hell froze over my little patch of heaven

I’m on my way!  I’m on my way! Home sweet home.

Its sky blue walls welcomed me with its serene open arms each evening after a long day at work.  A girl’s best friend, the bathroom was so large you could put a lounge chair in it, with a huge tub for soaking and lazy bubble baths.

My first real apartment was in a three-story complex. Living on the top floor, my place had high, angled ceilings giving the place a larger feel than it actually was.

Plus, it was a daily cardio going up and down three flights of stairs for everything.  Hmm… Note to self. Get another high-level living space.

I remember going to the furniture store to find ‘the perfect couch’ and selected a fake-suede navy blue couch with articulated arms and back. This allowed it to fold down flat as a separate sleeping place if anyone ever need a place to crash.

A kitchen to die for, I had more cupboards than stuff, (and I have a LOT of cooking stuff. I love to cook, and I tend to bake when I’m stressed out), and a separate island as a preparation surface.

Since I’m located in Washington, it’s not very common to meet someone with air conditioning, but as long as ceiling fan was on, and the windows and deck door were open, a nice breeze would sweep through keeping me from overheating.

Winters were easy. I had a great source of heat due to the water heater and to all of the heat from my neighbors below allowing me to keep my thermostat (and my bill) down to a minimum.

Unfortunately, those were my only source of heat.

One fateful January night my water heater broke, leaking and dousing out the pilot light.  The air system that would typically would blow the warm air generated from the water heater throughout the apartment to keep it toasty, blew out an icy chill that made your teeth chatter louder than a semi’s air brakes.

Due to the time of the evening (about 11:45pm), we had called the maintenance crew, but the water heater would need to be completely replaced.  That being our fate, Pilot and I hunkered down in several layers of clothing under an additional several layers of blankets to keep from freezing to death for the evening.

Never once did it occur to me that I would have to wear mittens and a hat to bed in my lifetime.

When 3:00am rolled around, Pilot and I could see our own breath as we shivered under the blankets.  Grabbing additional towels and anything heat-sealing we could find, we somehow managed to fall asleep and not losing any extremities, come morning.

By late morning, a new water heater arrived and was installed.  Due to marriage and Pilot deciding to go back to school to get a bachelor’s in special education, we would be without a second income for the next couple of years.  We ended up having to leave that beautiful space for something bigger, but cheaper.

Besides, Pilot has a ton more crap than I do, and most of his is heavy and mechanical.  Mine is mostly clothes and, of course, books.  Thank, God for Kindle. It’s literally saved me from having to find more real estate to coexist with the hubby.

How about you?  What was your first real place like? Was it your heaven-sent home, or a hell hole?

Daily Writing Challenge

Day 20: Your character is in a new place. What brought them there? Why are they there? How are they reacting to this change of scenery? Write a scene of your character in this new place.

Finally! The last one!

Wiping his brow with the back of his hand, Sean did a quick sweeping glance at his new apartment. Placing his hands on his hips, he took in the older building with its exposed brick walls and industrial lighting giving the place an open feel. He walked over to the window to get a cool breeze on his face after running up and down the four flights of stairs with his personal belongings.  Ahh, yes, that cool air was perfect.

Taking in the neighborhood, the street was bustling with what seemed like hundreds of people swimming in a sea of suits and briefcases, probably heading home from their big city jobs. Peering through the glass Sean could see straight into the neighboring apartment complex across the street.

I don’t get it. Jesse said this place had a great view.

All the shades were open and he could see every east-facing room in the place. Note to self: buy some shades or a curtain, he thought.

Some movement caught his eye as cute blonde woman wearing a set of blue scrubs and a long white jacket, pushed open the front door of the place.  Watching her struggle to get the keys out of her lock, she finally freed them and slammed the door.  She plopped her keys onto the little side table and stomped her way straight into the kitchen, stripping her jacket from her body and tossed it onto her orange sofa.

The woman swung open her refrigerator door. After a few moments she pulled out a bottle of beer, flipped off the cap and moved to her couch setting her head back, closing her eyes.  And didn’t move.

Someone cleared their throat.  Turning around, Sean absorbed the fact how conspicuous he must have appeared and turned toward the front door.

“I see you’ve met the neighbors,” his brother grinned at him.

“Geez, Jesse. You scared the crap out of me, man!” Sean gave Jesse a quick nudge with his elbow as he moved to give him some room.

Jesse nodded toward the girl’s apartment.  “That’s Felicia. She’s a doctor who runs the pediatric wing at of New Hope General. Weird hours. I never know when that girl is awake or sleeping.”  They both watched as the completely still woman continued to sit with her head back on that noxious orange couch.

Feeling quite awkward, Sean arched an eyebrow.  “Um, bro… Don’t you think she might find it odd that we’re standing here staring at her?”

Jesse waved his hand at Sean. “Pfft! Sean, please.” Jesse nodded to the window.  “I had these windows tinted months ago.  I like the sunshine, but I didn’t want to flash my naked ass to half of Brooklyn, man.”

Sean balked.  “Naked?!” Sean grimaced at his brother.  “You still walk around naked?  You know I hate that.”

The girl across the street looked up from the couch straight into his eyes.  Uh, oh.  She heard them.

“Dude, I had that window open!” Sean said, as he quickly flicked the lock of the window tightly shut.  He looked around for a blanket. A sweatshirt. Anything to hide his face right now, which he was sure was as red as a lobster and a face that probably matched his mortification.

“Oops! My bad,” Jesse chuckled.

Sean covered his face with his hand and said flatly, “I can’t believe she just heard that.”

Jesse raised his hands, palms up. “What? It’s perfectly natural.  You should try it sometime. It’s very freeing.”

Sean put a stern look to his face. “Bro, seriously. Feeling ‘free’ and ‘freeballing’ are two very different things. Not cool, dude.”

“Nah, you’ll get used to it,” Jesse said waving a hand at what Sean thought was a fairly reasonable request.

Sean wiped his hand with his face, trying to think quickly. If he didn’t address his brother’s ‘favorite state of being’ he was going to get an eyeful every morning. And he preferred to enjoy his breakfast, not lose it.

“Maybe we should set some ground rules or something. Like, I’ll make sure to keep the cap on the toothpaste if you don’t walk around with your junk out all the time.”

Jesse just shook his head. “Whatever, man.”  Sean just glared at him.

He couldn’t believe they were twins sometimes. They couldn’t be more different from each other.  Jesse had moved to Brooklyn about a year prior trying to get a music career off the ground. He kept his hair long and shaggy and always wore shorts, and if he was in a dressy mood, they were ‘not denim’ shorts.  In fact, Sean couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen Jesse in pants.  He mentally slapped himself, as an image of his twin walking around with no clothes on crept into his already tired mind.  Bad choice of words.

