2021W

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I’m working on the finishing touches with my first novel. I’m working on my second novel idea as well. I’m set to self-publish my first novel in mid-2021 and hopefully my second novel in 2022. My revamped short story collection and trilogy that will probably only be one book will come next. FF means Flash Fiction and JET means Journey Entry Type.

April 6, 2021: JOURNAL ENTRY TYPE #86: THESE LAST SIX DAYS

I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth although it feels like it. My emotions have been all over place since being laid off. Let’s just say I sort of knew it was coming, but when it did, it still felt like a gut punch. I thought I would be retiring at my now former work place. I thought I had finally settled into a job, challenging at times, but something that kept me busy and paid my bills. I suppose it was not to be. I know I’m not the only one who is still looking for a job and there are others from last year still looking for a job. I took a breather from writing and blogging in general because when your life is uprooted, everything else takes a back burner for me. I spent the last six days up all day and night applying to jobs. I was maybe a little too obsessed. My whole system feels out of whack. I guess this is what being unemployed feels like. Ever since I was on furlough, things quite weren’t the same for me. Mentally, I kept the prospect of being laid off out of my mind and thought positive about returning. Yet, even when you’ve accepted reality, it still affects you. Something that was once a part of my life is now officially and forever gone. There is a possible job prospect for me. It’s a job that pays less than what I did before and yet, I hope to be offered this job. It’s a stepping stone or so I’d like it to be. I won’t have as much free time on my hands and will run into the problem of trying to find enough time to fit everything into my schedule, but I’m looking forward to this again. This is all the sentences my brain can string together for today.

March 27, 2021: FF: Godzilla vs. Big Ben

(This idea came to me as I accidentally said Godzilla vs. Kong when referencing the newly released movie. It goes to show that ideas truly can come from anywhere.)

Forget the Kong, this is the story of the assault on Big Ben. You know the building with the Clock Tower in Westminster, London? The clock may strike at every hour, but Godzilla can strike at any time. He’s been lying in wait, ready to emerge from the deep waters, and swing his body and tail at whatever comes his way: planes, drones, cars, people. When he first came onto the screen, it was 1954. Lots of things have changed since then. We have faster cars, hand held phones, millennials, and space travel. The kaiju is known as the alpha monster, the king of all who doesn’t give a shit, a face only a mother could love. Too bad he’s one scaly gigantic monster you can’t ignore. People regard him as the monster who shows himself only when the world needs saving. This time he means business because he hates tall building and clocks even more.

I anticipate what most people are thinking. Who cares about a monster that attacks a defenseless historical building? There are much taller buildings for Godzilla to attack! Why attack this neo-Gothic masterpiece of a building? Does this monster really have beef with England? Let me tell you. The kaiju doesn’t give a rat’s ass what culture it represents. He only wants to destroy what he sees as wrong. While the British accent is widely loved by the world, Godzilla does not. He only speaks one language and that is a language humans will never understand, not even myself even though I’m one out of five who’ve had the privilege of touching his scales.

The day Godzilla attacked Big Ben was a surprise to all. All the news stations changed their itinerary to cover this breaking news. First, he struck the building facing the bridge. Next, he struck it from the opposite side. The destruction of its cultural symbols was brought down with each massive blow of his tail. His end goal was clear. The last remaining piece was the clock. I watched in horror and amazement as he smashed every bit of it to pieces. The sheer force behind his rage sent many of the parts flying into the Thames. I watched people jump into it to save as many pieces as possible, neglecting the ones on land. No one should blame them, not even I wanted to test my fate with an angry monster.

As quick as he made his assault, his body relaxed and leapt into the river. The level barely covering his legs. By now the reinforcements had come in and were making their way to him. Soon he would be surrounded and on the receiving end of a massive assault. He had destroyed a world treasure not of gold but monarchies past and present. Westminster would never be the same. For all the precautions the British took to preserve it, in less than five minutes it was gone. The chiming of the Clock Tower was officially gone and so was I.

March 27, 2021: JET #85: If a Door Closes, Another One Opens

With the recent news of me being laid off due to COVID, I took a few days to myself to digest the information.  It’s easy to freak out after losing a job, but there is comfort in knowing I’m not the only one.  There are millions of others that lost their jobs, way before I did, and still have the frustration of remaining jobless.  When I turned 40, I really thought my life was on an upward trajectory (in a way).  My life path is going to be what it will be and this is what I try to remember as I begin my search for a new job.  While I have officially been laid off, I’m still personally let go of my old job and moving forward and onward.  It’s the only thing I can do because there is no use crying about it.  It won’t change anything. 

I am hopeful of the situation improving related to COVID in the U.S.  We’ve had some increases in cases due to the negligent and careless reopening of certain states.  I’d like to advise everyone living in the U.S. and the world that we still have way too many cases of COVID.  Since re-opening and people are walking around without masks, the 7-day average of new infections as of Friday (yesterday) was 54,666 (Source: Johns Hopkins University).  While around 2.5 million people in the U.S. are receiving shots every day, some states have failed to reduce the number of daily cases.  Keep in mind also only 14.7% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated and 27% with one dose.  The range to reach herd immunity was between 60-70% but due to the new variants it is more likely between 75-90% (Source: NPR).  The bottom line is get your freaking vaccine.  If you are anti-vax people, know that all of the past presidents including Trump got the vaccine.  He just did his privately with the former First Lady.  I’d like the deaths in the U.S. to reach not much more than we already have at 548,800 and globally 2.7 million people. 

It’s important to me not to lose sight of my personal issues as well as what is happening on the world stage.  Nothing is going to get back to normal regarding COVID (jobs, health, etc) if the majority of us are working against each other.  I’m afraid many of us are doing that because we’ve been ingrained to execute without any kind of rational thought.  The U.S. has always had a gun violence problem since I’ve existed and violent acts against minorities has plagued the U.S. as well.  I hope that more people can see there needs to be sensible gun reform laws and that outlawing all guns is not the solution.  I  hope when someone sees an Asian person being assaulted, that they step up and help that person.  A prime example is a challenge going around on social media in the San Francisco Bay area called “Slap an Asian.”  The level of complete stupidity speaks for itself.

While I do my best to focus on my own life, I write this to remind myself and others that even in the midst of turmoil, frustration, change (an upheaval of sorts), it isn’t the end of your life.  It’s hard in these situations to be positive and calm, but that’s what is needed.  Don’t get me wrong, I half watched TV and movies these past few days with the mindset of going full steam ahead of applying to jobs.  I’ve already applied to some jobs and I have many days ahead of me of job applications.  I have faith something is out there for me.  I’d rather get a job right now but there’s a great possibility it won’t happen much later.  Because of this, I surround myself with things that make me happy and know if I’m doing my best that is all I can do.  If a door closes, another one opens still is cliché but is true.

March 18, 2021: JET #84: Who Needs Sleep When You Have a Life to Live?

I’ve given up trying to stay on schedule since not working a 9-to-5 job. I’ve tried hard to wake up by 10 am and fall asleep by 1 am. I’m usually still up at 2 or 3 am and still having trouble falling asleep. I used to work the night shift 20 years ago. It looks like I have no issue staying up late although burning the midnight oil is not what I want to be doing. Yet, here I am still awake and it is 2 in the morning where I live. I’m making progress with my last rewrite of my first novel idea and can’t wait to self-publish it. I can’t wait to self-publish my second novel idea in order to feel satisfied I finished two novels from start to finish. I also can’t wait to prepare myself for my third novel idea so I’m basically been coasting in the writing lane on the creative highway. At least, I have cut down the 20 novels/novellas I want to write to eleven and at most thirteen. Let’s just say I continue on my writing endeavors the only way I know how–with some resistance and a whole lot of ambition (in theory). In a way, my life has turned into something I don’t recognize. I’m hoping this will pass too and I can get living the life I had before COVID. That is all I have to say for now and going to try to get some sleep.

March 18, 2021: JET #83: Writing is a Journey

I got my edited version of my first story back. The good news is that it isn’t as labor intensive as I thought it might be. The bad news is, if you want to call it that, is I have to do another rewrite. It’s a minor rewrite compared to the lengthy ones I’ve done before on this story so all in all it’s good. Either way, I have to do it. I can go kicking and screaming my way through it or admit the process and get on with it. I’m choosing the latter option. The also good news is I will not have to do as many rewrites on my second story. I’m on chapter 10 although I’ve been struggling a bit with finding the motivation and willpower to stay with it. I don’t mince my words when it comes to my own life progressions and right now I’m in the mud.

As I laid in bed last night, I thought about all the stories I want to write (what’s freaking new, huh?) and how much I would love to start my trilogy that will probably end up being one book. I thought about the huge accomplishment/achievement I will feel when self-publishing all my five novels. Then, I can move onto my novellas. My foolishness is thinking it will be easier to write them because it won’t be as many pages. It should take a shorter time, but in the long run, they may take longer. These stories aren’t as flushed out as well as my novel ideas but they have the most promise of being fully whacky and crazy, minus my fourth novel idea.

