Monthly Archives: January 2015

My kingdom for a horse

Okay, so maybe it’s not a horse I’m after, though I’d certainly take one. Can I have the knight that goes with it, too? Please? Come on, work with me. I deserve a knight. I really do. Anyway, this week’s topic…my ideal writing space versus the cold hard bite of reality.

Of course, the other ladies are going to flood their pages with beautiful images. I’ll be lucky to find one, sigh. I honestly don’t know where they did them up—how they find just the right pic. But, oh well.

So, my ideal writing space.

Yes, let’s start with the positive. The fantasy because I can assure you it far exceeds reality. My ideal writing space would be, above all else, private. Quite and comfortable. Because I spend a lot of time—far more than I should ever admit to—immersed in my work. Loving what I do certainly helps, but yeah…I sometimes have trouble stopping. There’s always one more page, one more chapter—one more book—to write. So here are things I’d love to have in my space.

The ultimate writing chair. I would love this. Love, love, love it with the perfect ottoman.

But if that proved to be impractical, then this… yeah… with a new Mac Air… because it’s so awesome to work on.

I’d also have a mini fridge, so I didn’t have to get up to grab a cold one (I’m talking diet coke… sheesh) and my Keurig close by for tea emergencies.

This is what the space would look like.

Now, I might have some glass put overtop.. it rains a lot here, lol. But yeah… a reading/writing nook would be awesome. And do you see the kids in this photo… that’s the point. There isn’t any. I love my kids but damn…a place that’s private. That would be awesome.

Or this.. just sub in the chair for the bed, lol.

YES… THIS. I COULD WRITE ENDLESSLY HERE, WHEN I DIDN’T FALL ASLEEP.

OR EVEN HERE…

The sad thing is… this is all I’d really need. A comfy chair, a good laptop and a quiet, private space.

Okay…so the cold bite of reality. I either have to write in my room (if the kids are watching TV) or I sometimes get to be out in the living room. I also have a space in the kitchen I do some work. So the reality here is… I don’t have a dedicated space. I work wherever there’s room or limited noise. Some days, that doesn’t exist in my house.

Go check out the ladies. I’m sure they have some magnificent ideas.

Jessica Jarman  |  Bronwyn Green |  Gwendolyn Cease  |  Jessica De La Rosa

 

An endless void

So…it’s Wednesday. Just in case you’re like me and well, you don’t know what day it is. Now you probably care even less (oh, did I say that out loud) as I rarely do, but…we’re trying to stay organized here.

Anyway, this week the blog topic is…On my walls. It’s part of our “Wordless Wednesday” posts, so, we’re supposed to take pics or do something blog worthy about the lovely photos, medals…whatever that we have hanging on the walls of our hallowed home. Well, here’s the issue.

I HAVE NOTHING. NOTHING PEOPLE!

Okay, I have two things and damn it, I will post pics of those two things but in reality, I don’t have squat. Why? I could say that it’s because I moved a few months ago, and honestly, that’s a legitimate reason. I plan on doing a number of renos, so it seems pointless to put pictures and stuff up for several months only to take them down again. But let’s also be honest. I’m lazy in that department. I’m trying to find the energy to give a damn, but…it’s broken. That, and I’m trying to embrace a more minimalist environment. Wow, I wrote that and maintained a straight face.

Anyway, in the spirit of the game, here are the two things I currently have on my walls.

 

I know. I wasn’t wordless but it was less than usual. Baby steps. Anyway, at least this was an easy blog post. Please drop by the other ladies, who I’m certain have filled their homes with a bounty of memorabilia that they can describe to you. Stuff you’d probably want in your home, too.

Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica Jarman  |  Gwendolyn Cease

Kayleigh Jones  |  Kellie St. James

I’m a mess…musical fiction

It’s flash fiction Monday only this week, instead of a visual aid, we’re doing a musical one…what is being coined as INSPIRED BY A MELODY. Each month, we’ll pick a song—what happens from there is anyone’s guess.

This week, we’ve chosen I’M A MESS, by the extremely talented Ed Sheeran—someone who’s quickly becoming one of my favourite artists. So, without further ado…

 

“You can do this. Just…pull yourself together.”

