Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rudius Freedom by blood A to Z: R

His blade sang as it cut through the air of the arena. The gladiator growled as its edge sank into the flesh of his target. A soft spray of warm blood spattered his chest and arm as he turned to meet the next opponent.

 He could smell the fear of the Murmillo even though the opponent was the one to advance. His lip curled as he watched his fellow gladiator swing the trident in an effort to intimidate.

He easily stepped back from the sharp points. The trouble with pole arms and using them for their length is the time it takes to reset for the next blow. He took full advantage of the Murmillo’s position and stepped into the fighter as the gladiator’s blade came down upon the wrist holding the trident.

The Murmillo cried out in pain and tried to back away, but the gladiator wasn’t going to give his opponent the chance to get any footing. He grabbed the leather strap of the Murmillo’s arm guard and gathered his strength as he drew his other arm back. He drew in a deep breath of the Murmillio’s sweat and thrust his sword forward.

The Murmillo gasped as the blade sank into his fatted belly and thrust further up into his heart. The gladiator held the Murmillo close as he drove the blade as deep as the man’s body would take it.

The crowd stood on their feet and roared their approval. The gladiator was victorious, he had survived the match, he held back his elation until the Murmillo went limp in his arms.

He lay his fellow warrior upon the sands and said a prayer, then stood to raise his sword high the blood glistening as it dripped from the edge. The mob in the stands erupted once more and he let their excitement fill him. The roar of his name echoing through the arena.

All at once the mob quieted and took their seats. The gladiator feared another opponent had been loosed, it was not uncommon. The wealthy in their boxes would often pay for another round if their bloodlust had not yet been satisfied by the games.

He turned and readied for the gate to open. Instead of an armored beast he was greeted with the sight of a senator and his wife.

He watched them still wary. Could it be a trick? Gladiators dressed to fit this part for the mob’s entertainment? No, he remembered the senator.

The senator was his master, his owner. He would come to the ludus and watch him train. He dropped to one knee and lowered his eyes.

It was the senator’s wife that stepped toward him, she rested her hand on his shoulder. The sweet perfume on her skin filled his senses. Her soft fingertips rested on his blood-spattered chin and raised his face to meet hers.

She wore a soft smile, her face glowing with pride. “You have made our house proud, your debts have been paid and it is time for you to walk Rome a freedman.”

He heard the words, but surely, it was some kind of hallucination from the heat and excitement of battle.

The senator stepped forward now and took him by the shoulders, raising him to his feet. The woman was as lovely as her scent as she handed her husband a leather pouch. The senator thanked her and offered the pouch to the gladiator.

The mob seemed to understand before he did, they erupted once more. Cheers and chants began through
the arena. The gladiator opened the pouch and pulled the concealed object from it. 

A rudius. His freedom.

No longer forced to fight, it would be his choice to be Rudiarius. His hands curled around the inscribed wooden sword and prayers of thanks fell from his lips to both his gods and his masters. A new kind of victorious joy filled him as he raised the rudius high for all to see he was free. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Quitting the story is not an option

Relieve that stress with chocolate! :) 
When life gives us lemons, as often it does, don’t be content making lemonade. Throw those sour bastards back and demand chocolate!

Don’t give into the stress and pressures going on that make us say, “I can write later.” Put your boxing gloves on and fight through it. Duck life’s left hook and counter with a powerful uppercut by finishing off that next chapter.

Quitting a current project or giving up even temporarily is not an option. When the writing gets tough the writer needs to kick ass. We change goals and pound out pages of words through writer’s block, character frustrations, plot holes, appointments, and real world tasks screaming to be done. Whatever is attempting to hold us back from our story we will fight back.

This week down that pot of coffee, eat the whole bag of peanut butter M&M’s, order take out, or duct tape the kids to the wall. Okay, maybe not that last one, though you have to admit some days it’s tempting. Just don’t lose heart, or give in to that urge to say, "well, I’ll make it next round." There is still plenty of time this round to make our quarter goals. I’m ready, how about you?

