RSS Feed

Category Archives: Unusual Poetry & Writing

First Booksigning This Weekend!

Posted on

For those of you in the Southeastern Michigan/Northwestern Ohio area, I wanted to mention that I have my very first book-signing event this Saturday.

Come out and buy a book!

See what a dork I am in real life!

Event info below. Remember, you can keep up-to-date with my events at anytime by checking my Events Page. Thanks!

Saturday, March 28, 2015
11:00AM – 2:30PM
Author Fair
Adrian Public Library
143 E. Maumee St.
Adrian, Mi 49221
517-265-2265

My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!

PURCHASE as a Paperback or eBook on Amazon.com TODAY.

There Is Still Time to Enter!

Posted on

In case you missed it, I have a great giveaway going on for a FREE copy of my book The Wind Could Blow a Bug!

The Wind Could Blow a Bug by Jennifer Friess

The Wind Could Blow a Bug by Jennifer Friess

Contest ends at midnight EDT on 3/18/15.

For complete details on how to enter, please read here: http://imnotstalkingyou.com/2015/03/12/excerpt-the-wind-could-blow-a-bug-chapter-19/

My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!

PURCHASE as a Paperback or eBook on Amazon.com TODAY.

Excerpt: The Wind Could Blow a Bug – Chapter 19

Posted on

I am happy to offer you another excerpt from my debut novel, The Wind Could Blow a Bug. Chapter 19 takes place after Jane and Wade have broken up, and she is exiled off to college. Jane is depressed because she no longer has Wade, but she also has no other friends in her life either. Her existence is empty.

And, to make your bookshelf feel less empty…

I WILL BE GIVING AWAY TWO COPIES OF THE WIND COULD BLOW A BUG!

The Wind Could Blow a Bug, Jennifer Friess

The Wind Could Blow a Bug, Jennifer Friess

I will give away ONE COPY to someone who comments on this very blog post here at ImNotStalkingYou.com.  Click on “Leave a Comment” below. When it asks for your email, be sure to use one I can reach you at if you are the lucky winner. (Note: Your email will not be displayed to anyone but me.)

I will also give away ONE COPY to someone who comments on the post containing the link to this blog post on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/imnotstalkingyou2. (Note: Only comments on the Facebook post with the link to “Excerpt: The Wind Could Blow a Bug – Chapter 19″ are eligible to win.)

One entry per person per site per day. Contest ends at midnight EDT on 3/18/15. Winners will be selected and notified on 3/19/15. The two winners will be asked to provide their mailing addresses to me so that I can ship them paperback copies of my book. Your address will be used for no other purpose.

If you WOULD like to stay in touch with me and my writing antics, please feel free to sign up for my author updates at THIS LINK (signing up at this link DOES NOT enter you into the contest).

Thank you so much for support!

If you missed the other excerpts, you can find them here:

Chapter 1: http://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/12/04/excerpt-the-wind-could-blow-a-bug-chapter-1/

Chapter 2: http://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/12/30/excerpt-the-wind-could-blow-a-bug-chapter-2/

Chapter 11: http://imnotstalkingyou.com/2015/02/02/excerpt-the-wind-could-blow-a-bug-chapter-11/

19

Jane had thought (hoped, prayed) that when Wade heard about the Rileys’ divorce, as he surely would, that he would come and get back together with her. If nothing else, that he would at least call to check on her, see if she was alright. Because she was not.

But that was not his problem anymore.

That call never came.

Part of what made being with Wade so great, was the fact that Jane felt whole. It wasn’t just that she was happy for a change, but that he was the other part of her whole and he made her feel complete. A day just somehow doesn’t seem complete until you’ve been close enough to a guy to smell his masculine scent. Maybe that is why days and nights without him blended together as only big chunks of living; no more, no less.

Jane continued to work at the Diner, making eye contact with customers as little as possible. Wade no longer came in. She put in her two weeks notice before she left for school. Donna was very choked up when Jane’s last day came. Donna was the only one Jane would miss in Oakley. Well, and of course Wade. But Jane tried not to think about him. She tried not to think about much of anything.

Jane began to pack up all her things. Anything she wanted to keep would have to go with her to college to fit in her tiny dorm room. Stuffed animals, old school work, and treasured toys all had to be boxed. The house had to be completely empty and neither of her parents had offered to keep any boxes for her at their new residences.

Jane ran across the address she had found on the Internet for her birth mother. She ripped it into a million little pieces and threw it out her bedroom window, to watch the pieces flutter in the wind. One thing she was positive of: she could not bear to have one more person in this life abandon or reject her. Especially the one who had started the vicious cycle in the first place.

