I am oober frustrated with the little rural community I live in. There has been a lot of crazy stuff that has gone on this year in this little town I call "home", and it has opened my eyes to what a rotten little place this is, and what retched little people live here.
If you read my last blog post, you may have sensed my disgruntlement.
Don't get me wrong: there are a couple of people.... okay, a few people.... who are decent. They are good, hard-working, honest folk who feel just as used and frustrated as I do. Besides those few good apples, though, this community it rotten and retched to the core, filled with conceited, egocentric backstabbers. Filled with vampires.
This town needs help with so many things, but anyone who comes in and tries to help, to change things, or to better them, is burned at the stake.
The vampires here don't want anything to change. If something were to change, they might be exposed for the abusive, monstrous frauds they are, and that just won't do.
The only "change" allowed here is whatever will make the vampires look good - a new building, a new sign, new equipment, etc. - whatever stands out and draws attention away from their misdeeds is welcome. They are willing to make small, insignificant changes to keep "the peasants" quiet and content. After all, they can't have their food and footstools - aka, family, friends, neighbors, town citizens - move away from here. If people moved away, the vampires wouldn't have anyone to do all the work, to blame for their mistakes, to wipe the mud off their boots, and no one to stand on top of to look magnificent.
From a Christian perspective, this town needs exactly what it has repeatedly rejected: revival.
Though they wear the Christian symbol on their hats, shirts, jeans, belts, and shoes, the vampires spit in the eye of any true believers, because true believers make this a better place. If the believers don't get the point, then the vampires burn them at the stake.
Revival is a change they don't want. It would reveal their hidden sins to the world and force the people to "clean house". It would make things better... just not for the vampires.
The same rejection has been dished out to youth groups (christian and secular), domestic crisis centers, counselors, personal trainers, or anyone who might encourage "the peasants" to make themselves better.
Better is not okay for vampires.
Thriving here is not an option. Survival is all you are allowed.
I personally have experienced the spittle in the eye. I have done a number of things to try and improve life here, to bring hope and find some way for folk to thrive.
Therapy dog/school reading projects? - Yep. That was a nope.
Equestrian school that teaches kids good life skills and character development? - Yeah... nope.
Book club? - Forget that.
Organic green house? - "Nobody has got money for that kind of stuff."
A self-sufficient, off the grid farm? - "You're trying to ruin the economy!"
The list could go on...
All of it has been met with toothy smiles beneath masks, only to be cut down behind my back.
For a long time, I thought it was my fault. But then, I realized one day that Jesus, along with many great historical figures (Joan of Arc, Galileo, Martin Luther King Jr., etc.), were all met with vampires who tried to stop the change they brought to the world. They experienced many "failures". More often than not, things did not work out for them. And guess what? It wasn't their fault. It was the vampires who were rejecting the message they had to share that got angry and tried to destroy them.
I was reading Matthew 10 the other day and verses 14 & 23 stuck out to me:
So, when people reject the message and will not receive you, what do you do? You get the heck outta dodge and move on to the next town. Because, as Jesus pointed out in verse 15:
Seem harsh? Not any more harsh than the vampires when they step on the people surrounding them, devouring all love and kindness, leaving folk dried up like bitter corn husks in summer.
Honestly, what Jesus said was not cruel. It was just good ole self-helping common sense: wipe the dust from your feet and leave those retched people to burn in their own fire.
You are the only person with a beating heart. Everyone around you, hiding behind masks, elegant dancing, and fanged smiles, is just waiting for the chance to pounce and drink you dry. Don’t move. Don’t blink. Don’t breathe. Just return their smiles and act like nothing is wrong.
That would explain my community, the town I grew up in, and the people filling it.
The people surrounding you here are always watching, waiting for you to make a mistake. Because, let’s be honest, they aren’t human. They don’t make mistakes, like you. They aren’t a mess, like you. They don’t have imperfect families, like you.
They always go to church.
They never miss a football game.
They have a career, not a “job”.
What happens in the bar, stays in the bar… unless it’s something you did.
If they have a tattoo, theirs is better than yours, because their reasons for getting one were holier.
