Monday, November 6, 2017

NOVEMBER PHOTO FLASH FICTION



Welcome to November's photo flash fiction. I really love the pic this month and I hope you enjoy what I did with it. The whole scene kind of popped into my head. 

The lake looked dark and sullen, just like my mood. I pulled the hooded sweater tighter around me and stared out at the water. Low clouds hung in the sky and my senses told me it would rain, soon. Great, I could predict the weather. Go me. It certainly didn’t help the situation I found myself in. Telling someone it would soon rain, wasn’t going to solve the problem.
The problem, which happened to be the large mountain looming across the lake, and, truly, that wasn’t the problem. No, my family was the problem. Members of said family did stupid shit and expected someone, namely me, to get them out of the problem that they, themselves, had created.
I had two choices. I could tell my idiot brother to get himself out of his latest situation, which would probably lead to his death. Or, I could take on the job to save his worthless ass and, maybe, die in the bargain. Yeah, neither option was looking real good. Though, if I had to choose, I’d certainly pick me over him any day.
“Raisa.”
I turned to watch my mother pick her way across the leaf strewn ground in her three inch heels. I forced myself not to move, when all I really wanted to do was turn and walk away. At one time, I’d convinced myself that she loved me and just couldn’t show it. I knew that was a lie. She loved herself and my brother. Really half-brother, since she’d screwed around on my father and gotten pregnant.
“Georgi is scared,” she said. “You have to help him.”
No please, no asking, just an order as if she truly believed I would fall into line. I should fall into line.
“His problem isn’t my problem,” I said. “I warned him about getting involved with the Semenov family, but he didn’t listen. Instead, he not only got involved, but stole from them.”
“He is your brother. How dare you get up onto some kind of high horse and imagine you’re better than him.”
I spun on her. “I am. I’d never put myself into the situations he does. And, if I did, I wouldn’t run to my mommy and expect someone else to take care of them.”
Her hand slashed out and caught me across the face. My cheek stung, but I didn’t press my hand to my face. I didn’t move. I just watched her for a long moment. Finally, I spoke.
“If you hit me again, it will be the last thing you ever do. I promise you that. And, from this moment, he’s not my brother, as you aren’t my mother.” I held up my hand as she opened her mouth to speak. “I will do this one last job because Georgi’s idiocy has put a taint on my reputation in the city. Once I complete it, I am done. I’m done with you and I’m done with him. Never, ever, approach me again. Do you understand?”
“How dare you speak to me like that?”
“I will speak to you any way I wish. Now, do you understand and agree to leave me the hell alone if I do this job? Yes or no.”
“Yes,” she said, through gritted teeth.
“That’s good. Now go and let the Semenov’s know I’ve agreed.”
She turned and without another word left. I knew she would. Georgi was her golden boy. No matter how many fuck ups and how much trouble he got into, he could do no wrong. And, once this job was finished, I was done with him and her. Of course, that was contingent on me living. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone in the Guild willingly attempting to steal from a dragon. I apparently was the first and, possibly, the last.

I stared across the lake at the mountain that was my objective. If I was going to do it, I needed to get ready. No sense putting it off. Turning, I walked back toward my small house, knowing, in my gut, that my life was going to change. 


Now, go and see what Bronwyn, Kris and Siobhan did with it.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

TOP 10 THINGS I BELIEVE TO BE TRUE


Can y'all believe it's November already?? Yeah, me neither, but here we are and with a top 10 I can get into. This month we're writing about things we believe to be true. Now, I don't profess to know a bunch of stuff, but you can TOTALLY bank on the fact that my list is all true. As always, these are in no particular order. So here goes.

1. No matter how sweet and amazing and loving cats are. They are still assholes. I have one, I know.

2. Fall is the greatest time of year. The colors are gorgeous and it's the gateway to all the best holidays.

3. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a freaking genius!!! If you haven't listened to Hamilton or seen any interviews from LMM then you are missing out. The man is AH-MAZING! Oh and he's handsome too.

4. Slavery caused the Civil War. I'm a teacher, I have 3 degrees, and I've read on this subject extensively. Civil War = Slavery.

5. The current president of the U.S. is a lying sack of shit. He wouldn't know the truth if he tripped over it and it bit him in the ass. He's also dumb as a sack of hammers.

6. Climate change is real!!!! Science has proven it. Human beings have had a huge hand in causing the issues our planet is having. 

7. There is no one true religion As long as people mind their own, are good and kind, then we should all live together peacefully. Unfortunately, there are a bunch of crazies out there, mostly men, who proclaim that what they believe is the truth. Yeah, they're wrong. If you are killing people for a religion then you aren't understanding what the religion is about. 

8 Jason Momoa is a god. And my future baby's daddy. Just wanted to share.

9. No one can make someone happy. Each person must make themselves happy. If you aren't happy in your life, getting into a relationship will not change that. 

10. Keeping a good sense of humor is the only way to survive. If you can't laugh then crying is all that's left.

Now go see what Bronwyn, Jessica, Kris, and Deelylah believe to be true. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - AUTUMN WHERE I LIVE


As always, I have to chat since Wordless and me do not go together. I wish I could show you Autumn as it's been in other years here. You know, the traditional gorgeous colors? Yeah, not this year. We had a real lack of rain during the summer, which the weather people say is what makes the colors. This year our "Autumn" has been warm . . . warm and sunny, just like our summer.








