Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Push play and enjoy while you read. It's relevant, I promise.

Today I want to tell you about the first time I ever went to California. Daddy was a cop. We didn’t have lot of money. Family vacations were normally spent fishing up in Minnesota (I already told you the ‘walrus’ story about my mother) and we did take one Route 66 vacation to the Southwest. I’ll tell you about it one day. There was no Disneyland vacation in my childhood, but I’ll bet you’re not surprised.

The first time I went to California I was an adult, kinda, living in Colorado. This trip started out as a long lazy, camping through the desert, trek. We were in Telluride, Colorado. Our tent was set up on a mountainside somewhere and we headed into town to meet some friends who used to live in Breckenridge. I had to make a call and went from the bar were we met our friends to another bar across the street that had a pay phone in back (yeah you heard me right, a pay phone). When I made my call, I got some really bad news. So bad, in fact, that my friends found me sitting on the floor underneath this pay phone, quite literally rolled up in a ball. So, being really good friends they took me back to the first bar where I proceeded to get drunker than I have ever been in my life. I came to the next morning in that tent on the mountainside, wishing I had died.

I’m not sure how but I managed to help ‘break camp’ and load up the car then we headed for Chicago (due to my bad news) by way of Los Angeles. Ok, now I know you’re confused, but this is my story about the first time I was in California, not the bad news, or the trip to Chicago, maybe I’ll tell that another time, not today. Let it suffice to say there was something I had to pick up in California and take to Chicago with me. So the trip to Chicago had to be made the long way around. Oh, there was one more thing, I had to be in Chicago within three days time.

Anyway…we drove straight through from Telluride to Los Angeles. Our little car had no air conditioning (are you kidding me? I lived at 9600 feet above sea level, you don’t need no stinkin’ air conditioning there) we drove through the desert at night where the temperature dropped to about 130 degrees. I think I was still hung over and trying to sleep. I was leaning against the center console with my feet propped out the passenger side window, wearing some little sundress. It was early morning, you know how it can be on the west coast, warm, muggy and kind of grey foggy all over. I wake up to the vroom, vroom sound of some jet engine and look out the window at the undercarriage of a monster truck with ‘The Boss’ screaming 'Born to Run' out of the stereo. This guy looks down and under my carriage, I’m sure. He smiles and says ‘Welcome to L.A.’

That’s it. The first time I went to California. I picked up what I need to and within five hours we were on our way to Chicago.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Resulting in the Truth...

Well folks the waiting is over. The results are in for Cherie Reisch’s 2nd Annual Flash Fiction Contest. Congratulations to the winners:

        1st Place –  Scribbles from Jenn
        2ND Place – Medeia Sharif
        3rd Place –  Geek Banter

Cherie took down the Linky List, so you will have to go directly to the respective blogs to read the winning entries.

I had pretty much given up on the voting around noon on Saturday and being resolved to a solid fourth place, stopped checking back. This morning I was surprised to see that I had actually tied for third place but in a karmic –handwriting on the wall – kind of way, (the means Cherie used to break a tie) chose the other writer and their story.

It was an interesting exercise for me. One in which I actually learned a lot about myself and my writing. Funny, how some of these little things, can produce such big results. I want to thank Cherie and tell her how important this opportunity has been.

I also want to thank everyone for the kind comments and your votes. I'm truly not as SHAMELESS as stated in my last post. More like completely self-conscious. Nothing like a little self-deprecating humor to hide your insecurities.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


OK, maybe not really. Read on and you decide.

You listen to this,while I talk.It will help me explain.

I know you're anxious to get to the naked stuff, but wait for the music to start, it'll mean so much more if your do.

I made it as one of the six finalists in Cherie Reich’s 2nd Annual Flash Fiction Blogfest. Cherie chose the finalists and I have to tell you this woman really knows her stuff (you are still listening, right?)

Now, it’s your turn. You get to go here
and vote for the best piece of Flash Fiction – that’s me of course (still listening to Billy and Garth, aren’t ya?)

So, I expect all 217 of you (you all came to see me take off my clothes in public AGAIN didn’t you? Note: to new followers – I actually did do that back in 2011 – I’ll wait if you want to go look for it – that post might be titled ‘What are Words’) Well, that’s probably 212, because I see some of the competitors have been by to check me out –no worries –I did the same (cue the music)

Anyway…quite yer hanging around here get on over to Cherie’s site and read my post AGAIN and vote for me. Heck, vote for me twice, if you’re so inclined (sing it Garth) OK that’s probably in poor taste, even for someone who is SHAMELESS – cut me some slack, I was raised in Chicago where everyone votes twice even the dead. How else do you think you got their least favorite son…OK let’s not go there. In actuality, I don’t think Cherie’s site will let you do that (at least I hope not).

