Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018 Goals

Well it's that time of year where we reflect on the year that was and the year that will be. I often come up with goals for the new year. They are definitely not resolutions, but goals. I have found telling the world about certain goals will make achieve them more. I don't know why this is. I read somewhere it is about accountability.

This isn't a goal per se, but more like a wish. I saw Putin sent Trump a telegram, which is cool. I thought we stopped with telegrams several years ago. I always wanted a telegram. So if Putin could send me one that would be pretty awesome.

Okay on with the goals:

1. Publish the entire Daughters of New America series. I have written Solider Girl. I am writing Survivor Girl and I am planning Solitary Girl.

2. Restart Suburban Vampires,  one chapter a week. That is 52 chapters. Although I don't think it would need that many to finish it. Right now it is exclusively on Watt Pad.

3. Complete "The Untitled Poetry Book." This is an interesting one. It will have a title when it gets published just doesn't have one it yet. It will be a hybrid text. Ransom DeLuca is dying and stuck in his bed. He is also a poet and writes a poem about every person he knows. The poems are created from a past prompt from The Found Poetry Review. I know I mentioned the idea. I have written three poems, I am shooting for 40-50 plus his own poem and a "letter" from Ransom. I am interested to see how it turns out.

4. Continue working on the board One Book- 300 Poems, I've been creating a found poem from each page of the book Waiting  by Debra Ginsberg. I have made 56 poems. I've got a long way to go. I don't plan on finishing in 2018, but I want to be  halfway through the book.

5. Send manuscripts to publishers at least 30 times in 2018. I shoot for once a week, but seem to slack off when I get too many rejections at one time. I did 30 in 2017, I can do it again in 2018.

6. Finish working on the Krampus Kronichles. Ooh what is the Krampus Kronichles? I saw the movie Krampus, and I was interested in the mythology. I did a little research, and I started working on a collection of short stories that revolve around Gerry Mayer, the new Krampus. Because in my world Krampus has to exist within a human, passed from one Krampus to the new one. The Krampus resides in the human for 500 years. Gerry, short for Geraldine, will be Krampus like no other.

7. Exercise more, make better food choices, and drink more water. The water- I already started this. In an effort to save money at the grocery store and for better health,  I have been drinking more water. Even when we are out and about, I choose water over soda. I still like soda and drink it, but I drink a lot less then I used to. I also drink a lot less tea, as in the stuff you buy from the grocery store in the dairy section. Better food choices is another I started but since November I have been slacking, it is time to get back on track. And of course exercising. So the main point of exercising, at least for me, is not for better health but better mental clarity. The better health of course will follow. Now why would someone frame exercise for mental health (and creativity) as opposed to health? Because my writing is important, it is one of the most important things in my life. Framing it to benefit my writing will ensure better success. I did start exercising in October of 2017 but fell off that wagon as well. I know one thing, when it comes to this stuff. There is a lot of failing, but persistence is key.

8. Vote in the primaries and November elections. I don't often vote in the primaries. I will be doing so this year.

So that's about it. I am sure there are more. But these are the ones I want to focus on in 2018.

Happy New Year and together let's make 2018 interesting.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Sanctioned Shadows by JM Scott Free on Kindle Through December 31, 2017

Hey all, Two posts in one day. Wow! I am productive. Anyway, I forgot this was free until I looked at my digital post it notes on my computer. Sanctioned Shadows: Stories is FREE in all Kindle markets through December 31, 2017.

I'm going to say it... I am proud of this book. You should see it in print. It is looks good, the cover is beautiful. If I saw this in a book store, I would buy it.

Anyway, this is a collection of 15 stories that explore humanity's shadows.  There are stories of obsession, drug abuse, rage and more.  Enjoy this free sample from the book,  a flash fiction piece called "Saturation" and pick up your copy to read more.


Saturation
It was 10:30 p.m. and the night did not provide any relief from the ongoing heat wave. Lia sat on the floor of her house with all the windows wide open, peeling her saturated clothes from her body. She was alone. Besides not having a fridge to stick her head in or a friendly neighbor to let her jump in a pool, there was nothing to do but to go swimming at the lake.

She drove through the forest. Headlights illuminated the black evergreens and moths fell into the light like tattered pieces of paper. She cranked up the heavy metal as she sped on the forest road.  She slowed at the park entrance and parked. Excitement fluttered like  moths in her stomach. Gingerly, she walked down the stone stairs. The orange lights around the bathhouse glared against the black lake. Moths gathered and beat the light with their wings. Down on the sand, she stripped off her clothes and went into the lake.

The water was cool but not cold not like how it was when her husband and kids went here all those summers. Fireflies blinked in the distance.  The water crawled over her hips and up her stomach as she lurched forward. She dove down into the water. A half moon came from over the evergreens as she lay on her back and floated on the water.

She let herself breath. The husband who decided he was better off with someone else and left her with nothing but a car, her things and brand-new mortgage payment. The husband, she wished would leave her for years so she didn’t have to be the bad guy finally found his lost love and ran off as soon as he could. She always knew she was just his second choice. She let it all go in one breath.

She inhaled another lung full  of lake air and evergreen as fish suckled the night air for bugs and she let her boyfriends go. Two concurrent boyfriends, she met at work. They were friends and they both wanted her as soon as she was back on the meat market and she couldn’t help herself, she wanted them both. They each called her their girlfriend. A situation that worked out pretty well at least home while they were together. They agreed that she would be committed to both of them and they to her. She never agreed to that but they didn’t know that. They were at a baseball game while she swam in the water. Lia let them go as well. This was her time.

She moved her arms in the water and let her former best friend go. After the divorce he came knocking and she let him in. He wasted no time and had her naked and squirming on the floor in no time. They saw each other at least once a week if not more. She enjoyed him and he enjoyed her. Who had to know?

Lia let her empty house void of appliances and furniture go. A house he wanted anyway and now she had nothing except for a couple pieces of inflatable furniture, a tv, a hot plate and a coffee maker. She was saving for a fridge, the boyfriends promised to get her a microwave but that was months ago and still no microwave.

A vehicle drove over the bridge and she tried to stay still. The vehicle moved ahead and she floated some more on her back.  A white light came from the beach.

“Ma’am, there is no swimming at this time of night,” a man’s voice called.

Lia made her way slowly to the sand. She walked out of the water and stood naked in his white light. She could see him, he was short for a man but had wide shoulders. His brown hair was cut like young Elvis. He was also a good ten years her junior. He stood there with the spotlight on her and suddenly her nakedness didn’t make her nauseous. She stood there, watching him. Lia ran her hands over her lumpy body as if  she were smoothing out invisible clothes.

She cleared her throat, “Sorry, it was just so hot and I had to cool off.” She moved toward him with her shoulders back and her hair around her shoulders, “I’ll just get dressed and be on my way.”

He shut off the light as soon as she was close to him. She didn’t reach for her clothes even though they were at her feet.

“You know, I could write you a citation,” he said.

“Well you have a job to do,” Lia replied and still didn’t move her clothes. She felt his eyes travel over her body. A pulse raced through her, a powerful pulse that oozed sexual confidence. She wanted him and she knew she would have him.

“I won’t though.” He paused, “I still won’t though but maybe do you want to come and make my rounds with me. It is cool in the Jeep.”

She smiled, “Yeah why not, you only live once.”

Lia gathered her clothes and made no attempt to put them on and followed the ranger.

It neared midnight when the park ranger pulled into the ranger station. She didn’t know his name, it’s not like she asked when he bent her over and screwed her or when he screwed her in the back seat of the jeep. She never told him hers either.

“I’ll be just a minute, then I will take you back to your car.” He shut off the engine and the dark night fell around her except for the lone light bulb at the door. She smoothed out her hair and clothes and looked around the Jeep and saw a pistol in a leather holster.

She took it out.  Lia held in it her hands. She always wanted freedom. Freedom to do as she pleased, freedom to screw whomever she wanted. And now she had what she wished. It was all wrong, she was wrong and there was no turning back.

Lia cocked the pistol and pulled the trigger.


