Blurb

The shoes didn't fit. It was an omen.













Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Quick Update

Currently, I’m plugging out the rewrites to the last twelve chapters, give or take a few.

I also want to thank Beth Muscat, Lorelei Bell, and William Kendall for taking on the task as beta-readers. This means a lot to me,guys.

After the editing process, I’ll be deciding between three peeps to do the actual book cover. The pic on this blog is something borrowed.

And, of course, there’s the formatting process. I hear it’s a real bugger to do so I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to do that or hire out. Sweetman says to hire someone because I have issues putting all my chapters correctly into one document.

That’s all for now folks!

See you all later in the ink!

Shelly

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

To Use or Not to Use Snippet

I thought I’d share this with all of you. My critters loved this piece but I haven’t decided if I will actually keep this in.  I may re-work into another chapter.

“Where do we hide with lightning? Don’t you know it’s not good to be under trees in weather like this?” A rain drop landed on my head. “With goons behind us.”

Within minutes rain drops pelted us. Orange streaks lit up the sky and thunder rumbled through it.

Cynthia grabbed my hand, and pulled me to an area of tall weeds and assorted Florida palms. They fitted snug into each other making the perfect hiding fortress. We both crouched behind them. Quarter-sized rain drops bombarded us. Lightning lashed out at the ground in the distance.

B.J. ran ahead into the watery veil, disappearing.

“I know I heard them,” Max said, a couple feet to my left.

My fingers trembled around my handgun. Rain blurred my vision. Cold shivers traveled up my spine and my teeth chattered together.

“Quiet,” Cynthia whispered, thumping my arm.

I bit my lower lip. “Ow,” I whispered.

“Shhh.” Cynthia parted the three foot palm trees and peeked out into the woods.

“I’m nervous and I need to pee real bad.” The pouring rain didn’t help.

Muddy grass sloshed near-by.

Cynthia closed the palm trees and held her lips pin straight. She gestured with her eyes and held her index finger to her mouth.

A twig snapped in front of us. The rain slowly stopped. I held my breath while Cynthia grabbed my hand and squeezed.

“They’re around here somewhere,” Max said. “I know it. I know I saw blood on the trail before it started to rain.”

“You think, Lila got shot?” Coon asked. “We shouldn’t have gotten her into this mess. I knew it.”

“Shut-up!” Max shouted. “She’s avowed to me. And she’s making no good on her wifely promises.”

Cynthia and I held onto each other, supporting one another in our squat positions. From the knee down every muscle went numb. My feet sunk into the muddy ground.

“So. What’s that got to do with anything?”

“Hey! You had no problem staring at her assets back at the motel,” Max said.

“What’d you expect? I’m a guy. Guys stare at naked women.”

Two more sets of shoes splashed near-by.

“You going yellow belly on us?” Cockroach said.

“Nah,” Vinny said. “He’s sweet on her. Can’t say the thought hasn’t crossed my mind.”

Brandy whined, sniffing around our palm tree fortress.

A pair of muddy boots stood in front of the foliage.

“Shoo,” Cynthia whispered to Brandy. The dog ignored her.

“Aaaa—” I slapped my hand across my mouth and held my breath.

The mucky boots stepped into our hiding place. “Did you hear something?” Max said.

I looked up. Crapity-crap-crap-crap.

Max towered over us with his hands on his hips, looking out into the forest without looking down.

“I hear rain drops falling from the trees,” Cockroach said.

“Sounds more like someone breathing,” Max said, staring out into the forest.

I kept my hand over my mouth while Cynthia stroked Brandy’s head.

The other two in unison said, “We didn’t hear anything.”

Brandy wiggled further under the palm to rest her head on Cynthia’s knee.

Max took one step away from our hiding area.

I peeked out to where the four idiots stood.

An owl hooted somewhere close by and other birds chirped a symphony around us. Movement fluttered leaves above us, water droplets fell onto us, and a bird took flight when Cockroach walked toward Max. It flew low, flapping its wings and squawking.

Cockroach flailed his arms about.“Ah, shit!” he yelled. “Get that damn thing away from me.”

Coon ran to him, waving his arms at the bird. “For God’s sake, I’m beginning to think birds are taking over like in that Alfred Hitchcock movie. What was that movie called?”

The bird flew back up into the tree.

“The Birds. Dickweed,” Vinny said.

A small breeze wafted the scent of rosewater to my nose, and a small whirlwind whipped up around Max. Muddy leaves blew all around him.

“What the friggin—,” he said slapping at the leaves swirling around him. He backed farther away from our hiding spot.

“Ohhhhh,” Coon said. “You know. Maybe someone’s trying to tell us something. Like leave Lila alone”

“Will you shut up!” Max shouted. “”Get this shit off me!”

Brandy laid down between Cynthia and me.

.

 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Message to My Hair Clients

First, I wish to apologize for loosing some of your numbers and e-mails. Secondly, I did not walk out or not show up for my shift. I gave a two week notice last Monday. And this past Monday, the manager called me requesting the shop key back and told me I was not needed to finish out the week. I know as of Monday, most of you have been told something different. Quite a few of you have called me.

