Share Your World 2016 – Week 29

share-your-world2I almost missed Week 29 but like the late student that I always am, I’m here!  Who knew running book promos and social media can take all of your time?

Anyway, here go the questions and answers – and of course, it’s got one of my favorite things – pizza!

What is the perfect pizza?

Ever since I had my first taste of Thai Chicken Pizza from California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) years ago, I’ve been hooked!  I search high and low for it and while you can no longer get it from Trader Joe’s, I have to start learning how to make it on my own.

What is your favorite time of day?

First thing in the morning, when everyone is still asleep, more importantly, my little guy AKA Little Terror (all meant with so much love though…).  This is the time I enjoy my coffee and write out the stories that I’ve so far dreamed up while sleeping or little story details I worked out in my sleep.  After he wakes up, the day’s all about him.

Show us two of your favorites photographs? The photos can be from anytime in your life span. Explain why they are your favorite.

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This is me and my  younger brother with some of our dogs.  I’m holding my childhood favorite, Cuckoo, a brown dachshund mix and one of her puppies. I think this was during sophomore high school which is equivalent to eighth grade in the US because I’m wearing an intramurals t-shirt that I think was for that grade/year.

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It’s tough to find just one other favorite but this one ranks high up there.  This is my little guy already tuckered out on his first official photo shoot.

Complete this sentence: I’m looking forward to….

…completing my current Work-in-progress that is tentatively called In Love With A Young Man, though I’m afraid that’s the title it will end up with during publication day.  The title is actually a mock title from one of my favorite book cover artists, David of VamosWrites.com and I thought it was a cool title to remind myself of what I intended to write (even writers need reminders as to what they’re supposed to write next).  I had purchased the set of four books thinking I’d write this lighthearted set of novellas about an older woman who falls for a younger man and you know, put in a lot of erotica elements in their adventures and misadventures.  Unfortunately, the characters sabotaged the lighthearted part of that plan and now it’s a full-length novel at 56K words that deals with a few serious issues.  It just might continue with Book 2 (if I actually sit down and plot it with enough words to fill Book 2); if not, it’s one book that’s going to hit about 80K words.

Which begs the question: do you like reading novels cut in parts as Book 1 and Book 2, or do you prefer just reading one whole book with a Part 1 and Part 2?

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via Share Your World

 

Island

when i was a little girl
my dad owned an island
although it was very small
that when the tide came in
we all had to leave
for it wouldn’t be there at all

but come morning,
when we’d pack up the boat and set sail
it would be back again,
and we’d swim and eat boiled crabs
till the tide came in
and covered it all over again

via Island — The Daily Post

Toy Story

 

She was a brunette with shoulder length hair and long dark lashes.  And she had legs for days. She wore denim overalls over a red checkered long-sleeved shirt (impractical in the tropics but she never complained) and the cutest pair of red felt boots. I woke up with her every day, and slept with her next to me, tucked in under the thin sheets. 

When my asthma would kick in during holidays and birthdays and every time I was stressed, she was with me. I told her stories and put her in stories, usually having her go to the grocery store and back, and where she was so loved no matter what she looked like (brunette with blue eyes) or said (she was the quiet type though).  I loved her to the moon and back and she knew all my secrets, especially the sad ones. 

And then one day she was gone. 

Daily Prompt

The Women I Used To See

As a kid, you must have imagined what it was like to be an adult. Now that you’re a grownup (or becoming one), how far off was your idea of adult life?

The Ionian Dance by Sir Edward John Poynter
The Ionian Dance by Sir Edward John Poynter

I’m at the same age as the women I used to see,
primping themselves pretty,
working out at the gym,
looking more beautiful than the women they replaced –
still bound to their men, like a phantom limb.
They had their own children,
who learned to live with their lies
seeing a man not their daddy flit through their lives
going to school with the true ones, the ones who bore his name
but they learned to live with it, and why not?
it was only shame.

Daily Prompt

No Peeking

When was the last time you watched something so scary, cringe-worthy, or unbelievably tacky — in a movie, on TV, or in real life — you had to cover your eyes?

220px-Changeling_ver1When I was a kid, my mother would take me, my brother (my older brother was smart enough to be ‘busy’ doing other things) and all my cousins to the movies – horror movies to be exact.  Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Amityville Horror, Halloween, Prom Night, Carrie, Poltergeist, Dead & Buried, The Changeling – just to name a few.

