Sunday, 27 May 2012

The beginning of a wonderful journey - with Cathy Brockman

I am excited; so excited than I am on the laptop at 8:00am on a Sunday morning. This is totally unlike me. I am excited to be apart of Tasha Turner Coaching's Virtual Blog Tour and also excited that my first guest is someone I know and admire. As I said to her last night; seems like fate is saying we should be working together :)
My guest post is up already too and you can check it out at Allison Bruning hosts Anjie Harte.

Anyhow, without further delay I present to you: Cathy Brockman and her many muses.

Why I write and what inspired me.

Hello! My name is Cathy Brockman and I am a writer. Well, actually I can truly say I am an Author, since I published my first book (though it is under my other personality  ... * Cathy Boyd - meet childlike muse. She waves* Luke’s Dragon; book one of the Dreamworld series. I have many other books started but that is for another story.
 Today we will talk about why I decided to write. I didn’t just wake up one morning and say “hey I think I am going to write a book”.  *muses give me the evil eye.*Well I guess it did kind of happen that way. Here is the whole story. It’s kind of long so you better sit down. *muses offer up a comfy chair and a tray of assorted teas and water. Sorry no coffee since its 9 pm here. Oh! Ok for the ones in the UK and other places where it is morning we will bring in the coffee pot. *sweet muse smacks my hand as I reach for it and hands me the bottled green tea*.
It was about a year ago in mid-April. I had recently retired from my job at Wal-Mart of 19 years due to a damaged nerve. I have chronic pain and seizures now and fall unannounced so I can no longer work and basically have to have someone around. I’d been lying about doing nothing but a little crochet and a lot of reading when the pain meds didn’t have me knocked out. I had gained a lot of weight. I was the heaviest I had ever been (yes I will admit I topped 200 and I’m only 5 feet.) I also became very depressed. About all I could do was read. I read both of Laurell K Hamilton’s series; the Anita Blake vampire hunter ( lots of books and the Merry Gentry ones also a lot), after I had read  the four twilight books and the entire collection of Sookie Stackhouse books  by Charlaine Harris. I moved on to Kim Harrison’s Hollows series. After I finished it, I read Patricia Biggs and Caitlin Kittredge’s entire series. Then in February, Kim released Pale Demon.  Yes, now we are getting to where my inspiration came from... (I know I ramble)
I had read Pale Demon twice; I loved it so I was obsessed. I daydreamed (well evening dreamed as it was mostly at night when I was relaxing in a nice hot tub with my Mp3.) This night in particular, I was  just about ready to  bring in my fantasy when Paralyzer came on the Mp3 player. Instead of Trent from Pale Demon showing up in my fantasy world, this tall  hunky werewolf shows up dancing (imagine Joe Mangenello with auburn red hair,  pulled back in a ponytail ,tucked into a shirt buttoned down low…(I ramble again.) I’m thinking wow… my own character. How cool is that?  So for the next few nights I had my own set of characters.  This was about a week before this April morning decided to get a grip on myself and lose some weight and cut way back on the pain pills.
One morning early in April, rejoined Spark people a weight-loss group sight, and was doing a spring boot camp to lose weight. This particular morning I got on to log in my calorie count, when a pop up popped up.  It said. “Have you ever thought of writing and selling your own book?” How odd. (You probably think not odd, happens all the time… except we have a good pop up blocker and don’t get popups and I haven’t gotten any more in a year now.. And yes it was a vanity ad for Iverse publishing. Anyone can write a book and buy a package and you have books.)But that was my plan at the time. Daughter had a birthday coming in July and I thought I’d write a book for her birthday. How cool is that?  A book by your mom?
 I got out a stack of composition books and a pack of pens and got busy. I started designing my characters.  Then I realized the story was off. How did these characters get to where they are?  So I started another story, a prequel but I hate prequels. So I decided that book one; the original book, one would be book two.  Suddenly a new storyline, and I had the makings of book three.  Then something crazy happened at the end of the third outline leading to book four. I had a series.(and I ramble again..) Back on track. I found out there was a lot more to quality writing than sitting down and writing words on paper.
