Haiku Friday – Painted & Lady

11 Aug

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Happy Friday! It’s ‘Haiku Friday’ and I do have a poem for you but first I wanted to give thanks to those amazing people that have been so kind and generous with their support these last couple of weeks.

When you release a new book into the word you then have to work twice as hard to spread the word and make sure that everyone that reads knows that your book is available. It’s a lot of work and almost impossible to do without help.

So, I’m going to do something that I usually hate doing, because knowing me, I will forget someone and then I’ll be kicking myself all weekend. But, I’m compelled to let everyone know how supportive and wonderful these people are.

 

Adele Marie Park – FireFly 465 Blog

Lizzie Chantree – Lizzie Chantree 

Annette Rochelle Aben – Annette Rochelle Aben ~Communicator, WordSmith, Artist, Guide, Mentor, Muse~

Allan Hudson – South Branch Scribbler

Craig Boyack – Entertaining Stories

Renekkah Ford – Wandering Thoughts of a Writer

Karen Oberlaender – My Train of Thoughts

John W. Howell – Fiction Favorites

Eloise De Sousa – Thoughts by Mello-Elo

Chris Graham – Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

Debby Kaye – D. G. Kaye Live. Laugh. Love. And Don’t Forget to Breathe!

Sally Cronin –Smorgasbord -Variety is the Spice of Life

Sue Vincent – Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Olga Núñez Miret – Olga Author/Translator

Natalie Ducey – Natalie Ducey

Tina Frisco – Tina Frisco

Paul WiersgallaPaul Edward Wiersgalla

Colleen ChesebroColleen Chesebro Fairy Whisperer

Harmony Kent – Harmony Kent Online Author and Editor

Belinda Bennett – Inform. Engage. Influence. Belinda Bennett

Mike Paine – Mike Paine Show

Paul DeBlassie IIIPaul DeBlassie III, Ph.D. Psychologist/Writer

Wendy ScottWendy Scott 

Mihran Kalaydjian – Mihran Kalaydjian’s Official Blog

Michael Eging – Michael Eging 

 

I appreciate the guest posts and all the sharing on Social Media. I’m also grateful for the kind words of encouragement and inspiration. 

Onto today’s haiku poem . . . 

painted-lady-Poetry-haiku_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-RonovanWrites

Butterfly

by Vashti Q

Her wings kiss the sun

She then dances on flowers

Sweet painted lady

painted-lady-Poetry-butterfly-Haiku_Friday-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-RonovanWrites

 

Painted and Lady are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

Watch WRISA Write – Author Spotlight: John Howell

10 Aug

RWISA-RRBC-Rave Reviews Book Club-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Nonnie Jules-Vashti Q-author_spotlight-bog_tour-John Howell-The Writer Next Door

Welcome to the 10th day of the Watch WRISA Write Showcase Tour an event organized by the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC). Today, the spotlight shines on one of my favorite authors, John W. Howell.

He has a great blog, Fiction Favorites where you can read some of his work, see all his books and learn more about him, so be sure to check it out.

John W. Howell-Watch WRISA Write-RRBC-Rave Reviews Book Club-spotlight-author-blog_tour-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

 

*I recently read John’s thriller, Our Justice and enjoyed it very much. Here’s the review I left on Amazon. 

Our Justice-John Howell-spotlight-author-novel-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Rave Reviews Book Club-RRBC-WRISA-blog tour-Vashti Q

Book Review

If Our Justice by John W. Howell was a roller coaster ride, it would be one that begins high on the track right before the free fall, twists and loops––what a ride!
The Protagonist, John Canon is an authentic, likable guy whose not afraid to show fear or allow a woman to take charge, which is endearing to me. He’s a genuinely good guy with great morals. You’ll love to hate his nemesis, Matt Jacobs, a very rich and powerful, kind of charming lunatic bent on destroying him. And I loved Stephanie, a strong, intelligent, beauty. All-around well-developed and memorable characters.
Aside from the nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thrills and chills action, it’s obvious that a lot of research went into this story. Sometimes I wondered while reading if the author had been a navy seal or scientist, because the descriptions and scenarios were so on point and believable.
This story was written in first person, present tense and I felt like I was tagging along on all the adventures. This is the last book in the John Canon trilogy but it stands alone.
If you enjoy a fast paced, harrowing, thrilling story with a very satisfying ending then this book is for you.

