Friday, November 25, 2011

Time for a change - Update

My life keeps changing ever week it seems. I quit the job I love the most and now going to a job that I know I will love and do well too. As the editor at Northeast Ohio Family Magazines, I will do so much more than I have ever done. I think I will always miss the glitter of being an education reporter, but maybe, I can finally do things my way. I can do the things I have always wanted to do. That's my nonfiction life anyway, my fiction life doesn't seem to get better. I do know that I have to keep writing and submitting.

New Submit to Writers Digest and Evil Jester Press for the Attic Toys. Waiting on both to see what happens.

I am currently working on getting some ideas together. I need time to write, but first I have to deal with my nonfiction work.

Till next time.....

Cheers, Angela

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Now what? An update on now and future...

Sitting at my kitchen table on October 1, I play the waiting game and trying to figure out what I can do next.

I never thought I would come this far in both my nonfiction and fiction writing. The short stories are fulfilling, but now that I am finally getting back to fiction, I might have to think about starting a book. However, 10,000 words scares the hell out of me! For right now, I will work on some short stories until that good idea comes for a longer version. This is how Stephen King started, he didn't go right into a novel, but got some short stories published first, according to his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

That's my goal for this year anyway.

So here are some of the short stories I recently submitted for consideration.

"No Breathable Air" The popular Machine of Death has the reporter taking notes for his own death prediction, but his story doesn't go as planned.

The Machine of Death Volume 2, sounds like it will be just as intriguing as Volume 1. Go to website to learn more about both books -

Thats all for now, Cheers till next time!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Millstone Molar

The Millstone Mola

Malana Hoke watched the ocean waves crash against the rocks below. She knew her life would be over soon. The rain was falling from the sky heavily and making her long blond hair stick to her back. She could see the outline of the sea lions still lazily sitting on the rocks as if bathing in the sun. She loathed those nasty creatures and even more so now. They would have a clear view of her death. Her wrists hurt from the ties that bind them behind her back. The men standing behind her didn’t seem to care. They spoke amongst themselves in quiet whispers. She couldn’t make out the words and felt weary of their banter. Her thoughts again strayed to the sea lions as she felt herself being pushed off the edge of the cliff.

The fish, or possibly half of a whale, wiggled its body in the shallow muddy water. Luka Needham watched as it tried to free itself from the rocks below. The fish continued to twist in distress. Its beak-like mouth was opened slightly and laboring to breathe. A crowd of people gathered to watch the massive fish with large eyes and a dorsal fin. Luka maneuvered to the base of the rocks and put his arms around it. He could hear the grunting noises coming from the fish’s body.

“It’s a mola– a sunfish,” he heard someone say behind him.

The thick skin was slippery and hard to grasp. Luka could hear the sounds of the sea lions on the rocks across the beach. They were barking loudly with excitement.

He motioned to the others to help. The weight of the mola was too much for him to bear alone.

“Please,” Luka called. “Let’s push him out of this wedge.”

The sunfish was finally free after several minutes and the men guided it to deep ocean water.

Something else caught Luka’s eye, a hint of light coming from the beach rocks. He was surprised to see a woman with blond hair covering her face lying still.

“A girl,” the man said next to him in a frantic voice. “I think, I think she’s uh..”

“She’s dead,” Luka said finishing the sentence.

The sunfish was swimming away from the crowd and Luka could see its odd fin poking out of the water. A trail of blood followed it back to the ocean.

The fall lasted longer than Malana thought. When she hit the warm ocean waters and it felt like she knocked into a wall. The rope that held her wrists tore free. Her hands darted out in front of her as she climbed to the water’s surface. The waters threatened to pull her under again as she was roughly moved side-to-side as the wind howled around her. The heavy rains pelted her face as she tried to swim. The ocean seemed to want her and kept tugging her farther into the darkness. She didn’t see the shoreline or rocks and even the sea lions disappeared from view.

She wanted to surrender and let herself go. She knew it was hopeless and no one would hear her screams. Those men waiting for her on the cliff were laughing, she guessed. They may be waiting for her to swim to shore if they knew she survived the fall. Malana didn’t want to be tortured again. She wasn’t a witch or goddess, just a mere healer. Nothing more or nothing less. She knew medicine and soothed the sick, but she couldn’t help the one she loved the most.

Her son needed her to sooth his suffering. She couldn’t heal him after he fell from the tree. He would lie in bed for days and didn't eat or move while his body withered away. The men and women looked at her differently when he died. They thought she had cast some spell that attributed to his spirit leaving this earth. She came to the cliff several times to jump, but felt too afraid. She was happy when they took her away that night. She hoped they would have the strength she didn’t. It was to be quick, but instead they hurt her in ways she didn’t want to think about. Her strength waivered and she felt drained. The waves pushed her back deeper in the ocean. "Just let go,” she said to herself as she floated on her back. “Stop fighting the pain.”

It was too lonely to be in the darkness and her wet surroundings. She let herself sink in the watery depths. She opened her eyes to see different shapes swimming in sparkling lights. The moon was shining brightly above her and then she closed her eyes.

She saw her son who would beg her to sing. “Mommy, sing me a song about a rock,” he said. He would lay against his pillow waiting in anticipation for her to begin.

He was fascinated with all kinds of stones and believed they had an inner beauty that no one could see. He gave her a stone to carry one day because he thought it would come alive and speak to her. He had wanted the same for his own little stone he tucked away in his pocket.

She opened her mouth to sing to him, but only a gurgling sound came. Water began to pour from her lips and she choked. His wide eyes stared at her in fright. The blue ocean filled his room and she saw her son’s body floating inside a water cocoon.

