Friday, April 29, 2011

All Will Be Well

"The opposite of war isn't peace- it's creation." -- RENT

Where there is thunder there is surely lightning. Storms have been brewing and brambling through the south lands all week long. For the better part of the month we've been trying to shake off the red warnings on the radar and continue along as planned.

The bad part is that chaos, damage, and death serve as harsh reminders that nothing and no one is truly permanent. As the tornadoes have run rampant through this neck of the woods these reminders are constant and relentless. Like the storms themselves they always seem to be too close for comfort. One coworker lost most or all of his home last night. Another was miles from where a woman's body was found in the middle of the road where the winds had dropped her lifeless onto the pavement. Some people blame god, some people blame mankind, still some others blame themselves.

In the face of natural disasters there is no place for blame. There is only a place to pick up the pieces of what has been dismantled, twisted, or torn apart. It would be easy to point fingers. It's easiest to blame and accuse and to lash out. What's not easy is to sit down, tissues in one hand, glue gun in the other- and put the pieces back together bit by bit.

The good news- and there is always good news- is that just when you think it's all over those damn birds outside your window start to sing at three o'clock in the morning. The mail carrier actually shows up early so you look like an idiot when you put your netflix movie in the mailbox and it's still sitting there when you get home that evening. Some jerk cuts you off in traffic while you're running late to work. An ill tempered cohort makes a wise crack before you've gotten the blood out of your coffee stream. Finally life is blissful and normal and crazy and infuriating and beautiful. All. Over. Again.

The storm will pass.
And all will be well.
And all will be well.
And all manner of things will be well.
(I promise.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rita's: Part Ten

Hey look, everyone! It's Mickey! I told you he'd be back this week. And unless my muse is deceiving me, which she probably is, there might be a show down next week. Moo haha!

In the meantime, let's have a look at what Mickey and the gang have been doing while we've had our eye on Mimi.

Part Ten: Johnny on the Spot

Despite the chill in the air that evening, the tunnels were hot and stuffy. Lulu was cursing softly under her breath as each step shook loose years of dust and dirt. Mickey and Ianto were leading the way with lighters in hand.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Things & Things I Love Thursday

Whoa- what a week. Where did all that time go, huh? I'm guessing I'm not the only one that's had it up to *here* with mercury retrograde, cranky people, and out of whack insurance companies, neh? Okay- so maybe I am but that's just the way of things. :)

At any rate, I'm taking full advantage of my long weekend by indulging in some quality down time. (Translation: Seamus narrowly escapes being throttled by me and Merle once more.) This also means that after a stressed out week I'm taking a lesson from Gala Darling and throwing up a list of what has made me smile. If you want to see what TiLT, or Things I Love Thursday, is all about head over to Gala's blog and have a looksee.

Lucy's Love List:

* Spring! Despite the pollen I'm happy to see flowers and trees showing what they've got.
* Long weekends filled to the brim with downtime, family time, and getting-stuff-done-time.
* Setting up my Etsy shop where I shall be selling some of my original paintings! (!!!!Emphasis Needed!!!!)
* Movies that are so bad they are great- Yes, I did just finish watching Burlesque. Loved it! (Don't hate me.)

* Coworkers who make you laugh uncontrollably even when morale is low.
* Making men blush- a favorite pastime.
* Weekly lunch dates with Clara have now been reinstated due to her release from the clutches of the Evil CPA!
* Being serenaded at the Mexican joint by a mariachi man who was quite good, and managed to pull off a very beautiful cover of John Lennon's "Imagine". Impressed.
* Art Nouveau tarot cards- indeed as pretty as they sound.
* Making easter candy that is almost too pretty to eat. (Almost. Recipe found here!)
* Native American medicine bundles made by Pixie Campbell. She is lovely and an expert magic maker.
* Being known at the office for having yet another pair of insanely bright colored shoes. Pictures to come!
* Adele's album "21". If you haven't heard it yet WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU? Just kidding, although you will want need to hear it. :)

Moog, I think that about sums it up. What's been keeping you going? Leave a comment with your TiLT list, I'd love to know! :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Oops! I forgot it was Tuesday! I had the day off to celebrate my release from the evil clutches of the Taxman. I spent most of the day waiting for new tires, and the rest playing games. So forgive me for, yet again, not continuing the main story line of "Rita's".

I promise (no, really) that next week I will get back to poor Mickey and his reluctant side kicks.  In the mean time, have a little more of the lovely psycopath that everyone's been talking about.

Part 9.5: Villainy Two, Electric Boogaloo

The sounds of merriment filtered through the painted glass windows and flickering neon signs and drifted like fog into the street. Mimi walked through the bustling night life as if she hadn't a care in the world; no one who have suspected that she had murdered a man mere moments before.