John W. Howell is sharing a story he has written for this tour and it’s wonderful. Here it is. Enjoy! 

 

Last Night

by John W. Howell © 2017

 

So, with nothing better to do, I figure I’ll stop at Jerry’s place and grab a couple of drinks and a burger. Usually, I don’t go there on Saturday night since there’s a crapload of amateurs taking up what would be considered prime space. I figure since this is a Friday and close to Saturday, it may be packed, but not as crazy as Saturday. It’s the kind of place where everyone minds their business. They’re there for a good time and will likely not notice me. Even so, I go through the door, stop, and have a look around, trying not to make eye contact. I hope that the ball cap and large coat will keep me from getting noticed. The bar holds a weekday crowd, hanging on each other like they never had a date before. I tighten my eyelids against the smoke and make out four guys near the pool table, and what looks like a couple of girls fetching drinks. I search for a seat beyond the table in the back, but it seems like they’re all taken.

A guy bumps into me as I stand here. I say excuse me, and he looks me in the face. “Hey, don’t I know you?” he says.

“I don’t think so.” I make to turn away.

“Yeah, you’re the sports hero who lost all his money. I saw you on TV.”

“Naw, people always say stuff like that. I’m not him, buddy; trust me.”

He gives me a puzzled look but doesn’t want to push it, in case he has it wrong. I turn away and continue to look for a seat.

Straight ahead lies the bar, and it has a place right in the middle. I move in the direction of the empty place and look over to the other side of the room. The tables look full of happy drunks. Buckets of empties line the bar top, and the barmaid’s trying to sell more. She doesn’t have much luck since most of these people just spent their last five bucks on this outing. Upon making it to the stool, I hoist myself up and lean on the bar.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. “Whadda you have?”

“Evening, Jerry. I’ll have a Gin on the rocks with a water back.”

“Comin’ up.”

I like Jerry’s no-nonsense way of handling things. He doesn’t like small talk and gets right to business. My eyes smart from the smoke, and I wonder how Jerry gets away with letting people kill themselves, when clearly, it’s not supposed to be allowed in this kind of establishment.

“Here you go. Want me to run a tab?”

“Yeah, I would appreciate that. I intend to have another drink and then a burger.”

The guy who thinks he knows me grabs my shoulder from behind. I almost fall off the stool.

“You’re Greg Petros, the big fund manager. I knew I’d seen you on TV. You took a beautiful career in football and ran it into the ground.”

Jerry leans over the bar and lays his hand on the guy’s shoulder. “Move on, my friend. You made a mistake. This guy is nobody. Go sit down and let me buy you a drink.”

“You sure? You called him Greg.”

“Yeah, I’m sure. Go get a table, and I’ll send someone over.”

The guy looks at me one more time but does as Jerry suggests. He believes Jerry’s wrong, but the idea of a free drink lets him get away without losing face.

“Thanks. I didn’t mean for you to have to jump in.”

“No problem. Gimme the high sign when you’re ready for another drink.”

“Will do. Thanks.”

“For you buddy, anything.”

I should mention that Jerry and I go back aways. When I fell on hard times, he became the only one that seemed to give a shit. I take a sip of my drink and wait for the burn in my throat, which signals the good stuff. Here it comes. I take a swig of the water and almost believe life is good. The Gin needs to get to the brain before making any honest judgment.

