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The Daily Mood by Christy Nicholas

My musical writing prompts were:

1.) Heavy Metal/Hard Rock- Street of Dreams by Rainbow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQvu5Eo7rKI

2.) Pop/Hip-Hop- Stitches by Shawn Mendez https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbfpW0pbvaU

3.) Country/Singer-Song Writer- Burning House by Cam https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyGSe76rAJc

4.) Instrumental/Soundtrack- Axel F from the original Beverly Hills Cop https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4kWpi2HnPU

5.) Wild Card- Valley Girl by Moon Zappa https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb21lsCQ3EM

I chose Axel F, as it represented an integral part of my formative years. It was the first purely musical popular song I remember loving. To this day, I will still get up and dance to it. It ushered in an era of hilarious cop movies with the immortal Eddie Murphy. It was a synopsis of the joy and fun of the 1980s, despite all the problems and tragedies that occurred during that time. It didn’t matter how bad things got, people were optimistic and happy for the future. That’s what the song meant for me, and what it still means for me. Optimism is a huge part of my personality. I am happy in the morning. I get up before the alarm goes off. I don’t need coffee for energy. Axel F epitomizes that feeling.

 

 

*****

The Daily Mood

 

Siobhan woke and glanced at her alarm. Was it time to get up yet? The red letters blinked 6:28am. Well, two minutes away. Why wait for the alarm to buzz and wake up her husband? She flipped out of the cocoon of blankets and turned the alarm off.

The shower was hot and the water pressure strong. Was there any better feeling on a cold morning? The kittens, just four months old, had started a game of hide and seek in the shower curtain. Cyril jumped up on the side of the tub and Lana pushed him, so he fell into the bathtub itself. He was startled by the water and scrambled back out while Siobhan laughed at the antics.

She dressed in relative darkness, so as not to wake her husband, Jerry. He had been suffering from bad pains with the change of the weather, and needed his rest. Otherwise he would be Grumpy McWhinypants today.

Once out of the darkened bedroom, she flipped on the kitchen lights. She took down some instant oatmeal and frowned at it. Her favorite as a child had been raisins and spice flavor, but they discontinued that. Now she used cinnamon and spice and added her own raisins. Nostalgia sometimes took adjustment.

She turned on her music stream and sat to check her email. Lana tried to sample her oatmeal, but decided it wasn’t good enough for her. Cyril, on the other hand, was quite happy to lick out the empty bowl for the bits of oatmeal and cream that clung to the sides.

Another email from an art show. Siobhan opened it with trepidation. She had just moved to the area, and applied to several fine art shows for the summer. She had no idea which were the good ones for her jewelry, but it was always a matter of trial and error. What might be good for one artist wouldn’t be good for the next. This was for one about an hours’ drive away, and therefore too far to stay overnight at home. She’d have to add the cost of a hotel for two nights to the booth fee, and pray she made profit.

Alas, it was a mixed success. She was on the waiting list. If she wanted a show that weekend, she’d have to try for another, smaller show. Most fine art shows took applications six months in advance or more, but some smaller shows, like Celtic festivals or Italian festivals, were only a month or two. Or she could hold out that someone would cancel and she’d get the call – perhaps only a day or two before the show.

Emails finished, she started her morning promotions. She ran an ad on Facebook for her jewelry, not expecting much, but at least hoping for some local exposure. The best part of a Facebook was that you could target geographical areas. The worst part was there was no way to know how well it worked.

She created a quick graphic with a 10% off coupon for anyone that printed it and brought it to a show. Maybe that would help. After she created the ad and set it up to run, she went back to her show lists.

There was a small Irish festival that weekend, and it was closer, just a half hour away. The booth fee was only $150, as well, rather than the $400 for the fine art show. It would be lower in sales, surely, but less risk. She sighed and signed up for it. Her first year in the area, better to be safe than sorry. When she had built up a local following, it would be easier to consider riskier ventures.

Her husband started to rumble about. She glanced at the clock, and saw it was almost 7:30am already. He needed to get up soon. He had a lunch shift today at the restaurant, and needed time to wake up in the morning.

It had been exciting, moving to a new place. The restaurant Jerry worked at had transferred him farther north than they’d ever lived, but the snow was beautiful, if annoying. It was a far cry from the sultry Florida they had spent most of their lives.

A song came on her stream and it flashed her back to her childhood. Axel F from Beverly Hills Cop. It made her want to get up and dance. Why not? She got up and flailed about like the girl with no rhythm or grace that she was. She didn’t care. It was fun and light and positive.

It was going to be a good day.

 

 

Don’t miss the Irish adventure, Legacy of Hunger!

