Mindfulness Monday -No Good

 

Sometimes I'm no good

at writing poems.

I tend to lie

about what seems to rhyme.

Sometimes I am just terrible

   and can't find the words

I have a mean temper

   when writing poetry.

What does that say about me?

   that poems seem so hard?

Sometimes I'm no good

   at being a Poet.

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I wrote this poem back in 2014 as part of a creative writing experiment. I remember being frustrated about spending time on poems when I didn't enjoy them. As a result, I struggled with this portion of the creative writing group I was in. I procratinated and I was annoyed at having to do the poem.

I can see the frustration in the poem.  But deeper, it wasn't really about writing the poem, but something different. Do you see?

Do you write poetry? I have a few that I like. But to be honest, I am not a huge poetry fan.  I like to get to the point as I get older.  I think I enjoyed it more when I was younger and found being vague exotic and creative.

Today, I want you to think about how you express yourself. When you are talking with someone, take a moment to consider what you are going to say before you say it. Listen with mindfulness intent on hearing everything including the sound, the inflection, and the ideas expressed.

The deeper we move into mindfulness, the more we look at the little things. What brings us joy and what actually annoys us just a little is brought to the surface. Not placing judgment on it, but putting value to the thought.

In your meditation, do you have a mantra?  Some people have poems they recite in their minds.  Maybe a power statement.  This is an expression of self.

Let's talk.  Do you enjoy poetry?  What's your favorite?  What's your meditation mantra?

 

Grief is not neat and orderly – Ann Hood

Take time to hear your body. Listen to what it is telling you. It is okay to slow down. #LymeDisease

“She understood that grief is not neat and orderly; it does not follow any rules. Time does not heal it. Rather time insists on passing and as it does, grief changes but does not go away.”
―     Ann Hood,     The Obituary Writer

DWF Books to heal: 2 Books On Grief And Loss.

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I don't deal with stress well. Physically it lets my disease get the best of me. So in my life I do my best to stay out of the drama, away from the stress, and take extra time to make sure I am not absorbed in the middle of conflict.  This also means that I have to walk away from situations that I know are unhealthy.  That's not always the way other people want you to deal with their drama.

Retreating to a quiet corner to read is my way of dealing with stress. When I was going through some really hard times after the deaths of some family members, I turned to these books to help me find my way back.

 

I wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye by Brook Noel and Pamela Blair PhD is a great book about surviving the sudden death of a loved one.  I have really enjoyed this one and would suggest it to anyone trying to cope with losing someone you love as I am. This one has been a good book to help me sort out some of the things I was feeling and I wish I had read it before the loss of my best friend.  It's also a great book to read if you are a support for someone going through a loss.

I've turned to this book a few times when I just had no idea what to say or how I could help.  The one thing that would drive me nuts is when people would ask that they could do to make me feel better.  I didn't have an answer and they didn't know what else to say.  This book taught me why this is such a common thing to say and how to respond.

Now when someone I know has lost a loved one, I have a list of things that I am happy to do for them so they don't have to think at all about what they need or when.

 

A New Normal: Learning to live with Grief and Loss by Darlene Cross is another book working through the many emotions after a loss. This one is more dealing with how to understand the emotions and move through them in a healthy way. It is very helpful as you are able to see that you are not the only one trying to find more clarity on what you are feeling. This book feel almost like a survival manual for loss.

 

Both of these books were instrumental in helping me overcome the grief and loss I felt as losing 2 special family members a couple of years ago, one to death and one to a needed separation.  I wasn't sure that I would actually get something useful from the books at first but after reading them I realized that I have used the passages in both books regularly in coping with not only grief and loss, but also stress and chance.

I use the concept of needing to find a “New Normal” all the time when life takes a sudden turn, not just dealing with grief, but change in general.

There are so many great books about grief and learning how to cope. But these two brought me a lot of peace and helped me to understand what I was going through

Truthfully, I really don’t like poetry.

I know.. I know.. I am a girl, I am supposed to like butterflies, rainbows, and poems.  I am supposed to have looked for a guy who likes long walks on the beach, making me dinner, and whispering sweet quotes into my ear as I drift off to sleep.  And I might get kicked out of the girl club for saying this, but I really can't stand poems.

