Sparky the Spiney Lizard: Flash Fiction Friday Story Post

Sparky lived in the desert. She liked it there. It was hot and dry and the sun beat down from the sky every day and make her feel all warm and sleepy.

Sparky set off on a trip, one day. She felt the need to find a new home. The one where she grew up was very crowded with her brothers and sisters. So she bid everyone farewell, and began to travel.

She came upon a very nice agave. It was just beginning to send up a flower stalk. The flower bud at the top of the stalk was at least ten times bigger than Sparky. Evening was coming on so she crawled under the lowest leaves and went to sleep.

In the morning, she crawled out, oh so slowly, as her blood was very cool, to lie in the sun. It felt very good there and as she warmed up, she whipped out her long tongue and caught a passing fly. Yum! Breakfast. This is a nice spot, Sparky thought to herself. A nice place to hide and bugs passing by to eat. What else can I ask for?

Sparky explored the area,  A rock wall was a short distance away with a nice flat top for sunning herself and great little cracks between the rocks for hiding if a bird happened to fly overhead. There was wooden fence as well which Sparky climbed. It went up very high but Sparky wasn’t afraid. Her toes had sticky pads and she could hang onto the wood of the wall very well. What surprised her though, was the sight in front of her when she peered over the top.

It was a riot of color and flowers. Sparky had never seen so many flowers in her whole life.

“Hi there.” Suddenly, a giant butterfly flew up from the flowers and hovered in front of the lizard.

Startled, Sparky blinked. “Um. Hi.”

“I’m Indigo,” the butterfly said.

Sparky watched the long lower wings shift and sway with the butterfly’s fluttering. “I’m Sparky,” she finally remembered to say. “What is all that?”

Indigo fluttered down to the flowers and back to the top of the fence. “That’s a flower garden. I just love it. All kinds of different flowers with lots of nectar for me to eat. It’s nice and moist, too. The human who grows the flowers, waters them often.”

“Oh.” Sparky rolled the thought of nectar and water around in her mind. “I don’t eat nectar.” She blinked and quick as a flash, lashed out her tongue and caught another fly. “And, I’m not partial to a lot of water, either.” She shivered a little at the thought of cold water on her warm, dry skin. “But if you like it, great.”

“Thanks.” Indigo fluttered down to the flowers. She settled on an orange one and Sparky thought Indigo’s purple and blue wings looked very nice against the orange. “There are a lot of bugs, too, if that’s what you like.”

Sparky nodded. “But what if the human waters?”

“Oh. Don’t worry. Humans make a lot of noise. You’ll have plenty of time to get away before you get wet.

So, Sparky lived in the front yard and Indigo lived in the back. They met every morning in the garden after they warmed up and ate, and played, and rested. Best friends for life.

Spring, Gold Dreams, Brown Rain Covers, Poetry, Giveaway: Monday Blog Post

Arizona wild flowers.

Newest News:

Spring has arrived in Central Arizona. The last few days the temperatures have been in the mid-eighties and I’m loving it. Windows are open, blankets are coming off of the beds, and in the evening, we can watch TV without three layers of clothes and an afghan over us. Hope spring is wonderful in your area too.

So, for weeks now I’ve been saying I need to get Gold Dreams formatted. Really. I need to do it this week. I’d like to have the book for Phoenix Fan Fusion.

The same goes for my Brown Rain series. I have new covers for the first three books and I just need to buckle down and do it. They also require a bit of interior reformatting, and I think that’s what’s making me procrastinate. On the bright side, I did do some work on these last week. So there’s that.

This is the last two days of National Poetry Month. I’ve been following the delightful author/poet, Stephanie Peterson Abney and her A Month Of Poetry “30 Poems in 30 Days” on Facebook. She gives us a different poetry form every day and I’ve been having so much fun with it. I’ve posted a few on my facebook page, so check it out. It all ends at midnight tomorrow.


