In a Room


Sarah woke feeling disoriented and her body ached all over.  Where ever she was, it was hot and dry.  Like desert heat.  But, her clothes were wet and she smelled like she had been wearing them for several days.

“How long I have I been here?”  She thought to herself.

She couldn’t really move, either.  She tried to life her arms, but it felt like they were nailed down.

The last thing she remembered; the stairs and her boyfriend David.  He was dragging her up the stairs. And, she vaguely remember the pain and the computer.

Sarah also remember making a choice.  Obviously it was the wrong choice.

“I need to open my eyes.” But, still they wouldn’t budge. She tried to stretch out.  Both Sarah’s arms and legs hit the walls on each side of her.  The room was smaller then she expected.  And there was warmth coming from somewhere.

Feeling a bit stronger Sarah sat up, but a wave of nauseous over took her.  She had to lay back down.

“Where am I?  Why did I push #2?” These thoughts ran through her head.  What she didn’t think about was how was she going to get out of here?

Sarah tried to sit up again.  This time the nausea wasn’t as bad.    She rubbed her eyes and the light was starting to seep in.

Her eyes began to adjust to the light, but she was still seeing stars.  Sarah looked up to see a strange man staring at her through a window.

“I think she’s awake.” Sarah could hear his voice, but couldn’t see who he was talking to.  “She is moving and stuff.”

“Sh, I don’t want her to know I am here,” said another man’s voice.  Even though he was farther away, his voice sounded familiar to Sarah.

“Oh shoot, she can’t see us,” the strange man said.  It was his sunken eyes and stringy wet hair that really creeped Sarah out.  He looked like he had been standing out in the rain for awhile.

“Really, come look. I’m telling you, she is about to get up,” the strange man said.  “I think she is going to try and get out.”

“Shut up,” the man said, “Just watch her.  Let’s see if she will do it.”

What is this, some kind of joke? Sarah though to herself.  Sarah looked at the man in the window and yelled, “Get me out of here!”

He started laughing.  Sarah couldn’t believe it.  He just keep laughing.  She had heard that laugh before.

Sarah couldn’t take it anymore.  She was going mad.  She curled up in a ball and started crying.

“See, I knew she wouldn’t do anything.” Sarah looked up.  It took her a minute to register what she was seeing, but there was David, staring at her through the window.

The creepy man handed David an envelope.

“It is a pleasure doing business with you.”  And, with that, David turned and walked away.

Wine Auction in Hong Kong

I have heard of a furniture auction, an estate auction, and an art auction.  Hell, I have even hard of a bull auction.  I am from Texas after all.  But, until a few days ago, I had never heard of a wine auction.

I have never seen a more disgusting display of wealth, power and decadence in my life.  It was so much fun.

Wine Bible for this auction.

You enter this restaurant under tight security and are handed this book.  You can’t tell from the picture, but the book weights about 4 pounds and is hard cover.  It holds the key to every bottle, case and magnum of wine they are going sell over a period of three days; about 1,500 lots.

From this book, you can find out the name, age, region and description of each wine.  They also used a lot of strange acronyms such as owc – it means original wooden case.  All of this effects the price of the wine.

The book is also filled with all of these clever descriptions for the wines in each lot.  My absolute favorite description said that the wine, “had a tomato sex appeal”  I am not kidding.

Here is another actual description as seen in the bible (book).

Typically the cases of wine would range between 40,000 and 60,000 HKD.  That is about 5,000 to 7,800 USD.  Here is the board which tells you which lot is up, the list price and what the previous lots sold for.

We purchased Lot 150.

Now the best part of the wine auction is tasting the wines.  You have wine dealers and vineyard owners walking around to all the different tables to let you taste their prized possessions.  They are a crazy eccentric group of people.

I got to sample a 1971 Lynch Bages Cabernat.  That wine is older them me.  It was so good.

I also sampled a 1982 Chateau de la Tour Cru Clos-Vougeot – isn’t that a mouth full.  And a 1991 Chateau de la Tour.  Now I have no clue what all that means, but it was some really good wine.

Simple the best

But, my favorite was the Armand De Brignac Champagne – Vintage NV – Ace of Spades, Brut.  A 36 bottle lot sold for 10,000 USD.  A little over list price.  But, this was the best Champagne I have ever tasted.  It was just beautiful.  But, the funny part was that when it was brought to our table I guess in order for me to relate to the wine, the sommelier told me that the champagne was endorsed by none other then P Diddy himself.*

*Actually it is endorsed by Jay Z and I knew this already.  I didn’t correct him though.  No need to embarrass him.

All in all, I would have to say this was one of the best outing I have been too in my five years in China.  These people treat wine line a business transaction.  It wasn’t the type of auction that I am used to.  No fast talking auctioneer and no screaming and cheering when you won the bid.  It is frowned upon evident by the weird stares I got when I clapped after we one a particular active bidding war.

But, everyone was so nice and we got to drink wine. A lot of wine.  And, I can say that the rumor is true.  You don’t get a hangover when you drink good wine.

Anyone else been to a wine auction?  Was it the conservative atmosphere that I described or was you experience different?  What is the oldest bottle of anything that you have drank? 

My Weekly Update – Writing, Written & Writers


It is 5 days until the beginning of JuNoWriMo.  For those of you living under a rock, JuNoWriMo is a month long writing challenge.  I will be writing 50,000 words in 30 days.  That is about 1,667 word per day.