Random Thoughts on This December Night

It's been two weeks since I wrote here, but I have written plenty in my head. I just never wrote them down.  Last week, I was going to write about Christmas cards, well since Christmas has come and gone, seems kind of pointless (and let's face it, from my point of view kind of depressing).

I think I need to exhibit self control and stop looking around on the internet. Why because it pisses me off. I read too many comments from people about things and to me both sides seem kind of brain washed. Politics have been pissing me off. On the flipside, I did not like or share any Russian propaganda on Facebook. Have you seen some of the memes that were floating around? A lot of them focus on Jesus and shit. Well if you have been paying attention, you would know I wouldn't be liking or sharing Jesus shit. But what does that say about how the world views America? We love guns and Jesus. Is that the image you want to portray?

Speaking of religion, I have been trying to understand Ayn Rand. SO I am not going to read the books, I can't get into them, but I visited the Atlas Foundation and did some reading. I learned Ayn Rand was born and educated in Russia and then emigrated to the states. I am still trying to wrap my head around it. I don't think Paul Ryan is a true Rand follower. He believes in God and doesn't believe in abortion. In fact, as a party lap dog, he will make every regulation possible for women not to have one. Kind of goes against the Rand philosophy. I need to do more studying, it is know thy enemy. Why he is retiring anyway, if his wet dream is coming to light?

And think I about how I can sue the federal government because I no longer want to pay Social Security tax since the chances of me getting are slim. I also think congress should make middle class wages, which is  around $55k. I have no faith in the government or any party. I lost that faith a long time ago.

As for America, maybe DT is right. We need to America great again. However, our approaches are different. My head spins when I think about the problems Americans as a general group face and how it pisses me off, I am always dismissed when I write to my congress people. I feel like my voice is not heard with the Democrat party either.  I can't think of things, I can't do any fixing on my own and  feels like a lost cause.

Okay well, I probably have something to do that I should be working on. Maybe the next post will be more cheerful....


Till next time...

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Sweet Dreamland Wheels by JM Scott FREE in all Kindle Markets Through Dec 16, 2017

Hey all, It's another free book. I suppose there are people other there who are thinking why does someone always give away their books? Trust me, I would love to make money selling my work. I occasionally do sell books. But I also know, in this day and age,  I'm building up my fan base one at time. If I provide free books to potential readers, then maybe I will have fans that will spend their money in the future.

Anyway...Sweet Dreamland Wheels is FREE in all Kindle markets through December 16, 2017. This chapbook contains 30 experimental and found poems.  Some source authors I used were Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Dean Koontz, and RL Stine. In fact, enjoy this sample poem sourced from an RL Stine Fear Street novel.


Friday, December 8, 2017

Tryptophantasia and Other Poems FREE By JM Scott Through Dec. 11, 2017

Hey all, Look! I'm posting twice in one week. I truly aim for three times a week. I was trying four but every week, I came up short. Anyway... who cares.

Trytophantasia and Other Poems is FREE in all Kindle markets through December 11, 2017. Yeah, I'm going to toot my own horn here, I think these are some of the best poems I have written to date. Of course, in five years I may not think so.

This chapbook contains 22 poems that are either language based, surreal, stream of conscious, or other poetry styles. Think of it like a sampler for my poetry.

If you love poetry, why not grab a copy, take a read or two then leave a review, if you are so inclined.

Enjoy this free sample:




Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Frost Moon

Upward fading

on treetop tendrils
I spiral the limelight
hollow.

crystal frost navigates
an icy hollow, moon music
rides the wind and spores on the
full window.

Belong and down
into fading night.

***
Hey all, it has been awhile since I posted a poem. This is used to be three different haiku. I ran it through a Dada generator to make a new poem. Several years ago, I wrote three haiku every day for a year. So I have a lot of bad haiku. I have good haiku too. The bad haiku, I recycle. 

Till next time...

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Crossing 50K- Winning 2017 Nanowrimo

I crossed the finished line on November 28, 2017 with 50, 187 words.  When I got my 2500 in for the day, I just kept on going.

And since then, I haven't written anymore. It's not like I am stuck because I'm not, my grad school work took longer than I thought it would. I also had the flu or something like the flu. All of this compounded on the last few days. I finished my school work this morning and I was going to write but I wound up napping instead.

This weeks looks a little light on the school work load so I should get ample writing time in. I still have plans to finish the first draft before 2018. I also am going to work on a Christmas story.

Actually, it seems like the last couple of weeks have been a bit chaotic for me. Let's hope it slows down.

Till next time...

Friday, November 24, 2017

Passed 40K- Week Three of Nanowrimo

As of this writing, I have written 43,894 words. I have a little more than 6,000 words to make it to the 50,000 word goal for November.

I am not sure how much more it will go over 50,000, but it will go over. I'm in  panic mode. As I am starting to tie up loose ends, I'm hoping not to forget any. I have some great plans for the end of the novel.  I am looking forward to finishing the first draft because I am looking forward to the revision stage. Once it is completed, I will put away for at least a month or more and start revisions early 2018.

Of course, I would get a cold right now. I started writing at 7:00 pm,  but at 8:00 I dozed off for an hour. Then I finished up my word goal for the day.

The writing is going well most of the time. I struggle;  I skip the scene and work on another. That is what revision is for.

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

Till next time...

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Forever

The fire grew and touched the sky. My friends opened more beers. Someone lit a joint. It was like old times. They planned this trip for me, in hopes I would be happy.

I saw her come from the flames. Beth.  She was all flames but I never could forget how her body looked in that dress or her face no matter how we old got.

Smiling, Beth motioned for me. I stood up and reached my hand out. I passed through the flaming veil. Somewhere in the distance, they screamed my name as my mouth joined her sizzling lips.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Ask Me Anything- November 24, 2017 1:00 PM EST

Yesterday, I was invited by someone via Facebook to host a Ask Me Anything event on their website.

So mark your calendars and get  ready to ask me anything about writing, Kindle formatting, what it's like to be a writer, how I get my ideas, etc. OR you can post a poem or flash fiction (1,000 words or less) and I will give an honest critique. I'm not an expert or anything but sometimes it is nice to get someone else's thoughts on your work. Personally, this what I love about college writing classes- someone, at least one person (not including the professor), has to critique your work. If you're like me and want some fresh eyes you know where to find me.

You can  post questions early or on the day. I have two days to answer all questions after the event is over.

If you can't get enough of my writing rants or maybe you want to see what makes me tick click here, register and ask away. I am looking forward to your questions.

"See You" Friday.

Till next time...

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Week Two Nanowrimo Update

Well here we are folks, tomorrow is the fifteenth which means most Nanowrimos should hit the 25,000 word mark. I will hit it tonight. I'm not bragging or anything because I take time off. This past weekend, I took off Friday and Saturday. Sunday was a struggle to write and Monday was much better.

I have been writing close to 2,500 words a day with a weekly goal of 12,000 words. The story remains interesting with a lot of action. But I am staring to feel the midway slump. I have a pretty good idea of what will happen, but I need something to carry it through the middle.  I have a three scenes planned and thinking about a couple of others. Perhaps more will come to mind while  I am writing.

It is amazing I get anything done because I am getting a cold and I can't focus. My writing speed has decreased in the last few days. To meet my word count for the day, it takes me almost two hours, if not more.  Isn't half the battle showing up?

I am dedicated to finishing. I have not lost a year yet, and I don't want this to be the first.

So I'm going to toot my own horn, West Wood is awesome.  This is my best work to date, and I am not even finished writing yet. I love writing it, I love thinking about it.

Sure, this is what I thought about all my novels until a couple of years have passed. Moonswallow Gates  was the first novel I ever written, it's not all that great,  and it could  be improved.  I still  like Gone Before Dawn, though  it could use some improvements. Then there is Havana, WV (although I am considering changing the title to Armory Stanton) which turned out great.

Well that's that.  Nothing more to say, till next time...

