Posted in Friend Making Monday

Friend Makin’ Monday: Easy Answers

Holy cow I’ve been busy!  Any of you out there joining in on July’s Camp NaNoWriMo?  Well, I was fully planning on it, but 8 days of July just whizzed by me in a blink of an eye.  I guess I’ll still try.  We’ll see where it goes.  I was so excited about the concept of my book that I wanted to see it written out. Anyhow, it’s rare that I blog to slow down and relax, but today is one of those days.  This morning was pretty crazy, too, what with waking up to stepping in dog vomit and cleaning it up (I know, I know…TMI).  So I just wanted something normal and didn’t require too much work. Lucky for me, it’s Friend Makin’ Monday and the only work required is answering questions!  Even luckier, they’re easy questions to answer.  Gotta love it when life hands you exactly what you were needing.  🙂  Here we go! friend-makin-monday-for-post3-300x179 If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!  

Easy Answers

1.  Are you a planner, or do you prefer to see where the moment takes you? I am most definitely a planner, sometimes almost to a fault.  I’ve been accused of being too much of a micromanager, and for good reason.  The ironic thing is, I plan in order to have wiggle room.  Does that make sense?  I plan spontaneity.

2.  How often do you blog?  Whenever the mood strikes.  Not as often as I’d like to (ideally every day), but it’s not for lack of trying.  I need to pick it back up again.

3.  Do you color your hair?  I’ve only colored my hair twice in my life, and they were just purple deposits so it looked like I had grape jelly in my hair in the sun.  It was great.  But never bleached or anything else.  And I don’t plan to dye my hair when I turn gray.

4. If you had to choose between running or riding a bike, which one would you choose?  Can I just say neither?  LoL.  I kinda hate both.  Running makes me run out of breath way too easily and I didn’t ride bikes often as a kid so I always end up walking up hills.  And if it’s too steep of a hill downhill, I also walk it because I freak out being out of control.  If I was indoors and it was like a treadmill vs. stationary bike, though, I’d choose the bike.

5.  Have you ever traveled outside of your home country? Yes.

6.  Do you like weddings? I do love going to them.  There’s something beautiful about celebrating the love between two people.  I’ve been in the wedding industry for awhile, though, and I don’t like dealing with the stressful end of the planning.

7.  What is your favorite guilty pleasure on TV?  Oh goodness.  Pretty much any reality TV show.  I watch The Bachelor/Bachelorette just to make fun of the situation, so I think that’s the guiltiest of them all.

8.  Are you good at math?  I am good at math, but I don’t like doing it.

9.  What is the last movie you watched?  Haha…I watched Katy Perry’s movie on Netflix.  I’ve not-so-secretly been wanting to watch it.  Don’t judge.  🙂

10.  Share five adjectives that your friends would use to describe you.  Creative, young-at-heart, loyal, introverted, thoughtful.

Bonus:  Did you celebrate Independence Day?  If so, what did you do?  I did!  It has been three years since we’ve been able to throw a 4th of July party because we were within the city limits where fireworks weren’t allowed.  Before that, we lived in the unincorporated county and threw a 4th party every year, which all of our friends looked forward to.  Our house is once again in unincorporated county, so we were super-excited to have everyone over!  We had a BBQ/potluck in our huge backyard and played lawn games and chatted then had a nice show for ourselves when it got dark.  Hands down one of the best parties we’ve ever had!

Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful week.  I’m hoping to actually post more this week, so stay tuned!  🙂

To Easy Things to Soothe a Busy Life,

Violet

Posted in Written Word Wednesdays

Written Word Wednesday: Just a Bit More (NaNoWriMo 2012)

In-Progress Writing Projects to Finish 5) “Out of Place”

To read the first part of this story, please check out this link.

I’m going to come right and say it:  I’m just not feeling it this year.  I haven’t felt compelled to write and continue this story; the characters haven’t been infiltrating my dreams.  I’m not gonna lie; it really distresses and dismays me to know that writing, the thing I usually turn to for comfort and therapeutic properties, is not doing its magic this time around.  I think perhaps what’ll help me out more at this point is some journalling and poetry.  But I made a commitment at the beginning of this month, and it is my duty to at least fulfill an attempt at this.  So I keep plugging away, a little at a time.

