Fun

This was a fun little Valentine writing exercise. I used a WORD GENERATOR to pick some words that I had to use in a romance story. A roll of the dice and we’re given three characters, mine were a BANKER, A COWBOY, and A BASEBALL PLAYER. I need to work in the adjectives PICKY, FAMOUS and ANGRY. And the whole scene needs to take place in a TAXI CAB. Well, okay, here’s my Valentine’s story writtene especially for my visitors. Please enjoy …

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The taxi driver set the gray-haired woman’s two oversized suitcases on the sidewalk of the Plaza hotel and handed the happy chihuahua’s leash to the doorman. She folded two bucks in his hand with a wink and a smile as if the five percent tip were an overpayment. He bent and kissed her on the cheek. “Happy Valentine’s Day Mrs. Bozeman. I hope you enjoy your second honeymoon with your beau.”

A sweet blush crawled up her cheeks. “Forty-seven years ago today Mr. Bozeman asked me to be his girl. Pinned me right there in the hallway before he went on to win the high school state basketball championship.”

He already knew that. “I suspect he’s thinking he won a whole lot more.” He bent and kissed her velvet cheek before climbing back into the taxi cabMikal rarely came to earth in human form, but today Cupid’s army worked special magic on lost souls and broken hearts. And every once in awhile they got to check on some of their most successful cases. 

“Mister, hey mister.” The young boy dressed in a cowboy outfit standing on the sidewalk and banging on his passenger window couldn’t have been more than eight or nine. “I need your help.”

He rolled down the window. “I’ve got someone to pick up, kid.”

“You can’t. I’ve got something important for you to do. Real important.” Determination furrowed his brow.

Mikal had a schedule and with only six more hours until the portal closed, he didn’t really have time for complications. He absently picked up the Starbucks cup, a double iced cinnamon dolce latte with whipped cream, his one vice whenever he had to hang out on earth. He shot the kid an indifferent look. “Where do you need to go?” Children were Gabriel’s problem, but it didn’t mean he couldn’t get this lost kid back to his parents. 

“You really drive this thing? I mean, I don’t mean to be picky or anything, but I woulda thought angels could fly or something.”

Mikal choked, whipped cream spraying on the steering wheel. “What did you say?”

He leaned into the car through the open window. “Listen, I saw your glow from upstairs. And all these people are going all gooey when they see you.” He hooked a thumb over his shoulder as an angry couple stopped, looked at each other and apologized, falling into a hug and deep kiss. The kid was right. It was part of the magic he’d been gifted.

“So if you’re not an angel,” the boy said. “Then I’m expecting the Men in Black to show up any minute.”

No one but the dying and animals usually saw him. But this kid had certainly piqued his curiousity. “No aliens here. Get in.” He flipped the roof light off so people wouldn’t try to jump in with them. “What do you need?” he asked as the boy climbed into the front seat. “Are you mooning over some girl and you want her to pay attention to you at recess?”

The kid rolled his eyes. “Think I’d bother you for something stupid like that? Sheesh, it’s my parents. My mom came here to talk to my dad. He’s a famous baseball player.” He shrugged. “She doesn’t know I know. I mean, he doesn’t live with us or anything and I’ve never met him, just what I see when we watch his games.”

“But she told you about him?’

“Nah, she told me my dad and her were divorced after she became a banker. That was awhile after I was born. But the way she said it, I never really believed her. I found some letters from him last year hidden in the back of her closet.”

“You shouldn’t be snooping in someone else’s stuff.” Mikal took a deep pull of his coffee.

“I wasn’t. Honest.” The boy studied him. “You don’t have any connection with Santa or anything do you?”

Mikal swiped his mouth with the back of his hand to hide his smile. “No, different cloud entirely.”

“K, well then the truth was I was looking for something.” He shrugged. “It’s not so much that I miss having a dad, but my mom, she’s so sad all the time.”

Mikal sensed there was something the boy wasn’t telling him, but he waited him out.

