Wednesday, December 18, 2013

To Whom it May Concern

Today's muse: Three Word Wednesday

Today's words are: combative, represent, sluggish

* * *

To Whom It May Concern

Dear Lover:

Dear Husband:

Dear Friend:

Dear Stranger:

Every question I ask, every suggestion I make, is met with a combative response from you. When did our marriage become so hostile?

I don’t question it’s my fault. It always is; I know this and I’m the first to admit it. Though I try to fix it, you won’t have anything to do with the solution. Your response is nothing more than a sluggish grunt at best; most often you ignore me.

I no longer laugh with you. I don’t share my day. I don’t ask about yours. Have you even noticed? The rare times I let down my guard and dare to share a morsel of my life, you either ignore me, or worse—so much worse—you feign interest.

So I withdraw. This letter represents my white flag. I surrender. You win. I am too tired to fight this war.

And if anyone asks, I will only give my name, rank and serial number.

Jane Doe. Broken Wife. Zero.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

For Matthew

Today's muse: After twelve years in funeral service and being married to an undertaker, the death of a friend still hurts.

* * *

For Matthew

I was told today that a friend chose to take his own life on Friday.

Admittedly, we’re not close friends. After all, if we were, I would have known before today. In my heart, I know there is little I could have done to prevent this, but it still saddens me. Matthew was a vibrant spirit, always smiling, always laughing. I keep thinking I could have talked to him, I could have listened.

He pronounced my name the way my father does, and I knew then, he was a fellow French Canadian. From that moment, our conversations were in French.

Tall and lanky, he had sandy hair that hung past his shoulders, usually pulled back in a neat tail. I saw him shortly after he cut it all off, saddened that he’d lost his Surfer Dude look. Coincidentally, just days before, I had also cut off all mine. When we saw each other, we laughed and had a great conversation about how liberated we now were, which quickly evolved into a serious discussion on shampoo volume and conditioner. Most conversations deviated to trash talk and harmless flirting, though we both knew I wasn’t his type.

I know the colours aren’t as bright today, and I don’t imagine they will be for a while, but I know the next time I see a rainbow, it will be Matthew, telling me all is well.

While he was with us, he may have felt pain, and perhaps his scars never quite healed, but I am confident he is happy in Summerland and look forward to seeing him again, when it is my time.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Paper Flowers

Today's muse:

I am a legal secretary with a large law firm. One of the reasons I like working here is that the firm promotes the creativity of its employees. For instance, Re: the magazine is published twice a year, available to all employees worldwide as well as our clients. The publication showcases the diversity of talent within our firm: philanthropists, world travellers, photographers and writers.

Issue 4 had a writing competition. Using the three words provided (earth, spring, paper), write exactly one hundred words (no more, no less...we are a law firm, after all).

My submission, Paper Flowers, is the featured story in Issue 5.

Click on the link to view the full publication (I think the editor selected the perfect picture to accompany it) and read other published prose.

Re:, Issue 5, page 54

* * *

Paper Flowers

Evelyn Fischer visits her son every day; shows up each morning with a basket of fresh flowers and her best trowel. As she tends his tiny garden, Evelyn updates Nathan with family news.

Prattling on about his daughter’s new tooth and his son’s school recital, she yanks out weeds that seem to spring up overnight. She digs shallow craters in the moist earth, then selects new buds from her basket and replaces every bloom.

I asked her once why she wastes her time planting paper flowers.

Her milky, grey eyes shifted to mine.

“Because they can’t die,” she said.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Red Handed

I've been sitting on this for a while. I can't even remember what the prompt was, but I'm sure it was related to a bad day.

* * *

Red Handed 

He took the scenic route home, stopped at three different pharmacies and one liquor store. As an afterthought, Nate pulled into the convenience store next to his complex. He hadn’t smoked in years, but he needed one tonight.

That and a fucking drink.

Balancing too many paper bags filled with bottles, he managed to unlock the door to his unit, let the door click shut behind him. Without taking off his shoes, Nate went to the kitchen, set the bags on the counter.