Not to worry, though, dear readers.  I’m okay.  🙂  It’s just been a busy and (good) stressful time for me, and the last thing I want to do is write.  In fact, I’ve been wanting to get lost in a book much more than work on my novel, and I don’t stop myself.  Girl’s gotta take care of herself, ya know.  Anyway, here is the little bit that I added this week.  Hoping next week will prove more fruitful.

(c) Copyright VC/GS listlovelaugh.wordpress.com

Chapter Three

 

“Which part of the speech do you want to do?”  Elijah and I decided to partner up for the group speech due in class in a few days.  In the last few months we’d started having conversations after class and eventually started getting together for coffee, much to my dismay.  Our blossoming friendship made it nearly impossible to dismiss the conversation I had with Mama at the beginning of the school year where she asked whether or not he was good-looking.  With each get-together, it got more and more difficult to think of him as only a classmate.

“Um, I guess I can do the first part.  Finish strong, right?”  I half-joked.

“Ha!  You’re too kind.”

“I’m serious.  I think we can both acknowledge who’s better at speaking in front of a crowd.”

“You’re not horrible.  Just need to work on the whole shy thing.”

“It’s not so much that I’m shy; it’s that I’m the only one in that class, and probably the entire university, for that matter, who has a southern accent.  You don’t notice it when you used to live in a place where everyone talked like you.  I feel like nobody takes me seriously.”

“If you want, I could taw-uk lahk you, too.  Ease the nerves a little bit, and then the target would be off you.  You’ll have to give me some lessons beforehand, though.”

I stuck my tongue out in the most lady-like way possible.

“Okay, okay, I’ll lay off.  So we’ve got that decided.  Time to switch gears?”

“You’re kidding, right?  We haven’t even come up with an outline.  Don’t you want to at least have something written before moving on?”

“Normally I’d say yes, but this is being beautifully distracting.”  He reached out and weaved his hand through my hair.

Dammit, Bobbie Grace.  Get a hold of yourself.  If it were anyone else, I’d have recoiled and slapped quicker than brushfire.  But there was something about Elijah that made me linger.

“Ha!”  With all the willpower I could muster, I backed up and feigned an uninterested air.  “Silly art major.  If my hair didn’t resemble a psychedelic trip, you wouldn’t be nearly as interested.  Blonde is much less interesting than duotone.  Which is why I colored it in the first place.  Shall I dye it back to my original hair color so we can actually work on a speech?”

“You’re still the most beautiful woman in the world.  Shave it, for all I care.”

“Oh, honey, you say that to all the girls.”  I sighed, trying to sound exasperated.  Really, though, I was just trying to calm myself down.  “Okay, fine, paint the pretty colors.  But quickly, so we can go back to the important stuff.”

“This is important,” he protested.
“Yeah?  Last time I checked, this was just for fun, not an assignment.”

“Got me there,” he conceded.  “Okay, fine.  Less talking, more painting.”

“I agree.”

He quickly went to work setting up an easel and putting paint on a palette.

“Turn around, please.”

“Typical guy,” I teased.  “The face doesn’t matter; it’s the back that gets all the action.”

“Why Bobbie Grace, I’d never guess a southern belle like you could ever insinuate such a sinful thing,” he teased right back.

I tried to come up with a comeback so my face would stop at a blush instead of a full-blown, neck-to-forehead red.  Daddy used to ask me if I rooster comb crawled up my face.

“I’m not as much as a gentle southern belle as you’d like to think.”

“Whatever.  You can take the belle out of Georgia, but can’t take the Georgia out of the belle.  You’re just a poser.”  I snuck a glance out of the corner of my eye.  He didn’t bother starting with my clothes or even the shape of my head.  He went straight to painting my hair.  The very tip of his tongue stuck out of the side of his mouth, teeth holding it in place.  I’d never seen him concentrate on anything so intently.  His brow furrowed as he dipped his paintbrush into the myriad shades of pink, red, and blue.  He was taking the utmost care in getting the shades perfect.  As if in a trance, he reached out and inspected my strands.  When he realized what he was doing, his eyes locked on mine for a few electric moments.

