Small Dreams ~ Chapter One

It’s a difficult decision to buy a book online. All you have to go by is the tiny blurb beside the book cover and that’s not much. So I’m sharing the entire first chapter with you. That way you get to meet Jessica and Chris and hopefully grow to love them as much as I do.

***

Chris was, once again, perched on the porch railing. I’d told him the railing was unsafe, the damn thing was held in place with nothing more than a handful of rusty screws and a whole lot of hope. The landlord had warned him against it too. But Chris had the attitude that nothing bad could ever happen to him and, well, so far nothing had.

He jumped down as soon as he saw me and the railing swayed wildly behind him.

This is for you,” he blurted as I walked up the path then he handed me the bag he’d been holding. I took a peek inside. A pregnancy test? I tossed it back like he’d lobbed me a live grenade.

Chris!” I exclaimed, “Why did you get me this?”

You’ve been queasy all week. You’ve thrown up twice this morning alone and your period is late. Why wouldn’t I get one?”

I can’t be pregnant!” I replied, ruthlessly ignoring the voice in the back of my head whispering ‘that would explain a lot’.

The only way we’ll know for sure is if you take the test,” he said then pressed the bag back into my hands. As tempting as it was to push it back, he was right. I sighed then quietly headed upstairs.

I could hear our roommates, Ann and John, laughing and talking in the backyard so at least we had the place to ourselves. Luckily Ann had been cleaning so I could no longer smell the liver she’d fried that morning. Unluckily Ann had been cleaning so all I could smell was powdered cleanser (only 79 cents a can at Bargoon Land, Jessica) and her heavy duty, catch-in-your-throat industrial floor cleaner. I tried to breathe shallowly.

I’ll, umm, wait out here while you take the test,” Chris said awkwardly. He leaned against the wall and stared out the hall window, even though it overlooked nothing but our neighbour’s roof and the sapling collection currently growing in their eaves.

It felt weird not locking the bathroom door but Chris was right there and it wasn’t like he’d let John or Ann waltz in. I slid the test onto the counter then fished the instructions out of the box. It looked easy enough but I still read them three times. I was about to read them a fourth time then admitted to myself I was just stalling. I could have written them by that point. Besides I really had to pee.

No time like the present,” I muttered then followed the instructions.

I refused to look at the test until I had thoroughly washed and dried my hands. Finally I picked it up and looked at what I already knew was there, two distinct lines in the window. A tear landed on the test, then another. I couldn’t hold them back.

The bathroom door opened a crack and Chris slipped inside. He picked up the test gently and stared at it in amazement. His expression said it was Christmas and Santa just showed up with a Porsche. Then he looked at my tears and his smile dimmed.

You don’t want the baby?” he asked forlornly.

I rubbed the backs of my hands across my eyes before replying. “It’s not that,” I protested. “What are we going to do with a baby? What sort of life can we give it?”

Could you imagine bathing a baby in here?” I gestured around the bathroom at the chipped paint, the grime streaked windows, Ann’s hairy razor, and the cracks winding their way across the entire length of the wall.

I want a baby with you, but I want our baby to have a real home and a future.”

Chris clasped both my hands in his and stared down at me. I looked at the friendly, goofball kid I joked around with all through high school and saw the man he was becoming.

We won’t live here forever,” Chris solemnly assured me. “We’ll make a better life for us and our baby. Things will turn out; I promise.”

I stared into his eyes and believed him.

***

If you want to read more, you can find Small Dreams here: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/small-dreams

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Small Dreams…

It was 1995 and we’d just got our very first computer. It had 1mb of RAM and I nearly filled it up by adding everything in our calendar for the next hundred years. I even included our 100th anniversary, you know, in case we lived to be 123. The calendar became boring fairly quickly and I fished for something else to do.

Then I came up with writing. I’d always loved to write and had been good at it for as long as I could remember. I got told last year, by one of my former teachers, that my writing was handed around the staff room in elementary school because it was good. I had been writing poetry but wanted to try something different. I settled on a novel because it would give me space to add extra details, while poetry usually wants you to pare them down. People say to write about what you know. I was young, broke, newly married, and had a baby so I wrote about a young, newly pregnant woman and her boyfriend.

book-coverAt first I wrote about every single day. Yeah, it was as boring to write as it was to read. I also tried to write it as a diary with the same reaction. Then I made everything perfect for them. Every time there was trouble in their lives, it was immediately improved. For example, they need to look for another apartment. They were living in a rooming house and found, well they found my great grandmother’s backyard cottage. Her Dad had built their house and, when him and his wife got older, he built a backyard cottage for them to retire to. My great grandmother used to rent it out to a school teacher. It was gorgeous, with it’s own small backyard and a wide front porch. It was also pretty unrealistic for the main characters to find.

