Saturday, December 31, 2011

43rd Six Sentence Sunday, starting the new year with a bang...

Welcome back Six Sunday friends. I'm digressing a little from The Falstaff Vampire Files because the second Josephine Fuller book, Large Target just came out and I have to celebrate with suitable fireworks.

After a night of passion that took an unexpected turn toward dawn Josephine and Mulligan have a serious talk over breakfast. They're on Coronado Island near San Diego where automobiles rule, so she tries to lighten the mood with some car talk...

"Come on, I'll walk you to your car," Mulligan said.

As we reached the parking lot at the hotel, I decided to show off the car I was borrowing, Mrs. Madrone's Lexus. "The remote control is hooked into the alarm so it makes the most amazing sound. Listen to this," I said, whipping out the remote as we headed for the Lexus.

I pressed the button and a deafening explosion shattered the car's windows and rocked it on its tires. I jumped back against Mulligan who was already pulling me away from the hot slap of air and spatter of glass.

For a good time check out the dozens of other Six Sunday writers who will be offering up New Year's surprises in six sentence doses at Six Sentence Sunday.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

42nd Six Sentence Sunday...You thought you could tell the dangerous ones

Kristin meets a mysterious huge old man in a shed. Common sense tells her to run, and are six sentences from The Falstaff Vampire Files.

You thought you could tell the dangerous ones, but you could make a fatal mistake. I knew a psychiatric nurse who guessed wrong--the patient had always been so quiet--right up until he nearly fractured her spine.

And yet when this man bowed in such a courtly way all my misgivings melted away and I took his outstretched hand, as he bent over my knuckles to kiss them in that European fashion that always causes consternation in American women. He stayed a safe arm's length away and I relaxed a little.

Despite his hair sticking up on all directions and his track suit pants with the stripe along the side that had clearly slept in, he smelled faintly of pine shavings, newly cut grass, and a faint, not unpleasant, overtone--a mushroom-like smell.

He began to cough again, at length, "Beg pardon--the dust--a quintessence of dust as the poet would have it."

All kinds of action in a wide variety of genres can be found by clicking the links to over 150 other writers' six sentence snippets at Six Sunday

Opps, for those who get automatic feed sorry for the duplicate with this not-so-small addition -Merry Christmas (next Sunday all the Six Sentencers will be taking the day off) and Happy New Year to all!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

41st Six Sentence Sunday...who's delusional here?

From The Falstaff Vampire Files, just after dusk, alone in a shed just behind her ex-lover’s house, Kristin sees a huge, old man emerge from a crate. He introduces himself as Sir John Falstaff.

Falstaff did seem appropriate to his age and girth, but he had picked an unusual figure to impersonate, or fixate on--not Napoleon or Elvis--but Shakespeare's Falstaff, a character from literature! Unusual.

No harm in talking to him--he seemed harmless. Had there ever been a journal article on delusions of being a fictional character? A flicker of self-interest ran through me at the thought of a journal article on this subject, and I must have showed it in some way because he leaned toward me.

I tensed up, remembering the months when I worked in a full-fledged mental hospital.

For more fun in six-sentence snippets, check out some (or all!) of the 160 authors at Six Sunday.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

40th Six Sunday sentences - Kristin considers the impossible...

From The Falstaff Vampire Files, a skeptical Kristin Marlowe tries to consider what to make of the man who has just risen up at sunset out of a crate in the shed behind her ex-lover's house.

"Sir John--sorry—I didn’t catch your last name?" I had, I just didn’t believe it.

He examined me with eyes that were bloodshot but not yellowed by the jaundice of liver disease, sighed and seemed to come to some kind of decision.

"The Bard dubbed me Falstaff, and many know that name. But most in your fair city call me Sir John. I was born John and won my knighthood on the field of battle."

For more fun from Six Sentence Sunday writers in all kinds of genres, check out this week's snippets at Six Sunday.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

39th Six Sentence Sunday, a Meeting in the Shed

From The Falstaff Vampire Files, Kristin Marlowe meets a strange man, emerging from what had seemed to be an empty crate in the shed beind her ex-lover's house. The huge, deep-voiced man has an unusually hypnotic effect on her. Rather than run, she stays to hear him say:

"Fair mistress, what name shall I call you?" The exotic flavor of the words and his deep rumbling voice somehow didn’t fit with a crate in a garage, yet he seemed perfectly at home.

"I'm Kristin," I managed to say, "and you are?"

He cleared his throat. "Jack Falstaff with my familiars, John with my brothers and sisters, and Sir John with all Europe. At your service, my lady."

For more fun in six-sentence snippets check out the dozens of writers at Six Sunday.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

38th Six Sentence Sunday - an unlikely predator

Searching the shed behind Hal's house for a stolen item, Kristin finds herself confronting a man who suddenly rears up out of a crate she had thought empty. Large and rumpled with a white beard and drinker's red cheeks and nose, yet the man is eerily poised and confident,

No shaking from alcohol withdrawal as some drinkers have on arising. No, he was totally still, his eyes sharp and piercing as the eyes of a hawk, but with a most unhawk-like twinkle.

Turn and run, I thought, But I stood frozen, not so much terrified as stunned, like a small mammal suddenly confronted with a large snake.

