Writers AMuse Me Publishing

  Imagine Life Unlimited

Shakey Smith

A resident of Kansas, Shakey embroiders the fabric of rural life, creating beautiful tapestries that are a testament to everyday existence, highlighted with the addition of those globally familiar colorful characters who touch all our lives. A widow, a mother, a Spanish teacher, she draws on all of her own roles and trials as she brings to life ordinary people, sharing with us the depth of their emotions, making us aware of ‘the every man’s’ daily triumphs and troubles. While she might claim to have majored in bead-stringing, and minored in hitch hiking and Neil Young, her official parchments show degrees in English and Spanish.

Sentimental Journey

Forty years is a long time to be married. Even a marriage that began with hearts and flowers can become a long, tedious row to hoe. Cy and Stevie Dupee are facing this milestone in a few short weeks. The small family dinner they requested has turned into a county-wide extravaganza. Tensions are simmering and the stress is telling. Cy is taking more side trips into the golden past, as mired in daydreams as a tractor in sugar sand. Stevie, on the other hand, has been a bitch on wheels since June, and rightly so: the guest list is a ticking bomb! Besides their crazy children and errant grandchildren, it includes closet tipplers, virgin newlyweds, ancient hippies, a geriatric Romeo and Juliet, and Stevie's first husband. 

     Will they make it to the ceremony and dance, or is this going to be the breaking point in their marriage, capped off with the ballroom brawl of the century?


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Stairbirds In Love

It is 1992, February of that year to be exact -- the month of brooms. An icy wind is scouring the sand hills of western Kansas, sweeping tumbleweeds and clouds of grit across the gray prairie. There is nothing on the monotonous horizon but same and old. This is the time of year that folks do crazy, desperate things and silent, steel-fisted stairbird Meggs Dupee has just done something crazy. He has taken a pregnant, twenty-something waitress home to keep his house for him. Is it a ploy to dodge Migra or is it true love. Even Meggs is not sure.
     Since Meggs gave up on housekeeping back in the late eighties his house is not fit for even the most determined housekeeper, Meggs' male cousins come to his rescue, cleaning his house and shopping for him. In the process, they begin a long, spirited debate on the mystery of love, never once realizing that they have stood up their wives on Valentine's Day.

 

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Fruit Salad and Wings

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Elspeth Zaiser, mother to three wayward daughters and six headstrong cats is having a tough summer. For one thing her three daughters are home from college. One is a witch and the other two are… irascible. For another, her gossipy, religious fanatic neighbor has declared holy war on her scarecrow.
     In May, Elspeth decided to pack up her widow’s weeds and find someone to jump start her graying heart. Now, in July, after six disastrous blind dates, she is giving up on love. Her housekeeping has gone to hell and she is having long chats with her late husband’s picture. To make matters even worse, Corliss Dupee is in love with her… again.
     Myopic, mismatched and maddeningly erudite, Corliss is known around town as Bozo. To know him is to know why. Elspeth has known him all of her life. In fact she was once engaged to him but that was in the ninth grade. Although Elspeth has moved on, clearly Corliss has not. The poetry, yearning looks and flowers are getting on her last nerve. 
     At a little after sunrise on a July morning Elspeth sets out to set Corliss straight once and for all. She tries again over lunch and again, a little after supper time. By moonrise, thanks to a pocket full of fireworks and a jim-jamming, booty-knocking Wicca love juice, Elspeth is ready to admit that Bozo Dupee is the only man to jump start her cranky heart.

Quick Fixes

It is June 2, 1970. Cow pasture hippie, Lillian McMullen, is home from college. Lillian is nicknamed Quick because she does everything early. She started Kindergarten at four, learned to drive at eleven, owned a car at fifteen, graduated high school at seventeen, was engaged to be married at eighteen. The wedding is tomorrow, but this is one snap decision Quick is regretting. With less than 24 hours to an ironbound commitment, Quick sets out to seduce her high school English teacher. Is it a case of cold feet or is it true love?


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Robe & Crown

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Weddings and funerals; funerals and weddings: about the only time an extended family comes together is for one or the other. There has been a death in the Dupee family. Oldest brother Dud Jr. has gone on to his eternal reward… or at least to somewhere beyond this earthly realm. The sudden loss has the entire family unhinged.
     As the feuding Dupee family gathers to mourn, each family member realizes the cold fact of his own mortality. Dud was dropped in the cornfield by ‘the big one’. Is he off to heaven to claim his robe and crown, or is he headed for a more tropical destination?
     Each generation of Dupees has wandered a little farther from their parent’s stark version of morality. Never mind the old Dupee standbys of Pride, Lust and Wrath, the youngsters have been dabbling in sins of biblical proportions and calling it free thinking: fornication, intemperance, sundry abominations and that old one about knowing thy brother’s wife.
     Now as they prepare to send Dud off to an uncertain destiny, each Dupee vows to reconcile and live in peace. This funeral only lasts three days; how long can their good intentions endure?

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Six Hearts; Seven Stories 

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Nineteen-year-old Marie Rastrelli did not believe in true love. Large, dark, brilliantly sarcastic, fiercely independent and undeniably homely, neither motherhood nor a family had ever been in Marie’s plans. She wanted to be a dentist. Balding, bespectacled and even homelier than Marie, eighteen-year-old Sandy Dupee not only believed in true love, he knew it for a fact. He fell in love with Marie at first sight.
     In order to marry Marie, Sandy was required to swear off romantic love forever. It was a tough swear for a hearts and flowers kid; Sandy did it for their unborn child. The strain was tremendous but for ten rocky years, through college, careers, an extramarital affair and three more unplanned pregnancies, Sandy managed to stifle his declarations of undying love…
     ...Until one wintry morning when he snapped.
Maybe it was his parents’ harping, maybe it was his younger brother’s happiness in his off–the-wall marriage, maybe it was watching Tori, his ex-mistress, find true love; whatever it was, Sandy snapped, and snapped publicly. On Christmas day, at a family house party, Sandy and Marie armed themselves – she with a revolver, he with a violin – and hashed things out on an icy rooftop.

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Show Me The Way

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Clyde Dupee, pronounced ‘dupay’, much like men of his ilk, wanders through life in a drunken haze: drunk, sober, drunk, sober, two words repeated for a lifetime by men such as Clyde. A jailbird, an abysmal penny-ante burglar; he was certainly not someone the poised and proper Tharon McGee could ever consider appropriate. On work release from prison, Clyde takes time from his welding job to arrange studies for his GED, and Tharon, a former beauty queen, is his counselor. Twice burned and with very high standards, Tharon does not want to see any good in Clyde, but gradually comes to love him despite his flaws. Tharon is the path to sober, sober, sober. When an accident puts him in the hospital, Tharon reaches out to the family that had locked Clyde out years earlier, totally unprepared for the fireworks that ensue as the two prepare for their wedding. Marriage is not bliss for the two though, despite Clyde’s charm and Tharon’s love. As their family grows, Clyde’s demons return, drunk, sober, drunk, sober, threatening to destroy them all.
     A story of love, love lost, and human strength, tempered by a cast of unforgettable characters, Show Me The Way will have you laughing, crying and wanting more.

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