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Month: December 2014

No New Year, New You

youareyouNews Flash! Are you ready?

You are you, and I am I. And there is no changing that. The date on a calendar is not an opportunity to change the essence of who you are. If you believe it is, let me attempt to enlighten you. Because honestly, the best you can hope for is some enlightenment.

So here are some things you can change in the New Year:

Change your reactions. Okay, you can’t change the essence of who you are, but you can change the way you react to other people, situations, and even obstacles that will inevitably invade your life. This is tougher than it sounds, kind of like teaching an old dog new tricks. But it is valuable. Instead of dwelling on the pain of saying goodbye to someone, focus on how great it will be to say hello again.

Accept yourself, accept others. You will certainly heat someone this New Year say, “I am who I am. So I’m not making any resolutions to change.” Great. Acceptance of who you are is a grand start to changing how you interact with the world around you. But one additional piece will make it even easier. At the same time you accept yourself, accept others for who they are as well. Realize that as helpless as you are to change the essence of who you are, you are equally or more helpless to change someone else. Stop trying to change those around you.

Feel free to say Goodbye. Probably the toughest of all, but one we need to embrace. Because you are who you are, and others are who they are, sometimes you just don’t mix well. The chemistry is just bad, and you find it difficult to impossible to change your reactions to that person, or accept them. Sometimes, you just need to say goodbye and move on. It will be better for both of you in the long run.

Feel free to say Hello. At the same time, trying new things, associating with new people can be one of the best ways to reset, change your reactions, and surround yourself with others willing to accept you and themselves. Difficult, yes. Impossible, no. But it is a resolution easier to keep than trying to change who you are at the core.

I’m not telling you not to make resolutions at all. Instead, I think we need to be realistic. There is no “new you” there is only you. There is, however, a new year, filled with possibility.

Happy New Year.

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All Lives Matter

mandellaI love all of you reading this. Not in the personal, I know you kind of love, but in the love thy neighbor way. But I am about fed up with #BlackLivesMatter and #PoliceLivesMatter. It is not that those things don’t matter, but what seems to be filling social media, mere days before Christmas, is a debate between the two. Wake up folks. It’s not an either or. All lives matter. So let’s look at some things, and see if we can make sense of it all.

#PoliceLivesMatter Absolutely true. But there are issues. Is not the police motto “To Protect and Serve?” Answer me this, any of you. When is the last time you saw the lights on top of a cruiser in your mirror, even if they weren’t on, and thought, “Oh, good. That guy is driving behind me to protect me?” Even law abiding citizens have an unnatural fear of the police: whether it be tickets, Tasers, or whatever.

It’s not a healthy state of affairs. The public, the ones to be protected, often fear the police, or at least are intimidated by them. Imagine a criminal, even guilty of a minor offense, who may have been handled roughly before, or has been to jail and has no desire to go back. Imagine the fear. Then think about how you react when you are afraid. Add to it a confrontation with an armored, armed individual. The result? Often, panic. There are cautious, fear easing techniques police can use to approach even criminals, allay their fears, and still manage a safe arrest.

But those are more dangerous. And harder to teach, set a standard, train to. Instead, we have increased intimidation by increasing armament, which in exchange increases fear. Which brings us to the next point.

#BlackLivesMatter Okay, stop. Let’s back up for just a second, and take off the first word. Why? By its very nature, it implies prejudice. While racism is still a real problem in this country, the hashtag does not help. Rather it implies reverse discrimination. #WhiteLivesMatter might not get the same traction. And wouldn’t relate to the current situation. So let’s make a reasonable change, even before we get to the end of my little rant.

#CitizenLivesMatter Better? As citizens we have certain rights, and one is that we are presumed innocent until proven guilty. But, if you are standing on a corner, holding a large amount of an illegal substance, and selling it, the police have the right to gather evidence that what you are doing is illegal, and take you into custody so they can examine that evidence and you can defend yourself. Follow me so far? Pretty simple.

