Flash Fiction Friday Story: Chapter 1 from It’s a Question of College

Soccer, Randy Cockrell

Soccer Game by Randy Cockrell

I have a confession, I totally did not get a story done for today. *blushes* By way of apology, I give you the first chapter to It’s a Question of College. Some of you know that I’m writing a YA series called All About Bob. This series is a result of a writing exercise I did over a year ago. It’s still rough, I’ll be editing and rewriting after it’s finished. And if you can think of a better title, I’ll be happy to consider it.

This chapter is over 1600 words, so a little longer than normal. Enjoy.

Chapter 1 It’s a Question of College

Bob ran as fast as he could taking the front porch steps two at a time gasping for breath from the run up the hill where his parent’s run down two-story frame house stood. He’d stopped looking at the neighborhood years ago. Dead grass, mattresses with the stuffing coming out, crappy sofas and armchairs on sagging porches were so normal he didn’t even notice them anymore. He raised the rusty hinged top to the mailbox now only loosely nailed to the wall beside the front door. Shit, he thought as he peered inside. She’s already gotten the mail.

He left the top open when the hinges froze in place and opened the screen door, more holes than screen, to open the front door. The glass was duct-taped along three long cracks radiating from the edges from the last time his father slammed the door in one of his drunken rages. He’d stopped noticing that, too. He closed the door quietly. Maybe his mother was up in her room, sleeping off the afternoon binge. School books tucked under his arm, he stepped softly across the worn carpet to the kitchen.

His mother was in front of the stove, stirring what smelled like spaghetti sauce. He rolled his eyes in his head. Of course today she felt like staying a little sober, he could see the bottle of beer, condensation on the outside of it, sitting on the counter beside the stove. And she’s fixing dinner — of all days. He looked on the kitchen table, there was the mail. Just as he was going to fade back into the living room she turned and saw him.

“Bobbie, didn’t hear ya come in.” She reached for the beer and took a long pull, setting it back on the counter with a burb. “Opps,” she giggled. “Sorry.”

“Uh, yeah. Soccer practice is over.” He took a breath and walked into the kitchen. “You’re makin’ supper.” He did his best to look casual as he went to the table and dropped his books next to the mail. The top envelope was the light bill. He didn’t dare search the pile while she was watching.

“I felt like spaghetti tonight.”

He wasn’t surprised. It was about the only thing she ever made. “Great, Ma. Sounds good.” He went to the fridge and opened the door. Inside was two 18 packs of beer, the kind his father drank, three sticks of butter, half a loaf of bread and two colas. He took a cola and shut the fridge door. “I’ll do my homework while you cook.” He went back to the table, shoved up against the dirty white painted wall, and casually knocked the mail to the floor as he picked up his books. He put the books back on the table and crouched down to pick up the mail, being careful to pick up one at a time so he could skim the return addresses. It wasn’t in the pile. Bob stood and tapped them into a neat stack and put them back on the table.

“Sorry about that.” He got his books and went to his room. The days were getting shorter, he had to turn on the lamp on the rickety desk he’d found three blocks away a couple of years ago with a Free sign on it. The chair was from a yard sale. He traded the owner a yard mowing for it. The books fell on the desk with a thump, causing the whole thing to shake. Bob flopped in the chair a sigh escaping. That was close, he thought as he dug a pen out of his notebook. I thought for sure the report card was supposed to be out today. He did not want his parents to see that card.  He opened his math text and found the page with the homework problems. Math was his hardest subject so he tended to do that homework first.

An hour later he heard his mother shout from the kitchen, “Dinner!”

He had one more problem to do but decided to do it after supper. His stomach was growling. The two hour soccer practice after school burned the peanut butter sandwich he had for lunch away fast. He was halfway through the kitchen when he noticed his father sitting in the end seat at the table. Bob stopped. “Uh, Hi dad. Didn’t hear ya come in.”

“Nose always stuck in a book,” Ted Kowalski snorted. He drained his can of beer and slammed it on the table. “Get me another one, kid.”

Bob got the beer as his mother drained the spaghetti and put it next to his father’s plate. He took the empty and tossed it into the trash. When he was ten he’d learned about recycling in school. That night he’d picked up his father’s empty aluminum can and rinsed it out and set it on the drain board.

“What the hell ya doin’,” his father had screamed at him from the kitchen table.

