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Doing the Smart Thing – Blogophilia 9.10

It’s time again for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where Martien gives us cool prompts to use in our weekly blogs. This week’s prompts are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 9.10 Topic: Toll Free Calling

**BONUSES:

Hard (2 pts): Use a line from the band “Garbage”

Easy (1 pt): Mention a Skull

 

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted. I’ll catch y’all up later because today I have a short story! It’s not vampire related, just kind of fun:

Doing the Smart Thing

 

“No! Don’t go in there! There’s a killer in there! Don’t…You idiot!” Kathy threw popcorn at the television. Outside, thunder rumbled, and wind howled around her small house. Sandwiched in a neat row at the edge of town, she lived in a housing development that hadn’t panned out.

The movie broke off for a commercial – Get your ever sharp knives today! Toll free calling! – and Kathy stomped into the kitchen for a soda and a cookie. She needed that extra sugar to put up with the stupid heroine.

“Why don’t people in horror movies ever do the smart thing?” she asked the refrigerator. It didn’t answer, not that she expected it to. “It’s not realistic,” she added. “If I heard a noise, I wouldn’t go outside.”

As if fate was tempting her, something clanged in the backyard. She moved to the backdoor, and looked out the window. Rain drove into the glass. Beyond it, she could see the half built houses in the distance, abandoned two years ago. Like empty eye sockets, holes had been cut for windows, but no glass had ever been fit inside. There were only six houses that had been completed, and only four of those had sold. She had one, with the Berbers next door to her. They wouldn’t be bad, if they didn’t have six cats, two dogs, and an assortment of teenagers.

Another bang came. Instead of imitating the TV heroine and slipping outside into the rainy night to see what it was, she just locked the door.

“See? How easy was that? And in the morning, I’ll still be alive.”

The TV announced the movie’s return, so she grabbed her cookie and hurried back to the sofa. The scene picked up where it had left off; the killer stalked the unsuspecting heroine, an axe raised, ready to shop her head off…

“Turn around!” Kathy screamed at the character. “For crying out loud! Can’t you hear him? Are you deaf? He’s right behind you!”

There was a crash outside – probably the neighbors – but Kathy popped up to check that the front door was locked.  As she clicked the deadbolt, the girl on the TV turned. She gave a movie perfect scream. The camera closed in on her terror, and the killer swung the axe.

He missed.

“Run!” Kathy shouted as she took her seat again and grabbed the popcorn. “Run! No! Not out there! There’s a pit out there, remember? You and what’s-his-name dug it as a trap! You’re- Oh. There. She went and fell in it.”

Kathy threw her hands up in disgust. “You just did that so we can spend ten minutes watching you try to get out while he taunts you – yep. Look. There he is.”

As she’d predicted, the killer loomed over the hole.  The light hit his face, leaving his eyes shadowed. His voice was like gravel. “Poor little lamb. You fell in a hole. Never mind. I’ll help you.”

“You’ll kill me!” the TV girl sobbed.

“Of course,” he said. “But it won’t be the end for you. Something that you said will stay with me long after you’re dead and gone. It will be like-”

Suddenly everything went dark. The TV, the kitchen light, even the refrigerator wound down and dropped into silence. Kathy sat in the couch, clutching her popcorn and blinking.

“Damn it. Now I won’t know what happened.”

Disgusted, she felt her way to the phone to report the outage.  The automated system offered no sympathy to her irritation, but she left her address and the details.

“Probably the damn storm.”

There was no point in waiting for the power to come back – with only four occupied houses, they were the electric company’s last priority.

“Might as well go to bed,” she told the silent house. A rumble of thunder was her answer.

She went to the bathroom by candlelight and changed into her pajamas. The Berbers’ dogs started up, loud enough she could hear them over the rain.

“Oh great.” She checked the time. It was almost ten-thirty. “I guess it’s about time for their usual racket.” Stupidly, she’d hoped the storm would keep the mutts indoors like it had the teenagers.