Grace Brogan stared at her reflection, rerunning the pep talk in her head. Again. She’d already said it over a dozen times. But nothing stuck. Any inkling of confidence quickly vanished, leaving only crippling uncertainty slowly suffocating her. She palmed the counter, closing her eyes as footsteps sounded behind her—a click of heels across the tiled floor. She didn’t look up, focusing on the drops of water clinging to the side of the bowl. Damn good thing she hadn’t put on any makeup—it would have washed off after the third time she’d splashed water on her face.

A hand landed on her shoulder. “Everything all right?”

She forced up her gaze, trying not to sneer at the woman standing behind her. Hair meticulously styled, makeup blended to match her skin’s natural tones—she seemed the epitome of sophistication. She wore a dark blue business jacket with matching skirt, the hint of mauve from her blouse adding a touch of feminism. Not a suggestion of worry creased her brow, the firm line of her silhouette showcasing her confidence.

Grace forced a smile. “Of course. Other than the fact I’m a mess…” She drew herself up. “Nothing to be worried about, Counsellor.”

Beth frowned, the uncharacteristic expression nearly breaking the perfect mould she’d cast herself in. “I realize this is…upsetting.”

“Upsetting?” Grace spun to face the woman. “I’m testifying against my father—for murdering my mother. Killing his own son and for what? Money? Power? Drugs?” She shook her head, breaking eye contact. “People have this image of mob families—some kind of romanticized concept that the head of the family takes care of his own. At any cost. That the people he loves are safe, above all else.” She slowly lifted her gaze. “The only thing my father loved was being on top. Having everyone bow to him. Fear him.”

Beth shifted restlessly on her feet, seemingly unsure for the first time since they’d met several months ago. “You’re not afraid.”

“Are you high? Of course, I’m afraid. I just hate him more. Hate how he taints everything and everyone he comes into contact with until there’s nothing but darkness left.”

“He’ll never bother you again. Once you get up on that stand—you’re the one with all the power.”

“Please, we both know how this road will eventually end. Putting my father in jail—hell, killing him—it won’t stop the events I put in motion.” She turned back toward the counter, watching the last few drips of water splash against the porcelain. “I can only run, hide, for so long before someone finds me.”

“Christ, I’m gone, what, ten minutes, and already you’ve lost complete faith in me?”

Grace stilled at the gravelly voice filling the small room. Ronan Foster. She’d recognize it anywhere—the only constant in an ever-changing race. Her chest constricted as her gaze rose to the mirror, clashing with the deep blue eyes staring back at her. God, no matter how long she looked at him, he still took her breath away. Sent butterflies fluttering through her stomach. His sandy blond hair fell to his collar, the long strands tousled about his head. He cocked half his mouth into a grin, the stubble along his jaw accentuating the strong shape. The man was stunning. Awe-inspiring.

Ronan huffed out his next breath, glancing at Beth. “Could you give us a few moments…alone.”

Her frown deepened. “I need to go over Grace’s testimony again.”

“Pretty damn sure she can recite it in her sleep.”

“Even so, I can’t compromise her safety.”

“I’m the U.S. Marshal that’s kept her alive for seven months. I think I can manage another ten minutes without you before we go inside.” He moved between them, turning sideways. “I’m sorry. I made it seem as if I was actually giving you a choice. I’m not. I’m in charge of her security, and until I’m a hundred percent certain she’s on board with everything—she’s not going anywhere. Least of all inside that courtroom. So do the right thing and bugger off for a few moments before I deem this situation too risky and take off.” He leaned toward Beth. “And I promise you—you’ll never find us.”

Beth glared at her in the mirror, her contempt more than obvious. “Fine. Ten minutes. But she’d better not screw this up. This is about more than just putting daddy behind bars.” She turned sharply, high heels tapping a hasty retreat.

Ronan shook his head, moving in behind her. His hands landed on her waist, gently tugging her back until she’d allowed him to brace most of her weight. His lips pressed against the sensitive spot behind her ear, trailing down along her neck. “You okay?”

She closed her eyes, wishing she could just stay in his arms. Make everything else disappear. “As much as I’d like to think love is blind…you can see my reflection, Ronan. You know I’m not.”

His arms snaked around her, holding her tight without making her feel threatened. “He took everyone you love from you. Killed them in front of you. Fuck, Grace, he’d tried to kill you twice before you got out of there. Then hired a shit load of others to do the job for him.”

“You’ve stopped every attempt.” She looked at him in the mirror. “And he didn’t take everyone.”

His expression softened as he raised one hand and brushed it across her cheek. “It’s only natural to be afraid. I’d be more concerned if you weren’t freaking out a bit.”

