Posted in Short Story Sunday, Writing

Short Story Sunday 170: Pumpkin

Short Story: "Pumpkin" | Flash Fiction

            Anna pushed the stroller along the pumpkin patch as her eight-month-old son napped. As she paced around hoping to keep him asleep, she watched her husband and her five-year-old daughter wander around the many pumpkins for sale.

Anna’s daughter, Victoria, had never picked out her own pumpkin before. She was too young at the age of one, didn’t understand what was going on at the age of two, and she had a terrible cold when she was three and four. It was the weirdest thing and Anna expected the worst this year, but she was happy that Victoria was finally able to pick out her own pumpkin. And Victoria sure was excited!

She waddled around the many pumpkins looking thoroughly at each one. Parker, Anna’s husband, followed closely behind waiting for their daughter to finally pick one out.

“What about this one?” he picked up a small one. It was a good size for Victoria to carry all on her own.

Victoria tilted her head to the side staring at the pumpkin. She was thinking deeply about whether she wanted it or not. Finally, she shook her head. “Nah,”

“Why not? This one is cute.” Parker said.

Victoria ignored him and kept on walking. Anna chuckled from the sidelines.

“Okay, well then how about this one over here?” Parker picked up another one. It was the same size, but it was more round like a circle rather than an oval like the other one he picked up.

Victoria turned around and looked at it. She tilted her head to the side again in wonderment. Anna stifled a laugh. Did her daughter always tilt her head like that when she was deep in thought? Who did she get that one from?

“Nah,” Victoria said coldly. She abruptly turned around and kept walking.

Parker sighed and put down the pumpkin. He looked at Anna and shrugged his shoulders.

“Don’t rush her. This is a very crucial decision.” Anna said with a smile.

Parker nodded, but he continued to look for more pumpkins. He spotted a white one and pointed to it. “Hey, Victoria, look at that white one!”

Victoria stopped and stared at it in confusion. “That’s not a pumpkin.”

“What are you talking about?” Parker asked. “Of course it is.”

Victoria shook her head. “Pumpkins are orange.”

“Not all pumpkins.”

“Pumpkins are orange.” She said again and walked away.

Anna burst out laughing. Parker turned his attention and narrowed his eyes at his wife. “She sure told you!” Anna said.

“She takes after her mother.” Parker smirked.

“Good,” Anna replied bluntly.

Victoria continued to weave in and out all of the pumpkins. Parker followed along not bothering to point out any more pumpkins. He obviously had no idea what his daughter wanted. Well, he knew she wanted an orange pumpkin at least.

Victoria gasped with a grin spread across her face and she broke out into a run. She tripped a couple of times over some of the pumpkins, but she never fell down. Parker watched her get farther away, but wasn’t worried as the patch wasn’t that big. He couldn’t lose sight of her.

“Victoria,” he called out to her, “where are you going? The smaller pumpkins are over here.”

Victoria stopped and pointed to one right next to her. “I want this one!”

Parker’s jaw dropped. The pumpkin was the same size as his three-foot daughter. Why on earth did she want a pumpkin the same size as her? He thought she was going to want to carry it around with her. She couldn’t carry that! Would Parker be able to carry it? He had no idea.

“This is perfect!” Victoria cheered jumping up and down.

As Parker got closer to her he realized that she wasn’t wrong. The pumpkin was, to say the least, pretty perfect. It was the ideal circle, and very smooth to the touch. It was a bright orange color, too, so of course Victoria wasn’t going to shun it.

“How are we going to get that one home?” Parker asked.

“You carry it.” Victoria shrugged.

Parker sighed. Well, he didn’t go to the gym every morning for nothing.

Parker squatted and wrapped his arms around the pumpkin. He grunted as he lifted it off of the ground. “Watch out, Victoria. If I drop this, I don’t want to squish you.”

Victoria cheered and ran back to her mother. Anna stared at Parker with wide eyes.

“You’re letting her get that pumpkin?” she asked.

“This is the one that she wanted.” Parker groaned. He tried to shift his weight to get a better grip on the pumpkin, but it was like trying to hug a sumo wrestler.

“Where are we going to put it?” Anna asked.

“On the front porch,” Parker stated.

“But how are we supposed to carve it?”

“On the front porch,”

“We’re going to just sit out on the front lawn with knives and carving tools and just let the neighbors watch us carve a humongous pumpkin?”

“Anna,” Parker grunted, “if I drop this pumpkin, that won’t be the only thing that will smash.”

Anna looked down at Victoria who was grinning from ear to ear. No, they couldn’t allow this pumpkin to break or else they’ll break their daughter’s heart.

“You’re right, we should go.” Anna sighed.

“I think my back is going to break… And I can barely see anything around this thing, so could you lead me?” Parker asked.

“Parker,” Anna sighed, “how are we even going to get it into the car?” she looked down at Victoria. “Honey, let’s try to find a pumpkin daddy can carry.”

