Saturday 18 May 2024

The Story Behind the Story with Allan Hudson of New Brunswick, Canada.


This week, I’d like to share the SBTS of my newest book.




I live in Dieppe with my wife Gloria. I began writing in my mid 50s with no intention of stopping. Happily retired, I spend most mornings working on my stories and publishing the Scribbler. The rest of my days are spent with book related projects, time with family and other important issues, such as napping and taking life easy.




Title: One Bedroom Ark


Synopsis: Jeb Coyne, proprietor of Coyne’s Confectionary, will have been widowed for two years tomorrow. Tending to his daily business takes his mind off the looming anniversary for a moment, as do his customers, whether cheerful or grumpy. But he’s never felt so alone.

With the workday finished, Jeb is a few minutes from locking the doors. He goes out to bring in the sign board his father made and is interrupted by a tiny voice asking if he is closing.

Olivia Fletcher stands before him, a teenager with wet strands of hair across her cheek, a baby in her arms.

This chance meeting will change both of their lives forever.



The Story Behind the Story: I’ve always enjoyed stories of seniors helping younger people. Many youths are propelled into society with no means of support, no experience of living on their own. For those that make it, perhaps someone wiser stepped in to help. And so it is with One Bedroom Ark.

This story originated from a short story of the same title published in A Box of Memories. The store owner is from an early memory of a grey haired gentleman tending the cash at his convenience store, one his father started. I recall the head of thick hair but not a face. He’s gone many years ago and the store is a trendy cafĂ© now.

The other characters showed up when I needed them. I’m particularly fond of Lindy, she’s a sweetheart, flashy and bold. Donnie, one of the delivery men, shows up early mornings with freckles, good cheer and the weather report. The baroness, well, you’ll meet her below. Digger is a regular who says the coffee is terrible but buys an extra-large every morning.

I had fun writing this story. It makes me feel good, reminds me to be kind. I hope you enjoy it.


Follow this LINK to purchase your copy.

Thank you.

An Excerpt:

Another customer comes in and he recognizes the top of the hat. It's a wide brimmed thing with black and white circles around the brim, two of each. The center is a black pillbox. It looks like a target to shoot at. Watching it bob back and forth as it climbs the stairs makes him dizzy, and he looks away. Evgenia Baranova. She won't say how old she is, but he guesses over eighty. She continues to walk everywhere. Sometimes takes the bus. It has a stop on the next street over. She was in a cranky mood the last time she was here a couple days ago. Best prepare for the worst he thinks and keeps his chin up. Uses his best line.

"Good morning, Baroness."

The prune like face which peers up at him has the usual paint job by whatever cosmetic artillery she uses. Her sunken cheeks are rosier by an undefined red substance which makes Jeb think of paintings by knife artists. Ooh! A crack in the finish. She likes it when he calls her baroness. She claims she is of noble birth, Russian aristocracy and such, although he's not sure if it's true or not. She appears a bit dotty at times but he humours her. She's one of the few who addresses him with his full name.

"Yes, yes, it is a good morning, Jebidiah. My back is much better today. Thank you for asking. Now, is the paper in yet? Did you save me a copy?"

He bends down to pick one from the top of the heap he's yet to put out. Pretending it's exclusive he whispers as if there's been a run on the newspapers for the last ten minutes he's been open.

"Yes, Baroness. Just for you. Shall I put it in a bag?"

As she speaks to him, her eyes wander to the cork board behind Jeb and the colorful pictures and notes.

"No, no. I'll carry it. Going to visit my good friend, Davida, at Kingston's Nursing Home and we'll read it together. The bus stops right in front. I…"

She pushes her eyeglasses back up and focuses on Avery's photo. She never fails to notices and admire it but she doesn't ever comment. She remembers that it's the anniversary of her passing tomorrow. She speaks before she thinks.

"…I still miss Avery. She was always so kind to me and…"

Jeb turns away. He doesn't want her to see him. He's scared to blink. He feels such a fool. He pulls a Kleenex from a box on the shelf under the cash and dabs his eyes, then blows his nose.

"Excuse me. Must be getting a cold."

