Brilliant Puzzle

I’ve read a few of JT Lawrence’s masterpieces:  Two of her Sticky Fingers short story anthologies, her debut novel, The Memory of Water, some of her urban fantasy works, The Highfire Crown, The Sigma Surrogate, Why You were Taken, Grey Magic and her pregnancy-journey-memoir, The Underachieving Ovary.  I’ve loved every one of them, for different reasons.

When I was younger, I would buy an array of magazines every month.  That was before I moved into my The Cave and realized that adulting costs money and that magazines, while made of paper, are not the kind of paper that pays bills or buy a loaf of bread.

I did buy Woman and Home this month.  Not because I am interested in bathing suits that would fit my pear-shaped, cross-between-an-hourglass-and-an-apple-shape, or the insert on Andrea McLean but because it contained a handbag-sized novel written by JTL.

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I read it from cover to cover in just over four hours, so it would make for a great poolside-, or airplane read.  An added bonus for me is that it is set in Johannesburg where I spent a portion of my life, making the story all the more real for me.

I do favour novels that read quickly like those of Jeffrey Deaver or James Patterson.  JTL’s Jigsaw captured me immediately because of this.  The short chapters build suspense in a staccato fashion and crescendo into a climax that has you wanting more.  It’s not easy to avoid spoiler alerts, so all I’m going to say is if you have a penchant for serial killers such as Deaver’s Bone Collector, or Patterson’s Mastermind, then Jigsaw will not disappoint.

Rating 5 out of 5

 

The Answers…

For those of you who did play the game in my previous post, here are the answers.  How many of you noticed the line in the Title of the post?  I’ll be blogging at my local spot again tomorrow evening 😀

I see trees of green What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong
In the last moments of the dawn In the Last Moments of the Dawn, Chris de Burgh
Jambalaya, crawfish pie, fillet gumbo Jambalaya / On the Bayou, Hank Williams
Jack & Diane Jack & Diane, John Mellencamp
Strutting into town like he (was) slingin’ a gun Jesse James, Cher
Making love to his tonic and gin Piano Man, Billy Joel
Like the deep blue sea, on a blue, blue day Blue Eyes, Elton John
Life is bigger, bigger than you Losing my Religion, REM
The world over the rim of his teacup Streets of London, Ralph Mc Tell
She’s gonna get you from behind Devil Woman, Cliff Richard
Jesus loves you more than you will know Mrs. Robinson, Simon & Garfunkle
A gamblin’ man House of the Rising Sun, The Animals
She was brushing her cat in (the) black limousine Dark Lady, Cher
Find which side (his) future lies Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Elton John
When the time is right, I’ll cross the street (I belive in) Angels, Abba
Put a gun against his head Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
Drug dealer on speed dial Rockstar, Nickelback
Lying on the floor where you left (her) Just like a Pill, Pink
It’s a quarter after one Need You Now, Lady Antebellum
You can check in any time, but you can never leave Hotel California, The Eagles
I’ve got a feeling I’ve got a feelin’, Black Eyed Peas
End of Lonely Street Heartbreak Hotel, Elvis Presley

I See Trees of Green, and a Mystery too…

I was chatting with Yasmin and her friend, Bella a couple of days ago about a writing workshop they attended. One of the exercises they had to do was write an entire story without using the letter “E”. It sounded easy enough, but turns out, I need my “E”. I managed to string three sentences together:

I am going to Bali to drink martinis, tan and find a hot man; a man with brown hair, a round bottom and strong hands. I will kiss him on his full mouth.

When I think about it, the Fifty Shades books made millions, despite EL James’s writing style, so maybe the few lines above are the key to hitting it big on the NY Bestseller’s List. Probably not, but hey, a Misfit can dream, right? Sorry, I got a bit sidetracked there; I was imagining that hot man’s strong hands… massaging my… back…and his warm panting…and let’s leave it there, shall we?

Back to the task at hand. The no- “E” challenge shifted my brain into an inventive space. I got to thinking How can I challenge myself and my blog followers with a creative exercise? I decided to compose a story using snippet lyrics from various songs, quite a few in fact.

I’ll post the answers in a separate post sometime next week. Drop me a comment with only the number of lyrics you recognized, not the song titles. And don’t use Google! I’ll know. Trust me. I have some wicked mind-reading powers. Like right now, I’ll bet at least one of you is thinking yeah, right! And not a single on one of you is thinking Maybe she’s the Last Jedi. I’m right, aren’t I? Of course I am.

