PJ, my writing companion
PJ, my writing companion
I gaze into horizon and see hope
Many ask why
I see hope I tell them
Because love resides within
But they argue we only see hate
We see distraction and chaos
We see where once happiness took place
To be a place where Tartarus came to claim lives worth living
Touch my PULSE I demand
Do you feel the rhythm
That’s the hope I’m propagating about
As long as there is a heart beating on this planet
And humans walk on rainbow canvas hope will always exists
With the power to reunite even the non-believers
Elizabeth Noble: Leto Of The Ionian Sea By Maria Siopis
Elizabeth Noble: Leto Of The Ionian Sea By Maria Siopis
Today I welcome Maria Siopis, one of the contributing authors to the Resist and Triumph charity anthology.
Maria Siopis: Elizabeth, thank you for hosting me on your blog.
It is a great honor to be involved in an anthology that propagates equality, and points out some of the ills of our society that have the potential to destroy what we have accomplished the last decade. There are nine remarkable stories, and nine unique voices in the anthology that effortlessly came together to Resist and Triumph. My story, Leto of the Ionian Sea, was conceived as soon as I typed a few words but I stopped as my brain frantically progressed forward in a speed that scared me. Was it possible to have a story constructed in its entirety in a mere minutes? Of course, I obsessed and overanalyzed it to make sense of this strange occurrence. I had never created a story before without laborious work.
Was it fear that forced my brain to produce the story or was it some type of chemical imbalance? It was pure, dark and malicious fear that filled me with insecurities and sent my mental balance into a tailspin. I feared that our democracy was on the verge of catastrophic collapse, and people had to voice their opposition. I did. My character, Leto, did too, who stood with powerful force to object her land’s law. Was she successful? Perhaps not, as her voice was lost in the millions of others who believed otherwise. Yet, one person, one voice, one opposition is all it takes to make a difference. Below is an excerpt where Leto overcomes her fears and shouts her declaration of freedom:
Her chest got tight and she was unable to breath, but her mind was clear. She realized that she had to resist in what was known to her, and even change the laws. She wouldn’t marry any of the suitors, she would free the slaves, and people would be equal. She got up and stopped the fight ignoring her mother behind her who tried to silence her. She told the spectators about her and Melpo, the idea of equality, and the creation of a free state. Yet, no one applauded her noble notions. Two guards grabbed her arms and pulled her back under her mother’s command. Leto couldn’t understand why people didn’t embrace her ideas.
She tried to free herself of the tight grasp but she was unable to do so. They forced her off the stage with her mother behind her who instructed them to take her to the dungeons where the slave was. Her own mother betrayed her, but she didn’t mind. She would see Melpo again. She had been in the dark and wet cells not long ago when she bribed the guards, but now it felt different.
The gates opened and closed and they continued progressing deep inside the earth. It was cold, and the torches on the wall created images that terrified her.
Blurb of the anthology:
As 2017 opened, the United States took several steps back in the progress toward equality. In response, a group of authors has stepped up to offer positive stories of hope and love. In an effort to help fight and support those groups who are facing even greater challenges, we wrote these stories to offer a small amount of aid.
Stories of hope, resistance, and ultimately triumph fill the pages of this anthology.
All proceeds of the anthology go to The Trevor Project and GLAAD to help fight the effects of the dark times we’re facing.
Meet & Connect with Maria Siopis
Maria Siopis possesses a MPA in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. She completed her dissertation, “Avian Influenza (H5N1): The Doctrine of Social Disassociation, Quarantine, and Emergency Preparedness,” in 2006 tackling a non-fictional theme. Other than writing she obsesses over climatic or manmade catastrophes and continuously attempts to conceptualize needed actions. Her first novel, The World That Will Never Be, was published in 2017. The author lives in New York and is currently working on her second novel, The Music Hall of Dreams which will be released late in 2018.
Full article: www.elizabeth-noble.com
Fiona Mcvie: Q&A with Maria Siopis
Fiona Mcvie: Q&A with Maria Siopis
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Maria Siopis. Age is just a number. I act like I am 12, yet I am 50.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Northern part of Greece but New York is my home.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I completed my master’s degree in 2007 in Emergency and Disaster Management hoping to make a difference when a catastrophic event strikes whether it is manmade or climatic. However, fictional writing is my passion, and has been from an early age. Nevertheless, I spend countless hours writing about mitigating, preparing, responding, and lastly recovering from a disaster. My thesis tackled the possibility of a pandemic and necessary actions to prevent a worldwide catastrophe. A bit of a boring subject. I prefer to write fiction because it is not real and the outcome can be a “happily ever after”. I am in a relationship and I have a dog named PJ as Pure Joy.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My debut novel, The World That Will Never Be, was published in September of 2017 but you can expect more in the near future. My newest WIP is almost completed and published sometime in 2018.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Writing is a calling, at least for me, and I began very early composing short stories. Although, I knew deep inside that I had to satisfy this need it took me many years to gather the courage to do it.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still don’t believe that I am a writer. How can I possibly consider myself an author when I come across so many other writers who have reached greatness with their work.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The need to write was always there but I lacked inspiration, and when it came, it was the most amazing feeling I experienced in my life. I was watching the news one night, something that I don’t usually do, and the news journalist was reporting a hate crime where the victim sustained life threatening injuries. That was the moment that defined my life, and the conception of my first novel was born. By the way I have not stopped writing ever since.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
In my novel I created a brand new world with new rules and that would never happen thus the title: The World That Will Never Be.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I tend to be omnipresent in all my characters, but I learned to stay with only one to avoid confusion. My first impulse is, of course, to invade the characters’ heads and extract everything that they are thinking and expose them. However, after much deliberation I keep their thoughts safe until it’s time for them to utter their inner feelings.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The book is fictional, the inspiration is real, and I’ll be deceitful if I do not declare that my personal experiences didn’t influence the way the book is written.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I didn’t have to travel for my first book. Perhaps in the future.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. I would like to provide a direct quote from my book where two of the main characters meet to discuss how they can make this world better:
The next two hours became the beginning of the world that ought to be, where prejudice and persecution for being different were notions of the past. All was erased. The future was wide open for both of them, and as they observed the outside through the windows, they saw a divine world unfolding in front of them. They heard the tube pass by, and they smiled, but they never spoke about it. One thing was certain: that change was coming as fast as the traveling tube’s speed, and that was enough for both of them.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
They are way too many to mention, but each one is unique.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My family was my biggest supporter. I don’t recall an organization or entity that helped me become a published author other than the publishing company and the editors involved in my project. I’m grateful to Shadoe Publishing and my two editors Nicola Markus and Dale Lowry.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
No. It will remain a hobby.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes, I’ll probably have less sex scenes because I’m horrible at describing the sexual interaction between my characters.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned a lot about the editing process and the production of a book, but most importantly I experienced firsthand the joy of being published.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Never, never give up. Keep all the rejection letters to remind you of your efforts and disappointments, and frame the congratulatory ones from the publisher who was willing to give you a chance.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
To forgive me if I didn’t meet their expectations with my work.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Journey to the Crown by Maymi Alicea
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yes. I will never forget it. The Entity by Frank DeFelitta. Terrifying book but loved it.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Both family and friends make me laugh and cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Emile Zola. I love his novels because they are about human nature.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Unfortunately, I have way too many hobbies and I find myself stressing to complete my projects.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Son of Anarchy.
Cheese romantic movies – Hallmark Channel.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Pasta, red, pop.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Protect people from catastrophes, and most likely work for FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I prefer cremation, and my ashes scattered at sea, but if I had a head stone:
Live well above when you come under is dark and cold.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Music Of The Heart – Chapter One: Backstage
Music Of The Heart – Chapter One: Backstage
THE ENORMOUS KING bed with the white sheets and the duvet cover was in total disarray that morning. It was not unusual. Danielle McCormack had lovers in her bed as often as she pleased, and particularly when she met interesting people. She never encountered any resistance, and her name in the music industry made everything simpler. Today her companion was a blonde woman who was sleeping on her stomach with Danielle’s arm wrapped around her waist. The sheet covered half of their bodies, leaving the upper part exposed. They appeared perfectly still, as if captured on canvas by an artist. They both blended harmoniously on the platform of the bed. Danielle opened her eyes first, pulled her head off the soft pillow to peer at the clock on the night stand, and then she let her head rest on the pillow again with no urgent need to get up.
“Love, I have to go,” she said to her companion after a while and kissed her bare back. She tried to recall her name, but she failed. She had no recollection of the night before. Of course she remembered the love making part, but all other unimportant details like the girl’s name were gone. She was very attractive, and that pleased her more than anything else. Danielle did not particularly care who she fucked; as long as the person was good looking with delicious curves, she was willing to engage. In her adult life, no one refused her, man or a woman, and she had plenty of both.
Her father, Frank, was a traditionalist and often voiced his opinion of her relations that lasted a couple months at most. He even threatened that his fortune would end up in a charity if she continued to defy him. She promised him that one day she would satisfy his traditional ways by marrying a suitable man, but for now she wanted to explore life. Danielle won every argument she had with her father by placing a kiss on his cheek.
“Thank you for a wonderful night. You are incredible,” Danielle whispered in her ear. She kissed her again and got up as the woman turned to face her.
“Are you really going?” she asked, half asleep.
“Yes, I am, but leave me your number. I would love to see you again,” Danielle replied as she walked into the bathroom. She reached into the shower, turned the knob, and waited for a few seconds before she went in. She placed her palms on the wall and she let the water roll of her back feeling every drop caressing her body. The warm diaphanous droplets moved down creating an erotic sensation that begun in a slow and torturous way to emerge.
“Do you care for company?” The beautiful girl appeared at the open glass door of the shower. Danielle smiled at her and offered her hand.
“Love, I was totally fucked up last night so please forgive me but I can’t remember your name.” She had to ask even if she sounded like a complete idiot.
“I guess I did not rock your world, otherwise you would remember my name,” the girl replied as she hugged her from behind. The girl’s hands caressed Danielle’s wet skin and slowly reached her nipples with the tips of her fingers.
“On the contrary. That’s why I would like to know your name.”
“Alex,” she said as she softly brushed her lips on Danielle’s shoulder.
Danielle turned to engulf Alex’s body with her arms, and kissed the girl’s lips. If she had time she would do her again, but she was already late, and her father would not be pleased. She hushed the sensation that began to materialize again deep inside.
“I would love to stay right here and do things to you that are unthinkable but I really got to go, Alex.”
“I want to see you again.”
“Sure, I’ll call you if you give me your phone number. Now get out,” she said playfully as she softly pushed her out and closed the door.
An hour later she was on her way to the office that she shared with her father. She had to come up with an excuse for her delay, but she decided to use the old tactic that never failed her.
She took the elevator to the sublevel where her black Porsche was parked and entered her car. She checked her makeup one last time, and satisfied to see that they were no signs of smudged mascara she pressed the button to start the engine. She took Fifth Avenue south and hit every red light on her way. She cursed under her breath but there was nothing she could do to speed things up. She looked at the traffic in front of her, totally immersed in her own thoughts. Alex preoccupied her mind, and it was a bit strange since she never spent any of her mental capacities recalling her lovers. Of course, if she sensed that there was more than sexual attraction, she would break it off.
She reached the building where Omega Media was located and parked across the street. The guys in the parking garage knew her well so she did not have to tell them her time of departure. She left the car engine on as she exited the vehicle and waved at Diego who was already progressing toward her. She walked up the steep ramp of the garage and crossed the street.
The building was old but it certainly had charm. The façade and windows had columns like the ones in ancient temples. She wished she paid attention in class because she was certain they were more than few styles. The only one stuck in her brain was Ionian, but she could not remember anything else. She lowered her gaze and entered the building. The security desk was located almost at the very end of the lobby, but before the bank of elevators. There were two vases, one on each side of the desk with breath-taking colorful bouquets. Lilies, doffodils, folded green leaves, and her preferred flower, white gazania were in display. She traversed the immense lobby, her high heels clicking on the marble floor, the sound echoing in the lobby, and stopped at the security desk. She usually bypassed it after acknowledging the guards, but today she could not resist. The white gazania with its purple strokes was calling her to touch and feel it. That was a bit melodramatic hovering over the flower caressing it as, if indeed, was alive, she thought.
