Emotion

TRAMPLED BY THANKFULNESS

After the A to Z 2013 and Blog Every Day In May 2013 Challenges I decided to take some time off. It’s been a week and in that time I’ve focused on getting back into an exercise routine, caught up on some work, contemplated my fiction (though not writing any), and debated where to touch base with my next — this — entry. Also, I’ve been catching up with fellow bloggers and have only completed the task with 2 ½ people out of 12+ I need to learn how to stay on track and read faster...

If you’ve been following along for a while you’ll likely be familiar with the fact that I sometimes have random bouts of emotional bursts. I won’t point out the specific posts this time around, but if wanting to you can inquire and I will share the needed links. A similar outburst occurred last weekend while listening to music; more specifically watching a music video. I meant to write this post right away, in the moment of it all, but I’m a master procrastinator.

Triggered By Turtles

The video above is the one that triggered the emotional reaction out of the blue. There I was... minding my own business, just discovering that a band I’ve heard a good amount of hype about — Trampled By Turtles — was actually a local band, checking out one of their videos for the first time and...

*THWACK*

I was bitch-slapped in the Deep Limbic System and began crying like a little baby. Trampled By Turtles had violated me emotionally and I never saw it coming. Nor did I have a say, apparently, in the situation. Blindsided, my cup filled up and runneth over with tears. I’m not embarrassed about crying; I think its a healthy release that we should experience when needed. I was more upset that I wasn’t exactly sure why it was happening.

I began thinking of past relationships and just life in general, as I went to curl up in the fetal position in bed. Okay, not quite, but I may as well have. I was bombarded with thoughts of not having accomplished anything significant in life, not having a family (paired with the exact opposite thoughts of not being prepared/ready for, or even desiring, one right now), believing it was time to stop pretending I can make any sort of living writing; buying/selling gaming cards; or any other “hobby” endeavor, and what exactly I planned to do in the long-term in regards with my life. It was all rather depressing really.

To that I say both Fuck You! Trampled By Turtles and also... Thank you! It’s a real mixed bag-o-crazy over here sometimes in the deep recesses of my mind.

There were more thoughts and emotions all intertwined with the ordeal, but having a week pass did a number on my memories associated with it. In fact, being the genius that I am, I decided to once again subject my mind to TBT’s emotional abuse in order to channel some of the same triggered reactions.

Yeah... I cried again ya bastards... don’t judge! At least I didn’t go run off and hide in my room for hours, though! So in your face!

Did I learn anything? Any lesson? Come to have an epiphany? Not really. Eventually the charged feelings subsided and I leveled out. Of course I’m going to make millions writing and indulging in my other extracurricular, hobbitastic activities!

Some people never learn...

10 Things of Thankful

As I was catching up with fellow blogger entries this week, One (A Fly On Our Chicken Coop Wall) posted about a blog hop a friend of theirs set up. I fought with myself for a while and eventually decided to join in on the fun, thinking originally it was a daily thing. Thankfully it’s only a weekly entry. I apologize for not having this posted a few days ago as planned, thinking some others may like to join in. I’d imagine you can join in at any time.

The hop occurs on Saturdays and involves listing ten things you are currently thankful for in your life. This is in encouragement of embracing and sharing some good ‘ol positive vibes. If participating, I believe they ask that you visit the two people before (or after, or around) your placement on the link list and that you use their banner/badge, which I’ve used above.

Be warned, however, I’m lacking some of the information like where to specifically list your link. There are multiple locations to submit your entry’s link, so I have a little research to do. I may be all over the place at the start, but should be fine once I understand the details more fully.

Without further ado... my listing of things I am thankful for:

  1. I’m thankful that this blog hop is only weekly (as explained above) and not daily. Part of my debate with participating revolved around the fact that I think I may be too pessimistic to come up with 10 things a day. Sad, I know, but honest! This should be more doable...
  2. *Two Hours Later in Spongebob style* My newly made friends during NaNoWriMo and fellow bloggers met since I began this blog; most during the A to Z Challenge.
  3. The patience of my fellow bloggers as I barrel through and catch up with their past (and current) posts. I’m at about a 15% completion rate!
  4. Music that can trigger my emotions and make me think, regardless if negative or positive. To be able to feel the vast range of emotions on the spectrum is truly a gift, in my opinion.
  5. Hopefully this isn’t cheating... but having that full spectrum of emotions!
  6. The clown my grandmother (in AZ) made when I was a child I still have dangling from my lamp. Clowns in general creep me out; even this crocheted representation she painstakingly created back in the day. During the emotional burst last weekend I eventually trudged out to the living room, leaned back against the wall, and dramatically slide down into a sitting position. When the Emo attack was letting up I looked up and saw the crafted clown smiling over at me. this in turn made me smile and laugh. Then daily life resumed as normal.
  7. For the hobbies that I partake in that randomly spawn ambitious dreams and fuel my creativity. Now if only my motivation would catch up to speed...
  8. My friends and family who share along in and/or support the above endeavors. There are plenty out there who would rather scoff and ridicule such things, but those types of people are very few and far in between in my life.
  9. My cat Crooks who is always there to help comfort me in my times of need... when he deems it fitting... *sigh*
  10. My grandmother (in MN) who is actually always there to help comfort me in my times of need; loving unconditionally.