She trooped to the bedroom with her candle. The barking continued; loud, ferocious. The dogs must be fighting.

Disgusted, she pulled a set of earplugs from her nightstand and popped them in. As the foam expanded, blessed silence fell. Earplugs were one of the best inventions. Without them she wouldn’t have gotten a wink of sleep. Not with the Berbers next door.

She thought about reading, but she wasn’t in the mood for the romance novel. Besides, an early night would do her good. She could use the extra sleep.

She blew the candle out and rolled over. As she closed her eyes, lightning sliced across the sky, throwing a shadow on her window – a shadow that went unseen. Screams came, but they went unheard, silenced by the foam of her earplugs.  A figure rattled her front door. Locked, it wasn’t worth messing with.

***

“Excuse me. You’re the neighbor, right? Were you home last night? Did you see or hear anything?”

Kathy looked at the reporter standing on her porch. The town was on fire today with the story; last night someone had butchered the Berbers. They’d started downstairs and swept through the house, hacking skulls open, leaving a trail of death that ended in the attic. That was where the two youngest Berbers had tried to hide. It did them no good.

Kathy had been turning last night over in her mind, looking for signs that her neighbors were being hacked to bits. “I heard a crash while I was in the kitchen, about ten o’clock.”

The newswoman looked excited and motioned the camera man, making sure he had the shot. “Did you check it out?”

“I looked out the door, but I didn’t see much because of the rain. There was a second crash, just a little bit later.”

“And?” the woman asked eagerly.

“Well, I didn’t want to miss anything, so I just locked the door. The killer had her in a hole.”

“You saw the killer?” The newswoman lit up. “Can you give us a description?”

“Oh no, no,” Kathy said quickly. “Not that killer. The one on TV. In the movie. I was watching-”

“Oh.” The woman frowned. “Did you actually see anything?”

“No. After the power went out, the Berbers’ dogs started a racket, so I put my earplugs in and went to bed.”

“That’s it?”

“Sorry,” Kathy said. “That’s it.”

The woman muttered and made a motion at the cameraman to cut. Then she turned to Kathy. “There were crashes, the power went out, and the dogs went hysterical, and you never thought to step outside and see what was going on?”

Kathy fixed her with a pointed stare. “Of course not. That’s how people get killed.”

“It’s also how people get on the news.” The woman motioned to her cameraman. “Come on, let’s get a shot of the house. At least that’s interesting.”

Kathy shook her head and let herself into her house. She might not be interesting, but at least she was still alive.

See, horror movie people, she thought. It can be done. It just doesn’t make a good story.

Trompe L’oeil

It’s time again for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where Marvin gives participants topics to use in their blog for the week. This week’s are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 4.10 Topic: “The Girl Can Rock!”
**BONUSES:
Hard (2 pts): Quote Darth Vader
Easy (1 pt): Mention ‘Trompe L’oeil’

 

I had to look Trompe L’oeil up. Apparently it’s when an artist creates the illusion of 3D with 2D objects, like that guy who draws those awesome chalk monsters on the sidewalk. I had no idea that had a name, but I guess I should have known. The art community is full of labels and names for every twibbly tiny thing. It drives me nuts because it’s all an elitist thing to show how artsy they are over everyone else… Though the world and social media in particular say to Give yourself to the Dark Side, I’ll leave that rant for another day. Not because the girl can rock, but because she’s too tired to rock. Ha ha!

Since y’all came here for something, here’s some photos for no reason.

 

 

 

Blogophilia Poem

It’s time for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where Marvin gives prompts to use in a weekly blog post. This week’s are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 3.10 Topic: Blue Skies
**BONUSES:
Hard (2 pts): Include a lyric from The Monkees
Easy (1 pt): Incorporate a game of Chess

Rather than lump this in with my thankfulness, I thought I’d whip something up:

Saturday’s Child,
I Wanna Be Free
,
Like the wind that blows through the field.

