photo credit: fineartphotographysite.com
C’mon in tonightI’ve been lonesomeI’ve been empty likea well in long droughtSitting here, still listeningto many a love song,takingthe dreamer’s roadwhere all I can see is you –finer than rainbow rings,lovelier than the scentof a thousand blooming roses.Tonight,as couples uniteand find love in the middleof their warm embraceall I want is you…to come over withoutthe look of a stranger in your eyesAnd without delay, your fingersfitting perfectly between mineas you love the all of me.Maybe I’m too poorto drive you around in fancy carsor send you a basket of rosesor bathe you in a shower of diamondsBut it’s the thought of youthat gives my heart no restSo I ask that you be with meeven if it were just this once.
This week has been quite a busy one. I’ve not been able to come up with any short story for your reading pleasure. So I thought I should post something related. Below is an excerpt from my erotic-thriller Sweetest Operator. Oh, if you’re new, the writing is yet to be published. Enjoy.
Ariella was panting, confused. At first her fingers were trembling then her hands clenched and unclenched. Her blood was boiling. It was the first time she had ever hit a man. Carlos slowly touched, traced the slap on his face, feeling nothing but wonder. Is this my Ariella? Such a fever! Something yet more to love? He could not help but grab her this time and when he felt the burn of her breast he was determined to get her to understand.
“Let go of me!” screamed Ariella.
Her long coppery brown hair slung like lightning on her back and out from her mouth came curses only sailors could know. She managed to bring her hands up to his chest and tried to wriggle free, but breath sunk with every effort. The more she tried to break away, the more her body sunk into his. She realized that she was losing the struggle, but still she pounded hard with all her strength.
“C’mon, hit me. Hit me harder.” Carlos prodded.
He made several efforts with her hands, then they finally went limp. His voice suddenly began to tremble. “I’m the one. I feel responsible for all your family has been through.”
Slowly his grip around her began to loosen. He had no intention of holding her prisoner. Carlos leaned in slowly and softly and whispered in her ear. “It’s the fear of forever losing you that haunts me.”
Ariella looked into his eyes and saw the remorse burning brightly and somehow felt responsible for this.
He kissed her palm softly. Bittersweet memories returned to Ariella. They prodded a tear.
As his hand gently touched her cheek, she closed her eyes. She wondered how much her true self had been betrayed; this particular weakness she felt all along because the inner self had refused to move on without him. Despite the hurt and set back, it had no reason to judge him even when she tried.
With his thumbs, Carlos traced her tear then softly stroked it away. He cupped her face and kissed her forehead and whispered: “Ari?”
It could have been dismissed as forgetfulness or wasteful thinking but Jewel, a science teacher, is not taking this particular feeling lightly. Not even the sceptical remark of her close girlfriend, Diane, is able to dissuade her from paying attention to this ‘out-of-body’ experience. The more her mind seesaws from her conscious state to realms on Earth and beyond, the more she gets to see, admire, and embrace life from a wider perspective. This divine alteration alongside physical observations finally point her to a sad truth about John, the man she’d loved for more than twenty years; the one who is the father of her children.
This novella is delivered with well-structured lines (some of which I find quite poetic). Told from the first person point of view, Payne tactfully reveals the emotions of her main character, Jewel, and how she’s able to relate with other characters as the story unfolds. This is a very important step in character development from the first person’s as it helps the reader decide who the protagonist really is and why there should be a special attachment to him/her. The environment and places mentioned in the book point to a story that takes its roots in our contemporary world. Because of length and intent, Payne has cut down on the description of the weather and terrestrial activities/existence. This would have come across as superfluous if stretched beyond what is already written. What you don’t find by way of storytelling, you find in the dialogue. For me, this is an intelligent move. It gets the reader more involved than distanced from the narrative. I’m a sucker for well-knit endings. Jewel’s note of goodbye took me by surprise. It’s filled with a strong emotion. That’s thumbs up. And I mean it. In Illimitable Beauty, Payne depicts a picture of freedom and subtle happiness beyond pain and disappointment. She puts poetic justice in its proper perspective and covertly warns that truth that cannot be kept away forever…not even in solitary confinement. I will be recommending it to my friends.
Skywalker Payne Interview:
Thanks, Uzoma Okoroafor, for reviewing my book and giving me a chance to answer a few questions about it.
