“The Sun”

Made of fire
and of light
the sun is always
eliminating night.

When I’m outside,
and there’s no rain,
heat on my skin
gives no pain.

I feel more alive
than I’ve ever known
like a bright star
who’ll never turn to stone.

So why is it
when the light
gradually leaves
from my sight

that my energy,
once high and strong,
fumbles and dies
as the shadows turn long.

A child of the sun,
a warrior of the light,
without that warmth
I lose all my fight.

I’ve become the sun
thriving with the day
and then bowing to the dark
with nothing left to say.

Photo by Daoudi Aissa on Unsplash

©2020 Jai Lynn

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Vignette #32 “Signs”

I don’t know much about the world. It’s too big and it’s too vast and it knows so much more than I ever could. That’s a scary thought… but maybe a blessing in disguise. The world, just how it knows how everything began, knows how everything will end. It knows how I will end. It even knows your ending.

Even though I believe that to be true, I don’t believe the world wants to scare us. It’s just made of this cosmic magic that we as humans can’t even begin to comprehend. If anything, I think in its own way… it really is trying to save each of us. Not all of us realize this and we fight and we question and we doubt. It’s easier to believe that everything is random, that any misfortune that falls our way is just bad luck and not divine intervention. Some of us want to be saved, some of us don’t. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think that’s part of the collective experience of being human.

I believe the world tries to talk to us everyday, in its own way. When it stops raining just as you are about to head out for work, when the cardinal lands on the windowsill just as you had a lonely thought, when the person you most wanted to see walks through the door. All those little moments, even though they happen everyday, are magic.

Or at least that’s how I see it.

Magic doesn’t have to be dramatic to be real. Look around and I’m sure if you’re paying attention you’ll see it too.

Photo by Lewis Meyers on Unsplash

©2020 Jai Lynn

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Flash Fiction- “Deja Vu”

I saw you first. That was usually the case.

But I thought it would be better if it was the other way around. Maybe then that would change things. I did believe everything happened for a reason. Even if I didn’t understand why.

Your back was to me. Again, as familiar as my own hand. Too tall, too skinny that’s what my mother usually said when she saw us together. But you had always been higher off the ground than me, and always thinner than a reed blowing off the wind from the ocean. At least for as long as I’d known you.

“I had a dream last night.”

You turned around immediately at the sound of my voice, your eyes finding me and following till I was standing right next to you. “Oh, really?” I couldn’t remember the last time we greeted each other properly, maybe it had only been that first time we met years ago.

“Yeah… you were in it.” Walking down the boardwalk everything looked the same. The bumper cars were bashing in the background and the kids were screaming from the mini roller coaster that didn’t tip upside down. How we wished it would tip upside down.

By flinging your hands in your pockets I knew you were going to go along with whatever game I was playing. The joke was there was no game. But I didn’t know how else to say it. It was quiet until you filled in with “Did I do something weird?”

I grabbed your arm and pulled us over to the line for the ice cream stand. You didn’t protest, which I considered a victory. “Not particularly.”

“Then what?” We stepped together as the line moved.

“Well… I guess you did say something weird.”

“What did I say?”

It was our turn next to order. I wished the line had been a little longer, and the previous orders more complicated. But, how complex could it get when there were only four flavors to choose from. They changed everyday but you never knew what you were going to get. “In the dream we were at the boardwalk, and we were getting ice cream just like this.”

You pushed your sunglasses off your face and gave me a good long look. “What did I order?”

“Butterscotch.” I smiled. “And I got mint.” Our turn now.

Pistachio. Mint. Vanilla. Butterscotch. Those were the choices.

I swallowed slowly. “See.”

The girl at the counter smiled. “What can I get you?” She looked very happy, but I felt a little worried.

Then you said it. “Butterscotch.”

“Pistachio. Please.” I said instead. I knew you were confused. Well. I had a reason. “Just go with me. I’ll explain.”

“What did I say to you in this dream?”

“Something awful.”

The girl came back a moment later with our ice cream. I didn’t try to fill the silence. Neither did you. So the counter girl said “$4.44 please.”

You paid, slapping down the money before I could even reach into my pocket. “I got this.” I know you do. Taking a big bite off the top of my cone I turned away. This time you were following my back, and I led you down the slope to the beach. “Don’t you want to eat at our table?” Your voice was out of breath, probably because it was hot and I had just power walked the long stretch to the ocean on adrenaline alone.

“Not today.” If I could change as much as I could then that would help. At least I thought so. My ice cream was already halfway gone. Yours looked pretty much untouched. It was even starting to drip onto the sand. The water was easier to look at. I looked so far the ocean and the sky were one. I knew you were waiting for me to say something.

