Friday, July 30, 2010


I stopped speaking today.
Chattering one moment.
Not another word the next.
My silence, unmarked.
It simply didn’t matter.
Once I was full of things to say.
An effusion of phrase.
But my verbal energy is tapped
Sucked dry, my voice turned dust.
I am mute.
I had a presence.
My image has faded.
I am but a shadow.
Soon I will blend into the background.
And no one will remember I was ever here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Wonder

A week or so ago one of my pictures fell off the wall. No reason for it. It just fell. Last night, another did the same thing.

I’ve been thinking about it and decided my house is trying to kick me out. It apparently doesn’t want me there anymore and is giving me a gentle shove out the door. I won’t be at all surprised to get home one day and find some of my stuff on the sidewalk.

Years ago when I bought my house it came with a piano. What? Doesn’t everyone’s? Anyway, I had a moment and gave it away. To an FBI hostage negotiator but that’s a different blog. The only time I played was when I was prowling the house in the wee hours of the morning and I think my neighbors were happy to see it go. I transposed everything to minor keys as I played so it always sounded somewhat off.

Only thing is I now wish I still had it. Yeah, for when I’m prowling again. I have a keyboard but it’s just not the same. Sure it can be set to sound like an average piano but it doesn’t feel right. I know. Never happy, am I?

I lost my mind the other night, (Don’t say it!) and ordered some new sheet music. Erik Satie’s Gymnopedie. It’s been a long time since I indulged myself like that and I’m really looking forward to it coming. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Arena

They came
Slipping silently into my dreams where I am defenseless and whisked me away to the arena of judgment
A hush fell as I was deposited, left on my own
I’d heard rumors
But nothing had prepared me for the actuality
Standing there surrounded by a hoard of nameless faces
Waiting for the pronouncement of my fate
Sure to be bad for as the stories go all were
I stood
The center of curious, hostile attention for far longer than comfortable
Why did they delay?
I was petrified
Yet anxious for them to proceed
Get on with it to get it over with
Then they spoke
And it was even worse than expected
A great injustice has been committed
Why are you still here?
I didn’t understand but before I could question their meaning image after image played across the huge screens rimming the arena
Each one showed a moment in my life when I realized just how much I didn’t belong
One after the other
Ceaselessly reminding me
Forcing me to relive every one of them
Making me revisit the pain of continually being an outsider
A constant misfit
I wanted to rail at them to stop
To end the agonizing torment
But I remained silent, still
For they were all true
On and on it went
Each incident hurtful enough when isolated
But strung together, way too much
Why are you here?
The scenes switched to a litany of all the times I’d contemplated ending it
The ultimate escape
A permanent removal of myself
Why are you here?
I couldn’t respond
Seeing it all at once showed me I shouldn’t have been
I was wrong to let it drag on as I had
I choked out an I’m sorry
And I was
Not good enough
The screens went black
A blanket of anticipation settled over the crowd, weighing me down
Threatening to suffocate me with its resentment
Fix it
Fix it
Over and over, their final decree rang out through the cheering masses
I was transported back to my bed
I screamed in terror as I’d wanted to since they came
I wept
I tried to convince myself that it hadn’t been real, though I knew it was
I told myself to ignore it
To put it out of my mind
Forget it
But I couldn’t
Every day the urgings got stronger
Fix it
Chanting within my head
Fix it
Fix it
Fix it

Until I knew it would never stop
So I did
Fixed I told the shadows I found waiting
You took too long
Their disappointment was not masked
Back to the arena, empty this time
Stands silently mocking me as my life replayed eternally on the screens
As I fixed it again
And again
And many many times after that
Though it was never enough to satisfy them
I’d failed
And this was now my destiny

©2010 Barbara Huffert

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A New Review!

4 Divas for Second Act at Dark Diva Reviews.

"Second-Chance-at-Love and Friends-to-Lovers themes are among my favorite and in Barbara Huffert’s Second Act I found a story that got both right." How cool is that!

Thanks, Kathy! Read the full review here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Glimpse

Migraine – Day 47

My head has hurt so long I don’t remember what it feels like no to. Even though it’s marginally cooler and less humid today it’s still in the upper 80’s so no real relief in sight. Warmer tomorrow. Back to hazy, hot and horrible the rest of the week.

I didn’t sleep again last night. I can’t remember the last time I did. Not a peaceful, restful sleep. As awful as not sleeping is, it’s still better than screaming myself awake multiple times a night as I’ve done far too often this summer.

