Linda G. Hill

Life in progress


11 Comments

#SoCS – Spirited – #AtoZChallenge

I just looked up my thesaurus word for the A to Z Challenge and I have no idea how, off the top of my head, to use it with the word “spell,” which is the prompt for SoCS.

Now I have that out of the way (did I cheat?), I’ll say that when I hear the word “spirited,” my mind immediately goes to horses. I’ve known some spirited horses in my day. And I’ve known some lazy ones.

Through my 20s, I worked on a dude ranch, taking trails out. Some of the animals we used for the trails always had kids on them–they were the horses that were easy to handle, meaning they did nothing out of the ordinary, never moved any faster than they absolutely had to, and never strayed from following the bum of the horse in front of them. Until we got to the apple orchard. It was fine most of the year, but when the apples started growing, we’d constantly have a paying customer scraped off their horse by the low-hanging branches.

So why didn’t we put kids on smaller horses? Most of them were too rowdy. Or too easily spooked. And apparently people enjoyed being dragged under a tree better than they liked falling off.

I worked at that place for years. I loved it. I was paid $20 for an eight- or nine-hour day, which doesn’t sound like much, but as I often said to people — I was getting paid to do something I loved.

I never thought I’d give up riding, but I have. I don’t have the time or the money for it any more. I’ve been on a few trails, but after leading them myself, I can’t stand being told what to do. The last time I took a trail, I took my feet out of the stirrups to stretch my legs only to be told by the trail guide that I HAD to put them back in. I told her where to stick it (in so many words) but the trail wasn’t very pleasant after that.

I hope one day I’ll be able to start going again. My dream was to own a farm, but that’s never going to happen. Even if I could afford it, it would be necessarily too far away from the nearest hospital for Alex’s sake. But maybe, someday, I’ll take out trails again. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll come across the trail guide who told me to put my feet in the stirrups and I can get her back.

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. To find out how to join in, click the link: https://lindaghill.com/2017/04/21/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-apr-2217/ It’s fun!


19 Comments

Raw – #AtoZChallenge

Real men eat it on the hoof.

The above quote is from a late friend of my father’s. He said it every time he cooked a steak, and though I thought he meant a cow, he always ate his beef medium rare… Ah, the 1970s. I was so young and innocent.

I had a friend of my own, of German heritage, who enjoyed eating raw hamburger meat with spices mixed into it. When I was in Japan, I was given a raw egg to mix with some kind of powder, to pour on my rice for breakfast. I left the egg in its shell. Why? Because here in North America we’re told to cook our food, and if, God forbid, we come in contact with it when it’s raw, DISINFECT! That stuff’s poison! Except there are so many people who survive other cultures.

A few months back, someone died because they ate raw salmon here in Ontario. Yet I love–I luuuuurve salmon sushi. So what’s the diff? Seriously, maybe someone out there can tell me. My best guesses are that they serve fresher meat (and eggs) in other countries, or that they’re more careful to keep their products at a safe temperature.

I’ve eaten raw bacon and survived. I’ve licked the cake-batter bowl clean. And don’t even get me started on cookie dough. Ugh! Nomnomnom.

What do you eat raw?

***
You know what you don’t need to cook before you consume it? My A to Z Challenge-inspired novelette, “All Good Stories”! It’s a romantic comedy about two best friends who belong together – Xavier knows it, but Jupiter has her eye on another guy: a shady character named Bob.

“A delightful read!!” ~ Cheryl Lynn Roberts, 4 stars, Amazon Canada review

“A short funny tale of two friends” ~ Ritu, 4 stars, Amazon UK review

“Quirky and charming.” ~ Bobby Underwood, #11 top reviewers on Goodreads – 5 stars

Click the picture to find it on Kindle, or get it on Kobo here: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/all-good-stories


15 Comments

Qualification – #AtoZChallenge

Qualification, schmolification. I can drive that rocket! Jus’ let me behind the wheel.

When I finished writing my first novel in 2004, I was hesitant to call myself a novelist. The way I saw it, the only thing that qualified me was the fact that I’d written 50,000 on the same subject. That something had a beginning, a middle, and an end; it had characters and settings and a climax. But it wasn’t ready to be published, and that’s what I thought qualified a person to be a novelist.

