Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday: Monday Blog Post

Newest News:

So, Thanksgiving is over. We had my brother-in-law over and his nephew-in-law, so there were just five of us. It was a quiet conversation and quiet dinner. The rest of the weekend was also quiet. We did not participate in Black Friday or even small business Saturday. Hope your Thanksgiving holiday was everything you wanted it to be.

Now we’re officially into the Christmas season. I’ve given brief thought to putting up decorations. Hubby even volunteered to get on the outdoor lights. I’ve created a list of small things for the hubby as he asked me not to get a big gift. We just spent almost $1000 on an Apple computer and a writing piece of software (which only works on Apple products), so I’ve already received my gift. I do have a few ideas, more than most years, for the hubs, so I’m hoping to use Cyber Monday to get those gifts. I don’t have any sales up at the moment, but if you’re looking at books for some of the people on your gift list, don’t forget to check https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. I have mugs and a 2019 calendar in addition to my books.

I want to remind you that tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. Whatever your favorite charity, think about making a donation to them this holiday season.

I’ve given up on reaching 50,000 words this National Novel Writing Month. My plan was good but my execution was dismal. No matter. I’ll go back to my normal writing schedule and it will all get done eventually.

Next appearance is in December, the Mesa Book Festival. That’s December 8th. You can find all of the details at https://mesabookfestival.com/.

Giveaways:

The Christmas Giveaway is live! We have $120 in PayPal cash as the Grand Prize and from the individual authors, 81 books and 81 prizes. Hoo! Get in on it quickly! You can go here to check it out. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/

 

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 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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National Novel Writing Month, Giveaway: Monday Blog Post

 

Newest News:

Have rewritten the parts of the story that I lost but I’ve missed several days writing. I figure at this point in the month, to make 50k words, I need to write 3,000 words per day without missing a day. Can it be done? Sure. Will my schedule handle it? Ummmmm. We’ll see. On the bright side, I’m nearing the end of my western. I’ve finished my horror, but am short about 500 words for the minimum. I’ll certainly get to my 3rd All About Bob and into the 4th one if I can keep the pace. Cross your fingers for me.

A reminder that I’ve finished my 2019 calendar. Arizona is such a beautiful place and a calendar of pictures from central AZ fits in so well with my Jean Hays series, I really just can’t resist sharing. Now that it’s completed, you can find the calendar on Lulu. Just click on the link and purchase as many copies as you want for yourself, friends and family. Feel free to share the link, and this post!

Next appearance is in December, the Mesa Book Festival. That’s December 8th. You can find all of the details at https://mesabookfestival.com/.

Stood on the scale this morning after missing the last 2 weeks. I’ve gained 8 pounds in two weeks?!?! What? Ugh. And Thanksgiving isn’t even here yet.

Giveaways:

The Christmas Giveaway is live! We have $120 in PayPal cash as the Grand Prize and from the individual authors, 81 books and 81 prizes. Hoo! Get in on it quickly! You can go here to check it out. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/

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 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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Avocado Chocolate Mousse: A Chicklets in the Kitchen Post

So last month I posted about my new Paleo diet lifestyle and mentioned avocado chocolate mousse. This is a wonderful dessert that you can enjoy yourself or make for a nice dinner with friends and/or family. It’s so delicious I cannot even say. It’s rich, decadent and chocolaty, everything you want in your chocolate dessert. And no, you don’t taste the avocado at all. Even better, it’s no cook!

Serves 4.

Hardware

Blender

Knife

1 cup glass measuring cup

Measuring spoons

Rubber spatula

4 half-cup ramekins

 

Ingredients

2 large or 3 small ripe avocados

3 T cocoa

4 oz dark chocolate

1/4 cup almond milk

1 tsp vanilla (Pictured is a bottle of homemade vanilla my friend Dee gave me for Christmas. It’s almost gone. ☹)

Directions:

Melt the chocolate in the microwave (pictured) or in a hot water bath. If using the microwave, use just short heating times, 15 seconds, until the mixture melts by stirring.

