Why I hang out here!


A girl I work with shared with me that she reads my blog. I sometimes forget that it is posted automatically on my Facebook page and that people who I actually “know” read it as well. And I have to admit that it warmed my heart. It is hard to explain how validating it is to know that someone takes time out of their day, to care what I have to say. Unless of course you are also a writer and in that case, I KNOW you understand!

I write because I have to. I can’t imagine not writing now. I’ve put it on the shelf for far too long.  Always needing to create in some way.  I had an art studio for years, did art shows and made a living doing them.  I guess I just got tired of doing the shows cuz they really were  hard work. Though they will always remain some of my most wonderful memories and where I met some of my most cherished friends.

sugar plum

Writing really is no different. I just don’t have as big of a mess to clean up or brushes to rinse out…

PAINT BRUSHESART DESKPAINT BRUSHESSSS

But the connection is the same. My artist friends “GOT” me. We got each other.  As an artist, I used to have a following. I had customers at each show that would come and seek me out. I also had artist friends that GOT me. We would set up our booths together and then break them down. It was funny, we used to laugh about how our customers would show up without having a clue what it took to create our shows. The lugging the tubs and displays back and forth was just something we did  behind the scenes. When our customers finally got there, the only thing that they saw was a magical place to shop

craft showsugar plum booths. craft showw

Though it was a lot of work, I always looked forward to seeing them again and hanging out with those who understood my passion, and also stayed up late into the wee hours creating.

ARTIST

Lets face it, we want to hang out with those who get us. And…. that is why I hang out here! You guys are like getting to go to a Writer’s Conference everyday!Though,  I sooo want to go to one someday… actually, to as many as I can! Education and  continued classes are great and have their place  but I hear that you really get down to the nitty gritty at the conferences with published authors and agents. I have mentioned a writers hang out in my metaphoric posts, inviting everyone to a coffee shop in my imagination and it warms my heart just thinking of you all there in my dreams.

writers workshop

Sometimes, I get home and just want to relax, by tapping away on my laptop and signing onto my blog to find you guys and share what we have all written.  I don’t know about you, but not a lot of my friends GET my need to write, let alone the time I invest on my blog. But then, the same ones really didn’t understand when I would stay up late working on my dolls or illustrations.

So this one is for you. All my friends and family who take the time to actually read what I write. The ones who understand what I am talking about.

Thank you.

For My Friends Who Read My Words

….

What I Have To Say

Inside my heart you reside

in that place of understanding,

the windowseat of my soul,

girl writing in window

the sofa by the fire with the throw

that comfortable spot

only you will ever know

woman reading by the fire

you want to read what I have written

You click on my newest words

in true anticipation and you fill me like a cup.

coffee and computer

you come here without prodding

with your words…

I feel you nodding….

You are my  friends

We meet at different times of the day

sunrise morning beautiful

slipping in with the sunrise

Knowing that you care about

what I have to say

 writing signature

Diane Reed

2013

Getting Over It


old couple walking in the city

How long is the normal life span? I know a few people in their nineties and several in their eighties still going strong, so it baffles me as to why the beginning two decades are so important to who we ultimately become. But they are very important.  Considering that we will live to be one hundred,       (give or take a decade or two)  our formative years are only 20%  of our entire lifetime but I believe that they are some of the most important.

little girl looking out a window1

Some people tend to totally forget the first ten or so years while others remember every detail as if it were yesterday. We all have had our happy

tire swing leap

and not so happy memories.

bullyingworried little girl

Some of the bad ones are obvious. There is abuse and no matter how you look at it, it is evident. Others are not so evident. It may be subtle, a parent depending on a child too much, a sibling or peers tormenting them. We remember and we form scars that last a lifetime. We have been told to “get over it” and yet how does one get over a mountain? I will tell you. One step at a time. It is possible. But the trick is not to discount the memories.

I know someone who was horrifically abused. More emotionally than anything. He was the boy with the story no one would believe. His mom was  schizophrenic. She was beautiful and full of love for life and for him for that matter,  but in a moment could turn into a raging monster. At first when I met her, I had trouble opening up my heart to her because of what I knew. And yet, she was hard to resist. We slowly became friends and though I never forgot the stories I’d heard, I let my guard down because this boy who I loved, wanted a connection with his mother so badly. I became the bridge that connected them. We shared many happy memories until I witnessed one of her rages. Her words cut deep and were directed towards her son who I loved.

sad reflection

I was very young back then. Our relationship began the summer after I turned seventeen and ended shortly after I turned twenty. Funny how those three years changed me forever. I think that I had a few co-dependent issues from my own childhood and so I brought those with me, thinking that I could fix something that was far more broken than I imagined.  Because the boy I chose to love was abused. I in turn, was also abused by him. Because I loved him, I chose to look the other way. Because his mom couldn’t love him in the way that he needed to be loved, I took on the responsibility of that love and mine.

love in Heaven sillouette

And thus the cycle of co-dependency began to spin.  I looked the other way when he treated me badly because I had witnessed firsthand his abuse. Only imagining him as a child with no one to protect him. And my heart broke for him. Funny, even though I was his target for his abuse towards me back in those days, I took it because I knew where his pain was coming from. But I was still young enough to be damaged by it too. Not until writing my book, did I understand that I was also a victim of abuse in a way I never understood before. Though I looked the other way then, because I felt his childhood pain, I have had to come to grips with my own pain, in trying to break the circle.

little crying boy

In the book I am writing. I share my experiences. Though instead of memoirs, I am producing it as fiction. Taking out the unnecessary details and changing the names for the most part. But what I want to get across is how we find ourselves in situations and why. As I have written it out. It has been like therapy for me. But it has made me realize that the abuser isn’t the monster I remembered him being. For years, I had not even been able to say his name. When we finally broke up, I had been so hurt and damaged I didn’t know what to do with the pain and so I turned it into anger.

girl looking out window

Through out my life, and my relationships I know that, that one relationship controlled my entire life in all of the years that followed. I have had a hard time trusting and I’ve always needed to feel in control since then. Recently, that not so young boy (anymore) contacted me. I was not sure if he was even alive nor was he sure that I was. I  finally got my closure. I know for me, that I needed some sort of a resolution and when the opportunity knocked I had to open the door. I did what was right for me. I know it was selfish but I don’t regret it. I do regret hurting the people in my life now. And I can’t say that I am proud of all of my recent choices but I feel as if I can finally close the anger chapter of my life and that I have been educated in such a life changing way. Far more than any degree could offer me. I have learned so much about who I am and surprised myself about what I am capable of. Not everything, good. But it has gotten me to the place where I can say goodbye to my young self

Rockwell_Girl_at_the_Mirror

and look into the mirror and see ALL of me.

older mirror reflection

 I have had a hard time penning the ending to my book since then. I know now that I clearly had digressed, allowing my seventeen year old self to interrupt everything about who I am today. But though not everyone may agree, I needed to ask questions and say things I never said and I got that chance.

door with couple on both sides

Being “The one that got away” and knowing no one ever gave him the love that I did, is very sad but a little vindicating. Maybe at first, I thought revenge might be sweet. But when you have really loved someone, you only want the best for them, no matter how much they hurt you. Whether it is divorce or young love. There is such a fine line between love and hate. And until even today, I am learning that love is more powerful than any form of hate could ever be. And if the love had ever been genuine and you can go back to find it’s roots,  I guarantee, letting the hate go will feel much more vindicating than anything revenge might bring. It took me over thirty years to feel it. Today, I feel that I can move on. Or as some people have said :”Get Over it”.

typewriter

So I guess in the end, I want to make people see how subtle abuse can be, how everyone is a victim and how the abuser isn’t always a monster but just a product of their own abuse from their own childhood. My book is called Pieces of the circle. Now I feel that I can sigh and find that spot in the circle that needs to be finished and write it.