While I wait for the warmth to go from my stomach to my head, I check out the folks seated on either side of me. They both have their backs turned to me and sit engrossed in some discussion with their neighbor. I figure it’s just as well since I don’t want to go through that old “don’t I know you?” bullshit again. Also, I don’t figure on staying the night, so no use in getting into any long discussions about life.

I look down at my drink and wonder what will happen tomorrow. My daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and before all hell broke loose, we didn’t see each other often. I missed her so much, and it seemed I had to beg her even to talk on the phone. Now, it’s like she wants to be here every weekend. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train, so she can come when she wants. I just can’t figure out why she got so clingy. I have my troubles, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. No use in asking her husband, either. Though a nice enough guy, I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still, and stays busy on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I’d looked forward to some kind of relationship when he and Constance got married. It’ll never happen with him.

When I take another pull at my drink, I notice the burn feels less. It happens every time. First sip initiation, I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits hard then, after, nothing. I decide to let Constance pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk about anything deep for a while. It could just be that she blames me for her mother running off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but, I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that?

I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she wants to stay in, we can do that, too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order take out. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I remember the day she was born. I looked down at her in my arms and promised I would do anything for her. I love her more than life itself, and I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever’s wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I hope she opens up when she gets here.

For some reason, I feel tired. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and finish my drink. Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger. First, though, I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel good when I put my head down.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter? You taking a nap? Greg?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “Oh my God, Sophie, call 911, quick.” Now the room goes silent.

 

END

John W. Howell-Watch WRISA Write-RRBC-Rave Reviews Book Club-spotlight-author-blog_tour-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH RWISAWRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

John W. Howell RWISA Author Page

 

Book Promo – New Release – ‘The Fall of Lilith’ by Vashti Quiroz-Vega…

9 Aug

I am a guest author on ‘Chris, The Story Reading Ape’ Blog! Stop by Chris’ cool blog and say hello! Wishes don’t work unless you do!

Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-the fall of lilith-novel-guest author-Chris The Story Reading Ape-bookblogger

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Hello everyone! I’m so happy to be here at Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog. Thanks for inviting me, Chris!

My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega and I’m a writer of Fantasy, Horror and Thriller. If you enjoy reading short stories in those genres and poetry you can do so on my blog, The Writer Next Door | Vashti Q. I’m here today to tell you a little about myself and to introduce my new novel, The Fall of Lilith.

I began reading, writing and storytelling early. In elementary school I drew pictures and wrote stories in comic book form and sold them for a quarter a piece. I grew up in a religious home, attended a religious private school and went to church regularly with my parents. I read many religious books. I also enjoyed fairy tales and mythology and devoured many of these types of books. I’ve…

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Book Tuesday: Vashti Quiroz-Vega

8 Aug

Hi everyone! Since I released my new book, The Fall of Lilith I’ve had the pleasure of being featured in several very cool blogs. I am very grateful to these wonderful authors/bloggers. Today, I will be at ‘Thought by Mello-Elo’ for Book Tuesday! Please stop by and visit the lovely Eloise and say hello! Thank you!

Thoughts by Mello-Elo

Welcome to Book Tuesday.

Today, I have the honour of introducing a lady who has featured with her thrilling book, The Basement and is back to introduce her latest book, The Fall of Lilith. Her name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega.  I am excited to share Vashti’s new book with my readers and let you all get a chance to get to know her and her book.

vashtiHello everyone! I’m so happy to be here at Thoughts by Mello-Elo. Thanks for inviting me, Eloise! My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega and I’m a writer of Fantasy, Horror and Thriller. If you enjoy reading short stories in those genres and poetry you can do so on my blog, The Writer Next Door | Vashti Q. I’m here today to tell you a little about myself and to introduce my new novel, The Fall of Lilith.

I began reading, writing and storytelling…

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Guest author: Vashti Quiroz-Vega – The Fall of Lilith

7 Aug

I’m a guest author at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo! She’s featuring my new release, The Fall of Lilith. Please stop by her blog and check it out. Thank you!

