Survival – A Flash Fiction

Surivival - A Flash Fiction Story

What if I wanted to break… Leave it all behind for a moment, just take her somewhere away with me.”

“Trust me that would not be a good thing. You know how he is about his people. Tight reign and all.”

Frowning, Sal took a sip of his coffee, and grimaced. Too strong, bitter it burned his throat, but he needed it to stay awake. Staying awake was crucial. Staying alert meant survival.

“He knows I promised her.”

“He also knows that your promises to anyone else mean nothing, compared to the oath you took, when you joined. It’s for life man. He did not take you serious. A great lie to get laid. That’s all that was.”

“I know, I know.”

Looking down south onto the dirty, gray streets, he cursed silently the day and the place he was born. Growing up here, choices where made for you. Either you complied, or you ended up in a dark corner somewhere, disregarded, like a heaping pile of garbage, worth nothing. Less than nothing.

He took another sip. Getting cooler did not make the thick brew any better. Tossing the paper cup onto the floor, he secured the Glock in the back of his pants.

“Oh well, wishful thinking. Forget I mentioned it. Let’s get our asses back to work.”

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2014

This post was written as a part of the Daily Prompt blog hop. Today’s challenge was:

What’s the first line of the last song you listened to (on the radio, on your music player, or anywhere else)? Use it as the first sentence of your post.

The song I decided to use was “The Kill” from Thirty Seconds To Mars

 

 

La Belle – A Flash Fiction

La Belle

La Belle - A Flash Fiction

It was his favorite place, serving his favorite drink.
La Belle Cafe, small and rustic, but with enough covered outside space, to always get a table overlooking the busy street and enjoy his favorite pastime.
People watching was more than just a job, it was a window into a world, he chose to be only a part of on occasion, a world whom he used, to gain information, to manipulate if necessary, to remove a piece from, sometimes quickly, sometimes violently.
But in this spot, with a simple cup of coffee in his hand, at La Belle, he felt almost as if he was not the distant observer, but a part of the whole. The cup, white, without any of the delicate frazzle, and flowers, held the warmth nicely, and allowed him to nurse in comfort and quiet style, on the standard two beverages he indulged in, every time he came back home.
La Belle was home, more home than any hotel room, hiding suitcases of assorted arsenal, more home than a quickly rented shack, in their various stages of decay, during and after assignments. It was the place of warmth, a smile of recognition of the beautiful ginger waitress, a nod from the owner, a quiet solitude.
With a small, perfectly shaped silver spoon, he merged the sweetness of the sugar with the exquisite liquid and almost smiled, despite himself.
Even killers needed a little peace.

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2014

 

 

 

Time to De-Stress! Make Your Own Facial Masks!

Business, school, and work – often leaves us stressed out, overwhelmed and in dire need of a break. Add kids and a husband to that mix and a few minutes (or a couple of hours) of alone-time are a dream come true, even if a seldom realized one. So every once in a while it is essential to allow yourself a few moments for some pampering activities!

Treating ourselves with  natural beauty treatments, which are so easy and fun,  would be wonderful for a girl’s night (or afternoon)  in.

De-stressing Facial Masks

How about some simple facial masks?

Here two examples of simple, yet effective (and most importantly) de-stressing facial mask you can create at home. Use only the best ingredients available, of course organic.

Simply Delicious Olive-oil-Sugar Peeling Mask

$30 off Sun Basket You will need:
3 Tablespoons of high-quality olive oil
2 tablespoons of sugar (unbleached, raw vegan sugar is the best for this)
Mix and GENTLY rub into your face in circular motion, careful not to rub too hard. A gentle, all over rub is efficient, careful to avoid the eyes and the lips. Thoroughly rinse your face, to remove the peeling mask. Dry your face by padding, not rubbing the skin.

 

 

Cool-Calm Yogurt-Lemon-Honey Mask

You will need

6 Tablespoons of organic greek yogurt
the juice of a lemon (again organic)
1 teaspoon of raw honey

Shop ALOHA OnlineApply mask leave it on 20 to 30 minutes (not longer). Rinse thoroughly with warm – not hot! – water. This mask is a  good remedy for dry skin, as the honey and yogurt are hydrating.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This post is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Please be advised that you should not use this or any products or natural remedies, without consulting with your health care provider, and avoid them at all cost, if you have allergies. As tempting as these masks sound, keep them out of the reach of children. It also contained affiliate links, see disclosure page for details.

