Michelle Leigh Writes- Short Story Series Collection

Hey guys, I know it’s been a while since I last posted consistently and on schedule. But I’ve been trying to think of something really cool to post and everything I think of just falls flat. But I recently had a cool idea. I’ve featured quite a few Short Story Series on this blog and I thought I’d do one big post including little summaries of each and the links to read them! In case you feel like diving into some dramatic love stories. So please, read at your leisure. 🙂

Mysterious Attraction (12 Chapters-3 parts each)

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Start the series from the beginning- HERE

Summary: Lexie is a power house, a femme fatale with a rather dangerous job description. She is soon forced to balance her need for control with her ever cryptic view on love and happiness. As an overly intense affair comes to light with a handsome yet kind man named Carter. Their attraction and pull strong. Lexie is forced to face some harsh realities about who she is and what she really wants her life to be. Her feelings are growing and it isn’t something she expected. Falling from lust to love with a married man was not part of her plan. What scares her even more…he’s falling back.

A Broken Heart For Christmas (6 Chapters)

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Start the series from the beginning- HERE

Summary: Dean Sanders broke Lucy Michaelson’s heart years ago back in their home town of Oakland Valley, Minnesota. And since then she’s moved on- moved to New York, started her dream career. And so has he, or so they both thought. Everyone knew their story, knew their love was lost. But little does everyone know…there was always more to their story, more than Lucy ever let on. Follow their journey through awkward run ins and past memories- both good and bad. 

Love Conflicted (12 Chapters)

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Start the series from the beginning- HERE

Summary: Maggie is the crisp, clean, girl next door. Always playing it safe, always doing the right thing, risk is not a word she would use in her everyday vocabulary. But when she falls in love with Ricky- a man in the mob, she realizes that life is not always black and white. As danger creeps in, emotions heighten in this thrilling, yet sweet love story.

On The Run (10 Chapters)

ontherunposterNew poster

Start the series from the beginning- HERE

Summary: When Sage Renly finds herself running for her life, a mysterious stranger shows up in just the nick of time- Charlie Steinfeld. He becomes her ally and confident against her better judgement. It seems like their connection is unexplainable-almost as if it’s out of their hands.  This is more than your typical two strangers finding each other by chance and falling in love, story. There are dark secrets hidden in the eyes of these characters, and as every mystery goes- there’s always more than what meets the eye.

*Welcome Home (9 Chapters)

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Start the series from the beginning- HERE

Summary: Melanie Evans was so close to having it all, and then tragedy struck. Something that years later she still can’t overcome. There is only one person in the world who can help, who can understand her-Oliver King, her college sweetheart. And yet he is miles away- both literally and figuratively. When Melanie returns to her hometown, old memories stir up old feelings. So many different feelings. Will she be able to get out of her own way to achieve the happiness she’s dreamed of all along? Or will she stay in isolation and despair unable to let go of her painful past.

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Also I am attempting to dive into a new short story series….I’m still working on the title (I have a bunch of variations that I can’t decide on) but here’s a quick little sneak peek at the summary-

Liam Whitmore is a wealthy business executive who goes through the motions of working in his corporate world day after lousy day, making deals and kicking ass at it. However he often feels uninspired, and unable to do what he really loves. Until one day he meets a younger woman named Aria Lenz, struggling to become a dancer. Her simplistic yet driven nature strikes up a spark of inspiration in him, and he makes it his mission to get to know her. Little does he know, it’ll be the hardest “transaction” he’s ever had to make. They’re worlds apart- will he finally get through to her, or will his fire fizzle?

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits.*

*All short stories are of my own written content.*

-<3-

 

 

 

Welcome Home “Soundtrack”

DISCLAIMER:  Welcome Home is not a real motion picture nor does it have a soundtrack coming out. This is just me living in my fictional happy writer’s world. Where I pretend and where I run the show. As a kid I used to say “Make Pretend” all the time. Make Pretend you’re a princess who slays dragons. Make pretend you’re a ballerina who bull rides. Make pretend you’re writing a screenplay and you get to pick the actors, and release a soundtrack and commentary that people have been anxiously awaiting. The options could be endless. So let’s “Make Pretend.” Enjoy!

Welcome Home Soundtrack Album Artwork-

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Tracklist:

1.) Dive– Ed Sheeran

2.) World Spins Madly On– The Weepies

3.) When I Look At You– Miley Cyrus

4.) Happier-Ed Sheeran

5.) Home– Rhodes

6.) Tell Mama– The Civil Wars

7.) Small Bump Ed Sheeran

8.) Adore You– Miley Cyrus

9.) All we’d ever need– Lady Antebellum

10.) How Would You Feel– Ed Sheeran

11.) Till Forever– Joy Williams

12.) To Make You Feel My Love– Josh Kelley

13.) Save Myself– Ed Sheeran

14.) Make This Go On Forever– Snow Patrol

15.) Forever Young– Youth Group

16.) Clarity– Zedd ft. Foxes

17.) Gravity– Sara Bareilles

18.) Welcome Home– Joy Williams

19.) Too Good To Say Goodbye– Bruno Mars

20.) Run– Lady Antebellum

Thanks for listening!

And catch up on Welcome Home from the beginning HERE

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits, or videos/music used.*

-<3-

Welcome Home-Author’s Commentary

DISCLAIMER: Welcome Home is not a real motion picture nor does it have a soundtrack coming out. This is just me living in my fictional happy writer’s world. Where I pretend and where I run the show. Haha. Back in college whenever I would hand in a script or be working with already written material/feature film scenes, my professor would ask me who I would have play the characters, where would it take place, what location? And so I think that kind of stuck with me, because as I write each of my short story series here on this blog, I want to include those aspects and give you a visual experience. Mysterious Attraction was my first shot at it, A Broken Heart For Christmas, and Love Conflicted followed, and most recently On The Run.

