Wednesday, October 29, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 31

Hi my friends, here is Chapter 31 of NSA. Jason is getting closer to his discharge and Ariana is taking care of some business. This chapter is somewhat long again and even though I edit and rewrite and take out some stuff I feel I have to leave some things be. Maybe my story is too detailed, I am not sure, I follow a time line, I guess I haven't figured out skipping time frames in a story. Everything seems important and here is another long chapter and NSA now reaching 31 chapters. Well, as I am writing I am evolving and learning so bear with me...:-) Thanks for your reading NSA and your patience, leave feedback if you are up for it.  Hugs, Dani

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Eric and Jessie Part 1


Eric

Damn that was a weird dream!  Why hasn’t my alarm gone off?  I haven’t slept in since college but I must admit it’s kinda nice.  Wait, something feels wrong!  My arms, it’s like they are really heavy and fuzzy?? No, that’s not it. 

“Eric, can you hear me honey.  Open your eyes”. 

“Mom, just a few more minutes.  Go away. I don’t feel well”

“I know you don’t feel well, that’s why I need you to wake up.  You were in a bad accident.”

I slowly start to come around out of the fog.  I open my eyes and my mom is standing over me with her red rimmed eyes.

It starts coming back to me.  I spent the day at the zoo with my longtime girlfriend.  We had dinner reservations and I was going to propose that night.  What happened?  I don’t remember anything after the getting to the zoo. 

“Mom! What happened?  Where is Jessie?  I remember getting to the zoo, then nothing”

It was clear my mom was trying to hold it together.  She took a deep breath and then told me what she knew.  We were on the park trolley and it collided with a bus.  Apparently one of the driver’s was texting.  She got choked up again and then continued “You were thrown from the car and your arms got run over by a tram car.”

I cut her off before she can continue “Fine fine my arms will be fucked up for a few weeks, what about Jessie?  Is she ok? When can I see her?”

“Honey, Jessie was seriously hurt but they think she will be ok”  another deep breath “She lost her right leg above the knee and her left leg is very damaged.  They thought for a while she had some spinal cord damage but luckily that wasn’t the case.”

I started to cry, how could the best day of my life end like this? How would she cope with having one leg. She loves to run and hike. Will she get depressed?

My mom breaks my thoughts.  “Honey, there is one more thing.  Both of your arms we amputated between your elbow and shoulders “

I froze, stunned. No, that couldn’t be true.  I still felt them, even though they felt funny. No! it must be some mistake.  How will I live and work?  I can’t possible lose my arms.

I steal my nerves and I slowly turn my head to right and then to the left.  I’m horrified to find matching bandages ending half way between my elbow and shoulder. I want to scream or cry but I can’t do anything but lie there processing it all.  What the hell am I going to do?

My mom bends down to kiss my forehead and she stops trying to hide the tears running down her face. 

Just then the doctor walks in “Oh good you are awake! How are you feeling? Any pain?  I know this is a lot to take in right now but we left you with two good stumps.  They are the perfect length for prosthetic arms.”

He is way to chipper. All I wanted to do was punch him in the face with hands that I didn’t have. “I’m not feeling much pain, can I see Jessie?”

 JESSIE

Did that really happen? The crash, it was horrible.  It started off as such a nice day and then everything fell apart.  I lost my leg, my beautiful sexy leg.  I hope Eric can deal with that, I hope he won’t leave me for someone with two legs. 

I feel so lonely stuck in the recovery room all alone.  Since Eric’s in the hospital too there is no else for me to call.  My parents are both dead and I’m not ready to see any friends.  So I just lay there staring at the ceiling and thinking about my life with one leg and praying Eric is ok. Eric is strong; I know he will help me through this.  

A very stern doctor walks in and gets right down to business “We had to take your right leg a little below the hip.  The stump should be long enough for a prosthetic leg but it will be difficult.  Also your left leg is in tough shape, we have a number of pins and screws in place and it will be quite some time before you can put some wait on in.  Any questions”

Only like a million, I think.  “Yes, can I see Eric? Is he ok?”

“He is still in the ICU. It will likely be a few more day before you can see him. I can’t tell you anything more than we hope he will make a full recovery”

A sigh of relief washes over me.  He is going to be ok! Tears of joy roll down my face.  I almost forget about my terrible predicament for a while.  Then I realize I will be in a wheelchair for a while and I start to cry

Days Later

ERIC

GOD DAMN IT! A shooting pain fires up my arm as I go to pick up a glass of water with my arm that isn’t there.  Why can’t I seem to remember, I have NO hands.  They still kind of feel like they are there and my muscles still react to my brains commands.  On the bright side, at least I’m stable and it looks like I’m out of the woods.  For a while they thought they would have to re-amputate my left arm at the shoulder. Luckily the antibiotics worked and the infection receded. 

Since I’m stable they are transferring me out of the ICU today. That means I will get to see Jessie, they are going to let us share a room.  I’m terrified and excited all at the same time.  Lord, I hope she can love an armless man.  I made everyone promise not to tell her about my arms.  I wanted to tell her myself, more because I wanted her to look me in the eyes as she ran away screaming.  I guess with one leg she would hop away.

A kind nurse comes in says it’s time to move.  She unplugs me from the machines and starts wheeling me in my bed down the hall. 

As we get close to my new room, I tried to find a way to hide my stumps.  I wiggle a bit and then decide it’s useless.  Here goes nothing.

I enter the room and I see Jessie asleep in the bed next to the window.  Her left leg is elevated on the pully thing and her right, her right is…… nowhere to be found.   I take a quick breath in and my heart breaks for her.  Part of me wishes I could have lost my leg too just so she wouldn’t have to.  Then I think better of that.  Missing arms is plenty to deal with. 

As soon as I’m situated she starts to open her eyes.  I speak first “I’ve missed you and I love you no matter what” I say in a low tender voice.  She lays there dumbfounded.  She doesn’t speak for a long moment.  The bottom drops out from my stomach.  Is she going to leave me?  What am i going to do? Shit shit shit! For a long moment there is nothing but an empty silence filling the room


JESSIE

OMG!!!! No! That can’t be right. They told me he was going to make a full recovery.  I just lay there not knowing what to say or do.  He says something to me but I can’t make out what he is saying.  All I can do is lay there staring at the two bandages covering his stumps.  He has no hands, how is going to live with no hands.  How am I going to deal with him having no hands?  My mind starting spinning a 1000 miles per hour

I want to start crying but no tears come.  This is all too much to take in.  How will we be able to cope with both of us so handicapped?

I managed to crook out “I love you” Before hitting the morphine drip and going back into a deep slumber.

One Week Later

ERIC

I’m not sure if I will ever get used to this armless thing.  Do you know how embarrassing it is to have to be fed in front of your almost fiancé? The first few times I managed to make a big mess.  I guess it’s time to stop blaming the babies for being such messy eaters.  I blame the feeders.  It surprises me that some nurses are so much better at feeding me than others. Some take the spoon out of my mouth before I can get all the food off of it and it ends up all over my face and down my shirt. Angie is my favorite nurse, she is great at feeding me and she has been very supportive.  Her son was injured in Iraq so she has some understanding of what I’m going through trying to adjust to my new body.  She has also been great about training my mom on how to care for me.  Now there is a sentence I never thought I would have to say. 

After I’m fed it’s time to clean me up.  I just love being a 30 year old man that needs someone to clean his ass for him.  Today is the first day I get to take a real shower. I never thought I would look forward to simple thing like at shower.  Angie covers my arms I mean stumps with a waterproof covering and then helps me to my feet. I’ve only stood up a few times and it’s still a very weird sensation to stand without arms for balance.  I now have an irrational fear of falling because I won’t be able to catch myself. I ask her to hold me while we walk to bathroom, I had to swallow my pride to ask but I really didn’t want to fall.  I’ve had to swallow my pride a lot lately and it still doesn’t taste good. Once I’m standing in the shower Angie takes some shampoo and washes my hair and gives me a head massage. It’s actually really nice and I think this might be the first perk of being armless.  That feeling only lasts a moment. She starts washing my body with a sponge.  Once she gets to my dick I immediately start to get hard.  I try to cover it with my hands but …I don’t have any.  I turn red and she says to me “don’t worry, it’s a great dick. Don’t try and hide it”

That makes me feel a bit better until I start thinking, how am I ever going to be able to touch my dick again? I shake my head I can’t focus on that now.

Jessie

No no no no no!  My left leg has become infected and will have to be amputated just below the knee.  I tell the doctor he should make my legs even. What does it matter at this point?  He gives me some bullshit about it being easier to walk with a below the knee amputation. 

I don’t think things could get much worse.  I will have no legs and Eric has no arms, we are the freaking yin and yang of amputees.

Once I get the news about my leg Eric tries to comfort me but it’s no use. I can barely look at him.  I can’t stand to see him so helpless.  He needs help with just about everything. I know once he gets prosthetics he will regain a lot of his independence but it’s really hard to imagine at this point. 

I love him, I really do but I’m just not sure I’m up for helping him and trying to recover myself.  We definitely have a long road ahead of us.

3 weeks later – Leaving the hospital

ERIC

I get to go home today. I have mixed feelings about this because Jessie has to stay a few more days because of the surgery to remove her left leg.  Neither one of us is doing very well emotionally. I’m hoping we will be able to work through it but it’s not a good sign when your girlfriend can’t look at you.  Jessie and I lived together in an apartment but since I’m so helpless I’m going to go stay with my mom as I go through rehab. 

The decision to do inpatient versus outpatient rehab was really hard to make.  Jessie doesn’t have any family in the area and the both of us together in our current state would have been too much for my mom to handle.  Jessie had to do rehab on an inpatient basis.  I told her if she was doing inpatient rehab then I would do that too.  My mom was pretty insistent that I go home with her.  It broke my heart when Jessie agreed. 

I know we will get to see each at rehab but the fact she didn’t want to go through this together stung.  I was beginning to think this might be the beginning of the end.

JESSIE

Eight days ago, I woke up after surgery to find two matching leg stumps. They we both about 6 inches long. The nurse came in a few minutes later and told me the infection had spread so they had to take more then they expected.  At that point I really didn’t care.  Eric didn’t  try to comfort me this time. I could tell he wanted to but my iciness towards him hasn’t made it easy. 

A few days ago we were both continuing to improve and the doctor asked us to start thinking about our rehab plans.  I knew I really had no choice but to do impatient care.  There is no way I can fully care for myself yet and I have no one to help me.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Eric and I need to take a break.  We need to both learn how to be independent disabled people before we can help each other.  I pretty much ganged up with his mom and forced him into outpatient rehab. I might be making the biggest mistake of my life but in my heart I know it’s right. If it’s meant to be we will find our way back to each other

Sunday, October 26, 2014

New chapter of "The Outsiders" posted!

Things are still busy, but I love writing this story and I've finally got another chapter for you. Sigrid and Jonas are some of my favorite characters and writing about their adventure in South Africa brings back some of my favorite vacation memories. I can't wait to go back there! :-)

Here's chapter 9 and an updated Table of Contents.

Hope you enjoy it! :-)

A little information about the places Jonas and Sigrid visit in this chapter.
If you're curious about the places visited in this chapter here are some links:
Spier Wine Farm
Stellenbosch
V&A Waterfront (Where Sigrid's family's apartment is located. It's a vibrant area with lots of shopping, plenty of restaurants and nightlife, museums etc.)
Boulders Beach
Slangkop lighthouse, Kommetjie

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dancing Shoes

Dancing Shoes

         I'm a glutton for emotional depravation.
         I watch from a far as they twirl and sweat, thighs rubbing, legs grinding. Dance has long captivated and tortured my loins.
         My legs are stiff and rigged, useless for fluid tantric movement. I rely heavily on my arms, especially my right; the left is restricted (much like my legs) and serves little purpose aside from brute directionless strength. My hands are always full, never open to contact and involvement; occupied with plastic, rock or steal, yet always yearning for contact.
         I want to touch, glide, and even grope: the smooth bodies passing my booth. Yet, here I sit, alone, growing weak as my drinks gain strength.
         Often it begins with a formal (verbal) invitation, occasionally a bow, or simply a tap on the shoulder; then the two clasp hands join the floor, and their bodies ignite in movement. They submit to instinct and inherent desire and suddenly strangers move as one -- intimately across the room. All sizes, creeds, and colors gyrating shaking and grooving to the music of my fathers. The Blues.
         The place was Haitian and smelled of it. Sweat and grease ran down the walls and covered the tables. The drinks were weak but gained in strength with a consistent tip and ever-recognizable singularity. The proprietors knew little about the music, but enjoyed counting their money and watching the girls sweat and slide across their floors.
         I sat at the end of the bar, near the entrance to the dance floor. Greeting the sweaty faces with an envious, voyeuristic, grin. Suddenly, a heavy-set man passes through the bar and finds a seat across from me. Quickly, he removes his sweater and rubber soled sneakers. Then, from his shoulder bag appear a pair of soft, white, patent leather shoes; polished and primed, with velvet bottoms. He slides them over his heels in seconds and sails onto the floor (grabbing a lonely faceless partner along the way).
         The songs changed and so did his partners, each one departing more shaken and aroused than the last. The man moved like wildfire around the room. His body was plump, but he was proud and gay, and his feet moved quickly and smoothly across the floor.
         His appearance didn't matter; neither did that of his partners. It was all about rhythm, and sweat.  
         Every girl danced with him, every man watched him. Then as quickly and fervently as he had arrived, he left. Sliding off the shiny, white leathers and shoving the sneakers back over his feet.
***
         My glass was empty and my grin was tired so I too prepared for the door. As I grabbed a stick firmly in my right and dropped one clumsily from my left it occurred to me: I would give me left arm for a pair of dancing shoes.




New Novel Available Now - UnConventional!

Hey, everyone! I know I've been absent from the blog for awhile, but that's because I've been busy working on the third season of In/Exhale and the publication of my first novel, UnConventional, which released last week!




Unlike I/E, UnConventional is just that for me--while the focus of my online fiction is largely the two brothers and is written in third-person, my novel is told exclusively from the female narrator's POV. But if you enjoy the deep, layered characters of I/E, I think you'll fall in love with Santiago (and Di, too).

Curious what the book is about? Check out the blurb below:


Santiago Durán walks straight out of Di Monroe’s dreams–crutches and all–into her heart. There’s only one problem: she’s already married. 
Di’s parents died suddenly when she was nineteen, leaving her shattered and grateful for Stephen’s rescue. Over the past ten years, her identity has faded into her husband’s logical, controlling shadow, but with familiarity lies comfort. 
When she heads to  New Orleans for an editing convention, she meets Santiago–handsome, smart, and despite being affected by Becker’s muscular dystrophy–someone who sees the real Di, who appreciates her and wants her to shine. Pregnant after their one-night stand, Di realizes putting her ‘mistake’ behind her won’t be easy. 
Caught between her loyalty to her husband and the uncertain paternity of her baby, Di soon begins falling for Santiago, drawn to his strength and confidence, yet also his compassion and vulnerability. With Santiago’s help, Di experiences new passion, kindles hidden desires, and uncovers the sheltered part of herself she thought she’d lost long ago. Together, they discover that love is more than mere chemistry, but instead, means you’ve found the person with whom you can be yourself.
The MC is a dev, and so since it's her POV, there are a lot of devy details for you to enjoy, although I did try to write the book so even non-devs would enjoy it.
UnConventional is available from most major ebook retailers, including Amazon and All Romance eBooks, or you can buy it direct from the publisher (where you can read the first three chapters for free!). You'll also find the book (and me!) on Goodreads, and as always, you can follow my musings (including my 2014 NaNoWriMo project) on my blog or on twitter. I've also become a bit addicted to Pinterest.
If you enjoy the book, don't forget to leave a review on your site of choice! It really helps and encourages me to write more :D!
-CA
PS - I'm working hard on S3 of I/E and on the ebook of S2 (sorry for the delay!) and hope to have both ready soon. Right now I'm knee-deep in prepping for my interpreting midterm, too, so that's taking a lot of my time, but I'm hopeful I'll still be able to get everything done that I want to!

Monday, October 20, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 30

Hello friends, I know this is early again but there is no one else in the queue at this moment so I thought I post today, so here is Chapter 30. I will also be busy the rest of this week so I don't know how much time I would have had to post later this week. Other than that I have been working more on NSA and trying to figure out the path I want the story to go. Ariana and Jason are definitely a "thing" now I would say but there are still obstacles ahead but I also plan some very close moments between them. Anyways, your feedback is welcome as always and I thank you for reading NSA. Hugs, Dani

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 29

Hi friends, here is Chapter 29 for you. This chapter is a little bit different because it is mainly about a difficult situation Ariana finds herself in. I thought about that chapter quite a bit and if I should change some things but I decided to leave it as it was my original writing. I hope you won't despise Ariana too much after reading the chapter. It isn't easy for her either...:-) and something good comes out of it. Let me know what you think...I am scared already...:-) Hugs, Dani