It’s really starting to bother me. I find myself staring off into space at the oddest times, thinking about nothing. I think zombiness is setting in. At least I haven’t wandered off yet, though more and more I’m feeling like I might without meaning to. Maybe I should pin one of those “Lost. If Found Return To” notes to myself.

My frustration level is growing, as is my grumpiness factor. Perhaps it’s good I am zombiish. If I weren’t I’d more than likely be snapping at people for no reason. Better go into hiding anyway. At least when the zombis invade I’ll have no trouble blending in. I suppose that’s one good thing about all this.

I’m becoming exhausted from the effort it’s taking to appear normal. Even speech is a chore that’s rapidly seeming not worth the bother. Weekends should be longer. I don’t talk then and it’s nice.

The cats must sense that things aren’t quite right. Usually during the day they all vanish to sleep in their favorite locations. These days there’s always one nearby, watching me. It’s like they’re protecting me almost. Cats certainly are amazing critters.

I’ve given up food. Something else I just can’t force myself to bother to deal with. Between that and the sauna-like heat you’d think I’d be getting smaller. Ha! Never seems to work that way.

Oh but there is a silver lining to this ever-expanding black cloud that’s taken up residence above me. Saturday I discovered that when it’s that hot, 100+, it seems like my towels are heated.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Don't Want to Play

Do you remember the shooting gallery games they have at carnivals? I’m sure you do. Last night I dreamed about one. Only instead of the typical critters most have for targets, this one used live people. Of which I was one. And real guns.

Each of the targets had a friend on hand to do the shooting. As I was being wheeled back and forth across the game I attempted to figure out what the prize was. There didn’t seem to be one. Our friends were simply shooting us.

It was very interesting, seeing if the person shooting shot their friend or someone else. There didn’t seem to be a rule about that. Perhaps that was the purpose of the game, to observe each individual’s behavior.

It got down to me and one other target. The other friend that was left was a really bad shot. The first several rounds he had only wounded people so they suffered before they were mercifully killed by someone else. My friend, who was very accurate in his shooting, was up and I was hoping he’d kill me cleanly instead of letting me hurt first.

And that’s when I woke up. I’d really like to think he figured out a way to rescue me and for us to escape. But if that’s impossible, I’m sure he’s the one who ended up shooting me. Yeah.

Happy weekend. It’s going to be hellaciously hot again here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Any Questions?

Have you ever crossed paths with someone who just annoyed the hell out of you? I mean really, really aggravated you to the point of wishing to do them bodily harm.

It happened to me today. And the individual has no idea how close he came to not escaping intact. As I was running through all the ways of doing away with him in my mind, I was also making a list of people who would gladly help me dispose of the body.

What’s that? You want to know what method I decided on? It was a toss up but in the end I suspect I was most likely to pop him in the throat. Ever see anyone do that? It’s extremely effective and size doesn’t come into play. No, sorry. Can’t get into how exactly I know that. You’ll just have to trust me.

About the body. There was a very nice walled garden handy. I know where the shovels are kept. And I even would have replanted the flowers on top of him. At least that way he would have had some use in life. Or should I say death?

Oh in case you’re worried, don’t be. One of the great things about being me is I appear to be so sweet and utterly harmless. No one ever suspects me so I would go unquestioned in his disappearance.

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Visiting the Medicine Man

I wandered off to visit my head doc today. Nope, nothing new out there. So he’s going to play with the dosage of the stuff I already take which should help. Either that or it’ll kill me. I got a whole slew of serious warnings on what I can and must never combine today since he has figured out I do that. And he’s anticipating a call from the insurance company where he’ll need to justify the meds he’s prescribed. I’m not all that concerned. He’s admitted to trying to kill me off for years and hasn’t succeeded to yet. One interesting thing is that the meds I take are supposed to cause “vivid” dreams. Interesting but I’ve had them forever, long before I started taking this stuff so I doubt I can blame it for them.

Heartstrings. Want to know where that comes from? Back in the fifteenth century, heartstrings were thought to be nerves or tendons that braced and sustained the heart. When they were tugged too hard you become heartsore, extremely unhappy or despondent. And once soothed, regaining your peace of mind you have heartsease. There you go, Doc. Curiosity satisfied?

Yeah, I’ve been going to this doc forever and we talk much more than just migraines. I think he likes when I come in. I’m not dying. Well, other than his feeble attempts to do away with me that is. So I figure I’m a fairly amusing break from some of his other patients.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

And In Today's News

I glanced through the newspaper again today. I don’t know why I keep doing that. The things I read are generally too bizarre. First, Reading is planning to eliminate the Water Authority. Why? Because they won’t play nice and turn over the money required by the Act 47 people. What perplexes me is that the Water Authority was created in the first place to funnel cash into the city’s general fund without needing the approval of the Public Utilities Commission. Um, if their whole purpose for existing is to generate income why do the board members now think they can withhold it? They also made the mistake of dictating to the mayor at a recent meeting how they think the city should be run. I suspect they’re not the brightest bunch. Where were they when the city government was asking for suggestions on how to get out of the financial bind it’s in?

