Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 55

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The two day trip was as close as you can get to an out of body experience, a step towards something else that resembled readjustment, more than change. The drive back home takes forever when all you want is to finally be by yourself, so you can analyse and categorize all aspects of a new experience; closeness becomes overbearing, and indulging in another person’s company all of the sudden turns into an ordeal. Sex tends to bring people together, all the barriers or propriety and privacy are expunged and such devouring closeness allows for no personal space. So Amalia was trying hard to accept, perhaps even enjoy the other person’s company, in spite of his growing, suffocating familiarity towards her; she knew he meant well, she knew he was trying to offer her a beautiful day in the mountains before heading home, and she knew that – above everything – he was trying to prolong their little adventure away as much as possible.

For more sample fragments from Parallel Lives, see: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

Ephemeral (Weekly Photo Challenge)

This week’s theme: ephemeral. Show us your interpretation!

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Waves calm down eventually. At least that’s what we tell ourselves, even if we have no idea when and how that might happen… It helps us find the strength to fight the storm. Struggle may be futile, but those of us who aren’t fatalists need to know that at least we’ve tried and did our best, no matter whether we succeed or not.

The Inspiring Blogger Award

 

Every once in a while I get reminded how many interesting, amazing people there are in this blogging world. Their stories are unique in their own way, yet how many times have we not found ourselves in a stranger’s words?… How many times have we not relived our own traumas and joys simply by reading somebody’s poem, by emerging ourselves in somebody else’s experience?… Words pour into our minds and souls – strangers’ words, not even our own – and they help our personal feelings, emotion and ideas crystalize. We may not always agree with certain opinions, we may often disapprove of certain choices and lifestyles, but the moment we learn to accept that all these people are as entitled to have a voice and share their individuality as we are, is the moment when we start growing. None of us can hear all the voices, nobody can read all the words, but trying to discover, understand, recognize and accept more of them is never a waste of time.

On this note, I would like to thank somebody I have recently discovered, for having nominated me for the Inspiring Blogger Award. Thank you, Sue Dreamwalker from https://aquileana.wordpress.com/ :-) .  Your incursions in mythology is a nice reminder of all those school days when I used to read stories about ancient times, sometimes forgetting to separate history from myths.

It’s good to give back once in a while, so the second rule implied by receiving this award – nominating 10 other bloggers – is really no chore. I won’t pick favourites this time, I will simply refer to a few of the newer blogs I have started to follow. All of them bravely share bits and pieces of their lives and souls, be it in prose, verse, or photography. So let us all stop being critics for a moment or two and pay them a visit, trying to see them for what they are – individuals with a voice and a story (the same way we would perhaps like others to perceive us).

https://lillianthehomepoet.wordpress.com/

http://suejudd.com/

https://janeslittlesecrets.wordpress.com/

https://kritidhingra.wordpress.com/

http://thejamielea.com/

https://harbourgalleryblog.wordpress.com/

https://theentiretyoflife.wordpress.com/

https://poetsmith.wordpress.com/

https://jsegarra.wordpress.com/

https://bythebriny.wordpress.com/

Let’s see… I have displayed the award on my blog, I have thanked and linked back to the person who has nominated me and I have, in my turn, nominated others and let them know about it. My job here is done. Oh, wait… I was also supposed to mention 7 facts about myself. Perhaps I could overlook this one… I have accomplished this task when receiving other awards, so I hope I’m covered ;-)

Have a nice weekend, all of you!

Driving By A Marriage Proposal (Weekly Photo Challenge)

For this week’s photo challenge, share with us a photo that expresses something fresh.

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No, no, it wasn’t meant for me (good thing it wasn’t, because I would have kept driving)… :-)

I have unwillingly intruded – together with hundreds of unsuspecting drivers – upon a somewhat unusual marriage proposal. The sun was shinning, flowers were blooming, birds were chirping and there it was, stopped on the side, in a dusty, empty parking lot – a car with a banner awkwardly tied to it’s trunk. That simple question so many girls dream of hearing, resonating deeply in their hearts, was spray-painted in black, uneven letters on said banner. A photographer was immortalizing the special moment for the happy, strikingly young couple, so I suspect the question was met with an affirmative answer :-) . People were slowing down, many of them even stopping to take a closer look at the unexpected, personal unfolding of the fresh start of a life together for the young couple. Will it last or will their story have peaked with that proposal on the side of a road, on a sunny, early spring day? Who can tell… I wish them well, whoever they are.