Then I wrote another book in 2006, and I started warming up to the idea that maybe I was a novelist, even though nothing had seen print. But still, I hadn’t taken any writing courses. I didn’t know if what I’d written was any good.

It would take almost a decade before I took a writing course, just to find out that I actually already knew what I was doing, for the most part. By then I’d started yet another novel and I was well on my way to calling myself a novelist.

And now… I’m still on the fence. None of my novels have seen print yet. Not one of the five I’ve finished, nor the three I’ve begun writing. But that tells me something. I see a pattern here. Do you?

I can’t stop writing novels. It’s how I pass my time. It’s part of who I am. I’m miserable when I’m not writing something. It’s not an urge, it’s a compulsion.  And the more I think about it, the more I believe that that is what qualifies me to be a novelist. I’m a novelist because writing them is in my blood.

So the next time someone asks me if I’m a writer, I’ll say yes, in fact, I’m a novelist. I write novels. They may be good, they may be bad, they may be unpublishable, but that’s okay. Because I do it for me. I do it because I don’t have a choice.

***
Whether or not I’m a qualified novelist, I’m definitely a qualified novelettist!  I have an A to Z Challenge-inspired novelette called “All Good Stories,” available for only 99¢ on Kindle and Kobo. It’s a romantic comedy about two best friends who belong together – Xavier knows it, but Jupiter has her eye on another guy: a shady character named Bob.

“A delightful read!!” ~ Cheryl Lynn Roberts, 4 stars, Amazon Canada review

“A short funny tale of two friends” ~ Ritu, 4 stars, Amazon UK review

“Quirky and charming.” ~ Bobby Underwood, #11 top reviewers on Goodreads – 5 stars

Click the picture to find it on Kindle, or get it on Kobo here: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/all-good-stories

 

 

 


12 Comments

Purloin – #AtoZChallenge

Confession time: the word “purloin” has always reminded me of a nice, juicy piece of medium-rare beef .

I have to say thank you to my poor thesaurus today. For all the complaints I’ve bestowed upon it this month for some of the crappy words I’ve ended up with, this one makes up for them. I love the word “purloin” not because it’s a great word in and of itself, nor because it makes my mouth water, but for its synonyms. Reading through them in my thesaurus is like taking a page out of a noir detective movie starring Humphrey Bogart.

Bugsy made off with the goods, see? He musta pinched them when no one was looking, that dirty, no good thief. We’ve been snaffled.

“Filch, finger, lift, pocket, snitch, and swipe” are a few more.

With that, I think I’ll go to the store and appropriate a steak tomorrow. With my debit card, see?

***
Wanna read my A to Z Challenge-inspired novelette, “All Good Stories”? You don’t have to pilfer it–it’s only 99¢ on Kindle and Kobo. It’s a romantic comedy about two best friends who belong together – Xavier knows it, but Jupiter has her eye on another guy: a shady character named Bob.

“A delightful read!!” ~ Cheryl Lynn Roberts, 4 stars, Amazon Canada review

“A short funny tale of two friends” ~ Ritu, 4 stars, Amazon UK review

“Quirky and charming.” ~ Bobby Underwood, #11 top reviewers on Goodreads – 5 stars

Click the picture to find it on Kindle, or get it on Kobo here: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/all-good-stories


13 Comments

Occupancy – #AtoZChallenge

In the head of an author, multiple inhabitancy is par for the course.

Strangely enough, I didn’t have imaginary friends when I was a kid. I just made up stories in my head. Occasionally I wrote them down, but mostly I told them to myself over and over again, perfecting them–editing them, I suppose you could say–until I was ready to move on to the next story.

The characters of my tales inevitably took up residence in my head. Even now, when I go for a walk I’ll often see the world through the eyes of my characters. Sometimes another of my characters will walk beside me. I wonder if someone with extrasensory vision could see my characters with me, like an aura or a ghost.

This photo was not manipulated in any way – this is exactly how my camera captured the scene

P.S. I’m so sorry I haven’t been around to respond to comments for the last few days. I’ll do my best to catch up tomorrow. Hope everyone is well. 🙂

***
O look! You can buy my A to Z Challenge-inspired novelette, “All Good Stories”! It’s a romantic comedy about two best friends who belong together – Xavier knows it, but Jupiter has her eye on another guy: a shady character named Bob.

