June 23, 2020: Journal Entry Type #48: Tuesday Busy
Monday is done and over with and luckily I had today off although I’m going to be working on Saturday. Since the Coronavirus kicked into high gear, I’ve had to work at least one Saturday a month. You give and take some and whatever it brings is what is on my plate. I started a new journal #112 and this is a huge accomplishment for me. I haven’t been writing so much in my journals anymore since I have this blog although the nitty gritty stuff I do write in it and some thought/ideas. It’s the nonsense that enters my brain. The things I thought could be great flash fiction or short stories and come to the end to realize maybe, not so much. It’s been hot here in the desert and I’m missing the Pacific Ocean in a big way. Lake Mead is nice but not the same thing. I’m cutting this short as I’ve got to get to a doctor appointment let alone grocery shop after it. I plan on bringing my book to read while I’m sitting with my mask on. Humans touch their faces way too much as an observation including myself. I found my journal #62 so only four more MIA to find now. This might also serve as a notice while I’m going to continue blogging, I’m probably not going to post as much the rest of the year. I need to get out my poetry collection (for free) and finish my rewrite (by the end of this year) so I can start my second novel and then also work on my short story collection (also for free). I’m finding a hard time committing as much time to my writing as I do with my blog and doing things for my blog. I haven’t really been “writing” as of the last few months except dabbling here and there. This Sunday it changes as well as July through December. These are sort of challenging times for me, but something’s got to give. I can’t be in 10 places at once, if you know what I mean. On that note, I’m off like sweaty underwear after exercising. Bad image, I know, but it’s where part of my mind is currently (needing to exercise). Later and don’t forget to breath along the way.
June 19, 2020: Flash Fiction: Open the Door Sideways
This too is a random flash fiction story I wrote on the fly. No more and no less and not really thought out. It just came to me. So take it for what it is. Again, no more and no less.
When I opened the door, the smells from inside wafted to me like a fish that was much too close to the worm. The problem for the fish, not knowing there was a hook on the other side of the worm, wasn’t exactly the same surprise I would get. Mine was much bigger and much more worse. I too would soon be victim to the hook like the wiggly worm except it was disguised as a man in a raincoat or trench coat. Let’s say for practical purposes, it was a long coat, black and not cool like the one Keanu Reeves wore in The Matrix. Actually the hook was visible on the front, sides, and end but I was so engrossed into capturing this maniac, I was caught off guard.
He blindsided me in the worst way possible and for being such a seasoned detective, at first, I couldn’t admit to myself I had royally screwed up. I had not only let my Captain down, but I had let my partner for over fifteen years down. I neglected to tell him where I was going or what I was doing. I know that was mistake number one and there would be repercussions if I survived. In fact, if I had told him, he would’ve been right by my side.
Captain Castillo was the reason I first became interested in law enforcement, first as a border patrol agent and then as a beat cop. However, it was Detective Ortega that made me want to become a detective. I remember asking Castillo how he felt about arresting our own kind on the border. He was a no nonsense type and asked me with his gravelly voice, “what do you think?” I never answered him and he followed it up with “why are you asking such a stupid question?” I went on my way because I knew the main reason. You see, Captain Castillo or CC as he liked to be called, was my uncle. He was my dad’s older brother who had little similarities with my dad except with how he looked in the face. His eyebrows were like furry caterpillars and the corners of his mouth were always turned up a little bit. His legs bowed out and sometimes he walked with a limp on his left leg due to a injury that never healed.
Detective Ortega was the reason I stayed on the police force when I thought about quitting. He told me there were so many more crimes to solve and the town was counting on me to solve them. He was counting on me to solve them with him, but at that moment I was shot, I wasn’t capable of doing much of anything. I had been shot twice and unable to move well because my knee had been shattered to bits. When I tried to move quicker, my loud groaning frightened me. I sounded like a bear caught in a trap. I was able to pull myself to my car and radio for back up. Believe it or not, this was the first time it penetrated my skin. Sure, I had been shot before but my vest and partners over the years prevented me from ever feeling the full impact. I wasn’t sure where this maniac was that shot me but soon I relaxed a little when I heard sirens. When I saw the flashing lights of the ambulance, that is when I relaxed even more.
I was willing to take whatever would come my way as punishment. I know I’m not above the law but I’m not below it either. I fully intend to capture this maniac once I’ve recovered and when I do, it will be me who puts handcuffs on him. Like Ortega said to me one time, “if you have the chance to open the door sideways, do it.” I don’t know he meant by that and I still don’t. Ironically, it’s what I thought about as I was loaded into the ambulance and when I went under surgery I told the doctor to make sure my knee moved sideways.
June 19, 2020: Flash Fiction: The Discarded Notebook
I’ve been wanting to write something but not sure what to write or how to write it. By this I mean carefree without hardly any editing or careful planning with some editing. I chose the prior and fair warning there are swear words and some adult content. If the threat of violence or ghosts is a trigger for you, this is not the flash fiction story for you. I will be sure to write something less dreary in the future.
I came across this notebook filled with pages of written words. Actually, they weren’t so much words, but pieces of jumbled messes from someone absolutely messed up in the head. When I say messed up, I mean in every sense of the word. You must take every letter and capitalize each one to get the full effect of this person’s demise. Whoever this person was, I imagine him to belong to one of the top 10% of the fucked up group. There is not a chance in hell this person was in the top 10% of his class. Frankly, I’m not even sure if it was a him. I imagine whomever this person was to be someone halfway between man and an alien. If anything, it was probably some kind of experiment dropped onto Earth that failed miserably. Neither the alien scientists or whoever adopted what was left of him wanted him anymore and it ended up dead. Okay, maybe not dead but missing some valuable claim to whatever its name was. No one would put up with this crap for any length period of time.
When I flipped the first page because it was blank, certain words popped out. Most of them were swear words. Let me give your the condensed version. You’ll thank me for it. For every time I saw the word “fuck” or “shit” or “cunt” or “asshole” or “bitch” or “fag,” I’d be rich. We lived in uncertain times before but if I got a nickel for every swear word and demeaning reference to certain groups, I’d be rich. It started with the sentence, “Public enemy number one, two, three, all the way to one hundred would be everyone who has ever fucked me over.” Mind you he wrote out every number up to one hundred. He went on about how his third grade teacher fucked him over by not letting him go to the bathroom. It resulted in him taking a shit in the classroom and the kids laughing at him. He never forgave the teacher and got his payback. She had a daughter and he did bad things to her, at least on paper. It included raping her over and over until she took her own life. He went on about how he dreamed about doing this for ten years and didn’t care if he got caught. It was a compulsion that took over his brain. He phrased it a different way. His exact words, “When the demon appears, I must obey.”
The next few pages went on and on about different people who betrayed him over the years. When I got through this and to a brand new entry, I was on page twenty. It was here things took a different turn. It wasn’t any better than before but it wasn’t worse either. It was more of the same but something had changed inside him. The way he wrote his letters were not so harsh. The cheap ink had not poisoned the next page so much. Something within him had triggered a change and I think it was this: after all the complaining about his life and the people who wronged him, he came to understand that his life was exactly what he wanted it to be. He wanted it to be miserable, terrible, and dark. From the moment he was born, the evil he had built around him had not kept him safe but dangerous. He realized he didn’t give any fucks to what people had to offer him. He didn’t want the help. He didn’t want to hear how much he mattered to those around him. The ones who faked caring about him couldn’t have cared less about his future. He was a throwaway and anyone who read how he felt about society wouldn’t give two shits about him. He was someone you wanted dead because he didn’t contribute anything to society. He was not only a pathetic loser but someone who took up precious space and wasted everyone’s time and yet, I kept reading.