“A bit? Look at me—my hands are shaking, my legs feel weak and I swear my heart is just going to beat through my chest.” Tears burned behind her eyes. “I’m going to have to describe it. All of it. In nauseating detail, including the part where I ran instead of standing up to him. God, what will people think?” She broke eye contact. “What will you think?”

“Stop it.” He palmed her hips, spinning her to face him. “I already know what I think. That you’re incredibly brave. There are very few people in this world that would speak against a man like Francis Brogan. In fact, there’s only you. What you’re doing…” He shook his head. “It’s more than anyone should have to bear. And if you hadn’t run…you never would have lived long enough to have this chance.”

“I’m alive because of you. Period.”

He caressed her face, tucking some hair behind her ear. “You know I love you, right?”

“And you know I think you’re crazy?”

“Only about you. And once this is over…I’ll keep you safe. Promise.”

The honesty in his voice humbled her, and she tip-toed up, gently taking his mouth in hers. The kiss was soft, loving—like the promise he’d made. She didn’t rush—allowing him to deepen it when she’d thought about pulling back. His tongue slid across hers, the firm press sending a jolt of need to her core. Her breath heaved against his cheek when he finally pulled away, the fluttering in her stomach more anticipation than fear now.

He tsked her. “I know that look.” He dropped a kiss on her nose. “You sure you’re up to this? I’ll get Beth to postpone it if you need more time—say you’re unwell.”

“I’m fine. Now.” She drew a deep breath, willing her hands to stop shaking. “You’ll be there, right?”

“At your side every second. Already told Beth you weren’t sitting up there alone. Not when I can’t be guaranteed of your safety from more than a foot away.”

“I don’t deserved you.”

“I know.” He chuckled when she swatted him on the chest. “But I’ll stick around anyway.”

“Fine. Let’s go. Time to close the door on the past and start the future. I’m just glad there aren’t any cameras. I’m still a mess.”

 

Wow… this was way harder than I thought. And I know I probably took this in a very odd direction, but…there you have it. If you haven’t already visited the other lovely ladies, hop on over to their blogs. I know you won’t be sorry.

 

Jessica Jarman  |  Bronwyn Green  |  Jenny Trout

Gwendolyn Cease  |  Jessica De La Rosa

 

 

 

What are you waiting for…

I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m a Nickelback fan. And it’s not just because I’m Canadian. I simply love the sound—the lyrics. That’s a title off their new album, No Fixed Address, and the song is all about seizing life and doing what you’ve putting off. Essentially, the Bucket List idea.

This week, we’re doing the flip side of that. Our Anti-bucket list. All the stuff we’d never want to do. So, obviously, I think it’s apparent I’d rather not die in some gruesome act of violence, or have horrible other shit happen to me. Won’t be including that. I’ll try to focus on not-so-obvious points. Thus, without drawing this out, here’s the list in no particular order…

1 — Swim with sharks. Okay. I know tons of people love this. Would kill to get a chance to dive in the Caribbean and take a dip with some Great Whites or Tiger Sharks. All I can say… I GREW UP WITH JAWS, PEOPLE. Like thousands of others, Spielberg spoiled the lure of anything such thing with the release of Jaws and that unforgettable theme. Da, dut. Da da da da da da—da, dut. 

2 — Parachute. Here’s the thing. I’m a pilot. I can fly planes, helicopters…so why, in the name of everything holy, would I jump from a perfectly functioning aircraft? Why? I wouldn’t. Now, if the plane were going to crash…sign me up. But as an event that I’d like to do before I die…no way, sister.

 

3 — Bungie jumping. I don’t think any explanation is needed for this. Just. No.

4 — Have my kids taken away from me. Now granted, they’re getting older, but man. I can’t imagine not being able to be around them an annoyingly amount of time. So that’s hopefully something that will be removed as they grow into adults… but yeah. Never. Ever.

5 — Go to prison. To me, Orange is not the next black. And I will be incredibly happy if I never have to experience the penal system…in any country.

6 — Be patient zero in the coming apocalypse. Let’s face it. When the zombies come…and they will…I don’t want to be the one who starts it all.

7 — Being eaten alive. Had to toss that in there because….yeah. That.

Really, all the other things I think of, well…obvious. Things no one wants to have happen to them,  lol. Please check out the other ladies. I’m sure they have far more profound items.

