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A Curious Utensil

While rummaging around in my kitchen quite recently, I came across a curious utensil. It had the shape of carrying tray, yet was so small as to certainly not be a tray. The handles were out-sized next to the size of the business end of the utensil, and reminded me of unusually large ears on an unusually small-headed person.

One could not carry a thing on it. It had no bottom. Instead, it had a center circle of metal perhaps five-eights of an inch in diameter from which radiated twelve…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on December 10, 2016 at 8:04am — No Comments

Beautiful Island

THE INVASION BEGAN - as it always did - in the last days of December. Our little town of five hundred would soon swell to two thousand. The boats would come as surely as one day follows the last. It’s not as if we didn’t have the room or need the money. It’s that our idyllic and nearly perfect lives were about to be disrupted. Our island paradise needed a shot in the arm and every year at this time that’s what it got.

As a practical matter, we had to pay a price. For the next month…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on December 3, 2016 at 10:14am — No Comments

Tear Holes in It

GINGHA AND HER two companions walked slowly, single file and alert as they picked their way along a narrow ridge high above a low place. The smaller of the two walked between them, a younger in training, Gingha’s charge, and the other a seasoned warrior of her tribe. Behind them the sky darkened and when shadow fell on them, Gingha turned abruptly and looked to the sky. She stifled a gasp as an orange hue manifested in the coming storm.

“Quickly!” Gingha called. “Get under!…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on November 26, 2016 at 5:36am — No Comments

Writing the Wild

Hello all,

I'd like to introduce myself. I'm a relatively new member of CAPA and look forward to joining this community of dedicated writers. I attended the meeting yesterday in Avon featuring guest speakers Steve Reilly and Richard LaPorta on copyright issues. Fantastic talk. 

I'd like to invite you to a blog created by three women that focuses on "The Wild" in all its various forms. (Okay, one of the women is my daughter, Lisa, a science writer who lives in Yellowstone…

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Added by Karen Elizabeth Baril on November 20, 2016 at 3:30pm — No Comments

And Baby Makes Me

THE LIFE I know today began with my birth. It doesn’t seem much to say, but I want you to know what happened before that. Before I was born, I enjoyed life in a place swimmingly confined and restricted, but really okay. I could kick around and turn over, stand on my head, lots of things.

Then, one day just like all the others, quite suddenly and totally without my permission, the quiescent muscles surrounding me started to work.

“Hey, what’s going on?”

Thrown around and…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on November 19, 2016 at 7:58am — No Comments

Evil Child

THE MAN IN the red car drove down a dusty dirt road deep in the hills of northern Arkansas. He chuckled. That last sale two towns back, oh man, how he’d pulled one over. The commission would set him for a month.

I’m good, he thought, real good! He laughed again.

He passed a crossroad, woods to one side, cotton on the other. Three black kids, side of the road, looking at him, big eyes, expressionless, empty faces, strange, unnerving. Did I really see…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on November 12, 2016 at 6:04am — No Comments

Top 5 book marketing successes

Let's share our top book marketing successes in this blog. Why? Because writing the book is only half the work of an author; the other half is getting the attention of prospective buyers, namely, readers! So measure your success by your sales volume, not just the number of free copies you gave away or the number of hits on a website. We want sales.

My top 5 book marketing successes were:

1. Going to the local library and meeting with the person in charge. The library…

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Added by Beth Bruno on November 9, 2016 at 7:58am — No Comments

As the Wheel Turns

I have a wife. She’s the apple of my eye and she’s my friend and that’s good. I wish to pen some thoughts on marriage and relationships. I’m writing it for me, but there is always a danger that I might share it sometime. To share this with others requires that I write with others in mind. It changes the equation. To whom would I show my inner thoughts?…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on November 5, 2016 at 2:05pm — No Comments

Mouse Takes Plunge

I GLANCED AT the picture in my hand. It showed one of the wren houses I’d built in the spring of 2008 and hung in a nearby tree. A dead mouse dangled absurdly by its tail, evidently somehow caught in the intricately twig fashioned wren’s nest inside. I showed it to my wife and in a rather typical response, she said, “Ugh!”

For my part, my active mind took off for parts unknown and I conjured a fantasy.

At the end of the summer season on 10-17-2008 about the time of the…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on October 15, 2016 at 4:22am — No Comments

Adventures of a Newborn

As I pieced it together from family history, September 21, 1938 dawned gray in Torrington, CT. Gram had just called from the old place up on Town Farm Road on the rotary dial and invited our little family for supper.

I have written this in story form to try and capture the moment, the danger and the excitement of that day.

Grandpa and Gram came up a couple of days before from their house in Hartford to get in the corn. The almost two hundred year old property in West Torrington…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on October 8, 2016 at 5:38pm — No Comments

The Runner

THE STAR SPANGLED Banner finished and the crowd now heard, “Runners, on your mark.”