Read the rest here!

 

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

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

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NaNo, Vision Boards. Tested: Monday Blog Post

Turkey from Upstate NY

 

Newest News:

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States and I want to wish everyone a wonderful day with friends and family.

So today is day 20 of the National Novel Writing Month. I mentioned last week that I ran into trouble with my book being too short. What I finally decided to do was add a second point of view, Jean’s ex-husband, Dwight. I’ve never tried this before so I’m not sure how duplicative it will be. Maybe too much, but I thought I’d give it a try. So, as of Sunday, I’m at 36K words. I’m still going to come in short, I can already tell. I’ll worry about that later this week.

On my new class on Vision Boards, I’ve completed the second module. This week I learned about contacting people to join the workshop, what kind of emails to send and how to keep everyone interested before the class happens. I’m still very excited about this. Have you ever done a vision board? Tell me about it in the comments!

The cover for Tested has finally come back to me. I’m working in the formatting now and will be publishing in December. I know, months later than I had anticipated but it will be out soon. Thank you so much for waiting so patiently. I’m have a few copies ready for review if you’d like. It’s always good to start a new release with some reviews already on Amazon. Let me know if you’re interested.

Giveaways:

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 https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ 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.

Shout Out:

Author Marge Cutter

Today I’d like to give a shout out to author Margaret Cutter, author of a fantasy you can find on her website, margecutter.wordpress.com. Marge is currently an aspiring author who has completed one children’s picture book under her pen name, Pearl Meadows, and the first two books of a YA Fantasy series under her pen name Marge Cutter, all currently unpublished. But check out her website. You’ll be glad you did.

 

Where Will I Be?

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

On December 9th I’ll be at the Mesa Book Festival. Get full details at https://mesabookfestival.com/. I’ll be in a booth with my author friend, Marsha Ward. www.MarshaWard.com. Between the two of us, we have a large number of genre’s covered. Come get your Christmas presents and stocking stuffers. The festival runs from 2pm – 8pm.

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 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.

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Waiting: Friday Flash Fiction Story

Baby by Randy Cockrell

Baby by Randy Cockrell

I watched the seconds pass on my digital watch, counting the passing of my life. My hands trembled, my mother’s tremors now part of my existence. Better than my brother, though, who developed his tremors in his thirty’s. Mine at least waited until I reached my sixties, when it wasn’t a strange sight to see an old woman’s hands shake.

The nurses scurried through the halls along with the occasional harassed-looking doctor. It occurred to me that a harried-looking doctor didn’t project much confidence. Was harried the step before panic? I didn’t know the precise hierarchy of that sort of thing was. And why were they harried? Were people sicker than they’d anticipated? My mouth went dry. Where was our doctor? I checked the watch again—it continued to count the seconds of my life, my future racing up to me then whooshing by, gone, history.

I drew a deep breath and sighed. A lot of history—much of it faded in my mind. Not dementia or Alzheimer’s, thank God. Just distance. I never was much for dwelling on the past. I tend to live in the present or the future. But to be honest, in my sixties, there wasn’t a lot of future left, given the current standard women’s lifespan. My heart leapt when a doctor stopped outside the door. I waited, breath held, but he checked his watch and moved off. Ne news for me yet, then. I went back to breathing. What was taking so long?

It was November and my mind drifted to Thanksgiving. It was at my house this year, my brother and his wife, my sister, all their kids. Mom was gone two years. I’ll make her recipe for rice pudding, a family favorite and she’ll be present in our hearts.

Another doctor paused outside the door, a nurse walked up to him. I couldn’t hear what was being said, the waiting room TV was blasting a soap opera. I was surprised. I didn’t know any were still running. The nurse nodded and left. The doctor, too, in the opposite direction. I sank back into my seat. My own anxiety level rising.

I dropped the year-old magazine I was holding onto the side table. I wasn’t reading it—I might as well let someone else pick it up to hold.