 I started doing a lot of research, joining groups, making friends.  I read that you needed to start queries and social platforms when you first start writing. This was all new to me, and I had to brush up on basics since I have no training and been out of school a hundred years. *childlike muse gasps and dark muse grins flashing fang.* Well maybe not a hundred. Then one day far into the journey, well that fall, I posted a post something about a chapter I had written and had sent out a couple for critiquing. I had a couple ladies talk to me about it. They both were very helpful and told me how to  submit some queries, and was interested in some ideas and one introduced me to Tasha Turner to help  me  get on track  and polish m up. Tasha introduced me to Masterkoda group. From there I met a sweet lady ,Debra Welch, that also talked to me about the critiquing and asked to read a bit of my work. Then she asked for samples of all I had so far.  Then she said her and her partner at Saga Books would publish the first book of the series. Yes I have a contract for the first book and hope to have it out by year end.
In the meantime; the muses kept showing up and plot bunnies multiplied. I developed more stories. I decided one night to do a M/M romance (another story for another time) I call this thing 2 and my naughty muse was born.*Naughty muse smiles* Then one day thing 3 cropped up; a contemporary romance, or Chick Lit (sweet muse was born she curtsies).
 I got involved in a charity project, called the Gage project, and wrote a children’s story for it. My editor edited it for free for me and she liked it so much she published it also. So Luke’s Dragon is available on amazon for $2.99 and also in the Gage project. * And the childlike muse is born she waves frantically*. You can visit with me and all my muses on Thursdays when we do our weekly interviews at our lair at cathybrockman.com., and probably more often pretty soon.
As if all of this wasn’t enough,  I got the crazy idea of a story blog and My short story Love bites and my group Storytime Trysts was born. I developed it to give people free samples my writing style and to give a few friends the opportunity also. We have had ups and downs but I have learned a lot.  From both the blog and my whole journey.
Speaking of my journey I have an old blog on blogspot called my journey if you are interested in more details.
I hope I haven’t bored you to death *muses go around shaking everyone awake.* this is how I decided to write and became published. How Kim Harrison inspired me and this is just the beginning. So stay tuned for more. A lot more!!*muses open three drawers and show you all the folders of ideas! *Yep a lot more!!We hope you come back soon! Until then, here is a little about me and where you can find me!
* * * * *
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kQYt7ujcaLQ/T8IaL1QzF8I/AAAAAAAAAGA/Kbk0c1x3rmk/s1600/cathyboyd.jpg
Cathy Brockman
Cathy is fifty years old (Shh! don't tell anyone!!) though she refuses to act it. She prefers to play with clay and write on the sidewalk with the Grandies (she has 10 of them). She lives in the hot and sticky mid-south and dreams of a cooler climates and making snowmen. She retired from her everyday job of 19 years, selling jewelry at Wal-Mart, to spend time writing books and creating her own jewelry and other cool stuff.
She likes to garden, cook, sew, and craft. When she isn't creating new recipes for her home-grown goodies, or making some cool plastic canvas creation or a pretty piece of jewelry, she can be found hiding in one of her many garden getaways, creating new worlds and getting lost in writing and sometimes reading a hot and juicy romance. She also hopes to get to travel a lot soon to get more inspiration and ideas for even more great stories to share with all of her friends. If you would like a free sample of her writing, go see Storytime Trysts for weekly episodes of her latest short-story.
links:  Facebook pages
Reserved: Facebook: Cats reviews  http://www.facebook.com/#!/CatsReviews
Sian and Cathy’s chattime radio  http://www.facebook.com/#!/SianandCathysChatTimeRadio
Blogs and websites
and my book under Cathy Boyd  my children and Ya page
*Cathy and muses wave and blow kisses*
What inspires you? Do you have a dream that you would like to see come true some day? Tell us about your dreams and inspirations in the comment section. If I can make mine come true so can you!! Thanks Anjie Hart for inviting us here today!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Blog Tour Begins Tomorrow

