Wednesday, March 29, 2023



It’s been more than a year. About ten or eleven months longer. Give or take a few weeks. I thought about posting a year to the date last year, but why should I? It’s not going to make a difference. Time passes whether you are having fun or not. I suggest you choose how to pass the time in a way that works out best for you. I took a year off before & that was harder to do back then. Right now, it wasn’t so hard to take time off and I’m still enjoying my freedom which is hard to explain… you definitely won’t understand what I mean as long as you’re tethered to any daily habit. No judgments. I think everyone has an obsessive habit. 

Habits are tricky things. Good ones are hard to maintain and bad ones are hard to give up. Learning to adapt to change is how you survive. I’ve been though a lot of change, most everyone has, and adapting to the change was rewarding. 

Anyhoo... I’ve written new things and I've edited then rewritten things that I swore were finished. The creative process often leaves me nostalgic, which has presented the thought of sharing something from the vault. This piece is a bit of a continuation of an older short story titled, Reveal. You can read it in a post here

Do you take time off from anything? Was it difficult to quit? How did you feel when returned to it? 

kisses, m. 


“Let your mind wander,” he tells me with a whisper as he leans over my shoulder.

“It’s ok,” I gently rub his arm and look up into his eyes with a smile, “I don’t need her, I have you.”


It’s been several years since I said goodbye to emma. We didn’t part on bad terms. We just parted. I know how he feels about her because of what she did for me creatively. Yet he can’t help but encourage me to write. He knows that part of me is empty and lost floundering without the words even though they remind me of her. It’s funny but since we met, I haven’t lacked for inspiration. He’s everything emma wasn’t, supportive, trustworthy, gentle and kind. He brings balance to the darkness within me and I’ve never taken or used him for inspiration the way I needed her. I don’t need to. He gives to me so freely that I could never betray that trust.


“It’s taking shape well. Has the madman given up on him?”

“No. But, I am finishing the chapter tonight. And as a matter of fact the mad…”

“Don’t tell me!”

“Spoilers!” I nudge him with my arm.


“Quiet, I’ll be ready to read this chapter as soon as you’re done for tonight. Don’t worry about the rough draft and don’t keep me waiting.” He kisses my neck and quietly walks back across the room. It’s 3am but he’s still awake. I don’t mind him waiting while I work. In fact, I think I’ve come to enjoy it. Sometimes he works, sometimes he watches me while pretending to read and sometimes like tonight, he goes through old letters that accumulated at the PO Box.


“Anything good?” I giggle.

“Get back to work,” He playfully tosses an envelope at me. “Holy f---! Christine’s getting married!”

“No way! I thought they weren’t serious a few weeks ago. You told me…”

“I know but things change. They want you to shoot their Save the Date photo based on a old snapshot of yours. Is your camera still…” he trails off while reading the letter.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, it’s just something about the notes she included. I didn’t think they were even that sentimental. Do you recall I mentioned that they didn’t believe in mementos or ephemera last fall when they met at the carnival?”

“Their second date! Yes! Let me see the note and the photo of this mystery man stealing your sister away,” I stop and wait for him to respond. He doesn’t so I resume with the madman’s confession.


After what seems like a half hour, he returns setting a photo next to my right arm along with a magnifying glass.


“Take a look.” He insists and looks like he’s seen a ghost. When he hands me the single photo reminiscent of one you’d see in strip of photos from a booth. I can see a couple kissing without using the magnifier. It’s emma. And me.


“What is this? She’s gone! This can't be recent.” I tell him.

“I thought there were no secrets. No silent things between us. I’ve never minded your former muses and welcomed the past openly in our lives, but if you’re hiding something from me…”

“Why would Christine send this?" I demand not understanding, "This is the photo she wants to copy. I don’t understand. Are you teasing me? I thought you wouldn’t joke about her. Why didn’t you just tell me there was a photo in the mail?!”

“It’s not a joke. This wasn’t from Christine. I don’t know what it is about. But the photo came from the mail and…. You need to look at it again.”

“I know what it is. It’s an old photo of me with emma. But I haven’t seen her in… years.” I am telling the truth but it feels like I’m lying. My ears are on fire, and I’m crying. I miss her and it’s been far too long.

