The past few weeks I have drifted and I have been pushed farther away from my blogging world that I am comfortable. I felt the distance growing as days turned into weeks and it was all I could do to eek out a post or two. I was behind in reading all of my favorite blogs. Photographs taken for upcoming photo challenges sat unused in their folders on my desktop. Post ideas fell by the wayside. I was not happy with the direction things were heading but I felt helpless.
I can give you all the excuses- I was preparing my house for my oldest son along with his family to move in indefinitely. I was needed to watch the baby. I had to attend my other two kids’ college family weekends. I had meetings. My best friend moved within days of my oldest son moving in. The list goes…
Here is my #ThankfulThursdays post and why I help on Hugh’s blog at times. Sure, if you look a the photo of him from days gone by we look almost like we could be brothers, but it’s the heart of this man that makes people thankful to know him.
This post explains why Hugh was absent for a time.
As amazing as it sounds, the Challenge has been going for 40 straight weeks now. Although I didn’t do a separate poem this week, my example is in the post, as always. I believe my title for it would be Our Greater Joy. I hope you enJOY it.
My Blog Anniversary post of Choice. This was a very quiet post with little to no fanfare or fireworks. Not an overabundance of views. My purpose was not for celebration of my blog but to spotlight another blog brought to my attention. One I believe many would be encouraged by.
This was a part of my #BeWoW blog share for Twitter on Wednesdays. BeWoW standing for Be Wonderful on Wednesdays.
My article for my weekly blogshare hashtag for posts about positivity. Share what you got. Just hashtag it like you see it and throw in my Twitter Handle if you want to make certain I see it. Twitter get’s crazy at times. @RonovanWrites.
A tip on how to do those “Click here to go there within the document.” I’ve updated it to make it simpler. More of this type will be coming. And using them gets easier the more you do use them. It doesn’t take me long now that I have a routine down, and learned some short cuts.
What to expect this coming week?
The Sunday post is already out and it coincides with the #1000Speak Nurturing campaign this month. Nurturing is Genuine. There should be a post from a new writer here on Ronovan Writes. A person who wants to branch out a bit. I also have word of articles possibly coming for guest spots. And you can be certain, that with 10 days left of the AtoZ Challenge I will have some more articles for you. Also the Haiku Challenge will be out, as well as #BeWoW. Why not poetry from me lately? I have thought I didn’t want to overload everyone with too much considering I have all those Challenge articles going out.
This was a stream of thought piece, but then what of mine aren’t on Sundays? But this was inspired by a former student and took on a life of its own. I was surprised at the response. But then, when am I not surprised at the response to anything I write?
This is a Haiku and picture/cartoon I did for my friend Hugh Roberts who went through a loss in his family. I am his back up on his blog when he has to take time off and I took advantage and hijacked it. I would appreciate if you do click the title, you then go to his blog and like it if you do actually like what you see. Just as a simple gesture of support.
My article for my weekly blogshare hashtag for posts about positivity. Share what you got. Just hashtag it like you see it and throw in my Twitter Handle if you want to make certain I see it. Twitter get’s crazy at times. @RonovanWrites.
This was basically something about how things had sort of being flying all over me lately. For those not speaking that way of speaking that means things that bothered me. I’m the sensitive type. I can’t help it. It’s the way I am wired. Heart on the sleeve and all of that stuff.
Each week I link to all the Haiku of those who enter the Haiku Challenge. This includes Two people chosen as Choices of the Week. Each person with a Twitter account is included in a tweet of the post as well as mentioned on a Google+ Post of the post. And if you’re my friend on Google+ then I also include your name on the Google+ post so you know I put you there. Then you can share if you like.
A song, video, and the story behind it. I sometimes run across a song that I need to share and I like to share the story that led to the song. Usually the songs are old classics but this one is much newer and a surprise. Click and just listen. If you have earbuds, put them in and wait for the bass to drop and you will swear you are at a concert. A very clean beautiful song in every sense of those words.
A new weekly feature here on RonovanWrites that I would like everyone to join in and share a link to their own stories of how to Be WoW. A great way to share positive and uplifting moments you experienced during the week or a story that you just felt like people would get something wonderful out of. Looking forward to maybe a few people joining in. I hope you all join part of the Be Wow family of Bloggers. I may even make a badge for it to display on the sites of those would like to do so.
The previous week, on Valentine’s Day I wrote a little something called Lasting (A Confession of Want) that you might want to read first. You can read it here. Then read the Revealed. I thought it amusing.
My guest post on Hugh’s Views & News. I took advantage of Hugh being away on vacation and broached a subject that he would not have. I hope you click and head over to his blog to read and leave a smiley for him.
Sad to say I do a weekly movie review. These have to be movies I’ve seen but require a lot of research in order for me to actually do the review. A lot of research. Especially if they are old like this one. A classic but a surprise. Read the review and I think you’ll want to see it. Oh, and what’s a Mick Flick? Click and find out.
My contribution to the blogger campaign for compassion that occurred this past Friday. You don’t have to read it. But I wrote it so I include it in the review.
I hope you find something you like. And please make sure to follow me wherever I am. I really do enjoy all those follow numbers and seeing faces and names show up. Yeah, that’s an honest way of saying it. And I’m also in the process of writing a book that will be out this year. Keep your fingers crossed, so the more followers I have in places the better.
