A Growl in the Dead of the Night

Years ago my husband was out of town and I was alone when I was awakened by a warning growl in the dead of the night. Our six-month-old Dalmatian pup had never growled before. He hadn’t even barked. That event sparked the inspiration for this vignette. I hope you enjoy it. The growling woke her. Sandy groggily shushed her dog, Max. Her usually obedient dog’s throat rumbled with a warning. Alarmed she rose on her elbows and whispered, “What is it, Max?”  The weatherman had predicted a thunderstorm for tonight. Was distant thunder what had upset Max? She listened. An eerie silence filled the air. There was no purr of the furnace, no hum of the refrigerator, no whoosh of tires on the asphalt street below her second-floor bedroom window. Max, a black and white Dalmatian, lay on the rug along her side of the bed, his head up, an ear cocked. He listened better than she did. She reached down and petted his hindquarters. He’s heard an outdoor cat. Max hated cats. “Go back to sleep, Max,” she whispered and sank back onto the bed.  Max’s tags on his collar jangled as he leaped to his feet. He walked […]

The Yellow Rose of Valentine’s Day

Roses are red for Valentine’s Day, aren’t they? In this vignette, the yellow rose isn’t a flower and it isn’t romantic. But it is a wish for those who don’t feel that they are enough on Valentine’s or any day of the year. The Yellow Rose of Valentine’s Day Couples crowded the restaurant decorated with red hearts and red roses and red bows. They only had eyes for one another until she appeared. The silver-haired woman dressed in a vibrant yellow off-the-shoulder dress glided between tables. The hostess sat her at the center table. Alone. She sat with perfect posture, crossed her ankles, and smiled and chatted with the hostess. The waiter brought her a bottle of champagne. She saluted with her glass and drained it in a single draught, then laughed a full-voiced, from the belly laugh, loud enough that the entire restaurant of couples stopped talking and stared. She laughed again and set her glass down. The waiter refilled it, then left. She placed her hands on the table and a generous and genuine smile lit her face. She swayed as if to music, but it wasn’t the sappy romantic ballad that filled the restaurant. The other customers […]

A Sneak Peek at Paladina, a Novel-in-Progress

I’m sharing another work-in-progress. (You do know that writers have squirrel brains, don’t you? Oh, look! Shiny new story idea!) You’ve reacted so favorably to my past sneak peeks posts, I thought you might enjoy a sneak peek at Paladina. I chose the working title Paladina as a play on the theme song of an old television show, “Have Gun-Will Travel,” starring Richard Boone.   The title of my story will likely change as the story morphs through subsequent drafts but for now, this one works. It’s a novel-in-progress and plays with Greek mythology, alien cultures, and psychopaths. I’m estimating the length will be about 100,000 words. And yes, I’ve worked on it off an on for a long time. I’m working on pinning that writer’s squirrel down to finish some of these projects. The Story Sentence With each story I write, I draft a sentence that captures my plot. If you want more information about what I mean, check out my article, The Best Writer’s Tool. This is my sentence for my most recent draft of Palidina: A protection specialist, sworn to defend a tiny Greek village, discovers they are pawns of treasure-hunting alien knights whose game pits her against her […]