1. to ward off a weapon or blow
2. to evade especially by an adroit (clever) answer

Ellie raced around her bedroom, humming as she rushed to get ready for her date. She checked her reflection in the mirror, resisting the urge to dissect her silhouette. This was the third weekend in a row Alex had invited her out and she was starting to think something more might be on the horizon.

Ellie’s phone buzzed, taking her attention from straightening her naturally wavy hair.

A simple message was displayed on her phone:

“This is not working. See you around.”

The distance between reality and what she’d expected shocked her. Ellie’s mind raced, trying to figure out what she’d done wrong. She’d thought things had been going so well. Yeah, it had taken them some time to warm up to each other and no, she didn’t quite feel butterflies when he spoke, but was that any reason to cancel last minute after just two dates?

Ellie had moved to Chicago a year ago and Alex was the only person she’d met that had even piqued her interest–it had felt like Continue reading





1. of or relating to stars or constellations
2. measured by the apparent motion of the stars

The smile on his face must’ve been as ridiculous and annoying as it felt. His cheeks were aching from smiling so much, but he couldn’t help himself. Everything she was saying was just so… perfect.

He was unaware that he was focusing less on the exact words she was using and more on the fact that each statement revealed more of her amazing character. She was witty, well-read, adventurous, and had an amazingly loud laugh.

Talking to her gave him this strange feeling, like he was staring into the great expanse and marveling at a new sidereal discovery.

Simon never expected to meet anyone like Emma in his life. It had been less than an hour, but he was thinking of asking his new neighbor to go on a date that evening, maybe take a stroll around the grounds holding hands or something.

Emma broke into another fit of loud laughter, cracking up over memories from her first and second marriage.

Simon already had hopes of being husband number three. He hadn’t touched Continue reading



1. to form of small squares or blocks, as floors or pavements; form or arrange in a checkered or mosaic pattern.

The great facet about life is that there are always moments when the most unexpected things happen, disrupting the mundane, the everyday. There are “suddenly moments” that reroute the trajectory of life through one meeting, one opportunity, or even one glance.

Sarah McGovern was three hours away from her moment, but she didn’t know it. She had spent another boring morning of another dreary, depressing day lying in bed, using her personal time to stare at her ceiling. The weight of another horrific break up with another insensitive male devoid of compassion and selflessness had put her in need of mental health week.

While staring at a small annoying crack in the ceiling, a random thought occurred to her. It was a slight memory of the importance of Vitamin D as a natural mood enhancer. Now, why Sarah will actually decide to slither out of bed and take her first shower in three days before going to the park is unknown to her. And five years from now, she will laugh about this at Continue reading





1. showing or suggesting that future success is likely : propitious
2. attended by good fortune : prosperous

Steam rose from the spout of the antique china teapot and dissipated into the stuffy air of the packed apartment.

These tea dates weren’t the most enjoyable, but every three weeks, James Sullivan supplemented his frequent phone calls to his mother with actual visits. During these visits he often marveled at how they could be related, and reminded himself of the importance of honoring his mother and his quest for a long, full life.

“This is regular tea, right,” James asked his mother.

Her face brightened with a mischievous look in her eyes.


“Yes James, it’s regular tea with regular hot water… Don’t you trust me,” she asked innocently.

He poured himself a cup, wondering how to phrase the truth.

“Mom, I trust you,” he said, gingerly. “It’s just that Continue reading



  1. a reception at a gallery for an artist whose show is about to open to the public.
  2. Also called varnishing day. the day before the opening of an art exhibition traditionally reserved for the artist to varnish the paintings.

“Matthew,” Adam called as his 6-year-old started running down the hallway. “Slow down, buddy.”

His son ducked into a classroom on the right.

“He’s just excited,” Maria whispered into her husband’s ear, smiling. “He’s just like you when you’re proud of things; you just contain yourself a little bit better than he does.”

“A little bit,” Adam asked, feigning hurt before kissing his wife on her temple. They strolled hand in hand toward Matthew’s classroom for their meeting with their son’s teacher.

As they entered the classroom, Matthew instantly turned into Continue reading




1. complete in every detail : perfect
2. extremely skilled and accomplished
3. of the highest degree

The light streaming through the Louvre seemed to charge the hall with a tangible sense of magic, bringing every work to life. Groups of young children rushed from one piece of artwork to the next while international tourists, and strolling couples filled the entire museum with the ongoing hum of conversation

Amid the statues and the paintings, Nina felt like a child on her first visit to Disney World, only better. She didn’t need the rides or the entertainment. For her, gazing upon art that had survived wars, regime changes, and the flippant nature of humanity was more than enough to thrill her.

A consummate art lover and trained art historian, Nina had started collecting two years ago. It had started with one Van Gogh, that led to a Renoir. Maybe she should of been satisfied with those pieces, but they only whetted her appetite for more.

The thought of having a greater masterpiece had begun as a small whisper of a possibility within her. It was just a random thought that occasionally crossed her mind until Continue reading

Joie de Vivre

joie de vivre
  1. Frencha delight in being alive; keen, carefree enjoyment of living.

Catherine sighed heavily as she glanced out her office window, barely aware of the full moon. The mountain of folders on her desk held her attention. It was obscuring the view of her actual desk. And the fact that the folders were varying colors didn’t make her vista any more pleasant.

She was about to reach for one of the folders when her phone and computer chimed simultaneously. This most recent email was marked URGENT, just like the seven messages that preceded it.

Catherine Haigle had worked hard to get ahead. The problem with being good at her job was that she was given the workload of three people. The better she did, the more work she received.

Everything had become urgent and all Catherine wanted to do was get away to a secluded place. The beach? A cabin in the woods? Maybe the Himalayas?

Her office phone buzzed and Richard’s voice streamed through Continue reading