Ghost Story Contest Entry

Ran across this story contest this morning. I’m always up for a trip to New Orleans, so I decided to give it a shot. Winning entry receives two free passes to the Ghost Camp at the Haunted Bourbon Orleans hotel. That would definitely be an interesting experience! 

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The grinning face stared at me from the darkness beyond my bedroom window. I live on the 14th floor. Lucy was her name. Her dark hair billowed around her shoulders much like it would have centuries ago. She was a resident here, just like I was. The Gilded Lily, the hotel I owned, was now a popular French Quarter hotel. Years ago, however, it had been a bordello, and Lucy was the owner. When the yellow fever raged through New Orleans, Lucy took in the sick. She soon succumbed to the illness as well. But, Lucy never left the Gilded Lily. And neither did her lover, Tobias. Both were seen frequently around the hotel, Tobias in the bar where he had always sat. Lucy roamed the halls, still checking on her girls, and the sick. I placed my hand on the cold glass. Lucy smiled at me again and slowly faded away.

Lordy, Lordy, I’m (Almost) 40)!

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Twenty-two days ago, I celebrated my thirty-ninth birthday. I have to admit, it freaked me out just a little bit. Seems like you spend your twenties trying to find your place in the world. When you finally do that, you realize that you don’t really know who you are. So you spend the thirties trying to figure that out. So, what about the forties? What do you try to find then? Or, are your forties when you realize you don’t really have to look for anything? Is this quest for self-realization finally over? Then, why do some have mid-life crises? 

Not being forty yet, I don’t have any of those answers.

After reading a blog a few days ago by a person also turning forty soon, I’ve decided to adopt her strategy for the upcoming year. She has made a list of thirty things she would like to do before she’s forty. She left ten blank for reader suggestions, for a total of forty things she would like to accomplish in the next year. 

I already have two bucket lists, a musical bucket list and a list of things I want to do when I return to Louisiana. So, forty seems like a lot on top of what I’ve already committed to. I did try to merge the three as much as possible. Multi-tasking is always a good thing. I came up with twelve. I figure one a month for the next twelve months is completely achievable. Each one would make this last year of my thirties, one of the best years ever. Instead of mourning the end of a decade, I’m going to send my thirties out on a bang! 🙂 

My Twelve? 

1. Go somewhere I’ve never been before. See a town I’ve never seen. I want to see Galveston or Austin. Both are within driving distance. 

2. See my name in print again. I want to publish an article, or maybe even my book will finally be on it’s way to being published. Quite possible, considering that an agent has requested the full manuscript. 

3. I want to finish the novel I’m working on now. I have 45,000 words to go. 

4. See one band on my musical bucket list. Will it be Jimmy Buffett, Alice in Chains, Sarah McLachlan, Kiss, Mumford and Sons, or someone I add in the future?

5. Learn something new. I’ve always wanted to learn to Cajun dance. Sometimes, it just isn’t fun to sit on the sidelines. I feel a little like Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing. Baby is in the corner. Well, this Baby needs to learn how to dance and get out there and dance with a fine hunk of a man. I’ve also wanted to learn how to make sushi at home. I love to cook and try new recipes, and rolling my own sushi looks like a challenge I’d like to tackle. 

6. I wan to see the ocean again. I have such an affinity for the ocean. I can sit for hours by the water, watching the tide roll in and out again. I love waking up and watching the sun over the water. Maybe it’s the Cancer in me, but this water sign loves to be near the water. 

7. See a symphony or other great live performance. I would love to go to a performing arts center and see a Broadway play like Wicked.

8. Apply for my passport. One day, I will travel to Bali or Europe. But, one must have a passport first. So, a passport will be something I may need for my forties. 

9. Do one thing that requires me to dress up. I’ve always wanted to attended the Apollo Mardi Gras Ball in Lafayette. Dress up, have fun, wear my hair up and a gown. Party down like Gatsby. 

10. Stick to an exercise routine. Would be nice to look as good in my forties as I did in my early thirties. 

11. Buy one good original piece of art. I want a piece of art that represents South Louisiana. Maybe a painting of the French Quarter. Or a drawing of a park in Lafayette. 

12. This last one I’m leaving free for an “oh yeah” moment. One of those things when someone mentions something, or you see something on television, or hear a song, and you think, “I’ve always wanted to do that. Maybe it will be one wild and crazy spontaneous road trip. Or a trip to Vegas (maybe I’ll get married by Elvis), maybe it will be trip to New York to meet my agent and editor. Who knows? With me, one never knows. 

All in all, I want to sit here a year from now and think, Thirty-nine! Wow! What a ride! 

