Categories
Living Life

Living Life #20 "How Far"

(a collection of independent vignettes)

Photo by Eugene Triguba on Unsplash

Jenna didn’t know how this night was going to go.

Headlights appeared over the bend of the hill. Glaring and warning they careened off the low hanging branches of the trees and the concrete cracks in the road. When they reached the tombstones Jenna ducked low. But only when they reached the tombstones.

“I’m sick of doing this at night.” she hissed to the weeping statue of an angel next to her.

The angel answered, “As if we can do this in bright daylight.” Or at least it had the appearance of such before Jared stepped out into the dark. Dirt up to his knees, boots scuffed to his socks, and a scowl to scare a bear away. Her brother needed to take a chill pill.

“Well…” she drawled. “There have been dealings before when the sun was up too, ya know…”

“Yeah, as well as the rest of the world.” He pulled a pack from his pocket and in the next breath there was a cigarette already up and lit and in his mouth.

“People visit cemeteries.” Jenna argued haughtily.

“Not private ones…” Smoke snaked up into the night. “when they don’t have permission.” His footsteps made barely a sound as they crossed the grass over to her.

“Are you sure this one’s information is good?”

“We can trust him. He’s not one to go back on his word, and besides…” he flicked an ash at the fresh mound of earth next to the angel. “our end of the bargain is done.”

“My end.” Jenna looked down at her own hands, all smudged and grungy, and she wondered when the last time her fingernails had actually been clean. “You really shouldn’t smoke.”

Another set of headlights rolled down the road, only this time they scoped slow and steady, and eventually stopped as the bright shine hit the marble of the tombs. Finally.

Jared took a long drag, and responded, “It’s not like it can hurt me.”

Right now.” she hissed.

Jenna didn’t know how this night was going to go. What she did know was how far she would go. No matter how much they bickered, no matter how different their attitudes or ways of dealing with the world she knew how far she would go for her brother.

All the damn way. And back, if she had to.

As the man emerged from his car, Jenna came out of her hiding spot.

“I didn’t think you would actually come alone.” The gruff man barked, his headlights illuminating the slop on his shirt and the acne on his neck.

Jenna hardened her jaw. She was told that whenever she was in a bad mood that she scowled just like her brother. “I keep my word.” Jared took two pointed steps forward, though Jenna knew her brother was protective there was no way for him to protect her now.

At least not until this man told her what she needed to get him back from the other side. “Now you keep yours.”

Categories
Update

Snapshot 12/31/19 // Learning From the Risks and Rewards of 2019, and Anticipating the Roaring 20's Ahead

Currently listening: “Meet Me In the Woods“- Lord Huron /
New Year’s Day“- Taylor Swift
Currently watching: The Office S3/ Shameless S4
Currently playing: Sims 4
Will be (re)reading: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

2019 is over.

It was a terrible, wonderful, weird and life changing year. I switched jobs, got super sick, then got super healthy, and grew a lot (A LOT) I believe as a person in 2019. I certainly feel different at least. December was a culmination of everything 2019 was: terrible, wonderful, weird and life changing. Let’s take a look at those goals shall we?

December Goals:

  1. Research, research, research! Check. I didn’t do an enormous amount on my WIP but I did a decent job (which will continue into the new year…. spoiler alert lol).
  2. Post 2 Living Life vignettes this month. Check.
  3. Redesign my website a bit. Check. I did a little of this and am going to be laying it out in January so be on the look out for some changes to my blog!
  4. Play my violin more. Check, check! I played more than I did in November!

So overall December was very successful! 2019, though challenging, was also kinda… fun. I risked and (thankfully) was rewarded. I met a lot of new people, learned a lot of new things, and discovered a lot about myself. Now let us head into 2020….

2020 Goals Heading into January (aka the ROARING 20’S ARE BACK BABY):

  1. Research, research, research! Again I’m putting this one on because this month I intend to finish all. the. research. for that pesky WIP. That way I can move onto outlining, and then finally WRITING. The BEST (and hardest) part. This baby step will help me to reach one of my ultimate 2020 resolutions to FINALLY finish that first draft.
  2. Plan a steadier posting schedule! That way I can get a routine down for myself and for all the lovely viewers out there kind enough to listen to my rambles and read my stories.
  3. Enact redesigning the site! I’ve planned, and I’ve got some more planning to do but I hope to show the changes by the end of this January.

