The Good, The Bad and The Boring — A Writer’s Update While Stuck Inside

Hello, Again,

I hope you’ve been well since our last meeting. This impromptu post came to mind while working on something else and decided it was the right time to give an update. Like everyone else out there trying to adjust, cope, deal, and process all that is happening in our world with COVID-19, my normal schedule has been altered. I am balancing my normal to-do list with creating school assignments and activities for my cousin while he’s out of school.

On top of that, I’m working through a family situation that involves caring for a family member and their recovery. But I won’t get into that right now. I am still writing, reading, and kicking ass–just at a bumper rate at the moment. Ironically, this is a post I drafted based on just the titles several years ago. As both a writer and a (general) book blogger, I have always found more comfort in posting my comments and thoughts on the material I read. Rather than sharing personal stories of my struggles and hard times.

Putting that all into a journal or in the thoughts and words of a fictional character I’ve created was always easier for me than to just post it here. Will I make that part of my “something new” theme here? I don’t know. I think keeping this generally a book-blog/media site is what works best for me.

It has allowed me to make a number of contacts with creative indie writers and it is still a space I feel at home with. However, that urge to share more of me with all of you and the rest of the world bubbles just under the surface. So,  a few weeks ago I applied to be a contributing content writer with Ghost Speaks. It is a powerfully open platform where writers and just normal people can share their stories with the rest of the world anonymously, under a pen name or their own.

Over there I am still G. Jacks for the pieces I’ve shared but who knows, I might submit a few things anonymously from time to time. 😏 Whether you check out Ghost Speaks because of my posts or someone else’s story I highly recommend putting in the time to read some of the pieces there. You never know, you could come across a post from a person who has or is going through the same thing you are.

With the current restrictions and limitations we are all facing, I have turned to books, manga, anime, tv shows (a few) and writing to space out my free time and remain busy. The latter has always been my strongest saving grace. For those who might be having a hard time adjusting, I wanted to close out this post with a few options to pass the time.

WAYS TO CURVE THE SOLUM BOREDOM

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Photo by NEOSiAM 2020 on Pexels.com

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Something New: Unguarded

erwan-hesry-WPTHZkA-M4I-unsplash FOR Something New post

 

Happy New Year, peeps!

This being the 9th day of the new year 😂, I thought it best to just rip off the bandaid before getting too far along into the month. If it has not become clear, I am generally a private person and do not post too many personal things or reflections on the site, but keeping things inside and festering is the easiest way to fall into a pit of despaair–don’t even think– [coughs]

Sorry, I had a slight Princes Bride flashback there, as you do.

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Via gfycat.com

My point being here, is that in the spirit of the New Year and the season of fresh starts and new beginnings, I have been toying with the idea of putting up new poems and shorts that have been rippling away in the corners of my mind. Some are connected to things I’ve tackled and faced recently, while others represent mere reflections of situations from my past.

And while reading is still a VERY big part of my life with the screenplays that I analyze, most of the books I have read just over the last few weeks and months have gotten a few notes on GoodReads and that’s it.

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I know, it’s terrible!

But if time will not permit me longer review posts, I can attempt to do shorter ones.

Or, like I mentioned, just venture forward with this Something New theme to keep things fresh. What do you think?

Now that this little update is over, here is my latest poem titled Unguarded.

 

The Crisp, bright, open sky

The Fading, dismal, browning Earth

Each takes me back to bittersweet memories

A Calming but broken, lightly tattered gaze

Quickening pulse pulls the blood from my face

And I blink.

They’ll be gone again, the memories, once the fog catches the sinful breeze’s eye

Free and unguarded, they dash off toward the horizon

So solid and real your hand felt in mine

Now the tips of my fingers graze only the chilled-wind and wasted time

Recalling the unyielding presence of old pine trees and the acrid aroma of burning firewood that filled up my lungs

Knowing the shifting rumble of your chest against my ear with each absent-minded hum

You held me captive in your warmth and safe in your unguarded gaze

I was a prisoner picked, plucked and stuck without the need to escape

Except, not a single truth, only deceptive lies thrived, harboring in the sweet cadence of your forevermore lullaby

Again, I close my eyes at the whistle touch of the wind grazing my face

I remember your eyes and whisper your name.

~Ungaurded by Gia.©~

 

This poem was created from a blend of details from past love interests and some embellished imagery that I wanted to use to keep the theme of elements and passage of time present in the piece.

Thanks so much for stopping by to check out the first post of 2020 🙂 Hope to see you around here again and remember to watch this space ^_^.

 

Until the next post,

Gia.

 

 

Photos credits for this post:

*Photo by Roven Images on Unsplash
*Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash

The Fox Hunt by: Mohammed Al Samawi | Book Review

The Fox Hunt
By: Mohammed Al Samawi
Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir, Religion, War,  Politics, Non-Western
Rating: 4.5 stars
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Publisher: William Marrow
Synopsis:

A young man’s moving story of war, friendship, and hope in which he recounts his harrowing escape from a brutal civil war in Yemen with the help of a daring plan engineered on social media by a small group of interfaith activists in the West.

Born in the Old City of Sana’a, Yemen, to a pair of middle-class doctors, Mohammed Al Samawi was a devout Muslim raised to think of Christians and Jews as his enemy. But when Mohammed was twenty-three, he secretly received a copy of the Bible, and what he read cast doubt on everything he’d previously believed. After connecting with Jews and Christians on social media, and at various international interfaith conferences, Mohammed became an activist, making it his mission to promote dialogue and cooperation in Yemen.

