Linda G. Hill

Life in progress


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#SoCS – The Measurement of Moo – #AtoZChallenge

The word my thesaurus gave me today is “measurement.” The following is pure stream of consciousness writing. Unedited.  Enjoy.

The measurement of moo can vary. It might be simply moo, it may be moooo–I think it depends on the cow.

Or perhaps it relies on how hungry is the cow.

A cow who is famished may have a lengthy moooo, whereas a contented cow might have a moo. Does this mean an overstuffed cow gives out a mo?

Mo, the cow, lived in a meadow where the grass was very green. She was a lonely cow–all of her cow friends had gone off to less green pastures. Which meant they were shipped off to farms where they only served hay. Mo knew this because one of them, as she was going by in the back of a truck on her way from one hay-ish farm to another, yelled out, “YO! Mo! Thar’s hay in them thar hills!”

Mo was not a contented cow. She longed for a bull to call her own. She was fat from all the green, green grass she consumed on a daily basis, and she was very blue. Which was why she didn’t go with the other cows. No one wanted a blue cow named Mo.

The years passed, and Mo got fatter and fatter. Her only visitor was Flo, the lady farmer who looked after the farm. Every day Flo came to pat Mo on the head, and Mo would say “Mo,” and Flo would answer back, “Ho! Did you say ‘mo’? You’re supposed to say ‘moo,’ ya stupid blue cow!” and yes, Flo said this every day because she had no memory from one day to the next.

But then, one day, a bull showed up at the fence. It was a runaway bull from across the way, and he happened to be green.

“Mo,” said Mo when she saw him. She carefully approached the fence. She’d never seen a green bull before.

“Mooooo,” said the bull.

“Are you hungry?” asked Mo.

“I am,” replied the bull. “I’ve been walking up and down this road for days. My farmer doesn’t know I’m missing.”

“Oh dear,” said Mo. “Why don’t you hop over the fence and have some of my grass?”

So the bull did, and months later, they had a little brown calf whose name was Moo. And they all lived happily ever after. Except for Flo, who couldn’t figure out where the green bull came from and why all her cows were so stupid.

The End.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is fun! Click the link and join in today. https://lindaghill.com/2017/04/14/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-apr-1517/


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Horny – #AtoZChallenge

The difference between erotica and pornography is not love. It is word choice.

Yes, my thesaurus stuck me with the word “horny” for the letter H. I cheated on the letter G – I couldn’t cheat twice in a row.

Yet I’ve found something to talk about on the subject, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about writing on for a week or so anyway. I’ve come across the question a few times in the last few months: “What is the difference between erotica and porn?” The answers given on the various platforms have ranged from porn is dirty and erotica isn’t, to erotica is when you have a real relationship and porn is just for one night stands. Neither of these is correct, nor is it true that erotica only includes clean words, though word choice has a lot to do with it.

The short scene I’ve included below is one I wrote about three years ago. It is erotica, it is a bit messy, there are no swear words, and there is no sex. I think I may have linked to it a couple of years ago (it was on another site), so you might be familiar with it if you’ve been following me for a long time.

Enjoy.

“If you want to be a healthy young woman, you need to eat more fruit,” he said as he placed on the kitchen table before me a peach and a bowl of blueberries.

When our relationship was new, he explained that he wanted to wait until at least the third month before we slept together. He enjoyed the anticipation, he told me on our first date. The concept was new to me, but so far I had to agree. Now, as the second month was becoming the third, we both felt the tension of our abstinence.

He told me also that he wished to take care of me. Feeding me seemed a little extreme, but I decided to go along with it for the time being. To see where he was going with it. He hadn’t lead me astray yet, after all.

He turned his chair around and straddled it, sitting at the end of the table, to my right.

“Are you hungry?” He raised an eyebrow and I took in his smile, the roughness of his five o’clock shadow, his lean body all the way down to his belt, below which I could only imagine.

“Famished.” I clasped my hands together in my lap, not wanting to look down but hoping my shirt was unbuttoned enough at the collar to tempt him with a little cleavage.