They support a cause more ardently than you do.
Their kids don’t make mistakes. It’s the teacher’s fault.
They don’t make mistakes. That’s your fault.
Oh yes, they look human, but God would not curse them to be such an imperfect being, like you.
Oh yes, they say they are imperfect, though it is a perfect kind of imperfection, one that you will never achieve.
You are the only human in a locality of vampires. How dare you flaw their perfect community? On the same hand, how dare you complain about being a part of their town? Even though you are a mar to their perfect society, you are clearly blessed to be a part of it. Though it agitates them you are here, they also like it. As long as you remain imperfect, unsuccessful, and unhappy, you make them look like angels. They smile at you from beneath their masks because your are their favorite stool to tear down to make themselves look mighty.
Heaven forbid the day that you do make something of yourself, imperfections and all. How dare you raise yourself from their level? How could you become impervious to their gossip and slander, and in so doing, make yourself better than them?
That is when the masks come off to reveal the true monsters beneath.
Fight hard. Run fast. Don’t let them put you back in that imperfect place they have set aside for you. That is where they will drain you dry.
This explains the community of people I am surrounded by. There are a few exceptions, but not many, and they are as hated as I am by the majority. We weren’t supposed to amount to a thing. We aren’t supposed to be happy and successful. Our very presence offends the vampires because we are mirrors that reveal them for who they are.
The vampire will read this and feel judged and spited.
The human will read this and know exactly what I’m talking about.
Wipe the dust off of your feet. Don't look back. Let them burn in their own perfect fire.
This random little bit of writing I'm posting branched from a random dream I had a long time ago.
Yep. I had a dream about Ramen Noodles. And when I woke up from that dream, this runt of a story came to my mind. It's coming from the perspective of a girl who would be me, if I lived in an apartment. It was cute, so I wrote it down, then forgot about it... until I found it the other day and decided to post it on here.
So, here is your little bit of odd randomness for the day. Enjoy!
Ramen Noodles. They are the cheapest and easiest meal a person can get. You can mix them into new and exciting recipies, and you can pack a lifetime supply of them into a tin can (figuratively speaking, of course). That’s why I like them.
In the eyes of other people, though, if you buy Ramen Noodles, you are living under a bridge, wearing rags, and begging for money.
At least, I’m pretty sure that when people see when they see me buying Ramen Noodles... even though I live in a tiny town and everyone knows I don't live that way.
I suspect they all think this way, because:
a) the ladies at church are constantly ordering me to come get goods from the food bank and
b) the elderly lady who lives in the apartment under me keeps buying extra groceries and sending them up to me.
Honestly, I don’t mind people thinking I’m poor, even though I’m not. When people think you’re poor, you get to see the real person under the mask, and they treat you realistically. They hate you and leave you alone, pity you and leave you alone, ignore you and leave you alone, or they give you free stuff all the time!
Now, just to be clear, I don’t like getting free stuff. I am a minimalist. I hate having stuff. Stuff clutters up your life, makes you stress about keeping it organized, and when you die, all your relatives fight over it.
Stuff is not worth it.
Food, on the other hand, is consumable and surviving relatives don’t care who gets the food.
Which brings us back to the Ramen Noodles...
As I said, they are cheap (money saver), take up very little space (space saver), cook fast (time saver), and make a fair impression on everyone who sees me buying them. So, I have a cupboard full of them. And I eat them regularly.
I know, I know! Ramen Noodles aren’t healthy for you. Everyone in my life has told me that. But there is a lot of other food in the world that is even more unhealthy… like Twinkies...
But, to make sure I stay in shape and keep those Ramen Noodles from sending me to the cemetery to live with all the other victims of Ramen Noodle overdose (scarsm alert), I drink a bunch of purified water every day, take my vitamins every day, make my own fruit juice every day, and take my dog on long walks every day. How those things extend my lifespan, I do not know (because 100% of healthy people die, last I checked), but if it makes my mother happy to know that I am "living a healthy lifestyle", then that cures half my problems right there. Because, as everyone knows: if momma ain't happy, then ain't NOBODY happy.
