Sunday, October 25, 2015

Theme for the Indie Writer's Showcase short story: Paranormal Where You Live!

Theme: Local, Regional or even national! A Paranormal story about where you live, your neighborhood, your favorite hangout, your local historical landmark, your favorite park, body of water, your state, province or your country!

A week later, I will 'harvest' indie writers for the showcase. After a two week notice, the writers will email me (or Facebook message me) their stories. I will them post each entry on a first come, first served basis on this blog and Tweet about it. I will also post it on several Facebook pages.

I will be checking next Monday for entries. How do you contact me? Find me under 'Liz Kingsbury McKeown' on Facebook. Message me on Twitter: @WritersBoost
OR you can leave a comment on this posting.

I can't wait.

P.S. Forgot to put in maximum word count: 1,500 words, but if your Muse says to put in more, then that's fine.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Shifting gears: Starting an indie writer's showcase. Inspired by Guy's Grocery Games.

I have been having trouble coordinating the schedules of indie writers and celebrity chefs, especially since the chefs are on the road so much.

 Inspired by Food Network's Guy's Grocery Games, I am starting an indie writer's showcase. I want to give a story theme for the short story. A week later, I will 'harvest' indie writers for the showcase. After a two week notice, the writers will email me (or Facebook message me) their stories. I will them post each entry on a first come, first served basis on this blog and Tweet about it. I will also post it on several Facebook pages.

I will blog again tomorrow with a theme. All entrants are winners!!

Looking forward to it - Liz Kingsbury Mckeown

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Poem Number 6 - Call Me.

Stacy and I both called the hypnotherapist.
Group session: one hypnotherapist, two clients, probably the same past lives, or similar ones at any rate.
We tense completely up like fists, then relax, completely relax.
Three deep clearing breaths; in all the way, then slowly exhale.
We are coming to the entrance of an art gallery, made just for us.
I describe the exterior of mine. It's sunny outside, wherever I'm supposed to be.
It looks more like an everyday public library or art museum. Nondescript with double doors.
Stacy describes a white Victorian mansion that's been converted into a museum. It's in Perth, Western Australia where she's from originally.
At the prompt from Kent, our therapist, I go inside to my inner mind.
The floors are polished brick tile. I see glass display cases, but nothing really clear yet.
Stacy notices hardwood floors, and an antique table with a marble top and a crystal vase containing multicolored flowers, orchids.
I take the elevator down ten levels. With each level, I go deeper into a state of relaxation.
Stacy takes a staircase down with a beautiful ebony banister. She hears her footsteps echo as she descends into a state of deep relaxation.
Deeper relaxed.
I find a subterranean art exhibit all pertaining to my life, past life to be exact.
Stacy finds a Victorian library complete with bookcases, nick nacks on the mantle of a fireplace and many paintings on the wall.
The more I look at the small statues, sculptures and paintings, the more uneasy I feel.
Stacy matter of factly says, 'I thought so.'
Breaking hypnosilence, I bring up the woman in the grocery store from the summer of 1980. The woman with the accent who grabbed my left arm.
She said no outsider would ever have a tattoo like that.
She noticed I tried to have it removed.
I politely tell her that it's not a tattoo; it's a birthmark.

Poem Number Five: Talk Talk.

We were going back to Stacy's house, but some kind neighbor is plowing the street.
We both really want to go to Yussel's Deli. It was our hangout in college.
We ate salad and other diet food for days so we could pig out at Yussel's.
Pastrami on Rye with that brown mustard you can't find anywhere else.
Sigh.

Yussel is still at his post behind the counter with the same chipper personality. He greets us enthusiastically. "My favorite Shiksa girls! You've come back, Robin! I've missed you!"
Stracy and I go barreling to the edge of the counter to embrace him.
He meets us at the edge of the counter and hugs us both.
"Robin, how are you?" Yussel warmly asks, unaware of my recent divorce.
"Um, divorced?"
"How about your favorite pastrami with Swiss cheese on rye with mustard? Warmed up, maybe? On the house!"
"Yussel, you're all heart."
"And Stacy McKenna McKinnet, you'll want a Reuben on Pumpernickel with two Kosher dills." Yussel loved the sound of McKenna Mckinnet ever since she married Bob, her father's business associate, 11 years her senior. Since  1981, he always addresses her by her full name.
"Hell would freeze if I didn't order that."
"So, is your husband still in Australia?" Bob Mckinnet, the Viet Nam vet from Pittsburgh who spent most of his Navy years in Australia.
"Until February first."
"Nu, did you install the home security system I told you about?"
"Robin is staying with me. We'll use our self-defense tactics from college."
"You can never be too safe."
I couldn't keep quiet. "What can you do to protect yourself from nightmares?"
Yussel pondered for a moment and then joyfully pointed to us. "Love!"
He beamed, his smile contagious.