Then came the death threats: first on Facebook, then through terrifying anonymous phone calls. To protect himself and his family, Mohammed fled to the southern port city of Aden. He had no way of knowing that Aden was about to become the heart of a north-south civil war, and the battleground for a well-funded proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. As gunfire and grenades exploded throughout the city, Mohammed hid in the bathroom of his apartment and desperately appealed to his contacts on Facebook.

Miraculously, a handful of people he barely knew responded. Over thirteen days, four ordinary young people with zero experience in diplomacy or military exfiltration worked across six technology platforms and ten time zones to save this innocent young man trapped between deadly forces— rebel fighters from the north and Al Qaeda operatives from the south.

The story of an improbable escape as riveting as the best page-turning thrillers, The Fox Hunt reminds us that goodness and decency can triumph in the darkest circumstances.

 

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Where Do I Get My Books From, You Ask…?

Hiya:

So, it occurred to me the other day (perusing through all of the e-Books on my tablet) and really realized that I have quiet a few books. Not including the ton I have on my bookshelf.

This fact made me really happy because for once the amount of fictional reading material I owned out numbered the non-fiction, informational and academic based material I have.

Likewise, I thought it’d be fun to share a list of places that I get my books from, besides signing up to participate in book blog tours, being gifted books by authors themselves and being asked to review material.

My Top Three Places To Buy Physical Copies Of Books:

1) Amazon

2) B&N

 

 

 

3) Thriftbooks

 

There is also of course the public library, but I live in a tiny suburban township. Which does have it’s own public library, but it’s slim pickings. I also know that B&N can be pretty pricey, but I remember when I asked for a B&N gift card for my birthday last year, I was able to get 7 books with the 50$ given to me.

How? You might be wondering. (I don’t. I’m not presuming to know what you’re thinking or that you’re thinking at all reading this.) Well, I waited a good month (haha, not even kidding) until B&N was having a big sale and went in to grab a few of the books I was waiting to buy and voilà.

The point is, book shopping at B&N is possible, if you’re patient enough. But for those who aren’t (which I am sometimes—or not? In this context) there are other options like Amazon or Thriftbooks.

What I love about Thriftbooks is that they offer older titles as well as several new ones, if you know when to look. Now, for those who do not know, Thriftbooks is a site that allows you to buy used books based on your preference of the book’s physical condition.

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A Writer’s Update–Protect The Writers’ Realm At All Costs

Hello Readers,

Just another Writer Update here, which will be brief. I have a number of tasks to get back to but I wanted to post this up date because it is centered on one of the main things I have been struggling with the last two weeks—my scheduled writing hour blocks. Yes, I do have a valid enough reason for the lag in my schedule (birthday weekend +sister’s graduation + Mother’s Day) but I drive a hard bargain when it comes to my writing schedule and to any novice writer who comes across this post I think it is important that you do as well.

The Importance of Boundaries & Space When You Commit to Writing: The Writers’ Realm

On any given day, friends, family and the rest, will demand your time and attention. As they simultaneously disrespect, disregard and dispute with you over the relativity of you (as a writer,) needing to take or have x amount of time to write in silence and be on your own to formulate your thoughts, or enter that special Writers’ Realm space that we writers enter where our styles and stories materialize. And this space, my friends, is important. This space is vital. This space means the world, the universe and the next galaxy over times two. Sounds a bit over the top? Well, it’s not.

“Why?” You Might Ask. 

Because, these snippets of time help us writers to better our craft, our voices and our developments as creative, mystical creatures and I do mean mystical creatures. I’m always astonished by how much work I get done when I’m in that writers’ zone at the eleventh hour on a personal piece or an assigned piece that took ten (or so) hours of not-so-good-and-often-really-bad writing before I stumble upon an overflowing stream of creative gold. Like the Writers’ Realm, I am sure the same can be said for other like-minded creative individuals who prosper and evolve when they are able to enter their creative spaces, or Fortresses of Solitude when working.

The reason I bring up the importance of the Writers’ Realm is because I had the misfortune of falling into the toxic, near fatal trap of letting the outside world not only steal me away, but keep me away from my own writer’s realm two weeks ago during my birthday weekend. As a result, it set a portion of my scheduled blog posts off by two weeks, and boy has it had a cumbersome affect.

Closing Thoughts:

I love writing; I always have and the fact that I missed my personal deadlines because I permitted others to steal my writing time is disconcerting. I am quiet literally in the middle of the final week for my Masters program, with a list of (awesome) books to review coming up and a spec script to outline and now I have to add post catch up to that list. It may sound like a lot to try to paddle through, but it retrospect it isn’t, or it wasn’t if I did not lose that time.

Developing an active practice to write everyday has been proven to aid writers to write; like a steady flow of water that trickles down from a mountain side you—hmm, I feel a manifesto coming on, which is my cue to wrap up my ramblings. 🙂 My overall point is, do not let any outside forces take you or keep you from your writer’s realm.

A few new creative updates for you though, a new installment for The Protector Series, Declan is now live and can be found on my Medium profile. And although this flash fiction pieces are episodic, be sure to check out the other two installments, Bella and Carmen as well. In the last two weeks, I have started reading three of my ARCs books, the full list is here, and all three have been off to such an exciting start. I cannot wait to share more with you all after I have finished them. Keep your eyes peeled for book reviews down the road ;-), but until next time, as always:

Stay creative,

Gia.