Reality of Dreams – Flash Fiction

So there I was, sitting in my writing circle. I can say ‘my’ because I’ve gone twice, I know the lovely ladies, and I have plans to make it a ‘must’ every week.  So I was sitting there with my circle this morning (Saturday) with express plans to write some flash fiction.  I grabbed the piece of paper with the number 85 on it and went around the room pulling books off the shelf and turning to page 85 for a prompt. I found two that worked for me and this is the piece of flash fiction that came from it.  Incidentally, I was envisioning Andrew Lee Potts from SyFy’s Alice that was a few years ago.  I adored him as Hatter, a scatterbrained and kind of cute/sexy ‘mad’ Hatter.  He made the part so wonderful that he is what I picture when I think of the Mad Hatter.

So Hatter is who I picture in this piece.  Enjoy.

 

Timothy sat in one of the two Louis the Fifteenth chairs that were in the center of a winter garden. The early morning light was blue and frosted fog. He looked down at himself, startled and yet complacent to see he was wearing a mourning suit, complete with tails and a grey top-hat. All around a fine snow fell, not on him or the chairs, but around the circle of stone housing this hidden garden. The sun was a weak diamond in a milk ice sky.

“Oh boy,” he though on a sigh, “Now where am I?”

These dreams, or transportations, were happening more frequently these days. What was the dream? Reality or the dream itself. Did he really belong here or was there something dreamlike to be said for sitting in a garden on very expensive chairs?

Would he wake up back in his normal life with a stale cup of coffee in his hands and a deadline to beat? Maybe that was the dream. Or more accurately, a nightmare. At least here, all he had to do was think about something and it appeared.

He glanced down just as a snifter of brandy appeared in his hand. Yes, this was definitely a much better place to be. He wondered how long he would stay this time. But he wasn’t going to waste a good brandy on thinking about what ifs.

He took  a healthy sip, closed his eyes, and settled into his seat as the burning liquid warmed him in the cold winter morning.

 

So, there it is. Honestly, my first start was very different, but I am so happy with this and now it makes me want to continue and write about Timothy. What is he? Where is he going? What does he do? Who else might be in this dreamlike land? And is he dreaming?  So many questions!

Kate

 

When Your Online Man Is Taken Off The Market

Ah, singlehood.  It leaves a lot of time to dream about available men and how they just might be your perfect match. And one of the best ways to decide is by looking at single men on tv, films, and the news. Sports also leave plenty of options.

Daydream Writer

No seriously, the Olympics really gives you an open source of good looking foreign men to drool and dream over.

But what happens when you suddenly find out that one of those guys has been taken off the market by getting married? You want to be happy for him because obviously that means he’s a great catch if he has gotten married, but you don’t want him to get divorced because then that means he’s not worth having, but you are so disappointed to find out that you do not have a chance with him! Oh, the conflict. Oh, the pain and heartbreak that you did not have the chance to show said guy, how great you are.

69th Annual Golden Globe Awards - ArrivalsIt’s always a little bit sad when someone you ‘crushed’ over has suddenly been taken out of the game.  Recently, one that hits me the hardest was when I found out Zachary Levi was married.  Beautiful, charming, boyish ‘Chuck’ Zachary Levi. I adore this boy. But he’s married! How could he? How could he not find me?

I still have yet to get over this heartbreak, even though he has been married for….. Okay, Wikipedia has just told me that he lasted all of 6 months being married. Now he’s really not in the marriage mart with the divorce…. I feel like this is Regency England. I need to go to Almacks…

Then there is Colin O’Donoghue…. But he was already married when he started working on Once Upon A Time. But I didn’t find out till he was already acting on the show. It was a sad day when I found out the gorgeous Irish boy was taken.

Recently I have had a thing for news people and young senators and congressmen. I blame it on Emilie Loring. A current interest has been Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times.

stephen dinan

He’s like a young Richard Gere. How could you go wrong with that? Then just the other day I saw the ring on his finger! Oh, the ring. It’s so cruel.

ryan merrimanRyan Merriman was how I though my childhood crush would grow up to look like. He sadly didn’t, but Ryan is rather adorable. But Not only is he married, but he’s been married and divorced and re-married!

