Tag Archives: family

One-Liner Wednesday

This is somewhat true for me. I’m still missing my mom 11 years on, and she was definitely someone I “had,” a huge part of my life, but otherwise… yeah. It’s pretty easy for me to dump material possessions as I downsize (again) for moving. But it was difficult for me to let the “soul mate” dream go. I’ve never had a soul mate, which may seem ironic for a romance writer, so when my 20-year marriage ended, I became more determined than ever to find this person. It took 5 years of increasingly frustrating and depressing situations for me to realize I had to let the dream go for my own mental and emotional health. I talk about this a lot because it helps me reinforce it to myself. I just today posted in comments to 2 blogs how much happier I am without the wings of this dream beating in my brain.

But it was a struggle to lug the thing to the trash bin and leave it there.

~*~

One-Liner Wednesday

Image found on Google

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Hello, It’s Me

As Rory continues to amass his dossiers on us, I for one am happy to provide loads of juicy info for his future blackmail schemes. How about you?

Secret agents

1. What makes you laugh, as in really laugh hard?

Unexpected humor is the best. I love to be caught off-guard by someone making a wordplay in the middle of a conversation. That just cracks me up, especially if it pulls in a layered reference to a past event. I can be moved to tears by verbal silliness. One thing I particularly enjoy (though it isn’t spontaneous) is parody. When I watched this video the other day for the first time, I was literally LMAO!

2. What makes you really angry?

What doesn’t? That would be a shorter list. Idiots who blow through red lights and go way over the speed limit. Tailgaters. People who abuse children and pets. Racism and antisemitism. Leaf blowers. Litterbugs. Any repetitive beeping sound wtfff shut up!!!

People who refuse to take responsibility for their own feelings. Blamers, whiners, and bullies. Sulkers and pouters. But also those who scream endlessly. Stalkers. Narcissists. Compulsive liars. Yes, I could have just said men on dating sites. 🙄

3. Who knows you the best?

My daughters probably know me best of all, but no one knows the real me. There’s a blogger (inactive now) whom I’ve never met in person, but when we were hanging out online she was great at understanding what I meant. I sometimes write obscurely and she would translate for the masses. (I’m better at writing clearly than I used to be.) My ex-husband also could translate my thoughts for me way back when. It’s nice to feel understood, without having to explain 27 different ways before someone goes “oh I see,” and then you wonder if they’re just being polite. These two somehow tapped into the way my mind worked regarding conceptual thought, and that was very cool.

But that’s just one aspect of a person, how they think about concepts. It’s important, granted, but there are other things, needs, values, dreams, goals, humor, etc. I used to be more “branded” with stuff like cupcakes and shoes and favorite novels and ways of expressing myself, so that it was easier for people to predict what I might say. But I became too bored with all that, even if it’s ideal for an online presence. Some people know a few facets of me well, and a few (my daughters) know many… but there are some no one knows, maybe not even me.

Eye behind camera lens with chess pieces

~*~

Rory’s Question Fun Directory

Rory’s Really You S1G3

Images from Happy Color and Pixabay

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

More About Meeee

It me bitmoji

Rory continues his Really You game with a second round of questions today…

1. Do you hoard clutter or constantly de-clutter?

As Melanie noted, clutter and hoarding are two separate things, though of course one can be a hoarder with a cluttered house. My mother, forex, was extremely neat and clean, and her homes were always free of dust and clutter, but she did hoard some weird stuff in the back of the closets. Some men I’ve known have been messy with a lot of clutter around, but I wouldn’t call them hoarders. They’re just too busy or lazy to clean up. I’ve also known messy hoarders who would literally freak out at the idea of tossing away any of their precious garbage. Ughhh. Impossible to date these people. Can’t even imagine what would happen if two of ’em ended up together… 😱

As far as me, I am neither a clutterer nor a hoarder ~ in fact, I’m notorious for throwing things away. That’s how I relieve stress. Delete delete delete! Ahhhh… Right now, I’m in the process of moving and have tossed a ton of things away and also have donated some stuff to Goodwill. It makes me feel fantastic to lighten up! I only wish I could afford to dump everything and start over completely! Well, not everything. I do have some sentimental attachment to photo albums and books, etc. But clothing and furniture and useless knickknacks bought on a whim? Meh.

