Coming Home and Coming Out Chapter 9

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Back at her apartment, she stripped Logan down into nothing but his boxer briefs, laid him on the couch and placed an empty wastebasket next to his head. In all this, he said nothing. Julie wiped his auburn brown hair out of his eyes, tucking it behind his ear with one finger. Then, she kissed him on the forehead and walked to her desk.

 

Mama Rosa’s pizza was still smiling at her from the screen. Behind her, she could hear Logan vomit in the wastebasket and then groan. Julie sighed, closed the lid on the laptop, fixed him a cup of water and then collapsed in her own bed. Within a moment, she was fast asleep and the weight that had collected on her melted away.

 

The next morning, Julie awoke to the smell of bacon and coffee. She glared at the clock on her bedside table. It was 9:00 am. She covered her head in her pillow, protesting the start of a new day. Just as she had decided she would spend the day in her bed, 10,000 Maniacs floated from the kitchen and crawled under her head pillow.

 

“Becuase the night belongs to lovers

Because the night belongs to us.”

 

Logan’s voice joined in on the second refrain and Julie couldn’t help it. She lowered the pillow from her head and joined in.

 

“Have I doubt when I’m alone

Love is a ring, the telephone

Love is an angel disguised as lust

Here in our bed until the morning comes.”

 

Logan was leaning on the frame of the doorway, still dressed in only his boxer briefs. He held a plate piled with bacon and a glass of orange juice. His blue eyes were squinted and his lips were pursed in a boyish grin. Julie envied his beauty.

 

He raised one eyebrow. “We have to stop meeting like this” he teased then walked to the bedside, placed the plate of bacon and orange juice on the bedside table, and sat down on the bed beside Julie.

 

Julie chuckled and took a piece of bacon off the plate. Between chews, she said “I hope this is turkey bacon”.

 

Logan huffed, reached in his pocket and produced a small glass pipe. “Wake and bake?” He asked. He did not wait for an answer before he lit the bowl and took the green hit….and so they smoked.

 

As they smoked, they talked. They talked about nothing in particular. He didn’t mention Tawny and she didn’t mention Michael. The pair just existed in the moment. It was so effortless to exist like this with Logan.

 

“If all boys were like you, Logan” Julie mumbled.

 

Logan was mid sentence in a rant about postmodern-something when Julie said these words. His sentence erupted in a deep laugh. When Julie didn’t laugh back, he tilted his head to the side, frowned and added, “What? You would make me your wife?”

 

Julie laughed too hard. When they both composed themselves, she added seriously. “If all boys were like you, it wouldn’t be so hard to at least pretend, you know?”

 

Logan rested his head on her chest and sighed. “I know, Jewel…I know.”

 

They lay like this for a while and the feeling hung between them. They were drawn to one another because of the commonality of their fears and regrets. They had both given up something to embrace their true selves and for this, they would always be bound.

 

“THIS is community.” Julie thought and she realized that Logan was more family to her than anyone back in *town name*. Then, she remembered the invitation, the phone call, and the wedding.

 

“I’m going home,” she said.

 

Logan huffed. It was a small gesture but Julie knew that she didn’t have to say any more. He got it and this is why she loved him so. She never had to explain herself to him.

 

After another moment, Logan sat up, put the pipe to Julie’s lip and lit it for her. She took a long hit from the pipe and as she did, she stared at Logan. His lip was busted, why hadn’t she noticed it the night before.

 

Once she had exhaled a thick plume of smoke, she said “Your lip.”

 

Logan raised his fingers to the busted spot, self consciously, lowered his eyes and muttered “Yeah.”

 

This was the entire exchange on the matter. She didn’t press for any more information. She knew him too. Instead, she took the pipe, pressed it to his lips and lit it for him. As he inhaled, she vowed to kill Michael next time she saw him.

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#BeQuotable…Day 6…Inspiration

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“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of Value.” ~Albert Einstein

Today’s quote is dedicated to my little Brother. Happy 21st Birthday. Today is the day that makes you a man. May you go forth, and look for value, rather than success. May you search for happiness and learn to walk upright. May you succeed at recognizing your own value, and giving it freely to the world. May you surround yourself with people who appreciate and support you. May you live…a life without borders.

Cailleach the Diviner Character Sketch…Blog Hop For Writers

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Character Sketch of my Hero

Cailleach isn’t the MC of Darkness Within but he is very central to the story (he’s also my favorite character). He is Awen’s spirit guide and protector and his back story intertwines with her story in ways not yet revealed so I thought he would be the perfect subject for this week’s Blog Hop for Writer’s post. The exercise is to do a character sketch of my hero so, here it goes! When you’re done, hop on over to Ruth L. Snyder’s blog and check out her character sketch.

