At This Moment…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 26, 2018 by jezzywolfe

I am currently dealing with the oncoming passing of one of my parents.

Much to my surprise, I have largely been able to keep my composure among family and hospital staff this past week. By myself, though, it’s a different ballgame. Maybe there’s an internal switch that flips automatically to help me remain stoic and rational in the face of this painful madness. I worry that family will mistake it for coldness or lack of compassion.

But I am not a cold person. I do not lack compassion. I can’t even kill a bug accidentally without feeling sorrow. True story.

I would change this situation in a heartbeat, if I could. No matter what has happened in the past, I love my family fiercely. I have done the things I’ve done out of a need to protect my loved ones. Even now, as I keep my back rigid, and my voiced thoughts extremely clinical, it is to protect my dear parent.

As a child, I was very loved. I never doubted that. As an adult, my parents have continued to love me, and show their support of me. Anything I say or do now is because I know they need me to be this strong. For them. So they can move on comfortably. And gently.

But if I thought an emotional tantrum could change the outcome, I would do it. In a heartbeat. Biggest tantrum you ever saw. It would be a most glorious and super effective tantrum. You’d be impressed.

But now, all I really can do is to keep telling them I love them, and hope that is what they hear when they finally choose to go.

We are never ready for these things, are we?

I thought I would be. But I’m not.

SQUIRREL!

Posted in General, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 8, 2019 by jezzywolfe

It’s rather frustrating.

I start every day with the intention of sitting down and knocking another WIP out of my To Be Completed folder. I have good intentions, really.

I open up the folder.

“No, nope, nooo, no, hell no.”

And then I stare at the various projects and try to figure out why the hell I can’t just finish one before starting the next?

If you know, I am all ear…eyes…because I have no answer.

There are days I work on Lui and Jax and cannot believe how well it is moving. I open it up the next day, and it’s the equivalent of slug racing. That’s also an apt description of how impressed I am with what I wrote the day before. So I close it up and move on.

I open one of a dozen and a half different short stories in various stages of unfinish, and can’t remember where I wanted the story to go. Or why.

If I am at home in my cave, my eyes will wander away from the screen and fall on any

one of a dozen projects that piled up in front of my bookshelves or on my desk. The clutter distracts me. I feel guilty for taking the time to write when there is chaos everywhere I look.

Sometimes I will try to overcome that particular obstacle by spending a few hours at a Starbucks with my tablet. I can often make decent progress there. The downside to that plan is the delicious temptations in the glass case. My widening gut and backside can attest to that.

It feels like I haven’t found the perfect solution. Or the perfect schedule. I spend about FOUR hours a day driving. Not all at once, but throughout the day. Which does not help me formulate a steady schedule for myself. If I want to focus on writing, it usually means I can’t focus as much on exercise.

(Before anyone balks, I know well that there are plenty of authors who make time to keep themselves in shape. They have all my admiration and respect, because I can’t figure out my happy medium to save my life.)

This is where I am now. Frustrated. Scared. Irritated. Disheartened. Bordering hostility. Hating my reflection as much as my lack of discipline.

I questioned if I wasn’t struggling with some amount of Attention Deficit Disorder. Maybe I am, who knows? As much as I love to read, I find it ever more challenging to focus. When did I become this scattered? Maybe I should see a doctor about this?

The reasons I haven’t are another can of worms.

SO… I sit here. Glaring at this screen. My cave is tidier, but I still feel pulled in a thousand directions. I’m trapped inside myself and unable to grab the reins.

 

 

I want to be more than this. I used to believe I could be. How do I get back on track?

Better News for Better Days

Posted in General, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 12, 2019 by jezzywolfe

Despite the recent struggles, 2019 has not been without some accomplishment. I don’t think I have kept my blog updated with these announcements, and I apologize for the silence. So, if you happen to be curious…

In January, my short story, Branching Out, appeared in NECROCASTIZINE, Issue 2. It is available for purchase directly through me, so if you’d like a copy, send me a message. This is a fun, grassroots publication, edited by Tommy Clark, and features fiction and articles that highlight all things horror and heavy metal.

 

Over the summer, my flash fiction story, Talisman, appeared in Crystal Lake Publishing’s SHALLOW WATERS, Vol 1. It is available for purchase on your kindle, and can be picked up HERE.