Do police overstep their bounds? Yes. Do they use intimidation, even when not needed? Yes, see above. Why do they do that? Because they are afraid too. As the police are more heavily armed, the criminal element seems to follow suit. Fear pushed the criminal to react to the intimidation by the police, who are also afraid. What are they afraid of? The citizen’s reaction to their intimidation. So they move in aggressively, not to protect the citizens they serve, but to preserve their own lives.

Are the police justified in their fear? Sometimes. Are the citizens justified in their fear, especially when departments and individual officers engage in racial profiling? Yes, sometimes. So what is the solution? The answer, as anyone who has followed the debate knows, is far from simple. But here is a place to start. I’m not saying it isn’t hard, but here goes.

#AllLivesMatter Can we all change the hashtag we use on social media to talk about what is going on, whichever side you come from? Do #policelivesmatter more than #blacklivesmatter? I don’t think so. For that matter, do #blacklivesmatter more than #latinolivesmatter? Here is my final thought.

Every one of the officers killed or injured due to the actions of a citizen has a family of some sort, a circle of friends and colleagues, the same as we all do. To someone, somewhere, their lives not only matter, but are an integral part of their existence. When an officer does not come home, someone grieves. Someone misses them more than they can express. #policelivesmatter.

Every criminal undeservedly gunned down has a family too. We usually see them on the news, more often than the families of the cops and others. Because they get more media frenzy and attention. The media fuels the fear of the citizens because that is how they get them to tune in. (See the recent #ebola scare, now rarely talked about.) Regardless of the reasons, when the person killed does not come home, someone grieves, misses them more than they can express. #citizenlivesmatter.

In reality, #AllLivesMatter to someone, somewhere. A show of mutual respect goes a long way. Police, don’t use deadly force and intimidation as an option except as a last resort. Treat the person you are arresting with the same care and respect you would want someone to treat your son or daughter with if they were being arrested. Don’t escalate unless you have to. Let go of the fear.

Criminals, or those being arrested: cooperate. Does the justice system always dispense justice? No. But if you are shot on a street corner, you never get a chance to find out. And if you are guilty, and you know you are, accept responsibility for your actions, and take your lumps. At least when you are confronted by officers of the law, show some respect so they can do the same.

Is it all this simple? No. I am sure there will be those who tell me how officers are threatened every day, and reacted exactly as they should. There are other instances of police brutality, and increasing violence. For #alllivesmatter to make a difference, both sides must take a step back and look at what they are doing, not what the other side is doing. That’s the key.

Here’s to hope for change. #alllivesmatter.

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Change

As many of you know, often even just as a form of therapy, I write some free-verse type poetry. It is likely crude, even offensive to true poets. But I wrote this recently. This is a holiday gift to you.

Change. It evokes in us a feeling of fear. As if in embracing it, we
will not something new gain, rather might
experience loss. We fear what we possess is scarce, and in letting
it go, moving forward
we might never recover what we left behind. We hold on fruitlessly to
poison. Grip sickness tightly to our chests, embracing day after day the
harm. Whispering to the hurt the words: “I love
you. I love you. I love you.”
While it stabs us, screaming in rage: “Die!
Do not seek to live! Die!”

Something changed in me yesterday.
Not for want of trying before. For try
I had.
For who wants to live in a storm
of jealousy, fear, anxiety, dependent upon another
for the security of one’s soul?
I surveyed those surrounding me. Enabling those
who did not love them to maneuver
their feelings, govern their actions, the unwitting
control born of fear.

Fear of loss. Fear of rejection. Fear their lover
might yell. Their soul mate might begin a conflict
over a misplaced dish, a toilet seat left up
or down.
A roll of paper around a cardboard tube, be it
towels or that meant for more private business.
Their lives were filled with anxiety, that un-medicated
might for them spell “The End” whether by their own
hand, physical or psychological consequence.
Heart attack.

