We’re busy busy!

So, everyone is back from their vacations, and we’re still not posting very often? What’s going on with this?

Well, dear blogging friends, don’t fret! We’re here, and we’re still busy at work with our writing/publishing dream. Currently, we’re working on finalizing our next project: “Shorts for Short Waits.”

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This will be a collection of shorts that will be perfect for those annoying waits at the dentist’s office or when you’re standing in line at the bank. They will be similar to the shorts we’ve been posting here.

We hope to have it out and available to the public in the next few days (we’re aiming for Monday or Tuesday). And, once we get that up and running, we’ll be back here on WordPress like usual, sharing our journey with all of you wonderful people.

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Stacie

Stacie watched as the young lady two rows up flicked her blonde ringlets while smiling up at the ticket conductor “Ticket please”, he asked smiling back. “What takes you to Casper, Wyoming?”

“I’m meeting my fiancé there,” she replied.

“Lucky guy,” he replied handing her ticket back. Reaching Stacie’s seat he never even glanced at her. “Ticket please,” he mumbled.

Stacie handed him her ticket wishing he would smile at her the way he smiled at the blonde passenger. “Thank you,” he said continuing on.

Stacie felt the hurt and sadness begin to surface, bringing with it the memory of that day that changed her life–her sister Brittany’s wedding day.

Brittany was almost two years younger than her and quite beautiful. Everywhere they went people would stop and stare at Brittany. Stacie never was jealous of her baby sister and enjoyed people’s reaction to her beauty. Their relationship was close, so Stacie was, of course, in the wedding.

It was on a cool autumn day that had started out so beautifully. The ceremony was simple but elegant. Stacie and Brittany had just gotten their plates from the buffet table and were heading for the bridal table when they overheard James, Luke, and Sara–three of Brittany’s friends, talking. “I know, you would never know they were sisters,” she over heard Sara say.

“She is so plain looking. I don’t think she will ever marry,” replied Luke.

“Who would want to marry her?” said James.

Stacie had just stood there, too embarrassed to say a word. “Stacie, oh my, how cruel, please ignore them,” pleaded Brittany grabbing onto Stacies arm.

She couldn’t forget or ignore those comments. They had brought to reality what she knew was true. No one will ever want to marry her. She would never find true love.

It was two days before Christmas that she had read the advertisement: “Wife wanted. Christian. Under 25 years old.”

There were lots of advertisements for mail-order brides but this one just caught her eye. Rereading it for the third time she carefully cut it out and set it aside.

Every day for a week she thought about going west and being a bride. The thought of the adventure intrigued her, but the fear of being rejected because of her looks kept surfacing. Finally, exactly one week after she clipped the ad she stopped at the bank to check the account her father had set up on her birth. The amount was substantial as her father was a wealthy man. This made her decision easy, knowing she could provide for herself if she was rejected.

That day she replied and walked the letter to the post. It was a cold day with flurries of white snow falling that not only helped mask her tears as she walked but also gave her a feeling of being refreshed as excitement filled her. Picking up her pace she smiled to herself as dreams of adventure, a beautiful wedding, and love filled her thoughts.

Stacie gently folded the pale blue dress she had commissioned the seamstress to make. Visions of standing next to her groom as they exchanged vows of love danced in her head. Sighing, she gently placed it along with other items she had stored in a trunk at the foot of her bed. It had been almost two months since she had posted the letter.

She had told no one that she had replied to an advertisement to become a mail-order bride. Her parents would not have allowed her to do anything like that, even though she was approaching the age of twenty-three with no prospects of marriage. Stacie, glancing at her watch quickly, made her way downstairs to watch for the postman from the library window. Every day for the past week she stood quietly waiting and anticipating the arrival of a response.

Spotting the postman she quickly darted for the door. She stood there glancing down as the mail tumbled through the door slot. Gathering it swiftly she began to scan each piece. Catching her breath she stopped as she saw a letter posted in neat handwriting addressed to her. Setting the rest of the mail upon the side table she dashed to her room.