With meticulous care, he lined up every bottle on the counter, adjusting them so their labels faced forward, arranged in size from Jack Daniels to prescription cylinder.

He wasn’t a religious man, but he was well aware that taking a life had repercussions. If you believed the Christians—and he couldn’t say he did—you had to know that if you weren’t punished in this life, there would be hell to pay in the next.

Well, he wouldn’t be the only one punished, that was for damn sure. After all, he wasn’t the one found in a compromising position.

Last night, he’d stood frozen in the doorway of his bedroom—their bedroom—unable to speak, unable to move. He watched the scene unfold before him, as though his eyes were propped open in some horrid aversion therapy. If only Beethoven’s Ninth were playing, it would have drowned out the sickening slap of skin against skin.

Instead, he was transfixed, eyes locked on the two of them: Amanda with her face pressed into the feather pillow, perfect round ass up in the air, and Phil—his best friend since middle school—ramming into her from behind.

Nate twisted open the child-proof pill bottles, cracked open the bottles of whiskey. He threw back a shot of Jack.

Better. Downed another. Much better.

He poured the pills out onto the kitchen table, pushed them around, making intricate designs. Taking another shot of JD, he rubbed one between his fingers, enjoyed how the smooth tablet rolled back and forth. Pulling apart the capsule, he let the powder trickle onto the table into a tiny rose-hued anthill. Too small, he thought, so he broke open a few more.

After staring at the scant pile, he decided on using all the pills. He wanted it to be quick. And final.

He poured the powder into the bottle of Wild Turkey. Any discoloration would be masked by the amber liquid. Not that it mattered, of course. There’s no question it would be consumed. He swept the empty capsules into his hand, took them to the bathroom and flushed them down the toilet. Less chance of resuscitation if they couldn’t find the source. He tossed the empty cylinders into the trash and dropped the bag down the garbage chute.

He was just about to pour himself another shot of Jack when he heard the front door open.

“What the fuck are you doing here, Amanda?”

She stood in the doorway, the strap of her dress hanging off one shoulder, her lips curved up in invitation. “Can we talk?”

Not waiting for an answer, she pushed the door closed, brushed past him and breezed into the kitchen. She turned a pouty look at him. “You were partying without me?”

“Isn’t that what you were doing last night?”

She ran a finger down his chest. “Don’t be like that.” Her tongue flicked out, ran across her top lip. She hummed as her eyes dipped down to his mouth. “We can party together now.” She brushed against him and he could tell she wasn’t wearing a bra. Any other time, he’d have her spread on the kitchen table by now.

He gripped her arm. “Leave, Amanda.”

She spun away, the coy smile still playing on her painted lips. “Let’s have a drink.” She picked up the bottle of Wild Turkey. “You know this is my favourite.”

“It’s not for you.”

Her perfectly shaped brow arched up. “Really?” She glanced around the kitchen. “You’re expecting someone else?”

No, he wasn’t, but that wasn’t the point. “Just leave, Amanda. I want to drink alone.”

“Oh, baby. You don’t need to be alone. I had a moment of weakness. Let me show you how sorry I am.” She pressed against him and his traitorous cock responded. Her grin was triumphant. “See, everyone wants to party.”

She nipped at his jaw then stepped away to unscrew the bottle. She poured a shot, lifted it. “Cheers.”

“Amanda, don’t.” He was sure he said the words out loud, was certain he lunged forward to smack the glass out of her hand.

Instead, her eyes grew wide with shock and comprehension when she tossed back the shot, then she slumped to the floor.

Well, he thought, that was much easier than planned.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Closed Doors

I'm spending most of my time finishing my novel, and I feel guilty that I haven't been writing here. I thought if I started a new series, it will motivate me.

Alex's series is inspired by a true, on-going story (not mine). I don't know how it will end (neither does Alex*), but I hope I can write a happy ending for her.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty.

* * *

Closed Doors

Glancing at her watch, Alex noted she had two hours before she had to pick up the boys from school. They both had basketball practice tonight, then she was dropping off Jason for a sleepover at Wayne’s, and taking Simon to stay over at Ethan’s.

