Saturday, May 31, 2014

MARRIAGE: #SaturdayScenes #SSFlashFiction #FiveSentenceFiction

This is my post for #SaturdayScenes.
I hope you enjoy it and will come back next week for another #SSFlashFiction tale!



As she silently slipped into her clothes, she glanced over at the sleeping body and knew this would be the last time she would ever have to look at that face, now lit eerily by the full moon outside the window.

She dropped her wedding ring on the dresser, reflecting back on how happy she had been when he first put it on her finger, then pulling her already packed duffel bag out of the closet, she tip-toed through the kitchen towards the back door, holding her breath and pausing briefly when the old wooden floor creaked under her shabby moccasins.

Finally she exhaled and continued her quiet journey, sighing in relief as her hand reached the door, knowing she was almost free - finally, after ten years of married hell.

Then she heard it, footsteps stomping down the stairs and her heart raced with panic as she fumbled with the knob...

His voice roared from the darkness, "Dammit girl, where the hell do you think you're going?"

Lillie McFerrin Writes

Friday, May 30, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things: Health and Welfare

As part of my new initiative for my blog posts, I have joined VikLit's Celebrate the Small Things - something to post on Fridays.

I may post something about writing, something personal, something random or even all the above.

Or if I have a REALLY off week, I might just post a photo. ;)
  • I had my first medical appointment in Ecuador, visiting a dermatologist to check out some spots. Everything was fine, you can read more about it (and see some photos) here.

    This actually was a last week thing but wanted to mention it because a good friend was just diagnosed with melanoma. I am a blue eyed brunette that burns easily and got many a sunburn when I was young as well as spent a lot of time without sunscreen while living in Florida for a lot of 1965-1985. Please, take care of your skin and use your sunscreen (or better yet, cover up).
  • I find myself sharing a lot of positive quotes on Facebook and have now started to save some of them for Instagram. I find many are using Instagram as much (or more) for that purpose rather than just snapping photos. Because you have to be on the lookout against getting a tablet or smartphone snatched, I don't take time to put things up when I take them. [I am FroggiDonna on Instagram]
  • Hubby's youngest is expecting her first next week and he is flying back to the US on Sunday to be there. She has done exceptionally well during her pregnancy and I am on pins and needles to meet baby Waverly on Facetime/Skype. WOOT!
  • Oh yeah, and one writing related thing - June I start working on book three in my Klondike Mystery series. Wish me luck, been 18 months since I finished book three, Barely a Spark. Going to take a little bit to get back into the swing of it!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

OPPORTUNITY - Visual Dare #SaturdayScenes #SSFlashFiction

This is my Saturday post for #SaturdayScenes.
I hope you enjoy it and will come back next week for another #SSFlashFiction tale!
PROMPT: 150 words or less

VisDare 62: Opportunity

Sure she was going to die, she held her breath as the gondola on the carnival ride swung out of control, almost hitting the supports behind her. Her knuckles whitened as she clenched her hands tighter. Her heart raced in sync with the screams of the crowd.

The crowd fell silent and she saw all hands pointed upward. Looking around wildly, she was astonished to see the ride attendant swiftly climbing the rigging and before she could react, he leapt into the basket with her.

He smiled, bent down and said, "Hello, my name is Adam and I'll be your server today."

She laughed and as the momentum of the gondola slowed from their combined weight he leaned in and stole a kiss.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things: Technology

As part of my new initiative for my blog posts, I have joined VikLit's Celebrate the Small Things - something to post on Fridays.

I may post something about writing, something personal, something random or even all the above.

Or if I have a REALLY off week, I might just post a photo. ;)

  • Biggest thing was migrating from Essential Pim back to Thunderbird and Lightning. Why? For an easier migration from my PC to a Mac this fall. I have to admit that I was impressed by how much better Thunderbird/Lightning is now than it was four years ago when I left.
  • I watched as the price for the laser printer I wanted on Amazon was raised by $10 a couple weeks ago. I check it daily and the price on Sunday morning dropped back by $10. By Sunday night it was at the lowest ever, dropping another $9. Needless to say, it got ordered! WOOT! Brother HL-2270DW Compact Laser Printer with Wireless Networking and Duplex
  • I had my first doctor visit in Ecuador...wonderful experience. You can read about it here. I spent my waiting time reading a book about marketing for indie authors. Some of the information was outdated but there were definitely some good tips. You can download YOUR free copy here.
Hoping I can manage a little flash fiction for tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Why do you buy a book?

