Monday, June 5, 2017

JUNE FLASH FICTION



Hello, and welcome to the June Flash Fiction. The man above is not the image being used this month. He's just there for your enjoyment and to bring a bit of happiness to your day. This is the pic we're using this month:


Magic is just one of those things you don’t mess with. I knew this, but then again, when you have no teacher you gotta make do. My grandmother’s spellbook was propped up against the ugly fake flower arrangement in the middle of the kitchen table as I slowly began to gather ingredients.
It was a small spell or, at least, it sounded small. And, it was in the front of the book. When you learn a craft, like knitting, the easy projects are always at the front. Since people call magic The Craft, and they always use capital letters when they say it, I figure it’s got to work the same way. Easy stuff at the beginning and then it gets harder as you go.
The spell was to make whatever object I chose light up. Like a flashlight, only better, since it would never wear out. I was forever looking for a flashlight so I figured I could make my own. Plus, if it was something that was too big to lose it would be a double win. Right?
“What are you doing?”
I shrieked and whirled around to face the voice that suddenly spoke behind me. Jace. Damn the man. He was like a freaking ninja. There before I even realized it. And, shit, he looked so good. His wavy black hair, all tousled from the wind, begged to have me run my fingers through it. No, no, down hormones. His hair was not begging for anything. Neither were his intense green eyes or his wide shoulder. Nope, not begging for anything.
“Tara?”
“Sorry, I was lost in thought. What are you doing here?”
He folded his arms over his amazing chest and stared at me. Okay, his arms were amazing too. All muscled and cut and stuff. He’s look so much better with his shirt off. And his jeans a bit unbuttoned. And barefoot. And . . . oh, my gosh, hormones knock it off.
“Lost again?” he asked.
“Yeah, sorry, um, did you tell me why you were here?”
“Spotter, remember?”
“I thought you were kidding?”
He stared hard at me and I shifted from foot to foot. Hell, I hate when he did that. Stared without blinking. He perfected it in high school and pulled it out to use on me because he knew it kind of freaked me out.
“Okay, fine,” I said, throwing my hands in the air. “I was just going to try a very small, tiny spell. It’s nothing big deal.”
“Uh huh,” he said, stepping around me to look at the book. “So, what spell are you doing?”
“I’m going to make this fake apple,” I said, picking it up to show him, “into a light source. I just gather some ingredients. Say the spell and bingo the apple will glow when I tell it to.”
He nodded, slowly. “Okay, let’s do this thing.”
“Jace, I know you have better things to do with your time than watching me struggle to learn this stuff.”
He stared at me again and I busied myself with pulling my hair off my face into a sloppy bun. I didn’t want to ask, but knew I couldn’t help myself.
“So, what’s Chloe doing tonight?”
Of course, his fabulous model girlfriend would have a fabulous name. Bitch. Okay, yeah, that wasn’t nice. I didn’t know her all that well, but I’m sure she’s a perfectly nice person.
“I have no idea,” he said, pulling out a chair at the kitchen table to sit.
I wanted to ask, but instead began to gather the herbs the spell called for. I needed to put him and his girlfriend out of my mind to concentrate on getting this tiny spell right. Taking a deep breath, I let it out and began to add the herbs to a bowl. Using a pestle, I began to grind them up, keeping in mind the idea that I wanted light.
I pulled my grandmother’s small cauldron off the shelf and sat it on the heavy wood table. I placed small pieces of charcoal into the heavy steel container and lit them. I’d had to get the charcoal from a place online since it wasn’t the stuff you barbecued with. I’d thankfully used my brain to realize there was no way you’d burn that in a pot in the house.
Slowly, I began to add the herbs to the charcoal, just as my grandmother had written it. The scent that filled the kitchen was pleasant and it gave me hope that perhaps I was doing something right.
I placed the apple in front of the caldron and held out my hands, palms up, and spoke the words written in the book.
“By the power in me, let there be light.”
A force, something, moved through me and it almost felt as if I was buffeted by a heavy breeze. Two orbs of light appeared in my palms and illuminated Jace’s fascinated face. He watched me with a look I had never seen before. I kept my focus though as the orbs floated up and began to slowly twirl in the air, finally settling on the apple and disappearing.
“Fucking A,” Jace whispered. “That was amazing.”
Smiling, I picked up the apple and held it in front of me. “Illuminate.”
The apple began to glow and I did a little dance. Something had finally worked out. I’d finally done a spell and hadn’t zapped myself off a cliff or up a tree or anything else.
“I did it.” I put the apple on the table and the light faded, but my success high hadn’t. I pumped my fist in the air. “I so rock.”

