It’s a WRAP. Cut….

…fade into black (a starry night)….

Happy New Year!

2009. –Time really does go faster when you are having fun! And yet, some things seem a lifetime ago!

Over all, the year was a good one for me. I hope it was for you, too!

I actually accomplished some of my—well, I wouldn’t call them exactly resolutions—but some of the goals I had set for myself.

I have started to become a bit more serious about the photography; got my website up and running. (www.rteest42.smugmug.com)

I actually started, finished and entered a quilt into a challenge! (didn’t make it, but I entered!!)

I finished writing my fan fiction story, started in 2007; 178,000-ish words later, The Big Chill got its Happily Ever After.

We traveled, and I met new cousins and caught up with old friends…

(You will note the eat less chocolate/exercise more types of ‘resolutions’ are not featured here, nor will they be in the future, lol!!)

This new year, I would like to get back to writing, I would like to FINISH some of the over 35 quilt projects I have started, I would like to concentrate more on genealogy, and cataloging/scanning family photos. As well as take more photos, sell more photos, and organize the house, the studio specifically, and probably do some more cooking, and spend more time with friends and family and and and and….

None are really resolutions, because they only seem to put undue pressure on you, and untold, unnecessary guilt, when you are unable to hold to it…

And that seems a pretty negative way to start a new decade!

Balance. My word of the year…..

I hope that 2010 brings you only the best of everything!!!

(and I am headed to bed…work awaits at 7:30 am….)

The Fat Lady Has Sung

The Fat Lady has sung!

Just over two years have been given over to my latest project—a fictional piece I wrote….

If you’ve been a faithful reader of my blog (you HAVEN’T?? for SHAME!!!) then you know I enjoy writing something called Fan Fiction. A few years back I started writing a story because I was frustrated at having to wait almost a year to find out what Janet Evanovich was going to do with her characters in the Stephanie Plum series. Turns out it was a wise move on my part; I’m not at all fond of the direction she’s gone.

In any event, I enjoyed the experience. The working out a plot, developing characters over and above the ones she provided, and even giving more history to her characters themselves.

It also has provided me the opportunity to write fiction, with the small crutch of a map, if you will. Starting from scratch, staring at the blank page (screen) is scary enough even when you know the names and histories of some of the characters. I found that having that road map gave me the ability to meander, wander if you will, look for alternate paths. I discovered new characters waiting to join the story; I discovered that the characters I thought I knew had far more layers than we had been permitted to see.

After the first story, Geometry Lessons, I was crowned Queen of Angst by the readers of the various sites I post on. I don’t write like Janet Evanovich. I got deep into the nitty-gritty, and my characters had flaws. They had real-life adult experiences; and they had potty mouths.

I hadn’t planned on continuing. But, another story developed in my head, with nary the smallest permission from me. It was a CD I listened to, The Big Chill soundtrack. I kept hearing in the lyrics the three main characters of the Plum books.

I decided to go with it. I would write a short story for each song that worked. Ignore the songs that didn’t work. It would be a lark. They didn’t have to become one story- it would be more of an anthology. That idea lasted for a short time. The songs wove themselves together, and the story The Big Chill is long, complex, and FINISHED now. (It was interrupted midway through by a throwaway line I heard one of the characters mutter. It didn’t fit in the story I was writing, but it pestered me till I gave it its own story, Why So Twitchy, Babe?)

I would love it if you read some of my work. If you do, remember two things….One, I don’t mince words, thoughts or actions. Two, REVIEW!!! Let me know what you think!

The next step I suppose, is to start out fresh, with only my imagination as a guide, and create an entirely new world.

Yikes. Maybe Janet Evanovich will provide more fodder for me in June!

What I am Reading Right Now..

Reading has always been an important part of my life. I can recall fondly sitting in bed late at night as a little girl, with a book about Jesus as a boy. It had him learning to walk, and a pillow tied to his bottom to keep him hurting himself when falling. It was liberally illustrated and someday I will look for the title, if only to prove I am not making it up!! (If YOU know the book, do tell!!)

 

My favorite story book was Pickles the Fire Cat, and the Magic Fish. I loved Harold and the Purple Crayon, and Little House on the Prairie, and Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew and ….

 

My tastes have changed some since then, but reading is still an integral part of my life. I go the gamut, from flossy historical romance yarns about frivolous heroines to far more literary options such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  One of my favorites of all time would be Douglas Adams Hitchhiker series, all 5 parts of the trilogy.