Clouds moving in,
Obscuring blue skies,
Light to the darkness must yield.

A quick game of chess,
Between life and death,
Searching for souls that are healed

At last golden sun,
Overcomes the night,
Hiding me behind its shield

So it seems freedom,
I already have,
behind my own gloom was concealed

But now I can see,
In the morning rays,
At last my joy revealed.

.

I dunno. It’s worth points at least.
Now to work on turtles.
Jo 🙂

Thankfulness #101: DONE!

It’s time again for Blogophilia, the awesome blog group where Martien gives participants prompts to use in weekly posts. This week’s prompts are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 2.10 Topic: Route 66
**BONUSES:
Hard (2 pts): Incorporate the “beast of Bodmin Moor” (aka Cat)
Easy (1 pt): Mention “free spirit”

I m also doing my thankfulness blog post coz, yeah, I roll that way, so first I have to say I am thankful because the 25 chapter rough draft of Goddess of Night is DONE! Of course, that doesn’t mean I get to be a free spirit now. Instead I get to reread it, poke in some scenes I thought of later, then edit until my fingers fall off, or until I get fed up and feed the manuscript to the beast of Bodmin Moor. Whichever.

But writing is the hardest part, I think, so at least that is done. And if things go well, there will be a standalone book coming next about a couple of characters who want to go on a rad trip to California. I don;t know if they’ll be taking Route 66 or not, but you never know. I am envisioning kind of a Thelma and Louise story with guys. Who are vampires. Oh, and without them going off a cliff at the end.

It could be fun.

But before I worry about that, I need to get this editing done, so I think I’ll go start at it.

Have a DONE kinda day!

Jo 🙂

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Blogophilia 1.10: A Visit with my Twin

It’s time again for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where Marvin gives prompts for participants to use in their blog. It is a lot of fun!

This week’s prompts are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 1.10 Topic: “First Love”
**BONUSES:
Hard (2 pts): Incorporate a Michael Jordan Quote
Easy (1 pt): Include the word “protected”

First, I need to address the elephant in the room. Yes, I have wandered away from one of my first loves this last week – blogging. I meant to post about my vacation while I was on it, but alas I just got too busy enjoying myself, and didn’t make it. Never fear, I plan to make it up now.

Second, I want to say that yes, I did see the post by my poor, misguided, (you might call him evil) twin Jonathan, but what can I say? Calling him evil would only make ME evil, so instead I must just sigh and shake my head sadly.

Now to the vacation! As I mentioned we went to visit my twin Jonathan:

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Any resemblance to Snidely Whiplash I am sure is coincidental*

The first day there we spent playing board games. Jonathan’s favorite games to play were games that only he knew how to play. I’m sure it’s because he wanted us to have new experiences, not because it guaranteed that he would win…


There was also a birthday party where he encouraged them to use a broom to beat a princess to death for candy…but that is just too gruesome to talk about *shudder*  Though  it’s best to  always turn a negative situation into a positive situation, so I will say that the candy was very tasty, and I’m sure he meant well…

The party was followed by more games, inducing one involving trains and train tracks…

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His version might have involved tying damsels to the tracks, but since he had company we had to play by the rules. Still, he managed to put his own touch to things:

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We also spent some time with his mother and his brothers. They were a lot of fun. I especially got a kick out of his mother’s stories. She is the kind of lady who will not be fooled by so-called appearances and clever blog posts.

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Though we had to get up in the morning, we stayed up pretty late, so the next morning he plied us with iced coffee – using the delicious raspberry white chocolate creamer that I can not get anywhere near me, for some reason. Of course having it there only makes me want the delicious, unattainable raspberry chocolateness even more…I’m sure he meant well though, and that he didn’t do it to be diabolical.

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Though it is February, which means it is cold in Iowa, it was warm in Pensacola:

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So my twin took us to the beach. Though I know he said the traffic came as a surprise, I think I saw him doing his villain laugh more than once as we were inching along. I’m sure refrains of “Gwahahahahah!” floated back to us. But never mind.

