Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mischief


A few of unfinished blog posts are clogging up my Word processor. Just like every writer, an Outlaw Muse can have their train robbed of thought by distractions and interruptions. Well, when A Blogfest...Interrupted came around the bend, the Outlaw jumped on board. 

"A Blogfest...Interrupted"
 Hosted by Sasha @ sashssecrets.blogspot.com
You know how the Outlaw feels about rules, but blogfests have'em so here they are:


On Saturday, June 26th, post a 500-1000 word scene of your characters being interrupted - doesn't matter what they're doing, doesn't matter what's interrupting them (end of the world, knock on the door, little voice in their head...), they just need to be interrupted.

And the interruptions begin...

MISCHIEF
by Rose Wade

The sudden pounding had her cursing out loud as she stepped from the shower and reached for a towel. Whoever it was rushing her out of the bathroom had given up on the doorbell and resorted to banging an insistent fist on the door. She’d hurried to rinse the shampoo from her hair. The leftover suds joined the water in dripping down her legs to her feet and leaving her footprints soaked into the plush bath mat.  She wrapped the towel around herself haphazardly and held it clutched to her chest as she crossed the living room. Wet footprints trailed behind her.

When she opened the door, the night air made her shiver. She felt the last bit of soap slide over the top of her foot and between her toes. “Dino,” She sighed and turned from the door. “I was in the shower.”

The sight of her fresh from a shower made him grin. For a minute, it made him forget why he’d come over. “I can see that.” His eyes stayed on her barely swathed form as she walked back into the bathroom. He closed the front door, shoved his hands in his pockets then followed her.

He leaned on the door jamb just as she was disappearing behind the shower curtain. “I’ll make it up to you, Babe. I’ll let you have a free peek.”

“Pass.” She was only slightly annoyed. Getting a second chance at a shower made her feel better. Cleaner, at least.

“You don’t know what you’re missing, Honey.” He tugged back the curtain. His mischievous smile was rewarded with a splash of soapy water. Dino took every opportunity to drop in on her. They did the same in teasing each other.

“I’ll get over it. Why are you here?” She turned off the water then took the fresh towel he offered.

He turned to the mirror to wipe the rest of the soapy water from his face with a wash cloth. While he checked the fresh scar on his cheek, he had a glimpse of her emerging from the shower behind him. He turned and smiled. “Hey Rosie.”

“Hi Dino. Why are you here? And what happened to your face?”

“Oh this? Just a scratch.” He'd have to explain that. Later. Instead, he watched her brush her teeth then followed her into the bedroom.

Rose stood at the closet and pawed through her clothes. She decided against one shirt, slid it aside, looked at another. “Dino…”

He blinked. Her question had pulled him out of a haze. “Yeah?”

She looked at him. “Are you going to tell me why you’re here?”

“Why I’m here?”


“Yes,” She sighed. “You came over for a reason, right?’

“Yeah.”

“Well, what is it?”

Dino blinked again and glanced around. “I don’t know.”

Her brow furrowed. “You don’t know? How can you not know?”

He thought for a moment then looked up at her. “She hasn’t written it yet.”

“She?”

“Yeah. You know…” He nodded to the ceiling. “Her.”

“Oh.” She glanced up. Above them was the writer. Head held in her hands, the writer was peering down at the keyboard and waiting for the details of the scene to come to her.

“She’s probably the reason you’re still staring at the pile of clothes.” His tongue swept across his lips. “You’re towel is slipping, by the way.”

Rose adjusted her towel then glanced up at the writer. “I guess we’ll have to wait until she writes more.” She looked back at Dino. “What’ll we do until then?”

“Well…” His eyes traveled down her body. The mischievous grin was back. “I have an idea…”


Monday, June 13, 2011

The Kreativ Blogger Award


The Kreativ Blogger Award


I recently found a great blog through Networked Blogs. Don Smith from Geezer Sayz has passed along the Kreativ Blogger Award to Outlaw’s pRose! Thank you, Don & Geezer for your kindness!