"You can't be a dream. It's dusk and I'm awake," the man said.

For more than 150 snippets from a wide range of genres, check out the talented writers at Six Sunday

Saturday, November 12, 2011

37th Six Sentence Sunday - Arising at Dusk...With Coughing

From The Falstaff Vampire Files. Kristin Marlowe watches in shock as the crate in the deserted shed...opens and an old man emerges.

He was huge. Tall and broad, with unruly white hair and beard, though his face seemed startlingly pale when paired with the reddened cheeks and nose of a serious drinker. He wore an ancient, old-fashioned long underwear shirt that might have been World War II army surplus. He gave one last wracking cough, then took a deep breath and turned to regard me with eyes that were bleary, but bright blue, not bloodshot.

"A vision of womanliness," he said in a thick, English accent. Even with all my Public Television viewing, I couldn't place its location in the British Isles.

For more fun in six sentence doses, check out the other writers participating at Six Sentence Sunday

Saturday, November 5, 2011

36th Six Sentence Sunday - The Coffin...Well, the Crate, Opens...

Back in September I posted some sentences from Chapter 1 of The Falstaff Vampire Files where psychologist, Kristin Marlowe, went to her cheating ex-lover's house to retrieve an irreplaceable item he stole. She was advised to stay out of the shed:

The shed in the back yard was the very last remotely possible hiding place. I went down the hall bathed in red light of the sunset. A few minutes later I was standing in the shed under the glare of the electric light bulb, watching the lid rise on a crate that should have been empty.

A pudgy hand, followed by a large, rounded arm appeared in the gap and pushed the lid up. The rest of the man followed it, raising the lid until it rested against the wall. He sat up, still coughing, as I watched, frozen in shock.

For more surprises and fun in six-sentence doses, check out the many other writers at Six Sentence Sunday

Saturday, October 29, 2011

35th six sentence Sunday, sometimes it's hard to be a vampire hunter...

Back into the six sentence Sunday habit, from The Falstaff Vampire Files. Psychologist Kristin Marlowe meets a vampire hunter who has never met a real vampire:

I stopped halfway in the middle of sitting in Larry's cozy, burgundy-colored wing chair. "Did you say vampire cults?"

"Wait a minute," I said putting the name and the subject together. “Wasn’t there a Professor Van Helsing in Dracula?"

"That was fiction, but as a kid when I found Abraham Van Helsing in Dracula, I got interested in the culture," Bram said, settling back on the sofa. "Even if it were in my blood to hunt vampires there would be the small problem that really aren't any, so I have to make do."

Meanwhile over at at Six Sentence Sunday Central, upwards of 160 writers are massing for Halloween snippets Six Sunday

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dreams and nightmares

The Six Sentence Sunday site is taking a vacation weekend Sunday.

After 34 weeks, I've got the habit of posting something, so I thought I would share how dreams sometimes make their way into my books. We talked about this a little during the last Pearlsong Conversation. The entire call is available at Pearlsong Conversations

Sometimes a dream just offers a fragment or an attitude that I use the way a quilter would cut up and stitch in an interesting fabric to contribute to an overall pattern. I think they actually do serve a purpose but I don't always know what it is for quite a long time afterwards.

While I was writing Larger Than Death I had a dream that I pretty much put verbatim into the book. Josephine Fuller has just rescued Raoul, the cat, from his hiding place from her murdered friend's apartment, and both she and the cat are on edge.

From Larger Than Death:

I lay down for a moment on the day bed. Suddenly a mass of aches and pains surfaced that I hadn't felt until then. The cat put his paws up on the bed and gave a meow of inquiry. "Well, I'll forgive you for scratching me, if you'll forgive me for scaring you," I told him. He regarded me steadily for several seconds and then hopped up beside me. His coat was slightly matted. "I'll get a brush for you," I promised. He purred in answer and I slipped into a dream.

In the dream I was trying to take Elvis Presley to detox. I was helping him down the front steps of a mansion very much like Claude Rains' mansion in Rio from the last scene from Hitchcock's Notorious. Like Ingrid Bergman in the film he was too drugged to cooperate or resist. I kept encouraging him, "Come on, Elvis, we're going to the Betty Ford Clinic. You'll meet lots of other famous people and you'll feel much better." But it was hopeless. His handlers spirited him away as a crowd of screaming fans drove up.

I woke up. The shrieking was Groucho, the Macaw, demanding attention in the front room. The cat had deserted me. I heard him in the kitchen row-ow-owling at Maxine, probably begging food. Maxine said something. A man's voice replied. I got up and went to investigate.

I'm still not sure what it meant, but it made me smile and I couldn't resist using it. After seven years I think it expresses Josephine's wish to help and frustration at not being able to do anything.

Now about nightmares. I'm not going to quote from The Falstaff Vampire Files, but the really shuddery critters in that book came from a nightmare that scared the hell out of me.

