Saturday, 19 May 2018

Guest Author Janice Spina of New Hampshire.


 

The Scribbler is pleased to have Janice Spina returning to share her thoughts in a 4Q Interview. We have been fortunate to have Janice visit before and share an excerpt from How Far is Heaven.

If you missed it, click here.

 
 
 
 

Janice is an award-winning author with 20 books ranging from PS-Grade to 18+. She has 11 young children’s books, five middle-grade/preteen/YA books and three novels and a short story collection. Her children’s books are written in rhyme with life lessons. Janice writes under J.E. Spina for her novels. She is a copy editor, blogger, avid reader and reviewer and supporter of her fellow authors.

She has been writing poetry since the age of nine years old. She has always wanted to be an author but didn’t realize her dream until after she retired from an administrative secretarial position in a school system in Massachusetts. She published her first book in 2013 and hasn’t stopped since. When her books started to win awards in 2016 she became more confident and realized that this is what she wanted to continue to do.

She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, John, who is her illustrator and cover creator. Together they plan to continue to create more books for all ages.


Janice loves to hear from readers and welcomes reviews of her books. Her logo is Jemsbooks – books for all ages! Her motto is Reading Gives You Wings to Fly! Soar with Jemsbooks! Her goal is to encourage children of all ages to read.

When she isn’t writing she enjoys crocheting, walking to stay fit, going out to the movies and dinner with her husband and spending time with her grandchildren.

 

 
 
 
4Q: You have 11 children’s books and 5 mid-grade to your credit. What is it that draws you to writing for this age group which must be difficult?

JS: What draws me to writing books for children and middle-graders is the fact that they make me feel young again. These books are fun to write and bring me back to my childhood. I guess I am a child at heart. It also helps to have five grandchildren who inspire me to write.
 
 
 

4Q: Tell us about your latest work as well as your partner that does the illustrations for you.

JS: When I received requests from a few readers for a series for girls I decided to write one to keep my readers happy. A month ago I began working on the new series which is a spin-off of my Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series Book 5. The two girls who appeared in book 5 will have their own mysteries and adventures in this series. I hope to write the first two books this year.

Now about my other half, I call him the silent partner. John doesn’t want to be in the limelight or take credit for anything. He is a talented illustrator and cover creator besides being a wonderful husband. He has a doctorate in Educational Administration. He was retired from being a Supervising Principal in a K-8 Grammar School in Massachusetts for seven years when I asked him if he would be my illustrator. He already could draw and paint so I figured illustrating should be a piece of cake for him. He was reluctant to take on this new venture but after convincing him that we would save money if he did, he agreed.

It was a learning curve at first for both of us with all the rules and regulations to complete before publishing. He has successfully completed illustrations for 11 children’s books, 5 MG books and covers for all 20 of my books. He is currently working on my first fairy tale which we hope to publish over the summer.

We work well together and seldom argue. He knows who is the boss. Ha! I do have final say about covers but not always on the illustrations. After all, he is the artist here. I’m only the author.

 
 
 
4Q: Please share a childhood anecdote of memory.

JS: I had a happy childhood but nothing exciting to talk about. Some of my happiest times were when my father brought my brother and me to the beach to pick periwinkles. I always loved the ocean, eating all kinds of seafood, the briny smell in the air, the joy of finding my first periwinkles and seeing all the little creatures each time I turned over another rock. It was even more special because I got to spend time with my dad.

 
 
4Q: What’s next on your agenda?

JS: I always have another idea going around in my head. Two books sit in the wings that need edits – a YA fantasy series book 1 and a historical novel. There is the early beginnings of a romantic mystery awaiting my attention. I also plan to write book 6 of Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series once I complete books 1 & 2 of the girls’ series.

There is no end to the books I plan to write from all the ideas that keep coming along. When I write all I need is a title and off I go.
 
 



Thank you, Allan, for extending this invitation to be a guest today. I had a lovely time sharing a little about myself and my books.

