Little Tsunami

littletusnami

“I’m a good swimmer,” he says.

He can take it. All of it. Ripples, waves, crashing, roiling.

I’m so full of words. I could write all day from the moment I wake until I pass out asleep, and it would never be enough to get it all out.

“Why am I like this?” I ask him.

“Why can’t I stop being too much?”

He says likes me that way. He says I have a need to connect.

“Quiet people need to connect.” I say.

But in the questioning comes answers.

I think back to how he dived into my waves. I would come in, all words. Full of thoughts and questions. It could be the moon, or plastic soldiers, or the tender sense of domesticity I thought we’d never have. Our conversations ranged from childhood homes, ex-lovers, and Star Trek, to body image. From a song that made our hearts ache, and movies that made us cry.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I can never truly know how relationships are going to turn out. It seems some people have ideas about that kind of thing. And it works out! They make their five and ten year plans. Bless them.

To the lovers who thought me too much, thank you for your grace, and for helping me learn lessons about myself. And for coming back after the awkwardness faded.

To the lovers who misunderstood what they saw in me … I recognize your curiosity was pure. I’m more careful about who I let in now, it keeps my heart safer that way. I still feel the warm of embarrassment on my neck and flush my cheeks. I recognize that I wasn’t what you thought, but that doesn’t mean I’m not good. It just means we weren’t a good fit.

To the lovers who lied–I maybe learned the most from you. Hopefully, never again.

So here I am, the Little Tsunami of feelings and words. I think of it as neurotic needs to be understood because I spent so much of my life before him with people who invalidated me daily. Who asked me to be quiet. And who didn’t want my words. So, I stayed quiet. I kept my words locked away, for decades.

So now, I will sip wine and try to keep from drowning everything in sight. But like with all powers of nature, sometimes it flows out of me in a torrent. I will write the words pouring out of my wild heart–because it cannot be tamed, and he doesn’t try to tame it. He likes me wild and he likes my muchness.

 

Whatever Part of Me

TigerLily

You pluck an ancient string in me. The chord vibrates. Resonates. You think it’s maybe bad. Sometimes I wonder about that, too. So I hold it up to the light, to look at where to cleave it–a master lapidary of emotion.

“I don’t want to cause you pain…”

Oh, sweet torture … here she goes, listening to Amy Winehouse again. Calling herself a whore. But that’s an ancient curse. An irrelevant self-flagellation. I step out of that gown and leave it on the floor as I walk away, more naked than any whore.

I like the waters a little turbulent. Smooth seas make for poor sailors. Navigating complex emotional waters has made me a captain of the HMS Cosmic Goddess. I know how to cut through the waves now. But some storms are enough to leave me listing … for a while. And it’s been awhile.

I want an inch of black eyeliner ringing my eyes. My lips painted dark and glossed, to invite a kiss. Or a bite. The cosmic goth queen in me gets restless sometimes. Where does she come from? Her white spidersilk hair, finally relevant. Older. Wiser. Wanton. Wild.

Wet.

I hope whatever part of me you can have will be worth something to you. I gave her to you freely because you asked. If she doesn’t fit, send her off on the waves and let her float away … I don’t need her anymore.

 

 

 

 

Whisper to the Wind

Sometimes I say it here, whatever it is. It’s a whisper into the wind that maybe catches an ear or two. It’s of no real consequence. Ok, maybe it’s of little consequence, but only to me. But I need to…well, at least I find it helpful to, write things down. Helps me work it all out, ya know?

writing

I wonder about words like “whore” and “wrong.” About what the measure of success is. Where the concepts of grief and jealousy came from. Is grief learned? Or is it born into the ancient parts of our brains? Jealousy feels so primal, like it’s hardwired into our DNA, unless you’re one of those miraculous people who does not suffer at the gaping maw of jealousy. People who don’t watch themselves aging and wondering if it matters enough to try and recapture youth, or just let things happen naturally. If you do fight it, what exactly are you fighting? Being seen as old? Losing your sex appeal? Sex and love is for everybody – not just for the young and thin among us.

It was an up-down sort of night. Emotions were observed, like cards in  a deck. Choir singing, lost friends, found adventures. Smiles and stories from the young and old alike.  Laughing friends. Storytellers. Moments my heart listened to – either for the better, or the funny little hurts that inform it.

I’m so sleepy. Going to try and go to bed now. Off you go, whispers–see if you can find an ear.