Oddly enough fearsome things from my nightmares don't terrify me as much as my basic homegrown phobias. Those things scare me so much that I'll never use them in my stories. I also refuse to read about them when other writers use them. And no, I am not going to tell you what they are. But using material from my nightmares somehow takes away the reality factor enough that I can handle the material.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

34th Six Sunday snippet - enter the vampire hunter

From The Falstaff Vampire Files. Therapist Kristin Marlowe is shocked to discover that the client she mainly thought of as having a vampire fixation has just got engaged to Kristin's own, younger lover, whom the client describes as a wannabe vampire. Kristin goes over to a fellow therapist's place to vent, but his door is opened by a most interesting stranger:

"I'm Abraham Van Helsing," he said over his shoulder, leading the way down the hall. "But please call me Bram. Abe just didn't suit me--Honest Abe Van Helsing sounds like an accordion-playing, used car salesman."

I laughed and felt a little better.

"Did Larry warn you about me? He can't have that that many friends who’re researching vampire cults."

For more fun in six sentence snippets check out the 160+ writers at Six Sunday, where the cover to The Falstaff Vampire Files still occupies part of the right hand frame--yay!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

33rd Six Sentence Sunday...From The Falstaff Vampire Files - a little hope at the end of the day

From The Falstaff Vasmpire Files, therapist Kristin Marlowe's day goes off the rails when her client's vampire-obsessed fiance is revealed as Kristin's own younger lover. After this bombshell, she must listen to a married client whine for an hour about how he can't find "no strings attached" romantic love in the personals. Kristin walks over to a fellow therapist's house to vent and a stranger answers the door.

This man was not handsome, but commanding with unruly gray streaked dark hair cut short but starting to curl already. Startlingly black eyebrows framed penetrating green eyes with sparks of hazel. What really caught my attention was the mischievous quirk of his mouth as if he were just about to tell a great secret. I liked and trusted him instinctively without knowing why.

Of course, I’d been wrong before--witness my reaction to Hal. But something about this man drew a pang of attraction from me that was welcome in that it dulled the pain of Hal’s betrayal.

For six sentence snippets in many different genres, check out the talented writers at Six Sentence might happen to notice The Falstaff Vampire Files cover in the left-hand frame of that page--an appreciative "thanks and YAY!" to Sara Brookes for this opportunity!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

32nd Six Sentence Sunday - When therapist and client have way too much in common

From The Falstaff Vampire Files, Kristin has discovered that her client's fiancé is her own lover.

I wouldn’t say anything till I confirmed it with Hal, but my gut told me Mina’s fiancé was my Hal. She had shyly showed me the exotic, blue diamond engagement ring Hal had found for her in some Eastern European capital and as I leaned forward to look, I noted that I had been touching the antique amethyst necklace Hal had brought back for me from his last trip. I dropped my hand as if the stones had turned red-hot. Dammit, Hal!

Now my hands were shaking and I wondered if I could make it through the next hour, the next client, who of course chose that day to be a quarter hour early.

Luther Kemper was the absolute worst client to follow Mina's announcement.

To find all kinds of action in six-sentence doses click the links to other writers' six sentence snippets at Six Sunday.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

31st Six Sentence Sunday...when therapy goes terribly wrong...

From The Falstaff Vampire Files, therapist Kristin's client, Mina, explains that she's just got engaged to a man who wants to become a vampire, though she doesn't understand why:

"I'm not sure if he wants power, or if he just wants to be immortal--he's an older man--he's thirty-five."

I sat back just a little, partly to keep from smiling, remembering my own twenties when thirty-five had seemed impossibly old to me, while now, in my late forties, it seems impossibly young. Scratch that, I happened to be dating--well, sleeping with--a thirty-five-year-old man, so I couldn’t call it impossibly young.

"His name is Henry Roy," Mina said, happy to say his name.

It became very hard to breathe in my office at that moment because Henry Roy was the name of my own thirty-five-year-old lover, though everyone called him Hal.

"Everyone calls him Hal," Mina said.

For more fun in six-sentence doses check out Six Sentence Sunday where at last count 186 writers are sharing snippets in a wide array of genres.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

30th week of six sentence Sunday - Vampires & Therapy

The Bookbuzzr widget provides a sample of the first chapter of The Falstaff Vampire Files, including an encounter with the Thing in the Shed. So I'm using today's 6 sentences to introduce therapist Kristin's relationship with her client, Mina:

For several months my client, Wilhelmina--Mina--has come in twice a week to talk about her fears of being stalked by vampires who wanted to make her undead. I don't believe in vampires, but something was scaring the hell out of Mina and her terror came along with her into my consulting room with a presence strong enough to make my own throat tense up. So I wasn’t prepared when Mina started off the session with a shy smile and announced, “I’m engaged!”

I smiled back and almost said, "Congratulations," but stopped myself and retreated into my therapist role and said, "Tell me about it."

She lowered her voice, "He wants to become one of them."

To sample a generous assortment of six sentence snippets from authors in a wide range of genres, check out Six Sunday

Sunday, September 11, 2011

29th Six Sentence Sunday, how badly does she want her stolen property back?

Kris Marlowe ventures further into the creepy old house in The Falstaff Vampire Files.

"The corridor on the left leads to the back door," Hal had told me on my first visit. "I keep my coffin in a shed out there--did I tell you I was a vampire?"

Strange how I forgot those words until I stood on the red stone floor again and started up the chilly staircase, also red stone.

A scrabbling sound nearby made me freeze in my tracks. I stopped to listen. The house seemed to shudder like a ship in the wind.

