~ Earl Chinnici ~ I could not find a rule book for the shedding style card game I learned as a child in the 1970s—so I wrote one. The excerpt below is from HOW TO: Stick Your Neighbor (Without Starting War). The host combines the two decks of cards to create one large deck and shuffles. Please note that shuffling 108 cards requires a certain degree of skill and finesse. It’s preferable not to allow yourself to get in a bad mood before the game begins if you accidentally drop some or all of the cards to the floor and must crawl on your hands and knees to retrieve them. Instead, save your frustration for later. Players generally have many opportunities to be frustrated during a game and besides, practice is the best way to master the art of shuffling.
~ Earl Chinnici ~ It’s Groundhog Day 2021. But, we don’t have to talk about that. Here’s some news and an excerpt less likely to make anyone cry. I have removed “Maybe You Should Move Those Away From You” from a contract which required, among other things, exclusivity with Amazon and I plan to soon republish MAYBE… to make it available in more places. The following paragraphs are from a special chapter of the book titled “Tips, Tricks, and Dramatic Visualizations” I wrote primarily after I had completely freed myself of cigarette addiction. Remember, smoking is not going to help anything. No matter how rough your day may seem, smoking a cigarette will not make it even a smidgen better. However, it is possible that smoking even one cigarette could make your day much worse. I am certain you can think of at least a few ways your addiction to cigarettes might ruin your day. As a “warm-up exercise,” please allow your imagination to run wild as you consider these two possibilities. Imagine accidentally dropping a burning cigarette into your lap as you are driving home. In an instant, your focus is no longer on driving. You lose control of your vehicle as you try to keep the runaway cigarette from burning your clothes, or even worse. Drive that one home. Next, imagine sitting near a campfire with your friends, smoking cigarettes and carrying on about boats. You begin to feel lightheaded and nauseous. Within the span of two minutes, this feeling of nausea takes second fiddle to the pain that is now emanating from the center of your chest. You lose your grip on your cigarette and it falls to the ground. At that same moment, you begin to grasp that you are indeed experiencing a heart attack. Dramatic visualizations are strong reminders of the reasons why you want less poison in your life, of benefits of overcoming your cigarette addiction, or of the negative effects of smoking. They can be a tremendous help to a cigarette reduction project since they do not require a vast technical knowledge about cigarettes. On the contrary, dramatic visualizations only require an imagination.
I appreciate your interest in this magazine and your patience as I continue to try to connect and reconnect with others who are willing to share from their works here. As you can probably imagine, my recent decision to leave Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter has created several challenges. I’m also relocating the CleanWIP storefront. I may toss in an overall redesign project for good measure. All sarcasm aside, I’m loving the new magazine business page over at MeWe. Whether you’re a reader or writer of clean writings, I hope you’ll join us there.
~ Earl Chinnici ~ (Jenny is a young writer who became quite popular after terrorists showed up at her book signing accidentally. She’s also the main character and storyteller in this novel-in-progress. Here, she tells about her first date with her fiance, Charlie. The book’s title is not yet public.) He closed my door and in a flourishing maneuver similar to a cowboy mounting a horse, hopped into the bed of the truck. By then, I was seriously questioning his motives and his ear-to-ear grin didn’t help ease my suspicious mind. From beneath a loose spare tire, he carefully removed a large cardboard sign and held it for me to read. I was impressed. I could tell he’d spent a lot of time preparing it and I was more than a little ashamed for doubting his motives. He had glued rhinestones and glitter of various colors to make pictures on the sign. Small hearts and horseshoes he’d placed pseudo-randomly around a large horse, rider, and barrel at the center. Artistically forming the glitter into huge rustic letters, he had written “Cowgirl up, Kinsley. Turn & burn!”
