The Carriage Driver - The Singer

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Audrey Lane stood and surveyed the room. The dark hardwood floors shined. The wood of her piano near the walled mirror and balance bar glowed. Her studio served as her place of work. She made her living giving piano lessons and singing lessons.

In her parlor, there was a table covered with a brocade table cloth and in the center was a polished crystal ball. On the table sat a well worn Rider Waite deck of tarot cards. On her stuffed to overflowing bookshelves were Dane Rudhayar, Aliester Crowley, H. Spencer Lewis, Ph.D., Mary Baker Eddy and of course Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Descartes. The Torah leaned against the Upanishads and the Rig Veda. Her heart was full.

Tonight was her woman’s club. She wore a red velvet cloak. Audrey Lane shut off the light in her studio and walked out the front door into a moonless midnight.

Source

She drove the seven miles to the meeting place. She was very familiar with the terrain. When she first found this spot, she carried in and planted white carnations that had since grown to a rich bounty, whose fragrance filled the air about them.

Lou Ann and the six others had already arrived. Gypsy was wearing a crown gold colored cloak, not easy to obtain. Mary Jane had chosen dark blue this evening. Lou Ann wore her purple cloak; she was starting the fire in the center of their gathering. They all turned at the sound of Audrey Lane’s approach and as she stepped through the opening in the carnation plantings, she stepped out of the world of man’s domain.

After their greeting, as the midnight hour began to wane, the women formed a circle around the fire. Audrey Lane removed her cloak and the others followed. She clutched the amulet at the end of a gold chain and began their chant. The others joined in as they started to dance in a circle.

Carry me to the land beyond me; all of life cannot be in vain

Mighty spirit do ordain me; raise me up where your heart reigns

Boost my voice this moonless night; free my voice of all refrain

We will, to dance beneath your stars; with your grace we will not abstain

The women circled the fire several times singing their chant. Then the dance ended. They retrieved their cloaks and sat by the fire catching their breaths.

Gypsy rose and retrieved the goblets and the wine. It was her turn. She handed out the glasses and poured the wine. The women talked and sipped their wine and listened to the night. The tensions of the week began to drain from them. One told of the pain she was feeling in her knee, because of a strain, and another of the strain her marriage was under.

In a bit, Audrey Lane led them in a song. Here there was no distain. When the songs were done, they stood and one by one gave hugs and went back to their cars. Each of the women leaving a few their worries here in the dark with the universe and each felt less of their burdens for having participated.

Audrey Lane was the last to go. She made sure the flames were out and gathered the glasses and empty bottles and moved back towards her car. On the way home, she thought how hard it was to live a life that was not mundane and if she would have the strength to slay all the dragons that needed to be slain.

As she entered her studio she felt her first chest pain, it hit her like a runaway freight train. She lay there wondering if she would attain the next level of succession or would she have to do this all again. She looked through the door and saw a carriage pulled by a white horse with a beautiful white mane. She called through the door, “I’ll be right there.” But instead ran to the bath and turned on a shower that made her feel like she bathed in the rain. She pulled on some clothes, then thought it likely arcane.

The Carriage Driver stood by Nuelle he had just cut an apple into four pieces; he gave two to Nuelle and ate the other two. He was in no hurry. The Carriage Driver looked up as Audrey Lane came, as she sang across the passage between them.

As she arrived at the step of the carriage, the Carriage Driver said, “Not many arrive singing.” He put out his hand and assisted Audrey Lane.

“You have to sing while the music lasts.” She stepped up into the carriage. “Where do I go from here?”

“I suppose that all depends on what you believe in, doesn’t it?” The Carriage Driver mused.

“Is it true that some people return as cats? Like in that movie with Jimmy Steward and that witch and warlock. You know, an animal-shaped spirit - a familiar.” She waited for an answer.

“I don’t know about that.” He gave a quiet snort of a laugh. It had been a couple hundred years since he heard a question like that.

Nuelle was happy not many entered the carriage with thoughts of returning as an animal other than a dog.

“No really, do I have some choices?” Audrey Lane sat back against the backrest. In a moment, she was humming in contemplation.