Finally a quiet night, she thought as she unloaded the dryer, just her and Ken.

And maybe—oh, please god—they’d have sex. She couldn’t remember the last time Ken had been interested. Then again, it’s not like he was home much.

He stayed late most evenings, went into the office on the weekend. His job was demanding, but money was tight, so the raise that came with this new position was a welcome relief. Maybe they’d stop arguing about money. Then again, they’d been arguing so damn long, she didn’t know if they knew how to play nice.

She folded gym shorts, paired sweat socks. She could remember a faraway time when they were each other’s best friend. They stayed up late just holding hands, knew what the other was thinking.

What happened? she wondered.

Ken had called to this morning to say he wanted to talk. Good. So did she. The kids would be finishing high school soon. They could start planning their retirement to Arizona, buy that RV they wanted, just spend some time getting to know each other again. They would snuggle on the sofa, plan their future. And things would be better. She knew it would. It always was.

Alex swung the laundry basket onto her hip, went upstairs. She was in Jason’s room when she heard the front door open then close.

“In here,” she called out.

When Ken stood in the doorway, she looked up at him, her face already smiling, looking forward to a romantic weekend.

Her lips sagged when he didn’t smile back.

“What?” she said. The moment the word left her mouth, she regretted saying them. Later, she’d ask herself what would have happened if she hadn’t asked?

Ken reached out, gripped the door handle until his knuckles turned white.

“I want a divorce,” he said.

Without giving her a chance to reply, he closed the door behind him.

Alex stood in their oldest son’s bedroom, a pair of balled socks in one hand. Through the deafening thunder in her ears, she heard the front door slam shut.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Today's muse:

Just came back from Vegas. It's beautiful and sad; a study in spiritual contrast.

* * *


The bright lights of The Strip focus on nubile women who undulate and weave among firm, muscled men; spotlighting tight bodies that press against one another in unbridled invitation.

The delicate tinkle of laughter floats through the night sky and wraps around you, caresses and fondles, until you are giddy with need. The steady hum of voices is like a lover’s throaty promise against your ear. You ache to reach out, hold it close and pull it inside, ride it until you reach the summit.

Sex and greed is what most come to see. Vegas is careful to hold its lights away from the shadows. It never penetrates the fog where its homeless souls reside. Lined, leathered faces relay stories that no tour guide will sell. At one time, they strolled with the beautiful people; now they slither among the fallen, clutching handwritten cardboard signs that plead for money and salvation.

But it’s the eerie snap of cardboard that drags you back to reality, slams you down to earth and tears away the veil. The flick of fingers on photos: pictures of beautifully airbrushed women with breasts molded by gods, their taut nipples strategically covered with pretty stars.

Or not.

Mute Barkers, capture attention with a practiced snap that releases a high-pitched crack. From one man to another, the hand-over is discreet, with barely a knowing nod. And in the privacy of an over-priced hotel room, you flip through the stack, like coveted baseball cards, while the lights of The Strip taunt you through the hotel window.

Got it. Had it. Want it. Need it.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Today's muse:

I grew up in a small town. Though it now has a liquor store (maybe more than one), it was a dry town then. And we did have a contact who'd hook us up if we needed a two-four for a party. I'm pretty sure he was harmless. Then again, I did move away quite some time ago...

* * *


It’s a dry town; the closest liquor store is a twenty-minute drive. Not at all conducive to spontaneous field parties. But if you know Mr. Fischer, and you slip him a carton of Belvedere, he’ll set you up with a two-four of Canadian. Even trade.

“Just don’t tell your dad,” he says every time, as he steals a glance over his shoulder, as though he expects to see someone’s father standing right behind him. “If he finds out, he’ll kill me.”

The way Mr. Fischer talks, you’d think our tiny hamlet is populated with serial killers. Everyone is out to kill him.

“We won’t say a word, Mr. Fischer.” It’s the same promise from every one of us. After all, who are we going to tell? Old Man Fischer is our local LCBO.

