28 July 2013

Writers Weekend - The Power of Suggestion

Another Writer's Weekend has come upon us with new log lines. It's difficult to share things when you only have one weekend with whacky log lines from which to choose! However, I'm thanking +Brian Workman for inviting me into this wonderful group which keeps me inspired to push, no matter how rough my draft.

Defeated, this weekend, I present a story with some plot holes (according to my husband, Tim). I accept his criticism and post my work anyway; it's the rules! My pre-selected log line is at the bottom, so don't peak!  Here's the prompt and the theme is: FEAR



Katie's Kamp

Katie stood in front of the other children, holding and consoling her distraught friend. In the next room, police had Ms. Birch in handcuffs. Katie waved goodbye to the asylum counselor as the police led her from the room and out the building.

Nobody liked Ms. Birch, the newest hire. They all hated her because she never laughed. People who don't laugh shouldn't be trusted anyway. They keep things like fear and anger all pent up inside until one day, they just pop. Just like Ms. Birch did when she went for Susie Cummings and started to choke her.

2 months prior

"Ladies, this is your new counselor, Ms. Lindsey Birch." The staff nurse gave a quick half smile and left.

The girls stopped what they were doing, almost in perfect unison. Whether playing with dolls or reading books, they all stopped with their eyes glued, not on the new counselor, but on Katie Mercer.

Girls ranging in ages 6 to 12 waited for Katie to speak. None looked at the newcomer. It was like she didn't exist.

"I'm Katie." Katie was 8 years old. Her parents had brought her to The Academy at the age of 5. They'd said she communicated on a level so out of reach of normal people that they'd been unable to care for her properly. Studies conducted by the field psychiatrist indicated Katie should remain at The Academy, at least until further studies could determine her level of influence.

"Hello, Katie." Lindsey nodded and acknowledged the girl. The new counselor wore a gray striped skirt suit and her hair was blonde and pulled back in a bun. Her black framed glasses made her look like an old school teacher. "How about we all make a circle with the chairs and let us introduce ourselves."

"We all know each other already." Katie set her hands on her hips and stared at the blonde. The other girls waited, some smiling, others giggling softly into their cupped palms.

“Okay.” The counselor walked over to a work station and set her briefcase down. She looked at another girl and said, “What is your name?”

“Her name is Kendra Stevens,” Katie spat out quickly.

The counselor looked at another, “And you are?”

“That’s Susie Cummings.” Katie again.

“Thank you, Katie. Though, I’d like for the girls to answer themselves.”

Katie looked at Susie.

Lindsey said, “Go on, Susie.”

Susie looked to Katie, expectant.

“You’ll be a toad,” Katie said, and then laughed. The other girls laughed in response, and their collective laughter filled the room with nervous energy.

“What do you mean she’ll be a toad?” Lindsey asked.

Silence spread across the room and Katie walked over to the story station, picked up a chapter book, and read aloud. One by one, each of the girls followed suit, retrieved a book, and read aloud. They all read different books and at different pitches, and before long, the entire room filled with a droning of voices indiscernible from one another.

Lindsey had witnessed a number of distraction techniques in her years of group study, but this was a first for her. Young children were not equipped to understand a collective effort such as this one. An unsettling nerve knotted in her stomach.

For the next two weeks, the sessions stagnated with the same outcome. She would try to interact with the group and Katie would deter the others from speaking. The girl would state they’d become horrible things such as snakes or spiders. Lindsey worked slowly with the group, hoping to assure the girls she was a permanent structure in the room, a technique most effective with younger patients.

Two things she noted in this group. In every session, each girl brought games or books to Katie, but they didn’t interact with each other. Each girl only interacted with Katie. Nobody but Katie ever spoke, and when she spoke, the collective laughter of the girls filled the room. This happened often. It was time to break the ice.

“Good afternoon.” Lindsay greeted the silent room of girls, minus Katie.

“Where’s Katie?” The girl known as Kendra spoke up, almost defiant.

“I asked the staff to let her have a day off from group session. I hope you don’t mind.” Lindsey knew she’d have a productive session without Katie as a distraction, and before long, some of the girls were talking to one another and a handful gave their names to Lindsey when she asked.

That evening, during dinner with her husband, Lindsey went on about her productive day.

“I can’t believe I didn’t think to do it sooner.” She tipped her glass of red wine toward Jack in a salute to success.

He winked at her. “You’re good at your job, Linds. They picked the perfect person to lead this group.”

Lindsey cut into her steak and its red juices poured onto the plate. “The power of suggestion isn’t common knowledge among young girls, though. I was surprised when the asylum contacted me to take this project. Katie has a rare dominant factor and she’s highly skilled with intimidation.”

“Will you work with Katie alone, or will she come back into the group?”

“My instructions to the staff are to keep Katie in her own cell during my sessions for at least another few weeks before introducing her back into the group.”

“Makes sense. You can’t have the lone wolf mingling with the sheep.”

"I think as a group, I can work with them, but when you get that one rotten apple it's almost impossible."

"I know. Oh, and by the way, Mrs. Levey stopped by to drop off the official notice from the Home Owner's Association lien on our property."

"God, she's such a bitch. She instigates this crap with everyone. We'll just pay the fine and be done with it."

The productive day and resolutions they'd brought together created the perfect evening and Lindsey slept hard.

Mrs. Levey screamed but there was no sound.  She scrambled for the phone, and still, silence.  She had been holding the wound in her stomach. The knife stabbed at her bloody hand and pierced the webbed skin between her thumb and forefinger. She grabbed what she could of the curly cord and fell to the floor, alongside the receiver, which bleeped a continuous drone.

Lindsey woke with a stiff back and slapped the alarm. She made her way to the bathroom, massaging the base of her neck and swearing off wine altogether. It was always the red wines.

When she arrived at The Academy, the girls were already sitting in their chairs, the same chairs they’d been sitting in the last session when Katie was out.

Lindsey could feel the edginess in the room when she walked in. The girls looked nervous, with the exception of Katie, who stood smug as if she couldn’t wait for session to start. Did the staff not adhere to her request?

“Let’s get started, shall we?” Lindsey sat in her chair at the circle, trying to connect reason to Katie’s presence in the room. The staff had been instructed that Katie was to remain in her cell during sessions.

Susie raised her hand.

“Yes, Susie.”

Katie circled the group, as if waiting for the question she knew would come.

“Are you a murderer?” Susie asked.

“Excuse me?” For a brief moment Lindsey recalled her nightmare from the night before; the surreal murder of her neighbor. So unnerved by the dream, she actually felt the knife in her hand and the warm blood spill onto her fist while shoving the blade further inside.

Katie’s pleasure was apparent and the other girls giggled in almost perfect unison, as if cued by some silent whisper.

“Susie, why do you ask that?” Lindsey held onto Susie’s shoulders and shook her.

Katie grinned. “I told her you would become a murderer.”

When the guards pulled Lindsey off of Susie, she realized she had not been holding the girl’s shoulders. Somehow she’d found her neck.

She didn’t mean to choke Susie; she’d only been trying to get information from the girl. She watched the girls from the glass encased room, Katie consoling a frightened Susie. When the police arrived, they’d already made up their minds that she’d choked the girl intentionally, why else would they put handcuffs on Lindsey?

“Ms. Birch, you’re under arrest for the murder of Mrs. Levey.”

Lindsey recalled, in full detail, every gruesome plunge of the knife and every cry of disbelief uttered by the poor, old woman. Only then did it sink in. She had become a murderer by the suggestion of an 8 year old girl.

Log line: Kids teach a newcomer a valuable lesson in an asylum.

24 July 2013

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

A prompt from FWA Conference Blog led me to this post. When I followed the exercise steps, this is what I came up with.

It was a dark and stormy night, and I know this because the alarm woke me up in the middle of it. Why was my alarm set for 11:30 p.m?

Wait a minute. Maybe the crackling thunder woke me. Who knows. Instantly, my phone started to ring. Did it start to ring, or did it ring? It rang. Who could that be? Maybe I should answer it?

"Hello, this is Diane Carlisle. May I ask who's calling?" Of course I can ask who is calling, it's my phone, right? This is a scary nightmare for me, but how can it be a nightmare if I just woke up?

I find myself walking around my house, completely forgetting the fact I'd answered the phone and there's likely someone on the other end speaking or waiting for me to respond. But, oh no, I must check out the artistry in my dark cherry wood sofa-table, which has been there for the past 12 years. Why am I looking at it now with so much attention to detail?

Then after I check out all the other furnishings in my house, in which I'd lived in for the past 12 years and should probably not be distracted by its lovely decor, I remember the phone.

"Yes, sorry. I was checking out my furniture. Excuse me? No, I'm not familiar with that case. Wait. Did you just call me detective?"

I pull the phone away from my ear and look around. Yes, I'm at home.

"I'm a detective in the middle of a police procedural novel?!"


***


I promise to remember why we shouldn't use cliches, not just the phrases, but the actions of our characters as well as how we drive them in our stories. Which cliches make you shudder most?





21 July 2013

Spirit Island - The Passage

Another Writers Weekend has passed and I'm sharing my flash fiction piece. Remember, the log line is at the very end.

***

Gilda coaxed the stone crab closer to the treasure, much of which had spilled from its cast iron box. An array of coins and jewels glimmered in the sand from the moonlight casting shadows across the isolated island. An ancient oil lamp lay upon the bed of jewels, the circular lid barely cracked open. She'd made the discovery three days ago, but who's counting?

On June 12th of 1762, she fell to her death from the docks of Montego Bay. The icy, cold water had left her paralyzed and she had waited what seemed forever to be rescued. Nobody heard her cries and when exhaustion overcame her, she accepted her fate and let the salty water consume her body and fill her lungs as she sank to the bottom of the inlet before losing consciousness.



Several hundred years must have passed, yet it felt more like several hundred lifetimes. She'd spent these years alone, wandering the island, with no companion other than the occasional crab which scurried up the bank and picked at decaying shellfish left behind by the receding tide. At times, a school of porpoises would jump in the distance against the backdrop of the horizon, reminding her of the world from which she'd been stolen.


The stone crab inched closer to the lamp and Gilda sang to reward him for his progress. When he climbed over the lid of the lamp, it popped off and sent the crab onto its back. He flailed about with his prickly legs and pincers, and then managed to flip himself upright and skitter off. Nothing but a puff of smoke and dust had escaped the lamp.


It was the most exciting thing to have happened in the several hundred years of haunting this deserted place, that Gilda's disappointment cut deep, "Oh how I wish more spirits could walk this island with me. Why must I be the only one?"

Her ghostly tears fell and the island grew silent when the lapping waters on the shore slowed to a stop.

A stout old man rose from the shoreline, cleaning his monocle. He looked up and placed the piece in his left eye, then smiled and waved at Gilda. Two ladies arrived behind him. They hovered close to one another, whispering in each other's ear. Neither waved to Gilda like the old man did, but they nodded their heads as if acknowledging her presence.

What to make of all this? For several days they all stood around and looked at each other, the only means of communication being a polite smile and a wave. Several other ghosts had arrived and all took to the same approach for communicating. The disconnect saddened Gilda further. It was worse than when she was alone. At least when it was only her, she didn't have to pretend to be happy.

"If only there were things to do together,” she voiced. “Ghostly things, even.” Her altruism and naivety pricked at her soul. “We would all communicate and get to know each other. Oh how I wish we could communicate!" Still, the island slept and a few porpoises bounced from the sea.

"Excuse me, miss?"

He must have been a new arrival. Gilda had not seen this spirit before. His hair barely touched his shoulders and his chiseled chest peaked out from a white, silk shirt, open at the top. Crystal blue eyes waited for her to speak.

Mesmerized by his voice, she barely got out her response. "Yes?"

He held up a deck of cards. "Would you like to play some Rummy with me?"

Gilda's spirit experienced an energy level she'd not felt in a long time. "I'm delighted!" She had to work hard not to sound like a squealing pig.

Blasts of laughter and the occasional shouting in the background drowned out any doubt the next several hundred years would play out much better than the first.

***

Jase smiled at her and winked. “I love the way your eyes light up when you see me.” They had met several days in a row by the hollow oak in order to escape the gossip of Gilda becoming smitten with the new guy.

He stretched out on the sand next to her and propped himself up on one elbow, his attention completely on her. When she told jokes, his laughter was genuine. When she spoke of her past and her desires to right what had gone wrong, he applauded her without question.

This made her ache inside. If she had a working heart, it would burst from wanting to hold him. This aching desire to be in his arms had grown stronger each day.



