Saturday, September 13, 2014

Society Stereotypes and Ray Rice: A Mini Rant

Mini rant: Why does McDonald's have to do boy toys or girl toys? Why do they have to add to the gender stereo type? The other day I bought Caleb a Happy Meal. The toys are NFL action figures or Little Pet Shop. He wanted Little Pet Shop. So before the cashier could ask, I said, "He wants the pet shop toy... the turtle if you have it." When we opened his Happy Meal, he had an NFL toy. So I took it back up and exchanged it, explaining when I did that not all boys like football and not all girls like cute animal toys.

In fact, if a little girl wanted an NFL toy, no one would bat an eye. If she wanted to play with a truck, no one would bat an eye. Because people think tom boys are cute. And they are. I had one. She grew up to be a well adjusted adult who doesn't take crap from anybody.

 Caleb plays with a mix of toys. He loves dinosurs, trucks, zombies and teenage mutant ninja turtles. He also likes dolls and other so called girl toys...because what, boys aren't allowed to learn to be nurturers too?

 And what is the purpose of this rant? Because after I got him the correct toy, another little kid informed him boys aren't supposed to play with girl toys.

I suppose it's not McDonald's fault. Society is what has ingrained this into us. We tell boys not to cry, not  to play with dolls. We tell them they have to be rough and know how to fight, and shame them if they don't fit the stereotypical male role. And then we end up with men that abuse women, and even when they get caught on video, there are people that think it's no big deal and make excuses for them.

Now I don't believe that this is typical behavior of most men... in fact the men I know are appalled by this behavior, but perhaps if Ray Rice had ever played with dolls he wouldn't have grown up to be a wife beater. It's just a thought...more dolls, less guns (although Caleb plays with those too,) and little less stereotyping.

By the way, Caleb did get the toy he wanted. It wasn't a turtle with a cowboy hat, like we first thought, but a lizard with a cowboy hat. Turtles and lizards... I wonder if they have to face stereotypes as well.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


I must apologize for my absence lately. I've been busy isn't a good excuse... but... but... I've been busy. And I think you, or at least some of you, will be excited to hear that I have finished my novella, Marked, now retitled as Reawakening. I don't have a publishing date yet, but it is currently going through edits and the cover is done! Isn't it gorgeous?!

The cover is designed by my daughter, Sarah Sprague, who has designed several of my children's books. Reawakening is planned as a 5 book series... at least, and next up is Reverberations. I can't wait to see what she does for that cover!

This is a paranormal novella that includes Vampires, witches, werewolves, spirits and even an angel... I think it's a fun book, yet has an element of terror to it.  Here is a blurb from the book:

 It started On New Year’s. I was working at my new job, The Corner Shop. It wasn’t as though I had anything going on; no boyfriend, no family, no friends… which is how I liked it. No one to tie me down, no one to complicate my life, and I was happy. Really, I was. Who needs people anyway? So if anyone tells you I was miserable they would be wrong.

The Shop, as most of the regulars affectionately called it, held an odd array of items. There were the usual things that you might need, milk, a few grocery items, beer, which was in high demand tonight –and cleaning supplies. There were also a few unusual items as well. Earlier this evening I had come across a shrunken head in the back room, which would have seemed out of place, except that I knew my grandmother had owned a shrunken head at one time.  I wondered if this is where she had found it. I would never know for sure, she had passed away a month ago, just two days after my 19th birthday.

I missed her. A lot.  She was my grandmother and had raised me after my parents died in a car accident. I was three at the time and I barely remember them. She spoiled me too. Until she was gone, I never gave a thought to how the bills were paid. So now I had a job and a small apartment a few blocks away.

Some of my fellow employees tried to pull me into the festivities. They were celebrating in the back room, waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square. I was up front just in case a customer came in.
“Francine, the store is empty, no one is going to come walking in while we’re in the back and even if they do, there’s a bell.”

I looked up to find Joseph standing next to me. He might have been good looking if not for his one fatal flaw. He was gorgeous in that way a lot of girls liked - blah. And blond, yech. Maybe if he grew his hair a little… tried that bad boy look. As it was, he looked like he was fresh out of high school, where as I looked like a high school drop-out.

