Monday, February 13, 2012

[Repost] Twas Valentine's Eve...

Twas Valentine's Eve and I slumped in my chair,
No chocolates or roses, or man in my lair.
Cupid lay dead on the Persian rug in the hall
His bow to his side, an arrow stuck in my wall.

They'll think I did it, killed "Love" out of spite,
Single people everywhere will rally to fight.
The truth will stay hidden, I won't have my say,
They'll jump to conclusions and lock me away.
The pink cherub had it coming, arriving so late,
I waited all week for him to change my fate.
When he never showed, I surrendered my plight
All I wanted was a bath and to call it a night.

Surrounded in bubbles and candles aglow,
I resigned to my destiny at Cupid's no-show,
But when something downstairs made a thump and crash,
I jumped from the tub with nothing covering my ass.
I fumbled in darkness not wanting to be seen
For a gun, a bat, a weapon of means.

Soapy footprints marked my descent downstairs,
Without knowing I stood naked, in the crosshairs.
I screamed when the pain shot through my behind
And swung my bat fast, dazed out of my mind.
He squealed like a pig but my aim was too good,
His wings beat hard, but he still smacked the wood.
With arrow still dangling from one precious cheek,
I painfully scurried to save Love's little "geek."
No time for the lights when I saw my mistake,
But the comment he made determined his fate.

"Seriously, lady you should join a gym,
"I'm having a hard time finding just the right 'him'.
"They all want a model with boobs that don't hang,
"A washboard stomach and a long golden mane.
"You're funny and sweet, but slightly plump
"I had to use 'turbo' to penetrate your rump.

"Are you saying I'm fat, you insensitive pest?
"Which coming from you meets an ironic best.
"You're nothing but blubber, chubby and round,
"Those wings barely keep you off of the ground.
He raised his bow, a fiery red in his eye,
I'd pushed too far, hurt his pride.
But he flew in a circle, one wing badly bent,
I ducked out of the way when an arrow he sent.
It hit the light socket, shooting sparks in his hair,
Startled, the cherub flew into the stairs.
He bounced off the railing, hit the banister post,
Ending prone of the rug, smelling a lot like burnt toast.
With the arrow from my butt I gingerly poked,
But he didn't move, just laid there and smoked.
I called 911 to report the break-in and assault,
Quickly dressed and rehearsed why this wasn't my fault.

Red and blue clashed against my sage green walls,
And dozens of officers filled my entry hall.
One noticed the arrow now glowing red hot,
And the Fire Department arrived on the spot.
I recalled my terrifying brush with death,
Noting most of them snickered under their breath.

The "murder of Love" was declared self defense,
No charges were filed, because nothing made sense.
Cupid suddenly vanished leaving no trace,
No bow, no arrow, nothing left in his place.
We all swore an oath we weren't losing out minds,
And the officers left, but one stayed behind.

"I hope you don't mind my asking so late,
"But would you consider being my Valentine date?
Cupid's arrow did more than just inflict strife,
It brought "him" to my doorstep and into my life.
I rubbed my backside, while nodding my head,
I had a date for Valentines and proof "Love" wasn't dead.

Happy Valentines Day

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WACKY WEDNESDAY . . . Easy Rider - or writer?

 Anyone who knows me, knows I love motorcycles. My preferred brand is Harley Davidson. Between hubby and I, we've owned seventeen. Current sweet ride is a burgundy flake (sparkling beauty) Road King with a big old fat seat for my ... well, to cushion the ride. I've been to Sturgis, the biggest people show on earth and oh-so entertaining. The American flag can be worn so many different ways. This is also the place my virgin eyes saw, how shall I say it, body paint artistically applied to the most obvious places. One such endowed beauty had a gorgeous lion's head painted on her chest, with "eyes" that jiggled. Also, I cannot eat Bing cherries without recalling another vivid memory. Ah yes. Needless to say, I watched, but did not partake. My favorite trek is a toss up between Yellowstone Park and Durango, Colorado. My least favorite is the dry, windy ride to Laughlin, Nevada.

I was taught to ride a Honda 100 dirt bike by my high school boyfriend, whom I thought the sun bowed to when it set in the West. I wanted to be the coolest girlfriend ever, so when he asked me if I wanted to learn how to ride his, I jumped at the chance. I did okay. Biffed it a couple of times, but soon rode like a pro. Then we broke up and I lost my motorcycle.