I am excited about this. After weeks and weeks of planning and the hard hard work of Tasha Turner and her team of talented people, the blog tour kicks off tomorrow.
Before this, I didnt know anything about a blog tour, it sounded like something that involved me moving from place to place. Well, in actuality my presumptions were a little close to what it actually is. A blog tour is about bloggers guest posting on different blogs; a different blog every week.
Now that it is coming together I can only imagine the amount of work Tasha and her crew had to do to put this together for us Masterkoda writers, and for free too! They are truly a bunch of wonderful kind hearted people and I am so blessed to be apart of the Masterkoda facebook group.

During the blog tour I will be hosting other writers and you will get to know them and what they are about, what they write, why they write etc. So don't miss a post. I will also let you know where I am appearing so you can head over there to check out my post.

I am hoping this tour can bring some attention to the up and coming release of An Unexpected Desire.

So from tomorrow head back over here and check out the greatest blog tour ever hosted by the one and only MASTERKODA.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Rewriting my WIP and my life.

Sometime last week I reached the final word on my WIP An Unexpected Desire. I immidiately started the rewrites since I want to finish the second draft for May month end.
Since the story was being written for a blog story a lot of background details, character building and character interaction with scenes and other characters are missing. So the rewrite is a very detailed one. I have already added almost ten thousand words and a couple new chapters. I also included more interaction between the two main characters and am now working on a scene between Fiona and her friend Shania. My aim is to show Shania reaching out to Fiona all the time, but Fiona being too wrapped up to see a true friend right there before her eyes, a mistake most of us make in our lives.

The rewrites are going slow and I am being lethargic. This is usually the point in my work where I loose faith in it. Where I start to ask the questions as: Is it good enough? Who will want to read this crap? Is this character believable? Is this scene believable? Is my MC growing and learning? And since there is a killer twist towards the end, I know I have to start hinting at it, adding some dramatic irony, let my reader see it but not my MC, but do it without placing a big red tag on it. Writing is easy yes, but rewriting is tedious if you want to create something worth reading.

On a personal note, I went through an experience in my personal life this weekend that is occupying a lot of my thinking time. I am facing a challenge in my life that I always thought I knew exactly what I would do if this time ever came. But you know sometimes you shouldn't commit yourself to what your reaction to something tragic would be, because sometimes you find yourself staring into the mirror at an image of a woman you promised yourself never to become.
Another thing to never do; is never think you understand what someone is going through, or what they are experiencing until you have gone through or experienced it yourself. Like my character Fiona, I am learning a lot of the brunt facts about life and the harshness it offers to one who is always faithful, understanding and independent. I am learning to cope with life's harhness and fight for the things I love and hold dear to me. Because sometimes, we need to put our pride aside and just do what needs to be done to keep our lives the way we want it to be.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Back to writing

I am back to writing an Unexpected Desire. I regret to inform you that since I want to publish it, I will no longer be featuring parts of it here.

I see the  storyblog has found a replacement for me and I must say she is a talented writer. I do intend to follow the blog stories as I always do, because I am a professional.

They say the best way to get revenge on someone is to prove them wrong and I intend to do so by keep on writing and being me. Not everyone will think alike and I believe our different ways of thinking is what makes us all so maginificent. The fact that my thoughts and ideas were different; the fact that I believed in standing up for myself irregardless of what your position is; and the fact that I was unrelenting in getting my thoughts over that unfair treatment of someone, who is reserved and respectful, is unacceptable has gotten me blocked out and shunned from the story blog.

What I have taken with me is that people can be immature even in their old age, and I have taken it in stride and decided that I am better than the situation. I am disappointed that the person for whom I stood up for did not stand up for me, but I understand her nature and therefore I forgive her. I am a writer and one day I hope to be an author, in this process I will make mistakes, learn from them, gain friends and loose enemies, and I am ready for it all.