One thing’s for sure – the fresh flowers, the budding trees and the bright sun have gotten to all of us, not only to the birds and the bees ;-) . I look at many of the people around and it seems that something has melted within their souls – it’s that recurring transfiguration we witness every spring, the very one that disappears a few days later, as soon as warm days and lively colours become the norm again. But it’s fun while it lasts. ;-)

World Poetry Day

“The truth seems to be, however, that when he casts his leaves forth upon the wind, the author addresses, not the many who will fling aside his volume, or never take it up, but the few who will understand him better than most of his schoolmates or lifemates. Some authors, indeed, do far more than this, and indulge themselves in such confidential depths of revelation as could fittingly be addressed only and exclusively to the one heart and mind of perfect sympathy; as if the printed book, thrown at large on the wide world, were certain to find out the divided segment of the writer’s own nature, and complete his circle of existence by bringing him into communion with it. It is scarcely decorous, however, to speak all, even where we speak impersonally. But, as thoughts are frozen and utterance benumbed, unless the speaker stand in some true relation with his audience, it may be pardonable to imagine that a friend, a kind and apprehensive, though not the closest friend, is listening to our talk; and then, a native reserve being thawed by this genial consciousness, we may prate of the circumstances that lie around us, and even of ourself, but still keep the inmost Me behind its veil.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter

http://www.un.org/en/events/poetryday/2015/dgmessage.shtml

Take a few minutes and read a poem today… feel the words and let emotions take over you… Remember how the written word enriches our lives, it’s World Poetry Day after all! :-)

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 54

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Amalia slowly climbed in bed opposite to him, her long legs stretched on top of his, his fingers finally touching her, taking their time, moving gently higher and higher, until their warmth would finally settle on the white flash of her thigh, between the stockings’ line and the lace panties. The lust in their eyes became a comprehensive language, as words were now obsolete. The young woman allowed him to unhook her stockings and remove them slowly, with experienced moves, one by one, followed by the garter belt. Without looking away from her even for a moment, he picked up her shoes, his eyes inquiring, “Can you put them back on?” She smiled and the stiletto heels were again part of her ravishing being, while her right hand finally reached out to open his bathrobe, revealing the perceptible protuberance it was covering. The strong hand was caressing her thighs again, until the other arm suddenly grabbed her small waist, pulling her body close to his. The warm hand finally reached between her thighs, the fingers pushed the panties aside , sending an electric thrill through her entire body, while he was finally kissing her, as she threw her arms around his neck.

“I’ve been dying to do this since the moment you first entered that restaurant, looking down on me, so distant and so cold…”

For more sample fragments from Parallel Lives, see: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

Wall (Weekly Photo Challenge)

Share an image of a wall that reveals something about a place, people, or you.

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Old walls always fascinate me… The history and mystery they hide are so tempting and intriguing! It’s such a treat to imagine what used to go on behind them, who or what they were trying to keep out… or in :-) And what was it that finally brought them down?…

But more importantly, are the walls that we can see and touch the strongest ones? They are, after all, the only ones we really know how to destroy, how to climb over…

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 53

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She had been right from the beginning, she had read him well after all.

Such a predictable character when it comes to what he’s hoping to get from me, to what he wants me to be.

So he was a cliché from some points of view; but wasn’t she one as well, with her sexy outfit on, trying to be elegant at the same time?

Certain instances, certain feelings and emotions are classic, not cliché… and so are certain behavioural types, she thought, we repeat timeless actions and we fail to see how new we are to them and how jaded it all is on the outside.

But the subjective novelty is what I want, why I am here… I don’t care about the rest.

And everything disappeared, the only thing that mattered was their desire and the promising climax.

For more sample fragments from Parallel Lives, see: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

Orange You Glad It’s… International Women’s Day? (Weekly Photo Challenge)

This week, share a group of photos where orange is either the dominant color, or provides a bold highlight.

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Happy International Women’s Day, ladies! Never forget how special and wonderful all of you are!

It’s our day, so we should treat ourselves to something nice ;-) Have fun!

