Short Fiction

Home is Where the Heart is Planted

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Planting a kiss on her moistly, beaded forehead, he sleepily, quietly stole to the door, ever so careful not to wake his bride.

Love has no words for the feelings for his wife and her feelings for him, as expressive as the day is long without the need to speak as much as show.
As she stirred in the morning light, she realized she had fallen so deeply and he had already gone to his early shift, always thinking of her and her need for rest.

Nestling back in the bed and reaching for his pillow, she breathed in his aroma of the sweet lavender she always put in his bath. Reaching for her swollen belly, she held her hand over her navel and whispered, “Sweet baby, soon you will know this man, the one who took root in my soul, the one who you will call daddy, for your love will be that strong, I just know as I feel it growing each day when you hear his voice.”

Taking her soft robe and wrapping the ties, she takes to the cold floor, welcome to her warmth, and does the thing she does each day, focusing on taking care of her home for the three souls who take up residence, well four, really because of Clement the hound, they are all planted, invested in the home’s hearth.

…..

There you have it! This is my (sorry I’m late) 6 Sentence Story for the week.

I did an acrostic this time using the word “Plant” from the prompt.

If you would like to participate as well as read other’s contributions, just go to the

Six Sentence Story Link

poetry, TTOT

Ten Things of Thankful – Feb 14 2020

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Happy Valentine’s Day to y’all! It’s TTOT time so let’s get to the sweetness!

1. I am bubbling over with excitement! A manuscript was accepted for publication for which I was the Poetry Editor! I am excited for the poet and for my contribution.

2. Coffee at the Clubhouse – that I can walk to the clubhouse in the community and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.

3. Books – I have been reading an interesting book called Dear Mrs. Bird set in the days of Hitler. I am finding it interesting and grateful I found a large print edition at the library.

4. Last Back Treatment today! – I get the last treatment on my back today, then a 6-8 week follow up is next. Next is dentist time! Grateful for health care.

5. 6. 7. 8. Friendly people – I was talking to tech support for my internet yesterday. While they weren’t able to help me, we had the nicest conversation. I love it when you connect with friendly people. And later I was able to resolve the issues with the aid of Google and techies who post helpful stuff. It all began with a new router which I got for a decent price. So I am counting all four as thankfuls!

three black handset toys
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9. Birthday with Daughter was so nice! We went out to eat at Vic’s Italian (yay Groupon) and Menchie’s for dessert! She was very happy with that combination. I think she was most pleased with her gifts which were all things to wear. Bonus was that Food Lion had frozen gluten free and dairy free cupcakes so we picked up a couple of packs for her celebration at her house with her friends. They looked delicious and pretty. She said they were!
Oh and by the way I used Rakuten and got cash back from my Groupon purchase!!

10. Lastly but not leastly this place is saved for you! Come sit at the table of gratitude and share your happiness!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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Financial, Personal Essay

Working From Home-Be in the Know

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As the workplace changes with modern times, whether we are W-2 employees or self-employed, remote or working from home opportunities have come about full force.

Statistically speaking, according to the Gallup poll, there is a significant increase in people working from home. And there are even more who would be willing to leave their employment to accept remote opportunities. LinkedIn also ran a poll where they found that 82% want to work from home at least one day per week and 57% would like to work remotely about three days per week.

Some of the benefits of working from home are:

  • Improved engagement with the workplace.
  • Increase in productivity.
  • Helping the environment by decreasing waste of items such as paper, trash, and fuel.
  • More effective work-life balance.
  • Flexible work hours lending to more job satisfaction.
  • Better branding of the employee.
  • Less time off for vacations and sick leave.
  • Savings on clothing, transportation, meals, etc.
  • Family availability within reasonable limits.
  • Decreased chances of spreading illness in the workplace.
marketing office working business
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As one who has worked from home since 2006, from my experience, it takes a certain discipline to maintain your work from home reputation. Setting boundaries with family and friends is important. Otherwise, it is too easy to fall into the childcare and errand running status for others, as well as people believing you are available at their beck and call.

Therefore, it is important to state up front and repeatedly (if necessary) that you work set hours and what this means as far as being available.

It is important to set a schedule, shower, dress in at least comfortable clothes. This sets the focus on work vs grabbing the remote and watching movies. In the case of work from home agents for customer service phone centers from home, there will be schedules to fulfill. It will be important to adhere to schedules and to manage background noise. A white noise machine works perfectly for this.

This is what mine looks like:

Ergonomics is just as important at home as it is in the office. It is important to have a desk set up to help prevent carpel tunnel, back issues, etc. Also be sure to get up and walk around periodically and just breathe. I used to set a timer each hour to do breathing exercises, but now it comes more naturally.

adult air beautiful beauty
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My first job working from home was as a work from home agent for a call center based in Texas. Hours were chosen from a board and I worked a set number of hours per week, I did not have to exceed these. Opportunities to work additional hours, along with incentives would be available. As an independent contractor, I did not get paid for training. I received a 1099 for my wages and was able to deduct work related expenses, completing a self-employment Schedule C for tax purposes. Eventually, this company changed to an employee: employer type relationship, resulting in paid training and a W2 for tax filing. This changed the ability to take certain expenses in consideration as would be used when a self-employment Schedule C was filed.