~ Earl Chinnici ~ (I’ve yet to release the name of this novel-in-progress.) Dana excitedly told us how much she loved the book already and that she’d just picked it up the day before, hoping to find a way to handle the stress from an awful predicament she and her husband Mark were dealing with at the time. “It started early Friday morning about three weeks ago. We woke to a horrific sound. Our dog Rocky must’ve reckoned it was after his food. I thought he was going to scratch a hole through the door. We worried he’d jump the fence if we let him out.” “What happened next, Dana?” I asked. “Well, I thought it might be a delivery truck at first, but it sounded more like a tank. Mark said he didn’t see any reason someone would have a tank out there, but he wrapped himself up appropriately and said if he wasn’t back in ten minutes, I should call the police and let them know we’re under attack.” “What,” I interjected. Dana continued. “That’s exactly what I said. Then he told me he’s just kidding but ensured me that one look at Rocky would send even the worst of enemies trucking. Mark growled and then added ‘I’ll be back before you can spell onomatopoeia backwards.’ ‘I hope that horrible noise is gone long before then,’ I tell him. ‘I love you, baby cakes.’ Oh wow. Are you going to edit this?” Dana has such a soothing voice. It’s ideal for radio. I reminded her the show is aired live, then urged her to continue. “Oh my.” She chuckled, obviously a little embarrassed. “Well, Mark returned about fifteen minutes later…
~ Earl Chinnici ~ The following excerpt is from a currently abandoned manuscript, When Jimmy Quit Smoking. I was going for a crazy but clean coming of age story with a terribly morbid ending, but a friend talked me out of writing it soon after I began. Such is one common hurdle in the life of a writer. Jimmy moved into the apartment next door when I was twelve. Five years my elder, he seemed quite sophisticated as he took a break from unloading the moving van. He sat on the couch he was unloading to light a cigarette. I am certain I was twelve because after learning my name is Steve, “How old are you?” is the second thing I remember him asking. My reply sticks with me as though it was only yesterday, however it was fourteen years ago. “I’m between eleven and thirteen,” I said. In retrospect, it seems silly but that’s who I was back then, the silly kid on the block. Now, I’m CEO of the popular electronic toy firm Digiwhats. Usually when I replied to that question with that answer, the asker responded with rolling eyes or feigned ignorance. Jimmy just nodded his head, letting me know he understood. It threw me off guard, but I recovered quickly and asked what he was doing. At that, he rolled his eyes in such a goofy way I could not resist laughing. “Well, I like to move my furniture sometimes so the dust doesn’t get too deep.” Of course, since I was twelve, it took time to digest. Once Jimmy knew that I caught on, we both laughed. In fact, I laughed so much it was hard to form words. “I mean, why are you smoking? Cigarettes are bad for you.” “You wouldn’t understand” was his reply. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Jimmy was right. I’m twenty-six now and I still don’t understand why people smoke. Even fourteen years ago, the toxicity of cigarette smoke was no secret. Besides, how can people not realize how horrible it makes them smell? I cringe to think about it. “So what brings you to Crandon?”
~ Earl Chinnici ~ Here’s a little from a special chapter of MAYBE… titled “Tips, Tricks, and Dramatic Visualizations.” The chapter summarizes much of what I learned from myself as I overcame cigarette addiction, from others I helped while writing the book, and from everyone who shared with me both locally and online about their own struggles with tobacco. I should probably mention before you read this, the book is littered with puns for the reader’s entertainment—or for mine. If you make a few mistakes or “slip up” and smoke after you have told yourself that you do not want any more cigarettes, take a step back and revise your plans until you can achieve the goals you have set for yourself. Never forget. To breathe air is human. It is no great secret that humans require air, water, and food to survive. It is likely you will feel thirsty less often if you stop inhaling hot smoke into your mouth, but be sure to drink enough water to stay fully hydrated. Since nicotine often suppresses a smoker’s appetite, it is common for people to gain weight after they quit inhaling cigarette smoke. It is important to pay attention to the way that you look and feel each day. You should not just shrug it off if the person in the mirror seems a bit pale or has a sunken in face that seems to spell out P-O-I-S-O-N. Signals such as these from your body and your mind should help you decide exactly how much air, food, and water is right for you.
~ Earl Chinnici ~ These are a couple paragraphs from a rough draft of a non-fiction work-in-progress—or maybe from two. I’m considering publishing two separate works, a short story or novelette and a novel. Irma Survivor is the working title of the former; the latter is Fifty Close Calls. Because of the disturbing angle and twist of the entertainment center leaning against the enormous tree now in my bedroom and because of the broken faux wood lower cabinet door, I was surprised to see its glass door still intact as bent down to search for recoverable belongings. Since I could see through this cabinet’s door, I had aesthetically arranged things inside that were special to me but not likely valuable monetarily. Most had been spilled onto the floor, including the adorable stuffed bear and crocheted by Mom “bear blanket” she had given me just outside the door of my apartment the day I first left home. It was partly covered by mud and wet leaves, but I could tell it would clean up easily. I was glad, of course. We’ve been through more than thirty years together and this wasn’t our first tornado. I was also surprised to see a few items remained inside the cabinet, despite its strange angle and the violent forces that had ripped through this room hours earlier and the strong sustained winds still rushing through. The roof teetered precariously so I knew I should hurry. As I quickly reached in to retrieve two old bibles, the pages of both so brittle I rarely touched them, I heard another tree fall in a neighbor’s yard about a quarter mile to the south. I screamed. Maybe I screamed, “No!” Perhaps it was, “We’ve got to go!” I only remember screaming something then scrambling to get out from under the entertainment center to safer ground. But where? Was anywhere reachable safe? At the time, I could not be convinced of it.
