When I think of commuting I am reminded of the time I used to drive from Huntington Beach to West LA and from Huntington Beach down to La Brea Tar Pits. Well, across the street from the tar pits actually. Those were gnarly drives. But I was younger then and didn’t think too much of the drives for quite awhile until it really started to get to be a drag because I was losing a really good chunk of my day sitting on the freeway. More recently, at least in the last 12 years that I’ve worked at the cemetery, I’ve had commutes into Santa Ana-Orange from Huntington Beach and Westminster, neither of which are much of a commute when placed beside the commute I used to have.

The thing about commutes is that I usually think of them as total freeway time. And in the past, for me anyway, they always have been mostly freeway time. The new commute has very little freeway time. Most of the time is spent on surface streets and a stint down my own road, Carbon Canyon. The canyon road reminds me of the highway between Salinas and Monterey, the one that winds past Laguna Seca. I’ve driven that road more times than I could ever count. After all it’s home turf for me and I lived there 29 years. I made a lot of trips down that road in nearly 30 years. Every time I go down Carbon Canyon Road I think of home as in where I grew up. But honestly, this canyon is becoming home to me now in a very short space of time. I like it so much in the canyon that I don’t mind the drive. As commutes go, it ain’t much of a commute and hardly any of it is spend with my foot on the brake inching my way up the freeway.

Sure, the Chino Hills residents use my road as a commuter short cut to their homes just over the county line into San Bernardino County. And yeah, that means that sometimes I do spend some time with my foot on the brake inching along. But it’s not on the freeway. It’s on the canyon road itself which is loaded with stuff to look at. Personally, I’m a little fascinated by the trees that were burned in the 2008 fire. I stare at them and stare at them as I inch along. Most of the canyon has grown back it’s vegetation so it’s not very burned out looking but I try to imagine what it must have looked like and it creeps me out a little. It’s still not much of a commute despite the crawling that sometimes occurs on Carbon Canyon Road. And I’m home in about 30-40 minutes.

Home’s the key word here. I love coming home. I love the canyon and the wildlife. The longer I’m here, the less that the word “home” means Monterey County. I guess I’ve found my place here in Southern California. I never would have thought it would be out at the edge of a once burned out canyon but there ya have it.

Since it’s Monday, it’s time for a Marcus.

That would make a nice avatar. He’s got great arms! Hope you all have a great Monday!

Six Sentence Sunday 41

This is the second week of my Six Sunday retrospective. This week my six comes from the second book of the Tales of the Darkworld, Hot Water. The hero, Colin Granville, a vampire, is on the phone with his irreverent assistant Corey Green. Colin’s asked Corey to cancel all his appointments because he’s met a woman.

“What is it with you Granvilles lately? First your sister goes all googly eyed for a dragon and now you.”

Colin got in a waiting cab and gave the driver the name of his hotel. “I’m not googly eyed, Corey. I’m just horny.”

“You say to-may-toe and I say to-mah-toe.”

This week I received a lovely package from my publisher Mary. In the package were author copies of Tales of the Darkworld Volume Two. As a thank you to all the commenters who come here every week, I’ve decided that one of you shall win a copy of this beautiful book! Leave your comments and let me know what you think of Colin and Corey’s amusing exchange. In return, I’ll enter you in a drawing for a chance to win a print copy of Tales-Two which includes Sunstroked, Corey’s story.

To visit the other Six Sunday participants, click HERE. Happy Sunday!

What Can I Say?

Honestly, what can I say about yesterday that hasn’t already been said? I can’t think of a thing. I wanted to do what I’d done ten years ago and tie a flag to my car’s antenna. Unfortunately, my Honda doesn’t HAVE an antenna. Ten years ago I was driving a 280ZX and I left the power antenna partially extended so we could attach a flag to it. I flew it proudly too. Somehow, I thought I’d see more cars with flags and other signs of patriotism. I saw very few.  And then I saw something weird. I took Nikki home and there’s a fire station just outside the gates of the complex she lives in. I rolled out of the gate, looked at the fire station and saw that their flag was not at half mast.

I have to admit that bugged me. The flag where I work has been at half mast since Friday. And here’s a very nice, shiny and newish fire station in Costa Mesa, in a nice neighborhood, showing no recognition of an important day in our country’s recent history. No show of respect for those who died. I wasn’t exactly offended, but I was saddened by the fact that they hadn’t put that flag at half mast. The station looked like it was just any other day rather than the 10th anniversary of the worst attack against this country on our own soil.

