Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing


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I’ll Remember It – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

Jen sat at the table in the little coffee shop, her laptop sitting open in front of her, the colorful ribbons of its screensaver dancing across the monitor. She sipped her cappuccino as she watched the people sitting around her for a minute. Then she sat the mug down and tapped a key on the laptop to wake it up.

She opened a Word document and sat staring at it, her fingers poised to write something. But her fingers never moved. She just stared at the blank document and the blinking cursor patiently waiting for her.

She sat like that for a few minutes until she finally released a groan, slid her hands from the laptop and slumped back in her chair.

Her friend Riley came into the coffee shop at just that moment and spotted her. She called out to Jen and joined her at table.

“What’s up?” Riley asked. “You sounded so chipper on the phone the morning. Now you look…defeated.”

“I could just kick myself,” Jen muttered.

Riley raised a questioning eyebrow.

Jen sat up and grabbed her cappuccino. “I told you woke up with a great story idea, right?” Riley nodded and Jen took a sip before continuing. “Well, I was rushing around this morning, and I didn’t bother to make a note of the idea. I thought it was such a great idea that I’d be sure to remember it.”

Jen paused and Riley picked up the tale. “And when you got here and tried to start writing, you couldn’t remember the idea.”

Jen nodded.

Riley gave her head a small shake. “That’s why I keep telling you to make a note when you have a good idea, Jen. We’re just lying to ourselves if we think we don’t need to write it down.” Jen heaved a sigh and Riley continued. “But don’t feel so bad, Jen. It happens to us all. Even me. That’s why I keep reminding you.”

Jen gave her a small smile. “Thanks, Riley. Keep on reminding me, will you?” She raised her hand to signal to a waitress as she asked Riley, “Can I get you a cappuccino?”

(This meme is from Pinterest)

This relatable post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “make a note”:

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Zero, Zip, Zilch – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

As I’m sitting here, sipping on my Coke Zero Sugar, I’m trying to think of something creative, some sort of short little story to write for this prompt like I usually do. But I’m having trouble thinking of anything. No good ideas are coming to me.

Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Maybe just a brief flash of a possible scene. But not enough to build something on.

I think my tank of creative juices must be sitting close to zero right now. Looks like I’m going to have to try to do something to refill it.

Maybe I’ll try to take care of something around the house to see if I can get the creative juices flowing that way.

Or maybe if I try writing on my work in progress, I’ll have better luck coming up with something.

Or maybe I’ll just read a book instead to try to get the juices going.

I don’t know. But I’ll think of something.

Having zero creative ideas sure does stink sometimes when you’re a writer.


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “zip, zero, zilch”:


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Yummy Yum Yum – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

I suppose you could consider me a “foodie”. I enjoy yummy, delicious foods and am usually willing to try new dishes (as long as they’re not too spicy, since spicy doesn’t agree with me much anymore). And I do enjoy cooking and baking and trying out new recipes. When I started using a crock pot and an air fryer (both of which I really enjoy using) I went looking for recipes and came across the website and app Yummly, and I really like it. I have found so many recipes on there that I have saved, and many that I have used frequently, like a crock pot lasagna, air fryer pork chops, air fryer chicken breasts, easy Korean ground beef, chicken parmesan, ….. I don’t know if I will be able to get through and try all the recipes I have saved, though. And there are so many other recipes on the site to look through and being added every day, that I’m sure the number of saved recipes I have will keep growing. And since I don’t have a big family to cook for, I’m always looking for simple, easy recipes, and Yummly hasn’t disappointed me yet.

Because I do have a sweet tooth, I like to bake, and frequently make brownies, cakes, pies, and cookies (but not from scratch – I’m not that good!) And because I’m a chocoholic, often the cakes, cookies, and pies are chocolate. For Christmas, I made sugar cookies and snickerdoodles, which of course were yummy. I would have made more things, but I didn’t have the time.

I fixed my first glazed spiral sliced ham yesterday for Christmas. I’ve fixed hams before, but had never glazed one before. Thankfully it turned out well and the brown sugar glaze was quite yummy.

I hope everyone enjoyed a yummy Christmas dinner and yummy Christmas desserts yesterday, too.