Now go and view BronwynJessica and Paige's pics. Let's hope their pics are prettier than mine.

Monday, October 16, 2017

OCTOBER SONG FLASH FICTION - CALL ME CRAZY


The song this month is Call Me Crazy by Travis Collins. As it is a country song I have no clue who this guy is, but I did come up with a story to go with it. Go me. If you're curious here's the song:



And here's the lyrics

When I first heard it, my first thought was, "Damn, what a downer." Then this idea began to form and I saw a video on YouTube about Ghost Brides and BAM there was the story. Hope you like it:


The Ghost’s Bride

Emma stared at herself in the warped mirror and still couldn’t believe her situation. All she’d wanted was a vacation. Okay, not just a vacation, but an experience. Something she’d remember for the rest of her life. Because of this wish, she’d chosen Asia for her destination since she’d always been drawn to the different Asian traditions. Now she stood, swathed in a long red dress, ready to take part in a sacred tradition. Or, at least, that’s what her captors had claimed.
What had started out as a beautiful day exploring the country side had turned, literally, into a nightmare. One moment she’d stopped to speak to an elderly woman at an outdoor market and the next . . . well hell she wasn’t sure. The woman had given her a sample of tea to drink and then, after that, nothing. Not until she’d woken up in an unfamiliar room. An unfamiliar locked room.
Panic overwhelmed her at finding the door and windows locked. Gasping for breath, she’d sat and put her head between her legs. Sweat oozed down her face and back as she shook. Ah, panic attack, my old friend, she’d thought. I really hadn’t missed you. She’d finally gotten herself calmed when the door opened and a large group of men and women entered.
“What’s going on? Why am I here?”
An elderly woman had stepped forward and bowed. “You have been chosen for a great honor. You are to be the bride of our Tono.”
“Bride? What the hell? I refuse.”
As if that had meant anything to anyone. In no time, Emma had found herself dressed in a long red gown and locked back in the room she’d started in. She didn’t know who the tono or whatever was, but as soon as he arrived she was going to attempt to talk to him. Who, in their right minds, kidnapped someone so they could be forced into marriage? Wasn’t going to happen.
A different elderly woman entered the room and smiled at her. “It is time.”
“Look, I understand that you think this is an honor, but I don’t. I can’t marry someone because you want me to. I’m just a visitor here. I need to go home.”
“Our village owes a debt to our Tono. He has protected us for centuries and to allow him to go long without a bride is an insult. He will lose face if he is not wed.”
She stared at Emma with night black eyes, in a small wrinkled face. Her gray hair was pulled back from her face in an elaborate bun, dotted with pearls, and her dress looked to be a soft, pink silk. The woman was certainly dressed for a party.
“Centuries? I don’t understand. How can he have protected anything for centuries?”
“All will become clear. Come. Come now.”
Grabbing Emma by the arm, she guided her out of her prison and across a small entry hall. The door stood open showing it was night. How long had she been held? Was it the same day? A day later? If she didn’t make her flight home, someone would come looking for her. Of course, that didn’t do her any good now.
She tried to yank her arm away, but the woman held on with an iron grip. The long trailing hem of the gown tangled around Emma’s legs and she stumbled. The woman huffed out a breath and waited. Emma righted the dress and used her free hand to hold the hem up. She would not be escaping wearing what she had on.
A large group waited for her and they too were all dressed, in what she assumed, was their best. They surrounded her and ushered her through a large intricately carved gate into a garden. They moved down a well-tended path, lit with small torches. Thank goodness for small miracles, Emma thought, since tripping and falling would not improve her day.
Water whispered over rocks as night birds called in the trees. Around a bend, a small bridge came into view and they crossed over, to where the path was wilder. Bushes and flowers crowded on either side and the group was forced to walk single file with Emma still being towed along by the old woman.
They broke into a clearing and before them was a large stone house. Emma couldn’t see much by the light of the moon, but it was bigger and grander than the brief view she had of the homes in the village. The group stopped and everyone bowed low. The woman gave a hard tug and Emma too bowed. She wasn’t sure why, but figured it was easier to go along. Maybe if she acted amenable they would leave her alone.
Together they entered the front door. A huge hearth across the room held a roaring fire, chasing away the chill in the air. A table near the fire was set with food, but it only had two chairs. A large bed, swathed in a red and gold spread, sat on the other side of the fireplace.
