Wednesday, August 28, 2013
He held my hand, breaking the connection only to shift his little Suzuki as it trudged up the mountain trail. I could hear my sister in the back seat chatting to her "kinda" boyfriend, but it was really just background noise. I was holding his hand.
I wasn't certain if the butterflies in my stomach were from excitement, nerves or fear, I just knew I had a crush and he liked me back! It was enough. We talked a bit, nothing exciting, just wondering how the other person had grown up. He'd never been back East, and I'd never seen the desert.
We parked and the guys hauled the heavy stuff down one mountain and up another, only to disappear behind the ridge.
"Are you ok?" My sister asks, concerned about how my asthma will effect me at this heightened elevation with all the unknown allergens about.
"Yep," I reply between gasps for air. I hated being sick and having no control over it. The last thing I wanted was for him to see me use my inhalor. I'd rather die.
"Do you want me to stop for a minute so you can do your thing?" She asks quietly, knowing how humiliated I was at having this disease. "They'll be busy for a minute."
I pulled my inhaler out, took my puffs and Gerald walks over the mountain's crest.
"You guys coming?" Gerald asks, noticing me trying to hide my inhaler from him. "Hey, you okay?"
The concern in his voice caused a blush of humiliation to burn in my chest.
"I'm fine." I mumble.
"She's got asthma." My sister blurts out, much to my embarrassment. "She's not used to the mountains."
If a hole opened up next to me, leading to a fire-y death at the center of the earth, I'd have happily jumped in.
Gerald came down the mountain, ran his fingers across the backside of my hand and grabbed the last of the stuff out of his Suzuki. My sister and I continued up to where Andrew was setting up the tent. I was nervous about staying in the middle of the desert with two strange boys, but Veronica knew them, so they couldn't be all bad. She was, after all, my sister and I trusted her.
Veronica and Andrew crawled into the tent to argue and make-out. I was quickly beginning to understand that this was their relationship's MO. Gerald took my hand and walked over toward a large boulder where we continued our conversation.
"So, are you really okay?" He asks me, wondering what I'm hiding from him.
I hang my head, pulling out my inhaler to show him I wasn't doing drugs or some other nefarious thing.
"I have allergies and asthma. I'm not used to the lack of oxygen here." I confess. "Where I'm from, there's a ton of humidity and I'm closer to water level. The oxygen content in the air decreases the higher up in elevation you go, did you know that?"
I was babbling. It was a nervous tic I'd discover I had, much later in life. I'm sure I continued on with some medical jargon, but he just smiled at me.
"At least you're okay." His smile was open and I could tell he was just as shy as I was, he was just better at hiding it.
We sat on the boulder, talking about school and our dreams of the future, watching the multitude of stars emerge in the sky. I sighed as I leaned into him, partly for comfort, partly because I was freezing my butt off. It got cold quickly once the sun set, even in the middle of July.
Casually he slipped his arm around me, smiling contentedly as he held me.
"I love the stars." I whispered with a sigh.
"Me too. I was thinking of taking Astronomy in college, maybe minoring in it or something." He whispered back.
"Oh ya?" I asked, slightly surprised. In a teasing note, I continued. "Where's the big dipper?"
"There." He replied as he pointed to a cluster of stars. "You see the three stars sloping down like that, and the other three curving into them, like a bow and arrow?"
He pulled me tighter, pointing at the stars as he described them. I could barely pay attention over the pounding of my heart.
"Yah," I replied, grateful that we were still whispering. I couldn't have managed anything louder at that moment if you paid me to.
"That's Scorpio. Half the year he's in the sky, half the year Orion is. You'll never see them in the sky together."
"That's too bad. Orion's one of the few I can find." I replied, looking up at him.
His chocolate eyes were staring back into mine. There was a heart beat of a moment before his lips fused to mine. He tasted like beer and breath mints. My heart thundered in my chest while the arm that wasn't already next to him, gripped his shirt. His tongue slipped past the barrier of my lips, tangoing with mine in a dance as old as time.
I moaned softly as we kissed under the stars, melding completely into Gerald's embrace, no longer caring or knowing what was going on around us. All that existed in that moment was us. We were fused together, not knowing where one left off and the other began. It was perfect. Heaven.
So of course it had to be ruined.
Veronica and Andrew came out of the tent, arguing again, only to pause and start teasing us. The two shy people, making out under the stars and being completely, utterly romantic. Before I could become too mortified, he clasped my hand and led me into the tent.
"It's freezing here. I don't understand how it gets so cold when it's so hot during the day." I complained, coming back to myself from the euphoric haze of lust.
"I think it has something to do with the dryness and the elevation." He replied softly. "Why don't we zip our bags together, share warmth?"
I bit my lip between my teeth, wanting what he offered so badly, but knowing I wasn't ready to go as far as he probably expected me to. Before I could let logic ruin the night, I simply nodded. Whatever happened, would happen. I was sixteen after all, and almost all my friends had done "it."
