What Happens When Things Break

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So not too long ago I accidentally broke my glass water bottle. As wandering minds normally do, I decided to write a poem about it, ironically enough, in my poetry literature class. So here it is for your perusal.

Cheers 🙂

Shards of a Broken Life

A broken cry muffled by fabric and metal teeth,
The tears gush forward determined to drown
The frozen leaves and trees, an attempt
To bring them back to life.
From Heavens above, hands reach
To rescue the blurred words of knowledge,
Meant to inspire and teach.
Tools needed to carve a place in history
Save themselves.
They hardened their souls long ago.
The survivors lay resting under the artificial
Light and air warmed by
Empty cups sitting around tables.

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Dreaming on a Champagne Taste with a Beer Budget

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Flowers for Spring

Flowers for Spring

I have heard that phrase before, someone was talking about wedding stuff or something. I did not understand it at the time, but I think I do now.

I have been pondering lately, something that happens when I have too much coffee or too many naps (yes I take naps), that I could learn all that I was interested in and be a perpetual student for the rest of my life. I would imagine that I could be proficient in all areas of academia, at a masters or doctorate level. I know someone is rolling their eyes at that and that’s fine, because I know that it is a seriously ambitious dream. A dream that I do not have the financial means or the mental capacity/ stamina to complete. I should be happy with what I can achieve, but sometimes I think that I am settling for what I can achieve. It is the doubts of an overly ambitious student at play here.

Philosophically someone will argue that we are always learning and in different ways. That is true, there are some things that cannot be taught, some things that has to be experienced outside a four walled classroom. I recognize that.

I often laugh when I get this deep in thought and always go back to my idea of a degree in being a jack-of-all-trades. I think there is phrase someone told me, “Student of all, master of none.” Well it is a this moment I am glad I am a creative writing major. It is here I can create and be anything, study anything, because the farther the research, the more realistic the story. Oh and research is not limited to the classroom.

People sometimes ask me why I write. I would tell them, it is so I can have a voice. So I can be heard. Lately it has evolved to include my ambition to study everything, and stay relatively sane. Well, as sane as creative writer can be. This tired monologue brought to you by: Looking Up Classes for Summer and Fall Semesters of 2015.

Cheers 🙂

Wandering Thoughts of the Caffeine Induced Mind

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Study materials

Study materials

Occasionally I wonder what is my intention with getting a degree in creative writing. Often I get discouraged when I see how long it takes to get a single draft of a single book, which may or may not ever be published. Watching my fellow writer friends, who have been in this process a lot longer than I have, I wonder what drives them to pursue such a crazy idea of selling our imaginations through text.

I recently wrote a paper about a course justification, whether to add, keep, or reject a course from the English undergrad program. The main idea was how this potential class benefit student’s life would after college. So I argued for adding a cultural anthropology class to the program. The main idea was, “if the functionality of a realistic culture is understood, then the creative writing student can create a realistic story. Using the patterns and understanding of the cultural society in the real world, the result is a well-connected writer with the ability to suspend reality for a brief moment in history.” I am of course quoting myself here.

This paper has been on my mind and for some reason after debating the merits of this particular class, I now want to minor in anthropology. If I wanted a more specific area of study I would have to double major in creative writing and cultural anthropology. Yea that is just an idea for the moment. On the flip side I think that the double major would help my writing exponentially. Oh well, food for thought.

In other rambling news I have a new idea for my latest short story that would expand it into a novella. Actually, now that I think about it, the short I submitted was well on its way to becoming a novella anyway. Yay extended versions! So a little update and wandering thoughts on writing today.
Cheers 🙂

A Teaser of Dancing on My Heart

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So here is a teaser of what I have been up to writing wise. This is an excerpt from my short story, Dancing on My Heart. This will appear in the next Ambage Anthology coming out soon. I Hope you like it and all that jazz.
Until next time,

Cheers 🙂

Part One

It had been two months since The Temple installed her here at the Arias Manor in Lakeview Valley. Two blasted months. It was close to the beginning of Fall. The trees were beginning to turn, the air starting to leave a bite of cold.

It was a regular day at The Temple. The trainees were being thrown across the workout room. A few of the senior agents were in weapons training in another room. The Temple priest caught her before she started her own weapons session and presented her with the mission papers. Concealing her annoyance, she skimmed the outline of the job. The client –the name was of course blacked out– wanted the target to be eliminated silently. However, the specifications required the agent to take the target from the inside.

“Who is the target, Father?” She folded the parchment, tucking it into her belt.

“The client wanted complete discretion on the job,” he intoned. Which she translated into, getting the target’s name on “site.”

The Temple normally dealt with the deaths of evil men and women, who were not fit for the safety of a society. The way her missions went usually started with a name, a location and ended with a body. Her assignments normally lasted at most, three weeks, given the research and travel she had to do. She was used to that.