Appearance

Cailleach (Cai) is a formless being. In fact, he’s an extension of the divine and so there are times when he appears in the story as nothing more than a shadow in the corner of a room or (as Awen describes), the whisper of the wind. We see him, most often, in the Shadow Realm where he takes the form of a dark owl with silver tufts of fur and bright, purple eyes. Awen compares his physical appearance to the glow of the moon and describes him as appearing to be of both darkness and light.

Origin

I cannot tell you who I am, for I have been known by many names. I cannot tell you an age because human years cannot equate to my antiquity. I can say that, within the scope of human understanding, I have always existed. In one form or another, I have walked the shores of the human realm for ages. I have lived and died by the sides of man. I have felt human love and hate; hopelessness and triumph; joy and sorrow. I understand what it means to be human. I even empathize with them but I am not human. –Cailleach

Cailleach has existed from the beginning of earthly time. He was created to act as an agent of fate for the divine. He exists as a being who was created to fold into the fabric of human experience without actually being human. He travels throughout the ages, weaving in and out of human lives and helping guide them toward their individual destinies. All this is so that the overall balance of the world is maintained and humans continue to progress.

Back Story

Through his role as a diviner, Cailleach came to stand in awe of humanity as he watched them evolve. His attachment to humanity eventually became a weakness for him and throughout a turn of events, he became responsible for the beginning of the Dark Ages. He had broken every law of his kind and so he was exiled to the Shadow Realm where he found light in the darkness and became the protector of wanderers in the forest. His isolation and tenacity made him the perfect candidate to be Awen’s protector. His past is both a strength and a weakness for him. Protecting Awen will be his redemption with is a great motivator but as she grows, he becomes very attached to her and he finds himself feeling like history is repeating itself.

***I’m super sad because this post was supposed to be scheduled for Monday but due to technical issues, it didn’t post when it was supposed to. Better late than never, right? I hope it still counts.

Darkness Within—Last Day—$2.99 #Kindle

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Today is the last chance you will have to catch my debut novel, Darkness Within, at a discounted price! Until 10:00pm tomorrow, it will be on sale for $2.99! Catch it while you can! Click on the picture above, link below or search Amazon.com for “ac willis darkness within” to take advantage of this deal!

 

Darkness Within—2 day sale—$1.99 #Kindle

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If you missed yesterday’s deal, you can still catch my debut novel, Darkness Within, on Amazon before prices return to normal. This time, I’m giving it to you for $1.99 and the sale lasts for 2 days! Catch it before February 5 at 2:00 am to take advantage of this discount! Click on the picture above, link below or type “ac willis darkness within” into the Amazon search bar!

http://www.amazon.com/Darkness-Within-AC-Willis-ebook/dp/B00HHZ5D30/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388741401&sr=1-1&keywords=ac+willis+darkness+within

 

Darkness Within—.99 cents #OneDaySale #Kindle

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Happy Groundhog’s Day! In celebration of a (hopefully) returning Spring, I’m offering a one day sale on my debut novel, Darkness Within (Amazon Ebook). Until 6:00 pm (CST) tomorrow, it will be on sale for only .99 cents! This is a 30 hour deal and will only be offered once! Click on the picture (or link below) for a direct link to Amazon to get your copy, OR search for “ac willis darkness within” on Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Darkness-Within-AC-Willis-ebook/dp/B00HHZ5D30/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388741401&sr=1-1&keywords=ac+willis+darkness+within

.99 Ebook Sale–Darkness Within—#GroundhogsDay #Kindle

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Celebrate Groundhog’s day by grabbing my Ebook–Darkness Within for only .99 (76%) off for one day only!

Then, it will be 1.99 for 2 days and 2.99 for 1 day!

Get it while it’s cheap!

Goodreads Community and Review Copies…

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I’ve been meaning to make a “links” page for this blog for a week, now. Somehow, the train in my head wont really allow me the cognitive thought to get it done. So, for now, I’m going to settle for giving a shout out to one of the links that I know I will be featuring on the page.

I love communities which bring readers and authors together. I love it because it gives readers a chance to discover new and exciting titles while getting the author’s work into the hands of people who matter most. So far, the best community I’ve found for this is the goodreads group: Making Connections. Actually, it’s two groups (see compliment group: Making Connections: YA Edition).

At first glance, it seems to be a virtual book swap. Authors can opt into giving away x amount of free ebooks in exchange for review and readers can meander through the different genres, pick a new title which best suits them, contact the author and provide feedback. That, in and of itself, is a very valuable exchange. For the new author, it’s a chance to receive feedback on the book and for the reader, it’s a way to uncover the best and the brightest books on the fringe.

The group also functions as a book club. Every month, nominations are taken and a handful of books are chosen. Then, a poll is sent out and one book is chosen for collective reading and discussion. All in all, it’s a really great group and the only place I’ve felt propelled to offer review copies of my debut novel, Darkness Within. If you want a review copy of my book, or want to discover a myriad of other gems (from any genre imaginable), or want to post your own book for review, check out the group (Links in the reading above or direct link to my book below).

