Excerpt from Jasmine

I’m working on doing some rewrites, and I came across this part. I really liked it and I wanted to share this excerpt with you guys. Enjoy!

~Joe~


“That totally wouldn’t happen,” Jacob argued.

“Why not?” Jasmine snapped back, annoyed by Jacob’s unwillingness to budge.

“A guy is not going to let a girl wax him, give him a pedicure, and none of that other nonsense,” he explained. “I know I wouldn’t.

Jasmine leaned back shaking her head in disbelief before taking a sip of her tea. They were discussing the movie they had just watched while they waited for their plates to be cleared. When they left the movie theater, they felt a little hungry so they decided to grab a quick bite before ending their date. Jasmine picked the movie, a romantic comedy which Jacob argued against its credibility.

“So,” Jasmine countered shrewdly, “suppose I wanted to give you a mani-pedi. Are you telling me you wouldn’t let me? Not even if I asked you nicely?” She ended her question with bad attempt at a pout which elicited a laugh from her date. “What’s so funny?”

“I’m just saying…”

“You’re saying what?”

“Pedi-mani’s…”

“It’s mani-pedi’s,” she corrected.

“…are not a thing men really think about,” he continued as if he hadn’t been interrupted.

“How about two girls at once? Is that realistic?”

“No, but it would be fantastic,” Jacob replied with a dreamy expression before noticing Jasmine’s incredulous look. “But no, it’s not realistic. It’s just a fantasy.”

“Isn’t it more likely that a girl could talk a guy into getting manicure.”

“You’re probably right,” he conceded sarcastically. “That’s a lot more likely.”

“Damn right I’m right,” Jasmine said with a self-satisfied smirk. “But honestly, you wouldn’t let me do your nails? They could use a little work you know.”

“If I were to say yes, could we change the subject?” He asked wearily. She nodded enthusiastically. With a sigh, he nodded his assent. “Fine. I might let you do my hands, but that’s it.”

“Good enough for me.”

“When are you planning on torturing me?”

“I never said I was going to do it. I just want you to let me do it.” Jasmine grinned happily.

Jacob groaned, chuckling under his breath. “You’re impossible.”

“I am not. And for that,” she said, plucking the check from their server, “I’m going to pay for dinner.”

“I think I like this punishment. Remind me to misbehave more often.” Jasmine rolled her eyes and once she received the receipt, they walked slowly back to the truck. “I had a good time,” Jacob said softly.

“Me, too,” she agreed. “It’s kinda nice to have someone to hang with.” Jacob raised his eyebrows at her statement, causing Jasmine to blush and try to backpedal. “I mean, not that we’re a couple, I’m just saying.”

“I know what you’re saying. I agree with you. I’m happy that we’re able to hang out together.”

“It’s been a long time, for me,” she admitted, her voice almost lost in the breeze. She stopped walking when they got the the truck. She leaned back on the truck, propped her foot on the tire, and glanced heavenward for a moment. “It’s been too long.”

“Yeah,” he answered simply, resting his elbows on the bed rails. For several minutes no one said anything. The only sounds that could be heard were from the vehicles driving by on the highway, and the occasional voice of some passerby. Jasmine began to shake when the wind picked up. Without a word Jacob took her into his arms, and she didn’t resist. She fell into his embrace, and she felt as though she belonged there.

“I fit perfectly,” she laughed shyly.

“Yeah you do,” he agreed. Jacob hesitated for a second, then when Jasmine looked up, he took his chance. He bent slightly forward and kissed her. Only a small peck at first to gauge her response. She moved her head back in surprise for a second, before moving in to kiss him back. This time they kissed a little longer.

“I like you, Jacob,” she confessed. “I know I shouldn’t say anything yet. It’s too soon. I’m sorry.” She broke away, feeling embarrassed that she allowed herself to admit something like that so soon.

“I like you, too,” he responded, seriously. “You don’t need to feel sorry.”

Jasmine turned around to face him, but kept her head down. “I’m just scared. Last time I got hurt, pretty bad, and I haven’t gotten to a place where I can trust a guy, or anyone for that matter, again. Letting you in is forcing me to choose between trust and fear, and it’s scary.”

“I know it’s scary, but it’s also fun. It’s been a while for me, too. All I know is that whatever this is between us, I’m liking it and I don’t want it to end.”

“Me either,” she agreed.

“Okay,” he said understandingly. “Look, I’m not going to force the issue. We’ve only gone out for a few dates, so why are we having the conversation now? Let’s relax and see what happens. No point in moving too quickly.”

“Okay,” she agreed. “I wish I would have waited to open up.”

“No, I’m glad you did. I just wish I had the courage to bring it up first. But now it’s out in the open, and we both like each other, so we’re good. Let’s just see where we go from here.”

My fickle mind

Ideas are fickle creatures, are they not? They flit in and out of your consciousness randomly, with no real reason, and it can drive a man to distraction. Earlier today, while taking a load of cardboard back to receiving to load into the baler, I was struck – and not for the first time – how inconsequential my job was. Regardless of what I have accomplished academically or in my career, I’m currently stuck in a menial job, trapped by circumstance and my inability to find something that interests me.

I’ve noticed how carelessly we, the workers, are treated, not just by rude customers, but also by a management team that cares more about their own pocketbooks than the lives of the workers they espouse to lead. And that’s not unique to where I work. It’s a universal theme, the lowly being taken advantage of by “The Man”.

That’s the story I want to tell, the story of my life. Well, actually the story of a middle-aged man facing a crisis of identity, revolving around his job, but also how that job affects his self-worth and trickles down to his relationships with family and friends. It’s highly personal, and it’s a story that I attempted to tell once, before I picked up writing seriously.

It’s also a story, therefore, that scares me. How can I make my experiences compelling? I guess I can make a zombie jump out of a desk, or maybe have a customer hold up the place, or maybe have the business blow up, but that’s not really what I’m going for. I’m striving for raw and emotional, personal in a way that I want people to relate to it as if they themselves are in the narrative. I want the character to become an avatar for the reader. I hope for the reader to experience the protagonist’s journey because they have been on that same journey before.

I believe we all want meaning in our lives, and I find that my work has no meaning. It’s a dull, repetitive task that drains me of time, energy, and sometimes the will to live. I know it’s not a sexy story, or even original, but it’s something I know, this life I have lived.

What do I know about knights and dragons? How can I write of teenage girls and of their trials in growing up? I know almost nothing about politics and religion. I know this life I’ve lived. That’s why so many of my characters have been cheated on and have had their hearts ripped out. That’s why so many of my characters are introspective and quiet,. That’s also why I give them voice, to say what I need to say, to validate my ideas, both brilliant and utterly stupid.

I want to tell the story of real life, my life, but with a few slight changes for dramatic effect. But then again, maybe I could try my hand at another teen-vampire-romance series. I hear they are all the rage. In mine, the vampires are the heroes while humans have shunned the light. Oh, and don’t forget the forbidden love between the human man and the female vampire. And maybe a big musical number, just for the hell of it, but definitely no bunnies. I have to draw the line somewhere.

And now the idea is gone. Crap….

…though hope I have forsaken

I wrote this a few months ago, and posted it on a different blog. I thought I’d share it here, just for the hell of it.


There’s a girl – there’s always a girl – flitting in the periphery of my consciousness. Beautiful and transcendent, the desire of my lonely heart. I yearn for her, I ache for her, and see myself falling for her.

Falling…

falling…

falling….

But…

…all I see is pain in my future because of her.
A girl like her never falls for a guy like me.
I’m being assaulted by those around me.
“She wants you to ask her out,” they cry.
“Why haven’t you asked her out?”

But can they know the truth? That I cannot dare to hope? That kind of hope is seductive, but ultimately it kills the soul. I refuse to surrender myself to that masochism. Pain has stolen enough from me. Once more, and there won’t be anything left of me but a withered husk to be blown away by the wind, destined to be forgotten by all, especially she whom commands my desire.

And I cry in the late night vigil, weeping for a love that I’m unable to give, a love that exists solely in the state of what if.

Perhaps I’m nothing more than a coward and deserve nothing better than to become embittered by loneliness, ravaged by time until I’ve forgotten tenderness and emotion, only to die as I’ve always feared, utterly alone.

For what is love without risk?

Joy without pain?

Hope without disappointment?

But I’ve grown timid is my despair, unable to open myself to the possibility, unable to see anything other than failure, and beyond that, oblivion.

I wish to sleep, to forget my troubles in the comfort of my dreams, but I will not be comforted. Not in this. She haunts me and all I want is to rest. Rejecting her may be my greatest folly, but I see no other way.

You see…

I cannot be hurt again. One more would will be the end of me, and she hasn’t earned the right for me to risk annihilation. If this be a test, I know I’ve failed.

But yet I live, though hope I have forsaken.


Short stories and other works

Let the countdown begin

There’s less than two weeks until NaNoWriMo 2014 kicks off. Am I ready? Um, sure. I guess. Sorry, I know I should be more pumped up, but there appears to be a slight wrinkle in my plan this year. Last week, my manager called me at home to ask if I would be willing to go overnight, beginning November 3rd, as part of the Inventory Prep Team. I agreed, not thinking how it would interfere with my writing. D’oh!

My writing is best in the evening, after I get off work and before I go to bed. The problem here is that my schedule is so erratic, I can never set aside a dedicated time to just sit down and pound on the keyboard. Makes writing so much more difficult. The silver-lining is that I will have a set schedule for six weeks, so if I can settle in, I will be able to dedicate an hour or two just to write everyday.

I haven’t given my story much thought, other than to decide what I’m going to write about. A story about a prostitute should be fun. It’s a family story, really, when you think about it. It’s the heartwarming story of a hooker with a heart of gold, just trying to make it in the city, with nothing but her hopes, her dreams, and her lady parts. It’ll make a wonderful Holiday film. I think Disney can bring it to life. Coming in December 2017, Giada and Her Wonderful, Magical Lady Parts. Kaching!

 All joking aside, I do have some ideas for her. She’s a minor character in my first NaNo novel, a bit of revenge on an ex-girlfriend of mine that I absolutely loathe. There’s a reason I wrote her into my book as a prostitute, and I reason for everything that happens to her. The irony is that I fell in love with Giada. She has a youthful joy for life that I find irresistible. She’s the one character I love the most, so naturally she has to have her own story told, from her point of view.

I’ll try to plot the major story points before November 1st, just to have an idea of the big picture, but for the rest I will discover as I write. It’s going to be a long and trying month, but I’m ready for it.