Victoria’s bottom lip quivered as Parker spoke up.

“No, I already got it this far. Let’s just keep moving, please.”

Victoria smiled again and Anna pursed her lips together worriedly. This was not how she expected their pumpkin picking adventure to go.

“Alright, but…” Anna started.

Parker groaned. “Now what?”

“Well… You know they charge by the pound, right?”

Parker closed his eyes and sighed loudly. He wanted to complain, but he also wanted to let Victoria get whichever pumpkin she wanted to get. It was the first one she picked out all by herself.

“It’s just one pumpkin, Anna. We can deal with it.” Parker said.

“If you say so,” Anna shrugged. She took Victoria’s hand and together she and her daughter pushed the stroller over towards the cash register.

After Anna had paid for the pumpkin, Parker stretched out his arms and then squatted again to pick up the pumpkin. Before he stood up, he looked up at Anna.

“Why don’t you go on ahead and bring the kids to the car?”

“But shouldn’t we stay with you in case you fall over?” Anna asked.

Parker sighed. “Anna, just bring the kids to the car, please.”

Anna shrugged and turned away without another word.

Parker lugged the pumpkin all the way out to the parking lot. Anna was in the driver’s seat with the engine running in front of the general store just outside the pumpkin patch. He smiled, grateful that Anna had brought the car around for him. The trunk automatically opened and Parker dropped the pumpkin in as gently as he could. He let out a big sigh and held onto his back as he closed the trunk door.

He walked around the car and sat down in the passenger seat.

“Are you okay?” Anna asked.

Parker nodded still trying to catch his breath.

“Thank you, Daddy,” Victoria said sweetly from her car seat in the back.

Parker smiled. The back pain was suddenly worth it.

Words: 1,269

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Short Story Sunday 169: Open

Short Story: "Open" | Flash Fiction

            When Caitlyn arrived home from work, she didn’t expect anything else to go wrong that day. It had been a long work day and she was glad to finally be home. She left her work back at the office not wanting to think about it anymore. She was thankful it was Friday because now she had the entire weekend to rest up, relax, and forget about all the damage her team had done that day.

She shut off her cell phone hoping that none of her group members would try to contact her later on in the night and try to discuss what happened that day. She refused to talk about it, refused to dwell on it more than she already had.

Caitlyn put her phone back into her purse and then stepped out of the driver’s seat. She closed the door walking around and opening the passenger side of her car. She picked up her purse and work bag along with her water bottle and lunch box. Her arms were already full, but she managed to close the door and lock it. She walked down to the end of her driveway and opened the mailbox. She grunted at the amount of bills that were in there. She barely got any mail each day. Now that her arms were full, there were quite a few letters as well as a small package.

She picked up the mail little by little and dropped them into her tote bag. The letters were going to end up wrinkled and bent, but she didn’t care. Caitlyn assumed most of them were bills anyway, so how important were they really?

She closed the mailbox and walked back up the driveway. She tried to balance everything she was holding onto while fiddling with her keys trying to pick out her house key.

Caitlyn walked up the steps to the front porch. She managed to open the storm door and stopped it from closing on her by sticking her leg out. Then she stuck her house key out in front of her, but there was nothing for it to go in.

She paused, realizing that the front door was already open.

Why was the front door open?

Caitlyn looked all around her with her brows furrowed in confusion. She started to sweat on the fall afternoon wondering what was going on. She lived alone and if her parents or sisters had stopped by, there would be another car in the driveway. Not to mention they probably wouldn’t have left the front door wide open even if they were home.

Taking a deep breath, Caitlyn stepped through the doorframe. She gently put her things down on the floor in the mudroom trying to be as quiet as she possibly could. She reached into her purse and took out her cell phone turning it back on, just in case. Then she turned around taking the storm door handle and pulling it closed hoping it wouldn’t slam and make a loud noise.

Of course, she didn’t want to think that there was anyone inside her house, but she couldn’t be too careful either.

Caitlyn tip-toed out of the mudroom, leaving the front door open. She didn’t want to make too much noise and she also wanted to be able to run away quickly if there happened to be someone in the house.

She poked her head around the wall and peered into the living room. There, on the couch, laid her cat. Caitlyn relaxed her tense body, but she was still confused and felt she needed to be cautious.

If her cat was just sleeping on the couch, then nothing must have been wrong, right? No one was in the house but Caitlyn and her cat?

Caitlyn shook her head. No, her cat wasn’t a guard dog. Her cat wasn’t going to care if a stranger entered the house without permission. She turned back around and looked at the wide open door. How did someone get into the house anyway? They clearly didn’t break in, but if they didn’t have a key, then how did they get in? Unless… Did she leave the door unlocked by accident when she left for work that morning?

She stepped farther into the house, her cat resting his head back down on the couch again. He didn’t seem to even really care that she was home, so he definitely wouldn’t care if a stranger waltzed right through.

