Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bit by Bit

Who do we want to be? What is our reason for doing what we do? Where, exactly, is our ideal place? These are questions I believe to be vital in the development of human beings on their way to developing themselves and shaping the kind of world they want to live in, as well as live the kind of life they feel would be worth recording. More often than not, these are questions that remain unspoken in our desire to attain all we need to live the way we desire, whether it's clothing, jewelery or other such things. Once all of that is stripped away, the core of who we are is all that remains, raising the question of what, exactly, is residing in that core. 

Time and again, have I seen the kinds of hollow existences it has created in those around me, friend and foe alike. It has inspired me to continue looking inwards for the answers I sought. If there's anything I've gained in my journeys, it's that whatever those answers may be, they never stay solid like concrete, but rather shapeless like water, taking whatever shape is needed to contain what we need to see.Those unwilling to relinquish what binds them will begin discovering how little they know of where to go on to next, much like the man who tries to take water with only his hands, only to find it slipping through his fingers. Only when we're willing to relinquish the life we know now can the life we deeply desire be made clearer and more detailed, coming closer and closer to our grasp. 

The life beyond being able to eat, sleep and sustain existence is a foggy, frightening place for anyone to even think about, much less step into and seriously explore. It is this life, however, that makes us complete human beings and enables us to push forward during the hardest times, knowing we have an aim we must achieve, lest we disappoint ourselves. Often times it takes something drastic to shake out of our comfort coma and see ourselves for who are, and what the next step must be, but it is this experience that can shape the very course of our lives for something even the mind's eye cannot envision. Fears not the questions, nor the answers they summon, for they help to chip away at the slab of our lives and shape something of great majesty and beauty. Once we give ourselves these tools, we are freed to sculpt ourselves into whatever fashion best fulfills us and how we choose to live. 

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Controlling the Flow

"I don't like your rules, so I'mma make my own!" is the statement many of us harbor when confronted with situations that don't mesh with the beliefs we hold dear, whether it's business or personal matters. We often either rebel against these things by not performing them, or go along with them and hope that the flow caries us towards what our heart desires. As those who travel either path know, that often leads us even further away from what we want than where we began and hones thoughts of doing the opposing option, repeating the process and increasing the distance. From what I've learned, the way to make your hopes into something tangible is not going with the flow, but to have the flow go along with us. In doing so we add not only our energy towards achieving an end, but also the energy of the forces besides us, ready to push forward and make things happen. For that to take place, though, the initial reality must be accepted, that we cannot control every single detail within our life and must relinquish such things to time and nature.

There are many versions of the saying "Different strokes, different folks" but most of the time we do not see the message lying behind them all: Their work plan may not go with the way our's functions, nor would they want to change it, so it can. Because of that, countless moments of friction build up take place, and countless opportunities are lost to work as one and create a better world for all involved. The line between inner and outer control is a razor thin one we walk every single day, and to walk that means letting bit of tension flow away from us, in order to walk precisely, yet calmly towards the place we wish to be. In the world we live, this means putting all pettiness concerning opposing view points and approaches fall to where they belong:  in a bottle that's thrown to the sea, to wash away with the tides. That process begins by speaking to the people we oppose and working out the best way the two worlds can function together and create something that benefits all involved.

The greatest leaders of our time are seen as people who made their belief known and imposed on a scale previously unseen or unheard of at that point in time, and in my view that's not particularly true. Rather, I think they took the desires of the people around them and channeled them into their own, thus letting people connect with them on a deeper level and adding fuel to grow their fire. That much, I believe, is the key to both enabling and continuing the creation of the kind of world we envision; common beliefs are what let so many different kinds of organizations grow onwards in influence, in power and in size , after all. Why not harness that same power, and the world and everything in it come rushing to you, instead of you pursuing it as the greyhounds pursue the mechanical rabbit they will never catch? There's a reason the most idiotic seeming bosses can control people clearly smarter, more skilled and overall better than them, and the moment you realize that reason, the path of a world full of amazement and fulfillment can take root and grow.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Taking the helm of a ship among the waves

One of the most telling things about a person's future is how they conduct themselves when something goes awry and everything is pulling them in every other direction, thanks to no one being sure of what they plan was. It's under these situations adults are sifted from the children and brought to the forefront to help guide people back to the place they should be. This applies not only to personal matters, but professional and academic as well, and is something rarely taught by something other than life. It's often the case that life itself presents us these situations from out of the blue to test our mettle and have us show the world the stuff we're forged from, and whether or not it can withstand the kind of pressure present in everyday society. Recently, one of those moments came to me, in the form of my Japanese class. 

Last week the entire class was discussing when we should take the big test, and all of us agreed to the following Thursday, teacher included. What absolute none of us realized, was that the next Thursday was Thanksgiving, and that school would not be in session that day. The next Tuesday the teacher came in and announced she made a mistake, and that we were to take the test that day, with the fact that none of us were expecting it to happen so soon. There was much uproar within the classroom about this fact, and some were so upset that they actually began to cry. Some people wanted to delay it to next week, but the teacher said she wanted to do it today, and guarantee that everyone would pass, but if everyone wanted it next week, they would get it without the pass guarantee. Given how much this whole mix up and subsequent actions has affected everybody, I decided that it should be the class choice of where we go next. 

I, and one other held a vote on what we should do next, and by a overwhelming majority of 18-5 went with the initial option of doing it that day, under the condition every single person would be guaranteed a passing grade at the bare minimum, as she promised(unsurprisingly, the minority was the same few slackers who manage to consistently fail on the test and cannot see the beauty of having a GUARANTEED PASSING GRADE). I was so angered by the mix up that I decided I would get the results in writing and have the teacher sign it so no one could complain about the decision or debate it further when results come back. Since I had been drilling myself on getting the class homework done, the test came off as much easier than I had anticipated, and I ended up going home early, but for the rest of the class, I was glad to have given them the chance to decide their fate and choose the ultimately better option. It's this kind of take charge leadership I plan to take with me in my personal ventures, where my crew needs me to sheer the ship where it needs to be, wherever that may be.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Closing the Mouth & Opening the Ears to See the Heart

At some point in time, all of us face a moment of critical peril, where everything we know and cherish is put up against the fire. Having both seen people in this state and visited this place many times, one thing is always clear: the thing most needed isn't advice or being told where to go next. but to know that someone is there to simply sit and listen. Though I've known this well for many years, it's something I still relearn in new ways each time I come across someone in their hour of need. Truly understanding someone does not mean reading through information they may have put up here and there, then using that as a base for your actions; that information is static and can quickly become irrelevant as a person goes through their day and discovers things that could very well change their life. On the contrary, the best way one can understand another is to let the person simply tell it to you as they see it, and then seeing their world through their eyes.

Whether it's between a Psychologist and their patient or a child speaking to their parent, the most essential element to aiding the emergence and growth of the person during these times is trust. With it there the person feels they can communicate more freely and entrust them with the core of what troubles them, where then there may be a chance to show them something better or help them better understand themselves. The opposite of this occurs when that's broken either by telling others about it without consent, or not listening to them and merely spouting off random bits of wisdom in an attempt to guide them through hard times, both of which erode the rapport built up and break down lines of communication. No one ever likes to be judged or be treated like a machine can be fixed by approaching the issue in a prescribed manner learned through books and training, and doing so only further alienates people from one another. What people value most are those who would give them the opportunity to speak without being interrupted or judged, then, through understanding and careful guidance, being granted the tools need so they can do it on their own, and craft their own path.

