Random Rambles

#ThirdTimesTheCharm: A Letter from (a drunk) Mickey Downey to Mary Gates


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The following is a letter referenced in Third Time’s The Charm;

Beneath the tray was a bundle of letters, no envelopes, about an inch thick…

~~~

My dearest Mary,

I struggle to write this. I guess I’m not sure if you care. I wonder if they’ll even give it to you. I guess it doesn’t matter because I’m not even sure if I’ll ever send it to you. I just can’t help but wonder if I’d stayed that night, hadn’t walked out, if I could have changed your mind. An hour. That’s the length of time it took me to lose everything that mattered. An HOUR and you were gone. I think they do that on purpose, the Feds. That way they can fill your head with lies and manip manu manipulations. Never noticed how long that word was before.

I guess I just need you to know I love you and Tommy and that’s a truth I need to make you know. But they won’t let me see you. They won’t tell me where you are. It’s inappropriate, my lawyers advise, in any case. That’s a long word too. Of course it is but you’re not just any witness are you? I know how this game works and ain’t that just the Goddamned joke of it all? For the first time I want to get to someone just because I need you to understand I was working on it. I had a plan and if you’d just waited. just waited a goddamned hour

 I don’t know what the fucking Feds are telling you but I know for sure whatever you have to say it isn’t enough, so why do this thing? Why? What could they have promised you? Tomorrow I’m going to hope seeing me in court will make you see reason. If you were tired of it I mean I know you were but like I said I was working on it and you can’t take my son from me we could have worked something out

 I hope there’s some way tomorrow

I don’t know maybe it’s best Big Joe is so pissed and Theresa just won’t shut the fuck up about getting her own baby and now I’m just alone

you’ll laugh because I just did that thing you can’t stand, lick the end of my pen. As if anyone ever died from that. I miss the way you nag. I miss tucking our boy in bed and I miss every fuckin thing

I should not write letters when I’m drunk. there. I nagged for you 

I love you

Mickey

Read the rest of the letters here: Letters From Mickey Downey

[Insert Blog Post here] aka Gen’s had enough.


When I was around seven or eight, I can’t remember the exact age, we were visiting my grandpa and grandma in Wheaton (near Chicago) and my grandpa sat me down and explained the concept of cost/benefit ratio.

I can’t express how helpful that one simple conversation has been in making decisions throughout my entire life.

But, sometimes my stubbornness gets in the way.

You see, “they” say if you create blog content on a regular basis, and join amplifiers like Triberr, the traffic comes. Eh… sometimes that’s true, sometimes it requires creative word usage in your title and hidden SEO content, certainly creating a controversial or sexy post always helps.

Sadly, I hardly ever do any of those things. I’m just … me.

Most of the time I use this blog as more of a website; I put up content which is meant to enhance the reader’s experience, not really provide illumination or pontificate on any one subject per se. Every once in a while I do that, or put up a guest post. But, I have made a concerted effort to put up posts on a regular basis only to see a fairly small level of clicks.

Sometimes none at all…which is… ouch.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the handful of you who visit this blog on an almost daily basis, it’s that the amount of time it takes to create new content such as Letters From Mickey or Flash-fictions. That time takes away from the time I have to write novels or play with my kids or cuddle with my husband (one of my favorite hobbies).

So, I am going to take a little break, which actually started last week, and recharge my batteries.

My sweet friend Penny is horrified, I can feel it all the way up here. It’s so close to the release of Third Time’s The Charm, after all.

True.

But how on earth will I have the energy to spam all of you with Book Release posts in a few weeks?

;P

In the meantime, I will be posting Third Time quotes on Facebook prior to the book release.

THANK YOU for your support! Love you guys!

A Letter from Mickey Downey, Part Nine.


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The following is a letter referenced in Third Time’s the Charm;

He let go of Kiki and fished a letter out of his pocket…

~~~

Dear Princess,

I am writing you this letter on the occasion of your seven month birthday. Why seven, you ask? Seven is a lucky number and I want as much luck infused into this letter as I can get. It’s actually my third attempt. The first was a bit too combative I think, a failure on my part to acknowledge the inevitability of certain things. The second, I dwelt a bit too much on other things I’ve lost and which should never be your concern. And so here we are, third time’s the charm, as they say. 

I’m going to hold on to this letter until you are grown and ready to start your own family. Which I hope is long after my death. Just kidding. Today your mother wants to take you to Festa di San Gennaro which I think is a horrible idea because my mind spins with all the possible ways you could get hurt by the crowd or scared by all the noises and scents. When you have your own babies I think you will understand how consumed a parent can get with protecting their child, and that brings me to the point of this letter. I want you to know that I love you far beyond any earthly want or need and that as long as it is within my power–even if that power is only my two bare hands–I will do my best to protect you from harm.