Read an E-book Week on Smashwords

For one week only, thousands of Smashwords authors and publishers will provide readers deep discounts on ebooks, with coupon code levels for 25%-off, 50%-off, 75%-off and FREE.

Stop by and take a look, you might find something you like. After all, we can never have too many books :-)

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

http://www.smashwords.com/books/category/1/newest/1

Reward (Weekly Photo Challenge)

What does reward mean to you?

 

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Patience rewarded

Have a beautiful spring!

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 52

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“Cheers!”

“To us!”

And they both drink their burning courage, hoping to be able to remain true to themselves and provide each other with all the fulfilment craved.

“To you and I,” whispered Amalia, carefully setting the empty glass on the nightstand by his side of the bed.

“You’re amazing… I can’t believe the way you look, I never dreamt of something quite this spectacular.”

“I like to make an impression.”

“Oh you do… this is the stuff of memories, every boy’s wet dream.”

“How about men? Real men? Since that’s really my target audience…”

“Oh… you’re what we dream of when we say our prayers at night, just before we have to fuck our wives. You’re what keeps us hard, that phantasy which makes life worth living.”

“You do like your clichés…”

For more sample fragments from Parallel Lives, see: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

Rule of Thirds… But not Today

This week, compose your subject off-center, obeying the Rule of Thirds.

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It’s beginning to look and occasionally even feel like spring, so going to see the sea on a beautiful, though windy and somewhat chilly afternoon seamed like the thing to do. The afternoon almost became evening by the time that I was actually out, but the perspective of taking a nice, quiet drive – maybe even a walk if the weather allowed it – thinking of nothing and just stare at the scenery was too attractive. I had the sea on one side, the sun setting over the town on the other, but it struck me how instead of clearing my head and taking in the view, my mind was preoccupied with something else. I was looking for a good place to park and take a few shots of the sunset… or maybe I should just go on the beach… no, the sunset and the trees are a better choice, who knows, that way I could even come up with something suitable for the photo challenge.

Or maybe I could just look and see – actually see – the beautiful images I was looking at. It took getting out of the car and shivering in the cold wind to come up with that ‘revolutionary’ idea, while my already frozen hands were searching for the phone. The bag went back on my shoulder, my frozen hands went into warm pockets and I went back to that old habit of watching, seeing and perceiving everything through my own eyes, not through a camera. More and more often we need to see reality on a screen in order to perceive it… You know how it is, you notice something, you have a small revelation of your own, and then you can’t help noticing all the manifestations of said idea. I was clearly not the only one willing to brave the cold wind for a few cute photos; in fact, my stubbornly not taking any pictures was making me feel a little bit out of place amongst the people out for a walk by the beach in the early evening.

I hurried back to my car and turned up the heating. I would just stay there for a while, in the warm comfort of the metal shell and stare at the view, at the waves, at the sand, at the sky and think of nothing – just a little bit of ‘me and the sea’ time. No photos, no phone, no camera, just my own eyes :-) I have countless shots of seas and sunsets, many of them taken in a hurry – having had only a moment to stop, I had more and more often used it to take a picture at which I would look more carefully later, when I’d have the time. So I could certainly take a break from that sort of behavior I had adopted without even noticing it.

And here we are – no new photos for this week’s Rule of Thirds, just a few adapted oldies; somehow, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about this one…

Ghosts of Valentine’s Dates Past

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It’s not every day that a flower delivery guy almost throws a bouquet of roses at you, I thought to myself the day before yesterday. He had harassed me all day, calling like a maniac in order to find out when exactly I’d be home, so he could bring me the flowers – a Valentine’s Day bouquet which for some inexplicable reason they had decided to deliver a couple of days early. As soon as I closed the door in the face of the man who was still expecting a tip in spite of his rudeness and almost offensive words, I got to enjoy the beautiful roses – in spite of the commercial fuck up, they were still the symbol of a loving gesture, from a person so dear to me. I have long ago made my peace with the holiday dreaded by many, but I can’t deny that the incident brought back bittersweet memories of Valentine’s Days past.

