Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Nutty Question

The 31st is National Trail Mix Day.

Yea or Nay to trail mix?  Any ingredients you must (or must not) have in yours?

B.E.: Hubs is more the trail mix person than I am.  I buy this stuff called 'Mountain Trail Mix' for him - two bags worth at a time, because he goes through it so fast. Also, he adds yogurt covered raisins, peanut M&Ms to the mix. Personally, I'd be happy just eating the M&Ms and raisins. ;o)

JB: I like trail mix as long as I've got something to wash it down with. I don't like chocolate in mine and despise carob. (I despise carob in everything.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What's new with you?

I'm writing this first part on Tuesday afternoon.

My stomach is churning nervously.


Because Tuesday night I'm trying something new.

I'm hoping I'll have fun. I'm worried I may fall on my face.

But in a weird way, I'm energized. There's something about trying something new, or meeting someone new, or thinking something new that fills me with an almost electric excitement.

I LOVE starting new writing projects.

And yet they make me just as nervous. Something could go terribly wrong.

Or  I could have fun.

I'm writing this second part on Tuesday night.

I tried the new thing. It was fun. I didn't fail.

I'm ready to do it again.

Tell me Killer Friends: Do you like new things? What's the last 'new thing' you tried?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Teaser Tuesday - Cut & Dried (A Jordan Almond mystery)

Years ago, I had an idea.  What if someone was actually named Jordan Almond, and what if she was a private detective... 

Here's the first short chapter of my unfinished attempt at a humorous mystery (which I had planned to be the first in a series):

I’ve heard it said there are a million stories in the naked city.  I don’t know about the naked cities, but here in Flint, nothing is as obvious as that.  Of course, if things were laid out for anyone to see, I’d be out of a job. 
You see, I’m a private detective. 
I know what you’re thinking, but trust me, I’m not living the dream.  I mean, it pays the bills, and I could be doing a lot worse things with my life, but to paraphrase an old country song I hate, ‘Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be P.I.s’.  It’s harder work than it sounds, and sometimes you piss people off enough to want kill you.
Seems to happen to me a lot more than I’d like, but that’s the way life goes sometimes. 
Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not in this for the money; I’m not in it for the prestige either.  This business isn’t as rich and glamorous as Hollywood would have you think, which is too damn bad.  There’s a silver lining here somewhere.  I haven’t found it yet, but a gal can hope, can’t she?
Who am I?  The name is Jordon Almond.  Yeah, yeah.  I’ve heard all the jokes, so don’t bother.  My parents thought it was funny.  I don’t. 
From what I was told, the name was actually Allman up until the ‘60s when my father took a bad trip and ended up changing it to something more in tune with Mother Earth.  After he woke up a few years later, he kept it Almond because he thought it was a good joke.  Now I’m stuck with it.  I would’ve changed the name years ago if my father hadn’t made me promise to keep it.  He knew I never broke a promise.  I wish I’d remembered my father’s sense of humor before I agreed.  He up and died before I could wiggle out of it.
He also roped me into the family business, but he did that after he was gone.  His last will and testament said that as soon as I finished college, the whole kit and caboodle was mine.  So I stepped off the platform—degree in hand—and right into the gaping hole of my future as a private detective.
Now you see why I never bothered to change the name on my office door.  Even after my father died, I left it like it was:  Eddie Almond Investigations.  Hell, even in the crappy neighborhood where Eddie bought this office, I don’t want to take a chance on someone stopping in to buy candy.  I don’t do candy.  Hell, I barely even eat the stuff. 
Not that taking over the family business was the worst day of my life.  Oh no.  I’ve had plenty of worst days in my thirty-five year existence, and most of them had nothing whatsoever to do with dear ol’ Dad.  In fact, one of the crappier days I couldn’t really blame on Eddie at all.  If I had to blame it on anything, I’d blame it on my own desperation. 
You see, it was like this... 
About three years ago, if I remember correctly, I was sitting at home minding my own business.  It was probably about three a.m. and I was playing a bit of no limit hold-‘em before I got started on my day.  Just as I flopped a straight, and was drawing to an inside straight-flush, the lights flickered once and my damn computer rebooted.  As luck would have it, I was sitting in one of those rooms that just folds your hand when you lose your connection, so not only did I not make my straight flush, I lost the couple hundred dollars I’d already bet.
So there I was watching a week’s worth of groceries disappeared into cyberspace, and cursing a blue streak, when the phone rang.  Of course, I didn’t answer it; that’s what they make machines for.  (No, I don’t have voice mail.  One of these days I’ll drag myself into the 21st century, but don’t look for it to be any time soon.)
After I finished rebooting and looked at my account balance on the poker site, I wasn’t quite feeling like playing any more.  A few more sessions like that, and I was going to have to find a new way to supplement my income.  Maybe they needed a new dog washer at the Pampered Pooch.  Problem is: I like dogs the same way I like kids—as long as they aren’t mine they’re wonderful.  It’s not like the P.I. business is all that lucrative, but like I said, a promise is a promise.
With nothing else to do, and my brain still whirring like a kids’ toy, I decided to listen to the phone call I didn’t want to pick up.  Bad mistake.  I should’ve just erased the damn thing and went to bed.
“Jordan?” said a familiar voice I couldn’t place.  “I need you.”  If only...  At the moment, I wasn’t seeing anyone, didn’t know anyone I’d want to need me, and I certainly didn’t think the image popping into my mind was what the caller had in mind.  I searched my brain to figure out where I’d heard that somewhat effeminate male voice.  I knew it wasn’t a work-related voice.  This business eats up the effeminate and shits them out.  Hell, I’m a woman and I can’t get away with femininity. 
Then the little light bulb went off over my head.  My hairdresser!  Of course.  By the time I figured it out, the rest of the message had played, but I was pretty pleased with myself for naming that voice in under five words.  Enough patting myself on the back, though.  Since Gerry didn’t swing on my side of the street, he obviously needed help, and since he was the only one in the tri-city area who could do anything with my hair, I figured I’d better help him.  If only to keep myself from looking like something the cat coughed up.
Reaching for a pen and paper, I pressed the replay button.
 “Jordan?  I need you.  I’m at the police station.  They… They think I killed someone.  Can you help me?  Please?”
Now Gerry Fitzpatrick could be a bit bitchy sometimes, but the thought of him as a murderer was beyond stupid.  He cried when he had to clean the traps at his less-than-upscale salon.  I once saw him have a funeral for a particularly unlucky field mouse who must’ve been in town visiting his more urbane relatives and ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Gerry couldn’t kill anything.
So why were the cops thinking he had?
Looking at the clock, which wasn’t much help since the power burp had set it to the flashing 12:00 again, I decided I didn’t really need to sleep that night anyway.  I grabbed a jacket to throw on over my sweats, and headed out the door.
Oh, the things I do for a good haircut.

