Writing Workshop

I attended a writing workshop at the Burning Tale recently and had a great time.  We did some exercises and then listened to mysterious poetry in the dark of the night.

Here are a few fun pieces that I wrote during the workshop.  I hope you enjoy them! 🙂

Short, Short Story

The egg rolls were twitching and screaming as they were lowered into the sizzling pan of oil.  They wanted to remain uncooked and uneaten, forever smelling like dough.  But alas, they have turned into a crispy, golden brown, no longer twitching, but still.


Lusting for egg rolls
while writing ’bout memories
in a studio.

How to Make a Bridal Veil – The Creative Way

  1. Browse veils and notice how ridiculously expensive they are at the bridal shops
  2. Fall in love with a fabric at Jo-Ann’s
  3. Watch youtube videos to gauge the skill level required: (like this and this)
  4. Believe in your own talent
  5. Purchase the fabric and comb for $15
  6. Measure yourself for the desired length
  7. Cut the fabric, fold the fabric, cut again
  8. Wind a strip of fabric around the comb
  9. Sew the first layer and mess up a little
  10. Sew the second layer to cover up  your first layer
  11. Two hours later – there is glitter all over the floor
  12. $15 spent and you get a beautiful veil made by yours truly


Tips for Writing

I came across a quote that a friend posted on Facebook today and thought it was a really cool analogy for writing.

Writing is a muscle. Smaller than a hamstring and slightly bigger than a bicep, and it needs to be exercised to get stronger. Think of your words as reps, your paragraphs as sets, your pages as daily workouts. Think of your laptop as a machine like the one at the gym where you open and close your inner thighs in front of everyone, exposing both your insecurities and your genitals. Because that is what writing is all about.

To read the entire guide to writing, check out this post: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/the-ultimate-guide-to-writing-better-than-you-normally-do

My Relationship with TF

Broken Up
– image from Google

I typically don’t open up my heart to discuss my relationships, but I feel like I need to get this off my chest.  Over the past two months, I have been in an unhealthy on and off relationship with a man named TF.  He’s ugly, he makes me ill and he oppresses me. I hope you never have to meet him or be involved with him. Yes, I’m selfish, I don’t want to share.

My mom had introduced us, brought him into our house.  He had a scratchy voice and a depressingly dark aura.  I felt a little sorry for him, but I definitely didn’t want to be involved.  Yet somehow, he became attached to me and visited me every day.  He kissed me on the lips, on the throat, on the chest.  He made me hot, sweaty and feverish.  I wanted to push him away, but I couldn’t stop him and I couldn’t stop myself.  Even when I went out, he tagged along and made me miserable.  I would often stay at home with him and skip out on hanging with friends, doing exercise, or going to poetry events.  I even worked from home to satisfy his needs, telling everyone I was ill.  He oppressed me and suppressed me.  I hated him.  I fought with him, I struggled with him and pushed him away.  I was happy to be myself again.

That was in December.  He came back in January and did the exact same thing.  God, he is so ugly, I hate him!  He won’t leave me alone!  I learned some Chinese magic to counter his Dark Arts and then he left, but not for good.  He came back again in the Lunar New Year as if to haunt me and taunt me and my Chinese magic.  This time, he did it with full force and took away my voice.  I could not talk for 2 days.  Oppression, suppression, depression, he was the mastermind who kept me in bed with him all day long as he played with my chest from the inside.  I whimpered in pain and sadness.  I felt dirty and sick.  I wanted to spit all over him, but instead I could only cough at my bedside.  I was determined to break free from his grasp, once and for all.  I poisoned him with Mucinex and he started to dissipated, little by little.  I did not want to leave any memory of him behind, as I spit all his colorful gifts of green, yellow and brown mucus down the drain.  Pretty soon, he will be long gone and forgotten and my days of darkness will be over.

February 20, 2015 – I am breaking up with The Flu.


What it means to be an INTJ

I always knew I was a bit different, but I didn’t really know why or to what extent.  When I came across this personality test, it provided me with great insight about who I am.  Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging (INTJ) happens to be one of the rarest personality types, accounting for only 2% of the population.  No wonder I felt so alone.  INTJs are imaginative realists, grounded optimists, an oxymoron.

When I was growing up as a child, I always thought I was a little odd.  I would often curl up with a book instead of play with other children (whether they were classmates or cousins).  It seemed like too much effort to make small talk with other children and pretend to like the same things they did.  When I tried to force myself to be social, I would ask myself, “why do I want to talk to them or play with them when we don’t have anything in common?”