~ Earl Chinnici ~ (I’ve yet to release the name of this novel-in-progress.) — Dana excitedly told us how much she loved the book already and that she’d just picked it up the day before, hoping to find a way to handle the stress from an awful predicament she and her husband Mark were dealing with at the time. “It started early Friday morning about three weeks ago. We woke to a horrific sound. Our dog Rocky must’ve reckoned it was after his food. I thought he was about to scratch a hole through the door. We worried he’d jump the fence if we let him out.” “What happened next, Dana?” I asked. “Well, I thought it might be a delivery truck at first, but it sounded more like a tank. Mark said he didn’t see any reason someone would have a tank out there, but he wrapped himself up appropriately and said if he wasn’t back in ten minutes, I should call the police and let them know we’re under attack.” “What,” I interjected. Dana continued. “That’s exactly what I said. Then he told me he’s just kidding but ensured me that one look at Rocky would send even the worst of enemies trucking. Mark growled and then added ‘I’ll be back before you can spell onomatopoeia backwards.’ ‘I hope that horrible noise is gone long before then,’ I tell him. ‘I love you, baby cakes.’ Oh wow. Are you going to edit this?” Dana has such a soothing voice. It’s ideal for radio. I reminded her the show is aired live, then urged her to continue. “Oh my.” She chuckled, obviously a little embarrassed. “Well, Mark returned about fifteen minutes later…
~ Laurean Brooks ~ (from Beneath A Macon Moon) “Born with a silver spoon in her mouth” described Jaela’s life to a tee; but if her mother’s behavior was any indication, Jaela’s perfect world was about to shatter. The late afternoon sun slanted through half-closed blinds, glinting off the ballerina atop the music box. As a child, Jaela found comfort in the melody. The music box had not been wound since Dad died. The compulsion to hear it grew until it overcame Jaela’s fear of invoking bittersweet memories. She picked up the box and wound it. Beautiful music flooded the room. Jaela hugged it close and waltzed around the room, soaking in the tinkling melody of “You’ll Be In My Heart.” When the music died, she dropped the lid. But it would not close. An envelope, folded to fit the interior, was wedged in the music box, preventing it from closing. Who had put it there, and what did the message say?
~ Katy Huth Jones ~ “Truly we are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Mathairia’s great eye twinkled. “We are indeed.” Mercy leaned in and hugged the great dragon. “And you are fearfully and wonderfully generous.”
~ Lea Carter ~ (from Silver Princess) “He is like a wild butterfly. Beautiful and strong, but born free. They shrivel and die in captivity.” My father hugged me and stepped back. Brushing the last of the tears from my face, he smiled & said something very strange.
“I warned you about banging the pot around so much.” Dima wrapped her in a tight hug. “It’s alright. The floor needed to be mopped anyway.”
A small giggle escaped. “Indeed, it does need a good scrubbing.” #CleanWIP#WIP
~ Katy Huth Jones ~ Fiona came over and balled her fists on her hips. “Auntie Gwen, Papa is not a rascal.” Gwendolyn put her arm around the girl and hugged her. “I was teasing your Papa. You know I like to tease him.”
Danny explained, "I run specialized training camps from spring to fall for service animals and their new owners. They all board on-campus and it’s a battle to find a cook who can make more than grilled cheese sandwiches and barbecue.”#cleanwiphttps://t.co/yEFOXquKBLpic.twitter.com/hsHhNYUKOu
~ Earl Chinnici ~ Over the years, I’ve heard many people express concern about gaining weight if they quit smoking. Although it usually comes across to others as just one more excuse, this worry is definitely not without merit. Cigarette smoke is poisonous and, generally speaking, when people quit ingesting these poisons, their appetite returns—often with a vengeance. The trick seems to be finding balance then establishing a personalized set of rules that help maintain that balance. Though it seemed I had this conquered prior to publishing, I later surpassed the weight I had mentioned in the book and it is still an everyday struggle. Here’s a peek deep inside MAYBE…. I would often wake up with numbness affecting the vast majority of my body. This seems to have stopped when I quit smoking. My appetite also continued to improve. In March of 2011, I weighed only 129 pounds. By the end of November that year, my weight fluctuated between 150 to 155 pounds. I sincerely hoped my weight would level off at 155 pounds, since this felt right to me. It didn’t. I reached 170 pounds at one point in 2012, but as I finalize this in December of 2013, it seems with a little effort I have been able to maintain a comfortable 155 to 160 pounds. I just have to reply “No. Thank you.” to dessert sometimes and I have to keep active as much as possible. I also have to avoid certain cheesy snacks that always seem to seduce me into eating much more than a reasonable portion.
