Busy Bee

Published August 10, 2015 by Jess Arwen

Happy Monday, readers!

While I haven’t been the most active writer on this site, I have been busy writing away on a couple other websites with fiction and poetry.  If you’re interested, I would love if you checked out my work on Wattpad, a community I just joined a few weeks ago and am loving it, or on Figment, one I’ve enjoyed for many years.

If you’re on either of these sites, feel free to give me a shout-out! I love new friends and would love to open my scope to even more writers. For now, what do all of you love most about writing?

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Attached

Published July 24, 2015 by Jess Arwen

The July Camp NaNoWriMo is drawing to a close, and I have learned more than I imagined I would.  Learning about the writing process was to be expected: what works for a full-length novel, what fills up more space, how much planning is necessary.  Attachment to characters, however, was not expected.

Whenever I reach about seventy-five percent of the way through reading a book, I begin to mourn the impending end.  It does not matter how the story ends, but rather that it has to end at all.  To avoid the inevitable, I stop reading for about a week before the need to know what happens drives me to the conclusion.  Who knew that the same would be true of writing?  While I have not stopped writing, I sit here mourning the impending end.  As the author, I already know how it ends, but I don’t want it to.  To date, I haven’t written anything of great length, like a novel.  Thus, the time spent creating the characters and their world has made us friends, closer, perhaps, than some of my real life friends.

The words on the page right now are merely a first draft, but this heartens me no more than thinking I could simply keep writing, avoiding the end at all costs.  No, a story must end, but I never knew it would be so hard.  Do any of you other fiction writers have this problem?  How do you cope with it?

Progress

Published July 15, 2015 by Jess Arwen

This is another Camp NaNoWriMo post.

Right now, I’m procrastinating hardcore, when I really should be writing my story. I refuse to change the goal any lower than 50,000 words, which means my story is way behind where it should be. Yet, I don’t hate myself either.

Yes, I slacked off a lot, and continue to do so, like right now, but I already wrote more for one piece than I ever have in my life. The current word count sits at 14,031, when it should be more like 22,000. That’s okay, though. The excitement has not worn out, and I am hoping to sit at least around 17,000 words by the end of the day.

Since this is my first time doing something like this, I must continue to thank the NaNoWriMo community for cheering each other on, and for not judging someone for slacking off. I hope that this novel-length story will be the first of many, but what will I do with them?

Some people go on to publish after participating in this month of frustration, hyper-caffeination, and carpal tunnel syndrome, but we’ll see what happens since this is my first. Each day, I love the story that grows, now of its own volition, so if nothing else, Death’s Song will be a story I treasure for the rest of my life.

Music Fights and Unites

Published June 23, 2015 by Jess Arwen

An artform. A science. A way of life.

This, all this and more, is music. These words don’t define music; rather, music defines these words.

Wherever we come from, and wherever we’re going, we can all agree that music impacts our lives in some way. It provides the backdrop for movies and television, and our thoughts, studies, and work. It keeps us company during our commuting hours, and lets us be alone with ourselves.

Music cheers with us, pumping us up even more when something exciting comes our way. Music holds us when the worst comes into our lives.

Music understands us more than people do sometimes, and it isn’t rare to hear that it saved someone’s life.

A good friend of mine once told me that to sing is to breathe, arc, feel tension build and release it, is to become one with the music, since the body is the instrument of sound. Singing is as old as humanity itself, and I have to believe that this is a gift.

Whether you believe in an intelligent Creator or not, we as the human race, are gifted with song. No matter how foreign the song, it means something to us as people.

Music unites us, for it shows us our own humanity, in the same way as literature, poetry, war, faith, and love do. Yet it also tears apart for this raw display of identity. War hurts. The truth hurts. When music shows us how ugly we’ve become, we argue over it. Some argue that it isn’t truthful enough.

When we fight wars, it’s because we fight for what we believe in, which may not be the truth. Does music show us the truth?

Music shows us a truth, and because there are so many truths out there, we fight. When we’re sad, it shows us the truth that we’re not alone. It weeps with us, telling us that whoever wrote the song feels the same way. The music empathizes with us and begs to be created.

When we love, the music spirals around in our souls, creating itself in us and fleeing before we have the chance to perform it. Yet sometimes, we catch it. Some are better at catching these fleeting butterflies than others, and maybe we fight because we’re jealous.

Music itself isn’t always peaceful. We don’t fight merely over who saw which truth in which song. No, the music stirs us to fight. With its battle marches and noble truths, we believe ourselves so very right, and we follow its lead into the field where we fight.

With blood-thirsty sounds and screeches of metal and glass on living strings, our souls cry out in agony for the right to fight. Music makes us fighters, and that isn’t a horrible thing. If our sole weapons could be the music, if we could use our intellect fully to understand each other the way we all innately understand each other, we wouldn’t have to fight.

That’s just it. We don’t have to fight, but we fight for that right. We wouldn’t be human if we weren’t fighters. When we’re not battling each other, we battle disease, heartache, and the perils of living. Living is not for the weak.

Music spurs us on to fight, to fight for our right to be here on this battlefield of life, so we fight. We’ll fight everyone and everything because we are here to fight.

Music shows us a truth, reveals ourselves to us in our alone time, inspires us, helps us do better, teaches us, empathizes with us. Music is a form of art, of science, of magic.

