Uncharted Woman


She wrapped the columns of her dreadlocks, silvered brown and black, around her neck casting them over her shoulder like a shall meant to keep out the cold. Her hand a pin locking them in place against her breast. Through the buzz of summer's heat, over the stillness of a barren desert she hummed to life the story woven between the wrinkles on her hands, along her lips, around her eyes. She was a wanderer. A mystic. A woman without a home, but home in all the world's shade, a queen at table when met with an oasis.

Her eyes remained closed. The white and red striped paint dried and cracked when her dark, bushy eyebrows rose and the creases of her face shifted from tension to elation. A laughter from deep in her belly rumbled out across the distance between us and into my own soul where a pensive coldness used to reside. She was a wanderer. A mystic. A woman whose voice rocked the heavens into streaming tears of rain. Where her feet touched, beneath her very soles, grew a life lush and green. It was the magic of her people, the earthliness of her spirit which urged into action the alien plains of sand and wind. Within her sphere, though surrounded by chaos and perpetual change, she stood unmoved. Her feet deeply rooted in the fine sand, her body solid as a mountain.

In a single breath she unlocked the secrets of the world and when she inhaled the light of the sun flooded her body leaving only the night's sky above and the flickering brilliance of a painted black canvas. I stood before her lost, but found. Eager, but at ease. Locked in a communion with nature.

She was a wanderer. A mystic. She was my mother. My guide. She was everything, everywhere, and when I focused too closely on the lines of her face, the color of her lips, the strands of hair which danced in the breeze her image would float away and disappear.

She was a wanderer. A mystic.




Click HERE to see the image which inspired this piece.

Writing Prompt Eighty-Three


Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
        • Optional: A photo of you
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

DUST on Tour

Starting yesterday Dust is on a virtual tour for two weeks around the bloggerverse! Check out promos, excerpts, and author interviews by following the schedule below:


April 25th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading
April 25th: Promo Post @ Stormy Night Reviewing
April 27th: Book Excerpt @ I’m an Eclectic Reader
April 28th: Author Interview @ Bedazzled Reading
April 29th: Promo Post @ Maari Loves Her Indies
May 1st: Book Review @ I Heart Reading
May 3rd: Book Excerpt @ The Single Librarian
May 4th: Promo Post @ The Bookworm Lodge
May 5th: Book Review @ Ali The Dragon Slayer
May 7th: Promo Post @ Editor Charlene’s Blog
May 9th: Author Interview @ Plain Talk BM

Dust  can be found at Stormy Night Reviewing today and I'm an Eclectic Reader tomorrow.

Writing Prompt Eighty-Two


Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
        • Optional: A photo of you
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Spotlight: Last Bus To The Cemetery Gates by T.K. Geering


Julianne was waiting in the queue for the last bus at Strangling Road. It was late and would probably be full, but if you were lucky you could strap hang, until the bus terminated by the Cemetery gates.

The locals had renamed the road when a young girl had been held at knifepoint, and fatally stabbed. Several weeks later it happened again but this time there had been other marks, which had been unaccounted for.

She began to pass the time with a young fella in front of her.

Late again as usual and its started to rain!

The man didn’t seem to want to talk, and pulled up the collar of his bomber jacket to stop the fine drizzle cascading down his neck. His dark hooded eyes were hidden under his black baseball cap. Pushing his hands into the jacket pockets he looked gloomily into the distance for the bus. Julianne was a bit slighted. She was quite a looker and dressed the part. Albeit on the pale side rarely did she have to force men to talk to her. She tried again

Any idea what time the bus is due sweetie?

“Nope!”

“Got a light for my smoke?” She asked removing one from the squashed packet she fished out of her coat.

Silently he took out his lighter and flicked it into action.

She bent down to light up inhaling deeply. Looking straight into his eyes she said,

“Talkative ain’tcha.”

He didn’t want to talk; his latest had just given him the elbow in favour of his best mate. Aggression crept over him. He hated women who pissed him off, but he could talk the talk no problem. He would scare her shitless. He’d seen her several times before waiting for the bus. Flaunting it and putting herself on offer to any takers…

“So, you go all the way then?” He asked suggestively.

Woah that’s a turn around!

“As far as it takes us” she smiled up at him.

Leaning in closer he put his arm loosely around her shoulders to gauge her reaction. She responded by putting her arm around his waist and looking up into his dark eyes she closed the gap between them.

“How about we walk to the cemetery gates instead of catching the bus? It’s bound to be full and it should only take us about ten minutes if we take a short cut I know down the back of Strangling Road.” He suggested.

Julianne thought about it for a moment. It had stopped drizzling now but the bus still wasn’t in sight.

“Ok, why not? What’s your name by the way?”

“Raymond, but most of my friends at work call me Ray.”

“I’m Julianne. What d’ya do for work then Ray?” she asked making conversation.