With the help of his friend Geezer, Don’s blog is filled with topics from politics to movies and everything in between. Each post is a true gem told with wit and wisdom. Finding Geezer Sayz has been like stumbling on a train full of gold.


The instructions that came with the Kreativ Blogger Award are:

Pass it on to 10 bloggers and notify them. I highly recommend visiting these blogs. The Outlaw doesn’t give out praise lightly! Be sure and give each blog a proper read while you’re there. Take my word for it, you won’t be disappointed!

In addition, I have to reveal 10 things about myself that most people don’t know.
So, here we go: To carry out the first instruction, I would like to pass this award on to the following bloggers, in no particular order:

Since Don has already passed on an award to John Liming at The Liming Liberal Digest, I won’t pass on another. I’ll just give John’s blog a deserving mention: “Love your blog, John!”

Now for the 10 bloggers to pass on an award to…It’ll be a touch hard since Outlaws are notorious for having a small circle of select friends. Here we go and CONGRATULATIONS to you all!

10 Kreativ Blogs
  1. Elise @ "Gladiator’s Pen” http://www.gladiatorspen.blogspot.com
  2. Lori @ “Lori’s Reading Corner” http://www.lorisreadingcorner.com
  3. Sheliagh @ “Fear Not the Darkness” http://sheilaghlee.blogspot.com
  4. Amy @ “My Breakfast Platter” http://slcamysbooksandmovies.blogspot.com
  5. Simply @ “Simply’s Blog” http://simplysblog.blogspot.com
  6. Lilit @ “Spring Roll” http://egreyes.blogspot.com
  7. Victoria @ “Writer Beware™ Blogs!” http://accrispin.blogspot.com
  8. Anna @ “Anna’s Obsession” http://annalwalls.blogspot.com
  9. Ken @ “Just 1 Writer” http://just1writer.blogspot.com
  10. Niki @ “Niki J Markus” http://www.nickijmarkus.com


10 things about ME:
  1.   I’m ambidextrous. Yeah, I’m, one of those weird people who can write with both hands, and at the same time.
  2.  I'm double-jointed. I can sit with both knees close together and my feet to the sides. It’s hard to explain, but it used to drive my granny crazy whenever I did it. I can also spread my toes and pick things up with them. I do this for no other reason than to make my hubby crazy. :P
  3. Both of my parents were in the Navy. I grew up near the ocean and love living near the water, love the beach, and I love to swim. But I also have thalassophobia: the fear of oceans and large bodies of water.
  4. I’m the first person in 4 generations of my family to have red hair and green eyes.
  5. I always read magazines from back to front. I usually read at least 3 novels at a time.
  6. My I.Q. was once tested to be 192 and I’m a college graduate. But, once upon a time, I was a high school dropout.
  7. Life is fair; it’s people who aren’t. A true human being is a person who strives to be fair, compassionate, and thoughtful in every aspect of life.
  8. I love to make people laugh. I really LOVE to make people laugh so hard that they spit Coke out of their nose! How many times is that now, Elise? A dozen? : )
  9. Peach roses and purple calla lilies are my favorite flowers.
  10. I believe Russell Crowe is the perfect man. Yes, flaws and all. Handsome, sexy, smart, opinionated, talented…No, you can’t convince me otherwise!...Don’t make me get my gun! :)

There’s your taste of what it’s like to be trapped in my world. A lil crazy, but an awesome hideout away from the “normal” people.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Book Blogger Blog Hop June 10th -13th


This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! This weeks Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Lori’s Reading Corner

This weeks Book Blogger Question is:

WHO IS THE ONE AUTHOR THAT YOU ARE DYING TO MEET?



