Tr’Bani’s Bride

“What’s wrong with her?” a raspy voice spoke anxiously. “I can’t deliver her damaged!”

Lynn’s limbs did not seem to want to listen, and her eyes wouldn’t open.  Panic was starting to set in.  A cold blast of air puffed under her prone body, and it felt as if she was on a giant grate.  Had she been in an accident?

“It is probably transmitting sickness.  This being has likely never been through the beaming process.  I warned you it might be the wrong planet.” 

The second voice was more resonant and sounded almost metallic.  What was going on? The back of her head was throbbing, and Lynn wondered if she may have a head injury. 

“See, look, she is starting to regain her faculties. You can verify identity yourself.”

Lynn’s legs twitched uncontrollably, and she was able to open her eyes slightly.  A scruffy-looking man was leaning over her, unshaven face so close that she could smell the coffee on his breath.  It must have been an accident; she sighed.  Why today? 

 Beyond him, she could just barely make out the second figure.  This guy seemed to have a head that was way too large for his body, like one of those silly bobbleheads she had on her desk.  Hallucinations. It was most certainly a head injury.

“I don’t need her to verify her identity. It’s the right gal, now shut up before I power you down.”  said the man as he helped Lynn rise to a seated position.  

She felt a bit better now, blinking hard before taking in her surroundings.  The room was tiny, with two swivel chairs in front of a wall of monitors and strange buttons. Shivering, she realized the bobblehead was not changing.  

“Guugghh,” she grunted as she looked at the scruffy man.  

Words were not quite coming out yet, and panic was replaced with a profound irritation.  

“Hold up- don’t try to talk yet. It’ll be a minute, eh?” The scruffy man said

“Guurrghaha,” she repeated angrily. 

A low thrumming noise filled the room, its pace accelerating.  Lynn’s ears started to tingle, and she worried she was going to pass out again.  The bobble-headed guy was now in front of one of the chairs, fiddling with the buttons.  

“Reaching velocity in five, four, three, two…”

The pulsing thrum was now a cacophony of buzzing as if she was in the middle of a giant beehive. Her body tingled with thousands of tiny electrical pricks.  Lynn scrunched her face, now wishing she would pass out again.  Then it was silent aside from the gentle thrum she heard when she first awoke.

A deep laugh erupted from the man that was sitting next to her.  The fear and anger that had been building erupted into a wild swing, fist landing squarely on the man’s jaw.  His mirth ceased immediately.

“OUCH! Geez lady,” he yelped, rubbing his jaw.

“What is going on,” her words came out weak and scratchy, and she pursed her lips, staring accusingly at the man.

A hand shot out as he rose to his feet.  Lynn flinched before realizing it was just to shake.

“Captain Jase Rex, ranking member of the GSG, at your service,” he said heartily.

“GS what? Where am I?” Lynn interjected.

“The Galactic Shipping Guild, Ma’am.  You are on ISA-5. It’s my job to deliver you to your new mate.” Jase intoned cheerfully.

“Who the what now? I am nobody’s MATE. I just want to get to my office, get my promotion, and get on with my day.  You’ve already made me miss my workout; take me home.”

Jase sat there looking dumbfounded, his mouth opening and closing several times.

“Let me clarify.  I want to speak to your manager!” Lynn screeched.

“No, no, I’m a ranking member.” he finally answered. “I work independently. There are no managers.  Just assignments.” Jase scoffed and moved towards the screens.  “Here, I’ll show you.”

“Your rank then,” Lynn continued ignoring Jase. “What’s your rank? I want to speak to someone higher up!”

“He is ranked 254 of 302 members,” Bobblehead interjected.  

Lynn stopped for a moment and turned to face the funny looking thing. 

“Hmm, you’re not even that good.” she paused, contemplating the apparatus in front of her. “Who or what are you?” She asked.

I am-” The bobblehead started to say, but Jase interrupted.

“Wait, that rank has nothing to do with how good I am. It is based on the number of jobs I have completed. This one will jump me up a good ten points!  I’m the best lady.”

