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I confess, I’m a shy person. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned how to manage my shyness. I bet if we met at a networking event you’d never guess that I, Sara Mitchell, would rather be people watching than mingling. Down deep, I’ve always been too shy to say hi. I share this because over the years my shyness has served me well. Really, I’m not kidding.

Sometimes the right person can be right in front of you, staring you right in the face and looking you right in the eyes, but you’re not ready to see them. Let me tell you a little story with a happy ending and you’ll see what I mean.

Flash Fiction Friday - November 2018

Growing up Sam Mitchell and I were neighbors. We lived next door to each other from the first day of kindergarten until we walked across the stage at our high school graduation. We rode the school bus together, learned to drive together and even worked part time at the same little corner store. BUT, we never dated and we weren’t exactly what you’d call close friends.

Probably like a lot of teenagers I was a bit unsure of myself and didn’t have much self-confidence. My friends called me a bookworm because I’d rather hide out in the school library than go to a pep rally. I was SHY!

Sam on the other hand was Mr. Popular with a capital P. The boy crazy girls swooned over his curly blonde hair, hazel eyes and all American good looks. With his movie star smile and great personality, I knew we couldn’t ever be more than next door neighbors. He was too social and handsome and I was too shy. Once in a while when I was sure he wasn’t looking, I’d give him a side-way glance of appreciation, but that was as much courage as I could muster up.

After high school I went away to college out of state and Sam went to college not far from home. We waved to each other during holiday breaks and still worked at the same little corner store during summer vacations. Still, we never dated and only said a couple of polite words in passing.

Sam went into the service and I got married to a fellow I’d met in college. Years went by and my parents eventually moved away from the neighborhood. I lost touch with my friends.

Fast forward to my twenty year high school reunion. This is where the magic starts and I believe my shyness helped me be ready for the man of my dreams.

Let’s just say the twenty years between high school graduation and our reunion were good to me. I was teaching school and writing children’s books. I’d divorced my college sweetheart after I’d found a few too many lipstick stains on his clothing that didn’t match the my lipstick.

Deciding to go to the reunion alone was definitely coming out of my shy comfort zone. I was determined to make a statement – bookworms can blossom into confident butterflies. The day of the reunion I spent all day getting ready. I bought a blue silk dress that was the same color as my eyes. I got my honey blonde hair cut and styled and even had a professional makeup artist do my makeup. I looked good. I was exuding self-confidence.

Well, it turned out Sam came to the reunion alone too. In fact I guess I’d changed so much from the shy bookworm into a confident butterfly, that no one but Sam recognized me. We sat together at dinner and talked and laughed about growing up next door to one another. By the end of the evening he let me know in no uncertain terms he didn’t want to stay strangers any longer.

Suddenly the self-confident butterfly seemed to shrink back into the shy bookworm. When he asked me out to dinner, I gave him a bogus phone number. Yes, that’s what I said. I gave Sam a fake phone number. I was shocked to realize that when it came to Sam Mitchell, I seem to revert back to being a shy teenager.

A few days later a combination of guilt and better judgment kicked in. I was feeling bad about giving Sam the brush off. I garnered my courage, picked up the phone and dialed his number. I asked him out to dinner. Yep, I asked him out. I’m happy to say we got married five weeks after I made that call and yesterday we celebrated our thirty-fourth wedding anniversary.

Here’s why I am grateful for my shyness. As a teenager I wouldn’t have been mature enough to handle a long-term loving relationship with Sam. I didn’t have the wisdom to nurture a successful marriage. I needed time to discover myself. I needed to believe in myself. I needed to love myself enough so I’d be able to love Sam unconditionally. Today, we are enjoying our senior years in Happy Hills Arizona with our mini-dachshund Oscar. We value our marriage and we value each other.

Yes, I’m still shy, but I don’t think it’s from lack of confidence. I guess I’m basically a people watching bookworm. After all those years of teaching, I’m content to sit back and observe. You know what? Many of the personalities I observe eventually end up as characters in my children’s books.