 

Supernatural Summer Reading 2017

Hello mortals! If you’re in Maryland and like vampire and werewolf stories, you will definitely want to come to Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast on July 22nd to enjoy short readings and follow-up discussions with authors H.L. Brooks (that’s me!) and Dea Schofield. We will be reading some short excerpts from our latest books. There will also be some light refreshments and a door prize for one lucky winner. If you are a book blogger, vlogger, or bookstagrammer, send me a note if you can come by and we will hook you up with a swag bag.

TIME:
Saturday, July 22nd, 2017
4pm-5:30pm

PLACE:
Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast in Baltimore, MD
http://www.scarboroughfairbandb.com

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Sexy Shape Shifters?

Last month Red August was featured in the February Ever After Box fairy tale and romance book subscription service. Red August was my debut novel, and the first in the Red August series about a girl who is becoming a woman, and discovers a world she is a part of, but never knew existed. It also happens to be a modernized Red Riding Hood retelling. For March the theme is Sexy Shifters! Since werewolves fit that theme, they have accepted the second book in the Red August series, Red Archer, for their March box. The exciting part is, apart from people who come to my launch party on March 18th at the New Deal Cafe, Ever After box subscribers will be the first to read Red Archer because they will get a free ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) download of Red Archer in the March box!

Visit the Ever After Box website to sign up for their subscription boxes, for the fairy tale romance lover in your life.

You can visit the Facebook invitation for the book launch here: https://www.facebook.com/events/255044768254137/  (PLEASE RSVP if you plan on coming – it helps us to make sure there is enough nibbles and drinks)

 

redarcherfinal

Following a season of late weddings and new romance, August Archer is ready to embrace the next part of her life—ready to reclaim her lost heritage, and to join herself with the man she loves.

But her sojourn with Faolan to their Scottish homeland turns out to be a very different trip than either of them could have imagined. August feels the bonds of love twisting into knots when the past comes back to haunt them both, even as the bonds of family grow stronger when she finds the hunter clans—her ancient kin—preparing to fight for what they hold dear.

Before this journey ends, August will face her bitterest enemy, confront a shocking betrayal in the Archer family, and become transformed by a spirit world she never dreamed existed. And she will encounter a ghost from the past that threatens to unravel her entire future, in this reimagined saga of the Red Riding Hood story—the sequel to Red August.

Red Archer Reveal

The cover for Red Archer is done! This is the second book in my Red August series. There will be an update as soon as it is available for pre-order.

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Following a season of late weddings and new romance, August Archer is ready to embrace the next part of her life—ready to reclaim her lost heritage, and to join herself with the man she loves.

But her sojourn with Faolan to their Scottish homeland turns out to be a very different trip than either of them could have imagined. August feels the bonds of love twisting into knots when the past comes back to haunt them both, even as the bonds of family grow stronger when she finds the hunter clans—her ancient kin—preparing to fight for what they hold dear.

Before this journey ends, August will face her bitterest enemy, confront a shocking betrayal in the Archer family, and become transformed by a spirit world she never dreamed existed. And she will encounter a ghost from the past that threatens to unravel her entire future, in this reimagined saga of the Red Riding Hood story—the sequel to Red August.

redarcherfinal

Gratitude Practice

hrcshirt

My week, and subsequently my weekend, was a bit of a roller-coaster ride. Anybody who has ever tried to run their own business, or who has to submit themselves to regular public scrutiny can probably relate pretty well to the way things went for me last week.

I had a few confidence shudders. A few squealing belts under my hood that wanted attention. Fortunately I have a pretty great support system. The mechanics of my life stepped in and told me what the trouble was, I listened to their expert advice, even if I didn’t want to pay what it cost in self-reflection. In the end, I chose the path of GET THE FUCK ON WITH IT.

After the tears and the fears started to wane enough to see a clear route, I stopped to reflect on gratitude. I see a therapist and she has me do this thing, which as it turns out is a pretty good thing – at least for me. That thing is writing down acknowledgments and gratitude. The acknowledgements are for the things I have done that day. Little pats on my back to myself, even for small things. Because face it, when you’re in a depression, or stressed and feel a bit like you’re failing – even small feats of organization, house-cleaning, or work can feel like mountains. And when you do big things you can sort of pat yourself on the back for, it helps lay a solid foundation for the direction you are headed. So–ALL GOOD STUFF!

The gratitude portion is just anything I am grateful for. It reminds me that no matter what I might be stressed about, or hurting from, or worried about, there is always something to be grateful for. Sometimes, on days that are rough, all I can manage is things like “easy access to telephones and email.” Among other little things that are actually quite important, like having enough food to eat and a roof over my head. Sometimes these things show up even on days that are a bonanza of good news, just because I remember a time when having those things was much harder.

Anyway, what I did was–instead of meditating on what didn’t go right–I meditated on what DID go right, or at least the parts of my day that were good. So here is what I posted on Facebook.