These things are never easy for others to learn, and I frequently encounter new subtleties and variations to these age old ways. With that said, even the attempt to do such things lets other people how much you regard them, and grants them a greater measure of worth as a human being, something many of us needs reminders of now and again. Books have been, and will continue to be written about how to help people and what they should do about their concerns, however even the best of those can only offer basic advice to others about their specific troubles and concerns. There will never be a one size fits all solution to every person's individual issue, but through listening we can come to better know the person and how to best help them approach the situation. Listen to the person and be curious about the person and their concerns; don't tell them 'I'm listening' show them. In that, the process of healing and understanding can truly take place and begin to blossom in the hearts and minds of those involved

Friday, October 30, 2009

Drawing Away from the Faceless Gaze

Since the days of kings and queens, the most important thing to the development of society has never been goods or what buys it, but rather catching the gaze of the one possessing it. It has, and will continue to drive people to do things ranging from taking a blow to the groin to recreating masterpieces with Lego's, on top of what no man can currently imagine. Of course, as with many things it isn't just gaining their eyes that drives these acts, but rather what those involved receive from them: validation of their existence. With that validation comes the comfort that the lives of those involved have some sort of meaning, whether it's the ones doing it or those talking about it. Eventually, with the act done and time marching onwards, the question arises within us all: what other meaning can life possibly have?

Although the answer is almost always that we must create our own validation and our own reason, the path to discovering that answer is long and difficult for all involved, each one different from the ones who've walked it before, and those who have yet to come across it. My own path has involved many years of societal isolation and honing my own image, rather than the image those around wish of me. In uncovering my answer I've witnessed many others struggle with finding it, turning to various substances and activities to either help make it more lucid, or ease the pain seeking it ensues. Regardless of how it's done, it all reinforces one key aspect to why many never find it, or at least don't hold on to it for very long: all their strength and sense of balance is placed onto a crutch, and when it goes so does their balance. Even if that does take place, it tends to show those people how important it is to create their own center and keep it within, and not without.

This much I've learned many times in many ways, each one offering me something valuable towards the kind of person I desired to be. I've long ago decided to draw my worth from my acts and what I can offer to others, and have all but given up on the concept of letting other's views influence my sense of confidence. All of us have that very same choice available to us, no matter where we stand or how we choose to be. When we let go of pursuing the high the gaze of the faceless mass brings we free ourselves to discover our own center, where we create the meaning of life we desire and wish to let others share. From there we learn to create the goods that lay for path for the kind of life we've long only seen in our dreams, emotional or otherwise.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ice Cream Cruise

Sometimes if you want to make your dreams come true you have to be willing to put everything on the line for that goal, and for one particular aim, that is what I did on that night. There's an ice cream truck on Twitter called Cool Haus that I've always heard about on the news, but never got the chance to try since they mostly operate in LA. When I saw on their Twitter they were operating at a 'nearby' event I knew that would be one of my only chances so far to have a crack at it, so on a pure whim and with Google directions in hand I set off on my bike to find it. The 10+ miles of travel went mostly smooth except for one very sketchy aspect: the second to final stretch of traveling alongside a man made river that would lead me to the street where it awaited me.

The first incident involved getting off at the wrong exit point, which lead me to edge of another city and me to asking several people for directions, eventually leading to what would've taken me to my destination...had it not been blocked off by several objects, one being immovable without endangering traffic. The next lead me to the correct exit point, but that exit point was right next to freeway traffic, with the path I was supposed to bike being incredibly rocky; so rocky in fact, that by the time I realized traffic was close enough to squash my bike and had to plot an alternate route, it had worn out the bell crank of my bike.

After reaching the street that would lead me to the event and asking for a few more directions, I had finally arrived. With the ride leaving me extremely hungry, I opted to first procure something close to a proper dinner, which at the event involved a hot dog, small bag of chips and a can of soda. The cost of that simple meal? $5. Though the hot dog was good, I was still very miffed as I went to go order my Cool Haus ice cream. Since I knew I wouldn't be seeing this truck again for a good while I ordered the craziest ice cream they offered at the time: Earl Grey ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies. The result made everything that happened from that day on worth my while, and after topping my meal off with a $2 pizza slice I rode home, extremely satisfied with both the food I ate and that I created the necessary courage to undertake such a perilous journey, enriching my ability to do the same with others I may have to take on my path to being independent.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A fork in the Road

In this world exist many things that we, under little to no circumstances, can halt, change or take back. Drunk drivers take the lives of loved ones, something of ours is robbed from under our noses, we state things so vile and cruel they leave marks that cannot be erased on those who hear them. No matter what we do to make these right, they will always remain with us in one form or another. However,what we can do in such situations is control how we let them shape us. The kind of person we grow to be is always under our control, for us to either treasure or toss aside as we see fit.

In my life I've witnessed many things come to pass, each one revealing the question of how I choose to take it into me and change me.  It never grows any easier to make these decisions, but they always show something I'll take with me to the end of the earth, or at least until another event confronts me about the path I've chosen. Whether I lose or gain something precious, I've always seen something there, offering me a piece of to take and shape how I wish, if I choose to take it as my own. I've determined that everything that takes place is a chance for me to create something I can learn from, and in turn pass it on to those I come across in my travels, who may turn out to need it more than I will ever come to understand. Regardless of what comes to be, I know without doubt this path will always be there, and it is the path I will travel until my time arrives.

 This choice, among many others, is something I believe exists for all of us. Regardless of background, upbringing or anything else, all of us hold the power to at the least take steps towards creating our own future. Even if we fail at it, the things we gain from pursuing it can never be robbed from us, and neither can the kind personality we develop as a result. We can cry, laugh, get angry, or any number of things in accordance to how something turns out, but these actions are of our choosing and ours alone, saying otherwise gives control of how to grow to both the circumstances and who they involve. That control is key to traveling a road of many paths and many forks in those paths, and no matter where they lead, we always have the choice to begin anew, or build upon what our travels offer us

Saturday, September 19, 2009

AberAsian (Losing Touch)

One of my old OpEd pieces, in which I discuss what it means to stick to your roots and your cultural identity. Read and if you got something in say, drop me a line in the comments

First, an explanation of the term: it is coined, from the fact that most Asian teens are seen donning some form of the Abercrombie and Fitch apparel. And the fact they typically display the intellectual capacity of a stereotypical Valley kid(in other words, dumb as a rock.). From my vantage point, they're also served to display the rather upsetting lack of culture and connection most people have with their roots, in this modern society. 

Everyone around the world seems more concerned with the problems of major celebrities, than with the troubles that face them everyday. A 22' rim seems to have higher value, than the history and customs of their mother/fatherland. Even something as basic as family togetherness is lost in the shuffle of things that are new and shiny. Everything must be fast and responsive, or it is not even acknowledged. Why walk, when you can ride a bike? Why ride a bike, when you can drive? Why drive, when you can have someone do it for you? Ease of use, convenience, and simplicity seem to be the mantra of this overtly complex world we live in everyday.

