I need to read more

So, with this long weekend (5 day) that we had off school I…

Cleaned the Laundry room, sorted out winter clothes for the girls from boxes, went to the new Reacher movie (no, I haven’t read that book either though I’ve read a lot of the Reacher books), cleaned off the dining room table, went grocery shopping, added the Jefferson curl to my new exercises to ignore list (though if I had a trainer and he looked like that…..), listened to Tim Ferriss a few times, Can I just say here, holy shit, Jocko Willink! I couldn’t stop listening, took my girls to the local pumpkin patch fun zone, did laundry, wrote, cooked,I may have picked up a book, but only to move it, oh yeah, I cleaned out both litter boxes correctly for the first time in too long, and checked out the sexy cowboy’s Snapchat from
Amsterdam, he was naughty boy.

One of the things that working a traditional job has made me too lazy for is reading. As a writer, reading is imperative.I really believe that. I don’t read enough, not nearly. I don’t mean just novels, either. I mean pins and tweets and FB posts as well. If I’m not reading I’m not communicating. If I’m not communicating I’m not connecting. If I’m not connected then no one knows anything about me.

Especially the important parts.


Living in My Head

We are a good solid six weeks back into school. A good month and a half of getting back into routine and a good month of catching every stinking germ that goes through a school of 400 kids aged 5-11. I know our locality isn’t the only that’s been hit hard with the viruses, but it seems early for as many kids as have barfed in class or the lunchroom, sneezed on me and wiped a snotty hand on my pants or shirt as I help them.


So last weekend, as I crawled into bed at 8:30 on Friday night, exhausted and achy, I laid my congested head down and silently apologized to all the dirty places in my home that were not going to get attention that weekend and wandered through that doorway in my mind that takes me to another place.

Many years ago, in junior high, I read The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber for the first time. I remember a distinct discomfit at how well I, a fourteen year old girl, understood this pitiful man. I was alarmed that an adult would need to escape in their head, indeed, I was looking forward to adulthood and the opportunity to live in the real world. It never occurred to me that it was a comedic short story.

Fast forward a few decades and there I sat on another Sunday evening, having spent most of the weekend living in my own head. Knowing, in part, that it was because I’d been unwell, and in part because I spend so much of my week in face to face contact with kids, teachers and bosses, and it takes a lot out of me. But as I took a hot shower, I felt my throat close, felt the tears burn as I wondered if I’d ever allow myself to live out loud again.


Until recently, I thought it was how most people coped. I was sure everybody thought about their actions, played out every possible scenario in their heads, practiced their conversations, indulged in their fantasies, all in their own heads before acting on them. Imagine my surprise when I realized, no, most people simply do what they want, say what they want, when they want. It’s shocking!

I’ve done that twice. Two periods in my life where I let go and lived. The first was a complete disaster, a nervous breakdown, a move from the United States mainland. The second, while much more successful, showed me things about myself that disappointed me and sent me scurrying back to the safety behind my eyes. And here I stand, a step inside the shadows, biding my time, knowing the moment is almost here that I step back out of my head. Excited, nervous, trying hard to be patient, trying not think too much about how many years it has taken.



Everything She Ever Wanted: A Different Kind of Love Novel by Liz Durano — Love, Sex & Other Dirty Words

Liz Durano has known me since I started putting my writing out there in the world for all the scary people to read. She is a talented writer, a tireless researcher and a busy mom. Please take a moment and join me in celebrating her new book Everything She Ever Wanted.

Congratulations Liz!


Everything She Ever Wanted (A Different Kind of Love Novel) by Liz Durano Early Release Day: October 12, 2016 AMAZON | IBOOKS | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO Sign up for Liz’s newsletter and be the first to be notified of releases! http://www.subscribepage.com/lizdurano Join Liz’s Reader Group on Facebook for early news on books, chats and […]

via Everything She Ever Wanted: A Different Kind of Love Novel by Liz Durano — Love, Sex & Other Dirty Words

How do I love thee?

Me and my kitty muse.

Well, if writing is the kitten….you get the idea.