When the day came, Mr. Riley drove her the four hours and forty-five minutes up to Clark College in Burkeville. He helped her carry her boxes into her room. He gave her a kiss and a hug, and then he was gone. Jane sat in the center of the room, surrounded by the still-sealed cardboard boxes containing her entire life, starving, and cried. She didn’t know where the dining hall was or where to get her food card. She could hear other students in the hallway and knew the logical thing to do would be to ask one of them. But she just could not face anyone right now. Due to a paperwork fluke, she had a room all to herself. Although, it would probably only feed her desire for solitude.

Jane had never felt so alone in her life.

Jane felt lost at college.  Once Clark College had provided her class schedule to her and they had her money, it seemed like they had no more support for her.  Where was the cheery recruiter who had assured her there would be advisers, career counselors, dorm monitors, and all sorts of other imaginary-sounding positions to support her with her academic endeavors?  Jane had no idea what she wanted to major in.  God, she wasn’t going to join a sorority, that was for sure.  She supposed she could join the college newspaper, but even that seemed pointless to her now.

Jane was on her own, to get herself up and get to her classes on time, to get her homework done.  Despite her growing depression, these things were second nature to her.  Her responsible behavior made her seem like she had it together more than her fellow classmates.  They were not used to self-discipline or the freedom to party.  They often showed up in their pajamas, late for class, sometimes with incomplete homework.

If Jane’s suffering showed more outwardly, maybe someone would have reached out to offer her help.  But her suffering was mostly silent and invisible to anyone who didn’t already know what her regular personality should be.  She wasn’t walking past people in the halls missing an arm, leaving a river of blood behind her.  To anyone she passed, it would just look like she was having a bad day.  As such, if no one person took interest in her, then no one would realize that one day strung together into two days, which then became a week, a month.  Depression was invisible.  It made Jane invisible as well.

Jane just went a full hour without thinking about Wade. That must be a new record. Just yesterday, she made it a full 30 minutes without seeing his face in her mind. This morning, she got through 45 minutes (almost all of The Price is Right) without hearing his voice in her ears—oh, that sexy, fun voice.

No, I won’t do that to myself, Jane thought. Even though it seemed harmless enough, letting her mind wander back to the days with him, it really only made things worse. There may be a day, sometime in the uncharted future, when she could look back on those memories without it being a problem. But for now, it hurt much less if Jane shut out all the thoughts of him, good and bad. If she didn’t think about him, maybe she could forget that he exists altogether. That would make the pain hurt much less. If only Wade still loved her, then she wouldn’t hurt at all.

You would think it would be easier to not think about him, being away from the places where it all happened. But somehow, the fact that she couldn’t go back to those places made it all seem like it was a movie or someone else’s dream. It was the same way with his face. She was afraid she would forget what he looked like. She had no picture to remind her. This made her mind seem to hold on to those memories even more fiercely.

Jane glanced at the clock and realized it was time to go to her on-campus job in the dining hall. The arrangement helped pay part of her tuition. It wasn’t like working at the Diner. There she had been out in the dining room, if you could call it that, with the customers. Here, she was mostly in the kitchen. First, filling pans with food, then scraping and cleaning them. There were other students who worked in the kitchen as well. They were polite to Jane. But usually she was not part of their conversations.

“Hey, Jane, there is a party tonight,” Sally said.

“General admission, $2,” Jake added.

“Everyone welcome,” said Andre.

“Eh, I don’t think they mean me,” Jane replied back, making a face as if she smelled something bad.

“Are you going to the party tonight?” Dan asked, as he walked into the kitchen. He had either not heard the conversation or caught only the tail end of it.

“Ya, Sally and I are,” Jake answered him.

“Are you going to the party tonight, Jane?” Dan inquired.

“I’m not going. I think I’ll stay in my room and catch up on some things.” Jane knew while the posters around the campus said “Everyone Welcome” in thick, black copier ink, they did not mean her.

My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!

PURCHASE as a Paperback or eBook on Amazon.com TODAY.

Repost: College Sucked

Posted on

On Thursday I will be posting another excerpt from my new book, “The Wind Could Blow a Bug”.

The book begins with the lead character, Jane Riley, as a senior in high school. She gets her first boyfriend, then graduates. That is when things begin to fall apart in her life. She heads off to college seeing no hope in her life, and suffering from depression. The excerpt on Thursday will come from that section of the book. I wrote it heavily from my own influences. To get you prepped, here is a post I wrote over 2 years ago about how much College Sucked. Enjoy.

And come back on Thursday for a BOOK GIVEAWAY as well!

This was originally posted on 2/26/13. You can follow this link to the original post and comments here: http://imnotstalkingyou.com/2013/02/26/college-sucked/

I always measure my experiences in life to how they would be portrayed on a sitcom. As you might expect, my own experiences often play out much differently than in TV Land. College would be one of these.

College sucked. On TV, everyone is always a joiner who participates in every student activity. They make friends they will have for the rest of their lives. They go to parties. They learn to be deep thinkers. They find their soul mate.

