Make

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Make. [More info]

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

“The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Visuals Online provides a range of photographs and illustrations that may help communicators of medical and public health convey meaning, describe concepts, and tell stories.” Learn more at visualsonline.cancer.gov

List

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is List. [More info]

Photo by Michael Sylvester

Achieve

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Achieve. [More info]

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Want

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Want. [More info]

Photo by Lars Nissen

Forgive

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Forgive. [More info]

Photo by Diana de Weert

Relaxed Friday 31

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Lubos Houska

Arthur Daigle ~
Here’s a short piece from my latest Dana Illwind and Sorcerer Lord Jayden story:
“I kind of remember the sun,” Dana said. “Shiny and warm, moved a lot.”
Jayden looked up from his spell tablets and raised an eyebrow. “Historically, Sorcerer Lords are more inclined to madness than farm girls.”
“I’m owed a little bit of going over the edge. It’s rained for fifteen days! Not little storms, either. I saw a house float away. You know magic. Can’t you make it stop?”

~ Laurean Brooks ~
Excerpt from To Trust Her Heart:
Was Jake alluding to his wife’s death? “You are a strong believer.”
“You aren’t?” His blue eyes sought hers and lingered.
She winced. “Not anymore. God seems so distant. I’m not sure He has
time for everyone. I mean…why else would tragedy come to those who
believe in Him? Your wife’s death, for instance.”
“And your husband’s?”
Amanda shifted her focus to the circling hawk. The mention of her
late husband reminded her why she couldn’t trust God. She’d prayed
fervently for a turnaround in her marriage, but God had turned a deaf ear.
Greg continued in his infidelity, and finally died in it.
“Amanda, God gave each person a free will. He won’t force His own
will on anyone.”
He did it again. Read her mind. She folded her arms across her chest.
“Meaning…?”
“When Adam and Eve took a bite of that forbidden fruit—whatever it
was—sin was birthed on the earth. One act of disobedience brought all
kinds of disasters upon the world. Death, sickness, strife, greed, anger,
violence, lust, and pain… We have a choice; we can keep blaming Adam and Eve—or God—for the sin in the world, or we can accept God’s provision for our individual sin and move on.”
“In other words, each person must accept responsibility for his or her own actions and choices.”

Language

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Language. [More info]

Photo by Oli Lynch

Nation

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Nation. [More info]

Photo by Kaung Myat Min

~ Scott R. Rezer ~
Josefa had fallen in love with the church at once, its plain exterior awash in pink and white, surrounded by trees and vineyards and the overarching blue sky; it was a jewel of the Baroque style so prominent in the churches of southwestern Germany. Its plain, but beautiful, exterior, though, belied the rich interior that overwhelmed the senses with color and light and ornamentation worthy of a pilgrim church. The schemes of pink and white and glittering gold extended to the inside. Every statue and painting exuded a sense of movement, of life, a place where light and shadow could dance together.
~ The Haberdasher’s Wife (Available May 7) ~

Heritage

The #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article for today, the Fifth of May (Cinco de Mayo) 2020, is Heritage. [More info]

Photo by Rob Towne

~ Excerpt of The Haberdasher’s Wife by Scott R. Rezer, now available for pre-order at Amazon.com. ~
Herr Doctor Josef Anton von Bandel—Golden Knight of the Order of St. Peter, Count Palatine; satirist, theologian, husband. Father—my father. A man who died when I was only three months old. As a child, I knew very little about him. He was only a name, nothing more, but from what I learned, as I grew older, he had earned his nobility because he criticized anyone who stood against the Absolutism of the Catholic Church and the powers of such men as the Duke of Württemberg. Such was my father’s legacy.

Star

The #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article for today, May the Fourth 2020, is Star. [More info]

Featured photo is a cropped subsection of an image captured by the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope of a celestial sea of stars. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Wisc.

Rock

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Rock. [More info]

Photo by Sara Juggernaut

Relaxed Friday 30

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Julius Silver

The Haberdasher’s Wife by Scott R. Rezer is now available for pre-order on Amazon with release day set for May 15.
1800—Überlingen, Imperial Free City of the Holy Roman Empire.
Change is on the wind. A new century has begun and war with Napoleon Bonaparte continues to spread like wildfire, while the Enlightenment quietly breaks down traditional barriers of class, education, and the arts, in the last holdouts of Absolutism in the old German States.
For Josefa von Bandel, a nobleman’s daughter, her life on the quiet shores of the Bodensee is caught up in the dramatic changes sweeping across Europe—and in her own troubled life. She is young and beautiful and willfully stubborn. She risked her reputation for a scandalous affair—but will she sacrifice everything else for love?

