Friday, December 25, 2009

CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins

I have only one word to describe this book:

Perfection.


Run. Buy it. Enjoy.

I'm riding in my seat, waiting for the next book. O.M.G.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I Love Me Some Christmas Music!

If I'm completely honest, I could listen to it all year long. I can never understand why people say they get sick and tired of it...*shrug* LOL.

It's become a tradition for me to add to my Christmas music collection every year...one or two CD's. I like listening to the different takes on old favorites. This year I've added The Brian Setzer Orchestra (Rock-a-billy Christmas, anyone?) and MoTown Favorites. Fantastic, both.

That said, here's one of my favorite versions of Merry Christmas, Baby by Bonnie Raitt and Charles Brown. Hope the video turned out okay. This is really my first time fiddling with Movie Maker. (Not sure the random pics are the right size/pixels/whatnot...OH WELL. (g)) It's aaaaallll about the song, anyway. :)

video

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hehehe!!

I totally ripped this off from Between Fact and Fiction, but it's so good, I have to share! :)

A Dramatic Reading of a Break-Up Letter

Saturday, December 12, 2009

New Moon Parody

HERE.

--Thanks to Tara for sending me this link!

And yes, I still enjoy the books, yada yada yada. This parody is just really funny. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

*Smacks Forehead*

My adventures continued into yesterday morning. I came outside, carrying my borrowed shovel along with a smaller one for my car. There's this rather attractive fellow standing across the street, car parked in front of the alley entrance that is blocked by a snow drift. I assume he was waiting for someone...a snow plow...someone with shovels perhaps?

Well, I'm sure he noticed the two shovels I was carrying...and well, he tracked me down the walk... Okay...

I get to the curb, step off....and POOOMPH! The snow is a lot deeper than I expected...or perhaps the curb moved overnite.. Either way, my foot found nothing but powdery snow and DOWN Jen went.

O.M.G.

ROFL! Needless to say I turned tail quick and got the hell out of there. If he thought I was his shovel savior, he was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Phew!

What a night!

Remember that snow I was gushing about? Well, it's wreaking havoc in this town. I just spent the funniest/most tiring evening I've ever had here. First, I had NO problems getting to work this morning. Snow drifts? HA! No match for Jen and her Explorer. I bulldozed my way through them.. and once I was on the main roads, TOTAL cinch getting to work. I wasn't even late, and due to some extra ZZZZ's this morning, I left at right about the usual time. Go figure. But with people afraid to brave the roads, it was smooth sailing for me and my snow wrecker.

Got to work which was running at about 1/4 of a tank -- meaning almost the entire work force stayed home. I thought to myself...what's the big deal? I had no problem getting here. Of course, *ahem* I didn't have a driveway I had to shovel out... and I live pretty close to a main road. (Pretty close being one house away. LOL!) Plus, yanno...my Explorer spells doom to all snow drifts. Again -- what's the big deal??

Management was so dang gobsmacked by the employees who DID make it in, they bought us lunch. Whoot whoo for free lunch.

After work, off to my aunt's house to visit with my cousin and her hubby and her newborn babe, who is a DOLL. She loves her Auntie Jen -- a lot. While she'd fuss for everyone else, she was an absolute angel for me. I have the touch. *shrug* Kids love me at that age. Now when they get older...and yanno, can run away...*cough* That's another story. But no, kids like me. I'm the aunt that gets them in trouble because I let them play all the games their parents tell them not to. Yes, I'm THAT aunt. :)

Nice evening...everything is going great until it's time to go home. My aunt (a different one) takes off in her big ass Ford and decides to go offroading through the snowdrifts. Okay, maybe not...but she did seem to think she was in an all terrain vehicle. She basically high-centered herself on a VERY large snowdrift. You'd think if she saw it coming she would've stopped and turned around. Not MY aunt. LOL. Anyway, took four of us to dig her out and push. Fun times.

Then...then I came home (with borrowed snow shovel) and shoveled my very first sidewalk. LMAO. Yeah, it's suprising I've never done this, eh? Remember, I'm a California girl and a renter to boot. Usually I have a landlord to do this for me. (g) That said...I'm SO embarrassed by my efforts.

