Hope, With or Without Feathers

Emily Dickinson wrote, “Hope is the thing with feathers”, and that she could hear it’s song through a gale-force wind. Emily had really good hearing, or maybe she was just an optimist.

Hope is a tool for the optimist, only they can use it. Pessimist wouldn’t even think to pick it up, and wouldn’t know how to use it if they did. Hope is a big tool, a useful tool, the ‘motor drill’ of the tool belt. It is not just a feeling, but a way of thinking that can alter behavior and decision making.

It is also the word most frequently used by readers who send me emails after reading any of my three ‘Manhattan Girl’ stories. When I started writing erotica, I never expected “your stories give me hope” to be a common comment in my feedback. Then again, I write pretty weird erotica. My characters have sexual relationships, but they always have adversity to deal with and overcome. I write what I know. Actually, the hot sex is a product of my sexy imagination, overcoming adversity is what I really know something about.

I recently received one of the “your stories give me hope” emails, and I would like to apologize for my response. The reader wrote that he is going through a divorce and that my stories gave him hope for the future, made him see the way things could be. I wrote back chastising the man, reminding him that I write romance, it is all fantasy, and that life isn’t really like that. I was having a bad day.

I want to believe that life can be like my stories. I don’t see why it can’t. I’m not talking about the sexual prowess of my characters, I’m talking about the way they treat each other. Is it possible?

I am an optimist who believes in love. Why shouldn’t I? I love myself, and I have a lot of love to give. I also am older, wiser, and not handicapped by a biological clock that is pounding in my ears and influencing my judgement. I am mature enough to realize that the outer shell is just that. I know the characteristics I am compatible with. I am rich with experience, not in need, but aware of what works. I’m am really on a hilltop, not in a hole, and my future looks really good from this perspective.

I have many useful tools in my belt, and my hope is charged. Sort of. I’m an optimist, so if it runs low, I’ll plug it in and recharge it. I’m going to be better than okay.

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On My Mind

Random thoughts on an important Saturday, and a poem I didn’t write or remember saving. Finding it felt like finding a twenty dollar bill in the dryer. I did paint the flower bird and bake the cupcakes, though. 

If I showed you my teardrops,

Would you collect them like rain,

Save them in jars,

That are labelled with “Pain”.

Would you follow their tracks,

From my eyes down my cheeks,

As they write all the stories,

I’m too scarred to speak,

Would you stop them with kisses,

Bring their flow to a halt,

As you teach me that pain,

Isn’t always my fault,

Would you hold my face gently,

As you dry both my eyes,

And whisper the words,

“You’re too precious to cry”,

If I showed you my teardrops,

Would you show me your own,

And learn though we’re lonely,

We’re never alone.

e.h.

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Felina Goes Fishing

Felina walked along the edge of the large pond, feeling sad and brave at the same time. I wonder if there are any fish in this pond? she thought to herself. She knelt at the edge of the pond and dipped her hand into the water and felt around. Something grazed her hand and she quickly pulled back, but then cautiously put her hand back in and closed it around the body of a fish. She pulled the colorful fish from the water, astounded that she had caught him so easily.

“Were you looking for a fish like me? Because I’m a good example of the type,” the fish said.

Felina shook her head in disbelief, “I didn’t even know fish like you existed.”

“I’m quite rare. I’ve never met another talking fish either.”

“Why did you let me catch you so easily?”

“I’ve been waiting for someone like you to come along. Someone hopeful enough to stick their hand in murky water and pull out a lonely but extraordinary fish.”

“Astounding!” Felina exclaimed to the fish whom she now held gently in both hands. She carefully placed the fish back into the water, where he stayed near the surface and swam around while talking to her about many things. They talked for hours, as he swam in circles near the surface, and he made her laugh with his shark impression. She listened and then told him about her own life, and he listened. When she put her feet in the water, he nibbled her toes and made her giggle.

“I must say, I didn’t expect to meet such a special fish today. Or ever, for that matter.”

“I knew I would eventually meet a lovely woman. I only hoped she’d be silly enough to talk to a fish.” He flipped his caudal fin to send a playful splash her way. “I see many fish each day, but alas, they are all non-speaking varieties.”

Felina nodded because she understood. “I was a bit sad when I arrived at this pond. You have made me smile and laugh more than I have in a long time. But it is getting late and I must be going.”

“Why? Why can’t you stay and smile and laugh some more?”

“I would love to, except I have responsibilities, things I need to take care of.”

The fish swam back and forth, but did not answer.

“I have a home, and I left the doors open. The fire is not lit. I have a little cat that will be hungry.”

The fish swam back and forth, but did not answer.

“You wouldn’t consider me lovely if I neglected my cat.”

The fish finally answered, “I’m worried you won’t come back.”

Felina laughed at the absurdity. “You silly fish. Isn’t it obvious how much I enjoy your company?”

The fish floated on his side while considering the question. “But what if you are walking home and you meet a talking fox? Or a talking squirrel? Or a talking bird.”

Felina thought for a moment and said, “I met a talking fish today, and it has been amazing. If all the animals start speaking to me, it would be a tragedy. That would imply that I’ve simply gone mad. Then you wouldn’t be special at all.”

“Hmmm,” said the fish. “I think I see what you mean.”

“Besides, today might be the day you find another talking fish in that pond, and then I won’t seem nearly as interesting to you.”

“I want you to come back.”

Felina was suddenly overwhelmed by the vulnerability expressed by the fish who didn’t have the ability to come to her. “I will come back, I promise. I could not possibly stay away from a fish such as yourself.”

“I’ll be here.”

Felina walked home and did not meet a talking fox, or squirrel, or bird. When she got home, she said ‘hello’ to her cat who answered with a hungry meow. So I am not crazy. I actually met a talking fish, and I already miss him.

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The Thing About Pluto

It seems most people find their way to this blog by way of reading my Manhattan Girl trilogy. If you came that route, you know I am taking a break from erotica and writing mainstream fiction. I hope you will enjoy more quirky-character driven stories with likable people overcoming adversity, and perhaps falling in love during the process. (But you will have to use your imagination for the sex scenes this time.)

Here’s a hint on what I’m working on these days, kind of an edgy coming-of-age story, possibly a love story:

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