Forest

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

“No traveler, whether a tree lover or not, will ever forget his first walk in a sugar-pine forest. The majestic crowns approaching one another make a glorious canopy, through the feathery arches of which the sunbeams pour, silvering the needles and gilding the stately columns and the ground into a scene of enchantment.” ~ John Muir

Photo by Tobias Tullius

Tradition

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

Photo by Tim Bish

Relaxed Friday 9

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

Photo by Catalin Sandru

With permission from the author, we’re again eavesdropping on Will and Domo to start off our theme-free Friday. The author, by the way, is Chicago-born and raised Arthur Daigle and the fun exchange below is from William Bradshaw and War Unending.

“You’re up early,” Domo said to Will.
“Blame Vial. The boys said you had some mail for me?”
Domo held up the stack of letters. “I was just finishing with it. Let’s see…hate mail, hate mail, you may already be a winner, death threats. The University of Eastwich granted you an honorary expulsion. You got an anti-invitation from Kervol Ket.”
Will stopped in front of Domo. “I know I’m going to regret asking, but what’s that?”
“You know how good old Kervol got married?” Domo asked.
“He married Princess Marisa Brandywine?” Will didn’t try to hide his surprise. He’d once held the princess prisoner. He didn’t want her, and his attempts to return her to Kervol had been rebuffed. Brandywine was the most annoying person Will had ever met, which considering he was surrounded by thousands of goblins was saying something. It amazed him that someone even as stupid as Kervol would marry her.
“Shocking, I know,” Domo said. “Anyway, the lady’s expecting their first child, and Kervol sent out invitations to celebrate the birth. He sent you an anti-invitation. You’re not supposed to attend the festivities, and the only gift he’d like is to hear you died in a horrible accident involving a potato peeler. Basically he’s rubbing it in your face that you’re a social pariah.”
“Charming.”

How about a little more eavesdropping? This time from the opening scene of Scott R. Rezer‘s Shadow of the Mountain: A Novel of the Flood. Not to worry, we always get the author’s permission before spying on their characters.

The sudden cry of a woman in travail rent the stillness of the air. At the sound, Noach tensed and stood uncertainly, turning towards the tents of their small settlement. The waiting had grown agonizingly long; the birth of children often did so—especially with firstborns. His nerves frayed with the waiting, his body as taut as a drawn bowstring. Death was too often an unwelcome shadow at the miracle of birth.
Soon, he thought. It will be very soon now.
—And then what, old man, whispered the voice of his own nagging doubts. This one will be born, and then there will be others. Men will multiply upon the earth. In time, there will once more be rebellion and bloodshed and wars. Sin will have its due.
“No,” he breathed vehemently. “There will be peace and harmony at last in the earth.” It was a familiar argument he had often waged against himself in the past nine months. The outcome was always the same.
—Is that what you think? Have you learned nothing? Men are incapable of such nobility: only of evil and more evil.
“This time it will be different—it must be,” he said. His hands balled into fists at his side. “The errors of the old world cannot be repeated. They cannot; they will not.”
—Oh, but they will, his own malevolent thoughts whispered, mocking him with laughter. Open your eyes, fool, and look around you. The errors of the lost world are but beginning anew. Death hovers, eager to devour the sinful. Watch; and wait. Listen for the cry of this child for which you await so desperately. It will be the lustful cry of sin being reborn into the world. And there is none born of men who can ever change it.
“Of men… no,” Noach whispered, smiling, remembering another, far older, promise. “But of a woman…”

Air

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

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Space

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

“It’s a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realize that one’s safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract.” ~ Alan Shepard

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Hester, A. Loll (ASU)

Rail

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

Photo by Antoine Beauvillain

“Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Road

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

Photo by kalacreative of Pixabay

“The road to success just might be your driveway.” ~ Joey Reiman

Earl Chinnici ~ Her phone streamed to a large screen in the studio providing us with a clear view of her right shoulder and part of the rear window. We watched as she veered left, apparently to miss a dark-blue sedan that was entering the highway. She then pushed hard on the accelerator and swerved back to the right, the distance separating her vehicle from the sedan increasing far too quickly.
“Hi Rita. This is Rachel of the Write Connections morning show. I’m here with Jenny Foster, author of…” ~ https://twitter.com/earlshelpdesk/status/1201516544024567808

Travel

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

Photo by Dariusz Sankowski

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” ~ Helen Keller

Relaxed Friday 8

It’s Friday! Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP Relaxed Fridays. Let’s drop in on Will and Domo from William Bradshaw and a Faint Hope, book 2 by Arthur Daigle to kick off the party.