The air conditioning kicked on and I pulled my sweater closer around me. Why is the A/C on in November? I gave the vent a glare and considered moving my seat but a look around revealed everyone else was as annoyed as I was. So when I heard my name called out, I jumped. “Yes!” I hurried to the nurse in the door.

“Mrs. Johns?”

I tucked my purse under my arm. “That’s me.”

“Your daughter, Jessica, is fine. You have a new grandson.” She smiled at me, the corners of her blue eyes crinkling. “Nine pounds, six ounces. He’s healthy as can be.”

My knees quivered with relief. “Can I see her?”

“Right this way, Mrs. Johns.”

I followed her—already planning the baby’s first Thanksgiving.

 

Thank You for Reading!

513 Words

 

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

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Happy Thanksgiving and NaNo Week 3: Monday Blog Post

happy-thanksgiving-2016

Newest News:

If I don’t get to it this week, I want to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. I don’t have any family nearby except my brother-in-law. Usually we go to a local friend’s house but this year they are feeling under par so I invited them, and the brother-in-law here. I’m excited. I haven’t made Thanksgiving dinner in about four years. Time to get back in the saddle! I’m making the cranberry sauce we always had when I was growing up and my friends are bringing their go-to sweet potato casserole. We’ll all feel right at home. What is your must have dish for Thanksgiving?

National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month

This is the end of week three of the 2016 National Novel Writing Month. As of the end of the day, Sunday, I have over 45k written. My fourth Brown Rain series novelette, Tested, is done and my already started short story, a space opera, Jania, Princess of Tania, is also done. Sunday I began work on a short story I started in October and never finished that’s currently titled, Granny. That’s kind of a supernatural. It was intended for Halloween but I didn’t get it done. No matter. It’ll be ready for 2017. So, only 5K to write to win the NaNo challenge. I’ve been posting pretty much daily over on Imzy.com/conniesrandomthoughts. For example, yesterday I posted a snippet of the Granny story and a recipe for snickerdoodles. Check it out!

 

Giveaways:

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Rudolf’s Holiday Giveaway has started. This time, there is a $120 grand prize, lots of author prizes, what’s not to like? And you get the opportunity to find new to you authors. You’ll see my posts on my Facebook, and Twitter pages as well as in these posts and my newsletter. Don’t miss out this time. https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. Click on the Rafflecopter link.

writers-colony-press

I’m also going to be on Facebook for an event called Writers Colony Press Holiday Indie Extravaganza. The event runs December 3rd and 4th. Writers Colony Press publishes anthologies for charity. The Longest Night Watch Volumes 1 and 2 are to raise money for Alzheimers. We dedicated them to Terry Pratchett, and Gene Wilder. The other Anthology out is “Stardust Alway’s” for Cancer research, and dedicated to Alan Rickman and David Bowie. And also, to our very dear friend Stacy Whitemire who passed away recently. She will be greatly missed. Find some new to you authors today and do a good deed for charity. Come join our extravaganza. Lots of authors will be on the event page sharing books, contests and fun. A couple of contests have already started. You could win a prize, or two! https://www.facebook.com/events/364089737264705/ Click on the Discussion tab.

14702331_1344993582191009_7933048603693284889_n

Then later in December, on the 17th, is the Brain to Books Holiday Giveaway and CyCon Sampler. Every year Brain to Books hosts a Holiday Book Giveaway. This year, our giveaway is a CyCon Sampler. Get a sneak preview of the Brain to Books Cyber Convention. While you’re here, we have a $100.00 Amazon gift card to hand out to someone along with a list of books we’re giving away! Here’s what’s happening.

1 – Browse the Author Takeover displaying sales, giveaways, games, prizes, etc.

2 – $100.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

3 – Holiday Book Giveaway

4 – Blog Hop (YA, Science Fiction, and Romance)

5 – Vote in Character Tournaments

It should be a lot of fun and who couldn’t use a $100 Amazon Gift Card?

