Sunday 17 January 2016

Guest Author Becky Pourchot.

Becky Pourchot is an author, a  writer and a purveyor of fine pastries. She loves ghosts, the silver moon ...and the occasional double cheeseburger. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, she now resides in Flagler Beach, Florida. You will find her links below as well as the link to her paranormal talk show, That's SO Bizarre.

Today's short story is from Clutch and Throttle

Clutch and Throttle: Tales From Daytona 

Bikers have stories – it’s a simple fact.

    Get a group of bikers together and it won’t be long before the war stories start flying…

Their first bike.
Their first spill.
How they got that limp.  

Living and riding in the heart of America’s motorcycle mecca has given newbie rider Becky Pourchot and forty-year biking veteran Tim Baker an array of unusual tales. 

In a “his-and-hers” collection of short stories, these authors reflect on their journeys, while providing insight into riding and life.   

Ride along with Clutch and Throttle to learn not only how they got their respective nicknames, but how their views from behind the handlebars are the same…
…yet different.
No Longer Just the Girl Next Door-
An excerpt from Clutch and Throttle: Tales from Daytona  By Tim Baker and Becky Pourchot.
To be released March 3rd, 2016 
Early autumn in Florida means eighty-five to ninety-degree days—temperatures that you’d like to wear as little clothing as possible, but being a newbie on my motorcycle at the time, I didn’t want to take any chances. In spite of the heat, I decided to wear all my gear: jacket, boots, and jeans. I was sweating up a storm.
My clutch had just been adjusted at Tri-City Cycle in Flagler Beach and I was getting used to the new grip placement, which meant having to relearn the feel of it, and of course, once again stalling over and over.
We live in a small town, so pretty much at every street corner there was someone I knew hanging out in their yard watching my drunken bike ballet. As pathetic as I may have looked, I’d reached the point that I didn’t care. I just smiled and called out playfully to my neighbors.
“Still learning!”  and then I’d proceed to once again stutter and stall until I made it out of the intersection.
 I’ll admit it. My initial motivation for learning to ride a bike was not about riding fast through the Loop, or making it to all the big bike events. It was about image. What better way to accessorize your leather chaps and your skull themed do-rag than with your very own Harley Davidson. Right?
When I rode with my husband on the back of his bike to Daytona for Bike Week and Biketoberfest, appearance was everything. I had a cute black zip up bustier that pushed up my boobs just so, the perfect leather hair wraps that I wore in playful pigtails, the leather jacket, and high heeled Harley boots. Going to the Iron Horse was not simply hanging out at a bar it was “going out”, playing dress up. For this girl who grew up in suburbia, where women dressed in their expensive yoga clothes even when they weren’t doing yoga, dressing in motorcycle themed clothes was wildly rebellious. I was playing the bad girl. To me, Bike Week was costuming at its finest.
With my own vanity on the forefront, I talked with a lady at a local riding school about taking classes. Although she was encouraging, I found myself feeling ill at ease about the whole idea. It became apparent from this short conversation that there was much more to riding a motorcycle than learning to keep your hair in place at sixty mph. Clearly learning to ride a bike was not about fashion, but instead about how to manage a four hundred pound machine on public roadways. Suddenly I wasn’t so interested.
Fast forward a year. I needed change. I was tired of being the soccer mom. I wanted something new, so I finally broke down and signed up for a course.
For the course, our fashion requirements, though functional, did not fit my biker chic ideals. We were asked to wear long sleeves, gloves, jeans and over the ankle boots. It was ninety plus degrees with off and on heavy rain. I assure you by the end of each seven hour day, I was not looking pretty.
After the three day course I went out and bought all the gear, including a Harley Brand jean jacket. I then added my hand-picked biker patches – Yin and Yang, peace symbol, Beatles, sugar skulls. Within a few short days I had acquired all the necessary parts to mastering my chosen image—a hippie biker chick. It was then that I bought Old Reb. She matched my attire quite nicely.
I looked the part, I suppose, but something happened when I got that bike… somewhere along my journey up and down the back roads of Flagler Beach—probably at one of those thousand stop signs I stalled at—I had given up on looking cute.
This was all about the bike. The road. Mastering something I wanted so badly. And so, I rode the back roads, up and around, in a little loop, practicing shifting, learning the feel of the clutch and the throttle. Forget looking sexy and cool, all I wanted was to learn how to keep my bike from stalling.
My concern for my outside appearance fell by the wayside. My jeans were no longer there to show off my ass, they were there to protect my legs. My Harley Davidson jacket—the one that cost me the price of an iphone—was no longer there to show off my plethora of patches, it was there to ease the pain of road rash if I was to fall.
I stopped trying to be the cute girl on a bike and became a person who simply wanted to tackle a difficult, yet wonderful task.

