Blue Christmas #weekendcoffeeshare #christmas #life

The decorations used to be perfectly placed and the Christmas tree ready to light on Dec 1.

Maybe too early for you but I’ve always preferred to “slow decorate” and enjoy the “Christmas feeling” for an entire month, remembering those warm and fuzzy times as a kid when I could spend hours sitting at the foot of the family tree to watch the lights dance and figure out how those 1970s “bubble lights” worked (remember those?). And if it happened to be snowing outside our family’s living room bay window while I sat there reading Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” for the upteenth time, it was almost like Christmas heaven.

But this year, I seem to have lost that “Christmas” feeling.

I have yet to hang up one decoration or pull the Christmas tree out of the garage and I’m not sure that I will.

Instead of thinking about the relaxed holiday pace and the wonderful times to come with family and friends, my thoughts keep drifting to things I can’t control.  Worrying about things that haven’t happened, may not happen for a long time and who may not be around next Christmas.

So no, I’m not feeling the Christmas spirit. It’s more of a bah humbug mood that will hopefully disappear in the next few days.

What kind of Christmas mood are YOU in?

M  xoxo

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30 Things You Can Still Do Before 2018 Part 2 #newyear #2018 #resolutions

Where did 2017 go?

In 2018, I need to stop treating my writing as a hobby and find more time to dedicate to it. On December 1, I started plowing through a list of 30 things to do before 2018 that will simplify and streamline my day-to-day life in the new year. Some were quick easy hits while others took a little more time but most are already completed and I’m feeling great!

I’m sharing them with you and hopefully you will find some value in it!

For items 1 to 15, you can check out my guest post today on Simon’s wonderful blog at “Planet Simon“. Please drop by and tell Simon hey!💜

16. Photos of important information: With the first snow fall of every year, I never remember how to operate my snowblower. So I took a photo of the instructions and during the recent snowstorm, I wasn’t cursing under my breath as I usually do. I also took a photo of my bank’s operating hours so that I no longer feel like an idiot rushing there to find that it closed five minutes before.

17. Declutter and deep clean the house: I went crazy mid-November and ditched NaNoWriMo to do this. Yup, I gave up on NaNo for cleaning. It started out as an innocent one day flirt but quickly turned into a hot and messy full-fledged two week affair. Oh, but it felt soooo good! My living space hasn’t felt that zen and “light” since I had the flood. Do yourself a favour and get rid of what you don’t need or use.

18. Make a list all the annoying things (not people) in your living environment: That bookshelf to install, the sticky closet door, the clothes for the shelter that you never dropped off…I took an afternoon, did what I could and will enlist a “handyman” for the more complicated tasks I can’t do myself.

19. Prepare for tax season: Every March, I stress about getting receipts and bills together. I bit the bullet, gathered the receipts I had and already placed them into a special folder. I’ll gather up the rest at the end of January and get cracking on it.

20. Schedule all medical appointments for 2018: Family doctor, dentist, optometrist, gynecologist…I even scheduled a few on the same day, morning and afternoon, to maximize my journey into the city (which is a nightmare due to ongoing construction).

21. Do something nice for yourself once a month: Get out your calendar and pencil something nice in. A relaxing massage, a mani-pedi treat…It doesn’t have to cost much. Wander around a bookstore for an afternoon, go for a walk in a local area you’ve never been before, buy a coffee and people watch through the window and scribble down story ideas. Whatever you do, keep the appointment with yourself.

22. Clean out fridge and pantry for expired products: Make it a fresh start and throw them all out. But please do not donate expired items to food banks – buy new goods for a shelter.

23. Double up on gifts: Leverage time and the holiday sales by getting birthday gifts for loved ones now. No fuss, no muss, no future last minutr stress. I used to do this and have just started doing this again. I will definitely not regret it.

24. Purchase greeting cards for the next 365 days: Birthday, Valentine, Easter, Christmas, anniversary…You have to buy them anyway so why not buy them all at once? For me, the selection of English cards with words I like (I won’t buy if the words don’t match the person I’m buying for) is limited so I’ve started buying mine whenever I see bigger and better selections elsewhere.

25. Buy home or tenant insurance: With all of the unlucky and unfortunate things that could happen, it’s better to be safe than sorry. While you’re at it, think about identity theft insurance if it’s reasonably priced.

26. Switch to LED bulbs: I have not changed my living habits and have seen a noticeable drop in my electricity bill since I did this a few months ago. That extra money is better in my pocket than with the electric company.

27. Set your 2018 goals: Not happy with your 2017 accomplishments? No time like the present to set your goals for 2018. My 2018 goals list is still a work in progress.

28. Create a playlist of your songs. A playlist for when you’re feeling happy, a playlist for when you need to concentrate and another for when you feel like crap and want to throw yourself a pity party (don’t worry, we all do it).

