A Gouda Day for Jolene #Tuesday Tidbit #Fiction

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

At The Country Kitchen in Sheridan, Wyoming, Dolly sits in a booth, dressed in a pink pant suit, her blonde, frizzy hair sparkling in the sunlight. She barely touches her Gouda cheese omelet. Jolene sits across from her, wearing blue jeans and a white t-shirt with “Wyoming Cowboys” emblazoned in bold black letters on the front. Her dark hair is cut short. She wolfs down her barbecued chicken sandwich, also with Gouda cheese.

“I’m surprised to see you,” she tells Dolly. “When I called and asked if we could meet, I didn’t think you’d come all the way out here from New York just to see me.”

“I don’t know what he sees in you, honey. You’re so plain.”

“Maybe it’s the fact that I’m always there for him. I don’t travel around the country, giving concerts, signing autographs, smiling at other men.”

“But that’s my work. He knew that when he married me. Why on Earth would he want to live in Wyoming of all places? None of these towns are like L.A. or New York.”

“He likes my ranch. In the evening, we sit on the front porch, drink coffee, play chess, watch the sun go down. It’s more romantic than some old penthouse in New York.”

“How long has this been going on?”

“We met at your concert in Denver last year. When he complained of a headache and told you he was going back to the Brown Palace, he was going there to be with me.”

“So, he’s been cheating for the past year?”

“I guess you could say that. While you were on the road, whenever he could take time away from the office, he’d fly up here. I’d meet him at the airport and drive him to the ranch. We’d have a high old time together.”

“All those times he called me from his cell phone, he was with you?” The corners of Dolly’s mouth tremble, and tears trickle down her cheeks.

“I guess so.”

“Those times I called him at home and there was no answer, I assumed he was working late,” says Dolly, taking a Kleenex from her purse and blowing her nose.

Jolene picks up a French fry, pops it into her mouth, chews and swallows. “Let’s face it, Dolly. He doesn’t love you anymore. Who can blame him? No man wants a wife who’s never at home.” She reaches across the table and takes Dolly’s hand.

“You slut!” says Dolly, jerking her hand away. She stands, picks up her omelet, flings it at the other woman, and hurries out the door, leaving Jolene, her face swathed in egg, smoked bacon, tomato slices, and Gouda cheese.

The above story was published several years ago in Magnets and Ladders and appears in the February edition of The Writer’s Grapevine. Click here to read past issues. To subscribe, send a blank email to: writersgv+subscribe@groups.io

I once heard a radio ad for a local restaurant, promoting their menu items containing Gouda (pronounced goo da) cheese. At the end of the promo, the announcer said, “Have a Gouda day.” That, along with the above song, inspired my story.

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

When It’s Too Darn Cold #Tuesday Tidbit

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Why didn’t Cole Porter write a song about that as well as it being too darn hot in the summer? When it’s too darn hot, you don’t want to snuggle up with your baby, but when the temperature drops, Mr. Adam is definitely interested in being with his madam.

In parts of Texas, where there’s no electricity, heat, or running water, snuggling under blankets is a great way to keep warm. While you’re at it, if you’re with your significant other, it’s a good time for some hanky panky, another way to keep warm this time of year.

Where am I going with this? I don’t know. I guess I’m just grazing.

Speaking of which, here in Wyoming, cattle are, no doubt, miserable in the snow when the temperature is below zero. They eat more hay, so they can put on more body fat to keep warm. Soon, it will be time for calving, and ranchers who help bring bovine bundles of joy into the world will be just as miserable. But the groundhog saw his shadow, which means there will be a few more weeks of this. I don’t know which is worse, being too darn cold or being too darn hot.

Last week, it was my turn to facilitate my Third Thursday Poets meeting. We usually start with a writing exercise for twenty minutes, then share what we’ve written. For this month’s prompt, I read the group the poem, “February 2nd” by Kay Winters, which you can read here. Then, I suggested that everyone write about whatever in that poem inspired them. The above vignette is the product of some free association on the subject of cold.

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

An Afternoon at the Beach #Excerpt #Tuesday Tidbit

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

While winter grips parts of the United States with storm warnings and rolling black-outs resulting from extremely cold temperatures, let’s escape to the beach on a summer afternoon with Eve, my main character in The Red Dress.

***

Eve had never been much of a swimmer, but she enjoyed walking along the water’s edge, feeling the  warm sand between her bare toes and the cool waves washing over her feet.

Ashley grinned at her. “Come on in. The water’s fine.”

“We packed an extra towel, so you can get wet if you want,” said Brenda. “It’s a good thing Mark  didn’t come. He’d throw you in.”

Eve laughed. “I seriously doubt that.” She studied the ocean and finally said, “Oh, what the hell.”  Before she could change her mind, she waded in toward the girls. A moment later, a large wave  washed over her, soaking her and nearly knocking her down.

“Whoa!” she said with a laugh as both girls steadied her.

“Isn’t this fun?” asked Ashley.

“Do you know how to swim?” asked Brenda.

“It’s been a long time since I took lessons,” said Eve. “I’ll just stay here in the shallows. You  girls go on ahead.”

***

Who are Ashley, Mark, and Brenda? Where is this beach Eve and the girls are  enjoying? Read the book and find out.

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

Hemorrhage #Poetry #Tuesday Tidbit

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Barely coherent, drenched in sweat, he lay on the floor. “What happened?” I asked. His response was unintelligible.

