Guilty: A Halloween Short Story

This is a short story that’s currently going up on Wattpad tomorrow and thought I’d share it with you.  It’s one of those stories that has been percolating in my head for years, looking for a way to come out.  When  you end up getting known for romantic fiction, it’s kinda strange to toss out a dark fiction piece and expect your romance readers to shift gears.  But this being my blog for all things story and poetry, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  

The story starts on Page 2.  You can download the ebook here if you prefer reading it on your e-reader.  The ebook version also has two additional short stories. 

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Muse

He appears in many guises,
filling every corner of my dreams,
his darkness matching the demons
that linger beneath the seams
of the fears I seek to bury
yet no matter how hard I try
he comes without knocking, unbidden
like a swarm of locusts darkening the sky

And after he gets what he wants from me
stripping me of everything I once held dear
it’s a release that’s like no other,
where nothing else dares come near.
And so I leave the door wide open
of this little cage I still cling to,
waiting patiently for him to return,
gracing me with a madness that speaks so true.

via Muse — The Daily Post

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

 

Punishment

As a writer, I do research…lots of research, and so when I saw this prompt, the only thing that came to mind had to do with my current research into the world of kink.  I tried to think of other types of punishments to go with a nice weekend prompt, but it was a no-go.  So BDSM it is, or what little I’ve learned so far about it.

One of the things that really struck me in my current research, and maybe this comes with understanding things better as I grow older, is the concept of punishment in kink.  Punishment in the world of kink involves consent and this is what is most interesting to me because the punishment I remember in the real world involves no consent at all.

I remember when I was a kid growing up in the Philippines, if we did something bad, we got spanked.  My mom, aunts, and grandparents would get really creative in punishing, not just me, but all of us, especially during the summers when all the kids probably drove them crazy for we congregated like flies to honey – honey, being wherever trouble brewed.  And so they got creative with the instruments used for spanking us while we, the kids, got tougher and laughed at their attempts to make us cry.  Their favorite became the handle of a feather duster and I guess here, you’d call it a switch (?).  It stung like hell when they’d hit the back of our legs and then we’d all compare our battle scars for the day, our minds defaulting to the idea that while it’s bad, we’ll consider it fun.  How many lashes did one get versus the other? Are the marks visible?  How long before they’d fade away?

This is where research and memory, as much as they appear to come together, also become two separate concepts…

In kink, there is punishment, yes, but there is also consent to be punished.  And it takes two – the one giving and the one receiving, and thus consent for both is required.  I have to consent to punish you if that’s what you want, and vice versa, I have to give my consent for you to punish me.  I know it’s simplistic but I’m also looking at this from an outsider’s point of view although I’m always ready to learn more.

And it’s this dynamic that is most interesting to me as a writer because I always want to know what makes people tick. I’m the person who’ll drive you crazy with the why’s and the how’s.  And if you’re wondering what this research on kink is for, it’s for a book that I was supposed to release this year but didn’t because this was the part of the theme that I got stuck on – punishment…and its corresponding consent.

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via Punishment — The Daily Post

I’m On Cosmo!

Cosmopolitan.com, the website, that is (which is still, technically, a magazine, right?).  And it’s only for a week, but it’s still pretty exciting, I think!

If you want to read the steamy excerpt click on this link which will take you to Cosmopolitan and from there, you can read the ongoing story on Wattpad where I still post some of my current WIP (works in progress) to my readers.

Source: So, I’m on Cosmo! – Liz Madrid: Author

Pieces of Me

I’m in every woman I write about
and in every man, the dream
I’m inserted in every line
like dirt stuck underneath the seams

You can uncover my dreams
in every word I write down
witness the nightmares that plague me
that no sunshine can ever drown

Until I write down that one story
that’s yearning to be told
the one that hopes to find the truth
before my soul grows too cold

Until then, find pieces of me
between the lines that I write
in books and in poetry
a weary traveler wandering in the night

She Writes

She writes for two reasons:
to express herself, and explore
the many things that shaped her,
of the darkness that came before

She views them through others’ eyes
for it’s where she feel the safest
learning the lessons never learned then
mired in self-loathing, too scared to protest

So she writes to find her strength again
hoping that maybe, she just might find it
for somewhere deep within her
a child still believes she’s counterfeit

and with each word, the healing begins
each line a victory won
till her words bound in books are judged all over again
and before long, she’s come undone

and then one day, she remembers why
she breaks her soul down into words every day
words have power, her soul reminds her
it’s how she expresses the things she can never say

for she knows she’s worth so much more
than that hour’s rankings or the day’s sales
she writes for the joy her soul remembers
each moment of healing found in her tales.

