Saturday, July 13, 2019

Recent Exposure


 Well as promised here are a few pages of the NANOWRIMO short story. It has been spell checked and quickly edited. comments are welcome. I have a working title of Recent Exposure. Since I am a "Pantser" I am still not real sure where this going. I have a general idea of an ending but each day a new idea pops up during writing. I love that about not plotting. But the getting lost some times bites. Any way enjoy. This is the first five pages. I have thirteen so far. One thing about pasting to Blogger is that it does not indent as in word, but the spaces between the dialogue help.
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Steve Garcia knelt before the broken body of his patient Tammy Atchison.  Cold wind whistled through the jagged edges of his broken heart. Blood soaked the cute sundress she had talked about and desired for a month. The month she was in therapy, the month he had to help her come to grips with sadness. She held the sadness at bay while she told her story of abuse and neglect of parents addicted to the good life filled with parties and drugs. She scoffed when she said good life; as far as she was concerned, nothing in life was good.

She was a master of covering the pain. Every so often, he could see a glimmer of the storm behind the eyes. He had seen stronger cases of depression where the patient lived a normal life. In his professional opinion, he believed she would be fine and that all she needed was a few sessions under his care and she would be on the road to recovery. This was not the road to recovery. This road led to the county morgue. He touched her cold hand and believed he felt the last spark of life leave her body, crying out for someone to listen.  The wailing sirens of the emergency vehicles pierced the darkness and gave him a reason to move. 

He watched as the crew lifted her broken body and placed it on a gurney, covering it with a clean, white sheet.  Her body was broken and useless from the five-story fall, and though not visible, his spirit was equally shattered and dying with no chance of reviving.  He looked at his bloodstained hands in the flashing red and blue lights of the emergency vehicles, and noticed he had blood on the knees of his Canali suit. It did not matter, nothing mattered a young woman, was dead and he believed he could have prevented it if only he would have noticed. However, all indications pointed to a mild prescription and continued outpatient review.

A tall man flashed a badge and said, “Sir my name is Detective Tatum, may I ask you a few questions?”

Steve looked at his hands and then at the detective with a blank expression, “I don’t know, I was just walking home and she fell.”

The detective scribbled something in a notebook and said, “Then you were with her and you saw her fall?”

“What? No, I did not see her fall until she landed here and I ran up to her to see if I could help, but… Oh, if only I would have known.” Steve placed his blood soaked hands to his face and sobbed.

“Sir, your hands are covered in blood and you were the first one on the scene. You said you saw her fall, and then you said no you did not see her fall, but that you thought you could have stopped her. Why didn’t you stop her then?”

Steve regained his composure and replied, “No you don’t understand, I was her psychologist and she was my patient. I thought she was fine and had no reason to think that she would… that she could…” Steve bowed his head and wept.

“Sir I am going to have to ask you to come with me to the station. I have a few more questions to ask.”

Steve looked at the detective and shook his head, “I have an appointment at eight, and someone is waiting for me.”

The detective looked at him and shook his head, “No you have an appointment with me at the police station. Besides, you’re covered in blood.”

Detective Paul Tatum thought he had seen some basket cases before but he believed that this person took the prize. Covered in the blood of a dead girl, he knows the dead girl and actually spent time with her, and he just happened to be walking by when she dives off a building.

“Okay sir come with me, I’ll drive you down to the station.”

Steve felt dizzy and disoriented; the detective grabbed his arm and guided him to the police vehicle. Steve opened the back door and saw his bloody handprints on his face from the reflection of the interior light in the rear window. He bent over, gagged and threw up in the back seat of the police vehicle

 Detective Tatum squalled, “Hey, what the… Why would you do that? Get in the car and don’t do that again.”

Tatum slammed the door behind Steve and climbed into the driver’s seat of the vehicle. He fumed all the way back to precinct headquarters. Tatum pulled into the vehicle garage, helped Steve leave the vehicle, and guided him into the station. As they walked by the front desk, he bent over, said something in low tones to the desk sergeant, and then guided Steve into a room with a table and two chairs. Detective Tatum motioned for Steve to sit down and he took the chair on the opposite side of the table.

“Okay Mister Garcia, Let’s start again from the beginning. You said you watched the young woman fall from the fifth floor and did nothing to stop her. Can you explain why…?”