“Yes. That’s what your saying, but I don’t believe you. I thought we were past this” he stares into my eyes with disappointment. “You know, you don’t need her.”

“I know. She’s in the past.” I try to get the words out but I do miss her.

“It’s hard to believe that. Take a look at the date on the back. Use the magnifier.”

“It’s from last month. This can’t be right. I don’t understand.”

“You don’t understand or you don’t want to tell me the truth?”


I stop and wonder if I’ve become the madman and this is my chance to confess my sins. Only I don’t know what to confess. The picture he has looks just like an old one that I distinctly remember we had taken in a photo booth. As I consider that she edited the photo to add the date, I start to realize, the significance of it.


“It’s our anniversary.”

“No it’s not.” He snaps at me and slams the stack of mail down on the table. 

“Not ours.” I say quietly, “It’s mine and emma’s anniversary. We took that photo years ago; the date on the back is our anniversary this year.”

“You’re older in the picture, it's not the same. I have seen the original. You have it in your scrapbook, in the bedroom. This is not a duplicate of that photo. It is another photo taken later in a different place.”

“Please stop! I don’t need to examine a picture to know my own mind. I haven’t seen her… or been with her. I love you. I’m here with you.” I reach to comfort him but he pushes me away.


I’m alone. A feeling I know all too well from my time with emma. Except now, I am desperately begging with the man I love just to believe me.


“Have you seen her while you’ve been with me? Where? Here? Was she in our bed?” He walks into the kitchen and pours himself a neat whiskey while interrogating me.


I start to say no, but something in me stops the words, because it’s a lie. I realize that I know I’ve seen her since he and I have been together. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want it to be true, but it is. So I tell him what I know is true, “she hasn’t been here.”


Like the wonderful muse that she is, emma always creates chaos then disappears.


His anger continues to seethe. “You need to tell me. Whatever this is between you or I’m leaving.”


A flood of nostalgia passes through my mind as I think back to when I saw her last. It was years ago when we’d recreated the photo in my apartment and made it look like a photo booth. I’d only been with him for a few months, long before we lived here. That last night I saw her, she snuck in to my place. I’d never taken her key, and she took it as an invitation to visit. I wrote and she tried to seduce me, but there was no fight or passion that night. She was gone in the morning, slipping out as quietly as she slipped in. I finished my short story and he thought it was because of him. I have never lacked for inspiration with him, but I could never tell him about that last time with her.


Knowing I can’t tell him this,  because of the fight that will ensue, I remind him of my lack of work, “I haven’t written in several months.”


“But you started last week, and haven’t stopped. It’s because of her.”


“It’s because of you. I didn’t even know that photo would be in the mail. What else came with the photo? A letter?”


“A notecard, saying she wants to see you. But does she mean again? You’re hiding. Always hiding how you are.” He pours out the whiskey, slamming the glass down in the sink. He stares at me, like he’s giving me one last chance to confess before going to the bedroom to pack a bag. I don’t want him to go, but I don’t want him to feel like his accusations are acceptable.


Although it seems like it is just a card, in the back of my mind, I know emma has let herself back into my life, disrupted my happiness, and this is a declaration of her intent to stay. Even as I listen to him in the other room slamming drawers and throwing his things around, I know that I have to finish writing. At least complete enough work to get the madman out of my mind so all my rational thoughts will return. I can’t think clearly enough to keep reassuring him or even fight with him to stay while my mind is full. So I set back down to let the madman in, and let my love walk out.


After several glasses of wine, sunrise is nearly upon the horizon, and the madman has confessed then killed again. Coming out of my creative trance, I realize I’m not alone. I hear footsteps crossing the threshold of the living room, “Are you back to apologize?” I speak into the stillness.


“Not unless you make me,” says a voice I haven’t heard in quite some time. “I hope you don’t mind I let myself in yesterday when he picked up the mail.”


“Your note wasn’t in the mail, was it?” I stand and turn around to see my former muse, looking far better than she should.


“No, I dropped it in when he set the letters on the console. He was very trusting to leave the door unlocked when he went to relieve himself.” She says walking toward me until she’s close enough to touch me, then stops. “You know your guest room is far more inviting than it seems.”


