Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gearing up for A-Z

I am one of the nearly 900 brave souls who have signed up for the A-Z April Blog Challenge hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh et al.

During the month of April participants are to post daily except for Sunday, subjects progressing through the alphabet, starting on April 1st with A.

In the last few days I've seen lots of people who plan to participate posting that they've got all of their posts prewritten and scheduled ahead of time, or at the very least they've selected subjects for every day and they're all organized and prepared and ready to go.

I envy them.

I am not, nor have I ever been, that organized or prepared. I will be following my little pantser heart and flying by the seat of my - yes - pants. I will scramble on a daily basis for inspiration and to write something brilliant, insightful, or creative. But that's okay. I'm used to it. That's just the way I roll. Always have.

But I do envy people who have the time and gumption to be that organized. It might be a nice change of pace.

Thankfully, these posts are supposed to be short in order to facilitate quick reading so that we can all read and comment on as many posts as possible. The chances are small that anybody will make it through all 900 sites in a month, much less in a single day (FYI:  I'm #590 on the list). So short and sweet will definitely win the day.

So come back tomorrow to see what I come up with for A. I still have no idea. It'll be as much a surprise to me as it is to you!

I'm definitely looking forward to reading as many other blogs as possible, meeting new people, finding new writer friends, and being inspired by awesome creativity!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nature of Magic Blogfest

It's time for Tessa's Nature of Magic Blogfest!


Write or share something you've already written that, to you, shows the nature of magic. It can be an excerpt from your WIP, something you've written especially, poetry, whatever strikes your fancy. It just needs to show the nature of magic as it exists for you or for those you write about. Unless you're writing poetry, try to keep the entries somewhere between 250-1000 words.


So of course I wrote another episode of Happy Acres, and as usual it's kind of long. It seems I can't write a short episode...they get away from me.

If you are behind on the episodes, you can go to the Happy Acres Episodes link above and catch up on this ongoing story.


I sauntered down the hall of Happy Acres as if I didn’t have plans to raid Nurse Cratchit’s office. Artie and Tessa sauntered behind me, as nonchalant as mental patients are capable of being.

When I reached Cratchit’s office I ducked inside, followed by Artie and Tessa, then peeked out the door, checking the hall first left then right. Cratchit was nowhere to be seen. Mia and the zombies had set themselves up to work on their crayon mural and act as our last warning of danger. Bill and Simon were in the day room acting as the first line of defense, ready to waylay any staff heading our direction.

“Okay, guys,” I said. “This is it. Fan out. Check the closet, all the drawers, anywhere she could hide fruit and writing utensils.”

“That could be anywhere,” Artie deadpanned.

“Then you’d better get busy,” I said.

Artie took the closet, Tessa went to work on the filing cabinet, and I started in on the desk. Two drawers in I hadn’t found any of our stuff, but I’d confiscated some lip balm, a box of paper clips, and some breath mints. There were plenty of pens, but not our pens. I took a couple anyway.

“Do you believe in magic?” Tessa asked, breaking the silence.

“What?” I asked, turning from my search to find her sitting criss-cross applesauce on the floor, twirling her hair, and glitter spilling from her pocket. Where she got her endless supply of it, I could never figure out.

“Magic,” she repeated. “Where do you stand?”

“I didn’t know you could take a stand on magic,” I said. “And we really don’t have time for this discussion.”

“That’s easy,” Artie said. “It doesn’t exist. Now let’s get back to the search.”

“Em?” Tessa asked, her eyes telling me she’d be seriously disappointed if I agreed with Artie.

“Well,” I said. “I’m not so sure.”

“That’s sad,” she said.

“You’d better be careful who you talk to about magic, Tessa. You tell your shrink you believe in it you’ll end up with a couple extra pills in your drug cocktail every day,” I said, kneeling to help her with the bottom drawer in the cabinet since I’d finished my search of the desk.

“I’m not worried about that,” she said. “I’m more worried that nobody believes anymore.”

“Why would that bother you?” Artie asked, checking the toe spaces of a pair of boots in the closet. He was thorough.

“Because the power of magic is diminished when people don’t believe,” she said.

“Like fairies die when you don’t believe?” I asked, teasing her.

She took me seriously. “Exactly,” she said.

