Tag #96: “Do I Have That Other Book Challenge”

This is my bookshelf in my office!

I saw this on Lori’s blog, All Things Momma Blog, and decided to make my own post! It’s not a traditional tag, but a fun challenge!


Here’s what Lori writes: “The original of this challenge was fun and stressful and now there is another one. Hooray. Part two was created by Keeping Tabs and Current Chapter on youtube. It is a scavenger hunt type challenge with 20 prompts. You’re supposed to time yourself and see how fast you can find all of the books, but I’ll just be picking at the prompts over a couple of days when I have time to do so.”

I had a lot of fun with this. I was able to look at my entire bookshelf in a new light.


1. Do you have a book with a fox on the cover or part of the plot?

No.


2. Do you have a book that was published the year you were born, or within a 3 year radius?

Meet Kirsten was published in 1986. I was born in 1988.


3. Do you have a book with music as a weapon or magic?

No.


4. Do you have a series with mismatched covers?

No.


5. Do you have a book with a shapeshifter?

Fallible Justice, Laura Laakso (ARC).


6. Do you have a book signed by the author?

Columbine, Dave Cullen. Cullen came to my school, Longwood University, in the spring of 2010 to speak and promote his book. I was lucky enough to interview him for Longwood’s student newspaper, The Rotunda.


7. Do you have a book with a mostly red cover?

Finale, Thomas Mallon.


8. Do you have a book between 287 – 306 pages?

True Stories of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Kevin Dwyer and Jure Fiorillo – 249 pages.


9. Do you have a book with a main character who wears glasses?

More Than Enough: Claiming Space For Who You Are (No Matter What They Say), Elaine Welteroth


10. Do you have a book with a title that has the same number of letters as your first name?

No. Since I go by Laura Beth, apparently nine-letter titles are difficult.


11. Do you have a book with cybercrime/technology as a plot point?

The Alpha Drive, Kristen Martin.


12. Do you have book written in another language or translated to English?

No.


13. Do you have a book written by an Asian author?

Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng.


14. Do you have a book with a moon on the cover?

No.


15. Do you have an illustrated children’s book?

Thank You, Mr. Falker, Patricia Polacco.


16. Do you have a collection of fairy tales or myths?

No.


17. Do you have a sci-fi/fantasy with an alliance between races?

No.


18. Do you have a book with a narrow front cover? (paperback with a front cover that is slightly trimmed shorter/narrower than the rest of the book)

No.


19. Do you have a book that includes the first chapter of the sequel?

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins.


20. Do you have a book with a broken spine?

The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank. I’ve had my copy since middle school, I think.


I’m not tagging anyone for this challenge, but feel free to participate!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #248: “April AND May WIP Writing Prompt Challenge (extended): The Temporary Insanity of Our Empty Streets … CONTINUED”

Image Credit: The New York Times

Here’s the link to Didi’s challenge:

April and May WIP Writing Prompt Challenge (extended): The Temporary Insanity of Our Empty Streets … CONTINUED

As an Author/challenge joiner: All you need to do is use the characters from your WIP (work in progress), or even a published works, and plug them into the given scene for a short story style post. It can be funny, serious, deadly, really just whatever you want as long as it’s true to your characters (as in, what they would actually do in this situation)!! It’s a fun way to be creative with those personalities that you as their creator love so much. It’s also a fun way to introduce them to the world and your blogs, without giving away your plots and twists… Just pure ‘meet my characters, and get to know their personalities’ separate from their book.


Donning their cloth masks, Brennan and Kristin both sighed. A simple trip to the grocery store wasn’t simple anymore. It hadn’t been for weeks.

“Okay, B., let’s get in and get out. This is so stressful.”

Brennan reached over the center console and squeezed Kristin’s hand. He wanted to kiss her so badly. Usually, kissing started melting the stress away.

“I know, K. But, we’re here, together. We’re being safe. Right?”

Kristin winced. Everything had gotten harder. She was under the same roof as Brennan, in his own apartment, for the foreseeable future. She should be thrilled! But, then, the lockdown started. And it was driving both of them crazy.

Sure, they’d had a lot of sex, and were generally enjoying spending more time together. But, the simplest things were now so difficult. Brennan had been furloughed. He picked up two different virtual assistant jobs to make up for his one day job. Sitting behind a computer all day was draining. And Kristin, wanting to help keep the lights on and contribute, was able to score a temp job. But it was all online, too.