Several weeks passed when I was done knowing all I could from the notebook over dates with my coffee at the kitchen table. When I heard noises while reading the last page, I finally felt a presence near me. This gift was something passed down from my mother. She had it and so did her mother. I wanted to live my life in peace, unlike this man, alien, or a combination but it would not let me be. It hasn’t found a way to stay for very long. It comes and goes. There must be more between us than this. I wake up from naps and feel it near my face. When I brew a pot of coffee, I’m certain it whispers to me. It has to be correct and yet, I don’t remember ever having a child.
JOURNAL ENTRY TYPE #47: DATING? WHO NEEDS IT? NOT ME!
Is it Thursday already? Has four days gone by without blogging? Yes and yes. What have I been doing in these four days? The usual of working (as most of us know takes up much of our time) and then when I am done with work, I admit I’m finding myself too tired mentally and physically to blog or do much of anything else. It really feels as if I’m fighting an uphill battle right now with motivation and the courage/whatever else it is to have consistency. I sometimes feel as if my life is a revolving door and in many ways it is: waking up, eating, working, more eating, more working, and a lot of the same after work. I’ve been excited to blog about certain topics and others not so much that I once had excitement for and lately having the issue of ending my sentences with prepositions. The thing most writers of the past and what I learned in school that it is wrong. It is a major grammatical wrong. Sort of like beginning a sentence like this or using the word ain’t. My favorite saying when it comes to the word “ain’t is this: “aint, ain’t a word.” Someone must have said that to me along time ago and it stuck. The same goes for when my teacher in middle school questioned why I said “hate” instead of “dislike.” Her stance was it was such a word with strong meaning behind it.
Okay, so back to dating. I’ve been there. I’ve done it. I’ve had disastrous dates. I’ve had dates that ended pretty quickly. I’ve had ones that never went past the first one. I thought I’d live my life as a single person and die equally as a single person. Then, I moved to CA for a much different reason but left CA with the person I met there. It is just the way it happened. I’m not getting into the belief that everyone has a soul mate because I’m not sure where I stand on the matter. I haven’t given it that much deep thought. I know one of my past professors thought human beings randomly picked someone as their mate. Basically, there was nothing special to picking someone, like random balls bouncing off one another, and even more random sticking to another ball/person. Once I find myself single, I probably won’t want to go on a date or be with someone again. I’m hoping I’m old and wrinkly at this point but it takes a lot of energy and time to date and get to know someone. Some people like the excitement of first meetings and the butterflies in your stomach with anticipation. It’s a good feeling to have but as with anything good, the opposite bad can happen.
All you have to do is watch any given TV show about terrible dates such as Who the Bleep and Dates from Hell to know some people have bad intentions. The ones that stick out to me because I’ve seen the stories on more than one crime show is Mark Twitchell (the filmmaker that wasn’t) and Philip Markoff (the Craigslist Killer). As I watched them, I was so thankful I ended up with a person who gives me space, lets me do my own thing, and doesn’t have a need to be glued to my side all the time. The reality is over the years we’ve gotten even closer despite spending less time together for a variety of reasons. We both work at home, we have our own interests, and we don’t want to be in each other’s faces all the times. Even when we worked in separate places, we still spent more time alone than together. I firmly believe couples need to have their own identity and while this may be a non brainer statement, some don’t have that luxury or separation. I’ve tried the online dating thing way back when and I ended up meeting a friend out of the whole experience. I’m not sure if I’ll ever do the single and mingle thing again, but I stand by the view of nothing is forever, not even marriage. With this in mind, I prefer to keep my independence as much as possible but having the ability to rely on particular someone is good too.
So my short, dating advice is this. If you want to date someone who others view as a freak, so be it. If you want to date someone younger (not too young) or older than you, whatever floats your boat. If you want to do something you’ve never done before on a date (obviously killing and hurting someone isn’t applicable), do it. The bottom line is do what makes you feel good about yourself. Be careful but not so extreme that everyone is a predator or greedy. If the latter half of my life is how I envision it to be, I hope never to date again. If I ever find myself on the dating scene, I wish myself good luck. Anything can happen either way. I suppose this leads to more simple advice of just living and seeing what happens.
June 11, 2020: Journal Entry Type #46: Seven Topics
Topic One: Hackers — I don’t like most of them because not only do they try to get into my email accounts but other things of mine on social media. I’ve adopted the two factor authentication or as I call it two tier authentication for most of my things after realizing people have too much time on their hands. I keep getting notices that my Apple account has been breached. Whatever, Heather. Ah, no it hasn’t. Please go away.
Topic Two: Dreams — Jeez, I have some messed up dreams. I had a long one two nights ago. I’m not going to go into it, but talk about being in one location, then another one, and yet another one. Take it from me, my mind is warped for many reasons or put another way operates differently it seems (good and bad). It’s great for creativity and storytelling but bad when I’d rather not think about certain things I will always be thinking about off and on during my lifetime. It’s just the way it is. I’m still trying to find a way to paint my life on a canvas with too much energy floating around in every which way. Not now but maybe one day.
Topic Three: Capitalism — I’m currently reading a book that touches upon it and have yet to read another book on it, but damn, the United States, really loves capitalism. Work even harder for a few more dollars more and it has dawned on me that in the U.S. most of us work for 30 to 50 years of our lives and will never reach the kind of money we would like to have. I always thought I’d wait until I retire to travel, but I’m rethinking this. I don’t have a lot of extra money lying around and if I did, who knows what I’d really do with it. Actually, I do but I’m too tired to go into it when it’s just a pipe dream. With my arthritis acting up and the extra white hairs I’m getting (probably due to 2020 stress and the fact I’m also getting older), I better get my ass out there and travel while I’m somewhat vertical and can see and hear somewhat decent.
Topic Four: Aging — This goes with the above where aging happens to everyone and yes, it really does suck in a lot of ways. I never thought my knees would hurt when I turned 40. I never thought my fingers would morph into ugly twigs. I never thought my feet would cause problems in my ankles and legs. I never thought I’d go through three surgeries. I never thought I’d have problems with ears. I never thought I’d have skin issues (thanks to the damn desert).
Topic Five: Procrastination — I’m becoming less of a procrastinator because it doesn’t bother me as much anymore. If I don’t feel like doing something, so what? I’m doing what I can and putting things into deeper perspective. These are tense times as well as transitory times. Nothing lasts forever although some things do, but when you factor in the human life expectancy, I’m so glad human beings do not live very long. It would suck to be a vampire and never die. I do what I can and if I don’t get to something, there always be another day ahead in the general sense.
Topic Six: Censorship — I find myself having issues with people wanting to deem other things whether it be writing, movies, artwork, or anything creative as no longer valid or appropriate. I get that movies done in the past were of the times. I’m thinking of Gone with the Wind or Breakfast at Tiffany’s but it’s a damn slippery slope. The Guggenheim Museum in 2017 decided not to show video titled “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other” in the exhibition titled “Art and China after 1989” in 2017. I don’t condone dog fighting in any way and while the dogs were trying to get at each other on non running treadmills, I wonder what was the purpose of it truly was during the conception, filming, and end piece. If it was to bring awareness to dog fighting and its negative effects, then yes, there are more constructive ways to do this. Certain art forms take a lot more talent and devotion than others and some forms are better than others, but I’m not snooty enough to say one shouldn’t exist over the other. Again, it’s a slippery slope. Ceramics is a great way to release stress and great arm strength builders. I had the strongest arms when I threw clay. I’d venture to say someone making pots and cups will be thought of as a better ceramist versus one that creates phallic symbols of different sizes. Yet, they are both creative acts that take time and energy. I guess what I’m saying is even the things deemed no longer relevant in current times do have some relevancy. It doesn’t mean it’s all good, but I don’t want to live in a world where only certain things can be expressed and all others are discarded or pushed under the rug.