Goals for this week:
Keep up with Blogging from A to Z (got caught up again yay! )
Get 2 chapters done on WIP

Get rid of at least 1 box of junk and clutter 

Friday, April 18, 2014

OneWord/60 Seconds for L, M, N, O, and P Catching up with A to Z

OneWord.com is a website for getting the muse warmed up. Each day you get one word and sixty seconds in which to write what it inspires.This is my entry for today's One Word. What's yours? For more of my past One Word entries, check out my One Word Profile EliseV.
Your turn, 60 seconds. Go!

Instead of staking out the local chop shop he could be out with Gina, or Lola. Oh yeah Lola. He popped the lid off his coffee and tossed it onto the dash with the rest of the night’s collection. Maybe this one wouldn't taste like used oil.

After seven hours of crap coffee and no action, he watched the sleek sedan pull up to the garage door. The detective took a tentative sip and sighed as a big man stepped out of the car and straightened his coat, the hood he’d been looking for. He regretfully tossed the first decent cup of java all night out the window and flipped on the flashing lights. At least his wasn't the only date night to get ruined. 

He knew it, there was a mole in the station. Looking down at the body of his CI he blamed himself. But he
swore to find this mole and make him pay for the death. The kid might not have been an innocent but sure as hell didn’t deserve to die.

Sitting on the bus, she began to notice the man in the seat catty corner to her. He was fidgety. Shifting left. then right. Something was very wrong about that man and the way he clutched the shopping bag on his lap.

Have some optimism, there’s a silver lining to every dark cloud. That’s what my mother would say when we were frightened of the creatures in the dark. She couldn’t see them so she didn’t think they existed. Even now as I cower under the covers, a grown woman I find myself whispering those words. Could there really be a sliver lining to the dark shadow looming over my bed? 

Looking down, he saw a wooden panel loose on the desk. The jutting corner begging for discovery. Gently he pried at it with the tip of a pin. The panel fell to the floor, revealing a compartment. Reaching inside, he pulled out a diary, the first line read…. “My God,what have I done?”

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Keeping up with your social media marketing platform

Out of the hundreds of ways an author can market their books, some of the most effective come from social media. A strong social media platform can mean sales through positive interaction with fans and getting discovered by other readers. The downside, it can eat valuable time out of the author’s writing schedule.

There are ways, to flip that and make social media do the hard work for us. So authors can get back to creating and less time selling.

Link it up.
Yes, it can be that simple to grab a chunk of time and head back to our favorite characters. Link your accounts with networking clients or managers. Here are a few of the best.

NetworkedBlogs: This client allows an author to syndicate their blog posts. Meaning this client program will send the link of your latest blog to Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedn without you having to lift a finger. Much better than copy pasting and running around the web slapping links on pages. NetworkedBlogs is a free to use program, but they do have a premium membership for more bells and whistles.

Hootsuite: This little gem of a site will allow you to link up nearly your entire profile. Including G+ and Pintrest. You can schedule posts to your platform, read and reply all from this one place, saving a ton of time going from individual site to site. 

Buffer: is also a social media client that will allow you to schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedn, app.net and G+. Buffer only sends though, you can’t read any of your tweets or other media on this one.

Feed140: With this site you can schedule tweets on a 24/7 loop to feed to your twitter accounts. Just be careful not to have them post one after another within minutes. Flooding the Twitter stream is a good way to get unfollowed. Intervals of two or three different tweets an hour gets what you need out there without the deluge.

Triberr: Triberr isn’t really a client or manager, but it is a huge tool for getting your blog posts out there. You join a tribe and share each other’s blog posts to your chosen social media. Depending on how many tribes and how well your tribes share you can reach possibly millions of potential readers with a single post. Yes, really it is that powerful. My personal  experience saw 100 new blog followers and 500 new Twitter followers within the first month of joining and being active. It takes about 5 minutes a day to share posts and is absolutely worth every one.

