Authors note: Hey everyone, here is a poem I just wrote. It’s funny because last night I was thinking about how I haven’t written any poetry and that was because I haven’t felt depressed in a little while. I felt surprisingly happy and was glad I hadn’t written any poetry as it seemed like agood sign. But today I haven’t been good. Today has been hard and a conversation I had earlier sparked this poem. I hope you enjoy it.
It was just a passing comment
It was just a nostalgic trip
About how happy your childhood was
About how you look back with fondness
It made my eyes flash with memories
It made my eyes brim with tears
But you didn’t know how I was feeling
But you would never understand even if you did
I hope you know it wasn’t out of jealousy
I hope you know it wasn’t out of spite
Words have such power
Words can take you back
They take you to a place you have fought to escape
They take you to a place you have prayed to forget
So I thought I would come on here and and ask for a bit of advice with regards to a short story I just finished.
As I was writing it, I fell in love with the main character, although he is not somebody I would ever wish to encounter in real life. He is a very complex character and the story itself ended up being around 3500 words. However when I finished the first draft, I wasn’t satisfied.
I intentionally left the ending open and there is definite room to expand this story into a book.
That’s where you come in.
I’m not sure whether to keep it as a short story, post it to my blog and call it a day. Or whether I should try to expand it and tell the whole story. Maybe I could even do both?
I’m really not sure.
It’s a very dark story that is quite troubling but the main character is strangely likeable. He seems too good of a character to end his story there.
What do you think?
Please let me know in the comments any advice you may have.
I just posted a short story, of which I hope you have a minute to check out after this one, you can find that here. HOWEVER, this morning I woke up to a lovely comment by The Avid Reader nominating little old me for a Sunshine Blogger Award.
So thank you very much for that!
So as for the award, I have briefly heard it mentioned, but as I have only been blogging for coming up to a month I admittedly needed to Google what is it precisely: “The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.”Once I read that, I was like, wow. Maybe I did the right thing starting this blog and sharing my work. So a big huge oversized THANK YOU to The Avid Reader and everyone please make sure to check out their blog!
So, there are some rules that go along with the nomination and this is what is required of me in return:
Thank the blogger who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.
Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
Nominate 11 blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
List the rules and Display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
Right, down to the questions I’ve been asked!
If you could only read one book and watch one film for the rest of your life, what would they be?
What a question. The one book I would read for the rest of my life has to be Sleepers, by Lorenzo Carcaterra. This book has taught me so much and I believe there is much still waiting to be discovered amongst its pages. I read it as a young teen and will continue to read it again and again.
The one film I would watch for the rest of my life on the other hand is tough. I don’t really like movies, I find myself skipping a lot of irrelevant filler scenes and that gets tiring. But if I had to choose, it would be Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind which is funny considering this is the Sunshine Blogger Award post! (Just noticed that while adding the link haha.) If you’ve seen it, then you might know why I chose this. If you haven’t I recommend you do.
Tea or Coffee?
I used to hate coffee, but in recent years I have developed a taste for it. However, nothing hits the spot better than a nicely brewed strong cup of tea.
In Short, I prefer paperbacks but I am not opposed to e-book reading.
What’s your favourite day of the week?
Thursday. Just because, the excitement due to the approaching weekend is just within reach but not quite. Then it gets to Friday and you’re like, yay weekend but it never really lives up to your expectations. I like the idea of the weekend more than the weekend itself. Strange.
Are you an Early Bird or a Night Owl?
When I was a young teenager I would WILLINGLY get up at 5.30am on a school day, leave my house at around 6 and be at school by 7am just so I could have a quiet place to read before school.
Now, I am a definite Night Owl. I find I am most creative in the evenings. I have the most motivation in the evening/early hours of the morn. I feel calmer at night.
What’s your favourite number?
I have always found this question to be odd. What does a number have to do in order to be positively perceived? Maybe I am biased because I am and always have been quite perplexed by numbers. They seem to float around in my mind and never settle enough for me to really understand them. So I guess the answer is, I don’t in fact have a favourite number.
If you could have dinner with anyone famous (dead or alive) who would they be and why?
This is a hard one. I don’t really care for famous people. I don’t have any celebrity idols or anything like that so that makes this very very hard indeed. I think it would have to be Émile Durkheim. He was a french Sociologist and is commonly referred to as one of the forefathers of Sociology. He had a lot of interesting theories and I would love to tell him of our society, his reaction would be a picture for sure.
