Archive for October, 2013

Otherwise Entertained (7)

Morgan and Tony gathered their books, dice, drinks, chips, and character sheets together before driving over to Ramsey’s house. The date had been set at their previous session and no phone calls had come in to change the time. Ramsey’s mother generously allowed the bunch of them to set up in her rather large and very comfortable den a few times each week.

They were the last ones to arrive. Ramsey was already set up behind his Dungeon Master’s screen and Morgan had no doubt he had a harrowing array of events in mind for the evening. Kelvin, Wagner, Cade, and Max were already sitting scattered around the den. Sawyer did not play the game, but as Ramsey’s older brother, he sometimes made brief appearances, especially when the noise levels were high.

Morgan’s character died on the last adventure so everyone waited while she rolled a new character with her favorite green dice. Ramsey kept a watchful eye on the proceedings. He always made sure the scores were not enhanced to a player’s advantage. Her dexterity score was very high so she chose to be a thief, and because she had been reading Tolkien’s books, she chose to be a Halfling. This gave her some language advantages that would be an asset to the group. She named her character Celeste and joined the party at one of the inns in Devon.

Tony’s character was a human cleric named Cornelius. Kelvin’s character was a half-orc named Kaos, who being a chaotic fighter caused quite a bit of trouble in the game. Wagner played a human paladin with the name Marcellus. Cade was an elven magic user named Brandon. Max played a dwarf fighter named Silas.

Celeste managed to steal a few supplies they needed for their adventure before Kaos caused a fight that got the group run out of town. They found a curious hole in one of the hills several miles from town. When Silas went inside to explore, he soon returned saying it appeared to be a keep. They followed him into the darkness where their torches threw eerie shadows on the walls. They entered a large chamber and found several chests strewn around the room. Celeste attempted to pick one of the locks and succeeded. Inside the chest were some scrolls, which Brandon quickly claimed, a dagger, which she took for herself, and a few gold pieces, over which the others began to squabble. The noise rose and suddenly several orcs with weapons appeared. Celeste moved behind the stronger characters and took out her sling. Watching for an opportunity, she shot at their opponents in the melee. Ramsey told her each missile had a chance to hit the others in the group. He did rolls to determine if she hit her companions. Luckily, her shots hit her targets and she helped kill the orcs.

The guys had her try the lock on another chest, but she could not pick it. They moved on after she failed once more. Ramsey called for a break and they all went into the kitchen and devoured some snacks that each of them had contributed. Ramsey’s sister, Jane, made a rare appearance and quickly disappeared back into the private rooms of the house.

When they returned to the game, they went deeper into the dark halls of the keep. They decided to open a huge steel door, but Celeste’s lock picking skills were not up to the task. Brandon cast a spell he found on one of the scrolls obtained earlier and the portal opened. As they stepped inside the room, a group of skeletons attacked them. Cornelius and Marcellus had holy water and that was most effective against the monsters, but the whole group sustained serious damage before conquering the skeletons. When the weakened party explored the room, they found a very large chest. Celeste opened it with her tools and they found a sword, a mace, and a ring inside. There were also silver pieces, which they divided among themselves. An argument broke out over who would have the weapons and ring, Kaos began shouting as if he were berserk. Celeste, Cornelius, and Marcellus managed to quiet the others before something else could find them. They rode to another town and the game broke up for the night.

Morgan and Tony invited the others to come over to their apartment for drinks, but everyone had to be up early in the morning, so they went home alone. Tony went to bed soon after they got home. Morgan stayed up thinking about how Kelvin had acted during the game. Nothing about him, she decided, was simple.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Edited Cover Concept - Otherwise Entertained 

This is the edited cover concept. I would love to have your opinions on which you like better.