As a kid I used to say “Make Pretend” all the time. Make Pretend you’re a princess who slays dragons. Make pretend you’re a ballerina who bull rides. Make pretend you’re writing a screenplay and you get to pick the actors, and release a soundtrack and commentary that people have been anxiously awaiting. The options could be endless. So let’s “Make Pretend.” Enjoy!

I just re-read Welcome Home, in preparation for this post, and I have to admit, I was really happy with this short story series. It felt more structured and concise.

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Background:

Welcome Home premiered on Thursday, December 15th, 2016. It was a small string of random thoughts and characters I just had to get out! The story continued pretty consistently until Thursday, March 16th. Overall the story was featured on Thursdays here on michelle leigh writes for a span of about 3 months.

OFFICAL FULL CAST PROMOTIONAL PHOTO RELEASED 😉

Cast poster

 

Dream Casting:

Melanie Evans portrayed by Shantel VanSanten

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I fell in love with Shantel when she played Quinn James on One Tree Hill. I think she had this purity about her acting and she is such a natural beauty. She also does sassy comedy really well too. I really thought she would bring someone like my character Melanie to life.

Oliver King portrayed by Jason Thompson

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I don’t know where to start with this guy. I adore him. I fell in love with Jason when he played Dr. Patrick Drake alongside love interest Dr. Robin Scorpio (Turned Drake) on General Hospital. He is such a brilliant actor, I am still flabbergasted that he hasn’t won an Emmy yet. He puts his heart out there and he is so believable. Put him in a scene with anyone and you can see how he elevates the material in his acting choices. How he interacts with them, and uses his body language to convey a believable relationship. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve rewatched him and Kimberly McCullough’s (Robin) many scenes together from General Hospital as they displayed quite the love story. So freaking amazing!

Supporting Roles:

Cassie portrayed by Hilary Duff

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Hilary Duff, what can I say? Loved her since Lizzie McGuire. And that show basically shaped my childhood. She was one of my idols growing up. And she holds such a special place in my heart. She has grown into such an incredible feisty actress and you can tell that she’s done so in a really classy way. The way she handles the more mature topics of life on her new hit show Younger with comedy and sass, is just so damn good. So I knew that she could be the perfect face for Cassie- the sassy, bold, tell it like it is best friend. You know me and how my best friend roles are always sassy!

Dave portrayed by Derek Hough

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I had Duff in my head and I knew Cassie would soon need a love interest too and in pairing her with someone, Hough seemed like such perfect fit visually. I love Derek Hough, I have swooned over him on Dancing with the Stars so many times. I’m sad he’s not on this season. He is such a huge talent and inspiration. I would love to see him featured in more films throughout his career! Hey Derek- I’ll have my people call your people! 😉

Molly King portrayed by Brooklyn Rae Silzer

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This kind of happened by accident. If you know Jason Thompson as Patrick Drake, then you know that he and Robin have a daughter named Emma. Brooklyn plays the role of Emma. And when it came to editing pictures of a child with Thompson and Van Santen, I just thought it seemed completely obvious to have Brooklyn be viewed as Melanie and Oliver’s daughter Molly. She is such big talent! She is sassy and sweet and is sure to grow up to be a huge name! Just like McCullough did! She started her career as a kid on General Hospital.

Aspects I Really Liked:

Reading it back, I was really happy with the way there was some foreshadowing and reveals throughout the story’s unfolding.

For example…

Throughout the whole first few chapters you don’t know what happened between Melanie and Oliver. We never know why they broke up. We know they were engaged, we know they had a past and that they haven’t really seen or spoken to each other in a few years. I like how it keeps you guessing, until he says it- they loss their baby.

I also like how you don’t really know if she’s pregnant again, you expect it, but then she looks at the test and cries at the end of the chapter which can make it go either way. And then at the beginning of the following chapter we start with a funeral type scene and it makes you think she lost another child. Soon you find out it was a flashback to Cody’s memorial. And then we time jump into a new life with Melanie and Oliver and their new baby girl.

I think the foreshadowing worked nicely and kept the suspense going. I’ve said it many times, I write these short story series as if they were a movie, and so these types of foreshadowing, flashbacks, jump cuts would work well I think.

I also thought that I was able to portray bits of their lives, pasts, careers, etc, throughout the story. So often I feel like you have to give it all in the beginning, but I realized that doesn’t work either. You have to disperse the information little by little, when needed. So what I tried to do this series is implement backstory when it made most sense. For example, through conversations we find out that Melanie is a writer and Oliver is a photographer. Melanie’s writing has suffered since her tragedy so we don’t see her writing. Oliver is said to be snapping pictures now and then. I don’t think these things have to be super prominent as long as there are mentions, we get the gist. The story is bigger than this.

We also find out how they met in college through Oliver’s best man and Melanie’s maid of honor speeches. I really love that story Oliver tells, it serves a lot of purpose to the story, and to the relationships within it- Cassie/Dave and Oliver/Melanie. I love love love it! You can just see the scene of how they all met play out in your head.

I really love how we finally get the story of how Melanie and Oliver broke up, as she reads the first passage of her book “Operation Forever,” at her first book signing. We never really knew how she left, and this was my way of answering that question without actually having to force a flashback. Her book title, is a bit of an Easter egg and ode to their little discussion when they got engaged.

“I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel real, ya know. To be this in love.” She says smiling brightly up at him through watery eyes.

“Yea I know the feeling. I guess we’re just going to have to get used to the fact that we’re stuck with each other, forever. It’s all a part of my evil plan.”

“Ah, I see. Operation forever.”

“Something like that. But I’m sure we could think of a better name than that.”

“What- why I like it.”

“Well if you like it, then I like it.”

