Announcement! Radiate Literary Publication

Hey guys!! Just a quick update. Radiate Literary, an online literary journal focusing on promoting young voices, asked me to submit a poem for their site and it went live today!

Here’s the link to check it out: “Song of the Violin”

I wrote the first draft of this piece years ago but I recently came across it and revamped it. It plays with how music echos the moments of our life. If you have some time, give it a look!

Till next time,

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Writing Is Hard | WIP Writing Update | July 2020 | (Guarding Space and Time)

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

I don’t know about you but for me age nine was a very impressionable age. My family life turned upside down right around that time. To compare it to writing, the universe had been foreshadowing and planting plot points for years right up to that pinnacle point in 2004 when my parents’ divorce was finally settled and done. So, of course, when life hands you something ugly we humans immediately want to gravitate towards things that make us happy. Which at that time for me was Pokemon, as I mentioned in the previous post, and then right after that…Sailor Moon.

I loved Sailor Moon.

I would storm home from school just to see if I could try and catch it on Cartoon Network. (I didn’t always find it, mind you, but when I did… let me just say… I was so happy.) I don’t think I comprehended that it was probably on at a specific time because I was a kid and I just wanted to watch it when I wanted to watch it. Everything about the show I loved. The girl power, the heroics, Tuxedo Mask lol… I must have gone through phases for each Sailor Scout. Jupiter initially, then Mercury later on… Venus here and there and Mars from time to time. Sailor Moon herself … believe it or not I did not like at first (I know, right?? How could I not love her??) but now she is such an integral part of my being I don’t know what my younger self was thinking.

I can recall really specific memories from that time period of my childhood. I remember watching the Negaverse attack on a dark snowy night sitting on the floor in the living room while my Great Aunt (now passed) was in the background speaking to my mom. I remember running across the street to my neighbor’s house when her grandchildren were visiting and going to watch Sailor Neptune and Uranus after we played catch in the backyard with Max, my neighbor’s border collie. I remember going to our local video rental store regularly and always renting the Promise of the Rose movie whenever I had a chance…. that all seems like a lifetime ago.

Nowadays, I love each and every one of the Sailor Scouts having read the manga and seen the 90’s anime adaptation too many times to count. Sailor Pluto holds a special place in my heart today. Maybe because of all of the scouts she seems the loneliest to me and I just want to help her and be her friend. If you think about it… she had the loneliest job of all guarding the Space-Time Door…. and isn’t writing also one of the loneliest jobs sometimes too? Like all of us writers at some point are looking to the past or the future, gaging the current state of society, picking up cues from everything all around us and compressing all that and everything into the written word to guide and protect others… like we are all guarding that very same door….

Sorry lost myself there for a second, lol.

My next step into writing was of course to write Sailor Moon fan fiction turning my childhood obsessions into stories at the ripe age of twelve. I was so hardcore I wrote it all by hand in this pink notebook I found lying around. I remember watching the shows on YouTube over and over. Back in those days there was a limit to how long the video could be so one episode of Sailor Moon was broken down into about three or four YouTube videos. After, I made outlines about how I wanted to change the story, and did character analysis’ for each of the scouts and all the new original characters I wanted to add in. I named it Love Bright, Sunlight… and yes I am internally cringing right now.


Needless to say I never finished this story either. True to my track record. On the other hand though, this was another stepping stone to eventually realizing what I wanted to do with my life- become a published author.

Since my last update, life has been hectic. I’ve been working a lot and then coming home and trying to work as hard at my WIP but falling short on doing everything I want to do. I’m still in the pre-writing stage working on world building. Can I just say too- trying to make your own religion is HARD WORK, WOW. I knew it would be hard but due to my overcritical nature this part is taking a long time. It’s all part of the process though (at least that is what I keep telling myself). (You had to want to write a fantasy, didn’t you Jai???) I know, I know. One day all this will pay off. I also spent some time on the main characters this month which was a lot of fun! The Lowell Saga has a lot of characters and character arcs to navigate but I can tell you I can tie it down to seven main characters. Which sounds like a lot, especially when they will all get their own POV sometime down the road in the four books I am planning to stretch out this story into. If I want to narrow it down even further then I guess I can tie it down to at the core three specific characters as the main trio, at least for the first book. Anyway… back to researching interesting marriage ceremonies and racking my brain for weird funeral ideas.

