Further Writing Adventures

Hola amigos reflexivos,

I hope you’ve all been well. I’ve got some new poetry below which you can check out.

I’ve also been working on some short stories, which aren’t quite finished yet, but are coming along quite nicely. I was inspired after reading the work of my friend that gave me a deeper appreciation of the short story.

Don’t get me wrong, I was always into them, but I’ve never really written them, and so it was fun to delve further into a medium I didn’t often explore. I’ll hopefully post them soon. Of course, they’re romantic (this is me), but there’s a little difference that I’m hoping makes them exciting.

I had a great time working with new characters and scenarios, and it was a great writing experience to do something a little different, so hopefully you’ll enjoy them.

Besos,

J x

RECENT WRITING
In His Life
Eternity

Divisive, Divine

RECENT BLOGS
#BiPride
May Faves
First Listen Thoughts – Jodie Knight 

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You Get Less For Murder

I’ve tried digging the nails you helped me paint,
under your glowing ground floor to dig deeper.
I wanted to pick parts of my idealism away,
in the hopes that I could plan an escape.
I broke a nail.
Your lips launched on the stinging sensation,
until my frightened finger was calm,
and only shook because it was shy.
I’m getting used to the idea,
like I became used to the in-out-in-out night time respiratory adventures,
and the face you try not to make when I tell you I’m willing to cook.
I count both, the breaths, the culinary reluctance.
Both polite, both pushing my heart to keep up the good work.
I see your stomach ache face in milk sans soy,
and your name is spelled, subtle in the presumptuous playlist we made.
I think…
I know, I’ll love you forever.
I just hope you can love me too.


Comparing And Crediting

Even though your eyes
have nothing in common
with the pollution and pain of the ocean,
I see them in wanderlust waves,
dancing to the dunes
and lapping at my legs.
You have no connection
to my compulsion to breathe,
no matter what I’ve told you.
Sometimes I feel it’s me doing you a favour,
but I’d honestly be doing it anyway.
Wouldn’t I?
I’ll still let you take the credit,
for the air arranges neatly in my lungs,
no longer pushing and shoving,
since I first breathed for you.
I could easily pick the sun
from a line up that included your smile,
but as bright and beautiful as all things are,
I’d only pick the sun to escape
the gracious glare of your glorious grimace.


The Incarceration Of Mimi

Everyone loves a sing song,
you have them every night in sing sing.
Pad the planks of your prison palace,
butterflies break from the boundaries,
and your eyes plead,
when your lips can’t,
for them to return for you someday.
The grotesque glamour of the diamond dragon,
tail trapping a princess,
in a kingdom she couldn’t explore.
Perhaps, all that glitters is your spirit,
still shining, and still standing,
under more strain than your smile will show.



Keeping Up

The stars are shippers,
kept young by the scenes we play out,
and the dreams we send up,
and the arrogant apprehension of our affection.
We know we have an audience,
and we play like Kardashians,
the cosmos slipping off their seats,
while we cut to a commercial.



Withdrawal

Let me imagine,
that my path is more,
than a million alarms,
a million commutes,
a million missed moments,
lost to traffic jams and unpaid overtime.
Let me be more than a widow
to my dreams,
parted prematurely
by the death knell of kneeling to reality.
I’m not ready to weep
for the wishes on wasted, defeated stars,
or to blow out the candles on every ambition,
carefully constructed with optimistic oxygen on fantasy flames.
They told me to dream in dollars,
but the American Dream, is unavailable in my country,
or in the country of origin,
or anywhere.
Exchange my investment at the post office,
and head back home.
Coppers smash through the windscreen,
of a car I’ll never afford,
on the road to a house I’ll never own,
in a tepid town,
that doesn’t open up to “my sort”.
Won’t you give me one more moment,
to pretend something could change.
Let me get my fix,
of the aspiration I’m addicted to.



Scrubbing, Spritzing and Holding

She can scrub my lipstick from your collar,
nude stained when nude,
vanished by vanish.
God damn it, she tries.

She can spritz my perfume from your coats,
the virtue of vanilla never appealed to you,
in scent or in sex,
but god damn it, she tries.

She can hold you hostage in your home,
hold you to your vows.
More than my lips and candy bling are stained on your soul,
but god damn it, she’ll try.