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BLACK MAGIC WOMEN

In the last moments of the dawn all that was left to eat was jambaylaya, crawfish pie, fillet gumbo, so the triplets, Susan, Jack and Diane continued their search on empty stomachs.

At the edge of the Quarter, they saw a stranger strutting into town like he(was) slinging a gun. The man was unfamiliar to them, but somehow reminded them Pete, who was known for making love to his tonic and gin. The threesome approached the man, immediately mesmerized by his gaze, like the deep blue sea, on a blue, blue day.

“Sit,” he told them gently. “Let me tell you something important. Something you must never forget. Life is bigger, bigger than you.” He continued his story while brewing a pot of tea on a portable stove, surveying the world over the rim of his teacup. “Children, be careful, she’s gonna get you from behind! Keep your eyes open all the time.” Moments later he was gone; vanished without a trace.

They’d been born in Palm Beach but had grown up in The Big Easy. They knew all about Voodoo and respected those that practiced the religion, but Mother forbade them to dabble. She was a God-fearing woman, “You don’t need that, Jesus loves you more than you will know.” And they were Mom-fearing kids. They’d seen what happened to their Papa; he was a gambling man.

The well-known town-car stopped next them. “Get in,” she told them. “Quickly! Before anyone sees you.” She was brushing her cat in (the) black limousine. Jack had had a bad feeling about this adventure, but his sisters had convinced him that Darius would find which side his future lies if Jack remained at their side. He’d reluctantly agreed, despite feeling nothing good would come of this.

“My insides are shaking,” Jack whispered to Diane. “You know me, when I know the time is right for me, I’ll cross the street, but right now, I really wish I’d stayed on the sidewalk.”

“Stop being such a baby, Bro. It’s not like we’re going to put a gun against his head. Jasaria is just going to help us; convince him that he better get that drug dealer on speed dial to cough up the truth about the E. What if we hadn’t found Susan lying on the floor where you left (her)? She could have died!” Looking at Jasaria she said, “It’s time, it’s a quarter after one.”

“Indeed, it is,” the mysterious Jasaria replied. “Are you sure you want to go through with this? Remember what I told you, you can check in any time you like, but you can never leave.

And that dear readers is all for now… I’ve gotta a feeling that this story is going somewhere, and it’s not the end of Lonely Street.

I’m looking forward to reading the comments. Hope you had fun reading (and playing!)

I Don’t Need a Crystal Ball

I’ve done a bit of reading on psychic abilities in general of late, spurred after rereading Stephen King’s Carrie.

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According to the research I’ve done, everyone possesses psychic abilities, but not everyone hones the skills.  Probably not a bad thing, because if I had pyrokinetic abilities, I think a lot people I dislike would be sitting in hot-seats every day.

Wikipedia has a long list of notable psychic abilities which I am keen to learn more about, but for now, I want to discuss one in particular.

Precognition. Or as it’s more familiarly known, premonition.

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I have this ability, but it is not well whetted. Honestly, I’m not sure if I want it to be sharpened given that every foreboding I’ve had has been a sign of something bad. Only one has signalled death, the others all related to something less fatal, like illness, job loss or car accidents.

In my case, I get feelings of dread and angst, and I know – soon I’m going to hear bad news about someone I care about. I don’t always know who, but sure as the sun that rises in the morning, these feelings are proved right, time after time.

I seldom talk about this specific intuition because I know many people perceive psychic capabilities to be evil, or even simply, a bunch of hooey.  Tina and I spoke about it a while ago though, because I had a feeling that something was amiss with her.  I didn’t know what it was, but I knew something was off.  Turns out her relationship was on the rocks, despite it being the perfect proverbial husband-two-point-five-kids-two-dogs-manicured-lawn-and-a-white-picket-fence-picture. She sobbed as she shared the trials of months gone by.  My heart went out to her and while there was nothing I could do to comfort her, I knew she was grateful to have me there, if only to listen.

