Question of the Day
Sunday, March 30, 2008, 4:04 PM
Wouldn't it be cool if you had an outfit that matched the fabric on your chair?
Photo Prompted Flash: Elusive
Word Count: 500
I feel the burn of exertion in my lungs and slow to a jog. Loose fists. Arms low to the waist. Heels first.
Orion’s Belt is fading against the sun’s ascent, and the birds haven’t even begun singing yet. I feel as if I am the only one awake on the planet.
Serene means tranquility of no thought. Reflection means vivid and clear awareness. Therefore, serene reflection is clear awareness of no thought.
Bruce Lee’s words make no sense to me, but I repeat them in my head every day as my running shoes slap against the road’s pavement. It’s smoothly paved with new paint. The shrubbery fronting the forest is trimmed, but yesterday it was thick with the overgrowth of weeds and brambles and litter. I remember seeing the empty beer bottle, the flattened, empty pack of cigarettes, deadfall from the trees.
I want to run again. The back of my neck prickles, but not from sweat. What is there to fear at five-fifteen in the morning? A moment ago, the sun peeked through the lowest tree branches, and dusk became morning. It’s my favorite time of the day. No distractions, just me and the road and my never-ending hope for clear awareness of no thought. Charlie doesn’t understand; he’s into fencing, porn and a virtual world called Second Life. We have nothing in common but a love for kinky sex and staying in shape. More and more, it’s becoming less.
The first flush of rising temperature hits my face as I near the curve ahead. It’s November, but it doesn’t look or feel like November. The trees look like they look in early spring, but I know that can’t be right because Orion’s Belt isn’t visible in the morning during spring.
I hear the sound of a tree unfurling new leaves, but it must be my imagination. And this place that seems familiar and yet not familiar.
Muscles finally warm and fluid, my strides lengthen and quicken despite my resolve to pace myself. I round the curve and feel like I’m eating a great distance. There’s no pain, just this need to run. It helps, but it puzzles me that I don’t feel the burn anymore. Maybe it’s this place. Maybe it’s my consolation prize from Bruce Lee—since I don’t feel clear awareness of no thought, maybe I feel clear awareness of no pain.
I don’t want a consolation prize, though. I’m restless, scared, and I ache for serenity, for clear awareness of no thought.
A scream of tires shatters the quiet of the morning. I stumble to a stop and whip around to see a shiny gray sedan. It slams into me and the world goes black.
“Oh God, I thought you were joking.”
Charlie, whose arm hairs still prickled at the sight of his dead wife on the road, smiled nervously at the new girl in town. “She’s been gone for four years, but she still jogs in the middle of the damn road.”
Blindside me with luck, I don't care
Me and four of my co-workers might win tonight's Super Lotto. This is what we have in our corner:
1. I played the six numbers from my fortune cookie, which said, "You should be coming into a great fortune." (It's okay if it's not grammatically correct, all I care about is the sentiment.)
2. We have a new co-worker who says she's lucky, that whenever she goes to parties, she always wins the door prize. I actually had her pick ten numbers, then I performed the sign of the cross afterwards.
3. Today is the birthday of a fellow co-worker lotto-player.
It's our time.
And when we win, I'm going to move from my no-balcony, no dishwasher, cave-like studio apartment (even though it's cool-lookin')...
...and get a house in the hills.
Ebook Promo: Hot Contract
by Jodi Henley
When Jen Stalling, chief geologist on a new magma-based power plant known as the Pele Project witnesses the murder of a fellow scientist, Project officials don't want the negative publicity of a murder investigation. "An accident," they say. Jen knows better. So does her father, billionaire Art Stalling. But having pushed Jen away years ago, he can't now reveal his interest without exposing her to danger. He hires DalCon, a Seattle-based security group to watch over her.
Keegan Dalfrey has his own problems. Four days ago, during a routine mission gone wrong, his brother was captured by South Pacific extremists. They want two million in ten days. Keegan can make that in nine days by neutralizing the threat to Jen. It's an all or nothing gamble with his brother's life in the balance. He never expected to fall in love.
Rose (220 pages) Spicy
The release date is TODAY, March 21, 2008, and already Hot Contract has a wonderful review from Simply Romance:
"Jodi Henley successfully navigated a plot that would overwhelm authors of lesser ability. Don’t just add this book to your to be read pile or even your must be read pile, place it front and center on your read now pile, you won’t be disappointed. I gave the book Simply Romances highest rating, but it has now become the standard I will judge all books of this type by."
Rock on, Jodi.
TT: Window Displays
So this week it is window displays. Most of them are from Los Angeles and have a story, so settle back with your glass of wine or cup of joe.
You're obviously not going anywhere if you're here, right?
This year, Thursday, March 20, 2008, is the first day of spring. And what could be more perfect than a window display that spells that out so flowerily? (If you click on the photos, you can see them FULL SIZE!)
