Tag Archives: genres

The Magical Garden of Immortality [fiction 587]

Beautiful garden

The diner looked like any other, and Mitch was skeptical he’d come to the right place. He opened the door a crack and peered inside, expecting to see a dimly lit room full of candles and woo, but instead the light was bright and people were drinking their coffees and eating sandwiches.

A gruff voice behind him said, “You going in, buddy, or what?”

Mitch stepped inside. A waitress told him to take any seat, so he found a small booth for two and sat facing the door. A menu stood in a silver holder with a picture of a lush fruit bowl in the South Seas on the cover, and he picked it up. There were the usual salads and burgers, shakes and pies, on offer.

“You ready?” the waitress said, appearing in front of the booth with pencil and pad.

“I, um, heard that this place was a portal,” Mitch said. “But all I see on the menu is lunch.”

She rolled her eyes. “Check the back.”

Mitch turned the menu over. On the back was a list titled “Infinity Realms.” It was a double column and his eyes began to glaze over reading through the small curly font.

“Usually people know the one they want before they get here,” the waitress said. “And they just tell me the code. We’re kinda busy today and portals close at one.”

“Okay okay.” Mitch had made his decision this morning, after months of agonizing, and he wanted it done. “I found it. The code is XB8720A75.”

“A popular one.” She smiled. “Do you want fries with that?”

“No thanks. Just coffee, black.”

She returned in a minute with his coffee. “I’ll let you know when your portal is ready. You can pay now though.”

He handed her a cashier’s check. It was all he had; that was the deal.

As he waited, he imagined his realm. It would be full of natural beauty… leafy trees, a riot of vivid blooming flowers, butterflies and birds, a sparkling waterfall, lovely warm sunshine… a meadow to lie in, woods to wander in… but also people to admire his works, unlike here. They’d read his poetry and appreciate it. Women would respect his intelligence and deep thoughts instead of brushing him off as an oddball. They’d all compete to date him, but he’d only spend his time with the nicest ones who had tender temperaments.

“Okay.” The waitress reappeared. “Go to the men’s room.”

Mitch walked to the back of the diner and opened the door to the men’s restroom.

Swirling colors

It worked!

Mitch was no longer in the diner, but in a gorgeous garden where he’d live forever and be loved and appreciated. He bent down to sniff a fat yellow rose, but was disappointed when he couldn’t pick up a scent.

“Hi honey, welcome home!”

Mitch turned to find a naked redheaded woman slinking toward him. She reminded him of his third grade teacher. “Hi,” he said, embarrassed. “Would you like to hear some of my poetry?”

She wrinkled her nose. “Poetry? Ew. I want to devour you in a wild frenzy of lust! How does that sound for your last moment of consciousness ?”

“Not great.” Mitch backed away. “I don’t want to be devoured. This is the Garden of Immortality, remember?”

“Oh honey!” She laughed. “You must have put in the wrong code. This is the Garden of Immorality, and I’m the chief cannibal. Meet my friends…”

Mitch stared in horror as hungry naked women emerged from the trees.

~*~

Written for MLM’s Magical Garden Prompt.

Written for Teresa’s Immortality Prompt.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

PFF29: A Good Offense

Friday Flashback

Welcome to Paula’s Friday Flashback! This is a challenge begun by Fandango and it’s fun to see what we posted back when (as well as the comments). The below is a reblog of a post I made on December 22, 2013. I’m pretty proud of this rant. Enjoy! Warning: contains swearing.

The Defense Rests

Oh look, it’s yet another article dissing romance novels. (Ghosh offers a tepid “apology” for his diss here ~ he has clearly never read a contemporary romance novel. See my last paragraph about “journalists” who do no research.)

And so many women feel compelled to explain/justify their love of this genre. No one says to men, hey, why do you like watching those explody movies full of gratuitous violence? Or science fiction flicks with goofy aliens. And what about that TV show about zombies everyone loves? Yep, zombies are fine, no need to question anyone’s taste on THAT, but romance novels… now those are suspect.

Most people even accept that men enjoy pr0n. Some women might not like the fact that men enjoy it, but they aren’t puzzled by the idea. It’s not confusing. But people who don’t read romances act confused about women who do read them. “I don’t get it. They’re formulaic. You know how they’ll end.” And so? We always knew Columbo would get the bad guy, yet we liked watching him anyway.