Someone... not saying who... :cough:jb:cough: ...thinks I ought to finish this.  What do you think?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Again?

Whoa man, I'm like totally messed up on the days of the week.  Bummer. 

But Monday is my day.  I chose Mondays because they're really not that big a deal for me.  In fact, they're pretty much like any other day.  I don't hate them.  I just don't remember them anymore.  LOL

I was going to do a whole big production about the origins of 'Monday', but I haven't had my coffee yet.  BTW, pre-coffee I sort of look like this:
Thank goodness my husband loves me anyway.

So, here I sit, rambling on in a sort of 'stream of consciousness' way, waiting for a flash of insight.

But I got nuthin'.

Check back tomorrow when I think it's my day to post a teaser...  :wanders off to check: 

Yep.  My day.  Maybe I'll tickle you a little with something fun that I have recently been encouraged to actually finish and submit. We'll see.

Until then, adieu.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fab Foto Friday

I love all the pictures I've taken of beautiful things, but I really appreciate the pics I've taken of the progress we made on this place.  They help to pinpoint what we've done and when we did it.  For instance, a year ago last week, the front of our house looked like this:
And then a week later, it looked like this:
Now it looks like this:
It's like having a photo log of our hard work.  =o)

Do you ever go back and look at the pictures you've taken to see how things have changed?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What makes you happy?

It's ADMIT YOU'RE HAPPY month.  So we were wondering, what makes YOU happy?

B.E.: I like walking out to the road front with my Hubs and looking at our house.  We've worked so hard to make this what we want it to be, and it looks so nice, I can't help but be happy when I see it. 

Little birds make me happy.  Today we saw a particularly brilliant yellow bird that I have no clue what species it is - and for some reason, that makes me happy, too, because it's like a puzzle I have to figure out.

Reading a good book makes me happy.  =o)

JB: It's been a pretty rough month or two (or twelve) for me, but here are three things I'm happy about:

1) I have the most amazing, wonderful, supportive friends in the universe. Old friends, new friends, real life friends and virtual friends all give me a reason to be happy.

2) Rainbows.  I'm pretty sure I've seen more rainbows since I've been in Florida than I had in my entire life. And they make me happy. Every. Single. Time.

3) My newly-discovered green thumb. Kind of amazed and definitely delighted by everything I'm growing.

Tell us Killer Friends:  Are you ready to admit you're happy?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Name Game

The other day, while standing on line, I told a man he had a nice name. It was strong, clear, and I could spell both his first and last names without trouble. He proceeded to tell me that he was named after Gregory Peck because his mother had had a crush on him.

Another day, I was in a waiting room and was amused when the nurse called out, "Frank?" and looked around expectantly.  There was only one man in the room, who else would it have been?

Later the nurse called out, "Tiffany?"No one responded. I looked around the room, spotted the only person who was the right age to be named Tiffany and pointed her out to the nurse…who walked closer and got the young woman to respond the second time she called the name.

Another woman sitting beside me laughed and remarked, "Of course, she's a Tiffany." Then since she was pregnant we got into a discussion of what she was going to name her baby.


"Oh cool," I said immediately. "A palindrome."

She looked at me a little strangely. I'm guessing she hadn't yet gotten the "palindromes make names cool" response before.

Thankfully I didn't tell her that in one of my works-in-progress a little girl who's been kidnapped is named Hannah and one of her kidnappers tells her that her name is palindrome. I'm thinking the mother-to-be wouldn't have found that "cool" at all.

Tell me Killer Friends: Do you pay attention to names? Are there any you particularly like? Any you despise?

Personally I'm not overly fond of Jennifer….  ;-)