Long Hot Summer

It’s been a long and sometimes truly frightening day. Shortly after lunch, there was talk around the office of a wildfire nearby and headed toward us. It had already closed two highways and was spreading fast. It was a slow day for me so I decided to head home. Thank goodness. At times, the flames were six to eight feet from my car. I called back to the office and told them they needed to leave. And leave now. Within minutes they closed and my coworkers joined the conga line of traffic trying to reach safe roads and a clear route home. Airplanes were flying overhead dropping retardant. Smoke made it difficult to see.

As I write this, my son has made it home, but my husband is still mired in traffic from the closures. Shortly after I got home, another highway closed making passage in our out of our rural area extremely difficult. The last news updates said the fire was growing fast. It jumped from three acres to fifty in what seemed a blink of an eye. I have no idea its current size.

Temperatures have been staying around 117-119 this past week. My heart and prayers go out the firefighters. I can’t imagine working outdoors in those temperatures, add to that the heat and danger of the fire… Scary stuff.

Here’s hoping the fire departments have the resources to deal with what surely lays ahead.

 

Lucky Girl!

I’m beginning to think life is never going to give me a chance to be bored again. It keeps throwing me balls even though I stepped out of the batter’s box long ago. Work is a hot mess. It used to be my social outlet, my chance to interact with people outside of my family. Now it’s just a hornet’s nest. My Love told me it’s time to move on and I’ve taken steps in that direction. We’ll see how it all washes out.

My brother is doing remarkably well with the experimental treatment. They’ve tripled the dose once and plan to do so again next week. My fingers stay in a perpetual knot that he and his doctor’s are on the right course. I’m not nearly as convinced as they are, but the alphabet soup after their names outrank mine.

Except for work, things had seemed to be looking up. Then I got a late night call from our daughter. Her SO fell down their stairs. It was a tense few days. Three broken and compressed vertebra, lots of pain and tons of prayers, he’s back home and expected to recover.

In the middle of all this, My Love stayed on my ass to finish the story for the anthology I was asked to participate in. While he was driving us to and from the hospital, he’d hand me a notepad and tell me to get busy. He even took notation when I had my hands full and couldn’t finish my chores and write at the same time. He is nothing short of amazing.

This weekend we needed to stay close to home.  Instead of sitting around watching TV or some other ‘de-stressing’ activity, he decided to work on his ‘to-do’ list. We’re trying to take our home in a more mid century modern direction. We found the perfect couch and setee about six months ago, but the side tables had us stumped. Nothing we found fit our style. At the hardwood store, we found the perfect woods. We wanted a variety of tones so we went with machiche, walnut and pear woods.  Then drew up plans for our own custom made tables. From there the project stalled. Until now. He pulled the equipment from the shed, dusted it off and went to work.

Of the three tables, one is almost completed. The other two are in various stages. Plus, he found time for us to scene not once, or twice, but four times. Four bone melting, ‘thank gawd we don’t have neighbors close enough to report the screams’, scenes. Yeah, I’m a very lucky girl.

Time to Float Away

The last several days have been hell, a roller coaster of good and bad that’s left me wanting to find a dark cave to crawl into and hide. My brother’s health has taken a nose dive and his only real hope is an experimental drug that in my opinion has some really shitty odds. They’ve administered the first dose and now it’s a wait and pray situation.

My job which, until recently, had been a good diversion turned into a freaking nightmare. I had been feeling unfulfilled and questioning why I was still there. I’d hit the job sites and found a few that seemed worthy of applying for, but I wasn’t truly excited about anything. Then as luck would have it, my son’s old team approached me with an offer. It was an amazing opportunity and one that I’m surprisingly well qualified for. It was just the challenge I’d been looking for. I verbally accepted and while the paperwork was being hashed out, I would spend my days off working in their division. I was excited.