Bob walked over to his father and explained. He knew his father, a sanitation worker, would understand. Ted reached out and cuffed Bob in the head leaving a red mark across the left side of his face. “Don’t be a smart ass. That recyclin’ is a bunch of shit. Just something to make my life miserable.”

Bob never tried it again, at least in the house. He got a glass of water from the sink and sat down at the other end of the table. His mother, Marcy, sat on the long side of the table, between them. She put the pan of pasta in the middle of the table. No bowl for her. That was one less thing to wash.

After Ted and Marcy dished up their food, Bob put some on his plate. His mother passed him the green can of parmesan cheese. There was only a teaspoon left in the can. Bob sighed to himself. Sighing aloud would only get him a slap. He wound the pasta onto his fork and took the bite. The pasta was overdone and mushy. “Good dinner, ma,” he said as he went for the next forkful. It was food and would fill his belly.

Marcy drank some beer, burped, and said, “Thanks, Bobbie.”

Bob had tuned out his father’s detailed description of his miserable day on the garbage truck, his thoughts were on the report card his mother had. He tried to think of a way to tell them he really wanted to go to college. His soccer coach thought it could be done. Bob didn’t want to work on a garbage truck like his old man. There had to be something better. They were half way through their plates of spaghetti when his mother pulled an envelope out of her sweatpants pocket. “This came in the mail today.” She put it next to Ted’s plate.

Her husband eyed the envelope. “What the hell is it? A bill?”

She grinned at her son. “It’s Bobbie’s report card.”

Bob’s stomach sank. He’d managed to keep them from seeing his report card all last year. Why the hell didn’t she stick to her routine!

His old man put his fork down and picked up the envelope. He pulled the two page computer printout from the envelope. “What the hell is this shit? When I was in school ya got an actual card.”

Marcy giggled, her thin graying dirty blond pony tail swinging behind her head. “It’s all computers now, Ted.”

“Bullshit,” he muttered as he peered at the small print. He flipped the page, read it, then slapped it on the table. “B’s and C’s. I always knew you was stupid.” Ted picked up his beer and drained it. “Get me another one, stupid.”

Bob picked up the empty, dropped it in the trash and got the new one, putting it beside his father’s plate. His stomach was churning the spaghetti as he sat back down. “I’m doing better this year than last.”

He father eyed him across the table. “I don’t remember any report cards from last year.”

Bob kept his face neutral. “No? They weren’t that great. Nothing to remember.” He picked up his fork and twirled spaghetti around with it.

Ted snorted. “I’ll bet.”

Bob choked the rest of his plate of food down. His father wouldn’t tolerate wasted food. Marcy picked up her empty plate and her husband’s. Ted got up and went to the living room after draining his can of beer and getting a fresh one.

“I think you’re doin’ good, Bobbie. Don’t pay him no mind, school was never his favorite.” She rinsed the plates and put them in the sink, grabbed a beer and went to watch TV with her husband.

Bob scraped the rest of what was on his plate into the trash. His father wouldn’t know. He never touched the trash. That was Bob’s job. He rinsed his plate and put it in the sink. Then he dug the left over spaghetti out of the pot and put it in a bowl and covered it with plastic wrap. He rinsed the pot. He left the dishes for his mother. She tried to have him wash them one night a few years ago and Ted exploded. That was women’s work. His son wouldn’t do women’s work. Bob shrugged. He’d prefer to do the dishes. At least then they wouldn’t be sitting there for two or three days.

He picked up  the forgotten report card, tucked it into his shirt and went to his room. His parents had already forgotten about it. Bob would forge their signature and take it to school in the morning.

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Merry Go Round Blog Post for March

Me,Long Distance BackPacking on the AT/Long Trail, Vermont

Me,Long Distance BackPacking on the AT/Long Trail, Vermont

I have and have had a lot of hobbies in the past. I love to try new things, explore different aspects of my creative ability. Just after high school I took up oil painting. I liked it, but somehow it wasn’t for me.

Then I tried the flute. I hired a music teacher, bought an actual silver, not silver-plated, flute, and dropped it after a couple of years. Decades later, I’m still in love with that flute and have carried it around with me through several moves. I still have it, in a bin, on the top shelf of my closet. I’m just not ready to let go of it.

Other hobbies and handicrafts have come and gone. Crocheting for example. I crocheted a number of river pattern Afghans for myself and my brothers upon their weddings. I still have mine, in shades of brown and when I’m cold on a winter’s night, it keeps me cozy and warm.