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This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “yum”:


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Distress – Tuesday Use It In A Sentence #tuesdayuseitinasentence

He was walking home when he heard the faint cries of a cat in distress coming from a nearby park. Curious and worried, he followed the sound to a tree. Looking around, he spotted a scared kitten stuck on a low branch. He hadn’t climbed a tree in a long time, but the kitten’s plaintive cries spurred him into action. He climbed up and grabbed the kitten, then carefully made his way back down. As he reached the ground, he gave thanks that he was able to rescue the kitten and that he hadn’t had to climb very far. Otherwise, there might have been two creatures stuck up the tree in distress.

This post is part of the Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt, “distress”:

https://stephaniecolpron.wordpress.com/2021/11/30/tuesdayuseitinasentence-distress/


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Zealous – Tuesday Use It In A Sentence #tuesdayuseitinasentence

She hadn’t been in a festive mood and hadn’t done any decorating all season, causing her neighbors to start calling her Scrooge. But when her soldier husband called the day before Christmas Eve and said he would be able to come home for Christmas after all, she was zealous in her efforts to get all the decorating done.

This day-late post is part of the Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt, “zealous”:

https://stephaniecolpron.wordpress.com/2021/11/24/tuesdayuseitinasentence-zealous/


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Welcome Spring

The sun is shining.

The air is warm.

Birds are singing.

Flowers are blooming.

The dark and cold

Of Winter

Is leaving

As the light and warmth

Of Spring

Is arriving,

Bringing with it

The promise

Of new life

And new hope.

Welcome Spring

With open arms

And embrace its

Promises to us.


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In The Misty Moonlight – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

socs-badge-2019-2020

In the misty moonlight, Aryn crouched on the rooftop and watched the building across the street. She wondered what she’d been thinking when she’d accepted the job. She’d been told it was a house that she’d have to break into. Except this huge building was no house. It was a mansion. The large building and its surrounding land took up at least half the block on that side of the street. And there were practically no trees, just some bushes and flower gardens. So she didn’t have anything to hide behind if she tried to sneak up. 

Aryn watched as a pair of armed guards patrolled the outside of the mansion. She frowned as she tried to think. How was she going to get inside? The moonlight might be misty but it was still a full moon, so there was still plenty of light for her to been by the guards. Why, oh why, the young girl wondered, couldn’t her client have waited a few more days, so the moon wouldn’t be quite as bright? She understood how important the item they wanted her to get for them was, but surely a few more days wouldn’t hurt, would it?

The sound of horses clopping along the street reached Aryn, and she looked to see a carriage approaching the mansion from her left. Perfect! she thought. She quickly and quietly slipped down from roof. Keeping low to the ground, she ran up and jumped onto the back of the carriage as it turned onto the road leading up the mansion.

The carriage came to a stop in front of the mansion and the armed guards approached to talk with the driver and the occupants. While they were occupied, Aryn slid from the back of the carriage and quietly darted around to the side of the mansion. She paused to make sure she hadn’t been spotted, then crept along to the back of the mansion. There she found the servants entrance door. She checked it and found it locked, as she’d expected given the lateness of the night.

She pulled her cloth-wrapped lock picking tools from the leather pouch on her waist and got to work. Within moments, she heard the click of the lock. She put the tools away, quietly opened the door, and slipped inside. 

After giving herself a few seconds to let her eyes adjust, Aryn closed the door and softly crept across the kitchen floor to the main area of the mansion, in search of the item she’d been hired to steal. 


Aryn is a character I used once before on Stream of Consciousness Saturday. You can read it here.

And in case I gave anyone an earworm, here’s the Dean Martin song by the same name:


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “-sty”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 27, 2021

 


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Object – Tuesday Use It In A Sentence #tuesdayuseitinasentence

His heart raced as he knelt and gazed up at the object of his affection, at the woman who had won his heart, and as he pulled out the small object she’d noticed hidden in his pocket, he hoped she would not object to the question he was about to ask.

This post is part of the Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt, “object”:

https://stephaniecolpron.wordpress.com/2021/01/12/tuesdayuseitinasentence-object/#like-5890


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Karma – a romantic holiday short story

With the Christmas holidays here and New Year’s coming up, I thought I’d share again this short story that I wrote a while back that’s set at New Year’s. It’s one of my few non-fantasy stories. This is a cute little romantic story and involves a kitten. I’ve also been playing with the idea, for a while, of possibly turning it into a novel. Feel free to let me know what you think of that idea. Anyway, enjoy the story 🙂

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“Karma”

“Is it ever going to stop raining?” complained the pretty redheaded woman in her early thirties standing by the front window of the little bookstore. She heaved a sigh and watched as people and vehicles passed by outside in the late afternoon, rushing to get to their destinations before the stores closed early for New Year’s Eve. It had snowed for Christmas, but rain had moved in the next day and had hung around for the rest of the week, washing away all traces of the white Christmas and dampening Julianna’s spirits.

