Queen Alisha's Guide to Life











{July 31, 2014}   Ghost Story Contest Entry

Ran across this story contest this morning. I’m always up for a trip to New Orleans, so I decided to give it a shot. Winning entry receives two free passes to the Ghost Camp at the Haunted Bourbon Orleans hotel. That would definitely be an interesting experience! 

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The grinning face stared at me from the darkness beyond my bedroom window. I live on the 14th floor. Lucy was her name. Her dark hair billowed around her shoulders much like it would have centuries ago. She was a resident here, just like I was. The Gilded Lily, the hotel I owned, was now a popular French Quarter hotel. Years ago, however, it had been a bordello, and Lucy was the owner. When the yellow fever raged through New Orleans, Lucy took in the sick. She soon succumbed to the illness as well. But, Lucy never left the Gilded Lily. And neither did her lover, Tobias. Both were seen frequently around the hotel, Tobias in the bar where he had always sat. Lucy roamed the halls, still checking on her girls, and the sick. I placed my hand on the cold glass. Lucy smiled at me again and slowly faded away.



Emily cracked open the sunroof on her SUV a she hit the highway. It was a beautiful fall afternoon and the sun was welcome warmth on her pale face. She had worked the night shift for so long; she had forgotten what the sun felt like. She tuned a rock station on her radio and turned it up. No sad country songs for her today.

Emily was going home. But, what would she do when she got there? She would figure that out when the time came. One step at a time, she told herself.

“Don’t go borrowing trouble.” Ruby would say.

Emily’s mind drifted as the miles ticked away. She thought of the drive she had taken from Lafayette with her grandparents after her parent’s funeral. She was twelve then. Her feet hurt from the new shiny black shoes, and the lacy material on her dress scratched her back. Her Grandpa had the Cajun music channel on. The lively sounds of the accordion were a contrast to the somber mood in the late model Ford. Twenty-three years later, Emily was making the move again. And again, it was with little more than the clothes on her back and a few prized possessions.

As she drove south through the small towns of south Louisiana, memories flashed like the faded yellow dashes on the highway. She remembered the excitement of summers. The days of playing on the beach, fishing with her dad, campfires at night. When vacation was over, and her parents went back to Lafayette, she had often stayed for the remainder of the summer with her grandparents. After her parents died, she’d moved in with them permanently. It was then in her grandmother’s kitchen, that Emily developed her love for cooking. She’d spent many hours in that old kitchen with Grandma Ruby. Ruby had taught her how to make a roux from scratch.

“No roux in a jar for me no, cher,” Ruby would tell Emily. Emily would stir with that old, stained wooden spoon for so long; sometimes she thought her arm was going to fall off.

Emily smiled at the memory. How long had it been since she’d made a gumbo? Too long, she thought.

She wondered how much Bon Chance had changed since she was last there. Two major hurricanes had trampled the coast since. Emily knew that the town would be different. She wondered if her house was even still standing. She shook her head. She refused to think about what would happen if it weren’t.



401

Twenty-two days ago, I celebrated my thirty-ninth birthday. I have to admit, it freaked me out just a little bit. Seems like you spend your twenties trying to find your place in the world. When you finally do that, you realize that you don’t really know who you are. So you spend the thirties trying to figure that out. So, what about the forties? What do you try to find then? Or, are your forties when you realize you don’t really have to look for anything? Is this quest for self-realization finally over? Then, why do some have mid-life crises? 

Not being forty yet, I don’t have any of those answers.

After reading a blog a few days ago by a person also turning forty soon, I’ve decided to adopt her strategy for the upcoming year. She has made a list of thirty things she would like to do before she’s forty. She left ten blank for reader suggestions, for a total of forty things she would like to accomplish in the next year. 

I already have two bucket lists, a musical bucket list and a list of things I want to do when I return to Louisiana. So, forty seems like a lot on top of what I’ve already committed to. I did try to merge the three as much as possible. Multi-tasking is always a good thing. I came up with twelve. I figure one a month for the next twelve months is completely achievable. Each one would make this last year of my thirties, one of the best years ever. Instead of mourning the end of a decade, I’m going to send my thirties out on a bang! :) 

My Twelve? 

1. Go somewhere I’ve never been before. See a town I’ve never seen. I want to see Galveston or Austin. Both are within driving distance. 