Friday, 11 May 2012

An unexpected Desire

Now that I am no longer apart of the blog storytimetrsyts, I am proud to present to you Episode 1 of an Unexpected Desire. Over the next six days I will present all six episodes and on Tuesdays I will give you little glimpses into the continuing chapters all the way to the end of the book as I keep you updated to the big Amazon publishing date, yet to be fixed.

So here is Episode One - Enjoy


Episode 1

Laughter was heard coming from the balcony of the little ice cream parlour located on the third floor of the city mall. Two pairs of eyes gleamed as one told a story about the other toppling over an old grouch of a woman on the first day that the two had met. The air was filled with the sounds of vehicles honking in the street below and the chill of the night; as the cool breeze passed through the women’s hair taking their conversation with it as it went.

Nineteen year old Nyasha Peterson sat with her ice cream spoon in her hand over the chocolate fudge Sunday; listening with rapt attention as her friend of the past two weeks, Fiona Grant, spoke, “…and she toppled right over on her bum, I tried to suppress the laughter but it was funny!” They both burst out laughing.

Both women remembered the day very well. Nyasha had joined the Channel 7 news agency as a presenter two weeks ago and she had received an immediate cold shoulder from every woman on staff, everyone except Fiona.

Fiona had been with the agency as a news content editor for the past ten years, joining the agency at age 22, fresh out of University. She had learned the ins and outs of the operation and knew every employee and every motive behind their actions. Fiona knew that her colleagues never welcomed a new employee with any sort of camaraderie; especially one as bright eyed as a nineteen year old woman still in her second year at the local university.

Nyasha, on the other hand, had picked up on the stares and the whistles from the men, and had found the women to be very haughty. She had been depressed about it at first until she had gotten acquainted with Fiona.

Fiona had been sitting behind a computer screen in the newsroom the day Nyasha had bolted through the news room doors. She had snickered under her breath as Shamie had fallen back flat on the ground as the door had swung open unexpectedly. The two women had fumbled to pick up papers and Shamie had grabbed whatever Nyasha had helped her pick up, and hurried through the door. Nyasha had been left standing in the middle of the room like fresh meat in the middle of the jungle as the lions circled her, waiting to pounce. Fiona had moved from the computer and walked over to Nyasha, “Hi, I am Fiona, I am the content news editor here and that was Shamie Sattaur she is the Senior Producer”

“Hi, I am Nyasha Peterson, I am supposed to begin training today for the post of presenter for the 6:00 clock news,” Nyasha had said, smiling and extending her hand.

When Fiona had shook Nyasha’s hand she had noticed it was very soft and warm and she had felt a tingle move through her body as Nyasha’s hazel eyes smiled at her. She had escorted Nyasha to the Senior Editor’s office and left her there. When Fiona was back behind her computer screen, she had watched Nyasha sitting in the room with her back straight and her feet crossed at the ankle to her side. She had admired the younger woman’s poise.

Later, when the Senior Editor, Mr. Charran, had taken Nyasha around for introductions Fiona watched as Nyasha displayed a genuine smile on her face with every introduction. Fiona admired how composed Nyasha was for a nineteen year old; walking with her hands together in front of her, leaning in slowly as she was introduced to the person and when yet another person had just shrugged off the introduction, she smiled brightly and leaned back into her stance as they wade off to the other desk. Fiona watched Nyasha as she stood with her back straight as she walked, her shoulders erect and in line with the rest of her body; never slouching. Her posture only highlighted the beautiful rise and fall of her ass and her breasts and Fiona blinked her eyes and looked away when she found herself fixated on Nyasha’s breasts.

What is wrong with me? She had thought.