I try to reach and commit to personal deadlines as much as I can, but I also won’t sacrifice my writing for the sake of holding it in my hands when it’s not ready. The first book is definitely the hardest one any person will write (to an extent). Let me tell you, I can’t WAIT until it is finished. They should be all hard to write, in some ways, because if not, you aren’t challenging yourself. If everything goes the way I think it will, hopefully my second book will be self-published in 2022 or early 2023. It’s all become a game of timing and giving myself around 25 years to finish all my stories. I know I have it within me to do this, but the specifics of it all remains to be seen. I end with a quote about writing.

“A short story is a sprint, a novel is a marathon. Sprinters have seconds to get from here to there and then they are finished. Marathoners have to carefully pace themselves so that they don’t run out of energy (or in the case of the novelist– ideas) because they have so far to run. To mix the metaphor, writing a short story is like having a short intense affair, whereas writing a novel is like a long rich marriage.”

-JONATHAN CARROLL-

March 17, 2021: JET #82: A Good Reminder for Writers

            It’s easy to get into the trap of thinking I will write the next great American novel, or I will write the next great novel to be translated into hundreds of languages and bought in every tiny corner of the world.  The good news is that having this dream is a possibility although quite rare.  The bad news is publishing companies are shrinking and the variety of books has increased due to self-publishing writing platforms.  The chance of instant fame is tantamount to growing wings and flying on your own back in the day was slim and now it doesn’t hardly exist at all.  Yes, there are some exceptions to the rule but unless your writing is a cash cow, well it won’t happen.

            Don’t lose hope if you are a writer because now that I’m in my forties and not getting any younger, I’ve learned and accepted my fate.  I will probably die a self-published writer.  I will be lucky to sell 250 to 300 books before I call it quits and hopefully write all my story ideas.  Not all self-published writers have a gigantic platform on which thousands of people will buy their books.  I’d say less than a quarter of those followers will even think once of buying a self-published book, but as humans we try anyway.  It’s hard enough to be writing a book and getting it out there.  Who has time to read a book?  Seriously, who has the damn time when you are a writer yourself, but it’s important to read. 

            Self-publishing doesn’t come cheap either.  If you want a decent novel, you need to pay for editing.  If you want a decent novel, you need to pay or create a cover that doesn’t look gaudy.  All your hard work may amount to a few book sales so it’s more important than ever to really believe in your writing but more believe in your need to write your novella or novel.  Nothing is guaranteed especially book sales.  This sounds quite realistic but it’s the best advice I’ve learned and that is to keep your expectations low on what you sell and think about ways to drum up interest around your book(s).  With most anything with lasting influence or rewards, you need longevity within yourself and loyalty among readers/buyers.  We truly are our worst critic and while you ask yourself why I can’t be the next J.K. Rowling or Stephanie Meyer, well you probably could.  The better question to ask is are you up for the task.  Are you ready for the many rewrites and deadlines that comes with it?  It’s easy to get down on yourself for not being in the same spot as any one of the richest authors in the world, but then you wouldn’t be you.  We can’t all be famous and rich writers, but we can all be writers if we want to be.

            I’ll always remember what someone told me.  He said the smartest person he ever met was a homeless man.  It reminds me of a classmate who was poor and book smart.  He easily could’ve gone to an Ivy League university but because of his upbringing, he ended up not continuing his education.  It’s a shame so with this in mind, I’m more committed to executing my goals.  It might not lead to the perfect outcome I’ve dreamt about, but I will not stop from pursuing my interests and passions either.  I’m meant to be writer and if a few of my books can impact the readers, I will have done my job. Forget the millions of profit you could get from book sales. It probably won’t happen. Forget the millions of books you could sell at the end of your writing career. It probably won’t happen. The measure of success comes in many forms. Write good stories and whatever is meant to happen will happen.

            If you’re dying to know who some of the richest writers are, those still alive, they are below.  I looked on some web lists and these writers were often repeated. The sources were Forbes, Money Inc, The Richest, and Wealthy Gorilla. If you become one of them, I’ll be the first one to congratulate you and add you to the list. Keep living, keep dreaming, and most of all keep writing.

France - Elisabeth Badinter               
United Kingdom - J.K. Rowling
United States - James Patterson
United States - Stephen King
United States - Nora Roberts
United States - Danielle Steel
United Kingdom - Barbara Taylor Bradford
United Kingdom - Nigel Blackwell
United States - R.L. Stine
United States - John Grisham
United Kingdom - Jeffrey Archer
United States - Dan Brown
Nigeria - David Oyedepo
United States - Dean Koontz
United States - Stephanie Meyer
United Kingdom - Paul McKenna
United Kingdom - Christopher Little 
United Kingdom - Jack Higgins 
United States - Deepak Chopra
United States - Janet Evanovich
United States - Suzanne Collins
United States - Clive Cussler
United States - Meg Cabot
United Kingdom - E.L. James
United Kingdom - Ken Follett

March 16, 2021: JET #81: Balance is the Key to Life

Once in a while I check in with myself to see what I need to focus on on a more spiritual/earthly sphere. I’ll be the first one to admit I’ve been trying my whole life to have balance. I find it in different ways, some days more successful than others, and other days it’s a complete bust. Reminding myself of the person I am is something I need to do once in a while. This goes behind the physicality of having legs and arms even though they have too many scars (I scar really easily). It gets to the center of my being, what is inside what has not been paid attention to, and what is yearning to be heard. I offer the reminders given to me through meditation and cards. Take them as suggestions and nothing more.

  1. The phrase “do no harm” is often cited but rarely do we do no harm to others especially ourselves. Most people are aware of the mind/body connection. Does what propel us forward might be rooted in negativity? I hope not but there’s bound to be a few not so positive reasons.
  2. Everybody changes over time whether they realize or not. Those that have the courage and strength to change internally is what we are deep inside. Knowing where your boundaries are and when to stretch them to satisfy your hunger is the challenge of all people.
  3. Usually at the beginning of the year, we have a sense of renewal where dreams are revisited and resolutions are often broken within the first week. Humans should seek their ambitions all year round and see where it takes them.
  4. This is probably the greatest thing I’m working on which is not to deny my strength at the cost of being reactive and unhealthy. We often live in a fear based society and while it is good to be observant, it isn’t in anyone’s best interest to let that fear overwhelm you.
  5. Allowing yourself to grow naturally is very hard for most people. Everybody has their own rhythm and it’s easy for me to make it go faster when it’s not conducive to the situation.
  6. This is the second thing I’m still working on although it crops up here and there. What I’m talking about is toxic thoughts whether guilt, regret, and misunderstandings concerning others and myself. It’s not easy to release negative patterns but it’s worth it.
  7. Being a serious person, I rarely have fun. Even if I have fun such as watching a funny movie, I’m usually thinking and working on something to keep me busy. Watching a movie alone is not enough for me and I need to work on this.
  8. We should be open to new ideas and inspirations. Trying something new is good for the soul. I plan on doing new things or things I haven’t done in a long time due to the pandemic.

March 11, 2021: Short Story: Phone Call

I started writing this short story about a week ago. It allowed me to finish my journal and start a new one. My first short story in 2021. Don’t get used to it because I will soon have to rewrite my novel and try to finish my other novel by the year’s end. This story is about the fictional struggle of living in a big city and then moving to a smaller town and the annoyance of telemarketers calling. Enjoy.

The city people of today move too fast and proud. Nobody has time to help others when in the darkest of days. When he came to this part of the state, it was alarming to his eyes and ears. George was just as uptight as the character George in Seinfeld. but this city was very far from New York. Anyone with knowledge would not call it a cityscape but a town where everyone thinks they know each other. It is in this small-town family members pretend their neighbors care for them as much as the reciprocate onto them.  If they knew what was written in secrecy in chat rooms, behind computer screens, about these same people, it would cause a major rift within the town.

George’s real name was Arnold. No matter what his name was it never stopped the mental assaults since arriving in this small town. Arnold had tried to keep his thoughts in check and was able to experience a few days of peace. Each thought rapped on his head as a broken spring triggered by an imbalance.  All his past grievances flooded into his mind, and he became enraged by those who had wronged him.  It was not in his imagination these wannabe city people who came from small towns had become his biggest nuisance.  It was bigger than the mice making a home in his kitchen.  No number of traps would kill his thoughts.

Wanting to get revenge on those he despised, at 2:30 in the afternoon he made up his mind.  He was going to write anonymous letters and send them to those who wronged him.  Before he could start, his phone rang.  He looked to see who it was, but it showed no name or number.  He answered anyway, knowing it was a telemarketer.  He looked forward to unleashing his rage onto the person who had the guts to call his unlisted number. 

“Hello, sir.”

“You don’t even have the decency to say my name.  It’s fucking George.”

“If you would’ve given me more time, I was about to say it.”

“Well, then, fucking it say it.  Are you stupid or something?”

“No, sir.  I have your name as Arnold.”

“So what!”

“Is that your actual name?  Arnold?”

“Fuck off and never call me again!”

George disconnected the call and threw his phone across the room.  It bounced off the hardwood floor and landed face down.  His anger was a residual effect of living in a big city.  He kicked his phone across the floor.  It ricocheted off the wall and landed face up.  The screen was cracked in the middle and spread outward like a spider’s web.  This was the fifth phone he had broken in the last ten years. 