“You do have choices. You can return again to this earthly plane. You can select to go with your peers who have gone before. Anything is within your realm. You have taught singing and piano. You have opened your studio to allow ballet dance to be taught there. You have shown great intellectual curiosity. What is your desire?”

When Audrey did not call Lou Ann to verify she got home safely, Lou Ann called her. After several attempts, she called Gypsy who lived the closest. Gypsy called for an ambulance, knowing it was no use. The deep rich color of the wood flooring seemed to fade a bit. The piano in the corner of the room did not appear to stand as straight. The reflection in the mirror seemed less bright as she was removed from her studio. Gypsy informed Lou Ann, who told the others one of their Sisters rose to the next level.

Within an hour, all seven of the women who had just sung their song to the universe gathered at Audrey Lane’s studio to console each other. They held hands, then hugged and cried together.

“I can do or be anything?”Audrey Lane asked in a confiding voice.

“No one that has reached here has been denied. Not to my knowledge.” The Carriage Diver told her. Nuelle waved her beautiful white tail in agreement and tossed her mane. Hearing her thoughts, Nuelle stopped beneath the glow of two gaslights.

Audrey Lane leaned forward and whispered to the Carriage Driver, even though no one was around to hear her.

An odd look came across his face, “It’s never been done, but I don’t see why not.” He glanced at the sky waiting for thunder. But there was no thunder. He looked at Audrey’s hair portraying her regal internal beast. Nuelle made a full turn in the road. Audrey Lane in her human form was no longer in the back seat.

Nuelle arrived back in front of the studio and stopped. The Carriage Driver climbed down and walked into the studio. He sat what he carried in his hand on the piano unseen by the seven women. At the doorway, he looked back into the studio. The wooden floor again had its shine. The piano stood tall and there was warmth reflected from the mirror.

Lou Ann noticed it first. “Where did that come from?”

“It was not there a second ago,” Gypsy chimed in.

“What is it?” asked another.

Lou Ann looked carefully at the bottle. She pulled the stopper and dabbed some on her and passed it to Gypsy. Gypsy passed it on to the next until all had applied some of the liquid to their neck.

There were some words in French on the golden label. In English it said, Love Potion.

The Carriage Driver stood by Nuelle. She said, "She wanted to leave all her love to her sisters here on earth."

Santana - Black Magic Woman - 8/18/1970 - Tanglewood (Official)

Frank Sinatra - Witchcraft

This concludes The Carriage Driver stories. Your presence and your comments made it a privilege to bring these stories to you over the past months. I am most grateful.

Source

Comments 75 comments

annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England

Love it, of course! I like the difference in this one, in that the choice was not to remain human. BTW, should that be 'surveyed' in the first line? Easy typo but then you might've meant 'survived', given the nature of your stories, I wasn't sure.

I like the many rhymes of 'Lane'; one paragraph is actually a poem isn't it?

I'm sad, though, that this is the last one. Are you concentrating now on putting them all together? Is there a chance there may be a second series?

I hope so; I could never have enough of these unique stories. Wonderful!

Ann


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 14 months ago from New York

Certainly a twist here Mike and a departure from the normal Carriage Driver deliveries. I would never have suspected the ending!!

Nuelle and her Driver have served this series well, though of course it is your genius and creativity that have kept us all coming back again and again.

My Fridays will certainly not be the same without the Carriage Driver!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 14 months ago from New York

I tried to add to my comment, but it seems it didn't work. Your writing is so descriptive and enticing. Things like "her regal internal beast" not only spark our imagination, but stay with us for days afterwards.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Ann. Thanks for catching that typo. It was indeed survey. I tried to hide the rhymes but I see you caught on right away. I thought it would give the piece a rhythm. This stories of mine seem to run on and on. Emerald Wells Café ran for two years, it began as a three part story. Then ‘The Quinn Moosebroker Mysteries’ ran for 60 weeks. They all have to come to an end.

I am not ruling out more ‘The Carriage Driver’ stories. Thanks for the encouragement.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 14 months ago from Hereford, AZ

Beautiful story this morning. I know people that think like this. They have so many strange ideas, that do not usually go together and are definitely not traditional.