You may have noticed that last sentence is in past tense and realize that something came along and effed it up. Yep, the something happens to be a friend. I don’t seem to have much luck with that group these days. This one wanted the position for herself and she threw a monkey wrench into the whole affair. The team that approached me is working behind the scenes to clean up the mess and smooth the way for me. I have confidence in their ability, but I’m wondering if it’s worth it. No matter what happens, I’ll have to go head to head with my former friend. Pit my qualifications against hers. While she definitely peed on my Wheaties, I don’t think she needs that kind of slap down. Her self-esteem makes mine look rock solid.  My Love has asked me to give it a few days and see how it all shakes out before I make any permanent decisions. So, in yet another aspect of my life I’m waiting.

Have I mentioned how much I despise waiting? It eats away at me and makes me tense.

So tense and irritable that I had a fight with my Love. He’s been burning the candle at both ends for a while now. Work has been on his last nerve and he’s been staying up nights trying to finish a project. We had a simple misunderstanding, but neither handled it well. I gave as good as I got. It’s been a while since my cat claws have come out and I’ve taken a few swipes at my Love. I’m not proud of it. My job is to have his back not tear his face off. We worked through it in short order. It was resolved before we parted for work, but the emotional toll was done.

When my stress level reaches critical mass my body tends to react with a physical response. Of course it kicked in. Now I’m dealing with that as well.

In the midst of all this, my editor reached out. I was asked me to participate in an anthology. The deadline to submit the story is next month. My gut reaction was ‘oh hell no’. I’m late on submitting Against the Tide and you want me to change gears entirely and write a short story set in a new world with all new characters? Are you out of your mind? Of course, they know nothing about all the extraneous crap going on in my life.

I spoke to my Love about it. Complained is probably a more accurate word. They couldn’t have waited until I finished Against the Tide before handing me this? Argh. I hate saying no to a challenge. Yet, I don’t see how I could complete the story in time. With me working my days off, if I accepted the writing assignment it would have to be completed on my Love’s time. Every other minute was accounted for.

To my surprise, he said accept it. He didn’t hesitate. He said it was an honor and I needed something fun to focus on. He started talking plot points and got my mind whirling. While sitting through a family get together last night (one of my least favorite activities) I zoned out and cobbled together a story line. This morning I refined the idea and began to hash out the character details. By lunch, I came up with synopsis and blurb. I’m still struggling with the tag line, but I always do. I’ll get it. With my Love’s support, I’ll get through everything.

 

Friends…

I’ve been pondering a few things this week. Dangerous, I know.

At what point does a person move from an acquaintance to a friend? I’m on several BDSM boards and there are often posts about ‘coming out’ with friends and family. My question is – if you are in the lifestyle, if it’s a way of life for you, not some kinky fun you enjoy in the bedroom – and your friends don’t know – are they really your friends?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think ‘friends’ need to know what goes on behind closed doors, but if they know nothing about a major component of your personality/life, I wonder if they count as friends. For me, the answer is no they’re not. They are someone I chat with on a superficial level.

A friend is someone I can trust. Someone who has my back and I have theirs. Someone that shares my same values. We don’t have to agree on politics or brand loyalties, but underneath all the fluff, we need to be in sync. I don’t share that with many people.

The biggie for me is respect. If you run down your significant other, we’ll never be friends. This is the person you’re supposed to love above all others. As soon as I hear a phrase such as – ‘you won’t believe what my stupid ________ (bf, gf, wife, husband), did now’, I’m out. People think they’re being funny. They’ll tell you, if you call them on it, they don’t mean it like that… Geez, what’s your problem?

My problem is, it’s hurtful. You’re diminishing how other’s look at your loved one in order to gain something – attention, sympathy, laughs…

Of course there with be times when something happens and you’re confused or hurt by your SO’s actions. But shouldn’t the conversation at least start between the two of you? Your lunch buddies won’t be able to tell you why your (bf, gf, wife, husband) overdrew your checking account or has a questionable picture on their phone. So sharing your laundry with them only serves a negative purpose.

