Snippet Sunday Jay and Raven 12/7/14

Here’s the snippet from my new WIP, “Jay Galloway’s Day Off.” He just picked up his friend, Raven, at her parents’ house that she’s trying to sell. I skipped ahead a little. This is super raw. Any comments are appreciated.

She gazes wistfully at the old Craftsman-style home, but doesn’t say a word. I turn on the radio and The Animals are singing “House of the Rising Sun.” When I stop for a red light, I grab an empty plastic pop bottle to use as a microphone and start to sing along. I hope this will cheer Raven up, and get my mind off my incredibly shrinking bank account. Raven starts to sing, too, pretending the dashboard is a keyboard.
That song ends, replaced by “All I Have to do is Dream.”
“I love this song,” Raven says, as I head out Reading Road toward her apartment. “Remember when we were kids, and we sang a different version?”
“Yes.” I’d driven my mom crazy singing “All I Have to do is Scream.” “My mom didn’t like hearing me mangle that song because she went to an Everly Brothers concert and got to meet them.”
Raven looks like she’s going to cry over all the memories of our parents and living next door to each other, so I sing. When I get to get to the word “scream,” Raven screams and we both start laughing.

You can’t go home again?

Tomorrow marks the two-year anniversary of when my friend, Greg, and I found my parents on the floor of their home, sick and dehydrated. They had to go into the hospital, then to rehab, and then into the nursing home permanently. Now I’m getting the house ready to sell and every time I go over there, I think that I’d better take a good look because very soon, the home where I grew up and where my parents lived for almost sixty years will belong to someone else. My dad passed away in March, but he always told me to take care of the house. I hope I’m doing the right thing.
Sunday was especially bittersweet because when I called the cab to pick me up, the dispatcher said he was sorry to hear about my dad and about how nice a guy he was. The cab driver who picked me up asked how they were so I had to tell him about my dad. He remembered how nice my dad was, too.
For awhile after the realtor left, I just sat in my old room, remembering…
This is the house where I wrote my first story. It’s where my late husband proposed, and where we had our hayride date and mock wedding. I moved back and lived there again for almost a year after a fire in 2005 while they rebuilt my condo. When I saw the copy of my mom’s “Encyclopedia of Cooking” book, I remembered that this is where I learned to cook (first recipe? Fudge).
I remember playing outside in the snow, and then coming in to watch “The Wizard of Oz,” and drink my mom’s hot chocolate. I remember the blizzard of ’77 and my dad trying to go to work, but not being able to even walk down the driveway, the snow was so bad.
And I remember the loving support of my parents through celebrity crushes (George Harrison of the Beatles, Peter Tork of the Monkees, the guy who played Bud on the TV show “Flipper” and Len Mink (singer on George Clooney’s dad’s TV show), bad boyfriends and dates, “differences of opinion” with my husband and friends, tasteless book rejections, being bullied, and loss of my husband, jobs and pets.
I love you, Mom and Dad, and I’ll always remember life in our home. And I still hope I’m doing the right thing.

Snippet Sunday 11/30, Jay Galloway’s Day Off

I’m sorry I haven’t been around for awhile — things are absolutely crazy and not in a good way. It’s hard for me to talk about and I’m taking things one minute at a time because that’s all I can do. I survived Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday which for me is a huge accomplishment at this time of year. I’ve had some really bad Thanksgivings, especially recently.

I started a new short story (actually two but I’ve written more for this one so far). Here’s the snippet. It’s kind of a sequel to “More Than Just a Dog,” but not. I got the idea when I was at my parents’ old house doing what Raven’s doing. It’s REALLY raw.

I pull into the driveway of my childhood friend, Raven Wolf’s, parents’ old house. She walks out to meet me, her red hair coming loose from the scrunchy she wore. The last couple of years have taken their toll on her since she’s got to work two (and sometimes three) jobs to help pay for her parents’ nursing home care, get their house ready to sell, and plan her wedding to Mateo Gervaise, manager of the Cincinnati Red Wolves.
She settles into the leather seat in the back of my Yukon Denali. I’m a cab driver for the Orient Cab Company, and me, Raven and Brad Harrison are in a band called Jay & the Cincinnatians. Maybe you’ve heard of us? I haven’t driven my cab for about a week because it needs a new motor, to the tune of sixteen hundred dollars. Of course, this problem comes right at the worst time. Me and my wife, Reese, are expecting our first kid and it’s giving us trouble already. It’s two weeks late making its arrival.

Any feedback is appreciated. If the conspiracy allows, I’ll be back next week.

Snippet Sunday 10/6–Playing hooky

Next installment in my short story collection. I finished the last story in the collection Thursday night and hopefully it will be available on Amazon soon. I had to do some editing on this one to get it to fit to the line limit. It’s also raw like the others. Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Holly actually felt like she was playing hooky when she left work early on Friday, as she’d promised Payton she would. She went home and relaxed. Payton picked her up at the appointed time, and they took off in his silver Lexus. On the way to Rose View, Payton told her about the small town, and how they had a holiday festival every year.
Holly fell in love with Rose View as soon as they arrived. She and Payton walked along, and she stopped at several of the booths that had been set up for the festival. Holly bought presents for her friends, but wasn’t sure what to get for Payton, or if she should get him anything at all.


