Oldest Life Lessons: Flash Fiction Friday Post

Oldest Life Lessons

It seemed like just a few days ago I was sitting, well, all right, fidgeting, in the seat my young pupil was in. Might have been the same exact stool.
I watched him as I settled. Ten years old. Brown mop of hair hanging in his eyes. Flirting with the girl beside him, though I suspect they didn’t realize it was flirting. I’ll have to tell the Ward of Novices about that but not right now. Let them enjoy their little moment.
I tapped my cane on the stone floor and the children turned, reluctantly as I remember my time, to face me. I looked into all of their shining faces. Bored already, a good number of them. The girl, though, what was her name? Oh yes, Naiomi. And the boy, Azri, both looked expectant. I nodded. We could tell, who will be a good mage and who just average, even though the novices were in their second year. The ones who actually listened. They would be great.
This year was no different. I was just a middling-mage myself. I was one of the ones already bored. But no matter. I am good enough to teach the young ones. And too old, really, for anything else.
I had my dreams, of course. I’d be a great mage and save the Emperor from some dastardly dragon or an evil demon. That never came to pass. First of all, because dastardly dragons and evil demons are few and far between. Most often the problems are so common that even my middling powers could handle them. But secondly, the really hard problems are for these, Naiomi and Azri, who had the power and the education to handle them.
I sighed and began the class on basic spells. I’d given this class for the last fifty-three years. I could keep up a running internal dialog while I gave them the class. Mostly, though, I wondered where my life had gone? What did I have to show for it besides a handful at best of great mages and a few hundred average ones?
What would these bright young faces before me think if they knew how their lives would turn out? Most of them would be sent to small towns and villages to help the councils keep the peace and handle any sicknesses that might emerge. Lives of drudgery, really, and no family of their own to ease their loneliness. No children, unless you count the ones in our classes, to leave a legacy for.
I drew my shawl around me as we discussed what makes a good spell. I’d been getting colder and colder for more than a year now. Just winter coming on, I told myself. And age, of course. No getting around that.
I was lucky. After doing a few stints with various mages in villages and towns, I was called back to Castle Porta to teach. Life here was more comfortable. The food was better and came reliably. I still remember the year I was with Mage Selean in the village called Thorson. Snow drifted to the eaves and even the wood had to be rationed. Many elderly and young died from the cold or starvation or both. No. I enjoyed my three meals a day, thank you very much. And a hot tea whenever I wanted to send my intern for it.
That’s a good life lesson. Don’t be in a situation where you’re freezing or starving. The children were startled at my wheezing snort. I covered it quickly as a sneeze and they settled back down. We finished the class with a simple spell. One each of us learned in our turn. It was also a sorter. The children who couldn’t manage the spell were sent back to their villages. Or if they were smart or talented in some other way, we kept them on. After all, much has to be done to keep a castle running that doesn’t need magic.
When I released them, the children leapt from their stools as though a wolf were after them. I sat, slumping. Resting. You’d think their energy would feed mine but no. Another lesson. They suck the energy right away. I rested, half-dozing. My intern, Katarina, woke me with a hand on my shoulder. “Master Wheren?”
I gave myself a shake as I woke. “Yes. Yes. I’m awake.”
She helped me to my rooms. Had me sit in front of the fire and brought me tea. I woke again in bed.
Drean stood next to the bed. The old mage raised an eyebrow. “With us still, I see.”
“And why is the castle healer at my bedside?” I looked around my bedroom. “And where is Katarina?”
“I sent her for tea. And I’m here because she couldn’t wake you.”
I struggled to sit up. Embarrassingly, he helped me. “I can do it.” I slapped at his arms as he helped me.
“I know. Just thought a helping hand would be welcome.”
“Hmph.” I pulled the bedding up to my chin as Katarina arrived with a tray.
“Master!” Her face lit up as she put the tray on the table. “I’m so glad.”
Later, I watched her sleep in the chair beside my bed. The fireplace was burning very low. Probably close to dawn. She was so young. Given me as a nurse more than for what I could teach her. I sighed. Again. Too much sighing lately. I tucked my hands under the blankets. I was too cold, but I settled into the pillows and closed my eyes. The last life lesson, I suppose. At least I wasn’t alone.

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Storm, Box Set, Flash Fiction, Fair: Daily Blog Post

 

Lightning in the Night Sky

Hey!