Love empty clean space…

Empty clean room hardwood floor

2. Do you enjoy cooking – if so what is your ‘special dish’  and if not what is the dish you wish you could create?

This is a complicated question. I loved cooking when I was young, but it was also a form of control for me. I wanted to know exactly what I was eating and how much in order to count calories. Later, I lightened up about that, but at the same time became more adept in estimating the calories in restaurant foods (pro-tip: always higher than you imagine), plus there are a zillion guides and charts now. I was happy to cook for my family and figure out ways to create meals we could all enjoy. I never forced anyone to eat anything they disliked cuz I hate when people do that to me.

But now I’m alone. It’s not fun to cook for myself and have to clean up a sink full of dishes after. I dislike buying in quantities I know will go to waste, eat the same meal 5 times, or freeze it in blobs. Occasionally, I’ll make something for a potluck, but with so many people now vegan or gluten-free or paleo… meh. It’s just easier to stop at the store for a fruit bowl or whatever. I keep careful track of my finances, and I’m not spending more now that I’ve quit bothering to cook for myself.

When I was dating (barf), I thought it would be romantic to cook with someone, but things never progressed to that point. I kept running into these man-babies who were looking to be coddled and nurtured by having someone prepare hot meals for them when they came over. Welp… I work full-time same as they do. I am totally not into slaving away over a stove for some dude while he watches the game. It’s not 1950, hello!

June Cleavage costume cherry pie

3. What are we likely to find in your condiment cupboard?

I just threw everything away! 🤣🤣🤣

~*~

Rory’s Question Fun Directory

Image credit to the Bitmoji app, Google, and Amazon.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Kevin’s Tangled Saga [fiction 1721]

[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. In our last episode, we read that Lexi was trying to figure out how to get a ride to find Dan, who might have become stranded or injured on the way to Otter Village.

Here are the posts in order so far:

Falling
Sisterly Chat
Smoothies
The Angry Brother
Trust Issues
Something You Don’t Know
Moonlight
Who Needs Drama?
Entanglement
Dan Drives North
Geolocation
Lexi Needs A Ride]

Coffee shop

“Please stop thanking me.” Kevin smiled at Lexi as they waited for the to-go coffees she insisted on paying for. “This is what friends do. And…” he whispered in her ear, “I hope by now we’re more than just friends.”

Blushing, Lexi felt the warmth of his words permeate across all her nerve endings. “We definitely are. At least I’m not asking you to help me bury a body.”

He rolled his eyes and hugged her. “Not yet! With you, there’s never a dull moment.”

The java jockey yelled out Lexi’s name even though they were the only customers in the downtown Coffee Shop at 9pm. Kevin and Lexi fixed up their coffees and returned to his car. After buckling up, Lexi unlocked her phone and showed him the coordinates that Nick had texted to her earlier.

Kevin plugged them into his GPS. “One hundred eighty-eight miles. Three hours and thirty-five minutes. Let’s crank up the tunes!” He handed her his phone with the music app open.

“Ugh, what’s all this Rush and Metallica?” Lexi frowned as she scrolled through his playlists. Who knew sweet Kevin had such horrible taste in music?

“Sorry. Those are my workout jams.” He pulled onto the freeway. “Keep going. There are some mellow oldies in there.”

Lexi selected a Beatles mix. “This is nice. Takes me way back. My dad is a huge fan.”

“Mine too. Though my mom is more of a country fan.”

“I love country!” Lexi said. “Vicky and I saw Blake Shelton last year in Dallas on his Freaks tour and he was incredible!”

Kevin looked at her. “Country music, huh? I have a feeling we’re going to learn a lot of interesting things about each other tonight.”

Lexi picked up her coffee and sipped it. “Yeah… and speaking of that, weren’t you going to tell me more about yourself, Mr. Mysterious?”

“I was, but I thought we agreed that would happen tomorrow on our beach picnic.”

“We’ve got three hours to kill now.”

“True.” Kevin grinned at her in the dark. “I will confess my last name isn’t Mysterious. It’s actually Caruso.”

“I already knew that! It’s on the business card you gave me the day we met.” She put her coffee back in the cup-holder. “You were going to tell me why you left Chicago.”

He sighed. “All right. Let’s start at the beginning then. I come from a big Italian family, just like in the movies. Not a mob movie!”

Big family

Lexie laughed. “I hope not!”