“I’m a trainee butcher and this last few weeks I’ve been learning how to cut meat. Some of those knives are that sharp I sliced through a side of beef in one cut,” he said looking for respect.

She gave it to him.

“Wow that’s awesome Ray” and for an extra incentive she squeezed his waist, which pleased him.

“This is the shortcut I was telling you about. It’s just past these bushes here.”

As they walked along the path shielded by the trees they approached a rough bit of scrubland. He stopped and roughly kissed her with his eyes open enabling him to take a quick look around. He then pushed her to the ground at the same time palming his knife.

Quick as a flash she was on top of him. Drawing back her lips, Julianne exposed a pair of fangs and sank her teeth into his neck. As she drank greedily he let out screams of horror and passed into oblivion. Taking the dropped knife she stabbed him viciously.

“Lets see how you like being stabbed through the heart.” she added venomously through her bloody fangs.  

As Julianne stood up, her black wings slowly materialised. Taking flight into the midnight sky she slowly glided towards the cemetery gates. Julianne needed to rest up and where better than here. Satiated for the moment she would be ready to take the return bus back to Strangling Road tomorrow night.

~o0o~

© T K Geering 2012


You can find more of Geering's work on her websiteTirgearr PublishingTwitterand Facebook

Then Love Happens


To my husband on our 5th anniversary.

Build Your Own Writing Prompt

I love writing writing prompts because they feel like short bursts of stories that plop readers down in the middle and leave them wondering where it's going. It allows passersby to fill in the blanks and imagine their own story whether they are writers or not. So I've decided to spice things up a bit and post links to my Pinterest boards that are filled with juicy prompt worthy images.

The rules are similar, see the bottom of this post for information on how to submit your writing prompt! Click the image to be routed to the attached Pinterest board and pick a photo that inspires you!

Black & White

Camping 

 Faces

 Greece

 Gypsy Wanderlust

 Photography

 Wyoming


Guidelines:
Length: 1-3 sentences
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your prompt into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • Web address to the image you selected
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
        • Optional: A photo of you
      • Your prompt
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message and highlight it by surrounding it with quotation marks
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.


Writing Prompt Eighty-One


Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
        • Optional: A photo of you
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Review: Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'll start this by saying I'm going off the path by reviewing this book. I don't read non-fiction recreationally. In fact, I was required to read this book for a class I am currently taking. That being said I easily give Lords of the Horizons five stars because of all the non-fiction and textbook related literature I have ever read, THIS one keeps the attention, even plays with some humor, and doesn't stop informing the reader until the final word and the book has ended.

The subject matter doesn't hurt, either. The Ottomans were wicked interesting. I have learned about the Romans and the Greeks and the Brits. I've learned about America and her relatively youthful history. I've learned about the Aztecs and the Incas. But never the Ottomans... why? I have no idea. They are ridiculously fascinating... if you can get the right book to catch your interest... like this one.

There are some cons to this work, though, that I believe are negligible. The main one for me was the author's tendency to skip around the eras from sentence to sentence rather than the book reading sequential. It made it a little confusing when I was trying to make heads and tails of who lived when and when what city was conquered by which sultan.

Overall, I appreciate Jason Goodwin's ability to present the information in an informal way. The language is easy to follow and he expertly avoids subject pretension. Even if you aren't studying the Ottoman Empire, I highly recommend Lords of the Horizons. It's equally entertaining and informative of a piece of our world's history that is often neglected in the mainstream.

Writing Prompt Eighty


Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
        • Optional: A photo of you
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Writing Prompt Seventy-Nine


Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
        • Optional: A photo of you
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Book Tour: Sheridan, Wyoming


Last week I had the amazing privilege to participate in a mini book tour in Sheridan, Wyoming. I spent much of my time on the Sheridan College campus meeting with students, community members, faculty, board members, and staff. I also offered a talk at the local public library. 
 
On my way! Headed to Sheridan on a beautiful (hellaciously windy) evening!

Stay beautiful Wyoming.

My amazing hotel room. That bed was paradise when I finally had the chance to use it!

Go time - I'm ready!

My talking points included all things Dust, my writing process, the publishing world, eBook vs. print, reading, and encouraging writers to pursue publication.

The main building which houses classrooms, the welcome desk, writing center, and arts! Sheridan's campus has an amazing support for the arts and some of the most incredible music classrooms I've ever seen.


Talk #3, located in the campus's library. We had a great turn out!

They're enjoying it, I swear.

After a long day of talks a little laughter at the public library was a great thing!

The campus was absolutely beautiful! New buildings, open architecture, and student artwork filled the hallways. They have this amazing thing called a "Hope Closet" where students and community members can go if they need clothes, food, feminine hygiene products, diapers, toothpaste, etc. all donated by staff, faculty, and students! There's an observatory and their sports complex is known as "The Dome" ... because... well... it's a dome. 

One of my favorite aspects of the campus was that the student housing looked like large craftsmen styled homes mixed in with townhome styles so that it looked like a little town with green space and courts. Oh, and did I forget to mention they have a dinosaur?!?! Apparently Sheridan even has a Dinosaur Quarry! Some people have all the luck!