A rough draft of my book below… I’d love to know what you think or if you have any suggestions…

https://kerisjournal.wordpress.com/

type the end

Serendipity


typewriter glowing

Why do we  start our blogs? I think that it would be an interesting question to explore. I would love to find out why the people I have bonded with here, originally began blogging. At first, I initially began my blog as a place to journal, a place to store what I wrote. I like knowing that I have a kind of a  back up place to go to and with a click of a key, be inside the pages of my world of words. I know that I never expected to generate any interest outside of people I already knew. And yet here you are…..  like my own serendipity.

ser·en·dip·i·ty/ˌserənˈdipitē/
                     Noun : The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way  .Eg: “a fortunate stroke of serendipity

study

Thank you for finding me, for taking the time to read my thoughts and words, my poems and stories and daily ramblings. I love wandering around your pages as well. I have found people that I really GET and have been found by people who think the same thoughts as I do… We would probably finish each others thoughts if we were sitting across from each other over lunch.

I am not sure what I expect from my blog. I know it is an impossibility, percentage wise, and yet I am sure the serious writers here have entertained the fantasy of being discovered in a round about way by a friend telling a friend who knows an agent about your blog. But gone are the days of a Hollywood agent discovering America’s next sweetheart on a Soda Shop’s bar stool. Success is more than a fantasy, it is hard work. There are no short cuts.  But it’s always nice to dream. Even though I really know that my blog is just  The Keeper of my words…. and I may never meet an agent or publisher here,  I am still so glad that I have found my little serendipity here in you!

*****Chapter Seven*****


Hello…

In-between the first chapters I submitted,   (which you will find in my sidebar to the right, if you scroll down just a bit)

I took a break…and before that another one… to kick myself into gear…wrote a few little poems etc.. etc… and random thoughts…

And….

 I  have found myself here more than not… A place full of people who understand… and share my passion for writing….

 Networking and socializing with you guys, my new friends, my soft place to fall… My amazing new find!!! Reading and LIKING and commenting on your posts…. and oh yeah…maybe I am procrastinating ever so slightly…. okay then cough, cough… I GET it! Back to work!!!!

But….

How could this be what others may call a distraction or my excuse to procrastinate in finishing my book?

Though I guess I agree… if I could just ask myself.. why is it that I can  not just  finish rather than continue tinker around the likes of this place? Hmmmm???  Smile…

Here it is… the final chapter, at least the final one that I am going to share with you here……   Chapter Seven.

By the way…..

If you have not read the first part of my book, I have it posted here. And really,  if you haven’t read the previous chapters, Chapter Seven will not make much sense. But if I have kept you… this far… I am very pleased… even if you haven’t bothered to read  chapters 1-6…. but it would make 7 make much more sense!

                                                  Here is Chapter Seven….

airline tickets

Chapter Seven

One night at dinner, Keri’s dad announced that he was surprising her with a trip up North to Tara’s house. She and Keri had been best friends since they were both four years old, and had been inseparable since the first day they had met.

little girls running in a fieldlittle girls playing

When the  girls were eight, Keri’s dad had been transferred to another state due to his job but Keri and Tara had stayed in touch through the years by writing letters and yearly visits that Tara’s dad had generously provided. He knew that they  had been heartbroken over the move and so he had always tried to make sure that they got to see each other at least once a year. Their mothers had also become very close and so the trips had conveniently been planned around their yearly Seattle vacations, either stopping on the way there or on the way home and once the girls had gotten old enough to travel by themselves, Tara’s dad had either paid for one or the other to come for a visit.

airplane wing

Keri loved Tara and so did her parents. She was more than a childhood friend, they were family in every way. When her dad said he wanted to send her to San Mateo for a visit Keri was delighted. Unaware of what the real reason might be and why he might be gifting this trip to her so out of the blue. Though she happily started planning the visit. Both Tara’s and Keri’s school had the next Friday and Monday off and so Keri’s dad had booked a flight leaving Friday morning and returning Monday evening.

Jack was not pleased at all when Keri told him that her dad had surprised her with the long weekend trip. Instead of being happy for her, he sulked and brooded the entire night after Keri had announced that she would be going, “What am I going to do while you are gone?” He asked poutingly, angry, feeling that she had not considered him at all! At first, Keri thought it was cute and was touched that he was going to miss her so much. But when he continued to pout, it concerned her.  She had told him that he could take her to the airport but when the plans to take her had been changed, he had grown visibly irritated and hadn’t called her for an entire day which upset her. Though when her parents questioned her, she just told them that she was worried about a test.

frustrated blonde

Keri’s dad worked in El Segundo, and LAX was just a few minutes from his office. He had booked a morning departure flight and told Keri that he would drop her off on his way to work. It had just been the convenient thing to do. He had noticed that she had seemed miserable until she finally heard from Jack and it had concerned him. Keri told her dad that Jack would pick her up and her father had hesitantly agreed since he would be out of town and Keri’s mom didn’t like driving in the evening, especially to LAX. He had not been happy with the arrangements since if truth be told, he had been hoping that the trip would distract her a bit from her relationship with Jack, and having him pick her up  at the airport just seemed to negate the whole purpose of the trip.

airplane

On the day of her trip, Keri was packed and waiting for her Dad as she thumped her suitcase down the stairs. He grabbed it from her easily, carrying it out to the car. She kissed her mom and waved as they drove off. Keri chatted comfortably with her Father as they sat in traffic. He used the opportunity and her obvious good mood to tell her that he and her mother had been worried about her and that they wanted her to spend more time at home. “Why? You’re never there anyway.” Keri complained. She countered his observation trying to not be disrespectful, but feeling as if her independence was being challenged. That’s not the point.” her father replied ruefully. Suddenly Keri realized exactly where  he was going with the conversation, and that the trip may have had some ulterior motives behind it as well.  “I promise that I am keeping up with my grades Daddy, I love him and I want to be with him when we can be.” She reasoned. “Didn’t you feel that way about Mom?“ She asked, softening her still emotional tone. Her dad just smiled at her, saying something about how she should look into being a lawyer and then ruffling her hair, he changed the subject for the time being. He slipped a wad of twenties in her hand as he dropped her off and told her to have a good time, hoping that the time away would at least give her food for thought.

bridge golden gate

Tara and Keri had a great time seeing movies and shopping  in the city and just being together.  Keri didn’t share too much about Jack, knowing Tara would not approve. It was a simple as that. Keri knew that there was something very different about her relationship with Jack. When Tara talked about the boys she dated, it was light and easy, not like the highs and lows she and Jack shared. She knew that no one would understand. She had not even spoken to Lori about it. She was still angry with her for not telling her about him in the beginning. She knew now, that she had to have known something. Though she had decided that she did not want to know if Lori had known anything about Jack’s problems  because she truly didn’t know if she could ever forgive her  if she had. But now she was in too deep. She loved Jack and no one’s opinion would change that. Neither what Lori or Tara thought mattered anymore. The trip did some good as her father had hoped it would, it made Keri realize that something was amiss in her young life. Something she could not talk about to anyone.

The visit was wonderful. Just hanging out with her best friend was a much needed break from all of the drama she had experienced recently. Jack’s up and down moods,  and his not talking and then  their times of making up were all just so exhausting and having no one to talk to about any of it was difficult. Though, she had missed Jack, and when he met her with such enthusiasm at the gate,  she felt hopeful that things would get better again. Jack seemed so happy to see her and told her how much he had missed her over and over again. They fell right back into the little recesses of their relationship, perhaps even more than before. Keri was addicted by the love he showered on her and in turn she returned it equally. The physical portion of their relationship grew stronger. He told Keri she was beautiful and for the first time, she began feeling that she truly was.

airport hug

The days seemed to all blur together. That terrible sailing trip was forgotten or at least never brought up again to anyone, ever. And Jack seemed to take Keri on as his project. He felt as if she was so innocent and naïve He encouraged her plans for college and would quiz her about her dreams. He urged her to step outside of her little box and discover new interests, to actually have opinions. The attention he gave her was addicting. Every new thing she learned seemed to please him and she craved his approval. Her father worked so much and never really seemed to expect more from her though he did praise her for her writing,  she had always felt kind of apprehensive when it came to opening herself up to learning anything new because her dad had so little patience during her childhood when he would try to help her with her homework, especially math. So with Jack, everything seemed new to her and she realized she could learn and was surprised that she actually really liked learning.

