I recently shared 7 Reasons for Using Videos in Your Social Marketing Campaigns. Many commented that it’s hard using YouTube effectively–a statement I agree with, as I’m pretty inexperienced in its use myself. Which is why I hope you find today’s guest post by Mahendra Bajiya useful! Mahendra is an entrepreneur and blogger who uses YouTube […]
What drives my spirit? That is such a wonderful question. So often we live life in the past, nursing ancient grudges and scarred-over wounds inflicted by those for whom we once cared, or it’s spent reliving some special moment in time when all seemed right in the world. We focus so much on the past—and even the future—that we forget to appreciate the present. As writers, we can use those old wounds as plot lines for another compelling story, a life-affirming essay, or a cautionary tale. As human beings, we must learn to live for today before our time here is finished. We must seek balance. Living life in the here-and-now is what truly drives my spirit. We are not promised tomorrow, and yesterday cannot be relived. But just look at all the inspiration to be discovered today!
Letting Inspiration Take the Wheel
What drives your spirit? It’s a simple enough question—though the answers can be quite complicated. As writers, inspiration is that very substance that leads us on our journey of telling believable stories. But what about those who don’t write?
Inspiration drives my spirit. And not just the writer side of me, either. Through three of my young nieces, I have been inspired to giggle like a schoolboy again. These lovely girls just have that sort of charm. We lost their father—my youngest brother—some years ago. This loss came rather suddenly, and, for the most part, unexpectedly. As a then-forty-three-year-old man, that news knocked a hole in the very center of me. I took the loss rather personally. What the heck were all those prayers for if they’d only gone ignored? And I wasn’t the only one praying for my brother. I went into a dark place afterward, found myself angry and confused. I all but abandoned my prayer life. I mean, what’s the sense of praying if God either won’t listen or just says no? (For the record, I still believe in prayer.)
To say my brother had a talent for making babies would be an accurate statement. He left nine children fatherless when he passed away—including a newborn baby boy who will never know his father. But these girls, they were five, seven, and eight at the time. They knew their father. They would certainly miss him in ways none of us will ever comprehend without having lost a parent at such young years. These same girls are beautiful and silly and kind and so full of life. It’s that silliness that is infectious. They make me laugh. But even more so, they make me giggle—much like a schoolboy. They’ve not forgotten their daddy. They’ve just bounced back the way kids will. They see there is still life left to be lived. They’ve quietly inspired me to follow suit.
They need not be tragic, those circumstances driving our spirits. Some of my greatest inspirations have been found languishing in boxes beneath tables at so many yard sales. A 1965 telephone directory for my home town led to the writing of one of my most-read essays. I mean, think about it: A telephone book. Who writes about that sort of thing?
Consider the lost history found in the pages of that directory and you’ll see where inspiration stirred her magic inside of me. My father, a young newlywed and first-time dad, is forever a nineteen-year-old with his entire future ahead of him between those pages. Restaurants that catered to my parents’ generation are still open for business within those musty pages. Long-dead relatives remain alive at former addresses that, in the real world, no longer exist. This time capsule conjures all sorts of soul-driving inspiration. It can lead one to write essays or short stories based on such a find. It can also inspire a deep inward examination of self. Have I lived up to their legacies? Am I reaching accomplishments of which my lost ancestors would be proud? I think so—at least at this point in my life. See, my grandfather and father, both deceased, were aspiring writers. They found inspiration to craft short stories and, in the case of my grandfather, a memoir of his teen years, working aboard a Mississippi River paddle wheel steamboat. Neither my father nor grandfather ever found fulfillment in seeing their work published. I have to believe they’d both be thrilled to know I succeeded in that area.
I believe inspiration dwells among the living, daring us to seek it, to discover it, to make it our very own, allowing it to drive our spirits to greater heights.