On South 20thAvenue, with the ocean view up ahead I pulled to a stop sign. And you know what?  I didn’t stall! As I paused at the stop, feeling my little victory, an attractive guy I knew from around town was in his driveway. He saw me and waved. I waved back.
 “I just got this bike!” I said shouting across the road to him. I must have had a stupid grin on my face. He smiled back.
 “Nice,” he said as he walked up to me.
We talked bikes for a few minutes (something I’m finally able to hold my own on now) and then he paused and looked me over with a cool smile.
“I have to tell you this. You’re looking really hot on that bike.”
This took me by surprise, because the only type of hot I felt in the moment was sweaty from all my gear.
When I was riding I was not thinking about who I was trying to portray myself to the be…the pretty girl, seeking approval. Instead I was thinking about keeping that bike rolling, not crashing, savoring the feel of the bike as it picked up speed.
Yes, I’ll admit I did like the compliment. It made my day. Knowing that I was not only kicking butt on my little machine, but also happen to be looking good doing it, was enough to put a big smile on my face.
“See you.” He winked and I headed off.
As I twisted the throttle and picked up speed I noticed I didn’t think long about his flattering comments. Within minutes they dissolved as I returned to the feel of the road. I became once again a part of my bike, free and connected with my surroundings. I smiled to myself feeling another victory for the day. Not only did I stop myself from stalling, I liked who I was becoming –a motorcycle rider, no longer just the girl in the cute jeans.
Thank you Becky for that delightful tale. Drive safely.
You can find Becky's books at 
Listen to her paranormal talk show at 
Next week you can read an excerpt from the international thriller Dark Side of a Promise. Drake Alexander's first encounter with a deadly force in a foreign country does not go the way he planned. Now the police are involved.

Feel free to tell me what's on your mind in the comment box below. Thank you for visiting.


Friday 8 January 2016

Guest Author Sarah Butland.

This is Sarah's second visit to the Scribbler. She was born in Ontario, the year was 1982. She moved to New Brunswick for over 15 years and now resides at home in Nova Scotia, Canada. Butland has been married to her high school sweetheart and has a superstar son named William, and a cat named Russ who all make her house a home.

On her last visit, we were able to sample the beginning of her paranormal tale - Blood Day. See it here This week you can read another section.