“If only I could hold you and feel the strength in your arms.” The words had escaped her before she could stop herself.

The seriousness in his eyes she’d not seen before made her blush if ever a ghost could do so.

“If I could hold you, Gilda, you would feel the strength of something other than my arms. I promise you.”

He said it with such seriousness her soul fell for the lack of support, the desire killing her. “My goodness, Jase, I can’t keep doing this.”

“What’s wrong, love?” His voice caring, yet strained with desire.

“I ache every day I realize I cannot touch you and feel you against me. The day I died in that bay, I felt so alone. But now I have you, yet my desire is killing me. What is happening?”

“A ghost in love is a ghost whose spirit is dying.” He reached over to touch her cheek and she felt nothing but the air and the unrelenting, familiar ache.

She grabbed for his wrist and felt nothing but the impotent air escaping her clenched fists, “I don’t want to die without you!”  A jab to her soul, an aching for the tears, hot and flowing down her cheeks, reminded her of the inability to feel his warmth. “I wish we could live together in the flesh!”



When he leaned in to kiss her, the warmth of his lips coursed through her body and his arms pulled her so close she felt the pounding in his chest beat against hers. There were no thoughts, just the feeding of desire. He took her and she accepted, all of him. Silence fell upon the island as they celebrated in the flesh and sought to release each other. They cried out in unison at the highest peak, and when their breathing leveled off, Gilda felt Jase roll off and collapse onto his back.

“What have I done, Jase?" Gilda said as an after thought. "We’re both stranded now, without food or shelter.” She didn't really care about that, it just occurred to her.

“I’ll build us a boat.” He placed a kiss on her forehead and smiled down at her.

“The boat better be big enough to carry some treasure.” How could she have forgotten about that? She never even showed him the treasure.



Six months later, as they set sail with their treasure box, the stout old man with his monocle waved from the shoreline.  The other ghosts behind him approached the shoreline as well, waving and smiling. Gilda smiled and waved back while Jase worked the sails. She would always remember this place as home. But now, she was off on an adventure with the love of her life!

The End

My log line -A ghost finds treasure on a deserted island.

I hope you enjoyed this, and if you did, stop by the Writers Weekend and join the fun each week!






14 July 2013

Welcome Aboard, M'lady!

Today I'm participating in Writer's Weekend 1 and sharing the story I wrote, all while abiding by restrictive guidelines. The "loglines" were pre-determined, which makes it more difficult, yet challenging to the creative muse. The "logline" I chose is shared at the end (please don't scroll down and ruin it!).   I hope you enjoy my story!

Welcome Aboard, M'lady!

Sir Grant Bennigan placed his right hand over the deck of cards on the wooden table. He lifted a quarter of the deck and picked up a single card from the top. “Yours?” he said to his brother and tossed the Ace of Spades over toward him.

Marcus yawned. “Card tricks? Are you that bored?”


The high seas swelled gently, a contrast to the crashing waves from the earlier storms. The Regallion Princess, a three masted barque, had remained in the family despite the controversies that flared upon the passing of their father, Sir Walter Bennigan.

Grant sighed and walked to the cabin window. The Pacific Ocean presented a peaceful glow, the moon glimmering on the horizon. “The boredom will pass soon, I suspect. More storms are coming.”

“How long before we dock?”

Grant rolled a large cherry flavored tobacco leaf and struck a sulfur tipped match across his leather belt. “At least four nights,” he said, before lighting up and filling the cabin with the fresh cherry aroma.

Marcus waved the smoke from his face, “You seek an early grave, my brother,” a bitter tone in his voice.

“It’s my only vice.” Grant scratched his chin, noting the days of growth on his face.

“And the occasional harlot.”

Grant stared at his brother. Oh Marcus, the virginal Marcus, with his sinister attitude always judging.  “Every port should have a handful of available ladies. It’s not like we have pickings out here in the middle of the ocean.”

Their current mission would take them into Port Castillo on the Valparaíso Bay, one of the larger bodies of the Pacific. Its massive trade venues always attracted seamen from around the world. It would be a great opportunity for the brothers to entertain the crowds with their magic and wares.


Marcus stood up, put his dinner plate into a tin basin, and reached into the cabinet above for his Whiskey. “This is all the companion I need.” He held up the bottle and gave a quick nod. “I shall retire.”