A few years ago, I moved to the country after years of living within the city limits. Night time in the country, out among corn and soy bean fields, is vastly different from night time for city dwellers. In the city, there are lights everywhere, making it next to impossible to look up and admire God’s handy work. But there are no lights—outside of the moon—here in the country. I find myself stepping out to the back patio or to the front porch many nights, just to look up at the millions of stars flung against the expanse of an inky-black sky. It’s a simple pleasure, really, but one I have come to truly cherish. This, too, inspires me. The night sky has a way of making even the biggest soul feel small and insignificant. It puts life and the cares of living into a proper perspective. These are the same stars the ancients gazed upon thousands of years ago. Three wise men searching for the newly-born Messiah used the brightest of these stars to guide their way. Ancient Egyptians built temples and ascribed names to these same heavenly bodies. Sailors relied upon these beacons to lead them to brave new worlds beyond the shores to which they’d been born.
Those stars will still be here long after all of us are dead and forgotten.
Did somebody mention the dead? Yes indeed. Even obituaries offer some of the greatest inspiration to those of us left behind. And you need not have even known the deceased. Obituaries are often small biographies detailing lives lived to the fullest. A few years ago I stumbled across a death notice of a woman named Merrien Josephine Cushman-Vail. Merrien died at age 100. That in itself is quite an accomplishment. One hundred years? Just imagine the things she witnessed during her time on planet Earth. But it’s her childhood story that really grabbed hold of my spirit and demanded an essay from me.
In any good story there is that jumping-off point, that one big moment that sets the stage for what’s to come. For Merrien Josephine Cushman, that big moment came a few weeks before her 14th birthday way back in 1927. The young girl had achieved excellent marks, and because of this, there’d been no need of her presence in class on a fateful May day. She offered to walk her 7-year-old brother, Ralph, to school that morning, the way she normally did. But the boy declined his big sister’s gesture, not wanting the other kids to tease him.
Merrien had busied herself picking flowers when she heard the explosion that ended her little brother’s life.
On May 18, 1927, a disgruntled 55-year-old school board treasurer, angry over his defeat in the spring 1926 election for township clerk, rained mayhem upon the tiny community of Bath, Michigan. Andrew Kehoe had spent the better part of a year quietly hiding dynamite and incendiary pyrotol in the basement of the Bath Consolidated School. A timing device ignited the horror that quiet May morning, killing 45 people, 38 of which were children, while injuring 58.
In today’s world, such acts of inhumanity seem almost commonplace. Grief counselors are often on call to help children deal with the unimaginable. But way back in 1927, there existed no such occupation as grief counselor. Survivors like Merrien were left to deal with the wounds and scars on their own. But deal with it, Merrien did. She went on to enjoy a full and happy life, marrying Clare Vail and raising a family of five daughters and two sons.
“You just have to make up your mind to get through it, if you want to go on,” she told her children whenever they’d experienced tough times. “There’s no other choice.”
I wrote an essay inspired by this amazing woman. And had it not been for her obituary, I may not have found that spark needed to start the creative fire.
A pair of great song writers have claimed dreams as inspiration for some of their master works. Paul Simon tells the story of the way many of his best songs came to him while he slept. He’d wake in the morning and there they’d be, sitting front and center in his mind, just waiting for his guitar to add melody and texture to those words sown like seeds in the night.
Paul McCartney has listed numerous points of inspiration for his immense catalog of music. The song “Yesterday” came to him in his sleep. The melody had such a familiar feel, he became convinced it belonged to some other musician, a song heard on the radio perhaps. The same can be said for another of McCartney’s greatest compositions. But this time a lyric in his song “Let It Be” supposedly came to him in a dream featuring his late mother Mary. According to Sir Paul, he’d been wrestling with the idea of leaving The Beatles. The way he saw it, they’d run their course. Cracks had long formed within the band, causing divisions and hard feelings. Should he stay or should he go? That question found its answer in his mother’s otherworldly admonition to just let it be.
I suppose that’s just the way the soul works in some people. John Lennon’s brilliantly nonsense-laden gem “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” is the result of a simple drawing his young son Julian had conjured of a girl in his class.
George Harrison wrote the beautiful “Here Comes the Sun” one early spring morning while sitting in his garden playing guitar with friend Eric Clapton. When inspiration arrives, greet it with open arms and a ready pen.
