Well the kittens I mentioned last month have all found new homes [and new names I suppose] so it is a little quieter around here. I like the quiet but I think I may have a touch of empty nest syndrome.
It’s not anything like the empty nest I experienced when the last child left home, it’s more like uh…
Shucks, I don’t know…
Like losing your blanket? Kind of…
Like adjusting to the new furniture arrangement? No…
Like a new haircut? No…
Like finding a $20 bill? No…
Well by the time I find the words I will be over the empty nest thing but speaking of the last child to leave home, guess what?
Sniffles and snorts.
Baby boy had a baby boy this month! Remember when I was trying to find him a wife?
Okay, he didn’t have the baby – his lovely wife did but he helped as much as a man can.
Listen, I have to tell y’all I was a little concerned about how much help he would be. Most of us know how raunchy it can get in the final stage of labor. A natural labor. In a birthing center. Yeah!
Well I am proud to say he did just fine and his wife? Daaang, what a trooper! And to look gorgeous through it all? Just wow.
When I rehashed the story for the umpteenth time someone asked, “Were you in the delivery room?”
My are you serious look.
Oh yeah, I was all up in there. Honestly when they asked for privacy I knew they wanted me near them.
Chuckle to self.
When that same someone exclaimed their disbelief in my audacity I just sighed, shook my head and said, “I thought you new me.”
Now some of you will see where a bit of Mary’s character in The Clan Destiny Series comes from.
Here’s a snippet from chapter 10:
“Ma’am you cannot come back here. Not yet.” A strange nurse spoke, stepping in front of the charging mother.
“Oh yes I can!” Mary replied as she darted around the woman and into the room where Linda laid clutching Steve’s hand.
“Hey Mama.” The laboring woman grunted, “They let you in? That is great. Whoa…. Here comes another one. ” Mary ran to her daughter’s side and took her hand.
“She has got a hellacious grip, doesn’t she?” Steve asked, noting Mary’s fingers had turned a deep indigo color under the squeeze.
“She sure does.” Mary answered, leaning down to kiss her child, “My baby girl is strong and little Turner will be strong like his mother.”
“I’m pretty strong too.” The father-to-be replied with a sheepish grin.
“I’m sure you are.” Mary said without looking at him in a tone reserved for children, then with a mature pitch directed to Linda, “Where is your sister?”
“She went to see Larry – said she might knock off a quickie in the doc’s lounge while they were prepping me.”
“She was joking, right? I hope she was just kidding. I will go and -”
“Not now mother! For crying out loud… dear lord baby Jesus! This is really starting to get on my nerves.” Linda writhed in the bed, twisting and squeezing the hands she held for support. “Tell the nurse to check me again and tell `em I have changed my mind – I want that epidural and I want it right now!”
“You remember she said you were dilated too far for the epidural. We are going to get through this baby. Come on let’s do some breathing, follow my lead.” Steve coaxed, inhaling deeply and exhaling through pursed lips then panting with an odd hiss.
“Shut up!” Linda growled. Bearing down she pulled Steve’s hand to her mouth.
“No, no. Don’t bite me Linda… let me go.” He pleaded, attempting to pull his hand away until Mary’s free hand made stinging contact with his head.
“You let her bite you if she wants to! Don’t you dare pull that hand away or I swear to God I’ll bite you myself.”
HaPpY Friday y’All !!
Getting Me Back (the original poem)
Tissue thin transparent bits and pieces
by the millions I gave to you…
To be received, to be tended or
to be rendered useless as you deemed fit
old inhabitants of terra firma.
Slivers of my soul….
What did you do with these pieces of me?
Where are the misplaced microscopic stars of
my spirit, where are they laid?
Did they dissolve beneath a soft autumn rain?
Or burn in the heat of a cruel summer day?
Were they consumed by the dust mites of fate?
Giving me away was easy….
Getting me back seems nearly impossible.
I saw a fleck of glitter this morning,
caught in an abandoned web of time.
I retrieved it ever so carefully, pulling away
the tiny choking strands; polishing it in the palm of my
hand till it shone bright like a
minuscule star… exploding… and
I recognized it as the twinkle I once saw
in a smiling photo of me.