After they had been dating a while, Jack took Keri home to meet his dad, Jack Sr. She liked him right away. “Nice to meet you Mr. Sagen” Keri held out her hand, as he took it and quietly replied, “Nice to meet you dear.” She could tell that he was a kind and quiet man, he worked as an Engineer in a building not too far from her dad’s office, and she noticed that he chain smoked quite a bit, later Jack told her that it was almost three packs a day.  There had not been as many horrible stories about him as Jack had shared about his mother, but there had been enough to cause Keri to have a few reservations.  She could see that the relationship between Jack and his dad was much more formal than hers was with her parents. But he seemed so pleased when she would make an effort to talk to his father, and so she always tried to engage him in conversation when she would come over.  He would brighten up when he knew she was coming and genuinely seemed pleased to see her. Sometimes he would cook dinner for the three of them and to Keri’s horror  the first dish he served them had  canned spinach mixed with hamburger meat.  Keri  wanted ever so badly to be polite but she had never tried spinach before and could not hide her discomfort. Both Jack and his dad wathched her, urging her to try it and then they laughed when she touched her tongue to the forkful and then  in Green Eggs and Ham fashion,  announced “Hey, I like this stuff!” Jack’s dad beamed when she asked for another helping.

Jack lived with his dad in the small modest Torrance apartment that he had moved to shortly after his separation. Jack had moved in several months later, after a horrible fight he had, had with his mother. The building was very close to the beach where Keri had spent so much time with Lori. Mr. Sagen worked as an engineer and seemed to have given up everything after the divorce and yet, seemed content enough. Or so she thought.  He had not expected Jack to move in with him and so the one bedroom apartment was a little cramped. He slept on a fold out sofa bed in the living room and had  generously given Jack the bedroom who had protested to no avail, saying something about how a young man needs his own room.  They both seemed to enjoy having Keri around and she loved being where ever Jack was.

When Jack’s dad was at work they would always seem to find themselves at that empty apartment whenever possible. She played house in her head as she would imagine that it was their place.  They would talk and dream and lose themselves in a new world of desire,  and discovered each other without shame. Keri had never really had a real boyfriend before. She had dated a few guys but Jack was her first true love in every sense of the word.  It was as if they couldn’t get enough of each other.  It was all so new and exciting.

young couple making up2

Their kisses were hard and filled with passion and yet soft and filled with love, all at the same time. Their hands roamed in places Keri’s never had before. She felt as if she was somebody else when she was with Jack. Nobody had ever kissed her that way and she learned that she loved kissing. When they weren’t together they thought about being together and couldn’t wait until the next time and then the next. They tumbled further into somewhere they both had never been, and yet stopped just short of the place they knew was forbidden.

kiss2

Shortly after meeting Jack’s dad, he took her to meet his mom Lee, who lived a little less than an hour away, in Monterey Park.  Keri was hesitant. She was the woman who had a lot to do with the demons that Jack was fighting today, she was not so sure she wanted to meet the one who had hurt him so horribly, and for that matter, his dad, who she had grown protective over. She was not sure she could set aside the stories he had told her and yet, it seemed so important to him. He had such disdain for her when he would talk about his memories and yet he seemed to hold out some form of hope that things would be different. Maybe he thought that Keri could be that bridge. Always wanting to please Jack,  she reluctantly agreed to the meeting.

From the very start, Keri noticed a kind of ambivalent indulgence in the relationship between Jack and his mom. It was disconcerting to her but she disregarded her apprehension due to her love for him and agreed to pursue the relationship. To Keri’s surprise, she and Lee hit it off almost at hello. His mother was charming and quite beautiful in an unusually sophisticated kind of way. They seemed to ‘get’ each other from the start. Lee seemed to genuinely like Keri. And from what Jack had told her, had despised Maddie, which made Keri uncomfortably blissful. She had never known anyone like Lee before. They talked about everything for hours. Soon Jack found himself bringing Keri to his mom’s house regularly. Keri loved to hear her stories and advice. Jack was thrilled that Keri and his mom became fast friends and through their new found friendship, Jack felt an acceptance from his mother that he had never enjoyed before.

mirror and make up

They spent a lot of time together and Keri was very impressed with everything about Lee. She obviously loved to live life well and taught Keri to do the same or at least was very generous with her. Though she could not forget the stories that Jack had shared, it was hard to picture her so out of  control ever. And so little by little, Keri let  her guard up and found herself drawn to Lee, as their friendship grew.

As school continued, Keri became so wrapped up in being Jack’s girlfriend that her friends began to complain that she was always too busy for them. Between school and volunteering and the time she spent with Jack, there was just no time left for anything else. Keri didn’t care, she only wanted Jack. Her every waking moment was consumed by thoughts of him or what she could do to please him.  She would pack sandwiches and meet him at the garage where he worked.  She would sit in a car high up on the hydraulic racks as he worked on it late into the night. She studied or did homework in many cars on many nights just to be with him. Most of their times were filled with new adventures and passion that she could not get enough of.  No one had ever made her feel so desired or loved and she looked forward to discovering new things with him. They were so caught up in the excitement of becoming adults, and imagining their future.

mechanic

She pictured how it might be being married to Jack. They spent time looking for apartments and began going to a little church in the neighborhood where he and his dad lived. They became fast friends with some of the young couples who went there and some of the older ones too, and were invited over to their homes. One couple in particular, Dave and Cheri seemed to enjoy Jack and Keri’s company and took them under their wings. They would invite them over frequently to Cheri’s parent”s home for Sunday Supper. Soon they felt like one of the family and Keri learned to love Sunday. One Saturday night, Jack and Keri had come for dinner at Dave and Cheri’s apartment. Keri noticed a wedding album on the coffee table and began slowly turning the pages. She was so impressed with their life and love and faith in God. Cheri shared that they were trying to have a baby and Keri felt so envious. She wanted to fast forward everything and feel how it might be to be grown up and out on her own. As she chatted with her new friend, Keri glanced at Jack sitting across the room, as he and Dave laughed about something and her heart filled. She wondered what it would be like if he were her husband.  All at once Keri knew she would marry him someday.

Jack and Keri became very involved in the church. Every Sunday they were invited somewhere. Jack began to bring his guitar to some of the gatherings that they were invited to. His dad had given it to him years before and it was one of the more special gifts he had from his youth. Keri was pleasantly surprised to learn that Jack had an amazing voice and she was transported to a new realm as she would listen to him as he strummed the strings and sang with the group. She loved his voice and was so proud. One day they talked about the fact that he had never been baptized. He shared with Keri that he wanted to. She was thrilled. He began going to classes and one Sunday in front of the church, he was baptized and watching him as he was lifted from the water, Keri saw his face and the joy that filled it and in that moment, she, believed that everything was going to be okay.