"I'm sorry Jeb. Forgive me."

The tight lips scrunch up in a pout and Jeb sees the regret in her eyes.

"I'm fine. It's fine, Evgenia. Nothing to apologize for. I miss her too. Now, that's seventy-five cents as usual, my dear."

Thank you for visiting dear readers.

Feel free to leave a comment. We would love to hear from you.

Saturday 11 May 2024

The Story Behind the Story with D.C. Malcolm of New Brunswick, Canada.


           We have someone new to the Scribbler this week. 

Let’s welcome D.C. Malcolm.

She is sharing the good news about her Latest book.  

Read on my friends.



D.C. Malcolm is a self-published Historical Mystery Author of Guilty Deceptions and Dark Jealousy. She lives in New Brunswick, Canada, with her son. Her interests include Victorian times, True Crime, and Murder Mysteries. Which heavily influence her writing. When she isn’t killing off characters in her novels, D.C. enjoys a quiet life, reading, spending time with family, and watching murder mysteries.


 Title: Dark Jealousy


Synopsis: A year after the events of Guilty Deceptions, Sheriff Dawson returns when Catherine Baker is found brutally murdered next to her mother's woodshed in Willow Grove. Armed with his deputy's keen eye and his own wit, Sheriff Dawson must solve this gruesome murder. However, when he has it all figured out, suspects start dropping one by one. Forcing Sheriff Dawson to face the reality of stereotypes – fight for what is right – and hopefully solve these crimes before someone else dies.


The Story Behind the Story: While I was finishing Guilty Deceptions, an idea came to me. I didn’t want to say goodbye to the characters I had created, and I felt there was more to Sheriff Dawson, Becky, Annie, and Patrick. I also didn’t want to let go of some other characters like Sylvester, Billy, and Horace, to name a few.

After brainstorming, I decided that I could continue this story into a series. This was because Guilty Deceptions had transformed from a story focused on Maggie and John to a story about Sheriff Dawson, his mind, and his hardships.

Once I decided that I was going to continue the series, I realized I needed to find a plot to base my story on. This is because of my unique niche of loosely basing my murder mysteries on real-life crimes from Victorian times.

So, I researched cases that stuck out. Something that I could twist and morph into a story. After hours of research, I came across a case that happened in 1883, where a man named William had been convicted of murdering his wife, Elizabeth. The murder took place in Willow Grove, a community that I had already introduced in Guilty Deceptions, and I figured it would be nice to revisit the area in a second book.

The problem was the date, which wasn’t much of a problem. I just changed the date from 1883 to 1871 to fit the timeline of Sheriff Dawson. When I sit down to write, I never know the ending of my stories. Halfway through my first draft, I decided that I had to touch on topics that were considered taboo in 1871. Sheriff Dawson is always ahead of his time and touches on these taboo subjects with a modern view.

I also did some research via newspapers on Google Books. (I love using this feature in my research) and found out that Small Pox was going around Saint John in 1871. After my research, I wanted to place a few nods to Guilty Deceptions. I researched buildings built by the real-life John and visited these buildings in the story during the investigation. I described these buildings the best I could, and, from my understanding, many still stand in Saint John today. I owe credit to the many people on the Facebook group Historic Saint John for helping me with this. I was able to make connections to a fellow local author who was a tremendous help. I also connected with a local historian who helped me with street names before the fire and where these streets were located.

When I had everything I needed, I let the characters tell me what happened, how it happened, and who was responsible for it happening in the first place. My book Dark Jealousy was fun to write, and I plan to have more books in the Sheriff Dawson series. I’ve been working on a prequel to the books.


Website: Go HERE  


A question before you go:

Scribbler: What is the ideal spot for you when you write your stories? Music in the background or quiet. Coffee or tequila? Messy or neat?