We can't do the things we did in our childhood, no matter how enjoyable and fun they may be. As we grow, society says we have to shed the things we've held onto then, and let newer, more mature things become us. Don't express, it's ultimately pointless. Don't stand out, then you'll have no friends or influence. Don't speak out, then everybody's gonna hate your guts. In this slow and painful transformation, we become what they consider to be upstanding, respectable, and someone that could have the car(s) they want, go to the places they want, and meet the people they want. All of it can be yours, if you choose to climb the ladder. Unlike many, though, I choose to leave the ladder, for the other attention starved fools to cling on to.

I wear clothes, if they are comfortable(unless my stylist chooses otherwise for me). I do things, because I like them. I'm who I am, because I chose to be it. If I do fall under category, it is coincidence, and never deliberate. I may or may not unique, but I am in no way trying to be anyone else. I am not you, you are not me. I can be the best me, I can possibly be. My roots are stained in despair and regret, but they make me who I am, and I choose to not sever them. They make me strong, and they will give me the strength and will to rise above and beyond. I am not, and never will be a part of the crowd, but choose to be it's observer, offering my words to those brave enough to seek me out. And with my skills, it is my hope to get others, to do the same.

Find your roots. Know your past, and find the will and capability to fully comprehend it. Do not choose to hide your true self behind a mask of vanity, and materialism. Our things do not, and should not make us their own. Rather, we make them into extensions of ourselves, and our own beings, if we find the strength not to fall under it's spell, and allure. Nothing can take away who are we, if we choose not to allow it. It is our decision, whether we want to fall into the crowd, or stand on the strength of our own two legs. Strength may come in numbers, but the group's chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. 

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Mile High Club

Another one of my older poems, back when I was in much less control of my hormones.*laughs* Red and enjoy, and if you have something to say, comment

"I've always wonder what it felt like to fly...
So i decided to join the club called 'Mile High'

It felt like I was floating, free...
No one else but my lover and me.

Our bodies entwined in a frantic dance...
Our souls searching for true romance.

But then, in a flash, his wife opened the door.
And for me, the mile high club was no more"

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Broken arm, but not a broken spirit

One of the very first serious pieces I wrote for any purpose, and where I began my journey into the self and becoming a better writer. Hopefully it serves me ell as I travel the path to bettering my skills and myself.

Something funny happened to me today; i was playing on the inflatable obstacle course the school had on for display, and the minute i entered the hole, i planted my hands frontward to catch myself...and busted my arm like a twig( i could tell that when i heard the *pop-pop-Crack* of my elbow against the plastic) It was one of the worst pains i ever felt in my life. AND YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE? The teacher that watched it all happen said "it was only a sprain." Even as i stumbled around like some drunken idiot from the lack of blood flowin' to my noggin. luckily for me, my friend happened to be nearby and took me to the nurse. I must've tried every number in the records before i finally got a hold of my bro, who immediately dropped me off at the house 'cause he had to go to work. As i lay in bed, staring up at the celing, i thought, 'what now? How am i supposed to write and draw if i can't even use my strong arm?(BTW, my right one was my strongest)' I had plenty of time to stew it over when i went to the hospital and got my arm checked out. for hours i waited and pondered, waited and pondered, waited and pondered about what i was gonna was some time later i came to this conclusion, 'this is bullshit. i cant let some disability stop me from doing what i want to do. Black Sabbath's guitarist lost the tips of his fingers, and hes known as one of the greatest guitarists in all rock history. AC/DC's drummer lost his left arm, and he worked around it to be one of the best drummers in rock and roll history. Hell, Mary(names have beeen changed to protect the innocent) has epilepsy, and she makes one of the best colored webmangas out there. If they can work around their disabilities, then so can I." With the path I'm taking (writer, Japanese voice actor, whatever else i feel like), theres absolute NO ROOM for doubt and setbacks get the best of me. To all that read this, i will only tell you one thing: Don't let the circumstances let the best of you. Learnto take your depression and turn it into your fire to succeed. Learn to make your disabilities work for you. Learn to see the silver lining in every dark cloud. your life will be richer for it, i know mine is. And to mary...thank you for being my constant inspiration and strong role model i never had... (p.s. i wrote all this with one arm, if you couldn't tell that already.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Call

This is a short I was preparing for quite a while before I felt comfortable enough to put it up with my other works. In this one the subjects being observed are involved in what happens when the delicate social balance all of us maintain happens to stray out of balance, which of course can lead to dire consquences. As always, read and if you have something to say, comment.

Melanie returned home from cheering the high school football team to victory that night, her wavy brown hair stuck to her face as she reached the front porch. Her hot pink sneakers lightly treaded the oaken steps, her cell phone vibrating in her stonewashed denim jeans. Grabbing the slim lavender phone from her back pocket she flipped it open and answered, “Hello, this is Melly, who’s calling?”

“Someone you should not have messed with.” Pulling up her keys by the small, metallic pink chain they hung on she jiggled the door as she said, “Ugh, what are you, some nerd my boyfriend beat up?” The warped, raspy voice responded, “You could say that. Turn on your living room lights, Melly.” Flipping on her ceiling lamp she saw a varsity jacket clad boy with a flowing blond mane. His broad figure was propped up on the black leather couch. As she approached him she began seeing bits of red around his neck and a gash growing greater and greater across his throat. Her mouth went agape, eyes fixed open as the voice said, “So did you see it, Melly? The lifeless eyes, the pale face, the cut I gladly carved into your boytoy’s neck?” With her hands trembling she held the phone in front of her and yelled, “Just who the hell are you, you freak?”

“Who I am isn’t important. What is important is what I’ve left waiting for you in your room.” Melanie made a mad dash up the stairs to her room, bursting in to see her raven haired best friend face down on her lace trimmed bed, a butcher’s knife pierced through the nurse’s uniform she wore. Her body violently shook as she recoiled, holding the phone close to her ear as the voice said, “Well? Did you manage to find surprise #2?” Soft sobs escaped her as she made her way towards the swinging front door and said, “Why are you doing this to me? What could I have possible done to deserve this? And why now, of all nights?”

“The answer is quite simple, my dear Melly. Your best friend betrayed my trust, your boyfriend broke my heart and you’re the one that stabbed me in the back and twisted the dagger. As for your brother, well…his breathless body will lay on your lawn to remind you of your actions.” At that moment she saw her Frankenstein-clad brother crumpled over, face down in a pile of leaves. Then, as if on cue, the voice said, “But before you call the police listen to what I have to say. You can report me to the cops and give me a chance to manipulate the system and let myself out, or you can grab a knife, come to the park and try and stop me yourself. The choice is yours, so what’ll it be, Melly?” Without hesitation she dropped the phone and ran for the chef’s knife lying on the kitchen table. Keys to her Porsche Boxster in hand she hopped into the car and sped off as she screamed, “I’ll get you, you son of a bitch!” Moments later her little brother staggered to his feet, holding his stomach and saying, “Man, I didn’t know they fed you so much at costume parties…”


The roar of the Boxster’s engines echoed through the night air, Melanie pulling up to the swinging gates of the park entrance. With knife in hand Melanie hopped out and yelled, “I’m here to get you, you freak!” She prowled around the park’s forest, her eyes seeking anything remotely human to stab. After an eternity of searching she found an illuminated silhouette at the other end of the park. Without fail she dashed toward it as she said, “I hope you’re ready for me, ‘cause here it comes!” With sprinter grade speed she held the knife high and prepared to put everything into killing the twisted monster she saw in front of her. Just as she felt close enough to run it through she felt several heavy people tackle her to the ground. With polished black hush puppies staring her in the face she looked up to see a crew cut officer say, “Melanie Lane, you’re under arrest for the attempted murder of Kiri Aobayashi” As the officer read her rights she heard a soft, demure voice say, “I always knew you didn’t like me, but I never would’ve guessed you hated me this much…” To the right of the officer she saw a coquettish, pig tailed young girl dressed in a Catholic school girl’s uniform and grew furious, struggling and squirming as she screamed, “What the fuck did you expect? You killed my best friend, boyfriend and brother!”