Without inspiration, human beings go nowhere, see nothing, and contribute little—if anything at all—to society. In the absence of creativity, the soul withers and dies long before the body will. Think of any single invention man has ever created and there will be some person, notion, or purpose that has inspired the inventor.
What about those creative souls that wow the world before vanishing from our collective conscience? One hit wonders, is what society has branded them. Look at Harper Lee, who wrote one of the greatest novels in the history of writing and then offered nothing else. Sure, there’s a “new” release from the storyteller, though that seems to be a manuscript written before To Kill A Mockingbird.
How many musicians have written that one great song, only to find an empty tank when seeking to create their follow-up? Does inspiration dry up? Does it die? Has it left us for another? Inspiration certainly changes because our appreciation changes. As we grow older, wisdom takes root within us. A subject we may write about as young people may not be something we hold onto any longer as we age. Those songs about young love and partying and living a carefree existence are entertaining when written by a young soul. But let’s face it: The songs Taylor Swift writes and sings would come off as ridiculous coming from an older soul like Loretta Lynn.
Inspiration never dies or leaves us. It changes as we grow up. Those who fail to recognize such changes will eventually wither and fade. We begin to compete with self, attempting to re-capture the same processes that went into those early creations that helped establish who we are as writers or musicians or actors or inventors. An audience, no matter how loyal, will always see when a soul has ceased growing.
A quote from the late author Jackie Collins implores us scribes to write what we know. That sounds fine on the surface. After all, if we are ignorant of a subject, why take the chance of coming off a fool? But if our world is limited due to circumstances beyond our control, our work will reflect that need for experience and thus may be found lacking. Inspiration allows us to step out from under those constraints. It is inspiration that pushes us to investigate a matter. Research is itself a great fuel in driving the soul to create. I knew very little of the Roaring Twenties or Mississippi or New Orleans or jazz music—until inspired to research these subjects for my novel Jazz Baby. The deeper I dug down, the more inspired I became. The past came alive before my eyes. Books and photos and old music recordings sprinkled flavors throughout my imagination, breathing life into the story I intended to tell. I learned about these things so I could write about these things. That’s how creativity works.
A well-told story is, to me, one of the greatest joys on planet Earth. By well-told, I don’t mean proper punctuation or sentence construction or even strong writing mechanics. A well-told story is simply one that is believable. The characters are so real and so vivid the readers begin to care about your protagonist. They begin to despise or pity your antagonist, even viewing that character with suspicion. The story will read as a truthful recounting of some event that has its roots in your spirit, your mind, and no place else. A well-told story will transport us to faraway lands while transforming our own opinions on a matter we’ve maybe never really considered. It will burn itself into the psyche, forever remaining mere steps from our thoughts.
I’ve read several amazing books that remain with me in this fashion: The Poisonwood Bible, Winter’s Bone, The End of Alice. Every so often, a scene from one of these masterpieces will disrupt my thoughts, usually unbidden, and remind me why it is I enjoyed reading that particular work. When that happens, I’ll grab one of those lives from my box of books, and begin again thumbing those pages, sampling portions of brilliance, often discovering some great line or scene I may not have appreciated during that initial reading.
What drives my spirit? Life and the effort required to live it to its fullest.
Greetings, readers. Author S. M. Hope stopped by The Indie Spot to share her thoughts on writing and the creative process involved in getting a book to market.
What inspired you to start writing?
Writing started as a hobby, I never expected a published book at the end. However, the more I wrote, the more passionate I became about what I was creating. I didn’t want to be the only one in the world to know what Kate was going through. I asked a few friends and my mum for their views on my book, and it was from their encouragement that I looked into possibly publishing it.
What did you like to read when you were a youngster?
The one that sticks out the most to me was, when I was very young the teacher used to sit us down on the mat and read to us. The book was the very famous James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. I can still feel the excitement I felt when she would read it to us. She would stop at a place where you really wanted to find out more and I couldn’t wait for the next day so I could find out.
What is the greatest challenge you faced in writing Tainted Jewel?