Sean had just moved for a great job opportunity at a law firm in Manhattan.  Starting at a more-than-cushy salary, instead of moving into his own place, his mom had urged that he help his brother out with the high rents and cost of living in New York.

The sound of the door buzzer broke up their conversation.

“Care to do the honors?” Jesse asked gesturing to the intercom.

“Don’t mind if I do.”  Sean pressed the little button on the wall.  “Hello?”

A very crackled, but entirely female voice sifted its way through the speaker.  “Jesse, either I just saw two of you, or I’ve had more than the one beer and can’t remember.”

“Actually, this isn’t Jesse. He’s not available at the moment.”

“Jesse, quit being an ass. I know it’s you,” the disembodied voice laughed.  Jesse walked up to the intercom and spoke.

“No, it’s cool, Felicia. I’m here. Come on up!” Jesse held down a second button for a few seconds and stepped back from the wall.

After a few minutes, they heard the footsteps approaching their door and Sean opened it.

The blonde was short, the top of her head only meeting Sean and Jesse’s shoulders. Her eyes went wide as she blinked at the two of them, back and forth.

Winking, Jesse greeted her.  “Hiya, doc! Making a housecall?”

Felicia’s eyebrows went up.  “Wow, do you have some sort of multiple personality disorder that manifested itself into a metrosexual?”

Sean arched a brow.  “I believe the term is ‘dissociative identity disorder,’ and no. I’m his brother. Twin, actually.” He looked down at his button down shirt and loafers and back to his brother.  “I’m not really metro-looking am I?”

“Well, you do have a $120 haircut, dude,” Jesse clapped him on the shoulder, laughing.

“Oh, this coming from the guy who can’t remember his last haircut.”

Felicia let out a small breath of air.  “Whoa. You guys even sound the same. Twilight Zone! Doo-dee-doo-doo!” as she waggled her fingers in the air.

The guys stepped back and let Felicia step inside.  Looking at the boxes she glanced back at Sean skeptically.  “Wait, you just moved in?”

“Yup!  My bro just couldn’t stay away! I’m a charmer, you know!” Jesse grinned as he bent down and kissed her hand.  Felicia laughed and swatted him away.

“So… Are you guys… You know, together?” Sean said looking between them.  Felicia and Jesse shared a look with each other.

Felicia put her arm around Jesse’s waist.  “Why? Would that be so hard to believe?”

“Yeah,” Jesse said slowly, resting his arm around her delicate shoulders.  “I know she’s too good for me, but it’s not that impossible.  Right, pumpkin?”

“Right, snuggle bunny,” she said.  Then, Felicia pinched Jesse’s side lightly while Jesse made a goofy face and they both burst out laughing.

Wiping a tear from her eye, Felicia looked at Sean.  “Jesse’s band comes over to the hospital and plays music for the kids.”

“Really?” Sean said, surprised.

Jesse just shrugged and blushed.  “Nah, it’s nothing really.”

“No it’s not!” Felicia said giving another gentle swat at Jesse’s arm.  She turned her head toward Sean.  “This guy comes over every week and not only plays music for the kids, but also has been teaching Michael how to play the guitar.”

Sean took a moment and looked at his brother with new eyes.  “Wow. That’s really something, Jess. You never told me that.”

Jesse looked slightly uncomfortable, walking towards the kitchen.  “It’s nothing, really. Filly, want a beer?”

“Yeah, that’d be great,” she called after him.  She leaned in towards Sean. “Jesse’s a little sensitive about him. Michael just got some test results that weren’t very encouraging.”

“Tests?” Sean said puzzled.  “Which department do you work for?”



Felicia studied Sean for a moment. “Jesse has been really bonding with the kids, but it’s tough. No kid deserves to be sick like that.  That’s why I work there.  I had a family member get really sick when I was younger and I promised to do everything I could to find a cure.”

“That’s really admirable.” Sean replied.

Before he could ask her more questions, the sound of the intercom buzzed again.

“Felicia?” another female voice drifted through the apartment.  “Felicia, it’s me.”

“Oh! It’s Rachel!” Felicia said as she pressed the intercom button.  “Rach, it’s me. Come on up.”  Holding the button Felicia looked back at Sean and Jesse who had come back with some beer cans in his hands.

Jesse set the drinks down on the coffee table “Whoops! Looks like we’ll need another!” Jesse said looking at the intercom.

“I’ll get it.” Sean went to the kitchen and grabbed another can from the refrigerator.  He heard the front door open and another voice added to the conversation as he stepped back into the living room.

“Sean, this is Rachel.  Rachel, Sean,” smiled Felicia.

Sean was rooted to the doorway as a beautiful woman, also in scrubs stood before him.

“Hi! It’s nice to meet you,” she greeted cheerfully.  He took in her long legs, curly blonde hair and bright smile. But what captivated him most were her soft green eyes.  Something stirred in his chest.

“I’m Sean.”

Rachel laughed.  “Wow, there really are two of you!”  She leaned toward Felicia.  “I guess God loves the world a lot to give the world twoof those hot bods!”  The girls giggled.

“Ladies! Ladies! Please, have a seat.  Then you can continue to enjoy the view,” boasted Jesse as he flexed his arms at them.  The girls doubled over laughing again.  Rachel had a cute laugh which echoed through his mind, awakening a feeling he couldn’t identify.  They each grabbed a beer and as settled onto the couch.

Jesse blocked his view as the girls started sharing their day with each other.  “Bro, seriously. Wake up.”  Sean shook his head and looked at his brother.

“Felicia’s engaged.”

“Engaged?”  Sean saw a brief wave of sadness appear in Jesse’s eyes.

“Yeah.  To another doctor, dude. How am I supposed to compete with that?  Besides, as you could tell, I’ve been placed in ‘the friend zone.’  But it’s cool. She’s a great pal, and I like being able to go visit those kids.”

Sean felt his heart go out to his brother. It was obvious that Jesse cared a lot about Felicia.  Growing up, they never bothered to get to know their neighbors.  At least not if you wanted to get stabbed.  If Jesse hadn’t been his brother, he’d worry about the fact they could see right into the girls’ home.  But it was obvious he, Rachel and Felicia were friends, so the creepy factor slid away. Before he could ask more, Jesse quickly continued.

“But Rachel’s totally free. I think you should go for it man.”

“You think so?”

“Yeah, dude. She’s great.  She works as a nurse at the hospital too.” He smiled at Sean.  “And she’s obviously into you.”  Sean slid his glance back to the girls briefly.  He could see Rachel giving him a quick once-over, then turning back to giggle with her sister.

