Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Another Time 'Round"

A story for the New Year! Belated by a month, I know, but hey. There were circumstances. Of a crunched-wrist sort.

Again featuring my folks Shauna the former-detective-turned-paranormal-investigator, and Casey the patient taker of her abuse, former MP. I do hope you enjoy.

WARNING for some strong language. And snarkyness. ;P

Thanks for reading, ducks. <3

Copyright 2012 J. Coate

Original Poetry (from a time shortly following surgery)


I have not the strength for poetry now
and the earth is swollen today, rain-bruised, the
raw bones of its rocks gnawed out to trundle down your frostbitten hills. today
I saw one of those cardinals, all shivers and skin, he waits for the crushed sky to pass on and I
should do the same, lie over my floorboards
with the cracks sealing my spine, let the seasons fold and pass before my eyes
like the slide of your words or your hands on my waist, soft.
but I have not the strength for poetry now

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Coate

*something stirs*

Hmmm.... so it seems I've been hibernating for... all of winter, perchance? I probably should post an explanation.

In case you missed it, I broke my right wrist about a week before Christmas in a dramatic awkward roller-blading mishap high-speed bus-top duel versus an evil space dictator who broke my sword over his knee before I clocked him in the gentleman's region, hurling him off a cliff before tearing open the bus with my bare hands, boxing the dinosaur henchman who was driving it like a maniac for control of the wheel before bloodying his nose and parallel parking the thing like a boss before gently leading screaming children out of the blazing remains, shooting down the paragliding fish with their own machine guns with one hand and writing a FANTASTIC and award-winning screenplay about it with the other. I just happened to somehow, at the end of all this, end up on a smelly and dusty wooden floor while young people twirled circles around me and Britney Spears' "Toxic" blared on the loudspeakers, curled up on my arm going "Hey. Heeeeeeeeeeeey Naaaatalie, t-this? Something wrong. This wrist, it is not right. Ow. Geez. Haha owwwww. It's not's like it should be. It's all weird, owww."

(At least part of that is true. Probably the dueling-the-space-dictator part. If only you guys knew how safe my day job keeps you.)

(And yes, in case someone wants to know, I am right-handed. Or at least was. Having that arm out of commission was somewhat inconvenient.)

Anyhow, after spending some time engulfed in bandages and a strip of plaster from knuckles to elbow, and less in a brace, I've been ordered by Bone Dude to set my arm free and try and do stuff. Which, of course, makes me miss the brace. Fingers are fing-ing okay, but it's stiff, and many things cause pain, and my arm doesn't flip over and my wrist certainly doesn't like bending and turning. Still... I'm out of excuses. Online accounts are like a garden, you gotta tend 'em. Er. I don't know if anyone missed me THAT much, but hey! I should do stuff, and it's good exercise, typing.

What has everyone been into, in the meantime? I can tell you, I've been digging sweatpants (no zipper! is easier on my hand, though I still can't bring myself to wear 'em in public), Tylenol, Mulan, BBC's Sherlock, Kindle Fire, G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday, trailers for the first Hobbit movie, Benedict Cumberbatch in general, the badass four-inch scar along my right forearm, and Claire Yaxley's english rendition of "Isn't it Beautiful / Suteki da Ne". Among other things.

Right then. On to writing again. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Original Poetry


When the wind moves through our trees, that's when they tell me
to think of Africa.

there's something different—
it's a soul drummed into withered slabs of ex-crop;
footprints of cattle, birds in every aching joint.
you were Wilberforce's song, across this ocean, but even I can't taste
you—perhaps you'll pluck my eyes in
and leave me for your buzzards, the lightheaded
spiral and buzz of insect wings, and famine like pain in the back
of my skull. the dizzying sear of salt-etched soil and bison birthing; I'll never lose sight
of the fragrant brush of long grass, but here in my history I am little more than trees. trees and
damp sky, but I still think on your thunderstorms

and the way your heels would strike the ground like rain, your screaming in the lashing wind

And the pounding of your souls in the dust
to sting my sight of you, the kind to cloud my
lungs and cake my nostrils, aye

A shroud of sun-tossed dust
and your harsh breathing
and Africa
and the way you ran with
your eyes at the mountains

Copyright 2011 J Coate

"Girl in the War"

Paul said to Peter, "You gotta rock yourself a little harder.
Pretend the dove from above is a dragon and your feet are on fire."
"But I got a girl in the war, Paul, her eyes are like champagne.
They sparkle, bubble over, and in the morning all you got is rain..."

-Josh Ritter

I think my general rule of thumb is to do more research for each individual story than what may even show in the final product. Leading up to my writing this last night, I had tabs open on my browser on everything to bus schedules to CTA military discounts, what's on a dog tag, tattoo logistics, etc. Tends to make the computer run all wonky slow after a bit, but I guess that's the price I pay for trying to be a perfectionist. :P

Casey Rockford's shown up on this blog before, she's one my very oldest characters and I feel bad for making her cry, but this was not a good day for her.

Anyhow, I'm entering this in a contest, the prompt was to create something inspired by a poem or song lyrics. Josh Ritter's "Girl in the War" is amazing and powerful and beautiful and I thought it fit.

This work is copyright 2011 J Coate and can not in any way be used without my expressed, written permission.

"Girl in the War" song and lyrics are copyright to Mr. Josh Ritter.

Regular and Thoughtful Updates? Pssh, eat me.