Jace high-fived me as I did a little dance and, then, he was kissing me. I mean like really kissing. Not just a peck on the cheek, but his lips were on mine. His tongue, oh my gosh, was in my mouth. I should push him away, I mean, really, he has a girlfriend, but I didn’t. I wrapped my arms around him and enjoyed the hell out of the moment.


Now go check out what Bronwyn, Jessica, Kris, Deelylah, and Siobhan did with the picture.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

FAVORITE WRITING ADVICE



Happy Gwensday!! Today our topic is our favorite writing advice. Wow, I've gotten so much and read so many that I don't have one particular favorite, but I will share with you some of my favorites.

The top spot for advice goes to Nora Roberts. The woman is a beast. She puts out at least 7 books a year. Here are two of my favorites from her:


The next bit is from someone unknown, but damn it's good
Other favorites are:

And that, my friends is my favorite writing advice. Now go check out what BronwynJessica, Jessica D, and Deelylah have to say. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

MAY MUSICAL MUSINGS



Before I get to the musings or otherwise, it's time for MHW (Male Hotness Wednesday)
Okay, so our topic this week is songs that remind me of my parents, siblings, and childhood. 

The first is easy and so silly. The song that reminds me of my sister is Sleigh Ride by Steve Lawrence and Edie Gormey. We would drag the album out every Christmas, put this song on and pretend to be Steve and Edie. It was a tradition.




Another song that reminds me of my sister is Annie, Roll Down Your Window by Mary Fahl. We love to travel together so this song was the one we would put on as we hit the road.



My dad loved Roger Miller and anytime I hear one of his songs I think of him. This was the one he'd sing the most often.



My Mom was a huge morning person. I remember her coming into my room and singing to me to wake me up. Have I mentioned I am NOT a morning person. It would drive me crazy. LOL! This is the song she would sing to me.



Our house was always filled with music. My Mom had a huge record recollection,which we still have. My sister and I would pull out her 78s and listen to them all the time. She also had a lot of Broadway musicals so I fell in love with them. I think my favorite was Camelot. 



I actually collected the album for my own since I listened to it all the time. Another was My Fair Lady (Broadway cast) with, of course, Julie Andrews



Now go and check out the songs Bronwyn, Kris, Paige, and Deelylah talk about. 











Wednesday, May 10, 2017

MAY PROMPTLY PENNED





Hello, and welcome to May's Promptly Penned. If you've never read this before it's where a prompt is given to all the bloggers and we try to create a story around it. The man above is for Male Hotness Wednesday, just my small service to perk up whoever reads my blog. So, let's get started.

Magic isn't all it's cracked up to be. For example, there are 20 spells for making tea but none to save yourself from falling off a cliff. I know this first-hand. Okay, so I wasn’t falling off a cliff, but I was dangling from a sickly tree that happened to be about ten feet down a cliff. How did I get here, you ask? That was a huge story better left for another day. Suffice it to say, that I was here, clutching a tree branch that I knew wasn’t going to hold me much longer.
Closing my eyes, I quickly flipped through the spells I had memorized. And, again, I had nothing. Hey, it’s not my fault, not really. I was learning this gig by the seat of my pants and not really doing a great job of it.
“Tara, what are you doing?”
I looked up to find my best friend Jace peering over the edge of the cliff at me. Of course, he’d be the one to find me. Wouldn’t you figure?
“Nothing, I just wanted some alone time.”
I heard a snorting laugh, then a rope appeared beside me. As I reached to grab it the tree creaked ominously and slowly began to bend. Not stopping to think, I lunged at the rope as the tree roots pulled away from the cliff and my perch dropped into space. Closing my eyes, I clung to the rope remembering all those failed attempts to climb in gym class. I was the girl who couldn’t even make it five feet off the ground before my arms gave out and I dropped to the floor. This time though, I wouldn’t feel embarrassed because of the failure, I’d be dead.
“I’ve got you,” Jace called as I slowly began to rise.
All I had to do was hold on. Humiliating yes, but I wouldn’t die from it. And not dying was really important right now.
Finally, I felt his hands grasp mine as I was hauled over the edge and back onto firm ground. Clenching my jaw so my teeth wouldn’t chatter, I tried to get control. I hadn’t died so I wasn’t sure why I was panicking now. It made no sense.
Jace wrapped me in his arms and held me tight as I tried to get my shaking under control. I wished I could shove him off and flounce away, but I wasn’t a flouncer and his arms felt so good. That was another deep dark secret. I lusted after my best friend. Sue me, he’s tall, dark and utterly handsome. Of course, he thought of me just as a friend and I didn’t want to mess our relationship up by trying to make a play for him. Besides, he had a girlfriend. An amazingly gorgeous, model thin girlfriend.
“What were you doing?” he asked, his lips right next to my ear.
For a moment, I just enjoyed the sensation of his warm breath flickering over skin, before I forced myself to snap out of it. Knock it off, stupid, I told my hormones.
“I was practicing my spell work and somehow ended up hanging off a cliff. I don’t know how. That’s not what the spell was. Hell, if it had been, I certainly wouldn’t have tried it.”
  A long moment of silence greeted my pronouncement and I pushed away from him so I could look into his eyes. His amazing green eyes. Okay, hormones, that’s enough.
“You have to promise me not to do this again.”
“I wasn’t planning on doing it the first time.”
He nodded. “I get that, but from now on, when you practice I want to be there. Think of me like your…spotter.”
I laughed. “Yeah, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.”
“When people lift weights, you have someone close in case something goes wrong.”
“Oh, yeah exercise, no wonder I didn’t understand. Between that and sportball I got nothing.”
“Tara concentrate. You will not practice without me there spotting for you. Promise.”
“I don’t want to impose on you.”
“Tara,” his voice dropped even lower and he started at me.
Well hell my panties were getting wet. Really? All the man had to do was say my name, in that tone, and I was ready to fall onto the ground and let him have his way with me? Stupid hormones.
When he continued to stare, I finally nodded. “Yes, I understand.”
He’d get bored. There was no way he was going to come and hang out at my house every day. He had things to do, like a stupid girlfriend. 