Oh, where all am I? (This post may be removed at some point due to the very personal nature of it.)
There is something that I believe has been overlooked in the Blogger Community. The Blogger Personality. What key role does Personality play in the success of a blog? We’ll get to that shortly.
I want to mention a few Blogs I see as Successful. Before I do, do not confuse large numbers of Followers with success. Once you do that you head down a path that leads to a never to be satisfying Blog World experience.
People Follow you Hoping you will Follow them.
People stop reading your work and just don’t stop Following you.
People aren’t really part of your Blog World except for a number.
If numbers and not activity are your idea of success, then be prepared for some anxiety.
Let’s then define Blog Success. I see Blog Success as a Blog that;
Keeps its Readers coming back for more.
Keeps its Readers entertained.
Keeps its Readers engaged.
Notice the the three common words, ‘Keeps Its Reader’.
You may have 10,000 Followers but only 50 actually show up or even engage in your Blog. 50 is a good number to have show up daily, but if you look at the percentage of the Followers, something isn’t being Successful.
The Matter-of-Fact personality:Suzie of Suzie81Speaks has this personality in her Blog. She combines it with just enough humor to make it all work together. Suzie was one of my earliest friends in Blog World. She may very well be the longest surviving one. Having been one of my first interviews ever I learned that what you see is what she is.
The Humble-and-Helpful personality:Chris Graham the Story Reading Ape. One click to his Blog and you know there is not a single thing about his blog that is about him. The Blog is devoted to helping others with their careers. Having interviewed Chris I can tell you the Blog Personality you see is the Life Personality he is.
The Devoted-to-Their-Craft personality:Jo Robinson of Africolonial Stories/Jo Robinson, or at least that’s how I am spelling it today, is an Author who does something many Authors might not do. She shares her space with other Author Bloggers. When you go to her Blog you may not see a personally written piece from her for several Posts. That’s Jo. Yes, I’ve interviewed Jo and worked with Jo and that’s Jo.
The Caring-for-Their-Friends-and-Fun-Loving personality: Anyone having visited and or had interactions with Hugh Roberts of Hugh’s Views & News knows he is the epitome of this personality. Hugh has been interviewed by me and works with me as well. He’s for real.
I used examples of people I know personally to show you the genuine personalities it takes to have success. People can take on a personality for a Blog but eventually it breaks down. You will see the cracks form and you will leave that blog.
There are many other personalities and names I could have mentioned. No one was excluded to be slighted. Perhaps I will do further Blog Personalities in the future.
Each personality is different and neither of the four could do a Blog like the other. Chris and Jo are similar in their author support but then selection of Posts and writing of Posts are different. The backbone of purpose is different. You would need to read of them in order to understand.
For every Extroverted personality there are at least 100 Introverted ones. Often times those Introverts overcome their shyness in order to Reply to Comments or more often click Like on a Post of a friend.
For the Introverted Blogger the mere process of Blogging itself is a huge accomplishment. Sharing held in thoughts and creations with the world is something very therapeutic and very scary at the same time. Exposing rawness with the world with the possibility of harsh or cruel feedback is a chest tightening moment as the Introvert clicks Publish.
I appear to be an Extrovert in many ways but really I’m an Introvert in the biggest possible way you can imagine. But why should that have anything to do with how a Blog, my Blog operates? Or how should it influence what my Blog is?
I’ve written a great deal about how interaction with Readers is essential to Blog success. Well, I am not a big interactions person. I was at one point but in truth it was something I seriously had to push myself to do. That is one reason I don’t expect every Blogger to be the same.
Let’s look at Commenting and Replying. This is a huge area of possible disconnect and either a win or lose with a reader. If you reply to a comment and make it personal then there is a connection, maybe. If you don’t reply then you may not have that reader return. Some people almost insist on a reply to their comment.
Unfortunately I personally am not that great at replying these days. Does that make me a bad blogger or mean I am unappreciative? Does that make you that way?
For some that would be a yes. Various Bloggers have an opinion on the matter and are willing to share it, quite loudly. “If you don’t reply or comment then you suck as a blogger and don’t deserve Followers.”
In that case, “Hello, my name is Suck, you may unFollow me now.”
However, I believe my Reader Friends know me. My personality comes through in the Content, the Writing on my Blog. Part of that personality is one that deals with very deep emotional feelings. I share that in all its rawness in my poetry and even in commentary of letters I write.
Those who appreciate what I have done know how much that takes out of a person. They aren’t just words put out there. There are poems I have written where I agonize through every word and am a wreck for days following.
I would like to Reply to Comments on poems like that but sometimes I am not sure how and am not mentally able to. A ‘Thank you’ is sometimes all I manage, but I am not certain if that is enough considering what some people write. I click Like on their Comment to at least show I have read and appreciate what they have said.
For me when I see someone’s heart and soul laid bare for all to see, I appreciate it. I understand what they have done. I don’t do it myself in order to have people Comment. I want them to enjoy it,yes, take something from it, yes, but I am not demanding a Comment. Nor do I expect a demand of a Reply. My wish is for them to return another time and see what else I have to share with them.
What makes a Blog a success is what a Blogger puts into their Blog. You can use all the technical aspects to bring more people TO your Blog but it’s YOUR PERSONALITY through your words in what you write that keeps them coming back.