Me? Not so much. I was a commuter with no car for 3 out of my 4 years of college. While waiting for my ride home every day, I had to kill hours in the library. There are only two friends that I made in college that I still keep in touch with. I never went to a single party. I am not a natural-born joiner. I joined some sort of academic fraternity that never had any activities just so that I could get a sweatshirt with Greek letters on it. Then I felt self-conscious in it and never wore it. I submitted some of the depressing poetry I wrote while killing time in the library anonymously to the college literary magazine. They published a couple.

My two closest friends were at two other colleges in two different states. It made for a very lonely time in my life. My best friend came back home after her freshmen year (she HAD found the parties), which was better. But she was attending the university across town, so we never saw each other except at night.

I also had an undiagnosed, then diagnosed, stomach problem during this time as well. So I felt miserable physically as well as mentally!

It was overall the loneliest year of my life. I don’t really think I look forward to coming back in the fall. -JLF 4/27/95

My other friend, my asbestos friend, had an even worse college experience than me. I told her this week how I was going through my old college free-writes to get a true sense of the misery to work on my new story (and this blog post). Her reply?

“I don’t think I could relive that time. I’ve blocked much of it out & I think that’s for the best.”

She has told me a few of her great miserable stories, including being sick with mono and all alone, and donating so much blood for money that she passed out in the parking lot at the donation place. (Those are two separate occasions. I think.) But my favorite story is the one where she takes her life back into her own hands. It’s the story where during her last semester she realizes college is making her miserable and she is an adult. She has her own job and her own place to live. She just leaves the campus and never turns back. She is my hero:)

I did not leave. I stayed, hoping to get my MRS. degree. I only went to college because my mom told me I had to either do that or get a job. I had gone to school for K-12 years. I had never had a job. I picked the option I was familiar with. I should have got a job. Now I have a Bachelor’s Degree and I am applying to entry-level store jobs at Meijer, Cash Advance, and Family Video. And they are not hiring me.

Compilation of 2 No Doubt drawings I made while in college

Compilation of 2 No Doubt drawings I made while in college

I had my first boyfriend for a month my freshmen year. After it ended, from my old writings, I seemed to be lonelier than before.

When I was in high school, I had a few hours after school everyday before my mom got home from work that was my time to myself. In college, I had no privacy. My mom was my ride. If she was home I was home and she drove me nuts. (This is probably the only way my college experience was worse than my asbestos friend’s.) My bedroom didn’t even have a door. I would stay up late to do homework, and find myself watching Beavis & Butthead marathons on MTV instead. I always said that I could feel my brain cells rotting away as I watched that show. I think it helped numb my depression. Then my mom, who always slept on the couch in the living room where the only TV was, would wake up. (Yes, I went to college in the Dark Ages. My college had text-only Internet my freshmen year!) She would ask me,”Are you watching Beaver & Buttface?” I mostly watched it for the music videos, which sucks, because any version released on DVD has only limited music videos. How much did I watch them? Here are a poem and some fan artwork from that time:

Lovin’ the Boys
By: JLF
3/7/95

If I make a video
Can I get on that show?
First I would have to make
A really cool video
You know,
One with lots of guitars,
And riffs, and drums.
I would stumble around
In a really short dress
And scream all the words
Really, really loud.
I would put in some shots
Of farm animals and livestock,
And throw in a toilet
(To give them something to talk about).
Then I would send it to New York,
To that video channel,
And wait every day & every night
For them to put my video on that show.
They could sit there on their couch
In their dirty T-shirts & stinky shorts
And watch my video.
That dark-haired guy and his dumb-blond friend
Could belch and fart
And yell “Fire! Fire!”
Then they would deem my video
As “Cool” or “Sucks”,
By how short my dress was,
How loud I yelled,
And the fact my video had only one
Toilet in it.
But I would be happy
Because I got to see my video,
With one of those yellow, pointy
signs with their names in it
In the corner of the screen.

And that would make it worthwhile. . .

Illustration I made based on a video that Beavis & Butthead mocked.  (My son likes this pic a lot.  Maybe I should be concerned about that.)

Illustration I made based on a video that Beavis & Butthead mocked. (My son likes this pic a lot. Maybe I should be concerned about that.)

I ended up getting an on-campus job, so I started interacting with my classmates a little more. It also got me out of the library. I got paid (!) to wait for my ride. That helped a little.

Then I got a better boyfriend. I couldn’t find him at college, because he was still in high school. (I should have flunked!) Those who know me know he is now my husband.

Then I got an off-campus job too, in addition to those other things. My best friend worked at the convenience store too, and helped me get the job. People who know me know it was one of my favorite jobs. I liked it so well that I saved up my earnings over the summer so that I could buy a car so that in the fall I could keep the job while I finished college. (Most people get a job to get a car. I got a car to keep a job.)