The apartment was big enough where they could separate for their jobs when they needed to. But, being stuck in a 750-square-foot apartment for days, weeks, and now months, was increasingly challenging.

“Let’s go over the list one more time, and then let’s get this over with.”

Brennan sighed. He loved Kristin, that part was obvious. But, this lockdown was not going the way he’d hoped. His emotions were all over the place. And he felt obligated to help keep Kristin from experiencing a full breakdown. He could see it coming – She was teetering on the edge.

“Okay, milk, eggs, bread, paper towels, bathroom cleaner, toilet paper, if we can find any …”

Kristin sat back in the passenger seat. Brennan saw the tears.

“K., look at me.”

She turned. Two tears spilled out, soaking into the blue floral fabric.

“I love you. I say that to you so much because that’s one thing that won’t be changing. Okay? We can do this. We’re together.”

Kristin sighed. “I love you, too, Brennan. I’m sorry. I feel like all I’m doing is apologizing.”

Brennan stroked her hand, remembering that he needed to use hand sanitizer again before they got out of the car.

“I know you’re sorry. I’m sorry, too. I feel like I haven’t been apologizing enough, you know?”

Kristin leaned over and brushed her lips to his forehead. “What do you feel you’re sorry for?”

Brennan’s eyes turned serious. “I feel bad for inviting you down here, with our colleges closed and shuttered, and then the full lockdown hit. I feel guilty. Maybe selfish, too.”

Kristin laughed slightly. “As frustrating as this lockdown has been, I can’t imagine being alone, living alone, right now. We’re together. We’re healthy. And we’re doing a lot of different things. Your apartment hasn’t been this clean, like, ever. We’re both working. There’s really nothing to feel guilty or selfish about.”

She paused. “Now, let’s get this trip over with. I want to get home, wipe everything down, and then get busy. You know, that busy. That’s the only selfish thing I want.”

Brennan smiled, squeezed her hand, and turned the car off.

“I’m feeling selfish like that, too. Lead the way, darling.”


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #244: Fall Fridays, Number 5

Image Credit: Unsplash

As the wonderful season of autumn / fall has started, I wanted to create an original writing prompt series to celebrate!

I invite everyone who sees this to participate, if you choose.

The idea is to look at the prompt, take at least five minutes on the Fridays during October 2019, and come up with a story/poem/scene, or whatever strikes your fancy with those words.

This has been extended from September! You can use the image at the top of this post – Just please make sure to credit it.

Ready?

Here we go!


  • October 4th: Corn Maze
  • October 11th: Hay Ride
  • October 18th: Football
  • October 25th: Halloween

As a child, Scotty always looked forward to the annual trip to the farm in the fall. Among the pumpkins, petting zoo, and scarecrows, his favorite thing was the hay ride.

He wasn’t alone. The hay ride was fun for many. The farmer climbed on his lumbering tractor. Scotty loved the sounds it made. The hay was itchy, but everyone had fun. They were supposed to sit on the bales and stay still while the tractor was moving. But, inevitably, a hay fight would break out. The boys loved stuffing the loose hay down each other’s shirts, and it would tangle in all the girls’ hair. The teachers were always annoyed, but the farmer always chuckled. He loved kids.

And Scotty loved someone. Kelly was a girl in the other kindergarten class, but their classes usually ended up on the same field trips.

In kindergarten, Scotty was brave enough to walk over to Kelly, sit next to her, and compliment her overalls.

In first grade, Kelly threw hay right in Scotty’s face. But then she giggled, apologized, and kissed him on the cheek.

In second grade, Scotty held her hand during the “haunted” section when she got scared.

In third grade, Scotty was hurt. Kelly ignored him the whole time.

In fourth grade, Kelly apologized, and they shared their first kiss. Everyone was agog.

As fifth grade started, Scotty was sad. Kelly had told him over the summer that she was moving away. Her dad, who was in the Coast Guard, was getting stationed across the country. She left the week before school started. Scotty kissed her cheek, and she held his hand before she climbed in the giant moving van.

The week the field trip happened, Scotty was really down. Going to the farm just wasn’t the same anymore. 

The day before the trip, Scotty’s eyes brightened when he got home from school. Another letter had arrived from Kelly. She talked about how beautiful it was in Washington state, but she missed school, her friends, Scotty, and the farm.

Scotty felt tears in his eyes as photos fell out of the envelope. Someone had taken photos at the farm every year, and there was a photo of them, together, during every hay ride.