“That’s ridiculous,” Artie said. “The planet was still round even when everyone believed it was flat. And it was still viruses and bacteria that made people sick even when they believed it was mysterious humors that ruled the body. If there is such a thing as magic, it will still exist regardless of how many people believe in it.”

Tessa’s eyes lit up and a she grinned, “so you do believe?”

Artie rolled his eyes. “I do not believe in hocus pocus, magic wands and spells and potions, witches and wizards kind of magic. And I do not believe in fairies,” he said.

“But you believe in something, right?” Tessa asked, ever hopeful.

Artie just grunted.

Tessa apparently took that to mean yes. She clapped and tossed some glitter. “Yay! Now, Em. What about you?”

I shoved some files aside in the bottom drawer. “Well,” I said, thinking about Tonja and Tammy, my twin haunts. I had no way to explain them, though I wasn’t so sure they were magic, and the one and only time I told my shrink about them he insisted they were figments of my imagination. But I suspected there was more to them than that.  "Let's just say I'm not ruling it out. There are plenty of things that defy rational explanation."

We all finished our searches and found nothing. “Where could she have put our stuff?” I asked, standing in the middle of the room, fists planted on my hips.

“Are you sure you checked all the desk drawers?” Artie asked, moving for the desk.

“Of course I did,” I said, insulted that he’d doubt my ability to execute a meticulous search of Cratchit’s office. It’s not like this was the first time, after all.

Artie pulled open the bottom drawer. “There’s a box in here,” he said, opening it. “Hey! Here’s my pen and pencil set.” He pulled it out and held it to his chest, sighing his relief. He pulled out several apples and a handful of pens, my favorite pink one among them. My scarf was the last item out of the box.

“I don’t understand,” I said. “I searched that desk completely. How could that be there?”

Tessa stood, giggling, and hugged me. “Magic, of course!”

She skipped out of the room humming ‘Do You Believe in Magic,’ tossing sparkly glitter in her wake.


Hope you enjoyed. Now go check out the rest of the entries!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Show Me The Voice Blogfest

It's time for the Show Me The Voice Blogfest, hosted by Brenda Drake and judged by agent Natalie Fischer of the Bradford Literary Agency! Pretty awesome chance to get some feedback and get the first 250 words of your finished manuscript in front of an agent.

So I'm posting the first 250 words of my paranormal romance, Faerie Fate.


Name: Mara Nash
Title: Faerie Fate
Genre: Paranormal romance

Holly Reed paced the hospital corridor outside room 532, uncertain if she wanted to enter and accept the consequences. On the other side of the door lay the grandmother she’d never met, apparently in the last losing days of her battle with lung cancer.

An orderly rushed by pushing an empty wheelchair, giving her a quizzical look. She smiled at him, trying to reassure him that she belonged, but feeling out of place. Arms crossed, she bit her lip and changed direction, passing her grandmother’s door again, still hesitant to enter. Across the hall at the nurse’s station, their eyes followed her progress back and forth.

“Can I help you with something?” one of the nurses asked, her voice suspicious.

“No,” Holly said, “I’m fine,” She’d have to decide soon before they called security and had her removed. She could either leave and spend the rest of her life wondering, or go in and find out why her grandmother had waited until she was on her deathbed to make her only granddaughter’s acquaintance.

Taking a deep breath she squared her shoulders. As the nurse glared at her and reached for the phone, Holly gave her a sweet, confident smile, and turned her attention to her grandmother’s room. The door was already ajar, so she leaned into it, swinging it inward on its hinges. She entered the room on silent feet to find an old woman resting peacefully in the bed. Sunshine fell bright on the floor and warmed the room, and a homemade afghan covered the woman’s feet.

Now go check out the rest of the entries!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Luck of the Irish Blogfest

Today is the Luck of the Irish Blogfest, because today is, after all, St. Patrick's Day. The blogfest is hosted by the ever lovely Colene Murphy, a truly Irish name if I ever heard one.

So my submission to this blogfest is, of course, another episode of Happy Acres. A couple days ago I participated in the Delusional Doom Blogfest, wherein some of the crew's most prized possessions were confiscated by the nursing staff and they vowed to take back their stuff. 

Today's entry is a continuation of that story (if you need to catch up, find links to the rest of the episodes at the Happy Acres Episodes page above). Happy Acres is an ongoing story, after all!