“I did not say that, you are trying to incriminate me by twisting everything I say. Listen, can’t you see I’m covered in Tammy’s blood. Could you please allow me to wash up?”

Tatum sat up and fired back, “yes! I do see that you are covered in blood, and don’t you see you are in an interrogation room talking to a homicide detective about a possible murder that you may have committed.”

Steve stood and placed his bloody hands firmly on the desk and in a steady low tone said, “Detective Tatum, are you charging me with murder?’

Tatum jumped to his feet and yelled, “When you have been charged with murder you will know it. If you rise to your feet again without permission, I will take you to the floor, place you in handcuffs, and charge you with assaulting an officer. Now sit down.”

Steve held his gaze and took his seat.

Tatum started to speak and Steve interrupted, “I want a lawyer.”

Tatum slammed the notebook on the table and starred at Steve. Again, Steve held his gaze and quietly said, “I want a lawyer and I want a place to wash my hands.”

Tatum threw the notebook against the door and growled, “I’m trying to help you man and now you went and messed it up.”

Steve sat back in his chair and waited. Jerking himself out of the chair, Detective Tatum pointed his finger at Steve and left the room. Shortly a young police officer came in and escorted Steve to a restroom. Looking in the mirror, he had blood on his cheek and the front of his shirt where he had touched his jacket. He washed his hands and the white porcelain sink turned red. Tears filled his eyes as the image of Tammy lying broken of the city sidewalk came back in living color.

As he continued to wash the remains of Tammy’s blood from his hands, a thought occurred to him, did Detective Tatum know something that pointed to murder? Why else would he be pushing so hard and trying to trap Steve into confessing to murder? He had to try to find out what the detective knew that would make him think that he was responsible for Tammy’s death.

No Fooling


My brother and sister-in-law just moved from Montana to a place much closer and paid us a visit this weekend. It was a very nice and long overdue visit. They are in the market for a motorhome.  We tagged along with them. It was eye opening. The variety of motorhomes available is amazing. After we said our good bye’s we headed home. It is impossible to drive highway 99 without passing trailer sales, so we stopped in and browsed. . My wife and I have a small travel trailer and enjoy it much. We purchased the trailer before I retired and have used it quite often.

We do not owe anything on our current truck and trailer, which makes it much easier to go more often. However, who doesn’t wish for something newer or more powerful.  We did some shopping and I came away with sticker shock, something usually associated with actually buying the product. In my case, just being close to the prices of new trailers was enough to scare me. The RV industry is driven by the desire of people to enjoy themselves. The operative word in the acronym RV is Recreation.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying yourself; I am not against buying things either. I am a tech fan and love getting new devices. However, a quote from a man who gave all for his faith made me stop and think about priorities. Jim Elliot gave up everything to take the good news to the Huaorani Indians in Ecuador. He said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”  It is important to enjoy life; it is a blessing from the creator of all things, but at the same time, the wise person learns how to hold on loosely to the things of this world.

John 3:16 says, “For God so love the world that he gave his only son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.”  Eternal life is the thing that you cannot lose, once you have turned your life over to Him and believe in Him. Everything in this world is temporary including life. The only thing in this world that last forever is the word of God and the promises of God. This is the good news that Jim Elliot gave is life to bring to an isolated tribe in the jungles of Ecuador. For there to be good news there must in turn be bad news. The bad news is that there is also eternal life apart from God. Our last breath on earth is not the end. Our eternal souls live on with God forever or without God forever. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the father but by me.” I invite you to look into Jesus he has the answers.

If you are in the market for a big-ticket item and can afford it, buy it and enjoy it but learn to hold on loosely.  Do not be a fool for the things of this world.

Cliff

 

 

                                                            Sticker Shock

Friday, June 28, 2019

Hello World


Hello world, there is no time like the present to blog. I have many reasons for not blogging sooner but in the end no excuse. In July, I have joined camp Nanowrimo and I am very excited for the opportunity to write. I have joined a cabin this year and will be writing with other people, or actually, I will get to share my story as they share their stories. I have chosen the working title, Recent Exposure. Here is the synopsis and a brief excerpt.

 

Synopsis:

Doctor Steve Garcia suffered a psychiatrist worst nightmare when he found one of his patients had committed suicide. He blamed himself for not recognizing the signs, and left the field of psychology. A year later, new evidence surfaced and the police department reopened the case as a homicide. To his amazement, he was the number one suspect. Steve Garcia was plunged into a nightmare where the truth did not matter, and honesty and ethics were ammunition for the prosecution to put Steve away for the rest of his life.