“I think unpacking can wait a day or two.”

“I especially like the fact that there are two!” Felicia called back to them.

“Hey, the view’s not bad from where we’re standing either, ladies!” Jesse said, waggling his eyebrows at them.  The girls laughed again.  Maybe he should start branching out to the neighborhood.  Instilling good will and all that.

“Hey speaking of views,” Rachel said, winking at Sean.  “Don’t get any bright ideas, because despite what you may think, we do own curtains.”

Felicia gave a wicked glance to her sister. “Yeah, even if we’ve both seen Jesse naked when he accidentally leaves the window open. It’s no big whoop.”  She looked at Sean. “Oops, sorry. Forgot about the twin thing.

“Hey! You never said you could see me!” Jesse said giving them a mocked look of insult.

“Why spoil the fun?” Rachel said, clutching her sides from laughter.

“Yeah, why spoil the fun, bro?” said Sean as he settled in to find out more about his beautiful new neighbor.

Not a bad way to start his first night in the big city.

he may not wear red underwear, but i’m ok with that

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Oh, wait… Yeah, it IS a plane. Never mind. <Shrug.>

Although it may technically be Sept. 15th at 1:00am, I’m still living in the past 24-hours of it being Sept. 14th. Sept. 14th marks one of the greatest days in history.  It’s Pilot’s birthday.

There are many reasons why I love Pilot, but this post would never be finished. So, instead, I thought I would write about why Pilot excels far beyond Superman.

1. He’s a sexy nerd.  Clark Kent was a mild-mannered English nerd. Writing for The Daily Planet, Mr. Superman himself was the geeky guy of the office, just short of Jimmy the photographer.  You may think that the reason I call my husband, Pilot is because his job is being a pilot. Well you’d be wrong.  Pilot is actually a special-education teacher. To this day, he amazes me his ability to connect with students who experience an exceptionally difficult time with learning, or developing the skills needed to improve. His love for science and math knows no bounds, to which I thank God for because I can’t succeed in science and math to save my life (although he and I did very well in an astronomy class together.

Me: What a great night! Ellensburg’s skies are so clear!

Pilot: Yeah! Here, let’s go to this field and setup. I’ll pour the hot chocolate.

Passerby 1: Hey! Is that a bong? It’s huge!

Me: <indignant, setting hands on hips and frowning.> No, it is not a bong. It’s a telescope. See? <points to eyepiece.>

Passerby 2: Sweet! Party time! <calls to friends in distance.> Hey! Check this chick out! She has the biggest bong I’ve ever seen!

Me: It is NOT a bong! It is a highly functional TELESCOPE! Look! You can see Venus and Mars, right there!

Passerby 1: Cool! It’s multi-functional!

Me: <shakes fist, screeching at Passersby 1 & 2.> Listen, cretins! Just because you’ve lost some brain cells does not mean you need to corrupt mine with your incessant insistence that my telescope is a device for drug use!

Passerby 2: Way to party little lady <pats the top of my head.>

Me: Argh!

Pilot: Sweetie, I think it’s time we move to a different field.

Just as Superman disguises himself to be a simple and plain man, but is all super-hunky man of steel in reality, my Pilot is a seemingly boy-next-door guy, but is superhero to children and helping them have a fighting chance in this world.  Plus, listening to him explain space’s gravitational patterns for each planet with his toothy-white grin is sexy as hell.  And besides, I’m the (maybe not-so-mild-mannered) English nerd in this relationship.

2. Ok, so he does fly a little bit. Like Superman, my Pilot is also, well a pilot. Before Washington changed its laws of age limitations for obtaining a pilot’s license, he took his first flying lesson at the tender age of 13. He literally flew a plane before ever driving a car. The way he’s better than Superman, is that for me to go flying with him, I don’t have to worry about someone looking up m nightie and freezing my crumpets off from the high altitude because I’m contained inside an ACTUAL airplane.

Me: <holds down ‘push-to-talk’ button> Wow! I’m flying an airplane… And I’m scared shitless right now. You can take the steering back now!

Pilot: <laughs.> You only had it for two seconds.

Me: <holds down ‘push-to-talk’ button and glares at Pilot.> Two seconds too long… Ooh! Nice yoke-work, Bacher! Why don’t you use those hands somewhere else?

Pilot: Sweetie, you need to stop pressing the ‘push-to-talk’ button because you just announced that to all local flying aircraft and the Tower.

Tower: Cessna 5210-AML, you’re clear to land… If your hands aren’t too busy.

Random pilot sharing airspace with us: <chuckles.>Yes, please keep your hands to yourself, Sweetie.

Me: <holds ‘push-to-talk’ button> Umm… I think they heard me.

Pilot: You’re still holding the ‘push-to-talk’ button, Sweetie.

Me: <still holding ‘push-to-talk’ button.> Oh. Sorry.

3. He has superpowers. No not actual, born an alien or dipped in toxic waste superpowers. But with one look he can provide a multitude of things: reassurance, giggle-inducing hysteria, empathy, one of the few people who can make me shut up once in a while if I’ve said something [insert favorite word here, such as weird, odd, annoying, ridiculous, etc.], and the occasional heat-induced glance that magically makes my clothes disappear. (Hey, don’t judge. I’m married and Superman had x-ray vision.  You really don’t think that Superman didn’t use it to his advantage just once?)

4. He’s talented. As Clark Kent was a journalist and fairly decent reporter, my Pilot is also extremely gifted.  Separate from his teaching and flying gigs, my Pilot is also an aviation photographer. Even better, he’s a good one!  Pilot has been published in a few magazines over the last couple of years, and also has written several blurbs on the aircraft subject in question.  He has a successful Facebook page and YouTube account where he also posts videos of his work, narrating and adding factoids to the videos for viewers to enjoy.

5. Lastly, but not at all in the least, he’s romantic. Superman had ladies drooling for decades, most of all a Ms. Lois Lane. And in this case, this little writer wised-up and realized that a kind, quiet and talented man was interested in me and I jumped at the chance at love, never regretting a day since. Thankfully, Pilot has made this relationship really easy on me by being just completely wonderful and supportive, even if I post stuff like this on the all-knowing interwebs. Even if the first Valentine’s Day card I ever received from him was signed, “I don’t care what they say. I think you’re pretty nice,” causing a temporary 2-hour argument between us.

Happy Birthday, Pilot! And I don’t care what they say, I think you’re pretty nice, too.

<blows kiss.>

Daily Writing Challenge

Day 14: FREE DAY! Write any scene you want!

