Happy Anti-Valentine's Day, Everyone! Join the party over at The Faux Fountain Pen with Sarah Foster and bring your muse.
Me: Hi Sarah! How are you? And Jordan? How's it going? Clyde has something he wants to give you guys. He'll be here in a jif. He just had to park down the street a bit, because his fishing boat is hitched to his truck.
Clyde (running up to the door carrying a large box): Howdy folks! Sorry about the last party. I broke one of yer lamps. Completely by accident, I swear.
Me: While table-dancing in a hula skirt if I remember correctly--
Clyde: Well, at least I wasn't holding up the wall the entire time, Violet! And no wonder. Who's gonna ask you to dance when you're wearing yet another Life Is Good t-shirt and jeans?
Me: Well at least my shirt is pink. The only red you got going is those ketchup stains on your flannel shirt.
Clyde: I'll have you know this is my best flannel shirt. Here Sarah, (ripping open box and letting loose a million styrofoam peanuts into the room), you're gonna love this.
Me: The leg lamp from A Christmas Story? I'm speechless, Clyde.
Clyde: It's a collector's item, Delores Downer! And one heck of a lot better than those worthless bricks of candy you brought.
Me: Ghirardelli chocolates with caramel are delicious, you backwater bumpkin. You just can't chew them without losing your dentures.
Clyde: I don't have dentures!
Me (twitching my nose like Samantha from Bewitched): Actually, you do. Consider them my Valentine's Day gift to you.
Clyde (giving me the finger): And here's mine to you, Doll-face.
Me: Wow! Now that's romantic!
Clyde (grinning and nearly knocking me over with an over enthusiastic elbow in the ribs): Speaking of romance, why don't we make sure everyone's got a drink and play Spin the Bottle, the fun way.
Me: I almost too scared to ask.
Clyde: It's simple, Simone. You spin the bottle and whoever it points too, you switch drinks and take a swig. Anyone spits, they're out. I always top my beer off with a cup of milk just to make thing interesting.
Me: Um, I think I'll pass. That game would spread germs faster than a rabid rhesus monkey with diarrhea.
Clyde: Talking about a pet of yours, Priscilla?
Me: Ha! With a muse like you, who needs pets?
Clyde: Hey? Wait! (Picks up a handful of styrofoam peanuts and crumbles them). Look! I made confetti! Easter's right around the block. How about the Confetti Egg Game? Where you going?
Me: Home! I need to start writing letters of apology to our host and the other guests. This is going to be a long night.
Clyde grew up in Honea Path, SC, back when color
TV was a big deal. His mom was first a schoolteacher and later principal of
Whitehall Elementary, his father was in the armed services, and his older
brother Dillan, or Dill, used to (in his words, not mine) beat the p*** out of
him. He's rude, crude, and totally uncalled for, but as a muse, he does a great job at kicking me in the tail when I need it.
Ready to unleash your fears or celebrate your writing triumphs? Join us at the IWSG, rock out with Ninja Captain Alex, and let 'er rip!
Ever had one of those weeks when everything happens at once? That's been my week so far. Sunday I was a bleary-eyed mess, having stayed up until 2:30 that morning for my daughter's cast party. She was a villager in her middle school's production of Shrek, The Musical and Saturday night was the final show. Wow, what a performance! What an experience! Here she is with (left to right): Fiona, Donkey, Gingie, Fairy Godmother, Shrek, Lord Farquaad (show stealer), young Fiona, and the Dragon:
As a cast member parent and volunteer, this activity consumed our lives for the past two weeks, but it was worth it.
Also on Sunday, the authors included in the upcoming IWSG Parallels anthology started an email frenzy over marketing ideas. (Thank you, Hart, for taking the initiative.) This necessary work got me both excited and nervous at the same time.
And I received several emails from my publisher. Over the past couple of years, Wormhole Electric has published nine of my stories ranging in length from 4K to over 20K. Now they're moving on to other pursuits and sent my books and covers back to me. On Monday, the stories vanished from Amazon, releasing a dreadful feeling of panic in my gut even though I knew it was coming. My first reaction: must repost, STAT!
But hang on. Besides panic, there is also a feeling of power. I can do anything I want with these stories. For the two collections Wormhole published, I could rearrange the order, put in more stories, or take some out. Yes, it's going to take some work, redoing the covers and figuring out how to post, but there are so many options to consider. Can I do it? (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.)
His hair was the first thing she noticed. It made him look
like a cartoon character, those curly yellow locks springing out in all
directions. Yet who was she to judge? She’d been submitting to a four-hour
spiral perm for her own blond tresses for years. In terms of hair, they would
have made a perfect match.
His flirtation embarrassed her in the beginning. She ignored
his calls from the lift where he was hanging Christmas lights. He was one of a
dozen temporary workers hired to string lights through the zoo. She was the
penguin keeper. Others working in the birdhouse teased her about it. Told her
he was “cute”.
After a bit of time, she noticed his face, realized her
co-workers were on to something. She began to say “Hi.” Quick conversations
followed, smiles exchanged. She’d look for the lift on the way to lunch. He’d duck into the
audience to watch her during penguin feeding time.
One cold December eve, he invited her to “make the rounds”
with him as he walked through the zoo, checking lights. Someone asked him if she
was his girlfriend. She laughed too loud at this and regretted the strident caw
of her voice. He said someone else was his girlfriend, and she regretted this
more. It felt like a betrayal. What was she doing here? Why had he asked her to
Yet the flirtation continued and one day he met her outside
the birdhouse with a small, green sprig in his hand. Mistletoe, he claimed.
Then he leaped at the tall set of wooden doors to the birdhouse and it caught
somehow, wedged tight into the carvings there. She held his eyes as long as she
dared, but there was no kiss.
Soon after, the season of lights was done, the workers
released. She’d look up at the sprig still stuck above the door and wonder if
she should have tried harder to make something happen.