All of these sites/programs are free to use. They do offer premium memberships for a fee with a few more bells and whistles to add to your marketing wizardry. 

Okay, now you know one secret to getting more writing time and less marketing time. Remember though, this only works if you can stay away from Candy Crush or Castleville while you’re surfing through your social media. *wink*

Monday, April 14, 2014

Jewelry and books from the heart

Cly's Oceans Apart Clay Creations Necklace 
Fairy Tales and Jewelry is an Esty shop filled with enchanting necklaces, earrings, and more. The beautiful jewels are handcrafted by 82 year old Chuck Young.

Mr. Young has always been a creative. He works with wood designing and building everything from cabinets to delicate scrollwork. He found another love in crafting one of a kind jewelry creations for JLB Creatives Fairy Tales and Jewelry shop.

Mr. Young’s creativity rubbed off on his daughters, Janet Beasley and Dar Bagby both authors and creatives in their own rights. Janet is author of the best selling enchanted fantasy Hidden Earth series and CEO of JLB Creatives Publishing.

Dar, has a musical talent with a degree in music: vocal performance, she is an accomplished operatic soprano. Now she’s closed the curtains and turned her muse to writing. She is also the head of JLB Creatives Publishing’s editing department.

I have to say this is a family full of talent and great heart. They’re wonderful folk who make you feel like you’ve known them half your life just after meeting them.

Mr. Young’s jewelry is special for another reason. His darling wife Marilyn is also has medical needs. The
Cly's Pink Shadows of Desire Clay Creations Earrings 
proceeds of these handcrafted treasures help to meet those needs. The jewelry is an expression of Mr. Young’s creative talent as well as his heart for his lovely wife of 63 years.

I personally have two of Mr. Young’s pieces and love them to bits. They fit my personality perfectly and get tons of compliments whenever I wear them.

The designs are fun and there’s something to go with any outfit for any occasion. Not to mention links to the epic enchanted fantasy Hidden Earth series. So what are you waiting for go shopping already!

You can find Janet's books and other great reads at JLB Creatives.com

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Images: Why every blogger should use them

Every blogger should use at least one image in their blog post. Why? Well, the answer is simple. Images are powerful tools all by themselves.

A picture is worth 1000 words. The right image can grab a reader’s attention faster or sometimes more effectively than words when they’re scrolling through posts on Facebook, G+ or other social media site. Images can be bold and dramatic or even just silly. Whatever the impact you need to make the right photo can reel them in.

Shareablility! Yeah, I made that word up, but it’s true. People will share a snappy photo or a hilarious meme and often your link right a long with it. Not to mention getting pinned. Pintrest is out growing most other social media sites in popularity.

Snappy Susie pins the photo of a cat from your blog to her boards. Then Pinner Pam says “oooo” and pins it to her board and clicks on the link to see if there are any more cool things to pin from your website or blog. The cycle continues when people pin the photo from those to their own boards and so on. Before you know it you’re blog is all over the web and you’ve got new followers. All thanks to Snappy Susie taking a liking to the cute kitty you posted with your blog.

Searchablility. Yes, images can help you in your SEO. I have gained a few readers who mentioned they stumbled across my blog because they were searching for something and a photo from my blog popped up on their list. The blog title or something about the description made them hop over and check out not only the photo but my blog too.

There is a trick to it though. It is recommended that you place  your photo to the side of your text or under the first couple of lines so that the SEO bots don’t hit it first and skip over the important words that will help boost you in search engines.

Screencaps for easier explanation. If your post is something instructive, it may help to have some
screenshots showing exactly what you’re referencing.

Makes it more enjoyable to read. A lot of text can get hard on the eyes. A long post broken up with an image or two can make it more appealing and easier on the eyes.

All of that to say, photos can make a difference and even boost your blog. Here are a few sites to find some blogger friendly/ royalty free/ and cost free photos. Be sure to check the licensing before you use the photo, some require a type of attribution.