“In the dream we were sitting at our table and you told me-” but I never finished the sentence. A piercing scream rose from the ocean and there was only enough time for us both to glance at the little blond head that disappeared under the waves. Our boardwalk was so small there was never a regular life guard on Sundays. That didn’t stop people from swimming.

“Darien!” It was my turn to scream, but your ice cream had already fallen to the sand.

“I have to go.” And my heart lurched. No. No. No. “She’ll drown.” No. She won’t.

By the time I moved to go after you, you were already in the waves and no matter how fast I ran I couldn’t catch up. You just got further and further away…

“No!” I yelled. “You will.” But it was useless, and then the water swallowed you whole. This time it had been the waves. They reached you quicker than I could. And then the little girl was next to me.

“He didn’t even say goodbye.” she said. I brought my fist to her face but then, my eyes blinked open. I was awake and the beach was gone. It was my bedroom.

And I was alone.

Every night this happens. Every dream feels real. No matter how I change the scenario you still always go.

It’s just a dream… and I know you’re right next door. The universe though won’t stop showing me how with each and every nightmare it’s like seeing you for the last time.

Photo by Heather Barnes on Unsplash

©2020 Jai Lynn

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“It’s So Funny”

Ha ha ha!

It’s been
four months
since I’ve seen you last

when there was ice
in the air
and biting frost
grazing through my hair

but you were warm
like the sun,
warming my cold,
I know we had fun.

Now you’re back
and it’s summer
but I
don’t really
know how to explain.

Something’s cool
in your smile
and it’s starting
to show
that you’ve changed.

Was I just
something
to pass the
snowy time?
A chip of ice
to cool down
your flame.

That blonde
you’re looking at
now is damn fine.
Looks like heat
is more within
your sight line.

I can see through
that facade
like a window
of cracked glass.

Seasons change,
connections don’t
last.

I guess
I was just
a cool breeze
to make the time
pass.

How funny.

Ha.
Ha.
Ha

Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

©2020 Jai Lynn

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Writing is Hard | WIP Writing Update | June 2020 | (The Beginning… & the End)

First truth. I have started hundreds of stories.

Second truth. I haven’t finished a single one of them.

I know, it’s terrible. I say I’m a writer but I can’t finish a story? Ha ha, I know. Writing and I since the beginning have had a love hate relationship and that’s what I’m trying to explore and dissect through this new series I’m starting here on my blog. This way I can understand my process better to learn and grow with it. Every month I plan on sharing my writing journey with you all. If you care to listen, then welcome, but if it doesn’t float your boat, no worries. My poetry and flash fiction will be along sure enough.

I guess I should start at the beginning, if it really was the beginning….maybe you could call it that but I don’t know… it felt a lot like the end to me.

Both my parents were educators. My mother, a teacher, and my father, a principal. That being said, learning and reading were encoded in my DNA from birth and forevermore. I was lucky enough to have a house full of all the books I could ask for, and I asked for them. Whenever the Book Fair came to school or we got the Scholastic flyer advertising all the different types of paperbacks we could order… I was all over it. Through work my dad had come across some blank books that he had just had lying around in his office. He had no use for them so he gave them to me.

I think I was seven. When your seven Chips Ahoy cookies and cartoons are your life. Or at least they were mine. The days were sunny, school was fun back then and Pokemon was my world. When my dad gave me those books I wasted no time scribbling my own self insert Pokemon journey between the pages (complete with drawings!)

(a real page from my book, oh my gosh I’m internally cringing… and also laughing)

I hadn’t even heard of fan fiction at that point, but that didn’t stop me. Clearly. I wrote my story, all terribly misspelled and horribly configured. But I loved that story. I didn’t want to be a writer then. Besides being a Pokemon Master, I think I wanted to be a spy. Some part of me today still wants to be a spy (and a Pokemon Master). Though I think being a spy would stress me out wayyyy too much. All that lying and being put in dangerous situations constantly and pretending to be someone I’m not. Yeah, it would exhaust me… but the allure still appeals.

That picture book was the beginning. But looking back on it now, it really was the end of the world for me. From that moment on my ideal profession, my interests, my hobbies would sway from one extreme to another. The world just has so many beautiful things in it to appreciate! I would try and do so many things, things that were me, things that weren’t and things that still might become me. Through all of that trying, learning, and experiencing though…. writing stayed a constant in my life. Now, at age 24, I know there is no other path for me. Becoming a published author is my dream. I’ve gotten to know myself a lot better since I was seven, and I’ve realized more of what I want from this life.

Third truth. I was born a writer.

Fourth truth. At the end of it all I’ll die a writer.

No matter what. The definition of success is different for everyone. I’ll consider myself a success if I can finish a first draft this year, so that’s where I’m starting.