The sex scenes. I don’t know why they bother me so much. I think it’s a worry knowing your friends and family will be reading your book and you’ve written a scene which does make you feel a little embarrassed. Beem and I have recently shared tweets on this subject. I was writing one particular scene about a sixteen year old boy losing his virginity. The word vagina came up, and I feel it sounds out of place. But I’m struggling with choice of word with which to replace it, as I don’t want the scene to sound too vulgar.
How much research do you do before writing the book?
I didn’t really need to do too much research at the time of writing. It was only little things like, at what stage does a baby hit a certain milestone. When is it illegal to have an abortion? Also, can you open the mouth of a dead body? Things like that. I’d hate the police to come knocking at my door asking for a look at my internet history and them seeing those kinds of things. I think I’d be in a lot of trouble.
What motivated you to write the book Tainted Jewel?
Nothing motivated me more than seeing the pages come together and a complete work of fiction materialised in front of me. Blank pages turned into a story that other people can read and be lost in.
Once written, there are many, many rewards. Not least when a stranger took the time out of her day to email and thank me for writing the book as she hasn’t been able to put it down. It gave her days of enjoyment.
I’ve been completely overwhelmed at the support and kind words I’ve had from readers and also other authors.
Tell us more about Tainted Jewel.
I had an idea that I thought would make a fantastic book, so I put pen to paper – or rather finger to laptop – and that’s how it all started.
Originally, the book was called Diamond In The Rough. However, as the story became complete and I started on the book cover design, I changed the title to the shorter, more catchy Tainted Jewel.
Tainted Jewel is told through the eyes of Katie Reilly, who, at the start of the book, is ten years old. Kate suffers from OCD, and the book shows how this affects her outlook on life and situations in general as we read about her growing up.
The story begins when she is introduced to two brothers, Lawrence and Mike Taylor, and from that day, Kate is obsessed with Mike. At first, she sees him as a father figure. However, as she gets older, her feelings progress into love.
She doesn’t realise until it’s too late exactly who Mike Taylor is. He’s the sidekick of Mr Simpson, the most feared man in Bridgeborough.
How did you choose to write in this particular genre?
Because of the ideas I had in my mind about how the book would play out and eventually end, I knew it was never going to be a fairy tale. So, Crime Drama was the only genre it could fit into. I really love the genre and everyone has such wonderful stories to tell.
Who are some of the authors that inspired you? Favorites?
I was told a couple of times that I write very similar to Kimberley Chambers. I hadn’t read any of her books, so I decided to buy a couple. I read Billie Jo in a couple of days, and whilst I was reading it, I could see exactly where people were coming from. I’ve since done research on Kimberley, and she still writes with pen and paper, never using a laptop (that amazes me, it must take her forever). I love the story she tells on her website. At the age of 36, she was asked by a friend if she wanted to start working in her salon, which meant going back to basics, sweeping the floor. Her answer was, ‘No, I’m thinking of writing a book’, and hey presto look at her now. If that doesn’t inspire writers to prove that if you have a good enough story it can be done, then I don’t know what will inspire you.
How much time do you dedicate to writing on a daily basis? Do you assign daily word counts for yourself?
I don’t dedicate a certain amount of time each day, it’s just when I get time. I could be at work and an idea would pop into my head. I type it out as quickly as I can and email it to myself. Then, when I get home, I work on it making it a much better drawn out scene. I do have a chart which I keep track on my word count, as I won’t stop a draft until I have over 90,000 words. As soon as I put the word count in it tells what percentage I have left to write. Then, when I hit 0% left to write, I take out some scenes and put new ones in.
What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Please, don’t stop. Keep going. You will get there in the end if you want it bad enough. Write for yourself and fall in love with your characters (even the evil ones). Let them become part of your family, and your ideas will soon come flooding to you. This should hopefully stamp out any writers blocks. But most of all enjoy the ride and what will be will be.
It was love that dragged Kate Reilly into the criminal underworld. Once in, it was somewhere she couldn’t easily leave; even if she had wanted to….
Growing up, Kate liked the attention she received from Mike Taylor, the worst of the Taylor brothers, in her mother’s humble opinion.
As a young girl, Kate was always happy to use her ‘magic skills’ at unpicking locks to help Mike and his friends out when they had carelessly locked themselves out of their homes – or even their safes.