The following journal update is brought to you by sleep deprivation and corn chips--hmm, that's possibly not right (but not unduly entirely inaccurate). I think it's probably time for a change or summat though?

I've noticed some peculiar trend with internet sites that I've posted on (deviantArt, livejournal, fb, whatever)... I tend to introduce myself to all and sundry fairly seriously, if not formally, so going through archives reveals regressively more pretentious entries--fact being, after a few months I get tired of pretending to be pretentious and instead let comments and entries get increasingly (dumb) (stoopid) casual.

So really, I'm just sayin', if you weren't aware of it already, I'm a big pile of ridiculous who stabbed m'self in the eye with mascara when the VA earthquake did get around to rolling her way. And then I caught crap for going right back to makeup but sheesh! Clearly it was an earthquake the instant the rumble started, I already went and stood in the doorway for like, two seconds, before I got bored and went back to business (okay, maybe there was a little swearing involved, but c'mon.).

Okay, yes. I've got the earthquake thing out of the way, yes indeed I was there and no, it wasn't too exciting after all. Five bonkzillion people were a-callin' me afterwards, but I'd gone to the bookstore with friend Natalie (Wife Of Corey The Man Of God) and would've been all "Guuurl, I'm looking at BOOKS" but our phones didn't work so there you go. But I've posted about it, so since it's on the internet it's official: it happened to me, too. I reckon the same might happen with Irene.

(Re: Hurricane: Stay safe, kids! If any of you duckies live on the east coast, be good darlings and wear your rainboots and DON'T DRIVE THROUGH THE BIG PUDDLES OKAY.)


I realize that I've unintentionally started a weird thing with updates here, I mean weirder than what I said above. I only tend to update when I've got exciting news because these makes me look like more of an exciting person than I really am. I assure that I'm really rather unproductive, a lot less happens in my life than it looks like (which might be a little sad, aha). Anyhow... book!

That woodcarving book I talked about a couple journals ago ([link])? I HAVE AN ADVANCE COPY AND IT IS GORGEOUS AND YOU SHOULD BUY IT. Seriously! It looks so pretty! If nothing else, go look at the pretty, glossy pictures of Jim's hands doing the step-by-steps, it looks way cool and makes my text look unimportant. The ultimate release date looks to be the 24th(?) of Sept., I might therefore be yoinked away by the Boss Lady for a book-signing.

Okay. I'm clearly demented tonight, sooo... I-Imma stop typing soon, 'kay? I'll try and do stuff at some point so I can update with more interesting things. Also, I refuse to apologize for my chronic fear of answering/replying to anything--or did I just do that? Dang.


Today's been quite the day!

And when I say a day, I mean a day. Seriously, there are days and then there are days, and I haven't had a day like today in many a day! But you know what they say, tomorrow is another day... so does that leave me right back where I started? :P

Well, it's been an interesting week. For one, I have a new job now! I'll be an assistant to a wonderful portrait/event photographer local to my area. She takes gorgeous pictures, guys! Boy oh boy, will I be eyeballing her and her work as I'm being a gopher-slave. I'll be hauling equipment and fetching and holding lights and wrangling children etc etc, but still. It's awesome. Just... awesome. Imma learn so much, yus I will.

I met Josh Ritter last night! He was super awesome and signed his book for me. He was actually rather excited when I told him how much his music meant to me as a writer, it was really fun and totally awesome. Friend Natalie (Wife of Corey The Man of God) also talked, got pictures taken with, etc. He signed her journal telling her she was "scrumptious". Oh heavens. That man... is just amazing. We got three hugs each. It was glorious.

(And on the way back we did not get nearly as lost as we did on the way to, which is good, because when D.C. was a bitch in the daytime I did not want to see what it could do to us at midnight. When the great iPod search proved fruitless in the end, except for the banana taking up its space in the cupholder, we talked about deserts and continued to discuss Airbender. This is my kind of night.)

Also, waiting in the booksigning line at the store (Politics and Prose, if anyone is curious) I bought the Brother-Creature a birthday present, being a mug with historical mustaches emblazoned thereon. This is exciting because he will be home from his missions work to receive it... six months go by fast! We're going to pick him up at the airport tonight. I'm sure he'll be very tanned, skinnier from all the walking and prayer-walks, and pretty considerably hairy. His girlfriend has been relentlessly cleaning her house. How strange it is.

Has anyone done a long-distance thing with family/friends/significant other before? I don't mean just for university unless you're across the country or something, I mean something like this where you do not see them (except through the very infrequent skype) from six months or longer... the person starts to feel more abstract, if that makes any sense. I don't particularly like that. My siblings and I, my immediate family and surrounding circles are rather close. I'm wondering, partly out of curiosity and partly because he might feel Called to Africa or something next, what happens after six months? Do you this image you hold combined with the voice you hear every so often on the phone become something you just ease into, and it eventually does feel more comfortable in the space where Brother/Sister/Parent/Friend/Lover/ect used to be? I'm pondering distance these days, it's very fascinating in a physical sense, but the possibilities are ever more endless when you account for spiritual, emotional, and mental distances as well. It'd be interesting to hear some outside thoughts on it.

But yes. Clearly, I should write a poem on it, I think there's actually some good lines in there! Amidst the babble, that is. ^^; I beg yo' pardon. In the meantime, I should drink some tea and relax, I got very little sleep last night and I don't think I'll be getting much tonight, either. Brother-creature's gonna be four hours off and wanting to tell stories. Good gracious. XD

And, in closing, I want to write a story about decompression sickness.