 

Film-Review-The-Man-from-U-N-C-L-EAnother is Armi Hammer. Recently he has played Ilia Kuryakin in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., but he’s also been The Lone Ranger and the charming prince in Mirror, Mirror. And he’s married.  Sigh.

I’m sure there are others, but off the top of my head, these are what come to me. It’s always a sad day when I look up a gorgeous actor or congressman, newspaperman to find he is married.

How do you deal with your current famous person crush? What do you do when you find out th

Let’s Get Personal – Why Aren’t You Married

12250144_401158516759945_3998860343872336222_nLet’s get personal.

I’m thinking of making this a new segment, or category for my blog. Basically, it’s me just rambling on about more personal things in my life. Things that make me tick.

So here is the subject of today. Being 30+ and not married.

The idea for this post came after Mrs. B was at the hospital for a procedure and met her tech who is 35, not married, and as Mrs. B put it, “cute as a button.” She asked her what she does when people ask the proverbial, ‘why aren’t you married, are you going to get married, and what about kids? questions.” The tech replied that she’s had to get creative and sometimes a bit rude when going to answer that question.

I happen to understand that completely. Ever since I turned 18, or moved to North Northern CA, to this very little town where ‘Everybody knows your name’….. and your business, and your life, and feels like it’s perfectly acceptable to butt into every little detail of your life. And the mothers are always, and I stress always, asking why you aren’t married. And “don’t you want to be married?” and “Oh, you should meet my son/nephew/ friend’s son/ grandson/ my neighbor’s son….. and so on and so on. The men that are 50+ and up pretty much ask the same thing, or versions of, “Why don’t you meet some nice boy” or “I can’t believe some guy hasn’t snatched you up.”

Sigh.

It’s not so much that I mind that they want to set me up, find out why, or whatever, never mind, it does get old, and they don’t understand when you say, “There really aren’t any available men that are good men in this area.” No, seriously, there really are not any good men, that I know of, in this area. I live in a logging, ranching, meth, marijuana, strange area. So the guys are……. well not my type. I come from a city mentality. I come from city life and living and I know it even though I am a ‘farm girl’ in some ways.

So, I’m left trying to figure out how to politely tell these people to mind their own business. In a good girl way. And it happens a lot. Maybe not weekly, but it happens enough that I mentally sigh when someone asks me that. It’s about as bad as when I get asked by all these people when I’m going back to school. IE college. Even though I’m 33. And they knew me when I was 18. Like I said, strange area.

I have yet to figure out a more rude method of diplomacy. That’s an oxymoron. Sorry. There is no way to be politely rude. But sometimes you just really want to tell people to go fly a kite. And then there is the whole ‘haven’t you tried online dating? Because my so-and-so met so-and-so on match.com, you should try it….”   blah blah blah. Yep, I’ve tried online dating. It’s been a real party. Not. I have tried it a couple times, just recently I spent a year on one site without much luck and a lot of hassle. Online dating has the issue of not always being able to meet the person right away. I live in a far off north place and a lot of guys do not want to come meet me. And I expect that, partly because I do not drive. And I don’t think a woman should have to go meet the man. That’s just now how I believe it should be. So yes, I have standards.

So, online dating is tricky. That being said, the tech Mrs. B met, recommended OKcupid. So, well, I might try it. Why not. She said she has heard of more luck there.

See, cause I actually do want to be married. I am not running from marriage, but honestly, it certainly seems like I should have been married 10 times over with how often I get bugged about it. But honestly, it’s not my fault when ……’My dear partner, when what’s left of you gets around to what’s left to be gotten, what’s left to be gotten won’t be worth getting, whatever it is you’ve got left”. …….is what the guys are like these days. (for you good guys, never mind) And for those that are wondering, this quote comes from White Christmas.