Grant looked back to his brother, but Marcus had performed his usual vanishing act. It was his best trick, unlike levitation and other illusions which had been perfected by the older brother. The captain pulled on his tobacco a few more times and stubbed it out in a bronze bowl before returning to his quarters. The calm seas would give him a good rest.

The next morning, though the skies glared gray and ominous, the slight choppiness of the water only hinted of brewing storms.

“Captain!”

The spoon fell onto the floor. The calling for his attention had broken the levitation spell. He cursed and pushed his way toward the outer deck.

A few of the men pulled a body onto the ship from a lifeboat they had apparently lifted from the sea.

“What’s going on? Where’s Marcus?” Grant asked.

“Captain, we called out for Marcus. He’s not answering this morning.”

The woman’s body was limp and pale in the deckhand’s arms, her frail torso and limbs covered in wet clothing. “She’s alive, sir.” Long blonde strands of wet hair plastered her cheeks.

“Take her inside,” Grant said, pointing toward the stern. “And the rest of you, man the ship!” He turned and followed the deckhand into the cabin. When they reached the entryway to the sleeping quarters, the Captain pointed to his own room.

“But sir—“

“I know. We do not have a maiden to assist. I’ll take care of her.”

He watched over her for the next several hours while the storm pitched The Regallion Princess to higher crests. The woman’s lips barely parted and her eyelashes, now dry, fluttered against the draft in the room.



He wondered what it would be like to lie next to her, to feel her cheek against his skin as she rested her head upon his bare chest. He wondered how she would respond to his touch, if he could feel her soft skin pressed against his. Would she grow to love him as he did her, forever in his spell.

Marcus entered the room, handed him a rolled, cherry tobacco leaf, and proffered a light. “She’s beautiful.”

“She is.” Grant puffed until the leaf was fully lit.

“Think she’ll make it?” Marcus took a swig from his bottle.

“God, I hope not.” Grant watched the rise and fall of her chest and ached to hold her. Her eyes fluttered and opened slightly and she shivered in her damp clothing. She coughed and tried to sit up. She looked at Grant and Marcus as if attempting to make sense of her whereabouts. Then she screamed an unrelenting scream. Her eyes, wild with fear.

“And here we go,” Marcus said, tipping his bottle again.

The brothers looked at each other, one puffing on his tobacco leaf and the other drinking from his bottle. The woman screamed louder, and continued to scream until the deckhand entered the room and ran to the bedside where she had been crouched, holding onto a bunched up quilt.

“Tis okay, m’lady. Tis okay!”

She put her arms around the deckhand and screamed into his cotton blouse.

A twinge of jealousy struck Grant, overwhelming him with more heartache. If she held onto him the same way, pleading for him never to let go, he would give anything to experience it.

“Please, m’lady. All is well.” The deckhand seemed to calm her.

“Who are they?” The woman cried out, tears staining her cheeks.

The deckhand looked to the center of the room. “That is Sir Grant Bennigan and his brother, Marcus. They will forever haunt The Regallion Princess unless the captain finds a wife, a lady who dies upon this very ship, and greets him in the afterlife. Only then will he settle into a peaceful rest. His brother is merely a companion.”

“A wife? But, he isn’t real. He’s a ghost!”

“Nay. Tis a spirit, m’lady.” The deckhand smiled at the captain and waved.

Grant threw his head back and laughed, but he knew they couldn’t hear him. In time, maybe? He puffed his tobacco and blew a stream of smoke into the air. He wondered if she would ever smell the cherry aroma.

*The End*

My logline: Two brothers, who are magicians, pick up a hitchhiker on a ghost ship.

Okay, so the hitchhiker was not conscious and the only part of the ghost ship were the brothers. It still meets the word count criteria! Hope you enjoyed.

13 July 2013

The State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman - Awaiting a Verdict

I have a heavy heart this evening. I don’t usually speak out on matters in the media because to me it’s just fodder for attention whores and that’s not what my blog is about. I blog about making progress, whether with my own writing (mainly it’s about my writing), or about personal growth within my own family, or even about progress at work in my field of technology.