Oh, I’m in trouble.  So much trouble.  I closed my eyes as my lips met his, feverishly trying to push the image of Mama watching us, clasping her hands together and looking Heavenward.  “Thank you, Lord, for answering my prayers,” she whispered as Elijah pulled me closer.  I shook my head, trying to clear it.

“What’s the matter?”  He instantly looked concerned.  “I’m sorry, it’s okay if I kiss you, right?  Did I misread you?”

“No, not at all.  And it’s definitely okay.”  This time I took the initiative, and Mama’s image disappeared, dissolving into the perfect moment.

***

(c) Copyright VC/GS listlovelaugh.wordpress.com

To Finding Your Own Way to Cope During Stressful Times,

Posted in Written Word Wednesdays

Written Word Wednesday: A Slow Start (NaNoWriMo 2012)

In-Progress Writing Projects to Finish 5) “Out of Place”

So I’m going to commit the cardinal sin of a writer and issue an apologetic disclaimer before you read my work.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with NaNoWriMo, in its simplest form, it’s writing 50,000 words in 30 days.  Check out the website if you want to find out more.  The other big thing about NaNoWriMo is, in order to write those 50,000 words in 30 days, editing is pretty darn near impossible to do.  So this has not been edited for loopholes, typos, grammatical errors, etc.  Just sayin’.  I’m stopping all you editors out there before you can even start in with that.  😉

This other part is important, so I’m going to take the time to be annoying and bold and italicize it because I really want to drive the point home:
***Please remember these are FICTIONAL characters.  Though in the long run (read: as the story develops and reaches its ending, in a hopefully non-preachy way) it does reflect my morals (I AM the author of the story, after all), I do not–repeat DO NOT–hold all of the same beliefs as the main character.  I have the feeling some people may get offended by some parts of the book.  To those people, I want to quote the great Jenny Lawson:

“…[S]omewhere in here you’ll read one random thing that you’re sensitive about, and everyone else will think  it’s hysterical, but you’ll think, ‘Oh, that is way over the  line.’ I apologize for that one thing.  Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking.”

Seriously, though, it was not my intention to offend people with this story.  I just feel have a point of view to get across, and I hope that that point of view will be obvious as more of the story unfolds.  Please give it a chance before assuming things about my stance.  Because you know what they say about when you assume things.  😉  And I would like to just throw out there, if you’ve been reading my blog or if you know me in real life, you’ll know which parts I’m serious about and which I’m not.  To those people, I thank you for not hating me.

One last stalling method thing I want to emphasize:  Though it may seem like it, I really wasn’t trying to diss/make fun of/stereotype the South.  I’m trying really hard to not make it come off that way, but I fear I’m not doing a good job so far.  To the contrary, this story was greatly influenced by me desperately wanting to pay homage to the unique beauty of the South:  people steeped in history, southern charm, fierce loyalty to family, and an unshakable faith; a rich setting full of stories, specific mannerisms and comfort food.  I greatly respect the South even though I only lived there for about a year.  I find it a romantic part of the country and in this story I hoped to capture my fascination and love of it.

Okay, enough stalling.  Here goes.  Constructive criticism welcome (hateful comments will be deleted).  Enjoy!  🙂

(c) Copyright VC/GS listlovelaugh.wordpress.com

Out of Place

Prologue

Mama patted down a nonexistent stray hair on her slicked-back, tight bun.  The contact of dry lace glove on layers of hair spray caused her to retract a little from the static electricity.  Out of the corner of my other eye, I saw Daddy reaching into his good dress jeans’ pocket to pull out his old white cotton handkerchief and hand it across my lap.  Mama took it appreciatively, carefully dabbing at where her eyeliner turned up precisely, leaving a black smudge on the monogrammed T.

Probably hand-stitched on there by Memaw herself, I thought, as Pastor Jim took his place at the lectern.  I was still trying to wrap my head around the fact that Memaw would never hand-stitch another monogram again.

“Roberta Faith Tucker was a woman of God until her very last breath,” he began.  I looked around the room at the congregation, which, as always, was the entire population of Duncan.  Being that our little town only contained 200 people, it wasn’t so hard to do.  The community ball game was cancelled, so if anyone missed Memaw’s funeral, I’m sure all the other blue hairs would be making some behinds red and raw for disrespecting their dear friend.