More six sentence snippets from over 160 writers writing in all kinds of genres at

Sunday, September 4, 2011

28th Six Sentence Sunday, a dangerous seach

Further into forbidden territory in The Falstaff Vampire Files

I knew I could be arrested and lose my license if the old lady called Hal or the cops. But I needed to get my property back and I was still enraged that Hal had taken it. I walked into the darkened foyer. It was paved in dark red stone. It was late afternoon but very little daylight filtered in and the lights mounted on the wall glowed already in their twisted copper fittings. The veins in the alabaster seemed to pulse like reptilian eggs.

For more fun snippets check out the talented writers in many genres sharing six sentence glimpses into their work at Six Sunday

Saturday, August 27, 2011

27th Week of Six Sentence Sunday ushers in The Falstaff Vampire Files

The Falstaff Vampire Files arrived earlier than its scheduled September publication date. I'm celebrating by selecting six sentences to share from Chapter 1:

My name is Kristin Marlow and I'm supposed to be sane for a living, but my ex-lover stole the one irreplaceable item I own, and god help me I broke into his creepy old house by the ocean to get it back. As a psychologist I know a dozen techniques to calm down and think rationally, but I was too angry to use any of them.

Technically I didn't break in. I had Hal's key, but before I could use it, the front door flew open and the old woman caretaker came bustling out like a wool-clad force of nature. I caught the door and edged past her, mumbling something about getting my stuff.

She stopped right in front of me and warned me in a hostile tone, "Don't go in the shed."

For more fiction action in six-sentence doses, check out where well over a hundred writers share their work.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

26th Six Sentence Sunday - Josephine's new job delays a visit to her old friend

Six sentences from Larger Than Death. Jo accepts a job investigating charity groups for multibillionaire philanthropist Alica Madrone, unfortunately she will be reporting directly to Ambrose, Mrs. Madrone's very exacting assistant, which makes her hesitate to take time off to visit Nina, a troubled friend.

The idea of telling Ambrose I would be late with the report made a chill run down my spine. Mrs. Madrone's special assistant never warmed to me and I was not about to do less than my best under his critical eye. The day of the actual report came and Mrs. Madrone seemed pleased with it, so finally I could go see my best friend.

As I drove the rental car into Seattle I realized that although we spoke by phone every few weeks, I hadn't laid eyes on Nina in the nearly two years since my marriage broke up. I wanted to get an infusion of her splendid vitality.

I never expected to find the police on her doorstep.

For more fun from many gifted writers in six sentences segments, check out the main site at

Saturday, August 13, 2011

25th Week of Six Sunday Sentences - help from an unexpected source

In Larger Than Death, Josephine manages to impress Mrs. Madrone with her confidence, and Jo's ex-husband turns out to be a good reference.

"If you could work and travel with Griffin Fuller and sleep with him as well for five years, I suspect you must be organized, capable of great self-restraint--a formidable diplomat. The fact that you had to break away argues that common sense must be working like yeast somewhere in your character. You may have the job—if you think you can do the work."

"You haven't said what the work is yet."

She laughed delightedly. "See?" she said to no one in particular, "A diplomat; she doesn't come close to committing herself."

For more action of all kinds, check out the action with links to other writers' six sentence snippets at

Saturday, August 6, 2011

24th Week of Six Sentence Sunday - the ex-husband factor

From Larger Than Death, Josephine's job interview with a multibillionaire takes an unexpected turn:

When I stood in front of her, Alicia Madrone motioned me into a straight-backed Mission chair a few feet away. The sharp brown eyes she turned on me seemed to come from a distracted world of pain where the healthy could not and would not want to follow.

"I've met your ex-husband when he took a portrait of me," she said in a voice that was light and very sweet, almost girlish.

Uh oh. "I didn't know Griff did portraits." When I realized my ex-husband's love affairs were a cunningly practiced obsession rather than an occasional temptation, I began to dread meeting women who introduced themselves by announcing they had known him as the next word was like as not to be "biblically."

At last count this week 165 writers are sharing six sentence slices of their work covering a broad range of genres. To sample them check out

Sunday, July 31, 2011

23rd six sentence Sunday, Meeting the Multibillionaire

From Larger Than Death, Josephine is led up a spectacular staircase by Mrs. Madrone's openly unimpressed personal assistant to meet with a woman whose name adorns a museum, a hospital, and half a dozen other edifices around the state:

My guide was gone without a word and I stepped toward the woman who sat in a wheelchair next to a heavy mahogany desk that probably had belonged to some Spanish grandee.

Alicia Madrone was in her sixties and narrow as a whippet, with pewter hair pulled into a chignon. Despite the flood of sunshine from the windows that looked out over the Bay, she wore a heavy sweater and wool skirt. The lilac point Siamese on her lap raised his head and stared at me for a moment before settling back down into the blue blanket that matched the color of his eyes.

I reached into my pocket to peel a tissue off the pack I'd brought. I was starting to sweat.

This week at least 170 writers signed up to share six sentence snippets from works in a broad range of genres. Check them out over at Six Sunday!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Week 22 of Six Sentence Sunday - job interview with a billionaire

More from the first book in my murder mystery series featuring Josephine Fuller Larger Than Death, our heroine answers an ad and is told to report to a Pacific Heights mansion for a job interview. A word to the wise, in true mystery fashion nothing is what it seems.