Lynn just laughed, “you can’t be the best. You didn’t even get the right person; you’re an idiot!” She turned back to the droid “now, who are you?”

“My name-” it started to speak but was interrupted again.

“Hey- I follow instructions.  Just because you were not aware you were to be mated doesn’t mean I picked up the wrong package.”Jase smirked

“But sir-” the Bobblehead interjected, “you only hacked nine digits. There was only an 87 percent chance of the correct coordinates.”

Jase opened his mouth, but Lynn spoke first. “Excuse me? Eighty-seven percent chance? Hacked, what kind of sham is this?” she started to pace and turned back to the bobblehead. “And who are you?”

Jase interjected, “He’s a CP-C8K model droid, ancient.  Just call him Cupcake.”

“Sir, I am programmed to be able to answer for myself, and I am NOT ancient.  My production date is less than five cycles ago. Designers ensure I am valid for at least fifteen cycles.” the droid retorted.

“Whatever,” Lynn dismissed the droid and turned to Jase. “I demand you take me home now. It’s obvious you have the wrong person,” Lynn said

“Well..” Jase drawled, “That could be a problem.”

“A problem? There better not be a problem. In fact, I demand you take me home AND compensate me for pain and suffering! Believe me, I know people, and I’ll get it.”

Jase just smirked, “Ya, I’d like to see that happen. I’m broke! Barely had enough fuel to get me to ISA 5!”

“Oh, I’m sure you can get something for this piece of junk spaceship, or whatever it is.” Lynn leaned in. “Or you cute little space droid.”

Cupcake wheeled his way between the two, “I told you this was a bad idea, captain.  Organics are so unpredictable.  We should have just waited for an assignment.”  

“Bah- we would have been waiting months. My plan will work; trust me.” Jase answered smoothly.

“Sir, by my calculations, your plan only has a fifty-seven percent chance of success..”

Lynn’s jaw dropped. “fifty-seven? I thought you said eighty-seven!”

“Well-”

The captain swept his arm out and yanked a short metal cylinder off the wall, cackling maniacally. A long high pitched squeal emitted from the droid as it rolled over to where Jase was standing. It snatched the tube from the captain’s hand, then gently stroking it as he returned it to the wall.

“It’s okay, little coupling,” Cupcake crooned softly.

Jase, still snickering, turned to Lynn.  “They started playing with personality chips on the C8K models; these guys get a little sensitive.”  

Lynn looked closely at the machine, frowning slightly.  It appeared that the massive globe would crush the supporting apparatus, but on closer inspection, the sphere head sat nicely into an indentation.  It swiveled to reveal a giant round screen with a simple animated face.  

She made her way to her feet, wobbling slightly, and walked closer to the droid. Her hand stretched out to touch the smooth surface but rolled back quickly.  The C8K’s feet contained a tread, like something you would see on a construction vehicle, and the short, squat body was cylindrical with two snake-like arms protruding from its sides.  Creepy human-looking hands would light up and twitch occasionally.

She stifled a laugh as she retracted her hand.  “So, Cupcake,” The name slide out of her mouth slowly. “How do I get myself back home.”

“Ma’am-” the droid spoke but was interrupted with the crackle of a voice coming from one of the screens.

“Welcome to ISA-5.  Please transmit your ship’s registry so we can assign docking.” 

Jase rushed to a screen and tapped multiple times on unrecognizable characters, finally pounding his fist on the image.

“Cupcake, hurry! I need you to enter my encryption key.  I keep inputting it wrong.”

The droid rolled his way over to the screen, and a long thin device exited his middle finger, and connected to the screen, then quickly retracted back into his body.

The screen’s voice replied, “Okay, Faylus, you are cleared to dock in sector five, stall eight. Please enjoy your stay on ISA-5.”

“Phallus,” Jase muttered.  “It’s pronounced PHALLUS.”

“Yes, sir,” the voice replied.  “Where do these captains get off thinking these names are funny..” the voice trailed off as the transmission cut.

