Smile Recap Week of 9/30 – 10/7/2019 #weeklysmile


Wow, October is already here!  And with October come October smiles :)  If you need a little to smile about, read below:

Trent’s World
Poetry, Short Prose and Walking
Tessa Can Do It! Positivity is Catching!
Does Writing Excuse Watching?
The Jesh Studio
Sagittarius Viking
Light Motifs II
Nut House Central
Lady Lee Manila
Priorhouse Blog
Change is Hard

A lot of great smiles!

The new post for this week will be posted in about an hour. What made you smile?


If We Were Having Coffee on the 5th of October, 2019

Coffee on Cape Cod

Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I’ll get you a nice large mug of a very strong dark roast (this week it is heavy on Italian Roast…), a cuppa tea or other beverage. It is sunny and beautiful outside, but a little chilly and windy. Not as windy as yesterday (sustained winds of over 20 mph/32 kph), but still noticeable. Oh, where are we? Some of you may recognize the photo at the top as being on Cape Cod, though it is the summer photo and I may need to switch back to winter mode soon!

It has been warmer than usual up until Thursday. Thursday the temperatures plunged to slightly below normal. The forecast had a cold week ahead, but it has changed so it will be closer to average for this time of year. Hopefully we will get some fall colors to go with the fall temperatures! Continue reading

Killing Characters and Reality in Writing….

These two topics, killing off characters in your work and the amount of reality you need, can each take a half a dozen posts or more, but I was thinking about the intersection of the two.

My writing can be called “speculative fiction”: the majority is science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy and horror.  Yeah, I’m often working with the supernatural, so how real do I need it? Of course I do put some reality in there to make it easier for the reader to connect, but every day things, like sleeping, eating and using the little boys/girls room is only put in if there is a reason.

My WIP, The Old Mill, is more on the horror end of the urban fantasy-horror spectrum. Not really a “real” genre ;)

About the time I finished my rough draft of The Old Mill, I read a blog post about killing characters in horror. Pretty much the idea was, if people aren’t dying, why would the main character, or the reader, be afraid? Of course you can ask how many people died in the scariest book I ever read, The Shining (not including looking into the past), but that book was written in the 1970s, not the twenty-teens! If you finish the book and six of your eight main characters are still alive, go back and kill four or five of them…

Maybe a little extreme, but she had a point. Continue reading

Copper #writephoto


Photo by Sue Vincent

The doorframe splintered around me as soon as I walked outside. Bullet holes appeared on the siding of the house in front of me and behind me while I walked to the drive. I just wasn’t in the mood. I turned and gave the finger to the sniper on the Karlsberg’s roof.

“I saw that, young man.”

I turned and waved. “Hi, Mr. Smith. What did you see?”

“Don’t play with me, I saw you flip the bird. I’m not sure who you were giving that one finger salute to, but your parents will hear about it.”

I put on my best “I’m totally confused” face and turned around.

“There’s nobody around, so why would I flip anyone off?  Oh, I get it. I did a fist pump because of how beautiful the day is and how great it is to be out in it. Did you think I stuck my middle finger up when I did that? I’m sorry.”

Mr. Smith stared at me for a minute and then started to rake his leaves again. I could hear him grumbling to himself as I walked by. Continue reading

The Park…


PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

“Go home.”

The kid on the skateboard spat at Robert.

“I am, jerk.”

Robert found an out of the way spot to watch the basketball game. He hoped to play, but he knew the other kids didn’t want him.

“Roberto, Mama says it’s dinner time.”

He rolled his eyes at his sister. Why did she have to come?

“Roberto, your Mama is calling!” one of the kids jeered.

He stopped and looked at the chalk words, half English, half Spanish, scrawled on the pavement.

“Park es para all!”

Juan, his brother’s body was found the day after he wrote it.


Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo © Dale Rogerson.  Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.


I’m sure the words are more French than Spanish, but they are what caught me eye…

Special Brew #haibun #tanka


I flip the leaf of the calendar, as the leaf outside of my window flips and heads towards the ground. I knew it! It is October! That means it is almost time for the spirits to rise on that most special day of the year, Halloween. To raise out own spirits, we need to start the spiced cider boiling, and all of you witches need to make an even more special brew. For:

The leaves are changing
Halloween is almost here
Fix a special treat
Autumn’s dark and deadly brew
Boiled in a witches Cauldron


This was written for Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. This is the first day of the month, so it is poet’s choice of words. This week i did a Haibun with a Tanka.


