Monday Musings – Does Social Media Bring us Closer? Or Drag us Farther Apart?


Until recently, I always kind of agreed with the general wisdom that social media was robbing us of the ability to interact human to human. But then I read something from a well-known and very entertaining social media maven, Kristen Lamb, that made me reconsider. In her book, Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World, Lamb put social media into historical perspective, which was a fascinating exercise. She believes that social media is a natural result of our short attention spans, and that it is part of a natural evolution from an earlier time, when lengthy tomes like War and Peace were the norm. But more importantly, Lamb posits that social media has allowed us to interact better because we can now reach out to millions of people around the world, instantaneously connecting and sharing. It’s easy to see where a shy person, safely hidden behind the anonymity of a user name and an Avatar, could enjoy much more human interaction than before social media. Writers are a perfect example of that! Most of us tend to be introverts and if left to our own devices would probably never leave the safety and comfort of our own little spheres. But with social media we can reach out and connect with readers, other authors, and people who share our interests.

Yes, some conversations that might otherwise have been conducted face to face are now happening on a broader, much more public stage. And there is definitely a danger in hiding behind anonymity. It’s much easier to treat people badly if you don’t have to look them in the eye. It’s a danger we all need to guard against. But what we lose in physical touch, maybe we can make that up in emotional gains. While a Facebook friend is not necessarily the type of friend who will help you move or bring you chicken soup when you’re sick, if you treat that friend right…with human kindness and consideration…there’s no reason the friendship can’t gain that type of gravitas over time.

Have we connected online? If not, what are we waiting for? #:0)

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Amazon Author Page

 

 

Monday Musings – Help! The World is Upside Down!


It happened gradually. Incrementally. But somewhere along the line the world became a far different place than the one I grew up in. I’m not talking about technology, although that’s certainly changed for the better. I mean, grocery  shopping was a LOT harder when my list was chiseled on stone. #:0) I’m not even talking geographically, though the world is on fire beyond our borders, with changing boundaries and falling governments. It’s all very unsettling.

I’m talking about the culture. It’s changing. From my perspective not in a good way. People are no longer polite or even kind. We’re completely insensitive in some ways and uber-sensitive in others. The things we once considered right are now viewed as wrong…and vice versa. But the worst part? Over the last several years we’ve divided ourselves into groups, each one competing with and deploring the other. Rich vs poor; black vs white vs  brown; male vs female; conservative vs liberal; fat vs skinny; Christian vs Muslim vs Jewish. The ways we divide ourselves are endless. It’s not good. Nothing good ever came from division.  We’ll never survive if we don’t stop pulling ourselves apart into factions. We need to pull together, address the decay that rots us by the roots, and learn to love each others’ differences again.

If we all work together, we can turn the world right side up again.

 

Friday Flash – Crowded Cell


You’re in jail for indulging in public sex. What happens next is…well…let’s see:

“What are you doing in my cell?”

The cop shrugged, stretching his long legs to frame mine. “You seemed like a guy who liked…company.”

My eyes widened. “Sorry. I was looking forward to some alone time to consider my sins.”

The cop snorted. “Yeah. I could tell when you were ridin’ that guy in the elevator that you were the religious sort.”

I pressed my hands together, fixing him with a pious gaze. “I’ll find heaven my way and you can find it yours.”

He leaned forward and nibbled my pinkies. “You know any good hymns?”

I frowned, my mind going kind of wonky as he licked his way along the sides of my hands. “Um…maybe. Why?”

The cute cop yanked me closer, until I was straddling his legs. “ ‘Cause you’re about to enter a holy place. And I wanted to make sure you were properly prepared.”

I sucked in a breath as he unzipped his pants and showed me the steeple.

Hallelujah!

Monday Musings – Fishing for Benevolence


It seems that the world consists of two kinds of people, the givers and the takers. It’s easy to look down on the takers and love the givers. On the surface that makes a lot of sense. But it’s not really that simple. I’m afraid the givers have to take some responsibility for the fact that the takers get what they want. Sound harsh? Maybe it is…a little bit. But it’s true. For every taker there’s a giver who is an enabler. You probably don’t need to look much further than your own family for proof of this. Do you have a sister, brother, aunt or uncle who always seems to be there with his or her hand out when you come into a little cash? Is there a relative who always jumps to the front of the line when there’s a death in the family…looking for the most treasured items, the highest value goods from the estate?

You probably talk about this person don’t you? How ugly her actions are. How insensitive. How selfish. But what do you do when this person puts his hand out? Do you simply step aside? Give in? Allow him to get exactly what he wants? Or do you even take it a step further and offer cash or your recently deceased grandma’s antique china to him before he even asks?

If so, you’re an enabler. We all are to a certain extent. I’m just as guilty as the next guy. I like to think of myself as a giver. I’m always the last one to put up my hand for stuff, preferring to earn my own way. I don’t like to feel like I owe anybody anything. But I have a friend who is very poor. She’s always in need of some kind of help. And since she’s a nice lady, she always gets the help she needs. I’ve given her cash. I’ve given her clothes and furniture. I’ve bought her stuff. And, to be honest I don’t regret a bit of it. I believe we should take care of people who need our help. But there’s always the concern that by giving stuff we help people stay weak. It’s so much easier to take what is given us with good will, then to go out and find a way to work for it.

It’s easy. But is it good for emotional health? Does it teach the right messages? Is it smart in the long run?

No on all fronts. It isn’t good for their psyches, it doesn’t teach the right message, and it isn’t smart. It’s human nature to want to help, and I’m not suggesting in any way that we shouldn’t help each other. We should always help. But maybe we need to change the way we help so we don’t enable the wrong behaviors, locking people forever into dependency. Because dependency sucks.