And yes, I’m still doing hair. I moved to Fantastic Sams, located at, 13820 Little Rd. (at Hudson Avenue in the Publix Center). The phone number there is 727-869-9396. Also, I have a set schedule, Sunday 10-5, Monday and Wednesday 9-3, and, Thursday and Friday 2-8. You can also call ahead on the same day you wish to have your hair done to schedule an appointment.

I hope to see you all there and if I don’t, have a great holiday.

Shelly

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Field Trip to A Gun Shop

I’ve been meaning to do this post for weeks now, but once again life has weaved it’s tricks in. 

Several Mondays ago, my critters informed me that I didn’t know jack-squat about rifles, shot-guns, and handguns. Well, to be honest, they were correct. A gun is a gun to me. It doesn’t matter how it operates, it still fires holes into things, animals, and people.

Lila, the main character in this novel, doesn’t know anything about them either but gets a fast lesson on them from her best friend, Cynthia. If you’ve read her character blog, you’ll learn she’s got herself in a pickle jar. Her life is in danger.

So I visited my local gun shop slash shooting range, The Firing Line, located on 6123 Ridge Rd., Port Richey, Florida. Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 8 PM, Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM, and Sunday, 10 AM to 4 PM. Phone number: 727-849-7457.

I wanted to shout out a big thank you to Rob for showing me the difference between a shotgun and rifle.


For your information:

Rifles have metallic cartridges that look like little missiles. They are single projectiles and the caliber tells what size it is.

Shotguns have many shots. They're encased in a cylander with many pellet-type objects. A gage determines the size of the bullets.

Either of these can be loaded via a magazine clip.

A small handgun is also known as a glock. One must aim and fire unlike the shotgun and rifle. When holding the handgun pretend your hand is entering a handshake. This can also be loaded with a magazine clip.

These are a few things I learned. This information helps when I watch YouTube videos on the subject.

And before I close this post, I can't stress enough on research for your fiction novels. Do not bullshit your way through a novel. Readers get mad when you do. Become as knowledgable as possible on anything you have no clue about. Yes, it takes time but better to be safe than sorry. You want happy fans of your novels, not ones that will have your head on a platter.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Tissue Snippet

She looked down at the bedspread.“Well,” she said. “He’s died a couple times but the doctors brought him back.”

“Why didn’t you tell me? How could you keep that from me?”

“Shhh,” she said. “Hate it when you cry.” She jumped up and ran to the bathroom, coming back with a cheap, small no-named box of tissue. She pulled. It made a whoosh sound. She handed a wad of them to me.“Here, blow.”

I did.

“You know,” Cynthia said. Whoosh, whoosh, she handed me two more.

I took the tissue and blew my nose again.

“He and I had plans to sneak you onto a plane to Venezuela. But you derailed me every time, or should I say, your mother’s plans derailed me.”

“Okay. But why didn’t you tell me he died a couple times?” I asked, tossing my gob of used tissues into a wire wastebasket beside the bed.

“I didn’t think that part would matter.” Whoosh, whoosh. She tugged out two more tissues and dabbed at her eyes.

“Is there anything else you haven’t told me?”

She shrugged and looked at the tissue box.

“Cynthia,” I said, grabbing her shoulders, new tears falling on my face.

Her whole body frowned, and she slumped. “There’s water on his brain.” Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. This time she yanked tissues out of the box and handed me one.

“Oh my God,” I sobbed.

She swabbed at her own tears with the other tissues.“The doctors are keeping him in a coma.”

“Why?”

Cynthia ran her hand under her runny nose. “Because they drilled a hole into his skull to relieve pressure from the fluid.” She took my hand off her shoulder, squeezed it, and sniffled. “I’m sorry, Lila. I should’ve told you sooner but I was afraid you’d—”

“Could he die and never come back no matter what the doctors do?” I asked.

“No, Lila.” Her teary eyes held mine. “I don’t know, but they’ve brought him back two times that I know of.”

“That explains the dreams.” I inhaled a slow breath and released it slowly.

Cynthia’s brows knitted together. “What are you talking about?”

“Julio’s visiting me in my dreams.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Where I’m At

Well, I’m still writing and working out Lila’s stuff. You see, when someone like me, an aspiring author, does what we do, most times we have to work a day job. Sometimes those day jobs get in the way but we keep plugging along despite the curve balls. That’s what I’m doing.

I’ve got several more hills of editing and rewriting to do. Secondhand Shoes is rather action-packed. And to be honest, there aren’t too many resting points so I need to create some breather-chapters. I wouldn’t want any reader to pass out from a faint heart or because their blood pressure rose too high from reading the novel. I can remember a movie I went to see with my dad. He had to leave because his blood pressure went sky high and he needed a good dose of his meds to bring it back down. There  were no resting points for a good forty-five minutes.

So my friends, when will I be finished? Hopefully, soon. But I can’t publish something that’s not ready. It would be like eating a half-baked cake. That sounds pretty gross to me. How about you?

For me, it’s all about quality and entertaining you all properly….and to make you all happy campers. I never want my readers to have ask WTF?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Critter’s Favorite Lines

The Creeps were on their way back. Crapity-crap-crap-crap.

Gram stood at the passenger side. “He thought he was being smart.” She held up a set of spark plugs. “Not everyone has a Gram to watch over them, you know.” She faded into the light as she dropped them into my hands.

My brain muddled memories of how to put the darned things in.

