About Jessa Slade

Jessa Slade is the author of the Marked Souls urban fantasy romance series (NAL Signet Eclipse), the Steel Born paranormal romance series (Harlequin Nocturne Cravings), and award-winning self-published science fiction romance with Hotter on the Edge. You can find her online at all the usual haunts.

Stealing Licks by Rainstick Cowbell

Jessa Slade:

Cross posted from See Jane Publish for our month of real-life romance.

Originally posted on See Jane Publish:

Note from Jessa: When I told my XY about this month’s topic — real-life romance — he started to reminisce about how we met. I quickly shut him down and told him to write it down. Hey, no romance writer worth her weight in chocolate lets a good love story go unwritten!

S&J clean A portrait of artists as young starving artists: Jessa Slade and Rainstick Cowbell before they were rich and famous, along with dog Hannah (with tongue and stick) and friend’s dog Foo.

For me it happened quick. At least how I remember it. I was living in a small ski town in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I think the ratio of guys to girls was something like ten to one. But somehow, I met my love at two thousand meters.

It was because of the music I was making that the local paper sent over their crack reporter…

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Dreams are weird

I know, I know. Everybody groans when somebody says, “I had this weird dream…” But I did! And it’s my blog, so there. Also, another dream post I wrote about being pregnant with elephants still gets a strangely high number of searches, so maybe it’s helping (?) someone.

So a couple nights ago, I had a religious experience in my dream. Which is already weird, because I’m not religious. I mean, I’m not a ninja either, and I dream about that. And I can’t fly, but that doesn’t seem to stop dream-me. But still, being religious in my dream was extra weird, even for dream-me.

I had been summoned to a prophet’s island to translate a mysterious carving on a silver rock (that looked like a manhole cover, but whatever). Apropos of nothing (as is SOP for dreams) Macgyver was the captain of the boat. (I’ve never even seen the show, but my brain is happy to supply pop culture references, I guess.) So we arrived at the island, and I donned a brown Obi Kenobi robe (of course) to climb the mountain, passing a line of waiting supplicants. The mountain was made of ice, and I had to find hand- and foot-holds to climb. When I got to the top, I walked up to the mysterious carving/manhole cover.

The prophet was hovering beside me, and everyone was eager to hear the Word of God. I FELT the power of moment vibrating through me. (It was garbage day, so it might have been the recycling truck pulling up out front.) It was like a true, real-life religious experience. My whole body was tingling in the dream. I felt a euphoria like a flying dream. I looked down at carving and it said:

“Tingles happen here.”

In the dream, I laughed. And not-dreaming-me was impressed that even dream-me is a smart-ass. Needless to say, everyone on the mountain was pretty disappointed. Except the prophet, who was furious. He chased me down the ice mountain. (Luckily, dream-me was in full ninja mode, so I slid deftly from foot- to hand-hold without plummeting to my doom.)

But as I made my escape, dream-me started to cry. Because I liked those tingles. They felt good, like a sugar buzz or hot sun on cold skin. And I was sad that the tingles were just tingles, not something “more”. So I’m crying and sliding down the ice mountain, and I hear a voice. Not really a god-like voice. There was no booming or anything. But it said:

“It will never be enough.”

And that made dream-me cry harder, because how sad is that? Why can’t it ever be enough?

But then the voice said, “There’s always a second chance.”

Dream-me stopped crying. The alarm went off and I woke up, still sort of caught between this laughing and crying thing. I lay there for a minute to make sure I captured the imagery and emotion of the dream. (If I don’t do that, I lose chunks before I can record them.) And I thought about it. I think maybe it IS sad — not just for dream-me, but for real-me — that tingles are just tingles and nothing is ever enough. But the idea that there’s always a second chance… that JUST MIGHT be “enough” of a powerful message.

I’ve read about how the human brain is wired for religious experience, which is really interesting to me. And in the real world, we see how religion and purported religiosity still affect us, sometimes in bad ways. I’m not inclined to think most dreams really “mean” anything except a chance for our busy brains to process some stuff during our down-time, but I think I’ll actually use this particular religious experience. Even if it wasn’t real.

Battle Plan 2015

Jessa Slade:

Sharing my steely narrow-eyed glare at 2015 from See Jane Publish.

Originally posted on See Jane Publish:

This month the Janes — at the suggestion of Jane Asa — are discussing BATTLE PLANS! Doesn’t that sound much more inspiring than “goals” or god forbid “resolutions”? I already feel more energized. Or maybe I mean combative. Of course a woman who writes about Viking warriors (coming out this year!) has battle plans :) Thanks for the topic, Asa.

During this last week or so, I’ve been following the 2015 plans of my friends, family, and compatriots. I like to see what other people are doing/thinking of doing because it gives me ideas. What I think is interesting this year is the tenor of the plans. In years past, I’ve always seen a certain amount of “this year I’m going to learn to relax/meditate/take it easy/stop worrying”. This year, I’ve seen almost none of that. It’s like we’ve all just admitted we kinda like the rat race. We revel…

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