It was the first time I tried to take a deep breath and noticed I couldn't.
Their image had me confused. I couldn't believe they would show up this way, at such an uneventful time in my life. I remembered dressing for the grade 12 prom, knowing how I'd be mocked for finally showing my scars by wearing short sleeves. The first time anyone would see my bare skin with the exception of my face. I decided to be comfortable and stand out versus being mocked and uncomfortable.
While I prepared I knew I would turn heads by just being at the prom but longed to only turn my parents’ heads. They were gone for so long yet their presence was as missed as it always was.
My foster brother, a few years my senior, offered to be my date. He bought the corsage, the matching suit for my dress and told me I was beautiful. I then ended up canceling, faking illness and escaped to my room to cry myself asleep in my dress.
I skipped graduation, too. These are huge events where I expected my parents to be. Life changing experiences, especially without proper guidance helping me through. Top of my class in marks, bottom in the social game and not missed until my name was called and no one stood to accept the diploma.  The school mailed it to me which was then forwarded a few times as I was still in foster care.
And then my 19th birthday when I was officially on my own. I expected something special, looked forward to it being a me day and I made it so as it was all up to me.
That morning I awoke to an empty house, made my favourite breakfast then packed my things and took a bus to the bus station in hopes of going far, far away. A few things stopped me – not lack of money or courage, though. Lucy stopped me.
We remained in touch although going our separate way. I was on a full scholarship for interior design and she, well, she chose a different path I'll reveal later.
Instead of during these times in my life when I decided I needed my parents, they showed up now when I thought I needed them the least.
As my chest expanded, oxygen reached my blood and I coughed I realized this was my first breath and maybe I did need my parents’ images after all. It was strange before, my breath would never fog up the mirrors, wouldn’t fog in the cold and I never found anything took my breath away. It seemed to already be gone. Seemed impossible and unlikely but true.
Instead of my own reflection my parents were staring back at me. They looked no older than when I had last seen them – almost three decades before. Standing perfectly still, too timid to move, I stared back at them. Suddenly, out of the reflection I heard my mother's voice but it still took me a few minutes to realize it was the image of my mother speaking.
“Happy birthday, Veronica.” My name never sounded so sweet. Even as a child hearing my father sing it, the music of it now was the most beautiful thing I ever heard. Suddenly a flood of information overwhelmed me; the reason I was named Veronica, the reason my parents were taken when I was so young, why I didn't bleed. When I looked down I saw my mother and father's arms reaching out from the mirror, and, finally, I took a deep breath.
“Babydoll, how are you? Are you OK?” They must have thought I was only a statue I stood silently for so long. Then I didn't know whether to simply reply, to run out of the house or to kiss the mirror. After contemplating the situation for several minutes I decided just to reply and see what happened. Expecting to ruin the moment, to have it diminish with my sanity it instead worked only to confirm their presence.
“Sorry, I'm fine. Just startled really. I'm good though, wonderful. I have my own place now. What are you doing here? How are you doing here?” I was rambling which was to be expected under the circumstances, I guess, if there ever was an expectation for this. Honestly, I really didn't know if this circumstance actually happened before or would again. I had no idea what was going on. Shrinking to the floor, using my legs for a cushion, I didn't take my eyes off my most recent indulgence. Now I no longer wondered why I bought the mirror, I knew it was for them. This was what the universe planned and I was just along for the ride.
As suddenly as I saw them they disappeared, leaving only a wealth of knowledge in their wake just as they had before. Still sitting with my legs folded beneath me I tried to stand with no luck. Instead I crossed them and began my meditation ritual, the same one I had seen my mother conduct while I played in my crib. I understood, even then, the importance of solitude and calmness.
Today, on my 28th birthday, I needed it most.
Thirty minutes passed but it seemed brief. The images of my parents long moved on still haunted me but I knew sitting still wasn't what I needed most. Although helpful and revitalizing, I needed to write. Making my way to my new office, designed with efficiency and beauty in mind, I quickly grabbed a bottle of water from my mini fridge and sat down. Always old fashioned I reached for a pencil, some paper and “ouch!” gave myself a paper cut in my haste.
Instinctively I put my finger in my mouth and covered it with saliva. It covered my tongue in a bitter taste I never had the pleasure of experiencing before and as I took my finger out and looked at it I smiled. I was bleeding red. 