I should become a writer like Erma Bombeck & just write about “stuff”. -JLF (found in an old college notebook)

So, ya, college sucked for me. I can enthusiastically say that not everyone enjoys themselves at college. Accept this post and the accompanying writings below as evidence. Probably the worst time of my life. When my son gets old enough, I don’t know how I will ever be able to keep from talking negatively about it. I kind of feel about it the way I do about the Lord of the Rings films. I want my time and money back. I want my four years and my $18,000 back (I got a lot of scholarships).

Untitled
By: JLF
4/8/95

There’s a party tonight
General Admission – $2
There’s a party tonight
Everyone Welcome
Are you going to the party tonight?
I don’t think they mean me
Are you going to the party tonight?
Everyone would be happier if I didn’t
Everyone’s going
But I am not
Everyone’s going
I’ll stay home and listen
to my own silence.
Sometimes a person
has to look through the thick, black
copier ink lettering
And realize that circumstances
and situations and history
are the things that really predict
who will attend the ball
and who will stay home.

The Driving Rain
By: JLF

It is 9:06PM. It’s raining. I have a half a tank of gas. Will this be the night. Will this be the night I keep going and don’t look back?

I could change my life right now. It would be just as easy as changing channels on the television. I can see all my different options spread out in front of me, and the television channels just keep going. There is the music video channel, blaring sounds and images. There is Channel 25. All Hitler, All the time. The third reicht of the Chicago area. Heil! Channel 25. Then the weather channel. Do I want rain or do I want sunshine? Which road will lead me to what type of weather?

Oh. I’m on the road back home. But I still don’t have to go there. This road is so boring, so familiar. A person could die on a road like this and the drivers who travel it every day would probably not notice the body for months. Was the light I just went through green or read, not that it would really mater. The slick road is completely vacant of other cars. The only tire marks I can see on the wet pavement are in my rear view mirror. I could slip out of town now, right out of the city limits. No one would see me, no one would be the wiser.

God, to just keep driving. To have no pre-planned destination, no over-analyzed goals—it all sounds like a dream. For the first time since I walked into Kindergarten on Experience Day and was assigned a seat and pencils and crayons, I would be in charge for myself. New mothers complain about not having handbooks to care for their new children. It is too bad they don’t make handbooks for the children, to help figure out what is right for themselves. I feel like I have never done anything I truly wanted to in my entire life.

One more road until home. Is this it? Well, a few times I have done what I wanted. There was the time I went to the carnival by myself, and I kept playing games until I won a stuffed animal. But I felt as though everyone was staring at me because I was by myself. (I am always by myself. I am at this very moment.) I got a stuffed animal that day. But it wasn’t from the guy I flirted with or the games I tried the hardest at. I got my little stuffed bear from a crooked game and, even though I know that, I still think of him as a lucky charm.

Should someone as naïve as I be roaming around the nation’s highways? Probably not.

Ahh—I just passed the drive to my house. But it wasn’t a brave, meaningful decision of symbolism as I had hoped. I simply got too caught up in my petty thoughts. But there is always a last refuge of a coward. I click on my turn signal for the next road, like reflex. I will turn around and make my way back to the same house and my same room.

Tonight—tonight I just couldn’t do it. Rain can be romantic, but it is also scary. A half a tank of gas, well, maybe I’ll try it when there is a full tank. Maybe I’ll try it when I have more courage, or more caffeine coursing through my veins. Maybe I just need something more to run away from than familiarity.

So, I pull in the same driveway, unlock the same door with the same key, and walk through the living rom. I flick on the TV without even turning on a lamp, enjoying the flashes of blue that light up the room instead. I turn on the Weather Channel and see what it will be like tomorrow.

I hate life.
By: JLF
8/96
I hate life. I hate life. Life sucks so bad. My life is just one f***ing blackhole, which I don’t know what that is because I am too lazy & distracted to bother to read my astronomy book to bother to find out what a f***ing blackhole is! And why do I have to come back to f***ing school, which I f***ing hate! I have only had panic attacks while I had to go to school since I was in, like Kindergarten. I HATE SCHOOL! It makes me feel all yucky inside. It makes me feel dark & gloomy inside. It makes me feel like I do when I think about death–> DEATH, how stiffling & cold & lonely & empty it will be. That is what every second at school feels like to me…

My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!

PURCHASE as a Paperback or eBook on Amazon.com TODAY.

My New Favorite Movie

I found my new favorite movie on Netflix the other day. It is called “Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story.

Lifetime's "Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story"

Lifetime’s “Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story”

I will say right off the bat that this is an unauthorized biography. So all the facts are probably not 100 percent true. They may have had to make up situations to string together actual events. It comes across in some spots as cheesy and sugar-coated. And it is a Lifetime movie, so there is the requisite woman getting knocked around scene.

But the end result is like a Cinderella story for aspiring writers.

At the end of the movie, we are given the info “In three years, J.K. Rowling went from being a welfare mother to one of the richest women in Great Britain.”

