Who Knew?

I had no idea that simple time management was in my way of having a fruitful and joyful writing life?

Really does make me feel a tad bit stupid, but that’s okay, I just wasn’t ready to hear it yet.

I can’t really force myself to stick to an early morning schedule, so, the only alternative was a nightly schedule. An hour, that’s it.

Well, lemme tell you what happened in the first hour!!! I got the bones of the devotional book that’s been on my heart called “Rest” (Not the full title, I’m sure, but it’s about resting in prayer).

From start to finish! In ONE HOUR!

One hour of focused, determined writing got me exactly what’s been laying on my heart down on paper, er, Scrivener.

Here’s to Camp NaNoWriMo!


Rocking Chair Me

Someone challenged me to write what me in the future would say to me now, in reference to goals and dreams.

I wrote two versions…

The Rocking Chair Me that DIDN’T reach for my goals and

The Rocking chair Me that DID reach for my goals.

Now, notice I said “reach for”, not “reached for and failed”. There’s a big difference. If I reach for them and fail, heck man! I reached! If I didn’t reach for them…here’s what happened:

In the first version where I didn’t reach for them, I was bitter, frustrated, angry, and blamed everyone else for my situation and failures. I had a constant scowl on my face and rocked back and forth, short and precise. I’m not even kidding that it was rainy and I had a dirty, dark view from that porch!

In the second version where I reached, I was bold, bright, and sat on the edge of the rocker, excited to pack, my children had taken the “step over your fear” attitude into their own lives and were exactly where God wanted them. So was I! My husband (who in real life just finished his degree at FSU and is going for his teaching certificate) and I were taking off in a few hours for ANOTHER summer vacation, and I had not a care in the world. The sun was shining so bright that the grass was a vivid green and the sky was a vivid blue.

Now, in reality, my only question is this:

Where had we gone on our previous vacations, but most importantly? Where were we headed NEXT!

Daily Prompt | Short Story – Finale

As Mike rubbed my back slowly in a circle, I did my best to breathe.

“I was tired after walking from school that day, my bag was heavy and I had a project due with extra library books. The flowers were so bright, the leaves were so vivid green. I remember I wanted to gather some for mom but I didn’t, I knew I had very little time to do my project before school ended, and I had a lot of reading to do.

“I went through the bushes and came to dad’s back door. It was reserved just for the President of the Global Embassy, in case the press was hounding him. That day it was quiet. I made it up to his floor and heard men talking in the kitchenette. I slowed down, thinking something was odd.”

“What was odd?”

“Their voices, the way they spoke, it seemed like they were hiding something.”

“So you slowed down?”

“Yes. I stopped just shy of the door. Now I realize I heard Rembrandt. That’s whose voice I heard.”

“What did he say?”

I closed my eyes tighter, “He had the weapons ready for their trip.” I opened my eyes slowly, “That’s all I can remember.”

Mike leveled his gaze on me, “Close your eyes and think past what you saw. What else happened?”

I closed them, “Okay, I remember Jimmy, dad’s bodyguard came out of the kitchenette and led me toward dad’s office.”

“Do you remember hearing anything in the background?”

I slowly played through the moments, “Rembrandt said he had the weapons, and that his team was in position.” My eyes shot open, “His team? I don’t remember hearing that. What team?”

“What else?”

“His team was in position. I remember looking back behind Jimmy and seeing-” I opened my eyes, but closed them again, “No.”

“Who?” Mike followed me the few steps I took to the couch, “Who was it, Sara?”

“Delgado and Mr. Glenn.”

He stood and scratched the back of his head, “Wait, the guys that helped us out were planning this?”

My phone dinged with an email. “It’s from Delgado!” I opened it and let Mike see. He got his notebook off the lighted table and began writing down the letters I dictated off the copy of Delgado’s map quadrant.

“Wait, it spells my dad’s name. They threw us on a wild goose chase.” My chest began to feel heavy. “If this was nothing more than a circle, a game, then what was the point?”

“To keep us busy?”

My throat closed up, “Oh God.” I couldn’t get the words out in time before there was a crash through the office window. I pulled my gun out and got ready to shoot when Mike grabbed my waist and pulled me behind the couch.

“This was their security system!” Mike bellowed over the sound of gunfire. “They knew we were onto them when we asked for their maps!”

I watched with pride as Mike checked his magazine and loaded his gun. He looked up to me with an expression that said his goodbye and his resolution all at once. “If we don’t make it?”

“Don’t talk that way, look at this as target practice! You can’t-”

His lips crushed over mine and pulled my skittish soul out of hiding. Before I could react, he was gone.

I was left with burning lips while he leaned his upper torso out from behind the couch and fired off several shots.