April is National Poetry month.  All across the blogosphere people are giving their best shots at being a poet for the month.  Hell, even I did a challenge where I tried to lay down some poety stuff.. it sucked.. I sucked for writing it. I am pretty sure part of me died that day and at the minimum a large portion of my writing cred when down the drain.

I have given poetry a real chance.  In fact, Rumi is pretty awesome and I enjoyed a few of his poems like The Guest House. But it's rare for me to find a poem that I actually like.

So what is it that I despise so much about poetry?

I hate having to decipher what the hell the writer is talking about.  I am not a fan of the style of writing that poems like to follow.  I really don't like that I feel like I suck as a woman for not liking poetry.

Now I do actually like butterflies… they are cool, like little flying flowers that actually eat other bugs. “HA! NOT A FLOWER. NOW MEET YOUR DOOM!”

Rainbows are interesting.  You don't see them everyday… well, unless you are doing a pride thing.. or a gnome on a unicorn.. or.. never mind.. you could see them every day if you want.

I am not looking for a guy who likes long walks on the beach, my hubby has the attention span of a goldfish once we get to the beach.  He can handle about a minute walking in the sand before he's trying to figure out what's next and how long I want to be there, maybe even how long he has to pretend he's having a good time before I will let him do something else he actually wants to do. So I let him go make the dinner plans on his laptop while I enjoy the wind and water.

As for whispering sweet quotes into my ear as I drift off to sleep, that's just creepy… really.. it's weird.

“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`

So, are you a poet and know it?  Tell me why you like poetry!

Do you have a poem that you think might change my mind about poetry? Share it!
Crazy 8 Sale On Now!

16

16…

I believed him when he s218565388136521858_ty6e2gWe_caid he loved me. Believed that word meant something powerful and important. The way he cupped my face, held me there so I wouldn’t back away, kissed me as if he needed that kiss to save him.

My heart beat so hard in my chest, made my blood rush with pulses of electricity in my veins as he looked down at me with those serious eyes and promised me that he would always be there.

I wanted to believe, I always did.  I wanted to believe in magic and fairy tales.  I wanted to believe that there was such thing as Love at first site, as movies would want us to think. It had started that way.  This incredible chance meeting, a silly boy with mischief in his eyes asking the shy girl about a song she liked on her sony Walkman was the start to a long and complicated story.  But I wanted it to be simple, the only simple thing in my life… just for once I wanted something to be easy.  Boy meets girl, falls in love, and spends the rest of their lives looking at each other as he did those warm summer nights when she was 16.

Nothing is ever that easy.

I should have known, tried to be more guarded. But I was never as full of emotion as I was that year.  Every sound, every scent, every moment was unforgettable.  From the coolness of the air as he would slip away reluctantly and ride off into the dark.  The stars above would burn so bright in the black sky as I would stare up and listen as the engine of his motorcycle would sing as he would return home. My sheets would feel heavenly cool against my skin as I tried to calm the rush of my heart and sleep.  I should have known it could never be way forever.

I believed the excuses for missed dates, understood his reasons for not wanting to hurt other girls by telling them he couldn’t come over when they needed someone to talk to.  I forgave him and loved him without restraint. When he drifted I gave him space.  When he returned I welcomed him back.  When others told me he strayed, I believed only his stories.

Then without warning a late night drive changed everything. “I met a girl… I love her.  I want to be with her.  She’s special, unlike anyone I have ever met.”  My heart sank, felt like a hand held a grip on it and wouldn’t let go. “I wanted you to know. You mean so much to me.” His words sliced deeper.

Again, I couldn’t deny him anything but my support.  I couldn’t tell him that I felt as if I might die… truly die from the pain that washed over me that night. I didn’t eat, didn’t sleep, and moved only through the next weeks and months because of the common movements of routine.

I met the girl, pretty and very young. I smiled as she told me of her love for him and how he gave her everything she ever wanted.

I waved good-bye as they left as young lovers in the night and ran away together.  Stood there in the dark as the stars mocked me from their viewing place and felt the cold run through me as they watched me sink me to my knees as I listed to the wounds ripping open as his engine carried them away in the night.

