Wednesday, June 29, 2016

for Friday

I will have something up ficlet-wise for Friday! Stick around and see. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

rainy Sunday

It is an off-and-on rain here today, which sort of fits. The news is full of horrible, sad news and it is hard to not become emotional. So, I'm trying to keep things quiet here, and enjoy the company I have, and concentrate on the things I can do around here.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Free Fiction: Chips, Dip, and a Bottle of Wine

"What should we bring for the cook-out?" Billy asked.

"Cook-out?" Hank stopped reading the newspaper on his tablet and looked up. "What cook-out?"

"You know. The one for Desiree and Harmony. Their five year anniversary, or something. Or four year? Doesn't Harmony only like even numbers? I remember her saying something about detesting anything ending in a 5 or a zero. She nearly bit my head off last year when I asked her if she enjoyed the town's bicentennial parade." Billy leaned on the kitchen counter and moved the salt and pepper shakers from the left side to the right side. Then he frowned at them and moved them back. "Can't we put these things on the table? Do we need to have them on the counter? They're always in the way over here when I want to put salt on my food."

"No. They get knocked over on the table." Hank kept his voice bland, and he did not bring up that Billy was always the one knocking them over. He liked to make dramatic gestures and when he got really swept up in a topic, nothing was safe. Hank also did not bring up that Billy needed to reduce the amount of salt that he shook onto his food. Making him get up and walk for it was a small way to help reduce Billy's exorbitant sodium intake. "Get back to the cook-out. When is it?"

"Two o'clock, I think." Billy shrugged. "But we don't have to be there right at two. It's a cook-out. We can go late."

"You mean today? Today at two?"

"Of course. Why else would I mention it?"

"And it's an anniversary cook-out?"


Hank resisted the urge to scream and shout. "Did we get an invitation? Or did they tell you?" He couldn't remember getting any notice at all. Of course, Desiree and Harmony were Billy's friends, not really Hank's. Hank knew them a little, because of events like this, but he hadn't gone to school with them, not like Billy had.

"Harmony sent me an e-mail a while back. She said it was low key. Come as you are."

"Can I see the e-mail?"

"I think I deleted it."

"Of course you did." Hank looked at the clock. With an hour to go, there weren't a lot of options. He didn't have time to really make anything. Even putting a salad together involved time for chopping. And in this instance, shopping. Hank had planned to grocery shop later that evening, when the store wouldn't be so crowded. Now that plan was out the window. Hank walked over to check out the pantry. Pasta salad wouldn't be cold enough in time, and he didn't have any vegetables to put in it anyway. He could make it mayonnaise based, but there wasn't enough mayonnaise in the fridge. Hank considered several other options and then sighed.

"What is it?" Billy asked. He'd moved the salt and pepper shakers to the table.

"We'll have to go to the store on our way. Pick up some chips, dip, and a bottle of wine to give as a gift."

Billy laughed. "We always do that!"

Hank raised an eyebrow. Fully half of the time the invites came from Billy's friends and family, and they contacted Billy directly. The rest of the time, Hank's friends and family send him notice of their special events. In general, Hank kept much better track of upcoming social gatherings.

Acknowledging the fact that they did indeed bring a lot of chips and dip to parties, Hank said, "At least half the time, we do." Then, because he loved Billy and knew he couldn't change him, he let it go. Once again.


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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

something new that's quite good

Usually I don't like change -- I like a lot of things the way they are -- which isn't always a good thing. I need to learn to adapt better.

And usually, when websites change, I am the grumpiest of grumps. But Dreamspinner recently changed their website, and while it was good before, now it is really good. It's easy on the eyes, and navigation is pretty darn easy too. An unexpected delight!

Go, enjoy! Obviously some code writers were working long shifts during the dark hours of the night.

could a day be any more gorgeous?