The cannon’s booming crack sent hundreds of men and women bolting across the startup line. Old, young, streamlined, even portly, running outfits’ casual or to the nines, they ran. Each one displayed a prominent identifying number.

On West Street they put on a show, gathering cheers for favorites and listening to heady, frantic calls from the crowd. Some smiled and hammed it up. Others…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on October 1, 2016 at 7:05am — No Comments

A Stitch in Time

ONE OF MY earliest memories is one in which my grandmother sat at her little sewing table and mended clothes or darned socks. People did that in bygone days. You know, the old Yankee way. Buy it new, wear it out, fix it up, make it do. Drawing a stitch in time saved a lot of work later.

I’m thinking this old saying is much older than America. It makes me wonder where it came from. Did it arise in a number of places instead of just one? What an interesting thought.

Where would…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on September 24, 2016 at 5:08am — No Comments

Aftermath, Part III, the final chapter

Chapter III

“THEN WE WILL be dead, and the message will not get to Brad. We don’t operate that way. If your discipline is anything like ours, you won’t take a chance on shooting us and sweeping it under the rug. First, I’m sure there are others behind us who would have heard that first shot, and they will want an accounting of why you fired it. Second, the message we have might stop all this useless warfare, and you wouldn’t be averse to…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on September 17, 2016 at 5:37am — No Comments

Aftermath, Part II

Chapter II

“EASY, ROD. I called to you.”

“Hey! Couldn’t hear you.” He recovered quickly and smiled at his friend.

“Yeah. That yellow thing you have to get rid of. It advertises you, and this isn’t the place for it.”

“Yeah, I know. All I could find,” he replied.

“Here, put this on.” Jon pulled a black parcel from under his dark, non-reflective cape.

Rodney glanced at it. “How did you know?”

“I was no…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on September 10, 2016 at 8:18am — No Comments

Aftermath (Part one)

Prologue

THE FINAL CONFLICT began in 2020. It lasted two days. In that time America had been decimated by the bombs of its enemies and had in turn destroyed beyond repair the hopes of the gentle peoples of the world. Only a few locales, widely separated by thousands of miles on different continents held pockets of humanity. They struggled and most failed. This is the story of Waterbury in the former state of Connecticut, as unlikely…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on September 4, 2016 at 5:06am — No Comments

Game Show

A WIDE STAGE, festooned in red and black, curtained in some dark, heavy material, formed a backdrop for four luxurious and ornate plastic chairs, two facing two. In their center, slightly behind the chairs, stood a podium. Lights glared into the scene from an intricate network of steel and wire at a lofty height. At the podium stood the game show host. The TV cameras were rolling.

“Now contestants, we enter the final phase of our program. Mark and Annabelle have lost the last round…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on August 27, 2016 at 8:47am — No Comments

Two Gloves for Harry

This is a repeat of a story I released in May of this year, except for the ending. The test was, did the tone of the story change with the ending. Which did you like best? You decide.

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HARRY SAUNTERED DOWN Brooklyn’s Spencer Street with his hands in his brown corduroy pants pockets. His new blue shirt felt a little scratchy under his parka, but it looked super. That’s what Mama told him. One of the tails of the shirt hung out a little. Mama said…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on August 20, 2016 at 5:57pm — No Comments

Mary Beth and Ollie

I glanced out the window on Amtrak’s D.C. run, my thoughts on other things. I’d switch trains in Baltimore and then cab-dash into the district to be there by five p.m. I saw rolling fields of early corn that stretched all the way to the mild hump of horizon. Gray hills continued into the distance. The fields shimmered with June heat.

My pen hadn’t made many marks on the pad I held in the last hour. I became aware of a crick in my neck. I wish I’d bought that cheap laptop I saw at…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on August 13, 2016 at 2:01pm — No Comments

Getting Along

I HAVE ONE hand in my pocket. The other holds a stick slung over my shoulder. A blue polka-dot kerchief filled with all I own bobs at the end. I whistle something out of tune, but it’s happy and that’s all I care about. The road I travel is dusty and today's going to be hot. I’m on a lane with overhanging trees and their green leaves slap me gently as I pass. I don’t know where I am or where I’m going; I just know I’m free. Free to make my own choices. Free to succeed or fail and it’s all…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on August 6, 2016 at 3:57am — No Comments

Dreamscape

MY BREATH COMES in gasps and I might have been running forever. My legs are rubbery with exhaustion and the fire in my lungs with every breath I take hurts so bad I don’t think I can go on. I have to go on. I try to turn my head and look back. My head won’t turn. Is it gaining? What is it? I have to get away. That’s all I know. It will kill me if I don’t. I duck down an alley.

Where did these houses come from? I’ve been running in an open field. I smelled alfalfa before. I sniff…

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Added by Richard O. Benton on July 30, 2016 at 6:58am — No Comments

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