Identical

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Identical. [More info]

Photo by Peter H from Pixabay

Unique

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Unique. [More info]

Photo by Abhay Bharadwaj

Sea

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Sea. [More info]

Photo by Julius Silver

~ Danielle Thorne ~
Phoebe diverted from the cobblestones onto the familiar footpath that led to the narrow strip of sand along the sea wall. She set a silk and linen drawstring bag inside her basket and dropped them onto the beach. Off came her shoes.

Land

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Land. [More info]

Photo by nightowl from Pixabay

Kingdom

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Kingdom. [More info]

Photo by Jonathan Sautter

Relaxed Friday 29

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Enrique Lopez Garre

~ Patricia Snelling ~
(from her current cozy mystery work-in-progress)
Within minutes of Andre stepping onto the podium, a terrific crash reverberated as the platform collapsed sending Andre catapulting—music stand, scores and conductor’s baton flying across the room almost landing in a Euphonium player’s lap

Write

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Write. [More info]

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Author

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Author. [More info]

Photo by Jill Wellington

~ Jessica Marie Holt ~
I’m sentimental, I’m a homebody, I’m a follower of Christ, and I love my family. That sums up where my heart is, and my writing comes from my heart. My work is character-driven, and a most of it is about the internal emotional struggles we all face. I like to get right down into the nitty gritty–into the raw, real places where we find our biggest challenges–but I always balance everything with hope; the hope of redemption, of change, of better possibilities, of new beginnings.
I love anything unconventional, quirky, offbeat, unexpected. I love characters who are realistic, layered, and a little unpredictable. I love approaching old stories and topics from new angles and new perspectives, and challenging myself to find the most interesting way to telling any given story. And I think, most of all, I like to inject a sense of humor into everything, no matter how dramatic or serious. Life is so full of fun absurdities, and people are so amazingly peculiar. Someone has to document it all for posterity!
I often say that I live in a sitcom family. I have five quirky kids, weirdo cats, an oddball husband, and a huge extended family that gives me enough inspiration for a lifetime. Writing fiction is my way to document my life–not the exact details, but the spirit, the truths, the emotion, and the heart behind everything I’ve uncovered and experienced, and all the many unanswered questions I still have. Hopefully, my work will inspire people, give them hope, and make them think. But if all they’re looking for is a good story, they’ll find that, too.
Feel free to follow me on my FB page at https://www.facebook.com/everywordmatters to get the latest on what I’m up to next!

Scott R. Rezer ~ 
From my WIP…
“So are you drawn more to the characters or the plot?”
“Oh, definitely the characters. They are so richly drawn. Without them, the plot would suffer most terribly.”
Caroline laughed and leaned toward her. “Such bold words to speak to an author.” She held up her hand to Josefa when she realized her criticism. “But perhaps, true. I’m a firm believer that characters help drive a plot.” She touched Josefa’s arm again. “What character, might I ask, do you find yourself drawn toward more?”
My name is Scott and I am an historical fiction writer. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery—not that I’ll recover from my love of writing, no matter how much I admit it. The best way to describe my writing is… character-driven stories that bring history to life. I write stories ranging from ancient Biblical history to the Civil War, as well as an historical fantasy series about the Crusades. My Civil War series is actually based on my ancestors who fought in died in the war on both sides. My current WIP, THE HABERDASHER’S WIFE, is also about an ancestress in Germany. Part of the passion I have rediscovered the past several years for my craft is writing about people whose lives impacted my own. I believe we are products of our past—not that I won’t write about other things. I have more ideas for stories than I’ll probably ever be able to write! After all, I have a problem and the best way to recover is to push through the treatment—commit to write just one more book each time I finish the last. Next up in my treatment, the final book in my Crusades fantasy series.
Website: https://scottrezer.weebly.com