Dear Diary,

Today I met the most impossible of all human beings! There I was, walking through the bookstore trying to keep my nonchalant, “Yes, of course I’m in the self-help section-there’s-nothing-wrong-with-that-it’s-a-perfectly-normal-thing-to-do” face. So what if I’m pushing into my latter-thirties and newly single? If someone wanted to excel in their profession, they would study for it. If someone was to perform a self tune-up of their car, they would buy a guide. So why not buy a book to help accelerate changing my single status?

While wandering the bookstore, trying to find a decently large covered book to disguise my purchase with, I bumped into a man at the mysteries/thrillers section.

“Oh! Excuse me,” I said slightly blushing at the blatant lack of focus on where I was going.

“Not at all, pardon me,” he replied. I took in the light hair and blue eyes framed by some very nice looking professor’s glasses. He was tall, wearing a slim fitting navy blue sweater and jeans. Hellooo Dr. Jones!

His head tilted slightly as he tried to glance at the title of my self-help-for-singles book, Single? So What? guide which had decided to hide itself behind my back.

“You know, if you want a really good read, you should try I’m Single and I Know It, instead.”

I blushed at the recommendation.  “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I said tucking a strand of my plain brown hair behind my ears. “I’m looking for a thrill- I mean, looking for thrillers. Oh look, there’s a great one!” I say as I pluck a random book from the shelf to the right of me.

He tilts his head to the side. “Hmm… So you’re into swashbuckling pirates who stealthily rip the bodices off of young maidens, huh? I would’ve pegged you more knights-in-shining-armor kind of woman.” I raise my eyebrows at the book I had just selected.

Sure enough, there was a shirtless pirate and a young wench who apparently had no problem or apparent discomfort from having her breasts shoved up to her chin, while the pirate’s swarthy hands were undoing the ties to the back of her very cumbersome looking satin corset. Quickly glancing up to the empty space that held the damning evidence of my random selection, I realized the shelf on my right had been historical romance instead of mystery/thriller. Shit and double shit!

“You know, all you need is a glass of wine and you’re probably set for the night,” he said winking of me.

Eyes narrowing, “Why of all the nerve! I-” I pause to straighten my back at this very nosy and appalling man.  I closed my eyes for a moment taking a deep, calming breath.

“Once again, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I am merely grabbing some reading material as a gag birthday gift for my friend, Lizzy, if you must know.” No need for him to find out that Lizzy is actually my dog named after my favorite romantic heroine, Elizabeth Bennett.

“Of course, my mistake,” he said, having the nerve to smile at me.

“Well, thank you. Now, if you don’t mind. I need to have these presents gift wrapped. I’m very busy and important, and must be going now. Ta!” Turning on my heel, I pause at the sound of his voice.

“Fantastic! I was busy getting this for my brother. We’ll go to gift wrapping together!” He said grinning at me.  Of all the rotten luck. Two years without a man and now I can’t get away from this one!

Together, we both walk to the gift-wrapping center’s counter and hand our items over to the customer service rep.

“Sorry about your friend. Is she going through a tough breakup right now?”

“Huh?” I blink at him.  “Oh! Yes!  Um… Right… Well, she’s recently gone through a divorce, which she’s very happy about, and is throwing herself a divorce shower,” I quickly spat out.  We both take our nicely wrapped presents, his book in pretty forest green with a gold ribbon, mine in a patterned wrapping paper covered in random letters of the alphabet and red ribbon.

“A divorce shower?” he says amused at my frustration.  “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that before.  What exactly does one do at a divorce shower?”  Oh come on! Can’t I just live this humiliation in peace? It’s bad enough I resorted to self-help guides, but does it really need to have a commentary squad like Mystery Science Theater 3000?

“Well it’s- um…” I sigh and throw my hands up in the air, waiving my ‘gift’ in the air. “Oh, hell. We both know the book is for me.  Look, it’s been a little nerve-wracking catching my bloody husband in my bed with my sister and I haven’t had sex in two years, all right?”

The man’s eyes widened as he stared at me.  A woman who had been waiting in line for the gift-wrapping services looked extremely uncomfortable.  “Um… I think I forgot to comb my cat…” she said as she inched away from us slowly, and then bursting into a slight sprint towards the main door.

I felt my face burning as red as a hooker in church.  Also waiting for him to run away from the crazy-cat-lady vibe I was giving off; to my surprise he actually was pretty nice about the whole freak-out scene.

“Wow. That must have been awful. Are you ok?” he spoke softly, his eyebrows slightly furrowed, deep in thought. All they did was focus on his glasses which were straightforward black frame, emphasizing the blue-ness of his eyes.

Another deep sigh escaped my lips. “Yeah, I’m good. Sorry about that. I had just moved here for him because he was offered a job at Boeing. We were living with my sister until we could find our own place.  Then… Well, you know…” my voice drifted off as I felt tears prickling at the back of my eyes.

“I’m really sorry.  Was just teasing before, but if I’d known…” he gave a slight shrug and palms up gesture of apology.

“It’s all right. Sorry for going all berserker on you,” I smile slightly.

He stifled a snicker, “Berserker? You’ve seen Clerks?”

“Of course, hasn’t everyone? I mean, Kevin Smith may be raunchy, a little out of my comfort zone sometimes, but nonetheless is an insightful writer and commentator of life in our generation,” I state matter-of-factly.

The man stares at me again, this time in wonderment. “Wow, I think I may have fallen in love with you a little bit. Most women can’t look past goofy comedy movies like that.”

“Oh… Well, that’s just, really nice,” I say flustered at this man’s response.

“I’m Elliot. Elliot Helmsworth,” he says sticking his hand out to me.  Grasping his palm, I reply, “Claire. Claire Whitmore.”

playing doctor and other bright ideas – help victims of Eastern Washington fires

It’s ok. I play a doctor on TV.

I have several amazing girlfriends who are in the field of medicine. Whether they’re nurses, soon-to-be PhD’s, paramedics, etc., these amazing women are true heroes and should be recognized as such.

For those living or have loved ones in the Pacific Northwest, you may have heard about the recent fires in Eastern Washington, specifically within the Ellensburg, Wenatchee, and Cle Elum area. My heart breaks at the fact that so many families have lost their homes, only to have their hopes slightly-raised with the short-lived rain, just to be followed up with more fires kindled from lightning strikes.

Prayerful and hopeful that these fires cease soon with as little damage to the community as possible, I am at least grateful that those dear to me who live in the area have not yet needed to be evacuated.  If you’re as concerned for our Eastern Washington neighbors as I am, there are several ways you can help:

1) Check out “Ron and Don” from MyNorthwest for a list of charities accepting donations;
2) Donate to the Red Cross, Ellensburg Chapter

To those fighting the fires, to those taking care of victims of mother nature’s dark side, my prayers go out to you and my heart is filled with hope that your transition after the fires are out is quick and as painless as possible.  To the victims of these fires, your Western Washington neighbors are here for you.

