Write Out of Your Box

Today’s post is from award winning and Amazon Best-Selling author, Ann Everett. In addition, Ann is a top reviewer on thenextbigwriter.com.  She lives on a small lake in Northeast Texas where she writes, bakes, and fights her addiction to Diet Dr Pepper.  Today, she suggests that writers should step out of their writing comfort zone occasionally. And she shares a short piece she wrote – out of her writing box.

For the most part, I write steamy romance.  However, for my own enjoyment, I like to step outside the “love” box and pen stories that mean something to me personally. Today, I’m sharing one of those short pieces. It’s based on an account that came from my daddy. He served in WWII and enjoyed telling tales from that time period. Many were funny. Some were serious. And some were downright disturbing.

Daddy’s gone now, and one of the things I miss most is his storytelling. Regardless of what genre you write, I encourage you to step out of your box and record childhood memories and family history.

It’s what I love most about writing…long after I’m gone, the stories will live on.


Hell in Paradise. It’s a contradiction, but true. Biak Island, less than a degree off the equator has a constant daytime temperature of one hundred ten degrees, but at night cools down to eighty. It’s a beautiful sandy coral reef off the Northwest coast of New Guinea surrounded by dense jungle, crystal water, and a mountain range reaching six thousand feet. The terrain is rugged and the humidity, during the dry season, is so heavy it wears you down.

There are no white people on Biak, and all of them have malaria and hookworm. They do most of the shovel and pick work, helping set up our camp.

I’m one of two hundred fifty with the 92nd Evacuation Hospital which includes doctors, nurses, and personnel. We are rated for a particular job, but all do what is necessary and take great pride in being able to set up three medical tents in two hours. It is here, where we receive the first casualties from the 36th and 41st divisions of infantry.

I admit, at first, we resented the nurses, feeling women have no place in war. But it didn’t take long for us to change our tune. With death imminent, they became what the wounded and dying needed…Mother…wife…girlfriend. They cradled dying soldiers in their arms until they drew their last breath. And I can tell you from experience when a soldier dies, he calls out for God and woman equally.

Until this day, it bothers me when I hear someone refer to women as the weaker sex. They may lack physical strength, but there’s nothing weak about their resolve. They care. They comfort. They cry. Then they straighten their shoulders, dry their eyes, and carry on.

Ann Everett embraces her small town upbringing and thinks Texans are some of the funniest people on earth. When speaking at conferences and to writing groups, businesses, book clubs, and non-profit organizations, she incorporates her unique brand of wit, making her programs on marketing, self-publishing, and the benefits of laughter, informative and fun.

Ten things you won’t know about Ann by reading her bio:


She’s married to her high school sweetheart.

She loves shopping at thrift stores.

She doesn’t remember her first kiss.

She hates talking on the telephone.

A really sharp pencil makes her happy.

She secretly wants to get a tattoo.

She thinks everyone should own a pair of cowboy boots.

She’s thankful wrinkles aren’t painful.

She sucks at math.

You can connect with Ann via Social Media —

Facebook     https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnEverett/

Twitter    http://www.twitter.com/TalkinTwang

Pinterest   http://www.pinterest.com/loacl/

Writing Your Family Story


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Today’s guest blogger is Donna Schlachter.  She lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a … Continue reading

The Texas Chainsaw …

This week’s paraprosdokian —  Take my advice — I’m not using itchainsaw-1

I have to admit it. I was a city boy. I was raised in Dallas, but have over the years worked my way down until I’m no longer living in a town of any size. Here’s one of the situations that moved me away from being a city boy.

Some years ago, my wife and I moved into the middle of a forest in east Texas. We are surrounded by trees – pines, oaks, and hickories mostly. Our driveway is about three-quarters of a mile long. Our nearest neighbor is about half a mile away as the crow flies and about three miles by road.

One night some years ago, we came home from work, settling in for the night, not expecting to leave before morning. But then, Earlene said, “It’s your birthday. Let go out for a fancy dinner.”

tree-downWe traveled to Tyler, had a leisurely dinner and returned home about nine o’clock. But as we were driving in, a large tree had fallen across our driveway. It was too big for me to move by myself, but between the two of us, we were able to push it off enough to get the car by.

About five in the morning, Earlene woke me. She had severe pain in her abdomen. And it only got worse. So, I helped her into the car and raced to the operating-roomemergency room of the nearby hospital. They quickly determined she had a ruptured appendix and wheeled her into the operating room.

The next afternoon, I was sitting in her room as she slept. Suddenly, my eyes popped open wide. If we had not gone out to dinner, I would have first discovered the tree blocking the road at five in the morning. The tree was too big for me to move by myself. What would I have done?   While I had met a couple of neighbors, miles away, I did not have their phone numbers. I had a small hatchet and a machete. It might have taken me over an hour using only a hatchet to cut through the tree enough to move it .

I checked Earlene. She was sleeping soundly, heavily sedated. I told the nurses I was leaving.

I drove to the nearest farm store and bought my first chainsaw. I would not be trapped in our property without a viable means to get out.

chainsaw-2Now, years later, we have several chainsaws. We always have at least two good, heavy duty,chainsaw-3 working gasoline chainsaws. We have an electric chainsaw for light work close to the house or barn. We have a small chainsaw on a pole for trimming limbs on standing trees.

I have pushed my city boy persona out of the way, and the first shove came about five a.m. on a trip to the emergency room.

James R. Callan

Visit Callan’s author page by clicking here.

And leave us your thoughts on chainsaws. Thanks.