He picked up a single small blueberry from the bowl and held it to my lips. I opened my mouth but he didn’t let go of the fruit. Instead he twirled it between his thumb and forefinger.

“I want to put it on your tongue,” he said. “Don’t bite it.”

I allowed him to place it in my mouth.

“Press it against your palate with your tongue … move it around … resist the temptation to eat it.”

I moved the little nub of fruit around inside my mouth as I was instructed. It was firm and round and I couldn’t … I shifted it with my tongue to my molars and gently closed them until the blueberry exploded in a tiny burst of bitterness.

I blushed. “Sorry,” I said.

“We’ll try again,” he said, patiently. The one he brought to my lips next was larger. Softer. I knew it would be sweeter and more difficult to resist. The skin of it was wrinkled and on my tongue it felt malleable. This time when I pressed it against the roof of my mouth it gushed, yielding easily to the pressure.

“You really are hungry, aren’t you?” He smiled at me and shifted in his chair to ease his discomfort. “Let’s try the peach then, shall we?”

He held it out to me and I took it. It smelled as ripe and luscious as it looked.

“Bite it,” he commanded, his eyes half-lidded. “Open wide and …”

My teeth penetrated the delicate skin of the fruit, and the juice cascaded past my lips in a great wash of fluid. I tilted my head back to guzzle as much of it as I could, but some of it dribbled down my chin as the flesh of the peach made contact with my tongue. I took as much down my throat as I could handle; the excess dripped from the edge of my lower lip. I felt it drop and then trickle down between my breasts and I moaned.

Licking his own lips in sympathy, or perhaps it was lust, he stared at me, hard.

“Do you want some?” I asked him.

“Yes,” he whispered hoarsely.

***

If you’d like to read some more of my fiction, please check out my A to Z Challenge-inspired novelette “All Good Stories.” It’s a romantic comedy about two best friends who belong together – Xavier knows it, but Jupiter has her eye on another guy: a shady character named Bob. There’s even a touch of erotica in it.

“A short funny tale of two friends” ~ Ritu, 4 stars, Amazon UK review

“Quirky and charming.” ~ Bobby Underwood, #11 top reviewers on Goodreads – 5 stars

Click the picture to find it on Kindle, or get it on Kobo here: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/all-good-stories

 


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After the Happily Ever After – Coming Soon!

As you may remember, some time ago I mentioned that one of my short stories (unpublished) was to be included in an anthology. Here it is!

Along with this cover reveal is a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, as well as a Kickstarter campaign where you can get all kinds of stuff, including coffee mugs, posters, short stories, hard cover editions of the anthology, and even a personal editing session with the Transmundane Press editors. Make sure you check out all the links.

And don’t forget to read the teasers: you’ll find mine under the “humor” section.

ever-after-amazon-kindle

SYNOPSIS:
The happily ever after is never the end. The curtain doesn’t fall once love is recognized or evil is vanquished. Credits don’t roll once the giant is slain or the big bad wolf is boiled alive. Wicked stepsisters, malevolent rulers, and hideous creatures still have lives after their sinister roles play out; heroes, lovers, and dreamers often find their victories lead to more troubles.
Within these pages are more than seventy continuations, retellings, and eldritch stories that explore the dark forests, magical castles, and hideous creatures After the Happily Ever After.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Website: http://www.transmundanepress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TransmundanePress/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TransmundnePres
Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/bYiL2r
Pre-order/Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/transmundanepress/1386536964?token=aede0285

EDITORS’ BIOS:
Alisha Costanzo is from a Syracuse suburb. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she currently teaches English. She’s the author of BLOOD PHOENIX: REBIRTH, BLOOD PHOENIX: CLAIMED, and LOVING RED, and is co-editor of DISTORTED and UNDERWATER. IMPRINTED, her new novel, is undergoing serious edits for its 2017 release. In the meantime, she will continue to corrupt young minds, rant about the government, and daydream about her all around nasty creatures.