Who is you favourite author?
It may sound blah but… Stephen King. I am not a fan of series of books and haven’t really had a definitive favourite author as it changes a lot. But I love Stephen King and have been reading his books for as long as I could read books. My grandad was a massive King fan and I may or may not have temporarily stolenborrowed them at a very young age.
Why did you start blogging?
I started writing a book about 9 months ago. It’s an idea that I had for about a year before I ever wrote a word. I’m not much of an outliner on paper but in my head, the story has to make sense for me to want to make it into a real life story. I was also writing poetry occasionally and felt sad that they were sitting in a folder on my laptop all sad and lonely. I have wanted to blog for years, I started a writing blog as a teenager and quickly deactivated it when nobody read it. I’m now a lot older and realise I can write for myself and if it interests other people or makes a small difference in their life too, that’s a bonus!
What makes you happy?
My dog Monty. He has been like my best friend/annoying little brother for almost 12 years! The love he has in his sweet little soul is undescribable. When I lived at home, he slept in bed with me every night. It is only now that I write this do I realise why. (Reasons I can’t go into.)He is so gentle, loving, silly and stubborn. God I love him!
Dogs or Cats?I think my previous answer answers this one for me!
I can feel Emma on top of me. Her weight is evenly distributed, but heavy nonetheless. To be honest it’s a comfort, an early sign of what’s to come. The weight of her body lets me know that it’s nearly time to go home. Or as close to home as possible.
Emma’s family came to visit yesterday. I must admit I was
very nervous for their arrival as I wasn’t sure whether these people were coming
for another round of chopping, cutting, scraping and colouring. I was relieved
to find out they only came to see Emma. Though her mother did mention how
beautiful I was, she was the only one to acknowledge me at all. The rest of her
family members seemed to look through me, as if I were invisible. However, I
refused to allow their negativity to burden me further. It was the likes of
them that brought me here and made me what I am today. I didn’t ask for this.
Emma and I were left to get acquainted in a small room of
which boasted soft glowing candles and colourful windows. That was until we
were transported to an even smaller room that moved, just after flowers had
been placed on top of us by sullen men in matching suits. I saw other moving
rooms as we made our way to a large field with a stone house in the centre. I
spot Emma’s mum and her red eyes fill with tears as soon as she notices our
arrival. She turns her back and cries into the shoulder of a man I’ve never
seen before. He certainly wasn’t there yesterday with the rest of the family.
He is very tall, thin and gaunt. His presence unnerves me for reasons I can’t
“Why is she crying? Why does everyone look so… Red?” I ask Emma.
Silence. I admit defeat and promise myself not to dwell on
it. Today is my day and she can’t ruin it for me. Even if we are being forced
to spend the foreseeable future together, they do say time is a healer.
I notice everyone in the room turning to look at us as we are brought to the front, every row filled with long faces. After a short speech and a few songs, people start approaching Emma and I. Some people place trembling hands on me, while others are simply staring with glassy eyes. The men who carried us in here are big and strong, not dissimilar to the first men I ever met not too long ago. It’s hard to enjoy the attention when the atmosphere feels thick with despair and is swirling with sadness. The room empties and I am once again lifted into the arms of men.
“Earth you are, and to earth you will return,” says the man who is sprinkling a rain-like substance on top of us. Oh, how I’ve missed the rain. If only my roots were still intact, perhaps I could quench this dry thirst. I still feel Emma’s weight on top of me, but then I finally feel the cool earth underneath me. I take the opportunity to revel in the familiarity of the dirt and find myself holding Emma closer. I think myself luckier than most. Some never get the opportunity to be as close to home as this.
“I know it must be hard to leave your family and friends, but I’m going to help you return to the Earth. That way, you will always be near them.”
So, this is my little story. I do hope you enjoyed it and if you did (or didn’t) please let me know in the comments!
I had my first job interview in what feels like years today. I won’t say where but it is a well known company in London.
I am usually very good in an interview setting, although inside I am falling apart until the last minute.
I got to my interview 45 minutes early which is good, but that also meant there’s more time to panic. I have been known to panic so much to the point I turn around and don’t even go to the interview. I build it up to be the most terrifying thing ever. Which in a way, it is.
A lot of my anxiety stems from an intense fear of embarrassing myself or being judged. The issue with interviews is, that’s the point, to be judged.
