Sunday, December 12, 2010

WELCOME!!!


Hi to those of you who've stopped by from 'WOW' -- 'WOW' stands for 'Words Of Wisdom', a blogging support group started by two wonderful ladies named Sandy and Pam who have been very kind and supportive of not only my blogs, but all 'WOW members.

My name is Jo and this is my blog where I'm posting an original story written by moi one chapter at a time. Each post contains a new chapter.

I'm a married Mom of two grown children, a vegan, Bohemian at heart and desperate to write, be read, heard and understood -- but mostly to be published-ha!-- as I would love to write for a living.

At the age of 44, I thought it might be about time I found my true vocation, eh? ;)

I have a strong dislike and distaste for those who say 'supposably' instead of supposedly.

Pet peeve.

Big one.

Anyway, I've recently taken a break from blogging -- I have two other blogs I maintain typically: 'Rabbit Food: A Vegan Blog' and 'The End Of The Rainbow: Life After Bankruptcy' -- as we just lost our beloved puppy to Parvo. This threw my axis totally out of sync and I've been having trouble regaining my footing.

However, Sandy and Pam deemed me worthy enough to be today's 'BON' (Blogger Of Note) and, so, out of my funk I must arise and I'm happy to do so.

As you can see, you're just in time as I haven't posted much of this story as of yet, although, I have much more written -- tomorrow or the day after I will be posting Chapter three.

The story takes place in 1978 and is a coming of age story that takes place in 'Aigean Bay', California.

My love of family, friends, rock-n-roll and nostalgia is at the heart of my story.

I've loosely based the characters on my husband, Ed ('Murphy'), our 20 year old son, B ('Seamus') and his friends.

Some of the story line is also based on some of Ed's concert experiences in the 70's and 80's.

::FUN FACT:: We're Irish and I named the town of 'Aigean Bay' after the Irish Gaelic word for ocean (aigean).

My first experience with rock-n-roll came courtesy of my older brother who gave me Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' album for my 12th birthday in 1978 -- of course I incorporated that into this story.

It was then when my eyes were opened: out went my teeny-bopper posters, albums and crushes -- and in came ear plugs for my Mom.

I hope you'll enjoy getting to know Marianne, Susie and The O'Neil brothers -- they are close to my heart and very much a part of me.

I would start at the introduction and work your way up -- again, this is good timing as we're not that far along.

*If you're easily offended by four letter words or talk of drug use, this may not be the vehicle for you --but I hope you'll give my imagination a chance to win you over.

Much thanks again to Sandy and Pam and thank you all for stopping by -- hope you'll do so again.

Merry Christmas!

Peace, love and rock-n-roll,
~Jo

In loving memory of John Lennon Oct. 9th 1940 - Dec. 8th 1980

"Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

MORE THAN A FEELING -- CHAPTER TWO



WARNING: MAY CONTAIN LANGUAGE THAT IS OFFENSIVE TO SOME

THE GANG:

Seamus was losing his patience. “Where the hell is Vinny?” Standing outside the venue on this warm summer day waiting for their friend to make his appearance was becoming annoying as shit and ruining what could be a perfect evening. They’ve had these tickets for weeks. Heather, too, was becoming increasingly pissed with the heat of the day threatening to dissolve all the Aqua Net she sprayed on her perfectly brown feathered hair. “Look, if he’s not here in two minutes, I’m going in! I didn’t spend an hour with the hair dryer and curling iron just to stand out here to wilt and frizz waiting for Vinny!” Caleb rolled his eyes. “Ever since you got your braces off you act like every day is a damned beauty pageant. You look good, now shut up already!” Charlie, Heather’s boyfriend -- and relatively new to the gang -- knew the dynamic of the group and usually didn’t interfere if Heather had a slight beef with one of the boys. Being the only girl of the gang allowed room for forgiveness and understanding in what they referred to as “female meltdowns”. Charlie knew this to be perfectly normal. Besides, Heather could take care of herself. “You shut up, Caleb -- and thank you for saying I look good.” she said with a slight pleased with herself attitude and a mock sticking out of her tongue.
Cameron, too, wasn’t happy with what the heat was doing to her natural curls. She already hated her curly hair as it is, although, Heather and Gwen had both told her over and over; “Cami, women everywhere pay good money to get curls put in their hair like what you were born with naturally.”
Cami received no sympathy from Heather and Gwen and learned to just stop complaining about her hair. Lucky for her, Seamus was the kind of boyfriend who always made her feel good. Had she been high maintenance, he may not have been so. However, Cami wasn’t too terribly girlie and took things as they came. He liked that about her, that and the fact that Cami was pretty easy-going about his love of concerts and his friends. She also didn’t take any of their shit, that included Seamus’. She’s only 5 foot 2, but man, is she ever feisty. Then, there was her softer side -- her infamous cupcakes. She was known for her love of baking and showered them all with her homemade baked cupcakes for every occasion; birthdays, holidays, beach trips, and mostly those ever present munchies after a day or evening of partying. She didn’t mind, though. She had come to love all of them as much as Seamus did.
Damn. Still no Vinny. They knew Finn and Gwen would be late coming from work but what could be Vinny’s excuse? They all knew the answer, of course. He was likely caught up playing pinball again.
Everyone’s patience was wearing thin except Murphy’s, who was already inside holding seats. Nothing much ever bothers The O’Neil brothers.
Finally, Caleb pointed down the street with relief. In unison they all turned to look; in the distance was Vinny’s dark, sweat soaked skin reflecting the sun as he rode his skateboard with his long, dark hair flying back, his recognizable aviator shades firmly rested on the bridge of his nose. Clickety-clack. Clickety-clack. The noise from the skateboard on the sidewalk cracks became more prevalent as he neared closer to the others.
“Am I late?” He asked breathlessly to the group.
“Are you late? Are you kidding me?” Seamus asked in mockery with slight annoyance.
“Okay, I’m sorry -- I had to do something first”.
Vinny took off his sunglasses and was faced with blank stares.
Painted around Vinny’s eye was a silver Paul Stanley star.
Seamus hated to be the one to point out what was obvious to everyone except Vinny but he was not only the biggest but also the oldest -- with the exception of his brother, Murphy -- and was quietly the leader of their group. The O’Neil house was just the one where everyone came to hang out when they weren’t at The Shack and it was Seamus who bound them all together through mutual friendship. He was 20, six foot two and weighed about 250. An injury his freshman year of high school prevented him from seeing his love of playing football through. He still walked with a slight limp but no one even noticed it anymore, least of all Cami, his high school sweetheart. His long dark brown, slightly curled hair suited him as did his goatee. And while Seamus’ appearance was intimidating as all hell, those who knew and loved him saw a different side. Especially Cami. He was smart, soft spoken and always rooted for the underdog.
Seamus faced Vinny, placed one hand on each of Vinny’s shoulders and looked him square in the eye; “Vin. The Kiss concert isn’t until next week, dude.”
The others tried desperately to hold back their laughter and snickering.
“What??? Then who the fuck are we seeing tonight?”
“Van Halen.”
“Fuck!”
Vinny would know this if he had even bothered to look at the ticket that had been in his wallet since Caleb passed them out to everyone weeks ago after volunteering to pick them up.