I was alone a lot, but rarely lonely, because I enjoyed my own company.  I would often talk to myself or create stories with my stuffed animals.  They were my best friends, even though I did have real friends at school.  I also noticed that I was often happy, but never ecstatic.  I was often annoyed, but never furious.  It was like my emotional spectrum ran from 4-7 instead of 1-10.  People wondered how I remained so calm and I wondered how people could be so emotional (especially over little, unimportant things).  I always thought I had put an emotional wall around myself to protect me from getting emotionally hurt (as my parents used to argue a lot in my younger years).  Now I’m not really sure if that mechanism is part of nature or nurture, or both.

Growing up, I didn’t like people who lied or acted fake to accomplish their own agenda.  It seemed immoral and pointless to me.  I also never understood why my parents would bicker over the smallest things, or why people would stop being friends with someone just because another friend was no longer friends with her.  I was never into fads either.  I didn’t buy Nike or Fila, Gucci or Louis Vuitton just because it was popular.  I didn’t watch popular movies just because everyone raved about it.  I didn’t buy an I-Phone just because everyone has one.  My current phone allows me to text, call and go online.  Why do I need an I-Phone?  It doesn’t make sense to me, it’s not logical.

In school and in life, I didn’t have too many friends, just a few kindred spirits that I could relate to.  They were people I could truly be myself around, without the need for small talk.  Whether I was being silly and acting like a child or being serious and discussing the meaning of life.  Whether in a friendship or a relationship, I was looking for an “intellectual soul mate.”  I didn’t like to sit around and engage in gossip.  I much rather spend time speculating about things, drawing, watching movies, sharing good stories, or playing boardgames.

Post high school, I didn’t see my friends on a regular basis.  Outsiders often thought it was weird when they found out I only saw my friends every few months, but it felt perfectly normal to me.  I enjoyed my independence during my time away from them, and when we got together, it always felt comfortable, as if we just saw each other yesterday.  Engaging in social activities for extended periods of time seem to suck the energy out of me, so I enjoy having low maintenance, but valuable friendships.

Another weird thing, I’m not a hugger.  I feel odd when people hug me, but I’ve gotten better at receiving and giving hugs now.  I also tend to avoid emotionally charged situations.  When someone is extremely emotional, I absolutely feel clueless.  I don’t know what to say or how to act.  I’m literally frozen with confusion.  In times of conflict, I often speculate about how I feel and why things turned out that way and write long letters to people instead of talking to them face to face.  It seems cowardly to me too, but at the same time, I feel like if I talked to people directly before sitting down and analyzing the situation, their emotional outbursts (whether it be body language, tears, screams, silence or tone of voice) would stop me from saying what I really need to say because I would freak out and lose my courage.

As you can guess, relationships didn’t come easy for me.  I started developing romantic crushes as early as 4th grade, but I never had the courage to voice my thoughts, so nothing ever happened.  I think boys may have been intimidated by my intellect and lack of social skills as well.  I didn’t have a boyfriend until college, and was completely clueless.  In the few relationships that I had, my partner often felt that I wasn’t “caring” enough.  It’s true, I didn’t know how to express myself.  In the movies,  I would often see men and women throw themselves at each other in a heated moment of passion.  I often wanted to feel that way, but I just never did (maybe because my emotional spectrum stops at 7).

I cared about my partner, I enjoyed talking to him, spending time with him, and cuddling with him.  I thought about him and texted him everyday, wasn’t that enough?  Isn’t seeing him once a month good enough for a beginning relationship that is slightly long distance?  Apparently not, apparently it is normal for dating couples to want to see each other every single day.  Don’t they have other things to do?  Other goals to achieve?  Don’t they need personal space?  Those were the thoughts going on in my head, but all I said was “I care about you.  You know that.”

It was only until I got older that I was able to recognize why I chose the paths I chose in romance.  I realized that freedom and trust meant a lot to me.  Anyone who tried to control me (in any way), tried to change me, did not trust me and demanded for my time was not the right person for me.  I needed the relationship to be a partnership that allowed me to dream and grow and be myself.  I, in return, will give them the same respect and space.  Anything else would suffocate me.  I loved this sentence from the report because it explained my thoughts perfectly, “while INTJs may never be fully comfortable expressing their feelings, and may spend more time theorizing about intimacy than engaging in it, they can always be relied upon to think out a mutually beneficial solution to any situation.”

For a period of time, I felt jaded and gave up on love.  According to the personality report, that’s when INTJs are most attractive (in their natural element).  In this time of my life, I did find my current boyfriend and soulmate, which was unexpected and unintentional.  He shares my Intuitive trait, but balances out my other traits with Extraversion, Feeling and Prospecting.  With his help, I have become more social and expressive.

