Friday, January 30, 2015

A story and a poem for Goodreaders

Today I'm adding a little story instead of the usual post. It is not edited or polished just something that was supposed to become part of a bigger story but I thought you might like something fun and sexy. Let me know what you think.


I light the candles one by one lingering at each to be sure the flame reaches high and bright into the evening. I had lit a fire in the fireplace earlier so now the room glowed with warmth. There is a large mirror on the floor by the hearth reflecting light and a pile of silk pillows on the rug catching it.

I hear the door from the bath open softly and see your shadow on the wall for just a moment before you kill the electric light in favor of the ancient light of flame. I grab a hand full of spices and dried aromatics from the silver bowl and drop them into the fire. A light sandalwood fills the air mixing with jasmine.

The stage is ready, my tools are ready, and you are ready as you step into the room.
You are beautiful in firelight, the soft glow shimmering on your skin and dancing in your eyes. Your body, fresh from the bath still radiates its heat. Your breasts hang in gentle contur from your chest, swaying with your footfalls in counter point to your hips.

I slip to my knees slowly, awaiting you, turning my face as you move against me so I may lay it on your belly. When my hands reach around your hips, gripping only slightly, I know you can feel them tremble. I press my lips to you and kiss following your shape down to the soft crease that peeks from between your thighs. I had shaved you earlier and now I run my tongue over your bare skin to feel its
perfection. You shudder in response and I close my eyes cherishing your pleasure.

I raise my hands offering them to you as you sink to the floor with me.

“Lay on the pillows,” I say and you do so, keeping your eyes on mine.

As I stand I let my robe fall from me catching it by the collar only just before it drops into a black silk pile on the floor. You can see me now standing over you, my eyes burning with fire and desire. My breath whispers from deep in my chest. Your gaze falls down my body until it comes to dwell on my awakening shaft. Under the weight of your attention it fills with warm blood slowly lengthening, thickening. Each of my furious heart beats pulses into my cock, causing it to redden and reshape itself as an offering to you. Before I harden in earnest I step toward the hearth dragging the silk of my robe between your open thighs and up your body. It glides over you like a breath then it falls quietly to the floor behind your head.

I take up a small tray, black lacquer inlayed with mother of pearl, and bring it to the floor beside you. It contains a cloth of soft white linen, a bottle of shimmering gold toned ink and a broad nib pen.
Kneeling beside you I lean and look into your eyes. I see a world of acceptance and care, desire, affection, passion maybe even a spark of something deeper. I smile softly and you know the smile is for you and of you, a possession of yours just as you own a jewel or your own heartbeat.

I push a strand of hair from your face and lean to kiss you. It is soft and deep and our mouths open to each other happily for a long moment.

Breaking the kiss I throw my leg over your body straddling you over your hips. Taking up the pen I dip it in the ink and tap the excess from the nib. After that small sound the room is silent except for the gentle crackle of the flames behind you.

I look to your eyes a moment then allow my eyes to fall down your body then climb again slowly. Leaning close I begin to write on your chest. The nib is sharp and hard scratching your skin even as it writes. The shimmering ink flows onto you in bold broad strokes requiring frequent refills of the pen. Each movement, each letter bites into you leaving a red-gold trail. The ink seeps into the shallow scratches staining just below the surface and each mark becomes a precious golden tattoo that will linger for days before finally fading.

After long moments the first line is written and I lean back to look at the words. The line follows the contours of your chest and snakes out over your arms. Words shine like a brand. Your chest is roiling with deep breaths. The hundred tiny bites of the pen have begun to inflame you. I notice your hips still moving gently under me even though I have stopped writing. I look to your eyes and see you looking down over your body but you are not looking at the words. Your eyes linger beyond the words and the hardened peaks of your breasts to my firm erection lying against your soft belly.

