Ocdbloggergirl's Blog: OCD, Life, and Other Misunderstandings

More Mental Malaise, Less Donald Trump

Another New Post at My Other Blog: This Time a Short Story — August 14, 2011

Another New Post at My Other Blog: This Time a Short Story

I was originally going to give it as a guest post to a blog, but the story is so PURE T WEIRD that I decided I’d just publish it on my new blog. Want to hear how this story came to fruition?

::crickets::

Well, let me tell you!

Hang on, some douche is making a scene at the restaurant I’m at. Picture it: Man drinking a Corona. First time I’ve ever seen  someone drunk at a buffet, and as you can tell I’ve not skipped too many buffets in my life. I’m getting so pissed off  right now.

Thank God, he’s left. He was an obnoxious drunk, rude to the waitress, but you’d never have known from how she acted. I’m pretty sure she understood every word.  I’d have had to tell the manager or something  if he’d touched her (or beg my mom to).

I’m home now, safe and sound. But anyway, how my story came about. 5 weeks ago I checked by Magpie Tales to see what the picture writing prompt was, took one look, and thought, “Ain’t no way in hell I can come up with a story for a picture of  an African mask.” About a week later when it was too late to submit, the story somehow came to me. If you want to see the writing prompt picture from Magpie Tales, click here.  

And now 4 weeks later, the story is finished and up at my blog. My mom says she’s never read anything like it before, but she’s my mom and thereby obliged to like my crap. Please read or skimit and let me know what you think for real.  Sorry also that it’s a little over 2000 words. You can tell me here or there if it was any good. Thanks very much!

http://ocdbloggergirl.com/2011/08/14/short-story-a-day-in-the-life-of-mary-smith-cliche/

Playing 20 Questions with Jaco, Author of Just Write of Left — July 28, 2011

Playing 20 Questions with Jaco, Author of Just Write of Left

  Ni-hao everyone! I am delighted that my dear friend, Joe Romano, AKA Jaco, agreed to let me  interview him. I want to showcase his blog, Just Write of Left to my thousands of readers.  As you might  have guessed, I am his number 1 fan. 

 

 Kathy Bates Misery

                      “I love Just Write of Left.  A lot. I think you should too.”              
 
 
  Jaco’s writing launches his readers into a beautiful, lyrical, and exotic world of romance. The story he  wrote installments of this month, All Memories are Traces of Tears, is a tale  of a an American in China wounded by his past and the chance encounter that sparks a new love. While the story is fictitious, the scenes are drawn so that you know the author has an intimate knowledge of the China in which he writes. Jaco’s writing gets better with each post, as evidenced in his latest post, drawing the sadness of parting in a poetic vein. Jaco took a month-long, 30 words a day flash fiction challenge from Blogdramedy’s blog and expanded into an engaging, unusual tale. I’m honored to actually have Jaco here on my blog  answering my questions as I try to get an in-depth picture of this man as an author and a person.   I’ve decided to conduct this interview in a 20 questions format to give it that down home Spanish Inquisition feel. Jaco need only use this abbreviation to decline answering one of my painstakingly thought out queries: STFU, which for those of you not versed in internet etiquette, means “Stop! Thanks for understanding.” Without further ado , here’s Jacoooooooooo!
 
 
  1.) Do you swear or affirm to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?       
 
  The truth? Of course.   
 
 
 2.) Perhaps my 10k eager blog readers would like to know why you are called “Jaco. Just Jaco.” To me it’s far more catchy than “Bond. James Bond” and gives you that aura of mystery a blogger worth his salt craves.  
 
Let me begin by saying it’s pronounced Ja koh. Not Jaco as in wacko. Well, I earned the name Jaco later in my musical career. I was a big fan of Jaco Pastoriusthe greatest bass who ever lived. He performed with Weather Report, and later with his Word of Mouth Orchestra. Jaco was to the bass what Hendrix was to the guitar. His technical prowess was unsurpassed. He was better than Charles Mingus in that his compositional skills approached that of Mingus, and his technique took the bass to another level unheard of in the 80?s. I started playing bass late in my career. Toward the end I was playing bass exclusively, and emulated his playing style. My friends started calling me Jaco and it stuck. So I chose that as a pen name. Jaco. Just Jaco. Jaco and nothing more.  
 