Half : A to Z Challenge letter H

Guarding CEO Alex Blazen during a charity gala was an easy job for Valeska Gorstef...until all hell breaks loose...literally. Forced to face her own darkness, Valeska may lose her only chance to live a human life. Two sides of her soul will be at war. Which HALF will win?
Purchase links:

Valeska stood within the darkness of the room and felt it breathe. The dark was a living creature part of what she was. Her darkness, her vampire, and she hated it. A bit of dust and the stain was all that was left of her father. Once she had thought killing him would free her to live a normal life, but that was just a pretty lie.

After all this time, she still had to exist in the twilight between two worlds. Trapped. She was lost in the past when she heard footsteps and smelled Alex’s cologne before he reached the room. Good. He’ll see the darkness and run. It would be that easy to stop this before I want any more than I can have.

Alex didn’t run. Instead, he walked over, embracing her and kissing her blood covered mouth. All he cared about was showing her it didn’t matter. That he loved her human or not. Plying her lips with his tongue, he gently pushed into her mouth and met sharp fangs.

She tasted fresh blood and pushed him away roughly. “Alex stop! I haven’t fed enough.”

He gazed at her and the concern she saw there was more than she could bear. “I couldn’t. I couldn’t take an unwilling victim, not even a four legged one.”

He looked beneath the splatters of blood to the pain her eyes held. What horrors she must have endured to survive over six hundred years of life.

She wanted to push him far away. “Don’t you see me? This is Valeska Gorstef. Alex, I can’t change what I am. I can smell the sweet copper scent of blood in your mouth. I can hear your heart pumping more through your veins and I want it. I want to taste you in ways that have nothing to do with passion.”

The video flashed in his mind. “I see the beautiful woman who walked into my office three days ago. I see the dark desire in your eyes. Blood isn’t all you want.”

She shook her head. “Alex, you don’t know what you’re asking.” Valeska felt her control starting to slip.

“No, I don’t.” Alex unbuttoned her shirt, peeled the blood soaked fabric from her shoulders. He pulled off his own shirt and tossed it in the pile. She was dizzy from bloodlust and need. Need to give in, need to love him.

She stood stiff as he embraced her and kissing, caressing first one lip then the other. He was more careful exploring the warmth of her mouth. He licked her fangs tasting the sweet copper in her mouth.

Weakening with the scent of his body so close, she kissed him back him feeling his warm clean skin. They fell to the floor, she rolled over him. “We can’t do this. I have to feed.”

He grabbed her face as he kissed her again. “Then feed.”

Getting caught up and making new goals ROW80 and G for A to Z challenge

The last week was busy and thanks to being anemic my energy level has been pretty low so that didn’t help things. Yet even though my Blogging from A to Z is behind (very as you can see lol) I still feel like this week was a success.

Here’s the update, goals for last week were:
1. Work on scheduling things better: Yes, there was improvement here. Even with low energy levels. We were able to make a schedule for the week and stick to most of it.
2. Write at least 3,000 words:  Almost, I made about 2,200. I think for everything going on this last week that was pretty good. I’m going to say even though it’s not 3k this goal was a success because there was still positive outcome.
3. Get rid of two boxes of clutter/junk: Yes! Thanks to a burst water heater pipe, we had to do a lil bit of cleaning out of the laundry room. We managed a box of junk to get tossed and two bags of old clothes that were just sitting in a basket waiting for someone to decide to give them a new home. So off to Goodwill they will go.

This next week is going to be better and finish stronger. I can already see a few crazy days screwing with my new schedule on their way, but overall I’m confident this week will see goals checked off.

Goals for this week:
1. Get caught up on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge
2. Write at least 3,000 words this week
3. Remove two more boxes of clutter/junk
4. Take some time to get out of the house with the camera and just breathe.

Falling behind is part of life. It’s not always easy to get caught back up, but it is always possible. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Forgotten : Blogging from A to Z Letter F

photo: Old Shed by Elise VanCise 

The old shed stood amongst the wild growth. The paint is worn, siding rusted with time, telling the world it’s been forgotten. What secrets are inside these simple four walls? Old tools, holiday decorations, toys now outgrown or boxes of memories. Or perhaps secrets better left forgotten. 

