Building an Anthology


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Building an Anthology

By Nandy Ekle

 

This is how you build an anthology. 

                      EDITING  

Coming in June!

 

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Excerpt From “Miss Bitsy”


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Excerpt From “Miss Bitsy”

By Nandy Ekle

“We’ll keep working on that mystery. This cake is wonderful! and the caramel brownies,… I think I died and went to Heaven. Miss Bitsy, you’re amazing.:

“Oh, thank you, Dear. It’s just the same old recipe I’ve always had”

“Now you said you last saw Anton about a month ago?”

“Yes.” She stopped and looked up the stairs as if she’d heard a noise. Her expression changed to a dark frown, then back to her sweet, smiling self, as if a could had crossed her face.

“Miss Bitsy, are you okay?”

She turned back and smiled. “Oh, yes, I’m fine. I just thought I heard something. Must be squirrels up there. Yes, I think it was about a month ago. I’m afraid we had a little disagreement. You see, some of my things disappeared. Oh, nothing big, but gadgets I was fond of. I’m afraid I accused him of taking them. I just can’t imagine why he would want that stuff. He said he hadn’t touched them, but he was the only other person here.”

“Do you think he stole your stuff and left town?”

“Well, I don’t know about that. I certainly wouldn’t have dreamed of him taking anything from me. If he had just asked I would have given him anything.”

“What things were missing?”

“Let’s see… things missing… well, my rose colored Pyrex dish… my green apron… oh, my marble rolling pin, and my flour sifter.”

Jeremy looked at her, incredulous at the list of missing items. The Miss Bitsy he remembered would never have made a big deal out of losing something as inconsequential as a Pyrex dish. Surely she had plenty of dishes to cook in. “Are you sure Mr. Easley took those things? What kind of monetary value did any of that have for a college student?”

“Well, I don’t know why he would want them, but he was the only other person in the house; it couldn’t have been anyone else. He said he didn’t take them, but there was no one else here.” Again she looked up the stairs as if she’d heard something, and once again a frown momentarily creased her brow.

“Miss Bitsy, let me go look for the squirrel to pay you back for the cake and brownies.”

“Oh, Jerry, I could always count on you to do little jobs for me, but I think this is a job for someone else. Don’t you worry about it.”

He swallowed  gulp of milk and nodded. “Exactly what did Anton say when you asked him about those items?”

“He said he didn’t take them. He said I’m like his grandmother and he would never steal anything from me.” She turned back to the stairs, frowning, and after a moment she stood up, shook her finger at the rooms above her head and began to yell. “You can’t threaten me like that anymore, Eli Bevel! I know you’re dead ‘cause I killed you myself!”

An excerpt from the anthology, One Murderous Week. A book of seven short stories written by Nandy Ekle, available at a book store near you, or amazon.com, Barnesandnobles.com or from carpediempublishers.com. 

OUR TIME ON ROUTE 66 – FEAR OF HEIGHTS


FEAR OF HEIGHTS

Nandy Ekle

 

Raylene was in a hurry to get in the house. She thought she had seen her ex-husband’s truck in the neighborhood when she left for work that morning and she didn’t want to take a chance on him spotting her.

She dropped her purse and keys in the chair by the door. Her six-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Pearl, and her just-turned-five-year-old son, Jam, came bounding up the steps into the mobile home behind her, trying to tear each other apart.

“No, I get the first snack,” Pearl yelled.

“No, I do,” Jam yelled back.

“Ow! You pulled my hair! I’m telling. Mom, Jam pulled my hair and it really hurt!” She rubbed the offended part of her scalp, then she stomped on his foot.

 Jam let out an amazing shriek. “Mom! Pearl stepped on my foot!”

 Raylene took a deep breath and shut the door. “Stop it right now! Both of you. No snacks for anyone. Both of you get to your rooms while I figure out supper. Now.”

            “But, Mom,” they both whined in unison.

 

Find this story and more in OUR TIME ON ROUTE 66.

Coming in JUNE.

Five authors tell five different stories, through five different time periods, and all crossing the same place—the Tower Station and U-drop Inn.

The International Hero


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

The International Hero

By Nandy Ekle

I am a very confirmed introvert. And really, I think a lot of writers are. Think about it. Writers spend a lot of time alone, with characters they made up, in a world they made up. And I believe they enjoy it that way. That’s the reason they do it. Dealing with people in your head is much easier than dealing with people in the room next to you.

And that’s the reason that for my day job, I do not answer phones; I write letters. Even though I sign my name to each every letter I write to each and every client I communicate with through my correspondence, I can still be anonymous.

So the day came when I was to send a fax to a client, but this client had the type of fax machine that had to be turned on before it would answer the fax. When means my instruction was to call the client on the telephone and advise him I was about to send him a fax.

Need I say how this affected me.

Sweat popped on the palms of my hands. I saw black dots before my eyes. My heart palpitated. And my lungs refused to pull enough air to feed my body. I was going to have call a complete stranger and speak to him. And since my telephone is not a recorded line, I was not supposed to have a conversation. I was to simply say, “Mr. Client, I am sending you a fax. Good bye.” 

Yes, I was terrified.

Now, when I was a kid in high school, I acted in several plays. And, really and truly, I was not too bad. And, of course, I am a writer, constantly creating characters and situations. And at other intensely nerve wracking times of my life, such as job interviews, I had been known to invent characters to hide behind while I did what I had to do to get through it.

So that’s what I did in order to call this client.

