Archive | March 2017

Stuff

There will be an Imaginary Conversations, Part II, just not today. I am venturing into new territory with a racy/naughty/sexy short story with humor. I haven’t written a short story since Margaret Edwards’ Creative Writing class at UVM (Go, Cats, Go, except they got put up against Purdue in the first round of March Madness this year and were quickly gone. Basketball is a religion in Indiana. Whattayagonnado, ya know?) in 1981. Okay. 36 years between short stories (the two things I sold to Playgirl don’t count because they were short. Wicked short. And those were over a decade ago). That’s a lot of rust. Anyway, since I want this to be ready to offer as an e-book for Book Obsessed Babes (Jacksonville, FL April 8. I STILL HAVE 2 GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS!!!!), I need to focus. This story won’t write itself – the computers haven’t gotten that smart. Yet.

Speaking of upcoming short story, just remember the names “Patti” and “Ed.” Okay? Patti and Ed. Trust me, they are very busy imaginary people. The word count right now is 3379. How many in the final? I don’t know; it will take as many words as it takes to tell the story. I will say things are getting interesting.

I know I’ve promised you Liz Gardner’s story before Ty came along, and “The Baldie Chronicles” is under construction (and has been for some time), but it’s been fighting me tooth and nail. That’s the way it is with creative things; sometimes you are so inspired that you can work on a project for days and weeks on end, like Jack Kerouac and “On the Road” (although there may have been some drugs involved to make that happen), or sometimes, the Muse abandons you in favor of less difficult company (I can be a pain in the ass, I really can) which you end up envying when THEIR book soars to the tops of the charts and gets a big fat movie deal while you sit at home in your yoga pants with the big run in the butt and envy oozing out every pore. (You know damned right well your book is miles better if only people would read it, but that would involve getting out of the yoga pants and it’s almost time for “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Drives” anyway. Not to mention you THINK you may win the next Spider Solitaire game). Listen to “Luck Be A Lady Tonight.” Inspiration is as fickle as Lady Luck.

Luck Be a Lady Tonight (Like you can do better than Ol’ Blue Eyes?)

And that’s giving me ideas for another short story.

Let me tell you, while I’m talking about myself, and if you’re a fellow author who writes erotic things, I’ve found myself visiting websites and looking up terms that would make my mother roll over in her grave (Not my great aunts, though. Ruth and Loretta were cool. Marion still is). The shit that turns people on….I don’t even need George Takei for the “Oh, myyyy.” I was concerned about getting the logistics right. Not so much. Anything goes.

And finally, I want to offer 2 (two) General Admission tickets to Book Obsessed Babes in Jacksonville, FL, April 8 at the Omni Hotel. Trust me, Sheer Bliss Events puts on a great event.

I have to go see what Patti and Ed are up to.

Imaginary Conversation, Part I

She sat down across the table from me. It was a nice day and Dunkin Donuts had a bunch of empty tables outside. Her face was stony, like she was about to be interrogated by a cop after getting caught speeding. Ashley took her privilege seriously and I was not among those allowed to to violate it.

“Ashley,” I said.

“Lou,” she grunted.

“So how have you been?” I asked. “Haven’t hear from you in ages.”

She sneered. “You’re just saying that because I blocked you on Facebook.”

“Yeah, you did, ” I said. “Right sisterly of you. Remember that the next time you and Dina are telling your friends how important family is to you.” She looked uncomfortable. She deserved to.

“What do you want, Lou?”

“Must I necessarily have an ulterior motive? Maybe I was in the area and thought it would be nice to talk to my own sister.” She snorted. “That’s right, Ash. I forgot. That’s your M.O. Yours and Dina’s. Only time I ever heard from either one of you, there was something you wanted.” She looked uncomfortable again. “Funny how Mom and Dad thought we were all so tight. Or should have been.”

“Fuck you,” she said. She sipped her coffee. I continued. “Well, I do have an ulterior motive this time. I want my pictures.”

“Your what?”

“My pictures from Mom and Dad’s. The ones of me. They were in the hall. That’s what I want. My memories.”

