Dec 21, 2018

Short Story Series: Stiletto Lies & Disco Dilemmas {Part Three}

This is the Final Part Three and continuation of a short story series Stiletto Lies & Disco Dilemmas

Here is the link to {Part One} and {Part Two} in case you missed it.

*As a reminder:  be on the lookout for phrases describing shoulders, which were inspired by a few reading friends. I used their suggested descriptions in the story and they’re highlighted in purple. Their ideas were prompted from an earlier request posted on my Facebook page.

Also, the story was inspired using these word prompts: stilettos, disco, lake, marriage, champagne and chocolate.

Stiletto Lies & Disco Dilemmas {Part Three}

By: Laurie Oien

The conversation on the drive over to the ballroom was only a few mumbled words.  The unspoken thoughts between them neared the agonizing level.  Roxanne’s mind spinning on rewind and Wesley’s was on fast forward wondering how this night might roll out. One thing was for sure, he needed to put the green-eyed monster back in the closet and keep his mouth shut.  Roxanne, on the other hand, was striving to remember the last time Wesley called her Foxy Roxy…he hadn’t used that pet name in ages.

Dec 20, 2018

Short Story Series: Stiletto Lies & Disco Dilemmas {Part Two}

This is Part Two and continuation of a short story series Stiletto Lies & Disco Dilemmas

Here is the link to {Part One} in case you missed it.

Stiletto Lies & Disco Dilemmas {Part Two}

By: Laurie Oien

Wesley retrieved a large trash bag and began clearing the shoe boxes stacked outside the closet. He was shocked at the number of shoe boxes and how Roxanne had actually made the decision to donate them all.  Still stewing over the red stilettos, he wondered why she couldn’t wear a pair from her donation pile. Why did it have to be those stilettos she was so insistent to wear to the holiday party?

Frustrated by the situation, he bent down to finish packing up the last row of boxes when he noticed a light from inside the closet shining down like a beacon directly onto one lonely box; almost like it were a Batman signal or something. Holy Stilettos, that’s it! 

Dec 19, 2018

Short Story Series: Stiletto Lies & Disco Dilemmas {Part One}

Welcome to a short story fiction series in three parts. Each part is about a 10 minute read and can easily fit into a busy schedule.  It's a fun way to take a break, get away from the norm, relax and be transported into a fictional tale of dilemma, drama and romance from a different character’s perspective. Hopefully, each part in the series will leave you wanting more. 

Inside the Writer’s Corner ~ 
Particular word prompts inspired this story and they are: stilettos, disco, lake, marriage, champagne and chocolate. Watch for them throughout the story. 

Also, for some reader interactive fun, be on the lookout for phrases describing shoulders, which were inspired by a few reading friends. I used their suggested descriptions in the story and they’re highlighted in purple. Their ideas were prompted from an earlier request posted on my Facebook page. Thank you Danielle, Anna and Julie, it was so great having your input to the story building.

Stiletto Lies & Disco Dilemmas {Part One}

By: Laurie Oien

Roxanne was more determined than ever to find those red stilettos. On her hands and knees with head buried deep in her walk-in closet, she looked like a bloodhound nosing out lost evidence.  She couldn’t remember the last time she wore them, but she was certain in the years of stockpiling shoes she hadn’t donated or tossed them away.  They had to be somewhere in the collection of shoe boxes forming a layer of event-deprived dust in her closet. She flipped off tops of boxes revealing their contents and began pulling each box aside one by one to build a pile of rejections behind her. 

Dec 16, 2018

Coming Soon: Short Story Fiction Series

Announcing and coming soon, I’ll be trying something a little different in my short story writing. I’ll be sharing a short fiction series in 3 parts. It will be posted here on the blog with each part in the series being about a 10-15 minute read. Each part will be posted on a different day leading you to the story climax.

Nov 19, 2018

Still Here and Still Writing: The View Looks Good

I’m amazed and I don’t believe it! Four years ago I created this writing space on Thanksgiving Day and I’m still here and still writing. 

It only seems fitting on this upcoming Thanksgiving Day to give thanks to the people that regularly visit A Square Of Chocolate.  I’m hoping you have found inspiration, had many giggles or simply enjoyed reading my stories on some level.

To you, dear readers, I’m extremely grateful for sticking with me for 4 years!