At least we made it to the beach!

Wasn’t it beautiful? Hubby got to do some swimming, and we did our Book Born live stream, though oddly we used my phone to do the live stream with. So later, when we went to pokemon, my phone battery died, and I wasn’t able to catch some of the super cool beach pokemon that Jonathan caught, but I’m sure he didn’t have that planned!

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(Even though I was not protected by sunscreen, I still did not really burn, thank goodness!)

After that we headed back to the home base where we played Smashup, another game we had no experience with but enjoyed, despite the disadvantage that I am sure Jonathan did not mean to use to his own advantage.

Sadly, the next day we had to head home. We did get a couple of games in, though:

We had a good trip home. My twin did encourage us to take a moment to check out a nature preserve in Mississippi where there are alligators. Of course, it turns out the alligators are not fenced in, and we could have been eaten, but I am sure he did not know that.

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He also helped talk us into going to Osceola Cheese where we nearly made ourselves sick on cheese samples, but again, I am sure he had no idea that would happen:

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And obviously we made it home, back to good old Iowa weather:

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You might almost say that the snow and cold seem worse now than they would have had we not gone on vacation. I mean, we were at least used to it, but then we got used to flip flops and warm sandy beaches, and now we have to contend with this…you could almost say it was some kind of diabolical plan, designed to make the winter seem even crueler…but I’m sure that’s not the case. I mean, only someone evil would think of something like that!

Right?

Have a “thinking the best of your evil twin” kind of day!

Blogophilia Ten Year Anniversary

It is the ten year anniversary of the blog group Blogophilia that started back on MySpace. I used to participate religiously and have since fallen off and on again, but I always mean to go back. Anyway, for fun I thought it would be fun to repost the very first blog I ever wrote for it.

September 24, 2009 – Thursday 1:42 AM

Blogophilia 30.2 – The Pub Scene
Current mood:  busy
Category: Writing and Poetry
So, I’ve read some of the Blogophilia posts before – Bobbi, Colleen, Crazy PJ’s etc, and I’ve considered giving it a shot before, but always put it off. However, DJ Myke very sweetly sent me an invite so I am going to give it a whirl this week 🙂

If you have no idea what Blogophilia is, then you want to check it out as it seems to be a lot of fun!

All right, on to it then.

Blogophilia 30.2 Topic: Get Me Off This Crazy Thing

Bonus points
(hard, 2 points): mention a comedy of errors
(easy, 1 point): incorporate an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie

The Pub Scene
The music was loud and I couldn’t understand the lyrics. I wouldn’t even swear they were English.  They could have been Portuguese – or Syrian. Wait, is that even a language? Oh well, either way they didn’t make sense.

Teddy, my best friend, grinned and asked drunkenly, “Aren’t you having fun?” We both knew from the expression on my face that it was a rhetorical question, so he asked another, “That Genevieve sure is hot, huh?”

“I guess, if you like the too-good-to-talk to you kind,” I murmured with no real enthusiasm.  Still, my eyes flicked across the seedy little pub and found her among her circle of “better people”.  That’s where she always was.  Every weekend you could find her at one place or another with her giggling, overtly feminine friends and a crowd of blokes all chomping at the bit to get a chance at her. None of them ever did, though. But, with her black hair, dark eyes, perfect skin and curvy figure that was her prerogative, I suppose. Not that I noticed those attributes myself. Okay, fine, I did.  She wasn’t bad looking. However, I wasn’t going to concede the point right then, nor point out that he’d been trying to get her for well over a year.  I had other things to complain about.

“I can’t believe you talked me into coming. Do you realize I could be at the movies?’

Teddy snickered and took a swig of beer. “Oh come on.  This is cooler than some fantasy geek fest movie made for losers”

“Losers?” I demanded. “I’ll have you know that nothing is cooler than bloody Conan the Destroyer?!? Especially not this – this –“ I broke off in frustration and shouted, “What is this music anyway?”

