Word(s) of the Day: Sweet Dreams vs Terrifying Nightmares

While you read this, you should totally listen to Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics or Beyonce, because those are the songs that have been playing in my head as I think about this post.

I am no psychologist, and I don’t pretend to know what dreams mean, yet, dreams fascinate me. Particularly, my own dreams. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had no issues recalling parts of dreams I’ve had; something, I have come to understand, is not exactly common. I wish I could say this was obviously the beginning of a modern day fantasy novel, but there might be some questions about my sanity.

So, what exactly is the definition of a dream? Or a nightmare?

  • Dreama succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep.
  • Nightmarea terrifying dream in which the dreamer experiences feelings of helplessness, extreme anxiety, sorrow, etc.

Apparently, the difference here is the feeling we experience while dreaming – but what if you have a dream where you can obviously feel it’s horrifying, but it’s not a nightmare?

I’m guessing that’s where we delve into different types of dreams, like wet/sex dreams, dreams where you’re chased, etc, etc. Here’s some great info about dreams, as well as a link to a site where apparently you can keep a dream journal! Pretty cool!

Yet, my true question is: why do I remember so easily? Some of these dreams I’ve had, I don’t want to remember, and yet I can recall them incredibly well. It’s come to the point where I’ve neglected my own dream journal. (What’s the point of having a dream journal if you don’t use it? I don’t know.)

What kind of dreams you remember? Do you keep a dream journal? Do you enjoy dreaming?

Praise for The 100

Let me preface this with: I don’t like sci-fi. I am just not a science fiction kinda gal. I think I have a total of two or three books that are sci-fi and I cannot tell you the last sci-fi movie I watched (I think it was Star Trek: Into Darkness).

What I can tell you is what sci-fi show I watched last: The 100.

Now, seeing a title like that doesn’t really explain much. One hundred what? Balloons? Monkeys? Tanks? Bananas? We just don’t know! It’s a mystery!

So with nothing more than a “YOU SHOULD WATCH THE 100” I dove right in.

And discovered this little gem of a show (can CW shows be called little? I think the biggest show for it is the Vampire Diaries followed by Supernatural and maybe Reign) about one hundred seventeen and under year olds being sent to Earth.

Whaaaa?

Basically, humans done fucked up, nuked the hell out of Earth, have been circling in a large space station called the ARK for ninety-seven years, and there are problems with the ARK. The government in place decides to take all the prison inmates (which all under the age of 18 because of laws in place) and send them – you guessed it – Earth.

Because what could be better than sending teenagers to a potentially hazardous place? I dunno, maybe have planned better for the future?

So right out of the gate we meet an inmate named Clarke – who is not a Griswold, dismayed as I was to learn – and is actually female. She’s basically a traitor to the state spaceship because of parental ties yadda yadda yadda she’s in prison, she gets sent to Earth.

Now like I said, I don’t do sci-fi. It is not a genre I particularly enjoy. Space is not my cup of tea and I’m good with that.

Two headed deer, however, totally are.

Thaaaaat’s right! Life on Earth, save plants which seem to have not evolved, is starting to change due to the conditions, which really is something, considering there’s supposed to be an ass ton of radiation there. So the first animal we see? A buck with a face growing… out of his face.

And it didn’t look cheesy. You’d think that in 2014, when season 1 first came out, we’d have great special effects, but not so much (there’s so far only one instance where the CGI has been absolute crap, but I won’t tell you where). I’m happy to say that the camerawork and the effects are delightful. In all their weird, gory, radioactive ways. And by that, I mean, it’s not bad, as far as I can tell, but I’m not a film student.

The most impressive part to me, so far, is that the acting is actually really good. There are actors out there that just cannot act their parts, and it’s annoying (cast of Glee) but I feel that the characters are believable; there’s no true good or bad person (except for Murphy, that crappot) in this show, and I think that so far, the only role that’s showing up for anyone is Clarke being the Healer.

I also like the story-line. There’s so far no extraneous multiple story-lines that can’t be solved within one episode (*cough* Supernatural *cough*) and I could actually believe that the people would react how they would in the different situations they have to go through.

So once the 100 reach the Earth, it becomes a matter of survival – I mean, really, what the hell are you gonna do in an unknown place that no one has lived in for the last 97 years? – while the people in the ARK are racing against the clock to survive.

