March 2017 RECAP #MonthlyRecap

I missed doing my March 2017 recap. To be honest, it feels so long ago now that I can’t even remember the stuff I wrote about. My revisiting the posts now will take me back, definitely. From what I know, I was really hyped up for the then-upcoming A to Z Challenge. I hardly really checked out Facebook even.

Here’s a recap of my March 2017:

Blog-wise:

(1) Hash potatoes!!!

#MondayMemoirs (none)

#MondayReviews (none)

#TuesdayTunes (see Wishes and Songs Part 1)

#TVTuesday (none)

#AskWednesday (see “As writers, have you ever had ideas only to find out later that others beat you to them? What were they?”)

#WhatsupWednesday (see The Guy Google)

#ThursdayTips (none)

#FeatureFriday (see The BRF and New Society with its New Technologies)

#FridayFlashdance (none)

#AnythingDay (see JAMIE PART 4: DEAR JAMIEThe A-to-Z Challenge theme Reveal 2017 and JAMIE PART 5: JAMIE AND THE GOSSIP BOYS)  –  Any day could be about anything.

Judging from my results, I was semi-active, which was better than hardly active or, worse, inactive. I was gearing up for April anyway.

(3) My Trending Stories. I still put it off because of certain hindrances, but I decided to finally restart it sometime in May (which is NOW).

(4) A to Z ChallengeWait till I’m done.

Social Media Reach-out:

 

I’m getting followers slowly but steadily, at least. I don’t really expect to get many, I’m just surprised there are those who decide to FOLLOW me on Facebook (even Twitter, which still confuses me at times) when they don’t really know me personally. It’s so nice to get followers who think that what I post are interesting enough.

A few months back, I started sending thank-you messages to FB followers. Unfortunately, it could be so time-consuming that I had to stop. What I normally do when I have the time is to visit bloggers who decide to follow my blog. I get email notifications everytime, so I just filter to see followers and go from there.

I’ve been somehow more active than I’ve ever been on Twitter (just a tad more). And, oh, I should give special shout-outs to both Annette (@YouAreTheExpert) and Debbie (@DebbieDogLady). Whenever I post anything here, it gets posted on their Twitter pages. That’s free promotion for me through RSS Feed-ing. Thank you, ladies 🙂

Fiction/Story- and Poetry-writing:

Restarted being a bit more active. See, I posted two Jamie Tales shorts (see #AnythingDay).

Literature:

No book-reading happened whatsoever. I am so ashamed.

Personal:

  • I have become a Wish 107.5 FM fanatic, ergo, my #TuesdayTunes post. It honestly helped me overcome a sort of tough time then. Music is great therapy.
  • I have become an active Quora adviser, but I am very curious why 98% of questions I am asked has to do with handling relationships. I suddenly feel like a relationship guru. But I suppose, the key is to put myself in their shoes.
  • I declared self-imposed hiatus on Facebook and was away for more than two weeks, I think. It was due to a mix of avoiding things/people that make me feel a bit depressed and trying to write more.

 

Your thoughts? 😉

JAMIE PART 5: JAMIE AND THE GOSSIP BOYS

For previous posts, visit THE JAMIE TALES page.

JAMIE AND THE GOSSIP BOYS

As soon as Jamie absent-mindedly took a sip of her coffee, she let out a stifled ‘ouch!’ and regretted forgetting where she was. It was so hot, she practically spilled the beverage on her clothes!

I miss F.R.I.E.N.D.S., so here they are in a scene at the famous Central Perk. Of course, copyright goes to the show’s producers…

Darn it. Her stars seemed to be misaligned lately and didn’t know where exactly to stay. She simply kept missing her targets…Well, maybe not so much. After all, she did land a job the other day, just not exactly what she had in mind. Which brought her back to her reverie, what made her all dazed and confused, what caused her to oh-so-stupidly burn her lips and tongue in the first place.

What happened back there in Madeleine Elliot’s office? It was so strange, she’d be willing to bet she was in an episode of the Twilight Zone. That morning just didn’t seem real. Or was it? So she pinched and hurt herself in the process (‘Ow!’).

That actually made it more Twilight Zone-y, to pinch herself and find out she was awake the whole time. She couldn’t even bring herself to rate from one to ten how her job interview went. Did she do well, or did she just sign up for a starring role in some twisted reality show?

So dazed and confused, that was how Jamie found herself on the sofa, on an otherwise beautiful Wednesday morning, in a nice little cafeteria there in Upper Manhattan, taking her early breakfast. Obviously F.R.I.E.N.D.S.-inspired, the place made her feel like one of those yuppie characters in one of their usual quandaries. Sure, it was not quite a cerebral show—her favorite was actually Phoebe with Joey coming in close second—but it was one of her guilty pleasures. Sometimes, she even preferred watching the show’s reruns over National GeographicAnimal Planet or Discovery Channel. She ought to be shot.

“He-he-heeey! It’s our favorite girl!” the now-familiar voice of Donnie announced as he and Zach entered the place and found her on the sofa. “Aren’t you happy to see your favorite boys?”

“I would be. If they were here,” she said without looking up, pretending to wipe away lint off her slacks.

Aw, you kidder you!” Donnie flopped unceremoniously at her right while smiling Zach took the one-seater on her left. A waiter attended to their orders and soon, they had their mugs of coffee to get busy with while Donnie gobbled up a bagel.

Jamie concentrated again on her coffee now that it was not super-hot anymore, smelling the fresh brew. It was called Machiato Mystery, named so for some reason. Could be because of the supposed secret syrup added, or somebody was just up for some name game. Jamie took a sip and, “Mmmmm…,” she cooed, her eyes widening in utter satisfaction and delight. At least, one good thing was happening to her that morning.

Zach paused midway to sipping with a grin. “Is that supposed to be a new word in the dictionary?”

“Yes, look it up,” she kidded back. On the other hand, Donnie had finished his bagel and was eyeing hers on the center table. “Hey. Bagel. Mine. Back off.”

She was rewarded with a disgusted look. “I don’t understand why you’re eating that,” he said.

“Why not when it looks back at me screaming ‘eat me! eat me!’? ‘Sides, didn’t you just have one? Is there any rule anywhere that forbids me to do this mortal sin?”

“Yes! Look, you’re not exactly thin! I mean you’re cute, I give you that, but you don’t need the extra pounds.”

“Says the big guy eyeing my bagel.”

“But I’m buffed!” Donnie raised an arm and showed his biceps to make a point. “And I’m a guy.

Jamie turned to Zach. “What are you doing socializing with Neanderthal Man?”

He laughed. “Uh, he makes me seem more interesting?”

She laughed back, took a bite at her bagel and made sure Donnie was looking. “Mmmm…I can feel the extra pounds already. Bring it on!” Donnie immaturely stuck out a tongue at her, defeated and mumbling something unintelligible.

“Anyhoo, what are you doing here? I take it you’ve joined the employment wagon?”

Jamie gave a hardly audible “Uh-huh,” wishing she could simply drop dead just to escape the conversation. She considered saying a hasty goodbye and make a run for it, but stomped on the stupid idea the minute it got to her head.

Zach studied her. She knew it even if she wasn’t looking, avoiding his eyes. “You don’t exactly sound enthusiastic,” he said. “What happened? Go on, spill the details.”

“What happened? I happened.”

“And…? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

Jamie grimaced a bit. “It…depends on how you see it. I’m not even sure how I should see it.” Sigh. “I met Madeleine Elliot  and — ”

“Madeleine…Oooohh…You don’t wanna meet her,” Donnie interrupted with a warning.

“Well, too late for that.” Jamie rolled her eyes. “She’s the Editor-in-Chief. There’s no going around it. What I want to know is if you know something I oughta know.”

“Sure! Madeleine Elliot? That woman is, like, the Mistress of Winter. Get my drift?” Donnie asked in a rather conspiratorial manner.