Anyway…go exercise your right to choose and choose me. Is that naked enough for you? I would include pictures, but I know for a fact that small children and one horny old man read my blog and it could cause an uproar!

Wait for the boys big finish cause after all I am (everybody sitting right thee at your computer, just shout it out real loud, and see if I can hear you down here ‘in de’ islands’) Ah, that was nice, but I think I only heard 150 of you, come on everybody go and vote by Monday 5/28, but don’t wait, you might forget –go right on over there ~ NOW.

It's not you, it's me. You can't click on this image and get anywhere but frustrated. Go back up to the link and click there.I'm just a dumb blonde writer, not some super computer techno wizard. Jeez!

I didn't sound nervous or over-anxious back there did I?

If I win, I'll re-post that other 'naked' bit on Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Believe it...or not.

I sincerely hope this isn't cheating.
I'm so self conscious about posting my writing, you know writing, writing,not like my goofy stories, that I'm much more comfortable hiding behind a little music.
So,push play and read on.

Below is my entry in Cherie Reich’s Flash Fiction Blogfest. In a perfect world with a much more adept blogger you would be able to click on that image above and be magically transported to Cherie’s blog where all the Blogfest rules and participants are listed. But alas…you’re stuck with me. So, I’ll give you a link at the end (don’t want you running off too soon), and you can go check out the rules, prizes, and other participants. Being the Queen of verbosity, I’m not too good and this 300 words or less, flash fiction thing, but Cherie and you will have a chance to decide.


Lightning flashed and I immediately started counting in my head…one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand. The thunder rolled across the ocean and crashed onto the shore with an unusual intensity. Even expecting it, I jumped. You didn’t even stir. I never did sleep like that. There is so much about you that I envy. Maybe that’s my problem. Envy.

I can’t express how or why I fell in love with you. There’s so much we have in common and yet the differences are monumental. Oh well, there is that ‘opposites attract’ thing; maybe that’s what we have going on. I’m not sure anymore. I am sure of one thing; it’s going on more for me than you.

“Hey, I’m always in pursuit. I’m just not pursuing you.” You told me that from the very beginning.

Did I listen? I fell for every line, never realizing that they weren’t lines at all. I’m still not sure exactly what they were. What you were or are about. I do know one thing for sure; for me this is one big heartbreak.

Another flash and the room is illuminated. I marvel at your beauty. Asleep or awake you are gorgeous. I’m grateful for the time we had together. The times I looked into your soul. The time I spent sharing mine. I needed that, still do, but it’s time to go.

“Always leave ‘em wanting more. Never take that extra curtain call. Slip away before the applause completely wanes.” Sage advice. It’s time I took it and made a graceful exit.

Another flare granting just enough light for me to gather my things. The next burst comes and I’m ready to leave. May your dreams be sweet and your memories of me tender.

Lightning flashed one more time, and I’m gone.

OK, now here’s the link to Cherie’s blog. Remember to come back on the 25th and see who the finalists are. If, I should be one, you better vote for me. Well, only if you think mine is the best, of course.

Monday, May 21, 2012


I love to tell stories about my parents and how goofy they were. I have to be honest and tell you that I’m just as big a goof. Hey I come by it honestly.

Most recently I moved into this pretty spectacular villa. When I first met the landlord I was trying to be on my best behavior. On the day I came back to sign the lease he was painting some of the outdoor railings with marine grade rust resistant paint. He warned me not to touch anything because the paint was wet and very tacky. It was also oil based and would be a ‘bear’ to get off.

He’s out on the deck cleaning up and goes down by the pool. I stroll out on the deck and while still standing on the drop cloth I put both hands on the railing. I realize my mistake in a matter of seconds and pull my hands away. Of course there is paint all over them. While the landlord is busy and his back is turned I grab some paper and wipe as much paint off as I can. This guy is liable to think I’m a real hazard and change his mind about renting to me.

Pretty soon we’re inside sitting at the dining room table going over the lease. His wife hands me an inventory of the furnishings. The place is completely furnished, dishes, pots and pans, linens, silverware, you name it. Landlord is going over things and explains that of course, they understand if something gets broken in the normal course of use, but they expect that their things will be taken care of. Then he goes on to tell a funny story about some friends they let use the villa. He says this woman was a complete klutz. He didn’t know how she did it but she got into some of the most unusual scrapes. He says he warned her repeatedly about a special juice carafe they had and that if you didn’t take the lid of a certain way you could break it. Well, she broke it.

“She was such a nut. No matter how much you warned her, she would still get into trouble. Did you ever know anyone like that?” he asks.

I just raise my hands palms up, so everyone can see the paint residue. Landlord laughs and rented me the place anyway.

What can I say? I’m a nut and an honest one, at that.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

'Life is a Carnival'

What a difference a week makes. Tomorrow everything in my life will change, for awhile.