Always,
Jo Ann

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Cover Concept

I suppose I am going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. On the website there was a place to upload a cover photo. My drawing from the other night did not work, so I created a new one. I hope you will like this:

Cover Concept - Otherwise Entertained

Remember I am an amateur…

Always,
Jo Ann

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I Have Been Productive Today

Of course I stayed up all night, but I took a nap between 7:00AM and noon. During the dark hours of the morning I had a burst of creativity. I hope you will enjoy the following offerings…

Deserted

Wondering where you
Might be hiding on this night
When all the stars shine
With such brilliant clarity
Above this earthly coldness.

I have no chance to
See your face among the others
Lingering so near
Because you are now absent,
Doing whatever you do.

I wanted to reach
Beyond these four lonely walls
So I could somehow
Share in the wonderful life
You are so richly living.

I am totally
Lost among those few ignored
By your provision,
You are moving far away
Into tomorrow’s distance.

Your greatest treasure
Alludes my outstretched fingers,
No effort of mind
Can make your goodness return
At this moment to grace me.

Wondering where you
Might be hiding on this night
When all the stars shine
With such brilliant clarity
Above this earthly coldness.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan 
Monday, October 28, 2013

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I found these weeds attractive. I sometimes think God’s greatest creations grow wild.

 

Otherwise Entertained (6)

She lettered in chorus during her freshman, sophomore, and junior years. Before she completed high school in the first quarter of her senior year, she took a trip to Washington, D.C. with the chorus. There was a competition held there for groups from all over the country. Tony insisted Morgan go, even though she was hesitant to leave him.

The trip was memorable because she visited some of the highlights of the city. She wished the time spent in the Smithsonian Museum had not been very limited. There was so much to see. The Washington and Lincoln monuments were inspiring. When she sang in the National Cathedral, she found its glory overwhelming. The Capitol was gorgeous, as was the White House, but she was disappointed in the great mall. The litter everywhere detracted from the beauty of the area. 

She did not call home to talk to her husband often because long distance was so expensive. There was a dance, but she sat to the side in her royal blue dress, only watching the others. She was often left alone when her roommates decided to do something interesting. She shopped for things to take home to Tony and her parents. She found a tee shirt for Tony, a necklace for her mother, and a carved pocketknife for her father. She also bought commemorative postcards. Traveling by bus was not very pleasant, reminding her of the harrowing times she had spent on school buses through the years.

When she returned home, she and Tony celebrated by going out for steaks and drinks. Morgan loved feeling her husband’s arms around her again. She had felt uneasy while so far away. She belonged back where love surrounded her.

She thought of this trip when they were planning their vacation. She hoped to go back and take time to see everything Washington contained, but Tony wanted to go to Panama City as they had on their honeymoon. Morgan could not argue. She had enjoyed the first trip tremendously, except the motorcycle accident. She had scraped herself up quite a bit and chipped a front tooth. He did not seem to realize his recklessness had caused her harm. She hoped the vacation would be more relaxing.

They checked in to the Fontainebleau in the early evening after driving most of the day. She and Tony showered together, taking their time, before getting ready for supper. They ate seafood in the restaurant and then went swimming in the indoor pool. The full moon hung huge in the sky as they walked the sugar white beach. She gathered shells, even finding a starfish and a sand dollar. They only had three days and those hurried by like the seagulls flying over the ocean. She managed to avoid sunburn on her pale skin because Tony kept her slathered in Coppertone. She did the same for him because he also had a light complexion.

On the drive home, they narrowly avoided an accident because Tony fell asleep at the wheel. Morgan’s scream probably kept Katie from sustaining significant damage and might have saved them from injury as well.

She hoped this time she would be pregnant, but it did not happen. After all their lovemaking, it seemed a baby should result. She began to think something was wrong with her, even imagining she might be cursed.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Monday, October 28, 2013

 

2013-10 Contest Proof

 

2013-10 Featured Proof

I am grateful:

1)   Alex arrived in California safely.
2)   Laying out the Sweetwater Camera Club pages for the Chapel Hill News & Views has become considerably easier.
3)   I am enjoying writing Otherwise Entertained and believe it may develop into something significant.
4)   Window 8.1 works better than I expected.
5)   I am getting some use from my Adobe Creative Cloud membership.