***

“I still don’t understand why I have to come along if you’re just going to bring me home! I am adding this to what you owe me, and believe me, I will find some sort of manager,” Lynn muttered as they made their way through the crowded streets.  

The air was thick, making it hard to breathe, and it smelled like a mixture of hotdogs and the 4-H area of a fair.  

“Slow down?’ Lynn spoke rudely.

Jase grabbed her wrist, gripping it tightly, dragging her along behind him. They darted through the crowds without taking a breath.  She tried to dig her heels in unsuccessfully, slipping in a slick blue mud-like substance that covered the walkway.

The street was lined with colorful tents, enclosing what she assumed were stores in a marketplace, and now and then, a face would peer out of a tent and look around. Most of the beings were a pale shade of cornflower, slightly lighter than the mud covering the streets.  They were taller than Lynn, and on further inspection, she could see a layer of fur or hair covering their bodies. Little lizard people carried boxes and scurried along between the larger blue ones and the wove in and out of the bright tents. Hot steaming trays of what Lynn assumed was food sat on carts pushed by some blue aliens.  One stopped in front of her, offering a small pastry that smelled of warm fresh baked bread. Her stomach rumbled.  As she reached out to accept the treat, Jase swatted her hand away.  

“How dare you!” Lynn screeched

“They chop off your hands if you can’t pay for something…” he said matter-of-factly.  “Just don’t touch anything.  Or look at anything, either.”

They continued through the marketplace at a breakneck pace, and she began to feel dizzy, faces of the creatures starting to blend.

“Slow DOWN,” she shrieked angrily, this time finding solid ground as she dug in her heels. 

Jase lost his balance and tumbled into a bright red tent, nearly bringing the whole thing down with him.  A large blue alien came out from the front flap, waving a feather at him and making a gurgling noise.  He raised his hands in defense and backed away slowly.

“That could have ended very poorly,” He stated. “We need to get to the pavilion,” He continued, gesturing to a large building. “Trust me, and I’ll get you home, I promise!” 

Cupcake rolled up beside them, and Jase bent down, whispering something to the droid, who proceeded to sink into his treads, leaving only the giant head exposed. 

“Anti-theft mode activated”  sounded from the sphere.

An extensive set of stone stairs led to an arched entryway at the top, continuing to a small vestibule with only enough room for one of the blue people sitting at a small desk.  

“I’m here to see Tr’Bani,” Jase said to the receptionist.  “My name is Captain Jase Rex with the GSG.  I have a delivery.”

“Delivery?” Lynn hissed at him. “I thought we were talking to your manager. You were getting me home!”

“Yeah,” Jase smirked. “The customer is the manager, get it?”

Lynn picked up her foot to kick Jase but thought better of it. The receptionist glanced at the group disapprovingly.  

“I’m sorry, Mr. Rex, our cargo has already been delivered.” He sniffed, “Perhaps there was a mix-up? Are you sure it was Tr’Bani receiving? There are many planets in the sector.” 

Jase frowned and leaned in close to the receptionist.  “Of course, it was Tr’Bani! Who else would it be?  Who made the delivery?”  

The blue man leaned over his desk, perusing a list, and finally answered.  “It was Billie Synth” 

Jase shook his head slowly, making a tsk sound.  “I happen to have it on good authority that Billie Synth has delivered the wrong goods. Tr’Bani is going to be furious. I wonder who he will take it out on this time?”

The receptionist paled and gulped loudly.  “Ooh.” he exhaled, “Oh my..” 

“What are you doing!” Lynn whispered fiercely at Jase, “How is this going to get me home?” 

He winked and put his finger over his lips. “Shhh.”

The trembling man led them into a small circular room. Hot putrid air blasted Lynn’s senses, reminding her of her uncle’s farm, but ten times worse.  There was a large creature laying on a pile of soft mauve bean bags. It was stroking the hair of a young woman, and a deep humming filled the room.  Large wide eyes stared at the group when they entered, and his bovine body shifted to face them, humming stopped. The girl could have been human if you could ignore that her ears were pointed and sat on top of her head.  

The woman’s ears twitched, pointed at the group, and she let out a soft hiss. 

