Saturday, August 21, 2010


You don't need strength to let go of something. What you really need is understanding.
- Guy Finley

Friday, August 20, 2010

my Flash Fiction Challenge entry

Feast for Lady Simone
Challenge 1
Group 1
Sci-Fi genre - a magic show location - a sandbag object
(48 hours to write a story 1,000 words or less)

Butch tried to look as disinterested as the others in the theater lobby. One hand shoved into the front pocket of his skinny jeans, the other tapping a rhythm on his thigh, he considered the art deco lamps a little too long. Shaking his head to focus on the now, he looked around at the others. All of them slight, young boys dressed in hoodies, “manpris” and skinny jeans; costumed as though it were a casting call. Small groups huddled in corners...separating, segregating themselves; diminishing, dismissing others. All of them leaning or lounging and feigning disinterest. Much like Butch.

The foyer lights slowly dimmed, hushing the crowd, their silence reverential. One spotlight illuminated twelve raven-haired beauties on the second level. Dressed in white halter tops with black bow ties, tight black leather pants and sexy stiletto heels, one by one the twelve descended the dual staircase. Perfectly executed, precise timing and practiced moves; measured, mechanical moves. Though some wanted to whistle or yell his appreciation, barely audible gasps were the only sounds. Butch watched, mouth agape, as the girls sauntered by him, through the parted crowd to the theater doors. Damn he thought. I’d like to get my hands on that right there...oh, yeah…

At the door, Butch was handed a pair of silver plastic glasses with three buttons on the wide temple. The gorgeous girl gave simple instructions: adjust as necessary and enjoy. Butch stared at her ruby red lips, hardly suppressing his urge to lick, bite and kiss them. Damn…he thought as he was pushed hastily into the theater. Butch strolled down the aisle, finding a seat on the end. He looked around, admiring the beauty and decadence of the theater – the gilded fixtures, the lush colors and fabrics. The heavy red curtain, with its gold-fringed embellishments, was lit by lights set on the edge of the stage.

Butch put on his glasses, tilted his head back and fingered the buttons on the arm of the frames. The button closest to the lens brought the ceiling zooming towards him. The middle button set his focus. The third button moved the ceiling back to its proper distance. Butch looked around as the others explored the theater with their newly discovered controls.

Under the theater, twelve more raven-haired beauties collected data sent from microchips hidden in each pair of silver plastic glasses.

The private chamber above the theater was a scene of striking beauty. An amazon, clad in a long red robe, stood in the center of the room, surveying monitors and computer screens. At her feet sat several young men, gazing up at her, adoringly. More raven-haired beauties stood at attention along a wall, awaiting a command and direction.

“Ten minutes,” said a red-haired boy.
She returned his adoring gaze. “Thank you, my love.”

With a simple nod of her head, two of her girls moved from the wall in measured, mechanical steps. She disrobed and allowed her girls to dress her in black halter top, black stockings, black shorts. She looked at the red-haired boy. “Boots.” He moved quickly, taking the black boots from one of her girls. He steadied her as she stepped into each boot. He knelt behind her, zipping one boot to a close above the bend of her knee. He licked and kissed behind her other knee, then zipped the boot. “Thank you,” he said, returning to sit in front of her. She drew him to his feet, kissed him lightly on his lips, turned and left the room.

The orchestra of raven-haired beauties played as lights flashed and swirled around the theater. Butch and the others waited anxiously for the show to begin.

“And now…the show you have all been waiting to see…may I present to you the magnificent Lady Simone!”

She strode confidently onto the stage. She smiled broadly, appreciating the whistles and thunderous applause. She stopped stage right, bowed slightly. She crossed to stage left, bowed slightly. She stopped center stage, smiling, until the applause ceased. Once it did, two of her girls walked in measured, mechanical steps from the wings and removed her cape. The whistles and applause started again; she bowed deeply.

The show was a tremendous spectacle of lights and illusions. Lady Simone moved in a confident, sexy way across the stage. The audience delighted in her magic, illusions and movement. She never stopped. She never spoke.

She took great pleasure seeing the smiles on the faces of the lovely young men seated in her theater. She would take great pleasure in them, indeed, as they were soon to be hers. Her boys were growing older. She needed to replace them. Her girls needed to be serviced and fed. Her girls would be pleased. And that pleased Lady Simone.

For her finale, Lady Simone brought four of her girls onstage. She hypnotized two of the girls. Lady Simone placed these girls, head first, into huge empty sandbags. With each bag tied tightly, the hypnotized girls were hung by their feet from a bar. This bar was then slowly raised out over the audience. Butch and the others boys pushed the buttons on their glasses to zoom and focus on the bags suspended above their heads. There was no movement. Well, none that they could see.