Even now with the night air stinging her eyes, Fiona watched the younger woman sitting across from her with her legs crossed at the knee, her back straight and breasts pushing out. Fiona could not help admiring the rise and fall of Nyasha’s round grapefruit size mounds with her nipples hard and pushing against her thin shirt from the cold breeze that passed through them. Fiona shook her head a few times and looked away, trying to anywhere else but her eyes kept betraying her. Looking at Nyasha’s face was wasn’t any easier, for her thick pink lips, which she often rolled between her teeth and left wet, was always inviting and Fiona had never felt this strong attraction to a woman before. She had never been with a woman before; at least she couldn’t count the time she and her high school friend Candi had experimented kissing together in the middle of the cane fields behind Candi’s house. Fiona got lost in the memory, her mind slowly slipping back to almost ten years back.

Being a fourteen year old had already complicated enough to deal with. Being a fourteen year old who thought about kissing the girl she detested the most, had been torture. Being invited to her house to hang with other girls and play makeup could be hell.

Fiona had stood on a little back porch overlooking an orchard that stretched for a few meters and then a cane field that stretched for miles. She had taken a deep breath to breathe in that clean crisp country air. A bus had picked up about ten girls at the high school compound and brought them here, a few miles west of the town after crossing the harbor bridge over the Demerara River. There were now nestled in Canal No. 2 Polder, an area known for trees, fruits, and cane fields. Candi lived in a nice two storey concrete house, painted in pink. At the back of the house on the ground floor there was a little porch with a hammock, a rocking chair and two old sofas. Fiona stood there admiring the beauty of nature. The other girls were inside making up each other. Fiona didn’t like make up and thus she didn’t join the game.

After she had taken a glance behind her into the house and noticing that everyone was busy dressing someone else up, Fiona stepped off the porch, pushed her feet into a rubber slipper belonging to someone from the house and ran off. With her arms extended like wings, she let the breeze pass through her long pony tail and sweep it up behind her into the air as she ran, swerving in and out and around the trees until she was standing in front of the cane field. The leaves made a whishing sound as the cool breeze passed through them and Fiona slowly walked through a little path. After about fifteen lines of canes she saw an opening. Fear jerked at her chest as she looked around. She had come down a winding path, so she could no longer see the house. She walked to the clearing and discovered that it was an orange tree standing in the middle of the cane plants. She smiled, sighed and then giggled at her foolishness, for being afraid. Just then she felt a touch on her shoulder and she jumped back screaming at the top of her lungs. When she spun around she saw Candi standing there smiling with a makeup case in her hand.

“Sorry to scare you,” Candi said as she giggled

“Yea? You don’t look it”

“Sorry man, saw you wander off so was coming to ask if you would like me to do your make up?”

“No thank you, I don’t like make up.”

“What do you like?” Candi teased as she walked around and stared up at the orange tree.

You, Fiona wanted to say but instead said,“This, this whole place is so beautiful, so peaceful, so serene.”

“That is why I invited you, you looked like you would enjoy relaxing somewhere like here.”

“Thanks. Please don’t let me keep you from your makeup party, I am good here.”

“Want to hear a secret Fi?” Candi looked at Fiona as a look of curiosity crept upon her face, “I don’t like makeup.”

“So why organize a makeup party?”

“Because if I invited you to hang with me, you might not have come”

“This is a ploy to hang with me?”

“Yep”

“Why?” Fiona asked

“Every time I try to talk to you, you are always defensive and picking fights with me, so…”

“I pick fights with YOU? Come on Candi, you always have these stupid na├»ve notions about things.”

“Stupid?”

“Yes, you are so gullible, I bet you believe in mermaids.”

“You see, you are starting a fight again,”Candi said, hugging the trunk of the orange tree. Then she turned away from Fiona, resting her back along the tree trunk, “and for the record mermaids are beautiful,” she turned and smiled with Fiona who walked up to her and took the makeup kit from her.

“Why don’t you like makeup?” Fiona asked

“Because it is fake.”

Fiona took out the lipstick and put it on Candi’s lip. Candi watched Fiona straight in the eye as Fiona felt that tug. Fiona leaned in and let her lips touch Candi’s. She tasted the cherry flavoured lipstick and she felt Candi part her lips. She leaned in further and kissed her, her tongue slowly searching and massaging Candi’s own. The two ladies closed their eyes and their tongues continued to swirl, and they continued to taste each other.