My heart is heavy today because I’m thinking about the progress of the country I love, The United States of America. When growing up, I didn’t notice so much division. Maybe I was too young to understand the “us” versus “them” concept. We all said the pledge of allegiance and it wasn’t a big deal. Maybe they tried harder to shield us from this division or maybe the division wasn't as powerful as it is today. I don’t know.

It just seems there is more division than there ever was and I’m trying to comprehend where it is coming from, because we on the bottom level, the ordinary people, are trying to make sense of ground zero, wanting to survive.

Now my concerns:

As the jury deliberates today in the case of The State of Florida versus George Zimmerman, I am saddened. I'm not saddened for George Zimmerman or the fact that a life is lost; I've become immune to it over the months.

What saddens me is when these six jurors come out of their sequestered world and deliver a verdict, their lives will be forever changed, and our country will be transformed shortly thereafter. Why?

1. Racial inequality and politics

Though I believe our country has moved forward in civil rights issues, I don't believe that the media and government have accepted this fact. If they accept the forward progress, then they would have to find another means to cause civil unrest so that there may be this need for intervention, thus more government and more bureaucracy. I have faith in the people in our country and in all our diversity. It's the media and politics which caused this to play out for the world to see.

2. A mother's love

How wonderful to put all women on this jury! I'm not knocking an all-woman jury. However, think about it. Their hearts go out to Trayvon's mother, for the death of her son. What mother wouldn't relate? Their hearts go out to Zimmerman's mother, for the potential conviction of her son and 30 years in prison. What mother wouldn't relate? These jurors have a tough job, and I will be thinking of them and the pain they will endure attempting to reconcile this huge mess of a case. Whatever their decision, the world is watching, with scrutiny, and it's just not fair for them to bare this burden on their own. I'm behind them with whatever decision they come to, and I feel for them.

3. The second Amendment right to bear arms

This verdict will change how we deal with the Constitutional right to bear arms. Why? Because, bearing arms has restrictions as it is. We must abide by certain laws before we are able to obtain, carry, and utilize firearms. Better yet, we are required to provide fingerprints, photo identification, and certification of training, before permits are granted for "carry conceal" licenses. Any person who acquires and intends to utilize a firearm without abiding by these rules is breaking the law and has a total disregard for the right to do so.

So, how do we protect ourselves and others without putting ourselves in the same class as those who have a total disregard for human life and the law? We do the right thing. That's not good enough though, because there is room for error, which the law does not provide a definitive clause. We act first, and then are judged later.

Now that I've listed the things which sadden me, let me share with you my biggest fear.

If this is a case decided by defining the perception of "death or grievous bodily harm" we are in trouble. Today, with violent crimes reported in our media, more people are becoming legally armed, many with "conceal carry" permits. If I'm a licensed carrier, will I need to change my perception in the future? Do I need to change my perception of imminent death or serious bodily harm before I utilize my legally purchased and licensed firearm for its intended purpose? Is it even humanly possible to do that during a time of high stress and fear?

If a woman is being raped, does she now leave her firearm cradled in its holster because she doesn’t believe that penetration of her vagina and lacerations from the friction are more severe than a fractured nose and lacerations to her head?

This is serious. I hope I never have to be in a position to place a verdict on anyone, but worse than that, I hope I never have to carry out justice while leading from behind because certain people in positions of authority just couldn't stand up and say enough is enough.

My heart goes out to the Trayvon family AND the Zimmerman family. I just hope we can fix things so this tragedy doesn't happen again, because it IS a tragedy, and a misuse of justice. What I'd like to see is both families come together in a fight to prevent these types of tragedies in the future. We can't heal from this if that doesn't happen.

11 July 2013

July Blog Chain - Dog Days of Summer

This month's prompt at Absolute Write : Dog Days of Summer

In other words, the hottest and most sultry part of summer. Etymology lesson here. As always, this can be prose, poetry, play, fiction, or nonfiction.

I'm going off the mark here. I was so tempted to write a fiction piece about the hottest days of summer, but instead I'm going to take this opportunity to write up an obituary for Taz, my English bulldog who passed away this summer (May feels like summer in Florida).

Taz, short for Tazmanian Devil, died during the early hours of May 30, 2013. He was 9 years old. He is survived by his two sisters, Maggie and Biscuit.

