Coming Around Again

Shelby let the imitation fabric slide through her fingers. The robe could convince you it was cherry spun silk until you touched it and realized rogue bracelet charms or an unfiled fingernail could snag a thread and unravel the whole illusion.

The irony wasn’t lost on her. This should have been one of the happiest times of her life. Grades were recorded, interviews (gratefully) were over and once she crossed the stage she’d be able tack three letters onto the end of her signature and move on with her life. She should have felt like a bud right before it opened and bloomed.

But she missed him.

She’d never expected to miss him.

A tear slid off her cheek, staining the material, when she felt rather than saw a shadow in the doorway.

“Hey.” He said.

Shelby turned toward him, “Gunnar?”

He smiled and opened his arms, “You didn’t think I’d miss your graduation, did you?”

She stepped into the warmth of his arms, allowing the hug to peel away the layers of regret between them.

The last time she’d seen Gunnar his face was a twisted mess of pain and sadness caused by her indecision. He’d left taking his melancholy out the back door  and leaving her standing right where she was currently rooted.

Gunnar pushed back, kissed her temple  and grabbed the robe, holding it open for her to slip into.

“Ready?” He asked, holding out his hand.

Moving toward the back door, she slipped her palm into his and hoped he’d kept the diamond he’d offered before he left.

 

Have you heard?
Tara and I have taken over the prompt page of Studio30Plus.

WriteWithUs so come over and visit the page.

Since I missed last week’s prompt I used both sentences in my piece this week.

“peel away the layers”

“he took his melancholy out the back door” from Katy

 

the prompts this week at WRITE ON EDGE were

a coral colored blooming flower

and a this quote:

Why should I be unhappy? Every parcel of my being is in full bloom.
― Rumi

Stand Alone {Studio30Plus/Velvet Verbosity/Write On Edge}

I tried to meet his eyes, with the canned laughter of a sitcom blaring around us, standing in our living room.

Too afraid to attempt this confrontation anywhere else, I’d dismissed our master suite for fear of succumbing to a deluge of his deceptive words of love. And holding court in the kitchen, with its cheery yellow curtains billowing above the wooden block of knives, would just smack of hypocrisy.

I cleared my throat.

He never took his eyes off the screen.

“I told you, she didn’t mean a thing to me.”

“ But, ” I countered,  “He meant something to me.”

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I missed a link up with Write on Edge but I wanted to use the quote:

We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

also linking up LOVE (3rd definition of “passion/want” )
with Studio30Plus

 

 

and Smack 

Velvet Verbosity 100 Word Challenge

for 100 Word Challenge  with
Velvet Verbosity

In my  “Write Your First Novel”  class we were discussing POV and this is based on something I’d written in 3 minutes in that class. 

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (Write on Edge/Master Class)

I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen.

Although it wouldn’t have looked that way to you. Instead, I found out much much later, it was completely average things that were happening to me, events that wouldn’t cause you to turn your head or contemplate taking video as proof of a miracle.

And yet, if you’d asked me, back then, in the middle of it all, I’d have been hard pressed to find another noun or adjective that would have explained what was happening to me.

In hindsight, maybe it was simply a miracle of ordinary proportions.

For example, the world seemed to open up in right front of me. Doors long bolted shut, unlocked with all the ceremony of a coronation complete with flower petals being spread near my feet. Drawbridges lowered themselves, allowing me access to the heart of a castle.

Colors were brighter, sounds were crisper and my skin fizzled with emotion bubbling over like I was in a constant state of warming up. In short, I existed in the space between my buoyant steps, neither here nor there, keenly aware of each breath that emptied and then refilled my eager lungs.

I practically sparkled with the anticipation of each new day.

The unattainable had shown up, upending the natural order of things, whispering promises like a shaman.

Everything suddenly felt extra ordinary.

It was a drug I swallowed without hesitation.

As a child of air and imagination I took nothing seriously (until I did) and then I believed in it with the spirit of a daydreamer, so sure of its existence that I was regularly crushed when the world and I disagreed.

The lovers’ spats that followed were epic rows.

All heart”, it would whisper in a know-it-all voice, “no head.”

But I’d shake my fist, teary- eyed defender of things I could not see.  After all, what was the sin in trusting words whispered directly to my soul?

Much, it turns out.

