Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fifteen things I want to tell my younger self...

Photo Credit: http://500px.com/photo/4934431

I realize now that there is no way that I would have listened…. I get that. But in a perfect world, where we take the sage advice of our elders and apply it to our daily lives, I have a few things I wish I could have imparted to a younger me. Having teenagers on the verge of big life decisions is at the core of this post… Bear with me.

  1. Never be afraid to try. Failure is so much easier to overcome than regret! Try new things as often as you can: new foods, new activities, new music… Try out things you aren't sure you will be good at, stretching yourself into uncomfortable situations in order to view the strength of your fabric. You may just find your life's passion by stepping out of your comfort zone.
  2. High School is so temporary. I swear, there will be so few people you keep in touch with and you won't remember the names of some of the most prominent, "popular" people you think are so important now. Take it with a grain of salt and laugh at the absurdity of it's woes. 
  3. That boy/girl will not be the center of your world in two years… Just trust me on this one.
  4. You aren't fat. You will get so much fatter. Really. Very, very fat! (so fat…)
  5. Travel with your parents. Yes, I know they are so dorky, or 'derpy' if you prefer, but they are footing the bill for only a short time and if you keep your eyes open you just might learn a thing or two. Even if all you see is Western Kansas, you can log that in your 'been there, done that' file at no cost to you.
  6. Tanning spray over tanning beds. Trust me, they are getting better. And skin cancer or a sunburn are a complete harsh to the groove. No one looks sexy with either one…
  7. Drink more water. Filter it, buy it, pull it from ancient wells, but drink it. It will serve you so much in your later years. Your skin with thank you.
  8. Learn to listen. When you are young it is in your nature to want to rattle on about nothing, to hear your own voice, to confirm what it is you think by saying it and saying it loudly. Don't. Listen more than you talk. Folks will not only imbue you with qualities of patience and wisdom (which you may or may not have) but they will tell you things you wouldn't hear otherwise and some of those things will be valuable.
  9. Instead of finding a job to make money to fuel your passion, work your passion and find a way to make money at it. So many of my colleagues now are sunk in professions that suck them dry rather than inflame their passions. If there is any way you can follow a dream and make it reality, risk it. If you fail, so what. There is always a toilet that needs scrubbing somewhere and a guy willing to pay you to do it. If you succeed, you have now conquered the biggest life-hack known to man: Loving what you do never feels like work!
  10. When you are dealing with someone who has a terribly bad attitude and it is pointed straight at you, remember this: Recall in your mind the worst day you have ever had and imagine that this person is having that same day. Empathy goes a long way and you just don't know what someone else is dealing with. Don't add to it with your hurt feelings. Chances are they won't even register that you are irritated anyway, so all it will do is wreck your mood. 
  11. Nothing is ever free. No matter what it is, it came at a price. Be grateful, be cautious and pay your way whenever possible. I am not saying be suspicious of generous souls but I am saying realize that generosity should always been gratefully received, and where ever possible, repaid. Whether you repay with gratitude, a generous tip or a smile, give something back.
  12. Hug your mother. Yes, this is blatantly self-serving, but something I wish I would have understood more as a kid. The simple fact is, she is pretty certain she is screwing it all up and a hug from you would make her at least stop and wonder if she is getting it right. As moms we go along, day in and day out, giving of ourselves without a second thought. You squeezed out of our tired bodies, you demanded food immediately and we have been hopping to ever since. Hug her, she needs to know you aren't really in need of deep psychotherapy because she lost it in the grocery store when you dropped the jar of pickles.
  13. Put your phone down. Yes, we all know how terribly important you are and that your entire social network counts on you for witty responses and funky e-cards (I know mine does). Put it down. When you are in the company of someone, value that they chose to spend their time with you. They didn't have to, they could have picked someone else - anyone else. The world will not stop spinning if you actually look at someone while they speak to you. Turn off the notifications if you need the less distracting option, but look up, meet their gaze and smile.
  14. Take walks. Yes, outside. Yes, without your phone, if you can. Yes, without music in your ears. Listen to the sounds of what is around you. Quiet your mind and take a break from the distractions you face every single waking moment.
  15. Laugh more. Every day if possible. It releases tension, increases dopamine and seratonin levels, burns calories (that will help with #4) and it's attractive. Well…. Don't do it while drinking a liquid, that can be disastrous, but in general people are much more approachable and attractive to others when they are smiling and laughing.
I am sure there are more… Add to this list if you wish! But these are my top fifteen. I would never have listened, but it's a nice thought...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Play Misty… (warning: long post)

She hated weddings. The always awkward 'singles table'; the constant, "I'd like you to meet…"; the terrible food concocted in hopes of keeping deranged, over-lubricated Uncle So-And-So from wrenching the microphone from someone at an inappropriate time - which was, of course, inevitable. She hated it all.

