Coming Out and Coming Home Chapter 10

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By 11:00, they had smoked an entire bowl, eaten all the bacon and drank all the orange juice. Julie’s bladder was full and so she decided to finally get out of bed. She used the bathroom as Logan stood in the doorway and recounted what he remembered from the night before.

 

He went to George’s with a group of people and they drank, a lot. There was kareokee…somebody got mad…yada…yada….yada….

 

The only thing Julie could think about was how great it felt to piss but she was glad to have Logan’s voice, filling the space in her empty apartment. Once she had finished peeing, wiped and pulled up her own Tomboy boxer briefs, she noticed Logan was staring at her, wordlessly.

 

“What?” She asked self-consciously.

 

Logan answered without cracking a smile. “I seriously thought you peed standing up. I guess you just proved me wrong.”

 

“You DICK!” Julie exclaimed and threw a roll of toilet paper at him.

 

They both laughed and Julie rolled her eyes in the mirror.

 

She yawned at her reflection and noticed that she looked like a pile of warm shit.

 

“How do you do it, man?” She asked. “You had a ROUGH night but you’re up early making breakfast and shit…and you look amazing?”

 

Logan thought about it. “I’m Irish,” he replied. Then he gave Julie her favorite, impish smile.  

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.

Coming Home and Coming Out Chapter 6

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When Julie woke up, she had 15 new missed calls. She was groggy when she picked up her cell phone and checked the call log. Tawny had called 4 times. The other 11 missed calls were from Logan.

 

“Shit” she muttered and she fought her eyes awake enough to find the clock in her living room. It was 1:45am.

 

“FUCK!”

 

She dialed the phone with shaky hands and paced while it rang 1…2….3 times…Voicemail…

 

“Fuck, fuck fuck!”

 

She tried again. This time, Logan answered on the first ring.

 

“Where are you, is everything okay?”

 

The voice on the other line was slow and slurred. The only words she could make out were “Michael’s” and “Locked out” followed by a string of obscenities and what she thought sounded like pounding fists on the door.

 

“Logan!” She spoke sternly into the phone. “Stay there. I’m coming. Whatever you do, don’t go anywhere and DON’T pound on the door anymore. Just sit there quietly. I’ll be there in 10 minutes.” Silence….”Logan, I’m serious. You don’t want to make him mad.”

 

“Okay” Logan muttered.

 

‘Click”

Coming Out and Coming Home Chapter 5

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She hadn’t really thought about home in a while. Not like this. Home was a weird concept to Julie. She had made a life in the city but it never felt like home. Home was a distant thing, like the love her mother had for her.

 

But now, as she lay on her couch in her empty condo staring at the ceiling, her mother’s words echoed in her head. “I can’t wait to see you, you know” and then “I’ll see you soon”. Julie felt nauseous.

 

How long had it been since she had been to that place?

 

“3 years” a small voice answered in her head.

 

“3 years” Julie repeated aloud. Then she fell quietly asleep.

Coming Home Chapter 2

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Julie walked around the condo for a while, picking things up and putting them back in their tidy little places. She felt no sense of remorse for the thing that she had lost…the thing she had spent the past three years of her life building. Where Tawny was concerned, there was no room for loss. Julie knew she would be back. She always came back after a few nights on the town, or a week at her mom’s.

 

Once, she was gone for an entire month. That time Julie had actually felt a hole in her life where Tawny had been. That time, it almost felt real. But then Tawny showed up at 3am, banging on the front door of the condo. Julie opened the door, let her in without saying a word and things just resumed, as they were before she left.

 

It was strange but familiar and as Julie finished cleaning up the destruction from their argument, she realized that Tawny was the most constant thing in her life. She was a beautiful storm, for sure, but Julie knew that she would always blow back to her. The problem was that Julie wasn’t sure that she wanted it, anymore. She had grown so tired of it all. She was so numb to the explosion that was Tawny that she really wasn’t sure if she would let her back in this time.

 

This time, she would leave her standing outside that door at 3 o’clock in the morning. Even if it was raining when she came back, she wouldn’t open the door. She wouldn’t even look through the peep hole in the front door. She would just leave her standing there, with her little pink suitcase in her hand. Then, Tawny would know that it was really over.

 

She could do this, couldn’t she?

 

Of course not. She would let Tawny in. She will always let Tawny in.

 

Once the condo was tidy, with all the little things in their proper place (except of course the things that Tawny had taken), Julie found herself in their bedroom…her bedroom. She was standing in the door of the room, looking at herself in the adjoining bathroom mirror.