 

 

I got hooked on Stephanie Plum a few summers ago, totally not the thing I would lean toward, as the books were THIN. I am not much for thin books. I love a hefty 1000 pager any day. But, hooked I was, and after devouring the 12 that were existent, I found that I was unsatisfied with the lack of ending and thus began my journey into Fan Fiction (you can read more about THAT here)

 

 

But I decided last month, to revisit the Outlander series, by Diana Gabaldon. I read them once about three years ago. And I am so very deeply immersed in them (up to book five, The Fiery Cross, at the moment) that I dream Jamie and Claire. Really. Here we have SIX books, over 1000 pages a piece!!! Heaven!!! And a writer who has made everything so incredibly real that my mind can not turn off!

 

 

I have tried to explain to my husband, who thinks it very humorous indeed, that when get caught up in a book, I lose track of time. And I lose the ability to put the book down, for fear of missing something. You can ask Arlie about that. How many dinners were late because my nose was in a novel??

 

 

This is so humorous to Timmy that he tells it to people, embellishing to the point of me sounding slightly weird. He sees it almost as I believe that the book is a TV show, and I don’t have my VCR on. But that isn’t at all what I mean.

 

 

Surely one of you out there understands?? Surely someone can appreciate being so deeply involved in Ann Rice’s The Witching Hour that you would need to pull over on the road to finish the chapter that you had to put down before you were ready??

 

Support me here folks!!!

Sorry, no pictures to go along with this post…. And please, do respond!! I would love to know that people actually READ here!!!

 

 

 

 

 

THE BIG CHILL…Chapter One, Strangers in the Night

This my Second FAN FICTION effort.  The characters belong to Janet Evanovich,from her Stephanie Plum series of books, if you recognize them. This is an alternate reality / and
Plum universe short series, (maybe), based loosely on the soundtrack for the movie the Big Chill. (but it has nothing at all to do with the movie!)

Strangers in the night exchanging glances
Wond’ring in the night
What were the chances we’d be sharing love
Before the night was through.
Something in your eyes was so inviting,
Something in your smile was so exciting,
Something in my heart,
Told me I must have you.
Strangers in the night, two lonely people
We were strangers in the night
Up to the moment
When we said our first hello.
Little did we know
Love was just a glance away,
A warm embracing dance away and –
Ever since that night we’ve been together.
Lovers at first sight, in love forever.
It turned out so right,
For strangers in the night.
Charles Singleton and Eddie SnyderI skid to a stop at the curb of the Performing Arts Center, and swung the door to my black Jag open. The valet, a bow tied kid of maybe twenty or so couldn’t wipe the drool from his mouth fast enough as I slipped myself from the car and handed him my keys. I walked around to the passenger door, and played the gallant knight, opening the door and holding out my hand to
Marina.  She could always stop traffic,
Marina could; and tonight was no exception.
 
It was almost nine pm; the sun had only just gone down on this, the first day of summer. We were here for The Summer Solstice Gala, whatever the hell that was supposed to mean. The night air was sultry; it hung heavy and thick. No surprise there, humidity and
New Jersey go hand in hand. You would of course never know this by looking at
Marina. She took my hand, smiled up at me, and swung her legs out in a graceful movement. The slit up the side of her skirt was almost indecent.
 Her gown was the color of the sunset, with a flaming orange skirt that slowly turned fiery red by the time it reached the top of the plunging neckline which was edged with glittering crystals. She looked crisp, and sparkling; cool and collected, as always. It was no surprise to me that she was one of the best neurosurgeons in the tri-state area.  

No, truth be told, she looked hot, on fire; but I guess she knew that too, based on the confident smile she boasted. Her hair was piled high, in some type of knot, that looked artful and happenstance all at once. I knew she had spent at least an hour having it arranged just so. Her skin was glowing and tanned, as if she needed enhancement to her rich mocha colored skin. With her make-up done as it was she looked exotic and alluring; as far away from the seriousness and precision of an operating room as one could get. My tuxedo, on the other hand, felt like a sweat drenched rag. I hated the thing on a cool night; dressing up wasn’t really my idea of fun. But I had promised I would escort her, as I was proud of her accomplishments, loved her for all she was worth and was, by all accounts, stuck in
Trenton for another six weeks.
 

She took the arm I offered her, and squeezed it with gratitude.  I knew we made quite the couple as we approached the entrance to the ballroom. We had been this route before, Marina and I, and we knew the roles we played. Neither of us cared for the game, but we played it well; too often for my taste, but we were successful. And that, she would remind me in the morning, as I regaled to her the horrors of the night just past, is how the game is played, little brother.  The music was too loud, and the scents of extravagant floral displays and too many perfumes competed with the distasteful aroma of another rubber chicken meal.  The room was overfilled with patrons of the arts, matronly woman trolling the tables for men like me; (my sister called me eye candy!) philanthropists and the hoi-polloi. 


