The Circle

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The first time I ever walked into my new dentist’s office, one thing slapped me in the face. Her office was decorated with many paintings and pictures depicting the circle. A single circle. Groups of circles. Except for pictures of her children, pictures of circles were the only wall decor she had. They were beautiful and interesting.

The second time I was there, I asked her about her circles and why her office was filled with them. She didn’t really answer me. She just smiled and said she liked them and they made her feel calm. They seemed to make me, who had always been fearful of going to the dentist, feel calm as well. Since changing to this dentist, I’ve never been fearful again. I decided to investigate circles and what they mean. I wanted to know why she had them in her office and even I seemed to respond to them with a feeling of peace and calmness. I’ll share with you what I found.

From Wikipedia: “A perfect circle is an ancient and universal symbol of unity, wholeness, infinity, the goddess, female power, and the sun. You can merge it with various elements and can develop new meaning.”

If you believe in spirituality, that is a pretty powerful symbol, particularly for a female professional like my dentist.

In symbolism:

“A perfect circle is symbolic of something that is whole, complete, ideal and eternal; a circle has no ending and no beginning, making it synonymous with cyclical ideas and processes. For example, a circular wedding ring is used as a symbol of everlasting love.”

This is my take on today’s prompt,circle.

#weekendcoffeeshare 09/30/2017

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It’s been a long time, months, I think, since I’ve welcomed everyone for a #weekendcoffeeshare. I’m glad to welcome you now, into our coffee shop. The owner has a nice setup for us. Several kinds of coffee and tea this morning. Danish and other pastries. Please pick your pleasure and join us. I’m so glad to see all of you!

If we were having coffee, my only excuse for not being here recently is that I’ve spent the summer writing. Writing a novel and recently starting another long-form fiction piece that, I think, is going to be a novella. There is a growing market for novellas now. I’m excited about them both.

Other things have been going on as well. The last time we spoke, I think I had lost my dog, a wonderful companion. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Betsy. I lost her, at only four years old, to a terrible genetic illness afflicting only a few breeds. Since I don’t “do” life very well without a dog, I picked out a puppy soon after Betsy’s death. I still mourn her and always will. Now I have Hanna, who is the wildest, craziest puppy I’ve ever had. She was 3.5 months old when I got her and had spent much of her life in a crate. She is now 6.5 months old and is terribly well-adjusted for the most part. Hanna is a “designer” dog or a dog bred like a Goldendoodle, a mix of two breeds. She is half Havanese and half Lowchen and it seems to be a good mix. She’s beautiful, funny, smart, and healthy. If I can live through her puppyhood (a challenge), she will make a wonderful companion. Here is just a head shot and I’m sure you can see what I mean:

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We are currently working hard on obedience training!

My summer has been completely filled with training and raising Hanna and writing up to 12 hours per day.

Now that October is almost here, I am getting ready to go to my little home in Florida for the winter. No idea yet when I will go. Hurricane Irma devastated Florida and did a lot of damage to the island where I live. I had some damage at my own home. Hurricane season doesn’t end in the U.S. until November 30, but usually hurricanes subside during November. This year, the Atlantic Ocean temperatures are still very warm. I won’t go to Florida until the ocean temperatures cool and until I’m sure that the infrastructure has been restored on my island. It makes it hard to know when to hire a housesitter! I hope to spend Thanksgiving there, but who knows? Everything is uncertain this year. The hurricane damage to Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys is unbelievably awful.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that’s all that’s been going on with me. I’d love to hear what’s been going on with all of you!

#SoCS – 9/30/2017 – Mountain Dew

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When I was growing up in northeastern Kentucky, I was fortunate enough to know my grandfather, who lived deep in the heart of Appalachia. He lived only until I was 23 years of age, but I was lucky enough to be old enough to have talked to him. Really talked to him. Conversations that, to me, were important. He was a fine man. Moral, ethical, smart. I’d like to write about him and men like him some day.

There were so many things that I never had the chance or knowledge to talk to him about. My mother, his daughter, told me stories about him. Not enough stories. I wish I knew more. One story that she told me was that my grandfather was determined that she and her seven siblings would never be involved in two endeavors that were prominent in those days in southeastern Kentucky. They would never work in the coal mines and they would never be engaged in the production of “mountain dew.”

Mountain Dew. Not the soft drink. Mountain dew is the slang term for homemade liquor or moonshine, corn liquor, hooch, and a dozen other names. Southeastern Kentucky was “dry.” In other words, liquor could not be sold legally. People made their own and made it for other people. There were stills to make the liquor hidden all over the mountains that were characteristic of the area. Moonshine is 100 percent alcohol and is still made in those mountains.