2. See my name in print again. I want to publish an article, or maybe even my book will finally be on it’s way to being published. Quite possible, considering that an agent has requested the full manuscript. 

3. I want to finish the novel I’m working on now. I have 45,000 words to go. 

4. See one band on my musical bucket list. Will it be Jimmy Buffett, Alice in Chains, Sarah McLachlan, Kiss, Mumford and Sons, or someone I add in the future?

5. Learn something new. I’ve always wanted to learn to Cajun dance. Sometimes, it just isn’t fun to sit on the sidelines. I feel a little like Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing. Baby is in the corner. Well, this Baby needs to learn how to dance and get out there and dance with a fine hunk of a man. I’ve also wanted to learn how to make sushi at home. I love to cook and try new recipes, and rolling my own sushi looks like a challenge I’d like to tackle. 

6. I wan to see the ocean again. I have such an affinity for the ocean. I can sit for hours by the water, watching the tide roll in and out again. I love waking up and watching the sun over the water. Maybe it’s the Cancer in me, but this water sign loves to be near the water. 

7. See a symphony or other great live performance. I would love to go to a performing arts center and see a Broadway play like Wicked.

8. Apply for my passport. One day, I will travel to Bali or Europe. But, one must have a passport first. So, a passport will be something I may need for my forties. 

9. Do one thing that requires me to dress up. I’ve always wanted to attended the Apollo Mardi Gras Ball in Lafayette. Dress up, have fun, wear my hair up and a gown. Party down like Gatsby. 

10. Stick to an exercise routine. Would be nice to look as good in my forties as I did in my early thirties. 

11. Buy one good original piece of art. I want a piece of art that represents South Louisiana. Maybe a painting of the French Quarter. Or a drawing of a park in Lafayette. 

12. This last one I’m leaving free for an “oh yeah” moment. One of those things when someone mentions something, or you see something on television, or hear a song, and you think, “I’ve always wanted to do that. Maybe it will be one wild and crazy spontaneous road trip. Or a trip to Vegas (maybe I’ll get married by Elvis), maybe it will be trip to New York to meet my agent and editor. Who knows? With me, one never knows. 

All in all, I want to sit here a year from now and think, Thirty-nine! Wow! What a ride! 

Here’s to Hunter S. Thompson, that wild and crazy writer. One of my favorites! 

Cheers!

I’m out!

Like this blog? Check out my inspiration for this blog. 

http://40x40n15.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

 



{July 20, 2014}   A Supernatural Soundtrack

 

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Supernatural is one of my absolute favorite television shows. The writing is witty. It’s filled with one-liners and snarky comments. And I just love snarky humor. The main characters are cute, to say the least. But, what I love the most about this show is the MUSIC! The music in this show is phenomenal. To me, this show has one of the best soundtracks on television.  Check these out. 

1. “Carry on My Wayward Son”, Kansas

2. “Crossroad Blues”, Robert Johnson

3. “Rooster”, Alice in Chains

4. “Renegade”, Styx

5. And my favorite, “Eye of the Tiger”, Survivor

If you haven’t watched an episode yet, you definitely should check this show out. The story line and writing is just as good as the music. 

Peace!

I’m out!

 



I love stories set in New Orleans, so I decided to write my own. This will eventually be a Love Boat style series set in a haunted French Quarter hotel. This is the first chapter. :) 