Empty pages, events, and ever changing goals A to Z letter E

Today marks the first day of the 2nd Quarter for Round of Words in 80 Days or ROW80 for short. The first day of making new goals and making new accomplishments.

ROW80 is a challenge for writers that gets we have a life and can’t always write two or three thousand words in a day. With this challenge writers set goals they want to accomplish in an 80 day time period.

Those goals can be anything, even not writing related. The best part about ROW80 is the wonderful group of folks that support each other through the quarter. It makes a big difference sometimes when you share a weekly update with a struggle and someone comments hey, I’m going through that too, we can conquer it!

That support can help charge a writer’s waning batteries so they can find the energy to fill those empty pages with, a novel, blogs, articles, and more. Sometimes we don’t reach our weekly goals and that energy fails too.

We have to remember that goals aren’t set in stone. They can change as our life gets crazy with activity or we realize that maybe that goal isn’t what we needed it to be. Never be afraid to simplify or break down a goal into something more manageable.

There will be times that even the simplest goal just doesn’t happen for us. That’s okay too. We have to have failures to recognize the successes. We also need to remember we’re not Super Scribe.

Being ambitious with goals can be a good thing. Elvis Presley said Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine. Ambitious goals can be exciting and make us driven to succeed. Yet we should be cautious, it’s very easy in our excitement to take on too much or push too hard to get the results we want so badly.

When Super Scribe gets hit by Kryptonite we just have to take a breath, step back, and re-evaluate those goals to see what needs tweaked before we leap to next chapter and type faster than a flying bullet.

That brings me to my goals for the second ROW80 quarter
  1. Finish Novel
  2. Start Editing Novel
  3. Get on a better schedule
4.    Get rid of at least two boxes of clutter/junk a week.
Goals for this week
  1. Work on scheduling things better
  2. Write at least 3,000 words.
  3. Get rid of two boxes of clutter/junk

Now for something fun announcing some upcoming author events that I’ll be attending with my fellow JLB Creatives Publishing team members as well as awesome authors. Janet Beasley and Jane E Lane.

May 11th 10 am - 2pm
Clermont Community Center
620 W Montrose St., Clermont, FL 34711

 Sydney and her friends, "JLBCreatives" will be signing copies of their best selling books. After a day of shopping at the Clermont Farmers Market, head on down to the Community Center and say hi to "Sydney" and all her friends. A reading station will be set up for the kiddies to sit and read to Sydney. We will be selling T-Shirts and raffle tickets to benefit our reading programs.

Stay up to date by following the event on Facebook! HERE

May 17th -18th
Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday 11am-5pm
Long & Scott Farms 26216 CR 448-A, Mt. Dora, FL

Elise will be there with the JLB Creatives Publishing team exhibiting at the festival. Stop by, say hello and don't forget to pick up some great new books to read while you munch your delicious Zellwood Sweet Corn!

For more info about the event go to Long & Scott Farms

See what I mean by needing to schedule stuff better? I have a slew of JLB work stuff and writing stuff and well you get the picture lol. If you’re local I hope you can stop by at one of our events and say hi! Well, that’s my Super Scribe plan for the quarter what’s yours?

*puts on cape and mask then grabs her mighty pen…. Time to fill some of those empty pages. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Don't Touch : Blogging from A to Z Letter D

About Don't Touch
Dr Ryan Reign has unlocked a gift she calls a curse. Detective Jackson Prince and his partner need her help to stop a serial killer before he murders again.

One problem Dr. Reign can't touch or be touched. She's become a recluse, never leaving her home for fear of what she might 'see'. Jackson knows he has to help her accept her gift or there will be more deaths. 

It takes a woman's touch to catch a killer.

 5 Star Review
Great book! Couldn't put it down kept me reading the entire book! I wanted to wait and read some later but I couldn't I had to finish. There was enough romance, mystery and intrigue to keep me anxious to finish and make sure they hot the bad guy!!! Can't wait to read more by Elise.

