#FlashFiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community

This weeks 99 word challenge is Comet…

 

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COMET

When I look at a comet, having been lucky enough to see one, I see a giant snowman, throwing a ball of ice across our night sky, with its tail of dust.

We look upon it with wonder.

Could this giant hand be playing Rounder’s, or maybe Alleygobs with giant marbles? Is there someone on the other side of our dark sky ready to catch them, to hold onto them for too long before we see them again?

Could it be an invisible jockey riding a sky horse or maybe a knight from some forgotten age, looking for Merlin?

A Boy Called Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2 ~ Belated Review #Fiction @marciameara

This is the first of my ‘missing’ reviews… 

 

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In Book 2 of the Wake-Robin Ridge series, Marcia Meara, author of Swamp Ghosts and Finding Hunter, returns to the rugged beauty of the North Carolina mountains, introducing a little boy whose remarkable gift will change the world for everyone he meets.

“Evil’s comin’, boy…comin’ fast. Look for the man with eyes like winter skies, and hair like a crow’s wing. He’s the one you gotta find.”

 

The remote mountain wilderness of North Carolina swallowed up the ten-year-old boy as he made his way down from the primitive camp where his grandparents had kept him hidden all his life. His dying grandmother, gifted with the Sight, set him on a quest to find the Good People, and though he is filled with fear and wary of civilization, Rabbit is determined to keep his promise to her. When he crosses paths with Sarah and MacKenzie Cole, neither their lives nor his, are ever the same again.

The extraordinary little boy called Rabbit has the power to light up the darkness, and the resourcefulness to save himself from the one person his grandparents had hoped would never find him. His dangerous and bittersweet journey will touch you in unexpected ways, and once you’ve let Rabbit into your heart, you’ll never forget him.

 

Our Review

Rabbit has the gift of ‘seeing’ like his grandmother, but will it help him to find where he belongs?

Rabbit has a father, someone he has never met. Someone his grandmother warned him about. He has turned up wanting his son, but Rabbit knows he must keep away from him and stay with Sarah and MacKenzie Cole, but will he be allowed to stay there?

This is a heartbreaking story, one that broke mine over and over again. Rabbit is a wonderful child and deserves to find happiness, even though it seems impossible.

Although you know that things must get worse before they can get better, some of the good stuff will have you reaching for the tissues too…

 

 

About the Author

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Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and two small dachshunds. When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author and is ecstatic that at age 69, she finally began pursuing that dream. Three years later, she’s still going strong, and plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, which she figures would be a pretty good way to go! Marcia has published six books to date, all of which are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format: Wake-Robin Ridge A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2 Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3 Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2 Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love You can reach Marcia via email at mmeara@cfl.rr.com or on the following social media sites: The Write Stuff: http://marciamearawrites.com/ Bookin’ It: http://marciameara.wordpress.com Twitter: @marciameara Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marcia.meara.writer Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marciameara/ To keep up with the latest news and giveaways, sign up for Marcia’s Mail List here: https://marciamearawrites.com/mail-list-win-free-stuff/

When I tried to post this review on Amazon.co.uk, it was rejected like this …

But I have successfully (I hope!) just posted it to Amazon.com…

Fingers crossed everyone!

(Does anyone have an ideas why the UK Amazon failed?)

#Writephoto ~ Circle

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CIRCLE

I had gone for a walk beside the lake and barely remember bumping my head on a low hanging tree branch.

The small lump on the side of my head told me I had.

Feeling dizzy, I must have fallen and found myself leaning against a five-foot monolith. I counted eight more around me and a broken altar stood in the centre.

I sat there feeling as if I had fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole and into a stone circle. Hoping I had not broken my phone, having landed on my backside, I retrieved it from my back pocket and snapped away.

Rubbing at my eyes now at the sight of nine ladies in flowing robes, of which I was one, holding hands with the other eight. Was I glimpsing my former life or had the lump on my head grown to twice the size?

I could still feel the stone against my back, the scene before me began slowly fading, taking the other me with it.

As I sat there, I could still feel the hands I had been holding inside the circle.

I cannot be in two places at once, I must be dreaming. Yet the proof was in my hand. I flicked through the images, feeling the bark of the tree at my back…

 

 

Another lovely #writephoto prompt from Sue Vincent… 

#BlogBattle: Moon

The August 2018 Blog Battle

The prompt word for August is MOON

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My silver lady hangs safely among the stars,

Swimming through the firmament on her 28-day cycle.

Shedding her light upon the earth

Often she sits in the pale blue sky during the day

On dark nights, she brings romance and mystery

Often time’s shady dealings are done beneath her gaze

Yet for me, she is my lady bringing magic

A time of spells, for love and luck

She is known for inspiration, which all writers need

A friend since early childhood and remains so to this day

At 72, the years have been long. I whisper my thoughts to her

On nights when I cannot see her, still I whisper

As I know she is out there somewhere in the world

I believe she has stopped me losing my marbles

My mind as sharp as it was years ago

My friend ever watching me, my white ghost, one I can never be afraid of.