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Hello everyone! I’m so happy to be here at Sue’s blog. Thanks for inviting me, Sue!

My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega and I’m a writer of Fantasy, Horror and Thriller. If you enjoy reading short stories in those genres and poetry you can do so on my blog, The Writer Next Door | Vashti Q. I’m here today to tell you a little about myself and to introduce my new novel, The Fall of Lilith. 


I began reading, writing and storytelling early. In elementary school I drew pictures and wrote stories in comic book form and sold them for a quarter a piece. I grew up in a religious home, attended a religious private school and went to church regularly with my parents. I read many religious books. I also enjoyed fairy tales and mythology and devoured many of these types of books. I’ve always been curious about…

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Watch RWISA Write – Author Spotlight: Gwen Plano

6 Aug

Hello and a warm welcome to my blog! Today is the 5th day of the Watch WRISA Write showcase tour and The Rave Reviews Book Club members are featuring the talented and sweet, Gwendolyn (Gwen) Plano. She will be sharing a lovely story called, Love at First Sight. Enjoy! 

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Love at First Sight

By Gwendolyn M Plano

 

“It doesn’t seem real. It just doesn’t seem real.” Mom muttered as she ran her hand over the curves of dad’s headstone. Sighing deeply, she stared blankly into the horizon.

After a few minutes, she turned and faced me. “I tell myself that it must be real.” She seemed to want my approval. “The stone says we were married 70 years. It must have happened; I must have been married. But, but…why can’t I remember?” She searched my face for answers.

Stooped from the burden of years now elusive and sometimes vacant, mom held my arm while she walked to either side of the monument.

“I saw him in a dream. Did I tell you that?”

“No, mom, I don’t think you did.”

“He was young, like when we first met.”

“Really? Could you tell me about how you met?”

“How?” Mom’s eyes darted to and fro as she struggled to answer. Then, as though the curtains lifted, she responded.

“Yes…yes, I can tell you how we met.”

“Let’s sit here, mom.” I led her to a cement bench under a tall oak tree near dad’s grave. “Now tell me how the two of you met.”

Mom took a deep breath and began. “It was during the war. I remember it now. It was 1944. There were posters in our high school which asked us to sign up to work at the Consolidated Aircraft factory in San Diego. They needed help building B-24 bombers. We called the bombers the Liberators. My sister and I and several of our girlfriends decided we wanted to help our country. Most of the boys in our class were enlisting in the army or navy. We wanted to do our part too.”

“Like Rosie the Riveter?”

“Oh, yes! We all wanted to be Rosie. Your grandparents didn’t much like the idea, but they knew the families of the other girls, and since we’d be living together and would watch out for one another, they finally agreed. After all, it was the patriotic thing to do.”

I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of mom being Rosie and asked where she lived.

“We lived with Aunt Lena on India Street in San Diego. She put in bunk beds for us. At night, we’d wash out our clothes and tie the pieces to the bedsprings so that they could dry overnight.”

“When we arrived at Consolidated, they gave each of us a uniform – blue pants and jacket. And, we had classes for a week or two. Most of us were assigned the job of riveting. It’s hard to believe, but there were about 20,000 women working at the factory. The assembly line was a mile long, and believe it or not, we built about nine bombers a day. Isn’t that amazing?”

“That is amazing, mom.” Pride glowed from mom’s face, and I couldn’t help but feel proud of her as well.

“I was assigned to the wings. I hate heights, but I’d climb on top of those wings and pretend I was sitting on the hood of a car. I didn’t get afraid that way. One day, when I was sitting up there, holding a riveting gun, your dad came by.”

“Hey,” he said. “What’s your name?” I thought I might be in trouble, but he smiled, so I smiled back.

“It’s Lauretta.”

“Well, Lauretta, you’re doing a great job. If you need anything, let me know. My name’s Jim, and I’m the foreman for this area.”