The sound of grass crushing caused Candi to push Fiona away causing her to fall backward and onto the ground, flat on her butt.

Candi’s little sister appeared and asked,“What’s up guys?”

Candi had still been leaning against the tree trunk and backing her sister, she had closed her eyes and swallowed hard as she wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. She had turned and trampled past her sister. Fiona had still been sitting on the ground and she had drawn her knees up and rested her hands on it. “What’s up with her?” Candi’s little sister had asked.

“She didn’t like the way I applied her lipstick.” Fiona had said feeling embarrassed and foolish for acting on her impulses.


“Hey, where are you?” asked Nyasha waving her hands in front of Fiona’s face.

Fiona’s eyes flew open and she swallowed hard, “Oh I was thinking of a past memory.” Fiona lied thinking that she couldn’t compare the feeling she got from that kiss with Candi to this feeling right here, this feeling that stirred in her throat, bulged in her chest and pulsated between her thighs.

“Anything special?” Nyasha asked

“Actually, it was about earlier, your first newscast, it was truly a success Ny,” Fiona said hoping to save the situation.

Earlier that evening, Nyasha had mader her first appearance as presenter on the 6 o’clock news after two weeks of riveting training. Fiona had been a big help showing her the ropes and helping her practice by reading previous scripts; staying back late with her to practice reading from prompters; following the signals of the producers and; also warning her of the different personalities in the news agency.

Three men; a technical operator, an assistant producer and a news reporter, had made moves on Nyasha. Fiona had warned Nyasha to be wary of the difference between friendliness and flirtatiousness. Nyasha had smiled; flattered by the men’s advances and wanting to tell them she was gay. She wanted to tell them that the same things they were complimenting in her figure, her lips, her ass, were the same things that drew her to women. They were the same things that her many female partners possessed. She knew every move they were playing on her even before Fiona warned her, she was a player herself, and had enough girlfriends for every finger on her hands and theirs. But Nyasha had refrained from disclosing her sexual preferences and had been very appreciative of the ‘heads-up’ that Fiona had given her.

Now, Nyasha watched at the older woman sitting across from her, in her loose beige blouse tucked into her dark brown skirt and flat brown pumps; her hair wrapped in a little bun on her head. Fiona had the potential to be a very beautiful woman, only if she wore more flattering clothes. The gabardine skirt was too heavy and way too long, reaching her knee and loose around the hips. And the beige shirt was too loose to reveal her plump breasts. Nyasha knew that under Fiona’s clothes was a woman with beautiful breasts and wide luscious hips that rounded off at the back into a nice little bump. Nyasha herself had felt a primal attraction to the woman. Fiona always smelt of jasmine, as though she had just taken a bath and lavished her body in the sweet scent of jasmine oil. Nyasha had felt the twitch between her thighs the first day they had sat for lunch and the woman kept smiling all the time. She had, however, shrugged it off; since it seemed clear the woman was straight. Nyasha was confident enough to know that even though straight women found her attractive and was usually drawn to her, this straight woman was different. She felt something different for Fiona, something beyond the usual sexual pull she felt for most women.

Fiona was beginning to raise an eyebrow at Nyasha and she figured her thoughts were beginning to show on her face so she changed the topic.

“I was very nervous tonight,” Nyasha said

“You didn’t seem so,” said Fiona

“Oh I am good at hiding my nervousness,” she smiled, “but I felt as though my heart was beating in my throat.”

They both remembered the newscast: “Nyasha Peterson’s debut into famedom,” Fiona had called it.

Nyasha had sat behind the news desk, her face plastered with so much powder she thought that she looked like a vampire, but it was reiterated to her that it wouldn’t show that way on camera. Nyasha wasn’t one for makeup, she liked going natural and she had never met a girlfriend who complained. She knew most women liked her confidence, her resonance and the fact that she knew how to make a woman feel special. She also knew that her size 38 breasts and her huge ass contributed a lot to the women on campus approaching her. Even before she was out of the closet, women were throwing themselves at her; one woman called her: “her African beauty, soft to the touch, sweet to the taste and easy on the eyes.” Nyasha smiled to herself as she remembered the curly haired beauty around the same age as Fiona, wrapped in only a sheet giving her the compliment as Nyasha had walked around the woman’s apartment, naked.

