It’s Caturday!

These are my two cats, Zak (the black one) and Zoē (the calico). They didn’t like each other when they first met, but they obviously got over it, eventually.

Have a great weekend!

Humbly Bragging

Humility is probably the quality that I like to see the most in another person and I personally don’t like to brag or boast about my accomplishments; it feels uncomfortable to me. I know there are some great writers out there, but I try not to compare myself to others. I have found this WordPress community to be a supportive environment and I am genuinely happy for others’ achievements. In that respect, I hope to continue to receive the same support. So, now that I’ve tried to make myself look like a humble person, let the bragging begin. Just kidding. I’d like to share a few of my recent achievements (and there is a point to this besides being boastful):

2,000+ LinkedIn Connections

This achievement represents marketability. Most of the people I’ve met on LinkedIn are not individuals that I know personally. They work in the same field or a related one, they want my business as a customer, or they feel that we can have a mutually beneficial business relationship. Their willingness to connect shows that I have represented myself in a somewhat appealing manner and established a connection with a stranger.

400 WordPress Followers

This achievement represents, in a way, trust. Some people began following my blog just because I invited them. Some people follow because I follow them. Then there are others who follow because they like what they read and want to see more of the same. They could easily “un-follow” if my writing did not meet or exceed their expectations. So, their continued support shows that they trust me to produce content that is meaningful, or at least enjoyable in some way. I try my best to produce evidence that justifies their faith.

LIKES

This achievement represents validation. Whether a follower or not, there are individuals out there who like the things I have written. I enjoy writing a great deal, and much of that enjoyment comes from seeing/hearing/reading how much other people are entertained by what I have written. I have said many times that my goal with anything that I write is to evoke emotion. I want to move the reader in some way, to cause them to think, question, feel something.

Tell Me No Secret

I Published A Book

This represents so many things–among them: hard work, dedication, time, thought, trial and error. Simply having a book published is no great accomplishment. Anyone can do it through Amazon, and there are many companies that will be happy to take your money to print copies of your work, whether it’s good or not. To get into a traditional publishing company, however, does take some talent and maybe a bit of luck.

You’d think with so many connections, a decent amount of followers and people that like my writing, I should have no problem selling books. Not so. It may not be the type of book you like to read or maybe you are low on funds. I’m not a New York Times best-selling author (yet), so my book is not in the faces of readers. I have to work hard to promote, advertise, promote, annoy my friends and family, promote, post….did I mention promote? I don’t need for you to buy the hardcover version (which is the most expensive), but I’d like to get the book ranked higher in popularity. I want to get my name out there, to get noticed, and yes, eventually, to be able to make a living as a writer.

If you are able, and you like what I write, please take a chance and buy the book. The ebook is only $3.99. And if you buy it, a review would help tremendously. I’m not sure if everyone is aware, but Amazon’s rankings are contingent on the amount of reviews a book receives as well as the number sold. Even if you don’t like it, I would love to know what you think of it. I am truly open to critique, as long as it isn’t malicious. Criticism helps me to improve, and everyone can use improvement on his or her craft, including me. I would truly appreciate your support in this effort. On that note, I will end this post, and on the subject of critique, please leave a comment to let me know what you think of this post. As always, I thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

Sounds

The second hand on my watch goes tick tick tick,
I don’t know how it works; it’s a funny trick.
 
The bubbles in the fish tank go glub glub glub,
I imagine that I’m in there, riding a tiny sub.
 
Our doggie makes a ruckus, going bark bark bark,
There may be someone out there, lurking in the dark.

Unzipping my pants makes a funny sound,
Zzzzip when it goes up and zzzzip when it goes down.

Creeeeak goes the door when I walk into the room,
Sshhh...just be quiet; it will all be over soon.

My knife through her body goes slash slash slash,
When I chop her up in pieces and put her in the trash.
 
So many sounds around me, and even in my head,
They’ll never never stop until I’m good and dead.

Copyright © 2020 Brandon Ellrich
First published on Poetry Festival 
Sounds
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Tell Me No Secret

My new book is now available! You can check it out on Archway Publishing website here.

Tell Me No Secret

Can you keep a secret? High school student Joe wishes he’d never been asked that question. In the small town of New Haven, Missouri, murder is not a common occurrence, so when Joe kills his “best bud” Brad, a tidal wave of shock washes over the community. It makes no sense that Joe killed Brad. However, among teens, you never know what evil lurks beneath the surface.

Take a journey inside Joe’s mind as he reveals the details, planning, and tumultuous emotions that went into murdering his best friend. It’s no mystery that Joe is guilty; he admits that on page one. The question is why? What causes a nice young man to commit a murder? The answer isn’t as clear as it initially seems.

Details slowly float to the surface as time moves from the present into the past. Joe might admit guilt, but who is truly to blame for Brad’s murder? Will those responsible for heinous acts be brought to justice? Keeping a secret can be risky, but in Tell Me No Secret, a group of teen friends discovers just how dangerous it can be.

I have been blogging on my site for several months now posting short stories, poems and articles. I am excited to provide my readers with a full-length novel. I hope you will all check it out, and if you buy it, please leave an honest review.

I have appreciated the loyal following I have with my blog and I hope that continues as I expand my role as an author. Thanks for reading!

Delivery

I am not in favor or against the government; I just work for them. Hell, let’s just put it bluntly—I am owned by them. It’s not all bad, though. It’s my job to deliver tax refunds, among other things, so many people are happy to see me. Of course, it’s also my job to deliver bad news as well. They usually know what to expect. I can tell by the way they approach me—the sigh, the slumped shoulders, the slow gait. 

One of the worst things I have had to do is deliver a letter from the armed forces informing the next of kin of a young man who has been killed in battle. I see the anxious mother approaching, expecting news of her boy’s health and well-being from across distant and foreign lands. My flag is lowered and she knows I have something for her. Once the letter is in her hands, I see the moment when her eyes rove across the words that explain that her son will not be returning to his homeland. It’s amazing how the very smallest of muscles in the human face can reveal such profound emotions. The slightest facial changes tell a heart-wrenching story in a matter of seconds. I do not move as she crumples to the ground as if pierced, herself, by the same bullet that has taken away her child.

I see her many times thereafter, but I am now cursed. She despises me, because I have delivered this news that has changed her forever. Sometimes she cannot bear to face me and so she sends her husband.

“Anything interesting?” she asks from the edge of the yard.

“Nope,” he replies. “Just bills and a flyer from JCPenney.”

My metal door shuts with a squeak and the couple slowly return hand-in-hand to their front porch.

Copyright © 2021 Brandon Ellrich

Thank you for reading. If you liked this story, you may want to check out my poem Fighting or my short story Taken. And please click the follow button to be notified of new posts.

Delivery
Photo by Abstrakt Xxcellence Studios on Pexels.com