In the career world, I like working alone or in small groups.  Often I find it hard to delegate work because I have trust issues.  I tend to do the work myself just because I know it will be done to perfection.  I never believed in sucking up to my bosses or engaging in small talk with my co-workers.  Thus, I was never good at networking, which I really need to work on.  On the other hand, I did believe in hard work and dedication.  I admire people who take initiative.  When there was something I strongly believed in, I would speak up, even if it went against the beliefs of my superiors.  I didn’t like the spotlight, but I liked sharing my ideas and seeing them come to life, so it’s not surprising that I am working as a Project Manager.

I’m not a parent yet, but I am a littler nervous about it since children often desire love and emotional support, which is not one of my strengths.  However, I will strive to give my future kids whatever support they need and encourage them to think for themselves.

While I will never be comfortable with “truly public displays of emotions,” I found a way to channel my emotions through poetry, writing and art.  I hope that you enjoy my blog and my post.  I recommend taking the Personality Test for yourself 🙂  Please also note that as an INTJ, I don’t do small talk.  If I ever liked or commented on your post, I meant it from the bottom of my heart.  If I haven’t liked or commented on your post, it could mean that I haven’t had the time to visit your blog as of yet, but will someday.

A Book Review on “The Alchemist”

The AlchemistThe Alchemist is an inspiring book about pursuing one’s dream and finding one’s “personal legend”.  The story follows a young boy who leaves his family to become a shepherd so that he could travel the world.  Soon he has a literal dream about finding treasure and despite his fear of losing everything he has, he listens to his heart (and the advice of an old king) and travels across many lands in pursuit of this treasure.  Throughout the story, the boy (and the reader) meets many people who have given up on their dreams because they were afraid of change, they were afraid of losing what they had, or they were afraid that their life would have no purpose once the dream was fulfilled.  The boy learns that dreams will come true (with courage, effort and time).  However; he must not focus on achieving the dream, but rather on the long journey that will bring him there.  After all, everything happens for a reason, and every reason is a lesson to be learned or an experience to be remembered.  If you are interested in some soul-searching, you will enjoy this insightful journey.  You will also be surprised in what the alchemist’s actual role is in the story.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.  We, their hearts become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away forever, or of moments that could have been good but weren’t, or of treasures that might have been found but were forever hidden in the sands.  Because, when these things happen, we suffer terribly.”

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.”

“Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,” his heart said.  “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them.  We speak of them only to children.  Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate.  But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them – the path to their Personal Legends, and to happiness.  Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.”

“When you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed.”

“The sea has lived on in this shell, because that’s its Personal Legend.  And it will never cease doing so until the desert is once again covered by water.”

“If a person is living out his Personal Legend, he knows everything he needs to know.  There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”



When the Times are Tough, You Write About It

I decided to write a poem in my physical journal today and realized that I haven’t written in it since April 2012.  While flipping through the pages, I found this interesting piece that I wrote back in October 2010.  It was written in a time when things were very stressful and hectic at work, when many people were asking for my assistance.  I have to say, sometimes I crack myself up.  I think Analogy #2 is my favorite one.

An analogy of my sanity, or lack thereof…

Analogy 1:

It’s like being able to see ghosts and other supernatural things, while other people can’t.  No one understands you and you’re the only one that can vanquish the evil.  While you’re at it, all these little ghosts cry to you “help me, help me, help me,” – one after another, day after day, night after night.  They haunt you in your dreams, until you scream in fright.  You cower in the corner and scream “STOP!” then whimper, “please, leave me alone.”

Analogy 2:

It’s like being a successful therapist, really.  Everybody comes to you with their problems. You solve their issues, tell them how to remedy the pain, tell them to wait a few days and it’ll be fixed.  Then you go back and follow up on all of them.  It’s OK at first, even satisfying to be able to help people, but then your patients multiply.  Before you know it, you have a colony of patients pounding at your door.  They’re pounding and pounding, “I have a problem, I have a problem…” they say.  Louder and louder, until your brain can’t take it and explodes into mush and you scream, “I have problems too!”  The therapist, obviously needs, a therapist.

Analogy 3:

Remember playing “Smack the Alligator” at Chuck E. Cheese’s or Dave & Buster’s?  Basically, there’s like 6 alligators that pop out of the hole, one after another, and you have to smack them with a hammer before they disappear.  The more of them you smack, the higher your score and the more tickets you get.  Well, it’s like that.  At first you’re doing really well, getting the mojo down, but then you notice more and more alligators pop up.  You frantically scramble to hit all of them, but then realize that the moment you hit one, two more appear, the moment you hit two, four more appear.  Your head is spinning.  You’re twirling around and getting completely dizzy.  The machine is burning up, about to explode, buzzing and buzzing, and time is running out.  Your score is in the negative, so finally you throw up your hammers and say “I give up.”

Funny that after 3 months of not writing, this is what I’m inspired to write about 🙂  I’m so glad that I’m taking vacation in two days, or I think I might have a mental breakdown, lol.