The day I give you this letter, or have it given to you, will be the day you have found someone who will love and protect you as much as your father can. I do hope I will give you this letter someday because even at seven months old I can tell you deserve nothing less than everything your sweet, joyful heart desires. I truly believe you are a gift from a God who has no reason to give a man such as me anything. But I will cherish every moment with you until the day I give you away to another and then I will cherish the memories I have of you.

Please know, in this life and the next, I will always watch over you and love you.

Your loving father,

Mickey.

Read the rest of the letters here: Letters From Mickey Downey

festadisangennaro

#TheDowneyTrilogy: Get to Know Detective Tommy Gates


At the heart of The Downey Trilogy is the relationship between mostly Irish-part Italian gangster Michael “Mickey” Downey and his son Detective Tommy Gates.

You can learn a bit more about Tommy Gates here or get to know him through Mickey’s eyes here.

Here are some more interesting facts about Tommy Gates:

1) Tommy is named after Mary’s father Thomas Gates and of course, his middle name Michael comes from his father. No one ever calls him Thomas, though he probably wouldn’t mind if they did. Oddly, it does bother him when people call him Tom. He never got to meet his namesake as his grandfather died while Tommy was in witness protection.

2) He takes the Stanley Cup Playoffs very seriously and has been known to break up with a girlfriend or two when they failed to understand the importance of this.

3) He is a workaholic with a lot of acquaintances but only a handful of real friends.

4) He purposefully tanked his date with his partner’s sister Katelyn Anderson because his number one rule is never mix work and personal life. Of course, that was before he met Agent Ginny Sommers.

5) He donated all of his presents from his father to Goodwill until he was in his teens when he started sending them back (just like the letters). Mickey stopped sending presents and started transferring money to Mary’s bank account after that. On Tommy’s eighteenth birthday, Mary showed him the account she had put it in and said he could use it for college. Tommy still hasn’t touched it.

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A Letter from Mickey Downey, Part Eight.


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~~~

Dear Tommy,

First, I love you and think of you often. I keep hoping you will call but maybe I’ve just forgotten how busy a young boy gets. Or maybe you can’t call long distance? You can always call collect, just ask your mother how. I did try to call you on Christmas but there was no answer and no way to leave a message. I can’t understand why your mother wouldn’t have an answering machine. Perhaps I’ll send her one and a calling card.

What have you been up to since my visit? Is third grade a challenge? I don’t know why but I remember it being the first time I ever thought school to be fun. We finally started learning some math that was interesting that year. Do you like math like me? Maybe you like music like your mother. She is an exceptional pianist. I’m sure she’s forgotten to mention that as she’s quite modest. I know she teaches music but I’m not sure if she ever plays for recreation anymore. You should ask her to play something for you some time. Maybe you could even tell her I miss her beautiful voice. You don’t have to.

Anyway, your little brother is teething. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s when an ordinarily angelic baby become an impossible to please demon. And that is saying something with Joey. I think I mentioned he is usually as mellow as you were as a baby so this has been quite the adjustment for both of us. Ah well, this too shall pass. Your sister Kiki is having a blast in Kindergarten. She has a whole tribe of boys and girls she has convinced that she is actually a princess and somehow gets them to bring her things and give her their desserts. But here’s the kicker, son, she kept all of it and had an ‘auction’ on the playground to sell it back to all of them. Then she gave her teacher the money. I asked why and she said, ‘so she can buy us some good snacks for story time. No one likes carrots and crackers.’ HA! As a father I’m torn between pride at her entrepreneurial and management skills and pointing out that the establishment frowns at that sort of ‘business’. Or so the government and my lawyers tell me. I can’t wait to see what sort of scheme your brother dreams up in five years. I actually woke up in a sweat the other day thinking about what sort of shenanigans he could come up with if he’s anything like me.

Ah speak of the devil, he’s up again. I’m beginning to greatly appreciate the sacrifice your mother made raising you with only a part time parent to help. I guess it’s time to hire an au pair. That’s a fancy word for live-in babysitter.

I love you (I know I said that already–can’t be said enough). Hope to hear from you soon.

Your Loving Father,

Mickey

PS- I put the calling card in with this letter and another business card.

Read the rest of the letters here: Letters From Mickey Downey

#TheDowneyTrilogy: Get to Know Kiki Downey


The Downey Trilogy centers around the relationship between mostly Irish-part Italian gangster Michael “Mickey” Downey and his son Detective Tommy Gates. But the catalyst that starts the story is Katherine “Kiki” Downey, Mickey’s daughter with Theresa Anastasio . A mob princess with a pure gangster pedigree going back generations, she is very beautiful and fond of meddling plan-making, but as Agent Hoffman says “she uses her powers mostly for good”.