I've been doing some job hunting around town, and you know what I've found? A lot of people are eager to hire me, but they want me to fill out these stupid applications... and, as I look at my answers on some of these applications, I'm afraid I may be too sarcastic for anyone to consider hiring me....
Q: "Do you prefer part time or full time?"
A: Doesn't matter to me, because, for the wage you pay, both options are just slavery in a job's clothing.
Q: "Why are you applying for a job with us?"
A: Because authors aren't appreciated until they've died tragically, or of natural causes. With how poorly your employees follow health and safety protocols, I figure this is the best place to make a tragic death happen. That, and I've heard your business provides more than enough suspicious content for an author with writer's block to write an entire series of spicy crime novels.
Q: "Why did you quit your last job?"
A: Do you "quit" the mafia? No. You don't. But slavery is illegal, the mafia is sketchy, and I'd like to actually make some money for the work I do. Just don't tell my former boss that, or you and I both might end up swimming with the fishes. As far as he knows, I'm still working for him.
"To apply as a real estate content writer, please submit two short property descriptions."
Property 1 description: "This piece of land has real potential as a cactus farm, and, because of the abundance of naturally growing, gorgeous prickly pear, you'll never have to worry about kids walking through your yard."
Property 2 description: "One word, dude: Marijuana. I found a massive stash here, and the highest bidder will get the map with the hidden location."
Example newspaper report on the FFA livestock competition:
The pigs were cute. The cows were cute. The animals were all cute. The kids were not so cute. The levels of methane and armpit stink were undoubtedly at unsafe levels, and the building really needs more windows and an air conditioner. I'm pretty sure I have mold and fungus growing in my nostrils now. The city needs to cut the crap and upgrade their stupid outdated equipment in these public buildings before they get called out for endangering public health and safety.
Example news report on the recent football game:
I got food poisoning from the concession stand and gas from the cheerleaders who weren't cheering and weren't wearing bras. These are the scores that I saw flash across the board between dry heaves....xxxx..... and WHAT IS WITH THE CANNONS, PEOPLE?! Is it not obvious by all the screaming and cheering and Facebook posts and the car littered streets that you are all watching a football game? Must you have cannons as well? Must you announce to the world through endless cannon fire that you are in your place of worship and observing the sacred ritual of the pigskin?
You hopeless barbarians.
Example news report on recent oil activity:
XXX Inc. drilled a hopeful new oil well on the 20th of June. "This is very good for the business. It's been a long time since we've had a well that could pump 50,000 barrels a day." The head honcho dude with a full name told me the day after they struck oil. The company told me then that they hope to increase the output of oil by putting the well through a fracking process. The frack job was scheduled and done on August 2nd. Now, after those fracking frackers fracked a perfectly good oil well, it is now producing a massive, fracking 20 barrels a day.
"It's the most disappointing well we have EVER had." Said the fracking head honcho after the fracking job got fracked up. The business has informed me that they intend to keep the oil well alive merely for the fracking government subsidies to pay for the fracking job.
"Please write an example letter of reminder of payment due..."
Hey! Do you live under a rock? If you don't, you soon will be! If you don't pay your electric bill soon, your electric will be unplugged, your frozen TV dinners will thaw, your microwave won't work to cook them, and your TV will cease to function. Without your TV, you won't know when the aliens attack! And without your frozen TV dinners and microwave oven, you won't be able to outlast the alien invasion!
Don't give the aliens a chance. Pay your electric bill. Keep your freezer and TV on. Save the world. Thwart the alien invasion.
Payment is due by ...xxxx....
If you fail to comply, the alien invasion will begin and you will be Predator's first snack.
This is your final warning.
Have a nice day!
Having trouble keeping up with the challenge? No problem! You can catch up here: The Writing Challenge Series
Today's Challenge: the writer you chose on Day Thirteen reads your story and tells you it's no good and you should just give up writing. What is your reaction?
I mentioned two writers on Day Thirteen: J.R.R. Tolkien & Bryan Davis. Lucky for me, J.R.R. Tolkien is dead, because I'd bet a shiny thousand dollar bill that he'd be disgusted with my book. Absolutely disgusted. He would probably suggest that I stop writing all together.