That just astonishes me.

MAGIC BEYOND WORDS-Rowling Quote

The movie is loaded with suppositions about where Jo Rowling may have gotten her inspirations for Harry Potter. Her best friend in high school is a boy with red hair that she labels “weasley”, whose car looks like someday movie magic might make it fly. Jo’s school teachers bear more than a passing resemblance to Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape.

Weasley look-alike and young Jo with awesome hair and eye makeup

Weasley look-alike and young Jo with awesome hair and eye makeup

I was surprised at all the money Lifetime put into the movie. There were several special effects shots to illustrate Rowling’s creative process. There was everything from a symmetrical building turning into Gringotts bank to chess pieces engaging in physical battle with one another to candles floating above her head as she pecked away on her ancient typewriter.

The movie shows the joy as Rowling receives her first book advance check. She is seen buying her toddler daughter a giant teddy bear. And maybe, just maybe, that would be the first purchase. But I bet a close second was the purchase of a computer. That would make working on her follow-up book immensely easier.

The movie portrays Rowling as always wanting to be a writer, but she was influenced (mostly by her parents) to have a practical career. Then her writing suffered, never more than just a hobby. When she put all her concentration into it, that is when she became successful. I can highly relate to that.

If you only think of your writing as a hobby, that is all it will ever be. And if you are convinced that you need a practical career and writing isn’t it, then writing will never be your career.

My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!

PURCHASE as a Paperback or eBook on Amazon.com TODAY.

Excerpt: The Wind Could Blow a Bug – Chapter 11

The Wind Could Blow a Bug is the first book in the Riley Sisters series. It is also my debut novel. Available for purchase at Amazon.com.

TWCBAB_med

The Wind Could Blow a Bug
The Riley Sisters
Book 1
By Jennifer Friess
ISBN: 978-0692339565
#TWCBAB

If you missed the previous excerpts, you can read them here:

Chapter 1: http://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/12/04/excerpt-the-wind-could-blow-a-bug-chapter-1/

Chapter 2: http://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/12/30/excerpt-the-wind-could-blow-a-bug-chapter-2/

If you haven’t purchased your copy yet, this will be your first glimpse at the story from the leading male’s point of view. Enjoy!

Note: Course language included.

11

WADE

“Rushing off again, I see. Any reason in particular?” a familiar voice came from behind him.

Wade was just throwing his tools into the toolbox in the bed of his truck. He was running behind. He knew Jane was sitting at his apartment waiting for him. Wade didn’t used to mind the twelve hour days working on the farm. But now that Jane was in the picture, that had all changed. When he woke up in the mornings, he couldn’t wait to get to the Diner to lay eyes on her innocent face.

This was a big change. He was a guy that used to sleep as late as possible. He would just smear some peanut butter on a slice of bread and fold it over, shoving it in his mouth on his way out the front door. He was always running late.

When Wade would leave Jane at the Diner, he actually would feel a little sick to his stomach when he got back in his truck to head to the farm. He chalked it up to the greasy eggs. But if Wade was honest with himself, it was more likely that he was having a visceral reaction to having to wait so long before seeing Jane again.

By the end of the day, it was pretty bad. Wade was jonesing to be with her again. Of course he wanted to have sex with her, but it was more. He also missed holding her, talking with her, watching her face light up as she talked about a favorite TV show.

Today being Friday, it was especially bad. And here Josh was trying to hold him up.

“You know. Just off to get some pussy,” Wade replied, nonchalantly.

“Whatever happened to our quality time together? We used to play video games and eat burgers. And then you just abandon me for some girl,” Josh whined. He was doing this on purpose. Josh could tell Wade was itching for this conversation to be over. He wanted to leave.

“You can do both those things by yourself,” Wade deadpanned.

“I don’t believe you are leaving to get pussy,” Josh said.

“Oh, I guarantee you I will get some pussy. But, ya know, getting off is something else you can do alone.” Wade was closer to Josh than any of his other brothers. They were so close in age. But they were too much alike. It resulted in a lot of butting heads. Like, say, right now.

“I don’t think you are going for pussy. I think you really like this little school girl. I think you are going for more than just a quick lay.”

“You’re crazy. Either way, I am not hanging around talking to you anymore when I could be getting my dick wet,” Wade grumbled.

“She is growing on you. You have never gone out with the same girl for more than a week. And you are so obedient. Running off to pick her up like a damn chauffer. . . I’m worried about you, man.”

“Why would you be worried about me? She can’t take me in a fight.” Wade laughed at the image of her trying.

“No. But she could take your money. And your heart.” Josh put his hand on Wade’s arm to get his attention as Wade opened the door to the truck. It worked. Josh got his attention. Wade pulled Josh’s hand off his arm and met his brother’s eyes.