A great question with an easy answer. All book lovers have their favorite authors. Writers and readers alike will stand in line at book signings for the prize of a hand-written pseudonym on the title page, and if we're lucky a photo and a brief chat with their favorite author.
Dr. William "Bill" Bass


I am dying to meet Jefferson Bass; more specifically, Dr. Bill BassHe and his colleague, Jon Jefferson write collaboratively under the pseudonym Jefferson Bass. A veteran of the U.S. Army, Dr. Bass is one of the world's leading forensic anthropologists and the founder of the Body Farm, the University of Tennessee's unique facility dedicated to anthropological research. 


Writing, humor, anthropology, and law; my favorite interests. Jefferson Bass delivers them all. Their novels are filled with intrigue, suspense, unforgettable characters, unique stories and plotlines, humor, witty dialog, and vividly described anthropological details that every reader of mystery, crime, and thriller would appreciate.


I've been hooked on the writing of Jefferson Bass since first picking up Carved in Bone in 2006. It seems only one new novel is released per year. The wait is long but utterly worth it...even if I do eagerly zip through a new novel in a matter of hours then have to start the year-long wait all over again. Totally worth it. :) 


Monday, May 30, 2011

WANTED Poster


Outlaw's pRose is WANTED by the Pinkertons!


Quick! Grab the code and tack up the WANTED Poster on your blog. We'll lead the Pinks into an ambush!


<a href="http://www.outlawsprose.blogspot.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1194.photobucket.com/albums/aa379/Rose_Wade/blackhat2_001-2.jpg" border="0" alt="Outlaw’s pRose" /></a>

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Writer’s Republic: Allegory of the Successful Author by Rose Wade

Writer’s Republic: 
Allegory of the Successful Author
There are several possible interpretations of The Republic by Plato. This is one interpretation by a modern outlaw writer.

Inspiration to create comes in endless forms. It pops up whenever it chooses, whether you’re prepared to capture it or not. Those of us who are thirsty for inspiration keep ourselves ready: Painters with their sketchbooks, Photographers with their cameras, Writers with our pencils. For the technologically advanced artist, sketches, snapshots, and scribbles can easily be captured with the latest mobile device. Technology provides ease of use, but you still have to provide the content. 
My new Toshiba E205 laptop is fast, has Windows 7, the latest Microsoft Office, and my favorite, an illuminated keyboard. But, I’m still staring at a blank Word document and waiting for inspiration to translate through my fingertips. So far, nada...until this morning.
I’m currently on one of the easier curves of the roller coasters of stress that we all experience. This year has been hectic for a number of reasons that are too many and too boring to name. Who wants to hear complaints, whining, and excuses about stress, illness, family commitments, a new house, car problems, or just general lack of ideas? I’m not surprised to have had them all. Overwhelmed, yes, but not surprised. What surprises me is that I haven’t been able to work past them and find the time to write.
Today’s unexpected source of inspiration came from my cat. Yeah, I know. Don’t laugh. I take inspiration where I can get it.
Charlie sits perched on the window sill, his tail swishing lazily as he watches…whatever it is cats are interested in. He’ll perk up occasionally when a bird flutters by to tease him. But the real excitement doesn’t come until there’s enough sunshine pouring through the windows to cast shadows on the living room wall. Yes, my cat is a shadow chaser. You would think those blurry grey splotches were actually mice racing across the wall. Charlie was obviously entertained, but I wondered why he would rather chase the movements of shadows than the real things that passed outside the window. He knows the difference between shadow and real…right? Oh well. I was bored, so I kept watching him.
Eventually, Plato’s Allegory of the Cave came to mind. Picture a group of people imprisoned in a dark cave lit only by a fire they are unable to see. Their movements are severely constricted as to ensure their only source of stimulation would be the shadows and echoing sounds of the unseen objects, animals, and people that produced them.