Still up for grabs! If you’ve looked at my “Where Am I” page on my website, you’ll have noticed that I’m going to be at the Phoenix Fan Fusion over Memorial Day weekend. (May 23rd – 26th) I’ve decided that I should do a giveaway. A free exhibitor pass for one of those days. I know that not everyone can take off for Phoenix at the drop of the hat. But if you’re in the area, and you’d like to come see me at my booth and spend the day at the event, sign up by emailing me at Post a picture of you with one of my books. Use the subject, PFF Ticket. I’ll draw a name on May 10th and contact the winner with directions for picking up the pass.

Where will I Be?:

If you are a fan of most any genre, I’m participating in an on-line cyber conference here: The event is May 17th through May 19th. There are discussion forums, author giveaways, and so much more. Check out the link and sign up to participate. Sign up also gets you news on what’s happening and when. So sign up today. You might just be the person we want to have in our panel discussion!

Phoenix Fan Fusion! Oh My Gosh! If you haven’t ever been to this event you need to check it out. The catalog of things to do is humongous! I’ll be down in Artists Alley, Four Carat Press, booths AA930 and AA932. Come check it out. If you’ve never been, it will blow your minds. It’s May 23 – 26th. Come see me!

The Payson Book Festival this year is going to be more exciting than last year. Mark your calendars for July 20th. Be in Payson for the book festival. Go to for all of the details!

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:

Slave Elf released February 19th, 2019. It is finally up on all of my other retailers in ebook format. You can buy it at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords today. You can also see all my books on 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. 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 I appreciate any donation to help support this blog.

Tested, Vision Board, Giveaways : Monday Blog Post

Our Tree


Newest News:

My new cover for Tested is coming along wonderfully. JA Marlow is designing the covers for the whole series and a couple of days ago she sent me two samples. It was hard to choose between them they both looked so good! But I finally made a choice and the final cover will be done in short order. So, I may get the book out by the end of December. Stay tuned.

We had a bit of rain Sunday which was very welcome. It hasn’t rained here since September and the plants really needed it. I’ve had to water my fruit trees to keep them going.

On my Vision Board business, I’ve found a great place to hold the workshop. I take a tour of it today. I still need to get the supplies (scissors, paste, etc.) but I can work on that this week. I’m prepping a page on my website for the business with links to a sign-up application and a PayPal button. I’m very excited about this.


The Christmas Giveaway has begun. There are 70 authors giving away at least two prizes each and there’s $160 in PayPal cash for the grand prize winner. Check out and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the new contest. Books, ebooks, jewelry and more is being given away. You don’t want to miss out.

I have a January giveaway, Ring in the New Year with Mysteries, hosted by author Anne R. Tan. It will run from January 5th to the 21st. Lots of new to you authors are also in the giveaway. I’ll post the link in January.

Shout Out:

Author Claudette Melanson has just released her 12 Terrors of Christmas and it’s already hitting best seller lists! She has a giveaway going on the Tome Tender blog,, and it ends the 21st so you have a couple of days to get in on the fun and maybe win a prize! To reach the giveaway, scroll all the way down.


Where Will I Be?

Check my website, for my next engagements.

My book events for the year are now completed. Enjoy your holidays and come back in January to see the 2018 line-up.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on both the regular and the Brown Rain 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:

Mystery at the Book Festival released June 1st 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 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.

Payson Book Festival – Monday Blog Post

Part of the room at the Payson Book Festival

The book festival was last Saturday the 22nd. We had 80 authors there and about 582 visitors. Luckily it was at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino because it rained. It inevitably rains in Arizona in July, it’s monsoon season. We’d been very lucky the last 2 years at the Gila Community College but sooner or later, it was going to rain and I hated thinking about people and their books and art work out in the rain. Hooray! I’m glad we moved inside. There were presentations in two rooms, a children’s writing workshop, children’s storytimes and the band Windstrum on stage providing background music. Everyone, visitors and authors, seemed to have a good time.

