Tag Archives: gift

Miceala’s Mother’s Day Selections

9 May

WARNING: Contains shameless plugs for my publications.

Lovely readers, Mother’s Day is in just three days!!! Or at least it is in the States… not sure about when/if y’all across the pond have this particular bought of Hallmark sales spikes. But seeing how a fair number of you are in the U.S. (though shout out to whomever’s reading me in Norway, seriously, you rock) and you’ve presumably got some maternal figure or other in your life and, if you’re, ahem, like me, have yet to figure out what exactly you’re going to give said maternal figure since you’re a little short on string to make her a twenty-third macaroni pasta necklace, well, do not fear! I have some suggestions!

Spoiler alert: I’ve published some ebooks.

Give your magnificent matriarch an ebook! Each of the three below even cost less than $10! No shipping delay, no bad-for-the-environment wrapping paper, major brownie points for sophistication – and you can support a female author in the process! Check out the ebooks below and follow the links to Amazon to give the Kindle edition as a gift to your special female person. Just press the button in the lovely green box on the right side of the screen that says, very handily, “Give as a Gift.”

kindle give-as-gift

 

1. XXX: The Poetry by Miceala Shocklee

Does your mama have a flair for the salacious? Does she chuckle at doggerel and swoon at all things tall, dark, and literary? Buy her a Kindle copy of XXX: The Poetry

cover-image

 

2. Drop Dead Gorgeous by Miceala Shocklee

Is your mother one for stories of resilience and personal growth? Does she bury herself in memoirs and mental health recovery stories? Gift her a copy of Drop Dead Gorgeous.

DDG cover

 

3. Tales of Life by Miceala Shocklee

Is your matriarch a tale seeker? Does she love snippets of literature and life? Give her the collection of narrative poetry and artsy short stories found in the ebook Tales of Life.

Tales of Life

Advertisements

Water Bottles

16 Mar

– A Miriam Black fanfiction

Vamp-red hair and black leather, a mousy brown-blond braid plus jeans, and sharp bob on top of a suit. This was going to be an odd conference.

All three were women. All three had something to do with a story. All three looked anything but placid. The similarities ended there.

The suit sat down. She extended a hand towards the noncommittal middle space between her two guests. “Hello. Thank you both for coming. I’m -”

“Cynthia, but you go by Cindy,” braid-jeans cut in. “You think it makes you seem more accessible, less exotic. You always resented having such a French mother, growing up in America. Made assimilation so much harder.”

Cynthia – er, Cindy – colored. She retracted her hand. “Uh, yes, that’s… that’s, uh, accurate.”

Vamp snorted. “Nice,” she muttered, throwing a look of appreciation across the table at her fellow guest.

“Sorry!” braid-jeans back-pedalled hastily. “It’s just… well, it’s true!”

Cindy brushed off her clothes, as if straightening them could somehow restore her lost composure. “Yes!” Her voice was too loud. “You must be, uh…” she checked her notepad. “Margaret, is it?”

Braid-jeans nodded. “Yup. Such a sweet-sounding name, isn’t it? Everyone’s always so surprised when they learn it means “bitterness.” Fitting, really.”

Vamp raised an eyebrow and stuck out her hand. The red nail polish on her fingers was chipping visibly. “Miriam,” she said after a second. She released Margaret’s hand quickly. Margaret nodded. “Your nail polish is more chipped than you like it to be. You’ve been busy.”

Miriam cocked her head sideways. “Can you ever not do that?”

“Tell the truth?” the edges of Margaret’s face pulled away in wry wrinkles. “No.”

“That’s so interesting. I would hate it.”

“And that,” Cindy cut in hastily, leaning forward across the table in an attempt to regain authority (they were her guests, after all), “is why we’re here! As I was saying, thank you both for coming. The Daily Dish thanks you for taking time out of your busy schedules to talk with me about this piece.”

Miriam and Margaret looked at each other. “Busy?” Margaret scoffed. Miriam raised an eyebrow again. “Schedule?”

Cindy bit her lip. “Uh…”

“Ah yes, I’ve been so busy,” Margaret muttered bitterly. “What with trying to avoid people and all…” Across the table, Miriam nodded. Margaret gestured towards her fellow guest. “You get it.”

“Oh honey,” Miriam said, “I get it hard.”

“Whydon’tyoutellmemoreaboutthat,” Cindy spurted out, desperate to regain her ground. She flipped open her notebook again, uncapped a pen. “Margaret, how about you first? Why do you want to avoid people so much?”

Miriam choked on her own laughter.

Margaret merely rolled her eyes. “Only being able to tell the truth, always, forever, compulsively… do you really need any more explanation?”

Cindy leaned forward. Blinked. “Yes.”

Margaret sighed. “Knowing people’s truth… My grandfather told me it was a gift. My mother told me it was a curse. I’m more inclined to believe my mother, now, as an adult.”

Cindy was still staring. Her pen was suspended, floating right above the page. “And?”

Margaret looked at Cindy. Harder, this time. Dead in the eye. “Think about it. Ever told a white lie? Just a little one? To make your life just a little bit more convenient? Smooth something over? Tell someone what they wanted to hear?”

