That incredibly emotive paragraph I wrote for the last blog post got me thinking again about Opening Pandora--a story I’ve been wanting to write but one that has lacked any kind of structure or focus. My biggest obstacle has been that I’ve had no idea how Stephanie’s journey begins. I’ve known where I want to take her, at least in part, but how to start… again, the complaint of pantsing your way through a manuscript. In fact, there have been several false starts, a few of them punished to this blog, actually. None of them worked, otherwise I would have been able to continue her tale. But I like this one… it resonates a truth to me. Setting up her ordinary world, before everything changes. What do you think?
Emptiness is like a plague, robbing life of light and color, stealing the innocence of beauty and the hope of joy, leaving only the shades of memory and longing. And I’d been living in the shadows far too long. I raised my glass. “Happy Anniversary.”
As usual, he didn’t answer back, merely smiled from beneath the glass pane, his likeness forever captured, his essence forever lost.
Right on schedule, my laptop sprang to life, calling me away from the past, and I clicked to answer.
“Hey, beautiful. How’s Durham?” A shinning, persistently optimistic face beamed back at me.
“Good evening, Dr. Monroe. How’s life in Boston?”
Joe swept his hand to the view behind him, a bank of floor to ceiling windows reflecting a cityscape lit up like a Christmas tree. “Effervescent.”
I shook my head. “You’re too damn cheerful.”
“Only around you, which begs the question. When are you coming back from that godforsaken place? Chatting but once a week is becoming tortuous. I miss you.” Joe was an urban socialite. The idea of leaving the seat of all that is modern and convenient for a small town, despite its natural beauty, surrounded as it was by lakes and forests, was heresy.
“I miss you too.” I sipped my wine.
“You’re avoiding the question.” He crossed his arms.
“I know this is hard for you to grasp, but it’s very peaceful here. I needed the break.”
“Well, surely you’re done traipsing about with the fairies and wee folk of the bogs and glens by now. It’s been a month.” He moved closer to the screen on his computer. “You’re chewing your fingernails. Oh, God. What are you not telling me?”
I dropped my hand as if I’d been caught reaching for a hot pot on the stove.
“Stephanie. What is it?”
“I found a job.” I came out as a whoosh, the urge to finish chewing my nail chasing quick on its heels.
“A job? You mean to stay then?” His voice screamed incredulous, but his eyes searched me across the miles, crestfallen.
“I can’t come back Joe. There’s nothing there for me now.”
“I know it was hard losing Jason, but you have friends here, a career…”
“And I’m grateful to you for both, but I need a mulligan, a clean start. I can’t do that in Boston where every café, every restaurant, every street I walk down reminds me of him.”
“It’s been over a year, Steph.”
“I know, that’s why I’m here. I have to do this.”
He leaned back, neatly manicured eyebrows drawn together in consternation. “There’s no budging you?”
“I’m not saying this is a permanent solution; it’s just a right-now solution.”
He regarded me, like a chess player assessing his next move. “Fine. Then Christopher and I are coming for a holiday.”
“Better bring goulashes—gets pretty mucky on all the dirt roads.”
The look of horror on his face made me spit out some of my wine. “Jesus, Joe.” I dabbed at my eyes and the mess with tissue. “It’s not that bad. I promise.”
He put a hand over his heart. “I’m only considering this because I love you. Christopher, however, might have my balls.”
“Well, it’s a good thing he’s been taking such good care of them all these years then isn’t it. He’s not likely to damage them now.”
“You don’t know how much he hates mud.” He grimaced.
“Well, let me know if and when you two decide to come down. I’ve got plenty of room.”
“I’ll clear it with the hospital and get back to you.” He paused. “You sure you’re okay?”
“I’m good. Honest. It’s been a rough day, but I start at the pub tomorrow. I’m actually excited.”
“The pub? What on earth have you gotten yourself into?”
“I’m the new bartender.”