My grandfather was successful. All of his children left the area, at least long enough to get a college education. My grandfather, himself, got what passed for a college education in his day and was an advocate of higher education for his entire life.

Obsession

WARNING: ADULT CONTENT. MATURE AUDIENCE ONLY

Sighing, Rebecca finished her Coke, paid her tab, and started back up to her room in Atlanta. Patrick had asked that she meet him there. Even though they had been lovers for the most of 35 years, it had been a long time since she had seen him. Rebecca had just escaped to the hotel bar. She hadn’t known Patrick had once again remarried when she agreed to meet him. He had just told her, along with telling her that his wife was a vindictive woman with the capability of harming both of them. Rebecca was quite upset.

She went upstairs and let herself into the room. Patrick was watching television. He didn’t speak as she came in. She put down her purse and sat down in the chair by the window.

“Patrick, can we talk some more?”

“When you left, Becca, I didn’t know if you were coming back. How could you make me feel like that?”

“Patrick, don’t be ridiculous. My luggage and all my stuff is here. Of course you knew I’d be back. I just had to think. You told me some really shocking stuff.”

“So what do you want to know?”

“I want to know more about Wendy, Patrick, since you say she could actually hurt me.”

“I didn’t mean physically hurt you.”

“Why don’t you explain exactly what you do mean, Patrick. You said she went to your ex-wife and told her about the two of you. That is pretty shocking to me since you had three underage children.”

Patrick got out of bed and put on his robe. Rebecca noticed he had obviously been to his room as he had brought some of his stuff over to her room. He sat down in the other chair at the table by the window.

“Becca, she would be likely to do to you just what she did to Elizabeth. She tried to ruin her life. I told you that she is a computer hacker, right?”

“Yes, Patrick, but that is against the law.”

“Becca, hackers are seldom caught.”

“So what would she do, Patrick? Spill it.”

“She might try to hack into your bank accounts and credit cards, Becca. She could clean out your bank accounts and run up your credit cards.”

“There is fraud protection on all of that, Patrick.”

“Yes, but it would be a giant pain for you to take care of it all before real damage was done to your credit. She could also steal your identity through your tax returns or credit records, Becca, and that is much more serious for you.”

“It would also be much more serious for her when I lead the feds right to her.”

“Becca, you wouldn’t do that to me, would you? I’d already be in enough trouble with her if she found out about us.”

Rebecca just sat there and stared at Patrick. Who was this sitting before her?  What had Wendy done to him? Was he really married to such a woman? He said he loved Wendy. How could he love someone like that?

“Becca, are you going to walk out on me?”

Rebecca sighed and looked at Patrick. “No, I’ll stay, but Patrick, you really should have told me about Wendy so I could make an informed decision.”

“I knew you wouldn’t come,” Patrick said.

“No, Patrick, you didn’t know that.”

Rebecca got tears in her eyes and her voice sounded choked up as she spoke, “I’ve loved you for so many years. Even these past twelve years, I’ve never stopped loving you. I had to come. I had to see you, to see how you are, to be with you. You knew this. You took advantage of it. You should have thought enough of me to at least tell me that you’re married to a crazy person.”

“She’s not really crazy, Becca. Just insecure,” Patrick said softly.

“OK,” Rebecca said. “Whatever you say. I’m going to bed. If she comes here, don’t let her chop me up in my sleep.”

Rebecca undressed and got into bed. Patrick followed her, turning out lights as he went.

In the dark, he said, “Becca?”

“What?”

“Do you still love me?”

“I’ve always loved you, Patrick, and probably always will.”

“Do you regret meeting me?”

“Patrick,” Rebecca said, “Don’t you think it’s about 35 years too late to worry about that? To answer your question, no.”

“How could you possibly not regret meeting me? I’ve ruined your life.”

“Patrick, we’ve had this conversation before. You haven’t ruined my life. In many ways, you’ve made my life.”

“Could you tell me what you mean? I know you’ve told me before but I need to hear it again.”

“I can’t ever remember a time when you weren’t good to me, Patrick. We’ve had our fights, but you did your best to be kind under the circumstances. I can’t imagine that any two people could have loved each other more intensely than we’ve loved. You’ve shown me the world, from Europe to the Caribbean to South America to North Africa. I would have never gotten to see any of that without you and you made it as romantic as you could possibly make it. I still think of the nights we spent in those castles in Portugal. You’ve made me laugh more than any other person ever could and love harder than I thought possible. How could I possibly regret knowing you?”

As she talked, Patrick listened. Not the Patrick who had the plan, but the Patrick she met all those years ago. He was the Patrick who had finally been diagnosed with bi-polar syndrome when he was in his 20s. It had plagued him all his life. Rebecca was the only woman who had ever accepted him as he was. They shared some common characteristics. Not his bi-polar tendencies, but they both liked to have fun, take a little risk, and they just seemed to fit. He often wondered why he’d never asked her to marry him.