Lowering the lock so the bag shielded her hands from the impressionable youngster’s gaze, she suggested, “Why don’t you ask her to come out?” A deft twist of her tools as she spoke popped the small suitcase lock open.#cleanwip#notitleyet#romanticmystery
~ Earl Chinnici ~ (I couldn’t find today’s theme in any of my works-in-progress so I’m sharing a little from MAYBE… about my dad.) I first began to toss around the idea of writing this book while I was yet smoking cigarettes and writing time entries and notes within my composition book. Somewhere or some time along my journey to be nicotine-free, I began to consider that I might be able to use my handwritten notes from my composition book to get ideas for writing an actual book. One day when Mom asked, “How are you coming along with writing the times” I smirked, maybe even chuckled, and then I replied, “Writing the times? I’m writing a book.” Although I expected my mom to laugh at such a silly notion, I could tell by the expression on her face she was going to hold me to it. Just for the fun of it, I repeated this statement to Dad about fifteen minutes later. I do wish I could have included in this book side-by-side photos of both of their expressions.
The #CleanWIP theme for January 18, 2021 is Similar. It’s National Thesaurus Day here in the US and a great time to remind the authors who often join in the CleanWIP fun that an exact match to our theme is never necessary. We love synonyms and we love to share writers’ words with readers.
~ Lea Carter ~ (excerpt from A Country Mile) Lowering her passenger side window a bit, she hummed along with an old song on the radio. In an unusual bit of luck, the radio station kept up a steady stream of similar, hummable songs all the way home.
~ Earl Chinnici ~ (from a work-in-progress with a secret title) He closed my door and in a flourishing maneuver similar to a cowboy mounting a horse, hopped into the bed of the truck. By then, I was seriously questioning his motives and his ear-to-ear grin didn’t help ease my suspicious mind. From beneath a loose spare tire, he carefully removed a large cardboard sign and held it for me to read. I was impressed. I could tell he’d spent a lot of time preparing it and I was more than a little ashamed for doubting his motives. He had glued rhinestones and glitter of various colors to make pictures on the sign. Small hearts and horseshoes he’d placed pseudo-randomly around a large horse, rider, and barrel at the center. Artistically forming the glitter into huge rustic letters, he had written “Cowgirl up, Kinsley. Turn & burn!”
~ Lea Carter ~ (excerpt from Food for Thought) “I see how it is,” a man’s voice called out. “You think just because you own the place you get to ditch work for a pretty girl.” Noella was laughing before she even saw the man the voice belonged to. “You must be Chuck.”
~ Earl Chinnici ~ I began writing while overcoming cigarette addiction gradually. As I started to believe success was possible, I also started to believe perhaps my journal and story could help others. So I wrote and published Maybe You Should Move Those Away From You, a memoir of how I quit smoking and became an author. I included in it the journal, nearly in its entirety, and a special tips and tricks section for those who might be facing their own addiction. A single entry in the relatively mundane journal portion of the book obviously isn’t a great selling point, but it includes today’s theme and is slightly comical this was the first thing I wrote after I smoked that last cigarette—two hours earlier. It is now 1:39 PM – so far, so good. I stocked up on peppermints for those last ditch efforts to avoid “you-know-what”. I also purchased a bag of almonds. I read in more than one place that almonds can help reduce cravings, so I thought it would be worth trying.
All morning I’ve been thinking about working out, adding new content to this magazine, creating a list of questions for the upcoming character interviews, designing new products for the CleanWIP store, connecting with new authors, reading a couple dozen emails, and creating a proper business plan. ~ Sigh. ~ I’ve been thinking about these things all morning. I believe I may need to take off the remainder of the day and relax.