Between his work, and her school, church, and just their being together their free time seemed filled. The days ran together in sweet accord, each better than the last. Keri would run home in-between classes and seeing Jack and their time was consumed only in each other. Until one day, Keri’s mom complained that they never saw her anymore. She told her that even Lonnie had been talking about missing her.  Keri started to argue and then realized that her mom was right and then to her surprise, her mother suggested that she invite Jack over for dinner. Her father would be home and  had asked her to arrange something. Keri eyed her mother suspiciously. “What is this all about?” she asked her mom. “We just feel that we need to get to know this boy, Jack, a little better, since you are spending so much time together, that’s all.” Eyeing her daughter she added, “I promise to make something good.” Keri agreed, “Well okay, if you are sure there is not going to be some big speech or anything?” Her mom laughed saying, “your father and I discussed it and it doesn’t look as if Jack is going anywhere, anytime soon, so we might as well get to know him.” Keri was pleased by the invitation but remained a little hesitant. Her mom continued, “When we allowed you to date, we hadn’t bet on you dating just one boy.” Keri looke at her mom and said, “Well, I wasn’t planning on that either. It just sort of happened.” And then added, “I love him mom.” Her mother nodded. “I know you do honey.”

Jack agreed to dinner enthusiastically, he had been wanting an open door, a chance to prove himself to her parents.  He loved the idea of family and had never felt as if he fit into his. All he ever wanted was to feel as if he fit in and to have a place to belong. Keri knew that about him by now  He talked a little too much that night but her parents didn’t seem to mind or at least they didn’t appear to. They accepted Jack as someone who would be around for a while. Her dad had been impressed by his intelligence, as he kept up with the latest current events. He charmed her mom and helped clear the dishes. Keri thought that the evening had gone quiet well. She wondered what her parents thought.  They remained unbiased, deciding to hold judgment.  They were not sure how they felt about Jack yet. At times, they saw Keri happier than they had ever seen her, and though she tried to hide it, there had been other times when they had also seen her very unhappy. During those times, Keri never spoke of what was making her sad but then just as quickly, the mood would clear and she was happy again.

Her parents accepted her mood changes as normal teenage moodiness, though they remained on guard, having heard horror stories from some of their other friends and the difficulties that they were having with their own “teenage” children. From what they had heard, they counted their blessings, feeling grateful that Keri was so grounded. Her parents just figured that they were also having growing pains letting go, and tried to be more understanding and lenient by looking the other way rather than being so strict. Keri was grateful, never wanting them to guess what was really happening.

sad hug

Though the dark times did seem fewer and farther between, when the rages did happen, they would terrorize them both. Jack seemed trapped inside of them and Keri had learned to be his target. He knew that he was horrible to her but something ridiculous would trigger the anger and the explosions followed like clockwork.  Somehow, it had become a pattern with them. Keri had grown to accept the emotional blows, lost in her own hopelessness that they seemed to represent. The ambivalence she felt was debilitating. And yet she never shared any of it with anyone. She reasoned a little pushing was not like getting punched or slapped and he was usually so sorry after. There had been a time or two when Keri stormed out to get away and he had followed pleading for her forgiveness. He would kiss her tears and beg her to come back, pleading as if his heart would break, telling her that he could not live without her and how sorry he was. He would kneel at her feet and she would pull it up and then sadly follow him back as he would try to make up for everything he had just said. But Keri could not block out the names he had called her, slowly she began to grow numb to it all.

She wanted to protect Jack. She knew he was fighting pretty dark demons from his past and that he was dealing with them in his own way, and she felt it was enough. She also was too ashamed that she would allow anyone to treat her the way he did when he would lose control. He would be sorry and she would forgive him and the in-between, times that they shared, seemed to make up for everything else. The funny thing was that after the awful day on the sailboat, Keri never again, even considered leaving. She just accepted that this was part of her fate and the more she loved him, the deeper in she got.

********************************************************************************

This is not the end! There are more chapters to come…. but this is all I will share here. I am now working on editing the finished chapters of my book and someday, hope to have it finished. I just wanted to share a piece of it here to get feedback from my most favorite followers!

THANK YOU for all who have taken the time to really READ it!!!!  You have a piece of my heart!

Still On the Darn Subject Of THOSE “LIKE” CLICKERS!!!!


Maybe I am just shell shocked from the recent election, when every ten minutes I was getting smooozzshed by one political party or another with promises and phone calls,  commercials,  bumper stickers and billboards coveting my vote. And now once again we all are left in the dust. I feel that this blog is a lot like an ongoing election. You can’t avoid the politics. Not even here. Our little corner of the world that we have found, makes the world go away for a just a little while. Our stage where we get to perform, even if to an audience of one or a thousand. We are doing what we love best, writing. Isn’t that enough? Why are those votes so important to us? Perhaps because we learned it really early in our young lives. If we cry, we get attention. If we cry hard enough, we get picked up and even fed. Think about it. We have been searching for that kind of high ever since.

Writing is my way. And if you have a blog here, I know it is yours too. But writing comes with it’s biggest joys and most frustrating draw backs.

A few weeks ago, I went on a hiatus of sorts after realizing that I was writing on this blog for all the wrong reasons. And that was for YOUR feedback. I would post something and then wait for the response.  I mean, we have all loved the proverbial red A+ and maybe even a little smiling face that we used to get after turning in an especially well thought out little story. Whatever it was, and whenever it was, as early as second grade? We experienced that first high and we were hooked. After that, we waited for the next and the next. Finally when our teacher even commented to our mom during a parent conference that maybe we had something special” we lived for the next sign of recognition of specialness.  And as we grew older, when our instructor or professor chose to read our essay as a special example to the class THAT felt even better than the A because we were actually hearing our own words being read aloud with all the same enthusiasm we felt when we wrote them. It was that connection. Our crying was heard and once again we were being fed. Thus… here in my blog, I have felt that. It is nice to be recognized, to feel “gotten” by someone else who understands why I am writing at two in the morning again.

No high could match that. Unless we went on to find it in some other way, I actually did in a  small way. I wrote for our local magazine for a few years…. I was  even given my own column for a while, until I needed to go out and get a “real job” I mean the way I wrote,  .15 cents a word could add up, but that was when I was working for myself, doing art shows as well but both weren’t paying the bills nor providing benefits, and so I had to move on and get the job I have now.  But it was good while it lasted. I would be in town and a random stranger would tell me how they enjoyed my column and once again that  A+, middle of the night feeding high took me to new levels. But then like I said, I had to give that up for a real job,  And for a while, something squashed my creative side by having to succumb to a nine to five. But slowly through the course of less hours and a few other things that inspired me recently, I have found myself NEEDING to write again. As if a part of my heart has re-awakened.

So I stumbled onto this blog here. And as we talked about it before in a recent post entitled :”CLICKING LIKE” I discovered by your responses, that a lot of you felt the exact same way. We got sucked in BIG time to the high of our very own STATS. Arrrrrgggh! And so I went on a little reprieve becuase I was writing posts like this. I would wait for a LIKE and then another and another. (Greedy gal that I am!) And they would come… sometimes right away. Before I was even done re-reading my own first paragraph again, making sure that all my editing was done correctly, I had gotten four clicks. I smiled and then thought…..”HEY wait a minute!” Hmmm what is going on here? How could they be reading everything I wrote so fast???!

So you seee… I fell for the LIKES of those who “CLICK” just to generate traffic to their own blog. They are hoping that there are those like me who actually will appreciate each and every one who takes the time to visit my site and (hopefully) actually read what I wrote, not just click on like for the sake of clicking, thank you very much! Does anyone get what I mean??? I know those of you who I feel that I have connected with do and I guess I am wasting my time writing about this again because the few who do GET what I am saying will probably only be the same ones reading “this” post too. And I love you for it! But I would love to somehow get those darn LIKE clickers (now have I discovered a new slang word here? lol.) And pleeease understand that if you are actually down to this * point in my ranting, you are not who I am talking about! I am talking about to the faithful LIKE CLICKERS that would never be caught getting this far into anyone’s blog. The ones who flat out, don’t read any of it.

