It amazes me how concepts of a story can change as one writes. My newest baby is called Forbidden for now. I’m still busy with the outlining of chapter three and so far it seems like this story is going to change, following it’s own course instead of mine. Chances are good too that the name will change too to something like Delilah’s curse. It’s seems like I’ve created a siren hell bent on causing havoc. Perhaps I should include a murder or two aswell. I will just have to wait and see where my characters Sam and Delilah takes me. It should be one interesting journey.
There are lots of reasons why self-publishing success stories tend to concentrate around writers of “genre” fiction, but it’s a mistake to assume that success is impossible if you write literary fiction or historical fiction (which tends to get lumped in with literary fiction, even though it’s just another genre… like literary fiction!).
The first is demographics: romance and erotica readers were the first to switch to digital, followed by mystery and thriller fans, leading to the success stories of Amanda Hocking, Joe Konrath, and John Locke.
I remember SF/F authors complaining (back in 2011) that their readers hadn’t switched to e-books yet, casting jealous eyes at the outsized romance audience. But as readers did move across, we saw people like David Dalglish and BV Larson breaking out, and the rest of “genre” fiction soon followed.
The rise of “genre” self-publishing was also aided by the mistreatment of the midlist…
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For the past week or so I haven’t written anything. I was struck down by a serious case of writer’s block which depressed me something terrible. Even though I haven’t published anything yet I like to write as I cradle the dream of publishing something as fabulous as 50 shades of grey( although I myself have never read it myself). With such a goal in mind the thought of not being able to write anything terrifies me beyond anything else in this life.
But now I’m fired up again, inspired of a lovestory containing some illicidness. It’s a fact that we get to deal with affairs that has the potencial to ruin any marriage even the christian ones. By nature we are sexual beings but some of us was raised to believe that sex is dirty and immoral and that we are filthy if we even think of enjoying every aspect of it.
I am sure that I can write a piece of fiction that can truelly portray how sex should be between husband and wife no matter how difficult it may be or not.
What do you think?
Lea was holding Lori’s little body closed to her as she sat in the rocking chair in Lori’s bedroom. She barely managed to keep the tears away that threatend to spill over. He lied about where he has been and it was hurting her in a way she never knew posible.
Why was he doing this to them she wondered. How was she going to confront him with what she has found?
He would probably deny it and say she was dillusional and imagining things or perhaps not. After all she had the letter and the contents was anything but innocent.
“Lea are you sleeping?” Mark asked, peeking around Lori’s bedroom door in the darkness.
“No I’m not,” Lea anwered softly although she felt like screaming.
“That’s good because I want to talk to you,”
“Really Mark?” Lea asked sarcastically, feeling iritated and moody.
“Do you mind?” Mark asked.
“I supose not,” Lea said as she stood up and gently put Lori into her bed.
“What’s that supose to mean?” Mark asked, barely able to contain the anger that was welling up inside of him.
“It means I don’t really feel like talking to you,”
Lea was standing so close to Mark that she could smell the scent of his shower gel mixed with his aftershave. She always loved his scent but now it was making her heart ache.
“What’s bothering you Lea?” Mark asked his voice so soft it was almost a whisper.
Lea took a folded piece of paper out of her jean’s pocket.
“Does this look familiar?” she asked as she handed it to him, “I found it when I was tidying your closet,”
Mark’s heart stopped beating. She knew about his afair.
“Since you are the one that wants to talk I guess you can explain this lovely note that tells me you have been having some behind my back,” Lea said, leaning against the door frame.
“I…I….It’s not….damnit Lea,”Mark stammered
“Don’t damn me Mark. The letter says it all except who she is,”
Mark slid to the floor. He didn’t expect this. How could he have been so careless? He knew he was playing with fire and now it seems like it was time for him to get burned.
“What do you want Lea?” he asked with his head in his hands.
” What I want is for you to tell the truth. What the hell were you thinking Mark?” Lea asked angrily, ” How could you?”
“She was exciting Lea like you never were. Being with you is like being with a corpse….”
“A corpse!” Lea yelled, appalled at the comparison he just made, “What’s that supose to mean? Do I come across as dead?”
Lea didn’t give him time to reply. She went to the kitchen to get herself a glass of water. Without thinking twice she grabbed a jug and filled it with water before she walked back to were Mark was sitting in the coridor with his back against the wall. She threw the cold water over his head, not caring in the least about the mess it made.
Mark gasped shocked and bewildered.
“What did you do that for?”
“That’s for insulting me,” Lea said, still fuming, “You can sleep on the couch and don’t even dare to come into the room for anything,”
“Can I atleast get a pillow?” he asked softly, feeling like a schoolboy being punished for naughty behaviour.
“Nope,” Lea said before she entered their bedroom, closing the door behind her.