“I don’t need to go to the hospital,” he told the paramedics. “but if my wife wants me to go, I guess I will.”

“The stroke was caused by bleeding on the right side of his brain,” said the doctor. “He may need surgery.”

“In this case, surgery won’t help,” another doctor told us. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

“He’s not strong enough to participate in our rehabilitation program,” said the social worker. “He’ll have to go to a nursing home.”

“I don’t know how much you’ll recover or how long it will take,” a third doctor said. “Continue the therapy, and watch your blood pressure.”

“We’ll work on strengthening your legs and try to get you up and moving,” the therapist promised him.

“They’ve given up on me. I don’t think I’ll ever walk again.”

***

The above was recently published in The Writer’s Grapevine, a publication produced by TELL-IT-TO-THE-WORLD Marketing, containing prose, poetry, and advertisements. To subscribe, send a blank email to:  writersgv+subscribe@groups.io  This poem also appears in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. You can click the Play button below to hear me read it.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

Just My Luck #Fiction #Tuesday Tidbit

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

The weekend after I was laid off from my job as a guidance counselor at the local high school, my husband and I went skiing. I took a flying leap off a small hill and landed spread-eagled in the snow, my skis pointing in one direction, my poles in another. My right knee was badly twisted.

On Monday, my birthday, my husband announced that he had out of town business that just couldn’t wait. After promising to return late Friday night and kissing me on the cheek, he was out the door. Here I was, with no job, no husband, and no one to take care of me. I lay on the living room couch and wallowed in self-pity, as I watched a mindless game show on television.

When the doorbell rang, I struggled to my feet, picked up my crutches, and hobbled to answer it. Reaching for the doorknob, I heard a thud, then two men yelling and punching each other. When I opened the door, I gasped at the sight in front of me. A box of fruit lay torn open on the porch. Planters were broken, and pears had rolled everywhere. Two guys were fighting, yelling obscenities at each other. A UPS truck was parked in my driveway, and a sport utility vehicle stood on the street directly in front of my house.

“What’s going on?” I yelled.

The two men stopped and looked at me with sheepish expressions. One of them handed me a business card that read “Doug Ross, Certified Massage Therapist.”

“Happy birthday. Your husband arranged for me to give you a massage today.”

The UPS driver said, “I also have a delivery for you. Looks like it’s a subscription to a fruit of the month club.” His gaze shifted to the smashed pears on the porch.

“And you guys were fighting over who would make the first delivery?” They looked at each other and shrugged.

“Oh, for heaven’s sake,” I said. “Come in out of the cold.”

They followed me inside. I hobbled into the kitchen and started making coffee. The massage therapist put a hand on my shoulder. “Sit down. I’ll do that.”

“I’ll clean up the mess on the porch,” said the UPS driver. “You’ll be reimbursed for what was broken. I’m really sorry.”

A few minutes later, we were drinking coffee and eating pears that weren’t too badly damaged. “Would you like to tell me what’s on your mind?” I asked.

The UPS driver said, “Doug and I have been friends for years. A couple of months ago, I met the most incredible woman. I made the mistake of introducing her to him. Now, she’s seeing him and wants to break up with me. But you know what, Doug? You can have her. I found someone better.”

“Glad we got past that one, Brent,” Doug said. “Still friends?”

“Still friends,” Brent said, and they shook hands.

For the price my husband paid for one massage, Doug gave me daily treatments, paying special attention to my injured knee. Brent also came every day and brought fresh fruit he’d salvaged from other customers who weren’t home to receive their deliveries.

On Monday afternoon when the mail came, I opened my husband’s credit card statement. He usually took care of the bills, but I was bored to tears and sick of game shows, news programs, and soap operas. I was shocked when I saw charges for restaurants where we’d never eaten together, a flower shop, a jewelry store, and a hotel in a different city. I couldn’t remember the last time my husband gave me flowers or jewelry. His work often took him out of town, so the hotel charges probably weren’t anything to suspect, or were they?

On Monday night, I called my husband’s cell and a woman answered, “Hello?”

“Oh, who’s this?” I asked.

“I’m Melanie,” she answered with a giggle.

“I’m sorry,” I said, not surprised. “I was trying to reach Charles Redford. I must have the wrong number.”

After that, Doug and Brent took turns spending the night. They gave me more than massages and fresh fruit. Charles never called, and I didn’t try to reach him again.

On Friday night, when the two of them showed up at the same time, I said, “Both of you can have me tonight. Let’s get a pizza and watch a movie.”

When Charles walked in late that night, he found the three of us snuggled on the living room  couch, watching Casablanca. Doug was rubbing my injured knee, and Brent’s arm was around my shoulder. An open box of oranges stood on the coffee table.

As Charles gaped at us open-mouthed, I placed an arm around each of them and said, “Hi, honey. Did you have a nice time with Melanie? Thank you for the lovely birthday presents.” I kissed Doug, then Brent.

In divorce court, Charles told the judge, “If only I’d picked either the massage or the fruit.”

***

The above appears in the January issue of The Writer’s Grapevine. To subscribe, send a blank email to: writersgv+subscribe@groups.io  It was also published years ago in Emerging Voices, a journal produced by Northwestern Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff. This story was inspired by something I heard on National Public Radio’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website