Harlequin dreams are still calling!

Feel free to let me know what you think of my story.  I hope I am using the advice I am getting from the many helpful writers at Harlequin to improve my writing.  I am having a blast with these challenges.  I am finding the biggest challenge is finding time to sit at the computer.  If you look at the clock you will know when I have time to do that!  Enjoy!

 

Missing in Action

997 words by KarLynn Erickson

 

As Lexi sat on the park bench, her hands clenched at her sides, she tried to let the anger and frustration pass.  The counselor had told her the stages of grief were normal and everyone arrived at them differently, but that she should let them happen naturally.

 

Before she knew it her hands slid to her abdomen unconsciously and squeezed her eyes shut.  Jacob always said they should wait, that it wasn’t the right time.  Now she suspected there would never be a time.

 

Lexi grew more sullen as the thought of those surprise homecomings she saw online and on television entered her mind.  She knew with all certainty that her and Jax would never get that moment.

 

When uniformed officers crossed your threshold, it was never good news.  Jacob had promised he wasn’t going to sign up again and then he did it.  For some reason his need to be a soldier was greater than her desire to live a normal life, as a family.

 

It was true in her vows she promised to honor him, but that seemed a lifetime ago.  They had been madly in love at the time of their wedding.  Then when Jax came along Lexi knew she was meant to be a mother.  Nothing felt more right and she wanted more.

 

But Jacob couldn’t get enough of military life.  When he came back from Iraq the first time he told her he wanted to go back.

 

His third tour of duty in their short six year marriage and now no one knew where he was.  Not even the United States Army in all their glory.  She knew that it wasn’t their fault, however she had no one else to blame at the current moment.

 

She couldn’t believe he’d done it, he left them, again.  He told her not to worry.  He would be home in no time.  Now she was so angry with him for destroying the life they had planned she couldn’t see straight.

 

“Hey there, I thought I might find you here.”  A voice broke Lexi from her angry trance.

 

“Hey, Jules.” Lexi said without the need to look up.  She would know that voice anywhere and welcomed it more than sunshine.

 

Jules had been the one saving grace in Lexi’s crumbling life.  Jules knew what to say to bring Lexi out of the depressed state that had become her current existence.

 

“How’d you know where I’d be?”  Lexi had grown accustomed people checking in on her in the last few weeks, but the only one who brought relief was Jules.

 

“Oh you know, spies, cameras and I’ve been tailing you for days.”  Jules smart reply came quick and easy.

 

“Days huh?”

 

They both laughed lightly, but Lexi had to force it.   Jules took a seat beside her hurting best friend.

 

“Can you two come over for dinner tonight?  John polished up the grill and can’t wait to show off his mad skills, those are his words not mine.”

 

“Well, I’m not sure.”  Lexi ‘s reply as weak.

 

“He will be so disappointed if you don’t.  He even bought Jax a little chef’s hat to match his.”  Jules pleaded.  Her need to keep her friend above drowning level was deeper than anything she had felt in her life.  Lexi knew this and loved her all the more for it.

 

Lexi scolded herself, “How could she deny her son’s happiness to hang out in her own hollow existence.  She couldn’t of course.”

 

“You fight dirty lady!”  Lexi said with a small closed fist to Jules shoulder.

 

***

 

On the drive to Jules and John’s house Lexi was distracted.  But what else was new.  She tried to concentrate on the road, but the sky seemed so bright.

 

“Mommy look!”  Jax squealed.

 

She chanced a glance back at her five year old pride and joy snuggly buckled behind her.  He was wiggling with excitement.  He was also smiling from ear to ear.  He was always smiling.  A trait he inherited from his father.  A pang of sorrow hit her in the gut.

 

“What honey?”  She asked forcing some cheer into her voice.

 

“Did you see that shooting star, huh mommy, did you see it flash across the sky.  I get to make a wish now right?”  Jax said.

 

“That’s right honey.  How did you know that?”

 

“Meme told me all about the stars.  She knows a lot about stars, mommy.  She even told me about how the stars make pictures in the sky.  I can find the big and little dibber.  Do you know where they are mommy?”

 

Jax was so excited Lexi didn’t dare dampen the mood by correcting him.

 

She smiled at the reference to her mother in law.  Jacob’s mother had been Meme since Jax learned to speak.  Loraine tried over and over to get the child to call her Grandma, but he refused.  She was Meme.  The boy knew what he wanted and that was that.  Another trait he inherited from his father.

 

“Ok mommy, I made my wish!  Can you guess what it is?”

 

“Um, how about a new pony?”  Lexi tried to keep her tone light for Jax’s sake.

 

“No!  Guess again.”

 

“Let’s see, how about a monster truck?”

 

“No mommy, I don’t want any of those things.”

 

“Well then what did you wish for?”  Lexi asked as they pulled into Jules driveway.

 

“Maybe I won’t tell you.  Do you think it’s true if you tell a wish it won’t come true?”  Jax asked with much concern.

 

“I don’t think that’s true honey.  If you really believe then all your wishes will come true.”  She sounded convincing, but she didn’t really believe it herself.

 

She stood unbuckling his car seat belt when he pulled her close.

 

“I wish for daddy to come home to us really soon.  Mommy do you think that star can do that?”

 

Lexi felt like she was socked in the gut.  Suddenly all of the air was gone and she couldn’t breath.

The End

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Thursdays at Eight

A Debbie Macomber novel.  It was very very delightful.  Four strangers meet at a journal writing class and unexpectedly continue to meet after the class ends.  They of course become entwined in each others lives and are the best of friends by the end.  They are all four different ages and from different places in their lives.  It was a good distraction for the last couple of days.

On to finishing the Lincoln Lawyer.  Apparently this is a new movie out on video soon.  I didn’t even know it existed, but I saw the preview on a movie I recently rented at the Red Box.  I saw it was a book first and it looks intense enough to be a great read, so I downloaded it onto my E-Reader. 

Of course I will watch the movie, because the very yummy Mathew Mchonahey (sp) is the star.  I love to watch him do anything!

That Darn Economy!

As she splashed her tear streaked face with cold water from the bathroom tap Sheila thought back to the last time she saw her Grandmother.

It had been at Thanksgiving a year ago.  She couldn’t believe it had been that long.  It was a good holiday.  Everyone had been there.  Maybe that was a sign she thought.

Her brother Kyle had brought his new girlfriend and she was an instant hit with the family.  Sheila remembered the twinkle in her Grandmothers eye.  As she thought about that day she wondered now if it was a tear that had caught her eye.

20 Wishes

What does that mean to you?  When I saw the book title I thought, that sounds like a cute and quick read.  The book is one by Debbie Macomber who is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite authors.  She captures women’s hearts like no one else.  Except maybe Barbara Delinsky, but I still think Debbie is better!

So I start to read the book and it starts out much the same as her others.  All of the books involve women, thier families and their friends.  But the particular series that has me wowed is called the Blossom Street series.  The women periodically change from book to book, but they all have something to do with the stores and restaurants on Blossom Street.  There are many instances where previous characters creep into the current book and I love that! 

Anyway, back to the twenty wishes.  These women got together and decided to compile a list of twent wishes they had always had.  These were not to be resolutions or goals, simply somthing they had always longed to do.  As you can guess many things happen to these women through out the course of the book and their lives become more entertwined as the pages turn.  They share a deep bond and I think only women can relate to that kind of bond.  I won’t go into detail about the wishes, because I think you should read the book and find out for yourself, but I will say that the list becomes contagious and each person that hears about it wants to start their own.  And one of those people is me!

I am going to compile a list of twenty wishes and blog about them.  With the impending birth of my son I may get side tracked once in awhile, but I am hoping to blog everyday.  That is a goal not a wish!

I hope you will enjoy the ride with me as I discover what it is that I have always wanted to do!  Visit my Twenty Wishes page frequently to find out how it’s going.

Lizzie and Harry Scene

The next morning came to quickly for Lizzie.  Exhaustion filled her head with fog.  In spite of that she smiled to herself remembering her night of fun.  She rose slowly and began to get ready for her day with Harry. 

Suddenly butterflies began to dance around her insides.

She waved her hand and huffed away the silly little girl emotion as she walked to her dresser.

She was a child the last time she could remember butterflies tickling her stomach.  She got excited about things like leaving the island to go to town way back then.

Now there was a handsome man causing them to awaken.

She browsed through her closet grabbing one shirt at a time and pulling it out to have a better look. 
She decided on the blue and white stripped sweater over her white tank top and tennis skirt. 
She opted on her bathing suit underneath, because the weather man said it was going to be very warm in the afternoon.

“Oh I better grab some sunscreen too”, she said to herself as she checked off another item on her mental list.
 
As she stood in front of the mirror she smiled at the image starring back at her.

Her face was glowing.  Not since she found out her first children’s book submission had been picked for an award had she been this happy. 

That award was the first stepping stone that led to her agent who eventually catapulted(sp?) her into a full fledged writing career. 

Could it be that Janelle’s wonderful party last night could have been the first stepping stone to her finding love? 

 “Oh”, she huffed again and waved her hand at the mirror.  “Why am I being so silly?  It’s been one night for crying out loud!  I hardly know anything about the man.”

She fiddled with her ash blond pony tail one more time before grabbing the picnic basket and her bag to leave.

Today

I can’t even believe my lack of ambition today!  I have the day off from my real life job, so I thought I would give a go at my fantasy life job of writing.  Well as usual my morning burst of creativity washed out my afternoon burst!  I can’t even seem to stay focused on one topic. 

Now I find out they are taking submissions for the Regional Ramblings news letter and the deadline is May 20th.  I have always wanted to put something in there, but have never known how to go about it.  Well today at the library there was a little flyer all bright green and reaching straight out at me.  Then I go to lunch with my mom and in the news and views what did I find?  A little add with the same advertisement.  I think it means I need to get my butt in gear and finish this story that I have been working on!

Here’s another little taste:

The next morning came to quickly for Lizzie.  Exhaustion filled her head with with fog.  Inspite of that she smiled to herself remembering her night of fun.  She rose slowly and began to get ready for her day with Harry. 

Suddenly butterflies began to dance around her insides.

She waved her hand and huffed away the silly little girl emotion as she walked to her dresser.

She was a child the last time she had butterflies.  She got excited about things like leaving the island to go to town way back then.

Now there was a handsome man causing them to awaken.

She decided on the blue and white stripped sweater over her white tank top and tennis skirt. 
She opted on her bathing suit underneath, because the weather man said it was going to be very warm in the afternoon.

“Oh I better grab some sunscreen too”, she said to herself as she checked off another item on her mental list.
 
As she stood in front of the mirror she smiled at the image starring back at her.

Her face was glowing.  Not since she found out her first children’s book submission had been picked for an award had she been this happy. 

That award led to her agent who eventually led her to a full fledged writing career. 

Could it be that Janelle’s wonderful party last night could have been the first stepping stone to her finding love? 

“Oh”, she huffed again and waved her hand at the mirror.  “Why am I being so silly?  It’s been one night for crying out loud!  I hardly know any thing about the man.”

She fiddled with her ash blond pony tail one more time before grabbing the picnic basket and her bag to leave.