“Uh…” Teddy had to look around for a sign or something. “Comedy of Errors,” he declared triumphantly.

“Never heard of them.”

He grinned and suddenly turned into one of those annoying know it alls. “That’s because they’re new, you twonk. They’re from Glasgow, aren’t they? And I think they’re bloody brilliant.”

“Glasgow? Explains why they sound foreign then, doesn’t it?” Before he could launch into any further details – no doubt rehearsed so he could try to impress the ever unimpress-able Genevieve  –  I made some stupid excuse and hurried off through the crowd in the direction of the loo.

When I was sure Teddy wasn’t watching me anymore, I turned a sharp right and headed straight out the front door.  It was cool out tonight, but not cold, and I was resigned to wait out there until my ride, Teddy, decided to go home.

I dropped onto a bench and lit a fag. I could still hear the music pulsing from inside. It rumbled through the bench and the wall like a living heartbeat. What a wonderful way to spend a ruddy Saturday night: sitting outside the damned pub waiting for Teddy to get rejected.

I was on my third smoke when the door opened. I looked up hopefully, but it was just the beauty queen Genevieve.  She walked a few steps then stood in the middle of the sidewalk uncertainly.  I waited for her usual entourage to appear and guide her to the next destination, but they didn’t show.

She finally looked towards me.  She blinked thoughtfully as she took in my untidy hair and – what I thought was very fashionable – outfit. Okay, it wasn’t the height of 1984 garb, but it would have been really cool in 1982. I was pretty close. That had to be worth some bonus points.

She stepped towards me, then stopped again, uncertainly. “Hey, you’re that bloke Teddy’s mate, right?”

“Sometimes,” I agreed. “When he’s not being a royal ass and making me miss Conan.”

Her dark eyes lit up. “You mean the new Conan the Barbarian movie?”

I was too stunned to speak, but she rushed on, “I wanted to go see that tonight but everyone wanted to come here.” She frowned.  “It’s the same old thing every weekend. Just a lot of loud music and everyone getting pissed.  It was fun a couple years ago but I’m over it now.”

I found myself nodding along to her. “Yes, exactly. It’s like we’re still in school or something. “

“And they’re all alike,” she continued. “Every blasted one of them. All big shoulders, no brains and want their hands in your knickers.” She suddenly jabbed an accusing finger at me. “Your mate Teddy’s like that.”

I held up my hands innocently. “I already told you, he’s nothing to do with me so long as he’s being an ass.”

“Then I can’t imagine how you’re ever friends.”

I tugged out another fag and lit it. “He’s okay on the weekdays. It’s just when he gets sloshed.”

She nodded vaguely and looked off into the distance, as though she had somewhere else to be. I can’t say that was surprising. No doubt Genevieve, the Saturday night queen, had a lot of other places to go.

She looked back at me, opened her mouth, closed it and then opened it again. She repeated the performance so that she looked like a ventriloquist dummy in a fit. Finally she spit the words out. “I don’t suppose you wanna go somewhere else?”

My eyebrow arched suspiciously of its own accord. It was really kind of sad that Genevieve the most wanted had to settle for getting a ride from me. “No car,” I offered with spread hands.

“Never mind,” she mumbled, and I settled back into a smug, self satisfied posture.  I wasn’t the kind of sucker she was used to. I wasn’t going to fall for her little “I’m so pretty game“.

She turned back to me, her face determined. “I’ve got one.” Suddenly her hands were on her hips. “This is your last chance. I have no intention of spending another Saturday surrounded by a bunch of stupid, drunk pillocks, but if that’s what you want to do then be my guest. Otherwise get off your ass! If we hurry we can just make the late showing!”

My cigarette fell out of my gaping mouth and landed in my lap. I only noticed when the cherry burnt through my pants into my leg.  Of course I jumped up like an idiot and proceeded to do the “I’m on fire” dance while I beat the scorched spot uselessly.