“Killed? Me? That can’t possibly be right. They were with me the whole night at a costume dinner party. I’ll even call them right now, if you want.” At that moment Kiri pulled out her modest black cell phone, with Melanie letting out psychotic bellows as she dialed. A moment later Kiri said, “Hello, Chelsea? You sound a bit sleepy, maybe you should rest a bit more. Yes the makeup and such was very elaborate, but it did surprise everyone, didn’t it? Well my ride’s coming soon so I’ll catch you later.” As Kiri hung up she saw the police cars pull away with Melanie huddled in the back of one of them. A wicked grin crossed her face as she walked away from the scene and said, “See you around, Melly.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Unscripted Connections

To help keep the flow going while I finish up a few shorts and articles for various places here's an anticle I wrote for an old online publication a while back. Read and enjoy(note the article was originally made for a site I still frequent on occassion).

Scripts can dictate many things. In games, they dictate the games responses, and how much damage that blow to the skull actually does to a person. Online, they guide us to the places we want to go, and format things to the way the pagemaster wants. In various MMOs they dictate what kind of clothes we wear, how our responses look, and how the site itself looks. However, the one thing a script can't dictate, are the kinds of connections we make, to the people we meet here. All across the Internet, people have bonded with those they may have never even considered, offline. Gaia is certainly not an exception. General Discussion, Extended Discussion, Anime/Manga/Comics, all of them are merely gathering places for people to chat amongst themselves, and seek out people they could consider friends, and in some cases, something more. While it is true there are many deceivers out there, the anonymity the Internet provides have allowed people to become more open and honest, than they may even initially realize. And with the facelessness, can also come the courage to reach out for help, in ways real life circumstances may stifle.

If you want proof of this, take a look at any place within Gaia. In General Discussion, they are bonded by the chances they are given to bond, and share their lives with the people they come to know and love. Some even speculate it's much like hanging out with your friends in high school(if hanging out with your friends meant having someone randomly show you a mentally scarring picture, of course). Within the Extended Discussion, is a place for any and all people to express their views, and to perhaps seek enlightenment from people who live a different way of life. In the Art Shops & Requests, you can find fellow artists, and find ways to improve your own art, or find new ways to draw and render your pieces, and perhaps purchase some of their art, for yourself. But within these forums, and all others, lie a common theme: Allowing yourself to speak to new people, and letting yourself connect to the people that wish to know you better.

Offline, people face hardships and challenges on a daily basis. Home lives, where the parents constantly bicker and fight. Working jobs that take much more, than they give. Inner demons we battle everyday we wake up. With places like Gaia, we can turn to people we couldn't normally find, and come to them for advice and perhaps a shoulder to cry on, in their greatest time of need. And from this, can emerge the people we come to call the things we cherish most, as seen in this statement from Blissful Oblivion. "There are people I would gladly die for, who I've met online. x) Some are real life friends, some are correspondents from around the world who share things in common. Some are even role models that I may look up too. Surely one may lie and totally be a faker, but I believe them to some extent XD (If I wanted to I can write a long book on the ones I'm really close to , on these sorta sites x) )" It's common knowledge the reason anything online, that thrives and prospers, is because of the community that place builds, and Gaia is certainly not an exception. In time, people we come to see here as strangers, we may come to see as friends. Friends as confidants. Confidants, as the people we cherish, more than anything in this world. And with the strength and courage these people provide us with, we may be able to discover the strength within ourselves to make these online bonds something more. Something we're to see face to face. Something we can hear and feel. Something we can call our own, and have nothing rob us, of the unscripted connection we all share.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Explorations of a Simple Complexity

This one is an essay I've been refining for an English class for the past couple weeks(thus why I haven't been here awhile). The first topic she gave us was telling her who we are and why we are the way we are. and I gladly obliged. Read and enjoy, and as always let me know what you think in the comments.

Ever since I learned how to read, the curiosity floodgates have been thrown open, my thoughts flowing towards unseen terrain. That same curiosity led me to take writing in high school, and the craft has become an extension of my being from then on, giving the voice within a medium to express itself. Around that time Japan and Japanese culture also sparked my interest, slowly growing into the centerpiece of many of my works, including the novel and web-comic I’ve been working on for quite a while. Writing more about the country I began to find greater curiosity in the human condition, in both the psychological and philosophical aspects. One of the concepts of this that continues to fascinate me is the Bystander Effect; in which if someone is in need of aid we’re much more likely to do it if alone than from among a crowd of people. Including that, my craft has taken me down many roads over the years and continues to reveal places untouched, even among the places I’ve already been. If anything one of the running themes in my life is questioning; from why the sky is blue to what my place in the universe is I’ve been looking for endless amounts of things to satisfy my curiosity. In seeking them I’ve unlocked the gates of my mind, discovered maps to places even my mind has yet to tread and made the chance to go and see them first hand.

As is common among young lads my concept of both life and the self was as clear as mud, with writing revealing the gleam under the dirt. I remember well how much my early works revealed my tenuous grasp on complex issues like racism and relationships; in particular the novel I started then was rife with soap opera level drama and sexuality. Even so, there was more I wanted to see in both who I was and what I could create, which kept me filling page after essay after short story over the years. Starting my novel actually sparked my interest in the various subcultures I’ve started writing about and has propelled me to clock in hours upon hours of research paired with hours and hours of drafting and editing, including the volumes of material I’ve collected about Los Angeles and UCLA for an ongoing project I’m still developing. When times were most dire and my curiosity blazed brightest writing connected me to the voice deep inside, the answers I sought flowing through my pen and onto the page. Various family and personal crisis have greatly fueled this, especially when my sole connection to the people I felt closest with was severed and my only implement of expression available to me for many months was writing. In times like these my works served to not only slake my inner thirst, but also act as a road map for whenever I felt lost. This proved true when I fell into confusion about moving from my former residence of 9 years and an old short story of mine instilled the knowledge I sought to move forward. Moving forward has helped introduce me to many things, people and places, the most interesting of which coming to be about a place far to the east.

