Priceless Treasures

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To the average person, this little book probably doesn’t seem like much. To them, it’s just another book. To me, it’s priceless.

I’ve had this book since June of 1989. If you look, you’ll see it’s well maintained. In pristine condition. If you were to open it you’d see an inscription. Nothing major, just my name written with fancy curly lettering followed by “Happy Birthday” and my friend’s signature.

It was given to me on the last day of my freshman year of high school along with a bookmark that said “Get Me To The DIRTY Part” and my second blank journal book. She’d given it to me on that day because we wouldn’t be seeing each other on my birthday.

That was a very difficult time in my life. Not only was I dealing with a new high school because we’d moved, but we were also handling the loss of a close family member. I was the new kid who didn’t know anyone. Kids are cruel at that age and they mocked my love of writing, especially poetry. I learned to wrap my gift close to my heart, hidden from the world.

But somehow she knew. This little book was a symbol of her deep understanding of the fifteen year old me. She saw the inner romantic that my tomboy side hid. She knew and appreciated my inner need to write of love and grand passions. She found the gift that fueled my inner poet’s dreams and imagination. It was her way of telling me to keep writing. So I filled that blank journal with poems often inspired by the classic poems in the other book she gave me. In fact, I still have that book, too.

And I valued her friendship. She moved away our junior year. Unfortunately, as with most things, time and distance got in the way and we lost touch. The last time I heard from her was nearly twenty years ago. I think of my friend fondly, hoping she is well and has found a love deserving of her generous heart.

That book became a symbol to me; a reminder that the good things in the world far outweigh the bad and we need to hold on to them. It’s a reminder that love and romance still exist and should be cherished. But most of all, it’s a reminder to follow your dreams and value the people who value you. I think she’d be thrilled to know that I still write today.

Everyone has priceless treasures, things that they hold near and dear to their heart. What are yours? What do they mean to you? What things helped to shape who you are today? Share with me….

Look, I Did It!

The lovely Up and Comer Mae Clair has tagged me to take part in the “LOOK” challenge. Mae’s story revolves around a marine archaeologist and a woman 10 years his senior and a treasure hunt. Intrigued? So am I! She has submitted her WIP to her publisher for consideration, so my fingers are crossed for her.

So how does the LOOK challenge work? ‘Tis fairly simple and a lot of fun!

  1. Find the first usage of the word ‘look’ in your WIP and paste the surrounding paragraph into your blog.
  2. Tag as many people as you want to take part in the challenge with you.

My current WIP is still as sketch and has not yet been given a title.

My first use of the word look appears in the first page. My heroine, Fiona Barrett, had just boarded a redeye after a very long day of missed flights and being stranded in airports. She’s tired, cranky and wants to get home. So, of course, that means it’s time to introduce her to the hero. This is from her POV. :

~ooOOoo~

It had been several minutes since the gate attendant had made the final boarding announcement and the flight crew appeared to be making their final arrangements. She looked back toward the main cabin and was glad to see that everyone appeared to have settled in. Grateful she’d had the forethought to pull out her iPad in advance, she figured she’d be sitting solo on this flight. She had just crossed her legs, the swirling pattern on her teal and white cotton skirt riding up to mid-thigh when a man’s voice, like smoke and crushed velvet said, “Beggin’ your pardon, ma’am, but I’m gonna need to slide past you in just a moment.”

~ooOOoo~

Yes, the hero is from the south and comes with a delicious accent. There’s nothing more delicious than a southern voice calling me “Darlin'”…except maybe an Aussie voice. Aussies can say whatever they want, and they’re pretty much guaranteed I’ll find it sexy. It’s my Kryptonite!

Like I said above, this is just a sketch. It’s not yet a full story, nor is it fleshed out. Feedback is always appreciated! Feel free to leave a comment.

According to the rules I can tag anyone I want, but the problem is, I’m new to this particular blog and don’t know very many people yet. The only person I probably would’ve known to tag is Mae Clair, and she tagged me!

So I’m not officially tagging anyone, however, if you’re intrigued or enjoy these challenges, or simply feeling daring…go for it and come back and let me know you did it!

Haven

I heard this beautiful, heartfelt song last night.  I’d never heard of this artist before, but he really touched my heart.  I discovered him through the Facebook page of a website called http://www.bringbackdesire.com/.  From what I can gather, their whole premise is happy relationships…how to make them, how to find them, how to keep them.

But the thing that really got me was the song.  “A Place Called Love”.  Hmmm.  I’d never thought of love as a place before.  I always thought of it as a thing, a feeling, an emotion.  So I dug a little deeper in my heart…and here’s what I found.

When times are rough
And life gets me down,
I run to you.
When inspiration
Whispers in my ear,
I look for you.
When joy bubbles out
And laughter rings,
I share with you.
When I am lost
And small, and scared
I call to you.
The ups, the downs
The highs, the lows
It’s you and me.
You’re my home.

Yup…this is what the song means to me.  In the immortal words of Martina McBride, “Love’s the only house.”  For me, Love=Home.  If you’ve got a problem with my equation…find one that works for you.  I wish you happiness.  It’s not an easy commodity to come by.

Happily Ever After?

One of my all time favorite tv couples has always been Brian and Justin on “Queer As Folk”. I remember checking the show out on a whim, then deliberately. In fact, when my boyfriend was ready to cancel premium channels back then, I told him that it was ok as long as we kept Showtime. I didn’t care about anything else. In fact, I didn’t even care about anything else on Showtime!

What made them so compelling? Well, besides the obvious hottie appeal, Brian Kinney was the quintessential bad boy. Apparently Justin Taylor and I had similar tastes in men. Brian was the successful, much older, wilder man. Justin was the younger, wiser boy. He saw through Brian’s facade to the sensitive, damaged person that even most of his friends didn’t know existed.

And Brian? He couldn’t resist Justin’s sweetness, his wisdom, his stubbornness, not to mention his unwillingness to give up on him. And over the years Brian gave Justin reasons. Deep down, I don’t think he felt good enough or deserving enough of Justin’s pure love. But Brian loved him, unselfishly and without reservation. His love for Justin was the purest, best part of Brian’s heart…and you saw it reflected in his eyes every time he looked at him.

And then there were the sex scenes! These guys burned up my tv screen when they’d burn up the sheets. Who could forget the scene when Brian caught up with Justin in New York after they’d fought and Justin had run away, taking Brian’s credit cards with him.

But there were also the sweet ones. I still find their dance at Justin’s prom to be one of the sweetest, most romantic scenes to grace a tv screen. To end Season 1 in that kind of violence after such sweetness? It blew my mind…and brought home the sad reality of gay bashing. Prior to that point, I don’t think I would’ve fully understood. Let’s face it! I’m a straight woman…and up till a couple years after that, I didn’t even know I had any gay friends.

Sitting at home last night, putting down a scene on paper that had been tugging at my brain had brought the song “Save The Last Dance For Me” to my head. Of course, since that was the song they’d danced to at prom, I remembered my favorite “Super Couple”. (Music does that to me) I started YouTubing Brian and Justin…and found this clip. It definitely showed their ups and downs, but it really showcased the love.

Now “Queer As Folk” has been off the air for years, but I know I’m not the only one who feels this way about these guys. In the last episode, we saw Justin headed to New York to chase his dream as an artist as Brian stayed behind. Their wedding was cancelled. But when I think back to these guys, I have a hard time thinking that was the end of their story together.

In my mind, I see them finding their way back to each other and living happily ever after. I feel like there are just some couples who are meant to stand the test of time, regardless of how their tv shows end. Do YOU have a couple who does that for you? Who captured your heart and your imagination? Who still makes you wonder where they are now?

Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll be tempted to write my image of how their story really ended.

Of course, fan fic being what it is, there’s a good chance someone already has! (Not that it will stop me)

Waiting Out The Storm

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With the advent of hurricane Isaac, I’ve been thinking about the past…

I’ve lived in Florida for over a decade. Prior to that I’d lived in the Midwest and the tropics. I used to joke that I’d been through nearly every natural disaster except volcanic irruptions (thank God) and hurricanes.

Then hurricanes Charley, Francis, Ivan & Jeanne happened in 2004. Every part of Florida was affected.

I learned several things:
Make sure you have enough non-perishable foods to get you through the inevitable power outages
Fill your cars up with gas because –
1.) you may need to evac suddenly
2.) gas is virtually impossible to find if your town gets hit
3.) some jackass, immediately following the hurricane will try to jack up prices to unreal rates.
Your dishwasher and washing machine have seals protect all important docs from water damage.
You need a car charger because if you lose power, it is the only way to charge your phone.
You really WILL need bottled water.
Make sure you have a grill and a gas tank or charcoal. You may need it to cook.
If your power goes out, eat the stuff in your fridge and freezer first. It won’t last.
Know where your candles, matches and flashlights are.
Don’t forget the items needed to care for your pets.

What REALLY happens during hurricanes?
-Jim Cantore showing up in your town is the kiss of death. Run if you see him! That hurricane WILL be following.
-Some idiot WILL choose to ignore advisories and will either decide to surf the hurricane or get closer than advisable to the hurricane to take pictures. Inevitably, someone gets hurt or dies.
-You stock up on alcohol because hurricane parties are real & you need to be prepared.
-Stock up on condoms. For whatever reason, hurricanes, blizzards and power outages (which usually accompanies hurricanes and blizzards) make people horny! Nine months after any of these three events shows a spike in children’s birth.

Inclement weather that traps you in your own home can and will make you crazy. Because of this I have a few essentials to keep me occupied: a journal to write in, my cell phone for communication, music and pictures and finally, books!

Now back to the condoms and babies….I have a theory about the why’s. I think people become frightened and use sex to distract themselves. Of course the sex could also be to alleviate their boredom while cooped up in the house. Or maybe it’s simply their way to celebrate life after surviving.

Any other theories out there? Who else is waiting for this storm to hit…

That Thing You Do!

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Here is a quote from Liv Tyler’s character from “That Thing You Do!”

Faye: I have wasted thousands and thousands of kisses on you – kisses that I thought were special because of your lips and your smile and all your color and life. I used to think that was the real you, when you smiled. But now I know you don’t mean any of it. You just save it for all your songs. Shame on me for kissing you with my eyes closed so tight.

If you’ve ever been in a relationship with someone and you’ve felt small and unimportant and under appreciated, you get the heart of this movie quote.

What feels like eons ago I watched “That Thing You Do!”. I had the preconceived notion that it was all about a band in the ’50’s who got discovered and made a one hit wonder. As music is a passion of me only surpassed by writing, I knew I had to check it out. And I was right. The story WAS about this sad tale of One Hit Wonders. But it was so much more. This was a love story.

The main character, played by Thomas Everett Scott, is a guy named Guy Patterson. But the character who stole the show for me was Faye. She was supportive and caring. She listened to her lead singer boyfriend Jimmy’s hopes and dreams. She was the muse for the songs he wrote. She unselfishly dropped her whole life to follow him on the road to support his dreams and that of the band’s. Guy, the drummer, watched all this happen and became her best friend.

She did everything right, but in the end it wasn’t enough. Despite the fact that Jimmy was the most important thing to her, she wasn’t valued the same way. That realization hurt…and her quote said it all.

Why did I share this quote? Because it happens all the time! We make wrong choices. We fall in love with people who don’t appreciate us. We lose ourselves and our identities in something or someone, then realize it’s all for nothing. It hurts. But recognizing it? Addressing it then finding a way to move on? That’s the beauty and resiliency of the human heart! It’s also the way to finding that happy ending…if only you have the courage to reach out and grab it.

As Guy watched Faye, he saw a gem in the woman his bonehead of a lead singer was willing to throw away. And Faye got her happily ever after with a man who would always value her.

Guy Patterson: When was the last time you were decently kissed? I mean, truly, truly, good and kissed?

And then he kissed her.

Rainy Nights

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The gentle pitter patter of the rain against my window pane tonight calls to mind sweet memories; wet kisses in the rain, long conversations in the dark. Such love and nostalgia surround my memories of the rain, so I looked for a picture to suit my mood.