She had checked around the whole house, but she didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. There was no one hiding out in the house so Caitlyn assumed if someone came by they had left already. There was nothing missing or out of place, either. So, she must not have been robbed.

Caitlyn walked back through the living room and into the mudroom. She moved her things out of the way pushing them with her foot so she could close the front door. She put a hand on the doorknob and twisted it. Sure enough, it was locked.

Caitlyn furrowed her brows at the door. What in the world had happened today? No one must have come into her house if they didn’t have a key because there was no break in. Nothing was touched or anything, either, so…

Caitlyn closed the front door and thought real hard about that morning. She looked down at the ground at all of her stuff and then it clicked in her head.

She remembered carrying all that, plus a box of things for her project at work, and she didn’t have enough hands to close the door. She had put everything into the car telling herself that she would run back up the front steps to shut the door after she had loaded the car. However, she was already running late and was panicking about traffic so once she put everything into the car, she just hopped into the driver’s seat and left.

Caitlyn left her stuff in the mudroom and sat down on the couch beside the cat. She closed her eyes taking a few deep breaths. She had just left her home completely wide open for the world to see and enter if they wished.

What a day.

Words: 1,040

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Why I Lowered My Word Goal [Camp NaNoWriMo]

No matter which session, Camp or regular NaNo, I always have my word goal be the standard 50,000 words.

I typically write 2,000 words a day for that goal and am able to easily reach the overall goal long before the month is over. Sometimes I have enough steam to go over my goal. I’ve finished complete first drafts before and sometimes I’ve just done the bare minimum.

I chose two different projects for myself this month. When I realized that I had “double-booked” myself, I decided to try to write 100k in the month.

It’s a challenge I’ve always wanted to do, a challenge I’ve done twice before but never completed.

Someday I will complete that challenge. However, this month is not the right time for it.

July 2017 Camp NaNo Participate

I’ve seen plenty of people change their word goals in the middle of the month before. I always thought that was strange because it felt like “cheating” to me.

Well, I am now one of those people.

Last night, I changed my 100k word goal down to 50k. It’s the standard, the goal that I would have originally chosen for myself if I didn’t decide to try to go above and beyond.

My current word count stands at 41,414 words. Before I was almost halfway there and now all of the sudden I’m almost done. It feels weird and I still feel like I “cheated” in some way.

Still, I think this was the best decision.

Between trying to write 5,000 words a day, I also have to keep up with two blogs (which I’ve gotten behind in for both), I started my internship, and I’ve also been more focused on article writing than creative writing. This doesn’t include me trying to hang out with my friends and family.

It’s been a busy month, busier than I thought it’d be. So, that’s why I decided to ease up on my word goal. After looking at everything I had to do (and making a four-page to-do list for myself…) I realized that Camp shouldn’t be the biggest priority this month.

I still feel good because I know I’ll reach at least the 50k, which is good for me. I hope everyone else is having a successful Camp!

Have you ever lowered your word goal before? How’s Camp treating you this month? Let me know in the comments below!

I’ll be explaining this further in my newsletter. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up. It’s quick, free, and I’d really appreciate it!

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Short Story Sunday 168: Hot

Short Story: "Hot" | Flash Fiction

            “Careful. It’s hot.” Connor warned holding onto something large wrapped in a white sheet in the palms of his hands. He held it out to his little sister and smiled at her as she took it into her own hands.

Rose stumbled at the weight as soon as her brother handed her the item.

“Sorry, it’s heavy too.” He said.

Rose stared at the sheet and squeezed the object trying to figure out what it was.

“Be gentle. You don’t want to break it. It will open at any moment now.” Connor said folding his arms over his chest. He leaned his back against the wall and watched Rose with the object proud.

“What is it?” Rose asked. She loosened her grip on the smooth, round object, but held it tight enough so that she wouldn’t drop it. If a gentle squeeze was enough to break the fragile object, she certainly didn’t want to drop it on the brick flooring.

“You’ll see.” Connor grinned from ear to ear. He clearly couldn’t wait for Rose to find out what it was. “I think you’re ready for this. You’re old enough to understand.”

Rose raised an eyebrow. “What are you talking about?” she asked.

Connor chuckled.

At that very moment, the object began to shake slightly in Rose’s grip. She gasped suddenly afraid of what was going to happened. She held out her arms trying to give it back to brother.

“Connor, what is this? What’s going on?”

“You’re fine,” Connor reassured her.

“I’m going to drop it!”

“No you won’t.”

“Please, take it back. I’m going to drop it and then you’ll be mad at me.” Rose whimpered.

Connor shook his head. “I promise you’re not going to drop it. You would have done so by now. Rose, if I take it then it won’t be yours.”

“What are you talking about…?” Rose asked, her voice trailing off as the object shook so much that the white sheet fell off the object.