I love writing. I really, really, really, LOVE writing. So why do I go through these periods when writing can barely tolerate me?  There are always stories rattling around in my head and inappropriate but funny crap is bound to fall out of my mouth on a daily basis in conversation. The question then becomes, why can’t I string three words together when I sit down at my computer screen?


I have a co-worker whom I love to tease. He made the unfortunate mistake of blushing when I made a borderline inappropriate joke at his expense. He went home and brushed up on all his comebacks and I’ve never known a moment’s peace since. It’s become a challenge everyday in the lunchroom, who gets the last word because the other can’t get that rapier out quick enough. Today, he scored first blood by casually asking me what I was going to do without him around to harass next year.

I had nothing, not a single word came to my defense. He won. Hours later I hit on the perfect reply but it was too late. There is no new battle till Monday. In the midst of that chaotic lunchroom, he got the best of me in a match of wits.

The sad part is, I already knew he was planning a transfer, he had mentioned it weeks ago. I’d even thought about it a time or two, how terrible next year would be without him to joke with. A job I’ve tolerated because it’s a good job, turned into something I looked forward to because of friendship, but now I’m faced with the realization that it will be back to something tolerated very soon. That realization left me inarticulate today.


I know there are many authors who have written their best novels under onerous conditions, circumstances far worse than my own. Even so, in the past year I’ve come to realize that I need, space and quiet and room to let my voices talk to me, if I want to write.

I don’t like saying that out loud because the first thing I think is oh aren’t you the precious one. Poor little girl can’t write AND work, poor lazy thing. 


It’s my mom’s voice, I hear it in. Not that she ever said those exact words to me, but it’s heavily cloaked in her inability to sit still with her own thoughts. She never just sat in a chair and daydreamed, if she sat down without handwork in her lap, it was to nap, never to dream.


I grew up in a hardworking home. Only after the chores were done, the meals taken care of, the younger children put to bed, the showers taken and the pets and plants watered, the last dish washed, dried and put away, only then were we left to our dreaming. By that time of night, you fell into your bed and were unconscious in moments. I’ve realized that daydreaming is my stories lifeblood. I’ve come to understand that I need quiet places and undisturbed hours to tempt my characters out of their corners.


But here I am, counting down to bedtime on Sunday night because I’m back to work tomorrow morning. I’ve managed to string a couple of words together today, yay for me! I’d love to hear what you do, how do you balance writing and the work you get paid for? In the meantime, here’s to another week of being able to buy food!

Magic Men, A Month Later…

They’re still making me smile.


I’ve lived in Salt Lake City, a few different times in my life. It was the closest big city to where I grew up and I’ve always had friends and family there.

Enter, the Magic Men Live Tour.

Three weeks ago, I was on the phone with my youngest sister, who lives in Salt Lake City. We were talking about having a girls night with, well, the girls, two other sisters and two sisters-in-law and invariably the talk turned to Magic Men. You see, they were coming to Utah. My sister was hoping I’d jump a plane and come down and we’d go together. It would have been a blast. She looked up tickets, this was three weeks before the show, and was shocked that in conservative Salt Lake City, all the good seats were sold out.

She said- Who’s buying all the best seats?

I said- Good Mormon girls, that’s who!

Much laughter ensued.

I follow Magic Men on Snapchat and let me just say this, if you love the Magic Men and you don’t follow their Snapchat, you are missing out. Big time. They are hilarious and sexy and hilarious. A deadly combination.

Last night they Snapped about some social media rumors going around about the show. You see, their appearance coincided with the twice yearly LDS Men’s General Priesthood Meeting, held at the Conference Center across the street from Temple Square. The Magic Men were performing at the Salt Palace, half a mile away.



One comment in particular had me in stitches, the men go to priesthood meeting and the women go to Magic Men. I’m still laughing when I read it.  There were also several misguided comments about church tribunals and even excommunication if a woman so much as touched one of the Magic Men at the show.