In the last episodeof The L.A.W. & Ronovan who met Ms. Marzapan and Hugh in a skytower or something like that, um, there was like this zombie dance troop and the L.A.W. and Ronovan, I mean me, I mean I discovered that Cyril Bussiere had created all these mind altering things to get rid of like all the Hugh’s of the world. I secretly think it’s because he is jealous of Hugh’s, well I won’t tell that now. Just wait. I just hope we catch him before that housekeeper that he left behind without a job does. Oh, and the Doctor showed up to give us a ride to London.
“Well that certainly was a bumpy landing,” the Doctor said.
“Indeed,” Elena said. She had taken on a British accent for some reason. Actually all of the L.A.W. had. I feared that if music started to play they would tell me what they want what they really, really want. But the door opened just in time.
We apparently had come to rest in some type of store.
“Ow!” Cat said.
I looked and she had an Oreo stuck to her head. “What the—,”
“Uh uh, Kate, none of that language,” Jenna said. “Hey, look!”
We all turned to follow her very excited finger. “Ruby slippers!” Kate said. She dove for them but they disappeared as her hands grasped nothing but empty air. Stinky empty air.
“What is that awful smell?” Amira asked.
“Smells like Troll feet,” I said.
“That’s because that is precisely what it was. Internet Troll feet,” the Doctor said.
“Oh, Doctor, I am so glad you came,” a woman said. We all turned.
“No way!” Jenna said.
“Yes way!” Amanda said.
“No, really no whey,” Jenna said looking at the case behind Amanda. “I love yogurt without whey in it. It’s a great substitute for sour cream and things like that. Lot less fat and calories. Yum!”
I looked at the Doctor. He looked at me. He went into the blue box thing. And then, gone. I couldn’t blame him.
“You know I so don’t blam—,”
I didn’t get the words out of my mouth before I found myself being tackled to the ground by several tough women. One that looked like a train. And one with a—Rudolph nose?
Screeching tires and the smell of burning rubber assaulted our senses. “Yeah, baby,” we heard. “I say, I didn’t see any rockin’ so I came a knockin’.”
We all stared at the man with the thick glasses, mop top hair and extremely tight pants. “It can’t be,” I said.
“Oh but it can, baby. Well, you’re not a baby, that’s just one of my catch phrases. Unless, wait you’re not a man!” Suddenly the insane1960s reject was trying to pull off my shirt and my hair.
“Austin Powers, get off of him,” Ms. Maple said.
Powers looked up and squinted at Ms. Maple. “Honey?” He asked. “Honey Maple, is that you?”
“Austin, I told you never to call me that in front of people,” Ms. Maple said. I had only seen her on Skype but I didn’t think the red flushed complexion was her natural look.
Powers got up and was at her side in a flash. “Groovy, baby. And I do mean baby,” he said. “At least I didn’t tell them why I call you Honey.”
Ms. Maple giggled like a school girl.
I looked at the others and saw various reactions from the rolling of eyes to dry heaving. There was even a reindeer being used as a gag to not laugh. I just hope it had not been tried on for a fitting.
“Should we ask him why he is here?” I asked.
“I say no,” Amira said.
“Agreed,” everyone else said in unison.
“Jenna,” Amanda said. “What did you find out in El Waco?”
For some reason none of us corrected her. It was like we had entered a Twilight Zone and decided we would just go with the flow. “Cyril Bussiere is behind it all, or at least he’s a top gun. Oh, I sooo loved that movie. And the songs. Oh, Take My Breath Away was sooo good. And then You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling. I just melt every time Ronovan si—,”
“Ahem,” I said.
“Oopsie,” Jenna said. Her smile flashed.
I shook my head. “You really need to explain to them someday that you have a friend named Ronovan or this could all get really weird.”
“For sure, right?” she said.
“Okay, as she was saying. French Texan blogger Cyril Bussiere, also author of The World Might available on Amazon at a reasonable price and can be followed on Twitter at @CyrilBussiere, came up with a special formula that looks and tastes just like—,”
“Yes?” Kate asked.
“You were there, Kate, you know,” Elena said. “You told us what it was.”
“Oh, right. Healthy Oreo cream,” Kate said.
“Not so healthy,” I said.
Amira was right. “And, we found blueprints,” I said.
“For what, a death ray?” Amanda asked.
“A sting ray?” Eloise asked.
“A blu ray?” Cat asked.
“Cat!” the rest of the L.A.W said.
“I got caught up, alright?”
“Mind controlling helmets that look like bowl cut hairstyles,” I said.
Amanda’s eyes got bigger than ever. I swear I saw photos of Thailand. “The royal family.”
“Exactly,” I said. “And possibly Rhianna and Miley Cyrus. Just saying.”
“Oh dear,” Amanda said.
“We can only stop all of this one way,” I said.
“How?” Seven female voices asked in harmony.
I just so hoped they didn’t discover they all loved ABBA. Mama Mia. “We go back in time.”
“What? How?” Eloise asked.
Amanda smiled, tilted her head to the right and gave her trademark look. “I know,” she said and pointed.
We all turned to follow her obviously mommy finger. The psychedelic painted Mini Cooper.
“No way,” said Jenna.
“Oh yeah, baby,” Amanda said.