Once again I chose one of my drawings. Actually, I picked the drawing first. It is a frame from a video I made as a promo for my first book, The Fireborn. Here is the Video:

(Click here if you don’t see it below)


The Weekly Smile for September 30, 2019 #weeklysmile


I often say the Weekly Smile can be about small things, and again I am going to prove it ;)

After a cool start to September, we have had a warm spell the last week or so. This weekend was totally gorgeous. I didn’t do anything special. I didn’t go hiking in the mountains or anything like that, but I did spend a lot of time outside enjoying it. I walked around our little village, both with the dogs and on my own. I “scampered” through the woods behind my house, playing with the dogs. I took a long walk in a wooded area on the edge of town – just a few feet in and it was like being a million miles from civilization. I sat outside and enjoyed the day. And, well, I just spent as much time as possible out of doors.

Being outside really helps me.  I spend my work days behind a computer, so I need that “large screen” of the sky and the “high definition” of reality. It does wonders!

Spending most of my weekend outside is my smile for this week.

What made you smile? Continue reading

The Weekly Smile Recap 9/23 – 9/29/19


Here are our smiles for this week:

Trent’s World
Poetry, Short Prose and Walking
Does Writing Excuse Watching?
Tessa Can Do It! Positivity Is Catching!
Sagittarius Viking
A Visit With Sandra
Light Motifs II

As always, there were a few smiles in the comment section of the original post :)

This week’s smile will be posted in about an hour.

What made you smile?

Blast Off with Space Dust – Eloise De Sousa


(Today I have a special treat – Eloise De Sousa is having a blog tour for her children’s book, Space Dust. Take it away, Eloise!)

From the Elastic Limits, we now journey due east to a place that celebrates things that make you smile each week. Thank you Trent, for hosting us today.

With a hop and a skip, let’s discuss one of the trips Big Ox and Little One take in their special canoe, propelled by Big Ox’s absolute favourite spoon. The planet they visit has seven rings and, though they may be made of mere dust and gas, Little One discovers that Big Ox’s imagination goes beyond the sublime.

“What about sea horses swimming in creamy mushroom soup?
With spring onion beams for them to do some slippery loop-de-loops?”


I love sea horses! The delicious mix of alliteration in sea horses swimming on Saturn encouraged my crazy imagination to envision these little creatures frolicking around in creamy mushroom soup, performing spectacular, acrobatic feats with their spring onion rings. Drawing them was a challenge; trying to capture sea horses doing the loop-de-loop is not easy. After several attempts, I thought it best to call it a day and stick to my delectable dancers dallying about on a page designed to mimic the colours of Saturn with a creamy mushroom flavouring.

Whilst reading to the book to the older children at the Summer Reading Challenge, they stopped me to question the morals of putting sea horses on Saturn.

“That’s impossible!” one exclaimed. “Saturn doesn’t have any creatures living on it because it’s made from gases and rocks.”

True. I considered my options on answering that question, bearing in mind my audience and their age range. So, I took the same tactic as Big Ox. I replied. “That’s all true. But how do you know if you’ve never been there before?”

The child sat back to consider this, and I continued reading. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe in something you can’t see, let alone enjoy it. Little One struggles to see all the wondrous creatures they encounter on their adventure in space, very much like the child listening to my story. With all the coaxing Big Ox gives, Little One only budges after realising that Big Ox is starting to lose his belief because of Little One’s reluctance to engage in the use of imagination. It encourages Little One to try a little harder at imagining amazing things too. That is enough to bring a smile to Little One’s worried face, knowing that their shared belief can create a fantastic adventure for them both.

Space Dust goes beyond the obvious approach to solving Little One’s worries. Facts alone are not enough to get us through life’s worries. Having faith in those around you who try to help carry that burden of worries and transport you away from them, even for a little while, requires you to have a little faith and believe. Amazing things happen when you do!

Thank you for stopping by and finding out a bit more about this special story crafted for the local libraries to support their Summer Reading Challenge. Please click on the link below if you haven’t already ordered your copy of Space Dust.

Click here to order your copy of Space Dust.
Or here for US site

Do send in your pics and reviews of the book, or any of the others. I’d love to share them with the rest of the readers.

Here is a list of my children’s books available now:
new childrens book gif

If you would like to find out more about my books or about me, please click on any of the links below:

Author Page
Amazon //(US site)

Thank you for joining me. Tomorrow, we will be visiting Sally’s Café and Book Store. See you there!


Thank you, Eloise, for stopping by as part of your tour!

If We Were Having Coffee on the 28th of September, 2019

Coffee Share new Hampshire in the Summer

Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I’ll get you a nice, very strong, dark roast, a cuppa tea or other beverage. We can sit outside and enjoy the cool, but beautiful weather as we look up into the woods behind my house. It is supposed to get quite warm (for late September) today.Oh, where are we? Some of you may recognize this photo as being from New Hampshire.

It was a busy week at work. A lot is going on , as usual.

It was a warm week and I did get out a bit, though, of course, I worked. But I went running at least three day this week and walked the dogs every day, and played with the dogs, running like a lunatic up and down the wooded hill behind the house as I followed along with their games. Besides running, I also did my usual weight training exercises. Continue reading