Life Is What You Make It

I frequently think about my life, what I want to accomplish, what I’ve done so far, and how long I have to do everything I dream of. This will be a series featuring things I’ve written about such things, both poetry and prose.

Ponderings and Purpose

9 January 2018

It’s enough for them to assert

that this, too, shall pass,

that nothing here will ever last

And saying so is absurd.

For how could something finite

outlast that which is eternal?

But that for me wasn’t the

question but the answer.

For how can anything we’ve

ever done outlast a world

that’s just begun

after we’ve left it, gone,

all traces erased,

all paths equal, the same.

A life lived —

regrets and mistakes aplenty,

sure, it’s the same for ev’ryone.

There’s no reason to waste time

pining after a time

that may not come to fruition,

that may be entirely fiction.

We can’t know for certain

but we all love certainty,

so we create it.

Our assertions are flawless,

arguments misguided.

We’re all trying to make sense

of this life we’re all

so lucky to be living

on this wet rock in a

deep vast space

with other rocks and balls of gas

co-existing along with us.

Why are we here?

we wonder,

How are we here?

we ponder.

Sometimes you have to let

all that go, all those

big questions for philosophy

and live in the moment

because this life is the only one

we know for sure we’ve got

and wasting it, letting it rot,

we should be ashamed.

We should live life to the fullest,

not in the sentiment of YOLO —

which justifies stupidity

but for a focus and drive

to make the most

of what we’ve got

because in too short a time

it will be gone.

The Coffee Explorations: Papa Nicholas House Roast

This is perhaps an unusual post for a mostly creative-content blog. I recently bought a French press and haven’t the slightest idea what kind of coffee I like because we only had an espresso maker at my house before. It might be interesting later for me to look back and see what I thought about various coffees while I was drinking them for the first time. For those of you who also love coffee, you might enjoy this post as well.

I also wrote about Starbucks Sumatra.

When I opened the bag of coffee grounds, a pleasant coffee aroma hit my nose. I hoped that this would be a sure sign of enjoying the taste as well. I was not disappointed. I initially chose this coffee at Walmart because it had a one dollar off coupon attached to it with no clue whether it was a good choice. Now I think it was.

Two scoops of coffee grounds steeped in a “four cup” French press in boiling water for seven minutes. After I filtered out the grounds, I poured both cups into my large Harry Potter mug emblazoned with the crest of Slytherin. Yesterday I found the second cup of coffee poured to be a bit thin, and this might be a way to combat that.

I smelled the black coffee; it had a rich smell similar to the grounds. I tend to dislike black coffee because of its bitterness, so I declined to sip it black. I stirred in raw sugar and then heavy whipping cream. Sipped it. It was hot and smooth and delicious.

Without the coupon, it was $5.48 plus tax. I would buy it again, with or without a dollar off. I’ll probably try more of their roasts in the future.

I give Papa Nicholas House Roast an 8/10 for price and an 8/10 for taste.

The Coffee Explorations: Starbucks Sumatra

This is perhaps an unusual post for a mostly creative-content blog. I recently bought a French press and haven’t the slightest idea what kind of coffee I like because we only had an espresso maker at my house before. It might be interesting later for me to look back and see what I thought about various coffees while I was drinking them for the first time. For those of you who also love coffee, you might enjoy this post as well.

When I opened the cabinet with the tea and coffee this morning, I discovered that while I had bought coffee on Friday, my dad had bought coffee as well. Since we had a little of the Fresh Thyme Sumatra left and he had bought Starbucks Sumatra, I decided to make my mixed cup entirely Sumatra.

I used one scoop of Fresh Thyme Sumatra coffee grounds and one scoop of Starbucks Sumatra grounds. When I opened the Starbucks bag, it had a noticeably over-roasted smell to it, especially compared to the Fresh Thyme. The grounds were also a slightly darker color.

Once the coffee was ready, I used heavy whipping cream and raw cane sugar as is my preference. I also have dry hazelnut creamer but I wanted to get a better idea of how this coffee tasted before using it.

Just like it smells, it tastes a bit over-roasted, not a lot, but the Fresh Thyme Sumatra is definitely better. I probably will not be drinking it again after today. Unless I run out of the coffee I bought, which I’ll review tomorrow when I make it.

I give Starbucks Sumatra a 5/10.

If I try it alone I’ll update the review according to how it tastes without Fresh Thyme Sumatra too.

My Birthday: A Reflection

Some of you reading have never met me, but over the next year and beyond you will probably come to know me better, even if it is in a limited sense. Since I only now started blogging, I cannot point you to any posts with more details about the events and progress I am referencing in the body of this post. I plan to do this again next year, however, and there should be a plethora of blog posts about the events I mention in my reflection.

Today I am eighteen. Legally an adult. Wow. I still can’t believe it. It sure doesn’t feel like it’s been that long.