If I have a problem or a question,

She will often answer with a solution.

In my teens, I would walk the streets late at night just to be with her

While she watches over me I feel safe. I know nothing can harm me

I know that it is said that the full moon brings madness

For me, her beautiful white light brings only joy

A feeling of someone who loves me, cares enough to send comfort.

Whenever the moon is missing from my night sky

I feel jealous of other continents where she shines

As if a lover has been taken from me, I await her return

When she arrives, I lie in my garden when the moon is full

I watch the clouds slide across her face as if powdering her cheeks

The coloured halo as she shines through a cloud

What secrets she could tell of days long gone

When Adam and Eve first made love, her light upon them

God turned his face away, sending them from the garden.

She was there when Noah built the Ark and when the pyramids were built

When Arthur drew the sword from the stone

What secrets she could tell of Stonehenge

Of Merlin, his wand pulling lightning from the sky to build Camelot

To summon Arthurs Knights to sit at the round table

She was there at my birth and seeped into my soul

Lovers swear undying love beneath her light

Artists and poets need her to lay colour on canvas, words on paper

Those who are lost find their way home

Her light shining a path beneath their feet

No need to feel lost or lonely, speak to her

I do, she holds all my secrets close and

Like Pandora’s Box, never lets them out again

They are secrets after all.

Some believe her to be nothing but a lump of hollow rock

I say they have lost their soul.

Scientists try to tell us she is nothing but a satellite

That appeared from nowhere, placing herself in perfect position.

They tell us of a time when the earth had no moon

Still, I say they are soulless, empty

They speak of the dark side of the moon as if there is evil there

I know there are dark and dangerous things in our universe

The moon is not one of them

There are many great wonders in our universe

Many more moons

Jupiter has so many I cannot count them

I feel the splendour, yet cannot fall in love at their sight

Saturn, with its beautiful rings, the stars

All fade beside our own moon

The new moon, fingernail moon, Hunter’s moon, blood moon

These are her many faces.

Those of us who have found a soulmate beneath the full moon

Will tell you nothing can compare with the magic she shines on us

For she is the Holy Grail, the Philosophers Stone

All the things people have searched for over a million years

Our moon puts old magic and new into the air.

I know there are those who use her power for the dark arts

The weak minded that have held onto life’s pain

Trying to get even with some poor soul with spells of darkness

There are those who would remind you

The moon has no light of her own, that she steals it from the sun

I say it matters not where she gets it from.

The light was the first thing brought into the Universe

Therefore it is good.

Where would we be without it?

Would you want to go back to a time when the world was dark

Hiding in caves, crawling around and jumping at shadows?

I for one would rather stand in the light of the moon a while longer

I know we would not be where we are without the sun

Everything is linked, the moon the shiniest of these links

She turns the tides, not only of the seas

She turns man’s fortunes, bringing fame and fortune

Prestige and position to those who seek it

I don’t care that the moon has to steal her light

To shine her magic on all of us.

Take a walk in the woods late at night, beneath a full moon

I dare you to tell me you feel nothing, no love, no magic

It is there. Wake up to it. Keep it with you when you leave the woods

It will help you face life’s troubles and find your own magic

Let it be the voice that whispers when you need it

Share it with others if you can, it will come back double

And be with you always

I found my magic when I was ten years old

Each night when the moon shines above me

I thank her for being there to watch over me and my family

I hope and pray that you find that one love to get you through this life

If I could, I would have the full moon shining outside my bedroom window every night

I bless the day I found her…

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So, why do we blog?

 

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We are constantly being told that reading more will make us better writers and that we should blog with enthusiasm to build up our presence on the web. But I find that some of the things we need to do seem counterproductive and time-consuming.

Don’t get me wrong, reading does make me think, and it probably improves my vocabulary, but sometimes this can be counterproductive too in that I end up reading too much, taking time away from my writing. When I first started blogging, I read everything I could get my hands on, desperate to learn the secrets of the black magic box of the blogosphere.

And admittedly, I learned a lot.

Just lately though, there has been a change in my attitude to all things blog related. It suddenly dawned on me that as bloggers, we are trying far too hard to be the best at what we do with our constant searching for the golden egg. The one that will magically cause us to become omnipotent.

But because we are so busy running around like headless chickens, we are losing sight of our focus, the real reason we blog in the first place. We might even be missing the plot or choosing all the wrong moves.

I have been concerned of late, that there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do everything. What with the increasing amount of emails and time spent on social media, there isn’t much left for writing or blogging, come to that. Not to mention any new ideas that need to be explored or any of our other interests.