"Josephine Fuller, here for a one o'clock appointment," I said to the tall, slender man who answered the door. His hair was bright auburn and his eyes a penetrating blue, which together with a cynical twist to his mouth gave his handsome face a startling intensity. He wore a full-sleeved white shirt and black trousers as if ready to pick up a fencing foil and resume his role opposite Errol Flynn in a pirate movie. Both ears were pierced but had no rings in them, so I concluded it must be a conservative place.

He seemed disappointed to see me. Clearly if he'd had the clout to screen candidates he would have installed a revolving door to replace the massive oak one.

This Sunday 142 writers signed up to share six sentence snippets--for more fun check them out at Six Sunday

Saturday, July 16, 2011

21st Six Sentence Sunday, celebrating a Larger Than Death new edition

After 20 weeks of sharing snippets Bride of the Living Dead, I'm shifting over to share a few lines from Larger Than Death, the first in the Josephine Fuller mystery series, reissued July 15th by Pearlsong Press and now available in ebook for the first time.

At booksignings when Larger Than Death came out some people gasped when I read the first line. I think that might still happen. I spent more time writing and polishing the first line than on any other line in the book.

That said, I'm starting the snippet below with the SECOND line in the book. You can read all of Chapter 1 on my web page.

Friends sometimes call me Donna Quixote because tilting windmills is what I do for a living. I got started when I answered an ad in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Need person of substance for special assignments: part bloodhound, part bulldog, part lone wolf. Job requires quick study, travel and communication skills. Must genuinely care about the advancement of women.

As a matter of fact, I was feeling quite concerned about the advancement of women in general and myself in particular at the moment I read the ad.

To explore a wealth of other six sentence excepts from 168 writers (at last count) click on over to Six Sunday and enjoy!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

20th Six Sentence Sunday - Sky's opinion on Reverend Uncle Walt

Has it really been 20 weeks since I started spending my Sundays in six-sentence slices? Wow, it seems like longer and also like I've just started.
On July 15th the first book in my Josephine Fuller series, Larger Than Death, will be issued for the first time in ebook and trade paperback, so I plan to share some sentences from it. But first, from Bride of the Living Dead, Daria's sister Sky insisted on giving her opinion about their uncle officiating at Daria's wedding:

           "Are you sure you want our dear old deranged Uncle Walt to do this ceremony?  You know that crazy old man could ruin your wedding?"
            "Sky, the only thing that would ruin my wedding would be if Oscar didn't show up."
            Sky gasped and stared at me in horror. "Don’t even joke about such a thing."
            I wasn't worried because I couldn't imagine Oscar disappearing on our wedding day--which goes to show you how limited my imagination can be.

For more six sentence fun check out the talented writets sharing snippets from their work spanning a wide variety of genres at

Sunday, July 3, 2011

19th Six Sentence Sunday - Uncle Walt's Church

From Bride of the Living Dead, newly engaged to Oscar, Daria finds herself, with her mother and sister, meeting with Oscar's sisters and conservative mother, Deb, to start to plan the wedding:

            "I can call your Uncle Walt if you’d like him to officiate," Mom turned hopefully to me. It was my decision, hmmm that was a new experience.
            "That would be great, Mom, if you think he can get away, but I’d better ask Oscar first." I didn’t want to disappoint her, and I was starting to get enthusiastic about seeing Deb’s reaction to meeting Uncle Walt and learning that the church he founded was the Intergalactic Church of Star-Seeded Cosmic Consciousness. Although you couldn’t really appreciate his vision without seeing the large, cleared landing strip he maintained next to it for space ships that might feel called upon to attend services.
            Deb didn’t strike me as the psychic type, but I think she may have just begun to realize that, by the sheer power of passion, I could probably entice her son to accept any sort of minister or ceremony I chose, up to and including nude fertility dancing.

Check out the diverse talent in six sentence snippets from 130 writers in various genres at

Sunday, June 26, 2011

18th Six Sentence Sunday, the Reverend Uncle Walt Factor

From Bride of the Living Dead, at a wedding planning session with Oscar’s teenaged sisters and very conservative mother, Deb. Daria and Sky’s mother mentions that her brother Walt is a minister who could perform the ceremony.

             "Your brother is a minister?" Deb said smiling at Mom as if that couldn’t be bad, not knowing us well enough to grasp that I was repressing a naughty smile, and Sky’s mouth was flattening down to a distressed line. "What kind of church is it?" she asked, looking from one of us to the other, confused.
            "It’s small, kind of hard to explain," I chimed in, knowing how fond our mother was of her brother and how hard she tried very hard to include him in family gatherings whenever she could, which was difficult because Uncle Walt was very shy and quite possibly insane. I liked my uncle, and I was warming to the idea of having him performing the ceremonies.
            "It’s not a large congregation, even if you count the garter snakes and lizards," Sky said softly, leaning back, crossing her arms and looking up to the ceiling as if pleading for divine intervention.

