“Stories”

Beginnings aren’t hard,
they happen with every day.
But endings don’t appear
till there’s no more to say.

Middles are the odd ones,
trickier than the rest.
They’ll slip right through your fingers
illuminating you, when you’re not the best.

Between the beginning and the end
is where we lose the most.
When the destination fades
and the journey takes us to a rocky coast.

Outside, inside
or wherever the path will show.
Dirt roads and hardwood floors
are more similar than you’d know.

You’d think there was direction
set into the world like stone,
but even steps into the ocean
will show you are not alone.

Go on weary traveler,
not all is lost.
Even the hottest, burning fire
gets bitten by the frost.

Stories go every way,
and sometimes even none.
Just because yours doesn’t match the others
doesn’t mean its less than what another’s done.

No matter how long it takes,
the end will be waiting for you.
Just enjoy the middle, because before you know it
the next adventure will begin anew.

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Unsplash

The Quarantine Write Tag!

Quarantine sucks. It does. Pandemics suck. They do. On the bright side of our new normal though is the opportunity and space to pursue the things that we have always wanted to do! For example, enjoy the quality time we always wanted to spend with our loved ones, find a new hobby or have the chance to write. that. first. draft.

(Can you tell I’m beating myself up over this?)

Being both a perfectionist and a procrastinator is the curse life has laid on me… but I’m trying to break the spell! Thank you so much to Kat @ Life and Other Disasters for creating this tag and thank you so much to the lovely Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner for tagging me to participate! They both have amazing blogs and if you haven’t yet you should really check them out!!

I’m a little behind on doing this tag (blame the procrastination and perfectionist anxiety, forgive me!) but here we go!

Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you but also link back to the original post! ( I want to see all your lovely answers, people!)
  • Provide a short description of your WIP/story!

What is your WIP/story about?

That’s a loaded question, haha. Right now a lot of things are still tentative and (disclaimer, lol) subject to change. Although, I can share what I want this story to be! In my head I see a treasure hunt of epic proportions starring a lot of messy characters with a lot of messy feelings. Therefore it’s a recipe made of legends of old, misplaced magic and the characters’ complicated relationships with each other. There are going to be good villains, there are going to be bad heroes and there are going to be plenty of others in between. Lots of violence, probably, and I’m aiming for a fantasy/new adult vibe. Oh, and don’t forget to sprinkle a lot of crying on top (spoiler alert -most of it will be mine but hopefully some part will touch the future readers as well…) I don’t even have a title yet but thus far I’ve been referring to the project as The Lowell Saga.

Which character is most likely to help out their elderly and vulnerable neighbors during the crisis? OR which of your characters has an essential job (or would have if they didn’t live in a fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi/whatever different world) and brave the outside on the daily?

Esmerelda would definitely be the one most likely to help out the elderly during the pandemic. She would be the type to bring them flowers for their table, and sit and chat (while remaining six feet apart) outside their window if they needed company.

Who is your go to character for TV and movie recommendations? (As they most likely spend all their time binge-watching shows already!)

This fits Catrina 100%. I feel like she would be a TV addict and be the go to for all the best shows to watch when one suddenly has the need to lock themselves up inside the house 24/7.

Tell us about the first character that would go slightly mad staying inside for too long?

Probably Lowell. Her character was the inspiration that started The Lowell Saga 4 years ago, and that’s why I have dubbed the temporary title of this WIP after her. She is a very adventurous person and needs to be outside a little bit every day.

(Omg there is a Spongebob gif for everything!)

How does your most extravert and your most introvert character handle the crisis?

Catrina would probably take the crisis in stride, but as I mentioned earlier Lowell would be going mental knowing she couldn’t go out places.

Which of your characters is a prepper and would have been ready if this had been a zombie apocalypse?

Quentin! He always likes to be prepared.

(How long can I go on with this…hmm…)

Who got panicked and bought everything in bulks (despite reassurances that markets would not run out)?

Also Quentin! He likes to be very prepared.

If there is a character who might be hard to convince that the virus and its dangers are real, who would it be? Why?