“It’s not like that, man. She isn’t like that,” Wade growled. Josh had been jealous many times before of all the girls that Wade got, but he had never gone this far to interfere.

“Maybe, maybe not. Wade, you think every girl is interested in your body. But most are interested in your money, too. This whole town is poor as dirt. Everybody knows who holds the keys to the bank. She is graduating soon, right? Maybe you are her plan for economic stability,” Josh finished.

Josh wasn’t wearing his usual smart-ass smirk on his face. There was an earnestness in his voice that usually wasn’t there. A real note of concern, but Wade didn’t care.

“Never. She is the sweetest girl,” Wade said, shaking his head.

“Could go sour.”

“Fuck off, Bro. She isn’t like that.”

Wade climbed into the cab now. He slammed the door, started the truck, and gunned the accelerator. Josh disappeared in a cloud of dust and gravel behind him.

 

My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!

PURCHASE as a Paperback or eBook on Amazon.com TODAY.

Excerpt: The Wind Could Blow a Bug – Chapter 2

I am so freaking proud to announce that my first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug by Jennifer Friess, is NOW AVAILABLE!  It can be purchased as a print or eBook on Amazon.com.

TWCBAB_med

The Wind Could Blow a Bug
The Riley Sisters
Book 1
By Jennifer Friess
ISBN: 978-0692339565
#TWCBAB

The Wind Could Blow a Bug is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance.  This is the first book in The Riley Sister series.

I am very happy to include Chapter 2 in today’s post, for your reading pleasure.  I previously provided an excerpt to Chapter 1.  If you missed it, or want to refresh your memory, you can read it here:  http://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/12/04/excerpt-the-wind-could-blow-a-bug-chapter-1/

2

The 7:00PM meeting eventually drew to a close around 9:30PM. Jane remained sitting on, not in, the chair, watching everyone mingle as they left. She didn’t look forward to going home to her room to listen to music by herself. Jane enjoyed the company of people, as long as she didn’t have to actually interact with them.

She glanced out the front picture window. The purple and yellow sunset that had been framed when she had arrived was now like the black of a computer screen, powered down. A steady stream of headlights began passing on the street as people started to depart. Jane looked up at the three diamond shaped windows on the front door. How 1970’s, she thought. A new front door would go a long way toward adding value to Skip Wickley’s house. Jane touched the corner of the end table next to the chair she sat on, where the wood grain paper was peeling back from the particle board.

“You looked like you were about to say something tonight.”

Jane had been so intently studying the worn, low budget furniture that she had not realized anyone had approached. She jumped as she realized the voice came from right in front of her and was directed at her.

“Um, ya. But it was stupid,” Jane replied.

Wade Tucker stood in front of her, his face merely inches from hers. His eyes were like two swimming pools of blue, staring back at her.

“Oh, I doubt anything that comes out of your mouth is stupid,” Wade said, with a crooked smile.

“How would you know that?” He was starting a conversation with her, and Jane was angry at herself for taking the bait. She felt her cheeks warming.

“It is well known that you are the town smarty-pants,” he drawled.

“Oh, ya. Because that is something great to be known for.” It came out sarcastically. Which is how Jane meant it. But she usually didn’t express how she really felt to anyone.

She didn’t try to be smart, it just came naturally, like the way her heart was about to jump right out of her chest at this moment in time.

“Naw, it is. Better than being known as the make out king of West Oakley.”

“I don’t know about that.” It slipped out of Jane’s mouth before she could sensor it. Her already warm cheeks now burned like a fire.

“Hmmm. Well. . . Now you got me curious.” He leaned in closer to Jane. The cologne smell was overpowering. So was his bicep that bulged as he leaned on the arm of the chair right next to her. Jane couldn’t help herself from glancing at it, but regretted it when she looked back into his now twinkling blue eyes, realizing she had been caught checking him out.

His blond hair was now dry and a few strands were falling across his forehead. He was so close to her that she could see the freckles on the bridge of his nose. She could feel his breath on her face. She longed to close the tiny distance between the two of them and kiss his lips. All other thoughts had emptied from her mind. Jane was dying to know what it would feel like to have his lips on hers, to suck his lips, to feel his tongue. She had never kissed a boy. He probably wouldn’t be the ideal boy to start with, but his confidence and reputation made it very appealing. The reality was if she kissed him right now, he would think she was insane and probably run out the door screaming.

“What were you so eager to add to the discussion tonight?”

Jane inhaled deeply to bring herself back to reality, as best she could anyway.

“Never mind. Nothing important.”

“You can tell me.”

“Umm. You might get mad.”

“A few minutes ago you were ready to say it in front of my friends and family, and now you are afraid it will make me mad?” Wade chuckled.

“Yes.”

“It’s OK. I want to know.”

