The Ilyasov Reflection: Part II

Every Christmas, Kate Shrewsday writes a ghost story for her family. Last week, I posted Part I of this year’s story, “The Ilyasov Reflection.” Today I’m reblogging Part II. The link to Part III is here: Find the Final Part IV here: Kate and six of her writer friends have a book of ghostly short stories, Echoes in the Darkness, available on Amazon:

Kate Shrewsday

This is part two of the Shrewsday Christmas Ghost Story. You can find part one here.

When she woke, it was dark. And there was still no one there.

What time was it? Meg moved her head painfully. She must have hit it as she fainted. Two hours had passed, and Dylan was still not home. Her heart lurched as she remembered the events of the day, and involuntarily, she glanced at the mirror.

It was a blank stare, reflecting the room and Dylan’s Christmas lights

She heard sound of the key in the lock. Dylan hollered up the stairs: “Sorry I’m late. Traffic was a bugger. We’re going to have to make a quick turnaround I’m afraid….

And the woman in Meg took over. I look a sight, she thought, and I have five minutes. Without a thought for the bump on her head, or the mad woman in the…

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The Ilyasov Reflection

Kate Shrewsday is publishing her annual Christmas ghost story this week. Read on for Part One. And if you just cannot wait, here’s a link to Part Two:

Kate Shrewsday

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 17.05.34Christmas never goes by, in the Shrewsday household without a rollicking good ghost story. We are late – I have been ill – but here is the first of three parts. Enjoy, and have a wonderful festive break.

In the darkest recesses of the little shop in Pravdy Street, in the great city of St Petersburg, the frame stood blind.

By blind, I mean it carried no mirror, though once it must have been made to stand on the dressing table of some impossibly rich and beautiful woman. It was carved in mahogany and had once been lavishly gilded by master craftsmen, but its crevices collected dust now, its unsettling features dulled by time and inattention.

Old Gorokhin could not remember a time when it had not stood there, glowering from the corner of his little shop. His father before him told him it had arrived after the house clearance of…

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The World in Solemn Stillness

We're watching, one more time, It's a Wonderful Life. Clarence Oddbody, AS2 (Angel Second Class), aka Henry Travers, is showing George Bailey, aka James Stewart, how his hometown would look if George had never been born. In a couple of minutes, George will learn that, because he never existed, his wife, Mary, aka Donna Reed, … Continue reading The World in Solemn Stillness

How NORAD Became the Santa Tracker

It's once again time for the North American Aerospace Defense Command's (NORAD) annual tracking of the flight of Santa Claus from the North Pole to points all over the planet. How did NORAD become the official Santa Tracker? The children of Col. Harry Shoup told the story on a recent episode of Morning Edition's Storycorps … Continue reading How NORAD Became the Santa Tracker

The Road to Bethlehem

THE ROAD TO BETHLEHEM If as Herod, we fill our lives with things and again things; If we consider ourselves so important that we must fill Every moment of our lives with action; When will we have the time to make the long slow journey Across the burning desert as did the Magi; Or sit … Continue reading The Road to Bethlehem

Hansel and Gretel and Cuthbert and Me

This is the story of Cuthbert, a five-year-old boy who visited my school library for twenty minutes every week. My job was to teach him about the library. I'm not sure what his job was. But he was very good at it. * Once upon a time, I read "Hansel and Gretel" to a class … Continue reading Hansel and Gretel and Cuthbert and Me

Can Being Tired Make Us Better Writers?

Yesterday, I posted on Writing Wranglers and Warriors a piece (Boy, Am I Cranky) prompted by this post on Kristin Lamb’s Blog. I provided a link to that blog, but in case you didn’t have time to read it, I’m reblogging it. In a couple of days I’ll tell a (not-funny-to-me-except-in-hindsight-and-maybe-not-even-then) story about why that 2-hour post took more than five hours to write.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 9.14.12 AM Image via Lauriesanders60 WANACommons

Last month I participated in NaNoWriMo even though it’s the holidays and, as many of you know, I am battling the last vestiges of Shingles which makes me tired, like down to the BONES tired. But, lest I go crazy, I had to write, because that’s what writers do. We aren’t happy unless we are writing something. 

I figured in the beginning I likely wouldn’t make the 50,000 word mark not only because of feeling puny, but I also have other writing that doesn’t count toward NaNo.

Yet, the interesting thing is, being tired can have benefits. If we wait until that celestial alignment when the kids aren’t sick, our pants fit, there isn’t a heap of laundry, the garage is clean, the junk mail sorted, and we feel energized? We won’t get a lot of writing done, so here is some food for thought…

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Boy, Am I Cranky

I’m on Writing Wranglers and Warriors today, thinking aloud about Kristin Lamb’s question–“Can Being Tired Make You a Better Writer?”
Read to learn the answer. And be sure to visit Kristin’s blog – – and see what she says.

Writing Wranglers and Warriors




Posted by Kathy Waller


There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep. ~ Homer


(A word in this post contains a zero in place of an o. If you find it, go to the head of the class. I saw it but now I can’t find it to correct it. There’s an and for an, too. Yes, this is pertinent to the subject of the post.)

Ten a.m., and I was dead tired.

IMG_0212I’d awakened at seven a.m., put sheets in the washing machine, piled three loads on the landing to do later, folded a load taken from the dryer, hidden one load of clean towels under the couch pillows so the guy cats couldn’t sleep on them, dressed myself, and driven downtown.

Now I was sitting on a stool at the computer bar of my office-coffee…

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3,000 Hippos and Sophie Tucker Can’t Be Wrong

In November, my friend and critique partner Gale Albright presented a NaNoWriMo write-in at the Hutto Public Library, in Hutto, Texas. Nine writers and their laptops gathered to write for four solid hours, supported by snacks and coffee provided by the Library. Attendance was so robust that I had to scrounge* for a seat when … Continue reading 3,000 Hippos and Sophie Tucker Can’t Be Wrong