Category Archives: Personal

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

In celebration of seeing Wonder Woman, I decided to share this piece I drew back in 2012, during my first semester of college. It was the first project my drawing class had been assigned. The task was to draw something we felt represented ourselves, our style, and our inspiration. I chose to recreate a picture done by Jim Lee, one of my favorite DC Comics artists.

Wonder Woman has always been more than just a comic book character to me. Outside of my mom, she was the only real female figure I had. And she taught me many things. True strength comes from within, not from your muscles. No matter what size I am, I can still do anything I set my mind toward. All I need is love, compassion, and the courage to be myself. And lastly, I don’t have to be Wonder Woman to be a wonderful woman.

I won’t lie. I cried quite a bit when I saw the Wonder Woman movie. One of my childhood icons was now more than animated character or a drawing on a page. She was on a big screen in live action. She became real. That movie was everything I could have asked for and more. I was so happy to see my hero, that I couldn’t help but cry.

This is one of the things I love about books/comics/TV shows/video games/movies, etc. Usually, everyone finds their hero. That one character that stands out the most to them. The one that connects with them the most. People learn from these characters, are inspired to be their best by these characters. The list could go on.

I know there’s a difference between the real world and fantasy. I am not blind to my everyday responsibilities. But whether it’s reading a book or comic to forget myself for a little while, whether it’s playing a video game to release my frustration, whether it’s writing stories or poems to vent my feelings, fiction does help me get through this thing we call life. Just as music does. Just as chatting with family and friends does. And Wonder Woman? Well. She’s an aspect of fiction that’s helped me the most.


May the Fourth Be With You

I’m going to take a step away from the fantasy worlds today and reflect. Today is International Star Wars Day! “May the Fourth Be With You.” We also can’t forget about “Revenge of the Fifth.” More importantly, it marks the two-year anniversary that I’ve been with my wonderful soulmate and life-long love. My husband is everything I could’ve asked for and more. Yes, we got married on May fourth because of Star Wars. Yes, we’re huge nerds. But we wouldn’t change a thing.

In all honesty, we haven’t had the easiest first two years of marriage. Life has been throwing more than just crap at us, but we’ve been trudging along. Together. While we may still be in the “honeymoon stage,” we’ve never taken an official honeymoon. Instead, we’ve been saving for our future. Which has been able to buy us a house and provide a new car when one broke down a few months ago. Let me tell you, we need a vacation!

We’ve already seen each other at our worst. There have been many hard days. We get stressed out from work, from the things we’ve been dealing with, and sometimes, we take it out at each other. It’s what happens to anyone who lives with another person. Thankfully, communication is one of the key things we remember, and we always end up talking things out and coming to an understanding. Said talking usually ends up leading to nerd theories and such, once we’ve made up. So many good movies! So many theories!

We’ve also seen each other at our best. We’ve gotten to celebrate many things together. He got a promotion only six months after being at his new job. I was finally able to get out of the customer service desk and work more “behind the scenes” at my job. We’ve adopted a kitten from the Humane Society. It would take more than our combined fingers and toes to count the blessings we’ve received. And it can only get better. Of that, I am certain. We work extremely well together, and we communicate about everything. I mean everything! Anything from fears to bathroom habits to money to our nightly dreams. But if we can’t be honest with each other, than who can we be honest with?

My husband has been an incredible addition to my life. He supports everything I do. Becoming a published author is very important to me, and he works his butt off at a full time job, even getting promoted, so I can remain part time. I put in my four hours a day, five days a week, then come home to work on my writing. Or drawing. Or cleaning. He made his own blog page to like the posts I put on my blog. If nobody else likes it, he always does. It’s all I need.

He also has a heart of gold. Whenever I get sick from my medicine or have such a bad migraine that I can’t get out of bed, he cooks and cleans and makes sure I’m as comfortable as I can be. He gives himself 110% and never complains about it. He does everything he can to make me happy, never asking for anything in return. Now, I know there are times when I can take that for granted, but you have no idea how thankful I am for him. He’s always there for me. Even when he’s had a bad day at work, he consistently puts my needs above his.   

There are times where he can come across as a perpetually sarcastic person, but our relationship with each other can be sarcastic. Ask the people I work with. They can tell you from the times he’s come to visit me. But we know each other better than anyone. And the best part of that? We’re still learning about each other. Every day, we’re learning more about subtle hints in expressions or tones. Every day, we’re learning to see through the mask we try to put on for the sake of the other. Every day, we have to remind ourselves that a relationship takes work from both sides of the party. We’re learning we work best as a team. And like a machine missing an important part, we’re learning just how badly we can fail without each other.

Don’t mistake me for giving relationship  or marital advice. I am very aware that two years is not a long time for a marriage. We are still young and naive about many things when it comes to “adulting.” But I also know more seasoned adults don’t have life figured out. Again, it’s a learning process. Constantly. However, I’m just glad I have someone I know I can depend on to help me through the fire. He’s right there with me, every step of the way. Even when I want to be stubborn and turn a blind eye to his presence. Pride can be a roadblock on many accounts.

I could keep going on and on, but I guess what all this is trying to say is that I am married to the most perfect man for my life. I know it’s only been two years, but we’re going for forever. We’ve been through some insanely hard times already, and we haven’t given up yet. We’ve grown closer together, and we’ve grown stronger as a team. We have stood life’s ugly head in the face and cried “Come get some!” with weapons drawn. I love my husband more than anything, and I couldn’t ask for more. Even if we were to be left with nothing, we would still have each other, whether physically or spiritually. It’s been two years, so far. Here’s to infinite more.


Inspiration/Motivation

Excuse me for a moment while I take a break from fiction. Recently, I’ve been asked what my motivation is for writing. I had never been asked this before, and I really had to think about my answer. What did I use for motivation? Did I have motivation? When I asked myself that question, all I could think of was not really. But then I second-guessed that response. I had to have motivation, right? Then, I wondered, what if I didn’t have to have a specific motivation? Sometimes, I write for the sake of writing. Certainly that’s good enough.

Writing has been my passion since I was a little kid. I used to enter into poetry contests and wrote my first “novel” before I was twelve. By “novel,” I mean I filled up a wide-ruled notebook with one, consectutive story. I still have that notebook. It’s very dear to me. One day, I would like to turn it into a children’s book. But writing, like drawing, has been something I’ve just done. Even still, I just…do. I write. I guess passion is my motivation?

Granted, I’m not perfect. There are days when I simply don’t feel like writing. Did I ever mention I’m a procrastinator? I’m a huge procratinator. I love Fallout 4 and Skyrim. Napping is also a favorite hobby of mine. It’s no secret the internet is a glaring distraction. But I usually come back to writing. I feel weird when I don’t write. Like a part of me is missing.

I will say having this blog helps. People follow me, like my posts, comment on them. I’m obligated to provide content. In a good way. It give me a purpose to my short stories and poems. Even my pictures. There are many days where all I write is a short story or poem. Some days, I don’t work on my novel. But I know the key is writing. Every published author I’ve seen or read about all say the same thing: Write. No matter what it is, write.

Now, as far as my novel goes, that can become tricky. It’s my first one, so I don’t have a contract or deadline. I actually abandoned it for over a year. I’ve been working on it since 2012. It’s gone through about five plot changes, and I still can’t come up with a suitable title. I won’t lie. It gets old sometimes. I picked it back up last summer. Currently, I’m close to finishing the revision stage, and it will be off to editing. Knowing it’s so close to completion is encouraging.

However, I can’t force myself to work on it. Not when I can take my time and make sure my debut novel is, as I deem, perfect. In my opinion, you can tell when writing is forced. It’s awkward, stale, dead. Stories and characters are meant to be free, to evolve. Writers don’t control characters or ideas; they guide them. But that’s a soapbox for a different time.

I am a huge believer in muses and the power of music. I know what type of music will put me in the zone. I know what will pull me out. Headphones are amazing. I’m also always searching. Searching for that one creative detail in the world that I can shape into a work of art. To me, that’s what creative people do. Show the world how we see it. That’s how we get so many different styles. It’s everyone’s perspectives.

You could say I work more from inspiration rather than motivation, I suppose. Inspiration is everywhere. Motivation is something I have to control. I don’t have good control. I’m also a thinker. I spend so much time thinking about something, I never do what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s why I can’t think about my writing too much. When I do, I don’t get any writing done.

My stories and poems are never “planned.” I think of the first one or two lines then just let go and write. The words flow on their own. The story shapes itself. I have no idea when or how they will end. I never know what message will come out of it, even when I want them to have a particular meaning. Though, they typically end dark or depressing. I wonder what that says about me, then…? Regardless, I’m sure you understand my point.

In fact, I’m not entirely sure what my point to this was. I think I got completely off-track. I’m more of a listener in real life. I only talk a lot to people I really know. But put pen and paper in front of me, and I never shut up. I honestly don’t know if there was a point. I’ll chalk it up to getting my thoughts out. They ususally won’t leave me alone until I write them down. None of this probably made any sense, but maybe someone can take something from it. Thank you for bearing this post with me.


One Hundred Thank Yous!

Yesterday, I reached 100 followers! And all I can say is thank you! To me, 100 seems like such a huge number. I get excited every time someone follows my blog. You can ask my husband. When I started this blog, I didn’t, and I still do not have, the intentions of only making content that would draw in large numbers so I could boast. I was actually extremely nervous when my friend finally convinced me to make one. It was a way for me to overcome the obstacle of putting myself out there. Of putting my writing out there. I’ve been working on a novel to be published for some time now, and I was afraid of letting even friends read my shorter works. Granted, I’m still nervous when I submit posts, but I am more open to the idea that people might like my writings.

It meant the world to me when I had eight people that were interested. Then seventeen. Then thirty two. Now, I have 101 followers. I know I can be spotty in my posts. Unfortunately, I let life get in the way some times. Yet, 101 people stick with me. This is all because of you–the readers. I cannot thank you enough. I do not take a single one of you for granted. I am just still astounded that 100 people are interested in my work, whether it be short stories, poems, or pictures.

Seriously, thank you. For the follows, the likes, the feedback. It means quite a bit to me that I can write something that’s meaningful to me, and it can be meaningful to others. All I’ve wanted to do with my writing is inspire people. Make them think. Explore their own imagination. Possibly even help them deal with feelings they struggle with. And, as an introvert that uses a pen name to take shelter behind…thank you. I cannot say it enough.

 

Always remember to keep your imagination. For you never know the crazy places it will take you.

-Rose


Forgiveness

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I sat on my bedroom floor, curled up in a corner. Everything falling apart. Tears flooded my face. I was a bad person. I didn’t deserve to be on this Earth anymore. My knuckles turned white around the knife. I would be doing the world a favor if I left. I caused more harm than good by being here. No one would miss me. Everyone would be better off without me.

Throwing my head back into the wall, my chest rose and fell with hard sobs. My body trembled. I looked down at the knife in my hand. It wouldn’t go anywhere. But I needed to go. What purpose did I have on this planet? After all the bad things I’ve done…how could anyone forgive me? Everyone simply acted like they loved me. Nobody needed me. Nobody wanted me.

I didn’t even want myself. I hated me. And if I hated me, certainly everyone else did. I was so pathetic, I couldn’t even make myself bleed. There was no controlling the snot mingling with tears on my face. I was a mess. Had always been a mess. I screwed up everything. Never made anyone happy. Never let myself be happy. All I did was ruin everything. I needed to go.

But I never could go. I watched the knife shake in my hand for an hour. It never went anywhere. It stayed in my sweaty grasp. My depressed sobbing had turned into cries of anger. Why couldn’t I die? Why did I need to live? What purpose did I have other than torturing myself? Could I wish myself away? Could I will myself to death? The knife wasn’t doing me any good. My body went limp from exhaustion. What was I even doing here?

Then I heard something other than the voices in my head. I heard soft crying. I blinked back pooled tears. On the other side of my room was a little girl. Her knees up to her chin, head in her arms. She looked familiar to me. Behind her played blurry, one-sided and biased events. My wall had become a projection screen for her past. Though her past wasn’t quite clear. Sniffing, I rose.

“Don’t you see?” she screamed. “Don’t you see how bad of a person I am?” The events slowly became clearer. “Dont’ you see what I’ve done? I’m a bad person. Nobody loves me. How can anybody love me?”

I swallowed. Beginning to understand. Those events…I remembered them as clear as day. Her past was mine. Everything I had done. Everything that caused me so much anxiety. Everything I couldn’t forgive myself for. All the reasons why I hated myself. My eyes darted over the various incidents. Brimming with tears again until they overflowed. “Can’t you see how bad I am?” she pressed. “I’m a terrible person.”

Dropping down next to her, I held her in my arms. Buried my head in hers. My heart ached for this little girl who carried so much weight. “No…” I barely managed talking through my crying. Squeezed her tighter. “All of those things…just because you did something wrong doesn’t make you a bad person.” I choked. “You’re not evil. You are loved. I love you. And even if nobody else does, I-I…forgive you. I forgive you for the things you’ve done.”

Her head lifted, glistening eyes meeting mine. “Then you have forgiven yourself.” I blinked. “What?” But I studied her. That was why she looked familiar. She was me. The part of my soul I kept buried in guilt and shame. I couldn’t stop crying. It was all sinking in. She smiled. “I am you, and you have forgiven me. You have finally forgiven yourself. You no longer need to carry the hatred for yourself.”

She radiated warmth while I sat in stunned silence. Tears stopped raining down. My heart no longer hurt, and my soul felt lighter. What happened? I looked at the knife on the floor. No longer wishing to take my own life. I blinked again. It had been years of not letting go. And…it was this hard but also this easy all along? She suddenly burst into thousands of glowing particles and absorbed into me. “I forgive you,” she whispered, “I love you. You have forgiven yourself. You have set yourself free.” I whispered back, “I am free.”


Monsters Living in My Head

Everyone has monsters that plague them. Some even call them demons. At times, these monsters take on theorectical forms. Other times, physical forms. Sometimes, both. Usually, they’re manifestations of fear, doubt, hate, etc. And, at times, it can be difficult to escape them. It can be even more difficult to conquer them. Whether they plague us for a few days, a couple months, or even all our lives.

I’ve had a monster haunt me since I was fairly young. It had a physical form. I’ve written about it a few times. Its haunches peaked at around ten feet, back sloping to a mechanical tail ending in a sharp spike. The body covered in a gross mixture of robotics, bones, decaying flesh and muscles. Green-tinted blood and black oil oozed from it. Chunks of flesh filled with maggots constantly fell from it. The mechanical spine always ground and moved with black smoke pouring out. Serrated talons ended large, metal paws. The skull of this monster has been hard for me to describe. Other than it being a strange mutation of a feline, canine, and dragon skull. And, of course, it had glowing red eyes. Sound familiar to anyone?

The first vivid memory I have of it was when I was little. Though, I cannot recall if this was an actual memory or a potent nightmare. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep. So I did what any young child does. I went to my parents’ room. But the door was locked. Somehow, I ended up on the floor, trying to get their attention. Then I looked down the hall. All I saw was the monster coming for me. The last thing I remember is me crying while being utterly petrified.

I speak of the beast in past tense because I like to think my dealings with it are over. There was a time when I worked until midnight at my job. I would come home half asleep. Since my first encounter with the monster, it had occassionally plagued my dreams. Liking to rear its head when I was particularly anxious. But when I came home from work one night, I felt like I was being followed up the stairs. I saw it there, waiting for me. Making sounds akin to a demonized velociraptor. It was after midnight, and I was exhausted. I rolled my eyes at it. Turned my back on it, demanding it go away. That night, I had a dream I defeated it. And the monster I was so afraid of dissolved away, revealing a baby dragon. Funny how brains work that way.

For a long time, I never had a problem with it. Never even thought about it. Not until after I married two years ago. I knew it would be a life-changing experience, but I didn’t quite expect everything that went into getting married, moving out of my parents’ house, and basically starting a new life. Guess what came back. Yep. My childhood monster had returned. It actually dominated my daydreams for awhile. Then it became a nightmare again.

One thing had changed, however. It didn’t chase me this time. It went after my husband. That was the final straw for me. And not only did I kill it, again, so did my husband. We tag-teamed that sucker and defeated it action movie style. You know. Like bosses.

I cannot say it’s gone for good. I still think about it. I’ve included it in a couple of stories. However, I haven’t had nightmares about it. And when I start to see it again, I challenge it, dare it. Go ahead; try to take down a duo of awesome. I’m much more confident in my head than in real life. But one thing I’ve found is having someone to talk about monsters/demons with really helps. Just having a reminder that you’re not alone.

My monster was definitely a physical manifestation of my severe anxiety. That was something I had to learn. At first, I didn’t know where it came from or why it bothered me. Once I pinpointed its reason, I was able to deal with it better. I had discovered its purpose. I knew why it was there. I could react accordingly.

The thing I take most from my experience is that I could, indeed, control it. I told it to go away, and it did. Every time it tries to resurface, I make it disappear. It’s not always easy. Monsters have the ability to fight back. Until you regain control over your own mind. It doesn’t matter if your monster stems from anxiety, fear, low self-worth, whatever it extends from. What matters is identifying the root, the soul of said monster. Working on the real issue. Not until you are able to control your mind are you able to make them go away.

A monster’s sole purpose is to distract. Keep your mind off the real issue. Your monsters, your demons don’t want you to get better. They want you to wallow in suffering. That’s how they thrive. But when we take back our own life, that’s when they die. For however long depends on how long we keep fighting. Don’t get me wrong. We’re not perfect. We fall. We stumble. We get tired. And that’s when they love to strike harder than the last time. What matters, though, is if we pick ourselves back up. If we unsheath our swords. If we unleash our power. What matters is staring your beast in the face, yelling at it to come get some, and attacking it before it can attack you.


The Origin of Rose

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This year for Christmas, I was able to see my great great-aunt. In all honesty, I can’t remember the last time I saw her, but I know it’s been too long. Several years, at least. I always felt a special connection with Aunt Rose. We share the same birthday. This year, she’ll be ninety four. Unfortunately, my mom didn’t find out until after I was legally named. She still laments she wish she knew so Rose could’ve been a middle name for me. Hence my author name. I adopted Rose in remembrance of my aunt. Fae was added because I liked the sound of the two names together. On Christmas Day, I found out that my aunt has also been a writer. She had apparently written over a thousand stories and drew pictures to go along with them. This soldified my desire for my pen name. Regrettably, none of the stories were saved when my extended family moved her to a nursing home. I mourn for the loss of those works. It’s been four years since I declared myself a writer, and no one told me of my aunt’s gift. She used to write me letters. Long letters with excellent cursive, signed with her name and cartoon drawings of her face. I doubt she remembers writing such letters, much less her stories.

When my immediate family and I visited her, she couldn’t remember us. Didn’t recognize our faces. I won’t lie. It was hard. I wanted to speak to her, but I never found my voice. I’ve come to terms with the fact that may have been the last time seeing her before she dies. My only regret is I couldn’t even tell her I loved her. All I could think of was, “Would she remember?” She barely recognized her sister (my great-grandma), who will be ninety. Until it came time to leave. Then she remembered her sister. Begged her not to leave her alone. It took everything I had not to cry in front of my family. My sister remained with our great-grandma to say goodbye. I couldn’t. I should have. How could I muster the words to say goodbye? Would she have remembered if I did? Will she remember that I was the only one who didn’t talk to her? But what was I supposed to say? She claimed she didn’t know us. I didn’t know how to respond. But I can’t blame her.

Alzheimer’s has been hitting her hard these past few years. It’s been a downhill struggle from what I gather. She used to look at our pictures and tell us she prayed for us every night. This time, however, she couldn’t remember our pictures. We probably overwhelmed her. There were many times I could tell she was scared. She didn’t want us to leave, but it was hard for her the little bit we were there. She wanted so badly to remember. I could see it in her eyes. It frustrated her.

I don’t know much about her earlier life. I know she immigrated from Italy and was married. She was devoutly religious, attending church every Sunday. I know she was a school teacher for at least forty years, and her students loved her. Many visited her in the nursing home until she couldn’t recognize them anymore. I know she loved birds, flowers, and the sweet things of life. Loved to smile. She loved to hear what we were up to in life. Last she remembered of me, I was in college. That was four years ago. I dropped out after the first semester. I wish I could tell her I’m aspiring to be a published author. That I have a blog I post stories to, and people are interested in reading them. I’m not sure if that would make her proud, but I like to think it would. One of the best things I will remember about her is she’s one of the sweetest ladies I’ve had in my life. However, she is Italian, so she can hold her own with the best of them. But she only wanted everyone to succeed in their dreams. She was supportive of whatever we wanted to do. I suppose that’s the teacher in her.

If my life hadn’t been so crazy the past couple years, I would like to think I would’ve seen her more. Like to. I can’t change the past. Who knows what the future holds. I know I’ll miss her immensely when she’s gone. My only hope is I can keep her legacy living in my pen name and my own stories and art. It’s hard. There hasn’t been a step in this post that I haven’t cried. Though there hasn’t been as many steps as normal. This is pretty much unedited and raw emotion. On that note, I apologize for grammar and/or spelling errors. I need to deal with these emotions, and the only way I know how is through writing. I’m trying to get this done as quickly as possible so I can mentally move on. I can’t think of anything else I need to share at the moment. I think this is a good basis. I wouldn’t wish Alzheimer’s on anybody. It not only affects the patient but their family. I sincerely empathize with anyone who has gone through this experience. Especially more than once. I have no closing words, so I’ll just end this here.


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