I have no idea what Bryan Davis would say about my book, but I'm guessing he wouldn't be all that impressed either. My work is really amateur and shallow compared to his. I don't think he'd tell me to stop writing, though. He's too nice of a guy to do that to someone (at least, that's what I've heard).
But, what would MY reaction be if one or the other told me my stuff is awful and I should give up writing?
I would be undoubtedly a little hurt at first, but then I would brush it off, as I do with so many things, and say:
"Dear sir, my giving up writing would be akin to you giving up breathing. It simply isn't possible."
I was watching a video on YouTube about "getting a new puppy". I was just watching it for fun (I am not getting a puppy any time soon), but one of the trainers in the video made a good point for potential new puppy owners to consider: write down your 5 favorite hobbies, and then figure out how a dog can fit into those hobbies (if they can fit into them), and pick out a puppy/pet accordingly.
It hit me right then: What are my 5 favorite hobbies? Do I have any hobbies? Do I even know what a hobby is?
I finally figured out 5 things that I like to do that could be considered hobbies:
Now, you have to understand something - where I live makes a huge impact on what I do for fun.
I live in the middle of the middle of nowhere. Seriously. There are no malls, no biking trails, no decent swimming pools, no horse camps or riding lessons, and no gardening centers near me.
Keeping a bicycle tire from going flat out here in goat-head and sand burr central is a big joke. I don't even have a bike right now. My last one went "missing" after I sent it off to get the brakes repaired and I haven't been able to make the trip to the city and buy a new one (with solid tires).
Finding a decent horse that I don't have to break and train myself costs a LOT of money, and I can't just rent one. I also haven't been on a horse in so long, I'm afraid to get back on one without having a riding instructor nearby, and those are not easily found out here... in fact, I think they went extinct in Oklahoma about 300 years ago.
Swimming is a little more doable. But it's not something I can do year round, and the nearest non-chlorine infested swimming hole I can swim in is 30 minutes away, and I can't take my dog to it... which is okay, because my dog hates water anyway. He won't touch it unless he thinks I'm drowning, then he'll swim out and help me back to shore (Yes, I have tested that. My dog does have a little bit of the Rin-Tin-Tin/Lassie/White Fang spirit in him, which makes my heart happy).
Gardening is great! Except we are in a drought. And our water well is sucking mud. If we give fresh water to all of the farm animals, which I think you'll agree is very important, then we have red dirt in our shower that night. FORGET watering plants, even potted plants, and don't even try to start a garden. You'll just be wasting seed.
I do have a green house, which I love, and I did use it year round until the Oklahoma wind blew the top off a couple of years ago. I haven't been able to afford to get a new top since.
As far as dog training - yes, I already do that! I spend a lot of time training my dog, Pilot. But Pilot is only ONE dog. I help my sisters with their dogs, and my brother with his dog, but that's only part time, and none of them are interested in making their dogs super star trick dogs.
Now, let me stop you before you suggest "Start dog training classes!". I've tried that. Where I live, nobody wants to put any serious effort into their dogs, even for free. They "just don't have time". All they want is a living doorbell, thief repellent, and cuddle buddy. For a dog, those three requirements are not hard to meet. So nobody out here has any need for obedience or behavioral correction classes as long as their dog meets the three basic country dog requirements.
Do you see my problem? I need a new hobby.
I've tried hiking. But hiking in the Great Plains is a whole new level of boring, mixed with dangerous. The land is flat and uninteresting for miles and miles. We have no hiking trails, but we do have a dozen different types of biting bugs and poisonous snakes. Besides that, hiking in Oklahoma can only be done in the Fall, the Spring (watch for tornadoes!), 5 AM on Summer mornings (it still might be 95 degrees outside though), and sometimes during the winter (how well acquainted are you with frostbite?).
Jogging, running, training for a marathon... My mind says "Yes! I like it!" but my asthma says "Let me put you in the hospital for a week, so you never try this again."
Indoor projects are a no-go. I still live with my parents and siblings. We live in a small house. Everyone who has a hobby has it sitting out all the time, and my adding to the monster is not a good idea. Besides that, I write for a living. I need a hobby that gets me outside, away from the chair and computer.