They didn’t seem to notice I was driving. They caught the backend of the Impala. When Vinny hung his arm out the passenger window to wave, I sped off leaving a trail of black smoke. Something Max would do.

Believe it or not, my critters have more favorites. Which one is yours?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Another Small Snippet

The following scene happens after Max and his motley crew catch up with Lila and her best friend, Cynthia.   They’re in a secluded swampy-pond area in the Florida backwoods.

 

Cockroach flipped out a Butterfly knife. “I’m going to use my favorite knife on you.” He drew air pictures with it, his lips pressing down on his tongue.

“I’m going to the truck now.” Coon muttered from behind.

Max shoved me forward. “All you had to do was act like you loved me. That’s all. You took a vow for better or worse, woman.” He pushed me again. I tripped over something sticking out of the mud and fell to my knees.

The black birds and the Cardinal chattered in a frenzy.

“Why’d you have to run from me? Why’d you spray that shit in my eyes? Why’d you steal my car?” His voice got louder and angrier with each question. “Why, woman?” He grabbed the hair at my nape where he butted me with the gun, pulling me up to my feet. “Why are you going to make me kill you, baby doll.”

The birds in the tree went silent again, their wings resting at their sides. A million bird eyes watched us all. Waiting.

Hair raised on the back of my arms and the scent of rosewater filled my nose.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Character Blog: Julio Velasquez

Julio Velasquez is Lila’s x-boyfriend. Unacceptable to Bab’s standards, mommy-dearest, made sure their relationship ended six months before she coerced her daughter into marrying Max.

Sometime before the Lila’s wedding, Julio was in a motorcycle accident.

Beep noises are filling my ears and all I can see is darkness. Sometimes familiar voices speak to me, but I can’t move. I heard the doctor say I was in a coma the other day, a medical induced one.

The last thing I remember was a broken heart I’d been trying to mend when I lost control of my motorcycle and crashed into a tree. Now my time is spent thinking about Lila and how I’m going to get her back.

And a strange thing happened, too. Her dead Gram visited me. Told me Lila’s in a heap of trouble after she married some creep named Max.

But, Gram says there’s a way. Body hopping into someone else's. All I have to do is astral project myself into a willing body. They’d go into my body and mine into theirs. One problem though, if I stay out of my own body too long it might die sending the other participant into the next world, leaving me trapped in theirs.

“Lila, if you can hear me. I love you. Always have and always will. And, I’ll do whatever I can to rescue you.”

pic01191

Whoever this hot guy is, he would be perfect to play Julio. He’s got the same color eyes and skin. Anyone know who this is?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chapter One- Rewritten

CHAPTER ONE

Second Thoughts
November 12, 1983

Except for the hiccups, the girl in the full-length mirror, stood, crying without sound, black mascara streaking her cheeks. I poked a couple fingers under the high lacey neckline and scratched.

Gram appeared behind me, wearing the same lavender chiffon dress she wore in her casket six months ago. “I’ve seen wrong in my life but this takes the cake,” she said, crinkling up her nose. “Forcing an eighteen-year-old girl to marry any twenty-seven year old, much less a scallywag. Your mother’s crazy.”

The tops of my arms itched, too, and I rubbed them, not responding to Gram’s comment, letting the lace do the scratching. My reflection squirmed in the white A-line dress. Its bodice and skirt were taffeta, the sleeves and fabric above the bustline to neck was lace. I hated the dress.

“It’s cheap-looking but pretty. More your mother’s taste.” She stepped beside me and fingered the lace on my sleeve and tisked. “What did they make this out of? Synthetic? It must itch like crazy.” She looked around the room. “Well, we’ll have to take care of this.”

“How?” I asked.

“The best thing you could do is take off that darned thing and run, child,” she said. “Pay no mind to your mother’s pooh either.”

“You know I can’t.”

“Then here,” Gram said, reaching for a pair of scissors in a near-by drawer. “Take these.”

“What on earth for?” I asked.

“To cut the lace off that darned thing. If it bothers you, get rid of it!”

“Mom’ll kill me if I do that. She’s so proud of this dress,” I said. “She bought it at a bridal shop auction in Georgia. It cost her one hundred and fifty-three dollars.”

“Yeah. Yeah. I know all about it,” Gram said. “Never thought to ask you to go along.”

“I was working,” I said.

Gram grunted and grabbed my right hand and shoved the scissors handle up into my palm. “Besides, you don’t want to go through with this day. Right?”

I nodded and said, “But Mom will be upset if I don’t.” According to her, I needed someone to take care of me since I see people no one else does. She believes I’m nuts.

“Pooh on your mother. Just cut that mess off!” She looked down, moving the skirt off my shoes. “And, take off those ridiculous things. They don’t fit. I’m sure they’re bunching up your toes.”

“But they sort of match the lace on my dress.” I’d had them on for five minutes, and I was already going from foot to foot to get relief.

“If you don’t look too close.” Gram crossed her arms over her chest. “I don’t see how girls today can walk in skinny heels. What are they, five inches?”

“No Gram. Three.”

“What’d she pay for them? Ten dollars,” Gram said.

“Only eight,” I said.

“Your mother ought to be shot,” Gram groaned. “She couldn’t even get you new ones.”

“She got them at an exclusive bridal boutique, Gram.”