He hooked me up with a bottle of white wine last month when I turned seventeen. It got me to second base with Angela Watson; probably would have made home plate if her dad hadn’t caught us.

I took her out to Miller’s Pond that night; took the paved road that runs east off the two-lane highway. It veers north and eventually becomes a dirt road. Just before you get to the pond, well before the road ends, there’s a narrow lane that disappears behind a thick stand of trees. I drove my Impala back there, barely had it in park before Angela crawled across the bench seat and straddled my lap.

Soft curves filled my hands, hard lips devoured mine. She rocked against me as the music screamed out of the speakers and our heat fogged the windows.

If I’d been thinking, if every drop of blood in my brain wasn’t then residing in my cock, I might have heard the car, might have noticed the headlights.

My door opened and Mr. Watson’s beefy hand grabbed Angela’s arm and yanked her out. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the rage in his eyes, how he threatened me, threatened Angela, hell, he even threatened Old Man Fischer when he found out he was the one who’d supplied us with the booze.

Hey, come to think of it, I haven’t seen Mr. Fischer in a few days.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Like Vacation

True story!

As they say, truth is stranger than fiction. And my friends will attest that I'll talk to just about anyone.

Like Vacation

Standing at the café counter, waiting for my coffee and danish, I listen to the sound system play a catchy Gypsy Kings tune. It spirals me back to my recent Mexican vacation.  My hips take on a life of their own and cha-cha-cha to the music.

The man in line beside me laughs and I turn to him, cha-cha-cha-ing, eyes wide, big smile: “It’s just like being on vacation!”

His smile disappears and he growls: “No it is not!”

“You’re right,” I say, glancing at my watch, “it’s ten o'clock in the morning. If I was on vacation, I’d have a drink in my hand.”

He points his finger-gun at me. “Exactly!”

He appears angry as he scoops up his take-away coffee and marches off. I feel a wave of pity for him, until I see his hips sway.

He looks back and smiles.

Baile, señor! Baile!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Today's muse: One Minute Writer

Today's prompt: Exercise

* * *

I look down at the digital numbers. I want to believe the scale is broken, but I know it’s not.

I sigh and leave the bathroom. I find my husband in the den, reclining on the sofa. “We need to start exercising,” I announce.

He bolts up. “What?” He has a look of horror on his face; as though I’ve just announced that I birthed a giraffe and I plan to name it Darryl. “Why?”

I pat my hips. “Are you kidding? Look at us. We need to start jogging.”

Jogging. Final answer.

He flicks his hand, lays back on the sofa. “I don’t think so.”

“Why not?”

“Why in the world would anyone want to run if they weren’t being chased?”

Oh. Good point.

I sit beside him on the sofa. “Pass the chips.”

Thursday, April 18, 2013



Over the years, I have managed to convince myself that my life is much better than it would have been had I made a different decision. I was at the beginning of a great journey, aching to discover unseen worlds, and you were going to change everything—be in the way.

I couldn't hold onto you. And yet, I couldn't let you be with anyone else.

I will always wonder if I was selfish to end your voyage before it even began. After all, another family would have loved you just as much.

Maybe more.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

It's About Me

We all have people in our lives that annoy us to no end. I have a few. Too many, some might say.

* * *

It's About Me

Your jaw has expanded to mammoth proportions, simply to allow you to speak out both sides. We've paid the contractor a premium to widen the door jams, which should make it easier for you to walk around with your enormous ego.

Contrary to what you may think, the sun doesn’t shine out your ass; though it may balance quite well on the stick you have rammed up there.

You are not all that, nor are you a bag of chips (though, if you were, you'd be sour-cream-and-onion...I hate sour-cream-and-onion).

Get over yourself, honey--it’s not all about you.

Everyone knows it’s about me.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Colour 101.3

Part three of three in the Colour saga. All can't make up this kind of stuff!

No doubt, one day, there will be a part four. Most likely a part five.

* * *

Colour 101.3

Killing time while waiting for a car part for my Honda Civic Si, we wander through the show room, admiring the shiny colours and gleaming chrome of my Honda's brothers and sisters.