There were other hobbies: spoon collecting from tourist spots, cheese making, soap making, leaf pressing, hiking, basket weaving, the list goes on.

How does all of this relate to writing? I’ve tried writing on and off for decades. I’d get just so far and halt, not knowing what to do next. It was another hobby, tried and forgotten, but not. I kept poking at it until in 2011 when I found the internet bonanza of writing: an on-line writing group, Forward Motion.

So what do those other hobbies have to do with it? They’re an exploration. They’re an experience that I can draw on when I’m writing about soap making or weaving or hiking or trekking along hard country for long distances. I know how to dehydrate food to keep it for long travel. I know how hard it is to make good music. I’m a mother, daughter, wife, sister, military person, all of these experiences help me when I’m trying to get into my character’s head.

So, you don’t want to risk climbing that mountain? Trying that new cooking course at the community college? Go for it. The experience will help you in ways you never expected.
The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). 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 http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara

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Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: January – New Beginnings

Spring Flowers

Connie’ Flowers by Randy Cockrell

Hello and welcome back to the Merry-Go-Round Blog tour. I hope you’re as excited about the New Year as I am.

I have a number of new projects planned for 2015.

First, I’m finalizing my story, Lost Rainbows. I received the prompt for this last January and a few of my fellow Forward Motion authors took the prompt too. Every story is different though a few of us went with the obvious, a story about leprechauns. While I generally wanted the story to be short, it turned into a novelette, 16,000 + words! I’m in the final stages of editing then I’ll self publish by the end of this month. Oh, I’d better hurry. It’s halfway through January already!

I’m working on a class, How to Write a Series Extended, from Holly Lisle. The class started last June and I’ve written 2 novelettes so far in my series. I call it the Brown Rain series. I hit a real milestone in December as I was catching up on the lessons. I’ve got a loose plan for the third book and I’ve regained the excitement I had at the start of the class. That book will get written this year. It may get published this year, or may not. Depends on when I actually write it.

In November I stepped outside my comfort zone and wrote a cozy mystery. I’ve just started editing it this month. Since finishing those Series classes in December, I’ve gained more enthusiasm for this series, I call it the Jean Hays series, as well. I already have an initial idea for the next book here as well. I’ll use the methods I just learned to flesh out my idea. No idea, though, when I’ll be able to write it. It may end up being drafted in November for my NaNo novel. I’ll see how things work out.

I also want to gather 5-10 of my flashes, do an edit, and put them in a collection to publish. Probably a SciFi/Fantasy collection as I haven’t done one of those yet. What’s nice is that I can expand on the stories. I don’t limit myself to just 1000 words after I’ve posted them as flash fiction stories on my blog. I can flesh them out a little more.

I’ve put up as a goal to publish 6 books this year. So far I’ve talked about 3, so I’ll have to get writing if I’m going to put up half a dozen books.

Other plans, to participate in May’s Story a Day challenge. I seem to be able to write about 10 short stories in that month. Always a good thing as it gives me more fodder to send to contests, submit to e-zines, and add to my own collections.

So that’s it. Lots of work planned. Lots of stories to be written. Tons of fun to be had. Hope your year is as productive as you’d like it to be.
The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). 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 http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara

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Monday Blog Post: Starting a New Year

New Year, New Year's Eve, Snow, Lighted Tree

New Year’s Eve Snow by Randy Cockrell

Happy New Year to you and your families. The holidays are over, we’re still digging tinsel out of the carpeting and the new eating and exercise plan is still operational. Whew. 2014 was a tough year for a lot of my friends and family. I’m hoping 2015 is much, much, better. One way I’ve found to help me make my year move along on an even keel is to have a plan. Yeah, I know, but I’ve used goals for decades to help me organize my thoughts about what I need or better yet, want, to get done during the year. Additionally, it’s great to look back in December and go, “Whoa! Look what I’ve accomplished!”

Here are the major writing things I want to accomplish in 2015.

– Publish 6 more books

– Turn my wordpress blog into a full-fledged web site

– Participate in the April and July Camp NaNo’s and the November NaNo

– Complete the Holly Lisle World Building class and the How to Write A Series Expanded class

– Submit short stories to contests on a schedule I’m developing.

