The Original Outstanding Blogger Award

When I started blogging I had no idea where I was, what I was doing or where everything was going to go. Now just over a year in I can’t imagine my life without it. It’s become such a daily part of my routine. I feel like I’ve grown as a person and all the writing that I do here in my own little corner of the internet has connected me to more people all over the world than I thought I would meet in a lifetime. That being said, I feel really honored to have been nominated for this award! Thanks so much to S.J. Barnard, a fellow writer who I was lucky enough to meet through blogging. If you haven’t check out their blog yet you simply must! One day all of us aspiring authors are going to have our books out in the world and together I know we can do it!

Rules

  1. Provide the link to the creator’s original award post. (very important: see why in step 5)
  2. Answer the questions provided.
  3. Create 7 unique questions.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination. Neither the award’s creator nor the blogger that nominated you can be nominated.
  5. At the end of 2020, every blog that ping-backs the creator’s original post will be entered to win the 2020 Outstanding Blogger Award!

This award was created by Colton Beckwith.

S.J.’s Questions for Me!

  1. You are invited for a dinner with God. He tells you that you can invite anyone (dead or alive, fictional or nonfictional) to the dinner. Who would you invite, and why?

John Denver, because I find his music so relaxing and I would love to just speak to this man whose songs never fail to calm me down after getting anxious. Sailor Pluto, from Sailor Moon, because she was always my favorite senshi and I just always wanted to get to know her better. She was the most mysterious of them all and she had one of the hardest, loneliest jobs guarding the gate of time. I just want to get into her head a little. The last would probably be Niccolò Paganini because he was one of the greatest violinist to ever live (and I’m curious to know if he actually sold his soul to the devil…)

2. If you were a music period, which one would you be? (Baroque, Classical, Beethoven, Romantic, 20th century, Modern  → Pop culture)

Oh, I love this question! I’m probably Classical. I always stay to true to my roots and dress for comfort other than style. I’m more on the reserved side too, personality wise. Give me a sweater, shorts, a good book and a cup of tea and I’m good all day.

3. Would you rather be named after a university or a city (could be a road, idk)

A city! Someplace filled with winding streets, delicious cafes and interesting aspiring dreamers.

4. Would you rather work in a music studio or in a book store?

Hard one… but I have to go with my life long reading ambition even though music is very important to me too. So I would have to say bookstore but I still love my violin very much.

5. Top three of your greatest authors?

Diana Wynne Jones, Leigh Bardugo and Erin Morgenstern.

6. Do you have a book-character crush? If so, who was your first?

Don’t we all have a crush, haha? Will Herondale is my type of guy. Boys who read are very attractive. Especially if they are witty with blue eyes lol.

7. If you were the book’s antagonist, which type would you be?

  1. the evil villain
  2. the insane villain 
  3. the envious villain 
  4. the ethical villain 

Omg, honestly I would probably be the ethical villain because I’m such a goody two shoes but I don’t know some part of me (maybe my lack of sleep right now lol) is saying I could be the insane villain…. good question!

My Nominations

No pressure to do this by the way, I just wanted to highlight your fantastic blogs! If any of you reading this post haven’t checked them out yet I insist you must!!!

My Questions

  1. What is one specific moment in time that changed your life forever?
  2. What is one dream you had that you know you will never forget?
  3. What is the best part of blogging for you?
  4. Do you think you would survive a zombie apocalypse?
  5. What is your ultimate comfort food?
  6. One song that you need in your life forever?
  7. What is your definition of happiness?

Thanks for reading! Happy summer y’all!

Till next time,

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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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Snapshot 6/30/20 // “The Month Where I Find I’m Actually Super Busy”

Currently listening:Imagination“- Shawn Mendes
Currently watching: Sense8 / Looking For Alaska
Currently playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Currently reading: American Gods by Neil Gaimon

Finally it’s summer.

I feel like I’ve been waiting a millennium for this season to roll around and now it is actually here. 2020 I thought was going to be a whirlwind and, in a way, it definitely was, I’m just glad that the sun is here now and the heat and all the great feelings that only summer can bring. June was a busy month, so busy in fact I only got around to reading one book which is highly unusual for me. On the bright side though, did I mention it’s SUMMER???