Domo walked around the chair and studied it. “What’s this?”
“This,” Will said proudly, “is what we humans call a chair. It’s the latest fashion where I come from.”
“That was either sarcasm or proof you shouldn’t do standup comedy,” Domo said. He poked the chair and watched it wobble. “Doesn’t look like woodworking is your thing, either.”
“No, but if I want a chair this is the only way I’ll get it. I can’t get one from the nearby human villages, what with me being broke and them expecting money for doing work.”
“Scandalous the way peasants behave these days,” Domo said. “We do have our own carpenters, you know.”
Will filed down the leg some more and tried sitting on the chair. The legs still weren’t even. “I thought of that. I asked four goblin carpenters to make me a chair. I wanted a bed to replace the pile of rags I have to sleep on, but I figured I’d start by asking for something small.”
“And?” Domo prompted him.
“Chairs shouldn’t have more legs than centipedes.”
The four dysfunctional chairs Will had received (and burned as firewood) weren’t proof that the goblins hated him. Quite the opposite, they liked and even respected him. That didn’t change the fact that goblins were stupid and crazy. When asked to make something as simple as a chair, they felt the need to make improvements. While he couldn’t actually sit on the chairs, and they’d looked like they were dreamed up by an impressionist painter and built by a one-eyed, drunken chimpanzee with arthritis, Will could at least take comfort in knowing there was no malice involved.

Speaking of birds, here’s a little teaser from Joanna McKethan‘s Stone of Her Destiny – Kenna, the heroine, is learning falconry from Lane.
“There now, ye see? He’s all yours. He’ll love you forever. Don’t mistake him for a pet, all lovey-dovey; they are always and still, birds of prey. But they will be faithful. Remember that.”
“Oh, I thought Bonnie Blue was a lady.”
“No, remember Bonnie Prince Charlie was a man,” he said, teasing.

We’re not quite done with the party.

“I had no beginning. I will have no end.” The voice rose up from the seated figure, whispering into the void. He lifted his gaze, focusing on the formless zenith. His right eye was a spinning orb, half Darkness, half Light; the other was a piercing shade of blue. His robes too were ever-shifting, at once light and dark and all-colored, patterned with the same mystic symbol. “The words are indistinguishable, and meaningless.” ~ from Michael Lynes‘ latest release, First Blood (The Blood Series Book 2), which released November 1st of this year. More specifically, the excerpt is from the third chapter, Time.

We’re on a roll. Let’s enjoy one more teaser before the weekend.

Carrie picked up the bag and walked to the door. When they were outside the general store, Aunt Em stopped her. “Did we get any mail?”
Carrie reached into her skirt pocket and handed over the stack. Josh’s aunt frowned at the letter on top. “What does Miss Leah want with Josh after all this time? I’ve a good mind to toss this in the wood stove.”
Carrie’s thoughts exactly. “No, we can’t. The letter belongs to Josh. He has a right to read it.”
Aunt Em snorted. “You would have to remind me. It’s temptin’ to accident’lly drop it along the way. Leah’s hurt Josh enough. I don’t want him hurt any more. ~ from Laurean BrooksNot What He Ordered

Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us.

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Thankful. [More info] Photo by Jill Wellington

Laurean Brooks – When I was growing up, Thanksgiving Dinner might consist of a couple of squirrels or a rabbit that Daddy brought home from his early morning hunting excursion. Daddy rose early on Thanksgiving day, took his rifle off the rack… [read more]

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Food

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

Photo by Joseph Gonzalez

“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” ~ from 1 Timothy, KJV

Bake

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

Photo by congerdesign

“The thing with children is they’re a bit like baking a fruitcake: you throw all the ingredients in but you never know how they’re going to turn out.” ~ Len Goodman

Roast

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

Photo by Mike Kenneally

The word search puzzle below contains the word roast fifty times. You’ll need to look every which way to find them all.

