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WRITE THE STORY! JULY 2022 PROMPT

Welcome to Write the Story!

June’s prompt brought a bevy of stories from romance to horror, and intrigue to kidnapping and all were excellent. For July, an antique box holding a strand of pearls is tempting the writer’s muse. Looking forward to the July stories.

Thanks to the writers who submitted a story and to the readers who enjoyed them. We appreciate your participation in Write The Story!

Now on to the July prompt!

A reminderWU! created this project with two goals: providing a writing exercise and promoting our author sites to increase reader traffic. We ask that you please include a link to the Writers Unite! blog when you post your story elsewhere. By doing so, you are also helping promote your fellow members and Writers Unite! We encourage all of you to share each other’s stories to help all of us grow. Thanks!

Write the Story! July 2022 Prompt

Images are free-use images and do not require attribution. Image by kropekk-pl from Pixabay.

Here’s the plan:

  • You write a story of 3000 words or less (minimum 500 words) or a poem (minimum 50 words) based on and referring to the image provided and post it on the author site you wish to promote. Don’t forget to give your story a title. (Note: You do not have to have a website/blog/FB author page to participate, your FB profile or WordPress link is fine.)
  • Please edit these stories. We will do minor editing, but WU! reserves the right to reject publishing the story if poorly written.
  • The story must have a title and author name and must include the link to the site you wish to promote.
  • Send the story and link to the site via Facebook Messenger to Deborah Ratliff or email to writersunite16@gmail.com. Put “Write the Story” in the first line of the message.
  • Please submit your story by the 25th day of the month.

WU! will post your story on our blog and share it across our platforms— FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc. The story will also be available in the archives on the WU! blog, along with the other WTS entries.

We ask that you share the link to the WU! blog so that your followers can also read your fellow writers’ works.

The idea is to generate increased traffic for all. It may take some time, but it will happen if you participate. The other perk of this exercise is that you will also have a blog publishing credit for your writing.

Please visit Writers Unite! Facebook and join us at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/145324212487752/

SUCCESS PHILOSOPHIES WITH DR. CHUBACK: EPISODE 34

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In our quest to assist writers in becoming the best they can be and remain motivated, we would like to introduce you to John Chuback, M.D. A cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Chuback found his goals waylaid by his lack of motivation.

In a series of interviews with Paul W. Reeves, host on Impact Radio USA, Dr. Chuback continues his discussion of the tools leading to success with his book “Make Your Own Damn Cheese: Understanding, Navigating, and Mastering the 3 Mazes of Success.”

Please click on the link below to hear Episode #34 of SUCCESS PHILOSOPHIES WITH DR. CHUBACK, the first episode in the second series, and start enhancing your journey toward success today.

DR. JOHN CHUBACK, a cardiovascular surgeon from New Jersey, is the author of, “Make Your Own Damn Cheese: Understanding, Navigating, and Mastering the 3 Mazes of Success,” “The Straight A Handbook – The 50 Most Powerful Secrets For Ultimate Success In And Out Of The Classroom” and other books.

DR. CHUBACK joins HOST PAUL W. REEVES weekly to discuss his books, “The Straight A Handbook – The 50 Most Powerful Secrets For Ultimate Success In And Out Of The Classroom” and “Make Your Own Damn Cheese“, each of which explores the human mind and becoming all that you can be.

Throughout this portion of the series, Dr. Chuback will discuss “Make Your Own Damn Cheese“, and the research behind his success philosophies.

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Audiobooks on Audible

The Straight a Handbook: The 50 Most Powerful Secrets for Ultimate Success in and Out of the Classroom Audible Logo Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Written by John Chuback, M. D.
Narrated by Paul W. Reeves, Ed. D.

Click for Audible version on Amazon

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Previous Episodes of “Success Philosophies With Dr. Chuback”

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Dr. John Chuback

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Dr. John Chuback was born and raised in Bergen County and graduated from the Dwight Englewood School. He earned his medical degree from New Jersey Medical School at UMDNJ, in Newark. Dr. Chuback then completed a five-year General Surgical Residency at Monmouth Medical Center (MMC). Dr. Chuback is the author of Make Your Own Damn CheeseKaboing, and The Straight A Handbook.

All books are available on Amazon. com. 

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Impact Radio USA

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Welcome to ​IMPACT RADIO USA, where we strive to provide the best in news, talk, sports, and music 24 hours a day, 52 weeks per year. Our goal is to keep you as the most informed and entertained Internet Radio audience.