Caleb also had to point out one thing; “What are you going to do with your skateboard?” as he motioned to a sign on the outside wall: “No Skateboards, bikes or Roller skates allowed inside.”
The snickering from the others was getting harder to contain.
Vinny threw down his skateboard and watched it break right down the middle.
“Fuck!!!!” He yelled even louder this time.
This time the whole gang broke out in laughter -- and after a moment, even Vinny found the humor in it all, too.
Seamus patted his friend's back in sympathy; “C'mon, you can wash off your face inside. Now, let’s go hear some kick ass music.”
Marianne understood the battle of hangover versus work. She kept that in mind when working out the schedule for Finn and Gwen the morning following the concert. The Shack didn’t open until 11:00 but she usually had the kids arrive around 10:00 to count out the cash register and do some prep work in the kitchen. Since Mondays were typically slow anyway, she told them noon would be okay for their arrival. Richard, The Shacks cook, was always on time and his wife, Mackenzie, was more than happy to help out and earn a few extra dollars. Mackenzie was going to nursing school and worked only part time as a medical assistant, so, she took the hours where she could and was pleased to help out when Marianne needed an extra hand. Richard and Mackenzie were both twenty four years old but were just as much a part of the group there. They occasionally joined the others for concerts and other outings and both loved spending time with Susie.
“Munchkin, where you off to so quickly?” Richard called out to Susie. “Oh. Hi, Richard. Hi, Mackenzie”. Mac -- as Richard liked to sometimes call his wife even though she hated it, which is part of the appeal for him, naturally -- in her soft voice said to Susie; “Good morning. Where are you going in such a hurry?” She continued counting change while talking. She had that ability to do two things at once and, even while counting money, could carry on a conversation without skipping a beat or miscounting. “Your hair’s still wet.”
Susie’s red hair was indeed wet and dripping on her red California Angels T-shirt that she paired with 501 Levi cut-off's and white Keds sneakers.
Susie replied; “I’m going to go see Seamus and Murphy. I want to know how the concert was”. Mackenzie wished she and Richard could’ve gone with the others but she had school that night and Richard didn’t like going without her even though she said he could. “Babe, just go. Have fun. No point in both of us missing it” she had told him weeks ago. But all it took was for Rick to look at his wife’s angelic face of blue eyes and surrounded by long blonde hair for him to know that he never wanted to do anything without her. After five years of marriage they were going strong -- and with their recent good news, he had plenty of reasons to be happy without going to a concert. “Nope. I’ll be right here when you get back. Besides, those assholes make fun of me for being short when you’re not around.” Mackenzie laughed. “Honey, they make fun of you for being short whether I’m there or not, and besides, you give it right back to them.” They both knew it was true and they both loved every minute of the banter.
Marianne overheard her daughter's plans to go see The O’Neil’s. “Don’t you think it’s a tad too early to go knocking on their door? It’s only 10:15 and you know they got in very late and are likely still sleeping.” Susie took a deep breath of frustration before answering her mother. “Lynn said I could go over anytime. She likes it when I’m there. Said I’m good company.” Marianne couldn’t argue with that. Besides knowing that Susie is indeed good company, Seamus and Murphy’s Mom was estranged from her daughter from her first marriage and suspected that Susie reminded her of being a Mom to a little girl again.
“Okay,” Marianne said reluctantly as her daughter had one foot practically out the door, “but I want you to listen at the door first before knocking to make sure you hear the T.V. or the radio. If not, you come straight home. If anyone’s up, you be back here at 12:00 for lunch. Understood?” Susie in her excitement to see Murphy would have agreed to anything at that moment just to get going. “Yes, Mom. I got it.” Susie quickly hugged her Mom's middle and waved bye to Richard and Mac. Marianne managed to squeeze in a “Be careful, I love you” before her daughter sprinted out the door and hopped on her bike. Susie loved the freedom that summertime afforded her.
Richard and Mac looked at each other knowingly and smiled. In about 13 years, they’ll be dealing with this themselves. No one else yet knew of their news and they hadn’t quite decided when, where or how they would tell everyone. Soon, though. They knew Marianne would be excited. It’s been a long time since she’s had a baby around.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