For more snippets check out the main site Six Sunday where 140 writers this week are joining in the fun, writing in a wide variety of genres.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My 17th week of Six Sentence Sunday appetizers

The wedding planning and the family dysfunction are both revving up in this snippet from Bride of the Living Dead for Six Sentence Sunday. Daria’s mother and sister get together with Oscar’s teenaged sisters and very conservative mother, Deb. to plan the wedding. One of the teenagers makes a sarcastic remark which her mother notes.

            Deb gave her daughter a measured look, which she then turned on me, “Have you and Oscar talked about what church you’ll be married in?"
            I looked at her blankly. The eye-contact-to-erection phenomenon had been discussed thoroughly, but religion was a topic which had never come up. "Um, no, we haven’t decided."
            "What’s your affiliation?"
            Aha, Deb’s real aim was to find out just what kind of godless heathen her son had hooked up with--little did she know.

For six sentence excerpts from over 100 talented writers spanning a wide variety of genres check out

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Six sentence Sunday #16 - let the wedding planning games begin! Also a book offer.

Six Sentences from Bride of the Living Dead as the gunslingers, uh, future in-laws, ride into town for a, wedding planning session.

Daria’s mother and sister get together with Oscar’s very conservative mother, "call me Deb," and his teenaged sisters to plan the wedding. Oscar escapes to go to work, but Daria is trapped. She walks him out.

            "I had to get out of there before I jumped on you," he whispered as we kissed in the hallway.
            "I know, I know." There wasn’t much to say. We were both impressed with how instantly he got an erection when we held eye contact a little longer than wise, even in situations where there wasn’t much to be done about it.
            “Fortunately there’s a cold shower at work--later,” he said as he slipped out the door.
            I went back into the living room where Mom and Deb faced each other in the wing chairs at opposite ends of the coffee table, like gunslingers in High Noon.

As Six Sunday returns, you can check out more than 140 writers, spanning a wide variety of genres at

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My 15th Six Sentence Sunday...Sky has a question

From Bride of the Living Dead, when Daria's fiancé, Oscar, leaves the table for a few minutes, Sky jumps in with an unwelcome question--
            "Daria, I have to ask--are you pregnant?"
            "Sky!  No, I'm not pregnant--do you think that's the only reason Oscar would want to marry me?"
            "Of course not, but if you don't need to get married right away we have some time to plan the wedding."
            "We haven't thought that far ahead," I said, catching sight of Oscar outside the window standing by his car watching us and smiling at him. I totally missed that she had said "we" had time to plan the wedding.

Join the fun with over 130 authors in many genres sharing six sentences at a time at


Sunday, May 22, 2011

14th week of six sentences - Sky explains

From Bride of the Living Dead, Oscar and Daria have just got engaged when her perfectionist sister Sky makes a surprise visit. After a stressful tour of Daria's extremely unimpressive apartment, the three end up at a local diner:

            Sky took a sip of coffee, leaned back and said, "Richard cheated on me, I left him and I've taken a leave of absence from Slavedrivers." That was Sky’s nickname for Slavin, Drovers, Nesmith, the law firm she had worked at for the past several years.
            "Oh, Sky, I’m so sorry, though I can’t say I was ever one of Richard’s greatest fans…" For a second all I could think was how it must double the pain for Sky to see me so deliriously in love, so I concluded, "I’ve never known you to take a vacation."
            Sky leaned toward Oscar, "You see the perils of overwork--Daria’s not surprised when my marriage goes down the tubes, but if I take a couple of weeks off work, she’s stunned."
            "I understand," Oscar said solemnly.

Over a hundred other great writers share snippets from many genres at

Sunday, May 15, 2011

13th week of six sentence sunday - the naked apartment

From Bride of the Living Dead. Rebellious indie film critic Daria has just got engaged to Oscar and received a surprise visit from her perfectionist sister, Sky. Oscar has seen her studio apartment before and never seemed shocked, but Daria dreads her sister's reaction to seeing her place for the first time.

One room, cramped and shabby with a tiny stove standing next to a counter and barely enough room for a dorm-sized refrigerator. A microwave oven, small sink and drain board faced a thin dividing counter with a wooden chair pushed up to it, completing the galley kitchenette.
Why hadn't I noticed that the floor sloped down a little from the kitchen to the twin bed and the chest of drawers at the foot of it holding a small television and disk player?
I kept the window that faced the back yard closed but Sky peeked out and said, "Bonsai."
            "My landlords, the Yamazakis, raise them."
            Oscar was watching me without saying a word, but I got the feeling he was seeing my place through Sky’s eyes too, and suddenly I didn’t want to stay here any longer.
For lots more action of all kinds check out the excerpts from other writers covering a wide variety of genres at

Sunday, May 8, 2011

12th Six Sentence Sunday - apartment anxiety

From Bride of the Living Dead, Daria and Oscar have just decided to get married when Daria's sister, Sky, shows up unexpectedly at Daria's old apartment. At first Sky reacts with sarcasm when told about the engagement, then she becomes surprisingly clingy in her congratulations.
            "We just came over to get more of my stuff," I told Sky. "I don't think you've seen my place here."
            "I’m sure I would have remembered," Sky said, her attitude surfacing again.
            "Sky can get traumatized by my decorating attempts," I said to Oscar as I unlocked the pine-paneled door, hoping a smoke screen of words would distract my sister from any socks or old T-shirts that might be adorning the furniture.
            Sky walked into the apartment and looked around with an expression of horror last seen on Dante on arriving at the ninth circle of hell. For the first time, I saw it through her eyes.

