Your Family

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“Still on their annual trip to Italy.”

Melissa remember Eric’s story of seventeen months in braces as he smiled. Five years later and the smile that use to turn into a poodle at his feet now made her wonder if his teeth were recently whitened.

“And the rest?”

The crinkles around his eyes became less prominent as his smile faded. He glanced at his wrist sitting resting on the bar checking the time on his watch. The smile not changed and neither had his nervous gestures. Eric adjusted the metal band, causing the light to reflect off of it and the small diamond set in the face where the twelve should have been.

Eric looked up, crinkles back in place. “Carl is in Chicago. He got a new job and moved up there about three months ago.”

Melissa faked smiled and reached over and patted his arm. “I’m so happy to hear that. It’s been so long since I’ve heard from him.”

There was no way for Eric to know Carl had told her already about Chicago. Carl begged her via email to keep in touch with him, reminding her that to him she would always be his big sister. It had taken two weeks to response but she remembered the drive up to drop him off at college. How leaving him there felt like she abandoned her own kid brother. They exchanged monthly emails ever since.

Melissa waited for Eric to tell her more but instead he took a swig of the vodka he ordered when he met her at the bar.

Eric returned her initial question, “How about your family?”

“They’re doing good.” Melissa paused trying to decide if she should hold back the same way he’d done with her. “The fiance arrive tomorrow afternoon. He had to finish up a few things at work first.”

The flash of emotions across his face fascinated Melissa. Eric’s smile flickered like a light bulb about to blowout before his face settle for a neutral position. Then his eyelids lowered covering up what Melissa assumed was the disappointment.

Melissa wanted to laugh, she knew what he thought. Everyone joked that conferences were a great time for elicit rendezvous with someone other than the spouse. Melissa knew at that moment he had not told his wife, Janet, he was having a drink with his ex while out of town.

She took a sip of her drink, a recommendation from the bartender, sweet and fruity her only requirements. “What did you think was going to happen?”

Eric looked back down at his watch again and studied the time, ignoring her question.

The desire to walk out on him was strong but she decided to ask one more question “What time do you have to check in with Janet?”

SPR: Better Than Last Week

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It’s another Saturday which marks the end of the week and the promises of a new one. The day where I like to reflect on the week that passed and what I can do to make the new even better.

How was my week?  Better than the last.

Writing:

Words Written: I ended the week with over 4,000 new words on my current WIP. That’s double last week total.  I also have fewer non-writing days this week, only 3.

Camp NaNo: I am behind on Camp NaNoWriMo, I started the month need 1,210 words daily to complete on time. Now, I need 1,795 words daily to complete on time. If I keep with my current pace I will complete my project on August 24th, way behind my person schedule. I’m trying not to let the fact that I had planned to finish my current WIP on July 15, bother me. I knew my plan was ambitious, over 2,000 words a day for 15 days straight. That did not happen, instead I found that work, health, and general lack of motivation got in my way.  I am going to continue pushing and hopefully can say that I won Camp NaNoWriMo come July 31.

Future Projects: I am trying to become a reformed panster. Being a panster had led to a slew of unfinished projects sitting on my hard drive. One of my New Year’s Resolution was to complete more writing projects and I don’t think I’m going to get there pansting. While outlining a future project I realized that the story was not going to work out the way I had originally planned. The problem is not the story but the genre. I had planned for a General Fiction Adult novel and ended up with a Young Adult novel.  Not a bad thing just not what I was going for. I have until tonight to figure out if I should continue with it or work on something else.

Other Stuff:

I started to work on my professional website. I have the basics up so far and I set a tentative date for the release of Crystal and Deon’s story for September. It seems so permanent now that I have put it out there. Very weird but exciting.  I even created a mock cover but will buy a professional cover when it is time to release.

Health:

I wrote a post about my battle with fatigue and how it effects my creativity. I am still struggling with the same problem and probably will for awhile. I do have a plan to tackle some of the things that I think is causing my fatigue but it is going to be a long process.

