Moving forward….

It amazes me to think I’ve been blogging for the better part of four years. I started this blog in 2014 but didn’t really start posting regularly until August of 2015. And when I look back I think: man this blog is a mess. Rather than have a fixed format, I have managed to post about everything under the sun (except religion and politics – which will stay that way). But this was supposed to be a WRITING BLOG!!! Ehhh… I am too interested in too many things to focus. Luckily, you beautiful people haven’t seemed to mind. I finish 2018 with over 3300 followers and a nice group of regular commenters and friends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

So what is the plan for the easily distracted author/artist in 2019? Is there a plan? Can I even stick to a plan with all the big changes next year will bring? Probably not. However, what I’d like to do is….

  • Concentrate on my series Inhuman. I would like to turn this rough draft into a novel. For those of you reading along, please offer constructive criticism, including flagging me on inconsistencies and mistakes. Be truthful. I can take it and your feedback is very valuable.
  • As a result, I will probably write fewer essays on The Great War. I am still reading and researching for the very delayed (I should be ashamed of myself) Here Lies a Soldier so I will share some of the gems I uncover.
  • Poetry: it seems to have returned to me so that might appear more often.
  • Art: I will ‘Draw Adventurously’ again but maybe not so frequently. Also, I’ve been painting a lot more and just ordered new brushes and a supply of canvases so I may subject you to that in the new year. 

Ah, but the best laid plans (if you can call that a plan) of mice and Meg often go awry. 2019 brings big changes personally and a big move geographically. I’m not making any promises. However, if you hang in there with me during this tumultuous time, I’ll be eternally grateful!

All the best to you and yours at the conclusion of the year! Love Meg!

Also that’s my latest painting in the header image.

Inhuman (12)

To read from the beginning, please visit the Inhuman Page.

Sunday had proved uneventful. After a fitful night’s sleep, Amanda set to work putting her house together: hanging artwork, shelving books, organizing the kitchen and bathroom. By dinner time, she was weary and ready to put her feet up. She heated some soup and had just turned on the television when her phone rang. Nathan’s name came up on the ID. “Hello?” she answered nervously.

“Amanda, how are you settling in? The house to your liking?” he asked.

“Um, yeah. It’s great, just great.”

“Good. I called to give you instructions for coming to work tomorrow. Are you ready?”

“Yes.” As if there was an option, she thought.

“Excellent. We have a bus service dedicated to bringing our staff into the facility. That way we don’t have a lot of traffic or wasted space for parking cars. You need to walk out of your development to the main road where you will see an unmarked shelter. That is the pickup location. Be there by 8:00 sharp for your bus.”

“Alright. I’ll be there,” she replied.

“When you arrive at the facility, I will meet you and take you to Human Resources where you will be issued a photo ID badge…”

“What no retina scan?” she asked sarcastically.

He ignored the remark. “…and then I’ll take you to your department. After tomorrow you’ll be on your own. Any questions?”

She sighed. “Nathan, I have a million questions…”

“About tomorrow, Amanda,” he cut her off. “Anything else you need to ask me can wait, do you understand?”

Not safe to talk on the phone, then, she thought. “No, I guess not.”

“Good. I’ll see you in the morning,” he said and disconnected abruptly.

Amanda set the phone down and chewed her thumbnail. A bus. She wasn’t the only agency employee in town, then. It made sense. She had checked the area on the map and saw that besides Makepeace, there were no other towns within ten miles, just a few isolated farms and a truck stop out on the interstate. Wouldn’t a bus service attract attention, though? The rest of the people in town surely would wonder about it, wouldn’t they? There must be some sort of cover story… Just one more question to add to the list.

Despite her exhaustion, apprehension kept her tossing and turning all night. In the morning, she showered and dressed on autopilot. Then, after coffee and cereal, she made the short walk to the bus stop. Three other people were already waiting. She pasted on a smile and said hello. They all returned the greeting but when Amanda looked away, she immediately felt their eyes on her again. She stared at her phone and checked her email to avoid the stares. The bus arrived exactly on time and as the passengers all boarded, they quietly acknowledged the driver and found seats. Amanda sat next to a woman who appeared to be in her late forties or early fifties, reading a paperback novel. In fact, everyone on the bus seemed to be middle aged or older. I’m so much younger, she thought. Maybe that’s why they’re all staring.

The bus made its journey not out to the main road, but along a narrow, winding country road which eventually left all signs of civilization behind. Not long after leaving the town, a chain link fence perimeter, marked with warning signs for the hazards of the underground coal fire beyond, appeared along the right side of the road. When the bus stopped, there was no evidence whatsoever of the sprawling facility beneath their feet. Unsure what else to do, Amanda rose and followed the other passengers exiting the bus. They swiftly and wordlessly hurried toward a small, dilapidated building just outside the fence, which must have once been a storage shed or garage for the mine. Amanda followed at the end of the line. Once inside the building, she found Nathan waiting for her. Relieved, she squeezed through the crowd to his side.