As we are continuing to add content on a daily basis, please feel free to click on the “LISTEN NOW” button at the top of the page to hear us 24 hours a day. While you are here, please check out all of our links to our shows, our podcast page, our blog, and learn how YOU can host your own show with us.  Thank you for listening to IMPACT RADIO USA!!!

Impact Radio USA ListenNow

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Paul W. Reeves 

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Paul W. Reeves, Ed. D. is an author, radio talk show host, educator, composer/arranger, and professional musician.

Listen to “Dr. Paul’s Family Talk” on Impact Radio USA and visit Paul’s websitehttps://paulwreeves.com for more information on his books and CDs.

https://www.impactradiousa.com/

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D. A. Ratliff: Why My Muse Loves Jazz

Images are free-use images and do not require attribution. Image by Simone_ph from Pixabay.

Why My Muse Loves Jazz

D. A. Ratliff

If you have read my writing, you know I generally set my stories and novels in the southern region of the United States. That is understandable because I grew up in South Carolina and live in Florida. A piece of writing advice says to ‘write what you know,” and I know the South. I can’t entirely agree with that particular advice because we can write about anything with a bit of solid research. Thank you, Google. But our life experiences certainly influence what we put on paper.

Speaking to a friend, we discussed how life impacts writing, and I stated that I do not consciously put my life experiences into my work. I no doubt subconsciously do. My attitudes toward good and evil and how characters (people) should behave can’t help but influence my writing as it does anyone. I generally do not pattern any character after someone I know, although I have done so occasionally.

In thinking back on that conversation, I wondered what my influences were. What creates the mood of my writing? I realized that there are two influences. One is my childhood memories of growing up in the South, and the other is music.

While I was fortunate to enjoy a somewhat idyllic childhood, I am not naïve enough to ignore the issues that faced my “hundred-acre woods” (thank you, Winnie, the Pooh) or the rest of the country and the world. Equality is never easy to obtain and inequality difficult to witness, and that alone will influence us, consciously or not.

My parents provided a haven for me and a feeling of security, and I realize how fortunate I am for that environment. They never hid the realities of the world from me, but the gentility that existed was also a part of my life. When writing, I attempt to show the area’s complexity because the truth is always best.

My environment, however, was not the only influence on me. I believe that growing up in the South served as the platform for what is truly my muse. Music.

I grew up listening to classical music more than any other music genre. My father often had classical music on in the car or at home. Still, my parents were huge fans of music in general, so the sounds of my early childhood included Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Louis Armstrong, and Frank Sinatra.

I was a typical kid, I loved Elvis and the Beatles, but I was also the preteen who loved Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and asked for their albums for Christmas. Music was and remains an integral part of my life, and I realize a considerable influence on my writing.

For music lovers, every type of music becomes part of the threads woven to create our personalities. My memories of the spirituals I listened to as a child or the blues music that developed from various influences after the Civil War to jazz that grew from the blues and ragtime in New Orleans have influenced me greatly.

Images are free-use images and do not require attribution. Image by WikiImages from Pixabay,

Jazz. I am not sure how one can define jazz. In an opinion article written by Josiah Boornazian, the author states:

“Jazz encourages, celebrates, and rewards newness, originality, personality, and meaningful expressiveness in music. Jazz never stopped evolving.”

This observation about jazz mimics writing. Doesn’t writing do the same, encourage, celebrate, and provide the same rewards?

When I was a child, my parents had a family friend, Mr. Price, whose mother was from Louisiana and who I wrote about in a previous article. His stories of his mother’s life in Louisiana and the Cajun meals he prepared for us on some Sundays greatly influenced me. I loved the stories and the food, and as I grew up, my affection for the area never waned but became a love for New Orleans and jazz.

When I started my first mystery novel, I never hesitated to set the story in New Orleans. I visited there a few times and felt a kinship with the French Quarter, more so than with my hometown in South Carolina.

As I wrote, I felt the ambiance of the French Quarter. The colorful residents, the awed tourists, the neon, and the art and Voodou shops all mingled with the smells of spicy food, beer, incense, and, well… some other aromas, but all part of the fabric of the Quarter.

However, one component of the ambiance was the sound of jazz. Walk along the narrow streets and listen as the music waxes and wanes from one club to the next—some joyous, some melancholy, and all reaching into your soul. There is a rhythm to life, and nowhere is it more apparent than in the jazz-filled French Quarter.

When I write, those beautiful spirituals from my early days to today’s jazz are my muse. The music spurs my creativity. The connection to the life force, the vibe, if you will, from the places that create that music, hopefully, keeps me evolving as a writer.