All of us were scared half to death from what we saw onscreen and since we were all under 12 years old then, we had nightmares because of it.  Still, we went because none of us wanted to be called a scaredy-cat, or in the dialect, talawán.

By the time I turned 16, I’d had it.  The last horror movie I saw with my mother left me with nightmares of someone hammering a large nail into my forehead, a scene from the movie that has never left me to this day.  Recently when I asked my mother if horror was indeed her genre, she said it actually wasn’t. She just got a kick out of scaring the crap out of the kids.

I do still watch a few scary movies though – like Pan’s Labyrinth, La Orfanata, The Others and one of my favorite zombie movies, 27 Days Later.  But I’m definitely more picky.  No Rob Zombie movies for me, or gore-fests like Saw.

The last time I covered my eyes (though I left a slit between my fingers to still see) was during a scene in Hannnibal, the TV series starring Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Lawrence Fishburne and Caroline Dhavernas.  It’s one of my favorite, if not my favorite, show on TV.

It was the episode (Takiawase) which guest starred Amanda Plummer as an acupuncturist I would not go to for pain relief at all – not even if you paid me.

“Takiawase” also features a guest appearance by Amanda Plummer Pulp Fiction‘s Honey Bunny, as the honey-obsessed/acupuncturist killer-of-the-week who lobotomizes her clients. Hannibal wouldn’t be the same without some truly horrifying images on display, and “Takiawase” offers the first scene in which this critic just had to look away.

via Hannibal Ep 2.04 “Takiawase” continues to prove this is the most criminally underrated series on television – Sound On Sight | Sound On Sight.

Hmm…I’m glad I wasn’t alone in looking away – although I also see a similarity with that nightmare I mentioned above.

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What about you?  When was the last time you covered your eyes?

Daily Prompt

Struck a Chord

Do you play an instrument? Is there a musical instrument whose sound you find particularly pleasing? Tell us a story about your experience or relationship with an instrument of your choice.

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I always loved the sound of a piano.  When played so expertly, the music is just too beautiful to ignore. So naturally I wanted to learn how to play it.

But my father’s new wife played the piano.  Not only that, she played the organ, too.  So my mother outlawed the mention of a piano from the house – or any type of music or instrument for that matter.  We didn’t even have a radio till I begged one for Christmas when I was almost eleven years old.

When my father sent me an organ, it was one of my stepmother’s old ones, and so my mother laughed and said, “Get it out of the house.  I don’t want to see that ugly thing.  You wanted a simple piano, “she  said. ” And he sent you an organ the puta didn’t need any more.”

I still love pianos – the look, their sound, the emotions it renders when played so beautifully.

But organs are a whole different matter. I loathe them.  I can’t stand them.  It amazes me what sounds it can produce, even the sounds of a choir singing a chorus, should the organist need one – and it’s creepy as heck.  Even in churches, I don’t like organs, no matter how beautiful they may play.  For I always remember the old hand-me-down organ that my father sent me – after I begged him to give me a piano.

But he should have known better.  An organ is no piano.

Especially when the damn thing didn’t even work.

Daily Prompt

Daily Prompt: Music To My Ears

What sort of music was played in your house when you were growing up? What effect, (if any) did it have on your musical tastes?

My mother was never into music, and so she never owned a radio at all, which meant that we didn’t have the radio blaring at our house when I was growing up.  Instead, I remember the sound of mahjong tiles all afternoon and all through the night – and music, if any was played from a cassette player I probably bought on my own, was considered a nuisance and a distraction.

My aunts, however, who lived next door, did have a big stereo and so if I got tired of the silence or the tinkling of the mahjong tiles and the money chips, I went next door to play the records my aunts owned.   Earth, Wind and Fire, Journey, Fleetwood Mac, Electric Light Orchestra, Bee Gees…looking back now, my aunts were pretty cool.

In my early teens, my cousins and I loved the same artists and so there was no shortage of music to share between us – as long as it was outside of the house.  We listened to Madonna, Culture Club, INX, A-Ha, The Smiths, Duran Duran, U2, Depeche Mode, Bruce Springsteen, Pet Shop Boys, and Nena.  The list goes on, of course, and I think that’s where my own tastes came to being, having found the music that I preferred over the ones my aunts introduced me to – although if I remember correctly, there was a foray into Shaun Cassidy for a year or two…

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When I was in high school, my mother remarried, and my stepfather introduced me to Broadway tunes.  He’d play them each morning and I learned how to wash that man right out of my hair, and that there’s a bright golden haze on the meadow in Oklahoma – wherever that was.  And if I were a rich man, I’d build a tall house with rooms by the dozen right in the middle of the town.