It isn't long before a salesman pounces on us like a feral cat.

“Is there something I can show you?” he asks, all but wringing his hands.

I wander over to a CRV and admire the colour.

“It’s a wonderful shade of blue,” I breathe.

My husband lays a hand on my shoulder and, in an apologetic tone, says to the salesman: “She’s colour blind.”

I throw him a questioning look and he says, in a tone reserved for explaining difficult concepts to children, “It’s green, dear.”


The salesman stares at me, forces his lips into a shallow smile. His pasty face shifts into an expression of solemn pity, as though my inability to differentiate between green and blue is a tragic handicap that will diminish my quality of life.

"Too, bad," I say to Chris. "If only it were blue."

Knowing the ruse, Chris plays along.

He shrugs. "Maybe next time." And he leads me away to the parts counter.

I glance back, and Mr. Slick's smile is now a thin line.

"Blue that, buddy."

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Colour 101.2

Hand-to-god...true story.

Part two of three.

* * *

Colour 101.2

My high school art teacher was eccentric. That's a nice way of saying he was a lunatic.

I'm not being disrespectful. I adored him. As did most of his students. We still do. I think all artists should be a little crazy. Perhaps not to the extreme of hacking off your ear and mailing it to a hooker, but a little looney is good.

Mr. Blaise would wander around the classroom, winding his way around desks and students. He'd stop by my easel and exclaim, in his lisp: “The trees, the trees…they speak to me!”

It didn’t surprise me that he’d get a woody, as it were, over the trees. He was, after all, a crazy artist. I didn’t think much of it at the time.

But after discovering, quite by accident, that I am colour blind, I pulled out my high school art portfolio, and sifted through some old paintings. It was clear why Mr. Blaise was so excited about my work.

All my trees were painted varying shades of blue.

Turns out, I've been doing this since I was a kid. All the trees in my colouring books: blue. All the trees finger painted (wearing one of my dad's old work shirts as a smock) in Mrs. Van Dyke's Grade One class: blue.

I was stunned. Why hadn't anyone said anything?

I asked my mother why she and my dad didn't tell me I was colouring all my trees blue.

She gave me an absent pat on the head.

"We thought you were just being creative, dear."

Monday, March 25, 2013

Colour 101.1

Hand-to-god...true story.

Part one of three.

* * *

Colour 101.1

In the waiting room of my doctor's office, I flip through a magazine.

He's running late. I'm running bored.

I turn to an article about colour blindness. It details the various degrees and facets of colour blindness, pointing out the different colours affected.

Hmmm. Interesting.

Imagine, I wonder, going through life, not seeing what everyone else sees. I am at once filled with sorrow for these pathetic people. How sad, I think.

The article closes with an Ishihara color test—a number, comprised of a series of coloured dots, embedded within a background of more coloured dots.

“If you can distinguish the number nine in the dots,” the article explains, “you have normal colour vision and are not colour blind.”

I scan the picture. Then I take a closer look. I analyze. Take an even closer look.

“What are they talking about?” I'm confused. “There’s no number nine.”

I pause. I reread the explanation; particularly the bit about seeing and not seing the number.


I read it again. I digest that.

"Oh shit."

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pit Stop

Today's muse: Three Word Wednesday

Today's words: edgy, iconic, lithe.

* * *

Sam wants to keep going, put a few more miles behind him, but guilt has won the battle.

Stupid Catholic upbringing.

His friends had told him about this place. It’s iconic, they’d said, you have to stop and stay a night, have a pint for us.


After checking in, leaving his bags in his room, Sam finds the pub on the main floor. This better be worth it, he thinks, as he settles at the bar.

“What can I get you?”

He’s pulled into smokey eyes and pouty lips painted a luscious Fuck-Me red. His gaze dips down to the low vee of a black halter, then back up. His brain sizzles and he says the first thing that comes to mind.

“It’s my birthday.”

The bartender smiles, tucks wavy auburn hair behind her ear. “Well, then it’s on the house. What’s your pleasure?”