Flashbacks however are utilized when needed, and they are brought on by familiar moments-déjà vu, or scenery from her home town. The first Chapter we see her have a flashback to she and Oliver in their own apartment, engaged, during happier times. And it is brought on by watching her reflection as she puts on some lip-gloss- a menial task she’s done many times in front of him as he would watch and admire.

Then throughout her home coming she is catapulted into many memories, memories she’s tried to stay away from. She sees their names carved in her front porch, and remembers the first time he told her he loved her and that he wants to be with her forever. At home in her living room, in front of the fireplace, she has a flashback of them making love, walking through town she sits in the gazebo and remembers when he asked her to marry him. All of these things make her feel and in turn make us feel because we see how much these two people love each other. And how painful it is for them to not be together. But I also really love that these flashbacks were placed well, within reason, and were brought on by her familiar surroundings.

Through more conversations we see how close they really wore, how they had the same friends, how her family took him in and welcomed him on school breaks, how he knew her bedroom pretty well and they “broke some house rules” every now and then as teens. 😉 Oliver even makes mention to the fact that he will “crawl into her window” at night if he has too, which makes us realize this was something he may or may not have done as a young teen in love. Oliver bakes her, her favorite sugar cookies and knows her obsession with New Kids On The Block. He knows her mom’s cooking and how they go all out for holidays. There is so much history there between these two and you don’t have to see their whole relationship to know that.

“What?”  “Nothing.”

This is something I revisit this dialogue exchange a lot throughout the story, and their relationship. A lot of the times it’s Melanie who catches Oliver watching her and says What? And in turn he says Nothing. It’s a bit of a flirtation and a cute game for them. And it resurfaces a few times between them. Even at the end, when it’s reversed and Oliver realizes how annoying it can actually be. Lol.

Timeline:

Speaking of Holidays, I think I was inspired by them when I wrote this. I had written a good portion of the first chapter or so, before I posted and so I was in a family holiday mood. So I took that inspiration and the holidays kind of built my timeline. We Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. There are certainly time jumps in here too, but I think that’s only natural, for this kind of coming home, and coming into your own skin story. We need to jump around so we can see the characters grow and learn to better themselves.

Slideshow Feature:

I also think utilizing the slideshow feature in the last chapter was my way of showing their lives together and the things you missed. (Yes, I know some of my edits are super crappy and bad, but I tried, haha.) This tactic helped me fill in some blanks. In my head I just saw the scene playing as if it were in a movie- a time jump and then a happy family at home, as you see pictures of their lives together dress their walls. Their child growing throughout the years along with their love. Notice most of the pictures look professional, because you know Oliver King was like Um excuse I will be taking all my daughter’s professional pictures, thank you. Haha. Did you spot those Paris pics? – Another little Easter egg to show he actually took her like he wanted to.

“God I’ve missed this town.” Oliver says smiling looking around.

“Missed it? I thought that you were living here?”

“I was. For a long time. I still have a place here. But work kinda takes me all around nowadays. I’m kind of a nomad.”

“I see. Traveling must be nice though.”

“It is. It’s really amazing Mel. I’ve been to Ireland, Italy, and France, I stayed at this little bed and breakfast in Paris, the couple that ran it were two of the sweetest people, and every morning they would make me blueberry waffles, sausage and bacon. And my room, it overlooked this little lake, it was breathtaking. You would have loved it.”

“I’m sure I would have,” she says smiling up at him.

“Maybe one of these days, you’ll let me take you there.”

“Maybe.” She says looking away, fidgeting with the cup in her hands.

“Always forgetting your gloves.” He says noticing and smirking at her.

Within the slideshow we also see an image of Baby Boy Cody’s sonogram which means he is still part of them and their family which was important for me to show, because that loss was such a big part of their lives, their love and this story. And I love that they each have Cody tattoos, they got separately, to honor their son. It shows they think alike.

Love Scenes:

I back tracked and looked at what I wrote for my last short story series- On The Run, and when it came to writing love scenes, this is what I wrote… [One of these days, I won’t blush while writing a love scene. I won’t hide in a corner shielding my computer screen from curious eyes. I won’t feel ashamed of what I’m writing. I find that when I write a love scene, I continuously edit myself. What if a family member of mine reads this? Oh my god what will they think? The people in my life have a certain perspective of me. I’m a pretty reserved personality, and so writing these scenes would be something they wouldn’t even think I do, or can do. So there’s a barrier there for sure and I feel like I need to work on being more free and not so constrained and worried about what people will think. If anything hopefully they can just realize that what I’m trying to do by writing these scenes, is to craft a beautiful love story.] In many ways this still applies, I need to work on this and I definitely still edited myself a lot this series. I had written much more juicer material, but I wanted it to read with a certain tenderness and I felt that would get lost in the lust factor, so I edited it. However, I do still think I am getting better at writing love scenes, because even reading the love scene back today, I was surprised I left certain things in. With that being said though, I still think it reads the way I wanted it to be read, a couple so in love they can’t contain it. I don’t think it reached a trashy point.

Themes:

Coming Home/Finding Home, Family, Friendship, Hope, Loyalty, Heart, Unconditional Love, Forever, Fear, Creativity, Soulmates, Heart vs. Head, Overcoming Obstacles, Tragedy.

As you read this series any of these themes can pop into your mind, Melanie is so torn. She has the whole world at her feet, family and friends waiting to support her, her dream career in her grasp, a man so in love with her he’d wait forever for her, but yet the heartache of losing her child years ago force her into a stubborn isolation. She had a lot of soul searching to do, that unfortunately she needed to do on her own.

Oliver is her ray of light, her hope, he loves her unconditionally and he is not willing to let her sit in that dark black hole of isolation for too long. However, you can see that he knows how he has to play this. He can’t just pounce. She’s already used to running, and she will continue if anyone makes any sudden movements. So you see him pull back here and there. He knows when she needs to walk away. And it baffles Melanie that he could be that understanding. He’s pretty perfect. But not without his faults, he is human. There are moments where you see him falter. We see him not be so understanding, but in the same breath he takes on the blame, so that she doesn’t have to, and even then Melanie pulls away because she can’t comprehend his unwavering love.