I wait, painted and perfumed,
for the cautious, callous call.
I start scrubbing and spritzing too,
holding myself hostage,
but in my heart,
I know it’s been too late, for too long,
and God damn it, I’ve tried.



Little Frances

You were sweet as cotton candy,
so they pulled and picked,
your time,
your smile,
your life,
until your stick,
fell to the fame,
and those very same consumers,
threw up an ending,
that Hollywood would never approve.



Inauthentic Apparel

My shirt,
with low morals,
and an even lower neckline
spread rumours all about town.
She said that we’ve had every single man,
in every single place,
and every single hole,
in every single way.
We? I ask you.
I wish she had invited me along,
I could have done with a change of schedule,
from Netflix binges
and self pity.



In His Life

I’m no McCartney,
but he had Lennon looks.
Yellow couch with all our secrets,
made redundant by a room full of news.
We deviated from the map we sketched,
ran past the landlord,
changed the locks on ourselves.
Bloody brother and sister,
not born by bone,
glued by a tempestuous tenancy,
and game nights.



Technophobic

I type your name
on my tongue every chance I get.
I’ve slammed the backspace key
so many times that it has stopped working,
leaving no choice but to download you,
and cry, consumed by your virus.
If you were to say that I wasn’t your file type,
or that I didn’t fit in your drive,
or that you couldn’t spare the run time
then I could delete every devoted daydream,
send myself to sleep mode,
yet still,
you leave me warm and whirring.



Nothing But Longing

His eyes firmly on the camera,
glazed and distant,
as his patrons preferred.
He felt a sensation that he called tiredness,
but today, he couldn’t pretend
that it was anything less than apathy.
He went through the motions,
fingers down his chest,
fingers through his hair,
fingers on his unmentionables,
but despite his fingers,
and those of others exploring his body,
he felt nothing but longing.
He couldn’t wish for an ending,
so that he could go home,
because there was no home to go to,
and nothing to do when he arrived there. There was an apartment,
of course,
respectable in size,
and tacky in décor
according to his own inner monologue,
and the criticisms of occasional hook ups,
but it wasn’t a home.
It wouldn’t be again,
until his little bird,
returned to the nest.



You, Or Nobody

You were contained fire.
Light and warmth, without destruction.
You cooked the raw ingredients of my making,
without burning the flavour I thought I had lost.
Before you, I had heat everywhere but my heart,
I thought of thawing, but it wasn’t who I was,
or who I told myself I was,
to keep what lay underneath safe,
from hungry hands under the table.
I knew,
it was you,
or nobody.
That was the exact request of the recipe,
no substitutes,
no stand ins,
or nothing rises,
and nothing shall be devoured.
I know,
without you,
I am charred, and tasteless.
Our flavour has lingered on my lips too long,
that I crave you more with every second.

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May Faves ❤️

mayfaves jennifer juan

Someone suggested this type of post to me recently, and it made a lot of sense. I’m the kind of person who is always looking out for new things, and then getting excited and obsessed with said new things, enough to warrant a blog post (but normally just resulting in me bothering my friends and relatives with inarticulate ramblings), and so, without further ado, here are some cool things I found in May.

Hush Jennifer Juan

Hush

Hush first came to my attention when Netflix sent me a notification about it being released. I love horror movies, but I have to admit, over the years, I’ve grown tired of the home invasion subgenre. A lot of recent efforts have too many similarities, which makes for good drinking games, but not for good movies. You can only watch a family that you haven’t learned all that much about, run around a house you aren’t familiar with, while screaming “Why are you doing this?” to a villain who will inevitably say, in the voice of Christian Bale’s Batman “Because I can.” before aiming something at their head so many times, before you start to wonder why you didn’t just stick with zombies. Zombies can be samey too, but at least there is occasional variety in the origin of the infection, and the gory ways in which it can be spread.

With all that in mind, the cover of Hush, a standard masked man behind a frightened woman did make me want to click away from the description and search for something else, however, a quick glance at the description renewed my interest. The lead character, Maddie, was a writer. She was also deaf.

Writers in horror isn’t all that rare, but deafness in horror movies is these days. It would seem that murderers, zombies and ghosts are only interested in attacking those without hearing impairments.. or, the more likely option, most film makers don’t consider that deaf people exist and could be in horror movies, because diversity is something that horror does seem to be a bit far behind in, hence why the minorities tend to die first, if they get to be in the movie at all.