Eventually, I switched to writing gigs and dropped the customer service call center work. One of the jobs was to write jewelry descriptions for a jewelry sales company and eventually to write articles about jewelry. In this job, I learned about SEO. Other writing jobs included writing blurbs for sites and articles.

white ceramic teacup with saucer near two books above gray floral textile
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Just about the time the jewelry business went dry, I was approached about ghostwriting a book about Alzheimer’s Disease. This piqued my interest as my father had Alzheimer’s Disease. I was interested in learning all I could. This resulted in a published book from this project and I learned some key points about publishing and marketing books. Nowadays, I write and am working on a poetry book as well as some other publications.

This is the poetry book I have already published:

Working from home is not made for everybody. It is a convenience for many of us who, need this option. Some people find they can do their work in coffee shops, libraries, remote work centers, or essentially anywhere they can hook up to the internet, if needed. If working as a customer service agent, then this work must be from home in a secured, hard wired environment. Of course, this would also be the case if working in finance or other secure work.

Just like many other areas of life, there is always a chance of coming across scams. Having done some detective work in this respect, I have intentionally taken calculated risks to detect scammers. I have found some that got my spam stamp of rejection.

Discipline, due diligence, and dedication will get you far in work from home efforts.

Resources:

Gallup Poll on Working From Home

LinkedIn Information About Working from Home

Rat Race Rebellion – Work from Home Jobs

 

 

TTOT

Ten Things of Thankful – February 7 2020

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Welcome to TTOT and the first February 2020 Leap Year post! Without a lot of fuss I am going to blow right in!

1. WOOWEE Was it every so windy today! BUT! It was not raining too much 🙂 It was buckets and flying windys yesterday, but it could have been worse. Power flickered and played hide and seek with us and we survived just fine. It’s doing without that helps our character, right?

2. Smooooothe sailing for the Real ID today! I took my soon to be 44 year old daughter to get her Real ID – in case you don’t know about it – it’s a thing you need for reasons such as flying, entering a Federal building, and important stuff like that. I would have gotten mine too (since we’re supposed to have them by October) but I am just past the window to have to pay twice. We only had an hour wait and there was a full house at the DMV. I think several were there for licenses. And with it being windy the DMV official announced it might be a “never” for getting driving tests today. YIKES!! I hope that didn’t come out to be true.

3. Health – I have been getting these treatments for my neck and back and got the first on for my back this week. It went very well. It was done quickly and I did not take anything medicated (sleepy making) to relax. I am feeling good effects from it. And I graduated from Physical Therapy on Monday and just have to do home exercises, so it’s all good. Here is the link to help explain what the Radiofrequency Ablation is.

4. Opportunity for Artistic Focus – I have participated in inspired art with Elizabeth Foley and she invited me to participate this month to be a part of this activity again. I am grateful as it gets my creative juices going.

5. Daughter is here and we are celebrating her birthday on Saturday! I can’t believe she will be 44! Where does the time go? Seems like it was just yesterday that this sweet little 8 year old found her way into my heart instantly! She resides there closer that ever and I cherish these times together. She’s gonna be reading this post, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Jodi!!

6. Support – I had an excellent meeting with other writers on Wednesday. It helps a lot to have real time support from other writers and I hope I offer the same to them. Writing is mostly an isolated career, but sometimes you need a little help from your friends.

7. 8. 9. Observations – I was at the Starbucks at the grocery store with Jodi and we were having her celebratory hot chocolate (they added butterscotch a positive experiment) and my coffee (yeah, I’m boring). I observed a lady eating a pastry. She was taking her time nibbling her way around it and savoring every bite. It made me think about how in life we can get in such a hurry and consume food so fast and not take the time to enjoy. It took her quite a while to finish and I could tell by the look on her face that she was thoroughly enjoying every bit. I looked over at the produce section and saw the colors of apples on display and wondered how many people pay attention to the care that the produce folks take. Then there was the checkout lady who was super friendly, even though she said she had stayed very busy, she loved what she did, it was clear to see and she took just the right care of the groceries, packing them just right.

10. And then there’s you! We got to the end of this and there is a blue link where you can post and share your thankfuls. So, how about it? Even just one is fine. And if you are in a hurry, just comment your thankful. And have an awesome week!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Short Fiction, short story

Hope in the Darkness

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Blackened by layers of coal dust, his face barely recognizable by silver anniversaried wife, Barton staggered out of the mine, clenching tightly to the line as if his life depended on it, as it was, indeed, his lifeline.

Rushing to his side, Belinda took her beloved’s arm and led him to their truck, pushing away others who wanted to know more, Belinda took one long glare at the impending group, “Thank you, but I’ve got this.” Pulling away, the crowd moved on to the next miner as Belinda drove her husband home.

Exhausted from his experience, Barton bathed, fulfilled his appetite, took his wife by her hand to lay beside him and they drifted off to a deep sleep. Shaking in the night, Barton sat upright in their bed, eyes wide open and shouted, “There is an end to this trial,” and fell back to sleep.

“Indeed,” Belinda whispered, “And it’s the end that we hoped for, to have you home, once again.”

 

 

…..

Well, there you have it. This is Six Sentence Story time and you can go to this link to check it out:

Six Sentence Story Link Up

Rules of the hop:
Write 6 Sentences. No more. No less.
Use the current week’s prompt word.
Link the URL to your post via the blue “Click here to enter” button below .
Spread the word and put in a good one to your fellow writers 🙂

PROMPT WORD:  FACE