The moment I fell into love, you fell out.
We bated affection, miles apart, gilding every word,
Waiting for some sign to prove that it was real.
Did I waste your time?
Did you waste mine?
I’ve never regretted the moments that chased by—
that lingered in the dark and shone in the light,
until the moment I fell into love, and you fell out.

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In an effort to further confuse you all with my sporadic posting, I am instilling a poetry day. It won’t be a weekly thing–in fact it may just be this once, but that’s what makes this blog fun right? Just agree, ok? That’s what will make me happy at this point. 😉

So, with out further doing… Here it is.

(Or, you know. stay tuned for the following post.)

About a month ago, I began a flirtation with a guy. A wonderful guy, who (I think) would like more from me. From the beginning I was very wary of him. If you’ve read this blog before, you may have noticed that although I am a self-professed romantic and a writer of such, I can be a cynic when it comes to the mushy stuff.

I won’t go into the details (it wouldn’t be fair to him or to me), but our short relationship has had it’s issues; I won’t lie, I feel that most, if not all of them have to do with my insecurities and my fragile heart. Even though I am a bit of a cynic, it’s not because my heart is hardened, I think it’s because I’m too afraid to let myself get hurt because I don’t want to become hard-hearted.

Most of my public writing thus far has been about my craft for the most part, but I feel that I cannot be a true artist unless I live some of the story I am trying to create. For most of my life, I’ve been sheltered, secluded, and a whole bunch of other words that basically mean “stuck.”

It’s time for that to change.

My grandmother adopted me when I was six. While I am grateful to her for everything she has done (including allowing me to live with her, now jobless at 26), I do not like her. I love her, but I struggle everyday with the same feeling I’ve felt at every period that I’ve lived with her—the feeling of being completely controlled and smushed. The past few months since I have graduated from college have been filled with job searches and interviews that I have been diligent with, but thoroughly dispassionate about.

It may be crazy of me, but over the course of the past months (maybe because of the support of a certain someone) I have come to realize what I should have understood all along; I want more out of life. I’m tired of the expectations of other people. If it were up to my grandmother, I’m sure that I would live with her until the end, working and helping to support her. I don’t think I can do it. We’d both be miserable.

So, to those of you who care what I think about my life, I want adventure, and love, and passion, and music, and babies. Maybe not in that order, but you get that idea. And I’ve also figured out that I might not get it if I stay where I am. The region I live in isn’t exactly known for it’s excitement, and I feel like I am atrophying without it.

I’m willing to trust that there is hope. I hope that he gets the message, but that I do, too.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I am not usually the type of person who is likely get things done on time. Surprise, surprise. I think everyone of us has a little bit of procrastination in our bones, unfortunately, i think I have inherited more than my fair share.

I LOVE to write. Don’t get me wrong. I love to create characters and have some kind of control over their fates. I love to see a happy ending that you wouldn’t normally be able to witness in real life.

The problem is that I rarely ever write a happy ending. It’s not that I suddenly get a mean streak as I’m finishing a story, or that I don’t think that my characters deserve one. The problem is that I never get there.

As much as I adore the writing process and the stress and the joy I get from it, there almost always comes a time while I’m in the midst of a project when I lose my way. I get distracted, disheartened. Sad.

I’ve been working on keeping my momentum–that’s why I started this blog after all, to give me an outlet where I could make myself write on a regular basis if not for me, then at least for the few of you who have come to expect that I do so.

So, for those of you who are keeping me going, I’ve decided to challenge myself. I am taking part in a little project with a friend of mine. We have challenged each other to finish our novels in progress by October. So, essentially, I have about six weeks to finish writing a novel that now has about four chapters. Oh boy.

The point of this post is that I hope all of you will be praying for me to find some kind of drive to get this done. If you don’t pray, all happy thoughts sent my way would be dearly appreciated. Also, if you have any tips on how to stay focused on your writing during the drudgery days, I’d love to hear them, so leave me a comment!

And now, my dog has commenced chewing on my toes. I suppose that’s some kind of message that I should get away from my blog and start some serious writing–or, maybe she just wants a treat.