Now, to clarify, a woman in the church would not be excommunicated for touching a male dancer. No matter how much her God fearing husband might wish it so. I was raised a strict Mormon and truly, you really have to be a serious screw up to get kicked out (or gay, or like to talk a lot about the church on social media, but those are other, far less fun, posts). So when I saw this Magic Men snap this morning,

Yes, that’s another girl on the floor behind him. They don’t call him Chocolate Boy Wonder for nothing!


then this one…

Nom Nom

I laughed hard enough for the girls to come check on me. Thanks guys, for the big smile before I even got out of bed this morning.



Their humor is infectious. Do yourself a favor, give yourself the gift of a little laughter, stop taking yourself so seriously and follow them! They’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.



It’s been almost a year since I’ve had any contact with my father.

It’s a long story, but the short version is that when my mother died my father didn’t handle it or his children well.

I suspect this stand-off has much more to do with my current writing funk than I’m willing to admit.

One of the lines I wrote to him was, We’re are all adults now, we all know why you rushed to get remarried.

I must have re-read that line fifty times. It wasn’t the most shocking thing I said, or the most difficult but it caught my attention and wouldn’t let go. Never in my life did I foresee a day I, as an adult woman, would feel the need take my father to task. In fact, I don’t remember ever thinking about being an adult much at all.

I imagine this he pictured something like this as he read.

I think that because when my sixteen year old son snaps at me, I see this…

None of this changes the fact that what I said, truly, desperately needed to be said. Nor does it mean I could have said it any differently. It’s hard when your parent disappoints you. It’s heartbreaking when you must explain it to them.

Like all uncomfortable lessons, it has ingrained in me the importance of listening, of paying attention, of the necessity that is communication.

I’ll learn from my dad’s mistakes so that someday I’ll have the pleasure of picking up a little boy who looks something like my own, and enjoy the company of my adult son.  I’m not perfect, but I take seriously his trust. His teenage years are giving us ample opportunities to practice disagreeing, being mad, and resolving our problems almost like adults.

I wish I had it in me to be more appreciative of this particular phase of my education.

My Perfect Mistress

For those of you who might be curious, here’s the intro and a short excerpt from my first published story, My Perfect Mistress.


Zoe Flanders has had a hell of a year – with a divorce from her philandering husband, the death of her mother and the quickie remarriage of her father – heaven knows she needs a break. So when her best friend suggests she visit an online site specializing in alternative lifestyles, Zoe figures she’s got nothing to lose, not when she’s just looking. But her search for a man to make her fantasies come alive takes a slight turn to the unexpected when she hits it off instead with a man wanting to be her submissive.

This is an erotic short story, 13,000 words. It contains explicit sexual content and explores some elements of BDSM. It is for mature readers only.



Zoe glanced at the profile picture and sat up. Now, this one she recognized. This gorgeous male body, from the neck down. He was simply beautiful, older than the 8inchHardOn, and perfectly beautiful. Broad shoulders, a lean waist and hips, low slung jeans, and heavy muscled arms. She’d looked at his profile a couple of times but ultimately resigned him to the ‘in my wildest dreams’ pile. “What could he possibly want from a kitten, hm, Lilac?”


How are u

Very well, thank you. How are you?

Casual thanks
What are you up to tonight?

She glanced at the neat stack of worksheets on her nightstand, all graded and carefully marked with encouraging comments.

Finishing up a few papers from work today.




Zoe looked at his profile page again. Orientation – Straight; Looking for – A Mistress; Relationship Status – submissive. He was just so mouthwateringly put together. She looked at the submissive tag again, smiling.

Not that kind of teacher.

What kind?

The kind in a pencil skirt and stilettos, hair up in a bun, horn rimmed glasses and a very stiff ruler in her hand.

I can understand the stiff part

Zoe smiled as she typed.

So, what does a submissive man looking for a Mistress want from a sub?

Pheasant 41
Hm, not sure, I’m exploring I guess. I totally crush over women older than me.

Zoe laughed aloud at that, covering her mouth at the unexpected sound.

Why is that?

Not sure

Me either. There are lots of gorgeous young women on here.

Isn’t beauty in the eye of the beholder?

Zoe smiled, “Uh oh, Lilac, we’ve got a charmer.”

Well, yes.
You’re trouble, I see.

How is that?

Silver tongue

I doubt that

I don’t….naughty boy.

So u can see my pics could you describe yourself?

