Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2014

*This piece is part of an ongoing short story*

You can read parts one through nine HERE!

Hotly Anticipated iPhone 5 Goes In Sale In Stores

She’d seen Helena in the cafeteria today. She was talking to a petite girl with short, dark hair. Bettina, Stephanie thought her name was, but couldn’t be a hundred percent sure. The room was bustling and Helena and her friend were on the other side of it, mere blurs amongst the crowd.

She takes another long sip of her wine, sets it on the low coffee table, and allows the mouthful to wash over the lump in her throat as she swallows.

Watching from across the room what has now become familiar, the unconscious twisting and turning of the hair, the swoop of her long neck and the band of bracelets that has widened since her arrival make the second reading of the essay in Stephanie’s hand even more haunting somehow. The carefully selected words produce an ease and flow contrary to the torment of choosing them. It’s apparent the open wounds and blunt truths had dropped sharply onto the page, and only then were smoothed by a cohesive, composed mind. If it weren’t so painful it would be breathtakingly beautiful.

She sets the curled pages down onto the empty cushion next to her and reaches for her glass.

“Anass came on to to me again.” She divulges, swirling her drink.

Rick lifts his head off the couch, eyebrows raised, forehead wrinkled.

“Did you tell him you’re taken?”

“Very funny, darling. You and I have only been together at every Christmas party and staff picnic for the last five years. He knows.”

Rick lets out a big yawn, flips onto his side and takes his phone out of his pocket. Sensing her silence begs a response, he sighs.

“Are you sure he hit on you? What did he do?”

“Well, he leaned in.”

“Leaned in?”

“Yeah, you know…”

All of a sudden she feels silly, flustered.

“He insinuated.”

“Insinuated?”

“Never mind,” she concedes. “It was nothing.” But when she looks to him for reassurance, he’s scrolling through his messages and smirking at whatever’s on his screen, unaware they are still in conversation.

Stephanie picks up the essay and holds it in front of her face – a barrier between them. Whether it be the wine, Rick’s disinterest or Helena’s aching words, a brew of all three she assumes, the lump in her throat turns to hot streams running down her cheeks.

She’ll call Helena to her office first thing.

Read Full Post »

*This piece is part of an ongoing short story*

I’m counting on you reading parts one through eight HERE!

ten_dog

 

Coffee rumbles in her otherwise empty tummy and Gladys takes her hand off the wheel to try and settle it. The building’s roof is slightly lopsided and the hand painted sign is in need of a fresh lick. As she takes a long drag and blows it out the open window, she tries to remind herself that these damn e-cigs are supposedly saving her life and that her life is apparently more important than her sanity.

A rusty groan fills the weighted air as the door to Billy’s Bait Bunker opens and a trail of dust shrouds a surly looking trucker carrying a couple of rods and a brown paper bag out to his grimy long haul.

It’s the perfect spot for the little shack, now a much-anticipated destination by truckers from all over the country. Billy’s Bait Bunker carries everything drivers need to catch and cook themselves a fish supper while camping out at the local riverside. It’s considered a relaxing break in the middle of a week long run and a welcome change from the watered down coffee and greasy omelettes they’re used to. Being located off a back road known mainly to those rolling through the dark of night, he’s always able to have a little something extra hiding behind the counter for his longtime loyal patrons.

No sooner has the dust settled than the driver pulls out, kicking up another mini cyclone in his wake. Gladys waits out the storm before heading inside.

The cluster of tin cans hanging over the door doesn’t even faze her. She keeps her eyes steady on the graying, warped floorboards until she hears his sigh coming out of the back room. It is however, when he leans his elbows on the countertop and drizzles his sandy voice over her that she feels weak at the knees.

“What’ll it be, Gladys? My money or my life?”

Read Full Post »

*This piece is part of an ongoing short story*

I’m counting on you reading parts one through seven HERE!

 

Helena chooses a seat at the very end, as far away from everyone as possible and right next to the window. As she swings her bag across the table and onto the chair in front of her, a familiar voice disrupts any peace she thought she might be able to steal.

“Bags don’t get a seat. House rules.”

“And rules were made to be broken.” Helena replies without looking up.

“Do you really believe that, or are you on autopilot?” The voice asks, moving to stand in plain view.