I couldn't find the sidewalk. ROFL!

There's a rather large patch of grass that's getting a big gulp of the chilly air, tho..... Heh. Oops. I just know the neighbors--the ones I can't stand--were at their windows watching, laughing at the stupid Cali girl who felt the need to shovel the grass. But hey... there's a path where there wasn't one before. Maybe tomorrow they'll be just this *pinches her fingers together* nicer to me when they don't have to trudge through a foot of snow to get to their car. Maybe.

I'm spent! Time for something hot to drink. Schnapps, anyone?

Madison's Christmas Carol, The Grand Finale!

Thanks for coming along with me on this walk down memory lane. Umm, is anyone still here?? :)

Where we left off:

“I’m guessing you wanted company that couldn’t run away. Look at that hair! Scary.”

I flipped him off at that and booked it out of the room. “Take me back!”

**

Grumpy grimaced. “Just look at you. What a loser.”

I’d like to say I was offended, and deep down, I guess I was. But even I had to admit he was right.

We stood at the foot of my couch, looking down at my sleeping self. Resigned to spending Christmas alone, I hadn’t bothered to get dressed. I wore old sweats and a t-shirt with an ice cream stain over my right boob. My hair was plastered to my forehead, and with a grunt, I turned onto my side and began to snore.

“You got two men looking like that?” Grumpy gave me a critical survey and shook his head in disbelief. “It’s a fucking Christmas miracle.”

“Stuff it,” I said, smacking him on the back of the head.

“Ouch. Should’ve known you’d be violent, too.”

I ignored him and studied my sleeping form again. What the hell was I doing? Gabe and Drew were both alone that night, and if I weren’t so stubborn, I could be with one of them. But of course, there was the rub. Which one would I choose?

Panic rippled through me. If I didn’t choose, would I end up the poker hound of the retirement world? Bad hair and all?

“You’re right,” I said, sliding to the floor. “I’m a loser. I know I need to choose between them, but I don’t know how to do it.”

I sat there, legs crossed, waiting for the elf to say something. After a few minutes, I stole a peek up at him. He rolled his eyes at my expectant face.

“If you think I’m gonna get all Dr. Phil on your ass, you’re out of your mind. Solve your own damn problems.”

With that, he snagged a couple more beers from the fridge and made for the door. “Later.”

“I thought you were supposed to help me!” I yelled after him.

“Help this,” he said, flipping me off. “They don’t pay me enough to deal with this shit. You’ve seen it all, figure things out for yourself.” The door slammed in his wake and I blinked after him, dumbfounded.

“Jesus. What a grump.”

I stopped. A slight fizzy sensation started at the top of my head and spread down into my body. Then I was falling.

**

I sat up with a start, blinking into the dark room. I flicked on the lamp beside me and let my eyes adjust to the sudden light. I was back in my living room—the sweats, the stained T-shirt, the sad tree in the corner —everything was back to normal. Hand clapped to my forehead, I lay back and closed my eyes, willing the memory of all I had seen to go away. But it wouldn’t.

I knew what I had to do.

I threw back the covers and got dressed.

**

It took a while to find him, but I did. At a corner pub around the corner from his home.

He sat at the bar, his broad back to me. He had changed into jeans and a T-shirt, an untucked flannel shirt finishing the look. He was nursing a beer, and had a couple of empties in front of him.

A pang of guilt hit me in the chest. Would he even want me here? I nearly turned around then, but forced my feet to keep moving forward.

The bar was mostly empty, but there were a few people around the pool tables at his back. One of the women kept throwing him sidelong glances, and I felt a surge of relief that her attentions went unnoticed.

I could do this.

Without a word, I slid onto the stool beside him. He glanced at me, surprise and something else warring for control of his features. But then he smiled, and I took that as a good sign.

“Hey,” he said, motioning to the bartender to bring me a beer. A bottle landed in front of me with a clink, and I took a tentative sip, my throat having gone dry.