March 8th is International Women’s Day. Yep, it’s a real thing and I was just pondering—me being a woman and all. Oh how I do love to ponder….
There is a crap load of rhetoric out there about gender parity (gender parity is just a new term for sex equality) but the idea is to make International Women’s Day a day to do what you can to make a positive difference for women. Press for progress… (Hashtag that).
Along with #PressForProgress I would like to add #EqualRights, #EqualPay, #EqualRespect….
Did I mention #EqualPay and #EqualRespect? Yeah, that would kind of lead to #EqualRights.
Man that WOULD be progress!
Q: Is any of your fiction true? Do you write about real life?
A: Well yes and no. For example a visit to Rockford Illinois for my granddaughter’s graduation inspired the following scene which takes place somewhere in the historical Lake-Peterson House.
Our dog Leia was the inspiration for the physical description of Gus and that is her on the cover.
There is some truth in the fiction I write. I will leave it up to the reader to decide where that truth lies.
Chapter Twenty Five
Mary paced the empty hallway on the third floor of the ancient house. She counted fifteen steps from one lamp to the next and wondered if the people below could hear her. The dark corridor seemed to grow shorter with each lap along with her patience. She considered unlocking her mind so she could tap into the thoughts of those around her but intuition advised against it. Occasionally she paused to listen at the door; each time she found the words indecipherable and returned to pacing until a gentle creak caused her to stop.
“You may go in now.” A flat voice announced as the heavy door gave way. Sunbeams flooded the hallway and Mary squinted at the figure in front of her; at the starched white cap and unwieldy dress which were as outdated as the house.
“Thank you.” Mary stepped forward and warmly squeezed the woman’s shoulders. Her affections were met with a rigid withdrawal but not before she could catch a glimpse of the nurse’s frontal imaginings. As her eyes adjusted to the light she could better see the nurse’s features; her round face as stiff as her attire looked like a plate cemented between the pinned head covering and cinched collar.
“Thank you.” Mary reiterated with less affection as she slid past the nurse and closed the door behind her.
The floorboards groaned as Mary hobbled across the oversized space toward a single bed in the corner. Jim glanced up, forced a smile and promptly turned his attention back to his wife.
“How are y’all?” Mary anxiously inquired as she cast an eye over the new parents.
“We… we’re all fine.” Clara mumbled, straining to open her eyes.
“Where are the babies?” Mary asked, glancing suspiciously around the bare room.
“One of the nurses took them over to the hospital – said they had to be examined – tests and shots – routine stuff.” Jim explained as if trying to assure himself. “They will bring them back as soon as they’re finished… as soon as they make sure they’re both in good health.” His voice trailed as he tenderly bathed Clara’s pale face.
“That makes sense.” Mary tried to sound convincing but the smell of sweat and panic made it difficult. She lifted Clara’s moist flaccid hand and asked, “How are you sweetie?”
“I can’t…” Clara whispered, gasping between words, “can’t … hear… Frieda.”
“Don’t worry love.” Jim paused briefly to blot his own forehead and neck before sweeping the salty cloth across his wife’s.
“Mama?” Clara’s eyes fluttered.
“Something is wrong!” The vision appeared as red paint flowing over a white canvas and Mary yanked the sheet back. Doc! Mary opened the vault of her subconscious, honed her thoughts on the old doctor and yelled. Doc! Hurry! Her brain was inundated with voices and images as the internal walls fell away; the extrasensory chaos proved to be too much and she collapsed on the floor.
When Mary came to she could see the doctor standing over Clara, pressing and massaging her abdomen. A bottle of clear liquid hung at the head of the bed and a pile of blood stained sheets littered the floor around them.
“She’ll be okay now. We just have to let the medicine do its work and keep the fundus firm.” He spoke in a casual manner. “Fetch me another bag of special blend Gus and be careful not to puncture this one.” The white shepherd sprinted to the door, his claws creating a rapid rhythmic tap against the wooden floor as he ran.
“Do you think he will speak to me?” Jim stood in the same spot, still sponging his wife’s face as he spoke but the scent of panic had lessened.
