Friday, July 3, 2015

Domino (The World's Worst Fat Camp)

I'm taking part in Chuck Wendig's flash fiction challenge this week (I'm a challenge virgin!).

DOMINO


So here I am at the world’s worst fat camp for adults. Hey, that’s what the title of the Craigslist ad said: “World’s Worst Fat Camp For Adults Welcomes You.” Even the name, Domino, is far from ideal. Sure, one way to look at it is that once the first few pounds come off, you’re so motivated that you knock the rest off in a dance of dominos. But for reals? The name must be based on Domino’s pizza. Pizza that, I don’t mind telling you, ranks low on my list. I’ll get Little Caesar’s, Papa John’s or Pizza Hut first. My absolute favorite is a little gem of a place down the street from my apartment. Never mind, I’m digressing. Back to the Craigslist post. It said:

At Domino, we don’t care if you lose weight. We don’t care if you eat well. Bring all the junk food you want. WE DON’T CARE. We just want your money, but we are realistic. You’re not going to pay a lot of Franklins for a shitty fat camp. Come on over for $500 a month. You’ll have a roommate and nutritional meals paid for, should you want them, and exercise equipment, yadda yadda. It’s actually so nice here that we limit guest stays to no more than four months per year to avoid people moving in (caveat: you can’t leave for the month unless you check out. No commuting to work, anything like that.) No reservations needed. Come anytime, check in, and enjoy your stay.

P.S. For the world’s worst fat camp, we end up with decent results. Our female guests lose an average of six pounds per month, and our male guests 10. The weight tends to stay off.

Domino stands only an hour’s drive from my place, and as for work, I’m a 43-year-old, 250-pound lesbian stuck as a dead-end security guard with other fatties. We’d do anything for doughnuts. No one would want my job, the crap night shift work. I’d leave and have no problem getting the job back. My next-door neighbor would care for my cats.

I read the ad yesterday, and here I am today, creeping my car between stately, wrought-iron gates. Lush green lawns slope down, and behind them looms a mansion that reminds me of Flowers in the Attic. I navigate to the parking lot and cut the engine. There are about 15 other vehicles, mostly a respectable mix. Thoughts attack me—am I stupid for letting that Craigslist ad intrigue me? For being here? What kind of crazy reverse psychology do those people use?

I’m desperate, yes.  I have tried everything. Atkins, Weight Watchers, good old-fashioned calorie counting, exercise, portion control, liquid diets, South Beach, you name it.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
This pitiful fatty
Is red and blue in the face from trying everything.

(I should avoid poetry.)

I haul my West-Virginia-sized ass out of the car and huff and puff up the stairs of the mansion. I don’t mean just the exterior front steps. You see, on the first floor, a sign reads: CHECK IN ON THE THIRD FLOOR. Eleven a.m. No one’s around. No elevators, either.

On the third floor, my heart attack decides not to attack when I see a desk—albeit unattended—with a sign reading: WELCOME! I walk to the desk and glance down. Damned if the paper on it doesn’t read: WE LIED. RECEPTIONIST IN THE LOBBY. TAKE A LEFT AS YOU GO DOWN THE STAIRS, AND LOOK FOR THE THIRD OFFICE (DOOR IS GREEN).

Well, shit. George Z. Motherfucker. I hate this place already, but part of me kind of loves it. I slog down the stairs, and finally find the office. The woman behind the desk is blond, svelte, beautiful.  She’s munching on a Snickers bar (world’s worst fat camp indeed), and my stomach rumbles.

I knock. “Excuse me?” I call.

She glances up and beams. Her name tag reads: WENDY. Is it a requirement that everyone here must be named after a restaurant? “Come in!” she sings. “Have a seat.”

I sit, and she nibbles the candy. Flutters her eyelids in ecstasy. “This stuff is so good,” she purrs. “Oh, where are my manners? Would you like a snack?” She pulls out a bowl filled with regular-sized bars of Snickers, Mr. Goodbar, Reese’s, Baby Ruth and others. Many others.

My mouth waters, but I shake my head. “No, thank you.”

“Okay, then!” she chirrups. “Let me see if I can find the papers…” She goes through the desk drawers; there’s no computer in sight. “I’m new,” she confesses a moment later. “Started yesterday.”

“Am I your first check-in?”

“Second. Ah, here we are!” She retrieves a few sheets of paper and glances apologetically.  “Before we do anything further with the paperwork, you need to pay. Oh! But you can absolutely get a tour of the house and a program overview before you pay. Would you like that?”

I quit my job (although I could get it back with no problem), and I am here. I am committed. I plan to stay, no matter what. “No,” I say. “Let’s move on.”

A row of straight, pearly teeth. “Excellent! I’m psyched! Are you?”

“Sure,” I grunt noncommittally.

“What’s your name?” she asks, poising her pen over the top sheet of paper. “Oh! I’m Wendy.”

“I noticed. My name is Adena Martin. A-d-e-n-a.”

“Date of birth?”

I tell her, and the next few questions progress in that vein. “Excellent,” she says. “I’m going to be your counselor, by the way.”

“Pardon?”

“I’m going to be your counselor.” She giggles. “Far out, huh? We’re like, soulmates. I can already tell. Do you feel the energy? The dude I checked in yesterday, I’m his counselor too, but don’t worry, I can, like, handle lots of people. I multi-task.”

“What are your other qualifications? Degrees?”

Wendy shrugs. “I don’t know. They said I didn’t need any.”