 

via Survival — The Daily Post

Which Way I Ought To Go

Today, I received a call from an old friend who told me three job opportunities she had for me – well, two job opportunities and one about studying bodywork more in-depth.  A four-day intensive class that’s probably going to involve a lot of meditation, bodywork, and aura cleansing and all that.  But all I could think of while she outlined the many opportunities she wanted to offer to me as her first choice was…I’d so rather be writing.

But I couldn’t tell her.  So I told her I’d think about it, and it’s killing me that I didn’t just tell her outright, “Sorry, I’m no longer a good fit to teach a course I have zero interest in (anatomy), or even take a course that I have zero interest in.”

I’d rather be writing.

And yesterday, I said no to an invitation to fly to Kauau in May because I have a deadline to meet – a book that’s supposed to be released in July and in the course of my 5th rewrite, I’m starting over at 1,000 words, if even that.  Sure, I’ve got 101K words sitting in a Dropbox folder ready to go to the editor but I the story is all messed up from here to Sunday.  And so there goes Kauai, though I don’t feel bad about it.

I’d rather be writing.

At least that’s one thing I’ve always known I wanted to do since I was about 12, when I made up stories about a cartoon show I was crazy about while passing them off as dreams – pretty vivid dreams – till my friends caught on, and so I had to find another outlet for my stories.  I wrote them down, and when my grandfather gifted me with a typewriter and unused reams of legal-sized paper, I typed my heart out till morning, or until the neighbors would yell through their windows for me to go to bed.

So maybe that’s what I really want to do when I grow up.  I know I’m not getting any younger, so I might as well call it what it is.  I want to write for the rest of my life.  What is not work feels more fulfilling that what feels like work.  And the vocation I had chosen – bodywork – for the last 19 years is now full-blown work, one that I can’t even bear to read any articles about.

Because I’d rather write.  And I will.

Although right now, I need to go to bed – I’m rambling.  But before I do, if you want to check out writer me, I’m over here.

Witness

I have two witnesses when I write at my writing desk – my 6-year-old son, when he’s home from school, and my little 8-year-old dog, who sits by me every time I write. My dog stays with me from the moment I sit in the morning and start writing, hoping I’ll take a break and walk her, till late at night when she finally decides around midnight, that’s enough, mom, let’s go to bed.

When I’m not at my writing desk, my son will tell me to sit and write. It’s his way of having his own bit of privacy in our little house, where he can play with his toys in the living room while I write in the dining room, and he still gets to see me there. Just like my dog, my son likes to have me close by as I write – I’ve got to be within eyesight the entire time. Sometimes, when his dad goes to bed early, my son tells me he’ll keep me company as I write, though it’s tough for him to be quiet, and I end up losing my patience, frustrated that I can’t write a word with his iPad blaring and him singing – the entire time.

Lately I’m trying out dictation, especially when I’m walking the dog.  Unfortunately,  I end up just ranting away and forgetting to transcribe what I just dictated.  Not that I want to transcribe my rants anyway, which are mostly about my writing frustrations more than the book I’m writing.  I often wonder if my dog could talk, the things he’ll say.  There’ll be a lot, I’m sure.

As for my son, I’m sure that when he’ll grow up, he’ll probably tell someone about how his mother would sit for hours in front of her laptop and write – or pretend to write – because deep inside, she really was wishing she wasn’t cursed with the need to write.  Instead, she wished they’d have spent more time outside, exploring the world together.

The Daily Post

Dream Job

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I’m living my dream job,
though some days can be quite hard
it’s lonely when you’re neck deep into it
‘specially when you’re channeling the Bard

there are days when all I drink is coffee
maybe add some fancy liqueur, too
and then it’s time for dinner
that’s when a glass of wine will have to do

sometimes the muses don’t shut up
and sometimes they don’t speak at all
sometimes I wonder if I’m just crazy
and ask myself why I had to answer “the call”

but I still wouldn’t trade this job for anything
not when I’m having so much fun
I’m in love with words, and I cannot lie
I’ll keep doing this till my time here is done.

Daily Prompt