Light Vs Darkness

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! Here’s hoping this works as this is a scheduled post. If not, I’ll repost it and then next week will end up going without a post as I won’t even be in the country, I’ll be out on the ocean. The week after, I’ll write about my trip, letting ya’ll know how it went and what it was. You just received a hint. I had an epiphany earlier this week. I feel like the last few years, I won’t say how many, I’ve kind of had my life on pause. Now, it feels like it’s restarted. It’s kind of like the last few years I’ve done what I felt like I was supposed to, graduated college-which I wanted to do- then got a job in the field after wasting some time not in the field as couldn’t find a job in the field of my degree at first.

This week’s baking: I did do some baking. Only the five layer bars are posted on Instagram at the moment, there won’t be any next week so I’m kind of saving posting about the cream cheese mint candies until next the end of this week in a second post after the cookies I have planned for this week. The bars turned out well, I just don’t like them so they won’t be a repeat. I think they’re too sweet which doesn’t surprise me since they’re semi-sweet chocolate chips, butterscotch pieces, graham cracker crust and sweetened condensed milk.

This week’s question: so to speak. ‘Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul and you answer.’

My answer: I’m finally answering the knocking from my soul that I’ve been partially or completely ignoring the last several years. I’ve always been writing though I’ve just focused in the last year on finally getting published, on what steps needed to be taken to get my name out there, to get my work out there. This is a step though honestly, it’s already turning into more than just my writing. I’m also sharing some things about my baking on both here and on Instagram, another answer I’m finally giving. I’ve always loved baking but just recently, I’ve started doing more of it as I’ve always believed it was out of the budget but now I’m making the budget work. I’m also looking into some other passions of mine either as hobbies or potential job opportunities. I want to love going to work, to not see it as work. I want to work for myself, to be my own boss on my own schedule.

This week’s writing:             “Mommy,  Daddy, Don’t you know? You lost your daughter Years ago.”

The brunette woman sobbed, arms a bright red from the raw rope that’d been used on her wrists.

“H-Honey.”

“Save it. I’m no longer honey, I’m no longer anything to you and you’re no longer anything to me.”

The aging man flinched, “Dear.”

“Enough!”

The flaming haired young woman closed her eyes briefly, regaining her composure. She’d waited far too long for this. She wouldn’t let them take this from her.

She sneered, “You don’t know why I’m here, do you?”

The man she received her flaming locks from shook his head.

“After all you did to me, you really don’t know why you’re here, why I’m here.”

Her mother, “Hon, you’re exaggerating, as usual. You’re blowing things out of proportion.”

“No! No, I’m not! You’ve never acknowledged your part! You never admitted your guilt in my destruction. That is why I’m here. It’s time! It’s finally time for you to realize the villains you both are! You’ll finally see why I’m the way I am and that it’s your fault!”

She stalked out, preparing the next step of the plan. She would finally get the closure she deserved from their abuse and neglect as well as everyone else involved. © Paula Crofoot

Monday Motivation: This is one I wrote myself- Light obliterates Darkness, Love obliterates Hatred, Kindness obliterates Meanness, and Understanding obliterates Ignorance. © Paula Crofoot

Writing Prompts: Someone grabs your phone out of your hands and runs.

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: Where do Broken Hearts Go-One Direction-Four. I always listen to all of my nearly 2000 songs on random shuffle as I write only using specific playlists upon a specific genre of writing I’m working on.

Adopt A Demon or Power

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! I’m trying something new this week. My shift today is another middle of the day shift so I’m actually writing this on Sunday and will post it personally on Monday, early before I head to work. But I’m going to be out of the country not next Monday but the following so I’ll be experimenting with a scheduled post next Monday before I have to depend on it. The following Monday, first in December, I’ll write about where I was and how the trip went. But not yet, I don’t like jinxing a vacation trip before it happens by talking too much about it. It may be superstitious but I’ve noticed that if I talk too much about a trip before it happens, for whatever reason, it then often doesn’t happen. So… shhh…

My baking went well last week. I made a Butterscotch Marble cake with chocolate frosting. Essentially, my own birthday cake as my birthday was last week. And no, I’m not saying which day nor how old I turned. That’s for me to know and you to mind your own beeswax. It’s actually really good. This week I’m going to try something completely new I’ve never done as well as some cookie bars. I’ll let you know how it goes next week. I need a new international recipe. If you’re reading this and you happen to have a recipe you’re willing to share from Europe, please do… I’ll give you credit when I post about it after I’ve baked it.

This week’s question: What magic power would you like?