So often, I thought myself above it all. Seldom swayed
by the opinion of others. Rarely dependent on their view
of me for my self-esteem. My confidence arising from the well
of belief.
Belief in myself. Belief in the ultimate logic of
the world around me. Inner peace was my desire, and yet
for some reason my search was thwarted. Instead I fought.
Fought for peace. Expecting it from conflict to rise.
Struggled against the world and those around me for possession
of my inner sanctuary.

My heart was attacked. Not by one against which I must defend, and
keep out. But one who, with gentle knock, simple affirmation, offered
an insight. The fault we see in others is so often the area in which
we fail.
Dependence. Jealousy. A sense of divine right. Anxiety. A fear of
what those around me might find lacking in me, and thus deride rather
than embrace.
Peace lay there, an offering of acceptance boxed not in indifference, often
my packaging of choice, but rather in love.
Heart attacked.

Rather seek to keep out the invasion of true
compassion and kindness, instead I shouted the order loud and without
reservation. “Open the gates!”
“Open!”
Open. The invader came, not with sword, and shield, but with a look that
compelled me to set mine aside. My companions within fled from the
power of the new presence. Fear, anxiety, dependence, and jealousy took
flight, not looking back. An embrace, both welcome and new, overtook
a place in my chest. The new invader and I became one.
Peace.

A change. Accepted, not repelled. Not brought on by yet
another source of dependence. For in holding on to that which is
so precious, surely we become dependent again. And it on us, our happiness
tied to mood.
Secured by fleeting feelings, rather than loyalty. Loyalty, not a feeling but
a commitment, one that when true leaves no room for jealousy, fear, anxiety,
or loss. For it does not selfishly say “You are mine.” Or with false selflessness
proclaim “I am yours.” Rather it says simply:
“I am I,
You are you. So we are we.”

Out fear. I used to fall to you. No more.
Out jealousy. I will no longer try to possess that which is not mine.
Out anxiety. What is worry of tomorrow but negative expectations?
Out dependence. My worth will no longer be tied to the perception of another.
As I push these out, I must in their place put something.
Loyalty.
Peace.
Love.
Independence.
Change.

 

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Guest Post: Daithi Kavanagh

Today I welcome to my blog Daithi Kavanagh! Author of a great thriller, The Gun, available here from Tirgearr PublishingDaithi Kavanagh hails from Ireland. Give him a warm welcome, and visit him on the rest of his blog tour by clicking the button at the bottom of the post, or here.

When I was a teenager in the 1970’s in Wexford I left school at fifteen and found myself unemployed as there was also a recession in Ireland at that time. Rather than going around swatting flies and watching Love Boat on television (I kid you not) I took up reading. One of the first books I read was Wuthering Heights. It was a mystery to me how a young girl living in the heart of the country in England of the 1800’s could have known so much about life and I realized from that moment how powerful the mind is for conjuring up images and stories. I also found books lying around my home such as A Stone for Danny Fischer by Harold Robbins. These were my first inspirations to read because in school reading was not a pleasure but a penance.

Country Living

I have been living in the countryside in a place called Trinity since 1998. It is such a beautiful part of Wexford. It is a tiny village with a small population. There are loads of forest walks near our house and most days I get to walk in the forest with my wife and two dogs Rosie and Sam. On these walks I can mull over what’s going on in the world and take in the beautiful scenery. It gives me time and space to think. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would end up living in the country and enjoying the peace that that brings. I get inspiration to write every time I go walking. While I was writing The Gun I used to leave it aside and go on my walk to think about the story and where it was going. I would then come back and start again.

During the summer I would sit in my garden and do my writing. I found a little spot under the trees that I loved and found that my writing would flow when I was there. It’s amazing that the stimulation for a crime novel can come from such a tranquil setting.

The GunBook Blurb

Garda Detective Tadhg Sullivan leads a special unit that investigates politically

motivated crime. A man known only as The Deerstalker is a cancer who has infected

the Irish political system.