 

Her eyes were the same stark blue they had always been. They were the eyes of a child, with shallow fine lines growing around them. Her eyeliner was smeared, giving her a smoky, almost too sexy look. Her cheeks were taught and smeared with reds and blues from her painted hands. Her dark hair was a tangle of long dreadlocks, except for one side, which Tawny had convinced her to shave. It was a look that Julie, secretly, kind of hated. Her body was lean but strong and she noticed, for the millionth time that her shoulders were too wide for a woman.

 

Her full lips were pursed, her eyebrows were creased and she realized that she wasn’t smiling anymore. Like the books from the bookshelf, Tawny had taken that with her when she left. She couldn’t be sure if it was one of the things that Tawny had taken a long time ago but never remembered to bring back, like the Fear and Loathing DVD or the fucking toaster.

 

Finally, Julie surveyed her body, again. “You’re too thin” She could hear her momma saying. “And why do you insist on always dressing like a 12 year old boy?” She sighed a heavy sigh and shook her mother’s voice from her head but the truth was that she despised herself for looking like a walking lesbian stereotype.

 

Then, she remembered the invitation and the phone call. She would see her mother again, soon because Susie Beechum was getting married and she was going to attend the wedding….alone. Her expression turned into an even harder grimace. It stared at her from her bathroom mirror with hard, accusing eyes. Tawny was gone, and she was going home.

#Nanowrimo, @HRBlock, and #Life…OH MY!!!!

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It’s that time of the year, again…

As the wheel of the year turns and the Cailleach rises to bring winter storms, there is a great awakening of creative spirit. Nanowrimo falls on the first day of the Celtic New Year…the perfect time for resolutions and new beginnings.

I have looked forward to this day, since December 1, 2013, when last year’s Nano was over. I tried Camp Nanowrimo but it wasn’t quite the same and so I resigned to wait…and wait I did.

Now, it’s here and while I’m as nervously excited as I thought I would be, I’m also starting that I might be a little bit crazy for going at it this year.

Last year, I won Nanowrimo…

…but since then, I’ve kind of been a lazy author. I suppose lazy isn’t the best word…I’ve been increasingly busy with other things…

Sometimes life just rises up and steals away the time and creative energy of an author. I suppose that’s the greatest battle that we fight. We live in this world between worlds and sometimes one of them (the “real world” or “the alternate”) reaches out and consumes us.

Last year, I was busy; mostly with my kids (now ages 5, 4 and 4)…But also with the daily ins and outs of life, being a housewife and the pending holidays. This year, I’m swamped. My kids have grown a bit and started Preschool and I’m on the edge of a Divorce (I’m filing December 1).

I had this image of all the time I would spend writing, once my kids started Preschool but the reality of it is that I spend the majority of my newly “free” time with appointments and volunteering; conferences with the teacher and projects, homework, and fundraising…It’s a new kind of busy…one I had not anticipated.

Oh, and I had an adult Tonsillectomy a week ago…I wont get into the details about how horrible an adult tonsillectomy can be (or the obstructive sleep Apnea I’ve dealt with over the past year due to constant tonsillitis) but if you’ve had one as an adult or you google “adult tonsillectomy”, you will understand how this affects every aspect of my life.

…and all the ways in which my life has changed since last  year, I am sure that it will still get in the way as I attempt this year’s Nano…

…And Then There’s Work….

It’s hard for a single mom to find a job that (1) pays well and (2) works around a “schedule” (because who can afford daycare, these days?) and (3) is actually satisfying work….That is to say that the Single mom, although brilliant, talented and creative, has no formal training or qualifications to prove specialization.

…and that’s when I came across HR Block’s Tax Course….

I’ve done my own taxes (and that of a few closest to me) for about 5 years now…I’ve researched business taxes, self employment taxes, and the Affordable Care Act out of either necessity or curiosity…and I’m extremely organized and proficient with computers and forms….so I took a chance and enrolled.

I have done done exceedingly well in the course…better than I had imagined…and I have learned A LOT…but this Tax Course is a beast! On the first day, I received two (very large) books of reading materials, tax tables, exercises, case studies and forms. I have learned, section by section, everything I will need to know to be a GOOD tax professional and I have prepared every kind of tax return covered in the class, by hand and I have come to know each tax form line by line.

I have transformed, from someone who knew a little something about taxes to someone who has an intimate relationship with taxes…but I still have a ways to go. With a little over a month left in the course, there is still a lot to learn. I also have independent research and continuing learning, after the class (once I officially become a HR Block employee).