The conditions of such an environment become reality for the prisoners. Their senses embrace the only reality afforded to them. Identifying the shadows and sounds becomes a societal goal. The person who is able to produce frequent answers is rewarded and respected by the others in the group.
One of the prisoners is released and given the opportunity to see the entirety of the cave. He now sees that the shadows and echoed sounds are only parts of the tangible things and beings that are passing in front of the fire. The flood of information is overwhelming. Acceptance comes to the former prisoner when he is led out of the cave and is able to see the true reality of the world that exists outside the cave. Unrestricted, his senses are able to experience everything he was once denied.
He returns to the cave and his companions. He’s certain they’ll see his newly acquired knowledge for the gift that he believes it to be. Instead, his revelations are met with suspicion and contempt. Changes to the comfort of their perceived reality are unwanted by the prisoners.
Upon remembering the story, I felt the burden of stress about my writing progress begin to lighten. I realized I had been experiencing the same concept of Plato’s allegory, under different circumstances. I know several writers of varying degrees of skill and success. Publishing success is often a friendly competition between fellow writers. We update each other, talk about our ideas and upcoming projects, exchange praise or rants about the successes and failures of the creative writing process, and support each other on social networking sites.
Recently, I let myself become influenced by the progress of other writers. I’ve been steadfastly working on my first novel during the past year. By the time I’ve finished a chapter, another author is announcing yet another of their books to debut via e-publishing.
I know a few writers whose work has popularity that I can’t fathom the reason for. I started to become disillusioned by the progress of writers whose work I believe lacked substance, and e-publishers who judged manuscripts by low standards of quality. I found the praise given to those works to be misguided.
Is that what the reading public wants to fill their Kindles and Nooks with? I don’t like the idea or want to accept it. But, I have to. Creative fiction is subjective. What I don’t have to do, I realized, is measure my success by that of a small community of writers, readers, and publishers whose methods I don’t agree with.
We’re all entitled to our personal opinions. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes. But let's ponder the heart...here’s mine: Picture Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. This time, in place of the chained prisoners sits a group of writers churning out book after book of fiction for inexpensive downloads and cheaply printed paperback. Their poorly-written prose is little more than mind candy, mass-produced mediocrity eagerly flooded into the book market by the kind of publishing house willing to promote any manner of writing that will provide temporary, instant gratification for the reading public who then quickly devours it without even remembering the title or the author’s name.
If your writing friends are happy with their mass-produced publishing success, let them be. They’re happy. Even if you believe they have the potential to improve, let them be. They’d rather bite off your arm than hear a critique suggesting that their book is anything but stellar.
            There are different levels, different types of success. Every writer needs to define for themselves what success means to them and then stick by it. Fast food fiction is for writers, readers, and publishers who relegate creative prose to having value equal to that of a burger on the Dollar Menu at McDonald’s. I’d rather attract readers who think my work is worth the price of hard-cover print. *Inhales deeply…Ahhh dontcha just love the scent and feel of a new book?
            Detecting some judgmental bitterness? Could be, but this is Outlaw’s pRose. ;)

Rose Wade
“Writing without fear.”

P.S. Charlie does manage to catch his shadowy prey. Of course pouncing on a wall shadow includes smacking against the wall then sliding down behind the sofa. But it never stops the second and third attempts…



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Interview With Author Misa Ramirez

Interview Melissa Ramirez, author of A Magical Dressmaking Mystery Series, and the Lola Cruz Mysteries. Her new book, A Deadly Curse, was released on April 19th, 2011.




 
OP: What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?


MR: I’m a minimal plotter. I get a nugget of an idea and run with it, seeing where it takes me and my story.


This is true whether I’m writing my Lola Cruz Mysteries, my new Magical Dressmaking Mystery series, or my romantic suspenses (A Deadly Curse, available now, or A Deadly Sacrifice, coming in May). My ideas usually stem from something I’ve read, heard about, or have in my memory banks. From there, it develops, often requiring research to flesh it out.


This was especially true when it came to writing A Deadly Curse. It’s based on the legend of la Llorona. As an aside, I’d written this book in its current form, but because of my other mysteries, I thought about restructuring it to be more of a mystery with a little quirk. I discussed it with Alex Sokoloff when we were at a retreat in South Carolina, and boy, oh boy, she did not like the light treatment of the legend of la Llorona! I remember feeling like I’d been scolded for not taking a legend seriously, when in fact I had already taken it very seriously and written about it. But she was right, and I went back to the original book, tightening it and making it even darker, respecting the legend(s) and all they represent. It was definitely the right decision. Gracias, Alex, for sending me back to my original manuscript!
 


OP: Your latest book, A Deadly Curse, was released on April 19th, 2011. Please tell us about it.


MR: Back to La Llorona. My husband, Carlos, grew up hearing the story. His parents, Tias, and Tios, and every other adult around, would tell the kids the story. Their purpose? To frighten them enough so they wouldn’t wander off alone. La Llorona was the Mexican boogeyman.


I first learned about the legend of the crying woman after I met Carlos (we’ve now been married 20 years and have five children, so la Llorona has been part of my consciousness for a long time). We’d go camping with his brothers and sisters and their spouses, sit around the campfire, and invariably, the stories would begin. Before long, a low, haunting sound would float through the air. La Llorona. It was as if the ghost was right there, her wails coming from the banks of the river through the trees.


It didn’t take long to figure out that it was my husband making the haunting sounds, but the legend itself was spooky and stayed with me from the first time I heard the story. A woman kills her children by drowning them in the river. After she realizes what she’s done, she drowns herself. Legend has it that the woman has been haunting riverbanks ever since, looking for her children. Kids are warned to stay away from the rivers so la Llorona doesn’t steel them, thinking they are hers.


Creepy.


Yet fascinating.
 


OP: Did you learn anything from writing A Deadly Curse and what was it?


MR: When I began plotting A Deadly Curse, I needed to learn more about la Llorona. Why did she drown her children? That, I figured, would inspire my plot. Little did I know that the legend of la Llorona was far more complex than I’d ever imagined.


What I learned was that there are actually four different stories behind the legend. My husband’s family knew only one of them. Everyone I’ve talked to since then has only known one, or possibly two different versions. No one has known all four of the stories.


The woman in each story was called something different:


La Ramera (the harlot)


La Bruja (the witch)


La Virgin (the virgin)


La Sirena (the siren)


Needless to say, learning about the four different stories set my plot in a new direction. The knowledge created new opportunities and obstacles for my characters, and I couldn’t have done a better job if I’d painstakingly plotted. Research opens doors for me, taking my stories in fascinating directions I couldn’t have created if I’d tried. The uncertainty and reveals during the process makes writing that much more interesting, albeit nerve-wracking, for me. I always have a roadmap, so I know where I’m going to end up, but if I don’t always know the exact route I’ll take to get there. And if I don’t know exactly where the story is going, I can’t leave a subconscious trail of breadcrumbs for the reader.
 


OP: If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be?


MR: In my opinion, a great book is most often the result of clever and tight plotting, combined with discoveries made by the author during his/her writing process.


As readers, do you find some books to have too clear a path to follow and does that spoil the read? Conversely, do you find that some books ramble, going in too many directions, leaving you wondering if there was a roadmap at all?
 


*****
The marketing director for Entangled Publishing, Misa Ramirez, who also writes under the pseudonym Melissa Bourbon, teaches creative writing at Southern Methodist University-Cape, and teaches online with Savvy Authors.


Misa can be found online on Facebook and Twitter, and stripping down characters on The Naked Hero, giving away free books at Books on the House, writing about Killer Characters, and contributing to The Writer’s Guide to ePublishing.


Visit misaramirez.com for information about author Melissa Ramirez and all of her projects.