 

This month, my non-fiction article, Mosh Pit Salvation, appears in NECROCASTIZINE, Issue 3. The article discusses the three artists I feel are the biggest influences on me, to date. Just a little musical FYI, if you will. If you are interested in a copy of this, also feel free to message me about purchase details.

 

I have a couple projects lined up for 2020 that I am not ready to discuss yet, so there is that on my horizon. Currently, I am deep in edits for my first novel, THE TRENCH, a tech based horror thriller.

But I am also starting a new venture… a series of middle grade fiction novels about a young Puerto Rican girl named Luisa, and her magical, portal-opening ferret, titled LUI AND JAX. More news on that to come, as it is available.

I am scheduled to do another live reading at Fright Flight in Portsmouth, VA this October, but I do not have further information on that at this time. The readings have been well-received, and this will be my …fifth year? I lose track.

So, despite any struggles on the personal front, I am still plodding forward, professionally. Attempting to really dig into my work right now, to get me through this challenging time. I really appreciate the support and encouragement of my friends, and readers.

You may not realize how much of a difference you make. I promise you, you are all a big deal.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

~ Jezz

In Conclusion

Posted in Uncategorized on August 10, 2019 by jezzywolfe

I have struggled on and off with depression for most of my adult life. Unfortunately, this past year has been a pretty consistent downward spiral.

It started with my mom’s death. And then it just continued downward.

Every single situation resulted in the worst case scenario. Hardly any good news to speak of. We went from finally being financially stable to struggling again. The support I had largely disintegrated. While everyone’s advice has been, consistently, to pour my frustration into my writing…I cannot work that way.

Instead, the pain has festered and smothered me.

Now with the future possibility that I will be forced to abandon the last dream I held on to and succumb to a draining, life-sucking minimum-wage existence, I am finding it harder to play happy any longer. This is not the life I wanted for myself. I didn’t ask for this. I advised against this, in fact, many many times.

But again, I am ignored. I am often ignored. I am used to not being heard. I despise being ignored. It feels a lot like being forgotten…another sensation I am far too familiar with. I handle none of this with grace, either.

The question is, how long do I sit here and let this eat away at everything that defines me?

I am feeling really isolated. That doesn’t just anger me…it breaks my heart.

It no longer matters who agrees. I don’t need any more pep talks. Everyone will offer all those cliche’d answers, but they are not in my shoes. They don’t really know that this, too, shall pass…they can only make the assumption.

I started each day with the hope that it would pass. And it doesn’t. I fall asleep to tears, and they are still there when I wake up.

There will be no more poetry. There will be no more laughter.

There will only be blank screens and empty channels.

And me.

News to You!

Posted in Contest, General, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2019 by jezzywolfe

The year got off to a very rough, very shaky start. But I am not sitting on my hands in despair. I decided to push myself. Finally. As of now, I’ve sent off three submissions this past month. One is in the reading phase, and it will be months before I know if it made the cut.

The other two have faired pretty well.

TODAY, my flash story, TALISMAN, is available to be read and voted for on the CRYSTAL LAKE PUBLISHING Patreon. Yes, you need to be a CLP supporter to read and vote, but you can sign up for just $1 a month. They offer great perks to their supporters, and a metric butt-ton of fantastic fiction. (Yes, I measured it.)

If you want to check out TALISMAN and give me a vote, head over to https://www.patreon.com/posts/24508424.

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Additionally, a second flash story is available for voting at the Stitched Smiles Publications site. It’s a fun little story, titled ONE FANTASTIC BAUBLE. Head over and take a peek at it. Maybe give it a like or a comment. Doing so is a virtual high five, and I appreciate it. Sincerely.

If you want to check out ONE FANTASTIC BAUBLE, head over to https://stitchedsmilepublications.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/stitchedsaturday-2-2-19-jezzy-wolfe/

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My intention this year is to keep pushing forward. I want the year to end with at least one solo published project, if not more. I am still working on my BEELZEBACON novella, and still contemplating a poetry or short story collection. My first novel, THE TRENCH, is awaiting edits so I can work towards getting that published, as well.

I am also contemplating launching a Patreon account, that would provide my supporters with a regular stream of new content, as well as recipes and goodies from my KetoB!tch blog. More information on that once it’s better fleshed out.

Meanwhile, GO. Check out my stories. I hope you enjoy them.

All my love, guys.

Jezzy

The Regret

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 7, 2019 by jezzywolfe

Saturday night, I dreamed about my mother.

