Monthly Archives: April 2016

The Workaholic (Short Story)

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Hello, everyone, I wrote this a couple of days ago and thought I would share it. It is a story about a man who let work rule his life. I hope you enjoy it.   Shirley

 

The Workaholic

 

James stood by the large picture windows, gazing over the open fields, to the purple-tinged mountains beyond. Darkness would be coming soon and with it a storm. He flinched as a crack of lightning split the murky sky. He turned and threw another log on the open fire, sending a flurry of ash into the air. He refilled his whiskey glass and took a deep sip. He savored the taste as it warmed his throat. He was trying to build up the courage to make that phone call he had been putting off all day. He reached for the phone just as it started to ring.

His heart began to pound as he grabbed for the receiver. The tentative nature of his voice was heard clearly as he murmured, “Hello.”

“Hello, James, this is Edmond from Buying Direct and do I have a deal for you.”

“What, oh hell, don’t call again,” he shouted as he slammed the receiver down. I’m not calling her. She is the one who left. His mind immediately went back to a week ago when he came home after being gone for two weeks and found her and the kids were gone. He was expecting his two-year-old daughter to start screaming “daddy” as soon as she realized he was home, and his five-year-old son starts asking to go out back and play catch. So much for expectations. What he got was an empty house with a note left on the dining room table. He’d memorized every word since he’d read it so many times.

James, I’ve taken the kids and moved out. I’ve tried to talk to you many times, but you kept putting me off or not listening at all. You can’t stay away from home for weeks and expect me to handle the house, the kids, the bills and that dog of yours. Don’t bother calling Mom’s because I’m not going there. If I want to talk to you, which I doubt. I will call you. April

After reading the note, James made his bar area his most favorite spot in the house. The drinking began the day he got home and has only stopped when he passes out on the couch. Normally he is fastidious about his appearance but not this week. He looks like a drunk on skid row. His facial hair now has six days’ growth, not to mention the hair on his head is greasy. He’s not removed his clothes since he walked through the door. They smell like body odor and wet dog scent and are very wrinkled.

The storm rumbling outside enhanced James’s angry mood. He couldn’t believe, after all, the years they’d been together, and as hard as he worked, she left. She can stay gone. I don’t need her, and I will fight for custody of the kids. She’s not going to get away with doing this to our family. James picked up his glass from the coffee table poured himself another glass of Crown Royal over rocks. He’d lost count of the number of times he’d filled his glass.

“Come here, Brutus. You will be my family. Won’t you boy? You love me don’t you? We don’t need her.” The Mastiff shook his head slinging saliva on the coffee table before he jumped up to lay beside James on the couch. James began to rub Brutus’s head and ears. “You’re such a good boy. You won’t leave me, will you?”

 

“You know, Old Boy, I have to go back to work on Monday. I don’t think I can go back to Raleigh and leave you here. I’ll give my boss a call tomorrow and tell him I can’t abandon you. I’m sure he’ll understand. There’s no way I’m leaving you here. She’ll be sorry she left us. You wait and see.”

The phone rang again but this time, James was too inebriated to care who was on the phone. He picked up the phone and slurred “Hello.”

“James, it’s April.”

“Yeah, what do you want?”

“The kids want to talk to you, but I can hear in your voice this is not a good time.”

“Why in the hell would you care what kind of time it is. You’re not here. You took them and ran away.”

“Sober up James if you want to talk to the kids. Goodbye”

The phone clicked, and she was gone. He didn’t even bother to hang it up before he laid down on the couch and passed out.

Manuscript – Agent and Editors List

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This is good information for writers. Thanks for sharing.

COW PASTURE CHRONICLES

Day 13:  

www.thewriteoneblog.com http://www.thewriteoneblog.com

Are you ready to find the perfect agent for your manuscript? Then you’ll want to check out the Manuscript Wishlist (MSWL).

With an impressive array of agents and editors, this site is all about helping you get your manuscript into the right hands. It couldn’t be any simpler.

MSWL is your go-to place for up to date:

1. Agent lists
2. Editor lists
3. Genre – name filters (parametric search)
4. Keyword Search
Is your manuscript ready for prime time? Looking for an editor or agent, check out MSWL.

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilagood, and Contently.

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Who Is That Character?

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Ninja_Vector_Character_Preview

I’ve been told you must know your characters.  Your main characters desires should be known.  If you want your character to gather the sympathy from your readers, then give the character a strong desire.  What is being strived for, a new job, romance, riches, and knowledge?  If your character doesn’t have a need, do you think your readers will find excitement in your book? How do you say “boring?”You have to make your character multidimensional, and not leave him flat.  What creates the most vivid picture, 3D or regular television?   It is a matter of contrast in your characters.  As humans, we are very complicated, and you have to show that complication in your characters also. That way your reader can get interested in your character.

Your contrasts should be worked into your story, so they do not become roadblocks for the reader.  You want your story to keep moving forward.  You can have your character step out from the usual character portrayed as long as the tendency has been shown before.  That way it is not a stopping point.

Gotham’s “Writing Fiction” states,” your characters should have the ability to change, and the reader should know it.  Change is particularly important for a story’s main character.  Just as the desire of the main character drives the story, the character’s change is often the story’s culmination.”

This doesn’t mean your main character has to change, but the reader should always know change is possible.  Predictability is created if you do not give the character the potential to change.

I have covered a few ways to help you create a character that your reader can get to know.  The video today on creating characters.

PS this video gives lots of good information, but there is cafe noise in the background.

Be Generous With Your Encouraging Words #inspiration #bullying #affirmations

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I don’t feel there is any reason to beat anyone up with words. There’s always a better way. This blog points out a few. Have a great day.

POTL: All Things Books, Reading and Publishing

Encouraging words

Words can be deadly.

Don’t believe me? I read this morning that a teenage boy committed suicide after years of being bullied. He’s not the only one.  I see it all the time on social media.  Online bullying using words can kill and it happens more often than killing with guns.

Being human doesn’t give you the right to use your words like bullets, hurting and injuring people.  Spreading the Light is about inspiring and encouraging others.  Read the quote again.

Always be generous with your encouraging words, you may find they will inspire others to be the best they can be.

Today (and everyday), let’s use our words to uplift each other instead of tearing each other down!

MRS N, Champion of Encouraging Words

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A = Assembly Required to write a good story

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The process of writing is putting something together and taking it apart several times. Very nice blog. Thanks for sharing. Shirley

Jean's Writing

All I learned about writing from the village of bloggers.

That’s my theme for this A-Z Challenge.

Well, let’s be truthful. No way could I cover everything this amazing community has taught me since I began this journey. But I’m going to try.

A=Assembly Required

That’s the first thing I learned! Just like that bike at Christmas, or a bookcase from Ikea, or writing a book there is always some assembly required.

How many times have we groaned after seeing those dreaded words on a box?

Also, it pays to follow instructions.

Now if anyone knows me at all, they know I’m more of an eyeball-it type of person. Not a read instructions type of person.

I mean come on, with a good saw and hammer I can make anything fit. Who cares if I’ve got an extra screw or two left?

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But I’ll admit writing is a bit different…

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