Show Notes

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Episode 023: Pretty Things Distract Me

Guilliean reads her short story of the same name.

Stream Pretty Things Distract Me in your browser as you read along with the story!

Miriam woke up with a start. The bedsprings squeaked as she yawned. The haze of sleep guided her eyes to Agnes. The bottle blonde slipped on her black cotton top, blinking at her phone. 5:15 AM. The ripples of Agnes’ muscles sent a jolt of fire into her belly.

“Leaving already?”

“I figured I’d get out of here early, so I don’t get papped with you,” Agnes explained through a well-timed yawn. “I can’t find my bra. Where did you throw it last night?”

Miriam pointed at a pile of clothes on her side of the room. “I’m pretty sure it’s in there somewhere, along with my things.”

Agnes grimaced as she sifted through the frieze of material. Finally, she stuffed last season’s purple Victoria’s Secret into her midnight blue hobo bag. “I should get going.”

Miriam sat up to inch her way towards her. She pressed her bare breasts between Agnes’ shoulder blades. The weight of her body was like a feather against the black cotton, yet the slight friction sent warmth through Agnes’ body. “Who says you have to go?” She pressed her dry lips into the nape of Agnes’ neck.

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“I have a meeting with Tony,” Agnes replied, weak under Miriam’s gentle touch. “You met him at that party in Century City.”

Miriam let go of her. “So?”

“So,” Agnes shot back. “I have to go.”

“Look, I know you’re all about your career, but it’s the 21st century. I’m sure your fans would be OK with you being a lesbian. You know that people are already talking about it on the internet.”

“It’s not any of that,” Agnes said, shrugging her off.

“I know it’s not,” Miriam said. “But is selling your body worth hiding who you are nowadays? You know there’s stuff going on that would protect you. We’ve evolved as a society not to be rude and judgmental. Well, some of us anyway.”

“This is how the business is,” Agnes shook her head. “You know this.”

Miriam did know. “So… be better than that.”

“I don’t have it in me,” said Agnes. She turned to look at Miriam, who broadly smiled at her. “But pretty things distract me.”

“So let me distract you a little more,” Miriam offered.

Agnes paused as her shoulders sank. “I’ll see you later.”

Guilliean Pacheco, founder of Writeropolis Industries, is a Las Vegas-based freelance writer, editor, and podcaster. She earned an MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco, and knows how to get your small business noticed. You built your business on a personal story at the end of the day. Let her help you write the right one. She’s eager to produce high-quality blog posts, long-form articles, and other written content. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation at writeropolis.com/contentgeneration to begin!

Music: Don’t Mess with the Balance (Instrumental Version) from ZapSplat.


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Episode 022: How Does Your Garden Grow

Guilliean reads her short story, How Does Your Garden Grow.

Stream How Does Your Garden Grow and read along with the text!

My name wasn’t always Mary. A Biblical name, the cross that we bear that is entwined with that female epithet, the feminine sanguinity that spills with every moon’s phase. It was gifted to me. I don’t know where it begins. It always was. I’m unsure of my real name. So many years have passed, and I haven’t found a reason to call myself anything other than Mary. I am Mary. My tombstone will bear the name Mary, for the Mary before and the Mary after. The virgin and the whore. I had dreams of being more. I suppose I was marked as Cain’s people the moment I was born. Mother said I was born with a black heart.

I followed my older sisters everywhere. They protected me from ghosts, and I killed spiders for them. They told me I could be anything I wanted to be, even if Mother and Papa said I couldn’t. One night, they dared me to follow them into the bathroom. My eldest sister flicked the water on the mirror. They told me to say “Bloody Mary” three times. I said the cursed phrase and a woman appeared. She stared deep into my soul and reached for me. I reached for her hand. It felt wrong, but it felt good too. I felt her sew herself into my spirit, rippling across my skin in an illicit dance. My sisters’ icebox screams rang in my ears.

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I turned around to see where my sisters had gone. They were not there. I cried myself to sleep. When I woke up, I began to walk. I wasn’t hungry. I had no need to drink. I attempted to keep time but there was no point. I did not age. Days, months, years may have passed, but time became inconsequential. I built a house, one with a grand staircase near the front door and tile floors and gas lamps. I built it like the houses I saw in the museums we visited. I read all the books I could get my hands on. I put my dolls where I wanted them. I grew a garden with hedges and sunflowers and a tire swing nearby. It was marvelous.