Though I am not without fault, I know it is hard to keep up with some of the posts… I have never really cared for TWITTERING, I mean do you really care that I just had a yogurt or if I am on the 101 on my way to work?? As is here, I have found that some of the bloggers (me included at times) write several posts a day. It is kind of comical. We have this random thought we feel is kind of brilliant and so we share… like what I am doing here… so I am not laughing at you!!! I do it too. It is funny how we think that everyone else is so interested in our thought of the minute and yet I know that I didn’t start out coveting your responses or LIKES for that matter, I had come here to write, to stretch my wings, to oil my “writer’s block” to get unstuck and also have a place to store my own journal so that someday, I could come back and look at where I was today tomorrow. How much I have learned and grown someday. But I got caught up in the whole STATs thing and I am sorry I did that to myself. And have to wonder. Is this just a social network of writers? I mean is it more like I will scratch your back if you scratch mine? Or do we really truly genuinely look forwrard to someone’s posts? I know I do. I know I wouldn’t have “followed” you if I hadn’t. And I know I have liked a writer’s posts so much I have sought them out to see if there is a new one that I may have missed. And I can promise if I click LIKE I actually have read it!

Sooo what has prompted me to write this latest rant? Well, I have been posting my book and it is so hard to know who is reading, who is liking and I got absolutely hardly any feedback. Is it that bad??? I have to wonder….lol. I mean even the ones who commented on almost every post I have written…. NOTHING! Well, my friends… are always my best supporters, those of you who I have totally had a kindred moment with (you know who you are) I appreciate!!  But I have to wonder, maybe I am just asking too much to expect people to read eight pages of a chapter at a time. That is rather presumptious of me I know, but what was I was to think? You had puffed me up by LIKING me all those other times! I mean like lifting the proverbial crying baby out of her crib, you fed me… I expected more! Now my stats are sooo low but I expected that. Sadly. I did. I am not out there hanging my flag in the wind OPEN for business like I used to be so my once sky high views have dwindled and so my friends… if you are new here BEWARE…. Really think about the reasons why you blog before you invest so much time. If it is for you then that is wonderful. If it is for other reasons, that may be good too. The connection I have made with a handful of writers here is worth more than the thousand of LIKE clickers I may never know.

And who am I fooling thinking that writers and agents are actually wandering around wordpress looking for raw, new talent…

Getting published is not magic. It takes long hard work. The good old fashioned kind. Technology is awesome. Being able to send a manuscript with a click and publishing a book with another click may be the way of today but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to jump through the same hoops to get there. I GET it now.

Maybeeeeee I would just like to go back to the way things were. Where ignorance was bliss. Where I lived in a world of people LIKING what I wrote. What do I care if they read it or not? Nah. Ya know I do. I want to know if you reeeeeally like ME or you just want my vote.

But the final point (I promise) that I am trying to make i;s that I really am over it… the STATS thing… I probably will always want that primal pat on the back. But I know I dont’ truly need it anymore. Because if I think something is good than it is good. I don’t need  the click or the vote or to check out my stats ever again because I have finally found out how to climb out of the proverbial crib myself!

Chapter Three


To those of you following this… Here is Chapter Three. For those of you just happening to find my blog, I am right in the middle of a little hiatus. I have 21 chapters of my book in the very raw, rough draft stages. I am in the process of fine tuning and editing each chapter. And asking my readers for feedback… Thank you all who take the time. If you are interested I have over 100 posts in my archives that will keep you busy until I return to my regular posting post!

Again, Thank you!

Di

Chapter Three

Keri and Lori went dancing that night as planned. Lori seemed a little more subdued than normal. But when Keri casually asked what she thought of Jack, Lori just replied “He’s nice enough.” In an indifferent tone that was hard to miss. But Keri did. In fact she missed it all together. The music was loud and the bar was crowded as the bouncer stamped their under aged hands and nodded for them to go inside. Keri barely gave Jack a second thought as they surveyed the crowd at the Blue Moon. It was the same place that most of the guys from Avenue F hung out and they always had a good time.

Keri was not looking for anyone serious. She had her summer planned. Jack was nice. Maybe, she could be a good friend to him. He was definitely going to need one she had reasoned with Lori on their way there that night, and Lori had agreed. She knew that Jack was not Keri’s type. She liked dark hair and green eyes and Jack had lighter hair with blue eyes. Though, she had noticed the cleft in his chin and kind of did like the twinkle in his eyes, she had explained to Lori that the main reason she had said she would go sailing was because she just wanted to go sailing. It was “as simple as that”

Keri had gotten a little irritated when Lori kept grilling her as to why she had allowed her mom to finagle her into the date, and told her in no uncertain terms, “I assure you that I really am not interested in Maddie’s leftovers!” Or at least she wasn’t conscious of it, nor was she aware of the fact that Jack had actually asked Mrs. T about her after she and Lori had driven away that day. It had completely gone over her head that he was even remotely interested and as far as she knew, he was still waiting for Maddie to return and had no idea that she wasn’t returning to him. But Mrs. T had come clean that afternoon. She hadn’t missed that Jack appeared to be intrigued with Keri. And when she had come out  to offer him a glass of lemonade after they  had driven off,  Jack had asked about her. Keri had just seemed like a perfect opportunity to help break the news about Maddie to him, a reminder that there would be other girls. She told him that Maddie had met someone but didn’t offer any more than that. Jack had been furious at first. But more hurt than surprised. Mrs. T had reminded him of of their fights but she didn’t need to. He remembered them all.

Mrs. T patted Jack’s cheek and went inside, letting the news sink in. She left him alone with his thoughts. He sanded and pounded and thought about all the fighting and breaking up that he and Maddie had done over the last year. He thought about the last fight that they had, had. And the words they both had shouted to one another, and could never take back. His mother had called him home and he had no choice, Maddie had taken that opportunity to tell him that she wanted a break anyway, and that perhaps this would be a good time for it. He flinched as he recalled the terrible timing and the things he had said to her when he left. When he needed her most, she had not been there for him. As he sanded, he realized that she never had. Even so, in all his reasoning,  he missed her like hell.

Mrs. T had also been thinking. She had seen him perk up when he had asked about Keri and so she had a little plan of her own. She went about making the lasagna and then went out and asked Jack to join them for dinner and mentioned that she was going to try to track down Keri and Lori and invite them too. She had not counted on not being able to reach the girls and remembered  Lori telling her that she was going to spend the night at Keri’s but had missed them the few times that she had tried to reach them at Keri’s.  Jack had seemed disappointed when Mrs. T had told him that she hadn’t been able to reach the girls, but had cheered up when Matt walked in. And then just as they were helping themselves to some salad, the girls had driven up. Mrs. T lost no time, running out the door and returned smiling with them both in tow.

They brought such energy to the table, all tanned and scrubbed, ready for a night out as they bubbled over, laughing and happily talking about their plans for the evening, still trying to decide which house they were going to end up at. “Just let me know, if it’s not here.” Mrs. T requested easily. When Keri had reached for Jack’s hand, as Mrs. T introduced them, he seemed to forget about his broken heart for a few minutes and Mrs. T had not missed the chemistry in that little exchange and had begun to look for an opening to encourage it more.

Keri had fun, just like all the other nights, with a string of boys inviting them both to dance.  They were hot and damp when they found each other again. A dark haired boy who she had danced several dances with asked her for her number. She just smiled and teasingly said “Sure, let me find a pen.”  But when he walked away for a minute, Keri grabbed Lori and said “let’s go.” When she finally dragged her out the door, Lori whispered “He was cute, why didn’t you give him your number?!” Keri laughed. She knew that they had learned where there was one cute boy, there usually was always a friend for the other. And since Lori had not been interested in anyone there that evening she had been hoping the cute guy that Keri had been dancing with, might have a friend just as cute. But for some reason, that night Keri wasn’t interested and didn’t want to give anyone but Jack her number.

