Ok I got some big news that I need to tell you. I'm going to be moving in August...and will be spending a year at a Bible institute. So because of that, I'm going to be getting really busy. Before you think that the blog is going to be abandoned, don't worry, it's not. :D I'm scheduling about one-two posts per month for while I'm gone, with possible extra posts to be written as needed. And the contests and book club will not be dissolved either-- just extended a bit between new ones. :) Most the time it will only be a 2-3 month thing but there are a couple instances of four month long periods. I'm busy working on lots of blog stuff for you all before I leave, and am excited to hear from you all in comments and so on even while I'm at school. :)
So let's jump into the monthly contest! First of all, I need to mention something about last month's... I accidentally missed a story that was entered into the contest, and that definitely is a no-go. So I thought I'd post it here for a special feature. :) This is for the theme of "Object that appears unimportant but..."
Joe Harvey-- By Liberty Bluebell
“Two Super Burritos, one with extra sour cream and hot sauce. Your total will be $2.85, sir.” The gal at the window had a twinkle in her voice.
“Something’s wrong with that total.” I tried to give her my best “suspicious cop” look, butshe only laughed.
“It’s your total. Now pay up, or you won’t get your food.”
I handed over the money, still eyeing her suspiciously.
“The boss paid for Harvey’s food today,” she finally said as she handed me the warm paper
“Maybe I’m hungry enough for two,” I countered.
“With extra sour cream? Not on your diet,” she retorted with a wink.
I chuckled. I didn’t even know her name, but she knew my habits.
“Be safe out there, Officer,” she added, her tone suddenly serious.
“Thanks. And thank the boss!” I eased my cruiser away from the little restaurant and headed toward the neighborhood where I could usually find old Joe Harvey. Joe Harvey who, on the winter day I bought a McDonald’s meal for him and introduced myself as the community officer, had looked at the bag and said, “You got bad taste, Officer, or else you’re a cheapskate.” But he ate the food, and we’d been friends since. Our friendship had grown stronger since he’d told me about the little burrito place that was “Cheaper than Mickey D’s, five times as good, and better for you”. It still amused me that I received health advice from a homeless man who didn’t
usually know where his next meal came from. As I drove past the small statue of one of the town’s founding fathers at the park on the
corner, I noted that he had lost his Halloween costume. In a couple weeks, he’d have a Pilgrim hat on his head. As I drove, I kept my eyes looking for an older model gray pickup truck. It was the other reason I was in Joe Harvey’s territory today. had just reached the outer edges of the housing development that bordered on brushland when I saw Joe walking down the sidewalk ahead of me. His limp was a bit worse than usual. Must be a storm coming in. To the left of the road was a brushy canyon, to our right were the backs of houses. I pulled my cruiser in front of him and got out, waiting for him to walk up to me.
“Mornin’. How’s the Lone Ranger today?” He chuckled at his joke as he took the burrito I handed him.
“Pretty good. How about yourself?” I glanced over his scruffy gray beard, faded blue ballcap advertising some pest control company, his worn clothes and patched jacket, and his fraying shoes. For him, he was in good condition. I might have to see about getting him a better jacket though since our fall weather was due to turn cold soon.
“I’m about to eat. Do I need to say anything else?” The twinkle in his eye was really the only thing I ever needed to see when I did a surreptitious welfare check on him.
“How about ‘Thank you’?” I bumped him with my elbow as we both leaned against the cruiser and looked out over the canyon, eating our lunch.
“Aw, you’re not my mama,” he protested gruffly.
“Then you should at least thank me for that,” I retorted.
He grunted, but the twinkle was still in his eye. “Catch any bad guys today?”
“Hoping to,” I responded, trying to keep my voice casual.
He chuckled again. “Did you put it on your calendar or something?”
It was my turn to grunt. I then added carefully, “Got a call about a fellow in a gray older model Toyota or Ford pickup truck who’s been drinking at the kid’s playground and leaving his broken beer bottles around. Seems we need to have a talk with him.” I looked at him out of the corner of my eye. A veil had dropped over the twinkle in his eyes, and he ever-so-slightly moved away from
“You know how it is here.” His voice was guarded.