I was thirteen or so when I survived the first “celebration” of the sort. The rumour had spread among my classmates, the boys were up to something and all of us, girls, spent the week before V Day waiting to find out what they were going to do. Nothing outrageous, as it turned out, but still terribly exciting for the time being – some of us got flowers and cards from the boys who liked us and we got asked out on dates. So when my best friend suggested we go out with our classmates without actually saying yes to any of the boys, I breathed a sigh of relief. That meant she wasn’t going to say yes to the boy I liked, who was going to ask her out. Or so I thought, because as we arrived at the meeting place, he headed towards her, holding a rose that had clearly seen better days, looking slightly puzzled by my presence. Sorry I lied, but you wouldn’t have come with me if I had told you; and you know I couldn’t go on a real date with him, but I couldn’t just say no either, she whispered in my ear as he was uttering a shy hello. Well, it made more sense back then – you see, the boy in question was part of our close group of friends and even if my bestie didn’t like him, she figured refusing to go on a date with him would translate into them not wanting to be friends with us anymore; besides, she had no idea that I had a crush on him. I had naïvely hoped he would come to his senses and ask me out, even if I knew who he actually liked. So I brutally refused the other two boys who had asked me to be their date on Valentine’s Day for no other reason than that they weren’t the one I had my mind/heart/hormones set on.

Don’t ever let them know what you feel, don’t ever let them see that you’re suffering, that they hurt you, my mother’s words come to my mind. So with a deep breath and a large smile I started acting my little ass off, pretending I actually wanted to be there and didn’t care about anything or anyone. Our group was smaller than we initially intended it to be, but, luckily, I wasn’t the only dateless wonder. So it couldn’t get much worse, I thought to myself, as soon as the happy couple was done exchanging a few private words. Wrong again, I would immediately find out during a quick gossip session in the lady’s room; he had asked her to be his girlfriend, her need to be liked had kicked in again and she couldn’t refuse him. Yet she wasn’t going to act on it and since I wouldn’t provide her with a good excuse to leave early, she spent the entire evening – and then the following week – trying to avoid him. As we were all walking her to the bus stop, he finally got closer to her and found the right moment to attempt a good night kiss… in the middle of which she broke free from his hug and jumped into the bus that had just arrived, although it wasn’t the one she was waiting for. Yes, we all noticed that minor detail, and it did feel good to see him sad both because of her rejection and of the other boys’ jokes.

As my first experience… or perhaps I should say experiment in celebrating love finally came to an end, I could finally hide in my room and draw all the sordid conclusions. ”Never again” was the first one, and by that I certainly didn’t mean never celebrate the holiday. More than anything, it was a promise to myself, that I wouldn’t sit and wait quietly for a guy to notice me when and if he felt like it; nor would I waste my time pining over boys who didn’t care about me. Moreover, once the anger subsided, I had to admit that my being there to witness the entire drama unfold was actually a good thing; that way I was left with a realistic view on the events of the evening, instead a romanticized, much more painful, image I would have otherwise built in my mind.

Well, that was their only date, their only kiss and all her avoidance manoeuvres made for some ridiculous, yet very funny situations. Between her frequent disappearance acts and my suddenly strange behaviour generated by my bruised ego, the poor guy was baffled by what was going on with his friends. Determined not to become the messenger between the two halves of the “happy” couple, I was acting out, engaging in harmless fun of my own, trying to choose between two guys, in spite of not being interested in either of them. As one of them (the charismatic bad boy all the girls wanted) was getting a bit too flirty with me, I could see said poor guy observing me in a strange, disappointed fashion. He later told me I deserved better than that jerk; I replied he wasn’t the one to talk and left him thinking no good deed ever goes unpunished. Everything went back to normal within a week or so, as he finally got the hint and gave up on following her around and I stopped feigning interest in irrelevant people. We got over our crushes and we were all friends again, just like before the shit romance had hit the fan on Valentine’s Day… Ironically enough, that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, considering that he is now my oldest and closest friend.