Another thing that I am going to start back doing is working out. I have gained a lot of weight in the last year and just feel uncomfortable in my new skin. I am at the highest weight I have ever been. I am sure that all this extra weight is not helping my fatigue issues.

Goals:

Write. Write. Write

Exercise

Live

The Creativity and Fatigue Cycle

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Graham Binns / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

I’ve always considered myself a creative person. I started writing stories in middle school after devouring a dozen R.L. Stine Free Street Novels. I imagined myself as a YA horror writer and was lucky enough to have a group of friends that read and encouraged my writing. I stopped writing shortly after that when I moved and changed schools but I picked up a few other creative hobbies over the years including pixel doll creation and jewelry making.

The thing about creativity is that it uses up a good amount of energy. And to be creative (at least for me) you have to have energy.

For the last few years energy is something that I have been lacking and as a result my ability to create or be creative has diminished.

At first, I thought the cause was the fact that I work the graveyard shift. But, after talking to some of my coworkers I realized that even with working as much or more than me they were still getting stuff done. They were raising kids, sometimes alone, going places and enjoying life. While I sometimes barely had the strength to get out of bed to fix dinner before heading in to work.

Something is/was wrong.

After several hours searching the internet I came to a possible diagnosis. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). It makes sense and I have a lot of the same symptoms that other suffers of CFS have, even though my case appears to be mild compared to some people.

Finding out I might have CFS hasn’t really changed anything. It seems to be an illness that has no cure and little treatment. I did start to take my iron tablets more consistently and increase my sodium intake. I am going to add a few more vitamins to my regime and see if they help any.

But having CFS and working graveyard shift has really taken a toll on my ability to create and finish the deadlines that I create for myself. When I started this year, I had plans to have something in the final stages of completion by now. In reality, I am struggling to just complete my Camp NaNoWriMO novel, which is a second draft.

That simple fact is that yesterday I work up exhausted. It took me an hour to get out of bed and do laundry. When I got back from doing laundry, I was tired after only a couple of hours and had to take a nap. I was still tired after that nap. I then struggled to push out 355 words before work, because my brain was just not into it.

This is my creativity and fatigue cycle. Periods where I can create for a day or few days at a time then nothing for days or weeks.

Simply put: IT SUCKS

Saturday Progress Report

This has been one of my most productive weeks on the writing side in a long time. I am pleased with how things turned out. I have to give most of the credit to the #XD7 Writing Challenge. It provided the motivation that I need to get my ass in the seat and my Scrivener program running.

I took the time off to do two things 1) decide what to do with Crystal and Deon’s story and 2) start working on another project.

Crystal and Deon

I have decided to continue Crystal and Deon’s story. It’s a great writing challenge for me and pushes me to my writing limits. First the 250 words is a small amount of words to show the evolution of a romantic relationship. I loved it and think that I was at least semi-successful.  Second, the story is so different from anything else that I have written because I really loved characters, their relationship spoke to me.

I went over the story a little and will add a chapter, it feels like something is missing. I had the feeling that there should be a chapter between 6 and 7 but the challenge was only 7 days. And I wanted to “end” the story as much as possible. I am going to go back and write it at the end of the month. Haven’t decided if I am going to post it yet.

Finally, I am playing around with the idea of releasing Crystal and Deon as a ebook after it is completed. It would be a way for me to test the waters of self publishing. I have already began to think of idea for the cover.

Camp NaNoWriMo

I’m participating in this month’s session is Camp NaNo. So far, I’m only one day begins my self imposed writing schedule. But I’m over two scenes behind. I tend to be long winded when I write. So, my scenes are longer than planned.

Other than that things have been great.

#XD7 – Seven – Love Will Find A Way

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“This is different.”

Crystal found the family ran taqueria charming. There was an authenticity his favorite hipster places were unsuccessful at achieving. She found something new in the bright paint on the mural covering the wall every time she ate there.

“Is that good or bad?”

