Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

It’s raining tonight.


And I don’t mind.


In fact, normally, I find beautiful things in the rain. The way the shrubs and trees and grass burst with luscious life. They way they pop with extra vibrancy against their bleak grey backdrop.


The fresh smell of things revived.


The moist in the air that feels like it’s good for my skin. The jewelish patterns it leaves on the windowpanes. The sound of it panging the roof.


And hey, I’m always wanting a valid reason for a roaring fire.


But tonight, I feel sad listening to the pitter of raindrops smacking on the outside shell of my world. For whatever reason, this night is not one of those nights that I’m willing to search for brightness amongst the streaky, cellophaned streets or the drippy ink sky.


No. Tonight, I just want to be sad.


And that’s alright. Because sadness is poetic. We are lucky to live the sad moments. And rarely do we stay sad forever, right?


Sad is not the enemy.


Because being completely sad is, after all, the very thing that allows us to know when we are completely happy.


And we know this, because our hearts tell us. And so does the wise Louis CK…


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I was told the other day, that this blog. My blog. Helps people. That it’s inspirational. And that it stirs people to do the things they want to do. To change their paths. To go and be whatever it is they might want to be.


And I have to say I’ve never really thought of this blog. My blog. That way.


So, I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out what it is that that person saw as inspiring. What about my waterfall of thoughts would engage people in a positive way? What would motivate change in them? Make them think they could follow their dreams?


After all, it’s just me. Perched on my chair. Hitting the keys and letting it all fall out. And not all of it is pleasant. Or happy. Or spirit-lifting. So it can be difficult to see the light through the dark sometimes and it’s nice when someone else cares enough to flip the switch on for me.


At times I’m aware of an audience and other times, the likes or comments come as a jarring reminder that I am, in fact, allowing other people into my chaotic, disheveled mind.


Even more surprising for me, was that this comment came on the heels of my last post which was one of my darkest to date. A post that caused me pause. It was one of those times I did remember my audience and hovered over that pulsing publish button a while before pressing it.


I thought it might be too much. Too overwhelming. I worried it wasn’t “Hazy” enough. That I’d gone outside my brand. (No sniggering over the fact that it’s impossible to go outside a brand that only promises mere moments of clarity!)


So I read it back. And then I read several other posts. Just to compare. And then a few more. And I started to see something. The Darkest Side is not all that different from my standard scribblings. I mean, yes, it’s maybe a little sadder. Gloomier.


But, it’s real.


And that, I believe, is what’s inspiring.


Without sugarcoating, I always talk myself into believing there’s a little bright side to everything. And whether I need to gauge my readers or forget they’re there in order to write whatever it is I want to get out, I stay real.


Every time.


And we’ll keep this part our little secret. That this blog is also about me doing what I want to do. Changing my path. Being whatever it is I long for…think about…and am becoming.


And, I dunno. Maybe people like that too.








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My darkness is a blanket, but I find it hard to pull around you. It seems it would be easy enough. I could just clutch the two corners and wrap them ‘round your shoulders until they tie together.


Knotted, in the middle of your chest.


And there they’d hang, the blanket’s twisted ends, weighty over your heart.


It’s tempting.


I could pull it over your head. Cover your eyes with it. Stop you from seeing me.


From seeing anything.


Because it’s not one of those thin blankets. The kind that grant grainy particles of light. No peeking through to the other side.


Not with this one.


Once you’re in it, it’s thick. And heavy.




You won’t see hazy silhouettes through it. No subtle motion. Once you’re under it, it’s black. Bleak.




No light. No movement. No hope.


You’ll ask me to. Even tell me you want the darkness. You’ll beg to be wrapped in it, if you think it will help me. You’ll promise to be okay behind its all-encompassing eclipse.


You’d lie if you thought it would ease my burden.


I know better. I know what it will do to you. To your spirit. To your sensitive soul.


But in the end, I’ll share my blanket with you anyway.


Because I’m human. And I need you.







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She flitted in. Almost darting between our gazes. Head bobbing with each move. And I couldn’t stop watching her. She was a delicate little thing. Small. Angular. But still somehow, swooping. Sinuous.


She’s out of her comfort zone. It’s easy to see. In certain moments, a colored blur of watery reflection. In others, a precise dot on the obscure background that is this depressing place. I can tell you though. She’s livened it up just by breezing through. A welcome whisk of vivacity. A thrill for a sad and sorry bunch.


A wonder.