Having relocated from Northwest Florida’s lonesome roads and haunted swamps, Anthony S. Buoni now prowls the gas lamp lit streets of New Orleans, playing moonlight hide and seek in the Crescent City’s above ground cemeteries. Anthony is the author of Conversation Party, Bad Apple Bolero, as well as the editor to the Between There anthologies. His stories and articles have been featured in North Florida Noir and Waterfront Living. When not prowling, Anthony keeps it scary, writing dark fiction, editing, and watching horror movies. In his spare time, he DJs, plays music, and conjures other worldly creatures with tarot cards and dreams.

PURCHASE LINKS:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Transmundane-Press/e/B00Q9R2F9W
KICKSTARTER Pre-Order: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/transmundanepress/1386536964?token=aede0285

GIVEAWAY

$10 Amazon Gift Card
https://gleam.io/bKc4r/after-the-happily-ever-after-cover-reveal-giveaway

TEASERS:

Horror

“The Spider’s Kiss” by David Turnball:
Her complexion had assumed the tainted gray of the corpse, the white of her eyes inebriated red with the wine of ruptured veins, the flesh on her fingers as black as spider legs.
“How perfectly contrary I’ve become.”
For entertainment, she plucked wings from flies and hung their panicking bodies from the gossamer mesh of a spider web draping the dusty corner of her mother’s garret, watching lustfully as the long-legged spider came slowly dancing around his prey. When the mood took, she’d pop the panicky little insect torsos into her mouth. Their sour juices oozing down her throat afforded her an invigorating but fleeting sensation.

“Jack and Jill” by Tom Williams:
Mrs Dob. He tapped an inch of ash off the joint. That ridiculous paper turban the child had worn. Evan remembered Jack’s pinched little face looking up at him, so serious, so sombre it made him smile. Dear Jack, have you lost your Jill, too, you poor thing. He took a deep, lungful of smoke.
Imagine, Jack and I both losing our Jills.
There was a difference though, an important one. Evan knew where his Jill was. Oh, yes, he knew exactly where she was. Hadn’t he carried her corpse, twice as heavy in death, across a ploughed field, staggering under her weight as he tottered over the furrows.

Fantasy

“Trader” by Robert Dawson
The ocean holds many kinds of islands. There are the ordinary sort of islands that stay in the same place all the time, solid reliable islands where men and women raise their children and cabbages. Beyond them lie the barren rocks, swallowed and released as the moon draws the tides, where only the selchie folk live, and the shifting sandbars where the cold mermaidens wait to marry drowned sailors.
Then there are hidden islands that appear on no charts. The boats of Land’s Men cannot find them except now and again by mischance, and to land there is perilous. The largest islands have been sighted often enough by Land’s Men that they have names: Thule, Hy Brasil, and golden Atlantis. But most are nameless to the people of the Land, and on these, the Sea Folk dwell.

“The Dragon” by R. Judas Brown
Lavender knew no one would come for her. Bad things happened to the daughters of poor, dairy farmers every day. The best she hoped for in life was a good marriage arrangement to a solid provider. Her dad only just found that arrangement with the town miller, a man her dad’s age. His apprentice looked like more fun, but the miller was well off.
Then she had been taken.
Fire from the sky.
A slam from behind, knocking her flat before the ground fell away impossibly fast.
Trees and rivers rushed by as she hung from yellow, bony talons until the darkness crept mercifully into her vision to steal her terror away.
She awoke on a bed of sharp sticks in a cave reeking of sulfur. Confused, she stood slowly, trying to find some semblance of sanity in the dark. A glowing sliver of daylight burned around the covered mouth of the cave.
Her feet froze before she had taken a full step as what she thought was a boulder in the dark shifted.
A long tail whipped as a pointed snout swung to regard her. It filled the cave entrance, a giant, scaly mass—a creature renowned for merciless violence and calculated malevolence. Lavender jerked back, tripping on the hem of her skirt in panic. Hands and arms scraped along jagged edges as she fell into the pile of sticks. When she came face to face with a skull, the truth shuddered through her.