Gather

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

Photo by Jan Meeus.

I’ve been lucky enough that I can gather all sorts of experiences and find inspiration by traveling around and by spending time with people I admire. ~ Bonnie Raitt

Quit

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

Photo by Ben Allen

Prepare

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

Featured photo is an altered copy of a photo by Andy Chilton, cropped to compliment this article.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Money

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

Today’s featured photo is from Maybe You Should Move Those Away From You, the story of CleanWIP Magazine founder Earl Chinnici’s journey to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes and become an author. To help encourage those joining the Great American Smokeout this year, you can add the ebook to your library free through Thursday and learn the story behind the change.

The word search puzzle below contains penny, nickel, dime, and quarter ten times each. Have fun!

Family

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

Photo by Helga Kattinger

Health

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

Photo from PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay

“Your true friends, people who truly love you, will always want you to be healthy.” ~ Earl Chinnici, Maybe You Should Move Those Away From You

To help encourage those joining the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout Thursday, November 21, Maybe You Should Move Those Away From You is set as a free book deal today through Thursday. (Availability is based on Pacific Time.)

Relaxed Friday 6

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

We’re kicking off the party with a fun excerpt from Arthur Daigle‘s William Bradshaw and Urban Problems.

“I got him! I got the long eared thieving bunny!” the goblin shouted triumphantly while dancing around in a circle.
“Hold on,” Will began, but the goblin was too taken with his victory to notice.
“He thought he’d ruin the boss’ garden, but I showed him!”
“What’s this about?” Domo asked.
Feeling faintly embarrassed, Will said, “An animal got in my garden last month and did some damage. When the warrior goblins found out they assigned guards to watch over it, which would be a really nice gesture if they didn’t keep attacking innocent animals and salesmen.”
“Animals are guilty until proven innocent!” the warrior goblin shouted. “And even then they’re guilty!”
“The rabbit wasn’t anywhere near my garden,” Will told him.
“He was thinking about it!” The goblin poked the rabbit in the belly. “You were conspiring! Confess!”
Will said, “Just take it a few miles away and let it go.”
The warrior poked the rabbit again before he marched into the woods. “The King’s going easy on you, but this is still going on your record! You have the right to remain silent! Anything you say will be ignored or misinterpreted!”

We hope you enjoy the following breakfast teaser from the first chapter of Linda Ellen‘s award winning historical romance, Sweet Love at Honey Landing: A Mail Order Bride Story – with a Twist! (Maple Heights Series Book 1). Since we’re jumping in mid-conversation, it might be helpful to note that Noah is already sporting a milk mustache when we begin eavesdropping. We haven’t read the entire book, but based on the title of the book and the happenings in the first chapter, we strongly suspect a wedding will ensue before the end of the third book.

Determination

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

“A determined person will do more with a pen and paper, than a lazy person will accomplish with a personal computer.” ~ Catherine Pulsifer

STS 61-A launch photo is by NASA

Honor

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

“Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We, of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation.”~ Abraham Lincoln

Photo by Dennis Larsen from Pixabay

Brave

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

Photo by Gidon Pico from Pixabay

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ~ Nelson Mandela

Veteran

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

“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” ~ Douglas MacArthur

***

Debbie Brown – We had our parade yesterday, in the cold and snow. As 2nd in command, replacing my CO, I had the honor of bringing a wreath to the monument. Our time spent shivering doesn’t compare to what our veterans endured, but we can show appreciation for what their sacrifices gave us. We should be grateful and take a moment to show it.

Laurean Brooks – I don’t have the word “Veteran” in my WIP, but my dad served in WWII, stationed in Guam, and my two brothers and a sister were in the service (two in the Air Force, one in the Navy), during the Vietnam era. I would like to honor them today for their work and sacrifices.

===

Service

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

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Photo by Spencer Imbrock on Unsplash (slightly altered for this article)

Coming up this Monday. Honor them all weekend and beyond.