16…

Blinded by the loss, I didn’t see how vulnerable I had left myself.  Each day I cast my eyes down, avoiding the laughter in the eyes of those who had warned me about that boy. Lost in my own head, I missed lectures and my grades began to fall.  But it didn’t matter… not really.  I couldn’t feel anything anymore, and when I wasn’t looking I found myself turning to a stranger.  I didn’t care that he didn’t love me.  I didn’t care that he looked at me as if he were starving and I was his next meal. None of it seemed to matter as my life began to fall apart.

That stranger took advantage of the nothing I had become.  Manipulated the situation and moved in for the kill.  Took what he wanted with no regret.

16…

I’ll never forget that year.  Even as other more monumental ages pass, 16 remains the strongest. Not 17 when I became a mother to the son who came out of the sadness of 16.   Not 21, or 29, or even 39.

I've seen that boy again through the years, his eyes are still full of mischief.

We've talked about many things, about the girl I was, the man he became after the girl of his dreams turned into his nightmare. We talked about our lives, our children, and the future.  His wife is beautiful and lovely, a good mother and his best friend. He told my husband the tale of 16 as he remembered it and I smiled as I listened to his version.  He told them about the girl I was, kind and gentle, forgiving and true.  He told them he made mistakes and I never held them against him.  I sat thankful for the chance to get to hear his side once more and relished in the laughter we all shared.

I look back at 16.  I shake my head and think of the mistakes that were made, the things I should have said and done, and dip my feet into the emotions of those days.  I am thankful for 16, for the boy and for the pain.  Perhaps I don’t look at people the same as I did before those days, look at them now with expectations of trouble instead of doubting the possibilities of lies.  But it’s ok.  Because if not for 16, where would any of us be?

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light it up blue

Nicholas Andriani – Author, Traveler,Artist

Nicholas Andriani - world traveler, author, artist and foodie.
Nicholas Andriani – world traveler, author, artist and foodie.

 

Creativity comes in many forms, some are writers, some are artists, and some see a magical blend of life and art and bring it to others in different ways. I discovered Nicholas Andriani recently and fell in love with his blog instantly. The one passage that drew me in and made me stay was this.

Don’t be victimized by the culture of fear. Our planet is waiting to be explored, to reveal it’s secrets to you, to me, to any who dare ask, it will expose you to the raw truths of life. To the quarks of distant cultures and alien tongues. To disgusting foods and delicious cuisines, to dangerous and countless blessings.

That was I became a fan of Nicholas and his travels.  Nicholas is a Travel writer, Arabist, Archaeologist, and a lover of life, food, and the people of Earth. Not only was he gifted with dashing good looks, but he is really a nice and funny guy.

I have been amazed by his bravery. In 2012 he bought a one-way ticket to Casablanca, Morocco! Who does that?  He then picked up an Arabic dictionary and enrolled in an archaeological field school in the Middle East even in spite of the fearful nature of the rest of the world against the Middle East. I am captivated by his travels and adventures, and I know you will be too when you check out his blog, NicholasAndriani.com

One of my favorite features of his blog is that like me, Nicholas is a foodie. His explorations have included some unusual dining pleasures. Until I read his blog, I had no idea what a Tagine was or how important it is to Middle Eastern cooking. I love his recipe for what looks like a very flavorful fish with vegetables and lemons. I might have to try that one myself!

Nicholas is one of my inspirations for traveling more, blogging about my adventures, and for being brave enough to do something out of the box with your life.

I certainly look forward to reading his book, also entitled Yallah Bye when it comes out. I am thrilled to have found this fascinating new blog and I hope you will as well.  Don't forget to check him out on Facebook  or Twitter!  There are a lot of great photos and interesting posts on his social media that you won't find anywhere else.

 

Like me or Not.

09

Not everyone is going to like me.  I know that.  I am different. I don’t blend in with the other crayons very well. But that doesn’t give anyone a reason to be mean.  Different shouldn’t be a threat, it isn’t a reason to be obnoxious. Maybe I am not like anyone you’ve ever known, and that's ok.

