Saturday, February 23, 2013

Where There's Smoke, There's Firemen

I have another Flash Fiction story I'd like to share. It was fun to write. If anyone would like to share a short story or poem on Constantine's blog, please contact me.

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Firemen
     “Ohmigod!” I vaulted off the couch by the menacing sound of an alarm. The room reminded me of the dance club from last night where I gyrated provocatively, riling up Eugene to the point of madness. Only this time there wasn’t a smoke machine, it was my mom’s kitchen. The first thing I needed to do was to murder that alarm before one of the neighbor’s called the fire department—again!
     I tackled a chair, skidding it along the linoleum and climbing up on the seat, I turned off the contraption. “Mom’ll kill me!” I hopped down and darted to the oven in panic mode.  
      My first mistake was to lean into the oven and pull open the door; a black cloud exploded like an atomic bomb. If Eugene saw me now he’d cackle like a hyena. 
     I waved my arms like a raving lunatic, and an instant burn hit my eyes making them water uncontrollably. I inhaled a whiff of residue, clogging my throat. I sputtered and coughed.
     Scrunching my eyelids tighter than a drum, I groped for the hand towel which normally hangs out on the counter. I clutched the terrycloth and began to flap the air, dispersing smoke to every corner of the apartment. I took a break from flapping the towel to mop the spilling tears from my face. I then jerked to the windows over the sink and cranked them to their fullest. I heard the pitter-patter of rain drops, but I didn’t care.
     “Why do these things always happen to me,” I cried.” Then sprinting to every window, I pulled them open, and with towel in hand I directed the smoke like a traffic cop.
     I headed back to the kitchen, it looked like waves churning in the ocean. “UGH! What time is it,” I said out loud like I was expecting someone to answer me. I grabbed to two hot pads and slipped out the pan with the charred beef; it looked like a shriveled hockey puck.
     Suddenly a flash of light seared through the room, and I heard the clap of thunder. The pitter-patter of rain evolved into a monsoon. Buffeting currents rattled the windows and a deluge of water came sifting through the screens. 
     I dropped the pan and hustled to the casements over the sink. “No, no, no, this is impossible,” my sobbing carried on the breezes as raindrops splashed my face. I cranked the windows inward, leaving only a crack for the smoke to escape. Then swiveling to the living room, it looked like an indoor fountain. “This can’t get any worse."
     As I was tugging on the front window I heard the sirens. Within minutes I saw the flashing red and blue lights of the fire engine stopping at the curb. 
     “How embarrassing.” I turned my back to the window and padded to the entryway and flung open the door. The hallway was hazy with gray smoke, and some of the neighbors were walking up and down looking for the source.
     “It’s okay,” I yelled. “The buildings not on fire—just my roast.” I snorted a chuckle, but they weren’t amused as I watched them shaking their heads and muttering under their breaths.
     It’s like the firemen knew exactly where to go. I saw three men tramping down the hallway right to our door. 
     “What’s it this time, Tatterena?” One of the cute officers asked me. “Bacon, burgers, meatloaf?”
     “Roast beef…” I lowered my eyes, mortified.
     The three men barged into our apartment looking around. “It could be worse,” said the squatty guy with horned rim glasses.
     “I don’t think we’re needed here, guys,” said the cute one. “I’ll meet you back in the truck. I think it’s time I talk to Tatterena about the hazards of cooking grease.”
     After the adorable fireman left, I pranced around the room on cloud nine. That's when mom walked in pinching her nose from the onslaught of smoke inhalation. “Not, again, Tatty.” She shook her head, discouraged. Though, when she noticed my expectant eyes she asked, “Why so happy? Because I’m not feeling it right now.”
     “Isn’t it a wonderful day?” I said somewhat delirious, in a sing-songy voice. “I have a date, I have a date.” 
     Floating to my bedroom I shrugged on my new jeans and sweater and would wait for the arrival of fireman Ramsey. I thought of the sparkle in his eyes when he said, “Since dinner is ruined why don’t I take you out for a bite.” Could the day get any better?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Igniting the Fire!

A couple of years ago when I was banging my head on the computers keyboard, my daughter introduced me to a teaching book on writing that I found great comfort and inspiration for my style of creativity: 

I read,  'I can only see a short distance into my story. It's like driving your car in the dark with the headlights on. I can only see so far into the light as to the path I'm taking.' (Not exact quotes from the book) That little phrase helped me in more ways than one. 