“She was the epitome of this town, born in Duncan General and never missing a Sunday morning here at First Baptist.  She took the land that God gave her and lived off of it.  I’ll always remember the extra tomatoes and fresh eggs she’d deliver to us.  And she’d put the best hoedowns on, didn’t she?”

The town nodded in agreement.

“I think when I learned how to square dance from her, she had the loudest ‘yeehaw’ of them all.  Oh, and her sweet tea and peach cobbler.  Don’t mean no disrespect, ma’ams.”  He dipped his head quickly in the direction of Memaw’s closest friends in the front row.  It was completely eerie and surreal watching every one of them mumble in agreement.  If it was any other day, they’d stop short of exchanging blows arguing over whose sweet tea and peach cobbler were the best in all of Georgia; in all of the south for that matter.  In other words, many “bless your ever-lovin’ heart”s would be uttered.  Them’s fightin’ words among the old bitties.

“Like everyone else in this town, she was born here and she was called to her Maker here.  She loved this town too much to leave.”

I started to squirm, and Mama mistook it for a gesture of grief.

She reached out and tried to comfort me the way she always used to, by tucking a stray curl behind my ear.  Out of habit, I immediately pulled the ever-present hair tie off my wrist and slicked my hair into a ponytail to avoid further contact.

“I don’t know why you never put it into a braid like when you were little,” she whispered. “Your Memaw always liked it that way because it made you look like Laura Ingalls.”

“Because that’s when I was little.  I’m not little anymore,” I replied, a little harsher than I meant to.

“Roberta Grace Tucker,” my mother started.  “You do not take that tone with me.  For one, I’m your mother.  For two, we are in the House of the Lord.  And three, you are disrespecting the very person we named you after.  While she’s being praised, no less.”

“Sorry, Mama.”

I shifted my focus back to what the pastor was saying, trying to glean a lesson from the few words I actually paid attention to.  He had taken a break from soliloquizing Memaw and got swept away in his hellfire and brimstone shtick.  When he switched to “I’ll strike the fear of God into your hearts” mode, everything started to blur together and it became hard to differentiate this particular moment in time from any other Sunday.  Those were the times where wished I had a tape recorder so I could go to Ginny’s Saloon next door, replay it, and turn it into a drinking game:  one shot every time he said “sacrifice,” two shots every time he said “mighty”, and chug if he mentions a second coming.  No matter that I was underage; Ginny’d known me since I was born.  She’d been offering beers to me with a smile ever since Daddy started taking me with him when I was thirteen.

“As you know, Miss Berta was a prominent socialite here in Georgia, and was well-known at many country clubs all over the south.  The Lord had blessed with her with many riches, and she was gracious enough to leave First Baptist with a third of that.  Another third she donated to her favorite charities.  The third, of course, went to her precious granddaughter, our very own Bobbie Grace.”

For a second, I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  I knew my Memaw loved me, and I also knew she was loaded, but I never really imagined the two would come together in this strange way.

“Mama?  Daddy?”  The looks on their faces confirmed what she was saying.
“She saw God in your heart, honey.  She knew you’d do His will with what she gave you, and we agree.  That, and she knew you’d be needing some money for a wedding and little ones soon.”

My face turned red.  Maybe the only thing that stuck in my southern upbringing was to respect your elders, and I respected my Mama enough to not break her heart and tell her I wasn’t even sure if I believed in God.

“Oh, that’s okay, honey.  We know you don’t have a southern gentleman in your life right now, but you will soon, if we have anything to say about it.”

Misread me again.

“Mama, I’m eighteen.”

“That’s okay, honey,” she said again.  “Ain’t too late yet.  Don’t you fret none.  Remember that Lonnie Mae didn’t get married until twenty?  You’ve got time.  But you can’t wait too long, now.  Your eggs are probably already drying up.  You got your Memaw’s money, now.  That’ll attract you someone.  And you’re pretty, too,” she added, as if that fact were an afterthought.

