I know, I know. I’ve been unduly “lazy”. The next bloghop is due, and I haven’t posted ANYTHING in between. My excuse? My life exploded mid 2017. I’ve been trying hard to keep everything together but couldn’t prevent some major issues that needed solving. And then, my husband had to go to a rehab hospital for eight weeks (which means diminished pay) and my father’s breast cancer reared its ugly head again, and my writing time flew out of the window (figuratively).

As a final straw, the EU has decided on a new data protection law — in general a very good and much needed one, but the problem is that they want everything documented. It’s a huge amount of work for me since I am running (or help running) nine sites (of those only 2 can be deleted). For me, that means I’ll be busy until May 25th to get this site (and all the others) compliant with the law so you can be absolutely sure that neither I now anyone I employ (even as a third party plugin or some such) will mess with your personal data. For you, it means the number of publications will diminish a little since I have even less writing time right now.

Still, I managed a piece for the Bloghop. I hope you’ll enjoy the story.

A Snow White Morning

As she left the village behind, the houses huddled together like chicken surrounded by foxes, Nancy breathed the icy air with delight. It tasted of snow – a lot of it, which was confirmed by the mass of dark clouds hanging over the wide valley that connected two mountains high enough to kiss the sky.

Just like Nick and me, she thought. A tiny smile tugged at the corners of her mouth mirroring the wind that pulled at her simple woolen coat. She let it drop to the ground and enjoyed the North wind’s caress on the pale skin of her naked arms. How she’d missed walking in a light shift on a day like this. Had she really been so besotted with Nick that she’d forgot her first love? Well, her swollen belly answered that question without a doubt.

Kicking off her shoes, she gasped as the soles of her feet touched the needle-like spikes of last year’s grass, frozen by the wind’s breath. Like a sleepwalker, she found her way higher up the craggy slopes of the Northern mountain. The need to reach the part where life clung to tiny gaps in seas of rock and stone pulled her along.

Her flexible toes dug into the smallest fissures as she climbed the steep slope, keeping her grounded while the wind played with her long, straight hair, growing wilder by the minute.

When the clouds split and hurled tiny ice crystals toward the ground, she stopped and put her head back to look up at the whirling, coiling mass. With a happy sigh she reached for the star shaped wonders.

One snowflake settled on the palm of her left hand like an icy kiss while others condensed around her into a gown she hadn’t worn for way too long. She hadn’t expected a welcome like this. A tear, driven by nostalgia, formed on her cheek, freezing before it could roll over her skin. She wiped it away. It felt good to be home.

Buffeted by winds gusting from every side and surrounded by a cloud of snowflakes, she found the perfect spot. Snow drifted gently over a flat granite the size of Nick’s bed surrounded by boulders that kept the howling of the winds at bay just enough that a newborn wouldn’t be scared by it. She sat down on the coarse stone, arranging the snow in soft pillows and blankets around her.

As the snow reached the humans she’d left behind, the villagers’ fear rode on the winds and filled her with pain, joining the first pangs of labor. The snowstorm filled her and her world – the perfect weather for the birth of her daughter.

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I hope you liked this story. If you did, check out my books. Also, have a look at these wonderful stories by my fellow writers:

The Letter, by Juneta Key
Trick or Treacle, by Angela Wooldridge
Sugar in the Raw, by Karen Lynn
Inferno, by Fanni Soto
Tae, by Barbara Lund
Interstellar Student Exchange, by Raven O’Fiernan
The Ghost Fighter, by Bill Bush
Hare, by Elizabeth McCleary
The Widow, by Vanessa Wells

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Yes, it’s that time of the year again, the next bloghop is due. This time we’ve got a new (and much nicer, don’t you think?) logo, made by Juneta Key one of the bloghop’s regular authors. For the longest time I didn’t know what to write about until a few days back, I realized that not everybody wakes quite the same way as I do. Naturally, the names of the kids are all made up (to protect their privacy), and I also used a time when they were a lot smaller, but essentially, this is how I get up every morning. I hope you enjoy the story.

A Writer’s Morning

I pull the cover over my head, but it’s suffocating me and it doesn’t shut out the five thirty alarm anyway. I wish I could stay in bed.