Maya Angelou said “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”   Often I think people want to believe that people aren't who they say they are. Perhaps they want to love someone who isn't a right fit, hate someone for a reason that isn't real, or fail to accept that life isn't perfect and neither are we.

03

I am flawed.  I laugh at the wrong times, can't help my own tears, and often forget to think before I speak.

I love my friends and family deeply.  I am moved by their highs and lows, sometimes so much that I have a hard time letting go when they are hurting.  I want to help, I want to make things better.  But I respect everyone’s movement through life and try hard not to interfere. Everyone has a path they have to travel in life and sometimes the meaning behind the choices people make aren’t very clear.  Yet I don’t have a right to judge and neither does anyone else.

The world frustrates me sometimes.  Politicians have all lost track of who they were supposed to be and why.  Cruelty to both human and creature has gone beyond belief.  And there are times when I just have to turn off the news and focus on my own life and family because only there do I feel like I can find peace.

I have a solid belief system that helps me find peace and gives me serenity when everything feels so chaotic. It’s not like everyone else’s, and that’s ok.  I don’t believe that everyone in the world believes exactly the same way as anyone else.  We are humans and free to think on our own and come to our own belief system through the passages of time and experience. I don’t believe that there is only one can and will lead you home, where ever you believe home may be.

Mean people make me sad. They spend so much time and energy focused on hurting and destruction that they neglect the good in their own lives.  They make their world ugly and then blame innocent people for the reason they feel so toxic inside. They make me sad because I know that we all have a choice on how to feel and how we should react, they chose hurt over the richness of forgiveness and movement.  They lash out and hurt others because they have no control, they are weak and small.

05I stand up for what I believe in and won’t just go along with the show. When you ask me about how I feel about something, I will truthfully give you exactly how I feel. To give only what sounds pleasant isn’t the truth. I won’t lie for the sake of blending in, that isn’t who I am.  Sometimes people feel threatened by this and don’t like me much. Maybe they are just so used to being lied to that it feels more comfortable.

I have a hard time when I want to say something, but can’t. There are so many times in life when you want to speak up, let the world know how you feel, or even just vent about how you are feeling, and yet you just have to let it go and walk away.  This is one of my weaknesses.  I have a really hard time with just letting it go, but I have great friends and family who have taught me that I can do what I need to do and walk away, then come to them and release my words.

plus size valentine's day lingerieI’m not perfect, because perfect people do not exist. We are all wrong sometimes and we all have flaws.  I don’t even pretend to have all of the answers.  Sometimes I am just grumpy!  I don’t think I am better than anyone else and just the same I am no less than anyone else as well.

Not everyone is going to like me.  Some people will challenge my thoughts and actions, inspire me to change, create a brilliant colored world full of ideas and together we can grow. Some people just won’t understand me.

 

You don’t really understand an antagonist ― John Rogers

“You don't really understand an antagonist until you understand why he's a protagonist in his own version of the world.”
―     John Rogers

Such lonely, lost things you find on your way – Catherynne M. Valente,

“Such lonely, lost things you find on your way.  It would be easier, if you were the only one lost.  But lost children always find each other, in the dark, in the cold.  It is as though they are magnetized and can only attract their like.  How I would like to lead you to brave, stalwart friends who would protect you and play games with dice and teach you delightful songs that have no sad endings.  If you would only leave cages locked and turn away from unloved Wyverns, you could stay Heartless.”
―     Catherynne M. Valente,     The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

Always a fool. ~ Rothfuss

Bad Luck Or Myth ?“I thought of all the others who had tried to tie her to the ground and failed. So I resisted showing her the songs and poems I had written, knowing that too much truth can ruin a thing. And if that meant she wasn’t entirely mine, what of it? I would be the one she could always return to without fear of recrimination or question. So I did not try to win her and contented myself with playing a beautiful game. But there was always a part of me that hoped for more, and so there was a part of me that was always a fool.” ― Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear

I have a bubble shield around me and you can’t bother me

IMG_0403-1300x866The world is full of annoying people.  Really, you might be sitting next to one right now. They are the ones who go about their lives doing what they do without any care of how much they drive you bonkers. Or maybe they are the frustrating Brother in Laws that are constantly poking fun of you and laughing when they see you have gone from cool and collected to steam pouring out of your ears. We all have a few in our lives that we just can’t get rid of and learning how to deal with bothersome people is a skill.  Today we are going to explore a few ways of dealing with annoying people without going to jail.