 
 3.) Your blog is called Just Write of Left. How did you come up with that name? Me, I just listened to my inner child skipping through my inner field of transcendental daisies, but I understand if you were inspired by more conventional means.  
 
 I was searching for a new name for a blog. I brain stormed a bit and came up with Just Write of Left. Probably not the best name for SEO purposes. But I  liked the play on words, and decided to go with it. I shut down Blogging Perspectives Daily, and moved to this new domain. While I was participating in the BlogShorts Challenge I decided I wanted to write short fiction. I thought the name reflected what I was doing.
 
 
 4.) Please describe for those of my 10k readers who haven’t discovered you yet, what Just Write of Left is about.     
 
 Just Write of Left is a place for me to paint pictures with words. I like to create images with writing. That’s the goal. My blog is my personal art gallery in a sense.
 
 
  5.) What inspired you to start this blog?
 
  I don’t know. I just felt it would be a creative outlet, and I felt it was therapeutic. I needed that. I was recovering from a mean cocaine addiction, and at some point I felt like I wanted to create again. I felt I was well enough to get back to work. 
 
 
 
  6.) Could you tell us a bit more about your genre and niche?  
 
I wanted to try flash fiction, and write noir. After I complete my ongoing All Memories are Traces of Tears series which was born out of the BlogShorts I contributed, I want to write cyberpunk. I’m a big William Gibson fan.
 
 
 7.) What inspired the major themes and storylines in your blog?
 
I’m inspired by the films of  Wong Kar Wai. He is a brilliant film maker from Hong Kong. His films are poetry.  I love the imagery in his films and wanted to create that kind of imagery in my writing. The story lines are based on my experiences of living in mainland China. Mainly fiction revolving around three central characters. All Memories are Traces of Tears is about promise, yearning, the past, and in some ways about impossible love. Some loves are impossible, but they’re loves just the same. Of course the settings for my stories are mainland China, Kowloon, and Hong Kong.            
 
 
 8.) Do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?
 
In my day-to-day life? In a sense I guess you could say that. Depends on where I’m spending those days. I find inspiration in human tragedy, the pain of the human condition. I’m inspired by things that really affect me in one way or the other.
 
 
  9.) Do you wear your heart on your post when you write?  
 
Of course. Every post is very  personal. I’ve always been one who not only wears their heart on their sleeve, but wears it like a red jacket.
 
  
10.) The Joe in your stories is gentle and benevolent. Is real life Joe like fictionalized Joe? Are there any ways real Joe is different from fictitious Joe?    
 
 
Not really different. The real life Joe is gentle and caring, but no one is perfect. I have my moments.
 
 
  11.) Where do you see your blog going in the future? Will there be new stories culled from your fascinating life? Personally, I expect a book deal for myself, get on the New York Times Bestseller list, win a Pulitzer, and sell the movie rights to Lifetime Television for Women. “She Wrote Yes: The OCDbloggergirl Story” starring Meredeth Baxter.  
 
 I’m not sure where my blog is heading. I just want to keep writing. There will be new stories. I have some ideas for future stories in mind.  
 
 
 12.) Growing up, did you want to be a writer? Did you fall in love with the written word?  
 
Well, growing up as an only child I had quite an imagination. I was writing song lyrics and poetry from an early age. I just felt writing was an extension of my musical studies. I’ve always been a ferocious reader so the written word was sustenance.    

 
13.) What made you want to start blogging in the first place? I’m blogging for World Peace.
 
As I said earlier it was a creative outlet. It got me involved, kept my mind occupied. It has helped with my recovery. I haven’t really written about my cocaine addiction, but I think it will surface in my writing at some point.
 
 
    14.) Who influenced your writing the most and why? For example,  I read a lot of cereal boxes during my formative years and it definitely shaped who I am as a writer. Tony the Tiger n’ Tolstoy, know what I mean?  
 
I mentioned Wong Kar Wai. I’ve also been influenced by the short fiction of Liu Yichang. The great German poet Rainer Maria Rilke is another influence, and the work of Charles Bukowski. There are so many. As for the why? It’s because of the images they were able to create.
 
 
15.) What are your main influences  in life? The people, the events, your spirituality, just anything that you feel comfortable sharing.
 
Influences in my life? My parents of course. My girlfriend Xiao Hui. My son Zaid. Music and art have always been a major part of my life. Spirituality? The Qur’an and Islam.  
 
 
16.) What are your other interests besides blogging? Do these interests come into your writing?
 
Astronomy and Cosmology. I’m quite the amateur astronomer. Other interests? Chinese culture. Languages. I studied Arabic for a couple of years. I learned some Mandarin Chinese, and continue to learn Mandarin as I will be returning to China in the very near future. No, I haven't used my other interests, but at some point I'll write them in.  

 
17.) What do you do with blogging ‘trolls’ and their ilk?
 
Blogging trolls. That can be a serious problem. There are more than 70 million blogs in existence. So these people with serious pathological problems just get out there and do what they do. Fortunately. I haven’t had a problem with trolls, not lately anyway. I just try to ignore them.
 
 
 18.When, where, and how do you write the best?
 
I’m always writing. 24 hours a day. But for the sake of actually putting it into a word-processor, early in the morning. I’m usually up at 5 am. I need that quiet time before the distractions of the day just become overbearing. I sit at this huge dining room table in front of my MacBook Pro with a cup of coffee, and a cigarette. I have an idea and I start to formulate it, explore it. With All Memories are Traces of Tears I’m always exploring the characters, developing them. Other times I don’t have a direction  until I start writing. It changes. I just keep writing  until it feels right.
 
 
 19.) What is the meaning of life?
 
 I’m still trying to figure it out, but I can tell you what gives meaning to my life. And that is helping people. Giving something back. That’s what I learned. You have to always give back. So if I can help someone in whatever capacity then I feel like I’m doing something that matters.
 
 
  20.) Do you like Girl Scout cookies? I favor mint chocolate.
 
  Well, it’s funny you asked. Yes, I do. However, I was dismayed to learn they’re not actually made out of Girl Scouts.  
 
 
There you have it, dear readers. Jaco. Just Jaco has just shown us his art and gave us answers to life’s great quandaries. I had always wondered why girl scout cookies were bereft of girl scouts too, but I never knew how to voice my concerns. Be sure to check out Jaco’s excellent fiction blog http://justwriteofleft.com, and if you’re on Twitter I’m sure he’d love to have you on his ship: @jaco223  

Day VI: Bunnies, Kittens, and Carnage. — June 10, 2011

Day VI: Bunnies, Kittens, and Carnage.

A six-week-old kitten.
Image via Wikipedia Kittens save the world one bunny at a time

 

Global warming  caused this, thinks Al Gore, staring at the horror outside of his door. Is it snowing in June?  No. The ultimate horror film scenario unfolds before his eyes. Bunnies, white sweet little bunnies fall to the ground.  Hopping, doing jigs, going this way and that, filling the island neighborhood of the environmentalist’s vacation home. Soon there is no ground at all, just teeming masses of white fur.    

Just then,  Al saw a neighbor coming out on his porch.    Jim Bob is the CEO of a lucrative alcoholic beverage company  whose success mirrors the plot of a Horatio Alger book  had Alger wrote From Drunken Boy  Jim to Functioning Alcoholic CEO.

“S’up, Al? ” twangs Jim Bob. 

“Umm, Jimm Bobb?” Al replies as fast as he  can, which , let’s be honest, isn’t that fast at all.    

Jim Bob had held an exclusive wine tasting all the previous night, so exclusive  that he had only  invited himself. This perhaps makes him at a disadvantage to notice the ground below him obliterated by white fur. What happens then takes place in the span of 15 seconds .  Jim Bob’s glazed eyes meet one red eye in the front, and as though it is the signal to attack, a white wave of fur swirls up the lengthy stairs to cover Jim Bob. When the wave of white recedes, all that remains of the man who was Jim Bob McLure  was his jawbone. 

“Ohhh the humanityy! ” cries Al as he bars  his door. It’s moments like this when I wish The Tipper was still around.  Maybe global warming caused the bunnies to condensate and return to earth mutated into rabid rabbit carnivores when solidified. I see a book in this: An Inconvenient Bunny.

Ah, Al, this story isn’t over yet.

“It’ss nnot?”

No.

 

 

 

Suddenly Global Warming  or Mother Nature or somebody shuts off the bunny deluge as the bunnies eat anyone in sight.

And then the  truly unthinkable happens. Kittens! Sweet, innocent little kittens raining from the sky. Kittens of all breeds and colors falling onto the blood thirsty bunnies. But the bunnies don’t eat the falling  critters. Instead the multitude of kittens start  eating the bunnies until there are no more bunnies.