 However, many times I've veered off the path onto another journey or hit a bump in the road or fell into a crater! 

I've read about authors creating outlines for their novels and that truly amazes me. Because my headlights are usually spearing through a fog or a smattering of snowflakes. And I thought I'd never accomplish writing a novel without a clear cut outline of some kind. I was so wrong.

I see my creative mind as a spark igniting, and I try my best to add fuel to the fire. Oftentimes the fire just smolders and I get brain freeze. Then one hallelujah day the words coalesce and the spark roars into a bonfire. 

With my debut novel, Wickedly They Come is in it's first round of edits. I'm clearly in the beginning stages of becoming a published author. With each written word I can only hope in achieving confidence and the acclaimed status of being called a good author.     

Thursday, February 14, 2013

St. Valentine's Day - Just another day!

I like Valentine's Day! I loved exchanging those cute little animated cards in elementary school. 

Remember when it was called St. Valentine's Day? How'd we lose the St.? All the hype is kind of interesting, I think. And it makes me laugh. We all need a good laugh. I don't binge or give in to the day, it's just another day. 

In my experience, I've seen guys get freaked-out with Valentine's Day. Thousands of thoughts start rolling around in their pea brains  like: 'Do I have to get my girl something?' or 'Geez, I don't have any money, do I still have to get my friend something?' And commercialism doesn't help the situation. Every single jewelry commercial advertises you're a scumbag if you don't buy your wife, girlfriend, or significant other a diamond something or other. That's the rub!!!

If you have a significant other, love just being together, even if it means sitting in front of your television set eating popcorn and enjoying a movie. Or if you are dreaming of that special someone indulge in a big bowl of ice cream and keep dreaming, your day will come!

Valentine's Day is pure Love. We should Love each and every day! Make it a daily event! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Guest: Valerie Beth Gilbert

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! It is my pleasure to announce my exuberant guest author,               Valerie Beth Gilbert!

Taylor Jones says: Valerie writes in a way that you almost feel you are there, walking beside her in her journey. She is a profound writer with heart and soul. Raving Violet is a book you just won't want to put down. I loved reading this book. I'm giving it 4.5 stars
Regan Murphy says: What a delightful book! Raving Violet is a great read. It's witty, warm, moving, uplifting, and just downright fun. It's also intelligently written and thought-provoking. I'm giving Raving Violet 4.6 stars.

Firstly, how are you surviving the weather in NYC between hurricane sandy and now this blizzard? 
 And what was the most heroic scene or instance you've experienced through it all? 

Brrr…!  Well, you caught me!  I am wearing tights, socks, pants, slippers, hat, scarf, shirt, sweater, a CAPE and gloves (with fingers cut off so I can type).  Does that give you a good idea how cold it is in my apartment?  And that’s with the heat on!  I’m afraid my apartment closely resembles a meat locker in winter.  Perhaps it is why I am so “well preserved”. 

I get a little stir crazy when I can’t get outside, so often I resort to walking up the ten flights to my apartment.  It gives me a little workout.  I took my dog out briefly yesterday but she was shivering within minutes, even with her little coat on.  So, we abandoned the “outing” idea.  Honestly, growing up in New York City, as I did, it was a hell of a lot worse.  We had blizzards all the time.  When we had snow days at school it’s because snow literally shut the city down. There were piles and piles and feet and feet of snow.  People freak out now when there’s an inch or two of snow.  They’re such sissies. 

However, it is decidedly warmer (except in my apartment) than it was decades ago.  Global warming is a very real phenomenon.  I do not believe that man has caused it. I understand it is a natural pattern in the Earth’s cycles.  We’re ultimately heading toward another ice age (in thousands of years) But this is what happens first.  The planet warms up.  Now, is our crappy pollution and abuse of the planet exacerbating the greenhouse effect?  Yes, it is.  So if people want to believe that we’re the cause of global warming, that’s fine with me, because we need to fix our selfish, stupid, toxic practices, and fast.  Clean, free energy is a very real possibility.  It exists already.  Visionary genius/scientist Nikola Tesla figured it out 100 years ago.  We need to stand up to the oil companies and corporations supporting the status quo (i.e. their continued greed at all environmental and human costs) and insist on clean, humane, commercial, corporate, and personal standards so that we can clean up this toxic mess we’re swimming in.

