Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Survival - A Tale

There comes a moment in every survivor’s life when they’ve had enough. They’ve been pushed and bullied so much that they quit thinking and simply react. Pure instinct that, in many cases has been suppressed far too long. Perhaps, had it not been, things never would have reached the levels they do.

My moment arrived last night. We were sitting there, same as always. Me attempting invisibility, him ranting and raving, out of control, beating me down any and all ways he could. Nothing new about that. On and on he went, ceaselessly. I’d given up fighting back so long ago he was beyond shocked when I stood. Instantly he tensed, ready for things to once again turn physical as if he relished the renewed opportunity. When I turned away and went for the recycling bin he was clearly disappointed.

He followed, berating me every step of the way for not putting it out sooner. Oh the things he said! No one should ever be subjected to things like that. No one! But I was. Continually, day in, day out. Had been for what felt like forever. I barely remembered a time when my life was different.

Most days that is. Last night, for some unknown reason I did remember. Just a brief flash but a memory nonetheless. From back when I used to smile. When I used to bother. When I used to care. I was nice back then. Decent. Kind. Generous. Confident. Alive. Nothing at all like what I’d let myself become. What I’d let him turn me into.

So last night I took out the recycling. And stood outside, barefoot and coatless in the sleet, staring at nothing on the pavement beside the bin. Staring longer than it took him to grab another beer. Staring long enough for him to worry that I would once again go looking for someone to listen who might finally expose him for the monster he was even though I’d given up all hope of that forever ago. No one ever believed me anyway, no matter what physical evidence I presented.

He came looking for me, demanding an explanation that I didn’t have. I didn’t answer, couldn’t answer for there was no answer. Just kept staring at nothing, frozen in place, paralyzed. Eventually he came off the porch to look for himself, shoving me out of the way but not quite far enough. No, not far enough.

He was griping as he turned to me. I was standing in a way that he couldn’t grab my arm as he normally did. That threw him off balance somewhat. I hadn’t planned it. Really, I hadn’t. It wasn’t something I’d even considered. Or thought of for that matter. But when he reached for me and began to say something even more hateful than ever, I did it. I just did it. Without thinking. Without even knowing exactly what I was doing. But did it I did.

He was so involved in gearing himself up to drag me back inside to pummel me he was distracted. He never saw it coming. The look of surprise on his face when I popped him dead in the throat with the heal of my hand was priceless. Oh did I pop him! Hard as I could putting years of pent up anger behind it.
The world went silent. I watched as he fell in slow motion. The force of my swing carried him backward. His feet got tangled. His neck bounced off the iron railing with such force I thought the railing might be knocked out of the concrete steps. He landed on the recycling bin. I didn’t miss the irony of that.

The gurgling was horrible and fascinating all at once. He seemed to want to scream at me, probably for spilling his beer which was draining against his shin. Bet that was pissing him off. I waited for his eyes to glaze over and the bubbles to stop coming out of his mouth before I went in to call for help.

By the time they arrived I was sobbing hysterically. Tears of relief but they didn’t know that. Since he always portrayed himself as doing absolutely everything, there was no question of them believing I’d been inside and hadn’t seen a thing. The coroner ruled his death a tragic, unfortunate accident. A combination of the weather making the pavement slippery and his being under the influence which caused him to slip.

Yep, an accident.

I’m finally free.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


In happy news, Neeley, my very first little girl that I’ve borrowed over the years, got married yesterday. I know! Hard to believe she’s old enough but she is and she did. She was beautiful! Wait. She’s always beautiful but yesterday she was extra special beautiful. Please join me in sending a gazillion happy wishes!

In disturbing news, I heard a report on the radio. It’s feared pilots are so used to flying on auto-pilot that they lost their ability to actually handle a plane. It is also suspected that planes are now so high-tech that in an emergency, say if the auto-pilot fails or the plane stalls, even a decent pilot will be lacking the training and will not know what to do. Well now. Doesn’t that just fill you with the warms and fuzzies?

In shake-your-head news, the local power company announced today that they have arranged with one of the grocery store chains to provide drinking water and ice to those still without power in our area. Okay, that’s nice. There are a dozen stores participating. Great, no one has to drive too far. The list of stores is available on the Berks Emergency Management website. Hmm. Anyone else see the potential problem here?