I’m not sure why people have such a problem with romance novels. If you don’t like ’em, don’t read ’em. It’s fairly simple. I dislike all science fiction except the original Star Trek, so I avoid it. That works. I have no interest in any zombie type stuff, so I don’t read or watch it. No problem there. But people who don’t read romances seem to feel a burning need to continually diss the genre.

Beyond that, we have the explainers and the analyzers. Must don Freudian cap and tell you vhy you like zeeze books. You had a strained relationship wiss your fadder, yes? Zomg. SHADDAP.

You know what the problem is? Too many fucking “journalists” and not enough topics. Every week these explainer dorks are scrambling for something to write about, but they don’t go out and actually experience anything, interview anyone, take photos, etc. They just yabber away from their armchairs and make shit up. Hopefully something annoying that people will click on so they’ll see some dumb ad.  Many are still sailing in the faint breeze from that Fifty Shades book  and trying to make a penny off discussing erotica erm blah yip yap SEX whatever.

Leave us alone and let us enjoy our bodice rippers in peace.

/end reblog

~*~

Image from Pexels

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

Dada’s Game

Surreal chess

The day was made of squares,
Newbright and melting gold,
Like crowns straight from the fire.
I thought I saw you there;
My breath turned into mist.
But knight came with a plot twist:
Ice blue squares adorned this board,
Glowing like a cheap motel.
The gold softened into quicksand;
My castles sank as the snow fell.
I watched your bishop’s mask slip,
Revealing the demon dog beneath;
It gobbled up my last three pawns.
Checkmate, you said,
Leaving me with a bill in hand,
And ghosting off to Forest Lawn.

~*~

Written for Dverse Surrealism.

Image credit to Pixabay.

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

Rockumentaries & Things

I love musical movies… Hair, Chicago, Walk the Line, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Across the Universe, Mamma Mia (1 & 2), The Lion King, Grease, Fiddler on the Roof, etc. There are lots I haven’t seen and still want to ~ Meet Me in St. Louis, for heaven’s sake!

But that’s not what I came here to talk about today. Lately I’ve seen a bunch of rockumentaries, which is a class of movie I’ve avoided in the past because it seemed eh boring, like something from the History Channel. But first I watched one on Joan Jett and it was interesting! Last summer I saw The King in Long Beach and enjoyed that too. It was more an overview of the times than a laser-focus on Elvis, but even so. Good stuff, despite the history content.

Then I meant to see Bohemian Rhapsody on my Movie Pass, but it died so I didn’t. I watched it on Prime for $6 last month though, and it was great! I’ve always loved Queen’s music. RIP Freddie.

Next I went to see Rocketman. Wow. It was incredible. Taron Egerton did such a fab job portraying Elton John. The music. The costumes. All spectacular. And Elton as a little boy was just heartbreaking too.

Last weekend I saw Yesterday, which isn’t in the same category because it’s a romcom with a fantasy element, but regardless it’s entirely themed on The Beatles, so I say it goes in this post. I dare you to disagree! I loved it, btw. Super fun and adorable. Lots of Beatles’ songs throughout to keep a fan happy.

Yesterday I saw Echo in the Canyon, which is about the California music biz in the 1960s. Jakob Dylan interviews a bunch of old-timey musicians and plays clips of their songs, and he also recreates some of their tunes himself. He’s super talented… wonder where he gets that from? I’ve loved him since the first Wallflowers album, so I may be biased there. I highly recommend this movie to all music fans. Honestly, Jakob needs to do a sequel because there’s just so much more!

During the previews to Echo, we saw that there’s a new movie coming out in August sort of like Yesterday but without a fantasy element and themed on Bruce Springsteen. Guess who is gonna put Blinded by the Light on her must-see list?

🎶😀🎶💖🎶

We Don’t Want Him

Nicholas Sparks is trending because he refused to accept an LGBTQ 🏳️‍🌈 club in the Christian school he founded and there’s some ongoing litigation yada. Apparently part of the case has been settled, and he has the legal right to be intolerant, so that’s cool. I more or less support keeping it legal for private clubs to arbitrarily let in and keep out whom they please, as opposed to landlords, employers, public schools, etc. (Whether they should get tax breaks is a different issue.)

Just because something is legal however doesn’t make it good or right. It’s also legal to cheat on your wife. But that’s not what I came here to discuss today. If you don’t already know, Nicholas Sparks is a writer, a hugely bestselling writer. His books have been made into movies. You’ve surely heard of The Notebook? Well, there you go.