Have you heard of Trampled By Turtles? Do you have a specific song or artist that can trigger some powerful emotions within you? Anything you are currently thankful for in your life?

A to Z 2013 : NOSTALGIA

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

Childhood. I always remembered the phrase: “as a kid you always want to grow up, but when you do you wish you could be a kid again.” Okay, I’m not completely certain that is exact, but you know what I’m talking about.

Sometimes kids try to grow up too fast. I think some don’t get to fully experience being young, whether by choice or forced (forced makes me think of those children beauty pageants that make me incredibly sick to my stomach). They can’t wait to have this profession or that (usually a cowboy or princess), can’t wait to drive, can’t wait to have a family; the aspirations changing through the years.

I can’t recall if I wanted to grow up fast or not. I know I wanted to be a cowboy, a cop, a private detective, and then a bounty hunter (are you seeing a theme here?). Then dreams of being an artist/writer of comic books and novels came about. I don’t think this meant I wanted to grow up any faster, but like I said I can’t recall my state of mind. My family would, but I haven’t asked them previously.

One thing I do know is that I can’t recall a lot of my childhood; just little blips. I see pictures my relatives will post, and I’ve absolutely no recollection of the event/time frame. We aren’t talking only pictures of when an infant to three years old, but where I seem to be ten or older. Not exactly sure why I can’t remember these events. People have tried to hypothesis a handful of reasons, most usually involving trauma.

Resistance is Futile

A good chunk of what I do remember, however, are times I wish I could revisit/relive. Some of my favorite memories revolve around my creativity. For example, I would make games for my brothers and I to play together. These games could involve paper, cardboard bricks, or whatever else I had access to.

The main building block... to many of these creations were Legos. I would use our coffee table to build an entire street of a town. Sometimes I would enact a movie for them, but other times we would play a game. The game had no real name really (that I recall), and it was a variant of one I made with G.I. Joes (we were all boys, so yeah).

I guess it was called Friday the 13th after the movies, because that was my premise. You had a character and you decided which location/house you wanted to be at in town. I’d then use cards, which were shuffled (every day I’m shufflin’), and lay them out face down in front of the locations. I think I sometimes allowed for a character move now and again, but once everyone was ready I would then flip up the cards one by one. Those that were inside the Lego house marked by a face card died. What killed them? You know... ghosts. It was a haunted Lego city no one moved out of... just moved a lot on the same street.

We all loved playing that game. Even the G.I. Joe version it originated from which used books as “cabins” and an “outhouse” was popular among them; the killing being dished out by a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-esque Jason Voorhees.

Eventually the games got a bit more complicated; dice were added to the mix. One of my favorite games consisted of constructing a Lego base that was besieged by the Borg (of Star Trek origin, if you weren’t geeky enough). You had a limited amount of space you could move, and if you were engaged by a Borg you would “battle” by rolling the dice. Our characters got 2 or 3 lives before being assimilated. The other characters (I guess Red Shirts by all accounts) would only have one. It all played out like an epic movie. Trust me. I know. I was there!

The Brothers, The Brothers

Through the years, after (and during) all the sibling rivalry/fights, the four of us have gamed together; Magic: the Gathering, board/card games, but mainly video games. Once we all got our own places/families/lives we had a weekly designated Game Night (generally Tuesday evenings). My brothers would come over — their TVs and game systems in tow — and we would spend the entire night gaming together. This was usually the highlight of my week, and I’d like to think it was for them too. If someone couldn’t make it, we would get pretty huffy.

Like with all things losing its appeal, eventually attendance dwindled as life dictated, and eventually we all chose one system (Xbox) to play on. Soon everyone had the internet, were online, and could game together from home. Game Night was reborn!

