Saturday, April 17, 2021

Patreon Request 11: Now That I Have Power

If you would like to support my blog, consider becoming a patron of my Patreon. You can also buy my poetry book, "Living Day By Day: A Collection of Poems".

    With the power to reshape reality, I can create my ideal world. But my dehumanization has left me empty. Preferably, I desire to watch you grovel. The ultimate power rest with me now. Since I was never fully human, I refuse to be an animal or demon. Rather, I shall be a god. And since I have never known mercy, I will not be merciful. If you fail to please me, I will judge you as you have to people like me. For your lack of empathy, I will demand compensation with interest. Do realize I will never be satisfied.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Patreon/Blog Update

 I've been reorganizing my Patreon recently and have decided that I'll be making a tier specifically dedicated to miniseries. I know that $40 is a lot, but miniseries take a lot of work. There's researching, outlining, creating characters, drafting, editing, rewriting, and time needed that has to be done for each part of the miniseries. Thus after the "Inquiring, Cheshire Cat" miniseries, I'll only focus on single post poetry/writing prompts and not multiple part miniseries until there are patrons for this new tier. I also revamped the $10 tier and made it be 750-word flash fiction challenge for those who want a flash fiction longer than 100 words. I'll be posting tier-specific polls soon for anyone who wants to become a patron of that tier. I hope to have you all along for the ride as I move forward with writing.

If you would like to support me become a patron on my Patreon and buy "Living Day by Day: A Collection of Poems".

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Patreon Request 10: The Life of a Sphinx

 If you would like to support me and my work become a patron of my Patreon. Don't forget to buy my poetry book "Living Day by Day: A Collection of Poems" on Amazon and leave a review.

    Perfectly perched on the rust color sand, lays a Sphinx. Its claws trim, but paws still ready to bat away any annoyance. Its large eyes track anyone who dares to come close. The Sphinx's tail flutters back and forth. Its skin smooth by billions of grains of sand. A proud smirk graces the Sphinx's face taunting those beneath it. There are days when foolish humans dare to challenge the Sphinx. Unchecked arrogance is their fault, leaving only bones behind. With a laugh, the Sphinx concludes its day with a purr of satisfaction. Life is a joy when you're a Sphinx. End.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Learning To Stand Anthology Announcement

 2020 was an exhausting year for everyone. And while 2021 isn't going to be easy, I feel like it's going to go better than last year. I was planning on making a second poetry book, but I'm putting that plan on the back burner. Instead, this year I'm making an anthology book. I thought about creating an anthology book before but didn't know if I had enough material to make one. But at this point in my blog, I believe I do. All the poems and short stories on "Learning To Stand" plus the poems and short stories on Patreon will be in this anthology. That means only this digest will have full access to everything. If you're interested in having my current portfolio, purchasing this book will be a good investment.

Older stories and poems will be revamped since I've matured in my writing skills. Any rewrites won't be available on "Learning To Stand" or Patreon. I hope to be working on this digest once the "Inquiring, Cheshire Cat" short story miniseries are finished. As I'm going to be focusing on workshopping this compilation, I won't be posting new poems or short stories. I will be posting regular updates on the anthology. Maybe even some diary-like entries. Naturally, none of these posts will be apart of the anthology. Updates will be posted on Patreon first, then on "Learning To Stand" so be sure to become a patron. I appreciate it if you become a patron and buy "Living Day by Day: A Collection of Poems" if you can.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

The Ambiguity of Online Friends and Keeping Up with Old Friends

 Hello everyone! While this post isn't a short story or poem, it is a post that speaks about current social issues. The current state of friendships and creating new friendships is an interesting topic and I'm just speaking about my feelings about the state of relationships. Don't worry, I'll go back to writing short stories and poems in the next blog post. I'm just busy getting back to balancing school and writing. If you would like to support me become a patron on Patreon to receive patron-only material. Also, buy my poetry book "Living Day By Day: A Collection of Poems" paperback and leave a review. 