This one person I’ve known for more than half my life thought it was perfectly fine to eat lunch daily with coworker they were attracted to. They had no intentions of taking it beyond a coworker/friend relationship so what could possibly go wrong? I’m sure you can see where this is going. A hell of a lot went wrong. Bashing their respective spouses  turned into a frequent occurrence. Instead of talking to their loved one about an issue, they’d let it fester. They’d chat with their coworker and garner sympathy.  The coworker, who only heard one side of the issues, naturally sided with their ‘friend’ and would converse accordingly. “Why do you put up with that? They shouldn’t treat you that way!”

Then my long time buddy made the fatal mistake. In an argument, they told their spouse what the coworker had said about them. The spouse knew immediately that the coworker had been privy to all their dirty laundry. The spouse felt betrayed (in my opinion – rightfully so). The marriage dissolved.

You may be wondering how we went from telling the difference between a friend and an acquaintance to divorce, but in my warped mind they connect. The road linking them is called trust. The difference between a friend and an acquaintance is the level of trust you have for that person.

The person you give your heart to, should be the person you trust more than anyone else. Period, end of sentence. If something isn’t right between you two, trust them to care enough to listen and to make changes. Trust them to have your back and give them that in return.

See it was a twisty, dirt road, but it did eventually get to the point.

dirt road

Change… Is it good?

Nothing ever stays the same. I know this, but… I don’t always like it.

I’m feeling melancholy today. Mother nature seems to be too. It’s a hazy, blah, kind of day here in what’s widely known as the Valley of the Sun.

My youngest and I have been working at the same company for over a year now. We work in different divisions, but we still found time to eat lunch together a couple of times a week. I enjoyed that time together. We laughed a lot and that got us a few odd stares. By nature, we’re very reserved and quiet unless we’re around people we’re comfortable with. That doesn’t happen often at work.

Last week, he turned in his two week notice. He took a great position with a different company. I’m proud of him and it’s the right move. They’re thrilled to get him. They made that plain, but goodness I’m going to miss him.

It has me wondering if it’s time I look elsewhere too. I rarely stay in one place more than five years. I get bored easily and need new challenges. That’s not the only reason though. Truth be told, I don’t like to form bonds with people. I like to keep it light and superficial. Having my son there helped. Before he started there, I was having lunch a couple of times a week with coworkers. We were getting tighter than I’m comfortable with. Once he started with the company, I was able to pull back and stay out of the ‘lunch click’.

Our two divisions have very little in common. He worked with techno types and I work with researchers. For the most part our two divisions never interacted, which kept our lunches usually just the two of us.

Now there’s nothing holding me there. My day to day job is boring. It isn’t challenging me in the least these days. The big question mark is my co-workers. They’re wonderful. Truly a great bunch of people. I enjoy interacting with them and for me that’s a problem. They’ve tried to include me in social events outside of work hours and I’ve managed to evade them for the most part. I don’t like to become entangled with others. I know that might be hard to understand if you’re the gregarious type. But I seriously find people draining, even the awesome group I work with.

My husband is my focal point. He’s truly the only other person on the planet I’m comfortable spending time with. He’s the opposite of everyone else. He energizes me. My kids are a breath behind him. After that, the rest of my crazy family falls somewhere on a wide outer ring. I love them, would do anything in my power to help them when needed, but I need them at arms reach.

Friends fall somewhere behind that. I’ve been stabbed in the back by friends so often my guard rarely comes down these days.

I’m still in contact with a gal I grew up with. We’ve known each other over forty years. We’ve been together through thick and thin. Yet, she doesn’t understand or condone D/s. She can’t accept it. Our talk everyday, know everything about each other, relationship has turned into a meet once a year for coffee. Literally, once a year.

My closest co-worker stabbed me in the back when she learned about my books. She considered D/s to be disrespectful to women and decided to explain my crimes in a loud voice in a crowded restaurant and when that didn’t get the response she was after, she told everyone who would listen in our workplace. Around the same time, I shared the news of my books being published with my brother. He went behind my back and told my family. Suffice to say, it didn’t go over well with them either.