Sam is still as social and popular as ever and that’s what makes our marriage so strong. I have my strengths and he has his. We complement each other’s personalities – that’s what a good team does. There’s a part of me that is still too shy to say hi, but I don’t care. I am who I am and at this point in life, I don’t plan on changing.
© Copyright 2018 SharonMichaels.com – All Rights Reserved
This is a work of fiction.
None of it is real. All names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Oscar the Doxie Detective Series
I invite you to get all four books in An Oscar the Doxie Detective Mystery Series. You will read more about Sara and Sam Mitchell and their crime solving mini-dachshund Oscar.

An Oscar the Doxie Detective Series

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Paperback On Sale During November, 2018

Power to Succeed Book

In this step-by-step guide, author Sharon Michaels will help you recognize the self-sabotaging things you may be doing that could be keeping you from achieving and enjoying the personal and professional life you want.

You’ll learn how to:
* Make peace with the past
* Understand your role in life
* Use your mind to achieve
* See the future as more exciting
* Nurture healthy self-esteem
* Make better choices
* Give yourself permission to be happy, successful and prosperous
* Give yourself the POWER to succeed!

Discover how to:
** Understand your Success Tolerance Quotient and how it may be limiting your success, confidence and even your happiness.
** Find the “something” you’re doing, saying, thinking or believing that feeds the need to make success a struggle.
** Recognize your pattern of self-sabotage and how it controls your day-to-day life.

In other words, learn how to give yourself the power to succeed!

Here’s a link to get your paperback copy and buy a few for gifts:
How To Give Yourself The Power To Succeed: Recognizing the things you’re doing that may be keeping you from the things you want

© Copyright 2018 SharonMichaels.com – All Rights Reserved

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I’ve been so focused on my new short story, The Witch’s Moon, I nearly forgot about The Kindred Spirits Mystery – Book #3 in An Oscar the Doxie Detective Mystery Series. A fun short read perfect for a chilly autumn evening.

The Kindred Spirits MysteryIt is October in Happy Hills Arizona and strange things are happening. We’re talking about things that go bump in the night.

Oscar and the Happy Hills Canine Detective Club work to solve a century old mystery involving a stagecoach robbery and a missing strongbox heavy with gold and silver. Oscar’s patience is tested as he must rely on “spirits” to save his Sara from harm.

*Contains mild paranormal activities.*

This is book 3 in the Oscar the Doxie Detective Mystery Series. The main mystery is solved in each book. You will enjoy the stories more if you read the books in order as some story lines thread from book to book.

A short fun light-hearted cozy mystery you can probably read in an hour or so. Pour your favorite beverage, power up your e-reader, sit back and enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of Oscar the doxie detective. I’m guessing after reading this canine adventure, you’ll realize your own dog knows a lot more than you think.

Here’s a link for purchase your paperback and Kindle copies:
The Kindred Spirits Mystery

© 2018 – SharonMichaels.com – All Rights Reserved

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Flash Fiction Friday – October 19, 2018

When I heard the rumors about witch’s founding our town, I didn’t believe it. How could that be? Those kind of things don’t happen in our little part of the world. We’re a small town in the middle of nowhere.

The more I think about it, maybe it does make sense…

There is a woman in our town named Waylynn Wilson. She has the uncanny ability to make every man in a room drool. Even the old men too senile to remember why they are drooling, drool. Every woman in Watson Wyoming gets fighting mad if you just mentioned her name.

Oh sure, she’s beautiful. Tall, blond, blue eyes and has curves in all the right places.  But, that can’t be the only reason men rush to pull out chairs and buy her drinks. Waylynn is like a man magnet. Men are attracted to her like magic. But here’s the interesting part, no one can put their finger on exactly what makes her so appealing.