Topic Seven: Social Media — The pluses and minuses of social media are plenty, but it really seems people have taken judge, jury, and executioner to a whole different level. Back in the day, you couldn’t film someone without their consent. Nowadays with cell phones and easy access to social media, it’s almost like I don’t want to go outside at all anymore. This is why I keep to myself more than ever right now, at least physically, because there’s stuff out there I’d rather not be around including the Coronavirus. Once in a while I have debates where people are getting fired from jobs due to the videos posted on social media by others. It spreads across the viewership and then the company finds out and soon the person is fired. While there is ample evidence the person usually is partially or fully at fault, it makes me wonder what kind of society we are becoming. It doesn’t mean I condone racist or sexist or any kind of unflattering words and behaviors, but I’m going to tell you right now, EVERYONE has skeletons in their closet. It’s okay to check other people’s behaviors (random strangers), but I think people are finger happy with their record button on their phones, at times. I’m not saying to stop recording things that are seriously messed up and used to protect yourself when nothing else has worked (such as talking to the other person), but I think there could be a little more discretion involved.
That’s all I have to say right now and what was on my mind. I hope everyone is having a productive week. With me, I’m busy, busy, and more busy. There’s too many things I want to do and not enough time, but as I said earlier, one day at a time. I’m sure there will be people who disagree with me because no two people think alike 100% let alone everyone in the world. There are many ways to arrive at the same thing and I’m hoping actual change begins to happen around the world. Less words and more action except when you’re writing because you then need more words and even more action.
May 31, 2020: Journal Entry Type #45: I Have a Few Bones to Pick and Then Let Go
It looks like WP realized typing in gray wasn’t really the way to go in terms of color. I went back to the old way of WP instead their new format of blocks because I couldn’t get the words I typed to be black. It’s the little things that bother me. Needless to say, I’m finding some things are missing here and there when I originally switched over the to the new blog platform. Some of the dates were missing and my entries were just floating around in time and space. Why is it so damn important for me to know what date and time I wrote a particular blog entry? I don’t know but I can lose sleep over it. I will have to do the same thing and organize some of my formatting on my pages and past blogs. I prefer things to be uniform, but I can spend hours if not days on this, but today is not the day. I have other things to do instead of spinning my mental wheels on this.
I had plans to write more blog entries the last remaining five days of May. I was pleased I had posted more than 30 entries and was hoping to get to 40, which I will do before the last of this month (basically today). I was thinking well, maybe I will get to 50 if I’m lucky. It’s the competition I have with myself but then if I do too much blogging, I don’t get any fucking writing done. Yeah, I know put the money where my mouth is but for all the bullshit going on in the U.S. (the Coronavirus, protests turning into mini riots, and my incredible eye pain), I’m giving myself even more of a break. I wrote down for myself my new plan for the rest of 2020 and while it is much the same thing, it’s my mind and mental outlook I need to focus on as well.
I thought about another black man in the U.S., this time in one of the states I grew up in, Minnesota, and while I could have said so much more about it on my personal FB page, I did not. The only thing I said was this, “The tragic thing about what’s happening in Minnesota is everything!” It doesn’t mention the death/murder of George Floyd and the eventual arrest of Derek Chauvin. It doesn’t mention the inability of police departments to get their shit together and hire and train their officers correctly. It doesn’t mention the peaceful and not so peaceful protests. It doesn’t mention the two sides that people always go to when things like this happen (left and right, Democrat and Republican, black and white, urban and surburban, cop and civilian). The list goes on and on. My lack of commenting on this until now doesn’t mean I don’t give a crap about it, but I saw some things on my personal FB page that serves as a reason for my staying mum.
Let me say no matter what angle you’re standing on, it does no good to call people out for not being as “woke” as you think people should be just because you aren’t posting something as “radical” as they did. My crusty response is: “give me a fucking break.” My compassionate response is: “okay, I hear you, but people are not built to think the same way among any major or minor group.” My academic response is: “we need to start looking at the foundations and restructuring of police institutions because those built with profit not public service as the core element will always have corruption.” The war on crime is about as old as the war on drugs. It’s used a governmental propaganda tool and comes in very handy in political debates and elections. I see postings about how the Boston Tea Party protest in 1773 and while to me it seems sacrilegious to waste tea, I understand the change it would later bring. I’m hoping what is going on brings positive change, but the means some are trying to get there is counterproductive to me. Then again, I haven’t had a target on my back ever for looking like George Floyd.
In addition to my personal situations and feelings/thoughts I need to work out within myself, I find myself diving headfirst in maybe procrastination of my rewrite. I spent much of the weekend coloring, organizing, sizing, and researching about bookmarks. Where to print them? Hole or no holes? Tassels or no tassels? Which ones are the best ones out my designs? How much will it cost? Where to sell them? How to sell them? It doesn’t make much sense to me to pay a large amount of money each year to only sell a small amount of bookmarks outside the U.S., but I also don’t want to exclude people who live outside the U.S. from buying them. These are the things I wrestled with inside my brain. We all know the hardships and difficulties of owning a personal business. You need to drum up clientele. You need to come up with new products to keep them interested. You need to do this. You need to do that. It’s really ridiculous the scenarios people can have inside their own heads. Chances are people aren’t going to be lining up to buy my bookmarks.
I start to go to the negative where what’s the point if China gets a hold of my designs, prints them because they have so much more capability to create bulk items, and then sell them for cheaper around the world. The logic is people will buy modified designs versus mine. Maybe, the good thing I have going for me is China will probably not find bookmark selling very lucrative compared to movies, handbags, and cigarettes. Although I’ve heard they sure like to inappropriately use other people’s T shirt designs and have no issue the repercussions to the original seller. But in the long run, it shouldn’t scare me into not following my dreams or more doing something that I want to do. It comes to this: taking the leap, doing it, and letting go of all the what ifs, negative and positive.
There’s a lot of personal, public, and private anguish, anger, frustration, and hurt going on right now. I’m not one to ever say I know how someone else feels because I don’t. I might have an idea but that’s all it is. So, on that note, I close this with the following quote, knowing it is only that and nothing more.
“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.”
Time really creeps up on me. It’s already been three days without posting anything. I started writing this the day someone found me rude not to reply right away. It wasn’t on this blog he reached out to me, but somewhere else. I get it. You want to be heard, have a connection, but based on past experience I can pretty much spot the reason for someone corresponding with me without going into too detail. When you reach out to me and all you say is “hi” or “hello” the second I accept or follow you, you might be a bot or just putting feelers out there. Again, I get it. More hearing and more connection. The second time anyone or bot reaches out to me and say “hi” and proceed with how uncool I am not to respond, well ???
Insert here the thin line between social media etiquette and impatience. On the one hand, I can see how this person would be turned off by me not responding right away. Then again, if you are that compelled to have an online relationship with someone on a weekly basis, I am not it. It’s not because I don’t like you, but my life is too busy outside of work and besides, it’s not my cup of tea. Now, if I said “hi” back and it went down the path of the other person trying to sell me something (happened more than once with me) or trying to have some kind of intimate relationship with me online (happened more than once with me), you can see why I’m leery about these responses from people. I know not everyone has this in mind and not everyone wants this who reaches out to me, but based on past experience I keep this in the back of my mind. I don’t fault sales people trying to get you to buy their products, but what I do care about is people who are a little too aggressive with their agendas.
I have family members who take a good week to look at my texts or respond to me weeks later. I don’t get offended. It’s just the way it is. People are damn busy these days. Guilt tripping me is not the way to go. If you want me to respond, I will do it on my time. While I admit I could check my social media platforms on a more regular basis, I’m not about being a social media darling. I don’t blog to make a living although I’m currently in the beginning stages of creating bookmarks to hopefully include whoever buys my books and to sell. I suppose the bottom line is you lose some, win some, and others stay the course. Thank you to everyone who has followed me, un-followed me, and everyone in between. You all have taught me something and that is mainly not to take social media too seriously. I need to quit being lazy and ask WP why I’m not able to follow user blogs anymore. I’m sure everyone on Planet Earth didn’t block me. I hope not.