DC: My apartment is small, but I created a makeshift office in a corner of my living room. This is where I work on my writing. It’s a small desk with my laptop and a few trinkets, cluttered with writing books, among other things. The wall behind my desk has a calendar, a corkboard for my notes, and is plastered with canvases about writing and books. Cluttered or not, this is my favorite place to write. I’m also not much of a drinker, only drinking on special occasions. However, I love my coffee and can be found with a cup beside me, usually a double-double – homemade. As for music or quiet, I can write with both. I grew up in a family of six. So, I had three younger siblings, all many years younger. The youngest is thirteen years my junior, so I tend to block out the noise, the easiest way I can concentrate.



An Excerpt:

The snow was stained crimson all around the front of the shed. The front wall and door were splattered in blood. Yet, my eyes were on Catherine Baker; her head partly severed – as if the murderer attempted to cut her head off – but failed miserably at it. A few feet away, a bloody axe was discarded in the snow. Sylvester crept down and carefully examined the body.

“On an educated guess,” he said. “This death is but a few hours old, maybe less.”

“This is what I feared,” I said. “A fresh murder and we have no idea what the cause or intent here was. Will the killer strike again? That’s yet to be seen.” Edward walked up to us.

“We have tracks in the snow,” he said. “One is a woman’s, the others men and I can guess that they are about size ten.” I sighed and shook my head.

“There are a lot of men that wear size ten,” I said. “We’ll have to narrow down the list. Yet, we don’t even have a suspect.” The photographer was snapping photos around us.

“What about the farmhand?” Patrick asked, and I narrowed my eyes.

“What about him?” I asked, and Patrick sighed.

“Well, he was here during the murder, wasn’t he boss?” Patrick asked. “He either did it or he knows something.” He was right, we had to look into everything and the farmhand was a good place to start the investigation.

“Okay,” I said. “Here’s what we are going to do,” I licked my lips and pointed to my men. “Paul, Edward, and Curtis, you search the house for any clues. Peter, Jonathan, and William, you search the grounds with Dr. Knox and Dr. Murphy. Patrick, you're with me.”

“Where are we going, boss?” Patrick asked.

“We need to question the farmhand,” I said, making my way back out front and looking at Angela.

“Miss Angela,” I said. “What can you tell us about your farmhand?”

“Daniel?” she asked. “Him started working for me family about ten years ago. Him should be around here somewhere. You don’t think Daniel did this?”

“It’s too early to be certain,” I said. “But, I need to investigate every possibility. He was here, the axe belongs to him, and he never came running when you screamed. He either is involved or-”

“He’s dead too,” Angela said, nodding.

Thank you for sharing your news and for being our guest this week, DC. We wish you continued success with your writing.

And a BIG thank you to all our readers and visitors. You’re the reason we do what we do.

Saturday 4 May 2024

The Story Behind the Story with Louise Boulter of Moncton, NB, Canada.

Let’s welcome Louise back to the Scribbler. 

It’s been much too long since we have had a chance to talk about her stories.

She has a new novel on the go and it’s generating a lot of excitement.

She’s been a guest before and if you click HERE, you can read about her first novel.

Read on my friends.


I was born in Moncton, N.B. where I presently live with my husband and ADHD cat (and on weekends with my son).  I started writing early in life. In Grade 6 or 7, I won a City-wide contest.  It was held by the CNIB and my picture was taken by the local newspaper when I received the monetary prize. When attending College, I wrote the end of the year play for its final assembly. I always loved writing, but life sometimes got in the  way.  I worked for the Federal Government for 35 years and raised my family. However, after retirement, I returned to my first love and took a Creative Writing Course at the local college. We (students) formed a writing group and so began my writing career. Short stories followed. Some were entered in  contests and some published in  magazines. Then I decided to write my first book 'Forgotten'. This was a book about one man's journey through the world of homelessness. Over half the proceeds went  to soup kitchens and shelters. My 2nd book was written from a collection of short stories written through the years.


Title: Discovery and Recovery - A Collection of Short Stories


Synopsis: The book 'Discovery and Recovery' contains 37 short stories. They cover a range of topics, from humor, to wisdom, hope and nostalgia, taking you on a journey of all the emotions a person experiences in life.

As one reviewer stated:  "Discovery and recovery is a captivating collection of short stories. Each story is a testament to Louise's skillful storytelling. With her insight and empathetic approach Louise provides readers with glimpses into the human experience. A must read for anyone who appreciates well crafted short stories."