Yellow squash hiding from the sun

Out in the garden I’m harvesting yellow squash almost daily. Pretty soon friends and neighbors are going to start getting surprise packages on their doorsteps. The tomatoes, the Early Girls, anyway, are beginning to ripen. I need to dig up the potatoes but it’s rained every day for the last ten days. The garlic in the big pot needs to be dug up too. Sigh. It’s just too wet. A strange thing to say in Arizona.

You can see my Brown Rain book cover on the banner!

I’m still waiting for the editor to get Tested back to me. I sent off an email asking for the status. I’m still stalled on my cover. I cannot find the notes for either First Encounter or The Downtrodden. I’ve looked all over the house several times now and can’t find them. The files have to be somewhere, my house isn’t that big.


Would you like to win free ebooks, other prizes, or a $130 in Paypal cash? Drop by and click on the Rafflecopter link for the Summer Blockbuster Giveaway.

An annual giveaway on the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale has one more week to run. You can go to my author page or search for Troubled Streets, Mystery at the Fair, First Encounter, or A New Start. Use code SW100 to claim these books for free on the checkout page. Go to to browse all of the books on sale. Lots of great stories are ready for you!

Shout Out:

Author Roger Naylor

Today’s shout out goes to author Roger Naylor. Roger writes travel books and in a new direction, has just published a new book, The Amazing Kolb Brothers of Grand Canyon. He was asked by the Grand Canyon historical society if he’d write the book and he said yes. The Kolb Brothers is an amazing story and you’ll be glad to read it. It was a fascinating time in the canyon’s and the west’s history. You can check it out at Check out the Books tab.

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, for my next engagements.

My next public appearance will be at the Pine Fall Festival October 14th and 15th. On both days I’ll be in the Community Hall with a few other authors selling and signing books with the antique dealers. On Saturday is the annual chili cook-off. Saturday hours are 9am – 5pm and the chili cook-off starts at 11am. Be there at 11am. The chili usually runs out by noon. Buy a ticket, taste the chili, vote for your fav top three! My hubby is usually there with his version. Sunday the hours are 9am – 4pm. Lot’s of crafters will be there and the weather is lovely in October. Come on by and say hello.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on both the regular and the Brown Rain 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:

Mystery at the Book Festival released June 1st 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 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.

Mystery at the Dog Park Part 3 of 7: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Betty Boop – Available for adoption now from:
Annie Bamber
Outreach Programs Coordinator
(928) 474-5590 ext. 100
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“Because They Matter”

Part 3 of 7. You can find Part 1 here. Part 2 here.


A man answered. “Animal Control, Scott speaking.”

“Hello, Scott. This is Karen Carver and I have you on speaker with my friend Jean Hays. We are looking into lost dogs. A friend of ours has lost her dog.”

“I haven’t picked any up in a couple of days. Lost dogs isn’t a big problem in Greyson.”

“What do you pick up?”

“A lot of cats. Javelina that have become a problem, the occasional rattlesnake. Reports of rabies. That kind of thing.”

Jean shivered at the thought of trying to corral a mad javelina. “Margaret at the Humane Society said there’s a growing problem with dogs being stolen.”

“Yep. I get reports on that but I wouldn’t get involved unless it was something like a dog fighting ring.”

“Those still exist?” Karen asked.

“Not in this area so much though two years ago the police busted one up. I had to pick up the dogs. They were a mess. We had to put some down immediately they were in such bad shape.”

Jean’s stomach rolled. She could see from the way Karen was making a face that she was horrified too. “What happened to the dogs?”

“We had to destroy the fighting dogs after the trials. They’d just been de-socialized. It wasn’t safe to adopt them out.”

“How awful.” Jean took a breath. “If we sent you a copy of the flyer, would you keep an eye out for the dog?”

“Sure. Be happy to.”

He gave them his email and Karen promised the flyer would be right to him. “So what now?” she asked Jean when she hung up.

“I have no idea.”