MORE THAN A FEELING: CHAPTER ONE



Please read the prologue in the post before this one. A good read...if I don't mind saying so myself. :)

CHAPTER ONE -- MARIANNE AND SUSIE:

Aigean Bay, California -- 1978

The sound of the pinball machine could be heard throughout 'Susie’s Snack Shack'. Vinny continued to play while occasionally looking at the clock on the wall, mindful that he had to meet the others in about 30 minutes. Right below the clock near the entrance of the hamburger joint laid a bevy of skateboards. One of them his. Hell, when did this place get so busy, he wondered. He’s paid no attention to anything other than the game at hand and the sound of Elton John’s 'Crocodile Rock' overhead. Marianne Peyton only played rock and roll. Just one more reason to hang out there. Well, that and the fact that for a woman of 44, Marianne was quite striking. Not in an overly done and made up way. No. Marianne’s beauty was more natural with a toned, tanned body of about five foot eight that wore casual clothes of denim, T-shirts, tank tops and flip-flops. She hardly ever wore make up which suited her well. Her sun-kissed, girl next door, slightly freckled face didn’t need it. She had her big, brown eyes that brought it all together in a way that make-up never could. Her hair was strawberry blonde with slight streaks of gold, courtesy of the suns rays, waving through. Indeed, she was the quintessential southern California girl. Er, woman. Vinny corrected his thoughts.
Back to the skateboards: he’ll just have to sort through them when he leaves but as of right now, his two toned blue slip-on Vans were planted firmly in front of the pinball machine. He glanced at the clock again while Marianne herself gently reminded him of how much time he had until he had to meet the boys at the concert. “Okay, thanks!” Shit! He had to start getting ready. Game over. He headed into the bathroom with his back pack and took out small tubes of silver and black paint and a thin brush as he carefully crafted his art.
Out front Susie begged her mother to please let her go with Vinny to the concert. Marianne sympathized with her daughter as she told her; “Susie Peyton, you’re only twelve”, she said with only a hint of firmness, “and Vinny, Seamus and the others are nineteen and twenty. Murphy is even older than that and as much as they all adore you, sometimes they just need to be with kids their own age”. Men, Marianne corrected herself silently, not kids. That was a hard one for her to get used to. She’s known them all since they themselves were about thirteen. Now they’re grown, having graduated high school with some starting college and will soon be on the road to becoming whatever it is each of them was destined for. She hoped she would always be around to see for herself. “Besides”, as Marianne continued talking to her daughter, “you’re the namesake and proprietor of 'Susie’s Snack Shack', remember? If you leave, who will be here to run it? People need their charbroiled hamburgers, you know?” Susie wasn’t buying it. “You will, Mom! Like always!”. Susie was gravitating away from meat anyway and the very thought of hamburgers, charbroiled or otherwise, was unappealing. Susie crossed her arms in defiance and turned her back to her mother. She was actually more disappointed at not seeing Murphy more than she was at not going to the concert, but she certainly wasn’t going to share that information her Mom. Of course, Marianne knew of her daughters crush—and although she thought Susie was a little young for such a thing, especially since Murphy was 10 years older than Susie, she didn’t mind that it was he who held her young daughters heart. Nor did she let on that she knew anything about it. Murphy was always kind to Susie, as they all were, and he especially would tread carefully being mindful to never encourage her nor be cruel. Both the O’Neil brothers were indeed kind. Seamus was the youngest of the two and really considered Susie quite like his own little sister. What Marianne did dislike was that Suzie no longer called her Mommy. She hated seeing her young daughter so unhappy. She bent slightly down to be eye level with her daughter and twirled a strand of Suzie’s red hair around her index finger that dangled next to her daughters tanned face. “I’ll tell you what, in two weeks there’s a John Lennon concert. What do you say I wrestle up tickets for you, me and all the boys? How does that sound?” With delight Susie screeched; “Oh, Mommy, thank you!!! Yes!!!!” Oh, now she calls me Mommy, Marianne thought as Susie went off to collect the red plastic trays and baskets from around the diner. Just then Vinny re-emerged from the bathroom. Marianne caught a quick glimpse of him as he rifled through the skateboard pile by the front door. “Okay, Susie and Marianne -- gotta run. See ya!” “Bye, Vinny—have fun” Susie called out, too busy to notice his new art work. Marianne noticed, though, and tried desperately to stop him; “Vinny! Wait! It’s the wrong…..” but by the time she came out from around the counter and out the front door, he was already gone. Well, he’ll find out soon enough and she wished she could be there to see the look on the others’ faces.
On Sunday’s Marianne always closed 'Susie’s' at 8:00. Marianne promised her daughter she would take her to the boardwalk for a slice of pizza and an ice cream cone. In the office in the back of the kitchen, Marianne finished the schedule for the next week then doled out the tips that are left in an old pickle jar on the counter to her loyal workers, Phineus and Gwyneth. The tips were never much but Finn and Gwen never complained. They were late getting to the concert themselves because of the dinner rush but they were good hearted about it and didn’t seem to mind too much. Everyone loved Marianne and would do anything for her. She was theirs and they were hers. Her kids. She looked at the black and white picture on the wall behind the counter of her late husband in his sailor uniform and asked; “Did you ever think we would have so many kids, Ron?”. “No. Me either.” she said to herself. But she wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Thanks to what Ron left her she was able to open up this little beach burger joint and not only earn a living for herself and their daughter, but give Susie “brothers and sisters”. Marianne looked around the place she and her daughter had 'built': red vinyl booths with fiberglass gold speckled tabletops, a few local beach snapshots she had taken were framed on the walls and the shack held one pinball machine. She even had a small patio outside. The diner was small and didn’t hold much but then again, she and Susie didn’t need much. It was enough for them.