Christmas has come and gone.
My food coma is growing strong.
Cleaning up my room is taking too long.
BUT, all is okay.

I got to see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree (which was wonderful and brought me so much joy) AND the new Little Women movie all in the same month. Just a small PSA. EVERYONE NEEDS TO SEE THIS MOVIE. IT IS BEYOND AMAZING AND I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT.

Okay I’m done. But really you need to go see it. Now.

What I Read:

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. What can I say about this book. That it ruined romance for me? Yes, because no boy alive can compare to Will Herondale or James Carstairs. Not to mention that Tessa is just so relatable. I love this book. I will love this series till the day I die. It mesmerized me for years, ever since the summer before I started college when I first read Clockwork Angel. It shaped a lot of who I became, and it always seemed to fit with whatever was going on with my life at the time. Will loved to read, Jem loved the violin, Charlotte reminded me of my Aunt, Henry my Uncle. It got me through so many hard times. This series is one of my tops and though I enjoy a lot of books not many make it to the top. I love it so much I think I won’t read it again for a very long time. That way it will sort of seem like new again.
One Day in December by Josie Silver. Fun, romantic read that I enjoyed. Definitely more of an adult book, and not very young adult. Modern, contemporary story about love at first sight and fate and chances taken and chances NOT taken. It did lag though at some points but it always picked up. Reminded me of the play If/Then with Idina Menzel that I was fortunate enough to see. It also reminded me of Sleepless in Seattle a bit at the end with the (SPOILERS) radio and Laurie calling in to speak to Jack. Everyone knows a person like Sarah who is stardust incarnate. Jack was agreeable. Laurie was very relatable, quiet and just trying to get through life like the rest of us. Enjoyed it very much though. Not gonna lie I also really liked Oscar, and his whole personality and spiel. Recommend if your looking for a December romance read.
The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann with illustrations by Sanna Annukka: A classic, I’ve wanted to read this story for years because every Christmas I always watch the ballet on Youtube so I wanted to know where the original story originated from. Not disappointed. I really enjoyed it, and it is very much a fairytale. Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson vibes. I am going to try to integrate it as a book to reread every year. PICTURES IN THIS EDITION ARE GORGEOUS. Overall, it is a quick, lovely Christmas read.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is one I’m sorta reading right now. Here and there. I’m enjoying it! It is inspiring me to clean my room…

Aaaaand drumroll please…… tomorrow I will be starting my reread of….

oh yessssss THE GREAT GATSBY! I’m so excited. It is finally the return of the Roaring 20’s!!!!!

What I’ll Be Writing:

  • Living Life vignettes
  • (moody) Poetry
  • Monthly Snapshot! post
  • and who knows… maybe some surprises?

My Round Up of December Posts:

Alright 2020… I think I’m ready. Bring on the downs, the ups and all the screams of fear and excitement for the roller coaster ride you’ll be. I’m ready to ride.

What are some of your resolutions this year? I’d love to talk in the comments!

Till next time,

Categories
Living Life

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.

Categories
Poetry

"The Winter Wolf"

Photo by Neil Rosenstech on Unsplash

Tip toeing
and slowly going
the hunter arrives.

Slow breathing
with fangs teething
quietly the prey lies.

The wood at night
and only the moon’s light
makes for no fun.

Cold nips at their face
tracks left without trace.
Must remember how to run.

For the wind, one ear
the other for anything else near
the wolf shall wait.

The hunter knows no place,
tracking his victims case
by case, guided by fate.

Then, they see each other.
Willed by our Earth mother
in playing this game again.

With each year’s going
the seasons’ sowing
the fight animal and humane.

The wolf growls
and the hunters bows,
hitching the arrow.

The wolf leaps
and the hunter reaps
the last of winter’s sorrow.

Blood on the snow
melts red and slow
So spring will return
once more.

Categories
Update

Snapshot 11/30/19 // Stuffed From Stuffing (& Starving for Gingerbread)

Currently listening: “The Christmas Song“- Nat King Cole
Currently watching: Friends S10
Currently (re) reading: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Currently playing: Sims 4

November, November
you passed so fast
I want to remember
each memory to the last

November always goes by too fast for me. Thanksgiving, the bitter cold days seeping in, and the random warm days that trick you into believing summer will be back soon. Also, NaNoWriMo. This month always reminds me of writing and pumpkin bread and stuffing. Gosh, I love stuffing.