I kind of feel like this is a G-rated sci-fi version of Game of Thrones, but less incest. I’m only on episode 8 of season 1, but maybe I’ll update how I feel once I hit season 2!

The Gator, the Duck, and the Pebble

I started writing this before NaNoWriMo 2014, and I just went back to it, to look it over. I thought I’d share what I had with you! Please enjoy my first – and only – attempt at the ‘hardboiled’ genre.

Blowing on the steaming hot cup of Oolong tea, P.I. Gator wandered into his office. Despite the fact that he had been out all night, tailing the Mayor’s granddaughter, Gator still arrived promptly at seven am. Sitting in his big, comfy chair, he closed his eyes for a moment, hoping today would be easy.
                Letting out a sigh, he looked at his memos: there was something about a paper shortage, that the coffee machine was broken and… a new case. Gator kicked his desk; what were the higher ups thinking? He had more than enough on his plate already, why were they giving him more work?
                He dialed Sharon’s number, tapping his fingers angrily against the wooden surface of his desk. Sharon would most likely know why they’d given him this case – after all, Sharon Pachy was a wonderful asset in the personal assistant department as well as amateurish investigating skills. There was a click on the other end and before Sharon said anything, Gator demanded, “Why do I have another case? I’m already working on the Mayor’s case, which is hard enough as is; I’ve also got a stolen painting to locate as well as a cheating husband. What’s the big idea, eh? Don’t they know I’m –“
                “Sir, they gave you that case because they felt you’d do it quickly. In fact, the lady in your new cast just arrived. I’m sending her in now,” Sharon stated briskly. There was a click, and Gator dropped his head on his desk. Not how he envisioned how his morning was going to go.
                The door opened and there was a soft shuffling, before the door clicked shut. Stillness; Gator lifted his head and found himself looking at a fashionably dressed woman, nervously clutching her purse. She turned towards him and blinked, before asking, “Mister Al E. Gator? I’m Delilah Mallard. I need your help.”
                “I assume that’s why you’re in my office. Please sit and tell me why you’re here,” Gator snapped, rubbing his brow. Of all the broads that could’ve walked into this office, it had to be a Mallard. You’d never suspect it, but the Mallards’ were actually the top mob bosses in this city. There was something about a duck holding anything remotely dangerous that was quite unnerving. Also, getting hit by those wings hurt a lot.
                Ms. Mallard fluttered up, and made herself comfortable before speaking again. “I can’t go to the cops and I definitely cannot go to my family; if they knew, they’d kill me. Quite possibly literally,” she paused, squeezed her purse strap, then continued on, “I’m engaged to Stan ‘Big Stone’ Rockhopper; I’m sure you’ve heard of him.” Gator nodded; of course he had. Big Stone was the heir to a vast crime ring encircling the western hemisphere. It would only make sense for the Mallards and Rockhoppers to make an alliance, albeit a dangerous one.
                “So where do I come in? Am I looking for a mistress, are you in love with someone else? What’s this gotta do with me?” leaning back in his chair, Gator took a sip of his now cooled tea.
                Delilah laughed, “Oh heaven’s no! I couldn’t care less if he had a mistress; most of the men in the mob do. And I wouldn’t dare risk my life for some other man, are you crazy? No, I lost something and I need help finding it.”
                Gator leapt up, furious, “What do you mean you lost something? Do you know how busy I am?! I am not a… a… FINDER! I am an investigator and I have more important things to do than help some doe find a rock!”

I Touched A Dead Thing And It Was Grody

As the title might suggest, I touched a dead thing. It was an extremely recently deceased little lizard friend, of which we have many living out among the rocks on our property. I’m honestly not sure what they’re called, but we call them rock lizards and they range from tiny to rather large (or at least big enough to be about the size of a small bearded dragon). Some of them even have blue on their bellies! They’re all super cute, lightning fast, and… Great prey.

When you have A) a CAT, of all things, they like to hunt and when you have B) a HERDING breed, one of the most active dog breeds on the planet, they too, must find something entertaining to do if they are not in Sparta entertained. So what do they like to do, sometimes together, sometimes apart?

Hunt lizards.