Sullivan teams up with journalist Helen Carty, and together they try tracking down

the mysterious killer. Carty adds to Sullivan’s problems, when he finds himself falling

in love with her. And further complicating things, he starts losing trust in his partner,

Detective Pat Carter, who appears to be on the side of the Garda Commissioner,

who Sullivan is rapidly falling out with.

Sullivan’s case is further thrown into confusion when a copycat killer, Tommy Walsh,

is shot dead by the CIA. When the CIA discovers that they’ve killed the wrong

person, the two agents involved–Simon, who has become disillusioned by his time

stationed in the Middle East, and Joey, a psychopath who confuses zealotry with

patriotism–are also in pursuit of The Deerstalker.

Sullivan finds himself in a race against time, if he is to arrest The Deerstalker before

the CIA take him out, and use his death as a pawn in a political game of chess.

Who will win out in the end?

Buy links

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NU8MDTA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00NU8MDTA&linkCode=as2&tag=lucyfelt-20&linkId=SMT3D7VGVKSDFY72

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00NU8MDTA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=B00NU8MDTA&linkCode=as2&tag=lucyfelthouse-21&linkId=FHMA2UNOYPQ7XB24

http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Kavanagh_Daithi/the-gun.htm

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/480887?ref=cw1985

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/gun-tadhg-sullivan-mystery/id924662452

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-gun-a-tadhg-sullivan-mystery-book-1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gun-daithi-kavanagh/1120426981

 

Excerpt

He stared at the gun lying on the bed.  It was in his possession for nearly half his life and he’d never known what to do with it.  The funny thing was, he’d always hated guns and yet, here he was.

He heard his wife moving around downstairs and knew that very soon she would call him for a cup of tea.  He had to get the gun back into its hiding place.

He thought back to the first time he’d seen it.  A late night knock at the door and a man from down the street had handed the gun and ammunition to him, wrapped in fertiliser bags.

“What the hell is this?” he’d blurted out.

“It’s a gun,” the man had said showing no expression.

“What are you giving it to me for?” he’d whispered, not wanting his family to hear them.”

“Because I trust you,” he’d replied.

“What the hell do you mean, you trust me? You hardly know me! And all I know about you is that you’re mixed up in the IRA.  I have a family and I don’t give a damn about the North.  Now please get away from my door and take that thing with you.”

The man had stared at him, but all calm had disappeared from his features.  Then he spoke through gritted teeth.

“Now listen to me.  The guards are going to be here shortly.  Something serious happened tonight and now you’re mixed up in it, whether you like it or not.  If you don’t take the gun from me now, when the guards arrive here and see us together, I’ll implicate you.  Even if they don’t believe me, it will mean that you’ll have to stand up in Court and give evidence against me. Do you want that for your family?   It would be much easier for you to stick the gun in the boot of your car drive off somewhere and hide it.  But you’d better make your mind up fast, before they drive up and arrest us both.”

He often wondered why he’d taken it.  Was it because he’d had sympathy for the man?  He didn’t think so.  Maybe it was the fear of being implicated, or like the man had said, being branded an informer.  He wasn’t sure, but whatever the reason, it seemed like providence.

BIO

I am 56 years old and I live with my wife and two teenage children in Trinity, Wexford. Up to 2012 when the recession hit Ireland I was making my living as a musician. I then went back to adult education and completed my Leaving Certificate in 2014. I am now studying for a degree in Culture and Heritage Studies at Wexford Campus.

While I was studying for I began writing ‘The Gun’ which is the first book in The Tadhg Sullivan Series.  I have just completed the second book in the series.

I play guitar and sing in many of the pubs in my hometown of Wexford where I am often joined by my two children Ella and Rory who play fiddle and flute.

In my spare time (which I do not have a lot of) I like to walk my two dogs with my wife Caroline.