There were other minor issues. Things like phones for example. Almost no one had a cellphone in the 90’s so, when they got a phone, it was a landline. Then they waffled over having cellphones but they were too expensive… and again got a landline. Now, what 20-something year old doesn’t have a cellphone? So they have cellphones.

I’ve been working and editing on this book for so long and finally decided enough was enough. It was time to publish. I hope you love Jessica and Chris just as much as I do. If you’re interested in reading my book, it’s $3.99, so about the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee and it lasts longer too. You can find it here.

Moving right along…

I still haven’t got a move in date for my apartment. I was told “sometime in the summer”. My psychiatrist laughed when I told him that and said, “That means September”. I have to admit he’s probably right. I’m moving right along for the new apartment. I’ve got new cutlery, new plates, new wall art, and new food storage containers. I’ve even enlarged the floor plan for the unit so I can plan a little easier.

Apartment layout

My floor plan

The hard part is Colin. While he has contacted the John Howard Society regarding help finding an apartment, he hasn’t done anything else. No money’s been saved, no units have been called. Every once in a while he’ll ask me if it’s too late to cancel my apartment. I keep telling him it is. I’ve signed all the agreements and accepted the subsidy. I can’t back out now. I can’t help thinking he’s not really trying to move because he figures I’ll cancel and stay with him if it gets to the summer and he has no way to move. Which means I’ve got to put in all the effort.

 

I mailed in an application for my building, which he could afford until they updated the home page recently and added “plus utilities”. The utility company figured the cost would be between one and two hundred a month. Ouch! I don’t pay utilities because I’m on subsidy. Colin isn’t that lucky.

I called another place which advertises $760/m for rent and wasn’t surprised to find their waiting list is well over a year long. And viewit.ca only offered a place that is known for it’s dealers, cockroaches, bedbugs, and mice. Ironically their price wasn’t particularly low either. All that’s left is wading through kijiji on a regular basis and looking for apartment for rent signs. And his worker at John Howard Society. Hopefully she can help him find something.

What’s worrying me just as much is Colin doesn’t have any money other than the $70 from his GoFundMe. It’s easy to say, it’s his choice to spend all his money, he needs to deal with the consequences but, in this case, the consequences are moving my autistic 21 year old into a homeless shelter. The consequences are too steep.

So now I have two options to get money for Colin. His Go Fund Me and my LGBTQ friendly fantasy novel. Any money received goes right into my savings account where I’m keeping track of his deposits. I don’t have any fancy prizes for donating to his Go Fund Me account. The only prize is keeping him off the street. But if you buy my book you’ll get a novel that everyone who’s read it has raved about.

Here’s my book…

And here is Colin’s GoFundMe…

https://www.gofundme.com/colin039s-moving-fund

Thank you so much for helping!!!

My spring book sale…

I probably shouldn’t have ran. I was different enough to begin with and running attracted attention. But I was scared and I needed Papa.

I didn’t know what I’d do when he was gone.

The soles of my shoes slipped in the dust as I turned the corner toward home, making me stagger a little, but I was used to how worn they were and quickly caught my balance. One leap let me avoid the wobbly bit of our front steps then I slipped inside.

Papa lay on his bed in the front room, cocooned in blankets. He stared at me blankly for a moment before recognition slowly seeped in.

“Aren? Is something wrong?” His words were whisper thin and edged in pain.

“Papa? What’s treason?” I gasped as I leaned against the door. The sweat wicked into my dress as I stood waiting for his reply.

I’d understood most of the notice in the village square, more than enough to terrify me. The rest hinged on that one unknown word. Hopefully it wasn’t as bad as I feared although, judging by experience, things tended to be worse than expected and not better.

Papa pulled himself up a bit more onto his pillow. “Treason? It’s when you go against the king,” he replied. He coughed and the sound echoed through the mostly empty room. “Of course you need to have a king in order to be charged with that.”

I couldn’t stop the shiver that traced a path along my spine.

“It’s okay Aren, I know what Robert’s calling himself,” he assured me. “Smallest province in Avenna and he claims he’s king. I could call myself king of this bed just as easily and it would mean as much.”

He gestured briefly across the bed then he winced and his hand dropped.

“Papa?” I took a step forward then stopped when he smiled.

“I’m fine,” he whispered. He coughed again and raised his voice slightly. “When King Nicholas was alive, treason was one of the few crimes with a death penalty. I assume that much hasn’t changed.”

It felt like my heart dropped into my stomach. I stared at him in horror. He stared back, his face was so pale it looked waxy.

“It’s that bad Aren? What is he calling treason?”

“Half-elven babies,” I replied. I was right, it was worse.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

If the above couple of paragraphs interest you, you’re in luck! My book is currently on sale for $2.99 (or $10.99 for a kick ass paperback). For the price of a Starbucks coffee, you can have an enjoyable read. Every person who has read this book so far has loved it and several are eagerly waiting for a sequel (something that’s not happening until I have more sales). The book is also LGBTQ friendly (the T is fleshed out in the second book, which is already half written).

If you are in the United States, you can find the ebook here. If you’re in the UK, you can find the ebook here. And if you’re in Canada the book is here.

I am currently nearing the top of a subsidized wait list for housing and every penny I make is going towards moving expenses.

Thank you and enjoy!

heart book

Because I’m Fabulous is everywhere!!!

Okay the site’s not exactly everywhere but it’s more places than just here. I have a Twitter account but that one isn’t really worth watching because it’s pretty much just my Instagram pictures shared with Facebook and Twitter. If you’re on Twitter and not on Instagram it might be worth it but, otherwise, skip it.

My more popular one is Instagram. Emma’s not one for getting her photo taken. I’ll throw one up if she’s willing but usually Instagram is photos I find interesting, so lots of cats and nature shots with some unusual shots thrown in. Like my rubber chicken riding a fake security camera. Emma insisted my room needed the camera. I insisted my room needed a blue rubber chicken and there we were. It’s like it was meant to be.

And my most popular one is Facebook. I’m on Facebook a fair bit and share all the positive LGBTQ posts I find (I figure there’s enough sharing of the negative news already). I add each blog post there almost as soon as I finish writing it and share some information and stories about Emma. Also, Facebook messenger is the easiest way to reach me.

my bookLast, but not least, I wrote a novel and published it almost a year ago. It’s called Leaving Hope and it’s a fantasy novel. If you’re interested in reading it, you can find it here. If you’d rather have a paperback version, you can find it here. My Mom ordered it and the book is absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful enough that I want to order a copy and I wrote the damn thing. I know what’s going to happen (but I’m not going to spoil it for you).

Emma insisted I start a Patreon but I’ve only added one thing to it, a short story based of an, as yet, unpublished novel. If people show an interest in it, I’ll write and add more but otherwise it will languish with the one story.

I’ve got my electric fireplace on and Blackie boo is currently snuggled up in front of it. She’s finished her antibiotics for her cold and is sneezing most less now, worryingly enough she’s not eating any more yet. I’ve placed her on wet cat food, which she enjoys, but she only nibbles at it. A friend told me her older cats take longer to bounce back after illness so maybe that’s all it is. The other cats are sneezing too but they’re all eating well so hopefully this infection will pass us by unscathed. And now it’s time to stop writing in here and start writing in my book. I hope every last one of you has a wonderful weekend!

I have a book!!!

I got bored last night. Bored me gets doing all sorts of interesting stuff. Last night bored me decided to self-publish a novel on Amazon, which was definitely interesting. Formatting the paper book version was the most interesting. There’s nothing like going from 11 errors to 129 errors with one “correction”. But prices have been picked, covers chosen, and both versions of the book are ready to buy.

I’d originally planned on going the traditional route and finding and agent and/or publisher but bored me had other ideas. I guess bored me decided that hundreds of hours of writing was enough waiting and action was needed now.

If you like fantasy then today is your lucky day! The ebook lets you preview the first two (and a bit) chapters so you can get an idea if the book is to your liking (I hope it is). Plus it’s roughly the same price as a coffee and pastry so it’s definitely affordable. And it’s LGBTQ friendly. Right now just the G and B but L and T both get a turn in the second book (which is half written and fully outlined). The main character (Aren) is also autistic. That’s not mentioned in the book because the word didn’t exist in that time period but it is noticeable.

If the book is popular enough I hope to eventually turn it into a trilogy with potential offshoots via different characters.

Just click on the picture to get to the ordering page and enjoy!

my book

If you would rather buy a paper copy you can click here.

Thank you so much and I sincerely hope you enjoy the book!!!