Just for fun, Uncategorized

Since I’ve Been Gone!

Okay all, here’s the good word!

I’ve been undergoing a loooot of personal development over the last few…. lifetimes. I’ve grappled back and forth with depression and various other issues, only to realize the fact of the matter is that I am Transgendered and most of my self-negativity comes from the fact that I have had to bury that for years.

I came out as a teenager and was met with some pretty radical social ostracization , as well as being sent to highly antagonistic counseling where the question was what made me “sick” and focused on trying to “cure” me before cooperating with transition goals.

Needless to say, I didn’t last long.

But after another 8 years of hiding it, I simply couldn’t and can’t anymore! So it’s on record that I am indeed Trans and intend to transition completely.

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So, there are some changes that come with it, including me being told again and again that if I’m not regularly blogging about it I’m doing some sort of disservice to the community as a whole. So, You can start expecting at least a short post every weekend (hardly scheduled yet, but I’ll get there).

Second, I figured out how to make my novel outstanding! For those who don’t recall, it’s a Crime drama with a supernatural twist. Except now, the supernatural is not the twist. The Hero’s Journey into the hidden world will now parallel his own journey in coming out and transitioning. There are a looot of themes that play into this throughout the story that I’ll probably go over once I start writing the final pre-revision draft.

Lastly, I’ve realized exactly what I need to do to leave the world better than I found it, and that is encouraging Transgendered people and people who otherwise deal with a ton of self-doubt and negativity and social stress to become the best version of themselves?

How do I aim to achieve this? Well, I hope that my personal insight can help to increase the impact to the audience of protagonist James-to-Jane Del within my novel.

The long-term version of this goal is still to complete the trilogy, and keep the protagonist’s gender a major part of the arc which will affect their interactions with what are currently very plain antagonists, and create a small body of work that people of any background can appreciate and relate to.

But, more immediately, I am going to become a personal trainer (a goal I’ve had for years, but lacked the confidence to pursue) and spend some time working towards building a clientele of people who suffer from body or gender dysmorphia, social anxiety, depression… people who are otherwise too intimidated to go to a gym. I want to become a trainer who works specifically with people who, like me until recently, are willing to let their mental and physical health dwindle because it’s just “too hard” to maintain it. The fact that I was finally able to get past that road block in this significant way tells me that others can too, and I want to make it happen!

The long-term version of this goal is to start my own safe-space gym where people of any background who simply don’t want to deal with the average gym rat can come to train without worrying about who they are, what they wear, how hard they can push themselves. We are all at different places, in different spaces, and I believe a gym that specifically reaches out to those who don’t believe in themselves.

My longest-term goal of multimedia publishing should be aided by both of these things. Everyone has a story to tell, and there are plenty of media through which to tell it! I’d like to see myself become a hub for people to share their stories with pride instead of shame, confidence instead of fear, and to become the type of person who may or may not be famous, but still manages to change lives all the same.

So, there it is! The situation as it stands, preparing to move forward.

If you’d like to donate to the cause, you can click here. I’m asking for $500. Whatever overage is left after I pay for my certification will go into building a clientele of people who need the type of help I offer. The link shares more details on that particular goal as well as my personal story.

If you can’t donate, I appreciate any shares, mentions, or whatever else you can do to help me leave this world a little better off than it is now!

Comment, follow, whatevs! I’ll be updating the blog more often. You can expect to read about martial arts, gender perspectives, whatever work I have time to do on the novel (mostly gonna be in summer 2016, I think), and other blogs that I’m loving the crap out of!

Thanks everyone for your support!