Humor

“Alice on the Analyst’s Couch” by Linda G. Hill
Alice’s psychiatrist, the esteemed Dr. Dinah Fell, promised her the nightmares would stop. And to the doctor’s credit, she seemed to know what she was talking about; six months after the incident when seven-year-old Alice fell asleep under the tree, they had. That was, however, fourteen years ago.
Fresh out of college, Alice found a job quickly—to the dismay of many of her peers who had exceeded her in marks, but not in popularity —in the accounting industry for which she had studied. She hadn’t wanted to admit, even to her sister with whom she shared an apartment, that the leering man in human resources hired her based on the length of her legs and the cut of her blouse rather than her qualifications. He reminded her of someone with far too many teeth for the size of his mouth.
But regardless, she left her car at home and took the bus to work, knowing that parking spaces downtown were prime real estate. She walked the two blocks from the bus stop—about all she could stand in stilettos—and approached the receptionist at the paneled desk that fronted the office of Queen and Jack Inc . The middle-aged woman with a red bouffant hairstyle studied Alice from top to bottom. Her tight-lipped moue indicated her disapproval of the young woman’s tight sweater and short skirt, but she conceded that there was, indeed, a Mr. Topper waiting to see her in his office. The secretary stood and told Alice to follow.
“I’m Rose . You’ll come to see me only when you leave for the day, so I’ll know to take messages. You will not come to me for copies, faxes, telephone books, coffee, or favors of any sort.” She stopped at a door at the end of the long hall and placed her hand on the knob.
“Good luck.” She opened the door, and walked back in the direction from whence they had come.

“The Secret Life of Blanca Snowe” by Saryn Chorney:
The tragic events of Blanca’s childhood were at least partially to blame for her present condition. Blanca’s mother died in childbirth, and her wealthy father, the lord of Fairest Landing, raised his beloved only-daughter by himself. Although he lavished Blanca with love and affection, he missed having a wife. When Blanca turned thirteen, he remarried. Unfortunately, his new wife, Hilde, was a manipulative and vain woman with a suspicious agenda. Mostly, she busied herself spending her new husband’s fortune on beauty products. Hilde ignored Blanca; she passed the majority of her time in the toilette, mixing ointments and talking to herself in the mirror. Perhaps that wasn’t so odd, though, as Blanca spent the majority of her day talking to the birds, bunnies, squirrels, and stray cats in the courtyard of their estate.
Although the Fairest Landing police officially declared it an accident, Lord Snowe died suddenly from an allergic reaction to one of his wife’s homemade tonics, which he mistook for mouthwash. Hilde made a big show of appearing devastated, but after a month of official mourning, she debuted a new youthful look and entertained suitors. To her disdain, most of them took a shine to Blanca, who was sixteen by then. In juxtaposition to her innocent beauty, the girl also had an alluring countenance that intrigued men. This infuriated Hilde, who gave a handsome sum to a handsome hitman named Hunter to make Blanca disappear. Mid-kidnap-and-chop-up plan, Hunter found himself pitying his pretty prey. Instead of offing her, he dropped her off at a so-called safe house where seven merry men lived.

Romance

“Beauty and the Beast: The Beast Within” by Lorraine Nelson:
“And that’s what you miss?” he snapped. “That childish, immature, ranting, raving, beast-like creature?”
Belle bit back a smile. “You need to let me finish. All will be explained.” She hoped. Adam grunted, the sound so much like what her beloved Beast made whenever he was displeased that her heart twisted. For one brief second, he was back with her. Then he glanced at her, questions evident in his beautiful, human eyes. And the moment was gone.

“Need to be Apart” by Jody Sollazzo
“Once upon a time in a land far, far away, Westchester, New York…” Cam pauses.
He kisses her all over. His lips are moist, biting, and wanting. He gets to her stomach and kisses a line across it. He rolls her to her side and bites her ample hip, and she squeals.
“…there was a beautiful princess. Everyone saw how beautiful she was except for the bloody beast.”
His voice is as thick as the Dublin heat outside of this crisp air-conditioned Hilton. Em almost forgets about the all the hidden trafficking below. How all these people look the same to her. Em almost forgets who she is.
“That’s not how it was at all,” she says with giggles.