After all that, I vowed to stop handing people a knife and clear path to my back.  I was much more cautious, but one person got through. I hate to think of myself as an optimist. In my mind that conjures up sappy, perky sort of people that make me shake my head in disgust. Yet, maybe I am. Even though I know better, I keep trying to find people I feel comfortable with.

This person believes in D/s as deeply as we do. So I shared a lot of myself. I thought I had found a kindred soul. Two subbies each needing a safe haven to share ideas and discuss the trials and tribulations assorted with D/s, husbands, kids and life in general. Two maybe three years went by with our bond deepening as each day went by. We didn’t agree on everything, but our core values were the same. A few months ago, that came crashing down. We hit a crossroads and our paths diverged. Once again, I find myself questioning why I let them in, why I thought it would be any different this time.

Which brings me to the question of the day – do I stay in my current job and risk getting closer to these people or do I jump ship?

Hello, job board…

jump ship

Available Now!

Sam hunts a black widow. Will he untangle the web of lies and deceit or will he be her next victim?

Two men, in the prime of their lives, are now dead. The only link is the beautiful, but deadly, Eliza James. Sam Rivers must follow the cold trail of a murderer. His instincts lead him away from the rich widow, though why he couldn’t say. All the evidence points to her guilt. Is he falling into her trap as his fellow agents warned? To unravel the secrets from years gone by, Sam must listen to a voice long dead—one that challenges his view of the mysterious and sexy widow.

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Roller Coaster

Wednesday was a great day. When our daughter received a well deserved promotion and a huge raise we were certainly cresting the top of the ride. As is always the case on a roller coaster, the drop was just around the bend.

Thursday I had a pretty severe reaction to a medication I was taking. It wasn’t a fun day and it scared the hell out of my Love. Poor guy. Being a dominant it is very difficult for him to sit idly by while something is happening to me.

Friday was better. I was still in a fog from everything, but our son had an interview. They liked him so much they’re tailor making a position for him. Again, the ride began to ascend to the top.

Saturday was good. Sunday better still. I was feeling stronger and the kids came for lunch. It was a very pleasant weekend.

Today, I had another reaction. It wasn’t as severe, but it sapped my strength again. I want to curl in a ball and sleep until summer hits and my immune system is back to normal. My pup didn’t help any. He let his instincts get the better of him this morning and he took down a rabbit. All in all, I’d like a redo.

Tomorrow promises to be another good day though. Against the Grain comes out on Amazon and as well as all the major retailers. It’s available in both print and digital.

Amazon

Totally Bound

DCIM100MEDIA

 

 

Solace

It’s been a hell of a month, this week. Yeah, that’s a pretty non-sequitur phrase but it fits. Life has been piling it on pretty thick the last few days. My brother is fighting cancer and he was given several pieces of bad news. My dad is ill and the doc has no idea what it is. Our kids are unhappy about various assorted things and even though they’re adults, it feels like I should be doing something to ‘fix’ it. And, my job is frustrating the hell out of me. Feeling helpless to change any of it is what galls me the most.

It seems like every time my phone buzzes, it’s more bad news or more crap to deal with. Wednesday night I was close to a panic attack. I felt smothered, like I couldn’t escape and the pressure was keeping me from drawing my next breath.

Feeling buried and helpless to do a thing about it, you wouldn’t expect to find relief by being bound and ravaged, but I did.

My Love knows me. He understands that when I give him backtalk that I’m at wits end. My gruff sass is a way of staying above the emotion threatening to consume me.

When I got home from work, I was withdrawn. I made dinner and played mindless games on my phone. He put up with it for an hour or so. Once we’d eaten, he told me to go into our room and present. I knew better than to argue, but I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. As soon as he came in, I started making comments. Nothing overly snarky, but nowhere close to submissive either. If you squinted, you could assume they were playful.

He merely chuckled and shoved a ball gag in my mouth. While he took his time tying me up, he talked to me. Each wrap of the rope took me further out of my head and deeper under his spell.