Mark sat surrounded by darkness in the livingroom. He was trying to make sense of it all. He was angry at himself for being in such a mess.
Lea didn’t deserve being lied to or cheated on and he couldn’t blame her for being so furious and throwing him out of the bedroom.
Their fight played over and over in his head. He couldn’t get Lea’s angry face out of mind. She was badly hurt and he was responsible for it.
He knew he had a choice to make but he didn’t look forward to it. He also knew that none of this would have happend if he had stayed faithfull. He could have slept next to his wife now in their cosy bed instead of sleeping on the couch without a pillow or a blanket.
He suddenly felt very small and all alone in the dark with little hope of fixing the mess without hurting anyone any more than he already had.
© 2013 Angie Pretorius
“Mommy can we go to the zoo today,” little Riley asked her mother with hopefull eyes.
Maggie looked at her five year old daughter for a
brief second before she answered, “I’m a bit busy today. Perhaps tomorow,”
Little Riley’s face fell with disapointment, “You promised mommy,” she said softly before she turned around and went to her room.
Maggie felt the guilt building up as she continued cleaning up the kitchen. Time seemed to be never enough. There was always something that needed cleaning or fixing. At the moment she was so busy with the household and the organizing of the church’s charity bazaar that she barely had time to drink a cup of tea. Riley just had to be patient for a while. It wasn’t as if the zoo was going anywhere. They could go tommorow or as soon as she was done with the bazaar.
A slight knock on the door interupted her thoughts. It was Ntabi, her nanny.
She was so thankfull that Ntabi could look after Riley when it was her day of that she thought about giving Ntabi a bonus to say thank you. Maggie left the house in a rush. There was a million things to do at the church grounds for the bazaar that was being held after the morning service the next day.
Later that night little Riley stood next to her mother for the second time that day with a beggar’s look in her beautifull little blue eyes, “Mommy can you come and read me a story please?”
“Not now honey. I’m tired and I still have a few things to do,” Maggie said without looking at her daughter.
“But mommy it will just take a moment…”
Maggie looked up impatiently, “I’ve said not now. Now go to sleep. Tomorow’s going to be a fun day,”
Little Riley looked at her mother for a few moments longer, longing for a hug or a kiss good night but she didn’t dare say anything. Mommy was working hard and it was very important. Riley turned around and went to bed without saying anything else.
The following afternoon Maggie was walking between the stalls ladden with delicious homemade jams and sweet mouth watering cakes. The bazaar was going to be a huge success. She couldn’t help but feel proud at what she has accomplished. The money that was being raised was going to the local orphanage that needed the funds urgently for much needed repairs to their buildings and houses.
“Maggie have you seen Riley?”Janet asked nervously. Maggie had trusted her with Riley’s care and somehow the little girl had wanderd off on her own despite the fact that Janet had kept a very close eye on her as she played with the other children from the sunday school.
Maggie felt her heart beating faster in her chest, “I thought she was with you,”
“She was but then mrs Thompson had commented on the trifles she had bought and when I looked again Riley wasn’t playing with her friends anymore,” Janet explained frightend, “I thought she might have gone to look for you,”
Maggie swallowed hard before she spoke again, “We better look for her and fast too. She can easily dissapear.”
Janet nodded in agreement as they both set of in search of little Riley.
Both Maggie and Janet had asked the people attending the bazaar if they had seen Riley but no one had.
Panic started to well up in Maggie as they kept on searching. Anything could happen to a little lost girl and the possiblities frightend Maggie. If anything bad had happened to Riley she would never forgive herself. What kind of mother loses her child at a church bazaar?
“Hey Maggie!” pastor Shepard called out as Riley was happily riding on his neck with a fist full of grey hair in her tiny little hands.
Maggie turned around and when she saw her little girl safely with their pastor she sighed deep with relieve.
“Where have you found her pastor?”she asked as she held out her arms to take her daughter, ” Janet and I have been searching everywhere,”
“I found her crying next to the ice-cream stall. She was looking for you,” pastor Shepard said as he looked at Maggie who was clutching little Riley. He could imagine how terrified Maggie must have been. The world was a wonderfull but dangerous place, especially for little kids who wandered.
Maggie thanked pastor Shepard for his kindness and she said a small prayer thanking God for protecting her little girl when she did not.
Maggie realized just then how important every little moment was she had with Riley. Just then she made a vow to herself to never ever take anything concerning her daughter for granted again.
That night she read stories untill Riley fell asleep and the following day she took of from work to take Riley to the zoo.
Lucy sat in her car next to the old road that led out of town. She still felt horribly drained as she looked at the rain falling, washing away the dust and dirt from the earth.
