Painting, Writing, Poll Worker: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

If you’ve been following my blog for a long time, you may remember that in October 2018, I brought my mom from New York to live with me here in Arizona. We had decorated the room she was in with a fresh coat of lilac paint, her favorite color. She passed on December 31, 2018. To be honest, I hadn’t done much with the room since then. However, a few days ago my hubby decided that lilac was too feminine and wanted to repaint. I went in the room for a moment. Pictures of her children and grand-children and great-grand-children, and her beloved dog now long past, were on the walls. Shelves held her bric-a-brac. I took a last look and said yes. So we emptied the walls, moved the lighter furniture out of the room, and prepped it for painting. You can see above, the taped walls and the dot of the test patch, a suede-brown, that my husband chose. I’ll miss the lilac color. I really liked it. But, as with all things, it’s time to move on. I still have her pictures and some of the bric-a-brac. I definitely still have the memories.

Last week I volunteered to be a poll worker for the Arizona Primary. The experience was interesting, as I’d never done that kind of work before. The day started at 3:30am for me as I wanted a shower before I left the house. Then I had a half-hour drive to the little town north of us where I’d been assigned to work. After reviewing my handbook, I felt I was ready. The small town where I was working doesn’t usually have a huge turnout. Arizona has mail-in balloting and most people vote that way. So there was some time on and off through the day where I could pick up my Jean Hays story and fill in some of the story from her time in Afghanistan. I filled 10 hand-written pages with two scenes. I felt good about it and I’m sure those of you waiting for the next story will be glad to hear that. Later in the week I typed up my hand-written notes and did some light editing. The scenes aren’t inserted into the story yet but I know about where they’ll go in the manuscript.

As for the poll work, the polling place had a larger than usual turnout. There were several hotly contested local races so interest was high. I found the entire process fascinating. We spent the day in masks and social distancing. We also were wiping down tables, voting booths, door handles, and pretty much any other spot we saw voters touching. It’s been a week since then and I’ve stayed home, just in case. One more week at home and I’ll feel confident I didn’t pick up the Corona. With the election coming up, there will be a need for poll workers and poll watchers again in November. Call your county registrar if you’d like to help out. I’m already signed up for November.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Giveaways:

The spring giveaway, Spring Flings and Book Things, is over. I’ll let you know when the winners are drawn.

In the meantime, the Summer giveaway is now in progress! Check it out here: https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. As always, each author is giving away at least 2 prizes and there’s a Paypal cash grand prize.

Where will I Be?

Pine Library, 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine AZ, Friends of the Library meeting, has been officially rescheduled. The new date for my apprearance is October 26th, still at 1pm. So if you happen to be in Pine, AZ on that date, Come on by. I’ll have some books available for purchase and signing.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on the regular and the SciFi/Fantasy and the Cozy Mystery newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming. Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Releases:

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

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

New Year, Mom, Releases, New Promo: Monday Blog Post

Mom and her Flowers

Newest News:

The new year is here and for me, it comes with some sadness. As I mentioned last week, my mom was in bad condition. She passed away, just about 7am, on New Year’s Eve. Since then I’ve been up to my chin in all of the things that have to be done when someone in your family dies. Way too many things, I think, for people who are grieving. No matter. Later this week I’ll fly back to New York and say farewell to my mother with my sister and brothers, friends and other family.

Other new year news. Both of my stories, Gold Dreams and Slave Elf are being edited. Slave Elf is already back to me. (Bless you, Katarina, for working over the holidays!) I’ll have it out in February for all of you fantasy fans. It’s going to be highly edited from the raw story you read on my blog so if you’d like to see the changes, be alert for my published announcement!

The other book is my western, Gold Dreams. That is still with my editor, EJ. **Waves at EJ** It’s a novelette and is also based on my short stories released on the blog. Again, changes from the raw stories you read there. I want to have that done in about 2 weeks. So stay tuned.

Giveaways:

The Christmas Giveaway is over and soon the Valentine’s day giveaway will be up, then I’ll notify my winners.

Women Write Club 2019

In the meantime, I’m in a promotion with 19 other women writers on Book Funnel. You can check out the books here. There are romances, mysteries, shifter stories and even a non-fiction. Don’t miss out. These are all free for a short time.

Where Will I Be?

I’m at the Black Canyon Heritage park on January 26th. Stop on by and check out both my books and the other author’s books. Should be a lot of fun!

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. 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 https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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

Flash Fiction Friday Post: Of Autumn Leaves

Stream, Black and White, Randy Cockrell

Stream in B&W by Randy Cockrell

Stephanie Heller sat on the stream bank, her eyes staring at the way the water slid and gurgled around the rocks trying to block its way. She’d been there, mind lost in the ripple and swirl, for an hour as she watched orange, yellow and bronze leaves pass. The warm afternoon sun was setting and the air began to chill when she pulled herself from her reverie. She rose with a sigh, the water was so soothing, constant yet ever changing.

As she walked home the rustle of fallen leaves drowned out the muted sounds of the forest. Like the water, it soothed her as she focused on the way the sound of the leaves varied as her feet moved through them. It was a mile to the house and she was sorry when she emerged into the dusk past the forest edge and stepped onto the lawn of her farm house.

The windows were dark. There was no one there any longer but her to turn on the lights. She studied the house, how empty and cold it looked. Stephanie took one step, then another, following the path across the lawn to the back kitchen door.

The house didn’t used to be dark and cold. She opened the door and flipped the light switch. The kitchen was bathed in the cold blue light of the energy efficient bulbs. The room, where at this time of day should have been filled with the warm smell of dinner cooking, seemed sterile. She filled the water kettle and put it on the stove to heat. She was chilled and a cup of tea sounded good to her.

There were those small things, like a hot cup of tea that kept her going. That, and sitting by the stream, watching the water flow by. It had been there all summer, getting her to acknowledge her life. She went upstairs and changed into her pajamas, throwing on a red and black flannel quilted shirt over it all. Stephanie stroked the front of the shirt then wrapped her arms around herself as she watched her reflection in the dresser mirror. It was a poor replacement for her husband’s hugs but it was all she had left.

On her way back to the kitchen her step hesitated outside a closed bedroom door. It wasn’t time to face what was in there she decided and hurried down to the kitchen where the kettle was just about to whistle its readiness. She poured the water over the teabag in the cup. The scent of orange and cinnamon filled the kitchen as the heat from the kettle warmed her hands.

She took the tea to the living room and built a fire in the fireplace. Watching the flames consume the firewood was nearly as good as watching the water. Fire roaring, she cuddled into the sofa cushions and covered herself with an afghan. It was one she had made, a simple ripple pattern in gold and orange and chocolate brown, back when she was pregnant. That thought led to pain, so she shoved it away and picked up her tea.

Her friends had cared for her after the accident, helping her take care of the house and grounds as her broken arm and leg healed. The brought her frozen casseroles, kept the yard mowed, took her to her doctor appointments. They cleaned the house for her, too, but when they weren’t watching, she went behind them and laid all of the pictures face down. Looking at them was too hard to handle. After she was healed physically, they hugged her and reluctantly left.

Stephanie understood they knew she wasn’t healed yet but there was no reason for them to stay. She thanked them for their help and closed the door softly behind them. Since then she’d spent the days at the stream or if it was raining, watching the fire. The casseroles had been put to good use since she had gone to the store for only the most basic supplies. Aside from tea and toast, she hadn’t cooked a meal since the accident. It created too many memories of better times.

Autumn wound to a close and the colder days made it harder to sit at the stream side. Phone calls came in, inviting her to coffee, to Sunday Brunch, to dinner. It was on a gray day that she answered the phone. She watched a lone, brown maple leaf thrash on the tree branch outside the living room window as the caller asked her to come to a movie with her. Stephanie saw the wind rip the leaf from the tree and watched as the leaf sailed with crazed abandon around the tree and up into the sky out of sight.

Stephanie nodded. “Sure. I’ll meet you in town.” When she hung up the phone she felt better than she had in months, lighter, somehow. She went to her bedroom, showered, changed into jeans and a sweater, and brushed out her hair. As she passed the closed bedroom she stopped and lay her hand on the door. It was still too soon to go inside but she entertained a brief thought of the baby who used to be in there, chubby arms and legs and a dimpled smile. Her throat tightened and tears sprang to her eyes but she could bear it a little.

She passed the door and went to the garage. It occurred to her as she drove to town, that she could get a few groceries after the movie.

The End

925 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here:

http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html