This is a place to examine plans filled with hope; plans which promise a refuge from chaos; plans which will shape our futures. Veterans with and without PTSD, Pentecostal Presbyterians, Adjudicated Youth, and Artists-Musicians-Writers: I write what I know. ~~~ Evelyn
Well, as you can see, my incredible organizational skills have far outrun my follow-through skills. I have a spreadsheet that shows me what I want on this blog and I fill it out once every 6 months with the intent to go back into the dashboard and fill out the missing bits.
With the cancer surgeries and the change in teaching position/responsibilities and need to change locations for Writers for All Seasons and the springing forth of Denouement Literary Agency and all the speaking engagements and paperwork and meetings that that has joyfully entailed, I have neglected this blog.
I plan to rectify that soon.
I had a dream about my father last night. It was one of those significant dreams that one needs to pay heed to. He helped me see something I was doing was - if not "wrong" - was dangerous to my vision of how to follow my bliss.
So the time I spend will be spent on writing (personally, professionally and for my column at BellaOnline - which I have also shamefully neglected) and my agency (did I tell you I have taken on a partner -- Daniel LeBeouf?) and grabbing hold of the robotics course I'm teaching and my family - definitely need to spend more quality time with my family.
At the strong suggestion of my newest publisher - Start-Media - I've started a fanpage on Facebook and author page on Amazon and Goodreads. I will also be creating a fan page for Denouement Literary on Facebook.
I have a speaking engagement slash book signing event this Wednesday evening at Sebring with the Florida Writers Association there.
I'm a guest author at CreativeCom Saturday Sept. 13, 2014 up in Panama City, FL
Necronomicon is in October.
So my dad was right - need to make some changes - actually, just one.
“Looky, looky, looky!” Jeremy, our public relations
coordinator foisted a massive foam hat at me as I walked into the back room. “Just
in time for May.”
Two-foot masts blossomed with canvas sails. Hemp
rigging attached the sails to the two and a half foot boat.
“It’s a ship,” I blinked, taking it from Jeremy.
“The Mayflower.” Jeremy identified the hat with a
Scarlet O’Hara twang.
“Wait ‘til you see the pilgrims,” growled Doreen.
“Is this an anchor?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Calvin smiled coldly. “Turn your head just
right and smack! You hook someone’s eye with it.”
Everyone laughed nervously because as much as we
loved Calvin, sometimes he wasn’t joking.
Doreen clapped her hands for attention. “Good
morning my Perky Ambassadors! Welcome to the first Monday in May!” She called
our monthly associates meeting to order, and turned the meeting over to our
newest of a long line of short-lived managers. He stood before us, trim, tidy,
dressed in a black suit, white shirt, red power tie, and shiny leather shoes.
“Good morning. My name is Thomas Ambrose. I have
been known to change traditions. I’m going to do so this morning. I would like
us to go up into the café for our meeting. I think it’s very important for
every employee to know all of our products, not just books, so I’m going to
treat you all to breakfast. Tea, coffee, doughnuts, and bagels.”
“Please tell me you brought them in from Martin’s
Bagels down the street,” Calvin gasped.
“I love humor in the workplace,” replied the new
“Then you’re gonna love the coffee!” Jeremy
“A bribe by any other name,” suggested Sam Wayne.
“You’d think these GM’s would leave notes for each other. GM number 572, treated staff to breakfast to get them on my side.”
“That’s a good idea, but then they’d have to keep
tallies of how many died from food poisoning,” laughed my best friend Lilly.
“But NOW, they have to make another list of
tallies for those who died from being ripped apart.” Henry shoved past us.
“Well, looks like someone didn’t enjoy being taken
downtown for interrogation about Mrs. A’s murder!” Calvin did the teapot
gesture, so I smacked him on the head.
“Interview, not interrogation,” I smirked.
“Did you get that detective’s phone number, Henry?
He could ask me anything he wanted—at anytime,” cat-called Jeremy.
“Now, now, children,” scolded Angelique. This
stunning six-foot blond with an hourglass figure, stiletto heels, size D cups,
and blood-red fingernails’ real name was Adam. He smoothed his linen suit over
his hips and tugged the hemline of his skirt a little closer to his mid-thighs.