Posted by Steve Mathisen on Saturday, November 9, 2019

Relaxed Friday 5

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

Blue

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

“To write a love song that might be able to make it on the radio, that is something that is terrifying to me. But I can definitely write a song about that chair over there. That I can do, but to sit and write a pop song out of the clear blue sky, that is very difficult and I admire the people that can do it.” ~ Barry Manilow

This is a really sad song.

Borrow

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

Photo by bernswaelz from Pixabay.

“Never spend your money before you have earned it.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

New

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

“All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child.” ~ Marie Curie

Old

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

That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Something

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

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

CleanWIP Magazine has something special to share. Our Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) information package arrived in the mail yesterday. Our name is confirmed: CLEANWIP MAGAZINE LLC. We filed the necessary forms online and it was impossible to convey the importance of mixed capitalization in our name. Mail carriers will surely wonder if somebody accidentally excluded a vowel and it should be CLEANWIPE. We hope they will consider whether there is any real need for a magazine about clean wipes though. Perhaps we can enlist your help teaching everyone WIP means work-in-progress or, in plural form, works-in-progress and that CleanWIP Magazine is focused on those WIP that lean clean. Thanks in advance. ~ CleanWIP Magazine

Relaxed Friday 4

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

Today is officially the beginning of NaNoWriMo, when hundreds of thousands of writers (or more) begin work on a new novel. That’s a lot of new works-in-progress and we’re excited.

Terrify

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

Photo by Antriksh Kumar from Pixabay

I am pretty fearless, and you know why? Because I don’t handle fear very well; I’m not a good terrified person. ~ Stevie Nicks

Scare

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

Photo by Andrea Boldizsar (Unsplash)

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Fear

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

“The fears we don’t face becomes our limits.” ~ Robin Sharma

Worry

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

Photo by Greg Reese

Matthew 6:34 KJV – Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Concern

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

Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Relaxed Friday 3

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

Sun

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

Photo by Photo Mix on Pixabay

Light and darkness play a huge metaphorical role in my Unsung Legacies historical fiction series. I use it to illustrate good and evil, knowledge and ignorance, truth and lies, fear and trust.
It’s especially evident in Sunlight and Shadows (as the title suggests), where the main character, Betty, comes out of the comfortable darkness of ignorance into the harsh light of truth.
“She walked through the silent house and out the back door. She stood on the back porch and looked around at the landscape. It was the same sunlight as before. It was the same paddock, the same lazy horse eating grass, the same field, the same woods. Somehow the world had gone on as though nothing happened. But her perfect day–her perfect life–had evaporated like a puddle in the summer sun, as if it never was.”
In the next snippet, the light represents hope peeking out through despair, and foreshadows the good that will come out of this tragedy, even if it’s not clear right now.
“Soon enough, the sun peeked through the drawn curtains, finding its way through the crack between the two dense panels of fabric, and creating a narrow line of light across Mama’s casket.”
Then, in this last snippet, the sunlight (the truth) turns her father (who has changed for the worse) into a literal shadow of himself, and it’s only when he closes the door that he is recognizable.
“Daddy walked in, a moving silhouette until he shut the door and blocked the sunlight out.” ~ Jessica Marie Holt, Unsung Legacies

“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.” ~ Helen Keller

Lightning

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

Photo by George Alexandru (slightly altered for use here)