He snuggled into the bags, opening them so I could snuggle in beside him. He was still wearing all his clothes, so he couldn't be looking for what I thought he was. I took my shoes off, burrowing into the sleeping bags with him. His arms wrapped around me seconds before his lips found mine again. The tent grew warm with our desire until Veronica stormed in, followed closely by Andrew. They had a tentative truce, one that wouldn't last long.
"We're tired. You two have had enough time to do whatever, so good-night." She said with a hint of jealous smirk. Only I would've noticed the tone.
Gerald pulled me close so I could lay my head on his chest. We fell asleep almost instantly, cuddled in the embrace of our blossoming attraction. It was the first time I'd ever slept with a boy.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Author(s) you’ve read the most books from: Laurell K Hamilton or Kelley Armstrong
Best sequel ever: Catching Fire (I think my books are better, but I'm trying not to self-promote here!)
Currently reading: Dehumanized
Drink of choice while reading: Water
E-reader or physical book: eReader, although physical books are easier if you need to look things up
Fictional character you probably would have liked to date in high school: I was a total nerd in high school and didn't really date or talk to people, so this is difficult to answer. I think that if I could pick a fictional character I'd like to have dated it'd probably be Doyle, the Queen's Darkness in Lurell K Hamilton's Merry Gentry series.
Glad you gave this book a chance: The Loch by Steven Alten
Hidden Gem book: Minstrel by Marissa Ames
Important moment in your reading life: When I was told we were reading The Count of Monte Cristo in high school. I'd never heard of it then, but quickly became my most treasured book.
Just finished: Basement Games by M.E. Franco
Kind of books you won’t read: Non-fiction and I'm leaning towards never reading Young Adult as well.
Longest book you’ve ever read: Aesop's Fables or the complete works of Grimm's fairy tales
Major book hangover because of: Probably the Count of Monte Cristo, I don't usually get book hangovers.
Number of bookcases you own: One, but I did just transfer all my books to my Nook to free up space in my house, so...
One book you have read multiple times: The Count of Monte Cristo
Preferred place to read: Bed
Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read: Holy hot dang. I don't save book quotes. Let me look this up... Ok, so it's more of a poem that I read on a child's gravestone when I was in high school then something I read in a book. I'm sure this poem is in a book, but I have no idea which one it'd be in. "Don not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there; I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sun on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning's hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft starlight at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there; I did not die." ~ Mary Elizabeth Frye
Reading regret: Not having enough time or money for my addiction
Series you started and need to finish: Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind and I've just started the Game of Thrones series by George RR Martin
Three of your all-time favorite books: The Loch, The Count of Monte Cristo and George Shrinks
Unapologetic fan for:
Very excited for this release more than all others: An Apple for Zoe #2
Worst bookish habit: Ignoring life for my books.
X marks the spot: (
Your latest book purchase: Basement Games by M.E. Franco
ZZZZZ… The last book that kept you up way too late: City of Bones, just so I could be done with it and see if all my theories were right - they were. :/
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
I finished watching Castle to bring in my garbage can and discovered it was missing. Also, the rain and thunderstorm had finally arrived to grace me with its presence. I walked up and down the subdivision, looking for the lone trash bin to no avail. My hair whipped across my face, the rain pelted down like drops of ice in my eyes. In the not-so-far distance, the thunder rumbled, lightning striking the ground to illuminate my surroundings.
I gave up the search because the darkness enveloped the outside world and entered my house only to be greeted by 8 terrified cats. Currently only five are surrounding me in my office as I type this, but the others aren't far away.
I sit and type this with a smirk crossing my lips. I'm reminded of when I was younger and the storms would rip across the Michigan landscape. My sister would grab her radio, extra batteries, flashlight, candles, snacks, stuffed animals, pillows and enough blankets to cover an entire town of homeless people and flee to the basement, where she hovered, listening to the reports of the storm on the radio. I'd be twirling, laughing and spinning in the backyard, my arms extended, eyes closed, face pointed toward the heavens, soaking up the rain as it poured down in buckets. I still find that childish sense of euphoria every time I'm in a storm. I love them. The rumbling of the sky, the crack of the lightning whips, the rain. I can't get enough. While I no longer dance in the rain, I usually open my windows so I can enjoy the smell of the ozone, the sound of the rain, and the feel of the wind carrying the moist air through my room.
What do you do in storms?
Monday, August 19, 2013
I loved these two rising stars. I thought they both had potential and were very attractive young men. They were both older than my younger siblings, yet younger than me, and I'm floored by their deaths. I'm not necessarily surprised or depressed about it, in fact, I feel desensitized by the reports. It's like, "oh, another young actor/actress killed themselves. That sucks." and move on with whatever I was doing. It doesn't even seem shocking anymore. My reaction, or lack-there-of, shocks me more than anything else.
I'm not a cold person. In fact, I'm probably one of the most caring, compassionate, and kind-hearted people I know. For me to just shrug off these deaths, floors me.
I was reading about Lee's death today and all I could think about was, "What's happening with our young people? Is this a result from the pussification of our society?"