Thanks for hearing me out for my writing update this month! Writing these posts is definitely helping me stay on track and keep working, so I hope if you read this far you got some enjoyment out of this post too.

Till next time,

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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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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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This post Vignette #30 “The Racetrack” appeared first on Jai Lynn.

Flash Fiction – "Creation"

It was a game she liked to play.

The steam rose into the air. Jasmine, rose, the caffeine of the black tea all blended together into one. It made the room smell like flowers. From the right corner of her desk the tiny porcelain cup let the steam fly in a steady stream, the tulips painted onto the glass dancing in breeze that wasn’t there. The cup would never cool and in turn, let the room fill with everlasting spring.

The writer looked up from her keyboard to the cup at the corner of her desk. Dew on the grass, fresh air dancing in the sun, bright beautiful flowers all permeating into the essence of the room.

Across the room, a glimmer of steel caught the writer’s sight. Slowly, she watched the shape coalesce before her eyes. The tip appeared first, silver as stars and sharper than a corner, with the body following after. Long, but lean enough to be a comfortable weight when held, and built to move like the wind. It’s handle was wrought in sunlight itself, golden and as shining as the day.

She rose from her desk slowly, letting her fingers linger to tap on the surface. It was right there just waiting for her to take it. Some part of her though still believed she was dreaming. So… she reached for the tea first, because that was more likely to be real. Her hand reached out only to pause before the little porcelain handle. Then gingerly, like petting a strange animal, she let her fingers tap on the surface. Hot to the touch. Then, braver, she reached all the way and nearly burned her hand when the steaming cup was in her palms. When the tea went down, it was like drinking from a meadow. The writer put the cup back on the desk.

One step, then two she crossed the room. The way the sunlight was streaming through the window almost made the sword seem like a mirage. As if when she reached out to touch it all she would find would be the wall. The writer steeled herself, letting her fingers reach… then close… fingertip… by fingertip around the golden handle. Her body was very still. Even after having played this game a few times before, she still could not believe that this was real life. The weight in her hand was not imagination by the way her bicep braced. Cautiously, she pointed the blade at the window.

There were a few other sentences she had written.

Once the sword was in the girl’s hand a shadow appeared as the wind blew east….

Through the open window a gust rocked the hinges of the shutters and sent a chill down her spine.

The strange scent of sugar burned to a crisp pervaded the sweet smell of spring. Magic was afoot…

Her nose crinkled. It wouldn’t be long now.

The shadow moved closer, the shape shifting with the wind, until it wasn’t a shadow but a someone at the window.

A clang rang the air as steel met steel. The someone said “Are you ready?”

Standing sword to sword, the writer answered “Always.” Then she smiled, the girl on the opposite side of the window smiling too.

A grand adventure was waiting just for them to go and meet it.

Photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash

Living Life #19 “Eggnog”

(a collection of independent vignettes)

Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash

She could see the bottom of the glass once again. Twirling it in her hand, the bare remnants of froth shifted from one side to the other. It looked like the melted snow outside, when in reality it was the dregs of a third glass of eggnog.

“Poor me.” she laughed. Unsteady and a little sick, the woman rose from the armchair by the dying fire. Its crackling was almost silent since it was now midnight. First a chair and then the table got in her path but through determination and reckless luck she made her way back to the counter where the punch bowl was waiting.

One ladle, two ladles, and another half. Now her glass was full once again.

Even though she was not.

“Merry Christmas to me.” she breathed, and downed the fourth glass. Maybe this time it would fill her up.