Huh?

Zach butted in, thankfully. “That’s just a nick people came up with to refer to her when her back is turned. But, that’s just what we hear from up there, you know. Quite a reputation she’s got. Or they could just all be rumors. We know how those spread. I have not met her personally, anyway. Seen her, but not exactly met her.”

“Well, I did!” Donnie interjected again. “Believe me, Jamie, that one? Ice Queen. Proven by your man, Donnie.”

Zach stood up to reach for his friend. “Yeah. And you had the mark of her hand right on your face for several hours to prove it. Yep. Riiiiight about heeeerrreee…” He playfully tapped on Donnie’s right cheek and the latter irritably pushed his hand away. “Ha, ha! I wish I had your camera then! You should have seen the look on your face!” he said, taking his seat again.

Jamie made a little laugh. “My God. Really?” Donnie, more irritated, said she sounded happy. She was not at all repentant. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know I was supposed to sympathize with the likes of you. It seems like you deserved it after all.”

“He did. Tried to flirt with her once when they first met—he was new then—and you know Mr. Unsubtle. So, he found out that ice stings the hard way—on his face. Of course, she’s Ice Queen. Anyone who rejects Valentino Donnie’s advances is Ice Queen to him.”

“Hmnn. Guess that makes me Ice Princess then, eh?”

“Oh yeah, you betcha you’re more than half-way there,” Donnie muttered. He made sure she heard him, though. She was rather amused that his ego was bothered and bruised. “Could we please just go back to the original topic? Ice Queen Madeleine meets Ice Princess here?”

“I just wish you warned me about her, Zach, you know, clued me in a little bit,” Jamie complained with a little pout that she wasn’t aware of.

“And what, made you more nervous by telling you something based solely on hearsay?” Zach explained. (‘Hah!’ from Donnie.) “Besides, that would have been quite unfair to her, don’t you think?”

“Well…yeah, I guess…but I would have spared myself from humiliation, at least.”

“Uh-oh. That didn’t sound good. What did you do?”

“For starters, I s-s-sort of got on her bad side the minute I walked into their office.”

“How?”

Donnie’s eyes widened. “Yes, how? Why? What happened? C’mon, gimme the juicy details!”

Jamie stared at him a bit, then announced, “I cannot comprehend the fact that I am now sitting here, taking my coffee, beside the exact living proof that should give evidentiary support to the theory that gossiping isn’t really entirely a social activity reserved for women alone.” She was rewarded with a blank look. “Nevermind.”

She then proceeded to give them a full account of her Madeleine encounter. She was way past caring about keeping it a secret, and she did feel like telling someone. She was not rumor-mongering anyway. She would bet that at least the whole office knew what Madeleine felt for her brother.

When she finished, Zach had a slightly open-mouthed, amused look on his face while Donnie’s eyes were as wide as ever as he whistled in a kind of awed way. “I don’t get it. Why did she take you?” the latter said. Jamie realized she could not fault him that one. She didn’t get it either.

But as usual, Zach was a voice of logic. “Well, whatever that was, that most probably meant she liked you.” Jamie’s face lit up a bit. Come to think of it, he could be right. Why was she worried about something that was in her favor?

Or,” Donnie interjected yet once again, “you really pissed her off, she’s out to make your life a living hell.”

“Gee, thanks,” she said not-so-thankfully. Zach was quick to add that Madeleine would not have the time to hire someone and pay that someone just to get even. Jamie again agreed that he was right.

The curiosity was still there, but Jamie decided that she was not going to waste her time worrying about something she did not know what or if it even existed. That interview was weird, true, but it got her the job. What more could she wish for?

Dear Jamie, though? Really?” This snide remark from the malicious big guy, of course.

Jamie threw him an evil look. “You really ought to work on your people skills, you know that?”

“Well, duh. It wasn’t me who thought she could just mouth off anything to Madeleine Elliot, especially about her brother!” Donnie’s eyes then darted to the door. “Speaking of who—”

“—whom,” she corrected.

“Whatever. But look who’s here! If it ain’t Madeleine’s beloved little bro!”

Curious enough, Jamie took a look and her jaw dropped. Oh no. No. Friggin’ N-O.

Her expression did not escape Zach who asked, “You know him?”

Know him? The eyes, the hair…No wonder Madeleine looked familiar! There at the door, looking as handsome and smug as he always did, was the last person she ever wanted to see. The last person she would ever want to be Madeleine’s brother.

Luke. Anthony. Carlton. The Third.

Shoot. Things could not get any worse, could they?

 

Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

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

For more of Jamie’s ongoing story, visit THE JAMIE TALES page.

JAMIE PART 4: DEAR JAMIE

For previous posts, visit THE JAMIE TALES page.

DEAR JAMIE

I’m toast.

Jamie stood outside Madeleine Elliot’s door. Of course, she had tried to step inside, but her feet failed her quite miserably. And with good reason. She had just insulted the very person who just might decide her future.

“When you get over it, Miss Vinci, you may step into my office,” Madeleine said as she sat behind her desk, which state was not unlike the one outside. Jamie could not tell if she was still amused or already irritated. “Only, could you please do that sometime this instant?” Maybe irritated.

We all know this image is from ‘The Devil Wears Prada’

Jamie’s feet surprisingly came to life. No use delaying it. She walked into the office and stood in front of Madeleine, Judge and Jury.

Oh, God, I have to say something… “I’m – uh – really sorry about – ”

“Save it.”

“But I – ”

“Save it and sit down.”

Nice going. It seemed that she was forgiven for the time-being. But would the incident be easily forgotten?

Jamie handed over her portfolio and a copy of her resumé then did as she was told. She was not used to being ordered around, not even by her college professors. This time, though , she could adjust and make the exception. After all, this was what the real world was. So she dared not speak not unless spoken to. Meanwhile, Madeleine went through her papers poker-faced.

Jamie took the opportunity to survey the office, to see a glimpse of Madeleine’s persona, to know who she was dealing with. Maybe she could say a praise or something. That could help…Nah. She dismissed the idea long before it could settle in her head. She was not into such practice. Supposed that she got in? She did not want to be stuck on the idea that maybe she got in because of sucking up. Her father would turn in his grave. If he wasn’t cremated, that was. No, she would just sit still, take a look around, and keep her mouth shut.

Well, Madeleine Elliot was one messy lady, that was for sure. Her desk had more things than spaces that Jamie could actually see. It was a wonder that Madeleine knew which to do first, if ever she did. There were some magazines (possibly the rivals, just to see how theirs fared), pictures (possibly being considered for the next issue), and articles soiled with quite a lot of red marks (most possibly bloodied by the ‘sword’ wielded by Madeleine). She had a computer screen on the table, but she was probably one of those who liked to work the old-fashioned way.

On the other hand, to call her messy would probably be an injustice after all. Messy desk aside, everything was almost spic and span. The books on the shelves on her left were in order and alphabetically arranged. The few paintings hung straight and well, so were the framed front covers of some Nutshell issues. To Madeleine’s right, a section is reserved for a television, neatly arranged CD’s and tapes, and more publications. Surprisingly, there is a bottle of expensive wine and two glasses beside it. And the floor! It seemed like it had yet to see the day that somebody would step on it.

Maybe Madeleine Elliot is all about control and keeping it. Or maybe she was just plain neat. Practically.

She was still scanning the portfolio so Jamie had to content herself with studying the place some more. Then her eyes fell upon the lone picture displayed on the wall…There were two children – a girl in her early teens and a much younger boy with similar blond hair and blue eyes. The girl seemed to be doting on the little boy.

Judging by looks alone, it was Madeleine and possibly her little brother.

Jamie squinted her eyes to see the picture better. Where had she seen that boy before? And that charming smile! Charming, though it bothered her a bit, for some reason. Come to think of it, the Adult Madeleine even looked familiar to her. Jamie fought the urge to stand and take a closer look.