My November goals were:

  1. Write 25,000 words for my WIP. That was a failure, but a failure I am very proud of. By setting my goal to work on the story I found out exactly what was wrong with it and why I was struggling so much with it. It needed to be expanded upon. I need more information and to do more research (which I’m doing now). The original WIP I intended to write for NaNo was just a small cog in the machine of a trilogy that this story is turning into and I am so excited.
  2. Post at least 1 Living Life vignette again this month. I did do this one.
(smirk)

December goals (and candy canes, not coals):

  1. Research, research, research! I’m going to keep digging down deep into the black void of the internet for this new expanded WIP. If I don’t come back you know what happened lol.
  2. Post 2 Living Life vignettes this month. I think I can do this. So I’ll put it on here.
  3. Redesign my website a bit. I’ve been meaning to update somethings and move a few bits around. So, why not now. The present is always the best time to do something. That way it will look better for 2020 too.
  4. Play my violin more. I’ve been neglecting my beloved instrument because of work and laziness which is no excuse. I’m actively going to try to practice more this month.

Also can I just say I love Christmas so much. I’m just gonna throw that out there so be prepared for many holiday themed vignettes and poems. I’m warning you they. are. coming.

Also I had a great dream where I got to co-write a book with Maggie Stiefvater. I wish that would really happen omg. Just throwing that out there universe, if you are listening. I also got the opportunity to see Frozen 2 on its opening night. Let me just tell you guys I loved this movie so much. If you loved the first one you definitely need to see the second. It doesn’t try to upstage the first movie at all but continue it on, if that makes sense, and the music and growth of all the characters is just fantastic. (SPOILERS AHEAD) I loved the scene of Elsa fighting the Nokk and the song, Show Yourself, is also BEAUTIFUL. Elsa shows that she only needs herself to be complete and that is the absolute truth. Romance and partnership is perpetuated in society as something that we all need to feel “complete” and “loved” but all you really need to feel those things is to be yourself and love yourself. Just like Elsa, who knew she was different and fought it until she decided to accept herself and her powers and ultimately find the greatest happiness within herself. Olaf was also hilarious AF and who doesn’t love Anna and Kristof 😀 It is said so much but it really is true, just BE YOU. Unapologetically, wholly, wonderfully, unforgivably YOU. That is the way to achieve the greatest sense of peace. THANK YOU DISNEY<3

What I Read:

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I… I loved this book. It was real, it was raw. I got SO attached to Alex and TOO attached to Darlington. Man. And Dawes, Dawes, Dawes and college me live on the same plane of existence. The magic was so real to me. The history and references in all of the tombs of the Ancient Eight, the privilege problem. My goodness this book. 100% worth the read and I can’t wait till the next. It’s not for everyone definitely (lots of heavy and traumatic topics are explored) but to me this book was excellent in how in handled everything. The right amount of dark side without becoming depressing and all this magic so grounded in reality. I- dang. Five stars, hands down.
All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater. I really enjoyed this book and all the magical realismness (is that a word?) with the personifications of the character’s darknesses, and how they overcame them. It’s an atmospheric, simple story with a very important lesson. When the characters’ darknesses manifest that is the first miracle, and the second miracle will occur when the character knows how to overcome their darknesses. The magical realism in this book is very well done. Maggie always does a great job in all her books of making magic seem touchable. Daniel was my favorite character but all of the cast was real and alive. I recommend reading it!
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. This is my favorite series of books of all time. This is my sixth read through of Clockwork Princess and it won’t be the last. We all have those books that we will never, ever grow tired of. No matter how many times we read them. The Infernal Devices are my books. What does Tessa say? “‘Words have the power to change us.‘” Yes, yes they do.

What I’ll Be Writing:

  1. Living Life vignettes
  2. Holiday poetry (joy to the world, you lucky lot lol)
  3. WIP snippets
  4. Monthly Snapshot! post

As promised last month here is a snippet from my WIP:

Rue scowled. “I don’t like you.”
“The feeling is mutual.” Evans replied.

Haha, yes short and sweet but I kept my promise 😉

Some posts I enjoyed this month:

My round up of November posts:

Bring on the holiday cheer December, you are the only think that is going to keep me going till summer is here again. I wish you all lots of hot chocolate, thoughtful presents, great company and happy holidays to come!!

How were all your Novembers? (Do they go by as fast as mine?) What are the books that you will never tire of (that are part of your soul)? I’d love to hear about them!