With shaking hands, she slowly opened the letter. Removing a one-way rail ticket and a note neatly written that stated: “I look forward to meeting you. Sincerely Joseph Turner.”

All of that had led her to where she was today–sitting on a train lumbering towards an unknown future. She swallowed back the tears, recalling how her parents had reacted and objected to her decision. The day she left they hugged and pleaded with her to change her mind without success. Sitting back with determination she listened to the clickety-clack of the train as it brought her closer to her dream of marriage and hopefully love.

Hope you enjoyed the third short story in a series we call Four Mail Order Brides. The first one we posted “The Pearl Necklace” inspired us to continue with the short story and start the series. The second short in the series we posted is called “The Advertisement”. Click on each title to read them. Please let us know what you think. We are really excited about this series and hope it will become one of your favorite fun reads.

Why I Write- Whitney

It’s my turn to answer this fun little question. =)

I started writing when I was really little. I’m not *really* an only child, but my siblings are all much older than me, so…

I guess for that reason I always had a really wild imagination, since a lot of times I’d have to play by myself. I think that’s probably why I started writing. Because I had so many imaginary worlds and stories flying around in my head, and I wanted to get them out.

In high school, I wrote–like most angsty teenagers do–to vent my frustration.

And now, as an adult, I write for a few different reasons. A lot of times it’s to relax–I’m a very stressed person, and escaping into writing helps me.

I also write to deal with loss–it’s a way of processing my emotions and feelings, and really letting myself experience them completely. This writing is usually very personal and private, though. And, honestly, I don’t even think I’ve mentioned anything about this part of my life on the blog or anything…

And, of course, even though I’m a big grown up adult, part of me still loves to write to escape into my child-like imagination. To pretend like the world with all of its “grown up problems” like rent, health insurance, work, taxes, etc. doesn’t exist, and I’m still just the little girl who likes to create pretend worlds.

Why I Started Writing- Wendy

I started writing at a young age. Most of those writings are in a notebook that is in a box somewhere tucked away like the memories I have of that time in my life. Safely tucked away.

I wrote then to express myself–to release the sadness, pain, and at times flickers of joy I had in my life. It might have been just three words maybe more. I have not read it or looked at it in many years.  I think we as writers write what we feel and sometimes it is only understood by ourselves. It is a release.

Now I write for enjoyment. I want to write a good clean story that is still exciting. I love the idea of Amazon KDP and our blog. I can publish my stories and hopefully someone will think wow what a great story. But if not, that’s okay because I tried–and that is quite an accomplishment.

 

Love from Asturias

If you’re wondering why we’ve been so absent from the blogging world the last week or so, the answer is simple!

Half of our dynamic duo has been on vacation. =)

It’s been a much needed, relaxing vacation to a northern region of Spain known as Asturias. Famous for its yummy cheese, to-die-for “sidra” (hard apple cider), awe-inspiring landscape, and quaint villages, Asturias has been an amazing getaway.

Don’t worry, though. In just a few days we’ll be back to normal.

Until then, sending love from Asturias!

Just a quick side-note–I went ahead and made a blog specifically for travel! =) So, if you’re interested, check it out HERE

 

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My photo of Cudillero

Suki’s Tail

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Picture by me 🙂

So here is my attempt at a limerick for Poetry Day 5 – Imperfect.

Her tail is not imperfect, but if it was crooked this is what I would write.

Suki’s Tail

Suki wagged her crooked tail

Because it never failed

She would walk a mile

To see her owner smile

Because she didn’t want to be for sale.

Freelancing- the good, the bad, the reality

Freelance writing is a great way to make a little extra cash while doing something you love! There are a lot of advantages to entering the world of “ghostwriting” and “SEO” writing and all the other types of “writing” you find people paying other people to do.

However, there are also some disadvantages to being a freelance writer. So, in this post I want to sit down and just have a nice chat about what it REALLY means to be a “freelancer” (this doesn’t necessarily relate ONLY to writers. Freelancers of any kind will come across these same things). To do that, I’m going to look at three specific elements of the job. 

