Monthly Blurb #5

It took a while, but I managed to squeeze this out. However, I’m now out of prompts! It’s up to you to feed me for the next Blurb! Leave a comment below, thank you!

As always, I welcome any comment and/or constructive criticism. 🙂

You may feel free to share, reblog, or comment, but please do not steal my words or take credit for them. Thank you. © Alison Juste

Prompt: Someone takes a walk and reminisces about something in the past.

He had been walking this particular path for at least five years, so everything looked quite familiar. He knew which bricks were loose or broken, causing unfortunate accidents. Even with his eyes closed he would be able to follow the curve from the riverbank to the park center.

But it wasn’t just the route he knew, it was the surroundings. He could tell by the sound of wavelets lapping against the wall how strong the wind blew or how much it had rained. The trees became confidants, each with its own personality – especially on a windy day.

Today, the waves were quiet and the trees still, as if everything was enjoying the warm afternoon of an early summer day. A laugh suddenly submerged him deep in the past. Confused, he looked around, whirling with more speed than he’d mustered on his walks in the last three years.


Strangely, the path wasn’t very crowded yet. There was a young couple holding hands, a gathered family, a few dog walkers and a group of friends. The laugh startled him again. Among the group of friends was a young woman, doubling over with tears in her eyes.

Of course it couldn’t be Alyssa. He hadn’t seen or heard from her in over a decade, maybe she was still alive. Maybe not. He adjourned his ritual walk and leaned against the handrail. The river comforted him with its usual lapping sound while he focused on that woman’s laugh.

It was nearly identical. He hadn’t realized how much he missed that laugh. Minutes ticked by as he kept listening, drinking in, that laugh. Memories bubbled up slowly. An attempted dine-and-dash. Losing a map in a river. Mix ups with locals in Thailand. Laughing so hard on a street people thought them drunk.

A smile had crept on his face, his eyes brimming with unshed tears. The laughter faded as the group biked away, leaving him alone with his precious memory of a long lost friend.

Word count: 333

I thought I’d try my hand at a male protagonist this time, I’m not that great at writing them. And you know what they say, “practice makes perfect.” So I practiced, a little. I don’t know why it got all sentimental, but it did.

Again, please drop some prompts below and be responsible (in a good way) for the next Blurb!

All work published is the intellectual property of © Alison Juste. Please do not republish anything from this site without express written permission. Sharing links or reblogging is welcome.


Thank you to each and everyone one of you!

The first of many milestones to reach, I hope.

It hasn’t quite been a year since I started this blog, and despite my inconsistent posting, it’s nice to know at least someone is reading (and responding) to my posts and musings.

The last 6 months, especially this one, have been rather trying as I struggled, and still do, with the weight of indecision and lack of direction. There was an overall feeling of ugh and a state of mind that left little room for writing. But I’m trying to change that, and hopefully, my posts will soon reflect my success (or attempts, at the very least).

Thank you again, you’re the best!

Keep smiling,
Ali J.

The Inadvertent Thief

The day had barely started yet her brain already stacked things in a mental to-do list. Go to the store. Return the blackened carrots. Buy lunch. Print materials for class. See the secretaries for exam scheduling.

So anxious she was to go home and eat, she didn’t want to take a big bulky cart as it’d only slow her down. She zipped through the aisles, checking her watch repeatedly. Cheese, yes. Bread, pickles. Frozen stuff, nope. Lunch, check. She stuffed the items into her canvas bag, careful not to squish anything.

Ready to checkout, she quickly scanned the registers for either the shortest line, or the line with the least amount of items to check out. Sometimes her luck was rotten, because the shortest line had the slowest customer or cashier, or they’d forgotten something, or or or… Sometimes, it was the opposite and no one was there. But today was a normal day, with a little waiting time.

For once, she paid by cash instead of card. Frustratingly, the cashier set her change on the belt rather than in her hand. Precious minutes wasted… But at least, it wasn’t raining and she was home in less than 10 minutes. After shedding off her coat and scarf and unzipping her ankle boots, she emptied her canvas bag before preparing lunch.

Bread, cheese, pickles, lunch. Cheese?


Confused, she pulled out her receipt and counted all her items. Eight. Why did she suddenly have nine!?

“Oh shiiit…!”

She realized that cheese –une bĂ»che de chèvre, a particular favorite of hers – had probably been hidden by her secondary shopping bag. In all her rushing through the ‘now’ and worrying about the ‘later,’ she’d basically become a thief. Inadvertently, of course. But what could she do, return to the store after work and say “Hi, I realized I didn’t pay for that this morning, can I pay now?”

No, that would only get her weird glances and who knows how the employee (or worse, security!) would react. It was too late. All she could do to ease her guilt was savor the cheese. After all, we all know things we don’t pay for taste better, right?

Bûche de chèvre

7 Strategies and 110 Tools to Help Indie Authors Find Readers and Reviewers

Reblogging both for reference and sharing!
Thanks for the list. 🙂

Musings and Marvels

Self-publishing is growing, and with it come new resources. One of the biggest hurdles of being an indie author is finding readers and getting reviews (which helps find more readers). Some people may still consider self-publishing a stigma, and some writers may think that promotion takes away too much time from writing. But many sites, including Outramp, Your Writer Platform, and Indies Unlimited have written posts giving advice for marketing.

On Digital Book World, founder of McCarthy Digital Peter McCarthy said, “Whoever is the best at connecting authors’ works with the end consumers — they win.” It’s about being agile and seeing what works.

With that in mind, here are 7 strategiesand a list of 94 tools indie authors can use to help promote their books and find new readers and reviewers (although the first and most important thing is to write a good…

View original post 4,517 more words

Writing: Main or side job?

I’m neither the first nor the last to ponder whether to consider writing a main or side job. Frankly, I’m actually at a point where writing isn’t even a job at the moment, which might play better in the long term but is rather detrimental to my short term goals.

I’m bringing this up now because I find myself – once again – confronted with the dreaded “what do I do next year” question I never want to answer. I have been advised to keep my current job, because a) it’s a job with b) a salary. I understand that. At least, rationally. The part of me that pleads “no more!” however, sees it differently. The amount of time spent on preparing and planning classes, on going to class, on grading papers, not to mention the increasing amount of student-related frustration leave me hard pressed to say “yes please!” to another year.

I’d love to think of writing as my main job, while putting up with some day job as (still-rather-undecided-job-title). But when I spend close to no time at all on actually writing, you know there’s a problem. I’m not looking for a “dream job,” but ideally a job I’m comfortable doing and, hopefully, good at. A job where I don’t come home a sack of nerves and buzzing with annoying thoughts.

But maybe that’s too idealistic. Maybe I won’t find such a day job until writing is my day job! Even then, new annoyances would pop up and I’d get frustrated by all the things that make writing so hard and confusing.

So tell me, is writing your main job even though it’s on the side? Do you sneak extra hours instead of sleeping just to write those extra three lines? Or is writing your side job you do when you’re in the mood and have some spare time?

Ali J.