“You knew that photo would upset him.” I hiss into her face even though I know better than to provoke her.


Instead of reacting with words, she pulls me against her and whispers in my ear, “I’m not trying to do anything to him. I thought you'd see it before him.

Why are you here?” I try to object and pull away, but she pulls tighter. 

I'm just here to help you. I missed you…. and you know how you get. But he’s wrong, you aren’t hiding anything, anymore.”


I want to give in, because I miss this. I miss her. So I let my hands slide around hers and she leans in to kiss my neck.


“What if he comes back?” I interrupt her slowly moving lips with a twist of my head.


“He won’t.” She says and looks into my eyes. “At least not right now. Always worrying instead of giving into the rhythm of living. You aren’t disappointed he left, or you would have stopped writing.”


I know she’s right, I didn’t stop him from going, just like I don’t really want to stop her from coming back into my life. 

Slowly stepping backwards, she slinks away from me with my glass of wine. “Come, forget your mind, let your heart wander. Let’s talk.”

“But I need to finish…” I try to make an excuse. 

“You’re already finished.” She sits down on the sofa and taps the seat next to her with a smile. 

“Playing the game?" I ask walking slowly towards her, mostly because I think she’s provoking me.

“No, I just like you this way. You’re unveiled and unguarded without your mask. It’s been a long time. We have a lot to talk about.”

Unmasking myself for her was always the fun part of our game. It was ours and no one else's. Removing the mask is unnecessary now because she knows me all too well. There's nothing hidden between us. But she still wants to play.

“Shhh,” I say as I sit down next to her. “Let the feelings and words fall into place. Enjoy the rhythm. They will come when we are ready.”

Just as easily as I let her wander out my heart and my mind, I let emma back in.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Living Free

You can make excuses for how to live or you can live.

I choose to live. It's often people disagree with my choice and quite often I remind them that it's not theirs to make. 

I wanted to be angry, last month or the month before that, when an old friend tells me that I'm imprisoned and literally the only way out is to write. It's amusing because I do write, but it's not freedom according to him, because it's everything I don't want to write. Yet I am writing so I must be free. 

We claim to be free but are we? 

I know my friend thinks he is right and I'm not free. 

"So, it's easy... just write a way out." he says. 

This is out. This is freedom. Why doesn't it feel liberating to do as he demands?

Nothing you force yourself to do is freedom. 

Freedom is an illusion. 

Yet everyone loves an illusion. 

It’s an illusion that my friend has in their mind thinking about how or why I am doing or rather not doing. 

It’s not silence or guilt... it is living, just simply living, that has created this impasse between writing what it is necessary as opposed to what I want. It isn’t a prison but I am not free in the way that his illusion needs me to be. 

Use your mind not your reaction and you’ll see there is nothing more than your imagination that you’ve let run wild.

This is something I wrote about pointing fingers...

Do you live your life or focus on how others live theirs? 


Kisses, m.


He says this word pointing his finger telling me where and when it needs to change without using any other words. 
I like when he uses words. But he’s not using them this time. 
No explanation. No request made. 
This time I’m supposed to know what’s happening with the shift of his wrist. 
One finger pointed at me. Three pointed back at him. 
All three fingers are telling him what he wants to tell me. 
I wish he would simply tell me. Ask me. Treat me like a person who he said he once cared for. 
I don’t like this. This is like walking in the dark where these actions we make aren’t any clearer. 

 He says when I tell him I can’t see any clearer than before.
Before all this when I said something to him and no one else. 
No one that mattered when I said those words for only him. They still won’t matter if I tell him again. 
Because he won’t hear my words and everyone who isn’t him can still hear them. 
They’ll listen. They’ll hear all the things he’ll never take in because he’s afraid.
And he'll use my words for him against me because he’s afraid and wants to hurt me.
Hurt and facing those who think my words are without logic.
It isn’t about them. It isn’t clearer. 

He says softly before lowering his hand.
I listen and wait for his words that have yet to come. 
Knowing full well if there’s a chance, I continue to listen.
I listen and hope that they don’t mistake their words for his and my words for them. 
Words aren’t as powerful as his actions. 
Actions that calmly tell me all I need to know before he says it once more quietly.