And for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT mention quilting. Or sewing. But definitely not quilting. Just don't.
My nearest friend that I like to hang out with lives 3 hours away. I think she's actually my nearest friend PERIOD. So, I can't just "go hang out with friends".
Going to the mall is just as impossible. The nearest mall is 3 hours away. Besides that, shopping should be illegal as a hobby. I mean, who really has the money just to go out and spend it? That's wasteful. And DO NOT expect me to walk into a mall and NOT buy anything. Not gonna happen.
Right now, I'm starting a remodeling project on an old trailer house (which I plan to make a video of), so I imagine that "hobby" will keep me plenty busy for a while.
As soon as I get a bike with solid tires, and when I make a million dollars and build my own indoor pool, those will be two hobbies I can finally enjoy.
Till then, though, a new hobby would be nice to have... if there is one to have in this area.
If you have a hobby, consider yourself lucky. I think I'm suffering mentally and physically without one. Seriously! I mean, what are hobbies for, really? They give us something enjoyable to do, something out of our regular everyday work that allows our brain to focus on something different. They refresh us. They give us something to look forward to. They allows us to express ourselves in a different way.
So, does anybody have any ideas for a new hobby? Or am I outta luck?
Well, don't all of you rush to the comment section at once! (Note the sarcasm in my cyber voice)
Hey everyone! Have you kept up with the writing challenge? Well, in case you have missed a day or two, here is where you can find the entire challenge! - The Writing Challenge Series
Today's challenge: Your go-to writing snack.
I don't snack when I'm writing. I may have a drink (coffee, root beer, tea-hot-Earl Grey...), but I don't snack. The only time I snack is when I have writers block.
I'm a boredom eater. I eat when there is nothing going on in my brain and I'm bored. When I am writing, there is a LOT going on in my brain. I went two days without food one time because I was so wrapped up in my writing.
When I have some writing to do, I will turn on some forest, river, or storm ambiance, grab something to drink, and sit down and write. If I brought food into my writing area, I would spend my time eating. I wouldn't be able to focus until the food was consumed. Once I vanquished the food, then I would want more, and I wouldn't be able to focus until I got more. It's a vicious cycle.
When there is food in my writing zone, I don't get any writing done... like, NONE. At all. In fact, food is the best weapon my family has. If they notice that I've been missing for a while (three or four days), they'll make some tasty Italian dish that just makes your nose melt, it smells so good. Then Kris will come upstairs with a bowl of it and nonchalantly start eating it in front of me. That's when my concentration goes POOF! Appetite takes over and drives the wagon off the cliff and I eat a whole lasagna, six loaves of buttered garlic bread, three cheesecakes, and the boxes they came in.
Yeah. Food is the only thing that can drive a big solid wedge between me and writing. In fact, it doesn't even have to get in-between me and writing! Food can just stand behind Writing and wave at me with a smile, and I'll run Writing over with a dump truck to get to Food.
Yeah. It's bad.
Thanks to Penny at Faith Has Made for taking this super adorbs photo of Pilot and I together!
Penny is an amazing animal photographer, so be sure to check her blog and photography out!
I want to hear the songs of the Wovlen.
Who are the Wovlen? They are a group of people I created. Keegan, the hero in my series (Tales of the Wovlen) is a Wovlen. If you would like to learn more about them, you can check out their page on my website: The Wovlen (it even has a pronunciation guide to help you, because I know you are trying to figure out how to say it right now...).
The Wovlen have a complicated history and culture. And, yes, they even have their own folk songs and lore. You can read some of their songs on my website: Legends and Lore from Tales of the Wovlen.
I would love nothing more than to hear the songs of the Wovlen playing on my computer. I want to actually hear someone put them to music and sing them.
The songs I have written are really only poems. Out of all of my poems, only four of them have a tune that I came up with to sing them to. And of those tunes.... well... dang-it Jim, I'm an author, not a musician! So they aren't very good.
One of my favorite YouTube artists is Karliene. She has a whole playlist to herself on my YouTube, which you can listen to HERE (and I do suggest you listen to at least a few of them).