Climbing to Great Heights at Castle Rock State Park

I read this quote on one of Marc and Angel’s post, “Climb a mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you,” and it reminded me of my first and so far (only) experience going outdoor rock climbing, which was an amazing experience. I wanted to relive that experience and share that with you.

Jenuine Inspiration

I have always enjoyed indoor rock climbing because it feels empowering.  Having your mind communicate with your body, watching your arms and legs crawl up the rock, and finally reaching the top is rewarding.  It’s definitely not a motion that you do in everyday life.  I had dreamed of taking that hobby outdoors, but never acted upon it until I saw a Groupon for Treks and Tracks and decided to take a climb.  Yesterday was my big milestone day and I definitely didn’t regret it.  The experience was awesome (I mean every sense of that word and am not just using that adjective because it sounds cool).

Daniel, the co-owner of Treks and Tracks, was our guide for the day, so he emailed the group a list of things to bring and a description of what to expect 2 days before the event.  Knowing that we would be taking a…

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A Poem for Your Thoughts: Experiment 1: Stress

I’d like to try something new, like collaborative poetry and call it “A Poem for Your Thoughts.” 

This is how it works:

  1. I come up with a theme or idea
  2. I pose some questions to get your thoughts on it
  3. You respond with your thoughts in the comments section
  4. At the end of the week, I compile everyone’s thoughts into a poem

This is completely experimental, so I don’t know how it’ll go and how many people would respond.  I will also be posting this on my Facebook pages.

I previously did something similar in my poem 30 Days of Beard which was a lot of fun.

This week’s experiment would be about STRESS

  1. If stress was tangible, would it be a person, animal, plant or object?
  2. Would stress be male or female?
  3. How would you describe stress’ personality, looks or actions?
  4. How would you interact with stress?

Your answers can be realistic, silly or sarcastic.  Be creative, have fun with it!  I’ll post back in a week! 🙂

Here’s a collage using Google images to give you some inspiration.


You Are Mine

Since Halloween just ended, I thought it was a good opportunity to post my other darkish flash fiction piece that I wrote in 2005 before moving back into the realm of poetry.

You Are Mine

Laylona bolted out of her bed as she heard a roar of thunder followed by a terrible screech. From the corner of her eye, she saw a black figure race into the darkness. Darn that stupid cat, always so cowardly, Laylona thought. Nevertheless, she grabbed her coat and went after her beloved Sir William. After all, it was the only thing her mother had left behind.

A tear started to fall from Laylona’s eyes as memories of her mother flooded back to her. She could still remember the day her mother had come running, holding two ice cream cones in her hands. Yet Laylona never tasted that Rocky Road because her mother never made it across the street. A red mustang, going 80 mph, had slammed into her, spraying blood all over the gray cement. Laylona had suffered from depression ever since that day, but luckily, she had found an escape, a way to avoid the pain.

At that moment, Laylona noticed a dark shadow dart across the bramble weeds and disappear behind the open doors of a huge mansion. She couldn’t help but hesitate at the entrance, wondering if this was the legendary haunted house talked about among the townspeople. There was no time to decide as the rain started pouring. Laylona gently touched the wooden door, which groaned in return.

“Anybody home?” she squeaked. The sound of rats scurrying across the floor was the only response. As Laylona took two steps into the house, a gust of wind whipped past her, and the door slammed shut. The house was then filled with an eerie silence, a kind of anticipation, like a mummy ready to be reborn.

Lightning continued to flash outside and Laylona was able to piece together the interior of the house. In the center of the room the once glamorous 15th century furniture was covered in cobwebs and the cream colored rug on the floor was stained with rat urine. Aligning one side of the wall was an elegant cabinet of wine glasses, no longer shiny, but worn with age. Laylona gasped in amazement, but her glimpse of the house was over when the lightning stopped, engulfing her in darkness.

Then, as if by magic, a light appeared before her eyes. Laylona saw a woman with dark flowing hair dressed in a white gown. It was her mother and in her arms was Sir William.

“Here,” whispered her mother, extending her hands to offer the cat to her daughter. When Laylona took hold of Sir William, her mother disappeared.

“Mom?” she called into the darkness, but there was no answer. All of a sudden, she felt a searing pain in her arm and found herself staring into the devilish countenance of the cat. A set of burning red eyes, accompanied with sharp, piercing fangs, pored into her very soul.

evil-cat“YOU WILL NOT LEAVE THIS HOUSE!” croaked an inhuman voice.

Laylona felt her heart beating ferociously as she tried ridding herself of the cat, but her struggle was to no avail. Stifling a cry, Laylona reached into her pockets for her savior. Throughout the hard times, these LSD pills had given her the courage to go on, but this time it wouldn’t work. This time around, they were the cause of her suffering.

Hard as she tried, she could not escape. Hideous laughter filled her ears.