Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

I remember the smell of processed sugar beets mixed with the meat processing plant and swirling around me as I hastily got out of my car.  It reminded me of coming home from a week long summer camping trip to realize that someone had accidently left the steaks out on top of the freezer in one hundred degrees.  There is no description to give you a sense of what that smells like.  If you’ve never experienced it, be happy.  Even a ghost of the smell is enough to engage a gag reflex.

I mentally closed off my nose and breathed shallowly.  Everyone around me, as we treked into Wal-Mart, was doing the same.  Head down, mouth pinched into a tiny breathing hole, and shoulders raised as if to protect yourself from the onslaught of malodor.   Some women even wrapped their headscarfs aroudn their faces.  

But, the smell wasn’t the whole reason I hastened inside, however.  I wasn’t as desparate to remove myself from the smell as I was desparate to relieve my screaming bladder.  My urgency was foremost on my mind as I scissor-walked through the sliding doors and into the cool, loud world of Wal-mart.  


I had just come from a meeting that had taken longer than I’d anticipated.  We’d chatted like old friends and laughed while we drank coffee after coffee, then switched to water.  I drank three glasses of water and three cups of coffee in an hour and a half.

My urgent  issue didn’t raise it’s ugly head, though, until I was in the car, on the freeway heading home.  My bladder’s communication must have been a little slow that day.  When it decided it was ready to empty itself, there was no gradual escalation.  One moment I was rehashing how my meeting had gone and the next moment, I was hunched over the steering wheel begging my  bladder for time, just a little more time to get to the restroom. I tried to keep my thighs squeezed together and hoped the kegel exercises worked.  Thankfully, there was an exit and a Wal-Mart.

As I walked inside, I prayed there was no one in the place.  I turned left and saw the bathroom halfway down the row of checkout stands.  My prayers weren’t going to get answered that day.  It was a feeble prayer, really.  When is Wal-Mart ever silent?  I took a deep breath as I surveyed my path.  There were seven lanes of people between me and that restroom.  This was an obstacle course of customers at checkout.  It would be a marathon to reach my goal.   

I could do this.  I would do this.  My scissor walk became a scissor fast-walk.  My vision narrowed to the pinpoint of light shining on the sign, Restrooms.  The finish line would be the last stall.

I swerved around the mother with two kids in tow and one in the cart, yelling at the toddler to put the gum back. 

I side-stepped the older couple as he bent to help his wife put bags in the cart three feet too far from the register and halfway into the walkway.

I shouldered past the teens loitering as their friend purchased energy drinks.

My resolve was waning.  I started muttering to myself.  

I can do this.

I will do this.

The restroom is right there.

My goal was within reach! 

I was going to make it!

The relief I felt at reaching my goal was seconded only by the relief as I closed the door, wrestled with the slacks and finally, sat down to pee.

My sight expanded.  I felt as if the weight of the world was being lifted from me.  It brought a little moisture to my eyes.

I finished, wiped, and flushed.  

I felt new and light.  As if the world couldn’t get me down.  I had won the race to the restroom.  Now I could concentrate on driving back to the city and to my next meeting.

I opened the door, adjusting my jacket, and walked to the sinks.  My mind registered a strange set up for a restroom.  But my joy overtook my mind’s warning signals and I bent to wash my hands.  I felt my relieved smile stretch the previously pinched corners of my mouth.  

I had made it.  No embarrassing accidents for me.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a woman standing in front of something.  At first, I couldn’t wrap my mind around what it was.  She was standing open legged, but out of courtesy, I didn’t look directly at her.  I glanced up in the mirror.  

I saw everything at once.

That wasn’t a woman standing at the wall, it was a man standing at the urinal. 

The horror of the situation fell on me like a hatchet from a slasher movie.

I had used the men’s restroom.

Not only had I used the men’s restroom, I was standing at the sink washing my hands as a man was using the facilities at the same time.

Had he been there before?  Did I just notice him?  I realized he must have come in while I was sitting in the back stall, head full of cloudless, blue sky relief.

He was looking at me in the mirror.  We locked eyes.  I heard the sound of a stream flow turn to a trickle, then die.  The shock was obvious to us both.

I had no idea what to say or do.  I stayed bent over the sink. The water stopped flowing over my hands.  The silence was broken only by muted sounds of shoppers outside the restroom. 

I did what any woman would do.

I straightened up.

I smiled.

And before I turned to quickly dry my hands and leave, I said, “Sorry, I had to pee.”

His face continued to reflect slack-jawed shock as I strode out of the restroom hoping to go unnoticed.

But today, my luck would not hold.

Apparently, he hadn’t come to this store alone.  His other half was waiting with a cart full of groceries and a child on her hip.  She looked at me then up to the men’s sign and back at me.  The look of shock, accusation, and suspicion in her dark brown eyes was a reflection of her boyfriend’s inside.  The child chortled and cooed.

I did what any woman would do.

I squared my shoulders and said, “I didn’t see anything.  I swear.”

And before she could answer or react, I strode out of the Wal-Mart and vowed never to return.  The smell of rotten meat and processed sugar beets embraced my retreat.

Some very interesting predictions.  I wonder how they will turn out.  Mark is a very astute observer and I believe it will play out much as he says.

What are your feelings about Indies quitting in 2015?

It’s obvious the self publishing trend is slowing down, what do you think of his advice about time management and getting back to basics?

I want to know!

Smashwords: 2015 Book Publishing Industry Predictions: Slow Growth Presents Challenges and Opportunities.

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I’ve been asked by a good friend, Loni Townsend, to participate in a Blog Hop about why I write. I was inspired to join because I often wonder that same question.

As I sit in front of a blank page, these thoughts occasionally enter my mind….

What the hell do you think you are doing?

Where the hell do you think you’re going to set this story?

And the best one…

Why do I write? Why am I here? What is the purpose of putting myself through the tortuous process of vomiting words onto a paper, then cutting, rearranging, and generally dissecting the hell out of them until I give up in disgust and try to sell it?

Why, indeed. Here are the three reasons I have found that stick with me when I ask myself that question.

1. I write to tell a story. I love answering the question, “What if…” And writing it down is just as interesting.

2. I write because not writing has a negative effect on my life. My creativity has a way of coming out and if I don’t channel it, well, let’s just say that I’ve had enough addictions in my life to be a founding member of most anonymous groups.

3. I write because I am an empath. I have empathy for many experiences. I heard once that author’s write what they know. I think that’s bull-oney. There is no possible way we can experience all the things we write about. I would say that I have never experience tentacles wrapping around my body and sucking the life out of me. But I can pretty much empathize with the experience.

So those are the reason I write. I would love to hear from you and what your reasons are. Do you journal? Why do you journal? We all write, some of us just do it for a living.

And if you are interested in my writing, you can go check out my book. Into The Darkness for Kindle or here for the other formats.

I would love to hear what you think of it. You can leave a review or just contact me directly.

See ya on the flip side!




You can get the book on Amazon here

For Kobo and other formats go here

If you are interested in reviewing the book for a free copy, please contact me below, on Facebook, or Twitter.

I’ll be writing again soon.


11022013 193Yes, today is release day for my collaborative book with Troy Lambert.  I am excited to realize my dream of becoming an author.

I know we all say that if we write, we are writers, and this is true.  I know that’s what helped me keep moving forward, exactly what Kristen Lamb keeps saying.  We Are Not Alone.  We are writers.


There is something about seeing your name on a cover.

There is something magical about going to Amazon, searching for your name, and seeing this:

This Is What It Looks Like

This Is What It Looks Like

It’s amazing.  It’s Magical.  It’s scary as hell.  Because now the responsibility kicks in.  I’m an author.  I have published a book and I plan on publishing a lot more!  And that’s scary.  All the what if’s come to play.

That’s why I posted that picture of my mother and my brother above.  My mother died of lung cancer a couple of years ago.  It took my life into a tailspin that only in the last year, I’ve been able to recover from.  But that’s another story.

I posted the picture of my brother and mother to remind me that life is short.  Happiness is fleeting.  But Joy, deep and lasting, soul filling joy can be found.  You just have to believe.  And trust me, sometimes it’s damned hard to do.

I dedicated this book to my brother, because, well, he deserved it.  He has been my best friend since I can remember.  He and I shared secrets and tears and everything I would imagine a best friend does.  He is my “Bud”.  And for the record, again, I really did NOT try to kill him while we were growing up.  It may have seemed that way, but, most of the time, I was right there with him, cheering on his courage (or naivete) to try the stories and adventures I came up with.  He is the strongest, most amazing man I’ve ever met.  We raised each other right.


SO, here are the links to my first book.  I look forward to hearing from you and I’m glad you’re coming with me on this journey.  We Are Not Alone.

And where we are going… that’s a VERY good thing.

Welcome to Ridge Falls.

It’s already too late.



Please feel free to comment and share this post.  I would actually love to hear from you and gain new friends.

You all take care now,



Launches 08/15/14

Launches 08/15/14

The first book in the Ridge Falls Series – Into The Darkness

Welcome to Ridge Falls.

Where a person can die, but not really.  Where survival means the unimaginable.  Where the reservoir holds a horrific secret, not everyone is prepared to face.  A boy’s fascination becomes a moving massacre.  A young woman’s sacrifice turns hairy, a narcissist meets the ultimate dance partner, and much more.

Welcome to Ridge Falls.

Once you step Into The Darkness, you’re already gone.

Author’s Marlie Harris and Troy Lambert bring the first peek into the town of Ridge Falls.  Go to the Facebook Page Ridge Falls , like it, and learn more!

Welcome To Ridge Falls

Welcome To Ridge Falls