29. Start one tiny habit now. Like drinking an extra glass of water a day, making your bed every morning, getting up an hour earlier every day. I started the habit of NOT checking my cell while still in bed.

30. Make a “not to do list’ for 2018: I could write a book for this one but at the top of my list is to make “no” a full sentence and refrain from providing a follow-up explanation. I often find myself doing this with people who never do this with me but yet they have the nerve to ask me “Why?” Time to flip the script.

So that was my list of my 30 things to do before 2018…

What’s on your pre-2018 list?

M xoxo

“By The Time This Night Is Over…” #fictionfriday #lyricalfictionfriday

This is a previously posted fiction adapted to fit this week’s #LyricalFictionFridayChallenge!

Photo credit: eltio_lewis / Foter / CC BY-NC

If we were any closer, I’d be drowning in Alejandro’s eyes.

I stopped swaying and lifted my head from his chest. Just the way in which he returned my gaze made my legs weak. My eyes were speaking volumes and he was hearing me loud and clear.

Why was I desperately trying to hang onto my last shred of willpower?

I was unattached, single and attracted to him at a level that I hadn’t experienced in a very long time. I also thought that it was so sweet and irresistible that he had admitted how his friends had to encourage him to try and talk to me instead of being timid.

Blame it on the island life, his authenticity with me, the fact that he was sizzling hot (as Ella would say), it really didn’t matter.

By the time this night is over, you’ll be wrapped around him anyways.

Alejandro lowered his lips to mine and to keep my balance, I clung to him, grabbing handfuls of his shirt.

Sweet, slow and soft. With each kiss, we delved deeper into each other with more intensity. One arm circled my waist, the other hand tracing the length of my back, Alejandro was giving me goosebumps of all kinds. I had no choice but to slide my hands up his chest and drape them around his neck. When we finally came up for air, I couldn’t catch my breath. I had totally lost my mind for those few minutes and I think he had too.

We held onto each for what felt like forever and said nothing, just trying to catch our breath. And that is when my rationale mind came back to rear its ugly head. I needed to explain why I had waited this long to let my defenses down with him, that it wasn’t some kind of a game, how I had been hurt before…

Alejandro must have read my mind of jumbled thoughts because just as I opened my mouth to speak, he placed his index finger on my lips.

“I only need to know one thing.” Alejandro paused and searched my eyes. “Do you ever think about him when you are with me?”

Him? Him who? It didn’t matter…the answer was hell no.

When I shook my head, he removed his finger and cupped my face within the palms of his large warm hands.

“That’s all I needed to know.”

©2015/2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Pingback to “No”.

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#LyricalFictionFriday: “No” #fictionfriday

Today’s lyrical prompt is:

I think it’s so sweet…how you let your friends encourage you to try and talk to me…but let me stop you there…

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos directly above.

This month, I’m partnering with the following lovely blogger-writers who are promoting my Lyrical Fiction Friday Challenge as I cross-promote their respective challenges:
Be sure to check out their blogs, have some fun by participating strong and making a few new friends!

 

“The Baby Conspiracy” #fiction #holidayshortfiction

*Christmas-flavored fiction*

“Don’t ever do it.”

Her voice is a whisper over the phone. I assume that people are in the room with her because she sounds afraid of being overheard and there is holiday music in the background.

“Don’t do what?” I’m confused since all I asked was how she and the baby are doing now they are finally home after all the complications.

“Have a baby. Don’t do it. It’s a trick. One huge fucking conspiracy.”

“Uh…”

“I’m telling you, it’s a fucking trick. All of your friends with kids encourage you to do it, tell you how great and rewarding it is. But it’s not true. They just want you to jump into that miserable, sinking ship so that you can drown with them.”

How am I supposed to respond to that?

“You’re just exhausted after all that you went through and have post-baby blues. I know that you must be missing your mother too and it’s also almost Christmas so you’re stressed out…”

“All I want for Christmas is my fucking life back! This has to be a conspiracy because they all know awful it really is before you do it and push you to do it. They only tell you the fucking truth after its too late,” she continues to whisper as if I didn’t even say a word.

Hormones, exhaustion, the burden of new mommy-hood responsibilities and the holiday season are taking a huge toll on her. She needs to vent to someone outside her family, someone who isn’t going to judge her for feeling unmommy-like.

But strangely enough, it isn’t the first time I’ve heard that theory from a few women in my entourage.

Is she right? Is there some kind of conspiracy going on?

As I remember all the lonely days of finding the courage to give myself the strict regimen of injections, I slide my hand across my secretly growing belly and am no longer sure I want to put that theory to the test all by myself.

©2016 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Originally posted on February 4, 2016, adapted in December 2017

This fiction inspired by this article.

 

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#1MinFiction: “Mistletoe and Ornaments” #fiction #holidayshortfiction

*Christmas-flavored short fiction*

This was written for Nortina’s #1MinFiction Challenge at Lovely Curses .

This week’s prompt was “Ornament“.

This piece is a follow-up to “Tuskeegee Chunk”. Feel free to read it first before continuing.

“I have to kiss you.”

While the world outside was rushing around at a frenzied pace with last minute holiday shopping, there we stood in my doorway after an afternoon of shopping for his sister’s Christmas gift. As a collector of intricately designed Christmas ornaments myself, I had helped Jake pick out just the right one for his sister’s collection.

Jake pointed up to the fake mistletoe my best friend had hung above my doorway that now teased us from above. He grinned as his eyes followed mine to the shiny plastic green and red decoration.

“We really don’t have a choice Kris… we shouldn’t break a longstanding tradition, right?”

Could one little kiss complicate our friendship?

Before I could say anything, Jake gently slid his hand behind my neck to pull me in closer to him. Unsure of what to do, I stood still like a statue as he tilted his lips down towards mine. Just as our noses brushed against each other, Jake stopped and searched my eyes to see if I would pull away.

I didn’t.

One little kiss won’t complicate things.

I raised my chin and we kissed so softly that his lips were like feathers against mine. With each recurring touch our lips, Jake deepened his kisses. And I returned each one just as deeply, wanting to savor this first and likely last lapse in our judgement.

I had entertained the thought of this more than once since we had become friends in that hospital waiting room but the intensity of our kiss surprised me.

Who knew that dealing with cancer would be full of bittersweet surprises…

“Well, for something that’s fake, it’s some powerful mistletoe,” I joked, trying to recompose myself after we finally broke free. “It’s a good thing it’s not real.”

Jake exhaled deeply, smiled and leaned his forehead down against mine.

“That kiss was real…I don’t think that I can be friends with you anymore.” His voice was a husky whisper his eyes were still closed.

“What?”

“You heard me…I want more than being friends with you Kris.”

I backed away and searched his thoughts.

“You mean…because life is short and we don’t know what tomorrow will bring?”

Jake’s eyes lit up.

“Exactly!”

I pulled Jake away from the door and further into the foyer so that I could shut the door.

“Jake, that’s the cancer talking. Your fear of dying, wanting to throw caution to the wind and doing all the things you’ve wanted to do like the motorcycle you bought… I’ve been through it so I know what you’re feeling. But being more than friends at this point in time wouldn’t be wise for either of us.”

Awkwardness filled the space between us and Jake turned beet red.

“But Kris…I’m better and soon, you will be too…”

I grabbed his hand softly and pulled him towards the livingroom with me.

“Please don’t…Jake. I don’t want to feel sad. Let’s just chill and watch some Christmas movies, okay?”

After what had happened, sappy movies on the Lifetime Channel was definitely out of the question. Without another word, I turned on the television and found “Die Hard” was on for the upteenth time.

As we settled onto the couch with his arm warmly draped over my shoulder and my head resting on his, it was harder than I thought to pretend like the past few minutes had never happened.

One little kiss has complicated everything…

Being more than friends definitely wouldn’t be wise, especially knowing what I hadn’t told him yet.

©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Monday’s One-Minute Fiction challenges you to write a complete micro-fiction piece in, you guessed it, one minute, no more, no less, based on the prompt provided! Of course, you can come back to edit for grammar & spelling, but the story itself must be written in a minute. Your prompt may be a photo, or a word, or a sentence—whatever inspires me, and hopefully inspires you too.

Monday’s One-Minute Fiction: Week of December 11

Wake up wake up! It’s that time of the week again. Monday’s One Minute Fiction with “Lovely Curses”.
The theme is “Ornament” which is puuuurfect for this time of year. Get out your pens or laptops and have some fun!!!
Comments will be disabled on this post so please click below to participate on Nortina’s original post.

Lovely Curses

Rise and shine! Time to get out your stop watches, exercise your typing fingers, and pick your brains for some quick creativity.

Monday’s One-Minute Fiction challenges you to write a complete micro-fiction piece in, you guessed it, one minute, no more, no less, based on the prompt provided! Of course, you can come back to edit for grammar & spelling, but the story itself must be written in a minute.

Your prompt may be a photo, or a word, or a sentence—whatever inspires me, and hopefully inspires you too.

This month, I’m partnering with Marquessa at Simply Marquessa to bring you #1MinFiction and her challenge, #LyricalFictionFriday. Be sure to stop by her blog this Friday for more fun prompts (and to build an awesome playlist too! 😉 )

With Christmas just two weeks away, most of us are taking out dusty decorations from closets to make our homes look more…

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