“Peterson, look at me,” the producer had said, Nyasha had taken a deep breath and locked her eyes on him,“And. . . .1” he had pointed to Nyasha with his middle and index finger and signaling for her to keep her eyes on him, “. . .2,” he kept his eyes on Nyasha but pointed to camera 1, “…3,” still with his eyes on Nyasha he pointed to the sound box, “and. … action” he pointed to Nyasha. She had felt as though her heart had jumped into her throat and then back into her chest as the introduction music died down and she had begun, looking directly at the camera and prompter; “Good evening and welcome to the 6 o’clock news, I am Nyasha Peterson, and here are your lead stories. . .”

Fiona had stood in the darkness clenching a clipboard to her chest and grinding her teeth on the top of it. She had closed her eyes when the director said action and prayed. She had seen people in the news agency sabotage a presenter’s first night out of mere vindictiveness and had hoped all she had done to spare Nyasha that sort of treatment had succeeded. She watched as Nyasha sat with her usual poise; shoulders straight, head held high, looking straight ahead at the camera and pronouncing and enunciating each and every word correctly and clearly. She felt her heartbeat quicken with excitement for her friend. Fiona admired the younger woman’s confidence, she had heard people calling her conceited, but Fiona called it confidence, pure raw unabated confidence; in her beauty, her intelligence and her capabilities. Nyasha had told her that she had wanted to be in the spotlight since she can remember and she was working hard for it. Fiona admired her ambition.

Fiona herself had been working for this deadbeat newscast for too long, she had gained experience and knowledge, but still she had gotten accustomed and comfortable and feared change. The thought of starting over and taking a risk scared Fiona and thus she chose to stay in a position to which she had been promoted more than five years now. Nyasha’s outlook and her drive to become a star, and to keep pushing until she accomplished it had brought a new light into Fiona’s life. Even Nyasha’s soft touch, her confident laugh, her endearing smile and the sound of her voice seemed to bring joy for Fiona, who before meeting Nyasha was a social recluse.

The two women had become friends who worked out together; running a mile every night from Nyasha’s campus and back. They had lunch together almost daily and even talked on the telephone for hours in the night. Not much that they discussed was personal though. Neither of them had mentioned much about their love lives and Fiona felt an urge to hear about Nyasha’s own. She had tried prodding a few indirect questions, but the younger woman had been brief and vague about that aspect of her life.

When the newscast was over and the director said, “And…we’re out,” Nyasha had felt her heart beat slow down, and her composure set in. She had hopped down from the little podium and pushed past the news reporter who was standing at the side of the set showing all his teeth. When Nyasha had spotted Fiona's silhouette standing in the dark, she had moved to her as the lights came on and she was welcomed with a big smile and hug from her friend.

Now, two and a half hours later the two friends reminisced on Nyasha’s tense first day on air.

“I am just glad it is over, the first one you know?” Nyasha said before taking a scoop of her ice cream and filling her mouth.

“Oh Yea! It is always the hardest, from here on you just keep doing what you learnt and you will be fine,”Fiona said

“Especially with you rooting for me on the side. You know Fiona, I really appreciate your friendship, it means so much to me”

“Yes I feel the same way, at first I just wanted to spare you the usual introduction into the Channel 7 news,” Fiona rolled her eyes in her head, “but now I am glad I got to know you”

“Those people are unscrupulous,” Nyasha said, “Did you have someone to mentor you when you joined?”

“Nope”

“So how did you make it?”

