Just In Time - Overcoming Adversity Bloghop

Hey gang! Hope everyone survived their Super Bowl parties and weekend. :-) Busy day for me today, so let's get to it.

First: Today is the launch of my ginormous blog tour. The first stop is at the incredible Books & Things blog. (If you're a reader, you need to follow this blog!) I've written a short guest post about the Native American themes in the Moonsongs stories, and shared a short excerpt from Witch's Nocturne (Moonsongs book 2). Plus, there's a giveaway. You can check it HERE.

Second: Speaking of the Moonsongs stories, the first in the series, Blood Fugue is free today only on Amazon. If you haven't picked up a copy yet, I'd be honored if you'd add me to your TBR pile. Also, if you know fans of paranormal, action, and/or horror, I'd appreciate you sharing this with them. You can get it HERE.

Third: Today is the start of the Overcoming Adversity bloghop. Basically, our blog/writing buddy Nick Wilford is trying to raise money to send his stepson to a special school. You can read all about the effort HERE.

In short, Nick asked bloggers & writers to share a short poem, essay, or flash-fiction piece based on the theme "Overcoming Adversity." I chose flash fiction, because frankly, I suck at poetry. Nick is going to compile all of the entries into a book to use for fundraising.

Before I get to my contribution, I want to say: Nick, I hope this helps in some small way. We're all pulling for Andrew, and I'm honored to be a part of this.

Here's my story:

Photo courtesy of Cellar_Door_Films, WANA Commons

Just In Time by E.J. Wesley

“Excuse me. I’m in a bit of hurry, sorry.”

Benjamin smiled, but was afraid the gesture displayed as more of a grimace. His knees ached, even though he’d just barely gotten off the bus. He stepped aside, letting the woman pass.

What else is left for men my age to do but to step aside and let things pass?

He hadn’t seen her come up behind him, but now that he had a good look, he wasn’t surprised.

A tight bun of auburn hair stood at attention atop her head. A dreary-hued knit suit hugged her body in a grip of fierce practicality. Her purse, a very reasonable shade of red, was wedged under her arm with military precision. Clock coils were wound less tightly.

Yet clocks never seemed to run out of time, did they?

Benjamin continued down the sidewalk, vaguely aware of his cane’s tapping announcement of each of his shuffling steps. His movement created its own sort of rhythmic clock ticking—the tick, tock replaced by click, scuff—as he went.

At last he came to an ironwork fence. Pausing, he sucked down a few gulps of the cool autumn air. He marveled at how the damp smell of decaying, fallen leaves could pull life back into him, even when—more and more with each passing day—his body repelled it.

He set out again. People in suits bustled past, offering their pardons as they went. None of them gave him a second glance.

Probably for the best.

Benjamin touched the brim of his well-worn leather fedora with each extended social grace, always carrying on. Soon, stone monuments began to appear at regular intervals beyond the fence.

The shiny, polished granite ones seemed almost alive, shimmering in the sunlight like torches. They offered a shivering soul some comfort, just as a flashing, neon OPEN sign might soothe the spirit of a road-weary traveler. Conversely, the marble ones jutted out of the earth like sun-bleached bones. They stole the warmth of the world with a sort of stoic greediness, taking great pride in being cold, and changeless in the light.

Mine will be granite.

Uplifted by the thought, his pace quickened. But each heavy marker he saw added a weight to his heart. Puddles at his feet reflected not only his face, but also the translucent face of the ghost he would soon visit.

Benjamin’s steps slowed, his thoughts turning murky and thick, until at last the burden threatened to overcome him. He stopped to mop his brow with his handkerchief—or maybe fall to his knees and declare himself used up—when he spotted a yawning break in the fence ahead.

Two snarling stone lions guarded the entrance. A jowly, middle-aged priest stood between them. The man glared at his watch, deep worry lines creasing his brow.

“Are you here for the service?” The priest forced an impatient smile as Benjamin ambled up.

“Yes,” Benjamin said.

He waited for the priest to look at him properly, and for the shock that would undoubtedly follow.

“You’re just in time then. I was about to­—”

The priest looked toward the graveyard, and back to Benjamin, his face gone paler than the clerical collar around his throat.

Benjamin smiled, and held out his hand. “I’m Benjamin. Charlie’s twin brother.”

***

Hope you enjoyed! I'll talk more about my inspiration for the piece, etc. later this week in my IWSG post, of course. :-) Until then, please hop to the other participants and and give them your encouragement (and wish Nick luck on his endeavor, too).

