Name's Jai Lynn, Jai like blue jay and Lynn which rhymes with sin. Speaking of sins, life is too short to not do what you're passionate about. So, I'm going to write. Welcome to my domain of poetry, short fiction, and (if you look for it) a little magic too.
I was fifteen when I started to write regularly. Every summer before school would start in September my mother would take my brother and me to Staples to get our supplies. That year I had an extra notebook that I didn’t need for school and that’s where something else began… I didn’t know it at the time but with that notebook, I would come to hand write short story upon short story… upon short story. It was a three subject spiral notebook, totally normal in every way even down to its ruddy red cover. But that notebook became my secret world.
Since I was still reeling off Final Fantasy VII, I got hooked on the just announced Final Fantasy Versus XIII (now known as FFXV for those who are curious; that is how long ago this was and how long that game was stuck in development hell, but I digress). All that fan fiction took up the first rush of pages, then I dropped back into the Pokemon fandom for a bit, and then Howl’s Moving Castle for a spell and then came Hetalia and Katekyo Hitman Reborn and then Durarara! and Bleach and Fruits Basket and oh so many others. Just typing all those series’ down brings back the rush of memories. Growing up with all those stories manifested from the brilliant minds of so many different creators got me through and helped me make a few close friends to survive high school with. Back then, if it wasn’t already obvious I spent a lot of time in my imagination. Maybe it was inevitable that I would eventually want to be an author. Even though for a long time growing up I didn’t want to become a writer. But that’s a story for a different time. At that time in my life all I needed was a place to vent my feelings and get lost in someplace that wasn’t the real world. Maybe that was why it was so easy to fill that notebook up with words.
It was two years later after starting that notebook that I created my first original character. Not a self insert or someone to fit in some other person’s world. He was mine, all mine. He has survived to this day and believe it or not plays a significant role in my current WIP The Lowell Saga. As you can see I love him dearly. He hasn’t even changed much from his original design. His core personality is still present, and even his name is the same. I would reveal more but he plays a sort of big, influential role and I don’t want to spoil anything for when this book finally sees the light of day.
I am honestly… really proud of myself this month? Again? Wow. I started to wake up a bit earlier before work to get some writing in, like I did last year around this time and so far it has been working. Just a half hour but it is still progress. Little by little. Something is better than nothing. Because one day all those little somethings add up, but you can’t add up nothing. Nothing just creates more nothing.
I find that (if you have been with me from the beginning you already know) I always struggle to finish a first draft. Beginnings are so easy for me. I can write a million beginnings. Middles are okay, I reach them half of the time. The end is something I have never seen. But I will. With this WIP I will. Positive affirmations and manifesting all the wayyyyyyyyy. Especially with it being that special time of year.
Yes NaNoWriMo time is almost upon us and I have decided to participate! Will I set a goal of 50,000 words? Probably not because that is not how I operate, something it took me years to learn. Will I try to write every day and see where it takes me? Probably more along those lines of thinking but I don’t want to lock myself in a box. As we all know, life happens… and we have to account for that. Will I keep hustling away at that first draft? Definitely, 100% yes yes yes. Maybe I’ll make that my goal. Just keep writing.
What I find working for me, which I didn’t do previously, is that I write the scenes that I want to write instead of going in chronological order. My draft may be a mess but it is still a draft and the words are coming and that is better than nothing. Something is always better than nothing. I’m also not getting hung up on making everything perfect the first go round (which is impossible anyway since nothing is perfect, something else I am learning and willing to entrench into my mind) and am leaving blank spaces or gaps where I need to fill in details that I just don’t have right now. I will eventually. But not right now. My Preptober is just building the habit that way I’ll have an easier time once November blows in. I mean I already spent a lot of time researching this year and outlining and planning. So now the implementation is in progress. Write, write, write.
Legit, do any writers know what they are doing? I don’t really, if I am being honest. I’m a very intuitive person and am going with my gut instinct here. Which, thankfully, has never failed me. I know there are a few writers out there that do have an idea (and please drop me a line cause I feel like I’m flailing in the sea out here) but as for the rest of us let’s make this November a memorable one. Let’s make it count. If you have a dream you have to try right? Or it will die with the falling stars…
And I won’t let any stars (or dreams) die on my watch. Not when they could became a beautiful reality.
I want to be a writer. I want to be a writer. I want to be a writer. I’ll say it over and over till I feel it’s true. But I do write. Therefore…
I am a writer. We are all writers, here.