“We’ll be lucky if we can pull this off,” Artie said. I didn’t appreciate his doubt.

“Luck has nothing to do with it,” I said, incensed. “You have to stop thinking like you’re on the outside. The laws of physics and normal human behavior are suspended here on the inside.”

We had gathered in the day room for one last review of our plan to liberate our confiscated personal effects.

“Maybe Simon could bless the mission, just in case.” Tessa said. “It is St. Patrick’s Day, after all.”

“Be happy to,” Simon said, a smug grin on his lips.

I shot Tessa a nasty glare, “What are you talking about? Simon’s Scottish, not Irish.”

Tessa shrugged, looking a little put out that I’d snap at her. “Close enough,” she said.

I rolled my eyes and sighed. We could use a little luck, but asking Simon for a blessing was like throwing gas on his megalomaniacal fire.

“Okay, fine, whatever, just make it quick,” I grumbled, folding my arms over my chest and tapping my impatient foot.

Simon cleared his throat and drew himself taller. “May the path rise to meet you, may your team always have your back, may the darkness always shroud you, may your mission meet with success, and until we meet again, may Nurse Cratchit remain entirely unawares.”

Mia giggled and clapped, “perfect!”

Tessa tossed a handful of sparkly glitter, which floated and drifted in the re-circulated institutional air almost like a magical leprechaun glimmer.

I blinked and found myself speechless. To my grudging surprise, I was touched. “Thanks, Simon,” I said. But since I considered him my nemesis, offering him thanks was just a little painful. I cleared my throat. “Okay, remember, you’re on guard duty. If Nurse Cratchit starts in our direction, your job is to distract her.”

Touching his brow he flicked me a quick salute. “Will do. Good luck.”


Stay tuned for the foray into Nurse Cratchit's office to retrieve their stuff!

Now, go read the rest of the submissions to the Luck of the Irish Blogfest, and have an awesome St. Paddy's Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Delusional Doom Blogfest

Today is the Delusional Doom Blogfest hosted by the Watery Tart!

In honor of the Ides of March when Julius Caesar met his doom, the Watery Tart has asked that for this blogfest we write a little something that predicts someone's death, plots a murder, or write an obituary for yourself or someone else.

Of course, as has become my obsession recently, at least where blogfests are concerned, I wrote another episode of Happy Acres. It follows immediately from yesterday's Broken Heart Blogfest entry.

It's kind of long (about 650), but at least I kept it under 1000 words!

Hope you enjoy!


“I’m going to kill that stupid woman,” I said, pounding the table in the Happy Acres day room by way of emphasizing my desire to crush her head to a bloody pulp.

“Zimbabwe,” Bill muttered from his usual chair in the corner where he sat with his puppet alter-ego T-Bone. The drug-like after effects of visitor’s day had worn off and everyone was back to their mental illness baselines.

“What did she do this time?” Tessa asked, madly scribbling away at a New Idea with a purple marker across the table from me.

“She knew we’d all be out here with our visitors, so she did a room search while we were distracted,” I said, pounding the table again for emphasis. Tessa actually glared at me. She suffered from post-visitor letdown too.

“You know,” Artie said, “it’s fully within staff jurisdiction to do room searches. I read the rules.”

“Mr. Artie,” Mia chimed in from a spot on the floor where she and the zombies poured over a pile of magazines Mama Mia had brought for them. “I would suggest you not poke the bear when it’s angries. This is what we call a bad idea.”

Artie’s brows came together in genuine confusion. I tried to forgive him because he still didn't understand us all. He hadn't yet found his place in the Happy Acres family.

“I don’t understand,” he said.

“Em is moody,” Simon said from his perch on the couch.

“You should talk,” I growled at him.

“Did she take anything valuable?” Simon asked, feigning interest. But I knew he was only concerned about his own contraband inventory.

“Only the apples I’d hidden under my dirty laundry, a ballpoint, and the scarf Mama Mia brought me last month.”

“You hide fruit with you dirty laundry?” Artie asked, a troubled grimace on his face.

“Usually Cratchit skipsies the dirty undies,” Mia said. “They can be kind of yucky, if you know what I mean.”

“She must still be mad at you for the last call-button-in-the-coma-patients’ room incident,” Tessa offered.

“Why would she take a ballpoint?” Artie asked.