Bronwyn  |  Jessica  |  Jenny  |  Kellie

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…

Another year dawns and it’s the beginning of fifty-two weeks worth of Wednesday Randomness. Okay, probably only fifty. We take a couple off throughout the year, but the point is…this is the start. The first post in what I hope will be a year of successful blogging. Because that’s one of my goals. To blog more. Now, knowing the kind of person I am, I decided to attempt to make realistic goals, because otherwise, I tend to set myself up for failure. But not this year—no more excuses.

So let’s start off the year with a fun one. Favourite things, and in this edition—

SUPERHEROES!!!!

Now, who doesn’t love a great superhero. In all honestly, I could probably list every one I know, because they all have abilities or qualities I admire. Powers I wish I could wield. But it’s supposed to be our ‘favourites’. Like I can choose. Hello…that’s why they have so freaking many of them. You kind of want to be them all. But in the spirit of the post, I’ll list my all-time favourite larger-than-life, bad-ass good guys.

1 — The Hulk.  

Don’t even try to act surprised by this. The ability to turn into a raging green monster who still manages to do good? Save lives! Who wouldn’t want that. True, it seems lately there are weeks where I probably wouldn’t stop being the Hulk, but… there’s just something alluring about him. And how in most of the movies he responds to the woman he loves. And he gets to smash shit. An entire legion of men and aliens try to bring the guy down, but he JUST. KEEPS. GOING. But what I think I love most about Bruce Banner is that he’s a reluctant hero. He tries not to give in to the Hulk. He sees himself as a monster—oh nah nah. He’s so much more than just a hero. So yeah, Bruce ‘the Hulk’ Banner in any form is definitely on my list of favourites.

2 — Iron Man.

Tony Stark. Or Robert Downey Jr. Either way…do I need to say anything else? Stark is the consummate bad boy with a noble heart, who chooses the right path, even if he is more than a bit arrogant and misguided at times. And the guy’s a freaking genius. GENIUS people. Like Dr. Spencer Reid genius. And if there’s something I find inherently sexy, it’s intelligence. That coupled with his charm and sex appeal. And if all of that isn’t enough… he has Jarvis. I love Jarvis. I’ve actually thought about telling Siri I want to address him as Jarvis from now on. I know—be afraid, folks. Be very afraid.

 

3 — Constantine 

Please, this is not shocking anyone. That Keanu Reeves would make my Superhero list. Besides, what’s not to love. He banishes demons. Fights to restore light to the darkness. And all the while pretty much flipping off angels and people in general. I obviously have a thing for reluctant heroes. And Constantine embodies all of it.

 

 

 

 

4 — Alice

 

Something you may not know about me. My youngest son, Jared, and I love to watch movies. Good, bad…it doesn’t matter. And I watched the entire Resident Evil series just for him. But who am I kidding. I loved them. Not, perhaps, Oscar winners, but Alice. I want to be her. Zombie killing bad-ass who wears thigh-high boots (but ones you could actually run in, thank you…) cute skirts or jeans and sexy as hell jackets. And the girl is loaded. Guns. Knives. Ninja stars. She has it all and man, the girl can fight. She’s definitely on my list.

 

 

5 — Legolas.

Having watched all the Hobbit movies and the Lord of the Ring movies—Legolas is still one of my favourite characters. And yes, he’s Middle Earth’s version of a superhero. I mean… he has the endless quiver of destiny! Okay.. who else gasped in the Hobbit when he ran out of arrows. Never, once, in all the Ring movies, did the man ever run out. Fifty hits and he’s still got a full quiver. Which is why he’s a freaking superhero. Hell, if Hawkeye can be an Avenger, Legolas can be a superhero, too. Have you seen the man—prance. Or climb or float…because it’s sure as hell not walking. He’s magical. And he’s on my list.. and it’s my list so… I can have him on it if I want.

And now, I can’t seem to stop. I want to include Gandoff, every one of the Guardians of the Galaxy… Sam and Dean Winchester…but I’ll leave you with this. My top five. The ones that make me smile and swoon, just a bit.

Now check out the other ladies. See if any of our choices overlap, though I’m thinking, as usual, other than the first two—mine are out there.

Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica Jarman  |  Gwendolyn Cease  |  Kayleigh Jones

A picture’s worth a thousand words…

01-2015 - ManIceCave

Hey folks and welcome to 2015! It’s a brand new year, and some of the ladies and I are trying something new. Okay, so it’s not new, per se, but it’s new for us. In a word (or two) FLASH FICTION, baby.