Zoe looked down at her size sixteen self. “Ah yes, the looks. That’s why we’re here, to cut to the chase, right? Very well, here goes nothing.”

Brunette, short, curved in most of the right places and some of the wrong.
You look like the boys I lusted after in college.

Naughty boy I like that
I love curves
In all places

She rolled her eyes at the computer screen, “I should ask about rolls.”

Lusted after
That’s a whole lot of past tense and sounds unrequited. Maybe I could help with that?

“Oh, I do like you. Sorry, time to scare you away.”

You are too cute, makes me want to chain you up in some dungeon, strap on a dildo and see what it’s like to be in charge.

And hot
Tell me more.

Zoe laughed, “Cheeky brat.”

You want a story?

Love one

…..about a hot boy, legs spread and ankles locked, arms chained to the rafters, cock trapped in a delightful chastity cage, with one of those devilish metal rods inserted right into his leaking slit. The Mistress walks around him, a slow circle, her hand stroking his shaking body. On her next circuit, she picks up a flogger, feathering its leather strands along the massive dildo that sways between her legs. “Yes, it’s going in your ass, but first, how many times have I told you I don’t like you dripping all over my floor?”

Now, off to bed with you, young man. Make sure you alternate hands; we wouldn’t want to mar the beautiful line on either of those arms….

When can I serve you mamma?

I really am submissive; I crave that control taken away. Though it doesn’t mean I can’t fantasize a bit about a hot younger man.

Obviously, I still can.

So hot
Interested in making it more than a fantasy?

I’ve never even played before. You don’t want me anywhere near that sweet ass with a ten-inch dildo!

Try me
I beg

Try you…that’s a spanking just waiting to happen.
It’s bedtime, boy.
But feel free to come back for a story sometime.

Really look forward to chatting with u again

Thank you
I had fun.

She closed her laptop and lay back on the pillows with a little laugh. “Lord, forgive me, but that was the most fun I’ve had in months!”

If you’d like to read all of Zoe’s adventure you can click here.

That Friend

We all have that friend.
The one your husband is afraid of.
The one that manages to wreck your modesty filters.
The one that scares the hell out of you but you’re laughing so hard you can’t dial 911.
Yes, that friend.

This past summer won’t go down in history as a favorite, for either of us. Our lazy weeks of hanging out at the pool while the kids swim, or drinking on the deck while they jump on the tramp just never materialized. Too little time, too little money, too many commitments.

She texted me in early August after we hadn’t spoken for a few weeks-

It would be nice to hear from you again sometime this year….

I’d been wondering if she’d gotten sick of my lame self and was happy enough to hear from her that I made an honest to goodness phone call.

Me- Hey, what’s up?

Her- I’m getting tickets to a show on Friday, Sept. 2nd with Whit, come with us.

Me- Well, what show?

Her- Magic Men

Me- I-

Her-Come on! It’ll be more fun if you come.

Me-What’s Magic Men?

Her-(Facepalm) It’s like Magic Mike, the movie, you know?

Me-(Facepalm)How much?

Her-$27, all I can get with three seats together is front row balcony, damn it!

Me-Eh, what the hell, count me in.

(Conversation is my approximate memory and will not stand up in a court of law)

I remember a brief moment of thought given to the memory of being raised a God-fearing, ultra-conservative Mormon girl in the backwoods of Idaho.

My guess, he’s been in a small, middle of nowhere town before.

So, she got us tickets on front row balcony, right side. I paid her my forty bucks (after taxes) and truly didn’t think another thing about it until Friday Sept. 2nd, when I found myself sitting in the aisle seat, front row balcony, right side. Whit had been replaced because of work commitments with Garvey, an adored friend from work. We’d gone out for drinks beforehand at Peacock Alley and fortified our courage. Okay, just me, they drank for fun, I had a Washington Apple on the rocks and hoped I wasn’t about to regret my split second decision. north_dakota_bismarck_peacock_alley2