Arnold picked it up and it rang again.  Hardly anyone called him except those who wanted his money he did not have since he quit his job.  It was another unlisted number and no name appeared either.  It was probably the same stupid telemarketer.  His rage got the best of him and he picked it up.

“Hello.”

“This is Mary Pat.  I’m from the company Better for You.  I would like to offer you our introductory price of our entitlement package at a great value of twenty-nine dollars and ninety-nine cents.  In addition to the happiness pills, it includes our bounce back pills for those days when you’ve had a rough day.”

“Let me stop you right there, Mary Pat.”

Mary Pat kept speaking.  “If this package does not sound right for you, we also have our exhilaration package for five dollars less.  Everyone deserves to have a little exhilaration in their life, don’t you think?”

“Who do you think I am?

“You are Arnold Brown of South Page, Nebraska?  Am I right, sir?”

“Is this a joke?  What kind of horse crap is this?”

“I can assure you, sir.  This is not a joke.  These are real products I’m selling.”

“You can’t find happiness in a pill, lady.”

“There are a few instances where it isn’t as effective, but overall—”

“But nothing.  There’s no buts about this.”

“You’re right.  There’s no buts, only eyes.”

“What?”

“You need eyes to see the pills you’re swallowing.”

“How do blind people see the pills, then?”

“I’m not going to argue with you over your eyes, but what I can say is you’ve been selected by our company for a very important reason.”

“Enlighten me, Mary Pat?”

“Interesting that you say that because we have a package too called enlightenment.  I’m also Mary Jane, sir.  Pat is on with another caller.”

“You all sound the same, lady.”

“Would you like her to call you back?  If you would like to work with her instead, this is fine with me.  A sale is a sale either way.”

“Oh God, no.”

“I’d be more than happy to call you at a more suitable time based on your needs.”

“Don’t bother lady.”

“It would be my pleasure to help you in any way I can.”

“Don’t you take no for an answer?”

“If you decide you want to know more information about our products, please call at us eight, zero, zero.”  Mary Pat paused.  “Five, five, five.”  She paused again.  “Nine, eight, six, seven.”

“Yeah, I got it.”

“Please call me at your earliest convenience.  You have a great rest of your day, sir.”

“Whatever.”

Arnold hung up and put his phone on silent.  He should have let loose on Mary Jane.  He held back as he had learned when he lived in the big city.  He rarely made the same mistake twice except this was not really a mistake. It was his guilt that was bothering him.  He had slowly turned into a true city person and was unable to shed its scaly skin.  He still moved too fast, was too uptight, and too rigid. 

He wilted to the floor and yelled into the empty space.  Everything he wanted to say in the last ten years tumbled out of his mouth.  It wasn’t my fault.  You were too stupid to see it.  You made me your enemy.  I’ve heard all the stories. You know what that makes you?  A loser.  A big fat loser that hides behind a mask.  I’m glad to be out of your clutches.  I only have one more thing to say to you and that is you will always be pathetic.

He got to his knees and punched the air as he stood.  He wished his wife could comfort him.  He had too many moments of need since moving and there was no one to help him.  Whenever he got the nerve to release his frustrations, newer and more menacing thoughts took their place.  He was sick of carrying this extra weight.  Living in a slow-paced town should have gave his mind some peace as he was promised.  Whether he was driving on empty freeways or stuck in rush hour traffic, it was still there.

Looking around his empty living room with boxes hugging the walls, Arnold grabbed his phone and dialed all the numbers except the last one Mary Pat had given him.  He disconnected and soon after the phone rang in his hand.  He let it ring three times before answering.

“I’ve been waiting for you, whatever your name is.”

There was a pause on the other end.

“You still there?”  Arnold asked.

“Yes, I am but—” Mary Luz said.

“Just give me your little pep talk and get on with it.  I’m ready to swallow those pills, whatever color they are. How much are they, again?”

March 8, 2021: JET #80: So, It’s International Women’s Day?

This year it took me several reminders that today was International Women’s Day. First, my partner, told me. Then, I got a text from a friend. Then, I saw Joe Biden speak about it on the news. Then, I read about it online. Then, I thought back to the time when one of the schools I attended I was charged less for a drink. Needless to say, I’ve been busy with other things like reading, writing, and trying to fit activities into my daily routine I’ve not been incorporating. Therefore, having International Women’s Day on my mind wasn’t a priority. Next, I thought about my biological mother and the hell she went through and then my adoptive mom who is a feminist in her own right. She’s the woman who wouldn’t buy me a Barbie doll. We understand each other a lot more now.

I made headway on my second novel, still typing away, and now starting chapter ten. My first novel idea should come back to me in a week. I’m a little anxious with how much I will have to rewrite when it comes back. I’m trying to prep myself for the task and hope it isn’t massive. This is the first time I’ve had a stranger read my work. While I struggle with my teeth falling apart as my filling needs to be replaced and my arthritis in my hands getting worse as the days go by, I wonder how I’m going to fulfill all my personal needs when I’m older. Getting back to my second novel idea, it’s been a journey, and it’s a kind of further exploration of my past and present. It will be the most personal and while I’m enjoying writing it, I’m also kicking and screaming at having to write it. Beware, I will do this with every freaking novel I write.

With this being said (a repetitive phrase I use), I end with my frustration at not being able to follow other bloggers. I don’t understand why I have this problem. If you know how to fix it, let me know. I need to see if I can’t get it to work again on my iPhone. So, here’s to another day of being a woman and as I posted on another social media page, people who post generalized thoughts without any kind of research amounts to nothing more than gross negligence. I don’t exclude people for having different views, but it’s clear to me too many people stand by their posts like it is a badge of honor, like they won a medal because they fought a war, and they have done neither. So, fight your battles but don’t hide behind your screen thinking it doesn’t have any gouges on it. Trust me, it does.

March 4, 2021: Journal Entry Type #79: Forget My Life for a Day or Week but No More Than That!

I made the decision to go out in nature and do a little hiking today. I brought someone along with me so I couldn’t go as far and that was probably a good thing. I kept putting it off this week because working on my Yoda puzzle is so much more exciting. Okay, yeah right. The puzzle is damn hard for not being deemed a challenge puzzle. Basically, I drove us the 40 minutes there and back. We hiked four miles and they actually put markers up this time. I look forward to exploring hiking areas like I had wanted to do when I first moved here but never made the time to do it. Note to self to do that when COVID is officially under control. I haven’t written in over a week and this week I said to myself, “screw it.” I forced myself to grocery shop and get a few other things I’ve been putting off. I hiked in 64 degree weather. I was sweating so by the time I got more into the belly of the mountain, it felt cool because there was shade. The creek was basically non-existent except for a little bit of water due to the snow already melting. I took some deep breaths along the way and when I reached the stopping point, I took more deep breaths and released everything pent up within me (for the most part). I wonder how I will fare when I go back to work. My life will be more hectic with a lot less time, but I’m looking forward to it. I need to hunker down for the next few months and re-focus and concentrate on my writing. I took a few pictures and here they are although nothing out of the ordinary. I’m trying not to fall off the rock into the water in two of the pictures but the rest are self-explanatory.

February 28, 2021: Flash Fiction: The Right Answer

It was a time when the only choices you had were A, B, C, and D.  Your eyes glazed over, a few times crossed, and I knew you were asking yourself where the other choices were. The ones of 1, 2, 3, and 4. This was the test you had prepared for, not some test created by small-time kooky sideshow freaks.

You raised your hand and quickly put it back down before the instructor noticed.  You painstakingly filled in the ovals, pausing to bite your pencil in between your head scratching.  This was the test of all tests.  The test that never rests.  The test that bested you from beginning to end. 

I watched you leave the room in frustration. The following day, we saw our scores. They would not let you progress and would keep you another year with the clowns and jugglers. As for me, my test was more maybe than no but not enough of yes.

February 28, 2021: Flash Fiction: Don’t Jump on the Bed

It’s snowing outside. I can’t sit still. Don’t want too either. This day should’ve been a mystery. Give me something to solve besides math problems in my worn-out book. I want to go outside but mom won’t let me. This winter vacation sucks.

“You have a cold and need to stay inside,” she tells me.

The worst of it is having to blow my nose and the rest of me feels fine. I don’t even have a fever. See, look at the thermometer. She doesn’t look and ends with telling me a hot cup of chicken noodle soup is the only thing I need. I’m glad when she leaves. I can jump up and down on the bed again, go as high as I can go. My legs spring off my mattress and my fingers touch the ceiling every time. I’m committed and there’s no stopping me.

She returns carrying a portable tray of soup and crackers. The aroma of the soup fills every inch of my room. I like watching the steam come off the bowl. It’s a good feeling but I really want to go outside. My mom notices the bed spread is messed up. She gives me a disapproving look. One where it’s clear she is the boss and I better do what she wants.

“Quit jumping on your bed,” she yells.