Till next time,

Categories
Update

NaNoWriMo 2019: (mini) Update 3

November 17, 2019

Just a quick update! (Like fo’ real.) My research is coming along for my new project, this expanded version of WIP from my original NaNo 2019 novel, this year. I’m having a lot of fun with it and as I research I’m handwriting the notes. This helps my mind digest and engage with the material more, and from that comes ideas upon ideas upon ideas!

I have also been writing little snippets about the characters to get into their heads better. Just quick, short paragraphs that are fun to write and fun (for me at least) to read.

Hopefully when I get more of the details down I’ll be able to share a bit 🙂

(told ya it was quick!) How are all your NaNo novels coming?

Till next time,

Categories
Update

NaNoWriMo 2019: Update 2

November 10, 2019

I reached 12,022 words. That is nearly to the halfway mark, when my goal was just to get 25K. Although, I still have a lot of work ahead of me. A lot more than you would think and I’ll explain.

This week as I came to reach the near middle of my goal for my story I realized something. About 12K in, I found it hard to write. I was struggling again to fill the space on what should happen next and most of my characters were falling flat. Some were jumping at me though from off the page (in my head at least) and trying to grab my attention. The problem I came to realize this week was that I was coming at my story from the wrong time in the plot. I needed to go back farther in time in order to fully give the this story its proper way of being told.

Also I needed to lighten it up a bit. It was getting pretty gritty and philosophical so I needed to tone that down immeasurably. But, I would not have realized all this without first attempting to write the story. So NaNo was not a loss in the least. But a win.

That 12K that I did write is also a win. Those words will hold a place, just a smaller, better paced space in the new draft. In order to write that new draft though I need to fall down into the research hole. I’ll still be writing everyday as I do the extra research but not as quickly as I was going. I’ll be doing character sketches because the original ones I had planned are either taking on a larger role or moving to a smaller one, all still important but in a better place for their stories to be told. I’ll also be doing some world building exercises to get a feel for the different vibe I want to go for. So not really traditional NaNo writing but still writing nonetheless and that is important.

I’m choosing to look at this as a win but when I first realized it I felt such a huge crushing despair. That was because I had already done so much work and now I had to start over again. Also because it was November now and everyone was writing their stories now. But that was the wrong way of looking at things and when I changed how I thought I felt so much better.

I’m still writing, just slower, and every step leads to making this story the best it can be. That’s something I’m proud of now and still will be when it’s finished.

Writing is hard. I knew that. Susan Dennard, an accomplished and published author, said it to me too. Every true writer knows. No matter how much you’ve achieved or experienced writing is still hard. But that is what makes it worth it. Let’s keep going guys!!! How are you NaNo novels coming?

Till next time,

Categories
Update

NaNoWriMo 2019: Update 1

November 3, 2019

Another day done, another day done, another day bites the dust.

So, it is Day 3 of NaNoWriMo and…. I’m tired. Also, worried and hopeful and sad and happy and lost and also very cold ALL at the same time. So that’s something, right? Good? Maybe?

My project for this year is the same story I’ve been trying to sing for nearly three years now but finally I think I found a few of the right notes to turn this WIP into a finished song. (A lousy first draft of a song but STILL a song!) I’m determined and I won’t quit until I get it done. (It’s been three years and I still haven’t given up lol.) Metaphors aside, my goal this NaNo is to go for 25,000 words instead of the traditional 50K because from prior years experience I have never reached that goal. So this is much more realistic and attainable for me because, as I have learned through experience, I am a slow writer.

So far I’m at 5,008 words and honestly, I AM VERY PROUD OF MYSELF. I’m above my target word count and I just hope I continue with the momentum. In years past I usually die down at the middle of the month unfortunately and this year I’m hoping to counteract that. Starting out strong is a good indication so far. (Hopefully my curse will be broken!)

This is just a mini check-in since my posting is going to be sporadic throughout the month (because of NaNo) and my mood is going to be erratic throughout this month (because of NaNo). Crossing my fingers I’ll be in a pleasant state of mind to do more check-ins throughout November but no promises.

Are any of you participating in NaNoWriMo? How’s it going so far? (Are you also a mess of emotions?)

Till next time,

Categories
Update

Snapshot 10/31/19 // Something Spooky This Way Came

Currently listening: “This Is Halloween” – The Nightmare Before Christmas
Currently (re) watching: Over The Garden Wall
Currently reading: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Boo. (Sorry I couldn’t resist!) Happy Halloween! Thank goodness for October. After the harshness of September, October never fails to cheer me up. Pumpkin spice lattes, apple picking, orange leaves and sweater weather. Also, (*cough*) CANDY (*cough*).