The second topic of conversation is earthquakes and in a roundabout kind of way natural disasters or when Mother Nature decides to shake things up a bit. There was a 6.5 earthquake in Nevada last Friday early morning. I slept right through it and it wasn’t the first time. When I lived in Los Angeles, there was an earthquake that moved my bed on the hardwood floor and only woke up when someone woke me up. I’ve slept through fire alarms going off so yes, I can be a heavy sleeper. This got me to thinking which would I rather be in (given I’ve been through countless tornado watches/warnings and saw one form across a lake and about five minor earthquakes), I’d say I’d rather go through either one but skip the hurricane (which I’ve never been in and hopefully never will). This goes nicely with the anniversary of Mount St. Helens erupting in 1980 in Washington state. Hopefully, I’ll never experience this either because being anywhere near hot lava doesn’t excite me.
This brings me to melatonin and how it’s impacting my dreams. I seem to be dreaming more intensely since taking it. I tried not taking it one night. Bad mistake but I want to ween myself off of it. So what were my dreams about last week? The two most vivid ones were about In-N-Out Burger (a fast food chain located in the western U.S. states) and choosing a father for life including Bill Cosby and Santa Claus and one other person I can’t remember. Let’s say for the sake of it, the third choice was Danny DeVito. The first dream was about being in an airport, which one I’m not sure, but I was with my mom. I had my hands full of In-N-Out orders including many hamburgers and fries. I remember someone stomping on a hamburger in a rage and me getting upset this was happening. I mean really upset where I was yelling at this person. The second dream was about having to open a door and that would be my dad for the rest of my life. After I picked the door, I found out my choices were Santa Claus, Bill Cosby, and again can’t remember the third one. I don’t remember which one I picked either, but I sure hope I picked neither Santa Claus or Bill Cosby.
I don’t know what either dream truly means and maybe that is all I need to know about it which isn’t much. Sometimes, dreams are just dreams. I look forward to my future but if time keeps going at the rate it is, the future will soon become the past. Yet, my eyes remain on the prize and try to keep my wits inside the brain. And that is all I have to say for now.
May 3, 2020: Journal Entry Type #42: Time to Wake Up!
I’ve had an interesting few last weeks, to say the least. I’ve gone between feeling overwhelmed and pressured to relatively calm and going with flow for the majority this week. I realized I’ve been stress eating and I finally weened myself off that disaster. I was jogging outside but it’s getting warmer now (high 90s and low 100s). This lock down crap has finally taken a toll on me mentally and physically. Time to bounce back though. I have been creative, at least, in some areas this weekend. I started a new coloring project despite needing to work on my rewrite and two collections. I woke up at three this morning having a dream about the Coronavirus and writing which led me to thinking about my “cat and mouse” story idea. The one about the serial killer and detective but first I have to finish my rewrite. Luckily, I fell back to sleep. This week my dreams have been off the charts in intensity and number. I can barely keep up to write them down in my journal. I’ve decided my main focus needs to be put back on my rewrite with the other projects as mini breaks when I need it. In addition to finding toilet paper when I was searching for Probiotics yesterday, I thought about a song the radio sometimes plays. A few songs in particular have been stuck in my head and have watched their music videos more than once this weekend. I included them below and let’s see how long they stay up although you can find them on YouTube. I usually only listen to music when I’m exercising or in the car. I believe I need something to bring a different kind of energy back into my life because a part of me is feeling well, in hibernation. I need to get out of my funk and maybe go to Funky Town.
April 20, 2020: Journal Entry Type #41: Fan Fiction and Their Adaptations
I browsed through the Netflix genre of romance movies. I tend to watch movies here and there that pertains to the current story I’m writing. Sometimes a bad idea because there are times I watch movies with content I’d rather not include in my own story. The idea of fan fiction and what I call teeny bopper stories (what they call YA today) perplexes and intrigues me for various reasons. Oh, those Stephenie Meyers books I will never read and yet I saw a few of the movie adaptations. Were you on Team Edward or Team Jacob? How about neither?
It boggled my mind why thousands of middle-aged adult women flocked to the theaters to watch the whole Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. I’ve never read one of the books but did flip through a few pages and read a few paragraphs at a bookstore. This is what I’d call writing where it falls way to the left side of literary fiction. I’m not saying there isn’t a time and place for this kind of writing because there is, but it’s not in my nature to write this type of book.
When I’m ready to publish my love story, I will anticipate the reactions of “my God, this old recycled story” and yet I hope it has more substance than Fifty Shades of Grey. I’m not going to lie and say I haven’t watched the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy because I have. I watched them all and kept thinking it’s missing vital things that could’ve made it so much better and glad that Charlie Hunnam passed on being Christian Grey. To go from Jax Teller to suit wearing Christian Grey. I suppose if you want to capitalize on sexual fantasies, this is the book you should be writing.
This is what I felt like when I settled on this YA adaptation movie over the weekend. I had no idea After was a based from a book, let alone being a series, and who the hell was Hero Fiennes-Tiffin? Way back when I entertained having kids and naming them weird names much like Frank Zappa did with his children, I too had short lived motherly instincts. I don’t care what anyone says, you rocked it in Pretty in Pink, Dweezil. I did research after the movie was done. Now it makes more sense. He’s Ralph and Joseph Fiennes’ nephew and he is tall like both his parents. He played the young Tom Riddle in the Harry Potter series. He’s part of the tail end of Generation Y and beginning zone of Generation Z. He’s one of those “damn millennials” as they are unjustly referred to.
He’s the new Edward minus the sparkles and drinking blood. The high school halls have been replaced with college dorm rooms. Teenage girls eventually blossom into young women and try to find their way in life around all the enticing surroundings. More or less, the actress who played Tessa, Josephine Langford, is a nerd. I can’t fault her for that. I get it. Been there and done parts of it. What’s the premise of this story? It’s about a good girl meets bad guy who doesn’t drink and they find each other irresistible.
I’m not going to poke holes in the story and make it a pin cushion or on a darker note, a voodoo doll, but this Hardin character sure likes his romance novels. Okay? Not saying young brooding men can’t like them but? It got a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a nice green splat. It got me to thinking why adaptations from fan fiction books rated so poorly when adapted onto the screen? I”m not completely sure but sort of sure. The second question I had was about the actors and actresses who star in these types of films. Can they ever get out of the shadows of Edward, Jacob, Bella, Christian, Anastasia, and now Hardin and Tessa? I think Robert Pattinson did and I’m not going to discuss Kristen Stewart. I’m not sure if Hero Fiennes-Tiffin will be seen as someone other than Hardin Scott, but I hope over time he will. I’m sure Hollywood will be adapting all four books so there will be two more movies to film after After We Collided is released.
There are movies made within the last thirty years that wouldn’t see the light of day now in this heightened awareness society, but there are others that will never go away. Movies about survival and perseverance will never die. Movies about love and hate will never die. Movies about fantasy will never die. Sure, the United States has its fair share of sexual exploration via movies and art, but many of its citizens are repressed due to religion and upbringing. We do not belong in the handful of European countries that are more open about sexuality. With this being said, as I watched Hardin and Tessa look at each other at the end of the movie, I thought to myself this is why I’m rewriting my story. It isn’t that it initially read like a fan fiction story, but let’s face it, I had too much repetition in certain places and not enough content in other ways.
Will I watch After We Collided? Time will tell but even a person like myself who usually prefers serious reading material, while not having any ambition to read fan fiction, is willing to give two hours of her life up to a movie without much nuance. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know. It’s the same reason I used to watch the pageants on TV during high school. The major difference between fan fiction writers discussed and myself is this: they have more money than they know what to do with while I wish I had more money period. Life is not all about money and as I will work to support myself until retirement, I’m very grateful for the free time I have to write. Without the freedom to create, I definitely would suffer. Do what you want within reason, work on not justifying so much, and live your life.