A selfie with a dino... how often do these opportunities come up? My host, Keri, and I seized it!


His name is Caesar.

When Friday's talk was finished we took lunch at the Culinary Arts student restaurant which was delicious and then walked off lunch by exploring downtown Sheridan. What a neat, well taken care of, definitely in the west town!


Featuring the new, compact Tahoe SUV brought to you by amazing panorama camera work.

This J.C. Penney opened as a store known as "Golden Rule" in 1907 and was purchased by the J.C. Penney Company in 1928. It is still operational today and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2008!

This building used to be a bank.


The red building on the left was originally the fire station. The short shop between the red and brick building now sits where a road once was.


The Chocolate Tree was an absolute must-stop for us and I was sure to load up on some goodies. Delicious truffles!


The Mint Bar is an iconic stop in Sheridan. Filled with history, taxidermy, and all things Wyoming, it's definitely something you don't want to miss! 
 

The Queen even visited the Mint Bar, so why wouldn't you? 
We swung into King's Saddlery to explore all the equipment cowboys use and wear while out on the ranch.

More taxidermy - this is Wyoming after all!


In back they had a museum whose walls were lined with historic saddles of varying professions and eras. A few carriages were included and a covered wagon.

Horse blankets are my favorite!

There was some exotic taxidermy, too, but I'll spare you the lions, dik-diks, and giraffe with a close-up of the spots instead.
All of this was made possible by this amazing woman! I met Keri at the 2015 Wyoming Writers, Inc. Annual Conference in Cheyenne and we became fast friends. She helped organize, find funding, and played tour guide for me while I was there. She was able to involve the Sheridan College Foundation Office and Library to support my expenses for the trip... it's amazing! It was such an educational, career forwarding opportunity - I couldn't have done it without her. 


This whole opportunity helped me gain confidence in speaking about Dust, writing, and how to get published. I was able to reach out to a few aspiring authors and met some really great people. Overall, it was a complete success and I can't wait to do it again.... although Sheridan has certainly set the bar high!

Acknowledgements:
A special thank you to Keri, the Foundation Office, Library, and Writing Center for supporting this endeavor and spoiling me to the hilt! 

Writing Prompt Seventy-Eight


Guidelines:
Length: 800 words or less
Deadline: None
Submission: 
  • Submit via email to beauxcooper@gmail.com
  • Copy your story into the Message box:
    • Include:
      • "Writing Prompt #____"
      • Your return contact information marked with a "(P)" for private if applicable
      • Public contact information you would like me to reference if your piece should be selected for feature.
        • This can include your website or blog as well as your social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.
        • Optional: A photo of you
      • Your story
        • Please copy and paste into the body of the message, however, if you have a special format design for your story (such as moments of centered or right alignment, size, etc.) attachments are accepted.
Award: My favorite submissions will be featured on beauxcooper.com as well as all BC's social media outlets with all links connecting back to your blog/social media/website/etc.

Review: The Call of the Canyon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Escape into the depths of northern Arizona's canyons where realities change and spirits are healed.

In the wake of the Great War Carley Burch finds herself dreaming of wedding bells and city life with her fiance, Glenn, in the wonderful metropolis of New York City. Carley is a dandy little gal, caught up in a superficial ego groomed for city life with an independent woman's purse. If only Glenn felt the same way. Searching for meaning to his life and to his experiences in the war, Glenn leaves New York for the dusty, untamed lands of Arizona. Can Carley convince him to come home or will Glenn be able to show her why she needs to stay?

This was my introduction to Zane Grey, one which started a long lasting love affair of westerns. It also holds the title of being my favorite Zane Grey novel and for many reasons.

The story alone is compelling, humorous, and relevant, however, my absolute favorite element of The Call of the Canyon is Grey's reference to what we now know as PTSD. When Glenn returns from the war and is expected to act happy-go-lucky like all the other young men who (unlike him) were able to dodge conscription because of wealthy fathers he suffers from a great depression which his doctor attributes to shell shock. The end result is a decline in his overall health centralized in his lungs - the after-effect of being gassed while out in the field. The remedy? Move to Arizona where the west is still a little wild, where he can build his strength in the dry, arid climate, and step away from the business of the city.

Another favorite point is the main character, Carley's, transformation from a tease of a tart to a well rounded, insightful human being. It's a transformation completely relevant to today's social climate as well as the mind games women play with men. As a whole, her experience has a way of acting as commentary on our own lives. It's just beautifully done.

If you've never read a western I recommend starting with this one. There's adventure, love, humor, and life lessons. Grey is masterful in describing the environs of Arizona, as is his way - the landscape acts as more than a backdrop, but rather a leading character in each of his novels. It's inspiring. Not interested in westerns at all? Have you ever tried one? It's ok - drink the kool aide. Grey will take good care of you.