Someone shut the door and the room fell into silence. Heart pounding in her ears, Emma searched the dark. Where was the groom? She saw no one new, just the people who must be the elders of the village.
One of the men stepped forward and again bowed low, placing a wreath of lilies and chrysanthemum on a slightly raised rectangular stone embedded in the floor. The old woman, once again, dragged Emma next to the stone.
“Kneel, child,” she directed.
Emma folded the skirt of the dress under her and knelt on the cold stone floor. She placed a hand on the stone to steady herself and found it oddly warm. As a man began to speak in the local dialect, she studied the carved piece. It depicted the image of a man, clutching a sword, eyes closed in rest. No, not rest, death. The stone was some kind of flat headstone.
Looking up, the old woman nodded at her and smiled. Ghost Bride. She was a ghost bride. Emma almost laughed. She’d seen a video on YouTube about the custom, but thought it was outlawed. What would happen to her? Would they try and kill her once it was over? She didn’t think so, since the video hadn’t mentioned it, but hell who knew?
The man stopped speaking and the group bowed to her and the stone on the floor. Before she could stand, they exited through the door and slammed it shut behind them. She pulled the dress until she could get her feet under her and went to the door. Locked. Of course, it was.
Her stomach grumbled and she looked longingly at the food on the table. She so wanted to eat, but what if it was poisoned? Better not take a chance. Instead, she went over and sat on the bed. The bedding was soft and smelled of spices, she wasn't sure what, but it was actually pleasant. Wearily, she began to pull the pins from her hair until it tumbled around her shoulders. Rubbing her face, she tried to figure out what to do. The outside of the house looked large so there had to be a way out of the room she was currently in. Maybe if she could, then there’d be a way out and to freedom.
A noise brought her head up. A man stood in front of the fire place watching her. Emma stifled a scream. He narrowed his eyes and stepped toward her. She pulled herself onto the bed and scrambled to the far side.
“What do you want? Who are you?”
“You can see me?”
His voice was low, and stupidly, made her think of a purr. His ink black hair was pulled away from his face and fell down his back in a waterfall. High cheekbones, full lips, straight nose, and almond eyes completed the package. The man was handsome.
“You can see me,” he said again.
“Yeah, of course I can. You’re standing right there.”
Slowly, he smiled and Emma’s heart skipped a beat. Handsome became devastating. Didn’t matter if he looked like Jason Mamoa, he was part of the group holding her captive.
“I am Ryu,” he said, bowing low.
“I’m Emma. How did you get in here?”
“This is my home. I dwell here.”
“I don’t understand. Any of this. Nothing.”
“How did you come here?”
“I was drugged and kidnapped.”
At his hiss of breath, she felt a bit better. Perhaps he would help her escape.
“When I woke up I was in the village. A group of women cleaned me up, fixed me up, and put me in this dress. Then they dragged me here, said stuff I didn’t understand, and locked me in. Oh wait, one woman did say I was here to be a bride for some guy named Tono, or something.”
Tono, is not a name,” he said. “It is a title of respect due to royalty.”
He leaned back against the headboard and Emma jerked. How the hell did he get on the bed? How did she not noticed him move? Were the drugs still in her system so that she was having blackouts or something?
“I think I figured out I’m supposed to be a ghost bride.” She motioned to the stone in the floor. “Right? I’m his bride.”
He smiled. “Yes, you are.”
“Okay, so what? Are they going to kill me?”
His black brows lowered. “No, they will not hurt you. I won’t allow it.”
“Okay, so who are you?”
“I told you. I am Ryu, or as the villagers call me, Tono.”
Emma ran her fingers through her hair. “So, you’re the Tono now? None of this makes any sense.”
He ran his fingers down her arm and she jerked back. What the hell?
“How did you . . .”
“I am Tono. I have been Tono to this region for centuries. You are the first woman in two hundred years that can actually see me. Touch me.”
He pressed his mouth to hers and Emma shivered. It wasn’t possible. There was no way. He was real. He was a man.
She opened her eyes to find the dress gone. Just gone. She was naked. Eye wide, she stared at the man who watched her. He too was no longer wearing clothes. This wasn’t real. It couldn’t be. Ghosts didn’t exist. Okay, maybe they did, but they didn’t make clothes disappear.
“You are my bride,” he spoke against her lips. “I am a very lucky man.”
“No, you don’t understand. I can’t. I have to leave.”
“One night. Give me one night and I will let you go in the morning. It has been so long, so long.”
Emma thought herself insane when she considered it. What choice did she have? No one was going to open the door. She was here, stuck in this room and he was so beautiful. No one would ever have to know. Their secret.
“Yes. One night, but you have to promise to let me go.”