I don’t understand people who go to the extreme of ignoring the anniversary of such a historic event nor do I understand those who take it to the other extreme of remembrance, those who are so overcome by the event and the day that they cannot function. We should remember this. It profoundly affects us all in some way and those who say that day had no impact on their lives are lying. At the very least, it affected our economy so it affected them. Even if you personally don’t want to acknowledge it, it affected everyone.

Anyway, I wonder who in that fire station put the flag out yesterday.

Since it’s Monday, it’s time for another Marcus and then it’s back to the grind for me, not that the grind ever really stops because I work at home at my other jobs. A Marcus always makes Monday go a little easier for me though.

I would play ball with him any day. *le sigh* Hope you all had a good weekend and are now facing your Monday relaxed and destressed! Happy Monday!

Six Sentence Sunday 40

This is my 40th week doing Six Sentence Sunday and I thought I’d start a few weeks of going retro by giving you a taste of my very first book, Shifting Winds, Tales of the Darkworld Book 1. Next week I’ll be back with a snippet from Book 2, Hot Water, and so on until we get to the most current release in the series.

Elysia’s breath caught in her throat as she realized that she could hear Declan’s heart thundering. She could hear the rush of blood in his veins. She could smell his unique green apple scent and the scent of his blood and smoke. She could taste the salty tartness of his skin on her tongue. With Declan, every one of her senses magnified the moment she was with him. The night before, more than once, she had intuitively known his thoughts, his actions and reactions. And overriding it all, stronger today than last night, was the overwhelming urge to sink down onto his cock and bite his neck, taste his blood, and feel his fire.

Many thanks to those of you who have come by here 40 times to read my SSS offering. I truly appreciate your comments! To read the other Sunday Sixes by awesome authors and writers, click HERE. Happy Sunday!



Last week’s post about the coyotes has nothing on the stuff that’s been happening since. We haz snakes! Yep. Western rattlesnakes. Thus far, Rott has had two close encounters of the snake kind. One occurred on the side of our house where it’s all cement. Rott was out checking the outside lights and sprinklers after dusk. He was standing near our back steps (which we don’t use because the fancy new dryer is so big is partially blocks the door) and he flashed his flashlight on the ground and about a foot from his foot (in Guinness flip flops) was a snake. A two foot long rattler. Rott jumped about five feet away from the snake in a panic. The snake didn’t coil up. Instead, it coiled enough to back up away from Rott and then it headed under the steps, under our house. With it’s head under the steps, Rott shined the flashlight on it and got a look at its rattles. It had seven, which according to what I’ve read makes it about 2-3 years old.

A couple of nights later on the other side of the house, in the yard, Rott was on his same nightly mission and reached down to pull some weeds from the slightly raised planter box where the orange and lemon tree are planted.  That’s when he noticed another rattler about a foot from his hand. This one was about the same length, fatter, with fewer rattles. And about as non-aggressive as the other one had been. Rott spotted him, yelped and jumped back, but he didn’t even move. Rott ran in the house for his camera but when he got back the snake was gone.

The next wildlife encounter was early in the morning. Rott heard Neko getting loud and playful. When she ran by he saw something in her mouth. She dropped it on the floor and starting batting at it. Rott chased her away and it jumped onto the wall. It was a tree frog, sticking to the wall with his little suction cup feet. Rott caught him and turned him loose outside.

Now, the wildlife count is up to wasps (Rott killed it with a torch without scorching the couch it was on), lizards (I almost stepped on one trying to get in my car one morning), baby possums, coyote packs, birds that knock on the windows (this freaks out the babies) , gophers, rabbits, hawks, owls, hummingbirds, rattlesnakes and tree frogs. Our life is kinda wild learning to deal with all the wildlife. It’s an adventure I tell ya! And despite all the wildlife adventures, Rott did get the fountain to work! Yay!

Well, last week was hellish at work. Major deadlines and only me and the part-time person to get it all done. I coulda cried. It was so stressful. I needed the three day weekend but I don’t need the fact that it will put me behind a day. Ugh. Just thinking about it makes my head pound. I must need a Marcus…

Ahhh, much better! Wishing you all a wildlife free Labor Day!