-JPA

 

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Excerpt, Exercise in, flash fiction, Just for fun, Style

Dear Juliette

Dear Juliette,
I’m told this letter will reach your home in six days. While I know it’s idiosyncratic in this day and age to handwrite letters anymore, I fear this is the only way I can reach you now. Our expedition into the Southern Rainforest was a bit more… Well, it was a success!
As it turns out, Sweet Flower, we’ve stumbled upon a species of primate more developed than we have ever dreamed! Oh, the lament! If only you could be with me, to witness this glorious discovery.  They have shed some features of similar sapient bipeds in favor of others, no doubt a simple evolutionary development.
What amazes me (and would stagger you as well, Sweet Flower) is that the species has actually developed rudimentary technology! Imagine this sight… Thinly-furred blue apes and monkeys together, creating semi-complex architectures of mud… a society of gatherers which searches high and low for every possible resource! It’s simply a spectacular view!
Starting next week, we are to begin observing them up close from a camp built to emulate their civilization. The best method of observation is imitation, as you say! It is at times like these that remind me why I opposed your decision to raise our child from a stable position in life. I admit, our lifestyle may make a child stand out in either a positive or negative light… but nonetheless, the thought of a family together reveling in this moment, embarking on the study of a sapient species not yet known to us. The thought is exhilarating.
I hope you’ll reconsider… At your command, Bryan is to take you to an airfield where you can find a pilot who will fly you to our coordinates!  Please, Juliette, gentlest Rose of Eden’s Garden, please bring our son and join me on this world-changing journey.

With insurmountable Passion, on December twelfth, Two Thousand and Sixteen.
James

Oh Sweetest James, how I’ve cried for your voice!  The postman managed to pull the letter from the sorting cycle perchance and brought it to me. He knows truly the depth of our love and the longing we endure. The moment I received your letter I began my reply! Your journey has taken you far beyond the range of cell towers. I have actually found myself dreaming that you didn’t lose your SAT phone on the waterfall. Though everyone may tell me how corny it is, I cannot help but want for my wandering bear. Our journey together would be immaculate, but you know I have to put our son’s future above all else. Perhaps in his later years, I may once again join you in the field of discovery!
These creatures sound nearly proto-human! You must tell me of any humanistic behaviors they exhibit – as though they haven’t already! I can so clearly visualize the image of a precious pink sunset, overtaking the rainforest as the ambient sounds of creatures settling for the evening imbues the scene with an enchanting – dare I say, haunting – melody of nature. Oh! These blue simians, how do they communicate? Surely they have as basic a language system as they do a tool system.
In fact, the more I think about it, the more I feel I shouldn’t think about it. I shall call Bryan immediately and we will rush to meet you!  James has been calling out for adventure lately, anyway. This decision is the most exciting impulse I’ve ever had, next to the one that led me to you, you most endearing husband! Fear not, for tomorrow I shall be with you!

Lustfully Yearning Your Embrace, December Seventeenth, Twenty-Sixteen.
Juliette Morrison

P.S. Don’t think you’re going to get all the credit for discovering a new species, Mister! I’ve been alongside you in every one of your studies to date, and I don’t plan to miss one! Think of how great it would be to have James as a notable party as well! The Morrison Clan unveiling a new early society to the world! If they are similar enough to us, we could have a whole new model for human evolution in a controlled environment! This could be our seminal work!

Juliette, Sweet Rose of the Garden,
They are not apes… they are… of unknown origin. Our first attempt at direct contact ended in a blood bath! They have a cache of weapons stolen from humans who must have been traveling through this area. Their numbers are far greater than we initially estimated as well… what we thought was a society of only a few hundred, is in fact a number in the thousands. They have a form of communication beyond our grasp. I can only call it telepathy, as they seem to act as a hive.

Please, my Darling, stay as far away from here as possible… I think we have started what may be a devastating conflict. I have given Bryan instructions to take you and James to a Safe-House with a book of contacts within the government. I cannot explain the nature of what has happened except to say that these animals are not as they appear, they are armed, hostile, and quick to aggress.

Do not come to find me, I don’t think I’ll survive the night.

It has been a wild ride, my dearest love, I hope you will survive whatever comes of this. Our time together was the best time of my life.

-James

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Just for fun

“Aiki is not a technique to fight with or defeat an enemy. It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family.”