Good things that happened today – aka practicing gratitude:

-Will made me breakfast in bed. Then went out and got me pads and chocolate.
– Will and I got a little dressed up and looked pretty fly. Wore my new pendant Bridget made.
– Went to Baltimore, saw our friend Barry, had some of his spiced apple cider with caramel schnapps, got my fortune read, got some valuable feedback, enjoyed the Halloween decorations.
– Jade got to see two shows today thanks to Audrey. It makes my heart so happy when my friends are good to my babies
– The sky was amazing the whole way home from Baltimore.
– Stopped at Trader Joe’s and got some tasty food. An attractive woman with curly hair came up to me and flirted with me. She really digs my hair, and called me a silver fox and meowed at me. Lol
– We got home and my Hillary swag was here and I tried on my new shirt and it fit great and looks cute and Will complimented me several times. Kissed me and told me I’m cute.
– Amber sent me some sweet texts.
– Got a wonderful video from our granddaughter – who loves her little Halloween card we sent her.
– Will made me a Nasty Woman (see recipe further down my wall) – but used the cute highball glasses my sister gave me instead of a tumbler – which elevated the Nasty Womanness of the cocktail.

That’s a lot to be thankful for.

The Swing – Sensual Sunday

sensualsunday

It was that peaceful time of day when I would find things to get into. After the high-school had let out, but before all of the grown-ups were home from work.

I was wearing my favorite sundress, white with purple flowers. I felt the light fabric flutter with each step towards him.I watched my own tanned thighs from beneath my sunglasses as they alternated, peeking out from my mid-thigh hemline. I felt golden. Beautiful. Almost powerful, with the attention my body could provoke.

The afternoon was warm with an almost-too-bright sky. Not a cloud. He was sun-kissed and squinting on a bench in the empty park perimeter. I stepped in front of the sun and cast a shadow over him. My diaphanous dress lit up with a sunshine halo around me. I wanted him to notice. Could he see through it a little, I wondered?

He squinted up at me, then looked away coolly, to pop a cassette in his boom box. The sounds of Led Zeppelin whirred to life, with the first words of Staircase to Heaven a little distorted, until the tape caught solidly.

Even on a warm day he wore his jean jacket. I wanted to peel it off of him. I wanted to kiss his neck. I didn’t know how to tell him all the things I wanted from him, so I tried to advertise, as best I could, what I had to offer. My hair cascading down around my shoulders. My wedge-cork sandals emphasizing my calves. My lips glossed and smelling of artificial strawberry.

He got up and grazed me as he passed, sat on a swing, then looked at me. He smiled with half of his mouth, and I felt a tingle all over. He put his hand on his thigh, and the other hand out a little, beckoning. I walked over and looked at his face, locking eyes momentarily. I turned around, lifted my arms to grasp the chains and hopped into his lap. I could smell a mixture of some over-powering spiced cologne, that was trying a bit too hard, and cigarettes.

He scooted back a bit in the swing, making room for my bottom to cradle into the alcove his body made for me. He pushed back hard on the dusty layer of hard-packed dirt and we went backwards. My stomach flopped and my heart pounded. We flew forward and his legs straightened, and mine with them–my dress fluttered revealing the upper parts of my thighs. We pumped, swaying. My bottom pressed hard into the landscape of his lap. I could feel his hardness through his jeans, and I liked it. I didn’t want to ever stop swinging. I laughed and he let out a small laugh too.

My hair blew into his face, and his jacket sleeves kept rubbing against the thinner, more tender skin near my exposed underarms and the side-swells of my breasts.  I wished it was his bare arms, instead. As we swung, centrifugal force pressed me harder against him, and my nipples bumped out in excitement. Gooseflesh covered my body as I leaned back and closed my eyes.

He slowly stopped pumping until the swing was still. We both were breathing almost normal when he took his hands off of the chains and put them around my waist. He squeezed a little then put his lips to the curve between my neck and my shoulder, and lightly kissed it. Then he helped me to the ground, where I wobbled for a moment. He hopped up to steady me and cracked a big smile as I tried to catch my balance. It was a sweet, genuine smile–one I’d never seen on him before. It warmed my heart and made me want to kiss his mouth.

Once I was steady, he walked back over to the bench and sat down. He pulled some sunglasses out of his jacket pocket and put them on.

“See you later, Ophelia.” My knees weakened. I didn’t even realize he knew my name.

As relaxed as I could manage, I said, “Bye, Josh.” And I walked slowly and carefully away, letting him enjoy the view as I went, my high wedges helping with the sway.