It tightened and tangled, like a…

It’s Tuesday, and that means it’s time for #5MinuteFiction. Today marks Week 89 for this fabulous contest, and Week 1 at it’s new home with Nicole Wolverton’s blog. I met Nicole through our competitions during this weekly contest and just want to give her a shout out and say thank you for giving it a new home!

Big love to Leah Petersen, who created this weekly contest and hosted it for almost 2 years.  With her book coming out, she has to let go of this brain child.

Here’s the 5MinuteFiction deal:  The prompt goes up at 12:30pm EST, you have 5 minutes to use the prompt and write your story. There is no editing, no research, no spell checking… you just GO!  Then a judge picks five finalists and the public votes on the winner.  Easy as pie.

Today’s prompt was: “It tightened and tangled, like a…”

Here is my entry (warts and all):  
ETA: My post made it to the finals!  Go read and vote for your fave!

God, the pain. It tightened and tangled, like a baling wire around my
head and around my heart. How can one word hold so much weight?


The doctor said it came on like a wave, a tsunami. There really
wasn’t anything we could have done to prevent it, to prepare, to
pre-see. He said “we” like this will impact his day. His week. His

I sat in the doc’s office, the hard plastic chair making it
impossible to stop sliding, as I tried to stay focused on the words as
they fell from his lips and shattered on the floor. So many tiny shards I
couldn’t avoid stepping into them with my loafered feet: Chemotherapy.
Radiation. Surgery. Lymph. Prognosis.

Weeks. Maybe months.

Like a crap shoot. The doctor’s words rolled off his tongue like he
was rolling the dice. Life dice. My life dice. How long would I have
before I crapped out? I already feel like I’ve rolled snake eyes.

He takes my hand, shakes it firmly. Squeezes my shoulder as he urges
me toward the door. As if I am now repellant enough to require shooing. I
step into the sunlight and breathe in the sun. Is this the beginning of
my recovery or the beginning of the end?

Only time will tell.

Living in Hawaii – Guest Blog by Toby Neal

Welcome my friend Toby Neal, author of Blood Orchids to the blog today! As a resident of Hawaii, Toby wanted to share a little bit about the things in her every day that make living in Hawaii so special to her. I admit I’m a tad jealous reading about her tank top moments right now as I look out my window at the inches of Colorado snow.

Take it away Toby!

Hawaii is a beautiful place to live—and in February in the U.S., one of the best places to be in the whole nation! Thought I’d share some of my favorite things, and not just the obvious palm trees and blue water (though that’s hard to beat.)

  • Whalesong underwater when swimming—in February, we have the most whales of the whole season.
  • Lilikois (passion fruit) falling off the vines—like untimely Easter eggs, passion fruit collect in the grass waiting for me to make scrumptious pies, jam, sauces out of them.
  • Going snorkeling in the rain. Something about the patter of rain all round as you swim through the warm ocean—bliss.
  • Playing tennis with my daughter, working up a sweat, in my tank top…while the rest of the world digs snow out of their driveways. I grew up in Hawaii, so it wasn’t until I lived in the Midwest for seven years that I really “got” this one—but now I relish every tank-top minute of it.
  • Clouds dancing elaborate ballet on the mountains—in Hawaii clouds are almost like another physical part of the landscape, they have such form and drama.
  • Wind—which means windsurfing, kiteboarding, and spectacular feats of athleticism on the part of many sporty friends (I prefer to spectate.)
  • Mynah birds commenting on everything, hopping around beady-eyed busybodies.
  • Sugar cane bending in the aforementioned wind, entire fields dancing hula skirts of green.
  • Waterfalls pumping rainbows as they refill our waterways.

We have our challenges here in Hawaii, and I explore some of them in my books—but living in this lush natural beauty isn’t one of them while making a living is!

Visit Toby’s Blog

Toby Neal was raised on Kauai in Hawaii. She wrote and illustrated her first story at age 5 and has been published in magazines and won several writing contests. After initially majoring in Journalism, she eventually settled on mental health as a career and loves her work, saying, “I’m endlessly fascinated with people’s stories.” She enjoys many outdoor sports including bodyboarding, scuba diving, beach walking, gardening and hiking. She lives in Hawaii with her family and dogs. Toby credits her counseling background in adding depth to her characters–from the villains to Lei Texeira, the courageous and vulnerable heroine in the Lei Crime Series.

About Blood Orchids:

Fast-paced crime mystery with a touch of romance, readers call Blood Orchids “un-putdownable”!

“Sometimes in crime fiction you stumble across a character who lives on beyond the book’s end by virtue of their psychological complexity, and the richness with which the author has drawn them. Will Graham, Jack Reacher, Alex Cross, and now they have a worthy female counterpart in Lei Teixera. Blood Orchids is that rarity among debut novels, in that it satisfies on every level. A powerful new talent is on the scene, whole-heartedly recommended.”
-Drew Cross, former police officer and author of BiteMarks

Hawaii is palm trees, black sand and blue water—but for policewoman Lei Texeira, there’s a dark side to paradise.

Lei has overcome a scarred past to make a life for herself as a cop in the sleepy Big Island town of Hilo. On a routine patrol she finds two murdered teenagers—one of whom she’d recently busted. With its echoes of her own past, the murdered girl’s harsh life and tragic death affect Lei deeply. She becomes obsessed—even as the killer is drawn to Lei’s intensity, feeding off her vulnerabilities and toying with her sanity.

Despite her obsession with the case and fear that she’s being stalked, Lei finds herself falling in love for the first time. Steaming volcanoes, black sand beaches and shrouded fern forests are the backdrop to Lei’s quest for answers—and the stalker is closer than she can imagine, as threads of the past tangle in her future. Lei is determined to find the killer—but he knows where to find her first.

A to Z Challenge 2012 is Coming!

A to Z Challenge 2012 is Coming!

In case you have not already heard, there is something fun going on the web each April. In 2011, if you took away all the Sundays in the month of April you were left with exactly 26 days. This year it looks like we start on Sunday so we might have to bend that rule a little.  Assign each day a letter and blog along that theme, and you’re in!  Check out the A-to-Z Blog Challenge.

Join me and more than a thousand other bloggers this April as we embark on yet another month of alphabet goodness. It sounds easy, but I have to say they call it a challenge for good reason.  You get Sundays off, but that is still a lot of blogging.   Sign Up here!

As you might have learned hanging around here, I love words and word origins. Last April I had a blast blogging about a fab word each day. Some were new to me, some were oldies that deserved some time in the sun, and some were just hilarious. Even more fun was finding images to go with the posts every day!

There is a lot of great information about the blogfest on the site, so go check it out and join me in April.

Peace, love, and alphabet blogs!