I bit my tongue and took a deep breath, choosing my next words carefully.  “Don’t you worry, Mama.  I am going to do something great with my future with that money.”

***

Chapter One

“Classes went great, Mama.”  It was Sunday, and our once-a-week calls had started to get less awkward for me.  The first few weeks she’d put Daddy on the phone first so that he could tell me how disappointed he was in me, and how much I was disrespecting Duncan for doing what I did.  Then Mama’d come on the phone and cry and tell me everyone at church had been praying for my soul.  I don’t think I quite convinced her that Portland, Oregon wasn’t hell yet.  Baby steps, though.

“That’s good, baby.”  I could tell she was forcing her enthusiasm, so I tried a different approach.

“I put my hair in a braid today and the boy who sits behind me in debate said it looked nice.”  It was mostly true.  My hair was in a braid, and the boy who sat behind me did compliment it, but that was only because the braid brought out the purple and blue highlights I put in my hair.  He was an art major who said he admired the light and shadow and that he may have to borrow me to paint someday.  I told him that sounded like fun.  But if I told my mom that, she’d not only get at me for ruining what God had already made perfect, but also for acting like a lady with questionable morals.  Best not to tell her that part.

“I told you, Bobbie Grace.  The good ones will take a proper country girl over a devil-worshiping city girl any day.  Is this boy handsome?”

“Yes, actually, he is.”  I didn’t think about that until now, but now that she’d mentioned it, he was easy on the eyes.

“What’s his name?”

“Elijah.”

“A wonderful Christian name.”

Uh-oh.  I knew that tone in her voice.  She was already planning a baby shower for me.

“No, Mama.  It’s not like that.”

“Sure, honey.  Now I’m gonna get off the phone with you because you know what time it is.”

“Time for me to go to church?”

“I taught you well.  Love you, baby.”

“Love you, Mama.”

 

Chapter Two

One of the great ironic things I found nearby Portland State University’s campus was a bar.  The fact that there was a bar wasn’t the ironic thing; it was the name of this particular one.  What was great about it was that you didn’t have to be twenty-one to enter.  If you showed your student ID at the door, they’d let you into the restaurant part to study.  I didn’t think anything of it the first day I went there until a waiter came up to me and said, “Welcome to Church.  What can I get for you today?”

“Wait, what?  Did you just say Church?”

“Yep, that’s the name of the bar.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Nope.  We get that a lot, actually.  You know how there are bars with funny names, like ‘At Work’ or ‘None of Your Business?’  Well, the owners decided to call this place Church.”

I was astounded.  I’d found a place to go where I wouldn’t have to lie when I told Mama I went to Church on Sunday.  It was a sign.

“Did you need a minute?”  He was asking politely, but you could tell he was in a hurry to get somewhere.

Do I ever.  “Yes, please.”

“Sure thing.  I’ll be back in a little while.”

While perusing the menu and trying to choose between angel wings (with a side of Daily Bread, no less) and the Sunday Fried Chicken (Christ’s Casserole being a close third due to my curiosity), I heard my waiter and his boss chatting.

“I didn’t know he was moving back!  Well, this calls for a celebration.  Go ahead and go early.  The rest of us can hold down the fort.”

The waiter hurried back with a huge grin.  “Looks as if I’m heading out now.  Bridgette will be taking care of you now.”

“Thanks,” I replied.  “Enjoy your night off.”

“Oh, I will!”  In his haste he forgot to take off his nametag and apron.  My gaze followed him out through the front door, where another man was waiting for him.  To my surprise, he picked up my waiter, twirled him around enthusiastically, then planted a passionate kiss on him on the way down.

I felt a little sick inside.  It wasn’t ever something I’d seen before in Duncan, and it made me horribly uncomfortable and even a little offended that someone would be outright sinning in front of Church.  Never mind that it wasn’t really a church.  It was the principle of the thing.  All of a sudden I wasn’t hungry anymore.  I set the menu down and walked out the door, turning my head in the direction facing away from the newly reunited homosexual couple.

***

Since that day, I’d been back to Church several times, but always cautiously.  I couldn’t really deal with running into the waiter I met on my first visit.  I assumed that the boss had let him take some vacation time to be able to hang out with his surprise visitor.  I counted myself lucky in the regards that I hadn’t seen the waiter or his offensive behavior since.