When I was younger I truly thought that the number of annoying, rude, and stupid people outnumbered the cool, fun, normal people I preferred to spend my time with. But the truth is that annoying people are everywhere, all the time. I just had a much lower tolerance when I was younger and in turn I was probably REALLY infuriating myself.

As I’ve gotten older I have realized that how people react to situations has everything to do with them and what is going on in their lives and very little to do with me. And in return, how I react to them has everything to do with me and how much coffee I have had and little to do with anything else. You can only control your reaction.

IMG_4563-1300x866Genuinely annoying people are annoying to a lot of people, not just you. For example, that guy who is standing in the line at the coffee shop talking very loudly and laughing that barking bold sort of fake laugh into the phone is just as aggravating to every other hipster there who just wants to Zen out and read cool creative blogs like Dancing with Fireflies while sipping their chai lattes.  However this is a great chance for you to practice positive reactions.  As you find yourself reaching for your favorite pen, and visualize doing a ninja leap across the long bench table and flying through the air to silence this creator of disruption in a way that would honor your love of Kill Bill. You must stop, my friend, and find a moment of clarity and instead pull inward the motto that the pen IS mightier than the sword… but you should just create a really descriptive character mimicking this playboy of jerkiness, then use your creative dexterity to practice writing death scenes for your next murder mystery.

Writers have a lot of power when it comes to dealing with people. I try to be careful, but anyone who knows me has to know that they can at any moment be fuel for my blogger’s fire. One of the most popular posts on my blog is a rant that I went a little crazy with about the annoying things I see on Facebook. Truly, I don’t think it is even one of my better rants or posts, but weekly people are drawn to the conflict and check it out. Facebook is a great source of inspiration, but it is FULL of annoying people.

So how do you combat irritating people without making yourself unhappy?  I have a few rules for the people I keep in my life. Sadly, there are also people who I have had to walk away from because they just make me unhappy and take the joy out of life. So, what are my rules?

Pretend you are having a dinner party and you are going through the list of people in your life your guest list must contain only people who:

  • Are glad to see you
  • You feel a positive connection with
  • Make an effort to see you or connect with you
  • You feel GOOD when you are with them and after they are gone

The people who make this list are the people who should be in your life.  We waste so much time trying to pretend that we are someone else, when the truth is that when you are real and truthful about who you are, your friends will like you. And those who don’t like the real you, are not your real friends. I have a few really great relationships, people that I value and love for the real people they are. So when someone comes along with meaning to just disrupt that flow, it doesn’t matter because I am the one in control of how I feel.

Yes, even the people you love can be vexing. My husband must have ESP and knows exactly when I am in a good flow of writing or intensely focused on something, because that is exactly when he gets bored and wants to come into my office and stand right next to me. “What are you doing?” he asks EVERY TIME.

I have a choice to be impassioned because I am ripped out of that creative space and thrust back into reality OR I can choose to stop what I am doing and know that he loves me so much that it is hard for him to stay away when he has free time. It’s hard to be mad at someone who just wants to spend time with you, so even though I sometimes have some residual frustration usually pertaining to the piece I was writing or reading, I try to take a deep breath and focus on the fact that I love him more than I am annoyed.

As creative people, we have so many options for working out our feelings. We write, we dance, we sing, we create out of our emotions. Creative people use a special part of our brain and see things in different ways. Unlike people who are trapped behind limits and unfertile imaginations, imaginative thinkers have resources for dealing with exasperating situations. We are the masters of our own Universe, and how we choose to react to people who talk during the movie is up to us.

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How do YOU deal with Annoying People?

The Voices.

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“I don’t know if I can do this again… it hurts when I try.”

Just do it… once you start it will hurt at first, but you will see the reason.

“Every time I think about it, I just want to curl up in a little ball and cry.”

Well… maybe that’s because you need to get over something.

“Maybe I do, but is it really worth the pain?”

I am sure it is… just one step at a time.

“It sounds so easy, but getting slapped for the truth sucks.”

Nobody ever said it would be easy.