“Promise,” he said, then took her mouth.

Now pop on over to check out what Bronwyn, Jessica, Kris, Siobhan, and Deelylah did with it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

OCTOBER PROMPTLY PENNED


Here we are with October's promptly penned. The prompt this month was: "While cleaning up the attic s/he finds a box of glass balls with names on them. One drops and, as it shatters, a person appears." Cool, huh? So, here's what I did with it:

Lily moved around her grandmother’s attic trying to figure out what to do with eighty-plus years of living. At eighty-three, Lillian Jameson was still feisty and active, but the large family home was just too much for her. The woman who had given Lily her name, and a home after her parents died, was moving to a small retirement community. Lillian was taking only things that meant something to her personally, everything else had to go. Lily hadn’t realized her grandmother was the repository for every bit of family history.
Edging around stacks of boxes, she moved to the farthest corner of the attic and sat on top of a closed wooden chest. Where to start? How to start? She certainly didn’t want to just start pitching. Hell, who knew what kind of treasures might be among all the boxes, bags, and trunks. At least, some of it was already gone since Lily and her grandmother had gone through the things nearest the door. Those were the things Lillian herself had either put up in storage or her husband, Thomas, had. Unfortunately, there was a whole lot of stuff left.
“Sitting here isn’t going to get the job done,” she said, giving herself a pep talk.
Standing, she turned and open the trunk she’d been using as a seat. Old, smelly fabric met her eyes and nose. It was starting to dry rot, which meant its home was in the garbage. Carefully, she lifted it out, making sure it hadn’t been used to protect something breakable. When she was sure, she dumped it beside her on the floor and peered back into the trunk. A small wooden box, surrounded by more fabric, sat in the center.
Cherry wood, it was made of cherry wood. She ran her fingers over the top and thought it might have been handmade, since she thought she could feel where a tool had been used to attempt to smooth the wood. Whoever had made it did a beautiful job. Lily decided it would go perfectly in her bedroom. Maybe she could use it to hold jewelry.
Carefully, she lifted the box out and closed the lid of the trunk so she could study it at eye level. There were no hinges, but a seam clearly showed. Grasping what she thought of as the lid, she pulled up and it easily lifted off. Inside, were four glass spheres nestled in dark blue velvet fabric.
The smooth glass balls seemed to twinkle in the attic lights. When she leaned close she saw each ball had a name engraved on it. Alasdair, Evander, Hamish, and Torquil. No, not engraved. She ran a finger over the even surface, the name was somehow embedded into the glass.
Carefully, she picked up each globe feeling the weight in her hands. They were all exactly alike, or at least, that’s the way they felt. Until she got to the one marked with Torquil. No, that one felt a bit heavier and warm. Warm? That wasn’t possible. Something deep within the glass caught her eye and she leaned closer to try and see what it was. No, the light was too dim.
Cradling the ball in her hands she moved out of the tight space and closer to the lights to get a better look. Before she could react, the glass seemed to leap from her hands and shatter on the floor. Lily stumbled back as a glittering silver fog flowed up from the broken pieces and swirled in circles, as if caught in a tornado.
When the smoke cleared, a man stood in front of her. A man wearing a kilt and armed with a very large sword. Lily opened her mouth, but nothing. She had nothing. She didn’t know what to think. Hell, how could she?
“My name’s Torquil,” he spoke in a deep, heavily accented brogue. “You set me free. Thank you.”
He was big, probably well over six feet dressed in a full kilt. Not something bought out of a store, but a real kilt. A great kilt or, at least, that’s what she remembered her grandmother calling it. He was wearing a cream-colored shirt with a huge belt that held the whole outfit together.
When she found her voice, she whispered, “You’re welcome.”
If she was nothing else, she was polite. Her grandmother had raised her the right way.
“Where am I?”
“My grandmother’s attic.”
“Are you alright, lass?”
“Sure, yeah, I’m fine. Everyday occurrence to break a glass and have a man pop out of it. So, are you like a genie or something?”
He cocked his head and studied her with cool green eyes. “I don’t know what that is.”
“Never mind,” she said, slowly rising from the floor. “I’m Lily. Can you tell me who you are again and how you got here?”
“My name’s Torquil and I was cursed, by a draoidh. He locked me and my brothers in the glass spheres.”
She nodded, yeah still didn’t make any sense. “What’s a . . . whatever that word was you used?”
Draoidh? Someone who uses magic. Don’t you have those?”
“No, no, I don’t think so.”
“Well then, we might be in a bit of trouble. He’ll know one of us has been released and come hunting.”
Wearily, Lily rubbed her face. Why her? Why did crazy stuff like this happen to her? She never asked for it. She didn’t think she’d done anything to deserve stuff like this happened. Okay, yeah, not that something exactly like this had ever happened. It wasn’t everyday a guy popped out of a paperweight and said an evil magic user had cursed him.
“You said your brothers were in the other glass balls?”
“Exactly.”
“Well then let’s break them, get them out, and you all can go and fight the bad guy.”
He shook his head. “We can’t. I can’t touch them at all. You’ve already broken mine. You cannot break another.”
“Okay, so what? I just need to round up three other people to break them and then, poof, you’re all free?”
“No, the curse is very specific. Only the one who is destined can break the curse. You’re destined for me. We need to find the ones destined for my brothers.”

Lily raked her fingers through her hair. Yep, the attic cleaning was NOT going to be as difficult as she imagined. It was going to be impossible. 

Now go check out how Bronwyn, Jessica, and Kris handled the prompt.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

TOP 10 STORY TROPES


I love when we do Top 10! This month is all about our very favorite story tropes. If you don't know what they are, believe me, once I start describing them you are so going to get it. These, as always, are in no particular order.

1. Friends who becomes lovers - The 2nd book I had published was exactly this trope. It's called Be Mine. Man and woman, who had been friends, suddenly realize they're meant for each other. I love this since it's something that could really happen.

2. On the run story - Hero/Heroine or Hero/Hero or Heroine/Heroine find themselves in a dangerous situation and must run and stay alive. I love this because it's adventure and danger and a ton of fun to read and write.

3. Fish out of water - So, the hero or heroine find themselves in a place or time they have no clue about and have to cope. For instance, heroine rolling along and suddenly realize vampires are real. How does she handle it? What does she think? How does she react? Or, like my book Mated, heroine is kidnapped by aliens. There's a problem.

4. Hero/Heroine are forced to work together even if they don't like one another. Long and very self-explanatory, but still good. 

5. Hero/Heroine comes home after a long absence - this one is great especially if the cast of characters around them are really fun and interesting. 

6. Hero/Heroine moves to a small quirky town - Sort of like #5, but new town, new people, new rules. 

7. Magic/Witchcraft - I usually like stories that have the heroine able to wield magic. In fact, some of the flash fictions I've written deal with this. Of course, my heroine isn't great at it, but then that creates interesting situations.