    In the age of digital relationships, the line between friends and acquaintances is blurry. It's easier to meet new people and find familiar interests; yet, there's also ambiguity for where you stand with your online acquaintances and friends. An out-of-context tweet, private message, or email can wreck relationships with online friends. It's common to lose interest in online communities I've joined and made friends in and decide to leave. On the other side, friends I've made in person are maintained online without concern for distance. 

           A lot of relationships, both professional and private, have an online element to them. It allows for reliable communication, but there's a distance. Emojis help in casual conversation, but the lack of hearing and seeing the person can make the sentence feel cold. It's that distance that allows for easy friend groups to form but not lasting friendships. I found it easy to exit out of groups when I'm no longer interested in the community. It didn't feel like I was losing friends because we were all a combination of different letters, numbers, and symbols. That's why it doesn't feel "real" when arguing with someone online. I know that there's a person on the other side; however, they're not before me. That's likely why people find it so easy to verbally abuse others online. We don't see the result of mental damage being done to the victim. It's hard to tell if the conversations I have meant anything while online. 

           With familiar usernames I've recognized, a bond can form temporarily, but, one day, either an online friend or I can suddenly be gone from the community. I know why I've left, but my online friends don't. After all, I've never bothered to announce my exit from the community. And the only people I've seen who do go out of their way to make a big show of them leaving were never well-liked. It's like being high school lunch friends. A light friendship that ends when you found new friends to hang out with, in your new community. These relationships feel shallow, but it's hard to create internet friendships with any depth because of social media culture.

           Social media is deceptive. We all like to put our best foot forward and make sure to present a desirable life. The focus is to put interesting things going on with our lives on social media. It's the only way to grow a following and get that dopamine spike seeing how many likes we got. I don't know how many times I've checked my social media accounts to catch up with the latest things going on with my friends. Seeing that they're keeping safe during this plague and finding ways to have fun is great. There're instances when I worry that they don't miss me as I do them. Social media allows for these brief moments of connection, but they're just moments. It's in these distant instances, where my in-person friends aren't that different from my online ones. The time where we aren't together is shared between us through social media, but it's slightly cold. I'm not experiencing these moments in-person, so at times, I question if my relationships are one-sided. I'll say that during those low moments, the pandemic is getting to me.

           With the plague running rampant, the only safe way to keep up with friends is through social media. While it's not ideal, it's for the best for everyone's safety. The greatest lesson on friendship I've learned is that I should value all my conversations while online. And to make an effort to curve any harmful behavior that social media cultivates. There's another person on the other side of the conversation and, no matter how much I disagree with them, there's no need to be cruel. It's stressful, and I'll be needing to make an effort to get out as much a possible when it's safe to do so. We're all suffering through a bad case of loneliness, but there's the hope of the plague ending soon. When it does, hopefully, there are new relationships made.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Blog Update: Inquiring, Cheshire Cat

    Hello, everyone! I have some disappointing news. Because of personal reasons, I'm behind on the creative process and writing of Inquiring, Cheshire Cat. I'm 2/3 of the way finished with the creative process, but I've barely started writing. At the time of posting the blurb of Inquiring, Cheshire Cat I thought I would be finished. But with the start of the spring semesters on the 16th on top of personal issues, I didn't manage to get much done. However, just because Inquiring, Cheshire Cat miniseries is being pushed back doesn't mean that there won't be a post this Saturday or Sunday. I'm still posting something, just not part 1 of Inquiring, Cheshire Cat. I'll be sure to post another blog update on when Inquiring, Cheshire Cat will be starting but for now, it'll be a different short story.

    While I'm upset with myself on the push back on Inquiring, Cheshire Cat, I do have some great news! It's a secret for now but this announcement will be posted on Patreon first. So, if you want to know what I have in store, make sure you become a patron. There's a lot of patron-only material there that doesn't show up on Learning To Stand. This is also a great way to support me and my writing. I hope you've been holding during the pandemic and continue to stay safe.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Inquiring, Cheshire Cat Miniseries

     Hello, this miniseries has been in the works for some time and it's finally here. I'm both nervous and excite to have it ready to be posted on my blog. This story is inspired by Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. While this beloved story is the main inspiration for this miniseries, this is not the same Wonderland that Carroll created. I know that many other artists have done their own spin of this story but I wanted to try my own hand in shaping Wonderland as I visioned it. This is going to be a wild ride but hopefully an enjoyable one. If you like my writing, please support me on Patreon and buy my poetry book "Living Day By Day: A collection of Poems". Also, consider following me on my different social media. All my social media is linked on the Serenity V. Nightingale page. Now onto the blurb for this miniseries.