One day I asked my great-grandmother Eurlene Watson what she thought of Waylynn and her ability to have men eating out of her hand. Grannie shook her head and said, “Honey, somethings never change.” Then, Grannie didn’t want talk about it anymore. When I asked why, she shook her boney finger at me and told me she didn’t want the curse to follow us like it did those Wilson women. What? No matter how I begged, Grannie wouldn’t say another word.

I’m the curious type and I was determined to find out what my Grannie knew but wouldn’t share. Little did I realize I would be digging up a long buried secret from our little town’s sordid past.

Flash Fiction Friday - Sharon Michaels

It seems a few hundred years ago a wagon train of fifty women journeyed from Salem Massachusetts to the high plains of what is now our town of Watson Wyoming. Here, in the middle of nowhere, the women built a community. Scuttlebutt has it they’d come here looking for isolation and isolation was what they got. That was until the government started building the railroad a few miles to the east.

Well as the tale goes, the same fifty women who settled this area in the early 1700’s were the same fifty women who were here when the railroad started building in the 1850’s. Yes, you read that right. The women never aged, not one day. They were still vibrant, young and beautiful. So, these entrepreneurial women decided to use their best assets to make a little money.

Within weeks they opened their town to the hundreds of men working on the railroad. The fifty women with their own hands, and almost overnight, built a saloon and dancehall. All of them worked in the business and shared equally in the profits.

According to the men who frequented the saloon, it was like seeing double. All the women looked exactly alike. All were tall, blond, blue eyes and had curves in all the right places. And, all were named Waylynn Wilson. The Wilson women made a fortune with their little saloon and dancehall. They became wealthy and each built a big Victorian home on the outskirts of town.

Of course word spread of these wealthy look alike women living in Wyoming. Eventually a professor from Harvard had to come see for himself.  His name was Harry Watson. To make a long story short, Professor Watson was fascinated by what he saw and decided to make his home among these women. Watson was determined to build the town bigger and name it after himself. Why the women didn’t stop him, I have no idea.

He gained their trust and documented everything he could learn about these look alike women who never seemed to age. He kept a detailed journal about each woman and when he died, the journal mysteriously disappeared.

Shortly after Professor Watson passed on, the women began to disappear from Watson Wyoming – one-by-one. Today there seems to be only one woman named Waylynn Wilson left to tell the tale and she’s not talking. In fact, Waylynn Wilson never talks – ever.

Six months ago as I dug through my great-grandmother’s attic looking for something or another, I stumbled across a weathered old wooden hope chest filled with antique fancy dresses, elaborate feathery hats and a leather bound journal. I was pretty sure it was Professor Watson’s missing journal. I carried my new found treasures to my room.

My curiosity got the best of me and I opened the journal first. The ink on the pages was fading into nothingness, but I could still make out a few words. It seemed these fifty women had been cast out by the elders of Salem Massachusetts. Why? They were judged to be the wanton women of Salem. Too many men were being drawn to their magnetic charms.

The elders cursed them to live a life of boredom and isolation. The journal went on to say, the curse could only be broken if one of the women fell in love and married the man of her dreams. If this happened, the other Wilson women would slowly age and begin to die off one-by-one.

Putting two and two together, I’m pretty sure our town’s Waylynn Wilson is the last of the original witch’s. Waylynn has lived alone in the big Victorian on Winston Street for as long as I can remember and, she has never aged a day. She must be the one who broke the curse. According to the professor’s journal, once the man of her dreams dies she will always be young and beautiful, but will remain isolated and alone forever and a day.

Sounds pretty far-fetched, doesn’t it?
I keep telling myself it couldn’t possibly be true, could it?
© Copyright 2018 SharonMichaels.com – All Rights Reserved
This is a work of fiction.
None of it is real. All names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
I invite you to stop by and check out all the books in my Amazon Author Page:https://amazon.com/author/sharonmichaels

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Halloween story hintCould this be a story about Oscar?

I’ll keep you posted…