You’ll find us at: https://www.facebook.com/events/624679124381085/

 

Shout Out:

91xztbetfl

I’ve just begun reading the book, Hild, by Nicola Griffith. https://www.amazon.com/Nicola-Griffith/e/B000APEZ4W. The historical fiction follows Hild, from the time she’s three years old, in ancient Britain. The story is compelling and the writing is lush. I just want to roll around in the words, they’re so rich. Check it out and her other books as well. I think you’ll enjoy them.

 

Garden News:

The Meyer Lemon tree, the bay leaf tree and the jade plant have been moved inside for the winter. That’s it for gardening news until spring.

 

Where Will I Be?

Do you follow me on Pinterest, twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other sites? You can find all my links here. I’m also on a new social media site, Imzy.com. You can follow me there at https://www.imzy.com/connies_random_thoughts. I’ve been posting daily updates on my NaNo progress there including snippets and random pictures. Enjoy.

 

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up prizes 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.

Newest Book Release:

troubled-streets-graphic-meme-004

Troubled Streets released on October 15th! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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Flash Fiction Friday Story: Never Again

Food Bar by Connie Cockrell

Food Bar by Connie Cockrell

Fergus Boylan woke and checked the readout in front of him. A groan escaped his lips. It was day 13 of his forced confinement. All systems indicators read nominal in the life pod but there was still no ship within reach–yet.

He rose and in the tiny personal unit took care of his bodily needs and washed his face and hands. In the two square meter area in the center of the pod he did the recommended exercises to keep up his strength. Not normally an exercise fanatic, he did them because there simply wasn’t much else to occupy his time. Wiping down after the exercises took another ten minutes.

Fergus sat in the chair in front of the food dispenser and sighed. This was the worst part of the day for a young man who looked forward to meal time. His stomach growled so he pushed the button. The dispenser spat out a food bar. Textured yeast protein–that’s what the manual said it was. Gray and without scent, it was the least appetizing food possible. It tasted worse. Fergus took a bite and wondered how the bar could be both crumbly and hard to chew at the same time. He punched the button on the dispenser and a water bulb rolled out of the opening. He admired the packaging as he pushed the spot on the bulb that caused a short straw to emerge. The entire bulb was made of hydrogen and oxygen, the same as the water it held, but solid.

He sipped to wash the food bar down. Too bad the engineers couldn’t come up with a tastier food bar, he groused to himself. The food was so awful he’d stopped eating three times a day. It wasn’t worth it. Already his ship suit was looser.

As he chewed he studied the screens in front of him. After all this time in the life pod, after the skeletal space station he was apprentice project manager on, exploded, he’d read the entire pod manual from cover to cover, twice. Because he’d stopped eating the mid-day meal, he saw that he had extended his food reserves by two weeks. He didn’t think he could eat those textured yeast protein bars for another two weeks. Matter of fact, he didn’t think he could face another one today. He checked the long range scans. Please let there be a ship out there. But it wasn’t so. He turned off that screen and brought up a picture of a sea shore and turned up the sound of waves washing up on the beach. He pulled up the manual and began to study the pod’s structure. It was something to do.

Two days later he started out of bed at an alarm. Tangled in the blanket, he rolled out of the bed and staggered to the console. Was the ship on fire? Had a meteor hit the pod? He clicked through the screens in rapid succession. No, no, no, the ship was fine. Then he clicked on the long range scan. There was a ship! Oh hallelujah, a ship! He checked his distress signal. It was broadcasting properly, they were just far away.

Fergus clicked the link to transmit. “Hello, unidentified ship, this is the life pod Argosy. Fergus Boylan requesting rescue.”

He waited, fingers drumming on the console top. “Ship, this is the life pod Argosy, requesting assistance.” He chewed his lower lip. After fifteen days in the pod alone, he was ready to talk to anyone. Fergus pushed the dispenser button for water and drank the entire bulb. When he crumpled up the empty, it evaporated into the air to be recycled in the pod’s system.