He made it clear that I was his to do with as he saw fit. In short order, I was bound, gagged and completely at his mercy. Only then was I able to relax and let go. In his dominance, I found peace.

At the end of the scene, all the issues were still there. Nothing had changed except my perspective. Yet, what a difference it made. I felt stronger and better able to support my family.

Those that complain that BDSM subjugates and enslaves women will never understand how empowering I find it.

We’re a team and we’ll face what life throws at us together. He’s got my back and I’ve got his.

Can’t wait?

Against the Grain is now available for early download through Totally Bound 

Sam hunts a black widow. Will he untangle the web of lies and deceit or will he be her next victim?

Two men, in the prime of their lives, are now dead. The only link is the beautiful, but deadly, Eliza James. Sam Rivers must follow the cold trail of a murderer. His instincts lead him away from the rich widow, though why he couldn’t say. All the evidence points to her guilt. Is he falling into her trap as his fellow agents warned? To unravel the secrets from years gone by, Sam must listen to a voice long dead—one that challenges his view of the mysterious and sexy widow.

againstthegrain_earlydownload

Eliza finds the handsome diplomat too good to be true. He reawakens a desire within her that she thought had been lost. Yet their time together has a stopwatch ticking. Knowing that every moment counts, she accepts his bold proposal to explore her sexuality. Through pleasure and pain mingled together, she discovers a hidden strength that could mean the difference between life and death.

Together they must sift through lies and betrayals to unearth the truth before time runs out.

Available for pre-order through Amazon

Sometimes fantasies really do come true

About ten years ago, I shared a secret fantasy with my Love. We talked about it at length. We discussed why I wanted to try it, what the long term ramifications were and what the dangers were. After giving it a lot of thought, my Love decided it wasn’t the right time.

I was disappointed, but he’s the boss. No, meant no and I accepted it.

Fast forward to our anniversary last month. As we were going through our previous interest inventories he noticed a discrepancy. Since his decision, each time I would complete an updated inventory I would draw a line through the interest options in regard to that topic.

In my mind, I was showing respect. He had decided it wasn’t right for us and since I respect his decision I stopped asking to try it. I simply drew a line through the choices. As we compared our lists and reflected upon our journey, we touched upon my fantasy once again.

That portion of our conversation was short, not much more than a recap. He asked if I still had a desire to try it. I told him I did, but I assured him I was okay with his decision. As is so often the case, that topic brought up another and we quickly moved on. Little did I know that a plan was taking shape in my Love’s mind.

Saturday our daughter called out of the blue and insisted I go shopping with her. My Love told me I needed to go. He firmly believes that you should never turn down the opportunity to spend time with the kids, even when it’s inconvenient as hell. So, off I went.

We shopped and had a good time. A few hours later when I pulled into the drive, I noticed the windows along the front of the house were drawn. My Love enjoys natural light and it was highly irregular for him to want block off our view. As soon as I stepped into our home, I knew he had a scene planned.

During the next few hours, my fantasy played out. My emotions ran the gamut. It was so much more intense than I had expected. I quickly realized he’d been right to say no all those many years ago. I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t have handled it. At the end of the scene, as he held me in his arm, I cried like I’ve rarely cried before. It’s my body’s way of  processing the rush. The line between passion and pain blurred often. Fear had mingled with pleasure. Though I had waited years to experience this fantasy, twice I had to use my ‘slow down’ safeword.

Each time, he changed the direction of the scene just enough that we were able to continue without losing stride. That was a change for him as well. Many moons ago, on those rare occasions when I would need to ‘slow down’, he would stop the scene entirely. He feared for my safety and even though we had clearly defined reasons for saying ‘yellow’ or ‘red’, his concern overrode everything. As the years have gone by, he’s learned my reactions and now responds accordingly.

The culmination of a long term fantasy was like a dream come true and it reinforces my faith in his ability to continue to lead us on our amazing journey. Thank you, my Love, I’m truly blessed that you chose me as your life partner.

wish