What Are YOU Writing?

    what are you writing

    What are you working on right now?

    Please share YOUR writing with us here at WTD.

    So what are you writing?

    A novel? A blog post? Your best article ever? A poem? A film script?

    Maybe you’ve just finished something you’re really proud of?

    Or you just can’t tell whether it should get a Pulitzer or be thrown into the trash?

    Here’s your chance to share and discuss with each other what you’re writing about.

    Whet our appetite with the opening paragraph of your future bestseller or give us a link to your best article.

    Tell us: what are you writing at the moment?

    Who knows, your piece might even attract the notice of a major publishing house!

    Here are some guidelines:

    Writers: Share Your Writing

    Tell us what aspect you’re working on. Or give us the link to an article or give us a snippet of fiction. I’d love to know what your challenges and joys are!


    * When commenting, first list everything you really like about a piece.
    * Only then offer careful suggestions.
    * Treat each other with respect, friendliness, caring, and honesty.
    * Remember that we are all still learning.

    Now it’s over to you. Take a deep breath. Then jump into the comment section and bring out your treasures!

    About the author:

    Mary Jaksch is Editor-in-Chief at Write to Done. Grab her FREE report, How to Write Like an A-List Blogger. Mary has helped thousands of students successfully create profitable blogs at A-List Blogging, and is the blogger behind Goodlife ZEN.

    About the author

      Mary Jaksch

      Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at WritetoDone.com and for her cutting-edge book, Youthful Aging Secrets. In her “spare” time, Mary is also the brains behind GoodlifeZEN.com, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

    • Living out a dream at 60.

      When I started writing poetry in 2005. I imagine one day I wanted to see myself on a short summer adventure where I am able to work, and travel in the rural areas of my home state of W.Va. Keeping a blog and writing poetry about my adventures and people as I travel. Homesteading in a pop up trailer for three months with two dogs and a cat. With a goal to find a small piece of heaven living off the grid in a Tiny House by this winter.
      I have started a job I can work from anywhere. I am looking for a sponsor who can guide me through the basics and help with me with all technical and road blocks I will come across. I have a lot of thoughts about this project, but lets here yours.

    • Vlad C says:

      I decided to start a blog. I did this to practice my writing and to get some feedback. I don’t really know what I should write about or if there is a should anyway. I just write what I feel when I feel it. So far there are just some thoughts of mine. This is one of my first posts: https://vladcraciunblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/connected/

    • Nora says:

      I’m in the process of writing a short story for the first time, and I’m really nervous and excited about it.

    • Randall Grove says:

      In 2010 I began to write a number of short stories. They were intended as grandson candy in the form of story content poised for illustration. I found the whole idea to be incompatible with my concept of pulp fiction. In the end I fleshed out the story lines and decided to move towards an anthology with small short pieces to separate the larger named stories and add general background and details to the anthology.

      I named the short inserts Incidental Parts with 1 to 2 thousand words each. The Anthology’s content (30,000 words +) is complete although I am currently working through a complete contextual edit and truly have not been through a hard edit as of yet.

      Incidental Part 1 (Prologue)

      Day 1: Plus 4 hours: 10:30am

      The call was abrupt and disturbing with no clear end. His personal cell rang a little over ten minutes ago. Not often did an official call come in on that line.

      In a straightforward message, its meaning clear. Get my ass down to HQ and the communication center with all-speed. A high-priority message was coming in from the Governor’s Office and State Emergency Management.

      The line went silent, hanging on dead air without obvious signs of disconnection. The ending of the call felt odd to him at best.

      Pulling into the Departments parking lot, he brought the unmarked cruiser to a stop in the space marked “Reserved Parking Sheriff Only.”

      He had taken a personal day to supervise a contractor at his home. Living just ten blocks from his office, he could make the trip in one or two minutes with the lights on and the siren blaring. The interruption of a day-off was not new to him; his job required a great deal of devotion.

      Jumping from the car, he pulled the brown case from the front seat. Inside, his side-arm road, bound securely in its shoulder holster.

      It was not his habit to leave home without having it on. He missed its weight pressing against his side as he rushed through the building’s main entrance.

      The automatic doors closed behind him as he suddenly fell to his knees. Doubling over, he threw-up on the buildings marble tiled entrance.

      It felt like a hard punch in the gut, he thought, watching the other people in the lobby puking up on the floor.

    • Everyone loves what you guys are up too. Such clever work and
      exposure! Keep up the superb works guys I’ve added you guys to blogroll.

    • Presently, I’m in the process of deciding which among the several ‘beginnings’ of stories I want to settle on to flesh out. Recently found an online workshop. It was Holly Lisle’s free Flashfiction workshop, the first lesson. I’ve added 5 new storylines to the 2 or 3 I already had. Right now, my problem is settling down and focusing on just one. My mind is on hyper-fire after the lesson. She’s a quick-moving little thing when stirred up and at times can be a bit fickle, as well. So, I’m typing this out on one of the two computers I have on my lap, answering emails, checking writing group feedback, looking for critique/writing groups in the area, and writing a bit in the blog I’ve been trying to be more faithful to… I think I need a Xanax a few minutes of deep hynotherapy, then, settle on a story scenario and dig in…

    • Rushabh says:

      I had recently started writing an novel its all about fiction love…
      A stranger guys who meets in college life after completing their school life they love each other much but because of ego they didn’t tell each other after when this all happens college life came to ends and their love dies here but their story is still incomplete after two years they met each other once again in an engineering college and also in a same class and then they accept each other here their love story starts.
      But at last their is an biggest mystery that i don’t wanna tell here.
      So this is my script for writing an novel…..

    • I have just completed the self publishing process with Xlibris for my YA Novel “The Makutu Stone” Sub titled “Wurihi – Wolf Spirit”
      Now it is time to promote it and market it?? Not sure how to do that?


    • Annette says:

      I’m not writing anything right now. I seem to have gotten off track so I’m going back to the drawing board. An old novella is posted at JukePop just to get it off my hands: Blues for Melvina Wynne, and not all of it is posted.

      I’m going back to short stories. Maybe I’ll find where I went wrong.

    • Kenneth Marsiglia says:

      The following is the beginning of the first chapter (not sure if it will remain in it’s current form) of a collaborative novel with a good friend of mine. I apologize for the horrible formatting, this will be worked on once we come to a stopping point to edit this month….


      Beneath a white grid sky, padded with pocked, off white tiles; the painfully bright glow of tubular florescence shimmers across a field of endless shoulder height partitions, assembled in a fashion that eerily resembles a rat maze. The ambience of vibratory bell tones, clicking and clacking and the subtle undertones of manifested chanting could barley be defined, except for 7 words “Bradbury Accounting how may I help you?”.

      Aside all the chaos, pondering any logical reasons for being, judging his own sanity for the past 15 years, and repeatedly asking himself “why am I still here?” Stuart stands from his open cell, takes in a deep breath and carries a large stack of off white folders through the maze.
      Stuart was familiar with this task and the route he walked was the same route, day after day. The same monotonous path from his open white cage to the file room in the west corner of the floor in which he worked. And though this path was as familiar to him as his own arm, he couldn’t help to think something was off. What exactly was off was not apparent, but somehow he felt, something wasn’t as it always was.
      3 steps from the file room entrance he suddenly stops, turns back and peers at all that is not hidden behind the partitions. “Nothing, nothing is out of place“, he thinks to himself. “Nothing new, nothing missing, but something is still not quite right.”
      Stuart swallows, takes a deep breath, turns back toward the doorway and continues into the room.
      Metal boxes lined with drawers of silver, gunmetal, yellow and black, riddled with dents, dings and silvery scratches, muddled the room much the way a child’s toys clutter the floor after play. Within the drawers the scene wasn’t much different. Files tended to be out of place in various ways. Customer account files misplaced into the budget cabinet, the ‘C’ files scattered between the ‘G’s’ and ‘M’s’ Though not being something out of the ordinary, this frenzy of ill placed paper bothered Stuart nonetheless. “Inconsiderate assholes” Stuart thought to himself. This thought along with many more, many of which were infinitely more harsh than the current came to his mind for the most part of everyday. Even though it seemed pointless to place the papers in their proper cabinet and assigned spaces, he seemed unable to do otherwise.
      An hour had passed since Stuart entered the file room. The clacking of footsteps could be heard among the growing resonance of cheerful chatter. The phones continued to ring, but the repetitive corporate mantra had ceased. The once brightly lit white void became grey. A feeling of urgency and relief smoothed over Stuarts brow as it was 3 o’clock; time to go home. Stuart placed the last file into it’s corresponding cabinet and made way back to his cubicle.
      Grabbing his coat and brief case, he softly kicks his chair back into place under his desk. As he is turns away, an object flutters in his peripherals. A small yellow piece of paper floating, tumbling as a leaf falling from a tree on a calm fall day, softly lands next to his left foot. He bends down and retrieves the paper, flips it over “you don’t belong here” the note read. Stuart thought to himself, “What? What does it mean?”, “who wrote this?” and “Why was it on my desk?” Without another thought, Stuart folds the yellow square and places it in his front pants pocket.

    • Pat says:

      Is this working?

    • Miguel Oliveira says:

      Sorry, my mistake. So as i was say, i’m trying to write a novel about the last year in high school and the main theme is a girl who is adopted, found after leave a halloween party and heard her parents talk about her adoption. They dont know who are the biological parents but she asks for help to friends. And the story is around that. The story is talk by two boys, one is in love with her and another one that met this girl in the party. He know another boy who will help.
      I’d like to know your opinions. Is it worth it to go on?

    • Miguel says:

      I’m trying write

    • dina davis says:

      I’m working on a novel about Assia Wevill, the woman who came betweenTed Hughes and Sylvia Plath. It’s now in its thirteenth draft. You can see excerpts of it on my Blog at


    • Cheri says:

      Hi Mary,
      Thanks for asking! I am currently working on new posts for my blog Blondewithasilverlining.com. I am changing the direction of my work to reflect more on the “silver lining” (happiness & wellness than on the “blonde” (style, beauty and random musings”. Who doesn’t love a happy ending!

    • Pat says:

      I’m writing a guest post that exposes how your favorite authors, bloggers, Internet Marketers, what-have-you, use basic storytelling skills to hook you into buying everything they offer.

      You know it works. You have bookshelves, CD racks, hard-drives filled with this stuff. You know something’s going on and they do offer some pretty good stuff for your money. You hang on their every word. You check out their articles every day even though the articles don’t always appeal to you. You get sucked into their stories even though overall they’re original, but seem to get by being less original, if you know what I mean.

      I’ve followed many authors and others. I kept buying this one guy’s books and CDs for years and realized only recently that a large part, a very large part of his output was just to make me want more of it. My article reveals just how easy these storytelling skills are.

      It’s kind of bizarre that nobody talks about this in this way. I have a paranoid feeling that just mentioning this will trigger a visit from the shadow group that keeps everyone in the dark about these things. I don’t see many other articles that expose this. It’s like some shady characters in expensive suits and armed for a street brawl will kidnap me to a dark place and tell me I can say this not that. I’m limited to so many students. And, I have to follow some code or they’ll make me regret it.

      I have a free 90 minute webinar that goes with this article, very close to finishing. And a full premium package class with 10 class meetings and 10 one hour Q & A’s, a private facebook group, and all.

      Can you imagine knowing the exact things needed to sell your book, write your blog, run your company? I can write a gazillion different articles about my offer but this one article is the one that will sell it. I can write a ton of headlines for my article but the title I have is off the charts. I can make a ton of different offerings, but this article paired with this 90 minute webinar will perform like a launch.

      I just need to find the right place to start. I need to find a blog with 125,000 or more monthly readers. And I need permission from the dark creepy group to publish it, I fear. Everything else is a go. The webinar is edited to a “T”. The article can be repackaged a dozen different ways because it’s a snippet of the class, which delivers hundreds of these story types and more.

      The title sells it all. You think it’s one thing and then you feel like a fool reading the post because you thought it was something else. And the ‘flips’ keep going through the article and the whole program. You have read these things before. People have told you these stories to get you to date their friend, go to dinner with you, go to a wild party, a concert, steal your parent’s car and so on..

      So, I guess I need a hit list of blogs, magazines and whatevers to pitch this thing too.

    • Thabo Mooke says:

      Below is my first fiction, Chapter 1, I am working on and wish to share it with you for comment.

      Chapter 1
      Tshepo was dribbling the ball through the opposition when he sold Lawrence Marule a dummy that stirred a thunderous mocking laughter from both sides’ players. Lawrence worked himself into rage and attacked Tshepo. Realising that his friend, Tshepo, didn’t stand a chance, Otswakae joined the mêlée. A move he would live to regret.
      Otswakae Rampedi’s side won the match 3-0 and the players set out on their different paths. There was an uneasy quietness between Otswakae Rampedi and Tshepo Lehoane as they walked home down the street they lived. Normally they would be walking home chattering excitedly following such a victory.
      Their gaze locked when they stopped outside the gate of Tshepo’s home. “I will see you in the morning”, said Tshepo. The little scrape between him Lawrence had dulled his mood and his voice was hoarse.
      “Tshepo.Cheer up man; you know these things happen all the time”.
      His eyes teary. “It is easy for you to say that because that idiot did not attack you”.
      “But I intervened, is that being unfair?”
      Tshepo turned away abruptly and walked into the yard. Otswakae immediately put what he thought was Tshepo’s unreasonableness at the back of his mind. He began to walk leisurely towards his home. Otswakae was anxious to talk to his mother, Moipone Rampedi, about an educational trip his school would be undertaking next month. He needed to ask her for money. Otswakae’s mother was a domestic servant, and on that Thursday afternoon, he knew that she would have come like she always does on her day off.

      The red ball of the winter sun was completing its journey leaving behind an unpleasant coldness. A dark grey sheet of smoke bellowing from chimneys of variably branded coal stoves, used for cooking and heating, was hanging over Mamelodi as if it would suffocate this Pretoria township with its toxic substances.

      Groups of young boys were standing in the street smoking cigarettes some daringly smoking dagga, while others were playing dice.

      Sins of Fathers and Mothers 2.
      Girls promenading in pairs or threes were standing at the gates of their parents’ homes chattering about their young lovers or bragging about their sexual exploits, giggling girlishly.

      Balls of light were protruding from some windows; soft commercial jingles from TV sets were audible from some houses. As he closed the gate of his grandmother’s house, Otswakae briefly scanned the street and saw Lawrence, about four houses away, accompanied by his mother, was hurriedly walking towards his home. Lawrence’s mother, Meisie Marule, lived in the same neighbourhood with Otswakae and she was overly protective over her son. She was not hesitant to confront parents whose children got involved even in minute scrapes with her son.