In the frenzy to bash Sparks, people have been conflating his books with romance novels and dumping on the whole genre. Now, I don’t mind bashing Sparks ~ I made a yucky 🤮 face on Twitter myself. I can’t stand his sterile prose ~ and that was before I knew he was super religious. Now my review of Safe Haven from 2013 makes a lot more sense.

But let’s be clear: Nicholas Sparks is not a romance novelist. He says himself he isn’t one, and he is correct. He writes general fiction (“love stories”) with romantic elements. It’s an important distinction, peeps! To be a romance novel, a story must have a Happily Ever After ending. If you want to bash the genre, go ahead. If you want to rag on Sparks, for his politics or his writing or both, have at it.

But please don’t lump Nicholas Sparks in with romance novelists. Cuz that just pisses me right off. 😡💥🔥 He’s not welcome in our club. On the whole, you will find the protags in romance novels to be a tolerant lot, or they become tolerant as the story progresses.

I note that in The Daily Beast article I linked in my first sentence, Sparks bags on the whole romance novel genre because he’s a stupid ass who has read none of the books he’s criticizing. Romance novels are not about “the taming of a man” ~ if anything, they err on the side of misogyny, even though they are written largely by women and mostly from the POVs of the female protagonists. What they are, are fantasies of what it would be like if an alpha hero fell in love with you and wanted you more than anything on this earth, and indeed would do anything on this earth to make you his own. And he succeeds. That is what romance novels are and why those of us who love them, love them. ❤️❤️❤️

Sparks can stick with his yawningly vanilla pudding Ken-doll heroes because there is obviously a market for bland safe smooth love too.

^^^ The sexual excitement level in a Sparks’ novel goes from zero to pudding.

Listing

I listed
All the home chores
I had neglected to do:
The vacuuming,
The dusting,
The dishes,
Some ironing too.

I listed
All the reasons
I was better off
With you gone:
The lying,
The crying,
The cold silent
Depressed dawn.

I listed
All the fun things
I’d plan with new friends:
The game nights,
The art walks,
The movies and dinners,
To fill
My weekends.

I listed
My lists
In a master
List of all lists,
To stay organized
And methodical,
Which made me feel
Blissed.

But I ran out of paper
And my cat stole my pen,
So I texted you
At midnight:
Please come back again!

~*~

Genre Challenge: List Poem

Beyond

After days of rain
Morning sunshine glows again
Noisy birds approve

Grass soft as frosting
Leaves drizzling sugar dew
Restful world awaits

Curious cat roams
Beyond the manicured lawn
Into shadowed woods

Ancient wings unfold
As warm fresh blood approaches
Magic spell is cast

Cat comes home with eyes aflame
Different somehow still the same

~*~

Genre Challenge: Haiku Sonnet
Opposites Attract: April 18
Sue Vincent’s Photo Prompt

Take Me With You [fiction 300]

For seven years, Kiara had toiled at Wolf Castle. She’d been grateful they took her in of course, that night she’d arrived, sick and bloody, with a broken hand. They had fixed her. Then they’d put her to work.

“Don’t think you’re here to learn secrets for petty revenge,” Lady Wolf had warned her repeatedly. “We have important tasks to fulfill. You’ll do as you’re told.”

But Kiara had learned the secrets and spells. She burned for revenge against the cruel man who had hurt her back at the pretty cottage by the sea, where she’d felt safe surrounded by flowers and lovely things, until that night. Here, all was dark and cold and ugly, but no one hurt her. Not in that way, not like her stepfather had.

Now, seven years later, Kiara was ready to return. Quietly, she packed a small bag with poisons she’d concocted from ancient books and a sharp knife she’d pilfered. She crept down the stairs and went around to the back door, the one they used to exit to the graveyard.

As she began walking past the crumbling stones, Kiara heard a noise, a breath. She stopped. Something brushed past her and she half-screamed.

“Quiet!” he hissed, moving his hood back so she could see his face. “They’ll find us.”

Kiara recognized Thorn, Lady Wolf’s strange son, who up until now seemed to communicate only with animals. His eyes glinted in the moonlight like a cat’s, and she shivered. “Why are you here?”

“I’ve been watching you,” he said. “I know you’re going back to the sea.”

Kiara couldn’t deny it. “I need to settle with someone.”

“I’ll help you.”

Kiara’s fury rose up. “He’s mine!”

“I want to watch.” Thorn smiled and white teeth glittered like jewels. “Take me with you.”