I realized I bore the curse of Mary when I felt an invisible hook grab my belly button, pulling my body through the ether. It was to a mirror. I opened my eyes wide and pounded my fists on the looking glass at the people on the other side. They screamed at my unkempt appearance and ran away. They were not worthy. The hook pulled me all over the world, the universe even. I could see the people changing, the fashions that came into vogue, the tongues they spoke. I thought about my circumstances and knew I had to find someone with a heart as black as mine.

There is another Mary out there to take my place. There must be. That’s how this curse worked right? They had to take over for me since I took over for the other Mary. At least, that’s what I told myself. What I’ll continue to tell myself as I soldier on.

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Music: Strange Lullaby from ZapSplat.


Find Raconteuse Radio on your favorite podcatcher:

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Do you want to support Raconteuse Radio even further? Consider submitting a love letter so that I can win the Podca$h contest. As you know, Raconteuse is a tiny but mighty podcast that is always looking to feature underserved, marginalized, and BIPOC voices.

Imagine what a little cash infusion could do to help me grow. All I’m saying is that I want the chance to prove myself. This could be a step in the right direction. Please consider sharing your support by writing something for me.

Tip Jar

I accept donations to support the growth of the podcast via Ko-Fi and if you prefer bitcoin, send me something via PodcastIndex.

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I have host-read packages that you can purchase to advertise your business. Check out your options!

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Get updates about the podcast, and the rest of the projects at Writeropolis Industries when you add your email to Postcards at the Edge of Heaven.

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Episode 021: I Have No Mouth, Give Me Something to Sing About, Part 2

Guilliean reads the second half of her short story of the same name.

“I wish I knew what that was. I mean, work is work, but I don’t feel fulfilled. What about you?” he asked.

“What about me?” I replied.

“What do you want to do with your life?”

I jerked my head back like I had been electrocuted. “I don’t know.”

He smiled at me. “Nah girl, take your own advice. What are you supposed to be doing?”

I shrugged and looked away. “I’ve always wanted to be a writer.”

“Have you written anything?”

“Honestly? No. I just got my degree in English and History and I figured I would try different things. When people find out what I studied, they’re always like, ‘are you gonna be a teacher?’ And I’m like, ‘no because being the center of attention is so not my thing.”

“You’re definitely in the wrong business!” he teased me.

“Yeah, no shit,” I replied. “All the shit that we deal with every day, from front of house to back, I could write twenty books easily.”

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He nodded. “So why don’t you?”

I shook my head. “No one would want to read it.”

“How do you know? You won’t know unless you write it.”

“And you?” I replied, trying to change the conversation. “What do you want to do with your life?”

He shook his head. “No, we’re talking about you. But if we’re being honest, it’s definitely not what I’m doing now.”

“I don’t know if I’ve ever told you, but I transferred here from XX, I was a supervisor at their business center before it got swallowed up by FedEx,” I offered.

“For real?” he asked. “Why didn’t you apply at our business center? I’m sure we would’ve found a place for you.”

I shrugged. “I didn’t see any positions available when I applied for this job. Besides, I took that job as far as I wanted to go professionally. There was nowhere else to go. A lot of the employees there at the end didn’t care about their jobs anymore. Dealing with that apathy soured me from going after it more.”

“Soured,” he repeated. “Good word. You should write a book about that.”

“Twenty books,” I reminded him, “twenty books!”

He glanced at his phone. “I gotta go back. My lunch is almost over. It was good talking to you. I hope I can read one of your books someday.”

I smiled. “Yeah, it was good talking to you too. I hope you can figure everything out. And hey, you might see one of my books someday.”

You know that you have a meaningful story to tell, but getting the right words out is the toughest part. Trust Guilliean Pacheco! As the founder of Writeropolis Industries, she helps hard-working folks like you fine-tune their written voice. Why do you need editing? She’ll help you impact your target audience and save you time. Let’s work together to fill your project with excellent, on-point content. Connect with her now at writeropolis.com/editing for more information.

Music: Passsengers from ZapSplat.


Find Raconteuse Radio on your favorite podcatcher:

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Want to use another podcast app? You’ve got options!

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Do you want to support Raconteuse Radio even further? Consider submitting a love letter so that I can win the Podca$h contest. As you know, Raconteuse is a tiny but mighty podcast that is always looking to feature underserved, marginalized, and BIPOC voices.