If you are interested in seeing how I progress through this month long madness, I will document my progress after completing the daily writing goals.  I foresee a lot of 11:55 pm updates in my near future.  Check it out under the Sydney Aaliyah Writes Page on my site.  My To Do List is up now.  I have a busy few days coming up.

I also plan to keep my blog up to date, but JuNoWriMo is my first priority this month.  Bear with me.


I wrote a short scary story for Writer Wednesday Blog Hop and received an  overwhelming amount of requests (6 people) for me to continue the story.  I am not one to disappoint my fans, so check in on Wednesday and see what happen when Sarah (I decided to give her a name) pushes #2.

I would like to thank the following for their comments:

“Wonderful imagery.”   – Cerece
“I want to know what happens next!”  – Selena
“Great story, your main character was really relatable.”  – Carrie Sorenson

You are all awesome.  Thanks so much for the feedback.

Writers who Support Writers (New Followers)

Thank you to my new followers.  I hope you are enjoying being inside my brain:

Blog Love

  3. Confessions of a Popcorn Addict
  4. Wise, Ink
  5. Scribing the Journey
Check out the rest of the Blog Love list.  

This Weeks Schedule 

Monday – Wine Auction
Tuesday – Movie Quotes
Wednesday – Writer Wednesday Blog Hop
Friday – First day of JuNoWriMo
Sunday – My Weekly Update

Complaints from a Frustrated Read

An expert is someone who demonstrates great skill at something due to experience, right?  So, I don’t think I am to far off base (or narcissistic) by declaring myself an expert in the art of book reading.  I have been readying books for as long I have been able to read books.  I have over 20 years of book reading experience.  I have even been tested as an exceptional reader (got the gold star in 2nd grade to prove it). I am confident in my book reading ability.

Now that I have my credentials out of the way, I would like to impart to you, my fellow writers, my knowledge and experience in recognizing frustrated fiction from a readers point of view.

Lately, I have been spreading my literary wings and reading some genres that I haven’t read before.  I have found some real great stuff out there.

I have also experiences some frustrating reads.    Now, I understand that we are all learning and growing and perfecting our craft.  My point isn’t to criticize anyone for doing what some many of us want to do.  And, anyone who has had a book published has my utmost respect.  Hell, I haven’t done it, . . . yet.

But, let’s face it.  There is some bad writing out there.

But, all is not lost.  It is my goal here to thank those writers who brave the critical world and put their stuff out there in order to teach us the following lessons:

  • Flashbacks and back story are not the same thing.  You can achieve great back story for your character without resorting to full on chapter long flash backs to where your character first meet the trauma, issue or conflict. If your character is afraid of roller coaster.  No need to tell us about the three other times she threw up from riding a roller coaster.  We as reader are smart.  We can understand a fear of roller coasters, public speaking and spiders.  No further explanation is necessary.    Now, if you character is afraid of puppies and it is central to the story, then by all means, take us back, but just once.
  • Don’t have stuff just happen to the main character just to happen.  If something happens to the main character, it should be relevant to the main plot or story.  Otherwise is just appears you are trying to fullfill some word count. Unless you character gets in a car wreck (that changes her life) on the way home from work, no need to tell me about her leaving work, driving on the free way and then arriving home.  No need to go into every thing she saw, heard and did.  Just get the good stuff.
  • Don’t lead us to assume one thing about a character and then later prove our assumptions are completely wrong.  This doesn’t create suspense or the unexpected.  It just causes confusion in the reader and disturbs the readers flow.  You don’t ever want your reader to stop reading and say, “Wait, that can’t happen.”  If you start a story about your main character’s bad luck with men and then she meets a guy and it is all wine and romance and then the rest of the book is about her conflict with her mother.  Uh, wait. What happen?  What about the boyfriend.  Stick with one theme and don’t gloss over the conflict.  To a reader, that is the good stuff.
  • Don’t tout a story as being something that every one can relate to when nothing that happens to the main character would or could happen to a person in real life. If you do this and you are a realistic fiction writer, I think you might want to rethink your genre of choice.  That sounds more like fantasy.  I can related to issues of loneliness, unfulfilled dreams, falling in love.  I can’t relate to being a vampire and trying to find my vampire mate in New York City.  Don’t get me wrong, I may still enjoy the story, but don’t advertise it as something it is not just to get me to read it.  It is what is and that should be good enough.
  • Don’t allow your secondary characters or insignificant characters to have huge issues that need to be resolve in the story.  If it doesn’t also related to the main characters, then leave it out.  Write another book for them.  If you main character is having trouble finding a job, please don’t switch gears and tell me about her best friend from high schools issues with her boyfriend.  Unless that boyfriend is going to give your main character a job, leave it out.
  • Don’t. Do not under any circumstance, no matter what, ever jump to a secondary characters POV in first person when 95% of the book was written from the main characters POV in first person.  If your main character dies, that is it.  The book is over.  Only if your character turns into a ghost  can she observe and report on happenings herself.  Someone else cannot step in now and finish off the story for us.  That’s just common writing sense.  If your story needs further explanation, write it in the epilogue or write it in a new series from that other characters POV.
  • Be original.  Don’t write a story with a story line similar to someone famous even if that person inspired the story.  We are fiction writer.  Writing a story about a famous person, isn’t fiction, it is called a biography.  Changing the names and occupation doesn’t make it an original story.

Have you ever been frustrated reading a book?  What did you learn from it?    It’s ok to tell, we are all here to help each other, right?