Life is indeed a Carnival so…get in, sit down, fasten your seat belt and hang on (especially if I’m driving). I am not afraid of change. I hope.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cell Phone Hell

I’ve been living in ‘cell phone hell’. My phone did not work at my home (imagine that – I’m looking at you Sprint) but because they are ‘on island’ they would not let me out of my contract. It turns out that AT&T (the other national provider – on island) has better service. ~ Are you kidding me? This island is 26 miles long by 7 miles wide (at the widest point), how could you not have service at my house?

Anyway…today my sentence was up. The contract with Sprint ended and I was in the AT&T store signing up. The lady there, Kiesha, is my new best friend. I thought I was heading into ‘phone store hell’ and instead she walked me through the process with an incredible flare for customer service. She told me about her son who is in remission of cancer in his eyes and about the seven years she spent living in Omaha, Nebraska. When we were finished, she walked me to the door and gave me a hug. (It’s a Cruzan thing.)  

I wanted to keep my old number, because it’s an area code from the States. This allows people there to call me for free ~ well, not for free, ain’t nothing free, but it’s within your normal nationwide or western calling plans. I’ve been operating (sometimes) off an old Balckberry, which BTW I just recently figured out, now I have an iPhone. It’s pretty, slick, and sexy, as phones go, but I’m back to square one. I have no idea how to work this thing. Kiesha assured me it was simple and that anyone could figure it out in a matter of minutes. Apparently, there are not a lot of ‘dumb blonds in her neck of the woods. I’ve been at it for over an hour and still can’t get my gmail account loaded onto this slippery little thing.

It’s a sad state of affairs when your ‘smart phone’ is smarter than you.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


I took a much needed break after that A to Z thing but then I lost my ‘words’. Then I started to lose me. So…I thought I better start talking…again.

Like a lot of you today ‘I Remember Mama.’ If you’ve been coming around here for any length of time, you know I talk a lot about my Daddy. Rarely, do I mention Mama. Daddy was bigger than life itself, BUT Mama was the woman at his side every step of the way. They were a crazy pair and I’m the luckiest person on earth to have been raised by these two. Things were never dull around our place and although one of the Social Services - Child Protection Agency in existence today probably would have turned purple in an effort to protect ‘this child’, I loved almost every minute of my time growing up.

Daddy was a big city cop who got a furlough (vacation) of one month every year. From as long as I can remember he usually took that time off in June or August. Daddy loved to fish. Mama loved Daddy so she, of course, loved fishing too. (I say that ‘tongue in cheek’; she really did love to fish) So…we would load up the car and head north to Minnesota, the Land o’ Lakes, Leech Lake in particular. Leech Lake sits in the center of the Leech Lake Indian Reservation home to the Band of Ojibwe. I loved my summers at the Lake, but I do not like to fish.

When I was old enough my parents would leave me on shore to hang out with the other kids from families staying at the same resort. (Just so you aren’t mislead into thinking resort means some sort of Club Med. experience. This was a band of primitive cabins settled on the lake shore, normally surrounding a lodge of sorts that housed the bar a jukebox and endless nights of rowdy times.) When I was younger I spent endless hours along with Mama and Daddy, in a small aluminum boat with a 10hp outboard motor attached at the back. Normally I was laid out on the bottom on the boat between two seats with a stack of books.

One hot afternoon, I had read until my eyes were crossed, it was hot; I wanted out of the boat and was looking forward to getting back to the resort and going swimming. I’m sure I was just winding up in some childish and yet elaborate version of ’are we there yet?’ when my mother started ‘the lecture’. In my defense I was probably half asleep when I looked over and thought ‘you old walrus’ (yep, that would me, not terribly original and why I called her a walrus I’ll never know). When my mother leapt up, almost capsizing the boat, with fire in her eyes and said “”what did you call me?” that’s when I realized I had not thought it, but said it out loud.

Now the boat is rockin’, Daddy is shouting at Mama to calm down, Mama is looking for a weapon and I can’t stop laughing. (Yes, there you have it folks, I know exactly what I’ll do when certain death looks me in the face, I laugh at it or with it or something.) Now my folks fished with those long fiberglass poles, Mama already had one in her hand, so, she steps up on the seat above me and gives me a whack. Man that hurt, but I can’t stop laughing. This only makes Mama more angry so she says;”do you think that’s funny?” accompanied by two more whacks with the fishing pole. My life is spared when some folks my parents recognize, motor their boat within hailing distance (They were probably attracted by the sight of this woman up on the seat of the boat whipping a pole through the air.) Daddy waves and asks them ’what’s biting’, Mama steps off the seat and looks over smiling, like her standing up there was just some every day thing and says to me in a ’stage whisper’ wait until we get home. I stay in the bottom of the boat, rubbing my hip where the fishing pole connected and try not to laugh. (That whole walrus thing must have struck me as funny or something) by the time we got back to shore all was forgotten (well almost all, I had a pretty good welt on my leg. I played that to the max, stopping just short of a pronounced limp), I distinctly remember that evening down in the lodge being a lot of fun. Daddy even danced with me, where he took the opportunity to remind me how much my mother loved me and to never ever call her a walrus again.