“We’re not really going to wear that thing, are we,
Uncle Billy?” Bessie was a new ambassador. She clung to Billy’s arm.
“There, there, little girl. You’ll get used to the
h#%&&* things. Pardon my French.” He patted her hand.
Each of us sat with a steaming cup of Perky’s
finest brew and a pastry; no one except Henry had touched them yet.
We looked up at the new GM without quite achieving
the expectant hush most new GMs demanded. “My name is Thomas Ambrose.” He
glanced around the tiny café. “I expected a larger turn out. I’m sure you are
aware that these monthly meetings are mandatory.”
“Preaching to the choir, brother,” sang Jeremy.
“This is the entire staff. He fired seven people
this week,” Calvin mumbled.
“Seven?” I usually keep my mouth shut at these
meetings, but Calvin’s information startled me.
Lilly held up seven fingers.
“Yes?” Thomas pointed at Lilly. “The woman in
jeans and the Have you martyred a
Christian today T-shirt. Did you have something to add?”
“Sir, no sir!” she snapped. Despite a face like an
angel haloed by glossy black ringlets which cascaded below her shoulders and were
held back with a turquoise ribbon; despite size eight faded jeans and hemp
sandals; despite rings on her toes and no need for a bra (due to firmness, not
size); once a Marine, always a Marine.
“Mr. Thomas?” Bessie raised a trembling hand.
“We don’t really have to wear that thing on our
heads, do we?”
Thomas glared with obvious distaste at the
Mayflower sailing on top of Calvin’s head. Calvin had almost managed to hook
Angelique’s hoop earrings twice now. Thomas sighed in disgust. “Yes. They will
help identify you as Percival Floor Ambassadors.”
“Or escaped loonies,” Sam Wayne snorted.
“Ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black?” Jeremy
pointed at Sam.
“I notice none of you are eating or drinking. Or—few
of you.” Thomas put his hands in his pockets. Henry snatched the shiny doughnut
off of Doreen’s plate.
Doreen was a solid chunk of muscles and would have
been happy plowing fields, baking bread, and slaughtering hogs on a prairie
farm during the Western Expansion. At five foot one, she was the only Perky
Ambassador shorter than me. She wore beautiful dresses that just didn’t look
quite right on her, and scuffed Doc martens, which she’d gotten from the
Catholic thrift store for two dollars. She brooked no insolence from anyone for
any reason. But she had a soft-spot for Henry.
Thomas continued. “I’d like to take this time to
thank,” he peered at an index card in the palm of his hand. “Elizabeth
Smythe-Covington for filling in as café manager during your recent loss.”
“Who?” Sam asked.
“Elizabeth Smythe-Covington,” Thomas repeated.
“Who’s that?” Angelique questioned.
Thomas referred to his card again. “Did I
pronounce your name wrong?”
“No. It’s fine.” Henry kept her eyes on the tabletop.
“Elizabeth? Your name’s Elizabeth?” Sam gawked.
“Yes.” She glared at him.
“Like, a girly girl’s name, Elizabeth?”
“Sam, don’t piss her off!” I warned softly.
“Well, I can see why you’d go by Henry. It’s a man’s
name. Manly. For a man.”
“Sam!” Lilly hissed. “Don’t make it worse!”
“Sam, Henry’s real name is Elizabeth. She’s called
Elizabeth because she’s a girl.” Billy said this in a stage whisper, behind his
The phone rang at precisely six a.m.
the second Saturday of the month like it had every third month for the last fifteen
years.I reached to answer it, when all of
a sudden, Josh grabbed my hand and growled, "Let the machine answer
He looked adorable with sleep
tussled hair and sheet wrinkles on his cheeks.
The phone clanged a second time.
"But I know who it
is."I reached with my other hand.
He captured that one, too.I remembered
our kiss; he remembered our kiss, too and smiled.
The machine crackled, "Ronnie,
that you?I'm having a lot of static on
the line.Listen, I know they're
monitoring us, so think a minute.Remember Huey, Dewy, and Louis?Three days from now. Women at War.My-my-my."There was a
pause."Whenever you can,
"Who else knows about
"Nobody else knows."I pressed the stop, rewind/erase button on my
new answering machine and crossed my arms.
"You're tampering with
evidence!"He jabbed the stop,
knocking the machine to the floor.
