Thursday, December 24, 2015

Oh Great Mystery

If preparing for the holidays is wearing you out,
and you feel like you're drowning:
and listen.

O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
meruerunt portare
Dominum Christum.

O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.

May the love and wonder of the season feed and fill our spirits.

Merry Christmas.

Monday, August 31, 2015


My son (aka Balthazar, the Kid) tapped on my bedroom door.

Me, looking up from my sprawled position on my bed: Oh, hey Kid. How long've you been up?

Balthy: An hour.

Me, surprised: Yeah? I haven't heard you. Whatcha been doin'?

B, shrugging: Avoiding responsibility.

Me, having lost an afternoon binge-watching the 1st season of Fargo on Hulu: Me too.

Took Balthy up to college for the start of his Senior year this weekend. If all goes according to schedule, he should be graduating in May 2016, God willing.

I almost can't believe it.

These past three years have challenged me, exhausted me. Now I've a year to get my shit together so we can move into a place of our own again, while simultaneously saving the requisite funds to put out another book (oh, and I suppose I should finish writing it, as well). I'm thrilled and terrified. I almost feel like a graduate myself. (I say "almost" because my back and knees frequently remind me that I ain't no spring chicken.)

Not gonna lie—I fear the future. It sucks when you're going through hell, but at least there's a devil you know. Yet all we can do is keep going.

Because what's the alternative? We're either going or stopping. I sometimes don't know which is preferable. But who, on this side of the veil, can know?

I'll keep going, I guess, till I'm either recalled or have no other reason to. In the meantime, I'm going to make myself some hot cocoa and get to work on my story.

That is all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Scribbling #5

After that writerly type class I started in April finished, I jumped into another one, offered through the NYU School of Professional Studies. Lots of great prompts in that class too. One inspired a piece (a true story!) that I reckoned would suit my little bloggy-blog to a T. The prompt: "Write about an awkward moment at school OR about a birthday party OR a romantic moment during puberty." I sorta mixed the first and third options into a weird little cocktail (you'd expect nothing less from me, no doubt).

*          *          *

My first high school, Saint Raphael’s, suffered from under-enrollment to the point that we had to merge with our brother school (this is not a euphemism). So it was in the fall semester of my sophomore year at Holy Trinity that I laid eyes upon my first serious crush, Patrick Greco*. Impossibly tall, with a shock of blonde hair framing a pale and narrow face and sapphire blue eyes, he stole my breath. If I hadn’t just lunched before my first Greco sighting, I might’ve swooned. Thinking back, I’ve no idea why he affected my heart-rate as he did, when the type I’ve come to be really into is tall, dark, and broody (as well as authoritative—yeah, I’ve got a daddy thing, so what?). But affect me he did, and I mooned around, all that fall, gushing about him to all my little girlfriends.

Unfortunately, I also told one of my new guy friends. The wrong guy friend.

Derek Jacobs, a junior, was acquainted with young Greco and offered to play matchmaker. I freaked out at the very thought. I was so incredibly innocent, so untouched, naïve. The word “sheltered” fails to convey the heartiness with which my mother preserved my virtue. I’m convinced the old gal would’ve brought back the chastity belt if she’d only known about it. I used to tell my friends that the epitaph on my tombstone would read, “Return to sender—unopened.”

I think you get the picture.

I knew nothing about dating and wasn’t supposed to. It seemed an exercise in futility for Jacobs to say anything about me to Greco, who likely didn’t even know I existed. That is, he didn’t until Jacobs went against my express wishes and let fly Cupid’s arrow at the hapless towheaded boy of sixteen.

One day soon after (I’m guessing, as I was completely unaware that Jacobs had spilled my beans) (as it were), I crouched down at my locker, fishing for whatever I needed for my next class. The corridor teemed with uniformed teens, the noise in the uncarpeted hallway deafened. I was caught completely off-guard when the door to my locker swung out of my hand. As I raised my eyes, Patrick Greco crouched down beside me. He seemed preternaturally serene, even if his dark blue eyes burned like dying stars. My heart seized at his sudden nearness. Then he said, “So. I hear you like me.”