She continues on. Stopping now and then. Fluttering in her light-tipped way, from this stoop to that. Ignoring the attentions of everyone else. Busying herself. Bending to pluck bits of litter from the floor. Smoothing her sides back down flat.


I take in her slender neck. Sloping toward her rounded behind and ending in a graceful point at the tip of her thighs. I put my finger out and trace over it in the air. All the way down to the end. Following her curve with my eye.


A sharp noise above the din around us jars her and she ruffles from head to toe. I take a breath, waiting for her to leave me, but she stays. Gathers herself. Keeps moving. Slowly. Delicately. Toward me. My heart skips when I realize how close she’s getting. So close that I can see myself in her pupils. So close that I can feel her warmth. So close that I can smell her scent. And my once skipping heart now batters against its cage.


I reach out. To protect. The instinct is strong. But I can’t touch her. She’s just beyond my grasp. I want to call out, but the usual cackles begin around us and she brings her shoulders up over the sides of her head.




All is concealed but her starry eyes. Their long fine lashes reaching for me. Almost past the crook of her bent, slight limb. And then, they flicker. Those eyes. Right across mine. And lock. Just for a second, mind you. But it’s magic.




Then, as quickly as she came, she’s gone. Off into her other world. And even though I knew she would eventually vanish, it breaks me. Instantly, I drain. Empty.


My mind.

My heart.

My soul.


As she drifts away into another place. Another time. I am left here.


Until her return.













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I’m just in from a coffee shop. Alright. Yes, it was Starbucks. And, surprise, surprise. There were 4 people in there with MacBook Airs. And they looked pretty much how I would’ve looked, had I also brought mine.


They were scarfed and sweatered. Fenced in by open books, cords, pens, mugs and, of course, phones.


At first, I was envious. Thinking how I long for days of doing nothing but writing. It’s a glorious feeling, you know. To be sure of your purpose. And for it to be something you enjoy. Something you find fulfilling. Albeit scorching and torturous at times.


And while I waited for my order, I, for the zillionth time, imagined a world where writing is my only focus. A world, that in reality, will never be. And, that’s okay. In my heart of hearts, I really wouldn’t want that, would I. I mean, where would my family be? Where’s my home in that scenario?


I don’t ever want to be without those things. Those distractions as they are sometimes referred to.


Anyway, what started as pre-beverage envy ended in post-coffee realization. Not one of those blessed little lambs was actually using their laptops. Every single one of them was on their phone.


Texting. Liking. Sharing.




Using valuable time. Precious, hard-to-come-by freedom. To generate useless statuses and insignificant tweets.


But, in truth, I really have no clue what they were doing on their phones. Never mind judging whether whatever they were doing was insignificant or useless. They may have been replying to agent’s proclamations, “CONGRATULATIONS, we sold your novel!” Or throwing out a few likes in support of fellow writers. Perhaps sharing triumphant news of a book deal.


Who knows? Like I said, not me. I just tend to make wild assumptions when I’m coffee-deficient.


So, I admit to suffering from misplaced projection. Putting myself in their chairs. Surrounding my own being with beloved writing gear. Staring into productivity-stealing space. And spending too much time on a phone of my own.


But luckily, the coffee-sufficient me sees the advantage to having, what one might call, an overactive imagination. Next trip, the phone stays in my pocket.


What? You didn’t think I’d turn it off, did you!




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I need a fake blog. One where I can post to my heart’s content without anyone knowing who wrote the posts. Why, you may wonder. Well, because post post seems to be the optimum time for me to see the errors of my ways with pure and utter clarity …the many, many errors.


It happens every time. I write for hours. I read and reread. I edit. I edit some more. I perfect. I post.


I repent.


Last week I had to write another short story within 48 hours as part of the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Writing Challenge. My assigned genre was Science Fiction, my location, a park fountain, my object, a paper airplane.


Now, Sci-fi is truly not my thing. I don’t read it and I certainly don’t write it and I admit that writing it in 48 short hours would have been challenging. However, writing it in 5 hours was downright ball-busting.


You’re sent your prompt at midnight on a Friday and you have until midnight on Sunday to submit a 1000-word (max) story that includes all of the elements you were given. As luck would have it, I had commitments pretty much all weekend. I do, after all, consider taking my 3 kids downtown for the entire day to eat, watch a movie and enjoy a live soccer game a priority.

