A Christmas Vignette – Regina Decorates Luke’s Office – Flash Fiction

ysnkckdkyty-rodion-kutsaevRegina whirled into the lobby of the hotel, her ruby red, velvet cloak whirling around her. Her arms were laden with bags and there were also a few hat boxes clutched in her hands.  She sniffed appreciatively at the warm pine smell coming from the very large Christmas tree in the lobby. Currently, it only had its lights, twinkling fairy lights, but soon it would be decorated. Late at night, the staff would set to work turning the hotel into a Christmas dream. The bannisters would be strung with garlands, greenery would be around windows and doors. Bowls of glass ornaments and strings of shimmery beads. Glittery snowflakes and icicles dripping off of the balcony overlooking the lobby. The hotel would be alive with classic Christmas music and every member of the staff would have their holiday uniforms; sparkly dresses for the ladies, and festive vests and bow ties for the men.

Regina hummed The Christmas Song, Karen Carpenter’s voice in her head as she plopped her purchases in Luke’s office. Luke was out, it appeared, and Regina grinned deviously. She picked up the phone on his desk and rang up the kitchen.

“Hi, Margo. Could you have a bottle of champagne, a plate of shortbread cookies and some finger food brought to Luke’s office? I’m decorating.” She couldn’t stop the giggle to Margo’s groan of “oh God.”

Luke, while festive, did not like his office touched. Even by Regina, and they were a thing.

Regina had just plugged in some holiday music and was pulling things out of her bags when Craig came in with the things she’d ordered, the champagne in an ice bucket and the rest on a tray.

“Put the champagne on the desk and the two plates on that table,” she directed, pointing at the small table between two comfortable chairs she frequently confiscated when she was writing.

“The boss ain’t gonna like this,” Craig warned as he set the champagne flutes next to the bucket of ice and popped the cork on the bubbly.

“That’s because he’s never had me decorating. Besides, he can’t fire his woman.”

“Just don’t say I had any part of this,” Craig warned.

“Why would I? You only brought my order,” Regina said, confused.

Craig grinned and stuck his head out of the door. “Oy! Jason. Sam. Bring it in,” he called.

Two of the other bellhops came in carting a faux, fluffy, white Christmas tree and set it up in front of one of the long windows that looked out on Ashland’s bustling East Main. They plugged in the cord hanging near the base and the tree was lit up in glittery white.

“Lissa ordered this for your suite, but when she heard you were decorating the boss’s, she told us to bring it in here.” Craig and the boys left and Regina stood, staring at the tree in glee. She knew she always liked Luke’s assistant, Lissa, but this was extra perfect. And she was amazed that the word had gotten around that she was decorating in the twenty minutes since she’d ordered the food. Ah yes, living in a hotel was like a small town. Gossip was always a hot topic.

To the sounds of Bing Crosby and many more classic Christmas artists, Regina pulled ornaments from bags that had come from Paddington Station, one of Regina’s favorite stores along Ashland’s shopping district. There were other bags of ornaments from other stores and soon there were silver and gold and glittery red ornaments hanging on the tree. Thank goodness she didn’t have to put the lights on herself. She wound glittery pine garlands around the windows, she sipped the champagne, she nibbled the good eats, and soon, the office of the very prominent owner of the very luxurious hotel, was a warm and cozy winter wonderland.

She had the shades up so passersby could look in the windows, and she caught many open-mouthed “whoa’s” as she fixed things. Some she would wave at, others, she would toast with her glass of bubbly. It was fun.

By the time Luke entered his office at half past four, Regina was a bit tipsy and belting out White Christmas. He should have been furious with his zen office now almost as richly decorated as a store, but when his gorgeous lady held up a bunch of mistletoe in a gold bow and presented her very red lips, who was he to make a fuss?

2fbfidnx0oo-annie-spratt

So I have recently been writing little vignettes of my various novels and their characters. I wanted to give everyone a Christmas story. I read off one of my little somethings the other night and was told that it was like a Hallmark script. I had never thought about my stories that way; the stories I have been writing for 16+ years, but it was incredibly encouraging because I like to write nice stories. I have been trying to figure out what to do with my stories for ages. Now I might have some inspiration.

Regina and Luke are the start of something I wanted to write about Ashland, Oregon, and the glorious Ashland Springs Hotel. I wrote a character piece on Luke ages ago. You can read it here.

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.

A Smattering of Sonnets for PAD Chapbook Challenge

English: Shakespeare's sonnet 1

English: Shakespeare’s sonnet 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been knee deep in writing sonnets. Thinking about them, thinking in iambic pentameter, or at least iambic. I have figured it out finally. The iambic thing. Writing sonnets, well it’s a lesson every time I set my pen to paper.