I don’t care much for pictures of myself, but they were ones I liked: my baby picture, graduations, a publicity still from my work, Dudley the cat in my arms. I was out of touch with my mother when she passed, partly due to Ashley. The Facebook block took place a long time ago.

She shrugged. “I don’t know where they are.” She didn’t look me in the eye.  That was a lie. When you’ve known someone her entire life, you know her body language. Ashley never looked anyone in the eye when she was lying. If she was trying hard to sell it, she’d touch the person she was talking to. It always amazed me how quickly her demeanor would change from talking to our parents or people she liked to talking to those she didn’t. The smile, the flirtatious air would melt away and be replaced by a scowl and curt tone. I let the lie go for the moment.

“Well, that’s unfortunate.,” I said. “I really wanted those pictures. I like so few.”

“Try not eating so much. That might help.” She smirked.

I resisted the urge to punch her in the face. There it was. The old game. Bored fiyr year old goes out of her way to provoke the ten year old until the ten year old reacts. Then four year runs to Mom complaining that the ten year was being mean. Then five years old, six, seven, until I left home for college.

I smiled a tight smile.

“You can’t run to Mom anymore, Ash Hole,” I said. “So you can stop.”

She glared at me. I wasn’t playing her game. “Okay, so if there’s nothing else,” she started to rise.

“Oh, there’s plenty,” I said. “Sit your ass down.” She did.

“I’m not the asshole,” she said. “You were never nice to me. You’re lucky I’m so forgiving.”

I laughed. “Keep telling yourself that. You know, when someone says ‘I am forgiving or kind or able to laugh at myself,’ that’s the biggest clue that they aren’t. You’re so ‘forgiving’,” I emphasized the word, “that there were people at your wedding who didn’t know  you had a sister besides Dina.”

She looked startled. “Yeah,’ I said. “I know. You want the names?”

Ashley’s face flushed. She opened her mouth and closed it again. “I know,” I said. ‘There’s not a damned thing you can say about that.”

“While we’re on the subject of invitations and events, I noticed when I wasn’t invited to your thirtieth birthday party…”

“You were studying,” she said. “I didn’t want to interrupt you.” She wasn’t making eye contact. A lie, but I’d known for years it was a lie.

“That’s bullshit and we both know it,” I answered. I looked her straight in the eye. “Were you really good at hiding your hatred from Mom and Dad or they just didn’t care? Seems like they were always willing to go on vacation with you and Dina. Me, not so much.”

She shrugged. “I can’t help it if they liked me better.”

“Right,” I said, “despite Mom saying over and over again how she loved her children all the same, somehow you’ve come to the conclusion that she liked you better than any of us for no reason. Had nothing to do with you bullying us and then running to tell.” She glared at me. “Nah. Making us look bad and you the perpetual victim. No wonder you vote Republican. ”

I leaned towards her. “You know why I eat?” She shook her head. “Because I don’t do drugs and there are enough alcoholics in the family. Dina may not have as much weight, but boy, does she like her wine. Think the fact that two of you have been competing for ‘Best Daughter’ for over forty years has something to do with it? How’s that going now that Mom and Dad are dead?”

“Fuck you,” she said again. “You’re just jealous and bitter.”

“Jealous of what?’ I asked.

“Me. Everything. You’re fat. I’m not. You’re single and alone. I’m marred with kids. You’re a failure. I’m not. You’re just jealous.” She was looking me straight in the face.

I leaned back. “Actually, I’ve done a bunch of stuff with my life that would count as ‘bucket list’ if I had one. I’m not married because I’ve been surrounded by a bunch of examples of people who fought each other for control, who turned their self-loathing into ways to torment others, who found new and different ways to use the people around them in the name of family and make a big show of it  and were MIA when called upon, unless Dad was watching. Or could be told. As for no kids, you are the reason I don’t like children.”

“What?”