(Me, for the next three months)

June Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, and outlining my WIP! Check. World building brick by fucking brick.
  2. Stick with my NEW blog posting schedule!Check.
  3. Become more interactive on social media! Check.
  4. Continue making submissions with my writing! Check.
  5. Continue practicing the piano and my violin! Check.
  6. Do yoga every morning! Check, check, check. CHECK.

July (the month where there’s so many fireworks) Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, and outlining my WIP! World building is time consuming it appears. As Kaz put it, “brick by brick” my dears, brick by fucking brick. Look forward to the writing update for this month! I’m sort of in love with doing this post because it is helping me keep more accountable for working on my WIP and that’s what I need!
  2. Become more interactive on social media! I’m using Twitter a lot more this year than I ever had and slowly stepping back into Instagram. Just got to keep building momentum with this and eventually it will become second nature. My handle is @jaiiiilynn4 for both so let’s connect!
  3. Continue making submissions with my writing! Just keep swimming.
  4. Continue to do yoga every morning! I feel good! My body feels so much better after incorporating this into my daily routine. Every morning I just. do. it. Then the stress pains stay away all day. Ha ha! Be gone pain!

What I Read:

God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World — and Why Their Differences Matter by Stephen R. Prothero. I originally picked this book up for research for my WIP but I found I loved it more than I would have thought. This book is so informative and really breaks down the major religions of the world into ways that we all can really understand. I highly recommend it for everyone to read, and really everyone should read this book. Information can only bring us closer to understanding one another whereas ignorance will only bring us apart.

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 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.

June Round Up of Posts from Stellar People:

My Round Up of June Posts:

All in all, I’m glad from the very core of my soul that summer is here. I hope it stays a long time…..

What are y’all doing for summer? Any interesting goals for July?

Till next time,

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Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award

I just want to shout out to Alexis @ A Latta Words for nominating me for this award. It means a lot. ❤ She is a fabulous writer and if you haven’t checked out her blog yet I highly recommend you do and give her a follow!

Also I want to thank Vincent Ehindero for creating this award in the first place! He has such a positive voice in the community and his creation of this award is just helping spread the love in these turbulent times. If you haven’t checked out his blog, please do and give him a follow!

Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you with a link to their blog.
  • Make a post of the award (with a photo of the logo).
  • Post the rules.
  • Ask 5-10 questions of your choice.
  • Nominate 10-30 other bloggers (or more) and notify them.

Alexis’ Questions for Me!

  1. What began your journey as a blogger?

My journey began a long, long time ago if I really think about it. I guess when I picked up my first book! That’s where my love of reading started, which lead me to wanting to write which lead me to blogging 😀

2. What inspires you?

Oh, everything. The world is such a strange, terrible and beautiful place. There’s inspiration everywhere.

3. Who is your biggest influence and why?

My mother. I love her to bits and pieces. When I said I wanted to be a writer and not an accountant she supported me without question. I owe a lot to my mom, and wouldn’t be who I am today without her.

(me, having a subtle goal of trying to use Tangled gifs through this whole post)

4. What’s your favorite book and why?

I’ve probably said this a lot haha, but it’s The Book Thief. That book changed my life, and was the first novel that ever touched my soul. I remember seeing it on a shelf in my eight grade English class and every opportunity I got I would reach for it on the shelf to skim through. I bought it soon after to read. I guess it called my name before I even read it.

5. What’s your biggest dream?

One day, I hope to publish a book.

6. Where is your dream destination?

I’ve always wanted to go to London! I’ve passed through Heathrow airport twice but never set foot in England proper. It’s always been a dream of mine and one day I plan on getting there!

7. If you had three wishes, what would you wish for? (Not more wishes)

Omg this is a good one! But, honestly, if given that power I wouldn’t use the wishes on myself. I would use them for the world, and my family and friends. I have everything I need, and am grateful everyday for my life.

My Nominations

No pressure to do this by the way, I just wanted to highlight your great blogs! Sorry if my questions are a little offbeat too, lol. I was racking my brain for interesting ones!