When I plop down, she sets the tray over my legs. After the incident where I knocked her hand hard enough to tip everything on the tray including the soup, jello, and can of opened 7-Up, she leaves me to place it where I want it. I scooch the tray closer to me, break a few crackers into the soup, and slurp up a spoonsful before putting it down again.

“Can’t I open the window for a few minutes?” I ask.

“No, you can’t,” my mom says. “The only thing you should be doing is resting.”

“You’re ruining my day,” I say with emphasis.

“You’re telling me. I thought I’d have a nice day curled up on the sofa myself. Your father is gone and here I am doing my motherly duties. I knew I shouldn’t have let you go to that birthday party. I’m positive that’s where you got sick.”

She watches me eat and leaves with the tray when I’m done. I wait until I hear her going down the stairs and jump out of bed. I open the window, not caring how much she yells at me later. I can always lie and tell her I felt lightheaded and needed fresh air. I close my eyes and envision myself sledding with my friends down the hills near Jefferson Avenue and Jackson Parkway. If I’m still in bed by tomorrow, I will know someone is punishing me. I open my eyes and close the window.

Back in bed, I hear my mom rattling around downstairs. I imagine she is wondering what my appetite will be tonight. I pull my covers up to my chin and stare at the ceiling fan. I wonder when my dad will be back. I’m envious of my sister being able to be out of her room. The room is chillier. It makes me happy. I take a deep breath and exhale. A smile forms on my lips. I don’t know why. I pick up my Batman comic sitting on top of my math book.

Ah, the life of a ten-year old. Can’t beat that, cold or not.

Febuary 28, 2021: Journal Entry Type #78: I Don’t Know Where the Beginning, Middle, or End Is, Do You?

My life isn’t as bad as the guy in the hourglass, but sometimes I do feel as if my life is spinning. It’s not spinning out of control but full of the same motions. By this repetitive motion over and over, I sometimes feel very lopsided where my life is passing me by. I know it isn’t. I’m breathing and living it. This month is almost done which means I’m giving myself four months to finish my second novel idea. This will bring me to the end of June. I know I’m not giving myself as much time as my first novel. For the love of everything good and bad, I doubt I will ever take that long to write a story as that one did. I’m surprised that I’m propelling forward as much as I am on my two sisters story. Even better that I’m on chapter nine although I hoped to finish it last night. Lo and behold, I did not and after I ate. It’s amazing how much a body gets tired after eating. It’s amazing how much this pandemic has wrecked so many people’s lives. I can only speak for myself and the country I know all too well but this pandemic has split families and neighbors apart because it’s been politicized to the point of stupidity.

I’ve been trying hard to focus on the things I have control over, my own personal life, but I’m becoming much more unwilling to accept those things that the average person (with a brain) recognizes in society. Trust me when I say that the Republican party has a lot more holes to fit your hand through than the Democrats. I keep hearing of disaffected Republicans like Michael Steele saying it’s no longer the party of Lincoln. While I think Lincoln is a fascinating person, I personally don’t want to go backward. I want to go forward. The Republican is still the Trump party and the current CPAC attendees are also calling it TPAC. Solidarity behind a candidate is nothing new but solidarity behind a sitting president who fails to accept loss hurts everyone including Democrats. The most noticeable is in the unwillingness to work with Democrats to pass legislature that is widely accepted across the country and the willingness to curb voting opportunities in battleground states. In other words, Republicans are playing dirty and this game of back and forth continues. The worst of it is that a core part of the Republican party is submerged in a tank of white supremacy. Forget putting on your wetsuit and jump in feet first without looking to see how deep the water really is. Be careful not to break your ankle along the way or worse. Sure, I could keep my mouth shut about all of this turmoil happening in U.S. politics but for what purpose? What good is it to be alive if I can’t express myself in a tactful and honest way.

While I go on with my secluded life because of COVID and who the hell knows when it will be my turn to get the vaccine, I continue living somewhere in the cycle of beginning, middle, and end. I sort of recently wrote a poem about cancel culture but please do not see this as a statement that I am a Republican. I am not and yes, there are decent Republicans out there that don’t share the same disgusting views as some of them lining up like soldiers to overturn the U.S. government. Again, this doesn’t make sense because Trump is now part of the establishment in Washington D.C. He is a former president. He is part of what they are trying to destroy. These homegrown terrorists want anarchy. I wish more people could see this. My fears of this threat ebbs and flows. I really do hope that in the next decade things normalize and this part of U.S. history becomes just that, history. We should never forget the struggles between good and bad, micro and macro, and recognize the difference between strengthening a few versus many.

I’m looking forward to next week, a new month, and getting out in nature for a few days. I’m looking even more forward to traveling to places near and far when the pandemic is over. A weight lifted from my shoulders when January 2021 started. I’m willing to lose even more but more I want to get to that point in my life again. I want to freaking walk down the Las Vegas strip without a mask. Being the creative thinker I will always be, in the meantime turn on more lightbulbs than less and replace them when they burn out.

February 9, 2021: Journal Entry Type #77: Birthday Cards and Loud Kids

I spent last weekend going headstrong into my second novel. I decided to change it from first person to third person. Needless to say, I stayed up way too late, past midnight making the changes. I’ve been on a routine that resembles nothing when I had a full-time job. I miss the schedule I used to have. My stupid neighbors still insist on letting their kids stay up all hours of the night. I had to tell a parent I was trying to sleep at 11:30 pm. His kid was whacking shrubbery right outside my window while he was in the garage doing whatever the hell a parent does in the garage at 11:30 at night. They left shortly after I told them I was sleeping, but I was up until 3 in the morning. Have things changed that much where a ten year old doesn’t need any sleep? COVID needs to end so kids can get back into classrooms. My old neighbor who played his music all hours of the night left only to be replaced by obnoxious kids and parents who seem not to give a damn about neighbors. The story of my life.

Then something happened where it disrupted my personal life, what’s leftover during COVID, and I still searching for answers to certain questions about my life. I’ve gotten some but still others don’t make sense and whenever I ask the primary question, the answer still doesn’t make sense. It’s something I’ll have to rectify at another time but it makes me want to scream, like really, really loud. My life goals keep piling up and I need to put some things in perspective. I can tell I’m more stressed out than normal. My eyes are hurting me beyond the usual. The biggest thing on my mind lately is the fact no one lives forever. Someone asked me to do something and it freaked me out a little bit. Death is a part of life. I ended up then deciding to write my own obituary. I might as well get a head start. This person means the world to me and I have a few book ideas I want her to read before she goes. Hence, the pressure I’m feeling and putting on myself. Again, something I need to release because it will consume me like a whale shark consumes plankton. If I get the first draft written by the end of this year or beginning of next year, I’ll be on track. Time to put on my big girl shoes and relax.

I also like to collect birthday cards, post cards, and blank cards. I recently sent this card to someone. Certain things make me feel better about general life and puts thing upright instead of upside down. I call this organizing and doing mundane things most people would find a complete waste of time. I’ve thought about lists I could make, as it gives me a sense of calm, but I don’t want my life to be all about one thing and not have any balance. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to exploring Nevada once COVID ends and after I get my vaccine. It can’t come soon enough. It looks like I won’t be able to get back to work until the summer. I suppose I’ll sign off with the reminder to everyone I have great intentions to write more blogs (the titles already typed up and ready for me to finish). We’ll see if I get them all done but if not, there’s always the next month.

February 4, 2021: Book Writing Exercise: The Best Thing That Could Happen

The best thing that could happen to me is I come across a whole lot of money. You might think this is very materialistic of me. Who cares! Money can buy happiness when you are already grounded. I would like to think I’m grounded. I try to be as much as possible. I try to find happiness in most everything my hands touch. I try to find gratitude in most everything I do. What really gets me going are those that say money can’t buy happiness. How rich is that coming from someone who already has a buttload of money! I know I can’t literally buy happiness with money. It’s subjective and not objective. Duh! Don’t tell me the obvious.

I know you can’t put happiness into a measuring cup and say it is half a cup or two cups full. What happens if you can? What happens when you have room for one cup only and you have two cups of happiness inside you? Do you let the rest spill out onto the counter if it is liquid? Or, if it has the consistency of baking powder, let the particles fly into the air before it settles onto the floor? No, you don’t. You fill the cup to the one cup marker and put the other cup of happiness somewhere else. So, based on that principle, why can’t I put my other one cup of happiness into the stack of 100 dollar bills I might come across on Tuesday?

Don’t get me started. I’ve heard it all. You won’t win the lottery. You’re just wasting your money. Everyone thinks it will be them. Let me save you the misery. It won’t happen. It won’t be you. You aren’t that lucky, and neither is the person halfway across the state, in another house, with a different wife. He wants the big money like you. He wants to be the big spender like you. He wants to win the one billion dollars. You would settle for millions of dollars. Guess what? You will both be wrong. It will be someone who already lives in a nice house who wins. The billion-dollar prize winner? It won’t be you. It can’t be. It has to be anyone else but you. The only person I can think of to replace you is me.