“Now, if you take me to the Gruesome Waste, I could be truly heroic. Let me explain,” the main character of my current project says.

Not now, I think. Grumbling, I climb out of bed and use the bathroom. My blood pressure is under the roof already without even listening to the kids’ banter downstairs. How can anyone be so lively this early in the morning? I can’t even muster the necessary strength to remind them to be quiet. I shuffle to the kitchen, prepare coffee for the husband, set the table for those energetic enough to eat, and spread four double slices of bread with butter and anything that’s fresh form the fridge. So far, my packed lunch hasn’t killed anyone – yet.

“Woojee, woojee.” My youngest hugs me. He smells of chocolate and leaves brown stripes on my nighty. “I’m an ambulance.”

“Ambulance,” says my love interest. “Now that’s an idea!”

Not yet! I groan, trying not to be heard by Joey.

“I’m not hungry. Elly made me a toast.” Joey one hugs me again and races off, wailing worse than before. Did I miss a day? Is it a weekend? I gaze at the calendar – no, it’s Wednesday. I’m not wrong. Thanks for that.

“You need to get dressed for school,” The words fall like stones from my mouth. Joey speeds out of the room toward the bath, overtaking Elly on the way. “Me first!”

“Oh, I wish we could have bathrooms,” the antagonist says. “Couldn’t that be my motivation? Bathrooms for all?”

“Not yet!” The tiredness slowly gives way to annoyance.

“How about something to drink?” My husband’s soft voice sounds angelic, calming me instantly. He fills a glass with coffee and milk and puts it beside my plate. A writer’s life juice. I drain it while I stuff lunch boxes into schoolbags and my husband’s briefcase. On the way out, he plants a kiss on my nose that was aimed at my mouth. I stand beside the door like a blade of grass swaying gently. Elly passes me with Joey at her hand. She smiles.

“Will you pick me up in time for swimming?”

“Swimming!” My main character positively beams. “How about me having to find a way through the Gruesome Waste and the only option I seem to have is swimming?”

“Not now.”

“Mom?” Elly’s eyebrows rise.

“Sorry, hon. Of course I’ll be there in time.” I smile back and wave until my tow favorite non-adults vanish around a bent in the road just a few paces from the bus stop. Then, I wait until the bus rounds the corner and wave again. When the dust cloud settles, I turn to get dressed.

“Any ideas welcome,” I say to the characters of my WIP. They remain silent.

Jacko, our dog gets up and stretches. When he was younger, he used to get up with me, excitedly jumping around hoping for a long walk. These days he knows me better.

“Well, what was that about the Gruesome Waste?”

Silence. I look at Jacko. His tail starts wagging when I put on my shoes.

“Well, old boy. Another day, another chance, right?” I breathe the air outside. The freshness of the spring morning will get me going. It always does. And usually, it makes the voices in my head come back.

As I jog into the morning, the voices slowly return, filled with nightly discoveries and fresh ideas that need to be evaluated. All the characters clamor for attention. The dog is happy, and so am I. Soon, I’ll be able to write again. Who said that being an early riser was easy?

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I hope you liked this story. If you did, check out my books. Also, have a look at these wonderful stories by my fellow writers:

Unverified, by Erica Damon
Tito’s to the Max, by Chris Makowski
The Boon, by Juneta Key
Sanctuary, by Elizabeth McCleary
Till Death Us, by Fanni Sütő
The Cloud, by Karen Lynn
Data Corruption, by Barbara Lund
Wish Granted, by Kami Bataya
The Witch of Wall Street, by J. Q. Rose
Grim Reapers on a Field Trip, byJ Lenni Dorner
Unwelcome Vistors, by Bill Bush

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Since my grandson arrived, I am lacking time. My household looks like a bomb exploded(with mountains of laundry, but at least the dishes are clean … three cheers for the dishwasher), my stories grow at a snail’s pace, and my Blog and Facebook page are neglected. Then, my middle daughter (my grandson’s mother) had to go into hospital for 2 weeks and soon, my eldest will have to go there for an operation … that means it won’t get better any time soon. I hope you don’t mind. I am working on the next publication, a middle grade monster story. If nothing unexpected happens, I’ll get it done in time for Halloween.

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