~~ Breaking Through Creative Block ~~

Open Jack-In-The-Box Antique

Writer, Artist, Musician… even you Culinary Creators…

Things that have worked for me  ~

Take a Break with Music & Games

start with

The Room (all three)

“A physical puzzler, wrapped in a mystery game, inside a beautifully tactile 3D world. Begin a mind-bending journey filled with beauty, peril and mystery in equal measure. Be transported into a unique space that blends spellbinding visuals with intriguing problems to solve. “

Welcome To The Room

Then proceed to Device 6

A surreal thriller in which the written word is your map’

“DEVICE 6 plays with the conventions of games and literature, entwined story with geography and blends puzzle and novella, to draw players into an intriguing mystery of technology and neuroscience.

Anna wakes up in a castle on a remote island, with little recollection of how she got there. All she remembers is an unusually unpleasant doll…

Why are there two identical castles on the island? Who is the mysterious man in the bowler hat? And above all, what is the purpose of the tests Anna is put through?

Read, listen and peek into three-dimensional photographs to solve the bizarre mysteries of DEVICE 6.”

Enter Device 6

xray image of tulip flowers isolated on black with clipping path

Then Explore….

Year Walk

“In the old days man tried to catch a glimpse of the future in the strangest of ways.

Venture out into the dark woods where strange creatures roam, on a vision quest set in 19th century Sweden. Solve cryptic puzzles, touch and listen in your search to foresee the future and finally discover if your loved one will love you back.
Year Walk stretches over two different entities: A game and a free companion app. Both are enjoyable in their own right, but together they create an experience that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

THE GAME

“Experience the ancient Swedish phenomena of year walking through a different kind of first person adventure that blurs the line between two and three dimensions, reality and the supernatural as well as fact and fiction “

Enter Year Walk

x-ray image of tree's isolated

Tunes

A great pair of headphones & Music

Google Play is a good start… 

Explore

Wood & Wires

Florence & The Machine Radio

The Girl With The Guitar

Browse Stations ~ Categories

Genres

Activities

Moods

Decades

Oh and don’t underestimate the power of

Snacks, especially those of the Chocolate persuasion in

Breaking Through Creative Block  …..

Stack of chocolate peanut butter cup on black background.

More Chocolate

The Ultimate …. Devil’s Food Cake  (recipe) paired with

Smoked Almond Creme Brulee’ Coffee  (recipe)

&

Easy Peanut Butter Cup recipe via Martha Stewart

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Line two 12-cup mini muffin pans with paper liners; set aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine white chocolate and peanut butter. Microwave, until almost melted, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool slightly.

  2. Meanwhile, place semisweet chocolate in another microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, stirring once or twice, until almost melted, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Dividing evenly, use a spoon to layer semisweet chocolate and peanut-butter mixture into liners, beginning and ending with chocolate; sprinkle with peanuts. Place muffin pans in freezer until peanut butter cups are firm, about 15 minutes. Bring to room temperature before serving

    COOK’S NOTES
    To store, place in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

 

Relax… Renew… Recharge … Sound Apps to help Tune up Your Life

Deep Reflection,  Inspired Creativity, Lucid Dreaming… Morning Zen  >>>>

BrainWave Apps For iPhone iPad iPod Touch

 

 

 

White Noise >>>

White Noise App iTunes

“Pick your favorite sound to relax and calm your mind.  Listen to pouring rain, crashing waves on a beach, or create your own perfect soundscape.”

 

Butterfly and flower

 

Nature Space

“Naturespace is the ultimate headphone experience! Astounding 3D recordings from the most beautiful places on earth relax and rejuvenate like nothing else. It truly must be experienced to be believed, which is why this app is free. 6 free sounds, no ads, and a vast catalog to choose from make it easy to find out what millions of others have “

Nature Space iTunes   (Free with In-App Purchases)

 There is something about this sound that brings down my heart rate.. & helps when I’m editing… 

 

Relax & Boost Creativity

“Coffitivity recreates the ambient sounds of a cafe to boost your creativity and help you work better.”

Coffitivity iOS Android & online  (Free)

“Relax Focus Escape”

With SoundDrown (Free)

Coffee Shop * Rain  *Waves  *Fire 

*Birds * Night * Train * Fountain*

*White Noise *

I have all these apps & highly recommend 

Seventh Of October

 

Mr. & Mrs. Eric O’Shea 

Request The Pleasure of Your Company

At the Marriage of Their Daughter

Jennifer Celeste

To

Matthew Don Morrison

Monday,  The Seventh Of October 

Two Thousand Seventy-Five

At Eight O’Clock In The Evening  

Their Elstree Cottage

Reception To Follow

 

wedding detail

 

Dark Drama ~ inspired by a very Vivid Dream (that was fueled by more than a few episodes of American Horror Story & Forensic Files).