– Increase speaking appearances and opportunities to sell my books

– Participate in the Payson Book Festival as an author

I know, it looks a bit overwhelming. I didn’t talk about continuing to produce a flash story every Friday for my blog, or any personal stuff like travel, gardening, projects, volunteer work, you know, life stuff. All of that has to be done as well.

Goals help me plot out a work/life balance. If I see I’ve really scheduled a lot of writing stuff, I can back out on the plan at the beginning of the year and cut myself and my hubby some slack for running off and going camping or travelling.

What do you do to plan out your year? Just take it as it comes or jot down some things you’d like to accomplish? Go ahead and share in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

The Downtrodden: a Brown Rain Story released November 22nd! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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Merry Go Round Blog Tour: December and Where Are My Goals for 2014?

Hit the Target, Grunge, Digital Art,

Hit the Target by ns-dante via www.deviantart.com

My list of goals for 2014, by the month, was extensive. Last year this time I went through the list as though I were reporting accomplishments to my commanding officer. This year, I’m going to be a little less obsessive-compulsive.

What’s been most important? I put six books up for sale. One every other month. This is the 2nd year in a row I’ve done that. Pretty good stat considering I just started writing in 2011.

I’ve been studying the craft. I have a world building class, still in progress and a class on how to write a series, extended version that I have been taking from Holly Lisle. https://howtothinksideways.com/login/  I signed up to take the World Building class then the Series Extended class opened. I’ve been doing the latter and the poor world building class has suffered. I’ll correct it soon, I promise. I also am still struggling through the 2013 Two Year Novel course. I’m tracking the lessons as they come in but I’m woefully behind the curve. The story still isn’t written and most of this year’s lessons are about editing and publishing. I’m not throwing my hands up. My story isn’t bad, it’s just not what I envisioned. I add words to it whenever I get a free writing day and the need to get words on screen is too much to bear. I need to finish it as it’s planned then wait and let it rest. Somewhere out there is the story I actually wanted to tell. It’ll come to me.

I’ve been working on my social media program. Since I publish independently I must work my own advertising/marketing program. Some people think this is a sacrilege. I can only say this. If it isn’t a sacrilege for Stephen King, James Patterson, or Nora Roberts to use the full weight of their publishing houses to advertise their work, why is it a sacrilege for me to use Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ to advertise my work? Anyway. I keep plugging away at making my marketing effective. I’ve taken 2 classes in the last 2 years. This year’s class offered some more detailed instruction. Some of it has been interesting, some seems like spam, some may be useful. I plan on turning my wordpress blog into an actual website in 2015. So beware, there are changes coming.

I am working hard at writing. This is the most important thing to me since my marriage and my daughter’s birth. I want this to work and I want this to be professional. I’m making this claim publicly for the first time since I started writing. I don’t consider this to be a hobby. I’m serious. I’m working hard to improve my writing skills. I hope my followers will help me by participating when I offer chances to interact with me. I’m serious when I ask for your opinion. When I make an offer, take me up on it. It’s real. My goals? I want to be a professional author. Help me make it happen.
The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). 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 http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara

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Cover Reveal and an Update on Where I’ll Be

Cover, Downtrodden, Brown Rain

The Downtrodden, book 2 of the Brown Rain series Cover Reveal

That’s my cover for the next book in my Brown Rain Series: The Downtrodden. I may tweak the back cover blurb but it’s essentially done. What do you think? It’s going through final edits now. I hope to release it by the end of November.

I updated my Where I’ll Be page on my blog. http://conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com/where-will-i-be/. I’m scheduled to talk to the Soroptimist Club meeting on December 10th at Tiny’s Restaurant on Highway 260 at noon. The meeting is open to the public so come on by the hear me and check out this wonderful organization.

I’m still doing more words per day than necessary on my National Novel Writing Month challenge. I’m well ahead of the daily goal though I’m nowhere near the number of words some of my other writer friends have done. They get into it and really produce, some of them two or even three in the month.

I’m getting ready for my mom to come and live with me. We’re painting the room that will be her bedroom, buying curtains, and furniture. We’re going to have a lot of fun once she gets here.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Like any author, my books sell based on reviews. Would you be interested in getting a free copy to review for me? Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. Or sign up here. Use Control, Click to access the link.

First Encounter: a Brown Rain Story released September 18th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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Writing Platform? Do I have One?