Here’s to Hunter S. Thompson, that wild and crazy writer. One of my favorites! 

Cheers!

I’m out!

Like this blog? Check out my inspiration for this blog. 

http://40x40n15.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

 

A Supernatural Soundtrack

 

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Supernatural is one of my absolute favorite television shows. The writing is witty. It’s filled with one-liners and snarky comments. And I just love snarky humor. The main characters are cute, to say the least. But, what I love the most about this show is the MUSIC! The music in this show is phenomenal. To me, this show has one of the best soundtracks on television.  Check these out. 

1. “Carry on My Wayward Son”, Kansas

2. “Crossroad Blues”, Robert Johnson

3. “Rooster”, Alice in Chains

4. “Renegade”, Styx

5. And my favorite, “Eye of the Tiger”, Survivor

If you haven’t watched an episode yet, you definitely should check this show out. The story line and writing is just as good as the music. 

Peace!

I’m out!

 

That Voodoo That You Do, Chapter One

I love stories set in New Orleans, so I decided to write my own. This will eventually be a Love Boat style series set in a haunted French Quarter hotel. This is the first chapter. 🙂 

Chapter One
“Bienvenue! Welcome to the Gilded Lily.” Josephine Jacobs, or J.J., said automatically as she heard a customer approach the front desk.
Holy crawfish! J.J thought as she looked up from the elegant front desk of the New Orleans hotel and fell head over hormones into lust.
“Checking in.” said the object of her affliction, “Name’s Rhett. Rhett Butler.”
This is bad. J.J. thought. I’m about to climb over this desk and molest a customer with a fake name.
“Rhett Butler?” J.J. asked, raising an eyebrow. She blew a lock of hair out of her face and hit some keys on the computer keyboard. J.J. looked up at him. Again, she was hit with a white-hot wave of lust. His head was shaved underneath a black ball cap. Black tribal tattoos wrapped around arms the size of Amazonian anacondas. He wore a simple black t-shirt and fashionably tattered blue jeans. His eyes were deep brown as was his five o’clock shadow. He was just her type, masculine and ragged around the edges.
“What can I say, my dad was a Gone With the Wind fan.” he replied.
“Is that right?” J.J. asked.
“Yes ma’am.” He said leaning in over the desk, closer to J.J. “You look like a woman that should be kissed. And often….” His smoky voice trailed off.
“And by someone who knows how.” J.J. finished for him breathlessly. She took a deep breath and stepped back. “You are in the Red Light Suite, Mr. Butler. Are you here for the Voodoo Music Festival?”
“Yes, I am.”
Her eyes met his and the air between them sizzled. The flame seemed to burn the oxygen out of the air, leaving her feeling light-headed and half giddy. She sucked in a breath, catching a whiff of his woodsy cologne. She closed her eyes as the floor seemed to shift.
She exhaled a breath and choked out, “This key unlocks both your room and the gate to your private courtyard. Enjoy the festival and your stay with us. If you need anything,” J.J. cringed inwardly as her voice broke on the word anything. “Don’t be afraid to call the front desk.”
J.J. held the key out, and Rhett’s fingers brushed hers as he grabbed it. His fingers moved slowly and deliberately over hers as he took it.
Anaconda Arms, aka Rhett Butler, pocketed the key. “If I need any….thing,” he winked at her. “You’ll be the first one I call, Miss?”
“Jacobs,” she replied, “J.J.”
“J.J.” he said, then nodded toward the brass plated sign over her shoulder, “Complimentary Happy Hour?” he asked.
“Yes. At six.”
“Will you be off?”
“Maybe.” she said smiling. Damn right she would be, she thought, she was only covering the front desk while Andrea took a break.
A smile flashed across his face, “Maybe I’ll come down then.”
J.J. watched as he disappeared into the elevator. Something about him seemed familiar. Who was he? He was not Rhett Butler, and he wouldn’t be the first person to
That Voodoo That You Do, Short Long Series Contemporary/3
check in under a fake name.
“J.J.” someone was calling her name.
“J.J.”
“What?” she snapped. She shook her head and looked to see who it was. It was Zoey and J.J. instantly felt bad. The twenty-something bartender, was smiling at her from the adjoining door of the hotel’s lounge.
“I’m sorry, Zoey.” J.J. said “What is it?”
“He was hot, huh?” Zoey teased, flashing a pierced eyebrow in the direction of the elevator.
J.J. frowned at her and started needlessly straightening the top of the Queen Anne desk. “Isn’t it time for your shift? What did you do to your hair?” J.J. asked Zoey, gesturing to the streak of burgundy in her dark hair.
“I dyed it this morning. Do you think Dean will notice?” she asked.
J.J. smiled, “If he doesn’t, he’s blind.”
“I hope so.”
“It looks good.” J.J. said.
“About tonight, you can handle the delivery from Jagneaux’s today. Just leave the invoice by the register. I’ll pick it up after happy hour.”
“No problem. Are you coming down for happy hour tonight?”
J.J. thought of Rhett. She wouldn‘t miss happy hour tonight for the world. “Yes.”
“Good. Tobias has been unusually rowdy lately.”
“He’s probably fussing with Lucy again. You know how they are. I’ll come down
keep any eye on things.”
“Good. He doesn’t listen to me. He almost broke the beer mugs last night.”
“Tobias doesn’t really listen to anyone. But, I’ll come down and check it out.” J.J. said and turned her attention to the couple walking through the door.
“Bienvenue! Welcome to the Gilded Lily.” J.J said.
As the desk clerk returned from her break, J.J. checked the time on the slim gold watch on her wrist. Five o’clock. She had an hour to go to her room, shower, and change for happy hour. J.J. started mentally rifling through her closet. What would she wear?
J.J. gave the lobby a last look. Every detail from the elaborate crystal chandelier, to the tapestry wall hangings, to the tall white and blue flower arrangements had been chosen by a Jacobs. The hotel had been in the family for generations. A former Jacobs had purchased The Gilded Lily, a former bordello, and opened it as a hotel.
J.J. grew up here and now ran this hotel taking over after her mother retired. When other hotels around had been bought out by big companies, her family had held on. And for that J.J. was grateful.
Satisfied that everything was as it should be, J.J. smiled and headed to her suite.

