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.

Handmaid’s Tale vs The Party, Vocal Media, 2020 Calendar, New Giveaway: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

So, how many of you have seen or are watching the Margaret Atwood tv show, Handmaid’s Tale? I just started watching it and oh my. It turns out that in my new serial, The Party, I use similar tropes and cattle prods! It’s all my own work since I hadn’t seen the show or read the books but isn’t it amazing how ideas percolate through the writing world! Anyway, with that reminder, I have a segment to write for Friday so I’d better get busy! Is there a particular character you like best?

I thought I’d mention the site called Vocal. Lots of great content is on there. I’m posting The Party there, as well as on my blog. You can find my page at https://vocal.media/authors/connie-cockrell. That’s my author page. You don’t have to leave a tip, of course, but it would be nice if you can. The funny thing is I started the page two years ago and just kind of forgot about it. But it’s nice to have an alternate site people can visit and share. While you’re there, check out some of the other posts by other people. Like I said, some great content.

Giveaways:

The Summer Giveaway is now closed. The organizer will have the prize winners chosen soon and I’ll let my winners know after that.

In the meantime, the Ghoulishly Great Reads Halloween Author/Blogger giveaway is now open! 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. It won’t last long.

Where will I Be?:

I don’t have anything on my calendar until the 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/.

On the other hand, if something juicy comes up, because it’s a long time between now and December, I’ll let you know. Do you know of an event where you’d like to see me? I’d love to know about it. Contact me here and say the word.

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:

Reminder. I have the 2020 Calendar, which I’ve titled Arizona Reflections, now available for sale. 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.

Poetry: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Hello to all. It’s still April and that means National Poetry Writing Month. I’ve been following along with author and poet Stephanie Peterson Abney as she leads several of us along a path of getting to know many poetry forms. Following are a few of the poems I’ve written since the last post.

The pine is much, much, much, larger now.

Rhyme Royal Poem

“The Pine”

It stands sentinel in front of my house.

The shade it does cast helps keep my home cool,

Tall and green, it makes pinecones, so I grouse,

In the spring, pollen collects on my tools,

In my nose and eyes, I feel like a fool.

I could cut it down, no pollen around,

But then where’s the shade, none would be around.

Grassy hills from this year’s wet spring.

Next is a gogyohka form of a Quintain poem

Green grass

covers the rocky hills

making them look soft

rounding their shapes

in the morning sun.

This is a Poiku, a Haiku based on a popular song.

“When I’m Sixty-Four”

When I get older,

Sincerely wasting away.

Will you still need me?

From the Beatles, When I’m Sixty-Four

So you can see I’ve been having a lot of fun with poetry this month. Why don’t you check out Stephanie’s website and try your hand at a few?

Cilantro-Lime Salmon Over Cauliflower Rice and Peas: Chicklets in the Kitchen Post

 

Cilantro-Lime Salmon Over Cauliflower Rice and Peas

It’s Christmas and if you’re reading this on Christmas Day, you’re probably all set to eat your holiday dinner. Whether that’s a standing rib roast, a glazed ham, the feast of the seven fishes or some combination thereof, it’s probably over the top, heavy on the fats and sugars, and enough to put you in a food coma. The day after tomorrow is left overs, of course. But sometime before the final bingeing of New Year’s Eve, you more than likely want something a little lighter. This may be what you’re looking for.

I was watching an episode of The Pioneer Woman and she made a Cilantro-Lime Rice and Salmon dinner. I like salmon, and in my house, we don’t eat fish as much as we should. This recipe sounded perfect. I modified it to be paleo, and this is what I came up with. Feel free to make adjustments to fit your family’s tastes. This is easy and fast to make and very easy to be made to feed 2 people or a big crowd.

Cilantro-Lime Salmon over Cauliflower Rice and Peas feeds 3 with leftovers

Hardware

Cutting Board

Medium Mixing Bowl

1 Large and 1 Medium Frying Pan

Zester

Large Knife

1 Cup Measuring cup

Measuring Spoons

Large Spoon

 

Ingredients

Salmon

2 Limes, zested, juiced

1/2 bunch Cilantro, minced

1 1/2 each 12 oz packages Riced Cauliflower

1 cup frozen Peas

1 cup Gluten Free Soy Sauce

Oil for Cooking (I used Olive Oil)

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Cut salmon into serving size pieces. Salt and pepper both sides. (If you’ve purchased your salmon already portioned, even better!)