“I have cancer,” he said it so quietly as if the disease were his fault. Mikal could barely hear him over the rush of the traffic in the street. “I’m pretty sure I’m gonna die and I don’t want my mom to be all alone. I went looking to see if I could find something. And I came across all these gooshy letters and stuff from a guy named Kurt. He never mentioned me. I’m thinking he doesn’t know he has a son.” He toyed with the zipper on his windbreaker. “Kurt Dittrich is my mother’s favorite Yankee. She cheers for him at every game.”

“I’m not sure how I can help.” Mikal worked miracles, but not in such a short time if they were in different cities.

“You can help by making sure they fall in love again. Dur!” He shook his hands in the air. “What’s your job anyway?”

Mikal couldn’t help but laugh. “To bring people together. But they’ve got to at least be in the same place.”

“Yeah, well my mom’s here and my dad’s on his way.”

“How do you know?”

“I wrote to Kurt Dittrich and told him I was sick and I wanted to meet him and I’d be here at the Plaza today. Then I asked mom to take me to a broadway show on Valentine’s. She thinks I’m down here talking to the doorman and getting a cab.” His small hand wrapped around Mikal’s forearm and he covered it with his own, healing flowing directly into the child. The boy looked at their joined hands and smiled. “You just gotta use your angel magic and make them fall in love. Please, you just gotta. It’s my only chance.” Tears welled in his eyes.

“Jon! Jonathon Leavy!” A pretty blond in jeans and peacoat hurried out of the hotel. “Have you seen a little boy about this tall?” she asked the doorman.

“There she is,” the kid said. “Help me, please. Don’t let her leave until he gets here. Break your engine or something.” He opened the door and hopped out. “Please.” He waved his arm toward the door. “Mom, I’m right here.”

“Jon, you scared me right to–” She started toward them and barrelled into a man with a baseball cap and sunglasses, his head down. Their collision nearly knocked the woman over, but his strong arms wrapped around her waist and held her.

The man took off his glasses, his gaze going soft. “Kate? Kate Leavy?”

“Kurt Dittrich? It’s been … it’s been a really long time.”

“Yeah it has.” He brushed the hair from her face. “And you’ve grown even more beautiful.”

Even Jonathon could see the sappy way his mother looked at the man and he was pretty sure it had nothing to do with him being a famous baseball player. The angel had done his job. He turned to give him a thumbs up, but the taxi cab was gone. And he suspected … so was his cancer.

Copyright © Nina Pierce 2017
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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY ONE AND ALL

I’m going to admit that I haven’t done many things that are “typical”. I didn’t pretend not to be smart just to impress a boy. I didn’t sneak makeup in my book bag and put it on at school. And I never pilfered romance novels from my mother’s nightstand.

The first one no doubt had to do with being a middle child and always trying to prove myself to my older siblings. There was no way I was ever going to look dumb in front of them. And the second two things on the list were definitely influenced by Mom herself. My mom’s really pretty and I don’t remember her wearing makeup. So the whole thing was a non-issue in my house. There was no one saying I could or I couldn’t, so why rebel? The whole makeup thing seemed like a huge hassle in my opinion. And then there are the books. My mom was a reader. She took 4 and 5 books out of our little library every week and carried them home. She was pleased as punch when we picked one up and thumbed through it. I can’t say for sure when my love of reading began, but by the time I hit middle school I was reading adult books … including romances.
 
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Santa_FullDear Santa,

It appears I’ve done it again. I’ve frittered away the month of December and Christmas has crept up on me like an old pair of panties. 

And I can only hope this letter finds its way into your hands before Rudolph is hitched to your sleigh. You see there’s only one thing I want for Christmas. I’d really like… if it’s not too much trouble… a doover.

It seems like only yesterday it was the week before Thanksgiving and I was thinking “oh, another whole month stretches out ahead of me to enjoy the holiday season”. *Gulp* Where did the month go? I want it back. If you could turn back the clock I promise the second time around I’d use my allotted time more wisely.