For more fun in six sentence snippets check out the links to writers exploring a wide variety of genres at

Sunday, May 1, 2011

11th Sunday six, another side of Sky

 From Bride of the Living Dead, Daria and Oscar have just decided to get married when they get an unexpected visit from Daria's sister, Sky, who starts out with some snarky comments when told about the engagement, then:

"Sorry, Daria, this is all so sudden." She hesitated as if she wanted to say something else, or maybe keep giving me a hard time, but she smiled at Oscar instead. "So, when did this happen?"
            "Today and we haven’t told anyone yet, so, um, you’re the first to know." I snuggled up against Oscar and he put his arm around me.
            She cried out, "Congratulations," and threw herself at us, holding both of us so tight and long that I got the feeling she was drowning and we were the only life raft in sight.

Check out the many talented writers offering a literary sampling menu of six sentence snippets at

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My 10th week of six sentence Sunday - Enter the Sister

From Bride of the Living Dead, Daria and Oscar just got engaged, on the doorstep of her old apartment they unexpectedly encounter Daria's sister, Sky.

I put my arms around Sky and hugged her again--twice in a row like that was unusual for us, but she felt so fragile and something seemed to hover around her--heartbreak, death?
            Stepping out of my embrace, she turned to look Oscar over appraisingly and said, "Hi. You’re new."
            "This is, um, uh, my fiancé, Oscar Winslow."
            "What happened to Kent, the love of your life? Wait, I remember, he dumped you, but for the longest time, the obsession lingered--though not as bad as your first boyfriend, Denny--"
"Sky, stop right now!"

More fun six sentences at a time on the links to other writers' six sentence snippets at

Sunday, April 17, 2011

9th Six Sentence Sunday, asked and answered

Here's a turning point from Bride of the Living Dead. Daria halfway expected Oscar to invite her to move in, but he asked her to marry him and she fell silent.

            "I know it’s soon to think about marriage, but--"
            "Are you sure? You aren’t just saying that to get me to move in?"
            "I’m saying that because I want to spend my life with you."
            "Good answer." I stepped into his arms and laid my head on his chest.

All kinds of action in six-sentence doses is happening if you click the links to other writers' six sentence snippets at

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My 8th Sunday six sentences - a modest proposal

Here's the 8th installment in six sentences from Bride of the Living Dead, a romantic comedy about a woman who loves horror movies too much. Last time Oscar and Daria (finally!) got together. Now weeks have become months and things keep getting better:
      "Daria, I do love you." It wasn’t the first time he had said it, but it was the first time he had said it when we were both fully clothed. "You could move in here, we could get married."
For a moment I was speechless. I had just managed to fall into my sister Sky’s "Step 2 - Get him to propose" without even trying. I was so shocked that I wondered if there was something wrong with the idea, even though every fiber in my body was in favor of it.

Daria's sister Sky's 5 Steps to living happily ever after are described in the first few pages of Bride of the Living Dead which you can read by using the handy dandy Book Buzzr widget on the right.
For more action of all kinds, check out the links to other writers' six sentence snippets at

Sunday, April 3, 2011

He confesses, she reacts, 7th Sunday six sentences

Here's my seventh Sunday six from Bride of the Living Dead, a romantic comedy about a woman who loves horror movies too much: Oscar and Daria, in a fever of foreplay at his house, stop when he announces the need to confess:
     He chuckled at my alarm and ran his hands along my back as if he couldn’t help himself. "I saw you walk into the screening decided to buy a ticket, follow you in and sit behind you. When we kept laughing at the same awful parts in the movie, I had to talk to you."
     "Very nice, I approve," I said, almost beyond words." I slipped my hand under his shirt and was lost to coherent thought.
     The rest of our conversation was in eloquent body language and we understood each other totally.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Finally foreplay! The 6th Week of Six Sunday Sentences - from Bride of the Living Dead

Oscar and Daria's third date ends up in a fever of foreplay at his house.

He drove into the garage and we stumbled into his house and began kissing again the moment he had the door closed. "I’ve wanted to do this ever since I sat behind you in that horrible movie."
            "But you were sitting behind me, you hadn’t even seen my face," I said, stroking his cheek, enjoying the sandpapery feel of it.
            "You had a very appealing neck, but I have a confession to make," he said, kissing my collarbone and working his way up.
I drew back in alarm. "Is this something that’s going to bring everything to a screeching halt?"

More action in great Six Sunday sentences from the storytellers at

Sunday, March 20, 2011

5th week of Six Sentence Sunday...

Another six sentences from Bride of the Living Dead: Oscar asks Daria on a second date, then he cancels with a plausible explanation, yet she begins to wonder. Finally when they do go out, he explains that an ex-girlfriend, Francine, has been stalking him Fatal Attraction style and he's trying to be cautious, but…

     He looked at me steadily for a moment, and I felt a wave of warmth that spread all the way down to my toes. "Some things are irresistible."
     I sighed and we kissed. I wasn’t about to tell him about driving up Clayton Street and looking at his house. Much too close to something Francine would do. I had a sudden chill to think that maybe she was watching us even now.