      Otswakae drew in a long breath and thought, damn it! There is going to be pandemonium. He did not intend to respond to a call of nature, but he quickly walked to the toilet desperately hoping that the fight did not happen. His grandmother’s four-roomed house was similar to hundreds of other like structures in Mamelodi. The toilet was erected independently at the far end of the back yard attached to three others of backyard neighbours.

      He stood quietly inside the toilet in a fuddled state of mind blankly starring at the stained bucket in front of him oblivious to the suffocating smell of urine and trodden dagga ends scattered all over the filthy floor.

      Meisie knocked at the open kitchen door, her son standing behind her, and stepped away from the door. “Where is Otswakae?” He voice was tight with anger, staring at Otswakae’s mother with eyes burning with fury.
      Otswakae’s mother remained unruffled by Meisie’s confrontational behaviour. “Good afternoon, what’s the matter?”
      “Your son”. Meisie’s voice was rising. “Where is he?”

      Otswakae’s mother, grandmother, uncle, and aunts were in the house and had not seen him when he went to the toilet.

      Sins of Fathers and Mothers 3.
      “He is not here”. Otswakae’s mother’s voice was tight in controlled anger. “Please tell me what could be the problem”.
      “He assaulted my. So you are hiding him, I saw him walking into the yard”.
      Otswakae’s uncle, Sam, was attracted by the noise outside the house, he came out and leaned against the wall looking at Meisie with hostile eyes.
      Otswakae’s mother looked at her younger brother. “Have you seen Otswakae?” He shook his head vigorously, staring unblinkingly at Meisie

      Otswakae heard the exchange between his mother and Meisie, realising that argument between them was likely to escalate, he walked out of the toilet, except Meisie and her son, his mother and uncle were astounded by Otswakae’s appearance.
      “Why did you beat this boy?” asked his mother.
      “He is the one who …”
      “I was not fighting with you”. Lawrence interjected pointing his finger at Otswakake. “I was fighting with Tshepo and you interfered”.
      “Otswakae, my son how many times have I told you not to fight with other children?”
      Gazing down and fiddling with his fingers. “Sorry mama, it will never happen again”. .
      “Voetsek man”. Thundered Meisie’s voice. “Sorry ya masepa!”

      Otswakae cringed and desperately hoped Meisie would not dare another insult. She was somewhere in her early 40s, tall and stoutly. Her broad dark and thick lipped face was a contradiction of beauty and her personality was an intimidating hauteur. Otswakae felt sorry for Meisie; he reckoned she was certainly no match to his uncle in terms of hurling venomous insults. He believed that Uncle Sam owned a tirade of violent insults readily used as artillery that could flatten Gaza in a wink of an eye.

      Uncle Sam took out his hands from his trousers pocket and wagged a finger at Meisie. “Ya mara le wena o s’katlo rogana ka mo”, ‘you have no right to come and hurl insults here’.

      Sins of Fathers and Mothers 4.
      Uncle Sam possessed a sadistic temper that made it easy for him to wield a knife at the slightest provocation. His sisters and some people, who loathed him, secretly called him ‘Scarecrow’ because of slight built. Though he could be considered disadvantaged by his incessant slight built his fearlessness and agility were of a monumental asset.

      Instinctively Meisie realised that Scarecrow was not someone you would choose to dare have an argument with and she looked at me in a raging fury. “Seis, selo se se seng ntata sona se”. She grabbed her son’s hand and stormed out.

      ‘Damn fatherless indescribable trash’.

      Otswakae’s mother walked back into the house and he followed her. Uncle Scarecrow remained standing at the stoep heaving like a predator outrun by a prey. He was not inclined to engage in fistfights, his preference was his Okapi knife, a broken beer bottle, or a stone.

      The nine months prison term Uncle Sam had served for grievous bodily harm did not serve as a deterrent. Some months after his release from prison, his younger sister, Dudu, dared Scarecrow when he reprimanded her that she had taken too long where he had sent her for his concoction of beer brew.
      “Ke tla go raga nywananyana e gore e wele ko polisteishene”, ‘I will kick your cunt to hard that it will drop at the police station’. Scarecrow blurted the despicable insult at his younger sister. He grabbed the plastic bucket from Dudu, and nimbly, wearing a pair of ancient dirty running shoes, he kicked her below the bellybutton. She dropped to the ground like an empty maize sack and fainted. Not showing the slightest morose, he walked into the house leaving Dudu sprawled on the dusty ground.

      Sins of fathers and Mothers Chapter 2 5.
      Otswakae was born eighteen years ago into his mother’s large and dreadfully dysfunctional family. His grandmother, Thokozile Joyce Rampedi, (nee Mtshwene), had given birth to ten children in total. She gave birth to her first daughter, Moinooi, on a farm in Bethal; at the age of seventeen. Thokozile had enormously distressed her mother, Selina Mtshwene, when she absconded from home to live with a man twice her age on the mining town of Leslie.

      Selina named her granddaughter Moinooi, an Afrikaans pet name denoting a beautiful maiden. But soon after her parents came to live in Mamelodi, the township folks considered the name, Moinooi, to be weird and popularised it to Mooi. She was indeed pretty, a complexion on the lighter shade of dark, beautiful pair of well-shaped legs and a curvaceous body. Mooi was never shy of flaunting her beauty at any given moment. And this trait magnetised lust, envy, and jealousy from her peers and even from her younger sisters who could not attract comparable suitors.

      Both married and single fashionable men vied for her attention, and were always prepared to spend money on her impeccable taste of dress. Mooi’s beauty seemed like it would never wane and remained judicious to her suitors who did not even mind to get into brawls, sometimes even violent fights over her. She steadfastly and contemptuously dismissed her peers’ insults that she was barren because at 32 Mooi had still not had children.

      On the other hand, because of her incorrigible infidelity, Mooi’s marriage hung precariously on a string like a yoyo. And this became a sourced of fights between her and her husband, and their habitual separations forced her to come back home frequently to live with her parents. Both her father, Lucas Rampedi, and mother, tried to dissuade Mooi to change her ways of life, but she would not relent.

      Mooi’s mother on the other hand, meticulously crafted venomous insults that she relentlessly hurled at her daughter labelling her; ‘lo nondindwa.’ An insult often reserved for someone considered an incorrigible whore.

      Sins of fathers and Mothers 6.
      In earlier years, Otswakae could understand why his grandmother had unyieldingly regarded his aunt as an unrepentant slut. When he was still in standard two, he came home during a lunch break and found his grandmother basking in the winter sun just outside her kitchen washing dishes.
      She did not look up at her grandson standing before her. “Go and tell Mooi in the house to give you bread and tea”.
      Otswakae dashed into the house his aunt was not in the kitchen, he stopped in the middle of the dining room door and saw Scarecrow seated at the table covered in a cloud of smoke. There were several beer bottles on the table some of them still full, a full glass of beer before his uncle and two other empty on the table.
      “Hello uncle, where is Aunt Mooi?”

      Scarecrow remained rigid and seemed like he was in a trance puffing away on his cigarette. Otswakae was beginning to be anxious that he would be late to return to school and he hurried towards his aunts’ bedroom. He flipped the torn, dirty, and faded floral curtain hung at the door and barged into the bedroom. In his grandmother’s household privacy was non-existent, therefore knocking before entering any of the two bedrooms was a virtue that was not instilled in any of Otswakae’s family members.

      The sight startled him. Mooi’s yellowish and shiny buttocks were exposed; thrusting them on top of a man trapped under her voluptuous body.
      Mooi was breathing heavily, without looking up, and now thrusting vigorously. “Voetsek, ke a tla man”, ‘get away I am coming’.

      His legs shaking, Otswakae rushed outside in bewilderment and found his grandmother still washing dishes. Thokozile looked up at her grandson and she noticed he was traumatised.
      “And now, what is she doing?”

      Sins of fathers and Mothers 7.
      Otswakae’s knees were knocking against each other and his head pounding. His facial muscles were rigid and his mouth too dry to start forming words.
      Otswakae’s teary eyes jolted his grandmother into a rage. “Blerry good for nothing slut”.

      Without probing any further, she tossed the dishcloth into the water and walked into the house. Thokozile found Scarecrow still seated at the table. Earlier on Mooi had walked into the kitchen; carry a plastic shopping bag containing beers, followed by a man she did not recognise. She gazed towards the bedroom in disgust. “All she knows is to fuck all time with anything on earth that has a prick”.

      Otswakae could not fathom how his aunt could indulge in such a despicable behaviour right under her mother’s nose while her brother, fully aware of his elder sister’s depravities, was sitting in the next room as if he was keeping guard to wade off any intruder from disturbing his sister’s overly sexual desire.

      As the years, progressed Otswakae was exposed to his other aunts’ immoralities and he began to put his family under critical scrutiny. His mother was born after Mooi, and she was followed Sara. She had exact similarities with his younger brother, Scarecrow, who was born two years later. Sara was a termagant person and when she was under the spell of dagga or drunkenness, she would become incessantly violent. Dudu was born three years after Sara. While Sara had one child, a son, fathered by an unemployed man in the neighbourhood, Dudu had four children from different fathers. All of the men that had impregnated Dudu were famous rascals, involved in criminal activities, serving variable prison terms ranging from two to five years.

      Thokozile would later give birth to a set of twin girls, Zandile and Mantsopa. Zandile was the first of the twins to become a teenage pregnancy statistic while in standard two, and gave birth to a boy, slightly above a year; she gave birth to a girl. Like she was in competition with her twin sister, Mantsopa became a mother of three children while she was in standard four.
      Sins of fathers and Mothers 8.
      Two of the men who had impregnated her were ‘sugar daddies’ who lured her with money. The third man denied his paternity to Mantsopa child and claimed he was not the only one who used to sleep with her.

      Thokozile’s big family was certainly not a blessing as perceived by many people. The mouths her husband had to feed, on his meagre salary, were a burden. She had never worked, being born on a farm, and having never set a foot in a classroom, she was severely disadvantaged. And Lucas was forced to care for his army of unemployed children, who, except of course, for Otswakae’s mother, Moipone, none of them seemed intent on finding employment. Instead, the girls bred like chickens, regardless of the family’s economic status quo.

      Both Lucas and Thokozile were also distressed by their children’s obstinate tensions and squabbles. While on the other hand, Lucas would lock himself in the bedroom during his children’s bickering, leaving them to sort themselves out, Thokozile would be compelled to intervene, sometimes stopping violent fights between the siblings. Lucas’ stance cost his reputation profoundly as his children lost confidence in him as a father.

      Weekends were an epitome of bitter bickering amongst the Rampedi children particularly after alcohol and dagga binging. Often when the squabbles turned into violence, the siblings’ friends, and visitors would be caught in crossfire.

      The tumultuous situation at his grandparents’ home was not conducive for Otswakae to study at home and he had an arrangement to study together with Tshepo at his home. That Friday evening when he arrived home from Tshepo’s home, he found his grandmother all by herself in the kitchen. The house was unusually quiet; normally his uncle and aunts would be home with friends drinking.
      “Where is grandpa, has he gone to bed already?” he asked his grandmother.
      “No, he has gone to a night vigil; he will not be back until tomorrow”.
      He went to the dining room, put away his books, and sat at the table. Otswakae took advantage of the serenity that prevailed in the house pondering about the dysfunctionality of his family.
      Sins of fathers and Mothers 9.
      It was not long when Otswakae heard his aunt, Sara, walking into the kitchen shouting at somebody. She walked into the dining room, with two beer bottles tugged under her armpits, followed by a man, his popping red eyes, signifying equal drunkenness.
      She banged the bottles on the table. “You will shit big time, if you think you can take me for a ride”.
      “Listen”. His speech was blurred. “It is not what you are thinking; I was not flirting with that woman”.
      “What were you doing with her inside the toilet?”
      The man burst out in a mocking laughter balancing his hands on the table. “I was too pressed to wait for her to get out”.
      “Mother fucker”. Sara’s voice was tensed. “Get out of here, get out”.
      “Then give me back the money I bought you the beers with”.
      Sara nimbly smashed the beer bottle; its content slithered on the floor, and stabbed the man several times on the stomach. Blood spluttered everywhere from his gaping wound that released his intestines.
      The man slumped on the floor as Thokozile rushed into the dining room. “Sara, are you crazy?” He eyes wide open with fright. “Oh.. My God”. She cried out in desperation.

      Sara was charged for grievous bodily harm and served a two years prison term.

      Otswakae found it difficult to erase the insult Meisie had hurled at him. ‘An indescribable fatherless trash’. The insult unleashed a plethora of questions that he sought to find answers. Who was his father? Where was he? All of his aunts children were going by their grandfather’s surname and the same was the case with him. Does he, in fact, have a paternal ancestral lineage?
      “Mama why did Lawrence’s mother say I am a fatherless trash?” He asked his mother when she came back from church and joined him in the dining room.
      His mother was taken aback and remained silent for a while like she was searching for an appropriate answer. “Why are you asking me that?” A brooding frown creased her forehead.

      “It is because I want to know who my father is”.
      Sins of fathers and Mothers 9.
      “You know what Otswakae?” She breathed with anger. “I don’t have time for your silly questions”.
      “But Mama, I just want to know who he is”.
      His mother rose abruptly, gazed at Otswakae with cold and furious eyes and stormed out.

      However, Otswakae was convinced that in all probabilities, it was only natural that his mother must have had sex with someone to conceive him. But was she raped by a sex manic or a close relative? Did she have a scandalous sexual liaisons with a married man and was forced to conceal his identity to avoid embarrassing his family? Otherwise, why would his mother be unwilling to tell him who his father is?

      Otswakae contemplated finding someone his mother could have possibly confided in about the man who impregnated her. There was a possibility, he thought to himself, his mother must have shared, what her now considered a secret, with. He was convinced his grandmother would dismissively tell him to ask his mother, and probably rebuke him in matters that did not concern him.

      Otswakae was in a predicament. Barely two months after he was born, he was left in the care of his stay- home aunts when his mother went back to work. But since his aunts were not bothered to have forced a maternal surname upon their children, they would tell him who his father is, even though undoubtedly they knew him.

      Moipone’s worrisome peculiarity compounded Otswakae’s dilemma. Her life was heavily sheathed even her only friend, Monica Semela, was unable to invade her private space. Monica was a well-known rumour craft master. She was capable of disseminating a rumour even before it could be formulated.

      Monica’s trait earned her the nickname; ‘Gogo 702’, after a popular independent talk radio station. But despite being endowed with such dexterity, Monica was unable to invade Moipone’s private space. And therefore, Otswakae did not consider her an ideal prospect to unravel the secrecy around his father.