“Just big and close and in each other’s face all the time.” Kevin drank some coffee. “I have three older sisters. Then my dad was excited to have a son he could mold into a mini-him. I always knew I was destined to major in business and take over his property management company. He made that clear. He was always proud of my achievements as long as they aligned with his goals.”

“I bet. Not so great for you though?” Lexi only had the one sister, whom she loved dearly, but even they’d had their tense moments. She watched the expressions on Kevin’s face as he talked about his past and saw both love and pain as he discussed his family.

“It had positives. I knew there were always people around to care about me and support me.” Kevin glanced at her. “Like you and Vicky, I imagine, just a lot more of them.”

“Right. But we were always free to pursue our own interests. Our parents didn’t pressure us.” Lexi knew she’d led a relatively charmed life until her marriage fell apart. “It’s hard to accept heartbreak when you’ve only seen people acting good and loving.”

“True. Isn’t that ironic? A stable, happy life doesn’t necessarily prepare us for adversity.” Kevin hummed along to the next song for a minute. Then he said, “I never questioned this system though. I was a sheep, baaaa.”

Sheep

Lexi laughed. “Until…?”

“Until Emily.” He grimaced. “Need a rest stop?”

“No.” She checked the time. “Maybe in an hour, when we’re closer. Who is Emily?”

“My ex-fiancée. And now married to my former best friend.”

“Yikes.” Impulsively, Lexi reached for his hand. “I’m sorry.”

“Thanks. It really sucks. And there’s a lot more to it. She’s a family friend, naturally. From the neighborhood. Her parents owned a store there. Everyone was so happy for us, and then her parents got killed in a car wreck. A kid lost control on the ice and slammed into them. That was almost two years ago now. Emily blamed herself because they were on their way to pick her up from the airport. I should have canceled my meeting and gone to get her. It was a bad day, even for a Chicago winter.”

“Oh no! Oh, my God. How horrible.”

“It was. Devastating. We were all in shock. Emily took it the worst, of course. She got more and more depressed as the months passed. We put off the wedding because she didn’t feel like planning anything. She never returned to work and watched TV at her grandparents’ house all day and night. Then she told me she didn’t want kids because she couldn’t bear it if something happened to them. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. She accused me of not being supportive, of only wanting her to, quote, pop out babies, unquote. Which is not true.”

“Of course not!” Lexi rushed to his defense. “But that’s a big commitment to make for a lifetime when you’re grieving…”

Kevin nodded. “The thing was… after that big fight, I began to question if I did love her or was just doing what was expected of me. Being a good boy. Majoring in business. Working for my dad. Dating the nice girl from the neighborhood. On and on. Did I even want this life that had been mapped out for me by other people?”

Lexi squeezed his hand, so sad for his pain, yet so glad he was with her right now. She made a mental note to tell him that later.

“Anyway,” he continued. “Before I had a chance to sort that all out in my own head, Emily slept with my best friend. She didn’t make a secret of it either. Everyone saw her drunk and throwing herself at him at a local bar.”

Lexi shook her head. “Not much of a best friend if he couldn’t say no. She might have been acting crazy with grief and despair, finally coming back to the world. She might have hoped he’d say no.”

“Maybe.” Kevin shrugged. “But he didn’t. I ended it with her the next day and felt relief, until my family began hounding me nonstop. They were angry with me. With me! They thought I should forgive her. Just pretend it didn’t happen and keep going with the wedding plans.”

“Okay, now that’s crazy,” Lexi said, annoyed with these people she’d never met.

“Right?” He laughed. “What a joy to get an amen on that. Thank you! I thought I was going out of my mind. But the real truth was… I wasn’t even that angry with Emily for sleeping with Scott. It only made me see I didn’t care enough. But I couldn’t say that.”

“Haha, what a dilemma!” Lexi finished her coffee. “I can’t marry her, but not because I’m mad that she cheated on me, but because her cheating made me realize I don’t love her.”

“Shouldn’t I have been at least a little jealous?”

“At least!”

“If you slept with someone else, I’d really be pissed off, and we haven’t even had a real first date yet!”

Lexi turned to gape at him. “Wait, what?”

“Well, I would.” He looked at her. “Why? Are you planning to?”

“No.” She felt all warm and smiley from his strange comment. “Not at all.”

