Hey, Ya’ll! Welcome to Simply Paradise & Haven!
Here’s another set of writing prompts for the romance genre.
‘Til Next Time!
Hey, Ya’ll! Welcome to Simply Paradise &Haven!
Welcome to the first Tasty Tuesday! On at least one Tuesday a month, I’ll be posting a recipe, either sweet or savory, cooking or baking. There may be more than one a month but I can’t guarantee that just yet and I don’t like making promises I can’t keep. So for now, know there will be at least one. There will be a second one for February as I have a baking recipe specifically for the romance theme of the month. But I thought, being a Texan that loves spicy food, a Taco Tuesday recipe would be perfect for the first Tasty Tuesday.
Today I’m sharing a savory recipe. If you like spicy foods, you’ll love this recipe. It’s also very easy as you just have to mix and cook the sauce long enough to warm it, then layer it much like a lasagna. Bake for 20 minutes and you’ve got at least one dinner, maybe more if there’s only 1-2 of you.
As you can see, you’ll have a taco lasagna and mmm, I’m sure you can see the ooey gooey cheesiness. Please comment down below if you make this and your thoughts on it or perhaps something similar. I’m always looking for new recipes. Even comment either below or on the new community page if you don’t make it yet but are totally interested in making it.
Til Next Time!
Hey, ya’ll! Welcome to Simply Paradise & Haven!
Here is our Monday Short Tale for the week. Keeping with the theme of February, it’ll be a romantic piece.
Reggi sighed in exasperation as she opened her door. There was yet another plant on her doorstep. She wasn’t sure where these plants were coming from but the slightly wilted potato plants made number 5. She scooped them up and closed her door, deciding to try leaving for work in a moment. First, she needed to put these potato plants in a bit of water in hopes of being able to replant them after work.
Once she’d done so and washed her hands, she tried heading out the door once more, needing to leave for work now if she didn’t want to be late.
She made it out without further issue. She dialed her best friend Mercedes, using the sync system in her car, needing to give her the latest update on the plant shenanigans.
“Hi, Reggi. I’m guessing you found another plant?”
“How’d you know?”
“You never call this early otherwise.”
“Yes, potato plants this time. Honestly, who is doing this and what are they hoping to gain from it?”
“I’m more curious as to where they’re finding these plants. From what you showed me, they look like they’re freshly picked.”
“Sometimes even as a whole plant, such as the potato plants today. The roots were still connected!”
“Are you going to try to replant them?”
“That’s my hope. I set the roots in some water before leaving, hoping it’ll still be savable after work. The poor things were already wilting though so who knows.”
“Only you. Anyone else wouldn’t care about the wilting. They’d just pick the potatoes and dump the rest.”
“The potatoes aren’t mature enough for picking. Add to that the fact it would be total waste to just dump the rest of the plant when it can produce more potatoes this season.”
“And only you would know that the potatoes aren’t ready.”
“I’m not the only one that would know that but I need to know these things if I’m going to continue as a vegetarian.”
“Bleh. Each to their own.”
“Exactly. You eat your meat, I’ll eat my plants. I’m here at work so I’ll talk to you later.”
“Talk to you later. We’ll see what happens next.”
Glenn noticed, pleased, as he put the next plant on the doorstep that the potato plants from the day before were in her garden. It might not be the customary wooing of a mate but when your chosen one doesn’t eat meat, you adapt. He’d question her fit as a mate of his kind except he’d already discovered she wasn’t one of those righteous vegetarians who looked down those who ate meat and everything else about her sang right to his instincts. He only hoped she’d like this plant as much as she’d liked those cauliflowers she’d made into pasta a few days before.
Opening the door, “Oh, Come on! This has to stop!”
Reggi heaved the rather large branch inside, made all the heavier by the fact it bore several apples. She left the branch in the kitchen, there was no saving it and picking the apples right now would only hasten their going bad. Though she did grab one, douse in the sink before heading out with it as a snack.
She immediately called Mercedes and before Mercedes could get out much more than a hi, “We have to stop this!”
“Hon, what happened? This wasn’t bothering you yesterday, or this entire last week.”
“That was before I had an entire branch from an apple tree on my doorstep.”
“An apple tree branch?”
“As in a branch totally chopped off an apple tree, not the apples in a basket.”
“Yes, as in a branch that is currently sitting on the linoleum of my kitchen for lack of anywhere else to put it or time.”
Then Reggi huffed as Mercedes broke into loud laughter.
Once she’d eventually calmed, Reggi declared, “Are you ready to help me now?”
“Sorry, sorry. That’s just freakin’ hilarious”
“No, it’s not. A branch today, what will it be tomorow?”
“You’re not seriously thinking whoever this is will bring you the tree next?”
“It’s possible! That’s what scares me. A bunch of carrots, a few tomatoes, a couple of bunches of cauliflower, a few bunches of grapes. Then suddenly potato plants. And now a apple tree branch? Who knows what’s next! We need to find who’s doing this and stop them.”
“Alright, alright. We’ll start with a ring doorbell. That will not only grab video evidence but will also chime to let you know they’re there. You can confront them then.”
“Can you help me after work?”
“Yes. I’ll meet you at your house with a doorbell.”
Glenn dropped into a crouch to the side of the door, dropping his latest gift, when he heard a chime.
Suddenly, the door opened and his mate stepped out. He pressed further back into the house, keeping in the shadows.
“Who’s there! I know someone’s there. My doorbell caught your movement and these ears of corn weren’t there when I went to bed.”
Glenn winced as he heard the frustration in her voice.
He stood and stepped out of the shadows.
Reggi’s jaw dropped as one of the hottest guys at her work stepped out. Dark brown hair always looking like he’d just gotten out of bed, light blue eyes either smoldering or icy, tall and well muscled, it was well known around the office that Glenn was one of the most wanted men.
“You’re leaving the plants, but why??”
“You don’t eat meat. So the best thing I could hunt for was plants, never mind that it’s technically gathering and not hunting.”
“Okay… But that still doesn’t explain why you’re leaving plants on my doorstep.”
“It’s what my people do when we’re interested in someone.”
“Your people? What happened to simply asking someone out?”
“We’re not inclined to that kind of social behavior. We’ve integrated among the normals but there are still many things we hold over.”
Reggi crossed her arms, “You still didn’t answer my question of your people. And what do you mean ‘the normals’?”
“There are many heritages of people among what we call normals, people that don’t have the gifts or heritages. My people are Weres.”
Reggi took a step back, “Weres? as in werewolves? Like Twilight?”
Glen crossed his arms, scowling, eyes now icy, “Yes, like werewolves but also other breeds. And no, not like that fiction series. Those books are an insult to my people. And even worse to the vampire clans.”
Reggi paused, mind struggling to make sense of this. She supposed that he was clearly right in that they weren’t like the books. After all, nowhere in those books did werewolves leave plants on doorsteps. He clearly meant her no harm so she supposed it’d be alright for her to give him a chance. Provided of course…
“Alright. I’ll give this a chance. But you need to actually ask me out and no more plants on my doorstep.”
Glen grinned, blue eyes now smoldering, “Fair enough. Are you free this Friday night? Besides, now I can give them to you directly.”
“Yes, I’m free this Friday night.”
Reggi resigned herself to never needing to worry about spending too much on vegetables and fruit again.
That’s all for now. I don’t know, I may write more on this in the future. Glenn and Reggi have kind of caught my attention now. Comment below if you want more.
Also, it’s still a work in progress but Simply Haven & Paradise now has a community page on Facebook. Simply Paradise & Haven Please feel free to comment there as well. I’m hoping to build it into the community page that I can’t yet develop here where we can all chat and get to know each other.
‘Til Next Time!
Hey, ya’ll! Welcome to Simply Paradise & Haven.
Now, this month’s theme is that of romance. However, that doesn’t mean all of my writing prompts are going to be ooey gooey lovey dovey. Instead, there will be some romantic, some with a twist, and some sad. I’ll be mixing it up so look forward to that!
Have fun! I look forward to seeing what you do with them.
‘Til Next Time!
Hey, ya’ll! Welcome to Simply Paradise & Haven.
Here’s the final piece of Gus and the Class Bully. I think it’s not quite the usual happy ending but it’s not a sad ending.
Theodore Black yawned as he pulled his car into the parking lot of the local high school where he was a coach. He tried to focus on the day ahead but all he could think of was that night. He couldn’t believe it’d been 10 years since he’d graduated high school. If you’d asked him 10 years before, he would never have expected to work at a high school. When he walked off the campus after graduation, he’d planned to never step foot on a school campus again. Especially after what he’d done in junior year to his old friend.
But that had changed him and when he’d graduated high school, he’d gone to college for exercise science, planning on becoming a coach for young men, wanting to do something to prevent what had happened to Gus at the hands of his friends and himself. He simply hadn’t expected to be at a high school. He was careful, however, to not be at his former high school. With some time and distance, he’d realized Gus vanishing wasn’t entirely on him or his classmates, though he certainly wasn’t diminishing their roles. The teachers had never done anything, if anything, they’d added to it. So, he refused to return.
That evening, Theodore walked into the gymnasium, feeling a pit form in his stomach. He hadn’t seen anyone from his high school beyond social media in the last 8 years.
The pit only grew bigger as he noticed the cat got the cream look on the face of the woman at the check in desk. He recognized her, Ella Gordon, former head cheerleader. But he didn’t know why she would be so gleeful, according to her FB profile, she’d just gone through a divorce.
She saw him, recognizing Theodore Black, former quarterback, and knew the pieces had just come together.
He signed in before heading deeper into the gym.
Theodore turned, holding a plastic glass with white wine, before the cup fell out of his sudden slack fingers. He stared, blue eyes glassy, skin clammy and suddenly pale. It’d been years, but he would know him anywhere. Standing just a few feet from him was Gus Maxwell. Black hair now long and tied in the back, green eyes bright even as he stood by the punch table, observing the crowd, Gus looked great.
Green and blue eyes met, immediate recognition sparking.
Theodore cautiously stepped towards Gus. When he didn’t step back, Theodore approached him, coming within conversation range.
An awkward silence covered the two men.
Theodore finally broke it.
“How have you been?”
“I’ve been doing well. I just finished an indie film.”
“A film, oh, you’re a director?”
“No, I’m a filmmaker. I started out shooting pictures but then discovered film. I attended film school, learning everything that’s needed to run the cameras that film the movies everyone watches. Then I’ve worked hard but now I have regular projects coming in, still shooting portraits and the like on the side.”
Gus gestured to the clearly expensive camera pack hanging across his body before asking, “What do you do?”
“I’m a coach, actually. I coach boys’ basketball and soccer at La Granger High School in La Granger, a few hours east of here.”
Gus was clearly surprised.
“You’re a coach?”
Theodore hesitated before being truthful.
“I studied exercise science with the idea of being a coach to prevent what those old friends and I did. I hadn’t expected to be at a high school but that’s just how the cards fell.”
“To prevent what you and your old friends did?”
Gus had inferred that what Theodore was talking about was him disappearing but wanted Theodore to say it.
“The way we bullied you, along with the entire class and the teachers, to the point of breaking down in the middle of the halls and vanishing. I’m sorry.”
Gus was surprised. When he’d received an invitation to the ten-year reunion despite not having graduated with the class, he’d come just to see how everyone was doing. He had hoped to not run into Theodore and had never expected an apology from him.
Tension flowed out of Theodore he hadn’t even realized he was carrying.
They spent a few hours chatting with each other and with other former classmates.
At the end of the night, Theodore parted ways with Gus, not to see him in person again for several years. He friended him on social media, being accepted, but that was the extent of it. But at least the guilt from 11 years before was assuaged and he was actively working to prevent it from happening again.
Gus accepted Theodore’s friend request and saw him follow him on a couple of platforms. But while he’d accepted his apology, that didn’t mean he wanted to be buddy buddy with him. Their old friendship was long cold, and he doubted it could ever be reignited. But at least his primary bully had finally apologized. The pain he’d been carrying all these years even as he’d grown more and more successful in his passion was finally soothed.
I think this is kind of a realistic ending. You’ll notice Gus accepted Theodore’s apology but he never said it was okay or that he forgave him. That doesn’t mean that Gus hasn’t forgiven him but it’s never okay to do to someone what Theodore and the rest of the class did to Gus.
The rest of February, I’ll be writing a short story to do with the theme of hte month which is romance. Partially because of Valentine’s Day but also because the novel idea that I’ll be writing next month is my first romance. I’ve written, as of yet unpublished, novels with relationships and some romance but this one it’ll be one of hte primary plots. So that’s something new.
‘Til Next Time!
Hey, Ya’ll! Welcome to Simply Paradise & Haven.
This’ll be my last in depth post on my 2020 goals. All future posts on my goals will be update posts which I plan to do at least one a month with a quick update. Probably the last Friday of each month.
My challenges goal is simple enough. I’ve found a few personal and a few health challenges on Pinterest. Each month I’m challenging myself to a personal challenge and to a health challenge. By personal, I mean like January was list challenge, I made a list each day of whatever the theme for that day was. It was a bit of a journaling challenge. I’m also doing a self-care challenge, organizing challenge, simplicity challenge, flash fiction challenge, drawing challenge, Inktober challenge. I’m challenging myself to become better, whether it’s better at taking care of myself, better at drawing, better at writing, I’m actively working to better myself. The health challenges tie in with that as well along with my weight goal. There’s a glow up challenge, flexibility, abs, plank, legs, yoga, waist, arms, butt and leg, different abs, spell your name-which that one will kick my butt with how long my name is except I left it to December on purpose, and a general work out challenge. I’ve also chosen a few to be year long-such as the drawing/water color challenge on Doodlewash, 12 month Better You, 12 month Money, 52 weeks of Gratitude. Now, I’m not aiming to hit every single day, that’s just not possible for more than one challenge, 366 days. But rather, I’m aiming for at least 50% each month. I’ll still better myself doing that much.
My movies goal is also simple. It’s also more than just 2020. One movie goal is to see every single Disney movie there is. I have a list of the animated and non-animated I found via Pinterest and a couple of other sites. I can post it here if any of you are interested. But not only are there hundreds of movies but some are really old and will be difficult to find. Fortunately, I own a lot of the animated movies from the ’90s forward. Obviously, I’m not making that one this year so the end date for that one is 2024. Yes, I think it’ll take me 4 years to watch all of them. The other movie goal is to watch the entire Marvel universe, in order. That one I will be doing this year.
My research goal is equally simple. I have a lot of different interests. So every other month, I’ll be picking a few interest to research in depth. January/February is Multiple Personality Disorder/Dissociative Identity Disorder. I’m fascinated with how the mind works. But because my library, despite the multiple branches being connected, doesn’t have a lot of literature on that topic, I’m also researching hoarding. I’m also researching dogs, cats, and other house pets. I’m expanding my knowledge for my career but also looking at breeds and such that I may like to own in the future. If you have any pets, I’d love to hear about them. I’ll be making a Friday Focus post on what I’ve learned through my research each month.
Now, IHC… For those that have been here for a while, you’ll know IHC is Imaginative HandiCrafts. You’ll also know that IHC has been closed since November. It just wasn’t going where I’d hoped it would so I’ve closed it for the time being. However, I have a new name for it as well as a new focus. I’m really happy with where I’m headed with Imaginative HandiCrafts. My goal for 2020 is to reopen IHC under it’s new name and focus-still handmade crafts, make some sales and hopefully participate in a craft/hobby show or two.
I also want to expand Paula’s Pet Paradise into it’s own website. Right now, I’m solely hosted on Rover which is great and has done well. But it’ll be 2 years old this February and it’s time to grow some.
Simply Paradise & Haven will also be going under a few changes and upgrades which I’m really excited about. I’ll be sharing some more about that soon so look out for that.
I’m also going to be expanding my tea/cooking/baking knowledge/repertoire, some of which I’ll be sharing on here with you each month. So look forward to that!
So, those are my goals for 2020. I’ll be keeping you updated on how I’m doing through a focused post each month plus some that simply evolves as I write here about my life and other posts. Please, comment below about any goals you have. I’d love to hear about them and we can be each other’s accountability partners. (How to do that will be included in an future update for Simply Paradise & Haven.)
By the way: What do you think of the new Simply Paradise & Haven logo at the top of the home page? I’d really like your thoughts on it so please comment below, even if it’s just a thumbs up emoji.
‘Til Next time!
Hey, Ya’ll! Welcome back to Simply Paradise & Haven.
Here are your weekly writing prompts, have fun!
Sorry these are a little late today. I’m doing some set-up, scheduling and planning for Simply Paradise & Haven and this week’s posts didn’t get scheduled like they usually do. What I’ve got planned, though, will be worth it.
‘Til Next Time!
Hey, ya’ll! Welcome back to Simply Paradise & Haven.
As I promised last week, here is the next part of Gus and the Class Bully.
Despite that one of their classmates was curled in a fetal ball in the middle of the hallway, tears showing, the day moved on as normal. No one either noticed or cared enough if they did to check on Gus. Some even cursed him as they had to move around him.
Silence rang around him as Gus finally uncurled around his camera. His eyes burned and his throat was sore. He put his camera back in his bag, scooping the shattered lens into one of the pockets. Uncaring about the classes he was missing, he slowly made his way out of the school, ignoring his locker.
Gus headed home, knowing his parents wouldn’t be home; his father would be off working his blue-collar job and his mother likely at her bingo games, drinking her weight in vodka as usual. He dug his savings bank out from under his bed, counting his money once more.
Theodore had crossed the final line; his classmates had showed just how little he mattered to them in the aftermath. He could get his G.E.D. after but he couldn’t stay here anymore. Packing everything important, including the various pieces of his camera, including the shattered lens, he made his way to the local greyhound bus station. He bought a one-way ticket to the first bus headed to Los Angeles. It was as far as he could get from here without leaving the country.
No one noticed until Friday that the class scapegoat Gus hadn’t been seen since Monday. Theodore was the first to realize he hadn’t seen Gus the Wuss since he and his friends had left him in the hallway boo-hooing over a camera. Some discreet questions around, he learned that no one had seen him since first period on Monday or in the hallway after.
After school, he made his way to Gus’ house, memories from childhood flooding in as he knocked on the door. No one answered but he knew the backdoor was likely still broken. Sure enough, it was.
Gus’ room was even still the same it had been when they were friends in elementary school. Only difference was the minute layer of dust on everything.
That was the moment Theodore Black realized he’d crossed a line and run Gus not just out of school but out of town completely.
No one would see Gus Maxwell for 10 years.
There will be another piece next week. I think it’ll be the final part but we have to see where Gus ends up at, why they see him again in 10 years and just what happens to Theodore Black. Plus, we still have to answer how they wound up at this point.
‘Til Next Time!
Hey, ya’ll! Welcome to SP&H.
I gave an overview of my 2020 goals last week as well as some extra detail on my weight loss goals and skills goals. This week, I want to delve into my goals on writing, books, (and yes, they’re different goals) and my debt/saving.
First, my goals on my writing. As I mentioned, I have several manuscripts that are finished, in varying stages. I have one that is finished, ready to go; five that are finished, just need final editing; five that are in progress-varying stages of progress. A couple are near halfway through, a couple that are just started, and one that was my November NaNoWriMo that is beyond started but not quite halfway. I also have not only old stories that I’m rereading to see if they can be made into novel worthy manuscripts but I have a lot of plot ideas that have had some fleshing out but not necessarily characters and full story lines. I have one that was supposed to be April Camp NaNoWriMo as I wanted to write the sequel to the one that is finished next month. However, that one is nudging me constantly so I think that one is going to be February’s novel while the sequel is going to be April. However, that changes the publishing plan. I can’t exactly put out a book that is the first in a series when I don’t have the second one written yet. So I’m going to finish the last editing on the other five and pick one of those. I’m thinking of my very first novel I ever finished. I’m still in love with it so I think it’ll be it. I have a writing schedule for this year for novels to write and finish. I will be published this year, even if it takes most of hte year to do so. If I can’t manage an agent and a publishing house, then I’ll go the self-publishing route. I actually know someone who did so, so I figure I can get tips from her if necessary.
Now, my goals on books is different than publishing a book. I used to be a prolific reader as a child. To the point that I can remember when I was 12, my reading class, and yes we still had reading class up to 8th grade, my class was divided into reading groups. I read books three grade levels above my level but the reading groups had to read out of a bookshelf in our teacher’s classroom. As you can guess, those were books for 6th graders. So I read through them really fast, and still passed the Accelerated reading test. The first one done picked the next book. There was a point I was three books ahead of the others in my group and they asked if I could let them pick the next few books, I was so many ahead they were just left reading behind me and wasn’t necessarily what they wanted to read. I didn’t mind as I really wasn’t interested in any of the books; my personal books were thicker, more difficult to read, and way more interesting. However, as I grew older, got busier, had less time, I read way less. So, my goal is to read at least 52 books this year. Now, I have no doubt I’ll read more than that, but with a list of 52 books, then I’ll not only read at least one book a week, which I used to read more than that, but I also deliberately chose books that are not in my wheelhouse. I tend to read mystery, fantasy, horror/ghost, some science fiction as well as the occasional blank fiction. So I stepped out and chose a couple of classics, a few romances, but also chose some that are in genres I already read. I may do some book reviews on here as I read the ones on my list.
My debt goal is pretty self-explanatory. I’m self-employed but have some credit card debt from when I had a full time job as well as school loans. As for my saving goals, I not only want to save an emergency fund, for a Canon EOS 4000 Rebel T100 DSLR camera, GoPro Hero7, an elliptical machine, a treadmill, a bike-not sure which one yet, a Cricut machine that will help me greatly with crafting, a Nintendo switch, rotary tool kit, airbrush cake machine and a paintjob for my SUV. I doubt I’ll be able to save for everything this year as I am self-employed but I’m hoping to expand a few things into income alongside Paula’s Pet Paradise and Imaginative HandiCraft’s new image. My top goals are the emergency fund, cameras, Nintendo Switch, Cricut machine, a bike, and a paintjob for my SUV. I love my SUV but I hate his plain silver color. The Cricut machine will help me with my crafting endeavors, as will the rotary tool kit and the airbrush cake machine helps me with my baking. I love taking pictures but don’t have a good camera beyond the ones on my phone. I have a digital camera but it’s a basic point and shoot camera that I call Temperamental for a reason. The elliptical machine, treadmill will help with my health as well as the bike but I want to start hitting the trails with the bike also. (Of course, a goal with the bike is to relearn how to ride it. I fell, apparently, at a young age and stopped riding. I can remember the basics but I haven’ been on the bike in over 10 years so I say I can’t ride a bike.) I love video games, I am a video game geek, but my last systems are a Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS. So I need the new switch and am even open to other systems. The emergency fund is just so I can breath easier when one month’s income might not be quite enough.
So, those are my writing, book and debt/savings goals for 2020. Comment down below if you have any similar goals, we can be each others accountability partners.
‘Til Next Time!
Hey, Ya’ll! Welcome back to SP&H! Here are your weekly writing prompts, enjoy!
Have fun, friends! Comment down below if you use any of these prompts and want to share.
‘Til Next Time!
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