“The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug.” ~ Mark Twain

Lightning would be so romantic if it would just keep its distance from everything important, including all living creatures. Of course we all know it doesn’t. All too often lightning ignites fires, damages homes and other structures, destroys appliances… sometimes it even kills.
The earliest scary lightning story I can think of happened when I was perhaps ten years old. While swimming in an in-ground pool, lightning struck close enough that I felt a slight tingle in the water similar to the sensation of sticking a 9-volt battery to one’s own tongue. (Wasn’t everyone their older brother’s battery tester? No? Hmm.)
I recall another close call in my early to mid teens. It was much closer, actually. I was watching TV with my dad while Mom was at the kitchen sink when all of a sudden and with a loud blended crackle and pop, a bolt of blue came from an outlet directly behind the television and struck the sink just as Mom took one step back from it.
I know there were many other times lightning was closer than I like it to be. I live in Florida. Some have called it the lightning capital of the world though the age of the Internet has shown everything—including this claim—is debatable.
Undoubtedly, the strangest lightning occurrences I’ve witnessed were during tornadoes. I’ve been in and near many, especially since February of 1999. I didn’t move. Perhaps they did.
Only some of the tornadoes arrived with lightning, but the lighting that came with those that did was unlike any lightning I’ve ever experienced outside of a tornado. Instead of booms of thunder, there were only extremely fast clicks and crackles; the flashes were like flashes of a strobe light at a dance party or the local disco. (Give it time. Disco music will make a comeback, I can feel it.)
This article seems it might tolerate one lightning fast tale. This occurred only a half-dozen years ago and it was among the most scary—holding its own with those during the tornadoes.
Boom! (Scared yet? No?) About three seconds later, another boom, this one louder and undeniably much closer than the first. I begin to count. One Mississ—BOOM! Shaken, I begin to count again. One—BOOM! And another. BOOM! I lie flat on the floor on my belly, now considering how soldiers must feel when in a war zone under fire by heavy artillery. A final approaching BOOM, quite deafening and then about two seconds later a BOOM further away, but obviously following the same line of travel.
I lie flat another couple minutes and finally get the nerve to get up. About twenty minutes later, I hear sirens of fire trucks and getting louder with each passing second. Roughly a minute later, they’re slowing in front of my home then turning onto the small private road at the edge of my yard. Turns out the final approaching BOOM struck a cousin’s barn less than a thousand feet from me and had pretty well burned it down before it became apparent to other neighbors what had happened.
But it sure seemed closer.

By Earl Chinnici
Today’s lightning theme seemed a great reason to work on my first draft of a work-in-progress currently titled “Fifty Close Calls.” If these collaborative articles have also helped motivate you to add words to a work-in-progress, I’d love to hear from you. Check the contact page for the latest info.

February 22, 2014 – Lightning exploded the side of a tree and propelled several shards of wood into the ground in multiple places, the farthest discovered piece being about fifty feet away from the base of the struck tree. The sticks forming the V (an X when viewed closer) in the background of this photo are also two pieces of the same tree. Others nearby were not photographed.

Rain

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

We are excited to announce today the opening of our CleanWIP Magazine storefront. We’ve designed several awesome products already and have many more planned.

View this post on Instagram

Cycling under the autumn rain.

A post shared by JP – Pedestrian Reflections (@pedestrian.photographer) on

While it’s true that some things smell better than others do, it’s nice to be able to smell a distant rain. It’s also nice to enjoy the smell of frangipani without a burning cigarette or an ashtray full of butts nearby. I shudder when I think of all the butts I used to smell. ~ Earl Chinnici (from Maybe You Should Move Those Away From You)

Wind / Windy

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Wind (the breezy kind). [More info]

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” ~ Henry Ford

Being a Floridian fifty years, I’m no stranger to wind. So it seems to me I should be able to write so much about it, on demand even, but I’m finding it difficult. I began to write yesterday while still being affected by post-tropical storm Nestor. I wrote two paragraphs and stared at them about the span of half an hour then discarded them so swiftly as though I’d suddenly realized they were infected with a highly contagious pathogen. Why would anyone want to read this?
I tried again and achieved similar results.
A third time I began anew and only made it through two sentences before being disgusted by the way I arranged the words. Perhaps I am tired, I thought. So I slept.
As I young child, I recall days with family flying kites on a gentle breeze from the schoolyard. Had my wind-related experiences stayed in the neighborhood of kites and pinwheels and gentle ocean breezes, perhaps it would be easier to write about wind today. But then, how could I ever hope to convey the differences between the center of a hurricane and the center of a tornado had I not been intimate with both?
Minutes after I rose and with great determination, I attempted this article once more. Only minutes later, that disheartening realization of failure set in yet again.
Anyone near me knows of the anxiety I now feel, but how could one topic cripple me to this point where words will not flow?
But isn’t that how it often goes and with nearly any work-in-progress? When it comes to matters of the mind, a work might be ‘in progress’ quite a long time.
Perhaps I am tired.
Perhaps tomorrow the words will flow freely.
Perhaps this tale isn’t so much about wind as it is about writing and about those spaces between words. ~ Earl Chinnici

Relaxed Friday 2

This marks the second ‘Relaxed Friday’ we’ve hosted but unfortunately the first was apparently so relaxed, we failed to create a collaborative article. What can we say? Relax already. Don’t judge.