After her shower, J.J. donned a soft, white, robe and stepped out of the bathroom. Her blonde hair was wet and floating around her shoulders. She thought again of Rhett, or
whatever his name was. This man was already taking up too much parking space in her mind. She didn’t have time for this distraction. She was still in men-o-pause after her last dating disaster.
Like the proverbial moth to the flame, and despite men-o-pause, she headed to her closet anyway. Maybe she should take a pause from taking a pause from men.
“What do you think we should wear tonight?” she asked as she stared into her closet.
Silently, a slinky black little number slid off a hanger and onto the floor.
She picked it up, “No, not this, not yet. It’s just happy hour.” She said. “Something else.”
A tight black shirt covered in silvery sequins was next to fall to the floor. J.J. sighed and put it back on the hanger.
“Lucy, seriously.” She said. “Something less dramatic.”
A red sweater was next to fall. It was one of her favorites. It hugged her curves and showed a slight tease of cleavage. “This is perfect. Thanks, Lucy.”
She smiled as she laid the sweater and a pair of slim black slacks on her bed and crossed back into her bathroom. With her sliding glass doors open to the courtyard, she could hear music. Someone was strumming a guitar in the courtyard. The melody hit J.J. in the stomach. It was the song she had listened to repeatedly while going through her divorce.
“No, it can’t be.” she said and inched toward the courtyard balcony.
Someone started to sing softly and J.J.’s knees went weak.
She now knew who Rhett really was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musical Bucket List

As a music lover, I have been extremely lucky. I have been able to see many of the bands I’ve wanted to see. I have sang (and sometimes screamed) along with most of my favorite artists as they’ve played my favorite songs live. I told someone recently that I had a musical bucket list and they asked me who was on it. I was actually stumped. I had to sit and think about what bands I wanted to see that I hadn’t had the opportunity to see yet. And I came up with five (and one bonus).In true Alisha fashion, they’re all over the musical genre. 

 

1. KISS (In full make-up and costume)

A friend of mine was able to attend their concert just this last week. I am absolutely green with envy. 

 

2. Jimmy Buffett (on a beach or in a boat)

Great music, the beach, and a drink in my hand. Life wouldn’t get much better than that!

 

3. Mumford and Sons

One of my new favorite bands, I haven’t been able to catch them in concert yet. Love their energy!

 

4. Sarah McLachlan

Love her voice and her lyrics. She is an excellent songwriter. 

 

5. Alice in Chains

Wish I could have seen them when Layne Staley was still alive. But, definitely still a band I will see one day. 

6. Staind/Aaron Lewis

Okay, okay, so I have seen Staind and Aaron Lewis multiple times, but it’s always a great show and one of my absolute faves.

 

I think that’s pretty good for a musical bucket list. Will definitely have to see how many of these great shows I can cross off my list. 🙂 

For now, I’m out!

Peace!