Smorgasbord Posts From Your Archives 2020 – #Shortstory – Clarifying Shampoo by D. Wallace Peach


Welcome to the new series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020

This is the first post by author Diana Wallace Peach...and it is a short story, and for those of you (us) who sometimes get into a bit of a dither, it is very clarifying…..

Image Pixabay combo

Betsy over at Parenting is Funny was recently musing over a bottle of clarifying shampoo (yes, it’s a real thing). Her blog is a hoot, and I encourage you to visit. Her post popped a story into my head. I hope you enjoy.

Clarifying Shampoo by D. Wallace Peach

Clara was born a Libra. Not the normal kind of Libra with a smattering of other signs in her chart to balance her scales. She was an anomaly, an astrological case study, solid Libra from her Sun all the way across the galaxy to Pluto. She vacillated like a seesaw and simple decisions were intolerable with all the second-guessing.

Worst of all, she was the epitome of annoying. Potential friends stopped calling after a week, and romantic relationships unraveled before they had a chance to knit. She frustrated counselors. Even her mother had stopped answering the phone.

Clara had to do something, and the only thing she hadn’t tried was consulting a psychic.

Madam Bea’s Fabulous Fortunes occupied the basement below a hair salon. She specialized in Tarot, but the handmade poster on her sandwich-board advertised results, and that was exactly what Clara needed. Results.

At the bottom of the concrete steps, a peeling door led into a tight space cordoned off by red sheets tacked to the ceiling. A disorienting combination of odors—garlic, mildew, and sandalwood—assaulted Clara’s nose. A card table separated two folding chairs, complete with a sparkly glass ball on a plastic stand.

Madam Bea, a beak-nosed woman with painted eyebrows, sat at the table finishing off a pizza. She waved to the unoccupied chair while munching on the crust, and then tossed the pizza box behind the makeshift curtains.

Clearly, Clara had made another mistake, but she accepted the seat and laid out the saga of her peculiar horoscope complete with runny mascara—another miscalculation. She should have applied the waterproof variety.

The fortune teller listened intently while picking her teeth with a ruby fingernail. “I have joost the thing,” she said and disappeared behind the sheets. When she returned, she placed a half-empty bottle of shampoo on the table.

“Shampoo?” Clara frowned.

“Clarifying champoo.” Madam Bea’s eyebrows arched higher than already arched. “Trust me. I give you discount. That be fifty dollars.”

Clara forked over the cash with a sigh and drove home. Before dropping into bed, she washed her hair.

In the morning, she shuffled to her closet and ruminated over what to wear. Slacks or a skirt? Maybe a dress. Or slacks in case the office is cold. But what if it’s warm? A dress with a sweater? Although a skirt…

The lavender suit.

Clara froze. The whispered voice seemed to originate from somewhere above her head. She glanced up and then peeked over her shoulder. Alone. Was the voice real? Inside her head? She backed up and sat on the edge of her bed. Should she make another counseling appointment?

Ivory blouse and low pumps. Pearl studs but skip the necklace.

Clara jolted up with a yelp. She rifled through her closet and wriggled into the lavender suit. Studs in her ears, she dashed from her apartment to the sidewalk, the low heels a wise choice with all the running.

She inhaled a lungful of sunshine to calm her racing heart, shoved the morning’s weirdness from her thoughts, and wavered over whether to walk to work or take the bus. Or drive. Or walk. What if she got blisters? And then there was city parking…

Walk. It’s a nice day. You need the exercise.

Clara frowned and casually swept a hand over the top of her head. Was her hair giving her instructions?

I’m clarifying.

“Clarifying?” She wrinkled her nose. “Why? But what if—”

Clarity never hurt anyone. Now, no time for waffling or you’ll be late.

Still suspicious of her hair, Clara set off for work, and for the first time in three years, she arrived on time, a fact noticed by Harry, the tall, dark, and hunky cubical-occupant across the aisle. Her hair urged her to have tea instead of coffee and to check her emails before returning calls, decisions that would have taken an hour.

By the time the clock struck noon, her lips curved into a relaxed smile, the day’s decision-making handled entirely by her hair.

Harry cleared his throat. “Clara, would you like to join me for a quick lunch?”

“Oh, er, hm.” Clara didn’t know. Should she? What would she order? Maybe she shouldn’t. But then he might not ask again. So, she should. But what if she did, and he ended up being a creep, and then he’d ask her every day? She might have to quit her job. Or he could be nice. “Um, I…”

Gah! Just say yes!

“Yes,” she blurted.

Eighteen years later, while Clara unpacked her shopping bags, her daughter, Elizabeth, sauntered into the kitchen, phone in hand. “Mom, there’s a bonfire at the park tonight. Chantelle and I were planning to go, but her mom needs their car. Can I take ours? I’ll be home by nine.”

Clara wanted to say yes, but driving after dark… And what if there was beer? And boys? There would be boys. Was Elizabeth old enough? Should she say no? Eventually, she’d have to trust her daughter’s choices. She could drive the two of them. But that might be humiliating. Was it worth a fight?

She’s a responsible kid. She said she’ll be home by nine.

Clara sighed. “All right, you can go. I trust you to make good choices.”

“Awesome, mom. I have to hurry and hop in the shower.”

“Oh!” Clara perked up and searched through her bags. “I bought you some shampoo.”

© D.Wallace Peach 2019

About D. Wallace Peach

I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show. Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit. Tolkien … literally changed my life.