Here’s the scoop on #CleanWIP ‘Relaxed Fridays.’

  • NO THEME – We’re encouraging authors to take advantage of ‘Relaxed Fridays’ by sharing interesting lines without the usual concern of whether an excerpt matches our announced theme.
  • WIP OR PUBLISHED WORK – Since every published work was once a work-in-progress, we want to see the polished product—but only on Fridays because CleanPublishedWorks Magazine didn’t sound right to our ears.
  • PURCHASE LINKS WELCOME – Since we’re sharing lines from published works on Fridays, we want a quick way to purchase something that catches our attention.
  • #CleanWIP NOT REQUIRED – Say what?! – This isn’t a mistake—or at least we hope it isn’t. Authors who have joined us in the CleanWIP Facebook group can also share links on the Relaxed Friday thread there to other hashtag game posts as well as pretty much any fun sort of thing readers are sure to love.
  • RELAX – It’s nearly the weekend. Why stress?

Fun Granny Excerpt!
By Jessica Marie Holt
“Henry, listen. That is Samantha Cooper at the door. She needs our help because she’s having . . . lady-troubles. Would you mind very much making yourself scarce for a while?”
Henry stared at her skeptically. “Lady-troubles?”
“Yes. Very personal lady-troubles.”
The doorbell rang again four times in a row. June jumped slightly. “Here, Henry,” she said, hurriedly shoving cookies into his hands. “Take these with you. Fresh out of the oven. You can eat them upstairs, In bed, if you want!”
Henry’s eyes widened, and his brow furrowed. “I can eat them . . . in bed,” he said slowly.
“Yes, yes! I’ll even let you read to me later from that book you like so much, and I won’t fall asleep this time,” she said.
Henry stared at the cookies with a familiar gleam in his eye. “Lady troubles.”
“Lots of lady-troubles,” said Ellie, nodding.
Henry shook his head. “All right. But I’m keeping an eye on you two.”
“Yes, Henry. You do that. But later.”

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#mysky now ❤️

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From a WIP by CleanWIP Magazine’s very own Earl Chinnici – ~ We didn’t set out to be heroes, but heroes we became. I’m sure you’ve seen our faces on billboards and subway walls. We’re uncanny symbols of America’s determination and resilience. Some people claim we’re not human; some claim we’re not real. We want you to know we are. We do have feelings. ~

Finish

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

“There is nothing so fatal to character as half finished tasks.” ~ David Lloyd George

Even after I began to mention to a few close friends and family members that I was writing a book, I was not entirely sure I could finish it. ~ Earl Chinnici

Middle

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

Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides. ~ Margaret Thatcher

Tomorrow

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

“The trouble is, you think you have time
You think tomorrow’s always coming down the line
Then one day you wake up and you find
The trouble is, you thought you had time”
~ Dean Brody “Time”

Editor’s Challenge: Pick one of those “special cigarettes,” such as the one you always smoke immediately after breakfast or lunch, and skip it tomorrow. Do not smoke that one cigarette. Tell yourself you will have to wait a specific amount of time after that special event before you ignite a cigarette. What is so special about a cigarette anyway?

Today

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

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” ~ Steve Jobs

Many todays have passed since February 28, 2013, when I watched and photographed that gorgeous sunset, some pleasant and fun and some delightfully uneventful. But then there were those todays that were frightening and those todays that were tragic… and those todays that were both frightening and tragic … some day, I’d like to share so much more with you, but there isn’t time to take you there today. Let’s make the most of this today.