Wednesday morning, 1:30am, we had another monsoon hit. Nothing like dashing around the house, half-awake, shutting windows to keep the blowing rain at bay. There was lots of thunder and lightning. The wind was blowing hard and the rain was just pounding down. When I got back up this morning, there was still some rain, sprinkles mostly, keeping everything wet. I don’t have a rain gauge, my last one sprung a leak, but I suspect we got a nice amount of rain. I wandered around the front yard this morning and found some critter had dug into one of my planters, uprooting a plant. Surprising thing, when I dug into the pot to put it back, the dirt was pretty dry. I have no idea why, everything else is wet. Sigh. Mysteries in my own yard.

I managed some work on my Gulliver Station box set on Tuesday. With luck I’ll get some more done today. I also need a story for Friday’s flash fiction post. I don’t have an idea yet. I usually don’t until I actually sit down and focus.

It’s just 2 weeks until the Northern Gila County Fair. I love county fairs and hope that if you’re in the area, you can come by and see the fabulous work our local ranchers, farmers, backyard gardeners and crafters do. The associated horse show is this weekend, the 25th. You can find out more about our fair at www.NGCFair.com.

That’s it for today! Hope your Thursday is just fantastic!

 

The Gulliver Station ebook box set released July 30th, 2018. You can buy it at Amazon today. 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. 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 my 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.

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Rain, Casino: Daily Blog Post

Monsoon River in my Back Yard

Hey!

Tuesday morning a big storm, with a lot of thunder and lightning blew in so we cancelled our regularly scheduled hike. Hubby and I went to the parking lot and for the few people who showed up, told them to take the day off. We received a nice bit of rain, which we always appreciate, and I worked on my Gulliver Station box set and this blog post.

Another Tuesday activity is going to the local casino. Does your town have a casino? My town does and mostly I’ve pretty much ignored it. However, hubby and I now participate in two of their promotions. Tuesday’s is 25 for 25. This is where we must use our own money to acquire 25 points on our member cards. Then we take it to the member desk and they give us $25 in casino cash to play with. It’s a bit of fun. We sometimes meet friends and have some lunch while we wait for the computer system to post us our casino cash. It’s a pleasant but short interlude after hiking, then we go home.

Hope your Wednesday is just fantastic!

That’s it for today!

The Gulliver Station ebook box set released July 30th, 2018. You can buy it at Amazon today. 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. 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 my 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.

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Hi Mom: Daily Blog Post

Hey!

Monday called my mom. My brother Tom took a picture of my Mom for me and sent it on Facebook Messenger. I could download it and save it, so I can share it with you.

Monday was also watering day. Front yard flowers and back yard vegetables. I picked a lot of cherry tomatoes, a zucchini, and a lemon cucumber. Plenty of veggies for today’s lunch and supper!

I made white potatoes in my air fryer on Sunday. They came out nice but I kind of like the butter on my pan-fried potatoes. Hubby is still experimenting with various fried mushroom recipes. His favorite so far is one with Italian flavored bread crumbs. Do you have an air fryer? What’s your favorite recipe for it?

Hope your Tuesday is just fantastic!

That’s it for today!

The Gulliver Station ebook box set released July 30th, 2018. You can buy it at Amazon today. 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. 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 my 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.

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Air Fryer, County Fair, Box Set : Monday Blog Post

Air Fryer with Mushrooms

Newest News:

So hubby and I purchased an air fryer. I see so many recipes on Pinterest for air fryers that I decided to get one. We’ve been experimenting over the weekend with both mushrooms and sweet potatoes and they’ve come out very well. I think this is a new favorite kitchen gadget.

I’ve been working on the Northern Gila County Fair (Sep 6 – 8). www.NGCFair.com  Primarily setting up an on-line exhibit registration through the ShoWorks. It was a struggle but late Friday afternoon I got it up and running. That should make it much easier for exhibitors to register their items to show. I’m pretty pleased with myself. I had hubby do a test run while I hovered over him. He liked it pretty well and found it easy to do. Yay!

I’m still working on the Gulliver Station Box Set. I have one more book to edit, then it’s update the Amazon set, and put the Smashwords set up. Then I can work on formatting the paperback version. There’s progress, slow as it may be.

Giveaways:

The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Summer Giveaway is in progress at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s $80 as a Grand Prize Paypal Cash and 27 books and 27 prizes available to win.

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:

The Gulliver Station ebook box set released July 30th, 2018. You can buy it at Amazon today. 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. 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.

