Pet rabbit

The Rabbit (Delete Scene)

There are times when I feel like a fraud. I have been a beta reader and critique partner for many writers over the years, pointing out areas where stories are weak and where they are strong. I'm a freelance editor with Black Wolf Editorial Services, contracting my services out as a developmental editor, helping other writers shape their stories into masterpieces. However, to date, none of my fiction has been published. I am a published writer, but all of my personal publication credits are non-fiction.

A few of those whom I have provided editing for have gone on to obtain traditional publication contracts. Some have self-published. In most cases, I've received some form of acknowledgement, but I am unlikely to ever get editorial credit, because developmental editing is an early-stage editing — editorial credits commonly go to the copyeditor of a book.

Some writers from my early days of being an editor were actually disgruntled by my comments, even though my comments highlighted the good... and the areas that could be improved. Recently, I heard from one of those writers, and she gave me words that actually lifted my soul.

I wanted to give [you] a way belated thank you.

You did some extensive crits on my works a long, long time ago. I wasn't ready to hear it at that time and did not appreciate them. I'm trying to improve and see now the honesty and TRUTH in those crits. I just wanted to say thank you for investing the time in me. It pushed me to be better.

Well, like that writer, I'm pushing myself to be better. Part of that process is to suck-it-up and share with the world some of my fiction — proving to my readers (and myself) that I really do know how to craft a story. So, I decided to share with you a deleted scene from my high-fantasy novel, Beacon of Hope. The novel itself is currently sitting in that metaphorical drawer, as I have a mental hangup about querying the thing, but still...

I hope you enjoy it.

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Misinformed Fathers and Aftershocks…

She sat at the dining room table staring at the laptop. The nerves were shot and she wasn't getting much sleep, but one thing was helping with her mental sanity — her writing. Ironically, the anxiety brought on by the quaky earth fueled the tension of her story.

Her cell phone chimed. It was a message from her father. "Don't worry about clean up at work. It's in the street." Her jaw dropped. Without pause, she flicked over to her web browser and brought up the University of Canterbury website, searching for signs of what her father was talking about. Her heart raced out of control with worry for her colleagues. While she had been working from home when the quake hit, she had been in email communication with those in the lab. She was afraid that one of them had died and she didn't know.

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A New Excuse for Messy Bedrooms — Remembering February 22, 2011

"Clean your room. You know my rule."

The children bowed their heads, forlorn as a result of their mother's scowl. "Yes, mum. There must always be a clear path from the door to the bed."

It wasn't much to ask for as far as the mother was concerned. It really was just for a matter of safety. But the children went about their chores, knowing the consequences if they didn't. Their mother's wrath was not something anyone wanted to wage war with—and she knew it. Smiling to herself, she left her children to tidy the messes that they called bedrooms.

Sunday afternoon bounded along and it was time for inspection. The son had everything in its place: books on the shelves, desk clear, laundry in the hamper, and the bed made. He had even vacuumed. The daughter… Well… The mess had been carefully stowed away in the cupboards and stacked in unstable piles. The laundry was pushed under the bed and the covers were pulled back to give the false impression of a made bed. The mother shook her head in dismay.

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Mother Earth Roars and We Listen…

When Mother Earth decides to make her presence known, we must listen.
We humans are nothing but ants on her skin.
She stretches, the ground moves. She roars, and we hear nothing else.

Mother Nature knows when things are not right.
Silence precedes the dog's barking and the sparrow's flight.
Then her mouth opens and the city falls.

Alarms of man overshadow the screams.
The heart races and fear is all you know.
You have no control, just clinging for life, praying for it to end.

Then silence. It's unbearable.
You can't move, waiting for it to strike again.
You know it's coming. You've been through this before.
And it does.

I hear you, dear Mother. Please let me live.

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Candle

The lights go out, but it’s still the season of cheer…

Winter was upon them and the chill leaked through the walls and windows. The young girl shivered, wrapping herself in the blankets that her mother had laid across her shoulders. The candlelight flickered across the table. She picked up the paintbrush, yellow on its tip. As carefully as she could, she painted the stuffed solider doll.

Every night that week, she had decorated another ornament for the tree that sat in the corner. Every night, it was only a candle that provided the light to see by. Every night, she beamed with pride with another creation hung.Read More