Category Archives: Personal Creative Pieces

The Garden

Hey Everyone,

This week is going to be a bit longer post, so bare with me. The piece that is down below is still in the very early stages of editing and it is also the first time I wrote about my two favorite main characters: Jerron and Havoc. This is a story that I would eventually like to make into a longer piece, but for now, I hope that you enjoy the really unedited short story, The Garden.

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I am standing in a bright room. A forbidden room. The floor falls out from under my feet. I am still standing. Gazing downward I see comets shoot across the floor, stars shining.

A weight becomes apparent in my hands. An apple, a bite taken and then left to rot in my grasp. I try to drop it. Nothing happens. I try again. More nothing.

A shadow comes next to me. A dark figure so cloaked that I can see nothing of its form. Nothing of its gender. A gender-less nothing.

I look around me and am faced with glass walls and a door which I already know is locked. Winter is set deeply in, snow piling on the dead and fallen trees of the world outside my glass box, but still balancing on the universe.

Beings I couldn’t recognize roamed the world outside of the cage, the stars shining in their skin. These beings were large and small, with horns or wings, large teeth or with none at all. These beings were known as … dinosaurs. That was what Master called them. As time passed the beings changed, morphing into different creatures.

The setting outside began to change as well, the forest covered in snow, turning into rugged mountains and clear skies. Creatures flew through the sky on large wings and made squawking noises as they passed. I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life.

The creatures morphed once more, but this time their form was obscured by the storm that howled around the room. I could feel the wind battering against my face. The form beside me long forgotten, but still there. Thunder and lightning cracked outside and hit my glass box. I am mesmerized by the world that keeps changing, but I don’t notice what was happening to the glass box.

With each crack of lightning and roll of thunder cracks would appear in the box. My mind was swimming in the knowledge of the world being shown to me. The floor beneath my feet gave way, and I felt myself fall into the cosmos.

Before I could disappear, the door to the room flew open and light burst into vision. Arms wrapped around me and I felt the air rush through my hair as I was dropped on the floor outside door to the box.

I knew who was standing there without looking up. “What in God’s name were you doing in there, Jerron?” Master stood above me and brought his hand down hard on the top of my head. “Do you have any idea what could have happened to you in there? The Garden is not a place that a student should be playing!” Master was a prodigy. He had graduated at the age of 15 from his own master when most students didn’t graduate until they were 20. He was considered one of the best Descendants in existence. I am proud to be his student.

I looked up at Master and quickly looked away. He was fuming. “I…I’m sorry Master. I didn’t think it would hurt.” I stood up and tucked my bangs back behind my ears. Master sighed and put his hand on my shoulder.

“I understand your curiosity, Jerron, but there are rules to becoming a Descendant. You must stay out of The Garden until you are ready. If not, you could severely damage yourself.” I stood there, uncertain of what Master meant. There is a lot that I don’t understand about the world and Master only shared what was important at the time. Even at the age of 17 I was not trusted with information about the world before our current one.

Master sighed again and ran a hand through his hair. Master was only four years older than me, but that age gap seemed much larger given the difference in knowledge. Finally, having decided something, Master grabbed me by the shoulder and dragged me down the long hall of the mansion that all the Descendants lived in.

I stumbled into the room behind Master and saw that he had dragged me into his personal study. I went to sit down in my normal chair but ended up getting pulled onto the couch next to Master. “Master, wha-”

“Havoc. Call me Havoc in here, Jerron. It’ll be easier that way. Besides, there is only four years in between us. It feels weird having you call me ‘master’. I would prefer if we could be friends sometimes – that would make what I’m about to do a lot easier. I need you to listen to me closely.”

I nodded and my eyes followed him as he began pacing the room.

“Decedents are special beings. We are trusted to be the gate keepers of the world that existed before our own – the one that existed on the surface. The generations before us destroyed their world and forced us down into the very heart of the world we were told was ours. Once we got here, we found that the world held onto the secrets and past and would choose special people who it would then entrust its knowledge to. We call them Descendants.” Havoc paced the room and moved his hands as he spoke, looking at me occasionally.

“A special place was made by the earth that encompassed all of the magic and knowledge that we have. That is The Garden. The Garden is a place where our mental barriers are challenged, and the bounds of our mind are stretched. The glass box that you see represents your mind. The cracking was the boundaries of your mind being expanded. It went too far though and shattered the floor, allowing the storm to come inside.” Havoc slowed his pacing and walked over to the bookshelf, pulling a book off and holding it gently in his hands.

“When a student or Descendant go into The Garden without someone else, they run the risk of damaging a part of their mind.”

I tried to catch the name of the book in his hands, but it was obscured. All that I was being told was new knowledge to me, but I still didn’t understand one thing. “Master – I mean Havoc, what was the shadowed figure? There was someone in there with me. It didn’t talk to me, but it didn’t do anything to help me either. What was it?”

Havoc went pale at my question and I wasn’t sure what to make of that. He tightened his hands on the book and looked around. “That is a question better asked at another time.” Havoc walked over to me and placed the book in my hands. “For now, turn to page 394 in this book and we can begin a new lesson.”

