writing

CATCH THE WIND (a short story)

EVERY WHICH WAY there are faces.

Black, white, brown, yellow, red, pink skin. Giant, small, lopsided, almond-shaped eyes. Broken hearts, swelling pride, fragmented dreams, wondering what happened to fuel them this far.

A billion stories reside within the souls of these people, and the depths of discovery here have no limit. There must be millions on these busy streets, in the swelling metropolis of New York City, as the hubbub of car horns blasts from the roads. But I don’t want to be anywhere else, even as their body heat turns my cheeks ruddy and a woman falls over me.

 It is chaos: A sweet, simple, human chaos. A chaos I don’t pay attention to often, a deep dream that is blurred by my career, my family, the city itself. Usually I am a thoughtless wanderer, off to work, off to the routine. But for a strange reason, today, I watch those around me.

A girl on her father’s shoulders stares out in the sea of bodies asking for cotton candy.

Businessmen and women chirp into phones, sipping on warm coffees, pupils aglow with the thought of greenbacks.

A hipster dances past, headphones deep in his ears.

A young teenager attempts to read a novel without bumping into anyone else. Good luck, kid. I wish I had that skill.

A few paces ahead, the dark red hair of a woman catches my eye–that luminosity, the shine, a color that stands out anywhere.

But it’s when my mind captures individual faces, I am astounded by the complexity of our world, and how this is where I am meant to be at this exact moment. For a reason. My heart swells inside me like a rushing tide ready to break free onto warm sand. Humanity is unimaginable, incomprehensible, and I am a witness to the individual facets of this species. 

And then I see him.

Up ahead, a tall man glides down the road, a peculiar hat perched on his head despite the cloudy day, the perfect weather. He glances back, sweat trickling down his cheeks like dripping candle wax. My eyes unfalteringly set on him. He blends into the crowd. His head bobs over the regulars and the tourists, but there is nothing special about him. Normal features, normal attire, normal everything, really. Could be a banker or a teacher, who knows. He tugs on his hat a few times, pulling it closer to his crown. Maybe he’s a murderer, I decide in the loneliness of my skull; maybe he’s an angel. He glances back around him, avoiding stubborn souls sweeping down the sidewalk.

Somehow–and for whatever reason–he locks eyes with me. As my gaze focuses in on his warm amber irises, it happens like magic: He is gone, a departed ghost. A mysterious flash, within the blink of an eye.

I stop in my tracks. A man barrels over me, and then like the parting of the Red Sea, people swim around me down the street. But I pay no attention. I look down the way to the spot where I saw this man disappear, and a squirmy ache in my heart sickens me. What did I witness? He was gone in a literal flash, like the sudden disappearance of the sun on a perfect day.

With careful examination of the crowd, I see nothing. Even if he didn’t disappear or I simply blinked and he was gone, I would never be able to find him, not with the hordes of people pushing past me now. They pass me by, their arms grazing my flesh, and I realize how lonely inside I am, how crazy I must be. People don’t disappear into the clouds. With a thumping heartbeat, I look up into the sky, as if this is a plausible way the man left the streets. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t.

Tiny teardrops of water hit my nose. Did anyone else notice? 


AN EXPLANATION.

Oh, my beautiful readers! This post is one of the weirdest I’ve done in a while, and that’s because of the story around it.

As some of you guys know, I’m working on a novel right now called Church Boy. It’s a 55,000 word Christian romance novel that I’m hoping to publish soon. And somehow as I was editing this book late at night on August 5, I stumbled upon my Submittable account. What is Submittable, and why does it matter?

Submittable is a way for writers to query multiple agents at once. It’s an easy tool to use, and somehow I fumbled upon my account and saw my previous works I’ve sent off to agents in the past few years. And “Catch the Wind” was one of them.

According to this entry date, I submitted this short story to a magazine in February 2015. (Over four years ago, what in the world?). Now what’s really wild is that I have no trace of this short story on my new computer, and I don’t remember writing it. That being said, I know this short story is important, because as I read it, I thought to myself: Why not put this on the blog?

“Catch the Wind” is a short story that made me stop in my tracks, now that I’m reading it four years later, because it convicted me. It made me think that I pass so many people on a daily basis, and I ignore them. It isn’t humanly possible to recognize every single person on the face of the earth, but I do think we have a responsibility to put our energy into the people who come into our lives unexpectedly.