Links

www.daithikavanagh.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/carolinekavanagh.543

www.facebook.com/pages/The-Gun-by-Daithi-Kavanagh

www.twitter.com/Daithik3

www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/kavanaghdaithi

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Fear vs. Love

It’s not some kind of revelation. The kind that people will write down in a book, start a religion around, and then totally flip so they can kill whoever they want and feel okay about it. It’s really just restating something you already know, more than likely, and if you don’t, something you should learn pretty darn quick.

Nearly every religion shares one common theme: there’s a battle going on in the world, good vs. evil, and it never seems to end. Looking around ourselves, we see it all the time. Race, police brutality, class warfare, all of it points to the fact there are some people who do bad, some who do good, and some who seem to have no idea what the difference might be. But I think it is simpler than that. A friend and I were talking this week, and I think the real battle is between fear and love.

fearAll that is ‘bad’ comes from fear. Sound too simple? Shame=fear of what others think. Jealousy=fear of losing something (usually that wasn’t yours to possess in the first place). Hate =fear of something different. Greed=fear of someday not having enough. Envy=fear that someone else will have something more, or better than what you have. Rage=fear your voice will not be heard unless you speak louder, harsher than those opposed to you. Ah, the list could go on. But think for just a moment about almost anything you would call bad, or your belief might classify as a sin. Is there some kind of fear at the root of it?

love4All that is ‘good’ comes from love. Kindness. Compassion. Sympathy. Empathy. Selflessness. Charity. All of these stem from love. It’s hard to fault any one of them. Living any one of this list in an extreme way would only result in the praise of almost anyone. You can name those past and present who strive to live this way. For the most part they are respected, honored, and even nearly worshipped. Except by those who fear them.

None of us are the ‘good’ guys. Here’s the shitty news: not one of us is the good guys. Not one of us is kind, compassionate, and encouraging all the time. If you think you are, ask your kids, your spouse, or if you don’t have those, a close friend. If you don’t have any of those either, this might be the reason. There are those who strive to be good, and strive to do all those right things. But there is one enemy to all of them, and it’s you.

Don’t be afraid. Want to be a better person? Kinder, gentler, and doing fewer things that are bad? Stop being afraid. Much of what you fear doesn’t even matter, or won’t five years from now.

It’s not a sermon. It’s not just for writers. It just may help you if you are down this holiday season, or if listening to the news you wonder where all the hate is coming from. There are just a lot of people out there who live in fear. Don’t be one of them.

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Blissmas Blog: Christmas Traditions

One Night in Boise by Troy Lambert - 1800HRI didn’t grow up with much of a Christmas tradition. We were poor, and often far from family. If Grandma and Grandpa were in town, or at least close, we would see them. Sometimes aunts and uncles, even cousins.

So I wasn’t the best at establishing traditions for my kids either. In fact, although I like order and some would even say ritual, I don’t do much traditionally. I’m a hybrid author: I’ve self-published and published with small presses. And I’ve written everything from short stories to novels, humor to fantasy, and even a little erotic romance.

Yes, erotic romance. Even though it does have thriller elements. It’s called One Night in Boise, and its available here, from Tirgearr Publishing.

IMG_20141127_103421331The only tradition I keep nearly every holiday, mainly because a holiday is my best excuse, is grill a turkey. It is so much more moist and better than cooking it any other way, at least that I have found. How, you ask?

You turn your grill into a humid oven. You’ll need a charcoal grill (okay, I guess I am traditional) or a gas grill with two sides, so you can turn one off. You’ll need a pan you don’t mind putting in the bottom of the grill, and getting a bit messed up. I use one of the disposable foil ones, after ruining two of my wife’s baking pans over the years, (another story).

IMG_20141127_091719Build a fire, or light the burner, on one side, put the pan filled with water on the other. The turkey goes over the water. This is called indirect grilling (it’s not truly “smoking” the turkey). As the water evaporates, it keeps everything in the “oven” moist.

I like turkey to be super moist. The first step is injecting it with something. Melted butter and rosemary is one recipe: or as simple as melted butter and soy sauce (about a 1 to 1) mixture. The soy sauce gives it a smoky flavor. Reserve whatever you don’t inject for basting.