I took the book that was offered to me and opened it. Once to the page I saw it was black. The book slipped from my hands and consciousness faded.

Havoc carefully picked the book up off the floor. It was unfortunate, but Jerron couldn’t remember what had happened today. That would complicate a lot of things and permanently damage his mind. That was something Havoc had to prevent at all costs. If what Jerron said was true, then the shadowed figure should have stopped him from getting inside. The only way for him to have opened the door was if Havoc’s suspicions were correct.

            The shadowed figure was the guardian of the mind. It was something that each person created when they entered The Garden. Most students were protected by their master’s guardian since most students are unable to make their own. The fact that Jerron was able to was beyond anything that Havoc had imagined that he would be able to do.

            That wasn’t the only thing that bothered Havoc though. In order for someone – anyone – to intrude on The Garden while a guardian was present meant that there was a type of soul connection between the two people. Bottom line: Havoc never should have been able to reach him unless they were bonded.

            Havoc didn’t want to complicate Jerron’s apprenticeship anymore than he had to. If he had told this to any of the other masters, they would have told him the truth no doubt. For now, the safest thing was just to temporarily wipe his memory… again. Havoc could keep a closer eye on him without suspicion then.

            Sitting down next to Jerron, Havoc brushed the bangs out of his face and rested a hand on his head. It was hard to believe that the person he was bonded with was a boy this young and innocent and that only made Havoc’s job as a teacher all the more difficult. The world was full of terrible people and events, but the only way to ensure that Jerron made it through the next 3 years was to stay as close as possible to him without making him feel pressured into anything.

            Havoc knew when the time came, he would be able to talk to Jerron and tell him everything, but in the mean time he would continue to guide him as he had for the last 2 years. One thing never changed though: The Garden knows many secrets.

Wedding Bells and Missed Deadlines

Hey Everyone!

It’s been a busy few weeks here in Washington and it keeps getting busier. This coming Saturday is my cousins wedding – and it’s at my Aunt and Uncles house. I dont think I’ve mentioned, but I live with them. So I’ve been helping out with making paper flowers and paper butterflies – don’t worry, all of them will show up on my Instagram page as well as my Facebook page. I realize now that I’ve been using my Facebook page wrong, but I will be working on that as well.

Still waiting on a job interview, so I’ve been busying myself with wedding stuff and working on the writing for the first Book Arts video which will be on YouTube by the end of the year. It takes a lot of work to do just the writing, and I’m attempting to get all of it done by the end of October so that I can have a month to work on the video editing. I have never done any large scale video editing, so this will be interesting.

This week since I’ve been working so hard on the first draft of my new book arts project, I thought I would share one of the poems that I wrote for it. This project is focused around letter writing and creating an archive. There’s a lot going on in my head, but I will spend a couple of posts going more in depth to it as I have more drafts done.

The poem I am going to share is in it’s roughest form. I have never liked writing poems much – mainly because I have never liked reading poetry – but I do believe that it has it’s purposes and that it is a good thing to have when working in multi-modal writing. Letters and poems go really well together because their form isn’t that different.

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For You

I loved a messy heart
One where the beat
Didn’t go on for herself
But for the people around her

I loved a damaged heart
Where the soul is beautiful
But the body is a shrine
Damaged and weathered by time
Eroded by contempt and misplaced trust

I love a whole heart
It matched my own
I fell head over heels
In the most corny of ways

For the messy heart
For the damaged heart
For the whole heart
For you

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As I said before, it’s pretty rough, I’m rrying my best and this whole project is getting my head in a twist because it’s all based around love letters and I never have been someone that in touch with their own emotions.

I was supposed to be done with the first draft today…. that isn’t happening. The stress is real.

I am very excited to announce that the first book review will go live this Friday. I have been so busy lately that when I have time that I actually don’t want to spend it reading. I have been watching a lot of anime, Fraizer, and animated movies (a lot of Shrek in particular) – but I am on track to finish Dark Visions by L.J. Smith by Thursday.

I know that there is a lot of stigma around reading YA novels and series as an adult, but I think that there is a lot to get out of a lot of authors, no matter what kind of audience they are aiming for. Case in point: I do plan to read and do reviews on the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. There are like 25+ books and I am a sucker for them even though they are meant for elementary school kids (and they’re still coming out). So when I get to those books, know that there will be a lot of reviews coming out fast since I can read about one a day. But this discussion is for another blog post.

It has been about 3 months since I started the blog, and I would love a little bit of feedback from you guys. What do you find interesting? What do you find is lacking? What would make this writing blog more interesting? Do I need to put more of my own work out? What would make this most beneficial?

Thank you so much guys and remember that my first Chap book Laments is still available. And my next one is getting pushed out until sometime next winter. I am focusing on these book art projects since they are my graduate school application pieces. But I do still have 40 copies of Laments available. Just go to the tab for chapbooks on my webpage and it will help you from there. they are $12 a piece and I’m getting good feedback on them.

Okay guys! I’ll be talking to you again on Friday with the Dark Visions review.