If you enjoyed this go check out Bronwyn, Jessica, Kris, Siobhan, and Deelylah to see what they have come up with. 



Friday, April 28, 2017

APRIL CHECK IN!


I can't believe it's the end of another month. The time is flying by so fast.

Okay, so I've been at my new job for 2 months and I still love it. I've been traveling more so that makes the time fly by. That combined with the meetings and before I know it the day is over and I'm heading home.

Sis and I have actually started exercising. I know, I'm stunned too. LOL! We've been walking about a mile each evening. It makes me sad that I'm so out of shape, but I am going to stick with this. 

On the writing front, I'm on the second chapter of a book I started during my lunchtimes. Tentatively, the title is Unleashing the Storm and I'm really getting into it. I am still working to finish Entangled, which is the one I've been working on, for what feels like, 86 years now. I still love the story, so that's a huge positive for me. It's just getting it right. I know the beginning isn't right, so now that I've figured out what needs to happen I can fix a few things and finish it up. Yay!!

And there we go, now run out and check on Bronwyn, Jessica, Deelylah, and Torrance to see what they're up to.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I WISH I'D LEARNED THIS EARLIER THAN I DID

Before I get started, someone mentioned I hadn't been sharing Wednesday Male Hotness. How remiss of me! Since I haven't, here's two to make up for all the other boring weeks.

Aaaand you're welcome. So, the topic this week is all about stuff I wished I'd learned earlier. Jeez, this topic could be a long-running series since there are tons of things I wished I'd learned earlier.

The first thing I wish I'd learned way, way earlier, and it would have saved me so much stress, time and money (since it took about a blue million dollars and a lot of therapy) was there is no such thing as control. 
I know, that was my reaction too. It took me forever to learn that the ONLY thing I can control is me and my reaction to things. I can't control other people, events, nothing. I can only control me. This was so hard for me to understand since I was such a control freak. Of course, I tried to control things because not only was I a sexual abuse survivor, but the child of an alcoholic. Controlling everything around me made me feel as though my life was under control. It really wasn't and, until I realized this and actually took charge of ME, I lived in constant chaos. 

Once I figured this out, I tried to share it with my students, since I heard them say things like, "So and so MADE me . . ." Guess what? No, they didn't. No one made you talk or run or hit someone, you chose to do it. I know, hard concept. Some of them got it, most didn't, but hell I was an adult when I finally figured it out. And damn that knowledge came the very hard way.

Learning this would have allowed me to shake off so much crap earlier than I did. Thankfully, I did learn this lesson, but it just took a while.

Another thing I wish I would have learned earlier is I'm smart. I think I would have had the confidence to go to college right out of high school instead of waiting. I wanted to go, but just didn't think I'd do all that well. My younger sister was the smart one and I was the  . . . I wasn't sure, but it wasn't the smart one. Yeah, but guess what? I am. I graduated Magna cum Laude with a 3.75 (I think), then went on to get a Masters. So, go me.

Now go out and see with Bronwyn, Jessica, Kris and Deelylah wish they had learned.








Monday, April 17, 2017

APRIL SONG FICTION


Hello! So this month's song is by Rob Thomas and it's called Ever the Same. Here's the video if you're interested:




I purposefully didn't watch the video because as soon as I heard this song I didn't see a romance relationship at all. I instantly flashed to the piece I've been working on with two best friends. Tessa is going through some intense shit and her best friend Kenyatta is right there for her. Here's the beginning and I hope you like it.