Since I’m on my soap box, I’d like to add that for both spiritual and scientific reasons, I believe coastal areas the world over are at risk.  The weather patterns are becoming more erratic.  Hurricane Sandy and this recent blizzard are but tiny whispers of what may come because of rising water levels and warming temperatures.   I can only repeat what I heard, move 200 feet above sea level, and get away from coastal areas.  If you’re in an area that was recently flooded, it is prudent to relocate, not rebuild.  I read that 50 years from now New York City is going to be abandoned.  The flooding will continue, and people will get tired of recovering and rebuilding every year.  Personally, I want off the island (of Manhattan) Get me some paddles! 

Regarding heroic scenes, I haven’t seen any.  However, I endeavor on a daily basis to be a good neighbor, a kind person, conscious, aware and compassionate.  So that when I walk down the street I try to engage people lovingly, whether it be a gentle smile, or simply acknowledging the service people who work in my neighborhood whom many people ignore outright since they’re just, “the help”.  They are our brothers and sisters.  If we all endeavored to be kinder, gentler, softer, slower, more patient and loving, we wouldn’t need as many heroic acts.  I think being kind, loving and compassionate on a daily basis is an act of heroism.  It will always remain unsung.  To be kind, gentle, aware and helpful is one of the most powerful gifts we all have to give.  Talk about melting ice!  That’s a global warming we all dearly need.  One of the Heart. 

I’ve read Debbie Christiana and Nana Prah's guest author interviews and I found a great confidence of personality in Valerie Beth Gilbert, what, if anything, makes you tentative or doubtful?

Ah, the Achilles Heel!  You’re here to “find me out”.  Actually, I do write about my vulnerability, my pain, my fears.  They have been very real in this lifetime, as they are for most humans.  Especially when we live in a world where fear and insecurity have been specifically inculcated by our media, governments, drug companies and churches to keep us small, fearful, insecure, unbalanced and needy.  I do believe there’s a dark conspiracy element to this, however, on a daily basis, it’s our job to fight those fears and slay the dragons.  We are bigger than they are. Have you heard the acronym for fear:  False Events Appear Real?  Well, I heard another great acronym from Neal Donald Walsch, author of one of my favorite books, “Conversations with God”, Feeling Excited And Ready (he said it in the movie INFINITY: The Ultimate Trip, about life after death, which I highly recommend.)  It is through the power of our mind, will, and understanding that we transform fear into a wisp of smoke.  We are powerful!  It is so important to learn, remember, contemplate, and broadcast that.  It’s not how most people think.  And, by the way, inflated egos or narcissistic people are not in their power.  True self-confidence has an unbeatable peace, beauty and benevolent strength to it.  Confidence simply means, “with faith”.

So, let’s deal with my foibles…let’s say I get jealous.  There’s something I want, which I feel I should have and even that I will have, but somehow, I still, “don’t have”.  I could question myself,  “Maybe I’ll never have it!  How come they have it?  Why don’t I have it?  What am I doing wrong that I don’t have it?  What do I have to do to have it?” It really doesn’t matter what “it” is, does it?  The implication here, ultimately, is that there is something wrong with me and what I’m doing (or not doing) to produce the unwanted results.  It’s a condemnation or judgment against myself.  And that’s why I feel bad.  All because of the beliefs I’m choosing to hold about myself.  These are beliefs, not facts.  Remember that distinction.

The way I combat the blues, the screaming mimis, insecurity, anxiety or doubt (whatever you want to call it, it’s all discomfort, being out of sync with the self) is to acknowledge the energy of it, even if I’m not sure why it’s there or what it is. And then I take action.  The action could be crying.  It could be napping (sometimes sleep just washes the “uck” off me) I might journal.  I might color in one of my many coloring books (a very zen hobby for me, in fact, any hobby can be a zen, centering experience if you approach it with the right focus and attitude.)  I might go out and take a walk.  Or walk up ten flights to burn off energy. 

Let’s take yesterday, for example (specificity is SO important in understanding ourselves).   I slept well.   I’d been out late the night before to see a play.  A friend had cancelled coming in to see me from New Jersey because of the snow.  So I had no social engagements.  Which is often the case for me.  And I live alone.  So I’ve had to figure out how to make being alone work for me for many years.  