When I got married, hubby thought it would be wonderful if we each had our own. He bought me a Honda 200 street/dirt bike. Things got complicated. I had to take and pass a motorcycle driving test. Aced the written exam, but the actual test would be taken solo, without my husband around. An officer mounted a large horse and stood guard as I did my Figure 8's, stopped and started my cycle without issue, did some balancing thing for 30 seconds (which I think was more for his entertainment as I have never needed that technique), then proceeded to the "brake test." Again, I'm thinking he was bored. He pointed down a long strip in the parking lot between parked cars. Straight, narrow, and running the risk of someone backing out into me. I was to reach a certain speed, then slam on the brakes and not skid to a stop.

I scanned the parking lot, which was at the courthouse, looking for old people who wouldn't hear me, teenagers pissed off with traffic tickets who wouldn't see me, and the idiot running late for his court hearing who would pull into the parking lot as I peaked top speed. The officer waited. The horse took a dump.

I revved my engine, eased out the throttle and shifted effortlessly through each gear, mentally screaming a mantra of obscenities mixed with fervent prayer. I passed! I took a vow that I would never let my motorcycle endorsement expire whenever I renewed my license because I never, ever, wanted to take that test again. I will be a hundred years old with a motorcycle license.

Hubby beamed, proud of his tiny (no children had been born and I was barely 20) bad-ass wife in her color-coordinated purple motorcycle gear and helmet. The ride home was relaxing, all the tension gone. In fact, my legs felt rubbery. We arrived at our suburbia paradise where our newlywed love nest was located (sounds much more romantic than mobile home). Hubby was a couple of minutes ahead of me, because I had to wait for traffic before turning into the subdivision. He'd already dismounted, had his helmet off and was watering the flower pots out front.

I've just given you a "camera clue." Ever watch for those in movies? The most obvious is the car driving down the road with driver and passenger arguing, the camera giving you quick flashes of each one with a view out their side window. You're engaged in their conversation, paying no mind to the background, and then it happens. The crash! The sound of glass exploding, metal grating on metal, screams, and for the grand finale on your heart attack, blood spattering everywhere. An eerie quiet follows, usually a low cello strumming in the back ground, covered slightly by the hissing sound of steam rising. A moan. An appendage twitches, then in the distance, the wailing of sirens resonating louder as they approach.

Okay, so my next  "scene" isn't as dramatic, but traumatizing nonetheless. I pull into the driveway, grinning proudly at my betrothed heartthrob, paying no attention to the little stream of water trickling down the driveway, or the hose stretched across my path. I roll the throttle slightly to give the motorcycle enough gas to ease up the short incline to the carport. Suddenly, the bike slips sideways when the front tire and the hose fight for control. Panicked, I think I'm grabbing the brake when in reality, I grab the throttle with all my strength -- launching me into a wheelie Travis Pastrada would be proud of. My body, now operating without a brain, falls forward, pushing the front tire back onto the wet pavement, propelling me like a small rocket into the carport, narrowly missing my new Camaro, through a decorative fence once protecting floundering tomato plants, over a throw-rug size patch of grass and into the back of our neighbor's mobile home.

The bike is wedged between the skirting and the metal frame, the throttle stuck on high, and the back tire spinning on their patio. Blue smoke curls, the stench of burning rubber overpowering the smell of burgers cooking on a nearby grill. I've miraculously catapulted off the machine and am jumping up and down, possessed by poltergeists and screaming for my husband. As he passes the mentally disturbed woman he's sworn his dying breath to, he spews words void of any of the pride he gushed earlier. He shut the bike off, carefully pulled it out of the skirting and limped it across the grass back to our place on its now bald tires. The adrenaline rush finally reached my brain and I passed out.

Yes, that's how I started my "biking career." My machine stuck in sheet metal and me sprawled on wet grass. But color-coordinated. I've had a couple of other "Keystone Cops" moments, and recently, I sold my white angel bike (pictured above), deciding I make a better passenger. I'm getting too old. If something breaks now, it has to be "replaced."

I still love riding. Now, however, I get to read my Kindle and let my husband worry about the driving. I doubt we'll ever give it up. We met a couple in Cooke City, Montana on a rally one year. They were in their mid seventies. They'd "triked" their Harley, modifying the back with two wheels instead of one. We decided that would be us, only I threatened to kill my husband if he wore a leather vest and no shirt like this dude had. Gray chest hair with saggy "man-boobs" has a high gag factor.