    In the world of Wonderland riddles, rhymes, secrets are currency. With the top collector of secrets being Cheshire Cat. Personal names and relationships are a source of power with who you know being the only way to collect more information. But a life full of whimsy isn't always possible to sustain. For Cheshire, life hasn't been maddeningly fun recently. But dreaming to keep up the illusion might cost her disappearing permanently from the mad world. Through the love of Time and friendship with Alice maybe Cheshire Cat can remain solid. But a cat like Cheshire isn't one to follow the easy way of doing things. Knowing what the problem is may be the first step, but changing your behavior isn't easy. And Time knowing that a rough patch will be overcome doesn't keep Time blind to the present. Alice may have to be the one to make sure that heads aren't unwilling removed from necks. Let alone the other drama and gossip skipping through Wonderland.  

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Patreon Request 9: Thrown Into the Abyss

    Hello and Happy New Year! 2020 was not easy on any of us but hopefully, 2021 will be better. There's a lot of social, economic, and personal work that needs to be done. I wish you all the best, and I hope that we all make improvements in our lives. With well-wishes out of the way, if you would like to support my content, please become a patron on my Patreon. Also, buy and review my poetry book "Living Day By Day: A collection of poems".

    In the middle of winter, a party of wool cloak figures drags an unwilling woman through several feet of snow. The chains are to restrict her from furiously squirming and pleading, as she's been gagged to silence any opposition she may have. Her clothing is only warm enough to allow her to continue a steady pace towards her unknown destination. The frosty weather stings her barely protected flesh. Seeping through her clothes and puncturing past her skin, the cold pierces her muscles and bones. Until her blood turned gelid, freezing her within. She was now unbearably cold none of the others cared to warm her. They're trying to isolate her from them. So that when the time comes to abandon her, they will feel nothing. Becoming a body of ice, she curses her home for her unwanted duty. She has done nothing to deserve her unknown fate. But in such desperate times, would she have been blind to the suffering she's dealing with if someone else were in her place? No, she wouldn't have, because there would have been a way to bring prosperity to her hometown while not sacrificing anyone. But that's not what everyone believed.

     The past year has run the village dry of resources. The city council believed that they had to make a drastic decision to change the city's plight. Tragically that decision will likely cost the woman her life. Her escorts are determined to deliver her to a place that is supposed to be bygone. There's an old legend documented in the public history of a terrible but useful monster living in an unoccupied area nearby. During times of desperation, a sacrifice is made to the beast. The monster is expected to relieve any calamity the village faced. Seventy years ago, the small city was making frequent sacrifices to the beast. The people were rigorous back then and ensured that at least once a year there's a sacrifice. But in the city's prosperity, the citizens disregarded making a sacrifice each year. With time, the thought of making a sacrifice was absurd. The village was prosperous, and talk of separation from their "earned" wealth was dismissed. When the last of citizens alive during the time of frequent sacrifices died, misfortune struck. Since so much time has passed since the previous sacrifices, this new one must make up for their neglect. Instead of valuable objects or slaughter livestock, a person is considered the best gift after over half a century of neglect. 

   

    That's where the woman came in. She has yet to be married and doesn't hold any job important enough that she couldn't be interchangeable with someone else. None of her family is politically or socially powerful enough to stop her from being chosen as the city's sacrifice. Without a strong voice to advocate for herself, she was subdued into being the one to correct what the citizens assume they did wrong. The longer the company goes, the harder she quivers in her inadequate clothes. Only the severe shivering can provide her warmth. With each step forward she takes, the more strenuous it becomes to take the consecutive tread forward. Even when she stumbles from fatigue, she's only shoved to keep walking. There's no longer any sensation in her legs as her death walk goes on. The endless white of barren land surrounds them. The soft jiggling of restraints the only audible sound, for all other noise becomes smothered by snow. The pricks of pain because of lack of warmth take over the woman's mind. Foreseeing what will happen to her causes another fit of desperation. What felt like another hour of numbing anxiety ended when the group halted. Before the small party lies an inky abyss of a pit. The abyss swallows all sound surrounding it. Here's where the monster lies. 


    Quivering harder now, the woman desperately turns to arouse pity from her fellows. Their faces show only blanketed acceptance as she's shoved into the darkness. A human sacrificed is made. During her fall, time is contradicting itself. She's dropping faster to an unknown bottom but hanging mid-air. A high-pitch ring echoes within her ears as the cold blue sky fades to inky black. What was her previous life has faded away like the lost sky. Her conscience and body separate as she continues to plummet into the abyss. With mind and body divorced from each other, she has to question where she went wrong in her life. She was normal. But that might have been the problem. If she was from a wealthy family or a politically important one she would have been safe. Being white would have probably done the trick too. When that thought flashed through her mind, she crashed into a fleshly mass. 


    The mass is chilly and scaly. It's similar to alligator skin in texture. However, what she landed on isn't an alligator. It's far too massive to be such a thing. This mass rumbles beneath her, and a silk voice echos in the darkness.


"It's been a long while since something been forsaken in my home," the feminine voice continues, "although this is the first time the discarded has been a person."


    Shock overwhelms her as the monster was not supposed to be able to speak. How can such a thing be possible? She expected death, not conversation. She has to find a way to answer or else the monster will take offense. Shaking her head violently, she finally manages to get the gag out of her mouth. Taking a gasp of air, she gathers her thoughts and tries to appeal to the monster.


"Are you...are you the one who blesses the nearby town prosperity?" she squeezes her eyes shut despite it already being pitch black.


"Town, what town? I never bother with humans unless they bother me." the monster pauses, "What is your name anyway? I know such things are important to humans."

Her voice is pitch a tone higher, "Amber, my name is Amber. I'm from a human settlement not far from your home. Years ago, my city threw valuable objects into the opening of this pit. We believed you granted us prosperity for our sacrifices."


    The monster's suppressed giggles nearly cause Amber to fall off the monster's belly. This tradition, which was abandoned, was renewed so that prosperity can once again return to the village. Amber's city was desperate enough to even resort to human sacrifice. As they believed the lack of sacrifices for the past seventy years is the cause of their recent downfall. Yet this beast, that's invisible to her, dares to laugh. She was discarded into a crater, that looks like it leads to hell, to hopefully appease a monster that never cared about her township, anyway. What fools they'd been. Nothing they did seventy years ago and now meant nothing to this beast. Life is cackling at her and her township for ever believing in such nonsense. The monster thought they were tossing away junk into its home. As if her home were rude neighbors. They are pathetic, and she's pitiful. Amber's mouth sours. The deep frost that embedded inside her above the abysm, restores itself in front of her mind.


"Now, now, don't go getting lost within your tiny head, Amber." the beast's tone irritates Amber.

Refusing to be the only one whose name is exposed, Amber asks, "Since you don't possess a name, what are you? I'd hate not to know what you are."


"I believe you, humans that is, know me as a dragon." the dragon's tone carries snide notes to its answer.


    It seems the fact that humans, which the dragon doesn't think highly of, titling its existence is a sore spot. The dragon that has likely outlived thousands of humans could not bear being subjected to ants. Then an ugly voice whispers inside her inner ear. Why not use the dragon to get revenge. They cast you aside, why not burn the city down along with the old system. Soot and ash as payment for what has happened to her and those similar. Let Amber be award with the embers of her home. Such a vision just couldn't be resisted.


Amber makes her proposal, "Dragon, would you be willing to terrorize those who littered your home?"


"Oh, Amber, you must feel terribly wronged. But since you insist, I would relish in paying a visit to the humans who disturbed my years of quietude. Let us be off, and do try to hold on and not fall to your death, Amber." the dragon quakes beneath Amber.


    With a new goal set between Amber and the dragon, they rise from the pit of the abyss. Amber's ears pop as she ascends in elevation. The darkness gives way to light as the bleak sky greets the allies. The gelid landscape nothing but blurry scenery as the dragon surges in the direction of the village. The rush causes hysterical laughter to burst from Amber's chest. What had taken hours of gradual trudging through the snow to reach the pit from the city takes minutes. With only a couple more flaps of the dragon's wings, they'll be above the township. At this height, Amber can sympathize with the dragon's views on humans being ants. From above, Amber is finally strong. How the city has been in the last seventy years is no longer sustainable. These old systems that allow the less privileged to be sacrificed need to burn down. And from it a new generation that values everyone.


    Unintelligible murmurs lift from below, watching downward, Amber sees waves of everyday people expelling from the township. The dragon swoops towards the city below and releases purifying fire upon the township. Layers of fires consume the fridged structures and those too attached to worldly things. Memories that Amber misremembers get devoured by the flames. Such a fate to the good memories hurt, but this chance to start over is worth the price. The dragon spends the rest of the day dipping down to scorch more of the town. With night, all that is left is soot and ash. The dragon lands a bit from the tarred remains. Amber slips down from the scally back. She's remains restained from her earlier journey. The dragon and Amber get a visible look at each other. What classifies as a smile greets Amber's own.


"It has been a pleasure, Amber. If there's ever a time you wish to see me again, you know where to find me", the velvet voice goes on, "You're not terrible, for a human. I would appreciate the company."


Amber suppress her laughter, "You are a wish-granting dragon, and repaying you for your kindness with visits is a reasonable payment."


"What a funny human you are. Best of luck with rebuilding your settlement." and with that final goodbye, the dragon graces the sky and returns home.

    

    Amber strides toward the crowd of fellows who abandoned the burnt city. Many will be angry with what she'd done. Although everyone was exhausted with the previous way of life, what she's done was dramatic. But their lives were overdue a drastic shift of living. How they were before was gradually killing them all. She was the first thrown into a pit that promised an ideal life that many didn't live. There's no telling how many more people would've been tossed into the abyss in the vain hope that things will turn around. That prosperity will come through human sacrifice. That lie could have cost hundreds of lives on top of ruining the lives of those not sacrificed. Amber never thought of herself as a leading figure, but she had decided to spark a new way of life. On the back of an unstoppable force, Amber helped usher in a new way of living. Her actions shattered the old system, and now she has fixed what she busted. Amber's family spots her and drowns her in questions. A pair of gentle hands, free her from bondage. The chains get buried under the snow, as they all start a new life with embers as their guide. END.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Potted Plant

Hello and sorry for the late update. If you haven't already, purchase my poetry book, "Living Day By Day: A collection of poems" and become a patron of my Patreon.

    The mild heat of the sun rains down upon me as I awake from my slumber. The grass is well water thus soothing on my skin. The bees buzz lightly among the flowers’ bed. The cloudless sky is haunting without cloud pictures strolling by. I forget why I was waking, to such a terrifying day. To be aware of such tranquility cannot be a good fate. But sleep will not come for me as I stay awake during the fearful day. The sun beats atop my skin reminding me that I will stay awake. To my horror laid a seed beside my right side. Knowing what will become of me, I had to take it inside. Swallowing the whole seed, it nestles within my gut. Laying on my back, I feel the roots run amuck. Crawling through my veins, I can feel the plant grow. And when the roots take hold, a seedling burst through my gut. From my stomach, the seedling stretches towards the soulless sky. All I am left to do is to witness the nightmare carry through. From a seedling to a stem to a flower, hours have gone by. What was once my body belonging only to I. Became a pot for a plant. Leaving me hollow inside. END.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Blog Update Change

 Hello, I would like to apologize and inform you that December 26 will be the next post. I do hope that you will read previous posts, become a patron of my Patreon, and purchase my poetry book "Living Day By Day: A collect of poems". Happy holidays and be sure to stay safe.