8. Sudden pregnancy - Normally, I don't like this trope, but if it's done in a real different way then I'm good. For instance, but I'm working on one that my heroine becomes unexpectedly pregnant through artificial insemination. He's a Shifter and she's human. 

9. Mysteries - And yeah, this isn't really considered a trope, but I think of it that way. If a story has a good whodunnit I am all about that. I really love Cozy Mysteries that have magic and love in them. Oh and funny, they have to be funny.

10. Bad Boy who redeems himself - Yeah, this would hardly ever never happen in real life, but in a romance it works. You know he's mad, bad and dangerous to know to everyone, but the woman he loves. She brings him to his knees and they're devoted to one another. 

So, these are some of my favorite tropes. Check out Bronwyn and Jessica's favs.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

SEPTEMBER MUSICAL MUSINGS



Hello! Long time not see. Yeah, I know, but it's my day job, I swear. It's not you at all. Anyway, today we're talking about music. In fact, we're talking about:

The Song I Can't Stand to Listen to
The Song I Could Listen to All Day and Not Get Tired Of
Song That Grew on Me

I'll do the song I could listen to all day and not get tired of first. I love, love, love, Ed Sheeran's Shape of You. Best Song Ever!!! Every time I hear it on the radio I crank it up and when it comes on my MP3 player I replay it over and over. I'm sure you've heard it, but because I love the song, here it is:




I actually sat and listened to this like 3 times, because yeah love the song. 

The next song though is one I cannot stand. At all. In fact, I really can't stand the band. So anytime this song comes on the radio all it takes is the first notes and I turn it over to anything else. Even a commercial. The song is Ride by 21 Pilots. Gag!!! I can't stand it! And the video is even more irritating. I could show it to you, but I hate the song so yeah, not going to.

*sigh* Okay, just for you, I'll show you, but you gotta promise not to play that shit all the way through. Because really, the song sucks.


Told you it sucked. Last, but not least, is the song that grew on me. Okay, so remember I told you I can't stand 21 Pilots, yeah, but I like this one song by them. I had to hear it a few times, but now I really like it. I can't stand to see the band, but this song is pretty good. It's Heathens and here's the video.


The best part of the video is all the scenes from Suicide Squad, when they show the band I close my eyes. Because, yep, can't stand them. 

So, there you have it. Now go and check on what my pals Bronwyn and Jessica have to say for themselves.



Wednesday, September 6, 2017

SEPTEMBER TOP 10!

Hello and welcome to the blog of the lamest person on the planet. I can only say I've been missing due to my day job and that's not even a good excuse. Let me give you WMH to make up for it:
And now on to the topic for today
So, as always, these are in no particular order.

1. "Calm Down" - I HATE when someone tells me to calm down. If you know me well you know I rarely get all upset. I'm fairly chill and laid back so if I'm angry or upset there's really a reason for it. I hate drama so I don't get mad or upset at the drop of a hat. 

2. "You should just forgive and forget" or something close to that. If someone hurts me, and believe me it's got to be a big deal, there is no forgiving and forgetting. And close to the same thing . . .

3. "Just forget it" - Not going to happen. Can I tell you how many people said that to me about my cousin who molested me? "You were a child and now you're an adult, can't you just put it away." Riiiiight. As if that ever happens to an abuse survivor. Believe me, if I would I could, but it doesn't work like that. And, I have nothing to be ashamed about, it's all on him. So no there will be no forgetting

4. Anything political - Right now it all pisses me off. Majorly. Between our ineffectual government to the idiot that's currently in the White House I'm in a constant state of pissed-off-dom. And I'm not one to have strong feelings about much, but I truly do hate 45. Hates Him!

5. Any one who hurts a child. If I were given a chance, I'd drop each molester, killer, someone who hurts a child into the electric chair and flip the switch. I know, good thing I'm not in charge. Oh and the same does for animals.

6. "I don't mean to interrupt . . ." Okay then don't. If you don't mean to then don't. See, how easy that is? If I'm reading or working or whatever and you can see me doing this and you come in then you are interrupting. And you are meaning to. So just don't say that.

7. Do not under any circumstance comment on my weight. I know I'm heavy. I've been heavy all my life and it's a constant battle. Someone pointing it out isn't going to make me smack my forehead and say, "Oh my gosh, I'm so glad you pointed that out to me. Now I will be skinny." All I really want to say, in the sweetest voice ever, is, "Fuck off."

8. People who act like total idiot assholes on the road. There are rules. Follow them. You are not special. The rules are for everyone. Oh and if you're on the expressway in the right hand lane, you gotta let the people who are getting on in. That's the responsibility of driving in the lane. Either get over or act like you have sense. Racing up to try to prevent me from getting on the expressway will only make my huge SUV long to run over your dumb ass. 

9. Car stuff. Ugh! I hate having to deal with anything to do with a car. Tires, oil change, whatever, it all sucks. It all makes me incredibly unhappy. I truly do wish I could just wave a magic wand the the problem (whatever it might be) would instantly vanish.

10. Unsolicited phone calls. I understand these people have a job. I really do. But my phone number is on the do not call list and still I get calls. This should be illegal. I'm sure it is. So why do people persist in doing it?? And, once I say I'm not interested, why do they continue to try and talk to me. I'm not interested. I won't change my mind just because you continue to talk. Nope. All I will do is become more angry and pissy. If that was your goal then SCORE!!

