Wednesday, July 12, 2017


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.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


I was so excited when I saw this topic! Sis and I are always quoting movies to each other. When I mentioned the topic to her, she laughed and we went back and forth trading quotes. So, here are some in no particular order. 

1. This one just happened. We were at the Cincinnati Zoo and were walking through a large section where primates were supposed to be. Supposed, since we didn't see any. So, of course, I tapped on a tree and pulled out the amazing Ian Malcolm.

2. Another of our favorite lines to quote is from Raiders of the Lost Ark. It's a very small scene when Indie and Salah take the head piece of an old man who tells them what the markings mean. The quote we says is, "Come, come, sit, look, look here." Here's the full scene for your enjoyment.

3. Another favorite is from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. "Hold on lady, we going for a ride." I love Short Round.

 4. I have a couple from GhostBusters that I love. This one scene has about 3 or 4 that I say. 

5. Of course, you can't forget this one

6. And, I think the final one from GhostBusters. Abby was sitting on the table and Sis yanked on the tablecloth to get her off, saying, "And the flowers are still standing."

 7. This is from the new GhostBusters and it's so one of my favs because Patty is my fav. 

8. Anything from Star Wars is always an option when we talk. From "Use the force Luke" to "Stay on Target". Pick a line any line

9. A favorite show of ours is Black Adder, especially the 2nd season. So many awesome lines from that. Our favorite to quote is the queen and her high pitched voice, "Edmund, did you bring me a pressie??" 

10. Finally, we come to Doctor Who. My very favorite doctor is of course Matt Smith. And my favorite line that we quote quite often:

And just for fun, my very favorite moment from the show.

Now go and check out what Bronwyn and Kris have to say on the subject.

Monday, June 5, 2017


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.
“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


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


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


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


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


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.