Remember the old adage: Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.

Sounds like good advice to me!

 

Friday Flash – Afternoon Delight


This is the first of hopefully many Friday Flash on this blog. I love flash fiction and, like vegetables, it’s good for me. #:0) It’s a great writing exercise. My goal will be to keep my flash under 300 words. Here’s the premise for this week:

You just stepped out of the shower and you hear your dog yelping in the back yard. Since it’s a warm, summer afternoon and all your neighbors are at work, you drop the silk boxers you were about to pull on and rush out the back door, naked as the day you were born.

~~*~~

 My mind filled with visions of Otto fighting for his life, I threw the door open and plunged through, already screaming his name. I stopped at the edge of the patio, searching frantically for my little dog. I didn’t see him so I stumbled toward the gate at the side of the house. The gate stood open. I’d forgotten to close it again. Shit!

“Otto!”

A shrill bark had me running through the gate, toward the house next door, where the sexy mechanic with the Harley Davidson lived. Lustful thoughts gave my nakedness a whole new dimension and I bobbed along toward the sound of barking, praying my sexy neighbor didn’t come home early. “Otto, where are you?”

One last bark preceded the jingle jangle of his tags and the cocky little dog trotted around the corner of my privacy fence, tongue lolling and tail whipping the air happily. I picked him up and hugged him close, relieved he was all right.

“Sorry. I think I startled him,” a husky voice informed me from behind a tall evergreen.

I jumped, my gaze sliding to my half-erect penis. “I…erm…no problem.” I turned to run back to the safety of my privacy fence.

“He yelped when I talked to him…”

I yipped, startled. He stood ten feet away, dark eyes wide with surprise. He wore only low-slung jeans and his sculpted chest was hairless…perfect. His big hands were covered in grease. He wiped them with a rag while he stood checking me out. As I faltered, unsure what to say about my naked and increasingly aroused state, the dark green gaze filled with heat. He cocked his head. Smiled. “I see you found your wiener.”

I swallowed hard, my gaze sliding to the new bulge under soft, worn denim. “Good god, yes. I believe I have.”

 

 

 

 

WIP Wednesday – Discordant Lights – Book 2 City of Lights


discordantlights

 

When Chaos rules, only the fiercest love survives.

Bright City is growing increasingly discordant. Something dark and treacherous is stalking Rabb and Brant, creating havoc in both of their worlds. The Vampire Council is putting pressure on Brant to become an elder, using Rabb as bait to force him to comply. All the while, Rabb battles deadly fractures in pack alliances and fights his own personal vampire skirmish.

Will the packs fight an internal war to replace Rabb? Will the vampires force Brant to choose sides? War is on the horizon, and it might not only ravage the supes in Bright City, but also devastate the human population living ignorant and helpless among them.

~~*~~

Rice held his gaze for a long moment. Rabb’s skin tingled and then the vampire was suddenly standing too close. Rabb sprouted claws and struck, but Rice caught his partially shifted hand and stepped closer, pressing himself full length against Rabb as something cold and foreign danced across Rabb’s mind.

His limbs locked, lost feeling, as Rice wrapped impossibly strong fingers around Rabb’s throat and leaned in. His lips touched the corner of Rabb’s mouth, his tongue snaking out to taste him there. “You don’t understand what you’re up against delicious canine. These are elders…thousands of years old…and they want you dead. I want to help you stay alive.”

Rabb growled, twitching helplessly against the invasive touch. Though he longed to rip the vamp into pieces, he couldn’t move his arms or legs. “Why am I supposed to believe you care?”

Rice’s lips spread in a slow smile. “Because there will be something in it for me.”

The vampire tucked his hips, pressing a hard ridge of flesh against Rabb as he ran his tongue along Rabb’s jawline.

His wolf roared in his head, writhing against the constraints that held them both rooted to the spot. “What’s in it for you to help me?”

Becklan Rice chuckled, the sound like icy water running down Rabb’s spine. “You, pretty puppy dog. I want you. And if you agree to become my lover, I’ll not only save your life, but I’ll also make sure Mr. Samuel Smythe doesn’t kill the embattled Mayor as well.” He smiled as Rabb’s pulse picked up, moaning with pleasure. “You’d like that, yes?”

Coming Soon – Stay Tuned!

Monday Musings – Facing Challenges


Last week one of my dogs ran under the car as I was coming up the drive and he now has a broken leg and fractured tail. He was lucky. This morning three of my dogs fought and my sweet little cattle dog alpha is now at the vet getting stitches. She was lucky too. It was horrible. I’m still an emotional mess.

Sometimes it seems like life just kicks you in the ribs and then, while you’re gasping for breath, hits you over the head. I’m waiting for the shoe enema which is sure to come. After all, they say bad things always come in threes.

I don’t want a third bad thing. Especially if it has to do with my dogs. I’m already reeling.

When you have times like this your first thought is often to go to bed and pull the covers over your head. I always give that option some thought and then reject it. I’m much better if I’m proactive. The worst thing about having bad things happen to you is the feeling that you have no control. Being proactive puts you in control again. Then you need to fix or at least repair as best you can the results. Sometimes the best you can do is take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. As unsatisfactory as these actions might be, they’re positive steps in the right direction.

Most important is an awareness that the bad will pass and the good will return. That might be the hardest thing of all. But it is true. And a positive outlook can go a long way toward making you feel better.

That’s what I’m working on right now. #:0)

Positive thoughts everybody!