It isn’t until he backs off completely that she realizes she needs him. When she finds out she is pregnant with another one of their children. And when she actually chooses to include him in what is going on. Once she finally admits she needs him not only to him, but to herself, the whole story kind of becomes well rounded. Things are full circle and all the stress is forgotten as they embark on their journey together. Because he was never going to give up on her, he just needed her to come to him.

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Friendship is always a factor in my stories, there are always the supporting roles- the best friends, because I think our main characters need somewhere to go and vent. I think I would have liked to explore some more conversations between Oliver and Dave. Now that I think about it I’m sure Oliver would vent at times. How could he not! Melanie drove him crazy! And Dave was part of the whole reason why Melanie and Oliver met in the first place, he knew their story. I think friendship is always such a strong consistent theme in my stories, because it’s a strong theme in my life. I have a core group of friends who I go to with everything. I have a best friend, I’ve known since kindergarten, hence the childhood best friend inspiration. #CassieAndMelanie.

Character Building:

I feel like it’s easy to relate to both Oliver and Melanie. There’s a push and pull between them. They have so much love and attraction between them. And unlike my last short story series On The Run, these two didn’t just meet, they’ve known each other for many years. They have a really heavy past and they know things about each other that form a very sexy, real, loyal bond.

It’s easy to hate on Melanie, I think. She left. She ran. And continues to do so for the better part of the series. She wasn’t there for the man she loved. When he obviously continuously put her first. It’s definitely a frustrating concept. She even lets Oliver think they are getting back together after what happened between them on Christmas. But there is this really complex nature about her that I hope is displayed to the audience. I wanted her to be conflicted. She didn’t run because of Oliver, she ran because of herself. Because she wasn’t herself. Because she was worried she wouldn’t be able to give him what he deserved; a family. She knows what she’s doing, she knows she’s hurting him- she admits it, but she can’t help it, because of the pain that weighs on her heart.

So in that sense, I feel like you can put yourself in her shoes, and understand why she has been acting the way she has. It’s not that she doesn’t love him. She does, but she’s caught between that and her pain. She pushes him away because she can’t handle reliving it.

Oliver has a really beautiful evolution I think. I really love his character. And I think if this were ever made into a real short film, Jason Thompson would kill this role! There’s this intense vulnerability in Oliver. He loves with everything in him. He’s made up his mind about Melanie a long time ago, it’s just he’s waiting to make his moves.

“You’re my forever, plain and simple.”

He lets her run, he lets her have her time. But he is always there if she needs him… when she needs him. And after years he still held onto that love and that loyalty. As I said he seems pretty perfect, but he’s not without his faults. And eventually he reaches a point where he tells Melanie that he can’t do it anymore, but even though she believes it, he knows it was just another tactic on his part. A heat of the moment type of thing.

“You’ve been kind of distant today, I guess I understand, but I have to admit, I am surprised.”

“I’ve learned to let you come to me. I figured if I kept my distance long enough you might miss me,” he says smiling.

Oliver has a lighter heart, he tries to make Melanie smile, and remember the good. He doesn’t dwell on the negative. With that being said, it’s not that Melanie’s miscarriage didn’t affect him. It did, but he chose to take his pain into his own hands and get the help he needed, and in doing so he was able to understand things from Melanie’s perspective. He even states that he knows it’s more difficult for a woman, she physically experiences the loss. Oliver remains strong and lets her lean on him, and that’s why we never see exactly how he handled it, but we know what he had to do to handle it. The story isn’t about his pain, it’s about theirs and how he will love her through hers no matter how much she pushes him away or how long he has to wait.

The main themes of love, hope, loyalty, friendship stem from everything these two people in love have between them. It’s everything they are. It’s a forever love story that can withstand all the pain and distance life throws their way. It’s a story about coming home, finding home, not just in a place, but in someone else’s heart.

Description/Imagery:

In my last Author’s Commentary (which was for On The Run), I wrote BE MORE DESCRIPTIVE! And reading Welcome Home back, I feel like I listened. The story is set mostly during the holiday season in a small town in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You get a feel for the holidays by the scenery description of her childhood home and her walks through town.

What Needs Work:

I can always work on description, even though I’m improving. Timeline, is always tricky for me. I feel like you can get lost in time jumps and life events, and school years, and misjudge years. But hopefully I did ok, in this one. I will keep better track of this next time! As well as continue to learn about writing effective love scenes that fit the love between two charcters.

Final Comments:

I’m really proud of this short story. I think it was more thought out, and paced nicely. It ran here on michelle leigh writes for 3 months, and my posting schedule was pretty consistent. I feel like it was the most consistent of any of the short stories I’ve written. Let’s dive in and show you what I mean…

Chapter 1- posted on Thursday, Dec. 15th, 2016

Chapter 2- posted on Thursday, Jan. 5th, 2017

Chapter 3- posted on Thursday, Jan. 12th, 2017

Chapter 4- posted on Thursday, Jan. 19th, 2017

Chapter 5- posted on Thursday, Jan. 26th, 2017

Chapter 6- posted on Thursday, Feb. 2nd, 2017

Chapter 7- posted on Thursday, Feb. 9th, 2017

Chapter 8- posted on Thursday, Mar. 2nd, 2017

Chapter 9- posted on Thursday, Mar. 16th, 2017

I kept to posting on Thursday, this way to allow other categories time on my blog and not saturate it with one thing. I posted consistently one chapter a week for the better part of the series, give or take a few which even then the longest break was no more than 3 weeks.

In other words, I think I’m slowly conquering the dreaded hiatus drama! Hallelujah!

So there you have it, my in depth Author’s Commentary.

Welcome Home Says Goodbye.