Another article that caught my eye was that a man was detained at the Mexico City airport after authorities noticed a bulge under his clothes. Upon being search, 18 tiny titi monkeys, an endangered species, were found in pouches strapped to a girdle. Two were already dead. The man was arrested. What the hell was he thinking?

And then there’s the British judge who they want to remove because he supposedly condoned the mistreatment of terrorist suspects. Define mistreatment. If someone is plotting major harm against innocent people I say find out about it however you need to. There are things the public really has no need to know. We’re being protected. Knowing that is enough for me.

People in Reading are dumb. My opinion, of course and not all of them. Just the ones using sledgehammers to open fire hydrants that have been locked down after the same people opened them as a means of cooling off. They fail to understand that doing so up and down the same street will cause a severe drop in water pressure, thus making it very difficult for the fire department should they need water to fight a fire.

A man was shot and killed by the police in the wee hours Sunday morning. He was in the process of committing armed robbery and attempted to flee. Naturally he was chased. When an officer followed, the would-be robber shot at him. And the officer shot back. This happened a few blocks from my house and I live in a decent section of Reading. Once again the thought that I must move is running through my head.

And finally, there has been a scientific study conducted on the “five-second rule” for salvaging food after it’s dropped. According to the results, that is a random number and is nonsense. Location matters more than time. It’s better to eat off a sidewalk than it is off your kitchen floor, no matter how clean it is and never ever eat anything you’ve dropped in the bathroom. Hmm, don’t know about you but I don’t generally take food to the bathroom with me.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Melua that is. Ever hear her? Well you should. I had her cd, Pictures playing in the background this afternoon and found myself entranced. Her voice is sweet and clear very easy to get lost in. So soothing.

Yeah, I’m still in need of soothing. It’s still hot. My head still hurts. I’m still not sleeping. I’m going to see the head doc this week. Maybe he’ll have something new and wonderful for me to try. Meh, I doubt it too. It hasn’t been all that long since the last time I was there and he’d call me if there was anything new available between appointments. I’m beginning to give up hope that I’ll ever wake up without a headache again. Especially since I’d need to be asleep first for that to happen.

I’ve been thinking about it and I really can’t figure out what I did to piss someone off this much. Whatever it was, I’m sorry. Could you please stop jabbing the voodoo doll now? And tell me what it was I did so I don’t do it again. On the other hand, maybe I'm just a horrible, awful person who deserves this. Who knows?

I managed to work on my current WIP a little over the weekend. My characters have decided to speak to me again but only at 4:00 AM. I guess it’s marginally cooler then and that makes them talkative. I feel really bad. Even though Brett, the hero has sufficiently redeemed himself, he still annoys me for being such an ass at the beginning of the story. Sigh. It’s not easy, disliking someone who lives in my head like this. Makes me feel guilty. I may have to change his story. Or maybe not. I think I’ll read the whole story all at once instead of bits and pieces as I’ve been doing and see if it all fits or not.

Okay, that’s enough rambling for today. Perhaps I’ll do better at this tomorrow. Then again, I might get closer to writing down the things that flit through my mind uncensored. Hahaha! I don’t know if you’re ready for that yet.

Wait, one last tidbit. My horoscope for the day — You tend to rely on your instincts quite a bit, but now you're drawing on even deeper wisdom -- the stuff that bubbles up now and then that seems spooky to others. Act on your intuition. Hmm, how’s that for scary?

And yes, I wouldn't mind having that T-shirt. You know. Just in case you were wondering about it, I thought I'd let clear that up for you.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I had today's blog written only in rereading it as I was about to post I decided it might be best not to. So here I am with nothing much to say. Or nothing I can say, should say just now. So instead I'm going to leave you to it. Whatever it may be. I'll be back some other time when I may or may not be making more sense. Not that making sense has ever been a prerequisite for blogging. You'll just have to wait and see. It's hot. My head has hurt for literally weeks now. And I'm not sleeping. See ya. Maybe. Hopefully. Yeah, I'm really going. Honest. For now anyway. Don't do anything I wouldn't do while I'm gone. Or if you do be sure to take notes so you don't forget anything when you tell me about it later. Bye.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Finally! Someone took me seriously and arrived by my desk this morning with a more than appropriate offering in order to secure office supplies. I am very much appreciative and will be sharing all the good stuff I keep tucked away that no one knows about.