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Sunday: Daily Blog Post

A flower for your Sunday.

 

Hey!

It’s a quiet day here. Am soaking my stove burners in ammonia to rid them of burned on gas black stuff. I found the tip on Pinterest and thought I’d give it a try. Do you Pinterest? I’m at https://www.pinterest.com/conniecockrell/ if you’d like to follow me.

Finally figured out why the coconut yogurt I made came out thin. HA! I forgot to put the gelatin in it. Duh! I had the printed recipe right in front of me and totally forgot to put any in. Silly me. The batch tastes good, it’s just not thick like the regular greek yogurt I like. Next time.

Hope you enjoy your Sunday!

That’s it for today!

The Gulliver Station ebook box set released July 30th, 2018. You can buy it at Amazon today. 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. 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 my 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.

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Saturday Bits and Pieces: Daily Blog Post

Hey!

Sorry about the absence Wednesday through Friday. I was trying to get some website stuff done for the Northern Gila County Fair. Did it! Check out www.NCGFair.com, in the top menu bar, Exhibits. We can do on-line exhibits! Yay!

Are you thinking about going to the 2019 Phoenix Fan Fusion (formerly Phoenix Comicon)?

 

Introducing… Fan Frenzy!
 

🤯 Fan Frenzy is our way of giving back to our biggest fans…you! ️

🤯 Now through November 30th, we’re giving away weekly prizes to anyone who purchases or has already purchased any single day, full event, or VIP adult pass to Phoenix Fan Fusion 2019!

Prizes include extra passes to Phoenix Fan Fusion, signed photographs from some of your favorite past guests, Phoenix Comic Fest 2018 merchandise, multi-year street banners, merchandise vouchers, movie passes, and more!

If you’ve already bought your passes, you’re already entered to win. If you haven’t, ow is the time. Buy early for more chances to win.

⚙️ How It Works ⚙️

1️⃣   Every Monday we’ll announce on Facebook a new prize to give away and send an email reminder
2️⃣   Anyone who purchases or has purchased any single day, full event, or VIP adult pass by the following Saturday at 11:59 p.m. AZ-time is entered to win
3️⃣   On Sunday, one lucky winner will be chosen. Or we might feel generous and select more than one winner. Who knows, we may choose up to 10 winners each week.
4️⃣   Winners will be contacted and given the steps to claim their prize – check your email!
5️⃣   Repeat weekly through November 30th

Get your passes for Phoenix Fan Fusion 2019 now at 2017 prices //goo.gl/56Cjbs

*All purchased passes will not be eligible for a refund for any reason once your prize is received.

 

Here’s something from Facebook land. I’m trying to “verify” my page, ConniesRandomThoughts, as that’s supposed to signal to readers that I’m a legit site. Don’t be afraid, nothing scary going on here. Anyway, I fill out the little form, provide my ID (I have to prove I am who I say I am), and tell why I want to be verified. Here’s my answer:

Hi Connie,

Thanks for your request to verify your account.

We reviewed your account, and unfortunately, it’s not eligible to be verified at this time.

We encourage you to continue growing your public presence and reapply in 30 days.

 

Hmm. Don’t know what to say to that except, hey you all, please go to https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts and Like and/or Follow me. Maybe with more followers I’ll be worthy of verification.

A reminder: The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Summer Giveaway is in progress at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s $80 as a Grand Prize Paypal Cash and 27 books and 27 prizes available to win.

That’s it for today!

 

The Gulliver Station ebook box set released July 30th, 2018. You can buy it at Amazon today. 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. 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 my 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.

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I Shouldn’t Have Swiped Right: Flash Fiction Friday Post

I Shouldn’t Have Swiped Right

Let me start by saying that I hardly ever swipe right. I mean, to change the menu. Yeah. Maybe your phone is different, I can’t say. But otherwise? No. Then, of course, I had a new phone. I bought it because my old phone just didn’t have enough memory. We can all relate to that. Am I right?

I bought the same make of phone. I was hoping they hadn’t changed the operating system too much. They, had, of course. Any phone gets updated every 6 months, just to annoy their customers, I think.

While I was exploring the new phone, a call came in. Yep. You guessed it. Swipe right. So I did. There was a huge flash of light and a noise that made a sonic boom sound like a whisper. Ears ringing, I blinked my eyes, trying to get the light blindness to clear. When my vision returned, I was standing in the middle of a grove of trees.