~*~

Genre Challenge: Dark Fantasy

Green [fiction 500]

Finally, all the pesky environmental protection laws had been defeated and steel drilling rigs covered the coastline. One by one, native species of flora and fauna died off, except for the Pacific greenworm. The greenworm flourished without its former predators and swiftly mutated into a new creature that could absorb nutrients from steel. There was a lot of steel around, and the worms were hungry.

*

At the university laboratory, the brilliant microbiology team studied the mutant worms in an attempt to understand how to kill them and protect the oil industry.

“Shouldn’t we be wearing full protective gear?” Ashley Adams asked, her voice wavering, since she was new on the team, yet worried they weren’t following proper procedure.

Team leader Brock Butler shook his head. “No need for that expense,” he said decisively. “These little worms are only harmful in water. Plus we aren’t made of steel!”

Chris Campbell sneezed and said, “Hey guys, I’m leaving early for break. I haven’t been feeling well today.”

*

Cantankerous old Grandpa Campbell knocked on the bedroom door. “Ain’t you up yet, Chrissy? I got sumthin to show you.”

Chris slipped her arms into her bathrobe, shivering and shaking. Her chest felt crushed, and she knew she was much sicker than a week ago when she went on Spring Break. She shuffled over to the front door where Grandpa was pointing. “Oh, my God.”

A bright green film covered everything: the porch, the walkway, the cars, the trees. It was as if the sky had dumped green snow as a belated St. Patrick’s joke. “What is that?”

“Worms,” Grandpa said. “They’s eating up the world. And they started in your school stuff. I threw your backpack on the porch when I first saw them, and the next day there were a million. Now a hundred million. A billion!”

“That can’t be,” Chris said. “They only live in the ocean and eat steel!”

Grandpa waved his hands. “You got eyes same as me. Look! That ain’t the ocean out there. And those worms are eating my trees.”

“I have to call my team.”

“School’s gone,” Grandpa said. “Was on the news. Worms ate everyone. From the inside out. They ate the buildings too. And the computers.”

Chris had a coughing fit. Worms. Ate people. From the inside out. “Grandpa,” she gasped. “I have them.”

“No doubt. And it’s too late for me.” He nodded. “I handled your bags.”

“What are we going to do?” Chris stared out at the bright green cars that used to be a white Corolla and a black Ford pickup.

“How about a martini?” Grandpa suggested. “We have time for maybe two each.”

Chris frowned. “Time? Before what?”

“Russia and China are about to nuke us, to stop the worms from spreading over there.” Grandpa walked into the kitchen and opened the liquor cabinet.

“But doesn’t our government have something to say about that? Can’t they protect us?”

“Naw, honey.” Grandpa took down two glasses. “They’ve all fled the country.”

~*~

Genre Writing Challenge: Eco-Thriller

Opposites Attract Challenge: April 9

Three Things Challenge: PL54

F is for Forbidden [A2Z]

Forbidden Planet by Rinelle Grey was a stretch for me, but I wanted to do some sub-genres reviews this month, not just Regencies and contemporaries. Those are the novels I choose when I don’t make a “mindful” pick. FP is a science fiction romance, with a setting on distant planets.

First, there are environmental issues of overpopulation on one planet, and the dying out of a society on another. One group of people is trying to control their fertility, while the other is trying to have babies desperately.

Second, we have our hero Tyris, who, on his home planet, is considered an outlaw because of an old minor arrest and forbidden from reproducing. When the official notice arrives, his wife dumps him. With nothing to lose, he goes exploring into space.

Third, on the planet where Tyris crashes, he meets Marlee, a young woman who has already failed to get pregnant with other men. She feels despondent over this, even though she is kind and helps him recover. Tyris tries to persuade the people on this planet to let him use their crashed ship’s parts to fix his, but some are reluctant. They seem resigned to their doom.

There is a “gift of the magi” type dilemma happening overall, where a substance named “anysogen” is the key to fueling ships and finding new food sources, which in turn will ease the overpopulation burden; however, exposure to anysogen is fatal at worst and leaves one infertile at best, such infertility extending to animals, livestock and otherwise. Marlee’s planet is (1) full of anysogen, and (2) mysteriously wiped off the starmaps. Hmm.

Be that as it may, FP is a romance novel, so the focus is mainly upon the development of the relationship between Tyris and Marlee, and how they overcome their fears and doubts in order to trust each other. It’s also the first book in a series, so despite the HEA, we are left with many unanswered questions.