Yesterday

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Yesterday. [More info] Because it is a collaborative article, it will likely be larger tomorrow than it is today. I hope this doesn’t confuse the authors. You see, tomorrow’s theme is today and Tuesday’s theme is tomorrow, but today’s theme is yesterday. When I first mentioned today’s theme to author Jessica Marie Holt she replied, “I only use this word in dialogue, and apparently it doesn’t come up often! But, tomorrow is another day!” Yes it is, Jessica. Tomorrow is today.

“I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

We’re scouting for clean content today based on the theme, especially lines from author’s current works-in-progress. We’ll update this page throughout the day. Be sure to check back.

Raisin Cookies, Holidays, and Other Taboos

By Earl Chinnici, owner / operator of CleanWIP Magazine.

I’m a peculiar person and I suspect you are too. I guess that’s okay. If you were like me or I was like you and everyone else was like us, things could get monotonous in a hurry. Trouble is, several of my peculiarities likely have been named and a strange tone of voice applied each time they are mentioned in public. I don’t know, nor do I want to know, those names.

If you’ve spent any time at all on Twitter, I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of users announce in their bios that RTs ≠ endorsements. Sometimes, a user will even spell it out for the viewer, retweets do not equal endorsements. It’s like, make no mistake, since these people were so kind recently when they retweeted my new release apocalyptic steampunk romantic comedy, I’m letting them know I appreciate it by retweeting their raisin cookie recipe—even though I personally despise raisin cookies. And some people feel this way about holidays and some feel this way about opossums and some feel this way about cats, and some feel this way about caterpillars, and if you pick any item that can be named and ask around about it, somebody somewhere feels the same way about it too. But this magazine isn’t about them and ultimately, it isn’t about me either. It is about the authors who market their books as clean and the readers who love them.

Reading is paramount. Even though I can’t always feel great about every book or teaser we include here, I can feel great about promoting literacy. Perhaps somebody needs to read Caterpillars in Space Eating Raisin Cookies to pave the way for Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Bottom line: I intend to and will put forth a great effort to include in CleanWIP Magazine a wide variety of the things I know readers love, even though the likely-named peculiarities within me will certainly at times cause me great anxiety about some of the things I share here.

In addition, some materials for this site are submitted by others. I don’t necessarily share their opinions and they don’t necessarily endorse this site, although some will. Some guests may also write material which is not suitable for all ages. Please use discretion when following links.

So authors, bring on those raisin cookies, holidays, and other taboos! So long as you feel confident about marketing your writing as clean and your works are respectful of others, join in the #CleanWIP hashtag game for authors and if you’re also interested in enjoying the benefits of an ‘open door’ of communication regarding special events and promotions, your book deals, new releases and newest news, join the CleanWIP Facebook author group as well.

By all means, feel free to share this article with others. After all, retweets do not equal endorsements.

Early Contributors

A heartfelt thank you from CleanWIP Magazine owner/operator Earl Chinnici.

When I decided to announce my desire to host the #CleanWIP author hashtag game, I had already been helping to administrate a Facebook group of around 3500 awesome authors of clean fiction for more than a couple years. Committing to the extra time involved worried me some, but I felt the game would help these authors, many of whom had become friends, to gain exposure and become even stronger authors through the sentence-level scrutiny of a publicly displayed author hashtag game. I also figured my own Twitter profile could stand the extra traffic.

While I contemplated the logistics of hosting such a game, a whirlwind unfolded before my eyes—right there in the ‘Trends’ section—and before I gave it a second thought, I clicked on the #1 spot.

It would be easy for me to say I wish I hadn’t, but it would not be truthful to say that now that I’ve taken time to consider all things. Though my spirit was once again troubled and my mind weary from the nearly constant vitriol of hatred the ‘trends’ section seems to promote, it was time to turn the page. It was apparent at that moment. A new chapter awaits.

Thank you to everyone who has already shown interest in CleanWIP Magazine, the #CleanWIP hashtag game, and the CleanWIP Facebook author group that helps tie everything together under one figurative roof. I greatly appreciate the continued and the newly found support. I look forward to showcasing examples of your clean content here and presenting it to readers who are most likely to love it.