Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Querida:Origins – Episode Two

Chapter One

I sat across from her for a few minutes. She was humming quietly, staring directly at me, relentlessly. I stared back, almost afraid to break her gaze, which is ridiculous, when you’re being stared out by a child, but most children are not killers.

I thought I should ask something. Anything, just to break the silence, or to move things along, but I couldn’t really comprehend her.

“Why?” She tilted her head, inquisitively, a smile spreading across her face, but the answer still elusive. “Why did you write this?”

“I was bored.” She swung her legs against the chair, almost melodically. “It’s the most interesting thing my sister has ever been involved in.”

Every motion was chilling. She seemed almost excited to discuss her crime. I couldn’t decide whether I should push her for more information, or run for my life.

“How do you think she felt about it?” She smiled again, twirling one of her pigtails around her finger.

“Who cares?” Her callousness was appalling, but intriguing. “She’s got bigger problems now.”

“And what would they be?” She sank back in the chair, apathy creeping across her face, which concerned me, because she didn’t seem to take apathy or boredom well.

“Duh…” She rolled her eyes. “She’s dead.”

That was when I knew, Querida was an incredibly dangerous little girl.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Querida:Origins – Episode One

I first met Querida when she was seven years old. She was a bright girl, with deep brown eyes and a passion for writing.

I was used to meeting the deeply disturbed. Emasculated men who had murdered mothers and wives over impotence, scorned women who had declared war on all men in their path, children who had faced war and abuse for years and finally succumbed to the pressure, but there was something quite different about Querida, upon first glance.

Her parents had shown her nothing but unwavering affection, even now. She had never really hurt anyone, according to her doting (but delusional) parents and could be considered the stereotypical spoiled child, so at first glance, it could be confusing as to why she needed psychological assistance when the word “No” from her parents would have sufficed.

I had looked at her almost clean file with bewilderment, in the lead up to our first session, and my confusion continued when we met. She had been sent to me, as a precaution, by her parents, who had concerns, and money to burn.

I asked her if she would like a drink, and she politely declined, asking me if I would like to see a tap dance. I politely declined and reminded her that we were here to discuss her sister. She smiled sweetly, swinging her legs against the couch, in a way that wouldn’t have concerned many, but did me.

“I don’t have one any more.” She said, her smile broadening. “But I have a wonderful article about the one I used to have.”

The rich have a funny way of buying themselves out of trouble, and in that moment, I realised that was exactly what her rich parents had done. Querida’s article was surprisingly well written, but couldn’t hide the fact that she had stabbed her sister to death, and her parents, and their money had made it go away. This therapy session wasn’t preemptive, to stop Querida from hurting someone for the first time, it was an attempt to keep the monster she had already became at bay.

Posted in Ask Jen, Blog, Lifestyle, Thoughts On Writing, Wrestling, Writing

Ask Jen – January 15th

Melody Ann asked “What inspired I Love You, Bye?”

The dehumanisation of celebrities. It was originally going to be the end of Querida, with Damien kidnapping her, but I came up with a different ending, so ended up using the idea for a separate story. I think while the majority of fandom is wonderful, creative and respectful, there are people who cross a line and treat their idols as if they are objects that belonged to them, so I wanted to explore the idea a little, and that was what I came up with.

Katie asked “Who is your favourite wrestling manager of all time?”

Either Donna or Vickie Guerrero. I think both really added to matches they were involved in, and really went the extra mile to make the client memorable, without making the entire thing about themselves and leaving the client forgotten, which is pretty much the key point of managing that a lot of people miss. Unfortunately, some genuinely believe it is just about standing at ringside, and clapping/looking dismayed at the right moment, or constantly speaking for the client and doing all the promo work, so they never advance their skills, but there is far more to it than that.

Being a manager is about taking what is great about the client and enhancing it, making sure they are memorable, while giving the opportunity for them to learn from you and improve on what they may currently be lacking, which they both did very well.

They were also both strong female characters who took no shit, which is lovely.

Jack asked “What kind of coffee do you like?”

I don’t. Coffee is far too grown up for me. I don’t even like coffee flavoured things, actually.

Amy asked “What do you think of Youtubers writing books?”

I honestly don’t care to be honest. I know some people get mad about it, but it encourages reading in young people, sells books which brings money back into publishing and helps to fund new authors, and makes the readers of those books happy.

I could complain about Youtubers getting book deals, or I could just keep writing my own stuff, gaining experience and skills and not have an internet trail of trashing other people who have been published, that will make me look bitter, and alienate potential readers when I eventually get a book deal.

I would personally not read many of them, but I’m not the target audience. I think there is a big issue in writing communities in that people genuinely believe that books are only valid if they are the kind of books they will read. It may not be for you, and that is fine, just read something that is aimed at you, and move on. I wrote more on this here, actually.

There is the ghost writing issue, but the fact is, ghost writers decide to ghost write, and they get paid, so it isn’t really something to be concerned about, it is just a part of the writing industry. You could argue that Youtubers should be upfront if their book is ghostwritten, to maintain transparency with their fans, but that kind of defeats the point of ghost writing, because you’re not supposed to know…

TLDR, I don’t care, because I have my own shit to do.