Phoebe at Park by Randy Cockrell

Phoebe at Park by Randy Cockrell

When I saw this month’s topic, to be honest, I was baffled. I didn’t know what that meant. So, being a modern woman I went to the internet to get some help. I stumbled on http://www.be-a-better-writer.com/writing-platform.html and checked out the definition there. Here’s the first paragraph on their page.

“Having a writing platform means that you have an audience, and that you have some vehicle in place to reach that audience when you have books to sell. This platform is as important to those not yet published as it is to established writers.”

Oh! Yeah, how am I contacting people, selling books, putting my name out there? Good question. The site offers thirteen things you should or could do to create a rounded “platform”. If you’re interested in what they suggest, check out the site. However, we get all of this same information right here on Forward Motion. Here are a few of the things I do.

Aside from writing the next book, which is the number one suggestion, I started a blog. One day I’ll turn it into a regular website but for now, until I start earning money from my books, the blog does much of what a website will do for me. It forces me to write to my audience on a regular basis. I’ve settled on two days per week, Monday and Friday. Friday’s are for a flash fiction piece. It tends to be a little rough. After all, I’m putting out a story a week! But that regularity helps me be consistent. Don’t think I gained a lot of readers right off the bat, it took a long time and I still have fewer than 500. Monday posts are for getting to know me. I share news about my garden, my writing, my family, my hobbies. I’ve focused my blog on my readers, not other authors. You won’t find author tips there but you may find a recipe to use the abundance of your garden.

I have business cards for my writing. That’s another suggestion. When I mention that I’m an author, people want to take a look at what I’m writing. A business card makes it easy. I use the cover of my most recent book as the graphic and usually print ten or so at a time with my facebook page and blog page listed so people can find me. When do I buy business cards? See the next paragraph.

To get more exposure, do an author signing, or a reading at the local library, or give a presentation to a local group. An author signing can be at a book store, the local library or in my case, a local craft fair. I made sure I had plenty of professional looking business cards made up, they cost about $10, and I had a postcard made as a give away at my table. It’s good to offer a little something extra to those that buy your book. And it’s nice to have something with your info on it to give those who look interested but don’t buy right that minute.

Another thing I’ve done is help other authors. I had a lot of help in my path to learn how to be an author. Now, I feel confident enough to help other authors. Being generous with my knowledge helps others and who do you think they’ll mention to their readers when they talk about how they became successful? This is a good place to mention that you can use your website or blog platform to help authors advertise their books. Give them a platform or give them a review. It’s all good.

There are a lot of other ways to add to your writer’s platform. Some I have the time and competence to do, others I’ve not tried yet. If you’re a reader, how do you feel about going to your favorite author’s website? If you’re an author, what do you do to build your writer’s platform? Feel free to leave a comment in the comment box below.

About the picture above. I was looking for a picture of puzzlement. I didn’t find any I liked but I did come across this picture of a little chihuahua I know, Phoebe. It was so cute I had to use it.

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). 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 http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara!

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Fun Times In August

Revolution: last book in the Gulliver Station Cover Reveal by Connie Cockrell

Revolution: last book in the Gulliver Station Cover Reveal by Connie Cockrell

My friend Selena Laurence is releasing her new book, Buried, today. A picture of her book cover is below. You can find it at:
B&N –> http://bit.ly/1qXpeyt
iTunes –> http://bit.ly/1ra0NeJ
Goodreads –> http://bit.ly/1kQkPpw
#JuanAndBeth — with Selena Laurence.

10561612_714787788588447_8940547487853398356_n

We had a wonderful rainy thunderstorm on Saturday. The air cooled down, the rain fell, the plants became very happy. Yay for rain!
Well I completed Revolution’s formatting and put it up on Amazon, Kindle, Kobo, CreateSpace and Smashwords. I’m very excited. I have a good deal for you if you’re a subscriber to my newsletter. Want to get on it? Sign up in the next five days and I’ll get you in on it too!
The Northern Gila County fair is in a month. We’ve been working with the printer to publish the Fair books and I’ve been updating the website, www.NorthernGilaCountyFair.com, to correct out of date information. The site is still a work in progress but at least the information is correct. LOL! Do you attend your local county fair? What do you like the best about it?
Thanks for stopping by my blog today.
Like any author, my books sell based on reviews. Would you be interested in getting a free copy to review for me? Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. Or sign up here. Use Control, Click to access the link. Let me know you’d like to be a reviewer on Goodreads or the e-tailer site of your choice.
I have an in depth interview on my Smashwords Author page. You can read it here. Don’t see information about me you’d like to know? Leave me your question in my comments and I’ll try to answer it.
Revolution: A Gulliver Station Story released August 1st! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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End of Camp NaNo