I lay low over you and kiss your open lips deeply sucking the breath from your mouth. My hips undulate against you stroking my shaft on your skin my testicles falling into the deep valley between your legs. I feel you open your thighs slightly and I fall against your blooming flower.

Again I break the kiss and return to my work slowly inscribing my passion on your skin. The second line falls across the top swelling of your breasts and flows into the soft gap between them. I write faster now the words coming unbidden to my eyes and communicated by gold, blood, blade and fire onto your burnished skin. The third line falls over your nipples and into the dark skin around them. The next writes itself on your ribs, the next, next, and next over your gently moving belly.

I write now with a furious passion moving down over your body lying between your open legs. Sandalwood is replaced by the scent of your rising passion in the room. I pause between lines and rest my lips on the fleshy petals of your flower. You moan softly as I press my tongue to you penetrating into your body and drawing out the liquid of your desire.

Words flow now over your shaved skin and onto the soft mound of Venus inscribing my loving heart onto you. Your body writhes under my touch seeking contact to satisfy the longing my words and pen have etched. Lines fill slowly down your thighs the nib scratching like a tooth on the soft flesh inside the legs.

Finally I finish my words and the branding of your skin and I lay the pen aside. We kiss again with my body suspended over you without touching. Your hands take hold of my burning erection and caress me lovingly. I stay in your grasp as long as I can without giving myself to you completely. I slide down over your body again, this time not writing but blowing gently cool air from my mouth to dry the wet gold of your brand. Following every contour I blow like a greedy wind over you watching your skin pucker and your nipples tighten to little stones.

Moving lower, your hips press up, rising to meet the wind that dries the words. Your legs open to invite the gentle air and I feel your breath catch as mine contacts your most sensitive spots.
We can wait no longer, neither one of us. Your hands reach for me as I crawl up your body. Your hand finds my erection and my mouth finds your mouth. Your fingers pull me guiding me into the depths of you. Slowly, joyously we are joined. Richly entangled in each other we bathe in the heat and sweat we shine in the firelight. Passion rises and overflows the containment of our bodies. You peak first arching your back and pressing your hips to me, crushing my hips in the grip of your thighs. I rise from you, my body at a precise right angle from yours as your grip slackens and your face relaxes. Reaching back I take your feet in my hands and untangle you from me then press them forward opening you fully to me.

My moment comes and I cannot deny the pleasure but I withdraw from you and stroke the wet shaft in my hand until I release. Thick ribbons of my fluid rush onto your body in diminishing pulses. After the orgasm fades, my face and body slackens. We each reach our fingers into the wet tracks of my passion. We have the same idea at the same time spreading the warm fluid over your body rubbing it into the markings on your skin. Now you are fully branded, my seed under your skin, in your blood and sealed with gold.

You look into my eyes and quietly whisper, “Read it to me.”
I smile slightly and run my eyes over your body to the start and begin to read.

Night falls into silent substance as daylight quits the sky
Stars swim into soft focus
Illuminating the faces of ancient dead gods
Fossilized in the sands of forgotten rivers

Out here you are the night
You are the blanket of dreams that covers my eyes
And I am the Earth below

Out here you are the totem of supernatural midnight
Rich wood stained intricately with charcoal, blood and berries
And I am the worshiper below

Like ghosts coming through old mirrors into church
Memories and dreams are smoke behind a comic mask
Like faith and fate

You are the answer to questions
I never dared to ask.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Golden Flogger

Hello again all. It has been such a busy time I haven't been on here to post to you lately. My alter ego just had an e-book released. I got the elements today to review for the paperback release. The same pub is interested in reprinting a novella if I expand it a little. It stands at only 20,000 words, a long short story. They would like it to be at least 30,000.

END OF SUMMER was so close to the end that I had assumed that I would be finished by the end of the month. That was before I decided that the whole development of the story was too rushed with everything happening in about a week's time. It wasn't working. I pulled the whole story apart, cut scenes, reordered some, added new ones. About 6000 words were cut away. About 15,000 were added. All in all it is a smoother story that makes better sense for the characters.

