Archive for December, 2008

I apologize…

Posted in Uncategorized on December 31, 2008 by Jaym Gates

… for the lack of a post yesterday.

In my defense, I was busy submitting “Write a New Name” and working on the opening chapter of “Inherent”. And, I’m still suffering from jet-lag. Yay. And work issues.

As the year ends, I’m looking back at the trials, triumphs and heart-breaks of the year, as I usually do. It seems like most years are defined by one or two huge events, which color the rest of the year. 2006 was the year I moved away from my grandparents, and started getting my feet under me. 2007 was a mad-cap year, with everything from a huge move to an emotional breakdown, and of course, my summer camp experiences. 2008 will forever be remembered as the year of dreams.

Some of those dreams came perilously close to nightmares. Most of them haven’t achieved their full glory yet. I wrote a book and a short story, dreamed several memorable (and I do mean MEMORABLE) nighttime dreams, and fell in love.

Incidentally, this shall also be known as the year of really good bourbon and chili pecans. I shall write of that particular Christmas gift later!

I wonder what 2009 will bring? Hopefully, another big move. I need to go home. Maybe not back to California yet, but certainly back to the West. Hopefully, I’ll have something published in 2009. Certainly, the internship will be something to remember, and “Inherent” should be well finished by 2010.

I don’t have any New Year’s resolutions. I don’t believe in waiting until a date on a calendar to make things happen. My goals are the same as they have been for several years, and each year, I come closer to achieving them.

Be happy

Learn to love, whole-heartedly, no matter the outcome

Take risks

Accept losses and failures

Believe in my own strength, and in the strength of my God

Find a purpose that no trial can ever take away from me

After all, aren’t all of these things simply the sometimes-unconscious goals of all of humanity? Each of us has our demons to battle, but most of us have some sense of the need of  each of these things. Some people already have them. I envy that!

But I’ll be joining those ranks eventually. That’s a resolution worth keeping.

Inherent #1

Posted in QWIPS on December 29, 2008 by Jaym Gates

Inherent is a story written on a whim, a little plotting written for god knows what. I didn’t set out to make it a book, no plans for it in particular. But it fits right now.

The King-time has come. New kings are needed in Samis, to balance the power out of Koartango, the empire of the west. The only blood to rule Samis is that of the dragon-lords, ancient beings left behind when the Lost Gods left the continent. Three dragon lords: Justice/Protection, Healer/Wealth, Death/Night. Each has a way of choosing a mate, each has a child according to his own power.

But Night’s Queen is gone, vanished into paths no mortal should know or see. Raised by the old lord, loved by him, she took on power nearly as great as one of the Lost Gods. And he will not have another to his bed, nor his heart.

Love is mad, and grief blinds him to the lion on the doorstep. The Hunter has come east, a mad prince from lands only the most adventurous traders of the Thunder Sea can speak of with authority. His powers are greater than any eastern dragon, and his lady is also gone, for he broke her himself. She is also the mistress of death, one of the Lost Gods. As the Lord of Night searches for a way deep into the realms of the dead, the Hunter begins sowing his poison through Samis. The other two lords are powerless to stop him without Night at their side.

In “Inherent”, the first real glimpses of the “Shadow and Soul” worlds are seen. Cume, where the story begins, was once the home of a powerful people, and traces of them still remain. Traces of their power linger, and sometimes corrupt or lead astray.

Sometimes, they make the impossible, possible, the unreal, real.

“I wonder

As I wander

Out under the stars…

A constant companion, silence is silver, silver silk on a rainy day. Clinging and showing what it should hide, draping in shimmering shields of deceptive delicacy.

I used to sing, once. Sang all day long, sang my cares away, sang to the silent stars and the wind whispering through the pines, jealous of the voices of the world that drowned mine to listless murmurs. I stopped singing, because silence didn’t remind me of what I couldn’t have. Yet it did, and does, remind me of everything I’ve wanted and failed to have.

I sang again, for a time, for love. I sang for joy, for pain, but most of all because I felt a bit of what was lost.

Tests I have endured, hopes I have seen lost, dreams have died in my hands, and there was a time when all was dust and ashes in my mouth. Bitter and dry, dehydrated tears. I thought I might never live, I might never see the sun, feel a lover’s touch, or sink into the sheer silk of a carefree moment. I fought, I endured, I triumphed, and then all was beautiful, all was powerful, all was peace, for one glorious breath of life-giving air.

Now I am strong, I am beautiful, I am loved. Now, now I may fail, fail at the one task that I set myself, which I knew, and dreaded, and sought anyways. Every moment feels a failure, as though I have made the one choice that cannot be right, something slips through my fingers, falls to the earth to shatter into a thousand pieces. Glittering shards slash my fingers with deceptive beauty as I understand the risks taken.

Now wind rises beneath my wings as I soar away from my heart, the empty skies driving me from my home, from all I love, to the place where silence struggles with madness.”

Sveria must be found, before the King-time is gone, before the Hunter destroys what fragile webs of power the Asran left behind them.

*shock and awe*

Posted in Uncategorized on December 28, 2008 by Jaym Gates

Last week I applied for an internship with a genre magazine. Today, I recieved the email offering me the position.