Aside from the weather, the sailing date went well. Thirty mile per hour Santa Ana winds had tossed the little boat around significantly that afternoon. Though, the day had started out  with crystal blue skies. Keri’s dad had seen the small craft warnings earlier that morning and told her that he really wished that she would reconsider going, but after a little pouting,  which was really out of character for her,  he finally relented, giving her permission, shaking his head and sighing exasperatedly as she hugged his neck and happily ran out the door.

Keri’s Dad, was concerned and not just about the sailing trip. He had never seen his daughter care about anything more than her writing. Keri had always been so level headed when it had come to boys in the past. He had always known that the day would come when one would sweep her off of her feet but he had grown comfortable in the delay and had been hearing horror stories from his friends and the problems they were going through with their teenage daughters and had counted his blessings. He was confident in Keri. And yet he knew that it only took one boy to change everything. He could only pray that she would make the right choices.

Keri was not sure why she had persisted in getting her dad to change his mind, and why it had meant so much for her to go, except for the fact that she had given her word that she would go, and she liked to keep the promises she made.  She knew that she could have called Jack and told him that her dad had read the warnings and suggested that they change their plans to another day. And that he probably would have understood she reasoned. But she had felt a sense of urgency that she did not recognize, something that had made her really want to go, something that she had not felt before and it had registered with her, and bothered her a little. She realized that she did not want to cause another  disappointment for Jack, he had experienced so many lately, and she just did not want to be another one.

As the boys launched the boat, the sun reflected on the water as the warm winds blew. She wondered where her dad had gotten his information because from what she could see, the day had started out beautifully. Jack was very attentive he had packed a lunch for everyone and as Keri and Matt’s girlfriend Sarah, got acquainted, Matt and Jack maneuvered the boat out of the marina. She liked the way he handled the boat in the winds. How he directed Matt and seemed to know what to do as they increased. Keri felt safe as the little boat moved up and down over the rough waters and Jack took control, instructing which lines to pull as he and Matt steered the little boat back to the marina. She liked how he looked in his wet tank top. And watched the muscles in his arms flex when he grabbed the lines and tied the boat to the dock.

Keri told Jack about the small craft advisories that her dad had listened to earlier that morning and how concerned he had been, she was touched that as soon as they had pulled the boat out, he had found a pay phone for her so that she could call him.   Keri assured her dad that they were fine but admitted good naturedly that he had been right and she was sorry for not listening to him but promised she would in the future. As her father put the receiver back down, he breathed an air of relief though he knew from the lift in his daughter’s voice that she would probably break that promise many times from this day on. And that Jack most likely would be behind those broken promises.

Keri ran back happily to help the boys hook up the trailer and pack the soggy supplies that they had brought back to the car. The evening fog was rolling in as Jack turned on the heater and motioned for the girls to get inside, handing them dry blankets. As she crawled in the front seat, she watched the boys as they worked to hook up the lights. Finally as Jack slipped in next to her, something dawned on Keri, she knew why she had persisted in talking her dad into letting her go. She realized that she really liked Jack. She liked him in a way she had never liked a boy before.

Jack dropped his boat off at his Dad’s apartment where he was staying and then turned to Keri, Matt and Sarah, “How about Bobs?” He suggested. “Sure.” They agreed. They had worked up quite an appetite, having never finished their lunch when the winds had kicked up. And besides, Keri realized that she was not ready for the date to end. When they got to the restaurant she and Sarah excused themselves and went to the restroom, pulling out brushes, in an attempt to try to tame their long beach blown hair.”I must look just great.” Keri remarked as she slid into the seat next to Jack. “I think you look pretty cute.” He said and then added, squeezing her knee, “For a good sport that is! Over hamburgers and sodas they laughed, talking about how wet they had all gotten earlier that day. When their sodas arrived they all clinked their glasses in honor of their surving it.

That night, Jack dropped  Matt and Sarah off first. When he pulled into Keri’s driveway, he turned off the engine but kept the heater blowing. Keri leaned comfortably against her door as they began talking easily. He talked mostly. About school and having to leave it because his mom needed him. He talked about moving in with his dad and having to get a job at the gas station on the corner near their apartment. She knew that his parents had recently been divorced and that his reasons for coming home had something to do with that but she didn’t want to pry and so she listened to just what he shared. He asked her about her plans after she graduated and she told him that she had enough credits and  planned to graduate early.  He seemed impressed. And his admiration warmed her with a feeling that she had never felt before.

Though she felt that they could have talked for hours, she knew that he must be tired and she also knew that her dad had left the porch light on and didn’t want to take advantage of his leniency, after all, there was still quite a bit of summer left. “I had a wonderful time” she offered. Jack smiled and said “I’m glad. Let’s just see if I can ever get you back out there.” Keri laughed, “You just name the day, I’m tougher than you might think” Jack got out and went around and opened Keri’s door, taking her hand, he helped her out. Never letting go, he asked, “Can I call you?”

Chapter Two


For those of you following this… you know that Chapter One was found inside my last post …

“Like A POSTCARD or something like that….”  You really need to read Chapter One to follow… 

Chapter One… begins as (the adult version of)  Keri  finds a journal she kept long ago.

Chapter Two…. finds her back in her younger years, when she actually started that journal and was living the stories that she wrote about… slowly the chapters will carry you forward again to today, which is when she finally begins to understand the lesson in her journey  ~ hence; the title: Pieces of The Circle

(The pictures are NOT mine… I have no claim to any of them in this chapter, I just have fun choosing them to help you read… someday I will have to figure out the right picture for the cover…. ) but I am hoping that I can help paint a picture in your imagination… just with my words,  as I tell you my story… and hopefully,  in the end you won’t need pictures at all… Please keep in mind that this is still a very rough of parts of the book that I hope to someday start submitting as a whole…. I am sharing here for those of you who asked me to and also because I truly need some honest feedback. What parts are hard to follow? What words do I usee too much… etc…  I have come back here to edit at least fifty times so far… there is a technique my daughter told me about called the Dr. Suess Technique… you read it aloud to yourself as much as you can stand it and then read it aloud to others as much as they can stand it! Smile… Here, I have you… I know it is long… so those of you who are busy, I understand if you move on… but those of you who stay….

Thanks for reading! I love you!!!!

Here it is….

Chapter Two

Keri watched as her mom and little brother Lonnie, prepared to leave for the airport. It was the first, in all of their years after moving from Seattle to California, that she would not be joining them on their yearly summer trip. After all, she was sixteen. Too old for “family vacations” she had told her parents. Though, she had to admit, that her summers had been magical. When one would end, she would start counting the months until the next one. Ever since she could remember, she looked forward to every single one of them. Keri and her cousin, Annie, had spent all of their summers togethers at their Grandparent’s house near Lake Washington since she could remember. Memories filled her heart with the special adventures they had shared over the years. She smiled as she recalled how they would cook up schemes,  trying to come up with ways to stow Annie away in a suitcase so that Keri could bring her home with her to California. She smiled now just thinking about it. And she had to admit that it felt odd not to go this year.