Last month it was dandelions in the Marc Jacob's window displays for footwear for ladies. Why they call it Dandelion, I'll never know. I guess it's just another of life's mysteries.
In any case, this store has a number of windows in which to do their displays. The women's store is on the south side of the road. The men's-slash-casual wear is across the street.
I've also heard rumors that le Jacobs is going to take over the alleys and Manhattan. I saw a photo of him in one of the Los Angeles magazines and he looks like a scruffy guy in his early thirties. I thought at time: Sheesh, you make how many million a year, and you can't even comb your hair?
Anyway, I walked into the Marc Jacobs store on the south side one day because they always have the BEST window displays. I found so many tops to salivate over. They have the cutest stuff if you're into casually eclectic funk, which is how I describe my style.
Only I can't afford the Marc Jacobs CEF. I can barely afford the life to which I have gradually grown accustomed to.
And here we have the exclamation points. I tried to get the mannequin in the shot (she's wearing a two piece bathing suit in peach, with what looks like a mosquito net cover-up). Alas, you'll have to make do with the head and shoulder. Life is full of its disappointments. But consider this: that mannequin is as skinny as a squashed pancake and white as Len Goodman's teeth (judge of Dancing with the Stars). I love Len, but his teeth are too friggen white.
And here we have the red amoeba of hell, otherwise known as the rich man's dining room chandelier.
Er, well, maybe the red hot momma boudoir burst of flame?
If it falls, you're going to bleed. This thing is made out of glass. Look at all of the points. I sure wouldn't want it hanging over my bed, not with the way my world wags.
And the photo to the right is from a coffee-slash-tea knitting school. It's just a wee place, but they have the neatest window displays, always homey and inviting as grandma's place when mom's mad at you.
See the foot? It's a PLANTER. With artificial flowers stuck in the hollow ankle part. And someone's painted mock-Henna on the top of the foot. I loves me some feet. It's so me.
Okay, so that's not an actual Henna design and I doubt it came from a plant commonly found only in Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Persia, Morocco, Palestine, Yemen, Egypt, Uganda, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Senegal, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, or India. This is just a small family-run shop.
Mr. Flower Head, might I have some of your sweet smelling, tasty nectar?
This is what you'd call a gay man's store, but don't go turning up your nose. Nobody dresses (or smells) better than a West Hollywood gay guy. It's disgusting, really. As soon as I see a sexay, well dressed man, I automatically think: Hunh, he's probably gay.
But it's not always so. I know it's not. I've seen good looking, well dressed men in a serious lip-lock with females in WeHo. So they can't all be gay. They just can't.
The psychedelically funky photo to the right is from a shop on Santa Monica. You probably can't tell from the photo, but it's someone's impression of a face surrounded by men's ties. Yeah. Ties. The photo doesn't do it justice. This was really scary-cool looking. It also had to be inspired by someone on meth or crack.
To the left we have a Mary specialty. It's not exactly a window display, but if you've ever been to Mary's on Santa Monica, then you know every inch of the place is on display.
Even the restroom. I took photos of the restroom because the ceiling and three walls were all mirrored. (Um, I just had a rather disturbing thought that maybe one or more of those mirrors could be two-way.) (Chit.)
Everything about Mary's restroom is fascinating. It's a one-toilet-only room with red lights, a disco ball, and two wooden chairs--I guess in case you have a couple of friends who won't mind sitting beside you while you go pee. (Yes, I have a photo, I'll post it soonish.)
The next photo is of a wicked-cool shoe that I would break my neck on if I wore such a thing. But I love it. Don't you? It must be five inches high and cost half my monthly rent's payment, but that's pocket money to someone like today's reining celebs.
I don't know what this is. Well, it's me making a dopey sign of peace in front of what looks like an alien in a breathing apparatus. I think it was a music store. Or maybe a salon.
Who knows? Only the Shadow.
To the right, we have again the shop of horrah, the shop maintained by guard dogs who don't like passersby to snap photos. Ho-no, they come out after you and demand that you erase the photos you took because they don't allow photo-taking.
I've been in a howling, raging rush these last few mornings, getting to work a few minutes past starting time. So no time to take the REALLY GOOD photos.
I'm still adjusting to the time change. Yeah. That must be it.
Can you guess what the photo to the left is about? Those are wee mannequin bodies about six inches high, wearing necklaces of designer eyeglasses. $700 a pop. Dare to stop?
This last photo was taken in San Juan, Puerto Rico, during my southern Caribbean cruise. I was just baaaaarely tall enough to stick my head up over the steel mannequin's shoulders.
What she lacked in head and hair, though, she made up for in nippledge. One of the most tacky mannequins I've ever seen! So of course, I had to get a photo.
