Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Searching for the First "Woman"

Recently,  I served up five beginnings. I wanted to do something a little different this time, and as usual, the idea I came up with may be kind of crazy. Oh well! ;)

I put in a search for the first mention of the word "woman" for five of my stories, and here are the results. Hey, I write about women, so it works! I KNEW that word would be in there somewhere. For you diligent folks, I've bolded the "woman" word to save you time looking for it.


"The Odd Couple," first published in 2008 by Regal Crest and republished by me in 2011

The group's leader, a smartly dressed woman, spoke: "Tell us about him. Who was he?"

Charlene forced herself to meet the woman's gaze. Who was he? Good question.

"Your husband? Boyfriend? Son? Brother? Friend?"

"Son," Charlene muttered.

"When did it happen?"

"Almost three years ago. September 25, at 5:07 p.m. I know because when I heard the gunshot and ran into his room, the clock was…was…it was the first thing I saw. 5:07."

The group's leader fingered her pearl necklace and attempted a smile. "So an anniversary isn't too far off. That’s always a difficult time."

"Anniversary." Charlene bristled at the feel of the word on her tongue. "How should I celebrate? Throw a party with pointy pink hats and a big old chocolate cake? Happy third year dead? Would y'all like to come?"

The dozen or so faces flinched. "No, of course not," the jowly man said. "She just meant…hey. We're glad you're here. Is this your first group?"

"The Old Woman," published in 2011 as part of an anthology of short stories

"In case you haven't noticed, that is what I've been doing. And guess what? It ain't working. The next woman to walk into this aisle, you ask her out. On a date. No fudging about it."

I laughed. "Whatever. No."

"Come on, it'll be fun."

"Yeah, I'll be asking out some ugly homophobic chick or something.  No thanks. Or..." My chest tightened. "Or Janet. I bet she'll be the next person."

Jessica sighed and ran a hand through her closely cropped brown hair. "Janet's clear across the country!"

"Thanks for reminding me."

"It's been six months! Have some fun."

I pretended to survey a row of peanuts. But it was Janet's face, her green eyes, her long black hair, her crooked nose thanks to a softball injury, that burned my vision.

"I appreciate this, really. You putting up with me and all that. But I'm not going to ask some random stranger out. I'm not you. You know I can't do that."

"The Young and the Lesbian," a novella published in 2016

“Have you met the one, Dash? The woman you want to spend your life with? That’s why you’re doing this!”

Oscar is the person I want to spend my life with. “How did you know I was gay?”

“A sixth sense,” Martha said.

“Oh, Mom. Come on.”

“A mother knows,” she insisted. “You always were a tomboy. Climbing trees. Playing baseball. Other teenage girls tacked posters of actors and singers onto their walls. You tacked on posters of Marie Curie, Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart.”

“That means nothing! I was an idealistic teen who wanted to achieve great things. I wanted to play these women in movies and win Oscars.”

“Exactly. You didn’t care about being in romance films with helpless heroines. You wanted to play women who were great in their own right.”

“How does that mean I’m a lesbian?”

“Well, you are,” Martha said triumphantly. “I told you, Jim! I told you. Twice engaged, never married.”

“Mother! Hank and William turned out to be wrong for me. We were incompatible.”

“Of course you were incompatible. You’re gay, Dash. Now, dear, don’t hold back. Tell your daddy and me about your new lover.”

"Reality Lesbian," a novel published in 2013

Lucy Marshall had slept with a woman once—a fumbling, drunken encounter in college. Alcohol and ten years had turned Lucy’s memories of the experience into thin, wispy threads, but once in a while, she thought about her mouth on Darcy Clark’s stomach and Darcy’s mouth on Lucy’s breasts. The encounter hadn’t been terrible. In fact, it was quite nice but didn’t change the reality that Lucy liked only men.

Which was why she gaped at her best friend, Henry. “You signed me up for a lesbian dating show?” Lucy sputtered.

Henry grinned. “I sure did.”

"Woman Behind the Mask," a novella published in 2015

I folded the note and tucked it inside the shotgun. Five minutes later, I zoomed in again on Zorro. He stood near the punch bowl, and my gaze was far from the only one on him. Every minute or so, a woman approached him, and he smiled in response and whispered briefly. One of the women was Clotilda, the pastor’s eighty-eight-year-old mother. She got rather affectionate and handsy.

"Westinhoffer, Andrew Brian, 16," a short story published in 2012 with the anthology, "Cupid Pulls a Prank and Other Lesbian Tales"

Andrew Brian Westinhoffer was six pounds, six ounces and a screamer. Elizabeth was the one who woke up to feed him. And then three months after he was born, Linda told Elizabeth she had fallen in love with another woman.

We're over, we're over, we're over...

This new woman, Brenda, said Linda, would be Andrew's other mother. Best that way, really.

"No," Elizabeth said, stunned. "I'm his mother. You can't take that away from me."


So, there you have it! Two  novels, a novellas and two short stories--all free to read with your Kindle Unlimited subscription!

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