Whatever your music tastes, play some tunes while you write. If I may suggest, play a little Bossa Nova for enchantment and romance, a little Buddy Rich for the zest of life, a little Miles Davis for the soul, and let your muse play.

Images are free-use images and do not require attribution. Image by D. A. Ratliff.

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Please visit Deborah on her blog: https://daratliffauthor.wordpress.com/ and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecoastalquill

And look for her mystery novel, Crescent City Lies, coming soon!

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Resources:

https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/blog/all-about-jazz/jazz-opinion-blog/whats-true-meaning-behind-jazz-music/

Michele Sayre: Behind the Story – A Book In Search of a Title

Please Visit Michele Sayre’s Website for More Articles and Stories

Around Fall/Winter 2018 if my memory is correct, I came up with the idea of doing a ‘writing book’. At the time I thought it would be a mix of writing instruction and advice with maybe a few stories of my writing time over the years. Then this thought came to me: my relationship with writing is complicated. I thought that would be the hook to make this book stand out but in reality, that’s been a huge wall I’ve had to figure out how to get through. One way I’ve had to figure out how to work through that wall is finding a title for this project. It’s gone through at least two or three titles but ‘Behind the Story’ feels like the fit that I want for it.

But in order to get a handle on this project, I needed a title I could write to. I need titles to write to so when I’m struggling with a title then I struggle with the project itself. So the first thing you can see about writing for me is that my brain works in weird and mysterious ways. Putting that crazy thought process into words is a challenge, to say the least, but it’s one I want to do.

For me, writing is largely instinctive now. I just start out with an idea in my head then sit down and start writing. I trust myself to know when something is working and when it’s not. Like this blog entry here for example has been in the works for a couple of days now with several attempts scrapped. I’m not doing this project to discourage people from writing, or showing off, but instead, I’m trying to put into words a process that I don’t really think through before I dive into it.

In my teens and twenties, and even into my thirties, I devoured everything I could about writing. I read a ton of articles and books, attended workshops and conferences, and studied constantly. Back then I felt like I had to earn my chops by working my ass off studying and writing. I’m glad I did that but it wasn’t a popular decision with some people in my life. In those years I felt like my writing was seen a weapon to be used against me, something to be held against me, something I felt wrong in doing sometimes. It’s taken me a long time to realize that people were wrong to think that about my writing as I NEVER let it get in the way of any responsibilities I had taken on. In those years, I was just told to keep my mouth shut and keep writing.

To anyone who has a problem with my writing, or ever did I’m going to say what I should have said a long time ago: fuck off. Take your stupid bullshit and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. I fought with everything I had to keep my passion to myself and for no damn good reason other than placate someone’s dumb-ass ego.

Like my other writing projects, I’m not writing this book as an act of revenge or any bullshit like that. In addition to trying to illuminate the creative process to help people understand it, I’m also doing it for other creative people like me who’ve taken way too much shit for being creative. I don’t believe every single person has it in them to be creative and curious. In fact, I think there are a good number of people in this world who are the total opposite of that and who sure as hell aren’t shy in expressing that to the rest of the world.

For the longest time, I used to say I just let my imagination run wild and that it was not a reflection of my own thoughts and feelings. But that’s not true and it never was, and that’s another thing I’m trying to put into words with this project. And that I believe is also another reason some people may have had problems with my writing because they somehow thought it was about them. It’s not and it never was. But that barrier had to fall in my mind for me to get to the point I’m at now with my writing, this mix of instinct and the ability to put those instincts into words.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!: CAPITONYMS

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

CAPITONYMS

capitonym is a word that changes its meaning, and sometimes its pronunciation as well, when it is capitalized. These words generally mean one thing with a lower case letter, and another thing when they are capitalized.

For example, rich (lower case) usually means wealthy. However, Rich (with a capital “R”) refers to a man’s name. Below are a few more examples.

Examples:

  • Bill — a name short for William / bill — an amount to be paid
  • Carol — a woman’s name / carol — a hymn or Christmas song
  • March — the third month of the year / march — a style of walking
  • Nice — a city in France / nice — kind or pleasant
  • Turkey — a country / turkey — a North American bird

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Please look at the chart for many more capitonyms.

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I hope you find this interesting and helpful. These and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book. Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

Anita Wu: On Whose Side

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms.  Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support! 