From his corner, Bill mimed T-Bone using a ballpoint to stab him in the neck. His eyes bugged large, and he spasmed in his chair as his imaginary blood drained from his jugular.

“Oh,” Artie said.

“I’d like to find that stash of confiscated ballpoints in her desk and turn her into an inky pin cushion,” I said through gritted teeth.

“I’m in,” Simon said.

“Me too,” Tessa said.

“Me and the zombies would totes abandon our nonviolence policy for that fun stabby party,” Mia said.

“Does that mean she confiscated my pen and pencil set?” Artie asked. I thought he was going to be sick.

“Zimbabwe,” Bill said, resignation in his voice.

“Those were a gift from my wife,” Artie said, his eyes narrowing and the muscles in his jaw tightening like springs.

He stood, his hands fisting at his sides. All eyes went to Artie, the now-ticking time bomb.

“Hey, Artie, man,” I said. “Look, as much as I really, really want to go all voodoo doll on Nurse Cratchit, let’s just come up with another plan, okay?”

Artie turned his gaze on me and I made a mental note not to cross him. “Like what?” he asked.

“Well, I have just as much fun tricking her and making her look like an idiot. So let’s maybe plan a midnight raid on her office or something, okay?”

Mia clapped her hands and giggled. “Oh, goodies. Em is super good at sneaky covert ops. It’s always tons of fun.”

Tessa looked up from her project, a little smile forming on her lips. “That’s just what we need,” she said. “I’ll bring the glitter sprinkles.”

I’d explain later that glitter sprinkles would only implicate us. Not that Cratchit wouldn't know it was us, anyway.

Artie’s jaw relaxed a little and he took his seat again. “Are you sure I’ll get my pen and pencil set back?” he asked.

I could feel the sly smile form on my lips, “Oh, trust me, Artie. You’ll get that and more. She’ll never know what hit her.”


Now go read the rest of them. I know I'm heading there right now. Can't wait to read more murder plotting....

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Broken Heart Blogfest

It's time for the Broken Heart Blogfest, hosted by Dawn Embers.  The idea is to write something about broken all the wretched emotions involved.

I, of course, wrote another episode of the Happy Acres saga. And if I can ever figure out how to do it, I'll post all the Happy Acres episodes on their own separate page so you can catch up on them all!

It’s visitor’s day here at Happy Acres and my brother promised he’d visit today. He said he’d bring me a Big Mac and another pile of romance novels.

About an hour ago Bill’s wife showed up, and she brought homemade chocolate chip cookies for everyone. I love it when she visits – not only for the cookies, but because Bill leaves T-Bone in his room, and it’s the only time I really get to see Bill’s smile, which is pretty good. It puts a little bit of happy into Happy Acres.

The best place to sit when waiting for visitors is on the arm of the couch, where there’s a straight line of sight to the ward door. By sitting up straight the hallway beyond the door is visible through the little square window. I sat vigil there all day, announcing visitors as they arrived.

After Bill’s wife, it was Tessa’s sister. She’s a hugger just like Tessa. They sat at the table in the day room looking at pictures and sharing news. Tessa held her sister’s hand, or touched her shoulder, or leaned into her, but never lost contact.

Mia’s mom showed up next with cupcakes, of course. We call her Mama Mia and she smiles and laughs and holds her daughter close, but I can tell that even though she puts on a happy front, somewhere underneath she blames herself that Mia's here.

Simon’s wife brought his little daughters today, which kind of surprised me because this is not a place for kids. But Simon scooped the girls up in a big hug, smooching kisses all over their little faces. I had to look away because my eyes stung and I got a lump in my throat that I had to swallow down. But at least Simon was on his best behavior, not even requiring his wife to address him as his majesty, or anything.

For two hours the room buzzed with energy, and everyone was on a kind of family love high that will keep them going for at least another day. But I still sat on the couch, waiting. I strained for a peek out the window, into the hall beyond, but all I could see were orderlies and nurses, going about their jobs. I still held out hope, though. My brother is always late for everything.

And even after Bill’s wife, Tessa’s sister, Mama Mia, and Simon’s family left, amidst a whirlwind of hugs and “I love you’s,” and my fellow inmates floated back to their rooms on their own personal waves of contentment, I still sat, waiting.