“All aboard,” Eloise said.
I just had time to turn before Amanda ripped the onesie off.
“Oh dear,” Eloise said. “Thank goodness for this Batman onesie I had on underneath.”
I hung my head and just hoped that this would all be over soon. I had no idea crossing the ocean meant crossing into insanity. And here I always thought British women were hot. Maybe it was Australian women I was thinking of. Where was Olivia Newton John from again?
“Everyone in,” Elena said. “Ronovan, you first, backseat. Pile on the Ronovan time.” Okay maybe this wasn’t so bad after all. Wait, where was Hugh?
Below is What’s On Top of My Tree. It’s an angel created by the little Santa’s Helper in the larger photo farther down. It may not be fancy or shiny or be something that could be in a movie but he made it and that’s what’s been on the tree ever since. The tree isn’t coordinated. It’s a combination of everything from every year including handmade from school and church. It all goes on the tree. Including my hand blown glass candies I like so much.
And by posting this, I am helpingAngela and Hughraise up to £250 for charity. And all I am doing is making this post with the title being “Here’s what’s on Top of my Christmas Tree-what’s on Yours?”.
Now, why not show what is on top of your Christmas tree? Post on your blog and help Angela and Hugh at Hugh’s Views & Newsto contribute to charity. To find out what to do, go to Angela and Hugh’s post.
Don’t have a Tree but want to help Angela and Hugh with their charity?
For those that do not have a Christmas tree, just write a post about the best thing that happened to you in 2014 and include a photograph if you can. Link it back to Hugh’s post and you’ll be helping Angela and Hugh achieve that £250 target before twelfth night. To link back, you simply do what I did here and put the link to Hugh’s post in your post. Hugh has it all spelled out on his post if you need it. Or you can simply copy and past the parts of my post you need to into yours, they are are the BOLD typed sections. Also make sure to USE THE SAME TITLE of the post for your post. Here’s what’s on Top of my Christmas Tree-what’s on Yours?
The last time with the L.A.W. Ronovan and the team faced off against zombies as they made their way toward the home of a key person behind the missing U’s and other letters threatening to make their friend Hugh disappear back in Britain. Just as they thought everything was finally okay they faced offed against an even bigger
“Thanks guys,” said Amira with a wave and a chin thrust. We had Thrillered for at last 10 blocks with the Zombie Horde as they showed us how to find our destination.
“No probs, A. Mak, just make sure I get that signed copy of The Reaping,” said the leader of the dance troop. I wasn’t sure I wanted to see the Musical Comedy theater production they had developed. Thriller meets Walking Dead meets Dirty Dancing. Would Baby eat her Daddy for putting her in the corner? Would she fall apart when lifted in the air? Would Johnny melt when he rehearsed in the river? Were Zombies afraid of water? Wait, was the Wicked Witch of the West a Zombie? Whoa!
“Ronovan?” I shook my head at the sound of the voice. Turning I saw hazel eyes staring into mine.
“Just checking. You had the concussed look like my daughter Molly used to get when dropped on her head as a flier in cheer.”
“Pretty close. I think I’ve been in Lubbock too long. I’m not all that thrilled to be here.”
“Muahahahaha!” Elena was cracking up. “Not ‘thrilled’. Zombies. Thriller. Hahahaahahahaa.”
“I think brain chick has been here to long too,” said Cat as she flexed her fingers.
“Well we’re here now,” I said, finally shaking off weird thoughts. “Let’s see if Cyril Bussiere is home.” I knocked on the door.
“What do you want?!”
I had not been expecting that kind of answer nor that accent. “You sure this is the right address?” I asked Elena.
“Yep. See the Napoleon shaped door knocker?”
I squinted. “Is that who it is? I thought it was Marlon Brando,” I said.
“It ain’t no Marlon Brando or Nappy Poleon,” said the female voice behind the door.
“Then who is it?” I asked, figuring at least talking was something.
“Dennis Hopper, C.B. loved him some Speed. He watched that movie until the tape done broke in two and then had to get a DVD one.”
“Um, is C.B, I mean is Cyril home? We’re friends of his and kind of need to talk to him,” I said.
“That boy done gone and took off for the FeFe land. Scoundrel that he is. Gave me chocolates and nylons and then throws me to the side.” The door opened and the largest woman I had ever seen was in the door. Now I know people like to say that, but this woman was about 6’9″ and weighed easily 500 lbs. I don’t think there was much fat. She was round with what her Momma gave her. I’ll just say that.
“Urr, um, were you and Cyril . . .,” I began.
“Honey, that man done had me cleaning this apartment for him and that little sweet thing of a wife of his for a year now, and then he just up and leaves. Now what am I supposed to do for a job? Tell me that. Well what you standin’ there lookin’ like some fool who done seen the second comin’ of the Manga Carter.”
I was speechless. I really had no idea what to say to that. I really had no idea really what she was saying and coming from me that is saying a lot, if you really think about it. Things get kind of random around here.
“I know, I know!” We all turned and squinted.
“Honey, you best be turnin’ out them lights,” said the woman. “And put that hand down. This ain’t no class room. Wavin’ your hand like you some kindercare with a need to go number one or somethin’.”