4 Star Review

Don't Touch was very enjoyable to read. The writing style, the plot, and the characters are all very good. Elise has quite the imagination! I like a mystery with a "twist". I think the story would be a great series for the future.

 Other places to stalk find Elise VanCise on the web

Friday, April 4, 2014

Canvas: Blogging A to Z Letter C

The brush gently moved over the worn canvas bringing back the vibrancy of the colors. The long hours of 
restoration extending the life of the vision before him. In a way she had been captured too. Ethan sat back and stretched, he’d been sitting for hours at the easel. The beautiful woman rendered before him was a familiar face.

One he had thought he’d forgotten. “How cruel can our memories be? To block something for so long, and then let it all rush back in a moment.”

Lightly his fingers traced over the long hair of the woman in the painting. She was so passionate. He could still feel the press of her lips on his as he closed his eyes. Those sweet kisses soon turned to curses.

He was to blame, of that there was no doubt. She thought he had eyes only for her and really he’d had eyes for Selena, her sister, and a few other ladies of the square.

For being so giving with others she had him cursed. Something he laughed at until the next sunrise.

A glance at the clock made him sigh. He covered the canvas to protect it during the day. He could feel the dawn coming, Ethan wondered if this is what vampires felt as the sun began to break the edge of the sky. 

He walked out onto the balcony and watched the sky begin to turn from darkness into brilliant light. The world waking. A familiar tingle began as the first rays touched land. Slowly he began to fade. The brighter the sun became the less of him there was to see.

When the last of night had been sent on its way Ethan had gone back to his canvas. His physical body was taken not to be returned until sunset. During the day he hung above the mantel. A modern looking man in a Renaissance decorated room. The brass plate on the frame says Ethan Osborne 1437.

To live forever, days trapped in a canvas world. Night brings freedom to walk the earth. That is his curse for breaking the heart of a witch.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bite : Blogging from A to Z Challenge

“And then… I bit him.” She dipped her head and covered her face with her hands to hide the rising color in her cheeks.

Mina gently pulled Susan’s hands from her face. The poor pup had turned scarlet to her ears. “Honey, that’s nothing to be embarrassed about. He probably thought it was sexy.”

Susan shook her head violently. “I bit him. Not a nibble or nip. It was a solid bite like a crazed flesh eating zombie bite.”

It was becoming more difficult for Mina not to at least grin at her friend’s plight. “It really couldn’t have been that bad.”

“This morning he still had teeth marks and it was bruising. Oh, Mina, I don’t know what happened. Once minute we were passionate and tearing each other’s clothes off then… chomp. You’re my guide; you’re supposed to have all the answers.”

Susan flopped back on the sofa, sure her lover would never speak to her again. “He just smelled so good, not good as in nice cologne. Good as in a juicy burger with the works good.”

She sat bolt upright, eyes wide and heart suddenly racing. “He won’t be infected will he?”

Mina remembered her own transition, it was hard, but she was older and had experience in the world. Susan is a young girl entering the netherworld. She was still ruled by impulse. Mina took the girl’s soft hand in hers patting the back of it gently. “No, he won’t be, even if you broke the skin.”

With a gentle smile she wiped a tear from her pup’s cheek. “We’ll be laughing about this next week. You’ll see. After your first full moon all those urges to eat your boyfriend will fade.”

Susan’s expression grew horrified. “What if it doesn’t?”

Mina grinned. “You wouldn’t be the first bitch to eat her mate. Now go freshen your make-up we have shopping to do.”  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Gallant Night :Blogging from A to Z letter A

Lucinda stood in the gallery and sipped her wine as she gazed at the veduta. The landscape was timely done in earthy oils. The artist expressed great elocution in his work. As she moved on through the gallery, she found another painting. This one seemed so real, as if the man standing at the parapet could tumble out of the work.

