Posted in Uncategorized

A Tale of The Loss of Various Stuff And Brick-A-Brack-it-A

Now I would like to write some fiction as it has been awhile. I had to upgrade my laptop to Windows 10 from Vista because of my silly Hearthstone addiction, yes, I am a nerd, finally able to admit it all these years later, and Blizzard was not going to let me keep playing if I didn’t upgrade. I had been sitting on this windows 10 for awhile, I bought it originally for my desktop which still needs a processor.

More evidence of my nerd-dom right there, I enjoy  putting pc’s together. I also love my cat, even though she sat on my processor which I stupidly left out, and bent the pins. I tried to straighten it and ended up breaking them off. So, to make a long story longer, I am full of contradictions. I love my cat and my computer. I love writing, but find it hard at times to get motivated.

I lost a lot of items when I moved, and found another item that didn’t make it. My Microsoft Office disc. I re-downloaded scrivener, and will have to rebuy Office in the future. It costs too much to buy it now, so now it will force me to learn scrivener which looks like a lot of fun. Trying to find the upside in losing software that will cost over a hundred dollars to replace.

The other items I lost were some irreplaceable ones and some I can re-buy. My fitness cd’s, my rings, including a one of a kind genuine amethyst ring which the jeweler destroyed the mold he used to make it afterwards, Cowboy Bebop dvd collection, and my tassel from graduating high school and community college, and my community college ring. A little crystal vase from my now deceased Grandma was also in that box.

I was grateful for the help at the time, but also exhausted and stressed out. It’s Over Now, as the Alice In Chains song goes, but, every time I think I’m past it, I ran across another thing I need that I don’t have.

It has been frustrating but I have learned some valuable lessons. One obvious one is that stuff is just stuff. The vase isn’t my Grandma. I still graduated even though I don’t have the tassel to prove it. I do have the diploma. Another obvious rule, which if I had been sane I would have known and should have known better, never let people who you know have a high probability of having a meth addiction into your house. They will rob you blind every time.

They were taking stuff from one box and adding it to anther, I was constantly telling them no, I am keeping that box. While I was loading two boxes, I left the third at the top of the stairs, when I came back it was gone. I really thought, perhaps I was mistaken and there were only two boxes. I was so tired.

Nope, they hauled it off when I was gone for ten seconds. So yeah, that was stupid of me. And, since I let them in it is a she said she said situation. I did let them keep a lot of stuff, so, I have no way of proving that they stole anything.

I decided to chalk it up as a lesson learned. Not to get invested too much in material things, and to make my peace with the loss. And, you never make good decisions when under a lot of stress. You need time to think and process.

If anyone is rushing you into something, it is probably not to your benefit. If anyone offers to help with nothing in return, sometimes, there is an ulterior motive. The world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

Occasionally, there is a glimmer. But most of the time, there is something else at work. I wish that wasn’t the case, but in my experience, most of the time there is a cost, a hidden cost, but a cost nonetheless. Make sure you are willing to pay it. There is no free lunch, as they say.

 

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Posted in Life, Uncategorized, Writing

Time to Do Some Writing….

My site is back and hopefully here to stay. I plan on doing a lot of writing, and hopefully it will be just what I need to elevate my craft. Thank you all for your patience while the site was in hiatus. I appreciate any and all follows and I do follow back as a common courtesy.

I took this week off from work and it was nice not having to worry about getting up early and to have an open schedule. I do feel for those out there that make their own schedules though. It was at times hard to get motivated. I wasted some time, but that was okay.

I kind of knew that was going to happen. It is like the kid who isn’t allowed to eat candy going to a friend’s house and an open candy dish is right there. Time has been like that for me. I never have enough of it it seems, and when I do I squander it like a lottery winner does their winnings.

I am trying not to be too hard on myself. But at the same time, we never know how much time we are allotted in this life. So, it is imperative to make it count.

With that in mind, be expecting some timed writes, writing prompts, and short stories of surprise and wonder coming your way. And, again, thank you. Your encouragement and inspiration is what keeps me posting.

Sincerely,

JennRae.

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.

 

Posted in Fiction, Uncategorized, Writing

The Search For Happiness

She knew she had to return to the village soon, before anyone worried too much. She sighed, wiping the wetness from her face looking away from the sky, refocusing on the earth at her feet. Dreaming was the slow death. Time drifts slower in a dream, but there are so many happy moments there making reality seem so careless.

