Giveaways page. Soon I’ll have the list of winners, which I’ll share with you.

The the Christmas giveaway will start very soon! For my giveaway I’m featuring a copy of Slave Elf and a $10 Amazon gift card. Other great prizes are also available. I hope you can stop in and try for a prize.

Where will I Be?:

December Mesa Book Festival. The date is December 14th from 10am – 5pm and the location has changed to 225 E Main St, Mesa. This is the Benedictine University, for those familiar with Mesa. I am sharing a booth space with the wonderful Marsha Ward. The site only promotes the author registering the table, so you’ll only see Marsha’s name, not mine. But I promise, I’ll be there. You can find all the details and a map at https://anthology.org/category/mesa-book-festival/.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

My 2020 Calendar, which I’ve titled Arizona Reflections, is now available. I love doing these calendars. The beautiful pictures of Arizona wildlife, insects, reptiles, and landscapes relaxes me every time I look at them. The wall calendar has both U.S. and Canadian holidays listed and blocks for keeping track of appointments. You can find the calendar for purchase at: http://www.lulu.com/content/legacy-lulustudio-calendar/arizona-impressions/25183877. Alternatively, you can go to my website, at my Books and Other Products page and it’s the first thing you see. I hope you enjoy it.

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

The Party: Lt Col Flynn – Flash Fiction Friday Post

Yes, this is political. I offer you trigger warnings for language and sexual and racist slurs and comments. Future episodes may also contain rape, abuse, and other unpleasant things.

Chapter 18: Lt Col Flynn

Tyler Flynn crouched behind a bush on a hillside overlooking a small town in West Virginia. In his earpiece, he heard a single click. Go time. He made a motion with his hand and watched as his troops moved down the hill. He was responsible for surrounding the southeast side of the town. Not too close, though. The plan was to bomb the place.

Two days ago he’d been in a staff meeting with Colonel Marcus and other company commanders. A map of the town, Collinwood, was projected at the front of the conference room. They’d already discussed their individual approaches. Three sides, in all. Now the rest of the plan was being detailed.

When Marcus said the town was going to be bombed, the room fell dead silent. “I know,” Marcus said. The man wasn’t stupid, Flynn thought. “A daylight raid, us surrounding the town, and a full-scale bombing. Yes. There will be elderly, women, and children in there. The order is to kill every person.” He looked around the room. “We’re sending a message, gentlemen. There will be cameras, in the air and with the surrounding men.” He took a deep breath. “This will be televised. Anyone escaping will be captured and eventually interrogated for information on the insurrection. Any questions?”

There weren’t. Later in the day, the men were briefed. They didn’t like it, he could see that clearly on their faces. But like their officers, no one asked any questions. This was no longer an army where questions were welcomed.

So now it was beginning. A few cars had left town, but his team didn’t stop them. There were details further down the road to pick them up. In his earpiece, he heard Marcus’ voice. “Bombing run beginning. Hold your positions.”

Flynn keyed his mic. “Hold your positions. Bombing run initiating.”

From his position he could see his men taking cover. It didn’t take long. Drones came overhead and flew straight for the town. Bombs fell, silently, and Flynn felt as though he were watching a silent movie. The bombs fell, black silhouettes against the bright blue sky. They hit, first at the edges, then moving into the town center. Factories, churches, schools, stores. They all lit up in flame and then smoke. He could hear the screaming from his perch on the hill and his stomach rolled. Another flight of drones followed, hitting buildings untouched by the first pass. People were beginning to straggle out of the town.

“Pick them up,” he said into his mic. As he watched, his men stood and began to move forward. He watched as his men directed the people to the temporary confinement area. Trained since birth to trust their own soldiers, forgetting they didn’t live in that world any longer, and truth be told, more than likely confused from the bombing, the survivors did what they were told.

He knew there was first aid set up there, there hadn’t been any orders to be cruel. The people would be treated and moved into the fenced area. Flynn looked at the town, it was totally on fire. There didn’t seem to be a single building that wasn’t already a pile of ruble or on fire. Immaculata my ass, he thought. More like Satan’s spawn. He spat to the side to try and get the taste of treachery out of his mouth. It didn’t work. He moved down the hill. It was time to join his men.

Thank you for reading.

NANOWRIMO, Gratefulness November: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

Yay! It’s November and with it, National Novel Writing Month! This is the annual challenge to all writers to put your editing brain in the closet and just write, write, write! As of Sunday morning, I’ve written 4600 words and am going strong on finishing It’s All About the Music. Then I’ll transition to the next All About Bob story, which right now I’m calling, It’s All About the Girl. I don’t really like that title, so hopefully, when I’m writing it, I’ll come up with something better. The last planned book in that series will be, perhaps titled, It’s All About Home. With luck and nimble fingers, I’ll have all three done by the end of the month. We’ll see how it goes.

Also in November, I practice gratitude and thankfulness. I’ve done this for several years now and find it comforting. I generally post my daily thankful for on my personal facebook page. I should do that on my author page too, don’t you think? Yeah! I’ll do that. So click on over to my author page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts/, and check it out. Share what you’re grateful for as well!

Giveaways:

The Ghoulishly Great Reads Halloween Author/Blogger giveaway is ending soon! Twenty-two authors are participating giving us a $66 Paypal grand prize plus 22 other great prizes and 22 free books. So jump on this giveaway, over on my website Giveaways page. Soon I’ll have the list of winners, which I’ll share with you.

Then the Christmas giveaway will start. For my giveaway I’m featuring a copy of Slave Elf and a $10 Amazon gift card. Other great prizes are also available. I hope you can stop in and try for a prize.

Where will I Be?:

December Mesa Book Festival. The date is December 14th from 10am – 5pm and the location has changed to 225 E Main St, Mesa. This is the Benedictine University, for those familiar with Mesa. I am sharing a booth space with the wonderful Marsha Ward. The site only promotes the author registering the table, so you’ll only see Marsha’s name, not mine. But I promise, I’ll be there. You can find all the details and a map at https://anthology.org/category/mesa-book-festival/.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

My 2020 Calendar, which I’ve titled Arizona Reflections, is now available. I love doing these calendars. The beautiful pictures of Arizona wildlife, insects, reptiles, and landscapes relaxes me every time I look at them. The wall calendar has both U.S. and Canadian holidays listed and blocks for keeping track of appointments. You can find the calendar for purchase at: http://www.lulu.com/content/legacy-lulustudio-calendar/arizona-impressions/25183877. Alternatively, you can go to my website, at my Books and Other Products page and it’s the first thing you see. I hope you enjoy it.

Gold Dreams released May 13th, 2019. It is up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, (Direct link doesn’t work, copy the URL and paste it into your browser, or go directly to Kobo.com and search for Gold Dreams, Connie Cockrell), and Smashwords. The print version is available on Amazon. You can also see all my books on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads or BookBub. Your review is critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

Thank you for reading my blog. Like all of the other work I do as an author, it takes time and money. If you enjoy this Monday blog and the Friday free story and the recipe I put up on the 25th of every month, consider donating to https://www.paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.