But Annie had landed a babysitting job for the summer and so Keri had decided to stay home this year. After what seemed like endless conversations over the subject, her parents had finally consented. It was the summer before her senior year and her best friend Lori’s last summer home before she went away to school. Lori had gotten her license almost a year ago, and Keri had finally gotten hers a few months earlier, which represented a new kind of freedom for both the girls that they had never known before. Her father was very busy. He traveled and worked late hours and so she knew that for the most part, she would have the independence she longed for. Keri understood that she was to keep up the house while her mom was away and she appreciated that her dad had given her a reprieve of sorts by not requiring her to get a summer job. She knew that this was the last summer she had to just be a “kid” and  planned to make it the best one yet. Little, did she know…

Waving goodbye to her family as her dad pulled out of the driveway to take her mom and Lonnie to the airport, and then catch a plane himself. She threw kisses as she grabbed her beach gear and headed for Lori’s to pick her up. The sun felt good on her face as she climbed into her car. The breeze was almost nonexistent. It was a beautiful day and she knew it would be warm at the beach. She could see the ocean from her house in Palos Verdes and the blue sky sparkled invitingly as she slid into the driver’s seat of her new car as the sounds of the latest Top Forty filled the speakers her dad had just installed for her as she turned up the volume on her new stereo. She rolled down the windows, and smelled the scent of fresh cut grass. Feeling quite carefree and that all was well with her world she pushed open the sunroof and waved to her friend who was mowing the lawn next door as she drove by.

When Keri pulled up to Lori’s she noticed a boy who looked to be a little older than her, working on a sailboat on the long driveway that led to Lori’s house. As she passed him he took off his baseball hat and wiped his brow and nodded. She wondered who he was but decided that the day was a wasting and honked for her friend who stood on the balcony outside of her bedroom, motioning for her to come on up.

Keri sighed heavily as she jumped out of her car… Pointing to her watch-less wrist as if to say, “Let’s not waste the rays.” They were already leaving later than they had planned since Keri had waited to see her mom and Lonnie off. “Come on Lori, it’s almost one.” Keri whined in a playfully sardonic tone as the she walked through the door, only to be met with a glass of lemonade and a smile from Lori’s mom “Hey Mrs. T” Keri said accepting the drink and hugging her tight,

“I can never say no to your terrific lemonade.” And then turned as she heard Lori call out “I’ll be right down.”                             “So where are you girls off to today?” Mrs. T asked cheerfully… “Avenue F in Redondo” Keri confirmed. She and Lori had dubbed the spot right outside of the life guard’s station ever since they noticed Brad, the cute new lifeguard that they had met during spring break and had gotten to know even better, during the weekends that followed. They had a little flirtation going on as he would joke about turning down their AM radio, insinuating KRLA and KHJ were passé and the FM stations he listened to were going to be the new place to tune in to. They had a volume war and finally Brad had used his megaphone and the girls had laughingly conceded.

As Mrs. T probed curiously, Keri got lost in  her day dreams as she thought of Brad who was tan with sparkling brown eyes. He was a couple of years older, and very funny. He loved to joke with the girls and they bonded with him right away, and then with several of his lifeguard friends in the area. Brad’s friends had easily become their friends and they all had begun playing what they called:”Sunset volleyball” once the beach had cleared and everyone was off duty. Brad had mentioned the bonfires during Spring Break, and after a day of teasing and sharing cookies they had brought for him, he had invited them back that night to play. They had excitedly gone home to shower and change and then ran back with a six pack of sodas, a package of hotdogs and some of those home baked cookies as their contribution.

When they arrived they found half the guys playing a warm up game near a bonfire that the other half was just starting. There was a big tub of ice filled with beer that they added their sodas to, as they were greeted and quickly integrated into the game at hand, evening out the teams. Not until the sun had finally dipped beneath the horizon did they stop playing.

Keri and Lori dropped to the blanket they had laid out laughing. “That was so fun!” Keri said rubbing her wrists. Lori nodded in agreement. “You guys aren’t bad for girls.” Brad had said and Keri gave Lori a high five, stating, “For girls you say?” Just you wait, we will give you a run for your money when we’ve played more.” Volleyball, bonfires and Avenue F seemed to fill their weekends after that.

“Sounds like fun,” Mrs. T laughed at Keri, realizing that she was far, far away in her thoughts. Keri took another sip as she snapped out of it and absently asked “who’s the guy in the boat?” Mrs. T cleared her throat and said “Oh that’s Jack.” Keri swallowed asking “Jack?” “Yes, Maddie’s old boyfriend.” Keri was curious, “Old Boyfriend?” she queried. “Yes old.” Mrs. T Sighed, “you see Maddie got herself engaged and is bringing home her Fiancé to meet us.”  Maddie was Lori’s older sister by two years. Mrs. T continued, “she has given us a month to break the news to him and get him moved out. Keri was puzzled. She had just spent the night with Lori a few weeks ago. “He lives here?” She asked. “No, but we let him bring his boat here to work on. And he’s been working on it daily.”  Mrs. T replied. Keri was even more confused. Why would someone get engaged if they already had a boyfriend she wondered. But was distracted by Lori clamoring down the stairs, as she kissed her mom and hurriedly began pulling Keri out the door.

Keri noticed Lori’s turquoise swim suit under her clothes and laughed stating, “I almost wore that same suit!” They had gone swimsuit shopping the weekend before at Rosie’s on Pacific Coast Hwy,  a store that always seemed to have the best bikinis, and had both bought some new ones but couldn’t decide on the ones they both liked so had ended up with a few of the same suits. “Lori noticed the pale pink one beneath Keri’s halter top and smiled, saying “I guess we should check with each other because I almost wore the pink one!” Mrs. T laughed. “Oh to be young again, she reflected, so carefree, if I only had to worry about what color my swimsuit was for the day.” Lori rolled her eyes as Keri happily followed her to the car, thanking Mrs. T for the lemonade, she gave her a quick hug. As Lori’s mom waved the girls on telling them to have a good time, closing the screen door she went back inside.

Keri loved everything about Mrs.T. and her quiet, but involved presence in Lori’s life. Always just far enough away to not be in the way, but close enough to show she cared. From the time she and Lori started hanging out, Keri always felt welcome and during the weekends, the girls always were either at one house or the other. Lori was going to UCLA that fall and Keri didn’t want to think about school the next year without her. It made her sad. But she forced herself to just think about the day ahead and decided that today was all that mattered.

Keri buckled her seatbelt and slipped a Chicago 8 track into her player. With the sun shining down through the sun roof, the girls put on sunglass and Keri cranked up the volume and smiled, rolling down the windows, they began singing loudly, rocking to the beat laughing. They hadn’t been to the beach for several weeks due to having to study for finals and all of Lori’s graduation responsibilities so they had both looked forward to today.

The girls sang loudly as they drove down the long driveway, bouncing in their seats. The boy in the boat caught her eye and grinned at them as they drove by.  Keri couldn’t help but feel a little compassion for him. Wondering what the story was… She asked Lori. “Why is he hanging out here if Maddie and he are broken up?” Lori sighed in a way that reminded her of Mrs. T’s sigh and it made Keri smile. “Good old Maddie and my poor mom, she seems to always be trying to fix things but I’m not sure how she is going to manage this one.” Keri asked “Why, because she has a new fiancé?” Lori grimaced yeah. I kind of feel sorry for him. I think that he thought that they would get back together like before.” Keri asked “Like before?” Lori nodded. “yeah they broke up a lot, and would always get back together. This time though, it’s over for sure she already has a new guy and a ring and a date.” “Oh that sucks for him.” Keri said. Lori nodded. Keri couldn’t help but take another glance in the rearview mirror as they drove out of sight.

Brad waved to Keri and Lori as soon as he saw them coming down the ramp. He jumped out of his chair and hopped from the tower. He was still as cute and tan as ever, in his red suit and hugged them tight. A few of their friends were already playing volleyball nearby and waved. Even when the guys were off duty, they seemed to hang out at Avenue F. The girls managed to find a spot, dropping their bags and slipping off their cover-ups, they joined the game. They looked like models in a commercial for suntan lotion, out there in the sand, Brad thought as he watched them from above.

The girls took turns taking showers at Keri’s house after the beach. Her dad was out of town on business for a few days and they planned to go out dancing and then come back to spend the night. “Oh I can’t believe it”, Lori groaned as she walked in Keri’s room drying her waist length hair with a damp towel, “I forgot my new shoes and my overnight bag.” Keri was sitting on the floor putting on the last touches of her make up in front of her floor length  antique mirror as she replied, “That’s fine we’ll just swing by your place and pick them up.”