And yet, here she was. Again.

She stared into the large mirror and reapplied her lipgloss, ran her fingers through her hair and adjusted the bright red gown with the plunging neckline. A pair of younger women washed up behind her, chatting about this guy or that guy, ever hopeful of 'love in the air'.

She gazed back at her reflection along the empty granite vanity with a sigh. Damn, she hated weddings! she dropped the tube of gloss into her clutch and clicked it shut.

She stepped into the corridor and thought about heading back to the large room, bedecked in fluffy pink tule and white peonies. She could hear the sound of that dreadful chicken dance wafting down the hall as the doorway opened to release another giggling gaggle of girls.

"Nope." It was a declaration of freedom. She didn't want to go back and she didn't have to. She was a grown woman, she reassured her wavering conscience. She wandered down the opposite direction, toward the lobby of the grandiose hotel and the revolving doorway that would mark her escape. She could go anywhere, she reasoned, her obligation had been fulfilled: gift delivered, cake cut, first dance observed. She didn't have to stay.

The lobby was ornate and welcoming with large overstuffed sofas and wing backed chairs arranged in groups designed to facilitate conversations. She recognized a few wedding guests who had also escaped the bubble gum fray of the reception. They guiltily ignored her as she strode toward the entrance of a dark paneled pub as if it had been her destination all along.

The sound of a drawling saxophone splashed toward her lazily as she entered, pausing a moment to allow her eyes to adjust to the soft lighting. A musician dressed in a herringbone blazer and dark pants blew into the sax on a small stage to one side, his eyes closed and an ancient felt fedora with a wide ribbon tilted precariously to one side of his natty head. Candles in tiny holders flickered a welcome to her along low slung polished tables and posh leather swivel chairs. The room smelled of expensive cigars and aged scotch mingled pleasantly with lemony wood polish.

She strode to the bar and perched like a flamingo, one leg exposed from the slit in her gown as the bartender took her order, "Martini, rocks, very dirty, three olives." She lay a twenty on the bar and swiveled on the stool, crossing her bare leg over the crimson silk of the other, to watch the musician as he coaxed his instrument into sounds far beyond its capacity. The music swirled and dipped around her, embracing the sharp edges of her mood and polishing them into softness. She assured herself that this was a good idea and took a relaxing breath, whooshing out her tension and letting her shoulders drop from their uncomfortable perch.

She sipped from her cocktail, nodding her approval to the bartender and slowly let her eyes take in the low-lit room. That was when she saw him. Pushed up against a corner not far from the stage, legs kicked languidly out in front of him, his arm resting on the table, toying with a glass of dark liquid. He was dressed in a white coat tuxedo, black ebony buttons glinting in the candle light.

Photo Credit: http://nalisest.tumblr.com/post/6550918036
He was staring right at her. She shifted on the stool, suddenly aware of the plunging neckline and open slit of the gown. Her face flushed with the realization and she begged the darkness of the pub to cover her insecurities. She looked away from his stare, unblinking in his boldness.

She tried to concentrate on the musician at the microphone. She sipped from her drink, silently praying that she wouldn't fumble and spill vodka down her front. His gaze was unnerving and she could feel the heat of it from across the room. Her hand quaked ever so slightly as she set the low ball on the bar.

Too soon the musician spoke softly into the mic and excused himself for a break, leaving the stage empty of anything to capture her attention. She smiled at the man in the fedora as he made his way to the bar and took a soda from the bartender. He winked at her quickly and strode to the darkened corner and sat himself down with the man in the tuxedo.

While they chatted together she watched, keeping her eyes low beneath the shroud of her dark lashes. He was exquisite! His hair darkened with a smattering of pomade and combed back from his brow, a slight scruff of beard beginning to show in the late hour on his strong jaw, he oozed confidence and easy attraction. He was trim, but sure strength lurked just below the elegant tux and starched white shirt. Even the bow tie seemed to sport a cavalier, almost mocking grin from below his chin, now broken in a wide smile as he conversed and chuckled quietly with his friend.

He reached for his drink and raised it to his lips as she watched, now openly enthralled, her shyness forgotten in an instant of unguarded appreciation. His eyes locked with hers. She could see his smile behind the glass, transmitted more through the smoldering gaze of his deep brown eyes than anything she could see of his mouth. He lowered the glass and she watched his adams apple move up and down as he swallowed the liquid.

No matter that her mind was screaming at her, panic rising in her exposed chest, she couldn't seem to break his gaze. He reached across the table and patted the musician on his shoulder, still staring right into her eyes as if he were boring into her very soul. He rose from his seat and said something in low tones to his friend, hand still resting on his shoulder as he started her way.