“Amanda, good to see you,” he said. “All’s well so far?”

“I suppose. Except I feel like everyone is watching me,” she replied.

He gestured for her to walk with him. “Hm, well, considering we haven’t had a new employee join the team in over ten years…”

“You’re kidding. Isn’t there any turnover? People retiring? That kind of thing?”

“Not yet. The original staff and support personnel are aging, but this program is new enough that no one has retired yet.” They joined a queue of people at the back of the building. Amanda couldn’t tell what was happening at the front, but the line steadily moved forward.

“And no one just decides to leave? To find a new job elsewhere?” Amanda lowered her voice. “Or isn’t anyone allowed to leave?”

Nathan frowned. “It’s a situation we have yet to encounter. The doctor is the first person who demonstrated a desire to leave. Anyone else who may want to go has kept it to themselves,” he said quietly. Then looking at her out of the corner of his eye, he added, “So far.”

When the line of people had dwindled to just a few, Amanda was able to see that one by one, the employees were being retina scanned at a panel discreetly camouflaged as an intercom. As the employees were cleared, a hidden door opened and closed behind them. After everyone had passed through and she and Nathan were the last ones left, he stepped forward to be scanned and pulled Amanda close to his side. “We’ve got to go through together, Amanda. It might be a tight squeeze.”

As the door opened, Nathan stepped in and pulled Amanda into his arms. Amanda gasped as she was pressed up against his body and the floor seemed to drop beneath their feet.

The Bucks County Novels – by Margaret Sorick

Once a year (yes, I’m terrible at marketing…) I like to remind my followers that I have a series of novels available for purchase on Amazon. The novels are set in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where I live. My characters are ordinary people with families, people who fall in love and sometimes find themselves in outrageous circumstances. While the same cast of characters appears in each of the books, the plot focuses on a different one every time. The first  novel in the series: Three Empty Frames won first prize in The Writer’s Digest E-book Awards for Mainstream Fiction in 2017. Here is a look at each one of them:

Three Empty Frames  – Book OneThree Empty Frames_02_HR_front_2

Life just got complicated for Jennifer Dunne. Her dead mother’s diary has revealed clues to a famous art heist from the 1960s. Have the missing masterpieces been hidden among her things all this time? Jen is targeted by a pair of ruthless criminals who certainly think so. Meanwhile, she’s falling in love with her new lawyer, who works with her to unravel the clues. But will the fledgling relationship survive when another handsome rival appears on the scene? And have the clues to the whereabouts of the missing masterpieces led them astray? Were the paintings hidden in plain sight all along?

Seeing Red – Book Two 514HE57Sz1L

Beautiful, hardworking, Desdemona Murray doesn’t see herself the way others do. She only remembers the awkward teenager she once was. The talented landscape designer is hired to install a custom deck at the home of star football player, Ethan Samuels. When she catches the eye of the handsome professional athlete, and he begins to pursue her relentlessly, she is at first, flattered and amazed. However, her heart belongs to a man whom she believes only considers her a friend. Adam Quinn has always been a ladies man, not one to settle down, or so she thinks. Little does she know his feelings for her run much deeper. When Des finally sees both men for who they really are, the choice she must make is obvious. But when she chooses, Des finds out how dangerous it can be to break free from a man who can’t take no for an answer.

Run For It – Book Three fullsizeoutput_cc7

Joni Cooper is in the best shape of her life. In fact, she’s training for the Boston Marathon. So why does she feel like the last kid picked for the team? Mostly because her two best friends have fallen in love with a pair of handsome brothers. It looks like she’s stuck with the third and final brother, Graham, as an escort for both weddings. Even though Graham is gorgeous and successful, he’s also irritating as sin. Will the two of them manage to call a truce until the two couples are married? Or will the sparks these two generate erupt into a five alarm fire?

Tainted Inheritance – Book Four fullsizeoutput_f0c

Why would anyone want to hurt Olivia Sutton? Her life was finally coming together after her divorce. She’s found new love with contractor Leo Donovan and made a fresh start in a new home. When she becomes the victim of one too many random accidents, she realizes someone is stalking her. Has something in her past come back to haunt her? And can she and Leo discover the secret before it’s too late?

Breaking Bread – Book Five breaking bread_01 copy

Maya Kaminsky has finally realized her dream of owning a French bakery cafe, despite the opposition of her rigid, narrow-minded family. But as the business grows and thrives, Maya discovers she has an enemy. Beginning with petty mischief, the cafe becomes targeted by vandals who quickly escalate to dangerous sabotage. To complicate matters, Maya’s childhood friend, Brad Logan, moves back into town and with his recent inheritance, buys her building, intending to help her out. However, Maya’s fierce independence makes it a struggle to accept help from anyone, let alone a man with whom she finds herself falling in love. Nevertheless, Maya will need all the help she can get to save both her business and her life.