Monthly Archives: June 2015

5 WORDS OR LESS

Yay. A week where I have to keep it short. Or, short for me. This month’s 5 words or less is about…my WIP, Characters, Setting and Conflict. So, here goes…

Ever-evolving

Familiar

Challenging

Epic

I’m thinking every week should be 5 words or less. Now check out the other ladies and see how they did.

Jessica Jarman  |  Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica De La Rosa

Paige Prince  |  Kellie St James

IT’S THE PERFECT TIME OF YEAR…

It’s another Monday and another song flash fiction. And I’m sure everyone can guess who picked this month’s band. It’s PINCH ME by The Bare Naked Ladies. And can I just say~I love this band. LOVE. THEM. They were big back home in Toronto long before they made it big. And I love the attitude of the band members. Classy bunch of guys who are very down-to-earth.

Anyway, if you’re not familiar with the song, here’s the video. And I think the tune is freaking catchy.

 

“Do we have to listen to that song?”

Quinn glanced at Rogan, frowning. “Since when don’t you like the Bare Naked Ladies?”

Rogan shrugged. “Didn’t say I didn’t like them, bro. Just don’t want to listen to that damn song right now. It’s depressing.”

Quinn bit back the retort clawing to get free as he focused on the road again, barely sparing his buddy a glance as the man changed the channel, finally settling on some remixed version of a classic song. Now wasn’t the time to discuss the obvious elephant riding in the backseat. If Rogan wanted to pretend he still wasn’t torn up over his breakup with Dave—Dave the douchebag as Quinn called him—then Quinn would play along. It’s what friends did. Or at least, what he did. Because he knew if he opened his mouth, the truth would come spilling out. And he wasn’t sure if either of them were ready to hear what he had to say.

Restlessness churned in his gut, gnawing away at his sanity as they drove toward the trailhead. The first weekend free in months, and they’d somehow got roped into camping with friends. Not that Quinn didn’t love roughing it by the lake, spending the hours paddling or swimming. Talking around the campfire. But just the thought of spending forty-eight hours in the same tent as Rogan had Quinn’s damn stomach in knots. It was only a matter of time before his bravado failed, and Rogan saw the desperation Quinn knew gleamed in his eyes whenever they were together.

Hell, fuck together. Quinn was bloody desperate every minute of every godforsaken day it seemed. And pretending his heart wasn’t breaking a bit more from the strain of holding it all in was taking a toll. One he wasn’t sure he could keep paying. He’d nearly blown his damn cover the night Rogan had called him, voice thick with restrained tears, as he’d told him Dave was gone. That they’d finally split after Rogan had discovered the bastard had been cheating on him.

Fuckwit. Who the hell would cheat on a guy like Rogan? The man was six feet or sinewy muscle, the delineated lines more than evident through his clothing. He had thick brown hair that always seemed perfectly tousled, slightly longer than truly fashionable, but so utterly Rogan it made Quinn’s chest hurt. And the man’s eyes—a stunning mixture of green and hazel that appeared to change with his buddy’s mood. Like now—the dazzling jade far outweighed the amber accents, a testament to the man’s uneasy temper.

Add to that a wicked sense of humor and a genuine personality—Rogan had it all.

And Quinn was barely treading water.

“You okay?”

Quinn gave himself a mental shake, glancing at Rogan again. His buddy and furrowed his brow into an intense vee over his nose as he stared at Quinn as if he’d sprouted another head.

Quinn scoffed. “Of course, I’m fine. Why?”

Rogan shrugged. “You seem…preoccupied. Like when you’re hiding something and think I don’t notice.”

Quinn clenched his jaw. Fuck. If his damn defenses were already crumbling, how the hell was he going to get through an entire weekend rooming with the guy. He blew out his next breath then forced a smile. “You’re delusional. And if anyone’s hiding shit, it’s you.”

“Me?”

“Please. For the past month you’ve moped around the damn frat house, all the while insisting you’re ‘fine’. Everyone knows you’re not, Rog. Not sure who you think you’re fooling or what you have to prove. Breaking up sucks. No matter what the circumstances. No one’s going to judge you if you admit you feel like shit and wish your ex would suffer an extremely painful death in the near future.” He winked at Rogan. “I know I do.”