“More tea, Bobbie, hon?”  By now I’d been coming here so much that Bridgette knew me on a first name basis.  Though for some reason, it really bothered me that she didn’t add “Grace” to it.  My name just didn’t sound right without it.

“Yes, please.”  I held out my cup to have it refilled.  Mama would probably call me a sinner if I told her that Church’s sweet tea would hold its own at the annual contest at the Duncan County Fair.  Truthfully, it was one of the only reasons I kept coming back to Church.  It was the cheapest thing on the menu and it came with endless refills.  So far, none of the food I tried was anything to write home about.

“Let me go and just grab a full pitcher for you, too, so you don’t have to wait for more,” Bridgette said after emptying the one she held in her hand.

“That would be great, thank you.”  I buried my nose in my education 101 textbook while Bridgette disappeared to the drink station.  I was really enjoying what I was learning so far, and I started to get lost in the material about different learning styles.

“Bobby!”  I heard Bridgette call excitedly on the way back to me.  She almost dropped the pitcher of sweet tea in her haste to the front of the bar.  I was a little confused; I didn’t realize she enjoyed my patronage so much.  I opened my mouth to answer her enthusiastic calling out of my name, but stopped myself when she just plopped the pitcher hurriedly on my table and ran right by me.

Huh.  When they said “Keep Portland weird,” I guess they really weren’t kidding.  I shook my head in amusement and turned to see what the fuss was about.

Bridgette had her arms around the first waiter and his—it disgusted me to even think about it—boyfriend.

“Welcome back!  We missed you around here.  Almost thought you were going to leave me all alone to rot.  Hey, good lookin’.  Long time, no see.”  She winked at the visitor.

“And miss out on all the fun?  Not a chance.”

“Ha.  You mean the money.”

“Shh, don’t let Shawn hear about that.  You’ll ruin the impression we worked so hard to build that we actually like working here.”

“Too late, slackers.”  The manager walked out to check out the commotion, but when he saw who it was, he playfully punched both the waiter and Bridgette in the arm.  I couldn’t help but wonder how long the trio had been friends to have such camaraderie.

“Well, look.  It’s the new girl!”  The waiter took the hand of his guy and brought him over to me proudly.

I could feel my face heating up from embarrassment.

“Good job, Bridge.  Kept her coming without me.  What’d you do, bribe her?”

“Nah, I just flashed her a little leg and made an agreement to always wear revealing shirts around her.”  She winked at me, and for a second I had a horrifying realization.
“Wait.  No, no I’m not attracted to her.  I’m not…I…wait, is this…?”  I couldn’t quite get the last words out of my mouth.

Bridgette and the waiter, who apparently had the same name as I did, exchanged a mental conversation that didn’t include me.

“Don’t worry, I got this,” she said aloud as she took a seat across from me.

“Um…you don’t have to give me special attention.  You can go ahead and take care of the other customers.”

“Uh-huh, sure.  When we get them.”

I followed her glance around the place and realized I was the only one there.

“To answer your question, no, this is not a gay bar.  Also, I was just messing with you.  I didn’t realize you’d take it so personally, so for that I’m sorry.  Don’t you ever mess around like that with your friends?”

I exhaled in relief.  I wasn’t sending out a bad impression, after all.  “No, no I don’t.  That’s really a horrible thing to call someone, you know.”

“What?”

I lowered my voice, not wanting to be rude.  “You know,” I repeated.  “Like the boy Bobby.”

“Honey, if you can’t even say the word gay, I’m not sure this is the place for you.”

“Are you?”

“I’m not, but I don’t see what the big deal is.”

“Doesn’t it bother you to see Bobby kissing another man?”

“Does it bother you to see two people who love each other show their affection?”

“Not at all.  As long as it’s a man and a woman.  It’s what…”

Bridgette put her hand up in protest.  “If you finish that sentence with, ‘God intended’, then I think we’re done here.”

“Do you have a problem with me having faith?”  I couldn’t figure out why I felt the need to defend myself.