He smiled, and asked his mom to frame them. She smiled, nodded, and Scotty had them in his room for years.

He never forgot about Kelly.

Those photos faded a bit over the years. But, they were still framed as they headed toward Scotty’s rehearsal dinner. Everyone oohed and aahed over childhood photos of the bride and groom.

Scotty smiled at his bride-to-be, looking gorgeous. He couldn’t wait to soak up every minute with her tonight, and then party the night away tomorrow.

There were hay bales everywhere. His bride smiled, and playfully threw a handful of loose hay in his face after the rehearsal dinner.

“I love you, Scotty.”

He dipped his head and kissed her. There was hay tangled in her hair. She was thrilled – She could hardly believe it. She still wore overalls, and was more in love with Scotty than ever.

“I love you, too, Kelly. Let’s get married!”


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #243: Fall Fridays, Number 4

Autumn Images

Image Credit: Unsplash

As the wonderful season of autumn / fall has started, I wanted to create an original writing prompt series to celebrate!

I invite everyone who sees this to participate, if you choose.

The idea is to look at the prompt, take at least five minutes on the Fridays during October 2019, and come up with a story/poem/scene, or whatever strikes your fancy with those words.

This has been extended from September! You can use the image at the top of this post – Just please make sure to credit it.

Ready?

Here we go!


  • October 4th: Corn Maze
  • October 11th: Hay Ride
  • October 18th: Football
  • October 25th: Halloween

Elisa felt so lost. There were signs everywhere, and she couldn’t tell which ones were real.

Jonathan was going in a different direction.

“Elisa! Over here!”

“Where are you? I can’t see you!”

She felt the panic rising.

The sun was setting. The farm was closing in 20 minutes.

“Elisa?”

“Jonathan!”

Even Jonathan was getting worried. This was a good corn maze – Tough to navigate, but still entertaining.

However, hearing his fiancee panic was not fun.

A low growl made the hairs stand up on the back of his neck.

“ELISA!! RUN!!”

“What?”

“Run, Elisa. Now!”

“Why?”

“JUST DO IT!”

Her Nikes flew.

The fastest she ran, the darkness caught up with her.

“Jonathan!”

“Elisa!”

“HELP!”

The darkness overtook her. The last thing Jonathan heard were her screams.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #242: “September WIP Challenge ANNIVERSARY”

September WIP Challenge Anniversary

Image found through Didi Oviatt

Didi has a lot to celebrate every September!

As for me, I celebrate my dating anniversary with Al every year on September 4th.

Here’s the link to Didi’s September WIP Challenge:


Will wanted make their 10th dating anniversary special. Their first date that September Saturday, 10 years before, changed both their lives forever.

Bethany had diagnosed anxiety, but her anxiety preparing for their 10th dating anniversary was especially high. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it. She wanted to impress Will, knock him out of the park, in some way.

Separately, they had shopped for new outfits. But, they were going to a familiar place. Back to where it all began.

In the driveway that wound around the side of their beautiful house, Will polished his red sports car to perfection. It made Bethany get those butterflies again. She thought about how her brother-in-law’s former girlfriend had pointed out the car was Will’s, all those years ago.

Red was a theme for them, quite by accident. Will’s sports car was red. The top that Bethany wore on their first date was red. It was far too small now, but Bethany never wanted to part with it. She wanted so badly to wear it for the momentous occasion, but she certainly wasn’t 120 pounds anymore.

And red was part of their colors for their beautiful fall wedding. Their 10th dating anniversary in September would be followed by their fifth wedding anniversary in November. They were finally taking a proper week off from work. It was going to be their first significant getaway since their first wedding anniversary. Sad, but true.

Bethany steadied herself as she emerged from the shower, still in the hazy fog of wonderful memories. The red dress she’d found through her favorite consignment group on Facebook had been hidden away for months. She couldn’t wait to surprise Will.

She heard the sports car start up, knowing Will would be inside in just a few minutes.

The door slammed shut, causing the dogs to bark. Will was so good with them. They were quiet again in a minute or two. Bethany didn’t have to say a word.

As Bethany toweled off her hair, she heard Will climb the stairs. She caught her breath.

He let out his customary wolf whistle as he saw the dress hanging on her closet door.

“Wow, Bethany.”

She smiled, opening the bathroom door a crack. Steam, perfume, and deodorant wafted through the air.

“You smell amazing, sweetheart.”