She looked the scissors in my trembling hand. “Now, cut.”

“No, Gram.”

“Don’t make me come and do it. There’s no telling what I’ll do with my energies. You know how it is with me now.”

“Okay. But —” My hand shook as I held the scissors up and wiggled their beaks into the lacey sleeve.

“Hurry before they come,” Gram said.

I swallowed a ragged lump, readying myself to snip. “But, you know how she is.”

“Today’s a good day to stand up to her, dear.”

The door to the bridal room creaked opened.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Small Excerpt Sunday

Lila’s waiting at the Motel 6 for her best friend, Cynthia, to come pick her up, but she has a bad dream, foretelling some future event.

 

I closed my eyes and everything went dark – but not for long. I found myself standing in a white sterile room. B.J. Clemmons stood over a bed. A man lie in it. Tubes surrounded him and something beeped beside his bed. I walked toward both of them. Julio lie in the bed, eyes closed, looking lifeless.

B.J.‘s head stayed lowered and stared at my boyfriend. Well, my used-to-be boyfriend.

“B.J.,” I said. “What’re you doing here?”

He didn’t answer. I tapped his shoulder, but he didn’t respond.

A whirlwind entered the center of the room and twirled beside me. I tried to move away, but it followed me, and sucked me into its middle.

Thrown from side to side in the storm tunnel, I rolled onto the motel floor. Someone’s bare feet wiggled their toes at me. The left big toe nail looked bruised. Hair curled out around the person’s ankles. Max. How’d he get here?

“Room thirteen, baby doll,” he said. He read my mind. “You need to get up.”

Something wet ran down the side of my face and down my chin. I swiped at it.

“Baby doll, I’m coming for you.”

His laughter filled the room, and he vanished.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chapter One

 

I stood in front of the full-length mirror. Black mascara streaked my tear stained cheeks. A hiccup escaped in the midst of a long sigh. I ran my fingers under the high lacey neckline, and scratched.

My reflection squirmed in the A-line wedding dress. The lacey neckline and sleeves of the dress made me itch. Taffeta made up the bodice and lower half of the dress. My chest, shoulders and neck itched something fierce. I hated the dress. I felt artificial. I thought I looked like a Wedding Day Barbie doll with two black eyes.

My Mom, Babs bought the dress at a bridal shop auction in Georgia a couple of months ago without me. Proud of herself, Mom went on for weeks about paying only: one hundred and sixty dollars for a new wedding gown. I never had a say in it.

The pretty-white shoes were covered in lace with three inch heels. But, they were a half-size too small. The backs dug into my heels and the fronts squeezed my toes. I hopped from foot to foot trying to find relief.

Mom found the shoes at a secondhand bridal boutique and brought them home to me. They cost eight dollars.

My mother picked the wedding day, and the groom, too. She’s never been one to give me an opportunity to speak.

I swiped at my tears and picked up a hand-mirror on a near-by table to see the back of my head. My headpiece slid midway into my blonde curls, and I adjusted the pearlized combs.

My stepdad Howard opened the door wide enough to poke his head into the small room the church set aside for brides. He smiled and asked “Are you ready?”

He looked handsome in his black tuxedo, even though his belly hung over his pants. He smoothed back his salt-and-pepper hair, and his usually droopy eyes twinkled.

The mirror reflected that he walked into the room smiling, came up behind me and put his hands on my shoulder. “Lila, you look¾.” He fixed his eyes on my runny eye make-up and gave me a wary look. “You look lovely.” He forced out the words. “Seems like yesterday, you were six and falling off your bike. Scraping your knees. And then I’d have to pick you up and carry you into the house to wipe away your tears and put iodine on your scrapes.”

I bowed my head, and my lips quivered. Daddy did his best to make light of a terrible situation.

My mind shouted at me before he spoke again. It shouted and shouted Julio’s name. It shouted that this day should’ve been ours. My brain went into tantrum mode, but I bit my tongue. I knew Mom considered Julio a moot subject and Daddy shied away from it.

“I hope those are tears of happiness, sweet angel?”

He knew better.

I shook my head. “Oh, Daddy I can’t marry Max. It’s all wrong.” Julio jumped into my head. I shouldn’t have broken up with him.

He pulled me to his chest. Cuddling my head against his shoulder like he did when I was little. “Did you tell your mother, this?”

“You know that would bring doom on me.” Mom’s wooden spoon crossed my mind. She never leaves home without it. “Couldn’t you do it?”

He patted my back. “Honey, she’s only doing what she thinks is best for you. You know how she is?”

I lifted my head from his shoulder. “But I’ve only known him three months and I’m barely eighteen. I should’ve taken your advice. I should be allowed to make my own decisions.” I pulled at the high lacey neckline to scratch my neck again. “My stomach’s upset.”

Daddy grabbed a bunch of tissues from a Kleenex box nearby and wiped at the smeared make-up on my face. “Do your best to convey this to your mother. I’m right here, sweet girl.”

A lot of good that would do. Daddy’s never done a great job at standing up to her. I wished he had the guts to do it for me.