Upstairs from The Shack were the living quarters; a small two bedroom apartment that overlooked the water. It was perfect for the two of them. Who needed a white picket fence when you had the ocean? It was convenient, too. When Susie didn’t feel like being downstairs keeping her Mom company or filling up salt and pepper shakers, she would go upstairs and play Atari, watch TV or read one of her teen magazines--usually when Murphy wasn't around. Wherever Susie was in the apartment, you can bet that “Elvis” wasn’t too far behind. Elvis was their cat, a Maine Coon who was once a stray. He’s as old as Susie is now but still lively and perfectly lovable with his thick striped coat of black and grey and congenial attitude.
One walked into their upstairs lair to find a small but airy living room—not too cluttered with knick-knacks. An oak wall unit stood against the one wall they had to put such things. On it sat a T.V., a stereo and Susie’s Atari game. On some of the shelves were pictures of Marianne and Susie and on the other sat large sea shells collected at flea markets and drift wood they found along the beach. Then there was Susie’s talent. She had a knack for turning little things like sea glass, shells and stones into beautiful pieces of artwork which Marianne displayed lovingly and proudly on the shelves. One shelf was just for Ron’s flag that was given to her by his commanding officer after he was killed in Vietnam. She was one of the lucky ones, she knew. Her husband at least came home to be buried. The flag was folded into a triangle at his memorial service which she had later encased in a wood and glass triangular frame. Next to it was the same picture she had of him that hung downstairs in the diner.
The vinyl sofa was grey and embossed with paisley's with throw pillows of avocado green, orange and gold adorning it. In front of the sofa was a brown rattan coffee table and two matching end tables next to each sofa arm—yard sale finds. On top of the coffee table sat a large conch shell and a smattering of magazines. On the wall above the oak wall unit displayed a macrame and bead wall hanging that Susie and Marianne worked on together. Behind the sofa were sliding glass doors that overlooked the ocean. Many evenings Marianne and Susie found themselves sitting on that small balcony in their yellow and orange flowered, plastic cushioned lawn chairs watching sailboats and making up stories about the people on those boats; who they were and where they were going. Some were from just down the coast west a bit, Palos Verdes peninsula area, perhaps going to Catalina Island for the weekend.
Others were from Orange County, where Marianne and Susie also lived, making their way to Hawaii they imagined. In the same room as the living room was a small dining area with an overhead light brass fixture that hung low. The table was made of a glass top with brass legs and four brass chairs with tan built-in cushions.
The kitchenette wasn’t much; it had a green counter which overlooked the living area and divided the dining room and kitchen. It housed a few cabinets, a two burner stove and a medium sized second hand avocado green fridge covered with sea shell magnets and pictures that Susie had drawn, sketched and/or colored. Yes, she had quite the talent.
To the right of the kitchen was a narrow hallway with wooden door beads of tan and blue dangling from its entrance. On the hallway walls hung Susie’s baby pictures and Ron and Marianne’s wedding and honeymoon photos. But Marianne’s favorite photo of all time was the one taken in May of 1966 of Ron and Susie, just right after Susie was born. Ron is holding Susie in his arms as he’s looking at her and Susie is looking at him. Marianne titled it; “Getting acquainted”.
Just down the hall on the left was the bathroom. The shower/bathtub was adorned with a blue and brown striped plastic shower curtain. Mounted on the bathroom wall were two plastic ringed towel holders that held blue and brown colored hand towels with embroidered owls. There was a mirrored medicine cabinet for toothpaste and such that hung over a single pedestal sink.
On the right side of the hall was a small linen closet and Susie’s bedroom was next to that. Her walls were bubblegum pink—which she’s now asking Marianne to paint another color. ANY color other than pink. Her bedspread is a pattern of rainbow colors with matching curtains. She has a white dresser with a mirror and a matching nightstand next to her bed. On her bed lie a few dolls that Marianne places there everyday, after Susie makes her bed, which she then always later removes and shoves in her closet.
Marianne’s bedroom was directly across the hall, next to the bathroom. Her room was only slightly bigger than Susie’s but enough for Suzie to beg her Mom to switch rooms. Marianne’s bed was a double, not a single like Susie’s, and covering it was a brown satin bedspread with matching throw pillows. Susie hated that her Mom got the bigger room and hated even more that her Mom couldn’t see she wasn’t a little girl anymore. In Susie’s rebellion, she took down the posters of the Cassidy brothers and put up Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith. Much to her surprise, her Mom didn’t seem to mind. Wasn’t it her Mom, after all, who highly approved of Seamus giving Susie Fleetwood Mac’s 'Rumours' album for her 12th birthday a few months earlier?
Even Susie must admit that when it came to music, her Mom hit all the right notes. It was Marianne who had connections to tickets for upcoming concerts —- a benefit of being a long time and well liked resident of Aigean Bay where they lived. Marianne knew who would be playing and where -- John Lennon would not be Susie’s first concert. She’d already seen Boston, E.L.O. and Peter Frampton. As much as Marianne wanted to incorporate music into Susie’s life, she also wanted shield Susie from the darker side of concert going. Susie was old enough to know that drugs sometimes played a role for those in attendance. Before and after each concert always came a lecture from Marianne.
Susie knew about marijuana and had even smelled it in the distance at some of the venues -- she knew it was simply part of the times. Of course, Susie had never tried it, nor did anyone dare offer it to her—especially with Marianne around. Susie knew some of the boys smoked it, too. She had seen them around the back, when she was taking out garbage, lighting up on more than one occasion -- and even they tried to protect her by shooing her away. She knew her Mom knew this about them, too, and that she would never say anything. They were adults, after all, and had their own parents for such lectures. The exception was whenever Susie went to the beach or somewhere with the boys. She’d overheard her Mom’s warning to them more than once: “That’s precious cargo so you all be careful what you do in front of her today or you’ll have me to deal with tomorrow.” Susie was not only well loved but well protected by all of them. She knew she would always be in good hands.