Unfortunately, my mother did not share the same love my stepfather had for his Broadway tunes, and so he shared them with me.  I loved those mornings with my stepfather.   And even though I had never heard of Broadway before, nor saw a play on the Broadway stage, I learned to see the plays inside my head, sing the songs and dance along with them for whatever it was worth.

By the time I hit my 20’s, my tastes went to Sade and Whitney Houston, though working at a radio station introduced me to the Doors, Queen and pop music.  When I was finally on my own, my tastes settled onto eclectic Buddha Bar mixes to go along with countless glasses of wine and Manhattans as I reveled living alone in my own little apartment, and drives on the highway going nowhere in particular.

These days, I listen to a variety of music depending on my mood.  Some pop, some folk, and even some alternative, and even classical when I need to sit down and write my novel – though most of the time, I play no music at all when I write.  There’s a smattering of Broadway songs in there, too, of course, in memory of my stepfather, and the occasional 70’s dance hit to make me smile as I think of my aunts.  When I work, I have no choice but listen to relaxing massage music accented with the sounds of water, or the wind, or even a bird call or two, but it’s the last thing I want to listen to when the session ends and I get my own life back again.  For when the work day ends, I want to return to music that makes me smile, remembering and honoring the people who introduced them to me.

I only wish I could think of even just one song that my mother might have introduced me to, but nothing comes to mind but the sound of mahjong tiles and money chips at the moment.

Though that could be music to someone’s ears, too, I suppose.

Daily Prompt

The Little Prince

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One of my favorite books growing up was Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince.

I don’t even remember how I got it, but I do know that it wasn’t something that I would have picked out on my own because we didn’t learn about such books at school.  It was among the books that my mother stored on shelves above my childhood bed that included a cover-less copy of Harold Robbins’ The Adventurers and the classics such as Black Beauty and Robinson Crusoe.  

I still remember how the book felt in my hands. It was small and it was a quick read, but I had to read it a few times because it did not read like all the other classics I had read before.  It was almost cryptic at times.

How was I to know, a mere ten year old, what the book was really about?  When the fox says to the little prince, “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye,” I understood it because it has since shaped the way I see the world.   But I could not understand then what the fox meant when he said, “You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed” – that it meant more than just the taming of a small animal, of which I probably with my limited experiences, associated that sentence then.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve read The Little Prince and I’m due for a reread.  I stumbled across the dedication of the book today,  and it brought tears to my eyes.  It brought me back to that room with the custom-made bed and the shelves above it, all filled with books about adventures and worlds so different from my own.  And one of them, my favorite one, about a little prince stranded in the desert, so far from home.

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Image from Letters of Note

Leon Werth, a French writer and art critic, was a close friend and confidante to  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  He would not learn of the book nor the dedication till five months after Saint-Exupéry’s death in November 1944.

Daily Prompt: Toy Story

What was your favorite plaything as a child? Do you see any connection between your life now, and your favorite childhood toy?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us MEMENTO.

My favorite toy was a cloth doll that sorta looked like Holly Hobby but wasn’t.  Maybe it was some kind of knock-off doll with yellow yarn hair and big stitched eyes.  It wore a pinafore and it kept me company during many of the asthma attacks that plagued me when I was hitting my teens, when I learned that monsters weren’t just from old tales and books, but from the very people you were supposed to trust.

There was never a Christmas worth remembering that did not end up with me having to sleep sitting up because I just couldn’t breathe lying down – and always I was alone because everyone was out celebrating.  But I was content as long as I had my books and that doll with me to keep me company.  And because it was soft, I could sleep with her next to me, unlike the vinyl skin dolls that looked pretty but weren’t meant to be left next to you – unless you wanted it to poke your eye out with its stiff arms.

I still find myself looking through Etsy or eBay just in case I’d spot it again, just as I’d found an old Raggedy Ann & Andy radio that was stolen when I was around that age as well.  I’m sure that if I do come across it, I’d probably think of buying it – only to close the window on my screen because just like chapters in a book, I need to move away from that part of my life and move on.

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Daily Prompt

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Daily Prompt: Seen But Also Heard

Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood? If you have kids, is there anything you wish were different for them?

All the time.  Listen.

For when you don’t find the time,

A pedophile will.