I’ll be honest; there were times I thought about shutting it down.  Then I realized this is the only space where I’m the boss, can take true ownership and have complete writing and creative freedom

I’ve put a lot of time and effort into this blog site, so it’s very hard for me to pack it up and store it away.  However, as I grow and find my way through this writing process, it may transition into something else. I’m just not sure what that is, yet.

Oct 30, 2018

Short Fiction: Recaptured Charm

It's a story of anguish, judgement and chance – Molly comes in contact with someone from her past in unexpected circumstances.  She must uncover his motives of re-entering her life. She battles with the truth and deciding whether to trust her instincts or believe it may have been a crime against her.

Inside the Writer’s Corner ~ 
When I first started writing this story it was going to lean on the creepy horror side with a Halloween theme in mind. I only had a few paragraphs written when I got stuck and my imagination developed a wrinkle. Writing something sinister or gruesome was not my thing. I soon realized I’m no Stephen King - there’s a reason he’s an accomplished horror and suspense author.  Writing horror stretches the imagination further than I felt capable of doing.

After a day or two of thinking about where to take the story next, I realized I had to soften the story while still incorporating some emotional darkness and twists along the way. My plot, as always, is generally overruled by hope and promise. 

Writing is a journey and I’m happy to share it. 

Story is approximately a 20 minute read. No time? Bookmark for later and come back when you have some down time to engage in the story. 

Hope you “feel” this story and the characters come to life for you. ~Laurie

Recaptured Charm

By: Laurie Oien

The excruciating pain awakened him from his unconscious slump and spit stretched thin from his lip as he tried to forge through the weeds of his last memory. It hovered like dark clouds in his head. 

Pain was tormenting his left arm and, instinctively, he reached with his right hand to soothe the wound, only to have it stopped short. Something constrained and pinched his wrist leaving him helpless and immobile. A bundle of thoughts cinched at his brain and it was unmistakable. He was caught in the crosshairs of hell again.  It seared evident like this morning’s fried bacon. 

Anger, fear and misery spilled over his aching body right down to the cold hard concrete slab he sat on. The corners of his eyes had collected dried droplets that clung like crusted toast crumbs to his lashes. He mustered to open his eyes and survey his surroundings. 

Oct 1, 2018

Reasons to Reflect On Your Summer and Sharing New Stories

Summers go by quickly, particularly here in Minnesota, and it’s incredibly challenging to cram everything we want to do in a short summer season. 

Some people plan their summer calendar three months out, while others will take each moment as it comes. No plans – no problem. 

Whatever your summer planning or lack of planning style may be, now is a great time to reflect and make a list of the highlights. Making a list or even a mental list is a great way to appreciate the full value of your summer experiences. Before you know it, the season has slipped away and you're left wondering what did I even do this summer?

Leif Erikson Park at Duluth, MN (overlooking Lake Superior)

Jun 22, 2018

Would It Help to Put On Your Rose-Colored Glasses?

I’m writing this today on the beginning of Summer Solstice with sunshine on the horizon and what will be the longest day of the year.  I don’t know about you, but it’s inspired me to put on my rose-colored glasses and see things from a different point of view. 

Image Credit:

Sometimes we all need to take a break from the world’s troubles and our own troubles to see things from a more cheerful and positive they say, through rose-colored glasses. Or, “happy glasses” as my mom would say.

May 31, 2018

Being a Badass: Is It Really All Bad?

I recently was reminded when things get tough the tough get going and to add to that, I found writing inspiration from Thelma and Louise.  They are the characters from the 1991 movie of the same namesake. Actresses Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis played two women leaving their “somewhat” normal lives behind to hit the road for adventure. 

Things go all Badass when their journey turns into trouble, which is punctuated by their unexpected criminal activity. Things literally go south as they find themselves running for the Mexican border while outrunning the police. 

When this movie first came out every married, single, hard-working, fed-up, and victimized woman cheered for its badass attitude. But, it was the ending that made EVERYONE say, “That’s BADASS!”

So, what does it mean to be a badass?

Apr 30, 2018

How An Obsession Began With Butterfly Pancakes

If you see me in the far-off corner of a bookstore clamoring to a newly bound cookbook lusting and drooling over the pages of glossy food photos...please, just pass by discretely without judgement.