I shared this on Facebook and got some interesting answers. Love to hear yours! Please post a comment below and tell me what influences you to buy a book?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Happy Monday, MacBook Pro and a Survey

I know, all you work-a-day folks aren't so happy but now that I'm retired, I barely know what day of the week it is. I knew today was Monday because I had an appointment for a mani-pedi at the little shop around the corner. Part of the joy of living here is being able to splurge for a mani-pedi, topped off with a haircut trim plus a wrap repair on one fingernail. Cost? $20 including two tips. Nice, huh!

The only downside to living here is I haven't been able to concentrate long enough to do much fiction writing. I have committed myself to working on book three of my Klondike Mystery Series in June. When the first draft is done, I'll tackle book four. Both are roughly outlined - well, as much as I outline now. ;) Target is to have both books available before Christmas. Keep your fingers crossed!

As I mentioned in another post, I have made the final decision to move from a Windows laptop to a MacBook Pro this fall. I believe I can find most of the software I need to continue writing and doing minor website updates as well as personal chores. I've been spending time researching replacements and love the site for this.

A couple years ago I switched from Thunderbird/Lightning to Essential Pim Pro for email, contacts and calendaring. I had paid for EPIM years earlier and knew it was stable. For whatever reason I was having issues getting Lightning to play nice with Google Calendar. With the move to a Mac, it was time to move back to Thunderbird/Lightning. What a pleasant surprise! It has come a long way since I last left and the conversion, although a little time consuming on the email side, was pleasantly painless.

Time to ask for a little input. I am trying to broaden my audience for my blog and one way to help others find it is to visit other blogs and comment. So, wondering what your favorite non-writing or reading related blog is - please leave a comment below with the link. I greatly appreciate it!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

My Missing Post for Saturday!

Yup, here it is Sunday and I completely missed posting some flash fiction yesterday. We've had a very social week. Check out my personal blog posts - A week of mundane things and FRIENDS! and More MUNDANE things and more FRIENDS!

I have had a pretty good week otherwise when it comes to blog posts and a great week personally. So anyway, I'm here to apologize...wait, no I'm not. This is my blog, you're just along for the ride. [giggle - sorry, insomnia last night so I'm a little giddy]

So I'll leave you with a little humor so you can giggle along with me today...especially if you are still in the work-a-day world!

{courtesy of}

Friday, May 16, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things! A week of ALL small things....

As part of my new initiative for my blog posts, I have joined VikLit's Celebrate the Small Things - something to post on Fridays.

I may post something about writing, something personal, something random or even all the above.

This is only my second post - let's see how it goes!

Till next Friday...remember to celebrate the small things in YOUR life!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why is it? Never mind, just have fun!

As soon as I decide to cut back on blogging, I get a gazillion ideas on what to post! Couldn't resist this one...

Brick books on a blue staircase

Brick books on a blue staircase. source:

Nifty idea for repurposing old bricks - turn them into books! Seriously...whether you use them indoors or outside in your garden, the look is incredible.

Read the full article about Aussie artist, Daryl Fitzgerald of Light Reading Melbourne, and see how to make you own: Repurposed Bricks Make Beautiful Books

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Grant me patience, NOW! #Indelibles May Post

This my first post since last November for the monthly support group sponsored by The Indelibles, called Indie Life. We get to post anything we want in support of other independent authors. We post on the second Wednesday of every month.


I know, we all need to be patient. We need to work for and wait for our rewards. How come I get less patient as I get older?

[courtesy of Savage Chickens]
For me, I think I actually noticed it first after my husband of 19 years. It was a natural part of the grieving process, not being able to concentrate on anything for very long. Fast forward almost ten years and I find myself impatient for the 30 seconds left on the microwave. I stop it at 10 or less and clear it. Why? It's so silly. Makes no sense to be that impatient.

Does this impact my writing? At times it does, especially when I'm doing research. But worse is when I'm editing. By the third or fourth go-round, I'm DONE! I was ready to move onto writing the next book after the first or second revision.

How about you? Are you a patient person? Or do you want it all now, instant gratification?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Dance - Reborn

This piece is being submitted to the J.A.Mes Press Rebirth Anthology spring REBIRTH anthology. All proceeds will go to a UK Stroke Charity.
Title: The Dance - Reborn 
Author: Donna B. McNicol
Book: Yes

The music was her muse, captivating her imagination, orchestrating her every move. Slowly she contorted her body into ever increasingly difficult positions, striving for that perfection that never arrived.