Hours

You get to make your own hours- PRO!

One of the great things about working in this field is that you don’t have any tight schedule to follow. Are you a night owl? No problem! No one is sitting at the office waiting for you to clock in. Are you an early riser? Great! Get up and get busy!

But those hours seem to constantly fluctuate-CON!

If you’re like me, you find it hard to keep to a “set schedule” if it’s a self-imposed one. I try to tell myself “Ok, self,  you’re going to work from 9am-2pm today, then a little more after a lunch break from 4pm-6pm” (I attempt to follow a very “Spanish” schedule in case you didn’t notice).

Well, to my demise, it never works out that way. I always get distracted by something or the other (walk the puppy!! Or… oops! I forgot to get food… I should probably go to the store and do that…).

It’s not only that, though. I also have to take into account the fact that I’m in Spain, and my clients are not. Some are in the States, some are in England… they’re all over the place! So, if I’m waiting for feedback on something, it almost never comes during the aforementioned schedule I try to set up for myself. I could just wait and check all my messages the next day during my “scheduled” work time–but I just can’t do that. I always feel like I need to respond right away!

Technology

Working from the comfort of my own home, with my own computer-PRO!

Technology has made it so easy for anyone wanting to be a freelancer. As I mentioned before, I have clients all over the world! And I can interact with them with nothing more than the click of a button! I can chat with them while I’m in my pajamas, sipping my tea, and watching Spongebob in the background. It’s great!

It’s EVERYWHERE…-Con!

The problem with the new technological age is that you can be accessed anywhere, anytime! All of our phones have our e-mail on them, not to mention the apps that the various freelancing platforms have set up. It’s inevitable that right when I get cozy on the couch to watch a movie that the soft “ding” of my e-mail sounds, letting me know I’ve just received a message from someone.

Not to mention the fact that technology fails sometimes–especially if you’re working with my computer that locks up regularly!

Clients

Good Clients, Bad Clients, and Everything in between!

One thing about working as a freelancer is that you have a plethora of different clients and you’re probably working for all of them at the same time. They all have their own guidelines and expectations. They all want something different, and you’re expected to remember who wants what, when, and how.

I’ve made a nice little color-coded system that works for me. But, at first, it was kind of overwhelming.

Another thing about working with clients is the inevitable–you may get some really awful clients. The really picky ones that never seem to be happy with what you do. And, they ask for the most ridiculous things!

I’ve been SO fortunate! I have had amazing clients. They give structure but still freedom. They always give constructive feedback. Overall, they’re all just amazing to work with. BUT, I know I’ve been pretty lucky. I’ve heard some REAL HORROR STORIES!

IN SHORT…

Freelancing is a great gig, it really is. But,  just like any job, it has its pros and cons.
BUT, at the end of the day, you’re still getting paid to do something you love, so, I guess that one “pro” really does outweigh all the others.

Lazy Summer Days

Boat ride in Salamanca

So, this picture isn’t from *this* summer… but it still goes along with the idea of the post.

Whitney here! =)

So, hubby and I (both English teachers in Spain) have been on summer vacation for about a month now. And it’s been absolutely glorious! 

I wake up in the mornings and write, write, write. And then, after lunch (which is around 3pm here in Spain) hubby and I take our puppy for a walk. We go to the park and play catch and enjoy the warm Spanish sun and fresh air!

Then, our evenings are spent reading and relaxing (and occasionally I do some more  writing…)

It’s absolutely perfect!!

What about you, dear blogging friends?! What do you like to do on a lazy summer day?

Thank you

Photo from pixabay

We would like to thank all of you that downloaded our short stories from Amazon. We had a phenomenal response to the free download promotion. Well, we thought it was phenomenal. 🙂

The lessons we learned in publishing our first shorts will definitely benefit our future releases. We still have more to learn but we have to admit as our previous blog states, “Experiencing a new journey with someone you love is exciting, bright, and wonderful! No matter the outcome, it is shared to be remembered.”, our new journey is exciting.

Again, thank you for your support it is greatly appreciated.