JK…Stay Tuned for a separate Soundtrack post…COMING SOON!

Thank you for reading!

Catch up on Welcome Home from the beginning HERE

And get a sneak peek at my next short story series HERE

*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Blog Update*

So I know that my posts have been kind of out of sync with the usual schedule, but I’ve been a bit frazzled lately. There’s a lot going on and I tend to get overwhelmed fairly easily. You ever just need to take a beat and check yourself? As someone who deals with anxiety often, I noticed I have to do that, in order to keep my sanity and keep up with everything that I have to do. Because of the bustle that surrounds my world lately,  the blog inspiration has been lacking. I struggle when this happens, because I hate posting just to post.

But with that being said I thought maybe it’d be cool to give you a little blog update. I have some fun posts in mind, it’s just a matter of getting my shit together and writing them.

I HAVE NO TIME! I’M TIRED! I’M STRESSED! I WANT TO SLEEP FOR A YEAR!

Rant over. 😉

Coming your way we have the Welcome Home “Soundtrack” and Author’s Commentary. If you haven’t read Welcome Home you can start it from the beginning HERE.

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Also I am attempting to dive into a new short story series….I’m still working on the title (I have a bunch of variations that I can’t decide on) but here’s a quick little sneak peek at the summary-

Liam Whitmore is a wealthy business executive who goes through the motions of working in his corporate world day after lousy day, making deals and kicking ass at it. However he often feels uninspired, and unable to do what he really loves. Until one day he meets a younger woman named Aria Lenz, struggling to become a dancer. Her simplistic yet driven nature strikes up a spark of inspiration in him, and he makes it his mission to get to know her. Little does he know, it’ll be the hardest “transaction” he’s ever had to make. They’re worlds apart- will he finally get through to her, or will his fire fizzle?

There- it’s out in the universe. So I have no choice, now I HAVE to get writing. Haha.

Talk Soon!

-<3-

 

 

 

 

Welcome Home. -Chapter 9 (The Final Chapter)

Read Chapter 8 HERE 

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A Few Months Later

“Presenting the new Mr. & Mrs. Oliver King!” Dave announces as Oliver and Melanie walk out through the back door of Melanie’s childhood home and into the backyard draped in a silk white tent, candles and white roses everywhere. Slow graceful music being played by a harpist. Smiles shining on the faces of the bride and groom. Family and friends stand as they cheer loudly.

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“Wooo, it’s about damn time!” Cassie screams as everyone laughs along.

Dave and Cassie speech

Oliver and Melanie make their way over to the center of the yard, where a wooden dance floor lay, as their song begins to play.

It’s all over

And it’s only beginning

We’re beginning to finally see one another

We grow stronger We grow stronger for breaking

We grow stronger for breaking apart together

Lover, find me underneath the covers

We will stay here until we discover

All that we have to give to each other Til forever

How you move me How you move me to love you

I keep choosing to love you again every morning

Lover, find me underneath the covers

We will stay here until we discover

All that we have to give to each other Til forever….

Grace and Charlie watch smiling on as Grace holds Molly, who watches her parents with a bright smile.

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Melanie looks up at Oliver.

“What?” he says.

“Nothing.” She says smiling.

He gives her a glare.

“Wow, that really is annoying, my apologies Mrs. King,” he smirks.

Melanie’s lips curl into a big smile.

“Mrs. King. I really love the sound of that.” 

“Not as much as I do.”

“Did we really do it? Did we really just get married? Finally!” she says excitement beaming through.

“Hey better late than never, right?” he says smiling as he kisses her.

“Thank you for waiting for me, I know it wasn’t easy.”

“You’re my forever. Plain and simple. There was no way I was letting you go.” He says swaying them to their song as she places a kiss on his lips.

Oliver reaches into his jacket pocket as he holds out a small digital camera to snap a picture as his lips meet his wife’s.

Melanie lets out a small laugh against his lips as she notices.

“Hey, once a photographer, always a photographer,” he says with a chuckle.

“By the way did I mention how perfect you look,” he whispers to her.

“Maybe once or twice,” she says smiling, “You look very handsome yourself,” she pulls him by the collar into yet another kiss as glasses clink for them to do so.

***********************************************************************

A few years later…

Melanie stands up at a podium, her eyes fall down to the pages before her. She begins to read aloud-

Book reading

She runs. She’s a runner. Fierce. Independent. Stubborn. The weight of heart shattering tragedy had now taken the life out of her…out of her will to move forward.

It was a day like any other. She was 5 months pregnant, engaged to the man she loved and settling into a quaint little apartment in the place she called home- Philadelphia.

Everything seemed to be falling into place. She was happier than she ever thought she could be.

She walked into the doctor’s office, the man she loved by her side.

Making plans for years to come.

Pure joy radiating through her.

And then just like that, life changed forever.

She had lost her baby boy.

Lost.

Like a misplaced set of keys.

One minute there. The next not.

And in that moment she didn’t feel the same.

She didn’t know what to do.

Where to go.

She was broken, and no amount of love or support could fix her.

She needed time.

Time to grieve, time to be angry and place blame.

Time to heal.

So she ran.

The decision to leave was something she never intended.

One day it just got to be too much.

The familiarity too much to take, the signs, the symbols.

Blue. Baby blue. Everywhere.

Home was tainted.

The home she loved her whole life, was now something she dreaded.

The man she loved with all her heart was now the face of a tragic heartbreak.

She packed her bags, and left a note in a sealed envelope.

“I’m sorry. I’ll love you forever.” It read. Her engagement ring set upon the paper.

Thought was not calculated.

Reason and logic unheard of.

Her heart was  fighting just to beat.

Melanie smiles simply as she closes the book.

“Thank you,” she says walking off the stage.

Everyone claps, as women can be seen wiping tears from their eyes.

