Jocelyne & Baraqiel part 3

Photo Credit: Photo by Руслан Кальницкий from Pexels

Happy Wednesday! Tomorrow we will be able to view a “strawberry moon”. A strawberry moon is the last full moon of June and the first full moon of summer. The term strawberry moon comes from multiple Indigenous tribes of North America who associated the moon with the ripening of the strawberries.

Here is a heads up that next Wednesday I will be taking a break from the story to give a shout out to some wonderful blogs in the WordPress world that are just too good to miss.

PIcking up where I left off last week, the story continues. Content warning: sexual content

Her dreams were filled with dancing. She was in a beautiful gown dancing at a masque ball. There were people all around, yet their faces were indistinct.  Near a table loaded with beautiful fruits and cheeses stood Esme in a ball gown. She held up a mask covering her eyes with one hand as she chatted with an unrecognizable man. Jocelyne looked around. Across the ball room were several men who seemed as if they were going to approach her and request a dance. A hand on the small of her back made her turn around and she looked up into the face of Baraqiel. Despite the mask he wore she knew the contours of his face so well that she had no doubt that it was him. No longer in a blue robe, he was dressed for the masque, blending in with everyone. He led her to the edge of the floor, and they began to dance. His movements were fluid, balletic. Even more amazing was that as he guided her amongst the other dancers, she felt herself dancing better than she ever had in her life. She was acutely aware of every place that their bodies touched, and she felt the rising heat of desire again. What was it about this man that he had this effect on her? As the throng of dancers about them grew they found themselves pressed tighter together. She felt the warmth of his body along hers and she pressed herself, unnecessarily, harder against him. His body’s reaction was immediate, and she had a self-congratulating moment in her mind. They danced until the end of the song at which point, he led her by her hand outside to a beautiful veranda. Standing behind her he pointed out the stars above, telling her about each constellation. Jocelyne was only half listening; most of her mind was paying attention to the feel of his warm breath on the back of her neck, his hands rubbing up and down her arms to warm her, and the hard press of his arousal on the back of her dress which was too thick and firm to be ignored. She wanted nothing more than to turn around and face him and as she did so, she reached her arms up to pull him down for a kiss.

      The sudden loud snap and crackle of the logs on the fire awoke her. Disoriented, her brain still on the veranda at the masque, it took her several long seconds to realize she was in her bed. Immediately she craned her neck around to see if he had awoken, but he was no longer there. He must not have been gone long-the warm impression on the goose down mattress still retained the shape of his body.  She sat up and looked around.

      “Baraqiel?”

The yearning in her voice surprised even her. Only the low crackling of the fire responded. The shadows in the corners if the room did not hide him; Baraqiel was gone. But why? Why would he come to lay in her bed and then leave without a word?  Laying back she scooted over to where he had been laying, soaking up the last remnants of his body heat and smelling that unique smell that belonged to him. She was surprised at how disappointed she was that he had gone. She had known him less than a day and here she was missing and desiring him. Despite his protests, she was convinced that this must be something he was doing to her. Closing her eyes, she fell back to sleep until the morning.

      All day she saw clients as was her normal routine. Whilst this had been her life for the past few years, a life that had contented her, now she found it tedious. She wanted to see Baraqiel, and she wanted to see him now. It was all she could do to go through the motions of her readings and make small talk with her clients. The later the hour grew without the appearance of Baraqiel the longer the day seemed. Esme noticed her mood and tried to make her laugh, but Jocelyne remained distracted. She wanted to speak to Esme, to tell her all that had happened, but she was afraid that her friend would think her mad. Or perhaps she would think even worse – that she was some sort of a witch. Already working as a palm reader and fortune teller put her life in danger from those zealots who belonged to The Hammer. The Hammer was a group that retained the fear of the Middle Ages and the Salem witch trials. They believed that anyone who had what they deemed “unnatural knowledge” needed to be killed to protect good Christian society.  Because the most she did was advise women, and because she stayed out of the business of men, she had been left alone during their witch hunts. As much as she trusted Esme, she still was afraid to say anything. As of late Esme had begun attending mass at St. Francis Catholic church more often than usual. Jocelyne still went on Sundays; again, more to appease the neighbors rather than a profound belief of her own. Truth be told, she believed in God, but she wasn’t sure how many rules were from God and how many were from men. She had a hard time believing the book of Isaiah-could God really be as petty and judgmental as to say what women should and should not wear in their hair? She also thought that Genesis gave women a bad reputation what with the eating of the fruit of knowledge. After all, God had told Adam not to eat from the tree before he had even created Eve, so why were women blamed when God had not told Eve? She dared not ask this of the priest as these types of questions could make her a target.