My answer: This is actually really hard to narrow down to just one. I’m a huge fantasy and superhero fan. This is fairly sacrilege but I actually have my favorites from bot the Marvel universe and the DC universe. More about that at a later time, I think. This is about magic power I’d prefer, not superhero gift. I think I’d prefer Telekinesis and Telepathy. They go hand in hand for me but the possibilities with the power of the mind are endless. Caught somewhere you shouldn’t be, who remembers it? Need something but don’t want to get up to get it, no problem. Nearly crushed by flying debris, easy enough to stop. I could go on but we’d honestly be here a very long time. So…

What’s your answer?

This week’s writing: Adopt A Demon

While waiting for her coffee to be called, Catherine was gazing at the bulletin board that was often used as a advertisement board for this and that. She blinked in shock at a ragged index card and had to pull it off to get a closer look at it.

‘Demon, free to a good home. House broken, pet friendly. Ask for Jill.’

Turning it around, she saw a local number scrawled across the back of it. Jus then, “Catherine.”

She retrieved her coffee from the barista, absently tucking the card in her back pocket, no one noticing.

That night, as she was changing into lounge clothes, it fluttered out of her pocket nad she picked it up, “Oh, yeah…”

Out of curiosity, as she curled up on her loveseat with Princessa, her Persian, she dialed the number on her cell phone.

“Hello.”

“Hi, Is Jill there?”

“Calling about the ad?”

“uh, yeah.”

“K, hold on.”

The guy clearly set the phone down with a thump before Catherine could just hear him yelling, “Jill! Phone’s for you. Please get rid of the thing this time.”

Catherine was baffled, this was actually real…?

“Hello?”

“Hi, is this Jill?”

“Yep, calling about Haz?”

“Uh, Haz? I found your ad on the board at Sleepy Beans.”

“Yep, Haz, short for Hazelethus. I don’t know if it matters but he’s an elemental demon, very affectionate but needs a human that’s willing to put up with mistakes as he is young and very prone to emotional outbursts.”

“I’m sorry, you’re serious? Demons don’t really exist, do they?”

A pause.

Then Jill chuckled, “New to this world, huh? How about we meet tomorrow, your choice of meeting place, and you can meet Haz and we can talk.”

Deciding to go for it despite her doubt, “Sure. How about Green Acres?”

“Sure. About noon?”

“Works. See you there.”

Even though she didn’t have a dog, Catherine was often at Green Acres, the local park that included a skate and dog park, and knew that it would be fairly populated, ensuring her safety. © Paula Crofoot

A writing prompt for any fellow amateur writers: Everyone has a key that fits into their soulmate’s heart. Tell your story.

Monday Motivation: Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. (I’m definitely going to start living for this. It’s so true…)

Music I’m listening to as I post this: I Drove All Night-Cyndi Lauper-Twelve Deadly Cyns… And Then Some

Not much to tell today…

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! The late posting is due to the my middle of the day shift at my job, I really need to look into scheduled posts if this is going to keep up. But I haven’t missed a week here yet and I won’t now so here I am, nearly 5 my time. This’ll be a short visit today as not only do I not have too much to say today but I also need to work on my NaNoWriMo, Twisted Triplets.  I might tell ya’ll a bit about what it’s about next week. Not yet, it’s only five-to be six days in progress. As such, I’ll also not have any writing to share this week as I’m working solely on that. I might also share a little piece of it next week. Not sure yet, I don’t usually share WIPs until they’re in first draft status. I’ll have to see how I feel about it.

As such, in return for no writing and not much else, I’ll post pics instead of items from my shop, Imaginative HandiCrafts and another of my cats, Lucy and Lily.

 

I did do some baking last week, Pumpkin cookies with homemade cream cheese frosting. They were really good and actually not burnt for once. I hate baking cookies in the oven I have in this rental. My last place, my cookies turned out pretty good but this oven bakes hot and differs every recipe, regardless of ingredients or thickness. I can put two different batches of the exact same cookie, a hour apart to let the oven cool down, for the same time, no differences, and one batch will turn out well and the other batch will be dark brown-black on the bottom. But these actually turned out pretty well. Link to my Instagram with them and my other experiments: https://www.instagram.com/paulacrofoot/.

Monday Motivation, even if it’s nearly over, we can use it for the rest of the week: The Best Preparation for Tomorrow is doing our Best Today.

Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: I’m actually currently using the iHeartRadio app on the Niall Horan Radio station: current song is: Too Much To Ask: Niall Horan-Flicker

Embrace or Fear your Shadow?

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! I did do what I intended last week in terms of my baking. I baked a family recipe-Banana Nut Bread which is apparently solely American as my bit of research revealed it became standard here in the 1950s but unknown in other countries. I also baked an Irish recipe-Buttermilk Apple Pie from my Irish Favorites cookbook. It’s really good and I think it’ll become a regular dessert. It’s already been requested for Thanksgiving with the annual pumpkin pie and it’s so easy to make.