I also will miss my Friday morning happy story. I know you will have something new soon though, and looking forward to reading them.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Mary. Thank you. As you know, I am just trying different methods of conveying a story and in this series I tried to explore what options might lay ahead of us. I always think my stories are linear and thus (sometimes) predictable.

What I will miss about Friday’s are the comments.

I appreciate your praise of the writing. Some weeks have been more challenging than others as I try to relay my message. You are very much appreciated.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Becky, and thank you. There are so many notions about the world and how we as individuals see it. There are far flung ideas, some sound like they have a foundation and others do not. I like the people who search and search for the riddles of life. I think traditions are being dismantled and that leaves the next generation without an anchor.

I hope you and yours are doing well.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

Your series is one of the few I look forward to, Mike. I love that you don't allow it to grow stale, but add new twists to keep it fresh and rewarding. Well done young man.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Bill. I suppose the possibilities are endless. I think humanity operates along well defined banks. It is interesting to go exploring along tributaries. As people who write, we all want to inform or influence or entertain. Hubpages has given us all that chance. I appreciate your support of the series.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 14 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

How can one be happy and sad at the same time...

This series has kept me good company Friday after Friday thanks to your sensitive and talented pen.

Audrey remaining with her Sistas in death, continuing to fill their lives with love is a truly beautiful thought...I may need to tuck this idea away for future reference... :)

And now to listen to Santana and Sinatra...now 'that' is a magical combination.

Even if you take a few weeks off to regenerate, I'm believing I'll be bewitched when you return...Bravo, dear Mike.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello mar. Friday is not going to be the same for me either, as the Friday deadline has 'kept me on my toes' for a long time now. The story ideas slowed and even when a title popped into my head, the story behind the title often has failed to appear.

You are going to have to give some deep thought as to your what comes next question. It is fun to contemplate 'the perfect surroundings' I think so anyway.

As always, I appreciate your support of this series. 'Bewitched' - good one.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 14 months ago from Dallas, Texas

Perfect timing for a story of this sort, Mike. Women in cloaks gathered around a campfire in the moonlight conjures up images of ghosts and goblins. How interesting that this particular woman wanted to continue sharing of herself in a unique way.

I really liked the paragraph that rhymed. It reminded me somewhat of the poetry night at the Emerald Wells Cafe. Perhaps your next story will cover the holidays at the end of the year, so quickly coming upon us. You can see, I don't believe the series has run its course. How about one where the dark side carries them away?

Sometimes I forget to mention that I liked your musical choices. Both songs work great here. I seem to be humming "Love Potion Number Nine" in my head as well.


PAINTDRIPS profile image

PAINTDRIPS 14 months ago from Fresno CA

Once again, fabulous story. I look forward to this series, like the rest of your friends. Thanks for the diversion into the eternal.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Peg. The story does have a Halloween feel to it. The women had become ‘Sisters’ through their friendship. They became important to each other. So, I thought the story could be held together with that thread. I have not written much poetry since the days of Emerald Wells Café and the demands of Speakeasy Night. Here and there I sneak a poem in.

I am not sure the series has run its course. I am in need of a break, and since there are plenty of examples of people taking a break, I thought I would also. I did kick off this series (like I knew it was going to be a series) as a Christmas story. I will have to give that much thought.

Thanks for the compliment. One thing I did was add a lot of words that rhymed with Lane throughout the story in an attempt to leave the reader wondering.

Funny you mention ‘Love potion #’ because that was the first one that came to mind when I started the search.

Hope all are well in your neck of the woods.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello PAINTDRIPS. Thank you. That is very kind of you to say. Your comment is practically a subtitle to these stories. 'Diversions into the eternal.'


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 14 months ago from Victoria, Australia

Again, thoroughly enjoyed the story today. You have so many creative ideas - thank you for sharing them.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 14 months ago from Queensland Australia

What a wonderful way to finish the series Mike, although I hope you do decide to start it afresh with a Christmas story. Funny that you chose the name "Audrey" for the singer and pianist as there are two very musical Audrey's here at Hub Pages. (Oh I revised my eBook "On the Wings of Eagles" with the cover image you generously provided. Much appreciated).