Well, damn—I wasn’t ready for that! I don’t know that I could’ve handled anything else he might have thrown at me, but there was absolutely no way I’d been prepared to deal with such directness from a boy. A boy I liked? I said the only thing I could think of to save myself from this horrible exposure. “No!” I shook my head for emphasis, grabbed my stuff, slammed my locker shut, and ran off.

And that was the end of that. Next time Jacobs saw me he had the nerve to laugh. I wish I’d had the nerve to tell him to fuck off. Perhaps if he’d warned me in advance I might not have utterly bungled that milestone.

Because the thing is, I’m forty-bloody-four and still skittish. I’m totally tongue-tied when a guy approaches me, unless it’s someone I know and have some sort of relationship with already. I don’t know that I’d be different, or be able to behave differently at least, if I’d been able to engage fully with that very first opportunity. Maybe not. And I don’t know if Greco and I would’ve gone the distance. Probably not.

Some folks say, “If only I could go back…” I usually feel the opposite: “…thank God I never have to relive that moment.” But for Patrick, and for myself, I almost wish I could…

*Names have been changed to protect the clueless.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blog Tour: "A Silent Soliloquy" by L.G. Keltner!

It's out, folks, it's out, it's out, IT'S OUT!!!


My bloggy pal's Sci-Fi book is out and here's L.G. now to tell y'all about it!

*     *     *
Title: A Silent Soliloquy
Author: L.G. Keltner
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian
Length: 28,000 words
Cover Art: Devross
Release Date: July 6th, 2015

First of all, I’d like to thank Mina for being so awesome and letting me stop by today!  I’m here to promote my newly published novella A Silent Soliloquy, and what better way to do that than with a short excerpt?

*     *     *

“Hey, Tips,” David says softly as he slides into place on the bench beside us.  His shoulder bumps ours, and I savor that innocent moment of contact.  I try to imagine that, in this moment, I am merely a girl who’s meeting with a boy.  No hidden agendas attached.

The fantasy is quickly ruined when he leans in to kiss me.

I can’t help but note the flavor of the lip balm that’s been liberally applied.  Cherry.  An extremely artificial, almost medicinal, cherry flavor.  I know that ours isn’t any better.  The grape flavor is just as medicinal, just as artificial.  It’s a constant reminder of the utility of the kiss that I’m expected to perform.

Though, I must admit, if I ignore the odd taste, the other aspects of the kiss are kind of nice.  His lips are soft, and his body emits a surprising amount of warmth considering his size.  I’m glad when our hands move to rest on his shoulders, increasing the amount of physical contact between us.  It feels grounding, so even though I can’t fully ignore the reason why we’re kissing him, I can momentarily push the knowledge from the forefront of my thoughts.

*     *     *

TIPPIE was created to be a weapon...

By all appearances, she's an ordinary girl of 18, and she uses that to her advantage in her work for The Facility.  What no one sees is that there's another girl buried deep inside.  She can't speak or control the movements of the body she inhabits.  As TIPPIE's silent passenger, she can only observe.  She uses the details she learns from TIPPIE's work to reconstruct the stories of other people's lives.  It helps her feel a little more connected to the world she can only watch.

When TIPPIE's work leads her to David, a young man with a haunted past and information that The Facility wants, TIPPIE uses her skills to earn his trust.  The silent girl beneath the surface knows that TIPPIE is only going to hurt him, but she can't help but feel for him.  Those feelings only grow, but she knows all too well that TIPPIE's work will soon come to an end.

About the Author
L.G. Keltner spends most of her time trying to write while also cleaning up after her crazy but wonderful kids and hanging out with her husband.  Her favorite genre of all time is science fiction, and she’s been trying to write novels since the age of six.  Needless to say, those earliest attempts weren’t all that good. 

Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.

You can typically find L.G. lurking around her blog, on Twitter, or on her Facebook page.

You can purchase a copy of A Silent Soliloquy at one of the following retailers:

You can also add it on Goodreads.

Monday, July 13, 2015

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