“It’s okay, my pet,” The bovine man hummed.

Without raising his head, the receptionist backed quickly out of the room, stumbling at the door briefly, and pushing it closed as he left.

Lynn watched as Jase took a breath, his face transforming into a mask of authority.  An ostentatious flourish accompanied his bow, and he smiled up at the man on the beanbags.

“Your eminence, Tr’Bani,” he spoke in an overly formal voice. “I regret to inform you that you have the wrong bride. I wish to present this lovely human to you.  Your correct match.” 

“Oh, no! Oh, I am NOT his bride,” Lynn said, smacking Jase on the face and jumping back. She turned to the bovine and growled, “Tree Bonny, or whatever your name is, the man is a fraud.  He KIDNAPPED me!”

The cat woman barred her teeth at Lynn, then snuggled into Tr’Vani. 

Ignoring Lynn, he looked at Jase and asked.  “Why does it speak to me?”

Dumbfounded, Lynn looked to Jase to defend her; instead, he ignored her, laughter erupting as he answered.

“She was trouble, this one,” he said conspiratorially.  “Almost more trouble than this job paid.” He glanced at the cat woman and frowned.  “Imagine my disappointment to learn that you had already had your goods delivered.” 

Jase was pacing now, stroking his face as he frowned.  “I would hate to have to report to the guild that you accepted a misrepresented package.”

Tr’Bani rose to his feet, looking worried.  “OOO, I do so need my relationship with GSG to remain favorable.” He sighed and stroked the cat woman’s head gently.  “But this one is oh so sweet and perfect, that other one…” 

Lynn frowned, offended “hey-” 

Jase stomped on her foot as he crossed in front of her. “Shut up for once,” he whispered.

Then turning to Tr’Bani, his voice returned to its formal tone. “Since you are such an honorable leader, I believe we can come to an arrangement.”

“You may approach,” Tr’Bani’s voice thrummed.

Lynn moved to step forward with Jase, and a large below erupted from Tr’bani. “Back!” 

“Oh, don’t tell me-” The captain quickly covered her mouth with his hand and pushed her back.  

“Keep talking, and I’ll leave you here,” he scowled.

The two men spoke in hushed tones, often gesturing back to her.  Jase’s face was animated, and the Tr’Bani looked affectionately at the cat woman next to him.  Nodding, the captain, made his way back to Lynn, grabbing her hand.

“Time to go now before he changes his mind!” Jase said in a hushed voice.

“You are cleared for departure,” an official voice spoke. “We hope you enjoyed your stay on ISA-5.”

“Status, Cupcake?”  Jase made his way to the captain’s chair.

“Payment confirmed, sir, bonus included,” The C8K intoned.

“Excellent,” Jase laughed, turning to Lynn, “See, I had you covered all along.  Now I got plenty of credits for fuel and supplies, and I will be happy to take you home.  No, I will be ecstatic!”

Lynn was silent for a long time before answering. “No, I don’t think so.  I believe most of that cut belongs to me.” She paused, “or should I contact this Galatic Shipping guild of yours?” 

She sauntered over to the other chair and sat down.  “I think I like it here.”

I’m sure there is a much better way to do this, and I will discover it at some point, but for now, enjoy my short story, inspired by Reedsy promps. I’m planning on doing this more, so if you like my writing, follow me using this link:

https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/beth-connor/

I’m converting this one to a script for crossroad cantina 🙂 check out my other storys at:

https://crossroadscantina.captivate.fm/

Everyone has a right to make an ass out of themselves

You can’t let the world judge you too much… Maude

This weekend I watched Harold and Maude with my kids. It’s been many years since I have seen that movie, and those words still resonate with me. The last year and a half have been a journey of rediscovering my creative self. Many of my creations will see the light of day soon. I find myself paying more and more attention to those feelings of self-doubt, stemming from a fear of judgment. The words of Maude were a timely reminder that I do have the right to “make an ass out of myself.”