Chapter One
“Bienvenue! Welcome to the Gilded Lily.” Josephine Jacobs, or J.J., said automatically as she heard a customer approach the front desk.
Holy crawfish! J.J thought as she looked up from the elegant front desk of the New Orleans hotel and fell head over hormones into lust.
“Checking in.” said the object of her affliction, “Name’s Rhett. Rhett Butler.”
This is bad. J.J. thought. I’m about to climb over this desk and molest a customer with a fake name.
“Rhett Butler?” J.J. asked, raising an eyebrow. She blew a lock of hair out of her face and hit some keys on the computer keyboard. J.J. looked up at him. Again, she was hit with a white-hot wave of lust. His head was shaved underneath a black ball cap. Black tribal tattoos wrapped around arms the size of Amazonian anacondas. He wore a simple black t-shirt and fashionably tattered blue jeans. His eyes were deep brown as was his five o’clock shadow. He was just her type, masculine and ragged around the edges.
“What can I say, my dad was a Gone With the Wind fan.” he replied.
“Is that right?” J.J. asked.
“Yes ma’am.” He said leaning in over the desk, closer to J.J. “You look like a woman that should be kissed. And often….” His smoky voice trailed off.
“And by someone who knows how.” J.J. finished for him breathlessly. She took a deep breath and stepped back. “You are in the Red Light Suite, Mr. Butler. Are you here for the Voodoo Music Festival?”
“Yes, I am.”
Her eyes met his and the air between them sizzled. The flame seemed to burn the oxygen out of the air, leaving her feeling light-headed and half giddy. She sucked in a breath, catching a whiff of his woodsy cologne. She closed her eyes as the floor seemed to shift.
She exhaled a breath and choked out, “This key unlocks both your room and the gate to your private courtyard. Enjoy the festival and your stay with us. If you need anything,” J.J. cringed inwardly as her voice broke on the word anything. “Don’t be afraid to call the front desk.”
J.J. held the key out, and Rhett’s fingers brushed hers as he grabbed it. His fingers moved slowly and deliberately over hers as he took it.
Anaconda Arms, aka Rhett Butler, pocketed the key. “If I need any….thing,” he winked at her. “You’ll be the first one I call, Miss?”
“Jacobs,” she replied, “J.J.”
“J.J.” he said, then nodded toward the brass plated sign over her shoulder, “Complimentary Happy Hour?” he asked.
“Yes. At six.”
“Will you be off?”
“Maybe.” she said smiling. Damn right she would be, she thought, she was only covering the front desk while Andrea took a break.
A smile flashed across his face, “Maybe I’ll come down then.”
J.J. watched as he disappeared into the elevator. Something about him seemed familiar. Who was he? He was not Rhett Butler, and he wouldn’t be the first person to
That Voodoo That You Do, Short Long Series Contemporary/3
check in under a fake name.
“J.J.” someone was calling her name.
“J.J.”
“What?” she snapped. She shook her head and looked to see who it was. It was Zoey and J.J. instantly felt bad. The twenty-something bartender, was smiling at her from the adjoining door of the hotel’s lounge.
“I’m sorry, Zoey.” J.J. said “What is it?”
“He was hot, huh?” Zoey teased, flashing a pierced eyebrow in the direction of the elevator.
J.J. frowned at her and started needlessly straightening the top of the Queen Anne desk. “Isn’t it time for your shift? What did you do to your hair?” J.J. asked Zoey, gesturing to the streak of burgundy in her dark hair.
“I dyed it this morning. Do you think Dean will notice?” she asked.
J.J. smiled, “If he doesn’t, he’s blind.”
“I hope so.”
“It looks good.” J.J. said.
“About tonight, you can handle the delivery from Jagneaux’s today. Just leave the invoice by the register. I’ll pick it up after happy hour.”
“No problem. Are you coming down for happy hour tonight?”
J.J. thought of Rhett. She wouldn‘t miss happy hour tonight for the world. “Yes.”
“Good. Tobias has been unusually rowdy lately.”
“He’s probably fussing with Lucy again. You know how they are. I’ll come down
keep any eye on things.”
“Good. He doesn’t listen to me. He almost broke the beer mugs last night.”
“Tobias doesn’t really listen to anyone. But, I’ll come down and check it out.” J.J. said and turned her attention to the couple walking through the door.
“Bienvenue! Welcome to the Gilded Lily.” J.J said.
As the desk clerk returned from her break, J.J. checked the time on the slim gold watch on her wrist. Five o’clock. She had an hour to go to her room, shower, and change for happy hour. J.J. started mentally rifling through her closet. What would she wear?
J.J. gave the lobby a last look. Every detail from the elaborate crystal chandelier, to the tapestry wall hangings, to the tall white and blue flower arrangements had been chosen by a Jacobs. The hotel had been in the family for generations. A former Jacobs had purchased The Gilded Lily, a former bordello, and opened it as a hotel.
J.J. grew up here and now ran this hotel taking over after her mother retired. When other hotels around had been bought out by big companies, her family had held on. And for that J.J. was grateful.
Satisfied that everything was as it should be, J.J. smiled and headed to her suite.