So how does this relate to my writing career? It doesn't, other than riding my Harley is probably my best muse. The adrenalin rush I get from a motorcycle, driver or passenger, is the same as when a new story sparks in my imagination and I can't get the words out fast enough. Sometimes I get "stuck in sheet metal" but not for long. I write a superhero, not unlike the one I've been with for thirty odd years, to rescue the heroine, me...the story. Usually one with attitude, or a mouth my grandmother would shove soap into, and in the end, most likely he gets caught in his cape and needs a kick-ass heroine with sharp scissors to save him and steal his heart.

So there you have it. Another embarrassing page from my wacky life. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Current listen:  "Grenade" courtesy of Bruno Mars

The refrain says "I'll catch a grenade for ya..." Really? A grenade...a bomb. Some guy is just going to reach up and grab a flying grenade aimed at his true love. Maybe? Depends on the situation . . . the story. In reality, physically catching a grenade in all probability isn't going to happen. Especially in my reality. Hubby, the hopeless "un-romantic" that he is, would see the grenade heading my way and yell "duck," thinking he'd covered his obligatory spousal duty and leave me to my own devices to get out of the way.

Unicorn Moon Rise Illustration | Stock photo   

But in a "make believe" or fictional world, the one we create for our readers, great care needs to be given so that our readers believe our heroine will be saved when the hero jumps a super-human height and catches the grenade, flinging it into the universe where it detonates and harms no particular the characters they've emotionally invested in. It doesn't matter if it's believable in our world, but it must be in the world we've where superhuman strength exists and grenades aimed at our heroes and heroines is considered "natural."

Computer geek Jimmy Nerd would not suddenly bolt from his desk, open his window and find a grenade spiraling across the park toward the head cheerleader he's dating because hunky football quarterbacks are suddenly dweebs, as she rescues a kitten from a tree, fully clad in her sexy little outfit and holding pom-poms. This causes him to jump from his third story window and land, unharmed, in his polished leather loafers and run through traffic at warp speed (considering he's such an athlete - sitting in front of his computer monitor for hours on end), leaping over the hoods of taxi cabs, sliding under a school bus full of children, only to launch into thin air (and I'm going to put a round guesstimate of approximately 8 feet) and clutch the small missile in his fist without (1) it exploding and sending his spindly body parts into another hemisphere; (2) flinching from the pain a projectile traveling that speed would cause when it hit his grandma soft (ewwe) flesh; (3) or dropping it because his hands would be so large (okay, I know where your mind just went...shame on you) and muscular from moving his computer mouse mere inches all day, and (4) slowing his pace whatsoever, because he would drop back to earth without so much as an "ugh" pushing through his razor thin lips and resume his high velocity sprint to the tree where his beloved sits, unaware. I guess anything's possible...

I'm a rabid Janet Evanovich fan, although I'll confess I didn't start the Stephanie Plum series until book five. She sold me on the opening paragraph (paraphrased):

When I was a little girl I used to dress up Barbie without underpants. On the outside, she'd look like the perfect lady. Tasteful plastic heels, tailored suit. But underneath, she was naked. I'm a .... bounty hunter .... and being a bail enforcement officer is like being a bare-bottomed Barbie. It's about wearing a lot of bravado on the outside when you're really operating without underpants.

I find some part of me in Stephanie Plum. Maybe it's our mutual attraction to Ranger. I pulled this series as an example of making the questionable, believable. Every book shows Stephanie in an absurd and life threatening situation trying to track down her bail skips. Each scenario and lowlife skip walks the boundary of far-fetched in our reality, but in Stephanie Plum's world...the one Janet Evanovich has scripted to perfection, all the crazy shenanigans and consequences are believable. They are natural to the personality of Stephanie's character.

When we create our characters and the world they'll reside in from chapter one through to the end, we have to make sure their personalities are true to the things we have them do, and that they remain consistent. If our bad-ass antagonist suddenly becomes an opera star, or goes from a mean killing machine to rescuing puppies, we better have shown some strong clues and a subtle shift evolving in the personality change, along with a damn good reason why and how it relates to the story, or our readers will blow us off as authors, never trusting in another one of our stories.

We'll become literary liars, promising one thing, but delivering something completely different. As authors, we can't beg forgiveness after the fact. We're already sunk, our careers taking on water faster than we can bail. No one will throw us a life preserver either. There's too many good authors out there and the publishing world isn't going to wait while we patch our dinghies. We'll be left as a snack for the sharks.

Maybe Jimmy Nerd lives in a super-enhanced electronic fantasy world where all the things he does to catch the grenade are possible and something he would do naturally. Like I said, anything is possible when you make the "make-believe" ...believable.