Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday Tales and Purple Days

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! It's time for Tuesday Tales.
A group of writers gather together and give our interpretation of a specific word prompt each week. Once per month, we even write to an image.  You never know what you might encounter when you get inside our minds. This week our group writes to the word- purple.  This will be an excerpt from my new WIP for a new romance contemporary.



“I’ll keep working on the house, and you’ll finish up all your rotations in Dallas.”
“Yes, keep working on your home…and I’ll join you there someday.” Twirling a few strands of hair around his finger, he twirled absentmindedly. “I don’t expect you to forget Garrett. I want Ryan to know as much about him as you can share. I want to blend into your life, not make you create an entire new one. We can’t tuck messy emotions into neat packages. We have no typical response to what we have experienced. You especially…yours wasn’t a typical loss. It’s so rare a young father to-be is taken from his family. Your grief was as individual as you are.”
He sounded like he was giving a speech, some type of seminar at a medical conference. Yet, he made the scientific sound so personal, so beloved and precious. “You’re a very smart man, Conner Murphy.”
“I’ve learned so much from you, from our relationship. All the loss and sorrow made me think deeper, connect more with the people I’m dealing with every day. Life experience is the best teacher sometimes. I couldn’t have learned any of this from a book.”
“I’m still learning to live with him…you know, Garrett. I mean how do I incorporate him into this new situation?” I got louder, I couldn’t help myself.  It was like I was a preacher or something. “The one we believe we lost is actually just as present as ever, only in a different way. I won’t ever take Garrett for granted again, I wouldn’t dare. It’s a damn shame I learned about that so late, taking someone for granted.”
“Living in his shadow might be a challenge sometimes, I understand that.”
“I don’t mean you have to live in his shadow, but, you’re darn sure gonna respect his presence, his place in our lives.” I grabbed both of Conner’s hands. He had to understand what I meant- it was important to me…actually, it was necessary. “It isn’t a race or a contest, it’s honoring his memory in everything I do.” I let go of his hands and began to speak with my own, large abbreviated circles trying to give my words more depth.  “I take everything he taught me and live by the goodness of his intentions. It’s the only way I know how to explain to Ryan who Garrett really was. It’s a lousy substitute for the actual, living breathing Garrett. That’s where you have to embody the representation. Ryan needs the side by side example of what his father would’ve wanted.” If any of this scared Conner away, he wasn’t going to be the right person taking such a hefty position in our lives.
“I accept the challenge…no, actually, it isn’t a challenge. I accept the responsibility. I want to complete your lives in a way no one else can. You deserve purple. It’s the color of champions and royalty. You’ve been through so much.”
Big talk sounded good, but, could Conner really live up to his word?
Please visit us at our main site for more interpretations of purple Tuesday Tales Main Page





Monday, May 9, 2016

Tuesday Tales and Giving Hugs

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! It's time for Tuesday Tales.
A group of writers gather together and give our interpretation of a specific word prompt each week. Once per month, we even write to an image.  You never know what you might encounter when you get inside our minds. This week our group writes to the word- hug This will be an excerpt from my new WIP for a new romance contemporary.




Conner showed up after supper time Friday evening. I’d put aside a plate for him, tucking it into the microwave. He didn’t get many home cooked meals while he was working. These clinical rotations really took every minute of his time. I heard his car and practically skipped to the front door, holding it open as a welcoming, not just letting him in.

“How are you?” He hugged me tightly with both arms.

“I’m great, been a good day. Are you terribly tired?”

“Nah, I’m okay. I actually got some sleep last night. What about you?” He looked beyond me into the house. “Did the little guy let you get some rest?”

“Absolutely.” Cuddling with Ryan was better than a teddy bear and melatonin combined. However, an image of me and Conner cuddled together gave me a peaceful feeling as well. Suddenly flustered, I gave him a little push inside, away from my wandering mind. “I’ve got you some food, we saved you a little bit of supper anyway.”

Mom walked in, smiling and holding her arms open. “Hey, Dr. Conner, how are you?”

“I’m awesome, Mrs. Blanton.” He pulled her into a bear hug.

“Would you stop calling me Mrs. Blanton? I’m Martha. Where did all this formality come from?”

“Okay, Martha. I guess it comes from being in the city too long.”

“Rachel saved you a big plate, I made sure to cook extra. She said you were coming.”

He eyed me, giving me a grin. “Oh, she did?”

“Yes, she did. I think she told me on purpose, to make sure I cooked enough for you. How is your momma?”

“She’s fine. I’ll see her this weekend. That’s where I’m staying tonight.”