Static came over the speakers, then faint and full of static, “Argosy, this is the freighter, Star Chaser. We are coming to fetch you. Stand by.”

Fergus whooped and danced around the tiny pod. Back at the console he transmitted again. “Star Chaser this is Argosy. Standing by.” If he never saw a textured yeast protein bar again it would be too soon.

He paced around the pod. There wasn’t anything to pack—he’d raced to the pod ahead of the fire with nothing but the ship suit on his back. It took five hours for the Star Chaser to bring the life pod on board. As soon as the hatch opened, Fergus hugged the young crewman outside the door. “Do you have something to eat? I’m starving.”

 

The End

730 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

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NaNo Break: Monday Blog Post

Thankful that Mom will stop in the middle of the road to let me eat. Oatman, AZ by Randy Cockrell

Thankful that Mom will stop in the middle of the road to let me eat. Oatman, AZ by Randy Cockrell

Since my last Monday blog post, it’s been crazy. I managed to get a few words written this week but for the most part, the week, at least concerning NaNo, has been a loss. I’ve only written two days out of the seven. Since today is the 23rd, that means I have only seven days left to get to 50,000 words. On Saturday I had 35.3k finished. That means I need over 2k per day to finish NaNo. I think I can do it. The rest of my month, except for Thanksgiving Day, is appointment free.

I attended for my first time, the Arizona Fair Commission Conference. I’m so glad I went. We’ve not attended, by we, I mean the fair board in general, this conference in years. It was way past time to do so. Several nearby fair managers, have all volunteered to help us out. It was so nice to be among such passionate people. I learned a lot about fairs, entertainment, management and organizational skills specific to fairs. I can’t wait to share it all with the rest of my board.

I taught a writers workshop on November 20th, in Camp Verde, AZ on critiquing. What a wonderful group of writers. Everyone, no matter their skill level or time as a writer, had excellent points to offer on the topic. I think we all learned a lot! I know I did. I enjoyed meeting a whole new group of writers. They all have such unique points of view. I can’t wait to read more of their work.

I’m compiling a new feature on the site, author interviews. I don’t know about you but as a reader, I’m always on the lookout for authors new to me to read. I think I’ll start the new feature in January. Perhaps one article every other week to start. If you like the feature, please be sure to comment. I have to assume that no comments means that you’re not interested and I’ll drop the feature after a time. So, be sure to let me know what you think of the posts!

Santa’s Authors Christmas 2015 Giveaway also known as the Winter Wonderland of Books Christmas Giveaway started 1 November. I have a link to the giveaway on my website, https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/. There’s also a Youtube video at the bottom of the page to watch. You will love this. Fifty authors have put up all kinds of prizes from books to jewelry to Amazon gift cards. Go ahead and log in. You’ll find links to all of the author’s social media. Click on a link, enter to win. The more links you click, the better your chance of winning. The grand prize is $200 of Paypal cash, good anywhere on the planet. Good luck! Thanks for participating.

I finished getting all of my books but my first (The Bad Seed) up on Chatebooks.com. You can find my books by searching on my name or here’s a direct link. https://www.chatebooks.com/index.php?route=product/search&search=Connie%20Cockrell  I’m very excited to be able to provide multiple platforms for readers to find my work. Chatebooks, as the name implies, is only for ebooks. To get a paperback copy of my books, go to Gumroad.com/ConnieCockrell or to Amazon.com. Both of these platforms can sell both ebooks and paperbacks.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving full of family and friend love and good food.

I published my October 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 blog posts. If you like the content, please encourage your friends to sign up, the newsletter is sharable, send it to whomever you think will like it. Don’t delay signing up. You’ve already missed out on two great offers. The November 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, Smashwords , Gumroads  or Chatebooks today! You can also see all of my books on www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com, Books tab. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s a big help to me in the book rankings each vendor uses to promote the books on their sites. Thanks in advance.