Suddenly I was a svelte secretary for an important global corporation. I had to call this client because he was waiting for my call to keep the global-sized bomb from obliterating the entire earth.

I wiped my hands on the sides of my gorgeous sheath dress and walked across the room in my stiletto heels, not wavering one bit. My perfectly coiffed hair stayed out of my way as I picked up the receiver to the phone.

When the phone call was finished and the fax was sent (fax report stated successful), I sat at my desk and thought about what a close call that was. I had made the call and saved the world.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

 

Excerpt from THE SPRING OF 2025


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Excerpt from

THE SPRING OF 2025

By Nandy Ekle

Raylene and Sherry handed their tickets over and were led to the car. Raylene felt the same old butterflies in her stomach and sweat spring out on her hands.

“Are sure this is safe?” She asked the woman buckling her in.

“Oh, yeah,” the woman answered. “Nick has been running this thing for a long time. He’s very careful with his passengers. He checks the machinery and stuff over and over.”

“So it’s working okay? We’re not going to be stranded in this seat?” Raylene felt Sherry roll her eyes. “I mean, well, I’m a little scared of heights and I don’t want to be stuck at the top.”

“Oh, no, ma’am. You’ll do just fine.” The woman smiled, waved at Nick standing at the control center, and backed away. “You’ll be fine.” Nick touched a dial on the board and their seat went backward and raised off the ground, then stopped so the next car could be filled with passengers.

Raylene took some deep breaths. She closed her eyes and gripped the safety bar for dear life. After a minute she heard Sherry muttering under her breath.

 

Words From the Masters


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Words From the Masters

 

A writer is a world trapped in a person. —Victor Hugo

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. —William Wordsworth

Quiet people have the loudest minds. —Stephen King

Be courageous and try to write in a way that scares you a little. —Holley Gerth

Don’t be a writer. Be writing. —William Faulkner

Take your character to the edge of who he is. —writingeekery.com

You can’t blame a writer for what the characters say. —Truman Capote

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. —Franz Kafka

A writer is someone who has taught their mind to misbehave. —Oscar Wilde

Forget the rules. Rules are for editors. Just write. —THEINVISIBLEAUTHOR.

NEW BOOK COMING SOON!


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

NEW BOOK COMING SOON!
By Nandy Ekle

Coming soon, as in within the month, One Murderous Week, an anthology of seven short stories previously published on line. It will be available in ebook and in print. Enjoy!

At the End of the Day


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

 

At the End of the Day

by Nandy Ekle

Eight to nine hours sitting in a chair at a desk in an office. I collect a paycheck every other week, pay my bills, buy food for my family, and go to the doctor regularly. For the first few years, I loved my day job. But lately, not so much. I read the same contract over and over (and over and over and over and over… ). And it seems like procedures change without notice, and then I’m called on the carpet because I didn’t see it coming.

And so, my dreams of the future have shifted.

One day not long ago (probably about 31 days ago), my muse turned up at my front door begging to be let back in. Of course, I grabbed her and held her as tightly as I could. All I could say was, “Of course!” and “I’ll never let you go away again!” To which she replied, “I promise never to leave you again!”

Today, as I sat at my desk reading the same contracts over and over and answering the same questions over and over, in the back of my mind I heard, “I’m waiting for you to get home. I have lots of words to tell you.”

And that made the day go much faster.

Congratulations. You have just receive a post card from the muse.

 

Consider the Onion


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Consider the Onion

By Nandy Ekle

This is not a cooking lesson, or a nutrition lesson, even though I am a pretty good cook, and know enough about nutrition that I raised three kids to health adulthood. But I want to consider the onion as a metaphor. And this is nothing new. Onions have made famous metaphors for time out of mind. I just feel like it’s my turn to consider the onion.

A lot of people don’t like onions in their food because they’re so strong, maybe a little hot on the tongue, they make you cry when you cut them up, they smell bad, and some people claim to get headaches when they eat onions (maybe because of the smell). But these are exactly the reasons onions are needed in our diet.

And so, as writers, we will examine the onion as an ingredient for our stories. First of all, they have layers. Some onions have what seem to be thousands of layers. And our stories should also have layers. The more layers we have in our stories, the better. We want thick, strong purple layer on the outside to get the reader’s attention, but we also want the thicker, juicier layers the deeper we go. This is the flavor of the story. And we want the very center, the core, to be so soft and sweet, so heart gripping, that our readers weep with every cut they make closer to the center.

We also treasure that smell. Now, it is true that an onion’s odor is not really a perfume we want to go to the store to buy. In fact, it has the reputation of being one of the worst smells in the world. But really and truly, isn’t that how we identify that it’s an onion? But then, we add heat to it, and guess what happens. The smell and the flavor change to something so mouth watering we can’t wait to eat.

So there you go. Add heat to your story. You can add a slow, all-day heat and watch the story turn different colors before your eyes. Then when your reader eats it, it will melt in their mouths and they won’t be able to stop reading. Or you can apply high fast heat, which will bring out the sweetness quickly, causing your readers to beg for more, more, more.

And then there’s the tears when you cut the onion. And when your readers cut to the middle of your story, what could be better than a good cry?

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

Happy New Year!


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Happy New Year!

By Nandy Ekle

Ok. Public resolution setting time. Gonna finish at least 5 previously begun writing projects and get them published. Finish two cross stitch projects previously begun. Finish reading ALL THE BOOKS. Go to Winchester House in October. And stay low key next Christmas.

Watch for upcoming announcements.