Instead of answering his eyes roamed the place, taking in every dust bunny trapped in the corners. She watched him. Hoping he’d appreciate something there, like she did in the dark mix of unmatched funiture lights billed “New Orleans” style beer bar his friends like to frequent.

“I’m leaving.”

Deon head was turned and the low music blended with the pound of pots in the kitchen made her think she misheard. Crystal couldn’t imagine that he would declare something so unexpected and not make eye contact with her.

“I have four maybe six weeks to settle things here.”

Crystal fold her hands in her lap occupying herself with twisting the bracelet he brought her around her arm.

Was she one of the “things” he had to settle?

“It’s a great opportunity for me.”

She just started to think in terms of them and Deon still thought in terms of him.

“Crystal.” The forcefulness in Deon’s voice would have normally made her look at him.

The rubbing of the beads against her arm was reassuring.

“We can make this work.”

Crystal mumbled to herself not glancing up, “Love will find a way.”

Author’s Note: Today is the last day of the challenge.  I have no idea what I am going to do with Crystal and Deon. But I think I am going to take a break from them for now.  They may or may not appear on the blog again. I had fun exploring them and I learned a lot through this process, blog post coming about it soon.

#XD7 – Six – Love Of All Seasons

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“Have you ever been in love.” Deon asked out of the blue.
Crystal paused studying her cup of coffee. She should have made it herself, Deon never added enough sugar or cream. “I think so.”
“That means no.”
It ended there. He went back to reading his magazine.
Crystal remembered the conversation as she watched him sleep, legs stretched out in front of him, head resting on the back of the couch, lips parted. Deon shifted his hand sliding from his stomach to his jean clad legs. Crystal reached out and stroked the back of his hand, her finger tracing one his veins.

They met each other such a short time ago, she could count the weeks. She didn’t start the count on the day she brought cds at the store he worked. Or the day he handed her a bottle of cold water during a heat wave. Their relationship started for her when she changed his name from Record Store Boy to Deon in her cellphone. She wondered when it started for him.

Crystal clasped their hands together and wondered if he why he’d asked.

Had Deon known then he loved her? And how?

She noticed it when she planned for her seasons. Hikes she planned to go on in the fall. Soups she wanted to make during the winter. Cherry Blossoms she wanted to see in the spring.

She had started to think about them, together, as a love for all seasons.

Author’s Note: I know this is late, it was suppose to be posted last night. But I was tried and the thought of editing this post was so draining. So, I am a day behind on the challenge. Today should have been the last day, Day 7 but my last post will be tomorrow.

#XD7 – Five – Come On Over Baby

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It had been eight days but it felt longer. Crystal pressed closer to him, locking her arms around his back. The spiciness of Deon’s cologne wrapped around her, blocking out the fumes from the cars parked in the airport’s garage. She didn’t tell him that his scent only lasted two days on the shirt he left at her apartment.

There was a smugness in Deon’s chuckle, “Missed me?”

Crystal didn’t answer. She had once told him about a list of stuff she wouldn’t do for a man. Eight days apart and she had done two, including late night video chats with the camera positioned to give Deon an unobstructed view of her busy hands. Suggestive text messages in the middle of a work day while she sniffed the aroma of his coffee from fresh grinds she kept at her desk.

Deon lowered his head to right above her ear he licked the top rim before blowing the left behind moisture away while creating more between her legs.

Burying a moan in his chest, Crystal pushed into his crotch, rotating just enough that Deon got the message. She stopped when he started to rise against her.

“Crystal?” The smugness replaced by an erotic plea.

Crystal looked up into Deon’s face, his eyes pressed closed letting her know he was struggling for control. Raising slowly to the tips of her toes she made sure every part of their bodies touch.

“Come on over, baby.”

Author’s Note: Two more days to go and you would think that this would get easier. I started this “chapter” about three times before getting something that felt right. It took over four editing sessions to get this. Two more days to go.

#XD7 – Four – So Emotional

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Deon liked his coffee black, no cream or sugar. Crystal tasted the bitterness in his mouth as her tongue stroked his. She could smell it with his every exhale and it mixed with his cologne. The combination uniquely his and intoxicating. She stepped closer.