Again, that too began to flux, to the point where now I may game with one of my brothers every few weeks. This is partly due to the fact that I don’t game as much, and two of my brothers don’t play on Xbox anymore. I’ve just recently made up for it some by seeing those two brothers on Monday’s and playing with them on the horrid PS3. The third brother I see often on Xbox still and we play when able.

I long for a monthly (being weekly may be unrealistic) Game Night where we can all get together and game again. It spawned from our holiday tradition of playing video games at family gatherings — like Thanksgiving — while the rest of the family watched football, and I am a creature of habit.

Touched

What I miss the most, though, is that creativity. I guess it makes sense that I would have aspirations to be a writer; writer’s can create entire worlds, people, etc. A game designer was also high on my list. I even began to create a card game, but eventually almost all of that — along with most of my writing — was lost in multiple hard drive crashes.

I like creating things for people, but mostly for those I love and cherish. Over the last few years, I feel as though I’ve lost that creative spark. I get little surges of inspiration, but I never end up following through and finishing any projects. This is where the lack of motivation comes into play. I never have the lack of ideas, just the lack of drive.

I wish I could channel that ability I had when I was a child growing up. To be continually active in creating new things for myself and those I care about; for the world. For anyone and everyone to enjoy if they saw fit. To see or hear about how something I brought into the world touched someone in a very positive way. Touched their heart.

Even if just producing one more additional smile or laugh in this stream of life.

What did you want to grow up to be as a child? What games would you play with your siblings? Any sibling traditions? What are you most nostalgic about?

A to Z 2013 : INITIATIVE: JUST ACT KIND

A to Z 2013 : INITIATIVE: JUST ACT KIND

Within I touch on the topics of Love, hate, Forgiveness, Spirituality and Kindness. They are discussed through my own personal experiences and beliefs I've shared throughout my brief lifetime. Hopefully the Initiative will inspire something in you!

I want to believe this is somewhat coherent. As I began writing it, I had way too many topics/thoughts/ideas barraging me at once. This was the third draft and I refuse to do a fourth. I feel this will get a handful of my thoughts out. I will revisit these topics once the A to Z Challenge concludes, and I have more time to focus.

A to Z 2013 : GRANDMA'S BOY

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)

After determining I would stop blogging, I began to to think of some of the topics I had planned that I’d never write about. Some I find important, others just fun and random. Then I began to think about what my grandmother would say when she found out I quit. She has been my number one supporter and fan. She is technologically challenged, so I read my latest blog entries to her when I visit on Mondays.

Over the last few months she has come to look forward to the interaction and, to be honest, so have I. I may not live in her basement like the stereotypical Grandma's Boy — the space is actually occupied by another — but there is no doubt that I am a Grandma’s Boy. The thought of her reaction doesn’t sit well with me. She would be very understanding, but yet... not.

What a Difference a Day Makes
24 little hours

What eventually ran through my head, after a comment a friend made, was people may think I couldn’t stomach the A to Z challenge. Now, I’ve nothing to prove, but I wanted it to be known that I really was (am) enjoying the A to Z. The people have been great and the abundance of new blogs/reading material welcomed.

Then another friend made a comment about getting them involved and abandoning him. I'm sure he was joking (I hope...), but I did feel kind of bad. Some friends weren’t able to sign up/register in time; joining later in the week, catching up.

If I had left that F post at its bare-boned, skeletal artsy self as I had planned, I don’t think I’d even be writing this. But, I wrote more and soon after I wanted to write more. What was G going to be again? “Give it a Name?” No, that was a header under J. What about H? I had a coded message for someone with the O entry. I really was (am... *sigh*) enjoying this blog hop (I think that is technically what it is referred to as).

All that, and a bit more, culminated into wanting to continue even more than before.

What the Crack Fuck?

I have this thing, where I worry about what people will think (it apparently exists both in person and online) and what impressions I make. I literally just went off about having to find a job and prioritize and get shit straight (all of which I need to do... very, very badly... and fast).

Now I'm continuing (or wanting to) and wonder if people are going to think I'm on drugs or something. Maybe bipolar — which I’m not and is no light matter — or depressed or whatever multitude of things. I even, at this very moment, have an email up I was going to send to a Co-Host of the A to Z challenge asking if I will come off like a cracked out basketcase.

I could leave comments off, continually, out of fear. What fun would that be, though? The interactions are honestly 75% of this event, and blogging, for me.

I’m writing this entry, and I am abstaining from sending that email (sparing them of my nuttery), and resolving to: Fuck it. Like all else, those things — thoughts/feelings/opinions of others — are out of my control. Sucks sometimes thinking what role I play in them, because despite the fact that yes, it is out of your control, you sometimes play a role. Things you say/do/etc all play a part. But, even then, what can you do? Not a whole hell of a lot. Make better choices (if the results were negative) perhaps.