On the stage, Lady Simone was blindfolded and given a crossbow. As she drew the arrow back, one of her girls set it on fire. The crowd gasped then hushed. Lady Simone took aim, steadied herself and let the flaming arrow fly. The arrow hit its target perfectly, the bag exploding sending glitter and confetti raining down on the wildly applauding audience. Another arrow. Another perfect hit! More glitter, more confetti, more applause.

Within minutes, the theater was silent. By this time, Lady Simone had returned to her private room, now empty. She watched the monitors, watching her girls collect her new young men in the theater. She smiled, quite pleased. She left to prepare herself for The Feast.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I finished my Flash Fiction Challenge entry last night and submitted with 3 hours to spare. What an incredible feeling! I was more challenged by the title and story synopsis.

Now, I wait...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Flash Fiction Challenge 2010!

I signed up for another writing contest. This time, it's the Flash Fiction Challenge - 48 hours to write a 1,000 word story with an assigned genre, location and object.

Last time I entered a writing contest, it was the Short Story Challenge - one week to write 2,500 word story. I took 4th place in my heat. Not bad for my first foray into writing contests.

I got my assignment last night: Sci-Fi genre, a magic show is the location and the object is a sandbag.


I know nothing of Sci-Fi writing! I had a couple of ideas...ambitious I slept on it. This morning, I took some time to formulate a story, one with a clear ending. And I started to write.

I am halfway through - in story and words. So, I'm letting it sit. I will edit what I have tomorrow; finish then submit by 8:59 p.m. EST.


When they said 'Challenge' they weren't lyin'!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dr. Laura and the N-word

What is up with everyone using the N-word?!

Dr. Laura used it on her radio's okay because you heard it on HBO? Oh, come ON. "Everyone else says it, so why can't I?" Ugh. Seriously? We have a black president now so it should be okay?

To me ~ doesn't matter WHO says it: Whoopi, Flav, some 15-year old black kid on the football field or some 15-year old white kid replacing "-er" with "-a" - the word is hate-based, degrading and intended to hurt.

No doubt the word is thrown
around in homes, smoke-filled recording studios, amongst friends. In private. John Mayer tossed it out to a reporter of a national magazine. Dr. Laura said it several times in a short period of time to dozens(?), hundreds(?) of listeners nationwide (I don't know much about her show).

Have you ever been called that name filled with all the vile meaning and hatred intended? I have. My dad has. My mom has (she's Hawaiian!). My family has. Sticks and stones don't hurt as much as being called that name.

I know many in the music industry throw the word out there for shock value yet under the guise of "taking back the power." It's so pervasive and accepted; which is why white suburban kids don't understand why the word riles.

Don't tell me it's "just a word"...Dr. Laura said the caller had a 'chip on her shoulder' and had the fucking nerve to say "If you're hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry out of your race." Unbelievable.


I can't even get words straight in my head.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

I'd much rather listen to my iPod

In one week, I have heard the phrase 'listen to your heart' a dozen times from half a dozen people. This morning, I heard the Roxette song of the same name while driving the 405, returning home after a trip to LAX. Sign, sign, every where a sign! So, I decided to sit and listen to my heart.

The buildings, the pool are deserted. Strange for a Saturday. Is it a holiday? I wondered. It is almost back-to-school time, but there are no kids to go back to school in the building. Enjoy, don't question, the silence.

I drop my feet into the pool, brief shock of cold ripples through my body as the water ripples from my movement. Be still. Listen to your heart. I fidget instead. I flutter my feet in the water. Anything but still. So, I sit and listen to the sounds...

window slides open...motorcycle revs, tires screech out of a driveway...a telephone rings...MY telephone rings...Burbank Blvd traffic...dishes in a laughing...a gate clanks closed...

And then, silence.

I wait. And, I wait. Red rover, red rover send Rissa's thoughts right over! These thoughts and feelings come up. Afraid, I push them back. I don't want to do this...I know what the answers are...and I know I will have to do something about them when (if) they are out.

I sit still again. Ten minutes of fidget. Ten minutes of stop and start. Ten minutes of silently wishing my phone would ring or for a friendly neighbor to stop and say hello. No such luck.

Again, I sit still. These thoughts and feelings come up. Afraid, I let them out. Oh, how I want to chase after them, like bubbles and dandelions, pop them or blow them far, far away. Oh, how I want to chase after them, gather them up and put them back. I don't. I let them tumble out and let myself look at them.

2 very distinct thoughts return to me, circle around then return to my head, my heart. I am very aware of these thoughts, they are nothing new. They are, however, quite surprising. They are much clearer, more defined to me now. And, I'm not so afraid to pursue them.

OK, that's a lie. I'm terrified! Ha!

"Hi Rissa! Isn't the water cold?"

The still. It's over.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

For the LAST time...

Yep, I'm tall.

No, my parents are not really tall, too.

You feel short next to me because, quite frankly, you are short.

Yeah, I bet you wish you were tall, like me.

And, I wear heels because, quite frankly, I rock the shit out of 'em.