How she wished that her mother was still alive. She so desperately needed to talk to someone about everything that had happened. What a fool she had been, letting things get so out of hand. She should never have started the afair with Mark. She should have read the signs that were so obvious like the secrecy and the fact that she could never call him when he wasn’t with her or the fact that she had never been invited to his house.
Lucy turned the key in the ignition. What do I do now Lord? How do I face my shame?
Lucy drove on and on as the wipers swished out a rhythm of their own.
Every moment on her own brought a reminder of what she has done. She was standing on the brink of losing everything that was important to her. Her selfrespect and everyone else’s. If her pregnancy became known everyone would know who she was. She was the other woman. The Scarlet letter that has to be avoided. Her colegues at work will despice her and shun her from their clique.
Lucy placed a slender hand over her abdomen. I’m sorry little one. So, so sorry to be bringing you into this world like this.
Just then she realized that she had to quit her job and move away because she couldn’t face the shame of it. She had to think about her child’s future happiness. She couldn’t let her baby be born in shame. Even if this was the twentyfirst century people still looked down on children who was born out of wedlock especially if they were the result of a extra-marital afair.
On her way out of Riverdale she stopped at the offices of Mcdonald&co. When she finally had the courage she went inside and resigned.
For a brief moment she had wanted to tell Sheila who was the receptionist everything that has happend but she stopped herself. There was no point in spilling the beans. No one had to know.
Before she left she said bye to her old friend and colegue Anne but she wasn’t there.
She left Anne a simple note before she left the office for the last time.
She drove to the highway that headed to Clearview that was about two hours drive away. She tried to keep her mind blank but still the memories came flooding back, suffocating her little by little.
She gave way to the tears again as the realization hit home. She was twenty-eight and pregnant with no job or a medical aid and barely enough savings in her bank account to last through out her pregnancy. What on earth was she doing?
She thought about praying as she drove but so far it hasn’t helped one bit so she desided against it. If she was going to survive she had to do it using her own wits. She sat back in the carseat, relaxing as she continued to drive.
She could find new employment somewhere but it involved struggling to raise her child on her own, full time daycare and state-provided medical care. Lucy closed her eyes for a brief second. After the recent scandal involving newborn babies dying because of lack of care by the nurses who worked at some other state hospital she wasn’t keen on the idea of giving birth in one. Ofcourse their were millions of children who managed to grow up just fine under such circumstances.
Lucy switched gears as she stared straight at the road in front of her.
Not my baby.
As the sun began to shine weakly through the clouds Lucy knew what she had to do. It wasn’t the ideal but it would have to do.
Lucy pulled over on the side of the street infront of a neat little double story house.
Maybe he could give her a job at his successfull advertising company, she hoped as she got out of her car.
She knocked three times on the door and waited.
“Lucy?” Matt asked surprised, “What are you doing here?”
Lucy swallowed hard, “I need your help.”
Matt looked at Lucy worried. He hadn’t expect to see her again since she had broken it off with him a couple of months ago but he was glad that she came. He had been praying night and day that she would come back to him. Finally the Lord has answered his prayers.
“Can I come in?” Lucy asked softly, interupting Matt’s thoughts.
He opened the door wider and without thinking twice Lucy walked inside. She would beg her ex on her knees if she had to as long as her baby was provided for. It may be awkward at first to work for him but she had no alternative. She had acted on impulse just a few short hours ago when she left her life behind in Riverdale and she wasn’t feeling sorry for it but that meant that she had to get new employment fast if she wanted to prevent her baby from being born in poverty.
Before she knew it she layed her cards on the table, telling Matt everything before she could stop herself and she felt even worse for doing so. Matt was her ex. He had nothing to do with the huge mess she had selfishly created for herself.
Matt listened intently at Lucy as she spoke, his heart aching seeing her so troubled and distraught. He knew he should be disgusted by her actions but instead it was the oposite. His heart filled with more love towards her. It was as if God was whispering in his ear to give her another chance. He knew with a certainy in his heart that he still wanted to marry her even though she was broken and falling to pieces at his feet, begging him for a job.
She told Matt everything and when they had talked everything through he asked her again to marry him like a did a couple of months ago. Matt knew he was her second choice, a means for her to survive. He knew she didn’t love him like he loved her yet he still felt the need to make her his wife.
“Lucy I won’t give you a job,” he said softly, taking her slender hand in his, “I want to give you more,”
Lucy looked at Matt confused as she sniffed softly into a tissue. What on earth was he saying?
“I hope you don’t run away this time but I would rather marry you than have you working for me,” Matt said, knowing it sounded stupidly absurd.
“Why?” Lucy asked disbelievingly. He couldn’t be serious. After everything she had done to him he should hate her or gain some pleasure out of her problems. He shouldn’t be proposing again. It made no sense.