As I grew older I could feel the next stage of my life coming and knew I needed to do something great so I could prepare to make that jump. One of the things often recommended to help complete a youngster’s transition from that stage of their life to the next is acclimating themselves to a entirely foreign culture and language, eventually working up to traveling to the country itself and learning its way of life, thereby creating a new perspective of ourselves and greater appreciation for both their culture and ours. Some choose France while others may go for Italy, but the country that caught my eye was Japan. Everything from the food to their outlandish styles of entertainment highly captivated me and motivated me to delve into what the country itself had in store. When I first got into it I only knew about the geeky aspects, like the animation, games and so on, putting a rather warped view on how I perceived the country as a whole to be. Once I got into the more traditional aspects of it, as well as some of the more underground scenes my eyes popped open to a whole new world of possibilities, from the slower paced hard work style of living out in the fields to the delicate balance of loyalty and power within the country’s crime syndicates, some even active right here in the United States. When I found out about these wildly different ways of life I knew without a doubt I had to go in head first and dig up as much information and knowledge as I could. With time and deep study of each kind of culture present in Japan something began taking shape in the depths of my thoughts, some unstated connection shared between people of all countries, races and professions. That shape became infinitely more defined when I decided to get on my bike and make my way towards the Japanese Cultural Festival they have each year in Long Beach. After enjoying a bowl of Chili Rice while watching an Ondo dance and hearing the earth shaking thumps of the Taiko Drum performances later that night I came home with a much clearer understanding of what it means to study and appreciate another culture. What I came to understand that night is that there are no racial or cultural prerequisites to studying a culture unlike your own besides passion and an honest desire to understand what you’re looking into. The understanding I gained in that time told me no matter what barriers different cultures have between them, all of them deal with the same issues all people face, in understanding that basic shared humanity do those barriers weaken and crumble, revealing the richness waiting to be experienced and answer the questions we may still hold about it.

The greater challenge, of course, comes from understanding the values we share on top of the preconceptions we may carry with us about those of certain races, classes and professions. I’m sure there aren’t many who hold rap musicians or jocks in very high regard, and I was among them when I began studying the deeper aspects of these basic humanities. Coming from the same format of school many in this nation hail from, I came to see the different classifications people put on themselves and others, as well as the friction that arises from two opposing factions clashing with one another, seeking to discover what common ground each of us share. One particularly vivid show of this friction was the constant tension between some of the black and Hispanic males at my old high school, sometimes growing so great fights broke out in the blink of an eye. As both a writer and an aspiring teacher one thing I want to help do is spread the knowledge needed to quell such fierce flames, and I know to help others overcome these perceptions I must first do so within myself. Each day I learn more about the things that link us to each other and each day I discover even more to this that I have yet to understand. Knowing this drives me to open my mind even further than before, to be more accepting of those around me, even if their beliefs are the polar opposite of my own. I continue to seek out this knowledge to dissolve whatever preconceptions I may hold and free myself to take in the wisdom that flows all around me, so that not only I can gain from it, but others I come across, as well.

Often it’s said that curiosity killed the cat, but seeing that death comes regardless of consequences that saying isn’t something I ascribe particularly close to, nor would I recommend it to others as a way of living. When a mind is closed off to discovery and questioning, a severely limited amount of personal growth is often the case, and thusly people never find out what could be waiting to be found or shown to the world. That kind of life is something I’ve witnessed far too often, in both the media and my personal comings and goings. I highly encourage people to get out there and seek out their desired answers, especially now that more tools than ever are available to do so. I admit I’ve made my fair share of wrong answers in my life, but that is to be expected when seeking out answers. From doing it incorrectly, it is discover how to do it correctly, if not invent something entirely new from this supposed mistake, such as with the invention of Corn Flakes and the discovery of Penicillin. This, among many other things, keeps me wondering about the world at hand and where I can obtain the knowledge I seek, as well as what must be done to obtain it. Above all, there is one key question that stays with me from the moment I wake to the moment I lay to rest: What will I find out about the world and the people around me today?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Gym Rat

This is a a short inspired by a prompt I got from another place I often go to. Hopefully it reaches the people who are trying to shape themselves into who they want to be.

"I must be dreamin or...
We're on to somethin'

I must be dreamin' for...
I don't fall in-"

The palm of her hand smacked down on the snooze button of her musical alarm clock. Her auburn eyes leered at the turquoise digital numbers as they glowed "5:30 AM". Crawling out from under her plaid blue sheets she grasped around the nightstand until she felt the cool wooden handle of her fine tooth comb and dragged herself out of bed. She lurched towards the body length mirror propped on the opposite end of her cozily decorated room. As she combed her rich brown hair into its familiar feathered form, her free hand reached for the side of her abs, seeing how much of herself she could grab. She only managed to fill her fingertips, yet as she looked up from her hand, she saw the image burned into her memory when she first began this routine 2 months ago.

She slouched on the couch with her mom and brother, laughing at the sitcom they loved so dearly as she saw a severely obese man run on a treadmill. Her candy bar rolling around on her tongue, she was fixated on the way his blubber swirled around like the ocean waves. Her family laughed and laughed, but she soon noticed her own family was not in much better shape than the man on the TV, and as it soon came to be in her own mind, neither was she. At that moment she began to scrutinize what was left of her candy bar, handing it off to her brother before heading outside for a bike ride. That evening she rode all the way to the edge of town and back, all the while swearing to herself she'd do what was needed to avoid becoming such a hideous monstrosity.

She slinked into her powder blue gym sweats and butterfly emblazoned tanktop, all the while noshing on the granola bars she kept in her gym bag. With all components on hand she power walked to the door and loaded her bag and bottle in her adult tricycle's basket. Her earphones on and music pumping she began her journey anew, peddling hard all 3.5 miles to the local gym before doing her pre-exercise warm up stretches, then doing 3 sets of 25 pushups, 3 sets of 35 crunches, 2 sets of 25 chin ups(switching grips with each set)3 sets of 20 leg curls with the machine set at 140 pounds, and 3 sets of 20 bench presses at nearly twice her body weight, plus many more varied in and out of her routine everyday. Her body tired and slick with sweat, she takes a few laps in the gym swimming lanes before finally relaxing in the hot tub and showering off, dressing up and returning home to prepare for school later in the day. As she rides home she passes by a portly gentleman eating a big, juicy burger, showing her the one thing she's wanted to do since she began this: the ability to smile.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Drawing The Line

One of the most interesting things I've seen is the blurring between what's portrayed over eletronic wires and what's lived away from it. In the past work and home were separate worlds we entered and left as needed, rarely intersecting. These days even the most mundane of our thoughts can be instantly cast out to the world for anyone willing to see. With what comes the possibility of bring forever perpetuated, forever reaping whatever they may bring. Now more than ever the need to develop a face we want the world to see has been made crystal clear, especially with how far reaching our actions can be.

In my wanderings I've witnessed the shocking extent one's electronic life rooted into their reality, to the point where they would feel invalid without it. I know this well for I've also went through this process for many years, my very stability hinging on the words of another. Now I'm rediscovering the way I wish to shape who I am, to both myself and the world. While they'll still be quite intertwined one will not control the other, my first priority is bettering myself and my world. One becomes their best when their strength is allowed to bloom not from without, but from within.

Balancing openness and restraint is a key part of establishing identity, one I'm still coming to grips with. With each passing day I uncover the boundaries between the two worlds and what it means to walk the lines between them. Learning the walk the line is to learn the ebb and flow, better knowing when to drift like a stream and torrent like a waterfall. Through that we shape a more distinctive figure, one we know we're proud to have others follow and one we're more than glad to upkeep. After all who we portray is how others will know us to be, and we do want others to know our best, do we not?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Patiently Waiting

This was my first(and so far only) commissioned work for a client I ran into long ago. If you're interested in commissioning a short story from me, let me know. This also might interest you if you're into Boy's Love kind of stories.