 

Thank you, Janice, for being our featured guest this week.

For you readers that want to know more about Janice and where to buy her novels, please follow these links:





Saturday, 12 May 2018

Guest Partners Judy Savoie & Gilbert Babin. Author & Musician





Partners!
The Scribbler is running a series of creative people that happen to be partners with other creative people. The third part of this series includes one former guest to the Scribbler, poet and author Judy Savoie (previous visit) and her musician partner Gilbert Babin. They have agreed to a 4Q Interview.









From NB to PEI to NS, Gilbert and Judy discover and indulge in the everyday richness of landscapes. Inspired by beaches, sunsets, wharfs, lighthouses, local people, and events, the couple capture the beauty of their rustic travels into a tapestry of poetry, music and photography.

 




 Undeniably a unique journey in time and nature - a soothing experience cultivated solely by the scopes of their imagination and creativity.


Judy is the author of two books. ‘Serendipity’ (2015) is a collection of poetry, prose and song lyrics. It expresses a love of music, photography and nature - all elements nurtured by life spent near the beauty of the ocean. The second book ‘All About Hats’ (2016) contains lighthearted, interesting stories, poetry and historical facts on the influential role of hats affecting all world cultures for countless centuries. It is based on research and collaborating personal experience with a life-long passion for hats.
 
 
 
 
 
Both books are available on lulu.com at: http:\\www.lulu.com/shop/judysavoie/serendipity and http:\\www.lulu.com/shop/judysavoie/simply-about-hats, contacting her on her Facebook writer page at http\\facebook@judysavoiewriter, in person, or at related events.


Gilbert Babin is an Acadian singer-songwriter and instrumentalist. His songs, usually inspired by local events and places, contain a subtle Acadian poetry that can easily go unnoticed to the inattentive ear. He strives for musical simplicity and prefers creating songs that can be performed with only guitar and voice. His repertoire, consisting of 40 original and close to 100 traditional French songs, makes him very suitable for francophone cultural events and wild Acadian kitchen parties.









Q4: First question is for you Judy. Please tell us how your writing is going and what has taken place since your last visit.




JS: After my last book (Simply About Hats) was completed and our last visit in 2016, my momentum slowed down to almost a halt for about a year. It was a demanding challenge to write two books within a year apart.




The ice storm of January 2017 prompted me to turn to the pen for comfort during a complete blackout. The office I worked at closed early in the afternoon due to an unexpected major storm rapidly picking up intensity. My partner was working out of town at the time. I was totally unprepared for a treacherous two hour nerve-racking drive alone in my car from work in the city to our house in a rural community that normally would be a half hour drive. My car was very low in gas, with gas stations being shut down throughout the province due to power outages. As I plowed my way into the driveway, I felt such relief to finally be home safely. Within minutes, my car was encased in a solid sheet of ice and snow. As I got into the house, my heart sunk again, realizing I was without electricity, heat, light, or food (no time to shop), and my cell phone had become uncharged quickly as my car charger was not working properly. It turned dark very early, and I had absolutely no sense of time, no means of communication, and my only source of light was a small LED flashlight. Although the experience was frightening and foreign, my barely legible handwritten notes from a night of insomnia, turned out to be one of my best and favourite pieces, entitled "Ice King Serenade". I continued writing more frequently after that.




I was also motivated when I found many miscellaneous notes and journals of our day trips together, abandoned poems and ideas. I merged old and new pieces together to create an 85-page manuscript - poems were transformed into songs, journal entries into poetry, prose or lyrics, and a number of them deleted. It now has around 50 pages after many revisions. It will be a continuum of 'Serendipity' - another collage of poetry, prose and song, and photography. The prominent theme is nature, time and morality. The progression of my writing style is evident.

 

 
 
Last summer, I began to organize over 50,000 photos on my laptop into categories to simplify finding images for my next book, cd cover designs and other projects I have on the go. It is a lengthy ongoing work in progress.