“Maybe.” The doctor replied suppressing any signs of optimism yet Mary could see the previous conversation between Doc and Gus. She grinned as she raised herself to a standing position. The shepherd would soon have a new home.
“I guess the sight of all that blood got to you. Are you okay now?” Jim asked without taking his eyes off of Clara.
“I guess so.” Mary laughed, rubbing the small lump on her head. “Our girl definitely looks a lot better.” She said, running her fingers across Clara’s rosy complexion. “What happened? Why did she bleed so much?”
“That happens sometimes, especially with twins.” Mary accepted the doctor’s verbal response without debate as he knew she would. The truth of the matter would be kept secret between the two of them for the time being. If Jim learned of the attempted murder he would retaliate and that could put Doc and Gus in a dangerous situation. “Good boy!” the doctor took the pint sized plastic container from the dog’s mouth. “You rub the fundus just like I showed you James.” He said as he quickly inserted a fifty milliliter syringe, filled it with the thick crimson liquid and injected it directly into the intravenous line. He repeated the process nine more times until the bag was empty and the bottle overhead was dry.
“When can I have my babies?” An invigorated Clara sprung up and demanded, “I want Fritz and Frieda right now. If they are not here in five minutes I will go and get them myself.”
“Are you sure you are capable of handling them right now?” Doc asked.
“I am more than capable.” Clara took the salty half-damp cloth, snatched the I.V. from her arm and applied pressure. “I believe I am capable of taking this place down and everyone in my path to get to my children.”
“I believe you.” The old doctor smiled.
“What did you give her?” Jim shook his head and laughed, “An hour ago I was afraid I was losing her – now I’m just afraid of her.”
“You have nothing to fear.” The doctor’s face lit up with a shrewd grin, “As long as you are one of the good guys.”
“I’ll tell my nurse to bring the babies now.”
Within minutes a lovely petit woman entered the room with a bundle in each arm.
“I hear the new mommy is anxious to hold her little ones.”
“Oh yes.” Clara cried, extending her arms.
The nurse carefully placed the infants in their mother’s arms. Frieda was nestled on the right and Fritz on the left. The twins instinctively turned their face to Clara’s breasts and began rooting and grunting. She in turn lifted her blouse and guided each mouth to an engorged nipple, welcoming the throbbing and stinging as they gulped.
“I have never seen anything so beautiful.” Jim’s voiced cracked as he spoke. “I have never felt so blessed.” He glanced at the others around him. Mary sniffled and held her hand to her mouth, the old doctor nodded and smiled and the white shepherd pawed at the tears streaming down his snout.
After the cards and chocolates and flowers… the steak and lobster dinner… the strawberries and champagne… the tender love making… I just wanted you to know…
Bwahaha a little horror humor. Happy Valentines Day y’all!
We are still two months away from NPM and poetry discussions are abuzz. I love it!
I’m not even upset that one “genre” is dissing the other – I am just happy poetry is being discussed.
I clicked on a link/interview that was shared with a member of the Horror Writer’s Association and then BOOM I was knee deep in reading, searching and lurking a dozen other sites.
I [honestly] never considered a genre when writing poetry and probably couldn’t categorize if my life depended on it. But [speaking of dissing] I’ll share Thoughts on Writing from Getting Me Back.
Except from Getting Me Back (The Voices Within)
Thoughts on Writing (The Requirements of an Author)
Desire: A congenital need to tell the story.
Determination: It is not enough to walk a couple of blocks or run five miles on a treadmill, come prepared to hike the Himalayas and explore the abyss.
An exoskeleton: A thick skin will not suffice — no indeed. Colleagues and critics are apt in the sadistic art of shaving and burning the thickest of flesh; their tireless wheel of pumice leaving the toughest callouses raw and bleeding. They will thin your skin; get beneath it and prove your vulnerabilities. Like a flesh eating bacteria they will consume you — kill you if you let them.
A poker face: Never let them see you sweat.
Gratitude: Because no one owes you anything!
Grace: For the rise and the inevitable fall.
Pills and booze and smoke: Because it is a hard and hateful world and you are not a god-damned ant.