“Sorry,” said Jenna as she put her hand over her smile and lowered the hand that had been waving in the air for attention. “But I bet that dance troop we just left could use some help. They mentioned something about cleaning out some store over on 5th and Walker.”
The woman reached inside and grabbed a bag and stormed out past us. There was silence as we all stared in stunned amazement that it, she moved.
“Okay,” said Amira. “Get going and search the house. C.B, I mean Cyril has obviously skipped the country but we need to find out all we can here before we head out.”
“But if he’s left already we are way behind,” said Cat.
“We have a way,” said Elena as she started dialing a number on the wrist thingy she had on.
The rest of us started searching the place. “Oh look, a Blue Moon,” said Kate.
We all looked at her as we knew the moon was white and shining tonight. She looked back at us and saw the confusion. “See,” she said holding up the bottle. “His favorite beer. I think it’s the Belgian thing about it. Nasty stuff, don’t you think?” She asked as she threw it out the window.
“I got something,” said Amira from a back room. We all rushed down the hallway.
“Looks like he’s been studying up on Oreos and their ingredients. I think these are recipes and he substituted these chemicals for some of the real ones or at least added them,” she said.
Kate leaned over her shoulder to look. She was the ingredient expert seeing as how she was the resident health nut. “If those things are what I think they are then they would add no taste to the Oreos or change the color and actually help burn calories as well.”
“Hugh is addicted to those things,” said Jenna. “Every time there is coffee there has to be some Oreos or some type of biscuit, as he likes to say.” She controlled the smile so it was just a grin. The strain was amazing and we were afraid she was going to pull a dimple muscle. It had happened before from what I had heard.
” And look at these,” said Elena. “Plans for some sort of helmet but no, not a helmet but a mind control device. They look like bowl cut hair styles.”
“Oh no, the Royal Family has those,” said Jenna.
“Mind altering Oreos, Mind Controlling Mop Tops,” I said. “This is bigger than Cyril. Someone must have a closer connection than even this diabolical Frenchxan.”
I noticed they all looked at me. “What?”
“Frenchxan?” Jenna asked. Yes, even she looked at me funny.
“Well he’s French and he lives in Texas so I put French and Texan together and . . .”
“We get it,” said Amira as she turned to Elena rubbing her forehead. “ETA?”
“Should be outside now,” said Elena.
“Okay, guys, time for a trip, outside.” We all marched outside at Amira’s words.
There was an odd blue telephone thing out there. “Wait, I’ve seen one of these on TV. It belongs to . . .,” I began.
“Who,” said a voice as the door opened.
Out walked a man I had only seen on TV. “Anyone want a jelly baby?” He asked in a British accent. I looked around at everyone. They all marched inside and took their favorite color jelly baby from him as if this was common.
“Well, are you coming or swimming?” The Doctor asked.
“Take the red one, Ronovan, the red one,” said Cat over her shoulder with a smile.
“I so can’t believe this,” I said.
“Who would?” Dr. Who asked. Then he laughed insanely as he shoved me in and we were suddenly streaking away.
The continuing saga of Ronovan’s search to save his friend Hugh from disappearing at the hands of the Grammar Black Market. Ronovan has joined up with The L. A. W., The League of Awesome Women to find out is happening. We find our hapless Chunk in the middle of the dark streets of Lubbock, TX the Fab Fem Five. If he only knew what had been going on in England with Hugh and Miss Maple and the Royals.
Lubbock, TX, population-just under 300,000 and home to three universities, it isn’t surprising we would find a major minor bad guy here, especially one that considers himself an academic.
“Ronovan is with us and we are about to go in,” said Jenna. I wondered who she was talking to on that wrist communicator thing all the L.A.W. members were wearing. I had an idea since her accent had gone all British that it wasn’t Dick Tracy. Knock knock jokes were not my forte. Let’s just say they ain’t in my rep-o-twar-ay. (To find out who Jenna was talking to click here.) I wiped my forehead . . . again. Nights were still hot in Texas, or was it the humidity?
Heat was still rising off the concrete sidewalk even though the sun had set over hours ago. I could smell the old exhaust fumes on the empty street. They burned my nose with each breath.
“Too bad we couldn’t bring the ship all the way,” said Kate. “But we’ll get to work the kinks out of our muscles after that long trip.” I had noticed Kate had a lot of energy or perk or something. I thought perhaps too many chocolate covered espresso beans in the L.A.W. Mobile or a few ‘bad’ mushrooms had found their way into her kitchen, but it turned out she was a fitness freak.
Yes, I said it. When it’s dark and you were walking down a dark, creepy street in Lubbock, TX, yeah, I’m going to call her a fitness freak. Just not to her face . . . or within hearing distance . . . of the planet.
“Slow down, Kate,” said Amira. “We can’t rush into this.” She glanced to her sister. “What do we have on Lubbock?”
Elena tapped the side of her glasses as we walked slowly along the dark street, leaving the safety of the camouflaged L.A.W Mobile farther and farther behind. Elena’s eyes moved back and forth rapidly. “Not much to worry about. There have been some weird reports of ‘zombie parties’ lately. Wish we could check one out. That would be so cool.”
“Not as cool as ours was,” said Amira. “I love that show. Zombies and TV and hit show, who would have thought.”