I put my arm around mom’s shoulder. “My goodness, mom, you were on the wing of a bomber when you met dad?”

“Sounds funny, doesn’t it? But, yes, that’s the first time we talked. I didn’t pay much attention to him, but my sister would whisper to me, “There he is again. I think he likes you. He keeps looking this way.”

Mom lowered her eyes and giggled. “Of course, I didn’t believe her.”

After pausing a bit, she continued. “Your dad started walking home with us in the evening. He lived further up the hill from us, so it wasn’t out of his way. Mind you, I was wearing the company uniform and had my hair in a bandana, so I was hardly a beauty.”

“Anyway, one day he asked if I’d like to come up to his place. And, I was stupid and said okay. That’s when I learned about the facts of life. You know, sex.”

“You didn’t know before then, mom?”

“No, but he taught me that night.” Mom giggled and put her hand on her face. “He wanted to get married right then. But, I told him no, he had to talk to my parents. We needed to do it right. Besides, I hardly knew him. There were a lot of shot-gun marriages those days. We all thought the end of the world was coming, and well, young lovers didn’t hold back.”

“So, you and dad became lovers?”

“You know the answer to that, don’t you? When I didn’t have my cycle, I knew I was pregnant. Your dad was elated and didn’t hesitate to talk to your grandparents. Of course, I was ashamed. But, I want you to understand something. You might have been the reason we married, but you were not the reason we stayed together for 70 years.”

“Did you love him, mom?” The question came out before I could filter it.

“I did, I just didn’t know I did. Your dad would tell anyone who would listen, ‘When I saw Lauretta on the wing of a B-24 bomber, I knew that she was the one for me.’ He’d say it all the time, ‘She’s the one for me!’” Mom giggled as she thought about this story. “Your dad always said it was love at first sight. But it wasn’t that way for me.”

“What do you mean by that, mom?”

“Well, love is a strange word, isn’t it? Your dad seemed to know from the first time he saw me that he wanted to marry me. I didn’t feel that way. I think my focus was romance or dreams. And, your dad wasn’t the wooing type.”

“I believe I fell in love with him after you were born. He thought you were the most beautiful baby in the whole world. In fact, I think he was happiest when he was holding you. He’d sing to you and rock you to sleep every night.”

She dropped her head, and tears rolled down her cheeks. My tears fell as well.

“He was a good man, a faithful man. Did I tell you his promise?”

I shook my head, and said, “no.”

“You know that he grew up hungry, right? During the Dust Bowl, his family barely survived. In fact, two of his sisters died. Well, your dad promised me that his children would never go hungry. He would make sure of it. And, he did. He worked two jobs most of our marriage, and you kids were never hungry.” She paused and looked into my eyes.

“Your dad kept his promises.”

Mom grew silent. Her face turned from animated to expressionless, and I did not know what to think. She whispered something that I had to ask her to repeat. She sighed and looked at me again.

“It just doesn’t seem real.”

Gwen plano-author spotlight-RRBC-RWISA-Rave Reviews Book Club-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-watch WRISA write-blog_tour-The Writer Next Door

If you enjoyed Gwen’s story check out her book, Letting Go into Perfect Love on Amazon.

letting go into perfect love-gewn plano-novel-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-spotlight-RRBC-WRISA-readers

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Gwendolyn (Gwen) Plano RWISA Author Page

 

Vashti Quiroz-Vega: The Fall of Lilith – #free until 2017-08-05! @VashtiQV

5 Aug

Hello and Welcome! I hope you are all enjoying your weekend. Author and Book Blogger, Karen Oberlaender is kind enough to have me as a guest author on her blog, My Train of Thoughts. Please head on over there and check out the post.

Also, don’t forget to download your free The Fall of Lilith eBook on Amazon. The promotion ends today! Please tell your bookworm, book-nerd, bibliophile and bookish family and friends about this promotion.

I appreciate the support. ❤

Download eBook here.

my train of thoughts-karen oberlaender-guest_author-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Fall of Lilith-ebook-free-amazon-The Writer Next Door

 

Source: Vashti Quiroz-Vega: The Fall of Lilith – #free until 2017-08-05! @VashtiQV

Wandering Thoughts of a Writer | Free eBook The Fall of Lilith

4 Aug

Wandering Thoughts of a Writer-Rebekkah Ford-guest blogger-the fall of lilith-fantasy angels series-free_book

Happy Friday everyone! I’m very happy and excited to announce that Author Rebekkah Ford has featured me on her beautiful blog today. Please head on over there and check out the post!

Don’t forget to download your FREE (eBook) copy of The Fall of Lilith on Amazon! It’s free today and tomorrow only! 8/04 & 8/05

Click here to download your free eBook

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Click the link below to visit the post . . .

Wandering Thoughts of A Writer Blog

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – #FREE offer The Fall of Lilith: Fantasy Angels Series by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

3 Aug

Hello everyone! I’m inviting you to visit Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore today. Sally’s kind enough to feature me and my new release, The Fall of Lilith, on her blog. My birthday is on Friday August 4th and I’ve decided to give YOU a gift! 😉

The eBook for The Fall of Lilith will be FREE on Amazon for my birthday, Friday 8/04/2017 and Saturday 8/05/2017! Two days only! Please take advantage of this promo. The price will go back to the original price on Sunday.

*The Fall of Lilith is also available in paperback on Amazon  for $14.99

Enjoy Sally’s feature! Thank you!

“The Fall of Lilith is a compelling narrative that provides background on several well-known, supernatural figures. Though obviously religious in nature, Quiroz-Vega’s book strays far from traditional biblical text. Sea monsters, mermaids, and vampires share the stage with angels and demons. And illicit (and explicit) affairs, violent battles, and graphic injuries abound. Quiroz-Vega’s prose is incredibly descriptive.

A well-written, descriptive, and dark creation story.”

–– Kirkus Reviews

 

The Fall of Lilith-fantasyangelsseries-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-Sally Cronin-free_book-ebook-amazon-The Writer Next Door

 

Source: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – #FREE offer The Fall of Lilith: Fantasy Angels Series by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Watch RWISA Write Showcase Tour – Author Karen Ingalls

2 Aug

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Hello and welcome to the 2nd day of the Watch RWISA Write Showcase Tour!

Today I have the privilege of introducing award-winning author, Karen Ingalls.

Karen is sharing with us her delightful short story, A Fishy Day. Enjoy!

Karen Ingalls-RRBC-showcase-author-spotlight-RWISA-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

A FISHY DAY

 

It was one of those wonderful August days when the sun was high and warm in the sky. The big cumulus clouds slowly drifted by, creating designs that filled Jim’s imagination, who at nine years could see all kinds of amazing sights. He had been playing with his model airplane in his aunt and uncle’s yard, where he spent the summers on their ranch in San Diego, California. Staying with Uncle Leon and Aunt Helen was always a special time of adventure, fun and farm work.

“Jim, do you want to go to the pasture with me? We’ll check the water trough for the cattle,” Uncle Leon asked, at the same time he took his handkerchief and wiped some perspiration from his tan brow.

“Oh, yes,” Jim responded with great excitement. He ran to the front porch and put his treasured airplane on the table next to where Aunt Helen sat in her rocking chair.

Uncle Leon walked over to the Allis-Chalmers tractor and stretched his long, thin legs up and over onto the metal seat. “All right, Jim, you can come on up now.” Jim awkwardly managed to climb up and grab hold of his uncle’s hand, who swung him onto his lap. With the turn of the key the tractor began to vibrate and the engine roared. Shifting the gears into forward, Leon yelled, “Here we go!”