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Flash Fiction Friday Story: Thanks

Rugged terrain by Connie Cockrell

Rugged terrain by Connie Cockrell

Elsa leaned for a moment against the tree trunk. The rough bark scratched her arm where her sleeve had been torn. She didn’t care. She had so many scratches, bruises, burns, and she was pretty sure broken ribs, that one more didn’t matter.

The urge to slide down the trunk and sit was overwhelming. Three days it’d been since the crash. At least she thought it was three days. Things were getting fuzzy. Her last drink of water was two days ago and her tongue seemed permanently stuck to the roof of her mouth. Elsa supposed she should be grateful. As the only one to climb out of the plane wreckage alive, she was grateful; at least she was three days ago. Now she wondered about God’s sense of humor.

The burn on her back was about the only thing keeping her warm and the sun was setting again. She thought hard. It was day three, wasn’t it? Elsa shook her head in an effort to clear her mind but that was a waste of calories.

I should have stayed at the wreckage, she thought. It was sending a lot of smoke into the air. Someone would have seen it. And when we were late, someone would have come looking. Justin filed a flight plan. Tears leaked from her eyes at the thought of her co-workers, Justin, Samantha and Harry lost in the fire. She’d come to, coughing on the smoke, the small plane upside down. Releasing her seat belt she’d fallen on Justin’s seat back. That caused the cracked ribs. The scratches were from trying to get out of the plane over Justin’s body. Sam and Harry, well, Sam, beside her, had a smashed forehead. Harry, she couldn’t tell in her rush to escape. None of them moved.

It was a miracle she got out. Justin’s door was jammed. She didn’t want to think about how she’d had to sit in his lap to kick the door. Elsa shoved the thought out of her mind and began her stagger down the mountain. Go downhill she remembered from the survival shows on TV. She’s never thought she’d need that information. The burn on her back hurt. She received that as she ran from the plane. It wasn’t far or fast enough. The thing blew up and a piece of the fuselage hit her in the back, knocking her over and setting her shirt on fire. She rolled in the dirt as she’d been taught but the problem remained. By day the flies bit the burn, making the misery even worse.

If I could just find some water. She was so tired and thirsty she didn’t even care about her stomach. It had stopped growling yesterday. One thing off of her mind at any rate. Elsa watched as the sun dropped behind the trees. There was a last moment of beauty as the rays shot through the pine boughs creating a cathedral effect.

Get moving, she told herself. Find a clearing. Maybe a plane or helicopter will come by. She’d been hearing planes and helicopters for the last two days but none had come in her direction. Elsa made her tired feet move. They hurt. Actually they hurt all the way to her hips. She stumbled over a root and landed on her hands and knees, the root digging into her ankle. Sure, God, pile it on. Getting to her feet again was an effort. One Elsa wasn’t sure she wanted to make any longer.

Okay, she bargained with herself. Keep going downhill till it’s dark, then you can sleep. Elsa stumbled down the hill, ricocheting from tree to tree. When it was dark, she sank down next to another trunk. It was smooth so it might have been an aspen. All she cared about was that it not scratch her.

The night was spent curled up in a ball shivering. It was cold, sure, but she knew she had a temperature. The wounds were getting to her. Infection, probably. Elsa sighed as she woke to the sun rising through the trees. It wouldn’t matter. She’d be dead today from dehydration. She used the tree trunk to stand up. Her guess last night was right, it was an aspen.

Struggling to stay upright she shuffled down the hill, the leaves making a sh, sh, sh, sound as her sneakers moved through them. It took her a long time to realize that the pounding wasn’t in her head, it was above her. She looked up. Overhead was a helicopter and unaware, she’d entered a clearing. A shot of adrenaline swept through her. Elsa waved both arms, but a croak was all she could manage as a yell. The machine flew by.

They didn’t see me. She sank to the ground, the dry grass jabbing her in the legs and butt. The tiny stabs were the final insult. Elsa lay down on her side, too tired and thirsty to go on. The thump, thump, thump returned. She shaded her eyes. The helicopter was circling over the clearing. Someone waved out of the window.