Q4: How long have you been playing guitar and singing Gilbert. Has music always been a big part of your life?




GB: I started playing guitar at the age of 14. Supposedly, I told my family that I was going to my room and not coming until I knew how to play. Not sure how long I stayed in my room but did come out with an understanding of music. Months later someone pointed out that, my guitar was tuned wrong and I had to relearn how to play. I am entirely self-taught and learned through experimentation and observation. Music has been quite a journey and yes it has become a big part of my life. On the social side, most of my friends are musicians and on the spiritual side I still connect to higher levels through my instrument.

 


 

 
Singing however, was not a journey, it’s more like a necessary evil. My father and family always said I couldn’t sing and made fun of my singing so I only sang when I was alone. It was only in my mid-thirties that I started singing in front of people. I was writing a lot of songs, and the only way to get them heard was to sing them. Although I didn’t have a good voice, people would listen attentively to my lyrics which encouraged me to continue. My voice has improved since then.





Q4: You write many songs also Judy and collaborate with Gilbert. How does song writing (if it does) differ from your usual writing habits?



JS: I’ve come a long way in writing song lyrics since I started over five years ago. It has really evolved naturally but I still have much more to learn. My writing habits, whether it is poetry, prose, or music, are acquired through trial and error, constantly changing, yet flowing progressively in a way.


Initially, I separated writing poetry/prose from song writing. In both cases, the ideas or thoughts were put down, even if only a few words. In song writing, I get drawn to guitar instrumentals that Gilbert composes, and if it has a title, I instinctively know it must have words. The biggest challenge in song writing is that in music, there are beats and rhythmic patterns, as well the rhymes, which are slightly more complex to prepare than in poetry. That is the part I enjoy. I've also translated a few of his French songs into English. More recently, several of my older mediocre poems were converted into beautiful songs fitting perfectly like a puzzle. Using my cell phone, I have saved and recorded well over 500 spontaneous, one-of-a-kind short instrumental clips created in the middle of the night which I can listen to carefully whenever I want to.

Whether existing poem or new lyrics, the words are revised. When the lyrics flow well, I am eager for feedback. If it is solid, we try to record a fresh new instrumental track for me to practice on, followed by recording voice with lyrics as a draft.


I still write lyrics to Gilbert's creations, but not as frequently as at the beginning. Although I have written over 25 songs in five years, not all are ready for recording, and a few are incomplete.
 






Q4: You recently put together a CD of original Acadian songs Gilbert. Tell us about the songs and the recording process.

 



 

 
GB: I was not planning to make a cd at all. The dentist had removed one of my teeth and I thought that it had improved my voice. I was scheduled to get an implant the next day, so I decided to record a few songs in my home studio while the missing tooth made my voice better.

I just sat down and quickly laid the guitar tracks for 12 French folk songs. I then did the voice tracks for all songs. I then mixed the tracks into songs and burned a mp3 versions of the songs to a cd. I got the dental surgery done and held ice on my face for a few days. Judy and I started playing the CD in the car and were surprised at the quality of the recording. Sounded as good as most other musicians CDs. The more we listened to the songs, the more we liked them.



I called the sound engineer who had worked on my first instrumental CD to see if he could remix and master the tracks. Mastering is an important part of the CD creation process and it usually is best to let professionals do it. Unfortunately, I was working out of town and I just could not find any suitable time to meet with the sound engineer. I really wanted to see how the CD would sound like if mastered. Therefore, I decided to learn how to mix and master a CD. I did not expect that part to be so hard but it took me almost 2 months to learn the techniques required to produce a good quality audio cd. After many failed attempts, and making every possible mistake imaginable, I managed to create a master CD that sounds good on many devices.
A professional studio might do a bit better, but not enough to justify the investment at this point.

Luckily, that night before the dental surgery, I had recorded 12 songs without a single mistake. Out of these 12, I was able to master eleven, which is enough for a CD.