“Uh-hurm!” Madeleine harrumphed and Jamie almost jumped to her feet. She did not know that Madeleine had finished going through the portfolio that was now laid on the table. “That girl was me, hi. And that’s my little brother Anthony.”

“Oh. He’s – uh…”

“…a charming little devil, wasn’t he? Used to dote on him when we were kids. I don’t anymore, though. Heck, I don’t even like that kid now.”

“Oh…” Should Jamie even ask – ?

“What happened?” Madeleine asked for her. “He grew up. Unfortunately, grew up just like his father.”

“Well…”

“Well what?

“Well, you do still hang that picture on the wall so maybe, you still like him? That must tell you something…”

Madeleine stared for a while, blinked once, then agreed. “Yes, that does tell me something…That I’m an idiot.” She stood up, took the picture off the wall, and stashed it in the wastebasket, to Jamie’s utter surprise. She then sat on the edge of the table and fixed her eyes on the interviewee.

Jamie tried not to squirm. Nice going, she scolded herself for the second time. It was clear that Madeleine had some kind of family issue. All Jamie had to do was to shut up and listen. But oh, no, she just had to open her big mouth!

“So, Miss Vinci, let’s hear something about you. Aside from you having a sarcastic and rather nosy personality, that is.”

The sudden shift of focus back to her caught Jamie off-guard. She had been too engrossed with worrying about her big mouth that she practically forgot what she was there for in the first place.

She sat up straight and cleared her throat. “Okay…I just graduated from Harvard – ”

Madeleine snorted. “Harvard, Yale, Boston, yeah, yeah, yeah. Like it really matters to me.”

There was silence for a while. When Madeleine did not say anything anymore and looked at her expectantly, Jamie realized she was to continue. “I finished Creative Writing – ”

“Four years! Four-freakin’-years studying Creative Writing! My cousin Rupert finished Law and now, he’s a well-known novelist. If you’ve got it, you’ve got it, I say. Simple as that. Now, have you got it, Miss Vinci?”

For a second, Jamie was taken aback before she realized what it was about. So! Madeleine Elliot was into big time intimidation, eh? Unfortunately for her, Jamie was on her game. Jamie decided she was not about to allow herself to be intimidated. At least, she hoped not to be.

“Yes, I think so.”

“Think so or know so? ‘Think’ and ‘know’ are two different things, my dear.”

“I know so.”

“Let’s proceed with the getting-to-know-you stage then. Tell me more about yourself.”

She proceeded. “I have been writing ever since grade school.” Madeleine yawned. “In fact, I was editor both in grade school and high school. I also wrote in college, and I also had some stuff submitted and published in – ”

“Alright, stop right there!” Madeleine interrupted her in mid-sentence. “Look, when I said, ‘Let’s hear something about you,’ I didn’t say, ‘Let’s hear you recite what’s on your resumé.’ I told you to tell me something about yourself. Tell me something I don’t know yet! Can you do that? Now don’t give me that how-am-I-supposed-to-know-what-you’d-like-to-hear look. Just talk. If you want to bore me with your childhood, so be it.”

By this time, it would be interesting to note that Jamie was starting to get really annoyed. Indeed, Madeleine had the right to get mad at what happened earlier, and although it was actually Madeleine’s fault, anyway, Jamie did still try to say sorry. If this was some kind of revenge…Jamie calmed herself down. She promised herself not to be intimidated, didn’t she?

So calmly, she said, “On the contrary, if I talked about my childhood, you would be immensely entertained. However, even if I started this instant, I am pretty sure we would be finished by tomorrow…Miss Elliot, all I can say is I am a writer. That’s what I do. That’s what I am. If you will accept me here, I will be an asset. That is not a promise–that is going to be the fact. If you want, I can even do a Dear Jamie kind of thing, if that’s what it will take for you to believe in me.” Madeleine raised a brow. “The point is, your magazine can use someone like me in your team. I’m hard-working, I’m creative, and most of all, I am eager. Isn’t that what this publication needs?”

There. She said it. Jamie had just unabashedly promoted herself. She wasn’t about to hit around the bush anymore. She would surely be interrupted, anyway. Madeleine was a direct kind of person. Why torture themselves with little unimportant facts about Jamie’s childhood? If Madeleine could get pass the scare-the-newbie-process, she would take Jamie. If not, tough luck, maybe more for Madeleine.

The editor’s brow was still raised. “So that’s it, huh? I should take you in just like that? Take it or leave it, huh?” What followed was totally unexpected. Madeleine laughed! With genuine laughter, to Jamie’s disbelief. Madeleine laughed and almost choked. After a while… “You’re pretty funny, you know that?”

“Uh…thank you?”

“It is so hard to place you, you’re almost interesting!”

Almost? “Well, you are, too. Almost interesting…”

Madeleine raised her hands. “Hey, hey! I just laughed so don’t go b****in’ on me alright? That’s a good thing.”

In what way exactly?

“That means you’re in.”

What? “What?” Jamie asked, bewildered and wide-eyed.

“You’re in! From now on, consider yourself employed.”

Really?” Jamie’s eyes, if it could be even wider, would have eaten her face. Did she just hear right? “You mean I got the job?You did not even read samples from my portfolio!

“You need to clean your ears, though.”

“Oh, my God!” Jamie exclaimed in total excitement. “I’m in! I actually got a job! I – ”

“ – will be handling the Dear Jamie column.”

“ – will be handling the Dear Jamie column…?” Jamie’s smile faded. And will be throwing myself from this building! Surely Madeleine wasn’t serious? Maybe she did need to clean her ears more. “Uh, Miss Elliot?”

Madeleine got back to her chair, smirking from ear to ear. “Call me Madeleine.”

“Madeleine…I’m not…really handling the…uh…Dear Jamie column,…am I?”

The editor had her amused expression again. Jamie thought that perhaps, it would have been better if she was frowning. Madeleine crossed her arms across her chest. “Well, if my memory serves me right – and it always does, plus the fact that it just happened a while ago – someone in this room just said, and I quote, ‘If you want, I can even do a Dear Jamie kind of thing, if that’s what it will take for you to believe in me.’ End quote. Was that you, or was I talking to myself?”

Jamie’s heart sank. This was not what she wanted. She wanted to make a big splash as a writer. Instead, it was going to be a one huge belly-flop! “But Miss Elliot…Madeleine…!”

“Buuuut what, Miss Vinci?” Madeleine seemed to be getting rather annoyed with her again.

“Madeleine,” breathe, breathe, “I’m a creative writer, and – ”

“Yes. And that’s why I want you to create the solutions to our readers’ problems. Cre-a-tively.” This time, Madeleine was doubly serious.

AAAAAAAAAKKKKKK!!!!!

The older woman sat up straight and looked Jamie in the eye. Obviously, she had enough of the conversation. “Look, kid. I thought you needed the job. Well, here it is. All you need to do is grab it. Now, if you don’t want it, just tell me, and I will appreciate it if you leave now. There’s plenty of other people outside of this room waiting for a chance like this…So, what will it be?”

Jamie tried to think it over. However, she did not exactly have a choice, did she? …She smiled. What had she got to lose anyway?

Madeleine took this as a yes. “Attagirl! Now, scoot!” she said as they shook hands. “When you get out, tell my secretary, if he’s there, to show you around and let you pick a table. Go, go, and leave me in peace! And, oh! Grab a resumé from his table and announce the next victim, whydoncha?”

Jamie consoled herself. It was a job, after all. All she had to do was tell the readers to jump from their buildings.

Problem solved.

 

Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

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

For more of Jamie’s ongoing story, visit THE JAMIE TALES page.

February 2017 RECAP #MonthlyRecap

After my January recap, I don’t know what to say of my February either. I think it flew by so fast!