“Hmmm, let’s see . . .”Fiona started tapping her finger on her chin, “Well, Mr. Charran was then just Denis Charran, news reporter. He was very successful in flirting with me for three months straight, before he got the chance to take me out and dated me for about a month and then slept with me, and we continued sleeping together for about three months. I” she added, pointing to her chest, “thought we were having a torrid passionate love affair and was dreaming of a future together. But he,” she said waved her ice cream spoon in the direction of the street, “had won the office bet as the first man to sleep with the new girl, me. And….”Fiona paused for a few seconds before continuing, “he hid that he was married all the time we were together, and so did everyone else who was working there and knew about it.”

“Oh my,” Nyasha said empathetically.

“And, in the last ten years since then I have watched the male employees come and go and they are all the same because the board members don’t intervene, and the female employees have come and go, broken hearted . . . .like me,” Fiona finished looking into her friends empathetic eyes.

“I am so sorry Fi, you must have been heartbroken?” Nyasha reached across the table and touched Fiona’s hand.

Like a bolt of electricity Fiona felt the sensation pass through her body as she hoped Nyasha wouldn’t remove her hand from hers. Fiona used the other hand to put a spoon of ice cream into her mouth, hoping the coldness would derail the rapid string of emotions that was convulsing throughout her, especially in her loins. But the sweet creaminess of the chocolate flavoured treat tantalized her senses and made her feel warmer inside. She felt the reaction to the younger woman’s touch in her wetness, and almost shied away from Nyasha. Fiona dared herself to pull her hand away, to wipe off the touch that was burning her skin into her very soul, but instead she opted to leave things as they were, swallowed hard and continued, “Yes I was, even more so having to come to work every day and face him, and the taunts, and the rumours,” she was almost choked up remembering the pain. The pain of the first man she fell in love with coupled with the emotions now building in her body.

“So you never met anyone else?” Nyasha inquired.

“Oh yes! After a few years, I did meet people and I was serious with a man named Stanley about three years ago, but something seemed missing, and I couldn’t place my finger on it. Eventually he asked me to marry him and truthfully; I loved him, but I just didn’t feel IN love with him and I also didn’t feel right about marrying if I truly wasn’t happy.” Fiona finished and saw the look in Nyasha’s eyes, “oh no honey Charran didn’t scar me that much, I am over him, and was when I was with Stanley too, Stanley just wasn’t the person for me to grow old with.”

Nyasha rubbed her thumb over Fiona’s hand. Nyasha had never felt the pain of heartache over losing a partner, she had never found it in herself to settle down with anyone, but listening to Fiona’s story Nyasha’s heart went out to her, not only for the pain of being deceived and heartbroken but also for the pain of dealing with her colleagues and their taunts.

“Those people in there,” Nyasha said, knowing Fiona would know who she was referring to, “ are just animals, with their taunts and their gossiping”

“Oh!” Fiona said suddenly, swallowing some ice cream so she could speak, “I have a gossip that they have begun spreading about you, thought you should know, in case they act weird around you.”

“Yea? Shoot!” Nyasha said excited to hear the new rumor, there had been many in the last two weeks and all seemed to intrigue her.

“Someone started saying that you are a lesbian and grouchy Shamie said she saw you on campus under a tree smooching with a girl,” Fiona ended the sentence with a bellowing laugh and it took her a minute to see that Nyasha was sitting looking at her, with just a smile on her face; a smile that slanted on the side, mischievous and playful.

“What?” Fiona asked.

“She is telling the truth, she saw me, and I saw her.”

“So…you…are?”

“Yep!”

Nyasha was about to close her eyes and wait for a reaction but Fiona just laughed, throwing her head back and holding her chest to control her laughter.

“Why is it funny?” Nyasha asked

“Oh it isn’t funny. What is funny is; they are so caught up with rumors that even though it is spreading like rapid fire, no one actually believes it,” and she laughed again, and this time Nyasha smiled a little wider.

“So it doesn’t affect our friendship?” Nyasha asked

“Why should it?”

“Nothing,” Nyasha said, getting more comfortable in her chair, “glad to hear it doesn’t, cause I like you.”

Fiona smiled and felt that tingle move through her body again, “I like you too!”