Q4: We are going to cheat this week and slip in a fifth question that you can both answer. What’s in the immediate future for both of you?


JS: My manuscript for the third book is nearing completion and will soon be ready for editing and publishing.

We've considered having a small show with an ensemble of our own original music, and once our books and CDs are complete, perhaps another book/cd launch will be planned. 





I also hope to design more of Gilbert's cd covers and inserts. Who knows - maybe our creative versatility will ultimately be the foundation for future careers, to help others, and at the same time to have fun!


GB: My next project is a CD of Acadian Songs.










Thank you both for sharing your thoughts. Links for “the partners” are listed below.




You can follow Judy's facebook writer page, which has samples of several songs, photo slideshows and her writing endeavours at:
 


Gilbert's music can be listened to and found at: 
 
https://gilbertbabin.bandcamp.com/album/un-peu-folk
or on facebook in English or French musician pages at: http\\facebook@GilbertBabinmusician (English), http\\facebook@GilbertBabinmusicien (French)




Friday, 4 May 2018

Guest Author Ana Rubio-Serrano of Spain




Ana Rubio-Serrano is our featured guest this week. We are extremely pleased to have her share her thoughts with a 4Q Interview.



Over 20 publications in different languages do
credit to Ana Rubio-Serrano as an international author. She is specialized in behavioral ethics. She has written various non-fiction books. Most famously, "The Nazis and Evil. The Annihilation of the Human Being." Ana has also written several articles on humanities, coaching in values and translated historical, cultural and educational books.



A storyteller by birth, an author by heart, Ana adapts writing style to different audiences and genres. Creative and versatile, she authentically connects with the thoughts and feelings of others. Her goal is to make meaningful work that inspires and motivates others to grow. Her motto: “It’s Time for Storytelling by Changing Minds, Shaping Brains.”



Ana is a Doctor Staff Member at the University of Barcelona and served as a visiting Professor at the Faculty of Theology of Catalonia, and at the University of Barcelona.


 
 
 
4Q. I was immediately captivated by the cover and subject matter of your book – The Nazis and Evil - subtitled, The Annihilation of the Human Being. Needless to say, this book moved to the top of my reading list. Please tell our readers about it.

 

ARS: The book is about the Nazi Totalitarianism: how ordinary people became faceless murderers and murderers by choice. The writing seeks to forge a closer view of the Nazis who went on a journey into Darkness by making Evil an acceptable commodity. It is not focused on atrocities, but on the cause and know-how.

The fact-based shows as Nazism opened the door wide to global terrorism. It designed a legal murderous global state where no one was safe, not even the German people themselves. The enemy was anyone to think freely for themselves, in a manner contrary to rules dictated to the Nazis. Aryans were merely “manufactured individuals”, clones designed for violence.

The reader will discover the socialization of crime promoted by law through violence turned into a culture in the regime.

This is a current book that reflects on the past and offers us questions on the present.
  
 

4Q: There were many compelling reviews on amazon about your book. What made you want to write it?
 





ARS: While working on my dissertation about Nazism and Holocaust, I realized that the Second World War was not just another war against an enemy, but a plan of extermination of the whole human being. Then, I started doing research: how Nazism worked, why, its goals…

Twenty years later, Steven Spielberg reflected on his movie, “Schindler’s List” saying: “I feel so blessed I had the opportunity to tell this story.” Looking back, I am also proud of having written this book.

It has not been easy at all. When one discovers the hidden purpose beyond the atrocities and the fine line between being ordinary people and becoming murderers, frankly, this has all come as a bit of a shock. The faith in the humanity is going through a crisis.

On my way, I met some survivors who taught me a valuable lesson: “The human being always deserves another opportunity. Every human being is responsible for the other.” They did give me a precious gift.

 

4Q: Please share a childhood anecdote or fond memory.