This last-minute mission that was supposed to have ended five weeks ago, had turned into a full-blown undercover assignment. She took it because the pay was more than enough to help her disappear, to get out of The Temple’s service.

So a carriage ride from The Temple, through Mountain Side City, and into Lakeview Valley, had her on the service doorstep of the Arias Manor within the week. Forged papers in hand, her transition into the staff went smoothly. The Temple assured her of compensation, although she was leery about their promises lately. Call it a hunch. They had yet to supply her with a name for the target.

She hummed a lullaby to herself while she got lost in the mindless chore of polishing the silver in her office. The Temple priest assured her a high position in the Arias Manor, and she did not mind dressing as a man to get it. It was not the first assignment where she’d been given a male role, and as head butler she was allowed her own work space and control over the lower staff as well as freedom to move freely throughout the manor.

Instincts had her listening with half an ear. The kitchens and other servant stations were quiet. It was faire-day the square. A pleasant affair she was told. She let the staff take the night off, giving them and her a break from everything.

With everyone out of the house, she was able to be herself for a few minutes. It was a relief to do so. Lyeana pondered what her employers were doing. If they were enjoying themselves. She should not have been thinking along such lines. It could emotionally compromise her and the outcome of her assignment.

The Temple Masters had given her the skills to blend in seamlessly into any society, kill efficiently and get away quietly. Earlier in her training, the masters were worried she would not be able to cope with the demands of the job and would have to be retired. She knew what retired meant: death. She did not survive her younger years to be killed in her prime. She was not ready for that. She learned not to question why a target needed to be eliminated, the reason did not matter. The job was all that mattered.

Back From My Hiatus

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A mesa across from Arcosanti compound in Arizona

A mesa across from Arcosanti compound in Arizona

As we all know life interferes at the worst times, but I can say that I survived last six to seven months, of what I call “Let’s See if K.L. Neri Can Survive This” with flying colors. So now I can come back to my little corner of the internet and amuse you lovely readers with my ramblings. 🙂 I am happy to say that I have been writing during my absence and will appear in the next addition of the Ambage Anthologies. I will give you guys an update when I receive more details.

Some other good news: I only have another academic year before I receive my B.A. in Creative Writing. My cousin is getting married in August to my dear friend, whom I consider a sister. My parents are finally over their medical scares. (Seriously though, it was like they were trying to out-do the other in who can scare me the most.) I dyed my hair purple. Not the bright purple, but the dark kind. I still have to make it work in the corporate world. I can see the color in the sunlight.

Oh and I am almost done with the first draft of my first book in a series of four. Well that and I have the next two books outlined and ready to go.

I have been so inspired to write lately, that I was even thinking about trying to submit some of my work to a few literary magazines. I will make it one of my goals this year.

Among other things, I plan on taking a trip…maybe study abroad and see what other people have to say about the creative writing world. Any ideas or advice on that?

Anywho, I will keep on writing, posting, and making general merriment with a few shenanigans tossed in.

Until then,

Cheers 🙂

Short Story Progress

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I am happy to report that my short story project is coming along nicely. As promised here is a little (and I do mean little) treat from my new short, Ariella and the Aqua Theater.

The music continued as the other actors and actresses began to move. Each movement a reflex of finely crafted muscle memory from hours of practice. The aerialist contorted their bodies in the air, in positions that seemed boundless. Acrobats jumped in the air without fear, with artless abandon. The audience, totally captivated by the visual and audio delight, could really only describe the performance with one word. Effortless.

Next week I will give another update on this short story, but until then please let me know if you guys would like to see more teasers of Ariella’s world.

Cheers 🙂

Blog Tour

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About a month ago I was tagged by the awesome Nicole Michelle to do a blog tour. I apologize for the lateness. I was supposed to do this a week after I was tagged. Here are my answers to the four questions.

What am I working on at the moment?

My current novel/ series are loosely based on Hawaiian mythology. I have four books in the works, and I am hoping they stay at four. I do not know what I will do if my novel/ series expands. 🙂

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I do not know of any mainstream Hawaiian mythology stories, (please point them out to me if you know of any) but I hope to showcase the complexities of the lore and represent the culture in a respectful manner. I am pretty sure my work will differ from others by the fantastical settings and rich character waiting to rule the islands.

Why do I write what I do?

Well being immersed in the Hawaiian culture for more than ten years I thought it would be natural to write on what I have come to know and experienced. Like many before me, I fell in love with the Hawaiian islands and wanted show the world my view of a strong spiritual place. Writing has also allowed me another outlet of creativity, to which I absolutely love. I wanted to write because I was tired of characters never acting they way I wanted them to, so I just had to fix them.

How does my writing process work?