Sunday, August 28, 2011


The pretty girl is going to live with the wonderful tech that works at my vet's office. She does rescues and is willing to take on this kitty. That means she'll end up with lots of love in a caring home. If you're interested, let me know and I'll put you in touch with Tracie. This baby is such a sweetie and I'm going to miss her. My hoard, however, has spent a very unhappy two days and won't mind seeing her go.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Home Needed

This little sweetie has been hanging around my street the last few months. She's super friendly so she must have had a home at one point. Until they tossed her out for whatever hateful whim possessed them. I watched her almost get hit this afternoon. I can't do that again so now I'm trying to find her a home. She talks constantly and has a huge rumbly purr. Anyone interested? Anyone know anyone who's interested? Anyone know anyone who knows anyone who's interested? Anyone know... Well, you have the idea. Ask around please. I'm in Reading, PA and I'll deliver farther than any pizza shop ever dreamed of. Even in a hurricane.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Use Some Sense

I generally have the radio on at work. Much of the time it’s merely background noise and I couldn’t tell you what they talk about all day. Lately, however, there have been two topics.

Earlier this week it was the earthquake. It was next to nothing in my corner of Pennsylvania. Yes, we felt it but there was essentially no damage though they did check an already unstable bridge and cautioned people about potential natural gas leaks. I suppose it needed to be rambled about since it’s pretty rare for this area and the radio show that began within an hour of the quake is dubbed “Talk Tuesday” but asking people to call in and talk about what they were doing when they felt it was a bit much.

Since then the topic has been hurricane Irene. Again, something that needs to be discussed though I don’t feel it’s necessary to talk about it non-stop. Around here we may get swiped by one of the western bands. High winds and five to ten inches of rain. Granted, that is a tremendous amount all at once but it’s not nearly as bad as what people in the direct path of the storm could get.

They’ve issued a flood watch. Hmm, no surprise there. Also, they’ve warned people that due to the ground becoming saturated and the possibility of strong winds, trees may fall, taking power lines with them. Wow, no surprise there either. Because of that it follows that there could be power outages. Again, no big shocker.

The radio folks have been going on and on and on, I’m sure convincing some of the listeners in this area that Armageddon is imminent. Those people will flock to the grocery store, buying up everything in sight, making it look as if attacked by a swarm of locusts.

I go grocery shopping every other week since that’s when I get paid. Unfortunately, that’s this week. I’d wait until Tuesday only the kitties need food. Can’t let them go hungry no matter what’s going on so I am now faced with the dilemma of going tonight, with all the insane people or waiting until tomorrow night after the rain starts and risk there not being any food left.

Have a good weekend. Be safe. Don’t drive through puddles unless you are sure they won’t swallow your car. And don’t stand next to any live downed power lines. In other words, if you have to be out and about in the hurricane use some common sense.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Some People

Have no idea how close they come.

I have a freshly sharpened pencil and I’m not afraid to use it.

Yeah, it was like that this morning. And that, after walking in the downpour and getting thoroughly soaked. Good thing it did storm. Otherwise, things may have gotten ugly.

Have a good evening!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Did You Know?

The internet, small i, are networks connected to each other.

The Internet, capital I, is a specific internet, small i, that connects computers all over the world via a common set of interconnections standards.

The World Wide Web,www, is a subset of the computers on the Internet, capital I, that use software to make their contents easily accessible to each other.

Therefore, while the www is entirely the Internet, capital I, the Internet, capital I, is not entirely the www. (For what it’s worth, the www is also an internet, small i.) So, my question for you is this. If only part of the Internet, capital I, is the www, what is the rest of it?

See what happens when I’ve been deprived of chocolate for too long?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Things You See

I was lounging in a Panera the other day. As is my habit, I had a look around to see if anything of interest was going on. You know. All of life is research and you never know when something will pop up that can be used in a book at some point.

Overall it seemed a fairly average day. Tame even. No drama to be found. Some obvious coworkers out for a quick coffee, a grown daughter taking a break from shopping with an aged mother, a few typical self-important business men. Nothing to hold my attention. Or not until I came across two moms with their two 5 or 6 year old daughters that is.

Moms were nicely dressed, summer casual. Daughters had on cute sun dresses with tidy, combed hair. Average, right? Yep, I thought so too until one of the daughters began licking the wall. Not little, secretive licks. Full on, flat tongue, crouching down in the booth to standing on her tiptoes, stretching as far as she can slurps.

The moms glanced at her and went on with their conversation. Daughter two played with her straw. Daughter one swabbed the wall non-stop for at least seven minutes. It was one of those horrid fascination moments when it made my skin crawl to watch yet I couldn’t look away.

Yeah. I have no clue where or how I’ll use this one but I suspect it will appear in something, somewhere, sometime. Probably in some sort of twisted horror story.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Saturday I had been out working in the sun and heat most of the morning so I decided to take myself off to the local mini market and get a nummy frozen beverage. Simple enough, right? Wrong!