“I—I was just going to say that if you let them build the SaveRX on your property, then you could just make out in the parking lot, or better yet, in the ‘family planning’ aisle, and you would never have to worry about running out of protection.” Jane was surprised she could push out the joke that had seemed so funny a few minutes earlier. Her voice was a louder volume than she had thought she could manage, although it was shaky and lacked confidence. She looked up now into Wade’s burning eyes. He didn’t miss a beat.

“Now, Janie Riley, you do surprise me.” With that, he smiled and walked away.

The smile that could stop traffic had just made her heart skip a beat.

Jane almost ran out of the room. The cool, humid spring air on her burning skin would be very refreshing on her walk home. Now she couldn’t wait to get home and over-analyze every second of her interaction with Wade. She knew she was making a big thing out of a tiny verbal exchange. But that was the closest to actual physical contact she had ever come to with a guy. God, was that depressing to admit at 18, even to herself.

 

My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!

Purchase as a Print or eBook on Amazon.com TODAY.

Excerpt: The Wind Could Blow a Bug – Chapter 1

TWCBAB_med

The Wind Could Blow a Bug
The Riley Sisters
Book 1
By Jennifer Friess
ISBN: 978-0692339565
#TWCBAB

Here is an excerpt from my upcoming young adult contemporary romance called The Wind Could Blow a Bug.  Sign up for email updates about publication at:  http://imnotstalkingyou.us9.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=f58cebd8190793e8348ca281f&id=a695e51c66

1

JANE

The Oakley town council meeting had started off typically enough. There was a review of the minutes from the last meeting, and the usual complaints about too much. This time it was too much noise and chickens. But with all the Tucker boys in attendance for the meeting tonight, a rare occurrence, it was only a matter of time before things got rowdy.

The main order of new business on the agenda was to discuss a nationwide pharmacy with plans to build a store at the edge of town. The tiny town, population 3,300, was divided on this particular issue. And so they piled into mayor Skip Wickley’s living room for tonight’s meeting.

Skip was a large black man, in both mass and stature. He was an impressive physical figure to lead the town, but he was often too busy trying to keep everyone happy to make effective decisions.

On a night of a normal meeting, there would have been plenty of room for everyone. Skip had a large old farmhouse. Usually only 30 or so citizens were in attendance. Tonight it looked as though a representative from almost every household in town was here. The living room and dining room were one combined space, as though a wall that had formerly divided them a hundred years ago had since been removed. Every inch of that space was needed tonight.

Jane Riley sat in the corner on the couch, with her spiral-bound notebook on her lap. Although only a high school senior, she was present at all the town council meetings. She took down notes and turned them into the regional newspaper to earn extra money for college. Twenty dollars per meeting. Since the town council was so small, her newspaper recap also served as official meeting minutes. Being quiet with few hobbies, she would take advantage of that on her college application by saying she was the secretary for the town council. As no one officially held that post, no one could really complain if she claimed it.

But tonight she was too distracted to take conscientious notes. Her attention was not on the debate, but instead on the group of four strapping farm boys standing up, trying to holler over one another. The Tucker boys were not the type of guys to give Jane the time of day. They were all older than Jane. Then again, no other boys in town were interested in her either. Jane had earned a reputation for being “shy”, a word she hated. In truth, she just didn’t care to socialize with the jocks and cheerleaders of her school. They had no clue that she could be funny and witty. Jane saw this as their loss, not hers. She was average in just about every way. She was an average height, with a thin frame, and light brown hair of an average length. She was often mistaken for several years younger than her 18 years. If Jane was a boy, she probably wouldn’t be interested in herself either.

The Tucker brothers all had hair damp from the showers they had taken before attending the meeting. It was nice that they had been considerate enough to wash off the day’s worth of dirt and sweat before they came. But they also had drowned themselves in cologne too. Were they all heading to the bar to pick up chicks after the meeting? The mix of four different colognes and testosterone filled the room and made Jane’s head spin, in a good way.

Evan Tucker was the father of all these men. He was nearing 50. While most fathers were old and chubby and balding, Evan was still a good-looking man. He would look right at home in an Eddie Bauer catalog. His full head of black hair was just starting to have some white mix in around the edges.

Randy was the oldest son. He had to be about 27 now, and helped his father run the business. He looked a lot like his father, but Randy was a few inches taller.

Josh was the second oldest. He was known around town as a prankster. This somehow made him easy to dislike. Josh sported a headful of brown hair and wore a goatee of perpetual stubble on his chin. Jane assumed that he did the same work on the farm as his brothers, but somehow he was thicker around the middle than the rest. He was 24 years old.

Wade was just a year younger than Josh. Wade was the Tucker boy most of the girls in town liked best. He had won the genetics lottery. Blond hair, blue eyes, and a face like a model. His smile had been known to stop traffic.

Oakley’s main street only had two lanes and one flashing signal. So really, sometimes a stray cat stopped traffic as well.

