Sunday, January 26, 2014

Spambox Sundays: The Plan of a User

Found these gems in my spambox this week. This time, "they" seem to be after Today's Spotlight: Finishing Touches, which was highlighting a guest article I wrote for Write on Edge, and To Copyright or Not to Copyright, which is part of my Aspects of Independent Publishing series.

I have had more entertaining ones for sure, but these are still fascinating in their own right. I copied the texts just as I found them so rest assured, the grammar and spelling issues this time aren't mine.

When someone writes an paragraph he/she maintains the plan of a user in his/her mind that how a user can be aware of it. Therefore that’s why this post is perfect. Thanks! Feel free to surf  to my site…

 and this one:

Saved as a favorite. I love your blog! Have a look at my web page animation 

To be honest, I posted this last one not because I think it's particularly entertaining. I just liked the idea that someone somewhere bookmarked my site. Even if it's spam, it still tugs a bit at the old heartstrings.

That's what I got for you this week. How about you? Did you find anything fun in your spambox?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

City Traffic (WoE 3)

Write at the Merge gives us 500 words for our limit and the following picture and quote.

"Sometimes legends make reality and become more useful than the facts."
-Salman Rushdie

image by Tom Quackenbush courtesy Unsplash

I don't know where in the dusty recesses of my mind that this scene was hiding, or even where it's planning on going. It feels like more should be done with it, but with the 500 word limit, it'll have to stay put as a work-in-progress.

I offer the following in response: City Traffic

The wind tossed a stray newspaper page like a lazy football, carrying it a small distance and disposing of it with an incomplete pass. Waste clogged gutters and alleyways in drifts inches thick. The nearby park, enclosed in a prison of cold chain-link and razor wire, did little to inspire comfort and the tired playground equipment stood silent and broken. Architectural details of the multi-story buildings hinted at a time when everything was new and pristine but any denizens who would have remembered that time disappeared decades ago.

Crime didn’t hide in the shadows on unsavory corners anymore. Dealers and junkies completed business transactions in broad daylight near the overworked hookers plying their trade like fishmongers. Flash cars were common on G Street, driven by those seeking a fix away from their ivory towers or by the successful crime bosses evaluating job performances of those in their employ. The established circus of anti-social behaviors and criminal intentions performed daily if less intense in the cold, winter months.

Sara strolled up the sidewalk at dusk with slow, measured steps. The stench of urine and vomit assailed her nose as she passed dumpster riddled alleys. She loathed this part of the city. There was a taint to the air that lingered in her hair and clothing she could never be rid of. She intended to cross Leffingwell when she was accosted by a prostitute, angry at the encroachment into her territory.

“Hey, Matrix! Get your own corner!” screamed a brassy blonde in a sequined tube top from across the street.

“Relax, I’m not here to turn a trick,” Sara called back.

“Ah shit, you the fuzz? You down the wrong street yo.”

Sara debated approaching the blonde, but the prostitute was her best option for information.  This is going to be expensive, she thought, pulling a wad of cash from her pocket. “I’m not a cop...tonight.”

“You fuzz at any time, you fuzz through and through. You keep walkin’.”

“Look, I’m willing to buy your time. Easy money. All you got to do is point me in the right direction.” Sara smelled a mix of fear and temptation. The greenbacks in her hand reflected in the blonde’s eyes like a flame.

Her voice dropped low and serious. “You wastin’ you Benjamins ‘cuz I don’t know nuttin’ an’ I ain’t about to wake up in no pine box.”

“I can play this game. For each ‘nothing’ you tell me about, you’ll get another hundred, starting after an automatic two-hundred just for showing up.”

Cat-like claws snatched up the money and stuffed it without ceremony into the crevice of her tube top. “I know what you after, yo. There’s lots that goes down on Leffingwell, but I spect you here about a missin’ little girl. Ain’t none of us okay wit dat, yo.”

Sara flipped out another hundred, “Understood. See? Easy money.”

The prostitute smiled, wide and toothy. “Sure, so long as my boss don’t show up. Let's play, yo.”

Some of the WoE crowd mentioned during the assessment that they aren't always sure when it's okay to leave criticism. I'll try to remember to be a better citizen and put a note at the end of my responses to the prompt, but if I don't, comments and constructive critiques are ALWAYS welcome here. Okay? Okay. so, let me have it. Give me what you've got. I can take it. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Past to Forget (WoE #2)

Write at the Merge gives us 500 words this week and the following quote and picture for inspiration. 

Wood Snake provided courtesy Unsplashed
"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."
LP Hartley, The Go-Between (1953)

There were several directions I wanted to go, but in the end I decided to return to Essie Dorely and her heavenly new career as a reaper. She just met her partner. If you have the opportunity and you want to get caught up you can start here first, and then here next.

I offer the following in response: A Past to Forget

“Now, please follow me. We’ll start Essie’s training.” Reaper and his silent flip-flops floated over the platform.

Abilene twirled her stole, her eyes following Reaper. “Mmm, mmm but that man can rock a suit.”

Essie tugged at her sleeves and rocked her shoulders back. “After you Miss Fortesque.”

The vixen snorted a laugh, a trail of smoke escaping from her nostrils. “Honey, do please call me Abilene. Miss Fortesque was probably my mother.”

“Probably?” Essie stopped before she started. “Oh, I’m sorry. Did she die before you were born?”

She responded with a casual shrug. “I don’t know but to be honest, I don’t ever give it much thought.”