The door to the bridal room flew open, hitting the wall. Mom barged in, and the door bounced shut with a click. Her hair looking more fiery red than usual and her eyes piercing, she said, “Why are you still here? You should’ve been out there five minutes ago.” She cocked her left brow at both of us. Her eyebrows were painted on. It was a grimace-inducing sight when she cocked sans paint from a barren forehead. Prone to neuroses about her appearance, she pulled all her eyebrows out lest they wild-hair on her.

Thank God she didn’t come with her weapon. Quick, I looked around but saw nothing she could grab to swat with.

Daddy stepped away from me and raised his hand in a calming gesture, something he did when he tried to take a stand against Mom. In the fourteen years they’d been married, Mom won the battles. All of them. The land mines that she planted in our home were too much for him to contend with, and he’d backed down.

Daddy looked at her. “Lila has something to tell you.”

Mom jammed her fists on her hips. “What is it?”

“I don’t want to marry Max.”Where the words came from, I didn’t know. I certainly hadn’t taken bravery pills.

Mom’s gray eyes narrowed.

If she goes to slap me, I’ll grab her wrist mid-go. Maybe. If I’m fast enough. Speed is the key here.

“What do you mean you don’t want to marry Max? There are two hundred and fifty people waiting out there. I spent twenty-five hundred dollars on the caterers, which, if you’ll recall, can’t be refunded. I put a lot of time into looking for your dress and shoes. You have bridal nerves, that’s all.”

I hiccupped and shifted my feet.

“It’s not bridal nerves, Mom. Don’t you remember the dream that I had?”

Tears welled up in my eyes again, and my throat went dry.

“Don’t start with that dream nonsense.” She threw her hands up in the air.

This time I flinched. I thought for sure she’d hit me, but she didn’t. Unusual.

“No, you have bridal nerves, and you’re getting married. So don’t start your nonsense and ruin your chance at having a husband.”

“But¾.”

Mom stepped closer to me and put her finger in my face.

I lowered my head. She’d never fought with just words.

“Do you want your future husband to find out that you’re certifiably nuts before the ink is dry?”

“But my dream was trying to warn me.”

“Lila, your dream is proof that you’re nuts. Not to mention, you see people that no one else does.” She chuckled. “It’s as if you think you’re a psychic or something. Your Gram filled your head with this foolishness. I guess she wanted you to be a fool like your father.” She annunciated it with anger, spewing spit out of her mouth.

Daddy put his hand on Mom’s shoulder. “Dear, she shouldn’t go through¾.”

“You stay out of this. She’s not your daughter.”

Daddy slouched. Defeat stretched across his face and seeped through his eyes. That’s all she had to say. Remind him that I’m not his biological daughter. I know it pained him.

Verging on hysteria, I fell into my Mom. “But, I can’t, Mom, please. This should’ve been me and Julio’s day.” Immediately I pressed my lips together. This comment earned me a good whack.

She grabbed my arms hard and pushed me back instead. “Now stop this Julio and dream nonsense. Do you think you’re the only bride who panics at the altar? You’re not. Pull yourself together and act like the lady I raised you to be. This is your wedding day.”

I twisted free from Mom’s grip. What could I say at this point? My mouth opened to speak, but nothing came out. I thought twice about it. People were here, and I didn’t want to embarrass myself. They’d take her side anyway. I’m sure she’s told all of them how crazy I am. She would do that.

Mom spun, pulled half a dozen tissues from the box on the vanity next to the full-length mirror, and shoved them into my hand. “Now fix your face.” Out of nowhere, her face softened. “Let’s go.” Her voice sweetened. “People are waiting.”

Mom turned on her heel but stopped, looked at me and said, “You know that I love you and want what’s best for you. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. Why do you think we spent so much money putting you in private school?” After a second, she turned and marched out of the bridal room, leaving the door open behind her.

The man I called Daddy from the time I was four stood with his head down. He looked up and, taking a tissue from my hand, wiped my face.

“Your mother’s probably half-right, you know, honey. It’s nothing more than nerves.” I don’t think he believed this, but how else could he justify his wife’s actions. It irked me, but I didn’t let him see it. Maybe one day when I’m all grown up, I thought.

I nodded as I choked back more tears.

My Daddy gave me a small smile. “That’s my pretty girl. Now blow your nose, and fix your make-up, and I’ll walk you to your groom.”

I blew my nose and fixed my make-up as I thought of my real dad. I wished he could be here today. I jostled my brain trying to remember if I addressed an invitation to him. I know that I did because I tucked a note in with the wedding invitation. That note read:

Dear Dad:

I know that you and Mom don’t get along. But, I would love to have you walk me down the aisle along with my stepdad. I feel so lucky to have two dads in my life even though I haven’t seen you since I was ten. I don’t know why you haven’t come to see me or call but I would love to see you on my wedding day. Please come.

Love,

Lila

Mom promised that she mailed out the invitation and note. The week before the wedding Mom placed a yellow post it note on my bedroom door while I was at work. That note read:

Your father is not coming to the wedding. He never received the invitation.

I tried calling him but got his answering machine instead. I left several messages for him to call back. He never did according to Mom.

Mom voiced later in that week that my sister Katy may have intercepted his mail. “Maybe she ripped it up and threw it away. She’s a hideous child that never should’ve been born, you know.” A comment we all heard from the time Katy had turned three.

Finishing my lipstick, my Daddy put out his forearm and smiled. “Are you ready now, honey?”