Imagine what a little cash infusion could do to help me grow. All I’m saying is that I want the chance to prove myself. This could be a step in the right direction. Please consider sharing your support by writing something for me.

Tip Jar

I accept donations to support the growth of the podcast via Ko-Fi and if you prefer bitcoin, send me something via PodcastIndex.

Advertise

I have host-read packages that you can purchase to advertise your business. Check out your options!

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Get updates about the podcast, and the rest of the projects at Writeropolis Industries when you add your email to Postcards at the Edge of Heaven.

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Episode 020: I Have No Mouth, Give Me Something to Sing About, Part 1

Guilliean reads part of her short story, I Have No Mouth, Give Me Something to Sing About.

Finally. Lunch. I could unwind for 60 minutes away from the madness and try to get back to square one before I would have to go back for another three hours and do it all again. What am I doing with my life? Why did I accept this job? Oh, that’s right, because I’ve got bills. How many other people have jumped into the abyss and been okay? Why am I so afraid?

These were the same questions I asked myself as I prepared my leftovers in our microwave, and fired up the TV in our break room. This particular TV got cable, one of the only ones that did on our floor, other than the dealer’s break room down the hall. It probably shared a link with the hotel rooms upstairs. No one questioned it and it was a welcome respite from the ugliness on the other side of the door.

Like most people who believed they were in the wrong career, lunch was the only intermission afforded to me from the false warmth I had to wear eight hours a day, five days a week. I chucked my gray jacket on my chair and glared at it. ‘Fake it ‘til you make it,’ they always said. I’d been here for over a year, and I had long ago seen the writing on the wall. I was so over it, I had hiked East over the Rocky Mountains already.

The door opened and the Filipino guy from the business center came storming in and sat down at the eight-top table they kept in our room. He seemed engrossed in something, scribbling on a scrap piece of paper. I quietly sat down across from him and began to eat. The television was playing E! It was a repeat of last week’s “Keeping with the Kardashians.” Bless their little cotton bobby socks. I tuned out but kept my eyes on the TV. Television had the wonderful addictive ability to prevent overclocking of internal processors further. God bless TV.

“Oh man,” he muttered, throwing the hotel-branded pen he was using aside. I never knew his name. But we were friendly.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“Nothing,” he replied. “Well, not nothing. See, I DJ on the side, to make extra money.”

“Oh that’s cool,” I offered. “What do you spin?”

He smiled at me, appreciative that I knew the lingo. “Mostly hip-hop.” His face dropped into despair. “There’s rumors they’re planning on cutting our hours again, and I was thinking I could take on more gigs. I mean, if I could, I’d be a DJ full time.”

“So… you’re crunching the numbers, I guess?”

“Yeah, trying to see if I get X amount of gigs, then that would help. I mean, I could if I had to. But I also don’t know if I want to keep doing that, as good as it pays for a side hustle.”

I nodded. “Yeah, I feel you. I mean I get 40 hours here and there’s no shortage of work but I hate hospitality. It’s the only industry out here but I can’t live anywhere else. It’s too expensive and it’s not like I’ve got mad bills. It’s like that Smiths’ song, ‘why do I smile at people who I’d much rather kick in the eye.’ It’s so draining. I’m not cut out for this work!”

“I’ve never heard of that song, I’ll have to check it out,” he said.

Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now,” I said, “you should definitely download it.”

He squinted at me. “What do you think I should do?”

The question caught me off guard. I don’t have my shit together, I shouldn’t be giving advice to anyone else. “I think you should do what you’re supposed to do.”

Music: Passengers from ZapSplat.

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Do you want to support Raconteuse Radio even further? Consider submitting a love letter so that I can win the Podca$h contest. As you know, Raconteuse is a tiny but mighty podcast that is always looking to feature underserved, marginalized, and BIPOC voices.

Imagine what a little cash infusion could do to help me grow. All I’m saying is that I want the chance to prove myself. This could be a step in the right direction. Please consider sharing your support by writing something for me.

Tip Jar

I accept donations to support the growth of the podcast via Ko-Fi and if you prefer bitcoin, send me something via PodcastIndex.

Advertise

I have host-read packages that you can purchase to advertise your business. Check out your options!

Subscribe

Get updates about the podcast, and the rest of the projects at Writeropolis Industries when you add your email to Postcards at the Edge of Heaven.