ARS: Memories clear visible come to me. It seems like only yesterday. “My brother and I’s favorite day is Friday. It’s 5:30 p.m., we sit down on the floor and are wide-eyed with amazement. In front of us, our granny, Anne. It’s time for storytelling!

And yes, of course, we have a favorite tale, “The three little pigs.” When the big bad wolf blows the houses, so do we all together. We blow, get up and run one after the other. Then, laughs and my brother and I sit down again cross-legged.

Sitting in her rocking chair, our granny Anne looks in suspense at us and… there they were, the four characters of the tale show their faces. The wolf and the three little pigs turned into marionettes. How exciting it was!

Our granny Anne was a gifted dressmaker and a brilliant storyteller. We had a great time. She knew how to amaze us!

 

4Q: What can we expect from Ana Rubio-Serrano the author in the future?

 

ARS: Well, I have different projects. I will continue writing non-fiction books, and I have a challenge that gives me a thrill: a short story for teenagers and a novel. I’m not still sure what will come first.


Other non-fiction books about ethics and values will come. Although, I feel that my writing about Nazism and Holocaust is not over. A lot of readers ask me for more books on that subject.
 
 

 

Thank you, Ana, for being our guest this week and your insightful answers.

For those wishing to discover more about Ana and her writing, check out these links.

 

Saturday, 28 April 2018

The Whip! A short story by Allan Hudson.


Help me out here!





At one time, there was an Underground Railway that brought slaves from the deep south to different parts of the northern USA as well as Canada, including my home province of New Brunswick.

Imagine if you can that your son was owned by another person and could be bought and sold at anytime. A terrible thought.


I finished this short story a few weeks ago but I'm not sure if it's complete. I would like to add it to a forthcoming collection of short stories called "Boxes of Memories".

I need you to let me know what might be missing. Please leave me a comment below.

(copyright is held by the author)



May, 13, 1860

 


The whip snaps as it completes its arc, slashing a red bloody groove on the pale, delicate skin of the thirteen year old girl.  Her upper torso is naked, the blouse torn from her thin frame. Immature breasts are scrapping against the rough bark of the hemlock tree her arms and hands are bound to as she wails and shimmers from the deadly lash. Her tormented shrieks echo through the forest. Besides the dappled sun streaming through the leaves and boughs, the only other witnesses to the punishment is the two black slaves, mother and son, tied at the base of a hardwood tree close by, near enough that the horror in their eyes can be clearly seen.

The man holding the whip is a bounty hunter. Rough skinned, cold eyes and a scarred face make him as ugly as the tightly wound leather strap he wields. Hired by the richest plantation owner in South Carolina to find his runaways, Cletus Sawyer, intends to teach the young lady that helped them a lesson. Even though she’s white like him, he doesn’t care. When he presents his prisoners, there’s an extra forty dollars from the cotton baron for dissuading future intervention by the freedom lovers of Southern New Brunswick, where the Underground Railroad he followed has lead him. From the route they took, he knew they’d be here, he’s found others crossing over the St. Croix River before.

Raising the whip to strike again, his callous heart won’t listen to the pleas from the girl, the begging to stop. His arm is poised high in the air, the leather braids flowing from the handle are stretched taut as they reach their apogee. Seconds before the fall of the whip completes its trajectory, a loud blast shatters the air. A bullet tears through the back of Sawyer’s head exiting through the left eye.  The bounty hunter is dead before his foul body topples to the forest floor.

 
 
 
Three months earlier.