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello BlossomSB. Thank you, I appreciate your visit.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello John. I wondered if a finally was needed and decided against it. My brain was playing tricks on me, I had the thought that a spaceship should come down and pick up Nuelle and The Carriage Driver - haha.

I know Audrey and Audrey, they are both so encouraging. Audrey even believes I can sing. (again haha)

I am glad the cover worked out. I'll go and take a look and see if I can find your title on Lulu.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 14 months ago from Queensland Australia

Here i the link http://www.lulu.com/shop/http://www.lulu.com/shop/...

Had all sorts of drama with the formatting of the pages for poetry too. It took five drafts to get even close to right, but it is out there and that's a start.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello John. Thanks for sharing the link. Everyone check out John's eBook. It takes gumption to publish our writing and all support is appreciated.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 14 months ago from Southern Illinois

I know this sounds silly but I thought of Audrey throughout the story. ( Music teacher. ) I loved the story, told in a completely different style. How unique to spread her love through a love potion. I am truly sad to know this is your last chapter of this series. I know all good things must come to an end. I'm anxious to see where your muse will take you next, perhaps a little caf'e where friends can congregate, oh wait, you did that! Hee I especially liked this line. " You have to sing while the music lasts. "


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 14 months ago from Central Florida

What a beautiful thing for Audrey Lane to do! Ruby says this is the last installment of this series. Say it isn't so, Mike!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Ruby. Our Audrey certainly played into this story. Her courage, encouragement and knowledge has been an inspiration to all of us.

This is the last of this series at this point. Peg thinks there is more stories, so I have to take that into account. My muse plays tricks on me. I receive a title and then a 'here and the blank page appears' not always possible and some great titles are left with no story to follow.

Your support throughout all my stories is very much appreciated. You have been so loyal through Emerald Wells Cafe, The Quinn Moosebroker Mysteries, and now The Carriage Driver. For that I am thankful.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Sha. Audrey Lane knew that her Sisters needed more love than their were receiving, so rather than 'take her love with her' she choose to bequest it. I liked the concept, and many people leave so much love in their wake, that I thought it possible. Thank you for staying with this series.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 14 months ago from South Africa

Oh, what a dream! I think we all need more love in our hearts. How wonderful would it be if we could get it from our passing friends and relatives?

Santana - Black Magic Woman - One of my favorites!

Thank you, Mck, for another delightful chapter of The Carriage Driver.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 14 months ago from southern USA

Dear Mike,

One can never go wrong in ending a wonderful series such as this one with love being left in the hearts of those left behind. I think that is so true for when those we love have gone on, it seems to me that we tend to remember all the love that person left us with throughout their lifetime.

I have truly enjoyed reading this series and I believe you will come up with another one when you have had time to rejuvenate and rest - a well-deserved rest. I look forward to seeing your works published and just know it will be a success.

I have been away from HP for several days just due to a hectic work week and then my grandson's birthday party yesterday. I'm so happy to enjoy a long weekend with Monday off to be able to rejuvenate a bit myself.

I love Santana, especially Black Magic Woman.

I am standing and applauding you for this series. Bravo!

Peace and blessings always,

Theresa


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 14 months ago

Mike, I think this is one of the best in this series and I am sad that it will end.

What a UN-NEE-Q (one of my idioms) idea to come back as an inane object that will remind love ones that you care.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rXhXLsNJL8

Blessings and hugs

Shyron


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Martie. I agree we could all use an extra dose of love. Perhaps because we spent so much along the way. I think we can get it from friends and relatives along the way, we just don’t often receive the proper amounts. Now, Black Magic Woman, there was a song that filled our imaginations in the past. Thanks for always being here to support this series.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Theresa, I keep looking at the date of the last time you had time to share a story with us. You are so very busy with work and family. You are right, our influence and legacy should be one spotlighted by a trail of love. Friends, family and associates should have a warm place in their hearts for us.

It is so nice to hear your kind thoughts regarding this series. Historically, these stories would likely be considered flash fiction, because of their length. As a body of stories I hope they covey a feeling of comfort to the reader.