I got there, placed my order on the handy dandy touch screen, went to the counter to pay and then returned to the food/beverage area to wait. And wait. And wait. It was busy so I was okay with that. Until all the other customers waiting with me had been served and the employees began cleaning the area.

So I told the closet one to me that the beverage maker had skipped my order. I showed her my receipt, stamped paid, that listed what I was expecting. Her response? Was I sure I hadn’t gotten it and already drank it? Was. I. Sure? That I hadn’t stood directly in front of them and devoured 24 ounces of a very thick, frozen substance with an expectant expression on my face? Seriously? Oh hell yes, I was most definitely sure. I was slightly parched but not out of it to the point where something like that would slip my mind.

Once she believed me she asked the individual making the beverages if he remembered my order. He said oh that must have been the one that disappeared from his screen. And he thought apparently it best to just ignore it instead of asking if everyone standing there had gotten their orders

I waited another five minutes for him to get out all the stuff he had just put away, grumbling the entire time he did so as if it were my fault the order vanished. I seriously considered accepting it and then turning right around and pouring it over their heads but I changed my mind. After all, this was the last one of these beverages I was ever likely to stop for so I might as well enjoy it.

Customer service – n – assistance and other resources that a company provides to the people who buy or use its products or services.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A New Idea

“Mm,” the pretty young blond moaned. “Fuck, yeah.” He pressed his groan against the taller, huskier man who had him pinned to the wall, his wrists held captive above his head by one large hand. His eyes closed as an expression of pure bliss settled on his soft features. The barely-older-than-a-boy tilted his head, allowing the one feasting complete access to his delicate neck without actually realizing what was going on.

Any thoughts? Would you keep reading if a story began like this?

Thursday, August 18, 2011


My head hurts. It has for over 40 years. Longer than many of you have been alive. Can you imagine that? I had a migraine when you were born. I have a migraine now. It hurts. Again. Still. Again. Still. I don’t even know which it is any more.

The company I work for switched insurances at the beginning of the year so the neurologist I’ve gone to forever is no longer covered. I took the last big, scary dream inducing pill that sometimes helps last night. I know. I should have dealt with it before but I hate the whole finding/choosing/going to the doctor bit. I think the insurance company eliminating mine because I’ve cost too much over the years and they’ve decided it would be easier to take me out back and shoot me.

I’m tired. Tired of hurting. Tired of my eyes not focusing together. Tired of being hungry because I’ve reached the point where I know nothing I eat will stay down. Tired of the never-ending frustration. Tired of the tension from fighting tears because I know letting myself cry will make it hurt more. Yeah, I’m just plain tired. Perhaps it really is time to take me out back and shoot me. Any volunteers? Oh wait. This is Reading. I’ll go stand on a street corner for an hour in the wee hours Saturday morning and someone will take care of that for me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Saw This Today

A Message for “Everybody”

This is the story about four people named: Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody, when Nobody did what Anybody could have done!

Hmm, yep. I’ve seen this happen. How about you? And when you do, what do you do about it?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Say Please

Lately I’ve noticed more and more people starting conversations with “I need…” Is it just me or do you find that somewhat annoying too? Perhaps I’m showing my age here, but I was raised to ask for things, not make demands. Especially not from any individual I happen to stumble on.

I know the world is becoming entirely “me” focused but honestly, when someone begins with that, my instant response is to say no. Even if it’s something simple that would be absolutely no problem for me or something I might just do on average day without being asked. With me, a little politeness goes a long way.

I can’t tell you how many times I force myself to take a deep breath and swallow my first reaction. And then I wonder. Am I being unreasonable, thinking I should be asked for something rather than told what I am going to do? I just can’t tell any more.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Still At It!


I was away for a few days last week. Not many. I left on Wednesday, came home late Friday so there was really only Thursday that I wasn’t here at all. Naturally, the kitties were not at all happy about this even though Riley came over to tend them.

The older kitties totally ignored me when I got back. My punishment. It took a day for them to warm up again since I had the nerve to leave them. Beau, on the other hand, came to see me and promptly started sneezing all over me. Huge, noisy sneezes. While he sat there all lopsided, looking at me with a sad little face like the world was ending.

I was out doing a few errands Saturday and stopped by Riley’s. I asked her when Beau started sneezing and she said he didn’t at all while she was with him. Hmm. Curiouser and curiouser. I got home and was greeted by more sneezing. Once I made a fuss I pretended I was no longer paying attention. No sneezing. I obviously watched him. Sneezing. Stopped watching, no sneezing.