No. I entwined my arm in his and looked into his amber puppy eyes. We were both Mom’s captives doing her bidding.

“Of course.” Another hiccup freed itself. At least something got to be free. Too bad I can’t be a stomach bubble today. Too bad I can’t float away somewhere.

We walked out of the church’s bridal room and into a long dark corridor. Something shadowy waltzed ahead of us. Silence echoed in the passage to the sanctuary.

Flashbacks of my dream raced around in my head. I could see myself in a mall void of people. Lights dimmed from front to back. I pushed on a glass door. Locked. At full body weight I shoved myself into it. Nothing happened. Not even the slightest movement of air came inside.

I lowered my head and walked toward an escalator. Still and silent it sat. I looked up to the top of it. I saw nothing but an eerie glow. Curious, I lifted my long white dress and took the first step onto it. It jerked and made a humming noise.

The escalator went from unsteady to a smooth glide. I took a few more steps up. Something black and sharp nicked my forehead. A surge of black pointed objects hurled themselves at me. I crossed my arms in front of my face. This lasted seconds.

Something bony and dry touched my hand. The stench of sulfur and death filled my nostrils. I peeked through my arms and gulped down a lump of fear, suppressing a scream. Bulged eyes in rotting sockets looked back at me. Pieces of ash-colored skin hung in clumps below its cheeks and chin. It tilted its head from side to side and groaned. I jumped out of its way, and my long white dress got caught under my foot. I clung to the rail, and it walked along side of me in the opposite direction of the escalator’s destination. More of these zombie-looking creatures came toward me, and a gush of wind hurled tiny pointed objects at me. They bit into my flesh while I continued up toward the light.

The sound of organ music brought me back to reality as my Daddy and I walked closer to my fate.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Three Sentences: Some of My Favorites

 

Today I’ve posted three sentences from this novel. Currently, I’m working on the time lapses and a few plot holes. It’s coming along nicely.

These three sentences reflect Lila’s wedding day, from her mother’s insistence to ill-fitting bridal shoes to hesitating at the altar.

 

“Do you want your future husband to find out that you’re certifiably nuts before the ink is dry?” (Lila and her mother are having an argument in the bridal room before the wedding.)

Miss Koch leaned into the aisle.“You should never buy shoes that don’t fit properly.” (Miss Koch is the dead church spinster but still smells like bug-spray. She showed up for the wedding.)

 

“I thee hiccup hiccup.” My fingers holding the ring jolted back and it dropped to the carpet. (Lila hesitates anyway she can before she says “I do”.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Character Blog: Max, Lila’s Groom

When I get my hands on that woman, there’s no telling what I’ll do to her, beat her into submission or make wild passionate love to her. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Right now, I need to find her.

The thought came to mind she might be playing hard to get. A game of foreplay before we commence the marriage. Maybe. But she did take off with the wedding cash. I needed it to take care of some business. And if she’s playing hard to get, would she have sprayed me with mace? Possibly. Some girls like it rough. They like pain with pleasure. Hmm…(Scratches his chin).

Nah…maybe she’s really running from me because she did steal my car. No one messes with Max Butz’s car. My mom bought it for me (he scratches his head). I don’t know, though.  Why would she marry me? The woman confuses me.

Maybe she’s  on her way to the police. But my mom tells me wives can’t testify against their husbands in a court of law. If I go down, she goes down.

My mom said she’d be good for the family business. That’s why I married her…well…kind of. I mean, she’s real pretty. Innocent-like, you know. I get a hard-on thinking about her. Guess that means I love her. Mom says it was God’s will to marry her.

Well, when I find her maybe I’ll slap her around a bit and make love to her all in the same round. You know, let her know who’s boss and who loves her. Part of me is hoping I don’t have to kill her. Mom says I might have but not before I make love to her.

I could see Charlie Sheen playing Max. But somehow he’d have to made to look younger. He’s got that demented look in his eyes that I see in Max’s when I write about him.

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What do you think?

Monday, March 7, 2011

For the Love Craved

Can’t say this is exactly a love scene but it’s as close as it gets for Lila’s groom.The scene below takes place after Max, his mother, and friends find her at the Motel Six. She happens to be in the shower when they all bust into her room and right after Max’s friend, Coon, is attacked by bees and taken to the ER.

His finger traced the lapel of my robe and then traveled between my cleavage. “Where’s that pretty thing I want you to wear?”

I removed his hand from me and backed away. He smelled like several-days-passed. The English Leather didn’t hide the stench, but intensified his rancidness. The beer and Mad Dog complimented whatever he was roasting under his arm pits.

I pinched my nose and stood, moving away from the bed. In the background the horror movie played on.

“Come on, baby doll. Go put on that lacey thing and give me some lovin?” He swung his legs up onto the bed. “You’re my wife now.” He let out another loud croak.

My skin did the creepy-crawl thing, and I took three steps back toward the bathroom. “‘Kay, give me a moment.”

He sat on the bed drinking down another beer and then another. His eyes adorned the empty cans like they were trophies. A smile stretched across his face when he looked up at me, and he waggled his brows.

There’s no way I’m having babies with that. I’ll gag myself to death with a spoon before I let him have his way with me.