I won’t wait until the week before Christmas to start shopping and picking over the clothing racks with only size 0 or 26 left. I’d send out my Christmas gifts in a timely fashion so the man at the post office won’t laugh maniacally at my feeble attempt to get packages to loved ones. I promise to plan my Christmas dinner waaay before the grocery shelves hold only pickles and day old bagles. I’ll not eat so much at the Christmas parties so the cute outfit I bought for Christmas Eve mass will still fit. I promise to keep the house picked up so when unexpected guests arrive to share some holiday cheer, I won’t be scrambling to clear the laundry off the couch and they’ll have a place to sit. I promise to buy tape, ribbon, and wrapping paper right after Thanksgiving and not pull the funnies section of the newspaper out of the recycling so my gifts are covered with something. I promise to put up the tree before Christmas Eve and have it down waaay before Valentine’s Day. I promise to wrap gifts and stack them happily under the tree and not wait until two days before the holiday to think perhaps I should have asked for gift boxes.

So, if I promise to do all these things, Santa… could you just deliver this one little gift. ‘Cause I could really use a “do over” for Christmas. 

Love, Nina

PS Anyone tell you… you’re looking good for a jolly old elf!

You can never have too many sexy men posted on a blog … especially when they’re wearing kilts. Enjoy ladies. 😉

1. The origin of the kilt is hotly debated … somewhere around the 16 or 1700’s depending on who you believe. But there’s no doubt woman are celebrating its introduction to the world!

 
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Okay, I know I’m a romance writer and I write about kissing all the time. But really, if you read any of my descriptions (like many romance authors) there are a lot of generalities in the description of kissing. But the one that I’ve been reading a lot is the … “wow, he was a wonderful kisser.”

Seriously? What the heck does that mean?

Nina’s confession #573 I’ve kissed like 4 guys in my life. The first one was in 6th grade when I was caught behind the trees on the playground and got sent to the principal’s office. My first French kiss was with a summer fling with a young man from Canada. Yeah, that always kind of cracked me up. Then there’s Mr. Nina. We kissed when I was 14 and well … we were both too young and inexperienced to know what we were doing. Thirty-some-odd years later our kissing is really nice. Sweet and gentle or flirty and quite naughty. But we’ve grown used to each other. It’s comfortable.

I know there’s an art to kissing. You can find research all over the Internet with advice–mostly for teens. But I’m sure this is something single adults must discuss … don’t they?

I mean there has got to be all kinds of kissing techniques … isn’t there?

Mr. Nina is usually pretty understanding about my forays into research for my books. But even he wouldn’t be that understanding if I decided to do some personal research into different techniques men use for kissing. So that means I need to turn to you all! What makes a really good kisser (and I mean of either sex)? Soft lips? A gentle tongue? Oh, I really want to ask some graphic questions, but I already sense those snickers from all of you.

Just consider this like scientific research for me. I’d really like to know what you consider a really nice kiss. It could be sweet or hot or just comforting. Tell me about it. I’m dying of curiousity.

I hope all of my American friends are enjoying the 4th of July surrounded by the love of family and friends. And I just have to give a shout out to all the soldiers who are in foreign lands away from those who love them so I can enjoy the freedom of celebrating. May God hold each and every one of you in his care until you’re returned safely to the arms of your family.

With that said, I thought I’d share a few Independence Day factoids with you! Have a good one everyone!

1. Independence Day commemorates the formal adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. However, it was not declared a legal holiday until 1941.

2. Fireworks were made in China as early as the 11th century. The Chinese used their pyrotechnic mixtures for war rockets and explosives.

3. $128,800,000 will be spent importing fireworks from China, representing the bulk of all US imports. By comparison, US exports only 13,500, 000 in fireworks with the bulk going to Germany. (2002)

4. Uncle Sam was first popularized during the War of 1812, when the term appeared on supply containers. Believe it or not, the U. S. Congress didn’t adopt him as a national symbol until 1961.

5. There are many precise rules for taking care of the American flag. And speaking of flag traditions, we’re sorry to report that contrary to legend, historical research has failed to confirm that Betsy Ross sewed the first flag.

6. 125,000 US flags flew over the Capital last year at the request of House and Senate members. On July 4 alone, 1,200 were flown at our nation’s capitol. (From the U.S. Capitol Flag Room.)

7. $272,000,000 were spent on shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation’s manufacturers. (1997)

8. Not all members of the Continental Congress supported a formal Declaration of Independence, but those who did were passionate about it. One representative rode 80 miles by horseback to reach Philadelphia and break a tie in support of independence.

9. The first two versions of the Liberty Bell were defective and had to be melted down and recast. The third version rang every Fourth of July from 1778 to 1835, when, according to tradition, it cracked as it was being tolled for the death of Chief Justice John Marshall.

10. The National anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner is set to the tune of an English drinking song (“To Anacreon in Heaven”).

11. The iron framework of the Statue of Liberty was devised by French engineer Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, who also built the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

12.  More than 66,000,000 Americans said they participated in a barbeque. It’s probably safe to assume a large number of these events took place on the Fourth.

13. Father of the country and architect of independence George Washington held his first public office at the tender age of 17. He continued in public service until his death in 1799.

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY TO ALL MY BLOG READERS!

 

To a scientist, being tagged means a little orange clip on one’s ear or a critter-cam on one’s back. Since I didn’t wake up with either of those this morning, I’m going with the child’s version of tag… and I guess now I’m IT! Which now means I have to dig deep into who I am and tell you seven little known facts about me. Okay, I don’t have to dig so deep, but perhaps there’s something new here you didn’t know … 

I’m not going to point fingers at the person who tagged me, but you know who you are. And I know for a fact you giggled maniacally as you added me to your list of victims, errr … taggetts. (Yes, that’s a word, look it up in the official Nina dictionary.) 

The rules are simple:
* List seven things about yourself

* Link to the blog of the person who tagged you (but I’m nice and I’m not going to “out” her).

* Tag seven new unsuspecting victims, um… friends and list their links on your blog. (And once again, I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you’d like to pick up the challenge … consider yourself tagged!)

**** (Oh, and no tag backs… I added that one myself… ’cause I’m clever that way! *g*)

So here goes:
1. I’ve been with my guy for 36 years. Stop laughing, I’m still a young sexy thing… we started dating when I was 2 and married when I was 10!

2. I’ve lived in Maine most of my life with short stints in Rhode Island and New York. And though my heart will always consider Maine home, I’m happy to be living out of its cold winters.

3. I graduated Summa Cum Laude as the valedictorian of my college class with a degree in Marine Biology.

4. I love water. Feel at home swimming in the ocean, canoeing a lake or rafting a mountain stream. Living away from it has been difficult for me and in the next phase of my life I’m going to live very near a body of water.

5. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis about 20 years ago. It’s an icky disease that seems to do what it wants, attack unnanounced and wreak havok on my body. Fortunately for me, though I did have to give up my teaching job, I am still somewhat mobile. And it moved me into the realm of writing… not a bad trade off!

6. I am a sun worshipper. I love all locations warm and sunny. I’ve visited the Virgin Islands and Hawaii as well as Florida of course. I still haven’t made it to the west coast and I do believe it’s God’s odd sense of humor that I lived most of my adult life in the artic north of Maine.

7. I’ve always wanted to be an actress. I was involved in drama when I was in high school and there was nothing more exciting for me than being on stage with all those people watching. (Hence the whole career in teaching… nothing better than 20 people held captive for an hour!) But my singing voice leaves a lot to be desired. I only sing solo… so low no one has to suffer through it! But I envy those children of actors who sort of just move into that profession.

Okay, I’ve beared my soul. How about sharing a couple of things about you too!

I love the olympics. I watch them with a box of tissues beside me because inevitably I ball my eyes out when someone … anyone … does something like break a world record or competes with a broken foot or gets the first ever gold medal for their country. Or when they show an athlete’s parents cheering them on (like Michael Phelps’ mother.) Or the year athletes from Russia and Georgia hugged and shared the podium proving sports isn’t about politics. Okay … I’m crying again.

I’m listing thirteen sports. Only ten are actual Olympic competitions. Can you pick out the three that aren’t currently on the official 2012 Olympic program?

I’ll post the answeres on Wednesday if you’re really curious stop by. So here’s the list. Which 3 don’t belong? (Okay, and no fair googling before you answer.)

1. Women’s Badmitton
A racquet sport played on a small, rectangular court, divided in half by a net. A projectile called a shuttlecock is hit back and forth over the net until the shuttlecock hits the ground.

2. Men’s LaCrosse
Two teams of eleven hit and pass a ball around a field and try to knock the ball into their opponent’s goal.