One thing that has come out of my new job is continuous new inspiration for Imaginative HandiCrafts. I’ve got a couple of ideas for new products but I’ve got to get the funds to buy the materials. Currently, here are pics of a couple of products for sale.

 

This week’s question: What is your relationship like with various members of your family?

My answer: I’m going to answer this but with absolutely no names. We all know nothing truly stays mum on the internet and my family knows nothing about this blog. There’s nothing wrong with this blog, I just realize they wouldn’t get why I write it. I’m actually really close to my mother, she’s a single mother who’s raised me completely by herself since I was very young and I’m an only child so we grew close. It’s the exact opposite with my father. Honestly, I see him as the sperm donor and that’s it. I was fairly close, so to speak, with my grandma-his mother- until she passed suddenly a couple of years ago. Beyond that, I don’t actually have a relationship with the various uncles, aunt, and cousins through both sides of the family. If I was to get into the bones of my family tree, we’d be here all day and your eyes would be bowling balls and jaw dropped low enough to let a fly in. Let’s just say there’s lots of nuts up my family tree and as the Kellie Pickler Selma Drye song goes: ‘Cause I’m the only apple on the tree that didn’t hit the ground and sit down in the mud’. (Yes, I realize that’s mixing nuts and apples but it works for this purpose)

What’s your answer?

This week’s writing: In spirit of Halloween though it’s kind of my style of writing on a normal basis.

We all have a shadow self. We can fear it. Or dance with it. Marcie chooses to dance with her shadow self. She always laughs to see that no one knows that her shadow self is constantly with her. Most people fear their shadow self, seeing as a dark extension of themselves. Marcie has embraced her shadow self, letting go of her restraint when necessary to ensure she got what she wanted.

Such as a few weeks ago when a guy at a party her friend threw caught her attention. Very few guys catch her attention so she decided to have a go with him. However, before she could approach him, his ‘girlfriend’ appeared. She eyed them both and decided it would be simple enough to get rid of the girl. She’d take the acceptable approach and woo the guy first, encouraging the girl to take a walk. If, or rather when, that didn’t work, she’d step it up to a less acceptable approach in informing the girl she needed to go for both of their sakes. If, and again rather when, that didn’t work, she’d get rid of the girl, simple as that. She’d prefer to hop right to that latter solution as it was more fun but not only was it not acceptable to the majority as they prefer to hide away from their shadow, but the cat and mouse game can be fun… when she was the cat, that is.

Marcie grinned, white teeth gleaming against blood red lips, gazing down at her prey. Linus had refused her advances at first, to loyal to his girlfriend. It encouraged her as it meant he’d be loyal to her once she got the other girl out of the way. However, apparently the other girl also saw the catch Linus was and refused to move along easily. No matter, Marcie never lost. As such, Linus was now hers, completely loyal to her, never even giving another thought to Marcie’s prey. However, she refused to accept the break-up peacefully and kept harassing Linus, begging him to take her back.

That led the two of them where they were now. Marcie wasn’t about to let this little girl disrupt what she now had with Linus. As such, she had to go. She licked her lips, tasting the blood-red lipstick.

“Hm. Type A, why doesn’t that surprise me. You certainly came across as a type-A bitch. But no more.”

It was simple work, to Marcie anyway, to take her prey apart, burn the fingers and toes to ensure the finger prints were gone, pull her teeth and pulverize them in the blender she kept for this purpose and burn them in her fireplace. She added the blond hair to the fire as she shaved her prey’s head, she needed to ensure there was no way the body could be identified. Linus needed to believe his ex ran away when she couldn’t get him to get back with her, not that his current girlfriend did away with her. Marcie knew better than that the body would never be found, thinking like that is how previous killers got caught. She’d prefer to over-think it and ensure that if the body was found, it couldn’t be identified than get cocky and believe the body would never be found and then immediately be caught when the identity led back to Linus and such, back to her.

Dumping the body in different dumpsters, leaving her cell phone at home so it wouldn’t ping off of different cell towers, gave her an alibi that allowed her to gravel out of the city as well.

“Hey, Marcie?”

“Yeah, Linus?”

“Have you heard from her?”

“Who?”

“My ex.”

Marcie secretly grinned as even Linus had dropped his ex’s name from being said.

“No, I haven’t. Have you?”

“No. You think she finally got the clue that I’m no longer interested?”

“Here’s hoping. You don’t deserve to be constantly harassed.”

Linus kissed Marcie on the top of her head, “Neither do you, hon.”

Marcie grinned, her shadow flickering over her shoulder in joy that they had won this game. © Paula Crofoot

Monday Motivation: I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.

This week’s music as I’m posting this: Lucky 4 U (Tonight I’m just Me): SHeDAISY-The Whole Shebang

A bit of Soul-Baring Today

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! I actually didn’t get to last week’s baking as when I went to do it, I realized I didn’t have a couple of the necessary ingredients. Add to that, the fact I was starting my new part time job I got for the holidays-gotta bring in extra money- and I just couldn’t get up the enthusiasm to go through my cook books, I have several, and find another baking recipe I had all of the ingredients for. As such, I’ll probably be making two this week around my random schedule. I’m going to keep up my weekly posts but I may have to explore the scheduled posts and write on Sundays, as I’ve guaranteed myself weekends off as I’ve grown quite accustomed to that after 3 ½ years in retail a few years ago. But we’ll see, it all depends. I won’t say who it is I’m working for the season at least, except that it is back in retail but not for one of the giant corporations.

This week’s question: How have you changed in the last year?

My answer: This is actually a really scary question for me to think about. Honestly, the last year has been a bit difficult for me. At first, all was normal as I continued to work in the industry I’d moved to after retail, something at least involved with my university degree. Then, without warning, I was left unemployed and at loose ends for the first time since I’d graduated college. I had no idea what to do next. When I graduated college in ’11, I’d been going to school of some kind since I was 2 so at 22, that made 20 years of some kind of schedule, some kind of plan, just going and going, taking only summers off really and even then, I knew school would restart come the fall. I took a few months off after college just to have a breather but I knew I’d be going to work though I didn’t know what. Hence the retail experience as I couldn’t find a job in my degree field where I lived at the time. I moved a couple years ago and did find a job in my degree field and then to suddenly be unemployed without a plan beyond what I knew I dreamed of doing, I was left suddenly struggling to stay afloat. Fortunately, I’m blessed with family that was able to step in and help out, allowing me to take a bit of a sabbatical the last few months and figure out what it is I really want to do. Admittedly, I am still young as you probably can calculate by my university graduate year so there really is no hurry except that’s the kind of person I am. I know what I want to do, where I want to go now so I just have to figure out the next steps to achieve my dreams. That’s all a work in progress and just as with all of my work in progress novels, no one knows what’s involved except me. So the last year, I’ve changed in that I’ve become a touch less ocd about my schedule. Just a bit, but I’m a little more spontaneous and am beginning to regain my bravery I had when I was a teen about going after things that honestly, scare the shit out of me. I’ll keep you up to date on how things change as I’m ready to tell, my visitors.

Now that I’ve bared a small piece of my soul, what’s your answer? How have you changed in the last year or even in the last six months?

This week’s writing: Apparently, I’m in the predator mood, which fits for the novel I’ll be working on for next month’s NaNoWriMo.

Not all Guardian Angels are actually Angels. Some are demons, some are monsters. It all depends on just what the protected needs to be guarded from. Mine is the Monster under my bed. Until today, I still couldn’t understand why my Guardian ‘Angel’ was the Monster under my bed. Today, I understand as I’m plowing through the dark woods on the outskirts of my hometown, running from the creature that wants to eat me or worse. I’m not entirely sure what would be worse but Drew told me to run before it could get worse so I listened. Despite being the monster from under my bed, and scary to everyone but me, he’s never led me wrong so I trusted him.

Before Dorinda could blink, she tumbled down a steep hill that she couldn’t see in the dark and unfamiliar woods.

“Shit!”

She stumbled to her feet but couldn’t take a step before her ankle gave out, having twisted in the roll down the uneven hill.

“Shit! Now what?!”

Before she could begin to focus, she heard crunching of sticks behind her and clamped her hands over her mouth in hopes of muffling her breathing from her predator’s hearing.

It didn’t do any good and she could hear the snuffling of it as it grew closer, easily descending down the hill without any of the struggles she’d had. It grew close enough she  could nearly hear its heartbeat even as human as she was. Just as Dorinda was certain her life was over, she felt a whoosh of air and heard a grunt from the predator as it was taken down by the new arrival.

She heard the familiar tenor of Drew, “Run, Dorinda!”

She struggled to her feet but her ankle still couldn’t hold up, “I can’t! I think I broke something when I fell down the hill.”

As she was struggling to come up with a plan, she felt herself suddenly swung up in the familiar muscled arms of Drew and she clung to his fur as he took off through the woods faster than she could’ve begun to run herself.

“What is that? What’s hunting me?!”

“Not now. Right now, we need to focus on getting you to safety!” © Paula Crofoot

Monday Motivation: This is actually something I’ve started to try to live by lately,

Sky above me, Earth below me, Fire Within me.

This week’s music as I’m posting this: Living for You: Zoegirl via album Zoegirl.

Monster in the Woods

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! Last week’s baking went really well. I wasn’t entirely sure how the Golden Orange Cupcakes would turn out but they turned out really well and are delicious. There’s just enough citrus that you can taste it but not so much it feels like you’re eating orange juice outside of a glass. I think this week’s baking is going to be the Irish Apple Pie I have planned; I’ll let you know how that one goes as well as a potential experiment.

This week’s question: Using 10 words, describe yourself. This is actually difficult as while I’m self-assured, I find it hard to talk about myself. Ten words: unique, smart, clever, quiet, even-tempered, caring, kind, ambitious, artistic, musical. That was about as hard as I thought it would be. I struggled coming up with 10 words. It’s like I know I can do anything that I set my mind to, I’m self-assured but talking about myself is difficult for me to do. It’s like there’ s a block in my mind for ‘bragging’ on myself.

What are 10 words or less that you would use about yourself? I’m really curious about this one.

This week’s writing: This one got away from me just a bit.

We stopped walking in the woods that summer. There’s no way I’m going back in those woods after what happened. Not when I know he’s still there; and even maybe she’s still around. She, being my twin sister, that is. Our mother’s never forgiven my brother and me for losing her. It didn’t matter how many times we told her the truth, she never believed us. As far as she’s concerned, we were negligent and lost our twin sister. Doesn’t she realize it tortures us every day to go from three to two? Dad gets it but he grew up around here, he knew the rumors around the woods. The rumors that no one ever believed were true but remained wary around the woods just in case they were. The ones talking about a monster that resided in those woods, the woods that Eliza, Elijah and I can now say for sure is real, even if next to no one believes us. I still remember the glowing red eyes watching us as we ran, the white claws gleaming in the moonlight as they ripped Eliza’s heart out. I still have nightmares about Eliza then getting up, hole in her chest still spewing blood, pupils becoming slits as they began glowing an eerie green. Her mouth opened wide, showing sharp fangs matching her creator as they both chased Elijah and I through the woods. The only reason Elijah and I didn’t join Eliza was we managed to reach the edge of the woods just as the monster’s claws began to reach around Elijah’s neck. For whatever reason, that I will forever be grateful for, the woods’ edge is the monster’s boundary. He cannot leave the woods, and nor can the creature that was once our twin sister.

It’s been a few years and Elijah and I have both yet to be back to those woods, even going so far as to both move thousands of miles away over the ocean to the States. We’ve stuck together, never abandoning one another. Mother has yet to speak to us since we’ve become legalized Americans, she considers losing Eliza in the woods one betrayal, exchanging our British citizenship, even though we technically didn’t, for American citizenship, another. Dad keeps us up to date as he understands. I think he wishes he’d done the same before the three of us were born, left that small town at least, as he’s quite proud of his British heritage. So are we, really, we just couldn’t deal with the nightmares in such close proximity and as we’ve made the USA our home, it only made sense to become legal citizens.

The nightmares will never leave and even now, I fear Eliza and her master will come for us, even all these miles of land and water between us. Elijah feels the same, nightmares haunting him as well. © Paula Crofoot

Monday Motivation: Once upon a time, you were a little girl (or boy) with Big Dreams that you promised you’d make real one day. Don’t Disappoint Yourself. #MondayMotivation

This week’s music as I’m posting this: Little Things: One Direction-Take Me Home (speaking of One Direction, I turned on my stereo this morning for the first time in weeks-I usually use other radios or my iPod-and the first song playing? Story of My Life by One Direction)

Kitchen Experiments?

Hiya, welcome back to PEP! Not a whole lot to post about this week though I have had an epiphany that has to do with what will be going on in my life the next couple of months. But more on that as things change and evolve. Last week’s baking went really well. It is actually my first baking recipe that I made myself. I’ve always experimented in the kitchen but always along the lines of savory recipes. I’ll modify desert dishes as necessary but had never made one completely on my own. But my Curled Chocolate Pie turned out really well and I’ve even figured out an additional modification for taste preference already. I’ll admit, I’m really good at cakes, pies, brownies, cobblers and fudge. I’m still mastering cookies though frankly, a large part of my problem with that is my oven. The oven in my current rental cooks hot and fast but never the same for each recipe. One cookie dough will bake really fast and burn if I leave it in too long but similar dough, not very different, won’t be fully baked in the same amount of time. My last oven worked great and my cookies turned out great every batch no matter what dough recipe. This week’s baking, I think, will be a new cupcake recipe but I also have an Irish Apple pie I want to try, it is fall after all, plus a couple more. I try to keep a fairly stocked pantry as far as baking supplies go.

This week’s Question: What’s your favorite drink? I have multiple journal/blogging questions that I choose at random.

My Answer: I have a few different faves, can be depending upon time of year as well. My favorite drink in the fall is apple cider, in the winter is definitely hot cocoa, gotta be with three-five small marshmallows. Only the small marshmallows, the large are too big for mugs and get in the way of drinking the cocoa. In the spring, sweet iced tea is my favorite and the summer-almost any flavor fruit punch and at both times-cold green tea by Lipton, any flavor fruit in it. My all-time favorite drinks, any time of the year: hot tea- black, green, herbal, chai, earl grey; and I can drink Irish coffee at any time. I’m not a huge alcohol drinker but I want to include all kinds of drinks in this list: if I were to choose something, I would have go with whiskey, followed a jack and coke.

What are some of your favorite drinks?

This weeks’ writing: I’ve declared my novel on Nanowrimo.org for National Novel Writing Month. Throughout November, I will keep you updated, perhaps even give tastes of my newest novel I’ll be writing. For now, I’m doing some editing of a novel and other random writing.

I know that sound as if it was my own. I happened to turn and saw him in line just a few people behind me. I turned back as the barista asked me what I wanted. After ordering, I stepped to the side, careful to keep my back to him so he couldn’t run again if he happened to recognize me. I kept an eye on the line in my peripheral, to see where he went. My eyebrows rose when he happened to step to the side of the line right next to me. But he was focused on his phone so no doubt, he didn’t realize I was standing next to him.

I cleared my throat but he remained focused on the damn screen. Frowning, I tapped him on the shoulder. He jumped a foot and I barely muffled a snicker. He turned and I watched his skin lighten two shades.

“Jeff. Hi.”

I didn’t say anything, simply raised an eyebrow.

I watched him swallow and I pointedly looked at his phone, knowing he’d know what I was asking. It’d been a while but we still had the brother-bond.

“Sorry I hung up on you. I didn’t mean to answer the call.”

I scowled and watched him begin to sweat. There was a time he didn’t fear me. Clearly that would need to be corrected.

My name was called for my coffee and I spoke, before stepping forward to pick it up, “I’ll see you tonight, the usual place.”

He knew it wasn’t a request and nodded.

Later that night, I arrived in the park to find him in the usual place as expected.

“Ready?”

“Do we really need to do this?”

“Need I remind you, you left us.”

“I couldn’t take it anymore.”

“You cannot just walk when you want to. Once in, you’re in. Let’s go.”

I heard his footsteps behind me, could hear his heartbeat begin racing, even smell his blood, type AB, pulsing through his veins as his fear became palpable.

I turned once we arrived at our destination, “You have nothing to fear if you answer the next question correctly.”

“Alright.”

“Are you going to try to run again?”

“No.”

“You sure? You know I can smell fear and know when you’re lying.”

He swallowed hard, “I’m sure.”

“Good. Then you can take the next one.”

I handed him the knife as two of my servants brought out the next sacrifice.

She was blind-folded, hands tied behind her back.

“You want her tied or loose?”

“It’s been a while, leave her tied.”

I nodded, “When you’re ready.”

As the knife began slashing through the cold air, I grinned, fangs glinting in the moonlight, I knew he couldn’t escape. Once you’ve had a taste of blood-letting, you couldn’t stop, you just needed more. Only the foolish would try and they would always either return, if I was merciful, or be the next sacrifice. © Paula Crofoot

This week’s music as I’m posting this: Pocahontas Proud: Gretchen Wilson-Here for the Party. (I can promise my music will jump all over the genre map. This week shuffle was my Kick-ass-you-can-do-it playlist.)The Woman You're Becoming

Some Monday morning inspiration: #Mondaymotivation

Prayers for All!

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! First of all, all of my prayers and love go out to the victims and their families in Las Vegas! It was horrible waking up to news like that this morning and am praying for them. Events like this are why gun control is necessary!

On a more positive note, as of yesterday, it is now my Favorite time of year! I love Holiday time! As of October 1, I love the next three months. October is truly the first of fall in Texas where I live and Halloween. November is both my birthday and Thanksgiving. Then December is Christmas, my most favorite holiday!

I would’ve posted earlier but I spent this morning cleaning and decorating for Halloween. Now, I don’t celebrate the religious, so to speak, notes of Halloween. I just like the creepy, spooky, more supernatural tones of Halloween. Look below for my Witch’s Workshop and the Asylum entrance

Last week’s baking was the Rustic Autumn Fruit Tart and it turned out really well and was delicious. You can see the picture on my Instagram. I have an experiment planned for this week and one for the week of Halloween. I don’t know how well this week’s will turn out but I’ll keep you updated and I don’t know what I’ll do between this week and the week of Halloween but I’ll be doing something every week. This is the best time of the year for baking as not only are there the holiday themes for the baking but the weather is cooler here in Texas and more comfortable to bake. Although you’ll still find me baking at any time of the year, regardless of the weather outside.

This week’s question: The Holiday traditions I most look forward to are?

My answer: For Halloween, I look forward to decorating. I always decorate inside the first few days of October and the outside by the second or third week of October. November first, I decorate for Thanksgiving. That’s mostly inside though I do have something for this year for the outside. I always have a wreath though, since that’s one of my specialties, I even sell them on my shop Imaginative HandiCrafts. Usually, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, I decorate for Christmas. That tradition started when I was five. I had turned five just before that Thanksgiving, my Grandpapa had come down for Thanksgiving as my father, worthless as he is, had walked out on us the month before. So, to distract me as I was so young and my Grandpapa had left and my father was nowhere to be seen, my mom decided to go ahead and decorate that Sunday. The tradition stuck, even after I had long understood what had happened. We’ve kept it, moving it to Saturdays the four years I was in University as I had to head back that Sunday for classes the next day. This year will be different as not only am I an adult with different living situation than College but I’m also not even going to be in the Country that Sunday so I’ll decorate that next weekend. I go all out for every holiday but it’s insane for Christmas. It’s kind of like Santa’s workshop blew up in my home, minus Santa. I’ll admit that. But it’s fun. My baking also goes insane as of December 1st. While I bake creepy things for October, Pumpkin dishes for November but December has cookies, brownies, fudge and cakes for Christmas. I make Fudge every year no matter what, usually Christmas Eve as we have a feast of appetizers while we watch It’s a Wonderful Life and open one gift each and fudge is always the dessert.

What traditions do ya’ll do for the holidays? I’m always looking for new traditions.

This week’s writing: Even though it is October and Halloween time and I’m usually headed down the dark path, I tried to keep today’s writing light and non-creepy in light of what happened last night in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, me and light and happy don’t always work out well.

Her cellphone dinged again. She took a look and sighed. He still hadn’t gotten the hint. She didn’t want anything to do with him after he cheated on her with her best friend. She had also dropped her best friend like a brick. Both of them had yet to get the hint. She had even moved towns and changed colleges to get away from them. She had also changed her cell number but her mom, not understanding why she had stopped being friends with Nina, had given her the new number as soon as she had asked. But she would be taking care of that today.

“Ready?”

“Yes.”

Deanna had sold her car once she’d moved and had yet to buy a new one yet with the money from that car. As such, her new roommate and friend, Rose, was giving her a ride to the AT&T store to change her phone number, this time, she wouldn’t be giving it to her mom as she couldn’t understand.

They climbed into Rose’s car and Rose couldn’t help but ask, “You alright?”

“As alright as I can be.”

“You don’t have to tell me, I know we just met a few days ago, but these are some drastic life changes, aren’t they? What happened?”

“I trusted the wrong people. My boyfriend of two years had been cheating on me, for a year, with my best friend of four years, since high school really. Cindy and I had even gone to college together and I met Adam freshman year. My mom doesn’t understand why I can’t just forgive him as he was perfect for me and it was just a mistake on his and her parts. She doesn’t understand why I couldn’t stand to be at that university anymore, why I couldn’t stand to face them. All of my friends there were mutual friends of me and Adam or me and Cindy. So even once I changed my number to get away from them, my mom gave to Cindy the first time she asked for it. So this time, I’m not giving it to her. We’ll keep in touch through email. I have to look out for me.”

Rose paused before admitting, “I kind of have a theory about that kind of thing. Hearts are like bread dough. The more they’re played with, the harder they become. Yours has been played with so much with the three you trusted the most, it’s hard as a rock.”

Deanna couldn’t argue, that felt like the perfect way to explain the way she felt right now.

“Thank you for trusting me enough to tell me that much.”

“Could I bother you for one more favor.”

“Sure.”

“After we get my new phone, can we go somewhere to get me a new car? I sold my last one as not only did I have too many memories in it but they knew the license and make of it.”

“Sure, I know just the place.” © Paula Crofoot

This week’s music as I’m posting this: Halloween by Monsterfest: AMC presents Listen to the Movies. (I actually have two playlists for the holidays-one for Spooky music and one purely for Christmas)

Skilled or not??

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! I did do some baking last week. It was my first attempt at a filled pastry and it actually went really well and they’re delicious. You can see the picture of the éclairs on my Instagram, linked in my social connections. Also there is a picture of the wreath I made and donated to an Autism Awareness fundraiser this last weekend, via Imaginative HandiCrafts. I believe you should support what you believe in, no matter what anyone says. I support a lot of causes, autism awareness being one of them. I support full equality to all rights, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, nationality or religion. I also fully support a lot of cause regarding animals and children. I can go on about a lot of other causes but some are fairly controversial so if you want to continue this ‘conversation’, drop me a line below. While this is a Haven from politics and the like, I want everyone to feel welcome to talk about anything, even if not everyone can be pleased. I just won’t allow any Hate here.

This week’s question: What skill(s) would you like to master?

My answer: I have a few skills I’d like to master. I want to learn several other languages, currently I only speak English-my native language, and out of date sign language. It’s been several years since I regularly used the sign language so while I still have the ABCs down pat, the other signs are fairly rusty and it’s the original sign language, not the newer version. On top of that, however, I’d also like to master the guitar. I took lessons for a few months several years ago but when I started to pick it back up, teaching myself since I can read the music, I found my guitar had been shaken out of tune by the couple of moves it’d gone through and it is so bad, I can’t get it back into tune. I need to figure out what to do about that. I also want to master crochet. I’ve got the basic but unfortunately, my teacher, who was only once in a while really as we lived in different cities, was my grandmother who passed away quite suddenly a couple of years ago and I simply haven’t had the time to sit down and focus on it. Those are my top skills I want to master short-term. What are some you want to learn and what are some you have mastered?

This week’s writing: I’m not sure where the hell this came from… It’s not the usual path my writing takes… perhaps it’s the mood I’m in… I don’t know.

We’re not twins. Most people believe we are, fraternal as it may be, as we share the same last name and are clearly the same age. We do share the same birthday and creepily enough, just a few minutes apart but we’re not twins. He’s just some boy my parents got a couple of days after bringing me home from the hospital to be my playmate. I don’t know where he came from, nor does he obviously and my parents refuse to share that detail. They’ve made it clear that he’s not their child, though, and just my companion.

We’ve let people believe he’s my twin brother to make it easier. It helps that he has brown hair just a few shade lighter than mine even if my eyes are blue to his brown. But while he acts like he’s my twin brother outside of the house, even going so far as to protect me from any boys like ‘brothers’ do for their ‘sisters’; he’s always reminded he’s not my brother once we’ve returned home.

Very few people are allowed in our home beyond the living room and for good reason. Even my friends are only allowed so far as my room, which I have my own obviously as we are different genders, and he’s not allowed to have any friends over. It would be too hard to hide the differences between my bedroom suite on the second floor and his attic bedroom, too hard to explain why I’m allowed to do whatever I want and he’s only allowed to do what I want unless I don’t want to be near him. Then, he’s not allowed to leave his bedroom. I’m always right, he’s always wrong. It’s simply how things are. But even I know some people wouldn’t understand the difference in how we’re treated, even if all of my ‘brother’s’ needs are provided for, over and beyond. We used to be really close when we were children and I didn’t understand why he was treated differently than me. But as we’ve gotten older, closer to 16, his importance has mattered less to me. I don’t know why, nothing has changed as far as I know. Whatever. © Paula Crofoot

This week’s music as I’m posting this: If Nobody Believed In You by Joe Nichols-Life’s a Dance

I See You Now

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! Last week ended up being a week off from everything, including my baking, the only exception being the blog post last Monday. As such, I don’t have a new recipe to share about. However, I’ve got plans this week for something new and will let ya’ll know next week how it turns out. It’ll be my first attempt at this difficulty level so we’ll see.

This week’s Question: What is your dream job?

My answer: My dream job is a published author. I want to be able to spend all day writing and live off of what I make. Even if my books only reach a few people, I’d consider myself successful. I have several novels in first draft status and am currently editing the first for the third, and hopefully final, draft so I can submit it for publishing. Even if it’s not successful the first time, I’m going to keep trying. I refuse to give up until I make it. I’ve got several ideas that I wouldn’t mind implementing as careers but not only do they definitely need money to do so but writing is my long-time dream. What are some of ya’lls dream jobs?

This week’s writing:

I see you every day but I haven’t Looked at you in months. Perhaps even longer than that. I realize my mistake now, now that it’s nearly too late. We nearly lost you and it’s our own damn faults. But see if anyone will admit that though? No, they’d rather blame you for trying to escape the hell we put you through. I don’t. I refuse to blame you for trying to escape the hell your parents put you through that the rest of us all missed. I saw you every day at school but so caught up with my friends, I’d missed you slowly withdrawing into yourself more and more until you might as well not be there. That is, except when the school bullies were taunting you. I saw them but I didn’t see them. I didn’t see your enthusiasm for school wane, I didn’t see your love for art, English, colors disappear. I missed the way you stopped wearing whatever you wanted, regardless of what others thought and start wearing sweats and hoodies in an attempt to disappear. Not that it worked. I never liked Brian and his friends anyway but was safe from them as a member of the baseball team. As a punk, band-playing, outcast, you were a target, a sitting duck really. As I’ve learned recently, one of their favorite targets. You’ve been on your own for way too long.

I swear that will change. We’ll be friends again, I won’t leave you again. That is, once you wake up, Z. It’s been a month, the docs say you should wake up any time and I’m not leaving until you do. I failed you once, it won’t happen again. © Paula Crofoot

This week’s music as I’m posting this: Selma Drye by Kellie Pickler from The Woman I Am

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