He reached over to the case of beer, grabbed another one, and popped it open. I watched him gulp that one down too. It sounded like he had speed bumps in his throat as it went down. Glump. Glump. Glump. Three glumps and it was gone. Another can strewn across the room. This made eleven beers.

The alcohol made him brave, and he crawled across the bed at lightening-speed toward me, and stood. He swayed a little while he wrapped his arms around my waist. “Forget the darned lacey thing?”

I stepped back trying to keep my balance, and my nose out of the smelly territory.

The creature on the television screen cackled loud. It didn’t seem to end until a female screamed and the monster-man-thing laughed again.

Like vines, Max’s hands snaked up and down my body. One moment they were at my breasts and within seconds they were on my thighs. They were fast, and before I could think another thought he had my bath robe at my waist. I pushed at his hands creeping towards my breasts. He laughed out brewery-stench.

I held my breath and thrashed about. A small squeal escaped the pit of my stomach. This made him stronger. Our hands wrestled midway to my breasts. He fondled them. His calloused hands ripped at my skin. Everything in me wanted to scream, but what good would that do. I smacked at his hands instead.

Swatting at his hands, amused him. “See. I know what girls like.” He looked like the creature on the television set. His smile distorted as he smacked his lips together. “Come on, baby doll.” His bloodshot eyes looked at my breasts.

For a moment I freed myself from his suction-cup-hands. I moved to the side. He swayed along with me and grinned. It reminded me of a wolf salivating over its prey.

Screams and wicked laughter poured from the television.

My heart looked for away to escape my chest. It jumped to my stomach and then my throat. It got stuck and restricted my air. I felt faint and teetered toward Max.

He rushed toward me placing his arms around my waist once again. He pressed his chest against mine.

I hung like a rag doll against him.

He lifted my head, put his mouth on mine and pried it open with his tongue. His tongue danced its way down my throat. It tasted of stale cigarettes and mixed cocktails.

I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t move.

Before I knew it, he had me onto the bed. My body stiffened as he pressed his body on top of mine.

“You know you want it.”

Monday, February 28, 2011

Character Blog: Lila’s Best Friend, Cynthia Miller

Right now, I’m in a hurry. Lila needs me. She’s hiding in a room at Motel 6 somewhere off I-75, going toward Orlando. Wished she would’ve listened to me. Wished she were hiding in my parent’s beach house. I offered that days before and the day of the wedding. “Too afraid of ruining her mother’s plans,” she said. Always has been, ever since elementary school.

I know she’s in trouble even though she’s gifted. She never listens to herself or what the other side tells her. How come I know she’s not crazy? Her mother seems to know nothing. Glad she’s not my mom. I would’ve committed suicide or something a long time ago.

That Max Butz is no good, and I knew it when I met him. His eyes are always bloodshot and he hangs with scumbags. So grody. Even his father, Mr. Butz referred to him as a peckerhead at the reception. Said he saw him and his skanky friends put something in the trunk of his car. Said his own son was no good. Even though Max’s mother said it was Champaign talking, everyone knows that booze acts like a truth serum. The religious nut’s hiding something, too. Know she is.

Anyway, can’t chat too much longer. My friend needs me and I wouldn’t miss any of this for the world. Would love to see the look on Babs-zilla’s face when the truth comes out about the person she pushed her daughter to marry.

Hope she stays put until I get there. She’s a little na├»ve about things, too. Not a worldly woman like myself.

I could see Anne Hathaway playing the part of Cynthia Miller.

 

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What do you think?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Character Blog: Mrs. Butz

Dear Lord:

We’ve got a problem. Lila’s run off with my boy’s cash and the car. She’s got the family goods. Didn’t think she’d be a rebellious one. The months my son courted her, she didn’t say much. A quiet girl. According to my son, a virgin, too. Wouldn’t so much as give him a kiss, either. Nor did she let him touch her. Come to think of it, she didn’t smile around him much, either.

But I’m still believing she’s the one for my son. Still believing she’ll be great for the family business. I’m trusting you, Lord.

In the name of Jesus, let me find that girl. I pray for the wisdom and discernment to do so. (She bows her head and is silent for thirty seconds).

Yes, Lord. I hear you, Lord (She looks heavenward). Bring my .45 Magnum. Yes, Lord, I’ll keep her in line. Praise Jesus!

I can see Patty Duke or Jessica Lang as Mrs. Butz.

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Patty Duke

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Jessica Lang

What do you think?

Shelly

Monday, February 14, 2011

Character Blog: Babs, Lila’s Mother

Schwoo…glad that daughter of mine is on her way to her honeymoon with Max. Didn’t think I’d get her down the aisle today. I mean, the girl did everything to stall her own wedding. Throwing a tantrum in the bridal room at me over that Spanish boy. Howie was no help as usual. The man is stupid. He always coddles her every whim, even if it’s a crazy one. The girl has him wrapped around her little finger.

Not to mention, she didn’t even show any interest in getting her bridal gown or shoes. I had to do it. In fact, I had to plan the whole wedding. The girl paid no mind to any of it.

And, she’s a scene maker, too….making up stuff. She did her best to embarrass me in front of all my friends today. All two-hundred and fifty. Announcing loud enough that her dead grandmother stood by me during the ceremony. That old bat helped make my daughter certifiable. A delusional schizophrenic. (She shakes her head) Glad the old bat’s dead.