Our Return to Veronica
Was it better to have loved and lost than to have loved and to give away? To watch a loved one grow, prosper and be happy without the sense of family you longed to provide? Watching her bleed was the greatest thing we ever did.
“Veronica, the true image of our love, you're beautiful.” A proud father stood over his newborn baby and cried, gushed and rejoiced. The universe took far too many years in his mind to provide but now that it has it's a miracle to bestow. Yet he knew, for his babydoll to be all that she could be their time together would be cut short.
Ethan looked from his newborn baby's majestic blues to the emerald greens of his lover's and he knew immediately what she was thinking but she said it anyway. “I love you, Ethan. Veronica is beautiful and she is exactly what our relationship needs.” She whispered the last part, worried the doctors and nurses would hear but they were distracted with the clean up. They'd done this many times before and knew to respect the new parent's privacy, as much as they could after helping the woman give birth.
“Scarlett, we needed nothing but gained everything through Veronica. Let's cherish the time we have and teach her as much as we know. Of course, it'll have to wait until you're both cleared to go home.”     
He is already pressuring me, she thought. Just enduring a 15-hour labour and delivery was something no man could understand, even one as wise as Ethan. She glared at him as the doctor did what he did in Veronica's passageway into what the world has become. Scarlett almost wished her daughter was born into a different world or, at the very least, a different time. But wishes were like night dreams, plentiful but not sought after. Veronica's world would be made the best it could be in the months ahead to prepare her for so many years alone.

Their future absence, however, wouldn't be mentioned until the last possible moment. They were together now and now was what they had. If only she could heal quickly or Ethan would accept that the days ahead would be hard on her. If only children came to them in a way that wasn't so harsh but then everyone would be running around with babies and the world would be an even worse place than it already was.
“If only's” were worse than wishes as they were on everyone's mind, in everyone's heart – well, at least those ones who had a heart – and they meant nothing to anyone for almost everyone accepted that some things were impossible. She didn't and Ethan didn't so it was up to them in the short time they had to show Veronica the possibility of what she could become; with or without a family to support her.
The doctor finished his duties and vanished, leaving the nurses in charge of instructing the new parents as much as possible to what they could expect. Although expectations were something Ethan and Scarlett never believed in, they nodded and gave the impression they were listening. Then a male nurse helped Scarlett out of bed and into a wheel chair, through the hall and into a recovery room. Just a number to them, another patient moving to the next stage and they'd go back to their waiting area to anticipate the next woman. So cold, harsh and mechanical. A world she'd be glad to be rid of.
And, in a sense, Scarlett did rid herself of that world in just a few long days. Finally, Ethan, Scarlett and Veronica were home and able to realize the unnormalcy again of their lives. Without gawking eyes, listening gossipers and prodding hands they were free to explore this new experience. Then the visitors started.
Never before had the couple realized how many people thought they were friends. They didn't have family but they were quickly being introduced to other families who offered to do whatever needed to be done for the new family. It was on the tip of Scarlett's tongue to admit she needed them to leave, she desired to be alone with Veronica and to ask for them, whoever they were, to take Ethan with them to give her a break. Instead Ethan would always interject and politely explain that they had everything they currently needed but would absolutely call if they found they were in need of something more. Scarlett shook her head knowing that they didn't have anyone's phone number but didn't speak up.
Staring at her sleeping baby was something that brought her calm. Usually one to sit on the floor to meditate, that wouldn't be the way she'd relax in the next few days. Instead she gazed upon the miracle of life and reflected upon all it offered her in the 42 years of living it. They had a bassinet for Veronica, pure white with metallic threading and a small stitched elephant on the side but they rarely laid their little girl in it. Scarlett could seldom let her go and when she did, Ethan was ready for a turn.
Even when awake, which was getting to be more hours than she was asleep, Veronica didn't cry, wail or whine. She seemed to be listening, taking the world in as only an innocent child could and her parents embraced that. When the house was deserted and they could be one, Ethan and Scarlett continually talked, instructing their baby with as many lessons as the time they had would allow. They talked as if their daughter knew what was being said, understood it and embraced it. The words would be spoken in many languages, teaching their young one not only lessons but about their dedication and love.
Stories weren't read from books but created from past lives and experiences and all the while Veronica watched and often nodded in response. She already knew that for some reason or another she was a chosen one, that her life was special beyond comparison. She didn't realize that she wasn't actually alone, that there were others similar to her but so far away from her that she wouldn't meet them for decades to come. For now, she embraced all that the world had to offer with a sense of foreboding she didn't care to acknowledge.
The colourful toys given to her by strangers still in their boxes, Veronica instead played with the knowledge, the lessons and languages caught in her head. It was obvious she listened well to her parents while they spoke about her and to her but it wasn't until the final day she knew them that they would actually make any sense.
Scarlett and Ethan remembered the day as their third most important, with their meeting being the first and the birth of Veronica the second. They were heartbroken and mystified but not confused as they knew this day would come and they knew it would be exactly three months after the birth of their first, and then, only child.
Twenty-eight years later they had no desire to relive the moment but knew if they did they'd both be stronger for it. They knew that after meeting their now all-grown-up daughter through the realm of reflection she'd be forever lost if they didn't finish the conversation they started so many years before.
Ethan took his love by her hand, led her to a white marble desk and sat her down before a paper, pen and a vase of bougainvilleas. He knelt beside her, took Scarlett's hand and helped her write their final letter.