I’ll admit it...I’m a cookbook junkie! 

Image Credit:
My Obsession Began With Butterfly Pancakes:

Which is why when I saw the daily Google Doodle, I was intrigued. 

Do you ever click on the daily Google Doodle to learn more about whom or what is being celebrated that day? 

Mar 31, 2018

Understanding Self-Awareness: Maybe Bundt Pans Aren’t Your Thing

Self-awareness could be the mind-blowing freedom you’re looking for. It’s that A-HA! moment when you understand why you do the things you do.  

Or, you might say “oh for the love of Pete, why did I waste the last 20 years of my life collecting Bundt pans!” 

And, come to find out, you don’t even like Bundt cake!

Of course, this is just a silly way to say that sometimes it takes years to become more self-aware of what makes you tick.  That doesn’t mean those years are wasted figuring it out. 

Mar 4, 2018

Unusual Ink: A Short Fiction on Two Drops of Ink

In my attempt to broaden my writing, I've been striving to write more fiction stories. Recently, I contributed a short fiction story to Two Drops of Ink where they have published the story on their literary blog.

Two Drops of Ink - A Literary Blog: Short Fiction Story - Unusual Ink

I feel writing in a short format is a great place for me to start my fiction writing. A little less overwhelming and taking on the challenge in smaller doses. I’m slowly trying to develop and improve in the art of writing. Practice, practice, practice is the best way to do this. Also, continuous learning and reading about the craft is another way.

Feb 28, 2018

Thoughts About Being An Only Child and Traits of Birth Order

I recently discovered I was part of a group of individuals that have something significant in common with each other and, interestingly, this group is made up of some pretty notable people. 

Sharing the singing talents of Elvis or Frank Sinatra would be cool, but that's not what we have in common. 

I don't have the presidential significance of Franklin Roosevelt or the creative genius of Leonardo da Vinci and, without question; I don't have the same funny bone as Robin Williams

It's true we are a group of individuals that grew up as only children. 

I just mentioned a small impressive list, but check out this hefty list of other famous only children. Like Betty White, Carol Burnett and Brooke Shields to name a few. 

Only children are, in many cases, the product of economic concerns. Family size has been shrinking since the 1960's and the number of only children has doubled in the last two decades. 

So many myths and stigmas have been attached to an only child. The most common is that only children are spoiled. 

Feb 11, 2018

If Only It Was Just About the Writing: A Note From the Editor

Wearing the different hats as writer, editor, creative director and marketing manager of this blog website has proved to be a much more challenging task then just writing something and plunking it here. 

I’d like to share some thoughts from this side of the blogosphere.

I started this blog as a place to practice my writing, inspire and possibly offer a chuckle to those who give up their precious time to read it. 

It’s important to mention, that my blog website and what I call my writing space will always be ad-free. No annoying pop-ups or sponsored products to entice you. Nothing against the bloggers that use their blog to make a buck, it’s a great way to start a business. However, this was never my goal to have this be a money maker. 

Feb 4, 2018

Creamy Ham and Noodle “Hotdish” Casserole

Since Minneapolis, Minnesota, was the featured host of the 2018 Super Bowl 52, I couldn’t resist whipping up a "Super Bowl" of hot, creamy and cheesy noodles with chunks of ham in every mouthful to what Minnesotans call a hotdish or many others call a casserole. 

Whatever you want to call it, it’s really just a mix of simple ingredients, usually noodles or potatoes, all mixed together and baked in the oven. The hearty ingredients go well on these Bold North winter days when we just want to stay inside, be lazy, watch some football and enjoy an ideal comfort food.

This one is so easy to put together – let’s get started!

Jan 30, 2018

Butterflies Are Free: Uncovering Overprotective Parenting

Is it alright to let your children make their own mistakes and leap over life’s hurdles on their own? 

Are you too overprotective?

Not protective enough?

Image Credit:
parenting and reflection @

A good example of being too overprotective and how it can paralyze and smother a person is portrayed in the movie Butterflies Are Free

I recently saw this on an oldies movie channel and it is starring Goldie Hawn, Edward Albert and Eileen Heckart. The movie made in 1972 was one I hadn’t seen before and seeing a young Goldie Hawn got my attention. She played her character spot on with a surprising wittiness that made me love her more. 

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