Thank you, WeHo-Californication, Mary's and P. Rico, for sponsoring this week's TT bit o' amusement. 'Til next time.
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Who wants to spend the holidays with family hunching over a crackling fire while a blizzard blows outside? Huh?
sniff of sad frustration
A couple of friends and I are hoping to go to Hawaii over the holidays. We want to see the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (the State's fish--otherwise known as the trigger fish), go to a luau, take a helicopter ride, snorkel, take a hike through a rain forest, sit on the beach and taste a Hawaiian Mai Tai. Or two.
Are there bugs in the rain forest? Big spiders? Beetles? Scorpions? For God's sake, don't spare me. I have to know.
But we're confused about which island we should visit. From what I understand, Oahu is the "happening" place with like 90% of the all the island's population. We're also considering the volcanic--and hopefully the most under-commercialized island--of Hawaii, but I didn't see any sandy beaches, just rocky coasts.
And then there's Maui--the Noi Ka Oi—which means Maui’s the best. It has the famous Hana Highway (not sure why it's a famous yet), and the north side of the island gets a lot of rain, and that means waterfalls. According to what I've read. I don't know; I've never been there. I don't know if Maui, Hawaii or Oahu is our best bet.
And that's our quandary.
Has anyone reading ever been to one of the islands? If so, out of the three I've shared here (fuh cripe's sake, don't mention the other three), which one would you recommend and why? You don't have to do an essay or go into depth about your reasons. Just something like: oh, I've been there, and you gotta go see oomph.
Or Maui seems like the place you want to go.
Or The Big island is where you need to go if you're into helicopter rides and hikes. Stuff like that.
Don't be shy. Spill.
(Jodi Henley, who used to live in Hawaii--has a romantic suspense novel titled Hot Contract coming out this Friday. If you're into Romantic Suspense stories, let me know in the comments section so I can properly naggith you to get her book.)
Fiction Friday: Inevitable excerpt
It's a blog carnival where writers get a few nano seconds to shine in their little slice of the electronic cosmos. This is a 1190 word excerpt from my story in progress. You can find my story blurb and information at the bottom.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
But if I had my choice, I'd create a new genre called Rospionagith (romance + espionage + thriller)
Estimated Word Count: 80 - 100,000
Blurb: Shaine is the gifted clay sculptor and painter of the Death by Moonlight series, based on the demons of a painful past she has unwittingly allowed to define her existence. Known only as M. Dagget, Shaine avoids contact with the outside world by adopting personality and costume disguises. Unfortunately, she has a brother who decides his life is worth more than hers when he betrays her to a private organization whose objective is to assassinate its biggest contributor. The organization's best operative, Daren, is assigned to break through Shaine’s personal and sexual boundaries in order to turn her into an assassin.
Sickened and terrified to the core by what the organization wants of her, and by her growing feelings for Daren, Shaine agrees to their terms: kill or die.~*~*~*~*~*~
Thanks for reading.
Get your haute couture funk on
(Oh, wait. There's a cocktail party coming up that Keanu is hoping I'll attend. He'll have to buy the dress for me, though.)
The dress you see here is actually a tame version of funk, even if it does have off-the-shoulder sleeves and a crotch-high front slit. Most of the dresses are two-parters with ruffled, transparent skirts and gem-encrusted bodices. Sometimes there are hats to match, but always there is the long necklace of peace. It comes in a variety of colors also.
This is the dress photo that almost landed me in jail last Thursday. It's not even a great photo, either, but it's the only one that turned out well-ish. There I was, snapping photos of the window display in the midst of a crowd, when a woman steps out of the shop and asks if she can help me.
"Oh, no," says I. I'm just photographing potential attire for a novel character. And/Or, for blog fodder.
That's when she got nasty. "We don't allow photos. Please erase them."
I was appalled. Then why did they even have a window display? The name of the game in Hollywood is how creative you can get with your window display. They go all out here (maybe that should be the theme of my next Thursday 13). And isn't the express purpose of such dramatic window displays to hook interest? Isn't it a form of advertising? And they didn't want me to photograph their window display?
I turned and ran.
Okay, so I didn't barely escape jail--I just felt guilty for not giving in to the woman's wishes, because I usually do. Maybe I shouldn't have run. Maybe I should have presented my case, but you know, it's better to pick battles wisely. Besides, I can just take another photo on the way to work, when no one's there.
POV and Causation issues
One of my favorite blogs is holding a warped POV contest. Head-hoppage, body snatchedge, who or what said THATege.
But I wonder if a good POV writer (I think I'm good, not great) can write bad point-of-viewage. I used to be good at head hopping and spectacular at passive writing. I'd win medals, I tell ya, for writing the beginnings to a New York Times Bestseller. Middles and endings? Not so easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.
I received a critique once from someone who wondered why my character was swallowing carpet. Hey, it was news to me because my girl was a heroine, not a fiber-eater.