Here’s a recap of my Febuary 2017:

Blog-wise:

(1) Hash potatoes!!!

#MondayMemoirs (see Effanineffable 1: The Brain and The Unofficial Translation)

#MondayReviews (none)

#TuesdayTunes (none)

#TVTuesday (see Love in the Time of Forensics)

#AskWednesday (see “What was the strangest thing you found cleaning out your parents’ house after they died?”)

#WhatsupWednesday (none)

#ThursdayTips (see Advice for the Supposed Lovelorn)

#FeatureFriday (none)

#FridayFlashdance (none)

#AnythingDay (see JAMIE PART 3: CAUGHT IN NEW YORK CITY)  –  Any day could be about anything.

“I do need to come up with an actual system when it comes to handling blog-related emails, blog visits, and social media accounts, and actually WRITING.” That’s what I said the last time. It still holds true.

I’ve realized I’m not a lazy writer. It’s really all these ideas swimming in my head and all these real-life distractions. Very recently, one writer on Quora said in nicer terms that people who say they have writer’s block are just plain lazy. I agree that writers need to keep writing, but as some other writers explained, sometimes you need a breather or to do other things to get more ideas and be more inspired.

(3) My Trending Stories. I’ve started re-orienting my self a teeny bit. Will see if I can start posting soon.

(4) A to Z Challenge. Decided on Plan D. Yes, that’s how many times I changed my mind. I’m starting with the letters.

Social Media Reach-out:

More bloggers to share, yay!!! If you’re not here, chances are, I’ve already mentioned you in past recaps. But if I haven’t mentioned you yet, nothing personal, okay? Will get to you. This is a mix of regular followers, new followers, and bloggers I follow though they don’t follow me, WordPress or not. I tell you, the way I do things sometimes…

I’m not exactly following a system here. It’s all random. I want to give opportunity to everyone so I mix them all up. Here are my awesome online friends, would-be friends, some wish-I-were-friends-with-but-I follow-them-anyway peeps, and actual peeps that I know, in alphabetical order:

 Alli,      Carl,    Colleen,    Joseph,    Kendall,    Lora,    Liberty,    Needull,    Phil,    SWO8

More bloggers to come.

Fiction/Story- and Poetry-writing:

Restarted being a bit more active. But until I get a proper laptop again,…

Literature:

Aw, c’mon folks! Still a tie! Really??? Well, these were the results:

No automatic alt text available.

While waiting for the results, I came to read a supposed novel online that I just happened to find. Thought I’d give it a chance. Ugh. One of those romance novels where all the men are supposed to be buffed and forever virile and it’s supposed to be okay that they treat women like trash. I’m not making this up or just stereotyping! You’ll have to read to believe it. To make the long story short, I stopped reading. They’re not exactly protagonists I’d grow to like. There was not much plot to speak of.

Anyway, I’m putting off my decision on what to do with the poll and I’m actually going to pick up an actual novel I can hold. Or at least read a couple of free ebooks I’ve downloaded.

Personal:

I have:

  • become an addict to  The Walking Dead. I’ve been mentioning it here a lot and reading stuff about it.
  • become a Quora-person because I love to share my thoughts, give advice and getting information from other writers.
  • been dealing with various things, my brain wants to explode…

 

Your thoughts? 😉

JAMIE PART 3: CAUGHT IN NEW YORK CITY

(*Important Note: I’ve written this a long time ago, but I realized I hadn’t posted it here. Jamie Gabrielle Vinci went AWOL! Anyway, here it is, the third installment. I really was going to post more than an hour ago, but The Walking Dead was interrupting me, he he…Anyway, this piece is now all mine. There are some French words. I had someone from Canada to edit it. But if any of you speaks French and finds anything wrong here, please let me know. Thanks!…Again, just to remind you guys, this is  just light writing meant for light reading. Hope you still like it, though.)

For previous posts, visit THE JAMIE TALES page.

CAUGHT IN NEW YORK CITY

New York City. Man, she would definitely love this city…Broadway paradise!!!

Given the tragedy that happened to New York years ago, Broadway was still a thriving community of its own, thanks to people who believed in it no matter what, and Jamie was a firm believer. Oh, but Broadway was not what she really came here for although that, indeed, was part of the itinerary.

Jamie drove her red Corvette convertible – top up – that morning along a busy street, neither in turtle-slow nor Evel Knievel fashion. That didn’t stop impatient drivers following her to keep their horns loudly busy as well. Amazing how many expletives people came up with in a single traffic time alone. All Jamie could mutter was “Right back at ya!” as she smiled. Nope, she would not be bullied, no one was going to ruin her day for her. Not today, not on her day of interview. So she turned on her player and sang along with Joseph as he fussed about his ultra-hip, rainbow-inspired dreamcoat.

Some more traffic, left-turns, right-turns, and more traffic later, Jamie finally found the street she was looking for and eventually parked her car at the building’s parking lot. She killed the engine, killed Joseph, got her bag and got out. Some people had alighted from their cars just as well. No sooner had Jamie walked away from hers when her mobile phone rang to the familiar tune of Für Elise. Jamie got the phone out of her bag and answered the call.

Bonjour, Maman.

Her mother’s lovely French-American accent reached her ears. “Ma cherie! How did you know it was me?”

“Daughter’s intuition.” And caller ID . “Mom, you’ve only called me three times already. Are you more anxious about this job interview than I am?”

Mrs. Vinci laughed. “Je suis désolée. It is only the mother in me.”

“I know. That’s why I love you. But, Mom, I just got here. You can’t go calling me every hour. Don’t worry, I’ll call you when I get home and then we can talk on the phone, alright?”

A hesitant pause. Then, “Okay. Fais attention.a toi…

“I will, I will, don’t worry, I’ll be careful. But I really gotta go now, Mom. Interview’s at ten and I wanna be ready. Byee!!!”

“Good luck!”

“Thanks! Je t’appelle plus tard. Love you!” With that, Jamie hung up and put the phone back in her bag, smiling.

She loved it when her mother called her ‘ma cherie’ But then, she had always loved being surrounded by people who doted on her. Who wouldn’t? The thought suddenly made her miss her dad, though. ‘Mio prezioso’ That was what he had often called her. ‘My precious.’

Surprisingly, she let out a guffaw that made a few people near her jump. Goodness, she felt like the one ring to rule them all! Jamie Gabrielle Vinci, you are one crazy lady. A guy who was eyeing her with interest a while ago probably thought so, too. He seemed pretty quick to turn away and walk as far away from her as possible.

Jamie headed to the elevator like the others with her head up high. Oh, yeah, this was going to be her day.

“Hey, man, look at that red convertible! Nice, eh?”

“Dude, it gets better! Check out the broad that came with it! Yeeahh, baby! Want my number?”

Or maybe not.

Maybe this was going to be one of those days. After all, that sounded familiar. Not exactly flattering when people reduced you to a piece of meat. Delectable, yet still meat. Ugh! Lord, if you’ll ever give me somebody, puh-LEASE make him a vegetarian?

“Uh, excuse me, Miss,” someone said as he stood beside her waiting for the elevator to reach them. “I can’t help but notice you’re alone, which is just fine, by the way, since, if you must know, ‘Company’ is my middle name.”

Hooray. S.O.B. Number 1, Jamie thought sarcastically, referring to one of the guys she overheard talking. “And mine’s not exactly ‘Misery’. Shoo. Scram.” She did not even waste a glance on him and simply fixed her eyes on the line of ants passing across her path. She had more important things to think about. Like not stepping on those ants, for instance.

The guy chuckled a bit. “Hmnn…That’s a pity. They always said misery loves company.” Shoot. Not the response she quite hoped for. “But anyway, I happen to know that Ms. Jamie Gabrielle Notexactlymiseryshooscram Vinci loves coffee…”

What the – ?

