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.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Monday, April 17, 2017
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?
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.
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 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.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
If this is your first time for a Promptly Penned post it's pretty simple. We're all given the same one sentence and we have to create a story around it. I was a bit short on time, so I hope you enjoy what I came up with.
“Wow. Can we just pretend, for one second, that you’re not a complete douchebag?”
Cara clapped her hand over her mouth, unable to believe what just came out of her mouth. In a meeting. Directed at her boss.
He stared at her over his glasses for a long frosty moment. “Excuse me.”
She glanced around, glad no one else had overheard, or, if they did, they ignored it. Before she could form a reply, Mason Carter rose from the seat, that looked as if he were commanding a star destroyer, and ordered everyone from the room. Everyone, of course, but her.
After the door closed, her turned to face her. “Would you like to repeat that, Ms. Davis?”
Slowly, he stalked toward her and she felt a slight frisson of awareness crawl up her spine. Damn the man was handsome and powerful. And slightly dangerous. Dangerous men had always turned her on.
He sat behind the huge desk and studied her without saying a word. The longer he stared, the more excited she became. Clenching her thighs together, she knew if she checked, her panties would be wet.
“So, what do you think should happen now?” he asked, coolly.
“We ignore what happened and I’ll just go out to my desk?”
“No, that can’t happen. You were insubordinate, offensive, and rude. I should fire you, and believe me, you will find it quite impossible to find another job.”
She ran her damp palms over the soft cotton of her skirt. “I really need this job.”
Nodding, he took his glasses off and placed them on his desk. “I know. So, you will apologize and, if you perform adequately, you'll get to keep your job.”
“I’m sorry, I spoke out of turn.”
“It’s not that easy.”
She heard the jingle of his belt buckle and she caught her breath. The two of them stared at one another over the rich, expanse of the cherry wood desk. Cara was afraid to move, afraid if she did it would break the tension in the room.
“Come here,” he ordered, softly. “Come here and apologize.”
Licking her lips, she rose and moved around to stand beside his chair. He had unzipped his trousers and his cock, thick and long, jutted out. She knew what he wanted, what he demanded. Was the job worth it?
Dropping to her knees before him, she inched forward as he spread his legs to allow her access. Taking himself in hand, he stroked once, twice. Without thought, she leaned forward and took him into her mouth. He groaned and grasped her hair as she began to swirl her tongue around the head.
She wrapped her hands around his length and began to slowly pump as she sucked and kissed. He tasted so good. She closed her eyes to concentrate on the scent and the feel of him.
“Cara, feels so good. Your mouth.”
His broken muttering would have made her smile, if she weren’t so busy. Oh yeah, she thought, he’d going to love this. Then she took him as far as she could into her mouth and swallowed.
“Stop. Shit. Not like this. I want to fuck you.”
He pulled her up and took her mouth in a kiss that was all teeth and tongues. Reaching under her skirt, he yanked her panties off, ripping them in the process. Then he pulled her onto his lap and thrust into her. Cara pressed her face into his shoulder to make sure she didn’t scream. Didn’t want the rest of the office to figure out what they were doing.
Mason grabbed her hips and began to move her up and down his cock. He filled her so good, all she could do was hang on and muffle her moans against his neck.
“Fuck, you feel so good,” he murmured against her ear. “Your pussy is heaven. So, hot. So, tight. Tell me you’re almost there.”
She nodded as the orgasm flashed through her. He thrust a final time then followed her. The two of them sat slumped in his chair as Mason wrapped his arms around her and nuzzled her neck. Cara ran her fingers through his hair as she tried to catch her breath.
“Douchebag?” he said.
She laughed. “Sweetie, you were kind of acting like a jerk toward Raymond.”
He scowled. “He didn’t have the report he was supposed to finish yesterday. He deserved to be chewed out.”
“Yeah, but not in front of everyone.”
She sat up and kissed him. “At least you didn’t discipline me in front of everyone.”
He laughed. “Love, I’d kill anyone who looked at you.”
“Yeah, I’m your husband, I’m supposed to say sweet shit to you.”
“You know what we should do?”
“Go home and spend the rest of the day in bed?”
Cara laughed and hugged him. “You read my mind.”
Now go and see what Bronwyn, Jess, Kris, and Deelylah did with the prompt.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Here we are with another top ten. This time we're chatting about how to lose me as a reader. As always, this is in no particular order.
1. Unlikable characters. I think I've mentioned this somewhere before, but believe me it so bears repeating. If the main characters in a book have no redeeming value, you've lost me. I have to, at least, like the main people if I'm going to keep reading. And, let me say, if the main guy who's supposed to be the hero is a real jack-wagon and treats the woman he's supposed to love like shit then there's no redeeming him. Unless you can prove he's been under some kind of alien mind control and even then he'd better do some major league groveling.
2. Gigantic plot holes. If an author has something happen that doesn't make sense and doesn't explain it, I'm done. For instance, the tragically poor heroine who has a fabulous iPhone or somehow travels. How is this possible? Or someone who suddenly has some incredible skill when, you know, there's no way. Lost me.
3. Descriptions that goes on and on. Setting a scene is one thing, waxing poetically about the scenery, a dress, wallpaper, or whatever totally kills the flow of the plot. Oh, and constantly naming fancy brands in a book is totally boring. I don't care he's wearing an Armani suit or his watch is some kind of fabulous brand that only the very wealthy would have. If you say it, it better have something to do with the story.
4. Mysteries that aren't very mysterious. You know the ones where you figure out who did it the first chapter? And, yet, the characters in the book are totally stumped. I hate that!