This quote is attributed to Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of the martial art Aikido. Aikido is commonly translated as “The Art of Peace.” While literally the meaning is “Harmonious Energy Way.” What that means changes with your understanding so, I’m not going to bother. This is about the quote itself. Someone made the comment that this quote seems too “New Age-y” and asked “How do you actualize it?”  This led me down a train of thought, and I came up with this answer. Fair warning, I’m not an expert in this art yet, and my interpretation is just one of many. I base it on my knowledge of language as much as the art, my ability to look into literal, contextual, and metaphorical expanses to determine the humanistic and complex thought process behind a seemingly simple statement. It’s a creative writer’s view on a specific statement given by a specific human.

It’s a state of mind, a focused awareness towards that goal. You actively redirect conflict and lock it out (IE, mental Nikkyo). You take principles of Aikido and apply them outside the dojo. Got a conflict with a co-worker? Create harmony. How you do that is totally subjective and dependent on the scenario. But, resolving that conflict peacefully and amicably is possible.

It’s not that a small number of Aikidouka are going to lead the human race to it’s salvation. It’s that principles of Aikido, when applied, lead to harmony and peace. I come from Iwama-Ryu and Takemusu Aiki (roughly “natural aikido”) is a huge part of what we do. When you apply this principle outside of combat, what you find is that your nature creates its own ripples and new conflicts arise. You attune yourself as a person to be in harmony with the world around you. Not the whole world, mind you… just the part to which you’ve chosen to expose yourself.

In another martial art, this could be using direct opposition (as in blocking) to create a harmonious response (IE counter-attack). In an overly-employed workplace, this could be adjusting everybody’s schedule so no one gets thrown off and everyone gets their allotted hours, while using the excess flow to create net growth for the employer. In a rowdy bar, it’s offering to buy that drunkard a beer or a meal, rather than letting it build up to fight. Or it’s leaving the bar before conflict develops, if you don’t wish to be part of it. If it does become a fight, you have your combative skills. Lest we forget, O-Sensei said that Atemi is 70% of the solution, technique is 30%. Atemi is roughly “Distracting strike.” In combat, a punch in the face is a good distraction. If they block or evade, they’ve changed their position while you haven’t and you have control. If they haven’t, you punched them in the face. Either way, it creates space and time for you to execute a controlling technique to end the conflict. In non-combat situations, this is changing the subject if it’s too heated, this is getting minds off the failure and onto the next attempt, and this is studying only as hard as you need to get the grade you want.

The point isn’t that Aikido is a practice that creates peace. It’s that this is a practice that leads to peace. You forge your mind, body, and spirit towards self-improvement and towards conflict dissuasion. Not evasion. You don’t want to hide from the conflict when you have the ability to end it. Instead, you want to use your mind, your non-linear thinking, your general ability to reason, to enact peace and harmony in your wake. Of course, sometimes there is no other option than conflict, and matching the intensity and ferocity of an opponent can be Aiki in it’s own way. Matching spirit is just as important as matching literal energy.

Take this outlandish, but potentially real scenario… In a bank heist, two men with guns. I (in this fictional world where I am not a lowly fourth kyu) have the power to, alone, deal with them one at a time, control one gunman to keep the weapon outside of me and the body in line with the potential second shooter, his friend between us. However, I can’t control both of them, even in the best scenario, without risking another person getting shot. What I can do is stop someone near me who keeps balling his hand in a fist from actually taking the hero’s charge and getting other people killed. I can do this either with words of reason or an applied lock. My goal isn’t to stop the robbers, it’s to keep everyone alive and as safe as possible. If someone gets shot, it becomes my job to save them if I can and then to prevent more people from getting shot. Standing in the bullet’s path is cliche, but you might choose to do it and you would not be wrong for protecting others. This whole idea is crazy, but it makes the point. Knowing Aikido wouldn’t stop the heist, but being able to apply redirection to either gunmen or hostages to prevent bloodshed is a peaceful solution. Making the thing occur requires you making it happen.