Pete was the youngest son. He had been a year ahead of Jane in school, which meant he was now out of school. He looked a lot like his mother. He was wiry, with dirty blond hair.

The discussion was breaking down as everyone talked over each other.

“The SaveRX would bring many jobs to our town.”

“But it would put my drug store out of business.”

“It sounds like a budget strip club.”

“The people from Parker would get all the jobs anyway.” This was unlikely. Parker was the next largest town about 40 miles away.

“Wouldn’t they need to use some of my land to build it at the proposed site? I am not selling. Does that mean you are going to use eminent domain to claim it?” asked Evan Tucker.

Now it was more obvious why the Tuckers were here. Mr. Tucker owned much of the farmland around Oakley, including all of the farmland on the west end of town where the pharmacy was to be built. He may look like a hick, but he was a very smart businessman. Mr. Tucker had kept his farm going and growing in a time when many had failed. He had managed to keep it in the family as well, an even bigger feat.

Tucker Farms had been started by Evan Tucker’s grandfather. Then it was very small and only fed the immediate family. Evan’s father grew it to have many cash crops and added many silos for grain storage to cover himself in times of bad weather until his death.

Evan took over the business in very different times. The old-time farmers were dying out, literally, and their children did not want to continue.   They wanted to get jobs at the automotive factory in Parker that offered a steady income and benefits. Or they just moved away to the cities, where they could get a job in anything. Evan started buying up the land. Often times he could not offer much, but the sellers snapped it up just to be rid of it. Evan began to diversify his products.

As Evan’s business was growing, the local grain elevators, the Oakley Co-Op, just called ‘the Co-Op’ by locals, were suffering. With the drop in the number of farmers using their buy, sell, and store services, they did not have the ability to make upgrades or pay their employees. When the Co-Op went out of business, Evan was put in the position of expanding his own operation to provide the services to other farmers in and around Oakley that they could no longer receive anywhere else. In a day and age when no one put down new railroad tracks, Evan found he had justification to have some laid between his elevators and the nearest rail spur a few miles away.

Evan had helped salvage what little community was left in Oakley. The goods he bought from the feed store and the hardware store kept them in business. The local tractor supply helped to keep his farming machines in running order. And so on. In turn, all those merchants could buy newspapers, groceries, and eat at the two restaurants in town. It was a delicate balance. Evan Tucker knew this, and it no doubt kept him up late nights.

“Ya, we ain’t selling,” Josh said.

“That is prime farmland,” Randy articulated.

“It is also the best make-out spot in town,” Wade said, smiling.

“You should know, Wade!” someone in the back yelled.

With that, the room let out a whoop and the conversation quickly was derailed from the task at hand. Wade seemed to be at the center of the chaos.

A great dig at Wade came to Jane. She crossed the room to get closer to the action, waiting for her turn to contribute. She felt self-conscious standing, so she sat in an available chair, left vacant by all those now standing. Wanting a better vantage point of the room, she sat on the back of the stuffed green plaid chair and put her pink Converse shoes on the seat. She began to remember that she wasn’t the kind of girl to speak up in meetings, especially to flirt with guys. As the conversation moved away from Wade, Jane knew her chance was gone. This made her relax a little. Although her brief moment of bravery, of just moving across the room, had already made her deodorant fail.

The Wind Could Blow a Bug – Book Summary

TWCBAB_med

Here is the back cover summary for my upcoming young adult contemporary romance called The Wind Could Blow a Bug.  To be notified of book release, please sign up at: http://imnotstalkingyou.us9.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=f58cebd8190793e8348ca281f&id=a695e51c66

Jane Riley is a quiet high school senior growing up in a rural Alabama town, surrounded by hot farm boys. When Wade, the handsomest one of all, takes a sudden interest in her romantically, Jane falls hard for him. Being adopted, Jane’s search for her birth mother leads to unexpected revelations. After graduation, everything in her life begins to fall apart. While suffering from depression, Jane must cope with the unknown challenges of college. Jane must discover that family isn’t always who you would expect. She is reminded that The Wind Could Blow a Bug and her life could change in an instant…

iNsTaBiLiTy: a poem

I want to cut this pain
right out of me.
Take a sharp knife
and set it free.
There is no reason for this agony.
It is just my body
choosing to wage war
Against the everyday monotony.
And you can’t see it.
You can’t try to understand.
I hide the rolling sobs.
The hyperventilation is reserved
for my hiding place.
You only see the aftermath–
the red-rimmed eyes
the loud, ragged breaths.
You might be inclined
to want to help.
But you can’t.
There is no fucking way.
I have internalized
all of the bad in my world.
It boils inside of me,
robbing me of
my time
my youth
my sanity.
I want to roll up in a ball–
coccoon myself–
let the world just pass right over me.
Because I would rather feel nothing
than to feel this
instability every day.
–JLS 11/20/14

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 181 other followers

%d bloggers like this: