Gorgeous Glistening Goddesses

Fiery me, fashion-forward Deb and creative Kathi represented as Goddesses. Image courtesy of VegaColors at DeviantArt

Fiery me, fashion-forward Deb and creative Kathi represented as Goddesses. Image courtesy of VegaColors at DeviantArt

When I arrived at the hotel for my latest trip to New England, I went about unpacking in the nice air-conditioned room. Once I’d driven out of the rain, the day had become hot, humid and sunny which left me feeling a bit bedraggled. After unpacking, I showered and felt much refreshed and ready to head out on some evening adventures.

I’m always pulled to Amesbury on my trips so I obeyed that pull and drove the 10-minute drive south from Seabrook, NH to my favorite little Massachusetts town/city. I parked my car in the lot by Crave like usual and then walked up main street breathing it all in. There wasn’t much of a breeze and the humidity was quite oppressive but I was still overjoyed to be back in Amesbury!

I walked up to Parke Place Boutique to see if the owner Deb was there and when I peeked inside I saw her and Kathi, the owner of Attentif’ Design relaxing and chatting. I was surprised their stores were still open at that hour on a Wednesday evening so I stepped inside and was happily greeted by both of them. That right there made my night! In NY, I’m basically a recluse with no local friends who spends most of her time with her dog. I live a good life but it’s not exactly exciting. That all changes when I return to Amesbury!

I sat and chatted with Deb and Kathi for a while and learned that they were both still open because they didn’t have anywhere else particularly important to be that evening. The subject of dinner eventually came up and as I hadn’t eaten anything in a while, I was very interested in a meal. It was decided they’d close up their stores and we’d walk up to Barking Dog Bar & Grill for food and that sounded divine to me!

I hadn’t eaten at the Barking Dog yet during my visits to Amesbury so it was obviously overdue. I enjoyed talking with Deb and Kathi and feeling like a social human being instead of a writing hermit. Deb, Kathi and I are all at slightly different stages of our lives but I didn’t feel out of place at all with them, in fact I felt very welcome and relaxed. We’re all strong, powerful, tenacious and determined women after all, goddesses in our own right. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was energetic and it was a great re-introduction into a social life for me.

During the conversation, the topic of the humidity and heat came up and the word “sweaty” was uttered. To which I said what my mother had always told me “Women don’t sweat, we glisten.” Glisten is a far lovelier word than sweat and as women are the lovelier gender, it makes perfect sense 😉 As the evening continued, the term “glisten” and “glistening” when referring to women perspiring came from the mouths of a few other people and I felt that to be an affirmation from the universe itself that it’s true wisdom.

When Deb, Kathi and I finished our meal and walked back down the street toward their shops, we were an impressive, beautiful and laughing trio of Gorgeous Glistening Goddesses, the likes of which Amesbury was truly fortunate to behold!

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Return of the Muse

Me in the Boston Public Garden 6/27/14. See that glint in my eye? That's my muse ;)

Me in the Boston Public Garden 6/27/14. See that glint in my eye? That’s my muse 😉

Yes, the blog title is an homage to Star Wars: Return of the Jedi because I love the original Star Wars movies. More important than that though is that my writing muse has returned!!! She’s been MIA and AWOL for quite some time now. She’s been lost in the Land of Shadowed Sorrows, navigated the Seas of Shattered Dreams, fought amid the Wars of Unrequited Love and vanquished the Demons of Heartbroken Hopes. She survived all that and has come out stronger and more determined than ever!

I was still able to write freelance in her absence because I can write that stuff in my sleep by now. Freelance does use my creative writing skills, my cleverness and my imagination but it barely touches the surface of my Creator-given talent and passion. That talent and passion inspired me to start writing fantasy novels at 12 and continue writing them into my 20’s until I had completed 10 manuscripts based in the same world of Aindar.

I still wrote off and on into my 30’s but with nowhere near the proficiency and desire I’d possessed in my younger days. A marriage that ended in divorce, several bad experiences with men and an overall distaste with the ridiculous lack of good men left my heart bitter, jaded and mistrustful. I don’t really blame my muse for leaving amid that. How could she possibly hope to inspire me to continue to write about romance between kick-butt women heroes and the good men that fought beside them and for them when the last good man I knew was my father? She left me to fight through her own trenches while I battled my own demons and now we’re ready to work together again.

Maybe it’s my most recent trip to New England or my most recent bad experience involving a man or just the phase of the moon, but something finally snapped inside me. I’m a beautiful, kick-butt hero chick, I love myself, I’m blessed with two amazing daughters, I have a great life and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the dishonest, manipulative, controlling and overall “evil” men of this world determine my feelings about all of them.

My father was a good man with an amazingly loving heart and he loved me unconditionally. I deserve a man I love and who loves me back and who treats me like he did. Even though I haven’t found that man in real life, I can write about him in my books…along with the less than stellar males I’ve dealt with. You know what they say, never anger a writer or you’ll end up in their next novel *wink.*

So my fantasy writing voice has returned and I’m going to use it to speak out for all the powerful, strong, beautiful women like me who deserve only the best and should never settle for “he might do” because they’re lonely. Look out world, JulieAnn’s muse has returned and she’s kicking rear, taking names and writing them down!