The crimson sun sank into the tree-lined horizon, and night had set into the quiet, cozy park. Street lamps switched on to light the paved walkway, and one shined down onto a bench, where a brown, denim jeans-clad boy sat, a gray hooded sweater covering his slim frame, and pale face. The boy peeked out from under it and moved his black-blond wisps of hair aside, his auburn eyes seeking something in the darkness, as he thought, “Where is he? He said he would come hours ago…” Clutching onto a piece of scribbled paper, he held it close to his chest, thinking to himself, “He even put it in writing, and gave it to me.” He looked down at the paper crumpling in his hands, and whispered, “He wouldn’t break his promise, would he?” He then thought back to earlier that afternoon, when he was sitting at the front gates of his school…

The bell had rung, and students seemed to flood out of the gates, making their way around the strange looking boy on the steps. Someone had yelled out, “Hey, don’t be so sad, there, Emo Boy!” And the boy immediately grew incensed, rising to his feet to raise his voice (and possibly his fist) at them, when somebody hugged him from behind. The boy was stunned still, and into a blushing fit, until he looked back to see a boy in black jeans and a Misfits t-shirt smile back at him, his short, naturally styled black hair framing his delicate looking features, as he said, “I told ya I’d be here, Jacey, poo.” Jacey looked down at his feet, as he said, “Yeah, I know, Chris, you just caught me off guard, is all…” Chris released the hug and shot him a curious glace, saying, “So you told me you had something you wanted to talk to me about?” Jacey hesitantly turned to him, and said, “Yes…I feel like we’ve become more distant since we got together. I mean, when we were still friends, you seemed so much closer, than you are now. Now you’re suddenly busy with your friends, and traveling to all these different places, when I want to go be with you. Is…is there something you’re not telling me?” The smile vanished from Chris’ face when he heard that, and after a moment, he replied, “Well, there are a lot of things I want to tell you, but I don’t think this is the right time, or the right place.” He then reached inside his backpack, and pulled out notebook paper, black folder and a lead pen, scribbling on the paper as he said, “Tell you what. How about we meet here, at this time?” Jacey took the paper Chris offered him and softly repeated what was written on the paper. “Our special place, at around 6 PM…” A weak smile crossed Jacey’s face, as he looked up at him, and said, “Sure, honey, that sounds…” The loud, piercing honk of a black van that pulled up in front of the school interrupted him, and Chris began walking towards the open passenger side door, as he said, “Sorry, Jacey, gotta go practice with my friends now. Just wait for me there, ok?” He lovingly looked at him from inside the van, as he said, “I promise to be there, no matter what.” The door then slammed shut, and Jacey followed the leaving van, proclaiming to him, “I’ll wait as long as I need to, Chris!” Jacey watched, as the van disappeared into the distance, then he folded the paper and put it in his sweater pocket, a stronger smile on his face, as he began walking home…

Jacey glanced at his wristwatch, letting out a heavy sigh and thinking to himself, “It’s already 8, and he still hasn’t come. I’m starting to wonder if he’s even coming, at all.” Looking down at the ground, his body quivered, and shook, as he thought, “It feels like he’s been avoiding me for a long time now, like he’s keeping me away. Why does he want to stay so far from me? Why doesn’t he want me getting too close to him? And why can’t I shake this feeling of resentment I have towards him?” At that moment, a darkly dressed boy fell and landed face first, in front of Jacey. The boy immediately picked himself up, and as Jacey looked at his wispy black hair, and earth brown jacket, and began to recognize it him as Chris. Jacey’s eye almost instantly lit up, and he wrapped his arm around Chris, screaming out, “Oh my goodness, you’re finally here, Chris! I am so glad to see you right now!” Caught off of his guard, Chris awkwardly returned the hug, as he said, “Err, yeah, I’m glad to see you, too, Jacey…” Hearing the hesitancy in his voice Jacey released the hug, giving him a curious glace and asking, “What’s wrong, Chrissy?”

“Well, I already know what you’re gonna ask, so this is kind of hard for me…”

“So you don’t have an answer for me?” Chris took a deep breath, then said, “Well I’ve been thinking about it ever since you asked me at school, and I want to tell you that I’ve been hurt a lot in a the past. By a lot of people I thought I felt safe with, and trusted in. And it hasn’t stopped hurting me for a long time, so, in the end, I guess…I guess I’m afraid of going through that again…”

“You really think I would do that sort of thing to you?”

“I don’t know, and that’s what bothering me. I honestly do love you, and care about you; I…I just have a hard time trusting you. I have a hard time trusting anybody, these days. I…I…” Jacey gave him a soft kiss on the lips, then pulled back, saying to him, “It’s alright, Chrissy, I can understand what you’re going through. I know these things take time, and patience. I just want you to let me help in opening up. I want you to be able to trust in me, and let you know I would never hurt you that way.” Jacey held him closely, and said, “I’ll love you, no matter what, Chrissy.” He looked deep into Chris’ eyes, and asked, “Do you feel the same way about me?” Chris smiled back at him, as he said, “You know I do, Jacey.” They then let themselves drift into a long, passionate kiss, that seemed to last an eternity. After a while, they released it, and Chris asked him, “So what do you want to do now, Jacey?”

“Let’s go somewhere where we can be alone. That is, if that’s ok with you…”

“Of course, Jacey.” He then released the hug, and held his hand, lead him down the walkway, as he said, “Now lets go.” They then strolled down the walkway, and towards somewhere deep within the park, somewhere where they could be seen by no one but themselves. Somewhere where they could be free to do what they wished. Somewhere they could love each other, without restraint.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Housewife's Diary

Something culled from the more sexually repressed side of my writing past. WARNING: strongly sexist. Those offended by stereotypical portrayals of females are not likely to enjoy this character's actions

Yumika Iwamura, Thursday, April 15, 2007 @2:00 AM

Tonight was an interesting and super frantic experience. My husband and I were tongue wrestling on the couch, our passionate moment reached it point of no return as he looked at me with his sapphire blue eyes and said, “Honey, can I ask you something?” Being putty in his arms, of course I said, “Yes, anything…” He smiled gently at me as he asked, “Could you take care of a few things around the house for me? The boss wants to take me out with his bowling buddies bowling tonight. Thanks” Then he got up and walked off.

This time, a few things meant that I had to iron my blouse for tomorrow’s board meeting, cook some premade lasagna for dinner, do the laundry, and pick up the kids from the baby sitter, all within the span of a couple hours. (That’s when I had to go pick up the kids) Man that was frantic, and apparently a good exercise, seeing that I had to keep on the move around the house to manage all four. Yeah, it's a lot of work, but that's what a good wife does right? I know what the family and my husband go through every day, and I know that I can help show them some tender love and care, and ease the stress and tension in their lives. To prevent any unneeded fall out due to me losing something important I stuck my car keys in my back jeans pocket and slung on my tote bag before I did anything, just to have that extra bit of insurance, you know?

Anyways, seeing that everything was going along smoothly, I decided to head out for a moment to get some air. What happens not a moment later? The door shuts behind me. I calmly walk over to open it, and I find out its locked. As I turned and jiggled the knob, several things came to my mind. First, I had mixed up the whites and the coloreds in the laundry loads; second, the lasagna was STILL cooking; and third, the iron was still on and right on top of my blouse.

So I did what any normal person in this situation would do, I panicked and ran around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to find the keys. I looked under the doormat, in the bushes beside the doorway, underneath different rocks in the front yard, and all logical locations of where extra keys should be, and they weren’t in ANY of them.