Thank you once more Sarah for sharing your wonderful tale. Read more about Sarah and discover where to buy her work at

Next week you will be able to meet Becky Meyer Pourchot of Florida, USA, and get an opportunity to read a sample from her enticing story - Open Souls.


Friday 1 January 2016

4Q Interview with musician Andrew Moore.

The Scribbler is very pleased to feature local musician Andrew Moore on the 4Q Interview this week. A multi-instrumentalist from Moncton, NB, his music is described as a heavy hitting rock/blues, tonally experimental sound.  I’ve had the pleasure of listening to Andrew preform and I like the jazzy edge he adds to his music.  This is an artist to watch. His links are listed below.


4Q: Thank you Andrew for being our guest. Please share with us your musical journey. When did you realize how important music was to you and that you wanted to be a performer?

AM: Thank you for having me!  I think that it goes back to a show I played when I was 19.  Music had always been deep in my bones and even as a child I was always tinkering with it in my head but I really think it was that show that solidified it for me.  There were a couple hundred people that had shown up to jump around to a rock show and I remember their energy like it was a tangible substance.  There’s a feeling you get from playing music in front of people and let me tell you, it’s literally a drug.  This was the first time I had that feeling and I’ve been addicted to it ever since.


4Q: I walk into the local music store and I see a CD by Andrew Moore. I buy it and take it home. If I’ve never heard of you, what could I expect when I put it in the player?

AM: Make sure someone didn’t put something funny in your drink because I have no CDs for sale at the moment.  But, say I had a CD in the local music store? At this point, I’m not sure.  The album I’m currently making has taken a couple different turns as I keep adding to it.  My best guess is that you’d hear a mix of Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Jack White and The Roots.


4Q: Please share a childhood anecdote or special memory.

AM: A childhood anecdote! Well, as a kid I spent a lot of time in my own head.  My mother has always said that I never needed anything to be entertained.  I could amuse myself for hours, without toys.  So as a kid I used to play around with melodies and sounds in my head but sometimes it would transfer over into audible noises and sometimes words.  One day when I was about 10 years old, I was lying on the living room floor, in my own head once again playing around with my imagination and somehow ended up under the rocking chair, experimenting with melodies and phrases.  Things became audible and sure enough as fate would have it, my brother came into the room, utterly confused.


4Q: What does the future hold for Andrew Moore the musician? Where are you playing and what are your recording plans?

AM:  I’m really excited for 2016.  I’ve been working on a record for the past two years and it’s on the brink of completion so I’ll be aiming to have it released by February.  As for shows, I have nothing currently booked.  I really want to get the record finished before I play again.  In saying that, I play at Plan B every few months so you can see me there in February or March.  I’ll also be looking to hit the festival scene this summer.
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Since the interview was completed, Andrew has a show booked at Plan B for March 12th.


Thank you Andrew for being our guest this week. I look forward to hearing more of your tunes and wish you all the best for your future endeavors.

You can discover more about this talented artist by visiting his website at
Next week on the Scribbler author Sarah Butland will be back with the continuation of her short story Blood Day. The first part was featured on the Scribbler last year. Glad to have her return.