If you’re reading this and saying to yourself: “I would like a review copy of Darkness Within but I don’t want to join the group.”, just jet me an email at acwilliswriting@gmail.com and I may just fulfill your request.

If you’re reading this and saying to yourself: “I would really like my book reviewed but I don’t want to join the group.”; again, send me an email at acwilliswriting@gmail.com. I’m now accepting reviews for interesting novels on my blog.

Free Review Copy of My Book: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1661033-495—darkness-within-by-a-c-willis

A Little More Distraction…#GoldenGlobes

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On the heels of the Golden Globe Awards, my social media pages are blowing up with lists of the best and worst dressed, shocking moments, and award recaps. I’m both excited and repelled by this.

I am excited because I’m American and I love celebrities. I read People Magazine, follow my favorite’s updates on Twitter; the whole nine yards. Everytime I watch an episode of New Girl, I walk the line between wishing I was Zooey Deschanel and wishing I could marry her (oh, come on…she’s gorgeous, smart and talented!).

I once milled over the idea that today’s celebrities are held in the same regard that the Greeks and Romans held their gods and goddesses. In fact, it’s possible that the archeologists of the future might just discover a collection of People Magazine, restore them and mistake our celebrities for gods and goddesses. I chuckled at the thought of our future selves constructing an image of our society from our “holy books”. It was a fun idea to ponder, for a while but then I spit it out as quickly as I conceived it. It seemed like such an unpopular opinion…it seemed so wrong.

Still, I can’t help thinking it. It lurks like a shadow in the back of my brain and whenever I’m undulated with Celebrity news, it jumps back into the forefront. The idea waves it’s hands in my face and begs for acknowledgement. So, today, I gave it just that.

Let’s face it…Celebrities are our gods and goddesses.

We read their fables and parables in the tabloids; using it as an example for our children. I can hear parents all over the world exclaiming: Look at the Miley Cyrus…doing The Twerk all over the place…that Miley, she’s in trouble…Becky, you don’t want to be like that…No guy will ever take that Miley Cyrus seriously…

We applaud their successes; awarding them with awards made of gold (all that’s missing is the frankincense and myrrh)

We fashion our lives after them; gobbling up any piece of clothing or breakfast cereal that emulates them or is endorsed by them.

We ignore their mortality…to us, they are not normal, average people. They are demigods and we are redeemed somehow when given the chance to meet them…we scream for the opportunity to just touch the hem of their garments.

When we are faced with their mortality, we sob collectively and hold candlelight services in their honor, just like they were old friends.

What’s wrong with this? We aren’t the first society to create our own deities. We may not even be the first to create them out of real people. Of course, there is a lacking moral component but in 21st Century America, who questions that, anymore?

I guess my real problem with it is the pay-grade. Maybe it’s because I’m hopelessly poor myself; maybe it’s because I loathe materialism; or maybe it’s because I hold things like food, safety and freedom in such high regard but I have a real problem with the Hollywood actor’s salary, as compared to that of a farmer, policeman, or a soldier. We are taught, through the process of capitalism, that the higher a good or service’s value, the higher the price for it is…so why are celebrities some of the highest paid in our society?

For the purposes of the argument, I’m going to compare celebrities against soldiers (because it’s the one that hits closer to home for me). The fact is that you can interchange any occupation that supports our society in the place of “soldier” and my logic will make sense. 

So I ask myself this question: What is it about the services provided by celebrities that makes it more valuable than the services provided by a soldier? Do we value entertainment more than safety and security; more than freedom? 

No, certainly not. That would be indulgent and ungrateful…there must be some other reason for the pay discrepancies. I ponder this for a while, as I browse pages and pages of breaking news and Hollywood gossip. Then, it dawns on me.

It is not the entertainment that we hold in such high regard, is it? It’s the ability to set in a darkened movie theatre or our living rooms for 30 minutes to 3 hours and just shut everything off. It’s watching the young teen actress spiraling into a dark hole that allows us to dissociate from our own problems. It’s about breaking down with grief when we have lost a celebrity because we just need an excuse to cry…or because we feel like we’ve lost a part of ourselves.

Maybe we have lost a part of ourselves.

What does it say about us that we would pay more for a little distraction that we’re willing to pay for our own freedom?

How broken is our society that we need constant distraction and discourse just to navigate everyday life?

And how do we dig ourselves out of the hole we’re in when our heads are buried in the sand? 

I’m just a single mother and aspiring author with a blog; I do not claim to be a visionary or seer (although I would like to be). I do not claim to have all the answers to these questions. I mean, I have my own answers to these questions but it’s not the answer that’s important; it’s the ability to stand up and ask them that really matters. At the end of the day, each and every one of us will have to answer these questions for ourselves before we can even begin to heal as a whole.