“And that her special favorite is Classic Macchiato, with all the criss-crossed caramel she can spoon up.”

Jamie now suddenly raised her head. The first thing that caught her eye was the magazine tucked under his arm. In A Nutshell.

“Isaac Matlin!…Zach!” she managed to say before she could even see his face and shake his hand a bit vigorously. She could have hugged him, but it surely would have been awkward as they were not actual friends. At least, he was not one of those two S.O.B.’s after all.

“Yup,” he said, his smile teasing. “And you are Gabrielle Vinci. Jamie…Wow, still feisty, huh? Smart retort, though. ‘Misery’! I’ll take note of that.”

“Well, you had me there,” she admitted with a laugh. “Hey, it’s nice to see you again, Zach. You don’t know how relieved I am.” Jamie meant it. He was, so far, the first person she met in New York whom she actually knew. Sort of. She did like the long conversation they had the first time they met. Of course, that was after she mistakenly blew him off. Zach’s being there now did beat not knowing anyone at all. Plus, this guy had really nice, kind eyes.

“So, what are you doing here?” Nice, kind eyes widened. “No, don’t tell me. You’re working in the Nutshell now, right? Congratulations!”

“Okay, I won’t tell you, ‘cause I’m not. Not yet. Actually, I hope so. Today’s my interview. However, of course, there’s no guarantee. I mean…”

“Hey, hey…Jamie,” he said rather sympathetically. “I somehow sense a bit of apprehension here. Look, if you really want this job, I say go for it!” He emphasized this by punching his closed fist in the air, the magazine almost slipping from him. Good thing he was fast enough to catch it.

Somebody snickered from behind. Probably one of those idiots. Jamie fought the urge to turn around and give them a piece of her mind. She had to remind herself that no one was going – or supposed – to ruin her day. It was already not exactly going as planned, but damages were repairable so far.

Jamie shook her head at Zach. Easy for him to say ‘go for it’. He had a job whereas she, this could only be her first professional job, with emphasis on the ‘could’, and she was scared to death just thinking about it. She told him exactly so.

“Aw, c’mon. Think positive! Negativity never gets anyone anywhere. For sure you know that. If you’re really good, then they’ll get you.”

Her smile was as unsure as what she was feeling. The butterflies in her stomach were not only fluttering, they were screaming in a roller-coaster ride! “Well, I think I’m good enough, so you know, I do hope I qualify. Let’s just hope I’m the one they’re looking for.”

“Yes, let’s. You know, whether they take you or not, I’m sure you’ll do great. The important thing is for you to give your best.”

Moral support. That was what she exactly needed. Thank God for Zach. I wonder if he’s vegetarian. “Hey, thanks for helping me, by the way. If it weren’t because of you, I probably would not have known about this opportunity. I am so glad we met!”

“And I’m glad you still remember my name!” he exclaimed with a bit of exaggeration, hand on his chest.

Jamie had to laugh and thought she’d get even. “Of course, I do! Why wouldn’t I? It’s only been, what, just a week-and-a-half ago? Besides, I think I would remember anyone who called me rude and deflated my ego by telling me to get off my high horse, and deflated it more by saying I was not even his type.”

Zach only made a face and did not even blush. “If you’re trying to make me feel guilty, let me just tell you, I don’t feel any guilt at all. Not. At. All.” Darn, he wasn’t about to grant her sweet revenge. “I like blonde girls with blue eyes and fair skin.”

“Really, now. Good luck then, ‘cause, hmnn… looking at you now…you’re gonna need a lot of that,” Jamie countered, also in jest. “Besides, I like blonde guys with blue eyes and…well, you have fair skin, I can at least give you that.”

“Stupid idiot,” a guy from behind gave an audible unsolicited comment before Zach could come up with a smart retort. It was followed by “You don’t even know an opportunity when you see one, Matlin.” Judging from the voice and accent, it was S.O.B. Number 2 who was checking her out earlier.

This time, Jamie turned to look and raise a brow at him and his friend. S.O.B. Number 2 was good-looking, muscular, and smirking at her. S.O.B. Number 1 was nowhere near, however.

“Thank you for jumping in our conversation,” she said, sarcasm dripping from every word. “Zach, you know this joker?”

Zach turned to look, too, so that they were all facing one another now. “Unfortunately, yes…Uuhh, Jamie, this is Donnie Imperato. Donnie, this is Jamie Gabrielle Vinci…Donnie works where I work.”

Donnie kept smirking. “Don’t sound so disappointed, Matlin,” he warned, extending an eager hand to Jamie. The girl was not as eager and ignored the hand entirely. “So Jamie, what are ya, Italian? Vinci, as in Michael da Vinci?”

Leonardo da Vinci, Donnie.”

“Whatever, Matlin…So Jamie, what a coincidence! I’m Italian also! In fact, would you believe my real name’s Donatello? You know, as in Donatello…uh, Donatello…,” dumb look, fingers snapping, mouth open…“Well, you know what I mean.”

“Yah, but do you?” she replied, quite disgusted now. Goodness. Good looks but not much of a brain. Pity. I suppose S.O.B. Number 1’s not so different. “And where’s that buddy of yours, by the way? Maybe he’ll know. The one you were just with, Guy One?” An attempt to clean up language a bit so ‘S.O.B.’ was deliberately forgotten.

Donnie opened his mouth to speak, but Zach beat him to it. “Uh,…Guy One,” he confessed, reluctantly raising his hand, the magazine almost fell on the floor.

Holy – ! What? Great. Just what I need. Why don’t you just shoot me? “Are you telling me you’re Guy One?”

Donnie: “He just did. Why do I get to be Guy Two, anyway? I could be Guy One. Why can’t I be Guy One instead? ”

Why do you even have to stay in this conversation?”

“Yeah, why? I don’t – What’s taking that elevator – oh, here it is!” Zach exclaimed in obvious attempt to change the topic. But if he thought he could get away with that, Jamie was not going to let him.

She jostled her way inside the elevator, making sure she stood near Zach who stood behind her. Donnie was beside her, smirking again, that she had to tell him to keep his hands to himself or she could box the living daylights out of him.

She could have waited till they got out. Jamie could have spared some minutes and exited the elevator with them, just one floor shy of her supposedly future employer’s. Problem was, she couldn’t.

And so, as the elevator went up, she turned around to face him only to ask, “Guy One?” through gritted teeth.

Zach sighed in surrender. “Alright, I’m sorry. Yes, like I said, I was Guy One. But for the record, I only said ‘nice car’. It was Guy Two here who wanted to ‘check out the broad that came with it’. You didn’t hear me say anything else, did you? You know I was kidding about the misery-loves-company thing. So, technically, I’m innocent.”

“Yes, but…” Shoot. He could be right.

Donnie again: “The guy can be a real pain sometimes, but he’s right, though. I’m the only bloke who loves to scope up babes. And may I say, you have very nice – ”

“Donnie!” Jamie and Zach both shouted the threat.

“Whaaat? I was going to say ‘wheels’!”

Zach shook his head and gave Jamie an apologetic look. “For what it’s worth, I’m really, really, really sorry.”

Jamie studied him and then sighed after a while. Well, Zach did seem like a nice guy. He was also right about commenting only on her car. Well, that was as far as she knew anyway. Besides, Donnie supported his explanation and it made sense.

“So, peace?”

Another sigh. “Alright, I guess.’

“Good. Just in time ‘cause here comes our floor.”

Oh, no! “You’re leaving? What about me? How could this elevator take time going down, but not take time going up?!! ”

The elevator stopped. “The answer is yes, I’m leaving. The other answer is there’s nothing to worry about you, so don’t worry about You. And the last answer is it’s  coincidence, perhaps, that the elevator’s that fast going up.” Doors opened. “Just think positive. Good luck! Lemme know what happens!” He gave a small wave as he squeezed through her and Donnie.

