Valentine’s Day Gift: That’s the Ticket!

I wrote a bit of short fiction for you today. Enjoy!


That’s the Ticket

Five years ago on Valentine’s Day, I met the man who would make all my dreams come true.

It had been raining all day, and the only color on main street were the pink and red splashes that lined most of the shop windows along the way. I felt as gray as the weather, walking alone in a dress I couldn’t afford and now, given its bedraggled state, couldn’t return. He stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb in our small town, rushing down the sidewalk with a pointless newspaper held over his head in that expensive suit soaking up moisture as fast as it fell from the sky.

I’ve never played football, but when he rammed into me shoulder-first, sending me flying a few feet back and right up against the thick trunk of a sturdy tree, I was pretty sure I knew what it was like to be tackled by a line-backer.

He did stop to make sure I was okay, though he was obviously perturbed at the delay. I was perturbed at being thrown into a tree, and received a very polite apology before he took off again.

I think about him every year on this day. I go stand on that corner, snap a selfie under that tree, and I wonder where he is and how he’s doing. My friends and I toss back a shot in his honor, knowing that he doesn’t know my name and probably has no memory of me or that brief encounter that changed my life forever.

I’m guessing he doesn’t remember the lottery ticket I lifted from his suit jacket, either.

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Variety News – 10/20/2021

General News

It feels like every time I start getting back in a groove again lately, something knocks me back the next day (last week, it was getting sick…a cold, covid, whatever…it knocked me back for a couple of weeks). It’s annoying, to say the least, but it feels like the “new normal”, so I’m trying to figure out how to just roll with it and keep moving forward anyways.

I tend to forget that when I was an angsty teen & young adult, I used journaling extensively to get my thoughts out of my head and process them in a productive way. I got out of the habit of journaling when someone close to me read my journals and found out things in a way they shouldn’t – it worked out okay, but it wasn’t the way I’d have preferred things to go. The act of journaling has been stressful for me ever since, for fear someone would read them. But I think it’s time to get over that and use journaling for the useful therapeutic tool that it can be again.

In the meantime, I’m trying to crowd out the stress with creative pursuits, and focus on what I really want to prioritize in life. That said, on to less depressing, more creative things!

Manicure of the Week

It takes more time and I’m going to have to start earlier in the evening, but I’m really having fun with this nail stamping thing.

For this week’s manicure, I played around with some reverse colors and a sort of 90’s teen goth look that reminds me of something Avril Lavigne would sport. A little (poorly stamped) plaid with some simple skull and crossbones accents. I like it…it’s edgy and rough and suits my mood while being “almost” Halloweenish.

Currently Reading

I am just about finished with Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis, which is one of the deeper romances I’ve read by her. I’ve found myself wincing in sympathy for the main character too many times, but I am very much enjoying it, as I do with all of her books.

I’ve also just started the first read-through on a newly finished manuscript by my buddy, Carol Ward, and I’ve been waiting a long time to read it, so I’m excited to finally be digging in!

Currently Writing/Editing

I’m working on edits for a new Death by Veggies story that I was (am?) hoping to have out by the end of the month. If I can finish the edits this week, I can do formatting and cover art this coming weekend, and get it published. That’s the goal, we’ll see if I can stay focused and get it done.

I’m currently trying to get back in the daily writing habit with a “word of the day” exercise, wherein I choose a word for each day, and write a micro-story (a hundred words or so) with that word daily after the day job. I just started this, so Monday’s word was “apple”, and I wrote a micro-story that revolved around an apple. Tuesday’s word was “leaves” (are you sensing a fall theme here?). I’ve posted the resulting micro – story below for your amusement.

Until next week, wishing you creativity and crunchy leaves!

Crunch, crunch, crunch.


Lisa shuffled through the crispy bits of orange and yellow that covered the driveway, her sneakers all but disappearing under the cacophonous blanket of fallen leaves as she continued out to the mailbox. Breathing in deep as she pulled the metal knob, a dry, earthy scent filled her nostrils and reminded her of hayrides and corn mazes and hot cocoa by a roaring fire.


Retrieving three envelopes and a small box wrapped in brown paper with no return address, she turned and crunched her way back up the driveway, snickering as little puffs of leaf detritus flew up from her feet and almost made her sneeze. Perching on the front steps, she set the letters down and opened the box. There was no note, no card, nothing to identify the sender, but as soon as she pulled the dainty bracelet circled by tiny acorn and oak leaf charms free from its velvet-lined box, she knew who it was from.


A huge, blood-red maple leaf floated down in front of her, and she bent down to grab it. Maybe it would dry nicely pressed between some paper towels in an old book. Another beautiful reminder of this glorious, colorful day.

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