After her shower, J.J. donned a soft, white, robe and stepped out of the bathroom. Her blonde hair was wet and floating around her shoulders. She thought again of Rhett, or
whatever his name was. This man was already taking up too much parking space in her mind. She didn’t have time for this distraction. She was still in men-o-pause after her last dating disaster.
Like the proverbial moth to the flame, and despite men-o-pause, she headed to her closet anyway. Maybe she should take a pause from taking a pause from men.
“What do you think we should wear tonight?” she asked as she stared into her closet.
Silently, a slinky black little number slid off a hanger and onto the floor.
She picked it up, “No, not this, not yet. It’s just happy hour.” She said. “Something else.”
A tight black shirt covered in silvery sequins was next to fall to the floor. J.J. sighed and put it back on the hanger.
“Lucy, seriously.” She said. “Something less dramatic.”
A red sweater was next to fall. It was one of her favorites. It hugged her curves and showed a slight tease of cleavage. “This is perfect. Thanks, Lucy.”
She smiled as she laid the sweater and a pair of slim black slacks on her bed and crossed back into her bathroom. With her sliding glass doors open to the courtyard, she could hear music. Someone was strumming a guitar in the courtyard. The melody hit J.J. in the stomach. It was the song she had listened to repeatedly while going through her divorce.
“No, it can’t be.” she said and inched toward the courtyard balcony.
Someone started to sing softly and J.J.’s knees went weak.
She now knew who Rhett really was.

 

 

 

 

 

 



{July 15, 2014}   Musical Bucket List

As a music lover, I have been extremely lucky. I have been able to see many of the bands I’ve wanted to see. I have sang (and sometimes screamed) along with most of my favorite artists as they’ve played my favorite songs live. I told someone recently that I had a musical bucket list and they asked me who was on it. I was actually stumped. I had to sit and think about what bands I wanted to see that I hadn’t had the opportunity to see yet. And I came up with five (and one bonus).In true Alisha fashion, they’re all over the musical genre. 

 

1. KISS (In full make-up and costume)

A friend of mine was able to attend their concert just this last week. I am absolutely green with envy. 

 

2. Jimmy Buffett (on a beach or in a boat)

Great music, the beach, and a drink in my hand. Life wouldn’t get much better than that!

 

3. Mumford and Sons

One of my new favorite bands, I haven’t been able to catch them in concert yet. Love their energy!

 

4. Sarah McLachlan

Love her voice and her lyrics. She is an excellent songwriter. 

 

5. Alice in Chains

Wish I could have seen them when Layne Staley was still alive. But, definitely still a band I will see one day. 

6. Staind/Aaron Lewis

Okay, okay, so I have seen Staind and Aaron Lewis multiple times, but it’s always a great show and one of my absolute faves.

 

I think that’s pretty good for a musical bucket list. Will definitely have to see how many of these great shows I can cross off my list. :) 

For now, I’m out!

Peace!



{July 13, 2014}   Crossroads, Chapter One

I’ve had several requests lately to read my novel. Here’s chapter one! :) Enjoy!

Chapter One
            Emily Breaux watched from the window as a Lafayette Parish squad car rolled to a stop in her driveway.
            Oh no, she thought, what had Eddie done now?
            Emily’s heart beat faster as the deputy walked toward the door with papers in his hand.
            “Mr. or Mrs. Edward Breaux?” he asked when she opened the door.
            “I’m Emily Breaux,” she said.
            “These are for you and your husband. You have thirty days from today to vacate the premises.”
            “What?” she asked.
            “Sorry, ma’am.” The officer tipped his hat and turned, leaving her in the driveway.
            She stormed back into the house with the notice shaking in her hands. As usual, Eddie was sleeping off his drunk on the sofa.
            “Eddie?” she asked, shaking his shoulder. She wrinkled up her nose as the scent of stale beer wafted up from his body. “Wake up. We have a problem.”
            “What?” he slurred and rolled back over. His arm swung out and she flinched. She took a step back and shook him harder. “Wake up!”
            “What!” he said, finally waking up.
            She held out the papers. “You were supposed to take care of this.”
            “Take care of what?”
            “The rent, Eddie! I’ve been giving you the money! What were you doing with it?”
            He mumbled something she couldn’t understand.
            “What?” she asked.
            “I needed some extra cash.” he said.
            “So you used the rent?” her voice rising. She was filled with panic and rage.
            “I’ve been having drinks with some HR guys in the oilfield, trying to make some contacts. You told me to get a job.”
            “So you spent our rent. All of our rent?”
            “Jeesh, Emily, I was trying to get a job. You can make it up. You can work extra shifts.”
            “Extra shifts, Eddie? Have you not noticed that I’m already working extra shifts?”
“We’ll talk about this when I get back.” Not wanting to be late for the extra morning shift she had agreed to take, Emily folded the thick papers and shoved them under her arm.
“Why can’t you just borrow the money from your job?” he had said as she was leaving.
            “Why can’t you call your sister?” she responded. “I’m sure she would want to help.”        
 “I’m not calling Amy.” he said. “She doesn’t even know I lost my job.”
            “I’ve got to go to work Eddie. You have to figure out something.”
            “Me? Why me? You’re the one with the job.”
            “Yes, the one I’m about to be late for. I have to go.”
            “Bring home some food, will you? There’s nothing in this house to eat.”
            Emily gritted her teeth and resisted the urge to slam the door as she left. 
 