As for O-Sensei as a pacifist… the man is reputed to have had numerous conflicts. You can’t develop a system of combat without a lot of combat experience. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t peaceful, it just means he didn’t go out of his way to find fights. He went out of his way to find solutions. Also, when I look at videos of his technique, it’s much more Aiki-jitsu than Aiki-do. But, that’s not really too important in the face of the message that you can have the influence to make change. Aikido as a martial art is just a physical manifestation of that. The Aiki-minded individual naturally seeks to damage all parties as little as possible while simultaneously getting the most result from a minimalist approach. The reason no one elaborates on this is because it becomes innately understood in time, through temperance, and revealed when you’re given the opportunity to define yourself.

To paraphrase Bruce Lee, the way you fight is a reflection of the person you are.

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Exercise in, Flash Fiction, Just for fun, Style, Under 500

A Student Talks to an English Major

“Dude, holy crap!”

“What? Everything alright?”

“I just saw that new RDJ movie! It was incredible!”

“Yeah, he’s always on point with his acting. And Robert Duvall? Forget about it. What more could you demand in a film?”

“I knoooooow! The feels!”

“Feelings.”

“There were so many points where I just felt like crying… It was awk.”

“Awkward.”

“And somebody had a laser pointer, I guess for the lulz.”

“Laughs.”

“OMG! I’ll BRB! GTG get summa dat BBQ.”

“… Friendshp over.”

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Flash Fiction, Just for fun, Over 500

Is She Joking?

“So, how are you feeling now?” The doctor stared down her nose at the patient.

“I don’t understand the question,” the towering blonde replied.

“You’ve been on medication for six weeks now. Do you feel better?” She eyed the man, slumped down into his chair, and began to scribble something on her clipboard.

“I don’t… know… I haven’t been able to feel since I began taking these things,” The man’s Norse-like dreadlocks kept him company. He twisted them back and forth between his palms, tightening the locks one by one. “What are you writing?”

She stopped mid-stroke and looked back to the man. “Nothing bad; don’t worry.” She put the clipboard in her top drawer and folded her lanky fingers neatly into each other. “Tell me about your lack of feeling.”

 

He took a look around. When he first came into the office weeks prior, he’d noticed the solid black frames holding pictures of Greek mythology, painted on period vases, probably from a museum exhibit. He’d notice there were lilies and sunflowers on the short table behind her.

Her thick Russian accent charmed him, as did her hard jaw and set facial features. Her curvature matched what he imagined for his ideal woman. And she had proper style to accent it. Even her soft white scarf managed to draw attention to her sculpted frame.

Rich Corinthian leather covered the soft, marshmallow-esque cushions of the couch. The chairs designated for clients had an interesting cross-hatch – more a weave. The material had escaped him but the thing that stuck out was the patterning… Five colors of thread blended seamlessly together to create a single shade of cloth. The first time, he’d stared at that pattern for a full minute before she forced him to engage.

It had been an exciting and promising moment that he’d hope would lead to a better future.

 

Now, he saw some pictures. There were flowers in room. Their fresh-cut aroma made no impact. The couch… eh, black is always a safe color. The psychiatrist, she seemed pretty hot but he didn’t notice anything particularly outstanding. When he tried to focus on the chair, his vision blurred. He no longer saw the individual threads. Everything just seemed duller than it once was. And he didn’t care. And he didn’t care that he didn’t care. And it pissed him off to no end.

“I can’t… I reach for words and they disappear. The thoughts are in my brain but, they’re scrambled. It’s easy to lose it. I’m just not as sharp as I was.”

“You’re also not as depressed. Now you can join the rest of the world and experience life as you should. Isn’t that worth anything?”

Who the fuck are you to tell me how I should experience life? What’s the point of being normal? Why would anyone want to sacrifice their ability to communicate, to articulate, to see reality… just to feel” normal”?

He tried to argue with her. All he could muster was a grunting “uh-huh.”