 

You are cordially invited…   Winter 2016 

 

Glory Box ~ Dia De Muertos

  Dark Flash Fiction ~  Copyright Linda Y James   All Rights Reserved

Mature Content 

 

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It had been 6 months since we last spoke.  Over a year since we last touched.  And there was a whole lot of that going on.   A Shag marathon at his London flat.  It would have been a perfect weekend had it not been for HER.  

I repeatedly.. REPEATEDLY.. asked him not to talk about her.  Sure,  in general terms, OK.  But leave out the blow-by-blow account of their sexual escapades.   And telling me that she informed him ~he had given her “ the best orgasm ever.” He brought this up : Not once, or twice, try at least on seven different occasions.    

 

Jeez.  Seriously?

 

Wait..what?  Not the best SEX ever.  There is a difference.

 

 

Did he do that with his other women.  Prater on about her.  Or was I special?

 

He would preface encounters with her by saying,  “I know you don’t want to hear this, but…”   

 

We had the start of a good solid friendship.  He is engaging, intelligent, sweet smile.  And at times caring and respectful of my feelings.  Except.. yeah.. you got it.  

 

Oh not to forget the kisses, mind-blowing kisses and foreplay.   He would gently stroke my earlobe then very slowly, teasingly kiss tenderly down my neck.  Back up and suck ..very gently on my earlobe.  Turn my head … softly kiss my mouth.  Hold my hand and play with my fingertips, move his fingers and  stroke my palm.  With both hands…take  my face firmly yet gently while slipping his tongue in my mouth then sucking on my lips.  Slow, juicy, kisses… He would stop suddenly.  Release me.  Then pull me close with one hand while pulling my hair back with the other.

 

Then on to the slow gentle kisses going down my neck to my breasts, tenderly sucking my nipples  before grazing them lightly with his teeth.  What a way to climax.  And the intense look on his face.  The man ..in bed.. knew how to please.  

 

I wanted to see him before I left town.   My employer , an up and coming biotech firm had recently put in my transfer to their Berlin office.    

 

I just finished an emergency job for the Akira Ebisu Corporation.  I was their “cleaner.”

Cleaned up the problems that could harm the reputation or cause “hardship” to my employer. 

I poured a glass of wine, lit a B&H Silver Slide Filter and inhaled deeply, blew out a few rings. My grandfather taught me how to do that when I was 15.  I know, great man, bad influence.  With sage advice,  “Never ever take shite from anyone.”  A true mantra.

Savoring every drop of wine and starting to relax before I was interrupted by a loud knock at my door.

 

“Bakery Delivery.  Sign here.”

I signed and the corporate courier dressed in all black handed over the package.  I watched as she..she seemed so young… in her mid 20’s.   Tall..170cm.. perhaps. Short blonde hair.  Small cute face with freckles. Athletic build… I watched her walk to the curb, climb onto her posh jet black Ducati Diavel and jettison away in seconds flat.

 

The Package was a small black box, weighing less than I had expected .. not quite a kilo. ( I was expecting at least 2 kilos.) I took the package back to the kitchen and opened it to verify contents then repackage for my corporate overlords.

The “Bakery” had done a superb job. Inside the box was a crystal jar containing a grayish material.  Their state of  the art equipment refined what had been coarse sand like material into sugary texture granules. And thus reduced the weight of the product.

Oh yes, back to my friend.   This was Dia de Muertos after all.  And most years, I would gather with a small group of co-workers who celebrated.  Our chief accountant and his wife would usually host..they would go all out.  Complete with elaborate costumes and sugar skull face paint.  And the food ..yes I’m going to say it.. was To Die for.

Tamales made from corn-based dough filled with shredded chicken, diced green and red peppers, sweetened with pineapple cinnamon jelly.   Pan de Muertos:  Sweetbread baked in the shape of bones lightly dusted with confectioners sugar.

Alcohol..and lots of it.  Not just tequilla, but specialty mixed drinks.  My favorite is Margarita del Diablo.   Blood orange puree, sour mix with mole rim and the key to its greatness … ginger ale and wait for it… Tres Generaciones with Citronge.  Hmmm..