Billy runs up to the podium, hugging her tightly he steps up to the microphone.

“That was the first passage from our newest budding author Melanie King’s first novel, entitled “Operation Forever,” a story about a heart wrenching tragedy that somehow turned into a ray of hope. A journey through her metaphorical operation on her once damaged heart where she finally realized that her forever, her home was in front of her all along and in the eyes of the man she loved. Melanie will be happy to meet you in the back in a few minutes to sign some copies for any of those wanting to join her. Thank you for coming,” he says smiling as everyone claps.

Melanie stands in the back nook of the book store, breathing a sigh of relief, tears springing slightly.

“Mommy!” she hears, turning she smiles as Molly rushes in, she bends down scooping her into her arms.

“Hello love bug!” she says kissing her cheek.

Oliver stands there looking on, a smile in place.

“Hey, I’m proud of you.”

Melanie looks up at him, “Me too,” she smiles.

“You okay?” he says coming in and reaching for her.

“Yea. I’ve got my family.” She says smiling.

Oliver leans in and kisses her softly.

“You know, it’s difficult to read and to relive but I’m better because of it. I had so much bottled up for years and that stopped me from going after what I really wanted and who.(she says smiling up at him, as he places a peck on her lips.) Writing this book, was kind of like me getting my freedom back a little.”

“Good for you babe, I think it was something you really needed to do. I’m glad you did it.”

She smiles.

“It means the world to me that you and Molly are here with me, I love you so much.” She says kissing him again.

“Ew!” Molly says looking on as she giggles.

Oliver and Melanie look at her and laugh.

“You think that’s funny,” Oliver says as he starts to tickle Molly, whose giggle erupts into a laughing fit, Melanie holding her as she joins in on the tickle fight.

Billy knocks on the door.

“Ms. Molly, do you need me to save you?”

Molly giggles, “Yes.”

Billy smiles and walks in.

“Oh Mrs. King, your fans await you. I’m already hearing some buzz. Women are saying how much they can relate and how it’s as if you’re speaking from their hearts too.”

“That’s incredible.” Melanie says.

Melanie smiles as she gives Molly a big kiss and hands her to Oliver, and then leans in to give Oliver a kiss on the lips.

“Good luck, (he kiss her) I love you. We’ll be right here waiting for you.”

“I love you so much,” she kisses him once more before walking towards the door.

“Love you mommy!” Molly screams.

“I love you, love bug.” She smiles as she blows her a kiss and walks into the crowd that awaits her.

Later that night…

Oliver sits in his office, at his desk as he edits photos.

office

Melanie peeks her head in, wearing a sweet little night gown, “Hey babe you coming to bed?”

Oliver looks over his shoulder, his eyebrows raise “Well hell, don’t you look sexy.”

Melanie crosses her arms, looking off to the side as she huffs his compliment away.

“I’m sorry, have you not seen yourself?” he says walking over to her, his hands finding her waist.

“It makes me happy how you can still be this attracted to me even after all these years, this body has had a baby, you know. It’s never going to look the same.”

“Same or not, you are still the sexiest woman I have ever laid eyes on,” he places a kiss on her lips.

“I try,” she smiles rolling her eyes dramatically, a smile on her lips.

sexy office

“Baby you don’t have to try,” he smirks tightening his grip on her waist.

“Well in that case, do you think you can do your sexy wife a favor and actually come to bed at a decent time tonight? ”

“Yeah that can be arranged. I’ll be in, in just a bit, just trying to decide on some photos, come here look at these with me,” he says taking her hand and walking her over to his desk.

Melanie smiles as Oliver sits and scoots out his chair to allow her to sit on his lap, her arm draping over his shoulders. 

Oliver starts clicking through photos.

“This one is my favorite, it’s everything I love in one picture, my whole world right there,” he says as it lands on a picture of Melanie and Molly.

Melanie looks at it, she smiles brightly, her eyes tearing up, “Aw. I love that one. I love you,” she says cupping his face and kissing him.

“We made a cute kid, huh?” he says looking up at her.

“Yes we did. She’s perfect.”

“That’s because she looks like you.” He says smiling up at her.

“She looks like both of us.” Melanie says kissing his cheek.

“She is perfect though, look at how happy she is,” he says pointing to a smiling Molly.

“She is. We’re doing ok, I guess, huh?” Melanie says looking down at him.

“I think we’re doing great. I think moving home to Philly was the right call. We’re still close enough to the city but we both are pretty much able to work from home.”

“I agree.  We’ve made quite a life for ourselves.”

“That we have,” he says kissing her bare shoulder. “Besides when Mommy and Daddy need some sexy time, it’s nice to have the grandparents nearby to babysit, ” he says placing a kiss on her lips.

“Speaking of…sexy time…when are we going to make another one of these beautiful babies? Doctor gave me the all clear.” Melanie says her eyes shifting to meet her husband’s.

“Oh.” Oliver says smiling, his eyebrows raising, as his hands fasten around her waist.

Melanie starts to get up off his lap, as she moves his hands off her.

“See now where are you going?” he says turning in his chair.

“Follow me and find out.” She says a playful smile on her lips.

Oliver smirks as he stands and follows.

Melanie stops at the doorway, turning back she says, “On second thought, I’m kinda tired, rain check? Good night!” She runs from the room.

 “Get over here girl,” he says rushing into the hall and sweeping her up in his arms, “You can’t walk away from me after saying a thing like that.”

A giggle and a shriek escape her as she wraps her arms around his neck accepting his kiss.

bed

Nearby on the walls of their hallway you can see pictures of their life together.

 

Home gallery

Slideshow below displays all the gallery photos in the KING home. 😀

Happy. Content. Full. Living.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Melanie and Oliver fall onto their bed as a copy of Melanie’s book lay on their bed side table, next to it a pamphlet that reads-

COMING SOON! The New York Art Exhibit Presents- Oliver King’s “Home” Collection.