Deon shifted, separating their bodies before spreading his legs wider and planting his feet more firmly on the ground. She watched him moisten his lips before settling his hand on the middle of her back. The slow deliberate glide down the center caused her to sigh. He smiled stopping at the barrier created by the top on her pants before applying pressure causing Crystal to step forward, fitting her thighs between his parted legs.

Crystal could feel him.

She rubbed herself against him as leaned up to continue the kiss.

His hand pressed more firmly into her back before softly caressing her spine.

Battling to control herself, she gripped his shoulders. Deon’s muscles contracted. Her lips parted her control slipping even further. The stood in her doorway, body pressed together lips locked. Crystal glided her hand down the length of his arm, imprinting in her mind every muscle and vein. Stopping at his wrist she found his pulse.
Their lips separated, she kept her eyes closed not wanting to look at him just yet.

“Crystal.”

Obscene words whispered in her ear, wouldn’t have her turned on more than the sound of her name said between jagged breathes.

“What are you feeling?”

“So emotional.”

Author’s Note: No Comment…. LOL

#XD7 – Three – I Turn To You

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She tested it on her tongue, “Deon.”

Deon’s eyelids lowered letting her know that he heard her over the folk music coming from the ceiling speakers. His tongue appeared between his parted lips and traveled slowly across his teeth. Her insides throbbed, she looked way letting her glaze travel the “gastropub”. Taking in the details she had missed when she had first walked in, noticing the only thing darker than them in there was the dimness of the lights and the leather of the seat backs.

The slow caress of his fingertip across the knuckles of the hand resting on the table brought her eyes back to him.

“Crystal.” It was low and breathy, filled with the desire she was trying hard to suppress.

The pause of his finger running across her knuckles let her know he heard, even the things she had not said.

“Crystal.” His voice deep, intimate.

At that moment they were no longer Pop Princess and Record Store Boy, flirting via text. They were Crystal and Deon in a glorified burger joint, aroused by the exchange of names. The possibilities of what could be spread open on the table like the menu they shared.

Crystal licked her purple tinted lips, watching his eyes dim as he followed the movement of her tongue.

“What can I get you?” The waiter interrupted their moment.

Deon’s caress stopped, replaced by a slow tapping beat against her knuckles.

“Crystal?”

“I turn to you.”

Previous Post – #XD7 – Two – What A Girl Wants

Author’s Note: While I still have no idea where they are going with this, I’m happy that they finally have names. I am enjoying this challenge and it is causing me to work on my writing muscles.  I just hope that Crystal and Deon reach their destination before the seven days are over, four more to go.

#XD7 – Two – What A Girl Wants

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The normal cool breeze that drifted in from the bay had abandoned them, taking with it any relief from the four day old heatwave. The forecast called for another three days of punishing weather. Tried of being couped up in her apartment she went about her Saturday normal routine. Zumba class should have been one of the normal items she should have skipped. Especially since the small gym didn’t offer a shower and the combination of exercise, ninety plus degrees and the walk home was causing her overheat more.

She had stepped into the doorway the future home of “gourmet ice cream parlor” for a break from the heat. Regretting not paying three dollars for bottle of water at the gym but she figured that she could make the seven block trek home without it. She was still three blocks away and the thought walking the shadeless streets caused another pool of sweat to travel down her back.

She closed her eyes, resting her head against the side of the brick, blocking out the tourist that were braving the heat.

“Water?”

She didn’t open her eyes right away, instead she savored the sound of the voice. That voice had been in many of her steamy dreams since she first heard it record store.

Finally, she looked at the body standing by her side, causally leaned against opposite the wall, outstretched arm offering her a cold dripping bottle of water.

“You know exactly what a girl wants.”

Previous Post – #XD7 – Two – Genie In A Bottle

Author’s Note:  Day 2 of the #XD7 Writing Challenge and I  have no idea where this is going.  I also realized while editing that I haven’t even named the two main characters yet. But there is only so much you can do in 250 words.