“Yup, I know. I’m not asking you for anything. Just answering your question.” I’d learned to accept the odd code of honor amongst the homeless and down-and-outers in the area, though I sometimes hoped they’d forget it.
Joe grunted again. “I feel an after lunch siesta is in order. I’d better get along before I fall asleep on my feet.” He stood up and continued down the sidewalk without even a glance at me.
I sighed and looked toward the sky. “I think we need extra help on this one, Lord.”
Three hours later, I was ready to leave the housing division. I’d talked to the folks who reported it, tried to get more details, knocked on doors, and watched passing cars; but I was no closer to a solution than when I’d started. As I drove past the statue of the founding father, I noticed someone had put a ballcap on his head. I was in no mood to chuckle over it this time. But as I tried to map out the next area I should go in my search, I couldn’t get that ballcap out of my head. It was blue—faded blue. I glanced in my rearview mirror, made sure no-one was coming, and did a U-turn right in the middle of the street. Once I had the hat in my hand, I was sure. It even smelled like Joe. A few minutes later, I parked by the trail that led to Joe’s hideout in the woods. I’d just started walking when Joe stepped up to the path, blinking sleepily and stretching.
“Howdy, Ranger. Whatcha got?”
I raised my eyebrows as I handed him his hat. He reached up a hand and touched his head, but the bewilderment on his face couldn’t hide the twinkle in his eyes. “Ornery kids must have took it. But I’m glad to see you. I saw something that I thought you’d want to know about. You know how it is here, but when strangers come in… Anyway, a truck is parked up in the woods on the other side of this draw. Looks like they’re camping with campfire and everything. Thought they might accidentally start a fire, burn us all out.”
“Thanks. I’ll look into it.” My pulse sped up with excitement—excitement that I might get a chance to talk to the fellow and excitement that Joe told me.
I had almost reached my car when Joe added, “Hey, you probably shouldn’t leave the same way every time.”
I nodded my head, though I didn’t understand what he was meaning until I drove past the statue again. Oh, well. Next time.
“Thanks, ma’am. You’ve been most helpful.” I pocketed the mugshots.
“No—thank you, Officer. I’m glad we could identify him for you.”
As I drove away from the house of the last of the witnesses, I grinned my thanks toward heaven and flipped my turn signal on. I had almost turned down that road when I remembered Joe’s advice. I flipped my signal in the opposite direction and headed the other way out. Joe was sitting on a bench near there, gazing at a water fountain. I parked my car and walked up to him.
“Three times in one day? I think the Lone Ranger’s getting lonely!”
I shrugged as I sat next to him and also stared at the water fountain.
“Catch any bad guys today?” His question was as casual as ever.
“Got someone on expired registration tags.”
“That’s it?” His voice was gruff.
“Well, we went to talk to him about camping on public property, but he claimed he wasn’t and it was hard to tell. But his tags were expired, a-a-nd,” I paused and glanced at him out of the corner of my eye, “—besides not behaving too well here, he’s got a couple of felony warrants on him in other counties.”
“Sounds like you got a lucky break there.” He could barely hide the glee in his voice.
I had just opened my mouth when he held up his hand, “I know, I know. God’s got a lot more to do with it than luck does. You might have something there. See you around.”
I stood and started back toward my car, then turned around. “Thanks.”
“For what?” He asked, narrowing his right eye at me suspiciously.
“For introducing me to the best burrito joint in town.” I chuckled at the sudden grin on his face.
“Anytime. Though I might have to vary your diet someday and tell you about the Chinese restaurant down the street.” He touched a hand to his ballcap and began to limp away.
As I got into my cruiser, I chuckled again. Thanks, Lord.
“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue;
but in deed and in truth.”
I John 3:18
Awesome job, Liberty! :) Thanks for sending your story in.
Ok, on to the writing challenge criteria for this round.
- The challenge's theme for this round is "Big dreams".
- Can be Poem (for all y'all poets, lol) or Flash Fiction, but no more than 1,500 words.
- Send in by August 20th, please! Just use my email here: email@example.com to get me your entry!