Please. Stop. Thanks.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

August and everything

Yesterday, I was blue. Leaving Napa, driving home while the others stretched their journey one more night, was incredibly heavy. There was definite sadness knowing I had short-changed myself. How shortsighted I was to think missing the last show of the tour wouldn't matter! For that, I am sad.

Yet on the drive home, I was anything but sad. All of the memories tripped over each other, fighting to tumble out first and wrap me up in happy. I laughed out loud. I sang even louder. I smiled at the little things, fully appreciating them - a joke, a comment, a move, a song, a look. These feelings, this collection of bits and pieces of sights and sounds, will keep me wrapped up in happy for a long, long time.

So, imagine me going back to work today. Yeah. Good times. I was there, I was in it...I was working. And all the good of the past two weeks slowly chip chip chipped away. I was losing the Me of the past two weeks to other people. WTF?! What's up with *that*?! The Me of the past two weeks was IS Me. It's the true Me. It's the Me I allowed myself to become. And, I needed to get that back.

I sat there, door closed, music on, phone ringing. And, once again, let those memories trip over each other, let them fight to tumble out first and wrap me in happy. THAT'S the feeling I need to remember ('member? You 'member!). I kept it, sometimes fighting to keep it, and carried on. It's a slow process, this vacation transition

Writing did not take a backseat during vacation. On my day off at home, I wrote 3 short stories. Three! I know! I tossed one, edited the other and one is just sitting there. I blogged. I journaled. I wrote a lot. The Flash Fiction contest starts in a couple of weeks. Prepare...looking forward to the challenge - one story, one thousand words. EEK!

I did something bold today. Something out of character. And, it paid off. Just one more thing to tuck away...until it tumbles out to wrap me in happy.

Using this feeling to shove me forward when it comes to my living situation. This is possible. I have always been able to see the end, how it's supposed to be. I know how it's supposed to feel...I KNOW it, I can feel it. It's not the same feeling of hopeless under a mask of so-called hope I've spoke of in the past. I see all of this stuff in a completely different light. My life inside and outside these four walls will soon be on the same level.

Going to channel this restlessness toward something good, something new, something improved. Not quite sure why...but August - and everything - is going to be most excellent.

(This rambling writing style is just not me. It just seems unfulfilling and incomplete. But, it's something I told myself to try - just write, put it down, get it out. And I have. It's just not for me.)

Sunday, August 01, 2010


looks like the beast that is Restlessness has been shaken and is currently stirring...just what I need. I can't go through this again. The wanting, the needing, the feeling, the knowing there's something else and/or something more for me beyond the four walls of my office. The uncertainty of what that something is or may be is what keeps me beating Restless back into submission again and again. I'm fearless a lot of the time. I'm fearful all of the time.

So many things are swirling right above my head, all within reach. I just can't decide what to pluck or what to shuck. I don't want to wait for everything to fall down on me, around me...

On another note...someone has returned to my life. It's peripheral, strictly words on a computer or cell phone screen. Talk about stirring. As much as I love the attention, this may very well be a huge mistake. Again.

On yet another note...longing to contact someone. I'm not sure how to do so, how to approach or if I should even bother. But this strange feeling, connection or chemistry or something is drawing me this way. Part of it is this whole caregiver thing I have...


Summer Tour 2010 - It's the End of the Party

Tough to walk away last night. People were milling about and it was bittersweet. Just as I was getting to know them all - Grace, Peter, John, the others. I stood there, longing to be smack-dab in the middle of them, it - the chatter, the drinks, the smoke, the laughter. I wanted to grab it all, wrap myself up so tight in the memories of my new friends...then just stay there, warm and remembering.

I said goodbye to everyone a dozen times in the hopes someone had one wish left to bestow upon me. This was not to be. Accepted, reluctantly. My wishes were used for two weeks of fucking awesome! Guess being greedy just wouldn't be right...

There was no backstage room; the guys all stayed on their buses or on the side street. I had wanted to talk with Chris again, couldn't find him. He's a slick guy, disappearing just as you notice he's around. A car was waiting to take him away. Fans were waiting to take him away, too. I just stood there, staring. Why in the world am I so intimidated and scared? Well, other than the fact that he is Chris effing Difford. It took me a few minutes to work up the nerve. I popped my head in the driver's side door - "Chris, hope you feel better. Thank you so very much for the past two weeks. It was wonderful and fun and true joy and everything." Mind you, I'm saying this like running a sprint, words tumbling out before I could think. He smiled and said some very nice things. I closed the car door, walked away all warm and happy, smiling and bummed that it took me until the end to talk with him. Oh well...

Memories of conversations had and overheard roll around in my head making it difficult to write this...I'm actually tearing up, so emotional. (Crybaby!) I will sit with these memories. I will let them trip and fall, spin and stumble around up there...then smile as they spill out to keep me company on my drive home. Eight hours is a long time.

"Do it now you know there's never a next time..."