Zelma

She was a prostitute, a lady of the night, the lowest of the low on the street, but she was also definitely and dreadfully dead.

Zelma Hawkins had been, in her prime, it is fair to say, the most beautiful woman in the central counties surrounding Deadwood, California. She was young and lovely with enough glossy auburn hair to wig half the town’s balding old biddies, Zelma’s fate had been since her old miner “uncle” had died, leaving her to the mercy of the town. She received a fair share of proposals, some upstanding and some not so much. But as time passed and her dear old uncle’s small fortune dwindled away, Zelma was forced to make a decision.

The most prosperous men in the town were already attached, as fine men of a Christian community should be. The proposals still swept in, but they came from the surrounding farms and mining camps located around Deadwood. Zelma’s interests, like any young woman with her graces, didn’t lie in the low pedestrian life of the farms and mining camps. She was made for the city life, for the parties and social graces of one born to the old-money set. The one’s whose natural environment was the gilded and red velvet parlors of San Francisco.

Zelma was a realist, as much as any woman in a near-desperate situation. She knew that in order to become a part of the high life in San Francisco, she first had to ingrain herself to the high society of Deadwood.

It wasn’t long before she became the dearest mistress of the town’s most upstanding church deacon, Gideon Zimmerman. She snared him one night at a party. She sparkled like a gold nugget at the bottom of a muddy creek, standing out from the crowd of tired church wives.

Zelma’s beauty was fleeting though. She was cursed with the kind of disposition that could only borrow on the charm her beauty lent. So, as her good looks faded, so did her grace and any trace of the charm she once held close like a winning poker hand. She resorted to buying Gideon gifts with the money he provided her. She bought him an engraved gilded lighter, a marvel found during a trip to San Francisco.

The old deacon soon grew bored with Zelma. Her gifts only served to remind him that she was merely a parasite to him. Her formerly delicate chin had developed a twin that jiggled and drooped from her bones like the skin of her last chicken dinner had dropped from her lips. Why would a man who risked his very soul on a piece of young flesh, damn himself on one so unappetizing?

The end came swiftly. One, late September night, when the last summer breezes blew through the town, Deacon Zimmerman went to the little house at the edge of town. The house was picturesque with tiny flowers blooming along the walk, just far enough off the road to avoid the attention of curious townsfolk.

Zelma sat at her vanity, enjoying her favorite pastime of plaiting her hair before bed. She never expected him, or she might have been making other preparations. The sound of the slamming door broke though the quiet night, but it didn’t disturb Zelma. One so secure in her station in life could never be surprised by a slamming door.

By the time she turned to greet Gideon, he was too close to avoid, and so she never had a chance to escape. He wrapped his fingers around her plump neck and squeezed, watching in the mirror as her face purpled and plumped with blood. She watched too, helpless to stop him and almost too shocked to try. Her bulging eyes asked him why, but she knew why. She had always been a burden, a risk to his station and ambition, but he had always been willing to pay the price—until the goods no longer appealed to him.

When her plump body finally grew limp in his arms, Gideon let it drop to the plush carpet. With the exactness of someone practiced at the task, he made preparations to dispose of the body. He stroked the nape of her neck, not yet showing the bruise underneath, and marveled at its texture. It was a place he had touched lovingly many times before, but now, he felt nothing. Nothing but a small tingle of urgency fluttering in his thighs and at the base of his spine. He had to hurry. The church council would be meeting in less than an hour.

Zelma floated for what seemed like hours in a hazy state of unawareness. She was dead, make no mistake about that. But her life choices and gruesome demise had left her soul unworthy and too restless to move on. Her ambition and lust for revenge gave her power to remain for one final night.

Smoke filled the tiny cottage, but her eyes, staring blindly at the beamed ceiling, were beyond stinging. The flames pulled at her clothes, shrinking the silk of her robe and melding it with her charring skin. Her beloved locks curled and smoldered in the super-heated air. The engraved gold lighter, thrown at her feet in one final gesture, glittered in the light of the flames.