Want to know what it was that secured the treasures I keep hidden? A Lindt Excellence bar. Dark chocolate infused with spicy red chili. Oh yeah, is it yummy! Ultra rich dark chocolate with just a hint of a heat. Excellence is a great choice of name for it.

And this is on top of someone else bringing in tins and tins of Royal Dansk Danish Butter Cookies yesterday and Bliss milk chocolate with meltaway centers last week. Yep, it’s taken a while but some of them at least are beginning to understand.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Short and Sweet

Two reviews for Second Act!

4.75 stars and a reviewer top pick from Night Owl Reviews. Click here to read the full review.

And a definite recommended read from independant reviewer Molly Daniels.

Thank you!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Talent Show Finale Unexpected

A talent show was held at Demon Bluffs Elementary School on Saturday evening. Seventeen students, grades 2-6 participated, presenting a wide variety of acts, from song and dance, to violin playing, to recitations of original poetry.

It was a tough decision for the judges. According to Mrs. Stemple, mother of Sallie Anne, a ten-year-old crooner, “The children all worked their precious tails off in preparation for this event. Competition is always fierce and this year is no exception.” In the end it was Johnnie Fischbrook, a fifth grader, who won with his rendition of a Bach Fugue performed on the piano.

After little Johnnie was declared the victor, he took his place on the raised platform to the rear of the stage to accept his well deserved applause. It was then the audience members who were all seated in the very front rows reached beneath their seats and pulled forth sacks of rocks. Over and over the fist-sized projectiles flew to the stage, striking the remaining sixteen children who had joined hands to support one another.

The faculty circulated among the audience, replenishing the supply of rocks and the stoning continued until all the non-winners were masses of faceless pulp. As Sallie Anne, hair matted with blood, dress splattered crimson, gurgled her last breath in the near empty auditorium her mother said, “This’ll be a good example for my other kids to try harder. The talent show always inspires the whole school to do the best they can.”

Well, you can certainly never say my dreams are boring.

Friday, July 9, 2010


The 97th annual Tour de France is going on now and I'm missing it. It started July 3rd and runs through July 25th. There are twenty stages and the race covers a total distance of 3642 kilometers or 2263 miles.

Other years I’d have taken days off to watch a few of the stages live because I love it. This year I didn’t. I have no TV provider. Part of my decision to get rid of TV was because they dropped the channel that carries this race. Sure I could have switched back to the local cable company but I’ve already had too many disagreements with them. And they just announced they’re raising rates yet again.

I considered moving in at the bar on my corner since it is a sports bar with 32 big screen TVs. But then I’d need to eat there every day. And take my computer to work on during slow bits. And my cats would feel neglected so I’d need to take them with me as well. Harry would want to hang out in the kitchen, helping to cook. Quinn would shed all over everyone. Bix and Kya would sprawl wherever it’s most inconvenient and Beau would chew his way around the room.

I don’t think they’d be very happy with me. I’d want all the TVs tuned to the race, not just the one closest to me. Hey, don’t want to miss anything as I wander around to snag the kitties. Even though the tour is on live in the mornings some silly people would still want to watch soccer and tennis and those sorts of things. They don’t understand and I doubt they’d be reasonable when I tried to explain why we needed to switch back to the bike race.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's The Little Things

This morning a one of my coworkers showed up with a surprise for me. Something really, really cool. Guess what it was.


Okay, I’ll tell you. It was one of those handheld fans. I know. You’re sitting there thinking “Huh? What’s so cool about that? The heat has finally fried her mind.” Right? Come on, you can admit it. I’m beginning to thinks that too.

So. Ya wanna know why it’s so nifty? I should be mean and let you wonder. Yeah, except for my new gizmo it’s been that kind of day. Anyway, this thingy is the variety that you can program messages on that are displayed as the fan spins. Up to four different ones. They turn, blink, disappear and reappear.

Mmm hmm. Jealous now, aren’t you? Thought so.

I was very well behaved with what I programmed while I was at work. Now that I’m home…

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Stop It!

I believe I may have mentioned that I hate summer. Well, besides for the heat making me physically ill, I also hate it for another reason.

Fireworks. No, not professional fireworks displays. Those I enjoy. The ones I have trouble with are the ones people shoot off in their yards. Not sparkles. Not bottle rockets. I’m talking about full-sized, exploding thingies that send out showers of sparks and launch units that then pop once they’re way up in the air.