My mind finally reached my body again and I leaned out the opposite side of the couch. There were three men. Two. Mike shot one! I was so proud! He’d never practiced prone positions or supine positions before. He adapted fast. I aimed at one’s leg, then shot his head as he leaned down. Then before I could get off another shot, Mike dropped the third and final man.

We huddled together and made a plan to get the bullets off my dad’s desk. “If there’s anyone else on my parent’s compound, we need to be ready.”

“I’ll get the bullets, you check those guys out, see if you recognize them. If we can get a handle on who’s behind this attack, we can get a handle on who’s in charge.”

I nodded, feeling a bit strange hearing orders from Mike. I actually liked the way he was taking charge. “Dad has an armored car, if we can create a diversion, we can make it out.”

“Maybe we need to start with the media since we don’t know what part of government to start with.”

“Sounds good.” Each man proved to be unfamiliar to me, until I reached the final face mask. “Oh God, Mike.” Before someone could come cover this up as well, I took pictures. “Well, we have enough evidence to take it to the media.”

“What’s up?” He carried the bullets and mom’s revolver, but when he neared me, he froze. “Rembrandt.”

“Call someone, anyone, your mom and dad, the media, everyone. I have the pictures of the genocide, and we have Rembrandt’s body. Call them now.”


Sirens and news vans covered my parent’s compound. The news anchors asked questions of myself and Mike after the officers got finished taking our statements. I made a point to say, on national, live television that my father was innocent, and that it was his journal that led us to the truth.

Mike sat beside me on the fountain’s edge in the front drive. “How are you feeling?”

“Better now.”

“I heard the chief say his apologies to you, and also, I heard him say there were more mass graves? He also wanted you to be in charge of finding out who they were and notifying their families?”

I nodded, “And they want me to organize a mass funeral. It’s long overdue.”

“I’ll be right beside you.”

He leaned in and kissed me slowly this time.

“You’d better be.”

“Such a bossy zombie.”
via Daily Prompt: Create

Daily Prompt | Short Story – Day Ten

I looked up from the page we were examining in dad’s journal to see Mike’s questioning eyes, “What?”

“I’ve been meaning to ask, what happened to your family that day? Mrs. Glenn said her husband was waiting for your parents in the car, were they planning on going somewhere?”

“Mom and dad heard the bombing start, and knew we were in trouble. He hid me in the faux room, and he and mom went to their offices. They never came home either. I heard people come in the house, but like dad said over and over, I waited in the room until I didn’t hear anything. I was so hungry by the time I came out, and so afraid for where my parents were.”

“I’m sorry, Sara.”

“What about yours?”

“We live far enough away from the city, so by the time the military got there and stopped the terrorists, we were never targeted.” He fidgeted with his pen, “At least all this time I’ve thought it was terrorists. Come to find out it was someone from the Global Embassy.”

I could feel his eyes still on me, which made it hard to breathe, so I went to the lighted table and looked at the name we’d deciphered off the third piece of the map we’d tracked down earlier today. “We don’t know that yet, we don’t know who it was. Find anything in dad’s journal?” I felt like an idiot knowing I’d just been looking at the same page he was.

He sucked in a deep breath and let it out as he hung over the open pages, “Other than he wanted to spend more time with your mom, nothing yet.”

“Keep going over every page, we don’t want to miss anything.”

“Do you know that name?” He pointed at the map.

“Delgado. I think he’s the Mexican Representative. He and his wife were always so nice to us. I think he has the last piece of the map, dad trusted him. Once we get the map together, we can figure out why it’s important.”

I dialed the number on dad’s Rolodex, once Delgado got on the line, I knew I’d have to be quick. He answered yes and no to my questions, forcing me to get creative with them. He said no he wasn’t able to talk about it at the moment in detail, and no, the map wasn’t at his house, that yes he could get it to me. He would send it sometime today. Yes via email. “We may have to wait on that one for a while, he seemed pretty occupied.”

“I found something over here.”

His voice was getting that usual spark to it, I hadn’t heard it for a couple days. “What’s up?”

“Your dad mentions weapons here, and that he doesn’t trust some of the Representatives.”

“We already knew that. we just needed to know who.”

“I’ll find out who, you order dinner. I’m finally getting somewhere.” He looked to me and froze, eyes wide and blank, “Wait a second. You said you overheard someone speaking about the weapons. Did he go on the trip with your dad?”

“Yes, I had to practically catch dad coming out of the bathroom to speak with him privately that day in Florida.”

“Who went with him to Florida?”

I pointed to the journal, “I think he mentions it, flip forward to June thirteenth.”

“He mentions Delgado and also-” He froze again, although he tried to speak past the hitch, he only stared at me.



“The American Representative!”

He put down dad’s journal and came close to me, almost too close. I could feel his warm breath on my nose, “Think, Sara. What exactly did you hear that day?”