She was on her way home from work, stopped at a red light. She stared at a billboard. She didn’t want to go home. What was at home? It was not where her heart was anymore. Tears streamed down her face. The tears had nothing to do with the Gulf Coast travel site being advertised. It had everything to with the eviction notice still sitting on the passenger side seat. Lying there were six pages of papers with one simple message. They were homeless.
“Run away to the coast!” the billboard urged. Emily wished she could.
She blinked as the stop light changed from red to green. Two more turns and she’d be home. Ten more minutes at the most. What was she going to do? It wouldn’t matter really. It would all be her fault anyway. Eddie would blame her as he always had. It was her fault business had slowed down at the diner where she worked the night shift. It was her fault the prices on everything had gone up, yet her income hadn’t. Everything was always her fault. She sighed.
            One turn, five more minutes and she’d be home.
            At the last stoplight, she brushed a tear away and absently brushed her hair out of her eyes. She was tired. Bone tired, her grandma Ruby would say. How she missed Ruby! She could use a cup of her special cure-all tea and her wisdom. Emily thought of the hours she had spent in the porch swing on that wrap-around porch simply day-dreaming of the future. Never did she imagine her life would’ve turned out this way.
Emily glanced into the rear view mirror. Her limp brown hair framed brown eyes that were red and bloodshot from double shifts at the diner and from crying. Her face was drawn and pale. All the extra hours in the last few months had one advantage. She’d lost a few pounds and it showed. Her face was more angular, her cheekbones pronounced.
What was she going to do? Eddie was going to be furious. She refused to borrow the money from work. Her pride would not allow it.
            Last turn, then she’d be in the driveway. She’d almost rather be back at work than at home. She’d rather be anywhere but there.
            Emily pulled into the driveway and turned the car off.  Oscar, her black and white mixed-breed dog barked as she pulled up. Emily gave a tired smile as she saw his big eye poking through a knot hole in the wooden privacy fence.  One of Emily’s strays; she had taken the dog in when no one else wanted him. She would need to feed him and walk him later; let him work off some of his exuberance. She’d scratch him behind his big, black ears, until he tapped his feet.
            Unwilling to go in, Emily sat in the car. She thought again of Ruby, of the safety and security of her family’s home. Was it even still standing after that last hurricane? She’d never had the time to find out.
“Run away to the coast!” the billboard flashed again in her mind.
Emily pulled her tips out of her pocket. She counted them, wondering if it would be enough. Just enough to get there. That’s all she needed. Out of habit, she stuffed the cash in her bra. Eddie wouldn’t look there. He’d have to touch her to do that, and only heaven knew how long that had been.
  She slid out of the car, wincing at the pain in her hip; a painful reminder of one of Eddie’s drunken “accidents”. As she got out of the car, she absently hiked up her jeans. They were no longer snug. She would need to buy new ones soon. That was another expense she didn’t need.
            She rubbed her hip with a sigh and decided it was time to go in. One could delay the inevitable for only so long. She opened the door to the house. Eddie was snoring on the couch. She held the notice in her hand. The house was dark, darker than it should be. She flicked the light switch. Nothing happened. She looked around. The appliances were silent. The clock on the microwave was blank.
           The electricity was off. Another bill Eddie had not paid.
            Eddie was passed out on the sofa. Empty beer bottles were scattered around him like bowling pins. Some up, some down. Eddie had never been good at bowling. She snorted. He wasn’t good at anything these days unless it involved drinking, sleeping, or self-pity. Emily thought of her plan to open her own restaurant one day. Cooking was her passion. Eddie’s was drinking. And she was slowly drowning in his passion.
