The Future


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

The Future

By Nandy Ekle

On a recent trip with my husband, I met someone who made my heart soar. I met a young lady, around the age of 18 or 20. She had brown, very curly hair, glasses on her face, and braces on her teeth. And her eyes told me she was very shy, but couldn’t hold her interest any longer.

“I heard you write stories,” she said in a small voice. She had sidled up as close to me as she dared, which was still a little far away for me to hear her easily (I have begun to wonder if my hearing might be going the way of my spike heeled shoes).

“Yes, I do. I write mainly short stories, but I’ve also got a couple of novels going as well.” I smiled nurturingly at her.

“I used to write stories when I was in junior high,” she said, just barely over a mumble.

I felt my face split with an excited grin. “Really? That’s when I started writing!” When I told her that, her face lit up as if the sun had risen, even though the clock said the time of day was after nine p.m. 

She and I talked for another hour about writing, stories, ideas, other authors, books to read for instruction, and books to read for fun. I don’t know how she felt at the end of the evening, but I know I felt wonderful.

I’ve always believed that young people who love to write deserve a special place. After all, writing is not a social activity; it can be lonely. And for a young person to enjoy writing a story instead of sitting on the hood of a car with a bunch of buddies, that’s a special person.

But more than that, I believe our youth is our future and it’s our job, as seasoned experienced writers, to encourage them with their craft. One day, we olders will be gone and the youngers will be in charge.

So when you meet these young folks, give them the encouragement you craved when you were their age. Always remember, you might just be in the presence of the next Stephen King, or E. A. Poe.

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

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Writing Ideas


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Writing Ideas

By Nandy Ekle

I have a book of writing prompts called 300 More Writing Prompts, and I thought I’d share ten of them with you.

1. Name a novel you’d love to model your life after.

2. How far would you go to get what you want?

3. Have you ever been betrayed? If so, how?

4. Create a short story about your life that is complete fiction.

5. You’re in charge of a murder mystery dinner theater for one night. Describe the scenario you’ve set for your guests to solve.

6. How do you feel about secret admirers?

7. What is your idea of the perfect summer?

8. When you close your eyes, what do you daydream about?

9. Name something you’re never willing to risk or take a risk on and why.

10. What was the scariest urban legend or ghost story you’ve ever heard, and how did it originate?

Another Excerpt


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Another Excerpt

By Nandy Ekle

Sighing, I looked at him in the eyes. “David, I have a ghost.” I made it up, just off the top of my head. I was usually careful about not using my ability in front anyone, but this had been a knee-jerk reaction as I pictured the blood red liquid smashing on my carpet. The scientific world called what I did telekinesis, but I called it Alfred, after Batman’s butler.

“You’ve seen other things happen?”

“From time to time, just little stuff.” Might as well make it good, I thought. “Normally, just helpful little things like stopping a falling glass or picking up the laundry. I just say ‘Thanks, ghost.’ Nothing sinister has ever happened.”

“Wow! Why didn’t you say something? When was the first time you saw something?”

“Now how can I know that? It’s not like I marked on the calendar, ‘Today an apparition appeared,’ you know? You’re way more interested than I am.” I began to flounder, but he would not let it rest.

“I would have remembered the first time, Dora. I mean, a ball of wine moving from thin air back into the glass? That’s pretty memorable.”

“Well, it’s not something I took the time to write down; it just happened one day. I told it ‘thank you’ and went on with my business.

He walked toward the door rattling his keys. “I can’t believe you never said anything about it. Holy cow! This is BIG!”

“See how you’re acting? Why would I want you to know if you’re going to freak out like this?”

He put his hand on the door knob and his eyes looked into the air behind my right shoulder. “I think the temperature in here dropped. I have to go.” And he drove away before I could think of anything else to say.

I turned to the empty room and giggled a little. My giggle turned into a full-out laugh and I sat on the couch in front of the wine glasses. My brother, the scaredy cat, always nervous of things that are a little out of the ordinary. Exactly why I felt the need to keep Alfred a secret.

But if I knew David, he would not stay quiet.

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. 

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!

 

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.