It’s been a long while since I’ve given an sort of personal update. Part of the reason is there are somethings I can’t talk about at the moment. The other part has been life has felt incredibly busy and trying to keep up with everything on the reduced schedule I have has been a bit challenging.
After an initial and yearly week or two dealing with SAD and becoming used to less light, I feel more energy again. Often I find when it comes to blogging, I have so many blogs to follow now, commenting daily is difficult. So you’ve probably noticed I do this less. I’m sorry I can’t keep up, but I’ve found in the last while, I need to maintain a balance in life or become overwhelmed.
So I’ve been trying to keep up with my usual prompts and also for a couple of months in October and November I was doing daily poetry prompts for OctPoWriMo and November Notes. But I felt at least in poetry, my writing has been improving as has my knowledge of poetry forms. I’ve been so happy to be a guest blogger on Look Around, being able to continually collaborate with Spill Words Magazine Online, having work published on SickLit Magazine and have the possibility of poetry or short fiction pieces being published on a few other sites and/or magazines.
Fiction is something I continue working on through flash fiction and other prompts. A larger story has developed from a piece called Teegan’s Potion. I have an idea this might develop into something much bigger, a longer short story or a novel. I would like to begin planning it out more.
However, the other part of me is still working on my original novel on WattPad, doing a second draft. Lately, I’ve done about three more chapters and am hoping to put serious work into the novel throughout the winter semester. You can find my completed second draft chapters for How Was Last Night on Wattpad HERE. Events have changed and moved around from the first draft. Lately, I’ve only been able to do about three chapters, but I’m hoping to go through the remaining chapters, rewrite, and edit, and have one up each week.
Sorry, I cannot promise this but I’m going to try to do this. Please let me know on this post or on Wattpad what you like and don’t like, or if you have any suggestions or thoughts. I’ve completed up to new chapter 12 in second draft. Also playing around with potential covers for this point in my writing. It’s a paranormal romance, so I’m unsure whether I want the cover more mysterious or more of a typical romance cover. What do you think?
I was most disappointed not to have made it into the online MFA in Creative Writing I applied for for September 2017. My plan is to try applying one more time and to continue publishing pieces of poetry and short fiction until I’m in or not.
I’m also looking at taking a couple of courses in the certificate program at U if Toronto. This way, I have more writing courses and hopefully more recent great marks, for my Academic CV. I’ll be able to see how my second application for the MFA goes next October. If I don’t get in then, I can work on completing the certificate. I’m not sure if I would try three-years. I’m just taking it day by day right now.
The other part of my life has been dealing with not having money from my disability company anymore. I’m coping with this, but it could take a year to come to a mind of resolution. In between if I could make the $300.00 a month I can make having AISH and CPP disability in Alberta, Canada, I would be most happy. I’m applying for different writing and blogging jobs on a freelance sight called www.upwork.com. They do take a small percentage, but it’s worth it if you can connect with good clients.
I’ve had job offers so far but had to refuse because I cannot write and research full time. Not to mention, some of the people posting jobs have little clue how long writing up an article or blog from 300 to 1000 words takes, especially with research. They want articles fast and yet they want them to be perfect, free of errors. Some of them want this for only $10.00 an article – not even minimum wage per hour where I’m from. I’m hoping to find some good jobs on Upwork to earn extra money and gain some job experience part time and/or casually. I’m leaning more to the casual end I think, part time would honestly be too much.
It would help me pay for a course in spring and fall and maybe a vacation. One of my bestest of best friend’s wedding is in Cuba. I was planning to before my insurance revoked my disability. But this is a long ways away, so I’m praying it might work out that I could be there and have a little vacation too. As of now, it’s not appearing hopeful.
My Christmas shopping is finished. I’ve been baking cookies and squares. The best cookies are from this Neiman Marcus oatmeal cookie recipe. You grind the oats into flour in your blender. The cookie is soft and chewy and uses both white flour and the oat flour. I put in lots of chocolate chips and crushed pecans. I’ve become an expert at baking these and my whole family is addicted to them.
Apparently, I haven’t baked them in a while. One batch is about five dozen cookies. One dozen I gave to my brother, and the other four dozen have been disappearing from the freezer at an alarming rate. Let me know if you want the recipe, I can send it to you. I will be making another batch when I replenish the chocolate chip supply.
I’ve been trying to keep busy, seeing friends whenever I’m able. My one BFF and I went to a Paint Nite event, painting penguins on wine glasses. At home you bake them in your stove so they are useable. It’s a cute craft, but I think the wine glasses themselves would have been nice with some wine in them 🙂 Hanging out with S again this Saturday for drinks a the Art Gallery restaurant and a naughty Christmas show at the Citadel Theatre. Also, always planning for the future.
I finally found my perfect tattoo and am trying to arrange a consultation with the artist my hairdresser and friend Tess, suggested. It’s a peacock feather but very beautiful. Bold enough in black but also with shades of blue and maybe purple. So excited for this, even though it will hurt! It’s not this whole tattoo, just the peacock feather part. See below:
Have a blessed Christmas everyone! Remember the true meaning of Christmas and the hope a babe in a manger named Jesus became for all mankind.
“According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, savory is defined as: a : piquantly pleasant to the mind <a savory triumph>b : morally exemplary c : pleasing to the sense of taste especially by reason of effective seasoning d : pungently flavorful without sweetness.”
Jared was the kind of man who made any woman who saw him stop and stare. He was classically handsome, with blond hair and blue eyes; he was told he resembled a thirty-five-year-old Brad Pitt.
Jared was blessed, but he didn’t realize how much. He owned his dream company, made tens of millions of dollars early in his career, had mansions all over the world, cars of various makes and models from classics to brand new, as well as, any toy he desired — skidoos, motorcycles, dirt bikes, (etc).
Yet, Jared was alone in life. He had no emotional relationship with any woman he dated. He felt many women and men were worthless beings, wasting their life focusing on helping others and building relationships which, ultimately, ended.
Jared believed he was “better” than other people due to his wealth, prestige, and attractiveness. He knew he needed a partner, a woman who had similar qualities to him. He also knew it wouldn’t be a love match for he had no love in his heart.
One night at a charity reception, a hideous girl named Ali approached Jared. She carried with her a basket of the most delicious looking apples.
People were drawn to their ruby shine and many people begged Ali to have one of her apples. Yet, they cringed at her repulsive faces and body, ravaged by burns and disease.
Ali’s form was bent and crippled and she dragged behind her a club foot. Her eyes were beady and when she opened her mouth, she revealed rotten teeth with many missing. Her basket of apples, in fact, was the only attractive quality about Ali with exception of her beautiful golden hair. It was thick, lustrous, and reached her waist.
Jared was appalled when Ali approached him but he noticed her mouthwatering basket of apples. As with everyone, he was drawn to them. But Jared didn’t understand why Ali carried the apples around, not willing to give them to anyone, despite offers of large sums of money and contacts for proceeders to alter her appearance.
“What do you want?” Jared asked Ali, gazing down on her in her repulsive ugliness.
Ali laughed. Her voice deceivingly youthful, “I can give you anything you desire with these apples. What you want the most will be yours with only one bite.”
“Yeah right,” said Jared. “Why would you give me a bite of one of your apples? And for free? You’d be stupid to do that.”
Ali giggled,”I didn’t say I’d give you a bite for free. Nothing’s free in this world as you well know.”
Jared peered again at the apples which called to him, a sirens song from forbidden fruit,”What’s your price hag?”
Ali smiled and her rotten teeth and foul breath made Jared take a step-back. He knew what the ugly woman would request, but for some reason, he let her ask for what she wanted.
“I want a kiss. A real one,” Ali said.”For a kiss I will give you one apple. Perhaps, then, you will find the woman who will truly be your other half.”
Jared gasped, afraid the horrid woman could read his mind. He nodded to her and said: “I accept your bargain.”
“My names Ali,” she said and drew closer to Jared. She stopped for a moment,”This will only work if you truly desire a partner to love, with a pure-heart.”
Jared brushed Ali’s words aside, “My intentions are honourable enough.” He tried not to gag as Ali’s mouth drew closer. But he stared at her gorgeous red apples and imagined an apple in his mouth; it was how he managed kissing Ali.