The church council meeting went long, as they always seemed to do. The ladies sat in the back, waving their fans. Even as the warm September night chilled, the small church-house grew stuffy. The women whispered, oblivious to church business as their husbands made speeches and pandered to their own particular needs. The inattention of the congregation allowed the strange noise to go unnoticed for quite some time. Two small children playing a quiet game near the doors heard the noise—a thump and a scratch. They tried to tell their mothers, but to no avail.

The fire started quickly and enveloped the small building in seconds. Three people survived. The newspapers reported the incident and the tragic numbers. Over half the town was lost that night. Two children survived along with Deacon Zimmerman, but he was hung for his crimes. He was never accused of Zelma’s death. In fact, with the tragedy at the church-house, the remaining townsfolk never realized that Zelma was missing. The church burned for three days, despite efforts to quell the flames. When the ashes finally cooled, the townspeople found all the proof they needed to hang Deacon Zimmerman—one golden, engraved lighter, perfectly pristine in the charred, mangled mess.

———————————————————————————————————-

To read more Blog Fest submissions and to see the The Original, One and True, Special Melissa’s Blog, go HERE.

Yeah, so for those of you who know me, I’m not quite the most on-the-ball kinda girl (no dirty jokes please). And the past few days (weeks, years) have been completely insane. (Yeah, Kim, you’re making excuses again. Just get on with it.)

Anywho, I was asked eons ago by my good friend Melissa to participate in her first annual Blog Fest Day! All good and fun right, except that I HAVE NO SENSE OF DEADLINES.

So, my dear, sweet, gracious and forgiving friend Melissa has so wonderfully extended the Blog Fest Day into, well, Blog Fest Days. Kinda.

So, in short; a story is coming! Be prepared for the epic, last minute glory that is MY SHORT STORY CONTRIBUTION! Dum duh duh dah! (That was a fanfare.)

TL;DR. I effed up. I’m fixing it.

Hello Loyal readers!
If you’re still around after my absence, I commend you. I apologize for the lack of goodies. I’ve been dealing with a dodgy internet issues and therefore, have lost out on valuable (paying) writing time. So, to make up for my absence, I thought I’d let you all read an excerpt from a story I’ve been working on. Maybe it’ll keep you all busy until I can come up with a witty and enlightening post. Oh, and sorry but apparently, my blog is being a bastard today and messing up the format of ALL my writing in this blog so, again, I apologize.
Bon Appétit!