~ Earl Chinnici ~ (excerpt from Maybe You Should Move Those Away From You) I took several short bike rides during this day to pass some time and to get further away from my cigarettes. During one such ride, I stopped by to visit my parents. Their home is not too far from mine and the view along the way is nice. The private dirt drive that leads to their home separates a hay field from a wooded area. There is not much traffic either. Mom was watering her garden when I arrived. While visiting, I nibbled on some raw spearmint, peppermint, and rosemary. These edible plants have strong flavors and I got the notion that they might help curb a craving. I filled a plastic sandwich bag with leaves from each of these three herbs. When I returned home, I put my bag of herbs in the refrigerator to help keep them fresh. Over the next few days, I would sometimes use these herbs as a substitute for smoking. I would crave a cigarette, but I would instead get a pinch of herbs from the bag and slowly chew them. A couple of times, I tried placing the entire pinch of herbs into my mouth between my gums and cheek similar to the way smokeless tobacco (snuff) is used. It was not too awful, but maybe it would have been better to cut the herbs into much smaller pieces. It is likely that the strong taste of these herbs lessened a few of my cravings over the next few days. Perhaps even more importantly, the presence of this bag of herbs gave me something to consider other than a cigarette when I experienced a craving. Surely, I was able to prolong the time between a few cigarettes by doing this.
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. ~ I Timothy 4:12 ~
~ Cherry Christensen ~ (excerpt from Love’s Full Circle) “That’s a good sign, huh?” “Indeed. It means you’re going to be fine. Even if he is the sneaky young man I disliked.” Kayden gasped as her hand flew to her mouth. “That’s right. I did some investigating of my own and found out all about Liam from your mom. However, I believe people can change, and it’s foolish to base an opinion of someone on their actions from fifteen years ago. Like I said. Pray about it.”
~ Lea Carter ~ (excerpt from A Country Mile) The usual suspects were there—the soup kitchen; handmade items by a local artisan; the ad offering firewood ‘cheep.’ She had to squint to read the faded flyer for the summer youth baseball program. And yet, nothing about the annual charity play.
~ Scott R. Rezer ~ (from The Haberdasher’s Wife) I draw the worn beads of my mother’s rosary through my fingers and shake my head. Too often have I whispered to the long night of my dotage that youth is wasted on those too foolish to appreciate it. Had I bothered to learn anything from those patient friars who sought to discipline me in the faith of my father, perhaps so many things might have turned out differently, not that I regret my life, only the foolish mistakes I made, things I can never undo. But then, the depth of one’s character is measured by the mistakes we make, and the wisdom we learn from them…
~ Earl Chinnici ~ (from a WIP with a female author/mechanic/hero protagonist—book’s title not yet public) One day while I was working and the bosses were off having lunch, a handsome young man pulled up to one of the open bay doors. I recognized the parking decal in the windshield immediately; we attended the same college. I also recognized a sound coming from his truck indicating the engine wasn’t firing on all eight cylinders. In the engine repair business, we commonly refer to this telltale noise as a “miss” or we’ll say it is “missing on one of the cylinders,” so I didn’t give it a second thought as I welcomed him with a smile and said “Something seems to be missing.” “Not any more,” he replied with a slow side-to-side shaking of his head as though he had discovered one of the universe’s best-kept secrets. “Not any more.”
~ Lea Carter ~ (excerpt from A Country Mile) “I’ll get them,” he volunteered. Retrieving the milk, he relocated it to near their place settings. By the time he’d made it back around to what had officially become his place at the island, she’d added bacon, butter, and syrup to the spread.
Whether you are a reader, a writer, or both, I greatly appreciate your interest in CleanWIP Magazine and the #CleanWIP cross-platform hashtag exercise. I have some great plans and as you surely know, great plans don’t always fly. Nonetheless, I’m rolling up my proverbial sleeves and making a few adjustments, determined to push forward with those plans and continue to create fun articles that highlight those who choose to write on the less vulgar and less gory end of the writing spectrum.
I announced in our CleanWIP collaboration group back in November that I was leaving Facebook and Twitter. The move from Facebook was swift and I quickly started networking and reconnecting with authors and readers via MeWe. For various reasons, I have been slower to leave Twitter. One hurdle I’m facing is the Twitter-embedded animated theme announcements. Deleting my account as I did with Facebook will distort every previous article here. But, let’s face it, several years ago Twitter left those who wish to immerse in decency and common courtesy each day. The constant hatred and vulgarities promoted via the manipulated What’s happening section surely can’t be healthy nor can the targeted advertising directly in the feed. Alas. I choose to shift my focus away from all of that to instead focus on the encouraging… the comical… the beautiful… the inspirational… and continue to bring you great content from people who also prefer the clean end of the spectrum.