 

Melody is of the Kota Tribe of Gabon, Africa. Before she was abducted by slavers, her name was Akara.  The man that purchased her, Cyrus B. Sheppard, when examining her at the slave market of Charleston, both she and her son in shackles, commented to his overseer that this one looked too proud, too old, guessing her to be sixteen, to be tamed. Too much work. His advisor suggested to not fret over her jutted chin and hateful glare, he would handle that but instead, to study the young woman’s hips, pendulous breasts, already a mother so young. She would have many strong babies. Both regarded her as if she were an animal, selected for stock regeneration. Deeming his investment would be returned many times over, he purchased her and her child. It was not to be. (photo credit -snipview.com)

Six months of infertility was punished by grueling field work in addition to her role of child bearing. She had been serviced by the strongest bucks on the plantation. She resisted at first, yelling and kicking. Only when the roughest, smelliest white ranch hands were made to hold her, their presence more objectionable than there purpose, did she become compliant. The couplings were timed to her monthly administrations by the Negro midwife, to no avail. In the eyes of many of her suitors she saw lust, some of them expressed pity, only a few said forgive me. The punishment for the twelfth monthly flow of blood was the sale of her son.


The overseer, a heavy browed, mean individual named Dilly Perkins, is having them transported to the Fletcher plantation ten miles southeast, she for breeding and the boy for transfer of ownership, accompanied by two white men of Sheppard’s employ, both ruffians. A mud stained field wagon drawn by two sturdy draft horses is used. Melody and Moses are chained in the back, the men sitting up front. Perkins reminds them of the load they need to pick up after.

“Sam, Joey and Billy will follow y’all shortly and meet you at Castlemoor’s General Store. They’ll be staying in town for the night, Sheppard givin’ them a few days off but they’ll give ya hand with the load of feed we ordered. Now get outta here.”

The early afternoon sun is blistering, like a hot bellied stove roaring with dry wood. The tree line they enter is the only wooded area on their route. It extends easterly for almost a mile before cotton fields dominate the view on both sides once more. Around a long bend in the road, one side has a slight rise where the trees are much taller and their shadows partially cover the dirt road. The driver pulls to the left to take advantage of the shade. It’s a movement the two men hiding behind a large boulder a hundred feet ahead of them were planning for. They’re expecting them. There is no one around as far as can be seen on the open road. They believe no one will hear the gun shots.

The man driving the wagon is a drifter, young, gnarly beard and unkempt hair. The only clean and polished item on his body is the Colt single action firearm in his holster. He’s a deadly shot with it if he has time to draw. A slug enters his chest through the side and pulverizes his heart. His companion reeks of hard liquor and wears a sweat stained hat. The second shot takes him just above the left ear and the lid spins skyward. The horses panic and bolt. The momentum throws the two dead men backwards with one of them landing directly on top of Melody. She screams.

“Whoa, whoa!” someone shouts out. The horses obey the firm command and jerk the large wagon to a stop. The momentum shifts the dead body and Melody pushes it off. Blood from his wound smears her cotton smock. Moses is under the front seat crunched against the corner. His bottom lips quivers and fright owns his eyes. They both look up from their strained position, wrists in locks, chained loosely to the sideboard. A man glares down in the wagon, the sun shines in her eyes and only the shape of his head and wild hair is visible. When he moves it in front of the sun his eyes are sad but his voice hopeful, his skin is white.

“Are you okay Ma’am?”

Melody has never been called Ma’am. She wonders who he is talking to casting her eyes about. Moses stares at the tall person, quieted by the events, knowing not to complain, not to cry, someone will hurt him.

“No, you Maam,” he says pointing at her, “are you alright?

She shakes her head, unsure how to react.

The man steps back while she sits up, pulling Moses to her side, dragging his chain closer. Pulling himself up on the ladder on the front right, he can see the shackles that redden the skin around her wrists and those of the boy. Another man approaches the wagon. His skin is black, black as raven’s feathers. Climbing up into the driver’s seat, he pushes the other body aside. Kneels over the back to stare down at the sorriest sight he never gets used to. Their eyes lock in some form of instant communication, the sameness of their skin bonds them immediately. Hope overcomes despair. He dispels any fears with a friendly nod. The white man points at the dead bodies lying in the wagon.

“Those scum must have the keys to the shackles Adisa, dig through their pockets and get these poor folk loose.”

“Will do Mistuh Jones. We needs to get this wagon gone too Mistuh Jones?”