Marina was whisked away by someone from the hospital almost immediately. She was off to do her thing, and chat it up with strangers; laughing and making it seem like it was their own idea to hand over a generous check to the Center for Brain Studies. She was good at this; this schmoozing, stupid bullshit. Ask the damn man to donate the money and save us from nights like these, I groaned. 
 I would prefer hand to hand combat in darkest Africa over being pawed over by outdated, dried up, disillusioned society wives who would undoubtedly swarm around me all night long. At first they will pretend fascination at my sister’s astonishing career and success, and slowly, as they imbibe more alcohol they will begin to oh so indiscreetly proposition me, the handsome bachelor. They will worry over me and my lack of female companionship, and will twitter behind their hands at how they want to run their fingers through my hair, comment to one another on the shape of my ass, or breathlessly ask how many people have I killed; all to the end that they hope I will grace them with my presence in their bed.  

Oh, anywhere else right now, indeed. I looked again at Marina. Her smile could stop time. Her laughter was like angels singing. I guess I better get moving along myself; it’s a damn good thing I love her. And owe her my own life.  ====Tonight is game three of a good series between the Mets and the Red Sox, ya know? Mets are gonna go all the way this year, I can feel it. And yet, here I am, at another stupid fund-raiser, just so Dickie can be seen by all the right people. Damn stupid people. I mean, I guess I can’t complain right? Free liquor, another new dress and a nice day at the spa….oh, if only Dickie would lavish that kind of attention on me for me, instead of to impress other people.                                                                                                                                 His boss’s wife had asked we attend; this brain thing was a pet charity of hers, and she wanted us to be there. No expense was spared making me look hot and sexy, like Dickie felt I should look; and we arrived in his fully loaded Lexus.  All window dressing.  I drove a beater, because I couldn’t afford anything more; I had to put my extra money towards the wedding that my mother and Dickie wanted us to have, to celebrate in the style he would like to become accustomed. Argh.  

Of course, my parent’s couldn’t afford that kind of wedding. Valerie had only gotten married two years ago, and my dad was still paying it off. And Dickie, well, go figure; there’s the one thing he wants to be traditional about. I live with him, we have sex, but the bride’s family (in this case, little ol’ me) should pay for the whole wedding. And don’t get me wrong. I want a gorgeous wedding too. What girl born and raised in Chambersburg, New Jersey doesn’t? It’s the lullaby sung to us at night, for chrissakes! But the entire wedding industry is currently on my shit list.  Every blasted thing that has the word bride or groom attached to it has its price jacked up like crazy.  

And the food tonight sucked. Two big ones for this nasty chicken dinner? I was glad I ate before I left. That made Dickie happy, because I left so much on my plate. Everyone saw what a dainty eater I was. It showed I cared about my figure. Score another one for Dickie Orr, he sure found himself a winner.  Yeah right. I just preferred to eat real food, ya know? After I listlessly nibbled at my dinner, we danced. I was wearing my ‘last years Vera Wang great deal but I can say it’s a Vera Wang’ dress, and really cute FMP’s. Dickie does share my interest in FMP’s; I am never lacking in the shoe department. I liked this pair because I could squash his foot with the heel ‘accidentally’ when he stepped on my toes. If he tries to dance without counting time, he always misses a step and there goes my pedicure. Ballroom lessons have at least prevented things like broken toes.  

My fiancé is what is generously called light skinned. In actuality is skin tone is similar to mine, but on a woman it’s called porcelain and is desirable, but for a guy he’s a bit pasty. His brown hair is thick and wavy, and he’s considered generally handsome, I suppose. I guess I am supposed to be biased, because he is mine. I see other women looking him over as we dance, so yeah, I guess he’s the catch of the year, or the day, or something. His tux was tight in all the right places, and he does look the part of the successful lawyer. Here’s hoping! He’s just my height when I’m in heels, and I guess we have a nice look about us together. It was no surprise to anyone when we announced our engagement; so really, all in all we are good together.  And he must envision future little Orr’s or something, because he wants to marry me, Stephanie Plum, whose mother had long ago given up hope of teaching me the finer arts of being a housewife. Not for lack of trying. But once I’d set a few toaster ovens on fire and the motor of the blender was burned out, even Mom thought I should just aim high on the income scale and hope for a housekeeper.  If Dickie can make partner, I may just get mom’s wish! So, being the dutiful fiancée who dreams of a life larger than the waxy buildup on the kitchen floor, you can guess I am motivated to dance with all of Dickie’s employers; heck I’ll dance with anyone who will assist me in my desire to escape lifelong drudgery.====Tonight was dragging.  Even for a fundraiser it was a long night. When I mentioned it to Marina, she laughed at me and told me to go find someone to play with.  So, here I am, standing, waiting in the lobby, eyeing all the ladies as they move to and fro, and trying to find someone to entertain me. Hey, it was her idea!  

Intrigued?? Interested in finding out what happens NEXT???  Go here.