Emily glanced into the kitchen at the dishes piled in the sink. The trash was overflowing and littering the cracked linoleum around it. Empty take-out boxes littered the counters and spilled onto the floor. Emily ate most of her meals at the diner. This mess was all Eddie’s, and Eddie always left others to clean up his messes.
            Her nose twitched. She was disgusted. She liked things clean. Her co-workers teased her at the diner because she was always cleaning, wiping things down, mopping.  This kitchen, the entire house was anything but. It would take more than a day and a gallon of cleaner to make this house clean. When had it gotten so bad?
            Emily glanced at Eddie again. He was snoring peacefully on the sofa, not a care in the world. “A not-so-pretty sleeping beauty” surrounded by twelve brown drunken dwarves. He let out a beer belch, and she thought of Shrek, the big green ogre in his swamp. A jack-ass for a friend. She was living her own twisted fairy tale. Was she the jack-ass or the princess?
            What was she going to do? Rescue them again? Use the tips she’d saved to pay the light bill? If she hurried, she could make it to the utility company before the office closed. But what about the rent? What about thirty days from now?
            Emily walked down the hall to their bedroom. Without even thinking, she grabbed her suitcase. She packed a few changes of clothes along with her toiletries. She pulled her Grandma Ruby’s Bible out of the bookshelf and opened it. Flipping through the pages, she turned to her Grandma’s favorite verse.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
She smiled for the first time. She glanced at the series of numbers at the bottom of the page. It was her Grandma’s savings account number. Emily had never told Eddie of the money that was tucked away in a small bank in Bon Chance, knowing what he would do with it. Her tips would take her home and this money would give her a cushion until she figured out what to do.
            Emily looked around the room for what she knew would be the last time. What would she take? Two pictures mocked her from the night stand. One was her wedding picture, a moment of happiness captured in black and white. She and Eddie were happy then. That was before he’d been passed up for that promotion.  He’d worked for ten years for that company, and they’d given his job to someone younger, a woman, in an attempt to make the company more politically balanced. He’d self-medicated his depression and anger with alcohol. After too many call-ins, and too many drunken mornings, and showing up with liquor on his breath, he lost his job. And it was all her fault.
            Emily crossed the room, stepping over mounds of dirty laundry. She picked up the picture. Her smile, her youth, mocked her. She was 21 then. Now, she looked fifty-one and felt it too.  She was too young to feel that old. Amazing what a difference a few years could make. She looked at the picture, and then looked at her suitcase. Should she take the picture? No, she’d leave that for Eddie. Let him be reminded. She was too exhausted to look back.
            Instead, she grabbed a second picture, the picture of herself at the beach with her grandparents. The sun was to her back, a golden halo surrounding her smiling face. She was laughing at some joke her Pops made. Her grandma Ruby snapped the picture. That was the person she wanted to be again. She wanted that smile. She wanted those clear, bright brown eyes again. Not the tired eyes she had now, with the brown smudges underneath, a testament to her sleepless nights from worry and long hours at work. She wanted, more than anything, to simply rest for a while. She wanted a second chance, a “do over”.
She placed the second picture among the few clothes she tossed in the suitcase. Carefully, she placed Ruby’s Bible on top. She took one last look around, knowing whatever she left, she’d probably never see again. Tears welled up, and she stubbornly pushed them away.
            She carried her suitcase quietly down the hall. She didn’t want to wake the “Sleeping Beast”.
            What was she going to do?
            She threw the notice on his round belly and walked out the door.
            She was no jackass.