They were sitting at the kitchen table trying to come up with ways to find dog-nappers when Peggy came home. She hung her tote on the back of an empty chair and dropped into its neighbor with a sigh.

“Tough day?” Karen got up and poured her daughter a glass of iced tea, then set it in front of her.

“You could say that.” Peggy picked up the glass and drank half of it before putting it back on the table. “Some guy came in first thing this morning. His arm and leg were savaged. Dog bite he said.” She snorted. “More like dog attack.”

“What happened?” Jean asked.

Peggy shook her head. “He said he was out walking and a dog bit him. But the way his arms and his right leg looked, it was a vicious attack. Both me and the doc tried to get him to say where the dog was but he wouldn’t. We offered rabies shots but he refused. So we ended up patching him up and sending him on his way.”

“How horrible. Why wouldn’t he take the rabies shots. A strange dog attacking him for no reason? That sounds like rabies to me.” Jean crossed her arms and sat back in her chair.

“Me, too.” Peggy drank more of her tea. “We had to report it, but we can’t make people take a treatment.”

“What about the report? Won’t the Health department do something?” Karen poured her daughter another glassful of tea.

“Maybe.” Peggy sighed. “So what have you two been up to all day?”

Jean told her about the search, their conversation with Paul and the Animal Control guy.

“Dog fighting rings?” Peggy asked. She sat forward, her face a study in concern. “What if my dog bite guy was running fighting dogs?”

Jean and Karen both froze, staring at Peggy.

Peggy’s voice rose. Her face animated. “Yeah, dog fighting may do that to a guy trying to get a fighting dog out of the ring.”

Jean put a hand over her mouth, eyes wide. “But the Animal Control guy said there hasn’t been a dog fighting ring in the area in years.”

“Maybe so,” Peggy answered. “But that doesn’t mean there isn’t one now.”

“Can you get the guy’s name and address?”

Peggy’s head shook violently. “Oh no. I could be disqualified from nursing for giving out patient information. Even jail time.” She stood up and grabbed her bag. “I’m going to take a nice hot shower and study.”

“But…” Jean started.

Peggy raised her hand. “Nope! You two are going to have to sort this out for yourselves.”

Karen nodded. “Fine. I’ll call you when dinner’s ready.”

“Thanks, Mom.” Peggy left the kitchen after giving her mom a peck on the cheek.

Jean sighed. “Well that’s too bad.”

“True, but Peg is close to getting her license. She doesn’t want to jeopardize all the work she’s done.”

“I don’t blame her. I just wish we could get the guy’s name.”

“We’ll figure out a way.” She got up and rinsed out Peggy’s glass. “You staying for supper?”

Jean glanced at the crockpot. The roast beef smell had been making her hungry all afternoon. “No.” She got up from the table with a deep breath. “I think I’ll go home and give my brain a rest.”

“I have plenty.”

“I’m sure you do.” Jean grinned. “But I mooch over here too much. Thanks for the offer.” She headed for the kitchen door.

“Okay. Your loss.”

“Too true. Call me in the morning.”

“Will do.”

Jean left the kitchen and rambled to her car. How can we find out the dog-bite guy’s name? Who might know about dog fighting rings?


The next morning Jean was sitting on her patio with her third cup of tea, a legal pad and pen on the table in front of her. The top page was half full of ideas on how to find dog fighting rings, half of them crossed out. She wasn’t surprised when the phone rang. The handset was on the table next to the pad. “Hello?”

“It’s Karen. You up and around?”

“Yeah. I’m on my third cup of tea. I’ve been trying to think how we can find this dog fighting ring.”

“I’ve been thinking about that too. I’ll be over in a minute.”



Thank You!

1009 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here:


AuGratin Potatoes: Chicklets in the Kitchen


The Tools: Potatoes, Cheese Sauce, Mandolin and Oiled Casserole Dish.

