Friday, September 7, 2012

FIRST FRIDAY--Anderson, Bishop, Dougherty!

 It’s FIRST FRIDAY! One photo, three terrific authors with very different styles. This is how they saw it, in 150 words or less. 
Oh, my. I sent Beth Anderson the Dreamstime comp instead of the purchased one, and she wrote about it.This is the picture that goes with hers.
He'd been having the dream for at least six months. Targets everywhere, shimmering in the hot air. All he could remember every morning when he woke were those targets and the unmistakable sound of gunshots near and far, as if someone whose face he could never make out was running back and forth. The papers said it happened, but had it really, or had he seen it in a movie somewhere? He wasn’t sure.
Slowly over the past two days though, the pictures had become more focused. Today he could feel the ground under his feet now stilled, where before it had always moved. Sounds had finally focused, and the aftermath was beginning to sharpen. Today the circles came at him from every side, voices drawing him toward the edge, telling him he only had to take one more step and he'd have all the answers.
Just one more step.
How easy it would be to take that last step.
Body’s crumbling.
Parents gone.
The dog’s not going to last much longer.
Free fall down the canyon, fly briefly.
Who would clear out all the mementoes and scrap books left at the home place?
The dog would die of a broken heart instead of old age.
What would happen to my signed book collection?
Stomach’ growling, time to head back and fix dinner.
The invitation was obvious, but her normal impulsiveness was restrained by an unaccustomed sense of caution.  “Where did that reaction come from?”  She asked, her words bouncing back from the guano-stained rock as she sought the source of her discomfort.  Perplexed by her sense of foreboding, she wracked her memory.  The shoes were familiar, but why, and why did they evoke this odd feeling of unease?  Was it the setting?  She thought not; she came here often, seeking solitude.  Maybe it was the feeling that somebody had found her hideaway, her ‘happy place.’  She glanced around at that thought, checking to see if she was alone; she didn’t sense another presence, but still, the shoes didn’t get here by themselves.  Feeling foolish, she crept to the edge of the precipice and peered into the bottomless crevice.  Eyes starting from their sockets, she heard the echo of her scream.
Beth Anderson is the author of seven published mainstream mysteries, with three more in various stages of completion, which of course means barely started.  She wants everyone to know describing this picture in 150 words is one of the hardest things in the world because every time she attempts to write a short story, when it’s finished she always wants to know what happened then and what on earth led up to this?  So there she goes again, turning a perfectly good short story into another novel.  So far that has happened seven times. This may be the eleventh. 
You’ll find four of Beth’s latest mysteries in print or e-book on her author page at
Maggie Bishop started with romance and turned to murder in her Appalachian Adventure novels set in the Appalachian Mountains near Boone, North Carolina.  Her cozy mysteries include Murder at Blue Falls where she introduces Jemma Chase, trail ride leader and CSI wannabe, Perfect for Framing has trouble brewing in the Property Owners Association, and One Shot too Many with the photography group meeting at Blue Falls Dude Ranch. The romances are Emeralds in the Snow with a treasure hunt, downhill skiing and a cold case mystery, and Appalachian Paradise set in the spring on a hiking trail. Books available at and other outlets.
Charles Dougherty and his wife live on their sailboat and cruise the Eastern Caribbean.  He recently completed Bluewater Voodoo, the third book in his Bluewater Thriller series, and is working on another thriller that’s not part of that series.  He has written four thrillers, one nonfiction book about his travels afloat, and one short story.  For more information, see his web page at, or dive right into the Bluewater Thrillers with Bluewater Killer, the first book in the Bluewater Thriller series, available from Amazon in Kindle or paperback:
Join in! Leave your own description in 150 words or less.


Maggie Bishop of Dames of Dialogue said...

It was fun to participate; even more enjoyable to read the other writers' take on the same photo. Thank you for inviting me.

Polly said...

Great exercise. All three are terrific. Having participated a few months ago, I agree with Beth. Writing 150 words and making them interesting is HARD. Every word counts. Kudos to the three writers, and kudos to Ellis for continuing this fun exercise.

Sandy Cody said...

Love this feature. I always look forward to Ellis's First Friday postings and this one does not disappoint. Kudos all around! I'm away now to check the websites of these three talented authors.

Kaye George said...

Love all of them! My thought was--oh no--you didn't pay for the photo, Ellis. But incorporating the swirls into the story was genius. This is such a fun exercise!

Reverend Luthor said...

"Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes....preferably NOT while texting!"

Whoops....I thought you said 15 words.

Ellis Vidler said...

I loved these. They're so different and each one reflects the author's voice. Amazing what we can see in a single picture!