So, whether you’re a reader, a writer, or both, thank you. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll join us as we connect and reconnect on MeWe—where I also intend to work much harder on my social skills.
There's no #CleanWIP theme on Fridays, but we still publish a fun collaboration. Share relevant news, interesting teases from a WIP or published work, or something else our readers might love. Book, profile, or blog links are also encouraged Fridays. [https://t.co/iCuPzhtLNK] pic.twitter.com/L0Zpq0kOXR
~ Lea Carter ~ (excerpt from A Country Mile) “Alright, well,” Merry nodded at the clock on the wall, “if I don’t get home on time, I’ll miss my appointment with the sandman.” “Mmm, the sandman.” Harmony bounced to her feet. “Y’know, he’s never once gotten my order right?”
Sentient wolves on planet Drako waited to meet the humans foretold by their ancestors. When two-legs dropped from the sky in a giant silver bird, the wolves wonder if these creatures could be intelligent.
A bird sang somewhere in the distance while a chorus of crickets chirped near the garage. She almost relaxed. “Thanks for walking me back.” Tyrel smiled. “I have a funny feeling I’d have gotten lost.” Merry frowned, unsure if he was joking or not.#cleanwip#socialanxietypic.twitter.com/3KRneD2x6I
~ Earl Chinnici ~ I began writing in a composition book in 2011 as I quit smoking gradually then later published a memoir about the journey. After much consideration, I decided to include in the book the notes I had written, in nearly raw form so as not to leave out something that might help somebody else overcome tobacco cigarette addiction. Reading this short passage from the morning of my third day without a cigarette still makes me feel good—despite the many tragedies that have since occurred. Can you imagine if I had been smoking a cigarette when the tornado destroyed my home around me? It’s strange this moment is the first time that thought crossed my mind.
The sun is just beginning to rise, relatively speaking. It is 6:20 and I feel good, as I sit here on the steps just outside of my front door and enjoy a cup of dark roasted coffee and a symphony of birds and other animals. This just keeps getting better.
Mathew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. #biblequote
The #CleanWIP theme for Monday, January 4, 2020 is TRIVIA. Use the hashtag in the usual manner from a WIP or published work or use it to share trivia about a sweet or cozy story or its author. We’d love to also see your appropriate and relative links today. pic.twitter.com/H6aQ7wC3Q9
* exciting character interviews * more teases from clean reads, both works-in-progress and published books * more specialty products (and more nature) in our Zazzle storefront * more original word search puzzles based on books written by authors who often join in the CleanWIP fun
Happy New Year to everyone on the Gregorian. It’s also #CleanWIP Relaxed Friday, however we’re closing especially early today. We look forward to starting this new year off with a BANG on Sunday when we return. Thanks for joining us. ~https://t.co/cKOQur7vDk
Just watched our family’s video montage for the year and now I’m feeling all weepy. This year was hard, but watching this video reminded me that our family had lots of fun together too. Going into 2021 focused on God’s provision. Happy New Year! #HAPPYNEWYEAR
In 2021, we plan to -publish the sixth (and final!) Mage Saga book -publish at least one other book -write (draft) 500,000 words -revamp our author website -start a newsletter (yes, we're a bit behind on this one🙂)
While I hope that 2021 is better than what has just passed, we need to remember that the New Year is just a construct created by humanity to divide time into manageable chunks, based on the planet’s journey around its star. In real terms it has no more significance than that.
#cleanwip “Showoff. Grumbling, she stuffed the rest of her peanut butter toast in her mouth and chewed furiously while she double-checked her bag.“Sure would be nice to know what we’re doing.” Her shoe came undone and she stopped with a groan to retie it.https://t.co/g8QkOlj0UBpic.twitter.com/HaugMMVzcF
With a cup of coffee in hand, Jerome watched out the window as snowflakes fell. Beverly came in with hot biscuits covered in Raspberry Jam. She said, “Are you cold, darling?” “No, I’m fine, dear.” They knew his life’s journey would end soon. True love sheds no tears. #CleanWip
Since so many had a longer than usual weekend, we don’t want to confuse readers. December 27 is Sunday. Now that we have that settled, we think you’ll enjoy this beautiful poem, recently posted (on a Monday) by a writer we follow.