“Of course not.  In fact, Bobby and Peter—his domestic partner, though it would be his husband, if they both had their way—have both been going to the Presbyterian church down the street for as long as I’ve known them.  I do, however, have a problem with you disrespecting my friends.”

“I wasn’t disrespecting them.  I’m just telling the truth.  They’re committing a sin.  What would you do if you saw someone murdering another person in your restaurant?  You wouldn’t just sit idly by.”

“In what universe is murder and being gay even remotely the same?”

“In mine.  You know, maybe you’re right.  Maybe this isn’t the place for me.  I’m sure Bobby and Peter are lovely people, but I don’t respect their values.  Thank you, though, for having such great customer service.  I’m going to have to find a different place to study.”

“Just as well.  You don’t fit in with this crowd, anyway.  Continue with your education.  Something tells me you really need it.”

Before I could come up with a retort, Bridgette was already at Bobby’s side, relaying the story to him.  Instead of looking angry as Bridgette had gotten, though, Bobby just looked incredibly hurt.  I caught a glimpse of him waving to me in a gesture of hopeful reconciliation, but like the first time I met him, I turned my head away and walked out the door.

I wasn’t in the wrong back there, I told myself as I started down the sidewalk back to my apartment.  A romantic relationship should be between a man and a woman.  That’s just how it is.  People love their pets, but it doesn’t mean they should marry them.  What a ridiculous notion.  Even though I knew I was right, I couldn’t shake the image of Bobby’s hurt face.  I started to get an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I was pretty sure it wasn’t the complimentary slice of Coca-Cola cake.

***

(c) Copyright VC/GS listlovelaugh.wordpress.com

Hopefully Next Wednesday I’ll Have Actually Made My Word Count Goal!!!  (Right now I’m about 9000 words behind.  Ugh.)

Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: Having a Ball(oon)!

Some people are slow learners when it comes to certain things.  With me, it’s with learning how to use a GPS (a funny story for another time, but I neither own–nor do I ever plan on owning, if I want to increase the odds of me not getting horrifically injured–a GPS), using power tools, and walking in heels without doing a face plant or looking like a newborn giraffe.  Now that I think of it, I think I’m just slow when it comes to being non-klutzy.

I finally learned how to blow a bubble with bubblegum when I was about 16 years old.  Subsequently, I learned how to snap gum when I was about 20.  Luckily for classmates, I didn’t make a habit of having gum in my mouth during class.  Otherwise, I would’ve been that girl who annoyed everyone with the noises that gum makes.

Ahem.  I’m off-topic, aren’t I?

Well, speaking of blowing things (eh?  Eh?  How’s that for a segue?), that’s one of the other things I never quite got around to: figuring out how to blow up a balloon.  I’d get the little bubble at the end filled, then I’d huff and puff and almost pass out, with no progress to show for it.

When I got my NaNoWriMo goody bag from a write-in, I was elated to get fun little things:  a pen and notepad, which made sense, and cocoa, tea, and candy, which also made sense.

And then came the wild card:  a turquoise party balloon.  “What’s this for?  What does it have to do with writing 50,000 words in 30 days?”  I wondered.  I pondered this for a bit before I realized:  It’s for celebration.  It’s for the “Thank Goodness It’s Over” party, or even to celebrate the fact that you’re taking on such a feat.

So I put the balloon in my mouth and tried as hard as I could to get that thing blown up.  For the first five minutes, it was much like every other time I tried in vain in my 30 years.  But my husband coached me to stretch out the balloon (which I’ve also done before, but to no avail) and keep blowing, and lo and behold:

Make fun of me if you will, but this is a big deal, y’all.  A HUGE accomplishment for me.  So huge, in fact, that I took the air out of it and kept it in my goody bag to be blown up again at the end of NaNoWriMo.  I’m hoping to be two-for-two.  🙂

And now, speaking of NaNoWriMo, I’m off to add to my word count so I can have something significant to show for Written Word Wednesday.  Stay tuned!

To Celebration, Accomplishments, and Pretty-Colored Balloons!  🙂

Posted in Written Word Wednesdays

Written Word Wednesday: HalloNaNoWeen!!

“Um, Violet?  Have you been drinking too much hard apple cider?  You know it IS a work day, right?  What’s up with the funky word?”  You may be asking.

