Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sneak Peek: Story from Wordsplash Flash

Here's a flash appearing in my new collection Wordsplash Flash  - Enjoy - only 250 words

                                                                      In Heat

The summer I turned fifteen, Texas blast furnace temperatures prevailed. Days over one hundred degrees created lethargy, torpor. But I cruised, a heady feeling, something acquired from loving Xavier Lopez. His hooded brown eyes, loose-limbed walk, chocolate brown torso, and shiny black hair mesmerized me. We were inseparable, and he knew every gate combination, every community schedule, and so we floated in strangers’ pools.

No one home, no dogs barked. It was too hot for outdoor pets. Languid, we dipped, tiny ripples emanated as we dove and frolicked. Holding hands, we lounged in chair floats sipping forbidden beer or wine coolers, whatever party leftovers we scrounged from ice chests left on patios.

I’d lie on my stomach, watching sweat bead up on his chest. He’d turn his head, remove his sunglasses, and then leap to plunk me in the pool. I’d cling and pull him with me. Our bodies melded, we resurfaced and slow kissed.

“I love this seahorse statue,” I said one August day. We relaxed at a small oblong pool, hidden in a garden nook.

Xavier smiled, “Mia, it’s yours.”

“No, I couldn’t steal,” I paused, “but maybe rearrange. What if we took it with us to our next place? And then something from there to the next and next? Our little mark on their worlds.”

He nodded slowly. “I like it.” And so the seahorse moved and replaced a gnome that replaced a ceramic turtle and so forth. Our summer love simmered with stealth d├ęcor.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wordsplash Flash: A New Collection

I'm pleased to launch my second book, a collection of flash fiction tales. Here's the back jacket blurb:

Flash Fiction - Tell a story in less than five hundred words. Capture love, hate, and heat on a page. Enhance characters with dialogue or a sigh. Let them bemoan their fate or choose to persevere.

Wordsplash Flash is a collection of sixty stories, none over five hundred words. The book contains four sections: Love/Hate/Love, Saints & Sins, Labor, and Heat. Lose yourself in a corn maze (Maize), stomp on love (Wrath of Grape), and spit watermelon seeds (Toothless Grin). Meet an underwear model (Brief Encounter) or slog in a factory (Press On).

In our hurry-up environment, you need a break. Take a minute to step out of your world and into the past (1940 Theater) or the future (Too Hot to Cold).

Wordsplash Flash tales offer a respite, a laugh, or what just happened? moments.

It is available on Amazon   both in print and as a Kindle e-book

Thursday, February 21, 2013

U.K. Cover Reveal from Annalisa Crawford

Annalisa Crawford is a blog friend far across the pond in Cornwall, UK. I am fortunate to get to present her cover reveal for her collection of short stories. I hope my blog friends support this talented young writer.
Very cool cover, Annalisa. Thanks for letting me host a Texas debut.

A couple break up on a rainy night; a runaway longs to go home; a woman finds comfort from eating lunch as her best friend lies in hospital; a teenager feels oppressed by her father. All of the characters in these stories are trying to find their place in the world, attempting to find connections that matter with the people around them.

This collection brings together prize-winning and published stories from the past twenty years: the ‘greatest hits’.

That Sadie Thing and other stories will be available on
Kindle from Monday 25th February 2013.

Annalisa Crawford lives and writes in Cornwall with a good supply of beaches and moorland to keep her inspired. She finds endless possibilities in the relationships between people. As this collection testifies, she has been writing for twenty years - but doesn't feel a day over twenty-one.

Find her on her blog, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Movie Review: Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures is a good replacement for anyone in Twilight withdrawal. This time it's mortal boy hooking up with the new young lady in school who happens to be a witch in training. Set in a small town in South Carolina, Beautiful Creatures is full of one-liners and good acting. Emma Thompson is the evil mother witch inhabiting the body of the town conservative. Jeremy Irons plays the malevolent uncle. Viola Davis is a caretaker of our hero and of the town library - both for the public and for the supernatural.
Alden Ehrenreich as Ethan is a cutie, eager to get out of the town and drawn to the girl he's been seeing in his dreams. Alice Englert, as Lena, is mysterious with her dark hair, brooding face, and quick wit. The movie is a doomed forbidden love story that works. As Lena slowly learns about her powers, she also learns that she must give up Ethan in order to keep him safe.

With Spanish moss dripping from stately trees, and the soft drawls oozing love and hate, the movie has a goth feel but with 21st century twists and turns. Beautiful Creatures is a fun movie experience, appropriate for February valentines, cupids, and witches everywhere.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bernini - Clay Sculpture Genius

Once again, a Sunday at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth is a treat for the eyes. Baroque (early 1600s) Gian Lorenzo Bernini produced Rome's spectacular fountains in the Piazza Navona and the angels on the Ponte Sant'Angelo. The Kimbell exhibition features forty terracotta sketch models and thirty drawings, all lovely in their own right. After viewing this show, I was ready to pack my bags for Rome to see Bernini's glorious work in all its marble glory.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine Love Week

Looking through my pile of poems, I regret I don't have a ton of love poems. No slobbering, silly, over-the-moon craziness. Maybe I take Ray for granted. (He is nodding right this second).

Alas, I need to write more happy pieces. However, it looks like I write when I'm a moody mess. (Poor Ray). But thanks to love, he seems to put up with me (and vice versa). Thus, I post this wacky poem that does turn in his favor and I think demonstrates those little moments.  That's LOVE.