The elevator opened to the tenth floor. On the wall across the hall, Omega Media was inscribed. She placed her hand on the golden handle and felt the cold surface as she pulled the glass door to enter.
“Your father is looking for you,” the receptionist announced urgently, but Danielle disregarded it.
“How are you doing this fine morning?”
“You better go and see him. He is not happy,” the receptionist replied instead.
Danielle ignored the suggestion and went to her office that was only a couple of doors before her father’s. She had to settle in, first, turn her computer on, check her calendar, and retrieve her messages. She placed her purse on the couch by the window and sat down. There was nothing urgent on the calendar except the visit of her new signee, a remarkable voice and a victory for her label. When she was ready, she got up, walked down the hallway, and entered her father’s office. He was signing papers wearing his signature reading black frame glasses, and his bold head reflected the lights from above. She approached him, placed a kiss on his cheek, and sat across from him.
“You are late. What happened? I taught you better than that.”
“I know, Dad. I had a late night. I went to the concert at Madison Square Garden. I had to be there; it was Gregory’s first appearance at the venue.”
“How was he? Was it packed?”
“He was excellent. Sold out. Next time you and mom have to come.”
“We are too old for concerts.”
“Oh, Dad, stop it. I think you need a compliment. You really want me to say how great you look.” She got up, hugged him from behind the chair, and kissed the top of his bold head. She could smell his cologne that was dynamic and sexual, but she erased the thought. She did not desire to visualize her father as such. He was a handsome man, of course, she loved him more than anyone else, and shouldn’t let her mind trail into unfamiliar territory that only made her uncomfortable. She eased her embrace as another thought stroke her and made her frown like a sad emoji. She would never disappoint him and she would fulfill his wishes or expectations. She try to conceal her relations with women to the best of her abilities, yet the news hit his desk periodically. Danielle diffused them, telling him that the reports were inaccurate or that it was a transient relation that meant nothing. She had had relationships with men, yet she enjoyed women more because of the intensity which she felt every damn time. One day, she knew, she would be forced to accept her father’s demands and get married to a man, but until that day came, she would taste every woman who crossed her path. She walked around again in front of his desk pushing down the dark thoughts.
“What time are you leaving tomorrow?”
“Very late. I will stop by tonight to see mom.”
“Why Greece? It’s so far.”
“It’s only nine hours away Dad. It’s not far. I always wanted to visit, and I need a vacation. You have me working non-stop. I haven’t gone anywhere the past two years. I know that I had to learn the business, but I definitely need a break from all of it.”
“You can come with us.”
“I love you both, you know that, but I need to be somewhere new.” She looked at him and detected concern on his face. “My assistant is coming with me.”
“Yes. I will be okay, Dad. See you tonight,” she said as she made her way out. She understood her father’s over-protectiveness, since she was the only child, but at times it was unwarranted. She was twenty-seven and she had lived all by herself since after college. She was capable of taking care of herself. If the paparazzi left her alone, her father would be oblivious of her life style. Yet every little detail about her was out in the open, and no one could shelter her. She only hoped that last night’s adventures were not captured in pictures.
She met Alex backstage when she was wishing Gregory luck, and she instantly felt the attraction. Danielle gazed at her and the girl had everything she wanted in a woman. She admired her black, sleeveless dress that emphasized every curve, and her long, blonde hair covered her exposed back in a very sexy way. Danielle made her mind up in an instant. She was taking her home with her. She walked over to introduce herself.
“I know who you are,” the girl responded.
“Should I be thrilled or terrified?”
“Well, I’m not disappointed in meeting you.”
“Then that calls for a drink to celebrate.”
They had more than one glass of wine, and Danielle knew how to be charming, particularly when she felt the attraction, so she kissed the girl. Backstage anything was possible; Danielle saw it unfolding in front of her too many times. She was familiar with the excitement, and the passion hidden behind the curtains. Danielle placed her hands on the girl’s waist, pulled her closer, and she asked her to follow her to her place. The girl obeyed. Danielle felt good to have this beautiful girl pinned underneath her, giving her what she craved most; the best fuck done by another woman.