SAFE WORDS was nominated for a Golden Flogger award.

Thank you to my beautiful booster for the nomination. I have learned that SAFE WORDS CAN EXPECT some new reviews soon as well. Wouldn't it be cool if the award was the fun looking flogger pictured? I lost the only good one I had when the house burned a while back. It was purple and well broken in. I'd had it for years. A single tail, it was more of a short whip and could make an intimidating sound. Now I have one the one in my closet. It was a gift. It has feathers. Sigh.

At least if you get this award you can run through the town singing, I've got a golden flogger-

I've been writing at least 2000 words every day but they have been spread over the new book, editing the new release, and expanding the novella. I have notes on the next book in the SAFE WORDS series but not words down. I anticipate that it will be my next project but we'll see. The alter ego has two books out, one with a UK horror publisher that was really excited about the samples. Another with an agent. She is spending a lot of time with the MS that makes me hopeful. She usually rejects within a month. She has had this one 4 months.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Taking Advantage

I've been taken advantage of. I admit it. I've said before that crazy follows me like a shadow but crazy has a little brother it drags with it everywhere. Needy. I have been taken advantage of many times through the years and I know it. I'm not an easy touch and have no problem saying no when I am sure that I'm being played. Sometimes I'm not so sure. I learned that years ago living in LA where panhandling is constant. A young woman who seemed in genuine need to me, but who could have been a junkie asked for some money in a store parking lot. I took a chance and gave what I have. I saw her buy milk and take it to a child waiting in a car. I wished then I had more to give and came to understand that it would be better to be taken for a few dollars in my life than to miss the chance to help.

Today I took a break. Actually my grandson, who lives with me, was being loud so I had to get out of the house. I returned a library book and picked up a couple of new books then went to McDonald's to drink iced tea and read. I ended up getting two chicken sandwiches and reading longer. A man came in not dressed for the cold. He was deaf and tried talking to a few people that moved him on. I knew what was coming.

It is my experience that genuine need shows through. Panhandlers are generally practiced at their pitch. People in sudden need have no background in asking strangers for help. I had no cash so I took him up to the counter and ordered some food. While there he kept pointing to the double quarter-pounder value meal and holding up two fingers. I go to McDonalds because it is all I can afford and I can't afford the big value meals. I pointed to the dollar menu. He pointed to a picture of fries and held up his hands one over the other and opened them wide. Large. I held up two fingers close together. Small.

In the end he didn't get what he wanted but I was not left with the feeling of having walked out on someone in need. I still spend more on him that I have on myself in quite a while and there is the risk that I was taken advantage of. Still, every once in a while I do it and know for sure.

End of the Year Routine

I seem to do it every year. I start writing a book I'm excited about in fall with the hopes that hard work and the drive to finish will get me to the end before the year is out. It never happens. Too much gets going on and my momentum is sucked away by family and events.

This year I started THE END OF SUMMER at the beginning of October. The Sunday before Thanksgiving I totaled a word count of 14,000 for the week. The week of, maybe a thousand. The week after the same. Writing is like a work out habit for me. As long as I do it and remain in the routine everything is fine. Once you break the routine it is so hard to get going again. Add to that the idea from everyone around you that you can do whatever you want, whenever you want to. It's not like a real job to them because I don't go off to an office and no one but me cares if I show up.

Well, just like every year, the season of time suck and momentum kill is past. I am back to work and finding it a hard transition. Over the last few days I have muddled through some work on END OF SUMMER. I have created a new version and broken open a chapter to add a new scene that both added more complexity to the complications and put more time into the main character's romantic progression. It was something bothering me. Katrina and Nelson were drawn to each other from their first encounter, It worked. I was feeling their chemistry and I let that drive the progression into intimacy. It was unrealistic for Katrina and it showed as her feelings developed. So I went and gave her a step-away moment. I'm happy with it so far.