“A delightful read!!” ~ Cheryl Lynn Roberts, 4 stars, Amazon Canada review

“A short funny tale of two friends” ~ Ritu, 4 stars, Amazon UK review

“Quirky and charming.” ~ Bobby Underwood, #11 top reviewers on Goodreads – 5 stars

Click the picture to find it on Kindle, or get it on Kobo here: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/all-good-stories


13 Comments

Ne’er-do-well – #AtoZChallenge

The odds of being the black sheep of the family are drastically increased when you’re an only child.

“Ne’er-do-well” isn’t a word I’d have looked up in my thesaurus, but sure enough, there it is. I wouldn’t say that growing up I was a complete good-for-nothing, but I got into my share of trouble. I used to envy my friends who had siblings they could, in turns, play with and blame things on. I was the only one who could have done whatever was done in my family.

I love some of the synonyms for “ne’er-do-well.” Rapscallion, scapegrace, and wastrel are my favourites. Apparently I’m too old to be a scapegrace, but I can still be a rapscallion.

Any siblings of mine would have hated me for sure.

I can’t let this post go by without mentioning that another “n”-word of mine today is “nest.” I went for a walk earlier, and came across a swan building a nest. Not something you see every day.

***
You know what else starts with “N”? Ninety-nine cents! And that just happens to be how much my A to Z Challenge-inspired novelette, “All Good Stories,” costs. It’s a romantic comedy about two best friends who belong together – Xavier knows it, but Jupiter has her eye on another guy: a shady character named Bob.

“A delightful read!!” ~ Cheryl Lynn Roberts, 4 stars, Amazon Canada review

“A short funny tale of two friends” ~ Ritu, 4 stars, Amazon UK review

“Quirky and charming.” ~ Bobby Underwood, #11 top reviewers on Goodreads – 5 stars

Click the picture to find it on Kindle, or get it on Kobo here: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/all-good-stories


16 Comments

#SoCS – The Measurement of Moo – #AtoZChallenge

The word my thesaurus gave me today is “measurement.” The following is pure stream of consciousness writing. Unedited.  Enjoy.

The measurement of moo can vary. It might be simply moo, it may be moooo–I think it depends on the cow.

Or perhaps it relies on how hungry is the cow.

A cow who is famished may have a lengthy moooo, whereas a contented cow might have a moo. Does this mean an overstuffed cow gives out a mo?

Mo, the cow, lived in a meadow where the grass was very green. She was a lonely cow–all of her cow friends had gone off to less green pastures. Which meant they were shipped off to farms where they only served hay. Mo knew this because one of them, as she was going by in the back of a truck on her way from one hay-ish farm to another, yelled out, “YO! Mo! Thar’s hay in them thar hills!”

Mo was not a contented cow. She longed for a bull to call her own. She was fat from all the green, green grass she consumed on a daily basis, and she was very blue. Which was why she didn’t go with the other cows. No one wanted a blue cow named Mo.

The years passed, and Mo got fatter and fatter. Her only visitor was Flo, the lady farmer who looked after the farm. Every day Flo came to pat Mo on the head, and Mo would say “Mo,” and Flo would answer back, “Ho! Did you say ‘mo’? You’re supposed to say ‘moo,’ ya stupid blue cow!” and yes, Flo said this every day because she had no memory from one day to the next.

But then, one day, a bull showed up at the fence. It was a runaway bull from across the way, and he happened to be green.

“Mo,” said Mo when she saw him. She carefully approached the fence. She’d never seen a green bull before.

“Mooooo,” said the bull.

“Are you hungry?” asked Mo.

“I am,” replied the bull. “I’ve been walking up and down this road for days. My farmer doesn’t know I’m missing.”

“Oh dear,” said Mo. “Why don’t you hop over the fence and have some of my grass?”

So the bull did, and months later, they had a little brown calf whose name was Moo. And they all lived happily ever after. Except for Flo, who couldn’t figure out where the green bull came from and why all her cows were so stupid.

The End.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is fun! Click the link and join in today. https://lindaghill.com/2017/04/14/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-apr-1517/