Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Am I Blue? If So, I've Lost Oxygen-Tuesday Tales

Hello Fellow Fathomers!
Today's Tuesday Tale involves the word or theme, "blue". I chose to continue with my usual installments from my current thriller work in progress (WIP) Blue Ink- The Skin Stalker.

"As the girls devised their plans for the rest of the day, it took Joelle away from the macabre research she had been doing.  She decided not to say anything to Suzette until she actually made it to Joelle’s house.  Suzette would be over in an hour or so and they would relax, gossip, and order in food.  They never really needed big plans; they just enjoyed catching up these days.  No doubt, Suzette would offer many opinions as to what was on Joelle’s mind lately. 
Joelle took a shower and allowed the hot water to relax her tense and aching muscles.  She wanted to clear her mind so when she and Suzette discussed the recent events, she would be articulate and controlled.  Joelle could still not figure out why Colorado had been on her mind so heavily lately.  After her research on the recent killings, she was sure she had no information the police would need in their efforts to solve the cases.
As Joelle dried her body off with a thick fluffy towel, she gave her body a quick check in the mirror.  She liked to keep an eye on the new sunspots that crept up after each summer.  It was then she remembered her “tattoo”.  Joelle had a few stylish works of ink inconspicuously on her body.  Each tattoo symbolizing a specific mood, time, or special event. However, the most unnoticeable was behind her right ear.  It was a single blue dot.  The dot was approximately the size of the end of a ball-point pen.  She did not incur this mark willingly.

She remembered when it happened too.  During one of the late night working sessions with Colin, things became punchy with the combination of lack of sleep and work stress.  As they had become quite familiar with each other by that time, Colin would occasionally show an ornery streak, especially when he was bored or tired.  As she put her head down on the desk, he snuck up behind her and poked her behind the ear.  “OUCH! Oh, what did you do, that HURT!”
Colin giggled obnoxiously and half-heartedly apologized.  “I was just trying to wake you up, did that really hurt?”
“I’m awake now, and YES, that did hurt you caveman!”  Joelle continued rubbing the spot behind her ear and grimaced.
 Colin’s facial expression changed, and he appeared contrite as he genuinely apologized for hurting her.  “I’m very sorry, I was just trying to have a little fun, and I didn’t mean to hurt you.  Honestly. “ 
When Joelle pulled her fingers from rubbing the spot, there were small smears of blood on them.  “See, look at this!  You oaf, you made me bleed!”  It incensed Joelle that Colin could be so insensitive."
Now that you've read my interpretation of "blue", please visit http://tuesdaytales1.blogspot.com/ for more creative concepts of "blue".

Saturday, July 28, 2012

You Can Do a Triathlon Too!

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers!  Today in The Locker I talk with you about the sport of triathlon. I prepared this blog in advance because today, July 28, as you are reading this, I will be somewhere in the experience of my second Olympic distance triathlon. Greetings from the Idaho Spudman 2012 http://burleylions.org/spudman.html
(me from Spudman 2011)
Last year, this very triathlon challenged my limits of endurance. I did okay until about the last mile, and I hit a massive wall. I had to stop to tie my shoes and almost could not start running again. Seriously.  Alas, I did push myself to begin again and made it through the remaining run course between rows in potato fields and over railroad tracks. I finished in 3:16, yes, 3 hours and 16 minutes, well behind the first place competitors, but, certainly not last. Most importantly, dammit, I FINISHED this darn race.

To prepare for this event, I’ve trained consistently for the past three years. I started by competing in 5K races and that led to over a year of physical therapy, although I continued to work out. My physical therapists provided excellent care and training techniques and I owe them a huge debt of gratitude. I discovered my body, specifically my shins, do not appreciate a repetitive running schedule and hey, at 42 yrs young, it is what it is. Therefore, I participate in spin class and biking- a lot.

I'm 2212 in this 5K with my physical therapist friends.

I even got my daughter running (but, she doesn't like it much. LOL)

Something that greatly helped my shins is a technique called Graston therapy, http://www.grastontechnique.com/ or my good ole friends at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graston_Technique . Anyone who enjoys receiving Graston is probably a masochist, and as a self-proclaimed adventurist, I put myself in that crowd. It hurts like hell, I won’t lie, but, WOW, the results are amazing. The first session I had, it looked like I got hit by a moving vehicle as both legs from knees down were black and blue. But, I ran the next day, I promise. It loosened up all the scar tissue and knotted muscles from use.

