Memorial Day Tribute
Sending prayers for those who lost loved ones that gave their lives fearlessly defending the freedoms we all enjoy. God bless them.
"The Dead Can't Rest"
In 2007, Mrs. Eloise Cunningham, fifteen year-old, Eric Ramsey’s best friend and “Third Grandmother” as he called her, died of Leukemia. While helping his mother and Mrs. Cunningham’s son, Evan, close the house, Eric discovered Mrs. Cunningham was still there. No one could see her but Eric and didn’t believe him when he told them she was there.
In 2008, due to other people reporting they’d seen her looking out the window and also walking in the garden, the Whispering Pines Daily Times talked Evan into letting them partner with local businesses and anyone who would spend Halloween Night, all night, in the house, would receive one thousand dollars. However, no one has ever spent the entire night.
Now, in 2012, Eric is a sophomore in college and he and four freshmen decide to take the challenge. Eric rushes up to the house to ask Mrs. Cunningham what is going on, and discovers she is looking forward to the night and is concerned Eric will spoil her fun.
Ms. Annabelle Florence is a medium, who has never seen a ghost before, but has talked the local TV Station, WPTV Channel 43, into letting her have a segment on the Ten o’clock News called Investigating the Paranormal with Ms. Annabelle Florence.
Join Eric and Ms. Florence as they find out why, The Dead Can’t Rest.
Available on Kindle and everywhere
Mathis in the Plainview Daily Herald
Going through a stack of papers the other day, I found this newspaper article.
In September of 2012 I had already moved to Lubbock, and Mary Byrd was the only member of the Plaiview Writers Guild living in Plainview, so we decided to close the Guild.
Carole Bell. of The Witness Writers took over our “time slot” for her group meetings.
Here, Carole Bell of The Witness Writers, and Mary Byrd and I, along with Texas High Plains Writers member, Bernice Simpson, attended a Witness Writers workshop in Plainview.
Author shares tips with Witness Writers
A man walks into a bookstore. “Where’s the self-help section?” he asks the clerk. She shrugs and replies, “If I tell you, won’t that defeat the purpose?”
Jennifer Mersberger uses that joke as an example of situational irony in her workshop, “Lighten Up! Nine ways to make your writing more relatable,” which she recently presented to Witness Writers at First United Methodist Church.
The group she spoke to were no strangers to irony, nor to helping themselves for that matter. They were in various stages of every writer’s dream — getting published. Some write successful blogs or columns, others are in negotiation with book publishers. Most were from Plainview, but some drove from Amarillo.
All of them were intense, educated listeners that wanted to hear what Mersberger, the author of two Christian books, had to say about improving their writing by using humor.
Unlike many writers, Mersberger didn’t grow up dreaming of being an author.
“I enjoyed English, but I didn’t start writing until I was an adult,” she said. Her first book “Parables of the Master Storyteller” began as a Bible study that she conducted just three years ago. A friend suggested that she have it published.
Mersberger lectures using worksheets with writing samples, both good and bad, that come from sources as diverse as Phillip Roth, author of “A Plight Against America,” and William Goldman, who wrote the movie “The Princess Bride.”
She is particularly hard on Philip Roth for a 100-plus word sentence and passes on some advice an early writing mentor gave her: “Don’t describe the wallpaper unless there’s blood on it.”
An example of humor as a coping mechanism comes from a real-life friend. “As a woman gathers the hair she lost from her chemo treatments, she says, ‘That color never looked good on me anyway.’”
After the lecture comes the time writers both long for and dread — the critique session. The writers break up into two small groups of four and five. Some have brought along copies to share, while others read their samples aloud or have someone else read for them.
Those who critique are gentle but firm, frequently alluding to Mersberger’s nine rules. Wouldn’t it be better to start in the middle? Is there too much detail here? The ones being critiqued question and scribble notes for later revisions.
At some level, most writing comes from personal experience, and Mersberger urges the writers to be “transparent.” When questioned about what that means, she said it means to be honest, to share your own experience.
However, she cautions, too much honesty can turn some readers off. In fact, one of her blog readers recently dropped her site because Mersberger was honest about her own display of anger during a family incident.
Mersberger recommends journaling and says she writes in her own journal every day.
“For me, journaling is very cathartic — that’s why I encourage people to do it. Sometimes it’s hard to see what God is doing in your life. Then I’ll read something I’ve written and say to God, ‘Oh, now I see what you’re doing.’ ”
Mersberger said she hopes her children will read her journals someday, “but that’s not why I write them. I do wish my parents would have done it for me.”
Mersberger lives in Newark on the outskirts of Fort Worth with her husband and two children. She is currently leading a new Bible study with three different women’s groups.
“Women’s ministry retreats have a different wave of creativity and shared insight that fuel my creative fire,” she said.
