Elusive Retreat

church_and_tree-claire-fullerThe wind swirled through the trees, causing the boughs to lament and moan. Sabina received his note in the marketplace from a young villager girl telling her he’d be coming for her tonight.

Sabina peered out of her bedroom window in the east tower, looking for any sign of movement below. Her anticipation was getting the best of her as any noise or disturbance instantly brought her to her feet. Finally, she heard the sound she’d been waiting for. Small rocks clinked against her windowpane, signalling her escape.

Her face flushed with excitement, knowing that there was no turning back.

The challenge of 100 words is to write a post, using only 100 words. Velvet Verbosity is back and this week she challenged us with ‘Boughs‘. While Friday Fictioneeers provided the photo prompt.


398810_10151011977692516_1802121691_nAs I begin to inch closer to a new decade in life – one that I believe holds great things – I know I must also take time to look back and reflect on the past. A huge ordeal for me since I am not fond of reliving or even temporarily revisiting that which has already happened. In fact, until earlier this year, my past had been safely stored and secured in the deepest, darkest crevices of my heart and soul. Left to collect dust and never be fully reopened – unless someone came along and thrashed open an old wound in the battle of life.

But during a class I took I was forced to open all those boxes, dump everything out, relive it and then – this is where it gets crazy – share it with the others in the class. ALL of it. WHAT??!?! Oh yes. I had to dust out every corner and bear all that I had worked so hard to hide and forget. Messed up right? Who in their right mind wants to vomit up every mistake, weakness and scar for a group to hear and analyze. Talk about ripping off the bandage! Who would voluntarily sign up for this train wreck? Me.

In the thick of it I thought it was the dumbest thing ever. (Please really read that as I was scared to death.) Those emotions were boxed for a reason. But as a faithful sheep I unpacked, dumped and sorted through a lot of hurt, pain and conflicts. Even better? Hubby was taking the class with me and had to do the same thing. OY! And while the process was far from pretty, I came out of it a different person – changed, healed and shockingly solid. Somehow while dumping out all the tattered and broken, God was able to put it all back together – whole – without gaps, holes and missing pieces. I was stronger and more solid than ever before. It was not the result I was expecting.

Those demons – while they still occasionally like to rear their ugly heads – don’t control me anymore. They no longer consume that which is me – the real me. I don’t have to chase down worthiness and love. You either love me as I am or move on. I will no longer chase you. I don’t need to cut myself to relieve the pain, to fix what is hurting within. I have been successful so far – yeah me!! Will there be times of weakness? I am sure. Will there be times when feelings of worthlessness try and take over? Absolutely! But for now I am going to keep my head up, shoulders back and exclaim, “Game On!!”

Court Yard Hounds – Amelita


Well hello gorgeous ladies! Where have you been all my life? Or at least the past few years? After a few years away from the limelight and the Dixie Chicks, the two sisters were ready to get back into the studio with the creation of Court Yard Hounds. Amelita, out now, marks the Court Yard Hounds’ second album. The new album contains 11 new tracks and a new perspective, which is due in part to time passed since Robison’s divorce. “I’ve been freed of all of those time-heals-everything kind of things,” says Robison. “Now, I’ve opened up to other ideas and ways of looking at life and the world. I think it’s not only a more hopeful album, but it’s more… well fun.”

I love this band…the way we explore new aspects of ourselves and what we can expect from each other, both musically and as people,” says Martie. “We are close. Plus, being on the road and being in the studio is like my spa from the everyday challenges of just being a mom.

One of my faves from a first listen – ‘The World Smiles‘. It is definitely a song to listen to on the morning to get your attitude in check and ready to conquer the day. The songs on this album have an undeniable edge to them, with songs that strike a cord in both life and relationships. ‘Phoebe‘ is a flashback to high school, mean girls and gossipy boys. But man it makes you want to go back to those horrid days and kick some butt! It also has great break-up, make up and new found love songs. You are sure to find a song that suites any of your moods on any given day.

The Court Yard Hounds’ new album is a clear statement of who the girls are as artists, defining their sound as a band, with soaring songs that are personal, yet familiar. You can score their new album on Amazon or iTunes. And of course, be sure to keep up with the Court Yard Hounds on Twitter and FaceBook for all the up to the minute news and music.

*** I participated in this campaign for One2One Network. I received a free copy of the CD to facilitate my review. By posting, I am eligible for incentives. All opinions stated are my own.***

Fending Off Darkness

fending the darkness

She looked out in the distance, watching the radiant golden orb slowly sink below the horizon. If her calculations were correct she had another hour until darkness.

