Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Music #9 in the Little Flame Series

release music 3


Buy on Amazon

I've done things I'm ashamed of. I've stolen. I've lied. I've even taken a life or two. But what I have to do next makes that all look like random acts of kindness.

Finding Dee's murderer trumps all, no matter what the cost, even bonding myself Hross until death do us part.

Give up Max? Check.
Break his heart? Yeah, that too.

But putting Max's life in danger was never, ever part of the plan.

I have this one chance to make everything right, once and for all. And I better get it right the first time because what I'm about to do requires the ultimate sacrifice: my life.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Another Weight Loss Book? Ugh

Everyone it seems is writing a book about weight loss these days. I mean everyone. They make over the top statements about changing their lives and transforming yours in 8 weeks. 

Something bothers me about this. I think it's my own experience. I'm trying to come at this with a positive attitude. 

Here's the bottom line: you can count calories all you want and exercise til your knee gives out, but you must change the thoughts, the beliefs, the habits, the self-doubt, the negative thinking, the hard wiring, your life situations, and the programming that led to weight gain in the first place. 

This is a life long journey. It can't be done in 8 weeks. 

You CANT fix yourself in 8 weeks because you're NOT broken. I dislike that implication. It's cruel. And don't get me started on the warped version of "healthy" we have been sold, quite literally by every marketing campaign ever. 

Your weight? Is a symptom of your life. It is not the end all be all of existence. But it is intimately tied to every facet of your life. 

Btw: the people who don't have weight issues have other problems. Trust me on this. They just handle their crazy differently. 

You can gorge yourself on veggies and organic this and locally grown that and you will see results. 

You can run, lift weights, and practice yoga consistency and you will see results. 

But what happens when the next real stressful crisis hits? 

When the winter brings on the depression or your mother gets diagnosed with Alzheimer's? What do you do? Your knee jerk reaction to life's hardest moments reveals the root of our weight issues. Or whatever issues you might have. 

Honestly? It's key to the root of all our problems. 

And THIS is where the real work happens. And it's not sexy or flowery or a simple 3 step plan. 

It happens in the everyday moments. And it's so much more than food and exercise, although learning about a healthy lifestyle is important. 

It's a life long journey of self-awareness, doing the hard stuff that brings about gradual awareness until we see clearly our personal fears, one at a time.

Then we have to address that fear. 

And then we have to do that whole thing all over again. 

And again.

And again.

And again.

Until we die. 

I guess that's why nobody has written that book. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

As You Were - Installment 17

You have been thoroughly warned. 
If you are squeamish about colorful language, don't like sex scenes, and honest dialogue makes your hair curl, walk away now. Do not read this.


I'll be posting installments every day until the end. I don't know how many days that will be because I am still writing this story. You can read it or not, share it or not, like it or not.  It's up to you. Unlike me, you have a choice. I can't not write it.

Namaste.
As You Were
Copyright © 2013 by Melissa Lummis

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the above author of this book.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

Chapter 6



I rested a hand on his chest and he turned to look at me in surprise. “Despite my exceedingly bad behavior, I’m glad you came.” I struggled not to cry, swallowing the tears with determination, despite the way the deck seemed to rock beneath. “I’m glad you told me.”

Erik’s face faltered between a smile and something painful. He lifted his hand to cover mine, and I was surprised to feel it tremble. “I mean it, Anne. I’ve always loved you. I was just too stupid to understand what I was feeling. After my mom left,” he cleared his throat, “I thought I’d stopped feeling, anything, but that wasn’t true. I can’t explain it because I really don’t understand it, but I somehow disengaged, distanced myself.”

“Kind of like how some people deal with pain,” I murmured.

We stared at each other for a long moment. The ceaseless crash of waves and the jingle and buzz of the far away boardwalk filling the silence. There were times in the past when Erik and I hadn’t talked for days, times when I wondered if I’d said or done something he didn’t like, but we’d never gone an entire year before. This past year had been full of confusing things: Jack’s betrayal, my own insecurities, how I’d turned my back on Gena. But the most confusing of all was why, after the initial phone call post-Gena incident, I hadn’t picked up the phone to call Erik. Or why he hadn’t called me.

“So what now?” I asked.

Erik dropped his chin to his chest. “I don’t know.”

I half-laughed, and then covered my mouth and swallowed a burp. “Ugh. I drank a lot.”

Erik brushed a stray strand of hair out of my eye. “Yeah. Let’s get you the Erik Hangover Miracle Cure and then tuck you in bed.”

I grabbed his hand, woozy panic filling my belly. “You’re not going to leave, are you? I’m sorry I was a jerk. I guess I’m still drunk but that’s not an excuse, although it makes sense…the crying…the laughing, the freakin’ mood swings from hell.”

I heard myself babbling but I couldn’t stop. Despite the rollercoaster of emotions, or maybe because of them, Erik’s presence was a comfort. Didn’t make sense to me, but I didn’t make sense to me often. Erik being here had opened up a lot of old baggage, and I’d certainly thrown our past around in my head and heart, made quite a mess.

“I’m not sure…“ Erik looked pain. He glanced toward the doorway, running his hand over his crew cut. “Uh,” he chuckled. “It’s not a good idea.”

I held out my hand. “The 7-11 is two blocks away, on the corner.” I didn’t think it was a good idea either, but the thought of him leaving and maybe never seeing him again made my stomach flip.

Erik nodded, took my hand, and led me through the suite and out of the house. We walked in silence, the first block dark, dotted with moonlight and the occasional light from a balcony. Laughter and music drifted with the wind blowing through the tree tops. For the 4th of July, there weren’t a lot of parties going on, but then again, Sylvie’s grandparents probably picked a quieter neighborhood.

I squinted at the bright street lights over the main road. If Erik left now, would I see him tomorrow? Or later today. I fished for my cell phone, but it wasn’t in any of my pockets. I huffed. Who cared what time it was? What did it matter? Erik was leaving and—

He squeezed my hand. “Hey. Earth to Annie. What’s going on in that head of yours?

“Anne!” a female voice yelled. Sylvia dashed across the street and fell into with a drunken giggle. 
“You’re not going to believe what Meredith did!”

End of Chapter 6

Continued in Installment 18...

Monday, March 21, 2016

As You Were - Installment 16

You have been thoroughly warned. 
If you are squeamish about colorful language, don't like sex scenes, and honest dialogue makes your hair curl, walk away now. Do not read this.


I'll be posting installments every day until the end. I don't know how many days that will be because I am still writing this story. You can read it or not, share it or not, like it or not.  It's up to you. Unlike me, you have a choice. I can't not write it.

Namaste.
As You Were
Copyright © 2013 by Melissa Lummis

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the above author of this book.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

Chapter 6




Holy hell. I sank back on my heels between his legs and pushed the hair out of my eyes, my fingers trembling. And I slapped him across the face. He nodded, a tear trickling over the faint stubble on his cheek, over the red finger marks.

“Don’t you dare blame me for your emptiness. Females have also been just a plaything for you and that’s not my fault!” My voice rose, a little hysterical. “That’s all on you, bub. I was always a good friend to you, tried to talk some sense into you because I saw what it was really about.” I sprung up off the chair, picked up my empty soda can, and flung it at him.

He didn’t dodge it. The can bounced off his forehead and clattered onto the deck. “I’m sorry,” he whispered.

I spun around, my back to Erik, my rage sputtering out as I realized what I’d done. Oh God. What was wrong with me? I hid my face in my hands and took quieting breaths. I heard the chair creak and felt Erik close behind me. He didn’t touch me and I didn’t blame him.

“I know what I am, Anne. I know what I’ve done. I don’t blame you. I’ve wanted to slap some sense into me for a long time.”

I dropped my hands, fighting the quiver in my chin. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.” I took a deep breath and blew it out. “I shouldn’t have hit you or thrown that can at you. It was a pissy thing to do and I’m sorry.”

Erik tentatively touched my shoulder. I flinched and he immediately pulled his hand away. “I know I’m not relationship material and God knows my timing couldn’t be shittier, but I had to tell you. I still love you, Anne. And I’m not blaming my lack of morals with women on you. I didn’t mean it that way. I’m not saying I couldn’t have a relationship with anyone because I was in love with you. I didn’t know I was in love with you, okay? I just realized it over the past year.”

I stood there, the endless ocean in front of me, a definitive past behind me. A long car ride with Erik one summer when I was touring colleges played out in my mind. He was DJing with his new iPod while I set the cruise control.

Two hours,” I’d said. “If we don’t hit any traffic.”
“You know what I like best about road trips?” Erik had asked.
“What?”
“It’s like you’re in between things, like everything else doesn’t exist. Your past, your future, your problems. Poof. Gone. At least while you’re on the road.”

I turned to face Erik in our present, at the beach. “So you came here to tell me you loved me?”
Erik looked away, his lips drawn into a thin line. He shoved his hands in his pockets. “I know how this all seems. It’s selfish, right? But I.” His words caught in his throat. His Adam’s apple bobbed. “I can’t stop thinking I’ll never see you again. I can’t…die…and not have told you, Anne. I don’t want to blow up or bleed out in a foreign desert and never have said the words to your face.”


I rubbed my forehead with a shaky hand. “You’re not going to die,” I whispered in a hoarse voice. 

But I didn’t believe my own words. He could. Die. I gazed up at his face with the five o’clock shadow, the too bright eyes, the muscle in his jaw flexing as he fought to control his emotions.

Contined in Installment 17...

Sunday, March 20, 2016

As You Were - Installment 15

You have been thoroughly warned. 
If you are squeamish about colorful language, don't like sex scenes, and honest dialogue makes your hair curl, walk away now. Do not read this.


I'll be posting installments every day until the end. I don't know how many days that will be because I am still writing this story. You can read it or not, share it or not, like it or not.  It's up to you. Unlike me, you have a choice. I can't not write it.

Namaste.
As You Were
Copyright © 2013 by Melissa Lummis

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the above author of this book.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.


Chapter 6




“You’re getting punchy.” But Erik was half-laughing himself. “You okay?”

I tried to speak, but all that emerged were those hissing sounds when you’re laughing too hard and you can’t form words. He chuckled as I gave up trying to fend it off and laughed myself out in his lap. He settled back in the chair, pulling me with him, stroking my hair until I was exhausted but giggling and breathing once again.

“Whew. Where did that come from?” I asked but not expecting an answer. I blinked away the funny tears, staring up at the few stars I could see despite the light pollution. Despite the moonlight pouring down on us.

“Probably from all those pent up emotions or the alcohol,” Erik said with quiet laugh. Then we were quiet as he continued to stroke my hair, running his fingers through as if he were trying to comb out the tangles. I settled down, my body relaxing into his in utter exhaustion.

“So you knew I was here.” I finally said. The implication was he came to this beach with his buddies for a reason. “You were hoping to what, bump into me somewhere?”

“Maybe,” he said with a teasing lilt. “Maybe,” he repeated, but the teasing was gone. “Yeah. I remembered you said you’d come here with some college friends a few times. I remembered the Brass Balls. I was going to look for you there. Maybe.”

I rubbed my cheek against his chest, rested my hand on the other side of it. “Why?”

He didn’t answer for awhile. We lay there and I thought of other nights, other quiet conversations about the meaning of life beside my parents’ pool. With him. With Dan. And Gena. The stars twinkling down on us, like so many promises of what lie ahead. We were young and the universe was ours for the taking. We could climb mountains and slay dragons. Feed the homeless. Solve all the world’s problems.

Erik shifted beneath me. “I’m going to be in a war zone in a few days.” I waited, picturing an endless desert, grey makeshift buildings, men in army boots and fatigues. Blowing sand rattling against flapping tarps. I shivered.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen to me,” he whispered. “And every since that sank in, I haven’t stopped thinking about you.”

I swallowed. What if something happened to Erik? What if we never saw each other again? Wait. What had he said? “You haven’t stopped thinking about me?” My fingers curled against his chest. “Why?”

I lay still, frozen by anticipation. Erik and I had always flirted. We’d held hands, even when he was dating Gena. After he and Gena split, we spent a lot of time hanging out in his basement watching movies stretched out on the couch, sometimes with my feet in his lap, sometimes with his head in mine. I’d always been very aware of what we were doing. I’d never been nonchalant about it, but I had assumed it meant nothing to him. And when Gena grilled me about what happened, what did he say the next day, I'd feel guilty.

Erik cleared his throat. “Because. You were the one I always thought about, when another girl would accuse me of being a heartless jerk in high school. Even after school. When I’d drive myself home from a girl’s place in the middle of the night.”

What the fuck? I pushed up, deliberately putting all my weight into the gesture. Erik grunted, but didn’t do anything about it. “So, what? What does that mean? It’s not flattering, if that’s what you’re thinking.” Could he be more of an ass? Like that was supposed to mean something to me, that he thought of me post-coitus, when he was leaving a girl to wonder what she’d done wrong.

Erik closed his eyes. “It’s not what you’re thinking.”

I shoved at him and he grunted louder this time. “What am I thinking?”

"It wasn't about the sex. It was about why I couldn't connect with anyone." He met my angry gaze and I blinked. His eyes swam with tears. “Anne, I’ve always been in love with you.”

Holy hell. I sank back on my heels between his legs and pushed the hair out of my eyes, my fingers trembling. Then I slapped him across the face.


 Continued in Installment 16...