Her lips were dry as they rasped against his. Ali’s tongue dove in his mouth and when she groaned, he felt as if he might throw-up. She bit his lip and she laughed when he cringed.
When Ali stopped kissing Jared, she stepped back, her mouth in a mischievous smile. She drew a beautiful ruby apple from her basket and presented it to Jared with gnarled fingers.
Jared grabbed the apple, greedy for its taste. He gorged on it as if he was Eve and the apple, the forbidden fruit in Eden.
Suddenly, both Jared and Ali began to glow with white light. While Jared withered, developing scars and burns all over his skin, Ali became stunningly beautiful. She became a curvaceous and breath-taking woman in her prime. She attracted the crowd in the room to her presence.
Jared’s hair had fallen out and his expensive clothes hung on him as his muscle tone disappeared. In minutes, no one recognized Jared; he was as ugly and as repulsive as Ali had been. His only remaining attractive feature were his bright blue-eyes.
A beautiful golden haired goddess stood before Jared. She sighed, grasping his scarred hand.
“I told you Jared. You had to want what you desired with a pure-heart. You had to be ready to love the perfect woman for you; but you love no one but yourself. I was the perfect woman for you, but you loath me. You called me a hag.”
Jared laughed, “You were disgusting and now you made me disgusting too.”
Ali let go of Jared’s hand, offering the basket of apples to him:
“Only, give an apple to the most loathsome and disgusting person you can find on the earth. Remember appearances are not everything and under the most beautiful and sometimes successful people, hides a monster,” Ali warned.
“You’re a monster Jared, but you have been given a chance to redeem yourself. To learn to love and be human, until you find the most terrible woman and find the smallest glimmer of hope inside her. She will either become your true–love and save both you and her, or become as you have, taking your place. You will return to your former privileged life and body, but with a changed heart. You will know when you find the right person and will wander the earth until then.”
Ali dropped Jared’s hand and disappeared into the crowd. No one noticed him for once. They only noticed Ali who had become his philanthropic sister. She became owner of all his wealth, company, mansions, and life, when he disappeared.
Jared wandered the earth an evil gnarled old man for years and years. Some say, he still wanders today. No one knows if he’s changed.
“Sorry do I know you?” A handsome man around her age asked Jolene.” You seem familiar. And well, you’re beautiful, who could forget you.” Jolene indulged the man with a smile. She was anxious to return to Kasia and Aunt Cathy. No doubt Auntie Cathy had spilled all of Jolene’s carefully guarded secrets to Kasia.
“I don’t believe we’ve met before,” Jolene told the man. “I’m only visiting Cathy Lumiere, with my daughter. I’m Cathy’s niece. I used to live with Cathy when I was in highschool.”
” High school that’s it,” the man mused smiling. He had beautiful lips Jolene thought and such long dark lashes covered his chocolate eyes. “You were the head cheerleader and Prom Queen, you dated Scott Jeune. I never liked that guy. He was obnoxious and a narsaccist if you ask me.” Jolene looked at the man thinking he didn’t realize how true his opinion of Scott was.
” What’s your name, Monsieur?” Jolene asked the man.
“I’m Luc Devreaux, Jolene. I own Chateau Blanc.” Jolene’s eyes went huge when she learned Luc owned the Chateau. She studied his face, staring. Jolene tried to remember if she’d ever seen a Luke Devreaux at the Chateau.
Luc cleared his throat and Jolene realized he’d been holding out his hand for her to shake. Instead of shaking her hand though, he went in for a kiss on each of Jolene’s cheeks. Jolene blushed. Luc smelt delicious, spicy, and citrus.
“How French of you,” Jolene said and Luke gave her a charming grin.
“You have been gone so long you have forgotten about your French roots?” Luc asked Jolene and she hesitated at Luc’s question.
“Well, I travel a lot for work. I wasn’t from Nice or even France originally. I was born in Montreal, Canada. And except for business I have lived in Ottawa with my daughter for five years now… I’m trying to picture you Luc as you looked when I was in highschool, but I can’t remember you. I’m sorry, I was a wild girl at sixteen and seventeen -years-old. I went out with many boys until I met Scott. Lucky, the thing with Scott was only temporary.” Jolene felt she was rambling but Luc made her nervous in a wonderful way. He made her feel as if it were fine for her to be herself.