“We will Adisa. We’ll get these folks out first.”

Melody is not sure of what is happening. With a racing heart, anticipation shines in her eyes but she’s known too much disappointment to cling to anything hopeful. She watches the black man straddle the sideboard and begin to rifle the pockets of the dead men at her feet. He smiles at her when he tells her she’ll soon be free.

“Free?” she asks. The word seems foreign.

“Yeah, we goin’ to get ya free ma’am but yous goin’ to have ta hurry.”

Finding a skeleton key in the pants pocket of the bearded man, he steps over the body and unlocks the restraints from Moses first, then Melody.

“What’s your name, missy?”

She speaks unsure and leery.

“Mine’s Melody and this here’s Moses.”

“Well ain’t he a handsome young man. Mine’s Adisa and that genl’man’s Mistuh Jones. But no time to get friendly, we need to move now missy.”

Jones urges Adisa to get the wagon moving. He will abandon it and the bodies in an empty field where it will go unnoticed for many days.  Jones, Melody and Moses are heading towards the woods when around the bend come horses being ridden hard, startling them into a brisker run. The three horsemen heard the shots and figured there was trouble. Seeing the black woman and boy with a white man running towards the woods and the fleeing wagon, they know something is wrong. When the trio enters the woods, a gunshot ricochets off a boulder grazing Jones in the lower leg. He falls to the ground, rolls towards the boulder and yells to Melody.

“Go on, get to the end of the path, cross the river, it’s not deep and head across the valley towards a small thicket of trees near a dirt road and there will be someone there to get you to safety. Hurry! I’ll hold these men off.”

Melody grasps her son’s hand and runs. Jones starts to return fire. He checks to see the cloud of dust that Adisa makes with the fleeing wagon and watches one of the men veer off to pursue him. The other two have dismounted and are in a crevice at the edge of the road. Taking careful aim, Jones takes one out with a bullet to the temple. The other man is hunkered down cowardly where Jones can’t see him. A shot rings out from up the road and the third rider is thrown from his horse. Jones grins, knowing Adisa is deadly with a rifle even when firing from a moving wagon. The distraction gives the man in the ditch a brief moment to run to his horse. Jones fires after the weaving target but his shots are wide and the man is able to mount the moving horse to gallop back the way he came. Jones stands and limps deeper in the path where his horse is tethered. Both he and Adisa rode here from the field where they left Adisa’s horse so he could return to Jones’ farm. He has no time to worry about the escaped slaves.

 

***

The dogs following her scent, the men bearing guns on their horses, can be heard across the valley. The woman and child they are hunting hasten through tall grasses towards a wooded grove where her transport awaits. At least in her highest hope it awaits. Her heart pounds in her chest like the clomping of the heavy hooves that pursue her. She can feel the beating of a smaller heart, frightened, pulsing through her clenched hand as she tows her young son behind her. She thinks only of him who has been sold to another cotton farmer, a simple exchange of a life of servitude for one hundred dollars.  She hates them. Fear and loathing drive her on.  

It will take thirty-two days of hiding and running until they arrive in New Brunswick. When the bounty hunter shows up, Melody and Moses will have been free for sixty days.

 

***

Cletus Sawyer lies dead between the captives. Surprise is etched forever on his face, except in the hole where the left eye was, other than that he looks just as mean. The young girl moans softly, red welts on her flaxen skin are obscene. Melody and Moses tremble in their bonds, unable to see where the shot came from. A soft noise of crunching leaves betray someone’s approach. The smell of gunpowder slips by more casually. A man shadows them, stopping several feet away.  A wide hat, dark clothing, dark skin hides his identity. It’s only when he speaks does Melody gasp.

“I knowed if I looked hard enough I’d find ya Melody. You won’t have ta look over yur shoulder no more. Adisa will take care of ya.”
 