“I don’t need it to be easy, I just don’t want it to be so ugly.”

Just try…

“I’m close, so close… but… who am I doing this for?”

Do you really need someone other than yourself?

“No, but it would be good to know that this isn’t just a selfish endeavor.”

Again, does it really matter?

“What if more people get hurt? What if someone else tells me how wrong I am to think what I do?”

Is that what you are trying to do, to hurt people?

“No, I just want to get it out, to do what feels right.”

Then there’s your answer.  Do what feels right.  Stop being afraid.

“Stop being afraid… that sounds pretty hard to do.”

One step at a time.

“And then what?”

And then you start to become what you knew you were.  Real.

“Like the Velveteen Rabbit.”

Like that damned rabbit who had to learn how to be real so it wasn’t forgotten and lost.

“That’s always the point isn’t it… to not be forgotten.”

Usually. Nobody wants to be forgotten.

“So I should just do it… forget what they said and just be real.”

I believe that was how this started.

“ One step at a time…”

No… one word at a time.

A conversation of a writer struggling to start again between the self and the writer’s voice.  My writer's voice is very much like myself. I write because I enjoy the creative process and I have something to say. I write for me. Who do you write for?

Tell us about conversations with YOUR Writer's voice. Do you get along? Who is YOUR reader? Like this prompt? Let us know!  You can also find other challenges here on Dancing with Fireflies or the Daily Prompt.

 

Guest Bloggers – City State Writers: Kaisy Wilkerson-Mills & James Courtney

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“The Sacrifice”

By James Courtney and Kaisy Wilkerson-Mills

citystatewritings.wordpress.com

 

 

Rebecca’s knees hit the cold, hard floor of the dungeon.  Her breath was hot against her face; she inhaled sweat and few strands of her tangled, matted hair.  A black hood covered her head; she could not see her surroundings.  But her instincts, and the few conversations she heard from her captors, indicated that she was on Layer Five, the most desolate, barbaric, and insidious location in all of City-State.

“Where are you taking me?” Rebecca cried.  Her voice was muffled by the bag.

“Shut up, S-Classer!” echoed one of her captor’s voices.

Rebecca suddenly heard a second voice, “Shut up!  Silence in the Temple of Ultros!”

“Bean… come on!” chastised the first captor.  “Prisoners for sacrifice must not know where they are!”

“At this point, what difference does it make, Robert?” countered Bean.  “She’s going to be killed, and there is no hope for her!”

Rebecca felt the cold hands of fear grasp her beaten, filthy, bloody body.  Momentarily, she fell still.  This was the end.

“You heard that, right?” asked Robert.  Rebecca knew he was satisfied; she did not have to remove the black hood to see his wicked, destructive smile.

“You like that? You’re gonna die,” added Bean in an insecure, somewhat somber tone.

“W… W… why?” whispered Rebecca.

Abruptly, the hood was torn from her head.  Sweat and loose stands of hair trickled down her shoulders onto her ceremonious garb – a torn gray robe with old, dark blood stains.  Her hands and feet were bound; the ropes irritated her soft skin.  She spied two men in brown robes who towered over her.  The dungeon: a dirty, stone room with poor electric lighting.

“Why?” mocked Bean.  “Why?  Why were you chosen?  Well… that’s all you’re good for.”  He looked to his counterpart for approval.

“You are the sacrifice,” informed Robert. “We are acolytes; we collect the sacrifice.  It’s for the good of City-State.”

Rebecca’s head reeled, but she kept herself poised.  Her over-active mind raced with questions.  She wanted answers.  But she forced herself to focus on one vital task: survival.

“I’m S-Class!” offered Rebecca.  “City-State needs me.  I am a mathematical genius!  So killing me is not…”

“No more of the government’s lies!” Robert interrupted.  “The Cult of Ultros does not recognize the legitimacy of the current government or the morality of allowing S-Classers displace The Builders!”

“Displacing The Builders?” Rebecca dizzily queried. “S-Classers would never try to displace anyone… especially The Builders!”

“S-Classers are not superior to The Builders!  Your super-intelligence and extraordinary talents are nothing compared to The Builders! They constructed this entire city – not you!” Robert snarled.