Probably not your normal ’I Remember Mama’ on this Mother’s Day, but there wasn’t much ’normal’ about my family and it is one of my most vivid memories of my Mama. I love that crazy woman more than words can express.

Mama died when I was still young. My parents were old when I was born and she only got sixty-eight years in this life. I never remember her saying something ‘bad’ about another person. She came from a large family (nine siblings) and she was always the first to help any one of them out. She kept the family together with holiday gatherings after her mother died and my cousins all speak lovingly of Aunt Eleanor. She died with my oldest child was a toddler and was not there with my second baby was born. That was probably when I missed her the most.

I’m not fond of Mother’s Day. It feels like a ‘greeting card holiday’ invented to grant absolution for all the mean things children do to their mothers the rest of the year. That’s probably just me. I’m sure my list of mean things is longer than most, but you know what, Mama never stopped loving me and her love was unconditional. I do my best to live my life without regrets. In truth, I only have one and it has to do with Mama, but I’m not gonna tell you about that today.

Today I salute my Mama. I am who I am because of her (the good parts of me anyway). I love you and I respect you Mama, with all of my heart.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A to Z Reflections

Today is A to Z Reflections Day. I almost didn’t post and then I though, ah, come on, don’t be a jerk.

So here we go. First, I want to thank all of the organizers and sponsors, co-sponsors and participants. I know this was a big undertaking and from everything I could see, it ran smoothly and without a hitch. You guys and girls did a wonderful job. It’s nice, really nice, to think that so many people pulled together to do something for others with no reward in mind other than a great experience for everyone. Thank You!

My personal experience with A to Z taught me a few things about myself. First, it helped to define why I blog. Second, it confirmed that I do not like to be told what to do and when to do it. Third, it helped me understand what I write best.

I must admit I met some really nice and interesting people. I also have to admit that without the encouragement and help I received from others I would have dropped out. Then I would have been disappointed with myself and sunk into a ‘blue funk’ for days. (What is wrong with me?)

I picked up between forty and fifty new followers, and I’m not sure why. (I was not near as diligent as most of you at following others and I didn’t visit half the blogs I thought I would. I have a hard time not checking in on my friends and seeing what they are up to as opposed to seeking out new people.) I appreciate the new followers and hope I can find the time to check in on them from time to time, but when it comes to regular daily comments, I have a few places I’m loyal to (probably because they put up with me and some of my crazy comments) and then I run out of time. Also, I hope new followers won’t be disappointed in my erratic posting schedule and some of the wacky things that I say.

In all honesty I need to say that I probably won’t participate in the A to Z Challenge again, but that’s not about the Challenge that’s about ME. (As a matter of fact, I asked a friend to tie me to a chair if I even made noises like I was going to sign up next year.) And, that’s not to say I won’t be checking in on some of you next year, to see how you’re doing. It’s probably something very one should try at least once.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rainy Days and Insecure Feelings

Here , listen to this while I talk.
I love this song and this arrangement is maybe my favorite.

May 2nd and it’s another INSECURE WRITERS SUPPORT GROUP. I’m sitting here looking out over the Caribbean at huge thunder clouds rolling across the ocean making their way to the next island, (When you want to hate me for that, keep in mind that June 1 begins HURRICANE SEASON.) and wondering what to say. I actually don’t feel too insecure today (oh carp, did I say that out loud?). Monday, April 30th was probably a low point for me. It was the last day of A to Z and I was feeling particularly unclever.(or uncleaver, as I usually like to say.) The whole idea of such a  disciplined ‘forced march’ in blogging was getting me down. Then, I had a rather disappointing experience in my personal life. Those things kind of ‘ganged up’ on me and I’m thinking, maybe it was time to go back to waitressing (Yeah, that’s gonna happen).

Anyway…May 1st was a BRAND NEW DAY. I started reading one of the half dozen books on screenwriting (don’t laugh, this might be the next endeavour) I picked up at the Flea Market and had a major epiphany about how to fix the opening of my Nano novel. So, it just goes to show, you never know where the bolt of lightening will come from. The MUSE has been telling me some interesting, if distracting, things lately and I think maybe I’m REALLY ready to write again.

How ‘bout you?

It's the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writers Support Group. Look to your RIGHT and see the BADGE. Give him a little click to learn more and see what some of the other INSECURE WRITERS have to say.