Today is a perfect temperature (for me, anyway), with sunshine and a gentle breeze (the bugs are blown away), and blue skies with some distant clouds. Everything smells fresh and clean from the rain earlier, which has made all the green things vibrant in their greenness. This really is one of those rare, amazing days where you just want to soak it all up.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

too much tennis

I played tennis yesterday for the first time this season (I am a terrible player, the goal is just to get it back over the net, bounces and where it lands are not considered) and today i woke up with a slight pain in my foot. I'm sure it is just overdoing it yesterday, but it is a reminder that I'm older than I feel like on the inside. Of course, it could also be that with the good weather lately (excepting the rain, of course) I've been far more active than I was when things were not so pleasant. I might be overdoing it this whole week, not just yesterday.

I would say, this is a sign I should stay home on my couch and do some writing! Except...the siren call of being outside is too strong this time of year. I'll huddle in my air conditioned room in July when there's no point in going outside unless I want to fry to a crisp. And of course, I keep having good ideas for stories when I'm out exercising -- and I am jotting them down. Come July, I'll be glad to have them.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

hey, party peoples

It is an absolutely gorgeous day today, so any thoughts of spending it inside or sitting down writing are just going to need to wait until tomorrow when it is supposed to start raining for the next fortnight. Go forth and enjoy your Saturday! I'm headed out to do the same. I see some serious gardening in my future this afternoon and a really long walk with the dog. Catch you all when the storm clouds gather and I'm inside again!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Free Fiction: Constancy

Aaron hardly ever said the words 'I love you', but his love was evident in everything he did. Even if sweet words of adoration never dropped from Aaron's lips, his actions spoke louder than mere words could ever have sounded.

The love was there when Aaron woke twenty minutes earlier than Riley almost every morning to put the coffee on so it would be piping hot by the time Riley climbed out of the shower. The love was there when the fridge was perpetually stocked with cream and the sugar jar filled to the brim.

Riley fell asleep with Aaron's warm body next to him, and covered in the love that was the drudgery of making sure the sheets were washed and changed out every week. The fresh scent of drying out on the line lulled Riley to sleep, keeping away anything but dreams of cool mornings and open fields of flowers.

It was in the silent way Aaron would crawl out of bed to deal with their dog, either snoring too loudly or needing to go outside in the middle of the night. And in the way he made sure that the dog went to the bathroom in the morning even before he'd started brushing his own teeth and combing his own hair.

Aaron's constancy was ever present in tasks large and small. The toilet paper roll was always changed promptly. The ice trays were always refilled. The oil changes for the cars scheduled, bills paid on time, and spills immediately mopped up from kitchen counters. If Riley came home late, the lights were on to welcome him home and snacks were waiting on the counter.

Favorite foods, wines, and desserts stayed ever stocked. Trips to the grocery store were more like an a date night than a chore, and Riley never tired of seeing Aaron pluck out a longed for treat, or sometimes an entirely untried product. Unusually flavored teas, cookies and crackers of local origins, and any previously undiscovered sauce went straight into the basket, to be tasted and judged.

No birthday or anniversary escaped Aaron's keen record keeping, and sometimes small gifts popped up on random days in-between.

Riley felt cherished, and returned that love with all his might, saying the words he so seldom heard himself. He showered kisses onto Aaron's face and hands, taking the time to kiss every knuckle. Each time, Aaron would hum and tuck his chin, a tinge of blush crossing his cheeks. Then he'd busy himself, making plans for projects and lists of things to be done, and Riley would know that he was loved back. It was in the constant attentiveness to their lives.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

snakes in the garden

I got a big surprise this past week when I went to work in my garden. I needed to move a few rocks out of the way, and found not one, not two, but three garter snakes hiding out under the rocks. I don't mind them being around the garden at all -- I just don't want them actually living *in* the garden. So their rock pile has been moved to another location, which I hope they find suitable. I am still recovering from the shock of unexpectedly coming across my surprise new neighbors.


And I'll have up a short ficlet for this Friday. I know there's a lot of "show, don't tell" advice, and it is fabulous advice. But sometimes, I want to go the tell route. For a ficlet this small, it works out very well, gives a somewhat dreamy sort of vibe to the piece.