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The Mental Ward - Iguana Gates (21)

The whole reason Emery had taken this job at the asylum was because her family was facing hard times.  But times had not always been this hard for the Claytons.  Once upon a time, Emery's father had been an undergardner at the grand Carlysle Estates.       Emery grew up in a modest little home on a backward street, not far from the Carlysle Estate.  Every morning, her father kissed them goodbye and left for work.  And every evening, he returned home with stories for his girls and money for his family.  On rare occasions, he took Emery with him to work.  Emery loved the gardens and the big house, but the thing that fascinated her every time she and her father went through the gates were the iguanas.       They were huge, created out of wrought metal, entwining themselves in the gates.  Such exotic creatures did not exist in the city, and Emery thought they were mythical dragons.  But her father told her that they were patterned after iguanas that the master had seen on his …

Snippet: The Little Messenger

Detlef stepped back from the tree and blinked, half-expecting her to disappear.  But she still stood there.  “Hello,” he called gently.                                                                                                                         ~AAM

The Mental Ward - Columns and Iguanas (20)

Emery slowly rose to her feet and moved toward the door.  No superhuman strength reached out to stop her.  She bumped against the table, and her hands traced its sideways outline on the floor.  Just a few steps beyond that, she found the door.
     She pulled it open, letting light into the room.  Then she turned and surveyed the mess.
     Glass littered the floor, and it looked like a giant had been playing tiddlywinks with the furniture.  And Beth was on the floor by the wall.
     She lay there like a ragdoll that has been dropped.  Her bare legs peeked out from under her white gown, just like they had on the night Emery first saw her.  And she looked like Beth again.  Her face was calm except for her wide eyes, and she sucked on her thumb.
     Beth pulled her thumb from her mouth.  "Did you see Him?" Her voice was full of awe.
     "Who?"
     "The Man that saved me."  She lifted her eyes to Emery's face.  "He ran IT off.  And He talk…

A Deep Emotion

As writers, we are known for having a knack with words.
But what happens when the emotion runs too deep for words?
     We've all had it happen.  Sometimes we make a face instead of speaking.  Sometimes we do nothing as the shock of an event (either beautiful or horrible) ripples through us.

     Every now and again, this phenomena occurs when we read something that was written by a master-writer.  And we lean back in our chairs with nothing clever to say, too overwhelmed to write a decent comment in return.

     We want to say something.  To express our appreciation in some way.  Maybe we decide that we simply can't, and we walk away without letting the author know that a person was touched by their writing.

     Or maybe we rack our brains for words -- all the while feeling like everything that was worth being said was already taken by the author -- and we come up with a comment like "That's nice." or "Sooo good."  And sometimes our comment looks so…

The Mental Ward - Emery faces Goliath (19)

Beastly paced around the exam room.  Her eyes were wide, and her breath came in quick gasps.  She blew a puff of air like a high-pitched moan when Emery appeared and shut the door behind her.      "IT's got me.  Tell a story, Emery.  Quick, Emery.  Flowers and trees and columns..."  She threw her arms over her face and shook her head from side to side.      Anger suddenly flushed Emery's face.  She hated whatever it was that torment Beth like this.  Hated it.  She held her head high.  "Not flowers this time...but Jesus."      Beastly uncovered her face with a scream.  Her face burned red, distorted into a hideous shape.  "Not that One!"  The voice that came out from her lips was low and hoarse.      "Yes.  That Name."  Emery took a step forward.  "He's the only One who can set you free.  Do you want to be free, Beth?"       Beastly shook her head, her eyes dark with fury.  "Not that One!" The voice inside he…

The First Submission Form

My submission form for AAM is in the mail.  This means I am committing that, whether or not I submit the other two stories, I am definitely submitting AAM.  I got wonderful feedback from a beta yesterday that thrilled my soul.  So, we're going for it (as soon as I get an email from Rooglewood saying that they received my submission form and are ready to receive the manuscript).
     I read some snippets of Rachel Heffington's writing a couple days ago and was significantly humbled.  It made my writing look like stick figures -- (very good stick figures, of course) -- next to Mona Lisa.
     Some people make a "good living" drawing stick figures.  They manage to pour enough heart and soul into those figures, and the simple pen strokes become popular and meaningful to many people.  So my stick figure drawing may not be bad.  It may just be the way I write.  But at the same time, I think it could be better.  I think, if I read good writers and study my craft, that…

Snippet: The One That Matters

The noise pounded around Detlef’s ears…and faded as he searched for her face.  Would she be cheering as well?
~AAM