As I searched around the front and back yards, throwing things here and there and looking for a way inside, I began to think to myself, “Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, this is bad. I can’t find those damn things anywhere!” And as I over turned a table I thought, “Hey! Maybe they’re in my tote bag! It’s the only place they can be, right?”

So I rifle through it and pull up 5 cases of makeup, a comb, some pills, a cell phone, some baby pictures and a business pen from UPS, but no keys! Then I go to the front yard to search again, and I find out the car is gone!

Of course, I should have realized it was gone when my husband was gone, but being hurried tends to lower the rationing functions of the brain, as I
m sure many of you know. So I sit down on the front steps of the house, trying to think of what to do next, when I see smoke wafting out of the kitchen window on my right.

Naturally, when someone sees smoke, they think fire, and when they think fire, they think they have to save what they can, like pictures of our honeymoon and the kids performing and such, so I pick up a rock and get ready to heave it at the window and get inside, which is about the time my husband shows up around the corner in our minivan.

As soon as he gets out of the car, I march towards him; angry as all get out that he left me to do all this crap, and then, outta nowhere he hugs me and says
Thank you for working so hard, Yumika. I know it was a lot and I sure you had a hell of a time doing it allI felt his warmth and I felt the affection he had for me in that hug, so I naturally melted into his arms and hug him back. Then I feel him cup my buns in his hands, so I naturally blush and smile at him, glad that he’s still as passionate as the day we first met.

Then he pulls something out in front of my eyes and laughs, saying; “You forgot you had your keys in your back pocket again, didn’t you?” He then walks in the house and takes care of everything I had going, and comes out moments later, saying to me, “You sure are a mad woman.” I giggled at him and asked, “So should we eat at home, tonight?”

“Nah, let go pick up the kids and go to Shakey’s.” I
got in the passenger side seat of the car, and and watched him pull out of the drive way as he asks, “So what do you wanna order tonight?”

“A couple large pizzas, some Mojo, and a big bucket of chicken, ‘cause you know how much I love my legs and thighs.” He stops the car for a second and looks at me as he says, “Those do tend to be the juiciest parts to nibble on” Both of us grinned like idiots as we drove towards my sisters to pick up the kids.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

An Essay for the Dreamers

This is an short form essay from a time long past in my life. Even though I'm much different now from the person who origially penned this somehow it still feels relevant to me, and I hope you feel the same after reading. 

You know, I've been looking at the world for the longest time, and I've noticed a lot of similarities among those things that we do that are considered 'professions.' Toys, newbs, rookies, it’s all the same. You start at the bottom, and you build your way to the top of the ladder. *in case you’re wondering, these are the beginning ranks for Graffiti artists, computer players, and any athlete*

But when you get to the top, when you have the respect you seek, when all you desire is within your grasp, then what? Where do you go from there? What do you do once it’s done? And more importantly, what have you done to get there?

Did you decide to go through the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to get to the top, or did you build your dreams upon the shattered remains of those you have destroyed? Did you use all you have met or your own gain and status, or did you aid them in achieving their own? Did you do what you had to do to make it, or did you do what you wanted to do?

When it's all said and done; when you've accounted for every action you've taken and every decision you've made; when you've considered each and every consequence you’ve experienced, will you look back and say, 'If I had to, I'd go back and do it all again'?

These are choices you must weigh when you decide to pursue a career in any field. When you decide that you're willing to give your energy, you're talent, you're very life to following and building on. And when you're willing to dedicate your time to learning the various subtleties and nuances to the path you have chosen.

It is said that people these days will go through an average of 8 careers before they can decide on the one that suits them best, and that is because they have not been able to see that lies ahead of them and what will lay behind them after the fact. When you head out of high school, when you graduate from college, or even if you're coming home from your 9 to 5 job, at some point, you'll come home and ask yourself these questions, sometimes once, sometimes one hundred times over in your mind.

But what are the answers? What will come when you ask yourself these questions? Will you be content with the answers you obtain? Only you can determine that for yourself. And if you are not satisfied, you have a lifetime it change it, and you have a lifetime to journey for the answers you desire. But in the end, I think the one thing we all want is to be able to look back at everything, then say, "Yeah, I'd gladly do it all again..."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Confessions of a Writing Nerd

Another one from the wayback machine, this one inspired by something that happened to me long ago. In many ways this still reflects on me today, but I know that I've grown much since then and would approach with much more confidence. It'd probably still be a bit of a trial trying to sort out the thoughts, though *laughs*

Karen Jones, Saturday, 19, 2005 @6:00 PM

I remember back in the day when it was paralyzing for me to even talk to another member of the opposite sex. Always stuttering and always stammering and always looking down when I finally worked up the nerve to talk to them. And my first time was probably the time that'll stick out the most, mainly because it was also the most awkward time I ever had talking to a boy.

I remember browsing through my local Border's when I saw some cute guy walk in front of me. I saw the Zelda shirt he was sporting, and knew I had to make him mine. Of course, having brown, shoulder length hair, thick framed glasses, a librarian mode of dress, and being huddled in the corner reading magazines doesn't do much for getting someone's attention, so I followed him as he scanned different sections of the store, trying to think of something I could say to him.

As I trailed him, I noticed that he had a feint, particularly sweet smell about him, one that tickled my nostrils every-time it came to me and put me into something of a trance, so I nodded, knowing that that's what I would tell him about. That is, when I stopped ducking behind stuff when he looked back in my direction.

He came to a stop at the newsstand, and I knew I had to make my move, no matter how my body shuddered when I thought about it. So I moved towards him, my body shivering and my face flushing.

The closer I got, the sweeter his scent became, and the sweeter it became, the more my heart raced, and the more my heart raced, the hotter I became under my white turtleneck sweater.

As I gradually made my way towards him, I saw his broad shoulders, his long, raven black hair that reached down to his heart shaped booty, which only made my legs quiver even more underneath my long, navy colored skirt.

When I came close enough to actually feel his body heat, I said, as steadily as I could muster, "You smell pretty." I saw him lower his magazine and turn his head to look at me. I recoiled a bit, thinking that I had angered him in some way, but then, I saw him smile at me and say, "You haven't talked to a boy before, have you?" I looked down, as I said,"Err. . .no. . . how could you tell?"

He cupped my chin in his hand and held my head up as he said, "I used to be the same way, although when I did it, the girl gave me a cock-eyed look and walked away slowly." I let out a belly laugh and ended up rolling on the floor with laughter. He kneeled down next to me and said, "I see that my embarrassment brings you joy." I kept laughing as I sat up and started chatting with him. The longer I talked to him, the more it amazed me that this handsome devil was once in my shoes.

After that day, we became close friends, sharing stories, helping each other when we needed it, and eventually, becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. In fact, he's taking me out dinner in a few minutes. Gotta get ready and make myself look fancy, and all that. Peace and love, ya'll


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Journey Into Darkness

The coming short story was actually inspired by this song, and is paced to follow it's structure. Listening to this while reading the story should help bring the whole experience full circle, so be sure to give it a try. Hope you enjoy, and if there's anything you wanna say about it, hit me up in the comments.

Among the cherry blossom filled forest walked a man dressed in a black Yukata, chrysanthemums and lilies blooming everywhere. He sneered at the pink and white flower petals that drifted and fell around him.