Till the next chapter,

Amanda

My first photography project. Bound by Knowledge. It was a lot. This project is something that I think I’ve posted a picture of before, but I owe these guys since they did some weird stuff for me.

From One Writer To Another

This week, instead of talking about something writing related, I just thought that I would share my June 2019 “From One Writer to Another” personal memoir. I promise that we will go over that that is, but for now, here it is:

From One Writer To Another:

That sounds very poetic doesn’t it? Like it will be an essay that will captivate my audience and be somewhat of an important piece. The truth of it is, this piece will probably mean more to me than it will to you. It will show you things about me that I’m not proud of and then some of the things that I am. I don’t know if this will disappoint, but this is what I have.

One of the most common questions I ask people as a writer is “Did you like it?”. As a new writer I am obsessed with what people think about my writing because I am looking for validation. Looking to know that what I am doing is right. I started writing much later than most of you. I always has a passion for reading and writing when I was young, but once I started college, I fell into the “practicality rut” that many of us do. Do something practical. Something that will guarantee that you make a decent income that you can live off of. Do something you could probably hate for the rest of your life because, hey, it’s practical.

That was something that I was told growing up all the time. I heard it so often that I started repeating it like an internal mantra. I didn’t see the irony in the fact that it was always followed by “you can be whatever you want.” I struggle with this a lot because what if those things didn’t line up? What if I don’t want to be a doctor, lawyer, or teach high school? For me it was the latter. I was told to be a teacher because I’d be good at it. To work at a high school because they didn’t require you to get much more than a bachelor’s to do that.

I strategically set myself up to fail with my choice in major. I hated what I was doing. I found my core classes difficult and it felt like I was drowning in a bathtub. I put myself there. I chose this path, but I was drowning in the shallow water because I was depressed with the life I was trying to lead.

I was losing interest in something that had been a goal. I had just wanted out. Many people have told me that if you love what your job, it will never feel like you have worked a day in your life. For some reason if I had continued the path that I had chosen, I knew that I would wake up everyday dreading what comes next. I had no excitement for my projected future.

The point of this essay is not to bore or inspire you with my story. I don’t think that you need to know much about me to know what I am all about – and honestly, I don’t think that some of you would care. You can tell what my interests are by my tattoos and you don’t have to listen to me talk or write for long to know how I feel about something.

A writing practice is something I had never heard of before a few months ago. It had never occurred to me that writing was something that needed practice. It does now. To some of you, just for a moment, I sounded naive and ignorant about what it means to be a writer. Like I have no idea what it means to produce a piece of creative writing, which I might add, is one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do in my life. Creative writing is like nothing I’ve ever had to do because it’s almost like you are laying a part of your soul bare instead of the facts and research that are involved in classes. If someone doesn’t like your writing, it hurts more than any bad grade ever could.

I am okay as coming off naive and ignorant. I feel that there is something empowering to say that I am still figuring out what I’m doing, that I don’t have to define myself by what it is that I am writing. Calling myself a writer feels foreign and strange, but it’s a feeling I’m beginning to enjoy. Calling myself an artist is… surreal.

Throughout the last few months, I have made many friends who, like me are writers. I have read more creative pieces in the last six months than in my entire schooling career and I wouldn’t change the experience for the world. I love that I am able to read someone’s work and give feedback on something that could possibly make them feel more confident in their own work. Here’s where the bad part starts. I judge their work.

Bleh! That is such a terrible thing to do, but it is something that is almost as common as human nature and it’s like a competition. If I think my writing is better, then I win. If I think, holy hell that was amazing, I start to lose confidence in myself and my abilities. Everything in life is a competition and this is one competition that nobody wants to lose.

How depressing is that. Not terribly long ago, my friend showed me an image that simply said, “If you are an artist and your friends are artists, they are not competition; they’re your inspiration. Support them.” I have found nothing to be truer. Listening to friends read their work to me over the last few months was what inspired me to write this. They inspire me all the time to be better and to try new things – to be as weird as I want to be. But there is always that internal struggle of “did they do better than me?” That is such a lonely and depressing way to go about your work.

Here are a few author facts that I found quite inspiring:

  • JK Rowling was 36 when Harry Potter was published.
  • Bram Stoker didn’t get The Snake’s Pass published until he was 43. (This was his first book, it’s not connected to Dracula.)
  • Anna Sewell didn’t get Black Beauty published until she was 57.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien was 45 when The Hobbit was published and didn’t finish the Lord of The Rings trilogy until he was 63.

Success comes to people in different time and nothing is a competition. If you have a friend who publishes a book long before you, then celebrate with them, ask for their feedback and enjoy their success with them because more likely than not, you inspired and contributed to their success. That, to me, is more satisfying than getting caught up in the competition that doesn’t really exist.

So now that I have rambled on for a long time, from one writer to another… Did you like it?

June 2019

Thank you for reading.

Till the next chapter,

Amanda

My aunt has her own embroidery business that she runs by herself and she also is the printing press for all of my chapbooks. This personal memoir appears in what will be my third chapbook, “The Bonds That Bind Us” which will hopefully be coming out in November.