He watched me for a long moment, finally breaking the silence with a jerk of his chin toward the item in my other hand. “What’s that?”

I twirled the sprig in my fingers and met his eyes. “Mistletoe.”

His brow quirked up at that, but he said nothing. Waiting.

“It’s for you,” I blurted out, feeling as foolish as a school girl on her first date.

The corner of his mouth turned up, but his eyes were serious on mine. “That’s a serious flower you’ve got there.”

So many things went unspoken in that moment.

Was this what I really wanted? Yes.

What about Him? I’m here with you.

For how long? For as long as you want me.

And just like that, the moment passed. He dropped his eyes and took a long pull from his beer. I felt my heart sink a little and prepared to beat a hasty retreat.

I was such a fool.

“Well, then…” he said smoothly, straightening the collar of his shirt and swiveling our seats so that we faced one another. “I accept.”

I met his eyes and felt some of the pressure in my chest loosen. Hands at my waist, he pulled me toward him as I lifted the sprig above our heads.

“Merry Christmas,” I whispered, a moment before our lips met.

His mouth curled against mine. “It is now.”

Then he kissed me again.




Umm, you didn't really think I'd tell you WHO the guy is, did you? :)

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

It's snowing like crazy here. We're under a severe weather warning, and some have predicted up to a foot of snow. All I know is that we've had NO snow up until now, so in some ways it feels like Mother Nature is finally unleashing her full glory upon us.

Yeah, the roads are crap. I saw a lot of people out there fishtailing and/or stuck in the snow. It's not a night to be out driving.

That said, it's beautiful. Really beautiful. I walked downtown a few blocks to my parking garage and it was so quiet, and the snow was falling straight down with very little wind between the buildings. I felt like I was the only person out there getting to see how wonderful the world is when it's all snow-covered and white.

Ahhhh, snow. :)

Ghosts of Madison's Past...Part Deux!

And so continues our story..

A brief reminder of where we left off:


When my flaming cheeks cooled at last, I frowned, puzzled. “What the hell was I supposed to learn from that?”

Grumpy smirked. “Nothing. I just thought that shit was funny.”

**

In a flash, the scene shifted and I found myself in an old-fashioned theatre. The kind with an ornate red curtain and upholstered seats. Grumpy sat beside me, a large tub of popcorn in his lap.

“What are we doing here?” I asked.

He groaned at me and pulled out an extra large remote control. “It’s time to look at your Christmas present. This is where your real problems begin.”

I scratched my head. “I don’t mean to be rude—but shouldn’t I get a different ghost for this part?”

“I’m it.” He shrugged. “Blame it on the economy.”

With that, he flicked a button on the remote and the curtains pulled back with a soft rustle. An image filled the screen, out of focus at first, but quickly sharpening into a clear picture.

A lone man sat at a desk, a small lamp creating a circle of light around him. Long past regular work hours, he had loosened his tie and rolled up his sleeves to expose muscular forearms. Numerous piles of paper cluttered the desk and he rifled through them quickly, making notations on several pages before moving on to the next stack.

I frowned, surprised to see Drew working so late on Christmas Eve.

There were circles under his eyes and his dark hair stood up at odd angles. As if on cue, he rifled a hand through the strands, muttering something under his breath in the process.

Grumpy leaned forward. “What’d he say?”

My heart thudded against my chest. “My name.”

Grumpy turned up the volume and sat back. “This should be good.”

Drew threw his pen down on the desk and eyed his phone, indecision clear on his features. I suspected he had been doing this for some time now. He picked up the handset, but replaced it without dialing. This process repeated several times, and finally he managed to punch in a number.

Grumpy switched the channel and now the picture changed to a split-screen—Drew, and me, asleep on my couch. The phone rang in the background, but I simply mumbled something in my sleep and turned over onto my stomach.

“Idiot,” Grumpy said.

“You said it,” I agreed, willing myself to wake up. I didn’t and Drew hung-up, flicking off his light to sit in the dark.

I watched his silhouette, my heart inching into my throat. If only I had picked up. What would he have said? What would I have said? I turned away. “I don’t want to watch him anymore.”