From early on I suspected that not having a date is by far not the worst thing that could happen to a girl on Valentine’s Day. As the years went by, I became convinced of it. Yes, ladies, when a man you barely started dating shows up wearing not much else than a red thong, revealing thus his idea of romance, you wish you had no date. And when a man brings his mommy along for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner because she was feeling lonely that evening, you know you must draw the line and boundaries must be set for this particular day of the year. Since I never had an issue with being single or dateless in the middle of February, I made a decision several years ago: no more dates with people I don’t know well or care about on Valentine’s Day. After all, shouldn’t this day be a reminder to celebrate people we love?… As far as I am concerned, that’s not a feeling limited to the person I’m in a relationship with, and some of my best Valentine’s Days were spent with close friends, regardless of whether I was or wasn’t in a relationship at the time. And let’s not forget one undeniable fact – dating somebody doesn’t necessarily mean loving them, nor does it guarantee the death of loneliness…

So this year it was just me, myself and my roses for Valentine’s Day… and maybe a glass of wine at the end of a relaxing, quiet day of pampering :-) . Distance and timing may have gotten in the way of spending the day with a certain someone, but that’s not really as big a tragedy as some make it out to be… because I know that I’m loved and appreciated for more than just one day a year!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved. ”

W. Shakespeare – Sonnet 116

There’s more to this day than cards, flowers, chocolates, heart-shaped knickknacks and all sorts of gifts that make us feel wanted and appreciated. Not that they are completely irrelevant – much like the day itself, they are a reminder that a certain feeling, a certain human emotion should be cherished and celebrated once in a while! (And hopefully there’s a little bit more to that feeling than 50 Shades of Grey ;-) ) So I hope that today you get to enjoy a few special moments with someone you love, either face to face or at least hearing their voice on the phone.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you and to the people you love!

Scale (Weekly Photo Challenge)

This week, share an image that highlights a size relationship — make us pause and take a second look to understand the scale of the elements in your photo.

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Remember those old camera phones? Yes, the ones equipped with VGA cameras :-) Oh, that sense of pride and joy many of us have felt when having purchased our very first one… Well, this is a picture taken with such a phone many, many moons ago. While reminiscing, go ahead and see if you can find the butterfly :-)

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And now for something from this decade… It’s interesting to see how all those things so important to us can at time seem so small and insignificant, if perceived from a distance, within a larger picture.

Parallel Lives – Sample Fragment 51

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Those eyes will wonder from the stiletto heels, upwards on the long, graceful legs, even more enticing in black stockings; they will linger hungrily on the garter belt and on the lace panties and they will take their time, being thankful for the tight corset, sending a distinct message to the tip of the fingers which almost feel it, anticipating the moment when they would struggle to tear it off the woman’s body; they will feel the heat of the body, as they focus on the whole image of the sensual woman standing a few metres away, the white flesh contrasting with the sexy black lingerie, her soft, long hair covering her shoulders and her naked back. The happiness becomes complete when those eyes meet another pair of long lashed, desire filled eyes which mirror the same wishes and carnal promises for the moments to follow. The young, beautiful face becomes even more irresistible, when the sincere smile lights it up with images of seduction and satisfaction, as the woman acknowledges her power and beauty and control over the man, yet again. She knows what effect her standing there, a speechless embodiment of sex, has over the man in front of her, and she takes her time, because this is one of those sensations which need to fully be perceived in order to set the right tone for the night to follow. She then motions slowly and lasciviously to pick up the almost forgotten glass offered to her moments or maybe centuries ago.

“Cheers!”

“To us!”

For more sample fragments from Parallel Lives, see: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

Depth (Weekly Photo Challenge)

This week, share with us your take on “depth” — you can take it literally, like me, by showing something (a dense forest, your lawn after a blizzard) that suggests volume, a distance between surface and bottom. Or go with a more figurative approach.

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I would like to say that there is something deep, profound about anything and anyone, but the truth is I don’t believe it. Sometimes what you see is exactly what you get, certain things, places, situations and people are nothing more than what they appear to be. And this can be a real blessing in some cases, the same way shallow waters can become a nightmare in others. But it’s the hidden meaning, the dark depths of mystery that I generally like to look for, whenever existence becomes dull and predictable. It just adds a special thrill to life and routine once in a while :-)

A Little Something Before Valentine’s Day…

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I have a little something for all of you, just to say ‘thank you’ for reading and considering my thoughts. All I can give you right now is a book – I wish it could be more… Last year, just before Valentine’s Day, I created a coupon for everybody who wanted to read Parallel Lives and find out how Amalia’s (love) life would evolve. With the risk of seeming repetitive, I’m doing the same this year, I’m making it a tradition :-) So feel free to download the book as many times as you want or send the coupon as a cute gift to any of your friends!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396169

Promotional price: $0.00

Coupon Code: XW47A (enter the code at checkout)

Expires: February 15, 2015

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