 
 
 
 

The End
 
I would be forever grateful if you left a comment telling me what you think of the story. Don't be shy!
Thank you for visiting the Scribbler.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Guests Nicole Tremblay & Zev Bagel - artist & author - of Shediac, NB


Partners!

The Scribbler is running a series of creative people that happen to be partners with other creative people. The second part of this series includes two former guests to the Scribbler, visual artist Nicole Tremblay and author Zev Bagel. They are back as a team for a 4Q Interview.


 Zev's previous visit can be viewed here , Nicole's here .




**Of special note, Moncton's famous Frye festival begins this week and as a kickoff, Zev will be reading from his work, along with other authors at the Shediac Frye Fringe Fest.




4Q: First question is for you Nicole.  Since your previous visit to the Scribbler, you have completed many beautiful paintings. Which one is your favorite and why? Please share what inspired the painting.





NT: Well…..isn’t this a bit like asking one…and which one is your favourite child? HAHAHA!  I would say that there is always a certain part of a painting that brings it together and gives me the big YES!  Some paintings are much quicker than others giving that ‘yes feeling’.  I do not really plan a painting… I might have a colour in mind and I start building up the background – I love  colour and texture.  I cover the surface with paint, collage, stencils until it takes a form/shape I can feel and then go on…it can sometimes be a rather long process….and then it happens.  I listen to music while I paint. Chris Rea is probably my favourite singer/musician and will often inspire the title of the piece I’m working on.


4Q: I’ve recently completed your latest novel Zev, Secrets, and I enjoyed it very much. Please tell our readers about the story.

ZB: Most of my books are based on real events or personal experiences. Secrets is pure fiction. Well, almost.  I was a life-coach for thirty years, and would never divulge the secrets people told me. The idea for this book came when I thought “What if a psychopath became a life-coach?” Imagine what such a person could do with the secrets he heard. So here’s a man who arrives in New Brunswick, decides to become a life-coach and takes on clients, opening the way to fraud, blackmail and murder. Getting into the mind of such a character was frighteningly easy! It must have helped that an undercurrent of humour pervades the mayhem.

4Q: You have an exposition at present Nicole at Café C’est La Vie in Moncton, NB in which many of your paintings are on display until mid April. Where else can your paintings be viewed and/or purchased?

NT: The exhibit at Café C’est la vie will come down on Monday April 30th. Zev and I will be at the Shediac Market in the Park every Sunday from June 3 to September 30 (9am-2pm) rain or shine.   Friday evenings (6-10pm) July and August (check newspapers for dates) you can find us at the Allée des Artistes off Main Street in Shediac.  We will have books, paintings, poems and cards.   Viewings can also be arranged by appointments (506) 351-0645.


4Q: Your latest novel which you discussed above was published by Museitup Publishers and in the last section of the book, it tells us that there are 5 more novels waiting for publication. Care to tell us about any of them, or perhaps all of them.

ZB: The titles awaiting publication by MuseItUp are: The Last Jew in Hania, Bender’s Box, State of Flux and Lost. I have just completed my latest, which is called Solitary. This last one is about a Canadian who is in solitary confinement in Iran’s notorious Evin prison. He befriends an Iranian prisoner by communicating through a hole in the wall. Some of the story is based on the family history told to me by an Iranian-Canadian friend. This was the hardest book for me to write, since I had to get into the head of someone enduring forced confinement willing himself to survive. The relationship between the two prisoners is what lifts the story.


4Q: We are going to cheat this week and slip in a fifth question. What’s in the immediate future for both of you?




NT:  Having fun, working on my next art projects, going to workshops, travelling.

ZB: The immediate future is now, which is where I like to be. Now is good. I’m between novels right now, and enjoy writing poems to Nicole’s paintings. We have some travel plans, and will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary while we’re away. As for the next book – inspiration awaits.

Thank you both for sharing your thoughts. I'm very happy to say that I own two of Nicole's paintings and enjoy them daily. It is my hope to add more to my collection. I have also collected Zev's novels and am looking forward to the coming stories.