 

coast

Sending Crossroads off to the Dixie Kane Memorial contest. First prize gets reviewed by the editor of a publishing company. :) I highly recommend this contest, the feedback you get from the judges is awesome. The comments they’ve made have made me a better writer. That Voodoo That You Do, won third place last year! I’m hoping to place again. :)

 

Chapter One
Emily Breaux watched from the window as a Lafayette Parish squad car rolled to a stop in her driveway.
Oh no, she thought, what had Eddie done now?
Emily’s heart beat faster as the deputy walked toward the door with papers in his hand.
“Mr. or Mrs. Edward Breaux?” he asked when she opened the door.
“I’m Emily Breaux,” she said.
“These are for you and your husband. You have thirty days from today to vacate the premises.”
“What?” she asked.
“Sorry, ma’am.” The officer tipped his hat and turned, leaving her in the driveway.
She stormed back into the house with the notice shaking in her hands. As usual, Eddie was sleeping off his drunk on the sofa.
“Eddie?” she said, shaking his shoulder. She wrinkled up her nose as the scent of stale beer wafted up from his body. “Wake up. We have a problem.”
“What?” he slurred and rolled back over. She flinched when his arm swung out. She took a step back and shook him harder. “Wake up!”
“What!” he said, finally waking up.
She held out the papers. “You were supposed to take care of this.”
“Take care of what?”
“The rent, Eddie! I’ve been giving you the money! What were you doing with it?”
He mumbled something she couldn’t understand.
“What?” she asked.
“I needed some extra cash.” he said.
“So you used the rent?” her voice rising. She was filled with panic and rage.
“I was having drinks with some HR guys in the oilfield, trying to make some contacts. You told me to get a job.”
“So you spent our rent. All of our rent?”
“Jeesh, Emily, I was trying to get a job. You can make it up. You can work extra shifts.”
“Extra shifts, Eddie? Have you not noticed that I’m already working extra shifts?”

“We’ll talk about this when I get back.” Not wanting to be late for work, Emily folded the thick paper and shoved it under her arm.
“Why can’t you just borrow the money from your job?” he had said as she was leaving.
“Why can’t you call your sister?” she responded. “I’m sure she would want to help.”
“I’m not calling Amy.” he said. “She doesn’t even know I lost my job.”
“I’ve got to go to work Eddie. You have to figure out something.”
“Me? Why me? You’re the one with the job.”
“Yes, the one I’m about to be late for. I have to go.”
“Bring home some food, will you? There’s nothing in this house to eat.”
Emily gritted her teeth and resisted the urge to slam the door as she left.