Me, tonight.

My October goals were (*drumroll, please*):

  1. Rework my WIP, which is a check. I definitely changed things around a bit and now have an idea for how I’m going to handle NaNo!
  2. Post 1 Living Life vignette, HAHA CHECK! I posted two.
  3. Go pumpkin and apple picking, check check! This one was easy since I go every year.

Heading into (NANOWRIMO) November this is the plan:

  1. Write 25,000 words for my WIP. I’m a slow writer I’ve learned, so I set a more realistic goal for myself this NaNoWriMo.
  2. Post at least 1 Living Life vignette again this month. Honestly with NaNo I’ll be lucky if I have time for just one. But I’m going to try!
Me, this entire month. Probably.

What I Read:

Books Read:
The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I don’t think I can do this book justice. It just needs to be read to be understood. Wow. It’s dark… but the characters are alive. They breathe just like you and me. So many connections to the classics. CHARLES, OH BABY . And Henry, I don’t even. Honestly, (*beware, spoilers coming*) I expected more people to die at the end the way this story was going and Francis even comments on it somewhere at the end that Henry should have just killed them all. Enthralling story that no matter how dark it gets you just need to see it to the end. Very dark… can put you in a black cloud/ endless dark tunnel mood. SO WELL THOUGHT OUT AND WRITTEN. Julian, and the depiction of evil in him (as something that seems good on the surface). I need a mental break.
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. I was meaning to read this for a while and then someone mentioned it at work and I took it as a sign to just BUY IT. This book is a TRIP. Whoa baby. In the best possible way. An October book, true and true. I’m going to read this again next October and maybe the October after that. It’s a great book, not necessarily one of my all time favorites but it’s a GREAT book. It’s simple (the moral) but haunting and well played. Out there prose that paints a definite picture. The story will stay with you long after you finish it.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson- The story ends the same way it begins and I got chills after reading the last paragraph. I see where all the inspiration for the show came from. Good bones. Chilling and atmospheric. The show goes a lot more in depth, and that is what I knew first so my impression may be a little skewed. But I enjoyed reading the book. Nell, poor baby, and the house is quite the character itself. Madness. Loneliness. Theo was my favorite and Luke grew on me. But Nell, Nell, Nell still lingers in my mind. The foreshadowing all along makes it so clear from the beginning of the story to the end.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I’m only three chapters in but I can tell that this book is amazing. I’m sold. Next Snapshot! I’ll go into more detail but right now I’m LOVING it.

What I’ll Be Writing:

This month, no lie, my WIP and NaNoWriMo is my main priority so my posting will be sporadic at best. I’m going to try to post 1 Living Life vignette, and of course any poetry or tags that cross my way but not much more than that. I’m still debating on whether or not to post weekly NaNo updates… would you guys be interested in hearing about that?
And of course at the end of the month you can expect my ever consistent Snapshot! post.

Some posts I enjoyed this month! :

-Kal @ Reader Voracious “Bookish Banter I Have the Memory of a Goldfish, So I Annotate
– Sophie Li @ Sophie’s Corner “My Editing Process Part 2 (+ more templates!)

My Round Up of October Posts: (LOOK HOW PRODUCTIVE I WAS)

I watch Over The Garden Wall every Halloween, and right after I post this I’m going to go grab a Twix and head into the Unknown. October was fun and I’m hoping to have just as much fun in November. That pesky WIP of mine that has been haunting my mind for years is going to get written!

Are any of you doing NaNoWriMo this year? What are your stories about? I’d love to hear about them!

Till next time,

Categories
Poetry

“Trick or Treat”

Waiting there
at my door.
Dressed up,
to allure.

A crown sitting
upon your head.
“I’ll be your prince
tonight.” he said.

Teeth shining
pearly white.
Not a cavity
in sight.

Flowing hair,
in Skittle red.
Carefully groomed,
not just out of bed.

Hershey bar
in your eyes.
Distraction
for all your lies.

Reeses Pieces freckles
on your skin.
Snickers remnants
in that grin.

Coins made of
candy corn.
Kit Kat laugh
turned to scorn.

Square jaw
with a strong bite.
A wicked Crunch
filled with might.

Will it be
a trick
or treat
tonight?