Essie quickened pace when she caught Reaper turning to wait at the end of the platform. “But aren’t you curious?”

“Aren’t you as precious as a lollipop? You figure out what I am yet?”

Words stuck in Essie’s throat, so she gave a dumb nod and tried to focus on Reaper’s flip-flops.

Abilene uttered a cruel sigh, “So you do know what I am. Well, then you should probably know that my kind tend to avoid our pasts whenever it can be helped. History, you see, is a creature all its own, one, I should add, that won’t hesitate to blackmail you so you spend the rest of eternity in the bloody basement, darning socks with razor blades and…that analogy got away from me I think.”

Essie smiled. “A bit.”

“The point is, the past is what keeps me in fire and brimstone, get me? I live through it enough downstairs, I don’t want to think about it on my off time.”

“Okay, got it. No questions about your past.”

If Reaper was impatient, he didn’t show it. “Making friends?”

Although Reaper’s tie didn’t need straightening, Abilene stepped close to him and made a show of smoothing his tie into submission. “Of course, darling. We were having a lovely, intimate intercourse, negotiating our boundaries.”

He stepped back and the silkiness slipped through her gloved fingers. Abilene turned and winked at Essie. “Oh, before we go any further, I should let you know that my safe word is Armageddon.”

Reaper shook his head, his twilight eyes sparkling, “Miss Fortesque, please behave yourself or you won’t get to go.”

“Ash and rot, we’re not going to Gilroy again are we? It took forever to get that garlic stench out of my hair.”

He smiled, broad and teasing. “Paris.”

“France?” Abilene squealed and held up two fingers in a salute. “I’ll do anything you want for Paris. The boutiques, the food, the Frenchmen…”

Essie brightened, excitement coaxing goose-flesh to her arms. She remembered getting lost in Paris. She was so twisted about she ended up at the l’Arc de Triomph when she was supposed to be at the Eiffel Tower, but she didn’t care. She loved the City of Light.

“I call shotgun.” Abilene snuffed her cigarette against the wall.

The ash dripped off the wall without a trace of evidence left behind.

Some of the WoE crowd mentioned during the assessment that they aren't always sure when it's okay to leave criticism. I'll try to remember to be a better citizen and put a note at the end of my responses to the prompt, but if I don't, comments and constructive critiques are ALWAYS welcome here. Okay? Okay. so, let me have it. Give me what you've got. I can take it. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Beginning of January

First half: Click Here

A New Regime, Part Two.

Rising, her Grace crossed the stone floor. Her shadow crawled onto Elise’s skin. “Shall I send you to the front as well? I’m sure the men would love some female…companionship.”

Elise cradled Brenna’s head with sweaty palms, willing her mistress to come to. The vile retort Elise wanted to say lodged in her throat. “If, if it is your wish, Your Grace.”

A fire burned bright and hot in the duchess’s eyes. Elise could almost taste brimstone in the stale air. “You’ve been a thorn in my side, Elise, since before your whore mother birthed you Know this now, I will be rid of you soon enough, and you will kiss my feet if I allow you to live.”

Elise felt the shudder though Brenna's shoulders as she stirred. “Mother, please. Please, may I retire?”

A long moment passed between them. “Of course, my sweet thing. But you will need to develop a stronger stomach in the coming days. Your skin is far too thin for the royal politic.”

It felt like escaping a dungeon. Elise and Brenna tripped down the hall to the east wing, clutching each other for support. They did not risk speaking until the door to Brenna’s bedchamber was securely fastened, and even then the words were slow in coming. “It’s a bad dream,” Brenna paced, a caged animal waiting for slaughter. “I’ll wake up tomorrow and Papa will still be alive and…and…” She wiped tears away with a trembling hand. “What do we do?”

“We take a deep breath, and we think.”

“I don’t know what to do. Papa always, always knew how to handle Mother.” Her tremor worsened.

“We can’t panic,” Elise grabbed her lady’s shoulders. “We keep our heads. We figure this out.”

Brenna’s sobs subsided, but her voice still quivered. “I wish I could see Pierre one last time. To tell him, I don’t know…”

Elise felt a jolt pass through her soul. “You can.”

“What? But my mother-“

“No. Ignore her.” Elise tore open the doors on her Lady’s armoire. She pulled traveling garments from the side shelf. “We’re running, Brenna.”

“But, where would we go?”

Elise spun Brenna about to unbutton her corset-cover. “We go to Fernwood.”

“It’s too far…”

“Well I can’t stay here, Brenna. When Fa- when His Grace died, my life became forfeit. My family’s lives are in danger. Your mother could have sent her soldiers already.” Her lungs failed her and she struggled to breathe, bringing a shaky hand to her abdomen in feeble attempt to steady her nerves.

“Why is she so against you?” Brenna eased the corset cover off in delicate fashion and grabbed her simple woolen travel cote-hardie. “I’ve never understood.”

“I tell you,” Elise gripped her mistress’s shoulders, locking eyes with severity. “But you cannot breathe it to a single soul. Swear it Brenna!”

Fear tinted her features. “I’d cut my own tongue out first, I swear it on Papa’s grave.”

“I am your half-sister. I was conceived under the law of Prima Noctem. First Night rights, Bren. Have you never wondered why we look so similar?”

“No, Papa, he wouldn’t…” But understanding flamed in her eyes. She ran to her chamber pot and vomited.


May the conditions be perfect for you to keep each and every one of your resolutions!

All the best,