The only child of a wealthy New York businessman and his socialite wife, Julianna had eventually grown jaded with that haughty lifestyle, and when her parents died in a freak car accident, she took her inheritance and moved away so she could start a new life. She found this little town, fell in love with it, and decided to settle there. That had only been a couple of months ago.

“It should clear up by tonight, if the weatherman is right,” said a slightly older brunette woman with short hair from a step stool behind the checkout counter where she was taking down a red and green HAPPY HOLIDAYS sign from the wall. “Just in time for the party, too. You’re coming, right, Jules?”

“I don’t know, Liza,” Julianna replied. “I really don’t know anyone here yet. I’d feel really awkward.”

Liza climbed down from the stool and walked over to stand beside Julianna and place a friendly hand on her shoulder. “You should come, Jules. It’ll be good for you, the new kid in town, to get out and meet new people.” Julianna turned to face Liza, who winked at her as she added, “Who knows, you might even make a new friend.”

Julianna got the feeling that Liza was trying to play matchmaker, and started to turn down the invitation. She had just gotten out of a bad relationship, only a couple of weeks before her parents had died, and was really not in the mood to start up another relationship just yet. But Liza looked so happy that she hated to disappoint the only friend she had made since moving there. “All right,” she said. “I’ll go. Eight o’clock at the Blue Room, right?”

Beaming a smile, Liza nodded. “Great! Don’t worry, Jules. You’ll have a good time. I promise. Now let’s hurry up and finish cleaning so we can lock up and go home and get ready.” She walked back behind the checkout counter and bent down behind it. A moment later, she stood back up and held a red and yellow polka dot umbrella out to Julianna. “Here. Take this and take out the trash, will you?”

* * *

With the open umbrella in one small hand and a trash bag in the other, Julianna walked out the back door of the bookstore and crossed the alley to the Dumpster. No sooner had she dumped the trash and closed the lid than she felt something bump against her leg. Looking down, she saw a little ginger tabby kitten beside her foot. It looked up at her with big brown eyes and let out a tiny little meow, then wound itself between her legs, brushing up against them as much as possible. Julianna smiled and picked up the kitten. It purred in her hand and licked her finger, its small pink tongue barely feeling rough against her skin.

Julianna giggled. “Well, aren’t you just a sweet boy. You’re alone and you don’t have a collar, so I’m guessing you must be an orphan, huh? And I’ll bet you’re hungry, too. Well, little fellow, I’ll tell you what. Let’s go inside where it’s warm and get you something to eat. I think I have some tuna left over from lunch that you can have.”

* * *

“Oh, he’s adorable!” cooed Liza when Julianna showed her the kitten after she had dried him off and given him something to eat. She reached out to pet the tiny cat’s head. “Are you going to keep him? I know you’ve been talking about getting a pet because you’ve been feeling lonely, living in that big house by yourself.”

“I think I will. He’s so sweet, and he seems to like me.”

“What will you name him, then?”

Julianna thought for a moment. “How about Karma? It seems fitting, since it was like fate brought us together, what with me needing a pet and him needing someone to care for him.”

Liza smiled. “Karma, huh? That’s a cute name. I like it. Karma the cat.”

Julianna held the kitten up so she could look it in the face. He purred as they looked at each other, and placed a small paw on the tip of her nose. “That’s it, then,” she told him with a smile. “Your name is Karma.”

The kitten sneezed suddenly, and its nose began to run. Julianna frowned and felt its nose pad. “His nose is a bit warm,” she told Liza. “I think he may be getting sick. I’d better get him to a vet.”

“There’s a new one that just opened recently nearby. If you hurry you might get there before it closes. Don’t worry about locking up. There’s not much left to do. I can finish it. Let me know later how it goes, all right?”

“Thanks, Liza. I’ll do that. Where’s the vet?”

* * *

Julianna parked her red Volvo by the glass front door of the small red brick building that housed the vet’s office just as a tall, dark-haired man in a white doctor’s coat was locking the door. Julianna picked up Karma from the passenger’s seat, grabbed her purse and umbrella, and somehow managed to get out of her car and open the umbrella without dropping anything. The man just stood at the door and watched her.

“Please, don’t lock up yet!” she called to him from beneath her umbrella. “You’re the veterinarian, right? I need your help. I think my kitten might be getting sick.”