Grumpy flipped to another channel and I forced myself to look up.

Gabe was alone in his house. Dressed in running clothes, his forehead still bore a sheen of sweat from a recent workout. Feet propped up on the coffee table, he flipped on his TV and searched for something to watch. After surfing for a couple of minutes, he turned it off and tossed the remote onto the table.

He stood suddenly and roamed his house—first picking up a book, then another, then discarding them both with disinterest. Next he rifled through his fridge looking for something to eat. Nothing seemed to catch his eye and he left the kitchen empty-handed.

He was agitated, restless. I knew the feeling well, and my heart ached to know that I might have played even the smallest part in putting him in such a state. I hadn’t called him as I had intended. I hadn’t been able to make myself do it. Not after everything that had happened between us, and not with Drew’s face looming in the back of my mind. Instead of choosing between them, I had bowed out and hidden myself away in my apartment. Avoidance played a big part in my psyche.

Or cowardice.

Puh-tay-toe, Puh-tah-toe.

Gabe moved into his living room and turned on the Christmas tree he had set up in one corner. The soft lights began to twinkle on and off, throwing patches of color across his face as he stood watching it. His face was unguarded in the quiet, and I could sense a deep sense of loneliness coming off him in waves. I swallowed the lump in my throat.

“I’ve seen enough,” I said.

Grumpy flicked another switch and the lights came up in the theatre. He munched on his popcorn, leaving me to my thoughts for a few minutes.

“Okay, so I get it already. I’m making all of our lives miserable.”

“Yaph,” he mumbled around a mouthful of corn. He swallowed and coughed up a couple of unpopped kernels. “Nothing gets past you, does it?”

I threw him a dirty look. “You’re a disgusting pig.”

“Bite me.”

“You’d fit in my oven – I’d be careful what you ask for if I was you.”

He rolled his eyes and tossed his bucket onto the seat beside him. “Come on. We’ve got one more stop.”

“Fantastic.”

This time when the mist cleared, we were in front of a colonial style building. It had two stories and sat in the middle of a packed parking lot. I had a very bad feeling and reluctantly trailed behind the elf as he passed through the front glass doors.

It opened into a lobby, all brass fixtures and wood paneling. Not a hotel from the looks of it, but what it was exactly, I had no idea. There were several bulletin boards lining the walls, and I chanced a peek at them as we passed. There were event sign-up sheets. Notices of various types. Was it a dorm of some sort?

“Where are we?”

As soon as I said it, my eyes landed on an elderly gentleman scuttling past the front desk with his walker.

“Oh hell,” I said. “Is this a retirement home?”

“Assisted living,” Grumpy said, following the man down a long corridor.

I let out a disgusted sound and reluctantly kept pace. “Say it ain’t so.”

Just then I heard the sound of a familiar voice—my own. It was slightly distorted—aged, but it was me.

We turned the corner and entered a large recreational room. I didn’t want to look, but like a person drawn to a train wreck, I couldn’t help myself.

I sat in the middle of a mosh pit of walkers and wheelchairs, my frizzed hair streaked with grey and pulled up behind a green poker visor. I was dealing cards, egging the other residents into a game of Texas Hold ‘em.

I had thought my Barbie outfit bad, but this one took the cake. I wore over-sized polyester stretch pants, with a t-shirt with a large Poinsetta design, complete with glitter and sequins. I groaned and covered my face with my hands. “Make it go away!”

Grumpy chuckled, and I peeked through my fingers at my older self. I looked ridiculous—all red lipstick and tacky clothing.

“What the hell am I doing in this place? I’m not even that old!”

And I wasn’t. I couldn’t have been more than fifty, much too young for this joint.

“I’m guessing you wanted company that couldn’t run away. Look at that hair! Scary.”
I flipped him off at that and booked it out of the room. “Take me back!”



Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of this riveting tale. (snrk) :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

'Tis The Season

Just Three weeks until Christmas! Wait, scratch that! Make that 18 days! Holy heck. I am quite happy to say that at this particular point in time, most of my Christmas shopping is complete. I just have a couple of small items to buy and a whole heckuvalotta wrapping to do. That I can handle. Thing is, I have to get most of this in the mail this week...so I better get a move on.

