If you're under 18, then go on and git.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday Stuff

This has been an off-week for me, in case it wasn't obvious by how little I posted. I've had some down days, not sure why. Today I think I'm just exhausted, physically and in every other way possible. 

Tomorrow, Naomi and I are attending what I hope will be a helpful meeting:

Confronting White Supremacy
Ready to Resist Call 
Sunday, August 20, 8 p.m. ET

So we'll see how that goes. Someone told me about the MeetUp app, and we're finding all kinds of things to get involved in, just...well, for introverts, it's really hard to leave the house sometimes. A lot of times. Almost every time. 

Which is funny in a way, because my kids also want me to date. They aren't pushy, but they are...nudge-y. I don't want to date anyone; I've been married since I was 18, two marriages. Then I say that, and I'm told, "Not telling you to get married." 

Jesus, please tell me my kids aren't trying to get me laid. 

Honestly, I think they just want me to get out and be around adults I'm not related to, and be happy. 


You know what makes me happy? Y'all do. And ice cream. And a good book. And peace and quiet, which are in entirely too short supply. 

Dudes. I'm going out to Baskin N Robbins for ice cream. 

Love to you all. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thursday Doldrums

Did I spell that right? Well, it's that kind of day, not a bad day, but I've got about as much motivation as a bag of rocks. I reckon if someone pushed me downhill, I'd get to rolling, lol.

I think I've decided to self-pub a couple of the blog stories, see how they do on Amazon. Like many authors, since ARe bit it, my royalties have plummeted, although...I can't just blame that. I haven't been writing anything more than the blog stories. Y'all inspire me when little else does. <3

So tell me what y'all have been up to! Here, or via email at itsbaileybradford@yahoo.com . Let me know how y'all's lives are going.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Across the Tides Ch. 2

Copyright 2017
Bailey Bradford

Chapter Two

“Maybe we should look for jobs here.” Stacy gestured with her margarita.
“At Captain’s Cove?” Titus asked, knowing full well that wasn’t what she’d meant. “But that’d be a waste of our teaching degrees.”
“Probably make more money, though.” Stacy sipped her drink.
Titus grunted. She kind of had a point.
The server arrived with their entrees.
“Can I get another margarita?” Stacy tossed back the last quarter of her drink. “Please.”
The server grinned. “That’ll be your third. Your boyfriend’ll have to carry you out of here if you drink it as fast as you did the first two. Those suckers sneak up on you. One minute, you’re clear-headed, the next, you’re trying to dance on the tables, except you can’t stand up.”
“You calling me a light-weight?” Stacy arched a brow at the server.
He laughed. “Nope, just telling you the truth. Doesn’t matter what size you are, what your tolerance of booze is. The tequila in our margaritas will kick your ass.”
Only at the beach would an employee talk so casually to customers. Titus approved.
“Eh. He can drag me out by my ankles if he needs to,” Stacy decided. “And he isn’t my boyfriend, but he could be y—“
“Could you bring some ketchup and sliced lemon please?” Titus cut in, desperate to stop Stacy from outing him. The coastal area they were at was more laid-back than the small town they lived in, but that didn’t mean it was safe to be outed, nor was it Stacy’s place to do so.
Stacy blinked. “I was saying, he could be Yolanda’s boyfriend if he’d just ask her out. My sister has the biggest crush on him.”
Nice save. Stacy was an only child.
The server, who lacked a name tag, rolled his eyes at Stacy. “Sure, that’s what you meant.” Then he winked at Titus. “Same team, bro. I’m taken, though.”
Titus refrained from pointing out that he hadn’t made a pass in the first place. “Congratulations.” He hoped he sounded sincere.
The server grinned. “Thanks. I’ll be back with the booze, lemons, and ketchup.”
Stacy reached across the table and touched Titus’s arm. “Sorry. Maybe I shouldn’t have the third margarita. You drink it.”
“I haven’t even finished the first, and…” He sighed. “It’s fine, Stace.”
Stacy shook her head. “No, no it isn’t. I almost—“ She glanced around, leaned closer, then whispered, “outed you, and that’s bullshit! Especially after—“
“Here we go.” The ketchup and lemon slices were set on the table. “The margarita is going to take a few minutes. We’ve got about a half-dozen in front of you.”
“Just cancel it.” Stacy sat back. “I think the second one is kicking in anyway.”
“Loose tongue, huh?” The server nodded and hustled off.
Stacy glared in his direction. “You know, he’s kind of a smart-ass, isn’t he?”
Titus laughed. “Stace, eat your shrimp before I snatch them from you.”
“Hey,” she protested as Titus made a grab for one. “Eat your own damn shrimp!”
They laughed, and Titus was glad to distract her from their previous conversation. Stacy knew almost everything about him, including the one subject he told her he never wanted to talk about again. And he was fairly certain she’d been on the verge of bringing it up. Usually, Stacy wasn’t such a talkative drunk, but then again, her margaritas were most frequently made with wine, not tequila.
The rest of their meal together was pleasant, and Titus made sure to leave a good tip. He and Stacy walked back to their condo, strolling along the moon-lit beach, chatting about inconsequential things. When they reached the foot of the stairs leading to their rented place, Titus stopped. “I think I’m going to sit out here and watch the waves for a bit. Want to join me?”
“Nah, I think I’m going to go in, call Michelle, then pass out. Sheesh, my head’s spinning.” Stacy grabbed the banister.
“Let me help you upstairs.”
It was proof of how intoxicated she was that Stacy didn’t protest. He helped her get settled on her bed—she could undress herself once he was out of the room. “Call me if you need me. I’ve got my phone.”
Stacy grunted and Titus left her to make her call. He trotted out the door and down the stairs, sighing as he reached the last one. He took his shoes off, set them on the flat part of the banister, then leapt off the last stair and dug his toes in the sand. Something skittered off to his left. Titus figured it was a little sand crab. If it wasn’t, he didn’t want to know what it was.
The moon was full, and so bright he saw spots when he closed his eyes to blink. As far as he could tell, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, just stars and more stars, and that glorious moon.
There was a gentle breeze blowing that kept the humidity from doing him in. Titus listened to the sound of the waves rolling in. He walked closer to the water, then closed his eyes again. The more he listened, the more musical the waves were. If he let his mind wander, he could imagine some underwater deity having an orchestra of merfolk playing unique instruments thousands of feet below the surface of the water. The sound would just barely reach the open air, a shush suss, shush suss of water caressing the sand.
Then his mind drifted to caresses, and lovers, and how long it’d been since he’d had one, how long since he’d been touched with care or even desire.
“Too long,” he whispered, letting the wind carry his words off, along with his peaceful mood. He opened his eyes and blamed the wetness at the corners of them on the wind. Titus gave the waves one last look, then he went back to the condo. He’d give himself this one moody night, then he’d relax and enjoy the rest of his vacation.