What’s your first major writing experience? I wrote my first, very crude, book when I was in third grade. It was written on construction paper with illustration. On the back, I had a short questionnaire addressed to my family members asking them what they thought of my book. I’ve been writing ever since, I began a diary in fifth grade after reading Ann Frank’s Diary. It’s taken me so long to get published because I did not handle rejection well.
How did you come up with the idea of Illimitable Beauty? The idea of a woman leaving her body came to me over 15 years ago – I put the slow in slow writer. I wrote several versions of the story, and at one point even saw it becoming a novel. Then I put it aside, got married, got a degree in storytelling, we moved around, the next thing I knew, I was in nursing school. My first nursing job was with the Indian Health Service and after a year or so, I began writing again, over a year writing a screenplay. I cannot remember what prompted me to return to Jewel’s story, but I did so in the past couple of years. The story went through many rewrites, submitted to magazines, rejected, more rewrites until I submitted it to Amazon. They rejected it but provided a link to their Direct Publishing. The choice was spending more money submitting to magazines – and getting rejected – or publishing my e-book, with no up-front costs. My husband read the story and chose the title and designed the cover.
In your book, you mentioned an “out-of-body” experience. Do you believe that there is a connection between the physical and spiritual realms? I’m a practicing Buddhist so the question quite simply is yes. But, I’ve not had experiences like Jewel’s.
What type of books do you like to read? I primarily like to read books about Buddhism now. As a teen I read a lot of the great classic writers, I read Crime and Punishment before I was 16. Now, I read a variety of fiction they comes across my eye, from Chekov, to the interesting stories and poetry of WordPress bloggers.
You self-published Illimitable Beauty. With your next book on the way, would you like to be represented by an agency/publisher? I’m already submitting my book The Ultimate Wonder to agents. I think it’s really marketable and have just started submitting queries to agents. The book is a collection of rewritten world folklore, original stories, and commentary on the theme of death.
Aside from writing and trying to get your book published, do you have any other major project for the year? Well, that’s a lot. I wrote over forty poems and forty haikus last year which I want to refine. I’m researching for another story, and yes do want to find a publisher. I have a day job as a school nurse and a loving husband, so no other major projects.
LINKS:AUTHOR’S PAGE ON AMAZON:AUTHOR’S BLOG:
I can feel you, my love
in the gentle winds
arriving with your scent,
the sweet smell on the
of your skin
so soft I can feel you near;
your hands tracing lines
of desire on my chest.
I hear your call
I hear it in the music
of the pines,
the ethereal melodies
that bring me to the west –
the place we’ve made a home.
Today, the sun is at full gold;
it’s the vision of your
warm smile that appears
in my dreams and makes
me call out your name.
No more will I endure the distance
for without you, my love,
I’m a lone tree on barren land,
a castle without an army,
a knight without honor.
So I’ll return to you, my love,
for home is where your heart lies,
where mine will beat forever safe.
When Oscar Wilde is sentenced for “gross indecency,” the news spreads like a wild fire across the globe. Upon reaching Red River Pass, it throws the small Nevada town into pandemonium and restlessness. Hateful prejudice and abuse is the common response for this recently criminalized act, and sets the tone for activities in the coming week.
In Mahurin’s debut novel, we are introduced to several intriguing characters and how their lives are affected by the news of this same sex relationship. As if this seemingly forbidden act wasn’t present in the town, we find in Mildred and her cousin Edra, a lesbian couple who tries their best to keep their relationship a secret. But then in Red River Pass, gossip sells.
Admitting that they are not immune from suspicion, Mildred comes up with a plan. She tries to court Charley, a widower, with the hope of turning away public eye from her and her partner. At first this seems like a perfect plan but it soon creates a chain of mind-gripping events that sets up a very realistic ending.
As an aspiring writer, I am attracted to Mahurin’s style of writing. She writes sensibly and sensitively…strong on description, mood and setting. Her intelligent use of time (as this pertains to historical fiction) is worthy of emulation. During this period of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment, she incorporates other historical issues like sovereignty and racism into her story. This helps to create an atmosphere that really dates back in time and doesn’t bore the reader in any way. The quotes of Oscar Wilde at the start of each chapter are well chosen. In fact, I consider them to be sweet preludes. One can’t go through the book without taking note of the emotions (greed, anger, malice, jealousy, and love) and behavior of the characters in her book. They are all believable and memorable. Also, the dialogues throughout the book are in no way disappointing.
Even if you are not into historical fiction, I bet you’ll still find this book worth the while. Within the story is an important lesson about cultivating good friendship, tolerance, and love.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
*I have received a free copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review*