For when the doors slammed shut and happiness was snatched away as the flowers under my feet withered and died, I couldn’t meet the eyes of the world. I refused its feeble attempts at explanation or reconciliation because I hated the way it reminded me of how ordinary I was.

I was left wondering if anything wonderful or special would ever happen to me again.

So I wallowed.

And I wailed.

I raged like a child completely forgetting how it had all come to be in the first place.

Extraordinary was simply the day- to- day, the mundane and expected in fancy clothes, dressed to impress.

And miracles, it turns out, are around every corner.

 

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I’ve  missed Write at the Merge two weeks in a row so I am using both quotes as inspiration for this piece

Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate.

~J. R. R. Tolkien

I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.

~Robert Frost

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BLOGSAMBadge

I also have been missing MASTER CLASS

Steph, being the awesome prof she is, agreed to leave this prompt open for a few more days for me.

Thanks SAM!

The sentence picked by Tara of Thin Spiral Notebook 

Master-Class-chalkboard-2014-8

 

 

My Writing Journey { A Blog Tour}

Writing fiction has introduced me to so many amazing and talented scribes.  These word weavers have become my critics, my cheering section and most importantly, my friends.

So when my dear friend  Rox of Unintentionally Brilliant asked, “want to join a blog tour about your WIP?” I said yes!, because it’s an honor for someone with her kind of talent to think of me as ‘writer“.

If you don’t read Rox’s own WIP, about Akira I invite you to go and get lost in the beautiful love story she’s weaving.

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1) What am I working on?

I am have two stories I am constantly revising and urging toward a conclusion (and maybe even a publication if the stars align) but the one that is keeping me occupied right now is the revision of The Love Story of Kimmy & David. It was written in its entirety as answers to prompts from THE RED DRESS CLUB  (Write on Edge) but now I’m revisiting the story, editing and adding to it to fill in the holes I left the first time around. A small confession? I really love this story and the characters in it, so the idea of sprucing them up and readying them for the outside world isn’t scary lately, it’s more anticipation and hope that when someone holds my book they come to love all these imaginary people too.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I don’t believe it does. As a romance writer I take situations, conversations and relationships from my own life (past and present) and make them part of the story. Love is a universal theme and one of my favorite subjects. I consider myself a hopeless (and hopeful) romantic and so I try to infuse each of my stories with an affair that will defy all odds, a love that can conquer. I do like to inject humor like Marian Keyes and to add rich descriptions like Pat Conroy or Anne Rivers Siddons, but I don’t don’t think that Kimmy & David are much different from any another chik-lit romance. However, it also doesn’t mean their story isn’t special and worthy of a read.

I do use various locales in their story and Positano, Italy  almost becomes another character which was fun not only to research but also to write.

3) Why do I write what I do?

Because I believe in happy endings.

There is some sadness in this story, some loss and the three way love triangles I really enjoy writing. Love is a choice, always, and sometimes that choice is not an easy one. Sometimes there is simply not just one person in the world you are meant to be with. Finding your way to your person or people is a crazy journey and I love writing that map for my characters.

4) How does your writing process work?

Slowly.

I ruminate. A lot. I think about names, situations and circumstances and I can tend to write and rewrite something a lot more than I should.

But normally, I can be found jotting things down on the car ride into work, long hand, into a notebook or on scraps of paper. I will leave my desk at work to clear my head or go to the ladies room and write a whole scene in my head , of course then I need to come back to my office, hope  I don’t get distracted and get it all typed out before my job calls me away from my imagery friends.

I long for the ability to just write like it’s overflowing ( my NaNo piece was like that, those 60,000+ words seemed to just appear and I wish  for that kind of free flow with my words again).

But for now it’s simply when I can in the middle of my have to’s (work, parenting, family).

When I’m in a zone with writing, I write and revise as I go and then I will let something sit for about an hour before I hit publish, changing words or sentences ( I love the challenge of only 33 words, 100 words or a specific prompt) until it “fits.”

Just as a side note, tomorrow night I begin a 6 week course on “How to Write Your First Novel” at a local college. I’m hoping to hone my process and bring Kimmy & David to a paperback near you. (Wish me luck?)

***************************************************************

Now I’d like to introduce you to the three amazing writers (and dear friends of mine) who will be sharing their process with you next Monday:

“Stephanie Ayers is an imaginative mother of four scoundrels, wife of one incredible husband, a willing medium for the voices in her head, and a newly published author living her dream in worlds far, far away.”