I am proud of my girlfriends who work tirelessly to tend to the sick and weary everyday without complaint.  Today’s DWC is dedicated to you.

Daily Writing Challenge

Day 13: Your character has a whole day off to do whatever they want. Write a scene of them enjoying this free day.

“Bom-bada-bom-bam… My Sharonaaa!”

My feet pound against the pavement. Enjoying my favorite part of the deep night, the moon illuminates the city, making it glitter with energy.  As I power through the last mile of my jog, a guy about ten paces up is wearing these ridiculously large headphones, signing along with what seems to be an eighties flashback.  And he was god-awful.

I chuckle again as I watch him run. Well, anyone driving at night would have a tough time explaining lack of visibility on this guy.  Neon orange shorts and a bright white plus a reflective shirt, slightly damp from sweat made this guy as inconspicuous as Darth Vader in a white room. He didn’t realize he wasn’t alone on this path. And why would he? At two-fifteen in the morning, I don’t normally see anyone here either.

Now you might wonder what a slightly-more-than-mid-twenties-single-and-alone-gal like me is doing, jogging out in the middle of the night?  Well, I’m not on shift for the next couple of days, but it’s easier if I keep up with my evening schedule.  My job as an Emergency Medical Technician usually had me working in the ambulance, the cab, during the graveyard shift.  I haven’t seen a sunrise in roughly six months.  Plus, I train in self defense regularly and carry pepper spray in my fanny pack. Yes, I wear a fanny pack. Let’s not dwell on that, shall we?

It having been awhile since jogging next to another human being, I decide to introduce myself.  Pushing myself faster, feeling my long blonde ponytail tapping against my shoulder blades, I catch up to him.  “Hi there!” I say in a bright greeting.

“Huh? Wha- Ow!” Startled, he glances at me and trips, tumbling to the ground. Oh no! I stop and quickly rush over.

“Oh my gosh! Are you ok?” My eyes quickly assess his fall. Light scrape on the knee, slight laceration of the elbow, no swelling at the ankle or leg, clothes a little dusty now. Just cosmetic injuries, easily taken care of with a quick wash and a sterile bandage.  “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

He takes my hand as I help him to his feet. He looks down and brushes himself off, and I can’t help looking at his particularly well toned chest while he does so.

“Thanks. Nah, I’m fine. You just caught me off guard.”  I see him do a quick glance up and down at me. I was wearing a purple jogging shirt and matching knee-length jogging pants, complete with purple running shoes.  “I’m Ethan. And I take it you like purple?”

“Once a Husky always a Husky,” I shrug nonchalantly.  He smiles at me, tilting his head slightly to the side, “Well, go Dawgs… I didn’t catch your name,” he said slightly cocking his to the side.

I look to my right.  “Here, there’s a bench. Let me check you out- I mean, let’s get you checked out. It’s the least I can do for making you trip.”

“I didn’t trip, I was unprepared to test gravity,” he grinned at me.  I laugh.  “Sure, ok.” We walk over to the bench and sit, him peering down his left side taking a quick glance at his bleeding elbow.

I open my fanny pack and take out my travel-sized first aid kit.  His eyebrows rise slightly as he examines the medical supplies I carry with me.  “Well, you’re quite the girl scout, aren’t you?”  I glance up at him as I wipe his elbow with a sterilizing wipe and stick a wide bandage on him.

“Never was a girl scout. I’m a paramedic.”

“Really?” His eyebrows lifted higher as he looked intrigued with me.  “I feel like a wimp now.  I take it this must seem like a pretty lame injury compared to what you’re used to.”  I give him a little smile in return.  “That’s really awesome.”

He winks at me. “Shame about the girl scout thing though. I wouldn’t have minded seeing your uniform.”

“What? A uniform of that size would never have fit well as an adul-… Ah. I see now.” He laughs at my naiveté. It’s a nice laugh, hearty and full of life.  I continue, “It’s a good day whenever my services aren’t needed.  Here, let me get your knee too.”  I sterilize the wound and place a second bandage on him.

“I have to admit, I’m having a wounded soldier kind of feeling right now,” I say boldly.  He was even better looking close up. Green, deep-set eyes, brown hair with a Grecian nose.

“Well, tell you what,” he says spreading his palms wide in an open gesture. “Anytime you need to check my knee again, free game.”  I laugh and give him a slight slap on the knee.  “Hey, ow!” he says, playfully giving a mocked pained look.  Feeling warmth towards his sunny disposition, I find myself not wanting to part ways.

“Well, if it makes you feel any better, when I was younger I was a candy striper… And I still have the outfit.”

He stares at me for a moment. “Seriously?  That’s pretty hot.”

“Want to get some pie?  There’s a great diner about two blocks from here.  Besides-“I stand up and give him a businesslike nod. “After an injury like that, I may have to observe you for twenty-four hours to make sure you’re all right.”  He laughs again and I feel a warmth growing from my core at my enjoyment of listening to it.

“Sure, that sounds really great.”  He stands and we start walking to Ally’s Diner. “Hey, what are you doing out here by yourself anyway?”

“Me? I’m not the one with headphones on, caterwauling and oblivious to my environment,” I teased.

“Oh,” he reddened slightly at that. “You heard that?”

I say deadpanned, “I think all of King and Pierce County heard that.” He laughed loudly this time, doubling over and grabs his sides.

“Yeah, I never did have much of a talent for singing,” he said wiping a tear from his eye.  “Hey, you never did tell me your name.” He tilts his head again in the same adorable fashion.

“Sharon.  My name is Sharon.”

first kiss hijacked by unknown kindergartner!

Earlier this week, I was asked to guest post on 5thingstodotoday!  Thanks to David Ridings for the amazing opportunity and for helping me check this milestone off my my blogging bucket list!  Check it out and share a comment on how YOU beat writer’s block!  

Oh man, my first guest posting and I haven’t had this blog for a full week! <Squee!>

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program…


Today’s DWC asked me to write about someone’s first kiss.  Boy did that bring up memories!  I wish I could tell you my first kiss was with my husband, a serious boyfriend or even a mere crush.

Well, it wasn’t.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but under full disclosure: my first kiss wasn’t even romantic.  

I don’t even know his name.

I was a plucky, annoyingly-perky kindergartner waiting impatiently for the recess bell, as all kindergartners do.  Rushing to be one of the first people in line, I marched along with my other kiddie classmates to the wood chipped playground.  Recess time is about all a four-year-old lives for, other than finger painting.