April 16, 2020: Journal Entry Type #40: I Reached Post #900
I’m a sucker for progress and for repetition. I’ve thought about quitting my blog, taking it down, giving it up, doing other things in its place, but then I think of all the things I want to say and need to say in the future including my later years. I just finished watching a documentary about a Canadian author, Margaret Atwood, the one who wrote The Handmaid’s Tale and many other books. My goal is not to write as many books as she has, but I do want to write from the heart and soul, as she did. I think that’s what I’m doing, so far, in life when I write my blog posts. I admit I haven’t been writing as much as I should in my journal and gotten my thoughts out. I don’t write about some of the things I dream about because that’s way too personal to comment on, but it’s amazing how much a person can be shielded by writing fiction.
As I taught someone something new tonight, call it a tutorial if you will, I realize I like to be cryptic at times. I’m not willing to plaster my life to everyone (some parts at least), but other parts of my life not. I’m more cautious about who I tell things too and if someone wants to take the time to search me out, so be it by looking at my blog. I’m a person who expects people to do their part in getting to know me. I understand I’m a loner by nature and I don’t need much to be comfortable. At this point in my life, I’d just like to retire with some kind of normalcy and freedom. A part of me is tired of many things going on such as the effects of the Coronavirus (on all kinds of levels), the constant battles among people (who is right and who is wrong), and the thought of knowing if I come back in another life form that I am a radically different person.
I thought of all the kinds of things I could write in this post, being #900. What symbolism does it have? What does 9 mean in different cultures? Why do buildings not have a 13th floor or another number that is superstitious? Why is it so fucking expensive to live in New York City? Why are people turned off by the word “fuck?” Why do people feel the need to drive as if they are on a speed track close to where I live? Why does the same person drive his or her car all over the place and then make another go of it at 11 pm at night? Why? Why? Why? I’m too tired to focus on this anymore.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
My doctor thinks I might be losing my hearing. I don’t think I am, but what is for certain is I might need to get some medication to help with my arthritis pain. There’s time to see if it needs to happen later this year. I’ve been thinking a lot of what I’d do if I lost any of my senses. That would be so disheartening and I’m sure depression would set in. If I lost my sight or hearing, I’d have some major stumbling blocks. I don’t even want to think about it, but I do at random times. I would rather lose my sense of touch or taste if I lost anything although I know someone who can’t smell or taste anything anymore except salty or sweet things. This doesn’t sound fun by any stretch and while I had a set list of things to blog about and post, it’s going to filter into the weekend. Luckily, I’m still working but this week was more challenging for some reason.
I can’t wait until things go back to normal and whether things return to normal as much as possible in later 2020, I’m hoping the Coronavirus is a thing of the past (not gone) in 2021 and beyond. Then again, viruses love to mutate and humans are usually at the mercy of viruses and not the other way around. Like I said before to someone, viruses don’t give a shit what you look like or where you live. They love to infect anyone willing to be its host. With this in mind, I had intention of making this post organized and detailed without randomness. This is not what I’m doing because it’s getting hot enough where the heat is being held inside my apartment and now sweating. I refuse to turn on the air because it’s only mid April and it’s still snowing in parts of the Midwest. I’m more than happy it is Friday soon and will have the weekend to do more rewriting and working on my collections. I finally shifted over to the new format, which took some getting used to and parts of it is still irritating me. It’s all in a day’s mind, I guess, because transition is happening all around me. Good night, everyone.
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
April 11, 2020: Journal Entry Type #39: How Often Should I Write?
While I know comparisons can mentally affect me, I decided to look up the authors who have written the most published works. The top prize goes to a Spanish writer and I’m not sure what happened to the last three to make it 15 (my original plan). Obviously, a miscommunication with myself when I compiled this list. I consider Stephen King as an author who wrote a lot, but in comparison to the ones I listed below, he isn’t in the same playing field. No fault of his own. He writes when he wants. He publishes what he wants. If you’re lucky, you make some money like King.
So, how often should one write? The most freeing answer is as often as the writer wants, but reality more often than not includes personal or professional deadlines and neuroses. I spent most of today napping due to waking up early, compliments of neighbors moving, and then feeling the effects of spring. After getting black ice tea and green matcha ice tea, I’m now ready to focus on my rewrite today. Given most of us have families and if not then other obligations, we can’t write all day and night. So, another factor influencing the answer to how often should one write is dependent on the writer’s ambitions and creative pursuits.
The most logical answer I tell myself is I will write whenever I feel like it, but knowing if I do something else instead, I better be okay with that too. No one is going to write my story for me except me and the only way it’s going to get done is by sitting down and putting my fingers to the keyboard. No one is going to do the thinking and pecking for me. So, yes, while I have no problem finding hundreds of other things to do besides writing, it has dawned on me if I spend at least one or two days a week on my writing, I’m doing alright.
April 7, 2020: Journal Entry Type #38: Finally! Toilet Paper!
It took me a damn month to find toilet paper. Too bad I could only buy one package, but I understand. I was going to go for the cheaper pack but it had less rolls. Since I live with another person, it goes quicker than normal. Luckily, both our parents took pity on us and sent us some toilet paper. I’m not a fan of getting up earlier than I need to, but today I did. I even woke up before my alarm.
I’m busy working on my rewrites, poems and novel story, while realizing coloring a design three times takes way longer than only once. I’m starting my Rorschach designs and ordered more Arches paper and other white paper for bigger designs. I think I need another art show to get rid of my colorings as they are sitting in my closet. I’ve been asked what do you plan on doing with them. Honestly, I don’t know. Many of them have taken weeks and months to finish. I want to turn some of them into bookmarks. Before the Coronavirus hit, I wanted to do more research into starting an online store. I guess that will be for next year or later. Let’s just say my life will always be busy with coloring, writing, and reading when I have time. I’ve promised myself not to buy anymore books or movies until I watch and read the ones I already have UNLESS it is something I’m dying to buy.
The Coronavirus is tragic for obvious reasons. It has killed far greater numbers than anybody would’ve thought (except maybe for a few who knew the virus was this deadly). This new virus strain definitely has shown its resilience and power. I’m hoping the scientists can find the proper antidote to help curtail the spread of it or at least the strength of it. Unfortunately, it’s here to stay and still one of the most important ways to decrease the probability of not getting it is to wash your hands after touching things and being around people. Not enough people aren’t practicing the six foot distance rule or staying inside unless necessary.
If I didn’t find any toilet paper, I was thinking of other things to use. I still have kleenix on hand, but really didn’t want to use it. Someone mentioned plastic bags. Didn’t want to use that either. The hundreds of paper ads I get a year. Don’t want to use this either. Never tried a bidet but I don’t think I’d like it. That better be some high blasting water but luckily, I don’t need to invest in one yet. It’s only Tuesday, but at least, I found some toilet paper and paper towels. Now, I’m ready for a nap.
March 30, 2020: Journal Entry Type #37: Apartment Living 101
Growing up in a small town with literally no noise when you pull your covers up to your face and roll on your side to get a good night’s sleep, I haven’t experienced this is in a long time. Having lived in many different parts of Los Angeles, the best place I lived was near Hollywood Blvd. It was nice to watch the people walk around during the day and night from my balcony. I heard a car crash into something around two in the morning and when I looked outside, the guy was clearly intoxicated who ran his nice black car into a street sign. He wanted to drive away, but the guy helping him told him to stay put to make sure he was alright. I’d like to think of myself as pretty tolerant of noises especially when living in an apartment and for all intents and purposes, I am for the most part.
We’ve all read of horror stories of apartment living or couples buying a house to find the house has hidden secrets. I recently read of one where the new owners were greeted with a major infestation of brown recluse spiders hatching and living behind the walls. Then there was the woman who rented and lived in the basement. She found out it was the same basement where this man who lived with his mother would kidnap, torture, and kill women. I don’t know which is worse: dealing with either of these or living in a haunted house. I would say, in the long run, the non-living would be worse.
I get it that thin walls between apartments allows you to hear everything. I hear the dishwasher, washing machine, cupboards closing, and more of my neighbors. I can deal with all these things. What I can’t deal with is someone playing his music at five in the morning. It’s not that the person blasts as they sometimes do during the day, but when it wakes me up over my humidifier, it’s too loud. Plain and simple. I have no choice but to turn on the TV to try to drown it out, but by this time I’m more awake. I managed to get a little more sleep this morning, but for someone who has a hard time staying asleep, it doesn’t make me too happy.