Ivy of Mommy Dourest,  a married mom of two with perfectionist tendencies that caused me to obsess over writing this one sentence bio.

:)

Carrie of The Muse Unleashed is a full time working mom of two. When she isn’t wrangling kids into cars for Brownies or agonizing over never ending renovations she is crafting her current Young Adult novel about a clueless love sick teenager and a snarky magical mirror…one scene at a time.

(Carrie is also my writing partner for another serial called “The Path You Choose”)

and if you’d like to tell us about your own writing process jump jump in and link back to one of us, we’d love to see what you’re imagination is up to!

Thanks so much for asking me to join Rox! <3

 

Feelings. Focused.

The photo was worn at the corners so that its fringy edges fanned out like frayed peacock feathers, colors seeping into one another; a captured moment stained by tears and misunderstandings.

She supposed  the image would  have remained that way, unchanged, forever,  if he hadn’t called, 2 years later, asking her to lunch in a halted , “um”-filled and uncharacteristically contrite speech.

So she dressed in a skirt that barely hit her knee and sat across from him checking and resetting her heart.

The silence between them was almost translucent as she focused on his face.

His eyes said it all.

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Write on Edge:

“When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
~Ansel Adams

Velvet Verbosity

LUNCH

Velvet Verbosity 100 Word Challenge

The Space Between: The Love Story of Kimmy & David: Chapter 12 {Write on Edge}

 

continued from here:

 

Nico unzipped his wetsuit and peeled the material from his body, allowing the early morning sun to dry his skin.  Running a soft towel he’d pilfered from the beach cart on his way down to the rocks through his damp black curls, he realized with sudden clarity that his affair with Daniela was (finally and almost certainly)  over.

A sense of relief flooded his senses as he grabbed his stuff and started up the stone stairs toward the center of town. He’d been feeling the pull of both the bull and the bear for a few weeks now, his brain itching to calculate and manipulate numbers, his neck missing the silken noose of a Windsor knot. For as sweet and sensual as their time had been, Dani (even a tipsy and naked Dani) would never hold his attention the way the floor of the exchange could.

Nico reached the top of the stairs, heading toward the hotel to pack and book a flight back to New York City before he had time to change his mind, when his phone hummed with an instrumental version of Volare that Dani had insisted he download.

He mentally reminded himself to delete it as he answered.

Ciao

“Nico! Enjoying your sabbatical?”

“Marco! Fratello!!”

Marco’s chuckle traveled across the Atlantic to Nico who instantly became even more homesick.

Cavolo! How the hell are you Marco?”

“I’m good, but Mom misses you. I think it’s probably the stock tips.”

Vaffaculo!” Nico shot back, settling into the easy banter of twins.

“Ah I see Dani is teaching you all the important phrases” Marco tossed back with Nico catching the hitch in his brother’s voice and familiarity as he said her name before he cleared his throat and shot back, “and you can go fuck yourself too.”

“It’s nice to see nothing changes with us, Marco.” Nico chuckled and then remembered his brother’s impending nuptials. “So how is our Kimmy?”

His brother hesitated a fraction of a second too long, “She’s why I’m calling Nic, Kim’s been talking to David.”

Words got stuck in Nico’s throat at the sound of the name. “Just talking?” he asked.

“I saw him kiss her in a parking lot last week.”

“Oh that ragazza sciocca, silly, silly girl.” Nico said more to himself than Marco. “but…”

Marco’s sighed, “She kissed back. More than once.”

Nico let a long low whistle pass between their cell phones, “When should I expect you?”

“I’m already here, at the airport in Naples.”

“Ah, and Kimmy?”

“Well for now, she obviously needs a little time and I need some distance.”

Nico nodded as if Marco could see him, “I’m on my way.”

*****************************************

this week for WRITE ON EDGE

“Time is the longest distance between two places.”
~Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

and a continuation of my WIP:
The Love Story of Kimmy & David

Love’s Respite {Write at the Merge}

The bells of St Brigit’s are calling tonight.

Josie hurriedly made the sign of the cross and pressed the accelerator causing the car to hug the curb around the old wooden church and nearly take out Sister Agnes’ prize begonias.

The last time she’d noticed their chiming he’d been courting her.  

“I really like you.” She’d tendered, playing coquette.

“I feel so much more.” He’d answered, as if he’d meant it.