They had just started discussing where they would go for dinner as they approached her house. Pulling up, Keri glanced at the covered boat still in their driveway, thinking Jack must have gone home for the day. “I’ll just run in and be back in two….” Lori started to say when the door opened and Mrs. T came out waving them in. “You two are just in time for my famous lasagna she gushed. Keri and Lori looked at each other, both loving Mrs. T’s lasagna and without protest, jumped out of the car. “Why not?” they both said in unison and laughed.

Lori ran up to her room to grab her shoes and pack a bag as Keri followed Mrs. T into the great room while waves of warm garlic bread wafted through the room straight to her nose. “Oh my gosh it smells like heaven in here!” She exclaimed as she sauntered into the room with the farm like table filled with the Taber family and Jack.  Mrs. T. immediately introduced Keri stating “Keri this is Jack Sagan.” Keri warmly held out her hand, from the moment she had heard his story, she had felt a twinge of compassion that she could not shake.

And as he took her hand in his firmly shaking it, he looked her in the eye with a confident smile that impressed her. Hmmm she wondered if it was impressed or intrigued. But without knowing exactly what it was, something in the stars seemed to shift.

The aroma of garlic and the chatter of everyone filled the room as dinner was served. Jack was friendly and animated and talked about being ready to launch his boat. Mrs. T seemed pleased knowing that launching it, meant that it would be moved and it was one more thing she could cross off of the check list that her older daughter had given to her. The boat being gone would be a huge load off of her to do list, out of all the things that Maddie had requested be done, before her arrival.

“I have a great idea.” Mrs. T cooed nonchalantly, “Why don’t you all go?” Lori didn’t miss a beat and piped up “Not me. I get seasick!” “Count me in!” announced Lori’s younger brother Matt, who was a year younger than Keri and had been helping Jack work on the boat for the last several weeks. He was eager to try out the vessel on the water. “Can I bring Sarah?” he asked hopefully. Sarah and Matt had been inseparable for the last year when Matt had not been hanging out with Jack. “Sure.” Jack agreed good naturedly. Keri was laughing at something with Lori when she noticed just out of the side of her eyes, Mrs. T mouthing a silent message of encouragement to Jack as he turned to look at her and offered. “How about it?”

Lori glared at her mom, looking annoyed, and realized that she and Jack had most likely discussed these plans earlier in the day and that this dinner was a little more contrived than she had made it all look. Mrs. T seemed to miss or ignore her younger daughter’s reaction. Keri, on the other hand, had not missed the look, and searched Lori’s face for a clue as if asking her what to do.  Lori just shrugged and so Keri turned back to Jack, not wanting to hurt his feelings, especially after knowing the disappointment that soon awaited him, she hesitantly answered “Sure, why not?  I’d love to.” Before they left, Keri reached for Jack’s hand and wrote her number on his palm and smiled.  He looked down at his hand and smiled back.

And that is how the story of Jack and Keri began. Innocently enough, and yet very conveniently for Mrs.T who mentally crossed yet another thing off of her list.

Pieces of A Circle is a book that I am writing about a young girl who got caught up in an abusive relationship that changed her life forever. Not so much because of any of the physical abuse, even though there was some. This is a story that touches more on the emotional and mental abuse that changed the choices she made in her life, and the woman she became because of it all.

It is about the anger she carried with her and a lot about  the life she missed because of it. And then the twist at the end about forgivness and understanding and yet the crazy way she almost found herself lost again trying to find the young girl she had left behind so long ago.

 

 

 

Agents, Publishers and little old me~


Soooo, ever since I started this blog I have subscribed to magazines like; The Writer and Poets and Writers and really tried to educate myself, buying books on my Kindle about marketing and how to get an agent,  how to self publish and promote your own work. I have considered signing up for a few classes about publishing. But to be honest, I really am confused about it all. Though, I have discovered one thing about social media and  the likes of blogging. You MUST network. I have to admit that I have been competing with myself in a way. By looking at my stats almost as much as I step on my scale!

Stats are a funny thing. They are a tool to show you the kind of traffic you are generating or not. It is a mystery to me how some have a huge following and some don’t. It is as simple as that, or is it? At first, I started my blog as a place to just keep record of my own writing for me. And then slowly I began posting a poem or something that I would write on my facebook page and a few friends began to follow me, and I would discover their blogs and we would kind of have a little cyber coffee clutch, checking in with each other as we would get notified that one of us had a new post. Gradually, I noticed that people that I did not know began to follow me and it kind of felt good. That strangers were finding my writing worth their time. Slowly, I began to check out who was following me and wahlah… that is what networking is all about! And yet, for me it happened through the back door. I had never really started out wanting to have my private journal made public. But the comments I received inspired me and so I began to explore the art of blogging! And I liked it! The response I recieved was a bit addicting.

Like I said earlier, I was not expecting to share my blog. In fact, there are many personal things in it that I would not really ever have considered sharing with people I  know. I kind of started out thinking that people were only viewing what I was posting on my facebook and then I realized anyone had access to anything I was storing on my blog. As I became more comfortable with the sharing part of things, I became fascinated by the volume of followers my posts were generating. In turn, I began following and I have to admit all this networking has become time consuming but I genuinely enjoyed reading each blog. It was as if I had joined a writer’s group that met daily at the local coffee spot, on line!

My daughter is on Etsy. (An on line shop for artists) She has over one hundred  followers and is in many of what Etsy calls Treasuries.   Her work is unique and wonderful and yet she works hard at updating daily and networking with other artists. I have my own illustrated and written card line on Etsy but I don’t “work it” like she does with her shop. I get a sale every month or so where she gets several. I used to sell a thousand dollars in cards at a show when I would do art shows so I know if I invested the same time there as I do here on my blog, I could actually make some good money. And yet writing is my passion and so I stay here on my blog and working on my book that I am now editing.

I guess my point is… I went on a little vacation this week. The first few days of not responding or networking on my blog here….or posting anything new still generated several likes and comments. But it is funny. I am not sure if it is how the blog is set up, or what, but I do have over 100 posts and yet it seems as if it is just all my recent posts that people tend to read and so my stats went way down. Thus, discovering that even though someone may really enjoy your writing, a blog is kind of like a daily column in a newspaper. You may read Dear Abbey that day but you don’t bother going back into her archives and reading some answer she gave a year ago even though something in those archives may very well pertain to your current life now.

I have received a few AWARDS from readers recently and had always kind of coveted them wondering what they were about and while I was touched by the words I received when they came to me. That would have been enough. The comments were my reward. But I felt obliged to follow through and go through the process of doing what I was supposed to do. It was so time consuming. But I GET it now, those awards are a networking tool. Though…. a very time consuming one! Maybe agents are’nt such a lost commodity. Maybe we DO need them. I have gone the route of self publishing a children’s book and it is costly and though I have done well in a small arena, I have an inkling that a publisher could have done a far better job of marketing it.

With Kindle and e-books and everything going technical and digital it is hard not to be tempted to rely on ourselves to develop our own film, buy our gifts on line, forego libraries and even publish our own books on line or through the vanity press type places… everything is on line now even college classes! I have a friend that makes more money than her husband who is a school administrator, by staying home in her PJs and working from her lap top! She has been promoted over and over to do what she does on her computer at home.

This week I have realized that unless I post something daily, my stats go down and my followers are not as loyal even though I have over one hundred posts to keep them entertained, they need attention back. They need me to be present. Just like a Best Seller author. One book lasts for a season. They better be writing another while they are going on those book signing events! And an agent is a little like the stats here… reminding you that you are only as good as your next post!