“I still love you, Becca,” Patrick said. “I always have.”

On the other side of the bed, silent tears slid down Rebecca’s face. She knew that on some level, Patrick meant what he said. She knew he couldn’t sustain any relationship. He’d also loved Elizabeth. In some way, he probably loved Wendy. Not only was his bi-polar condition uncontrolled, but he was a highly intelligent, very complex man with many facets to his personality. The bi-polar syndrome made him very insecure.

“Patrick,” Rebecca said, sobbing, “Surely you know that I would get down on my knees. I would do anything for you.”

Patrick took her in his arms and they began to make their kind of love.

Copyright @2017 Rosemary Carlson

SimplyMarquessa

 

Above the Weeds

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She took a walk that hot, sweltering day, taking her puppy who was learning to walk on a leash. She lived in the country and the road in front of her house was deserted. A day could pass, hours would go by with no traffic coming or going. She thinks that her sneaker caught on broken asphalt and down she went. She was walking too fast. For some reason, she couldn’t get up. Hours passed. Her puppy laid down beside her. She raised her hand in desperation, hoping someone would see it above the weeds.

3LineTales

Lost Life

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The old man and the boy slowly walked into the old factory facility even though there was a “No Trespassing” sign.

The boy said, “Why have you brought me here? There’s nothing I can do.”

”I worked here for 24 years. Then, they closed it up. I didn’t get my retirement. You’re going to help me get it going again.”

The old man’s eyes were wild in his head. His hands were shaking. The boy came to the old man.

”Grandfather, it’s gone. There’s nothing we can do.”

He put his arms around him. The old man shook and cried.

 

99 words

Photo Credit J Hardy Carrell

 

The Ruins

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Wearing a special HazMat suit developed in early 2018, Jennifer was one of the environmental scientists who was outdoors in the Fall of 2028 taking soil and air samples. Her team was working in the Washington, DC/New York City/Boston corridor.

After a North Korean missile had struck Japan, the U.S. had bombed North Korea. They got off a missile toward South Korea. Using several nuclear-tipped ICBMs, Beijimg had fired on the east coast of the U.S. and the U.S. had destroyed the capital of China. What was left of the U.S. government had been moved to Columbus, Ohio.

Radiation poisoning spread over the eastern portion of the U.S. Many teams like Jennifer’s were deployed over the entire region. People were surviving, but few survived along the northeast corridor. They had determined that it would be years before the food would be safe to grow. Water was being purified.

Jennifer went inside the in-ground shelter to make her report. No real change from the last time. She recommended importing as much food as possible and relying on the western U.S. for the rest. She laid her head on her desk and cried.

Sunday Photo Fiction

Kindred Spirits

“This doesn’t feel wrong,” Rebecca said, as she and Patrick were saying their goodbyes before going to the airport. “We’ve waited so long to be together and it feels so natural. How could it possibly be wrong?”

Patrick smiled his soft, gentle smile at her. “Sweetie, from other people’s perspective, you know our relationship would be considered wrong. They wouldn’t understand. From a moral perspective, I guess it is wrong, but it certainly doesn’t feel wrong to me.”

“Nothing in my life has ever felt more right,” says Rebecca, as they hug and gently kiss. “How could this wonderful thing between us ever be considered a vice?’ Patrick just smiled and put his arm around her shoulders as they walked to the taxi.

Patrick had to fly to New York City to attend his daughter’s piano concert at Carnegie Hall. She was a classical pianist on a meteoric rise to fame. Patrick was meeting his wife and younger daughter there. Rebecca, a published author, was flying home to her small town in central Virginia where she lived with her husband and dog. She still worked as a writer. She and Patrick had been able to manage an interlude together in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. A longer interlude than usual but it was never long enough for them, especially not for Rebecca.

As Rebecca climbs in the taxi that will take them to the airport, she looks at Patrick and thinks back. She had been in love with Patrick for a large part of her adult life. She had fallen in love with him a few years after she had married her husband, unfortunately. Patrick had also fallen in love with Rebecca and he was also married. It was just one of those things. Almost a love at first sight thing. Rebecca was not yet a writer and was hired at Patrick’s place of employment — a large bank in Atlanta, Georgia. He was a junior bank executive. She was a little younger and an even more junior bank executive. There was an instant attraction between the dark, handsome man and the blonde girl.

Rebecca smiles at Patrick as they race toward the airport and remembers how they resisted their attraction, though briefly, all those years ago. Finally, they gave in as they enjoyed being together so very much. The enjoyment they found in each other’s company gradually led to sexual attraction and their relationship blossomed into a full-blown affair. Rebecca finds it hard to believe that was 35 years ago. She and Patrick have marveled at how they have found each other again after all this time. They have giggled about their ages now and then.