Helena is forced to look at her. Small and plain, the girl’s perfectly trimmed hair runs up and around the curves of her ears and the long pieces in front are swept to one side, revealing her dark, dramatically arched brows. Her thickly feathered lashes cast shadows on her sun-covered cheeks and her tiny nose barely pushes out past her top lip.

“Autopilot’s kind of what I do.” Helena uses her fork to make bruise patterns across the withered leaves of lettuce on her plate.

“Bitty,” the girl says as she sits down next to the illegally parked backpack. Seeing a vague look of disbelief cross Helena’s face, she says; “It’s short for Bettina.”

“Oh. Okay well, Helena.” Helena surrenders reluctantly.

“Not sure that suits you,” she says. “I think I’ve finally come to accept you as a Sinead.”

“I have way more hair.”

“Yeah, I guess I was right the first time around. You’re a Sinead like I’m a Bettina.”

“Bitty it is.” Helena agrees.

As Bitty turns her face towards the window, Helena tries to make out the tiny tattoo behind her left ear.

lettuce

Read Full Post »

I am thrilled to host a fellow writer today who has been, not only a steady flowing fountain of furtherment, but a creative character with a reliable routine. Her name is Francis Guenette and she is, by George, a Canadian Author Extraordinaire.

Francis Guenette

Please meet Francis Guenette

Francis Guenette has spent most of her life on the west coast of British Columbia. She lives with her husband and finds inspiration for writing in the beauty and drama of their lakeshore cabin and garden. She has a graduate degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She has worked as an educator, trauma counsellor and researcher. Francis’ second novel, The Light Never Lies, can be found HERE and her blog, Disappearing In Plain Sight, can be enjoyed through this LINK. She also hosts a facebook page, so please do drop by and say hello!

unnamed

The Light Never Lies by Francis Guenette

A Little Teaser for The Light Never Lies:

As circumstances spiral out of control, Lisa-Marie is desperate to return to Crater Lake. The young girl’s resolve is strengthened when she learns that Justin Roberts is headed there for a summer job at the local sawmill. Her sudden appearance causes turmoil. The mere sight of Lisa-Marie upsets the relationship Liam Collins has with trauma counsellor, Izzy Montgomery. All he wants to do is love Izzy, putter in the garden and mind the chickens. Bethany struggles with her own issues as Beulah hits a brick wall in her efforts to keep the organic bakery and her own life running smoothly. A native elder and a young boy who possesses a rare gift show up seeking family. A mystery writer arrives to rent the guest cabin and a former client returns looking for Izzy’s help. Life is never dull for those who live on the secluded shores of Crater Lake. Set against the backdrop of Northern Vancouver Island, The Light Never Lies is a story of heartbreaking need and desperate measures. People grapple with the loss of cherished ideals to discover that love comes through the unique family ties they create as they go.

Francis Guenette works tirelessly to get her work into public view, a sometimes daunting task for us introverted writers. But, as you can see, she has been more than successful in stepping beyond that stigma and letting it go.

Guenette's book in her local supermarket

Guenette’s book in her local supermarket

An tiny Guenette enthusiast

A tiny Guenette enthusiast

Francis is currently running in a blog tour and I am one of the lucky stops. She is offering two trade paperback copies of The Light Never Lies, mailed right to the lucky winners door. One copy goes to the blog host who garners the most engagement with his or her post on Francis, and one to a commenter whose name will be drawn from a communal commenter hat compiled from all across the tour.

 

She has written a post especially for my blog, so I’m excited for you to read it below and share your thoughts…

 

Let the Story Go

I am thankful for this opportunity to appear on Hazy’s blog. As my second novel, The Light Never Lies, makes its inaugural way out into the world, I decided to focus my guest post on the fear we writers have when we must put our work into the realm of the reader. I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t seem to get any easier.

I often write with the radio playing in the background. Now and then something grabs my attention. The other day a few words jumped out and I jotted them down on a scrap of paper. No matter what you’re trying to create – if you’re not scared you’re not really doing it.

This message is a bitter pill for a writer. We must face our fears about letting the story go. We must send our work out into the world where people will judge and horrors of all horrors, maybe not even understand what we’re trying to say – a scary prospect, indeed.

There is no way around this dilemma. If we want to write a story that means anything, other people will have to read it. French philosopher, Paul Ricoeur wrote extensively about the art of interpreting written text. He tells us that the act of fixing anything in writing is the beginning of that story’s journey away from the meanings the author may have intended. The story is freed from the one who created it and enters the field of interpretation – the land of readers.