“Thank you, baby.”

“Wanna give me a sneak peek?”

She smiled, unable to resist.

Fooling around was going to make them late for dinner, but neither of them really cared. Bethany loved how Will took his time with her, and enjoyed every inch of her.

When they finished, Bethany flicked her towel at him as he headed toward the shower. She put on the dress, and realized her anxiety was gone.

The sports car shone in the September sunshine as Will drove toward the beach. Bethany felt the butterflies give way to nostalgia and excitement. They were going back to the restaurant where it all began.

Dinner felt like old times, but it was full of reminiscing and making new memories. The food was just as good as it had been 10 years ago.

The symphony was warming up for their concert series as Bethany and Will strolled the boardwalk. The only difference was the musical act, and maybe 10 years of age.

Bethany and Will laughed as they stopped around the same place where Will had kissed her for the first time. Memories flooded both them.

This time, Bethany spoke up first.

“I have something to tell you.”

“What’s that?”

“I’m pregnant.”

Bethany smiled and her eyes filled with tears as she watched Will’s face.

“Really?”

“Yes, really. I took a test this morning. I didn’t think it was true, but it is.”

Will wanted to pick her up and spin her around, but he just kissed her.

The stars and fireworks Bethany had felt 10 years earlier, on that boardwalk on a September Saturday, were still there. And now, they were starting another chapter.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #241: Fall Fridays, Number 3

Autumn Images

Image Credit: Unsplash

As the wonderful season of autumn / fall approaches us, I wanted to create an original writing prompt series to celebrate!

I invite everyone who sees this to participate, if you choose.

The idea is to look at the prompt, take at least five minutes on three Fridays in September 2019, and come up with a story/poem/scene, or whatever strikes your fancy with those words.

I may extend this further than the end of September, but we shall see. Until then, have fun! You can use the image at the top of this post – Just please make sure to credit it.

Ready?

Here we go!


  • September 13th: Apple Picking
  • September 20th: Fall Leaves
  • September 27th: Pumpkin Patch

The kids squealed as the bus kicked up dust. They were finally here.

“Field trip!”

Samantha turned toward the window, pressing her forehead to the cool glass. As a first- year teacher, she’d been all gung-ho when school started in early September. She’d had so many fun ideas for her second-grade class.

Now, on a hot bus with three second-grade classes, she was regretting so many things. Not becoming a teacher. Not that. She’d wanted to do that since she’d been in first grade. That was a dream come true.

But, if she’d thought a field trip with 47 kids to the local pumpkin patch on a Friday was a a good idea, she was quickly being proven wrong.

The bus had to be changed at the last minute. She’d experienced the wonderful laws of Murphy at least once every day this week.

She wanted the screaming to stop.

“Mrs. Davis! When can we get off the bus?”

Samantha smiled. The small, sweet voices of her kids were always welcome. It helped quiet the other screaming.

“Just a few more minutes, Ashlyn, okay? I need to do a head count and make sure everyone has their buddy. How does that sound?”

Eight-year-old Ashlyn smiled up at the raven-haired teacher. She’d wanted Mrs. Davis as her teacher this year, prayed for it, but had been assigned Mr. Frost instead.

“Could you go back to your seat, please?”

Ashlyn grinned. “Sure, Mrs. Davis. I’ve been looking forward to this field trip for days!”

Samantha smiled, and hoped Ashlyn hadn’t noticed the pained look in the 24-year-old’s eyes. Kids noticed everything. She knew it was a migraine. And the screaming was still there. Sometimes, she felt like a child, wanting to put her hands over her ears and squeezing her eyes shut, to block it all out.

She breathed deeply, three full times like her therapist had been teaching her. A welcome hush fell over the bus. As she stood next to the driver with the clipboard, all eyes focused on her.

“Okay, Treetop Elementary second-graders! Who’s ready to get this field trip started?”

The bus erupted. The kids’ yells and screams drowned out the others. Samantha smiled, grateful for the momentary distraction.

As Samantha ran through the rules, head count, buddies, and questions, she started to relax. Field trips were a lot of work. Almost too much. But, seeing the kids’ excitement bubbling over like a cauldron was completely worth it.

Mr. Frost looked at Samantha, giving her an encouraging nod. She appreciated the handful of colleagues that had already taken her under their wing. She was glad Mr. Frost and Ms. Gaddis were part of the second-grade team.