Rose gasped recognizing what it was. It was a shiny, gray oval with brown speckled spots all over it. It shook more violently now and Rose held it closer to her as she tried to keep it from jumping out of her arms.

“A dragon egg?” she looked up at her brother.

Connor nodded with a smile. “You’re hatching it and because of that, it will recognize you as its master.”

“But I didn’t hatch it.” Rose said.

“Well, I warmed it and took care of it for you, yes, but you’re holding it right now. The dragon will assume it was you.” Connor shrugged his shoulders.

Before Rose could say anything else, a piece of the egg shell cracked and dropped to the ground. A tail poked out through the hallow shell. Rose’s mouth gaped open in shock. Another piece broke off and fell to the floor as a claw poked out of the egg. She smiled. She was about to have her very own dragon!

Finally, the top of the egg cracked open and a long neck emerged. A small head slowly rose from the top and immediately turned to face Rose. Its mouth gaped open and its tongue lolled out of the corner playfully.

“It’s a Serpentail dragon.” Connor said. “It’s best known for its extremely long, powerful tail.”

Rose brought the egg over to the table and placed it down on the surface. The dragon stumbled out of the egg and fell flat on the table. Rose chuckled as he tried to pick himself up and stagger closer to Rose.

“His tail doesn’t look so long right now.” Rose observed. The dragon itself was pretty long, even though he was no bigger than Rose’s foot. His tail, however, was a stub.

“He’s a baby.” Connor replied. “The tail will grow as he grows. His tail will be the last thing to be fully grown because it’ll grow so long.”

Rose didn’t respond as she rested her arms on the table and put her chin down. She observed the dragon carefully taking in its smoky gray scales and bright yellow eyes. It tried to stand up on its hind legs, but fell forward immediately, thus resulting in crawling towards Rose. She could hear it purr louder as it got closer. She giggled.

“I think he recognizes you.” Connor said. “What are you going to name him?”

“How can you tell it’s a boy?” Rose asked.

“The stubby tail. Female Serpantails don’t have a tail at all when they’re first hatched.” Connor explained.

Rose sat up about to respond when the dragon leaned forward off the table. “Whoa!” Rose exclaimed catching him in the palms of her hands.

Connor laughed. “I think he was trying to make skin to skin contact, but you moved out of the way.”

“Oops,” Rose giggled. She lifted the dragon higher in her hands up to her face. He licked her nose and she laughed bringing him closer to her cheek where he head-butted her playfully before rubbing against her lovingly.

“For the first week or so, he’s going to need a lot of skin to skin with you. He recognizes you as your master giving you guys a good bond, but you two will grow closer the more you’re with him and handle him.” Connor said.

“Can he sleep in bed with me tonight?” Rose asked hopefully.

“Uh,” Connor stammered, “we’ll see. He’s going to need to get used to sleeping on his own.”

“But it’s a newborn. I don’t want him to get lonely.”

“I also don’t want him to discover his fire breath and set the house on fire.”

“Oh,” Rose slouched in her chair. She put the dragon back on top of the table and he waddled away on all fours exploring the surface of the rectangle table.

“So, what are you going to name him?” Connor asked again.

Rose leaned back in her chair again and watched her dragon with curiosity. “Well… he’s a smoky color. And you said he has fire breath?”

Connor shrugged. “Judging by his color, I assume he has fire breath. Some Serpentails have ice or water.”

“Water?”

“That one is rare.” Connor nodded. “We won’t know his powers and strengths until he discovers them himself, which could take a couple of weeks. But, as I said, his coloring hints at what his powers are. It’s very uncommon to have a gray dragon that shoots ice.”

“Cool,” Rose said amazed. “Connor, I want to be a Dragon Tamer just like you when I grow up!”

Connor grinned and patted his little sister’s shoulder. “If that’s what you really want, then I’m sure you’ll get there someday.”

Rose stood up from her seat. “I can’t wait to tell my friends that I have my very own dragon!”

“Hold up there, Rose.” Connor said frowning. He held up his hands trying to calm her. “You’re only 14-years-old. You’re not allowed to have a dragon until you’re 17. Until then, we’re going to have to pretend that he’s mine.” He pointed to the small dragon on the table.

The gray baby sat up straight on the table watching Rose and Connor as though he was listening and understood every word they were saying to each other.

Rose titled her head to the side puzzled. “So… Why did you give me a dragon if I’m not allowed to have one for another three years?”

Connor stared at her as though he was trying to think of a good enough answer. He finally sighed and then cracked a small smile. “I have my reasons, Rose. You’ll just have to trust me on that one.”

Rose narrowed her eyes and looked at her brother skeptically. “Connor… Is something wrong?”

“Not at all.” He said smiling bigger now. “I can’t explain it to you now, but I know you’re going to need this dragon as soon as you’re able to own one. By the time you need one, he’ll already be fully grown and you’ll have a wonderful bond with him.”