Sexy redhead

“Good.” Kevin kissed her hand. “Oh, to finish the sad saga… Emily stayed with Scott, got pregnant, and married him. I attended their wedding as did everyone I knew since I was born.”

“Eek, awkward.”

“The awkwardness was only beginning. My sisters badgered me constantly about how that could have been me, and they told me so, I should have waited, forgiven her, on and on… one of them literally told me I had deprived our parents of a grandchild with Emily.” Kevin glanced at Lexi. “Can you believe this insanity?”

She blew out a breath, trying to see it from their point of view. “From all that you’ve said, I have to think that they were just being honest. They probably assumed you loved Emily and had given up without a fight, and in their annoying way were counseling you not to do that again. You didn’t actually tell them you never loved her and were just going along with other people’s dreams, did you?”

“You’re right. I didn’t say that. I wouldn’t have.”

“It seems unnecessarily hurtful.”

“Yes. Let them believe I’m an idiot instead.” They both laughed.

“Siblings tend to think they know best for us,” Lexi said. “I am guilty of a bit of this.”

That’s very kind and diplomatic of you.” He nodded. “I’m going to try to look at it that way. I haven’t broken off all contact with them, but it’s minimal, and I know they’re hurt by my abrupt departure. And to be fair, all three of them apologized in a group chat recently for being so hard on me, begging me to come home this Christmas.”

“Aww, see… they still love and care about you!” Lexi was glad the sisters finally came around for Kevin, even if late.

“Yeah, though I could have used their support at the time.” He shook his head. “I hung around for a while after the wedding and baby, but then I… found a headhunter and she got me the hotel manager job out here.”

“I can’t say I’m sorry about that,” Lexi said softly. “I don’t know what I would have done without you tonight. I’m so glad you’re here.”

“Me too.” Kevin checked the map. “We’re getting close. There’s a rest stop in five miles. It’s almost midnight.”

“I hope… I don’t know what I’m hoping,” she confessed. “That we find him or not.”

“I know what you mean.”

Dark deserted road

[to be continued]

~*~

Image credit Pexels and Pixabay.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Parks & Recreation

Paula Light

Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend time in LA with my grand-munchkin (at 17 months she’s no longer a tiny baby!). I had a light bulb moment and brought her the giant tin full of my plastic cookie cutters… and she had a blast playing with them for about five minutes. Alas, my patience for making rolled cookies (and dealing with the corresponding mess) has long gone bye. But they are wonderful toys and will be fun for coloring and Play-Doh after a while.

Then we went to the park… just a little one, tucked away in a secret spot. So much fun! There were a few other munchkins doing their own thing, everyone taking turns, and being polite and awesome. My little one wanted to go on the slide, but we weren’t sure she was ready to go by herself, so Nana went too. Mommy (that would be my daughter) snapped some cute shots, but we don’t blog the munchkin. ❤️

I didn’t keep up too well with Blogland this weekend ~ apologies. Had a bunch of stuff going on and then my family visit. I will try to check in with everyone who comments on my posts in the next few days. Thanks to those who are following my serial fiction. I appreciate you! 🙂

I’m going to use this as my Weekly Smile as well as calling myself a Fan of… Parks! 🌿

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Waves [fiction 900]

[This is a multi-part story. We previously read that Sura’s cousin Nami delivered the news that Miko had died a strange death and Sura should return to Liana at once.

If you’d like to read the chapters in order, please follow this list. Thanks!

The Murmuration
Liana’s Journey Continues
Captured
The Shark’s Tooth
An Honored Guest
Miko’s Plan
A Cup of Tea?
Liana’s House
Strange News]

Colorful huts

Waves of pain came hour after hour, until she didn’t know when day turned to night. She became too weak to follow directions and decided that it was time to die. Pleased to join her family in the land beyond, Liana relaxed into a light rest. When she opened her eyes, Sura was there again, though she had already gone. Soft words. Cool hands…

“Where is…” Liana whispered, but she was too exhausted to finish her words.

“Shhhh,” Sura said, and the pains surged again. But this time Sura helped her and the baby finally came.

“It’s a boy!” Sura helped Liana hold him, placing pillows around them.

Liana gazed at the tiny face, the sparkling dark eyes. “Don’t let them…”

Mommy touching baby’s fingers

“We’ll help you,” Sura whispered. “She’s not the Queen’s nurse. She’s Miko’s aunt. And he died. You’ll have to act grief-stricken.”