I'm happy also with the settled time and return to routine that promises to bring this book to an end. I have heard other writers talk about enjoying the ride of their characters in the story. I don't. I want the end and I enjoy the looking back. From the moment that I begin a new story I am impatient to finish. Now at 66,200 words I am eager to get to the end. The only real problem is that I had been shooting for under 80,000 words. Story and characters are telling me to forget that target they want a little more room. I'm not so close to the end as I thought.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

END OF SUMMER - The first chapter

I'm posting the first chapter of my work in progress, THE END OF SUMMER. The book is a mystery/suspense novel about a damaged woman, a Sheriff's Detective in the Ozarks, finding brutal killers and defending the love she thought she would never have. A warning though, Katrina William's story does not start in a good place. It begins with the damage that shapes the rest of life. Let me know what you think.


I felt like it was the end of summer. Not that there was a hint of green or the creeping red-oranges of leaves turning. In Iraq everything was brownish. Not even a good, earthy brown. Instead, everything within my view was a uniform, wasted, dun color. It was easy to imagine the creator ending up here on the seventh day. Out of energy and out of ideas after spending his palate in the joy of painting the rest of the world. This spit of earth, the dirty asshole of creation we called the Triangle of Death, didn’t even rate a decent brown.

I had been in country for eight months. I had been First Lieutenant, Katrina Williams, Military Police, attached to the 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division for a little over a year. Pride and love had brought me here. Proud to be American and just as proud to have come from a military family, I was in love with what the ROTC at Southwest Missouri State University had shown me about my country’s military. I fell in love with the thought of the woman I would become serving my nation. I wanted to echo the men my father and my uncle were and add my own tone to the family history. Iraq bled that all out of me. Just like it was bleeding my color out into the dust. Bright red draining into shit brown.

It was the impending weight of change that made me feel like the end of summer. As a girl, back home in the Ozarks, the summers seemed to last forever. It wasn’t until the final days, carried over even into a new school year, when the air cooled and the oaks rusted that I could feel them ending. Their endings were like the descent of ice ages, the shift of epochs. That was exactly how I felt bleeding into the dirt. The difference was that I felt an impending death rather than transition. The terminus of an epoch. In Iraq though, nothing was as clear as that. It was death; but it wasn’t.

Lying on my back, I wished I could see blue sky but not here. The air was hazed with dust so used up it became a part of the sky. There was no more of the earth in it. Grit like bad memories and regret hanging over an entire nation. I coughed hard and it hurt. A bubbly thickness slithered up my throat. Using my tongue and what breath I had, I got the slimy mass up to my lips. I just didn’t have it in me to spit. Instead, I turned my head to the side and let the bloody phlegm slide down my cheek.
Dying is hard.
Wind, hot and cradling the homeland sand so many factions were willing to kill over, ran over the wall I was hidden behind. It eddied there, slowing and swirling and then dumping the dirt on my naked skin. A slow motion burial. Even the land here hated naked women.
I stayed there, without moving but slipping in and out of consciousness for a long time. It seemed long anyway. I dreamed. Dreamed or remembered so well they seemed like perfect dreams of—everything.