The man looked at her a moment, gave her a quick nod, then unlocked the door and opened it for her. “You’re lucky, miss,” he said in a strong, deep voice as she and Karma entered the foyer. As Julianna worked to close her umbrella, he turned the lights back on. “A minute later, and you would have had to look for another vet.”

“I’m glad I made it,” Julianna said. “Can you take a look at my kitten? I think he might be catching a cold or something. I found him out in the rain by the Dumpster where I work. I don’t know how long he’d been there.”

“You found him? So I take it you’ve adopted him, since you’ve been calling him ‘my kitten’.”

“Yes, that’s right. I decided to keep him. I’d been considering getting a pet, and when I saw him, well…” She shrugged.

“Quite understandable. He’s certainly cute. And may I add that it’s also a kind and noble gesture on your part. Well, let’s go in the back and take a look at him, Miss…I’m sorry. What’s your name?”

“Julianna. Julianna Fairchild.”

He held out a hand, and Julianna grasped it and shook it briefly. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Fairchild,” he said. “I’m Dr. Jonathan Forth.” Julianna took a good look at him for the first time, and noticed that he was about her age, maybe a year or two older, and was rather attractive, with beautiful green eyes. His voice was rather nice, too, she thought.

The doctor led Julianna to an examination room where she placed Karma on the metal examining table. Dr. Forth looked the kitten over and took its temperature.

“He’s certainly a very cute kitten, Miss Fairchild,” he told her. “Very sweet tempered, too. What did you name him?”

“Karma. And please, call me Julianna.”

“Karma? That’s cute. And fitting, too, I suppose, considering the circumstances of how you found him, Julianna.”

“Yes. That’s why I picked it. It was like fate had brought us together.”

The doctor gave her an appraising look. “Do you believe in fate? In karma?”

“I never really thought about it before, but I suppose I do.”

“I’ve never really been one to believe in it, myself, being a man of science and all.”

Julianna raised an eyebrow. “You don’t believe in fate? So, you’re saying you’ve never had any experiences that you could attribute to fate?”

He shrugged his shoulder nonchalantly. “Oh, I’ve experienced coincidences before, of course, but nothing that I would call fate or karma.”

Julianna shook her head. “What a pity. I wonder if there is anything I could do to change that.”

“Sorry. Nothing comes to mind.”

“Oh, don’t worry.” She gave him a wry smile. “I’ll think of something.”

He returned her smile. “Thanks for the warning,” he said sarcastically.

“I understand your practice is fairly new here?”

“That’s right. I just moved here and started my practice a couple of months ago.”

“Really? I’m new here, too. I moved here a couple of months ago, also.”

“What a coincidence.”

Julianna and the doctor looked at each other in silence for a moment, then down at Karma.

“So, how’s Karma? ” Julianna finally asked.

“He’s running a very slightly high temperature,” Dr. Forth replied, somewhat relieved with the subject change, “but otherwise he seems all right. I’d say it’s just a small cold. I’ll give him a shot of antibiotics to ward off anything worse. You’ll have to make sure he gets plenty of food, water, and rest. And he’ll eventually need to be thoroughly checked over and get his vaccinations. But one thing at a time. Let me give you my card. It has my home and cell phone numbers. You can call me tomorrow to let me know how he’s doing.”

“Okay,” she said with a smile. “Thanks.”

Dr. Forth took Karma through the other door in the room to the back laboratory for the shot, then brought him back to Julianna. He then led Julianna and her kitten back up front to the foyer, where he gave her a business card then opened the door for her. As Julianna looked out, she noticed with relief that it had stopped raining at last. She turned back to the doctor. “Aren’t you going to charge me for the visit?” she asked him.

“No. It’s on the house. Consider it a late Christmas present. Or if you like, a ‘welcome to the neighborhood’ gift.”

Julianna blinked, then smiled. “Well, all right. If you’re sure about it. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” Julianna turned to walk out the door but was called back by the doctor’s hesitant voice.

“Oh, uh, Julianna?”

“Yes?”

“I’m going to a New Year’s Eve party tonight. Would…would you like to go with me?”

Julianna stared at him, surprised, and couldn’t answer for a moment. She liked him, thought he was rather nice, and would like to get to know him better, but… “I’m sorry,” she said with a sad smile. “I’d like to go with you, but I’m already going to a party.”

“Oh,” he said simply, a small frown of disappointment crossing his face. “Well, I guess I’ll see you around then. It was nice to meet you.”