And what luck! She now had a chance to have even more fun tonight. She would have to send Rudy a thank you gift. Perhaps he would appreciate the severed ears of the man he had sent her to kill. Rudy always did like unusual gifts. Mimi smiled, and those that saw that chilly smile shivered and turned their heads.

Mimi continued through the dark alleys until the smell of the river told her she was near her destination. She stopped in the shadows and looked over the abandoned docks. She smiled again when she saw that she was just in time; the hidden door was opening and the familiar bushy head of the young bartender came into view. Mimi slipped off her heels and inched forward in the concealing shadows.

She reached into her beaded purse and pulled out a small curved blade, a weapon she reserved for her most important jobs. The slim dancer appeared next and Mimi waited for her target. The poor man would never know what hit him.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How to Type Faster

Hi folks, this is me coping out this week. Between Nana's estate sale, which went well, and my body deciding to become ill I've not prepared anything for this week's post. I hope you'll all forgive me! In the meantime, I leave you with the words of someone much wiser than I (and hopefully I will learn to heed them!):

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster. 
~Isaac Asimov

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rita's - Part Nine

Something quick this week, as I am entirely too drained from dealing with the most willfully ignorant people on the face of the planet. I hope that after this week I will be back to my normal bubbly self and the main story for Rita's will continue.

But for now, have a little sneak peak at the dame that has Rudy's gang exchanging nervous glances.

Part Nine: Smile and be a Villain

It had been a long day, and she was running out of patience.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Random Meetings

Saturday we were back in our hometown for the event Lucy mentioned in her last post. That afternoon I walked our dog, Sammy, and admired the lilacs, phlox, tulips, pansies, and other flowers that bloom along my in-laws' street. Already nostalgic from our visit to Nana's house, my mind turned to childhood days and visits with friends and their grandparents. I stood on the street corner and contemplated while Sammy made use of a fire hydrant, and then, as if conjured from the drizzle and clouds, a red Jeep SUV passed. Clara, a friend since the ripe old age of nine, drives a red Jeep and has since the high school days of cruising the twisty roads to her house with the windows down and tunes up. I couldn't see into the vehicle because of the glare, and as the car turned the corner down the street, I wondered how Clara was and if she'd gotten off work for the day.

Sammy and I walked the opposite direction, and we'd covered half a block when the red Jeep appeared again. It was Clara, who circled back because she thought she recognized Sammy and wondered if the woman with darker hair huddled inside the quilted jacket was me. (It's been a while since we've seen each other.) Clara parked on the street, and Sammy and I ambushed her as her feet hit the pavement. Clara and I talked (Sammy wagged and drooled and squirrel watched) in the middle of the road and made plans for a very loud, very loving dinner together with my family and Lucy's.

The arranged dinner time arrived. Lucy's dad drove, Adam was in the front seat, and when we stopped at Lucy's and Clara's place, the three Fantastic Spatulans squeezed into the back. It felt like old times, driving along to a favorite restaurant as we laughed and teased. That random meeting on the street corner thanks to dog whizzing and serendipity gave me a gift of time with old friends.

Saturday was a day of random meetings that turned bitter sweet memories into present joy and hope for a new future. It will be different, but the blessing of people will continue, and we'll all be just fine.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Life Lessons from Wiser Women

This week has been all about the hustle- from staging, to tagging, to boxing and moving, to photographing what's left to syncronizing watches- this week has been non-stop. So can I just say that once Saturday night gets here I am heading straight for Margaritaville?

The reason for the strange level of productivity has been about Nana. Nana has always tended to be the cause of family hurricanes, conundrums, and Christmas parties so there's nothing unusual about that. Tomorrow and Saturday we will be having an estate sale at her home. The proceeds of the sale are going towards her care at the assisted living home. The whole event has been very bittersweet and will remain so long after her house has been sold.

There are so many memories that get tied to the places where they were created. The hardest part for all the members of my family will be the letting go of the physical location, but not the emotional connection. Her house has been a witness to numerous Christmas Eve dinners, Birthday parties in the basement, open house gatherings that lasted for hours and hours, Saturday mornings filled with cartoons and pop-tarts... Nothing about this house will not be missed.

More than the house, the people who once occupied it will be sorely missed as well- especially the moments that mean so much to us.