I’ve done scalloped potatoes on this blog before and AuGratin Potatoes are a close relation to them. I won’t go into the making of a white sauce again but all you have to do for AuGratin sauce is add in a cup or two of shredded cheese and your sauce is done. I used left-over sauce that I’d made a few days earlier for macaroni and cheese.

I don’t usually get this fancy but I had friends coming over for dinner and thought this would be a great side dish. The rest of the meal was grilled chicken thighs and grilled asparagus. Yummy!

Read more here!

Monday Blog Post: County Fair, Story Submissions, and Event Jitters

Quartz Rocks by Connie Cockrell

Quartz Rocks by Connie Cockrell

Gardening has picked back up. The Early Girl and Roma tomatoes are producing like crazy. The trellis is leaning way over due to the weight of the plants and fruit. I’ve had to do emergency tie-offs to keep everything upright. I harvested two more cantaloupes and took them to my daughter. We just can’t eat everything fast enough. Pears are still being harvested. The zucchini is slowing down. A good thing as I still have two giant ones in my fridge to use up.

Author Friend Boost! Lazette Gifford. She has just released her newest book, In the Shadow of Giants. Here’s a description.

In a future filled with starships, a gathering of Norse sail far wider oceans than they had in the ancient past. When members of the Chinese pantheon abduct one of the Norse, it will take all of Odin’s skills to convince an estranged Loki to help get her back.

You can find more at:

The Northern Gila County Fair is September 11- 13th. We’re in the ramp up. Tuesday starts the major lifting. I’ve been posting like crazy on the Facebook page: Northern Gila County Fair. There were four articles in Friday’s paper. Monday starts the KRIM radio spots. We’re all scurrying to tie up those last minute details. If you don’t hear from me next week, you’ll know why.

I received my editor’s edits this morning and finished my final corrections of Gold Dream. (The post picture is meant to represent this story.) I wanted to send this story to a particular contest. Don’t know what I was thinking but I overshot the wordcount by 4X. Sigh. I thought I could pull up a story I’ve already written. I found one I liked, edited it to a good place and realized that I had posted that on my blog. Since it’s been “published” I couldn’t submit that one either. The deadline for the contest is September 15th. I don’t feel that I can write and edit a good short story in seven days. So! I sent Gold Dream to a western fiction story magazine and I’ve saved the edited version of the second story, a scifi, to a file for a collection to release next year. Yay! No work wasted. I’ll try and get my act together for the contest next year.

Did something fun last Friday. Hubby, me and Mom took a ride up to Flagstaff. We had to get the car a service for some sort of computer update. Afterward picked up the daughter and her friend and went to the Pioneer Museum. Housed in what was once the Indigent Hospital, we learned a lot about early Flagstaff history and of the homeless population problem. If you’re ever in Flagstaff, this is a great place to visit.

The Pioneer Museum in Flagstaff is located in the historic Coconino County Hospital for the Indigent. The Hospital was built in 1908 using purniceous dacite from the Mount Elden Explosive Eruption about 500,000 years ago. The building was used as a hospital until 1938 and was considered a Poor Farm. The exhibits within the museum reflect the history of Flagstaff and northern Arizona. Visitors will learn of the local history of ranching, logging, transportation and life in Pioneer Flagstaff. Festivals and events are also held on the grounds including the annual Wool and Fiber Festival, the Folk Festival and the Heritage Festival.

2340 N. Fort Valley Road

Flagstaff AZ 86001

Phone 928-774-6272



The week after the Fair I’m at the InD’Scribe conference in Palm Springs, CA.  This is my first conference and I’m more than a little nervous. I want so much to learn a lot of stuff from all of the experienced authors that will be there. I want to connect with the readers that are attending and, obviously, sell a lot of books. If you’re around the Palm Springs area September 18th and 19th, stop on by. I’d love to chat with you.

On September 24th, I’ll be in Strawberry, AZ, speaking to the writing group there about CreateSpace. I’d love to see you there.