Well I like to do a rough outline, you know jot down notes on the back of a gas receipt :), or start a monologue in my car during traffic. Normally at this point I have a few pages of dialogue and from there I build my scene around that. I have tried writing scenes the other way, but they turned out bland to me, so I guess I talk to myself to get the ball rolling, so to speak. If I have extra notes or other ideas, I put them in later so I do not mess up my plot.

So I am supposed to tag two to three more people to continue the chain, but I am lame and do not know of anyone who would like too. So if you would like to participate please answer these four questions and then let me know a week later. I know it is unfair to give a time limit when I am so horrible at following them myself, but if you object strongly to the time schedules just let me know when you have finished answering the questions 🙂 Thanks for reading.

Cheers 🙂

Getting Back into the Groove

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I am pretty sure there is some writer’s prison I am a part of for neglecting my novel. Sad, but true, I have been on the busy side lately. However my recent writing endeavors have been focused on a short story on the ins-and-outs of being a performer, so to speak. At some point or another, I have noticed that a lot of the stories I am drawn to are the ones where the author has either a brilliant imagination, or they use their past experience to enhance the story. I have decided to try my hand at this short story for two reasons. One, to give my novel a break and recharge. (That is due to the need for more research…hello trip to Hawaii.) Second, to hone my short story skills. We all know, if you have seen some of my earlier posts, that I over think my plots. So this little project, if you will excuse the pun, will be interesting. My goal is to have the 1st draft by the end of May. I hope to finish this on time, in order to share the story with you. Hope you all are well.

Cheers 🙂

A Little Treat

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The amount of sass I find in the conversations between my characters, is just plain funny. As a writing exercise I wanted to see what would happen if the ohana (family) of Wai Lani decided to crash a news station…and explain the differences between the names of the four races living on the islands…I imagine it would go something like this. Here is a little treat for you. I hope you enjoy 🙂

“In today’s local news of Wai Lani, we have some clarification on the natives and non-natives living among us. Xiomara take it away.” Mahina cleared her throat and straightened some papers in front of her, as the camera switched to Xiomara.

“Thanks Mahina. Let’s start off with one of the more dominate races, the Ahi eaea hamana. The Ahi eaea, meaning fire breath or fire air, are located on the island of Lei Ahi east of Huaka ‘Aina about five days. These people are famous for the…”

Giles, for some reason, felt the energy level change. Tightening his grip on the camera he waited for the explosion. It did not take long as Aarun came crashing through the double doors.

“What in the name of the Old Ones are you two lolos doing?!” he came to stop in front of Mahina, even though the question was to the both of them.

“Uh, we are reporting the news. What does it look like we are doing?” Mahina sat back in her chair and folded her arms regarding the enraged mercenary.

He threw his hands out in a wild arc. “To who?”

“To the readers. Or I guess you can say the viewers. I don’t know the logistics gets fuzzy here.” she tapped her lips in thought.

“You can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

Xiomara snapped out of her fascination of watching the arguing pair and turned to Giles. Giles looked like her was holding back his laughter. Clearing her throat Xio looked at the camera. “Please excuse us for just a moment while we work out some technical difficulties with our management. Mahalo.” giving Giles the cut sign, Xio turned back to Mahina and Aarun who were now shouting at each other.

“They do not need to know, no, are not allowed to know about the sacred rites of the islands!” Aarun had his hands on his hips as he glared at Mahina.

Pushing away from the desk, Mahina stood up and braced her hands on the smooth wood. “Look without these readers/viewers, we would not even be a possibility. Our creator has to write to someone besides us. I am sorry if a few soul wrenching secretes get spilled, but if that is what it takes to keep us on the page then I am going to do it!” Mahina’s voice had risen throughout her whole speech. Aarun just stood there, his expression cemented in a frown.

Giles came over and stood between them. “Look you two, I know you have had your differences in the past and,” he paused to chuckle to himself, “in the present, but you guys need to pull it together and let Xiomara at least finish her segment.”

Aarun turned his glare on to the auamakua and pointed his finger at her. “You of all creatures should know better.”

Xiomara crossed her arms and leveled her own stare at him. “I am sorry if this displeases you, mercenary, but the readers/viewers want to know and I am only following orders from our creator.” Xio looked to Mahina and she nodded her approval.

Mahina came around the desk and put a touched Aarun’s arm.

“Look, if it bothers you that much, we will just direct the reader/viewers to the hula notes section of our creator’s blog. That way we will not be spilling any secrets.”

Aarun’s frown softened a little, but he finally relented. “Do not let me catch you doing something this asinine again, do you hear me?”

“Don’t worry Aarun buddy, our creator already mapped out all sorts of shenanigans for us.” Giles slapped him on the back. Everyone laughed, except for Aarun. His shoulders sagged at the thought.

I hoped you enjoyed this little detour of my characters and maybe even be inspired to write a little reality jumping yourself. Until next time, cheers. 🙂