Don’t miss the exciting excerpt of her latest book, A Deadly Curse: “Jo squinted her eyes against the blinding sun, tried to get away. Mama’s really lost her mind this time! Jo struggled to break free again, but Mama jerked her forward until she was ankle-deep in water.” (full excerpt of A Deadly Curse)


A Deadly Curse is available via Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, and Amazon or Barnes & Noble


Also from Melissa Ramirez: A Deadly Sacrifice Synopsis: After a horrible night that haunts her still, Delaney West ran away from her home in San Julio, Texas, and out of Vic Vargas’s life. But now, plagued by sleepwalking and terrible dreams, she is back, working at the local vet clinic, and trying to make some sense of her screwed up life…more



Saturday, April 16, 2011

Little Shop of Horrors: "Suddenly Seymour"


It's been a couple of years since we attended a play. The last was a production of "Sleeping Beauty" at the Tacoma Little Theatre in Tacoma, Washington. If you're in Washington, it's a great little theater with a lot of history.

The kids were entranced by their first live play. It was especially a new experience for our son with Autism. The size and noise of a crowd are always difficult for him to adjust to. But I think the excitement of live stage performers won him over.

He was determined to see the Grafton High School production of "Little Shop of Horrors". He was overwhelmed with having to choose seats and purchase his tickets, so I had to help him. But he was excited to go. He's impressed by the school he'll be attending this fall.

Our daughter was very happy with the play. She thought the music was great and the huge Audrey II was awesome. She was amazed by the size of the man-eating plant from space. Once again, both kids are asking when we can see another play.

***Part of the "A to Z Blogging Challenge: L"

Friday, April 15, 2011

Kiss You, Kill You



Half an hour of staring at a blank page and she was still no closer to knowing what to write to him. Notes hadn’t worked for them in the past, either. They’d struggled through a year of changes in their volatile relationship before she could admit to him how she truly felt. A letter was the limit of her courage. A letter she’d placed a lot of hope into and he had later crumpled and tossed to the floor.

She now saw that as a turning point. The opportunity to leave that she didn’t take. What if she had?

He was no different from her in so many ways. Too-similar personalities and constant miscommunication were destroying their marriage. She loved him, craved him more than any man she’d ever met. The intensity of their passion kept them coming back to each other for more.

Why didn’t she kill him when she had the chance?

After six months of following, she knew him very well. Where he went during the day, where he lived, the bars he frequented, the women he dated and on what nights; she knew it all.

She had mixed feelings about the way he charmed women. He enjoyed them and respected them, but they were always temporary. He had a definite style and the women played right into his hands every time. She admired his confidence.

That was how it began.

She’d started to focus on him as a man as much as the arms-dealing target she was paid to execute. The confidence in him was only the beginning. His feral charm called to the darker, more sexual side of her nature. Dangerous and persuasive, he was a man who could bend others to his will. The first time she’d seen him gun down arms traders who’d tried to overtake him, every sense in her body ached to posses him.

She’d crept into the warehouse to watch the trade. The last, she had decided, that he would make. By that night, she’d convinced herself that she was too personally involved. She needed to focus and do her job. He had to die.

Poised behind a stack of crates, her weapon was expertly aimed at his head. Her patience lasted through the entire conversation between the two men. The receiving dealer played down the value of the weapons and declared the smaller amount he was willing to pay. Negotiations went downhill fast. Hands twitched around weapons.

By the slight twitch in his eye, she knew he was about to make his move. In a matter of moments he had gunned down every opposing man. All that remained were his men and the glance he was casting towards the catwalk where she was hidden.

One of his men was quickly and quietly closing in on her hiding place. She didn’t believe it possible that she’d been seen. But she wouldn’t take the chance. She slipped a blade from its sheath and waited for him to come within reach.

She stilled her movements and watched as he moved close enough for her to see the worn leather of his steel-toed boots step within reach…and then turn.

She held her sigh of relief until she heard her target and all of his men clearing out of the building. She’d shifted enough to watch him glance once more before leaving. It was then that she realized she hadn’t executed him. A year after their marriage and she still couldn’t explain why.