Monday, September 13, 2010

"MORE THAN A FEELING"



*Before you begin reading the following, please read my introductory post below this one.

PROLOGUE:

"HANDLE WITH CARE":

Susan paced while staring at the blank wall as she spoke on the phone: “No, he won’t be home from his trip until tomorrow. The girls really miss their Daddy.” Susan missed him, too. They weren’t used to being apart but she decided instead of moping about her husband's temporary absence, that she would instead use the time constructively to get their new house fixed up while he was gone. “Still have no idea what to do with this one wall”, she continued. “It’s driving me crazy! Any artistic capabilities and thoughts I may have had seem to have flown right out the window. I’m so tired of beige yet I just can’t seem to think of anything better to do with it.”

Susan hadn’t painted in ages, she realized. Not since her Mom…she quickly swatted the thought away knowing there was simply too much to be done. “Thanks, I’m gonna need it. Talk to you soon.” As she hung up the phone with her friend she caught a glimpse of herself in the beveled mirror she hung in the living room -- unsure of its permanence there. Right now, nothing in place was a sure or permanent thing as she continued to unpack. That mirror for one, especially. Now was not a good time or place for reflection. Susan was dressed casually in denim overall shorts with a white top and bare feet that were badly in need of a pedicure as she looked down at unpolished toenails. Her red hair was thrown up in a claw clip, just to get it off of her neck and face. Her face that she thought showed her age of 44. Her face that her husband loved for the very reasons she didn’t. While he found those little wrinkles on her forehead and around her brown eyes endearing, she found every wrinkle cream on the market that promised to make them disappear all together. “Why couldn’t I age like my mother?” she thought.