“I don’t understand.” Rose shook her head.

“I know and I don’t expect you to.” Connor said. “Enjoy him, Rose. You guys are going to make a wonderful team someday.”

“A team for what?”

Connor sighed. “You ask too many questions.”

“I’m entitled.” She said stiffly.

Connor chuckled. “I suppose so…” he grew serious again. “I’m not always going to be here to take care of you, Rose. You know that now I’m 18, I can be drafted at any time. The only reason the king won’t draft me is because I need to take care of you.”

Rose bowed her head. After their parents had died, Connor had to fight for his rights to take care of her. He had to fight to stick around long enough to watch her grow up until she was able to take care of herself. As soon as Rose turned 17, Connor would be 21 and for sure would be shipped off to fight for their kingdom.

“This dragon will protect you. You’ll take care of each other.” Connor said.

“But you’ll be back.” Rose said somberly. She sniffled, feeling the tears coming on, but she fought them back. “And you’re not leaving for a long time.”

Connor brought her into a hug. “No, I won’t be leaving for another four years. And of course I’ll be back. No enemy of our kingdom is going to get rid of me that easily.”

Rose couldn’t help but smile at her brother’s optimism. She wrapped her arms around his waist and rested her head against his hard chest. She didn’t respond knowing there was no sense in worrying about something that was still four years away. Maybe the war would be over by then? Their kingdom has been fighting with the neighboring kingdoms for years now. Everyone in the village assumed the war would continue on for centuries. But, one could hope.

Connor rested his chin on the top of Rose’s head and rubbed her back. They remained like that for a little while, silent.

It wasn’t until Rose’s dragon managed to leap off the edge of the table, it’s small wings flapping frantically in the air in his attempt to reach Rose. He managed to land on her shoulder, but barely. He began to fall and Connor laughed, catching the baby in his palm. He lifted the dragon back onto Rose’s shoulder and pulled away from his sister.

“He wants to be included in this hug, I guess.”

Rose laughed shifting her gaze to her shoulder. “It would appear so.”

“So,” Connor folded his arms across his chest again, “for the third time, what do you plan on naming him?”

Rose looked up at the ceiling tapping her chin with her index finger deep in thought. Then she smiled wide and looked her brother in the eye. “I have the perfect name for him!”

Connor leaned forward silently prompting her to tell him. Rose, her smile growing, looked away from her brother and down at her dragon.

“Tyson. His name is Tyson.”

Tyson opened his mouth, his tongue flopping out, as though he was smiling as well. Rose and Connor laughed.

“I think he likes it.” Connor approved.

“Welcome to the family, Tyson!” Rose cheered.

Tyson squealed in response.

Words: 1,886

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July 2017 Goals

Goals for July 2017 | Reading, Writing, Blogging

Reading

It’s summer! Which means there will be two book reviews a week. For July, that means a total of nine reviews. I still have a few books left over from Mystery Month that I want to read, but I’m still not sure which books I want to read.

I have a lot of books on my list and I know that if I pick out nine, I’m just going to change my mind. So, for this month, I’m not going to list what I want to read. I’m just going to pick at random. Just expect nine reviews this month.

Writing

It’s another month of Camp NaNoWriMo! I’ll be working on two projects:

1. Brave – Write 50,000 words of this novel
2. Short Story Sunday 2018 – Write 50,000 words of next year’s short stories

If I have the time, I’d love to continue editing my mystery novel, but that won’t be a priority.

Blogging

I’ll have much more time to read and comment on new blogs as well get ahead with my own posts. I also plan on adding more to this blog as well.

I also plan on continuing my work on Double Jump as well as a new blog.

Overall

July is going to be a busy month. But now that work is over my writing and blogging will get my undivided attention. It’ll be a good month!

What are your goals for July? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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Short Story Sunday 167: New

Short Story: New | Flash Fiction

            It was a long process. It was a process that Lacey didn’t know anything about. She was thankful that she had her father with her because if this was something she had to do alone, she wouldn’t have been able to make it.

Harry, her father, held open the door to the car dealership for his daughter and stepped aside. Lacey walked through the threshold first and then immediately stopped. Desks were lined up along the perimeter of the large room and in the middle were four cars lined up being showcased.

Where were they supposed to start?

“Well, go ahead.” Her father prompted as stepped beside her.

Lacey shrugged her shoulders. “What are we supposed to do?”

“I don’t know.”

“I thought you knew what you were doing?” Lacey asked.

“To a point,”

Lacey groaned. She was here to buy her very first car. She had been saving her paychecks for months and had enough for a deposit on a brand new one. Lacey got her driver’s license two months ago and she had been switching back and forth between driving her mother’s car and her father’s. She wanted so bad to have a brand new car of her own and now she finally had enough money to treat herself. She even figured out her monthly paychecks knowing how much of a car payment she would be able to afford each month.

A man came up to Lacey and her father and introduced himself as Andrew.