Apart from the reviews we do, I haven’t read a book simply for the joy of reading it in ages. I have begun to resent some of the demands made of my time too.

It could be time to step away and have a long hard look at what we do. Time to prioritise and cherry pick what we really want to concentrate on.

Life might be different when the dust has settled, but hopefully better. We have to concentrate on what we can do and do well, instead of chasing so many rainbows…

What does everyone else think?

 

 

#Writephoto ~ Summer

Many thanks to Sue Vincent for another lovely photo prompt!

 

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SUMMER

Summer holidays are meant to be fun.

A time for freedom, not a time to hear mother yelling for me to do this, do that… don’t do that… make yourself useful.

The sooner I did the jobs she wanted, the better I would be able to go out and run all the way to my favourite place, the River Thames.

To the old houseboat tied up outside the church, with its small graveyard, each headstone facing the water. The boat belonged to the vicar from the time before he wore the white collar. He knew I visited and never told me to go away.

I cleaned all the windows and brought some of mother’s old sheets from home so I could lie on the bed and dream. I would pick summer flowers from our front garden to cheer the place up. Here on my boat, I visited India and bathed in the Ganges, visited the temples, leaving flowers for Ganesh and Hanuman the monkey God.

All through the summer holidays, I would visit Greece and Rome when each place would be in full bloom. The best place of all would be the mighty Mississippi. I had the best summer on my Riverboat Queen, following in the footsteps of Huckleberry Finn…

Jaye’s Journal 1~ 6 August

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The recent hot weather has finally eased and I for one am delighted.

Now, I can resume normal duties without running the risk of collapsing in a soggy heap!

There was a point when the heat was at its hottest when I almost lost the will to do anything, and being unable to sleep at night wasn’t helping at all.

On one of the unbearably hot days, I made the mistake of asking the family what they wanted for dinner. When they requested pasties, my heart sank.  We usually had them for picnic meals with salad, perfect for a hot day, but first I had to make them, then cook them in a hot oven!

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I nearly melted in my scorching hot kitchen, but the pasties went down a treat…

Another reason I am so glad the weather is cooler now is for Merlin, our aged black and white cat. He really has been suffering and watching him as he tried to find a cool place to lie down has been distressing for us as well as him. There were moments when he looked as though he couldn’t last much longer. In fact, there were times when he looked dead and my heart was in my mouth until he moved or flicked an ear.

What passes as a lawn in our garden has suffered too, and won’t need cutting any time soon as all we have at the moment are funny green tufts sprouting through the straw coloured dead grass.

This is more than I can say about the dreaded forty-foot long, seven-foot-high hedge. It has gone more than a bit crazy, with long branches shooting out in all directions. It will need a trim soon.

Not much writing was done during the heatwave unfortunately, something I am trying to remedy now it’s cooler.  I’m not sure why they call it a wave, wouldn’t that imply that it passes quickly, and that definitely didn’t happen. We were all being forced to live in a world that had turned into an unbearably hot oven, and it wasn’t funny.

I love a bit of good weather, but don’t appreciate being cooked the minute I step outside. So keep it down to a comfortable level, please?

You just know that life is returning to normal when computers find new ways to annoy. The latest game is ditching any comments I make on other people’s websites. You go to the bother of commenting, and not just ‘nice post!’ only to have it vanish without a trace. And I don’t know about anyone else, but my brain never remembers exactly what I just typed, so the second attempt is usually not as good or as long. Not acceptable, right?

Wishing to avoid frustration, I came up with the idea of commenting, as usual, then copy and paste it, just in case it does a runner before posting it.  Not exactly in the rulebook, but works for me…

And last but not least, something I have finally managed to do this week.      Yay! (cause for celebration!)

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We have claimed a BookBub profile and all of our books are locked and loaded!

Not sure how any of it works (no change there then) but if anyone wants to follow us on there, here are the links to Jaye’s BookBub and Anita’s BookBub.

Have a Wonderful Weekend Everybody!

 

The Days are Far Too Short…

 

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Writers the world over must be grateful that someone invented Indie Publishing, but I wonder why they didn’t invent a better way of marketing the books we create while they were at it?

By better, I mean a way we can understand and implement, a system that actually works?

Now, I know I have a problem with technology, but I have tried my best to make head or tail out of it, and, overall, I have managed to understand and even utilise some of it.

Most writers are not wired to master marketing.  We want to write, not blow our own trumpets. The mere thought of being more visible than we have ever been in our lives is enough to chill our blood. We understand that we must make meaningful connections on social media, have book trailers on YouTube, for marketing is all about knowing, liking and trusting, but we also know there is so much more to it.

The experts say it is okay, to begin with baby steps, sharing everything, we do, but where do we go from there?

Do we…

Make a plan for our marketing activity?