Applause erupted as the artist raised his glass in a toast to Phillip Glazer. Pronounced fee-leep glass-a-er. The shmuck probably wasn’t even French. Lucinda had a premonition that all the artist’s efforts to impress the great critic were all a fallacy.

In her mind’s eye she could picture the review in which uppity Philip would eviscerate the young artisan. At the very least sever an artery.

With a sigh, she moved into the exhibits. Lucinda couldn’t help a quiet laugh as she passed a couple. The gentleman was trying to impress his lady friend, badly. He stood back from the painting with a distant expression. Then proclaimed that the artist was ocular. Oh yes, the young man had a vision alright. A vision of getting that little girl between the sheets.

A huge landscape caught her eye. The view was from the bottom of a gorge. Near the end of the great trench was a cave, coming out of the gaping mouth was supposed to be a bear. After another sip from her flute, she decided the artist should stick to landscapes only. The bear looked more like a hamster.

Next was a classic view of the medieval hero Robin Hood. The outlaw stood in disguise lined up with the other archers. Arrow knocked ready to fly true and win the legendary contest. With a grin, she entertained the notion of being able to step into the painting and blow in his ear as he let fly. Let’s see him make that shot.

An odd coupling by the same artist the next painting held a limo in the Nevada desert. A man dressed forties gangster style stood against the side of the car. He might have been attractive, but for the horrendous scar down the side of his face. Something caught her eye and she started to laugh at the artist’s morbid sense of humor. A man’s shoe lay just under the edge of the limo’s trunk. The scared man wasn’t really alone in the desert after all.

In the next exhibit she found the scene of an interior of a house. A woman stood in the background hands on her hips. A man cooked over an old wood burning stove, he was apparently her husband. The poor man was tall and thin, obviously worked to death by the shrew.

The next piece was a collage of calendars. It was quite impressive how he managed to encapsulate so much history into the piece. There was a calendar from the year JFK was assassinated the date circled in red. Little pictures of historical events speckling many of the dates.

Lucinda actually liked the Florida landscape. The beach with its white sands seemingly stretched on forever. Palm trees bent to shade a group of sunbathers as the waves licked at their feet. A dog with a Frisbee in his mouth ran along the shore, which made her a smile.

Hanging next was a peep inside a brothel. Ladies enticed men with their unmentionables and pretty smiles, with hope to make a few dollars that night. Some were dancing, others drank, a few couples locked in romantic endeavors, but all laughing and gay. All but one. At the corner window seat a woman with long golden locks stared at the moon. Her sapphire eyes held a longing, perhaps of dreams lost. 

Lucinda sighed as someone behind her made loud comments. She had lost patience with the crowd growing in number and noise. The wine no longer able to quench her thirst, she poured it into the potted tree. Lucinda glanced around as she slipped the flute with its gallery charm that dangled from the stem into her purse. On her way out, she over heard Fee-leep tell another patron the artist should have stuck to flipping burgers.

The valet brought her car and Lucinda tipped him before she drove away. On the way home, she listened to Mozart drift through the speakers. Once inside her apartment the illusion was shattered.

She toed off her shoes, then walked to the wall by her dining table. Lucinda pulled the flute from her purse and set the glass on a shelf turning the charm to dangle from the front.

She stepped back and looked at her collection. There was a glass from almost every gallery in New York and LA. Since the move to California, Lucinda had found the Beverly Hills posh galleries a lot of fun. It was her little escape from her mundane life as a post office clerk.

Once a month she would dress to the nines and walk among the beautiful people. Experiencing the world in their eyes for a couple of hours, tasting fine wines, foods she would never be able to afford. Walking to her bedroom Lucinda took off her dress she’d saved for six months to buy it. There were three fine gowns in her closet just for her little trips.

As she slipped on the less glamorous oversized sleep shirt, Lucinda thought about the gallery and all she had seen tonight. Her gallant night out, her name for these outings. As she rested her head on, her pillow Lucinda made note to check the listings for next month so she could plan her next gallant night.  

Part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2014