Shizuka might be the one most hard to convince. She is kind of stubborn.

(Going strong with these….)

Who would organize all the zoom-group chats to make sure their friends and family stayed connected?

Lowell is the most socially savvy of all the characters I got cooking right now, so it would probably be her.

(STAYED STRONG TILL THE END WITH MY OLD FRIEND BOB, SPONGE [the first gif of Merida doesn’t count! I found her first and she really captured my feelings so she stays!])

BONUS: Make an aesthetic of your main character bundling up at home!

This saga has a few main characters (as I picture it in my head right now at least…) so it may look something like this:

(Photos from left to right by Rendiansyah NugrohoMatt Ragland, Erik Mclean, and Annie Spratt on Unsplash)

I tag anyone who wants to do this! It’s a great exercise for feeling out your characters in your own WIP while also being very relevant to the world right now, lol.

What are some of the WIP you guys are working on?

Till next time,

Vignette #28 “How to Stop Time”

Do you want to know how to stop time?

Take notice of the wind streaming in through the open window nearby. It may be strong with a storm spinning in the sky, or gentle with gulls guiding the way to the gorge. Either or… listen to what it’s saying with a rash yell in your ear or a soft whisper against your cheek. It knows the secret of rebirth because it lives on and dies down many times through out a single day.

Pay attention to the sky because unlike a human, it cannot lie. The sky knows no other way than the honest truth. Years, months, days are just materialistic things to an expanse that has and will forever see and cover all the world underneath it.

Look to the earth, for it is the one watching over you the most. Everything you have and will ever need it looks to give to you. Kindness and generosity layered through its being from the grass underneath your feet to its molten fire core deep below the dirt. It will give until the end because that’s what creators do. Love and love, and even when they are gone somewhere else out there they’ll still be looking out for you too.

Let the air slowly fill your lungs like the first breath after a deep sea dive. Something so small and natural that it’s often forgotten how essential it truly is. Realize that you are alive. If you can breathe then everything is okay.

Only when you are present in each and every moment do you have the universe in your hand and then, and only then, does time does not exist.

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Snapshot 4/30/20 // “In Which I Wish I Was Animated”

Currently listening:Yellow” – Coldplay
Currently watching: Hey Arnold!/ Invader Zim/ Yu-Gi-Oh! GX/ School Rumble/ Naruto
Currently playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Currently reading: The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey

So March was bad but unfortunately April was worse. Much worse. I don’t even want to discuss it because I think we all know the news is doing enough of that. So, instead, I want to focus on the nicer aspects of April. As we all know, April showers bring May flowers and let me tell you guys, I am so ready for flowers.

(Just like Alice I want to sit and talk to all the flowers for hours…)

April Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, and outlining my WIP! Check. Still more work needed to be done but I did do this.
  2. Keep my desk clean! Check. Check. Coming along nicely, and almost done sorting and organizing.
  3. Stick with my blog posting schedule promise! Check. Check. Check! As you can see I HAVE STUCK TO MY SCHEDULE! GO ME!
  4. Become more interactive on Twitter! Check! I’m definitely posting more and reading more on Twitter.
  5. Make submissions again with my writing! CHECK. Now to see what happens lol… but I’m proud of myself for at least submitting again, no matter the results! Failure is just as much a part of writing as success.
  6. Change my profile pic! Check.
  7. Be less stressed out! Okay so. Half a check? I was much more stressed out this month than any other this year but on the bright side I’m coming down off of that mountain and each day getting better at bringing that stress level down.
  8. Practice the piano and my violin again! CHECK, CHECK! Yesss, and I’m loving it ❤
(Me, just bowing down that stress level)

May (the month with just the flowers that will bring the stress mountain alll the wayyyy downnnnn) Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, and outlining my WIP! This one is staying on here, and spoiler alert may be on here for a few more months but eventually it will turn into WRITING THAT DANG FIRST DRAFT.
  2. Become EVEN MORE interactive on Twitter! Okay so, as you guys may or may not have noticed I do things slowly but I do DO them. It just takes me some time to build a habit so this goal and a few others are going to be repeats and they may appear for a while but this is just… how I work? (*shrugs*) If you’re on Twitter let’s connect! My handle is @jaiiiilynn4
  3. Continue making submissions! Rejection or acceptance, at least I’m trying right?
  4. Continue practicing the piano and my violin! Nothing brings my stress level down lower than music. This goal is STAYING.
(Not to get philosophical, but does anyone? Really? If so, contact me.)

What I Read:

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne with decoration by Ernest H. Shepard. I love Winnie-the-Pooh. I really do. My mug I use every day is a Winnie-the-Pooh mug with him, Piglet and Christopher Robin looking over a bridge at the river down below. So what better way to spend time in a crisis then indulging in the sweet, nostalgic tang of honey and wisdom. Everyone should read this. It’s lessons are so simple, so simple, that they are often overlooked a lot by people today. In this busy world we are always trying to move faster, better, stronger. We forget so often to live in the present moment. Pooh doesn’t though. He takes his time, he makes mistakes, and he learns at his own pace. The stories were made for children but adults can appreciate the clever wordplay layered throughout the Hundred Acre Wood. Also, side note, Disney really pepped up Eeyore because in the book he is SO much more depressed. He broke my heart and the ending also broke my heart. It wasn’t necessarily sad because it did leave room for hope but it ends with an experience every child goes through when eventually it’s time to grow up. Some of us though… 😉 can always stay a child at heart no matter how old we get.
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo. Okay, okay. Where is the second book already??? I NEED it. Leigh Bardugo’s writing never fails to amaze me and on top of that this is a book all about Nikolai, ahem, one of my favorite characters of all time. Yes the book is a little more slow paced which may not be for everyone but I’m here for it. Everything connects and picks up where Ruin and Rising and Crooked Kingdom left off. The story resonance is fantastic. This book even made me fall in love with Zoya. I know. I know. Now she is one of my favorite characters and I have no regrets. The book is great and I don’t want to give any spoilers away but we do see a lot of familiar faces. Most welcome, and some not lol. This book is highly recommended for anyone who needs to return to the Grishaverse or anyone who is as desperately in love with Nikolai Lantsov as I am. Along with Nikolai and Zoya’s storyline, Nina returns and has her own arc running throughout the book as well and let me tell you I am here for it. Her story is continued and so far I agree with how its proceeding.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: 3-in-1 Edition, Vol. 1 by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto. When I am sad I have two ways of coping through reading. This month I went both ways. Eva is dark, and philosophical. It was an anime that I put off for a long time, one that I had even written off years ago. Last year, I gave it a chance and I fell in love. It’s not for everyone, but it has some of the most relatable characters I have ever seen. When times are dark, I sometimes go for that apocalyptic vibe so this year I decided to read the manga and it brought back so many memories. If you are looking for something deep, and dark and so, so human I highly recommend checking it out.
Fruits Basket, Vol. 2-5 by Natsuki Takaya. The other way of coping when I’m sad is to read books with fluffy, contemporary, soft vibes. So after the religion that is Evangelion, I did a 180 and went to Fruits Basket. It’s a manga series I read for the first time in high school, and I hated high school, but Fruits Basket (Furuba, as fans lovingly refer to it) made it better. The romance is gradual, the growth from chapter to chapter is incremental but believable, and the characters just make me want to give each and every one of them a hug, lol. Even Akito and sometimes Shigure… sometimes. It’s a classic, I believe, that a lot of people have heard of but if you haven’t and are in need of a hug from a book I highly recommend, lol. The lessons it teaches are all just so positive and healthy. It gives all the feels.<3

What I’ll Be Writing:

  • Poetry- posted every Wednesday
  • Living Life vignettes- posted every other Friday
  • Alternate Reality flash fiction collection- posted the last Tuesday of the month
  • Snapshot! monthly recap- posted the last day of every month
  • Announcements- posted as needed

All of my writings are independent of each other and stand alone so no need to read any of 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.

April Round Up of Awesome Posts from Awesome People:

My Round Up of April Posts:

I don’t think I’ve watched as many animated shows at any other time in my life than I’m watching now. Hulu is a God send. I’ve got Hey Arnold!, Invader Zim, Naruto, School Rumble and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX all going at once. #Noregrets. Before you jump to conclusions I’m just going to say yes I do watch all of them at the same time.

… (*cricket chirp*)

Just kidding! But now I do believe I hear them calling my name! Which one shall I pick now…

(Me, every other hour of the day when I crave my animated fix)

What have you guys been watching/reading lately? Do you have any comfort shows/reads you go to when life gets rough? Let me know in the comments below!

Till next time,

“Pretty Girl”

Hey you,
with the long brown hair.
I see you around strutting
like you just don’t care.

Hey you,
with the mischievous eyes.
What are you plotting
stringing along all these guys?

Hey you,
with the laugh in your smile.
I was thinking I might
stick around for a while.

I got a feeling
that you know more
than you say. What’s all
the trickiness for
anyway?

Hey you,
staring my way.
Will you tell me
your secret today?

Photo by Christian Bowen on Unsplash

Flash Fiction – “Swarm 2020”

To say the girl wasn’t fond of bugs would be a profound understatement. “Next time, Alastair, you are going to be the man on the ground.” She swatted aside a dense branch of leaves and tramped on. “And I’m going to be safe and secure in the compound.”

On the other end of her headset a boy laughed. “Sydney, you knew what you were getting into when we flipped that coin.”

“Damn my gambling addiction.” she muttered, stomping on something that she couldn’t, and most assuredly didn’t want, to identify. “I thought we agreed on not pursuing our vices. Do you remember that conversation, Alastair?” Sydney spit at the ground, a spider better not have just landed in her mouth. “Virtues… virtues!”

“HA! See?” There was a crackling from the other end of the line. “I knew you would throw this back in my face. What did I say before we flipped… ‘you better not preach to high hell about building our better selves if you lose.’ “

Sydney tossed her hair back and cut a nice even slice of giant dead centipede out of her way. “You know me better than that! I’m weak! When thrown temptation I take it! You should have been a better comrade and stopped me in my tracks.”

The line went dead.

“Are you kidding me Alastair?” she shouted to no one. “You can’t be the baby, I’m the youngest. You’re my mentor, ass hat!” The forest crowded in around her. Sun setting, shadows growing, and noises squelching from all over. Some musical, some definitely not. Sydney knew that joining the army was not something her mother wanted for her, or that her father accepted. Hell, even her brother thought she was going to die. “This better not be how I go.” To her credit though, she joined believing she could make a difference. Was she scared? Sure. Did she do it anyway? Well, clearly.

Sydney, although, didn’t think her biggest problem would be the very thing she despised most. Not humans, which she had originally thought (“Selfish ones like Alastair, especially”), but worse. Insects. The giant insect invasion had hit the Earth in the year 2020, just a month after Sydney had enlisted. Of all the things that could have happened: world war, global pandemic, even a natural disaster… of all those it had to be an alien invasion of fucking bugs.

The line came back on. “Did we learn our lesson?”

“If the lesson being that Alastair is a selfish prick more concerned with getting even then getting his brother in arms safely to the compound than yes. I did learn my lesson.”

There was a sigh on the other end. “I’m sure our superiors would understand considering who I was trying to get through the forest.”

A different sound now pervaded past her headset and filled the forest clearing. Brushing past more trees the sound grew to less of a ringing, but more like the sound of something artificial. Like a machine. “What is that supposed to mean?” If machines could buzz.

“Exactly how it sounds.” Up ahead, behind a copse of trees, one of the shadows moved.

“Vice, vice.” she muttered. In her next breath Sydney ducked behind the nearest trunk. The gun slung across her back fell easily into her hands. A bright side to this whole invasion was she learned how to survive. Surviving meant paying attention to your surroundings, it meant moving past your fear and it meant one of the first things you learned was how to use your damn weapon.