“Who helps?” Liana glanced at the door.

“I put a sleeping herb in her juice.” Sura smiled. “You taught me well. But she will wake soon. And as much as she would like to cause trouble, she leaves for Miko’s funeral. You and I will journey to the Royal Hall, to show your baby to the Queen. My cousin Nami will join us.”

Liana closed her eyes. This was too much information, too overwhelming. And Sura seemed to understand. After she helped the baby start to nurse, she left the room.

She returned with bread, fruit, and juice for Liana. “Eat and rest. Don’t worry about anything else right now.”

Liana nodded and tried to relax while feeding her infant. She marveled at the strange sensation and the softness of his skin. He was so precious! A wave of love and protectiveness rose in her. She would not allow any harm to come to him!

“So, the babe is finally here.” Adoka stood next to Liana’s bed. “Boy or girl?”

Liana abruptly woke from her doze. Where was Sura? “Boy.”

“He looks healthy.” Adoka stared down at them. “But Miko was a healthy, strong warrior and died two sunsets past.”

“Miko’s dead?” Liana created a picture of her beloved Ken in her mind and her eyes filled with tears. “How could that happen?”

The older woman kept her gaze fastened on Liana’s face, as if to measure her every reaction. “It’s a mystery. Apparently he was here, with you, and headed to the Royal Hall. He took the short route through the monkey jungle. It is full of dangers.”

Little monkey in jungle

“What kind of dangers?” Liana asked, though she knew perfectly well nothing in the jungle had killed Miko.

Adoka shrugged. “The blue tree snake. One bite can kill a man in three minutes. There is the honey spring. It tempts the thirsty with sweet cold water, but it is poisoned. Then there is the sucking sand that grabs your feet and swallows you like a sea monster.”

“How horrible!” Liana shuddered. “But Miko would know to avoid these things, wouldn’t he?”

“If his mind was filled with thoughts of a bride,” Adoka sneered, “he might not have been paying attention.”

“Yes,” Liana sniffled. “I feel responsible. We spoke of marriage. Miko was not sure the Queen would agree since my baby is under the protection of the gods. He was conceived in a storm, by the storm itself, you know.”

Adoka rolled her eyes. “So I have heard. The Queen loves her stories of the gods and their interference with our lives. I believe humans interfere with each other’s lives more often than not. Even hastening their ends in some cases.”

Liana pretended not to understand. “Of course. Like in battle. Miko was a great and powerful warrior. What a terrible loss this is for our island family! The Queen will be distraught.”

“The Queen.” Adoka’s lips twisted. “Yes, she will be told of all that has happened.”

“I shall never love another man!” Liana burst out passionately. “He was my true heart. I am devastated by this loss and shall devote my life to my child and my Queen and nothing else.”

Sura rushed into the room. “What is it? I was gathering herbs and heard yelling.”

“My nephew Miko is dead,” Adoka said. “He and Liana were to be married. You know he was here because he gave you the news of your father. Then he left for the Royal Hall and became violently ill in the monkey jungle.”

“How terrible,” Sura said, embracing the older woman. “What a huge loss. I’m so sorry for your family.”

Adoka hugged her. “Thank you. I was very proud of him.”

“What about me?” Liana cried. “He was to be my husband! He said he’d care for my storm baby same as his own!” A true wave of grief crashed over her as she said these words for her lost love Ken, the man who would never meet his son, their future incinerated by the volcano, her heart in ashes with her real home and family. And yet… here was family with a new baby.

“Oh, you poor girl!” Sura ran to the bed to comfort Liana, kissing the top of her head. “You’ve been through so much. But you must stay strong for the baby.”

Liana nodded and sniffled. “He is my life.”

“What will you name him?” Adoka asked.

Pressing her face to her baby’s head and inhaling his powdery scent like a drug, Liana murmured, “Kenzi.”

Bird flying in sunrise over ocean

[to be continued]

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ46: Real Talk

Fandango provocatively asks…

Has using a telephone for making calls become obsolete? For those of you who grew up without the internet or smartphones, is calling and speaking with people on the phone still important? For those of you who grew up only using smartphones, is it necessary to call anyone anymore?

In my life, using a telephone for making calls is not obsolete whatsoever. At work, we talk on actual landline phones every day. A few times a week, my daughters and I like to connect via a real phone chat rather than just texting (which we do also, usually multiple times per day). As far as friends go, in general we usually text to chat or make plans, but if one of us is in the car, then we’ll call to confirm or whatever. Some friends prefer to call to catch up ~ last night I chatted on the phone with a old writer pal for a while about our projects and stuff. Last but not least, sometimes a phone call is simply more convenient when doing business such as apartment hunting or making dinner reservations.

I’m not one of those old fogies who sigh about the olden days when people didn’t stare at their cell phones all day. As I recall, we had plenty of ways to ignore each other back then, if we wanted to. People who enjoy engaging with others will find a way. I have noted that at places like the DMV and jury duty folks are less inclined to chat than before, since they have their phones now. But honestly how many of us oldsters actually made friends at the DMV or jury duty anyway?

As the kids say… good talk! 👻🎃

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Entanglement [fiction 875]

[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. In our last episode, we read that Kevin was having second thoughts about getting involved with Lexi so soon after he had to deal with his own romantic drama back in Chicago.

Here are the posts in order so far:

Falling
Sisterly Chat
Smoothies
The Angry Brother
Trust Issues
Something You Don’t Know
Moonlight
Who Needs Drama?]

Lexi was ashamed of herself for checking her phone every five minutes like a lovesick teenager. It was just a kiss on the beach, for heaven’s sake! Well… a few kisses. Under a romantic full moon, in his warm embrace…

Cell phone in hand

Stop! She stuck her phone in a drawer and busied herself with laundry. She was not falling for Kevin, despite the fact that the first time they met she had literally fallen off her bike and he helped her up. It was too soon. She needed to chill here, not get involved in a new emotional entanglement.

But a bike ride was an excellent idea. As soon as her clothes were out of the dryer, she’d take a long one. It was a great thing to do on her weekday off work and especially today to clear her head and get re-centered.

She grabbed her phone before she left the house. No messages. Kevin was probably busy working, plus she wasn’t naive. A moonlit walk and a few sweet kisses didn’t necessarily mean that much to a man. Just because she felt all fluttery at the memory of last night didn’t mean he felt similarly. He might not be thinking about her at all. Maybe he took romantic walks all the time with various women.

Peaceful pond with ducks and trees

Biking down to the beach, Lexi took deep breaths of the fresh air. Another gorgeous day! She couldn’t help but smile at people she passed on the path. Even though she didn’t want to get close to folks here yet or reveal much about herself, didn’t mean she couldn’t be friendly. It was a relief not to be wary and tense all the time like she’d been back in the city. The news from Vicky about Dan had flung her back into that whirl of stress, but being with Kevin had magically swept it all away.

Her feet slowed; her ebullient mood popped like a child’s bubble. She turned off the path and stopped, gazing out at the crystal blue waves breaking on the sand. It was still warm enough to play in the water, but the school year had begun, so the beach was relatively empty. Lexi took her phone out of her backpack and saw that she had a message.

She allowed her mind to drift back to last night and how good it felt to be with Kevin. He was so understanding. Even though a new relationship hadn’t been on her radar when she’d escaped the big city after her husband’s death, now it seemed exciting when the idea circled around a certain sexy dark-haired hotel manager. Maybe a good, slow-building relationship with a nice, steady, calm, even-tempered man would not be stressful…

Smiling relaxed man with coffee at picnic table

She unlocked her phone. The message was from Vicky. Dammit! Okay, she’d listen later. Lexi got back on her bike and in a surge of energy pedaled for miles up the coast. By the time she turned around and got back to the rooming house, it was dusk and her legs felt like overcooked noodles. She put the bike away and climbed the stairs an inch at a time.

“You okay?” Carolyn the landlady asked at the second floor. “You hurt your back?”

Lexi shook her head. “I overdid it on a bike ride. Just lost in my thoughts. Pretty silly.”

Carolyn laughed. “That can happen. Go lie down. I’ll make you a cup of tea and bring you some Advil. I think there’s leftover veggie lasagna. Want me to check?”

“That’s so nice of you!” Lexi said as she hobbled toward her room.

“Well, of course, dear.” Carolyn started down the stairs. “We’re all little refugee birds up here. Thanks for making those yummy cookies for us last night.”