I am about to just float on out into the stratosphere. This couldn’t have come at a better time. Merry Christmas to me!!!

Too True

Posted in Uncategorized on December 27, 2008 by Jaym Gates

There’s an old quote about how, if you love someone or something, you have to let it go, and see if it comes back.

As is true with most quotes, that kind of glosses over a whole hell of a lot of things, and doesn’t really let you know how damned hard it is. But, it is true.

“Inherent” is coming along decently, for the amount of time I’ve had to put into it. Names and places are starting to develop, and hopefully, I’ll be able to work on characters pretty soon. I’m not sure which character to focus on right now though!

Reflections (1)

Posted in Uncategorized on December 27, 2008 by Jaym Gates

“…then my message is the ebb and flow of the lifeforce itself, and that union with that force is all we will ever know of freedom; freedom to feel our living, freedom for our minds to soar beyond the limits of our struggles.

And I have resolved that whatever else happens, on the day I die, when all of these memories pass before my eyes for one last time, I will smile and say, despite all I have been through, ‘It’s truly been a wonderful life.’

And it has.” ~ Sandro, from “Rain”, by Guillermo Bosch


Posted in Uncategorized on December 26, 2008 by Jaym Gates

(Posted some time back, on another site. But possibly all too applicable today especially)

I think the biggest problem with our society today is our lack of satisfaction. It seems like it is impossible for us to be happy. We have more than any of our ancestors ever had, more than most countries even today have. But it’s not enough.

Look at our songs, our movies, our idols. We worship Hollywood’s golden beauties, obsessing over the latest baby, the last divorce, or anything else that lets us stick our noses into the business of the glamour gods, and ignore our own mundane existence.

Our songs talk about broken hearts, revenge, dreams of getting rich quick, or the “lifestyle” that we idolize. The bands are our cultural icons, and our models.

Our clothing is modeled by too-thin children. It’s not enough to have clothes; they have to be the latest style, the hottest designer, the most attention-getting possible. Starlets in skimpy clothes and too much makeup spread themselves on magazines, giving our daughters images to imitate.

We like to think that we don’t worship gods anymore, but we do. Instead of wood, stone or spirit, we now worship plastic and paper. We worship the idea of money, power and fame, the ideals of beauty. Ideals that drive men and women into depression because of the unreality of the model, models who have been painted and shaped into what someone thinks is beautiful.

We completely miss the power in ourselves to take our lives from the ordinary and make them extraordinary. It doesn’t take much to make an amazing life out of our time here. It’s not money, fame or clothes.

It’s as simple as a walk in the park with a lover at midnight. A child is something more beautiful than all of Hollywood combined. That is a sort of fame that will never die, if you put your heart and soul into it.

True love, whether from a five-year old, or a seventy-year old, is more amazing and long lasting than fame. Love isn’t a quick romp between the sheets; it’s an eighty-year old man holding his wife’s hand when she can’t even remember his name. Friendship isn’t based on money; it is shared experience and pain, standing beside the one you love when no one else believes in them.

Beauty isn’t plastic surgery and anorexia, it is a girl looking her peers in the eyes and saying “I am not perfect, but I am beautiful”. Beauty is a sunset, a kiss, a friend holding another while they cry together. Beauty is the determination to succeed, to not just survive, but to LIVE! Beauty is the realization that this world may not be perfect, but that we’ve got a hell of a lot to live for.

You can’t buy happiness; no one else can give it to you. The prince isn’t going to come; the fairy god-mother isn’t going to make everything magically better. You aren’t going to give your life to God and instantly be a beatific saint.

Joy takes determination, stubbornness, anger, sorrow and loss, and through all that, innocence. No one can take innocence from you unless you allow them, and it is the key to being happy. We can choose to see the ugliness of the world, or we can put on our rose colored glasses and see that the world may be screwed up, but it’s actually a pretty cool place.

Choose joy, choose love, choose life. Don’t let others tell you what beauty is, it is you. Don’t let them tell you what love is, only you can know that. Don’t let anyone tell you what success is, only your standards can define that. Don’t fall prey to the definitions that our society places on behavior, live for yourself, and after that, for everyone around you. Choose to be proud, to be happy, to believe that you can touch the stars, or just stay on the porch in your chair, and be happy either way.

Choose to make your life amazing and beautiful. No one else is going to choose that for you.


Posted in Uncategorized on December 25, 2008 by Jaym Gates

My family loves food. My grandmother comes from a family of farmers and ranchers, and my grandfather’s relatives had horse ranches in Colorado for a long time. And while you can love food no matter what, there’s something about coming from a family that’s raised it for a long time to give you a unique perspective on the topic.

There are seven of us in a 900 square foot house for the week, on 40 acres of old Northern California land. Two dogs, 6 cats, 5 horses and random deer, turkeys, squirrels and the occasional bear or coyote round out the tribe. I’m the youngest of this group by twenty years, my mom is the youngest again by another twenty years, making me 40 years younger than most of the family here. The younger members of the family either have a new baby (my cousin), or are snowed in/disinherited from the family (my uncle and younger cousins).