Oh, he can think of several things right now. None of them are on tap.


She winks her approval, walks to the end of the bar to build his pint, hips swaying in invitation. He grins his appreciation, swivels to watch the band rocking it on stage. Bass pumps out of the speakers, edgy and raw, as bodies bump and grind against each other on the dance floor.

Red pushes a pint into his hand, brushes her fingers against his, flashes him an I-will-if-you-will smile before sashaying away.

Okay. Maybe this will be worth it.

He nurses his beer while she tends the bar. They flirt, each innuendo more implicit than the last, until they’re no longer exchanging suggestions but rather detailed descriptions of what each will do to the other.

“I have a room upstairs,” says Sam. “What time does your shift end?”

She calls over to one of the servers, unties her apron. “Hey, Andrea, cover for me.” She turns to him, flicks her head. “I’m on break.”

Sam fumbles with the key to his room, pushes the door open, kicks it shut behind him. Hungry, eager, they tear at each other’s clothes, claw and bite. Each mutters promises neither understand as they fall onto the bed.

His hands and mouth roam, search, tease, until her long, lithe body bucks beneath his while she chants his name and he pours into her.

Sam shifts so that she’s splayed on top of him.

“Sam,” she whispers. “I have to go.”

He groans, runs a calloused hand across her back. “Stay.”

She presses a kiss against his throat before rolling off. “I can’t.”

Naked, she walks around the room, gathering her clothes. After running a brush through her hair, she dresses, then leans over and presses a kiss on his mouth, leans in when he pushes his tongue between her lips. His hand slides under her skirt, cups her ass.

“Sam,” she groans against him. “I really have to go.”

She smooths her skirt, adjusts her halter, walks across the room and opens the door.


She turns.

“You didn’t give me your name.”

She smiles. “Happy Birthday, Sam,” she says, as she closes the door.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Pressure's On

I seldom write anything personal on this blog. This is where I vent in fiction, kill off the people I dislike.

But, perhaps this type of therapy isn't working. I've been home from work on stress leave for four weeks now. Numerous tests have shown my heart is healthy, despite the chest pains. It's stress, said my doctor. Stress is a powerful thing.

Don't I know it.

So, though I argued with him, he put his foot down and said a blood pressure reading of one-fifty-four over one hundred is not good. He's probably right. After all, he's the one with the degree.

Rest, he said. Take some time to regroup and get some perspective.


I go back to work tomorrow (today is a holiday in Ontario, and a few other provinces). I'm not sure how I feel about going back to work. Part of the issue is the hours I work which, I admit, is my own doing. I'm a firm believer in the adage: "If you want something done right, do it yourself." The problem is, in my office, this is often the case.

We do have people to help with the overflow, but I often have to redo the work, which defeats the purpose. It's not simply a matter of the work not being done to my standards (I can let that one go...most of the time), but the work is not done correctly. Which reflects on me, and my bosses.

I realize it's not about the work, it's a matter of health now. High blood pressure is a warning. I know this. I worked in funeral service for more than twelve years and I'm married to an undertaker. I know the end result. I've seen it many times.

So, new plan, starting tomorrow:

Limit my work day to eight hours.
Concentrate on finishing the first draft of Madison's Avenue.
As co-founder of The DRCC, organize the annual spring and winter craft shows.
Help look after my aging inlaws on the weekend.

And now that I've put that in writing, it still sounds daunting. The only difference to my normal routine is that I've cut my work day down to eight from the usual ten or twelve.

Maybe that will help. Maybe it won't.

How does the saying go? What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

Well, if I make it to my forty-seventh birthday, I'll be a fucking Amazon.

Hear me roar.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Standing Proud

Standing Proud

I have erectile dysfunction. There, I said it.

It’s surprising really, since I don’t have the appropriate appendage for such an affliction, what with being a girl, and all. Nonetheless, it seems I can’t get it up and need help doing so.

I’m not sure when it began, but apparently I’ve had this issue for years.

I am promised that my lack of performance will be the demise of my marriage. If I take their recommended medication, my self esteem will increase, my sex life will improve and my partner will be satisfied.