The young lady in the picture found it in an old photo box. These are her memories:
As young lovers we snuck out in the rain to meet and…

I close my eyes and see you,
The soulmate of my youth
Sweet, sexy conversation
Soft sighs, low moans
Cocooned in darkness
Naked, laid out on a bed of grass
Rain cascade down our bodies,
The gentle,
Cool caress of nature
Slide over me.
You surround me,
Arms hold me tight
Keep me safe
Your hard heat throbbing inside
My other half
Making me whole,
Filling me with your love.

The Foot In Mouth Phenomena

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While waiting at the airport, a friend called me. She was waiting for her flight to leave. As I was her ride once she got home, she was calling to let me know it had been delayed for the second time.

“So, I saw this Asian cleaning lady, and I thought of you,” she tells me out of the blue.

“Um, thanks?” I responded.

As she continued to tell me about how she struck up a conversation with the woman and how the lady seemed surprised to be receiving a greeting, my mind wandered.

I wondered if my friend realized that it sounded as though she thought all Asian people looked alike, and that maybe they were all in the housekeeping business. If she knew how she sounded, she’d be mortified. She’s a teacher.

As often happens with thoughts, one led to another until I started realizing how often people say things that just come out all wrong.

For example:

My sister, a few years ago, posted that our grandfather had passed away. One of her very best friends responded with…”I’m so sorry! LOL!”. Ouch. When my sis mentioned how inappropriate “laughing out loud” was in reference to a funeral, her very sweet friend turned beet red and said, “I meant Lots Of Love!”. Apparently she wasn’t up on online shorthand.

At an Asian church group function, these Chinese guys were trying to hit on me and my friends. To strike up a conversation, one of them looked at my girlfriend and said, “Are you Philippines?” to which she responded, “No. Are you China?”

Or there was the irate (and racist) customer who was complaining to me, the manager, about “that Oriental girl”. Was he ever surprised when the young lady in question (who had done nothing wrong) advised him, “Sir, Oriental is a rug. I’m Asian.”

And finally, a very competent female manager, calling to tell me she’d elected to promote someone else into her store cited her reasoning for selecting someone other than me was because she didn’t think her store could handle “too man hens in the hen house”. It’s a good thing I knew her well enough to realize she didn’t mean it that way. What she’d really meant to say was that she didn’t think her store could handle two very aggressive personalities in management. She needed someone to be good cop to her bad cop.

People say things all the time that, without a little bit of humor, context or kindness, could do significant damage to a person. Have you ever encountered this phenomena? Care to share?

Eros Unleashed

I’ve begun to write my book. My female character is a poet. This is one of her poems. The above is the possible title for her poem.

The hungry passion in your gaze
Incites my dark desire.
Your touch glides silky on my skin
Ignites a trail of fire.
I quiver gently in your arms;
Flesh and heart laid bare.
Thrill of lust runs through my blood
Hands tangle in my hair.

Your iron strength draws to me,
Fills me with your love.
My welcome, wet and willing
Surrounds you like a glove.

Your velvet lips seduce me,
Tongue curls against my breast.
Desire burns hot between us
And throbs to your caress.
Passion mounts within my veins
Explodes within my heart,
Nails paint my hunger on your back
My mark, my love, my art.

Your iron strength draws to me,
Fills me with your love.
My welcome, wet and willing
Surrounds you like a glove.

Role Play Games

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I guess there is no age limit on ‘dork’.

My husband took me to brunch this morning. As a gesture, I thought it was sweet. Until I found out why.

He told me that he wanted to take me to a place called “Dark Side”. When asked why, he told me that he’d seen a role play game online that he wanted.

What comes to mind when you think role play? For me, images of naughty nurses, Catholic school girls, French maids, and maybe masked robbers or cowboys come to mind.

Reality were board games including zombies, vampires and werewolves. Only two of three sound the slightest bit sexy. Care to guess which two? Unfortunately, this was nothing like my imagination. This was more like Dungeons and Dragons from back in my youth…except in this store the had full grown adults battling at long plastic tables. Thankfully, he just bought some board games to take home.

I firmly believe in making the best of every situation. So when we got in line for the cash register I laughed when I saw they had rules for their customers. When I saw rule # 17, I knew I had to take a picture.

If only I didn’t feel like I was going to end up playing these games to entertain my man. What do you do to humor your significant other?