To read Mersberger’s blog and learn more about her, go to www.lamplightministries.com.
Witness Writers meets from 10 a.m. to noon on the second Saturday of every month at First United Methodist Church, 1001 W. Seventh St. in Plainview, Texas.
Since I located this article, I have attempted to contact Carole Bell with no success. I have talked to Mary Byrd, and she hasn’t talked to her, either. She also doesn’t know if The Witness Writers group is still meeting.
The Chronicles of Brad
This is not a word-for-word rewrite of the
Shipwrecked/Climb to the Top Collection Series
from Brad’s Point of View. I enjoyed writing it and I hope you will enjoy reading it.
There are several things that happened even when Kris was there that Kris didn’t mention, that Brad covers, so you might want to dust off your copies of the series to compare them.
As a special bonus, we revisit the series from Brad’s POV (Point of View). Find out how Brad felt when he first laid eyes on Kris, and other times when something happened during the series. Plus, he divulges other things that happened when Kris either wasn’t around or didn’t mention.
This is the Series Finalè for the “Shipwrecked/Climb to the Top” Collection Series.
eBooks by Mathis b Rogers
Reviews & Award
Lady Cyrrheal Annex Reviews "Blizzard"
Lady Cyrrh gave Blizzard
When posted: 8/22/97
Where posted: ASSG
Author: Mathis B. Rogers
This was a long one (pun intended)–more of a novelette than a short story–but it was very good, a sort of first-person gay gothic romance- mystery about a writer with amnesia. The story begins as the narrator is pulled from his crashed car by a handsome man. He doesn’t remember a thing and doesn’t know who he is, so the other guy takes him to his nearby cabin in the woods for shelter, as a blizzard is blowing up, and they soon become isolated from the world. The rest of the story is taken up with the writer’s efforts to rediscover his identity and understand the attraction he feels towards his rescuer and his repulsion towards another man who claims to be his lover.
There wasn’t much sex save for one scene is the middle (in which the police barge in on the gay couple as they ejaculate), but this was more of a mainstream story than porn anyway. The writer was quite skilled in setting up the situation–Is the rescuer all he seems to be? Can anyone he knows be trusted?–and I was eager to resolve the mystery. The denouement was a little bit of a letdown–by the time the final revelations came, I was expecting something really scandalous–but overall the story was entertaining, and excellently written as well.
Lady Cyrrheal Annex reviews "Shipwrecked".
Author: Mathis B. Rogers
… this story dealt with romance and the familial repercussions of being gay in contemporary society…more of a domestic fantasy than a sexual one, though there was a lot of sex (they say “I love you” over 50 times.) Kris, the young narrator, has been living with Brad, his lover, for two years, but Brad’s parents haven’t realized their son is gay and that Kris is not “just” a roomate. When Brad’s family invites the two to spend the weekend on their boat, they reluctantly, agree, knowing how hard it will be to keep it a secret. Complicating matters is Chad, Brad’s identical twin brother, who has also been asked along, and complicating things further is the freak storm that strikes, washing the boat ashore on a desert isle. (Stop singing the “Gilligan’s Island” theme.) The rest of the story deals with the aftermath, the “coming out” of the young couple, and how Brad’s parents and twin brother react to this.
It’s hard not to like this story even if you don’t like gay fiction, because the characters were simply so *nice.* I felt I knew them as neighbors. There was even a touch of sly familial sexual humor running throughout:
Mr. Peterson turned in his seat and looked Brad up and down as we climbed into the car. “No wonder those shorts had a hole in them, son,” he said. “They’re so tight that they’ll split if you get a boner. Couldn’t you find any decent clothes to wear?”
“Thanks, Mom,” Brad chided, before turning to his father.
“You shouldn’t talk like that in front of Mom, Dad.”
Mr. Peterson turned around and adjusted his seat belt. “Why not?” he asked. “She knows what a boner is. Hell, if she didn’t enjoy playing with mine, you wouldn’t be here.”
(No, there’s no incest!)
All in all, a feelgood story with roots in real life.
Happy Easter & Passover!
Wishing everyone a Blessed and Happy Easter and Passover!
No matter which you celebrate, remember what Jesus did for you!
41st Annual Lubbock Arts Festival
Had a good time at the 41st Annual Lubbock Art’s Festival on Saturday, April 12th. It’s a two-day event, but I was only able to attend on Saturday.
Several of the Authors who belong to the Write Right Critique Group were selling our books at the event. Each year the group has a “Kid’s Stop” booth called “Write with the Writers” and also the “Meet the Authors” section. The authors get to meet and great readers and sell our autographed books. Even in this day and age, several people still prefer to hold a physical book in their hands.
Since my readers prefer eBooks, I only have ’The Mysterious Bed’ in print. I did give out several cards with my website on them and met some really neat people.
Click our picture to be taken to the group’s Bookshelf page.