And then there was the time when Pote wondered why I was comparing my hero to a panther and a tiger in the same paragraph. Hadn't realized I was doing that! (Do you see the overpowering, all-encompassing need for beta-readers and critiquers?)
Does overpowering and all-encompassing mean the same thing? A beta fish critter oughtta know.
Some of the best killer stomachaches I get are when I read crits of my work. God, it kills me. Sure, some of it might sting, but I want to learn and I've always given critiquers carte-blanche. It's the least I can do because they are doing ME a favor by taking the time to read my crap and comment on it. Maybe for April Fools Day I ought to...
Phenomenal? Why, that's me meandering from the main subject. Can you remember what it IS without looking at my post's title?
No cheating, now. Your nose will grow. (Oh, geeze, that's another thing about getting older. My nose IS growing.)
So I think I'm going to have a hell of a time writing a bad pov scene, which tells me I need to come up with something fun and interesting. I've already got an idea. I should be writing it now, but no. Here I am writing it here. (Pop quiz! What do you call a sentence that begins and ends with the same word?)
Causation is another tricky area for me because I'm so in to what I'm writing, I forget anyone else reading can't read my thoughts.
So pretend your nose itching wakes you up.
You try and move your arm up to itch it and can't.
What do you think? What do you do?
(Ian, you can't play. You know why.)
DST: Day Laggin'
When I woke up this morning, my body knew it was an hour earlier than normal. Gravity wouldn't let me open my eyes, I couldn't get my body to slide out of bed, and my head felt like stuffed cotton.
"We shouldn't even be here yet," I said when I arrived at work.
"What are we still doing here," I asked at the end of the day. "It's six." (We go home at five.)
Well, here's to clock changin' day lag. Dang, I hates it.
A lot of great blog-worthy ideas occur to me in the shower, while I'm walking to work, or while I dream. Any ole time I'm separated from my keyboard, basically. And what the hell's that about?
Fear of failure.
Of feeling too much.
I'm good at avoiding painful things. Stories, movies, lives. I've never seen The Titanic, The Passion of the Christ, or anything related to 9/11. I haven't delved much into the painful past of my relatives. It hurts and scares me to think much about it. Life is hard and painful enough; I know what happens. Why relive it?
I was afraid (am still) that I am most like my Uncle Dave, who up and left the family without a trace years ago. He left no note, and there was no advance warning that something was wrong. He was just gone. I was a kid, probably no more than nine, but even back then it felt like Uncle Dave had committed suicide.
I am heartbroken I did not get to know my Uncle Dave. Which is crazy and illogical because he scared the hell out of me as a child. He never smiled much and when he did, it looked forced, like a sneer almost. His eyes were dark and I could see they held anger, although I didn't know what he could be so angry about. But today, that just makes me want to befriend him all the more. I feel such a loss. I wish I could go back in time and do everything over again. Some moments are worth more.
But I'm grateful he was married to someone like Rae, a woman who seemed to draw the sunshine to herself and those around her. Just the sound of her laugh made me want to laugh. But she wasn't enough for Uncle Dave. I guess no one was.
Mickey by Tony Basil
2. WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
Storms in Africa by Enya
3. WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Trying To Get The Feeling Again by Barry Manilow
4. HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Beyond The Invisible by Enigma
5. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?
The Windmills of My Mind by Sting (Thomas Crown Affair)
6. WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Knowing Me, Knowing You by ABBA
7. WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
This Is The New Sh*t by Marilyn Manson (off my Matrix soundtrack)
8. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?
Absurd by Fluke (not really, Oogie!)
9. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Fire & Roses by Mimi Goese
10. WHAT IS 2+2?
Cowboys & Angels by George Michael
11. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Sandy by John Travolta in Grease (nice montage, too)
12. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Put Your Arms Around Me by Texas (from my Ever After soundtrack)
13. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Oh geeze. Furious Angel Fight from my Matix: Reloaded soundtrack (some Juno Reactor in there)
14. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Woman/Mandra by In the Nursery (from my La Femme Nikita music) (a wonderful montage, too!)
15. WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Rapture (The Man from Mars) by Blondie
I'm skipping the last few, I'm getting tired of finding my songs on youtube, dang it.
22. WHAT SHOULD YOU POST THIS AS?
Manic Monday by The Bangles (Figures, I'm always forgetting what day it is anyway.)
Playing telephone: Say what?!
Alice says: Let’s play Telephone!
Here is my paragraph for the three (five) people I'm going to tag:
I’m whispering to Cyn, Ian, and Debbie. (Angela, Becca, you want to try?) You can still play this game even if I didn’t tag you--those I chose are who I think are the most likely to try--but anyone can play if you follow the rules.
The rules for this meme:
If I were a shoe...