He was coming across the bar, a smirk beginning to form at those perfect corners of his mouth. Oh good Lord! Her mind was reeling, her heart pounding a rhythm in her chest so loud she was sure he could see it thump in the bare spot at the neckline of her gown. It was too late to run. She would probably trip in these shoes, anyway, she thought wryly. She was a grown woman… Surely she could handle this.

He eased his way to the bar, across the chasm of the all but empty pub and leaned on an elbow in front of her. He said nothing as he observed her slowly, letting his eyes flow from her face, down the neckline of her gown, coming to rest at her crossed legs and back up again. The move would normally have left her cold and irritated, but something about him muffled her usual responses. Confidence emanated from him and enveloped her so completely that all she could feel was the giddy rise of heat in her blood.

He smiled easily at her and reached for her hand. And as he opened his mouth to speak a sharp, shrill beeping began to trill in her ears painfully. He looked past her in startled wonder. Desperate to silence the sound she cupped her hands over her ears to no avail. His mouth opened and closed, clearly trying to communicate something to her but all she could hear was that horrific screeching! Was it a fire alarm? Damn it! She could feel the pull of something hard against her, dragging her from the stool and his grasp. Suddenly, she was surrounded by a blinding light...

She groaned in desperation as she rolled from the warmth of her comforter and blankets to slap at the alarm, railing cheerfully at her from the nightstand at her bedside. She kept her eyes closed just a moment longer, but the dream was gone. The man in the tuxedo was gone, as was the fedora clad musician, slipping from her like mist burning off in the intense sunlight pouring through her bedroom windows.

She blinked against the bright light of the morning and turned to gaze at the numbers on her bedside clock. It was time to get up and get showered. She had a wedding to go to.

She hated weddings...

Friday, March 14, 2014


** Please be aware that I do not always write Christian inspirational stories. I understand that some are offended by secular writings, but it is also a part of my bent. This is one of those writings. I can promise you that I will not write anything here that is considered "erotica" or graphic in nature. My aim is romance not arousal. I will tell you that when I see pictures of many types and compositions, my brain instantly devises a story to go along with it. It is in this nature that I warn you. 

Photo Credit: http://jlthomasauthor.tumblr.com/post/65695250005/

There it was again. That moment… It flooded back to him unbidden, halting him abruptly, jerking him back in time like a dog at the end of some unseen leash.

He couldn't always tell what triggered it; sometimes the scent of her perfume would waft by on another woman entrancing him. Other times the way the light spilled through window panes carrying motes of dust on the invisible currents of air would send him reeling into remembrance. It was disconcerting and comforting at the same time and this time he closed his eyes where he sat and drifted on the memory, letting it propel him gently back to that day.

It had been only a moment, the way the light had cascaded in from the windows, unshaded and bright in the early afternoon. Yet it had seared itself into his brain like a fiery brand. She was there, laying atop him, her body warm and soft against his, kissing him and pulling him deeper into her spell. His hands were tangled in her hair, savoring her every taste, every touch, every scent. It had been only a moment, but it was everything.

The play of light across her bare shoulders, the scent of her perfume in his nostrils, the feel of her soft and supple and yet tightly toned against him. He had pulled her back to look into her eyes, to swim in the pools of deep green and savor the depth of her soul. He had wanted to stay like that, to lay there motionless, drinking her in thirstily with all of his senses, but there was urgency in him too. A feverishness to possess her, to claim her… It had been only a moment, but it had been everything.

Too soon they had parted, spent and moving quickly into the current of their very separate lives, carried into routines and events, parties awash in chasms of division. He had never intended to think on her again and in his naiveté, willed it to be so. But there was that moment… And he realized too late he would never be rid of her, that possessing her had been folly when she so utterly and completely owned him.

It had been only a moment, but it had been his undoing.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Conversations and reunions...

Well, hello there… It has been long time, hasn't it?

Yes, I'm back.

Not sure how long yet… I am still finding my way.

What have I been up to? Oh, stuff… Writing stuff…

I proved to myself I could finish. Finished a novel.

Well, I sent it to six agencies, so I am trying.

No, haven't heard back yet. The waiting is hard, but not writing is harder, so I started again.

Yes, another novel, but this one is different. Harder, but right. It really feels very… right.

I missed you too. I want to try writing here again. It was good for me.


I think this time I will bring you short stories. Ones that make me better. Ones that stretch my courage…

oh, I have a few ideas. Pinterest helps, when I am not hiding in it.

Yeah, it is great to be back! I'll see you tomorrow, I hope!