My Questions

  1. If you had to give up one thing you loved for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
  2. Is there a book that changed your life? And if so, how?
  3. What is one place you always wanted to go to except you can’t because it doesn’t exist anymore?
  4. What’s one thing you wish you could tell your younger self?
  5. What is one movie you loved growing up that still fills you with nostalgia today?
  6. Have any of your dreams come true?
  7. Do you believe things happen for a reason?

Thanks for reading to the end! Here’s my last Tangled gif to brighten your day!

(me, subtly enjoying my success on the gif goal, wooooo!)

Till next time,

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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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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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Snapshot 5/31/20 // “Living Really is a Giant Adventure”

Currently listening:I Wanna Get Better” – Bleachers
Currently watching: Oh My Venus
Currently playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Currently reading: God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World — and Why Their Differences Matter by Stephen R. Prothero

May, oh May, oh Mayyyyyyy!!

I enjoyed May immensely. I felt like I was so productive this month so please let me revel in it a bit universe because I am in such a great mood! I did a lot of thinking (all good things, all good things!) and in June I’ll be ready to implement some of my thoughts into my blog and writing! Oh, and I’m so excited about it because I feel like I learned so much. I read so many books, researched so many topics, and let myself have some fun because you know even though we are all trapped in our houses might as well enjoy it, right?

(Me, living my best life surrounded by learning)

May Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, and outlining my WIP! Check. I researched, commenced more world building and even did some prewriting so….. GO ME!
  2. Become EVEN MORE interactive on Twitter! Check. I’m checking it daily now, and even interacting more with the writing community! Baby steps but steps in the right direction.
  3. Continue making submissions! Check. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.
  4. Continue practicing the piano and my violin! Check, check! Now that I’m practicing more consistently I definitely see a difference in my playing!!

June (the month when SUMMER begins) Goals:

  1. Continue researching, world building, prewriting, plotting, and outlining my WIP! Step by step by step by step, and then the first draft…. the bane of my existence (i.e. the road block I must defeat in the perfectionistic tendencies of my mind). Working on my WIP this past May through research and world building has really invigorated me so much that I want to share my writing journey with you all so I’ll be attempting to post at least one writing update this month! This will keep me more accountable for working on it and hopefully keep my mind on track!
  2. Stick with my NEW blog posting schedule! Surprise. Some minor changes are coming this month with my posts but they are all good!! I’ll elaborate more later in the “What I’ll Be Writing” section below!
  3. Become more interactive on social media! Twitter I’m looking at you. Instagram, get ready! I’ve had both for a while (and I just went back to Instagram) but I’m going to try to be active on both this month. My handle is @jaiiiilynn4 for both so let’s connect!
  4. Continue making submissions with my writing! Status quo now. Just got to keep making it a habit, and before long it will be so much a part of my life that I won’t even need to write it as a goal because I’ll just do it!
  5. Continue practicing the piano and my violin! Me, over here, just giving myself an easy goal that makes me happy. #NoShame
  6. Do yoga every morning! This is something new I started this month and I love it. I suffer from a lot of shoulder and neck pain related to stress and since the current world problem that shall not be named because this is a positive post happened I have been in a lot of pain. Then, I started doing yoga every morning and honestly, because it did feel this way, like magic my pain went away.

What I Read:

Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia by John Dickie. This is a great nonfiction book. The way the author makes the language accessible to the average reader is to its advantage especially when pulling from so many sources into one comprehensive text. Not to mention the content of the book itself. I have always been fascinated by secret organizations and the mafia is one of the most infamous. This book starts at the very beginning in Sicily and links all the way to the early 2000’s, even linking to America and then back to Italy in between. The stories are gruesome, made even more so because they’re true and nothing is held back. It shows great insight into where the Italian government failed and also how something as huge and interlinking as Cosa Nostra went under the radar, despite its bloody history, for so long. There are a lot of names though littered throughout and it can get confusing from time to time just who this one particular person is when they were mentioned long ago in the book but that’s a minor complaint given to the information compacted inside. I highly recommend this read, especially if you are interested in history, secret societies or just Italy in particular.
The Day of the Owl by Leonardo Sciascia. I’ve read this book before in college, and it was a solid read then but not something I would have thought to gravitate back to. Well, it turns out I gravitated back to it and among many other things this reads better with age. The book is a genre I don’t read much of- metaphysical mystery, and in the future I believe that is something I want to try to change. We’ve all read our fair share of crime fiction, detective stories, or thrillers and the metaphysical mystery genre is similar in vein but a different animal on the outside. This genre explores the philosophical side of a mystery. There is a crime, like in detective stories, but in this case there is much less fanfare and more focus on the bones of logic, reason, and underlying study of the reality of what occurs. At least that is how I understood it through this book. It’s a quick read, engaging in its brevity, and takes a hard look at Sicily and its mafia ties. I recommend it if your interested in Sicily, the mafia, or crime fiction in general because it is a fascinating read. (MINOR SPOILER ALERT) Despite the forlorn (and yet realistic outcome of the novella) the ending does offer hope (SPOILER ALERT OVER). My heart goes out to Captain Bellodi, and all the men like him, just trying to serve justice in a sometimes very unjust world.
The Library Of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey. This book was exactly what I needed. I’m a strong mood reader and this just really fit my mood. Full of sweet romance, Peter Pan allusions and a voracious reader of a main character I adored this story. I can’t even right now so all of you just need to go read it!
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. I have always loved Peter Pan, and I will ALWAYS love Peter Pan. No matter how old I get Neverland will always be home to me. This retelling makes a believable prequel to the classic story and I found myself smiling and laughing to myself at all the clever ways the authors told the origin stories for all the beloved characters including Hook, Tink, the Lost Boys and even Neverland itself. It’s a good read for all ages and I know I’ll probably reread it again sometime in the future (for some reason I always need to read something Peter Pan related in May…). Molly was also delightful, I enjoyed her immensely. I highly recommend it if you are in the mood for some good old fashioned magic and adventure.

What I’ll Be Writing (MINOR SCHEDULE UPDATE):

  • 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 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.

So, here’s what’s up! I’m changing my posting of the Living Life vignettes from every other Friday to just the first Friday of the month. That way I can give myself more time to focus on my WIP and my new writing updates to share with you all! Truth- I am a slow writer. Also truth- I tend to let my anxiety get the better of me when it comes to working on my WIP. SOOOOOOOOO, in order for me to combat this I am going to hold myself accountable to post an update every month. This way I can share all my writing fails (lol) with you guys and in turn hopefully get some sound advice on how to do things better through the comments you guys leave. It also, hopefully, will help me understand my writing process a little bit better. Which will, hopefully hopefully, lead me to fufilling my dream of publishing a book one day!

(Me, hoping & praying & dreaming [& solving murders in my spare time])

May Round Up of Magnificent Posts from Magnificent People:

My Round Up of May Posts:

It was definitely a good month. I feel like I was much more present in everything I was doing which was probably a major contribution. When you really focus on a task, especially if it’s something you love (*cough* like writing *cough*) you get a lot more out of the experience. Yoga definitely played a part in me being more mindful, and I hope I can stick with it going into June.

How has May been for you? Are there any exercise routines/ sports you love to do? Let me know in the comments below!

(ALSO, SUMMER IS COMING AND I AM READY! BRING ON THE HEAT!!)

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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Flash Fiction – “Ghost Town”

It doesn’t matter if the air is empty. I’ll tell you the truth. It is never really empty.

It doesn’t matter if at night the city is quiet. I’ll tell you the truth. It is never really quiet.

My brother is standing right next to me and he is totally, completely fine. He’s thinking about dinner I’m sure, he is almost always ready to eat. Words are coming out of his mouth with that easy way he has as if everything is and will always be okay. I’ll tell you the truth. I am not okay.

To him the air is clear, the city is silent. To me the air is filled with things I wish I couldn’t see. Some people call them visions, others spirits. Most people hear nothing at all, but some of us hear the whispers, the moans. To me it always sounded more like crying, and right here this little pocket of the universe is full of tears.

“I’m thinking tacos?” My brother says offhandedly.

I shrug my shoulders, my back pained with tension but my voice calm. “Whatever you want.” Gently I pull him over to my side of the sidewalk. The gesture is somewhat to get him moving again, but mostly its just to avoid one of the ghosts.

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

©2020 Jai Lynn

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