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rhani-dchae

 

 

THE WEEK MY FATHER DIED

I was at work when my mother called to tell me that dad had been rushed to the hospital the night before, suffering from excruciating pain in his abdomen.  

Dad had been diagnosed with prostate cancer about fifteen years earlier and it had spread to other parts of his body, but he had been doing fairly well so there was no reason to anticipate something like this.

Mom told me that dad had spent quite a bit of time at the hospital while they ran numerous tests to discover the cause of his pain. Long story short, his kidneys were failing and there was nothing that could be done. He was sent home with a hospice nurse so that he could be with his family in comfortable surroundings when the end came.

We rented a hospital bed and put it next to the front window so that he could see outside into the yard. We kept instrumental hymns playing on the stereo and moved mom’s chair closer to the bed so that she could be nearer to him.

And that’s when things started to get a little crazy.

James, my seeing eye son, was living with mom and dad at the time, and my sister, who I was living with at the time, drove out with me every day.  Gail, my other sister, also came out daily, as did her husband, her four children and their collection of young ones.

Gail’s grandkids were all under ten and did not really understand the severity of the situation. They knew that Papa was going home to see Jesus, but that was about as far as it went. Gail’s family had never lived close to mom and dad, so their kids only saw my parents three or four times a year. None of them had a close relationship with dad, so the thought of losing him did not rate overly high on their radar.

For five days, the kids ran through the house, slamming the doors and yelling to each other. Even when they were sent outside, the noise was loud enough to be heard everywhere in the house. Their respective parents would occasionally tell them to tone it down, but they were kids and that’s what kids do.

At one point, one of my nephews-in-law decided to commemorate the occasion by putting it on film. He videotaped everyone going to my father’s side and saying goodbye. Maybe it was the stress of the situation, but I didn’t like what he was doing. My father’s death was not a photo-op, and I resented anything that made it seem that way.

I remember being called into the living room and told to say something to dad. I had already spoken to him several times, telling him that I loved him and assuring him that mom would be taken care of. Having my niece’s husband dictate to me where to stand and how long to talk so that he could get it on film, was infuriating.

As six families moved through the house each day, my mother spent most of her time sitting with dad, reading the Bible to him and making the most of the time that remained. She loved having her family close, but as the days passed, I could see that the noise and constant disruption was getting to her. I did speak to my nieces individually on several occasions, asking if they could please keep the kids quiet, at least in the house. They always said they would, and I know that they meant it at the time, but it never happened. The noise, the chasing from room to room, and the constant interruptions into my parents’ private space, continued. I could see that it was upsetting my mother, and I finally decided to put my foot down.

I took my mom and Gail into the bedroom and asked mom what she wanted or needed. She thought about it for a long moment and then said, very simply, that she wanted to answer the phone. Either Gail or one of her daughters had been taking the phone calls and making a list of the callers. Mom wanted to speak to those people, most of them from her church and was upset that she was not being allowed to do so. And she wanted the volume around her to be turned down to a much less disruptive level.

Gail said that she would take care of it, and she did. Within hours, her grandkids had been taken by their fathers to another location. I didn’t know where they went, and I didn’t much care. They were gone, the house was quiet, and that was all that mattered to me.

Later in the day, James, my other sister Sharon and I,

took mom to Cold Stone for some ice cream. Dad was fairly unresponsive by then, so she felt that it was okay to take a little break.

We were gone for about an hour, and by the time we got back, everyone else was back as well. But at least mom had a few hours of uninterrupted time with dad, and I’m so grateful that the girls understood and were willing to do what was needed to give her that.

My father passed that night, surrounded by family and carried home on the sound of our voices singing his favorite hymns. Standing in a semi-circle around the bed, we held hands as we sang, while my brother-in-law, a minister, laid his hands on my father’s head and prayed him home.

As cancer deaths go, my father’s was fairly quick. He had been fully functional up until the night he went to the emergency room, enjoying his life without much discomfort. He avoided the long hospital stays and horrific pain that are so often a part of that kind of death. My aunt Gloria died of lung cancer when I was eighteen or so. I went to see her in the hospital, and I remember a shrunken figure in the bed, hooked up to monitors and numerous IV lines. Her time of dying took several long and torturous weeks, and I will always be thankful that my father was spared a similar end. I would have hated to have my last memory of this strong and vital man, be that of a wasted shadow of the man that he had always been.

I thank the Lord that it didn’t go that way.

                                                                       ******

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Theme MUST be the Foundation of Your Novel

What are the hallmarks of an amateur novelist?

This is a question I get all the time and, of course, there are many answers: poor pacing, flat dialogue, a lack of believable character development. All of these things are a death kiss for any fiction writer.

However, even if all of these elements are in place and you have the most exquisite dialogue and beautifully realized characters, there can still be something missing in your novel. And very often, it relates to theme.