Now go and see why my amazing friend Bronwyn has to say on the topic.

Monday, August 21, 2017

AUGUST SONG FLASH FICTION


Okay, so this story is inspired by a melody, but unfortunately, not the one everyone else used. See I saw Halsey, who I love, but immediately jumped on to my favorite song of hers, which is Gasoline. So, I used that one. Anyway, it's still Halsey so I'm sure it counts for something . . . right??

Here's the song if you're interested:




Voices. Talking. She wasn’t sure where they were coming from. From the outside? Inside her head? Not sure. Can’t react. If we react then everyone will know. Know what? Stop. Don’t go there.
She blinked. She could feel herself blink. Did that mean she was real? Had to be real, right? What was that noise? Buzzing? If she listened hard enough she could understand. No, couldn’t listen then.
The buzzing persisted. It wouldn’t leave her alone. Her eyes flicked to the left and saw him. No, no, no. He wasn’t real. Couldn’t be real. Maybe he was real and she wasn’t?
Everything was coming into focus. Pads. Pads lining a wall. Why were there pads? What did it mean? Why was her room lined in pads? No, don’t think about it. Thinking was bad. Remembering was bad.
“Shay. Shay.”
She flicked her eyes again and still he was there. Now he was saying her name. Shay. Was that her name? Yes. She thought it might be, but why would he say her name? Why was he here? He wasn’t supposed to be.
“You’re not real.”
She spoke. She talked to him. Why did she do that? She was going to get in trouble. Trouble?
“Shay. I am real. Shay, look at me.”
She couldn’t help herself. Why couldn’t she stop? If she didn’t stop . . . what? What would happen?
“Shay, you have to come back to me. I need you. Please, Shay.”
His voice. She loved his voice. Like music. Come back? Where had she been? Had she gone somewhere?
“Those fuckers shot you up with something. Please Shay, come back to me. Then we can get out of here. Please.”
She blinked and blinked again, clearing her vision. The room was white with pads. She didn’t know this place. Why was she here?
“Where am I?”
“They took you away. Locked you up. They tried to convince people you’re sick. You’re not, Shay, you’re not sick.”
“I’m not sick. I don’t feel sick.”
Her arms ached, but she couldn’t move them. Why couldn’t she move them? Looking down she found she was in some kind of coat. Coat? No, not a coat. Straightjacket. She was in a straightjacket.
Her teeth chattered as her body shook. No, no, not again. She couldn’t be back again. She wasn’t sick. She wasn’t.
“Shay, concentrate on my voice. Take a deep breath and concentrate. You’re going to be okay. I promise.”
“Connor.”
His name came out in a whisper, but he smiled. Nodded.
“Yes, love. Now, shake off the rest of what they gave you. You have to shake it off. Please, Shay. Concentrate.”
Closing her eyes, she began to focus on her breathing. In. Out. In. Out. Slow. Steady. Blue light. She could . . . feel it? Was that right? Feel it. She could feel the blue light, deep, but strong. So strong.
Gently, so gently, she coaxed the light up. Coaxed it up, until she was bathed in the light. Opening her eyes, she slowly pulled her arms lose from the jacket and shrugged it off.
Connor stood and smiled. “There’s my girl. Hurry. Take my hand. Someone’s coming.”
Shay concentrated on the blue light and took Connors hand. Red light flared around him and, as they touched, the colors mixed and mingled. Purple. Pure, deep purple surrounded them.
The door of the room burst open and someone began to scream. Shay didn’t care. Scream away, there was nothing anyone could do to stop her.

She stepped into Connor’s arms and the two of them disappeared.



Now go and check out what Bronwyn, Jessica, Kris, Deelylah, Siobhan, and Kayleigh

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: SUMMER WHERE I LIVE



As if anything I do is wordless. So, let's start by sharing Male Hotness Wednesday

Our post this week is, obviously, supposed to show pics of what it looks like in the summer here. When I mentioned that to Sis she suggested just showing pics of pizza and kittens. So, here's that

Yeah, but that really doesn't show what summer looks like around here. Though the pizza looks good and the kittens are way cute. Summer here is either hot and rainy or hot and dry. If it's hot and rainy we usually have flowers and stuff growing, but if it's the other way the grass is just brown and crunchy. 

I took these pics today so we're closer to the hot and rainy

When the summer hits this is usually my drink of choice
For those of you who don't not know, this is a glass of sweet iced tea. We're in the South so in the summer the tea is ALWAYS sweet and iced. Let me just say that the restaurants, cafes, etc here have sweet tea on the menu because that's the only way it should be served. It's the perfect drink.

Since I've been sooooo wordless go check out what Bronwyn, Jessica, Kris, Jessica D, and Paige don't have to say about their summers.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

AUGUST TOP 10: CHARACTER TRAITS I LIKE WRITING

Welcome to the August Top 10! Before we jump in let me just share some WMH:



Now, let's move into our subject for this week's Random Wednesday Blog.

I don't know if I'll come up with 10, but here goes. Oh, and these are in no particular order.

1. Tough Women! I love to write women who are kick-ass, take no prisoners. Of course, not every single book calls for this, but the ones that do I love it. 