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Celebrating Professionalism

It’s official. I’m a professional author!

My novelette, All Good Stories is on sale today! It’s a romantic comedy, complete with pirates, a parrot, and a Viking. What could possibly go wrong? Lighthearted and fun, it’s perfect to enjoy over a lunchtime or two. It’s available for the low cost of 99¢, or the equivalent in whichever country you live, on both Amazon for Kindle here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JQWMQAE

and Kobo here: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/all-good-stories

The Kobo site has a preview of the book. I plan to figure out how to set one up on Amazon soon. In the meantime, here are the first two chapters:

 

Aarin, The Topless Pirate

Jupiter bounded into my book store with an extraordinary spring in her step.

“I finished it!” she proclaimed, beaming much like the ray of sunshine that fell upon the counter every fair morning at this time of year.

“Finished what?” I asked. As if I didn’t know. She’d spent months bemoaning the grueling process of editing her novel.

“Stop it, Xav.” Jupiter had a peculiar way of shortening my name when she was annoyed at me. Her eyes narrowed and her lip lifted crookedly at the ‘V’ as she elongated it. She was very cute when she did it, which made me want to annoy her all the more.

“Wait, let me guess. Your novel?” I teased.

“YES!”

I wished, not for the first time, as she bounced up and down in her spring jacket that we were more than just friends.

“Does that mean you’re finally going to share it with me?” Leaning forward on the counter, I rested my chin in my hand to affect nonchalance. Deep down, I was as excited as she was.

“Of course I’ll let you read it.” She dug through the suitcase she called a purse. After a moment, she pulled out a bound stack of papers. “Aarin, The Topless Pirate,” she announced as she plopped it down in front of me.

“Sounds promising.” I glanced at the title page, which stated only the title, then back to my best friend. “What’s it about?”

“It’s um… It’s about a pirate who goes to sea.”

“And is the pirate topless?” I sat up straight. Visions volleyed around in my mind of breasts bared to the slightly chilled ocean breeze.

She smiled wickedly. “You’ll have to read it to find out.”

I picked up the manuscript and slid it onto the shelf behind the counter. “I’ll read it later.”

She stared, wide-eyed. “You’re not serious.”

“It doesn’t sound that interesting. It can wait.”

“But…” She didn’t look as though she was going to cry, exactly, but the distress on her face was enough to make me waver.

“Sell it to me,” I said.

“What do you mean?”

“Make me want to read it. Tell me what it’s about.”

“It’s about a pirate. A topless pirate. Who goes to sea.”

“…and?”

“And what? Isn’t that enough?”

“Is there sex? Is there a sunburn involved?”

“Fine! Don’t read it then.” She turned sharply and stalked out of the store.

Feeling bad about my little April Fool’s Day joke, I watched until she disappeared around the corner before I pulled the manuscript back out. I turned back the title page fully expecting to be properly titillated, only to find a photocopied picture of a crusty old pirate with his back facing the camera. He wore nothing but a three-cornered hat.

That we share the same sense of humor makes it no wonder Jupiter and I have been best friends since elementary school.

 

 

Bob The Blogger

 

Bob was a novelist. He was also a blogger. To round out the combo, to make it a trio (because Bob adored the number three), he referred to himself as a Serial Alliterator, which meant he loved alliterations. His blog profile sported a selfie of a previously pencil-thin Bob in the bathroom mirror, wearing nothing but a wicked grin. Though he stated in his profile that he loved the outdoors, since his foray into blogging he had seldom seen the sun. Secretly, he called himself Blob the Blogger.

Today, Bob is excited because yesterday he met Jupiter online. They met on Bob’s blog after Bob blogged about writing a novel. He and Jupiter spent three hours commenting back and forth. Jupiter was single, and she was writing a novel as well.

Tomorrow, if he wasn’t too tired from using the treadmill, Bob planned to write Jupiter three poems. His poems would employ many uses of alliteration; they would contain the letter ‘J’ as often as Bob could manage. They would not contain the first letter of Jupiter’s best friend’s name. As far as Bob was concerned, he needed no excuse to leave the letter ‘X’ out of Jupiter’s joyous poetry. No justification at all.