And let’s not forget the Sugar Skull Cookies which brings me back to the beginning of this story, my friend Jason.   I COULD drop by his flat and give him a peace-offering of some freshly baked cookies. 

I took out my cake mixer, spatula, measuring cups & spoons, cookie sheet   and  searched my cupboards & fridge for all the key ingredients:

 Sugar, Butter, Vanilla, Almond Extract, Flour, Baking Soda, Shot of Tequila for good measure and

for the Royal Icing:  Meringue powder, Food Coloring, Angostura Rum, small pack of cream cheese.  

Then added…

…   1 full tablespoon of the sugar like contents from the “Bakery”  package.

 

43trgh

I resealed the Crystal Jar  and put it back into the black box.  Placed my business card on top of the jar. A sign to the higher-ups that the contents had been “verified.”  Taped the box.  I would hand deliver this along with the contents of my briefcase early tomorrow morning to my boss, Stanford.

I poured another glass of wine, lit up my fifth ..no sixth  B&H of the day , put on my grey linen apron & proceeded to make the best damn sugar skull cookies ever.     

I placed my tiny ‘skulls’ into a medium-sized Cello cookie bag.  Put the  bag into a midnight blue gable box.   Fed the cat,  checked my makeup and headed out to my friend’s London flat.  It would take about 20 minutes from my Wandsworth home.

 

Although I came to his home unannounced & as of late, we weren’t exactly on the best of terms, he greeted me cordially.  Said he was about to leave to meet some friends.  I explained that I had been re-assigned to Berlin  and would not be back in London for several months.

 

Jason invited me in for a quick drink.  His deep intense grey blue eyes.  Strong jaw.  He looked good. And despite my reservations,  I so badly wanted to ask…

Does a shag come with the drink?

 

“Actually, I just popped in to say goodbye and inform you of my temporary relocation and to give you these.  Freshly baked with a very special ingredient.”

 

I handed him the gable box.

 

“Please have one.  Let me know what you think.”

 

“Skulls? Really?”

“For Dia de Muertos.  Please have at least one.”

As he opened the box and took out a light pink skull cookie,  I noticed an off white cedar chest in the corner of his kitchen.

 

“The chest?”

“Glory Box.  I made for a friend.”

 

I walked over to the chest.  Excellent craftsmanship.  Ornate ~ with the initials AES craved on top.

 

I knew those initials.  Angela Elizabeth Stewart.  HER.  

I took a couple of the cookies from the box. Rolled them in foil, and wrapped the foil in one of my friend’s Crimson linen napkins.   Placed my ‘gift’ into the glory box.  Next to some very nice thick blue towels, and on top of what appeared to be some very expensive celeste colored Egyptian sheets.

“My contribution.”

A smile.  This man had a very engaging smile.

 

“The cookies?”

“Delicious.  So what is the secret ingredient?”

“Very secret corporate recipe.  If I told you.. then I would..”

“Have to kill me?”

“Naturally.  I will say this.  I know that you have had this ingredient on more than one occasion and I would say it’s a safe bet, you’ve described it as more than delicious.”

“Really?”

“Pretty damn sure.  Look it’s late , I have a flight early morning and you stated earlier than you were meeting friends.  I better go.”

 

I was nervous for some reason.  I  walked over to the counter and gave my friend a warm hug and light kiss on the lips.

 

“I’ll ring you when I return to London.  If that’s ok?”

 

Another smile, but sadness in his eyes.  I didn’t feel it was from my leaving.  Something else. 

“Bye for now, Misaki,  Take Care.”

“You as well, Jason.  Enjoy your cookies.”

 

 

halloween make up sugar skull

12 Hours Earlier 

I was preparing  for my  co-workers Day of the Dead Party,  Yes, looking forward to the Devil Margaritas and Pan de Muertos and the sweet succulent tamales.   

A night off.  Or so I thought.  I had  Los Platronics ‘Dia De Los Muertos’ playing in the background.

Lost in thought.. the phone rang.  It was my boss, Chief of Security, Stanford.

“Emergency At Limerston.  Your assistance is required.”

I didn’t have a choice.

My drive to Chelsea took less than 10 minutes in moderate Holiday traffic.  The Corporate flat was off of Limerston Street.  Two Bedroom, 2 Bath, one Reception room, Garden, Study/Conservatory, generous sized living room/dining room,  Pantry and Laundry Room. Red Brick, Black Doors.  

I had been to the Flat twice before.  