I could take this reflection in a direction similar to Life Is What You Make It, but that’s not what I plan to do. I want to look over the past year and how I’ve grown and some of the big things that happened. It’s really too bad I didn’t start blogging a year ago instead of only a week ago.

Last year about this time I was a recent high school graduate. I had procrastinated calling the local high school about my failed driver’s ed behind the wheel and so did not yet have my license. Once I did meet with the person in charge of the program, I found out I didn’t have to do anything and could go get my license.

I was hired at Panera Bread in late May shortly after graduating, but couldn’t take myself to work until after I got my license in July. Then in August I was hired at Walmart.

For a while I was a bit lacking in direction. I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I was not taking active steps toward it for the most part. At some point in the fall my friend Justine reached out to me about writing for a blog she wanted to start. Initially we had four people, two of them unfortunately had to leave the project for the time being. Justine and I were still committed to starting the blog, and we launched in February. That gave me some focus and it felt like I was taking real steps toward my goal of someday making money writing. Additionally, I applied to Praxis in October for the second time and was accepted. Between Over the Invisible Wall and my acceptance into Praxis, I felt like I had a clearer picture of the near future and that I was taking real steps toward my goals.

Around the same time that I was accepted into Praxis, I noticed that I had a crush on one of my co-workers at Walmart. We had orientation on the same day and were forced to hang out because of it. We’re both very introverted, but we were forced out of our shells in order to complete the various tasks/activities we were given. Over time, we interacted at work and became friends, though we only saw each other occasionally because we worked in different departments. After I became aware of my crush, I thought about whether I was interested in dating as a general. I did want to date him, but I was open to the possibility that he wouldn’t want to date me. We were merely friends and co-workers and didn’t know each other very well. Leading up to the night when I asked him to hang out in the breakroom for lunch and he later asked for my phone number, I noticed that he seemed to like me too. I’m not sure when we shifted from just dating to really being a couple, but we’ve been dating for seven months now. (I omitted his name at his request. He did not want his name included so I wanted to be sure to respect that.)

Less than a month ago I decided to commit to my decision to start a personal blog and launch in July. I knew that if I waited til I felt fully prepared I would never start, so I needed to jump in as soon as possible. At first I was only going to post at least once a week, probably twice, in order to have more time and be “comfortable.” I quickly changed my mind and have been posting every day instead.

So that’s about what my past year has looked like. I’ve taken some big steps forward from unfocused general goals of making money writing to actually working towards that. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds and how much things change between now and then. To everyone who is part of my journey now and to those who will join me in the coming year: Thank you. It’s been a wild ride and I’m sure it will continue to be.

Current Projects (as of 7 July 2018)

I have quite the list of projects I am currently working on. Blog posts on these various topics will come as progress is made or using material already produced for or related to them. In no particular order:

 

  • Mystical Warriors, my novel in progress, started July 2015. I’m currently at about 30k words and still in the early part of the first half. I have the second half generally plotted and know a few things that happen in the near future.
  • This blog. I’m posting every day, with help from the scheduling feature on WordPress. I’m trying to have content ready in advance in case I need to take a break. If that becomes impossible, I will still post at least once a week.
  • Over the Invisible Wall. I’m working with my friend Justine to post to the blog Facebook page once a week and to the blog twice a month.
  • Millstadt News Magazine. I wrote for the July issue and I’m working on a piece for the August issue. I’m hoping to continue writing for the publication, but it depends if space is available.
  • A flag blanket. I’m crocheting a blanket made up of 36 flags from different countries. Right now I have about 12 finished.
  • Inside a Writer’s Head, my poetry collection. All of the poems are collected, they just need reorganized, formatted, edited, etc. before the collection can be published.
  • N’Zembe, the star system I’m building. This has a lot packed into it. I’m building a whole star system from scratch with ten inhabited planets and potentially some inhabited moons.
  • Various short stories.
  • Adventures in Meldrick, a card game. The game is good conceptually, but needs more beta testing to work out some of the problem areas in gameplay. I need to finish making the card database so I can keep track of what cards I have made, how many, etc. The plan is for it to have some trading aspects, but that would be an optional feature.
  • Illustrating Mystical Warriors. I only have one completed illustration and have yet to start the next. Some of the characters need reference drawings before I can do this.

 

 

 

Welcome!

Welcome to Insanity’s Hiding Place!

Here we (you the readers and I the author, and perhaps sometimes special guests) will discuss a myriad of topics related to my wide range of interests. That, in fact, was the inspiration for the name of my blog. I have so many interests and projects that it can be more than a little crazy sometimes.

Blog posts range from updates and discussions of ongoing projects, short stories or poems I’ve written, responses to articles or books, book reviews or recommendations, and more.

Thank you for checking out my blog and portfolio, and I look forward to seeing you on this journey through my artistic and career life!

To get started, I recommend checking out my portfolio, published work, and my core posts.