You are highly creative, gifted with the ability to fulfill your dreams. All it takes is consistent effort. Make sure you take the time today to share your talent with the world. You never know what blessings you may bestow on others through your work. So many people are looking for something to allow them a few moments of escape, you can provide this gift.

As a prompt, write about someone who left you alone and how it helped you grow. You might write a poem, a story, a journal entry, or even a note for future use. This should be simple because everyone has suffered abandonment.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope it entertained you. If you enjoyed your time here, you might want to enter your email address above and subscribe to Chronicles. As I indicated, the snippet from Otherwise Entertained above is the sixth part. The whole story is on the blog, so you might want to catch up by reading the earlier pieces if you are new here. The archives contain a great deal of material you might enjoy, so feel free to explore.

I hope you have a totally awesome day and return here often in the future.

Always,
Jo Ann

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Otherwise Entertained (5)

Nightmares plagued Morgan, but not only after the horror movies. She often awoke screaming or crying as she had for years. Luckily, she did not always wake Tony. Her husband would not have liked being disturbed during his sleep as frequently as she was terrorized.

In the dreams there were always large hands roaming over her body, and hungry eyes staring at her nakedness. There was never any way to hide. She was trapped and there was no escape. Sometimes she woke short of breath from being covered by a heavy body in the haunting dreams. She knew they were caused by memories she suppressed daily, but she never spoke to anyone about the abuse she had lived through. Her molester had told her he would claim she was crazy if she told anyone. She feared no one would believe her and she felt tarnished. Guilt usually dogged her hours. She had lived the secret as long as she could remember. There were people she protected by her silence. There was too much love involved to destroy other lives. She did not deserve absolution. She was a terrible sinner. She had brought all the suffering on herself and no one could ever understand. At least when she moved out of her parents’ home it finally stopped. She did not have to dress in voluminous clothes anymore. She did not have to hope she went unnoticed.

She was always looking for love. She craved it to fill the emptiness she felt inside her heart. Lust was usually what she found in games she played with neighborhood guys. There had been one serious relationship, but Charlie had never admitted she was his girlfriend. She supposed he was ashamed of her and she could understand because she did not consider herself attractive. That relationship came to a screeching halt one afternoon in his parents’ bedroom. They had finished making love and he had grabbed a loaded gun afterward. He pointed it at her head and began pulling the trigger repeatedly. He shouted he did not want to ever see her again as she ran out of the house. That experience sometimes found her in her dreams as well.

When Tony began courting her in high school, she was quick to respond to his kind words and sweet kisses. It did not take long to win her heart. She was like a homeless puppy craving attention and hoping to be taken home. He was handsome, tall, and generous with money and time. She gave him her body and heart simultaneously. Marriage was something magical she hoped would one day happen. When Tony asked she was ecstatic. The fact they were young did not seem to matter.

Later she could never remember exactly how they became a part of the group who got together several times a week to role-play. She only knew she loved the hours she spent with the special group of guys. Several of them had been acquaintances from her childhood and had grown up along with her. They became good friends over time. None of them were neighborhood guys, so they were not privy to her sordid history.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Saturday, October 26, 2013

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Otherwise Entertained (4)

One Saturday morning they got up early and packed a cooler full of Diet Coke, Coke, orange juice, and beer. Tony had bought Bacardi 151, Absolut Vodka, and Jack Daniels at the package store the evening before. Morgan made ham and cheese sandwiches and packed barbeque potato chips, Chips Ahoy cookies, and some fruit to carry on their excursion.

It was another first for Morgan. She had never rafted on the Chattahoochee River before. After all the years she had spent boating and water skiing on the area lakes, it was a bit surprising to Tony that she had not experienced this pleasure.