Rebecca widened her eyes and noticed her captors’ attire. The acolytes’ brown robes were covered in dried blood – her robe was stained in old blood.  She fell onto her back in horror.  “You really mean to kill me?”

“Of course, S-Classer,” Bean stated plainly.  His heart sank.

“The Builders are dead! They’re not deities! They can’t be offended…” Rebecca tried to reason with her captors.

“Don’t blaspheme against The Builders – do not curse Ishmael!” Robert bellowed, stepping forward.  His closed fist connected with Rebecca’s left cheek.

She fell; she could not make her body sit upright.  Her lips touched the soiled, stone floor.  But Rebecca had nothing to lose by talking to these vile murderers.  She turned her head toward her aggressors.

“My life is my own!” spat Rebecca, finding the strength to sit upright again.  “I was an engineer!  I built two-hundred story buildings on Layer Seven.  My life’s work is in the beauty of City-State’s landscape!  The Builders inspired my designs!  I have no hatred toward them!”

“Shut up!” Robert shouted.

Rebecca struggled with her restraints.  “What are you going to do? Arrest me after I’ve been sacrificed?” Rebecca laughed out loud.  “What is the purpose of this… of sacrifice?”

Bean knelt down to Rebecca’s level.  He tried to look stern, but his eyes betrayed him.

But he had to obey his master. “It is symbolic of shared destiny.  We belong to The Builders,” Bean’s eyes filled with tears.

“The Builders did not create a prison!  Damn you!” countered Rebecca.

Bean fell back in shocked awe.  Robert grew incredibly irate and frustrated.  Bean attempted to hide his tears.

Robert regained his poise, “You deserve to die.  As it was with Ishmael, the city of Babylon will fall if we do not eliminate the filthy S-Classers who build it!

“I deserve to live,” answered Rebecca flatly. She sighed; tears streamed from her eyes.

“Life isn’t about cowering in fear,” she continued as the tears rolled off her cheeks.  “It’s about progression and making this place – City-State – a wonderful, peaceful nation.  You can’t be ruled by men – The Builders – who perished a thousand years ago.  They did not desire godly worship!  They wanted peace, not barbarism!”

Bean’s tough exterior broke.  He could watch this woman suffer.  “Robert?”

“Pull it together, Bean! She dies tonight! Nothing can stop it!”

You can,” offered Rebecca.  “You can let me go.”

“No!” sneered Robert. His voice echoed off the stone walls of the cell. “They would find us…” Robert shook his head in defiance. “No! You’re an S-Classer!  This is a trick!”

“They won’t find us; I know a place we can hide,” Rebecca replied, sobbing.

Robert crossed his arms and glared at Rebecca. “No. You are marked.  You will die for the good of City-State.”

Suddenly, Bean jumped at Robert; both men fell to the floor.  Bean staunchly maneuvered himself on top of his fellow acolyte.  Robert gagged as Bean closed his large hands around Robert’s throat.

The attack was eerily silent.  Rebecca watched in horror and triumph.

Robert stopped moving.  Bean jumped back.  He gasped for breath.  “What did I do…?”

Moments passed.  Bean approached Rebecca.  He softly touched her arm.  “Let’s go,” he whispered.

Bean gently released Rebecca from her bonds.  She looked at him tenderly, touched his shoulder, and whispered, “Your life begins today.”

 

© 2014 All Rights Reserved

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More about our Guest Bloggers:

07James Courtney is a science-fiction and dystopian author and US Navy Veteran who served in the Global War on Terrorism.  He specialized  in cryptology and information warfare.  He has a Bachelors degree in Intelligence Studies and a Masters degree in Security Management.   James currently lives in Loveland, Colorado, with his wife, Kelly, and he works for a federal contractor specializing in background investigations.

 

Kaisy Wilkerson-Mills is an author, editor, and full-time English Instructor at Craven Community College.  She has been teaching for twelve years and lives in New Bern, North Carolina.  She obtained her undergraduate degree in English Communications from Mount Olive College, and she obtained her graduate degree in English Literature from North Carolina Central University.  She lives with her husband, Randy, her dog, Molly, and her cat, Amaya.