Rogan chuckled, pushing a hand through his hair, somehow making it sexier than it was before. “I don’t need for Dave to die. A painful injury, however…”

Quinn sighed. “I know you really liked the guy, but…he’s an ass. And blind as a fucking bat, because if he can’t see how damn amazing you are…”

He managed to catch himself and let the words fade before he’d admitted how much he cared. That somewhere between the late-night study sessions and early morning football practices, he’d fallen for Rogan. Not when they’d been friends for three years. And especially not when Quinn knew Rogan didn’t see him as anything other than one of his buddies—the sole-surviving member of the fucking friend zone.

Rogan snorted as he shook his head. “Afraid you’re the only one who seems to think that. My last few relationships haven’t exactly gone as hoped.”

That’s because you keep dating douchebags.

Quinn groaned inwardly, somehow managing not to let the words rumble free. If there was one thing Quinn had learned about Rogan since they’d met their first year of college, it’s that the man had a type. Muscular, confident, with a healthy dose of arrogant charm seemed to knock Rogan’s usually good senses for a loop. While the man’s previous conquests had been hot on every damn level, they’d also been conceded jerks who hadn’t been interested in much past a few tumble between the sheets. And Rogan, being the guy he was, couldn’t seem to see the end coming until it slapped him in the face—usually in the form of finding his boyfriend in bed with another guy.

Quinn blew out a slow breath, glancing at Rogan again before taking the next exit ramp. Just another fifteen minutes and they’d be at the parking lot. And Quinn’s forty-eight hours of fucking torture would begin.

He gave Rogan another forced smile. “My sister keeps insisting all men are jerks. Maybe she’s right.”

Rogan shrugged. “You’re not.”

Quinn’s stomach fucking flip-flopped at the deep, sexy done in Rogan’s voice. He slowed as they turned onto the gravel road leading to the trailhead. “Yeah, and it’s worked out so well for me.”

“Hey, I’ve seen plenty of guys strike out with you. Thinking you’re the one who doesn’t want to commit.”

Oh, he wanted to commit, all right. Commit himself to a damn psych ward for thinking he could spend a weekend with the one man he couldn’t have. “Maybe I’m just looking for someone who wants more than a round of sex.”

“Or maybe you’re hung up on someone and don’t want to admit it.”

Quinn coughed, skidding around the next corner, nearly driving off the damn road before getting himself and the Jeep under control.

Rogan gave Quinn a light punch in the shoulder. “You don’t have to kill us because I’m right.”

“You’re not right. You’re a distraction.”

“You just keep telling yourself that, buddy. But I know I’m right. You’re pining. You’ve got all signs—you don’t do anything more than first dates. You have a laundry list of excuses on speed dial should a prospective lover ask you out and you submerse yourself in work and school. Face it. You’re hooked on some guy you think you can’t have. You just don’t want to tell me who.”

Quinn stared straight ahead. “You think you got me all figured out, huh?”

“Please, you’re not that hard to read.”

Except for the part where the jackass I can’t have is you.

Quinn snorted. “Well, neither are you, Rog. And as long as we’re being honest—maybe your love life wouldn’t suck so much if you tried dating a guy that wanted you for more than just your ass.” He slowed the vehicle to a halt beside a handful of other cars, shoving it into first gear before cutting the engine. He turned to Rogan, noting the wary look in his friend’s eyes. “What?”

“God, I’m right, aren’t I? You really are hung up on some guy. Shit, I was just guessing, but… You’ve got it bad.”

“Yeah, well, luckily for me, he doesn’t know I exist.”

He opened his door and stepped out. Gravel crunched beneath his feet as the heady scent of pine infused the air. He grabbed his backpack out of the rear seat, shuffling it onto his shoulders as he looked across at Rogan. “Are we going to do this or what?”

Rogan eased out of his seat, snagging his bag and tossing it across his back. “You should tell the guy. At least then you’d know how he felt.”

Quinn met Rogan’s expectant gaze. “And if he doesn’t feel the same? If it blows up in my face, then what?”

“Why would that matter unless…” Rogan’s voice trailed off as his brow furrowed again.