Check out the links to other writers' six sentence snippets at

Sunday, March 13, 2011

4th Six Sentence Sunday snippet

From Bride of the Living Dead. After meeting and being instantly drawn to each other, Daria and Oscar share coffee and compare T-shirts, then he gives her a ride home.

He leaned over slightly to adjust the heater and put his hand on mine for a moment, then he reached up and lightly stroked my hair and kissed me lightly on the lips.
            "I’ll be good," he said, as if to himself.
            "I know," I said, as all my nerve endings heated up so fast that someone watching on infrared sensor would have been startled. "And even better," I pulled him back for another kiss and we moved back apart with a sigh.
            "I’d better get you home."
            I directed him to Anza Street, expecting him to ask me out on a second date, but never guessing he would break it.

Check out the links to other writers' six sentence snippets at
To my fellow six Sunday commenters, I'm still moving slowly and commenting as I can a little at a time. Write on!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pulling...well, pressing...the trigger

Awhile back I ran into a statement, Hill's Law of Work, to wit: "Everything takes 8 times longer than you expect."

If anyone knows where Hill's Law originated, let me know; I've never been able to track it down. But it's certainly been in action with getting past my latest bout of hand pain.  Oddly enough I only last night (finally!) got to the point of opening up my copy of The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, which has always helped me, and starting to work on pressure point areas that gave me more relief. I put the delay down to my own natural cussedness--also pressing on those trigger points also hurts like hell. But the upshot is--great leap forward in lessening hand pain.

The Carpal Tunnel Fairy has moved out of my room and is sitting on the deck pressing her face against the window, but preparing to move on as I get back on track with doing what I can to help myself. (Including cross-posting in my Live Journal blog to avoid doing the same thing twice!)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ooops forgot! Here's link... all Sunday Six snippets

3rd Six Sentence Sunday ...Invasion of the T-shirts

Just after meeting, Daria and Oscar don't want the evening to end, so they leave the screening room to go for coffee. She notices that his T-shirt has a mathematical formula and worries about a test. He promises no no math test if she shows him her T-shirt--

            I opened up my coat and displayed the T-shirt, which reproduced the poster for I Married a Monster from Outer Space.
"Let me see what it says." He leaned forward.
It was just an excuse to check me out, but I didn’t mind that at all.
            He read from the poster on the shirtfront, "They came from beyond the stars in a horrible hunt for human brides. I like it already."

I have to beg patience from fellow Six Sentence posters. My first two Sundays I got carried away and tried to comment on all 70-some and then 80-some posts--something I once could have easily done. This time it earned me a visit from the Carpal Tunnel Fairy. Unlike her kindly cousin the Tooth Fairy, this sprite does not leave cash under the pillow for a lost tooth. Oh, no, she whacks you on the wrists with a sturdy stick and settles down in the corner muttering "Back off on the keyboarding or there's lots more where that came from." She's still there and until she goes away I'm going to have to keep my comments to a bare minimum. I'm still reading your snippets, friends, still like 'em but I've got to heal up before commenting more!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Congrats to Six Sentence Sunday and my 2nd six sentence Sunday submission

More celebrations at
Ooooh! Cupcakes! Now it's a party! Now six sentences from Bride of the Living Dead (actual 1st several pages can be read in the widget at the right):

Indie film critic Daria meets Oscar at the almost-deserted showing of a terrible film. A handshake introduction produces such an surge of lust that Daria realizes she's trembling. Now they are alone in the screening room except for Ernie, the tech guy, who's packing up to go.

His hand was warm and his touch calmed me down a little--grounded me.
Neither of us said anything for a minute, but we kept smiling at each other after he let go of my hand, as if our bodies were communicating all on their own and waiting for our minds to catch up. Maybe they were. I was having the best time I’d had in--forever...
Meanwhile Ernie shut off the lights and propped the door open meaningfully.
"I think we have to go," I said.

For more great six-sentence snippets and awesome anniversary giveaways, check out

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My 1st Six Sentence Sunday post

I could not resist joining in the fun these other writers are having, sharing six sentences from their books each Sunday. So here's my first Sunday six from Bride of the Living Dead, a romantic comedy about Daria, a woman who loves horror movies too much and a fateful encounter:

            "This may sound weird, but right this moment, more than anything, I don’t want you to go off into the night and never see you again." Then he smiled, a silly lopsided grin, but totally endearing. "Am I making any sense at all?"
            I realized I was in deep trouble here.
            "Everything you’ve said so far makes perfect sense to me. Of course, we both could be crazy."

Happy Sunday everyone, thanks for stopping by and check out some of the other great posts at

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Inspiration from Six Sunday

When Lauri J. Owen told me about the fun everyone was having at posting six lines every Sunday from their book(s)--be they past, present or works-in-progress, it sounded like something I wanted to do. But I had to face the fact that I didn't have a blog simply devoted to my books to post it on. So I borrowed the header my web diva created for my web page and here is that blog.

I think it will also be a good place to post other book-related stuff. This blog is brand new, but I didn't want to miss the next Sunday six sentence fun, so I'm kicking off the blog now and I'll connect more dots, add more links and generally polish up what I can as I go along.