I had ants in my pants.  The sun came out, but where was I going to go?  I didn’t want to shop.  Shopping is a default hobby for far too many people, it contributes to our debt, depression, and landfill problems.  It’s a really quick “fix” with lots of associated liabilities.  So, I prayed.  I am big on spirituality, so I prayed, “Please help me have a good, happy and productive day.  Cause I’m feeling restless!”  A friend called from England and I enjoyed a nice chat with her.  I was already feeling better.

I then chose a very small activity, walking two blocks in opposite directions to check out semi-permanent “natural” hairdyes.  I’m bored with my current routine and am contemplating a violet rinse so I can coordinate with my new book, RAVING VIOLET.  I walked to my local health food store, and my local Whole Foods supermarket.  I purchased nothing.  But I got a modicum of fresh air and sunshine.  As I walked around, I endeavored to slow down (a behavior not usually seen in Manhattan) and to literally stroll, so that I could really take in the people around me, look at them, and smile.  I chose to feel and radiate peace, even though most of ‘em were too busy racing around with wrinkles on their brow to notice me in my pink parka and rose-covered snow boots. 

I topped this riveting routine off with the purchase of several cans of sale tuna for my sick cat, who relishes this treat, then walked the ten flights upstairs so I could burn off some of my nervous energy.  At this point it was already gone, but I could still use the exercise. 

My healing for the day was complete.  I got through my earlier anxiety handicap with the smallest of remedial measures. Not one pill was popped.  (I never do)  I take one hour at a time.  One minute at a time.

Another great anxiety fixer is to clean your frickin’ house.  Sometimes I’ll feel overwhelmed by things, papers, in particular.  I keep so many scraps of paper, notes, recipes, and ideas.  In the long run, being surrounded by these piles of pulp, no matter how “important,” they seem, just drags me down.  So, I took action, and cleared the mess.  And don’t forget vacuuming and straightening up!  Sometimes we feel overwhelmed because things are out of control.  Decisive action is required to bring things back into balance.  The Salvation Army is picking up five bags of “stuff” from me this week.  Clean and clear, kids! 

Bottom line, we all have shit that gets us down.  I’m happier than I’ve ever been because every step of the way I’ve looked at my shadow.  I’ve owned my anxiety, fear, depression, sadness and anger.  And I’ve steadily built a new empire of Yes Valerie, Empowered Valerie, Beautiful Valerie.  She now stands where Depressed, Sad, Insecure Valerie once lurked.  They can’t both inhabit the same spot.  As you move toward your wants, your fears and insecurities melt away in the face of your true power.  But this power must always be realized through action.  You can’t think it into reality.  You’ve got to put your money where your mouth is. 

You’ve mentioned, “I never wanted to be a writer,” now that you’re a published author, are you happy and content with this new path? And will you continue paving a series of books?

I am so thrilled, happy and grateful to be a writer.  It is an amazing accomplishment to have a product that I am proud of.  I recently celebrated a landmark birthday.  For several centuries now, I’ve wanted to be happily married with a family in a beautiful home “somewhere not New York.” That dream has yet eluded me, though I keep hoping it will manifest in the next twelve minutes or so.  Because I am still single, living in the same apartment for many, many years, and on a tight budget until I receive proceeds from the sale of my new book, it’s possible I could have felt very dejected by this “big” birthday.  But I had my book.  And my book is my baby.  My family.  My creation.  It “completes” me.  And yet, I produced it, so, “I complete me”.  Sorry, Tom Cruise. 

This is the very stuff that I write about.  Loneliness has been my cross to bear.  It’s also produced my greatest gift, self-sufficiency and inner peace.  I lost my parents early in life and I’ve wanted a family to fill those holes ever since.  I believed I would feel better “when…”  When I was married.  When I was successful.  When I had a beautiful home.  More money.  Sound familiar?  This is the game we all play.  We believe relief comes from the product.  Relief is ours for the having right now if we decide that we are okay, whether or not we get what we want.  That doesn’t mean to stop going for what you want, but you don’t have to attach your well-being to its procuring.  Make it a want, not a need.  There’s a huge difference between the two. 