Joseph wiggled his eyebrows at me. I just stared at him, unmoving. He had a crush on me… why, I don’t know. I’d done everything I could to discourage him, but still he persisted. I could see the disappointment in his eyes when I refused; I think he was honestly hoping I would kiss him at the stroke of midnight. Blah! 

“Leave her be,” Debbie said, pulling Joseph to the back. Speaking of the type of girl Joseph appealed to - Debbie is blond, with long hair that falls just past her shoulders. I’m sure she spends hours getting it to shine like it does. She was wearing a pink shirt which went against company policy, but who was going to tell? The only manager assigned to work tonight was Carl and he was already drunk in the back. How he still had a job was a mystery, since he was always drunk, but Penny, the owner of The Corner Shop, seemed protective of him. I could understand why. He was seven years older than me, but he seemed more innocent than even Joseph. I was drawn to him, but in a sisterly way. He had tight curls and nerd glasses. I was sure he had once been the kid on the playground everyone picked on. 

Debbie shook her head, letting me know she didn’t approve of me. She’d disapprove even more if she knew I’d been spitting in her coffee. Behind her, Carl called out that it was almost midnight. Debbie took Joseph’s hand and pulled him to the back. I went back to work. Or I tried to. The ball was dropping, I could hear them counting down in the back… ten… nine… eight… and I was doing my level best to ignore them while I straightened up the aisles, making them look presentable for when the drunken idiots came in - and they would. Seven… six… five… four…. A chill went through my body. My Grandmother would say someone had walked over my grave. A silly thought, but I was suddenly filled with a sense of dread. I looked around. No one was in the store, but… three… two… one!

Everyone was cheering and clapping, which is why I didn’t hear the bell, or at least that’s what I told myself. There’s a mirror in the corner, angled so you can see the back of the store from the front and I glanced up just in time to see Joseph and Debbie kissing. Okay, it was more like Debbie kissing Joseph while he flailed around trying to get away. Why did I feel… jealous? No, it wasn’t jealousy, but I was uncomfortable with it. Turning back to the shelf I’d been straightening, I was startled to see someone else was in the store.

He stood there watching me and I watched him back. His eyes were dark, brooding. His hair hung in his eyes so they were hard to see, but what I did see, I liked in a morbid sort of way. Images of making love to him on a bed of black roses in the middle of a graveyard came to mind. Like I said, morbid. There’s a reason people steer clear of me.

The world stood still in those few moments. My heart was beating loudly, blood rushed to my head and the room spun. I thought I heard someone call my name. The sound of glass breaking brought me back to the room. I shook my head to clear it, Mr. Gorgeous still stood across the aisle, but now he was looking at the ground. I’d dropped the packet of glass Christmas ornaments I’d been dusting off. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014


I wrote this yesterday for Friday Frights. The theme this month is Killer Kids.

This is a continuation of last weeks story, The Killing.  It takes place a few years into the future. Robin is now 16 and Jimmy 15. 

by Lisa McCourt Hollar


Doctor Garrett studied the girl sitting across from him. Despite the fact that she wasn’t wearing any makeup, she was extremely attractive. She knew it too. She wore one of the uniform shifts t supplied by the asylum. It wasn’t immodest, or it wasn’t supposed to be. She was only sixteen, yet she exuded sex. When she’d first been assigned to him, he’d tried to have her transferred… when that failed he made sure Nurse Lawrence always sat in on their sessions. Only today Nurse Lawrence had called off… something about a death in her family. He hadn’t really understood, he only knew it meant he’d have to be alone with the girl. All the other nurses were busy with their duties.

She’s just a girl, he thought. You’re a professional. You can handle an hour by yourself. Out loud he said, “How are you today, Robin?”

“Same as I am every day. Horny.” She spread her legs and smiled at him, inviting him to look. He didn’t. He was sure he would see that despite the rules, she wasn’t wearing any underwear. Instead he picked up his notebook and looked at it.