Thanks for the positive thoughts and social-media sharing. I don’t think that many people show up at Hubpages. I appreciate the thoughts of peace and the blessings.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 14 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hi Shyron. UN-Nee-Q, cute! Much of this series explores the concept of heaven. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to bequest your strength and your love to someone of your choosing?

I will go over to you tube and see your selection. Thanks for the blessins and of course you are never too old for hugs.

Mike


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 13 months ago from Canada

Hello Mike, Once again you make magic, and your question is intriguing; What would I want to come back as? A love potion, now that is something. Could you sprinkle it like Fairy dust over the entire planet? Peace...


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello snakeslane. Thank you for the nice compliment. It is a mystery we all face. The 'what is next' issue. There must be choices, and here we explore one of them. I appreciate your support of the series. Peace, what a nice concept.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 13 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

I'm so sorry I missed this one, Mike. (Where is my mind?) Sheesh. Audrey had quite the collection of books on her shelves. Hinduism, the Torah, astrology...her heart was full. I loved that sentence. And "... leaving a few their worries here in the dark with the universe..." Even as she met the driver and Nuelle, there was a song in her heart...this full heart.

And those subtle touches of humor. "Nuelle was happy not many entered the carriage with thoughts of returning as an animal other than a dog."

“It’s never been done, but I don’t see why not.” Once again, I have tears as this beautiful tale ends...yet begins.

Your imagination and creativity are boundless, Mike. I will be sorry to see this ingenious, inspiring series come to a close. Thank you for these beautiful journeys, Mike. They have made our lives richer. :-)


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 13 months ago from Taos, NM

What a beautiful and kind story. I have loved this series and this does not disappoint. Your imagination and creativity knows no bounds. Thank you for a delightful story.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 13 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Something was missing on Friday...I know I'm one of many who eagerly await 'when' your pen graces HP.

Hope you are having a peaceful weekend, dear Mike.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Genna. I kept checking back to see if you had stopped by. You keep such a busy schedule.

Once upon a time I went to a book sale of a Sikh. I was amazed at the width and breath of her collection. There were thousands of books. I bought what I could the day of the sale and went back the next day and made an offer for all that had not sold. There are endless ideas as to how the world works.

Your comments and compliments helped keep the momentum of this series going. Your efforts along with the support of all my beautiful readers turned one short story into about thirty leaps of imagination.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello suzettnaples. Thank you. I am a believer that the world works best while it is in balance. There is so much violence and brutality in the airways, that I thought it prudent to keep infusing kindness into the mix.

Thank you for your support of this series. The stories will appear in book form sometime in the near future. All the stories that appeared on hubpages are in the book, but a good editor would have to me to drop some of the weaker stories.

Enjoy your Sunday.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello mar. It was tough for me not to publish something on Friday. I have been fairly consistent. There has been so much competition for hubpage space that all the readers are taxed with how much time to spend where.

I have been working on a story. I see it as a Christmas story. It is an exercise, meaning that it is longer than what I have written in the past.

Enjoy a relaxing Sunday.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 13 months ago from South Africa

I missed your name on Friday in my notifications of published hubs, Mck. I thought something must have happened to you! You have spoiled us! Looking forward to your next hub :)


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Martie. Thanks for stopping by to visit me. I guess I could have pushed this series further. I have been working on a Christmas story. But it is not ready yet. If I find some inspiration prior to Christmas then I will publish it. My schedule looks like it is filling up quickly. You know what they say, "Life Happens"

Have a good week.


savvydating profile image

savvydating 13 months ago

Oooh....a story for the season. I loved it. I had no idea where you were going with this one. You are quite the mystery---having tricked us all, my dear mckbirdbks.

I just hope you'll have something equally "magical" for Christmas. I will miss Nuelle....though I suspect she just might make another appearance one day.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello savvydating. Hope your evening is going well. This episode was a bit different, yet, there are so many people in this world of ours and each seems to have their own idea about life and the afterlife for that matter.

I am not sure that The Carriage Driver had run its course. I was having trouble thinking of combinations and situations. The stories have made their way into print.

The disaster is, at the moment I don't have a thought regarding what the follow-up will be. Although I have written a 'Christmas Story' to publish here later this month most likely as, as I am having comment, encouragement and company, withdrawals.