Prince Charming in a treeThe guys are waiting around, it seems till they have had thir fun, and then they will settle down. So, pardon me if I decide to go have a life. But then there is a caveat. If a girl doesn’t sit around waiting to have Prince Charming fall into her lap, then she’s “Too busy to find a guy and it’s her fault if no guy is interested.” But if she sits around doing nothing, then she’s not out looking hard enough or she’s too picky… You really can’t win. It is incredibly frustrating.

So, the teck is not waiting around to meet a guy. She is living a very full life. My cousin is living her life. I am still in limbo because I’m kind of waiting around for my guy, but that being said, I don’t just not live. My life is just a little less active, but that’s how I roll.

But I’m curious…. Single ladies and men out there. How do you deal with the rude question of why aren’t you married? Do you politely change the subject, or do you tell the people to butt out?

I’d love to know.

Counting on a Cowboy – A Review

In the follow-up novel to Debra Clopton’s Betting on Hope, comes Counting on a Cowboy, Bo Monahan’s story.  You have the somewhat confirmed bachelor, Bo, brother to Tru from Betting on Hope, suddenly saddled with a toddler.  A little boy who supposedly came from an indiscretion Bo had with a woman a while ago who never told him about the baby.  Then there is Abby Knightly running from a past, running to ‘hope’ in Wishing Springs, Texas, a place  she read about in the paper.  You have Abby who has lost so much in her life– which I won’t be giving away here since it’s super easy to figure out–a husband and the hope of children. Now you have Bo turning to Abby to help him navigate a baby that has come out of nowhere, and what is better than a woman right there who knows how to take care of children? So you have Bo fighting his attraction for Abby because he’s a bachelor, and Abby fighting her attraction to Bo because she has lost so much and isn’t ready for someone else to be in her life because she still has so much guilt. Will these two ever come together over their mutual attraction and love of Bo’s little boy?

I found this book very hard to get through. I found the writing leaving me wanting to smack my head and just dragging on. I only somewhat understood Bo’s sudden desperation to have Abby help him out with the unexpected baby on his doorstep, but at the same time, it was almost like he was frantic. Then you have Abby who wants to settle down in a small town she has read about, but at the same time, she’s leery about certain things. I just sat there going, get on with it. I don’t understand two people fighting this attraction. I have never been one to hide that I am interested in someone. Granted, I have never had tragedy take a part of me away and ‘mess’ with my own thoughts. So I will give Abby that, but honestly, you can see right away that she likes Bo. So why run from that? It’s not like anyone said you had to marry the man right away. I’m a little tired of all these leery females. I get why a woman might be leery if she liked a man whom she thought liked someone else, but seriously, don’t act so scared all the time.

Unfortunately, I have to give this book only 3 out of five stars. It’s too slow and just not my cup of tea.  Just like Debra Clopton’s previous book, this left me exhausted.

Kate

This book was sent to me free of charge by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Thomas Nelson, and BookLookBloggers for my honest review. I have in no way been compensated in any way.

Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey of Hope – A Review

_225_350_Book.1777.coverDuring the holiday season, we are so focused on the holiday in general that we forget what the true season of Christmas is about. Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey of Hope by Louie Giglio is an advent devotion book meant to help us slow down, stop, and reflect what Christmas and the advent are really about. Each day starting with November 26th, Paster Giglio guides us in scripture, a reflection relating to the scripture, meditation (which is usually a Christmas poem or song) and finally a prayer.  So 30 days of thinking about how we are waiting for Christ  and the remembrance of his birth, which for Christians, is a very sacred time of year.  So, when we get a little too busy with buying the gifts, preparing the Christmas meals and dealing with family and travel and all the frustrations that may come, this very thing, almost pocket sized book is just right for pulling out. Lighting a candle and meditating and focusing on Christ.

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu.