“You were petted and praised for bratty behavior. You had a potty mouth almost as soon as you could speak and Mom encouraged it by laughing and repeating it as ‘isn’t she cute?’ Dina and Joe would laugh when you said rude things, especially when you said them to me. If I fought back,  I ‘didn’t have a sense of humor’ or ‘don’t react. You’re older than she is. Act like it’ or ‘don’t ignore your sister. You two should be friends.’ I was forced into babysitting you, bathing with you, giving up my room because you wanted it, doing the household chores you didn’t want to to do, and you wonder why I don’t care for you very much.”

“Well you weren’t very nice to me, either.” Ashley was defiant. “You told me to go fuck myself.”

“You never gave me a moment’s peace,” I said. “I get a flood of bad memories when I smell baby powder. Or vanilla,  because you’d throw a tantrum if you didn’t get vanilla ice cream.”

“Poor you,” she said, “You suffered because you had to help care for your baby sister. So you weren’t the baby anymore. Boo fucking hoo.”

I took a breath. “You weren’t my child. I missed Drama Club rehearsals and parties because I had to watch you. You weren’t my child, but I had to give up my personal space, my time because of you. And as for being the baby, given the level of self-absorption you have, maybe I dodged a bullet.”

 

to be continued…

 

 

 

 

March 13, 2017

 I don’t have anything especially interesting or profound to say tonight (except that I still have tickets for Book Obsessed Babes on April 8 in Jacksonville, FL and For Love of Books and Florida in Sarasota on July 15).

On the “So are you actually writing?” front, I have written 2708 words on a short story that is funny and sexy. I want to have that ready for the author signings this year. And perhaps write a couple more short stories, the idea being an eventual bound collection.

I moved last November from North Florida to South Florida to be closer to friends. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. My life had been solitary and isolated up to that point: mostly living on my own or among people who weren’t all that friendly when the chips were down, at a distance from the office where I was working (when I was working) or, in the case of test driving, spending 8 hours driving 300 miles around Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties then going home to a house sit. The center of my group of friends was 20 some miles away in the San Fernando Valley. I discussed this with a friend (who is 1800 miles from me): the scariest thought was that if I had decided to end my life, I would succeed because there would be no one around to stop me except myself. Yeah. Unsettling.

 I’m not trying to be the most popular person (and I am who I am. I bite my tongue a lot, but still…) and I know there are people who I like a lot and respect to the utmost who think I’m a loudmouth and a fool and tolerate me, rather than enjoy my company. That’s okay. I still like and respect them. I know that my words are better received than myself. That’s cool (buy my books. Trust me, you’ll love them). I do not suffer fools well. Nevertheless, I need human contact.

Since my move, I am part of a group of 7 people who get together on Saturday nights for dinner and some of us go for a walk at night at the local park. It’s wonderful.

I’ve reconnected with a friend from 25 years ago and she is still as warm and wonderful as she was then. My friend, Catalina Egan, known to you bookworms as M.C.V. Egan, is close enough that we can get together and do stuff. Author stuff, metaphysical stuff, just plain stuff. It’s excellent.

My soul, which had been withering a bit, is blossoming. I am grateful to be in this location, in this circle, in this situation. I am at peace in my life. And that’s where we all should go.

Peace and love and all that jazz

Peace and love and all that jazz

Somebody: free tickets! C’mon!

Ya Gotta Roll With the Punches

First off, I found this in the spam comments:

“Hi, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility
issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening
in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.”

Simple solution: join the 21st century and ditch Internet Explorer.

I’ve had some interesting days this week, including yesterday. Especially yesterday. I attended a presentation by the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA. No skills with hoops required. I have none). I get home, it’s late (10 PM. My day starts early), I’m getting ready for bed and Facebook Messenger pops up.

“Are you ready?”

For…?

Turns out, I’d forgotten that I had a slot in the For Love of Books and Florida 2017 author takeover and my turn was up in 3 minutes. Trust me: you’ve never seen a middle-aged fat woman move faster.

Thank God for modern technology. I did the whole half-hour in my jammies and nobody knew until now.

 

Anyway, that’s the story. I still have general admission tickets for Book Obsessed Babes (Jacksonville) on April 8 and For Love of Books and Florida (Sarasota) on July 15. Hit me up.

Bobase Jax 17 For Love of Books July 2017 Sarasota