 

Book Review: The Herb Book by John Hurst

The Herb Book - A Review

Title: The Herb Book
Author: John Lust
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publishing Date:July 16 2014
Rating:4/5 Stars

Description:
Also known as “The Natural Remedy Bible,” The Herb Book provides a comprehensive resource for building a livelier, healthier, happier life. More than 2,000 listings offer remedies for ragged nerves, nightmares, and coughing fits as well as suggestions for adding spice to recipes, coloring fabrics, freshening breath, and a host of other benefits. Complete and concise descriptions of herbs, illustrated by more than 275 line drawings, offer the most comprehensive catalog of “miracle plants” ever published.
Written by an expert and pioneer in the field, this easy-to-use reference features three parts. The first presents introductory historical information and background for using the rest of the book. The second part features individual numbered listings of medicinal plants with their botanical descriptions and uses. The third part emphasizes the variety of uses for the plants listed in Part 2, including mixtures for medicinal treatments, nutritious and culinary plants, cosmetic and aromatic purposes, plant dyes, and other applications. The book concludes with a captivating look at plant-related astrology, lore, and legends.” (Description by Netgalley)

Overview:
I was really looking forward to finding a reference book that promised to be not only comprehensive and thorough, but included additional information, even if only in its basic form, to add to my library.
The book is large and detailed, reaching 480 eBook pages, with very specific and thorough information on many herbs, even those who are not too common, as well as their uses.

What I loved:
In addition to the information on the individual herbs, this book offers an extensive list of resources, which includes websites for further studies. The author also took his time to add information on the various methods of preparing herbal remedies, and did this in a more extensive way, than most reference books of this nature offer. I loved the addition of the astrological associations, as well as the tidbits of lore. It added a charm to the book, even if I would recommend to purchase separate and specialty volumes if you are interested in that subject matter.

What I did not like:
The illustrations where very basic. As they were called in the introduction, they are line drawings, nothing more. In order to really identify a specific herb from the visual clues given, or for those like me whom are visually oriented, a different volume would be more appropriate.

In all, I liked the book. It does deliver what it promises, an extensive and comprehensive catalog of herbs and their information. This is a resource to keep on our shelf, and enjoy over and over again.

This book was provided to me by Netgalley.

A List Of Don’t – Or – It’s A Matter Of Taste (A Daily Prompt Post)

Today we were asked to write about this:

When was the last time a movie, a book, or a television show left you cold despite all your friends (and/or all the critics) raving about it? What was it that made you go against the critical consensus?

I wish, that compiling this list would not have been easy. But it wasn’t. While there are many gems out there, whom also have had their acclaim, either by critiques or fans, some make me wonder: Where you and I watching/reading the same thing?

TV:

It's A Matter Of Taste: TV

Keeping Up With The Kardashians: Seriously, what is up with the hype about this show? I could not stomach more than 10 minutes (and those where torture). Why would I want to watch rich people whom are sort of famous openly air their daily life and problems?

True Blood: I watched one episode. Okay, it was not terrible, but it was not enough to make me come back for a second one. So, no I am not going to grow to like it. Just like I never grew to like Tofu. It is not going to happen.

Movies:

It's A Matter Of Taste: Movies

World War Z: Another movie I could not sit through in one setting. I am just glad I did not go to the movies to see it. Netflix, you have saved me again.

Taken: I love action movies. Not this one. And they made a sequel? Taken 2? Just think about it. The chances of someone kidnapping someone in your family or people you know is (thankfully) rare, and you want me to believe, I should come back for another story that involves kidnapping? No thanks.

Books:

It's A Matter Of Taste: Books

50 Shades of Grey: I am not even going to go there. That is just sad. So sad.

Twilight Saga: This series made my resolve to write my own books even stronger. If she can make millions of these books, than there is hope I can make millions of mine. Sparkling vampires, anyone?

What is your list of don’ts?

