Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"The Wish" by Pamela Caves Excerpt

-from "The Wish" in No Regrets from Silly Tree Anthologies

Available on Amazon and Smashwords

And worse, as she was moving from the apartment they'd shared for so long, she found a diary he'd kept some years before. If they'd been together and she'd found it, she would have honored his privacy and put it back. As it was, she hadn't seen him in months and hadn't heard from him in any other way than through his lawyer. She wondered if it would shed any light on his behavior.

"Oh how I love her," the entries read over and over, and Hailey felt her heart slip into her stomach. He was talking about her; the whore hadn't even come into the picture yet. "My wife is the most wonderful person in the world and I don't know how I got so lucky. I am sometimes just overwhelmed by the force of love I have for her." It didn't make sense (would it ever?). Other than their mediocre arguments over having children, there had been nothing, nothing, to indicate what had happened in his mind to go from loving her so deeply one moment to betraying her the next. And even the diary held no revelations. The entries simply stopped one day after another proclamation of his love.

It was then that she made her wish. Sitting in her almost empty apartment several months after the separation while the divorce was going through, with his black bound diary sitting in her lap, she made her wish. It wasn't about getting him back; that notion had fizzled a long time ago. He was much too tainted now for her to want anything to do with him. But she made the wish, nonetheless, as a way for her own heart to begin healing.

"He'll understand someday," she muttered to no one. "I wish that one day, he'll understand what he gave up. She'll hurt him, and he'll be sorry he let me go. He'll understand that I was the best thing that ever happened to him and he'll want me back. And when he realizes he can't have me, he'll be as torn up inside as I am. He'll finally understand what he did to me and he won't be able to cope with it."

She burned the diary so she wouldn't have to lay eyes on it again. Up in smoke it went and with it, the last remnants of any feelings she had for him. The wound was still there, still oozing, but she could, at last, bandage it up and move on from that dark place.

The Thrash Controversy

Given my background in writing local commentary, I've been asked numerous times about my opinion on the Coach Neal Thrash controversy surrounding Fyffe School. Here's what I know about it in very basic terms from reports I've read:

-a student (or students) has made an accusation against the coach
-Superintendent Hugh Taylor asked that he resign from only his coaching duties (not his teaching duties)
-Coach Thrash did resign from those duties
-Coach Thrash later rescinded his resignation
-Taylor served him with a formal letter stripping him of his coaching duties
-An investigation (potential legal action?) is ongoing

I only know Coach Thrash and Superintendent Taylor in passing and because I have no other details than what I've listed above, I will decline to comment either way. I don't know the allegations, I don't know any of the details thereof. I know how people are commenting about this online but without knowing the details, I hesitate to jump to either side; I don't want to be taken out of context or provide anything but accurate information that I, myself, gather. And because I don't write for Examiner or the former DeKalb Ramblings anymore, I don't really seek out these stories to cover. I tend to comment on what seems to cross my inbox or what catches my attention these days.

I do want to make a slight comment about this video by *Southern Torch.

BOE Meeting - 4.22.14 from Southern Torch on Vimeo.

In this video, the superintendent comments that he has the authority to strip coaches of their duties (in coordination with the school's principal); he doesn't have to receive or hear board recommendations otherwise.

This reminds me of a similar incident involving a mayor who discovered she had the sole power to derail the careers of several police officers without involving the town council in the decision-making process. I don't like the prospect of one person having that kind of power. This belief has nothing to do with Taylor, Thrash, or even the aforementioned mayor; I simply can not fathom one person having the power to make such bold decisions that can affect another person's entire life. I don't believe that was the intention of the founders of this country.

Having said that, I hope this situation is resolved soon and to the best interests of the students. After all, that is the entire intention of the school system itself: to help students learn and grow into positive, contributing adults.

Peace, love, and resolution,


*Southern Torch is a news/commentary outlet for DeKalb County, Alabama. I recommend it as an alternative to the Times Journal and other local papers that still don't offer digital-only subscriptions at affordable rates.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Another year around the block

So my birthday is Friday and I usually try to do some sort of blog post about my life over the past year. If I don't do it now, I fear I may procrastinate the time away.

There have been many small changes to my life over the last year. I didn't realize just how many changes there were until I started thinking about it. In no particular order, here's what has happened since my last birthday rolled around.

-I released my second novel, Future Past.
-I released two short story collections, Life and Life Odd.
-I graduated from one college and have started another.
-I left behind my old store job.
-I am (finally!) employed in a job that utilizes my writing skills. I am an English tutor at the local college!
-I obtained my substitute certification for the county school system.

It's been a good year, I think. I've also taken on some wonderful new clients and edited some fabulous stories. I continue to learn and grow.

I'm a far cry from that woman who seemed so beaten down and who struggled so much when I first started publishing and blogging. I can see how I've changed over the years based on what I wrote then compared to now. Sometimes I wonder why I was so charged and angry. I have certainly mellowed out some and I attribute a lot of that to my experience running for public office and it is something I've been learning and practicing since. The perspective it gave me about people and their reactions, especially to people in the public eye, has been life-altering.

As a result, my motto as of late has been, "I won't judge." In a world where it seems almost everyone scrutinizes every word, every article of clothing, and every breath, it's hard not to judge instantly and jump on a bandwagon. Of course, I'm human and won't always take that step back, but it's something to strive for.

My goals for the next year are simple: live and be happy. It's a lot easier said than done, I know. Tangible goals? Other than making it through the courses at my new college with A's, I'm not sure. I intend to continue writing, I hope that my schedule allows me to take an actual creative writing course this fall, but other than that, I am just rolling with what happens.

All I can guarantee is right now. This morning, I finished 1500 words of a new short story, completed 75% of a client edit, and am in the process of washing two loads of laundry. Exciting, huh? :) In the meantime, I'm looking forward to another year. Hopefully God will see me through it.

Peace, love, and birthday cake,