She reached over to pick up his sketchbook from the desk. Flipping through it, she saw drawings that told the story of their life together. Their marriage in the old chapel, the trip to Provence, her holding the puppy he had given her as an engagement gift.

She stopped on the first sketch he did of her. Dressed in dark clothes, her hair tied back, she was in position at a window and moments away from squeezing the trigger on one of her targets.

Their time together was nothing near normal. Two killers determined to have power, passion, and their own separate lives without ever admitting to true feelings. Dating and romance were for conventional couples.

Marriage was changing all of that. They were both trying to fight it and adapt to it at the same time. Despite all of the arguing, they wanted to be together, they needed it.

Her thumb traced over her wedding band. She missed their first nights together in her apartment; walking in and finding his hat and coat tossed onto a chair, seeing him relaxed in her place as though she and it belonged to him. She liked the feeling. It was the same delicious feeling of passion and possession when his hands were on her body. Even in the middle of a fight, she craved him. Without him, she couldn't think, eat, or sleep. She was physically weakened without his presence. That was a reason she hadn’t killed him.

She loved him.

She slipped the ring back onto her finger then went to find him.


***Part of the "A to Z Blogging Challenge 2011: K"


***Find the companion piece to Kiss You, Kill You at Elise VanCise's blog: Gladiator's Pen and read Kiss Me, Kill Me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Justifiable

Diary of an assassin: Justifiable

12 April. Tuesday

I’m surprised my therapist was so interested in talking about my husbands. I wasn’t ready for that yet. I thought he’d want me to start out like David Copperfield:  “To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born…”

I was still fresh from an argument with Bud this morning. I was in no mood to talk about husbands and why I have so many. Why do I?

Work in one of my hotels is usually a good distraction. Seattle is under great management. I barely have to check up on them. Renovations at Tahoe are going well though I’m sick of looking at paint samples.

It’s my other work that I needed to rant about. I’ve never felt the need to explain why I kill. Now that I have a family, my view of execution is changing. I’m not sure I’m okay with that. I hate change.

My recent target was a politician. Nice family, acceptable platform, most of what I agree with. That was just the surface. Public persona is just a spit –polished act. It’s assumed with politicians, but nothing like this. I wish I could tell the boo-hooing public what their dear departed community leader was really like. Those tears would dry up fast.

But, it’s not my job to expose, only to execute. The explanations would be too complicated, too public.

There was a segment about his daughter on the news. Cancer.

That man deserved his end. The family is better off without him in their lives…

Aren’t they?


Inconsolable

Diary of an assassin: Inconsolable

11 April. Monday.

Therapy. I can’t believe I agreed to it. Even more, I can’t believe I agreed to keep a journal. My therapist thinks it’ll help to write out my thoughts while I’m angry so I won’t turn on one of my husbands. Apparently I lash out easily but I’m not easily consoled; not even by the sweetest-natured of the guys.

Okay, so I feel bad when one of them brings me flowers and I end up kicking them out of the room five minutes later. I love them and I know they mean well, but they should know by now not to pet me when I’m pissed off.

*Note to self: Don't clean the blades in the kitchen sink. It makes Andy nervous.



Monday, April 11, 2011

Haunted

  














     “I’m telling you I saw a light!” She tugged her hand free from his grip then pointed up at the decrepit mansion. “Look! There it is again! Upstairs! Don’t you see it?”
     The light continued to flicker; it’s ominous glow apparent only to the young girl.
     Her gaze remained on the arched window. Everything in her body had been claimed by the haunting pulse of the light. The touch of her boyfriend’s lips to her neck, his teasing voice whispering in her ear did nothing to break the hold the house had placed on her.
     Unable to resist the pull of the house any longer, the young girl pulled from her boyfriend’s grip once more then raced up to the house and disappeared inside.
     “Kelly!“ The boy shouted and ran after her but his efforts to reach her were stopped by the knotted root of the nearby tree that easily fell him to the cold ground. He cursed as he scrambled to his feet and wiped at the bloodied cut on his cheek.
     The house echoed with the sounds of every shuttered window slamming closed and the boy’s fists knocking relentlessly on the door. Frustrated, the boy descending the steps and frantically searched for another way to enter.
     There was none.
     The light in the window slowly faded into darkness and the house stood quiet to await the next young girl.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ghost Story