Images are free-use images and do not require attribution. Image from Pixabay

On Whose Side

Anita Wu

“Stephanie Hillrad.” Someone called her name. She didn’t recognize the voice, so she did not want to leave her thoughts as she stared at the expanse of water before her, the sunset illuminating the clouds in reds and oranges as the night eagerly waited for its turn.

Perhaps if she did not respond, they would think they had the wrong person and leave.

“You’re Stephanie Hillrad, the woman who murdered Mr. Jameson, right?” The voice was closer now, beside her where she leaned against the railing. Many thought those same words when they recognized her in public, but few spoke them within her hearing, and many less dared to direct them at her.

She exhaled, the condensation like cigarette smoke, and eyed her company. He looked like a child, skinny even in the layers of sweaters that peeked under his coat, with a face that knew little. He looked innocent, but in her line of work, she learned never to let her guard down, especially in front of those who appeared harmless. He stared at her intently.

“I don’t know who you’re talking about, young man.” She pushed herself off the railing, ready to leave. “I’m afraid you have the wrong person.”

He grabbed her by the wrist, blurting under a hushed whisper so others on the pier did not hear. “I want to write an article in your defense.”

Until then, it never once crossed her mind that anyone would even be on her side.

***

She had tailed him for a month now.

His routine always changed: a high-profile CEO was the perfect cover to meet with his extensive network. She never knew if the party accompanying him for lunch or coffee was business or other. She identified and noted everyone; she never knew if they were helping him plan his next trafficking ring. Sometimes, she knew the other person personally, for she herself had worked with them at some point in her lifetime.

But one thing never changed. He always went to the pier on Fridays, late at night after the city had fallen asleep, when no one stepped foot into the darkness and when the waves would sometimes crash against the stray rocks and support beams. He drove himself, unlike his morning meetings when he was chauffeured. He left his car in the parking lot, walked to the very edge of the pier, and sat on one of the benches to take long drags of his cigar. Arms outstretched and one leg resting on the other knee, he lounged like he owned the place. No one ever visited him.

There were no cameras on the pier other than her own, so she knew that this would be her only opportunity.

***

Killan told her he wrote for a small newspaper. He quickly prattled off information before she could consider breaking his arm for his unwelcome touch: his knowledge of her, his relationship to Jameson, the trial, and evidence against her.

He claimed that he heard rumors that Jameson paid off anyone who considered writing an article placing him in a negative light, even if it were the mere fact that he let go of a dozen employees. Killan did not like the man, for there was clearly more to the story if he covered everything. When he heard of the murder trial and her name, his intuition told him that she knew something. He could give her a voice, one she wouldn’t have in the courts. He just didn’t expect to run into her so soon before he gathered more history.

He suggested they continue at a café, where less prying eyes stared since people began paying attention and murmuring. Stephanie took him to a library instead — one that she did not frequent often but knew the layout of. If Killan or any unsuspecting ally had malicious intent, she could escape without creating a scene. Her lawyer would lock her up himself if she got herself in trouble prior to the conclusion of the trial.

She leaned against one of the bookshelves next to a large window, one of her arms along the windowsill for quick action if needed, and kept Killan at a reasonable distance. He rummaged in his backpack. “Do you mind if I write down some notes of our conversation?”

She kept silent, nodding only when he was looking at her again.

“Gods, I do wish we had a table. But I will do with what I can get.” He continued when he didn’t get a response. “So, should we start with some basics? Your name and age?”

“You can skip the pleasantries and get into it. You have all this information already.” Stephanie gave him another once-over: an average person with the attitude of a reporter. She still pondered how much information she wanted to give him. He was right about one thing: nothing she said would help her in the court, but there were certainly things she wanted to say, if only to get one less look on the street, one less mother grabbing her child and walking to the other side of the street, or one less store owner refusing to service her.

“Okay, how about…” Killan tapped his pen against his small notepad. “Why did you kill Mr. Jameson?”

“Why didn’t the police arrest him? Why didn’t the law put him behind bars?”

“They didn’t have the required evidence. Everything was circumstantial.”

“Everything was covered up. Jameson was brilliant — he knew how to cover tracks and get others to do his dirty work. A puppeteer weaving a web of activities.” Stephanie spoke, scorn in her voice as her lips snarled. “He was invincible in the eyes of the law. And how many more had to suffer before he could be stopped?”

“Would you do it again, then?”

Yes, her heart spoke. She had again and again. She despised the list of people that the police had on their radar that they could do nothing about.

But she could not tell him this though. She could not, especially, tell him of the jobs she took so that she could live and keep doing this. Stephanie just stared at him.