The bottom line is the couple who lived before me finally moved out and now I have to deal with a couple next to me. When they take their dog out for a walk, they slam the door so hard it shakes the walls. I finally called the main office because enough is enough. They changed their tune because they used to say not our problem and call the cops. I wonder why? Putting things in perspective, let’s see what I don’t have to deal with anymore from past places I lived.
I’m sure I could find more things I dealt with in LA that I don’t now, but no matter where I live, noise is sure to be there. It’s about keeping it to a minimum when there are others living around you. If you want to blast your music at midnight on a Sunday, put on your headphones. The same goes for the TV. It’s about having some courtesy. I get it. You want to watch a movie loud during the day/early night so you get the full movie theater effect. Fine, whatever. However, it’s another thing to be loud, slam doors, drop things on the floor just to spite them as I heard from my neighbors who live underneath the giants. I’ve dealt with loud neighbors before who sought not to listen and be even louder. It didn’t get them very far and that’s all I’m saying about that.
March 18, 2020: Journal Entry Type #36: Now What Happens?
I’m going to begin this a little different. Sort of like an email you’d write to someone. Maybe at work or maybe to your friend. Who knows? Do you have that many friends you can or want to write to? I only have a handful I consider really close and the rest are acquaintances more or less. This is all I need, but I recently watched an episode of CSI about a woman who lived alone. She didn’t end up so well although the person who locked her inside her closet didn’t help the cause. I have some uneasiness inside of me due to this and I’m feeling out of sorts because of social media covering the Coronavirus. Yes, I know this will subside. Yes, I know this virus makes people sick and kills people. Yes, doctors and scientists have a long ways to go to learn about this new virus (much like the HIV/AIDS when it was discovered). No, we shouldn’t unnecessarily panic (this is where hoarding comes into play), but never did I think it would hit just about everyone and everything. Can’t sit in restaurants and coffee shops anymore. Some are completely closed down. Not cool but necessary. Some U.S. schools have shut down, workers are now working from out of home, and it’s dawned on me how frazzled a part of me has become because the impact has really come home to roost where I work. The travel industry has taken a hit all over the world. Cruise lines, airlines, B&B’s, and just about everything else is affected. I really hope the U.S. only had this hoarding problem and I feel incredibly bad for those living in areas already stretched to their limits. The Las Vegas strip is closed down for 30 days.
As I sit here writing this, I can’t help but think even though my life is basically the same that I don’t have the option of going out anymore. I’m doing the same thing I usually do with my writing, reading, coloring, and thinking how much I would love to be able to exercise consistently (due to my own body not cooperating and now the gym being shut down where I live). I’m still going to my doctor appointment because I’ve been waiting since December 2019 to see about this thing growing in my neck and would like resolution about the buzzing/ringing inside my ears on a daily and nightly basis. It’s hard to sleep when it feels as if I’m wearing a squeaking hearing aide and my new neighbors are TERRIBLE at night with their noises. I desperately want resolution as I think I have some kind of ear infection. I need another referral to a dermatologist unless my ENT can give me something else to get rid of whatever I have that is growing around my mouth. It has discolored my skin and it’s some kind of powerful fungus. Yes, it’s not an emergency, but this goes beyond the angular cheilitis I thought it was as well as a previous doctor. I need some medication to banish it to hell away and then some. The Democratic primary seems to have taken a back burner as Americans aren’t talking about it as much because the nomination seems set in stone and everyone is too busy emptying grocery stores. I learned there was plenty of sauerkraut, candy, cookies, and coffee beans, but good luck finding frozen meals, canned soups/veggies, and meats. I’m trying to completely go off of dairy again, but I broke down and bought marionberry yogurt. If you haven’t heard of the marionberry, it’s a blackberry from Oregon and a cross between the chehalem and olallie blackberry. It’s also the best ice cream I’ve had when I visited one time. Now, I want some.
I’m going to write in my journal after postponing it again last night. I basically feel unsettled in a way and a part of it is because I’m waiting for my roommate to finish making suggestions on my love story. I’m actually getting more psyched to make it better and spend quality time on it. I need to do more changes than less, but I want to improve it. It’s going to be a long road to the finish line and would assume the Tokyo Olympics will be postponed based on what is going on now. I suppose social media has its perks as it’s a way to communicate with others when face to face is no longer an option. I would love to get a movie from Redbox, but I don’t know who’s been touching the screens and this virus spreads quickly. I would love to watch a movie in a theater, but that isn’t happening either. Hollywood is postponing many of their release dates and for good reason. Movie theaters are in dire straits (not the band). I wanted to go to the Las Vegas strip before the Coronavirus hit, but I will see how it looks with no one there and without the lights soon from my car. I’m hoping I don’t get it when I go to my doctor visits in April. I guess this really didn’t take the form an email after all. I bought some new butt pillows recently and made my own hand sanitizer (I hope I don’t need to do this often). Well, I’ve about run of out things to say or maybe I just don’t want to write anymore. Be safe and sound everyone and do things you normally wouldn’t do within reason.
Kim Berg (aka: Pisaries Creator)
March 9, 2020: Journal Entry Type #34: I’m Psyched
Instead of working on my second novel idea this past weekend, I started reworking my poems on Sunday. Jeez, I have a long road ahead of me. Why do I do this to myself? I guess because it’s all a part of being a writer, highly and deeply unpaid, with decent skills. I feel I needed to re-introduce myself and get all my poetry in one place other than my blog. Hence, the main reason why I’m rewriting my old ones and including new ones as well. The same will go for flash fiction and short stories. It’s looking like my second novel idea isn’t moving as fast as I’d like. OH WELL! My new favorite mantra is this: IT WILL GET DONE WHEN IT GETS DONE! These two collections will be free to read as an e-book and undecided if I want to turn them into print on demand copies. As I jumped ahead, I made my own covers and finished them today. I took pictures that were once recognizable and now not so much. I figure this will hopefully translate into a handful of strangers reading them and then my novels once I publish them (for a price). My sweat, blood, and tears have to count for something as I’m still chugging along for the ride called life.
March 3, 2020: Journal Entry Type: Do I Need Teeth? I Guess I Do!
This all started because as much as I know I need to see the dentist twice a year and at one point four times a year, I hate going to the dentist including today. Why because my teeth suck! I was given an electric toothbrush a long time ago as a gift, but the dummy I was I rejected it. Fast forward to about 24 years later and I just bought a Oral B electric toothbrush because the person who cleaned my teeth recommended one. I admit I don’t floss every day and I need to do this because what I went through sucked even more. While it won’t replace everything I’ve lost including the enamel on my teeth from brushing too hard, eating citrus fruit as if they were going out of style, and grinding my teeth/clenching my jaw.
They had to shoot Novocain into my mouth and I felt pain again as she cleaned my teeth, but this time I had inflammation of my gums. I paid more money because it’s worth it to me and had a laser treatment cleaning as well. I sometimes want the dentist to yank all my teeth out. Yet, I don’t want to be sucking breakfast, lunch, and dinner through a straw the rest of my life. It would probably cause more problems than less for me. This is my promise to myself to floss my teeth every day. I will try to not think how many times I need to have Novocain inserted into my gums until I’m the age of retirement and beyond. I want my dentist back I had as a child. I hardly felt the Novocain when he did it. Now, it just hurts really bad. I use toothpaste for sensitive teeth including a prescription I should use more. On that note, I will depart with a tip to angle your toothbrush (what I learned today) so you can get at your gum line and not just front of your tooth. Good if you do that already because I clearly was out of the loop.