The Lowell Saga is my current WIP. This story has been spinning in my mind since 2017 and it has never let me go. I’ve written 11,003 words for that story in the three years since, but as of this year I haven’t written any so I’m starting my word count at 0. The idea in my head is fantasy, and I won’t lie it is messy and complicated with characters I love so much but am scared of not conveying the right way through words so my future readers will love them as much as I do. Right now I’m world building and though it is taking me a while I am doing a thorough job of it and I’m content with that for now. From there I’ll work on plotting, outlining and then finally sitting down to write. The hardest part of all.

So if you are here for my story, then I say thanks. I hope I don’t disappoint you or myself. Hopefully writing about writing will help me stay writing. Then finish that damn draft.

Till next time,

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word count: 0

Vignette #31 “Breathe”

Breathe.

It is one thing to say it. Another to do it.

Breathe.

But the world is spinning before my eyes. My brain can’t keep up with the thoughts running through my mind. Over and over and over. And over. My head is stuck in a loop.

Breathe.

But there are nails digging into my back. My shoulders are carrying the weight of the world. My mind hurts so much I think it’s going to explode.

Just breathe.

Don’t you know there are bills to pay? Don’t you know I haven’t touched another person in over two months? Can’t you see the people being attacked in the street? Everything is so wrong, how can things ever get better? HOW CAN YOU TELL ME TO JUST BREATHE?

But the oxygen is escaping my chest. I feel woozy. There’s a fist clutched around my lungs. If I don’t take a breath now, my body may give way. So breathe. I grimace.

My first attempt is a shutter. The kind you get when the winter wind blows right through you. I feel the emptiness rattle around inside and my shoulders twitch up to my ears. It is more like a gasp and less of an inhalation. Keep breathing.

The second is easier. It’s still not perfect with the air catching in all the other places except where it needs to go, but it softens the pain in my forehead. At least for a second.

Do it again.

I do it again.

Again.

I do it over and over and over. And over.

Do you feel better?

No. Yes. I don’t know. A little.

Keep breathing.

I can’t just stay here forever.

If you want to live, you keep breathing.

But what about money? What about the loneliness? What about the world?

You can’t do anything for anyone without first taking a breath for yourself.

I keep breathing. My shoulders sag. My vision sharpens. The nails in my back fall out one by one by one. The fist clenched around my lungs loosens, slowly… slowly… slowly….

Are you breathing?

Yes.

How do you feel?

…Better…

Good.
Now, go do what you have to do and don’t forget

Photo by Fabian Møller on Unsplash

©2020 Jai Lynn

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“Boy Next Door”

I looked for you
when I rounded the bend
on our street.

I looked for you
when the sun was high
and the air filled with heat.

If it was raining out
I knew our paths
would surely not meet.

I thought I always
was the one
to notice you first.

I thought I always
tried to find the right words
only my voice was dried by thirst.

Probably, it was for the best
to stay on the sidewalk
as a girl, silent and cursed.

Then, one day walking
down our street
I noticed a flash of color.

Him going one way,
and I the other, neither of us stopped
except in the looks we gave each other.

I held your eyes,
and you held mine
until out of sight in that breath of summer.

After, I wondered
what it meant.

Me always looking to you
and then you seeing me.

Maybe you too thought words
weren’t the only way to speak.

©2020 Jai Lynn

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Vignette #30 “The Racetrack”

Before I can help it my fingers are flying across the keys, and I’m helpless to stop it. The thoughts are racing by, each one trying to overcome the others. Many succeed in flying straight ahead to the finish line, but some are left far enough behind to get trampled and lost in the mess on the track of my mind. My fingers are helpless in the competition. They just keep tapping and pressing and moving to the instructions they’re given, like announcers trying to keep the rest of the audience informed. The racing thoughts that get lost come out in bits of shattered fragments on the rapidly filling once blank page. A random horseshoe in the middle of a sentence that otherwise would have made perfect sense. A lost stirrup, ripped from the saddle lying by itself at the end of a paragraph, or a scrap of paper with the headline ripped from the top to be hidden somewhere else in the dirt of the track.

It takes a moment, after the burst, before I realize the race has ended. The winners are clear on the page. I need a deep breath because it’s over, and even though I haven’t even left my seat I am exhausted. I’m not part of the competition anymore, I’m a bystander, a visitor looking on from the stands. As I go through the sentences it is just like watching a recap on a screen. By the time I reach the last word, my mind and fingers in tandem have had to edit and cut. Getting rid of the things that don’t make sense, disregarding the racers that came in last, and painting the victorious in the appropriate light for the prize winning picture.

But this is just the derby, wait till the stakes get higher.

Photo by Jeff Griffith on Unsplash

©2020 Jai Lynn

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