Probably my favorite thing about doing taxes is that the laws are always changing…this gives me the ability to constantly be in the state I’m most comfortable….the state of learning and growing. HR Block is the perfect company because, out of all the Tax Preparation companies out there, they value continuing education and growth more than any of the other companies out there.

So to sum it up….

I’ve got a lot going on….and Nanowrimo 2014 is smack dab in the middle of it all! So, here’s to moving forward…Here’s to making time….Here’s to writing your heart out!

I look forward to the journey, snares and all, as we battle toward the goal of 50,000 words, together!

#BeQuotable…Day 2…Love

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My favorite quote from wise mans fear.  So yes. It had flaws, but what does that matter when it comes to matters of the heart? We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.

“So yes. It had flaws, but what does that matter when it comes to matters of the heart? We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That’s as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.” ~Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear

I forecast a lot of Patrick Rothfuss quotes throughout this challenge…why? Because The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear are two of the greatest novels written…ever…because the words on these pages have the power to shoot straight into your heart and roll around for a while…because this may be the most perfect quote about love, ever imagined. I have loved like this…but I’ve never been loved LIKE this…and that makes all the difference…

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.

“From Thine Own Well” by Norm Hamilton…#BookReviews

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About the Book

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They said it couldn’t happen here—but it did!
Water resources have become scarce and individual freedoms cast off. A society has been brought to its knees by a series of FIPA agreements. Economic ruin, contaminated watersheds, earthquakes and human relationships paint the picture of a Canadian society that has been altered, seemingly irrevocably.

Those international accords effectively brought the Canadian government to collapse and ruin—forced into dependency on corporatist rule. Unrestricted fracking and irresponsible mining practices caused major watersheds and underground streams to become contaminated, the precious fluid, noxious.

The sole purpose of The Coalition, a regulatory body created by the world-wide conglomerates that governs the country, is to ensure the profitability of its corporate members.

In Yukon, Canada’s far north, a baker’s dozen of unknown, everyday people and one dog are loosely thrown together in an effort to combat The Coalition and its impact on Canadian lives and the environment. Though small in numbers, their resolve is immense … and palpable.

The representatives of The Coalition vie for power and status while attempting to maintain control of the populace. Their numbers include those who would dispose of the others and some who, in spite of themselves, find love.

The Yukoners include a married couple, young singles and elders. The action-filled scenes are interspersed with tender moments and imaginative solutions while relationships bloom within their ranks. Together they confront the corporate menace.

Join Landon, Nora, Galen and the others who, through no design of their own, have become the unwitting hope for Canada’s future.

The year is 2036 …

Review

heartratingfilledheartratingfilledheartratingfilledheartratingfilledheartratingnotfilled

4 out of 5 loves

It is always exciting for a writer to take on a political, social or environmental issue in their work. Norm Hamilton does, just this, as he chronicles the struggles of the people of the Yukon against “The Agreement”—a contract that allows Chinese businesses to extract natural resources from Canada without regulation–and “The Coalition”—the group of people who protect this right.

Although it may seem to be a cautionary tale for the dangers of destroying the environment, there is much more to it than that. Hamilton highlights what “could” be the downfalls of society if “lust for money” becomes a motivation for people and countries to destroy themselves in pursuit of a fat checkbook and a prominent seat in the world market.

What is more important is that “From Thine Own Well” accomplishes all this while still being a really great story. It’s never slow, never boring and doesn’t at all feel “preachy” to me. All in all, I think this is a really great addition to the Dystopian genre and would recommend it to anybody who enjoyed reading “The Giver”.

You can find the book on paperback and kindle at Amazon.

AND…as an added bonus, anyone who comments on this tour post will be entered to win a FREE Ebook copy of this novel!!!!

About the Author

Norm Hamilton (1951-) lived in Whitehorse, Yukon for 40 years and is currently normresiding on Vancouver Island with his wife, Anna, where he is meeting people and experiencing new adventures to write about. He is a writer and a photographer and is currently enjoying Lack Cowichan, B.C.

Norm has written one non-fiction book, “The Digital Eye.” It is a compilation of articles for people wanting to improve their photography skills or for those who want to learn digital photography.

His latest project is a novel titled, “From Thine Own Well,” a story about a dystopian Canadian society, brought about by unrestricted gas fracking and irresponsible mining techniques. It all began with a FIPI agreement in 2012 that left the federal government open to lawsuits-that they lost.

Norm’s books are available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon.

Follow the Book Tour!!!!

.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!