Genevieve giggled, but it wasn’t the “oh you’re so stupid” laughter I expected from her. It was more genuine amusement. I couldn’t help but smirk in self depreciating humor as I met her eyes and tried to sound like I had half a brain. “Sure. Yeah, I mean, that would be great-“ I realized I was babbling and broke off abruptly.

“Good. Come on,” and with those words she grabbed my arm and physically dragged me after her.  She had a little car, but that didn’t stop me from folding myself into the passenger seat and pretending that it was the best ride I’d ever had. Hell, maybe it was. And maybe that was the best Conan movie they ever made. Or maybe it was just the best company I’d ever had. After all, it wasn’t everyday that someone like me got to go to the movies with Genevieve, the social queen of the pub circuit. And it certainly wasn’t every day that I got to slink into the flat I shared with Teddy at six in the morning, looking sheepish and refusing to say where I’d been.

Though after that night it did become a reoccurring occurrence. That is until I moved in with Genevieve the secret geek and the prettiest master of Dungeons and Dragons that ever graced a living room.

Call us sentimental, but we just had to get Comedy of Errors to play at our wedding.

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

And that’s it for now.

Song playing at the moment – “Soft Skeletons” – Anberlin

(PS- Comedy of Errors is a real band – I HAD to use them after i found that 😉 – here’s their website!    )

 

Work on the House

It’s time again for Blogophilia, the fun blog group where Martien gives us prompts to use in our blogs. This week’s are:

Ecrits Blogophilia Week 30.9 Topic: Dark of Night
Bonuses:
Hard (2 pts): Incorporate a lyric by “The Talking Heads”
Easy (1 pt): Include a Shakespearean character

I don’t remember if I blogged it or not (I know I’ve been bad about it!) but after discovering that we were all afraid of heights, we found some local painters who would paint our house – including supplies – for less than what we had planned it would take for us to do it ourselves (we needed to buy or rent equipment, such as scaffolding), so we agreed immediately and have since been saving up.

The plan is to have it painted all one color this year, then have them return next year for the trim. They were willing to do both this year, but our budget just wouldn’t stretch the extra 400$. Anyway, here are the colors we’ve picked, light blue for the main part, and the darker colors for the trim.

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Anyway, after months of saving, scrimping, starving, and dodging impatient bill collectors (not really, but it’s come close!) the time is here, the money is paid, and work is beginning!  In fact, they came on Friday and power washed the house:

Over the weekend, I pushed and finally, finally, after almost two years, we agreed to get the new doors put in, you know, since the house was going to be all redone. What doors? The doors we bought in March of 2015. 

Anyway, so my uncle came down to help. Of course, the first thing we had to do was take out the old doors.

Once the old doors were out, we moved them out of the way so we could get the new doors onto the deck. We leaned the old set carefully against the garage…

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And then moved the new doors carefully past them and onto the porch. As we were putting them in place, there was a gust of wind and a crash…

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Yep. So much for selling those now.

So, while the men worked on the installation…

06

I vacuumed the yard.

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Eventually all the glass was gone, and the new doors were put in!

Ta-dah!!

Today, the painters returned, and started painting. They got the street side done, and have started on the front:

To quote the Talking Heads, “And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?” Or hopefully you will when the house is done.

It felt weird to sit in the house all day, working on the laptop, while someone else did the work outside. It was a bit like being King Henry V. If only someone had brought me some wine…

And now it’s thundering, so I doubt we’ll get any more paint on the house tomorrow – BOO! I am glad, though that we went pokemoning early tonight. The brother and I usually go after midnight, slinking through the dark of night. With the cloudy sky, I got a fun shot of the axe murder house tonight:

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Oh. And now it’s raining. *sigh* Good thing the brother and I stuck the gutter back on today.

Have a “getting your house painted” kind of day

Jo 🙂

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