Quinn mumbled a curse, turning toward the path before Rogan saw the truth on his face. This was quickly becoming a fucking disaster. Like being stuck in a damn dream he couldn’t wake up from. He pinched his arm, the slight pain a sad reminder it was all too real. He pocketed the keys, taking a few heavy steps away. “You coming?”

“Quinn?”

Quinn glanced back at Rogan. “Got a couple of miles to go before we reach the campsite. Don’t want to waste the sunlight.”

Rogan moved around to Quinn’s side of the car, stopping far too close. “Fuck the sunlight. There something you need to tell me?”

Panic beaded a cold sweat along Quinn’s skin as he tried to hold himself together. Now wasn’t the time. Fuck, there’d never be a time. Not for this. He wasn’t close to Rogan’s type. Hadn’t gotten so much as a hint that the other man had any kind of feelings for him other than friendship. And admitting how he felt…he’d screw everything they had up. And for what? A chance he never had?

He quirked his mouth. “Yeah, your shoelace is undone. Now, are you coming or what?”

Quinn struck off, getting to the tree line before Rogan’s hand tightened around Quinn’s arm, spinning him around. He stumbled sideways, tripping into a tree before Rogan yanked him forward. Quinn collided with Rogan’s chest, his hands instinctively fisting around the other man’s shirt in an attempt to anchor himself just as Rogan trapped him against the trunk, his body pressed hard against his. An emotion Quinn hadn’t seen before flared in Rogan’s eyes as he leaned in close, his breath ruffling Quinn’s collar.

Rogan arched a brow, his gaze dropping the length of Quinn’s body then up again, focusing on his mouth before finally climbing to his eyes. “Let’s try this again. Who, exactly, are you hung up on?”

 

And that’s it for me, folks. Check out the other ladies for their brilliant works.

Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica Jarman  |  Paige Prince

 

 

I’M LOSING CONTROL…

Dear god, where is the time going. Seriously, I have so much to do. So freaking little time. I need nine days a week now, and thirty hours in a day. But I digress. It’s another Random Wednesday, and for me, this is going to be a short post. Why? Because I’m stressed and poetically, the topic this week is… How I Relax When I’m Stressed.

Well, I’ll tell you folks for free that it’s not by doing blog posts, lol. True, they can be cathartic at times. But right now, I just need more time. Also, there’s only a handful of things I do to relax.

So… here goes.

Exercise.

NO ONE IS SURPRISED. NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON. And no one’s shocked that it’s my number one way to battle stress. My friends know that I consistently call running my “attitude adjustment’. And it’s true. There’s something about the sound of your feet hitting the dirt. The smell of cottonwood and pine. The chirping of birds or even the buzzing of flies. The way the sun plays peek-a-boo through the foliage. Or simply just being alone with the dog. No other voices. No way for folks to interrupt me. (FYI. I have specific text tones so I know which ones I might want to look at while I’m out there.) Just me, the trail and my thoughts. And trust me—it’s hard to still be angry when you get back an hour later. Not sure if it’s the sweat, or the rapid heart rate. The increase in oxygen or just the passing scenery still playing in your head. But it works.  And it’s not just running. Riding or doing a BeachBody video works just as well. I just need something to draw me in. To focus on. And generally breathing and trying not to die (lol) do the trick.

Music.

Let’s face it. It’s not always convenient to go for a jog. Or pop in a workout video. Hell, maybe it’s at night and I’m already exercised out, lol. Or it’s pouring rain…sideways with strong winds. Or there’s snow. I know… that white shit. Anyway, if my usual go-to isn’t an option, then music can alter my mood. Or even allow me to wallow in it if that’s what I need. I love this song quote… you sing a sad song just to turn it around… So true. And music, like books, can take you places, so… it’s definitely a way to get rid of the stress.

Television/Movies.

Again. NO ONE IS SURPRISED. Please, I am NOT the only one who Netflix binges. Whether it be Supernatural, Archer, South Park, Castle…name it and I probably watch several episodes in a row. Hell, sometimes a whole damn season if it’s short enough. But yeah…getting lost in endless shows is one of my faves.

Alex, I’d like to… Call a Friend.