Another hour before it began.

Another hour till the blackness enveloped her, threatening to destroy all the light she had within.

She began her mantra – I must be strong. I have to keep fighting. I will not succumb to the demons that lay festering on the sidelines, lurking…. gawking. Waiting for their chance. Waiting for their time to pounce and devour my soul.

She stood, shoulders back, ready to fight for her life.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog
100 Word Song is a writing challenge from Lance based on a weekly music prompt. 100 words – no more, no less. This week’s challenge was inspired by The Great Flaming Lips’, “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots.”And I made it a two-fer by incorporating Velvet Verbosity ‘s 100 word challenge. This week she challenged us with ‘Light’.

Cars, Cooking and Chicks

-2What happens when you get cool chicks together to chat about cooking and cars? You get the Buick Summer Twitter Party!! Come join myself and other internet cuties this Wednesday July 17th at 8PM Central. We will be chatting about cooking with our ever adorable host Johanna from Momma Cuisine. You can even stalk her, I mean catch her hanging out, at one of the French Market locations around the Chicagoland area for her Summer Cooking Tour!

We will also be talking about the gorgeous new 2013 Buick Encore which is Buick’s brand new luxury crossover. It’s sleek, stylish and sassy. What is not to love about that? How about test driving one!  On July 20th you can drive one of these beauties at the New Lenox French Market.  HGTV Star, Robert North from Designed To Sell, will also be there as a special guest.

But it gets even better! By joining our chat you could win one of the fabulous prizes! Feast your eyes on these:

  • GRAND PRIZE – $100 Visa gift card
  • Buick cheese board/knife set
  • 2 copies of “The Woodford Reserve Culinary Cocktail Tour: A Journey with Bourbon” (Buick branded book) – to 2 chat participants
  • 1 copy of “Simply Ming One-Pot Meals” (Buick branded book by Ming Tsai and Arthur Boehm) – to 1 chat participant
  • 1 copy of “How to Roast a Lamb” (Buick branded book by Michael Psilakis) – to 1 chat participant

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get chatting!  I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas Wednesday July 17th at 8PM CST. See you then!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Stolen Silence

walking away

 No more words are left

After you turned and walked away

Leaving me alone

Revamped Emotions

clayHer hands slid along the soft sides of her latest creation, the wet slip gently gliding through her fingers. Sam often accused her of hiding from reality when she retreated to her studio, but she viewed it as mandated therapy.

With the soft glint of jazz in the background she could escape the demands that constrained her, rework through her emotions and leave them all behind on her wheel. Here she could embrace her free spirit instead of being judged by it, live her passion out loud and create the beauty that she saw that so many others took for granted.

The challenge of 100 words is to write a post, using only 100 words. Velvet Verbosity is back and this week she challenged us with ‘Rework‘.

Unperceivabley Seen


Longing for beauty

To fit society’s norms

To be accepted

Never included

Always watching from afar

Secretly wishing

Far from a size two

No matter how much she starved

With little success

Hair is too frizzy

Atop her face that’s too round

And nose that’s too long

Silently passing

Begging for them to notice

To be thought pretty

But no one looked up

A silent wind passing by

Openly hidden

Town apart inside

Her heart aches for their friendship

No matter how fake.


Mutely Distinctive

mirrorShe gazed sadly at the lackluster face staring back at her. In her reflection she could see what everyone else saw. She could see her flaws, the less than perfect complexion, the hair that never looked quite right and the body that was far from beautiful. In the mirror, she saw ugliness that was Darcy.

In the mirror it was apparent why everyone loved Danny. In the mirror, her imperfections were magnified, a glaring reminder of why she was undeserving.

Darcy hadn’t told her parents that she applied to Columbia. She wondered if they would even notice she was gone.

The challenge of 100 words is to write a post, using only 100 words. Velvet Verbosity is back and this week she challenged us with ‘Lackluster‘.

Beautifully Convoluted

rainJulia lay staring up at the bleak greyness that stretched across the late morning sky. She could hear screaming and sirens but everything was muffled – like she was listening underwater.

The sensation of rain spread across her face. The soft drops provided a calming distraction to the chaos around her. Julia closed her eyes, enjoying the velvety sensation. She was quickly lulled into a lurid haze, freeing her mind and giving her the impression she was floating.

When she opened her eyes she gasped as she looked at the contorted body laying below. Yet for once, she was at peace.

The challenge of 100 words is to write a post, using only 100 words. Velvet Verbosity is back and this week she challenged us with ‘Contorted‘.