She'd been dancing since she was 3, a little girl with ringlets showing off for her parents and friends. They had doted on her, sending for training at all the right dance academies. She had talent, everyone told her so.

She concentrated on how the music made her feel and tried to translate those feelings into movement. She hurt inside, why couldn't she get those feelings out? She wanted to share her pain with everyone, then maybe it would go away.

Suddenly the music stopped. She turned and saw Jacob standing there, a dark look on his face. "Don't frown at me," she said turning back to the mirror. "Please turn the music back on."

"You shouldn't be here, Sophie" Jacob crossed to the window. "It's such a pretty day outside. Let's go for a picnic."

A smile crossed her face, she knew he was worried about her. "Maybe later. I need to get this one movement down. It's frustrating me. Now please turn the music back on."

Sighing, Jacob did as she asked. "I don't know why you do this to yourself," he mumbled as he sat in the chair next to the door. She was so beautiful. He fell in love with her the first time he saw her dance. They were both sixteen and going to the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts in San Francisco.

Tall and slender, her long hair swept up into a pony tail, she danced like no one he had ever seen before. Her body moved in synch with the music, then would suddenly seem to have a mind of its own, telling a story that spoke to everyone watching.

They became good friends, studied together and critiqued their performances. They enjoyed the antics of a few close friends, also dancers and actors.  They met again three years later at an off-Broadway try-out in New York City, got married and eventually moved back to San Francisco where he had opened an acting school and she had joined a local contemporary dance troupe. Jacob sighed, "Our life was  so good...before-"

"Jacob, what do you think? Is this working? Can you feel it?" Sophie twisted and turned, bending her body into positions he knew were hurting her.

"Sophie, you've been in here practicing for hours. You've gone way over your endurance level. Please don't exhaust yourself. C'mon, let's go for a ride."

She was tired and discouraged but didn't want to admit it. Jacob wasn't helping her mood. "Just leave, Jacob. Please."

Watching as Sophie struggled to get into a comfortable position, Jacob opened the door. "I'll be back in 30 minutes. I'm packing us a picnic lunch and we're going for a ride. Be ready."

Knowing that no one could see her, Sophie crumpled, laying her head in her lap. Life wasn't fair, she knew that better than anyone. Her parents had died young, leaving her in the custody of a guardian when she was only fifteen. Now this. How much could one person bear?

She crossed to the window enjoying the view of the valley below here. Jacob had brought her here to heal but she wasn't sure it was working. He was too good to her and she rewarded his love and affection with anger.

That was it! She needed to dance out her anger, then she would feel better and wouldn't take out everything on Jason. She turned towards the mirror once again. Gathering in all her anger, she started again.

This was HER dance, the dance of her life. She waited for the music to flow through her. Slowly she started moving, swaying, feeling...dancing. She let the anger fuel her and she felt better than she had in months. Yes, this was the answer. She laughed, knowing she'd found the secret.

Jacob opened the door and stopped and watched Sophie dance. She was so beautiful in so many ways. A tear slid down his cheek as he felt her pain and knew it was leaving her body through the dance.

The song ended and once again Sophie slumped with fatigue. Breathless she looked up at Jacob. "Did you see me? Could you feel it? It was wonderful...I danced!"

Jacob headed to her, "Yes, I did see you and I did feel it. You are wonderful." Standing beside her he took her hand and kissed it. "So, are you ready for the picnic?"

"Definitely. Let's go."

Jacob steered her wheelchair out of the room.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day was yesterday....

My mother was born in 1924 and passed away in 1985, way too young. She had a difficult life. Her mother died giving birth to her. She and her older brother were put into the foster care system as orphans when she was three. (I have since found via that her father was alive but in prison and suspect that was where he died. No idea why he was there.)

She often talked about "Granny" and living in Andover and Randolph. I suspect Granny was an older woman who needed a companion as well as a child to love. Another home she talked about was a doctor's house where she was a companion to his daughter as well as a maid. Most home in that era used foster children as labor and/or companions.

Reatha & Thornton Burns - my foster grandparents
When she was a teen she was taken in by a wonderful family who had an only daughter. They had three foster girls, one of them my mother. This became her final foster home and they became our maternal grandparents (and their daughter became our aunt).