“Tru dat, home spice . . . nice . . . rice . . . you got that right, sis.” You had to love Elena as she was just so smart and adorable. All I could do was shake my head at the young lady I had come to think of as uber intelligent. Just like with me, stick with what you know, right? Ferizzle my frizzles. Word.
“So I am like so worried about my beta reader not liking my next chapter,” said Jenna, apparently finished with her knock knock jokes. Cheerfulness had a way of lightening even the darkest streets. But it was still creepy and exhaust fumey.
“Someone is reading your fish?” I asked.
“No, you silly. A beta reader is author geek for test reader. But authors couldn’t pass an English test if we tried so we like to call them beta readers or we freeze up at the thought of a test. Talk about humongoso writer’s block.” She flashed a smile.
“Stop that!” Cat growled. I jumped. Foot slipped. Body fell. Noise echoed. I was going to seriously need some new undies after this was over with. “That smile of yours keeps lighting up everything and gives us away.”
I stood up as quickly as possible from the hot concrete, keeping my distance from growly face.
“Oopsies, my bad,” said Jenna as she covered her smile with her hand. Dimples showed on either side. “But as I was saying, my beta reader won’t like that I wrote about an M&M invasion of Cookie Land. It’s not exactly in keeping with the book plot.”
I couldn’t help but laugh a little. I could just imagine the look on someone’s face reading that. I looked up and noticed we had fallen behind slightly. Kate had picked up the pace again and the others had followed along without noticing.
“Well you could always write about some whacked out security detail for the president run by cartoon characters. I bet that would really throw the reader off. But we better catch up to the others,” I said.
We both started walking a little faster when we were suddenly faced with a hit video from the 1980s. And I was not thrilled . . . at all.
“Excuse me,” I said as we tried to go around the party machine.
The bodies moved with us, not allowing us to pass. “Uh, Ronovan, dude, look,” said Jenna. I looked where she was pointing.
“Seriously?” I asked.
“Amira! You’re missing the partyyyyy,” Jenna called out.
All we could see around us were people dressed up like zombies. “You know, you’re a bit old to be doing the zomtusi,” I said to the man who was either 20 years older then I or 20 younger. I had a bad feeling. The makeup was great but I wasn’t sure Hollywood was called in for just a party to make people look this bad this good. “But I am seriously hoping to hear some Vincent Price voice coming through a boom box somewhere and a beat kickin’ it.”
One of them reached out and grabbed Jenna’s arm. She did what any woman would do. Now I don’t know about that whole zombies feeling no pain. But this one felt pain as he dropped to his knees clutching his zombies.
“Well they aren’t the dead kind,” said Jenna. Random one-liners came to mind but before I could do anything she kicked it up a notch.
The next thing I knew all I could see was blonde hair flying all around and the bright light from her smile blinding our attackers. I felt hands grab my neck from behind. I screamed like a . . . high pitched voiced man? Yeah.
That’s when the rest of the L.A.W. arrived. I’m not going to attempt to describe the action that took place next as they all did some serious To Wong Foo Julie Newmar moves on some Crouching Zombies Hidden Aladdins, yeah apparently one of the guys didn’t know the theme of the party and came as Aladdin, and quickly had things under control.
Elena knelt beside one of the unconscious undead or whatever. “These guys are legit. This isn’t makeup,” she said. “Those zombie parties might have been more than reported.” She looked around. “Anyone have any wine?”
“Then what’s with the Arabian Nights guy over there?” I asked.
Amira looked at the guy in a little vest and balloony pants as she handed Elena a flask. Then looked back at me. “Hey, we hit first.”
“I know and ask questions later,” I said.
“No, we just hit first. We usually aren’t around for later,” she said. “Why do people bother with waiting around for asking questions? It just causes law suits and hurt feelings.”
“You think this zombie crap is that powder concoction they use in the islands?” Cat asked.
Amira looked around at the bodies. “If so it would take a lot of it. Not sure where they would get a big batch of puffer fish powder around here.”
Elena passed the flask back to her sister. She had a yuck face on. “Did you guys press that with your feet after a soccer game?” She asked.
Amira turned the shiny metal container upside down. “Apparently you like Chateau le Foot 2012.”
“Texas Tech University Health Services Center is here. They would have just about any chemical or powder you would need, I would think,” said Kate. Thank goodness hew as looking at her wrist communicator. I saw the screen and she was playing Minecraft. “Mandi, don’t do that or I will seriously kick your cheery butt when I get home,” she mumbled.
I nodded slowly and turned. “So someone with a bit of medical background and knows some biology stuff, huh?” I stopped and looked at Amira and Cat. “How do you know about puffer fish and zombies?” I was getting a little creeped out. Okay, I was way past that.
“Do you need to know?” Cat asked as she took a step toward me. A whistling sound echoed through the dark streets. Everyone lifted an ear as if trying to detect where it came from, everyone but me.
“Um, it sounds like you’re right, Ronovan,” said Elena. We were still on the same track.
“Uh, guys,” said Jenna. “Yeah, I think they really want to party with us.”
We all turned and looked up the street the way we had been walking. There were dozens of zombies headed our way. I turned. “They have friends,” I said. There were more behind us. I couldn’t believe it.
“Ladies,” said Amira. “Let’s get ready. Cat, get the attitude on. Kate pump up the perky. And Jenna . . .”