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Say Something

You say it best when you say nothing at all... Actions are quite often the best way to make a statement. Sometimes our actions aren't saying anything at all though. Sometimes I don't charge my phone or reply to that text before falling asleep. It’s careless but not intended to mean anything. Other times I'm really overbooked and have to cancel plans or forget to cancel plans. It’s not saying anything other than I’m probably not planning my day better when it happens. How about you? 

It's been a while for design and writing although it was not meant to be. I'd never put much energy into the timing of sharing stories or worrying about the mental health of anyone that read or interpreted my work but this year definitely had me pause before posting. Even the thought of Dream Homes or interior design this year seemed quite insensitive when so many are struggling to make their rent or mortgage.  Being aware of other people and the world changes one's perspective.. So while I wanted to share some writing, I felt the timing was not right. 

Anyhoo... this is for those people that feel I needed to say something. It's not what I wanted to share with you but it is new...

Do every one of your actions say something?

Kisses, m. 


Say Something


“Why is that people always want creatives to be saying something? Or their work must instantly be controversial?” 

When I say it, I know it was the wrong thing to say, because the young reporter instantly looks like she wants to jump back inside of her skin to hide. Her face turns sour followed by a long pause of silence that gets awkward about fifteen seconds in. Folding my hands, I offer her a lifeline. 

“Suzy, let’s move on, I’m working on a story about a…”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to strike a chord with the great D. Randall … but let’s stay with this. Is it okay if I call you D. or do you prefer Darlin?" 

"Darlin is fine but you'll still call me D." I say with a laugh as she nods but continues on scribbling shorthand notes as if she wasn't really asking so much as telling. With bit of snark I continue, “All acquaintances, fans and journalists call me D., even after I tell them to call me Darlin.”

"Uh-huh,” she’s mostly ignored what I’ve said and puts her pen down, “Now let's continue," she smiles, adjusts her recorder and pauses before starting in again, "Isn’t the juxtaposition of your characters in Leaf + Tree saying something about…?” 

“Look, it’s just a story. It’s lightness. I’m a writer and… I’m trying to keep my work light. I’ve moved away from…” I can feel myself getting nervous and starting to be defensive. 

“The darkness.” She finishes my sentence. “I read the transcript of the unreleased podcast piece for Marigolds and Make Believe with Shosh you did a few months ago before you released Leaf + Tree.”

“How did you…?” 

“Get it? Shosh is a friend from school. I chatted with him and he wouldn’t let me hear it, but… anyway this is how I started the piece on you. I was intrigued about your departure from the darker elements in your writing and the Great Pause.”

I exhale a deep breath to keep from laughing because she’s half lying about Shosh. He has a decade plus on her and she was his former student. I only took the interview because she’s his current sidepiece and I owe him a favor. 

“Actually, I was going to say: How did you like it?” I’m more concerned that she’s about to start questioning my absence than her lying. Since the release of Leaf + Tree, every journalist segues into asking about my hiatus from writing. This so-called Great Pause as the fans labeled it, as if it was a performative piece making a silent statement about the current state of the world. When it’s nothing like that it all. I didn’t even pause; I just didn’t give myself to the world. I still wrote and there was still darkness. However, the fans, they took it as a great sign that I was symbolically protesting civil unrest in the world and used it as a platform for their movement. 

“Can you comment on the social impact of your Great Pause or… let me guess, you weren’t saying anything at all?” 

“I truly am moved by it, but I can’t speak to the impact of my absence. Leaf + Tree has been out for a few months now so I’m no longer on pause. What do you make of the consequences of my hiatus?” 

“Are you really going to treat me the same as every other journalist? How can you say something significant in your work and backpedal your actions? Your last work, Days//Ages was about the power of stillness in the connection of society. What is the explanation for the parallels and timing of your hiatus?”

“Do you think you are special because you know Shosh? Did he tell you what happened? Let me guess… he didn’t. What do you think this so-called Great Pause really symbolizes?”

“I can only guess its significance is explained through the controversial nature of the sub-plot that binds your characters in Leaf +Tree. It further builds upon the theme in your last book and speaks to the very nature of humanity, our collective identity and how people relate to each other.”

“Hahaha,” I can’t stop myself from laughing at her. “Shosh redacted parts of the transcript, didn’t he? You thought you’d uncover this great truth by coming here for an interview.”