So, it's Christmas and I stumbled across a little "story" I wrote last year for an exercise I ran over at compu. The general idea was to write a story of Christmas past, present, future a la' Dickens, in which you show your characters at age 7, present day, and age 50. Ghosts had to be included in some form and there had to be some sort of "lesson" learned... I think. Anyway, think A Christmas Carol and you'll be on the right track.

I thought it might be fun to dust this one off and post it here. I'll do it over probably 2-3 days. It's a long one. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I swear, with all of the exercises I write using my characters from FI, I sometimes feel like I'm writing fanfiction of my own book. LOL. S'okay, tho. It all helps stir the batter...and sometimes I discover things I didn't know about my characters.

So...here we go.

(c) Jennifer Hendren 2009

I jerked awake at the sound of the doorbell. With a grunt in the general direction of the door, I whipped one of the throw pillows over my head, flopped onto my stomach, and tucked back into the couch.

It rang again.

I popped one eye open and studied the grains in the fabric.

Ten beats and nothing happened. I sighed and snuggled my face into the cushion.

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!

This time the person went to town on the ringer. The continuous peal of sound practically made my ears bleed. I let loose a few choice words, shook off the blanket tangled around my legs, and threw the door open. “What?”

I blinked and lowered my gaze a couple of feet. Was the circus in town?

An elf was on my doorstep. I’m talking pointy ears, green hat, lots of little person cuteness.

“Took you long enough,” he said, barreling past me into the apartment. His voice was a complete contradiction to his appearance. He sounded like a well-seasoned smoker.

I bapped my forehead a few times with the heel of my hand, opened my eyes and he was gone. Whew. Must’ve been a dream.

I retrieved my blanket from the floor and that’s when I heard sounds coming from the kitchen.

Oh man!

I crept around the corner and found the elf rifling through my refrigerator. He was half inside the thing, reaching for the beer I kept stored on the top shelf.

“What the hell are you doing?” I yelled. In the scramble to get to my beer, he had managed to wedge his little slipper into the cheesecake I had thawed for dinner. He ignored my protests, kicked off his soiled bootie and clamored off to the living room, beers in tow. Too stunned to react, I followed behind, mute.

“Oh God, not my pillow!” I whined. He had planted himself on my couch and had his toes curled into the thick fabric. Even from a distance I could see the wiry hair sprouting out all over his feet.

“What a day,” he declared on a happy sigh. He downed a beer in one shot and let out a loud belch. Then he opened a second and fixed me in his sights. “I’m not gonna pussyfoot around this. You’re a fucking mess.”

My head snapped backward and I flicked my eyes around the room, looking for the hidden camera. “Excuse me?”

“Don’t get your panties all in a bunch. I’m here to help.”

“But who the hell are you?” I said.

He burped again and pushed off the couch. With a roll of his eyes, he cleared his throat and spoke in a falsetto. “I’m the ghost of Christmas past. I’ve come because you’ve forgotten the true meaning of Christmas.”

He coughed for a full minute after this little performance, whacking himself in the chest with a tiny fist. “Come with me,” he said, finally, eyes bugged out, face red.

“Where are we going?” I said, trying to figure out which would be the safer bet—the door or the bottle of pepper spray in my purse.

He stopped, hands on hips, and glared at me. “Don’t play stupid. You’ve probably seen this goddamn movie a million times. You know how this shit works.”

He had a point. And this was just a dream after all. What did I have to lose?

He disappeared through the door and I followed a few seconds later. Mist surrounded me, and soon I was falling down into a black void.

**

The mist slowly dissipated. When at last I had my senses back, I realized we were standing outside a two-story Victorian I hadn’t stepped foot inside for several years. My parents’ house.

“Aww hell,” I muttered.

The elf made a guttural noise in the back of his throat and motioned for me to follow behind him.

The yard was covered in thick snow drifts, but my stocking-covered feet seemed to hover atop them, impervious to the cold. Patches of light played across the vast whiteness, and in the front picture window, a huge Christmas tree blinked brilliant blues and reds and greens.