From Little Pink Dress (working title) Chapter One

She took to the air like a butterfly, a bright fluttering thing with wings of watered silk. They called her a First of May–a newbie picked up at the end of spring in one of the no-name towns the circus passed through each year.
It was obvious to everyone who met her that Sarah was a rose in a patch of flat, brown Missouri thistle. She had her thorns like the rest, but even to the untrained eye it was obvious she belonged in an English garden instead of a roadside carnival show.
What the carnival-folk didn’t know was that it wasn’t her first circus. She had plenty of experience with the lights and the stage from living with my father, a man I knew, but only as just another performer in the long line of ‘friends’ my mother had on the circus.
He started as her dance teacher, taking London by the fleet of his feet and the twinkle in his eyes. He was swarthy and exotic. I’ve never understood how she thought she could trust him. With a name like Satorius Bellefonte, who could be expected to trust him? Whether it was true love or just the thrill of the chase, my mother left her family in England when she was sixteen to be with him. By the time she was seventeen, they were divorced and I was already on my way.
She didn’t tell the Bellefonte family at first. She was training to perform on the cloud swing. It was one of the few things she really loved in life. She had lost the passion for dancing, so maybe the acrobatic work was like the next level. Some people are like that–once they lose the feeling for something, they have to make it more extreme just to get the feeling back. Or maybe she just wanted to fly.
She always wore pink in her act. It was her signature color. It was a color that sprang from her days of ballet. Even now, I can imagine her young and loose, climbing the rope in her little pink dress, the skirt fluttering at her knees.
The problem with the cloud swing is the height. It really isn’t as high off the ground as the other aerial acts, so to get the sense of danger, most performers don’t use safety ropes. It’s difficult to imagine anyone getting hurt merely hanging by their knees by the big loop. It is dangerous though, especially when a girl, talented like my mother, does the really impressive stuff. She would set the big loop swinging and, in mid-flight, let go, spinning in the air unsupported for just a second before the rope caught up with her. She’d grab it at the last possible moment, leaving the audience thrilled breathless.
She loved the spotlight, but her joy in it didn’t last long. It’s hard to hide anything in those glittered dresses, let alone a growing baby. People finally began to notice. Then they began to complain.
Matrons in the Midwest didn’t appreciate a show that would use a mother-to-be in their high-flying act. Those matrons never thought that life outside the big top might be more dangerous to an expectant mother and baby than a fall from the cloud swing could ever be.
The Bellefontes left her in New Hope, Missouri. It should have been a good sign, I suppose “New Hope,” but it was just a name. She wasn’t married to my father anymore and she no longer had a talent to perform in the show. She was no use to them so, they left her in the glow of their taillights as they left town.
She wandered the streets all night. Thankfully, it was a small town and the crime rate was negligible, but the small population also meant that at four in the morning, there was no one around to help her.
She found the bakery just before the sun rose. That’s where she met Peter. I love him to death, but I can’t imagine that she ever found him attractive. Even then, at thirty-seven, he looked around fifty. He was half-bald and ginger with a slight gut from sampling his own baking.
He loved her at first sight. He’s been telling me this for years and I have to say it’s one of the few things anyone has ever told me that I truly believe. She might have loved him, too in her own way, but there was always something that  kept her at a distance. She used to take spells. She had her better days and her butter days as Peter called them (everything was related to food for him). Those were the days, he said, when most people would just want to sit around eating butter cookies and butter-cream frosting. And that’s what they did if they knew what was good for them. She, however, was not most people.

She took her butter days outside, and always further away each time she had one. He found her one day, seven months pregnant, walking the railroad trestle over the river. He always said it was a wonder she didn’t fall and lose us both. I know better though. She would never have fallen. She was like a cat, supple and sure-footed, even at that stage in her pregnancy.
I was born soon after. I never made it to full term. I’m not sure if I wanted out or if she just wanted rid of me, but I’m sure neither of us was upset that the day came so early.
It was only three months after Peter had taken her in, but he signed his name to the birth certificate anyway. I never thought much of that, until recently, when I developed my own set of problems along the same line.
My name is Ruby. Peter picked the name to go above his and hers on the birth certificate. He tells me it was my mom’s idea. He always wanted me to think that she loved me like a jewel. There are thousands of birth certificates out there without the name of a father on them, but are there any without a mother’s name? It’s not for lack of trying, I bet. If she’d had a choice, she probably would have left her part blank. It’s hard to love something born of your downfall, to care for something that keeps you from all you ever really loved. That’s just the way it is.
She stayed with us through that winter and then left in the spring, picking up where she left off with a new show. It was smaller than the Bellefonte Family Circus, but that meant they were more willing to let a First of May like her try her luck in one of the bigger acts.
She was still young a beautiful and it didn’t take her long to build a reputation. The circus kept her on and she enjoyed the luxury of traveling with them during the summer months and spending the long, cold winters in New Hope with me and Peter. It lasted until I was six. That’s when the trouble started. That’s when she left me for the last time, standing on the front steps in my own little pink dress.
Copyright © 2010 Kimberly Wells

I don’t know if it’s just me but I can’t stand furniture that matches. My idea of hell consists of spending eternity in a house made up of ‘suites’; living room suite, bedroom suite, dining suite–all inevitably made of oak or pine. Just looking at flyers for furniture stores gives me the heebie jeebies.

First of all, who in their right mind wants to confine themselves to one style? Secondly, who has the money to buy all that crap at once? Nevermind the fact that these things usually consist of hulking monstrosities that the poor, sweaty delivery kid would just as soon not heave out of the company truck.

So what is my point?

Suck it, eHarmony. There is no such thing as a perfect match.