But if I’m being honest some part of me still doesn’t believe it. Not till I finish a first draft at least. I have to do it. I want to do it. I’m going to do it.
Happy October!! Only one of the greatest months of the year, only one of the most pleasant weather months in the year (at least where I live), andddddd the ONLY month in which we celebrate Halloween… you see where I’m going with this?
I’m back with another discussion post this month! This time I want to hear all about your costumes!! I want to hear from everyone. Those who have been planning their costumes months in advance, those who decide to dress up very last minute and even those who don’t like Halloween and definitely, will not, in no way dress up. I want to hear from you all and your reasonings behind why you don’t wear a costume (if you don’t) and why you do wear a costume (if you choose to!) and how you pick who you want to be. I’m honestly really curious about this and can’t wait to see your responses in this lovely autumn, candy induced coma, magic of a month’s discussion post!
The origins of Halloween reach all the way back to nearly 2,000 years ago when the Celts walked the earth, and celebrated the end of the year with their festival of Samhain as summer was coming to near death and winter coming to near breath. The Celts believed that the boundaries between the living and the dead were very blurred during this time and therefore they lit bonfires, burned crops, sacrificed livestock and wore costumes all for their gods. At least according to History.com. Winter marked the start of their new year and prophecies were told and fortunes read. The spirits that were said to walk on this night tended to cause trouble and mischief but their presence made it easier for the priests to predict the future of the coming year. The Celts wore costumes to revere the spirits and also to dispel or ward off the more undesirable ones.
To Costume, or To Not Costume?
So that leaves us today in the modern world. I know there are plenty of people out there who don’t celebrate Halloween. Maybe it’s too childish for some or maybe they just don’t like spooky stuff or maybe… for any other myriad of reasons. Everyone’s opinion is valid!!
Then that leaves the rest of us. Those who wake up, feel the disturbed magical air, and decide to put on the costume.
Now this is where I can get super philosophical and argue that there are those of us humans who put on the mask everyday no matter if it’s October 31st or not. Those who hide their true selves anyway. Those with uniforms of ties, lipstick and shiny polished shoes that don’t match who we are on the inside in the slightest. Does that make Halloween any different then any other day of the year then if you think about it that way?
Everyone of us has worn a mask at some point in our lives. Everyone. Halloween though is the only day when it is outright encouraged.
Now this is where it gets interesting. I’m curious as to how everyone chooses their costumes. I know for me the last four years I have been Jessica Jones. No. Lie.
And I’ll tell you exactly why. Now I know Jessica is far from the true blue hero that is Captain America. (Trust me, I know and I love him too.) But Jessica is in no way true blue, she’s black. She doesn’t have an optimistic, can do attitude, in fact she is much more on the pessimistic side. Not to mention she is most assuredly, undoubtably, an alcoholic. Despite all this though, she is a character who impacted me deeply.
The core of the reason why I have chosen to be her for the past four years is because when I dress up for Halloween I pick someone who I resonate with. Despite all of her flaws, and she has plenty, Jessica is one of my heroes. Someone with qualities I wish were my own. (No, not the alcoholism or the pessimism or foul mouth or lack of self worth). Those flaws though are what make her relatable and make her human. Without them she probably wouldn’t’ have hit my soul as hard as she did, and make her other more favorable qualities shine. So what did sucker punch my soul about her? When I pick my costume I always make it personal.
Jessica had a rough upbringing. A traumatic childhood accident in losing her family at an early age, the rough experience and isolation of having super powers through her life, and, of course not to mention, all the strings attached to Killgrave and what he did to her. Despite that though Jessica, for the people she loved, found the will to have courage and face her fears. That to me is truly inspiring and is one of the greatest marvels of humanity that I will never get tired of. The power of love to make us rise above ourselves and have courage to face something near unfaceable. It gets me every time.
Also, growing up on the shorter and tinier side I’ve had my own fair share of experience of being overlooked. Then you have Jessica, a skinny smallish woman, who can fucking lift an entire 16 wheeler over her head. I mean, GOALS. Never underestimate us so called little girls. We are so much more powerful than the world will give us credit for, and when I saw Jess back in 2015 I really started believing it.
Not to mention, her tough personality. Jessica Jones sees your bullshit and looks right through it. I love that. Her personality has no hold for your mask, your lies. She is a private investigator and her job description is to legit find out all the dirty little secrets of who you are.
