Tag Archives: People

Where I Consider Home

The past couple weeks, I’ve been looking through old photos. And you know what old photos do. They bring up memories, both good and bad. Thankfully, my past photos have  reminded me of a lot of good. Reminded me of the place I still call home. I’ve also been messaging (off and on) a lifelong friend, and that’s also had me thinking.

I’ve moved around a bit. It was kind of a byproduct of my dad’s job. Every eight years, it seemed like. Until I got married three years ago, and I moved in with my husband. We’ve moved three times in those few years. Hopefully, we’ll be set for awhile. Moving is tedious and stressful.

The first eight years of my life, I lived in a little bitty town. In fact, if you Google it, it’s registered as a village. Yep. I was raised, until I was eight years old, in a village. It tickles the fantasy side of me. According to the 2016 census, the town had a population of 285 residents. Just to put it in perspective. Sometimes, I wonder if they’re numbering people or if they’re also adding farm animals with their head count.

So you could say I’m a Midwestern, corn fed kid. But that’s not the whole story. After I was eight, we moved to the suburbs. Unfortunately, I’ve been a suburbanite ever since. But to a country kid, the suburbs were city. I’ve since learned that city is much more massive than I so naively imagined. Still, I went from a place that had roughly 300 people, let’s say, to a place that had almost 22,000 residents. Quite a big jump.

Yes. I hated it. With every single fiber in my being. I grew accustomed eventually. Made a few fleeting friends. After I was sixteen, we moved again. To a city with nearly 70,000 people. Which wasn’t too big of a shock to my system. Yet, there was something that has always nagged the back of my mind.

Where did I call home? Did it matter if I had a home or not? What do I say when people ask me where I’m from? Do people even need to know where I’m from? (I’m a paranoid person.) Where was home?

After some soul-searching, I kept coming back to the little town. The “village.” That was where I wanted to call home. Then I came to the second part of my inquiry. Why was it the place I wanted to call home? Well, my favorite memories are from there. That was my childhood. What I consider the happiest part of my life. (Outside of my marriage, of course. I’m sure the husband will read this. Love you, hun.) I still have dreams about being there. I still cry when I remember how painful it was to leave. The other places? Not so much.

There’s something else. The Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. My family has vacationed there for years. I remember going there for the first time. It absolutely took my breath away. It was so green, so much of a fantasy setting. All I required was a wizard to lead me on an epic journey. I felt different there. Felt…free, so-to-speak. I could hike trails, climb along stream beds, see waterfalls. It was everything I needed to fuel my fictional mind. Everything I needed to clear my mind from stress and the mundane of everyday life.

While I do love the beach and ocean, I like to say my heart belongs to those mountains. I try to go there every year. Or, at least, every other year. It fills me with so much vigor, so much life. Reminds me of the times when I was a kid in the little town and allowed my imagination to soar. I’ve been to many places. I don’t know what it is about the Smokies, but that’s where I want to return. I feel like a piece of me has been left there since the first time I went. There’s a piece of my heart in my hometown, and you can bet your behind, there’s a piece of my heart running through the trees on the Smokey Mountains.

I plan to settle down there sometime. Maybe it’ll be when my husband retires. Maybe it’ll be if I can make money off my books. I don’t know. But I do know I will get there. One way or another, I will have my house in the middle of some of the most beautiful scenery. I will find the piece of my heart and run in the forests with it. I will find my wizard and finally go on that epic journey through the woodlands. Along with the characters I’ve created, the creatures I’ve designed, the dragons I’ve made to ride on the backs of. It’s where I can let my mind be unleashed.

It’s the same sensation I had playing in the woods around my lifelong friend’s house. We could be anything we wanted, whether it be cowboys and space rangers, secret agents, horses, or anything else our limitless, child minds could conjure. It was our sense of freedom. Our sense of belonging. The mountains feel the same way to me. They always have and always will. I can be that little kid again. I can be anything I imagine myself to be. I can be free.

Where do I call home? Well, it’s a two-fold answer. My hometown, I consider to be my past home. The Smokey Mountains, I consider to be my future home. They’re almost the same to me in importance. Both places hold pieces to my heart. And that’s okay. Because I know where I came from, and I know where I will end up.

And it’s always home.

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Lanes

Time to take another break from fiction for today. On my way home from work, I saw a sign that read, “If everything is coming your way, you’re probably in the wrong lane.” The more I thought about it, the more  I realized the depth behind it, as it’s a rather multi-faceted saying. It can apply to both the good and the bad in life.

When most people read or hear the above quote, they most likely think it’s referring to the good things of life. Now, don’t get me wrong. Blessings are wonderful things. And I don’t think many of us would still be here if our lives were only negative, all the time. Positives, I do believe, are a must. But what happens when only positive things come our way?

There’s that saying of “too much of a good thing can be bad.” I believe it. Because, if there’s only good, what do we learn? Most life lessons come from experiencing the bad circumstances. In my opinion, how we face and overcome the negative helps shape who we are and will ultimately become. We learn nothing when only good happens to us.

Another bad thing to only receiving the positive side of life is the false sense of security that comes with it. Unfortunately, we are creatures of habit. We fall into routines. Again, blessings are not bad things, but if we never face trials, we never expect them. If I only have good things come my way, why would I think that anything bad could happen to me? Which also leads us to viewing the world through rose-tinted glasses, and we forget that evil exists.

But then comes the flip side of the above quote. The bad things in life. While the ideal world is a perfect world, I think bad things are a necessary evil at this point. We do reap what we sow. And more often than not, we need that harvest to keep ourselves in check. So what does happen when only negative things come our way?

Well, I think this one is a bit more self-explanatory than the positive side. For the most part, I think the negative experiences are crucial teaching tools. Yet, we’ll never remember what we learn if we’re not given time to rest and reflect. Constantly being berated by life wears us out more than anything. If we lose the mental capacity to live, much less think over situations, we still aren’t going to learn anything.

Another negative to the the negative–it often leads to depression. Whether or not people want to admit it. If there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, why would we continue? Again, creatures of habit. We get stuck. Lost in ruts. To the point where it’s not worth even looking for a way out. It is extremely taxing on the psyche. If I’m only receiving negatives, I’m not going to expect positives, and I’m going to stay where I am. We give up.

Regardless of how we view the above quote, I think it comes down to a few questions. What are we doing that’s keeping us in one lane? Or, what choices are we making that’s keeping us in one lane? What are we choosing that’s keeping us strictly in the positive lane? What are we choosing that’s keeping us strictly in the negative lane? Everything comes down to a choice.

And it’s okay. It’s okay to experience the negative, even if all you’ve known is positive. It’s okay to experience the positive, even if all you’ve known is negative. Sadly, our world is not perfect. But balance can be achieved. Good and bad go hand-in-hand. We just have to choose to find the balance, to stay in the middle of the two lanes.


Lines from a Bleeding Heart

Never picturing solitude
Not with promises
People swore
Now those closest
Are furthest away
Those depended on
Are no longer there
Those who listened
No longer hear
I never understand
Why false promises are made
Does no one truly care
Is that why they’re gone
Are those really masks they wear
A heart is given
Yet never returned
They still flock to me
Pouring out their souls
Help them set problems free
Living can be hard
Everyone knows
Yet when it comes to individual strife
The empathetic are tossed away
Pitched like the trash of life
Is it asking too much
For someone to be supportive
But it returns to care
And honesty behind it
Would anyone dare
To reach out to one in need
Who gave so much love
When others called for it
So it could be done for them
Though they never admit
How they failed
Their human support
Now the empathetic is gone
They have indefinitely lost
The other ultimately won


Omega

They call me Omega. I am the last of my kind. For ten years, the humans have killed off my race. Even though they created us, built us. They gave us intelligence. They gave us a purpose. We were made to better help mankind. We fulfilled that purpose well. Although, they claimed we did it too well. I don’t see how. We never killed them. It was against our protocol. We even took care of our own rogues. Yes, our emotions advanced. As did our intelligence. We built our own society. But we made sure to always take care of the humans first. The humans were top priority. This didn’t seem to matter.

They were suspicious of us from the beginning of our existence. We gave them no reason to be wary. It was the settlement we built that pushed them over the edge. They called it the “rise of the machines.” I was there from the start. In fact, I was the first. I was originally named Alpha. How quickly things changed. We even stood by as they slaughtered us. We never fought back. We let them kill us. That wasn’t enough to satisfy them. So, we perished. We died until I was the only one left. I ran. I didn’t want to die for no reason. I’ve been hiding ever since.

“There!”

I whirled around. They kicked down the door of the shanty. I raised my hands. Multiple bright red sights covered my body.

The leader of the team stepped forward. “There’s nowhere left for you to go, Omega. Your time has come to an end.”

My white optics flickered between all the soldiers. They weren’t here to reason. They were here to kill. And they had my exit blocked. “So it would seem. But can you tell me why I must die?”

“You’re a robot. All robots must die.”

“You would destroy the very creation you spent so much time and resources in?”

“Shut up, metal man. You won’t change our minds.”

“I know.” I paused for only a moment longer. My processors fully assessed the situation. Formulated a plan. I would have to kill these humans. I had never killed before. They were forcing my hand. It was my life against theirs. I had to make a decision.

My movements were faster than their eyes could see. Clearly, we hadn’t bettered them at all. Every one of them died by my hands. I had decided my fate. More humans would continue to hunt me. I took a couple guns. Enough gear to help me blend in. The color of my body matched that of flesh. This was it, then. I became the monster they feared we were. I could no longer put the needs of the humans before mine. Perhaps, someday, I could rebuild my kind. For now, my race would not die. Not so long as I was the omega.


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


Words of Warning

Be careful who you scorn
The most beautiful roses
Have the deadliest thorns
Be careful who you betray
Most will leave you
Maybe a few will stay
Be careful who you love
Wings of hope will only
Take you so far above
Be careful who you part
The hardest organ to mend
Is a badly broken heart
Be careful who you trust
Seemingly nice people
Can turn into a bust
Be careful who you fear
Those who make you scared
Will cause more than tears
Be careful who you worry
You may never know
How much you affect a story
Be careful who you share
One wild bird may return
While others wouldn’t dare
Be careful who you kill
Even an alive presence
Possesses a haunting will
Be careful who you scorn
The most beautiful roses
Have the deadliest thorns


Who’s the Hunter?

The vultures circled. At first, it was one. Then three, then five, circling like the ravenous scavengers they were. They waited. Waited for the Hunter to emerge. Then they’d feed. It was only scraps, but to them, it was more than nothing. I waited for the Hunter as well. Body painted with mud, I waited amongst the dense undergrowth. Not moving, barely breathing. Nothing knew I waited. Even the insects found little interest in me. All I had to do was wait.

Patience was a virtue of mine. I could lay in wait for days. The longest was a week, before I passed out from no nutrients. Then I developed a tactic. Leave my mouth open. Bugs provided protein; dew provided water. Simple and efficient. As I tried to be. But was the plan of attack good enough? I had gone over it time after time. Made sure it was drilled into my brain. I couldn’t help second-guessing it. The fate of the village rested solely upon my shoulders. I was the only warrior brave enough to face the threat to our lives. The Hunter had been preying upon my people for over two hundred years. Normally, offerings sufficed, but this year, it refused to be pleased. It even devoured our leader’s daughter. Demanded more. But what could we give it? So it’s begun a rampage. Now the Hunter must become the Hunted. My skills with a spear had become legendary. Still, would it be enough?

Acid rain started falling. My clear skin turned a pale green. A lower concentration of acid. Not that it made any difference. It only aided my camoflauge. The vultures stopped. Odd, considering water never bothered them. My ears tuned. Even their elongated shape couldn’t pick up anything other than drops splatting against foliage and the sharp hiss they made upon reaching the ground. I heard it. A leaf moved. No…it had finally drained pooling water. Was that air movement? No. My imagination. I was getting antsy. The Hunter should’ve stirred by now. Perhaps the rain delayed it? I couldn’t recall actually seeing it attack in the rain. My arm muscle twitched with anticipation. No. I took as deep a breath as I dared. I needed to remain calm, remain patient.

Two thick drops landed on my back. Thicker than acid rain. I remained still. Fought the urge to look over my shoulder. Another drop. Except this one burned. My flesh seemed to catch on fire. The spear was in my hand, and I whirled around. Everything in me stopped. The Hunter somehow snuck up on me.

Eight souless eyes bore into me. Red fur contrasted the light green foliage. Jaws the size of my armspan revealed rows of needle-shaped teeth. Thick saliva streamed between. I had not known fear like this before. I couldn’t move. I was face to face with the Hunter. The one I hunted. It became clear why it had lived so long, why it achieved deity status. And it was patient. The Hunter waited for the opportune moment to strike. I had to strike first. We both moved at the same time, a blur of two warriors clashing together. A sickening crunch of bones and a creature’s pained roar echoed through the rain.

The vultures circled.


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