Here is what other bloggers posted for this prompt:

http://tombalistreri.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/bad-movie/

http://vexingpoint.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/daily-prompt-matters-of-taste/

http://dragoneystory.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/in-this-moment/

http://lindaswritingblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/swimming-upstream/

A Literary Minded Witch – A Daily Prompt Post

You Should Be Writing

Today’s daily prompt made me cackle, I mean laugh out loud, scaring the poor dogs who are still trying to get used to my hyper minded new morning routine self.

A literary-minded witch gives you a choice: with a flick of the wand, you can become either an obscure novelist whose work will be admired and studied by a select few for decades, or a popular paperback author whose books give pleasure to millions. Which do you choose?

From one literary-minded Witch to another: where in the world can I find a spell that would actually do this? Oh, that’s right, it is called taking action, doing it myself, working hard, practicing my Craft (both the actual Craft and the craft of writing). There are no short cuts, but there is determination.

But that rambling does not answer the question, so here is the answer:

I don’t want to be studied, examined or used as a lesson in some college writing course, which the students will forget about, as soon as the final exam hits. My books should not sit on the shelves collecting dust, or on the list of what one should read – but actually never does.

No, I choose to be the paperback author, because I get to touch more people that way. I get to entertain, allow you to dream, forget about your problems, maybe inspire you to write your own books. I want to be the one who wrote the book, that was made into a movie, or the author you can hardly wait to read another novel from. THAT is not just an answer that comes from out of nowhere. It is an actual goal of mine, one I was working on this morning, before I read this prompt and scared the pets.

It is was I will do, because I know my Why, my reason why I want it to happen. I want to entertain you (okay, maybe you can also learn something from me, that would be a bonus – like I learned from so many others over the last few months, reading their books). Of course there are many other reasons, but I am not going to write about that right now.

Witchy Room

So, now I am going back into my Witchy room (yes, I actually have one of them), sit at the desk next to my Altar, which has a Wand on it, and work on what actions I need to take to make this happen.

To whomever came up with this question: A sincere Thank You from the bottom of my Witchy-Heart.

Here are some answers other people gave to this prompt:

http://moreactionresearch.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/thats-easy/

http://tombalistreri.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/lasting-impression/

http://sugarcoatingsince91.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/obscure/

http://lindaswritingblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/easy-choice/

Book Review: The Miracle Morning – Self-Help Book Experiment Part 2

 

Title: The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (before 8 AM)
Author: Hal Elrod
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Rating: 5/5 Stars

The Miracle Morning - A Book Review

Like I wrote yesterday, I am in the midst of not just reviewing, but also implementing some of the self-help books that are on my desk (or computer).

Currently I am working on “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod, and examine if a morning routine change can really change ones live, or at least have a large impact upon it.

But first to the review:

The Promise: To deliver a system, with clear steps on how to change your morning routine in an effective ritual, that will influence your life, and allow you to reach for your goals.

The book actually delivers on that promise. With clear, precise wording and examples, Hal allows you to create an easy to follow morning routine – that is, if you make the decision to commit to getting up earlier, and do the actual exercise. This is not a book for someone who is looking for a quick fix, but it is a book that will shake up your routine, if you let it.

It gives you precise ideas on how getting up earlier is possible, without feeling sleep deprived. It also gives you very clear instructions on how to implement some of the daily steps we all know we should be taking, such as meditation, exercise, affirmations and visualization. Do we usually follow through? No, but he even has a solution to that – accountability via partners (you can find your own, or join his community for free), and a printout routine tracker, which allows you to keep track of your new-found routine.

The Result: I started this challenge this morning (actually last night, as he suggests some preparation-steps to ensure a smooth morning routine), so I can not yet report on the long-term effects. What I can comment on thought is, that his suggestions of affirming a smooth morning, without feeling tired worked for well for me.

The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine – Mike Murdock

Beyond this book, I have decided to focus on what other authors and coaches think about morning routines. Those have ranged from the comical (Abraham suggesting to take a nap), to the well structures – Tony Robbins calls the morning routine “The Hour of Power”. I will post and try some of these out – not the nap part.

Which brings me to a question: What is your morning routine like? Do you rush out of the house, or do you take time for meditation and other techniques? What is the most important part of your routine? Until yesterday, I would have answered the last question with coffee, but now I am changing it to accountability.

What’s yours?