I am a quiet person. I love people, thoughts, and ideas. I hold the belief everyone has a right to their voice and opinion, even if I disagree. Sometimes, I am afraid to use my voice, and along the way, my thoughts have gotten stuck in my brain because I’m too scared to let them out. I’m terrified that my space may accidentally trample someone else feels, and I would never want to do that.

When I finished the second draft of my novel and sent it off to an editor, it was not what I expected I would write. Sophie is my protagonist and a small part of me. She now exists in the world. Some people will love her; some people may find her simple, too dangerous, or think her story is stupid. I hope she resonates with at least someone and makes a small difference in their life, like “Maude” made in mine. I don’t know what happens next, but she exists!

Creating makes me feel empowered, brave almost. When I was younger, I wanted to become a bartender because I thought it would be a great way to connect to people and listen to their stories. Of the many jobs, I’ve had, that never ended up being one of them. I decided to create a bar instead. I’m am starting an Audio Drama podcast featuring short stories that have been adapted into a stand-alone episode. You can check it out here: https://crossroadscantina.captivate.fm/. My original intention was to reach out to friends and writers I know and ask if they wanted to contribute a story. I ran into two problems with this idea. 1.) I don’t have a lot in the way of friends. (Don’t worry, this is not a sad thing!) 2.) I suck at asking for help.

So far, I have one episode based on an author’s novel, for which I have narrated. I have also written a few episodes of my own. However, I would love to have more stories with which to work! (You would receive full credit for your work.) I am also looking people that may want to play around with voice acting (you can even voice your characters!)

If your interested in acting or writing for my podcast, please please please reach out! Of my ten followers, I know at least two of you are writers hahaha!

Now go out, enjoy the day. Make an ass out of yourself, create, and be free.

The Soul of a Story

My attempt at a review

Usually, when I sit down to write, it starts with a prominent and straight path. I have my idea, it is going to get on the page, in a great and exciting way, and then I’ll be done.  What ends up happening, however, is, I wander around in the woods, lose my path, and stare at an interesting tree for an hour. I was initially going to make an attempt at some sort of book review or synopsis or something. Since discipline is eluding me, my thoughts will have to suffice.

Now, believe me, I can be disciplined. I can focus like its nobodies business.  That being said, discipline is not my ideal state of being. The last job I had before going to full-time self-employment,  was for a large corporation.  I was in Tech Support, helping employees in the field.  Okay, okay,  I worked in a call center.  Do you know how they say these calls are recorded for quality assurance?  Well, they are.  There is a whole line of work that involves listening to calls and rating them.  Those scripts that are so annoying? Employees get docked if they do not follow them. 

I rocked the call center.  I worked in the technology field, and tend to be a pretty good problem solver.  Not to toot my own horn, but I was the voice you would want to hear,  I got stuff done.  Results baby!

Sometimes, however, I didn’t say the closing line correctly, or some other thing that was off the parameters of what I should do.  When these calls were reviewed, and I didn’t get my perfect five stars, it would crush me.  Seriously, it would bug me for days.  

I ended up leaving this company after my Dad passed away.  Going back to that just didn’t feel right.  I hated the feeling that I was trapped in a box (or cubical).  He had suggested I get back into the Arts or Education, I may be happier there.  I ended up writing and Audiobook Narrating.  

Come to find out, this world is based on stars and reviews and likes and the whole works.  Ugh!  I have learned that it is essential to get reviews of your work out there in the world of the internet.  Good reviews mean more people read or listen, right?  

Well, how do you put a number on something subjective? Not every movie, story, or piece of art is going to resonate with everyone.  Some reviewers are great, they point out what is disrating to them or what they like.  Some are just downright cruel.  How does “It sucked?” help anyone.  

Working with indie and self-published authors on their audiobooks has been amazing.  It has given me the chance to rethink how I read (and listen) fiction.