     She approached the bed and slowly sat as she stared at him. Her case rested on the floor beside the chair. Inside, two polished Brownings and a serrated blade that had quickly become her weapon of choice.
     To be just, the manner of death was designed to be an equal reflection of the severity of the crimes and the pain they had caused. Justice was important and personal. Poised atop a building and firing expertly aimed shots from a distance was effective, efficient and most often the necessary manner of executing a target. It also lacked the personal connection she found only when puncturing the lung from behind or sawing through the throat.
     Her career was in its early stages. She didn’t know how long she would feel the need to see the eyes blacken as life drained to nothing. She needed immediate proof that their crimes had come to an end.
     This time she’d known to expect an aged man but his level of frailty surprised her. For several long minutes she watched his chest slowly rise and fall. The room was silent except for the sounds of his shallow, wheezing breaths.
     Time had aged his body, weakened his vision, and made him vulnerable. Old, sickly, and guilty, this man was not long for the world.
     She finally rose from the chair then opened her case on the bedside table. The torturous silence could be ended quickly with one of the weapons. Instead, she removed the vial and prepared the injection.
     His head turned slightly to look at her as the needle pierced his skin. He glanced up at her with eyes fogged by partial blindness. Would he recognize her as his nurse, or the third wife who cared for him in his final years and falsely believed she knew all of the truths of his past? Or would he see her for who she really was?
     As he groaned quietly and turned his gaze to stare at the ceiling, she sat down again to wait.
     She blinked. A single tear fell over the curve of her cheek; evidence of her humanity as she watched him suffer through physical pains and the knowledge of his own inevitable death. She could only hope that somewhere in his final thoughts were feelings of true regret.
     In her there was no regret. Only the leniency in the method she felt compelled to use would haunt her. His power to influence her actions angered and saddened her.
She’d been prepared to execute him viciously. In the end, he met his death, but far less painfully than what she felt he deserved. She’d offered him one final act of compassion.
     She had to. He was her father.



***Part of the "A to Z Blogging Challenge: G"***

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fotogenic Fishies

Fotogenic Fishies

Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey CA

The Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California is one of our favorite places to visit. It’s a wonderful, large aquarium situated on the rocky shores of Monterey Bay. Once a cannery for catching and packaging fish, the aquarium now displays a plethora of local sea life with goals of education, exploration, and teaching conservation.

Art, Matthew, and Kayli learning about seaweed at one of the touch pools.

It may be a long time before we are able to visit California again so, I wanted to be sure to take several photographs. This was my first year with a more professional camera instead of a pocket digital or a camera phone. I was going for as many vivid and clear photographs as I could manage with my amateur photography skills.

Monterey Bay Aquarium on the shores of Monterey Bay, California

Photographing sea life is fun. The colors, habitats, and species of creatures seem endless. It’s also difficult to get a clear shot. They move…fast. Even the anchored ones can’t stay still. These submarine sea critters don’t know the meaning of sit, or stay, don’t hold a pose, and don’t vogue.

Open pool with floating magnifying lenses for looking but not touching.

Fortunately, during this trip, they were feeling cooperative. I was amazed how many animals approached the glass where I was poised, crouched with my camera. And they actually stayed still long enough for a few nice photographs. I was asked by other people how I was getting the animals to pose; as if I’d done it on purpose. No, it was just a happy accident that added some attractive sea life to my photography portfolio…