Get excited about our progress and share the excitement?

Keep pushing the boundaries of our comfort zone?

Learn new techniques?

Try paid advertising, even though it is an expensive nightmare?

Keep changing all of our keywords, hoping to hit on some that work?

Need a newsletter, podcast, more trailers, FB ads?

Have we checked we are doing all we can on all the media sites?

I have tried most of these, but there are simply not enough hours in the day for everything!

There is no easy way we can implement everything we learn.

There is also the writing to consider, as this is the most important part of your marketing campaign.

Somehow, writers must learn to manipulate time, prioritise until our brains bleed, and hope we stumble upon the magic formulae…

(unless someone out there has already discovered it, and if you have, please let us in on the secret!)

 

#Writephoto ~ Stones

More thanks to Sue Vincent for another lovely #Writephoto Prompt!

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The Wishing Stone

I have sat on the great stones on Bodmin Moor, watched a bull cross my vision.

I have stood in front of Stonehenge in wonder and walked among the stones at Avebury, trying to count them. People say it cannot be done for the number never comes out the same.

All are a wonder and I thank God that people have kept them in place for others to visit and feel the power.

I salute the many stones across the world, my heart heavy for those I cannot visit.

Yet there is one more precious to me, my fist-sized green stone with a circle of white quartz, known as a wishing stone.

It stands proudly on a shelf in my living room on a piece of white quartz…

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Jaye’s Journal 16th ~ 21st July

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I Have a New Muse!

This may be one hell of a coincidence, but I would like to think it was some kind of divine intervention.

As you may know, I have been getting more and more depressed with my writing inertia. I just couldn’t summon up anything that would stimulate me into picking up my pen with anything resembling enthusiasm.

Quite by chance, Anita found this cute ornament when out shopping. It was an elephant surrounded by six baby elephants. I thought it was lovely, but didn’t think anything of it.

Just a few hours later, I was going through my writing and notes yet again, moved to read the last few chapters of my WIP, when something strange happened. I could suddenly see exactly what was holding me up. Several problems were ruining the flow, involving confusion with at least two chapters.

The rest of the afternoon was spent recapping, reorganising and getting the flow moving again. I was back on track and firing on all cylinders!

When I say that an elephant made me do it, I should explain why I was convinced that the ornament Anita brought home that day had somehow waved a magic wand over me and solved my problems.

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You see, Ganesh, the elephant God, is one of the best-known and loved deities in the Hindu religion. So who is this elephant-headed fellow, and why is he so popular?

He is known as the Lord of Good Fortune, the Lord of Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles.

He is also the patron of the arts and sciences and of letters. Devotees believe that if you worship him, he will grant success, prosperity and protection against adversity.

So why does he have an elephants head?

The most famous story of all explains that the Goddess Parvati, wishing to bathe, created a boy called Ganesh and assigned him the task of guarding the entrance to her bathroom. But when her husband Shiva returned from battle, he was denied access by the boy. He killed the boy in a fit of rage, cutting off his head with his sword.

Parvati was terribly upset, so Shiva sent out his warriors to fetch the head of the first dead creature they found, which happened to be an elephant. The head was attached to the boy’s body and was brought back to life.

The elephants head symbolises wisdom and the gaining of knowledge through reflection and listening.

Did the spirit of Ganesh come to help me with my problems?

Could he be my new muse?

I like to think so…

 

An Interesting Development

Not exactly been a great week for anything really, what with the weather and all. I don’t know about anyone else, but I find it hard to think or concentrate while in a sauna. For that is just how it feels right now.

My back continues to ache, despite my new exercise regime. I read somewhere that if your pain is worse on rising in the morning, but improves after 15 minutes, the culprit is likely to be your mattress. Describing my mornings very well, I think.

I prefer a firm mattress and to be honest, you could bounce a coin on the one I have been sleeping on. But is it too firm for someone of my advancing years? Anita offered to swap mattresses with me, just to see what would happen.

The difference the next morning was remarkable. I actually made it to the bathroom without screaming! I had to buy Anita another mattress, as there was no way I was giving her mattress back.

In all probability, all this time since straining my back, I have been adding to the damage every time I go to bed. Maybe now, my back has a chance to get itself back to normal. That’s if there is any normal to be found at the moment.

Embarrassing Moment of the Week!

Having recently changed the cover on Anita’s book Secrets, I had also changed the paperback version and was waiting for it to arrive in the post.

When it did, we marvelled at the loveliness of it, and then looked inside.

The inside was not Secrets, but The Scarlet Ribbon. Somehow, the wrong book file had been used, and I don’t think it could be Lulu’s fault, so the accusing finger of fate pointed at me. I am still not sure how this happened, but I hope it doesn’t happen again, as I don’t appreciate being the laughing stock in my own office!

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