 

Excerpt:

Recent Exposure

Steve Garcia kneeled before the broken body of his patient Tammy Atchison. A thousand needles of regret and sorrow stabbed his broken heart. Blood soaked the cute sundress she had talked about and desired for a month. The month she was in therapy, the month he had to help her come to grips with sadness. She held the sadness at bay while she told her story of abuse and neglect of parents addicted to the good life. She scoffed when she said good life; as far as she was concerned, nothing in life was good.

She was a master of covering the pain. Every so often, he could see a glimmer of the storm behind the eyes. He had seen stronger cases of depression where the patient lived a normal life. In his professional opinion, he believed she would be fine and that all she needed was a few sessions under his care and she would be on the road to recovery. This was not the road to recovery. This road led to the county morgue. He touched her cold hand and believed he felt the last spark of life leave her body, crying out for someone to listen.  The wailing sirens of the emergency vehicles pierced the darkness and gave him a reason to move. 

He watched as the crew lifted her broken body and placed it on a gurney, covering it with a crisp, clean, white sheet. The covering of a dead body shown in a thousand television shows could not do justice to the feeling of complete failure and loss that consumed him. Her body was broken and useless from the five-story fall, and though not visible, his spirit was equally shattered and dying with no chance of reviving.

 

If you have stumbled onto this blog, welcome. If you are a writer and you have not heard of NANOWRIMO, I recommend you check it out. Just type in NANOWRIMO in Google and it will take you there. The main purpose is giving and receiving accountability.  Accountability is important for completing task. In my opinion, no task is more in need of accountability than writing. I am a classic example of a procrastinator.

I have five novels started, two are completed and waiting editing and second draft considerations, but I have not fulfilled my obligations and have reached the sacred due date for completion, (which has been set and reset many times). However, I will never give up. I keep plugging along. I am editing a 90,000-word novel as we speak and needed a small writing project to keep my imagination sharp.

Recent Exposure (working title) is a short story, probably around 8000 words. When completed I will post to the blog.  Drop me a line if you decide to join Nano and let me know how it goes.

 

Until later

Cliff

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

New Year New Start






Hello readers, here is hoping you are having a wonderful Christmas. My wife and I had the kids and grand-kids over for Christmas morning. Our family tradition is biscuits and gravy. Not real healthy but very good. We find it is a terrific way to say we love you to our kids, with the admonishment not to eat like this everyday. To keep the spirit of giving alive (a nod to the greatest gift ever given, the birth of the savior) we give gifts to our grand-kids and the adults, (my grown children and their spouses) give gift cards to each other by drawing numbers and picking one with the ability to steal or pick one from the table. It saves having to buy six separate gifts for things they don’t really need or want anyway.

I would love to hear how you celebrate Christmas. What are your family traditions? Maybe this year something went so well you want to start a family tradition. I would like to share it with my readers. I also invite you to sign up as a follower. I plan on making more blog post this year and would love to have you come along. If you are not satisfied feel free to cancel your follow, no hard feelings.


This is the time of year that most people look back on the previous year and find ways to make the new-year better. The list of things to improve is endless. Everything from “A”lways being on time for work, to never forgetting to “Z”ip your pants. I would like to hear what your goals are for the coming year. I like the sound of setting goals better than the old cliché “New Years Resolution”. Goal setting is what we all should do on a regular basis anyway.

Setting goals is healthy and stimulates growth. The good thing about goals is they can be reset as often as you like. The secret is never give up and if you do not reach the goals you set, applaud your efforts and keep track of the changes you made. Don’t beat yourself up about not reaching a goal; be proud that you even set one. That shows you have a desire to improve.

This year in my creative life, I have set some goals for writing. Writing is important to me, but I struggle with doubt and a very mean internal critic. I have learned to silence the IC and celebrate the small victories. I am celebrating this blog post. It is late and would have been much easier to call it a night and go to bed, but here I am banging on the keys. I invite you to share one goal that you plan on setting and keeping this year, and with your permission I will share. I think it is encouraging to hear what others go through. It’s good to know we are all alike in many ways.

