life

Fall

If there’s one thing that I love that I can’t eat, it would be trees.

They’re tall and majestic. They’re fun to climb. They give shade on hot summer days.

Recently I was driving along with my non-imaginary friend and I noticed that in a gust of wind, leaves fell from a maple on the side of the road and fell on the pavement and on our car where they promptly flew off.

I realized that this could only mean one thing. Fall is finally here.

Already I can feel myself raking up the leaves in the yard, see myself cosplaying one of my favorite characters for Halloween, smelling freshly baked apple pie coming from the kitchen, tasting the pumpkin spice lattes (Yes. Starbucks is for teenage boys too), and hearing the sounds of the leaves crunching under my feet as I go on long walks.

Here’s to pumpkin picking, hay rides, fair rides, fair food, coffee, trick or treating, orange and yellow leaves, and jumping in leaf piles.

Here’s also to trees.

Without them, it wouldn’t really be fall.


Have a wonderful day! I’m off to go enjoy this wonderful weather.

Jese

 

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apple pie · life

A Toast to Potatoes

If there’s one thing in life that’s more wonderful than ice cream, Netflix, and true love, it would be Potatoes. (However, Apple Pie is the most wonderful thing, so Potatoes come as the second)

Now. Why do I award Potatoes second place on the scale of wonderfulness?

Well, first off, they are similar to apples. The French word for Potato is “Pomme de Terre”, which means “Apple of the earth”. Apples grow on trees, and potatoes grow in the ground.

Second off, they actually have more uses than apples do. (shhhh….I did not just say something that makes potatoes seem better than apples).

With a bushel full of potatoes, you can make french fries, home fries, waffle fries, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, potato rolls, potato donuts, baked potatoes….the list goes on and on. while, with a bushel full of apples, you can only make pie, apple crisp, dried apples (yuck), apple dumplings, and a few other apple desserts, and with a bushel full of Netflix or True Love (the next best wonderful things), you can’t really get anywhere.

images (1).jpegdownload.jpeg

Also, Samwise Gamgee loves them, and that’s really all the reason you need.

See ya soon! Maybe I’ll make a tribute to apple pie next (which will be at least five times longer 😛 ).

Jese

 

life

Strength in Numbers

Heiliel, everyone!
I want to talk today about something very important: Friendship.
I hope all of you have experienced at least one, though there are some people that sadly never have had a friend in all their life. But I was thinking recently: Why do we have friends? What’s so special about friendships that make us all want to have them?
I have two very close friends: Emr and Meron. Both are very different than me. Meron is brave and bold, with a dry sense of humor and love for wide open spaces. Emr is gruff with most people and grumbles a lot, but he’s loyal and loves to laugh with his friends. They’re about as different from me as you can get, and they are different from each other too. Why would three different people like us become friends? And if we are so different, why would we stay friends?
Honestly, I’m still not sure how we became friends. We just did, I guess. My guess is that my cousin had something to do with it, but I can’t prove anything. But I know why we are still friends.
Sure, we argue. We fight. We throw rotten tomatoes at each other and then summarily run while our target attempts homicide. But we still manage to stay together, and this is why: we stay together because we want to. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, Emr says (though he’s usually talking about breaking into the desert cellar). If we didn’t truly wish to remain friends, we wouldn’t. We would splinter and break apart, like shells smashed against rocks on the shore. But we want to. We want to always be friends, so we work to keep it that way. When something comes that may take us apart, we fight it. We don’t let anything stop us.
Sometimes friendships do end. It’s sad but true. But, unlike what most people say, you can always do stuff to try and stop it. People will move away, but you can fight to keep up your friendship. As long as both of you want it, it will happen. It’s the way life is–when it comes to relationships, there is no ‘there’s nothing I can do’. That’s just being lazy and defeatist.
But sometimes, someone won’t want to be friends anymore. People change, it’s what people do. They may not have moved away physically, but mentally they have. They’re like Susan in that book about the lion and the closet or whatever–at the very end, she couldn’t come back, because she didn’t want to.
When something like that happens, you still shouldn’t give up. Keep pressing on. If you fight, who knows? You may still win the day. But even if it doesn’t succeed, at least no one can say you did not try.
But back to the original question: what makes friendship so important? There are lots of answers, I think.
Friends will always be with you. With a true friend, even if you’re all by yourself, you’re not alone.
Friends will always have your back. When things are hard, they’ll rally to your side and help you win the day, like the army of the Rohirrim except less cool-looking.
Friends will help you stay you. When you mess up or start straying, they’ll be there to push you in the right direction (whether it’s a gentle nudge onto the right path or a shove into a creek to jerk you out of your self-pity).
Friends bring out the best in you. True friends love you for you, and will strengthen those best parts of you and help draw them out into the light where everyone can see them.
Friends defend you. When you can’t go on any further, your friends will step up and push away what’s crushing you long enough for you to breathe and get up again, so you can push on together.
But most of all, friends make us strong. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘strength in numbers’? A bunch of trees, all growing together, won’t be knocked down in a storm. A wall of linked shields can stand against the charging onslaught. Even if they’re not right there with you, their support and strength will always be with you. That’s why friends are so important. Alone, we’re all weak (though don’t tell anyone I said that. I have a reputation to keep). Together, nothing can move us or stop it.
Together we’re strong.