I hope all is well with you and yours.


savvydating profile image

savvydating 13 months ago

To print? You mean a book or magazine? How thrilling!! I am doing well, by the way.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hi Savvy - yes, I pulled The Carriage Driver stories together and made them available on Amazon. I have actually done that with each of my series that I first wrote here at Hubpages. (now the advertisement)

They are:

Braids - Angel's Field

Emerald Wells Cafe

The Quinn Moosebroker Mysteries

and now

The Carriage Driver

It is not part of any master plan, it is just how the writings have progressed. And no surprise, I am completely unknown outside of Hubpages.


savvydating profile image

savvydating 13 months ago

Oh good. I'll check out Amazon.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 13 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Hi Mike...and everyone. Just stopping by to say, "hello," and hope that everyone had an enjoyable Halloween.

Mike; I think we are all having a few withdrawals. Hope this note finds you well, my friend. :-)


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Good evening Genna. Nice to see you. I was all set for Trick-or-Treaters, yet only one group of little princes showed up they whole evening. So it was quiet here.

Thank you for that nice thought. I might just have to make time to publish something so we all can visit.

Keep an eye on your mailbox.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 13 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

I will be in Mck withdrawal if you don't publish until Christmas....just sayin...!

We had only a few ghouls and princesses ...quite a cold Halloween, weather wise.

Hard to believe November is here already.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello mar. Pull up a chair, here is some coffee and I have all this Halloween candy to share.

Sounds like I have to write something. Like I have said, I prepared a Christmas story. (It is painfully long for Hubpages, but we are all growing as writers - correct?)

I was thinking maybe a Thanksgiving Day date of publication. Maybe I can write a poem before then - I have so much running through my mind lately. I am being presented with great titles, but no clue as to what the true message is.

Enjoy your evening.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 13 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Did I hear chocolate...oh hi, Mike - the coffee is right on time too.

Oh yes capture what's in your mind - your poetry is inspiring to me.

I am looking forward to your Thanksgiving day publication.

Have a peaceful day, mar


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas

Here I am in Mckbirdbks land and thinking it's time for another story. Yes, please. May I have another?


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Good morning mar. I am moving kind of slow this morning. Poetry, I do have something running through my mind. It does not seem to want to be captured on paper, it just flints in and out of my dreams.

Plenty of chocolate here for the taking. It must officially be Thanksgiving candy now. Maybe I should go door to door handing it out.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Good morning Peg. Good to see you. The temperatures have dropped here. Roughly 30 degrees cooler than just a few weeks ago. And it pour rain here yesterday. That is useful and a warning of what is coming this winter.

I hope you and yours are well.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 13 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Good morning everyone. Thank you Mike.

By the way did you know that "The Martian" (Matt Damon's new flick) started out as a self-published e-book online? It's all about spreading the word. :-) The Carriage Driver deserves a LOT of attention.

I hope everyone is enjoying this vibrant fall. I'm trying not to think about Mother Winter and her journey across the NE and other parts of the country as we get the house ready for El Nino's many "presents". Well, at least that is what the experts are predicting. Mike, you and our other CA friends are scheduled for a lot of rain should the predictions we've been hearing prove to be accurate.

Have a great weekend.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Good morning Genna. Happy Friday to you.

That is an interesting bit of news regarding 'The Martian' on the one hand it gives all of us ebook writers hope. The book snob in me secretly knows there is no true first edition for any collector to covet.

We are bracing for winter here also. I have sandbagged the front of the garage. And I had two tall trees on the property topped so to lower their center of gravity. So many big trees topple when the ground soaks. And i am thinking of buying a set of rain tires for my daughter's car as she travels the freeways daily. I can't get anyone to agree with me that this is a good idea, which makes me wonder if it is a good idea.

I have heard that old man winter is not going to be kind to the east coast and worry about you and others who make the east coast your homes.