- Include a title and your name/pen-name.
- If you want to join the challenge without having your story showcased, mark as Challenge Only in the title of your email.
- Please keep your story clean and family-friendly. No swearing or euphemisms, please.
- Winner (picked by me) will have their story shared in the Wrap-Up version of this post at the end of June. The other contest stories will be shared in a PDF format for those who want to view them. :)
- The prize for the 1st place winner is a unique and original ebook design for your story. (If you're curious, check these out... I've added new designs!)
Oh, and hey, since this is a contest, let's try to get more people involved, shall we? It can be as simple as:
Hi! I'm doing this really fun monthly writing contest with Victoria Minks on her website www.victoriaminks.com. Anyone can join and I think it'd be great if you did it too!
So yep, pass the word along to your writing friends! The more the merrier, and just think...the more people involved the more stories you'll get to read at the end. ;) It's been great fun getting to meet people who join because a friend invited them!
Next up, it's Book Club Time! *chants* Book club, book club, book club! :D
For July-August 2017, the Book Club is pleased to announce that this month you will read: A book set in an era you don't normally read. I always love hearing everyone's different books for the challenge, so I'm looking forward to seeing what you all pick!
The main requirement for this, Bookbugs, is that you write a comment during the Wrap-Up version of this post (at the end of August) if you completed the reading challenge and let me know what the book was! Give a little review, or your thoughts on it, and how you would rate it. ;) And, if you're on Goodreads, there is a private group for us Bookbugs! You should definitely join it so we can have awesome bookish discussions and share book reviews and more. ;) So...let's get reading!
Alrighty, let's talk about my monthly goals, now.
Writing: Blog work. Needlemaker work. Finish my Camp NaNo goal (of 20k).
Reading: Hmmm... I have no idea, honestly. My main goal this time isn't a number but rather: I want to finish the books I've started, I want to complete one of the series I'm in the middle of, and I want to read through some books I borrowed from a friend as I won't be able to once I leave.
Other: It's basically a lot of prep for me leaving with this as well, lol.
- Finish redoing the old post graphics and editing a few old posts.
- Take lots of Bookstagram photos so I have a good supply to post from while in school.
- Schedule a few YouTube videos for my booktube channel.
Book/Writerly Chat... You know what time it is. :D Let's talk books and WIPs. ;)
- JONAS AND OLIVIA IS 1 YEAR OLD!!! Is that crazy or what? Actually, there's some big news tied to this. For July 15th-17th I'm giving away free e-copies to bloggers and review readers who would like to read and review Jonas and Olivia. Simply drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know if you are interested... and if you know someone who you think would enjoy J&O then let them know of this offer too before it's over! :D I'm starting a new section on the book pages here on the blog where I list reviews from other people, so if you've done one before (or you do one in the future) be sure to let me know and I'll put your post in the list! It's a great way to not only share reviews for potential readers but for your blog to get more publicity too. ;)
- THERE IS A SALE GOING ON, Y'ALL. So maybe you're not a blogger, but you still want to read J&O ... well don't worry, there's a great sale going on right now! From July 16th to July 17th you can get an ebook copy for a reduced price... but act fast, because it's a quick sale! The first 12 hours are 50% off ($1.99) and the last 12 it's 25% off ($2.99).
- I MADE A BOOK TRAILER. So for the 1 year anniversary of J&O I decided to make a book trailer! :O It was a rather last-minute project but I'm really excited. It's my first book trailer, y'all. lol. Go check it out, and let me know if you'd like to see more book trailers for future novels! :)
- So I had this idea. If I'm able to get 50+ ebook sales within the next week, I'd write a free Culpepper story and publish it here on the J&O page. If I get 100+ ebook sales, I'll read the story for a YouTube video. Maybe enlist some help and do a slightly dramatized version. :P BUT the only way this will happen is if you encourage your friends and family to get the ebook! It's a lot of sales, but it's also a really great price so... let's share this around and try to hit those numbers! :) Bookbugs unite! :D
So there you have it! SO much excitement, I don't even know how to handle it all lol!!