~Your friend,
Nikken

life

Writing Tips from Jese

Recently, I’ve been writing a lot more than I used to so I thought I might share a few writing tips, some that I keep telling myself, some things that come very easy to me, but I know that other people struggle with. Take what you will from this list 🙂

a) write whenever you can. If you’ve got an idea, keep going with it. Even if you don’t have a pad of paper or a computer, just keep writing in your head, planning out your stories.

b) write whatever you can. Write down all the ideas, write in all the genres. I don’t like stagnation in my writing, so I try to write in as many genres as I possibly can: fantasy, scifi, contemporary, historical fiction.

c) write first, edit later. Editing/perfectionism (something I struggle with) is like a heavy fog and you can lose sight of what you’re aiming for as you try to perfect as you go.

d) finish what you start. It’s so tempting to give up on your current project in order to chase another one, or to be discouraged by perfectionism, but there is nothing more satisfying than finishing what you started.

e) if you’re a pantser, try planning. If you’re a planner, try pantsing. Be comfortable with both approaches, and you never know. You might like another style better than the one you use currently. Don’t be afraid to change.

f) have fun! 😀

See ya later!

Jese

life

Fear Itself

Hail and well met! ‘Tis I, Nikken. How have you all been this summer?

Today I am here to talk about something that affects all of our lives. You may have forgotten it ever existed, or maybe you still remember it with a faint shudder. But I assure you, it was once a tangible, inescapable menace that clutched your mind and heart with a fierce grip. Perhaps in the deepest, darkest corners of your mind, it still has a foothold, ready to rise with vengeance at the least provocation.

I am talking about—

Childhood Fears.

Admit it. We all had them.

These are the fears that plagued you at night as you lay in bed, trying to sleep. Every sound would morph into footsteps of varying magnitude, every shadow turned into a dreadful harbinger of your fear’s arrival.

Some of them are on the improbable side, such as flaming monsters. Others are more reasonable (though not any less frightful) such the house burning up. Some were even ridiculous, now that you look back on them.

For interest, my biggest fear when I was little was… rabbits.

Don’t laugh.

I had horrible recurring nightmare of evil rabid bunnies breaking into my Uncle’s manor and swarming me, an unstoppable wave of rabbity evil.

Something rather like this, in fact, except in hordes.

killer rabbit

I would weak up screaming and crying every night.

(Stop laughing, Your Highness. It doesn’t befit your dignity.)

My author had two childhood fears–burglars and snakes. Or to be more precise, venemous or constricting snakes coming into her bedroom. She wasn’t afraid of snakes normally, though she doesn’t like the ones that can kill you. She used to spend hours catching and handling snakes.

But she was terrified that a dangerous snake would somehow come into her room, wind itself up into her loft bed and either bite her (if they were venemous) or squeeze her to death (if they were constrictors). She would lie awake at night, peering at the suspicious lump at the end of her bed and hope it was a fold of her blanket and not a snake head. But she was too afraid to sit up and look in case it was actually a snake and she attracted its attention, causing her imminent death. In the morning, she would tell herself it was silly (she lived in a town), but knowing it was silly never did much when the lights went out and the lump at the end of the bed appeared.

She blames the Jungle Book and Rikki Tikki Tavi.

But she grew out of the fear (as we all do, in time) as she got older, and not long ago, she moved to the country. And it just so happens that her new bedroom has a small hole in the corner directly across from her loft bed, and beneath this hole is a small piece of drop ceiling. About a month ago, she woke up and saw a snake draped on that small piece of drop ceiling directly across the room, looking at her.

There are very few things more terrifying, my friends, is to wake up one morning to find your childhood nightmare is a reality.

She tamped down her first response (screaming) and went to find her dad. She managed to keep her cool until the family entered her room and the snake appeared to be missing, which was when she screamed and indulged in a brief moment of panic, convinced the snake was hiding in her room. She managed to calm herself down quickly, though, and it was discovered that the snake was still on the ceiling piece but was retreating into the attic. Her father and two younger brothers then proceeded to catch the snake, take it outside, and release it.

My author is not afraid of snakes. She even volunteered to help hold the snake (and big fat black ratsnake that was more than four feet long) while her family took pictures. But finding one in her room (especially one that looked brown in the current lighting, therefore making her fear it a rattlesnake or some other venomous kind) was… difficult, shall we say.