It is what it is. I’m a strong supporter of: Whatever happens, happens. My facebook banner thing-in-the-bobber can back me up... unless it's still the 2012 NaNoWriMo one... then it can’t. Nope “What Ever Happens, Happens.” And now I know how little I paid attention to the split between “what” and “ever” and am annoyed because it should be one word. Now I have another crisis on my hands! Great!

I Cannot Tell a Lie

Quitting the blogs, while helping some with stress (mainly referring to my fiction blog), won’t make me any more motivated to job hunt. What I feel would result is I’d find some other distraction — there are many to choose from (Damn you Candy Crush! Damn you to hell!) — and I’d be in the same place I was before. Except I wouldn’t be writing as often. If at all, because this fiction writing is still presenting its fair share of blockage. It wants to fight. It wants to punch me in the ear.

So not blogging isn’t going to help a whole hell of a lot. I just hate standard work; always have. My grandmother and I just recapped this last Monday. Friends and family always come first, and at least with the job I’ve had for the last six years those values could be upheld. I just need another. A second job... oh my nuts, if you only knew how much I hate the concept of having to work two jobs. Yeah, I know... millions do it. I am likely of the 1% in this category.

I’ve good friends and family that have attempted to help me get a second job for months now, but I just evade. Evade right into that financial black hole I was talking about in my previous entry. So what I need is an entire change of thought and, surely, acceptance. I need to be careful... I can’t even fully become a Grandma’s Boy and live in the basement; no vacancies. Would be interesting to see where I’d end up.

Was It Real or Was It All an Illusion?

Well, let’s see here. I’ve quite possible broken all trust of security with those who follow along, including friends and family. This guy could just up and leave after investing X amount of time reading his damn blog?! This was actually a factor of concern if I were to eventually come back to blogging.

See I talk about Connections and building of strong bonds, so acts like this leave me a bit reminiscent of incidents described in The Bridge.

At least my bounce back recovery time is improving exponentially! I guess I should have heeded my own words:
“Eviscerate notions demanding
Enthralling neurotic derailments"
Do I try to pretend it never happened? Claim "F" was for "False Alarm"? Not really my style. Everything described is real, genuine, and pertinent in my life at this time. I definitely seem to be living up to that intentionally emo pic I took when deciding to undertake a journal blog.

So I think I will just keep on, keeping on. In my heart of hearts it is what I want. I can continue to dabble with writing on a non-fiction front, and I can keep reading my blurbs to my grandmother when I visit. I can meet new bloggers.

And while pretending to look for a second job, perhaps one will fall into my lap... right.

WTF? Is Jak:
A) Crazy
B) On Crack
C) Sleep Deprived
D) Living Up to His EmoJak moniker 
E) The One True King 
F) All the Above (minus E, of course!)
G) None of the Above (This has all been a ruse of pure genius masterminded as some sort of publicity stunt)

I’m going to go with G :) since it is the Letter of the Day. Also, if you've never seen the movie Grandma’s Boy, do so (but only if you enjoy crude humor!).

Edit: I forgot it's Monday (since I scheduled this out over the weekend) and that is officially Grandma Day! I will share a video by Julian Smith that I place up on FB occasionally:

IDLE MUSINGS

Last week my family said goodbye to my uncle. Things seem calmer, but it's likely because everyone is going about their grieving in different ways. That and the fact I am not in close proximity of most of my family anymore. We aren’t talking states away, but I have a very small radius of travel; something I want to change sooner than later.

I spoke of another loss, one hopefully salvageable. It pales in comparison to a death in the family, but it's an important matter, nonetheless.

Before getting to that, though, I will start on a lighter note...

Your You’re the Writer

Yesterday was my review for the new company I work for. I have to admit, I was a little nervous. With everything going on the last few weeks, I had fallen a bit behind. The company uses a Self-Assessment form, where you critique your own work/skills/strengths/weaknesses/etc. It was interesting. Similar to some of the questions asked in the interview I had with the company.

Questions like: What are five strengths you possess?

Could you believe I could only think of four during my interview? It happened! Granted I was on thirty minutes of sleep, but still. I never really think about those kinds of things. What I’m good at, strengths, positive traits/skills. It was a bit easier this time around, thankfully.

I couldn’t print out the form, so I ended up writing my answers on index cards. I was excited when my manager seemed interested I used them. I may be obsessed, I use them for many things. She let me start the review.