The little brat was faking! And he grinned when I told him so. Good thing he’s so cute!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I stand alone in a room full of people.
Adrift in a sea of faces.
Always waiting.
For someone,
To notice…
The me inside,
The me I truly am,
The me with so much to give it hurts,
For that’s the me no one ever sees.
Unwanted by the few who’ve caught glimpses.
Is it fear that makes them reject me?
Or am I simply that undesirable?
I ask so little.
Still, it is too much.
Here I remain.
Beaten down by time.
Lost and alone.
In the midst of all.
Who will never know
What a treasure I might have been.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Come Explore...

The softer side of Ellora’s Cave. Blush. Same authors you know and love. Sweet, mainstream romances that will tug at your heart.

And speaking of the Blush line, my new book, Close to Forever, releases the 11th. I love this story! Yes, I know I wrote it but it still makes me sigh at the end. If you have a chance, I’d like to know what you think.

Blurb –

Marc is stuck teaching basic mechanics, but he isn’t happy about it. He’s even less thrilled to discover Chloe in his class. Marc hasn’t seen her since the day she ruined his family. He should hate her, but the more he learns, the more he feels there’s something that just doesn’t add up.

Chloe is ten minutes late for the first class, and the instructor decides to hold it against her. She’s never met a ruder man. Or a more dangerously attractive one. She doesn’t understand his animosity or the attraction between them. When Marc has a change of heart, Chloe must decide if he can be trusted.

Excerpt –

Chloe had been waiting for him to arrive, dressed exactly as he’d predicted. The night he’d spoken to George and the six following, which made him wonder who she was borrowing clothes from, since he was sure they weren’t hers. Each class, he’d worked her hard, assigning her every shit job he could think up, all of which she’d completed without complaint. She didn’t say a peep about how unfair he was being. She just kept coming back for more even though her snooty, high and mighty, sister threw it in her face before she dropped out of the class.

“Hey, Marco,” George greeted as he came through the door. “Heading out soon? I’m ready to lock up.”

“Soon as she’s done cleaning up and gets the tools we used tonight stowed away,” he replied, waving a hand at the woman he referred to without looking over his shoulder.
George did a double take when he saw her and stepped close enough to speak without being overheard.

“That her?”

Marc nodded.

“Damn, she’s hot!” The scowl he got was almost frightening. “Sorry.” He shrugged, grinning as he slowly looked her over. Retreating a few feet, he said loudly, “Something going on here I need to know about?”

“Huh?” Marc’s senses went on full alert. What the hell was George up to? He kept his face blank as he watched his soon-to-be ex-friend stroll over to the class flunky.

When George winked, Marc started planning how to do him in. The guy was already living on borrowed time since that bullet had damn near killed him. He would be dead if Marc hadn’t carried him out and gotten him fixed up as quick as he had. Because he’d saved George’s annoying, interfering in matters where he had no business, ungrateful life, he was therefore entitled to end it whenever he chose to. This was definitely a situation where it was justifiable to exclude the fact that George had been shot by the sniper instead of him.

“Evening, ma’am,” George introduced himself. “Anything you want to tell me?” George gave her his most charming smile. “Strictly speaking it’s not against the rules and personally, I have no notable objections, but Marco here is my best bud and I like to keep an eye out for him. So tell me, what are your intentions in regards to him?”

“My intentions?” Chloe asked politely though she clearly wasn’t thrilled with his attempt to draw her into his game.

“Yes. I do hope they’re honorable. Otherwise I may have something to say about this.”

“Well then you have nothing to worry about. I assure you Mr. Hughes is perfectly safe with me.”

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Best

Yesterday, when I came home from being out and about, I stepped on my bottom step which promptly crumbled under my foot. Much swearing later, I had myself very depressed, convinced I would need a new unit of prefab, concrete steps. I didn’t price them as I was positive they would be expensive. Anything that requires a heavy duty truck with a mini-crane attached in order to deliver them has to be costly, right?

So today while I was at work I asked my neighbor who works with me if he happened to notice the condition of the steps. He said no and asked if they needed patching again. He’d done that for me last summer when one of the corners disintegrated. Yep. Okay, he’d have a look when he got home.

I left work a bit later this evening and by the time I got here he’d already started poking at them. He had a plan in motion for how to selvedge them, saving me who knows how much. All I have to do is finance the cement he’ll need. Of course, I will also provide dinner for him and his lovely wife, even though it’s always said not to be necessary. After all, I help them out at times in return. That’s how it’s been since they moved in beside me twelve years ago. Still, I insist.

How’s that for cool!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


I had breakfast with my mother today. Yeah, I know. Don’t say it.

Anyway, we were chatting about the experimental garden she’s involved with and she happened to mention an ornamental millet they’re trying. Her big selling point to me was that the foliage looks like a miniature corn plant. Um, hello? Has this woman never listened to me in her entire life?