Cindy nodded slowly.

“Now imagine not being able to do that.”

For a moment, Cindy didn’t move. Then, slowly, her eyes got wider.

Miriam kicked her feet up on the table. Leaned back in her chair so it was tilted on two legs. She whistled. “Christ,” she looked at Margaret. “I mean, shit man.”

Margaret nodded. “Little white lies are the trivial fluff that keeps our delusioned society functional. Truth, on the other hand, is an ugly black boulder that people don’t seem to particularly care having lobbed in their face.”

Cindy was silent in her chair. Her face had started to blanch toward sheet-colored.

Miriam leaned forward in her chair. “You can’t even be manipulative with it, can you? Well, maybe you can, but fuck that would take some skill.”

Margaret nodded. “I don’t do it too often. Not saying things can be as much of a lie as telling deliberate falsehoods. Pauses, meaningful silences – they’re hard to do, when your tongue is chomping at the bit to flood someone with the full truth of it. Misconceptions – they’re hard to work into a routine intentionally.”

“So,” she looked back at Cindy. “Most of the time, I try to just avoid people. If I don’t see anyone, then I don’t have to tell them not-nice things. And when I do have to see people, I try to make myself as inconspicuous as possible. You know, generic. Braid my hair like every other something-year-old. Jeans and a t-shirt, bland as can be. Kept my childhood name of Margaret. Simple name.” She eyed Miriam. “Though maybe I should just go for eccentric. Get it legally changed to Magnolia or something. Give people a reason to write me off.”

Miriam laughed, a rough, guttural sound. “Making yourself something most people don’t want to see certainly helps turn you invisible.”

Margaret smiled. Frowned. Turned to Cindy. The woman’s hand had gone limp and her pen lay on the floor. She was the color of a pale albino in winter.

“Uh,” Margaret took the woman’s hand and rubbed it between hers. “You okay there?”

Miriam reached out a hand, grasped the woman’s elbow. Margaret saw her eyes unfocus for a second.

Then Miriam blinked. Sat back in her chair. “Don’t worry,” she said, looking at Cindy, “you don’t die of shock. Not even a little.” She looked down into her coffee cup, still mostly-full of the unpalatable sludge they’d left out in the guest lobby. She pushed it toward Cindy. “Here. Taste of your own medicine. It’ll do you good.”

The woman grasped the cup, took a sip. Spluttered.

“Eh, there you go!” Miriam clapped her on the back. “There’s some color in your cheeks!”

Margaret reached into her purse and pulled out a water bottle. “Here,” she set the water bottle in front of the slightly-less-dazed reporter. “Helps the truth go down.”

Margaret and Miriam stood up, both watching Cindy work ineffectually at twisting the cap off. Miriam looked over at Margaret. “The truth, takes some getting used to, hunh?”

Margaret gave an upward flick of her eyebrows in agreement. She looked at Cindy. Made a face. “Just keep working at that. You’ll get it.”

Miriam took Margaret by the hand, pulled her towards the door of the conference room. “So, Magnolia, how about you and I go get gloriously drunk together?”

Margaret hesitated. “I don’t know… people tend to, uh, not like me very much when I’m drunk. You know, inhibitions and all that. Tend to say some pretty nasty things.”

“Lovely!” Miriam chirped. “So do I! We’ll get along splendidly.”

The sound of laughter followed the two women’s silhouettes out of the conference room and into the elevator.

Inside the conference room, there was silence.

Then, the sound of twisting. Something coming loose.

And a snap.

XXX: My New V-Day Book Release!

14 Feb

HOLY SHITWHIZZLES this turned into a ridiculously long post. Tl;Dr – new book of poetry released today! XXX: The Poetry. ALL profits from sales between today and Monday Feb 17th are being donated to Planned Parenthood. Check out the book here: https://www.createspace.com/4668600.

Happy Valentines Day, lovely readers! Or, as some refer to it, happy bitterness day. Whatever you call it, go eat some chocolate and smash some stuff. Lips, genitals, old computer monitors and sledge hammers (Caltech is an interesting place on February 14th, people) – you pick.

And guess what, oh lovely readers? I’ve got a new book out! Released today, Valentines Day, is my newest anthology of poem, XXX: The Poetry.

I'm kind of in love with this cover.

Alrighty, “anthology” is maybe a little too heavy an epithet. (Side note: has anyone else noticed that it’s just a tad awkward how similar “epithet” and “epitaph” sound?) At 28 pages, XXX is more of a booklet than a tome. But hey, isn’t that what valentines are supposed to be like, anyway? “Here, pour forth your bottomless, undying love on this candy heart in no more than 10 characters.” Short and sweet, right?

Speaking of sweet – this new book release isn’t just some consumer hook BECAUSE IT’S VALENTINES DAY AND THEREFORE WE MUST BUY EVERYTHING THAT HOVERS AROUND THE RED WAVELENGTH OF THE COLOR SPECTRUM AND IS VAGUELY HEART-SHAPED AND WE’RE ALL GOOD COMMERCIAL CAPITALISTS, DAMMIT.