When he slept that night, he dreamed of wild, whimsical music and waves lapping at his feet.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Across the Tides

Copyright 2017
Bailey Bradford

Across the Tides

Chapter One

“Come on, kids, let’s see if we can find any shells!” Titus Eisenhower nodded to the parent volunteers forming a human wall between the pre-k children and the ocean. The annual field trip to the beach was one of the highlights of the school year for the kids and teachers. This was Titus’s fifth trip with one of his classes. Seeing the children’s faces lit up with joy, hearing their shrieks of—mostly—laughter, watching them run and splash in the bit of water they could reach, well, it made his heart swell every single time he got to take part in this trip.
The other teachers were to his sides. The parents kept the kids from getting in past their ankles. Some of the parents got mad because they couldn’t just focus on their kid, but when it came to kids and water, all parents, all adults, needed to be watching the whole group.
This year’s parents were great. He’d only had one pissed-off dad who had refused to let his child go since he couldn’t just hang out with his kid. Other than that, there’d been plenty of parent-volunteers, and wonder of wonders, they were all pretty awesome, too.
“God, I bet we don’t ever get such a great group of parents again,” said Stacy, his best friend and colleague. She’d been hired the same year he had, and they’d become fast friends at the small-town school they began their careers at. Stacy’s bright orange hair was all over the place as the beach breeze whipped it about. She shoved uselessly at it. “Why oh why don’t hair ties work for me?”
“Honey, that hair can’t be tamed any more than you can,” quipped Michelle. She was older than Titus and Stacy, but not by too many years. “You’re as wild and powerful as the wind.”
Michelle was also Stacy’s girlfriend, though no one but Titus knew that.
Stacy laughed. “Whatever. When I’m blinded by my own hair, then what’ll I do?”
“Mr. Eisenhowew, I finded a shell!” Little Bobby Garza hopped in place as he waved a sandy glob in the air. “Wook!”
Titus grinned and jogged over to Bobby before squatting so he could be eye to eye with the boy. “Hey, you did! That’s awesome! Want to dip it in the next wave and see if we can get the sand off?”
“Yes!” Bobby’s delighted shriek made Titus’s ears ache but the rest of him filled with sheer wonder and delight. He loved his job, and he loved the kids, loved seeing them grow and learn. It made him less cynical every time he saw that wonder in a child’s eyes.
“Then let’s do it.” Titus heard the other kids declaring their treasures, heard some upset that they didn’t find good shells, but overall, everything went surprisingly well.
After they got the kids lined up—and allowed the parent volunteers to take their kids home in their own vehicles, rather than making them ride the buses— Titus took a moment to look back at the ocean. The waves were slight, normal for this area of the coast. It was only one-thirty in the afternoon, so the sun was high and bright, the reflection on the water exquisite in its beauty.
“Just think; next weekend, we’re going to be here in our own beachfront condo, partying—or relaxing, more likely- for a whole seven days,” Stacy said, her soft voice breaking into Titus’s quiet appreciation of the view.
Not that he minded. He turned to Stacy. “You and me and some margaritas,” he promised.
Stacy nodded. “Darn right. I’m so looking forward to it.”
“Me, too.” Titus and Stacy had started their beach tradition their first year at the school. Michelle and Stacy hadn’t started dating until late last term, but Michelle didn’t come to the beach vacations. She had prior commitments with her family in Michigan that took her away.
Titus privately thought Michelle didn’t want to intrude, and he had mixed feelings about that. He didn’t want to be a third wheel, but he hated to think Stacy might regret Michelle not being there.
“Stop brooding,” Stacy said, poking his arm. “You’re going to get wrinkles all over your forehead and around your eyes before you hit thirty if you keep doing that.”
“I wasn’t brooding,” Titus protested, immediately trying to smooth out his features.
“Yeah? Then what were you frowning at?” Stacy asked.
Titus didn’t get to answer. Michelle called out to them to hurry up.
“I’ll keep bugging you until you answer me,” Stacy promised as they rushed to the buses.
Titus could have protested, but he knew better. Besides, all he had to do was tell Stacy the truth—he didn’t want her to feel like Michelle wasn’t welcome.
But he’d keep the other truth to himself—that he was lonely, and looking out over the water, that sense of loneliness had permeated his happiness, and now, melancholy lingered in the place where that happiness had been.