Josie remembered swooning.

True love is always the tease’s downfall.

Sadly, he’d never meant it.

“Oh, Georgie…” she whispered as she sped toward the beach and forgiveness.

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I missed the prompt last week so I decided to combine both this week.

100 words about the bells of St. Brigit’s and words written in sand.

If you must speak ill of another, do not speak it, write it in the sand near the water’s edge.
~Napoleon Hill

Meeting Delaney {Write On Edge/Trifecta/Studio 30 Plus}

Delaney bumped into Joe at the corner of Spruce and 1st.

That might sound like a “meet-cute” from a romantic movie, unless you’ve met Joe or you happened to see Delaney in the aftermath of the shit storm he’d put her through all in the name of love. If you were witness to any of  it (like we were) the only word you’d come up with was ironic or agree it was the worst case of serendipity you can imagine.

As it was, Delaney was rummaging through her over-sized purse, sidestepping cracks in the sidewalk that threatened her skinny stilettos and talking to herself when she literally bumped into the chest of the man she’d never meant to fall in love with.

True to form, Joe hardly noticed her. Oh, he might have been just as surprised to be standing in front of their old apartment building staring back into her hazel eyes but the spark that lingered between them excited and then scared him so much he decided to do what he did best.

He talked about himself.

Delaney listened as he stroked his own ego, bringing attention to his successes, both the imagined ones and the real ones. She knew what he’d been up to, of course, but she feigned interest and surprise, nodding like a duck bobbing for fish.

A slight breeze lifted her gauzy skirt and rustled the tattered curtains that now hung in the window of apartment 743. She got lost in a memory of the water stain on their kitchen ceiling that resembled the inside bark of an oak tree and the quaint tchotckes she’d filled the built-in bookshelves with trying to make a home for herself and Joe.

She forced herself to forget the white iron rail bed where he’d touched her inside and out, loathing the quickening pulse it incited.

That’s what happens when you fall in love with a myth; you become part of a lie that becomes a legend.

When there was nothing more to comment on, Delaney forced a smile and began to move away, crafting a place she needed to be.

As they made their way in opposite directions along Spruce Delaney turned to take in his purposeful stride.

She chuckled.

He’d gotten chubby.

*********************************************

Write on Edge

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Sometimes legends make reality, and become more useful than the facts.”

~ Salman Rushdie

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Trifecta

Word of the Week:

Quaint

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Studio 30 Plus:
Loathe

Press Repeat : The Love Story of Kimmy & David Chapter 9 {Write On Edge/Studio30Plus}

 

 

continued from here..

 

 

 

Lost in each other Kimmy and David squinted into the blinding sunlight as they exited the theater.

But as David reached for Kimmy’s hand she froze. Unsure, she let him take it but it was a stiff offering.

David held tight, “You okay?”

“I’m fine.” she answered, allowing her fingers to slowly relax inside his. “It’s just feels weird to be holding your hand.”

“Weird?” David frowned, pretending to be hurt.

“Yeah. Weird.” You never held my hand when we, um, when we were…” Kimmy’s face flamed as she tried to explain what they had been to each other.

“I know.” David sighed, bringing her hand to his lips and placing a gentle kiss between her knuckles. “But that was a long time ago.”

There was a pause as their foreheads touched.

“David…?” Kimmy whispered.

“Hmm? “He answered. His mouth was dangerously close.

“…What made you call? The other night, you sounded drunk, I mean, I think you were drunk. So if you didn’t really mean any of it … “she heard her voice sputter.  

 David shifted, raking the hand that wasn’t holding hers through his hair and then gently trailing it down the side of her face. “I meant every word. I know I was drunk, but the things I said? I couldn’t be more serious.”

Kimmy’s breath caught in her throat as tears spilled down her cheeks. Her shoulders heaved, “You made me feel unlovable.”

“Unlovable?” David’s eyes clouded as if he’s heard her wrong. “You’re the least unlovable person I know.”

“But…”

“I never said it.” David admitted,” I don’t think I knew. Or maybe I did, but I thought you and I were too different to last. I’m not sure I even wanted to feel that way about you or anyone else but then you left, and I was… well, I was…” he searched for a word, “… surprised.”

“Surprised?”