As she matured, it finally dawned on Kate that maybe Mike wasn’t the gentleman she had first thought. However by this point, she was hopelessly, obsessively in love with him. What’s more, she was so involved in the criminal lifestyles of Mike and his cohorts that she felt there was no escaping…. And she wasn’t entirely sure she wanted to try.
That is, until the night of her eighteenth birthday. Then her whole world was turned on its head, everything changed that night……. Forever.
Get it at AMAZON
S. M. Hope on TWITTER
August is Watch RWISA Write month. Today, we celebrate author Laura Libricz!
“DENTON’S DEBBY DOLLS”
The lunch bell rings and I set my brush aside, returning the unpainted porcelain Debby Doll head to the tray. A kettle whistles. Sarah runs to make the lunchtime tea.
“Thirty minutes and that’s all!” Mr. Denton barks at her as he hurries towards his production office, whacking his elbow on the filing cabinet as he slams the glass door shut.
The shocked moment of quiet is replaced by the delicate clinking of brushes against glass jars, chairs scraping on the concrete floor, and the idle chatter of the doll painters on their way to the break room.
Do you remember Denton’s Debby Dolls? The ones from the 1947 film “Ten Days Till my Birthday,” where Tammy James plays a little girl who got one for her birthday? Denton’s Debby Dolls Inc. make the dolls the same ever since. Tammy is well into her 80’s but is still loved and remembered for that tearful scene where she unwrapped the Debby Doll on her tenth birthday and said, “Well, gee, Mother, all I ever wanted was a Debby Doll!”
All I ever wanted was a Debby Doll but I didn’t get one on my tenth birthday. That year I moved from the city to Krumville, to Aunt Fay’s, and she said I was too old for dolls. She was a recovering heroin addict who hung photos of herself dressed as a vampire on all the walls. I was not allowed in the kitchen and had to eat my meals in my bedroom decorated with Aunt Fay photos. She said if I wanted a Debby Doll, I should petition the goddess Diana. I thought she was being funny.
Aunt Fay’s house was in the oak forest. She made oak dolls with hair from deer. The deer hair was arranged to look like human hair. She said these were petitions to Diana. Under an oak tree, Aunt Fay had an altar where she buried the dolls. Sometimes she burned them.
There were always gunshots in the oak forest. I never went outside that fall. In the city, there was shooting every Saturday night in our neighborhood and I was never allowed out. I don’t remember my city house much. One day Aunt Fay went outside and never came back in. Child Services came and took me away. I was now a ward of the State of New York.
What luck, I ended up in the same city as Denton’s Debby Dolls. When I turned eighteen, I went to work in the factory and I still do.
“Aren’t you coming to lunch?” Sarah asks.
“I’m working on my doll,” I whisper.
“Don’t let Mr. Denton see you doing that,” Sarah says. “He’s in a bad way today. I heard we’re 500K down this year. We have orders but there’s no stock. We can’t work fast enough.”
“I can tell Mr. Denton that I’m experimenting with new colors on my lunch break, which I am doing.” I stroke my Debby’s porcelain cheek with my pinky. “Look at her complexion. It’s lavender oil and China Pink pigment.”
“She’s not real, you know,” Sarah says. “I’ll bring you some tea.”
“Tea. Thank you.”
A year has passed since I’d first started working on my own Debby. I’d modeled what was to be the hollow shell of her head. Each hand painted layer and each firing was personally carried out by me. Today, I am ready to add the final details and fill her empty eyes. It’s ten days before Christmas. She’ll be my daughter, mine all mine. Mommy loves you, Debby.
There had been a man once, just once. He left a few hairs on my gingham pillowcase. And a legacy. My body changed in ways it had never before; swellings in places that had been unripe. Rosy cheeks, like a Debby Doll. I so wanted the child. Although I could not yet feel the child, I could. The growing presence of another life made me feel otherworldly.
But I was unmarried, alone, and I would lose my job when the baby came. Panic set in. It must have been eight weeks into the pregnancy when the fever came, followed by some mild cramping. During the night the cramping pulsed and intensified until I finally passed out. The next morning, the otherworldly feeling was gone. My unformed child had been born, its life over before it even began.