The elf was right. I’d seen this movie and I knew how these things worked. The only question was what year we had returned to. And what stupid event from my past would I be forced to relive.

The possibilities were endless.

There had been the time my brothers tied me to the track of their train set, always failing to save the damsel in distress before the engine rammed into my side. I’d been four, and the “whoo-whoo” of a mini chu-chu still made me tense.

Or there was the time when I was six. I’d received one of those dolls that peed when you fed her. My very funny brothers decided to put food coloring in her mouth and the resulting plume of blue dye on my mother’s new area rug had caused an uproar I wouldn’t soon forget.

Okay, if you haven’t guessed by now, my brothers were the bane of my existence when I was a child. A significant problem when I, junior to the youngest by five years, wanted nothing more than to be a boy so I could tag along and be in on all their jokes. It had topped my Christmas list for several years running.

With a sigh, I stepped up beside Grumpy, who stood peeking through the front window. He tugged on my sweats and with a soft whoosh, we walked through the wall together.

“Cool,” I said. “Wish I could do that trick in real life.”

He rolled his eyes, and I glared down at him. “You need to work on your people skills, you little f—.”

Voices from above interrupted my next words, and a moment later two dark-haired boys came pounding down the stairs. They had an “up to no good” aura surrounding them—as they always did—and I grimaced. Wherever they were going, you can bet I wouldn’t be far behind.

Sure enough, not thirty seconds later, I came trouncing down the stairs in full whig-out mode, the idea of being left behind too much for my little self to handle. Mini-Madison practically thrummed with pent up frustration.

I guessed my age to be around seven or eight. It was the Barbie jammies that gave it away. Not to mention the pigtails done up with pink cotton ribbons.

Oh hell. I looked like a girlie-girl. The kind I always felt an irrational need to choke.

Grumpy snorted beside me. “Nice outfit.”

I ignored him and followed behind mini-me. I had a sudden flood of remembrance and saw the rest of this scene play out in my memory. Oh hell.

We passed through the swinging door leading to the kitchen and the boys almost immediately exited, me hot on their heels. They were loaded down with a bunch of random items—some tools, rope, a few pieces of wood from the stockpile in the kitchen.

“What are ya doin?” Small Madison squealed, trying to keep up with their longer strides.

“Shutup, Sonny,” Ian growled, drawing back his fist in warning. My parents were in the living room watching TV, just a few feet away. I flinched backwards, but immediately gathered my wits to follow them upstairs. They slammed their bedroom door behind them, but I squeezed inside and quietly climbed into their bottom bunk.

I sat very still, and they ignored me as they arranged the hodge podge of items before them on the floor.

Grumpy and I stood near the window, watching the boys hard at work.

“Whatcha doin?” I had inched forward on the bed, curiosity finally getting the better of me.

Paul rolled his eyes and exchanged a look with Ian. “Get lost, squirt.”

Being the older of the two, Paul had always shown me a little more patience. But even he had his limits.

I had my finger in my mouth. At first glance it looked like I was sucking on it, but I recognized the gesture at once. Born with a deep dimple in my right cheek, I had been cursed with always being told how cute I was—followed by painful pinches to my cheeks. At an early age, I had determined that my dimple was to blame and had begun a campaign to rid myself of the dang thing. I’d spent hours, finger or tongue planted firmly on the inside of my cheek, hoping I could pop the sucker back out.

I grinned at the memory, and ran my tongue along the familiar spot. I’d been so determined, and sometimes found myself unconsciously repeating the action.

“Stop doing that,” Ian said, glaring at me. “You look like a baby.”

My brows knit together in a frown, but I resolutely kept my finger where it was.

They continued working, and eventually even my younger self figured out what they were making.

“I wanna play!” I squealed, climbing off the bed to stand above them, hands on hips.

“It’s too cold outside, dumbass,” Ian grumbled. “Besides, it’s our swing.”

My face crumbled, tears close to the surface. Paul stole a glance at me and frowned. Seeing this chink in his armor, I stuck out my lower lip a little further.