Jessica Jones is my hero. She is someone who has qualities I admire and hope to one day incorporate into my own personal being. The courage, the strength, the no time for your bullshit attitude. These are all characteristics I wish I had more of. So every year, I try to harness her energy for Halloween and I’ve come to find each year I get a little closer to being the person I want to be. That’s how I decide on my costume, at least.
What about you guys though? If you don’t dress up, tell me why. If you do dress up, tell me why. Do you pick your costume on someone who inspires you (like me)? Do pick a character arbitrarily? Do you pick a costume based on humor? Do you pick a costume for the scare factor? Do you pick someone or something that has no resemblance to you whatsoever?
I’m really so curious!! To each and every one of you, thank you for reading my ramblings haha! May Autumn’s reign be long this year and may you each have a very happy, or haunted, Halloween!
Never a day passed that I didn’t think about Milkweed Manor.
Yellow Carnation Lane was older than old and younger than young. It had been around as along as there were houses with people to live in them and yet, no matter how much time passed, the homes never seemed to sully or gray or chip, chip away. Except for one, the largest of them all, waiting always waiting at the end where the concrete ran dry.
Milkweed Manor was tall, but only in the sense that it was big. It was wide, but only in the sense that it was squat. When the seasons turned to fall to winter to spring to summer its siding seemed to shift and shrink without changing shape at all. Whenever I looked down the end of the lane I never saw the same picture twice.
Shutters blinked open at the whims of the clouds. The front door, painted dried red, was the only thing that ever seemed to ever stay closed. At nights in the heaviest heat the chimney chum, chum, chummed. Autumn winds blew from its windows no matter the snow, or rain or sun. Lightning had struck the gabled roof 13 times and never a mark had been left undone.
Weeds grew and some black roses filled in the front lawn spaces too. The iron gate was double my height and half my sight. It never ended, no matter how many times I tried to count the bars the number never stopped climbing and climbing. Nevertheless I could always find the 666 of the house number carved into the black, bone shards splintered to cut the number inside.
To this day I have noticed and watched. The neighbors come and the neighbors go but little do they know. Little do they know. I guard the gate, older than old, and a face young as nine. I, alone, bear the secret of the keeper of Milkweed Manor. If you ever come to see 666 Yellow Carnation Lane do not be confused to find yourself turned around back once you came.
No one was there for me ever so long, so long ago. So I guard the gate. Therefore to keep the demon inside never to wake.
Be grateful for those unknown, who protect you when you are alone.
Currently listening: “seven” – Taylor Swift Currently watching:Gilmore Girls S1 Currently playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons Currently reading:Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
Empty hallways, weathered books, slow breezes, Ancient Greek letters, philosophical thoughts and feathers floating down from the sky all tied into one month. That is what September means to me. Whenever it rolls around, as you can see, I tend to get moody.
Or totally rapt up in a dark academia aesthetic. Same thing.
Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, outlining & WRITING my WIP! Check. I’ve actually written a lot this month and am up to over 4K for my first draft! I wasn’t even planning on doing that much but it happened. Guyssssss, things are happeningggggg.
Become more interactive on social media! Check! I was slightly more interactive than last month sooooo…
Continue making submissions with my writing! Failure. Failure. Failure. At least I am being honest.
Be more present/observant in my life! Check? Yes, unfortunately I may have been too present in my life this month, and it was a hard emotional month for me because the stress at work and in my personal life was getting a little too much. And if you are like me and tend to hyper fixate on things and over think to your wits end then… Yes, that happened. But at least I kept writing.
October (the month of EVERYTHING I WANT RIGHT NOW) Goals:
Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, outlining & WRITING my WIP! This should be no surprise. It’s been on my goal list since the beginning of the hELL year of 2020. I want to finish this first draft, and no better way than a last minute sprint in the last 3 months of the year. yay.
Become more interactive on social media! My handle is @jaiiiilynn4 for both Insta and Twitter if you want to connect! I’ve recently had some inspiration and have a few ideas I’d like to showcase. Look forward to it guys in my beloved month of OCTOBER. I love October.
Continue making submissions with my writing! Who knows if this will happen? I will probably get distracted by writing my WIP but just in case, I don’t want to forget this goal so I’m keeping it on here.