Learn all about Taz if you have a moment, as this is my contribution to Dog Days of Summer. You will understand why we miss him dearly. Taz, with all of your hang-ups, honey, you were still the bomb diggity!

Please feel free to leave your blessings in the comments below.




Participants and posts:

orion_mk3 -  (link to post)
Ralph Pines -  (link to post)
articshark -  (link to post)
Sunwords -  (link to post)
Diem_Allen -  (link to post)
U2Girl -  (link to post)
robynmackenzie -  (link to post)
Lady Cat -  (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes -  (link to post)
pyrosama -  (You are HERE)
SuzanneSeese -  (link to post)
Diana_Rajchel -  (link to post)
HistorySleuth -  (link to post)
Angyl78 -  (link to post)
SRHowen -  (link to post)

07 July 2013

Are You Googling That? My Character of the Day

So, I'm next in line at Walmart, placing my groceries on the conveyor belt while the bagger and cashier are having a conversation. After I place the last item on the moving piece of rubber, I look toward the automatic glass doors and notice the sky churning out a few ominous looking clouds.

This worries me, because we're planning to take the boat out on the river, and showers are not welcome. I pull out my iPhone and check the new weather radar app I downloaded last weekend (it will eventually become a favorite iPhone app).

The bagger stops bagging my things and says, "Are you Googling that?"

"Excuse me?"

"Are you Googling that?"

"Googling what?"

The cashier chimes in, "Are you Googling dark chocolate versus white chocolate?" A look of anticipation flickers across her face, eyes stabbing me with more urgency than when my husband prods me for sex.

"Why would I be Googling that?"

I ask this because I cannot fathom why dark chocolate versus white chocolate would suddenly pop into my head, and I am even more perplexed by the thought that the Walmart staff would know precisely the moment this thought occurred. Like, really?

They both start to talk, but then the cashier finishes, "We were just talking about how dark chocolate is healthier for you than white chocolate." She holds up a chocolate covered pretzel as evidence, and in one swoop, pops it into her mouth.



I'm stunned. Was I involved in this conversation and not aware? Did the bagger and cashier at some point invite me into their conversation and perform some ritual which has now rendered me void of any memory of said conversation?

I pull out my debit card to pay for my items. Then I offer my input, "No, I'm not Googling anything. However, if you eat enough of either of those types of chocolates, you'll get fat, and that comes along with so many health problems like type II Diabetes, gallstones, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea."

They both look at me and there's this long, silent pause. It was like I'd just come out of a trance, with the cashier mid-bite into a pretzel and the bagger with one hand in a plastic Walmart bag.

Something niggles at me and I realize both ladies are obese.

Note: Characters of the Day on this blog are inspired by true happenings. I've withheld names to obscure the identities of the stupid people so that I don't get sued in some stupid manner which our government deems a viable path to redemption for stupid people.

If you believe you're one of the stupid people mentioned in this blog, I pray that you run for government some day and win, so that you may repair your stupidity through the process of empowerment, which will give you a voice we all pretend to admire in hopes we don't "ourselves" become stupid people.

I love you, Blog-o-sphere!!


03 July 2013

Millionaire Row Boat Tour in Miami Beach

There are so many things which inspire me to write. One of them is photography. Whenever I have an opportunity to travel, I'm toting along my Canon Rebel T3i. Setting, ambiance, actions, any number of elements can be captured by the camera and later viewed for inspiration.

When Tim and I visited Miami Beach, FL during our 26th anniversary trip, we took a boat tour on Millionaire's Row. If you're not familiar with Millionaire's Row, it was coined during the golden era of the 1950’s and 1960’s when celebrities visited the area, and several new oceanfront condominiums were considered the place to be in Miami Beach.

I'm sharing with you this video I compiled of all my favorite houses from the tour. There were too many, so I only captured and edited my absolute favorites, one of which the movie makers of Scarface filmed on location. Enjoy!


video




If you would like to view the individual photos for clarity, I'm providing a link to my Google album for this trip. 

Do you have other hobbies which inspire you to write? I don't know why, but every time I view a beautiful photograph, I want to write about a story going on somewhere deep within. Who knows, maybe my protagonist will have to fly to Miami Beach to interview a witness...who happens to live in one of these beautiful homes!

What do you think of the music I chose? Good, bad, indifferent?  :)

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