My mind was a total blank. Mike grabbed my hands, “Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.” I obeyed. “Close your eyes and walk me through it.”


via Daily Prompt: Total

Daily Prompt | Short Story – Day Nine

“I’ve got it!” Mike banged on the desk, and did what I could only imagine was a happy dance.

“Don’t do that! You’re gonna give me a heart attack!” I laid down dad’s journal and went over to the desk. Mike had constructed a rudimentary lighted table by placing broken window panes from the raid over a lamp and cardboard box. His skin glowed, but his eyes were dancing with his news. “You’ve got what?”

“This is a puzzle. This is one quarter of a map, right?” He pointed to the ripped sides. “It’s a map to the map! If you’ll look at the cities that have been circled, the words aren’t fully circled, just part of them. But! If you write them out-” He handed me his notebook.

“It’s a name.”

“Yes! My guess is this person has the rest of the map, or maybe part of it.” He leveled his eyes, “Do you recognize this name?”

“He was my dad’s driver. I don’t even know if he survived the attacks. See if you can figure out where he lives now, and we’ll pay him a visit.” I wanted to read more of dad’s journal, to piece some of this together, to see where his head was at when this all went down, but I hid it instead in the faux wall.


The small, aged woman that answered the door seemed fragile, even more so after I mentioned her husband’s name. “He’s gone, honey, I’m sorry. He was in the car waiting for your mom and dad when the bombs hit, never came home.”

The same unexpected nausea like I’d just seen a mass grave came over me, “I’m so sorry, Mrs. Glenn.”

Her eyes took on a faraway look as she glanced past us, “Anger won’t bring him back, neither will worry.” She focused back on us, “What can I do for you?”

“Did Mr. Glenn ever talk about a map? Or a piece of a map?”

Her cloudy grey eyes registered something, “One moment.”

Mike nudged me in the side when she was gone, “You think she knows anything else? Maybe he talked with her?”

Before I could answer, she came back, “Here you go. I wasn’t sure what to do with that thing, I just left it in his dresser drawer.”

I inspected the map, it wasn’t singed like mine on the edges, but it was certainly part of a quadrant. “This is the upper left. Dad had the upper right.” Mike only nodded. “Mrs. Glenn, did he ever talk about strange things at the Global Embassy?”

“Talk to me? Oh no. He never spoke of the things that went on there, and I never asked.”

I could almost feel Mike wilt beside me. “Okay, thank you so much, Mrs. Glenn. I’m so sorry again for your loss.” She allowed a half smile but bid us goodbye and shut the door.

Mike made me go to McDonald’s for lunch. I hadn’t been since they rebuilt it. I mostly hid away after the Great American Genocide. I felt responsible for everyone’s pain. In their eyes, my father caused this, and I am my father’s daughter. I stopped looking into people’s eyes since the first national news spot where his name was ripped apart. These thoughts bolstered my desire to read more of my father’s journal, to piece all this together. As I pushed in my straw to puncture the lid of my sweet tea, I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather do than clear my father’s name.

via Daily Prompt: Puncture

Daily Prompt | Short Story – Day Eight

I reached for the volume button while Mike grabbed his water. “Okay, I’ve taught you offense, defense, and target practice.”

He winced and wiped his face with a towel, “Right,” we were both out of breath, “And I’ve covered computer 101, the history of genocide and a government refresher course.”

The squeaky wheels of the portable punching bag hurt my ears as I pushed it to the corner of my dad’s gym room. Mike and I both removed our gloves, unwrapped our wrists at the trash can and began stretching on the mats.

“I don’t think my body has hurt this bad since I was in Middle School soccer.”

“Nor I since dance.” It had been about a month now since we decided to get dad’s journal back. We had to fill our time with constructive activities or we would have gone crazy. I squirted water in my mouth, “No more attacks on the house since the first one.”

“It’s time.”

I nodded once, we were both ready for whatever was in my father’s journal. “Let’s go to the bank.”

He got a shower in the gym while I freshened up in my room, we met in dad’s office to go over our plans. His eyebrows raised as I loaded bullets into my gun, “What, I  want to be prepared.” I felt my eyes dance and I let a smirk slip across my face, “I have something for you.” The box that had arrived early that morning sat on the desk, “Open it.”

He glanced sideways at me but still went to the box. As he ripped open the package, I felt the giddy excitement I used to feel when I gave mom and dad presents. His eyes sparkled, “No way!”

“We don’t have time to practice with it now, but we can have target practice again when we come back.”

“My very own Glock!”

“It’s my thanks for helping me fix the door. Now, no more whining to use mine, got it?”

“Can I use it today?”

“No.” I snapped in my magazine, hid my gun in my purse and turned to walk out. “You get the revolver.”

It seemed almost too easy that we retrieved the journal and map, and exited the bank without a hitch.

“I can’t tell if I’m more exited to look over the journal or practice with my very own weapon!”