Utilizing my time carefully, I climb the “Big Toy,” run down the slides in the exact manner we were instructed not to do and play foursquare with those intimidating rubber bouncy-balls.

You know the ones. The scary ones notorious for marring children’s innocence during lethal games of dodgeball.

While making my ascent to fulfill my plan of going across the monkey bars-

I’m going to make it all the way across this time, I know it!

-my plan was being interrupted by a boy from another kindergarten group. He was about the same height as me with light brown, somewhat-curly hair, his little face complete with dimples. He runs up to me and said, “You’re Katie! I like you!”


He leans over and kisses me square on the lips. Pulling back after a mere fraction of a second, he gives me a partially-toothy grin and runs away.  Standing there blinking at the empty space which only a second prior had held a human being.

So what happened next, you might ask?  Well, I did what any logical four-year-old who had just been hijacked emotionally does.

I tattled on him.

I run right up to the teachers monitoring (and apparently not very well) the children at play, wiping my mouth with my sleeve. I raise a serious finger toward my pint-sized-temporary-captor, stating in a steady but angry voice, “That boy just kissed me!”

The teachers looked at me.  They looked at each other.

Then, they laughed.

They laughed!

Well, you can imagine the indignation I felt as the color worked its way up my collar.

My mom was into turtlenecks at the time. No, I don’t get it either. To this day I hate to have anything tied around my neck.  To this day, scarves are worn loosely, if at all.

I gave these inept people an evil stink-eye, promptly stomping away from the useless supervisors the school had hired for my education, and tried to fill the rest of recess time with some other activity to get over the humiliation.

Now, some parents might say the cause of this humiliation is due to boys and girls thinking of each other as having “cooties” during this stage of life.  Well, for me it was quite the opposite.

Being born a hopeless romantic is really tough on the psyche.  As a matter of fact, in preschool (yes, preschool) I had huge crush on a boy named Tyler, and I’d kind of hoped he was going to be my first kiss.  Even at this tender age, I must have been destined to be a romance novelist because I never went through the “boys have cooties” stage.

Do you want to know my reason for being completely undone by this unknown culprit?

Every little girl is told that her first kiss will be a special one with a special boy.  We’re assured our first kiss will be a magical experience making us feel like fairy princess, and we’ll always remember it.

My first kiss was hijacked by an unknown kindergartner.

We’re also told you can never get it back, because once you’ve had a first kiss it’s gone. Forever.

Doesn’t that sound a little harsh to you, too? Yeah. I thought so.

Even to this day, my own mother was never able to figure out who the boy was, which group he was in, or even his name. This boy’s innocent kid-crush completely obliterated any ability for me to attach emotion to my first kiss.  I was devastated.  The experience was gone and I was never able to get it back.

Looking back on that first kiss, it makes me ponder the idea that maybe this unknown boy is why I’ve kept romance in my heart for the rest of my life.  My four-year-old self’s emotionally crippling day made me want another kiss. One that meant something.  Now, as an adult I can say I’ve had a kiss, <rolling eyes> (ok, maybe a few), with boys who actually meant something to me.  Some meant happy memories, others… Well, lets just say some were regrettable.

In several ways you have to give mad props to that brave and brazen kindergartner, whoever he is.  Spending countless hours (ok, maybe some years during my youth), trying to picture who this man is today sparked endless possibilities for me.  Maybe he’s in the military, perhaps an artist, or most likely, just normal guy who is probably married and even started a family.

Either way, it’s a sweet notion and I look back on that “Hijacked Kiss” much more fondly than my four-year-old self.  Today, I even have my own (at one point in my life) “mystery man” who became the love of my life.

To that boy back in kindergarten, thank you.  You have become the inspiration for several make believe men based on whoever you *might* be today.

To my husband, Pilot, I thank you. You are the inspiration for all of the wonderful traits my heroes have and will carry with them for the rest of my life.  You’ve made all my romantic possibilities come true.

<Blows Kiss.>

I want to hear from YOU!  What was YOUR first kiss like?

Daily Writing Challenge

Day 9: How was your character’s first kiss? Who with? Where was it? How old were they? Write the scene.

The sky was filled with brilliant purples and pinks as the sun was making its lazy trek home toward the mountains.  Ethan stopped and pulled out the quilt and thermos of homemade hot chocolate they brought for their sunset hike. 

Spreading the quilt out onto the mossy grounds of the woods, they each sat looking out at the view.  Keeping their voices low as if sharing secret information with each other, they watched the daylight slowly recede from view.

Ethan shook his head.  “I’ll never understand people who live in a flat, landlocked state.”  Molly looked at him, absorbing how the light reflected off of his hair and illuminated him in a soft orange glow.  He shifted his gaze to hers.  “They’re missing out on one of nature’s greatest shows!”  She poured him a cup of the hot chocolate, handing the steaming container over to him.  She then poured herself one and took a sip.  Mmm… Heaven in a cup.

“Really?  People in the Midwest have to have daytime and nighttime just like anywhere else, right?”  Molly raised her eyebrows.

Shaking his head a second time he said, “It’s not the same.” He pointed off in the distance to the mountains that were glowing with a fiery red, slowly being consumed by a growing dark purple sky.

“Here, when the sun sets behind the mountains, we still get about a half hour to an hour more of sunlight.  In the Midwest where it’s flat, there’s no twilight. It’s sunny, then black.  Hardly a transition.  There’s no time to enjoy it.”  He slowly turned back to her, and Molly noticed a glimmer of something emanating from his eyes.  “Or enjoy it with someone.”

Her eyes widened slightly as he took her hand. Her hand looked so small in his.  His palm warm against her skin, his fingertips slightly scarred and padded from hours of guitar playing.  As her pulse quickened she watched his eyes journeyed from her eyes to her hair.

“What?” she asked softly.

“Your hair-“ he paused.

“Yeah?” She was beginning to feel self-conscious now. Please don’t let there be a bug. Oh, please no!

“It always seemed dark brown, but it’s red in the sunlight.”  One corner of his lips quirked up in a shy half-smile, causing her to melt inside.

Ethan’s face relaxed as if lost in a daydream. The sun was now touching the snowcapped peaks. One at time, he set their drinks down.  Shivers of delight tingled throughout her body as she felt his fingers pass through her curly locks and felt them lightly twist the end of a strand.  He dropped his gaze back down to her lips.


“Uh huh?” Words evaded her now.

“I-“ he sighed. His eyes glowed with some affection she wasn’t ready to identify yet. “God you’re beautiful.”  He placed both of his hands on her face, and before she knew it his lips were brushing hers.  There was a final spark of light permeating the sky as the sun disappeared, the last burst of color before final nightfall.