I’m totally up on  I’ve put a notice up on my WordPress blog so my readers can find me. Be sure to follow me at my new website. I stopped posting to the WordPress site ( after Friday August 7th.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

I put a special offer up in my July newsletter. Did you miss it? Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I make special offers to my newsletter people that I do not make on the website blogs. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, too. Don’t delay. The September newsletter is coming out soon. Sign up now so you don’t miss out.

Mystery at the Fair released July 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today! You can also see all of my books on, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: July – Mid-Year Check-In – how you’re doing on your January goals

Goal, oscarsnapshotter

Goal, oscarsnapshotter

I haven’t checked on my annual goals for awhile so this is a great chance for me to check out where I am!

1. Upgrade my blog site to a real website: I’ve been poking at this for awhile but at the end of June I went into WordPress and poked around until I figured out I needed to do a domain mapping to make everything work correctly. This $13 dollar per year fix seems to have been the final step. Yay. Up to this point I’d been double posting my posts on both the WordPress site and the GoDaddy site. Not convenient at all. I’m so happy!

2. Research the pros and cons of selling my books from my own website. If it seems good, get that page set up: Umm, nope. Nothing done on that but, to be honest, just got the website going. I still have some time before the end of the year.

3. Publish 6 books in 2015: This goal seems extremely unlikely. I’ve only just put up my 2nd book of the year, Mystery at the Fair. I might get 2 more in, if they’re collections of flashes or short stories and I hustle.

4. Participate in the April and July Camp NaNo’s and in the November NaNo: April Camp NaNo was a win. I’m in the middle of the July Camp NaNo. So far, I’m on track.

5. Produce a Christmas Book this year: Another one that will probably not happen unless I get some sort of magical inspiration and a whole lot of get up and go before November. My Mrs. Claus story, started 3 years ago now, is languishing. Something is wrong with it and I don’t know what it is but despite a good outline and liking my characters, it’s not right and I have to drag myself to it to work on it. Not a good sign.

6. Submit a story to the 2015 FM Anthology: Ah, that’s the first project for my July NaNo. It’s based on a flash story I posted a few weeks ago called Betrayal Moon. I may stick with that title for the short story or change it. It remains to be seen.

7. Complete the Holly Lisle World Building class and the How to Write A Series Expanded class: The World building class and the Series class are both on hold. The first because I’m working on the 2nd. The second because Holly has been ill and the class is on hold. So, there you have it. I’ll keep on top of them, for sure.

8. Develop a schedule of contests for short story submission process: Completed. Not submitting though. Too deep into editing and volunteer work.

9. Participate in May Story A Day: Done. I completed 9 short stories.

10. Increase speaking appearances and opportunities to sell my books: In progress. I did a book signing in March. In June I was on web radio, the January Jones show, and was interviewed for both my books and the Payson Book Festival. You can listen to my interviewhere with USA Today best-selling author D’Elen McClain. In July I’m signing at the Payson Book Festival. In September I’m going to my very first conference. The In’DTale conference in Palm Springs, CA.

11. Participate in the Payson Book Festival as an author: Scheduled.

So there you have it. Some wins, some losses, some ties. I’m happy with where I am right now. Hope to see you at one of my appearances!

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion ( The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at!  Up next: Jean Schara

Flash Fiction Friday Post: Happy Birthday

Birthday, Cake, Connie Cockrell

Birthday Cake by Connie Cockrell

Daisy Rodriguez was so excited. Today was her birthday and she was now a teenager. That’s what her friends said. Thirteen, the teen part of the word was what made it official. She was the first of her friends to reach that magic mark and they were all excited about it.

Of course, her mother was throwing a party. It wasn’t a Hispanic mark, it was more American. In two years she’d reach her quinceanera, that was the big event but in the meantime, this was a major milestone in her life.

Consuela, her best friend, arrived early. Her mother was going to help with the party. No self-respecting Hispanic woman put on a simple party. There were going to be tamales, sopes, empanadas and of course, a birthday cake decorated in lilac, Daisy’s favorite color. “Oh, look at the cake!” Consuela pulled out her phone and took a picture. “Won’t the rest of the class be jealous.”