Now to the point of the story.

Everyone has childhood fears. We outgrow them eventually, but they still lurk in your minds, forgotten but not gone. And while many of us will never wake up to find their fear an actual reality under the light of day, for many of us, in those dark hours between lights out and the land of dreams, those fears are tangible. Inescapable. Real. And they will remain so unless we take steps to defeat them.

My author volunteered to hold the snake for two reasons.

Number One: She wasn’t afraid of snakes. Rather likes them, in fact.

Number Two: She didn’t want that to change.

Above many things, my author hates debilitating fear. She understood if she didn’t reach out and hold the thing that brought her nightmare to life, the nightmare might grow. The fear that poisoned her nights may end up poisoning her days, making her flee in fear from something she once enjoyed. Paralyzing her in moments when action is needed. So she held the snake.

As I said before, I was afraid of rabbits. When my Mammami discovered what my nightmares were about, she devised a plan. My Mammami is a wise lady, so she knew that the best way to defeat your fears are to confront them, hold them in your hands, and throw them away. Far, far away where their ability to hurt you is small and faint. So my Mammami had me do two things–she gave us all rabbit stew to eat for an entire week, and she gave me a baby bunny, as a pet. The rabbit stew taught me that despite the overwhelming evil of the rabbits, they could be defeated.

The baby bunny was a tiny thing, so small I could nearly hold it one hand. It taught me that the rabbits didn’t have an overwhelming evil, after all.

I named that bunny “Nyacaon”. In the tongue of my cousin’s people, that means “No Fear”.

My author tells me that someone once said “The only thing we have to fear is Fear Itself”. It’s not whatever you are facing that paralyzes you, it’s your fear. Defeat your fear, and half the battle is already over.

So, when you are all grown up and your children come to you (or even now, with your younger siblings, if you have them), frightened and sniffling, don’t tell them there’s nothing to be afraid of. Have them hold their fear in their hands and show them there’s nothing to be afraid of. Hearing someone tell you something is knowing, having someone show it to you is believing.

And in the rare case this might not work, there’s one last, best thing to do. Remind them that even when they lie awake at night, all alone, staring at the lump at the end of the bed, they aren’t truly alone. There will always be Someone there with them, ready to face and fend off their fears and, when they fall asleep, to fill their dreams with light.

Farewell for now! May we all never wake up to find our childhood fears have come true. Especially me. Because being swarmed by a colony of evil rabbits is something no one should have to experience.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go put some mulberries in a laughing High Prince’s bed.

~Nikken

life

~Favorite~

“What is your favorite animal? What is your favorite color? What is your favorite season?”

All of these are traditional ice breaker questions you’re asked when someone’s trying to get to know you. I never know what to answer. I don’t have a favorite animal. I love several of them. I don’t have a favorite color. There’s at least three I can’t decide between. How can I decide between all the seasons when they all have such wonderful contributions to the year?

I can’t decide. I don’t want to decide.

Then, as I was eating lunch at my friend’s house today, her younger sister asked her “can you have more than one favorite?”, looking for a resolution to an argument she was having with a brother about their favorite fast food restaurants.

“Sure” my friend replied, mainly saying it to keep the sister away from her as she was trying to read her book, not realising she said something rather remarkable, something that made me redesign the way I’m going to think from now on.

Where does it say that you can have only one favorite?

So, now I am resolved that whenever someone asks me those questions, I will respond with all my favorites. I’ll tell them I love cats, dogs, echidnas, and tasmanian devils. I’ll delve into how I love pink just as much as red, orange, or blue. I’ll list the pros and cons of all the seasons, settling on the answer that I love all of them.

Feel free to say that you have many favorites, whether it be between flavors or children (since we know you’re not supposed to have just one favorite with the latter). However, if you do truly only have one favorite, that’s ok too (though don’t tell your kids that).

Have a great day everyone!

You’re all my favorite people 🙂

Jese

life

A Sentence That Creates a Paradox

As someone who spends way too much time on the internet, I am here to tell you a sentence that, no matter what decision you come to concerning it, will leave you in a paradox.

You might have either figured this out before or seen it somewhere else (if so, you’ve done more internet surfing than I ever have), but that doesn’t matter. You can just skip this post and read something else, but if this is a new concept for you, I urge you to sit down and ponder.

Keep reading. I know you’re curious.

It’ll come. I promise you

Here we go:

Don’t believe anything on the internet!

A very very very simple sentence that can and will create a paradox.

If you disagree with this statement, you’re saying you believe anything on the internet, but by disagreeing with what I’m saying, you’re disbelieving something on the internet, which goes against the conclusion you just came to.

If you agree with this statement, you have yet another paradox. You’re agreeing that you shouldn’t believe anything on the internet, but because you read this post on the internet, you have gone against your conviction and believed what I said.

see you later 🙂

Jese