When I first read Much Needed Sunshine, I appreciated it, but it wasn’t my favorite book of all time.  The genre was not my ideal choice, and the story had a happy ending.  Everything was tied together into a neat little bow.  I was a bit cynical.  The real world didn’t have happy endings, and no one was beheaded! Even so, it was my Fathers first novel, and I was proud of his accomplishment. When I got the opportunity to narrate it, something strange happened.  I feel in love with the characters, the story, everything.  There was something almost magical about it.  I could see my father in the writing, feel like he was right in the room with me.  The essence of who he was on each page.  It made me feel closer to him, even though he was gone.  What really rang true was his optimism and perseverance.  His early life was a challenge, and yet he was still able to become an amazing, gentle, kind (and stubborn) person.

Another Novel I recently narrated, was All the Stars That Ever Were, by Robert John Jenson This was a fun read. It’s in that science fiction and fantasy genre that I love, so that certainly made it easy to enjoy! It was unique because it focused on relationships and family and how our reality could be changed by the smallest differences.  It made me feel both insignificant and lucky.  

After narrating these two books, I found myself fascinated by the idea of the author’s voice.  Being a narrator allows me to work closely with the Authors.  Some like to be really hands-on and involved, others just let you run with your creative self. With Robert John Jenson, we touched base most days I woked.  He would review my content as I went.  I really appreciated this because it gave me a chance to make corrections and get to know him.

I found myself looking forward to the nightly corroboration.  I would get funny anecdotes on the inspiration behind some of the characters and insight into the author’s personality.  As I went through the narration, I subsequently had a second more intense read through.  I found I could really start to hear the essence of who he was coming out in his writing.  His love for his family and the people in his life he cared about spoke to me.   

As we wrapped up the project, he mentioned, “Thank you for taking care of my baby.”  It got me thinking, isn’t this how we all think of our writing or any creative endeavor for that matter.  We put a little piece of ourselves in everything we put out into the world?

When I started writing Sophie’s story (click here for an unedited version of chapter one), I didn’t intend it to be anything but a fiction story.  When I wrote the last sentence, I have to admit, I shed a tear (or thirty).  Okay, I flat out bawled…I heard my own voice in her hope, fears, and joy. I don’t think I had paid attention to my own voice in ages.
Knowing this, how could I ever put a rating on someone’s soul?  All I can do is apprise how it touches me, and hope it speaks to you somehow as well.  So if you decide to give All the Stars That Ever Were, or Much Needed Sunshine a read or listen, or any other work, you realize the fantastic gift a story can be.

A Letter to my Dad

Happy Fathers Day Dad,

It has been a little over a year since you’ve gone, and I still miss you every day. I was never very good at putting my feelings in words. This is ironic because I am writing now. I just finished the first draft of my first book. This one hurts a lot. I wish I could share it with you. I never realized how much of your self you put in your writing. If I could go back and read it when you were alive, with new eyes, I would have been better at telling you how proud I was.

Instead, I end up narrating it. I never remember you being one for audiobooks, but I think you would have LOVED the idea. I tried to do Sunshine and Meme justice. I could even picture you giving me acting tips during the process. Regardless, you would have been so very supportive of the process. When I work with authors now, I remember how “you” came through in your story and try to treat theirs with respect and honor.

The world is a strange chaotic place right now. There is a virus that shut everything down in most areas for months. You would have been miserable (not saying that Mom isn’t good company!) It would have been twice as bad if you were still in treatment. Your health being compromised would have made you even more susceptible!

Right now, there are protests everywhere. It feels different then protests in the past, perhaps it’s just the difference between my adult brain and my younger brain. Growing up in N.H. did not expose us to much diversity! I feel that a lot of people really do want to change. There is a lot of anger, hope, as well, I think.

Looking back, I appreciate how you and Mom tried your best to expose us to different people and communities. I remember one of our summer vacations. We drove through Harlem one day, Lancaster, PA, another, and D.C. the next. You were always a teacher, even if you thought you were being subtle.

I talk to Mom and Jamie on most days, mostly just a text or two. This is way better than my calls that ended up once or twice a month at best. Right now, that’s what I miss most. I wish I could pick up the phone and hear your thoughts on the world right now. I love you and miss you immensely.