 


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Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Music, Personal, Writing

Let’s Talk About Love (Songs) + A Short Story

Valentine’s day is actually one of my favourite days of the year, because while some are frustrated by the constant gushing of adoration, or even disgusted, I think it’s quite sweet to see so many people around the world being nice to one another. The world is a tough place, as I’m sure you all know, so a little extra love, as disgustingly public as it might be, is right up my street.

With that in mind, I thought that today, I would share a few of my favourite love songs, that make up my perfect Valentine’s day playlist.

I have also uploaded a new short story that you can read here, so I hope you enjoy that.

Take Good Care Of My Baby – Bobby Vee

Yes, the song from the SMA adverts, with the rain and the car, and… wait, they changed it? Ugh. Anyway, “Take Good Care Of My Baby” is a two minute and thirty seconds ride through the tunnel of love, that highlights one of the most realistic aspects of romantic relationships, regret over treatment of someone you loved. While the voice of the song is initially in denial at his part in losing his lover, he quickly comes to realise his own part, and pleads with her new lover to be more careful with her heart than he was.

Bobby Vee emotes the lyrics perfectly, from the bitterness towards the new love, to his bitterness at himself for allowing himself to hurt someone close to him, and all the endless devotion for his lost love in between. It is a triumph for not only Bobby Vee, but the legendary songwriting team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

Lead The Way – Mariah Carey

I know that the Lambs will know this, but for those who aren’t as enthusiastic about Mariah Carey as we are (I don’t know how you live your life that way, but to each their own..), Glitter may be a masterpiece that passed them by, or a joke they laughed at without really knowing the context.

The soundtrack album that accompanied the unfortunate film venture contains several excellent tracks, that sadly don’t get the recognition they deserve due to the commercial difficulties of the project.

Lead The Way deserves to shine, as one of Mariah Carey’s finest love songs. It is a hopeful, and honest love song, showcasing the doubts and anxieties of allowing yourself to love someone else, and it goes without saying, but she sounds divine. Fun fact, it contains Mariah Carey’s longest sustained studio note, towards the end, so watch out for that.

Como La Flor – Selena and Cristian Castro

Is there anything more romantic than duet on Valentine’s day?

Selena Quintanilla Perez is an icon in Latin music, creating a legacy that is looked upon fondly by her fans, old and new, decades after her heartbreaking passing. One of her signature songs, Como La Flor, originally from the 1992 album Entre A Mi Mundo sheds light on the loss of a lover, but the strength in accepting that it’s over, even when it is painful to do so.

The song was reimagined on the 2012 album Enamorada de Ti, as a duet with Cristian Castro, opening up a completely different possible interpretation of the song. While the lyrics did not change, having two voices instead of one shared the pain. While before, Selena’s heartbreak was singular, with the addition of Cristian, is it possible that the flower has not withered after all? Could it be that the love she thought she lost secretly longed for her too, but couldn’t find a way back to their love?

This is all speculation, of course, but one of the most interesting things about the music of Selena y Los Dinos is that each of their songs pull you into the story of the singer. You discover a whole new world in those short minutes, and with the re-release of Como La Flor, another was born.

Hold Me In Your Arms – Rick Astley

I was overjoyed when Rickrolling became a thing. I have loved Rick Astley since I was a little girl, and to see him celebrated (sort of..) and make a return to music was my dream come true.

One of my favourite Rick Astley songs is the title song of his second album, Hold Me In Your Arms. Written by Astley himself, it is a mature and heartfelt ballad that showcases Astley’s abilities as both a singer and a writer. It examines the difficulties in taking down the walls and expressing emotions, which is something that sounds so simple, but could well be the hardest thing in the world to do. Astley perfectly describes the relief of being open and honest with a lover, as well as the struggle to get there.

He also looks cute as hell in the video, but I think he looks cute all the time, so…

Heaven’s Light/Hellfire – Tom Hulce and Tony Jay 

Seeing happy couples, and feeling you will never share the journey of love with another is something almost everyone has experienced, and hopefully, we will all find someone who shows us that we are wrong. Heaven’s Light follows Quasimodo as he realises that contrary to how he has always felt, he is worthy and capable of being in love. While he does not end up with Esmeralda, her kindness and friendship shows him that he is not the monster he was always taught he was, and that he, just as he is, is enough to be loved.

It is followed by the lust driven Hellfire, a troubling look into Minister Frollo’s Catholic guilt (we’ve all been there) and the depths he will go to, to satisfy his desperate craving for Esmeralda’s affections. He blames Esmeralda for his own emotions, he blames God for not equipping him with will power, he blames the guards who allow Esmeralda to escape, he blames everyone for everything but himself. That is the difference between the two songs, and the two voices. One is honest, and thankful, seeking only to explore new things without hurting anyone. The other is a destructive, self asorbed pissbaby.

While Hellfire is perhaps not definitely not a love song, and more a crash course in misogyny and entitlement, it does further showcase how gentle and genuine Quasimodo’s love and hope for a future with Esmerelda.

I hope you enjoyed the playlist, and the story, and I hope you enjoy Valentine’s day. Whether you are alone, with friends, with family, or a romantic partner, I hope you have a day filled with love.

Con amor,

J x


 

 

 

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