Check out Chicklets In The Kitchen for all of the directions.

It’s a lot of steps but each one is very easy. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite fish dish to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

5 Minute Perfect Paleo Sandwich Bread: Chicklets in the Kitchen Post

Paleo Sandwich Bread

We’re headed into the fall and one of the best things is roasted meat. You know—roast chicken, roast beef, roast pork, all the best things about cooler weather. And after the meal, what to do with the left-over meat? Sandwiches of course!

But if you’re on a gluten free or paleo lifestyle like I am, sandwiches are tough. Of course you can do a lettuce wrap. I like those, especially in the summer. But for cold weather, I like something a little heartier. And this bread fills the bill.

If you’re looking for a giant slice of bread, this isn’t going to be it. But taken as is, it’s tasty, holds together well, (especially lightly toasted), and easy to make. So give this a try. You’ll be glad you did.

Note: I took this recipe from the Paleo and Gluten Free Eats website. Find more tasty recipes there at https://paleoglutenfree.com/recipes/5-min-perfect-paleo-sandwich-bread/

5 Minute Perfect Paleo Sandwich Bread

Hardware

Bread Pan, 4.5 X 8.5 inches

Parchment Paper

Mixing Bowl

1 Cup Measuring cup

1/2 Cup Measuring cup

Measuring Spoons

Large Spoon

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 Cup Almond Flour

3 Tablespoons Psyllium Husk Powder

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

4 Large Eggs

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 Cup Apple Sauce

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil

See the rest at Chicklets in the Kitchen

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite bread to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Saying Hello: Daily Post

Picture of the crowd.

Hey there!

So you may have gathered from previous posts, and my facebook and twitter feeds, that the Payson Book Festival was yesterday.

As the founder and director of the festival, last week and especially Friday and Saturday, were full. Some of Friday was consumed with a workshop the festival puts on for our signed up authors. A little bit of extra value for the price of thier table. We had Richard Draude from Mystic Publishers come and talk to those of us assembled about how to pitch a book to a publisher or an agent.

Mind you, this isn’t a submission process, most publishers/agents have submission guidelines right on thier websites. A pitch is a face to face, probably at a conference or other event, where the author in 30 seconds or less, lets the person they’re talking to know about thier book. Then there’s some conversation as the publisher/agent finds out more. After the workshop, Mr. Draude was kind enough to take a few pitches. Four authors were brave enough to do it.

Author and Blogger, Sharon Day

Later that evening, we had a meet and greet where authors, mostly confined to their tables on Saturday, have a chance to mingle and meet each other. Sponsors and town officials are also invited. I sat and talked with author Sharon Day. She’s a fantastic blogger over on http://sharondaybooks.blogspot.com/. I was asking her how to increase the followers on my blog and one answer was to blog every day.

My mind boggles. But she said it doesn’t have to be a huge post. It can be short and funny, even.

So. Here I am. Recuperating from getting the book festival off of the ground for another year, starting my daily blogging habit. I email 75 people my blog. Let’s see if the number goes up. Can you help? Share my blog with interested friends and family. I’d like to get my reader number up into the thousands. Think big or go home, right?

Newest Book Release:

Tested released January 31st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! 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. It’s 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.

Coconut-Lemon Whip: Chicklets in the Kitchen Post

Finished Lemon Whip

Coconut-Lemon Whip

I apologize for the lack of posts. March and April were extremely crazy for me but I didn’t forget about you. April saw me take an actual vacation, to see my daughter in southern California. We enjoyed the beach (cold!) and Solvang, CA, (hot!), and my daughter’s and her room mate’s new house. It’s small, but the back yard has producing fruit trees. One was a Meyer lemon, the lemons ripe and ready to pick. So of course, I brought home five of them. What else could I do but make a dessert?