2. Strong Women - I'm sure you're thinking, "Umm, Gwen, didn't you just say this?" And, my answer if no. I think there's a difference between tough and strong. To me, strong means a woman can survive whatever life throws at her and come out better on the other side. Like I said above, I can't make every woman I write into a warrior, but I can make them all strong. They are survivors.

3. Alpha Males - yeah, okay, so sue me. I love men who are physically big and strong and have a bad ass attitude to boot. Though, I try to make sure the men I write aren't assholes. I never want the men to discount anything a woman says, especially the woman the man loves. And, if he does act like a total douche, he will own up to it and apologize.

4. Humor - I love putting things that make me laugh into my books. I truly hope I make others laugh. A good situation or a funny one-liner makes my day and makes me like my character more. I especially love when my men don't take themselves so serious. 

5. Sarcasm - A good zing can also make me laugh. And being able to write a character who is good and sarcastic makes my day. Of course, I try to use this sparingly since I never want someone to come off like an asshole.

6. Adventurous - I love to write a character who is up for anything. Even if he or she is somewhat reluctant to take that leap it's so awesome when that person does. 

7. Brave - I love when my characters are brave, especially when they are afraid. I think it makes the situation and that person someone readers can identify with. When I'm writing a character making a decision he or she knows is the right one and yet it scares the crap out of them it makes the story way better.

8. Independent - I think this really does for my female characters. I want my women to be able to take care of herself, no matter what. She doesn't need a man. And that's why when she allows him to help her, support her, or just hold her it really does show how much she loves him. 

9. Sexy - Yeah, I know, duh Gwen you write romance so of course you want your characters to be sexy. And yes, but I don't want them to be in your face about it. For instance, I want the man in a story think the woman he loves is the sexiest thing on two legs, even if others don't get it. He sees her as sexy, as he should, since he loves her. This goes both ways too. Even if the man I'm writing isn't doing something overtly sexy, I want the woman who loves him to think, "Wow, he is so hot. I want to jump him." 

10. Outspoken - I love to write someone who doesn't mind sharing what's on his or her mind, whether anyone else wants to hear it or not. This will sometimes become a humorous situation. (See what I did there?) And, yet, it will be something, someone needs to hear. 

Now, go out and see what Bronwyn, Kris, and Deelylah have to say.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

BRAIN DUMP!!!!


Before, I leap into dumping on all of you. I'm going to share Wednesday Male Hotness, because I feel I owe it to you. 




So, this post is basically everything that's on my mind. Jeez Louise, how much time do all of us have? I don't know if I even have the patience to go into all the stuff I'm stewing over, but I'm willing to try if you are willing to listen.

Firstly, and let me state here, that what I say is my opinion. This pretty much means I'm not changing my mind, no matter what anyone says. 

Anyway, my city has been on the national news lately since we have the last abortion clinic in the state operating here. This week we've had  . . . individuals invade our city whose soul purpose is to stand out in front of this legal medical building waving their little signs, screaming into microphones, and carrying tiny coffins around to protest a procedure that is protected by the Constitution. These people infuriate me. They are so busy sticking their nose into someone else's business they never even think that it has nothing to do with them. As Sis said today, "No one is forcing them to get an abortion." 

These sanctimonious hypocrites scream that abortion is murder and that the "baby" needs to be saved when there are million of children in this county living below the poverty line, being abused and living in squalor, but they don't care. I can bet you most of these "christians" complain about welfare, food stamps, and other government assistance. They claim they are prolife, but I'm going to imagine they're more like probirth. Once that baby is here, it's really no concern of theirs. 

I get way pissed watching them on the news. Marching around with their ridiculous signs and dragging their poor children out in the miserable heat to stand outside of a building that is legal. Most of the crowd are, of course, old white men. My next response is WTF!!! I'm sooooo sorry, but my body is none of your business. You have no right to interfere with my or any other woman's right to choose. 

The last time these idiots were in town they chained themselves to the doors of the clinic and our police were forced to go in and arrest them. Thankfully, a judge has declared they must stay back 75 feet, but still they are impeding a woman's right to chose since she would have to walk through to get to the doors. 

My sister tells me that she used to walk past the clinic every morning on her way to work. It was either the clinic or the strip club across the street, I'm sure you can guess which one she chose. And, most mornings, protesters would leap in front of her and scream at her about how she needs to save her baby and blah, blah, blah. The security guards would then have to scream at the protesters to leave her alone. Can you imagine having to go through this day after day? Sis is way kinder than I would have been. The first person who screamed in my face would get a fist right in it. And that's if I was being nice. 

The next thing that pisses me off is the government. I cannot stand 45, his entire family, and pretty much all the government. A day doesn't go by without some new piece of ridiculousness tossed out for the world to see. I am truly embarrassed by the lunacy of what's going on in Washington. Beyond embarrassed, I'm furious at the idiots that voted the assface in. I mean who thought a guy whose gone through bankruptcy proceedings numerous times, sexually harassed women, on his 3rd marriage (or is it the 4th), has no true education to speak of would make a good president? 

I always say reality shows showcase the lowest common denominator and you can't get much lower than 45. Of course, toss in his family and he's acting like a dictator in waiting or perhaps mob boss. I'm not sure. So, here we are nearly 6 months into this fiasco, and it just keeps getting worse. For once, I'd love to turn on the TV or check the news online and not see his stupid face nor the stupid faces of his family looking back at me. 