Maybe a scene later in the book, or maybe nothing at all. 😛 The joys of pantsing your way through a manuscript means you have no idea what’s happening, lol. Each chapter you write is like both you and the reader discovering your words for the first time.
“You know when you love someone to the point of the dissolution of your own skin, your body disappearing into the hallowed embrace of their arms, when their breath becomes the only thing keeping you from drowning, when their eyes are the only light you see guiding you from the darkness of your own soul, when you can’t imagine an existence without their smile, their laugh, their touch. And you know when that love gets severed from you like a limb torn from your body, ripped from your very sinew and bone, pulled apart and scattered like bitter carnage for the wolves of betrayal and misery to ravage and destroy.” I stared at Dr. Monroe, willing him to challenge me. I needed a fight. Someone to yell at, rail against. But he merely uncrossed and then crossed his legs and tapped his pencil against his chin, as his cool expresso eyes studied me.
I leaned back, the energy drained from me. “Well then, you’ll know what it was like to lose her.”
With only 25 days till #HotinAruba drops, I’m going to share my pick to play Carlos. Meet Spanish model Amadeo Leandro. I’m not even sure if this beautiful man acts, but um, well, he’s certainly sexy! Carlos as a character is charming, giving, and totally selfless. He cares deeply for Samantha. Having been relegated to the friend zone for years, he’s ready to prove his mettle as boyfriend material. He sings sensuously as he plays the guitar, and when you imagine his hips moving while he dances… well, let’s just say I hope you enjoy meeting Carlos.
There are only 26 days till #HotinAruba drops! It’s always fun to imagine who I’d like to play main characters. For Samantha, our main protagonist, she would need to be strong and gutsy… someone who doesn’t take bullshit from anyone. Someone sensible, not prone to fits of hysteria or fantasy. She would need to be down to earth and, of course, incredibly sexy. I think Katheryn Winnick would do the job very nicely.
Well, I did it. I took the plunge. As of September 2017, I became a full time college student! Heading back to school was a nerve-wracking decision, but I never turn down an intriguing challenge. 😀
So, in honour of this crazy new path, I decided to document my journey with a series of videos, to give everyone a chance to experience the wild antics with me.
Here’s Day One.
Enjoy a trip down college lane.
The following fanciful tale is based on a true story… a story that resulted in $1100 damage, a tow, and tears. No actual people were injured in the telling of this story.
Once upon a time there was a rock. It was an old rock, long forgotten by those who tread near. Covered in moss and lichens, it had withstood the test of time. It spent its days content with its solitude, grounded in its security. It didn’t want for anything that mother nature couldn’t provide. It was an old soul, wise and watchful.
Once upon a time there was a car. It was a humble car, never racing or causing a fuss at stop signs and traffic lights. It whisked its owners from destination and back without asking for anything in return. It loved the feeling of its thick tires on the road, a blanket of dew on its windshield, and the heat of the afternoon sun on its hood. It was a cheerful soul, giving and playful.
Rock and Car were never meant to meet. So far apart, their worlds were separated by miles and purpose. But fate has a way of bringing the impossible into being. The strings of chance, merely a puppeteer’s magic, pulling circumstance and causality our way. And when opportunity finally ceded to fate’s siren song, Rock and Car were forever altered.
It was more than a glancing caress, more than a passing touch. Their impact shattered the quietude of dusk, the breathtaking collision sending shock waves through them both. Car’s thick tires lifted from the ground, sending tremors through its body, the sensation startling and unfamiliar. Rock’s visage, once impassive and aloof, transformed into deep grooves of connection and warmth. The two souls merged so completely only chains and pulleys could drag them apart.
But part they did. And when the time came to say goodbye, there was only a reverent silence, their gaze never wavering until the trees swallowed their sight.
Was it love or merely a transient fling? One can’t possibly say. But for a brief moment, Rock and Car had shared an impossible union, and in that flash of brilliance, life would never be the same.