Malana opened her eyes and the bright sun made her snap them shut again. She started to cough violently and her mouth tasted salty. She wasn’t on land, but she also did not sit at the bottom of the ocean. She was floating on an enormous silvery fish that was swimming gently on its side. The large eye of the circular creature seemed to be peering up at her curiously. She was astonished that she was saved again, but then also didn’t understand. “Why?” she asked the eye fixed on her. “I don’t deserve this. I couldn’t save anyone.” She looked at the fish and didn’t really expect a response, but a twinge of hope spread through her. “It understands,” she thought feeling comforted.

The fish suddenly moved and she was dumped back into the water. She waded as the ocean gently swayed her body and she began to look around to see if there was land nearby. She saw only the large fish, she now recognized as a mola. Afraid the creature had enough of her riding on top of him; she didn’t try to climb on his still form.

“Maybe I can follow it when it begins to move and it can lead me back to the rocks,” Malana thought. She had seen molas while on the tribes fishing boats. When the fish appeared, it almost always scared someone off the boat. It would follow them for miles, but if someone reached out to touch the fish, it would dip quickly back in the water.

She sensed a tension in the mola and waited for it to move again. Something slippery underneath caught her feet and made her jerk upward. Whatever was there circled and moved at fast speeds. Her heart jumped inside her chest and she thought about the sharks while looking beyond the rocks at the cliff. Their fins were unlike the molas, sharp and pointed. She froze, hoping that her stillness would make her as invisible as the sunfish.

The mola suddenly flipped in the air, but not by a shark. A sea lion bared its teeth ready to clamp down on the sunfish. Malana watched as this dance continued between the two of them. The mola looked frightened as it changed colors from light to dark. The sea lion wasn’t so easily fooled and rolled over on the fish biting its fin. The tearing sound was unbearable and Malana gasped in horror. She was afraid for the mola, but also for herself.

Something on her leg scratched at her as she moved frantically. She remembered. The circular grey stone her son gave her the day he fell from the tree. She stopped wading and went underneath the water to retrieve the stone. She hoped it was indeed still in her pocket and it was. She knew what to do to save herself and the mola. The sea lion was biting the sunfish that seemed to surrender itself by floating on the water’s surface. Malana knew she would have one opportunity. She swam closer to the pair hoping not to be noticed, but the sea lion turned its head and focused on her. The creature began to creep forward as if not sure what his next move would be. Malana waited and then it finally happened. The sea lion barked at her. She threw the stone and it slipped inside the sea lion’s mouth. It disappeared underneath the water. She waited for it to resurface, but it never did.

The sunfish still was on its side floating. She didn’t know if it was dead, but she swam over to it and touched it gently. “I’m sorry,” she soothed. She leaned forward to give it a small kiss on its rubbery skin. She saw the birds circling above, which meant several things, but she no longer cared about getting to land. Her strength to keep moving vanished and her legs began to buckle. She gave one last look at the sunfish and went underneath the water for the final time.

Malana woke and found a young man staring at her. He looked just as surprised as she felt. She was lying on a bed of rocks that dug in her back sharply. “Are you ok miss?” the man said. She didn’t know how to answer that question at first, but finally said, “Yes, I think I will be."

Welcome to Angela Gartner

I was Gartner News Write, but now I am just Angela Gartner. This blog is dedicated to my fiction writing. I embark on a new era in my life. My goal was always to become a reporter and fiction writer. I accomplished one goal as I am a reporter after a long 10 years of waiting. Now, it's my turn to focus again on my fiction. I will be posting recent stories I may or may not have submitted. My focus is on short stories, but someday, I may write a novel. Who knows! I just can't see writing something that is 10,000 words.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Change concept of blog

As I evolve as a writer and reporter. I thought it was time to change things up a bit. I have been writing a blog for education as a staff reporter at I need get moving both in the outside and inside world of reporting.
As a fiction writer who thought at first that I would write children books, that idea has gone up in smoke.
I am going back to my roots as a writer and will be debuting some new ideas soon.
Stay tuned for more updates on upcoming posts.

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Writer Disappointments

There are some disappointments about being a writer, especially the rejection. The small things you submit in fiction that gets rejected can be deflating. Recently I submitted my writing to a contest from a well-known writing magazine, 100 words - write an opening paragraph to this photo. I did, and I thought maybe I would have a chance. I saw the results today - my entry was no where to be found. I was disappointed. I wrote 100 words and still didn't get the job done. I saw the other finalists and I didn't think they were as good. I think we all think that though, our ego gets the best of us. We think, of course why wouldn't they pick us, our submission had to blow their mind, however, it doesn't always happen that way. I am not going to give up though because, although I am disappointed, I didn't write it for them, but more for me. To get my thoughts out there and idea, but mostly to try and be heard, even if only to be discarded later.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Year, New Career

I never thought it would happen but it did. I am officially a staff writer for The News-Herald in Willoughby. It's something I dreamed about my whole life, to be a "real" writer. What does that mean though? Do you have to be a staff writer to be a "real" writer. No, I don't think so. I think it only helps with your credentials. To be a real writer is to be passionate and not give up the dream. Writing for yourself, instead of other people. I have been reading a lot of Stephen King lately and he was a teacher before he became successful, but he didn't give up writing fiction. It was a passion for him as a boy and he kept going. He didn't get the big wins starting out, he was published in a few magazines and was just happy to receive any pay. I felt the same way I was freelancing. I did it because I was happy just to be writing. I wasn't making a living at the small beat I worked but knowing I was just doing something that I dreamed about since I learned to write and read was rewarding. I am still not giving up though, I have a passion for the news, but also have a passion for writing fiction. I submitted my first short story to a contest late last month and plan to do more this year with that. My career is not finished, but I feel only really begun.