I won't forget one particular day, Nana and I were driving around in her old blue Ford pickup truck. We had just gone out on the town- probably eating hot dogs at the Faulkner & Lawson drug store, then to Rose's so I could pick out some Lisa Frank stickers- when Nana pulled over in the parking lot of the Methodist church. We sat and talked for a time, I think we were waiting to pick someone up, when the subject turned to religion. It had been the first time I'd ever spoken to anyone in the family about this matter. "I'll tell you this one thing, Pun'kin. This one thing and you'll never have to go to Sunday School ever again." Her long finger poking the air for emphasis as she looked out the window and surveyed the quiet street, "The one thing you need to remember always is that you should always do what makes you happy. Always do what makes you happy, unless it gets in the way of someone else's happiness. That's all you need to know."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

News Flash

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this late breaking story. It seems that Clara Maxwell, author of the Tuesday night program "Rita's", has been kidnapped by rogue baddie, The Taxman. We received a transmission from Seymour Drive, the villains lair, which appears to have been sent by our missing writer. The garbled transmission is as follows:
"The Taxman has taken me hostage. He is making me work long hours, and even weekends. Even after sustaining injuries from falling on a wet floor, he still makes me work. His only demands are my free time and my social life. I have a feeling that he may let me leave after the 15th, but only after he has taken all my creativity and all the joys I have in life. I hope to see you all soon."

Authorities are trying to breach the low brick building that serves as the Taxman's base, but has so far been unable to get pass the heavy security of old and loyal tax clients. Their numbers seem to grow daily, their huge old-person sedans blocking any and all attempts to rescue the hostage. Please stayed tuned to follow any developments. We hope that although she is a prisoner, Clara may be able to send another transmission, and hopefully, that transmission will be the next installment of "Rita's."

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Call for Submissions OR Something Wicked This Way Writes

Last week I stopped by my local library, and the fantastic librarian told me about this call for short story submissions:

Iron Cauldron Books is currently seeking submissions for the Richmond Macabre horror anthology. Your story may be of any horror variety, from spooky to gory, but must feature Richmond (during the time period of your choice) as its setting. Submissions should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words in length and must be all new material – previously published stories will not be considered. Selected manuscripts will be combined and published as both a trade paperback and an e-book for Halloween, 2011 release. There is no entry fee.
 The deadline is May 31, 2011. Check out the website for more information. Happy writing! 

Friday, April 1, 2011

What's in a Name?

[Hi folks! My apologies for the lateness of this entry. Apparently the Universe decided to pull an early April Fool's joke on me last night as I was finishing. I thought about pulling my own prank, but decided that I'd leave that up to the rest of the Puck's out there. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled Abusing Seamus tales next week. Hope you enjoy!]

Since I started this blog with Clara, Kristi, & S. Kemp- one of the things that I wanted to do was to write under an assumed name. This decision was made for several reasons: I wanted to have fun with this blog; I had learned a pen name stood out more than my real name, and frankly- pen names are just more fun.

Negative feedback was something I expected from people who didn't quite understand. The people who gripe to me about not using my "real" name are the same people who, to me, are dull, boring, and unimaginative. Even if a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, or a "me" by another name would be as awesome, I can see the logic of their thinking:
"If you ever get anything published, which name will you go by?"
"If you write freelance, how do you expect to get paid?"
"Do you honestly expect people to take you seriously if you use some goofy, made up name?"

Ah, yes. All good points to bring up, and I have a counter to each of them, believe me. However, I'm not here to debate today whether it is better to use your given name or the name you give yourself. I am here to tell you the story about how my name came into being.

It started with not wanting certain people in my life to know I was involved in the blog. If they googled my real name, there was no way they'd find me here. Eventually I decided that I didn't care what they thought, but decided not to change my moniker. The name "Lucy" is fairly commonplace these days. (I tip my hat to Lucille Ball for that!) But around these parts, "Lucy" is an infamous character of a different kind.

Lucy was my great-grandmother. Quite the looker, huh? While I wish I knew more stories about her and her life, the ones that I do know are all compelling, honest, and extraordinary considering the times she lived in. One such story is one my Nana, (Lucy's daughter & only child), is extremely fond of telling.

When it came to staying up all night smoking, drinking, and playing poker, few men could keep up with Lucy. She was feisty but kind. Edgy but loving. A card dealer and a church goer. One Sunday she was practicing her Bridge strategies when the minister Reverend Riley came sauntering down the drive. In a flurry, Lucy went to packing up the table and shuffling the cards behind pillows, under chairs, and in between books before the good Reverend came in. I can imagine Jack, sitting lazily in his chaise lounge, nose in the Sunday paper, watching his wife moving about the room like a whirling dervish.
"Lu, don't you reckon God knows you're playing cards on a Sunday?"
"That's just it, God will forgive me. Rev. Riley won't!"

My Nana and her mother, the original Lucy.

Well there you have it- don't you just love Lucy? ;)