You can learn a bit more about Kiki Downey here or get to know her through Mickey’s eyes in his letters here.

Here are some more interesting facts about Kiki Downey:

1) She secretly loves her full name Katherine Anastasia. Even though it’s a bit stodgy, it’s always made her feel regal. And it honors her mother’s family, the Anastasios, who were the force to be reckoned with before her father.

2) She loves dogs of all shapes and sizes but has felt it would be cruel to have one in her apartment or without kids to play with it.

3) She majored in business at Elmhurst College before she quit, but she told everyone she was taking art classes after the first few people she told thought she was kidding.

4) When she was six she wore a tiara for five solid weeks (even slept with it) until one of her Bonanno cousins broke it.

5) She blogs about fashion trends but would really love to run her own event planning company, especially weddings.

6) She hates traditional Irish music, the one thing she has in common with her grandmother Maeve, who loves to mock anyone that assumes just because she’s from Ireland that she ought to listen to reels and jigs all day.

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A Letter from Mickey Downey, Part Seven.


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~~~

Hello Joey!

I do hope you’re settling in well at school, and that you are not having me on about being happy to go. I usually don’t worry about you pretending to be happy about something you are not, unlike your sister, but in this case you can chalk it up to a case of your father having some anxiety about sending you so far. Not to mention so unsupervised. Yes, I realize it is a military school but I can recall being thirteen with a clarity that would frighten you. I’m sure you have trouble imagining me so young. I wish I had had your maturity when I was that age, who knows what might have happened? In any case I would appreciate you using the new phone and computer I bought you for regular facetime. Emails or letters will not be enough. You are a Downey so I know mischief runs heavy in your veins. And the sneaky twinkle in your sister’s eyes has me uneasy as well. I do want to say I would not mind if you showed an interest in taking up letter writing like me and your great grandpa Seamus. It is a forgotten art form. People just dash off texts and emails these days without a care.

 I just scared myself with how old that made me sound. You can stop snickering any time. On another note, I just got off the phone with your brother who was surprisingly friendly. Well, perhaps not friendly, but polite and animated. He’s moved out of that horrid old house he was renting off 48th and found a single apartment closer to downtown. I said that was a good move because the hours he keeps he has no business having to keep up another man’s yard, and let’s be real the other tenants in that house never did their part. He’s thinking he might be making the rank of Detective soon. I’m sure he figured that would just ruin my day, but quite the opposite. I told him if he doesn’t make it, I could get him placed here in Chicago, the Alderman in our district is always carrying on about needing more boys in blue. Tommy laughed quite a bit at that. Who knows at which part? But he thanked me for the call, which was a first. If you were here you’d be able to tell me if I was making too much out of it. This is another reason I will miss you greatly–our talks about Tommy. It’s not the same with your sister. She is too much of a people pleaser, always wanting to fix things that can’t be fixed. You inherited your poppa Big Joe’s skill for listening. Another forgotten art.

I’d better wrap this up, especially since I will be seeing you soon anyway, in fact, maybe before this letter even arrives. See? Your old man can be sneaky too. Possibly you already knew that. (nyuk nyuk nyuk) I’ve a friend in DC I haven’t seen in quite a while and I thought I’d surprise him with a visit and I can pop over and see you while I’m there. You can show me around your dorm and introduce me to your new friends, of which I am sure you already have several. Did your mother tell you that you actually have a cousin on the Bonanno side not too far from there? I’m not sure of the exact connection, you’ll have to check with her.

I love you and don’t forget I’m always keeping an eye on you, so no shenanigans, alright, boyo?

 See you soon!

Your Loving Father,

Mickey

PS- Keep your grades up and my pilot says he’d be happy to have you along for a ride in the cockpit. Won’t that be a fun bragging right for your friends?

Read the rest of the letters here: Letters From Mickey Downey

#TheDowneyTrilogy: Get to Know Mickey Downey


At the heart of The Downey Trilogy is the relationship between mostly Irish-part Italian gangster Michael “Mickey” Downey and his son Detective Tommy Gates.

You can learn a bit more about Mickey Downey here or get to know him through his letters here.

Here are some more interesting facts about Mickey Downey:

1) He loves museums about technology, hates museums about art (even though he carves artwork himself).

2) He prefers to listen to ragtime jazz.

3) He started collecting guns at the age of 15.