A photo of him and the girls on the cover.

nighstand

 “Shhh we’re gonna wake Molly,” Melanie giggles.

“It’s ok, I plan on keeping your lips right here,” he says kissing her deeply as he removes her silk robe tossing it to the side. “I love you so much,” he whispers against her expectant lips.

kissing in bed

She pulls away and looks up at him.

beddd

“I love you too, you’re my home, that’s never going to change. No matter what life throws our way, I know we’ll be able to handle it, together.”

Oliver smiles at her lovingly.

“Don’t you forget it….So let’s make another baby, huh?” He says smirking.

“Yes please,” She says laughing as she reaches for him.

Melanie and Oliver continue kissing into the night.

Hello, I’ve been waiting for you

I didn’t know if you’d recognize my voice

Cause I’ve been whispering your name again and again

I‘ve been imagining this day and I’ll never be the same

Welcome home Welcome home

It’s so good to see your face

Welcome home

-The End-

*I do not take credit for any images, gifs, videos,

music used in my edits or otherwise.*

Thanks so much for reading!  I hope you enjoyed!

Stay Tuned for my Welcome Home “Soundtrack” & My Author’s Commentary!

-<3-

Welcome Home. -Chapter 8

Read Chapter 7 HERE

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Melanie sits in the church- still, silent- staring before her. People exiting out behind her.

cody-king

Oliver walks down the aisle as he nods and shakes hands with family members and friends who pass him.

He sits beside her, taking her hand, her diamond ring sparkling, he lifts her hand to his lips and kisses it.

“Sweet heart, what can I do?” he says looking at her.

Melanie sits staring straight ahead. After a long moment she speaks.

“I keep waiting for all of this to vanish, like a dream. Just poof gone. This is a dream. It has to be, right? Because if it isn’t, this is one hell of a cruel life lesson. What’s the point? Do we not love each other enough? Did we not deserve a child?”

cody-king-3

“Melanie, of course that’s not true. It just happened. We can’t explain why.”

“Well someone should be able to. I can’t, you can’t, the doctors can’t, and now what- God can’t? I just want to wake up. I need to wake up,” she says her tears exploding from her eyes, her body shaking.

Oliver’s eyes pool over along with her as he pulls her into his arms.

His grip on her tighter now more than ever, as the smell of incense burn, candles flicker, and white and blue flowers dress the room. A sign off to the side reads- In Loving Memory of baby boy Cody King.

cody-king-2

Present Day…

Melanie sits in a brightly lit room, gently rocking in her chair.

“Hey babe…so someone is a little cranky, I think she wants her mommy,” Oliver says walking into the room holding a perfect little pink bundle.

Melanie smiles brightly as she stands up.

“Hand her over, pops” she says stretching her arms out.

Oliver smiles.

“Pay up first,” he says leaning in, Melanie smiles, placing a kiss on his lips before taking the baby.

“Hello, my sweet angel, are you driving daddy crazy, yes you are.” She says in her best baby voice.

baby-and-mommy

Oliver smiles up at her.

“Stay there, don’t move,” he says running out of the room.

Melanie laughs as Oliver runs back in with his camera, he starts snapping away.

camera-3

“Babe, look up at me.”

Melanie looks up and smiles.

“Molly, baby, hi sweet heart, look at daddy,” he says holding a stuffed animal near the camera to try and catch her attention.

******************************************************************************

Oliver sits in front of the fireplace, sleeping-his feet up.

Melanie emerges from the nursery, the exhaustion on her face evident.

She sees Oliver and smiles, crawling up next to him as he wakes up.

“She down yet?”

“It was a fight, but yes, finally out like a light.”

“Ah good,” he says wrapping his arm around her. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to fall asleep, pretty sure I came in here for something and then well-,” (he laughs)

marry-me

“That’s ok, you had her for a while, we’re a team, and it was my turn to tag in. You’re allowed to sneak off for a bit.”

“Really? Can I get that in writing?” he says looking over at her.

“Don’t get too used to it,” She says in her sassy tone bumping into him with her shoulder.

Oliver smirks.

“You know as hard as having a new born may be, and as tired as I am, I am happier than ever, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Melanie looks at him and smiles, “Me too.” She leans up and kisses him. “Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For being my rock, for loving me as much as you do even though I drive you crazy, and for never giving up on me. I don’t know how you stayed so strong.”

“No biggy,” He smirks shrugging his shoulders.

“I’m serious, I don’t know who I would be or where I would be, had you not dragged me back into life. How did you get through it all?  I could barely breathe- let alone be without you and that last part was my own fault.”

“You did what you needed to do to get through it. And I did what I had to do.”

Melanie looks up at him with concern in her eyes.

“Like what?”

“Well, besides pining over you for years…(he laughs, as she rolls her eyes) I went to therapy- a lot of it.”

“You never told me that.”

“I knew you had tried it, and it wasn’t working for you. I figured you didn’t need me preaching about it. But it really did get me through, it made me understand things and see things in a better light.”

“I don’t think I gave it much of a chance. Besides the real thing I needed was you all along. I was just too scared to admit.”

“I knew you would come to me when you were ready. That’s why I never pushed it.”

“You’re amazing,” she says sighing in disbelief.

tumblr_mbpfhovvyx1rcd11vo3_12801

“Hey, I promised you forever a long time ago, and I don’t break my promises.” Oliver looks up into her eyes, (he pauses) “Marry me?” he whispers.

“Really? You wanna try that again?”

“You sound surprised?” he says with a smirk.

“I guess I just feel like we have some things to resolve before taking that step.”

“Like what?” he says confused.

“Well, for starters I hope you know how much I love you, and I’m sorry for ever making you feel like your feelings didn’t matter…”

“Oh baby, stop it, its ok…”

giphy1

“No it’s not. Just let me say this…please…it’s been a long time coming, and I cannot become your wife unless we talk about this.”