He joked, “You are such a water bug. I don’t know how you missed being a river rat.”

She shrugged and said, “Some people think rapids are dangerous.”

They stopped to pick up Tony’s best friend Michael before they left Metro Atlanta. As daylight filled the sky, they reached their drop off point. Morgan helped stow everything in the raft, pointedly leaving the life jackets jammed in the back with the cooler.

They raced through the rapids making her laugh as the guys horsed around, acting like they were going to fall overboard. When they reached calmer water, Tony tied the cooler to the side of the raft letting the water help keep everything chilled.

Morgan was drinking 151 mixed with Diet Coke and the guys were enjoying other libations. Everything was carefree. They stopped at some cliffs where people were diving. Tony and Michael dared her to climb up and jump off. She did not like the idea, but she was not about to let them think she was afraid. When she got to the top, there was a strange looking man there and he told her if she did not jump, he would push her off and she might die. She glanced at his malformed foot and hurried to the edge of the cliff. She felt a searing hand touch her back and screamed as she dived from the high place. When she told the guys what had happened they laughed and said it was her poetic imagination.

Later that day Michael put his arms around Morgan. When she pulled away, Tony told her, “Chill out. It is okay. We can share.”

She was not so very drunk that she liked the idea and tried to push Michael away. He tightened his grip on her and kissed her. Tony smiled when she looked over at him.

Other strange things happened that day, but Morgan did not like to remember the rest. Some things you had to let go to live in peace with yourself and peace was an important commodity.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Saturday, October 26, 2013

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Otherwise Entertained (3)

Tony was not one to pamper her most of the time. He liked to introduce her to new things. Things Morgan would never do on her own. He took her to horror movies, like Magic, Halloween, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but he would not hold her when she awoke with nightmares. He thought she was being silly and childish.

He took her to concerts and introduced her to music she had never listened to before. The first concert was Boston, and one of the most memorable was Pink Floyd. Black Sabbath and Nazareth were haunting. Morgan became a real fan of Rock-N-Roll, which her parents had limited when she was growing up. There had been the 45’s left over from her older brothers, but those were not like the music Tony liked.

After they began playing Dungeon & Dragons, there were frequent trips to Lennox Square to pick up accessories for the game. Tony bought figurines for her to paint and hex pads so she could map out her own world. Morgan found the dice he bought interesting because one six-sided seemed to always roll good scores for her characters.

On one trip to Lennox Square, Tony bought the first pair of Nike tennis shoes she ever owned. They were the first brand name sneakers she had. Morgan loved them; not realizing the brand would become a staple in her life for years to come.

When they moved into the tiny one bedroom apartment they had very little furniture, but it was okay because there was not much space to fill. One day they bought a poster of an owl and a frame to hang in the bedroom. It was the single most artistic thing in the place. There was a small Buddha figurine in the bathroom, but it made Morgan queasy because of the admonition against idols in the Bible.

They did not eat at home a lot because Morgan was not a very good cook. She had never learned many culinary skills because sharing the kitchen with her mother was not easy. Tony knew more recipes than she did.

She spent many hours obsessively tidying the apartment or writing poetry while Tony was at work. The bright red Cadillac Coupe De Ville took her where she needed to go. She was thankful her brother had found it for her and her parents had given it to her. It was the best first car she could imagine, even though it was years old and had required a lot of hard work to bring its luster back. Morgan had done all the labor by herself. She loved Katie Scarlett for her bright chrome, shiny red finish, and supple white leather interior.

No one warned her that everything could change in a heartbeat. Time passed with the briskness of a setting sun…

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Saturday, October 26, 2013

1 Comment

Doodling

Otherwise Entertained0001

You can easily imagine what has captured my mind, if you have read recent posts… I hope I can continue the story. Not the best cover concept, but I have not been practicing the artwork much. Photography is easier.

Always,
Jo Ann

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