The Story Behind the Story: As I age, I realize that once I have passed from this world to the next, all my short stories would go where all good computers go. Along with it, so would go my short stories. Therefore I decided to compile some of my favorite short stories and publish them into one book.

Buy Louise's book HERE.


A question before you go Louise: 

Scribbler: What is the ideal spot for you when you write your stories? Music in the background or quiet. Coffee or tequila? Messy or neat?

Louise: My ideal spot to write is in the basement, where my office is located. I prefer a quiet place, a place where I can get lost in my writing with no distractions. I keep folders of various ideas and thoughts in scribblers. I can't say my office is either messy or neat. It depends on what I am working on. I always have a glass of water on my desk as I don't drink coffee or tea or anything close to tequila. I have found writing 'dialogue' works best when I take out a scribbler and use the old-fashioned way of writing. It just seems easier to give the characters their own unique voice when writing with pen or pencil. Of course, I also keep a scribbler not only in my office but in our livingroom so I am prepared when ideas jump uninvited in my mind and make sure I have a place to jot down all the brilliant ... smile... idea.

An Excerpt: "Discovery and Recovery" from the short story called "Soul Mate"

My soul mate’s hand was warm, so I felt safe letting go for a few minutes. I had calls to make, friends to summon to his bedside. While I sit next to him and speak on the phone to his only living relative, a nurse walks into the room.

“He’s gone,” she says almost in a whisper.

I put down the phone and lift his big hand again.


I kiss his forehead then immediately call my husband.

David, my husband, had been supportive for the entirety of the relationship I’d just lost. He wasn’t threatened by Joel, a ninety-one-year-old Holocaust survivor, although he became appropriately alert when I’d announced our first rendezvous fourteen years earlier.

Joel had approached me in the lobby of a community center as I put my baby in a car seat.

“What’s his name?” he had asked.

I summed him up as harmless. I figured he approached strange women and babies because he missed his own grandchildren. But a few more questions revealed how wrong this assumption had been. Joel didn’t have children or grandchildren. All but one of his family members had been killed during the Holocaust.

“I was in the camp,” he said. “Auschwitz."

He had learned to sort the blouses of the dead and to witness a hanging without flinching. Yet his eyes sparkled during our first conversation and he delivered lines like a comedian. The contrast hooked me. I asked him out for a coffee date.

“You buying?” he asked.

And so, for $1.25, a beautiful friendship began.

In the early days of our relationship, we sort of flirted. He’d drive by my house to see if my car was in the driveway. I’d make sure my make-up was right before ringing his doorbell. He would regularly tease David about the potential for romance between us.

“If I was forty years younger, you’d be in trouble,” he said over and over.

I even imagined romantic scenes starring Joel and me, circa 1946. In these fantasies, I played the strong young lady loving the young Polish survivor back to life. I would soothe him after he woke screaming as nightmares of vicious dogs and men shooting at members of his family plagued him. He would be so grateful for my patience and tenderness and eventually take me as his bride. And for the rest of our lives, he would never leave heaps of laundry in the corner of the bedroom or forget every logistical detail I ever told him, as my actual husband did.

I had these fantasies because like most humans, I was conditioned to associate strong attraction with romantic love. I was drawn to Joel, therefore I must have a crush on him, right? He was forty-four years my senior, therefore I had a hard time labelling our bond. I played with all kinds of combinations: grandfather and granddaughter; sister and brother; best friends. None of them fit.

The soul mate, we’ve been taught in our mind, is the brass ring of romantic love. Find your other half and you can start searching for wedding caterers. A soul mate knows you and 'gets' you and will never let you down. Therefore, you should marry him. Don’t.

At least not if you believe in soul mate as a mirror image. An old myth says humans started as four-limbed double creatures, but the gods worried they'd take over, so they decided to split us in half. Ever since, we’ve been searching for our other halves so we can feel complete.

How marriage became part of the equation I’ve never understood. It seems as though marrying your twin would be exactly the wrong thing to do.