I was greeted at the door by Stanford.

“Honey Trap gone wrong.”

“What?”

“Martin was a target of an online Honey.”

 

Cinco de mayo - Sugar skull

Martin was one of our leading bio-engineers.   Who as well as ALL of the Akira Ebisu ‘family’ went though a very through orientation process that spelled out that our competitors in addition to many governments would use such a ploy to gain access to our proprietary research.

Stanford informed me that during  the  tryst, (which from the looks of it, involved some bondage gear), Martin’s “date” had an aneurysm and died at the scene. Information and photos on her iPhone confirmed her espionage.   He handed me the phone.

I was surprised it was unlocked.  As I scrolled through the photos of pages of Martin’s documents, I came upon some of a personal nature.  And I recognized the man in most of those photos, my friend Jason.    Some things were starting to make sense to me.  His hardcore addiction and attraction to this woman.   She had been using him as well.  She was pretty.  Heart shaped face with widow’s peak.  Younger than he had led me to believe.  Thirty? Thirty-one? Short dark hair.   They looked happy together.

 

“Angela Elizabeth Stewart.  Art Student. Camden.”

“Body?”  I asked Stanford.

“Already at the Bakery.  Should take 3-4 hours for you to receive the package.  Confirm contents and return with her phone, purse & keys tomorrow morning.  Remember your card on top this time.”

Glad I remembered my briefcase.

“Arrangements on her Holiday?”  I learned that the details could vary.

“Your usual channels.  Make sure that her phone is wiped and her keys will be placed with the ‘twin’ cadaver for her unfortunate car accident.  This should occur as soon as possible.  And we need leads on her boss.  Any questions?”

“No Sir…Correction,  one sir.  You wouldn’t have an extra pack of B&H?”

  

Special Note regarding the above flash fiction piece:

 

    • This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, products,  places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

Trademarked Products ~ were used as a literary device only.   No sponsorship or endorsements implied or expressed. 

One more thing ~ Cookie Anyone?     

 

Great sugar skull  cookie recipe here… minus the secret ingredient  … (evil laugh)

Sugar Skull Cookies

Paradigm Shift ~ The Paradigm of Eve

blofsss

 

Mature Content ~ 

I held the smooth, cold, stainless steel thumb sized canister in my hand… oscillating back and forth… to inject or not..?.

 

I had used Ps472 only once before.   It was because of a work related injury that I still have not physically overcome.  Emotionally, yes due to this miracle drug.

The drug contains a small amount of propranolol.  A light tap of my forefinger at the base of the small tube like canister- delivering a high velocity jet of liquid that breaches the speed of sound into my skin… the drug racing through my blood stream in less than a millisecond.

 

While Ps472 did not erase the memory of my traumatic experience, it did neutralize the emotional pain of those life altering 2 hours.  It feels like incident number 02×4215 occurred 10 years rather than 10 days ago.

 

I had been shot in my left shoulder after answering a call of an outpost security breach.   Two of our men were fatally shot, 2 other fellow comrades, along with myself seriously injured.  And one of the intruders killed… by me.

I can still recall the sights and sounds and smell of the incident.  And the blood… feeling the blood run down my shoulder, down my arm… feeling so light-headed…

 

Thinking… ‘Some fucker shot me.’ Before he could take another shot I was able to neutralize him with a fatal flare from my weapon.

 

And as I played with the cool stainless steel tube in my hand…  knew it would help again… help the memory fade… of a very personal intimate nature…  all

Because of him…

 

The last time I saw him, smelt him, touched, kissed…held him… felt in sync with him was over 3 months.  I went to his outpost on required Holiday.   Packed light. I quizzed, “what should I bring?”  I believe his words were “clothing is optional.”  I did wear an Egyptian Blue lace camisole with navy blue lace panties underneath my standard issued midnight black jeans and coal-black cotton long-sleeved shirt.   Oh… he very much enjoyed unwrapping this package…

 

Damn him.  It would be so much easier if I didn’t love him.  I tried to tell him the last time we were together.But I do. And I couldn’t get the words out.

 

~ The Queen Bee~

Probably because of her.  His number one.  The Queen Bee.  She has been a point of contention from the beginning.  There are times when he refers to her by name.  And then times he refers to her as “this woman that I’m seeing here at Base 15.”  One of the women, anyway.

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Scifi Drama (with a sweet Twist of Terror) ~

~Winter 2016

 

 

All Posts On This Blog:  Copyright :  Linda Y James  

All Rights Reserved