~ Laurean Brooks ~
When Earl asked us to post an author bio, the first thought I had was, BOR-ING. But, as I continued to dwell on it, maybe it isn’t so boring to those who have lived similar lives, or who would have loved to have lived on a farm.
I was the fourth-born child to a family of seven kids. Our dad worked on a riverboat out of Memphis, four weeks on and three weeks off. Mama ran the show like a drill sergeant while he was away. She had to be tough, especially to keep my brothers in line.
We planted, hoed, picked and canned vegetables from three gardens, chopped grass in 4 acres of corn, fed the farm animals, cut firewood, but still found time to have fun. How many of you have crawled inside a 50-gallon metal barrel at the top of a hill, braced your arms and legs, then let your brother shove the barrel down the hill? Who needed a roller coaster when you could get the same effect from a trundling, rocky, barrel ride?
My imagination caught the attention of a fifth-grade teacher. I believed I had been given poetic license (Not so), when she announced to the class, “Laurie will someday become and author.”
The next essay Miss Mary assigned was an essay on Columbus’s discovery of the West Indies islands. When I finished reading it, the entire class was in hysterics. Everyone except my the teacher, who cleared her throat and said, “Laurie, I want you to rewrite this essay to make it more realistic.”
My 10-year-old imagination had Columbus captured by the natives, almost burned at the stake, but at the last minute, stuffed in a cannon and shot back across the ocean. What’s wrong with that picture?
Everything. Miss Mary didn’t want extreme creativity—she wanted facts. Well…as close to factual incidents as possible. Anyway, I rewrote it, and re-read it. Not one person laughed. Bummer! The teacher who encouraged me to write had squashed my imagination—temporarily.
Four years later, during my freshman year, it burst fort again in a story titled, “The Escape of an Oscar Mayer Weiner.” The English/lit teacher loved it. She laughed as hard as my classmates did.
It would be decades later before I realized my dream of becoming a writer. After years in a factory that was closed by NAFTA in the mid-90s, I enrolled in college. Two years after graduation, I decided the legal assistant career was not working for me. Since I had taken classes that utilized Microsoft Word, nothing prevented me from pursuing my dream of writing.
My first book “Journey To Forgiveness” was published in 2009. I write sweet romance—both contemporary and historical, with twisting plots. The stories are loaded with humor and quirky characters including, perky (sometimes sassy) heroines, and chivalrous (ofttimes aggravating) heroes.
Mrs. James wiped her mouth. “Thank you. That hit the spot.”
She picked up a copy of Wuthering Heights from her bedside table. “Em’ly, will you read to me? I started this book and got halfway through before I got sick. I marked the place.”
Emily accepted the book and slid her chair closer to the bed. She opened to the book mark and started to read. Engrossed in the intense plot by author Emily Bronte, she didn’t notice Mrs. James had fallen asleep until soft snores alerted her.
Replacing the marker, Emily rose. She would love to continue reading, but it was time to relieve Alissia. The girl had too much responsibility for a fifteen-year-old.
Find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/laurean.brooks.

Several

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Several. [More info]

Photo by Siggy Nowak

Few

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Few. [More info]

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Plenty

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Plenty. [More info]

Photo by Corey Ryan Hanson

Relaxed Friday 28

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by dayamay from Pixabay

~ Patricia Snelling ~
The drive through the countryside invigorated her as she inhaled the sweet smell of freshly cut hay through her open window. Arriving in Martha’s driveway, she swerved to avoid squashing her pink, miniature Kunekune pig, Hibiscus who was like a child to her.

Much

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Much. [More info]

Photo by Michelle Maria

Miracle

Today’s #CleanWIP theme is Miracle. [More info]

Photo by M. Maggs

Country

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Country. [More info]

Photo by David Mark

Tend

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Tend. [More info]

Photo by Ulrike Leone

Plant

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Plant. [More info]

Relaxed Friday 27

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Frank Winkler

In case you missed it…

Harvest

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Harvest. [More info]

Photo by Conger Design

Dance

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaboration is Dance. [More info]

Photo by Pixabay user Ihtar

Play

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaboration is Play. [More info]

Photo by Pixabay user tookapic

Work

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Work. [More info]

Photo by Quang Nguyen vinh

Adult

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaboration is Adult. [More info]

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Relaxed Friday 26

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by Felix Mittermeier

Child

April 2 is International Children’s Book Day and today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Child. [More info]

Photo by Esi Grünhagen

Since today is International Children’s Book Day, we encouraged authors in our CleanWIP Facebook group to tell us about any children’s books they have written. Melinda Kinsmen has written many. Her latest, Never Ask A Wizard, released just over a week ago. It is the sixth book of her Never Ask series. Her original series, Top of the Wardrobe Gang, follows a group of cute, albeit very messy, monsters.

Charmain Zimmerman Brackett has, to date, published two. One of which, Little Pearl’s Circus World was the 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Award winner.

Kim K. O’Hara admits to publishing Nonny and Deedah primarily with her own family in mind, but judging by the book’s description it certainly appears to be a charming tale any family can enjoy.

Fool

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Fool. [More info]

Photo by PollyDot from Pixabay

~ Laurean Brooks ~
(from a work-in-progress, Half-price Bride)
A Humorous Scene: Clemons’s raspy voice escalated. “That woman made a fool out of me, leaving me at the altar. And I’m supposed to forgive her? I refuse!” 
The reverend groaned. “The young lady must have had her reasons. Remember, there are two sides to every story. Dr. Clemons, please sit down and hold your peace. We are in the Lord’s house.” 
The reverend finished his message quickly. “Dear Flock, turn your hymnals to page one-sixty-three and let usl sing, Take Me As I Am.”
A loud baritone voice in the back taunted, “Maybe Clemons’s bride didn’t like the way he was.” 
The congregation roared until Reverend Cole raised his hands to silence them. “Please, Mr. Evans, let’s not forget we are in the Lord’s house. Let us be respectful.”
The taunter cleared his throat, “Sorry, reverend, I was thinkin’ out loud.”
“Please…see that it doesn’t happen again,” the reverend admonished.
“Yes, sir.”