Sometimes, there’s no other choice but to bitch. Vent. Whatever. This is where your dearest of dear friends comes in. You know the one or ones. Who don’t judge. Who know when to simply nod or when to offer something. Encouragement. The proper expletive. An adjective or two. But it’s funny how talking it out can often make you realize it’s not as bad as you think. That there’s a hint of a light at the end of the tunnel…and no, it’s not the 508 heading for New York.

If I were in a relationship, the next one might very well be sex. And yeah, nothing takes your mind off of everything else quite like it. I hope to add this to the list as a viable option in the near future, lol. And please, you were all thinking it. You just didn’t want to be the one to put it down in writing.

And finally…if it’s a really tough day. If I’m at my rope… a good cry might be in order. And I’m sure no one is shocked when I say this is a last resort. I’m not a fan of crying. Work with me folks. I have issues. But there are times, this is the only ‘release’ that works. So yup… a good cry. Generally in the guise of a super sappy, depressing movie. But a cry none the less.

 

That’s it for me. Go check out the other ladies. See how they deal with the big S (not sex, lol).

Jessica Jarman  |  Bronwyn Green

Jessica De La Rosa  |  Kellie St. James  |  Gwendolyn Cease

TO BE OR NOT TO BE…

Random Wednesday folks. Welcome. And it’s the first one in June. Wow…last month of school (we go way too long here) then it’s summer vacation. Hell, it’s already dollar drink days at McDonalds. That’s the first sign summer is here. Not a huge McD’s fan, but I’ll go through the drive-thru for a large Diet Coke for a buck. Everyone needs a vice. Don’t judge. Just enable.

Anyway, a twist to the monthly “favourite things” post as in it’s a bit more abstract to me. It’s favourite quotes. Now, I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be ones you consider famous or what, but I’m taking it as ones I use. As in all the freaking time.

Here’s the thing. I’m not sure why, but my brother and I began citing movie quotes way back. We’d test each other when the opportunity arose. Use a quote then see if the other knew what movie it was from. So…spoiler alert…all my fave quotes are going to be movie/entertainment ones. And for better or worse, I use them. Lots.

Movie one liners (my version of quotes) in no particular order but limited because I could do this all day…

My only wish is to serve the gods.

It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage.

These are not the droids you’re looking for.

I am the greatest good, you are ever gonna get.

Fuck, fuckity, fuck fuck fuck.

The next time someone asks if you’re a god, you say yes.

Convicted? No, never convicted.

Get to the chopper.

Stick around.

I’ll be back.

May the force be with you.

And, we’re walking.

Eysma, put your hands in the air.

Who’d had thought that trap door would lead me out here.

Yeah, I’m a lama again.

Luke, I am your father.

You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

Sometimes you gotta say, what the fuck.

I promise you. I’m never going to want that wagon wheel coffee table.

 

Now go and check out the other ladies. They probably have much more profound quotes than me. LOL. But no one is surprised. No. One.

Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica Jarman  |  Gwendolyn Cease

 Kayleigh Jones  |  Jessica De La Rosa  |  Kellie St. James

PICTURE FLASH FICTION ~ JUNE

How is it June already? Usually I’m counting the days until summer vacation. This year…it’s flying by. So much to do. So much happening. And the first of the month means it’s another — A picture’s worth a 1000 words flash fiction post. This month, it’s an interesting photo. Where on earth do I go with a paper heart? Well, here goes. Might be another cop out month, lol. (that’s my way of saying I use it more as a prop that the characters have, lol.) And yup, it’s official. This month’s story… felt nothing folks. Zip. Zero. Nada. The big enchilada. Buttkiss. NOTHING. So I went back to Graeme and Ryan from January. I tried, people. I tried.

06-2015 - PaperHeart

 

“Bloody time you got here. I fucking called you damn near an hour ago.”

Graeme James ran his fingers through his hair, doing his best not to yank Ryan inside by his damn shirt. Despite the fact his buddy always seemed to pull his ass out of the fire, Graeme wasn’t sure there was any escape this time.

Ryan cocked his eyebrow. “Bro. You need to relax. Seriously.” He pointed to Graeme’s head. “Your muscle’s popping out of your damn temple.”

“Relax? Bailey’s going to kill me, let alone walk out the damn door.”

Finally, the man walked into the foyer, chuckling as he went.