“Okay, Treetop second-graders! Let’s get off this bus and take over the pumpkin patch!”

As Samantha stepped aside, she was proud of the kids. They were respectful, and were following instructions and directions really well. Mr. Frost and Ms. Gaddis took over. Samantha stayed behind until the last kid was off the bus, checking for any stragglers or issues. Vomit was not fun, but important to look for.

Finding nothing amiss, Samantha let out another breath. Mr. Frost turned and gave her a thumbs-up.

She climbed off the bus, thanking the driver, smiling as the kids were ready to disappear into the sea of orange pumpkins and the rest of the fall colors.

The screaming was still there. But it wasn’t coming from the kids.

She steadied herself, focusing on a place to sit down. As she found a hay bale, the voices inside her head were telling her horrible things. Frightening things.

She looked up, trying desperately to focus on something else. Anything else. She smiled again as she watched the kids enjoy everything the pumpkin patch had to offer. And they’d only been there for five minutes.

She knew she couldn’t sit on the hay bale forever. At that moment, seven-year-old Fred came into Samantha’s view.

“Come on, Mrs. Davis! I picked out a pumpkin already!”

Samantha smiled. Fred took her hand, and pulled her toward his prize pumpkin, chattering about carving it, toasted pumpkin seeds, and picking out his Halloween costume.

She kept glancing at Fred. He was a godsend. All the kids were.

Fred’s small, excited voice drowned out the others. But, Samantha knew, with dread, the others, the scary ones, would return.


This concludes the September writing prompts!

I have decided to continue this series into October! Come back next Friday for another prompt post!

If you do decide to participate, please link back to this post. Thanks!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #240: Fall Fridays, Number 2

Autumn Images

Image Credit: Unsplash

As the wonderful season of autumn / fall approaches us, I wanted to create an original writing prompt series to celebrate!

I invite everyone who sees this to participate, if you choose.

The idea is to look at the prompt, take at least five minutes on three Fridays in September 2019, and come up with a story/poem/scene, or whatever strikes your fancy with those words.

I may extend this further than the end of September, but we shall see. Until then, have fun! You can use the image at the top of this post – Just please make sure to credit it.

Ready?

Here we go!


  • September 13th: Apple Picking
  • September 20th: Fall Leaves
  • September 27th: Pumpkin Patch

CW: This is a fictional story, but it does contain violence, guns, and characters who are minors.


The remaining fall leaves on the front lawn were scattered by shotgun blasts.

Adam’s eyes went wide as his wife expertly used the 20-gauge. He had reluctantly agreed to buy it as the leaves had started to turn, strictly as a home defense method after they’d moved into their new house over the summer.

He hadn’t seen Catherine so passionate in months, but he knew she was acting mainly in fear. She took all the safety classes, even joined three Facebook groups for shotgun owners and home defense.

He opened his mouth to say something, but Catherine’s eyes met his. His mouth closed as he reached for the baseball bat under the stairs. Catherine was in war mode.

The storm door, now peppered with pellet holes, made Adam wince, but knew Catherine was only using it because the threat was now real. This “gang” had been tormenting them for months, and Catherine finally had had enough on that cold day in late November.

“Get off my property! NOW!”

The gang, originally ready for what had looked like an easy break-in on the day after Thanksgiving, slowly realized the shotgun was aimed at them.

“Guys, we should go.”

“Yeah, yeah, that’s probably a good idea.”

“We picked the wrong house.”

“RUN!”

The gang backed up, almost in unison, and crunched the red and orange maple leaves as their sneakers picked up speed.

The five gang members narrowly escaped another round of pellets as they hit the sidewalk. Aside from the deafening blasts, sirens were coming closer.

As they ran down the block, someone’s shoelace loosened enough, and they tripped.

The first police cars pulled up before the gang could disappear around the next corner.

“Ouch! My arm!”

Officer Jones saw the gang member on the ground, clutching his elbow.

“Are you okay, son?”

“I … think so. Ouch, damn it. My arm – I think it’s broken.”

Officer Jones assessed him quickly, waving over another officer.

“Watch your language, okay, son?”

“He’s not shot, thank goodness. But he does have a broken arm or elbow. Call it in. We need to get the others.”

Officers Graham and Rodriguez hustled down the street. Others joined them via calls on the radio.

About five minutes later, two out of the three were struggling against the officers. The fourth, the self-proclaimed “runner,” had gotten away. Two other officers were headed to find him.