“Can I help you guys with anything?” he asked.

Lacey looked up at her father expecting him to respond, but he looked down at her. She sighed knowing that he purposefully wasn’t answering for her. She wanted the car, she was going to have to try to get one herself. He was teaching her a life lesson, which she should have seen coming.

She didn’t mind doing it, of course, but everything was easier when her parents just did it for her.

“I’m looking to buy a new car.” Lacey said.

“Great,” Andrew smiled. “Are you thinking of replacing your old one or is this your first car?”

“First one,”

“Okay, what did you have in mind?”

Lacey frowned and slowly turned her head to look at her father again. Harry was looking in the opposite direction staring at the bright red Mercedes that was shining in the middle of the room. She sighed knowing that was the type of car he wanted if he was ever to win the lottery.

“I, uh, don’t really know what kind of car I want.” Lacey rubbed the back of her neck.

She was a bit embarrassed for not having a type of car in mind to buy. She had looked up some cars on the Internet and the dealership’s website, but nothing really jumped out at her. Sure, there were some cars that looked great on the outside, but she had no idea what any of the specs meant. Lacey wasn’t sure which brands were supposedly the best.

“Right now I drive the cars my mom and dad have. Mom has a minivan and dad has a pick-up truck.” Lacey explained. She didn’t really know anything about any other types of cars. Her mother’s van was pretty old, too. Lacey was sure they didn’t make those kinds anymore.

“Would you be interested in either of those, then? Or were you thinking of something different?” Andrew asked.

“I don’t really know.” Lacey shrugged and then chuckled. “Sorry, I didn’t really think this one through.”

“Maybe we can just look around and see what jumps out at you.” Harry suggested.

Lacey looked over at her father. She had realized that he was paying attention to the conversation.

“Sure. If there’s anything that catches your eye I can take it out and you can test drive it and let me know what you think.” Andrew said nodding his head. He pointed to the door behind them and started walking towards it. “Follow me to the lot. I can tell you about some of the cars.”

The three of them walked around the mass of brand new cars. Harry pointed some out and Andrew would explain it model, make, and year along with some cool features it came with. Andrew would also point out some cars and talk about them as well. Lacey didn’t say too much. She mostly just nodded her head and tried to take in everything Andrew was telling them about the cars. She really had no idea what he was saying half of the time, though.

As they walked further down the lot, Lacey spotted a silver station wagon. She pointed to it. “Andrew, what about that one?”

Andrew explained that was one of the newest cars they just got in recently. It was considered a minivan, but it only held six people. Lacey shrugged saying that she wasn’t going to be driving very many people around. It would mainly just be herself.

Andrew pulled the car out of its spot and Lacey sat down in the driver’s seat. She rubbed her hands against the steering wheel and smiled. It was comfortable and she fit perfectly in it. She loved it!

“I’ll take it.” She laughed.

“Let’s drive it, first.” Harry chuckled.

Lacey drove it around the town for about fifteen minutes before driving it back to the dealership. As soon as she pulled it back into the spot she looked at her dad. “I want this.”

“Really?” Harry asked raising an eyebrow.

“I know it’s the first one I’ve tried, but I know I want this car.”

“Well, when you know, you know.” Harry shrugged his shoulders and looked at Andrew in the backseat. “I guess we’ll take this.”

Andrew unbuckled himself and smiled. “Well, then. Let’s head inside and fill out the paperwork.”

Lacey clapped and then jumped out of the car. “I can’t believe I have my very own car!”

“Congratulations, Lacey.” Harry wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “You’re finally a big kid now.”

Lacey shook her head, but she giggled. “It doesn’t sound that great when you put it like that.”

Words: 1,021

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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June 2017 Wrap Up

June 2017 Wrap Up

Reading

I thought reading mystery novels would help me get out of my slump, but it didn’t really. Still, I read three books which is good enough for me.

If you want to catch up on what I read and my reviews, check out my Reading List.

Writing

I didn’t get any of my writing goals done this month. June is always so busy and I changed my mind about what I wanted to work on anyway. So there was that.

Overall

I really didn’t get much done this month, did I?

Well, I didn’t have high hopes for June anyway. July is going to be the challenge. We’ll see how that goes.

How did the month of June treat you? Did you accomplish your goals? Let me know in the comments below!

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How To Properly Research For Your Mystery Novel [Mystery Month]

Sure, fiction is made up, but there’s still a lot of truth to what we put down on the pages of our story.

When it comes to writing mystery, you still want to be as accurate as you can in order to make the story believable. It doesn’t want to read as fiction.

So, what can you do to make sure you’re solving your crime the right way?

How To Research For Mystery Novels

1. Read books

Read any kinds of books and read a lot of them. Read fictional mystery novels as well as true crime novels. You’ll see how other authors do it fictionally and you’ll also get a feel for the real deal reading about true crimes that have actually happened.