I forced myself up and out of the house, not wanting to be alone. I was working in the molding department that week and I would bear my child. From Denton’s secret mixture of minerals, bone ash, and alabaster, I poured the liquid clay. Before the first firing, I’d made a small imperfection on her cheek, like a chickenpox scar, so the other workers would reject her. I would always recognize my child. During lunch breaks, I stole moments to paint her face and sneak her head back to the kiln.
You’re here with me now, Debby, forever.
The lavender oil calms me as I blend your complexion to a natural sheen. I can almost feel your heartbeat. Light brown eye brows are added one hair at a time, your sense of humor. Would you like brown eyes like mine? Each brush stroke to your iris gives you another fleck of depth. Two dots of white on the left side of the iris ascertain your personality. I cover your eyes with high-gloss tears and now you have emotions. The creation process is almost finished.
See? I’ve made you a soft pellet body, into which I stitched your preserved mortal remains, hair from your Daddy, and oak bark—my petition to Diana. Your body lies hidden inside the top drawer of my workbench, along with your new gingham dress made from the pillowcase Daddy rested his head on. I forged a certificate from a midwife confirming your birthday, today, and your name, Debby.
Mommy’s here, Debby, don’t worry…
“What are you working on?” barks Mr. Denton. “Ten days before Christmas and you’re messing around with that B-stock? Those get smashed.”
I never saw him come up to my workbench. Debby, don’t cry, I’ll sort Mr. Denton out.
“You have a whole tray with these new dolls that have to be painted!” Mr. Denton’s face ran red. “You’ve been messing with that one since I came in!”
“Sorry, sir, it’s lunch,” I whispered.
Now Debby, be a good girl and get in my top drawer.
“You want to hide the thing as well! Is that a pellet body in there? Are you the one out selling B-stock on the weekends?”
“No, sir, I…experiment.” We may have to make a run for it, Debby.
“So, it is you! I’ve been told there’s a woman on the flea market every weekend with B-Stock Debby Dolls for real cheap. Give me that!”
“No, sir, don’t, you don’t understand…”
“Tea!” Sarah plunks my unicorn mug onto my workbench, brushes my Debby’s head into my top drawer, and slides it shut with her hip. She grabs my hand and pulls me up. “Come on, we got pizza and it’s getting cold.”
August is Watch RWISA Write month. Today, we celebrate author Lynn Hobbs!
by Lynn Hobbs
A booming voice called his name above the chatter of the crowded café. Cordell perched sideways on a swivel stool.
“What’s up?” An older man approached, narrow reading glasses sliding on his nose. His bald head glistened.
“Mr. Moore.” Cordell stood, and they slapped each other on the arm. The older man towered over Cordell’s lanky frame.
“Look at you.” Mr. Moore stepped back, cocked his head to the side, and scanned the younger man. “What’s with the beard?”
“It’s growing.” Cordell gave a half- smile, and motioned toward the stools. “Lunch is on me. Glad you could make it. This hot weather isn’t healthy, is it?”
Mr. Moore chuckled. “No, but summer heat is part of Texas.”
Both ordered the lunch special with iced tea. He glanced at the young man.
“Heard some talk…heard you divorced Twyla.”
“Pretentious female, and all about herself. Guess you know that now.”
“I know it well…and I should have trusted your judgment… not my hormones.”
“Cordell, sometimes no one can tell anyone anything. They have to experience it firsthand for themselves.”
“Oh, it was an experience. I did everything for her.” He frowned at his older friend. “It was never enough, though.”
Mr. Moore grimaced.
Conversation ceased while the waitress set their food on the counter.
“Anything else I can get you?” She yanked two straws from her pocket placing them near their iced tea glasses.
“We’re fine, thank you.” Mr. Moore focused on his friend as she left.
Gazing at the heavy laden plates, Cordell appeared lost in thought, and slowly cut into his chicken fried steak.
“I’m here for you, man.” Mr. Moore spoke in an easygoing manner. “You may have graduated high school three years ago, but I will always be your mentor.” Blending gravy into his mashed potatoes, he waved his fork at Cordell. “Tell me about Twyla.”