Graeme dragged in a deep breath and held it before slowly pushing it out. “Not sure why you think me losing Bailey is funny, but—”

“What’s funny is that you think anything you did here is going to drive Bailey away. She’s so in love with you, you could burn the damn house down and she’d sit beside you roasting marshmallows.”

Graeme frowned. “It’s not the house I’m concerned about.”

Ryan grinned, but it faded. He stepped closer, snagging Graeme’s arm. “Graeme? Bro, you okay? I was just joking…”

Graeme clenched his jaw. Shit just thinking about what had happened…what he’d done…

Ryan snapped his fingers in front of Graeme’s face. “Hey! You’re starting to actually scare me. What the fuck’s wrong?”

Bile burned Graeme’s gut. God, where did he even start? He exhaled, motioning to the adjoining hallway. Ryan furrowed his brow, following Graeme through the main floor.

Ryan whistled as he walked through the rooms. “Wow. This is some place. Going to be quite the catch once you two finish renovating it. In about ten years. But it’s got good bones. That’s really all that matters.” He nudged Graeme. “Is that what this is about? You two fight over what kind of flooring to put down? Is she having second thoughts about moving in when you haven’t…” He waved between them. “Made a firmer commitment?”

“No. We didn’t fight, and we already moved all her shit in last week. You know that.”

“Then why do you look like someone just ran over your dog?”

“Because when she finds out what the fuck happened…” He couldn’t say it. Couldn’t think about his future without her in it. Not after finally realizing she was more than just a girl he’d fallen in love with. She was his girl.

He stumbled over toward the fireplace, practically falling into one of the chairs placed in front. The legs creaked, the old wood giving slightly against his weight. Maybe she really would just kill him, and he wouldn’t have to worry about living without her.

Ryan padded across the floor, stopping in front of him. “Did you sleep with someone else?”

“What? God, no! Why would I sleep with another woman when I have Bailey in my bed? Fuck. I’m not stupid or blind.” Graeme shook his head. “I’d never hurt her like that. Shit, I barely realize there are other women. I’m the one who’s lovesick to the point of it being obnoxious. Don’t think I don’t know that.”

“Did you kill someone? Are you going to jail?” Ryan kicked at Graeme’s feet. “Did you finally punch her douche of a brother in the face?”

Graeme merely glared at his friend. This wasn’t funny.

Ryan sighed. “If it’s none of those, I’m pretty damn sure it can be fixed.”

“That’s because you’re a guy. We always think things can be fixed. But girls… Damn, they don’t think like us. It’s all about feelings and deciphering what they really want.”

“Just tell me. We’ll go from there.”

Graeme bowed his head, pointing at the fireplace. “That. That’s what I did, God…”

Ryan moved over to the wall, crouching in front of the smooth stone mantle. He grabbed a poker then shifted through the ashes in the bottom. “You lit a fire without her?”

“No, jackass. It’s what I put in the fire. By accident. It got caught up with some old drawings I was getting rid of. Shit, I didn’t even realize it was in there until it was too late.”

Ryan glanced at him over his shoulder. “You do know I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about, right? What did you burn that’s going to have Bailey packing her bags?”

“Her thesis.”

Ryan coughed. “Her…thesis?”

Graeme could only nod before cradling his head in his hands.

Ryan cleared his throat. “Okay. So you ruined some papers. She’d already been graded, though, right? I mean, essentially, she doesn’t really need it anymore.”

“You do know how long she worked on that! I’d promised to frame the last page. She was going to put in her office.”

“It’s shitty, but…bro. She won’t leave you over that.”

“It’s worse.” He shook his head. “It was the last thing her mother saw before she died last month. She even wrote Bailey a message on it…telling her how proud she was. How she’d always known her little girl would go places. And I fucking burnt it.”

“By accident, Graeme. These things happen.”

“No. They don’t. Not if you’re careful. Considerate. But, Christ, between work, the renovations…I’m so tired I didn’t stop to check what was on the desk just grabbed all the papers and tossed them in.”

Ryan shuffled over to him. “Maybe we can salvage something. Did you check?”

“First thing I did.” He held up a small chunk of paper. “This is all that’s left.”

Footsteps sounded behind them before a voice wavered through the room. “What’s all that’s left?”