Donnie was still smirking when they got out the elevator with some people. “It was a pleasure to meet you,” he said aloud.

“The pleasure was all yours!” she replied just as loudly. The second they were out, she started to shiver. Ugh. She was having the jitters.

“Are you alright, Miss?” somebody inquired. “You look pale.”

“Uh, yes, I’m alright, thank you.” Liar, she thought in private as the elevator brought them a floor higher and it was time to get out. When she did, her knees trembled. Especially when she saw the line of applicants on and around the sofa set. Many were young, a number were good-looking enough, a few looked quite intelligent.

“Hey, sweetheart,” a woman who looked more than thirty approached her with eyebrows almost meeting, “are you an intern? It’s that way.” She looked at Jamie sharply and didn’t look friendly at all.

“Uh, no. I’m a wri-”

“Model then. You’re one floor higher.”

“I’m not. I’m – ”

“Then what are you then? I am sorry, but if you don’t have any business here,…” her sentenced trailed off but the message was loudly clear. GET OUT.

The jitters suddenly disappeared. Who did this woman think she was?

Jamie inhaled and stood straight. No, the day was far from over so this woman was just one of those repairable damages. “I do have business here,” she said bravely, “and if you’ll only care to listen, I would’ve told you already. So now, I will tell you who I am. I am Jamie Gabrielle Vinci, applicant for a writing position. Yes, I am a writer so just save your sarcastic question. And if you don’t believe me, I’m sure my resumé is somewhere there on your messy desk.”

The woman raised a brow at the mention of the desk. But she did not speak. Instead, she walked to the desk and rummaged through the mess. She soon produced a set of stapled papers and read, “Jamie Gabrielle Vinci.”

Jamie felt triumphant and felt all a-glow. That would show that rude woman. “So now you know.”

Still, the woman looked at her with a kind of attitude. She thought she detected amusement. It was not going to worry Jamie, though. The woman could amuse herself to death, for all Jamie cared. The interview was minutes away. That was what was important at the moment.

Jamie only realized just how important it really was and what an idiot she had been when the woman checked her watch and announced to all, “Well, it’s practically ten! No use wasting time. Time for interview! By the way, my name’s Madeleine Elliot, Editor-in-Chief. Good luck in the interview, people!”

Madeleine Elliot headed for the door that led to her office. On it were written in big, bold, capital letters:

MADELEINE ELLIOT
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Jamie’s jaw dropped. No, it couldn’t be! It just couldn’t be!

“By the way, Vinci, you’re first!”

It was. And already, Jamie’s day was over.

Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

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

For more of Jamie’s ongoing story, visit THE JAMIE TALES page.

“JAMIE PART 2: CHANCE MEETING”

(*Important Note Before You Read: This is the second installment of the Jamie Gabrielle Vinci story. The character Teng, including her attire and actions, except for the small talk with Jamie, belongs to ‘mystical_grasseater’ or “Michael” whose last name the author doesn’t know. J.Gi Federizo — moi — used the character with his permission. As I have no way to inform him and the first guy, Kevin Craig, everytime I post this and the first installment (the Yahoo! group folded up a long time ago), I’d rather mention them. I have no plans of earning from this so they can rest easy…Anyhoo, hope you like this one. I have done some tweaking to avoid certain problems that may or may not come up)

IF YOU HAVEN’T YET, READ JAMIE PART 1: JAMIE GABRIELLE VINCI HERE BEFORE YOU PROCEED…

CHANCE MEETING

Grande Macchiato. What a lovely name. So Jamie decided to have some more of it and went back into the café.

She had earlier entered BrewsNook somewhat absent-mindedly and simply ordered the first words that caught her eye in the displayed list. She drank it outside just as absent-mindedly as her mind wandered off, dreaming of J. Gabrielle Vinci’s future glory days, and eventually letting out sighs of disappointment as her thoughts wandered more to her problem at hand.

Could have stayed that way if not for Mr. Pinkoe who stuck an itsy-bitsy pink note on the transparent window and woke her up. He could have stuck it on her face, in fact, but thankfully, he did not. One laughing-session-with-some-stranger after, she finished her drink and decided she liked it after all.

“Classic Macchiato, please,” Jamie ordered just as someone stood beside her.

The BrewsNook employee acknowledged the other person. “Your order, Miss?”

“Café Cubano, please, on ice,” came the reply.

Jamie took note of the accent. Asian, no mistake about it. Perhaps Chinese, or maybe Japanese. No matter. She loved Asians, especially since she was part-Asian herself.

Jamie stole a glance at the other woman who was fortunately looking somewhere else. Oh, it was she. Asian, alright. It was only Jamie’s third time in that certain BrewsNook branch and every time, the woman was there as well. Maybe she was a regular customer.

‘ Teng.’  That was probably her name. Jamie had overheard someone call the woman that the other day. She thought it was cute, like the sound typewriters made at the end – Teng! The previous days, Teng proceeded to the rear part of the café, sat, and shuffled her tarot cards on the table. Maybe she would sit there today, too.

Today, Teng had her red silk cape again. Blue jeans. Brown cowboy boots. Amber-tinted sunglasses. Fashionable? Maybe. Jamie admired people who took fashion into their own skin, however different, as long as it suited the wearer, and Teng’s attire suited her without question. Add flawless, glowing skin to the ensemble.

But it was not the attire or her behavior that made people aware of Teng. Somehow, she exuded an aura that was…not all together there, not entirely, but…there. There was just no word to fit, Jamie realized. And Jamie blushed profusely when she also realized she had stared too much for far too long, Teng was now looking at her. The eyes were hidden under glasses, but she knew they were eye-to-eye.

“Classic Macchiato, Café Cubano,” the employee had announced and Jamie took the opportunity to look away.

Didn’t your mother say it’s rude to stare at people?, she reprimanded herself as they each took their orders. Their eyes met again (Jamie could just tell), but this time, the woman smiled at her a bit, prompting her to smile back to make up for the staring. Teng turned around to leave. In an instant, she was back looking at Jamie who half-expected a scolding or something.

It was a something, at least. A weird something. “Do not let it trouble you. All things will fall into place. Perhaps not as soon as you think, but they will,” Teng said in such a mysterious way, Jamie’s heart skipped.

“E-excuse me?”

“Everything will be alright. Simply take it one step at a time.”

Oh, boy, this is weird. “What do you mean?”

To this, Teng’s brows furrowed as she cast her eyes down, as if she was wondering herself. “I don’t know. I just…know.” Having said this, Teng shrugged her shoulders, turned around again, and went to her usual table to shuffle cards that came wrapped in black silk.

Photo from the Net

Jamie stood dumbfounded. Holy–! Did Teng really know what she was talking about? She did say she had no idea, though. Jamie would’ve asked more about it, but decided against it when a man in corporate attire beat her to talking with Teng.

Jamie collected herself, sighed, and resigned. Nevermind, she’s probably just a fake psychic or whatever, she thought, going out to find the seat she abandoned still empty. She sighed again as she sat. Fake or not, Jamie wished Teng had sat near the window in front of her. It was weird that Teng somewhat guessed something about her and Teng didn’t seem anything near crazy at all. Jamie sighed again, realizing that sighing was becoming a bad habit.

It wasn’t long when…“Excuse me, Miss. May I please have this seat?” Jamie looked up to find a guy standing in front of her, hot coffee in one hand, an order of California Maki in the other, magazine tucked in between his arm and waist.

Jamie gave him one of her standard replies. “I’m sorry, but I’m busy,” she said, giving him a smile that was not to be construed as an invitation, rather, something one gave for polite purposes.

“Yeah, I know, but I won’t really bother you, Miss.”

Yeah, right. “Sorry, but I’m waiting for somebody.”

“There are more than two seats here. Maybe you could lend me one? Or I could stay and then leave when your friend arrives,” he insisted.