“I see your parents came to visit you this weekend.”

“They came. They went.” Her voice was bitter.

“Are you upset that they didn’t take you with them? You know they can’t do that.”

“No. I’m upset that they pretend to care.”

“They do care.”

Robin shook her head. “No. They cared about Bobby. I killed Bobby.”

“How did that make you feel… when you killed your brother?”

She shrugged. “I didn’t feel anything.”

“And when you killed Mr. Crandall? Did you feel nothing then?”

Robin shrugged. “I don’t know. What do you want me to say, that I enjoyed it? Yeah, I did.”

“And Jimmy?

“What about Jimmy?”

“He’s being executed today. How does that make you feel?”

“Like I told you earlier… horny.” She slipped her fingers between her legs, never taking her eyes off of him.”

Garrett ignored her. This was going to be a long hour… he might have to cut it short. “Jimmy’s your best friend. You told me once he was the only one that understood you. You don’t feel sad?”

“He was… at least as much as he could. He never… he couldn’t understand some things about me. But he tried.”

“He helped you kill Bobby. Why?”

“Because I asked him to… and I sucked his dick. But he would have done it, even if I hadn’t. He loved to kill. It’s what got him off.”

Dr. Garrett thought about that for a moment. “And what did killing do for you?”

“It gave me control..."
Read the rest, here.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Bar Scene

I am taking part in StoryADay.Org so I have to write a story every day. I started one, but it is turning into a really long piece and may not be finished until tomorrow... so I am posting a scene from my story. It is a horror story, but this is a funny scene. 

Bar Scene
Petr Kratochvil
Harry’s was busy. Cora saw Frank sitting at a booth and made her way past the harried waitress.

“Why is this place so packed today?” she asked as she slid into the booth.

“Happy Hour is at noon on Wednesdays.”

“Why did I not know that? And how come you do?”

Frank pointed towards the bar. “Tim comes here every Wednesday.”

Cora looked. Tim Winegardner was sitting at the bar, talking to Lynnie. “He looks drunk. How can he go back to work like that?”

“He can’t. He was fired today.”

The barmaid caught Cora looking and smiled. She then said something to Tim, who turned and glanced in their direction.

“FRANK, CORA!” He raised his glass in a toast and then headed in their direction… well, stumbled in their direction. He fell against a chair, spilling his drink and drenching Jenny Holiday.

“Uh oh,” Frank said, as the huge man sitting across from the woman, rose and lifted Tim in the air by his collar. Cora recognized him as Ed Saunders and he was known for his temper.

“Put him down,” Jenny yelled. “It was an accident.”

Lynnie rushed from behind the bar and tried to diffuse the situation.
“Put him down, Ed,” she said, echoing Jenny. “I’ll comp your bill and get Jenny a dry t-shirt. We have plenty in the back.”

“You’ll do more than that,” Ed said. “I want you to pay for her dry cleaning.”

“Ed, quit making a scene, it’s not that big of a deal,” Jenny said, looking embarrassed. “I can just throw it in the wash. Easy, peasy.”

“Yeah, easy, peasy,” Tim said, belching obnoxiously, and then… “Uh oh…” and he vomited on Ed. A few moments later he landed on one of Harry’s already rickety tables. The table made a loud protest and then crashed to the floor.

“I’ll get you a t-shirt too,” Lynnie said.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Killing The Dead

"We don't kill the living... but it's open season on the dead..."

Killing The Dead

Charlie aimed his gun carefully, making sure the bitch was in his sights. He knew the bitch, she’d been his fifth grade teacher… twice. She’d never liked him, but that wasn’t his fault. He’d heard she didn’t like boys. When she’d failed him that first time, he’d fantasized about killing her. He and his friends would make up scenarios… most had her brains splattered against the chalkboard.

There was no chalkboard now. The school was closed, as was the entire town. The ZA took care of that. Charlie still couldn’t believe it… Zombies! Life couldn’t get any better than this. Sure, he’d lost a lot of friends to the virus, along with his mother, but shit, his father had given him a gun and now he could splatter as many brains as he wanted, as long as they were deadies.