We didn’t know it but We were rich Snowflakes frosting our hair like diamonds Holding court in the frozen air, An endless kingdom Before our eyes Daylight ours and night ours too You were by my side and I had everything#MondayFic
A Message of Hope: Clean Fantasy Authors D. Art and Kay McKinney Release Fifth Book in Series on December 26, 2020.
Hope Never Lost, the fifth book in the Mage Saga series, continues the story of Achron Windslo, the white mage once thrust outside of time, now tasked with rebuilding a nation from nearly nothing. Can the growing population of mages in Empleheim find a place in a world that will not understand their very existence and fears the power they possess? And beyond just the wary eyes of their neighbors, the last of the great mages speaks of a far greater danger, one that threatens more than just their world. The quiescent powers in Achron’s family may well prove to be the hope everyone needs. Building on a series dedicated to exploring the themes of family and virtue, Hope Never Lost presents an adventure that is both clean and exciting, didactic and enjoyable. The Mage Saga is a sweeping fantasy tale of action, surprise, humor, and courage.
It was a scary Christmas Eve here. A tornado destroyed at least one nearby home & the storm made a mess of the area causing a widespread power and Internet outage. We were down most of the evening through midnight. Thankful for this—and for each—day. #MerryChristmas#MuchLovepic.twitter.com/viFoaHFNLO
Ellie took a sip of June’s delicious punch and sighed happily. The party was a hit so far—guests were dancing to Christmas classics, kissing under the mistletoe, and posing for photos in front of June’s giant Christmas tree. #CleanWIP
Want to feel old? Fun fact: Most students still in high school were born ~after~ the movie The Matrix was released. And… If you had kids when the Schwarzenegger movie The Terminator was released, they’re over 32 years old now. Makes me feel old. What about you?
One minute crawled after the other, and eventually William came poking his sooty little face into the mess to complain that the orphanage he’d been dragged to was as cold as tinned winter. Tinned winter—the prison. It had been cold. Shivering, icy, morally, cold.#CleanWIP
A cold wind blew across the plains. A stranger drifted into Diablo. One look at him and you saw trouble. He holed up in the hotel, spending the #winter alone. One night he walked into the saloon and downed a few. He was gone at sun up, as was all the money in the bank. #vss365
All the gifts had been opened, and the cinnamon roll breakfast had been eaten. The tree lights shone, and the baubles and tinsel sparkled in the morning light. Christmas carols played softly on the stereo. #CleanWIP
Rescue us now from our den of iniquity. A sad, sweet carol sang daily by the confused. The pleasures of this world are few, but we enjoy them all. Yes, pay the Piper and suffer the cost. Led into temptation and enslaved, sing on my brother, join our delusion of harmony. #CleanWip
There’s no #CleanWIP theme on Fridays, but we still publish a fun collaboration. Share relevant news, interesting teases from a WIP or published work, or something else our readers might love. Book, profile, or blog links are also encouraged Fridays. [https://t.co/iCuPzhtLNK]
Reconnecting on MeWe We recently left Facebook and headed to MeWe where we reopened the official CleanWIP collaboration group as well as a public magazine MeWe page to mingle with both readers and authors who like to keep things clean. We’re revisiting Special Edition articles to help readers of MeWe get to know the magazine and the authors who often contribute. This past week, we reconnected with Daphne Self, a long time member of American Christian Fiction Writers. We do hope you’ll join us over on MeWe if you haven’t already, but only after you check out this fun book trailer of Daphne’s Alabama Days.
We have exciting new themes, fresh off the #CleanWIP theme truck! ~ Thursday, December 24: MISTLETOE Wednesday, December 23: MOVIE Tuesday, December 22: EXCHANGE Monday, December 21: WINTER Sunday, December 20, 2020: CAROL ~ https://t.co/cKOQurp6uS
Blair rubbed her tingling fingers together, thinking back to how he’d helped her to the bench. He was just being friendly. Right? “If you’re up to it,” he amended, mistaking her hand movement… He’d already forgotten her ‘invisible’ condition…#cleanWIP
~ Earl Chinnici ~ Thanks for your interest in this magazine and the creative people who often join in the CleanWIP fun. I founded CleanWIP Magazine in 2019, but I’ve been in the business of repairing Windows-based computers for more than fifteen years now. I only started writing in any serious fashion in 2011 as I quit smoking Tobacco Cigarettes gradually. That’s what they call that product anyway; it was stamped across the front of nearly every pack. The reality of what’s in most cigarettes won’t easily fit on the label, but I’ll return to the point at hand. I eventually published a memoir about my journey to quit smoking and become an author and today I share from my debut book a short tidbit about mending my home. ~ I became obsessed with removing the “nicotine yellow” from my home. If there was a film of cigarette residue coating something that I could do without, and I was unable to wipe it clean or run it through the washing machine a few times, it was history. Off to the curb it went where it patiently waited for a prepaid ride to the county landfill. I even tossed a few things I could have easily wiped clean, simply because they were almond in color and that color reminded me all too well of the nicotine. To the extent possible, I wanted to repair the damage I had caused to the interior of my home and remove all of the signs of my severe addiction to cigarettes. I did not need these things to ensure I would never forget how horrific this addiction was for me. There were plenty of other handy reminders.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer…
He contemplated the strangeness of it as he sipped the hot beverage. Keena joined him with her own tea. They were talking idly, but Achron knew they had the same unspoken thought going through their heads.#fantasy#CleanWIP (tea) #InternationalTeaDay
I keep feeling like I need to have everything done this week. But Christmas is not until NEXT Friday. So maybe we could relax and bake cookies with no work or school on the calendar next week. I like this plan.