No, dear readers.  I haven’t misspelled anything (except for maybe misspell.  Isn’t it ironic that it’s one of the most commonly wrongly spelled words?).  While other people around here are simply celebrating Halloween, I’m celebrating the ushering in of a very important month:  November.  To those in writing world, that means National Novel Writing Month

(though I must say that mad props go to those celebrating Movember–the month of the moustache).  To say that I’m mega-excited is an understatement.  As a basic summary, during NaNoWriMo, the challenge is to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days (for those of you doing the math, that’s 1667 words a day and adds up to approximately a 175-page novel).  It is crazy and exhillirating and wonderful and stressful and sleep-depriving all at the same time, and it’s something I’ve come to look forward to every year.  I’ve participated in it since 2009, when I first read about it in a book we got in at work called (appropriately enough for this blog) “The List:  100 Ways to Shake Up Your Life”.  I believe it’s actually listed on my “List of Lists” page.

Anyway, the most hardcore among the NaNoWriMo participants begin writing at the stroke of midnight on Halloween (well, technically November 1st).  There are even kick-off parties all over the world.  I participated in my first one last year and I absolutely loved it.  Over 100 people gathered around at a restaurant and we counted down the seconds until midnight, and then you could hear nothing but keyboards clicking away furiously and creativity happening.  Little by little people would shout out that they reached 1667 words (or perhaps it was 1000?  I don’t quite remember) and the rest of the crowd would applaud for them.  The host of the kick-off party would then present the goal-achiever with a fun prize.

This year I unfortunately don’t live close enough to a kick-off party.  It’s also 10:30 and I can already feel my eyes closing, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do the midnight-type as I have in years’ past.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not excited or that I’m not going to write.  I’m going to participate in a write-in tomorrow and I’m psyched for it.  And I’m also psyched that I may finally be able to do fairly-regular Written Word Wednesday posts for y’all.  Every Wednesday I’ll post a new chunk of what I’ve written (at least 11,669-words’-worth of chunk, to be exact).  I can’t wait to hear your comments on it and for you to get inside my mind.

Before, that, though, I want to tell you guys a secret:  this is the first year I have NO CLUE what to write about.  I feel as if my creative juices have completely evaporated, and it’s a bit disheartening, to say the least.  But an idea has started in my mind and I suppose all I can do is run with it until I can run no more.  Here’s what I have so far (and as much of a teaser that I can give you, given the fact that I don’t really have a plot or conflict to speak of, let alone a name picked out for the main character or a definite location…):

I have been listening to a lot of country music in the past few years (don’t judge), so that’s a big part of the influence of this novel.  I also picked up Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, the last book in their four-part young adult southern gothic series.  Then there’s the song “Merry Go Round” by Kacey Musgraves that I’ve had stuck in my head, and then, finally, the fact that it’s an election year has really influenced me.

What I guess I’m trying to say is I’m interested in writing, however shortly it may be, about the south.  I think my story is going to be about a girl (who I tentatively want to name Roberta Grace, “Bobbie Grace” for short) who grows up in a small town in Georgia (whether or not I’m going to make this town fictional or real, I haven’t figure out yet).  She’s a rebel who desperately wants to escape her stifling town and be able to be herself, so she decides to move to a suburb somewhere in the Northwest (again, not sure if it’ll be fictional or real).  In her small town in Georgia, it’s much more common and expected to get married and have kids when you’re young, but that’s not the life for Bobbie Grace.  She decides she wants to go and get her master’s degree (in what, I’m not sure).  But plans get thwarted when she unexpectedly falls in love with someone and they buy a house.  All the money she saved up for college goes towards the down payment of her house, and she feels as if her life has once again been handed over to a situation, rather than her calling the shots in her own life.  (Hey!  I think I just figured out my conflict.  Like right at this very moment as I was writing this out.)

I have a faint idea of how I want it to end, but I don’t want to give any spoilers away.  For now, I’ll leave you with a very rough, entirely changeable future book blurb.  🙂

Good night, all, and Happy HalloNaNoWeen!!!  (Also?  If I’ve interested you enough and you want to participate, you should totally check out nanowrimo.org.  You’ll love it.)