1.Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh2.E Louise Bates
3.David Powers King4.Hilary at Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
5.Getting Past The Fist6.Denise Covey, LAussie
7.Bards and Prophets8.Leigh Covington
9.Tyreans Writing Spot10.Livia Peterson
11.Christine Rains12.Meradeths Write Stuff
13.Donna Hole14.Michael Pierce
15.Nicole Singer-Write Me A World16.Elise Fallson
17.Carrie Butler @ SYAW18.Tobi Summers - Chock Full of Words
19.tara tyler20.DL Hammons @ Cruising Altitude 2.0
21.Empty Nest Insider22.PK HREZO
23.C.M. Brown24.Clare Dugmore Writes
25.Kathy- Imagine Today26.Tangent Shell
27.The Open Vein - E.J. Wesley28.Mina Burrows
29.Use Your Words...30.Ilima Todd
31.Carrie-Annes Magick Theatre32.Kelley Lynn
33.J. A. Bennett, A Writers Journey34.Melissa Maygrove
35.Trisha @ WORD STUFF36.Damyanti@Amlokiblogs
37.Candilynn Fite38.Michelle @ Writer~In~Transit
39.Kittie Howard40.Mary Pax
41.Misadventures in Candyland42.Krista McLaughlin
43.Writing Off the Edge44.Read is the New Black
45.Elsie Is Writing46.Stina Lindenblatt
47.The Eagles Aerial Perspective48.Breakthrough Blogs
49.Lara Schiffbauer50.I had a little nut-tree...
51.J.L. Campbell52.Samantha May: Writing Through College
53.One Magic Bean Buyer54.Brooke R. Busse
55.Writers Block56.Justine Dell
57.Father Dragon Writes58.The Kelworth Files
59.WRITING IN THE CROSSHAIRS60.Dreaming of publication
61.In Between - Adriana Dascalu 

~EJW~





56 comments:

  1. Wow!! Did not see that coming. Very powerful, EJ.
    Off to visit your tour stop now.

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  2. Ooo. Nice twist at the end!

    So excited about your tour. Best of luck! :D

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  3. Well done, EJ! Really some great writing there, and nice twist. :)
    Hopping over to visit Melissa...

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  4. Lots of great imagery. Start talking about gravestones and old bones and I sort of swoon. Something wrong with our wiring, EJ. :P

    Loved the twist at the end too!

    Oh, and, yes, I'm still having trouble with the share buttons on the left side of the screen. Haven't been able to solve it yet, but I'll be curious to see if I'm the only one. If so, it's just my lame technical abilities.

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    1. Do we really need deep evaluation to know something is wrong with our wiring? Hopefully the Home For Demented Writers has more than one bunk is all I have to say ... ;-)

      You're definitely not the only one having issues with them LG, but I don't think it's a wide problem. (Does that make sense?) Anyway, I'm still looking into to how to resolve it--I'm reluctant to get rid of them because I've noticed my 'shares' have gone up dramatically since I put them up.

      However, I don't want them to be a pain in the ass to anyone. Appreciate your patience in the meantime.

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  5. Just downloaded Blood Fugue. Looking forward to reading it. Heading over to check out your tour and Nick's site now. Great flash fiction.

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    1. Thank you Rebecca! Truly appreciate the support, and hope you enjoy the read. :-)

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  6. Very evocative and descriptive piece. Fascinating twist at the end!

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    1. Thanks Louise! I had to really play with the story before the ending came to me. :-)

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  7. Love your writing, EJ. Consider me your biggest freaky fan! I need to start brushing up on my stalking skills, because every author needs a psychotic fan. :D

    Loved it.

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    1. Is it still considered stalking if I don't care and/or welcome it? lol

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  8. Loved the story E.J.! Very emotive! Kudo's!! :)

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    1. I've always been interested in the dynamics of a twin relationship, LD. It was cool getting to explore it for a bit. :-)

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  10. Great piece with a great twist at the end!
    Good luck with the blog tour. I've just downloaded my copy of Blood Fugue... thanks!

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    1. Thanks Michelle! Appreciate the support. :-)

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  11. Powerful story! So many good ones this bloghop. I downloaded your book and I' my way over to Books and Things. Good luck on your tour! :)

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  12. This was great and I especially enjoyed the surprise ending! I'm excited to download Blood Fugue. Thanks, and best of luck on your tour!
    Julie

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  13. I've prepared a post for Friday about your blog tour!

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  14. I'm impressed you knew about clock curls. :)

    Nice twist at the end and you captured the mood of the aging very well. So I thought. All the best on your tour!

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    1. There are no limits to my useless knowledge MP. :-) Thanks for the kind words!