I’m still sticking to my Paleo life-style. Whatever your eating style, there’s nothing wrong with whole, fresh food, especially straight from the tree! Fair warning, because of the coconut oil and milk, this isn’t low fat but it is “good” fat. Enjoy in moderation. It makes four 8oz, ramekins of dessert.

Paleo Lemon Curd

Hardware

Sauce Pot

Strainer

Measuring cups and spoons

Knife

Cutting board

Zester or Micro-plane

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup juice: 5 Meyer Lemons (6 or more regular lemons depending on how juicy they are.)

1 T Lemon zest

3 eggs (whole)

1/4 C Honey

6 T Coconut Oil

See the rest at Chicklets in the Kitchen.

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite dessert to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Thirty Years: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Cold

You may remember I follow the Chuck Wendig blog over on TerribleMinds.com. He likes to toss out story prompts and see what the writers who follow him come up with. The stories are usually awesome, there are some great writers out there. Anyway, the most recent prompt was to write about revenge. Here’s my take on it.

Thirty Years

Joe didn’t even notice, at first. I start small. On his commute to work, I got mud on his trouser leg. He was annoyed, of course, but it barely registered with him. Then it was a wrong number, right in the middle of his presentation. You’d think he’d know enough to turn off his cell in a situation like that.

Then it was a flat tire on his car, just when he was about to take his second wife out to dinner. Life is so stressful. Just one more thing to aggravate a man. I cancelled his hotel reservation at his conference. He ended up paying extra after spending half an hour at the hotel desk. He missed his client dinner. His boss wasn’t very happy. Then I cancelled his order for his wife’s anniversary present. It was such a lovely sapphire and diamond necklace, too. He was on her shit list for a month.

I hacked his work computer and made files disappear. More trouble with the boss. He was passed up for that promotion he’d wanted. Wife wasn’t happy about that, either. I helped that along by planting a note in his pocket, lightly scented and written in lavender-colored ink, all hearts and flowers. She left the next day.

Under a lot of stress at his job, he made mistakes I didn’t create. He was let go six weeks after wifey left. That’s when the drinking really took off. I didn’t even have to drain his bank account. The wife handled that all on her own. The home owner’s association began hassling him because he was letting the yard go. Those fines really start to add up. It only took six months for him to lose the house all together. You’ve got to keep up the mortgage payments, and that’s tough to do when you can’t get a job. His old boss wouldn’t provide a letter of recommendation. That really looks bad to the prospective employer.

The police started showing up at the crappy apartment he rented, after an anonymous tip said he was building bombs. The landlord tossed him out. He was reduced to sleeping in a homeless shelter, where everything he didn’t have on was stolen, even his shoes. I didn’t do that. Not out of generosity, I just never thought of it. The homeless were doing my job for me.

He started begging on the street, a bottle of cheap booze tucked into the pocket of his thrift store jacket. The cops arrested him for taking a leak at the back of a building. Now he had a record, on top of all the other problems. His downward spiral hardly needed me to do anything any longer.

It was winter when they let him go. They found him, frozen, in the dumpster he was in trying to stay warm. My job was done.

Joe was number six. The last one. Now I could breathe. I was free. Free from the memory of those six college football players who thought it was funny to grab a hundred-pound girl heading to her dorm from a night study at the library. They took turns. Laughing, drinking, having a good time. My life was ruined. I couldn’t concentrate on my studies so I dropped out. I had nightmares. I went to support groups. None of that helped. But then one day, it occurred to me that I could make their lives a living hell, just like they did to me. So I took computer classes. I studied psychology. I apprenticed at a stock brokerage to learn finance. Then I started on the list.

One at a time. Some of them collapsed fast. Number four took ten years. But Joe was the last one. Revenge is best served cold, they say. Thirty years, cold, by my experience.

Friday Flash Fiction: Poetry

Hello All.

Sorry about posting late. I’ve been travelling all week but I’m back at home now.

Since April is National Poetry month, I thought today I’d share some of the little poems I’ve created this month.

I’ve been following a site that has put up a different poetry form everyday called, Stephanie Says So, https://stephaniesaysso.blogspot.com/2018/04, if you’d like to play along.

I’m no Longfellow, but these are fun, even a little silly. Enjoy.