Read & finish three books! My reading these past few months has been dismal. I want to change that and there are three books I’ve been dying to read when October rolled around. And now it’s here. Two are rereads: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. But the last is new, Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. I’ve never read it before and I really want to. Really. Want. To. So much so that I am legit staring at it right now as I type this.
Rewatch The Haunting of Hill House, and revisit Supernatural S4 and Gilmore Girls S1! I have been rewatching episodes of Supernatural here and there, but since it’s October now I feel like NOW IS THE PERFECT MOMENT to watch more. I watched my first episode of Supernatural ever on a Halloween many years ago. So the month and the show are tied together in my head. Gilmore Girls just makes me feel happy and good and safe and so I’m going to keep watching that too since I restarted the series from the beginning this September. The Haunting of Hill House though I have been craving since summer began and now, totally on the opposite side of the spectrum from Gilmore Girls, I want to be scared and haunted and filled with dismal longing. Or maybe I just want to see those feelings reflected in someone other than me. (September was tough, guys. My mental health sucked. But I’m getting better now.)
Watch Halloween movies! I always rewatch Halloweentown, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Over the Garden Wall, and Corpse Bride without fault every October. This year I might even try Hocus Pocus again. Listen, I was traumatized as a child at the end when (SPOILER) the black cat died/passed on. Traumatized. I was seven, he was my favorite character and then he died at the end. That stuff sticks with you. Maybe this year though, I’ll give it another chance. Maybeeeeeeeeee…
Go apple and pumpkin picking! This is one of my favorite fall activities that I do every year. Along with bringing out the boots and flannel. I’m going to be dressed for success and carrying home a ton of deliciousness that will keep me happy all month. All about the little things, my friends, the little things.
Make Halloween cookies! I didn’t make my Halloween sugar cookies last year so I’m damn well doing it this year. Dammit.
Eat healthier! Lol, right after I say I’m making cookies. Listen, healthy eating is all about moderation. I’m going to be eating cookies and apples! September I had a lot of stressful days and I ate a ton of garbage I shouldn’t of. Binge eating is a curse. Don’t do it. This month my Mom is teaming up with me to eat more healthy and not let our emotions control our eating. So far we are seven days strong. The key is to eat the healthy food first and only eat one cookie instead of the box. I can totally do that, and I also have a partner in crime. A burden shared is a burdened lessoned, I think that’s how it goes.
Look at the ocean one last time! My August birthday wish was to go to the beach one last time but unfortunately we never got there. I hope this month, even if I can’t swim and am wearing a scarf, I can see the ocean one last time and say my goodbye. At least until next summer.
I have a lot of goals this month but most of them are just there to remind myself to have some fun and enjoy life. I got so lost in September; I’m finding myself again in October. I’m calling it now. IT IS GOING TO BE A GREAT MONTH. Done.
What I Read:
–If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio. With September always comes one of my favorite aesthetics of all time, dark academia. The two in my mind are just intrinsically linked and I have no regrets. This book has a psychological, in your head, murder, but also Shakespeare! spin that I just immensely enjoyed. The story revolves around a group of seven conservatory trained actors and the various works of Shakespeare they preform throughout. They all have their roles, the hero, the tyrant, the villain… and it isn’t long before that role starts to take on their real life. So of course there is a dramatic murder. I loved the story resonance throughout the book and how the characters roles shifted with their arcs. The tale was beautifully rendered but I admit this book won’t be for everyone. If you enjoyed The Secret History then this book is right up the same alley. One of my favorite quotes that really portrays the essence of the story is “How could we explain that standing on a stage and speaking someone else’s words as if they are your own is less an act of bravery than a desperate lunge at mutual understanding?” (pg. 114) and that line really hit me in the face. Why do I write if not for my words to reach someone else and, even though we are in different spaces, reach some sort of recognition or shared feelings? To know we are not alone. It’s so human.
What I’ll Be Writing:
Poetry- posted every Wednesday
Living Life vignettes- posted first Friday of the month
Writing Is Hard|WIP Writing Update- posted in the middle of the month
Snapshot! monthly recap- posted the last day of every month
Announcements- posted as needed
All of my fiction writings are independent of each other andstand alone so no need toreadanyof the previous work to understand. If you want more information about any of the above, you can check out the About page on my site or just click here.