Music is a part of us. It is that fighter in each of us, coming out and shouting to the world to do better, to keep fighting, for we all fight on this field together, so keep going, cries the music, our music, us.

Coffee for Your Thoughts

Published June 21, 2015 by Jess Arwen

When the first café opened in Oxford in the mid-seventeenth century, it was a place of business open to people of all walks of life, of all classes, of all opinions.  In these coffee shops, men discussed everything from politics to philosophy, and so the café tradition was born.

Today, if you visit your local café, you’ll most likely find small groups of friends chatting around a table on which rests their fancy beverages.  In the mornings, the working folks walk in and out, all relieved to succumb to their caffeine addiction.  Then there are those who remain by themselves in the establishment for hours, either reading a book or working on their computers.  Not much has changed in the café tradition from the 1600s, for every kind of person is welcome in a coffee shop.

If you stay there long enough, you’ll find that relationships will develop between you and the others who remain for hours.  Occasionally, someone might walk up to you, asking if you’ll be kind enough to keep an eye on their computer while they use the facilities.  If you’re reading a book someone else enjoys, they may ask you how you like it.  While the coffee shop may not host political debates and truly profound philosophical discussions at all hours of the day, it still fosters a community in which all ideas are welcome.

This beautiful idea inspired my blog.  May this site be a place where all readers and writers, all people of all walks, feel welcome and safe enough to contribute their ideas.  I do my best to write about everything I think about, and I welcome everyone’s comments.  Come on in, and don’t be shy.  I’ll trade you a cup of coffee for your thoughts!

Response to the Daily Prompt, All About Me.

If you’re interested in learning more about the café throughout history, check out Cafes to Contemplate or Classic Cafes.

Death’s Song at Camp

Published June 20, 2015 by Jess Arwen

Hello readers! I just wanted to post here to let you know that I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this July! If you’re not sure what this is or how to get involved, click on the banner above to be directed to their website.

To be honest, I’ve never written a novel before, so the prospect of writing one in a month leaves me feeling tentative about the whole project. The length of this goal, however, being a month means I probably won’t get bored halfway through. Instead, I will be rushing with so many of my comrades to finish somewhere around 50,000 words in one month.

It’s good that Camp happens in Summer, for if I were to do the November NaNoWriMo, I wouldn’t achieve my goal thanks to school. Thus, this is also a thank you to all the people who make Camp NaNoWriMo possible, and I’m excited to get writing.

The novel I will be working on, I have currently named Death’s Song, but this is likely to change. This work will follow the life of a girl named Katerina who accidentally pushes Death down the stairs, causing him to forget how to reap, and she is forced to help him do his job, through her gift of music. Most people don’t see Death, and consequently don’t see her either, so what is she to do when someone decides to follow her?

Once I finish it and get some rough edits on it, I hope to publish it on Figment for some feedback. You’re all welcome to check out my profile anytime on Figment as I’ll be cooking up some other projects in the meantime.

Who else is going to Camp NaNoWriMo? What will you write about?

Heartless Lover

Published June 19, 2015 by Jess Arwen

Blood, death, anger, and violence permeated the frigid environment on that early winter morning in March. The war carried on, ignoring my presence as I gazed down into the valley from my perch on a cliff.  I shuddered at all the carnage at my feet and fought to gain control over my suddenly flimsy body.  Grim silence overtook me as the battle raged on.  These people, who never thought their lives were worth anything, fought for more than themselves.  They fought for freedom, friendship, family, and love.  Love, which forces even the strongest of men and women to give into its gentle, but inescapable clutches, is the reason I sit here today.  Someone stole my heart when I was younger, but I do not yet know who.  The search dictates the sole mission of the crudelis, the heartless.  We search for those who made us what we are, unfeeling monsters.

To find my thief, I came to the place where I would surely discover deceit, hate, violence, and worthiness of the task incarnate.  As one by one the men fell, the carrion birds swooped lower and lower to devour their next meal.  Passing time, I watched these birds wallow in their horrible, disgusting filth.  They did possess a trace of grace as they let the wind carry them through the air, all except for the corpulent one who could now hardly fly.  Unwillingly, the bird gave into the harsh effects of gravity and fell towards the ground, but at the last moment, he took to the sky once more.  How resilient even the most disgusting creatures act, I thought to myself.  Pondering the birds, I must have drifted off to sleep, for when I awoke, both sides reached concordance.

The carrion birds resting around me flocked away startled as I rose to my feet.  I walked slowly between each dead body and examined faces.  This one viewed death as cordial, that one as terrifying.  Once, I came upon an innocent young woman with a kind face who clung to the dead lover of hers.  Her heart was stolen from her as well, but she gave it willingly.  How was I to find my heart in this mess?  There was no way for me to even know if my thief participated in the battle.  As I rifled through the belongings of each dead soldier, I wondered, as I often did when searching close to death.  What would I do to my thief were I to find him today?  Would I give him my heart willingly, or would I take it back after murdering him in cold blood?

My logic dictated that I shouldn’t murder him at least, for once my heart returned to me, remorse and guilt would plague me for my wrong-doing.  Perhaps murder without the return of my heart would best fit me.  The crudelis live for decades without hearts, so what’s a lifetime in comparison?

What do you think, readers?  What should I do when I find the thief who made me this way?

 

Response to the Daily Prompt,  Choose Your Own Adventure.