They weren’t like any trees I’d seen before. First of all, they were purple. I blinked some more. The trees stayed purple. I stuck a finger in my ear to try and clear the ringing. The twittering continued. That was going to be annoying, I thought. Then I turned around.

I just stood and stared. A group of…what should I call them…aliens? Dark purple, they had four arms each and they were all waving around. There were four eyes apiece and they all seemed to be able to operate independently. I took a deep breath. I’m a big sci-fi fan but that doesn’t really prepare a girl for something like this. Finally, one of them stepped forward.

“Welcome! How do you feel?”

I took a moment to process the fact that this, fellow, it was a deep voice, was speaking a pretty good form of mid-western American English. “Fine. Ears are still ringing.”

The twittering from the group behind the alien picked up. One of his arms waved at them and they quieted. Mostly at least. “So sorry about that. We’re just so excited we got it to work.”

“Work?”

“Yes!” He grinned, if you can call it that. There seemed to be a lot of very sharp teeth. “Our transporter. We saw from your signals that you had transporters so we got to work. They probably don’t work as well as yours. We didn’t see anything in your transmissions about side effects.”

I could feel my hands get sweaty. “Transmissions? What transmissions?”

The twittering behind him picked up again. He turned and responded to them in some high pitched tweets then turned back to me. “You call it T V.”

I let out a deep breath. Television. They were picking up our TV shows. Good lord, what must they think? I rubbed my forehead. How to explain this? “So you saw we had transporters and you just, uh, just made one?”

All four of his arms flapped. Since I could see his head was joined pretty thickly to non-existent shoulders, he probably couldn’t nod. The group behind him did the same thing. Okay, flapping equals nodding. “And how did you happen to choose to transport me?” I looked around. I was on a platform, but I didn’t see any equipment. I was standing under an open sky, pink, by the way, with pale pink clouds.

“We didn’t. We just picked a signal and retrieved you.”

I cleared my throat. Thank goodness they didn’t choose some Hell’s Angel or Crip. “Very clever.”

Again, they all flapped. “We did our best to make the trip as comfortable as possible.”

“Appreciate that. And just where are we?”

“Lishton, in your language. We call it,” and he tweeted something that sounded like all of the other tweets they’d been whistling.

“Lishton.” I ran my hand through my hair. I didn’t feel that I was either capable or prepared to be a first contact. What if I said or did something wrong? This could be a disaster. “Nice to meet you.”

“You as well.” He grinned again. So did the others. “Would you like to meet our leader?”

“Of course.”

So he guided me off of the platform and we got into an open, I don’t know, wagon, that lifted off and flew into a city. We met the leader, apparently a group that was the entire, planetary governing body, and went to a lunch with several hundred other Lishtonians. The lunch was fruit and veggies and nothing made me sick, something I was initially concerned about. Then there was music, more twittering, singing I suppose, and as the sun began to set, they took me back to the platform.

“Thank you for joining us for the day,” my guide told me.

“Thank you for…inviting…me.” I went to the center of the platform. I hoped it wouldn’t hurt to go home.

“Come back anytime.” He grinned again and the whole group, still with us, waved. Goodbye, I guess. Again, bright light, big noise, and when I recovered, I was back in my living room. I glanced at the clock. Twelve hours. I’d been gone the same amount of time here as there. Shaking, I turned on the tv. The date was the same. Something to be grateful for. I wasn’t returned to an unexpected future.

The phone rang. I threw it in the trash. There was no way I was going to swipe right again.

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The Week Begins: Daily Blog Post

Just for fun!

 

Hey!

Monday was busy. Hubby had blood tests at 10am. He’s had stomach problems (an old issue), which have resurfaced over the last week. The docs are trying to identify the current problems.

I had a book festival meeting, also at 10am. We went over status of where each department is at this point and reviewed the feedback from authors and attendees. Lots of good comments there and a few good ideas for improvements. Then I went to lunch with one of the committee members and her husband. That was fun.

On the box set, I have one more book to edit and I can update the Amazon copy, publish the Smashwords copy, then re-format for the paper box set and get that uploaded. There is an end in sight! Yay!

A reminder: The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Summer Giveaway is in progress at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s $80 as a Grand Prize Paypal Cash and 27 books and 27 prizes available to win.

That’s it for today!

The Gulliver Station ebook box set released July 30th, 2018. You can buy it at Amazon today. 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. 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 my 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.

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