Mfph. A breath caught in her throat as she felt his lips brushing hers. A kiss so gentle it grounded her, unable to move. All too soon he pulled back slightly, leaving her insides fuzzy.  Molly slowly opened her eyes feeling dazed and warm.

His eyes searched hers.  “Was that ok?” he asked softly.

She felt his breath on her face as she let this moment sink in.  After blinking a few times, she slowly wrapped her arms around his neck and scooted closer.

“That was very ok,” giving him a slow smile.  Ethan raised his eyebrows in amusement and a corner of his lips quirked up.  Molly looked at his lips, the ones that had just touched hers a mere moment, yet forever ago.

“So you liked it, huh?” His eyes squinted slightly as he gave her an ear-splitting smile. 

“Why, yes. I did.” Molly gave him a quick nod in confirmation.  He laughed.  The sky was dark now, glittering with the stars all around them.

“In fact,” she continued, raising an eyebrow at him.  “I think it’s about high-time you kiss me again, just to make sure we did it right.”  He laughed harder as he put his arms around her waist bringing her body flush against his.

He shook his head at her.  “You’re too much.”

As he leaned back in to kiss her again, she made sure to kiss him back this time.


destroying what little privacy there ever was to begin with

It’s a lot of work to be a nobody.

Trying to keep up with the world as it is today means being a public figure. (Don’t worry, I have zero ambition to become a politician.  I’m so accident-prone, I’d probably get impeached within five minutes for accidentally breaking something valued at a number worth more than my life and all my possessions combined.)  In today’s world, it’s nearly impossible to meet an American without connecting through some form of technology.

  • Desktops, laptops, “air” laptops
  • iPads, tablets, readers
  • Cordless phones, cellular phones, smart phones

Um… Since when did inanimate objects begin having fiercer competition than the Olympics?

The relationship between technology and its user is a fluid, living, organic being.  Technology can create, shape (and sometimes disastrously fail) its users.  Technology can make or break you.

One of my favorite director/producer/writer/guest lecturer and all-around smart guy, J. J. Abrams, once gave a guest lecture for Ted.com, discussing the idea of the “Mystery Box.” Now, although his lecture was not directly about technology, there was a portion of his lecture where he discussed YouTube and today’s technology, mentioning how he is excited about the videos on YouTube.

Are you kidding me? J. J. Abrams is glad about YouTube?

His comment was (and I’m paraphrasing his quote, here) when he was a child, video equipment was so expensive for a young filmmaker, that you could only have your movies viewed if a large production company was covering the bill.  With the advancements in technology, the ability to have access to technology is easy and cheap despite your background or home life, upload the video to your computer, feature it on your YouTube page and ta-da! Anyone can be a filmmaker.

You might think, he’d be worried about the competition. (Oh, please. Let’s face it. It’s difficult to compete stylistically with that guy. Abrams = Awesome.)  But no. He celebrates the fact that people of all ages, gender, background, income, etc. can make a film and publish it to YouTube and garner a fanbase.  (Anyone noting the correlation of this statement with the fact that I’m an unknown author with not-quite-yet-published work?)

How many vocal artists today have become international sensations due to YouTube?  Writers and authors (there’s a difference, but that’s also a topic for another time), are able to get their work out to the masses through self-publishing on places like Amazon and iBooks.

WordPress, anyone?  Hint-hint, nudge-nudge, wink-wink?  <Cough!>

Quick time warp to 1993: I remember looking at my grandma, wide-eyed and shocked at the fact that she had lived before cars were invented.

(Stay with me here, there’s a point.)

Slight flash forward to 2001: I remember babysitting a family friend’s 7-year-old daughter. We’ll call her Jazzy.

Jazzy was in the back of my first love, my car Bob (more on him another day), and her giving me the same wide-eyed and shocked look as she stated, “You were alive before the Internet?”

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Technology can change in a flash, or sometimes a literal spark depending on what tools you’re working with, and it’s important for one to keep up with the times.  Sure, starting a blog in 2012 is not necessarily rocket science.  In fact, having some sort of online presence is much more common than it is to go without one.

Here’s my point. Thanks for sticking with me.

Having a blog that’s sort-of out there isn’t enough. Taking the initial initiative by starting this blog was great, but now I need to push further.  That way, when (note: I didn’t say “if”) I’m published in the future, all of you (or maybe all five of you?) will have shared this journey with me.

You may be few, but you’re precious to me.  <singing> We shall overcome!

Ok… Sorry. I’ll stop now.

Our online relationship via technology can reach the next level. I get to share my joys (sometimes sorrows, but hopefully more joys) with me.  And I thank you for your loyalty even before I’ve gotten anywhere near my goal.

To boost more pre-publication fans and maintain my little corner of the virtual world, I’ve just setup a Facebook page!

Oh, Facebook. You’re truly a blessing and a curse.  You help me stay connected with my most precious loved ones (and some funny games), but curse me to review you constantly throughout the day.

Pityingly enough, my poor page has just little ol’ me on it.

Help me. I’ve ‘Liked’ myself.  That’s like giving yourself a high-five.  (Although, per my “About Me” page, we have already established that I enjoy high-fives.)

Please check it out, ‘Like’ my page, and let’s see if we can get this global!

Daily Writing Challenge

Day 8: What about their earlier school days? Write a scene of your character in grade school or middle school.

At the sound of the bell, Hallie packed up her notebook, slinging the padded strap of her orange backpack over her shoulder and headed out the door to get ready for another lecture on the French Revolution.

Slamming her locker shut, she turned and smacked face-first into a wall, her books falling to the floor.  The “wall” turned out to be a chest. She looked up. And up. And up. Being 5’3” Hallie was used to being shorter than everyone, but the boy attached to this chest had to be just over six feet.  He also happened to be the most drop-dead gorgeous boy she’d ever seen.

“Oh!” Words. Words would be good to use right about now.  “I-um… Sorry.  I wasn’t-… I mean… I didn’t look where I was going.”  Letting out a breath she didn’t realize she was holding, she blinked a few times, temporarily forgetting how to speak.

A voice, deep and smooth, enveloped her like a warm blanket.

“No problem,” he replied. “Here, let me help you.” He stooped down to pick up her books. As she leaned down gathering the papers that had fallen out of her notebook, she stole glances at him.  His eyes shifted up briefly and grinned at her.

Oh dear lord.  Eyes a deep shade denim, with a straight nose, charcoal black hair, and lips that were so kissable they were causing her stomach do all kinds of backflips at the moment.