Laurel (l), Aunt Frances Burns, my mother (r)
She called them Aunt Reatha and Uncle Thornty (Thornton) but they were Nana and Grampa Burns to us. They lived on Standish Shore in Duxbury, Mass. A beautiful place to live and visit.

June 1942 - age 17

My mother met my father in high school. He eventually went into the Navy and she studied nursing at Children's Hospital in Boston, becoming an RN. She was in the service and served in Key West, I'll never forget her stories of the electrical storms there (she was terrified of them the rest of her life), the lightning running around the wiring at the top of the walls.

Nursing School - age 18
They married and I was born, three years later my brother, Charlie, was born and in another three years, my youngest brother, Kendall, was born.

My father & mother (1945?)
As long as I can remember, she was a working mother, something not very common in the 1950's. When I was around age 5-7 she worked in a nursing home and would often take me with her. I remember helping serve the dinner trays and then I would nap until it was time to go home. But most of the time she worked in hospitals, Plymouth Hospital and the hospital in South Weymouth until we moved to Kensington , NH. Then she worked at either the Exeter Hospital or the one in Haverhill, MA.

When I was the last few months of my senior year in high school, my parents moved to Vero Beach, FL. I stayed with the family of a good friend until graduation, then followed them. Once again my mother worked full-time nursing at the Vero Beach Hospital and did until the day she died.

She wasn't perfect and she was a product of her growing up. No mother to teach her to cook, so to this day I am not a good cook (and don't really enjoy it). But she could keep a house clean and I followed suit for many years. (After 50-60 you realize it's not all that important as long as it's clean enough to stay healthy.)

Circa 1950-1955 maybe?
She spent most of her life trying to make others happy but I suspect she never found real happiness for herself (my father is another discussion). She wasn't a hugger, kisser or cuddler - she never had it so she didn't know how to give it. For me this meant not learning to be one myself until my 40's (now I hug everyone). It wasn't that she didn't love us, it was that she didn't know any other way.

She never met my late husband, Mike, or my current husband, Stu. But I know she would have loved them both and been proud that I finally made a good decision on the marriage front. I am like her in many ways but in others, very much not like her. Conscious or subconscious decision, no matter.

I love and miss you, Mom. I hope you have found your peace and happiness. You earned it!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

DOOR - Five Sentence Fiction #SaturdayScenes #SSFlashFiction

This is my first post for #SaturdayScenes.
I hope you enjoy it and will come back next week for another #SSFlashFiction tale!

Walking up the overgrown path to the house, her head swiveled from side to side as she surveyed her surroundings, sweat dripping down the front of her neck, accompanied by warning prickle down the back, she was anxious to leave the deserted neighborhood.

She approached the old wooden door, hanging in the frame by a thread and softly knocked, her head pounding a synchronous warning to be careful, jumping back as the door swung open, seemingly creaking in pain on the rusty hinges, then cautiously stuck her head inside whispering, "Hello, is anyone here?"

Darkness enveloped the interior, lit only by a stream of sunshine as the door swung wider, a soft keening sound coming from the corner of the room.

She turned on the flashlight she pulled from her back pocket and searched for the source of the sound, biting her lip as she saw the source, a small malnourished puppy in the corner.

She carefully picked him up, smiling as he licked her face and crooned, "It's okay now little one, you're going to be fine, you're rescued and coming home with me forever."

Lillie McFerrin Writes

Friday, May 9, 2014

Celebrating the Small Things! Starting out...

As part of my new initiative for my blog posts, I have joined VikLit's Celebrate the Small Things - something to post on Fridays. I may post something about writing, something personal, something random or even all the above. So here is my first post!

Let's see, what was I doing this past week?

Hmmm, I wrote several blog posts both here and at Retired in Cuenca. That includes my Reflections on the A-Z Challenge.

I bought a couple of gorgeous necklaces handmade here in Cuenca (photos & story here).

I've eaten out with WAY too many friends, WAY too often - correction, not really, it was a blast.

Oh, and I joined the Celebrate the Small Things list (thank you, Shah Wharton for the suggestion). What else? Oh, I printed out our invoice for insurance here in Ecuador.

My, the list is getting long but so far not much of real interest.

Oh, I had an attack of vertigo Tuesday night and went to bed early (woke up okay, phew!).

Hope this hasn't bored you too much - maybe I'll have more interesting things to post next week!

Want to join in the fun? For this first week I will include the sign-up Linky.