Oh, no, one of those who just would not go away that easily. Jamie decided to be blunt. “Mister, you really have to stop this.” He gave her a questioning look. Hmp. Playing innocent. “Okay. At the risk of being called rude, I have to tell you, I really have no time for you whatsoever. No conversations. I have a lot on my mind and I really wanna concentrate on them…So please, leave?”

The guy first looked at her, confused, and then, as if suddenly gifted with the power to comprehend, he gave a little mocking smile. “Oh, I see, I see…You’re right…” he said, nodding his head a little, “You are rude.”

This time, Jamie was the one confused. “Excuse me?”

“Excuse you? Right after you insulted me? God! What an ego! Get off your high horse, will you? I mean, didn’t it even occur to you that maybe, I really was  just looking for a seat? Maybe I wasn’t trying to hit on you? Maybe you’re not even my type?” He shook his head again. “You know what? Forget it.” Having given her his own piece of mind, he turned and left the table.

Stunned, Jamie watched him leave and stand a distance away, surveying his surroundings. It was true that he needed a seat, she realized. The place was full again today and there was no available chair for him outside anymore. He was telling the truth after all. Jamie felt a pang of guilt. What was she thinking? He was right. What an ego she had. A big, fat ego. She watched as he turned to enter the café to look for a seat.

Suddenly, Jamie stood up. “Hey, Mister!” she called out to him. The guy turned to look at her. “You can have this seat.”

He was confused again yet annoyed. Probably thinking that she flipped her lid. “What?”

“You can have this seat.” To this, he gave a more confused look and asked why as he went nearer. An apology was in order. “Look, you’re right. I’m sorry I was rude to you. Guess, it’s just that my days have not been going great lately…Have a seat?”

He did take the seat opposite hers, put his coffee and food down, flipped through the magazine, started reading, and completely ignored her. Jamie bit her lip. Well, she did have it coming. So she just concentrated on her drink, spooning up all of the criss-crossed splash of caramel meticulously with her straw before drinking the rest. Once, she glanced at the guy and found him watching her, an amused expression on his face. But then he looked away and back to the magazine, pretending to be engrossed in it. Jamie could not help but smile to herself .

Model: Mumay

Just then, Jamie’s face contorted a little and before she knew it,… “Achoo.” Oops…She would have apologized if he didn’t start snickering, his shoulders shaking as he tried not to, still pretending that he was reading. “Heeeeyyyy…” she said, good-naturedly. So he abandoned all efforts to stop snickering altogether and laughed away. Jamie let him. She owed him that.

When he finally mellowed down, it was to say, “Bless you.”

“Thank you.”

“Was that a real…I mean…Did you really sneeze?”

“Yeah, I know, I get that all the time. They say I sneeze like a kitty cat.”

“A kitty cat! Yes, that’s right! I was wondering how I would describe it…” he was smiling broadly now. Nice smile. Jamie was a sucker for nice smiles. He had the kindest eyes, too, now that he wasn’t mad anymore. In fact, when he was mad, he still looked kind. Straight dark hair that reached the nape, complementing the brown eyes. “By the way,…I’m sorry, too, for what I said to you. My day has not been going great as well.”

“I understand. Troubles make people cranky at times…You better take your coffee now or it’ll turn cold.”

“Oh.” He did and took a sip. “But I see you have a nice way of drinking yours as well. I feel like ordering a cold one myself. But anyway,…Oh, hey, sorry, I’m bothering you now.”

“No, no, that’s alright. I’m really in need of a little chat right now. I was just cranky because these guys kept coming up to me and hitting on me and, well, you know, it could get so annoying.”

“Now, I understand what happened! Don’t worry, I wasn’t hitting on you. I was just a guy trying to find the nicest way to enjoy his coffee.”

“And you like to read, too, I see. What magazine is that?” He showed her the cover. “In A Nutshell. That’s a magazine title? Never heard of it.”

“That’s ‘cause they’re relatively new. Their office is a floor above the office where I work, which is also owned by the owners of the publication. In fact, the whole building is theirs.”

A publication? This got Jamie’s interest. “Really. Do you happen to know if they’re in need of more writers? Maybe they’ll have room for me.”

“Oh, so you’re a writer? Great! Well, I’m not sure if they need more people, but I can find out when I get back to New York.”

“New York?”

“Yup. That’s where I work. I’m just here for some research. I work as art director for their ad agency.”

“I love New York! Maybe I’ll go check the magazine myself and see if they can accommodate me.”

“Oh, well, then, here,” he searched through his pockets, produced a piece of business card and handed it to her. “Here’s my card. So you’ll know where to find the Nutshell. I know you can very well Google ’em, but in case you need my help…”

Jamie finally learned his name. “Isaac Matlin.”

“Call me Zach.”

“Hello, Zach,” Jamie said as they shook hands. “Gabrielle Vinci.”

“Gabrielle,” he repeated.

“Call me Jamie.”

He gave her another one of his confused looks again before smiling and said, “Okay, hello, Jamie.”

Jamie nodded. Yup. Today, she felt like Jamie. Not Gabrielle, the worldly, sophisticated chick she often pretended to be. Just Jamie, the young, fun-loving dreamer.

Zach looked at her, studying her. “Hey, for someone who was so feisty earlier, you actually seem kinda nice.”

Jamie scowled. “Kinda?”

“Alright. Nice. Kinda funny, too.”

Jamie smiled for the nth time, contorted her face a little, and gave him the most unexpected reply. “Achoo.”

Hmnn. Maybe Teng was right after all. All things would fall into place.

 

Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

 

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

For more of Jamie’s ongoing story, visit THE JAMIE TALES page.

“JAMIE PART 1: JAMIE GABRIELLE VINCI”

(*Important Note Before You Read: The story of Jamie Gabrielle Vinci is the sole property of J.Gi Federizo, myself. However, the characters of the man who keeps posting pink notes and the man who keeps following him, including their actions and the note, belong to Kevin Craig. J.Gi (me) used the characters with Mr. Craig’s permission. The piece was part of a writing group exercise wherein one’s character(s) got to meet/inter-act with the others’. I got the idea to “breathe air” into the scowling girl Kevin’s characters encountered.

The group attempt failed but I decided to continue just for fun and to keep me writing….So if this first installment seems kind of — okay, really — weird, it’s because it is. It becomes more “normal” and coherent in the next parts, though. I have been doing some tweaking to update information. It’s just light writing, so please bear with it, like when you watch a movie for the entertainment value and nothing else…LOL!!! )

JAMIE GABRIELLE VINCI

Copyright © gigabiting.com

Copyright © gigabiting.com

Jamie Gabrielle Vinci…Too long…Jamie G. Vinci? Eek. Too nursery rhyme-y.

Once, there was Jamie G. Vinci

who got stuck up the big oak tree

she tried her best to get down, you see

fell down so hard, she broke a knee.

Eek. No, thank you…J.G. Vinci? Yeah, right. Just as tacky…Hmnn…How about J. Gabrielle Vinci?…J. Gabrielle Vinci…Hey, that’s it! J. Gabrielle Vinci!…Watch out, world, here I come!’

So went Jamie’s train of thought as she sipped a cup of coffee at BrewsNook along Yonge Street, facing the transparent window of the café. Not that there was anything that interesting to look at at that particular moment. And if there was any, she was lost in her thoughts to even care. J. Gabrielle Vinci, she thought, Yup. That name is definitely going places. She was lost in the euphoria of day-dreaming about conquering the literary world.

“Uh-hurm,” someone cleared his throat from her left, pushing Jamie out of her reverie. She turned to look up at a handsome guy – perfect teeth, perfect built, perfect skin – who smiled down at her. “Hello. The name’s Cole,” the guy said, offering a handshake.

Jamie gave a courteous smile, ignoring Cole’s hand. She didn’t feel like flirting today. “Hello.”