I remember the first time I heard about the "everyone's a winner" mentality at sporting events or even with school. No child left behind, everyone succeeds and everyone's the same. It's bullshit. When I was younger, you had to prove yourself, work your ass off, and continually show that you have excellence in some avenue of life. The same thing happened when I became an adult, and continues to happen as I age. People are not the same. I suck at sports and marketing. I know this. It's why I'm grateful to the people who know they are strong in these departments. If I grew up without knowing my limitations or how to recognize them, what kind of person would I be today? Would I even be able to cope with my life?
Without the challenges and pitfalls in life, how's a child supposed to develop character and grow into the person they're supposed to be? How do they form coping skills? How many more young people are going to kill themselves or others until we realize that helping children learn how to cope with stress and disappointments is a part of growing up?
Friday, August 16, 2013
I've learned a few things about myself.
First of all, my time management skills SUCK!!!! Secondly, I get distracted very easily and last, when given the opportunity to become a social butterfly, my wings spread far and wide.
I've been struggling with coming to terms with all this lately, wondering what was wrong with me and if I was truly following the right path. I've been frustrated with myself, with sales and with the work I've been producing. The writing work's been so bad, I refuse to even bother typing it. My ideas feel forced, and once I read them, I hate every word. I will not publish something I hate. You guys deserve better than that from me.
I've been asking people for advice, trying to find guidance, looking to everything around me for direction for the past few months, to no avail. Last night, I looked where I should've looked in the first place - inside myself.
Six months ago, I was miserable. I worked at a dead-end job that I hated, was never able to talk to people because my sleep schedule was so crazy, and was just so depressed I didn't want to be around anyone even when I had time to be around people. Now I have time to do what I love, while making money doing something to enhance what I love. I'm able to meet new people, get out of my comfort zone and be reminded what sunlight is. Am I having challenges? Yes.
My biggest issue, I think, is that I'm constantly waiting for the bad thing to happen. I'm not sure how to accept that life can get better and recognize the good in my own life.
What I learned last night was that I'd been praying to get out of healthcare for so long, to have the freedom to do what I love doing (writing) that I didn't realize what I had when I had it. Do I still have to work? Yes. Is this a bad thing? No. Because I was given the opportunity to work as a grant writer part time, I'm able to work on the issues that a professional author would have to face, but I get paid to work through my stuff instead of freaking out that I haven't produced a novel or 5 in the past few months and wonder how I'm going to pay my bills.
I have things I need to work on, things I need to adjust in my life to make it functional. It doesn't make me a bad person, it simply means I'm learning. I'm growing toward the person I want to be. I'm not there yet, and that's okay, I just need to accept, embrace and enjoy the journey while I'm walking it. Who knows what another six months will bring...
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
I see my youngest niece the most often, simply because I know there will come a day when I can't see her any time I want, and sometimes I get into moods where I miss my other nieces or I mourn not being able to have children of my own. She and I have a great time together. Her face lights up when the door opens, and she's just a hoot. I get my kid fix with her and go home with my heart bandaged for another day.
Maya is my husband's niece. She'll be 10 this year and is a very interesting child. I try to see her as often as I can, but until I quit my old job, it was more difficult because her family's schedule and mine didn't match on any level. Now that I do get to spend some time with her, I'm conflicted. She's a good, smart kid, but she's also a brat.
The other week, she came over and I made dresses for her for school. I took two days out of my crazy schedule, opened them up and made whatever dresses she wanted out of any of the 6 tubs of material I had. When I did this for her a few years ago, it was fun. She giggled, dancing around in each new dress and gushing how nice it was for me to do this for her. This time, I had to yell at her to come try things on, hold still so I could see what adjustments I needed to make, and I contemplated throwing her cell phone in the toilet.
I remember wondering what happened to my sweet, giggly, respectful niece?
Is this just something that happens when kids get older? Is this a pre-teen thing? Do all kids go through this? How are parent's not murderers, alcoholics, or addicted to anti-psychotics? How do they cope when their children become these things?
I LOVE my nieces, ALL of them, but lately I've began to wonder, am I the lucky one for not having children?
Monday, August 12, 2013
Barnes & Noble
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
As you may have heard, I've decided to make The Lascivious Transformation part of the Origin's series, but still keep it separate from the series for those who aren't into erotica. I've also got another short story that will be featured in the Shades of Pink anthology in October, titled "The Last Night."
Here's the challenge I thought would be fun to try with the upcoming novella:
I want YOU to come up with the title for this novella. I'm going to make it a contest of sorts. E-mail or comment on this post to be entered into the contest.
"What's in it for me?" you ask.
Here's the coolest part!! Not only will you be able to tell your friends that YOU titled this book, but you'll be able to show them your FREE copy that's DEDICATED TO YOU!!!! How awesome is that?!?
I don't have the synopsis written yet, but here's a little tidbit about this book: Auto finds his mate, who happens to be blind. She's been dreaming about his wolf for years, and when she does, it's the only time she can see things. Sage is strong-willed, an artist, and fiercely independent, even with her handicap.
I can't wait to see the titles you guys come up with! :)