“Well we went out a few weeks,” Luc began, “but I wasn’t living at the Chateau then. I inherited it from my father later. Mon pere and ma mere have been divorced since I was twelve and I lived with my Mother, who had custody until I was eighteen. But I visited my Dad here in the summer. I remember you well from when you went to high school. You were amazingly pretty, full of yourself, but what pretty teenage girl isn’t. I wanted to keep seeing you, but Scott asked you out. Even though, I was a few years older than you, all you cared about was Scott.” Luc said sadly.
Jolene thought hard. Slowly, a few threads of memories came together in her mind. She remembered a handsome guy, older than herself, who resembled Luc. She had met young Luc on the path to Chateau from the beach where she had been sun tanning. Luc had been good-looking in a classically handsome way, lanky and athletic. He wasn’t charismatic as Scott had been. But Luc as a young man was an unwavering presence. He was thoughtful and concerned about what she had liked and wanted to do. He had manners and everything wasn’t about himself. In addition, as he said, Luc had been older than Jolene. She had been attracted to the fact he was a university guy back when she was seventeen-years-old.
” I remember you Luc,” Jolene said happily. “You were visiting your father and we met on the pathway. It was dark and thundering and the waves were splashing high on the path. They waves were making it hard for me to stay standing on the pathway as I ran to the Chateau. You came and helped me across and we had hot chocolate together. We dated three-weeks, you were caring and concerned. I thought you were a real catch — until Scott. I was obsessed with Scott for far to long. I’m sorry if I hurt you, dumping you for Scott. You were the better guy.” Luc laughed and grasped Jolene’s hand between both of his larger hands.
“I’m glad you remember, finally,” Luc murmured. “I heard from some of the other staff that Cathy’s niece was going to be staying here awhile. I’m glad you are. I seem to remember we had quite a bit of fun in my old apartment when you were in senior year.”
Jolene lifted her eyebrows, “I believe we did.” Luc laughed.
“When you have time between visiting with your Aunt, come see me in my office. We can catch up… I never heard you had a daughter.” Luc added.
Jolene grinned her hands still enclosed in Luc’s warm hands, ” Yeah, she is great, fifteen now. I will come see you in a few days. I’m a bit run down from travelling and I have a lot of explaining to do with Aunt Cathy. . . when I left years ago it was quite sudden and we haven’t seen Aunt Cathy since.” Jolene admitted to Luc, unsure why she felt like being so honest with him.
” I’m not used to this again Luc. I haven’t dated or really done anything since my daughter was born. There’s been a few random dates but nothing concrete. It’s hard to trust someone for me Luc. Especially, after Scott . . .” Luc nodded brushing a stray hair out of Jolene’s face.
“It’s okay Jolene. We’ll just enjoy each other’s company while your here and see where things go. There is no pressure to do anything you are not comfortable doing.” Luc assured Jolene holding both her hands again.
Jolene looked into Luc’s eyes which seemed to pull her in and hold her close, like she wanted his arms to do now. She realized she had an affect on him as he tightened his hands around her hands and Luc’s breathing quickened.
” I work, I model a little and I run a chain of clothing stores for woman. I am with Kasia, my daughter as much as possible. I wasn’t always able to be with her when she was a bit younger as much.” Jolene said feeling herself flushing again under Luc’s stare.
“What a lucky girl to have a mother with such beauty and intelligence. I’m sure she inherited those qualities from you. I would like to take Kasia’s pretty mother to dinner, after she comes to visit me in my office. Oui?” Luc said. His voice sounded sexy to Jolene.
“Oui, Luc,” Jolene said quietly. ” Kasia will be surprised. She has gone on more dates than her mother has in many years.” Luc smiled at Jolene squeezing her hands in his still. Luc let Jolene’s hands go slowly, trailing his fingers along hers as he let his own hands drop and hers.
Jolene walked away from Luc back to her Aunt Cathy’s sitting room, willing herself not to catch her black boot heel on a carpet edge. She looked back once to see Luc standing where she left him in a hallway, watching Jolene walk away. She gave him a small smile and Luc waved.