Cordell’s shoulders slumped. He glanced at the other customers, and one couple looked in his direction.
“Twyla.” He paused, lowered his voice, and made eye contact with his mentor. “Twyla would not cook. I’d buy something after work, and bring it home. I heard one lie after another. She’d say she didn’t feel good. I didn’t know she stayed up all night, and slept all day. She wouldn’t wash dishes or clothes, wouldn’t pick up after herself…she always had an excuse. After I washed or cleaned, she’d get out of bed and act sleepy saying she felt a little better. Then on weekends, she’d go out with her friends feeling great.”
“Cordell, there is an old saying for your marriage.”
“That’s too much buck for a little sugar.”
“I did try hard to please her…and for what? She never did anything for me.”
The older man gently bit his lip. Leaning forward, he looked straight at Cordell. “Ever consider it was your will to have Twyla, and not God’s will?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Had it been God’s will for you to have Twyla, she would have been a blessing, not a lesson.”
“Wow. What a powerful statement, Mr. Moore.”
“Same principal applies to your money, and your budget. Is it something you want, or something you need? What happens if you over spend on something you want? Something you need in an emergency might not be affordable. You could be broke by then, or your credit rating could hold you back.”
The young man nodded.
“Hear me out, Cordell. I pray for God’s will and guidance in my life. It is as important to me as is the choice between a good life, and an evil one.”
“I appreciate you, Mr. Moore, and I intend to pray like you do.”
“Wonderful. Thank the Lord. I’m happy Twyla is gone.”
“No more women for me. I’m done.”
“I wouldn’t go that far.”
“Nope, not interested.”
“See our waitress taking drinks to the corner table? I think she’s close to your age. Don’t you think so?”
“Her face glows when she talks to customers. Seems genuine, and friendly.”
“She doesn’t know anything about them. Give her time, she’ll be manipulating.”
Mr. Moore flashed Cordell a wide grin. “Easy on assuming, now. They aren’t all like that.”
“Maybe, but I’m still not interested.”
“Here she comes, behave.”
“Sir, may I get you anything else? Would you care for dessert?”
“No, thank you, we are done. I’ll take both tickets.”
She scribbled on the order pad, and handed Cordell two slips of paper. “Hope you enjoyed the meal.”
“It was delicious.” Mr. Moore beamed.
She smiled, hurrying to the other end of the counter.
“So… what did you think about the waitress while she was here?” He pivoted to face Cordell.
“I wondered if I’d ever find a bag of rotten potatoes gooey on her kitchen floor…”
“Shame on you.”
“I found that on mine and Twyla’s kitchen floor, scooted against the wall.”
“Not everyone is nasty. Most are clean.”
Finishing their meal, each rose, and veered toward the cashier. Cordell paid while his mentor stuffed a five dollar bill into the tip jar. They meandered through the crowded café, and Cordell opened the exit door. The outside heat engulfed them.
“Mr. Moore, thanks for meeting me here today.”
“Let’s do this again, same time, same place next week.”
“Cordell, I’ll look forward to it.”
They strolled in opposite directions to their vehicles when the waitress came barging out of the café. She raced toward Cordell.
“Sir, you left your phone on the counter.”
Recognizing his phone she waved high in the air, he stopped.
“Why, thank you.” For the first time, he gave her his full attention noticing her warm, caring eyes. “Thank you, indeed.”
He felt her skin flush as she slipped the phone into his hand. Whirling about, she hastened back inside.
He opened and closed his mouth realizing he didn’t know her name, and knew he’d return.
Sprinting to his car, he drove off with a glance at the café while the waitress lingered on his mind.
It is always an honor to host talented authors here on The Indie Spot. Today’s guest is no exception. Please give a warm welcome to RRBC’s June Spotlight Author, Robert Fear.
Mi blog es tu blog, Robert…
I was born in Leicester, England in 1955. My family moved south to a village in Surrey called South Nutfield when I was eleven years old. We moved into Dawn Cottage and this was where I spent my formative teenage years. During this time I attended Reigate Grammar School, which was a five mile journey by train and bus. It was here that I picked up the nickname of Fred.
