Posted in Fiction, Life, Uncategorized, Writing

The Secret

“What is life? Why are we here? I mean, what’s it all for anyhow?” The curious red head asked  her Uncle in all seriousness, her eyes squinting to avoid the glare of the campfire as the flames toyed  with each other in a never ending battle for supremacy. He laughed a deep, carefree laugh. She asked so many questions that he shook his head after awhile. She was a born inquisitor, and was tireless in her examinations. She wouldn’t quit, even after the rest of the children grew tired and went to sleep in their tents.

“Life,” began her Uncle choosing his words slowly, “is complicated. It can’t really be summed up in one word, nor can I explain it in a one night. It is one of those things that we do year after year. We search for the why’s and the what for’s. It wouldn’t be any fun if we started with all the answers, would it?”

She looked solemn a moment, her face puzzled, the words settling into the niches of her young brain. “Well, what if I want all the answers?” Her Uncle shook his head again, and chuckled. “Well, one of the first things you’ve got to learn, and this is a big secret. In fact, come closer.” He motioned with his hand gently for her to crane her head as near to him as she could conspiratorially.

“The secret?” She whispered hopefully when she deemed she was close enough. The fire warmed them both, and the crackling of the wood was soothing in its own way.

“Awh, yes, the secret. First, you must promise me something, then I will share the secret with you.” The red head gave a frown, unsure of the new conditions of this secret.

“All right, I promise.”

“Well, then. You promise? You promise this will be the last question tonight? Your Uncle is getting tired, and must get some sleep, too.”

She frowned, she didn’t like this promise, but since she had all ready agreed, she could do nothing but nod. “The secret is…,” he began again, watching her face light up in anticipation, “No one has all the answers, and the world doesn’t give you what you want, but dishes out what it has.”

“That can’t be the secret!” she shouted. Her Uncle laughed again.

“See? Not everything is as you would want it. Better to discover this now, then later. And, since you promised, you must go to bed. And, I can get some sleep.”

“But I didn’t promise to go to bed!” She cried, horrified at the thought.

“Well, I am tired, and I can’t stay up to watch you, so you must sleep like the others. Your mother is all ready asleep. It is only fair that I get to sleep too.”

She grudgingly agreed, and walked slowly to her tent with her little face turned toward the ground in disappointment. Her Uncle watched her in silence, as the fire started to die down. He absently added one more log, thinking. Who would be there to answer his questions when the time came? He got up stiffly, and made his way to his tent, contemplating life and its meaning.

 

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Posted in Fiction, Life, Uncategorized, Writing

What in the Short Stories is Happening Around Here…

Figured I should explain why I am posting so many short stories. I had a booklet of short stories that I had been sitting on for a long time that I had wanted to publish. But, I figured since I also write newer material, I may as well self publish them here.

I did a sequel of sorts for Between the Cliffs on here,  the original which I had published in a  literary journal in college as Jennifer Rae, and I was looking for the first part since it has been over ten years I figured it would be harmless to put it out there now.

Instead, I found a treasure trove of other stories that I am editing slightly and posting here. Eventually, I will find Between the Cliffs as I kept the issue that it appeared in for my records.

So, as a disclaimer, a lot of these I must have written when I was in a sad mood. So many of them are tragedies, I am getting depressed re-writing them. I am not sad currently. I am not suicidal, or depressed. There is a ton of things to live for, not sure what I was processing at the time. But I am not in that frame of mind currently.

Posted in Life, Uncategorized

Catnip, Farmer’s Markets, and Other Random Occurrences…

Since I have been silent a while I feel I need to explain a few things. While I adore writing, and I love writing spontaneously on here the most, it isn’t what currently pays the bills. If only it was. Alas, I have been picking up hours here and there and working a lot and haven’t yet figured out a time management strategy that works in the new place.

I am attempting to make a sort of small writing area where I can be in the right mood. But, I also like to keep an eye on my kid and my furry kiddo which means I spend most of my time in the living area.

I just gave my furry child a ton of catnip just to see her antics. She is adjusting to a strictly indoor life pretty well. I had some concerns that she would try to escape or be destructive out of boredom, but so far, she is adjusting by playing with her toys a lot more. Which makes sense, no access to mice and birds and  a plethora of time on her paws. Why not give some of the toys more time, of course a couple of them might not survive many  more thrashings.