“Likewise. I hope you have a good time tonight. Bye.”

Dr. Forth stood in the doorway and watched as Julianna got in her red Volvo with Karma and drove off.

* * *

Julianna, in an emerald green evening gown, sat at a far table in the Blue Room’s ballroom by herself, nursing her second glass of red wine and watching the New Year’s revelers chitchatting and dancing. She was bored. She had been there for about two hours, and nothing really exciting had happened. Liza had kept her company for a little while at first, but Julianna had finally managed to talk her into going out onto the floor to mingle and have some fun. A few acquaintances, mostly people she had met at the bookstore, had stopped by to say hello and chat for a minute. And she had been asked to dance half a dozen times, but she had turned them all down, claiming a sprained ankle. But she was really just not interested in any of them. She knew she probably should have accepted for appearance’s sake to make Liza happy, but she just couldn’t stop thinking about the veterinarian, Dr. Forth, and wishing she had accepted his invitation.

After another hour, another glass of wine, and declining three more dance invitations, Julianna was ready to go home. The clock had just chimed eleven when Liza, in a shimmering dark blue gown, approached her table. A tall, dark-haired man in a tuxedo was behind her with his head down so that Julianna could not tell who it was.

“Jules,” said Liza with a big grin as she stopped at the table. “I have a surprise for you. This guy is a friend of mine. He’s been dying to talk to you all evening, but couldn’t pluck up the nerve. I finally talked him into coming over. I think you might know him. He certainly seems to know you.”

At that, the man lifted his head and looked at Julianna, who gasped. “Dr. Forth!” she exclaimed.

“Please, call me Jonathan,” he said with a small smile as he sat down across from her. “It’s good to see you again, Julianna.”

“Likewise, Dr…. er, Jonathan,” she replied with a small smile of her own. “I didn’t know this was the party you were coming to.”

“Nor I you. This day has certainly been full of coincidences, hasn’t it? Though I suppose you would be more inclined to call it fate – or karma.” He gave her a wink.

Her smile widened. “Yes, I suppose I would. But at this point, I don’t care what it’s called. I’m just glad you’re here.”

He grinned. The live orchestra started up a slow dance tune, and Jonathan stood up and held a hand out to Julianna. “Care to dance?”

She returned his grin and took his hand. “I’d love to.”

* * *

“So, what made you decide to move here?” Jonathan asked as they danced.

“A desire to start over,” Julianna replied. “To make a long story short, I recently ended a bad relationship – the guy I was with was more interested in my money than in me. Then my parents died in a car accident. I decided to take my inheritance and get away. I wanted to go someplace where no one knew me. I found this place, liked it, and bought a house. And so here I am.”

“Ah. And here I was expecting to hear you say it was fate.”

She looked up at him and smiled. “Maybe it was. So what about you? What brought you here?”

He looked deep in her sea-blue eyes. “Fate,” he said bluntly, and she grinned. “That, and a desire for a fresh start, too,” he added.

“What a coincidence,” Julianna teased, and Jonathan chuckled and grinned.

The orchestra played a few more slow songs, and Jonathan and Julianna danced to them, too. Across the ballroom, Liza watched them with a pleased smile on her face. “I told you that you would have a good time, Jules,” she said softly.

Just before midnight, Jonathan asked Julianna another question. “Do you have any plans for tomorrow?”

“Not really.”

“How would you like to come to my place for dinner, then? I’m a fairly decent cook, you know.”

“Sounds terrific,” she said with a smile.

The clock then began to chime again, and everyone stopped what he or she was doing. As it chimed for the twelfth time, balloons and confetti fell from the ceiling and everyone called out “Happy New Year!”

The orchestra struck up “Auld Lang Syne” and most of the party attendees sang along. Julianna and Jonathan stood where they were and looked into each other’s eyes.

“Happy new year, Julianna,” said Jonathan softly.

“Happy new year, Jonathan,” Julianna returned.

As his lips met hers for the traditional New Year’s kiss, Julianna had a feeling that it would be a very happy new year indeed.

—-


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Fable – Tuesday Use It In A Sentence #tuesdayuseitinasentence

She thought the adventurous stories her grandmother used to tell about her youth had been nothing but one fable after another, but while going through her things after she passed, Julia found a hidden journal and photos squirreled away in a hidden compartment of a desk that proved they had been true after all.

This post is part of the Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt, “fable”:

https://stephaniecolpron.wordpress.com/2020/10/13/tuesdayuseitinasentence-fable/