“Ok well then, hurry up already,” he says with a smile.

“I was selfish. I let my pain overshadow yours and that was not my intention but I let it go on far longer than I should have. I allowed myself to put up walls that created a wedge between us during a time when we needed each other most. I was scared, and broken and I ran and continued running. I didn’t blame you, I blamed myself. And because of that I couldn’t see you, I was stubborn and overly determined to stay in isolation and independence. I want you to know how much I truly regret leaving you and us and how if I could take it all back I would. You have been so amazing and patient with me, just loving me through all this, even after all this time. And I will never be able to repay you for that, I know. I just hope that you know how much I appreciate you and your love and how I know this is the chance of a lifetime getting to be with you and our beautiful baby girl. I love you so much. And I’m so sorry.”

Oliver looks at her, “You know you’re wrong about something- there may be one thing you can do to repay me…”

“I’m all ears.” Melanie says, her eyes fixated on Oliver’s.

“Marry me?” he repeats.

“Does that mean you forgive me?”

“Even though there’s nothing to forgive, I know you, and you won’t stop until I say yes, so yes, I forgive you. Now will you marry me already?” he says his lips inching towards hers.

 “You don’t think it’d be like adding fuel to the fire, we’re already so exhausted. Adding wedding planning to the list…”

“I think it’s only right, we’ve got our baby girl, got a beautiful new house, the only thing missing is- the little idea of you finally becoming my wife.” (He kisses her)

“Are you sure you’re ready to deal with me every single day for the rest of your life?” she says looking up at him.

“Do you just not wanna marry me?” he says laughing.

“Stop it, I would marry you right now, in these sweat pants and this old Penn State t-shirt that has your daughter’s spit up all over it, if it meant that I could be your wife.”

“So then what’s stopping us?”

“I don’t know, nothing really. I just- I don’t wanna miss a thing with Molly, these are her first few weeks on earth, everything is just so new, and-”

“You’re a good mom, you know that right?”

Melanie shrugs.

“I try.”

“You don’t have to try, it’s just in your nature. Molly’s lucky to have you.”

“Hmmm,” she smiles, nuzzling into his neck “I needed to hear that.”

Oliver smiles.

“You know we make one hell of team, but she’s already obsessed with you, I can already tell,” Melanie says her eyes rolling.

“What, how?”

“You’re the only one she laughs and smiles for.”

“Are you jealous?”

“A little bit,” she says looking up at him with a grin. “Although I have to admit watching you with her, makes my heart burst, it’s everything.”

Oliver cups her face, and kisses her, laying her back into the pillows on the couch.

“Oliver, Baby… I smell like formula, let me shower first,” Melanie says.

“Mm mm,” he says shaking his head no-continuing to kiss her.

“Ollie,” she says laughing as he kisses her neck.

“You in my old college t-shirt…yea it works for me, (he says his eyebrows raise as he smirks,  Melanie laughs) You could be wearing rags and I wouldn’t care.”

“Oh well that’s good, because this begs some resemblance to rags that’s for sure.”

He laughs.

“It’s ok you won’t be wearing it for long.” He says lifting the t-shirt up over her head, tossing it to the side, as she laughs, she wraps her legs and arms around him as he kisses her.

couch-cuddles-2

“Marry me?” he whispers again.

“When? And Where?” she says smiling up at him.

He smirks going in for another kiss as he reaches over into the draw of the end table.

He opens a familiar little red velvet box and Melanie’s heart beat quickens.

“I think it’s time this ring is home, where it’s always belonged, don’t you think?” 

Melanie nods quickly, tears falling down her cheeks.

Oliver smiles as he takes her hand, and slides the ring on her finger.

“Oh god, you still make my heart race, feel,” she says laughing as she takes his hand and places  it on her chest.

“That makes two of us, ” he says placing her free hand over his heart.  (Cupping her face, he kisses her passionately, as they slide back into laying on the couch.)

“That ring looks sexy on you.” 

Melanie smiles as she kisses him.

“So do you,” she whispers against his lips. 

Oliver smirks as he deepens the kiss.

 

*The conclusion of Welcome Home COMING SOON!

 

*I do not take credit for images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

 

“She Said” Update

Hey Readers!

When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure how people would react to it- strangers reading my work? How…strange.

But recently a few things have popped up regarding a monologue I posted two years ago.

She Said was posted on September 1, 2014.

she-said-cheat-said

The inspiration for it simply came from just getting in the mindset of someone who had just had their heart handed to them. And what they would be feeling.

I want to say sometime last year, I got a message from a woman asking me for some background info about “She” because she had used my monologue for an audition into an acting school of some sorts. I tried to get some information out of her, because I wanted to know more about what the situation was before providing original work to a stranger. But unfortunately she never responded.

Needless to say within the last few days, I received a new message from a guy by the name Omar Salgado about this same monologue. He said he was inspired to create a vimeo video based off of it. And I thought it was really cool and wanted to share it.

This led to him linking a dramatic reading of my monologue. One he used as the audio for his piece above- read by a woman by the name, Eva Augustina Sinotte. I didn’t even know this existed on YouTube! I wonder if she was the woman who contacted me. Her emotion is on point!

Seeing people respond to my work, in their own creative ways is really something cool and surreal. I hear my words and see them mirror the story I created and it is truly a super weird feeling. Don’t get me wrong I am flattered, but it’s crazy that these things were being made, and I had no clue! I’m thankful that Omar reached out to me and gave me credit. I got to see that people can be inspired by something I’ve written. I can only hope this is the first of many inspirations to come.

The internet man, what a trip! 

The journey does continue…On September 2, 2014-a day later, I posted He Said, She Said.

This time you get to see the conversation between both She and He.

Enjoy!

 

*I do not take credit for the images used in my edits or in the videos used.*

-<3-