Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sometimes...

I've been a bit slow on the story front, but in the meantime, I've come up with a series of haikus that start with "Sometimes". I'll be adding a few as I go, so check back every so often.

april 2014:


I've also decided to just add the text and when the time comes, if I feel like it, I'll add some illustrations to replace the words. :)


Sometimes empathy
is difficult to feel when
the guy is an ass

Sometimes I can see
someone else's perspective
is better than mine

Sometimes it's fun to
try to write haikus even
if they make no sense

Sometimes it's nice to
sit in the car and listen
to the raindrops fall

sometimes we try too
hard to impress those who don't
really matter much

sometimes you find out
what you thought was genuine
was an illusion


Sometimes a bath is
just what I need to relax
that, or a cocktail

Sometimes life does not
work out the way you wanted
sometimes, it's BETTER





march 2014:








Thursday, March 6, 2014

“I'm in love with cities I've never been to and people I've never met.” - John Green

So I've been AWOL because I've been traveling... For now, I have some pictures to share, but stories will follow soon...


Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu Temple

Seminyak Beach


Taal Lake



Victoria's Peak

View from IFC 2

Hong Kong Skyline

Big Buddha


Saturday, January 11, 2014

"If the boy and girl walk off into the sunset hand-in-hand in the last scene, it adds 10 million to the box office." - George Lucas

One of the things I love about living on the West Coast is the chance to capture some beautiful sunsets.

East Beach, Santa Barbara, CA


La Jolla, CA




It is on her that I rest my perverse attention.

Ok, I'm guilty, I've been slacking... Here's a small piece to get me started again. I'm sure some of you will have opinions on this... but in some ways I'm very amused. I'm sure we all know someone like this...

Writing Prompt #7 'It is on her that I rest my perverse attention.'

I started coming to this coffee shop after I was told this hot barista worked here.

He was right, she is gorgeous.

Look at those cheek bones and that long thick brown hair. Dressed in black from head to toe, her clothes cling to her like they were made just for her, outlining her shapely figure.

Sometimes we’d come together. I would watch with jealousy as he’d smoothly flirt with her and eventually found out her name. I never spoke to her except to give her my order.

As soon as I knew her identity, I began to stalk her though Facebook, instagram, and twitterto find out as much as I could.

Who was this bitch who’s trying to steal MY man?

It is on her that I rest my perverse attention. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

You meet someone in dreams repeatedly, but each time they're a little different.

I've been slacking, I know! I've been doing a lot of reading. In fact, just today, I finished Game of Thrones... after about 8 months. (Gimme a break... it's 800+ pages! Plus I've read about 4 books in between.)

Oh and I got a keyboard, so I've been fiddling with that. :)

I'm a bit rusty. I like the idea better than the execution...

Writing Prompt #6 You meet someone in dreams repeatedly, but each time they're a little different.

I was 4 when I first dreamt of him. He was an old man with white hair and looked around my grandfather's age. I remember wondering who he was because he looked familiar, but like no one in the family I had ever seen.

He was playing with several kids my age and I wanted to play too. But for some reason, they were always just out of reach. Whenever I went to where I thought they were, they were somewhere else. I was always able to see what they were doing, but I couldn't find a way to participate.

I was too young to make sense of it, and didn't think anything of it.

When I was 12, he reappeared. He was younger now, maybe late 40s. The children around him were a older, again about my age. There were only 2 this time and they more closely resembled him. He was with a woman that looked to be his wife and they were very happy. They looked to be on a family vacation on a tropical island.

When I woke up, I asked my mom about the family and if there were any uncles or second cousins that I hadn't met yet. We were a very close family and as far as I knew, we all migrated to the States during the war and no one was left behind.

I scoured through the few old pictures she was able to bring with her when she fled, but I never saw him in any of them.

Nine years later, he reemerged. He was my age this time. I recognized him right away. He was about to graduate college, as was I. The people around him were definitely family. I saw my mom there this time, much older as well as some cousins who also aged. He must be family, but who was he?

I looked through pictures again, and scoured family Facebook accounts to see if I could determine who he was. No success.

Five years later, I saw him again. He was a teenager now. Young, awkward, but still well adjusted. I stopped trying to put meaning behind it. After all, they were just dreams weren't they?

At 36, he came to me again. This time he was about 4 years old. I couldn't believe it when I dreamt of him again. All this time I had been dreaming of my future son! This time, I was dreaming about him at the age he actually was. His beautiful face, his resemblance to the family!

I recalled the dreams I had when I was younger, and hoped the future I had dreamed for him would come true.



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen - Winnie the Pooh

This quote inspired my summer writing project. I wrote this shortly after the "BBF" (Best Buds Forever) story. I had thought about making it a "pick your own adventure" but decided to work on other things. I like the idea but I know it needs more editing. That still may happen at another time, but not right now. 

My best friend always liked to tease me with a Winnie the Pooh quote: "As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen."

I’ve always been a wall flower, and aside from him, I don’t like people too much.

It became our inside joke and all he started calling me “Pooh” as a nickname. It always made me blush with embarrassment and want to beat him up. Especially since you can’t really distinguish that from #2! I tried to get him to call me “Winnie” but he refused.

He was smart and always ran away, and I always chased him; until one day my mom said, “Gwen! Ladies don’t chase boys!” I was about 9 when the chasing ended. Since then, I just give him a smirk and shake my fist, even though he still ran.

When he came back, he was always ready to share his plan.

This one was an adventurer. We lived in a suburban area that was close to several trail heads, some train tracks and if we were bold enough, we’d make our way over to the beach, which was about a mile away. To a couple of 11 year olds, that was pretty far!

He mixed it up; sometimes we’d collect stuff for his “legen-wait-for-it-dary” tree house. Plans were in place, but he didn’t have a tree picked out just yet. Other times, we would go bum at the beach and bury each other in the sand. Usually, when he buried me, he’d give me huge boobs and long legs. Considering I was as flat as a board and the shortest person he knew, I think he was just trying to be nice. Or a jerk, couldn’t quite tell.

I’d usually give him huge muscles and create a superhero suit, complete with carved abs and a cool logo. I was the artist, he was my muse.

Today, we were going on a search for hidden treasure. Or at least I was. He would create scavenger hunts for me all the time. He was so thoughtful and observant and made these journeys just for me. Clues that he created were based off our inside jokes, so that if anyone were to find the map he made, it wouldn’t make any sense to them. Clever that one…

These adventures were meant for me to do on my own. He had so many ideas that once he completed one, he went off to create more. But when he knows I’m on a hunt, he usually disappears to the final clue to wait for me.

With a snicker on his face, he handed me an envelope. 

The hunt begins.


I closed my eyes and counted to 22 so he could make his escape. I never peaked to see which direction he headed because I always knew I would find him and my treasure. I also knew that he liked to run off in random directions in hopes of making me lose the trail.
I opened the envelope, which held my first clue. Just two words: “Grrr, argh!”
Pirate speak… Black Bart, of course! I knew where this was going to lead… the beach!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Grrr,... Argh!
A few months ago, we walked down our usual path to the beach. At the end of the path, there were a bunch of palm trees. We were playing tag and I chose a random tree to be my “safe” place when I got tired.  As I was leaning against it, catching my breath I noticed the random markings looked like a skull. 

I called a time out and said “Arrrgggg!” as I pointed it out to him. It took him a second and then he saw it. We nicknamed this tree “Black Bart”.  That was our new code word for “beach”.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When I got to our tree, I looked in his eye socket. There was a tiny clear vial in it. I took it out and examined it. There was a black viscous liquid in it. Oil! Why would he put oil in a vial for me?

I looked at it for a while and let it reflect in the sun, racking my brain, trying to figure out the clue Dylan left me.

 And what did that mean to me? A rainbow, of course.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I often would come by Dylan’s house after school. One afternoon, his brother was changing the oil for his car. Some of it leaked on the ground. I was examining it when Dylan came up behind me with a glass of lemonade. I jumped at his sudden appearance because I was so focused on looking at the colors that were in the oil. He laughed at my reaction, and asked “what were you staring at?”

I pointed to the ground and said, “it looks like a rainbow!”

I was so intrigued, that I even ran to get a paint brush and paper to see what it would look like on a different surface. Didn’t look like much, but I had to try. I ruined my brush and my mom freaked out about the fumes and made me throw everything away. I was so upset that she did that. I didn’t understand what the big deal was.

I can’t believe he remembered that!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rainbow Arch is just down the street!  

Excited, I ran over there. I examined the area. Six arches, yellow, pinks, purple and blue… nothing out of the ordinary. I looked around the cement area, nothing. We had rarely come here, but something must have happened here if he wanted me to come this way.
I was starting to examine the individual arches as a family with a young kid came around. I tried not to get in their way as they walked through, then I saw the kid point to something and ask “What does this mean mamma?”

He pointed to “CCXXII” written and encircled in green chalk. 222! How did I miss that? I must have been looking for a physical clue, instead of a symbol.

The number 2 has always been special to us. He was born on May 2nd and I was born on August 22nd. We met in 2nd grade in room 22, how crazy is that?! We dispute it, but he swears we even met on the 2nd. I think he’s adding on extra things, but he has a knack for detail, so who am I to dispute it?

But why was it circled? Hmm… oh right! There are circled numbers on the Boardwalk!

I ran over and found number 301. I followed it until I found 222. My search led me to the harbor. This made a lot more sense. After all, we spent countless days here watching the boats, wishing that we could be out on the seas like real pirates, seeking adventure and treasure.

I looked around. I didn’t see him. I looked around to see if there was another clue or flag that would steer me in the right direction.

I walked through a few shops and along the walkway. It was pretty crowded because it was summer and the tourists were around. I racked my brain to figure out where he would be. I circled through the whole area and nothing gave me a sense of where I could find him.

It was a particularly hot day and after all that searching, I wanted a snack. I went to the ice cream shop and got my usual, double scoop of cookies and cream. The guy handed me my cone and in addition to my receipt, he gave me an envelope. I asked him, “What’s this?”

He said, “I don’t know. A kid paid me $5 to give this to the first girl who ordered 2 scoops of cookies and cream, and paid with exact change in coins; you were her.”

I always preferred coins to dollars. Even though it was heavier, it made me feel like I had gold treasure, like the pirates did. I also felt a strange satisfaction in always being able to give exact change.

Dylan used to tease me all the time. He liked having bills, but hated change. When he’d get change, he’d give it to me, and if he needed anything under $0.49, I always gave him exact change so he could get bills back.

I took my ice cream and envelope and fished out a dollar for his tip.

It was another clue! I can’t believe he’d know I would get ice cream. How did he know that?!

I went outside to eat my ice cream. I ate hastily so I could see what was in the envelope. 

A note with a key card…

Roses are red
Violets are blue
If you want to see your prize,
Return this to Marina 2.

I finished my ice cream and headed over to Marina 2. I used the card to get through the gate and after getting to the bottom of the ramp, I saw red poker chip. It had the number 2 on it. I picked it up and put it in my pocket. A little way down, I saw another one, so I picked that up as well. I found a few more and stopped in front of a boat that had 5 chips stacked neatly.

Before I finished putting them in my pocket I heard a familiar voice, “Finally!” exclaimed Dylan as he popped out of one of the sail boats.

“How did you get in here?” I asked?

“Didn’t I tell you my dad’s friend just got a boat!?”

“Oh, yeah, I think you mentioned it…”

He pointed to the back of the boat.

“They let me name it!” Dylan said with a big smile. “And I named it after you!”

“Winnie”

He never called me “Pooh” again. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

between hello and goodbye

Writing Prompt #5 Between hello and goodbye

“Why, hello there!” I said as a 2 month old beagle puppy ran over and started sniffing at me. I looked at the owner, and asked if it was ok to pet his dog.

“Sure, her name is Poppet.”

This pup was one of those who, when she shook her tail from excitement, there was a ripple effect through her whole body.

Source: CrapWeLike
As soon as my knee touched the sand, she climbed on me trying to lick my face.

I rubbed her behind her big floppy ears and she gently tried to nip at my hands.

“Who’s a good girl?” I cooed at her, as I continued to play with her and rub her head.

I love these dogs. They are young and everything is exciting and new. The world is for their exploring and they are just so darn HAPPY!

After a few more ear scratches, I patted her back.

“Thanks!” I said to her owner.

“Goodbye Poppet!” I said with a final pat on the head.