 

You can find City State Writings here:

The main blog on WordPress:  http://citystatewritings.wordpress.com

Google Plushttp://google.com/+jamescourtney

 Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/citystateshorts

 Twitter:  Kaisy – SciFiWriter  @KaisyWMills

James – Dystopian_Scifi  @jamesacourtney

DWF Special Feature: Bartholomew Korbyn’s Dreamer Series

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Introduction

 

            Well my friends, to introduce myself first, my name is Bartholomew Korbyn and I have taken up the simple task of writing about many an inspiration in my humble life, and inspiration, dreams and their importance in the bigger picture in many of the lives of you, my friends, reading these words. As the first step this set of articles will focus on the importance of dreaming and its connection to the arts and will continue with a journey through the realm of storytelling, to conclude in my own take on the charms and life of being a writer.

I hope you enjoy these words of mine and take something along for the ride.

 

We Dream, We Do

To get the ball rolling let us say that life is made up of two things, dreaming and doing. People tend to fall into the same two groups as well, the dreamers and the doers. The doers declare themselves the nemesis of the dreamers who in their stern denial stick to their own little world of dreams. Or so the story goes.

As often the case, stories divert from the path of truth in many ways. Doing in of itself is a loop, because if you only do in your life, you never break free from your bonds and chains. Said bonds and chains are paradoxically your own doing. Do it for the money, do it for your parents, do it for yourself… The act of doing can be tricky as it can easily fall into a loop of constant action without thought of what that action actually does for the betterment of your own existence. Dreams, on the other hand, break the wheel and lead towards improvement. Dreams are the essence of betterment because unlike actions, they defy simple logic and are most often aimed at the betterment of one’s own soul. Hence, the dream and the action should be consequent and not isolated from one another. Only together can these two forces shape life and make life better.

Dreams have been called many things over the ages. In times of darkness they were the Devil, in times of enlightenment they were inspiration, sometimes they were unwanted, sometimes even feared, but they were always there, shaping the doings of man, one step at a time. Without dreams we would lack so many things we take for granted today. We would have no electricity, no running water, no computers, and many other similar things. Nevertheless, the realm which is most comforting to the dreamer are the arts. It is within the arts that we find tangible dreams.

“You must have the Devil in you to succeed in any of the Arts.” – Voltaire

The grandeur of art is only matched by its adhering dreams. Upon gazing at a visual work of art we can almost imagine the dream of artist themselves. We can step into their world and take a stroll down the visualization of dreams. When we read a book we can become a part of that world and when we listen to beautiful music we feel what the artist felt. It is in the arts that dreaming and doing conjoin into a visible entity that is understandable to all. Art is universal and even the written word, when in one’s own native tongue, remains of the same value.

We do not need excessive knowledge of art in order to feel it. We do not need to know anything about the artist in order to understand them. And we certainly do not need to be a part of the artwork to appreciate it.

All we have to do is close our eyes and become one with the dream.

Epilogue

So my friends, the first step has been taken and since the focus is the arts, it will remain so in the second step. Next time, we will look at storytelling and how that special aspect of everyday life and professional writing is linked with dreams.

I had a dream and you were there.

I drifted off in front of the fire.  It was warm and I fell easily into dreams. I dreamed of home and simple things, chores to finish, people I love and at the top of the stairs you were there. In your special place.

This doesn't happen often anymore, not like when you first went away.

I knew I was dreaming, because I knew you couldn't be there waiting for me as you always did. But I didn't want to wake, not then. I wanted to see you there and you wanted to be seen.

I told you that I loved you, and I knew you love me back.

You were spinning around and round.  You were just as thrilled to be seen as I was to see. I wanted to hold you close but that wasn't mean to be. So I watched you do your dance and enjoyed your company.

I didn't want to turn around, knowing waking up was going to be the end.

So I stayed there watching and laughing as long as I could hold on to my dearest friend. I told you I was sorry, I didn't want you to go. I told you that I loved you more then I think you know. I wish to take back those days when I didn't spend as much time, clinging on to the days when we just sat silently together in our own special bond.

Then you jumped into my arms. I felt you close but only for a moment before I woke again.

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My sweet girl, Arwyn. I miss you so.