Artie, the new guy, sat on the couch behind me.

“I’m sorry your visitor didn’t show up,” he said. I glanced over my shoulder at him. He sat straight-backed and awkward, and I remembered the picture of the woman and girl I found when I snooped his room, and my heart broke for him. Artie’s wife and daughter were gone and he would never sit on the arm of this couch straining to catch a glimpse of his family on visitor’s day.

Okay, so if you're not too depressed now, go check out the other entries and after you've finished reading them, you probably will be depressed. Or at least heartbroken!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Catch Me If You Can

You all know I'm a sucker for blogfests. I just can't help myself. So when I saw this one this morning, I had to enter.

It's the Catch Me If You Can Blogfest, hosted by Kristina over at KayKay's Corner.

The idea of this fest is to post the first 500 or so words of your WIP in hopes of answering the question: does my WIP catch people's attention right away?

So my submission is the first 498 words of my paranormal romance, Faerie Fate. As it turns out, chapter one is super's sort of a prologue disguised as a first chapter. So this submission is that entire first chapter, plus a little bit of chapter 2. Hope you likey!

****CH 1
Holly Reed slept curled in a tiny bundle, wrapped in her mother’s protective embrace, unaware of the two women who stood over her, watching.

“Do you think she has any idea how important she is?” Aine, Queen of all Fae, asked her own mother.

Gaea regarded her daughter, the queen, with a tender gaze. “Not if we do what we came to do, Aine.”

Moonlight fell through a gap in the curtains onto Holly’s little face, illuminating her pink cheeks. Aine stepped closer to the bed, brushed her fingers over the baby’s soft skin and sighed. “There’s so much to protect her from.”

“Indeed there is,” Gaea agreed. “Not the least of which is her own relatives.”

“Such a beautiful girl. Will she ever be happy?”

“Perhaps,” Gaea said, moving close behind Aine and placing a hand on her shoulder. “I may be the Mother Goddess, Darling, but there are powers beyond even my control.”

A furrow creased Aine’s brow, “Fate,” she said, disgust in her voice.

“He is a force unto himself, and one that, unfortunately, I can’t interfere with. All I can do is protect and do my best to prevent. The rest is up to him. And that brings us back to this little angel.”

“If she is the Redeemer it’s crucial we do everything we can to ensure she remains hidden.”

“The peace foretold in the prophecy has nearly reached its end,” Gaea said, smoothing Holly’s ebony hair. She shifted the edge of the old crazy quilt to expose the baby’s little shoulder, revealing a birthmark resembling a pair of overlapping rings. “This child is, indeed, the Redeemer. Fate has already marked her for that burden. She holds the fortune of two worlds in her little hands.” Gaea shook her head and sighed. “We can shield her now, but she can’t remain hidden forever.”

“Then let’s protect her as best we can so when the time comes she can fulfill her destiny,” Aine said, a chant beginning low in her throat as a glow danced over her skin.

“Let’s just hope it’s enough,” Gaea said, joining her voice to her daughter’s as they worked their protective magic on the unsuspecting pair.

**** CH 2
Holly Reed paced the hospital corridor outside room 532, uncertain if she wanted to enter and accept the consequences. On the other side of the door lay the grandmother she’d never met, apparently in the last losing days of her battle with lung cancer.

An orderly rushed by pushing an empty wheelchair, giving her a quizzical look. Across the hall at the nurse’s station, their eyes followed her back and forth.

“Can I help you with something?” one of the nurses asked, her voice suspicious.

“No,” Holly said, “I’m fine,” She’d have to decide now. Either leave and spend the rest of her life wondering, or go in and find out why her grandmother had waited until she was on her deathbed to make her only granddaughter’s acquaintance.


So there you have it. You're dying to know what happens next, right? Because you were sucked right into the story. Okay, so I hope you were anyway.  Now, if you can tear yourself away, go check out the rest of the entries!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Gone But Not Forgotten

This Gone But Not Forgotten blogfest is kind of a cool little fest hosted by Erinn, Alicia, Holly, Pam and Quinta.

The goal is to list your top 5 fave TV shows not making new episodes. They may be gone, but they are not forgotten!

So, here are mine (in no particular order):

1. Stargate SG-1

2. Sliders


3. That 70s Show

4. Stargate Atlantis

5. Pushing Daisies

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Super Snooper Blogfest

It's time for the Super-Snooper Blogfest, hosted by the lovely Alison, and (drum roll...) I'm actually posting on time!