Love,
Me

Setting an Intention

I like to begin each day practicing yoga. Does that mean I actually do it? No, but when I do, my day has a flow to it. Part of my practice includes setting an intention. I often use peace, calmness or serenity. It tends to be a bit cliche, but it works for me. Lately, my yoga practice has been a bit remiss. Something about everyone being at hom

I like to begin each day practicing yoga. Does that mean I do it? No, but when I do, my day has a flow to it. Part of my practice includes setting an intention. I often use peace, calmness, or serenity. It tends to be a bit cliche, but it works for me. Lately, my yoga practice has been a bit remiss. Everyone is at home, doing schoolwork, and going about their lives all around me affects that. Today, forgoing yoga yet again, I decided to set the intention for my day.

Tenacity 

te·nac·i·ty

noun

the quality or fact of being able to grip something firmly; grip.

the quality or fact of being very determined; determination.

the quality or fact of continuing to exist; persistence.

It is not an intention I usually set, but perhaps it should be. In some aspects of my life, I ooze tenacity. As a parent and a spouse, I am firm, reliable, and persevering. When it comes to my own goals, I am lacking.

I am trying to pursue audiobook narration. I have one book under my belt and know I will only get better. I’ve got the mastering and editing down, and continue to improve with training and classes. Now I need to prove myself. So I audition, again and again, hoping for at the very least, some feedback.

At the very least, I can learn that its okay to be tenacious for myself. What’s your intention?

5 projects I’ve started (and some I’ve finished)

1.) I am about halfway through a first write through of a novel about a young gal named Sophie- a bit of a coming of age, with a hint of scfi/post apocalyptic that is woven in. Probably fits best in YA or Middle aged fiction.

2.) I am at the beginning of a novel that is a bit more fantasy based. Micah’s my main guy here. Again, YA fiction or Fantasy. I think I live here and feel most comfortable writing to that age because of the many years volunteer/teaching hanging out with teens. Either that or its because I have never matured beyond that.

3.) I started a website trying to tie things together a bit more. Its a work in progress, because I get distracted easily. If you are interested in the two books above, there are samples on my site, however, no promises that I will ever finish them. If you happen to like either let me know- it may be the inspiration I need! https://bethconnor.com/the-wall or https://bethconnor.com/namless

4.) I’m trying to put together a “Dramatic Reading” of Peter Pan. My poor musical kids will not be able to perform their hard work due to Covid 19. More info soon on that.

5.) I’ve been working mostly on my Audio-book Narration stuff. Turns out I really enjoy it! I did some volunteer work on Librivox, but the biggest achievement was completing my first Narration project for ACX. It is currently in Audio review, but once its approved, I’ll give a link and the backstory on how it came to be.

New normal, or temporary pause?

Today, I got out of bed, just like any other day. I had some coffee on the deck, did some yoga, and walked the dog. When we got home, I nagged my 17-year-old until she finally got out of bed. (She does online community college, and its finals week). My husband was at the kitchen table, looking focused and intense. He often chooses to work from home and is lucky to work for a company that utilizes online meeting software. Everything as it should be.

So, why does it feel like I am at the beginning of some Apocalyptic Thriller? Why does the quiet seem so much more ominous? I look at the stack of bills, and under that the taxes, I still need to get around to doing. Should I even bother? Then turning back to my screen, I continue with my workday, trying to ignore the barrage of media reminding us to stay home, wash our hands, people are dying.

I feel the weight of my privilege, heavy on my shoulders. I am thinking of the people that surround me, who’s lives will be changed regardless of getting sick, or this blowing over. The restaurants; forced to close, and even if they were not, who is going? Is my favorite server at my favorite restaurant, okay? I would love to offer food or supplies, but I do not even know his last name.

I think of the arts and recreation teachers I know. Their businesses depending on human interaction to succeed, now forced to shut down, flinging their lives into the unknown.

I also see beauty. I see people reaching out with offers of food and the ability to run errands. I see friends helping others navigate the murky waters of keeping their children learning. I see support for the arts, and artists trapped by uncertainty.

Will we emerge from this time, a stronger, more united society, or will we just fall apart? Time will tell.