February 4, 2021: Book Writing Exercise: The Worst Thing That Could Happen

That would be very simple to answer, the worst thing that could happen to me already did happen. It happened a long time ago although to compound the worst thing would be for something similar happening again. It would be the most terrible, raw, and emotional situation I would ever face as an adult. I don’t know if I would be able to survive again. It would be similar to having something ripped from my body and never being able to stop it. It would be someone cutting me open while alive but without drugs. It would be someone I couldn’t see, the mysterious and sinister presence, removing the organ that helped me live all these years. It would be leaving me there to die, that would be the worst thing that could happen. It would mean evil barged in and knocked the door down after all these years.

It would be the countless things I couldn’t get out of my head that would make it worse. It would be a revolving door or a continuous loop of scary images. The images that make me not want to close my eyes because I see them clearer when it is dark in my room. The outlines of those far away. I can’t see their eyes, but I can see the tops of their heads. They are moving around, close to each other in great synchronicity, almost like dancing. They are having fun from my view above, but I know deep down that is no celebration. They are huddled now, concentrating fully on the problem before them, and wondering what the next step should be.

The problem remains before them and not knowing the outcome is as dangerous as taking action. They come to me from time to time, telling me they haven’t forgotten, and still they aren’t willing to tell me anything more. I suppose that is the failure among us. Their inability to move beyond the line is also my failure. They can’t stop themselves from repeating the same tragedy over and over. They let themselves go so far and turn back. This has to be a precursor to our stunted ending. Sometimes questions aren’t ever meant to be answered.

February 1, 2021: Journal Entry Type #76: Nerding Out and Kicking Something

I had all intentions of writing more blog entries in the end of January. I kept saying to myself, there’s three days left. Then three days left became two days left and two days left became one day left. Sunday, I spent most of the day putting together Lego Yoda. By the time I’m done with it, it will look like the below. I plan to put Yoda on the top of my bookshelf.

I finally did some grocery shopping along with about five other things I’ve been putting off. I’ve started my second story although I’m trying to get through the 100 so pages, I’ve already written and see what I can use and what I should throw away. I basically need to force myself to do a rough outline chapter by chapter. I have my journal ready, so I fill the remaining pages and start a new one. Enough with the blue peacock, already. I want a new design to look at until I get sick of it.

I recently had more lip balm and lotion sent to me for my severely dry skin. No one believes me at how insanely dry skin I have. Since moving to the desert, it’s only gotten worse. I’ve acquired really bad eczema and my lips crack even more. My skin looks terrible. If anyone else is going through what I am, check out Eucerin for your hands, Cortibalm for your chapped lips, and Clotrimazole for your angular cheilitis. Vasoline and Vitamin A+D also helps for angular cheilitis.

This is about all I have for the first day of February. The shortest month of the year and if January hasn’t been enough of an indicator of how 2021 has been going, have faith in the rest of the year. For all the disheartening news (not fake news) and deaths happening (people I know from other illnesses and those around the world due to COVID), remember the average life expectancy ranges from mid 50s to mid-80s.

Don’t squander your days but don’t stress yourself out that you have a hard time finding purpose and meaning in daily life. I recently saw this man who turned 100 and as his wish he wanted to jump out of an airplane. He got that wish and it was awesome to see because a lot of people don’t live to that age and those that are much younger don’t have that adventure and drive. Without sounding repetitive, go out there and do your thing you were meant to do.

January 27, 2021: Flash Fiction: A Tub of Fat

In all the wrong places, in all the wrong angles, I sat there. I barely could keep my butt on the tiny seat underneath me. It was as if it was built by a tiny craftsman. One that didn’t understand how to make a chair for someone as fat as me. Forget about the muffin top bursting out of my pants. Forget about the rolls hanging over the expandable material. I was uncomfortable in all the wrong places. I imagined this craftsman laughing as he was making his tiny chair, a masterpiece as he referred to it. You know what I call it. A tiny heap of matchsticks whittled down into smaller matchsticks. You know the ones sharp enough to poke into my butt and inflict pain.

As I shifted on that tiny seat, my mind kept going to one situation I experienced long ago. I was only fifteen at the time, still fat but not as fat as today. How much a person weighs shouldn’t reflect on the way I tell my story. Those viewed as most educated as often the cruelest. I used my experience as an introduction to the classes I taught after I graduated with the necessary credentials, but students stared more at the size of my gut than the words coming out of my mouth. They simply couldn’t believe a fat man knew as much as I did. Besides this negative part of my job, I had not wanted to ever leave the classroom. It was my sanctuary. It made me feel at home.

It stoked my ego on many levels and crushed it on others.

This moment of constant rejection by those I was hired to teach thus began my new image. I sought to incorporate ways to change my views about food and exercise. I found ways to overcome my stubbornness, laziness, and procrastination. I simply wanted to attain what others I considered friends would never reach. They were too busy huddling together every Monday night, complaining about how others made fun of their endomorphic bodies, and plotting out revengeful plans on how to outsmart their ectomorphic enemies. They dreamed of the day to become mesomorphic models. I was able to reach that mesomorphic status, but it too became too much for me to handle.

My students did not know how to react to my new body. Not one congratulated me for my hard work or recognized the struggle it took to go from eating a whole pizza to half a pizza to a few slices of pizza once a month. It never dawned on them how their rejection hurt me. I eventually gave up. The healthy lifestyle was not of interest anymore. I quit teaching. Progress was fruitless. I quit learning. Loneliness was enough. I quit caring.

Moral of my story.

Give up if you want to. No one will stop long enough to pull you back up. Don’t rely on others. They don’t exist. I lived my life and now it is near the end. A tub of fat will always be a tub of fat. The question is will you take me as inspiration or failure. The second question is doing any one of my previous students learn anything from me. The third question is there any guilt for being insensitive. The most important question of all is will they feed on the weakness to continue as they always have or find the strength to surrender as I once did.

January 23, 2021: Journal Entry Type #75: Get it Together! Your Face is Counting on You!

I still don’t understand Twitter or Tiktok and yet, I find myself looking at both despite not having either one. I refuse to be ruled by social media even more than I already am. I finally finished my rewrite and going to be sending it to be proofread to someone early next week. I can’t state enough how glad I am to be done with it. It’s about damn time and the little changes made won’t be so drastic that I hope to have it published by the end of April. That will give the person I’m hiring February to do what he needs to do, March for me to do what I need to do, and April to create my cover.

I could go headstrong into my next story idea which is my two sisters idea. The novel I most want to write because it will be not only the most emotionally significant to me but so ever rewarding. I’m sure I will say this about my third novel idea, what I hope will turn into a trilogy as that was my original intent, but first things first. I revamped the order of my story ideas to write and yet, before I can do anything, I need to get more centered. I’ve been putting off so many things such as reading short stories I promised my roommate I would critique. I’ve been putting off my Yoda puzzle begging for me to start and now my Yoda Legos tempting me to build.

The last week of January is almost here and no longer can use my birthday as an excuse to relax. God knows, I’ve been relaxing for much of the last three months in many ways. I consider this a long vacation although not really what I wanted under the circumstances. All I can say is I look forward to reuniting with things remaining elusive while I try to balance my life. A little less looking at stupid things on the Internet might help but it’s all in the name of learning new things, right? I’m forever trying to commit to ways that bring me a feeling of being centered. It comes down to knowing what I need to do versus taking the time and energy to do them without getting ahead of myself.

When I’m jogging, I think about reading. When I’m reading, I think about reading something else. When I’m rewriting, I think about the next story I want to write. When my feet are cold, I think about the last time I showered. When I watch TV, I think about my lack of blogging. I hope I’m not the only one to have a combination of an overworking mind during the day and sluggish and tired mind during the night or vice versa. I’m at the point of my life where I need to reign it in and not by injecting a sedative into my brain (in a crazy kind of way that only a writer can identify with or someone who creates things), but in a way where it isn’t coming from self-destruction.

There’s been much debate with the tortured artist/writer/creator. It exists in most of us in some fashion. It’s only those that let it consume them does it manifest itself in negative ways. One only has to look at anyone who has committed suicide or dealt with suicidal tendencies (not the band). It’s something within the core of many of us that never truly dies (pun not intended) and yet, it can be great sources of creativity for any writer. The territory of juggling my life is often tied to how I feel about my own life’s pace and situation. For all the time I could’ve been writing and rewriting in the past twenty years, I could’ve had already five or ten books under my belt. I could’ve had even more time to write and ended my writing ambitions with a few more titles to my name. I took a major detour and one, I believe will help to me write my next story in less time and chore of rewriting in even lesser time.

Still being a novice writer hangs over my head. How much inspiration should I gain from the books I read? How much should I discard and banish from my brain? How much should I divulge in my next story? If I’m writing it from the heart and not the hip, how much should I obsess on how it should be written and what to include and exclude? These are the writing questions keeping me up at night. I would think other writers do the same, no matter how skilled or how many books they have written. Or is it just me that can be completely entrenched in the pre-writing, writing, and post-writing process? All writers need discipline, ideas, patience, and humility. I think most of all writers need a thick coat of armor for rejection/criticism. It takes guts to put yourself and your work out in the public. This is what I’m prepping for and good luck to those who make the world a better place one story at a time.