It was one thing after another today, from her burping and passing gas down the aisle to loosing Max’s wedding band at the altar. I know I taught her better. ( She puts her hands on her hips). Oh, and then she pulled the cake table down on Max. What a mess that was. The girl had me to tears.

I can’t tell you how relieved I am that somebody wanted to marry her. Thank God for Tupperware. It’s what brought them together. No haste was made by him, either. I like fast workers. Within the first month of dating, he asked for her hand. What could I say? Accept, yes.

Glad the ink is dry for her own good. The girl can’t do much right. Seeing and talking to dead people. Dreaming ridiculous symbolic dreams. .

All I want is what’s best for her. One day she’ll thank me.

After all, a mother does know best. 

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I do believe I could see Meryl Streep playing Babs. But she must have a red pixie, wear lots of blue eye shadow, and heavy dark painted brows. Babs is known for her evil brow.

What do you think?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Gram’s Blog

I remember the night I died from a UTI…my, my….of all things to die from, too. Now where was I? Oh, yeah… right before summer began, the cards tried to warn my Lila about that bad fella, Max, and his scallywag friends. Not only did the Tarot try to warn her, but her own intuition flooded in that night. Too bad the cards or, her intuition, didn’t name these bad boys. Unfortunately, that’s how it works sometimes. The fates leave it up to a person to figure certain things out.

In my better days, we practiced the gift of sight on Sunday afternoons. I found it special I mentored her but the child doubts herself no matter what. Very frustrating…(sighs) my, my.

The poor thing endured constant insults from the time she was small by her mother, Babs. That woman’s such a pooh. I’m amazed that she didn’t keep my granddaughter away from me because she sure kept her away from my son, her dad, Rick Bowman. What a shame, too. Because her stepfather, Howie, is no help. He’s a beaten, down wimp.

I can’t believe the woman allowed her to marry Max Butz. They only new each other three months. The fella’s bad news. He looks at my granddaughter like she’s something to eat. What kind of person drives around with drugs and guns in their car?  And, what mother would allow such a nice girl to marry someone she barely knows? (Sigh)

Oh, and then there’s his mother, Edna. Dear God. The woman’s not what she appears to be. Praise the Lord…my bottom! That’s all the woman seems to be able to say. And, she wants my Lila to be a part of the family business. Over my dead body…(chuckles) I’m already dead.

Oh, my!! (sigh) What’s a grandmother to do?

Some how, even though I’m in spirit, I’ve got to get this child to understand that she’s got a real gift and a voice of her own. I’m thankful God didn’t take me to the light yet. I’ve got a mission. Help my poor, Lila. She’s got herself in a real fix. Sad thing is, I can’t always manifest to help her or, send out my birds. Maybe it’s a good thing. She’ll find her own strength that way. Can’t be there to fight all her battles. But, I’ll do my best. Especially, when it comes to getting her to Julio. I like that boy.

Pooh, on what her mother thinks!

I can see Shirley McClaine as Gram.

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What do you guys think? Any other suggestions?

Monday, January 31, 2011

A to Z Challenge, Day 10: L is for Lila

Dear Diary:

Today is November 14, 1983. One day ago I married, Max Butz . My mom’s choice, including the wedding dress and secondhand bridal shoes (the shoes are a half-size too small). A bargain for her and a total throat-gagging experience for me. My wedding day should’ve been with Julio Velasquez. Mom made sure I broke up with him at the beginning of summer, and hooked me up with Max right away through one of her Tupperware parties.

I should’ve taken Cynthia’s advise ( she’s my best friend). Run away the night before the wedding, and hide in her parents’ beach house, stay there for a couple weeks. You know, wait until mom cooled off ---she’s rather frightening when she doesn’t get her way. Too late now.

Mom thinks I’m crazy because I can see dead people and have conversations with them. She doesn’t believe I’ve got a gift. Sometimes I’m not sure myself but Gram believes me.

Speaking of Gram, thank God, she’s with me. In spirit, that is. She died right before Julio and I broke up. She understood our love. Still does.

Anyway, Gram convinced me to grab the wedding cash Max and me got in gifts at the reception---stuffed it into my bra. She helped me escape out a diner’s bathroom window---off I 75, somewhere a little south of Orlando. Can’t believe I did that still in my wedding dress and these awful bridal shoes, three inch stilts, I swear. I followed her bird friend, a hawk, (she loves all birds and they listen to her, too) into the woods but Max caught up with me. Good thing I had mace in my evening bag. Sprayed him a good one, right into his eyeballs. Boy! He’s mad now, and more so because I’ve stolen his car from a McDonald’s parking lot and stuffed nails in his creepy friend, Coon’s monster trucks tires.

And then there’s Max’s friend Vinny. He wants payment for something and seems to think he can get it from me…anyway he can… if you know what I mean.

Oh, and I can’t forget Cockroach. He’s just totally grody. I really think he’s part bug. He likes he’d like to torture me or something.

And at this very moment, I’m at a Motel 6 trying to figure out my next move. You see, I discovered cocaine and guns in the trunk of Max’s car.  So I know they’ll be looking for me. I mean, they did chase me until the trucks tires blew out.

Like I said, it’s a good thing Gram’s with me.

Until tomorrow. If I actually make it to see tomorrow.

Lila