Thanks for stopping by, Merry Christmas

Cliff

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Pictures

Hello friends,

it is summer time and the weather is heating up. I have had the pleasure of working for an Ag company as one of their field scouts. My job is to set insect traps for specific bugs and once a week I count the number of pest that have been trapped. It is a fun job I work four days a week and travel almost 500 miles in those four short days. I have seen some pretty cool things.  Below is the latest of interesting things. A mother dove chose one of my traps to build her nest and lay eggs on. When I found the nest there was already an egg. I decided to let it go and below you can see the results.





 
Here is a picture of an almond tree in the grip of winter. What's weird is this is in California and it never
Freezes here. Or does it?
 
 
That's all for now, I'll post more as they are found.
 
See you later
 
Cliff
 
 
 

You Are Enough


Hello friends, this post has been entered into the writing contest: You Are Enough, hosted by Positive Writer.

You are enough is a statement that carries a measure of subjective thought. The word bifurcates in meaning mostly by connotation. What is enough? When is there enough?  When I hear the word enough, I see my mother on a warm summer day stomp her foot and say “Enough” as her three boys argue over some injustice. Another obvious use that most of us can relate to occurs at the end of Thanksgiving dinner when offered another helping of gravy and mashed potatoes, hands go up in the air and the cry “enough!” is heard echoing through the house.

The basic idea of enough is there is no need for anything else, enough is enough. When applied to you as a writer the small three word phrase offers power and confidence to conquer any writing project that comes your way.  You have enough creativity, enough imagination and enough great ideas to be a successful writer. When faced with the daunting task of editing remember you are enough. When you hit the wall of silence you are enough to scale it and conquer the citadel of beginning, middle and end.

We all need a good “Let’s Go Team” once in a while, but a good dose of reality is important as well. The reality is that life will hand us failure and adversity. Every day of the year since the beginning of time people have failed at task performed and life in general. Businesses go under, buildings burn and rejection letters clog the postal system. However failure is not the last word. There are a dozen platitudes to emphasize the importance of never giving up. The point is “Never Give Up”.

We all know Michael Jordan as one of the best Basketball players in the history of the game, but may not be aware that his path to glory was not always easy. In high School he was told he was too short to play basketball. But instead of giving up he used the negative to drive him to greatness. He is quoted as saying, “I’ve failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.”  In his own way he told himself that he was enough. (http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/galleries/9-famous-people-who-overcame-major-failure.aspx?p=4)

Dr. Seuss the well know children’s author received twenty seven rejections for his first book before it was finally published. He is quoted as saying, “And will you succeed? Yes! You will indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed).” Dr. Seuss is no longer with us but were he alive I think he would agree that “You are enough”.(http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/galleries/9-famous-people-who-overcame-major-failure.aspx?p=10)

My fellow writers, we are as different as the flurry of snowflakes in a January storm, yet we are united by the same daunting task of putting meaningful words on the blank page. It is time we unite and our battle cry will be “You are enough”. Right now take a blank piece of paper and in an act of defiance write in bold block letters, You Are Enough. Tack it on the wall and anytime the internal critic accuses you of being a want-a-be, look at the moto and tell yourself that you are enough to handle any task that faces you. Personalize it and say it until you believe it, I am enough. I am enough to build believable character. I am enough to show and limit my telling. I am enough to write in a way that people long to read my material. Always remember a writer writes, so write away my friends because you are enough to finish any project you start.
 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Happy New Year



Happy New Year,

It is the middle of February and this is the first post of 2018. Lots of reasons but no excuse for not posting sooner. Tomorrow I am attending a writing conference in Livermore CA. I attended a two day class last year at the same location. I wrote about it in February of last year. This year is a one day course intended for more advanced writers. I do not consider myself advanced, but I am serious about learning and have a goal of publishing. If this year is anything like last year it should be very informative and helpful in the advancement of my writing career.

I will, Lord willing, give and outline of what I learned this year after the conference is over. I can say without any reservation that if you are a Christian writer and are serious about your craft, these conferences are the place for you to be. Compared to many conferences I have come across, they are very affordable. Last year was the first conference I had the pleasure of attending. I plan on making this a regular routine.  For more information you can go to the website (westcoastchristianwriters.com) and find out more about upcoming conferences and other opportunities that are available.

 Tell a friend about this blog. www.writetheway.com. There is more to come this year in the way of encouraging articles and update on my books. I am currently working a historical adventure that takes place in 1860, called Cherokee Clay. More about that later.

God Bless and keep writing
 
Cliff