5. Heroines who constantly need to be saved. Or, the heroine that every man in a ten mile radius wants with a desperation that borders on obsession. Both of these tropes make me toss the book. The woman is sooooo beautiful that men can't help but try to kidnap, rape, marry, carry off, whatever and she somehow puts herself in the position to have this happen. And, each time, the luckless hero has to save her. Helpless makes me angry.
6. Pointless, never-ending sex. I read a romance for the romance. I want the couple: girl/boy, boy/boy, girl/girl, whatever to have true and honest feelings for one another. The sex should enhance or demonstrate those feelings. If I want porn, I'll read porn. If two characters bang like jackhammers for 100 pages, then declare their love for one another, I better understand why they love each other, how they love each other.
7. An author that behaves badly. If a writer acts like a jerk at conferences, attacks others on Twitter, Facebook, or whatever else. Gets his/her followers to do the attacking. Or just generally acts like a total and complete assface then, no matter how well he or she writes, I am done. I don't act like that and won't support someone who does.
8. Lack of editing or proofreading. OMG! I cannot stress enough how much this annoys me. Every author, no matter how amazing (or how amazing s/he thinks he/her is) needs an editor. Oh and for the sake of the gods use spellcheck!! Poorly edited work, no matter how good the story, will turn me away and keep me away.
9. An author that steals from someone else. Okay, this is huge. And, I'm not talking about basic plot ideas: vampires, kidnapping, forced marriage. I could go on and on. What I'm talking about are the books you pick up and you know you've read it before or read something like it before, but the book just came out. The people who obviously lift entire plots from others, change a few things, and claim it as their own. So not right!!! If you don't have a full original idea, don't write a book. End of story.
10. Authors that drag out a series even when you know it could have ended 2 or 3 or 5 books ago. An author Sis and I started reading was writing a trilogy. Yeah, seven books in we totally gave up. Obviously, the author was doing it for the money since the books sold. They were just so damn boring and nothing ever happened. The series had a blue million characters and this person would spend 1/3 rehashing what happened in the last book and the rest visiting each of the characters for a brief amount of time. Nothing would ever happen. So damn boring.
Now go check out what the other ladies have to say.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
The topic this week is our memoir. I'll confess when I was a child I imagine I would look sort of like this as I wrote:
Don't ask me why. I have no clue . . . wait, yes I do. When I was a kid I read books like Jane Eyre and Little Women and, I'm sure, the above pic is close to how I imagined Bronte and Alcott looked as they wrote. Yeah, that is so not me.
This is more like me:
Or maybe this:
Either way, I am never going to sit around looking pensive . . . or Victorian as I scribble out the next great classic. So, my memoir, if there ever would be one, wouldn't be this intense sharing of ideas or fabulous, far off locales.
Most probably I'd call it just what this blog is called. Thoughts Off the Top if My Head, since that's pretty much what my writing consists of. Sometimes, there's no rhyme or reason to what I post, what I write, or often my activities throughout the day. In fact, my life is fairly random. So, perhaps we could call it Random Moments.
Anyway, my memoir would probably resemble a series of small essays since that is fairly random and off the top of my head. Ooooo, see what I did there? What? Sue me, it's late and I had to go out of town for work today. And that involved driving . . . so much driving.
Yep. Anyway, go check out what the other bloggers have to say. I am so sure, you will not regret it.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
I love these posts because I love music. This time, instead of talking about songs we love, we're talking about songs that bring forth an emotion. Gah!! Not much makes me cry, but a few songs will do it every time. So, here's a few songs that make me:
"Get Back Up Again" from Trolls - I love this song!! It makes me dance every time. Oh and smile, it makes me smile while I dance.
"Enough" by The Mrs. - I think the song really speaks for itself and I listen to it to remind myself that I am enough.
"Beam Me Up" - Pink - This song makes me think of all the people I've lost.
Now go and check out what songs the other bloggers have listed. Oh and if you want to tell me what songs make you happy, hopeful or sad let me know.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Welcome to another Top 10! This week we're chatting about things (events, people) whatever we avoid. As always, this list is in no particular order. Also, it all doesn't necessarily have anything to do with writing. Let's get started:
1. I avoid plotting out a book. Yeah, I know. It's crazy. I know, in my head, the basic plot and where it's going, but nothing is written down, save for info on my characters. Beyond that, the sky is the limit. I've found that in depth plotting stifles me.
2. Going out late. I hate being out later than say . . . 8 or 9 (at the latest). I like to be home fairly early especially if I have to work the next day. Sis and I are always joking that we can't stay out late on "a school night" and we don't.
3. I avoid alcoholic drinks that taste like alcohol and dry wine. I cannot stand a wine that sucks the moisture from my mouth. This means I love sweet wine, in fact, the sweeter the better.
4. I avoid spicy food. I love it, but it doesn't love me.
5. Country music - enough said
6. Books that purposefully set out to pluck my heartstrings or some kind of stupid. I want action, adventure, and love. I want my people to end up together at the end of the book. I don't want to be left hanging with some kind of unanswered question. And I certainly don't want either one to die. That is a total no go for me.
7. If I can help it, I avoid being out in snow. I don't like to drive in it at all. I do fairly well, but it's everyone else that's crazy and can't drive. :-)
8. Heavy perfume fragrances. I am allergic to them so I don't wear any kind of perfume. I use body lotion and that works for me
9. High-heeled shoes. I've done it, but after I broke my leg it hurts way too much. So no heels for me.
10. Writing historical romance. I've thought about it, but I really think it will stifle my creativity. I want to create my own worlds and have my own rules. I don't want to have to stick to actual historical settings, rules and dates. None of that is for me.
Now go on out and check what the other bloggers avoid.