“You dream too much”, her mother chided her, “Some day you won’t wake up, and then what will we do? We will miss our beautiful daughter, lost to the winds and clouds forever. One must stay rooted in the ground. This is where people belong, not in silly dreams.”

She felt at home in the dreams. In the dreams there were many people, and they all tipped their hats, and curtsied to her. She had the best food and there was a boy who would dance with her, and make the light dance between them. Out of the dream, this person didn’t exist, or perhaps she just hadn’t met him yet. But she could dream.

In the dream she lived in a castle with spires, and tapestries, and full of other magical things. In the dream everyone was courteous. Sometimes her dreaming would get in the way of her chores, and she would be scolded by a sharp word or even a slap. But this didn’t bother her too much. Every chance she got she would sleep, even for only a little while, and once her eyes were closed, she could dance, and smile, and laugh.

Her life was simple, and she was happy with her dreaming. Her mother shook her head, but other than that, said nothing. Her teachers in school shook their heads, and would tell her to concentrate on this world, and she would blush as laughter from the other students erupted around her.

“One day this would change”, her father said, “You will grow out of dreaming, and make a decent wife to a good man, and have children. And maybe tend a garden like most women. Or perhaps you will become a learned scholar traveling the world, oh wait, that sounded way too dreamish, never mind that.”

Everyone knew she got the crazy dreaming from his family. Sometimes her father dreamt too, but his dreams were different from hers, mostly filled with monuments, and machines and a crazy urban landscape far removed from the country life style around the mountain.

Her mother dreamt of her children’s future. The grandchildren would be perfect in every way, her daughter would not only marry a good man, but a rich one who would treat the family as his own, showering them with gifts at every turn. It was a good dream, but her mother was secretly ashamed to dream such silly nonsense.

“Adults shouldn’t dream at all”, she said,”Merely do their duty, and make sure everything goes in its same steady stream. Dreams interrupt life, take away from it, dreams could be dangerous.” Her mother was against anything that was dangerous.

It was on an ordinary day where everyone did everything they had been doing, same as the day before, when some strangers came into town. These strangers declared that there was gold down the river, a lot of gold to any who had the hands to grab it, and life was good in the valley. Much better than on the mountain.

The girl listened to the wind, and it sounded like it was crying. Her mother just shook her head, but there was something sad about her eyes. Her father saw his machines, but not the monuments and stayed with the mountain. The girl went to the men with the gold, while her family watched transfixed as if in a dream, and she climbed into their carriage with a helping hand, headed  for the valley, leaving her family and school behind.

Her thoughts were simple enough. Perhaps the boy lived in the valley, and that was why she hadn’t met him and danced with the light in the castle. There would never be a castle on the mountain, she knew that with a certainty that made any reservations subside.

The men gave her bright cheery apples to eat, and she kicked her legs freely from the back of the wagon, watching her parents recede ever smaller. They made their way to the valley quickly, night falling about the same time they entered the gates. The valley had a river bleeding through it, as if from a deep wound to the earth, or like the earth was crying over the loss of the sky, forever parted, yet so terribly near.

She thanked the men, and jumped off the carriage without a care in the world. She knew there would be no turning back, she could not go home and expect to find her mother shaking her head. It was much too late for that.

She went looking for love, along the river, while the men looked for gold. The men got some of what they wanted, but never seemed to be content with the amount of gold from the river, and it gave less and less with each passing day. Soon the men started talking of developing the mountain, that the real gems would be found there. By the time the girl heard of this she was all ready too far removed from the men and their dreams of gold.

She was looking for something else, and hadn’t found it yet. She went to the valley town, and introduced herself politely enough, they handed her a broom, and told her to earn her living, and that nothing came for free.

She soon became disappointed, there were no castles here. She cried at night missing her family, her friends, and even the men with the carriage. But she could not go back. She knew that road was barred to her. She didn’t dream that night, and the boy did not come to dance with her.

The next night. there was no dream. Years past, and she was merely a woman instead of a girl, and she couldn’t dream. Dream of what? Gold? Men? Neither were what they seemed. Once had, she needed more, this wasn’t what she was looking for. She no longer knew the face of the boy, or the many people who would curtsy or tip their hats.

She began to feel sadness, and walked along the barren street, with her broom. When she looked up, she found a young man looking at her funny. “Why are you looking at me, like that?”