I was unhappily outside, mostly because I’ve been up since 5am today and am super tired, and Sadie, the dog, was happily doing what she usually does – destroying our rock edges around the property, looking for lizards. I stood there for a moment and decided I’d actually help her destroy the rock edging; I didn’t see, and still don’t, anything wrong with this because we’re going to end up removing them anyway at some point. I pushed some rocks aside with my foot, trying to see if there was an actual lizard, or if Sadie could just smell it.

Then! EUREKA! There was movement! I saw a flash run across the rocks and – the dog suddenly drop something on the ground and immediately pick something up again. I puzzled over if she actually caught something or if she was just being weird, so I hopped off the rocks and moved her aside to…

See a rock lizard with some blue on it.

Ah, ha, Sadie, you caught one! I yelled, BUT… I’m not going to let you have it!

But why, owner? What did I do wrong? asked the pouting corgi, as I stooped to grab the lizard by the tail. I half wondered if it was still alive and if its tail would detach.

Because! I don’t really want you to have it! Also, you might eat it and be sick, and I don’t want to clean that up. I stated my clear and obvious reasoning to the dog. I grimaced a little, because you could clearly see the dog saliva on it, and let’s be honest, that’s super gross.

Can I have it? I want it. Please let me have back the small leathery thing! Large eyes looked up at me, begging.

No. Yo- OH SHIT IT MOVED WAIT I THINK IT’S STILL DEAD OH MY GOD I FORGOT NERVES DID THAT SOMETIMES. Yeah, no, you don’t get the dead lizard, so I’m moving it out of your reach.

Why does the small large human have my collar what is happening I want the leathery thing please give it back I need to roll in it! (At this point, my brother had a grip on her collar so she couldn’t escape her fence when my dad and I drove off to go look at pavers.)

And that, my friends, is how I touched a dead thing. If I die, it’s because I didn’t have enough time to wash my hands before I was rushed into the car. But I did get to wipe it on the leather seats, so all the germs can stagnate there.

New and Improved!

I’ve remodeled my theme, and I think it looks quite nice. Plus, there is a beautiful header gif of Joe Walker from Starkid Productions as Mama Umbridge with a photoshopped mustache. I am quite proud of how lovely everything looks!

So, today, I proceeded to go outside without any sunscreen on. This was a bad idea. Now my arms are burnt, my face is burnt, and my neck around the collar of my shirt is burnt. Oops… I didn’t mean to do that… I’m also covered in dirt. What a wonderful feelings, especially running my hand through my hair… Ugh. I hate dust, but if it means helping finish this stupid rock retaining wall, I have no choice.

And I’m pretty sure we stole a boulder from our neighbors. My father says it was on our property, but it was pretty close to their driveway. Like, right on top of it. Can you see how this may make one feel uneasy? I can. But they’re usually not home so I don’t think they noticed the giant ass red tractor making off  with a large rock driven by a blonde in a pink shirt. Or at least they don’t care enough about the rock.

I’m exhausted and in need of a shower. Yippee. I can’t wait to see what the summer holds for projects around the house…

Also, wish me luck! Thursday I go to the UPS building out here to tour the facilities in hopes for a job! Ah, I’m nervous, but also excited. It’s only part-time, but hey, it works!

Karyn’s 10 Tips to Become A Writer

For the past week or so, my friend and I have been exchanging a story, and so far, so good! We were having some issues separately as writers and decided to help each other out. It’s both exciting and maddening to be co-writing, because you don’t know how the other person is going to respond. I mentioned it on Twitter, and lo-and-behold, I have come to share some tips on what YOU can do to become a writer, too! Yay, writing!