His pale blue eyes rested on her face and he took a deep breath before he spoke, ” I know it sounds weak, perhaps even stupid but I still love you Lucy. Maybe you don’t feel exactly the same but I’m sure that I can be a good husband to you and maybe in time you could love me again,”
Lucy shaked her head, “And the baby? You do realize that…”
“I will love the baby just as much because it’s a part of you Lucy,” Matt kneeled infront of Lucy, “I know you don’t get it and maybe you don’t even believe me when I say it but I have always loved you Lucy. I have never stopped, ” Matt swallowed hard at the lump that formed in his throat, “Don’t ask questions that I can not explain the answers to. Just say yes and marry me,”
Unable to speak Lucy just nodded yes with her head as she cried. Maybe she was being selfish again but Matt was offering her and her unborn child the promise of love and a future as a family. And perhaps in time if she could forgive herself she could love him the way he deserved to be loved.
Lucy felt the change in her body almost emediately and after two weeks the morning nausea started. Lucy sat on the floor of her tiny bathroom weeping. She told herself over and over that it wasn’t what she had thought it was. She had a bit of stomach flu or perhaps the nausea was caused by a lack of eating properly since Mark had vanished from her life.
To her it felt like God was punishing her for the afair she had with a married man.
An illness of some sort was as good a punishment as any.
It has been two solid weeks that she had seen him last and that wasn’t counting the time she had been at the hospital after his accident. Ever since then she had been a total nut case.She had been avoiding her mother and father and ignored all her calls. Instead of socializing she had locked herself in her apartment. It was her way of punishing herself for the unpardonable sin. The eating of the forbidden fruit.
She rested her chin on her knees, sobbing all alone. I’m so sorry God. Please forgive me for what I have done. Why did I fall for the charms of a married man?
Lucy waited for a response but none came. It was as if Jesus had turned his back on her.
Lucy wiped the tears from her face. Perhaps it was this constant crying that made her feel so bad. It couldn’t be anything else.
Lucy got up slowly from where she sat on the cold floor before looking at her pale reflection in the mirror above the washbasin. She certainly didn’t look good. Her emerald green eyes were red rimmed from the constant crying and there were telltale signs of exhaustion. It was just her flame red curls that shone briliantly beneath the harsh light of the bathroomlight.
“I miss you Mark,” she quietly whispered, watching her mouth form the words in the reflection of the mirror.
Lucy walked to her bedroom feelng like a dirty, washed out rag. She knew she had no one but herself to blame for her broken heart.
She closed her eyes, trying to shut out the memories of the times she and Mark had spent together but still they came like an unstoppable tidalwave.
She opened her eyes and looked at her Bible that was on the nightstand next to her bed. She concidered reading it for some comfort but eversince Mark had broken it off with her she hadn’t been able to open it. She felt way to dirty to hold God’s perfect word in her filthy hands.
Oh God what am I going to do if I’m pregnant?
Once again there was no answer and Lucy felt herself weeping all over again.
Her period didn’t show up the following day or the day after that and by Monday, four weeks since she had last been with Mark she knew that she was definitely pregnant. She didn’t need the pregnancy test to prove it yet she knew she had to otherwise she might not be able to fully accept the truth.
The following day she drove to the pharmacist. There she bought three different tests that all promised acurate results within days after conception or a missed period.
At home she performed all three test within minutes after each other in her tiny bathroom. After two pink stripes showed in the three different windows she finally had to accept the undeniable truth.
She was definitely pregnant with a married man’s baby.
The following day she didn’t go to work. Instead she stayed in bed, weeping her heart out. She kept on asking herself why she went against God’s word and got herself involved with a married man who could never have been hers.
At times she was overcome with a million nagging fears. What was she going to do now? Should she move or man up and let Mark know? And finally what sort of mother would she be?
The answer to her last question was easy.
She would be the kind and loving mother that her own mother was. Lucille had lived for her onely daughter. And although Lucy knew that her dicision would probably cost her alot she knew too that she would love her child the same for as long as she lived.
Lucy sighed softly. She would carry the punishment for the moments of weakness that she had but she vowed to hee unborn baby to never punish him or her for it.
If Mark had been hers they would have been both filled with joy. They would have been celebrating the wonder of a new life together. And in the midst of her suffering the reality of that new promise of life filled her with awe. She was expecting Mark’s child. A child who was conceived out of their love no matter how shortlived it was. A tear slowely rolled down Lucy’s cheek. If only it was right instead of wrong. How could God bless her with such a miracle when she didn’t deserve it?
She wished that she could talk to Mark, even for just a minute or two to tell him. What would his reaction be? Would he be happy or would he turn her away, discusted by the sheer sight of her?
She wished she had known the answer but she wasn’t so sure about anything anymore.
Mark had his life with his wife and family. She had to face the facts and deal with it on her own.