Sitting in a theater I’ve been in once before (Craig Ferguson, he was a riot) I glance at the curtained alcove a scant couple of feet away. Standing, a bit abruptly, I ask Garvey to trade seats with me. I mutter something about hating to sit on the aisle. She switches without complaint and I find myself wedged between my two friends in one of the 452 narrow, squeaky, red plush seats of the hundred year old Belle Mehus Auditorium.belle-mehus-auditorium_northern-plains-dance-facebook

Stuffing my purse under my chair, I take a good, long look at the crowds of women filing in. This is my first inkling that tonight might be a bit of a wild party. Well, that and the beer and Mike’s Hard Lemonade cans that are steadily lining up along the edge of the balcony. An usher comes in and tells everyone to keep their cans in their hands to avoid any unpleasant mishaps with the crowds of women below us. As the lights dim in a five-minute warning, Garvey thinks to ask me why I traded her seats.

I point at the curtain, “When some guy comes out of there, you’re the target, not me.”

She looks at the curtain, “I’m not okay with that,” she says, for the first time in the evening.

I think she even swore but I can’t be sure because at that moment every other woman in the auditorium screamed in lascivious glee as the disembodied voice of our host for the evening asked Bismarck if they were ready…..

Holy Hell, the reverberation in the place is deafening!

The lights dim, the giant movie screen begins a sixty-second countdown driving the gaggle of women into a fever pitch of anticipation. Then the pounding base from massive speakers, the giant movie screen flashing perfectly suited men in a 1950’s L.A.themed film, and a veritable hoard of intoxicated women and men (three of them, we counted) go wild.

I actually covered my ears. Yes, I’m that old. Then they took the stage, lined up in their trench coats, umbrellas in hand. I look over at Garvey, “Really? Raining Men?” I don’t think she heard me in the absolute pandemonium and truthfully, two seconds later I couldn’t have recalled what I said.

The umbrella’s were thrown, the hat’s tossed, the trench coats removed…I’m not as old as I thought I was. It takes shockingly little time to catalog the men and what they blatantly offer.

“Will you look at that one!” Tori (that friend) says, pointing out a muscle-bound, heavily tattooed man, but my attention had already been caught by, the flash of a dimpled cheek. Yes, the cheek on a face, people, stay with me!

I shake my head, “Nope, that one, with the Celtic Knot Tattoo between his shoulders.” Something about the wry, self-possession in the humor that plays around his lips, divided by width of his shoulders, and multiplied by that damn dimple that can probably be seen from outer space.

As we near the end of the first number, it occurs to me that I have no idea how far these men are about to go. I mean S-T-R-I-P.

I ask Garvey, “How far are they going to go?”

Her eyes glued to the stage, she repeats the words I’m going to hear a great deal of tonight, “I’m not okay with this.”

It makes me giggle.

Well, you wanna know? Too bad, what happens at Magic Men Live, stays and Magic Men Live. It’s true, they said so.

Photo property of Magic Men Live

Now is a good time to point out that I am strictly a watcher. I am not a joiner.

Our host warned us right up front that no one was safe, not even the balcony. But since I’m not sitting on the aisle and as we inch closer to intermission (for lack of a better word like, lapdanceapalooza or whatatwentybuysnowadays) I’m feeling safe and relaxed.

Garvey is terrified.

The house lights come up as they invite women to the stage and Tori and I complain to each other that we didn’t bring more cash. Garvey shakes her head at us and we all sit back to watch the absolutely insane things women think perfectly honed men will do for twenty bucks. Women are crazy.

Tori was the first to note there was a man roaming the rows of the balcony behind us.

“What?!” Garvey and I drag our eyes from the spectacle on the stage to spot the black cowboy hat surrounded by a sea of women back in the top rows of the balcony.

“What the hell? Is he crazy? He’ll never make it out of there alive!” I say. Dang it, and he’s the pretty one with the dimple and the smile that says, I’m sexy and I know it but I can make you laugh too.


That shirtless man, his black hat and gorgeous a** went up and down every single row of the balcony, tag teaming with The Chocolate Boy Wonder.