For four years, I had dated my psychological echo. At first it was wonderful: so familiar, so comfortable. Then it turned disastrous. Because we were so similar, we made the same mistakes. There was no counterbalance - no one to pull either of us back by the belt loops when we got too close to the edge. Thankfully, we didn’t marry.

My husband and I are not soul mates. We are complete individuals, not two halves of each other. He is science and I am art. He is awake and I am dreaming. He saves and I spend. I’m better at parallel parking, but only he can remember where we left the car. Of course, our differences can sometimes be infuriating, but our pairing has worked for twenty-one years. I like to think it’s because David is my intended: the best husband the universe could have picked for me. A unified soul has nothing to do with it. We balance each other, make each other laugh, and agree on the big things. But he doesn’t get me unless I explain myself because he doesn’t see the world through the same lens. Then I found Joel.

He identified our similarities first. He had tumbled into an anxiety-depression hole that led to many uncomfortable chairs by many institutional beds. He’d been admitted for chest pains, but the doctors and I knew cardiac weakness wasn’t causing his distress. PTSD from four years in the Nazi system was making him sick, but he refused to see or speak to the staff psychologist about treatment. It was my job to convince him to surrender to help. I told him my story. I’d been anxious for years until a case of postpartum depression forced me to face and treat my brain’s chemical inadequacies. I felt fine ever since. Accepting help didn’t have to be shameful.

He looked at me and grinned. We were both nervous. We laughed at the same things. We interpreted the world in the same cynical way, spoke in the same blunt manner, even liked the same foods prepared the same quirky ways. Because he’d been raised in the days of privacy and dignity, our conversations didn’t involve dribbling our vulnerabilities. But we still knew what the other would say or how the other was feeling most of the time. We didn’t have to work at trust and love, or worry either would fade. Neither of us could be described as easy-going, but even after he hung up on me during an argument or I scolded him for being so exceedingly stubborn, we didn’t have to apologize or explain ourselves. It was easy. It was not marriage.

We were, I believe, the purest of soul mates. There was no romance. Just the deep comfort of being seen and known and accepted completely. For a brief period in both of our lives, we got to feel whole.

Then his hand went cold.

What’s it like to lose a soul mate? The saddest part is suspecting such a relationship will never come again. I plan on having my husband around for many more years, and I will surely develop new life-changing friendships. But I don’t think we get more than one soul mate per life cycle. Who else on this earth will ever know me so well?

I used to panic, as Joel got older, about how I’d live in the world without him. But it’s turned out to be surprisingly painless. I take comfort in remembering how lucky I had been to have found my other half. But I also don’t feel like he’s completely absent.

I talk to a lot of dead people in my head, my mother, sisters, brothers, dear friends gone too soon, but never to Joel. This makes sense to me. Following my soul mate theory, to reach him, I only need to talk to myself.

Thanks for sharing the good news about your novel, Louise, and for being our guest this week. We wish you continued success with your writing.


Thank you dear readers for visiting and reading. Don’t be shy, leave a comment, please.

Saturday 27 April 2024

The Story Behind the Story with Rhonda Bulmer of Moncton, NB, Canada.


The recent launch of Rhonda’s novel was a tremendous success.

Hats off to the marketing pros of Merlin Star Press for generating lots of buzz around their first novel.

None better than the dynamic storytelling from one of the province’s most talented authors.

Let’s welcome Rhonda to the Scribbler.

Read on my friends.



RHONDA BULMER is a Moncton, New Brunswick-based author with a background in public relations and freelance writing, and currently serves as executive director for the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick. She has published three fiction books independently, and in 2023, her short fiction appeared in the anthology, Monsters in the Fog, (Partridge Island Publishing). The Widow & the Will (Merlin Star Press, 2024) is her first novel.



Title: The Widow & The Will

Synopsis: Lindy Hall has begun a promising career in Toronto with her boyfriend, George. When Grandma Runa, her only living relative dies, Lindy receives a shocking bequest—the d’Avray Manor Inn in Harmony Bay on New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy.