You can separate the feeling (happy) from the event (getting what you want), and herein lies our great power as Human Beings.  Once you realize that you can be happy whether or not you have what you want, you’re in the cat-bird seat.  Then you’re free.  That’s enlightenment.  You live in this world but not of it.  I’m not saying its easy.  I’m saying its possible.  And the reward is great.  The reward is liberation. 

I am happy, grateful, self-contained and I have “completed myself” without a husband, kids, success, all the accoutrement.  And yet I will still yell out to spirit (yes, even yesterday) “Where’s my goddamned husband?!  How many more goddamned hoops do I have to jump through?”  Listen, I’ve come this far, I can make it a few more days, weeks, months.  If it’s years, so be it.  And maybe I’ll never get married, move, have kids, get rich.  It’s important to look that possibility in the face, too.  If that’s the case, can I still be happy?  The answer is yes.  How do I know?  Because I’m happy now.  When I yell at God (she and I are tight) she knows I’m doing it for theatrical effect.  I’m just having a little karmic temper tantrum.   I am human, after all.  And there is no shame in that.  No shame at all. 

This was a very long-winded way of saying that I am incredibly proud of Raving Violet, which means, I am very proud of myself.  No husband, child or house could give me the satisfaction of what this book gives me.  It represents an act of power.  It is the result of ACTION, of bold action over the course of time that ultimately produced beautiful results.  If/when I enjoy the relationship I’ve long waited for, it will produce other, beautiful fruits and blooms.  But am I ever proud of myself?  Yes, I am!  It was my pain and experience solo on the road of my life that enabled me to create this product.  This vision of Raving Violet-ness. 

Life conspired to create the perfect circumstances for my product to emerge.  Just like a coal mine produces diamonds (wait a minute, diamond mines produce diamonds, but you get my point, right?)  Pressure over time coupled with endurance and persistence produces diamonds.  Irritation (sand in the oyster) produces pearls.  If we stop bitching and get just the smallest bit philosophical, the rewards are great, indeed.  There’s no other way you can get to the finish line.  You have to run the race.  

For someone so vital, do you find the editing and revisions tedious? Or does it make you thrive?

Love it.  As I’ve become a better writer, I find it a delightful process of refinement, of focused attention.  Like baking a cake.  First, the foundations, ingredients, labor, mixing, heat, and time.  Editing is frosting the cake.  It’s still a job, but you’re kind of home free by the time you get there.  Unless you’re making one of those crazy-ass cakes on a TV show! 

For such a diversified person, what other goals or accomplishments do you hope to achieve in the future?

I would like to help make the world a happier place.  I believe we do it person by person.  So, as I continue to heal, improve, get happier and healthier, I shine my light on the next guy, whether through my words, my smile, or simply by being a happy person on this planet.  When you think of how misery spreads like a toxin, consider the antidote:  Your Joy.  Happiness Heals.  Joy is Sacred.  Don’t Postpone Joy.  These are my commandments. 

If you become a happier person, a more loving and patient parent, child, friend, employee, boss or sibling, you increase the light and love on this planet.  You increase your Spiritual Light Quotient.  And it’s contagious.  Love is contagious.  Happiness is contagious.  Happy people are loving people.  The best thing you can do to help the world is to become happier yourself.  Like when you’re “in love”, you love everyone, right?  You’re nicer to everyone because you see the world through Love’s eyes (which are God’s eyes) because you are in that state of “love.”

I suspect I’ll teach someday.  I led guided meditation/psychic development class for years.  Because of my experience as a performer, my social skills, and my HUMOR, I have a natural ease with people.  I’m also intensely private, and this is where writing comes in.  I like to be alone.  I like quiet.  My partner will have to be a self-contained man who also likes to be alone at times. 

I will continue to write, and yes, teach.  I will teach the stuff I’m yakking about today with you!  It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.  God is in the details.  God is in Us. 

Thank you for this beautiful opportunity to share my heart and mind with you and your readers.   Blessings to all.  Remember, You Are the Blessing.   We are all God’s Ambassadors on this planet.  It’s an important job.  ©2013

Raving Violet is available in print and e-book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Black Opal Books.  E-book from SmashWords, KOBO, and                        

I'd like to personally thank Valerie for being an exceptionally brilliant guest on my blog, and I highly agree that God is not only with us, but in us!! I wish Valerie great success in every aspect of her future endeavors!!!Guest Author: Valerie Beth GilbertGuest: Valerie Beth Gilbert

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Guest Author - Julie Flanders

I am so pleased to have as my very first guest, Julie Flanders. A rising author whose debut novel, 
Polar Night will be released on February 7th.