“We don’t kill the living,” his dad had said, when he caught Charlie getting ready to off David. David was a thief. He’d stolen some of the food the group had stored away. It was going to be a long winter and food was scarce, but fatso had taken from everyone else, just to fill his belly. Charlie’s dad said it was unfortunate, and he turned David out. Gave him enough gas to fill one of the many abandoned cars in town, and food that would last a few weeks. A total waste, since the next day Charlie had found him on the side of the road. He’d been bit and was freshly turned. Charlie shot him then. Blew his face clean off.

Ms. Staley looked towards Charlie. He knew she couldn’t see him, he was laying on the ground and there was shrubbery camouflaging him, but she knew… somehow they always knew where the living were. Her lips turned up in a snarl and she took a few steps in his direction. Charlie pulled the trigger and watched her head come off her body.

She didn’t fall right away. That was the best part. It was similar to a chicken with its head cut off. She stumbled around with her arms out, still trying to find the food source she’d been looking for. This lasted about three minutes. Then the body dropped.

Charlie took one last look around before standing. Zombies usually traveled in packs, but Ms. Staley was alone. If she hadn’t been, the gunfire would have drawn the rest of them out. He continued down the hill, towards the road. He was late.

Gary waited for him outside the old, abandoned Super-Mart.

“You got it?” He asked.

“Right here.” Charlie handed him his backpack.

Gary opened the bag and sifted through the contents. “This isn’t what we agreed on,” he snarled. “Where’s the rest?”

“Look, I got what I could, but ever since David broke into the storage shed, they’ve kept a close eye on it.”

“I can live without some of the food, but the ammunition and weapons, that’s a deal breaker…”

Gary turned to leave. “Wait,” Charlie said, stepping in front of him, “I can get you more, but it will be a few days. Maybe a week.”

“That’s too long.”

“I’ll throw in something else.”


“I heard you liked girls… young ones. What if I brought you one? Or if it’s boys you prefer…”

Gary looked around. “How old?”

“The girl’s six. The boy, eight.”

“Their parents will come looking for them. If they found me…”

“I can make it look like they wandered off. It’s a dangerous world and their mother isn’t the most attentive. She’s fucking my old man and sometimes they go off together for an hour or so.”

“Okay… but I want them both. I’ll give you another week.” Gary reached into a bag he’d brought with him and pulled a box out. “But I’m only giving you half the stash. You get the rest when you deliver me the goods.”
Charlie’s father was waiting for him when he got back. “Where have you been?” Ben asked.

“I went hunting,” Charlie said. He held up a couple of rabbits as proof.

“Didn’t I tell you not to wander off on your own?”

“Dad, come on, I’m almost sixteen.”

“I don’t know what I would do if anything happened to you. It was hard enough losing your mother.”

Charlie glanced towards Melissa, who was standing behind his father. They liked to present a united front when it came to discipline. “You seem to have gotten over it.”

Ben scratched at his beard and looked off to the side. “I’m going to let that slide. I need you to watch Sophie and Will for a little while.”

“Sure,” Charlie said.

After his father and Melissa left, Charlie did as he always did… left the two kids on their own and went into his tent. He pulled the box out of his backpack and opened it. Inside were vials filled with a greenish liquid. Gary’s job, before the ZA was working in a top secret government lab. The virus was manufactured there. It had accidently gotten out. The virus was supposed to be destroyed, but Gary saw the potential at having a supply of the zombie virus.

“We don’t kill the living,” his dad had said, "but it was open season on the dead." Yesterday his dad had gone on a supply run. While he was gone, Charlie saw Melissa. She was on her knees, blowing Joe. When she saw Charlie, she begged him not to tell his dad. She even offered him a piece of her. He turned her down. The thought of whatever virus she carried in her pussy scared him more than the virus did. But he promised her he wouldn’t tell. He loved his father, even if they didn’t always see eye to eye. He had no wish to hurt him… but if Melissa were infected and had to be killed, he would get over it.

Word Count:1000