Member Spotlight

January Newsletter Member Spotlight: Vea Anna Hooker

Member Spotlight: Vea Anna Hooker 49603470_2188089601279973_722740505112215552_n

As a very shy child, growing up in a neighborhood comprised mainly of boys, Vea Anna Hooker learned the joy of good books at a very young age.

She always dreamed of writing “one day”, but life intruded on those dreams. Approaching 50, she finally realized that if she didn’t start now, when would she. About that time, the Critique Cafe, sponsored by the Fort Stockton Public Library, held a writing competition. She entered on a whim and was shocked to learn she had won. She attended the Critique Cafe meeting only to pick up her prize. Several years later, she still attends every possible meeting.

Life has changed greatly since her first meeting. After the passing of her mother, her blind father and handicapped brother moved in. Less than a year later, she and her husband, Wallis, sold their business and moved to Andrews. The thought of giving up this group of amazing and encouraging writers was too hard to contemplate, so she and her father currently make the four hour round trip twice monthly.

Vea Anna enjoys many genres, but Fantasy is probably her favorite. She comes from a family of writers as her father, older brother, an uncle and a granddaughter all write also. She is a wife, mother of three, and grandmother of five who never met a hobby she didn’t like.

Spotlight Feature Article: Vea Anna Hooker ~ Marshal the Forces

Boot camp had been torture, but Crystal and her friends finally made it through. Tonight, they were going to have some fun. It was a long walk from the barracks to the ice cream shop; good thing boot camp had strengthened those muscles!

They walked in a group, as they always did when they weren’t in formation. Crystal marveled that a few weeks ago, they didn’t know each other. Now, they were the closest of friends, family for life.

Crispin took her hand, holding her back as the others moved forward. Puzzled, she looked at him and arched an eyebrow.

“You looked so serious; I wondered what was going on in that brain of yours.”

Her laugh sounded of silver bells. “It was nothing earth shattering. I was thinking, I can scarcely remember when we weren’t together.”

Crispin leaned in, the lids of his eyes lowered. She pulled away, with a blush. “We better catch up to the rest. They’re getting awfully far ahead of us.”

He looked disappointed, but took her hand again, as they double-timed it and soon caught up to the others. Lumi asked, “Well, what have you two been up to? We missed you.” He waggled his eyebrows.

Crystal’s cheeks, already pink from the cold, turned even redder, but she stayed silent. As they arrived at the ice cream shop, her best friend Holly quickly changed the subject.

“What’s everyone having?”

Answers came too quickly to distinguish who was speaking.

“Vanilla cone.”

“Creamsicle.”

“Klondike Bar for me.”

“Fudgsicle, please.”

Then a gravelly voice stood out, “Hot fudge sundae.”

Every person in the shop gasped in horror. The voice was so distinctive, several of their group turned to Eira, shushing him.

As they got their ice cream and hurried out, others in the shop gave them dirty looks. The group crossed the roadway to the city park to finish their treat, a little shaken from the hostility of the other patrons.

Neve shoved Eira with the hand not holding his Creamsicle. “You’re an idiot. You know that, right. Don’t you remember Captain Frost telling us not to draw attention to ourselves? He says the locals already distrust us.”

Lumi chimed in, “Yes, a lot of them think we shouldn’t be here, training for maneuvers.”

“Geez guys, it was just a simple request. I didn’t know everyone was going to lose their minds.” Eira’s gravelly voice sounded sincere, so Crystal decided he’d had enough.

“Okay guys, he’s sorry. Let’s finish and head back.”

The group scattered into conversational groups of two or three. Crystal found herself appropriated by Crispin and led to the far side of the clearing. She tried to avoid a repeat of earlier by concentrating on her cone. While pretending not to see the gleam in his eyes, she overheard some people talking on a walking path running behind them.

“I’ve heard they’ll be shipping out soon,” said an unknown voice.

Another chimed in, “Good riddance, I say. There’s a lot of turmoil when they’re around.”

“Do you know where they go when they leave,” asked the first voice.

Crystal closed her eyes so she could focus her sense of hearing on the answer. The pair was moving away, so were getting harder to hear.

“No, all I know is they never come back.”

Crystal shivered. It sounded ominous.

Back at base, Captain Frost was waiting for them. “Hope you enjoyed your time off, we’re shipping out. Get into formation and load up.”

Eyes wide, the recruits did as directed. After they were in the transport, Crystal shared what she’d overheard. Her friends were still trying to process the information, when Captain Frost entered from the cockpit. He glanced around, noting every face.

A voice spoke from behind him, “Better get the troops ready, Jack. We’re nearly in position.”

“You heard the man, paratroopers, line up.”

Crispin grabbed Crystal’s hand. “If those guys you overheard are correct and we don’t survive this mission, I want you to know…you must know…I love you.”

Crystal turned pink, but didn’t turn her head when he kissed her. She put a hand to his face. “I hoped you did, I love you too.”

Captain Frost cleared his throat. Holly flashed Crystal a “thumbs up”.

“Line up. Go, go, go.”

When it was Crystal’s turn, she jumped, still holding Crispin’s hand. She felt exhilarated, falling.

*****

In the aircraft, Captain Jack Frost took his seat.

“Another successful mission, Captain,” said the pilot.

“Yes,” replied Jack, “I’m going to miss this batch though. They were special.”

*****

On Earth, the Christmas shoppers gazed at the falling snowflakes with delight.

“Mommy,” a little girl said, as a double snowflake hit her nose, “this is the most special snow I’ve ever seen.

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