My un-furry son has also been keeping me busy with his numerous activities from music, to Judo, to hiking trips. I feel like my second job is planner / chauffeur. And, writing has fallen behind the postal service and my son’s errand running. I know I could find time. It is just a matter of will power and planning.

Plus, I am still deciding on things in this place. I kinda don’t like how my bedroom is laid out. I am thinking of rearranging all the furniture.

I made the mistake of reading something about Feng Shui, and now I can’t get it out of my head how my bed is by a door, a window and across from two other doors. I don’t think there is a way to sleep in that room and have good luck, so I guess I am kinda screwed, according to feng shui anyhow.

One of the upsides to moving is you get to start over; it’s much easier to change things up now before I get too used to things. I may rearrange the living room as well. There are some ideas that I won’t know if they suit me or not until I actually see it.

My son and I go on almost daily Pokemon walks about town. It is a sort of ritual that also gets us some exercise even though we stop walking every few feet or so because he “has to catch them all,” it is better than  watching YouTube videos all day, which he would also love to do, and on one such walk we stumbled onto the Farmer’s Market, which was awesome.

A man was there who makes chain mail and some steam punk style jewelry.  It just turned into something else and somehow we ended up buying honey and almost a hat. So, sometimes I get some good experiences out of random encounters.

There is something to be said for not having everything planned out; for having things up in the air. It is like a surprise gift, an aha moment. I like being surprised. I feel like I am not surprised enough.

I feel bad for missing Zelazny’s birthday post the most, because he was a writer that affected my style a lot and he is one of my favorites. Speaking of surprises, I briefly went into some of the books I have left, and saw a hard back of The Green Pearl by Jack Vance.

I thought I lost all my Vance because they were in paperback form. Sometimes you forget what you have and surprise yourself with long lost treasures. I know it is just stuff but it is amazing how often I get reminded.

I go to get my sunglasses, they are gone. I remember reading Le Morte D’Arthur, oh wait, it was a paperback, it is gone. Dracula, gone. I had it since I was in Middle School, I bought it at the book fair.

I still have How to Write Science-Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card. Which is good because I wrote in the cover of that one. I tried to make sure I kept the books like that, but I did get a bit rushed. So, someone going to Good Will might find some of my treasures unknowingly. If so, I hope it wasn’t one of my teenage angst notes.  Sorry in advance if some poor soul were to stumble upon those. There is a reason I don’t write much poetry.

 

 

Posted in Life, Uncategorized

Moving On With Life

I had plans to do a lot of posts around Zelazny and others, and it didn’t happen because I found out I had to move unexpectedly. I hadn’t moved in eight years and I always had a sentimental side anyway, so over time I accumulated a lot of unnecessary stuff.

Basically, I had to give up a lot. My entire paperback collection and other items. Some disappeared when some people helped me move. I can’t prove who but one box of valuable items that cannot be replaced was lost.

My only regret was not going through stuff at least once a year. It always seemed like tomorrow things would get done. Tomorrow was always a day away. I guess I would have liked to have done things with more planning and less suddenly but now I am moved I feel better. So that is what I have been up to, plus a camping trip and a birthday party for my son and father’s day. And, now back to the work week.

One thing I learned about this experience is that in the end the stuff is just stuff. The crystal vase from my now deceased Grandma isn’t my Grandma, but only a crystal vase. The rings I lost, an engagement and a wedding ring from a marriage that didn’t work out, well, maybe that needed to happen. Maybe this all had to happen to get me ready for a new life.

The phoenix needs to go through the fire to be reborn. The phoenix has always been one of my favorite mythological beasts, perhaps this constant rebirth is part of the reason why. I have tried to reinvent myself so many times.  Maybe letting go is the part that I haven’t fully completed. Maybe this time will be the best time. Here’s to hoping, and thank you all for following. More posts will be coming.

Posted in Fiction, Life, Writing

Stream of Consciousness And Why I Sometimes Wish I was a Poet…

Been reading the news online and it is filled with the usual mayhem and death and destruction, and then I proceeded to stare at an empty screen for a bit thinking about how I should be writing and maybe I should figure out what I am going to write about.

Sometimes things come to me naturally, effortlessly. Just add coffee. Other times I need to coerce myself a little. I guess this is one of the latter situations as I am not really feeling it, but I find myself with the perfect opportunity to write. And I know I will regret not taking this opportunity later.

Then I thought about the term ‘Stream of Consciousness.’ It is a type of writing which I have read and I kinda like. Roger Zelazny uses it in his Chronicles of Amber, usually when his characters are changing their surroundings in some manner. It can be effective. It is perhaps the only way I can do anything poetic. It just doesn’t come naturally to me. I love words, and I love stringing them together in interesting ways. So, I should love poetry.

And, I love reading poetry. But, if I try to write a poem, it ends up either being sappy or depressing or amateurish. Or all three. Perhaps it is because it isn’t something I have worked on extensively. It isn’t something that I have sat and thought I could do. If you don’t believe you can do something, it is usually a self fulfilling prophecy where you will convince yourself to the point where— surprise, surprise, you can’t do it.

So, it might be a mind over matter type of thing. I don’t think of myself as a poet, therefore I am not one. But there is something to be said for finding a sentence that works and is visually compelling. I could probably go through my works and cherry pick sentences and phrases that sound cool to me and create a poem from them. Whether it could have a cohesive meaning I am not sure, but I could take the time to find a meaning and make it work.

Ultimately, if you think you can, you probably can. If you think you can’t, you probably can’t. The power of the mind and how you identify yourself, how you think or perceive yourself as a being matters.

My attempt at stream of consciousness:

New Year’s

Red flowers blooming brilliantly over night time skies

where the stars shine down like little paper lanterns

illuminating the fierce nocturnal eyes of a million raccoons

and cats and weasels and varmints as they scurry amidst bushes and trees

looking for tiny prey that is also scurrying looking for nuts and seeds to eat

so they can continue another day and another night

so that the cycle can start anew another day and another night

as the earth turns slowly in space rewinding time

like a loom of silver thread until one day there will be no more

and some other thread will start spinning

in some other faraway place will begin instead.

Posted in Fiction, Life, Writing

The Infamous Jennisfora strikes back at her allergies…and loses?

Been suffering from allergies or a cold or something for a few days now and I am all ready sick of it. Can’t seem to find anything that really works at getting rid of the symptoms which are not life threatening by any means.

They are just a hindrance. I am taking some time off but I have to catch up on some things and am also doing a fair amount of sleeping which seems to help me get over these things. Just grateful I can be writing and drinking coffee today. I’m over due for a post. I think I will follow this up with a writing prompt and then I may start working on one of my novels. Maybe both. For once I have time. Been working a lot so, I am going to try and not take time too much for granted. You only have so much of it, and when it is gone, it’s gone.

 

Posted in Life, Writing

Spring Is Here… Or Another Post on Renewal

It is now Sunday evening and I have a long week ahead of me working in a new environment which always makes me strangely nervous. I am always most comfortable with routine and the expected but I know part of growing as a person is being able and willing to take risks. Which means getting uncomfortable at times.

I generally like spring. It is a time of renewal, a time for change, and growth and new things coming up out of the ground. The days start to get a little longer, it rains a lot which can be soothing. It isn’t hot or cold, although it can be windy here. It is another opportunity to check in with your life, where you are at and where you want to get to.

Spring cleaning and starting over and getting organized is something I always attempt. Every year I tell myself I am going to do better and more than the year before, but I always seem to fall short. I think this year I will set my goals  more realistically. I want to organize my desk, and grow this blog and make progress on both novels.

Even if it is just a few pages or a few hundred people more, that is something. I am going in the right direction. I would love to eventually make an income with  my writing instead of working myself to death. Here’s to the future. May it be bright and give you all happiness and success to any that pass this way.

I believe in being grateful and hopeful for myself and others. I really believe that a person’s thoughts and actions can have a real effect and power on what happens around them. It certainly can’t hurt, so I do my best at spreading positivity wherever I can.

*Hugs* JennRae.