Elizabeth: Short Story – Wasn’t Expecting That

As I mentioned in last week’s post, follow-through is my touch phrase for the year.  Thus far it hasn’t resulted in anything earth shattering (probably a good thing), but there have been a consistent string of small victories.

For today, follow-through means (a few days late) actually giving this past Friday’s random words and story prompt a try.  On Friday, Kay left me wondering just what the job requirements might be for a “International Cupcake Assassin” in her fun entry The Apprenticeship Program and on Sunday Jilly put her spin own on things with Claws and Effect – both tough acts to follow.

Although my goal was only to successfully complete the writing sprint, I hope I’ve managed to provide a bit of entertainment too.

So, without further ado, here is my short story based on the prompts from Friday writing sprints, in which the main character makes an unfortunate discovery, and including the words collar, gum, confidence, assassination, flawless, pill, cardio, dart, strange, tiny, balance, coat, hollow, bayonet, affair and guidebook.

# # #

Wasn’t Expecting That

Evelyn “Eeyore” Edwards climbed narrow wooden staircase, turned the ornate metal key in the equally ornate old metal lock of the attic door, and felt her confidence falter as she caught her first glimpse of just what awaited her ahead. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Welcome to Friday – also known as Day 3 of the prosecution in the president’s impeachment trial.

What fun!

If you had told me months ago that I’d be spending time glued to coverage of the trial in the Senate, I’d have called you crazy (and maybe suggested therapy).

And yet, here I am, spending far too much time with the dial tuned to the news.  I’m sure the Hallmark channel is devastated by my current lack of viewership.  Hopefully their WinterFest will survive without me.  The fate of democracy, however, isn’t quite so secure.

With the trial in recess for the night, it’s time for me to do some work on my To Do list.  First up is giving today’s writing prompt and/or random words a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Follow-Through

Bowdoin College Athletics, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, Brian Beard – CIP

Early on in my career I spent a year or so as a management consultant.  While the work was varied and interesting and I had some great clients, the constant schmoozing networking and relentless scrambling to nail-down the next big deal was exhausting.

More often than not, keeping existing clients happy and courting prospective clients was done, not in the office, but on the golf-course or over sushi at over-priced restaurants.  I did my part, making it through countless sushi lunches (though I’m definitely not a fan) and through several rounds of golf that are better left forgotten.

Though everyone else in my family – mom included – played golf, I never had until I became a consultant.  But, wanting to be a good team player, I and a few friends dutifully signed up for golf lessons at the local course and gamely did our best to master the basics.

My lack of interest, compounded by a lack of depth-perception and no apparent innate ability meant that “master” was not quite the term to describe the results.  Having an instructor who was about 150 years old, rather than the  romance-novel worthy hottie we’d secretly hoped for, was just one more disappointment. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Friday already?  How did that happen?

This week didn’t include much writing outside of the day job, but I did do a great job on my “get rid of one thing every day” goal.

At the end of last year Michille posted about the successful completion of her 2019 goal to basically “get rid of stuff.”  Inspired by her resulting empty drawers and clean mudroom, I decided to adopt the goal for 2020.  I don’t have a mudroom, but I’m visualizing a tidier garage and maybe some empty dresser drawers too.

It’s currently day 16 and I’ve already gotten rid of close to 100 items.  True, many of them were holiday decorations that hadn’t been out of their boxes for years, but I’m pretty sure they still count.  Next up is the household-goods cupboard in the garage.  Since I’m pretty sure I have pots and pans out there that came from my parents house, I’m sure to find plenty of things to part with.  I’m visualizing an empty shelf in my future.

Now that I have my tidiness goal well underway, it’s time to turn my sights on writing.  I think I’ll start things off by giving today’s writing prompt and/or random words a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Can RWA be Saved?

When I was growing up one of the women’s magazines my mother got each month had a “can this marriage be saved?” column.  I don’t remember the specific issues that brought each of the couples to such a turning point, but I do remember that the answer to the question was always, “yes it can be saved.”  Probably not a surprise; happy endings mean happy readers who are likely to keep buying magazines.  What I also remember (vaguely) is that saving the marriage more often than not meant that the woman made changes to be more appealing or more attractive or more accommodating.  Or, heaven forbid, not so sensitive.

Sounds a lot like some of the posts I’ve been reading in the RWA forums.

As we’ve been talking about on the blog recently, the RWA is at a crucial turning point after its spectacular implosion at the end of year.  (See last week’s post for details.)  The majority of the board has resigned, sponsors have withdrawn, and contests have been cancelled.  There is an independent audit in progress, trust in the organization has taken a tremendous hit, and it’s hard to see a clear path forward.

Things have definitely reached the “can this organization be saved?” stage. Continue reading

Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints

Happy Friday!  I’d like to say I had an extremely productive week, getting lots of writing done and tasks completed.

Sadly, that would be a  work of fiction.  In reality, I spent far too much time this week falling down the rabbit-hole that is Twitter following the RWA implosion.

On the plus side, I’ve been exposed to a whole new set of writers and learned a lot.  On the day job front, this week been a combination of wrapping up 2019 end-of-year stuff and doing 2020 planning.  We always say we’re going to get the planning all taken care of in November so we can hit the new year running, but it never, ever happens that way.

One bit of 2020 planning that I did manage to take care of this week was getting my calendar set.  I’ve scheduled regular days off each month and blocked off specific writing times.  I’ve also blocked Friday afternoons off for “quiet time” so I can get things done without interruptions – all part of my less stressful / more productive 2020 plan.  We’ll have to wait and see how that all works out.

I’m thinking this Friday’s quiet time will be a the perfect time to give today’s writing prompt and/or random words a try.

Care to join me? Continue reading

Elizabeth: Goodbye 2019 and RWA?

With the champagne all drunk, the countdown completed, and kisses exchanged, the book has officially closed on 2019.  It was very good year for several of the writers here on the blog who successfully launched books into the hands of eager readers; it was not, however, such a good year for Romance Writers of America.

As Jeanne mentioned in her post yesterday, the implosion of RWA started on Christmas Eve when details about the RWA’s handling of ethics complaints against popular author Courtney Millan were made public.   Following what happened next has been like watching an accident on the side of the road – horrifying, but hard to look away from.

While media coverage has focused on Milan’s comments about the racist elements of a specific book, the chain of events initially began months before with a series of tweets highlighting concerns about the biases of a specific acquisitions editor at a publishing company.  Many twitter followers appear to have weighed in on the subject, sharing their views, and at some point, both the publisher (who hired the acquisitions editor) and the author of the book that was called out filed ethics complaints with RWA.

What ensued was a series of events that I doubt even the most creative fiction writer could have come up with:   Shadow ethics committee.  Re-written policies.  Resignation.  Censure.  Backpedaling.  Mass resignations.  Uproar.  Chapter statements.  Petitions.  Cancellation of the RITAs.  And thousands and thousands of tweets.  If someone was intentionally trying to destroy the organization, I don’t think they could have done a better job.  And RWA has seemed intent on fanning the flames. Continue reading