The Carriage Driver needs a good marketing idea to get it moving. I think I'll call Oprah :)


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 13 months ago from California

Ah Mike--I think this is how I would like to go out--singing!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Audrey - you caught me in the middle of formatting a book for a fellow Hubber. Sorry, I am late. I am not a singer, but I can see the joy and emotional release it provides those that do. So, why not go out singing! Thanks for the visit.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 13 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Hi everyone. A Happy Saturday -- and weekend! Mike, you've given me an idea re Oprah. I don't know much about it but I believe she has a book club site where members recommend books to others. I will plan a visit to the site this weekend. :-)


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Genna and Happy Saturday to you also. That would be great, I am sure Oprah and many of her followers would appreciate the work that went into The Carriage Driver stories.

A friend of mine when hearing the concept of my stories told me that it sounded like another book he had read recently, and he brought me a copy. The title is "Sum" by David Eagleman (he currently runs a neuroscience research lab). I am reading it now. As personal as my stories are, his are impersonal and structured.

As a side note, I miss the heck out of all the readers that showed up every Friday for my weekly contribution. I have thought of a couple more concepts for a Carriage Driver story, yet, know that is opening that gate again.

Thank you for stopping by for a visit.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 13 months ago from Orlando, FL

My favorite story, well all the carriage driver stories are my favorite, but the one that I treasure the most is The Happy Years, while it isn't posted in HP, I have it forever in your book that you so kindly published for all to enjoy...which is great that it is available for purchase on Amazon, The Carriage Driver by Michael Friedman...Thank you for sharing such beautiful stories with the world to enjoy.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Good morning Linda. What a nice thing to say. 'The Happy Years' is also one of my favorites. Based on your comment I just re-read it and yes, the story has elements of what most of us wish for.

When I gave a copy of this title to my brother he said, 'Why do i want to read about dead people?' so, I explained it to him the best that I could.

I guess my writing is not for everybody. haha

Have a great Sunday and thanks for letting people know it is available on Amazon.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 13 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Well, I would love to see more The Carriage Driver stories as I miss the heck out of your writing, come to think of it, dear Mike.

I can see your 'first' volume of The Carriage Driver in the Oprah Book Club - what a great idea, Genna.

I treasure my autographed copy and can't to tell everyone 'I read Michael Friedman way before he became a household name.'

I am back from a Gestalt weekend and getting ready to bake a humble pie to serve anyone who thinks this is a book about dead people...

Have a peaceful night. Hugs, mar


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 12 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

oops... 'can't wait to tell...' ;)

And now, wishing you a peaceful good morning...!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 12 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Good morning mar. I think I knew what you meant. Household name, that is funny. Outside of hubpages I am a complete unknown, like a rolling stone, - hey that's good - someone should make it into a song - oh, wait.

It is a Christopher Robbin kind of a blustery day here. Just walked the dogs and they 'asked, 'what the heck am I thinking'

We went to The Oliver Garden last night and their 'table-kiosk-atm' tried to steal $23.00 from my credit card. I raised quite a ruckus.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 12 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Just dropping in to wish everyone a peaceful and enjoyable weekend. The holidays are upon us and Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday. This year, our thoughts and prayers travel to Paris, Brussels, and to other parts of the world where terrorism has not only brought so much devastation, but crippling effects to everyday life. Thankfully, love, compassion, hope and fellowship are elements of the human spirit they cannot destroy.

Mike and Maria; I joined Oprah's club, but membership understandably has certain guidelines and TOS I didn't anticipate, which I will e-mail you about.

Mike, I was planning on giving an Olive Garden gift card as a Christmas gift, but now I'm not so sure. Did everything work out okay?


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 12 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Genna. All our thoughts go out to the people of Paris and the world faced with savage assaults. Your heart is full of humanity for those that are stung by the senseless acts.

Will you be travelling for Thanksgiving? Here in California we are expecting a break from high temperatures dropping to highs in the 50s for the holiday. It was 80 today.

I appreciate your efforts to get my book mentioned on the Oprah Book Club. That certainly would have given it a boost. Send over the TOS, I'll take a look and see if they can be deciphered.

The procedure is scheduled for December 9th. There have been so many assessment appointments that it is nerve racking. I feel fine and feel fit (for my age) and am sure it will all work out.