There is a vital reason why writers must let their stories go. You see, my fellow quaking with fear writers, stories matter. As human beings, we have a driving urge to tell and understand stories. It is our way of making sense of the world. Telling a story lets us drag the threads of our life backward in reflection and forward as we construct new ways of interacting with one another and our world. Each story becomes a bell echoing out past the storyteller.

Here is a call to action, my friends – as the Bard would say, screw your courage to the sticking post and put those stories out there. Cut the apron strings, I say. Let the readers do their job of interpretation through the lens of their own unique experience. In this way, our words will bounce away, leading others to thoughts, places and insights we could never have imagined.

I hope you’ve enjoyed Francis’ post today and that you’ll show her the support she needs to continue weaving stories that entertain our hearts and souls. After all…

If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.

~ Peter Handke

 

Read Full Post »

I give my utmost hats off to travel writers. While traveling lends an appreciable amount of material, writing during traveling is not for the weak fingered. The already challenging task of sitting down to plunk one word in front of another tends to be strained by jet lag, bewilderment, distraction, preoccupation and a broken status quo. The strength to string sentences is somewhat suspended by mayhem and marvel.

 

Though, you think about it. All the time. You’re stunned by scenery and envisioned with views, you’re floored by feasts and enamored with elegance. Conversations and connections sizzle your senses. You want to nail it. All of it.

 

And, you are absolutely frozen by the enormity of the task.

 

The pressure of capturing it all with the swoop of a pen is enough to bring the ink to a boil, but making it right, doing it justice and being fair to your hopeful audience are all part and parcel of the job.

 

Thank God I’m not a travel writer. I’m just a writer who likes to travel. Lucky me.

 

I get to write when and if I feel like it. I type only when I believe I’m up for the challenge. I’m allowed to sit one out if I don’t think I’m going to make the cut. Most would say I have it easy and I’d have to agree.

 

Especially when I get to come home to kids like this…

Best Kids Ever

Best Kids Ever

 

 

Read Full Post »

*This piece is part of an ongoing short story*

I’m counting on you reading parts one through six HERE!

 

Anass knows by her ring that she’s fairly newly wed. It’s one of those made to look antiques every fresh bride he’s come across in the last five years wears but it’s platinum rather than yellow gold and a baguette setting instead of a solitaire. It’s loose on her finger and he watches her twisting it back and forth. Her nails are freshly polished and shine like a display case boasting a precious jewel.

“When exactly did you become aware of this?” He asks, leaning in a little too far.

“Well, Friday…”

“You’ve known since Friday and you’re only telling me now?”

Mrs. Statton’s face prickles with heat and she’s not sure if it’s the embarrassment or frustration.

“I found it just before our lunch meeting but I was running late, so I threw it in my briefcase,” she pauses. “And, well, I’ll admit I forgot about it over the weekend. I didn’t open my bag again until this morning.”

“I don’t have to tell you the problems this could have caused for the school should something have happened.”

“I would have been late for Manger Corbeau if I’d have read it then. You said twelve-thirty sharp, remember?” Mrs. Statton leans in to meet him in the middle. “And we all know how you hate to wait, Mr. Anass.”

Anass backs off, if only slightly.

“And frankly, I think Mr. Crawford could have done more than throw it in a basket full of paperwork and walk away, don’t you?” Stephanie smiles her sweetest smile.

“I suppose…”

“So, if anyone is responsible for potentially causing problems for the school, Mr. Anass, I think Crawford should be considered.” She leans in even further, ensuring he has a clear view of the bright blue V-neck she’d pulled over her matching bra this morning.

“Mmm,” Rick had murmured as he watched her dress. “Come back to bed.”

Mr. Anass clears his throat.

“Yes. Yes, I’ll be chatting with Crawford as well.” His voice shakes a touch but he recovers quickly. “However, in the meantime, let’s you and I discuss strategy.”

 

As Stephanie walks down the hall back to the safety of her office, she tries to shudder off what she and some of the young, female teachers have to come to call “Whatanass’ Circadian Spurt.”

Once inside she breaks her own open door policy and drops the essay on her desk with an uncertain sigh.

Helena.

index

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: