Whiskey For My Men


Whiskey For My Men

“Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses,” a sleeve against his mouth Max swallowed the fire and reached for his guitar. The usual camp noises were muffled: a rustling of bedrolls and saddles, the horses chewing on the day’s events, a soft bellow from a calf. The bottle passed wordlessly from man to man, their shared grief masked by the slow burn of whiskey and the soulful guitar notes. Continue reading

6 Emotional Stages Experienced With An Unsuccessful Blog Post #blogger #blog #writer


In no way should this influence (aka blackmail) my friends and family who occasionally “like” my posts on Facebook but can’t seem to find the “share” button. It’s not as if I obsess about it or anything. ;-)

Originally posted on Blondewritemore:

You excitedly tap out a blog post. In your head you see this post as the one which will catapult you into the blogging hall of fame. Your blog notifications will go into meltdown. Cue big grin, cheeky wink at a passing loved one and an air punch as you press publish!

Here are the emotional stages experienced as this post tanks:

1. Optimism – You remain hopeful despite your stats tool flatlining. You happily check the clock to see whether international readers are awake (always assume their lives revolve around your blogging schedule), check google for world holidays, festivals and celebrations. There must be another reason why your amazing post has tanked. Always remain positive. Those international readers could be having a cheeky lie in!

2. Denial – You ignore the fact that your post failed to attract readers and do what I do – put it down to…

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A Party for Annie

Friday Fictioneers

A Party for Annie

“Annie wants a birthday party with balloons. Six year olds like pink cake and ballerinas,” Jill instructed, her voice trailing off in a drug induced slumber.
Owen peered over the bed rail at his crumpled wife and he dialed his sister’s cell phone.

Answering on the first ring Cheryl’s speech was pressured, “Tell me it isn’t time. Oh God, no. It’s snowing but I can get there.”

“No, stop. The doc says she has three days. Will you make a ballerina cake for Annie’s birthday?’

“Of course but her birthday isn’t until June.”

“Tomorrow, we will have a party tomorrow at the hospital park. Jill can see it from her window.” he sobbed.

For more Friday Fictioneer, flash fiction visit here.

“Pierre’s Secret” #BlogBattle, #FlashFiction

A new writing challenge from Rachael Ritchey author of The Beauty Thief.
The theme is Musk. Fancy a challenge? Try writing a short story starring musk.


Pierre’s Secret

Pierre ducked beneath the ancient wooden counter as the beaker exploded, spewing its contents and shards of glass over his cowered head. The air was acrid with musk and bergamot. Head in hands he knelt in the wreckage, the fragrance assaulted his senses and the broken glass tore at his flesh; sharp reminders of his carelessness. He had taken a chance, pushing her past her flash point. Minette was lost in the wreckage. Her scent, rose, rich vanilla, musk and Earl Grey filled the air but she had taken the subtle top notes and lingering finish with her. The bergamot would soon disappear too, taking the promise of afternoon tea with it. He would never again sense the caress of soft rose pedals fresh from le jardin against his flesh, nor be enveloped by the swirl of warm vanilla as she entered la maison. The hint of lazy afternoons spent in warm embrace would recede as she faded, the musk being the last note to disappear from the pillow. A bolder more passionate combination had never existed. Continue reading

Sailing in Alaska with Sound Sailing, The Princess Addition

Tracey Delaplain, MD


This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.
John Muir

There is no better place on Earth to experience the grand show of nature than in Alaska and no grander way to witness marine Alaska than from a sailboat. It’s safe to say that this vast wilderness will mesmerize you as she slowly unfurls her wonders. A trip with Sound Sailing into Glacier Bay National Park will bind you to Southeast Alaska in a way that is difficult to express in words or to capture in photos.

Your complicated life may seem less complicated away from your phone and the Internet. Glacier Bay National Park remains unconnected and untouched much as it was in John Muir’s day.


Life is simpler in Alaska.

You will learn to be still, watching a brown bear and her cubs. You will embrace the quiet, as you listen to the creaks and groans of a calving tide-water glacier. You will be humbled in the presence of nature’s royalty, as you watch a hunting pod of orcas glide past you in utter silence. You will understand team work for the first time while listening to the “killing song” that rallies a dozen humpback whales to the surface in a feeding frenzy within a coordinated bubble net. You will welcome renewed faith in nature’s families while observing a raft of otters nuzzling their fluffy pups, protected on their mothers’ bellies. You will hold your breathe as a mountain goat kid descends a sheer rock face under the watchful eye of its nanny. Everywhere you look there is renewal and the messengers are juvenile humpbacks, orcas, and bears. Oh my!


Sound Sailing
sound Sailing
Sound Sailing
Sound Sailing Alaska
This trip is for anyone with an adventurous spirit but you should consider your own limitations before booking. You don’t have to be an uber athlete to enjoy yourself but reasonably good mobility and a love of the outdoors will serve you well. There are only 6 guests aboard and you will either love or hate the intimacy. We have been blessed with amazing strangers who left as friends on both of our trips. You can book as a couple, a group or a single passenger.

Thankfully Sound Sailing does not compete with cruise ships. The only nightly entertainment is fishing, a rowdy dice game, paddling a kayak, a shore hike or a good book. There’s no shopping or real towns to visit. There’s no dress up night or dance club and (un)fortunately on sailboat BOB you will get dirty, wet and up close and personal with nature. An orca or a sea lion may be close enough to touch from the cockpit, a bear may join you on its beach and a breaching whale may splash you. If that’s too close then by all means take a cruise ship.

I fully admit that I am a luxury traveller with a bit of “Princess” in my blood. I booked my first trip with Sound Sailing as a gift for my husband’s birthday. I’m nice like that. The second trip was for me, because I have fallen in love with Alaska.

There are several luxury ways to not really see wild Alaska, aboard a cruise ship or ferry for example. I chose the path less traveled and booked a cabin on BOB, a 50 ft sailboat owned by Captain Blain and First-mate Monique Andersen operating as Sound Sailing . BOB is cozy yet comfortable. The cabins and heads are small but functional. The bed is comfortable but not luxurious, I’m a bed snob and I slept well on the firm mattress and flannel sheets. The accommodations are best described as a luxury RV on water. You have everything you need but no excess.

Pack for comfort and adventure.

The weather is unpredictable and you could experience four seasons of weather together on any given day. Plan your packing around layered dressing, and expect to wear everything at least twice. Yes really.  Pack 1/2 of what you think you’ll need, you will thank me when you are carrying your “no wheels” duffel bag through the airport. There is no place to store hard luggage.

Comfortable easy dry pants, Columbia, North Face and Patagonia are brands to check out but be advised that they only come in ugly natural colors and black, cotton or dri-fit t-shirts, long sleeve SPF or bug proof button down shirt, fleece vest and a fleece jacket can be combined to keep you warm or cool. Throw in underwear, wool socks, a pair of shorts and a yoga pant to complete the wardrobe.

It rains in Southeast Alaska. A lot! A waterproof jacket and pants (I prefer Gortex because it breathes) and knee-high rubber boots are non-negotiable. Most of our adventure clothing came from Sierra Trading Post where bargains can be found. Rubber boots are essential but they don’t need to be expensive. You will need them to explore tide pools and glaciers on shore, hiking the wet forests or fishing on deck. Fur lined slippers and a small fleece blanket are my go to luxury items, definitely not needed but oh so comfy when I’m cold.

Even a princess will only need simple toiletries: shampoo, facial wash, sunscreen, deodorant, colored Chapstick for formal nights :-), hair ties, and a hair brush. Need I say it? A cute baseball hat for “hat hair days”, which are pretty much every day after you leave your hotel. You will not be taking long hot showers or blow drying your hair. I have perfected the two basin wash and rinse, “good enough” daily clean up. I brought disposable wash clothes that can be moistened and used for a quick clean up if there’s no hot water or you’re too lazy to shower. Don’t be surprised when the men go native without shaving or scrubbing for a few days. ;-) This is luxury camping on the water at its best. Water conservation is a necessary inconvenience.

Nature’s gourmet food
The food on board is designed around your personal tastes and requests. Our meals were abundant with fresh produce, crab, salmon, halibut and shrimp. There’s plenty of snacks and dessert every day. You are welcome to bring alcohol aboard but plan accordingly because there’s no place to replenish your wine supply en route.

You come to Alaska for the adventure but the people will bring you back.
The crew is gracious and knowledgable. You may feel like family at the end of a 7-10 day trip and it’s hard to say goodbye to Alaska even though you will be craving a loooong hot shower and a fluffy king sized mattress. After the shower, I guarantee that you will begin planning your next trip aboard BOB.

This is not a sponsored post and the opinions expressed are my own. The only payment I’ve received is the treasured new friendship with BOB and The Andersens.

Exit The Page – Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt@Sandra Cook

Photo prompt@Sandra Cook

Mr. Edwards stumbled over a capital letter as he retreated. Written as a one-dimensional minor character, the dusty pages had tormented him for a century. A hasty decision, he exited exactly 100 words past his introduction. Continue reading

It’s All About The Art

image It’s All About the Art “You’ll love Burning Man,” he’d said, free spirits, people stripped bare of their complicated lives, amazing art.” “What’s not to love? The infamous blowing playa dirt caked in every crack, the wack-a-doodles, the ridiculous sequins and feather boas that stick to your skin in the Nevada heat,” Prudy sneered wiping sand out of her vagina. “Have a brownie, Pru.” An hour later when the music was swirling around her and the magic seeped in, even the art car graveyard made sense. “The sand be damned. It’s all about the art, the words dancing out of her mouth. ———————————- I’m posting from the wilds of Alaska  with my iPhone on a sailboat. We have limited Internet access and a captain that’s ready to sail. Please forgive any typos, etc. I’m roughing it! Enjoy and Google Burning Man in Nevada if you’ve never heard of this amazing art festival in the Bkack Rock Dessert. (aka Black Rock Desert) :-)  Oh, the joys of roughing it with only one device.

Quinoa Tabbouleh in Lettuce Cups


Quinoa Tabbouleh Lettuce Cups

Quinoa Tabbouleh Lettuce Cups

This is a simply delicious way to add a tangy antioxidant punch to a Summer BBQ. Parsley and tomatoes are loaded with antioxidants and fiber. Lemon gives you a burst of tangy Vitamin C and quinoa provides a complete vegan protein source. I’m taking these to http://www.FiestaFriday.net where you can find new and exciting recipes every Friday.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Lettuce Cups


1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-4 tablespoons lemon juice, juice of 1-2 lemons to taste
1 bunch curly parsley, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1 cup chopped cucumber
Iceberg or butter lettuce cups for serving, optional.

Rinse and drain quinoa. Combine with water or broth, salt in using water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes until water is mostly absorbed. Drain and let cool. Combine quinoa with remaining ingredients and toss. Adjust seasonings. I like my parsley salad to be very tangy with bold lemon flavor. I served these in small lettuce cups for a bright fresh appetizer while waiting on the grilled chicken.
Add chickpeas, feta for protein or serve with grilled chicken or fish as a side dish.

Faith Shaken

Friday Fictioneers
Photo credit @Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Faith Shaken

Kneeling in deference to the rituals of her youth, “Holy Mary Mother of God,” she prayed, stumbling over the words, searching for a faith that had long eluded her, “surely You, must understand?” The ceiling fan in the hospital chapel rattled in an off-balance cadence; tilting on its axis, much like the grieving mother. No whispered answers, no shroud of peace, no closer to understanding; she rose from the bench and returned to the ICU. Alone with her decision, she nodded yes, it was time to let go. The machinery stopped.

In the silence that followed, her child reached the light, a guiding Mother’s hand ensuring safe passage.

You can find more flash fiction here.

Grilled Cheese Anyone?


Halloumi cheese is a firm sheep cheese that has a tangy, salty taste like feta with a sheepy flavor. It holds its shape while grilling and even browns well. Trader Joes carries it sometimes and it’s worth seeking out.

I grilled the cheese slices until browned and served them over micro greens and kale with black berries and ripe peaches. I topped the salad with balsamic glaze for a delicious vegetarian main meal salad. If you eat bread then I think a big chunk of crusty bread with a drizzled of olive oil would make this salad sing. A crisp French Sauvignon Blanc or a California Fume Blanc would pair well. I served my salad with Pellegrino with a lime wedge.
I’m taking my salad to Fiesta Friday. Stop by the virtual party for great recipe ideas to try this weekend. You can find more recipes http://www.FiestaFriday.net

Savor every bite.