I pout


legs flop

arms cross

furrow my brow

calculate my concerns

tears well for

show time

why doesn’t he

sense my distress

enter the room

ask, “why so pensive?”

ah, scritch of fake leather

skin, he shifts, grunts

slap of barefeet

on laminate floor

I prepare

jaw clenches


footsteps drift to kitchen

freezer door whooshes

silverware clatters

damn, he found it

my fall-back funk buster

double chunk fudge ice cream

time to make amends

Happy Valentine's Day/Week/Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Library Mardi Gras

Saturday evening - Mardi Gras Casino Night at the Bedford Public Library. This successful fundraiser, sponsored by the Friends of the Bedford Library, was a hoot. Over two hundred people contributed money to a good cause, and in return, had a rollicking party time.

BBQ dinner and wine in the large conference room. Then gambling in the hallowed library itself. Blackjack, craps, and roulette, plus Texas Hold 'Em poker kept folks entertained and vying for prizes. Now I blew my chips within an hour. Ray managed to win $20,000 (fake), but wasn't close to prize status. Over $100,000 earned the television, Samsung tablet, and more.

You could purchase extra chips, and also tickets for wine, beer, and soda. All funds went toward the library.

Roars of laughter, alcohol, and gambling in a public library. Hey - it got people in the doors after hours.

Hopefully, they'll be back again to checkout books and read - but at that time.........ssshhh! Use your library voice, and no food or drink allowed.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

No More Ironing

In 1935, Parker Brothers introduced the game Monopoly, based on the streets of Atlantic City, NJ. The player tokens were the iron, race car, shoe, thimble, top hat, wheelbarrow, battleship, and Scottie dog.

Now in 2013, the iron is OUT, and a cat token clawed its way to victory. In a Facebook vote, fans chose the cat over a robot, diamond ring, helicopter, and guitar. Neck and neck in elimination were the wheelbarrow, shoe, and iron. I think I would have voted for the guitar or robot. Apparently a social media war broke out with Zappos pushing shoes, and a garden toolmaker, Ames True Temper Inc, created on-line videos for the wheelbarrow. Sadly, in these days of wash and wear and permanent press, no one came to the iron's defense.

On a completely different note, Sherry Ellis at Gone Garden gave me a cute award. I met Sherry during the April A-Z Blog challenge and have enjoyed her posts since then. Thanks Sherry for this award. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Queued Up in February

I contribute What's in Your Queue?  to the Little Paper of San Saba. Here's some of my latest blurbs based on my Netflix views.

Homeland the series - I mentionned this show before and it is superb. Claire Danes (Carrie) is not stable, but she's intense when it comes to seeking terrorists and she's convinced that Brody, a decorated war hero and POW for eight years, is now a turned spy. We watch the stories unfold and worry with her and for her. Damien Lewis is excellent in his role, and Mandy Patinkin, as Saul - Carrie's mentor and friend, sacrifices his marriage for the cause. These are flawed people and the system is flawed, and yet piece by piece, the puzzle is being assembled. Can we win or will the terrorists succeed? Stay tuned.

Ten Years - Even Channing Tatum couldn't save this snoozer. It's ten year reunion time and tons of cliches to watch in this film. The premise is fine, but there's nothing original. Ten years out of high school, folks are hitting their stride in jobs, family, etc. Channing's thinking of popping the question to his girlfriend. But of course, at the reunion he meets his old flame. Will sparks fly? Then there's the guy who was the bully in school. He's still obnoxious, drinks too much, and tries to make amends with his past. Kareoke anyone? Ugh. Then there are the guys who hope to score, who still think they are cool and playing it like they are huge successes. Reality bites and truths are shared. Thumbs down, even with Channing Tatum as the star.

Pitch Perfect - Glee in a college atmosphere and the competition is fierce. This movie is fun and fluff with some great numbers. Anna Kendricks is humorous as a girl who doesn't want to be at the college her dad teaches. She wants to be in LA to make music and create. But she joins a music group and is drawn into the competition and tries to get the group current. Rebel Wilson, as Fat Amy, is a huge talent. Any scene with her is hysterical. You'll root for the girls and want to sing and dance along.

Brave - Another gem from Pixar. The animation is breathtaking in this tale of a Scottish princess who doesn't want a suitor. She wants to ride her horse, shoot arrows, and make her own decisions. However, the queen wants to maintain tradition, and the King is caught in the middle. Mirada, our red-headed lass, is a typical headstrong teen with plenty of angst. There are a lot of laugh out loud lines as she fights with her mother. However, when she runs away and gets a spell from a witch... well lessons are learned as our heroine has to break the spell and make amends with her mother and traditions. This film is suitable for family viewing and will amuse everyone.

I just started watching Netlix's production of House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey. The BBC version was excellent. So far, the American version is full of political intrigue, back-stabbing, and Spacey is appropriately sleazy and conniving.

So, What's in Your Queue??

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February 2, 2013

Six-Week Countdown

heater groans

wallow in winter remnants

pilled sweatshirts

sinus sniffles



mythic groundhog

Actually - this poem is a myth. Today in Texas it was sunny and fairly warm. I wore my Ugg boots just theory it's "winter".  I do have sniffles but it's due to early allergies. The mountain cedar has gone berserk and there's far too much junk in the air. I've avoided flu and did have the flu shot, so I anticipate being healthy. However, I grew up in PA and we (when students) revered the official pronouncement - six more weeks of winter - it incited groans and yet the hope for more snow days. Now, as an adult, I do not want ice days in Texas. 

We'll see what happens, but February somehow is the turning point. It gets a tad lighter each morning as we head to work and head home. In Texas, we rake a bit in the yard, trim dead branches, and think about pansies or even "When will the daffodils and tulips start budding?" Yes, it will be too early, and yet as we sorta wish our lives away, we do keep looking to tomorrow and tomorrow and the end of winter days.

Cheers! Let's toast winter with a cup of, add some Bailey's?? Sure.