“Have you done this before?”

“Are you trying to convict me for more murders?”

He laughed but promptly stopped when he realized that she wasn’t. “No, sorry. My mind just got carried away.”

She could not tell him that she knew what happened to Wales, the man who would drive around a club at night until he stopped a sufficiently drunk woman to offer her payment for going home with him, only for those women to never see daylight again.

She could not tell him that she was responsible for the disappearance of Peeping Tom, the highly ranked government official who started off “innocently” lingering around homes and staring at women through their bedroom windows, then upgraded to breaking into their homes and tying up his victims for his enjoyment.

She could not tell him that she took it upon herself when the law jailed Lenny but let his friends walk free due to lack of strong evidence, when even the police knew all four were responsible for the abduction, rape, and murder of Ellie Myrens.

No, she could not admit to cases where she was not even a suspect.

“Well, what does your family think about the entire situation?”

“That’s an interesting question.” Stephanie offered a sad smile then. “If only I had an answer. They have not spoken to me.”

“Since the day of your initial arrest?”

Since the day she told them she wanted to become an assassin when she grew up. They had lost her uncle in a robbery. The murderer had shot him in the head and biked away, no suspect was arrested, and no one ever followed up to give him justice. She knew, then, that she could never trust the law.

“They are probably disappointed.” If they even still acknowledged her as their daughter, they would cry over the fact that they did not stop her then. They would not support her, no matter who it meant they supported instead.

“And how do you feel about that?”

“I am alone, Killan.” She looked him in the eye, her own countenance silent and static, revealing no emotion. With no one by my side. I don’t get to feel things.

For what I have done.

***

“I didn’t expect you to show your face, missy.” Jameson drawled his words, a smile on his face, as Stephanie came within his view on the pier.

“Well, not that it changes anything.” He took another drag of his cigar, as though they were old friends making conversation. He let her approach him, comfortable.

“I knew you were watching me.” He almost laughed. “I just didn’t expect you to approach me here — thought you’d wait for me by my car and let me finish my smoke.”

“Not that it matters.” He kept talking as she remained quiet, coming closer to him with each step. “I’m done for, anyway. Might as well take you down with me, then George will do me a good one.”

Jameson’s words were not making sense, but Stephanie knew that time spared no one, and she could not waste precious moments discussing the meaning of his sentences. She, more than once, regretted spending a bit too much time on an assassination, and she could not risk that again.

Stephanie was close enough now, so she pulled the dagger from behind her waist with her gloved hand and charged at him. The blade stabbed deep into his chest, and she pulled it out immediately. Jameson sat there, staring at her, the smile still on his face like he did not care anymore.

George, she filed the name away since it felt familiar. She rolled his body off the pier and watched the waters where his body crashed. After doing this one too many times, she had learned to shut off her emotions; they never helped her. Still, she would stand in silence for a moment: for a life gone, even if they did not deserve it.

As she walked off the pier to her car to grab the cleaning supplies, she found a group of men racing toward her. Cars surrounded the area, their red and blue lights flashing. The men shone their flashlights in her face, forcing her to bring her arm up to block the light.

“Stephanie Hillrad, drop your weapons,” someone shouted. “Keep your arms where we can see them.”

***

As Stephanie walked her usual route towards her local bakery, she noticed the difference. More people murmured to one another this morning. One more father held his daughter’s hand tighter. One more woman crossed the street. One more suited man sneered at her as he waited for the bus.

When she entered the bakery, packed with patrons as they normally are at this time, the room quieted as people looked her way. Noticing her, the owner stepped out from behind the counter, headed to her as she waited in line, grabbed her arm, and pulled her outside.

“I’m sorry, Stephanie, but you can’t come here again,” he hissed.

“Bluery.” She put her hand over his. “Alright, if that is what you want. But could I ask why? There hadn’t been an issue for the past month.”

He looked at her then. “Check The Globe’s Times.”

And she did. A part of her told her that she should have known. Killan may not have ambushed her with a knife or another accomplice, but he was certainly out to get her.

“Stephanie Hillrad: No Remorse over Murdering Business Giant Lance Jameson”

By: George J.

Please visit Anita on her blog: https://soreispeaks.wordpress.com/

Write the Story! April 2022 Prompt

Welcome to Write the Story!

The spiral staircase prompt from March led to an exciting collection for the month. Thanks to all who wrote and all who read the March stories.

Thanks to the writers who submitted a story and to the readers who enjoyed them. We appreciate your participation in Write The Story!