I posted a surprise this month! My discussion post about why Autumn is a GREAT thing was totally unplanned and totally an impulsive decision that I just jived with. The best part being all the responses I got!! Who knows? I might think up more discussions for the future. Thank you guys for commenting and sharing your thoughts, really. Each one means the world to me ❤
September Round Up of Posts from Stupendous People:
I found feathers everywhere this month. At first black feathers scattered here and there, showing up when I least expected them. Then white feathers appearing in droves as I walked around my neighborhood. Even the other day I found a blue feather. September was hard but I want to believe that there was a reason for it. I know there was a reason for it. Maybe October will let me know…
Either way, I’ll be sitting here sipping my tea, analyzing philosophical musings, and wondering where this journey is leading. Oh and, as always, searching for the magic.
Okay who’s ready for the next tale in my adventure of writing?
Yes y’all, it is time for the Final Fantasy VII craze. So naturally, after I got absorbed in Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy had to follow. Naturally.
If you have ever played the video games you understand what I mean but just in case you haven’t I’ll put a little background in. Kingdom Hearts is essentially a delicious stew of nearly every popular Disney movie and Final Final Fantasy game thrown into one. So. Of course when it became one of my favorite things, naturally because Final Fantasy is a part of it, that also become one of my favorite things. Deductive reasoning at its finest there, folks.
I’ll spare you the tedious details and get straight to the point. I started with the original Final Fantasy because young!Jai thought that I would need to start at the beginning to understand (oh I was such a novice!) and after being so unenamored with it I THEN learned that each game had it’s own story. So naturally I jumped right to Final Fantasy VII. The most popular game in the whole franchise. And coincidently (and I say that ironically because I don’t believe in coincidences) a new spinoff game had just recently came out. For those of you that are familiar it was Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. That dates me to being around 14-15. And that is when I met Zack Fair.
You thought my Roxas obsession was bad, it couldn’t even compare to how I felt about Zack. Well, still feel. This man affected me so much that I think I might have developed a hero complex from him and still, to this day, I can’t play the ending of Crisis Core. I stopped right before the last chapter and I know I will never play through it. Ever. But, let’s move on to the brighter side of things.
From this new interest, I started to write drabbles. What is a drabble? Basically, it’s a short piece of writing under 1,000 words (though some are longer, and some super short) without any real plot but to draw a nice highlight on a character or emotion or something. Usually they are fan fiction but not always. I remember grabbing an unused notepad from the closet and making a pact with myself to write 47 drabbles. Why that number? Well, why not that number. To this day 47 is one of my lucky numbers.
Now these drabbles, before you ask, will never see the light of day.
But they are part of the story so they get an honorable mention.
I had also, by this point, acquired a new laptop. It was a Gateway gaming computer and it was black and orange and, like, THE COOLEST THING EVER. (Especially whenever I wanted to play The Sims, and let’s be real that is why ALL of us buy computers). Anyway, I started my next fan fiction story. This one about a girl who sneaks into SHINRA (disguised as boy, totally Mulan-ing it) and becomes best friends with, of course, Zack Fair. It was called Hollowed. Of course my Gateway now no longer has a screen so there’s that, but I still have the hard drive. And on that hard drive, my story. As for a way to view said story that is still up in the air. BUT AT LEAST I HAVE THE STORY.
Sidenote, they just remade Final Fantasy VII for the PS4 and do you know what the name of the new theme song they released for the game was ??? Hollow. Guys, guys, I called it YEARS AGO. If that doesn’t mean me and this game have a special bond I don’t know what does.
Final Fantasy VII is one of the best and most influential video games of all time with one of the most touching storylines. If my WIP could even just reach one person I would die happy. Writing gives my life meaning. In The Lowell Saga, my current project, you could say that the characters are all searching for their meaning in life. Some of them have hero complexes, some definitely do not. But all of them in one way, shape, or form are trying to find their way in complex world just like the rest of us twenty-somethings. My original intention with this story all those years ago was to write a story about what happens in your twenties, when life is staring you right in the face and now you are an adult. And everything that comes along with that. Along with magic. Because when given the option to add magic, you ALWAYS add magic.
I got a lot of writing done this month compared to my check in last month in August, and no lie, I am super surprised I actually wrote as much as I did!! (Also, low key, super proud.) This month I focused a lot more on writing the first draft than the previous months where I was doing a lot of research. September was a long month and I had lots of feelings from living my real life that needed some outlet. So I poured some of them into this first draft. #HealthyCoping. At least when I write I can control what happens. 😉