We are nearly done with the challenge, and I am having to play catch up. I wished I could have written one a day, but it’s more like a one ever two days kind of thing, unless absolute inspiration hits me and then I splat one out, and I do mean splat. It hits the paper running and is there without a chance of changing it.

I wanted to include a few here. I told CB Wentworth that I would post some. Her haikus, by the way, have been totally inspiring.

Did anyone else do the PAD Chapbook Challenge by Writer’s Digest? I would love to know if you did.

So because the holiday season is upon us, here is my Festive sonnet—

All Good Cheer

The eggnog sits upon the table top
and whipped cream islands are floating there
We wait for guests to drink the rich stuff up
And clink a glass to wish us all good cheer.

The music plays in subtle waves of sound
And candle light is glowing golden bright
The snow is falling softly to the ground
The peace is here on this, this Christmas night

We wait for Santa bringing gifts of joy
For carols sung in happy songs refrain
A tree for all to reflect and enjoy
As toasts are clinked with a glass of champagne

This Christmas Eve we wish you all good cheer
A pleasure lasting us throughout the year

 

Then my ‘Divided’ sonnet—

Trust is But a Divide

I trusted you in moments like we had
A force of love and friendship here right now
It took me time to see the flaws unsaid
Divided we stand is what I will avow

In time we may forget the lines that break
I stand on lines you stand right there apart
A split on down the middle thoughts we make
Can we go on this way and not depart

If sides must choose I choose my side it’s clear
And you are wrong as wrong as wrong can be
I must not break this stand I take to bear
And you will go and leave me you will see

We once were strong and now we are broken
These words are worse than when they were spoken

And my ‘idea’ sonnet. This one is inspired by a particular holiday film. A classic. If you know it, tell me.

The Idea’s Ideal

A grand idea call for troops to come
We’ll throw a show and make it big, you say
Ideal it is oh ho let’s go have fun
It’s rather good, idea that’s to day

The girls can do their number sparkling blue
We are in army duds and with our caps
We’ll sing to General, he’s our good man true
A rousing cheer for him, the best of chaps

The war has passed us long ago we’ll sing
Let’s clap our hands and give one last applaud
This man is ours salute him for this fling
As snow is falling and we all stand awed

It’s Christmas now so sing a song to joy
For love and hope and friends we all enjoy

 

 

So there are three that are quite fun. I have more, but I want to revise some. And we shall see. I finished up one tonight that has my heart just so happy, despite the sadness I’m putting into it. It’s weird. I am getting to vent some frustration I’m having with Boris.  I put so much emotion into my writings.  Honestly, if you feel your writing is stale, have some angst in your life. It really solidifies feelings.  Anger, hurt, sadness, pain…. love. It all comes out when you write poetry.

So, enjoy. Only two more days of the challenge, then a month of revision. And I still have four more days of Writing 101 to finish up. Aahhhh, I need to get hustling!

Kate

Eve and Noel – Flash Fiction

green-velvet-bow-long-sleeves-1950s-vintage-dress blue-velvet-short-sleeves-1950s-vintage-dressEve and Noel, identical twins in almost every way. Born only a couple minutes apart, Eve on the 24th, and Noel on the 25th, they were named after the holiest of days. Serene and elegant, both women were lovely to look at and calming to be around.

They both attended the Christmas Eve service with their parents. Eve wore a forest green, velvet dress, the skirt full from layers upon layers of tulle, with one of the layers edged in delicate silver, giving a glint as she walked. Her heels were matching velvet, with silver glitter on the four inch heels, twinkling as she walked. She kept with the theme of forest green on her nails, and a huge emerald and silver ring on her middle finger. Silver and green like a diamond Christmas tree, said her father. She had giggled in delight. Every year a specific color stood out for the holiday season. Last year it had been cranberry red, the year before, silver, black, and red.

churchatchristmas_2772351b 6332648515_fbf297138e_zWhile Eve was resplendent in green, Noel was in shades of sapphire blue. They set each other off perfectly with their red gold hair, similar to Rosemary Clooney’s in White Christmas. They were a statement as they walked into the little chapel, arms linked as they made their way to their favorite pew to the delicate strains of “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.”

Heads turned as watched the two women. Neither of them were proud, but it was impossible to ignore the stir they made.

“Our girls look like models,” their father remarked as he and his lovely wife followed behind their daughters; and it was true.

 

Okay, I wrote this piece of flash fiction last year on Christmas Eve. There wasn’t much of a plot other than velvet dresses and Rosemary Clooney. Enjoy

Kate