Living Life # 18 “Decorating The Tree”

( a collection of independent vignettes)

The tree was taller than she was. Green as the forest in summer beyond her backyard and as prickly as the thorns on the dead bouquet in the vase on the counter. Tooth and nail it dragged through the back door leaving a trail of needles like gingerbread cookie crumbs right to the far corner of the living room. It did not come easy, but she didn’t back down. Not even as she had to hoist it into the stand with only minimal help from the wall.

A stepladder was necessary for the lights, and even though there was no one there to help she took her time. The stool danced around the wood floor and the lights were placed string by string until it was her feet waltzing around the ground instead. The cord was gently plugged in and then the house seemed a little brighter, the fir now lit up like a star. The tree warmed up to her a bit then. But only just a bit.

The red beads were next, and then the gold tinsel. The tree certainly wasn’t going to bend for her but she didn’t need it too. She rose to meet it again and again, and swayed around and around. The fire in the background crackled and snarled but it was only empty threats. The light emanating from the small space was too golden and too warming to be anything but a sarcastic friend. Being inside, the tree realized, was a lot different than being outside. A little more snug and a little less lonely.

It paid no mind to the silver bells she planted along its branches, and the red ornaments felt as light as air as if they were barely there. The rest that were piled on were mismatched and worn. A little blue sled with the year 1982 scribbled on the bottom, a fading snowman with two buttons missing, eight bronze deer then four gold ones and a rocking horse no bigger than her palm. Before long all the spaces were filled and instead of feeling weighted and tired the tree noticed the perk to its branches in the mirror across the room. Maybe it should have been a little nicer to her on the way in. She had plucked it out of the solitude of the harsh winter wind, gifted it a steady stream of water and shelter, then given it decorations to cloth and adorn it. The tree liked her a bit more than it had before, making its emotions swell now to twice what they had been.

A drop of sweat like a melted snowflake slid down her temple, and the tree could see she was tired. She absently moved to put her hand down on the end table nearby and the tree wanted to warn her but it had no mouth to speak.

When the glass shattered, it was loud. The wit of the fire was drowned, and the glow of white lights on the tree’s branches left her eyes. Quietly, the young woman bent down and as she kneeled careful of the broken bits, she looked much smaller than she had when she originally hauled the tree in. More like a girl, left alone in a house, with a few modest lights and threadbare ornaments that really didn’t matter much if one thought about it, unless they were reflected in her eyes.

The picture was face up on the floor, but in the shadow of where the lights couldn’t reach. Piece by piece and sliver by sliver she picked the edges up, cupping her hand to her chest. The picture, still in the frame, was last. Another tiny snowflake ran down her cheek, but the tree knew there were was no sky above their heads. She took a deep breath and in the next moment she rose and walked away. A minute passed, and then two. The tree wondered if maybe it should have at least tried to warn her, though it had no means to speak words. But then, she came back. And she wasn’t alone.

There was petite angel cupped in her hands where the glass had just been.

The stool made its return, and with the fire cackling quietly in the background, she rose one step then another. Even then though she could barely reach the top. An inch more of height and everything would have been okay. She didn’t have that inch though, so the tree gave her the inch instead.

With all its might it buckled its trunk and the young woman stretched her toes until finally then the angel was set on top. Blonde hair, white gown, a happy mouth and golden wings graced the room.

The young woman stepped down from the stool, and that’s when tree liked her most of all with the lights in her eyes, the fir needles in her hair and the angel in her smile.

Living Life #17 “________”

(a collection of independent vignettes)

Tick, tock.

You stare at it. The longer you look the more it looks back into you.

The more you start to hate yourself for all the time you are wasting. And have wasted in the long, endless days before.

All the research and all the work and long nights, and eons spent typing away at the computer. all. for. nothing.

Because everything you had written, you now hate. And so you are back at the beginning again.

The dreaded blank page.

And time is rushing by.

Tick, tock.