  1. Don’t listen to anyone. Just don’t listen to them. People can be downers or they can lift you up, this is true, but you have to listen to yourself, first. Don’t let negativity get to you. Don’t let pride get to you, either. Walk the line! Find that balance and you’ve struck gold!
  2. Read. Holy moly, read all of the time. It’s helpful to see how other people write. You can read anything you want! Fiction, non-fiction, articles, fanfic, anything at  all. Hell, read the dictionary – expand your vocabulary!
  3. Cry. All of the time. It doesn’t matter what it is, if it’s due to writing, or if it’s just a mood swing, cry.
  4. Develop ideas. Develop characters. Develop your setting. It’ll all come together somehow, but first you’ve got to develop.
  5. Find friends, online or offline, it doesn’t matter, who are also writers. You can help each other! Trust me, it’s gonna help.
  6. Find a pretentious beverage. Most people drink coffee, some drink alcohol, I prefer tea. Drink your new pretentious beverage a lot.
  7. Listen to music. Sit in a silent room. Listen to the noises outside. Just, wherever you are, listen. There’s a story in that sound and it can be wonderful.
  8. Find writing prompts. Look them over; it doesn’t matter if you actually use them or not.
  9. Try writing different genres. Maybe you prefer historical fiction; try writing a piece about current, everyday life – I myself prefer fantasy, but I also have horror, supernatural, post-apocalypse, and historical all in my arsenal of stories that I’ve started.
  10. Write when you want to write. People say write every day, but maybe you don’t have the time; write when YOU can and what’s best for YOUR schedule.

Tah-dah, you’ve just graduated from Karyn’s College of Writing. You’re gonna be great! Good luck, and come back to visit to let me know how your writing is going.

The Yellow Rain Coat

You know what’s hard? Being tired. I dunno why I’m tired all the time, but when I came home Sunday night from the Renaissance Faire in King’s Valley, Oregon, I was exhausted. So I delayed coming up with something to discuss. And then I was called into jury selection for two separate cases, both of which I would have liked to be on – they were cases you only see discussed on CSI, okay (one was murder). And then after that was long, arduous housework. Because I love housework – or at least that’s what my father thinks.

So for entertainment sakes, I have something for you! I’m actually not sure why I didn’t post this when I first posted it on fictionpress.com. It’s a short story, super short, and it’s a little… Lovecraftian/King-ish. It’s not explicit to the point where you go “how does someone think of this” but it’s explicit enough that you get the idea. Please enjoy: the Yellow Rain Coat.

 

Alyson stood quietly in an ever-shifting crowd. Sometimes, someone would push her but she’d push back and return to her spot, staring. On the sidewalk, in front of the immovable island, there was a large puddle. It was a large, red puddle, growing with every passing minute. The girl gazed, never wondering if anyone else saw it or if anyone was concerned about her. Drip, drip, drip. That was the only noise she heard. A metallic, coppery smell filled her nose and despite the crowd, it was the only scent she knew. Alyson briefly considered touching and tasting it, but a feeling in the pit of her stomach told her not to.

So she stared. She stared at the red puddle and was lost to the world. No amount of pushing, pulling, dragging, prodding, or hauling could remove her from her sentry. She felt the need to watch for something from within; Alyson was a guard, but what exactly she was guarding, she was not sure of.

For a long while, many hours passed and maybe a few nights, and Alyson saw nothing but a few ripples from the droplets. Yet still she watched. At times, depending how she was shoved about, Alyson saw her reflection. She faintly knew the long, blonde haired girl with a pale complexion and dark blue eyes with the yellow rain coat was her, so she ignored it. Sometimes she thought she heard her name being called, but she never answered. Only once did she remember what the heat of the noon day sun felt like, but she let it bother her none. Almost always, though, she knew hunger. The tiny, petite child felt as though she could consume an entire horse; which was strange because before, she hardly ever ate. It didn’t matter, though. All that did was the puddle. It had to be watched. Who would watch it if she was gone?

And then the puddle did something new.

On the seventh day of her vigil, the puddle seemed to bubble, as if boiling. Alyson leaned forward to get a closer look. Indeed, it was bubbling, but neither heat nor steam rose from the puddle. She took a step closer and that caused the puddle to bubble faster. And Alyson’s belly felt excruciating. Whether from hunger or from something else, she could not tell. She took another step closer and vomited.

A woman screamed. People turned and saw the little blonde girl in the yellow rain coat wrenched apart – wrenched apart by a large, dark, greyish-green thing that looked faintly like an octopus. It was crawling out of her mouth, and something had sliced open her belly. Alyson couldn’t move or scream; she felt no need to. The creatures she had birthed were in the red puddle, making noises. She had done her duty. She could sleep.

Alyson’s last images were of a creature coming forth from the puddle and latching onto the nearest human, killing him as it gruesomely entered his body. Then the creatures were spreading.

Alyson closed her eyes and a voice whispered, “Rest in peace, my darling, you have done your duty.”