Picture by Randy Cockrell

Picture by Randy Cockrell

Picture by Randy Cockrell

Picture by Randy Cockrell

The last of the summer concert series was held on Saturday here in beautiful central Arizona. Attendance was spotty because we had a thunderstorm roll in. There wasn’t much rain but the sky was full of lightning flashing through the clouds. Exhilerating.
The hornworms have arrived. You can see a picture my husband shot of one medium sized guy eating my green tomato. He also took a picture of hot peppers and my butternut squash. I trained one of the squash vines up a trellis so the squashes are hanging down, away from the pill bugs which like to eat anything that’s in contact with the soil.
July’s Camp NaNo is complete for me. I told you already about the 7K short story and the first of two novelettes for my new Brown Rain series. The second novelette, I call The Downtrodden, finished at less than 20K. Not a problem. I wrote a +2K short story and I went over the 50K mark for NaNo. Toss the confetti, I completed the challenge. The 7K short story, Partners, was written for an anthology. I edited it over the course of July and sent it off to the anthology last week. I’m crossing my fingers that it gets accepted.
Hubby finished his edits of Revolution and gave them back to me. I’m working on those edits now. With luck I can get the book formatted and out at least on Amazon by the end of this week.
I went ahead and signed up for the Goodreads Ask the Author. Have a question? That’s a good place to ask it.
Thanks for stopping by my blog today.
Like any author, my books sell based on reviews. Would you be interested in getting a free copy to review for me? Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. Or sign up here. Use Control, Click to access the link. Let me know you’d like to be a reviewer on Goodreads or the e-tailer site of your choice.
I have an in depth interview on my Smashwords Author page. You can read it here. Don’t see information about me you’d like to know? Leave me your question in my comments and I’ll try to answer it.
Hard Choices: A Gulliver Station Story released May17th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

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Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: July – Mid-Year Goals Check-In

I Must Reach My Goal by Farcry77 via www.deviantart.com

I Must Reach My Goal by Farcry77 via www.deviantart.com

Six months worth of goals. Ack! It has been a whirlwind year for me in my writing world, to be sure.  I completed all of the goals for January, February and March which to be honest, was a struggle. I just felt behind the whole time. April was tough, though I did get the cover for Hard Choices done and revealed in April. Hard Choices finalized in May right on schedule and was published. It’s always pretty exciting to send another book out into the world. I did also get some planning done in April for the May Story a Day challenge which took a little of the production pressure off of my shoulders. So in May, I managed my goal of 10 new short stories written. I love that! I signed up for the Holly Lisle world building class only to let it languish and I signed up for her How To Write A Series expansion which began in June. I’ve been keeping up with it so far.

Unfortunately April’s Camp NaNo (where I got a novella finished, a short story written and a novel started) and May’s Story a Day did nothing to instill a daily writing habit. Sometimes editing, cover design, and just plain life get in the way of sitting down to write. I know, if I make it a priority it will happen. Count me as counseled.

I submitted a story to Writers of the Future in May, called After Math, a story set in my Gulliver Station universe. I also submitted a story, Room with a Knife, to the Crew Contest in May. The Garden State Contest received, Eavesdroppers in early May; a poem, Rest, went to the Contrary Magazine in April; and after another revision, Someone Else is Living Here, went to the Southwest Authors contest mid-June.  A new story will be needed for Writers of the Future before the end of September, but that’s a whole ‘nother part of the year! In June I began the editing process for Revolution. At the time of this blog, it’s just about to be put up on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and Kobo. I also write non-fiction and I submitted articles for the January, March and June quarterly issues of Vision: an ezine for Writers.

Not on the goal list was a clean-up of my website: www.conniesrandomthoughts.wordpress.com. The Books tab especially was an embarrassment. I had a web-savvy friend of mine help me straighten it out. She also changed the banner at the top of the page. It looks so much better now.

July is Camp NaNo and I’m in the thick of writing a new novella, or perhaps it will stretch into a novel, who knows. And that’s one writer’s half-year. So what about you? Did you set goals at the start of the year? How have you done?

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). 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 http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com!  Up next: Jean Schara!

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