It was a group interview which makes it even worse.
I decided to use my spare time to write some thoughts down. Some are a bit like poems, others are just quotes.
The main one I wrote again and again was:
It’s okay to be afraid as long as you try.
So that’s what I did. I tried my best and that’s all I could do.
I thought I would share some more of my thoughts here as I found it so helpful to get them out on paper right before taking a deep breath and being the best version of myself possible.
We are all in the same boat
But what if this boat sinks?
Don’t fret it will stay afloat
But what if the winds take us away?
Don’t fret everything will be okay
It’s okay to be afraid
It’s okay to want to run
But it’s not okay to give up
You must try your best
It’s all you can do.
People rushing past me
I wonder where they’ve been
Or where they’re going
Their faces a vision of focus
Their eyes glued straight ahead
I steal a look once or twice
But we quickly divert our gaze
We have all been places
We are all going places
You Sir, are you okay?
Excuse me miss would you like a hand?
I would like very much to understand
How we all live alone in our minds
But we’re never really alone
Everywhere you look there’s people
Happy, sad, depressed or other
Why cant we all be kinder to eachother?
Instead people rush past me
And I can’t help wondering
Who they are
So there’s a little insight into the mind of an introverted anxious interviewee.
I haven’t written a post just having a chat in a little while. I have been in writing mode for a while and have enjoyed getting my creative juices flowing.
However, I’ve found that it is proving very hard to read AND write at the same time. You see, I have been working on 3 short stories as well as my current WIP recently. This has come after having a break from writing as I had a lot of Uni work on. But somehow I still managed to read quite a few books and short stories while still doing uni work. I’m not sure how to balance both?
I’ve picked up a few books and read the first few chapters and each time proceeded to slam it down with frustration. Nothing is gripping me and I’m wondering if that is due to me being so invested in my own stories. It’s as though everything else doesn’t quite evoke the same feelings as my own.
I would like to think this is a good thing, but I miss reading. Yet I can’t bring myself to power through more than a couple of chapters.
I have been reading a lot of short stories here on WordPress, does that count?
I also quickly wanted to mention the current mismatched style of my blog. As I still consider myself a newbie blogger, I feel like I’m experimenting with what I want to post. I still love everything I’ve shared and hope the eclectic style is not distracting or off putting.
Anyway, ramble over. If you have any tips on how to balance writing with reading, please leave a comment!
I have been here for what seems like one hundred years. The trees have grown unbelievably tall and the cars now require no human intervention. People keep taking pictures of me as they go about their days. Some of them say hello. Most of them walk past without a second glance. I understand though.
Until today, I have never felt the urge to leave this place. I have been quite content with my home and the exotic wildlife who visit me everyday. Today though, I want to leave. I want to see what lies beyond this place. I want to explore and meet new species of birds, other than pigeons and the mutated seagulls that dominate the skies. Today, I believe it is time to go.
My legs ache as I will them to take a step. They refuse. I try for hours to move even the smallest muscle but every joint feels too stiff, it is proving very difficult to leave. Every time somebody passes me, I try to tell them. I try to ask for their help but thus far nobody has offered their services. Somebody is coming my way now. I clear my throat and wait for them to become close enough to talk. It is a little girl, no older than six or seven. Her mother strolls not far behind her. The young girl spots me and runs straight for me. My heart soars as I see her bright eyes studying me.
“Hello Mrs. Hayes” the young girl says to me with a curtsey. Such manners. If I wasn’t already smiling, I would beam with delight. However that joy is soon overshadowed once again when I ask her to help me and we are instead interrupted by the child’s’ mother. Her eyes are studious as she comes closer.
“Lydie, would you like me to take a picture of you next to Mrs. Hayes?” The tall woman says kindly.
“No, she’s asking me for help.” I take in a sharp breath and almost refuse to believe it. This child has heard me. She heard me.
“Yes, yes. Good child and lady, I’m stuck and would like very much to leave this place” I continue, I let my eyes fall upon the woman standing before me, but her eyes are glued to her daughter.
“What are you on about?” She says, her eyes are drowning in worry. “Stop messing around, you’ve seen that before. You know better than to make things up.”
“Didn’t you just hear her? She wants to leave, she’s stuck. Mum we need to he-“
“Enough! Your imagination is too much Lydie. Do you really expect me to believe that?”
The girl walks slowly towards me. I can feel my heart breaking as my eyes fill with tears.