January 21, 2021: Journal Entry Type #74: The Future for All

I watched the 46th Presidential inauguration like many others did in the U.S. and around the world. I really hoped nothing catastrophic such as riots breaking out all over and thankfully, they did not. It seemed the massive amounts of the National Guard and Secret Service deterred this kind of activity. My interest in politics went from a crawl to a fast sprint when Trump became President in 2017. The U.S. in recent history especially has jockeyed for power among the two major parties (Democrat and Republican) of those who can sway either way (Independent). This time it was the Democrats who secured the Presidential win along with a slight majority in the House and basically a tie in the Senate (also making 2021 already contentious).

As I set my alarm to wake up in time for the major inaugural events because I’m on Pacific time, I understood many were excited and thrilled and relieved. Others were sour, depressed, and angry/pissed their person did not win. I’ve never been a political nerd until as of late. I’ve been feeling more national pride in the U.S. than in all my years combined for the what if, could be, and now that I’m in my 40s for some of the young people who will be the future. As I watched the President-elect taking the oath, the President and Vice President at Arlington National Cemetery, and the awesome fireworks above the Capitol, what equally captured me was the inaugural poem by Amanda Gorman. Everything about her recitation of her poem called “The Hill We Climb” was mesmerizing.

These last few days since the inauguration I’ve slowly been getting back into the routine of my own life. While I will never aspire to the greatness of present and past historical leaders, I do what is great concerning my own abilities and aspirations. I will never have the fashion sense that anyone of the people dressed at the inaugural had, except may for Bernie Sanders. In all seriousness, I end this with the reminder to use everything and anything as a platform to better myself, even if it comes in the weirdest ways. I hope everyone else strives to do that as well in the world. Unity was a theme in the inaugural address but so is responsibility. I believe 2021 is going to be a personal reckoning and awakening for some and for others finding the courage to do one or both.

“The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman

“We’ve braved the belly of the beast; we’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace. And the norms and notions of what just is isn’t always justice. And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it, somehow, we do it. Somehow, we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.

“We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one.

“And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. We are striving to forge our union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.

“And so, we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide, because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. We seek harm to none and harmony for all.

“Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true: that even as we grieved, we grew; that even as we hurt, we hoped; that even as we tired, we tried; that we’ll forever be tied together victorious, not because we will never again know defeat but because we will never again sow division.

“Scripture tells us to envision that ‘everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid.’ If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade but in all the bridges we’ve made.

“That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb if only we dare it, because being American is more than a pride we inherit – it’s the past we step into and how we repair it.

“We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. And this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.

“In this truth, in this faith we trust for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us. This is the era of just redemption we feared at its inception.

“We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour, but within it we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves. So, while once we asked, ‘how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe,’ now we assert: ‘how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?’

“We will not march back to what was but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free. We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our enaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation.

“Our blunders become their burdens, but one thing is certain: If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy in change, our children’s birthright.

“So, let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left. With every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one. We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west, we will rise from the winds swept north, east where our forefathers first realized revolution. We will rise from the lake-rinsed cities of the midwestern states. We will rise from the sunbaked South. We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover in every known nook of our nation and every corner called our country, our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful.

“When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.”

January 17, 2021: Flash Fiction: Her Name

Her name was a name like no other. Her name was a name I don’t remember. Her name was a name her mother must’ve thought at the last minute. However, her face brought a different kind of emotion. It was one of fast relief. It was one of strong joy. It was one that her father could not deny. She was a strange little child, but boy did she make random eyes stare inappropriately.

She grew up to be a beautiful teenager and much too young to be thought of in such a vile way. She could’ve been a model with those long legs. She could’ve been a basketball player with those long arms. Her father begged her to join the high school team and it disappointed him greatly when she took no interest in his love of sports. She answered his statements with questions.

Who is Larry Bird?

Who is Michael Jordan?

Who is Karl Malone?

Who is Shaquille O’Neal?”

Why would I care that Pearl Jam’s lead singer wanted to name his band Mookie Blaylock?

By the time she graduated high school, she had quite the following on social media. People swooned over her videos on Instagram. People enjoyed her snappy comebacks when haters attacked her on Twitter. People liked her Facebook posts all hours of the day and night. She had become a worldly sensation. Her future had become an opportunity of social media bliss.

So, it was a shame when the effects of her narcissism knocked at her door on a fall day. She had gone through many phases in her short life and now it had come full circle. The rapping got louder.

“Keep your pants on,” she yelled.

She opened the door and found a man in a long coat. “You need to come with me,” he said.

“The hell I do.  Who are you?” she asked.

“That shouldn’t concern you,” he said.

He clamped one of the cuffs on her wrist and twisted it enough she had no option but to comply.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” she screamed.

“I’d advise you to shut your mouth. You’re only making it worse,” he said.

She failed to pick up her feet as he ushered her toward the door.  He picked her up by the scruff of her collar and took her outside to his car.  Her curious neighbors looked out their windows and took pictures with their cellphones.

“You’re going to be sorry.  My dad’s going to have your ass.  He’s a powerful man in this city,” she said.

“Not as powerful as the big eye in the sky,” he said.

 “I’m fucking innocent,” she screamed.

 “That’s what they all say.”  He shut the door before she could say another word.

January 7, 2021: Journal Entry Type #73: Two Yokes Equals Good Fortune?

Okay, so 2021 is off to a great start. I wish I had many things on my list to back it up. I suppose it’s a mediocre start to a New Year. The U.S. keeps starving for unwanted attention and showing how stupid we are when it comes to handling our differences and losses. I can’t believe I wrote my last journal entry type only two days ago. The U.S. got the results of the Georgia election but that was overshadowed by U.S. insurrectionists. Mind you the last time the U.S. Capitol was overtaken by a group of people was the War of 1812. I won’t say anything more about this. The whole world has seen and heard enough.

Because of all this drama, I took the last three days including today not writing and trying to remain calm during the storm. I made more of a resolve to incorporate things to relax today. I thought of simple images I could design and color to relax after my rewrite. I did a favor and forced myself to stretch my body for 30 minutes. I suggest this to anyone as stretching is good. I’ve jogged a few times since January 1st and did yoga that almost killed me because I’m not used to it anymore. I finished my puzzle I said I wouldn’t start until after I finished my rewrite. My justification is that it’s only 500 pieces.

This morning it dawned on me how crazy it was to have two yokes in my egg after I cracked it. I made fried eggs, and this is the first time I’ve come across this. I had to look it up. It’s a rare occurrence with one out of 1,000 chance. I’m not that superstitious so it’s a good thing it won’t result in death, but I will take the good fortune whatever that means. What’s the purpose of this blog? It might be don’t take yourself too seriously all the time, but let others be serious when necessary (what happened at the Capitol not included). More bad things will happen in 2021, but so will the good things. 2021 is a resetting in many ways for people. Take it because it’s yours.

January 5, 2021: JOURNAL ENTRY TYPE #72: SO ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES

I have to say it’s really hard not to stay tuned to the news when the U.S. is still in the midst of their election (one state, Georgia, in a runoff) and then the Congressional counting of the Electoral votes (House and Senate) on January 6th. There’s going to be objections from both House and Senate Republicans. While this is nothing new, it holds a different kind of spotlight in 2021. The phone call done by Donald Trump should answer for itself, but as many Americans like myself, I just want the whole damn thing to be over. I have never been more glued to the TV as I have in the last four years. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I want politics to normalize a little bit, but I’m not naive to think Republicans will stop their schtick or more seriously, their seditiousness when the House rules that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won. I’ve been going as strong as I can in my rewrite to finish it up. I’m closer than I was a day ago and have about 50 pages left before I send it to someone to proofread.

I could say so much more, but I’m less inclined to rattle on and on because I’m tired. When I say I’m sick of the shit show happening on the political stage in the U.S., it’s an understatement. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to help regular American folks who are literally waiting in food lines to feed their families. It really bothers me and yet there isn’t much I can do. I’m thankful I have a roof over my head and that my unemployment hasn’t run out, but if my unemployment runs out and I’m still not working, well you know the outcome of that. I struggle and then some. I try not to think about the what ifs, but the reality of the situation needs realistic viewpoints. If the U.S. leaders (both corporate and governmental) could get their heads out of the sand, maybe things would change. I’m going to tell you right now; the U.S. is not number one in the world for many reasons. Sure, we have a great military, but what good is that when we can’t even give some of our citizens the basic needs to live. And please, spare me the label of being a liberal snowflake, which I’ve been called before. I take it in stride but now is not the time to be flinging stupid names around. So yes, this far into 2021, I’m a little frustrated at the struggles most Americans are going through and the unnecessary struggles the ones in power thrust upon us.

