The Flu

It has derailed me for two weeks. d474_7_032_0004_600

My youngest brought it home from middle school and it was a type I was susceptible to. It’s what I get for being cocky because I work in an Elementary school. a62a17df5cf3ba1b47fe202b90d276d7

It spanked me good. I can’t remember the last time I laid around in bed for six days.

SIX days.

It was horrible. It was hitting day five and crying half the night because I was so exhausted, so stuffed up, so worn out, I was sure I’d never be well again.

It’s day eight and I’m almost back to myself.

I had a lot of time to lay around and think, I’ve had some personal realizations I’m excited to blog about. I had a dream in Korean, with sub-titles. Yeah, thanks to Netflix, for the endless supply of K-dramas, and Christiane Amanpour’s: Sex and Love Around the World. And a special little thanks to Shy for my very own bias post… Thanks for contributing to my survival!

Reality VS Expectation

Last September I promised a couple of readers who participated in a little quiz game a copy of a book of their choice. Nope, haven’t sent them yet.

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As you know, I’ve received the Solitude books but I have yet to order Kawaipuna Cottage. In an effort to not need to revisit these stories again, I’ve put them through editing software and tried to correct all the errors. Well, as many as I can find. I ran into a snag with Kawaipuna Cottage because I couldn’t un-format it. It caused quite a lot of swearing. Once I shut up and started over I realized there is a part of the book that I didn’t like. Long ago when I was posting it on Wattpad, a friend asked me to change the sickness Carly’s mom was dealing with. I didn’t think it would be a big deal. As I got into the book, correcting and doing the odd rewrite here and there I learned something. I was writing about my mom’s death, years before it happened. A walk in the dark exploring how it might play out at a time we only knew it would be sooner than later.

So, here I am sitting at my computer four months after I promised books, still wading around in the middle of the first book I ever wrote.

The boxes will be sent in February with books and also with a North Dakota smile.  Sort of a fan crate from North Dakota. I think my long-suffering readers will sincerely enjoy the little surprises I’ve gathered for them.

So, the decision I’ve made is to go back to the original version of Kawaipuna Cottage. It requires a bit more tweaking then re-formatting, then ordering.

For those of you who haven’t read Kawaipuna Cottage, it is, I think, the funniest book I’ve written. Possibly also the cheesiest book I’ve written. I loved my character Carly, so much, I took her name as part of my pen name. She’s a bit of a dingbat, but I love her. Mitchell, I love only slightly less than Carly. It shouldn’t be much of a strain to figure out which Scottish movie star I modeled him after. With all it’s pretty fluffy story-line and HEA ending, Kawaipuna Cottage might forever be overlooked except there is Mitch’s love of on the spot limericks and Carly’s, um, well, hmm, she’s just plain hilarious. I mean who doesn’t love a 30-something year old woman who talks to herself, struggles with liquids and her love of anything edible, would chew off her own arm before cutting a hair off her head, sometimes forgets deodorant, might have a small case of OCD and/or introversion, and hears voices in her head, a chorus of them.

I have it listed as Book Two in the Best Friends Series, Solitude being Book One. I wrote Solitude second but Carly showed up all uninvited as Regan’s travel agent, and wouldn’t leave.

 

A little excerpt…..