And everyone  on the island that’s still alive and many others in the surrounding counties each got a kitten.  And they all lived happily ever after.

(Author’s note: You can go ask Alice, but I don’t think she’ll know.)

(Author’s  profound statement: Yes, I proudly voted for Gore in 2000. I believe in global warming too, but not as much worried as some people are.)    

Working title for the movie version: The Hossenfeffer Horror                                                                                                                                                                                     

Magpie Tales: Crazy Is As Crazy Does — October 26, 2010

Magpie Tales: Crazy Is As Crazy Does

http://magpietales.blogspot.com

It’s a perfectly good frame, thought the old woman, and I can still see my reflection through it. Gently she lifted the frame.  It’s too heavy to carry home.

Lucretia McDonald, age 79, sat by her window and watched  the goings on at the trash can in front of her house. “It’s that Smith woman  again,” she said to her cat. General Lee sat in Lucretia’s lap, a chubby white house cat with gray patches.  General Lee seemed not to care, his eyes almost shut as she stroked behind his ears. Lucretia rocked in her chair and continued to watch. “Seems like she could leave folks’  trash alone, crazy old thing….Oh look she’s giving up maybe.”

But no, Tessie Smith didn’t give up, for within 10 minutes she returned, rusted out wheelbarrow bumping down the sidewalk in front of her. Once again, the woman lifted up her  treasure, sitting it in the wheelbarrow with the carefulness one would show an infant being placed in a carriage. There. There now, it will do nicely on the wall somewhere. It only has a couple cracks and if I’m careful the glass won’t shatter.

“General Lee, will you look at that? She’s doing it again! That talking to nobody. Tsk. Back when I was a gal they locked you up in the sanitarium for such as that.” General Lee twitched his ear in his sleep in acknowledgement. “Wish I could hear what she was  a’ saying.”

“You didn’t forget our anniversary, did you, Harry? I knew you wouldn’t! You wanted me to find this, didn’t you? My present…eh, sitting by a garbage pail, but romantic none the less and no less appreciated to be sure!” And with that, Tessie and her present set off for home.

Tessie Smith looked the part of a bag lady in her faded floral dress with small tears, oddly marched tube socks, and worn out shoes. Her gray hair was a mess of tangles and split ends, which cradled a careworn face in thick glasses that slipped down her nose at frequent intervals. Bag lady, however, she was not. Her husband left a sizeable fortune when he died two years ago. Tessie just saw no reason to spend it much.

“We aren’t in as good a shape as we used to be, are we, Harry?” Tessie puffed as she opened the iron gate and pushed the wheelbarrow through it. The yard was immaculately cut, a neighborhood boy being paid handsomely to keep it so lest she be given trouble by the historic association.  The Victorian mansion, the biggest in the district. was also kept up outside. Not a chip of paint was off a shutter, but no one knew what the inside looked like since her husband died in his sleep and the ambulance came to collect his body

Tessie brought the wheelbarrow up to the porch steps.  She eased herself down on the middle step and began to pull the mirror upward as she sat until she was able to place the yard long mirror on the porch. Resting a few minutes before attempting to reach the porch herself, she finally was able to get up and take the mirror inside. When Harry was alive,  Tessie had kept her ‘collecting’ to a minimal, one spare room utilized for putting everything she collected. It had been enough in those days. But then Harry died and she tried to fill in the great chasm in her heart with things. Books, lots of them, stacked high as a man. Newspapers and magazines people had thrown out in case something important  was inside for future reference. A doll with a missing leg because you wouldn’t throw a real baby away for only having one leg.

Tessie now lived downstairs exclusively, the upstairs preserved from Tessie’s collections. She made her way through the hall to a sitting room she made into her bedroom and laid the mirror on her bed. Looking through the cracked mirror , she saw her husband behind her, but as he was many years ago. She fancied she saw herself  through the cracked mirror too as she was in the 1940s, a young wife.

She carries this image of herself in her mind and becomes her as she make the anniversary  dinner. During dinner she looked up from her steak  over at young Harry.  Sometimes she believed Harry was really there, not just the elaborate fantasy she made herself after he died. If not physically, maybe in spirit. Tessie looked over at the place setting and said, “Harry, when we went to go get my present, I think I saw the curtain move at old Lucretia McDonald’s place. You know her, remember? Talks about her cat like its  her child.? I think she’s a bit off.”


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