Supposedly, that is. The less-than-brilliant locals who insist on playing with explosives, since that’s what fireworks truly are, set off all sorts of technically illegal things in their typical 11’ X 20’ backyards. Right next to houses, garages, storage sheds, trees, and yards that haven’t been rained on in almost three weeks. And they do so incorrectly in many, many instances so the gizmos end up exploding in all the wrong places instead of well above ground.

This past weekend there were so many fireworks going off in the yard two houses away from mine that the air was thick with smoke and smelled like chemical fire. Now, these individuals have been setting off something or other most every weekend since they moved in back in May but they outdid themselves on the Fourth. I actually risked being hit by something and went out to wet down mine and the yard of the old woman who lives between us right before dusk.

You may wonder why the police didn’t notice and do anything about it. In Reading, as I’m sure happens all over the place, many blocks are similar to mine. The city certainly doesn’t have the manpower to go after everyone. It’s been this way for years and the police have justifiably given up, concentrating their efforts on the ones that actually set off real fires, of which there are several every year.

People are idiots. They don’t think. I’m not going to be at all happy when they burn down my house since the fireworks never manage to get caught in the edge of their own roofs. Cruel as it may be I’m beginning to hope they blow off a few fingers real soon because it seems that might be the only way to they’ll be inspired to find a new form of entertainment.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Remember This?

A few short months ago and this is how it was. I’ll take this over the heat any day.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Blame It On The Heat

Sometimes, I am too impulsive for my own good. I had to get something at the pet store today. Instead of going directly to the area of the store where the item I needed was, I wandered by the cat toys. Big mistake!

There was this super cool, ultra realistic looking mouse. That squeaks when you bump it. It sounded so real that I couldn’t resist. Bigger mistake!

The kitties love it. And it’s making me crazy. What the hell was I thinking?

It was 102 this afternoon. Humid. Predicted to be this way all week with no rain or relief in sight. Have I mentioned how much I hate summer?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Take Me

With you. To the beach. Camping. To your picnics. Wherever you may be headed this holiday weekend. My new book, Second Act, that is. Well, I suppose you could literally take me too. If you do, I’ll read Second Act to you. Hmm, that sounds even better. Email me and we’ll talk.

In the meantime, Second Act releases from Jasmine Jade tomorrow, July 2nd. It’s short, sweet and nicely spicy. A story about two old friends who get a second chance. And the perfect length for an afternoon at the pool.


Martin Binks has made it big in Hollywood but there’s something missing from his life. When he heads back to his home town to regroup, he finds it in his high school pal, Josie, now a grown woman with curves in all the right places.

Josie Weston is thrilled when Binks walks back into her life. Not sharing her feelings for him was the one regret she’s always had. She was too timid to act on her fantasies when they were younger but now…


As she mounted the stairs, Josie's heart threatened to pound a hole in her
chest. Martin Binks, the one schoolgirl crush she'd never gotten over, back in
town. And looking even more handsome than ever, if that were possible. Amazing
that he should remember her after all the experiences he must have had since

"Perfect timing," Binks declared, taking the pizza box from her. When his
fingers brushed hers, she shivered and had to gulp to keep from drooling. He'd
apparently hopped in the shower while she was gone. His sun-blond hair was still
damp and he was now wearing a faded denim shirt that brought out the blue in his
eyes. His chest was toned and tan, very obvious beneath the unbuttoned shirt.

Binks groaned. "Damn it, Josie. Don't do that."

"Do," her voice cracked and she had to begin again. "Do what?

"Look at me like that."

"Like what? "she asked, confused.

"Like you did that night backstage. When you were helping with the costume
change and I whipped off my drawers along with my pants," he hesitated. "I've
never forgotten that. How it felt with you staring at me. I was surprised you
weren't horrified."

"I was fascinated. I'd never seen anyone naked before. And then, when you
started to get hard–"

"How could I not? You were kneeling at my feet so close I could feel your
breath, looking at me like you wanted to touch me."

"I did."

Binks closed his eyes for a second. "Fuck."

Josie blushed. "I probably shouldn't admit that, should I?"

"Why not? With my reaction, it's no secret that I wanted you to."

Their eyes met. "Do you know in all this time no one's ever looked at me like
that or made me feel like you did?"

"Oh right." She tried to laugh it off. What was he saying? He couldn't possibly
mean it the way it sounded.

"Hey, it's true." He caught her arm before she could turn away. "I had myself
convinced it couldn't have been as powerful as I remembered but now I know it
was. It still is." He shifted, holding her with one hand on either hip. "Even