So by the time we got home I was exhausted and convinced myself I’d get up at 5am to start writing Sunday morning. And I did. I got up at the crack of dawn, but when I got downstairs, I decided that getting the laundry corralled, sorted and spinning was yet another priority.


I could write in between cycles, right?


Well, there’s not as much time in between laundry cycles when you’re trying to get something done, as there is when you’re in a frazzled frenzy waiting on your favorite jeans to dry before you’re due to meet a friend.


And then there was the tidying so that the cleaning I needed to do later would be faster. There was an event scheduled to take place at my house the next morning, so Sunday required some home TLC and as we all know, less clutter equals quicker results.


I started writing at 12.


I finished writing at 5.


5 agonizing hours of trying to wrap my mind around the Sci-fi genre, of trying to hurry, of fretting over the impending cleaning, of wondering what dinner would be and who was going to make it, of not hearing what I was reading anymore, of trying to get it right. Of freaking out. Of torture.


Anyway, here’s a link to my story just how I submitted it.


Missing Love


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He fills with words that will only reach the earth, he’s been warned, should they carry their weight in truth. The sweat of his pudgy finger crimps the creases he’s so carefully bent, and he pulls himself in tight, hurdling his most sincere spirit into what he must believe, is an accepting unknown…


It can be hard to remember how something began. Details fuzzy and timing, non-specific, but Elian and Luna are not spared in this way. The moment that first child disappeared is forever cut into their hearts. After all, watching someone fade is not easily forgotten. Laughing one minute and evaporating like a recalled raindrop the next, hangs heavy in the atmosphere.


At one time, this small town had been a home. Long before despair scraped its way to the core with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel, they’d slept on cozy beds inside colorful houses and shrilled as they’d swung high enough for their toes to touch the moon. They’d trailed fingertips in the park fountain and sacrificed their pennies for precious wishes.


But children continued to vanish. Panic rose. Terrified mothers fictionalized mass killings and undiscovered bodies. Fathers waited with shotguns at the ready for evil that would never show its face. Paranoia and mourning became their way of life.


Time passed and slowly, the township reached a decision to understand it rather than to fight. And as they deliberated ideas, they became shamefully aware that the departed were solely the ones conceived without love. The conceptions cultivated from seeds of greed, selfishness or pride, some spawned out of lust or envy. They determined that not one of the lost had blossomed from a pure moment of tenderness.


True to human nature, they were eager to replace what was gone, to fix what was broken. They attempted to conceive through despair, but their still loveless efforts refused to bear the fruits they once had and a relentless darkness swathed their barren souls.


Now, unearthly quiet fills the creeks and crevices as Elian and Luna make their way to the fountain. Swings sway loosely in the intermittent wind, their rusty chains straining against a tongue-tied backdrop. The two make their way through the littered streets, Luna’s fingers curving around Elian’s palm, long and loose like the limbs of a weeping willow.


The park is so much smaller than when they were young. The surrounding fence halts at their shins and they now loom over the jungle gym they couldn’t quite conquer at three feet tall. Roots from the massive Oaks have thrust up through the dusty earth and turned the timeworn slide upside down. A carousel is cocked on its side, a discarded toy on a vacant nursery floor.


But, today is unlike any other time they’ve ambled this path. The waterless fountain urges them on, the air surrounding it fused with static and a vibrating hum that pulls them to it much like the tow ropes used to haul them up to the highest mountaintops. With no words, they each hear what the other is thinking. With one glance, they feel what the other is feeling. With one touch, they each want what the other is wanting.


They are one.


Elian turns and presses his lips to Luna’s forehead. They stand this way for some time, paused in the moment between what was, what is and what could be. Most had given up, some had moved on, others, simply bided their time, withering to ash between their sheets, but Luna and Elian only got stronger, looked after one another, grew together.


Built a life.


They stand at the fountain’s edge with Luna’s coattails flapping in the wind and Elian’s dark curls shifting freely over his brow. He takes her hand in his once more and they wait together while the sky begins to change. Shapes and patterns kaleidoscope into brilliant hues of azure and indigo, folding into amethysts and tangerines. They believe it to be the most beautiful thing they’ve ever seen.


And it is.


Until a small white tip—the nose of a well-intentioned craft—breaks though a slit in the colorful clouds and glides gracefully, softly, silently into their hearts.


This is the most beautiful thing they’ve ever seen. Luna feels the stir. Elian reaches to touch the swell of colors that have drifted down from the sky to stretch across her belly.


“Welcome, little one. This is love.”









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