By the time you read this, who knows where I will be. I could be standing nervously in my goofy swim cap awaiting my wave of swimming to begin in the Snake River, biking furiously on country asphalt, or running breathlessly through potato fields. Or, maybe thankfully, at the end- wearing another finisher medal proudly. But, no matter where I am- I’m here to tell you that it is NEVER too late to pursue a new goal or a dream. I’m living proof the average Jane can make life happen and in this summer of Olympic glory. You can also have a small taste of victory wherever you choose to challenge yourself, even if you are not featured on ESPN.

Extend your limits and stretch your comfort zone---it feels amazing! Oh, and this year I have bungee cord shoelaces so I won’t even have to stop to tie my shoes…

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dawn of a Dead Day-Tuesday Tales

Hello Fellow Fathomers!
Today's Tuesday Tale involves the word or theme, "dawn". I chose to continue with my usual installments from my current thriller work in progress (WIP) Blue Ink- The Skin Stalker.

"...Anticipation filled his bowels with delight, as the reminiscent smell of death triggered giddiness in his black soul. 

The day dawned perfectly.  A touch of dew kissed the grass and there was no wind.   The Skin Stalker waited for Maggie to appear just as the sun rose.  As she walked toward her vehicle, the crisp air caused her to shiver slightly. She pulled her warm-up jacket closer around her body against the chill of the morning.  She checked her bike and the bottles, satisfied with their security on the SUV. She unlocked the door, got inside, and pulled out of her space.

The Skin Stalker followed her from a satisfactory distance as she drove across the quiet highway.  He wondered how long it had been since he had a human sacrifice for his master.  He counted the years as he kept pace behind Maggie.  He never tired of the exhilaration of the kill.  The “innocent” victim unwittingly forfeiting their life in place of his primary target. 
“It was not as if any of them are wholesome anyway.” He scoffed toward humanity.  As he pondered the decline of morality, he estimated he could kill half the planet and be justified.  No one lived chaste lives, very few during the centuries anyway.  It was not always sex, people just did not understand.  It was anything they chose over righteousness.  It would all lead to downfall-and more souls for his dark master.
The Skin Stalker worked to create a bigger and better audience for his master. “Come one, come all, ye who live self-serving, I have a place for you.” He allowed his true form to invade the surface of his human host for a moment as he patted his stomach with large, gnarly, hands.  He allowed his sharp fingernails to scratch across his ghastly flesh with each tap of his fingers.
Maggie pulled into the lot of the open space park.  She arrived first in the parking lot. She took one last sip of her morning beverage and pulled her keys before she exited her vehicle.  Birds chirped and a few remaining crickets sang for the sunrise. She went around to the back of her SUV to release her bike from the rack.  She rested her bike against her SUV before she donned her helmet and riding gloves and checked the security of her water bottle cages once more. She walked her bike to the beginning of the desolate path, anxious to begin her ride. She needed her blood pumping to drive away the chill in her bones.  She had no clue why she felt so edgy that particular morning, but her anxiety ran deep."
Now that you've read my interpretation, please visit http://tuesdaytales1.blogspot.com/ for more concepts considering "dawn".


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Contest - YES PRIZES!

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers!  It’s contest time again in The Locker and this time it’s a scavenger hunt hosted by Secret Cravings Publishing!  Don’t you just love chances to win? I’ll be rewarding one lucky reader with a $15.00 SCP gift certificate for their efforts.   The scavenger hunt is July 21/22, so, hurry and get your answers in.

Scavenger Hunt info

Visit the main SCP blog link here: http://secretcravingspublishing.blogspot.com/ to find the participants of the scavenger hunt. Visit each participating author and keep a list of the matching picture to the participant. Once you visited each spot on the hunt, send ONE email to secretcravingspublishing@yahoo.com with ALL the answers.
DO NOT post the answer/picture in the comment section of the SCP blog or any of the author blogs.
SCP will announce the winners on Tuesday, July 24

Monday, July 16, 2012

Bullied But Not Broken - Tuesday Tales

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers!
For todays' Tuesday Tale I bring to you another WIP entitled Leather, Laces, and Camping By The Sea. This dear to my heart YA novella profiles a young girls' struggle with being bullied and ostracized. I'm only about 5% into this work, it's taking some additional time as the subject matter is more difficult than some of the lighthearted fiction I also pen.
Our prompt for this week is the following picture of a trunk, and I think I captured it well. Please read on to see if you agree...
"I’m the oldest twelve year old you will ever meet. I suppose you could attribute it to the fact I have two older brothers, and my family friends have usually been older than me. However, I also blame it on the fact that I have dealt with issues that thankfully many kids do not ever have to face.
I’ve been horrifically bullied and no one has ever actually laid a hand on me. But, the bruises I harbor on my insides linger like physical scars against my soul. They have yet to begin fading. I still experience trauma almost every school day, reopening healing wounds before they have a chance to cure.
I know that in all reality, this will not stop. I’d be naïve to believe it will. I can only learn personal defense mechanisms to make it through. I’ve decided to fight back, in maybe unconventional ways, and wonder how in the world it will affect me in the future. As I grow up and discover the person I truly am under the thick layers, sometimes, the maturity life forced upon me is astonishing. I’m still here and no one will make me go anywhere I don’t want to-physically, mentally or emotionally. That’s my young mantra, not matter how much it hurts. 
I challenge you to take whatever pains you to multiply that by five days per week, eight hours per day. The mental exhaustion takes a toll as much as anything physical. I feel like a salmon struggling against the current of a flooded river, trying to make my way to safety upstream. Tell me you won’t struggle against the bitterness, hatred, or even maintaining your sanity if you experience what I did.
I keep my secrets in a trunk- notebooks, doodle pads, coloring books-all filled with my deepest enigmas. Join me as I reveal my story and my journey to healing. It started some time ago with this poem:
A View From the Other Side
i feel joy from your pain
i feel happiness where there is your sorrow
i feel love where is your hate
i feel pain from your joy
i feel sorrow from your happiness
i feel all of this because I am a bully"
Now that you've read my interpretation, please visit the http://tuesdaytales1.blogspot.com/ for other depictions of the picture prompt, trunk.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Phobias! It's Friday the 13th...muah ha ha EVIL LAUGH

Hello Fellow Fathomers and welcome to Friday the 13th in The Locker. Today we celebrate by discussing PHOBIAS. According to the good folks at Wikipedia “phobia” is simply described as follows: “A phobia (from the Greek: φόβος, Phóbos, meaning "fear" or "morbid fear") is, when used in the context of clinical psychology, a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation in which the sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding, typically disproportional to the actual danger posed, often being recognized as irrational. In the event the phobia cannot be avoided entirely the sufferer will endure the situation or object with marked distress and significant interference in social or occupational activities.[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phobia
Therefore, while many people may throw the word “phobia” around to emphasize their specific fear, however, generally, the diagnosis of “phobia” comes with a heftier price tag of terror than a usual “I’m afraid of –fill in the blank here.” For example, I have a phobia of snakes, a.k.a. ophidiophobia. I do not want to be anywhere near snakes and it took forever before I would enter the reptile house at the zoo. However, my daughter, Allee, absolutely loves snakes and I couldn’t very well let her enter the snake house alone. Shudder shudder shudder. As a young child, I’ve been chased, literally CHASED, on two occasions by cottonmouth snakes during mating season. It is NO kind of fun watching one of those suckers open mouth, fangs bared, streaking at you from across the water. One time, my cousin had to jerk me to get me to move, I was literally frozen in fear. Ugh.

Arachnophobia is also a common phobia, the fear of spiders. Shoot, Hollywood made that phobia famous by naming a movie after it. Spiders don’t really bother me in the scheme of things, they eat bugs. But, I respect anyone with a need to stay away from the Eight Legged Freaks (another gratuitous Hollywood plug).

Realizing phobias are a significant and diagnosable human condition- I try not to question or snicker at some phobias. Such as: Anuptaphobia-the fear of staying single (really?) Eurotophobia- Fear of female genitalia (uh, ok) and I guess va-jay-jays are so bad they get two Kolpophobia- Fear of genitals, particularly female. In the case of the male persuasion, some guys might be the object of mycrophobia-the fear of small things (sorry, guys, I had to do it) Phallophobia- Fear of a penis, esp erect and Medorthophobia- Fear of an erect penis—for those proud few they instill Megalophobia- Fear of large things.
Sometimes, I think my kids have scolionophobia the fear of school.  Sheesh
And, we wouldn’t want these two in the same room- Coprastasophobia- Fear of constipation and Rhypophobia- Fear of defecation. How would that conversation go? It would be “strained”, I’m sure.
Whatever happens in the minds of any of us, I only make light because sometimes, laughter is the only way I survive in this world…because, honestly, at one time or another, my OCD lent me to several phobias on that list. It seemed like when I conquered one, something else took its’ place. (I’ve been through fear of Vomiting- Emetophobia- fear of Night or dark- Nyctophobia- fear of falling and heights- acrophobia and the aforementioned, ophidiophobia-snakes) I doubt I ever shake the falling or snakes complexes.)

This is where phobias tie into my fourth installment of my WIP, Blue Ink-The Skin Stalker. As tribute
 to Friday the 13th (or if you have the phobia Triskaidekaphobia-  fear of number 13 or   paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia.- both specific phobias to Friday the 13th- in which case you can come out from under the covers on Saturday the 14th (another Hollywood “classic”) okay, I will stop soon, I promise.

 Bogyphobia is fear of the boogeyman and Daemonophobia is a phobia of demons, both of which could characterize the creepiness hanging out under these unsuspecting girls’ bed…..take a read-
Blue Ink –installment 4
“Nightfall arrived with an eerie quiet, and an unexpected twist in The Skin Stalker’s routine. “I could always take care of both of you right here.” He slipped through their door late that night and whooshed by their sleeping bodies, filling the air with a cold draft. He watched the goosebumps prickle up and down their tanned arms.
He willed his evil essence to hover over their bodies, taking in their labored breathing of deep sleep. They almost breathed in unison and he extracted life as they expelled CO2. What poisons you powers me. Yet, he lingered not long, as his human host shell could still be weakened by the usual dangers. He stretched his gnarly hands out and pretended to squeeze Sascha’s neck as he slithered to her bedside. It would be so easy and I could take you both now…oh, the deliciousness. He salivated and drops hit the floor, hissing as they sizzled away on impact, indicating something hideous comprised this sub-human creature.
He slid under their bed and took respite as he recharged his foul human form. The pong of unbathed skin, sweat, and the sulfurs of hell permeated the cramped space under the girls. He reveled in his own stench, enjoying how his demon melded so perfectly with his human host, completely overtaking him.
He remained there until they began the stirrings of pre-awakening REM sleep. In a smooth, almost lurid motion, he slipped to Sascha’s underside of the bed and stretched his gangly, ashy arm up the side of the mattress. She lay on her side, facing the inside of the bed and her bare back exposed to the edge.  He raked his sharp, chipped fingernails across her naked skin and caused her to shudder in response.”
 Happy Friday fathomers!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ocean Waves of Rejuvenation - Tuesday Tales

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers!!  This weeks' contribution to Tuesday Tales is also from my 90% completed WIP, Blue Ink - The Skin Stalker. The genre is suspense with a romance undertone. Heat level is one flame. Our topic for this week is simply the word, "ocean". I used it in a different context than the usual....take a look:
"Joelle padded to the bathroom and found the ibuprofen and Sudafed.  All she needed now was the caffeine chaser she swore by to wash down her headache relief.  Joelle headed back toward the kitchen and turned the small TV on she kept under the cabinet.  “In national news, the city of Denver...” Joelle almost dropped the glass from her hand.  She was sick of Colorado.  “I don’t care about Denver!  Take the whole state and fall off into a sinkhole for all I care!”  She spoke through clenched teeth at the TV screen as though it might converse with her. 

She snapped off the TV in frustration and decided she would try a jog outside.  The morning was still peaceful, as the soccer families had not yet taken crazily to the streets.  She went to her bedroom and changed into some athletic pants. She strapped the heart monitor band around her chest before she slipped into her sports bra. After she added a T-shirt, she pulled on her Brooks running shoes and grabbed her Mp3 player. 
The morning air was crisp, almost cool to her bare arms.  Joelle thought for a moment about returning inside to grab a sweatshirt, but knew it would not be long before she would be sweating.  She put her ear buds in and clicked on the music.  The opening beats of “Never Hear Surf Music Again” kick started her groove.  She lost herself in the melody and the rhythm of her breathing. She began to feel a peace settle over her, and allowed the ocean waves of rejuvenation to engulf her.  “Ahh, this is just what I needed.” She murmured softly into the morning air. 

Joelle looked down occasionally to the Ironman watch strapped to her wrist. The watch synchronized with the heart monitor. She kept a close eye on her heart rate, hoping for maximum threshold for the majority of her run.  The glisten across her forehead indicated success in the form of sweat.
Joelle ran about two miles before she decided to turn back for home.  Her pumped legs prepared to finish her run vigorously.  She ran by the church in her neighborhood.  Joelle had attended services there a few times.  In fact, she was a regular attendee there right up until she met Colin.  Once they began the strenuous work schedule, she began to think less and less of her spirituality.  Her thoughts became focused on deadlines, profits, and especially, Colin."
Please visit our Tuesday Tales Blog site for more creative takes on the concept "ocean".    http://tuesdaytales1.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 6, 2012

Noodling - An Okie Tradition

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! Today in The Locker I pay tribute to the longstanding tradition of noodling. Otherwise known as "hand fishing" in some parts of the country. This fascinating hobby is actually a rite of passage in some families and taken very seriously by anyone involved in the sport. You must take it seriously, otherwise, things can get fairly dangerous beneath murky water.
According to Wikipedia, the method of noodling http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noodling is explained as such:
"Although the concept of catching fish with only the use of the arm in the water is simple enough, the process of noodling is more complicated. The choice of catfish as the prey is not arbitrary, but comes from the circumstances of their habitat. Flathead catfish live in holes or under brush in rivers and lakes and thus are easier to capture due to the static nature of their dwelling. To begin, a noodler goes underwater to depths ranging from only a few feet to up to twenty feet and places his hand inside a discovered catfish hole. If all goes as planned, the catfish will swim forward and latch onto the fisherman's hand, usually as a defensive maneuver, in order to try to escape the hole. If the fish is particularly large, the noodler can hook the hand around its gills.
Most noodlers have spotters who help them bring the catfish in, either to shore or to their boat; noodling in pairs is considered important for safety, and also makes it a more social activity, with noodling partners often forming long-term partnerships.[1]
A typical weight for a flathead catfish caught by noodling is 40 lb (18 kg).[1]"

In my homestate of Oklahoma, festivals completely dedicated to the sport of noodling have gained national notoriety. Check the following links for some good times information:
Even National Geographic got involved! http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/american-festivals/okie-noodling-photos/
Folks are mighty proud of Southern traditions, and everyone in the host communities gets involved.

But, would YOU want to put your hand in this things' mouth?

UGH! gives me the willies just thinking about it. Don't fool yourself women ARE doing this too...it isn't solely a male exclusive adventure. I just prefer to watch from the sidelines, or catch my fish with a pole.
This renegade redneck activity inspired a new novella, entitled, Finding Love Under a Rock. I wrote this YA romance as the beginning of a new series entitled the Critter Getter series. My heroes and heroines will be searching for Bigfoot, exploring animal suicides, the Fibonacci sequence and bees, and a whole series of other weirdness for the YA crowd. This should please my pre-teen daughter, Allee, immensely.

Please enjoy this excerpt:

"Kalista trudged slowly toward the cabin and her new escapade into the wild. Her hiking boots crunched against fallen sticks and dead leaves from above. The rocky terrain made it slightly challenging to maintain a feminine gait and she felt unnaturally awkward. She looked toward the open cabin door and kept waiting for Leandra to come back out and see where she was. Okay, Leandra, no one grabbed you and shoved you down some trap door once you got inside, did they? “Hey, Leandra, are you in there?” She yelled, hoping her voice didn’t actually crack the way she heard it reverberate through her head.

“Of course, silly,” I heard her chime from inside. What’s taking you so long?”

Kalista then heard an unfamiliar deep male voice. “You must be Kalista. Great to meet ya.” The body that followed the voice out the door made Kalista double take.

“Umm, yes, I’m Kalista Bristow. And, you are?” The most interestingly handsome hillbilly I’ve ever seen. Wait, I’ve never actually seen a hillbilly, except on TV. His impressive muscular frame took up most of the doorway. Not wearing stereotypical overalls, he rocked the simple tank shirt and denim cutoff shorts. He wore a bandanna around his head and reminded Kalista of the red dirt music singer, Stoney LaRue.

“Well, I’m Caleb Chandler, and my buddy, Owen Guthrie, is inside going through the paperwork with your friend, Leandra.” He stuck out his hand in a greeting much faster paced than his speech.

“So, tell me, Caleb, have you ever had to enforce one of your release of liability waivers?”

“Nope, haven’t lost a city slicker yet on one of these trips.” He leaned in, raised his eyebrows, and lowered his speech an octave.  “Although, one lady did lose a rather expensive watch. Some ole flathead cat is out there swimming around a lot more slowly with all that gold in his belly weighing him down.”

Kalista offered a weak laugh. “Oh, I’m so much more at ease now. Good thing my hands and arms are bare.”

“Good deal, wouldn’t want either of you ladies losing an engagement ring or somethin’.”

“Are you fishing for my personal details, Mr. Caleb?”

Caleb turned as red as a sugar beet. “Why, no, I’m just making conversation. We are friendly in these parts.”

Kalista finally released a relieved laugh. “I’m kidding, I’m kidding. That was mean, I’m sorry. Just please tell me this experience won’t be as harrowing as I think it will be.”

“I think you will have more fun than you expect. Trust me.” Caleb offered a look of pure sincerity and Kalista had no choice but to believe in him. “Now, come on inside and let’s take care of the boring paperwork so we can go have some fun.”

I look forward to sharing more of my Critter Getters with you soon. Have a great weekend folks and find a new adventure to lose yourself in!!!