Theme is something that all readers will pick up on when reading a book, whether they realize it or not. At its core satisfying novels need to be about something — whether that’s something broad like ‘love’ or something as narrow as ‘corrosive corporate culture’. Even novels about gods or dinosaurs or space aliens will have something to say about the human condition — a vein that…

View original post 194 more words

A COMPLICATED NIGHT

Plumbers and Gasfitters Employees’ Union Building, Melbourne, Graeme Gunn, 1968-71.

 

A COMPLICATED NIGHT

The street lights refuse to glow on this dark night,

adding to my increasing shivers and fright.

I should not have agreed to come here

in darkness crippling me with fear.

 

Through the lit window, I spot a figure.

The shadow moves closer and grows bigger.

My hand lifts to grasp the railing,

then both my arms are flailing.

 

A bullet has grazed my left shoulder,

leaving the pain behind to smolder.

My right-hand reaches across to staunch the blood

as I turn to flee before my tears can flood.

 

I zigzag through the deserted streets of the town,

all the while praying that no others are around.

Life of a spy is not an easy one,

like a roller coaster without the fun.

 

Straight ahead stands another figure.

He signals for me not to linger.

My partner opens the passenger door for me.

I am on my way to get out of this scot-free.

THE GAME HAS BEGUN

 

 

Put on your mask.

Dress in your gown.

Step into your party shoes.

The dance is about to begin.

Music fills the mirrored room.

The band picks up the beat.

Dancers swirl under glowing chandeliers.

Rainbows of light reflect off the walls.

The room enlarges to accommodate the dancers.

The clock strikes midnight.

The music stops.

The dancers stand still.

The Dead Game has begun.

THE DEAD GAME

 

THE END IS HERE

 

 

 

They fly against the windows.

Trying to enter the Town Hall.

Our shelter from the storm.

They’ve found us.

Windows break.

Glass rains upon us.

The end has come.

THE DEAD GAME

 

A SHIMMERING BLUE

Source:

 

 

Haze covers the town,

but please do not frown.

Secrets are concealed.

The Dead are revealed.

We come in the fog.

The mist we don’t hog.

We’ll share it with you,

a shimmering blue.

The moon shines its glare

on those who come here.

Frolic in the night.

Just keep out of sight.

 

THE DEAD GAME

 

HERE IS MY INTERVIEW WITH SUSANNE LEIST BY FIONA MCVIE

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Hello. My name is Susanne Leist. Do I have to give my age? Okay, I’m 59 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I have an M.B.A. in Finance. I worked as a financial analyst in the commodities markets and then as a budget analyst. Later in life, I turned to writing. I have two daughters, both married. I live on Long Island with my husband, Maltese dog, and dwarf bunny (who belongs to my younger daughter. Poor Thumper.)

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’ve recently completed book two of The Dead Game series. The first book resolved the murder mystery, but at the same time, opened a Pandora box of new problems. Its surprise ending leads us to book two.

The second book takes the heroine, Linda, and her friends on a chase through Florida from a private club in Disney World to the swamps of Southern Florida. In its wake, a trail of dead bodies leaves their bloody signature.

Book two should be released this summer. That is if I can stop editing before I send it to the editor.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always loved to read books. I grew up reading all types of thrillers and mysteries, from Agatha Christie to Sherlock Holmes. Except for Agatha Christie’s novels, I’ve been able to figure out the endings. Then one day, I decided to write a book of my own, to play with clues like the famous authors, and create a surprise ending. I wanted to be like Jessica Fletcher, played by Angela Lansbury, in Murder She Wrote.

After I wrote The Dead Game, my fantasy came true. I wasn’t so concerned with profits as I was with having people read my words. After I sold the first book, I was on Cloud Nine thinking about someone somewhere reading my story.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I still don’t know if I consider myself a writer. I’m a dabbler. I dabbled in Finance, then Marketing, and now writing prose and poetry. Once I published my book, I felt more like a writer than before.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I wanted to write a book that combined paranormal with mystery. This type of literature is hard to find. I decided to write a paranormal, murder mystery of my own. My book, The Dead Game, has dead bodies and suspects like a traditional murder mystery. However, it also has humans, vampires, and vampire derivatives. And don’t forget the haunted house—we must have one of these.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The Dead play an essential part in the book.  Since they enjoy playing evil games to the detriment of the residents of Oasis, I called it The Dead Game.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I write what I feel inside. I keep writing until my fingers hurt and my eyes get blurry. Then I edit and edit. Editing is challenging, and I don’t know when to stop.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The book isn’t based on reality in any way, shape, or form. The story and characters evolved from my overactive imagination.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I travel through the strange ideas in my mind. I use the computer to check up on places and events.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I designed it with Outskirts Press. I asked for a door with a hand holding it open, and blood dripping out. They didn’t have it in stock. So we agreed upon the door with fire around it.The door plays a significant role in my book.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I can now say I’m a full-time writer. I pen my poetry on my blogs and AuthorsDen.com. After I publish my second book, I’ll work on the third one in the series.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I learned a lot from the reviews on my book. I wouldn’t have written in multiple points of view, which can confuse readers. My second book is written basically in one point of view with a few other points of view thrown in as needed along the way.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I now know to have everything in place before my book is released. The Dead Game first sat on Amazon and Barnes & Noble without a by-line or an author bio. Outskirts Press didn’t prepare me. I had to hurry to compose descriptions and open blogs. I quickly learned about Facebook, Twitter, and Google as social sites to share my book. The first month was hectic. I know better this time around.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Linda is sensitive and loves to read. She is a good and loyal friend. KatharineMcPhee, Natalie Portman or Emily Blunt would be great leading women.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Have all your social media, blogs, descriptions, and everything else in place before you release your book. Announce the arrival of your book in advance to raise readers’ expectations before the big event.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