Intro to Upcoming Story

Photo Credit: Koolshooters/Pexels

Hello again-

In between parenting and schoolwork I’ve been debating on whether to share one story at a time or alternate between books. My stories are fiction novels, not short stories. Therefore, I will share chapters of just one story until it is completed. Alteranting between books could be confusing. The first story will be the one that I finished for NaNoWriMo this past November. However, it has been altered slightly. As I mentioned in the previous post, you need to just put it down on the page and worry about editing later. As I edit I find myself, at times, taking the story in a different direction.

This first book has the working title Jocelyne and Baraqiel. I am still working on the title, perhaps the final iteration will give me a great idea. At this point I have called it Jocelyne and Baraqiel for so long, that it might be stuck with that.

The story involves a woman living in late 19th century New Orleans – this is Jocelyne. She is viewed as somewhat of an outcast due to her desire to remain unmarried and because she is successful at making her own way financially. Her life is turned upside down with the appearance of Baraqiel, one of the Nephilim (he is the 9th watcher and one of the 20 leaders of the 200 strong nephilim mentioned in the Book of Enoch). Jocelyne’s secretive adventures with Baraqiel place her in danger. To share the rest without spoilers I will just say that also in the mix are a werewolf, reincarntation, witch hunters, and a love story that spans centuries. Please be aware that this story does include sexual content.

My intent is to publish every Wednesday. I hope that you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. See you back here next week. For my LGBTQIA+ readers, Happy Pride Month!

Photo Credit: Steve Johnson/Pexels

Time for Change

Photo Credit:Alexas Fotos

Hello!

Welcome to most, welcome back to a few-

This website had been a hodgepodge of my personal blog combined with blogs from different instructional design courses at grad school. It now has a new look and a new focus. The instructional design blogs remain (and are marked as ID blogs). The new focus is my writing. I will be sharing chapters from books that I have completed (although are they complete? Editing never seems to end and when it is your own work you see even more things you would like to change) as well as others I have been playing with on and off. In addition to sharing my chapters as I complete them, I will also share news, musings, and fun facts that I happen across. Hopefully I will inspire others to share their work with us.

For eleven years I have participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and, for the first time ever, I won in 2020! For those who don’t know, winning doesn’t mean that I beat anyone other than my own procrastinating tendencies. If you meet the goal of writing 50,000 words during the month of November, you have won. It sounds much easier than it is. One of the great parts of NaNoWriMo is the community – fellow writers meeting up (in pre-Covid times people met locally in coffee shops, libraries, etc. but this past year there were also Zoom meetings) to inspire and cheer each other on. At times you may feel like the only person who hasn’t started (I was busy with school work – I am on working on my doctorate now although not at the dissertation stage yet) and could not start until the second week of November. Panic set in as I saw others posting their milestones of 5,000 and 10,000 words and I had not even started. One thing the years have taught me is that you cannot finish NaNoWriMo if you’re going to get hung up editing everything you have written before moving on. There will be time enough for editing when you finish your 50,000 words. But for the first few years I did not realize that and spent precious time re-writing pages until I realized it was too late to hit my goal.

By committing to sharing my chapters with you, I am pushing myself to commit to writing, and even more importantly, to finishing. I have several stories all without endings because I don’t want an ending that is obvious, but at the same time I don’t want to manufacture an ending to make it a surprise. It needs to flow naturally and yet stay true to my vision. If that makes any sense to you. I hope you enjoy reading my work as much as I enjoy writing it.

You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page. – Jodi Picoult