Julie, tell everyone something about yourself.

I’m a huge animal lover and, while I’ve always loved to write, I didn’t start taking my writing seriously until I started volunteering as a writer for Best Friends Animal Society back in the summer of 2010. I loved volunteering for Best Friends, as I got to meet wonderful people doing amazing things for animals all over the country. The experience also helped me to gain confidence as a writer. I was a nervous wreck when my first article was published on their website, but I got such great feedback right from the start that it I realized I didn’t have any reason to be nervous. That was such a wonderful experience for me, and I’m still very proud of the articles I wrote. I’m also still a big supporter of Best Friends, as I love the work they do for animals. I’ve been around animals all my life, and can’t imagine life without them. I currently share my home with a goofy black poodle/spaniel mix named Clancy and a feisty tabby cat named Nate.

What was your inspiration for your debut novel, Polar Night?

I had a dream one night that stuck with me into the following day, and eventually it led me to the story of Polar Night. I can’t explain why, because the final story is nothing like the dream, but that dream was what started the ball rolling. The dream was about a trip across the Atlantic on an ocean liner, and the final story is about a detective in Fairbanks, Alaska. As I said, the two are nothing alike! But somehow one thing led to the other.

What was the time frame in perfecting your novel?

Polar Night took me about 6 months to complete.

How did you fare in the querying process?

Not too well! For one thing, I thought the query letter was the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to write. I can’t even say how many times I started writing only to delete the letter and start over again. When I finally had a letter written, I sent it out to a few agents to test the waters. I didn’t have any luck, so I started tweaking the letter. I finally decided to send it out to some small presses that didn’t require representation and that was when I finally found some success. I signed a contract with Ink Smith Publishing back in August of 2012.

Are you working on a project at the present time?

I am working on revising and editing the project I wrote for National Novel Writing Month back in November. The novel is called The Ghosts of Aquinnah, and takes place on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, which is located off the coast of Masachusetts. My father’s family goes back generations on the Vineyard, and I have been going there since I was a child. I love the island and it’s been fun to try to capture it in my new novel. I still have a great deal of revising to do on this project though before I am ready to send it out into the world.

Thanks so much Cathrina for having me on your blog today, and for helping me spread the word about my debut novel Polar Night! 

And Thank You, Julie, for sharing, and I wish you the greatest success!!!

Book Blurb: When Detective Danny Fitzpatrick leaves his hometown of Chicago and moves to Fairbanks, Alaska he wants nothing more than to escape the violence and heartbreak that left his life in pieces. Numbed by alcohol and the frozen temperatures of an Alaskan winter, Danny is content with a dead-end job investigating Fairbanks' cold cases. That all changes when a pretty blond woman goes missing on the winter solstice, and Danny stumbles upon some surprising connections between her disappearance and that of another Fairbanks woman three years earlier. Forced out of his lethargy, Danny sets out to both find the missing woman and solve his own cold case.

The investigation points Danny towards Aleksei Nechayev, the handsome and charming proprietor of an old asylum turned haunted tourist attraction in the Arctic town of Coldfoot. As he tries to find a link between Nechayev and his case, Danny's instinct tells him that Nechayev is much more than what he seems. 

Danny has no idea that Nechayev is hiding a secret that is much more horrifying than anything he could ever have imagined. As his obsession with finding the missing women grows, Danny finds his own life in danger. And when the truth is finally revealed, the world as he knows it will never be the same.

 BioJulie Flanders is a librarian and a freelance writer who has written for both online and print publications. She is an avid animal lover and shares her home in Cincinnati, Ohio with her dog and cat. Her debut novel Polar Night, a suspense thriller with a supernatural twist, is now available from Ink Smith Publishing. Find Julie online at her blog, and on TwitterGoodreads, and Facebook.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Withered Bones

I've recently become fascinated with Flash Fiction: Enthralling short stories with under 1000 word counts. It's amazing what writers can accomplish within a few short paragraphs to catch the reader. Below is an example of one Flash Fiction story. Of course, it's mine. However, if anyone would like to post your flash fiction story on my blog, feel free to contact me. 
Hollywood's affinity for remaking old movies is widely known, read and see if you recognize my remake with a twist. Hope you enjoy my flash fiction story.