I have a story ready for publication. It is a stand alone, not the kickoff to a new series. I have been tossing around an idea for another series, but I have to give it some thought before I try and launch into it.

Have you found any time to write?

Thanks for checking in on me.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 12 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Mike,

Today feels like a day to celebrate with cake, maybe even strawberry tarts...

Looking forward to your next publication.

Genna, after Mike deciphers the TOS, let me know if I can help.

Wishing you both and all the other Friedman followers a fabulous Thanksgiving.

Hugs, mar


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 12 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello mar. I cannot believe, the comment stream claims 6 weeks since I published this story. That is so tough to comprehend. Now, cake sounds like just the thing for today. What a great idea. If only I were running Emerald Wells Cafe again. Thanks for the Thanksgiving greetings. I was told yesterday, Thanksgiving is going in shifts and we drew the second shift. So dinner will be served late.

Thanks for the well wishes today.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 12 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

On your question about writing, Mike: Writing comes in tiny spurts when afforded time. I've been conscripted to help ready the house for winter -- snaking gutters and all. Is it politically incorrect to say that I thought this was guy thing? :-) But I don't mind. I've been busy with decorations, cards and gifts with work yipping at my heels. I dream of visiting an island -- just me and my books, pens and yellow writing pads (I hate laptops) and maybe a Margarita or two. Ahhhh to dream. Pandion is done -- has been for some time -- but chapter six still doesn't work. I've been dusting it off; getting rid of those self-conscious bits that come from over-thinking a thing, still my biggest nemesis with writing. The Oak Bluffs Victorian gingerbread houses mystery is in draft form.

Thanksgiving will be rather quiet this year on the New England home front as a December trip to Colorado is planned with another soon after. A grandson is expected in mid-January. So exciting!!

With two dinners planned for Thanksgiving, it sounds as though you have a very active and enjoyable day planned, Mike, with your family. I am so pleased to hear you have a story ready. Please publish it whenever you feel the timing is right.

I will make a copy of the paragraph that gave me a little pause with the Oprah membership -- it involves authors recommending books -- and e-mail it to you tomorrow. I think there is a tactful way around this.

Enjoy everyone! Hugs.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 12 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

I wish you had more time to write. You mention that you often wonder about your writing. Reading has been a constant activity with me for a number of years. Often more than one book at a time. Let me tell you you can write. Now, I am going to skip for a moment those rain gutters.

I would be happy to look over Pandion. Not an official edit, something less than that. It will give me something to do, I finished or am near finished helping two Hubbers get their books made ready. One title I kid you not had a haunted file. I would fix something and it would reappear, or format chapters, page numbers etc, and it would all vanish. It was enough to make me lose my hair, if I had any left. Anyway, I could run it through Grammarly at the very minimum. The more I think about a story, the worse it gets, I think the flow to a standstill.

Now to those gutters – I say, MAN’S WORK. Yes, I am a chauvinist in regards to some things. Maybe winterizing the house is too big a job for one person as this winter is being hyped as a monster of a winter.

A grandson, now that is exciting. I hope Charlie your granddaughter is ready for a baby brother. She will have to share Mom, not an easy thing.

I will wait to see the problematic paragraph in Oprah’s T.O.S. and see if the knot can be untied.

The story that I have waiting is somewhat of a Christmas story, so as a traditional kind of person, prior to Thanksgiving is ‘too much’ though I am anxious. I will try to wait until Thanksgiving where everyone will be to busy to read it.

Have a good week.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 12 months ago from Taos, NM

Your stories are beautiful, Mike. You have a endless well of stories in you. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Mike.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 12 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Suzette. Thank you for such a kind comment. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I have a story prepared and set to go for your Thanksgiving Day reading. I hope you enjoy.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 12 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Just swinging by to wish Mike and all our friends a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving with loved ones.

Looking forward to when you hit publish, dear Mike...wondering what you have up your sleeve for us...?

Hugs, mar


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 12 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Happy Thanksgiving mar. I hope you enjoy a day filled with laughter and good food among friends and family. My youngest and her boyfriend and of course her dog will be over later.

The temperature fell to 40 degrees last night. Around here that is cold.

I went ahead and published my story for the season.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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