Jackie and the Bling Stock: A Free Fairy Tale

 

 

Tis the season for fairy tales and happy endings, the season for giving and good cheer. I tend to be a grinch where all
the commercialism this time of year is concerned, but I came across a story I’d written long before there was a K D Grace and found myself smiling to think that the power of fairy tales and the power of a good dead done and a kind gentle heart truly is timeless magic.

I wrote the story for fun. It’s not erotic or sexy. In fact it was written in my pre-erotic romance days. It’s light, it’s definitely airy fairy, and it’s just the kind of thing that seemed right for a season of love and good cheer. Enjoy!  And remember, it’s an oldie, written while I was still learning my craft, so consider me kindly as you read it.

 

Jackie and the Bling Stock: A Fairy Tale Revisited

            Once upon a time, a woman called Jackie got tired of having her boss feel her bum, so she slapped him, magically transforming him into her ex-boss.

As Jackie left Prince Charming Jewelry for the last time, an old woman beckoned her to a nearby cart. “You want bling? My bling’s blingier. Cheaper too. Best bling you ever seen.”

The woman was right. Her jewelry was exquisite, unique. Jackie held up a pair of earrings similar to expensive ones in Prince Charming’s, but prettier, and only a few pounds – one last splurge before destitution, she thought, holding out a fiver.

“You work there? The woman pointed to the Jewelry store.

“Not any more. Mr. Prince fired me.”

“Disgusting man,” the old woman spat. “You work hard, he gets the dosh. You were the brains in that shop.”

“How do you know that?” Jackie asked.

“I got eyes. You got money?”

“Two hundred pounds. Why?” It was the money from her final paycheck.

“For that I’ll sell you my cart, complete with its magic bling stock. You could use some magic, no?”

It made no sense. Jackie didn’t believe in magic, and still she bought the cart.

The old woman said, “You treat people good, the cart treats you good. Them’s the rules of the bling stock.” Then she was gone.

Jackie shivered. Had the woman cast a spell on her?

Next morning, dawned cold and rainy. Jackie gave her umbrella and a bracelet to a girl in a tattered jumper. She gave a child some purple beads and an old man some earrings for his ailing wife. All day people came to Jackie’s cart, strangely avoiding Prince Charming’s. Unfortunately her generosity meant her cash box wasn’t overflowing. But when she inventoried her bling in the evening she found it mysteriously replenished. She went to sleep with no dinner and dreamed of ruby slippers and fairy godmothers.

All the following day people queued at Jackie’s cart. If they had no money, she gave them bling anyway. She couldn’t help herself. The harder she tried to be entrepreneurial, the more she gave away. Some magic cart!

“I’m in trouble.” A handsome man in an expensive suit leaned over the cart smiling sheepishly.

“Today’s Mum’s birthday party. I had my eye on a necklace at Prince Charming’s, but traffic was bad. Shop’s closed.”

Jackie showed him a silver locket set with amethysts.

“Exquisite! I’ll take it, with matching earrings.” As he paid, he lifted her hand to his lips. “Rescued by the fair maiden.”

The next day almost every woman in queue wanted a locket and earrings like the man had bought. A lady thrust the newspaper at Jackie. “It’s what Lady Valentine wears. It’s all the rage. A gift from her son Thomas.” the woman swooned. “Most eligible bachelor in London.”

Jackie stared down at the photo of her handsome customer with his smiling mother, resplendent in bling from her cart.

A week later the newspapers announced the engagement of Vanessa Valentine, Thomas’s sister. Everyone speculated on who would design the wedding gown and where the honeymoon would be, but the bride’s jewelry, no doubt, would come from Prince Charming’s.

Jackie was taking a tea break, when the Valentines arrived unexpectedly — mother, sister, and Thomas all smiling at her.

Thomas took her hand. “Mum wanted to see what lovely bling you have.” Jackie blushed. It wasn’t her bling Thomas was looking at.

She offered them tea from her flask and the last of her Jaffa Cakes. As the Valentines oohed and ahhed over Jackie’s jewelry, Mr. Prince trotted across the street in a jealous panic. “I’ve been waiting for you,” he simpered. “Surely you wouldn’t buy cheap trinkets for the wedding.”