"I'm erasing my own
tape."I walked into the living
"That was some kind of code,
wasn't it?"He followed me,
gesturing back toward the office.
"Wow.You don't miss much, do you."I crawled back onto the sofa bed."I'm going back to sleep."
He yanked the sheet off me."You are compromising your own
safety.Now, I demand you tell me who
was on the phone and what it meant!"
I stood up on the mattress and
towered over him, furious."I have
never compromised anything in my life.And that's another thing -- this is my life!!MY LIFE!!"I stormed off the sleeper sofa and stomped
into the kitchen."It used to be so
I glared at him."Organized!"
"Are you saying this is MY
fault?Don't get mad at me.Your father --"
"Leave the Mad Scientist out of
this!"I clanged an iron skillet
onto the stove, jerked open the refrig, wrestled the bacon out of its plastic
cocoon, and tapped my foot, waiting for it to sizzle.
I spun around and hollered,
"Don't just stand there, make some coffee!"
"Yes, ma'am."Josh stated calmly.
I smothered bagels with cream cheese
and finally commented, "I bet Claire's having a real laugh at me."
"How so?"Josh poured the coffee.
"This terrorist slant makes no
sense.None.What if Claire made up the note and got one
of her friends to hire those people to make an attempt?What would be the result?"
"I'd get stuck here the rest of
my life."Josh mumbled around his
"So go home!"I pushed away from the table, terribly
hurt."Nothing about this makes
"By 'makes sense' you mean like
vacuuming in the middle of the night makes sense?You mean like never having any clocks in the
house that tell the right time makes sense?!"He was standing, too.
"I'll come back another
time."A sweet old lady stood
inside the back door.
Josh's hand flew behind his back,
drew his pistol and dared the intruder to breath.She screamed, dropped the jar she was
holding, and crumpled into a heap on the floor.
"Mrs. Jenkins!"I cried."Josh Dylan, is that the best you can do: scare little creatures
and defenseless old ladies!"
Josh lifted her up and placed her
gently on the sofa.She moaned in
terror, but I sat beside her, patting her hand.
"How did she get in?"His voice sounded strangled as he tried to
control his rage.
"She has a key."
Josh pursed his lips, glanced around
the room, and took a deep breath, “Why?"
"Because she's my neighbor."
Josh nodded fiercely.
"He was going to shoot
me!"Mrs. Jenkins whimpered.
"No, no dear."I helped her sit up."He's just a Yankee."
"Oh."She accepted all the implications.
"Would you like some coffee,
Mrs. Jenkins?"Josh pointed toward
"I wouldn't presume," she
"There's bacon and bagels,
too."I added, accompanying her to
"Well, maybe just a
little.After such a shock, you know."
Mrs. Jenkins consumed three bagels
and four slices of bacon, regaling us about the Caribbean
fruit flies that were devastating her papayas.
I caught Josh's eye once and
smiled.He smiled back and stood up to
retrieve the jar by the back door.
"Here's your jar,
ma'am."He placed it in front of
"Oh, I don't need it now.Silly me, I was going to make pancakes this
morning, but I didn't have any flour.I
saw you were up, and I knew you wouldn't mind."
"We don't mind a bit,
ma'am."Josh went to the freezer,
pulled out a bag of unbleached wheat flour, and handed it to her."I love pancakes, my grandfather used to
make them every Sunday before church."
He held her elbow as he walked her
to the door."Maybe you could save
me one or two, Mrs. Jenkins.It'd bring
back good memories for me."
There were tears in Mrs. Jenkins
eyes as she promised to do so.Then she
kissed him on the cheek."You be
good to my Ronnie," she whispered.
"Yes, ma'am," he replied.
We spent the morning at the Public
Library.Josh finally sat down in the
magazine section and I slipped upstairs to non-fiction.I took an index card out of my pocket and
copied down the four digit Dewy Decimal number from the spine of Women at
War.Next, I went to the Star
Trek Encyclopedia and figured out the star date for three days from today,
and rounded it to four digits.Then I
put 13 on the end, for 'M' if A = 1 and B = 2 . . .Put all together in the proper order, it made
a phone number.I put the card back in
my pocket and sat down next to Josh.
"Whenever you are,” he
stood."Aren't you going to check