Thought of the day . . .

Thanks to everyone who has read my latest story and sent email and/or left a review on Amazon. I do read reviews, and I do care what you think of the stories–so thank you for letting me know your opinions! I have plans to write this summer, so stay tuned for new content in the coming months.

Speaking of writing, I’ve been thinking a lot about timing lately. There are times when I feel like creating, and times when I feel like not. And there are times when I feel like creating but life gets in the way! I think to some degree this is human. Life has ebbs and flows; hills and valleys. There are times when we sow and times when we harvest.

And, that’s ok.

Leaning into letting life happen is one of the most generous things you can do for yourself.

Today’s message is simple: Breathe in. Breathe out. Appreciate all you have. Keep moving forward!

A.K.

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New Short Story–Live by May 9

Friends, just a quick update today! I just submitted a new short story to Amazon called “When in Rome.” It should be available for download in about 48 hours or less. This one is a short read–I hope you like it!

Here’s the synopsis:

Sloane Gorman had it all: A fancy Mercedes, a house with a lake view, a successful husband, and the freedom to plan her days as she wished—without worrying about work or money.

But, with everything she ever wanted, why did she feel so alone and unhappy?

A reluctant decision to join her husband on a trip to Italy—at his boss’s request—provided more questions than answers, but she found solace in the arms of . . . a woman.

Was it meant to be or just a fling? Read on to find out.

Photograph of the Spanish Steps in Rome at dusk with the text A.K. Rose, and When in Rome on it in book cover format.

A.K.

New story-Sneak Peek Part 2

Well hello there! I promised you a new story, and am finally ready to publish (in the next week . . . just getting some last feedback in from my fab beta readers).

Last time, I posted part one of a two-part sneak peak. Here’s the second part. I’ll be back soon-ish with a link to download the full version.

Have a great week, friends.

# # #

First, a little legal business:

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

# # #

Sloane stopped into Victoria’s Secret on her way out of Bellevue Square Mall. She’d been on a mission to find some new clothes for Italy, and had mostly succeeded, save for a few important items. As she stood in the panty department browsing the colorful selection, her mind drifted, and she wondered the last time she and Charlie had been intimate.

She couldn’t remember.

It had been so long that she simply couldn’t remember.

Pathetic, Sloane thought to herself. Was this what marriage was supposed to be? Each day a repeat of the last . . . wake up, go have coffee with the other wives, take a photography client if she felt like it, then make sure dinner was on the table at seven, go to sleep, and do it all over again?

Surely there was more to life—more to marriage—than an endless repeat cycle of the same day? In seven years of marriage, she and Charlie had turned into old married people. They were just thirty-eight, but they acted like 70-year-olds.

Sloane decided to pick out a sexy negligee to bring to Italy. She had to admit she hadn’t made much of an effort in the romance department. She could try a little harder. Hell, she could simply try. When she found the perfect black lace teddy, she didn’t even look at the price tag. She held it against her body, clothes still in place, bouncy blonde hair resting on the hanger that pressed up against her shoulder blades, took a good long look in the mirror, and decided it was the one.

She threw in some new panties and bras, and walked out with that signature pink bag—along with others from Nordstrom and Macy’s—with her head held high. She’d been in the mall two hours and had spent close to two thousand dollars. Charlie wouldn’t care; he wouldn’t even ask what she bought. Money was just a means to an end to him. He had been supportive when she wanted to quit her job and pursue a full-time life as a photographer. He hadn’t minded when she spent more than she needed to buying the most current camera bodies and lenses, backgrounds, lights, and filters. He didn’t even complain when she dragged him to corporate holiday parties and baby birthdays as an assistant.

They were lucky and Sloane knew it.

Charlie’s job afforded them a house on the lake, nice cars, and no worries about making ends meet. She could take a client or not—depending on if she felt like it—and it didn’t impact their bottom line. He didn’t micromanage her time, question what she did with her days, or ask her to go back to a corporate job. The truth was, he didn’t ask much of her.

Life was comfortable. So, why did she feel so miserable?

With the push of a button, Sloane’s Mercedes SLK roared to life, its throaty German engine providing a pleasant purr in the background. She turned the radio up as she drove out of the mall parking lot, only to be greeted with a splatter of rain kissing the windshield as it did so often in Seattle. As if on cue, Fleetwood Mac filled her ears, keeping time with the windshield wipers, the words of Landslide echoing in her head.

Well I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I built my life around you

Sloane had heard the song a hundred times—at least—but never really realized that particular lyric before. Never internalized its meaning, and now, sitting at a stoplight on the way to her well-appointed home, she did more than listen to the music; she heard it.

She’d built her life around Charlie. She’d stopped thinking about her dreams; forsaken herself for him. That was why she was unhappy. Her identity was as Charlie Gorman’s wife. Somewhere over the past seven years, she’d stopped being Sloane Sheridan and become Mrs. Gorman.

# # #

A.K.

Is this thing on? And new story sneak peek

Friends, I must start with a heartfelt apology for being MIA for the last many months. How’ve you been?!

Life has dished me a heaping helping of drama in the recent past, and while I’m happy to report I’ve safely emerged on the other side, I’m behind on writing, blogging, and generally inviting you into the imaginary world inside my head.

While I haven’t been publishing, I’m pleased to report that I’m getting close on a new short story. I hope to have it finished and on the digital shelves in the next 2-3 weeks. Writing is often my salvation, and I’m happy that the space and energy to write is coming back.

What about Learning to Love Again 3, you ask? Well, truthfully, I’ve written about 1/4 of it and hit a brick wall on the plot. So, it’s simmering. In the  meantime, I’ve returned to short stories for my creative outlet and I hope you’ll indulge me a few of those before we go back to full-length novels.

In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer, and ask yourself, must I write?

–Rainer Maria Rilke

I came across a Rilke quote the other day that I wanted to share. The answer, wholeheartedly, is YES, I must write. And with that, you’ll find a sneak peek into the upcoming story. I’m excited about it and hope you will be too! It’s set in Rome, has a bit of scandal, a bit of intrigue, and a lot of . . . well, while it may not seem likee it from the sneak peek, this IS a lesbian romance, you can figure that last bit out. There’s some electricity in this one . . .

# # #

First, a little legal business:

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

# # #

ONE

 

“Babe,” he said in his typical manner, one hand stuffed into his trouser pocket, eyes cast downward on polished black wing tips as he paced, “Fonseco is sending me to Rome in two weeks. We’re auditing the farm that supplies our olives, again.”

“Okay,” she replied, sinking into the brown microfiber couch and looking vacantly out the massive picture window in their family room. Lake Washington presided in the distance, as it always did, a bit of chop developing on the surface in the afternoon hours. As she sat, Sloane waited for the “but,” or the “and.” There was always more to the story when Charlie spoke. Though, these days, when Charlie spoke, she barely listened.

“Anyway . . . he asked me to have you join us. For the trip. Wanna go to Italy?”

Silence.

Of course Sloane wanted to go to Italy. But, a work trip was different from a vacation. A work trip was something Charlie was being sent on, not something he planned—not something they planned together, for that matter. That’s how it had been for the last few years. They only travelled when Fonseco and Company were footing the bill. She tagged along, tried to amuse herself during the day, and was usually subjected to a dinner full of stuffed shirts and boring conversation—about olives of all things—in the evenings. It wasn’t what she considered fulfilling travel.

“Not really,” she said, twirling a strand of blonde hair around her forefinger. “I’d rather just stay here with the dogs while you work.”

She could hear Charlie’s audible sigh, and then, “Honey, please think about it. Fonseco’s wife is going and she doesn’t like to be alone. He thought it would be nice if you could keep her company.”

Sloane knew Mr. Fonseco’s wife, Tiffany. She was twenty years younger than the old man—if a day—and had been his assistant during a rather public and messy divorce from his third wife. What Tiffany saw in him, she didn’t know, aside from the fact that he was successful and wealthy. What he saw in Tiffany . . . well . . . anyone could see. She was young and beautiful. The perfect trophy wife; just what every executive needed.

“Do you want me to go?” Sloane asked, a little smile emerging at the corners of her mouth, the realization that she and Tiffany would probably have a great time together in Rome bubbling to the surface of her thoughts. They could go wine tasting and get massages, and take in all the touristy sites together. It would be fun if she didn’t have to stay in a hotel room all day or venture out by herself. She could take pictures of the interesting architecture and drink great coffee. Not that Seattle didn’t have good coffee, but nothing held a candle to Italian espresso in her mind.

“I’d love for you to go. And it would be a great opportunity for you to work on your portfolio,” Charlie reassured his wife. And it was true, he would love for her to go. It didn’t hurt that if he could convince her to join their trip, he’d put a few favors in the favor bank for later. He was climbing the ladder at Fonseco and Company, hopeful to soon take over the olive oil dynasty himself. He wanted to be president of the company by the time he was forty. That was in two years, and he was on track to make it happen. He just needed a few things to go his way first.

“Alright, I will. I’m sure Rome is lovely this time of year . . . “

“Great, thank you. I promise you’ll have fun.”

“Charlie?”

“Yeah?”

“I already have a plane ticket, don’t I?”

Sloane knew the drill because they’d been through this before. She didn’t really have a choice in the matter—she’d been going to Rome this whole time as far as Fonseco was concerned, and Charlie’d been waiting for the right time to ask her. The right time happened to be now, for whatever reason. Probably because he couldn’t put it off any longer without risking looking bad to his boss.

“Yes,” he admitted, “but don’t hold that against me, okay? This will be a fun trip. We always said we wanted to go to Rome in the fall, to Tuscany . . .” Charlie’s voice trailed off as he remembered the early days of their marriage when they enjoyed spending time together, when Sloane was so eager to do whatever he wanted, at a moment’s notice. They’d drifted apart as he became more and more career driven, he knew that. When Sloane quit her job to pursue photography, they lost a significant common bond—the business world. Their connection had weakened because they lived in different worlds, with two different daily realities. At least that’s what he told himself. Secretly, he hoped this trip would help them rekindle the spark of their marriage. He hoped he could get Sloane to fall in love with him again.

“It’s okay Charlie, you don’t have to defend yourself. I’ll see you when you get home tonight,” Sloane said, and then clicked the little red phone icon on her screen to disconnect the call.

Charlie signed audibly as he heard the familiar dead space on the other end of the line. Her sign off wasn’t “love you,” or “I’m so excited.” It wasn’t even, “thanks for asking me.” Her disinterest felt like a punch in the gut, and he felt himself bend slightly at the waist as the reality set in. He had a lot of work to do, and not just with his job. He had to make up for lost time with his wife, or he just might lose her.

# # #

And that’s it for now. I’ll post one more preview post before it publishes, and promise to be around these parts much more frequently again.

A.K.

Nothing is impossible!

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a talk at a Seattle Town Hall session by Diana Nyad.

Don’t know of Diana? She’s a marathon swimmer who–at age 64–completed something that had been deemed impossible. She swam without a shark cage (but with a team responsible for navigation, nutrition, shark repellent, and keeping her motivated) from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida. It was something she’d attempted four previous times over many years, but it wasn’t to be.

Until it was.

Her story is inspirational, humorous, and full of humility.

After the talk, the line to speak with Diana was lengthy, and I almost didn’t wait. But, after some forceful insistence from my friends (“when will you get this opportunity again?!”), I took my copy of her new book and got in line for my brief moment of 1:1 time. And I’m so glad I did. Diana was humble and kind, and somehow left the perfect inscription in my book: “Onward.”

Onward.

How many problems could we solve if we simply didn’t give up? How many dreams could we accomplish with relentless forward progress?

I could go on and on, but I’ll leave you with this thought: No matter what you’re going through right now, no matter how impossible your dreams may seem, you’re going to get through it. The human spirit is limitless and nothing is impossible with enough determination. And the best way forward is . . . forward.

One Day at a Time

Do you remember that old TV show, “One Day at a Time?”

I intended to blog today about how I’ve started writing the third book in the “Learning to Love Again” series, but it’s coming fairly slowly. If I feel like writing, I write. If I don’t, I don’t. I’m taking it one day at a time.

And thus, I have the “One Day at a Time” theme song on repeat in my head.

“This is it
This is life, the one you get,
So go and have a ball . . .”

Funnily, that theme song has some good advice in it. I hope you’re having a ball, no matter how you have to (or if you’re lucky . . . choose to) spend your day!

<3,

A.K.

 

Thought of the day . . .

mountain climber

I haven’t done a thought of the day in a while. In fact, I haven’t done a blog post in a while. So today, it’s a double-whammy: A blog post with a thought of the day!

No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you. 
Althea Gibson

This is so true! None of us is capable of performing, creating, or achieving in a vacuum.

-A.K.