She was on her way home from work, stopped at a red light. She stared at a billboard. She didn’t want to go home. What was at home? It was not where her heart was anymore. Tears streamed down her face. The tears had nothing to do with the Gulf Coast travel site being advertised. It had everything to with the eviction notice still sitting on the passenger side seat. Lying there were six pages of papers with one simple message. They were homeless.
“Run away to the coast!” the billboard urged. Emily wished she could.
She blinked as the stop light changed from red to green. Two more turns and she’d be home. Ten more minutes at the most. What was she going to do? It wouldn’t matter really. It would all be her fault anyway. Eddie would blame her as he always had. It was her fault business had slowed down at the diner where she worked the night shift. It was her fault the prices on everything had gone up, yet her income hadn’t. Everything was always her fault. She sighed.
One turn, five more minutes and she’d be home.
At the last stoplight, she brushed a tear away and absently brushed her brown hair out of her eyes. She was tired. Bone tired, her grandma Ruby would say. How she missed Ruby! She could use a cup of her special cure-all tea and her wisdom. Emily thought of the hours she had spent in the porch swing on that wrap-around porch simply day-dreaming of the future. Never did she imagine her life would’ve turned out this way.
Emily glanced into the rear view mirror. Her brown eyes were red and bloodshot from double shifts at the diner and from crying. Her face was drawn and pale. All the extra hours in the last few months had one advantage. She’d lost a few pounds and it showed. Her face was more angular, her cheekbones pronounced. She needed to squeeze in a nap before the extra dinner shift she had agreed to take.
What was she going to do? Eddie was going to be furious. She refused to borrow the money from work. Her pride would not allow it.
Last turn, then she’d be in the driveway. She’d almost rather be back at work than at home. She’d rather be anywhere but there.
Unwilling to go in, Emily sat in the car. She thought again of Ruby, of the safety and security of her family’s home. Was it even still standing after that last hurricane? She’d never had the time to find out.
“Run away to the coast!” the billboard flashed again in her mind.
Emily pulled her tips out of her pocket. She counted them, wondering if it would be enough. Just enough to get there. Out of habit, she stuffed them in her bra. Eddie wouldn’t look there. He’d have to touch her to do that, and only heaven knew how long that had been.
As she got out of the car, she absently hiked up her jeans. They were no longer snug. She would need to buy new ones soon. That was another expense she didn’t need. She slid out of the car, wincing at the pain in her hip; a painful reminder of one of Eddie’s drunken “accidents”.
She rubbed her hip with a sigh and decided it was time to go in. One could delay the inevitable for only so long. She opened the door to the house. Eddie was snoring on the couch. She held the notice in her hand. The house was dark, darker than it should be. She flicked the light switch. Nothing happened. She looked around. The appliances were silent. The clock on the microwave was blank.
The electricity was off. Another bill Eddie had not paid.
Eddie was passed out on the sofa. Empty beer bottles were scattered around him like bowling pins. Some up, some down. Eddie had never been good at bowling. She snorted. He wasn’t good at anything unless it involved drinking, sleeping, or self-pity. Emily thought of her plan to open her own restaurant one day. Cooking was her passion. Eddie’s was drinking. And she was slowly drowning in his passion.
Emily looked at Eddie. He was snoring peacefully on the sofa, not a care in the world. “A not-so-pretty sleeping beauty” surrounded by twelve brown drunken dwarves. He let out a beer belch, and she thought of Shrek, the big green ogre in his swamp. A jack-ass for a friend. She was living her own twisted fairy tale. Was she the jack-ass or the princess?
Emily walked down the hall to their bedroom. Without even thinking, she grabbed her suitcase. She packed a few changes of clothes along with her toiletries. She pulled her Grandma Ruby’s Bible out of the bookshelf and opened it. Flipping through the pages, she turned to her Grandma’s favorite verse.
She smiled for the first time. She glanced at the series of numbers at the bottom of the page. It was her Grandma’s savings account number. Emily had never told Eddie of the money that was tucked away in a small bank in Bon Chance, knowing what he would do with it. Her tips would take her home and this money would give her a cushion until she figured out what to do.
She carried her suitcase quietly down the hall. She didn’t want to wake the “Sleeping Beast”.
What was she going to do?
She tossed the notice on his round belly and walked out the door.
She was no jackass.



{January 20, 2013}   It’s Criminal

Image

Criminal Minds is absolutely one of my favorite shows. Hey, what girl wouldn’t love a show full of eye candy like Morgan, Rossi, Reid, and Hotchner? One of my favorite debates with other female fans is “Which one is the hottest?” I don’t think it’s ever been decided. :)

Not only is the cast easy to look at, the show is superbly written. Rather than being a show just about evidence, clues, and motivation, Criminal Minds delves deeply into the psychology of the criminal. It’s a roller coaster ride through insanity.

Along with the witty dialogue, the psychos, the cast, and the drama, there’s incredible music.  The lyrics and the music that goes with some of the scenes can be downright haunting at times. I could create a whole playlist simply based on tunes I’ve heard on this show. And probably will.

What are some songs I would include? Definitely these three awesome songs. Enjoy!

“Far From Home”  by Five Finger Death Punch

“Broken” by Lifehouse

“Hurt” by Johnny Cash

There’s so many more I could list, but these three have to be my favorites.  :)

Here’s to great shows with great music!

Peace!

I’m out!



{November 28, 2012}   Hark, The Hair Band Rockers Sing!

While playing around yesterday and looking for new rock versions of old Christmas songs, I stumbled upon another list of Christmas carols. Monster Ballad Christmas songs! Anyone who loves 80’s hairbands like I do, will love these next songs. Check them out!

1. Skid Row, “Jingle Bells”

2. Janie Lane, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

3.  Twisted Sister/Lita Ford, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”

4. Cinderella, “Blue Christmas”

5. Firehouse, “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree”

Want to hear more? Buy the CD! I’m definitely hoping that Santa puts one in my stocking this year!

http://www.amazon.com/Monster-Ballads-Christmas-Various-Artists/dp/B000UCH5QK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354133052&sr=8-1&keywords=monster+ballad+Christmas

For now, I’m out….The Queen is being domestic today. I think I’ll bake something. :)

Peace and Love,

I’m out!



et cetera
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