As Lexi arranged herself in her room, stretching out in her comfy chair, she thought about Carolyn’s comment. Little refugee birds. That’s why people came to Otter Village, to escape something. Not just Lexi, but Kevin too. She’d been so wrapped up in her own head she hadn’t thought about what his story might be.

Why was Kevin here? She recalled him saying he was relatively new, around three months, but that was a month ago. So, what had made Kevin leave Chicago four months ago? What was his story? He had never told her.

Bird flying over city buildings

But then again… she hadn’t asked. There was no reason not to. He knew all about her life. After she rested for a bit, she was gonna call him. But first, Vicky’s message. She’d procrastinated long enough…

“Hey sis, call when you can. It’s nothing urgent. Just an update on the Dan situation. He kinda confronted me again, but this time Nick was waiting in the car, so things got a bit heated. Nothing terrible! It’s just that Dan is really pissed we won’t give him your new phone number, so he threatened to drive up there and find you in what he terms ‘hickville.’ Nick said he’d slap a restraining order on him, but Dan said he had a right to take a vacation where he wants, it’s a free country, blah blah. He backed off on the finding you part, but I’m worried about it. Nick thinks he’s all talk, but I dunno…”

[to be continued]

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Strange News [fiction 645]

[This is a multi-part story. We previously read how Liana prepared a “special” cup of tea for Miko the pirate while he bullied her into agreeing to his proposal of marriage.

If you’d like to read the chapters in order, please follow this list. Thanks!

The Murmuration
Liana’s Journey Continues
Captured
The Shark’s Tooth
An Honored Guest
Miko’s Plan
A Cup of Tea?
Liana’s House]

Sura paused as she wiped her father’s face with a cool cloth. Though it was well past sundown and the village had gone to sleep, she thought she’d heard footsteps. She put down the cloth and walked into the main room, where the only light came from the faraway stars outside the open window.

Palm trees against a starry sky

“Pssst, Sura,” came a voice from the dark.

Sura watched a form detach itself and shape into her cousin Nami. “Whew. I thought you were a ghost from the other side. Why are you out so late?”

“Strange news.” Nami put a cold hand on Sura’s arm. “You should know right away.”

A snake of dread coiled around Sura’s stomach. “What is it? Let me get you some juice and bread.”

“Just juice please.”

Sura put a candle on the table and fetched the juice. “What happened?”

Her cousin sat on a pillow next to the low table. “I was getting flour from the village when they brought him in.”

Sura sat down next to her. “Who?”

The flames danced in twisted shadows upon Nami’s face as she spoke. “Miko.”

Candle flame

“Miko.” Sura frowned. “But he’s supposed to be with Liana. It’s near the baby’s time. I didn’t want to leave, but I had to see to Papa after his injury, and Miko assured me he would send for the Queen’s own nurse. What do you mean… brought him in?”

Nami leaned forward. “They carried him on a stretcher of cloth and branches. He was moaning like a madman and had the bloody flux.”

“Horrible.” Sura shuddered. “Does anyone else have it?”

“The doctor ordered a check and no one does. The last was a baby already passed on three moons ago.”

Sura sat in silence for a moment. “Has he…”

“This evening.” Nami sighed. “They can’t save you once it gets that far. He had been in the monkey jungle.”

“But why?”

“Who knows?” Nami shrugged and sat back. “Healthy warriors can get it same as the old and weak. My father says that on ships–”

“Not that.” Sura held up a hand to stop her cousin from rambling on. “The jungle. What was Miko doing there when he was supposed to be looking after Liana? And who’s with her now?”

Nami picked up her cup of juice and sipped it before answering. “He was taking the short route to the Royal Hall. One of his men got him to talk a little before the fever burned up his mind. Liana had agreed to marry him and he was going to ask for the Queen’s permission.”

“Liana would never agree!” Sura burst out. “She hated him! I didn’t want to leave him with her but Papa is all alone.”

“Shhhh.” Nami warned her. “Never say that again. Liana must grieve mightily. Do you understand? Miko is a beloved warrior and she is a newcomer.”

Woman gazing out to sea

Sura thought about the two warriors who had died while bringing Liana home. And now Miko. Three valuable men no longer here to serve the Queen. At any moment, Her Majesty might decide that Liana was too great a liability to keep around. “Yes, you are right. Liana must be very sad.”

Nami nodded and finished her juice. “Miko was so concerned for his bride to be that he sent his medicine aunt to help deliver her babe. That’s the second part of the news.”