We played baseball. Just like in old movies with kids turning a lot into a diamond. No one does that anymore but we did. My grandfather played minor league ball years ago and I had a cousin who was a Cardinals fan. Everyone was a Cardinals fan, so I loved the Royals. When the games were over, and it was hotter than the batter’s box when I was pitching—I had a wild arm—my father would take me to the river. Later when we had cars, I was drawn there every summer to swim and swing from the ropes. We floated on old, patched inner tubes and teased boys. That was where I learned to drink beer. My father would take me fishing on the river. My grandfather would take me on the lakes. I used the same cane pole my father had when granddad taught him about fishing. Both of the men used to say to the girl who complained about not catching anything, “It’s not about the catching, it’s about the fishing.” I don’t think I ever understood until a good portion of my blood was spilled on the dirt of a world that hated me.
My head spun back to the moment and back to Iraq. If I was going to die I would have done it already, I figured. At least my body. That physical part of me would live on. Changed with the ice-age changes of the world. That other part of me, the girl who loved summer… I think she was already dead. Death and transition.
It was a huge effort to roll to my side and when I did I saw the stain of my blood. It was already mixed with the dirt, surrendering its color. Everything becoming something less than brown. I wondered about the rest of my color, the auburn of my hair, it turned redder in the sunlight, the pale green of my eyes, and the almost-peach toned spray of freckles that trickled from my nose to the tops of my breasts. Was it going too? All that color, all that life—wasted here.
The worst wound was in my back, below the shoulder blade. The knife had been thrust straight down and hard. There was no telling how bad it was, but it was bad. I had been left for dead after all. Or at least to die. And I’d been left with no weapons. My ACU’s had been cut and stripped away. If soldiers had found me dead, they would assume I was abducted and raped by insurgents. If insurgents found me they would assume another faction was responsible. If I was found alive by any insurgent, I would be raped some more and condemned to die for the sins of being female and American.
The men who had raped me first, who had killed the girl that loved summer, were Americans too. Hating women crosses all borders and faiths. Something all the boys could agree on. They thought they were careful, but I knew who they were. I had seen their hands.
Another gust rippled over the wall dumping a handful of grave dirt over me.
It took a while but I finally rolled completely over and rose to my hands and knees. Every part of me was shaking with the effort. My head throbbed a golden flash of spinning pain and then I vomited.
The word was part of the catalog I began writing in my mind. An inventory was needed to assess chances and options. Concussion. Hole in my back. My rib might be broken.
When my gut seemed ready, I opened my eyes again. The puddle of puke under my face had lost its color to the Iraqi dust making a dark, molted mud. Careful not to put my hands in the mess, I backed away. That was when I felt the cuts in my back side. I remembered the Captain slapping and cutting my ass with the knife as he sodomized me. When he bucked up against me moaning with his release he had stabbed, thrusting the blade deep into my right buttock.
The effort of turning my head back to look, only made the world spin again.  Let my head sag so I could down the length of my body. More blood and more cuts. Both of my breasts were tracked with bruises, black finger marks on pale skin. The right one though, had a long gash starting high on my chest and running under the soft flesh causing it to hang lower and at an impossible angle. On my left, the nipple was sliced and twisted.
Scars. So many scars.
The freckles, that had been a part of my identity since I knew to think of myself as separate from my mother, were faded out.
I’m becoming the color of bone.

There was another laceration in the pubic hair, a violent, jagged gash, and a bare strip where the darker red curls had been stripped away.

The Lieutenant’s souvenir.