I didn't know he wasn't before, but who am I to say? After all, I can't get it up.

Well, I can't go through life, limp and hang-dogged, so to speak. So I'll just reply to one of these emails and see if I can't perk things up a bit...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mental Health Day

Mental Health Day

There were days—occurring with increasing frequency, she admitted—that she could barely muster the energy to shut off the screeching alarm, let alone get out of bed. Going to work was unthinkable. The medication didn’t seem to help, though she’d been taking it for months now.

She shifted under the covers, searching for that cool spot that would sooth her, if even for a moment.

In her mind, she practiced the message she’d leave at the office, working out today’s excuse for calling in sick.

I wonder, she thought, as the cold metal warmed in her hand, who will finish typing that proposal.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods

Blades of sunlight slash through the trees, brilliant swords that light our way as we stroll in the woods behind our house. Though our conversation is rather mundane—work, house, kids—the intimacy is there.

My breath catches when you reach over to brush my hair back, cup a hand behind my neck and rub your thumb along my cheek. My eyes try to tell you how much I ache to hold you again.

I know I can’t see you every day, and I know I won’t see you forever, but I will walk through our woods and hope that I see you again. Until then, I will visit you here and lay flowers by your stone and tell you I miss you.

Every day.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Beautiful Me

I know I've been away from this blog and I apologize to my faithful followers. I appreciate your patience while I focus my energy on finishing the first draft of Madison's Avenue. My goal is to complete the first draft by April, so it won't be much longer.

To relieve my guilt, I will cheat and post some old pieces I've been anxious to edit. And some pieces I've dug up on a long-forgotten memory stick.

* * *

Beautiful Me

"You either have looks or you have brains; few people have both."

This was something my mother often told me when I was younger. Though it was never said, I knew she meant I was gifted with both. She’s my mother—she’s supposed to say things like that, even though we both knew she was lying.

I, however, made the grave error of musing to my husband that she never did clarify which of these gifts were bestowed upon me.

Big mistake!

To this day, whenever I do something stupid (and believe me when I say that happens a lot) he turns to me, with his Serious Face, and says "You are so beautiful."

Monday, January 28, 2013

For Rent

Today's muse:

Not too long ago, I attended a Writescape retreat. It was a wonderful opportunity to focus on my book, which is why I've been away from this blog for so long. I've been spending all my free time writing, and have made great progress on Madison's Avenue. I'm on target to complete the first draft by April.

While on retreat, I attended a few workshops. One of the workshops prompted this piece.

* * *

For Rent

The landlord drops the keys into my hand.

“First and last,” she says, holding out her hand.

“Is it still what we discussed?”

Mrs. Gibson nods, thrusts her hand at me. I pass her a roll of bills wrapped with a red elastic band. She drops it into the front pocket of her apron and leaves, closing the door behind her.

She asked no questions, made no comment on my application. I like her.

The unit is tiny—not much larger than a small hotel room. A thin layer of dirt coats the worn wood floor. It is unmarred but for the isosceles groove that links door to bed to bathroom.

I follow the rut to the bed, ignore the dubious stains on the bare mattress. Peering beneath, I am comforted by the unblemished carpet of dust. No one else has hidden anything under the bed. It will be safe.

Two hinges drilled into the frame of the narrow closet to my right suggest that a door once protected its contents, but as most of my possessions will be stored under the bed, a door is pointless.

I take the rut to the bathroom, pause at the door. The white floor tile is pristine, chrome taps sparkle, and the shower curtain is free of soap-scum. Dainty lace curtains flutter at the narrow window above the sink—the only window in the entire unit.

I glance behind me at the dingy room, then back to the bathroom. I’m thankful that Joe sublet this unit. He was right: the bathroom cleans up quite well. No prints, no trace, no evidence.

I complete the triangle and follow the narrow groove to the door, reaching into my pocket for my wallet. I should pay Mrs. Gibson a little more for rent. After all, she doesn’t ask questions. And for guys like Joe and me, that quality in a landlord is priceless.