Lindy takes two weeks off to visit the inn. Locals call it The Widow’s Inn, said to be haunted by the grieving widow of its first owner. She finds herself on a collision course with the proprietors, Tony and Anne Allaby. In the face of bankruptcy, Anne is bitter. Lindy is sure the couple is holding something back.

When a handsome tour operator vies for Lindy’s affections, and the ghost of Elizabeth d’Avray visits her, an impatient George urges Lindy to forget it all and come home.

Could Gram’s final wishes and The Widow’s Inn be the keys to unlock Lindy’s mysterious past—and her future?



The Story Behind the Story: I am interested in family conflict. Nothing can ignite (or worsen) family conflicts more than the final wishes in a will, especially a parent’s will. What they have written down can make heirs feel loved, appreciated, ignored, or hated by the deceased.

My mother comes from a family of 12 children, and Mom was named executor of her own mother’s will (against Mom’s wishes). As a consequence, my grandmother’s stipulations put Mom at odds with her siblings for many years. I always thought it was quite unfair of my grandmother to place my mother in this uncomfortable situation for an extended period – 25 years, in fact. And so, in 2014, I began the initial premise of my book: a will. A young woman from Ontario becomes the sole heir of her grandmother, who leaves her with an inn on the East Coast. Her grandmother charges the heroine with a long-term obligation to those who run the inn, for reasons that are not explained. This big reveal is both cryptic and inconvenient.

In the last ten years, whenever I’ve told anyone the premise of the story I was writing, they enthusiastically volunteered their own family will story. Money – or the lack thereof – seems to bring out the worst in people.

Along with that, I stuffed all my favourite story elements in the same novel: an old neglected historic inn, with an accompanying supernatural presence (my mom likes ghost stories, too), a love triangle, the gorgeous setting of the Bay of Fundy (which I think is one of the most beautiful places in the world) mercurial weather, grouchy, eccentric people, and a big family secret. I didn’t realize I had written a gothic novel, until a publisher who heard my initial pitch in 2019 put that label on it.

As a lifelong New Brunswicker, this book is my love letter to New Brunswick. Throughout my life, many people I’ve known left the province in search of better opportunities elsewhere. However, especially in recent years, I’ve come to the conclusion that with a bit of determination, we can create our own opportunities here.



Rhonda – Go HERE.      Merlin Star Press – Go HERE.

                    Buy the book HERE.


A question before you go, Rhonda:

Scribbler: What is the ideal spot for you when you write your stories? Music in the background or quiet. Coffee or tequila? Messy or neat?

Rhonda: At home, I like to sit not so much at my desk but on the couch with my laptop, near a sunny window. And I like to listen to baroque cello – or even better, rain noises. I do like sitting at a coffee shop, too. Sometimes a couple of hours of people-watching helps to keep the writing fresh.

I am fifty percent neat. I suppose if it’s too messy at home, I’ll go to the coffee shop so I don’t have to look at it!

An Excerpt from The Widow &The Will:

The wind rose sometime in the night. It whipped around the corner of the house and preceded an abundance of rain. Under normal circumstances, the thrum of water on the windowsill would be comforting, but the bang of the widow’s walk door was more insistent. It opened and slammed shut with every gust of wind from the window. The latch arm clattered against the groove.

Don’t turn your back to the stairway. Looks like something is moving down there in the shadows.

Melinda, stop being ridiculous.

Yeah, okay, Gram. I hear you.

I threw back the patchwork quilt. Maybe grouching out loud would push back the darkness, even if it was all imaginary. “Am I going to have to do this every night?” Tomorrow was my first day in that tiny office and it was important to be fresh.

I opened one of the desk drawers and found a roll of packing tape.

Perfect. I pushed a chair against the door and weighed it down with a couple of old-fashioned hardcover dictionaries from the bookshelf in the corner. Then I tore a few pieces of tape and applied them to the latch.

I stood back to examine my handiwork for a moment. “There. Let’s see you break through that, Mrs. d’Avray.”

I left the light on and climbed back into bed. Comforted by this achievement, my eyes grew heavy, and I drifted away.