      Moipone’s moral compass was a mystery Otswakae thought would never be understood, at least by him. Seldom when he visited his mother at her place of work, Otswakae could not find the slightest trace that his mother could possibly sharing her bed with a male companion.

      Exasperated, Otswakae rationalised that only his mother held the key of the vault that kept the truth about his father. He was determined he would not be deterred by his mother’s antics of keeping the secret perpetually. He was determined to scratch every single inch of the surface of the vault the secrecy around his father.

      He could no longer continue to live in a vacuum, heartlessly detached from his paternal connections like he had been dropped from the heavens by some un-angelic spirit.

    • Thabo Mooke says:

      I am working on my first fiction novel, and since English is not my first language, I am not sure I am confident enough. I have share my work with some friends and colleagues, but I realised they are not much of help. I don’t know if I am fooling myself for feeling that way.

    • Sharon Gupta says:

      Hi, Mary. I’ve just posted a write up on Autumn on my blog: Sharon writer.blog spot.in. Please check it out. Thanks. Ciao,Sharon.

    • Don Karp says:

      Hi Mary–

      So inspiring to read what writers are doing!

      I published my memoir(The Bumpy Road-A Memoir of Culture Clash Including:
      Woodstock, Mental Hospitals, and Living in Mexico) a couple of years ago and am trying to get traction (an email list) by writing guest posts. On LifeHack.org I’ve published 6, but, alas, can’t get accepted on others.

      My work is to provide online self-help to those caught in the mental health mill.

      I am designing a survey to post on forums to find out what my niche wants.

      I am also starting a sequel to my memoir called: “Inner Travels on the Bumpy Road: Dreams, Fantasies, Hallucinations.” It will be in a cartoon/comic format, with chapters on a blog series for comment by readers. The title and cover art will be selected by my audience.

    • Pratik says:

      Hello Mary..first of all thank you so much for inspiring. As I have started this blog long back but you shake my inside writer today again. Thank you … go to the link of my blog. 🙂

    • Annelisa says:

      I can’t seem to get my comments to work 🙁

    • Annelisa says:

      I’ve been writing and editing a historical, biographical fiction. The Popish Midwife (Popish = Catholic in ye olde language) a riveting and true story about Elizabeth Cellier, a bold and sassy woman who boldy stands up for what she believes in, despite the punishments that brings upon her. She a woman ahead of her time, educated and strong, a leader and a whistle-blower.

      You can read about why I wrote this book here:

      The Popish Midwife (why I wrote her story)

    • Annelisa says:

      I’ve just finished a biographical fiction about a Catholic midwife set in London toward the end of the seventeenth century, at the height of anti-Catholic hysteria and ‘The Popish Plot’.

      It’s a riveting, true story about Elizabeth Cellier, a bold and sassy woman who boldy stands up for what she believes in, despite the punishments that brings upon her. She a woman ahead of her time, educated and strong, a leader and a whistle-blower.

      You can read about why I wrote this book here:

      The Popish Midwife (why I wrote her story)

    • Yvette Roman says:

      Hi! I decided to start with a blog and short article writing. I thought I can try to get my feet wet by doing so, and I can gather some experience with it as I go. I also review books, so I am also learning how to catch what genres and content readers would be drawn to, preparing me to write a fairly decent novel or autobiographical fiction. I have a lot of fun doing this and it seems to come naturally for me. I just hope others find my work just as stimulating and helpful.

    • Working on a new blog post and edits for 2 other guest blog posts that need final edits.

    • Becky says:

      I write my blogs a few times a week. I am also finishing a short, lighthearted “how to pray” in non-fiction, and just beginning the layout of another fiction series!

    • Paominlen Sitlhou says:

      Dear Mary

      I’ve just completed a literary novel with some rejections to queried letters. It’s a family saga in 97,000 words.

      Wars-big or small are still wars. The thing is wars don’t end with cessation of fighting. Aftermath of war lingers. This happens as one of the few themes in my novel/ALTAR OF UNDYING WHIMS.

      It is set in the hills of tiny state of Manipur at the eastern border of India with Myanmar where insurgency is still active. In such situation common people still have dreams of their own. Here is a story of less known people and their tribal ways…with their dreams. One such dream is the idea of India.

      The other themes include love and brotherhood of Thadou tribesmen…ways they still practice.

      It’s also about awakening. It’s their life.

      I think it’s an ambitious novel.

      Thanking you,

      With regards,

      Paominlen Sitlhou

      • Paomin, your comments shows your beautiful command of language.

        Your novel sounds wonderful. Some of the best English novels have been written in India.

    • Hey CT – it looks like you’re really productive! Congratulations!

    • Ali Buck says:

      Hi, thanks for the opportunity to share with a new found audience – no, surely that’s not what you call a group of writers reading? What do you call a group of writers reading then? A community of writers..uh, reading. Help! Community is very much on my mind and in my heart these days as I’m taking part in a 31 day challenge. Thats writing everyday for 31 days and posting on my blog, [email protected]. My chosen subject was Creating Community where you don’t think there is one and half way through the 31 days its had a profound impact, mainly on me. So even if no one else read it, for that reason alone and of course the discipline of writing everyday and seeing my writing come easier as each day passes, its been well worth it. Here is the link…and welcome to my blog community, cyberspace audience!


      and this particular post got the best response


      • Yes, community is an important factor for writers. I’m delighted you’re writing about this topic.

    • Hi Mary

      I’ve been continuing my Detective Jack Creed series as well as adding to my Lady Margaret Turnbull Cozy Mystery series.

      Currently I’m revamping my free download REJECTION by adding 2 bonus chapters from my other mystery novels best sellers. I’ll soon be adding another free Lady Margaret Turnbull for my subscribers on my website.

      Thanks for asking. Got to dash – my writing is calling!

    • Jup Jup says:

      I started blogging awhile ago. The theme is on passion. My goal is to use stories to encourage others to put their passion into action. The most recent blog posts are real stories about people who have pursued their passion in having their own business. The blog also encourages me, someone who wants to share stories and improve my writing on social media.

      • Hi Jup, passion … what a great topic to be writing about!

    • Megan Kopp says:

      I’m working on final touches for two tourism articles and completing edits on a children’s non-fiction book manuscript. Next week I’ll dive back in with work on six remaining, non-fiction kid’s books. Life is good for this freelancer at the moment! Wrote a short blogpost about writing, teaching and living life to the fullest this a.m (http://www.megankopp.com/2015/10/16/teaching-kids-about-writing/).

      • I’m really glad to hear that it’s a good time to get work for freelancers, Megan. You certainly seem to be very busy!

    • Marrianne says:

      I’ve starting writing about my life in the early ’80s as a new Navy officers bride living on the island of Guam, then leaving as a young widow after my pilot husband was Lost at Sea when the Navy plane his CO was piloting plummeted into the Pacific ocean. I’ve though about the final draft starting with the minutes before I knew they were missing and with flash backs of my life on Guam.

      • Hey Marria, your memoir sounds like a great project. All best wishes for it!

    • Craig Els says:

      You would think a joke won’t kill a man, but it did.
      You would think there is no way to connect that death to ISIS being on American soil, but it did.
      By a thread.
      A thread that began in the oddest of places.
      A thread unveiled by Special Agent Julie Tuco, piece by piece, that would change her life.

      One that has been silently woven through the fabric of America’s homeland for the last two years and lead to a horrific culmination more terrifying and disastrous than 9/11.

      PART 1
      Angel Hair

      Chapter 1
      The Cryin’ Towel
      (Friday Night)

      Before the commotion, Eddie Keyes was tilting. He tilted a lot lately.
      In fact – he was tilting a beer the night he closed his eyes and finger stabbed a section of the East Coast map on his buddies tablet. Only to open the right one and peer at a stabbing that revealed a small town on the Chesapeake Bay he had never heard of.
      He back fingered his black hair. Well, at least now, he felt the hard part was over.
      It was almost a relief to have an idea of where his journey would end, and after ten years in what he called the ‘rabbit-hole’ he had had enough. For him – all of the world’s bullshit self-inflicted emergencies were over. Tilting again, he agreed with himself he would ‘damn well’ take his time getting there too.
      It took a second to turn the tablet off, twenty-four hours to turn his military separation papers in, and six months and this moment to be sitting at this part of the world, on this side of the Island, at the curved section of the bar and introduced to the history of the ‘Towel’.
      Well . . . Ol’ Captain Dick’s version anyway.
      It seems, in May of 1930, after docking the schooner ‘Allegiance’ to the far side of the island, Captain Jacob Preacher was concerned with the effect each delivery from Canada was having on the shore rumrunners.
      He felt he had reason to be.
      Only a month earlier, just outside Selby-on-the-Bay three men had died in a shoot-out with the Sheriff’s department. So anxious to land ashore, they moored in the wrong cove.
      He attributed it to all that mulling around and waiting for their ‘window’ while spying on Coast Guard movements.
      Especially on full moons.
      The increased anxiousness and impatience in the men convinced him it was only a matter of time before something would really go wrong; say another gunfight, and one of them living long enough to talk. He needed to calm them down. At least somewhat.
      “Acourse,” Ol’ Dick pointed out, “being a man ahead of his time: He knew how to create an extra dime a-two.”, took a swallow, tapped the tip of his nose — hand presented the interior. Eddie could tell the man was explaining the story with pride: himself being a sailor herder and all. “Ya see: Captains just don’t sit on their arse. No sir. Captains be known to be slick as cat shit. Yep” another swallow “. . . Captain Jacob built her and named her Bell: after his daughter. Twern’t til 48’ when that rickety pier bridge were built, it became ‘the Cryin’ Towel.’
      Eddie thought the staging area brilliant for its day.
      Even with a 900-yard bridge pulling your eye towards her, she was close to impossible to make out in day light, dimly visible when she glowed at night. Still, being restricted in size and sharing the remaining footage of the island with a bird sanctuary, she was large in legend. The sanctuary being peaceful: Her not so much.

      Eddie’s tilting stopped because of the heavy sound. Heavy enough to echo through the warehouse’s rafters and heavy enough to force a look at Duffy.
      The bartender gestured over his shoulder, towards the table next to the exit door. A table three bikers had been hovering around most of the day.
      The one everyone knew as ‘Dig-it’ had just driven a large Bowie into the table with purpose, spider cracking its resin covering, and at the moment conducting a slow stand by resting his hand on the antler handle. Once upright and rigid, gave the appearance of a man concentrated in thought, but glacial in blinking.
      Of a man accepting a foggy conclusion. Indicating it was the right thing to do by giving a nod to no one but the wall he was facing. Then, mechanically wiping both palms across his leather cut, he began a trek to the bar’s back bathroom: refusing to engage anyone.
      From years of ‘military situation feedback’, Eddie mentally mapped out the bar’s afternoon events for cause and effect when it occurred to him that with this being, his fifth trip over, ‘that bridge’, and while not exactly assimilated: he didn’t stand out either. So, whatever this was. It wasn’t on him.
      It simply confirmed the Cryin’ Towel, while not being a nice place, bad place or even a nasty place to drink: Could a dangerous place.
      Which is why Eddie drank alone.
      Sometimes to observe, sometimes to think. Hell – just to catch a buzz, worked too. And that is exactly how he wanted it. But inside. Inside, his bones were vibrating ever so slightly as he took in the new/old owner/bartender Duffy.
      To him Duf’s whole demeanor suggested ex-military too. A large, thin man in his fifties, always carrying a day’s growth and always moving. Just never breaking a sweat. Eddie couldn’t tell if it was compulsion or pride that made him continuously polish the bar, but his methodical chugging and attention to detail suggested Navy. Even now, at this hour, his every hip motion resembled someone controlling a hula-hoop and a tight rubbing on something valuable. Eddie liked him; just not the stuff he was using. A god-awful lemon disinfectant that came off the cleaning rag that couldn’t dissipate fast enough.
      On his passing, the bartender’s frame revealed two sad pool tables running linear, ten feet behind him, themselves separated from the outer wall by an area sparse and open. An area the business minded Duffy had strategically placed two tiny round tables shoulder-to-shoulder tight to the wall. Placing them for the player’s thirsty reach. However, there were no chairs. And when a shooter did complain, Duffy would use his diplomatic and kindly voice to explain: “This ain’t a fuckin’ library.”
      The numerous burn lines along each table’s edge, indicated a true lack of interest in any use of ashtrays, and the cheap, pristine crinkled aluminum ones he had also strategically centered on each, looked alien as hell.
      Eddie couldn’t help but think if it wasn’t for the centering placement of the bar itself; the interior would have been as open as a boxing ring. Making a pretense of looking at the pool tables, his mind refused to focus on their tortured felts. Finishing the tilt.
      “Change is no God-Damn good!” Ol’ Captain Dick howled like a wolf. The short ninety-one year old with eye bags resembling eighty-year old tits had reached a conclusion of his own and decided to educate anyone within earshot. The clamorous statement of fact brought Eddie’s mind back to the interior. Forcing a glance towards the great orator ten stools away. He could tell from the old man’s volume, that the time had come.
      Known for being a man that spoke only after much thought, and too many beers, Ol’ Dick habitually followed any profound proclamation by drawing a concentrated gulp and nodding with much certainty. Then . . . usually went for broke. “It’s a quandary!” he shouted. It was the only five-dollar word he had learned from his departed wife and it was still a mystery to him what it meant, but he liked the sound of it. “And those pee-peckers on the mainland know it!”
      Eddie and Duffy shared a smile. Both understanding the result of Captain Dick’s proclamation.
      The man, happily armed with the knowledge that he, and he alone, knew the way of things, would mentally set sailing for his beloved fog harbor and like most people that knowd it all, never bothered listening for another’s reply.
      The ‘tell’ of his approach to the harbor was the waving of his forefinger at his ‘first mate’, Mugs: especially after that sixth one. While signaling the docking procedure with a solemn sliding off his well-worn oily black captains’ hat: A tribute to all the friends gathering in his mind. Then, ever so correctly, bar pillowed the cap in preparation of remembrance of the sea. Before that damned bridge. So that by the second head snuggle he was a young man again.
      Duffy checked his watch. It was Eleven-thirty. His interest now was the bar and deemed it reasonable to stay open a little longer. He eyed the captain visiting his friends, then the two bikers, then Eddie and then Henry. Maybe somebody else’ll show.
      And acourse staying open late didn’t mean he was an avaricious man either. It just felt odd that there weren’t more customers by now. A Friday night? Something was up. Maybe something that shouldn’t be. He knew the Cryin’ Towel’s tempo on a Friday night was never what you would call fast paced, but hey:
      A sleepin’ old man and five drinkin customers?
      With thoughts interrupted by an ever so slight thud on the bar, he knew it was his turn, and instinctively knew it was Henry. He didn’t waste time lifting his head and started to draw the tap, just smiling. He had instantly taken to the old man at the end of this last summer when he bought the place, but never really knew why. Then again, not being a dwellin’ man; didn’t really think on it either.
      Finishing the draw, he knew; the later it got, more than likely it would be Dig-it’s crew comin’ over that old single lane bridge with an afternoon of drinking and drugin’ under their belt. But when they did: They came with lots of underground cash.
      He drew a breath of satisfaction, absolutely loving this old place: An unknown place making lots of unknown money. What’s not to love?
      Moreover, up until now the only real problems he had to contend with were people trying to out class each other in a pool game or the occasional fistfight, but tonight would be different. It would be the beginning of the unraveling of the first thread.

      Chapter 2
      The Killing of Henry

    • Pat says:

      I’m writing a guest post that exposes how your favorite authors, bloggers, Internet Marketers, what-have-you, use basic storytelling skills to hook you into buying everything they offer. You know it works, you have bookshelves, CD racks, hard-drives filled with this stuff. You know something’s going on and they do offer some pretty good stuff for your money. You hang on their every word. You check out their articles every day even though the articles don’t always appeal to you. You get sucked into their stories even though overall they’re original, but seem to get by being less original, if you know what I mean. I’ve followed many authors and what-evers. I keep buying this one guy’s books and CDs for years and realized only recently that a large part, a very large part of his output was just to make you want more of it. My article reveals just how easy these storytelling skills are.

      It’s kind of bizarre that nobody talks about this. I have a paranoid feeling that jut mentioning this will trigger a visit from the shadow group that keeps everyone in the dark about these skills. I don’t see many other articles that expose this. It’s like some shady characters in expensive suits armed for a street brawl will kidnap me to a dark place and tell me I can say this not that, I’m limited to so many students, and I have to follow some code or they’ll make me regret it.

      I have a free 90 minute webinar that goes with this article, very close to finishing. And a full premium package class with 10 class meetings and 10 one hour-get-your-answer Q & A’s, private facebook group and all.

      Can you imagine knowing the exact things needed to sell your book, write your blog, run your company? I can write a gazillion different articles about my offer but this one article is the one that will sell it. I can write a ton of headlines for my article but the title I have is off the charts. I can make a ton of different offerings, but this article paired with this 90 minute webinar will perform like a launch.

      I just need to find the right place to start. I need to find a blog with 125,000 or more monthly readers. And I need permission from the dark creepy group to publish it. Everything else is a go. The webinar is edited to a “T”. The article can be repackaged a dozen different ways because it’s a snippet of the class, which delivers hundreds of these story types and more.

      The title sells it all. You think it’s one thing and then you feel like a fool reading the post because you thought it was something else. And the ‘flips’ keep going through the article. You have read these things before, people have told you these stories to get you to date their friend, go to dinner with you, go to a wild party, a concert, steal your parent’s car and so on..

      So, I guess I need a hit list of blogs, magazines and whatevers to pitch this thing too.

      • Don Karp says:

        Hi Pat-

        I did not see a link to any of this so think maybe its a spoof?

        To get a list of blogs and editor email addresses, see Jon Morrow’s CopyBlogger. He offer this for free for signing up.

        I might be able to dredge it up and email you a copy.
        Especially if you link me to your work.


    • Frances Laskowski says:

      I’m writing a YA Fiction/Fantasy about a young girl in the future, she escapes her confinement and tries to find a better life as she travels from the only place she has ever known.
      She has two companions from a different planet and all three of them share adventures.

    • Irene says:

      I am writing an historical novel which takes place in Ancient Israel. A young woman, not quite 15 years old, walks from her village north of Shechem to Jerusalem where her life begins to change.

    • Carol says:

      working on a poem that until just recently the ending eluded. The exact wording not quite where I want yet though.

      As a child,
      I gazed skyward with wonder
      Watching puffy clouds change shape as they drifted
      I was charmed by the man in the moon and
      Awestruck at the gazillion stars twinkling
      In the inky black country night sky.

      As an adult,
      I still gaze skyward with wonder,
      And watch clouds shapeshift as they drift.
      It’s different now. No stars shine
      In the black urban sky. Light pollution dims all
      Except the evening star, which is actually a planet.
      Venus, surrounded by clouds of sulphuric acid,
      Covered by a thousand volcanoes and lit by lightning bolts.
      Not an alluring place, Venus, so ironically named
      For Roman goddess of beauty.

      The sky a window on a world vast and ever expanding
      Only visible wit h powerful telescopes
      Exploration of space in infancy,
      Travellers in space like like the explorers to the New World,
      Curious and fascinated by this strange environment.
      Comets with tails ablaze streak by,
      Meteorites and asteroids hurtle through space,
      Bizarre planets with no atmosphere.
      Others that are just balls of gas.
      Surrounded by star cluster and nebulae
      Moons and planets orbit.

      Still working on getting the ending worded ‘correctly’…the above subject to change.

    • I’m working on the seventh book in the Mystery Club series that takes place in the Rose Plaza retirement center in Portland, Oregon We have a resident here who I think is a war criminal from the Vietnam war, so I thought, what if what he did comes back for revenge? Because this is Portland, my detective is transgender and his partner is Moslem convert woman. My detective left the vice squad to homicide, but his partner is still fighting sex traffickers, a major problem here. There’s a dead Asian girl prostitute. It is amazing how the pieces fall into place. I never outline but let the adventure happen.
      Because my wife is in 24 hour care with a stroke, the only way i avoid depression is to write books. This will make 36 alive titles when I’m done.

      • 36 book? That’s phenomenal, Harley. Keep on writing!

    • Anthony Morgan says:

      I’ve just (within the last week) started on the first draft of my first novel, which is also my first anything. After years of false starts, procrastination and half-formed ideas, I finally sat down and started writing something.
      As yet untitled, it’s a science fiction story about a man who travels to a new planet on business and finds himself at the centre of a conflict which is about to erupt into civil war. The story deals with slavery, totalitarianism and biological warfare, and explores one of the fundamental questions of science fiction – what does it mean to be human?
      This is the first time I’ve told anyone that I’m writing a novel, and I’m pantsing it, so it might be a while before I’m ready to share anything.

      • Anthony – I’m so glad you’ve started your novel. It sound very intriguing.

    • Hi Mary,
      Recently I wrote this…It’s Never too Late to be Great, Achieve Amazing Dreams and Goals and Live the Life you Love http://goalsuccessyes.com/?p=1419

      I also updated this blog post Manifesting Goals by Writing them Down http://goalsuccessyes.com/?p=1244 and wrote a new post here…

      • I like the theme of ‘it’s never too late’. That’s so true for writers!

    • windkind says:

      I’m writing a novel 🙂 Since years 😉 But I will push it again this year during nanowrimo.
      In the meantime I write blog posts, always searching for sources of inspiration. I have a busy business life and use the blog to balance the seriousness of my job with playfulness of the world.
      Check out my latest entries at
      All the best for you, windkind

      • It’s wonderful that you’re writing a novel. That’s such a big project!

    • Joyce says:

      I am writing blog posts about the city of churches (Adelaide, Australia) and the churches I see everyday going to work. Learning a lot about my city and the architectural gems hidden in small side streets

      • That’s a beautiful topic to write about. I can see how it would lead you deep in the the history of Adelaide.

    • Chase G. says:

      I’ve been working on a collection of short stories. I’m debating on just blogging them or going to the trouble to make a book… what do you think?

    • Dave Jay says:

      I’ve just published a children’s novel on Kindle. It’s called ‘Zackary Chicken and the Number Crunch Challenge.’ It’s about a chicken who overcomes a learning disorder while learning to deal with bullies and bad teachers.

      • Anthony Morgan says:

        That sounds fascinating, Dave, and one of the most original ideas I’ve heard in a while. What age group is it aimed at?

      • Marrianne says:

        I have an interest in you topics as I had experiences with those as a kid, and would like to read your story.

    • Lucia Sabijon Butlig says:

      I am writing about, The Mystery of Life and the World

    • Lucia Sabijon Butlig says:

      The Mystery of Life and the World
      If I can choose fate I would like life and the world more valuable than what nature promises, more enduring than earths survival in science. Why? In naturalistic view there is this fleeting time for human to improve and to develop the world. Then life in relation to the world is more like a track and field that participants run to compete and along the way there are obstacles to surmount but then at the end the game is over and victors are to be declared. Life is more on passing to the generation the different knowledge, heritage and luxury a person accumulates while still alive. Then it is good to think that there is tomorrow waiting after each day. Then we can claim like Tony Benneth in his 2002 Grammy awarded song A Wonderful World. Happiness then in this case is attainable only when a person is submissive to the course of time. But for the existentialist, existence as a whole is not important neither my life nor yours. Existence is more on a miracle no matter what your disposition or quality life. Life is a mystery, a dead end, it is peculiar beyond reason. Any importance or value of life is invented in your mind and bears no consequence in existence, if the Earth disappears tomorrow it will be without after effect in the universe. The chances that we should exist, here today, is beyond understanding so it must be embraced and cherished. I remember the Lucy Film by Kate Wong telling us that only the present time can tell about our true existence. When current time is cut from the calendar of time then we cease from our existence. That is why in the movie she wanted her discoveries to be immortal to people through a flash drive-stored information. This philosophy is crucial in understanding the present situation. Why do some people engage in extramarital affairs, indulge in drug addiction, get calloused in graft and corruption or get involve in a heinous crimes or enjoy the profane flesh. We have to take note that these are all in relation to what they believe in the importance of the present time. When a catholic priest told in a sermon that romantic love is not applicable in heaven I go all out to find one while I am still alive, after all I do not want to miss the joy and pain that is special in this aeros love to prove my being human. I did not wait for the timer of this game of life to race its flaglet and declares time is up, the borderline has been reached by the fittest. So I find myself also guilty of being existentialist. Even if in trying to answer the meaning of life seems very traditional but then by doing so we can figure out what is essential to have a meaningful life. With the laxity of present philosophers to give us a precise answer then I consider clinging back to religion for on it joy is simple and life is easier to understand. Religion convince us that there is life after death. It teaches us that in order to fulfill our purpose is not to live the way we want, but rather to live the way we should. God teaches us through the Bible the way we should live. He wants us to do His will, knowing that we will only find true happiness by serving Him.
      Life is a choice. Let us make wise practice of our freedom in attaining purpose driven life that is leading to true and lasting happiness.

    • My latest novel needs a blurb, and I have problems. Here is my latest effort. Tell me what you think.


      Sixty-six million years ago, an advanced alien race transported Cretaceous life from Earth to planets around Epsilon Eridani, then directed an asteroid onto Earth, thus destroying the dinosaurs. On Ranh, a raptor-based civilization developed, and since there were no fossils older than sixty-six million years, they had to have been created, and a theocracy arose. When Earth came near to becoming space-faring, there came pleas from religious fanatics to remove those pesky mammals from the planet of creation. Accordingly, three alien warships with two Romans and Natasha Kotchetkova travelled to Ranh to sign a peace treaty. The agreed plan was simple: Kuyrill Kazyn would present Natasha, representative for Earth, to Kuyrill Tallyn (Kazyn’s father), Tenzat of the Space Curia, the treaty would be signed, and all would live peacefully ever after.
      The plan had problems. When they arrived, Thapet Tergyn was Tenzat of the Space Curia, and he seemed reluctant to sign, while Kazyn was on the run for murder. As it happened, Kazyn had an iron-tight alibi through Seppet Methrell, of the Military Curia and perhaps the most dangerous raptor on Ranh, but she was reluctant to provide it. Kazyn’s only ally was Baht, unacknowledged, the lowest of the low, who was forbidden to hurt a fly. Could these Ranhynn ensure the future existence of humanity?

    • Bill POrter says:

      My opening line….
      Not wanting my school classmates to overhear what might become an emotional conversation, I stepped into the tiny wooden public phone booth in the hall of my dormitory. Closing the the folding door as tightly as possible, I placed a call with the long distance operator.

      • Marrianne says:

        Thank you for your kind response. I also look forward to reading yours.

    • Bill POrter says:

      I’m writing a historic, creative non-fiction story/memoir about an adolescent son and an absent father.

      • I’ve always thought writing stories set in previous times must be very tricky to write. I’m sure you have to do a lot of research. Is that right, Bill?

    • Hi, Mary!

      I am in a science fiction space opera series. Its ‘high-concept’ has been described as a blast furnace where Star Wars, Game of Thrones and The Watchmen all get melted into one.
      I have completed and self-published Book One, and -honestly- it’s the best reviewed book no-one’s talking about. This link leads to my latest blog entry on the subject, and it has a sample of one short chapter.

      My current challenge is starting the incredible amount of work that will go into Book Two while Book One sits still unknown with virtually no sales…despite its wonderful and real reviews. Basically, if someone reads this book they love it. But almost no-one KNOWS about it! =}
      So most of my time and energy have gone into pushing Book One, despairing at doing double that amount of work for an equally undiscovered sequel. So even MORE time goes into other directions, such as looking for an agent who will work with a self-published book, or starting a Kickstarter to fund the thousand hours the sequel will require, etc.

      (warning: this book is for grown-ups)

    • This is really a very brilliant idea,
      Cool to see what each of us is currently working on and as for me, I’m re-writing the About Page of my blog anf will be publishing it any moment from now.

      • Ah yes, the About page is always a bit of a challenge…

    • Renee says:

      I’m working on a dark fantasy serial, Shadow Stalker. It’s about a young shadow stalker, Auren, who is trying to overcome a prophecy that says she will enslave the people of her world. It’s been ongoing for about the last year and I’ve put together two bundles so far with 6 episodes in each. The first one is free to download on my site for those interested in reading dark fantasy: http://reneescattergood.com

      I’d also like to mention to all the authors who visit your blog that I have a blog called Renee’s Author Spotlight where I offer free promotion to indie and small press authors. You can visit here for more info: http://reneesauthorspotlight.blogspot.com.au/p/get-featured.html



      • Thanks for giving us the link to the free download, Renee. It sounds intriguing….!

    • Hi Mary, hi everyone

      My writing is varied, I have self published MEMOIRS OF AN ORDINARY GUY a humourous tales of my adventures growing up in the UK during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
      I have recently finished my first Novella ‘A TIME FOR ADVENURE’ which I plan make into a series. This is currently being looked at by Austin Macauley Publishers, so fingers crossed. I will share the synopsis at the end of this. I the mean time I am writing two stories with undecided titles. (THE PHOTOGRAPHER) is a comedy of errors based on the exploits of a photographer and (WACAPE) a story based on the current refugee crisis but with a twist. I also write poetry, yet unpublished but available to view on my website.
      And now for the synopsis.

      It’s 1984 and GERRY MACNEIL, a likeable, hard working guy gets unexpectedly thrust into a world of adventure, not in 1984 but instead he finds himself in 1928. Taking a day out from his job at Rose Cottage, a care home for the elderly, Gerry find solace with a quiet game of golf at Kelsey Hall golf club. It’s here, after receiving a knock from a stray golf ball, that Gerry encounters ELOISE PONSONBY and, recovering from the blow, it soon becomes apparent that Gerry has been transported backwards in time.

      After becoming acquainted, Eloise introduces Gerry to her father, GEORGIE PONSONBY, an affluent importer and exporter of car parts to the USA and, not long after, he bumps into Georgie’s business partner, DAVID STIENBERG, literally!

      During his stay, Gerry starts to get flashbacks from his other life, which all seem to be connected to the numbers 3 and 10 and even on a golfing stroke business trip to Scotland with Georgie, Gerry comes across the numbers again, this time in the form of a hotel room number. The occupants of room 310, a penthouse suite, are none other than AL CAPONE, and his henchman, SPATS SPATELLI.

      Georgie is unaware at this time that David and Capone are in cahoots and using the Ponsonby export business as a front for gun smuggling. Gerry, however, discovers this on his search for an answer as to why he has travelled in time, thus putting Eloise in danger.

      On their return to England, Gerry and Georgie discover that Eloise has been kidnapped by David and taken to Germany on instructions from Capone but little does Capone know that David is in fact a Nazi and plans to use the ransom money, both to fund the Nazi movement and to assassinate the young WINSTON CHURCHILL.

      Gerry and Georgie set out to rescue Eloise and put a halt to David’s plans. Along the way, they encounter PETER DANN, who is not only an adversary of Capone’s and a top figure in MI6, but also Gerry’s own boss from Rose Cottage and a time traveller himself.
      Peter explains to Gerry what he knows about time travel and how it is all connected with déjà vu and the numbers.

      Whilst Gerry and Georgie are in London collecting the ransom money, they get separated and Gerry becomes a suspect in an explosion at MI6. Now on the run, Gerry has to make his way alone.

      Reunited in Germany, they find an ally, CLARENCE TEOLI, a young steward on the Graf Zeppelin. It is here that they rescue Eloise and make their way to the USA, in a bid to stop the assassination of Winston Churchill and, in doing so, they are lead by a way of clues to the time machine that Clarence, in his later years, was able to construct and make Gerry’s adventure possible.

    • Often I write small blogs in Facebook.

      • Writing in Facebook is a good way to practice and develop writing skills!

    • Often I write blogs within 200 words range in Facebook.

    • I just finished a political fiction novel. Here’s the opening graph:

      The presidency of Leo V. Gibson ended with a bang; a minuscule explosion inside the brain of the charismatic sixty-seven year old Democrat. It was four days before New Years. No sound marked the event with only a moment of blinding pain. A descending artery deep in the cerebral cortex split open at a weak point undetected in any of the annual physicals the otherwise healthy career politician had undergone. As the life fluid of the first term President gushed into his gray matter, the agony of the event drove him into merciful unconsciousness and silently his body dropped to the plush carpeting of the bathroom floor.

      • Well, your novel certainly starts with a dramatic moment, Jack!

    • Hello there everyone.
      Ok so the link is to the website where this idea first began for me. I wrote this piece for Mr. Ferranti(website founder) back in April. He agreed to post it up in May. Soon after I decided to continue the series. So that is what I am working on right now. I didn’t make the deadline for the long short story contest. Oh well maybe next time. But it did get me closer to finishing the first compilation of stories to make up the entire journey. Hope you enjoy it. I do have to warn you it is for mature audiences only. Thank you. HAve a blessed day.

    • Robert McManus says:

      Working between an article for a professional magazine and a long-form short story.

    • Eli Shell says:

      I’m working on a high fantasy novel that is an allegory for systemic racism and income inequality. In this world at the age of 16 every person magically receives a “Marking” that shows what clan they belong to Lion, Crow, Turtle, Eagle or Dragon. Below is an excerpt from the prologue, the birth of our main character, Maya.

      Lightning burst, spidering across the underbelly of heavy grey clouds lit momentarily a pale blue against the inky blackness of night as blood curdling screams rose from the small wooden cabin where the forest and lake met. A woman’s screams split the air between thunderclaps. Aldus, clad in the flannel and denim of his woodsman trade paced under the roof of his woodshed, stealing glances at his cabin. He rubbed his beard and sighed heavily again. He placed a calloused hand on the beam supporting the roof of his woodshed. The intricate brown design of the Eagle clan glowed orange on the man’s arms in the light of the lamp hanging from the rafter.

      Yellow candlelight spilled from the window of his thatch-roofed log cabin, it’s reflection dancing in the puddles created by the powerful storm. Shadows moved in the window quickly. The man stared through the pouring rain, trying to peer through the darkness, willing his wife to be ok.

      Inside the small wood cabin his wife Amina screamed. It hadn’t been like this before. Her first two children had been nearly painless. Adi fell asleep in her arms moments after crying for the first time. Violet had been born quietly and sweetly in the morning. Something was wrong. The Priestess mumbled prayers in the corner of the room as the midwife, Rosemary, soothed the laboring woman’s brow. The midwife’s assistant stood by the stove, boiling water, preparing towels. She also seemed to mumbling a prayer. The assistant’s red Marking stood out from the brown of the other three women in the room, blood red as all members of the Dragon Clan’s Marking seemed to be.

      Rosemary wore a white apron already stained with blood over her plain woolen dress, her jet black hair with it’s lone shock of grey pulled back into a bun, faint smile lines creased her skin near her eyes. Her worried look went from Amina’s face to her overlarge belly. She pressed against it, fingers stiff, prodding. The laboring woman grunted as another spasm of pain overtook her body. She screamed.

      The baby was turned.

    • Brian C. Leggett says:

      I am a screenwriter. I have 12 screenplays already completed. These are the descriptions;

      1. The first script involves a beginning psychiatrist and an emotionally broken girl he must save.
      2. The second script involves a foreign baby smuggled into the United States and raised as an American.
      3. The third script involves a U.S. soldier turned rogue under attack by another rogue soldier.
      4. The fourth script involves a girl too brave for her own good and a vengeful cop.
      5. The fifth script, the sequel to the fourth, involved the same brave girl and the vengeful cop now confronting each other in a final battle.
      6. The sixth script is a typical love story of an older woman who just wants to be with her younger boyfriend.
      7. The seventh script involves four friends, a fifth wheel, and a love triangle gone wrong.
      8, The eighth script involves a mother and a father years apart and still in love.
      9. The ninth script involves a woman involved in a knock down drag out love triangle.
      10. The tenth script involved a young couple from different sides of the tracks, in love, and third party disapproval.
      11. The eleventh script involves a killer committing gruesome murders around New York City.
      12. The twelfth script involves four child free friends and the prejudices they face in their personal lives.

    • Dolyn Blica says:

      I am working on what I hope to turn into a book one day. It follows an African immigrant that moved to America to become a teacher, and how he struggles with his new city life. I have only achieved one fully chapter yet, and it is pasted below.

      Chapter One
      Noah Anak didn’t like the conditions of his survival.
      The city was fine, in fact, it was perfect. He found a good job in a day’s worth of hunting, and a few hours work had rewarded him with enough money to make the last payment on his apartment.
      The low quality, dingy apartment, on the second floor of the building.
      It was cheap, cheap enough to suit him well, but he hadn’t expected it to be of such conditions.
      It was painted a pale green color, the coat fading and peeling at the vertices. Mold filled the corners in such amounts that no measurement of Lysol would be enough to clean it. The carpet was brown, filled with holes and unidentifiable stains varying in size and color. The kitchen was coated in a fine layer of grime and dust, and old, dented beer cans littered the floor. The table was a bench, eaten by termites and one side held up by a stack of mildewed books. The single bedroom was, reasonably, clean. There were stains and holes and scratches on the wall above the rusty bed frame (from what, he did not care to know), but there was little to no mold, and it wasn’t painted that repulsive green, though he couldn’t quite identify the color. It wasn’t half bad from that point, but the very sight of the bathroom nauseated him.
      Roaches scurried under his feet, and a rat squeaked at him from its hovel in the wall. The sink was hidden beneath layers of grime, shaved pubic hairs, and stagnant water, which had begun to gray from age. The toilet was a pile of worn decrepit porcelain, cramped in the corner beside the bathing area, which was nothing more than a shallow plastic tub with a lime coated showerhead.
      Noah wished he had seen the apartment before he bought it.
      Mother always said he never thought things through.
      He sighed and dropped his duffel bag by the door, grimacing as he viewed his new living space. Reaching into the thin plastic holder he’d brought, he removed a washcloth and a spray bottle, cleaning off a place on the kitchen counter to put his personal belongings.
      He squirted a small bit of the yellowish liquid onto the countertop and began to scrub, pursing his lips in irritation when the chemicals instantly turned brown. Noah was a handsome young man, with dark brown hair, mocha colored skin and a clear complexion. His eyes were a dazzling blue, warm and kind, despite their cold demeanor. He stood at a tall six foot two, his shoulders were broad and his body was well developed. He was a bit skinny, having never had much to eat. Enough to satisfy, but never enough to fill.
      Being a teacher in Africa tended to have that complication.
      He had moved to St. Louis, Missouri in America in hopes of finding a better life, expanding his education, and exploring that wonders of the new land he was in. He was excited, but the apartment had put a real damper on the good mood.
      His patience had been waning before that though. The plane had been hot and stuffy, filled with rowdy drunks and couples coming back from their ‘vacations’. His taxi driver had insisted upon small talk, which he had trouble understanding. He spoke English, yes, but a heavy African accent weighed down his words, and all he had received that day were funny looks and the repeated phrase of “What?”
      He hadn’t realized how recklessly been swinging his arms until he smashed his thumb into the wall. He drew it back, hissing in pain and rubbing his hand. He whipped around and leaned up against the counter. He shook his head.
      This is going to take a lot more than Lysol and a washrag to clean up, He thought bitterly, kicking a beer can aside. He had furniture, and the proper supplies. Now all he needed was time and motivation, which, at this point, he had plenty of.
      He decided to start with the bedroom, being as he would have to spend his night there, and he dedicated the next several hours to scrubbing away. It turned out he was less prepared than he anticipated, and he had to borrow a vacuum, a broom, and a mop and bucket from the closet, which was on the bottom floor hallway, and was filled with such supplies, open to use by anyone who lived in the building.
      His furniture (a mattress, a bookshelf and a red corduroy sofa) had been purchased at a little thrift store uptown a little ways, and the counter attendant had been kind enough to help him move everything. The mattress had been put on the bed frame, which was sturdier than he expected it to be, and the sofa and bookshelf had been left in the front room. He chose to leave the front room for the next day after work when he could afford more cleaning supplies
      Noah inhaled, taking in the sickly sweet lemon and raspberry scent that filled the room. He wrinkled his nose with a frown and rolled onto his side. He was sure he’d never sleep. He could hear the city noises, the honking of horns and the shouts of people. It was never this loud in Africa. In Africa you could hear the wind rustle the grass and trees. You could hear mother setting a pot of coffee and sister watching a late TV episode. He shifted his weight slightly, as not to cut the circulation to his arm off. He closed his eyes. The noise was deafening.
      He had just begun to doze off when a thump shook him. He snapped his eyes open. Another thump. He turned his head to look at the ceiling. Thump, thump, shuffle. It was the man in the apartment above him. He was probably just coming home. Noah turned and looked at the small plastic clock he had purchased alongside his furniture, it read ten forty two pm.
      The sound of footsteps reverberated through the man’s floor, Noah’s ceiling. Noah rolled onto his back and decided to play a game. Thump, thump, thump, the man walked across his front room. Thump, swoosh, click, he entered his bedroom. Noah grinned; this was more fun than he thought it’d be. Thump, creeeeak, he sat down on his bed. Thunk, he bounced one of his shoes off the wall across from him. Thunk, he bounced the other one off as well.
      Another series of thumps and clicks could be heard as the man prepared himself for bed, and another long creak as he settled himself in for the night. Silence followed. Noah rolled on his side again, the opposite this time, choosing to face the door instead of the wall. He used to listen to his sister get ready for sleep after her late night TV episodes. It was a little sense of normalcy to his ears. America, so different from Botswana. Everything was so different here, from their light bulbs to their food. But that mans seemingly nightly routine, he could get used to that. Just like he had been used to his sister’s nightly routine. Noah fell asleep fairly easy after that.
      The city didn’t seem so loud anymore.

    • I am part of a monthly blog hop and have recently written this month’s post. You can find my entry at
      If you’d like to learn more about the blog hop, visit

    • Hi Mary,

      I’ve finished my first standalone fantasy novel and it’s currently with my editor. It’s set in a prehistoric setting. I’ve posted the first chapter on my blog – http://aderynwood.blogspot.com.au/2015/10/the-raven-excerpt-1.html

      I loved writing this novel and I think it is my best work so far!

    • Tardis says:

      Hi, I have a couple of embryo novels. Both of them are futuristic somehow. They talk about a possible future branch of realities. One is focused about a playful city where the population entertains themselves and is entertained with tech biotechnology cyborgs steam punkish objects and baroque style environment.
      To the edges of the city, however there is an undiscovered ritual, ancient, evocative world that causes fears to the citizen of the city..

      The second one is only a draft that I have in mind, it’s not worth to share 😉 (yet)

    • Marrianne says:

      I started writing about my life as a new Naval Officers bride living on the island of Guam in the early 80’s, and the Navy plane accident my pilot husband was passenger on that left me a young widow and him Lost at Sea.

      • Bill POrter says:

        I’m sorry about your loss.
        I’m a retired Naval Officer myself and will look forward to reading your story as it is posted.

    • Argus says:

      I’m currently working on three stories simultaneously. 1) A special operations unit comprised of criminals who are put through systematic amnesia. The main character was set up by the government in order to acquire his skills. 2) A crippled teenaged boy crash lands on an island. He must survive and find his mother. 3)An ex-freelance spy is pulled out of witness protection (basically) in order to steal the plans to a new nuclear device before a second wave assassinates the inventor. The device turns out to be a shield rather than a weapon, and the protagonist must find a way to help the inventor survive.

    • J Francis says:

      Hi Mary;

      I’m in the beginning stages of a continuing series of sci-fi fantasy, young adult novels about twin brothers, Trystin, and Cecil Tremaine. Born on the planet Avenwaith, but raised in the fictional country of South Cardon on earth. Until their eighteenth birthday they had no clue of their true identity or for that matter where they were born. My original intent was for a single novel; however, I’ve discovered their many adventures can be endless. Think of the, Hardy Boys, but in outer space, with their adventures taking them from planet to planet throughout the galaxy.

    • Janet says:

      Mary, I am working on Mountain Bride, the first novel in my Western Wives Second Series. Also trying the October challenge from UltimateBlogging of blogging each day.

    • Jean Soohoo says:

      I’m working on a picture book entitled “Bob’s Out of the Bag.” The protagonist is a cat. But that’s all I’m going to say about it right now. I worked on this during my 5-week course from childrensbookacademy.com and have changed and revised it quite a bit to the point where now I’ve finally got it pretty much how I want it in terms of how the story begins, the name of the characters, what is emphasized in the story, etc.

    • I am working on a new novel, the title of which is ‘One Glorious Summer’, set in 1980s England during the Thatcher years. Two young women decide to go to idyllic Paxhill village in the middle of the English countryside for a break. When they step off the train at an unmanned station. Little do they know they have traveled back in time to the beginning of the Battle of Britain, when women worked the land and the young airmen fought for their country against the Luftwaffe. At first the inhabitants of Paxhill are suspicious of the strangely dressed and spoken women, but they soon fit in helping the war effort.

    • Hi Mary,

      Thank you for inviting me to share my writings with Write to Done. I’d love to do so. But I’m in the middle of the first chapter of my book, a nonfiction narrative of the evolution of Islam and Muslim societies. It’s based on my personal experience living in some of those societies and investigating the impact of modernity and globalization on Islam and Muslims in a host of Muslim countries in the Middle East and South Asia and Muslim communities in the United States and Europe.

      I’m looking forward to running the project through NaNoWriMo next month. After that I will resume working on the manuscript.

      It would my privilege to share the final draft with you.

      Thanks again for your interest.


    • Denise Coleman says:

      Dear Mary, I am just developing a website which will have two sections; Fiction and Memoir. I have wanted to write a Memoir for many years, not to relay the story of my long and difficult health history but instead to make the point that even though your life has been greatly affected—physically, financially, socially, personally, professionally, and spiritually—you can continue to move forward to fulfill your goals and have dreams. It is important to maintain a productive and worthwhile life. I raised my daughter as a single mother since she was 3, put myself through undergraduate and graduate school, built a successful career in higher education to where I was vice president at a major research university. I sent my daughter to college and she then went on to Law School and now has a career, in which her values are clear and she is married with two little boys. Nothing can make me prouder than the life she has led and the relationship we have developed and maintained. I had to leave work in 1998, which was devastating, and am now wheelchair bound, and have significant health problems due to progressive Multiple Sclerosis and a spine condition, for which I have had four major surgeries. I keep moving ahead, however, and am active as an advocate for people with disabilities and living in pain, and I am doing as much writing as I can. I now have to find the confidence to submit my work for publication to journals, print and ezine, while I work to put together enough material to ‘Launch’ my website. Please watch for DeniseColemanWrites.com, which will be online soon. Thanks and have a good day.

      • Marrianne says:

        Denise I am interested in your upcoming site. My doctor is considering a diagnoses of Myasthenia Gravis which has significantly weakened all my limbs and I have an appreclation for learning from others with major life challenges and changes. Marrianne

    • Hi all,

      I’m trying to relaunch my writing/blogging hobby/career. My old website – Run Yoga Thrive – kind of fizzled out because I realized that while I enjoy those things, I’m not passionate enough about what that topic covers to think and write about it every day. My not-yet-fully-formed idea is to write about the uncertainty that lies ahead. In talking with a lot of people, I’ve discovered there are a lot of men – dads specifically – who have a lot of the same questions I have.

      With that said, I’m going to focus on a few priorities for my writing:

      come up with a new name for my blog (I may use my name as a place holder)
      develop a regular writing and posting schedule
      start a podcast to interview “interesting” people who could provide inspiration to men/dads going through what some would call a mid-life crisis.

      Here is my most recent blog post – would love any and all feedback!



      P.J. Murphy

    • Madeline McClure says:

      I do not have a website yet so I can’t give you a link. Can I just post the article?

    • Kaliya says:

      Although I am primarily a Shamanic Practitioner, artist and healer, I have always written.
      Years ago I wrote the beginnings of a couple of childrens’s books series that are based on learning skills in a story format. Lately the idea of rewriting those stories and publishing thme has been at the front of my ideas.
      However I do need some help as I need a childrens’s book illustrator as well as where to publisize my books for sale.
      Any help is appreciated.

    • I am working on my 7th novel, Book Two of the Brede Chronicles for First Realm Publishing so I ‘ll have to check with them before posting an excerpt. However I will post the opening lines for an image writing prompt from iAuthor:


      Kind of like their entire relationship; the only way he didn’t fall was to keep focused on her and her depths. Maintaining balance or falling to his death needed the same concentration. Love was definitely deadly.

    • Chris says:

      I’m almost finished with the first manuscript of my second novel, “Ro and Jules Across Heaven and Hell”. It’s a YA/SF book about two young, autistic lovers from rival families who die and find themselves on opposite ends of the afterlife. In the process of searching for each other, they discover that each of them has a destiny to fulfill – and their destinies are mutually exclusive.

      Here’s the opening:

      It’s begun. She’ll die if you don’t move!
      David sat frozen on his bicycle, gazing down the dark street towards the looming mansion. He’d rarely been outside the comfort of his own home, and had never wanted to be, which was why his departure had been neither opposed nor noticed. The voice inside his head that only he could hear had been powerful, insistent. Drawing him to action.
      Jules was in trouble.

    • I WILL be working on the random scenes I wrote during Camp NaNoWriMo in July for my first adult erotic romance. As well as finish writing it. But I’m currently participating in a 2-day webinar hosted by Jami Gold about “Planning for Pantsers”, and I wanted to wait and get through the second session (happening tonight) before I dove back in. I’m a pantser and I wanted to see if any tools in this webinar will provide guidance on how I can finish writing my novel.

    • Jack Francis says:

      Hi Mary;

      I’m in the beginning stages of a continuing series of sci-fi fantasy, young adult novels about twin brothers, Trystin, and Cecil Tremaine. Born on another planet, but raised on earth and until their eighteenth birthday they had no clue of their true identity, or where they were born. My original intent was for a single novel; however, I’ve discovered their many adventures can be endless. Think of the, Hardy Boys, but in outer space, with their adventures taking them from planet to planet throughout the galaxy.

      J. Francis

    • Ralph Lawrence says:

      Hello Mary,
      First few paragraphs of a novel about life inside a conflict such as the Israeli/Palestinian disaster. Living, loving and surviving in modern day israel.


      A steady humming from the desalination plant was little bother to the picnicking members of the commune. A hard-won prize from potential real estate developers, the Palmachim beach was designated as a nature preserve. Along the mounds, a promenade ran toward the cliffs linking the extensive archeological sites of ancient Yavne-Yam.

      Adina Teper loved this place. It was a beautiful thumb thrusting into the soft belly of the Mediterranean. The sun sizzled. Sweaty from climbing sandy dunes replete with marram, she headed for the water, passing neighbors from the kibbutz as they were breaking out noshes. Time for a dunk. Floating, her thoughts wandered to Shraga, standing post somewhere along the Palestinian border. Rags, as his Israeli friends called him, was her current beau. Short, wide and insistent, Sergeant Rags Beran was a decorated son of the homeland. Nice, but unnecessary, she decided, in light of her recent separation from Army service. He was good company while they were serving together. Now a new life at the cooperative was her present goal. She would say goodbye on his next leave.

      On a large pole, a mounted siren screeched its dreadful signal. The sandy strip beehived as people gathered personal items and crowded together ready to vacate. Adina waded ashore, body taut with apprehension. A former communications officer in the Israeli Defense Force, she knew no alarm went unheeded. She threw on her clothes, mind focused on the plant, a monstrous facility delivering huge amounts of fresh water to keep the Hebrew farms irrigated. It lay quite close to Palmachim Bay, standing shoulder to shoulder with an Israeli airbase. Both were well protected. She calculated the danger point must be the beach.

      From habit, her trained eyes scanned the sea. Dark objects drifted toward the beach. Adina recognized them. The latest terrorist technique was floating barrels carried by the tide, packed with explosives concocted to achieve maximum physical and psychological damage. A thumping sound signaled the approach of the Apaches. They were flying low, rotors muffled, giant metal wasps whose abdomens almost touched the white tipped waves. Reaching the deadly cargo, the copters hovered, and then moved over the beach to Yavne-Yam, waiting for instructions.

      Inside the airbase, Lieutenant Carmi Naim sat at his console in the launch room tracking the confrontation on Palmachim beach. His surveillance drone had been tracking the barrels since the outgoing tide turned to incoming several hours ago. The intel came from a spy satellite the military used on coastline sweeps. Across from Naim, the Fire Direction Control officer scanned the fresh feeds on his computer. The FDC would plot and execute the destruction of the barrels using the Apache’s armaments. Naim’s drone also carried offensive weaponry, geared especially for sophisticated strikes, but that option was not necessary. First, the beach must be cleared.

      Adina joined the group, ready to take charge of their evacuation. They knew her. She lived and worked at the kibbutz, staffing a telecommunications center for an international company.

      “Time to move,” she barked. “We’ll cross the dunes to the promenade. Behind are cliffs with caves for shelter until this incident is diffused. Let’s help each other. Leave anything that is too heavy to carry. Please secure your pets. There will be collateral noise. It’ll be unsettling. Younger people to the rear, shepherd everyone as you would goats in danger. Please, move with speed and silence.” The former IDF officer wondered if there was an enemy force nearby. That’s why the copters are back by the cliffs, scanning for unusual movement, she thought.

      In twelve minutes, the civilians had scampered over the dunes, passed the promenade and reached the caves. About a hundred crowded into two grottos, praying for a quick resolution to the problem. Hope was a scarce commodity in modern Israel. Inside was a quiet resignation; and a mistrust of safety during these random attacks.

      The battle center transmitted an assignment, and the helicopters were on the move. A hundred meters above, they approached the barrels heading to the shoreline. They counted eight targets. All were bobbing atop the waves. Fast, accurate and lethal, the 70 millimeter cannons were chosen to execute the mission. The twin Apache copters opened up, a stream of hellfire chopped through the water like a shark feeding frenzy. Torn apart, the metal barrels quickly sank. Everyone was stunned. Not one of the bombs had exploded. They were decoys. Within seconds, Palmachim airbase was put on alert. The same for the security force at the desalination plant.

    • Hi Mary,
      Funny you should ask as I just FINALLY published a new blog post yesterday. It’s about how my coaching cross country is at cross-purposes with my writing ambitions. We all struggle with having time to write, but this 11-week season is the hardest for me. I typically produce zero writing during this season, so to at least get the blog post out there felt pretty good–a small victory!
      Read my post here: http://www.lisacottrell.com/blog/2015/10/14/cross-purposes
      I’ve enjoyed reading about others’ work as well–we are all in this together 🙂
      Keep writing All!
      Lisa Cottrell

    • Nina says:

      Hi, Mary and all!

      Thank you for this opportunity. As my intention is to offer my readers a marvellous book, I’m looking forward to all suggestions. Don’t be afraid to give me a constructive critique, I’m not afraid to receive it. 🙂

      I’m working on a non-fiction book on how not to be single anymore. I post excerpts from the first draft in my blog The Alchemy of a Wish, which is also intended as a foundation for my author’s platform. You can start reading the book here: http://thealchemyofawish.com/how-not-to-be-single-anymore-table-of-content/

      As I started the blog on October 1, I’m focusing on adding the content to it at the moment. Here you can read an example post Why I Didn’t Get My Dream House: http://thealchemyofawish.com/why-i-didnt-get-my-dream-house/

      Enjoy reading!

    • Virginia Reeves says:

      I will soon release my series of ebooks with the umbrella title of Permission Granted. I’ve been writing articles for over 30 years and will finally compile that information into small books of about 10,000 words. A fairly quick read with lots of specific tips and techniques to improving the quality of your life.

    • Gary Jones says:

      I am writing a novel.

    • Emily says:

      I’m writing about transcriptions but Philippine setting because I haven’t seen a book about that here in our country. Hoping to leave a legacy one of these days. And probably thinking of writing about a horror genre-type of story but also set in our country. Most likely about our mythical or folkloric creatures of the night so it won’t be mostly about vampires or werewolves.

    • Nicole says:

      I’m currently writing an Urban fiction novel about a young stripper who gets involved in sex trafficking. The book is based in St. Louis and Minneapolis. I’ve been working on this book for almost 2 years. It started as a short story two years ago and has involved into a novel. This is my first attempt to write a book. It’s stressful but super cool creating people and situations from nothing.

    • Caitlin T. says:

      Below is a comment I made to a blog post titled “The Root of the Problem” on laddertoabove.blogpost.com. The blog is dedicated to helping those recovering from the seemingly hopeless disease of addiction. I often comment below the blogs in case you are interested in reading any of my work further…

      If my human nature was a garden it would be an overgrown, weed-infested one with little to say for itself except that time has not been good to it. Beginning the steps of the Alcoholics Anonymous program made me look at the garden – first just acknowledging its presence and lack of beauty. The further along I progress in the program the more pain I see exuding from the neglect of the greens, the soils, the thirst of a deserted land so wanting to be watered and nurtured. My sponsor told me to pray to God, and in my own outlandish way I prayed for help in tearing me apart – taking out the dead, lonely eye sores of the garden in order that I break free from what terror I caused it in my diseased state. My character defects reigned over the plot for so long it is still hard to see the garden existing without them – but they are only there underneath the soil, like bad seeds that, without watering, will never manifest into anything. What God has helped me do is rediscover the rich soil beneath it all. With this soil a garden of which may be the likes of the grandeur of heaven – with beauty and divinity unlike anything else on earth. I want to be a part of the action – helping bring to life that which was shadowed from the light for so long. I must let go of what does me “no good”. I must grasp the vines growing strong, growing toward something bigger…even if I don’t know what and where that may lead.

      • Don Karp says:

        Hi Caitlin–

        I love how you use the analogy of a garden and plants to paint us a picture of your struggles!

        And I hope you are doing well with your addiction.

        I can see that writing is one of your strong suits and a powerful force for your recovery and for thriving.

        Keep up the good work!


    • Troy says:

      I’m writing an adaptation.

    • Charles Kakomee says:

      Hi! My name is Charles Kaomee I recently published and edutainment comic book titled “laugh n learn: with Charlie on the lite side of life” here in my home county; Botswana.
      The content of this publications is mostly targeted at young adults it can also be use as a supplementary source of information on issues relating to: sexual reproductive health (SRH), psychosocial matters, HIV/AIDS and other health issues.
      The idea with about this publication is to help create a dilougue and break the silence toward creating an HIV free generation in African…

    • Lino says:

      Uhm… Hey.
      I’m currently writing a story… I’m expecting to write between 50,000 and 70,000 words, though my intention wasn’t really to write a novel. It’s actually the fourth time I try to write this story, because I’ve tried before but it didn’t work out in any of the previous times, so I’m changing some things to see if I can make it work this time.
      But I’m optimist! From the first time to the second, it changed a lot – seriously, a LOT – and from the second to the third, too. Writing the third one, I felt that I had actually finished it and it was as perfect as I could make it, but then I changed my mind. So, maybe, the fourth time will finally be the one.
      Thanks for asking! 🙂

    • Kashish Kaur says:

      Hello Mary!

      I am so excited after reading your post. I am currently working planning my Fantasy novel for this year’s NaNoWriMo. This novel is a part of fantasy trilogy which I have been trying to write since three years. The plot was always there in the back of of my mind much like the protagonists who gave me sleepless nights for so long. I used to procrastinate so much because I was scared that nobody would read my novel. But I took control and promised myself that I am going to start writing as fear has lead me to nowhere but void. I have taken an oath to write for myself and come up with my first draft in the month of November even if that first draft sucks. I am giving myself permission to write garbage because no matter what I write, I will be writing and after all “All glory comes by daring to begin.”
      My novel is simple, about an Empress who is extraordinarily gifted and has something “mysterious” about her. Her contemporaries attack her and she avoids the war very wisely and takes over the domain of those contemporaries. After this “war” she gets pregnant with her husband and she discovers that pregnancy is giving her mysterious powers and she rises as a goddess.

    • I just finished a collection of poetry titled, So Much More Than This, available on Amazon in Kindle and Print editions. I am so happy about this. I have now begun to write a hybrid epic poem/novel. Thank you Scrivener for providing me and many other writers with such an awesome tool for organizing. And thank you Mary Jaksch for this helpful site.

    • Just reached 50000 words on my third book from my Greek Island Mysteries series. After both book 1 THE OLYMPUS KILLER and book 2 THE CHURCH MURDERS became bestsellers in their categories, I have taken being an author more serious and I can’t wait to finish book 3 and start the next one! Happy writing everybody!

    • Andy Swindells says:

      Hi Mary
      I am just concluding a four part thriller-novella about a Manchester vigilante called Seth Miller. Each story is over thirty thousand words. The plot initially starts off like a Jack Reacher novel, but soon turns into something much darker and sinister. The overall story is probably more like Stephen king than Lee Child as there are elements of fantasy and horror as the plot proceeds. I plan to publish them together next year after I have proofread and edited them all.
      The tiles are. (Seth 1: ‘Work rest and slay’.) (Seth2: ‘Kill all living things’) (Seth 3: ‘Get your head kicked in on route 66’) (Seth4:‘Dead behind the eyes’.)
      Andy Swindells.

    • kalai says:

      I am writing on wellness.

      • cole.tina says:

        I have just recently finished a non fiction youth book called How To Be Really Street Smart. It should be published and on Amazon in ten days or so. I really find the Russian Cat story line interesting and funny. I’m currently trying to come up with my next blog post. I never run out of ideas but I have issues with making it all cohesive.

    • In a major funk after my wife lost her battle with cancer, I just stopped writing. I was in the middle of The K2 Sanction—the sequel to Dragon at 1600, where I introduced Buck Axele Davidssen, a defender of the Constitution who reports only to God and Old Glory. My writing friends begged me to write—try something different they said. Just write.
      With a freshly opened bottle of Jameson by my keyboard, my nine—year old granddaughter walked into my home office. “What’s up Grandpa,” Jules said.
      With tears in my eyes, I looked at her and said, FIRST OF JULES. With that said, I created Jules Spenser.
      Jules Spenser, a sixteen-year-old protégée child, has come to Texas to intern for her PhD. With her gymnastics career on hold—she’s the reigning national vaulting champion, she takes the job of her dreams at her grandfathers company—the Advanced Nanoscience Research Center on South Padre Island.
      Jules has it all; good looks, athleticism, intelligence—she was born with an eidetic mind, and an attitude.
      Her grandfather Buck Davidssen, a retired Marine sniper, gifted in computers and logic has groomed her since childhood, and has also spent many a ‘Don’t tell mom moment’ with Jules teaching her the finer points of assault weapons and hand-to-hand combat.
      Jules should be living a carefree life but, she doesn’t. She’s a social misfit and defaults to her devil-be-damned attitude every time she strays from her comfort zone.
      In her first week interning—a fellow student goes missing, and then another. When the authorities turn up nothing, Jules finds herself flying solo in an investigation that may get her killed.
      Her mentor Dr. Anna Semyonova begs her to back off. She is concerned that Jules’ arrogance and believing she can do anything—is her greatest fatal flaw, and will ultimately be her undoing.
      But, when the two girls turn up dead and showcased for the world to see, Jules puts her life on the line and races against time to stop the killer before he strikes again.

      First of Jules is available on Amazon in kindle format for $2.99.


      It is also available at my website http://www.BadDayPublication in hardcover. Use promo code ‘Anna’ for a 30% discount.

    • Hiya, I’m based in the UK and seeking an agent/publisher. I’ve shelved a YA Novel called Back & Beyond. The alternate history bible story is about Dr J. bringing Jarius’ daughter and the widows son back from the dead but in present day.Its fiction pointing youth to Jesus. It is novella length.

      The other is new adult called, DisGrace because it reveals how grooming and sexual exploitation happens and should give students the heads up about taking care. See the story beginning uploaded below.

      I’m also tutor at the inclusive, Attenborough Arts Centre at Leicester University.


    • I am working on one novella which is a historical type saga and a romantic suspense novel; the latter getting a harsh edit that almost made me give up writing. I have two self-published novellas, and the recent one is free.

    • Mary says:

      Hi Mary, I am writing a children’s book series. Just working on getting an Illustrator now. Another book I have started is on Smoothies ( the quick and easy way) and a follow up will be a book on Smoothies for children

    • Elizabeth Ambielli says:

      My writing also involves comic art illustration in a blog I call Comics For The Cubicle (formerly Drawing on Life) Started out as blog that takes in ‘the art of cartooning’ and how the cartoonist (who is also a writer) relates life itself to seeing the humor of life, or a philosophical view of an observation in life’s work. I have since changed direction, and the title …as what I wish to put forth is simple cartoons and if there be any lesson in the simple cartoon (which came first) to write that lesson in words, while I hope engaging the reader to comment also on ‘the lesson’ I ‘see’ — I think my mind subconsciously draws a ‘funny picture’ but…in humor is ‘a lesson to be learned’ (most recent: employee initiative)

      See comicartistliz.blogspot.com

      The challenge in this doing; is having ‘the discipline’ to put something out there every day. (as is the challenge of writing) The joy … is that of bringing myself and others TO THINK…and to think in ‘the good way’ / as in one post of two kids pretending to be adult as they play ‘dress up’ though clothes are obviously too big on them… girl: see Bllly we are all gwon up. As mom is walking past with laundry basket and dad is at desk with bills to pay. Tag line: TAP your potential: T- hink
      A -ct to the good and P ray for guidance.

    • Rohini says:

      I am working on a few things simultaneously – I don’t know know how wise that is – but it seems to help to keep me ‘fresh’. At least I think it does. One a memoir for a friend that’s into first revisions after a editor has seen it; second a travel book by a local Bahraini – for which I’m “rewriting” the translated English bits, (it’s bilingual – Arabic/English), and then there’s my work in progress. I’m sharing a chapter midway of the story. I wonder if that’s the right thing to do. But fire away everyone…

      Love – Nancy 3
      One evening as I was hovering around our first meeting place, Nancy came up to me and said, “You can walk me home if you like, Mr. Carino.”
      I couldn’t believe my luck. I had hoped to get a glimpse of her, and here she was offering me so much more.
      “I wouldn’t like to impose on your parents’ hospitality again,” a lingering hope that I might actually be invited to do so laced my voice.
      “Oh, don’t worry about that. I don’t think they’d appreciate it if we did this every day.” And that was accompanied by her charming little habit of closing her eyes, raising her eyebrows and shaking that mass of dark curls like a siren in front of me.
      I grinned, “It would be too much to expect. How are your brothers?” I added deflecting the conversation away from my disappointment.
      And with that she told me all about them in great detail. Before I knew it, we reached her home.
      “You don’t really live too far from Mutanabi do you?”
      “Oh nothing’s far in Manama,” she smiled, “the family doesn’t like me walking in the souk though. Girls from good homes aren’t supposed to be out and about. But some of the Sheikhas started doing this some years ago, although not here, they walk closer to the sea and further, near Belgrave Road. So I said, if I’m going to help my uncle at his shop, then I’m going to walk. It’s one reason I walk as fast as I can.”
      “Why don’t you just wear an abaya; that way no one would know it was you.”
      “Abaya or no abaya, they can see my face, la?”
      “Yes they can,” and before I knew it I continued, “and it’s a famously beautiful face too.”
      “Mister Carino!” Her eyes flashed as she looked up at me her face set and taut, but I was sure her cheeks coloured.
      “I’m sorry, that was too forward of me. Please forgive me, I didn’t mean to be so personal.” I was all but stammering.
      “I think we had better say goodnight, then.” She turned and rushed through the small door that was inset into the larger one. And I was left standing like a fool outside.
      The next day I went back. I had to apologise, if nothing else.
      When she arrived at our spot I walked up, “Miss Daoud, I didn’t mean to offend you last night, but what I said was true. Your beauty is much talked about.”
      Gentle natured lady that she was, she smiled. “I understand, Mr. Carino, I really do need to learn to take a compliment; at least that’s what my mother told me when I told her that.”
      “You told your mother!” I was surprised.
      “Yes, she knew something had bothered me yesterday.”
      “Do you tell her everything?”
      “Would you mind if I walked you home again?”
      “No, you are welcome to walk,” then she put her head down and almost whispered, “It’s a free country and men have all the rights.”
      “Oh, but I wouldn’t want to discomfort you in any way. It’s so wonderful to have feminine company I feel it’s something that’s missing in my life.” Then I played my no-fail card, looking up at the sky, “maybe I had lots of women around me in my past life.” This was true as my sisters and mother were a large part of my sense of comfort at home.
      That elicited the sympathetic response I was playing for “Ohhh!” She cried out, looking up at me, “don’t say that. It is I who should apologise. I am thoughtless, it’s just that men can always do what they want and say what they want! We women just have to follow them.”
      I felt guilty, but the pleasure of her presence outweighed the guilt and I was happy to bask in it. The vehemence of her words struck me, “I don’t believe that. I think women have as much right as we men do. If it displeases you for me to walk with you I’ll not trouble you.”
      “It’s no trouble,” she sighed and shrugged, “it’s just that you’re a man, and you’re good looking and I’m a woman and yes, I know people say I’m beautiful but I have some Bahraini and Arab friends here who are really beautiful. Outside people don’t see them so they don’t know of their beauty. Most of the time they’re closeted away in their homes. They just come to school and go straight home. Of course they are covered. It is rare for Bahraini women to cover their faces. Only very conservative women do that.” It was an education just listening to her.
      She continued, “My family is very modern, and we Jewish people we are not covered. We go outside, our women go with Mrs Belgrave to Arab women’s homes to help her speak to them. But, a girl walking with a man, I fear that people will talk. So not too much, not every day.” And she looked up at me and smiled as her face lit up. “But I like your company. You are different. American women are very forward, la?”
      My face flushed with pleasure, in fact I was sure it turned quite red; fortunately it was too dark for her to see. At least she thought me good looking. A pleasant compliment. More encouraging, she liked having me around. She was right we couldn’t do this too often or people would talk and she had a family and her own reputation to consider.
      I decided to space out my meetings with her and just meet her once or twice a week, not more frequently and make it appear as if it were a coincidence. The days I didn’t meet her I returned to my long-neglected routine of running. I went up the further reaches of Al Mutanabi and then down the road to the palace. It was a good enough circuit and I didn’t go near the hospital at all.
      Running took me back to the days when I was in prison, learning that all-important word that has guided me throughout all my time here – sabr, patience. It also helped me to think about Nancy from every aspect. I was sure she was taken by me and yet she was afraid. She had an independent spirit; it’s what gave her that sparkle. I thrilled at her words, ‘you’re a good looking man’, not just any man! I knew my height was an attractive feature but the rest of me! I must confess to occasionally appraising myself in the mirror at home.
      On one of these occasions Thomas caught me and doubled up laughing, “Ah ha hah!” he went, “Tony looking very handsome making his face shine. Girl very pretty, Hahn,” he had that funny nasal twang that he sometimes ended his sentences with, in much the same way that the Arabs said ‘la’.
      “Shut up you fool!” I ran after him and he ducked into the kitchen, where he held up a pot, started drumming on its base with a spoon, and burst into song, “Tony looking handsome, handsome, handsome, maybe bringing wife some, wife some, soon!”
      We collapsed on the floor. I grabbed him to mock beat him and he rolled over me and then I over him. He shoved the spoon in my chest and I laughed some more, falling back on the floor myself, “Get me some tea you idiot!” I said as I got up.
      Ever since Nancy had come into my life, everything had turned happy and light. I wasn’t as morose any more, and it was true, the fire to escape had burnt down to an ember. During those early days of falling in love with her, I occasionally felt guilty at my happiness. Was I smothering the urge that spurred my desire to escape? Or had I, like many long-term prisoners, begun to identify with my narrow confines and find comfort in its strictures?
      If I planned to meet Nancy and walk her home I took extra care over my appearance.
      I’d rush to our meeting place always a little tense that perhaps she wouldn’t come that way, or she’d discourage me from walking alongside her, but she did neither. She was there as regular as a clock and always more beautiful than the last time I’d seen her. How could any face be such a perfect oval and eyes so dark, be so full of bright sparkles?
      “Where did you go to school?” I asked her once.
      “The Acorn School, here, it’s right near the American Mission Hospital, haven’t you seen it?”
      “Yes, but I thought you said you went to India, the first time I met you with Dr. Storm, that’s what he mentioned.”
      “Oh, yes! That was for my higher studies. You know with the war in Europe, my family wasn’t going to send me there to study so I went to India, to a place called Poona up in the western hills.”
      Bombay, Poona, these names were so foreign to me. “What did you study there? And couldn’t you have learned any of that here?”
      She looked up and smiled, “You ask a lot of questions, don’t you? Maybe you are a spy as Dr. Storm says.”
      “He says I’m a spy?” I laughed heartily stopping in the middle of the street and making a few people turn around and look at us. “I think he’s a spy! Constantly skulking around and spying on me.”
      Then she laughed too.
      “What did you study?”
      “Secretarial work, typing, accounting, filing, that sort of thing. It’s very useful, especially in my father’s business because we import a lot of table linens and other household ware.”
      “So what do you do for your uncle?”
      “Just re-check his books and entries and make sure all the slips are entered into his ledger.”
      Gradually I learnt all about her, her family life, what she thought and did. I was electrically aware of her presence when we walked. We made it a point to keep our distance and never even touched each other’s hands. I wondered if she felt it as strongly as I did. There were days when I thought she did. When I longed to hold her hand and walk down the street as natural and normal as any two lovers anywhere in the world. But this was a conservative country. That kind of behaviour wasn’t appreciated.
      Before we knew it, November was upon us. One night, after an unusually warm day, the wind blew up and it rained.
      She was suddenly cold and I put my jacket around her. “You’ll catch a chill,” I said, as I hastily put it around her shoulders.
      As she drew it closer, our fingers touched and she pulled her hand away. I nearly groaned at the soft silk of her skin. Clenched my fists and controlled my face.
      “What’s the matter Mr. Carino?” she asked her voice so innocent. I couldn’t tell if she was leading me on or genuinely didn’t know. After all she had pulled her hand away.
      I looked at her wistfully, but shook my head and said nothing. Was she really not aware of my longing for her? The highly charged emanations from my body sometimes felt as if there were an aura around me. And yet she affected ignorance.
      She lowered her head and looked sideways at me through those thick eyelashes of hers. Oh God in heaven, those eyes. A man could kill for them. Dimly lit as the street was, once we stepped off the main Al Mutanabi, the little light afforded us by the stars and the moon and the occasional lamp on a home owner’s walls or gates, were nothing compared to her eyes.
      It was the first of December by the time I picked up the courage one night to say, “I think you can call me Tony, now.”
      She stopped in her tracks and looked up at me, “Tony? Tony! Yes I think I can.” More smiles, but she gave no indication that I could call her Nancy.

    • I write a daily Good Morning! Affirmation. . The affirmations have stretched me to think creatively daily. They have become a rewarding blessing to me just as much as it has been for others

    • Have just written a blog: Etymology – the origin and meaning of words (website above) and a poem, inspired by receiving requests to Skype three ‘Generals’ (?!) and a’ Deputy General’ – oh yeah…www.oapschat.co.uk under Lifestyle & Poetry) Am also collating an anthology ‘Food Glorious Food.’for WordPlay Publishing.

    • Dr. Bryan says:

      I am working on a YA novella. I think it will be in the 20,000 to 25,000 word range. The story is about a young boy who is being bullied in school. He finds a way around the bullying and learns about his past in the process. I have about 2,000 words written and hoping to add another 1,000 words today.

      Dr. Bryan

    • ~ WRITERS Journal & Notebook ~ is the current project!
      An single location for all your story notes, ideas, characters, and goals combined with an organized process to help you complete your manuscript.

      If you have suggestions for what should go in the book let me know!

    • I started a blog i have been filling with stories and poems.
      Tell me what you think and some advice on how i can improve. Here is the link..

    • Bob Cohn says:

      HI Mary,

      I’m in the final throes of a short story, @12,500 words. It’s sort of a light (smart Alec) mystery. Came out of an exercise from my writing group. I”m not sure any story is ever finished, but this is close to done, the point where I could do more, but have probably put enough into it. I tried to write a mystery novel (I always try to run before I can walk) and didn’t like the result. Maybe this is a baby step. I look forward to finding a partner to critique it. I’d love to see it published, but I have no idea where. Suggestions more than welcome.

      Now I need to get back to a second draft of my ebook on personal finance for people who hate personal finance, advance my marketing efforts, and learn more about publishing and promoting my work.

      Thanks for asking.

    • I started a blog i have been filling with stories and poems. Tell me what you think. Here is the link..

    • Chetan says:


      I am Chetan from India Now I am writing a Novel in my Mother tongue Kannada. This is my first Novel.Before 3 years My love got broke up. During these days I suffered like anything to over come. Since i was little good in writing poems and small articles, One of my friend suggested me to write my own story in the form of Novel. Even I too convinced. And by collecting those old memories of joy and sorrows I am penning it down with adding some fiction concepts of my own

    • I am working on a play (Oarswoman of the Tay) that has been ‘almost’ accepted by the local Dundee Dramatic Society yet more changes and I m sure it will be all the better for it. Historical piece, strong female lead, set 1902/ 1903, veteran Boer war Policeman plays love interest

    • I have recently started to write a satirical blog. I hope that you can give me some great advice on how I can improve.

    • Am trying to find publishers for my husband’s hand-written – tweaked by me – autobiography and a book i’ve ‘semi-ghosted’…(will probably go down the ebook route as before) Also have just written another blog on ‘Word Origins’.website http://www.joylennick.wordpress.com/ and written a poem, inspired by receiving dozens of re

    • Deepa says:

      Sharing one of my poems and looking forward to the comments.

    • Kalyani baride says:

      Hi Mary,

      I am writing on quiet few things but here is a kinda poem I wrote about meeting an old crush.. Here it goes.. Do let me know how you like it.

      I was sitting alone in the park waiting.
      Spring had started but the air was still cool.
      It’s been ages since we actually met.
      Don’t know why but I could feel
      the wings of butterflies flutter in my stomach.
      Nervousness is what they call it.
      Meeting an old pal would be exciting,
      But how would one define,
      the feeling of meeting an old crush.
      Not that looks and money mattered,
      Not that status and post would make any difference.
      Only thought I had,
      Was, would you be the same person I knew ages ago or would you be a different one.
      If you weren’t the same, I wondered, was it for better or worse?
      Not that I wouldn’t want to know, but that I haven’t been part of that change.
      Don’t worry dear one, because I won’t be judgemental,
      I do understand, change is evident and life is certainly monotonous without it.
      Thinking about this and I saw you walking towards me.
      Oh my my! you havent really changed much, but I will discover that later.
      So as I got up to shake hands with you,
      And all you did was pull me in a big hug, which did give me an inkling you haven’t changed at all…


    • Good morning, Mary

      I am continuing to develop a main character. He was born in several short stories but, as all ideas do, quickly outgrew them. As each of his encounters with three lesser characters expand his self-awareness, the need for a break became apparent. Hence, this story about his two-week-morphing-into-the-entire-summer hiatus to break his beak, pull his old pinions and sharpen his talons. It’s perhaps time for him to soar where he’d become satisfied with gliding.

      “There was a chill in the pre-dawn air as I walked along Bedell.

      At the intersection of September and October, Fall had peeked around the corner at me, breathing a cool greeting that made me shiver and shrug my worn but familiar brown leather jacket up farther on my neck. I absently half-grinned my return greeting, equally cool. Weather wonks, secure, warm and dry in their hi-tech indoor control rooms, were yet again predicting a greater-than-normal snowfall. I was disinclined to pay them any heed. I wasn’t sure where, exactly, one finds heed.

      I normally walk at a good pace, hands swinging free, shoulders back and setting my heels from old military habit. This morning was different.

      I was ambling, shoulders rounded, hands in pockets. Fast footsteps and long thoughts rarely keep company.

      With Summer’s onset, I planned 21 days of doing absolutely nothing, but doing it elsewhere. Away. Out of town, and most important, out of contact. Putting a hold on my snail mail and setting up my email with an autoreply, I did likewise with my voicemail.

      “This is Granger. I’m going to be deliciously away and phoneless for three weeks. Be kind and don’t leave any messages since they’ll just fill my voicemail box, and you won’t get any response until I return, anyway. So, how about waiting until I get back, and we can visit over coffee. Thanks. Buh-bye.”

      Twenty-one. That’s three full weeks, which is the minimum time necessary to begin a new habit. I didn’t have any particular one in mind, yet I feel compelled to be prepared at any time to tweak or change any habit of mine that needs it.” (This is a work in progress, so still in draft form…)

      Link – http://2ndcupofcoffee.com/2015/09/the-summer-of-my-dissonance-a-granger-story/

    • Lusito Mthethwa says:

      Hello Mary

      I have recently completed my very first to be published book and preparing for submission to the editors and publishers. It is called Principle,Practice and the Promise.

      It is a self help book where I tell stories of some of my greatest challenges and tragedies in my life so far and what lessons anyone,especially the young adults can use in their lives.

      Lusito Mthethwa

    • I’m writing a college course on business intelligence and analytics. It’s aimed at IT students. I’m also working on some documentation for the school on topics like using version control software, developing Web applications.

      I’m also writing an online course for Udemy. It’s going to be part of my portfolio when I’m done and hopefully bring in a bit of extra income.

      I’m considering publishing my e-book. It was meant to be a longer work but the subject divides itself nicely into two parts and I’ve got the first part done.

    • Rob K says:

      I am writing a book about mid-life entrepreneurship. I have dozens of interviews of folks who started businesses in their 40s. It’s approaching 70,000 words and getting very close to going to the editor.

    • Hello Mary,

      I am currently working on my blog where I am working through a series of articles on ‘Becoming Your Best Self’.

      My latest article, Simply Express Yourself’, describes a way I allow my ideas to flood into my writing, as well as the result of one such exercise.


      In tandem, I am working on my first children’s novel about how a stranger helps the people of a town regain their heart and spirit following a tragedy.


    • Bradley says:

      Hey World,

      I am currently writing an open letter, intended for a girl, which will probably stay a draft forever.
      This is New Orleans, it’s very easy to date, then date someone else. A connection is hard to shake off though, especially when it gets deep. Her last words to me were, “Don’t give up on me just yet.”
      I want to reach out, I don’t know how. I suppose convincing myself that I will write this letter and post it, or actually give it to her, is a distraction enough to avoid the situation all together.
      Do we share a similar battle? Is she avoiding the feeling of guilt, from feeling happiness with someone because her sister is sick? I pushed nothing, I was always the one invited out or asked to spend the night. Is she afraid of the future and just writes of everything that isn’t already tied to the past? Or am I just stupid and need to let this shit go?
      That’s what I’m writing about, right now.

    • Brett Earle says:


      I’m at work on a long novel of Literary Satire.

      And, in an effort to increase my chances for success, I have hired 12 chimps to sit at typewriter desks–ad infinitum–so as to play out the infinite monkey theorem and churn out my Magnum Opus…

      I promise to include them on the acknowledgement page. But I am running out of Bananas.

      • No, the infinite monkey theorem doesn’t work, Brett. A mathematician proved it. Besides, you couldn’t keep the chimps in their chairs long enough to tap the keys (a zoologist observed). They’d all be watching Game of Thrones, boffing each other and giggling. Which probably defines our target readers at Amazon.

        But you do have a theme for a satiric story. Sit an infinite number of writing students down for an infinite time and count how long it takes before they murder the lecturer. Trust me, I’ve been there…

        • Brett Earle says:

          Well, it looks like I’ll have to fire them, then–if your prediction could become, at all, accurate.

          Maybe I could just stop feeding them bananas–so they’ll quit. That way, I won’t have to pay for their unemployment insurance.

          On another note…regarding murdering the Lecturer?

          I’ve been there….what I normally do, first, is I pull a preemptive: I commit suicide in front of them, before they have the chance to do me in.

          It’s a question of Pride…you understand…

    • Hi, Mary.

      I’m currently writing the second novel in a time-traveling vampire series. The first one is under revision and soon to be queried. The series is centered on a GenX-aged vampire who finds himself vacationing with Lord Byron and the Shelleys during the summer of 1816 (that holiday which launched the gothic era in literature).

      My vampire narrator, Blue, is unique in that his is a first-person account of all aspects of his existence. He also manages to be likable despite feeding on humans. The time travel piece allows me to write in both historic and commercial fiction language. The distinction subtly illustrates Blue’s age.

      Thanks for asking! It’s always a thrill to get to tell others about the world I’m living in 75% of the time.


      • Emily says:

        That sounds so much fun! I would love to read that.

    • Hallo Mary

      I am currently writing a novella about a Russian cat who comes to Edinburgh to study creative writing. He shares a flat with two other cats and a precocious white mouse. He also spends time with a guinea pig with attitude. Bakhtin’s writing studies are marred by the amount of literary theory involved. Working title – Bakhtin Chronicles: The Academic Year.


    • I’m working on a crime story novella (20,000 words) which I plan to release as serial blog posts starting in November. This will be the first story in a series to support my Inspector West series of crime novels, the third of which I plan to publish early 2016.

    • Johanna says:

      I’m working on a novel. It’s a YA fantasy, the protagonist is a highschool girl from Transylvania, who was adopted by a shepherd. She has a genius stepbrother who was also adopted. She buys a book in a second-hand bookshop and then realizes that it has no words in it. When the words start to appear in it she starts to have dangerous dreams about a dragon who wants to kill her. A friendly griffin appears as well, and the two of them tell her a story about the author of the book without words.
      I’m currently struggling with a donkey that appeared out of nowhere in my mind, and this donkey would be a source of humor in the story, but I don’t know if it is necessary or just a darling that I need to kill.

      • Enuly says:

        Sounds brilliant! I’m writing something similar. But more of a YA horror romance

    • Hi Mary

      I felt really good after writing the first blog post of my new blog. It will be there in my heart forever. No post can replace this wonderful feeling.

      Title: Seductive Guide: How to write Unique headlines for seducing readers.

      In this post, I have explained the importance of headlines by explaining the acronym ‘SEDUCTIVE’. It took some time to come up with this post loaded with lots of stats. But, I am satisfied with the output.

      Here is the link: http://mushroomcontent.com/how-to-write-unique-headlines/

      P.S. Recently, I also wrote one article for Huffington Post. Title: The Condom State of Mind. The article is based upon stress management. As you have mentioned to share the link of one post, I won’t present the link.
      If you allow me, I’d love to share the link with you.

      • Don Karp says:

        Hi Yatkin-

        Your article on headline writing was unusual and very helpful.

        Thanks, Don

      • Hi Yatin, I visitied your links as well, Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • I’m swinging between a poem and a short story. ?

      With the poem, I’m trying to get a better sense of metaphor. With the short story, I’m trying to write an outline that makes sense.

      • It’s great that you can write both poems and short stories, Elea.

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