I love her voice. It's haunting, but still human. The way she composes her music and sings her songs - her style - is exactly what I hear when the Wovlen people sing me a song in the dead of night. Their haunting melodies never stay with me (I forget them by morning), but they force me to wake up and write them down before I forget the words.
If I could choose anyone in the world to sing the songs of the Wovlen, I would choose Karliene... no offence to any of my musician friends. I love you and your music. Don't ever forget that. If you want to put my poems to music, go ahead! But, since none of you have done so yet......
I told my family about my fascination with Karliene's voice and that I feel her voice is perfect for the Wovlen songs.
They suggested I contact her about it.
They think it would be awesome if she made an entire album of Wovlen songs. They believe it would be a win/win for both Karliene and I - she would make money on the songs and album, and I would profit from the extra publicity.
I, on the other hand, have this thing about contacting people (celebrities...cough, cough). I don't feel like I should message or call them out of the blue and ask them for stuff. It makes me feel like a pest, or one of those creepy people that we have all been warned about...
Okay, no. That's not the real reason. I am afraid of being rejected. Plain and simple.
I would rather approach the gal with money and offer her a paying job. I feel that, if I had money to offer, she'd at least take me seriously... and I'd take myself more seriously too.
Alas, money and I are not on good terms. We remain distant acquaintances.
My family also feel that I do not need to offer money to have my "songs" sang, especially when both parties would profit from it in this situation. I'm inclined to agree with them, but I'm still way to nervous to just contact the gal and ask her if she'd put my songs to music and sing them.
After expressing my fears, my family took it a step further.
We are all big fans of Celtic Woman, and one of our favorite voices from Celtic Woman has been Orla Fallon. Her voice is haunting and beautiful. Here are two of my favorite songs she has sang: Siúil a Run (Walk My Love) and Newgrange.
Well, Orla has said that one of her dreams is to sing songs for a movie.
My family really thinks my book is worthy of a movie. Therefore, they think I should contact Orla and ask if she would like to sing my Wovlen songs, and also see if she knew anyone who was in the movie making business.
*Runs away... Hides under bed*
Okay, so contacting Orla is probably WAAAAAAAAAAAAY out of the question.
But is contacting Karliene, the YouTuber who has 50,000+ subscribers, out of the question? Would it be absolutely flagrant of me to send her a message and ask if she would be interested in working with me? Is it worth the risk?
I don't expect much of a response, but what do you, my readers, think of this situation? Do you think I should let it lie? Or should I give it a try?
To end this, I would like to leave you with one of my favorite songs by Karliene. She's a Game of Thrones fan. I'm not, but I love this song: You Win or You Die.
So, this video is pretty lengthy. I wanted to keep it as short as possible. But then I decided to hash out EVERYTHING about my hearing loss. I explain how I "lost" my hearing, what the doctors say about it, and I answer some of the common questions that people ask me about it.
If you have any more questions concerning my hearing loss, feel free to ask in the comments below (either here, on my blog, or on YouTube)!
I was really nervous making this video. I am really nervous to post and share it. I don't talk about my hearing loss very often, and very few people realize that I am hearing impaired. I like it that way. I like being "normal" (not that having hearing loss at 25ish years old makes a person abnormal, or anything), and I like people treating me like a normal person. But, when you are missing a significant amount of hearing, that makes it almost impossible, even dangerous, for people to treat you like a normal hearing person. And, no matter how much I pretend to be "normal", people eventually figure out the truth.
You never realize how much you depend on your hearing until you are missing it. Those with good hearing take their gift totally for granted. And people who are completely deaf have it SO much easier than a hard of hearing person. They live in a world of total silence. A hearing impaired person can hear fragments of things happening around them, and that makes the world a lot more unpredictable and scary.
Author of the fantasy series, Tales of the Wovlen, Kathryn spends a great deal of time in the world of her imagination, having tea with fire breathing dragons, writing books on flying space ships, and practicing her mad scientist laugh with gusto. However, on occasion,she returns to this world just to play with her dog and blog about her fun.
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