Ian rolled his eyes at this exchange and threw himself on his back with a groan. “God. Can’t we do anything without the little freak?”

“I’m not a freak,” I moaned, a few real tears squeaking through my lashes.

Ian sat back up, fuming and glaring at Paul. Then his expression changed, a slow smile creeping across his face. “Hey, Sonny. You can play.”

I perked up at his words, my tears drying up quickly. “I can?”

“Sure,” he said, standing and moving over to the window to glance out at the snow. “You wanna test our swing?”

“What are you doing?” Paul began, but then stopped, light dawning. He grinned then.

Boys should never be left to their own devices for too long. Seriously.

I groaned beside Grumpy, and the elf chuckled. “What a dumbass.”

“Hey!” I said. “I was seven!”

He smirked. “Even three year olds are smart enough to see this one coming.”

I ignored him and watched as Paul and Ian tied the swing to the bunk bed they had wheeled over to the window. I stood behind them, a look of self-importance on my face. They were letting me play for a change, and I glowed with excitement.

“Do you think it will hold,” Ian asked Paul, pulling on the ropes, testing their strength.

“Oh yeah.” Paul paused, doubts flickering behind his eyes. “We’re gonna be so busted if Mom catches us.”

“Sonny won’t tell, will you, Sonny?”

I shook my head vehemently and stepped forward to take my place on the swing. They opened their window and hoisted the wood—with me sitting atop it—onto the windowsill. My hands clung to the ends of the swing, scared, but determined to please them.

It was cold outside, and the wind bit at my hands and face. My feet dangled over the edge, the ground looking so far away. I could remember the way my heart had pounded in my chest, racing so fast that I could barely breathe as I looked down at the indistinguishable snow-covered lumps in the yard below. They seemed so menacing, but had been nothing more than the small bushes and flowerbeds that my mother pruned relentlessly during the summer months.

“You ready, Sonny?” Paul shouted above the swirling snow.

“Yes!” I answered, teeth chattering from the cold.

The boys exchanged a glance. “On the count of three, lower her down slowly,” Paul said.

“One…two…”

The door opened behind them. “Madison!”

My parents, probably thinking they would find us playing quietly in our rooms, stood with their mouths agape at the sight before them.

The boys wore matching guilty expressions, their hands wrapped tightly around the rope attached to their makeshift swing. And I—dressed in my Pepto Bismol outfit, teetering stupidly on the window ledge. Gullible to the last.

Poof!

We were back in the mist.

When my flaming cheeks cooled at last, I frowned, puzzled. “What the hell was I supposed to learn from that?”

Grumpy smirked. “Nothing. I just thought that shit was funny.”



Stay tuned for the next installment...Christmas PRESENT. Muhahahaha. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

And Finished!

Comments and suggestions on Manuscript #2 are written and sent, flying through the web ethers as I type this message. YAY. Excellent excellent week (or two) of reading.

Now...NOW, I am ready to jump back in the FI fray.

WHOOT.

Too Much Time On My Hands...

...OBVIOUSLY. But I just can't resist these JibJab numbers. I thought I would make my images of Ty and Makenna dance around with the kids from TWILIGHT. Aren't Makenna and Ty prettier?? Well, maybe not quite as pretty as Edward...but alas, not much you can do there. At least they're not pale.

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


P.S. I love how Ty reels in Makenna only to go promenading by (is that the correct term?) with Jacob a couple of shots later.

P.P.S. Does making videos of characters who only exist in my head, with pictures of people I think they look like..make me officially weird? Yeah, I think so too. First step is admitting it...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting Close!

Almost done with manuscript #2! When that's done (and MUM is all I will say about it at this point -- big grin to Amanda!), I will be hitting FI with a vengenance. I'm feeling rather inspired at the moment.

If you haven't heard...Rachel Walsh finished her SFD of her first novel yesterday!!! Go Rachel!! This woman seriously deserves a medal for doing this amidst the chaos that is her life. Makes me realize how poor my excuses are sometimes. (g)

Be sure to stop by and congratulate her!