There are also craft books you can read about writing mysteries as well as learning about detectives and criminal justice. Not to mention, you can always thumb through a study guide of the police exam to get a feel for what they have to go through in order to get to where they are in your story when the crime happens.

2. Talk to people

I know, none of us want to talk to people, but sometimes it’s necessary and it helps a lot. If you know anyone who is going to school in the criminal justice field or who is currently undergoing the Police Academy, or someone who is an officer or detective, get in touch with them and ask questions. There’s nothing better than an original source itself.

3. Take classes

Instead of talking to people who are currently going to school for this kind of thing, why don’t you take a couple of courses yourself? Sometimes you can even find the syllabi online and you can look up the textbooks yourself and read up on it without spending a lot of money.

There are also courses on writing websites, such as Writer’s Digest, where you can take courses specializing in writing mystery and crime. Those don’t come cheap, but I’ve heard they’re worth it.

4. Watch TV

This isn’t the best piece of advice, but there are plenty of crime shows on TV. Most of them fudge the process a bit for the sake of entertainment and comedy, but there are still some truths in there. At the very least, you can learn what not to do in your novel.

5. Take to the Internet

Google isn’t always reliable, but it is your friend. Be sure to look up information on certain towns and cities that your mystery novel takes place in. Look up the laws and regulations and go on the town’s main homepage and be sure you’re writing close to home about the location. Plus, you can look up a lot of other stuff, like the points I just mentioned above.

Research can be tedious, but it can definitely be fun as well.

How do you typically research for your novel? Do you enjoy researching? What are some other research methods you use? Let me know in the comments below!

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Posted in Mystery Month, Short Story Sunday, Writing

Short Story Sunday 166: Explanation (Part Four)

Short Story Sunday: "Explantion" (Part four) | Mystery

DID YOU READ PARTS ONE, TWO, AND THREE?  

Nadine entered the room once more, but this time with the maid right behind her. “Detective,” Nadine said, “this is our maid, Vicky.”

Lilah took George’s lead and stood up once the maid entered the room. She looked the maid up and down trying to get a good read on her before they started talking.

Vicky was on the younger side. She stood taller than Nadine, despite her boss wearing three-inch heels. Her make-up was heavy on her face and her expression claimed boredom.

When George stretched out his hand to her, Nadine stepped aside and Vicky took a step back. George remained where he was waiting, but Lilah had a feeling she wasn’t going to willingly cooperate.

“Well, the pleasure’s mine.” George finally said bringing his arm back down by his side.

Vicky glared at him and Lilah narrowed her eyes at her. George must have suspected her of something, otherwise he wouldn’t have wanted to talk to her. She had a feeling Vicky knew that as well. The only thing was, Lilah couldn’t tell if Vicky was being defensive because she was nervous or if it was because she knew she was about to get caught.

“Could I have a moment alone with the detective, please?” Vicky asked politely to her boss.

“Oh,” Nadine looked over at George, who nodded. After a disappointed sigh, Nadine ushered her kids out of the room and followed closely behind them.

When they were out of earshot, Vicky snapped her attention back to George and Lilah. “Well, get to it. I don’t have all day.”

“Surely you know what I’m about to say.” George replied.

Vicky folded her arms across her chest and held her chin up high. “Whatever you have to say isn’t true. And, I want a lawyer present if I’m going to talk to you.”

“You want a witness, yet you just kicked your boss out of the room?” George commented.

“Oh, please. Nadine can’t help me.” Vicky looked him up and down looking disgusted.

“And why would you need the help?”

“Because you’re asking too many questions,”

“We’ve barely begun.”

There was a sudden standstill. Vicky didn’t have a good enough comeback and George remained calm under pressure as always. Lilah found herself relaxing her shoulders. Vicky didn’t seem to be much of a threat despite her clearly having something to hide.

Vicky drew in a sharp breath. “I want a lawyer first.”

“If you want a lawyer, then I’m to assume you have something to hide.” George remarked.

Vicky narrowed her eyes. She opened her mouth to say something, but Nadine entered the room.

“I’m sorry to interrupt,” she said looking at Vicky, “but there’s a couple of police officers here.” She turned to look at George. “An Officer Florence? He said you called him.”

“Ah, perfect timing. Send him in.” George smiled.

“What’s your brother doing here?” Lilah whispered.

“I texted him. This case is about to be over.” George whispered back.

Nadine stepped to the side and Barney entered the room. He put his hands on his hips and stared at George expectantly.

“Ms. Vicky would like a lawyer before she says anything. Which is perfect since we’ll have to take her down to the station anyway.”

Vicky glared at George again and Barney sighed. “Is this your disappearing and reappearing car case?”

George nodded. “I had a hunch that Vicky had something to do with it, but then, while we were talking to Nadine’s children, I saw Vicky outside the window talking to a woman over the fence in the garden.”