I love writing, and have the privilege to pursue my passion full time. I’m still exploring the fantasy genre, trying out new points of view, creating optimistic works with light-hearted endings, and delving into the grim and gritty what-ifs of a post-apocalyptic world. Forgive me if I seem untethered in my offering of reads. Perhaps one day, I’ll settle into something more reliable. For now, it’s simply an uncharted journey, and I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I.

A selection of  books by D.Wallace Peach

One of the recent reviews for Sunwielder

Avid Reader 5.0 out of 5 stars  Highly recommended to lovers of time-travel  Reviewed in the United States on December 20, 2019

If you would be granted the ability to travel back in time and redo some of your life choices, would you take it?

What if strings were attached?

Without giving any spoilers away, I loved the way D. Wallace Peach handled the plot and the magic she instilled in the time-travel charm as well as the twists she put in the past being relieved. The worlds she created were fascinating and very well developed as well as full of political intrigue. It was amazing to discover how Gryff’s new life options affected those involved and the heartache he went through was gripping, well balanced by lyrical descriptions.

I found it hard to put it down, so many chores were put on hold until I finished the book…

Sunwielder is a page turner with a super clever plot, highly recommended.

Read the reviews for buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Diana: Goodreads

Connect to Diana

Blog: Myths of the Mirror
Facebook: Myths of the Mirror
Twitter: @Dwallacepeach

My thanks to Diana for this delightful story and next time I have a decision to make I will make sure to listen for any advice from my hair… thanks for dropping in and we would love to hear from you… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday 24th October – Norah Colvin with Pamela S. Wight, Michelle Clements James #BookRevie – D. Wallace Peach #Audio Books


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first post is from educator and storyteller Norah Colvin who hosted Pamela S. Wight recently with news of her latest book – Molly Finds Her Purr.  If you have not discovered this delightful children’s book yet.. here is your opportunity.

Pamela Wight discusses her new picture book Molly Finds Her Purr

A Purr-fect new picture book by Pamela Wight – readilearn

Today, I am talking with author Pamela Wight about her new picture book Molly Finds Her Purr. I previously introduced you to Pamela when her first picture book Birds of Paradise was released in 2017. You can read that interview here.

The importance of being true to yourself and the acknowledgment of the strength of friendship, even when differences exist, are strong themes in Pamela’s books.

Please head over to enjoy the rest of this interview: https://norahcolvin.com/2019/10/18/a-purr-fect-new-picture-book-by-pamela-wight-readilearn/

Connect to Norah via her websites –  www.NorahColvin.com – and: www.readilearn.com.au – twitter: https://twitter.com/NorahColvin

Pamela S. Wight, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Pamela-S.-Wight/e/B00AYXT6R6Goodreads: Pamela on Goodreads Blog:https://roughwighting.net/

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The next post is from Michelle Clement James who has reviewed A Wedding in December by USA Today and Sunday Times Bestselling author Sarah Morgan and with Christmas only two months away, the festive books are hitting the shelves.

A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan.

Book Blurb

This funny, charming and heartwarming new Christmas novel is USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan at her festive best!

In the snowy perfection of Aspen, the White family gathers for youngest daughter Rosie’s whirlwind Christmas wedding. First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret of their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland.

Head over to find out more about the book and Michelle’s review and get into the festive spirit: https://michelleclementsjames.com/2019/10/17/a-wedding-in-december/

Michelle also offers Copy-editing and proofreading services

For over thirty years I have proofread and edited hundreds of books, newsletters, and other documents for numerous authors and organizations. I have decided to use this wealth of experience to offer copy-editing and proofreading for authors and writers. Copy-editing and proofreading are key components of successful publishing.

Connect to Michelle on her blog: https://michelleclementsjames.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/macjam47 and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Macjam47

The final post today is from D.Wallace Peach whose book Sunwielder was released in audio this week. Diana has interviewed the narrator of the book TJ Clark, and for anyone thinking of releasing their books in audio, this will be very useful.

Sunwielder on Audible (see offer below) & on Amazon (global link)

I did it again. I jumped in feet first and then asked questions later. Thank goodness I had an audiobook narrator who held my virtual hand.

Rather than share my newbie inexperience, I thought you might be interested in hearing from a pro.

Meet TJ! His voice brought my book Sunwielder to life, and this week the audiobook went live!

1. Tell us a little about you, your professional background, and why you decided to begin narrating audiobooks.

I’m a trained actor with a BFA in theater from Syracuse University. My family was always big on audiobooks (back when they were “books on tape”) during long road trips. I have a pretty vivid memory of listening to James and the Giant Peach on a trip from Connecticut to South Carolina. Somewhere along that road there is a giant water tower in the shape of a peach and it made the whole thing really magical to me. I realized I wanted to do them myself when I was a teenager and my sister was reading Lamb by Christopher Moore during a cruise vacation. She got seasick and couldn’t keep reading so I picked it up and read aloud to her on the beach while she tried to keep from throwing up. After a while, mom came over and told me I need to keep my voice down. I looked around and a little gathering had amassed. Everyone said “no, no, keep going. This is great!”

Head over to read the rest of this interesting post especially if you are thinking of taking your books to audio and there is also a great new review for the book: https://mythsofthemirror.com/2019/10/21/interview-with-an-audiobook-narrator-tj-clark/

D. Wallace Peach, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8
Website/Blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com – Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068749.D_Wallace_Peach

Please visit Amazon or Diana’s website to view all her books.

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Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read the posts in full. I am on the high seas on a ferry as you read this and offline for a few days but I will respond to comments on Monday..