Daisy didn’t really want the rest of the class to be jealous. Her mother had limited the party to five of Daisy’s friends. “I hope not. That would be mean.”

Consuela sniffed. “I don’t care. Those gringa’s in the class think they’re so much better. My brother says everything changes in high school. In grade school we all hang together. But he said in high school everyone breaks up and just hangs with their own.”

“That seems sad.” Daisy liked the white girls. They were different with their blond hair and blue eyes and attitudes. They seemed freer than the Hispanic girls.

“Maybe so.” Consuela tucked her phone back in her pocket just as the doorbell rang. “That’s them!”

Daisy and her friend ran to the door. As soon as it was opened the squeals of greetings commenced.

At school the next week Daisy made an effort to notice how the different kids acted with each other. It was the eighth grade so there weren’t any real labs but the history teacher and the science teacher did sometimes break the room into groups of four. If allowed to pick their own groups, most of the time the whites stayed with the whites and the Hispanics and blacks with their own people. The boys mixed more than the girls. Daisy began to make an effort to team with the others. She asked Tabitha, who was black, and Amanda, who was white to join her and Consuela when the History teacher had them break into groups to study the government of their city. She had to work at it. Both Tabitha and Amanda were reluctant but Daisy was known to be very smart and they wanted a good grade so they eventually said yes.

Daisy was pleased. The four girls had always gotten along and they received an “A” on their report. So it went the rest of the year. At the graduation ceremony, there were hugs and tears all around.

In the fall, Daisy attended the high school orientation with some worry. Would she be able to continue to integrate her friends?

“No, sorry.” Tabitha shook her head when Daisy asked if she wanted to go to the library together. They were in the same Social Studies class. Tabitha glanced over her shoulder at a group of black girls she’d been walking with. Their hands were on their hips and eyes were rolling. Tabitha gave Daisy a little shrug. “I’m studying with them.”

“Maybe next time.” Daisy shifted her books to her left arm. “We were pretty awesome together last year.”

Tabitha glanced at the other friends again. “Yeah, well. Later.” She turned and rejoined the girls.

Daisy sighed. She hated to think Consuela and her brother were right. All around the quad she could see that the kids had separated by culture; black, white, Hispanic and even the Asian kids were apart.

Consuela ran up. “Hey.”

“Hey. We have to do something.” Daisy’s fingers were tapping on her books.

“About what?”

“About the separation.” Daisy swept her arm around pointing out the quad. “We’ve already separated.”

“I told you.”

“They’re taking nominations for class president. Go to the office and nominate me.”

Consuela’s eyes bugged. “No Hispanic has ever been elected to class president.”

“That’s about to change.”

Daisy ran on a platform of integration and cultural diversity. As the ninth grade hadn’t been completely indoctrinated yet, Daisy won in a close race with a white boy, Judah Shine. He became her vice president and they became best friends. They made sure every class seating was random. Every team, academic or athletic was integrated.

By the end of the year, it seemed normal to the ninth graders to be integrated. The next year, Daisy won class president again, with Judah her VP once more. They worked to keep the new ninth graders integrated. The Seniors and Juniors, however, resisted. There was harassment and name calling. Daisy and Judah implemented bullying awareness classes.

And so it went. In their senior year, Daisy was elected Student body president. Judah became the Senior Class president. They now had every class in school integrated. Other schools began using their methods. The school won national awards for their integration efforts. Daisy and Judah received acceptance letters from the best colleges in the country.

At graduation, Consuela hugged Daisy. “Thank you.”

“What for?”

“For insisting that we not break up into splinter groups. How dull that would have been.” She kissed Daisy on the cheek.

“You’re welcome. It just seemed so limiting. This is better.”

The girls joined arms to find their parents. “Yes it is.”

The End

928 Words

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