While many of the details of the dream are fuzzy now, I remember she was wearing her red velvet hat with the black flower on it. Her hair was thick and wavy, a golden red, and hung just past her shoulders. She wore a red blouse and a black skirt with red flowers on it. She was flushed, and looked …healthy. She looked happy.

I could only think of how beautiful she looked.

The weird thing was, I was noticing she was wearing her hat, but anxious because I actually gave that hat to her cousin when she went into Hospice. I couldn’t understand how she’d gotten her hat back. And then I realized I was seeing a memory of her, back when she was healthier and vibrant, before she ended up in the nursing home. I was relieved because I worried she would feel betrayed that I gave her hat away like that.

I spent all day yesterday thinking of her. Specifically, I spent the day thinking about how I don’t remember ever telling my mom she was beautiful, even though she said it to me countless times. I always just saw her as ‘Mom’. I didn’t see her as a woman with insecurities and doubts, just like me. I kept her in a labeled box and never stopped to think about how that might feel for her.

Even with her weight struggles, my mom had clear blue eyes, very few wrinkles, and a young face. She had MUCH better ankles than me, which I admittedly envied, because I have terrible, unattractive ankles, myself. My mom was the kind of beautiful that did not require makeup or powder, even though she was always asking me to buy her some. I suppose makeup looked alright on her when she was younger, but as she got older, I just thought it was unnecessary. She didn’t need it, unlike me. I always did. But my mom was naturally beautiful.

And I never told her so.

Yes, I’d compliment her choice of outfits. I would tell her that her hair looked nice that day. She’d ask where I was getting my hair colored and how much it cost, because she really liked the color, and I always answered half-minded, without considering how depressing that was for her. She hated that she had so much gray. I could’ve at least taken her out to have her hair colored. I mean, when I am unhappy with my hair, I am miserable until I do something about it.

She had been unhappy with her hair for so long. I never made it a priority.

It was wonderful to see her in my dream, looking so radiant. A reminder that she had looked that way before. But now, there is the dull ache of realization that I can sit here and tell thousands of people how beautiful my mom was, and it doesn’t matter at all. Because I should have told HER that.

I did tell her, as I sat by her side. While she was on the ventilators, and when she went to hospice. I told her how nice her hair looked that day. I’d bought her a sparkly pink makeup bag that I knew she would love, and bought colorful hair clips and soft hair ties, lip glosses, hand lotion, and a glittery compact mirror. I bought it for her the day after she had her strokes, thinking I could surprise her with it when she woke up.

But she never saw it.

I use it now. Even though she didn’t know it, it was her bag, and I use it as a way to remember. I sleep with the last stuffed animal I had bought her… a floppy brown dog that I gave her the last time she had been in the hospital before her strokes. I kept two of her sweaters and I wear them alot around the house. There was one afternoon that I pulled on one sweater, hugged her dog to me, and fell asleep on the couch beside her butterfly tree.

I remember at some point feeling like someone was hugging me. I was alone, of course, but there was that feeling of comfort.

This regret eats at me. That I didn’t tell her how beautiful she was. That I never mentioned how much I appreciated her. I’m sure I said thanks from time to time. But I don’t know that she ever knew how much I appreciated everything she did for me. There were too many things to mention, things worth appreciating.

The opportunity I had to let her know is gone now.

She may be gone, but she left me with some wonderful memories. She wouldn’t want me to sit here, feeling like shit. It cannot be helped now, unfortunately.

You always think you will have time to rectify.

Don’t set yourself up for a woulda, coulda, shoulda.

 

Days in Between

Posted in Uncategorized on January 3, 2019 by jezzywolfe

New Years always feels like a punch to the refresh button.

But usually, after a day or two, the smoke settles. And you discover it’s the same old business as usual. Maybe even a slightly drearier business as usual, because we always expect things to be fresh and new and exciting. When we discover it’s not, that’s a blow.

That’s where I am at now… the smoke has cleared. I still have my focus set on my goals, and I have worked actively towards them, even in these first few days of the new year. But I need to step back and scrutinize the way there. I was so excited about a future of new friends, new things to look forward to. I focused on that the past two months, when things were so difficult… what I could look forward to once the dark passed.

But the dark has passed. The way forward is clear. It is also alone. I suppose I got ahead of myself.

That’s kinda the way it’s always been for me. I get ahead of myself. I let down my guard and I put myself out there. Right before the cold shower of reality crashes over me. I am just me. I’m not a part of any circles. I am not indespensable. I may even be worth avoiding.