Oh, you say, surely not every row. Yes, every single row of the balcony. My friends and I watch him wander closer and closer. Wander isn’t the right word here, it was more like bushwhacking through a jungle of one-armed, (so that’s why they sell beer, keeps at least one hand busy) soul-sucking phantasms howling his name as he moves skillfully out of reach. He heads to the West side of the balcony and Garvey starts breathing again. She giggles even, about how sweaty the men on stage are, as she searches her purse for hand sanitizer. Her brain demanding she disinfect even though she has yet to actually lay a finger on any one of them. Perhaps it noticed something her consciousness has yet to register, because  it’s this exact moment the cowboy materializes right there beside her, giving quick hugs to a couple of woozily dancing women making use of our alcove.

Then he looks down at Garvey as she stutters, “OhNOIDONT, I’m not ok with this.”

I’m laughing at Garvey’s predicament and really enjoying that dimple up close when he suddenly steps OVER my stammering friend with a charming, “Comin’ through here, ladies.”

I stop breathing and try to slide back far enough in the narrow seat to get my legs out-of-the-way as Tori jumps to her feet next to me.

Now, I don’t know who had the best view of what happened in the next 30 seconds. I’m convinced I did, because that fine ass in those tight jeans was close enough to kiss. But Tori swears that the look on our faces was priceless. Yeah, I don’t believe her either, what red-blooded woman is looking at her friends faces when this is six inches away moving to the music like sex was the greatest invention of the modern age.

Property of Magic Men Live

Oh, to be ten, okay fifteen… fine, dammit, twenty years younger!

I was a little mesmerized by the Celtic tattoo between his shoulder blades and the rippling muscles as he gyrated between my knees. So not exaggerating. I know I was laughing, I’m sure my face was red, but it was pure pleasure and more than a little thrilling. When he leaned back, I put a cautious hand on his skin so he’d remember someone was back there, turns out, he knew all along.4

I don’t know what the dance looked like from the front but he put a grin the size of Texas on my face from the back. Then he took a step, gave Tori a quick hug and smiled his way to the next group of women, leaving our little group speechless and grinning like idiots.

I’ve never been to a Magic Men Live show before. I had no idea what to expect. There were moments I wish I’d been better prepared to show some appreciation.

Somehow these guys managed to dance for two hours under blazing stage lights, jumping on and off the stage, carrying around women of all sizes and yet were still smiling and smelling sweet as they charmed their way through the crowd. Their one aim seemed to be making sure every woman left the show feeling personally thanked. Whether she was just there to watch, wanted more personal attention, or simply enjoying the spectacle, I honestly believe this bunch of guys want every woman leaving with a smile on her face.

I can tell you, the next time those poor boys come to Bismarck, I’ll be ready for them, though still not sitting in the aisle seat.

Poetry that speaks to me

The sentences become jumbled as I try to function daily. I can’t stop thinking about you. My imagination is in every corner of my mind. I can’t stop thinking about your face. As every second, minute, and days passed your beauty becomes more intensified. You are gorgeous in every way. You are making me crazy […]

via Gorgeous Makes Me Crazy  — Inner Ramblings Boulevard:


Creative Wonder

Did you know that you can buy Captain Crunch with marshmallows? Cute little colored marshmallows just like the ones you picked out of Lucky Charms as a kid, only with Captain Crunch you want to eat the crunchy bits too!



I’m only willing to pay for this version, though. I’m not a complete idiot.


I’m telling you this to help you understand my relationship with food. The less I have to interact with my food, the happier I am. I don’t want to cook dinner, ever. I never cook breakfast, ever. Lunch is my favorite meal, usually a sandwich piled with spinach, tomato, avocado and Wisconsin Bread and Butter pickles. I enjoy eating out but not because I have a culinary bent pr any kind of taste, I just love that it wasn’t me who cooked it. It’s the ultimate luxury, sitting down at a table and being brought food. And I’m usually satisfied by the fare I’m served, until recently, until I hit that time of life when drive through meals just aren’t  as satisfying as they used to be. Until I watched the first episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table.


I just finished the last episode of Season 2. I feel such a need to go to Chicago and pay something north of $500 to eat at a little place called Alinea. I have such a desire to watch a chef create their art on the table in front of me.


I aspire to pick up a spoon after feasting with my eyes and brain and still not know where to start.


….and I need to eat balloons for dessert.