Looking Down from My Throne

A robe over my shoulders and a gold ring on my hand. I sat on my throne, looking down at those beneath me. I do not know their names, where they are from, or who they believe themselves to be. I don’t care. To me they are all the same. I wouldn’t be able to recognize one from another. They will never be able to compete with my greatness nor achieve the level of power I was born with, no matter how hard they try. They are ants, working day in and day out to serve their lord. But who really is their lord? They work in my domain but do they work for me or against me?
Those who trespass into my territory, do they seek me harm or is it merely by mistake? I doubt I am loved by them, for hundreds of their family members and friends have been slain by my hand. Do I continue to squelch the subtle invasion or do I leave them alone, as I wait and watch? Do I continue with my brutal tactics? Do I destroy them and their families or do I capture them to work in my farms, prisoners to my will?
I stand to my feet after flushing and I hang my bathrobe on the hook. “Yeah Honey, I think it’s time we call the exterminator. This gel poison isn’t really working.”

 

-Johnny

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My Sanctuary

There is a little corner in my room

that is demonless and ghost free

No matter if it is night or noon

It it is where I like to be

All this corner has to its name

is a small white bookshelf

It has its own demons to claim

But none of them pertain to myself.

The first and top shelf holds what I do not know

The second one holds what I will read again

The third holds the places I love best to go

They’re as close to me as a dear friend

But the fourth shelf is a prison and sanctuary

A prison for the ghosts that haunt me

A prison for the demons that destroy me

And a Sanctuary for me.

The fourth shelf is full to the very page

of the thoughts I dream at night

full of pain, sacrifice, poison, rage

Full of the songs I sing, and the battles I fight.

They are where I lock my demons

They’re what I chain my failures to

They are the repository for my sins.

They are only notebooks to you.

But they are my sanctuary

My only respite

from the failures that haunt me

from my own spite.

 

-Julie

Word Fillers We Use Everyday That Should Not Be In Writing.

We all have our own unique way of talking, influenced by the society that surrounds us. If you’re from California, you might be more likely to use words such as “Like” or “Dude.” If you’re from New England, you might use words like “Wicked” or “Lobster.” (Because they have really good lobster there.)

This is a great tool you can use when illustrating the characters in your novel. A Character from Maine should use the slang they use in Maine, maybe even make comments about missing the ocean…or the lobster. A person from the South might constantly be saying “Bless her heart.” Someone from another country will have their own unique sayings and culture. They may be offended by things other characters aren’t and vice-versa.

However, the slang you use, and the constant word fillers you put in every gap during a conversation, should not end up in your narrative. There are many words we use when we speak that bring no additional meaning to our sentence. This is fine for casual conversation with friends, but it often transfers into our writing, making it messy and wordy.

That: “I told him THAT I was leaving.” Vs. “I told him I was leaving.” As you can see, the word “That” is completely unnecessary and makes the sentence longer and more convoluted.
Where: “It’s a place WHERE we can be free and get smoothies.” Vs. “It’s a place we can be free and get smoothies.”
For Example: “We’re all different. FOR EXAMPLE, people from California talk like they’re high, while people from the South talk like they raise horses.” Vs. “We’re all different. People from California talk like they’re always high, while people from the South talk like they raise horses.”
Like: “I work LIKE all day.” Vs. “I work all day.”
So/very/really: These words can add a level of drama in your sentence but are often a source of redundancy. “It was SO perfect!” Vs. “It was perfect!” (Perfect means as good as possible so you don’t need the extra words for emphasis.)
Just: “It was JUST perfect!” Vs. “It was perfect.”
Cut the extra words out of your writing and you’ll see a positive difference. A good rule is if you can eliminate a word from the sentence and it still makes sense, remove it. Remember, this does not necessarily apply to characters’ dialog unless your character has ABSOLUTELY perfect English.
If you have any thoughts or any other useless word-fillers we all should watch for, please leave a comment.
~Johnny

When I Am Asked Again

I’ve been asked this one question, an interesting amount of times, throughout my life. And no, I’m not talking about the usual boring questions that everyone is asked at least a thousand times. “What’s your favorite subject in school/college?” “What do you want to be?” “When are you going to get married?” Granted, I have been asked all of these mundane questions a million times each, but the question I am talking of is much more…thoughtful?

What is interesting about this question is that my answer has never changed. My favorite subject in school changed yearly. What I wanted to be changed monthly. When I want to get married went from “When I turn 25” to “Do I have to?”. But my answer to this question has always been the same.

At first the answer was yes. Yes, because I was little, and believed everything I was told. Then my answer became yes, because I saw it for myself. After that, my answer became yes, because my imagination got the best of me. Now, it is still yes, because I feel it everytime I walk into a library or a museum; everytime I gaze into a fire, look out into the rain, peer into the night to see the stars.

I hope my answer will always stay the same even if the reasons change. I pray that I will see it when my eyesight grows dim. I hope I will still hear it after my ears stop hearing. I hope I will still feel it when I am unable to move about as freely as I can right now.

I hope that as I get older my answer will be yes when I am asked again

“Do you believe in magic?”

 

-Julie

The Strongest Person I Know

To the strongest person I know.

You think that it isn’t so.

You think you are weak

Because you struggle day to week.

You think that you are pathetic

You think that you’re messed up; sick.

And yet you still fight?

You still scratch and bite.

When the darkness comes,

wielding it’s knives and guns

you fight, you don’t always win

Sometimes, you let the darkness in

But you get back up, and take your stance

Bloody and bruised you invite it to dance.

You think that you are broken and useless

When you stand there with a bloody fist

You’re still fighting though

Which is why you’re the strongest person I know

I would have stopped by now

And left the battle, without a bow.

 

This is dedicated to my best friend. She battles her demons every day and every night. Sometimes she loses a battle, and feels guilty. She fights and wonders why all of this is happening to her. I like to remind her, that she is strong. I like to remind her that she’s got this. I want her to know, that she is amazing, brilliant, and strong. I want her to know that her demons can be beaten.

 

-Julie

 

In Perfect Harmony

Imagine if you can

an arch of chairs on your front lawn

It’s dark out, and everyone has glow sticks

Patriotic country music is playing just for kicks

The people you love the most are all around

The smell of smoke, and firecracker sounds.

This is what I saw today

That is the moment that I want to stay.

Looking about, I wondered what I was feeling

It was laughter, love, and healing.

The children all had sparklers and faces of wonder

And the toddlers were too entertained to wander

The adults were laughing and joking together

That is what I want to feel forever.

That feeling of harmony and love

I don’t think I will ever get enough.

The fireworks show is over,  it’s sad really

But there is still a strange sense of comradery

And I know what it is, I think

It was that for a little while, there was a link.

There were no arguments or disagreements

there were no condescensions or judgements

It was harmony, perfect harmony

When different voices sounded together, so beautifully.

I wasn’t talking, wasn’t moving, but I was still apart

Of the spirit of freedom’s heart.

 

-Julie

 

 

 

Sleepless Hours

The clock is striking on.

I’ve lain here from dusk till dawn

I’ve listened to each hour talk

Their same old tick and tock.

I’ve watched each number

While waiting for slumber.

By one, I just want to rest,

By two, I am slightly depressed,

When three strikes, I want to cry,

When four strikes, I do cry.

The clock is ticking on and on

Of what I shouldn’t hear until dawn

But I hear every single hour

And I get out of bed, with no power.

All I am able to do is watch the ceiling

And question every thought that makes my being

Perhaps I will drift off, perhaps I will not

There is still tomorrow night, if not.

 

-Julie