February 28, 2020: Journal Entry Type #33: Time Passes By
It’s funny how time passes quickly. I was living in another state, California that is in 2017, and wondering when I’d make a move from there. I had no idea where I wanted to move, just somewhere else. I loved living in CA, but it was time to go. I lived in a one bedroom apartment in the Valley (I feel this was preparation for moving to even a hotter place). Now, I live in a two bedroom apartment with a garage full of empty boxes and a car. Here, I am almost two years later when June hits this year I will have lived in Nevada. Two fucking years. It’s almost March. Time is moving by real quick. I started this blog, hoping to interact with people from all over the world. It was a place to put my artwork and writing in one place. This wasn’t a way for me to make extra money because I already have a full time job. Now once I finish my novels, then there’s the opportunity to purchase them, but even then you know I’m not going to be rolling in the money anytime soon or at all. That’s not the point to my writing although profit is always nice.
According to my timeline I should have already written my final draft of my love story at the end of 2017. Fast forward to 2020 and I’m going to have to do a third rewrite after I get it back from my roommate because if my goal is to make it easier and better to read, I have to put forth the work. I hope to be done by 2020. This story has been with me for far too long and not to see any tangible result I can hold in my fucking hands is a little aggravating. I’m ready. Give it to me. Getting older does help with patience, but I don’t want to be that person who writes only one book in her lifetime. I can’t compare myself to others either who have written 50 novels not including other works they have done, but sometimes I feel I should do more. If I can get done with my five major novel ideas and adequately turn the last five original novel ideas into novellas or short stories, it will be a miracle. The problem is I can’t hope for a miracle. I know what it takes and what I have to do. I have to put forth the work and that means less movie watching and other mindless things and more writing.
The good thing is I’m starting to feel a little more energy, but still will be surprised if I don’t have sleep apnea. I’m going to work on my two sisters story tomorrow. I also decided to self publish where readers can read for free my first poetry collection and my first short story/flash fiction collection with hopefully some new poems and short stories/flash fiction this year. I’m sure some have already read some of the them, but I’m going to reread some of them and see how to make them better. Expect some changes is basically what I’m saying, but don’t expect much change in others. I decided to revamp my book ideas list, which I have already done once somewhere in a past blog post. It’s entertaining and gives you a perfect example of my procrastination or whatever you want to call it. The changes are in red and you will notice I had a different format on my blog, which is why the different font sizes. Enjoy.
And as the saying goes, that’s all folks. If my revised timeline works, I should have, at least, my five novels done by 2030. Then, it’s all down hill from there. Just kidding. The one thing I know is my stories will be done when they are done (give or take a few years and hopefully no more than five). Thanks for sticking with me.
February 24, 2020: Journal Entry Type #32: Sort of the Last Weekend in February
I haven’t forgotten about my blog. I spent Saturday watching how Nevada caucus would turn out. Bernie Sanders won with the most delegates, Joe Biden came in second although if he can catch up to Bernie remains to be seen. He has a tall mountain to climb, meaning South Carolina, and if he can come in first that still might not solidify him to be the winner after Super Tuesday. I spent Sunday going to a special massage I get once a month and then relaxing for the rest of the day via coloring. You would think I would know by now filling in objects takes time. I plan on working on my blog this week and trying to catch up. I thought about how I hadn’t posted last weeks facts yesterday and honestly I didn’t care too much. Isn’t that what Monday’s for? I plan on attempting to exercise after work tonight despite me being dizzy this morning. Lately, I’ve been having moments where it feels the street is moving and I’m getting buzzing in my ears more and more. Not good, I know. I need to see a doctor. The story of my life. My roommate is still reading my first story and making suggestions to make it better. This is good as I want it to be the best it can be, but not so good when it comes to me spending even more time on it. The main reason I wrote this is to say don’t forget about me. Two different people sent me two very different things last week on my phone. One was a drawing of me by my roommate and the other was a rabbit graphic from a friend. Rest assured I have tons more to share on this blog including these two photos. Which is the best one? Who knows.
February 18, 2020: Journal Entry Type #31: Troubling Or Not, I Am Still Here
I admit I’ve been struggling lately with my life, mainly my facial pressure and headaches, not to mention the ringing in my ears. Why I’ve been blowing my nose for two months straight now without having a major cold or flu is beyond me. It’s irritating to say the least. My arthritis is acting up and I’m still waiting to see my ENT for get results on my medical issues from last year. Enough of this particular bitch fest.
There are still things I thought I had processed, gotten over, thrown away in the mental garbage only to come back full force. I don’t understand why people can’t see certain things right in front of their faces. Can’t we do better than fighting among each other politically? Can’t we do better than having Trump in the White House? I mean this is all seriousness. I spent last Saturday standing in line to vote for who I want to be the Democratic nominee in the upcoming Presidential election.
While three hours seemed like six hours, I was willing to stand in line to vote early. I’ve never taken part in a caucus and nor do I want to be in one. I will vote for whomever is nominated by the people, but if s/he loses, there will be hell to pay and not just from her or his passionate believers. It will be from all Democrats and everyone else who changed party lines to defeat Donald Trump in November. There is no illusion in me that his passionate believers are just as passionate as Bernie Sanders. I sometimes wish it was already November so I could get on with my life.
It’s been a little nerve racking and I’ve found it hard to do such things as reading, coloring, writing, and exercising. My roommate finally started reading my first novel idea and already has given suggestions but this is only for the first chapter. I made a face when he said some parts went by too quickly and others needed more description. I thought back to how I had taken out some description as I thought I added too much in. I’m a little miffed at the task of rewriting this whole thing again, but I want to publish it so I need to to do it. I’m also a little miffed I’m not churning out my second novel idea as quickly as I’d like and how quickly the year is moving. Like my roommate said, this is what writing is all about and don’t rush something that isn’t ready.
I really hope to get back into my groove again, but I’m finding it hard to find the motivation. I feel like I’m in a deep frustrating slump. I find myself protesting the things that would help me. I feel entitled to sit on my ass since everything on my body seems to be working against me right now. I keep saying every Sunday, tomorrow is the day to get more routine in my life I used to have. But then I think, I didn’t this mountain of crap going on physically back then and my brain seems to be have changed. When can I retire? Oh yeah, that’s right, not for a long time.
February 17, 2020: Book Writing Exercise
You are a camp counselor. Make up a story that will scare the bejesus out of of your eight-to ten-year-old campers.
When I was around your age, I too went camping with my friends. We had convinced our parents we were old enough to handle it. Boy, were we wrong. By the end of the night, we all realized how wrong it all was, but it was too late. We shouldn’t have left our beds. We should have obeyed our curfew. We should’ve brought more flashlights into the woods.
We had already stuffed our faces with roasted marshmallows when I heard something in the woods. It was faint, at first, and no one else heard it. When I told everyone to be quiet, they said I was being a cry baby. I said no more, half turning my body so I could look out of the corner of my eye for danger. I was going to protect my friends no matter how stupid they thought I was acting. It wasn’t about thirty seconds later when I heard the noise again. It got louder and stopped.
This time Marcus, sitting next to me, heard it too. He turned around and grabbed my arm. When I stood up, he stood up with me. I searched for anything out of the ordinary, but couldn’t see anything, and this sent a shiver up my spine. I quickly turned back and told my friends, roasting their hotdogs, that we needed to leave. Their responses were amounted telling me to shut up and quit ruining the night.
Jacob was in the middle of telling his own story about how he was going to make out with Melissa at the next dance when his hotdog exploded in the fire. He jumped up, thinking it was cool, and grabbed another from the plastic bag. After he jabbed it on the stick, he stuck it over the fire, rotating it slowly. He screamed in pain, dropped his stick, and when we asked him what was wrong, he couldn’t formulate words. Everyone was laughing at him, thinking it was a prank, but he kept patting his pockets.
I shined a flashlight on him and to my horror blood was spilling out of his jean pockets onto the ground. Soon his face had no color and his body shrunk to the size of a flagpole. His flesh fell off his bones and on his face too. The only thing remaining were his eyeballs. They were darting back and forth until they fell out too. The last thing he did was collapse and land on a broken log that shattered his bones. I couldn’t see what happened next because my flashlight went out and the fire had died out somehow. I heard my friends scatter in all directions.