“Don’t judge a rock by its price tag.” Thomas said.

“Indeed,” Lady Valentine spoke around a Jaffa Cake.

The man bristled. “Surely, Madam, you wouldn’t buy jewelry from this… chav.”

“It’s your fault, Mr. Prince. If your store kept decent hours for shopping, we’d have never discovered Jackie.”

“I’ll make you a wager, Mr. Prince,” Thomas said. “Choose your best wedding jewelry, and let Jackie choose hers. If Vanessa picks your jewelry, we’ll finance that second shop you want. But if she chooses Jackie’s, then you sign over Prince Charming’s to me.

“Done!” Prince glowered. “Have your lawyers draw up the documents.”

Soon everyone was talking about the big bling-down. And Alvin Prince was determined to win. He already had plans for that second shop. So the night before, very late, when only thieves and cockroaches prowl, he sneaked to Jackie’s cart with matches and the lighter fluid from his bar-B-Q. He’d lose no more customers to this cheeky mare.

Next morning, Jackie found only ashes where her magical cart had been. She fell to her knees and wept. All her work had been for nothing. But where her tears fell something glistened through the soot. With trembling fingers, she uncovered the loveliest necklace she’d ever seen, then earrings, bracelets, brooches. She scooped them up and hurried off to Valentine Hall.

Vanessa was trying on Prince’s extravagant diamonds when Jackie burst into the salon.

Thomas hurried to her side. “Where were you? I was worried.” He escorted her past a nervous Mr. Prince.

Dusting aside the last bits of ash, Jackie offered Vanessa simple pearls and garnets.

She put them on, studying her reflection in the mirror.

No one dared breathe.

Then Vanessa laughed. “Delightful!” she exclaimed.

Her ladies tried them on too.

“I feel as beautiful as a bride myself and as happy,” the maid of honor said.

All the ladies agreed.

A grumbling Alvin Prince signed over his shop to Thomas, who handed the deed to Jackie. “Prince Charming belongs to you now. You’ve earned it.”

All the Valentine’s applauded.

“You’re coming to the wedding, of course,” Vanessa said.

“She has to.” Thomas folded her arm over his. “She’s far too kind to leave the bride’s brother unescorted.”

As for Mr. Prince, well CCTV had captured his whole pyromaniac act for posterity. It gave several of his other female employees the courage to come forward to the police about his abusive behavior, and he was given a nice rent-free room in the local prison.

As for Jackie and Thomas Valentine, well I’m not a gossip columnist, but I will say that Jackie did catch the bouquet.

 

Voyeur, Body Thief, or Something Else

This is my second post about reading as a writer and writing as a reader. Today I’m looking at how one experiences a good book and what that means to me as a writer.

 

One of the most intriguing parts of story for me has always been the way in which the reader interacts with it, more specifically the way in which the reader interacts with the characters in a story. I find that interaction especially intriguing in erotica and erotic romance.

 

To me, the power of story is that it’s many faceted and it’s never static. And, no matter how old the story is, it’s never finished as long as there’s someone new to read it and to bring their experience into it. Like most writers of fiction, I’m forever trying to analyse how a powerful story is internalised, and why what moves one reader deeply, what can be a life-changing experience for one may be nothing more exciting than window shopping for another.

 

In my own experience as a reader, there are two extremes. I can approach a story as a voyeur, on the outside looking in from a safe distance, or I can be a body thief at the other end of the spectrum and replace the main character in the story with myself.

 

One extreme allows the reader to watch without engaging and the other allows the reader to create sort of a sing-along-Sound of Music- ish experience for themselves. As a reader, I’ve done both and had decent experiences of novels doing both. As a writer, however, I don’t wish to create a story that allows my reader to be a voyeur or a body thief.

 

As a writer I want to create a story that’s a full-on, in-the-body, stay-present experience from beginning to end. I want characters that readers can identify with and are drawn to but don’t necessarily want to be. I want a plot that feels more like abseiling with a questionable rope than watching the world go by from the window of a car. My goal is to create that tight-rope walk in the middle, to create that place in story where the imagination of the reader is fully engaged with the story the writer created. That place is the place where the story is a different experience for each reader. That’s the place where the story is a living thing that matters more than the words of which it’s made up. It matters more because the reader has connected with it, engaged with it, been changed by it. In that place, the story and the reader are in relationship. Neither can embody the other, neither can watch from a distance. The end result may be an HEA, the end result may be disturbing and unsettling, but at the end of a really good read, the journey to get there is at least as important as the end result.

 

Erotica and erotic romance are by their nature a visceral experience. Though I believe that’s true of any good story. I don’t think good erotica can be watched from a distance any more than it can be the tale of the body thief. While either will get you there, there’s no guarantee that the journey will be a quality one. And I want a quality journey. I want to come to the end wishing I hadn’t gotten there so quickly, wishing I’d had the will power to slow down and savour the experience just a little longer. I want to come to the end wondering just what layers, what subtleties, what nuances I missed because I got caught up in the runaway train ride and couldn’t quite take it all in.

 

A good read is the gift that keeps on giving. Long after I’ve finished the story, the experience lingers, and little tidbits that I raced through during the read bubble up from my unconscious to surprise me, intrigue me, make me think about the story on still other levels, from still other angles. When I can’t get it out of my head, when I find myself, long after I’ve come to the end, thinking about the journey, thinking about the characters, thinking about the plot twists and turns, then I know the story has gotten inside me and burrowed deep. There was no pane of glass in between; there was no body for me to inhabit because all bodies were fully occupied by characters with their own minds and their own agendas. The experience extends itself to something that stays with me long after the read is finished and makes me try all the harder to create that multi-layered experience in my own writing.

 

 

Reading Like a Writer

When I read as a writer, especially when I read fiction, the process takes on a whole different purpose. I realized this after reading a particularly fabulous short story that completely enthralled me for the course of several thousand words. And when I came back to the real world, I found myself not only analyzing what made the story so amazing, but analyzing how I as a writer read it differently than I would if I weren’t a writer.

 

I don’t think any writer can approach a story without viewing it, at least to some degree, on the level of the writing. As I analyzed my story reading style, I realized two things. First of all, I always think back over the story after the fact and try to figure out what made it work for me or not. That process within itself can’t keep from changing the story. In a way it becomes a story of multiple plots and constructs the writer never intended, but my mind can’t keep from creating. If in my analysis there are lots of changes I would make, things I would have done differently as the author, at some point it becomes my story, the one I’m writing in my head, and no longer the story the author intended.

 

For me, the big clue to how I esteem the story is the point at which I begin to analyze. If I’m analyzing the story as I read it, then it’s clearly not going to get five stars on the K D story critique scale. The sooner I begin my analysis while I’m reading, the fewer stars the story or novel rates from me, until at some point it becomes an exercise in editing and recreating it as my own story rather than reading for pleasure. When that happens, the whole process becomes a different experience than the one the writer intended.

 

If, however, I get totally lost in the story, then my whole internal landscape changes. The writer in me is temporarily replaced by the fascinated little girl who simply loves a good story. When I am pulled in, rough and tumble, to the world the writer has created for me, the story becomes multi-dimensional and experienced twice, sometimes thrice over, sometimes even more. When I’m in the queue at the supermarket, or in bed waiting to fall asleep, when I’m waiting for the bus, I can have the secret pleasure of reliving that story over and over.

 

Being pulled in is the first part of experiencing a great story. The second part, the analysis part, happens after the fact. When the story moves me, excites me, changes me, then my analysis of it is a different process. Because I don’t feel I can improve on it, analysis then becomes taking the story into myself from a write’s point of view. In other words, what is it that makes this story so fantastic, and how can I incorporate some of that fantastic -ness into my own writing?

 

A perfect story, a story that pulls me in and devours me whole is a lingering experience. I’m a firm believer that a good story should somehow change the reader. But a good story should also change the writer. A good story should be like discovering a view from a mountaintop that we didn’t know was there before, a view that changes everything, the waterfall we didn’t see, the storm we never expected, the castle that dominates the landscape. A really great story has the potential to make me a better writer, a better weaver of story, a better seer of nuance, a better wielder of my craft.

 

But a good story should change more than just my views of my writing world. It should touch and stimulate in ways I would not have expected. It should open up the landscapes in my unconscious and my imagination. In some ways, a good story acts as a Muse, and that is the pinnacle of what a writer can glean from a story. I won’t say that doesn’t happen with badly written stories as well, after all the Muse chooses her own time and place. But with a good story, somehow the appearance of the Muse seems more numinous, more dressed for the occasion.

 

For me, the most powerful element of any story is the key relationship and how it expresses itself. That expression is often sexual, and a well-written sex scene carries with it the weight of human emotion. It carries with it the drive to reach that magical point where two become one, where we are as close to being in the skin of ‘the other’ as it is possible
to be. The power of sex and relationship in story can hardly be overstated. Even in mediocre stories, the power of love and relationship can still pull me outside of the editor-me and into the roil of the archetypal story of human need. To me, that means we erotica writers wield one of the most powerful tools in the writing craft; sex in story. Use it poorly and it just sounds stupid and crass. But use it well and it will be the moment in the story that the reader remembers while in the queue at the grocery store, while drifting off to sleep, while waiting for the bus. And it will be remembered with that ache of commonality of all humanity, the driving force within us all. Keeping that in mind, I don’t think it’s any wonder that so many writers fear writing sex.

 

Forsaking Hope by Beverley Oakley: Tour and Giveaway

 

Forsaking Hope

Fair Cyprians of London

By Beverley Oakley

 

Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

 

Forsaking Hope Blurb:

 

Two years ago, she missed their secret assignation and disappeared without a trace. Now the divine “Miss Hope” is in Felix Durham’s bed – a ‘surprise cheering-up gift’ sourced by his friends from London’s most exclusive brothel. Felix is in heaven – and he wants to stay there.

So does Hope, but she can’t.

Hope Merriweather lives by a code of honour – even if she’s a prostitute.

Having sold her soul, she’s prepared to sacrifice everything else to protect what she believes in.

Even if honour – in her eyes – comes at the cost of thieving and breaking hearts. Including her own.

 

Available for preorder here:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

 

 

Excerpt:

Chapter One

 

Wilfred Hunt.

If there was a name to tip Hope into the abyss of despair she was hearing it spill from Madame Chambon’s lips now as the older woman directed Hope to take a seat in the reception room, presumably so Madame could loom oppressively over her.

With her hands on her ample, expensively padded hips, Hope’s benefactress—procuress, employer and gaoler were other monikers—sent Hope a beetling look that needed no interpreting: Regardless of Hope’s true feelings, Hope must project the required show of warmth and delight at being the chosen one.

Madame patted the side of her faux curls. Years of hot irons had reduced her hair to the texture of wool but her crowning glory these days was supplemented by the lustrous locks of those girls who dared cross her – before they were thrown back into the street from where most had come.

Nevertheless, Hope had to make her resistance clear. Surely Madame who knew her history would understand her loathing for this man, above all others. “I shan’t do it,” she whispered. There was little evidence of the willful child and wild adolescent who’d been the despair of her family. “I won’t—”

Outside, the noise of the traffic rumbling over the cobbles and the shrill calls of competing vendors settled upon the tense silence. Madame Chambon’s other girls, ranged around the sumptuously appointed room on red velvet upholstered banquettes, watched the exchange with prurient fascination. Hope knew it had been a calculated ploy of Madame’s to conduct her interview in public so that Hope would serve as an example to them.

No one crossed Madame Chambon.

The shrill cry of a fishmonger caused Madame to look pointedly out of the window. With something between a smile and a sneer, she smoothed a Marcel wave. “Is that where you plan to return, Hope? The gutter?” Her nose twitched and in the sunlight that filtered into the room, the grooves chiselled between mouth and chin were thrown into harsh relief, highlighted rather than hidden by the thick powder she used to conceal her age.

Madame Chambon’s comfort, now and into retirement, depended on obedient girls. Hope knew that as well as anyone. She’d had to bury her rebellious streak just to ensure food in her belly.

The Frenchwoman raised a chiselled brow and began to pace slowly in front of her girls. A painter with an eye for beauty would have been ecstatic at capturing such a spectacle on canvas. The discerning young man about town who visited 56 Albemarle Street was frequently rendered ecstatic by the range of delights Madame Chambon’s girls offered in addition to the visual.