I looked down at the journal and map, if the police wanted these things, Mike would be using his new gun before long. “How about you start target practice while I study dad’s journal.” His wide smile warmed my heart. I watched him go outside the back as I pulled opened the journal. “Alright, dad, what do you have to say, I’m listening this time.”

via Daily Prompt: Volume

Daily Prompt | Short Story – Day Seven

I held out our money for the tender and nodded my thanks. The salty breeze at the off-shore gun range lifted my spirits. I breathed in and allowed myself to get pumped up for one of my favorite past times. I used to come here with dad all the time, and the good memories were nice for a change. No morbid graves to mark, no police to hide from, no memories of the family I’d lost; just me, my gun, and the sound of the ocean.

“When did you learn to wield a gun?”

“Age four.”

“Four! Isn’t that child endangerment? Forcing a child to learn guns?”

“More dangerous to not know.”

He carried the heavy tackle box full of various bullets, all caliber and points we’d ever need, and I carried our picnic basket, loaded with numerous snacks and lunch.

Mike’s clear, crystal eyes saw to my soul, here at the turquoise ocean, his eyes pierced me even more. I smiled at the memory of his reaction to me asking him to get his swimming trunks this morning before we left.

His smirk caught me off guard, “What?”

“Well, we almost seem like normal teenagers.”

I huffed, “I can’t even remember normal.”


“I’ll let you use mom’s revolver again.” I knew once I said it he’d give me that look, he wanted my dad’s Glock, and there was no way he’d get that. After looking at his eyes and losing my breath for a second at the intensity of them, I caved. “Alright! How about we look for you one and I let you practice with both today.”

That smirk again. It alarmed me, but calmed me at the same time the way Mike made me feel. Secure but insecure, happy but scared. Calm, nervous. Shy, bold.

“You never answered my question the other day.” He held open the door for me as we entered the range.

“What question?”

“How did you get to Florida when the genocide started?”

Good feelings gone. I felt the smile I didn’t know I had on my face slip off, and a lump grew in my throat, “What does it matter?”

“Seriously, Sara? There is a ban on flights. All flights. And those pictures were from ground zero, they were fresh. You were there, weren’t you? When it hit?”

My fingers itched to wrap around the handle of my gun, to squeeze the trigger.

“The whole world was told it was a terrorist attack, and you tell me it’s an inside job. No media outlet showed those photos. And yet, here’s Sara with Polaroids. What happened?”

The heaviness in my heart pulled me back to those vivid moments. Instinctively, I swatted Mike’s hand as he reached toward my face. His eyes didn’t waver as he reached back up to me and wiped a tear off my cheek.

“Sara, you don’t have to-”

“I walked to the Global Embassy after school sometimes when I didn’t have a ride. No one knew I was there. I would sneak in through dad’s back door.” I loaded bullets for the both of us and handed him the revolver. “I overheard someone talking about the weapons they were acquiring for the trip they planned with dad. It worried me, because I knew my dad was strongly against illegal gun activity, the black market, and the opinion some had to weaponize the Global Embassy.”

“Did you tell him?”

I showed Mike how to point the gun, stand and pull the trigger, also how to hold it when he’s not aiming at a target. “No. I begged him to let me go.”

“Did he let you?”

“No.” I emptied my magazine into the paper down the range, and I watched Mike do the same. “Next time, see the target, set the sights, then shoot. If you focus on the target, you lose your sights.” After several rounds, we cleaned up and went out to the docks for lunch.

Mike unwrapped our sandwiches as I let the breeze play with my hair. “So, if he didn’t let you go, how’d you get there?”

“I booked a flight behind his back. I wanted to warn him, but he was constantly surrounded by security. When I showed up in his hotel room, he was furious! He asked what was I thinking, and when I began to tell him what I’d heard, the bombs went off. I was too late. Through all the rubble and the ringing in my ears, I heard the emergency siren. We went down there together, that’s when I took the pictures. They whisked us back home, and that’s when it began.”

“When the genocide began?”

“When the lies began. When I heard what the media was sharing, I was so confused.” I made air quotes, “Terrorists.” I shook my head and ate, though I was blind to the taste. “It wasn’t long until the genocide reached here.”

“When did you start marking the mass grave sites?”

“I didn’t start in Florida, they took us away too quick, but I started when it hit home. My home.” My chin did the annoying quiver thing, and I put down my sandwich.

“I’m so sorry you had to see that, Sara.”

I could almost feel the burden on my shoulders slip onto his a little. So much for the breeze and ocean pulling my cares away, to my surprise, Mike was doing it better. I pulled in a deep breath and rose, “Let’s go. We have to get that journal back.”

Mike stood and stretched, but instead of helping me gather the trash, he grabbed my wrist and pulled me toward the water. For a short, simple moment, we were two people, playing in the ocean.

via Daily Prompt: Tender