Category Archives: Creative Writing

Book Review: Alex the Fey Series

Usually it’s hard for me to pick a book to review, because my tastes are so varied. I’ll read anything if it’s well-read. No genre is off-limits. I found Claudia Hall Christian’s series a long time ago, and I probably read the first book because it was free. I was so hooked I immediately bought the whole rest of the series. I’ve probably read it four times now. It’s a fast-paced read that always gives me strength. It’s a thriller, but the threads that tie all the characters and plotlines together are love, family, and true friendship. Every time I read it I feel a little stronger. And when I read it this last time I got a surprise – there were two more books in the series since I’d last read it! It was like Christmas morning! When my favorite authors release a new book I’m like a honey-badger. Nothing is coming between me and that book until it’s done! And the latest two are just as good as all her previous ones. This is the first one, the one to start with. It does help to read them in order, because there are a lot of characters and it’s easy to get them confused if you don’t know their backstory.

It’s still free! I happened to look at the date I first downloaded it when I went to Amazon to get the link. It was January 28, 2011. That was about a week after my HR director called my home number and didn’t get an answer, so she called my cell phone while I was in Kroger with my son to tell me if I didn’t show up for work at 4:30 a.m. the next day I would no longer have a job. I knew it was coming, I knew my FMLA was up, but my pain hadn’t improved at all with the two neurosurgeries I’d had within a month. But I’ll never forget how cheerful she sounded, as if she was truly enjoying ending my employment with a company I’d worked for the past twenty years; and that she couldn’t be compassionate enough to wait and try me at home again fifteen minutes later so I’d have some privacy. I’d gone out to get milk, and brought my son to lift it because I couldn’t. I couldn’t return to work because of pain. Where would I be, out for a run? So I’m glad I found the character Alex Hargreaves to remind me that things can always be worse, and that it’s important to know who your friends are and to keep them close.

Drop by Mama Kat’s Writers’ Workshop if you have time on Thanksgiving. You’ll always find great posts there!

My Halloween Costume


I’m totally stealing this graphic from Mama Kat. Go to her site and see what everyone has linked up. Theirs will be much more sane and upbeat than mine. I’m writing for me tonight, and if you’d like to read, that’s fine.

I’m dressed up as me for Halloween. Not the me everyone sees, but the me inside. I’ll have a vice clamped to the back of my neck, and the hilt of a chef’s knife sticking out between my shoulder blades. My lower back will be bruised and bloody, with my mangled vertebrae poking through. My hair will be a long, loose mess, because I can’t even wash it or comb it without my hands going numb. The clip or sock-bun people usually see – something they’d be embarrassed to go to Walmart in – is the best I can do, and probably took a couple of thirty-minute lie-downs with an ice pack to get through.

My skin is covered with scars. They are all words people have said to me, or about me. They burned at the time, no matter how long ago, and the scars won’t fade. Some are the little white lies people told to avoid me when I wasn’t of any use to them anymore. If you want to know who your true friends are lose your job, your health, your looks, and your endurance. Those few people who will still take ten seconds to text you back are still your friends. But then ask a favor – ask to talk to them about something you’re really excited about, something that has changed your life. They’re really not interested.

Then there are the wounds that won’t heal. They are burned deep into the muscle, but can still be read through the swelling and the black, necrotic tissue. DENIED, DENIED, DENIED on the tender undersides of my arms. BANKRUPT just below my collarbone, on the thin skin of my chest. That flash of white is my sternum. FORECLOSURE is much smaller, just over my hipbone. I can still hide it for now.

But I’m wearing my boots, and my head is held high. My fake smile is gone, and the nice manners with it. My eyes are cold and feral as a wolf’s. I’m damaged, but the anger inside me burns hot. I can and will take on any challenge to my family. Blood may spill, but never enough of mine that I’m not here for the next fight.

College Classes I Wish I’d Taken


— 1 —

I got my Bachelor of Science on Nursing in four years, which was no mean feat considering the College changed its requirements after my Freshman year and I had to carry 18-21 hours per semester while working part-time during school and full-time in the Summer. Electives couldn’t just be “something I wanted to learn”. They had to either not require a textbook, not require attendance, or be something I already knew. Hence Military Science and Greek and Roman Mythology.

— 2 —

I really wanted to take an Architecture class. After earning a “B” in the one semester of high school Physics I endured I knew it wasn’t a good idea for the population in general for me to major in Architecture, but I wanted to know more about it. The closest I get is on HGTV.

— 3 —

Anthropology. That’s some fascinating information. I wonder if there’s someplace I could find slightly outdated Anthropology textbooks cheap? I’d stay up all night reading them! But I was going to college for the sole purpose of getting a dependable job, so Anthropology was out.

— 4 —

Comparative Religion. I soak up information about other religious beliefs, practices, and customs like a sponge. I guess that goes along with Anthropology, though. I just like learning about people and cultures. Actually, in this day and age I think this should be a mandatory requirement for graduation, no matter what your major.

— 5 —

Speaking of mandatory classes, why doesn’t everyone have to take a basic Marketing class? What is the first thing you do after you graduate? Market yourself. Whether it’s for a job or a graduate program. And then we market ourselves for the rest of our lives. You’re marketing and branding yourself constantly, with every interaction.

— 6 —

Art History is one I probably should have braved. I don’t have any real talent of my own, but I have a wannabe’s fascination with detail, so it probably wouldn’t have been too much of a challenge. In fact, it could have saved me the torture of Astronomy 101 and 102, each offered only right after lunch. Dark room + full tummy = nap time.

— 7 —

¬†Italian. A foreign language wasn’t required for a BS degree back then. Evidently it is now. I took Latin and French in high school, so I’d have probably have taken Latin if pushed, especially since my Latin teacher was a sadist and I still wake up conjugating verbs in my sleep. But knowing Italian would have given me a tiny bit more hope of my dream vacation in Italy. Don’t many colleges let senior citizens audit classes for free? Maybe someday I’ll be able to do that! First one? Creative Writing, of course!

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...