Last week, again, I was in a bad space.  There was no definitive reason for me to feel down.  Sure, I’d had a bit of a disagreement with my boss, but it isn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last. I felt restless, and overwhelmingly sad, yet I didn’t cry.  I knew I would hear ill tidings at some stage in the future. I couldn’t weep (although the tears would have been cathartic), because I didn’t know what I’d be crying about.  I also had a panic attack, for the first time in almost ten months. This time though, on Thursday night, it was in my sleep. I woke up drenched in perspiration, my hair wet, as if I’d been swimming and tears streaming down my cheeks, with Jasmine ringing in my mind.  Shallow breaths racked my lungs and my pulse would have rivalled a racehorse at Ascot. After that, I slept like the dead, for six-, uninterrupted hours (which is a record for me!). I was happy for the rest, because when I woke on Friday morning, I felt better. The feeling of being caged in had lifted.  Had my premonition been a false alarm?

No. It hadn’t.

Yesterday I received word that Jasmine, a close friend who had surgery for cancer not too long ago, had been readmitted to hospital, this time with shortness of breath and chest pains.  We have known each other for twenty-five years, but our lives took different paths and while we stayed in touch, it is only recently that we really reconnected.  She’s been someone I have been able to confide in about certain things.  As soon as I heard what had happened, I found myself thinking that’s why you felt so awful.

I’ve spoke to her earlier.  She’s doing better and is taking it easy.  So, for now, my being is at peace.  There is calm, happiness and joy in my spirit, which is the way I prefer it.

Here’s to a new week! Let hope, gratitude, mercy, kindness, forgiveness and love abound.  Let’s drive the darkness out with positivity 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

G.N.O. Update

I am in DIRE need of a massage. The left side of my neck is so tense that my shoulder is cramping, and as a result, I’m not the happiest of campers. Unfortunately, I am going to have to settle for a heating pad on the afflicted area.

Mark finally got to speak to Rachel and, as is her nature, she cut to the chase asking who Linda was. He proceeded to give her some long schpiel about how he had in actual fact only met Linda the night before. Needless to say, Rachel was not amused. She told him that it appeared to her that he and Linda had known each other quite some time, judging from the way she was hanging on him. Mark then had the nerve to tell Rachel that he really does want to get to know her better. She told him that on a one-to-one basis that is not going to happen and then he used what he thought would be his best defence – attacking her about Kyle…why do men always have to exhibit such adolescent behaviour? I pestered her for his number (because he really is attractive to me on a number of levels) and she gave it to me.

I sent him a text message on Monday just to say that I had enjoyed meeting him (and received no reply), so I took a bit more of an “aggressive” approach yesterday asking him out to coffee this afternoon. I waited rather long for a reply, but he may have been busy. Or ignoring me (more probable, considering he is into Rachel and because he may very well think she is trying to smear him off on me). He was still pestering the hell out of her yesterday, until she pretty much told him to take a long walk of a short pier. Story of my life – when I’m into a guy he is either married or gay…now that I’m into a guy that is not married, nor involved (I think), who is straight, it would have appeared that he couldn’t care less.

But…

Yesterday afternoon just before I was about to get into my car to go home for some R & R, he phoned.

He told me that he was phoning me because Rachel had berated him for not replying to my text and that his lack of manners was making her think even less of him that she had after Saturday night. He also told me that he wasn’t sure if Rachel and I were playing some kind of game to see if he was a player himself, or if my invitation was genuine.

My blood started simmering, so I told him, “we are decent girls. We’re adults. We don’t need to play games. I pestered Rachel for your number because I wanted to get to know you better, but you know what, what you’ve just said is a damn low blow. I want to have coffee with you, but I am not going to beg you. The offer still stands, but please, don’t feel obligated.”

My attitude very quickly got his attention. He told me he would consider it and get back to me today.

I didn’t have to wait long…

He texted me last night, interrupting a very important Blackjack hand, wanting to know if I had spoken to Rachel again. I replied saying I had, but it was quick, because she was on her way out with Kyle, but I did remember to tell him that she was glad he was going to have coffee with me.

Seconds later he phoned me wanting to know why she would be happy he was having coffee with me. I was very tempted to tell him to drop dead because he is acting like some adolescent teen, but I behaved and said she was glad because he had taken note of her beration.

He told me that he would like to meet for coffee today and then chatted to me about how he has gambled online before and that he was going to watch a movie in bed on his laptop. The call ended well, with me smiling rather broadly.

I got home quite late and saw a text from him saying that he was going to bed. I didn’t reply because I didn’t want to disturb him.

And so, there is coffee on the menu, and hopefully, maybe…a potential romance.