IMG_20141127_114306069_HDRYou’ll want to baste every hour. If you are using charcoal, this is when you restoke the fire, make sure the coals are still hot.

Depending on the size of your turkey, it will take about three hours or so. Check with a meat thermometer near the breast bone and thigh bones.

That’s it. I stuff mine as well, but you don’t have to. In fact, you can do almost anything to make this your own. But I promise the turkey will be one of the best you’ve ever had.

Got an idea? A comment? Go ahead and leave one! By commenting on this post you get 1 entry into the Blissemas grand prize for a Kindle Paperwhite stuffed with smut. For a list of rules and other Blissemas blogs please check http://blissemas.co.uk .

Have a Happy Holiday!! IMG_20141127_153752623

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Guest Post: Tegon Maus

Today, I turn over my blog space to the author of one of my favorite books this year, Tegon Maus. He has some great work, but perhaps my favorite so far is his book, Bob, published recently by Tirgearr Publishing and available here. 

Take it away Tegon!

3 - The Eve Project - The Cordovian Effect by Tegon Maus - 200I think most of us have someone we looked up to as kids… someone that helped to shape the way we see the world.  Someone that made us a better person.  Okay, maybe I went a little too far with the word better…  let’s just say influenced.

Personally I had two.  The first… at the top of the list was Benjamin Franklin.  An all around great guy… anyone who can fly a kite in the rain, just to see what lightning is made out of and live to tell about it is always at the top of my list.

The second was Reed Richards… okay, nobody said it had to be a real person.  As a kid when I read the Fantastic Four I was held in awe by the wild machines that populated its pages not to mention by the man himself.  He had perfect posture, broad shoulders, chiseled good looks and a generous swath of gray at the temples.  Anyone could see he was one of the good guys.  He was an unparalleled genius able to multi-task in a time that had never heard the term.  He could manage the problem at hand and his relationship with all the other team members all at the same time.  I had envisioned myself in his likeness a million times.  I wanted to be this kind of man… but genetics being what they are and much to my personal disappointment I wound up looking more like Franklin.  Happily, the trade off turned out to be the craving for knowledge and the feeling of kinship were machinery is involved.

I think this, above all else, is what Sci-Fi is all about.  It makes you want more… not just for the sake of having material gain but to have and be more than you are… to become something better than you were in the beginning, even if it’s just for a little while.  It makes you want to visit those worlds, see those creatures, have those adventures… see all those incredible machines and spaceships and ray guns and zapping arcs of energy from things we can’t possibly understand.  But we want to, we really want to.

We want it to transform us in unimaginable ways so we can be part of something bigger than ourselves, something wonderful and good.  Isn’t that why we read?  To live a life not our own for however long that book will have us.  We crave that kinship with our stories and Sci-Fi lets us live in those pages to its absolute fullest.  We want a happy ending, don’t we?  We want to wipe the tears of our involvement from our cheeks and say to ourselves… “that was really, really good.”

Down deep inside that’s what we all really want isn’t it?   Well… that and chocolate.

Excerpt:

BobA part of me was disappointed irritated that Fred hadn’t opened the door for me or at least for Emma.  I pulled at the handle several times but it remained locked.  To my surprise Emma place her hand over mine and the door opened instantly.

“Is belt,” both Fred and Bob shouted simultaneously, turning in their seats, before either Emma or I could get all the way into the car.

A new fear gripped me as Bob sped onto the freeway with the door on my side still open, swinging wildly back and forth.  I leaned out as far as I could grabbing the door, wrestling to get it closed.

At last, the car swung in such a way as to allow me to pull it closed.  Uncertain if the loud, mournful groan had come from the door or from me, I was just grateful we had escaped.

For several minutes the roar of the engine straining under the weight of Bob’s foot filled the interior.  Then the sound leveled off and everyone broke into laughter at the same time.