Still, new film makers are emerging every day, and with them, come new ideas, new characters and new possibilities, that are championing a diverse list of heroes to battle against the monsters of the universe and save the day.

Unfortunately, I have the longest netflix watchlist known to man, but I got to Hush eventually, and I’m very glad I did.

The opening of the movie did a great job of letting you get to know Maddie, without distractions, a drawn out title sequence or a massive amount of conflict. Due to the movie not being overpopulated, you are able to form an attachment with the lead character and immediately root for her.

Every part of Hush seemed necessary. It was about building a connection between Maddie, and the audience, and then sending them both on a one way trip to thrillsville (I know that is the lamest thing anyone has ever typed). I found myself with Maddie, in every moment. Her horror, became my horror. The horror of the movie lies in the reality of Maddie’s situation. Anyone can find themselves at the mercy of a bloodthirsty killer who decides today is your last day. A lot of horror comes with conditions. You MUST move into a haunted house to encounter a ghost or demon that will mess with your life. You MUST watch this video tape to activate the scary ghost lady (or little ghost girl depending on which version you watch). You MUST mess around with this spirit board like a moron and then spend several days hiding under your bed from the consequences. Hush, like most home invasions moves away from that and examines how horror can enter the lives of people who didn’t go looking for it. Maddie didn’t do anything wrong. She didn’t ignore a warning on the television about an escaped convict, she didn’t go to an abandoned hospital to play Bloody Mary, she didn’t upset a self righteous terminally ill man with far too many traps just lying around to snare her with. All Maddie did was stay home and try to finish her novel. I do that all the time. Literally, tonight, when I’m in my jammies, snuggled up and trying to finish the bastard thing, a killer could just turn up at my door and decide he was going to terrorise me for the night. I genuinely don’t know what I would do if that happened, so please nobody do it.

One of the best parts of the movie is the commitment to not victimising Maddie due to her deafness. It is made very clear that this situation could be experienced by anybody else, and it is also made clear that Maddie can handle the situation like anybody else. If I was to guess at why deaf characters (or disabled characters in general) do not appear in horror very often, it could be that directors are not sure of how a deaf person would handle something like a home invasion, or a zombie apocalypse, or their child being possessed by a demon. The simple answer, as shown in Hush, is that they, like everyone else, would just do what they had to do to get through it. To see a disabled character, especially one that isn’t written off straight away as a burden or cast as the villain, purely because of their disability is such a huge step for modern horror, and can only bring more diversity to horror movie characters in the future.

Also Stephen King likes it, and that is a guy who knows his horror.

mua velvet lip jennifer juan

Halcyon

I’m not going to lie to you, I’m not a makeup expert (duh). I don’t even really know much about it. For a long time, I wore the exact same products all the time. I would purchase the exact same brown lip gloss and gold eye shadow, and that was about it. Someone once told me my lashes were too long for mascara, and I was too afraid of getting foundation wrong that I just didn’t even bother having a go.

However, after seeing make up tutorials (which I find weirdly relaxing) I figured I could branch out and maybe give some new things a shot. I thought it best to stick to some things I had a little knowledge of, and first started with lip products.

I don’t really follow trends and fashions (hence why I dress like an old woman cosplaying a toddler), but after some research, I discovered that Matte is in for lips. I meant to buy a matte lipstick (more on that later) but I ended up buying lip lacquer instead. I had actually mistakenly purchased a lip lacquer years before, when attempting to buy my usual lip gloss, and hated it, because it was incredibly drying on the lips, but this one doesn’t have the same effect. It has staying power, without making my lips feel like a desert, but dries quickly to leave long lasting colour, without sacrificing comfort, which is perfect for newbies like myself who may have been put off by fear of the unknown.

fancy fawn jennifer juan

Fancy Fawn

As previously mentioned, I am by no means a makeup expert. I wouldn’t even call myself competent at it, but I have a vague idea of colours that look cool with me. As mentioned previously, I used to stick to browns and nudes, and so I decided not to deviate too far from that when getting a lipstick. I went with Matte again, because they look cool, and also because after wearing glittery lip gloss exclusively for years, I thought it might be time to go for something a little more grown up.