I paste on a smile. The next month at the world’s worst fat camp promises to be different, that is for sure.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

"Time and Time Again" is free today and the next few days

My short novel "Time and Time Again" is free today and the next few days. Kindle only:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IZLK42A

Bestselling author Linn Laurent has been grappling with writer’s block to the extent she imagines it as a distinct entity that crawls into bed after her some nights—with its sour, rotting breath. She’s tried remedy after remedy to get rid of the dratted thing, and her latest attempt is a retreat to Green Cabin in the mountains of West Virginia. Maybe there she can finally make progress on her latest novel.

Then she starts seeing and hearing a boy and girl. They claim they’re ghosts. Linn claims nonsense. She thinks a tumor or something like that is messing with her brain, but the evidence for ghosts turns out too strong to ignore. The children, Corrine and Christian, beg Linn to make contact with their parents and even bring them to the cabin if possible.

Joely Estes is sixty years old and has managed to move on the best she could since the deaths of her children twenty-three years ago. When her ex-husband, Orson, and author Linn Laurent show up at Joely’s office, they spin a tale that is too ridiculous to be true. Or is it?

Joely reluctantly goes to Green Cabin with Linn and Orson. The two women develop a bond that may go beyond friendship, but just when they think their world is back to normal, everything changes.

This short novel is about 42,000 words.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

When Crystal looked into Gene's eyes... "Reality Lesbian 2"


Hello! I’m happy to say that Reality Lesbian 2 will be released fairly soon—in a week or less, looks like. For now, I wanted to give you a preview with the first three chapters (it’s always possible some of it will change).

The blurb is below, and click here to go to a .pdf of the first three chapters. Reality Lesbian 2 will be available in all of the ebook formats as well as in print. If you’re curious about the first Reality Lesbian, go here. The second book can be enjoyed alone, but reading the first book does help you understand some aspects better.

** If you have not read the first book and want to avoid all spoilers, be warned that the blurb and excerpt contain spoilers.



“Reality Lesbian 2” blurb:

Crystal Maitland became a fan favorite during season two of gay reality dating show Will You Marry Me? Her popularity soared even more after she was dumped in the season’s final episode. While she was not ultimately chosen as the love of Dr. Zara Winters’s life, Crystal landed a gig as the season four lead. Thousands of giddy lesbians applied for the twenty spots to win Crystal’s heart.


However, as filming for Crystal’s season begins, she is already developing feelings for the show’s executive producer, Virginia “Gene” Robertson. When Crystal confesses those feelings, Gene urges her to forget them and move on. They cannot have a relationship. Never mind that Gene feels just as strongly for Crystal after spending countless hours poring through footage that reveals a complicated, layered woman. A mysterious, vulnerable woman.


Crystal tries to give a fair shot to each contestant, including the hugely pregnant Rowena Williams, the sexy butch Van Elliott and the gregarious Dolly Gaskins. However, when higher-ups at cable channel Rainbow World get wind of murmurings that something is going on with Crystal and Gene, life can only get worse.

What’s a lesbian in love to do when the woman she wants urges her to marry someone else? Find out on the shocking season four finale of Will You Marry Me?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

"Reality Lesbian 2"!!!

This week has been crazy busy with condo moving and freelance work. But I am getting great beta feedback on Reality Lesbian 2 and hope to progress some more on it this weekend. I need to contact my cover person soon!

I realized I have been doing a lot of talking (on Facebook) about
Reality Lesbian 2 but never posted what it is about. Here is the preliminary blurb. This story has been a lot of fun to write.


**

Crystal Maitland became a fan favorite during season two of gay reality dating show Will You Marry Me? Her popularity soared even more after she was dumped in the season’s final episode. While she was not ultimately chosen as the love of Dr. Zara Winters’s life, Crystal landed a gig as the season four lead. Thousands of giddy lesbians applied for the twenty spots to win Crystal’s heart.

However, as filming for Crystal’s season begins, she is already developing feelings for the show’s executive producer, Virginia “Gene” Robertson. When Crystal confesses those feelings, Gene urges her to forget them and move on. They cannot have a relationship. Never mind that Gene feels just as strongly for Crystal after spending countless hours poring through footage that reveals a complicated, layered woman. A mysterious, vulnerable woman.

Crystal tries to give a fair shot to each contestant, including the hugely pregnant Rowena Williams, the sexy butch Van Elliott and the gregarious Dolly Gaskins. However, when higher-ups at cable channel Rainbow World get wind of murmurings that something is going on with Crystal and Gene, life can only get worse.

What’s a lesbian in love to do when the woman she wants urges her to marry someone else? Find out on the shocking season four finale of
Will You Marry Me?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Free refills at Starbucks

Some Starbucks employees need attitude adjustments. Starbucks gives free refills of iced tea and iced coffee as long as a customer did not leave the store. I stay long enough (working) sometimes that I go up for free refills. Today I got the most attitude thus far; the barista immediately said: "We don't give free refills if you left the store."

I said: "Why do you assume I left the store?" (I had not, not even to my car to get something or for a breath of fresh air.)

She had no answer.

Perhaps people abuse this policy. I don't know. But it's much more customer-friendly for the barista to ask: "Did you leave the store?" instead of saying something that comes across like the customer is trying to pull a fast one. This has happened to me a few other times but not to the degree it did today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Sexiest Man Alive

PEOPLE magazine has named its sexiest man alive. Who would YOU pick for your sexiest man alive?

Me...I might go with Prince Harry. He is a fellow redhead, and I've always had a little crush on him. A prince...mmm! He has that bad-boy party edge, but you can see he has a heart of gold as well. He does a lot of good charity work.