“You forget yourself, Hope. I put a roof over your head and deck you out as handsomely as Mr Charles Worth ever did for his most discerning customer.” There was acid in Madame Chambon’s tone. “But for me, you’d be starving and glad of the pennies you could trade for a grubby stand-up encounter in a dark alley.” Madame Chambon thrust out her bosom and breathed through her nose, her response a calculated warning to the other girls arranged in various languid poses about the ornately decorated reception room that intransigence would not be tolerated.

“Mr Hunt has requested you.” She paused and when Hope remained silent, though her stance and expression left no one in any doubt as to her horror regarding this enforced assignation, went on. “Remember what I told you—what I tell all my girls when they first come here? The past must be forgotten the moment you step over my threshold. You are reborn, remodelled, refashioned into the most exquisite delectation of womanhood. A marquess, a prince, is well recompensed for the tidy sum he hands over in order to enjoy your sparkling wit, to converse with you in French, or if he chooses, on philosophy…to enjoy your charms…and,” she added significantly, “your gracious hospitality and tender ministrations to his needs. That is our agreement and you are no different. If Mr Hunt wishes you, Hope, to attend him at his residence then you will go.”

Faith, one of the kinder girls, patted Hope’s arm in silent solidarity. Hope didn’t expect any of them to speak up in her defence. Not when they all relied on Madame Chambon as much as she did to provide them with the necessities of life. Anything more than that was part of a strict contract that indentured a girl for life unless she was able to secure a generous benefactor to settle Madame’s severance bill. The fine clothes were part of the charade, necessary to entice a more elite clientele. Hope’s exquisite wardrobe did not belong to her though she’d have forsaken all the dupion silk and Spitalfields lace for the freedom of the gutter and to be mistress of her own destiny – and her body – if she could only be sure of a plate of gravy and potatoes every second day.

Closing her eyes, she hung her head, the carefully coiffed curls that fell forwards brushing against her tear-streaked cheeks. It was as well that they not be in evidence. Tears, weakness, vulnerability were like a red rag to a bull where Madame Chambon was concerned.

“How long…do I have to prepare myself?” She was not so stupid she couldn’t admit defeat when there was no alternative. Obduracy was beaten out of one, but tears ensured a girl got the very worst next assignment. Their clients weren’t all marquesses and princes, though they did require a very fat pocket book.

“Tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow.” Hope repeated it in a leaden tone, and stared at her hands, clasped in her lap; white-knuckled. As white as the rabbit-fur that edged her fashionable black-and-white striped satin cuirass. Hope had the tall, slim figure suited to the scandalously tight tie-back skirts that were all the rage, the back flowing into a train adorned with elaborate swags and trimmed with bows. She’d turned heads the length of Oxford Street as she’d promenaded along the pavement following a walk through Hyde Park earlier that afternoon. In fact, for the first time in two years, she’d almost felt happy as she’d pretended a sense of freedom in the afternoon sun, blocking her mind to the prison to which she was returning.

She drew in her breath and forced herself to be brave, knowing the punishment she’d invite for daring to speak her mind. “Please tell Mr Hunt I will see him again under sufferance.”

Madame Chambon’s voice was surprisingly caramel. “Well then, now that you have made your objection clear, Hope, you will be pleased to hear that Mr Hunt’s desires are not only motivated by fond memories of your no-doubt mutually satisfying congress. I believe he wishes to acquaint you with news of your family.”

Hope hid her shock. “I have no family.” With care, she modified her tone so it was as leaden as before though emotion roiled close to the surface.

“Not even a sister?”

Hope raised her chin. Here was the chink and Madame knew it. The woman did her research.

Aware that the other girls who surrounded her were tense with anticipation, Hope struggled not to respond. Camaraderie existed at surface level but one never knew when it might profit one to have the dirt on a fellow prostitute. It was, clearly, another reason Madame Chambon had chosen to make this conversation public.

“Mr Hunt will see you at nine tomorrow evening,” said the so-called Frenchwoman who, it was whispered, was from the gutters of Lambeth, not Paris. “At his apartments in Duke Street. Now go and prepare yourself for Lord Farrow. Married to a monolith like the venerable Lady Farrow, he likes his girls vivacious and free-spirited. There’ll be less coin in your pocket if you sully the transaction with that long face, Hope.”

 

 

About Beverley:

 

Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.

Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.

Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.

Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.

 

You can get in contact with Beverley at:

 

Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Living in the Shadow of Domestic Goddesses

Our little cul-de-sac community of twelve houses begun a tradition about two years ago of having a pot-luck a couple times a year, the venue being at the home of whoever is willing to volunteer their house or garden. Last night we had a little pre-Christmas get together in Number 4. But we were asked only to bring drinks. Our hosts were originally from South Africa, and made up enough delicious lamb and chicken curry to serve everyone in the community and then some.

 

Their home was spotless and warm, in spite of half a dozen grandchildren milling about. The atmosphere was welcoming and comfy, and the food was to die for. It was a really nice evening, and a great time to catch up with the neighbors. Still, I don’t mind saying I came away feeling just a little bit jealous, and here’s why.

 

While I look fairly well-adjusted to most people, and I can pull off the ‘normal’ act pretty well after years of practice, the sad truth of the matter is, I live in the intimidating shadow of a long line of domestic goddesses. It’s a burden I bear as best I can. And the women in my family have bucked up well in spite of the blight on the family name. They love me anyway. Still, there’s no denying it. I just didn’t get it … the domestic gene. It’s not my fault! You get what you get, don’t you? Alas I just didn’t get any of that nesty, homey, Suzie Homemaker stuff in my genetic soup bowl.

 

My mother could have moved into a cowshed and within a few hours, a few days at the most, made Martha Stewart herself proud. Me, I’m more the type to move into a nice flat and adapt to whatever the previous resident’s version of interior design was. Does repainting everything to my own taste ever enter my mind? Nope! Does buying new curtains and placing pictures tastefully on the wall ever enter my mind? Only if there is a spot that needs to be covered. It’s not that I’m a pig or anything. I’m not even a slob. I’m just oblivious.

 

I know there are women who actually enjoy housework. But I’ve never been able to see what there is to enjoy. And
what’s the point? Don’t give me all that satisfaction of a job well-done rubbish. Even if I wanted to do it well, I couldn’t. It’s not genetically possible. My efforts, no matter how earnest, are always mediocre at best. My mother and sister, even my sister in-law, and my nieces could cook a three course meal for a family of twelve in a kitchen smaller than a shower stall and dirty only one pot. My kitchen is considerably bigger than a shower stall, and there are barely enough dishes in my house to make pasta and a salad for my husband and me. No, it’s not a shortage of cookware; it’s a shortage of domestic savvy.

 

Oh, I took home economic classes like all girls my age were forced to when we were in school, and I even passed the courses, but I think it was because the teacher took pity on me, or maybe she took pity on herself because she didn’t want me back in her class again. Don’t get me wrong, I can cook a decent meal. I’m the queen of healthy meals in under thirty minutes. I can run a vacuum through the centre of the living room to get the crunchy bits off the carpet. I can iron the biggest wrinkles out of a shirt without ironing too many more new ones back in with my efforts. I can sew on a button and even get the blood stains out of the shirt afterward from the needle wounds in my finger. But I lack finesse, I lack enthusiasm, I lack that certain domestic spark that the other women in my family just naturally have.

 

My sister would say my gifts lie in other areas. And she would say that while whipping up a batch of cookies between ironing creases in her jeans. I love to go to her house. It always feels like someone just freshly unwrapped the package. And the cool thing about my sister’s house is that she manages to make it look clean, smell like freshly baked cookies and feel comfy and welcoming all at the same time. If I ever manage to get my house clean enough to meet the standard and make it smell like freshly baked cookies, the resentful scowl with which I would answer the door and the deep beetling of my brow from all the effort that doesn’t come naturally would go a long way toward canceling out the comfy and welcoming feel I was aiming for.

 

It’s a good thing I can write, because I can’t sew, crochet, make tasty canapés or do any of that homey artsy stuff.
Fortunately the women in my family have never held my genetic short-comings against me. They love me anyway. I’m
glad, because they do that – loving me for who I am — even better than they do domestic stuff, so I came out okay in the end. And really, I think it’s an excellent trade-off, the domestic gene for the writing gene. I’m not too warped from my dearth of domesticity, and the writing gene has made me almost completely self-entertaining. I’d say I’m a bargain.

 
© 2017 K D Grace
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