The mix of fall leaves blew against the officers and suspects. None of the suspects had been shot, amazingly, and the deafening blast sounds had ceased.

“Let’s see some ID, please.”

“Back pants pocket, in my wallet, Officer.”

“Here we go. Oh, my God …”

“What is it, Jones?”

“It’s an ID from Heritage Heights. Middle School.”

Two other Heritage Heights Middle School IDs were discovered. The gang members hung their heads, wise to not utter a word. Their faces were ashen as the officers led them back to Adam and Catherine’s house.

Catherine peacefully surrendered the 20-gauge through the intact back screen porch. The entire neighborhood knew the front of the house, the lawn, the sidewalk were all part of the crime scene.

She turned to Adam, and cried into his sweater.

“It’s okay, baby. You stood your ground. It’s all going to be okay.”

The fall leaves were finally still as the chaos of November 26th ended, and the investigation began.


Come back next Friday for another prompt post!

If you do decide to participate, please link back to this post. Thanks!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #239: Fall Fridays, Number 1

Autumn Images

Image Credit: Unsplash

As the wonderful season of autumn / fall approaches us, I wanted to create an original writing prompt series to celebrate!

I invite everyone who sees this to participate, if you choose.

The idea is to look at the prompt, take at least five minutes on three Fridays in September 2019, and come up with a story/poem/scene, or whatever strikes your fancy with those words.

I may extend this further than the end of September, but we shall see. Until then, have fun! You can use the image at the top of this post – Just please make sure to credit it.

Ready?

Here we go!


  • September 13th: Apple Picking
  • September 20th: Fall Leaves
  • September 27th: Pumpkin Patch

“What makes you think that going apple picking was a good idea?!”

Cheryl winced at Sam’s words. She tried to listen to him, while holding back hot tears.

“I thought this was going to be a weekend away, Cheryl – A weekend just for us. But, having the kids come along with us? That’s not a weekend away in my book!”

Two-year-old Abby stopped examining her apple, and looked up at her mom. Her face said it all.

Cheryl swayed back and forth, trying to see if baby Ezra was still asleep in the carrier on her chest. At ten pounds, her shoulders ached. He was a beautiful baby, her answer to prayer for a boy, but heavy.

Sam continued. “I can’t believe we drove all this way for this. I would rather be anywhere else than here.”

Cheryl sighed. She loved Sam, but he lost his filter when he got frustrated. This, this was borderline anger though. And it wasn’t the first time.

Abby had moved on to another apple, but didn’t speak. Or dance. Or sing. Cheryl let one tear slip, hoping it didn’t smear the makeup she’d worked so hard to apply that morning.

As Sam started to berate her, growing louder among the beautiful apple orchard, Cheryl adjusted Ezra’s weight. He sighed slightly, and Cheryl knew he wanted to nurse.

“Cheryl? Are you listening to me?”

As she got Ezra settled, she looked at her husband. She nodded, and turned her attention back to Ezra.

“There’s a good boy, my sweet boy.”

“You’re not paying attention to a word I’m saying. Fine. I won’t say anything at all.”

Sam crossed his arms. Cheryl patted Ezra’s back, and kept an eye on Abby. She hated the silent treatment. But only a few words came out of her mouth, with the perfect red lipstick.

“I’m sorry, Sam. I’m sorry. I ruined this. All of this.”

Abby finally spoke up, with her sweet voice breaking the painful silence.

“Mommy, can we pick more apples?”

Cheryl felt another tear escape, but smiled at her firstborn.

“Of course, sweetheart. Let’s go this way.”

Abby smiled, and started singing to herself as Cheryl took her sticky hand. Ezra finished nursing, and burped. Cheryl smiled a little as she walked away from Sam, leaving his plaid shirt and quilted vest behind. She wasn’t sure what was in store after this, but she didn’t care one bit. Her children, sweet and innocent, gave her courage.


Come back next Friday for another prompt post!

If you do decide to participate, please link back to this post. Thanks!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #239: August WIP Writing Challenge BIRTHDAY BASH

August WIP Writing Challenge Birthday Bash

Image Credit: Didi Oviatt

I love Didi’s WIP writing challenges!

Here’s the link to her August challenge:


Hunter was feeling low. He really didn’t like birthdays.

As he wallowed, his phone buzzed.

Happy Birthday!

Hunter managed a small smile. Bethany was so kind. And, unfortunately, Hunter had the hots for her.