I was mad at my friends for not believing me and not sticking together. I hadn’t taken more than a few steps when I tripped and my hand braced itself onto something wet. It wasn’t a fallen tree and knew it was someone’s leg. It was a dead leg. A dead leg belonging to one of my friends. A severed dead leg with bone exposed was what I felt. By the time I got to the edge of the woods, my jeans and shirt were stained with blood and then I heard the same noise from before.
I ran fast as I could and when I turned around, no one was there. To my knowledge no one made it out of there alive except me. I haven’t seen Marcus since that night and no one ever found the bodies of my friends. I doubt the thing out there will come back and kill me, but there’s one thing I know for sure, I’m much safer when I’m around kids.
January 22, 2019: Flash Fiction: Where Are You?
Trina knew it was easy to chase someone down when that person had wronged you. She also knew it was harder to leave the person alone when you were right all along. This was what she was dealt when her brain stopped overthinking. It was wet outside. Her feet were cold and the words she said prior to the realization of his errors made her tighten her leg muscles. These unforgivable words with hurtful meanings made her feel even colder and this hatred might never have a chance to die. She was secretly heartbroken when she hopped in her car to chase after him.
That was her knee she banged on the coffee table when she stepped into her living room without any lights later that night. It sent her into a rage, overturning the table and the contents on it. Her legs burned as she sat for an hour, in the same position, stunned at how her rage had gotten the best of her in the dark. When she stood, the opening in her heart that made her feel rotten closed up. Her body stiffened as her legs before and it was time to sleep.
The next morning her right index finger hurt and not because she banged it on the edge of something. She could not remember what had happened to it. Maybe, when she picked up the upside-down table and hurled it across the room? Maybe, when she slapped the refrigerator door because it didn’t shut as quickly as she wanted. “You’re a fucking psycho. I didn’t sign up for this shit,” he yelled. These were the last words she heard as he drove away. She never caught to him and had no idea where he had gone. She found herself driving up and down streets, thinking God was on her side, that a miracle would occur. It never did and eventually she stopped by a liquor store.
When the table collided with the picture of him, she vowed to keep no matter what happened between them, she was adamant he had little awareness of how selfish he had become. “It wasn’t my fault he ran away scared. A real man would stay and fight for me.” She wanted answers and would make a surprise visit to his house by early afternoon. This was the least he owed her for him leaving. She fished for her Android in her purse and scrolled through her contacts to his name. Her right index finger hovered over the phone button knowing she would never get the satisfaction she deserved.
January 8: 2020: Journal Entry Type #30: Beginnings and Endings
I feel like a have a seesaw in my head with a string attached to it. It goes back and forth from one topic to another. I call it diarrhea of the brain. Not a great image but a phrase I came up with all by myself. I have other phrases I use in life, but they won’t be included in this blog. Ever since I’ve finished my rewrite, I’ve been excited to start my next novel idea and I did a few days ago. After I was done writing a good five pages, I was still tired but wider awake mentally. It kept me up that night. I’ve been purposely not going on my personal FB because I have friends who post political stuff morning, noon, and night. As I suggested to one of them, get a hobby of some kind. I know my retirement isn’t going to be about gambling my money away, trolling the internet, and doing whatever else that doesn’t include being creative and reading and traveling if my body is up for it. I’ve thought about the wildfires in Australia and surrounding areas and how absolutely tragic it is for estimated 500 million animals already dead on the 26 million acres already burned. I’ve thought about the thousands of homes that have been incinerated and people who have died in these fires. All this damn suffering and the smoke inhalation Australians are encountering all over the place. I can’t believe people debate the futility of wishing and praying for those in need versus something like donating money or volunteering your time to help in some way. Not everyone has the ability to give money and not everyone wants to say a prayer or wish, but those that do, well let them. Aren’t there worse things than that? I get practicing what you preach and someone repeatedly saying how bad something is but sitting on millions of dollars and hoarding his or her money as if it’s not enough, yeah that’s pretty selfish. The money you make should be used in whatever way you want it, but in today’s worldwide social media, it’s an eyesore more than ever. I donate when I can and I get the principle of social influence, but there are times when pressuring people looks bad even on social media. I ended up giving money to the candidate I want to be the one to go opposite Donald Trump in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, but now I’m being hounded morning, noon, and night to give more money. I wish that whenever I breathed, I had money. Since that’s not possible, I don’t have the luxury to keep giving money every week of every month until November. I wish I did, but I don’t.
How does this relate to the title of this entry? It does in this way. I have great novel beginnings or so I think when I write them. I introduce a character, his or her problem, the location, and the gist of what this person is dealing with. It should capture the reader’s attention and then convince him or her to keep reading. This is what all writers want for their books. The more that reads my books, the more my hard work paid off. As I glanced over my printed copy of my rewrite, I thought I’m not that bad of a writer. There’s nothing I can do about it except wait because my roommate wants to finish reading his Stephen King book he’s nose deep into and if I could find a way for him to read it faster, I would. I want to know now, but now isn’t an option. So, I’ve learned to have even more patience. There’s a saying that no book is ever really finished and while this is fine and dandy in the philosophical sphere, as a creative writer, I want an ending because I like solid endings. It may not be the one readers want, but most novels of mine will have a solid ending. It’s sometimes hard to contain my excitement for getting something done even knowing it’s not “fully” done yet. It’s hard not to get excited at the prospect of knowing that by the time I am 65 years old because I’ve disciplined myself I will have more than a few books self-published. I don’t want to be the one and done kind of writer. I don’t want to be the writer that half asses it just to get it out there. It will all come in time and whatever work needs to be done, my first book will be self-published this year because as much as I like freedom within the writing process, I also like deadlines and this deadline must happen.
While there is a beginning and end on some level with writing, there’s a cyclic movement on another. It’s finding the peace in the writing and rewriting process and once it is actually published, not giving your soul to the criticism because not everyone will like it. But, others will like it and this is what you grab and hold onto because these days people love to be shit starters for the hell of it. It was your brain that conceived the idea, your fingers that hit the keyboard, your sanity that probably was lost along the way, and your hard work from start to finish. For the next twenty some years, it will be much of the same process for me of writing, rewriting, waiting, rewriting, making sure the formatting is correct, paying someone to proofread it by someone who doesn’t have fucked up eyes like I do, getting a good photo for the cover, and being satisfied when it’s finally done and not going back but forward when I second guess my abilities. I’m constantly sitting in the middle of many cycles and I’m for the most part fine with it. My mom will ask me if I’m happy now and then and while I’m not bouncing off the walls with excitement, I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I look forward to stepping out of my shadow and putting myself out there more in 2020 and beyond.
January 5, 2020: Journal Entry Type #29: Oh Me, Oh My!
Oh me, oh my, for how tired am I! I would like to say welcome back to myself to WordPress. It’s been a whole five days not looking at my blog in the New Year. I’m dealing with a major cold right now on top of needing to find a doctor to read my sleep test results and find a new doctor who will turn in referrals so I don’t have to wait another three months for my other problem. I expected a lot better from UNLV medicine, but onto equally important topics like writing. While I might have rushed my rewrite for my love story, I finished it yesterday and printed it today. This version will be critiqued by my roommate. No matter what suggestions he makes, I plan on self-publishing it this year. I’m also going to start my second novel idea soon, so it can be finished in 2020, revised and self-published in 2021. Then onto the next one, my trilogy that might just be one book but I’ll have to see when I get there. I ended up playing Jenga this weekend along with binge watching Orange is the New Black, coloring one of my many designs, and reading the many books next to my bed. The second week of January begins tomorrow and as I inch closer to certain things and farther from others, time and money continues to be weird phenomenons. All I can do is carry on and keep drinking ice tea while trying to get my life more together.
This is what I call SLOW PROGRESS!