The idea of this fest is to describe a setting that tells something about a character's personality. Tell us about the character through his or her stuff.

My entry is, of course, another episode of the Happy Acres saga. No setup necessary. It's kinda long, but I hope you enjoy it anyway!


“Are we still clear?” I asked, my fingers itching to rummage.

“Yep,” Tessa replied, pirouetting and tossing sparkly confetti.

We have a new inmate at Happy Acres, and as is our tradition when someone new joins our little family, we must ransack his property in order to learn his deepest darkest secrets.

“Is Bill still distracting Nurse Cratchit?” I asked.

“Yes, yes, yesssss!” Tessa sang, continuing her hallway dance in a glittery cloud.

“Stop it, Tessa. You will draw attention to our tripsie into Mr. Artie’s stuffs,” Mia said, waggling a finger at Tessa by way of chastising her.

I surveyed New Guy Artie’s room. His bed sported crisp, sharp hospital corners, flat, smooth blanket, and wrinkle-free pillow case. I had no clue how he managed to sleep on the pillow but leave no wrinkles. My pillow resembled the rest of my bed - utter disarray.

“Are you finding anything funsies, Em?” Mia asked in a stage whisper from the hall where she and her zombies worked diligently on another crayon wall mural.

“Any cupcakes?” Tessa asked.

“No. I don’t think he’s the cupcake type,” I said. “Maybe lima beans, but not cupcakes. What’s going on out there?”

Artie’s nightstand was laid out like a graph paper grid. Back left quadrant = square-based lamp placed equilateral to the corner of the nightstand; front right quadrant = square-based clock, also equilateral to the corner; back right quadrant = square box of tissue (Puffs Plus with lotion!), again equilateral to the corner; front left quadrant = an empty spotless plastic cup (no glass allowed, we might break it and slit our wrists, or each others’ throats), also square-based and also (big surprise) equilateral to the corner.

I sensed a theme with this guy.

Tessa did a little jete then leaned in the doorway. “Bill and T-Bone are confusing Nurse Cratchit. She doesn’t know which personality she’s talking to,” she said, giggling.

“And Simon is trying to recruit Mr. Artie to his royal courtsie,” Mia said.

From my search so far, I’m guessing Mr. Artie won’t be Simon’s court jester.

I pulled open the nightstand drawer and found a notepad perfectly centered inside the drawer and framed by a pen on one side and a pencil on the other. Otherwise, the drawer was empty. Hmm. So far, so boring.

I turned my attention to the desk. The left side cubby contained an arrangement of textbooks: accounting, financial investment, Excel, IRS tax code, and I don’t know what else because I lost interest. The right side cubby was full front to back with what must be the complete collection of Louis L’Amour, organized alphabetically by title.

The top of the desk held a laptop, perfectly centered, and polished to a high shine.

“Come on, Artie,” I said to myself. “There’s got to be something in here to save you from terminal dullness.”

A calendar hung on the wall, but not one with pretty pictures of gardens or beaches of the world, or national parks or even naked women (or men). No, this calendar was the height of utilitarian – word of the day. Today’s word: ineffable. I wanted to add to the definition: Not Artie.

“Oh!” Tessa said, sounding like a hoot owl. “Cratchit’s coming! Hurry!”

I stood back to make sure nothing was out of place, and that’s when I saw it, something tucked in one of the books, just barely jutting above the pages. I pulled the book out and pinched the thing, sliding it out and discovered a photograph. A pretty dark-haired young woman stood in front of a house with a smiley, curly-headed little girl in her arms. The little girl waved at the camera.

“Hurrying up now would be extra good, Em,” Mia said in a sing-songy voice from the hall.

I swallowed hard and slid the picture back into the book, then pushed the book back onto the shelf. Damn, I hate when I find the new guy has a soft mushy spot. It means I have to play nice.

Tessa met me at the door and took my hand, swinging me into a twirly dance move just as Nurse Cratchit caught up with us, none the wiser. She gave us a suspicious once over, humphed at us, then continued down the hall, her practical rubber-soled shoes squeaking her progress on the brown linoleum.

There you have it! No go check out the rest of the entries!