Excerpt from “Orange Nights” included
My book signing of Shifting Sands Short Stories is Saturday, Oct. 28th at the Lowell Arts gallery from 1 p.m to 3 p.m.
Bring a copy of my book to autograph. They are available locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids, in Lansing, and on Amazon.
It is also the last day of the show “Between Turbulence and Tranquility” before the Holiday Artists Market.
Based on earlier book signings, I will also be giving tips how to start and finish a book, about characters and plot.
During my last book signing on Girls Night Out, some women asked me how to finish a book.
The Halloween weather is perfect for a visit to the gallery on Main Street.
“This is an active day for Lowell Arts with Dixie Swim Club dinner theatre and LA house concert,” said executive director Lorain Smalligan.
I called one of the stories in the book “Orange Nights” based on three clearance nights at a Midwest retailer I had worked for. The clearance racks had orange balloons tied to them.
Excerpt from “Orange Nights”
The most interesting thing in the store were the changing seasons and the colors reflecting them. The summer colors were still vibrant, and hanging in the air or it could have been nostalgia after a summer passing by.
“Why did you stay in the store all these years, Irma?” asked Rachel doubtful and wondering about her own future.
“You come in young like most because you don’t know what to do with yourself,” said Big Irma. “And after a while you just get used to it, and you’re afraid of change. Just look around you. What do you see?
However, it was all in what you didn’t see. Those were the underlying currents of being stuck in any situation in life, and not being able to move forward. It had different names, that all came under one label. That label was fear. And fear had many faces. It was hiding under different coats of comfort and security, assurances or the lack of them.
“Have you ever been afraid in the store?” asked Rachel. “You know really afraid. I know we have security department and all that, but afraid as in who is going to walk in and what is he going to do?”
People were already streaming in along with normal day people who had nothing to do with the orange balloon clearance in the soft and hard lines, like the grocery people and the food court.
For the moment Rachel envied them their normal daily jobs with set schedules. They came in and they left on regular basis without the madness of wanting to do something else with their lives.
“Why aren’t you in your own department?” a scowling voice breathed down her neck.
Startled she turned around. The tall orange blonde man with a mustache still dressed in civil clothes, was right behind her back. Wendell pulled out of the cart with never-ending returns shorts tangled in with a bra and panties. The lines manager smelled of beer and cigarettes, after a night of drinking.
“How did the night go?” Wendell asked. “What’s all this crap?”
Big Irma tired after the night turned to Wendell.
“You have to go over there and see,” she said. “There’s a lot of clearance this year. I guess people weren’t buying as much or we overbought, or both. You never know from year to year.”
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