“Yeah. I was surprised when you left. Then I found your letter.” He paused, drawing a deep breath. “It took a long time to realize how much I’d hurt you. ”
“I’m sorry…”

“Don’t be. It was your way of telling me stuff I didn’t want to hear. You know I’ve carried that letter around for the  past two years?”

Reaching into his back pocket, he slowly unfolded the two sheets of lined paper that she had poured her heart out onto. Blue ink had seeped into the creases and they spoke of it being handled over and over again, folded and refolded, as if it held the answers to a mystery.

“See?” David said, offering it to her but even as her hand came up to grasp it, she didn’t need to; she remembered every bitter word she’d written.

You don’t love me.”

Anger and frustration had poured out of her.

I mean nothing to you and it’s tearing me apart!

Desperation had threatened to swallow her alive.

I only want to be with you, please stop pushing me away.”

She shuttered as she remembered how the words had simply tumbled out of her but she hardly recognized the girl who had written the last line, “I HATE you! I wish I’d never met you!”

She swallowed the memory of the pen channeling her emotion, almost ripping the paper, as she scrawled her name to the bottom of the page.

Kimmy’s handled the flimsy paper, careful not to tear it along its worn seams. Her voice came out so soft David had to lean in to hear her, “I can’t believe you kept it.

David tipped her chin with his finger, “Sometimes I wish we could go back, so you never had to write it.”

“Me too.” she sighed, forcing a weak, watery smile. “But that was then and this is…”

“…Now.” He finished and kissed her, both of them completely unaware Marco was watching from across the parking lot.

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It’s been a while, but it feels good to be writing again.

I saw the prompts from WRITE AT THE MERGE and decided to “kill my babies” with this piece.

I ripped the original apart and came up with something I like a lot better.

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”
~ L. P. Hartley: The Go-Between (1953)

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

also my good friend Marie is back and playing with prompts with
STUDIO 30 Plus

the prompt of “TIME” seems to fit so well here.

 

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If you’re visiting and haven’t ever written for WRITE ON EDGE or STUDIO 30PLUS before I encourage you to join

both communities.

We’d love to read your words and hear your stories.

Liquid Courage {Write at the Merge/Trifecta}

Instead of sipping the mimosa, Calliope put the flute to her lips, tipped her head and let the champagne laced orange juice flood her mouth and then, eventually, when the glass was drained and the stinging in her throat had subsided, she righted herself and exchanged the empty for another as a waiter passed by.

She’d sip this one.

The ballroom pulsed with the energy of the conversations filling the room. Calliope smiled as she took it all in from the edge of the dance floor, found her hips swaying to the Christmas music and began to make her way across the sea of people to table 31, so thankful for the bustle of the crowd and the boozy haze she was now floating in.

“Nice tush!” she heard as her skinny stilettos made contact with the hardwood. Ignoring the voice, she didn’t notice him in her peripheral until he’d matched her stride.

Calliope stumbled, her right ankle twisting in protest and met his eyes.

Damn.

“I was kinda hoping you wouldn’t be here.” She squeaked as if it were a perfectly acceptable way to greet someone.

“Ditto.”

Lifting her ankle to rub it she sputtered, “I just thought, I mean… why did you come? You hate Christmas.”

He nodded.  “I do.”

“Three years ago you weren’t too fond of me either.”

“It wasn’t you I wasn’t fond of, it was our circumstances.”

Calliope peered into her champagne glass, suddenly thirsty for something, as he came closer.

Hoping her voice wouldn’t crack above the din she asked, “Do you ever think of me?”

“Sure.”

“Does it make you angry?  Letting yourself think of me?”

“Sometimes.”

“Me too.”  She admitted, putting the glass to her lips again and taking a generous sip before posing her next question.

“Do you miss me?”

He frowned, “I’m not sure.”

She flushed and drained her drink, “Well then I think you should kiss me, you know, just to make sure.”

 

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Write on Edge this week:

F Scott Fitzgerald quotes

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On now to our one-word weekly prompt.  This week we wanted to do something to mark the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, and we foolishly thought that would be easy.  There are so many amazing Yiddish words that found their way into the English language, and we thought it would be great to highlight one.  To find one with a third definition, however, was not so easy.  We thought all was lost until we stumbled upon this gem.

tush

1. a long pointed tooth; especially : a horse’s canine2. an interjection used to express disdain or reproach3. buttocks (slang)

Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends.  Now let’s all write our tushes off.
westfield.trang@mailxu.com
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