My Morning Coffee

Its been a while…

Its been a while since I have posted anything thoughtful or otherwise. I’ve had the opportunity to get some traveling in. Best trip so far has been Ireland:

My newest project is my Audio Narrating Business. I am starting with an audiobook version of the Novel my father wrote before he passed away. I will give more details soon. For now, this is my studio!

Finally, I am still working on my writing. It is slow going, due to my many “squirrel” moments, however, I was recently inspired by a friend I had growing up. She recently finished her first novel and self-published. It gave me the push I needed to pick up the pencil again (ok- keyboard, but you get it!) You can find her info at http://amyfillion.com/

I am also working on cleaning up this website, and possibly transferring over to a different.

Please contact me if you are interested in reading a few chapters of my works in progress!

Embracing Conflict

I have been writing since shortly after my Dad passed away (five or six months now). As someone who has explored the many facets of my creativity, I find myself getting caught up with the same pitfalls in each medium.


What I have to say has no value and is not good enough compared to what others have to say.

I am great at starting a project, not so good at finishing.

Putting my work out there feels exposing and raw.  

I dislike conflict, and it reflects in my writing.

I wanted to take a moment to explore number four before I got into working on one of my many projects today.

I have always swayed between wanting to stay in the shadows and wanting to be heard. I think everyone wants their voices heard. However, if no one hears me, no one can judge me. I like things to be simple, with little conflict. I want to live in a world where everyone respects each other and has grace for rough spots. I love affirmation.

Today, as I was taking my husband to his work shuttle, I was driving down the road at the speed limit, and some big truck speeds in behind me and gets right up on my ass. My first instinct is to be super annoyed and angry. I comment on what he (not even sure it was a he) was compensating. When the road breaks into two lanes, the big truck pulls out and zips forward, passing me on the right. About 1000 feet later, we are both stopped at a red light. I hang back a bit because I do not want to be window to window. He can zip ahead of me if that floats his boat, and I’ll move on with my day.  

My husband, on the other hand, rolls down the window and tells me to pull forward, so our windows align (I don’t.) He is much more confrontational. I run down the list of reasons why the truck man was a jerk: He could be late for work, Maybe he is distracted, perhaps his dog died. My husband, on the other hand, thinks he is probably just an asshole.

This interaction illustrates where I struggle most in building a story. Conflict is where we grow, and it is what teaches us lessons. It doesn’t have to be angry or messy, but often it is. People understand conflict. They recognize it in themselves, and when seeing conflict in a piece of art, or story, sometimes they grow with it.  

I want my writing to bring introspection to my readers. I want my audience to read something and be able to see the conflict in themselves. (I also want to be exciting and intriguing). I have set a goal to try to introduce conflict into every chapter one way or another. As a dancer, I learned repetition, muscle memory, and practice improves our weaknesses. So I am hoping that translates to my writing as well.   

Two Wolves

Many have heard or read the Cherokee story about the two wolves. It goes like this:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life:
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”

I read this and love the thought it provokes. At the same time, it is evident to me which wolf I would want to feed. The problem I end up having is that my wolves are not always as apparent to me. Sometimes, it also feels as though there are about 30 of them.
The primary two wolves that battle in me seem to exist as follows:
One is conformity. It represents authority, burden, duty, guilt, obligation, liability, importance, power, and perfection. Also, loyalty, steadfastness, and devotion.
The second is a bit of a separatist. It is an iconoclast, an individualist, malcontent, a maverick, a rebel, unconventional, eccentric, a hermit, adventurous, and drifts through life. It is full of freedom, joy, and independence.
The wolves in the story the Cherokee speaks of are natural for me to choose. I see a clear path of the qualities I want to feed.

The problem I run into is that I love both the wolves that live inside me. Unfortunately, they don’t always play nice together. They both love and cherish the people and world around them. They see through very different glasses. The first one fits in better with society. It has a more comfortable life; it is content. The second truly lives and has so many qualities I want to share, especially the joy that can exist in our lives. It is an adventurer.

I love qualities in both of them. So I feed them, and they fight, and that’s just the way it is.