Amira’s eyes narrowed. “Lock and load the dimples,” she said. “We got some zombie butt to smack down.”
“Yay, I love butt smacking,” said Jenna.
I just wanted Chinese food, some tacos and a football game. What was I doing in the middle of a zombie butt smack down?
Part 2: The L.A.W. Comes to Town: A Kiss is Just a Kiss
“What are you looking at?” Cat asked. I came to my senses and realized I was leaning on her from the sudden turbulence and was absentmindedly staring at her legs while thinking.
“I . . . um . . . sorry,” I managed as I sat back upright.
Kate smiled. “Well now every time our dog Romeo sneezes . . . let’s just say he plays a little tune.”
Okay I would take a Coke with some peanuts now, anything. I wonder if Hugh put peanuts in his Coke in England. He would probably put them in tea if he did anything with them at all.
“We’re not far out now,” said Amira.
“Where?” I asked.
She had been thinking what I had. There had been only one person either of us who could think of who would have it in for Hugh and the British, and that person had been planning for years by hiding in plain sight in Texas. What a brilliant plan. (And when did she do the wardrobe change?)
Who is the L.A.W. after in Lubbock?
Who in Lubbock would have it in for our friend Hugh in England?
Come back next time and find out who and the reveal of why there is craziness going on all around Hugh in . . .
Part 3 of The L.A.W. Comes to Town:
To Dunk or Not to Dunk, That is a Question.
For those of you just joining the mayhem I suggest you might wish to peruse our beginnings in the transoceanic caper.
Losing Hugh was not really a pleasing idea. I still had his different hats he sent me for my son B’s school project. Hugh had seemed very fond of the Native American war bonnet. Sometimes I just didn’t ask. I had already seen Hugh dancing and the imagery was too vivid to go there. I had seen his anxious look when he saw the hats earlier.
Plus I had to admit, Hugh was a sexy man. (Did I say that out loud or was that a thought? It’s fine, I’m in touch with my masculinity and that other side of me. Brad Pitt’s hot and so is that Robert Downey Iron Man dude in a Weird Science kind of way.)
I did what I had to do, I flipped open my battered blue cased cell and hit the last number dialed. (Yes, I said flipped opened.)
“Ron, we’re already out of town,” said Rose.
“I know but things are getting worse. They tell me my h’s are missing now and if something isn’t done Hugh will disappear.”
There was silence for a moment on the other end of the line. Then I heard a lot of noise, a few screams, and possibly what I would have sworn was a grown man begging. “Ron, sorry but we can’t help you this time. We’re kind of busy. Call the LAW,” said Rose.
“LAW?” I asked. “The police?”
“No, the LAW, League of Awesome Women and they should be able to handle this. Listen, I’ll give them a call and they’ll be in contact with y . . . Ghun! Get him! Nooo not on the leather seats. Blood gets in the seams. Aw . . . man.” The phone went silent.
I held the phone frozen in place, wondering what I was getting into. LAW, Grammar Black Market, and I had to worry about sending Hugh back his Village People props, he had said something about doing a mix called Rocky Horror Village Show. I didn’t ask. I had seen his concern about the hats though. They had come in handy for the History of America project B had at school. I still wonder where he got the Native American headdress from. I was 1/8 Native American and didn’t have any Native American things.
The knock on the door about made me jump as I was wondering if Rose and Ghun would ever get married. Yes, I really am that random with thoughts. Since they had only known each other a few months I wasn’t sure where it would go, what with her aunt having been his old girlfriend . . . I barely had the door open when the group of hair and perfume shoved their way into my house. Okay actually not so much hair, but someone smelled of vanilla.
“Umm, yeah,” I managed. The presence of actual women skeered me something fierce. At least Rose had been here with Ghun.
Before I knew it women were rummaging through my drawers everywhere. Then it suddenly dawned on me that these were some of my online Blog World friends.
They were secretly part of some super smarticles group. Oh, no. They now knew how I lived. My secrets were out. The would know I blogged in underwear and ate Pringles by the cans each day along with 2 liter bottles of grape soda.
Wait, that’s not me. That must be some other blogger.
“Oh and it looks like they have it out for Hugh. The letters in his name are the ones that are missing,” I said. I couldn’t look at their faces and Jenna was still red. I was trying to remember what was in my room. Then I remembered my laptop and the screen saver. I died a little bit more.
That’s when it hit me, and I saw a look cross Elena’s face as well.
Could we both be thinking of the same person? . . . to be continued.
From Hugh Roberts of Hugh’s Views & News and hear his side of the story and why I called in Rose & Ghun.
Strange things happen in strange places. And when Hugh Roberts is involved they just turn down right weird. Being Southern I am a laid back kind of person that drifts along life as if tubing down the Chattahooche River through Georgia. Sure there may be some white water along the way, such as was used in the 1996 Olympics, but you get through it and end up fine.
Then a whirling dervish of a British man comes along with his Miss Maybohleen and the leftover mushroom pizza causes some interesting ocular fallacies. At least that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
I called in Rose & Ghun, two detectives a few states away. I knew Trevor Rose from my Magnolia state days. He’s Rose and she’s Monika Ghun. And as their names indicate–he takes the names of the butts she’s kickin’. They arrived in no time. And amazingly enough they didn’t dance their way up to my door.