***

So there you have it! If you’d like to read more, please go to Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/all-good-stories

or Kindle (click the image):

All Good Stories

and support a brand new professional author! 😀
Thank you for reading!


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Tuesday Use It In A Sentence – Master

For this week’s Wednesday Tuesday Use It In A Sentence, (check it out!), I decided to post an excerpt of my novel The Great Dagmaru for the very first time! From Chapter 34:

With a bowl of chicken noodle soup and crackers on a tray balanced on his left hand, Stephen rapped on Nina’s bedroom door. When he heard a muffled, “Do I have to?” he announced himself.
“Master!” Nina said with a great amount of shuffling about. “Come in, please.”
Disconcerted, but hardly surprised to see her room all but wallpapered in posters of himself, he tried not to stare at the walls. She sat up in bed dressed in an old-fashioned flannel nightie, and he placed the tray on her lap. He perched himself on the end of the bed and faced her. Nina stared at him with her mouth agape as if unable to believe he was actually there in the flesh.
“We need to talk,” he said. “But first I want you to try to eat something.”
At his command she pulled herself together and picked up a cracker.
“Your mother tells me you were sick this morning.”
“Yes, Master. I’m very sorry Master, I promise I won’t drink any more.” She bent her head and took a mouse-like nibble.
Stephen wholeheartedly wished he could tell Nina to stop with the “master” crap for five minutes and simply talk to her, adult to adult, but to give her that equality even for a moment would upset the balance. Leading her to believe it could happen again whilst she was still bound to servitude would probably end in disaster.
He watched her drink some of her soup and when it looked like she might not run for the washroom he decided he may as well begin.
“I want to thank you, Nina.”
Her eyes snapped open over the spoonful of soup she had just put to her lips. Stephen was glad she didn’t have it in her mouth – he thought he likely would have worn it.
“You…want to thank me?” She returned the spoon to the bowl slowly.
“Yes. You made me realize something. In fact you made both myself and Miss Anderson realize something.”
She stared at him, poised as though she was going to take flight. He wondered if he had been hasty in thinking that she was going to keep her lunch down. He decided to go on anyway.

I can’t believe I’m nervous about hitting the publish button. Oh well, here goes nothing.


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I did it!

365 days in a row! Strangely enough, I can’t decide if it feels like an big accomplishment or not. For the past year I’ve written a scene for each day and posted it on my fiction blog. Some I wrote ahead of time but most were written five minutes before they went live. Consequently I’ll admit they weren’t all fantastic. But during the past year I’ve met some new people, had a couple of people enjoy my scenes on a daily basis – I was once even dubbed a comic genius. Not sure about that, but I did get a lot of laughs.

And now it’s all done and I feel a little lost. I’m not sure what to do next. I’ve considered writing another series but have it scheduled to come out in a year from when it’s written, so I have time to properly edit it. I found writing a series as I just did on the fly created a few gaping plot holes and dangling story lines. At the very least I’ll probably take some time off from the grueling schedule of having to come up with an idea every day while I think about what my next project will be.

It’s been fun though. I do my best work under pressure it seems – Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right has taught me at least that. And I find it interesting that there’s a never-ending fount of scenarios out there, only a small amount of which were inspired by an actual occurrence.

I’d like to thank everyone who read at least one of my scenes, and especially my regular readers. I wouldn’t have been able to keep going without you.

Thank you. 🙂

You can find my fiction blog here: http://lindaghillfiction.com/


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My Short Story

In case anyone is interested, and because I promised I’d post it, I thought I’d let you know that the short story I wrote for my course is up on The Community Storyboard.

http://neverendingstorydepository.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/7853/

It’s the story of a man who lives an alternate lifestyle, who is faced with suddenly having to look after his ailing parent.

I received a 26/28 for the unedited version – what you’ll see is the edited version, which I submitted to my professor today for my final mark. Feedback is welcome and appreciated.