As the Jewish New Year, 5775, begins, I start thinking about Yom Kippur. 5774 (2014) has not been kind to me so far. I’m very lucky that a few things have gone right.
But some things haven’t. I lost my father, Charles Goldberg, in March. Before that, I was hit with some catastrophic events that I can’t even talk about right now. I admit that some of them were my fault, and I hope I learned something from them.
1) If a guy says “okay” or “you’re okay” or any form of “okay,” it’s probably not.
2) Nobody notices what I do—until I don’t do it or until I make a mistake (or five).
3) It’s all part of the conspiracy or if anything can go wrong, it will. (I have to give credit to my friend, Greg, for the part about the conspiracy.
4) Remember your sense of humor, keep it funny unless you hurt somebody (which I try not to do).

I saw a quote on Pinterest and it’s on my Jewish Holidays board if you want to see it. Somehow, it fits what I’m trying to say. So to my mom, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.:
“To those I may have wronged, I ask forgiveness.
To those I may have helped, I wish I did more.
To those I neglected to help, I ask for understanding.
To those who helped me: I sincerely thank you so much!
Love and peace to you all!

Snippet Sunday 9/28–Payton is convincing

I finished this short story for my “Silver Dreidels” holiday collection–only one more story to go. Here’s the latest snippet–Payton is very convincing. This is really raw–just wrote some of it today. Any feedback is appreciated.
“So I’ve been thinking about this never taking a vacation thing,” Payton said. “You can’t spend the rest of your life reading about vacation spots in a book.”
She opened her mouth to object, but Payton reached out to touch her arm. “Maybe you could leave a little early one day and I’ll come and get you and we’ll go to the holiday festival in Rose View. That’s where I live, and it’s the off season for me. What do you say?”
She glanced over at Ivy, who was deep in conversation with Clint. “Well. I guess it couldn’t hurt to leave early.”
“Great. Does Friday work for you?”
“That sounds perfect.”

Snippet Sunday 9/21/14/Holly needs a vacation

Here’s the next installment of “The Holly, the Ivy…& the Menorah”. One of my 3200 problems that have been plaguing me this year is over (knock on wood). 3199 to go.
This scene is pretty raw and I skipped a couple of paragraphs to get to it. Any feedback is much appreciated.
“Do you mind helping me in the kitchen?” Holly asked Payton. It was just like her little sister to garner all the male attention in the room.
“Not at all,” Payton said, with a smile that revealed his dimples once again.
Holly led him to her favorite room in the house. When she wasn’t working or reading, she liked to cook. She refilled a ceramic tray with potato pancakes, spooning applesauce and sour cream into ramekins. She put antique serving spoons into the ramekins and watched Payton, who was studying her display of vacation destination photos.
“These are something,” Payton said. “Have you been to all these places?”
“No,” Holly admitted. “I was in high school when we went on our last vacation. Then there was college and law school and work. Nowadays if I want to go somewhere, I just read about it in a book.”

Snippet Sunday 9/14/14

I’m sorry I haven’t been around much lately–I haven’t done much writing because of the conspiracy that is my life right now. It’s hard to talk about, but I have this snippet for my WIP in my short story collection, “Silver Dreidels.” This is the beginning of Part II of “The Holly, the Ivy and the Menorah.”
“Welcome to our home, Payton,” Holly Blumenthal said, trying not to be taken in by the brown-haired, brown-eyed Cincinnati Red Wolves pitcher. She loved his dimples, too, but she knew better. There had been too many times she’d seen a man she liked only to have Ivy, “the pretty one,” in their family, take him away from her. The worst time had been when they were in high school.
She forgot about it. That had been years ago, and now Ivy was living in her house in Wyoming with her. If she had to battle using her looks, she’d lose. She preferred to settle her conflicts inside her comfort zone—a court of law.
“How do you guys like your new manager?” Jay Galloway, Holly and Ivy’s friend, who was a huge Cincinnati Red Wolves fan, asked.
Thanks for reading–any feedback is much appreciated! As for me, I’m just taking things a minute at a time.

Dear Jon

Dear Jon: I am writing this on the 13th anniversary of your moving to your new address, in heaven. I wish I could see you and talk to you, but I’ll have to do it this way.
First, I’m sorry I bought a salad today–I know how much you always hated salad. At least I didn’t get cole slaw. I found out pretty soon after I met you that you hated it. I ordered barbecue on a bun with cole slaw when we had lunch with your grandmother and she had them take it away because of your aversion.
Second, I love you and miss you every day. I’ve been trying to think of funny stories about you since yesterday. There was the hayride we went to when they had the mock wedding (that’s when I got my first kiss from you, too) and when you brought me home, you carried me over the threshold at my mom’s house, and then called your dad to tell him that we got married. Anyone who reads this who knew Jon and his dad can picture his stern father, who kind of looked like Henry Kissinger saying “Jon–where are you? What did you do?”
There are so many little things I remember like the way you called the department store Elder Beerman Younger Beerman and how much fun me, you and my parents had a baseball games, and just hanging out here and at their house.
As my mom used to see in our prayers at Friday night dinner, “We miss you, Jon, and we’ll always love you.”

New release!

My alter ego, Vi LaNance’s, first R-rated romance novel, “Love in Disguise,” is now available from Crimson Frost Books for 99 cents.

Here’s the blurb:
Darlene Dover has physical and emotional scars from a burn accident wnen she was in high school, ten years ago. She hides these behind her Little Red Riding Hood Costume as mascot for the hometown baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Wolves.

Sy Bonaventure is known for stealing bases and hearts. When he gets to home plate, Darlene decides to take a chance and kiss the handsome Sy, then run off. The team goes on a road trip, but Sy’s mind is on the lovely mascot. Can he be the one to take her scars away, and release the passion she’s held inside for so long?

And here’s the website:

Watch for more news about this and other stories in the series!


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