“Ron, I hope this is important, we are still working out how to handle the Stratford Family,” said Rose.
He acted like I should know about the Bradford Family. I knew eight’s’ enough so I moved on. I couldn’t help but notice Ghun. Her obvious Asian and African American background had combined to form a very pleasing to the eye masterpiece. “Umm, well Trevor, it’s like this. For some reason my conversations of late have lost the letter ‘U’ in them.”
Ghun stopped her foot tapping as she leaned against the wall. The thoughts that had been vaguely dancing at the corners of my mind, okay they were slam dancing trying to break through, died down slightly at her stare. I had heard rumors about her but they were only that until proven otherwise. “We drove through the night and all of those hours for a spelling test problem?” She asked. The voice made my head slam slightly to the side. “You’re a bit old for the spelling bee aren’t you?”
“That’s right. Well no, I mean to say that . . . well when talking about my favorite color, you see there are two ‘U’s missing,” I said. “Then there is the case of this crazy hallucination we had about some type of ship at the end of our conversation, but that may have been the left over mushroom pizza.”
“Skype waves,” said Rose. “There have been theories only of visual chatting devices causing mass hallucinations all over the world. As for the ‘U’ problem…”
“I’m fine speaking it seems. It’ writing the words that seem to be the problem,'” I said. “I was hoping y’all would fix it.”
I don’t know why Rose knelt down on my living room floor, but he suddenly became all broody and I swear it became darker. It was like nighttime had come already. You would have thought he was looking at a dead body or something. Ghun was still leaning against the wall with her arms crossed and one foot back against the wall. How she looked as if she were not feeling the humidity in all that black leather including the little jacket was beyond me, but I wasn’t complaining.
I was a gentleman, I wasn’t dead . . . yet.
“Reminds me of some of the guys we ran into at Down Under Mike’s,” said Rose. I had to lean in to hear him. He looked up at Ghun who slowly began to nod.
“Their ‘H’s,” she said. I think that’s what she said. Her dark hair shimmered and flowed with each nod as if it were water.
“So what does that mean for me?” I asked.
“You aren’t missing any ‘U’s,” said Rose as he stood.
“No, the British have kept them from being exported so they can keep them for themselves. It’s a commonly known practice on the Grammar Black Market,” he said. “Don’t worry about it. If you really want to say col our instead of col or, then just break it up into two words like that.”
“Trevor, we’re out of here,” said Ghun. “We still have to find Miles before Martin and the rest get to him. If not there will be a world of suck going on.”
“You ever need anything else like this call Amanda Lyle. She’ll be able to help you,” said Trevor Rose and the two disappeared out my door.
“Whoa,” I said. Moi herself? Was she secretly some crime fighting mistress, mastress, master . . . guru?
“Oh, Ronovan, who were those colourful people? Your favourite exterminators?” Hugh asked from the computer screen. I had forgotten it was still on.
“Bless your heart, Hugh, they were detectives. I knew Trevor from back in my Magnolia days. He says y’alls trade practices are the reason for some of the unnecessary ‘U’s missing from my words.”
“Oh really,” said Hugh as he dunked an Oreo in a cup of something that looked like weak coffee. “Hmm, you know that does make a lot of sense. The government over here really has no clue at times, but then you would be sympathetic to that, what with your limping fowl in office.”
“Hugh, I really don’t understand you a times,” I said shaking my head. “Biscuits and cookies, chips and fries? And I suppose you’re going to deny that a woman wrote all of Shakespeare’s plays next and Piers Morgan the former editor of The Daily Mirror and News of the World who was highly associated with phone tapping and cellphone tapping isn’t really a cousin of yours. I think y’all does protest too dang much.”
“Ronovan, I heard a rumor during this cruel summer that he’s got tact. But that may have been a careless whisper and that is the last thing on my mind. Love, truth, and honesty, I can’t help it, preacher man, I’m just a shy boy who lives the wild life and if you can’t take that then do not disturb me. I want you back as a friend, cause it t’aint what you do. Cheers then.” The Skype window went blank.
That was the strangest rambling I had ever heard from Hugh. I went to the window and looked up. It was indeed night time. I could see what might have been Venus, but was probably a trick of the night. My mind went to Rose & Ghun. I was glad for their help an didn’t envy whoever the Stratford Family was because there was some rough justice ahead.
I thought about calling Nathan Jones, an old friend of mine who might help me with the Grammar Black Market. I wondered if he still had that old van of his. It was every shade of blue and could only move in one direction, forward. The reverse didn’t work. Well enough of that.
I sat back down at my desk and began to work on my story about being young at heart. The main character, well he was really sayin’ somethin’ to the leading lady about ‘only your love can take me to your heart’. She looked back at him and said “Love don’t live here.” He grabbed his chest. “If you want your heart look on the floor, and if the cops ask, I’m the one that did it, I committed love in the first degree,” she said.
She began to walk away but fell. She turned and glared at me. “I’m always tripping on your love. Here, I found love and now it’s set on you,” she said and put his heart back on his sleeve.
I looked down at the page and thought, more, more, more. Robert De Niro’s waiting for this after filming Long Train Runnin’ with Mr. Bean.
I wonder what Hugh is going to do with all those Oreos and weak coffee? And what about that lady Shakespeare author?
For the next episode in this tale of ne’er do wells read: