It’s been just shy of two months since James died. I was scrolling Facebook a couple of weeks ago and stumbled upon an unattributed quote that sums up my sadness.
“I believe the hardest part of healing after you’ve lost someone you love is to recover the “you” that went away with them”
There’s still that daily need to text him about things. He would have loved the pickup full of cows. I suppose in time the hollowness will fill back in. In the meantime, all I can do is get up off the couch and get on with it.
And on that note, the new book cover book…
In less than 48 hours, June’s life will go from low-key to ludicrous thanks to a pool of blood, a missing body, slithering creepy crawlies and the imminent incarceration of her famous twin-brother.
Read the 1st chapter now and get 2 and 3 when you join the book release mailing list.
So is it done?
No. But I’m finally back to my 40 hour work. A late summer release is still looking good.
If you feel so inclined, check out the first chapters, sign up for the book announcement list and then drop down to the comments and let me know your thoughts on the cover.
The other day I decided to play hookie and drove down to Appleton for the day. Since I was in no hurry, I took the long meandering way, through the backroads, only getting lost once when my map software stopped working, swinging by the casino for a quick break, and two hours later getting back on the road forty dollars poorer and only halfway to my destination. At one point, I was passing through one of the tiny villages en route, and I saw a guy hitchhiking. He had three or four plastic shopping bags dangling from his hands as he stuck out his thumb and for half a second, I thought about how cold it was and how far he might be from home. And then I was past him and my momentary twinge of guilt was replaced with an image of Ted Bundy.
That’s not to say I haven’t stopped for hitchhikers in the past.
In Arizona, my son and I picked up a rather tall man and his adorable red headed toddler one scorching afternoon. The poor man’s car had broken down and he told us that the two had already walked several miles as cars zoomed past and ignored them. We dropped father and son at the first gas station we passed. Years before that, I stopped for a couple at the entrance to an airport. They were next a stalled car, with suitcases beside them. I don’t know why I picked them up. Maybe it was the desperation they oozed. They jumped in, professed their love for me and I got them to the departure area with just enough time to make their flight. I always wonder what happened to their car.
So what makes us stop and what scares us away? If you think about Mr. Bundy, everything about hitchhikers should scare you away. Things are not always as they seem. That father could have kidnapped that small boy and been on the run. That couple could have simply found a stalled car and posed next to it, their suitcases empty and waiting to be filled with the dismembered body of a gullible driver.
My days of picking up strangers are probably over. I’m not as adventuresome as I was in my younger days. How about you? Have you ever pick up a hitcher? Were you the hitcher?
Leave your story in the comments and Write on,
If you can find it, watch The Hitcher starring Rutger Hauer, an absolutely terrifying movie. Don’t bother with the remake. They changed the story and completely ruined it.
Yesterday, yet another of my facebook friends posted that they were vacationing in Key West. For jealousy inducing proof, they included a beach themed photo with their announcement. That’s my 3rd friend to visit the keys since early December. As winter has moved into Northern Wisconsin, I’ve been treated, via my Facebook newsfeed, to tanned bodies lazin’ on the beach, romantic boat rides at sunset, and happy people getting their drink on.
And it’s killing me. Seriously.
You see, from 2012-2014 Key West was my stomping grounds. Thanks to my husband’s job, we were renting a little house on Raccoon Key (aka Key Haven) just a mile and a half from Duval Street and living life completely in the moment. At least, when he was in town. Though the perks of his job were great, he was out of the country more than he was in. Six weeks gone, 4 weeks home, lather, rinse, repeat. When he wasn’t around, all the lazy bike rides, magical sunsets and getting my drink on didn’t make up for…wait, where was I going with this? Just kidding. Being alone all the time gets old really fast. After two years, we’d had enough. He retired and we headed to Northern Wisconsin to spend some time near family. Yeah, I got a lot of ribbing from folks reminding me that we were heading in the wrong direction.
But despite all the sour grapes I’ve been drinking watching happy friends in my former playground, it’s been nice reconnecting with my not so distant past. If you’re headed that way and looking for things to do, spend a little time on the blog that Mark and I wrote while we lived there, A Twist of Key Lime. (It was easier to blog than to have to repeat the same stories over and over and over and…) The last entry posted in July of 2014, but according to friends still there, not much has changed. If you’re stuck at home or bored at work, check out some of the island’s more eccentric offerings.