These thoughts, I realize, are not healthy. I’d love to be rid of them. But I’m on a loop that occasionally tricks me into believing I found my way off. Sadly, I haven’t.

Same shit, different day, week, year, lifetime…

Yes, I am a little depressed, I guess. I said I wouldn’t be. This particular depression won’t hold me back, though. Because it brings with it a resolve. This is just how it will always be for me. I am okay in minute doses, but anything more than that, and you should run.

You’ll be relieved to discover I DON’T CHASE after anyone who cuts ties with me. If anyone chooses to leave my life, I let them. I don’t hang around, hoping for their change of heart. I won’t waste my time that way. It’s not that I hold grudges or stay angry. I just get gone. And then I stay that way for good. Because as much as I hate the idea that people feel like they’d want to avoid me, I hate the idea that they think I can’t survive without them, somehow, even more. I will survive just fine.

I could tell myself it’s their loss. We always say that, don’t we? As if we each possess some irreplaceable spark that others gravitate towards. The only spark any of us ever need is just our own, anyway.

That’s a lonely realization to make. But as a society, we’ve already started shutting ourselves off from each other. When I go walking, I notice how many of the people I pass have their eyes down on their cellphones, rather than what’s around them. Whenever I make a new acquaintenece, everyone wants to swap phone numbers…but never to actually speak to anyone. They just want text. They are content to let all their interactions be voiceless words on a screen. Personally, I hate that. I want to hear what someone sounds like when they laugh. LOLs leave so much out of that experience. I want to hear them react to news, or conversations. I get tired of trying to determine if their incredibly combative or argumentative social media posts are something I should feel is directed at me. I get tired of always guessing where I stand.

I want real people in my life. Not virtual companions. Flesh and blood. An actual high five when I manage to achieve something. Not a hand emoji on a screen. A real hug, not multiple parenthesis around my name. Legitimate contact with other human beings. Because that is when I feel I have value. That is when I know my friendship is really worth something to someone else.

But for a while now, I’ve gotten a very different message. Well, message received. Loudly. What I’ve looked for is clearly out of line with a culture that would rather confine itself to binary transmissions.

When I graduated high school, I anticipated that I would soon find myself dealing with loneliness. None of my friends were around anymore. They had their lives and their better friends to focus on. One day, I made myself a small clay dragon, which I named Dega. I made Dega so I wouldn’t have to be alone. I found comfort in the idea that I’d have a companion even after everyone forgot about me. Even then, I felt like an outcast.

I don’t have Dega anymore. I don’t know what happened to it. And I know I’m not completely alone, because I have my family. But I do not have a BFF, and I never have had one, and it’s been an empty reality my entire life. The reality is, the things you want the most are the things you’ve never had. I wanted that best friend. That actual partner in crime. Not seasonal buddies that grow distant and detached.

A real life clay dragon… that’s neither clay, or a dragon.

I wish I still had Dega.

I’m still contemplating shutting down the KetoB!tch blog. As much as I was excited about it, I don’t have it in me to be so Pollyanna right now. The end of the year was a difficult time for me, and one that left me feeling rather cast out. I wanted a new start to the year, but it’s still just another day. I’m still the same pathetic child, overly excited anytime someone tosses me a crumb. I don’t know that I can encourage others when keeping my own head above water is such a challenge.

I’m not giving up my keto, or my fitness. I’m back to walking. I will continue to progress. But I might not be so quick to share it, now. I’m not actually doing it for anyone other than myself, anyway. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that I think I care significantly more. And then I end up feeling like a complete fool.

Time to stop feeling like a complete fool.
Time to stop feeling. Period.

Now is the time to just keep my head down and push forward.
With or without anyone else.

Ruminations on the Sparktacular Advent of a New Year. And Tay Tay.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 1, 2019 by jezzywolfe

Prologue:

It’s 11:43. No… 11:44. The last minutes of the year are trickling away like a stream of urine after 5 energy drinks. Gee whizz.

*smarcastic emoji here*

NonPrologue:

It is now 12:05. I mean, 12:06. Though it will be later than that when I finish this, and even later still before you get to rest your ocular orbs upon it, you lucky fucker. Because that’s the way time works. It passes. Quickly.