As he composed his reply, more texts came in. Hunter’s heart rose out of his stomach, ever so slightly.

People really do care, he thought.

I do have friends.

Then, a puzzling text from Lizzie came in.

Hey baby, wanna meet me at the arcade tonight? It’s half-price!

Hunter shook his head. He loved how Lizzie tried, but sometimes, she tried too hard. And she knew full well how much he hated his birthday. But, she wanted to pull him out of his misery, in whatever way she felt like could work.

Hunter smiled slightly, contemplating his response.

From Lizzie: Baby? Are you okay?

From Belle: Happy Birthday, Hunter! Hope you’re doing something fun tonight!

From Bill: Enjoy your birthday, dude! Can’t wait to celebrate soon!

Irritated, Hunter nearly threw his phone against the wall. That’s how the last two got broken.

He thought better of it. Pacing the room, he only texted Lizzie back.

Sure, sweetie. The arcade sounds like fun. What time?

Lizzie responded within seconds.

6:00. And don’t be late! 

Hunter drove the 10 miles to the arcade, lost in the music. He smiled a bit wider, excited to see Lizzie.

At 6:02, he walked into the arcade. Lizzie greeted him with a long kiss, a flick of the tongue, and then she took his hand and rounded the corner.

“SURPRISE!! Happy Birthday, Hunter!”

Hunter’s eyes went wide, and then filled with tears. Everyone was there – Lizzie, Bethany, Will, Belle, Bill, Robert, Adam, and a few others.

“I’m definitely surprised. Thank you.”

A man of few words, Hunter felt his heart lift higher. He hugged Lizzie tightly, whispered his thanks, and was simply overwhelmed.

As Bill raised the toast of soft drinks to another trip around the sun, Hunter’s smile grew wider.

“Well, friends, this is the first birthday where I haven’t felt miserable. Thank you, Lizzie. Thanks, everyone. Now, let’s shut up and play some games!”


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #238: “Imagination Plantation: European Vacation”

I was nominated for this writing challenge by Kristian, the lovely author of Life Lessons Around The Dinner Table. Thanks, Kristian, for nominating me!

Here’s the link to Kristian’s post, where I was nominated:

The challenge, Imagination Plantation, was originally created by Nova, the amazing author of Nova’s Namaste 365 Online.


4 Simple Rules:

Write me a short paragraph about what’s happening in this image.

Create a pingback to this image.

Tag three bloggers.

Reuse this same image 🙂 Let’s see how many stories can come from the same one.


Kristin shivered as the plane landed. As she turned off her iPod and listened to the final announcements of the flight attendants, she felt her right hand being gently squeezed. It was comforting.

“K? Are you okay?”

She smiled, squeezing his hand back.

“Yeah. I think so. My stomach always drops when planes land.”

Brennan smiled, hardly believing they had just landed in Germany. Their first time overseas.

As Brennan stroked her hand, Kristin’s thoughts drifted toward the cities and towns they would be exploring for the next 10 days. She was always nervous during plane trips, but for some reason, she was incredibly nervous about this trip. It was odd – She hadn’t felt this nervous around Brennan since the very beginning of their Camp experience. That was years ago.

She started to relax as their Uber left the Munich airport and headed toward the German countryside. The weather was absolutely beautiful, very unseasonable for the middle of August.

Brennan noticed Kristin had drifted off, her head laying on his shoulder. He smiled as his lips grazed her forehead. He caught a glimpse of a sleepy smile.

He took in the sights. It was about a 30-mile drive from the airport. There were so many trees – Far more than he’d ever seen in Texas. The amount of foliage and nature was rivaling Camp in Maine, and that was hard to top. He was in awe the entire drive. There were rivers, bridges, cathedrals, and stunning architecture. It was almost overwhelming. He was a little sad Kristin was missing this, but he thought it better she sleep. They had the next 10 days to take in everything. Germany was just the beginning.

The Uber driver easily navigated the steep, gravel-lined hill toward their first stop. Brennan’s smile grew wider. He remembered how excited, positively giddy Kristin was when she’d found it on Airbnb. It looked like a castle in the photos. And, in real life, unfolding before Brennan’s eyes, it was true.

“Hey, Kristin … Sweetheart?”

She groaned slightly, yawned, and opened her eyes.

“Yes, Brennan? What is it?”

He kissed her forehead, and then brushed her lips.

“Welcome to your castle, darling. Let’s start our European vacation.”


Nominations


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