To be fair to the millet, I will perhaps go for a wander and have a peek at it. It could be wondrous. However, it could also attract all the frightening, evilness that inhabits corn. I’m not exactly sure how it works but if the plant looks right they may latch on to it. Even if they haven’t yet, I doubt I’m willing to take the chance that they’ll change their minds and move in. That’d be all I need. The things in the corn following me from the creepy field in to my nice, comfy yard.

She did say that if I didn’t want to drive out to the garden, I could come see them at her house since they gave out the extra plants. Again, has she never paid any attention? Even if the plant in the garden are safe, I’m sure the ones at her house aren’t. The cornfield, though somewhat stunted from this year’s lack of rain, is still there and over waist-high so no way am I going anywhere close to her house until after it’s cut. You’d think she’d know that by now, wouldn’t you?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Child's Perspective

I never have slept very well. Even as a kid, I used to roam. The house when I was really young. Outside as I got older and if it was winter, when the evil cornfield was dormant. It wasn’t easy to sneak out. I grew up in an old farmhouse. To get out of my room, I had to go through my brother’s. The steps were between his room and my parents’. They were old and creaky so I had to linger, listening to see if my mom and dad were asleep before I headed downstairs.

One night, when I was seven, I overheard a whispered conversation about money and being able to afford things. I could only hear bits and pieces so my young mind concluded I cost too much and it was my fault we were poor. I later realized that we were by no means poor, by comparison, but at the time, that’s what I came up with.

So I decided to make things easier. I remember it was winter because I’d been on my way out into the snow that was falling so it must have been January or February. For the rest of the school year, I slipped my lunch money back on my dad’s desk where he would deposit his change every evening. At the time, I believe lunch was either 35 or maybe 50 cents. Whichever, it was a lot to a seven-year-old. I also returned my allowance, 50 cents a week. I was certain that it would make all the difference in the world.

And it did. When I was eight, my parents built an addition onto the house. All because of my contribution, I’m sure. Best of all, my new room was the first one at the top of the steps so getting out unnoticed became no challenge at all.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Ever have a day when every first response you come up with would be too sarcastic for most people to deal with? When your tongue is sore from the constant need to bite it while you take a deep breath in order to stale long enough to form an acceptable response? Yeah, that was pretty much the majority of my day. Let me tell you, it’s very tiring.

Or maybe that’s because Harry’s decided we should get up at 2 AM. It’s a good thing he’s so cute. Unfortunately, he knows it. He used to be content waking me so I would pet him until he curled up and went to sleep. Now it’s non-stop walking on my face until I feed him. A long time since I absolutely refuse to do that before 4:30. Hey, it’s not cruel. My kitties are in no danger of starving no matter what they tell you. And they have dry food which they’re content to munch on between meals any other time. I’m hoping this isn’t the beginning of a new trend.

Okay, time to go have some cereal and relax. Perhaps I’ll find where Harry’s napping and poke at him until it’s time for bed.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Am an Idiot!

We’ve made it to the third phase of summer, fresh veggie season. Celebrate! I swear I eat my entire year’s allotment of vegetables in this next month and a half. I’m spoiled. I live in an area where everything imaginable grows. There are multiple farmers’ markets within minutes, not to mention the stands that appear along just about every road. And, since there are no transportation costs added to the price, everything is super cheap.

Tonight’s dinner consists of sweet corn that I was given and fresh, pickled beets I got at a Mennonite stand which are almost equal to my own. Well worth settling for considering they do all the work, peeling the beets, and have all the mess. Perhaps I’ll scramble an egg too but then again, maybe not. The veggies are so good they’ll be more than enough to make me happy.

No, eating vegetables does not make me an idiot. I’m coming to that. After work, I went outside to husk the corn. No problem. Then I took the husks to the trash can at the end of the yard. Problem. I dropped one. Without really paying attention, I reached down to grab it. Here’s where the idiot factor comes in.

The corn husk fell into my patch of prickly pear cactus. Yeah, now you’re getting it. I reached in and came out with a handful of thorns. To make matters worse, I transferred the husk to the other hand. I don’t know if you’re familiar with prickly pears but they give off microscopic thorns that hurt like hell and are a bitch to remove. They also latch on to everything and anything. So when I transferred the husk, I got a slew of the buggers in the other hand too. Yep, big-time idiot here.

Sigh. I’m going back to attempting to remove them. Then, once I stop swearing, and crying, I’m going to sit down and enjoy my veggies.

Monday, August 1, 2011

It's Storming

I'm going out to play!

Back tomorrow.