In 1974, after gaining three A Levels (English Literature, British Government & Politics and History), I started work at a private bank in the city. I had every intention of working for a year and then going to university. In the end I worked there for three years.
During the summer of 1976 I went on a two week holiday with three mates to the Spanish island of Ibiza. We had a fantastic time and vowed to go back for the summer the following year. Come the next April I returned there on my own, although my mates joined me later in the summer. I ended up working in a bar called Grannies and loved the whole vibe, met plenty of young ladies and had a great time, but didn’t sleep a lot!
I returned to England for the winter and worked twelve hour night shifts at a plastics factory to get more money together for the next summer. In the spring of 1977 I set off again, this time to hitch-hike around Europe. For four months I made my way through Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Greece and several islands. Then I travelled to Italy, France, Spain and back to Ibiza for the last two months of the summer.
It was during this return visit that Fred met Rita and this time when I left Ibiza it was to head for Frankfurt in Germany. I moved in with Rita, who lived with her parents in a house in Ruppertshain, a small village in the Taunus hills. I got work on a building site and then in a Coca Cola factory.
By the spring of 1979 there was enough money in the coffers to fund a trip to the States and Canada. I started in New York where I spent a week before travelling on a three month Greyhound bus pass up the east coast. Then I travelled across Canada, and down the west coast where I stayed in Los Angeles for two weeks. After that I headed across the States to Florida and back up the east coast to end my journey in New York. An incredible round trip.
Back in Germany I got a job as a messenger at the First National Bank of Chicago. Within six months I was promoted to the accounts department as I picked up the language and proved my worth. The travel bug didn’t go away though. I stayed there for fifteen months before heading off again, this time to Asia.
This period is covered by my travel memoir Fred’s Diary 1981: Travels in Asia. It was the only time in my life I recorded almost everything I did, sometimes in excruciating detail. The trip lasted six months and I travelled through Hong Kong, Thailand, India and Nepal.
Returning to Frankfurt in the late summer of 1981 was a shock to the system, a real case of reverse culture shock. Things got back to normality when I returned to the bank and worked there for another five years, becoming group leader of the accounts department. By the time I left my German was fluent.
During this period I lived in Sachsenhausen, the bar and restaurant area of Frankfurt near the Main River, often staying out late and enjoying life. Holiday allowance was generous in Germany and I could take a month of travelling each year. I enjoyed trips to the Canary Islands, Scandinavia and Turkey.
After returning from Turkey in November 1985 my life changed. I got together with the love of my life and in July 1986 I moved to Eastbourne (on the south coast of England) to be with her.
Robert and Lynn
Lynn and I are still together over thirty years later and have lived in the same house since 1988 (the mortgage will soon be paid off!). We got married in Kenya in 1994 and are cat lovers, having had a succession of rescues.
Robert and Jet
The travel bug has never gone away. We have had great holidays in Portugal, Crete, Germany, Australia and the Seychelles. More recently we spent a week in New York in 2015 and a week cruising around Norway in 2016.
I had to start from scratch with my career in England, but found my niche in accountancy and computer software. This provided the opportunity over the last fifteen years to travel with work. I have been all over Europe, as well as Singapore, Australia (for a week!), Ghana (at a Guinness brewery) and Suriname (in the middle of the rain forest).
Social Media Links!
Facebook – fredsdiary1981
Twitter Handle – @fredsdiary1981
Website – http://www.fd81.net/
Some interesting tidbits here from the blog of Joseph Ajlouny.
These items can be described as “things I discovered while looking up other things.” I have tons of them and I will continue to supplement this compilation from time to time. They are in no particular order but each is a great conversation starter. The only thing they have in common is that they are not commonly known, and that’s what makes them fascinating. I have many more such items so I will continue to supplement this compilation when the spirit moves me. So read on and you will learn things you never knew or thought you would.
Giraffes have the same number of bones in their neck as do human beings: six.
Jackie Robinson is well-known as the first African-American to play baseball in the Major Leagues, beginning in the 1947 season as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. But what is almost completely unknown is the…
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