With all my talk of politics in this blog, trust me I’m looking forward to speaking less about it. I really think America has been in a do or die time for a while. The powers need to restructure, recalculate, and make the changes necessary so the U.S. doesn’t fall further into becoming a democracy disguised as some other form of government. There was a splintering of the Democratic party when the Progressives made their voices heard in 2016 as there is now a splintering in the Republican party with those who are objecting to the 2020 presidential election. The most damaging outcome is Donald Trump blatant goal to undermine the success of any administration other than his own. I hope Washington, D.C. can accomplish something in the next four years, but if not, I would also hope people realize it takes all parties to tango. Some a lot more than others and right now, it’s clear to me who is the more stubborn moving party. Maybe we need to change the power of the two-party system in America? Maybe I need to change my views and say get rid of the electoral voting system? How can it be that a handful of states dictates who wins the Presidential election four years after four years? That doesn’t seem very representative. I’ve exhausted all I needed to say and thanks for reading this if you did. I’m going to go jogging now (my second time this month) to let of some steam and get more energy.

February 1, 2021: Journal Entry Type #76: Nerding Out and Kicking Something

I had all intentions of writing more blog entries in the end of January. I kept saying to myself, there’s three days left. Then three days left became two days left and two days left became one day left. Sunday I spent most of the day putting together Lego Yoda. By the time I’m done with it, it will look like the below. I plan to put Yoda on the top of my bookshelf.

I finally did some grocery shopping along with about five other things I’ve been putting off. I’ve started my second story although I’m trying to get through the 100 so pages I’ve already written and see what I can use and what I should throw away. I basically need to force myself to do a rough outline chapter by chapter. I have my journal ready so I fill the remaining pages and start a new one. Enough with the blue peacock, already. I want a new design to look at until I get sick of it.

I recently had more lip balm and lotion sent to me for my severely dry skin. No one believes me at how insanely dry skin I have. Since moving to the desert, it’s only gotten worse. I’ve acquired really bad eczema and my lips crack even more. My skin looks terrible. If anyone else is going through what I am, check out Eucerin for your hands, Cortibalm for your chapped lips, and Clotrimazole for your angular cheilitis. Vasoline and Vitamin A+D also helps for angular cheilitis.

This is about all I have for the first day of February. The shortest month of the year and if January hasn’t been enough of an indicator of how 2021 has been going, have faith in the rest of the year. For all the disheartening news (not fake news) and deaths happening (people I know from other illnesses and those around the world due to COVID), remember the average life expectancy ranges from mid 50s to mid 80s.

Don’t squander your days but don’t stress yourself out that you have a hard time finding purpose and meaning in daily life. I recently saw this man who turned 100 and as his wish he wanted to jump out of an airplane. He got that wish and it was awesome to see because a lot of people don’t live to that age and those that are much younger don’t have that adventure and drive. Without sounding repetitive, go out there and do your thing you were meant to do.

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FLASH FICTION: A TUB OF FAT

Posted on 01/27/2021 by Pisaries Creator

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My second flash fiction story in 2021. It’s sort of dark but completely written on the fly.

In all the wrong places, in all the wrong angles, I sat there. I barely could keep my butt on the tiny seat underneath me. It was as if it was built by a tiny craftsman. One that didn’t understand how to make a chair for someone as fat as me. Forget about the muffin top bursting out of my pants. Forget about the rolls hanging over the expandable material. I was uncomfortable in all the wrong places. I imagined this craftsman laughing as he was making his tiny chair, a masterpiece as he referred to it. You know what I call it. A tiny heap of matchsticks whittled down into smaller matchsticks. You know the ones sharp enough to poke into my butt and inflict pain.

As I shifted on that tiny seat, my mind kept going to one situation I experienced long ago. I was only fifteen at the time, still fat but not as fat as today. How much a person weighs shouldn’t reflect on the way I tell my story. Those viewed as most educated as often the cruelest. I used my experience as an introduction to the classes I taught after I graduated with the necessary credentials, but students stared more at the size of my gut than the words coming out of my mouth. They simply couldn’t believe a fat man knew as much as I did. Besides this negative part of my job, I had not wanted to ever leave the classroom. It was my sanctuary. It made me feel at home.

It stoked my ego on many levels and crushed it on others.

This moment of constant rejection by those I was hired to teach thus began my new image. I sought to incorporate ways to change my views about food and exercise. I found ways to overcome my stubbornness, laziness, and procrastination. I simply wanted to attain what others I considered friends would never reach. They were too busy huddling together every Monday night, complaining about how others made fun of their endomorphic bodies, and plotting out revengeful plans on how to outsmart their ectomorphic enemies. They dreamed of the day to become mesomorphic models. I was able to reach that mesomorphic status but it too became too much for me to handle.

My students did not know how to react to my new body. Not one congratulated me for my hard work or recognized the struggle it took to go from eating a whole pizza to half a pizza to a few slices of pizza once a month. It never dawned on them how their rejection hurt me. I eventually gave up. The healthy lifestyle was not of interest anymore. I quit teaching. Progress was fruitless. I quit learning. Loneliness was enough. I quit caring.

Moral of my story.

Give up if you want to. No one will stop long enough to pull you back up. Don’t rely on others. They don’t exist. I lived my life and now it is near the end. A tub of fat will always be a tub of fat. The question is will you take me as inspiration or failure. The second question is did any one of my previous students learn any thing from me. The third question is there any guilt for being insensitive. The most important question of all is will they feed on the weakness to continue as they always have or find the strength to surrender as I once did.

January 17, 2021: Flash Fiction: Her Name

Her name was a name like no other. Her name was a name I don’t remember. Her name was a name her mother must’ve thought at the last minute. However, her face brought a different kind of emotion. It was one of fast relief. It was one of strong joy. It was one that her father could not deny. She was a strange little child, but boy did she make random eyes stare inappropriately.
 
She grew up to be a beautiful teenager and much too young to be thought of in such a vile way. She could’ve been a model with those long legs. She could’ve been a basketball player with those long arms. Her father begged her to join the high school team and it disappointed him greatly when she took no interest in his love of sports. She answered his statements with questions.
 
Who is Larry Bird?
 
Who is Michael Jordan?
 
Who is Karl Malone?
 
Who is Shaquille O’Neal?”
 
Why would I care that Pearl Jam’s lead singer wanted to name his band Mookie Blaylock?
 
By the time she graduated high school, she had quite the following on social media. People swooned over her videos on Instagram. People enjoyed her snappy comebacks when haters attacked her on Twitter. People liked her Facebook posts all hours of the day and night. She had become a worldly sensation. Her future had become an opportunity of social media bliss.
 
So, it was a shame when the effects of her narcissism knocked at her door on a fall day. She had gone through many phases in her short life and now it had come full circle. The rapping got louder.
 
“Keep your pants on,” she yelled.
 
She opened the door and found a man in a long coat. “You need to come with me,” he said.
 
"The hell I do.  Who are you?” she asked.
 
“That shouldn’t concern you,” he said.
 
He clamped one of the cuffs on her wrist and twisted it enough she had no option but to comply.
 
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” she screamed.
 
“I’d advise you to shut your mouth. You’re only making it worse,” he said.
 
She failed to pick up her feet as he ushered her toward the door.  He picked her up by the scruff of her collar and took her outside to his car.  Her curious neighbors looked out their windows and took pictures with their cellphones.
 
“You’re going to be sorry.  My dad's going to have your ass.  He’s a powerful man in this city,” she said.
 
“Not as powerful as the big eye in the sky,” he said.
 
 “I'm fucking innocent,” she screamed.
 
 "That's what they all say."  He shut the door before she could say another word.

January 23, 2021: Journal Entry Type #75: Get it Together! Your Face is Counting on You!

I still don’t understand Twitter or Tiktok and yet, I find myself looking at both despite not having either one. I refuse to be ruled by social media even more than I already am. I finally finished my rewrite and going to be sending it to be proofread to someone early next week. I can’t state enough how glad I am to be done with it. It’s about damn time and the little changes made won’t be so drastic that I hope to have it self published by the end of April. That will give the person I’m hiring February to do what he needs to do, March for me to do what I need to do, and April to create my cover.

I could go headstrong into my next story idea which is my two sisters idea. The novel I most want to write because it will be not only the most emotionally significant to me but so ever rewarding. I’m sure I will say this about my third novel idea, what I hope will turn into a trilogy as that was my original intent, but first things first. I revamped the order of my story ideas to write and yet, before I can do anything, I need to get more centered. I’ve been putting off so many things such as reading short stories I promised my roommate I would critique. I’ve been putting off my Yoda puzzle begging for me to start and now my Yoda Legos tempting me to build.

The last week of January is almost here and no longer can use my birthday as an excuse to relax. God knows, I’ve been relaxing for much of the last three months in many ways. I consider this a long vacation although not really what I wanted under the circumstances. All I can say is I look forward to reuniting with things remaining elusive while I try to balance my life. A little less looking at stupid things on the Internet might help but it’s all in the name of learning new things, right? I’m forever trying to commit to ways that bring me a feeling of being centered. It comes down to knowing what I need to do versus taking the time and energy to do them without getting ahead of myself.

When I’m jogging, I think about reading. When I’m reading, I think about reading something else. When I’m rewriting, I think about the next story I want to write. When my feet are cold, I think about the last time I showered. When I watch TV, I think about my lack of blogging. I hope I’m not the only one to have an combination of an overworking mind during the day and sluggish and tired mind during the night or vice versa. I’m at the point of my life where I need to reign it in and not by injecting a sedative into my brain (in a crazy kind of way that only a writer can identify with or someone who creates things), but in a way where it isn’t coming from self-destruction.