“Thanks… I, um… Yeah. Thanks.”  She gave him a weak smile and felt a blush crawling up her neck.  After returning her history notes, he cocked his head slightly and softened his grin as if amused by her lack of ability to put words together.

“I’m Wes.”


They stood in the hall, the sounds of the other students fading into the background to a soft murmur and stared at each other. Analyzing each other.  A very unconvincing coughing sound outside of their personal bubble space made her snap back to reality.

“Am I interrupting something?” Hallie’s brother Henry appeared. How long had he been there?  Henry watched both of them, switching back and forth from each face as if witnessing a tennis match.  Curiosity at her and with skepticism towards Henry.

if I could turn back time

Nostalgia is the name of the game today. Yeah, it caught me off guard, too.

Amara is the first baby to be born on my side of the family.  Last Tuesday, my cousin gave birth to a healthy, gorgeous, snuggly and lovable little girl. (Perhaps one could say I’m biased, but I don’t think so.) Watching my cousin, we’ll call her Red, go through the wonder of pregnancy and incredulous concept of childbirth has been amazing.  I couldn’t be more proud of Red. I’m in sheer awe and so full of joy I could burst from my desk chair right now.  Being the second-youngest of all my cousins, it’s strange to recognize we’re all adults now.  Amara’s birth sort of cinched that concept to me. We have reached the end of a generation in our family, and a new one has begun.

You’re probably wondering why I’m saying, “cousins” instead of siblings. That’s because I have none.  I’ve always wanted a younger sibling, to protect, teach, (and of course) bug the living daylights out of.  It wasn’t in the cards for me and my parents.  I’m adopted, myself. During the adoption process for a baby brother, my father was diagnosed with an inherited heart defect and diseases, negating their ability to adopt anymore children.  Now that I am an adult, married and receiving the daily interrogation from my mother, demanding why I have yet to give her a grandchild, it brings new perspective on how difficult that whole process must have been for my parents.

As a woman, I try to imagine being part of a young, happy couple ready to take on the world, (not too difficult to imagine anymore), and being told that becoming pregnant could endanger my life.  Not only was starting a family one of the dreams my parents had for themselves, but to be told that this particular dream could kill one of them? Coming to terms with that… Making the decision to spend what little money they had to adopt instead?  Wow.  In case you didn’t know, adoption is a long, arduous process with unending interviews, red tape, home visits.  And it’s a hell of a lot better than it used to be.  Basically every step’s purpose is to tell you EXACTLY what you’re doing wrong and need to fix, otherwise some stranger will deem you’re unfit as a parent.

For the mothers out there, I’m not trying to compare childbirth to adoption. Childbirth is an experience that nothing can compare to the torturous pains of contractions. The point of all this, is the idea that life is so much chance and opportunity.  Sure, you can have all the talent and skill in the world, but if you’re hit by a bus the next day, where does that get you?

I think of my parents sitting across a desk from a stranger, being told that because of a medical condition, they’re not allowed to have any more children. Again. First because of my mother’s health, the second time, my father’s.  It took my parents several years of patience and waiting before winning the jackpot with Pilot. Pilot is part of an enormous family. He has an older sister, 10 years difference, and an older brother, 12 years difference, both married with three children, each. Our parents meshed well, even finding out my father’s family and Pilot’s mother’s family come from the same small village in Germany.  (Pilot’s eyes became round as sauces as he turned to look at me during this conversation of family enlightenment, to which I quickly dissolved his fear saying, “It’s ok, honey. I’m adopted. Even if we were technically related, it’s not by blood.”)

My mother and Pilot get on well together, and l believe she’s come to accept him as her own son. The son she never had.  You’ll notice I don’t mention my father here. He passed away a little more than a few years ago from his heart defect, but he lived to age 60. I think of all those years, another little boy could have had my dad as a father. Whoever was at that agency made a huge mistake. I can recall countless fishing trips on Lake Washington (including the time we ran out of gas, but that’s another story), learning how to change my first tire (yes, girls don’t have to be helpless when it comes to the dreaded automobile), tasting delicious smoked salmon he’d just brought in. These are experiences I wish I could have shared with an “automatic” buddy. My never-was-brother.

Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom.  Pilot and I have been together for 10 years now. We were lucky he and my dad had their own healthy relationship, along with mutual respect before my dad passed on. I will always be grateful for that. The older generation is moving on, I’m (hopefully slowly) merging into the older generation, and a new generation is blooming.

So, now what?  Holding baby Amara this weekend, and definitely not getting enough snuggles and forehead-kisses in, I think about her having two amazing older step siblings.  I wanted to be able to learn more about this deep connection. These Daily Writing Challenges (DWC’s) sparked the idea of a siblings-focused story.

Of course, they’ll both be romances, but the heart of each book is about these two sisters’ relationship.  Here’s a bit that I might be incorporating into the stories later on.

Daily Writing Challenge

Day 5: Your character is getting ready in the morning. Write a scene of their morning (or even mid day) routine.

Feeling the warmth of sunshine touching my cheek, another cheerful Saturday greets me as I slowly open my eyes. Taking a moment to let them adjust from the bright white that first appears, right before everything warps back into focus. The sound of my clock radio is tuned to a station that plays classics. Ah, Summer Breeze. Yeah, it definitely makes me feel fine. Pushing back the covers, setting my feet down, I feel worn, familiar yarn under my feet.  It’s a rug my sister made for me as a Christmas present. A hook-and-latch kit with Snoopy on it.  (Did I mention my sister was 10 at the time?)  I glance at the clock. Eight fifteen. I have to meet Margaret at the Suds & Duds to help open by nine.

Filtering sunlight into the room, I gently nudge the sheer Tiffany blue curtains apart and peer out. A sigh escapes my lips as I lean my chin on my fist. Same old Saturday mornings. The mailman driving off, Mrs. Stevens is tending to her rosebushes, Old Man Matthews picking up his newspaper in his bathrobe again… Ew.

Suddenly, loud rock music starts blaring from next door.  August Brandt steps out from under the shadow of the raised garage door, carrying a sloshing bucket of suds and a scrubbing mitten. I can’t help but stare as he moves over to his Jeep. Bobbing his head lightly in tune with the beat, he sets the solution down. Reaching for the hose, he’s about to start rinsing it off when he glances up in my direction. Oh, crud. He saw me staring.

I can feel the blush raising up my neck, as I straighten up quickly. A slow, knowing smile starts making its way across his face, and before a I know it, he’s sending me a big grin, oh great he’s sending me a wave now. Quickly wiggling a few fingers, I step back from the window.

Great. I’m supposed to leave and meet Margaret in… now half an hour, and he’s probably still going to be out there.