To be continued…

Okay, bad blogging etiquette. I had an unwritten rule to post only once per night, but while lying in bed I started thinking about my previous post. You’ll have to read it to see what I’m talking about. I’m not a sum-upper.

I’m all about women’s lib. Woo. Burn your bras and all that. I really am a hippy at heart. Consequently, I am furious at myself for leaving out the crucial and much ignored plus-sized heroines.  Okay. That’s a little too p.c. and I also promised myself that in this blog, I would say what I mean. So what I mean is–what about the fat chicks?

I sleep with a stuffed moose and a very chubby dachshund. No, that’s not a euphemism for my hairy boyfriend and his, well, you know. Wiener. Yes, I just made a tasteless penis joke. No, I will not apologize for it.

Moving along. As a bona fide, corn-fed average American fat chick, I know that I am not a minority. And we can’t all be sleeping alone. (I do, but hey, that’s me.) Where’s the steamy chick lit about girls like me?

It’s not as rare as I’ve probably led you to believe. The popularity of novels featuring the chunkus among us is probably rising about as fast as obesity statistics. I don’t have any hard evidence to support this, but you believe me, right?

Meg Cabot’s Heather Wells Mysteries series features a plus-sized protagonist (I call her a protagonist because I’m not sure she fits into the Hero/heroine, H/h romance novel formula like I’ve been describing). I can’t recommend the series or categorize it fully because I have not had the opportunity to read any of the books. Oh, and judging by the publicity photos on her website, I’m not sure I can fully support a book about a Fat Chick written by a non-Fat Chick. Sorry, Meg. I’m sure you’re a lovely person.

I can, however, send out another shout out to Jennifer Crusie. I’m not saying she’s a fat chick, she just writes them so well. Bet Me was THE book that convinced me that there was a market for my voice in the romance genre. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read any of her books, please, please try to get your hands on one. I mean, I’m going to continue to pester you about them, so you might as well get it over with.

So, as I have finally maybe exhausted myself on the subject, I am going to bed.

Anyone out there read Meg Cabot’s books and think I’m completely off-base? Let me know in the comments. Think I’m way off-base about anything else? Ditto.

Yesterday,  I aired one of my pet-peeves. (Aired. Get it? Yeah. A laundry pun.)*

There are certain themes that we, as romance readers, can’t seem to escape. Previously, I discussed imagery(smellery…? olfacterousness?).

Today, the old-age age-old question. Can an older woman be considered a romance heroine?**

In the age when men praise and obsess over MILFs and ‘cougars,’ can we say that romance writers (who, are generally women), are as willing to portray older woman as sexual creatures?

Pardon me as I vault onto my soapbox.

Romance novels (generally by women, for women), feature young, career minded women–with pert breasts, no less. Historical romances are especially notorious for featuring young ingenues*** pursued by their more mature male counterparts. Historical accuracy, I get it. But, now, when age differences between romantic partners aren’t as closely criticized, why aren’t there more books featuring older women–or at least older couples?

Here are my thoughts, that’s why you’re here right?

Women don’t like to be reminded of their age or shortcomings. It’s human nature to deny your true self in order to keep yourself happy. Not to press my own belief upon all of you (both of you?), but it’s something I do regularly. It’s a particular personality trait that I find manifests itself in one way–reading the filthy fluff I SO enjoy. Why would I deny myself the opportunity to become a saucy, red-headed wench who attracts the attention of her hateful (but oh, so humpable) lord and master?

To be fair, there are a few authors who approach the concept of older h/younger H with grace and wit. My favorite is Jennifer Crusie. She is by far, my favorite example of what a women’s lit author can do when she has brains and humour. AND! Her characters regularly adopt/rescue dogs and cats! Gold star to you, ma’am. Gold. Star.

So, in conclusion, women get old.

It’s sexier than it used to be.

Keep up, writers!

The End.

*I promise, the laundry-stuff won’t be in every post. Really.

**Yeah, I know it’s not an age-old question. It’s called poetic license.

***Sooo proud of myself for spelling this right the first time.

Been Through The Ringer

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