As he came to the grassy clearing he looked up to the cloudy blue skies, watching solders clad in red, purple and blue Haori wield twin short swords, wearing solemn expressions on their faces. One look at their colorful clothes and he was taken back to when they were fighting each other, near his village.

He remembered the white lights that flashed in the dark night skies. He remembered the smell of the flames that leveled his home. He remembered the screams of his family as they were slaughtered in the crossfire. He then unsheathed his katana; his blade turning darker the more he drew it.

As the soldiers closed in on him he took a mighty swing, decimating them and the landscape, the fauna and flora draining of its color as he fought. Even though he was outnumbered, even though they seemed stronger and even though his chances at winning were slim, he lacked the desire to care and only wanted to destroy all that they had created. And the soldiers knew he was capable of doing so, which is why he had to be done away with now.

They came down on him from all sides, swinging their blades with both utmost precision and utter desperation. As they felt him give way he let out an explosive field of dark energy, sending them flying into the air. Like a violent storm he annihilated his assailants, dissecting them like knives cutting through paper. The solders then tried to come down on him from above but he quickly leapt at the one in front of him, impaling him and leaping off his corpse to slash through the others, grabbing his last opponent from behind and planting him into the ground with a spiral driver. The other solders soon fell at his hands and tried, in vein, to evade him.

With their ranks rapidly thinning he began turning his rage on the landscape, destroying the trees, the lakes, and the mountains with his blade and the energy it tossed around.

From her mountain perch a goddess dressed in a snow white Kimono threw back her flaming red hair, her jungle green eyes watching the pain in his eyes and the anger in his movements as he destroyed all that she had made. She couldn’t stand to see him in such pain and flew down to where he was. As he was about to stab his blade into the earth and divide it in two the goddess made a thunderous landing in front of him, knocking him on his behind. He looked up at her, to see her hair sway from both the winds and her own overflowing aura,  her hand open and extended to him. While his eyes were widened from shock and surprise, they quickly narrowed, and he slapped her hand away.

The goddess took a step back then felt his blade cut across her cheek. Seeing that he didn’t want to make peace she quickly formed a blade of leaves and flowers to block his blows and combat him. Making her way forward she began matching his power, his speed and his fury, as their fighting grew more and more furious with each passing moment. They then rose into the air and continued to duel but he took a brief window of opportunity and parried her swipe to his right, extending his right palm, and firing a volley of shadow balls point blank at her face. They exploded upon impact, but seemed to impact nothing but the air in front of him. Quickly she appeared behind him and clubbed him into the ground below.

He instinctively rolled back to his feet and into battle, but a shower of icicles soon greeted his waiting blade and he ran with all the speed his legs could summon. Looking to his right, he saw the now angry goddess coming at him with her blade at the ready. The attacks kept coming and coming, their swiftness and strength pushing him further and further back. When one of her attacks missed he saw his chance and planted his palm right into her gut, sending an explosion of dark energy into her body, launching her backwards, burning through her defenses and her Kimono. As she recoiled she quickly placed her hand on her stomach, only to see it had been bleeding black. She then cast her clothing aside and wrapped her aching body in the leaves of the forest as she flew towards him; now knowing only one would leave that place.

She wondered why he was planting his blade into the grass until saw the ground around him turn black, the grass turning into black vines covered in thorn. She had managed to avoid several of his thrusts with the vines but soon realized it to be a ploy when the vines wrapped around her feet, gluing her to the spot. He then ran with his blade, and fired several large bursts at her, while the vines withdrew, and cut into her legs.

She gritted her teeth and blocked every blast, letting him come close enough to parry his attack and launch him upwards with a vicious uppercut. As he flew helplessly upwards she followed and with a charged shot of her own blasted him back to the ground. He rolled backwards and regained his compose, quickly running towards her while bobbing and weaving everything she threw out. He managed to knock away her final blast, and come close enough to run her through. He could almost feel the warmness of her blood on the cold blade he held high. High enough for her to land the decisive blow, and put an end to his destruction.

The life left his eyes, and his blade fell into the ground, its darkness fading away as blood fell away from him. Her own blade then broke apart, and gathered around him, her eye closed and her head bowed as she folded her hands in prayer. Flowers and grass grew around his lifeless body, almost as if it was her way of wishing the same peace and settlement for her fallen opponent…

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Breakup and Breakdown of Yuki

From the demons of my past I draw out this short story. I often think about what happens when others are made the base of how a person functions, more specifically when that bases happens to crumble under their feet and leaves them to freefall. Writing this helped me realize what could come about if I didn't resolve my inner tumoils or expressed them before they turned into action and I would hope it does the same for anyone that reads it. I can only hope no one comes to the conclusion that the young woman in this piece came to on that night. Read and enjoy, and as always, lemme know your thoughts in the comments.

Night had fallen as she sat on the park bench, the street lamps shining on her rosy pink, yet sorrowful face. Tears flowed from her hazel eyes as she looked at the picture of her and a slick haired gentleman dressed in a T shirt and blue jeans grasped in her left hand. After a few halted breaths she glanced over at the pink cell phone in her right, and on the monochrome screen, read: "It's over between us" On the bottom right corner of that screen his name leered back at her and she wept even louder than before, her short, wispy black hair now sticking to her face. How could he do this to me? She thought. I thought we were happy together; holding hands, kissing cheeks, making all seemed so perfect...where did I go wrong? She wiped her tears on the sleeve of her cotton, yellow blouse as she dialed up her friend, Asami. I can always depend on her to be there for me when I need her, Always. That thought raced through her mind as it rung and rung, her free hand crushing the photograph. After what felt like forever, Asami picked up and said, "Hello, who is this?" Her voice shook horribly as she responded to Asami's question. "H-hey Asami. It's me, Yuki." 

" Good grief, you sound horrible, Yuki, what happened?"

"He...he broke up with me." Asami fell silent for a moment, then said, "I'm sorry to hear that, Yuki. You gonna be alright?" 

"N-no...not right now. I...I need someone to hold me. I need someone I can talk to about this. I need someone to help me pick up the pieces..." Yuki heard Asami's voice falter as she said, "Gee, I'd like to help you, but I'm a little busy right now..." With a desperate plea Yuki said, "Please, Asami, I really need a shoulder to cry on right now..." 

"Well I don't think now would be a good time, Yuki..."

"Why? Why wouldn't it be a good time to come to you?" 

"Well I have someone over at the house right now, and-" A deep, yet familiar voice in the background interrupted her by saying, "Yo Asami, c'mon! I got the game all set up for ya!" Yuki immediately recognized that voice as belonging to her now ex-boyfriend, and was about to ask who that was when Asami said, "Sorry, gotta go. See ya later, k!" Yuki heard a click, then dead silence. She looked at the bright, glittery pink cell phone in her hands, and thought, You know I think this was the first thing she ever gave me when we became friends. I remember her telling me how used her own savings to buy it so we could keep in touch and stay the best of friends.  She let it fall to the stone walkway and swiftly stomped on it, hearing the now satisfying crunching of electronics and circuitry being ground underneath her sky blue sneakers. She then ripped the picture in her other hand to pieces, tossing it to the winds as she rose to her feet. Tears no longer flowed as she pulled out her switchblade from indigo jeans' back pocket. She glared at it with a focused intent. Maybe I'll get to put this thing to good use after all... A twisted grin crossed her face as she walked into the inky blackness of the night, her destination now set in stone...