In the gentle light of the desk lamp, a woman in a dark linen gown with a white collar appeared at the end of my bed, holding something like a photo in her hand. I pulled myself into a tight ball against the bed frame. I didn’t want her to grab my feet.

Was she looking at me or through me?

A few tendrils of grey-streaked dark hair escaped her bun, and her face was lined not so much with age, but with sorrow. She paced the room before sitting on the edge of my bed. Her shoulders shook as she wept.

“They’re all gone. I’m all alone.”

I heard the words clearly. And I answered her clearly. “I know.

They’re all gone.”

Uncontrollable grief welled up from the centre of my being. Was it hers, or mine? Loneliness for Gram and Gramp swept over me. For the parents I never had. “I’m all alone, too.”

“What does life mean without them?” The widow’s walk door

opened, and moonlight streamed through it. She walked through the door, dropping the photo as she melted into the darkness.

At five o’clock, my eyes snapped open. My pillow was soaked. I’d been crying in my sleep.

Last night’s steady rain gave way to a dull, overcast sky, but the

wind was still blowing. And I shivered, not just from the cold and damp.

That dream…it was a dream, right?

I sat up. Everything was the same as I’d left it—the chair in front of the door, the tape on the latch, and the desk lamp glowed in the daylight. But I could have sworn the door had banged open. And the woman cried at my bedside, and disappeared up the steps.

Not only had I seen her, I’d felt her. I’d shared her emotions. I

understood them because I had the same ones.

Hey, it was only a dream. Snap out of it!

I had a big day of number-crunching ahead, and I couldn’t schlep around indulging my grief-stricken night visions.

I dressed, returned the chair to the desk, and tore the tape off the

latch. In the literal cold light of day, don’t you feel silly? Everything sounded louder in the dark. And who can control what they see in their dreams?

As I turned away, the little door burst open behind me.

It slammed with a loud bang! against the wall.

I shrieked, jumped back and stumbled over the bed. An icy blast of wind hit me in the face. My eyes were locked on the steps, waiting for something to come through. After a minute, I dared stick my head through the doorway. A strong gust of wind whooshed freely throughout the observation deck.

Glass shards were scattered on the tiny staircase. This morning’s

gale had finally broken through the old, cracked window panes, and they crashed to the floor.

There was something else.

Book Launch. April 2024

 Thank you Rhonda for the terrific tale and for being our guest this week. We wish you continued success with your writing.

 And a Humongous thank you to all out visitors and readers.

Saturday 20 April 2024

The Story Behind the Story for the Anthologies - Spring Paths & Summer Paths (coming soon). Sandra Bunting and Chuck Bowie.


This week you will read the SBTS from two talented authors who are part of the Seasonal Collective and contributors to the Path Anthologies.

The most recent being Spring Paths.

Both Chuck and Sandra have been guests on the Scribbler before and I encourage you to check them out.

Sandra HERE &  Chuck HERE.

Read on my friends.



Sandra Bunting is the author of two collections of short stories, two poetry books and a non-fiction book besides having work included in anthologies and literary magazines. She works as an editor at the Irish-based literary magazine Crannog, and offers editing and proofreading of manuscripts through her own Gaelog Press. 


Chuck is both a writer and an author, with eleven books/novels published. While he mostly enjoys writing mysteries: Suspense-Thrillers and Cozy Mysteries, he also writes short stories. All of his books are well-reviewed, and he has sat on the boards of the Writers’ Federation of NB, The Writers’ Union of Canada, is a Fellow of the Kingsbrae International Residency for the Arts, as well as being acknowledged as a member of the Miramichi Literary Trail. His thriller series chronicles the adventures of an international thief for hire, while his cozy series (written as Alexa Bowie) follows the adventures of the owner of an arts centre as Emma solves the crimes that swirl around her centre: The Old Manse. 

Chuck lives in Fredericton and on Miramichi Bay.


Title: Anthologies.


Synopsis from Spring Paths:

Sometimes, a compelling short story is all you need. Let our tales of gods, ghosts, alien worlds, mystery, secrecy, love, loss and horror get under your skin for a while.