Hmm, he wasn’t going to sleep here? What was I thinking? We weren’t having a slumber party.

“Oh, pushaw, you can stay here. I’ll make up the couch in the den. It’s too late and I’m sure you’re tired. Rachel wants to fill you in on her plans for the orchard. You and I both know she’ll talk your ear off when she has an idea. You might not get to sleep until midnight.”

Thanks for embarrassing me, mom.

“I know she’s a chatterbox. That’s not much new.” Pushing me lightly on the shoulder, he played with the conversation my mother started. They felt so comfortable, both knowing me equally well- in different ways of course.

“Okay, you two, I’m right here. You can shut up now.” They resembled an alliance, working toward a common goal. I wasn’t in the know they shared.
Please visit us at our main site for more interpretations of hug Tuesday Tales Main Page

Monday, April 25, 2016

Tuesday Tales and a Little Pill

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! It's time for Tuesday Tales.
A group of writers gather together and give our interpretation of a specific word prompt each week. Once per month, we even write to an image.  You never know what you might encounter when you get inside our minds. This week our group writes to the word- pill This will be an excerpt from Twister Fate, my new WIP for a new romance contemporary.


Strolling into the kitchen, I wondered if she had a guilty conscience. “What’s up?”
Not missing a beat, she continued chopping vegetables, throwing a question back at me. “Did you have a nice visit with Violet?”
“More than just nice, it was enlightening. She was so forthcoming about how you called Conner to come see me after I got home. Really? Why did you do that? What made you do such a thing?”
That made her stop chopping. “I was worried about you. I knew he was a huge support to you in the hospital. Why do you think I didn’t visit much?” Mom was the one giving me up, telling on me. She’d contacted Conner, trying to help me with life…Garrett…loss. I should’ve known it was her.
“Because you didn’t want to make that long drive all the time?”
“Oh, good grief, I didn’t care about that drive! I knew he was there and you seemed more settled and calm after a few weeks of his company.”
“He was medical staff, Mom. He wasn’t meet your hospital match dot com.”
“Stop being such a pill. I wasn’t being inappropriate, Rachel. Your relationship with Conner is based upon friendship, a tried and true friendship. He seemed to be getting through where I couldn’t. I left it alone.”
“I wasn’t blocking you out. Did I make you think such a thing?” Even as the words left my mouth, I remembered how I treated her. I didn’t want to talk with her. I griped at her when she was only trying to keep me and Ryan healthy. I was rude.
“I wanted you to try to find your new normal. Like it or not, your life permanently changed in seconds. I knew that nothing would be the same, and I also knew it was forever going to be that way. I mourned for Garrett, but, I was also very protective of you and your feelings and how you were going to make it through life. I couldn’t bear to see you deal with the loss of Garrett and the home you worked so hard to build.”
“In many ways, I’m happy the house was completely destroyed and couldn’t be rebuilt. I’m not sure I could handle living every day without Garrett in the home we built together. We had too many memories.” The same storm that took my husband was the aftermath forcing me to start over. I needed a “new normal” to help me move on.

~Please visit us at our main site for more interpretations of pill Tuesday Tales Main Page

Monday, April 18, 2016

Tuesday Tales and Just One More Push

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! It's time for Tuesday Tales.
A group of writers gather together and give our interpretation of a specific word prompt each week. Once per month, we even write to an image.  You never know what you might encounter when you get inside our minds. This week our group writes to the word- push This will be an excerpt from Twister Fate, my new WIP for a new romance contemporary.


In that moment like a funnel I pressed all my sadness and frustration pain tolerance and resolution into pushing my son into the world. I inhaled deeply before bearing down all I had into his arrival. I felt my hair matted to my forehead, drenched with my sweat. I felt the trail of tears pouring down my cheeks. I could see Garrett's face above me when we made love that gave our child life. I thought of his expression so intent and loving when he looked deep into my eyes penetrating my soul as well as my body. I ground again pushing, searing pain scoring my insides and thought of his face when he realized we were finally pregnant. His joy then translated to my heavy sadness right now and I used that emotion to give me strength.

My doctor encouraged me. "You're almost there- you're almost there. Pull it together and give me one more good push!"

Mom held my hand, and I squeezed her fingers clutched within my tightening fist. If it hurt she didn't complain. "Honey you're doing great! I love you so much. You doing such a great job. I'm so proud of you."