“Adoka?” Sura jumped up. “She is evil! I must go to Liana at once. Will you stay with Papa, please?”

“Of course, cousin.” Nami stood and embraced her. “Get some rest and leave at first light.”

Sura shook her head. “I must go now. I’ll wake a night guide and pay him extra.”

“With what?”

“Mama’s gold ring.” Sura’s eyes filled with tears. “It’s only a thing. She would not want Liana and her baby to be murdered by that crazy woman.”

[to be continued]

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

It’s Raining Liebsters!

Two, count ’em two, lovely bloggers have awarded me the coveted Liebster, yayyy! Thank you Sadje and Di! This is better than making the NYT bestseller list, which is what I told them there when they asked if I had time to fly to NYC, all comped at the Plaza Hotel for interviews and promos and stuff. Nope! I said, no can do. I’m gonna deal with this double Liebster thingie. They said they understood cuz they had been waiting their whole lives for Liebsters.

Well, I got two. Have I mentioned? Neener!

First, I’m supposed to reveal 11 things about myself. This is probably per award, but eff that.

1. I have over 2,600 blog followers now, which includes Twitter. 🎃

2. My general rule is that I don’t follow back new followers unless they comment.

3. This is only a general rule ~ if I visit them and they’re awesome, I will f/b.

4. I like to follow fiction writers and poets who post their craft, not endlessly moan about stuff or post business stats gabble.

5. Generally, I don’t jabber on here about the news, but I may comment elsewhere.

6. I used to post a lot about my personal life, but I’ve grown incredibly bored with it.

7. That’s because I now live an incredibly boring life, which is how I like it. 🙃

8. I don’t believe that the saying about how you should slide screaming into your grave covered in chocolate because you’ve just failed at an exotic thrill applies to me.

9. I would rather expire quietly while reading a good book and having a nice cup of tea. 📖

10. I may have gotten that quote wrong in #8 but am too lazy to look it up.

11. I am writing this in a Starbucks.

Sadje’s Questions:

1. Are you a serious blogger or just having fun here?

-Yes.

2. What was the reason that made you start a blog?

-This blog? Heartbreak.

3. Take a while to think and let us know: what object that is in your reach right now, influences you? ( e g a tv)

-Phone in my hand. 📱

4. How do you relax?

-Happy Color.

5. Are you superstitious?

-Yes, but it’s silly.

6. Loyalty to the one you love, or one who is right?

-Love always.

7. How can we improve the environment of our planet? Do you take any practical steps towards it?

-It’s really sad that this has become political. Isn’t it in everyone’s interest to have a clean, safe home? It doesn’t have to be tied to climate change, for those who don’t believe humans cause it… but we could all agree to do a better job with the air and water we all need to live. 🌍

8. What is one habit you have that you or your family think is childish?

-I still talk/write in lolcat at times, but so do my girls. We mostly only do this with each other now, since it is silly. 😻

Apparently Sadje only wrote 8 questions, which is great, since I am also about to break the rules and not do any questions or tag any bloggers. OMG! But wait. I will now answer Di’s questions, so that’s something, right? Right! 💖

Di’s Questions:

1. How did you meet your significant other ?

-At the Orange County Animal Shelter.

2. What would you consider the perfect gift to receive ?

-Amazon gift certificate.

3. What would be the worst gift for you to receive ?

-Any gift you have to spend money on, like tickets to a thing you have to travel to.

4. Holidays: Flight, cruise, coach or camping ?

-Staycation please! Love to chill at home and do local low-stress, low-cost fun.

5. Dining out: steak, salad bar, vegetarian, pizza, Indian, Chinese, other ?

-Vegetarian or veggie pizza. I’m not a veggie, but I mostly prefer those choices.

6. Have you ever taken a first aid course ?

-Nope.

7. Alcoholic drink: beer, spirit, wine, cider, liqueur, none ?

-None.

8. Biggest wish ?

-Good health and happiness for my daughters and their families.

9. Biggest fear ?

-Opposite of 8.

10. Do you prefer to cook on gas, electric, other ?

-Cook? 🤣

11. Movies:  comedy, thriller, romcom, animated, sci fi, musical, other?

-Romcom or drama/mystery. Sometimes a musical, but mostly like the older ones.

Great questions! That’ll do me for the week, at least. 👻

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.