“You’re just going to blow smoke and try to pretend you aren’t saying something. It’s pure spinelessness to pretend you… I’m proud to read your work because it stands for something.”

“Fuck Days//Ages. Fuck Leaf + Tree. Take them off the table for a moment.”

"Is FUCK off the record or on the record?” 

“You decide what you want to say when we’re done. Now get Shosh on the phone. On speaker.”

I get up, walk to the window, and open it. Next to the window seat, Shosh left me a package of CBD gummies. I sit and eat one. 

 “Shosh is on the line,” she waves her phone from across the room. 

“Shosh, can you hear me?” I raise my voice but not enough to yell.

“Yes, Darlin! Go ahead.” 

“Tell her about the Great Pause the same way I told you.”

“Are you sure?” I can hear the anxiousness in his voice. 

“Go ahead; you can even play her the podcast when she gets back to your place.”

“Suzy, I love you and we can talk about this when you come by later.” He hesitates but continues gently, “Suzy, there was no pause or silence. She has work but it’s been released under a pseudonym.” 

After he says it, she’s quiet. Slowly her face pales and twists in thought, but she remains still. 

“Thanks, Shosh!” I say to break the silence. 

“I’ll catch up with you later Darlin!” Shosh hollers and then laughs as he hangs up. 

“But I stopped recording!” she wails and pauses. After a few moments, she composes herself and quietly continues, “D., I just wanted the truth.”

“I get that. Oh, but now, you have the truth. All creatives create your so-called controversy.” 

“I don’t understand. You’re a phony! A fraud!” 

“Actually, you see, fans like you, perpetuated this legend of silence, this make-believe performative piece and iconic debate because you needed something to stand on to support your reason for pursuing social action. I didn’t create it, I just went along with it, instead of working under my name. You have to understand, being a reclusive voice of great social impact happens to sell a lot of books.”

“You don’t care.”  

“I do care. I think I cared too much. Or I would have ended this sooner.” I scold her. As I watch her eyes fill with tears, I calm my voice. “I am glad my work speaks to so many, affects and inspires people to live louder and stronger but I’m just a writer. Sometimes I’m not saying anything at all. Sometimes I am.” 

“Now what do I do? What’s the plan?” She bawls and looks like the fragile late 20-something woman that she is, rather than the confident journalist trying to be Woodward and Bernstein, like she saw Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford playing on the silver screen.

“Well, you can go ahead, publish the truth destroying this mass delusion and ruin the social movement built around my hiatus or, like my friend Shosh, refrain from saying something. Now, do you want to say something?”



Monday, May 25, 2020

Aele House by Nameless Architecture

Barbie would love to know that everyone is exactly on the path they are meant to be, however she also knows this isn’t the case for many. She also knows that they will learn this lesson in time on their own or continue to cycle through familiar mistakes until they do. Nonetheless it is wonderful when a dreamhouse is quite different from others and on its own.

Aele House by Nameless Architecture 

Located in South Korea, the architecture and design of this home was determined by its location in the landscape. Three of the plot edges are surrounded by forest, evocative of a primitive, native land. To reflect this aesthetic the building elements were made with in-situ concrete to capture the essence, this included leaving mars in the construction, as commentary of the nature and the evolution of a space.The interior space connects organically, without a corridor. Each of the rooms is sized at 3.6 meters by 3.6 meters; excluding the bathroom and kitchen, all rooms can be used flexibly — adaptable to the needs of the inhabitants.

Would you want to find your path in this dreamhouse? 
Barbie would!
Kisses, m. 

Monday, March 2, 2020

Hiatus House by Tongue & Groove

Barbie loves to get away from it all but rarely does she get a real hiatus. She loves that her favorite Ken and Dolls can keep themselves occupied while she’s preoccupied. Here’s a dream house made for going on hiatus... 

The Hiatus House by Tongue & Groove

This minimalist gem design by Tongue & Groove boats an open floor plan that utilizes space and is aesthetic  beautiful. The space can easily accommodate up to four people for entertaining and is fully furnished with a living room that converts for sleeping, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. 

Would you go on hiatus in this home?
Barbie would!
Kisses, m.