Legacy of Hunger cover

About the author:

Christy Jackson Nicholas

Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon, has her hands in many crafts, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing, and photography. In real life, she’s a CPA, but having grown up with art all around her (her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected her, as it were. She loves to draw and to create things. She says it’s more of an obsession than a hobby. She likes looking up into the sky and seeing a beautiful sunset, or seeing a fragrant blossom or a dramatic seaside. She takes a picture or creates a piece of jewelry as her way of sharing this serenity, this joy, this beauty with others. Sometimes this sharing requires explanation – and thus she writes. Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. She does local art and craft shows, as well as sending her art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad.

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Twitter: @greendragon9

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The Seamstress of Verona

Cameron had the following prompts to choose from:

Amy- A red Harley Davidson and a time machine

Erika- I can’t find my favorite pink blouse

Wendy-  Unicorns, Mermaids, and Faeries, Oh MY!

Jen- Why do birds suddenly appear

…. And with Erika’s prompt, she wrote some “fractured Shakespeare” …

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16 July, 2013

Dear Diary,

I cannot find my favorite pink blouse. It is not simply a blouse, however; it is a lifeline. Let me take you back some several hundred years to its beginnings with us.

Romeo and I never, across these four centuries or more, learned from whence the pink silk received its magic. Draped as it was outside the tomb, my Romeo and I questioned not its existence; rather, we simply assumed advantage from it.

You see, on our escape from the tomb that late-July night, we possessed no dressing gowns or proper clothing to cover our frames. The embalming fabrics had proved worthless in both form and function; impractical in every possible sense. Romeo had graciously helped unwind the dressings from my slight frame just as readily as I offered assistance to him.

As sunrise approached and the time for our great escape drew necessary, we pushed aside the stones that covered the opening to the tomb and happened upon a lovely surprise: Drawn up in a massive heart-shaped bunting outside the tomb were more than a dozen yards of rose-colored silk.

Romeo, ever the gentlemen, wrapped me carefully in nearly all of the silk, tying the bodice tightly but leaving the skirt loose enough for me to run and climb. He spared only enough of the pink silk to fashion a modest codpiece for himself.

And away we ran. Through the catacombs, up to the surface of the burial grounds, and past the grave markers of simpler folks, we sought our freedom. Over the rolling hills and through olive groves we made our way to the remote village outside Verona that would be our eternal home. There, with little more than the silk that covered us and the love that sustained us, Romeo and I began our lives.

We had planned this part of the journey: We would live out our days in relative anonymity and poverty but would remain wealthy in our love. The poet, William Shakespeare, you see, did not know that the young lovers he created had ideas of their own. Suicide, we knew, was no admirable behavior. Defying the literary tragedy the poet wrote for us, we instead pooled our intellectual resources and chose destiny over fate. [Ask any writer of fiction and she will tell you of the autonomous ways of fictional characters-in-the-making.]

But I digress. The Bard of Avon created a tragedy filled with romance, rebellion, drama and a few healthy sprinklings of comic relief. Romeo and I, with the aid of the magic silk, created eternity. That eternity was unplanned.

In the early decades of our forever-on-Earth we suspected the silk’s power, noticing that only when wearing the silk did our health and stamina thrive. Without the silk, we developed weaknesses and ailments only cured by replacing the silk. Therefore, when our baby girl was born the April after our escape, I developed my talent as seamstress. Over these many years I have crafted, assembled, disassembled and remade the silk into hundreds of patterns to adorn not only myself and Romeo, but our beautiful daughter, Romiet. As she grew, I kept her safe with a piece of silk close to her body, only removing it to allow her to grow in body and mind from time to time.

After all these centuries, however, we now find ourselves at a stopping point. Romiet is 14, as, oddly, am I still. We are a family made up of three teenagers, two of whom are parents wielding no influence over the third.  Can one imagine any dynamic more destructive – even in the presence of the magic silk? Nevertheless, this is where we find ourselves on this late-July night in 2013.

Romiet has stolen the blouse.

As family dramas go, and as dramatic tragedies are written, daughters rebel against their mothers.

Romeit has stolen the blouse. She has stolen it to protect her own eternity.

My loving Romeo and I must now rest, at last. We have bathed in our 420-year romance and now it is time to succumb to Shakespeare, who wins the tragic ending to his tale.

If there is justice to be found in this tragedy, it lies in this truth: The beautiful young Romiet – who never bothered to learn my seamstress trade – must now live out her remaining centuries in a vintage pink blouse with poufy sleeves and a hideous, ornate collar – circa-1593 meets circa-1984.

Love,

– Juliet

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This post was written by Cameron, who has not been writing enough fiction this past year for her own liking, but is grateful still to be counted among the BBB Gals and who, oddly, has referenced Shakespeare in two of her three bbbgals posts.