I bore down again gritting my teeth as I gave it all I had. I wanted to say it hurt, but I was tougher than that in that moment. I kept going, my focus driven in one direction- finishing this birth. My mind went into a tunnel, and I tuned out all the noise around me. I imagined the finish line, red tape blowing in an imaginary wind, waiting for me to run through it. I pushed again and suddenly I felt an emptiness. Where once was bulky, something filling my obstructed groin was now pleasantly light and unrestrained. I slumped backwards against the raised bed. My heart beat slowed to something less pounding in my ears. I breathed in air, slowing to a less frenetic pace of inhalations. A feeling of relaxation draped my shoulders, and I slumped them a little more. I felt like a wrung out dishrag, spent and empty. A small cry finally filled the air, and I opened my eyes.

"It's a boy!" My doctor gleefully announced, as if proclaiming a king.

Mom squeezed me in a half hug. "You've got a son... a beautiful little boy. I've got a grandson!"

~Please visit us at our main site for more interpretations of push Tuesday Tales Main Page

Saturday, April 16, 2016

That's Amore! Just Out Of My Grasp-How Often Do You Say I LOVE YOU?

Good morning!  I’ve decided to use my blog not only to writing, music, and other facets of entertainment, but, also to share my journey. I’ve had significant health problems for over three years. Initially, rheumatologists diagnosed me with systemic lupus (SLE), Sjogren's Syndrome, and fibromyalgia. However, none of the earlier prescribed medications provided any relief. Actually, I kept getting worse and developing new symptoms. So, after second, third, and fourth opinions, I finally found a wonderful rheumatologist, B. Rezazadeh in Plano, Texas. She determined through exam, medical history, and blood tests I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. (I test positive for ANAs in my blood, and also had a positive Vectra DA test.)
Thank you for listening, each week I will have a new installment chronicling my journey- Which is sometimes more frustrating learning to live with this chronic condition.  Learning to live with the unknown has become my routine.There are several varieties of autoimmune disorders, with different caveats and health variations. However, we all have similar symptoms and health issues commonly strewn throughout the various diagnoses.


Carry on.

How many times do you say, “I love you”, in one day?

I use to average about ten times. I don't do that much anymore, and it bothers me.


Ten, on a slow day. That's how I used to roll.

My family has been big on amore since forever. Grown men, including my sons, brother, and brother in law routinely tell each other, and the rest of us- their heartfelt replies several times in one visit.

I told my daughter about 3 times one morning as she was getting out of the car, she rounded the car and was walking into the high school gym. Actually, those 3 times were a reply to her initiated “I love you, mom”.

It isn’t uncommon for us to say I love you 3 times in one telephone conversation. Even more by text, and probably even more still in a Facebook post.

Do we mean it?

Hell ya!

Life is too long to let a day go by without telling someone you love them. I would venture a guess that you have at least one person to remind on a daily basis just where they rank on the emotional cardio scale. I should get back to it, and this post reminds me of that challenge.

It will make you feel better.

I challenge you for the next week. Keep a stroke tally every day of how many times you say “I  love you” in one day. I want to know your number for the week.

If I get enough replies, I might be encouraged for some type of giveaway.

I love you guys, take care of each other.



Friday, April 15, 2016

What the Storm Didn't Take - SNEAK PEEK

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers...I've been working hard on my newest romance novel, What the Storm Didn't Take. I was inspired by my friendships I've had and also some of the difficulties some of my friends have gone through. Some of my dearest friends lost everything in an Oklahoma tornado. The twister literally dropped out of the sky right behind their home. Everything they owned was strewn and scattered. Thankfully, no one was hurt during the storm. However, in my novel, the heroine loses her husband as he is trying to rescue her.

The way she chooses to move forward in her life drives the plot.
I'd like to offer you a sample of my book, a small excerpt of what I'm working on. In this small piece, our heroine, Rachel, is learning how to deal with reality as a young widow. A dear friend, Conner, is trying to convince her to attend a grief support group. Let's see how it goes-

Despite appearances, anger had been bubbling beneath the surface, trying to get out. I kept squashing it down, hoping it’d go away. Here he was trying to psychoanalyze me, and I almost resented him for ruining my fake good mood. “I’m really frustrated you’d try to get me talking about shit I don’t want to talk about.”

“You know, there are stages of grief a person goes through. It’s okay to feel your way through all of them.”

“Good Lord, you’ve worked in health care too long. Would you stop being a doctor or a shrink and just be my friend.” He touched nerves within seconds.

“I’m trying to help. Believe it or not, you’re not hiding your real feelings from me. Maybe you fool everyone else, but, I know your tells.”

My tells? What the hell? “You aren’t as clever as you think you are.”

“Oh no? Your eye twitches when you are feeling anxious. It’s done it off and on since I got here.”

I’d forgotten the feeling, being so used to it occurring. I didn’t even feel the tickle of the twitch in the corner of my left eye. Suddenly, I felt it involuntarily move.

“See!” He said triumphantly. “I told you.”

“Dammit, you’re a smart ass, you know it?”

“I’m not trying to be a smart ass. I’m trying to help you. Would you just listen for a minute?”

Shifting on the couch next to him, I weighed my options. He wasn’t going to give up, I knew that. Too many years of his poking and prodding in my brain until he helped fix whatever bothered me. “Okay, you’ve got a short amount of time before I tell you to shut up.”

Ignoring my abrasiveness, he took a breath and continued on. Ryan kept sleeping through all of it. Conner’s voice lulled him just as much as it used to lull me. “There are stages of grief a person goes through. Once you work through them, it’ll help you cope with the rest of your life.”

I pursed my lips and offered a small nod. He wasn’t telling me anything new. I vaguely remember a social worker’s visit at the hospital. She tried to offer some helpful advice, but, I wasn’t interested at the time. I politely, yet firmly, told her I wasn’t interested in a second visit. “I do know about the stages of grief.”

“I’d like to help you through them, if you’ll let me.” He finally put Ryan back in his bassinet. “I’m an outside person, someone neutral and objective. I know you, and want to help you. But, I wasn’t close to the both of you.”

Why was he pressing this issue so heavily? It was like he was on some mission, and made me second guess his intentions when he texted earlier. “You know, the best thing for me is when I forget. I try to live a normal life and not think about the alternative- the wonderful life I was living before the storm.”

“But, it will stunt you, Rachel. You won’t get far before you have a meltdown.”

“I’ve had plenty of melt downs.”

“You haven’t yet had one that stopped you from moving forward.”

“Are you trying to say I haven’t been sad enough?” He was pissing me off. I wanted to hit something and I’m not a violent person. “How would you know how much I hurt? Are you magically measuring my rate of grief?”

“There’s not a scale. I’m not trying to say you’re doing something wrong.”

I interrupted him. “Good, because you don’t know how hard it fucking is.”

Thank you for taking the time to read this small piece. I hope you'll join me as I periodically release small snippets. The next is scheduled for Tuesday, April 19. Have a beautiful day!

See Me on Smashwords

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Tuesday Tales and a Phone to Heaven

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! It's time for Tuesday Tales.
A group of writers gather together and give our interpretation of a specific word prompt each week. Once per month, we even write to an image.  You never know what you might encounter when you get inside our minds. This week our group writes to the word- phone This will be an excerpt from Twister Fate, my new WIP for a new romance contemporary.


“You’re going to be better than fine, you’re going to be amazing.” Conner whispered from above, so soft I’m sure the nurse behind him didn’t hear him.

How did he know I was in a panic? “I hope so.” I could only whisper back in faith, because I had no confidence in myself.

A slight hesitation at the automatic sliding doors, he momentarily stopped pushing. I swear I heard him inhale sharply, deeply. I imagined his hands gripping the handles, tighter than I held my son, for fear I’d break him.

We were both holding on…to what I didn’t know.

A few inches forward and the doors slid open, beckoning us to the Oklahoma summer. The sunshine illuminated the day, warming my icy fears. It was then I noticed people milling in and out, oblivious we took up a big middle of the walkway. A couple of folks smiled in my direction, clasping their hands together in a show of affection.

I wasn’t the middle of the universe. I was another person getting through the day. I understood grief and what happened in hospitals so many times. It wasn’t always a place of life, it was a place of anguish and death. In truth, I realized I was a lucky one.

I was a lucky one?

Conner leaned down, offering his hand to help me stand. “Your chariot awaits.” Motioning his head toward my mom’s car, she stood next to the open passenger door, smiling bigger than the beautiful day.

I’d have to learn how to accept happiness, joy, and appreciation for the beauty in life without the guilt Garrett wasn’t here to experience it as well. Our son, Ryan, deserved more than that from me- his mother, protector, and obvious unconditional love. He would learn these things from me, how to be strong and appreciative.

What if I taught him the opposite?

How could all these worries flood me within a matter of minutes? Everything overwhelmed me, and I felt tears gather across my eyes. I was saying goodbye-farewell to my rock- the incredible quasi-family who enveloped my sorrow as well as my physical health. They healed me in so many ways- and Conner was at the center of it.

When would I see him again? We didn’t have the hospital facilitating our visits anymore.

Now, we’d have to find a valid reason that didn’t betray or disparage either of us. 

I wasn’t sure we could.

I wish I had a phone to Heaven.

~Please visit us at our main site for more interpretations of phone Tuesday Tales Main Page