“Hmm?” he mumbled. “I thought I was dreaming. Is there anything to do here?” Dreaming. Of course, she remembered now, and she felt she was way too old, but then, maybe she wasn’t. She looked at her hands, and was startled to remember that she was still a young woman, not a girl, but far from old. When she stopped dreaming, she had aged years, but the young man reminded her of what it was to live in the realm of ideas, and she was grateful.

It was only after he left that she realized he was the boy, the one from her dream. She knew nothing about him, and she could see her mother shaking her head, dangerous. Still, she followed, wondering why he was here, and where he was going.

He was civil to her, and talked to her freely once she caught up to him. He seemed truly content with what he had, and she was amazed. She had never met anyone content before, just those striving for more. When asked about where he was from he turned to her in astonishment, “Have you not heard of the land to the West? It is where the dreamers live looking for knowledge of those who came before.”

She asked softly, “Can you take me there?”

He looked at her anew, and said, “What is it you do here? Sweep?”

“Yes,” she answered, blushing toward the ground. It was then, that he introduced her to his friends, and his wife, and she stopped in mid dream, horror struck.

How could someone else claim her dream? Yet, he was content with what he had, and wasn’t a dream at all, but a person. He told her he couldn’t take her to the land in the west, but that maybe someone could show her the way. He left her there, not knowing of her dreams,  which seemed so silly to her now, all the dancing was gone, and she suddenly felt very old.

She looked to the west, and began to walk down the river, away from the valley town, in the direction he had pointed. She couldn’t help dreaming again.

Seeing the young man in the flesh had forced her to remember what the dreams were like as she walked away letting the broom fall to the ground. Perhaps there was another young man, and that one could be her dream. She knew that wasn’t right, that it was a matter of timing, and place, and she would also have to learn how to be content with what she had in order to find him. Meanwhile, she would look for the land of dreams to the west.

 

 

 

Posted in Fiction, Uncategorized, Writing

The End, A Short Story

The pain doesn’t stop; it merely waits on the edge of the bed for the sensation of my limbs to return, and then it will reclaim me, heart and soul. The pain fills the space and time of the hospital room with harsh light, and fractured thoughts. Why must life be painful? If it weren’t for pain, would happiness be possible?

Hard to say since experience is only what you have done or seen, and pain is part of my experience. I guess it’s not so bad, at least I can feel something when I am in pain, instead of the constant numbness of nothing which surrounds me currently. I anticipate the pain with prophetic glee. It means I am still alive, that I will recover, and stand upon my own two feet again.

I can see a sunrise by the sea, and the trees swaying in the wind with a gentle but ominous creaking. The cool sensation of grass on bare feet, heedless of the shoe coming down to smack down on a strong but tiny frame. I want to run free of all the ropes that bind, run through those trees, on the grass.

I want to somehow get to the sea and the sky. I reach for wings I never had, to fly into the stars and see that I too, am merely an ant, ready to be crushed by a giant intergalactic shoe.  A black hole rising to swallow my hopes, dreams, and my soul.

The pain brings me back to this world, preventing me from floating away into the endless abyss of blackness above. Where is the joy? Hand in hand with the needle, awaiting that grimace that is so essential to feeling.

The nurse beckons quietly, almost mournfully like the man in his dark suit in a funeral parlor. Cherry or oak, for you? Yes, I think cherry with an ivory lining would be the best choice. Dramatic yet somehow simple. Elegant, yes, that was the word.

Some say they want to be cremated. What’s the fun in that? Let the worms eat me! Cinders blowing on the wind are such dead black things. Food is an integral part of life, and there will be no pain. Death is the absence of pain. Nothing exists then but the soul, and what is that really? A globe of phosphorescence? A blinding idea of pure thought and love, something that can endure  while the corpse cannot?  Does it exist?

Maybe, maybe not, how can I say when I haven’t died, or lived to remember it? I would like there to be a soul, something permanent, a voice to cry out, I was here! Graduated in ’97! Something to cry out in pain, I lived, I died, and I may live again! Who doesn’t wish to live forever?

Probably the few beings that actually could live forever. Life does get tiresome in only twenty to fifty some years. I could imagine infinity like a great big carousel, going round and round indefinitely, and not being able to get off, but being forced to go around, and around, and around.

I might go mad thinking like this. Where is that pain to remind me of life? Where are the nurses to jab needles into me? Where is the hospital? There is nothing here. There is nothing. The end is all.

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.