“Look mum, see? She’s crying. You’re horrible mum.” For a moment, the woman looked almost, sad. She took a long look at me and then up at the sky.
“No Lydie. Look. It’s just started to rain. That’s just a statue darling, they can’t speak or cry silly girl” the softening lady says reassuringly “the lady who it’s made to look like died a long time ago, she can’t talk”. She leads her daughter to me and knocks three times on my shoulder. The young girl wrinkles her nose and mimics her mother’s actions. The sound is like an echo chamber, every knock sending more and more ripples of sound that roll through my body. They turn around and in moments they are gone.
They are free to leave while I am imprisoned within this metal cage. It is certainly time to go now.
Let me know what you think of this short story! I have planned countless stories and haven’t finished them. This is something I came up with last night and have basically “pantsed” the entire short.
So who is Jen? Who is the author behind this blog? The part-time poet? The part-time writer? The part-time Blogger? Yes, yes, yes and… Yes.
I see myself as all of the above, but there is more to me than that. I reluctantly shared a short extract from my current WIP of which I refer to as “Project Delilah”. After sharing and posting it, I came to a realisation. Although I have an “About The Author” page on my blog, it is only there as a temporary measure. I do believe it is important for anybody who may be interested in my work, to know a bit more about me and why I have decided to start blogging, as well as my motivations to write in general.
I can’t expect anyone to be invested in my work, without knowing more about me.
Hello There, My Name’s Jenny
So, my full name is Jenny Lee-Kearns. My last name is a double-barrel name from both my mum and dad. I love my name as I am pretty sure I am the only Jenny Lee-Kearns alive (well, my search on Facebook came up empty so that’s close enough, right?) My middle name is Maureen, as an ode to my great grandmother who sadly died the year before I was born. It also helps me feel a little more connected to my Irish roots.
I am 23 years old and am trying to complete my BA (Hons) Sociology and Criminology degree. I started this degree in 2014 and am still yet to graduate. This is due to some unforeseen circumstances of which seem to come up almost every year. I am determined to finish and come out with a high grade as I am more than capable of it.
I have always been interested in crime, criminals and especially serial murder. Any type of crimes that involve complex methodologies, piques my interest. In sixth form I wrote a 6000 word mini dissertation in which I posed the question of: “Is serial murder solely a psychological issue?” Spoiler: It is far more complex than that!
Creative Writing > Academic Writing
Although I love my course, I do have a greater love for creative writing. Not dissimilar to other writers, I have filled up countess notebooks since a very young age, with stories, poems and sometimes even drafts of novels.
My most memorable attempt was during my early teens, in which I bought a 250 page Pukka Pad and decided to handwrite my book that was inspired by Darren Shan’s Cirque Du Freak. I called it, “The Nightwalkers”. I dedicated it to my primary school teacher who was the first to recognise and nurture my flair for creative writing.
There is something about academic writing that is restricting. You need to stick to the facts, figures, statistics and specific terminology. However, all writing is writing. All writing is practice.
The Big Write
I had a wonderful Year 6 teacher, inspiring, encouraging and strong. She told me to dedicate my first book to her and that is a promise I intend to keep.
My love for writing really began to flourish once she become my teacher. She created an initiative called “The Big Write”. Every Friday after 1st break, some students would stay behind to prepare the classroom. The blinds would be closed, the lights dimmed and electric candles and bowls of dried fruit were placed in the middle of the tables. Soothing concentration music hummed quietly in the background. On the table sat a brief for us. It could say anything from, the first line of our story as a writing prompt, to instructions of the format we should write in. Every Friday the prompts changed and we created unique stories, letters, diary entries or even pamphlets from the same few lines.
We would write in silence from the minute we sat down, for the next hour and a half. I remember feeling like it was never enough time. Ideas were born from other ideas, characters forming before my eyes. Our teacher and the lovely teaching assistants would walk around reading over our shoulder. If they felt what you had just written was interesting, well written or impressive, we were told to take a piece of dried fruit. It was like a message to our peers that we have talent. As a child, your pride is huge and it would encourage us to carry on writing the best that we can.
Our teacher helped us create “portfolios” of all of our stories. By the end of the year, we each had a portfolio filled with 36 short stories. My teacher wanted to expand the initiative to other schools after she successfully implemented it within our entire primary school. She chose a handful of the best portfolios (including mine) and showcased them to other schools in the local area. I have always wanted to re-read these stories but unfortunately I never received them back.