4) The first time he stole something was at the age of 7 when his mother wouldn’t let him have a pack of gum. He pretended he had dropped his glove, went back in Waldbaum’s and lifted the gum. Then he got back in the car and apologized to his parents for ‘whining for a pack of gum’.

5) There’s only been two people in his entire life that he truly counted as friends.

6) He once put a contract out on his sister Rosa’s husband after Roric put her in the hospital. She stopped speaking to Mickey shortly after that. Most people assume that was why but it was a bit more complicated than that…

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A Letter from Mickey Downey, Part Six. (Warning: angsty and raw)


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The following is a letter referenced in Third Time’s The Charm;

Beneath the tray was a bundle of letters, no envelopes, about an inch thick…

~~~

My dearest Mary,

I struggle to write this. I guess I’m not sure if you care. I wonder if they’ll even give it to you. I guess it doesn’t matter because I’m not even sure if I’ll ever send it to you. I just can’t help but wonder if I’d stayed that night, hadn’t walked out, if I could have changed your mind. An hour. That’s the length of time it took me to lose everything that mattered. An HOUR and you were gone. I think they do that on purpose, the Feds. That way they can fill your head with lies and manip manu manipulations. Never noticed how long that word was before.

I guess I just need you to know I love you and Tommy and that’s a truth I need to make you know. But they won’t let me see you. They won’t tell me where you are. It’s inappropriate, my lawyers advise, in any case. That’s a long word too. Of course it is but you’re not just any witness are you? I know how this game works and ain’t that just the Goddamned joke of it all? For the first time I want to get to someone just because I need you to understand I was working on it. I had a plan and if you’d just waited. just waited a goddamned hour

 I don’t know what the fucking Feds are telling you but I know for sure whatever you have to say it isn’t enough, so why do this thing? Why? What could they have promised you? Tomorrow I’m going to hope seeing me in court will make you see reason. If you were tired of it I mean I know you were but like I said I was working on it and you can’t take my son from me we could have worked something out

 I hope there’s some way tomorrow

I don’t know maybe it’s best Big Joe is so pissed and Theresa just won’t shut the fuck up about getting her own baby and now I’m just alone

you’ll laugh because I just did that thing you can’t stand, lick the end of my pen. As if anyone ever died from that. I miss the way you nag. I miss tucking our boy in bed and I miss every fuckin thing

I should not write letters when I’m drunk. there. I nagged for you 

I love you

Mickey

Read the rest of the letters here: Letters From Mickey Downey

A Letter from Mickey Downey, Part Five.


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The following is a letter that was written the February before this flashback in First, I Love You;

She smiled remembering it. Little Joey running all over the hotel lobby getting into things the way restless nine year old boys do. Daddy all tense and silent, staring at ‘that woman’, as mom had always called her. And Tommy–Ha!–Tommy, acting like he had just wandered into the Omaha Hilton because he had nothing better to do. But she could see in his eyes he was just as nervous as she was. Just as curious to finally meet his siblings…

And in Second of All;

“We’re here so you can meet your brother for the first time. You can get an ice cream any other time.”

Joey sent a quick resentment-filled look at Tommy who was teasing a furiously blushing Kiki about some boy-band she liked…

~~~

Dear Princess,

I hope you are enjoying Paris! I know I said I wouldn’t “bug you” while you are visiting your mother but I thought it might be nice to get a letter from your old man anyway. It feels strange to be writing to you instead of enjoying your company while I write to others. It’s not only odd in its intended recipient but because my study feels very empty without you. I can feel you rolling your eyes at that, even from across the ocean. Oh well, somehow we will both survive your teen years. You’ll be happy to know your “stinky little brother” has so far kept his promise to stay out of your room. Either that or he is exceptionally talented at not getting caught. Given his parentage, it could go either way. I’m sure you’ll be happy to know he’s still quite jealous you got to go without him. I suggested maybe I could send him to his mother during his own birthday month, but he’s still set on Coney Island.

Speaking of brothers, Tommy will be graduating this May. Since Joey doesn’t want to head to Europe, I thought it would be nice if we could take a trip over to Omaha and see Tommy graduate. Won’t it be nice to meet him in person? Well past time, I think. You’ll find when you get older it’s easy to let time slip away and before you know it your daughter’s wearing lipstick and your oldest son’s graduating high school. You should probably make sure your mother doesn’t see this letter. You know how she gets when people mention Tommy.

I have to run now. Call me when you get this letter so I can hear your sweet voice.

Your loving father,

Mickey.

PS–Remember our deal, you need to be completing your homework. Getting out of school for a month doesn’t mean you can slack off.

PPS–No falling in love with any French boys.