Patrick has been divorced and remarried since that time. Rebecca has been married to the same man. Both are content in their marriages in their own way but something has always been missing from their relationships and they have concluded that it is that mysterious something they have only with each other. That something neither can quite put their finger on but something they both need to be happy.

Almost to the airport now. The moment when they leave each other that they both dread. The two start chatting about what each will be doing during their trips to their destinations and after they arrive. Effectively just making small talk in order to avoid saying the important things they both want to say but think unwise under the circumstances.

Rebecca starts feeling like she always does when she leaves Patrick. Like she is about to lose a part of herself. She has so enjoyed the past few days. Curling up in his arms to sleep at night. Sitting across the table from him at breakfast. Having an intellectual conversation with him. Much more personal things that she can’t stand to consider right now.

Patrick turns to her and breaks her reverie. “Almost there,” he says. Rebecca can’t speak for fear of crying. The taxi pulls up to the taxi stand and they get out to retrieve their luggage. As they kiss and say goodbye, they promise to talk to each other soon. They are about to rush to different terminals. Rebecca grabs Patrick’s face and is able to choke out one sentence. “You are my love,” she says to him. “I miss you already,” he responds.

She turns to grab her luggage. When she turns back, Patrick is gone.

Rebecca hears a loud ringing. Suddenly, she realizes it’s her cell phone. She was having a dream. The dream. The dream about Patrick. She reaches for her cell. A blocked caller ID. It’s the middle of the night and she says to herself, “Don’t pick up the phone. You know that he’s only calling because he’s drunk and alone.”

Now, finally, she can turn over and go back to sleep.

Copyright @2017 Rosemary Carlson

#SimplyMarquessa

Song Lyric Sunday – 9/24/2017 – Louie, Louie

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We’re all adults here, right? Right! Except we really don’t have to be! The theme for today’s Song Lyric Sunday is rules. I’m approaching the theme from a little different angle. This particular song, “Louie Louie” by The Kingsmen seemed to break all the rules for its time in history. Written by Richard Berry in 1957, it was song by a young man as a rock n roll song. He had brand new braces on his teeth and the lyrics weren’t at all clear. The public was scandalized. A FBI investigation ensued. The song tops the charts as the number one censored song of all time so yes, it broke all the rules. It was the “bad boy” song of more than one generation.

By the way, the REAL lyrics are below.

Lyrics to Louie, Louie by Richard Berry

The Kingsmen

Louie Louie, oh baby, me gotta go.
Louie Louie, oh baby, me gotta go.
A fine little girl, she waits for me.
Me catch the ship across the sea.
I sailed the ship all alone.
I never think I’ll make it home.
Louie Louie, me gotta go.
Three nights and days we sailed the sea.
Me think of girl constantly.
On the ship, I dream she there.
I smell the rose in her hair.
Louie Louie, me gotta go.
Me see Jamaican moon above.
It won’t be long me see me love.
Me take her in my arms and then
I tell her I never leave again.
Louie Louie, oh baby, I said we gotta go

#SoCS 9/23/2017 – Hot/Cold

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When a writer is running hot on a writing project, it’s easy to write. The ideas are coming hard and fast. Creativity is at its highest. Everything is going well. You’re not always running hot. Sometimes, either you or the project grows cold for no particular reason. Burnout may be the case if it’s a long project. When that happens, it may be time to switch projects for a while. Writers usually have several going at once. A couple on the front burner. A couple on the back burner. Several in the desk drawer. That’s the case with me.

I’m in the middle of a long writing project that’s grown a little cold to me. It’s sagging. I’m not sure of the direction I want to take. I feel my creativity flagging. My ideas are not flowing as freely. My characters are getting boring to me. So, I’m going to shove it to the back burner for a month or two. I’m going to see if I get my enthusiasm back for the project. It’s a project that’s important to me, so I am, in fact, sure that I will. I need some thought, some new sources of inspiration, some time to sleep on it, some time to think of the direction I should take. Such a thing often happens to a writer in the middle of a novel or in the middle of any long writing project. You lose your way. Particularly if it is a complex story, with lots of characters and subplots. Mine is that – a complex story.

While I work on getting my mojo back for my long project, I’m going to tackle a shorter project. I think it’s going to be a novella. Novellas seem to be gaining popularity among the reading public as we have less time and more commitments. After doing my market research, there are new publishers out there for this shorter work. I’m not going to give too much away about my project, but I’m excited about it. I have a good idea which may actually dovetail into my longer project.

Stay tuned!