“Writing is what lights me up,” states Arlene R. O’Neil. “Being a visual writer, I love seeing my work come to life: to take the reader with me on a journey word by word: to touch a reader whether through laughter or tears.” Her current book, “Broken Spokes,” refers to broken bones, broken bike, and broken spirit. It speaks to the reader of determination, of survival, of inspiration. Born and raised in Connecticut, Mrs. O’Neil moved to South Carolina to work on her second novel, which will relate the roller coaster life of being the parent of a Soldier on active duty. O’Neil says, “My son, SGT Tanner O’Neil, is a member of the United States Army and the joy, pride, and love of my life. After five tours of duty to active war zones, I feel the need to share my experience with other parents in hope of lessening their fears.” SGT O’Neil recently returned from his 5th combat tour. Currently Arlene lives with her two Labradors, Holly and Bruno, and her adorable pet goats, Paxton, JaeJay, Rupert, Patches, and Frosty. “These amazing characters have helped me through some incredibly difficult times and I love them dearly.” Aside from writing, supporting her son while deployed, and caring for her animals, Arlene lives on 3 ½ acres of land that she and her beloved animals enjoy. An author, editor and proofreader, Arlene R. O’Neil may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Excerpts of Arlene’s book Broken Spokes:
I felt the moisture begin to collect in the corners of my eyes. NO! I will NOT cry! I will close my eyes, tight, tighter, as tight as I can. If I can read a story and imagine myself in there, I can write my OWN book now…my very own Christmas Eve! I will escape from here and go home with my family. Slowly I began to imagine myself sitting at home, in front of the biggest, most beautiful green tree, laced with sparkling lights and ornaments, sprayed with fake glistening snow. Under the tree were hundreds of presents, all different sizes, all perfectly wrapped, all tied with colorful shiny ribbons and accented with bows. I walked over, sat on Grandma’s lap, and gave her a big, big hug. “I love you, Grandma.” I whispered as I kissed her wrinkled cheek.
“Hey Iris. Can you put on another pot of coffee? We’re running low out here. Mike…go downstairs and grab a few more folding chairs. Your aunt doesn’t have a place to sit. Little Weasel, go get Grandpa a napkin okay?”
I jumped off Grandma’s lap and ran to the kitchen, while Dad’s voice thundered above the noise. Christmas music flooded the room, as laughter and conversation came from every direction, the clang of dirty dishes, pots and pans being placed in the sink for a later time, squeals of joy, and a barrage of “Thank you. I love it,” from those whose feet were covered in torn wrapping paper.
It was time to go. Leftover food was quickly stored in the refrigerator. Coats and hats were donned as cars warmed up in the driveway and on the street. We were all off to Midnight Mass, where Micheal would sing “O Holy Night,” a cappella. Dad and Mike both had such amazing voices, yet this is where my brother would shine…his crystal tones reaching the far corners of a church, filled to capacity.
Silence fell over the congregation as Micheal took his place on the altar waiting for his cue. Every eye was upon him as he began, and a roar of applause followed his final note. Soon, we were back home, listening to Dad play the guitar while the harmony of holiday music lulled me to sleep, snugly tucked in the corner of the couch, my head resting on Mom’s lap. No Christmas Eve had ever been so perfect.
“Merry Christmas girls,” announced Nurse Brown as she strode through the ward. “Today is Christmas Day. We need to eat, brush our teeth, change, and go to the auditorium to see Santa. Hurry along now; we don’t want to make Santa wait.”
Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I started to awaken. Where am I? I was home a minute ago. Where are Mike, and Grandma? Where did Daddy go? Mommy…where are you?
It was a dream. It was only a dream. I was still in the hospital, still stuck in bed, still wearing these stupid braces.
Amazon author page: http://dld.bz/dpCKJ