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Shoplifting by Ghosts

The shutdown injects the spirit. What spirit? The spirit of a long dead person who plays the music box when you least suspect. Or maybe it's your spirit. The one lives inside your bones, the one that died some time ago and makes an appearance once in awhile. Or maybe it's the Christmas spirit. But you find yourself like Ebeneezer before the ghosts find him.

I want to believe in ghosts. I want to talk to one and maybe play cards. They could tell me life secrets. We could shoplift and sell our finds on Ebay. No one would believe a ghost would shoplift.

I shoplifted once, or I should say almost once.  I was young, five or six, and I was at the mall with my mom. The store we were in had Smurf figurines. I wanted Smurfette; she was my favorite. Mom said no. So I took it and put it in my pocket. The store clerk saw and told my mom. My ass was beat when I got home, and I was grounded to my bed. This was the 80's so that meant there was no such thing as a TV in my bedroom. It was summer because it was still light out. I sat in my dark room.

I always knew stealing was wrong and still do. So why would I want a ghost to shoplift? Just to see if the ghost will do it. And to see how the people in the store would react. How could you charge someone with theft if that someone is dead?  And of course, I don't want to do the dirty work. After all, I'm alive and would have to pay for those transgressions.

So here we back at the shutdown and the imagination goes nowhere fast unless it is 1973 and then there is a focal point strung up by lightening. Here am I today thinking of creating a ghost army to do the bidding I know is wrong.

Till next time....

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

One Week In- Nanowrimo 2017

At the time of this writing, I have not had  writing time yet. As of right now, I have written 11,158 words.  My goal is to reach 2,500 words for every writing day.

Two reasons for a high goal: I start grad school on November 20, 2017 and I want to be almost at the word goal for the month by then, and I don't write every day like I should. Some days, I have other things planned.

On a good day, and most days are good days, it takes me about an hour and half to write 2,500 words.  That's 45 minutes for 750 words. On exceptional days, which there has been only one, I needed an hour to reach my goal.

Writing has been going good so far. I have not reached ultimate flow yet. I've been close. My brain turns off,  and I let the words take over. Lately, I have been writing whenever I can squeeze it in. I'm trying to get in my 7:00 p.m. habit, which is what I have done the last few times I participated in Nanowrimo.

By 7:00 p.m. the dinner is made and eaten, the dishes are washed, any household chores are done, school work is done for the day. Then after writing time I work on other things like my Etsy store, poetry and other fun things.

Fingers crossed- this momentum keeps me going until November 30 or sooner.

Till next time...

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Fairy Bones

Photo retrieved from mirror.co.uk 
I tossed my dog the tennis ball;  he came back with a fairy. Her wings sparkled in the setting sun. With a broken leg, she dangled out of his mouth  like a discarded Barbie doll.  He dropped the fairy in my hand and we took her home.

Calming her, I put her in a little box and closed the lid. Once I gathered all I needed...

I plucked her wings and sauteed her in butter, nutmeg and cinnamon. Delicious.

After reassembling her skeleton and reattaching the wings, I cast the remains in resin. 

Someone would buy it, they always do.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Trick or Poem by JM Scott Free Through November 2, 2017

Hey all, Trick or Poem is FREE in all Kindle markets through November 2, 2017.

This chapbook contains 31 Halloween and horror poems not suitable for kids. There are poems about demons, witches, cannibals, vampires, creatures in the dark and more.  Also there are three poetry collages and three emoji/ pictograph poems.

I hope you get a free copy and read it. If you love or hate it, please leave an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads.

Here is a sample from the book enjoy....


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Four Days till Nanowrimo

Who's excited for this year's Nanowrimo? Oh I am. I haven't been this excited for writing anything in a long time.

The novel is tentatively called West Wood.  Here is what I know so far (because you know I write by the seat of the my pants):


  • It takes place in 1973. 
  • The main character is Stirling Brahams, she is 16, and adopted daughter of Oliver Brahams, electrical engineer. 
  • It takes place in West Wood, NY a fictional town in the Catskills. 
  • Stirling has a birthmark of  seven small stars at the corner of her left eye. 
  • Her true identity is Merope, the seventh and youngest sister of the Pleidas, but she doesn't know that until later. 
  • There will be magic, mayhem, and electricity. 
  • Some of the story elements came to me in various bits of dreams. 
Wish me luck or join me and write a novel in thirty days. 

Till next time...




Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Baby Blues

The boat sped along the sound. The island was to my right and looked like a strip of miniature houses and green. To my right was nothing but blue water. I was alone but not, there were three others. 

A storm was moving in. We got stuck on a sandbar.  Something thudded against the bottom of the boat. As I pushed the oar against the sand, I saw it. 

It was the baby that died after I gave birth on the beach- alone, ten years ago. He looked preserved not dead. He smiled and swam on, leaving a bloody wake. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Monastery or the Vow of Silence

The moonless monastery sits
cloaked in sedentary darkness
cowering in eclipsed shadows

waiting for shiest
buzzard calls, seeking
food,  a scrap to suffice the fire
hunger.

An investigatory hitchhiker
silent and cold,  signs formal
papers without his knowing

comes upon this buried dimension
to discover his golden morality
or his dreadful baptistery

In the never ending night
we come to the monastery  for
answers in the magic crystal
or God beneath the sheets

some leave unscathed
some leave leashed
and some leave not at all.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Breaking the Synapse

I have spent all day thinking of what to post to tell the world I am still here, still in the world's cacophony, since it has been almost a week since I posted. And even though I make daily to do lists, weekly to do lists, and  goals for the year, I'm never sure where the time goes.

I tried to collect my thoughts and focus on one thing, but everything gets away from me. I sit and stare at a blank screen thinking about politics, about Donald Trump, about North Korea, about the people in Puerto Rico, about the what it means to be a patriot, about the book I just finished,  about last night's episode of American Horror Story,  about the novel I'm going to write for Nanowrimo, about the story I want to work on, about the Christmas poem I want to write, about the dreams I have been having that make me feel disoriented for the rest of the day.  So no, my thoughts just aren't there.  They are everywhere.

Sometimes, I feel like pissing off people on Facebook. Sometimes, I wish I could quit playing Candy Crush. Sometimes, I wish I wasn't so hard on myself. Sometimes, I wish I could get something published instead of the endless barrage of rejection letters. 

Sometimes.... you just sit in front of the computer and explode. And look I probably wrote 300 words.  Not that I feel any better or less cluttered. Perhaps, I am seeking a few moments of quiet where my thoughts nag someone else. And there is nothing up there but quiet.

Maybe we all need quiet, silence from the world that keeps drilling and breaking the synapses. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Mandatory Year

Cat waited on the pale green examination table in the white room for the nurse practitioner. She came in a few minutes later, her small mouth drawn in a slight smile.

“Catherine, I’m Jody. I’m doing your exam today.”

She went over to the computer and pulled up Cat’s file.

“The last time you were here was 17 years ago?”

Seventeen years ago, Cat found herself pregnant at 16. Her mother, Sharon, took her to the Women’s Health Center for confirmation so they could get medical assistance. Although Sharon worked two jobs to provide for her and her daughter, Sharon’s employers didn’t offer insurance. Sharon made too much money to qualify unless of course someone was pregnant. Her mother was disappointed when Cat told her about the pregnancy but not surprised. Instead of yelling at Cat, Sharon resolved to help Cat and her child.

Cat nodded at the question. Her heart pounded in her chest.

Jody put up the stir-ups and helped Cat lay back. Then she slid her slender hands into the blue latex gloves.

“Okay, I’m going to do the breast exam first. You’ve been experiencing pain for a while?”

That was an understatement. She knew what it was. She felt the lumps and the pain now for almost a year. She was never sure is what she felt was right or not. Cat scoured the web and already knew that whatever was in her breast wasn’t natural. At times, the pain would become great and she would sneak a few of her mother’s pain pills, which only minimally helped. Gracelyn made the appointment for her at the Women’s Health Center. Cat promised to go. Even if that meant calling off of work, something she never did. They always needed the money. Especially since Sharon had an accident at work, which destroyed her back and now was in a wheel chair. Because of many years of smoking, Sharon was dependent on oxygen.

Cat found her voice and it was hoarse and diminished, “I don’t know what I am looking for.”

“It’s okay honey, relax.”

Jody placed her hands on Cat’s bare breasts and began to push the flesh. Cat screamed and flinched. Jody frowned and felt in the arm pits closest to the breast. Cat flinched and winced.

“Let’s get your pap done, then I’ll get you a referral for a mammo.”

“I don’t have insurance,” Cat muttered.

“It’s free but you have to go to Daleburg,” Jody said and started the vaginal exam.

***

“The hospital says I qualify for $15,000 in aid. That will cover most of the lumpectomy,” Cat said as she sat down at the small wooden table with a small cup of water. Sharon, her mother, sat across from her in wheelchair sucking on oxygen.

“What about medical assistance? They reject you again?”

And what a nightmare that was. Cat believed, just like when she was pregnant, that she could tell the welfare office she had cancer, she would get insurance and not have to worry about finding money for the treatment. However, cancer is not something they seem to care too much about. They said she made too much money. Between three jobs, one full time and two part time, Cat only made $26,000- $27,000 a year, which provided enough money for the small, handicapped accessible ranch house Cat rented every month, utilities, food, cable, internet, and cell phones. Sharon’s disability payment was meager and helped pay for Cat’s car insurance. Cat always believed it was enough. She enjoyed each of her jobs and the people she worked with. Sure, she didn’t have much of a life outside her jobs, but she didn’t need it. She felt content with her life. She had Grace who was smart, beautiful and was already accepted into college with a scholarship.

“Mama, you know I make too much. I would have to quit Arthur’s and maybe I would get it.”

She met Arthur Langley at her other job, Old Glory. Old Glory is a landmark that has served as the town’s local watering hole since the 1800's. Cat worked as a bartender on the weekends and was always called in when the other bartender called off. Arthur Langley had started an internet business where he made custom decals, shirts, and other screen printed products. Cat and Arthur hit it off like brother and sister. She had a good thing with Arthur and his business. He wished he could offer health insurance, but couldn’t afford it since it was only he, his partner and Cat. He could afford to pay her ten dollars an hour.

“I got everyone on Facebook praying for a miracle. I got 500 prayer warriors,” Sharon said.

“You did not just say that. Prayer doesn’t mean shit.”

“Don’t say that. God works in mysterious ways.”

She wished her mother would quit with the God shit. Cat supposed old habits die hard. It seemed to give Sharon some kind of hope. Cat needed hope and it came in the form of health insurance, not God. They looked at each and frowned.

“Gracelyn said she raised about $2,000 from people on the internet,” Sharon said and took the oxygen tube out her nose.

Since Cat told Gracie about the cancer, Gracie has been relentless in finding ways to help pay for the treatments. She started one of those Go Fund Me accounts and took random snapshots of Cat to post online. She put up donation jars around town. Cat told Gracie to quit; she was wasting her time. No one was going to give money to someone like Cat. But Gracie didn’t listen.

“What I need is insurance. I told Grace to quit with the fundraising.”

“Why should she? You’re her mother.”

Sharon lit a cigarette. She coughed once. Then inhaled again, “It’s not fair. You work hard and not in trouble. But Lord, you go to jail, they do everything for you,” Sharon said.

“What did you say?”

“What?”

“About jail,” Cat said.

“Hell Cat, they treat the god-damned trouble makers better than regular people. I saw on TV about how much the state spends on health care for inmates. What they could do is let the criminals suffer and get healthcare for regular people.”

Cat tuned out her mother’s rambling about how criminals are garbage and the government is crooked. What if there’s something to that?

“I should go to jail,” Cat sais interrupting Sharon.

“Why the hell would you want to go and do a thing like that?” Sharon said and smashed her half-consumed smoke in the overflowing ash tray.

“I don’t want to die.”

***

Cat lay on her bed after the surgery. The doctor told her she had to start chemo and radiation soon. Her twin bead squeaked under her weight. Arthur had brought her family several meals that all they had to do was heat and serve. Arthur was also raising money through his business. Her room had some flowers that various friends had sent her. She needed to get out of bed and move around.
The TV was on in the living room. The studio audience cheered as Oprah gave away something.

Swinging her legs to the hardwood floor, Cat found strength and made her way to the kitchen. The dishes were starting to pile up. The coffee pot was still on, holding burnt coffee. Cat grabbed a cup. Sharon paid no attention.

Either way, dead or in jail, how will they get along without me? Cat wondered. Gracie came from the other hallway and started at her mother sitting at the table. Cat found her eyes and stared back.

“Mama, are you serious?” Grace whispered and sat beside her.

“About what baby girl?”

“Going to jail for treatment?”

“Why?”

“I know someone who wants to help.”

“Grace,” Cat said and shook her head.

“No listen. This guy has a batch of skunk. It’s no good...”

“And?”

“It’s enough to get you one year minimum. That’s enough for your treatment.”

“Who are you hanging out with? You have, unlike me, a future. You start hanging out with people like that they will bring you down,” Cat said.

“And you willingly want to be a felon. What is the difference? I can get rid of strangers. I can’t get rid of my mother.”

“I don’t want you involved; you’re going to college.”

“This guy is not a friend. He goes with Selena. I met him at a party and I may . . . ”

“Grace, why?”

“You’re my mom, and I don’t want you to die. You want a sure thing? Call him,” Grace stood up and gave her an ATM receipt with a scrawled phone number. Grace glided back toward her room.

Cat looked at the number. Grace said it was a mandatory minimum year. Could she make it in jail for a year? She has known people who have gone to jail. Mostly for drunk driving, or assault, or not paying child support. Cat never discussed their time in the clinker in detail. For the most part, everyone seemed normal coming out.

They had raised enough money for the radiation and a little to start the chemo. If she got arrested soon enough, she would go to jail. But, she wouldn’t be at Gracie’s high school graduation. Gracie would be the first one in her family to graduate high school. If Cat did nothing, she might make it to high school graduation.

Gracie was the first to go to college. Which was more important? Gracie’s high school graduation or Gracie’s college graduation? What if she didn’t graduate college? Then Cat would miss out on the high school graduation. So what if Gracie didn’t finish college? She would probably get married and have kids. Or skip marriage and have kids. Cat would love to be a grandma. The future was more important. And Gracie knew, if Cat took this step, Cat wouldn’t be at graduation. Gracie accepted that fact because she wanted a future with her mother in it.

***
Gracie was at her job at the dollar store. Sharon was in her room on Facebook playing poker or one of her favorite farming games. Cat had just come from the cleaning job. Tonight, she had off from Old Glory. She planned on a nice hot shower, a cup of soup and a long nap. She didn’t know how much longer she could keep working three jobs. She had reduced her hours at Old Glory and only worked Thursday through Saturday night, giving her Sunday as a day of rest. She had just got out of the shower, wrapped her hair in a towel and slipped on a giant bathroom, when someone knocked on the door.

Opening the door, she saw a guy in his twenties. He dressed like a frat boy with a nice pair of pants (or was it slacks?) and a polo shirt.

“Are you Cat?”

“Who are you?”

He gave her a box wrapped in brown paper.

“Your delivery,” he said and walked down the ramp to his black car parked behind hers.

Two days ago, Cat called that guy that Grace knew. The guy said the package would be delivered within three days. Cat’s heart raced. She closed the door and took the package to her room.
She closed her door and sat on the bed and unwrapped the brown paper. There was a cardboard box and a small note.

Cat- You’re better off to package like dime bags. If you do happen to sell any before getting busted, the money is yours. Good Luck

Cat took the box, the wrapping and the note and took it out to her car. It was dark on the street and everyone was inside their nice little homes, in their nice little neighborhood. She opened the trunk and put the stuff in the spare tire well. Now what?

On Sunday, she got up early and left before either Grace or Sharon would wake, leaving a note saying that she was called into clean an office after a party. It was a lie. Grace would know what was really going on. Cat couldn’t decide if Sharon would see through it. In fact, Cat said nothing more about wanting to go jail and let Sharon believe she dropped the whole jail thing.

She went to Wal-Mart and bought a digital scale. Then she went to two different hardware stores to buy the plastic bags.

Cat drove to the north end of town by Old Glory to La Petite Nuit, a dump of a motel just blocks from Old Glory. She paid for her room with cash. Cash that she borrowed from the cable bill. The old Indian, who barely spoke English gave her a room at the end, furthest away from the reception. He had to own the place. She remembered him when she was last here.

It was a couple of years ago, when she met Rick or was it Rich at Old Glory. He was in town because his friend was getting married. She didn’t know who the friend was. Rick or Rich was older than her by ten years. He had some gray sprinkled in his hair. As the drinks flowed, he hit on Cat. Told her she was pretty. She knew he was drunk, but for Cat, it had been long time. She had an on and off relationship with Gracie’s dad but that ended when Grace was ten. He packed up, moved away, and stopped paying child support. Cat was glad when he was finally gone. Between Gracie’s dad and Rick or Rich, there have only been two other men. Both of which were older and divorced. They dated for a short time and then the relationship would fizzle.

Rick or Rich could have been married. Cat didn’t ask nor did she see a ring. She didn’t care. He waited around until closing and came out asked if she would fuck him. He waited for her in the parking lot. He drove his rental to the dumpy motel. She wondered where he was staying. It didn’t matter as his hand kept moving up her thigh.

They spent the night fucking and fucking some more. And for once, Cat didn’t feel like a daughter or a mother, but a woman. Rick or Rich was generous and relentless in his lovemaking. He passed out sometime around six in the morning. Cat put her clothes on and slipped out the door. She never saw him again.

Cat opened the door to her room. She was in room seven with Rick or Rich. She smiled at the memory. It would be nice if he came around again she thought and switched on the light.
The room had one double bed against the wall. There was a clunky TV sitting on the fake wood dresser. The bathroom was in the back, and there was a small table by the window. She turned on the AC and closed the window.

After laying her equipment out, she ripped the brown wrapping paper and the note up into little pieces and burned them in the large glass ashtray in the room. Once she burned the papers, she flushed the ash down the toilet.

Cat turned on the TV and started packaging four pounds of weed.

***
She spent two hours in the park each night with her backpack full of dime bags. She asked teens and adults who looked like they would want weed. She was turned down. How hard was it to sell weed? How hard was it to get arrested for that matter? Cat studied various shows and movies in her room about drug dealing, while her inventory remained untouched in the trunk of her car.

Cat decided to put an ad on Craig’s List. She was due for another round for treatment. The hospital has agreed to bill her for whatever she didn’t have. The bills were already becoming high but she would keep paying with tip money she earned every weekend. She waited by her phone, when she got a message. A buyer. She agreed to meet them at La Petite Nuit parking for the deal. She was excited. At least selling it would provide a little extra for the treatment.

The man said he would be driving blue Dodge. She found easily enough. Now what? Is there a secret code word? Does she get out? Does he get out? Do they open the windows and make the trade between cars? Cat had no idea. What if? What if he wasn’t looking to buy drugs, but to take her once he found out she was a woman? The last thing she was thinking of was the man she was meeting was an undercover cop.

She got out of her car and walked over to the driver side. She felt like a hooker sauntering over. She had her bag slung across her shoulder.

“You got it?” he asked.

“Yeah. Twenty bucks for one and thirty for two.”

“Good deal,” he said and reached into his inside pocket of his jacket and pulled out a bank envelope. “I want four.”

She opened her bag, counted out four bags and gave them to him. He gave her the money.

What to say? Was there anything to say? “Hope to do business with you again,” she said and turned away from him. Wow, maybe she should just deal all the weed and get more. This was easy.

“This is a dangerous business for a woman like you,” he called after her.

She ignored him. As soon she opened her car door, another man said, “Put your hands up and step away from the vehicle.”

This was it. She was getting arrested. She hoped and even prayed for this moment. She dropped the bag to the ground and raised her arms.

The police came and searched her. Took her bag. Searched her car then put the handcuffs on her.
The man she sold the weed to, recited her rights then asked, “Why?”

Cat shook her head and got inside the back of the cruiser.

***
“I can’t believe you, Cat. Why the hell would you do something like this?” Sharon screamed at her just before the arraignment. She was more mad now then she was when Cat told her she was pregnant. “A common criminal.”

“Mom.”

“Don’t you Mom me. I can’t believe this.”

“Grammy, calm down you’re making a scene,” Grace said. “It will be okay, Mom. Everything will be okay. Just do what you need to do and be strong.”

Cat squeezed her hand. Grace smiled.

Arthur came over to Cat and said, “When you get out, there will always be a job for you with us.”

Everyone wanted to know why. And while it wasn’t a lie, it wasn’t the full truth either, Cat answered, “I need money for my cancer treatment.”

This made her look pathetic and the judge was sympathetic and sentenced her to the mandatory year with a chance of parole afterward. Her mother was there at every hearing but made her opinion known about her daughter the drug dealer. Cat wondered if it was for show because she seemed over dramatic about the whole thing.

***
Since her mother couldn’t drive and Gracie had gone to college, Arthur came by and picked Cat up from the prison. Her hair started to grow back in and she looked like she had a buzz cut. She was still frail and pale but color began to reappear on her face.

“And the prognosis?” He asked as he opened the door for her.

“Cancer free.”

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Educate Me- Birth Control

What is about birth control that gets people riled up? You would think women who control when they want children is a good thing.

Recently, the president rolled back a rule that required employers' insurance to cover birth control. Just birth control. Now any company can opt out of that coverage for their employees  because of a moral or religious issue. Google Hobby Lobby.

A common comment on any news article is "Pay for your own birth control."

This is where I am confused. We are talking about employers' health insurance coverage.

As I understand, insurance works as a pool of money. You and your employer pay the health insurance company and they pay for certain medical care. It's a not a pool based on your employer but everyone enrolled in particular health insurance company. So really, just because the employer has some kind of asinine objection, everyone still pays into the pool where some woman is getting birth control.

How about an example:

XY Corp offers health insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield. We all know how big Blue Cross is. But XY Corp has a moral objection to birth control and opts out of coverage. Yet, down the road AB Corp doesn't and also offers Blue Cross Blue Shield to its employees. In reality, XY Corp is still paying money into a pool of money that help's pay for birth control.  The whole "religious" or "moral" objection doesn't really stand.

Another thing, I see a lot of why people have these objections, God's will.

So it's God's will for pregnancies but it's not God's will for:

-erectile dysfucntion
-cancer
-depression
-PTSD
-Black lung
-high blood pressure
-etc.

Tell me how this makes sense? Why is it okay to go  against "God" and take medicine for other issues? But not okay to take "The Pill?" If someone uses that reason, then the only health insurance one needs is God.

Last thought....

If you have insurance chances are you paying for someone's birth control. She is paying for your Viagra. You are paying for someone's poor life choices or for someone's run of bad luck. That's how insurance works.

Till next time...

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Into the Garden: Acrostic Poetry Collection by JM Scott Free Until October 11, 2017

Hey all, One of my first poetry collections, Into the Garden, is FREE in all Kindle markets through October 11, 2017. '

The acrostic form is one I still use because the I constraint of a specific letter starting each line encourages me to come up with a new way of saying something or to express something differently. Of course, that is not always the case.

I hope you grab a copy and leave a review.

Here is a sample from the book, enjoy....


Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Ballad of Sheridan McCoy

I was 16 workin at the Dollar General
And he was 24 workin down at the mine
His name was Jay Hatfield
and for one night, I was his.

Romance ‘round these parts
isn’t like some dopey Jennifer
Aniston movie, it isn’t a lot of
laughs and wrong moves,
it really only takes a twelve pack
of cheap beer, bonfire at the Strippins
and you got be hornier than a goat.

I ain’t a skank but it’s the
company you keep that gives
you a reputation. My cousins
are skanks and they got
the notches to prove it and
they’ll show you with big
ol smiles.

And that night, it didn’t
take beer, I’ve known Jay
all my short life and when
I diddled myself, I always
imagined it was him.

Don’t know why he
said those things that night,
cause  he wasn’t all that
drunk, I could still smell
his Wal-Mart special cologne.
And I don’t spread my legs for anyone,
they had to be special.
Maybe I was special ‘cause
I was no skank.

I knew I was pregnant
three months later, when I was late
and my clothes were getting tight.
two  pink lines and it was true.

Around these parts
there are three types of girls
there is the type of  girl who
gets knocked up, gets child support
gets welfare then keeps shoving
kids out until some doctor gets in her
head that her tubes should be tied or
she winds up on Jerry or Maury

there is the type of girl
who can leave the mountains
of West Virginia and never look back
and if she does come back
she is a professional woman
or one of those perfect moms
with perfect kids with perfect clothes

there is the type of girl
who doesn’t see anything
past Wet Virginia, who work
as waitresses, or at Wal-Mart
or some other shithole store
and the best they can hope for
is management or a husband in
the mines and no welfare.

I drove my beat up truck
to Wheeling and the abortion
would cost 500, which I didn’t have
but I made the appointment anyway
I could work extra hours.
They told me I can get help
they told me I can get  support

I never went back
and the baby grew.
No one really noticed
no one really cared.

Eight months after
Jay Hatfield made love to me
I gave birth to our son
in the cardboard camper
I was living in

The baby cried
I cleaned him best I could
wrapped him in a bunch
of moth eaten blankets
and put him in small box.

The nurses at the hospital
asked too many questions.
They told me to get checked out.
in my mind I named him Jack.

I made manager
and I should have
had a doctor look at
my coochie ‘cause I really can’t
seem to have another baby
miscarried three times
since Jack ripped through into this world.
I think about Jack a lot.

Jay Hatfield is married
to his high school sweetheart and
they got a bunch of kids, one the same
age as Jack would be. He comes in
and winks at me. He lost a leg
a couple of years ago in that
big mine accident. If he asked-
I would still screw him

I used to dream about
telling Jay about baby Jack
we would find him and then
bring him home. Me and Jay
would get married
and sit on rocking chairs on the porch
as the grandchildren play. But that
shit is for the movies or for girls
who see past the mountains
and coal mines of West Virginia.

And just the other day,
this beautiful blonde woman came
in wearing fancy clothes
and perfume  found in
worn issues of Cosmo
with a boy-
I looked at his face
and he looked at mine
and I saw myself.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tuesday in October

Did someone forget to tell nature that it is October? The days feel like summer and the nights like September. Though, we had our first frost yesterday morning.

Lately, I haven't been myself. I'm in a fog, where I keep bumbling around, running into walls and forget why I was there in the first place. And the dreams aren't helping. I wake up disturbed every morning, remembering only fragments of all the dreams from the night before. This fog carries over into the daylight. I may or may not fall asleep and if I do, the dreams are there and I wake not knowing if I am in the real world or in another dream land.

For those who pray.... aren't you sick of your prayers not being answered? That is if you are praying for Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, Las Vegas. Sure maybe it is perception or I just don't get the whole praying thing, but isn't there something more we could be doing- instead of praying, throwing money at victims. Not a lot can be done for natural disasters because they will always happen. I hope the smart people this country has can think of cost effective ways to build again to be better prepared.

I want to do something. What? I don't know. I feel like I need to do something. I need to be part of something- a solution.

Well whatever, I don't see anything changing, but keep those prayers coming because they are doing a stellar  job.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Naturae Alitura 2018 Poetry Calendar by JM Scott

This is my pride and joy, Naturae Alitura, a poetry and photography calendar. It is now available through Lulu for $24.99 plus shipping. If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know I love poetry. And one thing, I don't see a lot of are poetry calendars,  and I thought I should make one

Maybe it's a little conceited, but I am proud of the finished product. I gave it  to someone I know;  she said it was beautiful. Even if you don't like poetry, the photography is not too bad for someone who is not a professional photographer. I took all the pictures that are featured the calendar. Some are from my home in Pennsylvania, some are from Cumberland, Maryland, some are from Hampton Beach, New Hampshire,  and  some are from other places on the east coast. 

If you are looking for a calendar that is both functional and beautiful, unique and makes a great gift (teachers, English majors, poetry lovers, English teachers, etc.) then consider Naturae Alitura. 

Here's a page from the calendar, enjoy. 


Monday, September 25, 2017

What's Important Right Now

All day today, Facebook has been blowing up with something so earth-shattering important. Really it is-  whether or not professional football players stand or take a knee for the national anthem.

How the fuck is this more important than, I don't know

NORTH FUCKING KOREA?

On Facebook, there are many shares or posts that are right down the middle.  Either the NFL players are scumbag heathens, or they are in the right.  Some of my friends are going to boycott the NFL. Wow... so powerful. So effective.

Maybe it's time to stop the hero worship of male athletes anyway.

My thought is about the football players, I don't give a crap and neither should you (they have every right to do it)  because, did I mention

FUCKING NORTH KOREA?

Maybe I'm paranoid, I don't take this shit going on between the US and North Korea as a joke. I wasn't alive during the 60's and Bay of Pigs, but from what I gather-  It was important; it was scary.

Here we are in 2017 and there seems to be this arrogant sense with many people in this country that Americans are infallible. And this is untrue.

Oh by the way, Puerto Rico is in horrible shape since Hurricane Maria slaughtered the island. This is actually more important than football players, because these people are Americans and something bad happened to them.

But holy fuck,  let's get bent of shape about football players and the national anthem.

Get your damn priorities straight and worry about matters....

PUERTO RICO
FUCKING NORTH KOREA

Until next time...

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Tryptophantasia and Other Poems by JM Scott FREE Through Sept. 25, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, I released my 18th Kindle book, Tryptophantasia and Other Poems. This chapbook contains more than twenty poems that are some of my  best poems in recent years. Some I wrote while taking classes and some I wrote on my own. And guess what this book is FREE in all Kindle markets through September 25, 2017.

When it comes to poetry books, I have a lot more freedom in book cover design. That can be a good thing and a bad thing. I wasn't sure where to begin, but I know what I wanted the book cover to contain.

Tryptophantasia is a word I made up. I combined the words tryptophan (the stuff in turkey that makes you sleepy) and fantasia.  The molecule on the book cover is tryptophan.  Behind the molecule is a photo I ran through a bunch of filters on Gimp. I think it turned out nice.

What is unusual is the all white background, in fact the entire book cover is quite sparse compared to the other ones I have done. I think it works. There is one other book with a cover similar to this and that is Seaspring Briar.  Sometimes, simplicity is the best way.

Here is a free sample from the book. And why not grab the while book, read it and leave a review.

Enjoy....


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Happy Birthday

Even though he wrapped the pink ribbon around his wrist, the happy birthday balloon freed itself and drifted into the calm sky.  As he tried to retrieve it, the balloon seemed to go higher.

On may twelfth, the  road took her life.  With her new license tucked in her jeans; she didn’t see the deer. She braked and veered to the dune grass covered ditch, breaking everything in her body.

The happy birthday balloon coiled itself around the roadside memorial cross with her name on it. She smiled, the deer sniffed the air and walked together in the sudden mist.

***
I have a few more drabbles. I love writing them. I am trying to write a new one everyday. They can be a challenge to write as I spend more time on editing and revising then writing them. I am finding them to be addictive.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Perceived Godliness

Father Albright boarded the not-so-busy Metro toward Adams Morgan after praying with an old congressman who kept his coffers full,  while looking for absolution to look good in front of  television cameras.

The train lurched forward with a jerk and picked up speed. The air changed in the car to the smell of hot sun flesh decay. Lost soul screams flooded the car, bursting ear drums The passengers looked to the  Father. He turned around. Teeth tore at the train. They scrambled to touch his perceived godliness.

“Give us heaven,” they screamed.

He held onto them-  praying for his absolution.

***
Hey all, this is a 100 word story, also known as a drabble. I have not done a lot of short fiction, which is odd since I have a deep love for haiku and tanka. This is something I want to work more on. I spent an hour studying and reading drabbles and want to continue studying.

When it comes to my fiction, I am on this "less is more" kick, which I think irritates my former classmates and teachers because they always want more (detail, dialogue, etc.). However,  I want you to fill in the blanks. If you have been reading my blog off and on, I have been trying to write shorter blog posts.

Like haiku, a drabble is a brief moment in time that hopefully more lies under the surface. Our world is full of moments.

Till next time...

Friday, September 8, 2017

Nickolaus by JM Scott FREE in all Kindle Markets Through Sept. 11. 2017

Hey all, Nickolaus is FREE in all Kindle markets through September 11, 2017. This book actually has TWO reviews, both of which say this book is good. I must be doing something right.

This is a story of how Nickolaus became Santa Claus.  According to the listing it is 25 pages, and it won't take you long to read. It is a short story after all.

This particular book cover is the second one. When I originally released this book, I was not dept at GIMP. I never liked the original book cover and thought it to be of poor quality. Couple of years later, I remade the book cover because I was a lot better at GIMP. I think it is much more professional looking.

I hope you all grab a copy and take a read. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Silent Gray

Seamless grayness covers the sky. One wasp, with his large thorax and long legs, hovers in the stillness as I exhale silver smoke out the door. He looks at me, and I look at him. We regard each other with nothing more than beings in the same space and continue on our respective paths.

Silence. Not the pleasant silence after spending two hours in the casino with the digital bells and whistles, and card players cheering for their big win. The kind of silence which is unsettling. Engines and brakes on the wet road are muffled at the stop sign. Acceleration at the crossroads are flat and lifeless. Crickets rub their legs together as if they were trying to warm up and vanish into the silent gray day.

The silence creeps into the house over the Celtic music on Pandora.  You can hear it settle around the house and into my mind. Where for once, it is silent. The thoughts are put to bed, wrapped in newspaper and filed in boxes, tucked within the deep  gray matter crevices that are responsible for my breath.

I guess that is what being mindful is all about. I am supposed to find the solace that everyone promises. I am supposed to find the hidden beauty in the silent gray but nothing is there. And maybe I missed the whole point of mindfulness. I lost the directions in websites and ebooks that were free, because everyone needs a little self improvement now and then.

I don't know if I enjoy it or not; I am thinking about returning to the real world. But in a way, I don't want to.  I don't want to read about destruction and hurricanes, Donald Trump and rampaging hate. Here on this silent gray September day, I am here between the light and dark, between silence and cacophony.

The world can wait until tomorrow.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Sanctioned Shadows by JM Scott FREE Through Sept 6, 2017

Hey all,  short story collection Sanctioned Shadows is FREE in all Kindle markets through September 6, 2017.

This book contains fifteen different tales that explore humanity's darkness including revenge, addiction and obsession. One of the stories in this collection is "Gunpoint."

This was written for my first fiction workshop class at SNHU. The prompt was to create a story inspired from  a factual element from your life.

How the actual story came about was the main characters name: Easter Jackson. Before class even started I knew I wanted to create Easter's story. Then like magic, I heard her voice coming to me. And she dictated the story. Okay, so that makes me sound like a crazy person, but unless you are a storyteller, you won't understand.

I didn't do drugs nor did I sell them in Maryland, so what was the factual element?

Years ago, I worked a smoke store near a trailer park. One night, I was robbed at gunpoint. While the robbery was happening, I had no idea the gun was actually a BB gun. Once the detective found it and I identified it, he told me it was a BB gun. All I knew was there was a gun pointed in my face.

Why not grab a copy and check this story out and others.




Thursday, August 31, 2017

My Thoughts on Stupid News Items from Hurricane Harvey

Probably like most of you, I am sitting in the sidelines watching various communities from Texas come together to save each other, their pets, their horses and cattle. I am amazed at the amount of water that got dumped in the area. I am amazed at a picture of a flooded highway that had waves.

I wonder what those people are thinking. I wonder how I would be thinking if I was in that situation. I really don't have words.

As my Facebook feed is flooded with acts of heroism and stories of humanity, there is also news stories that are not worth anytime. The first one is....

Melania Trump's shoes. Here's something: Her shoes should not matter to anyone. I don't care what kind of spin someone would put on it they are not important. I, for one, do not give a shit about what shoes she wore. No one else should either. You know what's important... the people affected by the storm, information about the storm, first responders, local and state government officials talking about the storm and humanitarian aid.  That is what is important.  I often defend the media, but not this time.

The second one is the former University of Tampa professor who said Harvey was karma for Texas supporting DT. And this is for him, Ken Storey.

You are a piece of shit, and I don't say that often. What does a hurricane have to do with politics? It doesn't.  PEOPLE DO NOT DESERVE TO SUFFER.  What you are saying is because Texas went to DT that children, non-voters, illegals, Dem voters, GOP voters get to suffer from devastating hurricane and flooding because of the election? That makes no fucking sense to me.  And what about the millions of people around the world who suffer? They didn't vote for or care about DT.  The Douche Bag 2017 award goes to you.


Till next time...

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sweet Dreamland Wheels by JM Scott Free Through Sept. 1, 2017

Hey all, Sweet Dreamland Wheels is FREE in all Kindle markets through Sept. 1, 2017. Some of you may remember that this book is the product of the month long poetry challenge I was apart of in 2015. This collection of found and experimental poetry features source authors such as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, RL Stine, HP Lovecraft, Joyce Carol Oates and others.

Here is a sample from the book.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Writing Update

It's been almost two months since I finished college. Without the weekly course load and deadlines, I fell into a lazy trap. Even though I had and still do have a lot of projects to work on. Things are getting a lot better.  So here's the update no one cares about until I am famous, and then all of a sudden everyone wants to know my inner-workings (and if you do figure me out, please tell me because I often don't know).

Natarua Alitura- The poetry calendar. All the pages have designed and have been uploaded to Lulu. I have a couple of things left to do, and then it will be ready for purchase. I am shooting for an early September release or sooner.

Havana, WV- This is the novel I wrote for Nanowrimo 2015. I am almost done with major story revisions. I have approximately two chapters left. Once those are complete, it is time for copy editing and fine tuning the novel as a whole.

Tryptophantasia and Other Poems- This is a poetry chapbook. The book is together. I am working on cover design. I am hoping for a release in September.

I have been submitting one manuscript to a publisher for the last three weeks. So far dedicated. I've been down this road before. I am all dedicated to sending stuff away then after all the rejections come back, I stop sending stuff away.

Things I wish were working on:

Fiction. I haven't written a new story in forever. And yet, I have a ton of ideas. SO MANY IDEAS, They keep me awake at night. Yet, when I get to the computer. I just don't write. Poetry yes, but not stories. I am trying like hell to work on that. Because while  I was writing Solider Girl, I was  also working on Havana. I was dedicated, determined, not playing Candy Crush or looking at Facebook.

Speaking of distractions. I am making a conscious decision on not playing Candy Crush until much later at night. And when I feel the Facebook urge coming on, I look at my todo list and work on something. It is getting a lot better.

Anymore Facebook sucks and it is boring. I don't think it is a 100 percent Facebook, but the news and people who comment on news stories. I seriously can waste an hour reading the news. I have found my mood is better because I am not always reading the fucking news.

Till next time...




Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Message to the Upstairs Neighbor

I always wanted to warn the wren
of staying alive in the attic
is no place for paradise, dark
in the day and vicious
rusty nails in neat little rows
ready to prick the gentle foot.
A small opening that can be
sealed at any time, then death
will be the door out

Winter is too cold here and
comes too early, never ending nights
mixed with endless snowfall,
and jagged icicles.
He should leave
with the harvest moon, find
a cozy southern maple, spend
his days in sunny rhapsody.

I hope he knows and understands
cars careen too fast around tight curves,
snakes sleep on summer’s stones
hidden by wispy grass
and death can be dressed as an old
lady in the park, tossing stale bread
on the ground.

And if he doesn’t come back,
nest his youngsters next spring
in the attic, I will know which door
was opened for him and for me
mornings will be too quiet.


***
This the 100th poem I published on this blog.  I have grown so much as a poet in these last few years. I truly love poetry and I wish more people loved it as well.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017

There's something about a foggy and overcast Sunday, when silence is in every corner and the sun is blanketed. Through the quiet, the neighbor plays "Teenage Wasteland" from his open garage as he works on something unseen. The cigarette smoke curls up and wafts out the open door.  Saturday night's zombie is in the back of my mind. And this right now is a scene from a movie not made, or a future unwritten.  I can see it, I can hear the desolation of the world around me.

For some today, Eclipse Day, they believe it  could bring an end, the rapture. For me, with my Pumpkin Spice Special K cereal  box ready for the big event, I just cannot wait to see it. The sky is a mix of clouds and sun. Facebook is lighting up left and right with videos of the event from the west. And others running for under their beds.

It's like the wind that was in Maryland on Saturday that came down from the sky, taking your breath away, creating white caps on the small lake. The awe of the natural world. The moment when you feel small when look at the universe on a dark night and see the million year old stars. Thoughts overcome you, wondering what life was like a hundred years, a thousand years ago, when man first stepped from evolution and wondered across the land. I wonder what life was like here, when this country was more wild than city. When trees and littered the land. When a small strand of smoke would dance against the sky with no one around for miles.

There's power in nature. And while I am only going to see 80% coverage (that is if the clouds aren't assholes), I am excited. 2:35 cannot get here fast enough.

Till next time....

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Let's Talk About Race

I have spent the last few days trying to figure out how to write what I think about "race" relations in this country.

The title of this blog post is useless but effective.

Race as we know it in this country and probably others is a social construct. We are part of one race the human race. This includes all people of all skin colors. Physically, our differences are small. As a species we have the least amount of genetic variation.

People whom hate "others" will more than likely not change. It doesn't matter what you say or how many studies you throw at them. Or how much you condemn them. They are set in their beliefs. Fine, let the racist dinosaurs die out.

Relations between people of different skin colors suck in this country. And I have been thinking of ideas on how to make things better. I can't think of any. I heard about restitution. I don't think it will solve anything, it sure won't solve the deep seated issues.

As horrible it is,  America's history is dotted with European conquest of people of different skin colors and culture. The Spanish converted native populations in the Southwest, Mexico and South American. Other European cultures eradicated, killed, moved millions of natives on America's mainland. And of course, millions of Africans were brought against their will to be slaves.  We all know this or at least I hope so.

And still I have no idea how to solve our social problem. I am not worried about ISIS. I am worried about us, and how we are fighting against each other. As the saying goes:  United We Stand, Divided We Fall. We need each other.

Please tell me what you think this country can do to be united and equal for all people regardless of skin color.

Till next time...

Friday, August 11, 2017

Nukes are not Toys

Nukes are not toys.

You don't get to slap plutonium or uranium in a missile and release it like caged fireflies.

If you want to rule the world, what is the sense of destroying it? Even you, are not immune on the surface.

Power is an addiction, a desire, always sought but never fully attained. And those nukes, are nothing but the checkmate for the world. On August 6, 1945 the United States dropped an a bomb on Hiroshima. On August 9, 1945 the United States dropped an a bomb on Nagasaki. Both in Japan. Both are shameful events. They happened. There are dozens of pictures if the world needs a refresher on the damage.

History is supposed to be a reminder where we went wrong as a human race so we don't make the same mistake twice. Yet, selective history is the only thing you see through a warped lens.

In 2017, I thought, believed,  we as a world moved beyond nuclear weapons. But I guess not because power, dominion, is more important than anything else.

Nuclear weapons are not toys and you don't get to play God, because God isn't real and the only thing you are doing is feeding grand delusions of greatness. When in reality you are nothing but a name and a face in front of the world's cameras.






Monday, August 7, 2017

Trick or Poem by JM Scott FREE in all Kindle Markets Through Aug 10, 2017

For the last two weeks, every time I have gone to the store there has been a new pumpkin spice item. Yes, I admit it, I am a pumpkin spice addict. First, was the pumpkin spice Life cereal. Then the pumpkin spice instant oatmeal (I bought both of these). I also bough pumpkin spice air fresheners. I was in the grocery store this morning and I noticed pumpkin spice Special K. MMMM Anyway, with the advent of pumpkin spice comes Halloween. Yeah!

Trick or Poem is FREE in all Kindle markets through August 10, 2017. This  chapbook features 31 Halloween and/or horror themed poems including digital poetry collages, pictograph poems and many others. Why not grab your copy today?

And without further ado, here is a sample poem from the book called "Nevemore Alive than Dead." It is a pictograph/text speak poem. Enjoy.






Friday, August 4, 2017

Opinions on Nothing

Everyone has an opinion. I figure in this day and age, I could be a pundit of some sorts. My opinions are worth just about as much as everyone else's. Today, I am going to share some opinions. And I think it would be cool to have my words as a meme. So have it....

Illegal Immigration

*One thing that irks me is when I read comments on illegal immigration and someone will write something to the effect "if there were no illegal immigrants in the fields, your produce will be more expensive." So I guess it is okay to pay the illegal immigrant substandard wages so you can have cheaper produce. These are the same people who want a higher minimum wage

English Tests

* Literacy is power. For every person who comes to this country not speaking English, they could seriously screw themselves over. There is a certain amount of trust when someone translates for you. When you can read and understand the language, you have power to make your own informed decisions. I think the skills test is useless and a waste of money. If I were to move to Mexico, I better know Spanish because I know I could get screwed over.

The same can be said with native Americans who have low literacy skills or illiterate. I know there are some people who just can't learn. And there are others who can. Literacy is power. Know and understand the language and you will know and understand your rights.

Religion

*I don't trust any theocratic government.

* There is no war on Christmas. It is war on Yule.

Random Garbage

* I love when there is a severe thunderstorm warning. I love the dark skies and the reverberating thunder and when the power goes out. Lately, thunderstorms at home have been boring.

* I don't know why but I have been fascinated with The Philadelphia Experiment. I have been doing some reading about the guy Al or whatever. And his future map is interesting.

*Love him or hate him, I believe Donald Trump is the harbinger for the true American Renaissance. In Europe, there were Dark Ages marked by religious fervor and the crusades. Then the Renaissance came about, or the age enlightenment,  where science and art flourished. I see a pattern,  and I am looking forward to our American Renaissance.

* Why is it in space we can be BFF's with Russia? I would like America and Russia to get along because we have a joint enemy. I will not mention this regime by name because maybe I am a little paranoid, but if you follow the news, you can  figure out. All I am going to say is I wish there no such thing as nuclear warheads.

*Am I only the one who thinks it would be great if Twitter went silent for an hour?

* Driving down the mountain to State College, I see the most bizarre thing. There is a mailbox and on the mailbox there is a campaign flier for Trump, underneath it is another sign that says "greed kills jobs."

And what are your opinions? Till next time...




Friday, July 28, 2017

What Was Found in the Mason Jars in the Root Cellar of My New House


crimson walls and gratuitous
oxidation
grab invisible knobs
of brass and steel

nowhere comes too soon
no exit into the melodrama
no entrance into the freedom
from chains that restrict to
fever floods.

the solitary flame of
Aladdin’s lamp
taunts, teases and shrieks

Can’t get to me

silent blackness. Heard
in echoes

cackles and shackles
mask martyred mastodons
while the genie plays god on television

Oh, I know the nightmares

I catch them in mason jars
spread them on toast
and eat it over and over.


***
The bones of this poem is fairly old, I would say almost ten years. I did a lot of revision on this and it turned out a lot better. Lately, I have been big into revising my old stuff because I can. I feel like I write better poems now. Anyway, I like how it turned out.

I am trying to post more. I know I've said it before, but I was attacked by the lazy, napping monster.

Till next time....