The most important thing I want for you is to enjoy my story and let it take you away from the mundane to a world of adventure and where the impossible becomes possible.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I just finished Lisa Unger’s book, Crazy Love You. It’s a psychological thriller like Gone Girl. I expected more from Gone Girl after all the hype. Crazy Love You also delivers a story that is slow and predictable.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

My first grown-up book was the Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. My brother was an avid reader, and I read what he did.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

The TV show, Mom, makes me laugh. If anything happens to an animal in a movie, on TV, or on social media, I’m a crying mess.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I would love to meet Angela Lansbury. Need I say more?

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Shopping and swimming in that order.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I enjoy Supernatural, The Originals, Deception, Riverdale, Mom, and Timeless.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Pizza. Purple. Soft music.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I can’t imagine that. How much shopping and swimming can I do?

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

Travelling as much of the world as I can.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

She tried her best. I just made this up.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Website   https://susanneleist.com

Blog https://susanneleist.wordpress.com

Amazon authors page https://www.amazon.com/Susanne-Leist/e/B00F253FE6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1525078784&sr=1-2-ent

 

authorsinterviews

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Hello. My name is Susanne Leist. Do I have to give my age? Okay, I’m 59 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I have an M.B.A. in Finance. I worked as a financial analyst in the commodities markets and then as a budget analyst. Later in life, I turned to writing. I have two daughters, both married. I live on Long Island with my husband, Maltese dog, and dwarf bunny (who belongs to my younger daughter. Poor Thumper.)

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’ve recently completed book two of The Dead Game series. The first book resolved the murder mystery, but…

View original post 1,127 more words

WE OPEN AT SUNSET

1 we open at sunset

“we open at sunset.”

 

Why open at sunset?

Why wait until your flowers are dried out 

from being in the sun all day?

Is the store an after work hobby?

In my mind’s eye, I can see the owner.

The sun is low in the deepening blue sky.

The young man pedals quickly on his bicycle

and parks below the red and white striped awning.

The dark-haired man rushes to his plants 

who lie before him wilting.

He grabs them and brings them inside.

I cross the street and peek into the window.

The man tends to the leaves with a fine mister,

then soaks their dirt with a yellow watering can.

He lines them up on the table beneath the window,

rearranging them by size from smallest to tallest.

Before my shocked eyes, the plants stand straighter.

The leaves spread out to hold each other’s hands.

The man steps back with a happy expression on his face.

Our eyes meet through the glass.

He holds my gaze before turning away.

He’s seen me.

His eyes seek mine.

I hold my breath.

A slow smile wings across his face,

dimpling his plump cheeks.

His hand waves for me to enter.

I pull open the glass door as the bell chimes.

The fragrant scent of flowers wafts to my nose

from the shelves of plants around the small room.

I stand beside the tall and handsome man.

Together we watch the plants as they stretch their stems

to the sun streaming through the window.

I whisper, “Why did you wait a whole day to water them?”

He faces me. “That is the way.”

I scrunch my nose as I glance up. “What way?”

He smiles, and his dimples reappear. “The way of the prior owner who told

me to water them only at sunset, and that I should never forget.”

I shrugged. “What would happen if you forgot?”

His stare takes on a faraway look. “These are special plants that must be

watered the same time every day or else they will die.”

“Amazing,” I murmur.

The setting sun lights the plants with an orange glow.

The sun retreats to its bed for the night.

The plants follow suit and drop hands, their leaves standing up straight.

“What happens now?” I ask.

He smiles. “They go to sleep.”

“Sweet.”

His dark blue gaze falls on me. “Would you like to accompany me 

to dinner this evening?”

My head pops up. “Will you explain more about the plants?”

His dimples deepen. “Of course. And we can share our names.”

I giggled. “That’s right. I don’t know yours.”

“But I know yours, Amy.”

“How–?”

He takes my arm and places it in the crook of his. “All will be explained.”

To be continued

MY STORY

All stories have an end.
This is mine.
I live behind this door.
No one visits.
As footsteps draw near,
I look out the peephole.
I never answer the bell.
I slink away into my dungeon
of lost hopes and dreams.
Neighbors stay away.
Family doesn’t...

(Source: melisica)

 

 

 

All stories have an end.

This is mine.

I live behind this door.

No one visits.

As footsteps draw near,

I look out the peephole.

I never answer the bell.

I slink away into my dungeon

of lost hopes and dreams.

Neighbors stay away.

My family doesn’t care.

Would you?

 

 

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