3. Golf
A player uses different types of clubs to hit a ball into a hole in the lowest number of strokes as possible.

4. Men’s Table Tennis
Two or four players hit a lightweight ball back and forth, on a hard table, divided by a net. The ball may only bounce on the table one time,
and may not leave the table. A point is scored when a player fails to return a ball, or hits a ball out of bounds.

5. Sychronized Trampoline
Competitors must do combinations of twists, turns and shapes while bouncing on a trampoline.

6. Tug of War
Two teams pull on opposite ends of a rope in a test of strength.

7. Women’s Handball
Two teams of seven pass and bounce a ball around a field or court, and try to throw the ball into their opponent’s goal.

8. Men’s Field Hockey
Two teams of eleven hit and pass a ball around a field and try to knock the ball into their opponent’s goal.

9. Team Archery
Shooting an arrow with a crossbow. The archers stand 70m away from a target that is 1.22m in diameter (IOC).

10. Women’s Water Polo
Two teams of seven compete against each other in a pool. The object is to advance the ball down the pool and score a goal in the opponent’s goal.

11. Sychronized Diving
Swimmers perform acrobatics side-by-side while jumping into the water off of a platform or a springboard.

12. Taekwondo
A Korean martial art. In the Olympics, only sparring is allowed, which is a relatively “free form” type of fighting. Two fighters bout in three,
two-minute rounds, with 30-second breaks in between each round. Points are awarded for legal, accurate technique.

13. Men’s Synchronized Swimming
Swimmers perfom a synchronised routine of acrobatic/dance moves in the water, usually accompanied by music.

So What do you think? Which sports aren’t listed in the official 2012 olympic program?

I love summer. More than anything, I love getting together with my very large family. Eventually you’ve got to offer them more than a blender full of margaritas and coolers overflowing with microbreweries. And there are only so many hamburgers and hotdogs a family can consume between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

So, if you’re looking for something easy that can be prepared ahead of time AND will fit everyone’s individual tastes, I’ve got a great recipe for you. Even better, this meal is done completely on the grill.

PITA BREAD GRILLED PIZZA!

You’ll need:
Enough pita bread for each person to have one or two pizzas
Shredded mozzarella cheese
White pizza sauce (alfredo is yummy)
Red pizza sauce
(2-3 tablespoons sauce for each pizza)

Meat toppings:
Left over chicken (from yesterdays BBQ)
Pepperoni
Cooked Sausage
Hambuger
Ham
Cooked Bacon

Veggies:
Peppers
Cooked Mushrooms
Tomatoes
Spinach
Broccolli
Onions
Chives

Misc:
Olives
Pinapple

Prepare all toppings ahead of time (or in my case get the nephews and nieces to cut them all up while they’re sitting around chatting) and put in individual bowls. Set everything out buffet style. Give each person a whole pita on a paperplate. Cover with 2-3 tablespoons of red or white sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Let each person work their way down the buffet, building their own pizza with individual toppings.

Place on a medium-high grill for 5-10 minutes until cheese melts. Eat them while their hot.

If you want to add a side dish without much work put corn-on-the-cob directly on the grill IN their husks (keeps corn moist). Rotate corn as it cooks 15-20 minutes. Try mayo, lime zest and cayenne pepper for toppings instead of butter and salt.

So, I hope you’ve got something fun planned for the weekend. Me? I’m finally taking some quiet time alone to finish book that should have been written months ago. Enjoy!

I had an unexpected death in my extended family. My brother’s mother-in-law. Only, since he married the girl next door … literally … this woman is also a dear friend from my youth. It’s a sad time for our family and for that matter, the whole community where we grew up.

So as I’m traveling to celebrate this wonderful woman’s life, I didn’t have time to write a new blog post so here’s one of my favorite lists from the first summer I had the blog. This is a list of my favorite entries from that year’s Washington Post Mensa Invitational. Entrants were asked to take any word from the dictionary and alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter, and then supply a new definition.

Here’s a list of my favorites from those winners. (Read carefully only one letter is changed):

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

2. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer,unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

4. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

5. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

6. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

7. Karmageddon: It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s, like, a serious bummer.

8. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

 9. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

10. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.

11. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

12. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.

And the #1 pick:

13. Ignoranus: A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.

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