I’m on my fourth glass of wine, and while my belly is warm, I only feel just slightly ridiculous. So this might not be a drunken post, as much as a slightly-warmed-belly post. Last year’s post was so morose, I didn’t want to make that a habit. But if I ever earned a drunken New Year’s post, it was this one.

On December 11th, my mother passed away. It had been a long, heartbreaking decline since her strokes on November 18th. At 1:11pm, almost a month later, she faded away with my hand over her heart, hoping she would open her eyes one last time for me. Even now, it’s hard to wrap my head around. She was always here… and now she’s gone. I’m not sure I’ve really unpacked what that means.

The rest of the month passed in a whirlwind of crazed motions and never-ending to-do lists. I stayed busy because that’s my way of pushing through difficult situations. Nose to the grindstone. Don’t think, don’t react, don’t dwell… function only. Human automation. It’s a survival mechanism that never lets me down.

Now, tonight, it’s just drink. And eat. And sing. By myself. Because who the hell cares if I even know the right words, right? I sing the words that SHOULD be the correct lyrics. IDGAF. Somebody better recognize! I wrote the songs that made the whole world sing until somebody else wrote them differently. And on actual paper. Assholes.

Sidelogue:

((Is that even a thing? It is now.))

If you thought I was singing before, just you wait. We just cued up TAY TAY on Netflix. That’s right. I’m gonna know you were trouble when you walked in. And all that other shit. But can I just ask… why are they crying?! Friggin groupies, I swear. Scream and cheer, yes. BUT. Is it really a compliment if the sight of your idol makes you start bawling like you just lost your rent money on a bad hand of Uno? I would think it would. It would would. Would. Wut? Would it? What’s with all that? So much would. Yes. I would so do that.

What was I saying?

I don’t remember. But some dude in the audience knows ALL the words. Enthusiastically. I’m kinda impressed. But one spectacular dab move, and that poor girl next to him is gonna need a doctor.

OKAY. Back to whatever the hell I was posting about.

Yeah, so the year kicked my ass. For the past month and a half, it was murder. Basically. But, before that? Last year was not my worst year. As a writer, sure, not my most productive year. But an incredible period of my life, nonetheless.

This time last year I was hitting a dark low. By March, I’d had enough. So I spent the rest of the year proving you don’t need fucking resolutions or even hydrotherapy to overhaul your life. I was one person when 2017 ended. But I haven’t been that person in almost a year now. And I won’t be her again. She’s gone now.

See, even with the devastation of December, I will not succumb to that hopeless depression again. Yes, I fell off my keto while sitting vigil, but I’ve already proven to myself that I can do it. I’ve still lost most of the weight I was trying to lose. I still have the energy to move. I fell off my path briefly, but it’s still within my sightline, so I will be back on track. It starts tomorrow. Wait…

IT STARTS TODAY.

And that’s not a resolution, mi compressors. I don’t believe in that crap, as you well remember. Resolutions are mad for show, and then for breaking. Change and growth, you do that because it’s time. You do that because you want to. And you don’t let silly platitudes made over champagne and kolaches sidetrack you.

You know what would be awesome? If kolaches suddenly became THE thing on New Years. Just because I mentioned it. You’re probably sitting there salivating over a kolache now. Like, a strawberry one. Or a tripe and feta. I’ve never actually had one, so I’m kinda just spitballing these suggestions. Are they good? Is tripe a good pairing for feta?

You’re glad to be reading this. I ask all the important questiions. I hit home hard with these thought provoking queries. It’s a gift. Much like tripe is a gift.

I’ve never had tripe. I’m beginning to suspect it’s not even an actual thing. Is it tripe, or is it trite? Maybe it’s trite tripe? That could be a great band name, by the way. Or a flavor of kolache.

Wait…

Nevermind.

This year, I won’t resolve to do anything. I won’t resolute a bunch of stuff. I will simply do it.

Pretty controversal, amIright?

It’s so simple, it’s practically genius.

But the simplest things are often the smartest. And the most successful.

So that’s how I do the damn thing. Not with declarations. Not with a list a rules for dating your daughter.

…uh…

I’ll just do what I do. I’ve made goals for myself, yes. But they are important to me. Not something espoused as pithy holiday customs. But real shit I actually want to acheive.

Last year I learned how to transform my body.

Now watch me transform my life.

This could be a disaster. It could be a train wreck.

Or it could be the most fantastic adventure of my life.

Wanna see where this goes?

Yeah. Me too.

Let’s roll.

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