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have loved advent since I was a little girl when we would read the Christmas story through the four weeks of December, lighting a green candle each week for the wise men, Mary and Joseph, The shepherds, the angels, and finally a red candle for Jesus. There were the colorful calendars and it was a very memorable and sacred time of year for me. I eagerly looked forward to it. As time as gone by, I have slowly let that slipe away, and this book is perfect for putting you right back into the calming frame of mind of what Christmas is really about. While I am terrible at devotions and having a daily schedule for reading my Bible, and I didn’t technically finish this book in a daily order, it’s still a lovely small book, perfect for the season. There is something incredibly calming about the red, black, white and grey colors of the book. So calming in fact that I ended up writing a sonnet about red berries with the colors of black, white and grey. This book is perfect for any Christian that want to get back to what advent is about. I love it’s slim size and I love that the meditations are songs I know, but may not know all the lyrics. I liked that it was a very Christmas themed book in that it had the traditional songs that Christians know for the season. From Oh Come All Ye Faithful, O Come Oh Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, and O Holy Night. Lovely hymns Christians know and love.

I would highly recommend this book to any Christian who wants do practice adven but feels too old for the calendars and childish themes. This is a lovely book. Five out of Five stars.

Kate

This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest opinion and review from HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Thomas Nelson, and BookLookBloggers.

My Ambitious January Reading List (and lack of writing motivation)

IMG_8788Hello and Happy New Year! Though according  to Jimmy Kimmel, you can’t say Happy New Year anymore after the premier of The Bachelor.  And since I have started that as well, hmmm……. Happy January?

I have found myself slightly uninspired to write, though it’s not actually that I’m uninspired, but I just can’t seem to get out any ideas. They are there as I try to write a poem with ‘whispers’ as the prompt.  I have yet to come up with anything more than two or three lines. I drift on ideas of winter and snow and cold. See? It’s all there. The ideas are there because I know about all three things that could inspire, but I just don’t have anything good coming from it. I might need to ask my friend to give me another prompt.

But currently, I’m spending more time reading. I spent December reading a couple Emilie Loring’s and fluff books….. Okay Libba Bray‘s The Diviners was far from fluff, and a little enjoyably disturbing.  Anyhow, somehow I got on a non fiction craze and did I pick small books? No. Not even light.  The only fiction book is The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick. That is something I decided to try after seeing several ads for the new Amazon show. I decided to try out the book after seeing that. It looked terribly interesting, and the book is, though I can’t say I really like Mr. Dick’s style of writing. It’s different. And well, he’s a guy. I’m used to how women write. If a woman wrote this book, it would have been three times as thick and full of a lot more descriptions.  But it’s a horrifying look (though so far it’s not horribly gruesome, just mentally disturbing) at what would have happened if Japan and Germany won WWII.  I think it’s rather inventive, but also a little more science fiction-y. I mean, draining the Mediteranean Sea to become farmland? I’d really like to know how in the world even with atomic power, that would have even been possible. And really, a whole holocaust of Africa? So it’s a bit of a stretch, in my opinion, but it’s still interesting.

The Essays of Christopher Hitchens are what started me reading about JFK, but I have to say, the essays are nice because they are short, so I can read one or two before bed. But it is also informative. I’m currently reading one about Evelyn Waugh.

Radical by Maajid Nawaz was because of seeing him on several news broadcasts and pundit shows.  I love listening to him because he sounds just like Sean McGuire from Once Upon A Time. (He’s Robin Hood)  But his book is interesting in this critical time.

Cost of Courage is about people in the French Resistance during WWII. And the rest  of the books pretty much explain themselves except for the one Once Upon a Secret which is about one of the women JFK had an affair with.

I might overdue it, but well, sometimes it’s good to branch out of general fiction. My ‘to read’ pile is huge and I really should start on it and finish things. I have my stupid Christian romance I need to review and get off my mind. I really wish it wasn’t like swallowing nails as I read. (not that I’ve ever swallowed nails) I just want to shoot my foot or something. It’s bad. Really bad.

So, now, off to read more thick books.  What are you reading this January?  Do you have your book lists for the year? I have seen lots of people online and on Facebook posting about there reading lists for the year or just currently reading. I guess it is a January thing. Like New Year’s Resolutions.  Do you have a resolution this year?  I don’t really, other than to be more tidy. Ha! That will be a challenge.