Like the above lip lacquer, this lipstick boasts long lasting colour, along with staying power, but does take a little longer to dry, so you may wish to use a lipstick sealant with it. Again, it doesn’t dry out the lips too much, but I have taken the very helpful advice on the review section of their website to moisturise and prime my lips before application to avoid drying entirely. Application is simple, and quick, with beautiful, long lasting results.

mua undressed jennifer juan

Undressed

Well. I wasn’t going to give up glitter completely, was I? Admittedly, I am again a novice at eye makeup, it may not always look great, but I have a lot of fun with it.

Undressed includes a glittery gold shade (lion) that I’ve used variations of for years, so I can recreate my signature (I’m laughing as I type this) simple look, of you know, just putting some around my eyes and hoping for the best. It also includes several beautiful and subtly shimmering shades (come on, you guys know how much I love alliteration) that I can experiment with, and try to find something that is a little less “toddler who got into mummy’s make up box” and more “actual grown up with a handle on things”.

To get so many eyeshadows for such a small price was great too, as I’ve often thought makeup to be super expensive, and maybe for some brands it is, but this satisfies my needs for now, and didn’t reduce my bank account to tears, so it’s a win win sitch.

zoella sweet inspirations jennifer juan

Sweet Inspirations

I think the vast majority of us have a vague idea of who Zoe Sugg is. If you haven’t seen her YouTube videos, you may have read one of her books, or tried one of her products, or even seen her on Bake Off a while back. For those who have done none of those things, Zoe Sugg is a blogger who makes videos, writes books, has a beauty line, and also has a dog. I may have left something out there, but I’m sure you can forgive me, for Zoe has her (I’m sure well manicured) fingers in a lot of (probably home made) pies.

Zoe’s latest range of beauty products is the Sweet Inspirations collection. I’ve never tried one of her products before, so I wasn’t sure quite what to expect, but I had heard a lot about them, and about her, so when I saw them in the shops, I decided to jump on the bandwagon headed for…. no, I won’t add “ville” to another word. I just won’t. You know what I mean.

I’m very set in my ways about a lot of things (as you would have seen above) and I am trying to get out there and do more new things, but bath products isn’t something I’m ready to experiment with too much, so while I did stick with my standard Johnson’s Baby Bath in terms of that, I did decide to pick up the fragranced body mist.

It was quite an interesting experience, because I was surrounded by Zoe’s fans as I approached the display, all of which were very excited as the range had apparently been put out in stores earlier than expected. In all honesty, I haven’t been excited by new products from my favourite ranges for quite some time. Primarily because I literally buy the same things over and over, but also because my time is taken up by work, writing, and my own terrified ramblings about what the hell I’m going to do with my life, that I don’t stop to actually take a moment to get excited about something new. For a moment, even though I’m not a Zoella superfan, I took that moment, and I got excited about treating myself to something new.

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that it didn’t come in a fancy box. The packaging design of the entire collection is very elegant, and there was definitely potential for fancy box with fancy box art for a fragrance, but on the upside, it is more eco friendly to not have a box for a body mist. In the grand scheme of things, it was a good decision to go boxless.

There is a good amount in the bottle for the price, and the fragrance is long lasting. I put some on this morning, and it’s now mid afternoon, and it’s still here. It is macaron themed, as is the entire range, and is sweet without being overwhelming or sickly.

My grandma also loves it. I don’t know if this carries the same weight as Stephen King liking Hush, but she knows her fragrances as well as he does his horror, so you can probably trust her opinion.

jelly belly sours jennifer juan

Sours

Who doesn’t love a good jelly bean? I love jelly beans. I also love sour things, so naturally, sour jelly beans were exactly what I needed in my life.

Perfect for sharing, or for your own little jelly bean party (is that a thing? I’m making it a thing), these are delicious. My favourites are the sour cherry (the red ones), but they also contain sour apple, sour peach, sour grape, and sour lemon, so have something for most tastes. They are also gluten free, gelatine free, fat free and peanut free, if you wondered. I only know what two of those terms means, but I love a good list, so I enjoyed that little factoid on the back of the packet.


Well, that concludes that post. I hope you enjoyed it, and I’ll see you soon!

Besos,

J x

Find The Products Mentioned Above

Hush
Halcyon 
Fancy Fawn
Sweet Inspirations
Undressed
Sours

RECENT WORK

Eternity
Divisive, Divine
Siren Songs To The Sugar Bowl
COME FIND ME

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First Listen Thoughts-Jodie Knight

jennifer juan jodie knight

Summer is almost here, and with summer, comes the essential summer playlist, and I’m incredibly excited to have something new and fresh to add to mine. Jodie Knight, a singer/songwriter from Scotland (I love Scotland so much but that is another blog post entirely, and I might not even write it, because collectively, Scotland might get creeped out and not let me back in. As I said, another blog post for another time) has just released her EP, “You’re The Only One” and below are my first listen thoughts.