NSFW–Fantasy Fest is a week long party where everybody lets down their hair. And most of their clothes. There’s so much nudity, that after a few hours, you don’t even realize you’re surrounded by naked people. In part that’s because everybody is covered in elaborate body paint. The photo at the top of this post is from one of the parades in 2012. I forget what the theme was that year but most people did their own thing. Don’t worry about painting yourself or your best friend. You’ll find stalls up and down Duval Street with artists charging a variety of prices. Check out several for the best deal. For 2016, the week long party is set for Oct 21-30th. And the theme is one I will be sorry to miss: Political Voodoo and Ballot Box Barbarians. With a national election so close to Fantasy Fest, it’s the logical choice. If you plan on going, remember – leave the kids at home. The place gets pretty raunchy as parties let out and the streets fill up with revelers. Though, we’ve seen nakedidity as early as 8 am. And remember, if you take your unclothed self outside of the nudity zone, you will end up in jail.
SFW – If you need to get your drink on, here’s a list of 18 of our favorite bars. Check out the one on the World’s Smallest Bar. We had a friend come all the way down to the keys just so she could have a drink there! (I think they were closed that day. Pretty sad, right? But don’t worry, as I remember, we found some pretty good alternatives)
SFW – Critters. There’s lots to choose from. Feral cats, Iguanas, sea life, chickens. Oh those chickens. Back in the old days, cock fighting was a thing. The story goes that after it was outlawed, everybody just set their birds free. Nowadays, you’ll find the feral fowl strutting their stuff all over the island. Restaurants, (I’ve seen them wandering around inside), outdoor patios (where they rule) and even at the beach. The locals hate them. The goofy things never seem to shut up. Even after they fly up into the trees at night. We’ve been downtown at 3 am and heard roosters still crowing madly away. Oh and for your own safety, don’t pick them up. They have spurs on their legs and they will hurt you. Nothing makes the locals snicker louder than the look of terror on the face of that silly tourist who’s holding a wiggling chicken and wondering, okay, now what do I do?
SFW – Ah, sunsets. They happen almost every night. Thanks to Key West’s tiny size, you can catch one from pretty much anywhere on the island. For craziness, head to Mallory Square. For a zen like experience, you need to be on the pier at Southernmost Beach Cafe.
There’s lots more but I’ll leave the rest of the discoveries up to you.
While Key West is my idea of paradise, I have a friend who thinks that the promised land is frosted with snow. Bless her heart.
What makes your paradise work for you? Leave a comment and Write On,
the girls in the photo at the top were sporting full frontal body paint. You’ll find their photo on the Fantasy Fest page listed above.
No. I didn’t partake in the body painting. It was much more fun wandering with my camera and recording the madness.
Today marks day three of my Harvey Fierstein impression. At least I managed to get up off the couch, stuff a few tissues in my pocket and head to breakfast at the casino. I used lots of hand sanitizer and tried not to stand too close to anyone. Right now, I’m out on the patio at home, basking in some of the last rays of sunshine before winter hits. This time last year, we’d already had snow. I think. I remember it coming early.
I managed to get some work done on the book this week, despite being sick. I tried to think of a completely non writing related post and failed beautifully. I’ve already written about the trees and the occasional bear and that’s pretty much it.
Nothing else interesting. Oh, I got 4 out of 5 double 7s this am so I won 45 bucks instead of 7K. Thank goodness. I don’t know what in the world I would have done with all that money. On to the word count.
How to Sex Your Snake
Genre – Mystery
New since Thursday – 664 words
Total Count – 38523 words
Release date: Pre-orders mid October
Goals from last week: edits on the fixes to the crime scene. I’m almost done with that. I’m feeling pretty good so I might have the energy to sit out here for a while. Uh oh. I just saw husband give me his I’m starving look through the sun porch (snake room) door. I might get sidetracked here shortly.
I wrote a couple of drafts of fixes to ch 2 and 3. One more pass and they should be good to go. After that, I need to get back to a my second and in some cases third drafts of 13-18. Though, chapter 18 might get absorbed into 17 and 15 might end up being split into two. In any event, I still have quite a bit to do to finish. If I can get a good two weeks of work in, I could still be done end of September. Maybe. Probably not though. If the next couple of weeks are like the last couple of weeks, I’ll still be plugging away come Halloween. I just hope my beta readers don’t get bored and wander off.
This log has definitely been helpful to me in analyzing my work flow. If you haven’t kept track, it sucks. I think I write 3 to 4 days a week, usually for 3 hours but sometimes for up to 6. I am making continuous notes though, so when I do sit at my computer, I work continuously. That’s something I suppose.
Goals for next week: as usual, finish. Other than that, finish. Oh and I’d like to finish. Realistic goals? Final draft of 2, 3 (with the changes) final drafts of 12 and 13. We’ll see what happens. Have a good week and enjoy the warm weather if you’ve got it.