~ Jessica Marie Holt ~
(excerpt from One Minute to Midnight (Unsung Legacies Book 3) released yesterday)
Money can buy you anything.” His eyes glinted. “But that’s true everywhere.” There was a note of bitterness in his voice. “To have money is everything. To be poor is nothing.”
For some reason, Louis imagined Walter sitting outside Jim’s paddock, his slingshot poised, his face full of envy, waiting for the right moment to shoot Brutus. His chest constricted, and he grimaced involuntarily.
“What, am I wrong?” Walter said, his eyes flashing.
Louis shrugged. “I just don’t see it your way.”
Walter scoffed, and his eyes took on a hard look Louis had never seen before. “Then you’re either blind or foolish.”

~ 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.”

Scott R. Rezer ~ 
From my WIP, 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…

Honest

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Honest. [More info]

Photo by Mabel Amber

Scott R. Rezer ~ 
From my WIP—The Haberdasher’s Wife:
His hands lifted to her face, cradling it gently. His eyes darted between each of hers. “You can be the most willful, infuriating, stubborn woman I’ve ever met, but I love you, Josefa, and I want to give you, and your unborn child, a second chance. Marry me. I cannot promise you prosperity and a life of ease, but I can promise I will love you always, if you’ll have me.”
His raw honesty scared her. His words, meant to convince her of his sincerity and love, only made her realize the wide gulf that existed between their lives, and it scared her. He offered her everything she needed, but one. Security. She couldn’t deny she felt something for him; she might even have begun to love him as well. But, it wasn’t enough.

Split

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaboration is Split. [More info]

Photo by Manfred Richter

Join

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Join. [More info]

Photo by Nisha Gill

Relaxed Friday 25

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

~ Jessica Marie Holt ~
(from a new WIP)
Ellie nodded, then frowned. “We do still think it’s a noble cause, right?”
June sighed. “Sarah is still pretty angry with me for interfering in her life. What about James?”
“James was angry at first, and that was rough,” said Ellie, her eyes filling with tears. “But darling boy that he is, he has forgiven me, and now things are right as rain.”
“I think, in time, Sarah will come around, too. We have to keep focusing on the greater good. Helping people find their happy-ever-after.”
“Yes! Look how successful we’ve been!” Ellie’s eyes gleamed in the fluorescent light.
“We do have a knack for this, it seems. I think . . . it’s our calling.”
“Yes! Finally, at our age, we have found what we were meant to do.”
“I think we owe it to the world to share our talents, and help the lonely. Or, at least, to the residents of Shady Oaks.”
“And Fairview.”
“Yes, fine, Fairview, too,” June grumbled.

State

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is State. [More info] There are so many meanings of the word, but the puzzle on this page contains all fifty states of the United States of America. In case you are considering a rise to the challenge, we’d like you to know beforehand there’s no answer key provided and you’ll need to look in every direction—even diagonally—to find them all.

Character

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Character. [More info]

Image by Charnchai Saeheng

Little

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Little. [More info]

Photo by Erik Karits

City

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is City. [More info]

Photo by Michael Pewny

How

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is How. [More info]

Photo by nextvoyage on Pixabay

Relaxed Friday 24

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays.

Photo by annca

Why

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Why. [More info]

Photo by RÜŞTÜ BOZKUŞ

Where

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Where. [More info]

Photo is by NASA/JPL-Caltech/SAO. It is slightly altered. More specifically, CleanWIP Magazine enlarged a portion of the original photo for use on this article.

Scott R. Rezer ~
The Haberdasher’s Wife
1800—Überlingen, Imperial Free City of the Holy Roman Empire.
Change is on the wind. A new century has begun and war with Napoleon Bonaparte continues to spread like wildfire, while the Enlightenment quietly breaks down traditional barriers of class, education, and the arts, in the last holdouts of Absolutism in the old German States.
For Josefa von Bandel, a nobleman’s daughter, her life on the quiet shores of the Bodensee is caught up in the dramatic changes sweeping across Europe—and in her own troubled life. She is young and beautiful and willfully stubborn. She risked her reputation for a scandalous affair—but will she sacrifice everything else for love?

Arthur Daigle ~
William Bradshaw, King of the Goblins
The Kingdom of the Goblins boasts the largest maze on the world of Other Place. Nearly every square yard of it has been trapped, and a fair number of goblins live in the maze full tim e. The maze grows by the day as goblins tirelessly and pointlessly add to it, with overhead walkways, underground tunnels, and always more traps.
Most mazes have a reward for success, but not here. Goblins are dead broke and plan on staying that way, thank you very much. This means there is no reason whatsoever to enter the maze, and few if any even consider it. Nevertheless, goblins continue work on their maze as the poorly built eyesore takes up ever more real estate.