“Mind if I share your table?” he said, pulling the seat beside hers. “I mean, what’s a pretty girl like you -”

“Oh, hey, I’m sorry. But I’m not alone. That’s kinda occupied already.” She lied. She knew where the conversation was heading.

Cole gave a surprised expression and then looked around. “Really? I’ve been watching you from inside the café for, like, ten minutes, and I haven’t seen any – ”

“My boyfriend. He’s just fashionably late. He always is, especially since today’s Karate Day.” Jamie put a matter-of-factly cover.

“K-Karate Day?”

“Yeah. He has a black belt. They over-practice at times, but he should be arriving ree-al soon,” she said, making a show of checking her watch. She didn’t know if martial artists do over-practice, but if this white lie would serve the purpose…

That got him. “Uh, I guess I better…”

Yeah, you better. “Okay, bye, nice meeting you, Cole,” she said, waving at his retreating back as he walked away fast and turned around the corner.

He was not that long gone when another guy, a gorgeous Latino this time, pulled the same chair and sat down in front of her. “Good morning. ”

Jamie, peeved already by the intrusion in her private world, stopped him from going any further. “Look. To be honest, I’m not interested in your name or your address or your number. I don’t wanna give you my name or my address or my number. No, we don’t need to be ‘friends’ on Facebook. I don’t need a relationship right now, and I’m not interested in having one with you. No need for idle conversations, either. I just wanna be left alone. So, will you please, please, just leave me be?”

Taken aback by her little tirade, the Latino stared at her, astonished. “Or should I say all of that in Latin?” she added. He gave an embarrassed smile, raised his hands in surrender, and left. Thank you. Jamie sighed to herself in disgust and took another sip of her coffee. She knew she was being b****y, but with the pressure of unemployment hanging on her shoulders, she just wanted to be left alone.

Men, she thought. Put a pretty girl near them and they flock like bees. Pretty??? She laughed mockingly at herself upon realizing the irony. Who would have thought? Who would have known what a few years could do?

Jamie Gabrielle Vinci. Only daughter to a French-American mother and a Filipino-Italian father, R.I.P. She was born in America, raised in America, and would most probably die in America. Dark straight hair, brown doe eyes, mocha-colored skin. She was fluent in all the four languages of her lineage, sprinkle in a dash of Spanish and Chinese. She was smart, witty, talented in the arts (even funny, if she hadn’t been in a bad mood lately). A real prize of a girl.

But traits like those didn’t get anybody that far socially, not in grade school and definitely not in high school. Jamie was a short, thin girl in grade school who didn’t look that much of anything, thanks to her different roots. She was shy, a loner, a nobody who no one really noticed. Sometimes, she wished she was one of the more nerdy kids. At least, they got noticed.

That was a wish she later wished she had not made in the first place. As Jamie added on more height and pounds, Jamie started to be noticed in high school, alright — as that nerdy kid who always got the A’s, that social outcast whose looks never seemed to fit in, that weird girl who would rather hang out in the library, play chess, and write on her journal. To top it all, she had somehow gained the tag “Teen-age Mutant Ninja Turtle.” All because she did look like one with her back always humped when she walked, sat, or even ran. She resented being called a mutant, of course, but the turtle-thing, she thought, sure was appropriate. Good thing Jamie realized enough was enough and gradually corrected her Quasimodo posture. Later, she would learn that it was a sign of insecurity.

It was her intelligence that saved her in a way. Jamie got a Harvard scholarship in Creative Writing. It was in college where she found her confidence, sharing and competing with people who somehow had the same wavelength as hers. Sure, there were snobs and hypocrites, too, but what school didn’t have any? The same way as there were nice and friendly people. Jamie even learned to play tennis and enhanced her swimming skills, which changed her physique dramatically. She became the more attractive version of her old self. Not that it was her fondest wish. She never really minded her looks. But she had to admit, it sure had its advantages. What’s more, she was becoming prettier – no, lovelier – her exotic beauty finally falling into place.

Suddenly, she was hot property. Boys, guys, men were quick to notice her (and it was around this time that she also took to using her second name, Gabrielle, which she thought fitted her new-found personality). Hardly a week went by when she did not get any invitation for a date. Sometimes, she dated; many times, she preferred to just plop on her bed and read Shakespeare.

But it was Luke Anthony Carlton III who caught her attention. Charming. good-looking, ultra-rich Luke. He was intelligent in his own way and quite the talented artist. Finally, she found a guy she actually was proud to have! Unfortunately, all those traits were never good indicators of anyone’s real persona. A few months into the relationship, he showed the real side of him: domineering, jealous-type bad boy with an ego the size of the whole of America. He showed no interests in the things she did whatsoever, insulted her once in a while with his tactless words, and neglected her feelings. Until the time it turned out that Luke was much more interested in trying out the time-tested theories of Kama Sutra on her. So she gave him what he deserved. “Kama Sutra this, you jerk!” Jamie shouted right before hitting his groin so hard, he took off and never talked to her again. Luke, with his looks, talents, and financial capabilities, was as big a jerk as most of the men Jamie met.

And she met many. They were guys who were intimidated by her brains while some didn’t seem to use theirs at all. Some guys simply liked her for her beauty, and some liked her beauty too much they thought they could own her. Mostly, they were guys who wanted what Luke wanted. So they never got any.

Jamie was presently fresh out of college. You’d think she had it made being a Harvard graduate and all. But no. She got rejected a lot and had been unemployed for months. She was found somewhat “unfit”, she could tell. There were people who even went as far as to tell it to her face – “Too pretty” or “Overqualified” or “Inexperienced” or “Too young” or “Too liberal” or…Yeah, that was her, an ‘OR’.

“Damn the systems!” Jamie let out and scowled. She looked so miserable, no self-respecting artist would have tried to draw her expression. So much for confidence.

What the – Jamie got the surprise of her life when a pink post-it paper was suddenly stuck with a thud on the window directly in front of her. There was a man who seemed to have just gotten out of bed, unkempt and really rather untidy. Another guy was watching him from a distance. Mr. Pinkoe smiled at her and she didn’t know how to react until he walked away in his own goofy way, pen ready to scrawl on paper.

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Jamie stared at the little piece of paper and realized there was something written on it. The other guy who was watching went nearer, glanced at her, then at the note. She strained her eyes as well to read the words written in loopy but rather nice penmanship: “Ping Pong goes the stones and bones roll in tones of moans…Jibber Jabber, ho!” Huh?

Jamie burst out laughing the same time as the other guy did, disturbing other people. They stared at the two curiously, but really, ready to run screaming Amuck! should they see any more sign of mental disturbance.

The guy smiled at Jamie and she smiled back before he followed Mr. Pinkoe down the street. Hmnn…Was it her imagination or could he be stalking poor, Pinkoe guy? A stalker looking more harmless than the stalkee? Nah. Oh, but Mr. Stalker did have a cute smile. Would have been nice to have talked and laughed with him if he only stayed for coffee.

Jamie wasn’t scowling anymore. She was now smiling radiantly. Of course, she had no idea what that little “Jibber Jabber” piece meant, yet that made her day somehow. Mr. Pinkoe and Mr. Stalker. What a team.

Jamie finished her coffee now and stared at the newspaper that was on her table. She would like to apply for a writing position there after all. And if Roseville Today would not take her, she would try somewhere else again. And if all else failed, she wouldn’t mind looking for Mr. Pinkoe, himself, and ask for a few pointers about the art of writing (weird but he seemed to know what he was doing), or maybe ask for another one of his pinky notes.

That morning, Jamie Gabrielle Vinci was so happy, she could’ve whistled if she only knew how. So she made up a little song instead with a “Jibber” and a “Jabber” and a “ho!”

 

Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

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For more of Jamie’s ongoing story, visit THE JAMIE TALES page.