Ahem. As I was saying. This Valentines release, I’ve got a – well, it’s not quite a sale, because it’s not decreasing how much y’all are spending on the book (sorry), but it *is* decreasinging how much I’m making off of it – so, it’s a promotion, I guess, is a better word, going on from today through Monday.

You see, on all units sold from RIGHT NOW through Monday, I’m not making ANYTHING off the royalties, because I’ve decided to give my own “short and sweet” Valentine to Planned Parenthood this year. So, ALL PROFITS* I make from XXX sales through Monday, February 17th will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

Now, some of you might be nodding in approval and some of you might be screaming your heads off right now. Whatever. My two-second rationale: Planned Parenthood, not all about abortion. In fact, mostly not about abortion. Planned Parenthood is mostly about keeping people healthy and safe with pre-reproductive medical services. STD screening and treatment and prevention, birth control and safe sex protection, mammograms and informational consultations- there’s quite an extensive list, really. And oh yeah, they also help women who do want to be pregnant and have a baby and whatnot do that in the healthiest way possible. And they do all this while trying to keep costs down as much as possible. A lot of the time they even manage to make services free.

So. Planned Parenthood. I personally like them. You are free not to. Whatevs. My point is, if you do like them, and you like poetry, then OH MAN you can put those two things together AND BUY MY BOOK WOOOOOOHOOOO! And the hard copy costs less than $7 if you buy it through the createspace store. I think that’s a pretty good deal. 😉

Because the book release is so new and fresh and shiny, XXX is currently only available through the createspace store. Give it a week or so, and it should start popping up in places like Amazon.com and B&N’s online store. I should also be getting up the (hopefully) multi-platform-accessible ebook version up later today.

Anyhoo, you all are probably wondering about this book thing itself! After all, XXX is a bit of a, uh, provocative title. Now, to calm some of y’all’s (y’alls’?) nerves, no, it’s not a book of porn poetry. I hear the porn industry is doing just fine without me, so I don’t feel any particular need to contribute to it, thank you very much. However, many of the poems in the book are heavily sensual. They’re love poems, after all. Some are lust poems. There are hints – sometimes more than hints – about nudity. There is an entire poem about boobs. So yeah, I would say the words “mature content” probably applies.

Though I’m not sure a comedy piece about boobs actually counts as mature

Anyhoo. There are four sections of poetry: sensual, morose, doggerel, and senryu. The sensual poems are the more traditional love/lust poems in content; the morose poems lean in around the sadder side of longing; “doggerel” is basically another word for “I felt like a fourteen year old boy with a bent for bad puns when writing these poems”; and “senryu” is a Japanese form of poetry that’s kinda like a haiku except that it’s about humans instead of nature. Most of the poems are completely new ones I’ve written in the past five days (lemme tell you ’bout rush projects…), but a couple might have appeared on this blog and on the secret past Miceala blog that nobody here needs to know about.

Also, a note – yes, I am a cis-gendered, generally heterosexual woman. However, I wrote the poems in XXX with the aim of being gender and orientation inclusive. Because poetry is a highly personal thing, my own tendencies probably still bleed in somewhat, but all in all, I think I did a fairly good job of producing a book of love/sex-related-ish poetry that someone with any set of genitalia or brand of horny-ness could pick up and enjoy.

I dunno. Maybe you should just buy it and find out. :p

So. This is now an obscenely long post, so I should probably stop blabbering now and give you all the link to actually go buy the damned thing.

XXX: The Poetry currently available for purchase here:  https://www.createspace.com/4668600

“Heavily sensual.

Hotly morose.

Frisky doggerel.

Flitratious senryu.

Written to tantalize the mind and rouse the fantasy whatever its partner’s orientation or genitalia, herein lies poetry undressed and posing, draped agains the wall of erotica.

A word of advice to the reader: you might want to brace yourself, to.

This is poetry that leaves its partner tingling.

These words encourage voyeurism. They enjoy an audience. They live to be handled by a lover – so go ahead, get your hands on this book. Hold it in your favorite position. These poems will mutter and sigh with pleasure as you move in and out of their pages, tucking your fingers between the spaces and brushing the edges this way and that. These are poems that will beg you to take them home and have them in bed. Morning, night – whenever you want. Let these poems show you what they can do between their covers.

They think you might enjoy getting to know them.

After all, it’s XXX in here.”

* “ALL PROFITS you say? How do I really know you’re going to donate all the profits?” Well, lovely readers, I believe in this thing called honesty. Also financial transparency. Once I have the report of sales through Monday from createspace, I’ll take a screen shot. Then, I will write a check to Planned Parenthood (totally gonna try to get one of those ginormous checks for this) and take a picture of that too. I can even give you all a picture of me handing someone at Planned Parenthood the check (if I do manage to get an excitingly and absurdly large check) or dropping the check in the mail or something. So, breathe easy, lovely readers. I’m not lying to you. Lying makes me feel all queasy inside. Also I don’t like scams. Or spam. For the record.