The pasture was a favorite place for Jim with its rolling hills, oak trees, and green grass. It was always a peaceful place where a boy could run until he was out of breath, and then fall onto the grass and let the wind gently blow over his panting body. Many were the times that Jim would spend his days, just climbing in the oak trees pretending he was hiding from some enemy, or shooting squirrels with his imaginary rifle.

He and his uncle drove through the pasture until they came to a large trough sitting by a water pump on the top of a knoll. The cattle were grazing some distance away, but their occasional moos could be heard.

Uncle Leon helped Jim off the tractor and then sauntered up to the trough. “Not much water left so we best get this filled up.”

Jim was leaning over the trough where the top of it just reached his chest. “What can I do? I want to help.”

“Well, now, how about you pump the water in once I get it primed,” replied Uncle Leon with his usual smiling face. He was happy that Jim wanted to help, but he also knew that pumping water would be a big job for such a young lad. Once he had the water flowing with each downward motion of the pump handle, he instructed, “Okay, young feller, it is your turn now.”

Jim eagerly grabbed the handle and standing on his tiptoes, pushed it down, smiling happily when the water gushed into the trough. He repeated the pumping for as long as he could, but all too quickly his arms and shoulders began to ache. Jim did not want to admit that he was getting tired, but his uncle knew and said, “How about if I do it for a while?”

Once the water neared the top, Jim leaned over cupping some water into his hands. “This is the best tasting water I’ve ever had,” Jim thought to himself. He slurped several handfuls into his dry mouth.

Looking over at his nephew, Leon asked with a twinkle in his eye, “Did you see that fish drop into the water from this here pump?”

“What fish?”

“Why, that fish that came right out of the pump into the trough. I thought sure you would have seen him while you were drinking the water.”

“No, sir. I didn’t see any fish.” Jim wiped his mouth with his shirt sleeve and earnestly looked in the water.

“Well, he must still be in there.” Uncle Leon leaned over the trough looking for the mysterious fish. “Now isn’t that something. I can’t see him anywhere.” He peeked a look at his nephew, who now had eyes as big as saucers. “I wonder if you accidentally swallowed that poor little fish while you were drinking all that water.”

Jim stepped back from the trough and began to rub his stomach. “I don’t think so, sir.” The minutes passed and Uncle Leon continued to wonder out loud what happened to the fish. Jim began to imagine that the fish was swimming in his stomach. “I don’t feel so good,” Jim said as he stretched down on the cool grass.

Seeing that his nephew was fearful and feeling sick, Uncle Leon laid down next to him and pointed up towards the clouds. “Jim, look at that cloud up there. See the little one next to the big puffy cloud?”

He waited until Jim nodded his head and said, “I think so.”

“It kind of looks like a fish, doesn’t it? I wonder if that is the fish that was in the trough.”

Jim looked at his uncle, then up at the clouds, and then back at his uncle who was smiling from ear to ear. Uncle Leon laughed and began to tickle Jim’s stomach. “Or, is that fish still here? Where is that fish?”

Jim laughed and joked right back while he patted his uncle’s stomach. “No, I think that fish is right here!”

Soon they both stopped laughing and just looked at one another. “I hope I don’t tease you too much,” Uncle Leon said.

“Oh no, Sir.” Jim looked at his uncle and went on to say, “I like to tease my younger brothers. Mother is always telling me not to do it too much. She doesn’t want them to cry.”

“Well, I would never want to make you cry.” Uncle Leon put his big hand on Jim’s head. “Do you know why?” Jim slowly shook his head back and forth not wanting his uncle to remove his hand. “I love you too much to ever make you cry for any reason.”

With tears in his eyes, Jim whispered, “I love you, too.”

They spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the sun, the warm breeze, and just being next to one another in the grass, watching the clouds drift by. It was a special day that Jim always remembered with a smile.

I hope you enjoyed Karen’s sweet, heartwarming short story, as much as I did. Check out Karen Ingalls’ Amazon Profile Page where you will learn more about her and find all her books.

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