Lilah looked to her left. She didn’t pay too much attention to outside the window, but sure enough, there was the garden. And no one was around there now.

“I had a hunch that I recognized the woman. Vicky, who were you talking to?” George asked.

“My… sister.” She reluctantly replied once Nadine stared her down.

“Does she work here?”

“No,”

“Why was she here?”

“That’s none of your business.”

“Well,” George continued, “why did you guys have to talk in hushed tones over the fence where no one could see you? Why didn’t she come in?”

“Yes, why didn’t she? You know she’s welcome anytime.” Nadine added. Vicky stared at Nadine, but didn’t respond.

“She didn’t want you guys to recognize her right away.” George said. “She was the woman in the video with your car.”

Nadine chuckled. “We all know her very well. There’s no way she stole the car and brought it back.”

“Because she had to boyfriends, husband, friend, whatever you want to call him do it. None of you recognize him, so it would be easy for Vicky and her sister to cover for him.” George explained.

Nadine held her hand up as though she was a young kid in school. “But our gardener…”

“Hasn’t been seen since the car was taken, correct?” George asked.

Nadine pressed her lips together.

“You forgot to tell me about the gardener the first time I spoke to you.” George said to Vicky. “I thought it was strange Lilah had notes about her and I didn’t. Now it’s becoming clear why you guys really took the car. You couldn’t do it because you’d be missed. Your sister couldn’t do it because everyone, including the kids, recognize her.

“You had your sister’s friend get friendly with the kids to trick them into letting him in the garage. It looked like a stranger broke in to steal from a rich family.” George explained.

“Why?” Barney asked.

George sighed looking at his brother. “Well, that’s where I pass this case off to you. It seems to me that this has turned into a missing person’s case… possibly homicide.”

Barney sighed shaking his head. He looked at Vicky and took out his handcuffs.

Words: 967

I hope you enjoyed this four-part mystery! Let me know in the comments below!

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Which POV Should Your Use For Your Mystery Novel? [Mystery Month]

It seems easy to answer the question, “Which POV should I use for my novel?” However, there’s a lot more to it than it seems.

The point of view of a story is who the narrator is, whether it’s a third person, the protagonist, a side character, or even you yourself (though that’s uncommon). Just like choosing the right character to be your protagonist, you want the right character to be your narrator, to show your readers around the story.

When it comes to writing mystery novels, the POV is super important. In my opinion, I believe there are some points of view that are suited better for mystery novels than others.

Choosing the right POV in mystery novels

First Person

First person point of view is when someone is telling you their story. The story is told from the “I” and “me” point of view.

I find this is a great method of telling a mystery story. The narrator can be a detective telling the story in which case the readers can get up close and personal with solving the mystery.

Second Person

This point of view is when “you” are being told what to do. The story is about you and the narrator is explaining all you did.

I have never seen a mystery novel written in this point of view, especially since second person is pretty uncommon, anyway.

Still, this may be an interesting way of conveying a mystery novel. Similar to first person, your readers will be able to solve the mystery alongside the narrator or protagonist and they’ll feel more apart of the story.

Third Person Limited

In this point of view, the narrator is a third party, particularly someone who is not in the story. However, you’re limited to one character in the novel. The narrator knows a lot but can be inside the head of one of the characters, most likely the protagonist of the story.

So, you won’t know much, but you can know a little bit more. This is another common point of view for mystery novels as you can get a little more information from the characters this way.

Third Person Omniscient

Very similar to third person limited, a third party who is not in the story is the narrator. However, you’re not limited to one character’s thoughts, but you know absolutely anything and everything there is to know about all the characters and everything that’s going on in the story.

While this point of view isn’t used often, I have seen a mystery novel or two use this point of view. I personally don’t agree with it because all the secrets end up getting revealed leaving no room for the reader to guess and try to solve anything themselves.

Which should you use?

This one is all up to you. It all depends on the kind of mystery you’re trying to tell. It depends on who your protagonists are and which one of your characters is important enough to convey the story, to show your readers around the plot.

For my mystery novel, I use third person limited and I follow around my female protagonist, Lilah. George, my male protagonist, is the detective. I chose to follow Lilah because she doesn’t know as much as George. She’s learning alongside the readers and she’s trying to figure things out with George and the readers.

At first, the novel was first person with George, then I had changed it to third person limited with George. Then, after another rewrite, I finally decided on third person limited with Lilah.

Choosing a point of view is harder than it seems, but if you’re unsure, the best thing to do is just experiment. Your characters will tell you what they want.

Just be sure not to choose something that will reveal too much to your readers. For example, like I said earlier, I don’t agree with using third person omniscient as it tends to give too much information away and can cause the readers to get bored.

Depending on your characters and the kind of mystery you’re writing about, a point of view may or may not come easily to you. However, like I said, your characters will be able to tell you. They did for me.

Which point of view is your favorite? Which one do you use most often and enjoy reading? Let me know in the comments below!

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