*taking a deep breath* So, thank you so much for letting me dump on you. If you'd like to dump your brain down in the comments go for it. Truly, it might make you feel better. 

Now go out and see what Bronwyn, Jessica and Kellie have to say.





Wednesday, July 12, 2017

JULY PROMPTLY PENNED


So, here we are with another Promptly Penned. This month the prompt is: Well, apparently, rock bottom has a basement. I decided to head back to my new favorite people Tara and Jace. Hope you like it. And here's what I did with it:



Well, apparently, rock bottom had a basement, I thought gloomily, as I surveyed the scene around me and ignored the stupid joke I’d made. Rock, yeah, so not funny. One spell. I’d tried to do one spell and this was what happened. Okay, yeah, I’d tried spells before and they’d gone to shit, but I thought I was beyond that. I mean, I’d actually made an apple light up. Yeah, even to me that sounded lame. Whatever. A girl had to start somewhere.
This spell was supposed to be equally as easy. Or, at least, it seemed so. And helpful, the spell was supposed to be helpful too. I mean, a small helpful spell how much trouble could it cause? Apparently, a hell of a lot judging from the stranger’s body lying at the end of my driveway.
It wasn’t my fault, I thought, as I hurried toward him. And, I’m sure the cops would totally believe that. Really officer, I was just making rocks float when they got out of control and struck this guy over and over. Goddess, please let him not be dead.
“What the fuck?”
I dropped my head and sighed. Ah, yes, couldn’t forget my spotter. I turned to face Jace and stupidly, tears filled my eyes. Shit, Tara, good job, cry all over him. You’re supposed to be some kind of tough-assed witch and yet your spells suck, you kill some innocent bystander, and now you’re weeping.
“What happened?” Jace said, taking my hands.
He was so handsome and earnest, so earnest. I’d just tell the cops he had nothing to do with it. In fact, I didn’t know him. He was just some stranger that happened by to help.
“Tara, are you okay?”
“Me? I’m fine, but I think I might have killed him. That’s bad, right? What am I asking? Of course, it’s bad. Killing someone is way bad. I don’t even know the guy. He was probably lost and asking for directions and now he’s dead. I’m going to go to prison.”
“You’re not going to prison,” Jace said, dropping down to kneel next to my victim. He placed fingers on the guy’s neck and gave a smile. “He’s got a pulse. Let me call an ambulance and you can tell me what happened.”
I stood quietly as he made the call and I tried to figure out what I had done wrong. I followed all the directions. Every single one. The energy I had gathered felt right and good. I knew, knew it was going to work. Instead, well, it hadn’t.
“Okay, tell me. Then we’ll talk about why you didn’t wait for me.”
“You were busy and I really thought I had it. The spell was working.”
“So,” he prompted.
“Okay, so the spell was to recharge the ward around the property. Apparently, this is something every O’Neal woman does when she comes into her power. I had to pick four really good rocks, that spoke to me, or at least that’s what the spell said. I was to imbue them with power and then, at the culmination of the spell they were to go to the four cardinal points around the property and bingo ward recharged.
“Instead of doing that, all four rocks floated in the air and immediately zipped around the front of the house and struck this guy coming up my driveway. Thankfully not killing him, but obviously injuring him. An injury for which I will go to prison.”
“You are not going to prison,” Jace muttered as the wail of an ambulance siren sounded in the distance. “We don’t know what happened. We found him like this. End of story.”
“We can’t lie to the police.”
“Oh, the fuck we can’t and we will too.” He gave me a hard kiss on the lips. “I am not losing you. So, tell me about the wording of the spell. What did it say?”
I licked my lips, still unable to believe this amazing man wanted me. Me. Tara O’Neal, not tall, not model thin or gorgeous. Just plain old Tara.
“Baby, you need to stay with me,” he said, softly, running his thumb over my lips. “Tell me the spell.”
“I fill these stones with the power of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. To act as a protective shield over this land and the woman who tends it. Send these stones to where they are most needed and renew the protective bond. So, mote it be.”
Jace blinked. “The spell said to send the stones to where they were most needed?”
“Yes, that’s exactly what it said. See.”
I pulled the small spell book from the pocket of the jacket I wore, his jacket. I didn’t want to admit it made me feel as if he were hugging me. The scent of him giving me confidence. That would sound lame, I was sure. I just told him I liked to wear it because it was comfortable.
He studied the page, then turned back to the man on the ground as the ambulance pulled up.
“I don’t think the spell fucked up. I think it did exactly what you wanted it to do. You said to send the stones to where they were needed most and they came here. To him. A guy we’ve never seen before. Who just happened to somehow make it out here to your property. Property that is fairly hard to find. This wasn’t a coincidence.”
I stepped back as the paramedics hurried up. Jace moved to talk to them as I stared at the man with new eyes. Okay, maybe I was still in the basement of rock bottom, but for an entirely unknown reason. I don’t like unknown. Unknown is no good and sneaks up and kicks you in the ass. I looked down at the book in my hands and wondered if there was a spell that could help me. Or, if I could actually take the chance of casting one without hurting someone else.



Now go over and check out Bronwyn, Jessica, and Kris to see what they wrote.