There’s been much debate with the tortured artist/writer/creator. It exists in most of us in some fashion. It’s only those that let it consume them does it manifest itself in negative ways. One only has to look at anyone who has committed suicide or dealt with suicidal tendencies (not the band). It’s something within the core of many of us that never truly dies (pun not intended) and yet, it can be great sources of creativity for any writer. The territory of juggling my life is often tied to how I feel about my own life’s pace and situation. For all the time I could’ve been writing and rewriting in the past twenty years, I could’ve had already five or ten books under my belt. I could’ve had even more time to write and ended my writing ambitions with a few more titles to my name. I took a major detour and one, I believe will help to me write my next story in less time and chore of rewriting in even lesser time.

Still being a novice writer hangs over my head. How much inspiration should I gain from the books I read? How much should I discard and banish from my brain? How much should I divulge in my next story? If I’m writing it from the heart and not the hip, how much should I obsess on how it should be written and what to include and exclude? These are the writing questions keeping me up at night. I would think other writers do the same, no matter how skilled or how many books they have written. Or is it just me that can be completely entrenched in the pre-writing, writing, and post-writing process? All writers need discipline, ideas, patience, and humility. I think most of all writers need a thick coat of armor for rejection/criticism. It takes guts to put yourself and your work out in the public. This is what I’m prepping for and good luck to those who make the world a better place one story at a time.

January 21, 2021: Journal Entry Type #74: The Future for All

I watched the 46th Presidential inauguration like many others did in the U.S. and around the world. I really hoped nothing catastrophic such as riots breaking out all over and thankfully, they did not. It seemed the massive amounts of the National Guard and Secret Service deterred this kind of activity. My interest in politics went from a crawl to a fast sprint when Trump became President in 2017. The U.S. in recent history especially has jockeyed for power among the two major parties (Democrat and Republican) of those who can sway either way (Independent). This time it was the Democrats who secured the Presidential win along with a slight majority in the House and basically a tie in the Senate (also making 2021 already contentious).

As I set my alarm to wake up in time for the major inaugural events because I’m on Pacific time, I understood many were excited and thrilled and relieved. Others were sour, depressed, and angry/pissed their person did not win. I’ve never been a political nerd until as of late. I’ve been feeling more national pride in the U.S. than in all my years combined for the what if, could be, and now that I’m in my 40s for some of the young people who will be the future. As I watched the President-elect taking the oath, the President and Vice President at Arlington National Cemetery, and the awesome fireworks above the Capitol, what equally captured me was the inaugural poem by Amanda Gorman. Everything about her recitation of her poem called “The Hill We Climb” was mesmerizing.

These last few days since the inauguration I’ve slowly been getting back into the routine of my own life. While I will never aspire to the greatness of present and past historical leaders, I do what is great concerning my own abilities and aspirations. I will never have the fashion sense that anyone of the people dressed at the inaugural had, except may for Bernie Sanders. In all seriousness, I end this with the reminder to use everything and anything as a platform to better myself, even if it comes in the weirdest ways. I hope everyone else strives to do that as well in the world. Unity was a theme in the inaugural address but so is responsibility. I believe 2021 is going to be a personal reckoning and awakening for some and for others finding the courage to do one or both.

“The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman

“We’ve braved the belly of the beast, we’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace. And the norms and notions of what just is isn’t always justice. And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it, somehow we do it. Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.

“We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one.

“And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. We are striving to forge our union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.

“And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide, because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. We seek harm to none and harmony for all.

“Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true: that even as we grieved, we grew; that even as we hurt, we hoped; that even as we tired, we tried; that we’ll forever be tied together victorious, not because we will never again know defeat but because we will never again sow division.

“Scripture tells us to envision that ‘everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid.’ If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade but in all the bridges we’ve made.

“That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb if only we dare it, because being American is more than a pride we inherit – it’s the past we step into and how we repair it.

“We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. And this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.

“In this truth, in this faith we trust for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us. This is the era of just redemption we feared at its inception.

“We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour, but within it we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves. So while once we asked ‘how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe,’ now we assert: ‘how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?’

“We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free. We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our enaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation.

“Our blunders become their burdens but one thing is certain: If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy in change, our children’s birthright.

“So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left. With every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one. We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west, we will rise from the winds swept north, east where our forefathers first realized revolution. We will rise from the lake-rinsed cities of the midwestern states. We will rise from the sun-baked South. We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover in every known nook of our nation and every corner called our country, our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful.

“When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.”

January 7, 2021: Journal Entry Type #73: Two Yokes Equals Good Fortune?

Okay, so 2021 is off to a great start. I wish I had many things on my list to back it up. I suppose it’s a mediocre start to a New Year. The U.S. keeps starving for unwanted attention and showing how stupid we are when it comes to handling our differences and losses. I can’t believe I wrote my last journal entry type only two days ago. The U.S. got the results of the Georgia election but that was overshadowed by U.S. insurrectionists. Mind you the last time the U.S. Capitol was overtaken by a group of people was the War of 1812. I won’t say anything more about this. The whole world has seen and heard enough.

Because of all this drama, I took the last three days including today not writing and trying to remain calm during the storm. I made more of a resolve to incorporate things to relax today. I thought of simple images I could design and color to relax after my rewrite. I did a favor and forced myself to stretch my body for 30 minutes. I suggest this to anyone as stretching is good. I’ve jogged a few times since January 1st and did yoga that almost killed me because I’m not used to it anymore. I finished my puzzle I said I wouldn’t start until after I finished my rewrite. My justification is that it’s only 500 pieces.

This morning it dawned on me how crazy it was to have two yokes in my egg after I cracked it. I made fried eggs and this is the first time I’ve come across this. I had to look it up. It’s a rare occurrence with one out of 1,000 chance. I’m not that superstitious so it’s a good thing it won’t result in death, but I will take the good fortune whatever that means. What’s the purpose of this blog? It might be don’t take yourself too seriously all the time, but let others be serious when necessary (what happened at the Capitol not included). More bad things will happen in 2021, but so will the good things. 2021 is a resetting in many ways for people. Take it because it’s yours.

January 5, 2021: JOURNAL ENTRY TYPE #72: SO ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES

I have to say it’s really hard not to stay tuned to the news when the U.S. is still in the midst of their election (one state, Georgia, in a runoff) and then the Congressional counting of the Electoral votes (House and Senate) on January 6th. There’s going to be objections from both House and Senate Republicans. While this is nothing new, it holds a different kind of spotlight in 2021. The phone call done by Donald Trump should answer for itself, but as many Americans like myself, I just want the whole damn thing to be over. I have never been more glued to the TV as I have in the last four years. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I want politics to normalize a little bit, but I’m not naive to think Republicans will stop their schtick or more seriously, their seditiousness when the House rules that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won. I’ve been going as strong as I can in my rewrite to finish it up. I’m closer than I was a day ago and have about 50 pages left before I send it to someone to proofread.

I could say so much more, but I’m less inclined to rattle on and on because I’m tired. When I say I’m sick of the shit show happening on the political stage in the U.S., it’s an understatement. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to help regular American folks who are literally waiting in food lines to feed their families. It really bothers me and yet there isn’t much I can do. I’m thankful I have a roof over my head and that my unemployment hasn’t run out, but if my unemployment runs out and I’m still not working, well you know the outcome of that. I struggle and then some. I try not to think about the what ifs, but the reality of the situation needs realistic viewpoints. If the U.S. leaders (both corporate and governmental) could get their heads out of the sand, maybe things would change. I’m going to tell you right now, the U.S. is not number one in the world for many reasons. Sure, we have a great military, but what good is that when we can’t even give some of our citizens the basic needs to live. And please, spare me the label of being a liberal snowflake, which I’ve been called before. I take it in stride but now is not the time to be flinging stupid names around. So yes this far into 2021, I’m a little frustrated at the struggles most Americans are going through and the unnecessary struggles the ones in power thrust upon us.

With all my talk of politics in this blog, trust me I’m looking forward to speaking less about it. I really think America has been in a do or die time for a while. The powers need to restructure, recalculate, and make the changes necessary so the U.S. doesn’t fall further into becoming a democracy disguised as some other form of government. There was a splintering of the Democratic party when the Progressives made their voices heard in 2016 as there is now a splintering in the Republican party with those who are objecting to the 2020 presidential election. The most damaging outcome is Donald Trump blatant goal to undermine the success of any administration other than his own. I hope Washington, D.C. can accomplish something in the next four years, but if not, I would also hope people realize it takes all parties to tango. Some a lot more than others and right now, it’s clear to me who is the more stubborn moving party. Maybe we need to change the power of the two party system in America? Maybe I need to change my views and say get rid of the electoral voting system? How can it be that a handful of states dictates who wins the Presidential election four years after four years? That doesn’t seem very representative. I’ve exhausted all I needed to say and thanks for reading this if you did. I’m going to go jogging now (my second time this month) to let of some steam and get more energy.

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