Unfortunately I found out she passed away nearly 2 years ago. It was heartbreaking to know, she will never read the book I am writing. She will never read my dedications page and see just how much she inspired me. Her unwavering belief in me is what is driving me to continue on this journey.
I Dedicate This Book To…
Of course, I shall be dedicating my book to Ms. S. But there is another kind soul I shall be sharing the honour with.
My grandad. He was my hero, my saviour and my inspiration. He was the most hardworking, funny, loving and annoying grandad a girl could ever ask for. I am so thankful for him and I genuinely would not be alive today if he wasn’t there. He was my rock when I needed strength and my clown when I needed to laugh.
There is so much more I could say about him, however it is still very hard to talk about him without asking why? Why was he taken from me? I don’t know. I will never stop needing him or missing him.
What I do know is, all I can do is try my best to make him proud. I can hear him say “Stop crying girl. You know I love ya don’t ya?” He would be so happy to see my writing this blog. I am such a shy person with a lot of paranoia. I have never fit in and doubt I ever will. I just want to finish my book and as my grandad would say “You’re the boss Jen” and he is right.
If You Made It This Far
I hope this gives you a little bit more of an insight into who I am.
“The dream began the same as it did every other night. I was standing in my front room, not the fancy one, the normal one. I looked around and every corner of the room was dark. I glanced over to the tall bookcase to my left and it was…Impossibly dark. Like a shade of black that was yet to be discovered. The thought that I was not alone unsettled me, so much so I scrambled around in search of a light source, opening drawers, feeling for a light switch along the walls. There was nothing.
Next, I heard somebody crying. The sound echoed through every room in the house. It was as if a spirit was carrying it through the walls, flying from room to room, seeking me out. I couldn’t let it find me. I looked down and found I was running down a long hallway that seemed to go on forever. The picture frames on the walls taunted me as they kept on coming, no matter how fast I ran. I remember trying to keep my eyes forward but it was impossible. Not when the only face I saw in the thousands of frames, belonged to a girl I thought was my sister. She stared at me as I continued to sprint as fast as I could.
“You’re not real!” I said sternly. “You never existed!”
At last the hallway ended and there stood a large black door. I wanted to turn around and keep on running but instead, I walked straight through the door. Every hair on my body stood up to attention. I didn’t recognise the empty room, but something about it felt uncomfortably familiar. The walls were painted black as well as the ceiling and floor. The furniture then started to appear one by one. First the wardrobe, then a bedside table, a filthy rug and finally a bed. On the bed, sat a heap of dirty duvets, blankets and stained pillows. My eyes then adjusted to the darkness and to my surprise, the blankets seemed to be breathing. I could see the pile rising up and falling back down again; its breaths short and jagged. I blinked hard and let out a quiet sigh I didn’t know I was holding. I could sense the darkness creeping up behind me, as though some kind of evil entity was consuming the room with me still inside.
I tried to call out, but the words refused to leave my lips. Though I did sense the atmosphere shift, as the pile on the bed suddenly froze. Maybe I had spoke after all, maybe it heard me. I took a silent step towards the bed, trying to stay quiet as I approached. I managed a few more steps before a squeaky floorboard cut through the silence; the pile suddenly snapped around and stared straight at me. I was stunned to see that it was not a pile of old duvets, blankets or stained pillows. It was my sister.”
– An unedited extract taken from my current project
This is an extract from my first book, of which I will be referring to as ‘Project Delilah’.
This extract is taken from my main characters book, of which is featured between (almost) every other ‘main story’ chapter. This chapter was written from the perspective of Delilah’s main character, Elodie. (Confusing, I know but all will become clear once the book is complete (I hope!))
I chose to make it harder for myself to essentially write two different stories within one book. However, Delilah’s book is very significant to the plot and I believe it adds a lot to the book in terms of depth and it offers a unique insight into Delilah as a character as well as an author.
The two stories are interconnected and that’s about all I can say about it at the moment!
I hope you enjoyed this little extract and if you have any feed back that would be great. Please bare in mind, I have copy and pasted this directly from my manuscript and it is completely unedited. (Please be nice haha)
Please let me know what you think in the comments. Even if you thought it was boring, or cheesey or clichè. Write out your initial thoughts up on reading it and I shall do a celebratory dance and take it on board.