Howard's Boys

"Look!  It's a girl!"
     I felt my cheeks flush as the cry spread across the barracks.  But I held my head high.  I wasn't about to let a bunch of boys deter me from seeing my Howard.
     The rush of soldiers, running toward me like roaches away from a light, nearly changed my mind.  I rubbed my palms nervously against my dress and looked around for a safe direction to flee.  But the first boy reached me and screeched to a stop, holding out his hand like a gentleman.
      "You're Howard's girl, aren't you?"
     He caught my eye as he spoke, but it was his words that paused my flight.  Howard's name has some sort of power over me, like a password into my heart.  It has always been that way, since I first had a crush on him in the third grade.  So, instead of running, I slipped my little white hand into the big one suspended in front of me.
     "Jameson Whartead, but you can call me Jamie."  He introduced himself, shaking…

The Mental Ward - Run (18)

As Emery raced down the hall, a voice called out to her from the Box.  "You there!  Girl!"
     Emery slowed her steps.  "What is it?"
     "Pansy is not doing so well.  She's coughing up blood." The voice hissed.
     "Oh, no!" Emery stopped and ran to the door of the Box.  "What do you need?  I'll try to get it for you."
     "We need a doctor."  The voice was frustrated and impatient, laced with fear.
     Emery held her breath, thinking.
     "Are you still there?" The voice demanded.  "She's not going to make it through the next night if we don't get some help in here."
     "I'm here.  I hear you."  Emery rested her hand against the door and said a quick prayer.  "I'll get help."
     The scream of a cougar ricocheted through the building.  Emery threw her head up, her eyes wide.  IT was in power again, and Emery had never heard it so loud.
     "…

The Glass Bowl

Today was a fun day.

Today was the drawing for my 2-year anniversary celebration.
First of all, I went through my comments and followers to see who earned entries in the drawing.
Then I wrote the appropriate number of names on pieces of paper.
And I put them all in a glass bowl.

Then came the fun part.  The drawing.  I wish you could have been here.
     But you can imagine it.  And in your imaginations -- because you are gifted readers -- it will probably be even better than the real thing.
     Drum rolls.  Suspenseful music.  A crowd of eager spectators holding their breath.
And that one piece of paper that my hand closes on.



I unfold the paper and read...


Congratulations, Hanne-col!!!  I hope you enjoy this beautiful little box!!!  Please give me your email address in the comments below (I won't publish it), and I will email you to get your mailing address.  Or you could give me your mailing address in the comments below, since I'm not publishing it.  Yep, that would work…

The Mental Ward - Contact with Base (17)

Emery craned her neck, searching for a safe landing place, as she dragged Beth down the hall.  The girl was still whimpering, her arm over her face.
      They passed Beastly's Box and turned left down an auxiliary hall.  "I have to get them some food and water," Emery murmured.
     A door hung open on their right.  Inside was a table, an exam bed, and a light.  Emery led Beth inside and sat the girl down on the bed.  "Wait here."
     "Tell a story about green grass and red flowers and tall, tall columns -- like home." Beth begged, shifting her shoulders from side to side.
     "Shhh.  I'll be right back."
     Emery fairly flew down the hallway.  From the supply closet, she found clean cups.  She took a handful to the bathroom and filled them with water.  They sloshed over her dress as she hurried back to the Box, but she didn't slow down.  She opened the tiny feed slot in the locked door.
     "I have water," sh…

Snippet: Mysteries

Beta-readers Needed

     The king of Hanadil throws a ball to find a suitor for his beloved daughter, Ilona.  But more things are at stake than anyone realized.  As long-held secrets come to light, the suitors will be tested beyond expectations.  And when the deepest secret of all threatens to plunge Ilona into eternal sleep, only one man can save her.

     I had one person read AAM and give me feedback, and she was amazing.  I would love to have another couple of readers.  Is anybody willing to volunteer?  It is close to 20k words, and I'd like to start my final round of edits by the first of November (if you think you can give me your feedback by then).

***

     In a galaxy far from our own, a planet trembles under the forces of good and evil.  Every member of its society is subject to the age-old pact with the lab known as SPINDLE, which periodically reaps the planet for test subjects or “sleeping beauties.”  Can Mikaya escape their clutches?  Or will she, too, be subject to one hundred years of to…

The Mental Ward - Her Name (16)

Tears welled in Emery's eyes and she blinked them away.  "Hi."  She forced a smile.  "Are you hungry?  Let's see if we can find some food."      Beastly released her hand and trotted up the hallway.  "I know where some is."  She disappeared into the office.       Emery followed.  She found Beastly rummaging in the bottom of a metal cabinet.  "There's probably only paper and office supplies in here, Beastly."      Beastly's head emerged and she shook her hair out of her eyes.  "My name is not Beastly."  Then her face disappeared again.      Emery puckered her eyebrows.  "Then...what IS your name?"      "Elizabeth," came the muffled reply.  "Or sometimes just Beth."      "Beth." Emery said it slowly, awed at the difference a name makes.  "Why do they call you Beastly then?"      Beth scooted back from the cabinet, her arms full of tins and glass jars.  "Because …

Two-Year Celebration

Guess what, guys!  I'm hosting a celebration today because two years ago, I started this blog. Woot-woot!  It has been so much fun, and my writing has improved tremendously since starting this.  So thank you to all of you who have interacted with me on the blog-o-sphere.
     To thank you, I am hosting a giveaway.  Rafflecoptor isn't working for me so we're doing this the old-fashioned way.  I'm going to write your name on a slip of paper, drop it in a bowl with everybody else's, stir it around, and draw one out.