The sound of the twins' girlie voices out back squealing with delight -- as the cool water drops from the sprinklers hit their feet and legs -- snapped her back into the project that lie in front of her. They’ll soon be coming in wanting lunch, hungry from exerted energy and soaking up all that vitamin D. Susan decided she’d better seize the quiet opportunity of the girls being outside for the time being and proceeded to take a good, hard look around the room. Beige. Beige walls and beige boxes. Well, no better place or time to remedy this than right now. She turned on the stereo that was pre-set to her favorite classic rock station. The Sweets 'Fox On The Run' was channeling through; “I, I, I…don’t even know your name, ‘cause you don’t look the same, the way you did befoooore. Well, okay. You think you got a pretty face, but the rest of you is out of place…you looked alright befoooore…Fox on the run…”. Music was the thing she needed at this moment to propel and motivate her. Soon she would be so lost in the lyrics and rhythm of the songs on the radio that her mind would easily forget about the tasks and chores at hand being actual work and she would soon find herself just pummelling through...she hoped.

She opened her first box marked 'FRAGILE: HANDLE WITH CARE'. How appropriate, Susan thought. "Stay focused, Susan. Stay focused." The artist in her loved the sound of the box cutter sliding across the center where it had been sealed with packaging tape. She ripped it open listening to the ripping sound of the flaps giving way. A wave of emotion soon flooded her as she unwrapped a picture of herself with her mother, Marianne. The old newspaper that was around the frame was now torn and crumpled on the floor. Susan continued to look at the photo through emotional eyes that were now blurry with tears. She was twelve in this picture -- the same age her girls were now. Twelve was a good age, she recalled and -- thinking back now -- 1978 was a good year...

INTRODUCTORY POST


Hi, all--I'm Jo. This is my third active blog: I have a blog titled 'The End Of The Rainbow: Life After Bankruptcy' where I talk about our life after financial hardship in which I am open and honest about my continued struggles and the effect it has had on me and my clan.

I also have 'Rabbit Food: A Vegan Blog' in which I post tidbits, recipes and information about my life as a vegan in a meat and cheese loving world.

You can get to those blogs from my profile page (I also have blog buttons for each -- courtesy of my good friend 'Meeko' from 'Ramblings Of A Disgruntled Secretary' -- on my 'The End Of The Rainbow' blog sidebar).

Here, in 'Stranger Than Diction' -- inspired by my love of writing and my talented and good blog friend Steven Anthony's 'Lilly Swan' series -- I will write and post fiction.

*You can get to Meeko's blog as well as Steven Anthony's ('Life In The Fishbowl') from their blog buttons on my sidebar in my 'The End Of The Rainbow' blogs.

Great content -- even better friends.

After failing miserably and being universally rejected (to plagiarize a line from the film, 'Sideways') in trying to get my bankruptcy/blogging correlation published, I decided it's wasteful to have this energy -- and I suppose somewhat banal 'talent' -- just sitting there month after month in my computer files.

So, about a year or so ago I began writing a fictional story in the hopes that one day it would become a book.

It's still very much unfinished and in its first stages, but one I am nonetheless very proud to have thought of and written.

I very much look forward to its completion as well as your thoughts, dear readers.

Everyone I have showed it to thus far, is quite anxious to know what happens to these characters.

It is based loosely on myself, my parents, my husband, our interests, and most characters are based on my son, 'B' and his friends.

This story is not be taken as a 'memoir': It is simply bits and pieces of us -- and some of our interests -- weaved with my vivid imagination.

The story begins in late 1970's southern California in a beach community.

There are little facets of myself and my family -- and lots of rock and roll.

It's been a while since I've worked on this and have to admit, I've missed it, like one misses friends and family when you've been uprooted from all that is familiar.

I'm quite anxious and happy to be re-visiting my vision, my family.

The following post will begin the story titled; 'More Than A Feeling'.

Thank you for joining me on this new journey.

**Warning: Some content and language may be offensive.**

Peace, love and rock & roll,
~Jo