The smells of comfort food and the warm atmosphere is a welcome relief from the wet cold.
Between bites of sandwich, pickle and chips I speak softly to Stacy. "Should we tell him?"
"What? About our possible past lives? We don't know how he'd take it."
We agree to be quiet until we get home.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Poem Number Four: Still January, 1983 - Talk to You Later.

The name of the hippie store is 'Butterflies'.
The name conjures up butterflies lighting up a sunny, summer day, even when you're down.
It also speaks to the kind of butterflies you get in your stomach if anyone you know sees you in a store like this.

Here we are; Stacy Mckenna McKinnet  and I, in our business casual attire entering the store famous for the owner:The Queen of 1971. Mrs. Applegate, or Ms. Applegate, as she prefers to be called used to crochet everything. Even now, I can't imagine a long, crocheted acrylic vest that ties in the front without seeing Becky's mom. Becky, my classmate, tries to hide the surprise in her eyes as Stacy and I enter her family store. I'm waiting for her to ask us if we were lost; a futile question as Stacy and I grew up with her in Kazoo.

Becky, Lorna Finch Applegate's only child, is being groomed to take over Butterflies.
Stacy and I stare at her like a couple of lost puppies looking for their mother.
Stacy and I in our casual Yuppy attire stick out like sore thumbs.

Lorna merrily descends upon us with the milder mannered Becky in her wake.
"So, Robin. I hear you lost that capitalist, yuppy frat boy. Do you still go by 'Robin Sullivan O'Connor'?" she begins. "Once you drop your ex-husband's name, your psyche will heal a lot sooner."
What will she do for an encore? Tell us to burn our bras?
"I'm still in shock, Ms Applegate." 
"Oh, please. Call me Lorna."
"Yes, Lorna." Lorna who kept her husband's last name. Hmph.
Becky warmly greets us with, "How about a tour of the store? We have a lot of new merchandise you might like." We nod and follow Becky.

Stacy blurts out, 'We need your help. We have night terrors we can't get rid of.'
I chime in. 'We're thinking about hypnosis, but we don't know what to do.'
'Oh, bugger, Robin! We were so caught up in our night terror crisis that we left wet, salty footprints all over the carpet! I can pay to have it cleaned.'
Becky smiles, 'This time of the year, ten more people will track in snow, salt and sand.
It's fine. I don't suppose the two of you believe in past lives.'
Stacy and I look at each other and freeze.
And it is Stacy who brakes the silence, 'We don't know what's bloody wrong with us!'

Becky calmly hands us business cards of a hypnotherapist who is  also an 'intuitive', whatever that is.
Then, I spot a necklace, picture jasper. It doesn't look all crocheted or beady. I show it to Stacy. We continue shopping, now relaxed since we have a valid reason to be in the store.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Poem Number Three: January, 1983 - Girl's Night Out.

Not much of a wild night.
Don't know why I went all the way down to the Bridal Department to meet Stacy in the mall.
She is so in her element there. She is at home with satin, lace and seed pearls.
The Valley girl who works part time and majors in Fashion
Merchandising told me she listens to my show when she pulls late nighters.
I may be divorcing, but at least I have a fan.
And yes, I will play more GoGos.

Stacy and I head to the established hometown restaurant where we always went when
one of us graduated, got engaged or had some other milestone on our lives.
What was I looking forward to besides hanging out with Stacy?
Fresh butter. This restaurant served it with their house made dinner rolls.
And they had the good sense to let the butter get a little soft when they brought it out.
No butter rocks here. Oh and yes, a dark beer, please.
After a perfectly cooked steak smothered with mushrooms and onions, baked potato and piece of fudge cake; we went to her house with the lovely guest room.
Stacy invites me to her aerobics class Wednesday evening to work off our dietary sins. Why not?

Instead of a movie on cable, we share dreams that turn into night terrors.
Both of ours start out really happy.
Something to do with getting on an old fashioned train.
We have to stand up, but it's fun; everybody there is laughing and having a good time.
At what, though?

We go somewhere and serve food or maybe cook for some lavish buffet for older people; people my parents' age.
And then, the nightmares begin.
Stacy describes a different place, but we both start out together.
I see a lot of name tags from Australia, but the ones from the U.S. will have 'Texas' or 'Ole Miss' instead.

There's got to be a way to get to the bottom of this; it's making us nervous.
Stacy says the bloody dream dictionaries are useless.
We'll go to that hippie shop by the college tomorrow.
If anybody knows anything about this, they will.

It seems a little weird to share even a king sized bed with Stacy, but we are serious about getting to the root of these dreams.
Earplugs. I snore; she snores.
Relaxation and sleep give way to terror; I bolt up awake in bed.
Stacy does, too.
Who do you see? I describe mine.
Stacy says hers are different, and they're over there.
Our images are sharing the same room, but not on top of each other.
At least our inner demons have manners.