     You can get your name in the bowl as many as three times, depending on how many of the following things you do:

Follow this blog.
Leave a comment below.  It doesn't have to say anything special.  Maybe you could say how long you have been reading my blog...or how you found my blog in the first place.
Share this post through your blog or through your other social media, AND leave a comment below saying so and leaving the link.
     The winner…

Heard You're Getting Married...

So, every week, I spend an evening with a bunch of friends and we encourage one another in Christ.  Last week, I got there early and there were 3 or 4 people there.  One of the guys looked up when I came in and said, "So, I heard you're getting married."

     Well, this was news to me.  I wasn't really sure what to say so I popped out and said, "Really?  That's great!!!  Who am I marrying?"

      He shrugged.  "Your post said something about becoming a mid-wife."

     Ha ha.  Very funny.  I threw a pillow at him.

     Which he caught.  And then said, "But, no, really.  What's a midwife?"

     He really didn't know.

     Okay...

     ...Does anybody else not know what a midwife is?


The Mental Ward - In or Out (15)

Beastly picked up the knife again and waved it at the three frightened adults.  "Let's go," she said.  But Emery noticed it was said calmly, and there was none of that wildness in Beastly's face.      The adults held their hands up like hostages and moved as directed.      In the hall, the man hesitated and then held out his hand toward Beastly.  "Can I have my knife back?" His words were soft and coaxing, but his eyes were wary.  It made Emery think of someone approaching a snake or a rabid dog.      "It's your knife?"  Emery was surprised.      "I saw her come in the room, and I thought I could stop her with my knife." He shot a defensive look.  "If you had seen what she did last night to all of us, you would understand!"      "But then..." one of the women spoke up.  "...She turned into a little screeching demon.  She was on poor Tom before he knew what hit him.  I thought for sure she was going to k…

Flying Colors

So a few of you know that, in addition to writing, I have also been working at a birth centre and studying to be a midwife.
Guess what just happened last week!
I passed my big midwifery exam.
Hip, hip, hooray!!!
Now I just have to wait for my certificate to arrive in the mail and such.

And then I will be a

Certified Professional Midwife



Snippet: Convergence

Her frozen eyes lit with a strange fire and her withered hands fluttered to her mouth.  “The mediator from the North Country is here again.  It cannot be coincidence,” she whispered.
                                                                                                                           ~AAM

The Mental Ward - The Story of a Little Hero Part Two (14)

"...But David was not dissuaded.  He continued to ask about the rewards for defeating Goliath, and soon his words reached the king."
     "David was summoned before the king of Israel. 'Let no man's heart fail because of the giant -- I will fight him,' David said."
     "But the king shook his head in disappointment when he saw David.  'No, lad,' he said. 'You cannot fight the giant -- you are just a boy.  He has been a man of war for many, many years.'"
      "David stood his ground.  'I kept my father's sheep.  And there came against the flock a lion and a bear, and they took a lamb.  I ran after him and hit him and rescued the lamb.  And when the beast attacked me, I grabbed his beard and killed him.  I have killed both the lion and the bear.  And this ungodly Philistine will be just like them because he has defied the armies of the living God.'  He took a step forward.  'The God that saved me from…

Infinity Dreams Award

Rules 1. Thank and follow the blog that nominated you. 2. Tell us eleven facts about yourself. 3. Answer the questions that were set for you to answer. 4. Nominate 11 bloggers and set questions for them.
STEP ONE:  Dear Tracey Dyck at http://traceydyck.blogspot.com, thank you for nominating me.
STEP TWO:       I am the tallest girl in my family.      My hair is probably the same color as Tracey's.      I love red hair.  Long, rich, wavy, red hair.  Yes.      Death doesn't scare me.      Thunderstorms make me feel safe.  And happy.      I've seen about 170 human babies be born, and I haven't even counted the little animal babies that I've seen.      I think math is fun.      I think school in general is fun.      Im a vairy gud speler.      I am an aunt.      Windy days are good days.
STEP THREE:
1. Describe the most recent dream you can remember having.       Really?       Okayyyy.  You asked for it.... So I went to a church meeting in the evening and afterward, on …