The First Day

The first day,

The birthday,

The fool’s day,

The Risen day.

So many meanings,

So many blessings,

So many people,

Enjoying this day.

 

Hiking

Sunshine outdoors

Climbing rocks, views to the sky

Movement, breezes, mountains, trees, birds.

It’s good to feel so free.

 

Spring Has Sprung

Spring has sprung, it has been sung.

Sweet air, I taste it on my tongue.

Lovely flowers, they have sprung.

 

Glad to be Alive

I like to hike but

It’s a long drive to the mountains

Where peace lies waiting

When I’m there the air so fresh

Makes me glad to be alive

 

Last

It’s a bright, warm, day without a cloud.

I went to the store, saw a crowd

All trying to check out now.

It took some time, it did.

When my turn came then

I checked out fast.

No one wants

To be

Last!

Brain 2 Books CyCon Post

Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo 2018This post appears as part of the “Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo Fantasy Book Tour”…

Running from April 6th through April 8th 2018 this online book event brings readers and authors together for a weekend of books, and book related events.

Learn more here

B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Tom Fallwell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Mary R. Woldering B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Ashley Capes
B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Connie Cockrell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Shakyra Dunn B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Dove Winters

It’s Happening!:

The Brain 2 Books Cycon, http://b2bcycon.com/, starts April 6th and runs all weekend for #readers, #authors, and just anyone who loves books. If you’ve been to this totally on-line event, you already know how much fun it is. If you haven’t been, you’re in for a treat. Things are going on all over the place and all day and night. So, if you’re in Australia, no worries! There’s something for you, too! I’m part of several things, including SciFi, Fantasy, and Mystery events.

Fantasy Events:

One thing I’m part of is a blog hop about why I write Fantasy.

That’s pretty easy. I’ve loved fantasy my whole life. Not just the epic George R.R. Martin or Tolkein works but anything with fairies, elves, witches, mages, sword and sorcery, or anything else.

I love getting into a good story or book and entering that world. Forgetting all the stuff in my own world, I can be the heroine, fighting dragons or the evil queen. I can root for the hero and empathize with him when things go horribly wrong.

When I finish the book, I come out sort of dazed. Slightly confused about just where I am—I totally live that story and am sad when I have to leave. But those stories stay with me. They become part of who I am and like all good myths, frame my state of mind about the nature of good and evil, heroes and bad guys.

And what’s wrong with that!

Other B2BCyCon Events:

Over on GoodReads, we have a book expo running. #B2BCyCon2018 If you’re looking for the kind of Fantasy (or SciFi, Western, Mystery or other genre) that takes you off into another place and time, check out the expo. All of our authors have their work up for sale. Pick up a little of everything at: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/154267-brain-to-books-cyber-convention-fairgrounds. You can find all of my works under the 2018 SciFi Showcase (https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/19253368-connie-cockrell-scifi-author)  but by all means, check out all of the other showcases as well. Who knows what wonderful things you will find.

Another event I’m in is the Cover Wars, http://b2bcycon.com/cover-wars-2/. I’d love it if you would scroll down through the covers and vote for mine. One I’m especially happy with is the Tested cover. (It’s toward the bottom.). My good friend J.A. Marlow designed that one, replacing an earlier cover. I just love the colors and the design elements she came up with.

Then there are all of the other events for the other genres. I have to say, on the website, click the Events tab, then the other tabs, to find something that’s just for you!

Video:

Lots about the con is fun. One thing is this video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id-l7f0i9LU. I love videos don’t you? They make the whole thing come to life.

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my next engagements.

I’m excited to say I’m booked for the Payson Women’s Wellness Forum on April 28th, 2018. What’s more healing that getting lost in a novel! I’ll be there all day and you can buy, and I’ll sign, any of my books. SciFi, Fantasy, Cozy Mystery and more. You can find tickets at https://www.mhafoundation.com/upcoming-events.html

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 Book Release:

Tested released January 31st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! 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. It’s 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 paypal.me/ConniesRandomThought. I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Tom Fallwell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Mary R. Woldering B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Ashley Capes B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Connie Cockrell B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Shakyra Dunn B2B Fantasy Blog Tour - Dove Winters