Anyway, the first Monday of each month, we’ll be posting a photo…and all of us will put our own spin on what pops into our heads based on the picture. You never know what’s going to happen.  So, here’s the first kick at the cat…

 

“This is stupid.”

Graeme James glanced up from his notebook, smiling at his buddy sitting across the table from him. Ryan looked more than frustrated, his hair sticking up in different directions—a by-product of the other man repeatedly carding his fingers through the unruly mass. Ryan snorted out an exasperated breath as he leaned back in his chair, flipping off his laptop.

Graeme chuckled. “What’s wrong now?”

Ryan held up the picture, rolling his eyes as if he couldn’t understand Graeme’s confusion. “This assignment. That’s what. It’s stupid.”

“It’s easy. And after that last mid-term, we need a way to up our grades a bit, or have you forgotten our dismal attempt.”

“How can I forget when you keep bringing it up—endlessly.”

“Would you rather we just pretend it didn’t happen? I’m sure your parents will jump on board with that.”

Ryan raised his middle finger, slamming the photo back on the table.

Graeme sighed, lifting the tattered paper. The image was actually quite stunning—mammoth ice cave, edges smoothed from wind-ravaged storms. The crystalline structure had taken on a greenish-blue colour, nothing else present except the solitary outline of a man standing on the threshold between salvation and despair. It called to him—made him question his place in the world—his worth.

He glanced at Ryan. “What’s so difficult? You stare at the picture and write a few descriptive sentences. Couldn’t ask for a simpler way to pad the grade point.”

“It’s pointless. It’s a photo—some dude standing in an ice cave. What could possibly be up for interpretation?”

“It’s not supposed to be literal. Use your imagination. How does it make you feel?”

“Cold, bro. Just cold.”

Graeme exhaled a rough breath. “Then forget being creative and just write what pops into your head.”

Ryan pursed his lips. “Fine, smartass. I will.” He taped on his keyboard before leaning back to stare at the screen again.

Graeme thumbed the edge, spinning the computer to face him, reading Ryan’s reply. “You can’t write, ‘this is stupid’ as your answer, dude.”

“You said to write what popped into my mind. And that’s it.”

“Are you trying to fail English Lit? Because you’re doing a damn fine job of it.” He scrubbed his hand along his scalp, praying he hadn’t just made a sympathetic version of Ryan’s hair. “Surely you can think of something. What about a movie? Pretend it’s Hoth or that blue planet where Loki’s from.”

“Jötunheim?”

“You remember the fucking name of Loki’s realm, but you can’t create a couple hundred words to describe a photo? Sad, Ryan. Very sad.”

“Your love-life’s what’s sad, bro.” He raised a brow. “You ever going to ask Bailey out? Or are you going to sit there and stare at that cave some more—pretend it’s you standing at the edge, knowing you have nothing to lose because you’ve already lost anything worth saving.”

Graeme raised his brow. “Did you just hear yourself?”

“Yeah. I ragged on you for being a coward. The girl’s been giving you the eye. I’m telling you. She’ll say yes.”

Graeme palmed his face. “I meant what you said about the photo. You just answered the assignment—and surprisingly well.”

“I did? What the hell did I say?”

“That bit about standing on the edge with nothing to lose…sound familiar?”

“How about I make you a bet? If I get a better grade on this stupid-ass assignment, you have to ask Bailey out. If you ace it…I’ll buy you lunch for a week.”

Graeme stared at the paragraph typed beneath the image, Bailey’s green eyes ghosting behind the words. He lifted his gaze to meet Ryan’s. “You’re on, dude.”

“Fucking A. You’re so going down.”

“Right.” Graeme highlighted his answer before deleting it, typing three small words across the page. ‘This is stupid’ stared back at him, the simple elegance of it making him smile. “Gonna kick your ass, Ryan.”

“Yeah, yeah. You always were all talk. About time you took action, don’t you think?”

“We’ll see, buddy. We’ll see.”

 

That’s it for me. I know, I probably didn’t go in the direction of the other ladies at all. So go check them out and see what the photo said to them. And please check back next Monday when we begin our much anticipated (even if we’re the only ones who feel this way) SERIAL!

Jessica Jarman  |   Bronwyn Green  |  Gwendolyn Cease

Jessica De La Rosa  |  Kayleigh Jones