Nine North Atlantic writers have collaborated to create this anthology, the third in a series of multi-genre fables that will entertain, possibly unsettle, and cause you to think about the present in which we live.

Curl up on the sofa and allow yourself to be lost in the pages of this fascinating book.


The Story Behind the Story

Sandra: One of the most evocative images of summer when I was a child was a blue sky, a meadow full of yellow wildflowers – probably dandelions and buttercups - and a clothesline of pristine white sheets flapping gently in the breeze. We all know that this description is now generally a thing of the past. Dryers are just more convenient in our busy lives. But I wanted to work around the idea of a clothesline. My story in the forthcoming anthology Summer Paths, the fourth in a series put out by The Seasonal Collective, is called Clean Laundry.

Through the story, I wanted to explore several themes. I set it in a rural community and wanted to break the myth that country people were old-fashioned. Technological advances are as prevalent in smaller communities as they are in big cities. However, I wanted to see what could happen if one person moved into the community and tried to change the way things were done.

Reflecting on that theme also brought to mind a memory of being in the company of women when I was a little girl. I remember one time sitting with them in the kitchen as they spoke in horror of “a clothesline thief”.

I usually try to sneak in mention of some issues that I feel passionate about, namely creativity and the environment. I feel that it is vital as a human to in some way be creative. I feel creativity could help answer some of the world’s problems. Another issue is the environment We are so fortunate to live on this beautiful earth but we don’t look after it.

Clean Laundry is a light-hearted homage to summer, which also lights on serious topics that can be contemplated at a later time. How do I weave all these themes together? Enter into summer. Enter into the pages of Clean Laundry.


Chuck: When the Spring Paths Melt from Spring Paths.

I had a dream many years ago, where the City of Fredericton flooded. I had gotten a casual job emptying a store basement on Queen St, down by the river during an unusual spring flood. I wondered what would happen if the spring freshet hit at the same time as the Grand Falls, Beechwood and Mactaquac dams all breached. Many years later, I added Climate Change and my recurring dream became a bit of a nightmare.

When I awoke, the simple dream of the entire city being under water became a speculation project for me. Would I have a protagonist? Just one? Would they be starving or scavenging? Scavenging, I thought. Would they die (alone)? Or would there be hope? Would it be a cautionary tale of Man’s foolishness? I didn’t want to do that. Rather, I wanted something immediate, human, and real enough to touch the reader.

I wanted the reader to be in the rowboat with the one who might be the last human in the region.

So that became the story. But I’ve always been as concerned—perhaps even more—with the How of the story. How can my character review their situation, and then summon the will to get out of bed in the morning? What to they do every day; does every minute, like that of ancient man, have to be about scrabbling for food, warmth, and shelter? How do they put one foot in front of the other, in the hope that things will get better, when it probably won’t?

But that’s how the human race managed to survive, isn’t it.

So I wrote a story about a brave young man who hoped that things would get better. He did the little things to engender optimism within his soul. He measured, daily, the height of the water above a specific rooftop. He checked his shoreline every day, placing a rock at the water’s edge and noting where the waterline had previously been. He got out of bed each morning. And he hoped.

Readers sometimes ask me how I make my stories come to life. One of the responses I offer is to explain that I watch the details of my day, and note how the details enrich the story; make it real. Remember how I told of emptying a flooded basement of a downtown shop? I was up to my chest in water, carrying boxes, and I walked past a light switch, three inches above the basement water. And then I looked up at the bare ceiling bulb illuminating my work. And then back to that almost-flooded switch. See? It is those details that add a bit of zest to my stories. Sure, I destroy three dams, but I also place a rock at the waterline. Just to give you hope.


Websites.      Sandra    Chuck 

 The Scribbler recently posted the STBT for other contributors to the Anthologies. Check them out if you like.

Angela Wren

Gianetta Murray

S C Eston

Pierre Arseneault

You can get your copy of Spring Paths ( and the others) HERE.


Thank you both, for being our guests and sharing your inspiration for the short story contributions to the Anthology. We wish you continued success with your writing journeys.


And a HUGE thank you to our dear readers and visitors. We do it all for you.