Now on to the April prompt!

A reminderWU! created this project with two goals: providing a writing exercise and promoting our author sites to increase reader traffic. We ask that you please include a link to the Writers Unite! blog when you post your story elsewhere. By doing so, you are also helping promote your fellow members and Writers Unite! We encourage all of you to share each other’s stories to help all of us grow. Thanks!

Write the Story! April 2022 Prompt

Images are free-use images and do not require attribution. Image from Pixabay

Here’s the plan:

  • You write a story of 3000 words or less (minimum 500 words) or poem (minimum 50 words) based on and referring to the image provided and post it on the author site you wish to promote. Don’t forget to give your story a title. (Note: You do not have to have a website/blog/FB author page to participate, your FB profile or WordPress link is fine.)
  • Please edit these stories. We will do minor editing, but WU! reserves the right to reject publishing the story if poorly written.
  • The story must have a title and author name and must include the link to the site you wish to promote.
  • Send the story and link to the site via Facebook Messenger to Deborah Ratliff or email to writersunite16@gmail.com. Put “Write the Story” in the first line of the message.
  • Please submit your story by the 25th day of the month.

WU! will post your story on our blog and share it across our platforms— FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc. The story will also be available in the archives on the WU! blog, along with the other WTS entries.

We ask that you share the link to the WU! blog so that your followers can also read your fellow writers’ works.

The idea is to generate increased traffic for all. It may take some time, but it will happen if you participate. The other perk of this exercise is that you will also have a blog publishing credit for your work.

—————–

WRITING TIPS, TOOLS, AND TIDBITS!: THAT, WHICH, and WHO

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

THAT, WHICH, and WHO

People often mix up the words thatwhich, and whoAlthough similar in use, there are specific times each word should be used.

For that and which, the proper word to use depends on whether the clause is a defining, restrictive clause needed to understand the sentence, or if it’s a non-defining, nonrestrictive clause that would not change the meaning if it were removed. Knowing how the clause is used will help to use the words properly.

Who should be used anytime it refers to a person, regardless of the type of clause.

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That is used for a defining, restrictive, or essential clause. If the clause is important or crucial to understanding or defining the word or sentence, or if removing the clause would change the meaning of the sentence, use that.

Examples:

  • My pen that was used by a celebrity is safe in a drawer.
  • My dress that got ripped is being repaired.
  • Any book that is written by my favorite author is good.
  • The song that you sang last night is beautiful.
  • The car that is always parked in front of my house has a flat tire.
  • This is the book that I told you about.
  • The chair that has a broken leg has been set aside.
  • The book that was signed by Stephen King is my favorite.
  • The shoes that I just bought hurt my feet.
  • The vase that was in the den fell and is now cracked.

***

Which is used in a non-defining, nonrestrictive, or nonessential clause. If the clause is not important or crucial to understanding or defining the word or sentence, or if you can remove it without changing the meaning of the sentence, then use whichClauses using which are generally separated with commas.

Examples:

  • My car, which was in an accident, is still in the shop.
  • My red dress, which got ripped, is being repaired.
  • This cake, which you baked for us, is delicious.
  • My friend’s birthday party, which was at the pizza place, was wonderful.
  • My husband’s truck, which is red, is fun to drive.
  • Jewelry, which can be expensive, is not important to me.
  • My favorite shoes, which I’ve worn for years, have holes in them.
  • The new book, which I can only read an hour each day, is excellent.
  • Proper grammar, which is taught in school, is essential for good writing.
  • The vase I love, which was in the den, fell and is now cracked.

***

To explain this further, the following two sentences mean different things.

  • The short dress that is pink is my favorite.
  • The short dress, which is pink, is my favorite.

The first sentence indicates there are many short dresses, and the one that is pink is my favorite.

The second sentence indicates there is only one short dress, and it happens to be pink.

***

Who should always be used when referring to a person, whether it’s a restrictive or nonrestrictive, a defining or non-defining clause. The type of clause does not matter. If it refers to a person, then use who.

Examples:

  • My friend who was in an accident is doing much better now.
  • The man who caused the accident did not have insurance.
  • The woman who baked this cake did a great job.
  • My best friend, who is home from college, is coming over.
  • That new guy who is really cute just asked me out.
  • The woman in accounting, who I’ve had a crush on, will be training me.
  • The mail carrier, who has delivered our mail for years, is retiring.
  • The history teacher, who is very tall, is also a basketball coach.
  • The person who I was dating was very rude.
  • The neighbor who is very helpful to me is moving away.