The EP begins with the infectious title track, a combination of mature and heartfelt lyrics, and emotive delivery, over laid back instrumentation that creates the perfect summery vibe, and would be ideal for beach playlists, parties and get togethers during the summer season with your sweetie.

The second track Get To Know You is a catchy look at the struggle of trying to test the waters of a new romance. The conflict often found in this situation is well represented by the lyrics. While the excitement of a new relationship can make your heart race, your heart can also be unsure, and Knight describes this well, over a melody that is sure to get stuck in your head.

That’s The Truth slows things down a little, and is a great showcase of Knight’s lovely voice. Gentle instrumentation matches perfectly with tender vocals from Knight as the lyrics detail her wishes to protect someone she loves. With prom season on the horizon, this could be the perfect last dance between friends as they say goodbye, because it’s guaranteed to bring on the tears.

Getaway is probably my favourite track from the EP, an anthem of empowerment, it is optimistic, but honest, acknowledging the defeats life can throw at you before you are able to push forward and reach where you want to be. Let’s face it. We’ve all felt downtrodden at one point or another, we’ve all felt defeated, but it’s what you do in your defeat that people will remember, and Getaway is a great soundtrack to push you out of those blues and into action. It is dignified, full of ambition and perfect to motivate you all summer long.

Overall, Knight has delivered a great introduction to her music, and I’m sure there will be more great stuff to follow, after such an impressive and interesting debut. You can find Jodie on twitter here, and get your copy of You’re The Only One here.

Happy listening!

J x

RECENT WORK

Eternity
Divisive, Divine
Siren Songs To The Sugar Bowl
COME FIND ME

Twitter
Instagram

 

My novel and I have entered couples therapy

Hola reflexivo amigos,

I hope you’ve been well. I dont have much to update you with, but I do have some new poems below the cut.

I thought you might like to know, the novel is giving me less trouble. It feels less like an atrocious marriage, and more like that kind of marriage where you don’t avoid each other, but you only deal with each other in small doses, by working lots, so that you can smile in public and tell your friends that things are going well. We’re seeing someone twice a week, and talking through the resentment and occasional happy moments to see what we can figure out. I’ll keep you posted.

Hope your day is awesome 🙂

Besos,

J x

RECENT WORK
Eternity
Divisive, Divine
Siren Songs To The Sugar Bowl
COME FIND ME

Twitter
Instagram

Read More

Writing talk, and actual new writing.

Hola reflexivo amigos,

I wish I had some exciting adventures to share with you, but as of late, I haven’t been up to all that much (beyond writing, as you will discover below).

One thing I have been doing is falling deeply and irrevocably in love with Jane The Virgin. The first season was released on Netflix, and I decided to try it out and see if I would enjoy it. I honestly cannot think of words to describe how much I love this show. I love every character, I love every story, and I can hardly go a day without an episode. I have an extra special place in my heart for Rogelio, because I’ve honestly never identified so much with a character in my entire life. He is perfect. They are all so perfect. Please, do something nice for yourself and watch this show, and don’t forget to come back in a few months to my blog, when I’m several years late on falling in love with the next hit show that Netflix uploads.

In other, and less blissful news, I have been working on my previously mentioned novel, and when I say working on, I mean sighing over the same few pages or so, procrastinating, and them returning to the sighing, due to me being unsure of just how cruel I can be to my own creations. I would have given up with the whole thing, but I’ve been writing it since 2012, and I really should see it through. I’ve been with this mess of a novel longer than I’ve ever been in a relationship, which is both lovely, and horrifying. I’m not even sure if we love each other anymore. We’re just together for the kids. It is what it is.

The thing is, I know it could be good, or at least half decent, if I could just decide on an ending and get it all together. I have genuinely considered just doing a choose your own adventure style ending, but I don’t think that quite fits with the seriousness of the rest of the story.

Anyway, enough about my marital novel writing problems, and onto some poetry, which you can find below the cut.

Besos,

J x

RECENT WORK
Divisive, Divine
Siren Songs To The Sugar Bowl
Bigger Than Satan
COME FIND ME

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