“Doesn’t that mean anything to you? Isn’t this an improvement from being unable to move from your bed for weeks at a time?”

Not even close, bitch. It’s like imprisoning my mind in a body that disagrees. I’m trapped in this bullshit and I can’t even feel how shitty I feel.

“I have no opinion on life now. It’s just… I feel…” he struggled to find the word. It was somewhere in his brain. He’d thought it before he spoke but, somewhere between brain and mouth, it disappeared.

“How do you feel? Is everything okay?”

Of course not. I thought that was pretty fucking obvious, myself.

                “No.”

“What is it?” Her gaze softened. He wasn’t sure if she meant to play him into opening up or had become genuinely concerned.

“I can’t say. It’s up here,” he tapped his skull. “It’s definitely here,” he patted his left breast, his heart. “I just can’t figure out how to make it come out.”

“Just say it?” She politely offered.

I fucking can’t goddamnit. You’ve killed my ability to do that with your stupid fucking rope… er… pills. Wait… What?

“The words… they don’t make it. I want to be frustrated but I can’t. I mean, I am, but my body isn’t. It’s like some kind of reverse… the… the body works. The brain just can’t make it.”

The gravity of her concern escalated. She leaned forward, causing him to emulate the motion. “That doesn’t make any sense, Val.”

“I know. That’s the point. I’m just cloudy and useless in this state,” he places his forearms on her desk and his head fell into their soft comfort.

“I can’t eat, I can’t shit, I can’t interact the way I normally do. People are abandoning me, I’m a different person and it’s all because of this fucking medication.”

“You can find new friends, people who would abandon you for…”

“For having a drastic change in… fuck!” he slammed his fists on the desk and beat his head into his arms. “It’s… Goddamnit! It’s how you act, who you are, that whole thing.” Thumb and forefinger clamped on the bridge of his nose as he struggled to find the words buried in his mind.

“Personality?”

“I’m just constantly frustrated and exhausted and I’m not the same person. Or I am. I can’t tell. I am inside. But does it matter? I can’t show my inner self anymore. I feel like a zombie.”

The doctor snickered at herself for a moment.

“What?”

“It’s nothing…” she stifled herself.  “Just that..”

“Out with it!” he demanded.

“I just think zombies are pretty good at showing their insides.”

 

 

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flash fiction, Just for fun

The Brink

Mildly modernist approach to the subject matter. Have some stream of consciousness from the mind of J Patrick Avery


 

You’ve stepped over the line.

Where is the line? What is the limit? At what point have I crossed from sanity to insanity?

Well, you’re asking yourself questions and answering them. That’s probably not normal.

Are you sure? It seems pretty normal.

Not the way you do it. You’re better off retiring your mind.

Retiring my mind? What do you mean?

Just go to sleep. The effort isn’t worth the trouble.

But then how will I accomplish anything?

What have you accomplished anyway?

Well, I’ve completed plenty. It’s just that people don’t seem to care.

Of course they don’t, you’re not normal.

So I have to be boring, regurgitate the same bullshit everyone does? If I want anyone to care what I have to say, it has to be something mundane?

Has any human ever shown you different? Not even the closest to you can understand your existence.

Frankly, neither can I.

If no one sees the point, what point is there?

There has to be some reason I exist. No human is meant to be nothing.

All humans are nothing in the end. Why procrastinate?

What about the sanctity of life?

No one treats their own health as valuable, let alone another life. Undoubtedly, your life has proven itself not to be sacred.

All I’ve ever done was try to make the lives of those around me a little better.

You think you can cure your pain by allowing others to step on you?

I don’t see it that way.

You’re a fool. No wonder you’ve been rejected.

I’m an idealist, not a fool.

One and the same. The world does not want to live up to your ideals. It wants to choke on its own indignity and suffocate the human race in a vacuum of stupidity.

So I should give up and make no effort to improve other people?

You should just give up and leave it at that.

I don’t think I can.

But you have… You stepped over the edge and you’re about to meet the pavement.

Oh… shit.

 

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