Withered Bones
       Tessa eased into the overstuffed chair, strategically half-hidden behind the curtains in front of the picture window. She ached from hours spent at the computer putting the finishing touches on her murder mystery novel, a sequel to her first publication. Years of hard work had finally paid off.
       Gazing out of the second story window, Tessa watched as evening invaded the sky. She slanted her head into the curtains, dust tickled her nose. The glass overlooked a garden court which connected two low-rise buildings. Temperate currents shifted the cotton curtains bringing with them varied sounds of apartment dwellers. 
       Tessa craned her neck to see Lorraine Polk’s terrier digging in Mrs. Birken’s flower patch.
       “Shoo,” Mrs. Birken yelled at the dog waving her arms. She was leaning out of her first floor window. “Lorraine get your damn dog out of my garden!” She screamed. “Next time I see your dog digging in my flowers I’m gonna strangle it!”
       Lorraine’s second floor window slid open and she leaned out. “Elvira, you old coot. Leave my dog alone.”
       Tessa could easily see Lorraine breeze through her apartment door. Seconds later she was on the outside porch calling her dog. With the terrier in her arms, she turned to see Elvira glaring from the glass. Lorraine’s hand signal was evident, Tessa snickered.
       As darkness reigned, showers of light spilled from dozens of rectangular windows banding the courtyard with an insipid glow. Tessa sat in semi-darkness, happy to gather intrigue for her next novel by viewing her neighbors. Peeling her eyes from the scene, she took inventory of the end table beside her.
       Tessa smiled. Before departing, her assistant had supplied her with a hot cup of tea still furling with white steam and a plate of cookies. Just within reach were her father’s spy glasses. She stretched her body sideways and gripped the leather case with shaky hands. 
       Tessa’s fingers fumbled with the bindings on the binoculars. She held the lenses to her eyes and checked on the Rusoff’s apartment, three windows to the right of Polk’s. The Rusoff’s had the propensity of sleeping with the curtain’s open, and Evie liked to read in bed well into the night. Last week, Tessa’s heart skipped a beat when she spied Evie reading her newly released novel, The Boning Knife. Truthfully, Tessa felt sorry for the miserable, quarrelsome couple. Their apartment had been silent for days; Evie was presumably out of town for some undisclosed reason.
       As usual, Adolph Rusoff was at the kitchen table sharpening his cache of lethal looking knives. His face twisted, he seemed to relish the gleaming metal as he sliced through the meat bone without resistance. Tessa shuddered.  Focusing the binoculars, Tessa observed a book on the table in front of Adolph, it was The Boning Knife.
        She should be thanking Adolph and his thick Russian accent; The Boning Knife was fictionally based on the Rusoff’s. Tessa had spun a grisly tale: A Russian Immigrant married a heinous girl for convenience. Enduring two years of a wretched relationship the Russian had disposed of his wife. Utilizing the bathtub, the Russian butchered her into tiny sections, and progressively stuffed body parts into the food disposal. After meticulously grinding up her bones, he’d buried the shards into the garden.
       Tessa noticed a light switch on in the corner apartment. Her binocular eyes eagerly looped to Hogan Black. Hogan ripped off his tie, shirt, and unbuckled his belt and let his trousers drop to the floor, blue boxers hugged his tight rump. Tessa breathed heavily. Her lancing gaze adhered to the defined specimen strutting to his weight machine. Hogan’s tendency to work-out on a daily basis was a precious gift for Tessa.
       One day she’d met him in the courtyard. Hogan was amiable and ruggedly handsome and Tessa had fallen madly in love. A low purr rumbled in her throat as she watched him. Her nights were filled with dreams of Hogan.
       Thinking of dreams, Tessa yawned. She was exhausted.
       She scanned over to the Rusoff’s apartment. It was pitch dark and the bedroom curtains were uncharacteristically closed. A flash attracted Tessa’s eyes to their kitchen window. A flaming match glinted off Adolph’s wire-rimmed glasses. He was sitting at the table lighting a cigarette. He was smiling in her direction. She flinched and dropped the binoculars.
       Tessa’s arthritic hands groped nervously for her metal walker. With great exertion, she lugged upward and hobbled her withered bones to bed.