The food bills have to have gone over 2000 dollars this week, plus what was on hand. Two freezers stuffed full, a full fridge, a sizable collection of home-canned, dried or canned food, a garage with lots of pies, cookies and produce, and a few boxes of nuts and fruits from friends and family elsewhere. Yep, we love food.

Incidentally, we live about 30 minutes away from the nearest gas station (well, where we’re staying, which is where I grew up). To get to town, we have to get over a sizable river. In ’95, the river flooded, and the apparently sturdy bridge washed out. It was two weeks before we could come and go as we pleased. We never did run out of food!

We almost never give presents. Food is our tradition. My grandfather’s cheesecakes, my mom’s stuffing, oatmeal and fruits, my cookies, those things are our traditions. Even the horses get more food and an extra serving of oats. And we do lots of puzzles and games.

This family has some issues, and we aren’t always on speaking terms. But tradition is tradition.

Merry Christmas everyone, and may your traditions continue another year, and new ones begin.

Silver Bells Ya’all

Posted in Uncategorized on December 24, 2008 by Jaym Gates

(Written about two weeks ago)

So, the holidays are a time of contention and strife in my household of two people and two pets. I’m a documented, certified, out-and-out Scrooge about the whole concept. My mother on the other hand, loves the tinsel and trinkets and carols and spirit. This leads to problems.

Don’t get me wrong, I have occasional moments of magpie-mindedness. Every now and then, I absolutely adore shiny things with unreasonable fervor. I love holiday food, time off, the excuse to travel, the chance to see old friends and go home for a while. But, my ideal Christmas would be a roaring fire, way too much food, one day of Christmas carols, some well-planned gifts (not necessarily expensive or fancy, a massage counts just as high as a camera), games, a Christmas tree decorated with a few ornaments and smelling of real forests, and good friends in abundance. Simplicty.

I detest the tinsel and bling and plastic of modern holidays. Rather than a chance to kick back and relax, we’re pressed to run and fight and wear ourselves ragged, just to spend a little more money and throw a better party. Instead of holiday cheer and spirit, you have crazy drivers, drunk assholes, stressed and angry shoppers and a spirit of one-upsmanship. It just isn’t right.

More than anything else though, I especially detest bells on doorhandles. Particularly when I’m just getting home at 1am, after work, tired and irritated and stressed.

Even better if they’ve been put up since I left, and therefor I have no fair warning. Nerves aren’t meant to be shattered that way. I’m fairly sure I squeaked. The sound pealed through the house in ringing waves, sending my typically tightly-wound state into something resembling a pulley system that’s been tightened a bit too much. It was a bad year.

Tonight, I actually got in the spirit before Christmas Eve. I bought a wreath, (real), decorated it with pine cones and some kitschy holiday trinkets (because I’ll throw them out with the wreath probably!), and hung it on the door. Merry Christmas, we’re done now, right? Christmas is on the West Coast this year, we don’t need to decorate, whoo-hoo!

Nope, out come the bells. Those damned, bloody, thrice-cursed (be sure to pronounce it like in the horror movies cuuuuurssssss-edddddd!) bells.

Why didn’t I destroy them last year when I had the chance?

Apparently I forgot.

So if someone hears a scream sometime within the next couple of weeks, an unearthly, ear-shattering, heart-breaking wail of agony and fear, it’s probably the demons of the abyss opening their front door after a long day of playing with holiday shoppers.

After all, render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, yes?

Sweet Silver Bells

All seem to say

Christmas is here

Sweet silver hells

All seem to say

Misery is here

Sweet silver bells

Ring out the day

Christmas is here

(repeat into eternity, if it gets stuck in your head like in mine!)


Posted in Uncategorized on December 22, 2008 by Jaym Gates

War comes early to the people of Quida, early in the year, before the snows melt, early in life, before the voice deepens. War comes early to the people of Quida, and leaves late.

The Priestess of Quida has seen such wars as this one before. A nameless host sweeps out of the southern deserts, inhuman man-creatures with clawing hands and twisted hearts, crushing all opposition. The armies of the southern empires crumble and flee from the relentless grasshopper-like hordes. The fleets cannot touch them, but they touch the fleets, and smoke plumes on the distant horizon as the capitol is torched.

The Priestess calls her people to the council, and to war. Rugged mountain rangers, brawn-heavy farmers, harsh Arbiters, sure-footed nomads from the desert. All come to her.

“The King-time has come. Prepare for war,” she says, and they nod in silent acknowledgment.

New Project

Posted in Uncategorized on December 21, 2008 by Jaym Gates

Since I’ve decided to take a break from the Red Sun world, I’ve been looking through old manuscripts for another idea. The Son of Sky is a fairy tale, so it’s not long enough.

The eventual winner is an old blurb titled “Inherent”. It has dragons, nutty people, cruel people and nice people. That’s about the extent of it so far, really. I’ll type up a synopsis later.

I leave for California in two days, so the posts the next couple of days may be fillers, posts I wrote a while back. Since they are better than most of these… I don’t think you’ll complain.

Merry Christmas everyone!