***

In general, if removing the clause changes the meaning of the sentence, or if the clause is needed to understand or make sense of the sentence, use that.

If removing the clause does not change the meaning, or if the clause adds information but the sentence would still make sense without it, use which.

Usually, nonrestrictive clauses, which use which, are separated by commas, em-dashes, or parentheses.

However, regardless of the clause, whether a restrictive or nonrestrictive clause, if it refers to a person, use who instead of that or which.

***

Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.

***

I hope you find this helpful. These tips and much more are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book.

Thank you!
~~~
Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/

Lynn Miclea: Tower of Possibilities

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms.  Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support! 

Images are free-use images and do not require attribution. Image by Ludovic Charlet from Pixabay.

Tower of Possibilities

Lynn Miclea

Diane’s breath came in fast, raspy gasps, and she stopped for a few minutes to rest and look around. The spiral staircase went up a long way, and her footsteps echoed in the tall, empty chamber. She shook her head and tears stung her eyes. Grief threatened to overwhelm her again.

She had just lost Robbie yesterday. He had been shot and killed in front of her, and it was her fault. How could she not have seen that coming? She should have prevented it. Damn!

They had been crouched behind the sofa during the agency’s operation, hidden for the moment. The bad guy had entered the room from the left side. She knew the snipers would get him. Finally. This was the moment they had all prepared for. She held her breath.

And then Robbie started getting up. She grabbed for him, but he got up too quickly. The sniper fired. The bullet hit Robbie.

She gasped again at the memory, a deep aching wave of grief flooding her as she choked on a sob. No!

Diane resumed running up the stairs. It was a great place for both exercise and working off emotions, but it was not helping today. Would anything help? She doubted it. Not only had she been there to protect Robbie, but she had fallen in love with him, and he had recently moved in with her. He was the world to her. And now he … he …

She picked up the pace and continued up the stairs. As she ran, she noticed doors every now and then along the stairwell. Where did they lead? From what she knew, there were no rooms off this tower.

Glancing as she continued up, she noticed numbers on the doors: 1952 … 1964 … 1975 … The numbers struck her as years, but that made no sense. What was happening?

Stopping at the next closest door, she looked at the number — 1989. After hesitating for a few moments, she slowly opened the door. She found herself in a round chamber with twelve doors arranged around the circular wall. Each door had the name of a month on it. Confused, she stared at them as a shiver ran up her spine. She slowly backed out, entering the stairwell again. What was that room for?

Shaking her head, she continued up the stairs, and the doors kept appearing. 1996 … 2004 … 2012 …

Finally reaching the top, panting and out of breath, she saw one last door. The current year. Why?

She opened it and entered the round chamber. Peering around the room, she saw twelve doors, each with the name of a month on it, just like the previous chamber.

Feeling drawn to the current month, she slowly opened the door, hearing it creak as it opened into another round chamber. This room contained numbered doors — the days of the month. She rushed to yesterday’s door. Maybe she could change what had happened. Is that what the doors were for? Was she being given that chance to change what had occurred? Was that even possible?

Opening the door with yesterday’s date led to another round chamber containing rooms with the hours on their doors. Her heart pounding in her chest, she raced to the door with the hour before Robbie was shot.

Slowly opening the door, she peered inside. The room where it had all taken place opened before her. The sofa. Robbie. And there she was as well, crouched behind the sofa next to Robbie, her back toward her. Sweat broke out over her scalp.

Without thinking, she felt herself pulled into the room. She now felt whisper-light and floated toward her crouched body. She felt herself gliding through her back, drifting into her body.

She put her hand on Robbie’s back, feeling the warmth of his body. She focused, alert and vigilant. Footsteps sounded in the room. The smell of an old cigar. She immediately knew the bad guy had entered from the side. It was going to happen. She knew the sniper was ready. It was about to go down.

Robbie shuffled and started to rise. No! She grabbed him and pulled him back. He fell against her with a thud.

The bad guy’s voice rang out. “What —”

A shot pierced the air. A gasp and then something thumped to the floor. She peeked around the sofa — the bad guy lay on the floor, eyes open in shock, a red stain widening on his shirt in the middle of his chest. He had been hit by the sniper’s bullet.

And Robbie was safe. Baffled, but safe. Relief flooded her system. She did it!

She felt herself drifting out from the back of her body. Looking back, she saw her body still holding Robbie. The bad guy was there sprawled on the floor …

And then she was back in the stairwell. Did that actually happen? Had she saved him? Was this just a wild fantasy? Was she hallucinating?