Happy Reading, dearies.

Kate

Final Thought on Writer’s Digest PAD Chapbook Challenge

I spent November in a world of sonnets.  I loved working on the Poem a Day challenge by Writer’s Digest.  I pushed myself more than I have with poetry before. I could not keep up with writing a sonnet a day. It took me usually two days to write one, and some prompts left me going, ‘Oh boy.’  I struggled with ideas, and I ended up with a lot of sonnets that were winter inspired or sadness inspired.  Hence my manuscript title of Midwinter & Melancholy.  I ended up with 13 really good sonnets that I just submitted last night.

Right now I’m sitting here going, oh did I do enough?  Did I write enough?  I could only send in between 10-20 sonnets.  And I picked my best ones. I had a couple other silly ones that did not get into the chapbook manuscript.  I wrote one about White Christmas, the film, and then a vampire-y one. I had two about the holiday season.  I had my silly Once Upon A Time one.  I wanted to write a Once Upon a Winter’s Night sonnet, but then forgot.  Oops.  It would have worked perfectly with what I had typed up.  Oh well. It’s too late now because the file is out of my hands and now in Mr. Brewer’s.

So now comes the waiting process.  Until March.  I hate this feeling of sending in a manuscript. I hate the waiting. I hate the feeling that I forgot something. Nerves. Paranoia.  Will I ever get over sending in manuscripts?  I sent in a short story in January to three literary magazines.  Now I have to find more to send in to. I have found two.  But I’m panicking.  I panic a lot when it comes to writing. That inferiority complex. The “I’m not good enough to get published…..”  The “Dammit! I’m good enough I’m gonna send it in…..oh God, my work is crap what was I thinking?!!!”  Feeling.

Do all writers feel like this?  Do you feel like this?  Will it ever go away?  Sigh.  Le sigh.  I guess if I want to be published, this is part of the process.  Pardon me while I go curl up in a ball and rock back and forth in terror.  No, just kidding.

So….. There you have it.  I am glad I did this poetry challenge.  I love writing sonnets now and I have kept it up.  My new prompt of the week is Whispers from the guy who’s giving me word prompts. I love these prompts.  I need something to keep me focused.  This is certainly doing it.

So. There you have my PAD followup.

Kate

Emilie Loring’s Novels as a Film Guide

I was sitting there last night watching White Christmas, a film I love and should be a staple at Christmas, and as I watched Betty get all mad at Bob and storm off, I thought, wow, this is really like an Emilie Loring novel.

Now granted, there wasn’t much mystery involved, nor was there  a woman scorned trying to win back someone.  There wasn’t a whole exact specificity that made it like an Emilie Loring, but I still say it was.  The shenanigans and how everything was solved in the end.  Even to the misunderstanding of Betty and her running off to the Carousel Club, and Bob going to see her and trying to fix it.  It really is semi similar.  Maybe that’s why I love the story as I do.

And recently, watching the film Aloha with Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone, I thought the same thing.  The film has mystery, intrigue, romance, a woman who wants the hero back, a new woman, a new love interest, people wanting to settle down, a villain.  It’s all there. Updated, with some sex, but still, the premise of the film is very Loring-esque.

You have the guy that comes back home, to Hawaii, there’s the girl who’s his guide, and while she likes him, she’s cautious about him, there’s the ex  girlfriend who is kind of interested in the guy, there’s the business man who has sketchy business dealings…. Will the guy end up with the girl? Or go back to his ex? And what about that sketchy businessman? Did I mention that the guy used to be in the military?

I mean, really, could this be any closer to an Emilie Loring book?  I honestly don’t think so.

So now my new mission in life is to watch films with this style of storyline.  Technically, Pride and Prejudice is along these lines.  Okay, it’s a lot like an Emilie Loring.  And maybe that is what makes these such classic stories.  They have a specific theme that pits good against bad, and guy against girl.  And the guy always get the right girl.