“That would be absolutely fabulous,” Blair meant it, too, “but I think Erin would rather you saved your energy for your date tonight.” …she had a sneaking suspicion that her brother planned to ask Erin to marry him before Christmas.#CleanWIP
Sometimes my characters follow the plot just fine.
Sometimes my MC is chasing butterflies, the antagonist is throwing eggs at my windows, and the antihero and his best friend are arguing over the benefits of adding chokecherries to their moonshine.#AmWriting#WritingProblems
He felt a change coming over him, and his spirits were rising. It is what so many people have that he’d lost, that peaceful easy feeling. Staring at the ocean, Gimpy found himself in harmony with the world, reviving an empty soul that couldn’t have survived much longer. #CleanWip
If you market books as CLEAN and there’s something you’d like to share with readers (new release announcement, fun blog post, free book deal, pet koala pic…) just mark one relevant tweet with #CleanWIP on any Friday to help us find your great content. https://t.co/iCuPzhtLNKpic.twitter.com/xA2o4QMFoH
Blogging Challenge Day #11: “What is your favorite Christmas tradition?” Be sure to visit my blog post to find my answer. And feel free to answer the prompt here or over on my blog! https://t.co/qMAR7d3mOH
It’s that time again and I’m so blessed to be home to enjoy it and have chemo and radiation behind me. I don’t know about y’all but that duck looks straight out of Florida. Lol. Decorating done, lights hung in windows, dreidels filled, Happy Chanukah ! G-d bless & keep you! pic.twitter.com/Ejc9gKAZlu
~ Earl Chinnici ~ Here’s a peek deep inside my debut book, Maybe You Should Move Those Away From You, that I began writing as I quit smoking gradually. Trying to make my home—that I had erroneously expected would last my lifetime—smell normal was an enormous undertaking. — In addition to my obsession about removing the cigarette residue from my home, I also put forth much effort to improve the odor of my surroundings. The fresh paint helped diminish the smell of smoke, but it was not exactly the pleasant “new home” smell I had in mind. I used a little bit of incense, candles, sticky air fresheners, and also the type of air fresheners that you plug into a wall outlet. All of these helped considerably. One of my favorite forms of smell modification was the gelatinous air fresheners. These seemed to work best of everything I tried. Once I found out about the truly amazing power of these cone-shaped gelatinous wonders of the world, I purchased dozens of the raspberry scented ones and then placed them strategically throughout my home. I placed two in the living room, three in the master bedroom, one on the kitchen table with two others nearby, two in the bathroom, and two in my office. My home may have qualified as the raspberry capital of the southern states.
But today I don’t walk past and pretend to hear nothing. This time, the trees yell. I look around to see if anyone else hears it, but, as always, they pass me without even noticing that I’m there.#CleanWIP theme: pretend
Sam watched him curiously, proving to be a very unhelpful human sign-post, and within moments Prissy appeared behind him looking like the figurehead on the ship of ill-will. Timothy pretended to sniff the flowers.#CleanWIP Pretend
No one would #pretend in the sweet hour of prayer as freedom lay trapped in an old wooden cross. By faith, their prayers turned into sap. It began to ooze from the cross, mingling with the blood of innocence. What began as a trickle grew into a river of liberty for all. #CleanWip
Coryn is vacuuming while wearing her #AmongUs hat. I come up behind her and pretend to stab her. Coryn: Why? Me: You were doing your tasks. I'm the imposter. Coryn: I need a mom with a better sense of humor.