Her mind ran through her recent memories … This morning he had made scrambled eggs for her. But no, that couldn’t have happened — she remembered making cold cereal by herself, and she was all alone … what was going on? Nothing made sense.

Excited and hopeful, she turned and ran back down the stairs, trying not to go too fast. Nervous and jittery, she rushed and suddenly missed one step. Skidding, she fell hard on the next step. She stood, brushed herself off, and then continued down the stairs a bit slower, careful not to trip again.

New feelings flooded her. Fullness … love … mixed with a tinge of grief. She no longer knew what was real or what to believe.

Tears streamed down her cheeks. This was impossible. It could not have happened. She was delusional. It all had to have been a figment of her overactive imagination.

As she rounded a curve in the staircase, a wispy white cloud floated in the stairwell. Thoughts immediately filled her mind. We have allowed you to make this one change, as it was needed to save thousands of lives in the near future.

The cloud dissipated. What was that? Another idle fantasy? None of this was possible.

Her muscles straining, feeling sore and fatigued, she continued down the stairs and finally reached the bottom of the tower. Sweat beaded on her skin and she gasped for breath. Exiting the tower, she blinked in the bright sunlight. How could any of this have possibly happened? She must be simply having a wild fantasy. There was no way any of that could be true. It was all a wishful illusion, nothing more.

Shaking her head at her absurd fantasies, she rushed home. She had to get a better grip on what was real. She needed to face reality and what actually happened. She had lost Robbie yesterday. That was a fact. She refused to be lost in a delusion.

She slowed as she approached her house and hesitated at the front door. Her hand shaking, she opened the door slowly, as fear, desperation, and hope warred inside her.

Entering the house, she froze and then looked around. Her heart pounded and her throat constricted. It was quiet. He must not be …

“Diane?” Robbie’s voice called out.

“Robbie?” Her voice was barely a whisper.

“Hi, honey, how was your run?” He came out of the kitchen and his arms opened to embrace her.

Gasping and sobbing, she fell into his arms, feeling his warm body against hers. She buried her head in his neck, inhaling his familiar scent. He was here!

“I love you,” she murmured into his chest.

Robbie laughed. “Hey, I love you too. And that must have been some run today.”

“You have no idea,” she whispered, tightly hugging him.

—————————————–

Copyright © 2022 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.

Please visit Lynn’s blog and follow her at – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Please also visit Lynn’s website for more information on her books – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
And please visit her Amazon author page at – https://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Miclea/e/B00SIA8AW4

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!: COUNSEL versus COUNCIL

Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.

Writing Tips, Tools, and Tidbits!

Images are free use and require no attribution. Image from Pixabay.

COUNSEL versus COUNCIL

People often mix up the words counsel and council. Although these words sound the same, they have different meanings and uses. This should help to use them properly.

***

Counsel can be a noun meaning advice or guidance, or a verb meaning to give advice or guidance. It can also mean a legal adviser or lawyer. If you are referring to advice or guidance, use counsel.

Examples:

  • He went to the elders for counsel.
  • She counseled him about how to proceed.
  • Good advice and honest counsel can often help.
  • As charges were pending, he needed to find good legal counsel.
  • He wasn’t sure what to do and he asked for her counsel.
  • Although her parents gave good counsel, she ignored it.
  • Part of her job was to offer counsel to those who needed it.
  • His counsel said he would appeal the case.
  • He didn’t know what to do and asked for counsel.
  • She counseled the students about choosing a college.

***

Council is a noun meaning advisory group or meeting, or a group of people convened for advice or consultation. If you are referring to an advisory group, use council.

Examples:

  • The council meets every Wednesday.
  • If you have a problem, bring it up at the next council meeting.
  • She loved going to the council meetings.
  • The council will decide on the matter.
  • He asked the council to meet so they could discuss the issue.
  • She wanted to consult with the council before deciding.
  • The council members took a vote on the matter.
  • The city council decided to delay taking action.
  • She wanted to be president of the student council.
  • He rushed in so he would not miss the town council meeting.

***

If you mean advice or guidance, use counsel.

If you mean an advisory group, use council.

The school council gave good counsel to the students.

***

Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.

***

I hope you find this helpful. These tips and more grammar tips and tools are also on my website and blog, and also in my Grammar Tips book.

Thank you!

Website – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/
Blog – https://lynnpuff.wordpress.com/
Grammar Tips Book – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09N2BQMCG/