“You’re the writer...” she began.

I must have told her I wanted to write and forgot. I think I got flustered, maybe embarrassed, and tried explaining I hadn’t written much in a while. It was, however, encouraging to make sure I do a little writing each day; especially my fiction.

The review went really well. Things were in order and we spoke about advancement opportunities, so I will be playing it by ear. It would be nice to shift into a new role, learn some new skills. Overall it turned out to be a good day, with a clearer outlook on the work front.

Wildflower

In a previous post, THE BRIDGE, I mentioned a Wildcard associated with NaNoWriMo.  This individual played an important role in inspiring my writing, encouraging me to complete NaNo, and fueling various other projects thereafter. Looking back, I apparently wasn’t completely aware of just how influential the individual had been to my work.

Now the part that some may find hard to believe, is that I had specifically asked for a Muse months ago. Asked the Universe, for all those new age spiritualists out there. So, I got what I asked for, but unfortunately not at the most opportune time, at least in terms of being able to explore it to a desired capacity. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. I just wanted to write again.

So this Muse came into my life and that’s what happened. I began to write again. More expansive than outlines and ideas. Spending time with them somehow created a surge of inspiration and desire to create. I couldn’t explain it and still can’t. It just was. It scared me; still does. It played a factor in, to some extent, the breakdown discussed in that earlier post linked above.

While things were exciting for a time, eventually due to circumstances, the connection had to be momentarily released. I hope it’s a very temporary situation. It was important to myself to be realistic and honest about the situation, rather than pretend I was okay with it or that things would change. Continuing down that path would have bode negative for both myself and them. Different people at different places, but perhaps down the road the friendship will resume more fully.

Since the severance, I have coincidentally been lacking in my fiction. I’m sure a lot of it is in my head, but unless someone has known someone that created this effect, I can’t explain it. It comes off as magical. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t contemplated sacrificing some happiness in attempts to assure I could at least have access to just a taste now and again. It can be very euphoric.

Music plays a large role in my writing, and fuels a lot of my fiction. Not as fleshed out, but little blips of scenes. I’m hoping it will suffice, and that I can unlock that part of me that was unleashed when in the presence of a Muse. The belief is, naturally, that the source is within you and I agree (or so I will tell myself). The trouble comes in accessing it freely.

Wildflower is the name of a Smashing Pumpkins song I dedicated to this situation. To me, the song is about someone chasing another who is always out of reach. In doing so, eventually it becomes too much and they need to let go, or risk the task consuming them. That is the simplistic explanation.

The song took on a slightly different meaning when listening to it live, where the singer had changed a line of lyrics from "When it's far too gone, I'd move on" to "When it's all too much, I've had enough." Originally, in context, it sounded like he was giving permission to the other to move on once he became unmanageable. To go and be free and live without him. With the change, it is more giving himself permission and letting go (and how the original line was meant to be taken - at least in my theory). Either way, give it a listen. I love it!

Flash Fiction

I decided to try my hand at Flash Fiction. Essentially it is a piece consisting of fewer words than a short story. I believe under a thousand (or maybe three thousand?) words is common. There was a contest held a few weeks ago and the rules specified for a piece of fiction of 250 words or less. Writing within these confines is sometimes referred to as Micro Fiction. Also, as a fun twist, you had to use at least four of ten pre-selected words.

The words:

EVENING-QUARRY-ACCENT-ROSE-TEAR-MINUTE-GRAVE-CLOSE-ENTRANCE-BOW

It was a lot of fun and very challenging. I’d like to do more Flash Fiction. I feel it will help me in terms of brevity with my fiction. This past weekend I received the dreaded email stating my story didn’t make it to the next round of judging. That is unfortunate, but was expected. It was more for the experience of it. I don’t think I’ve submitted anything into a contest since high school; maybe first grade.

The piece was inspired by the circumstances involving the Muse, and also a song I was inspired to write during the period we were in touch. For that reason, it is a very personal story, but would love to share it.

I’m currently placing all of my fiction on a blog specifically designed for my writing. You can read my Flash Fiction contest entry there:

Dreams in the Shade of Ink: Fireflies

Feel free to check it out, comment, and explore the other writing projects I am working on! Any constructive feedback is always welcomed; both here and there.

Until then, I will endure the only thing standing between that fleeting inspiration and myself. Those words that wish to be written, but enjoy a good game of hide-and-seek.

Time.

Have you ever had a Muse? For those out there inspired by music, what song(s) or band(s) really gets your mojo flowing? Have you ever written any Flash Fiction? I'd love to read some from others!