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  15. Very well-written piece, EJ. Creates a great atmosphere and I loved the twist at the end. Thanks for taking part, and for your enthusiastic support! Good luck with the tour too. I already had Blood Fugue, look forward to getting to it soon.

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    1. Truly proud to be a part of it all, Nick. I've read about half of the entries so far and think you're going to have a very nice product when it's all said and done. Hope you enjoy Blood Fugue!

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  16. Wow! Didn't see that twist. This was a great entry.

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    1. Thank you Kelley, glad you enjoyed. :-)

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  17. I love this line: "hugged her body in a grip of fierce practicality." Great job EJ.

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  18. Wow, nice piece of flash fiction EJ. The twist at the end was just perfect! And I hopped over to your blog tour stop.Nice information on the setting and culture. Also, maybe with your share buttons, instead of having them on the side in the way or getting rid of them completely, you could see if there's a way to put them at the bottom of the screen? I've seen it on a couple of other blogs, though I have no idea how it's done, but then you could have your buttons and read the post easily too. Just one suggestion.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestions Imogen. I decided to just get rid of them for now. You can still share using the little ones at the bottom of the comments. :-)

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  19. Excellent piece, I was on that long walk with Benjamin. Saw his smile as he got the reaction he was looking for. Twins, such pranksters, sad he'll lose that, along with his brother.

    Followed all the prompts, thanks for sharing!

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  20. This is a great story and you upped the stakes too, right to the end. Loved the ending. Great flash fiction.

    (Those buttons wouldn't disappear on my Windows netbook. I know, it's a pile of junk compared to a Mac, but it's little, so I tote it to work. If it was me, I'd be worried about annoying my readers.)

    I've seen so many great entries. This little anthology will be awesome.

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    1. Completely agree about the anthology, Denise. Going to be great!

      I've axed the buttons so the masses can read easy once again! :-) (I use a netbook to write on away from home, and could never be parted from it. Nothing fancy, but I love it!)

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  21. Very moving story and truly fitting entry. I sure hope this project brings tons of success for Nick and Andrew gets to go to college. There are not a lot of programs in many places for the disabled like there are here in the States.

    And best of luck with your tour. I hope it garners you huge successes. Sorry for being so quiet. I'm going through some stuff and now have lost my computer for all intents and purposes. I did snag some time and gave a shout out for Moonsongs. Be well, my friend and fellow Bears fan. Can you believe our new coach?

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    1. The Bears ... the Bears! I love 'em no matter who the coach is. I actually think it was time for a complete culture change, so I'm excited for the new direction. Has to start with the o-line though... :-)

      Thanks for the encouragement on the story and tour shenanigans. And any and all shout outs are greatly appreciated. Hope things settle down for you soon.

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  22. Great piece. Good luck with your book.

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  23. Great flash! YOUR book sounds amazing~ I too hope this project helps Andrew... a great theme and wonderful idea! ATB :D

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  24. Excellent work here EJ, the ending totally took me by surprise! And have a blast during your tour! I'll be cheering you on and helping to spread the word as much as I can. (:

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  25. That was amazing! Loved the ending--totally caught me by surprise. Thanks for posting!!

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  26. Great entry, EJ! Nice twist at the end. And your tour is happening now? I better see what I can do to spread the word! :)

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  27. Great piece, EJ! I loved reading it and was totally shocked by the twist. Looking forward to reading about your inspiration for it in tomorrow's IWSG post.

    Good luck with the tour! I hope it's off to a great start. :)

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  28. bravo! love a good twist plus a scoop of inspiration! well done!

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  29. Love your writing E.J. Nice twist there at the end. :) Look forward to hearing what prompted you to write it.

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  30. Oooh, very nice piece of flash fiction. Gave me the shivers!

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  31. I really enjoyed reading this piece and the twist at the end.

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  32. I loved the story and I hope the blog tour is a great success.

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  33. I enjoyed your story. Great ending. And I especially liked this paragraph.

    The shiny, polished granite ones seemed almost alive, shimmering in the sunlight like torches. They offered a shivering soul some comfort, just as a flashing, neon OPEN sign might soothe the spirit of a road-weary traveler. Conversely, the marble ones jutted out of the earth like sun-bleached bones. They stole the warmth of the world with a sort of stoic greediness, taking great pride in being cold, and changeless in the light.

    Sorry I am reading this a bit late. Is there still time to join in on the bloghop?

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  34. So entertaining and great twist ending. Best of luck on your blog tour!

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  35. Terrific passage, EJ, and a really good twist ending!

    You're going to be busy for quite awhile!

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“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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