Graeme’s breath hitched as he twisted toward the doorway. Bailey stood in the threshold, bag slung over one shoulder, her pretty face watching him. She’d taken her hair out of the fancy braid she’d had it in when she’d left, the thick auburn tresses cascading over her shoulders and down her back. It must have started raining, drops of water still clinging to her gray jacket.

She moved toward them, stopping a few feet away as her gaze swung between them. The easy smile she’d had slowly faded as her focus dropped to the tattered offering in his hand. “Babe? Everything okay? You look…upset.”

Graeme pushed out of the chair, closing the scant distance as he took her in his arms, holding her close. The sweet scent of her perfume mixed with the fresh aroma of the rain, the combination making his head spin. She’d always felt so right in his arms, and he’d never questioned that she belonged there.

He buried his face against the side of her head, breathing her in until she pushed at him, forcing him back. His gaze fell to hers, the hint of fear in her eyes impossible to miss.

She ran her thumb along his jaw, brow pulled into a vee. “Graeme? What’s wrong? Why is Ryan poking around in the ashes?”

Graeme swallowed past the lump in his throat, certain he’d gag at any second. “Because he’s my best friend and he’s trying to help.”

“Help with what?” She raised his chin when he tried to look down. “Babe. Just talk to me.”

He firmed his jaw, not quite sure what to say when Ryan moved over to them.

“He burned your thesis.” Ryan held up his hands. “By accident. It got caught up with some other papers, and he called me because he doesn’t want to lose you.”

Some of the color drained from her face as she took a step back, her attention shifting from them over to the fireplace and back. “You burned my thesis?”

Graeme stepped forward. “I know. But I swear…I didn’t mean to. It’s like Ryan said. It was an accident and…” He sighed. “And…it doesn’t matter because it’s irreplaceable. I know that. I lost that message from your mom. Your handwritten words of recommendation. Everything.” He held out his palm. “This was all that I could save. But the words are just indiscernible lines, now.” He toed at the floor. “I’m so sorry. If you want me to leave…”

Bailey looked down, worrying her bottom lip as she took the small piece of paper out of his hand. Shit, it wasn’t anything remotely important. Not even a single word on the scrap. Just a charred chunk of her treasured masterpiece. She studied it, glancing at Ryan before finally meeting his gaze.

Her face seemed void of any emotion until a small grin lifted the corner of her mouth. It flourished into a stunning smile as she shook her head. “Did you really think I’d end everything we have over this?”

Confusion swam through his brain, making his vision dim slightly. “But…it meant the world to you. It was a connection to your mom—all that hard work…”

She sighed. “Men. Yes, in a perfect world, I would have framed the important pages of it. Kept the rest as a reminder of what I did to get where I am. As a symbol of my mom, but… Jesus, Graeme. You’re my future. My life. This is the past. And my mom’s memory is more than some words scribbled on a page.” She tapped her chest. “She’s here. All those times she picked me up from school, or kissed a scraped knee. How she used to check under the bed for monsters, or find a way to get me that special dress I wanted, even though my dad had said no.” She inched forward. “The kiss she gave me the last time I saw her.”

“But…” He stared at her. Fuck if he knew what to say.

“Besides, you saved the best part.”

“Best part? Sweetheart, I hate to burst your bubble, but it’s just a charred piece of paper. It doesn’t even have any words on it.”

“It’s not what it says, it’s how it’s shaped.” She held it up. “I’d say it’s perfect. Don’t tell me you hadn’t noticed that it’s a heart.”

He looked at it. “Um…”

She laughed, placing the item back in his hand. “I can put this in with my certificate. As a keepsake. Now, how about we order pizza? I assume Ryan’s staying.”

Graeme gaped after her as she pulled out her phone, turning away once it’d connected. She rattled off an order, smiling back at him. He turned to Ryan, but his buddy merely shrugged.  Graeme stared down at the paper then smiled. Yup, he’d never quite understand women, but damn if he was going to question it.

 

That’s the best I got. Just didn’t feel this month, but…college try and all that. Now check out the other lovely ladies and their amazing interpretation of the photo.

Jessica Jarman  |  Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica De La Rosa

Kellie St. James  |  Kayleigh Jones