She stared at the two small lines in confusion. It wasn’t possible. Couldn’t be. And, yet, here was the evidence. Again. She looked around the bathroom at all the other little sticks and they all said the same thing. She was pregnant.
Feeling light-headed, Tessa put her head between her knees and concentrated on breathing. Just breathing. As she did, her mind whirled. How? When? She was fairly confident if she’d been sexually active she would have known. Sex wasn’t something a girl forgot, even shitty sex. Tessa knew, with certainty, she hadn’t had sex in at least eight months. Even then, the sex hadn’t been great, but still it had happened. Nothing since, though, not since Brad. Gads, he’d been a real self-centered jerk. Get off, roll off and fall asleep. That had been Brad. They’d used a condom and she was on the pill. Once again, that was eight months ago. She wasn’t eight months pregnant.
Tessa sat up trying to figure out when her last period had been. June? July? Shaking her head, she went out to her bedroom and dug in her purse for the organizer that went everywhere with her. Her friends laughed at her for writing down every single event, no matter how trivial, on the pages, but she’d never missed an appointment, birthday or celebration. Tessa was organized. Scarily so, her best friend Kenyatta had declared.
Flipping backwards, she studied each week until she found her last period. It was a little over two months ago. Two months. How had she missed it? Okay, yeah it wasn’t hard since she was no longer on the pill, per her doctor’s instructions, and her period was hit and miss at best. So, once again, the question went back to how.
Divine intervention? She almost burst out laughing at that. She couldn’t imagine any god looking down and thinking she’d be a perfect mother. Okay, maybe Loki. Hey, if it was Tom Hiddleston she might think about it. Since that wasn’t possible, at least she highly doubted it, something had to have happened. What though?
“Tessa?”
She started and looked up to find Kenyatta standing at her bedroom door. Glancing at the clock, she realized it was well after five. She’d gotten nothing done and the day was almost over. Okay, she’d taken ten pregnancy tests and came to the realization she was pregnant, but beyond that nothing else.
“Tessa? What’s wrong?”
“I think I’m pregnant.”
The words hung in the air. Hearing them said out loud, Tessa’s palms started sweating and her heart pounding. She was having trouble swallowing and sweat was starting to sweat. A lot. Freaking out. She was freaking out. She sat on her bed and once again, put her head between her knees and concentrated on breathing. Yep, passing out would be bad. She couldn’t pass out.
“You’re what?”
Her best friend’s voice sounds as though it were coming through a tube. Since, Tess knew that couldn’t really be happening she continued to concentrate on breathing. Can’t pass out, she kept repeating. Wouldn’t help anything if she did.
A cool cloth covered her neck and an arm hugged her tight. Yep, no matter what, she could always count on her best friend. Neither had much family, or at least family they claimed. So, freshmen year of college they had decided to be each other’s family. And, it had stuck. Now, nearly ten years later, Tessa knew she had someone she could count on one hundred percent.
Kenyatta pulled Tessa to sit up and put her arm around her.
“Okay, now, tell me again what’s going on.”
“I’m pregnant.”
“I saw all the tests in your bathroom.”
“Yep, and they all came out positive.”
“How? And don’t be a smart ass. I know you haven’t been dating and, unless you’ve been going out on booty calls that I don’t know about, you aren’t seeing anyone.”
“Nope, no booty calls.” Tessa agreed. “I, truly, have no clue. Now isn’t that something? I don’t know how I’m pregnant. I just know all the tests say I am.”
“Why did you even think you were?” she asked.
Tessa shrugged. “I’m not sure. I started getting sick, my breasts are tender, of course no period, and I’m really tired. And, I just feel different. Does that make sense?” At her best friend’s nod, she went on. “Okay, so I went onto one of those doctor websites—”
Kenyatta rolled her eyes and shook her head.
“Tessa, what have I told you about that? Did I not forbid you to go on any of those? You know you always think you have the plague or some weird disease that you couldn’t have in a million years.”
“Not every time,” she argued. “The one time I diagnosed myself with pneumonia with it.”
Kenyatta stared at her and Tessa huffed out a breath.
“Whatever, so I went on and it said I might be pregnant. I wanted to rule that impossibility out, but it didn’t. I failed the pregnancy test.”
“Yeah, I saw, like eight times.”
“Ten. I took ten of them.”
Her best friend nodded. “Okay, so we’re ruling out divine interference.”
“Yeah, I already came to that conclusion.”

The two women looked at one another and smiled. It was so awesome to have someone who understood her. No matter what. 

Now go and check out what Bronwyn, Jessica, Kris, Paige, Deelylah, and Siobhan came up with.