A story isn’t any good with out a little intrigue and conflict.  While White Christmas doesn’t have much intrigue, it still has conflict.  And singing….. the singing makes up for the lack of intrigue.

Aloha has plenty of all things.  Romance and intrigue and conflict.

Does anyone else have some good films that have this story line?  Oh, Sabrina with Humphry Bogart and Audrey Hepburn is a lot like this story line as well!

Clearly I have a Loring vibe still.  I think part of that is because I am reading Patti Bender’s blog as she write’s Emilie Loring’s biography.  Could it be any better than that?  I love this. I’m so excited about it.  And she also has read Loring’s books over and over.  So I get to hear about one of my favorite subjects. Emilie Loring novels.  I think I’m in heaven.

Kate

Double O Vision – Poetry

The friendly poetry challenge continues with this week’s word being “Vision.”  I had started out with ideas of a vision in white… but that turned out sounding too girly, feminine and wintery.  I’m stuck on winter right now. I am writing sonnets on winter, thinking of winter and snow, listening to wintery music. I can’t get winter out of my head. Maybe because it actually feels like winter this year. Snow, ice, rain, snow.  I keepDaniel-Craig-daniel-craig-33189109-498-750 thinking in terms of white, red, grey and black.  I wrote a sonnet for the Chapbook PAD thing and it was about red winter berries and those colors.  I have cold and dark and dreary in my head.

But vision ended up coming out with a man as the inspiration. I had started off with Harvey Specter as my inspiration. I love Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter in USA’s Suits.  He is the epitome of gorgeousness.  But then somehow the poetry shifted and 007 became the focus.  So here’s to Bond. James Bond.

 

Double O Vision

He is a vision in black, a suit and tie affair
Grace under pressure and he’s as bold as a king
He knows what he does to women so fair
They’re ready to fall and give everything

He’s bold as you please and knows that he’s cool
Stalking the ladies with a vodka martini
He’s double oh seven with a cool gun for a tool
Yes he goes for those broads in a tiny bikini

Cars, plans and sex are his true middle name
Guns, gadgets and girls are his toys for sure
He’s killed and done things to make you blush in shame
But he’s Bond so what of it, you can endure

He’s a vision in black, he knows he’s the best
When your dead on the floor, well, maybe he’ll rest.

A Poetry Challenge That’s All Friendly

Angel statue in repose

Angel statue in repose

So I was talking to a guy I know who writes poetry, is a photographer,  we get along….. And I told him about my doing PAD Chapbook Challenge…. (which I’m technically still working on since I didn’t finish a PAD once and I have a few more I want to add to the chapbook)   He told me in all intensive purposes that I didn’t need to worry about challenges, though I didn’t explain that it was a contest. Whatever.

But he did challenge me to a poetry challenge just in the sense that he would give me a word a week for me to write a poem and in turn, I would supply him with a word.  For him, I gave him Oolong.  I was thinking about the tea and it seemed unique enough. I’m not sure he wants me posting his poetry, but suffice to say, his first poem made me not ever want to drink Oolong again.  He redeemed himself with a redo of the first poem, but it still makes me think about the first one.

We have no set completion of this challenge, just dabbling in poetry.

He gave me the word Repose, and this is what I wrote from it.  I am still in sonnet mode; thinking in sonnets or more iambic pentameter. I’m getting to the point where I can think a phrase and know if I am there or not. Or close at least. I am getting the unstressed/stressed aspect easier and easier, and I find I really like working in this medium of poetry. There is something kind of special about it.

So here is my reposed sonnet.

A Statue in Repose

She lies reposed a blanket white and cold
From snows so icy while her marble warm
A study bold as winter’s cold untold
And gardens sleep away the chill of storms

The land of Nod is where she sleeps and dreams
A figure whose one dream of summer sun
Is all she dreams as snows do fall it seems
And  summer suns will one again undone

She’s classic style, all grace and beauty fair
A sculpture formed from hands so rugged strong
She’s warmth and love from man’s eternal despair
And beauty lies in silent repose song

A statue full of every wish desired
For she is meant to be adored admired