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I absently push at the screen door with my hip. It unexpectedly pushes back and scorching
hot coffee slurps down my leg and onto my toes.
“Ouch, hot, hot, hot d -, oh crap, oh, s -!” I try to shake off scalding hot coffee drops while not spilling anymore from my sloshing cup. Proud that my proper God-fearing, western upbringing has prevented my swearing-in front of Auntie Laura, I look up to see what the door is
stuck on and find two, rather incredulous, green eyes
staring back through the screen at me. My cheeks flush. I spent the better part of last night watching him run around half-naked. And the other part of the night…, oh
boy, I can feel my face burning.
“Isn’t someone with yer drinkin’ habits best left to cold drinks?” he
asks in that breathtaking accent.
“Following me, are you?” I reply.                                                                                                    I’m turning into Yoda.                                                                                                                           Good grief, I didn’t even brush my hair today.
He pulls the door open and gestures me out. He’s wearing a long-sleeved, pretty-much transparent white shirt, only partially buttoned. His sunglasses are tucked in the waistband of familiar ragged carpenter shorts, and he’s wearing flip-flops. He looks better today than he did yesterday.                                                                                                                                 I’m fairly sure I hate him. “Thank you,” I murmur and hustle toward my car.
“Hey!” he yells.
Clenching my teeth, I glance back and see him jogging across the sand.
“Would you know a good place close by to get some groceries?” he asks.
I look at him stupidly. Doesn’t he have people to do that for him? I
look around, where are his people? “If you head back up the road to Hanalei, you can get anything you need there.” I answer.
He nods and squints out at the ocean, jingling something in his pocket.
A bead of sweat trickles down the small of my back as a seagull whirls, screeching overhead. I straighten a bit at the creak and slap of the coffee shop’s ancient wooden screen door.
“Oh, hey Carly, he’s a big one, yeah?”                                                                                                 I hear Auntie Laura cackle from the doorway followed closely by a wolf whistle. I glance up, hoping he’s been bored to death and killed over or disappeared. Shit. Here it comes, that slow smile. Dear Lord, forgive me but that smile did some terribly indecent things to me from the television screen last night. In person, it’s a small miracle I stay standing. He rubs his chin. He has that sexy, scruffy beard thing going on.
I should have used deodorant today.                                                                                          Today would have been an excellent day for that.
“Carly.” he says.
Well, that sounded just wonderful. Damn it!
“Oh aye, don’t suppose you might take pity on a fellow traveler
and help me find a grocery?” he asks, looking at me hopefully.
Logical Carly howls from my left brain, NOOOOOOOOOO. Unfortunately waking all the Carly girls who live in the other hemisphere. Truly, there is not a worse course of action than my spending any time with him. First, I just spent more than half the night watching him run around in a loincloth. Second, it will totally interfere with my whole twelve-month, man-free, your life is crap plan. Third, he’s attractive and I’ve, err, used him for something naughty. Fourth, he has a smart mouth. Heaven save me from a man who can talk back! Oh, and fifth, he’s Scottish, the accent the brawn, the chest hair the smirk, the whole
damn package! So by all means, let’s spend a few more hours together.                                 Bad idea!
Wrong road!                                                                                                                                     Warning – train whistle in the distance, flashing red lights, air raid sirens going off . . . .
“I was just heading that way, actually,” I hear my mouth saying.
It’s not directly attached to my brain and today, that’s a problem.

I know it will never be a great American novel, but I do like to write about people I’d like to spend time with. I guess it’s my way of peopling my own little town. A little leftover anxiety from being adopted, that desire to find your tribe, the one that adores you, the one that would never leave you behind.

Looking Back, 2018

I’m starting this post in a noisy hotel room in Billings, Montana. The girls are tired and arguing as they make the couch bed. We’ve spent the last ten days with relatives and are making the laborious trip home. The roads have been equal parts excellent and horrible. We’ve seen two slide-offs so far, one a semi, but the roads the rest of the way home tomorrow look very good. We chose a good window. 

I’ve been reading many blogs this evening, people I follow who are posting their end of year notes. Zee and Servetus inspired me to look at my blog stats. I’ve never done that before. My most popular blog post last year was BTS Is Comingfollowed closely by 3 Steps to the Perfect Adoption, which tied with a big surprise showing by Spank Me, the second blog post I wrote here. 

I must admit I’m quite surprised. Not so much by the BTS post but by the other two. I’ve often wondered this year, what direction to take the blog. Although I love BTS to distraction, I’m not one to blog about just them. The subject of adoption fills me with a helpless rage that makes me dread writing about it. Spankings and all things BDSM are fascinating to me but very far from the path I currently walk in life. Though a part of me dreams of exploring, pragmatic me worries about blogging about it and the possibilities of small-town backlash. Especially when considering my current occupation. It requires more contemplation. 

I’m back home and tomorrow, back to work. Time to settle back into comfortable ways. The holidays, while delightful, were filled with face time, with actual people! It was pretty exhausting. I’m ready to sit back, meditate, write, publish, and be more open to the wonderful. 

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