The shadow moved closer and stepped into her line of sight. Her eyes widened. Long and lean as a needle its body stalked into the copse of trees. The twilight hour had not killed the sun yet and the gleam against its metallic skin was as shiny as the gun in her hands. This bug was different than any she had seen before. Each time it stepped with one of its thin legs that buzzing intensified, as if it had gears instead of organs propelling it forward. This was unlike anything the United States had seen before. Sydney said, “I hate you.”

This was the moment. The moment she had to face again, and again. The reason she joined in the first place. She was stronger than fear. She would rise above the thrum in her chest, the sweat on her palms, the numbness in her limbs.

The girl stepped forward into the clearing just as Alistair’s voice came from the other end, “Here’s a virtue.” The gun clicked into place, sights steady right between that monster’s eyes. “Sydney, I love you too.”

And the shot rang true.

Photo by Jacek Ulinski on Unsplash

“Mother”

Crumbled paper
on the ground.
Wrappers left behind
don’t even make a sound.

Gray smog
in the sky.
Holes in the atmosphere
making the air cry.

Plastic debris
on the ocean floor.
Fish choking,
then floating to shore.

One day all this waste
will fall on us.
Mother Earth is bleeding,
falling to dust.

If we, humans,
don’t do something now
drooping flowers
won’t be the only ones to bow.

Our planet
needs a savior.
So we better
change our behavior.

Because
if mother goes,
the rest of us
fall too she knows.

Vignette #27 “The Last Bouquet”


It was something I knew I wouldn’t see…. for a long while at least.

Everywhere around me the world was moving. I could see the registers flying as item after item slide down the conveyor belt. I could see carts hustling through the aisles all lost in some maze that only had one way out. I could see the workers with their faces set in stone and their fingers moving miles a minute. In a modern day grocery store this is what panic looked like.

I wanted to cry.

Instead, I focused on the stems in my hand. Red like the shade of the sun as it rises in the summer, like harvest apples waiting to fall from the tree, like the feathers’ of a cardinal sitting on a branch. Red, the color of the petals of the roses in my trembling fingers. After today, there would be no more flowers. They needed room for other things. Things that were running off the shelves like scared little mice when the cat’s around. Things like paper towels, toilet paper, water bottles, bread…. things that I was sure we had enough of before.

But no more flowers. In times like today, there was no more space for beautiful fragile things. Right then though, I felt like us humans were the most fragile things of all.

Photo by Ivan Jevtic on Unsplash

“The Lady In Black”

One, two,
three, four.
I count her steps
from the door.

It’s one of the days
she does appear,
so far and few
I have come to fear.

Five, six,
seven, eight.
She’s a predator
while we’re the bait.

Long dark hair,
shadows in her eyes,
that pretty smile
attracting all the guys.

Nine, ten,
eleven reasons why
we all choose to ignore
that sadness in her eye.

Everyone wants
what they never had.
She a good mystery,
riddling us bad.

Twelve, thirteen.
We all wish for this,
that she’d just pick one
of us to kiss.

But she never does.
While others wear white
she’s always in black
and braced for a fight.

The Lady in Black,
a prey turned predat-or,
her posture straight
an enticing, deadly lure.

Someone much too good
than the rest of us stands apart,
she deserves someone better
to heal her broken heart.

Photo by Jelle van Leest on Unsplash

“This Easter”

Cherry blossoms
still dot the path.
Birds land in fountains
just taking their bath.

Bunnies are hopping
from grass to grass.
Kids are at home
because there is no class.

The weather is bright,
so gentle and sunny.
I’ve never seen so many outside
and it’s almost funny.

Look what it took
for us all to see
how much we missed each other
as this all came to be.

Spring has still sprung,
it’s the end of lent.
This year’s Easter
is just a bit differ-ent.

Let us not take
each other for granted anymore.
Just spread the love
and more will be in store.

When the world is better
and we can hug and kiss…
remember this time
and never again shall we miss.

Happy Easter!

Photo by Pel on Unsplash