“God damn, Fred, you were a maniac.  I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life,” I joked, slapping his shoulder over the seat.

Everyone laughed again.

“Bob, you were great… I never would have stepped in front of Carl like that… damn, you guys are nuts.”

The laughter slowly faded as the car slowed for the first time in my experience with Bob to match that of the traffic.

Leaning closer to one another in the seat, Bob and Fred spoke softly in Russian, gesturing toward me and Emma.

“Bob?” I said, beginning to feel a little uncomfortable.

“They are saying, we need a place to hide… quickly,” Emma offered.

“Dude,” Fred said incredulously, pointing at Emma.

“By the way… that’s Russian for “is belt,” I said sarcastically.

“No, it’s not,” Emma protested with a hint of annoyance in her voice.

“Really?” I asked, happy for my chance to put Bob on the spot.

Bob immediately said something to her in Russian, his hand waving in the air.

“I stand corrected,” she said, easing back into her seat, a smile of self-satisfaction lifting her lips.

We rode along in silence for several minutes.

“You have a wonderful machine, Bob.  What’s it called?” Emma asked, tracing a hand over the upholstery.

“Is car,” Bob returned a little confused.

“I know that, silly.  I’ve seen one before but I had no idea that they could feel like… like this.  What do you call it?” she asked, leaning forward in the seat to be closer to Bob.

“Is car,” Bob repeated.

“No, what’s her name?” she prompted.

“Bob not understand,” he said, looking into the rearview mirror.

“She doesn’t want to be a bath tub…  she rather likes being a car,” Emma explained, leaning on the back of Bob’s seat with both elbows.  “She loves you very much,” she said, softly.

“Dorota,” Fred offered in Bob’s place.

“It’s pretty,” Emma said.

“Means…  gift from God,” Bob said, barely over a whisper.

“Yes.  Yes, she is,” Emma said, rubbing an affectionate hand over the door, touching its metal.

Then the tips of her fingers seemed to melt, becoming part of the metal itself.  At that instant the sound of the engine began to run smooth, strong and took off at an incredible rate.

We had flown down this part of the highway several times before but this time… something was different.  The way the car sounded, the way it felt as it glided over the pavement was like a dream.  If there was one day in its creation when everything that made it a car worked perfectly, then today was that day.

I had a thousand questions for Emma.  As I tried my best to focus on at least one, music softly filled the car… John Mellencamp’s “Paper and Fire.”

As I laid back against the seat on one level I felt good… happy, very satisfied with life but had no idea why.  It felt as if I were suddenly drunk or… I had no explanation for the euphoria that filled me.  As I looked to Bob, it appeared that he and Fred were under the same spell.

It felt as though we were stuffed in a thick liquid, making it nearly impossible to move.  My head turned slowly as I tried to focus my attention on Emma.

She appeared to be surrounded by a strange, pale blue light as she turned to smile at me, but I couldn’t be sure.

“Bob.  I think we’re in trouble,” I called, trying to wrap my head around what was happening.  I struggled to regain some form of control over my mind, over my senses.  “Bob,” I strained, almost yelling.

“Is okay, I have cousin,” he said, turning in my direction, smiling.

Author Bio:

I was raised pretty much the same as everyone else… devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends I could conjure. Not that I wasn’t friendly, I just wasn’t “people orientated”. Maybe I lived in my head way more than I should have, maybe not. I liked machines more than people, at least I did until I met my wife.
The first thing I can remember writing was for her. For the life of me I can’t remember what it was about… something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married me shortly after that. I spent a good number of years after inventing games and prototypes for a variety of ideas before I got back to writing.
It wasn’t a deliberate conscious thought it was more of a stepping stone. My wife and I had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. “Be as detailed as you can,” we were told.
I was thrilled. If there is one thing I enjoy it’s making people believe me and I like to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an outright lie mine you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn’t be sure if it were true or not.  When I write, I always write with the effort of “it could happen” very much in mind and nothing, I guarantee you, nothing, makes me happier.

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