Elsa waved back, then dropped her hand. It was too heavy to hold up. Soon a second chopper appeared overhead. This time a line was thrown out and a person in orange zipped down the line on the other side of the clearing.

Thank you, Elsa thought. Thank you.

 

The End

899 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

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Flash Fiction Friday Story: Going Home

Suitcases on the Road by Connie Cockrell using Suitcases by Frost_Stock via www.DeviantArt.com Road picture by Randy Cockrell

Suitcases on the Road by Connie Cockrell using Suitcases by Frost_Stock via www.DeviantArt.com and Road picture by Randy Cockrell

Zara cleaned off the end of the shelf where the waitresses kept their personal stuff. Nothing extravagant— her coffee mug, a baggie with spare hair elastics and ties, and her purse. The mug and baggie went into the last. The two other girls sent sympathetic looks in her direction but in the middle of the lunch rush, they couldn’t stop to give a proper goodbye.

Fine by her. She slung the purse strap over her shoulder and made sure to slam the back door as she left. The owner, the nasty little man, had felt her up for the last time. Zara marched out of the alley like a soldier. Head up, shoulders back, eyes forward but her mind was roiling.

She didn’t know what to do. Rent was due in two weeks. Zara expected she’d have to fight to get her final paycheck and it would be short, being fired mid-pay period. She sighed as she stopped at the corner to wait for the light. Running to the big city wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Halfway down the block, hookers, no older than her, were talking to men in passing cars. At least I didn’t get caught up in that. The walk light glowed, and she crossed the street.

She pulled out her phone and called her sister. “Anna, it’s me,” she said when her sister picked up. “I was just fired.”

“Oh no, Zara. How awful.”

“Yep.” Zara stepped into a doorway to get out of the flow of pedestrians and to cut the street noise a little. “I don’t know how I’m going to make the rent, but at least I don’t have to put up with that grabby owner anymore.”

“Come stay with us.”

Zara shook her head. “I can’t do that. You have Bill and the kids to take care of. You don’t need me there.”

“Well, then, what about going home to mom and dad. I talked to mom. She said she’s asked you back over and over. Talk to her, talk to dad.”

“You know I haven’t talked to him since I left.” Zara watched the people going by, everyone with a look of determination on their faces. They knew what they were doing with their lives.

“It was a silly argument, Zara. Make up with him.”

“He told me if I didn’t like it to get out. So I did.” She wasn’t miffed about it anymore. Now it was more a matter of pride.

“You stayed out all night. He was trying to lay some ground rules for your own good.”

“How’d that work for him?”

“You and Dad are too much alike.”

Zara sighed. “Probably. Mom told me he’s still holding my college account open. He won’t touch the money, even when the whole roof had to be replaced.”

“See,” her sister said. “He still loves you. Come home. If you turn your apartment back to the owner clean, you’ll get your deposits back. That’ll give you the cash to find a new job or something.”

It was eighty-five today in Phoenix. It would be cold back in New York. She’d have to get winter clothes. “I’ve got nothing to wear. I left all my coats and stuff behind when I tossed my stuff in the car and left.”

“Mom still has it all,” Anna encouraged her. “Do you need me to buy a bus ticket for you?”

Zara chewed her bottom lip. What did she want to do? Go home? Go to college, at last? She realized she was ready to make up with her father. “No, I have some money set aside. I wanted to use it to buy the kids Christmas presents.”

“Forget that. You’re the best present they could get. Please come home, Zara.”

Zara felt her throat ache and tears form. She sniffed them back. “Then I guess I’m coming home. It’ll take me a couple of days to tie things up here. The car still works. I’ll drive.”

“Hoo, hoo!” Anna cheered. “You’ll be home in time for Thanksgiving. Fantastic. Are you going to call mom?”

“I’m going to call dad.” Zara wiped her eyes. “It’s time.”

 

The End

695 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

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