Blood was flowing, a fresh rush over the sticky, semi-dry coating between my legs. The fresh fluid cut a new path that trickled right down dead white thighs with dark galaxies of bruising. Most of the blood seemed to be coming from my vagina. I recalled the Lieutenant punching between my legs several times before he shoved his fist inside. That ring raking me. Afterward, he said he wanted a lock of hair, like a lover might. He used the Ka-Bar to cut away the strip. With one hand he pulled the hairs tight. With the other, the one with the ring, he cut.
Both of the men had rings. Different years and different designs but the rings came from the same school. They had the good sense not to wear them during patrols but around base the rings were always on display. Everyone knew those rings.
Everything hurts.
I cried. For a short time or a long one I wasn’t sure. Maybe it was a short time that only seemed equal to all the time I had lived so far. I stayed there on my hands and knees because it hurt too much to move, and I cried. It poured from my frothy lungs, a quiet, keening wail that sounded almost like a meadow lark but there was no answering call.
They were supposed to be on my side. My people. I’ll never know how anyone can survive feeling as alone as I did then. When the tears and the pitiful wailing dried up I was left with just the silence. Eventually even the silence was too great a weight to bear. I started gathering clothes and doing what I could to cover myself. The only thing worse than being raped and left naked behind some mud wall and shack in Iraq, was being found naked in any condition by the local faithful. A naked woman in this part of the world was a whore and whores got no sympathy.
My bra was cut in two and my fatigue shirt was just gone. The T-Shirt was there. More brown. I found my panties down by my feet but someone, the Lieutenant, I assumed, had ejaculated in them. I wouldn’t put those on for anything. I could reach my pants but only found one boot. It didn’t matter; I had to get moving.
The clothes went on slowly. When I pulled the shirt over my head I almost screamed. Fresh blood streaked the cotton.
More color stolen.
It took another five minutes to get pants on.
When I stood, my head lurched again and the guts followed. There was no fighting it. I draped my body over the low wall and puked in hard spasms. Gold star bursts patterned my vision. I smelled bile and copper.
I don’t remember rising again. Nor did I remember walking from the wall. There is a gap in time and place that left me staggering toward a road but away from the village in the distance. If I was any near where I thought I was, there would be a traffic check point in about three kilometers. It could have just as well as been a million. Before I made it a hundred yards down the road, a white dot appeared on the horizon. A vehicle.
If it isn’t green it isn’t safe.
There was a depression in the dirt alongside the road that was almost deep enough to pass for a ditch. It was mostly bare dirt but here and there were bits of trash. No cover.
No choice. I dropped into the dirt. When I hit, something popped in my chest. It was physical and audible and started a cascade of wrenching pain. A doctor told me later a nick in my lung must have torn through. Air was escaping into the chest cavity at the same time that blood was running into the lung. Each breath was a loud, gasping rattle that brought in little air and almost as much dust.
The white pickup truck slowed on shrieking brakes, and then wheeled around after passing. They had seen me. I had seen them. It was a small truck, but it carried three men up front and six in the back. All were armed.
Even over the old engine and bad brakes, even over my own ragged breathing, I could hear the excited shouts of the men.
Summer’s over.
I said goodbye, in quiet thoughts, to my mother and father. Everyone who had ever done me harm, I forgave, except the men who had put where I was. Then I waited for the real death.
One man jumped down from the truck bed and the others stayed behind shouting. I couldn’t tell if the shouts were instruction or encouragement. The bolt on an AK47 was pulled. All the shouting stopped.
I’m not ready.
The shouting started up again but it was different in tone and urgency. The man with the AK ran back to the truck. He sprayed a wash of rounds at me without aiming as the truck left the road and took off across open ground.
A moment later, I watched as a column of Humvees stopped short of my position. A squad of men piled out and formed a perimeter. A sergeant I had never seen before, stalked up to me with his weapon at the ready. He looked close and long before calling back, “We need a medic and a litter up here.”


A New Year

It is a new year with the same old problems. Busy holidays, family, cars breaking down, and the laptop crashing. Problems, problems, problems. They are always there lurking and waiting for a chance to bring us down. The funny thing is that they have no power. They are like illusions that we invest with the power to control us. I'm not saying that they are not real just that we don't have to let them control how we see the world.

Easier said... I know. I'm a huge offender, I get angry in my way and cuss at machines and Mistress Fortunada when I know that things just happen with no fault to anyone. I'm better with people. I'll vent on an inanimate object like no one's business. If there is a hell for people who treat Ford f150's badly, I'm on my way. But people get hurt feelings and sad eyes and I don't like to be the jerk so...

There is no real point to this just my observation that I allow my world to turn on the whims of worn out computers and broken spark plugs too often. Often too, I laugh at myself for an idiot doing so. Taking my own advice I am aware of how I react and admit to letting the problems define moment I do not let them define my life.

That being said I have put a troublesome holiday season behind me and am, even now, rubbing a little dirt into the wounds and getting back to the business of being me. That means back to the routine of writing. Starting next week.