In 2019 it is easy to hide behind a screen, especially in public places. We’re selfish people, and we tend to find momentary happiness in stroking our own egos, but I believe there is long-standing joy in strengthening our relationships with others. This can happen through budding friendships, waving at strangers, and casual conversation with an old friend.

What I mean is that we have a limited amount of time on this planet, and we need to make the most of it. When we see that someone’s hurting, we need to help him or her. When our intuition goes off and implores us to help another, we should follow this sense.

This life is much more about we can individually do. It’s about coming together, as corny as that may sound.

Because what if, going back to my story, we are the man who disappears into thin air? What happens then?

Okay, enough ramblings from me now. I just thought this story would be a perfect Friday morning blog post, and I hope you enjoy this little guy from a seventeen-year-old Katie Kay.

More on Monday!

-K. ❤

Volcanoes National Park, Hawai’i (July 2019)

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poetry

on the cusp (a poem)

when life feels like an hourglass,
i seek solace in what i love most:
fingers strewn over the keys
of a dirty MacBook Air,
eyes strained from the creamy glow
of a blank Word document,
my mind finally relaxed,
a digital massage.

what can i craft, like an architect
and blueprints and concrete magic?
where can i go, like a world traveler
and tennis shoes and a weathered map?
who will i meet, like a writer
and a pen and a sheet of paper?
the possibilities are endless,
and they are mine.

when the stress is overwhelming,
and the real world clamps down tight,
i remember my sweet escape,
the riskiness of a writer and her
invented world. my blood boils
as i pan for gold, waiting on the cusp
of my world to unleash itself
upon my very fingertips.


AN EXPLANATION.

Hello, my beautiful and wonderful readers!

I hope you all are doing great as we begin this new week in August 2019. For today’s post, I wanted to share with you all this poem I wrote in autumn 2018, and I think it will relate to a lot of you who are writers and wish to showcase your emotions to the world.

For writers there is almost no greater passion than chugging out our thoughts on paper (or in my case, a Word doc hehe). We have thoughts and emotions bubbling to the surface of our blood, and there is no escape greater than releasing what we need to express. As a writer, I have found that this process is almost like taking a crucial test: There is buildup and anxiety that is followed by relieved elation at finishing the test. (Of course, the grader is one’s audience, but that is another story altogether.)

“on the cusp” can relate to more than just writing. Some of you have other passions that you must share with the world. I’m serious. You may think I’m lying, but I truly believe each and every one of you have an amazing purpose that has put you on Earth at this particular moment in time. So, if you’re not exactly sure what your “sweet escape is,” take a moment and reflect today.

What relieves your stress? What frees you from the pressures of this world? What gives you the greatest joy?

Consider, and make an effort to implement more of your time into your joy.

Much love,

-Katie Kay. ❤

poetry

DILIGENCE (a poem)

cold satin heart
warm up all ready
and let something
like diligence
heat up your stride

INDUSTRIA.

constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind

Diligence is required when it comes to pursuing our dreams. We cannot let our laziness get in the way of the things we’re striving for. Hard work is sometimes fun, but it’s also grueling and painstaking at times too. This Heavenly Virtue asks us to remove our slothful spirits and pursue things with care, caution, and resolve.

This poem is a short one, I know, but it has everything I want to say about the subject this morning. Our hearts need to warm up and recognize that the things we love and want must be earned, not given. (And if you’re interested in the learning more about sloth, check out that poem here.)


DAY 4 OF SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE.

Day 4 is done! Wow. It feels so weird to be writing these words, but at the same time I am not surprised. Life is going to revolve, whether we want it to or not. Thank you guys for reading, and I hope you enjoy tomorrow’s poem. (I promise it is a little longer than this one!)

Much love until tomorrow,

-K.

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poetry

CHARITY (a poem)

sweet charity should be
like an ever-flowing
mountain brook,
a lifetime supplier
of sustenance from a
dignified mother earth.

but when our pockets are
filled with greed and our hearts
lacking love,
doc’s orders: Charity
is the only drug one
should never get enough of.


CARITAS.

generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless

Charity is one of the most important virtues, in my opinion, as it asks us to place others above the self.  Charity’s antithesis is the darker element of greed, which places the self above others.

Today challenge yourself to consider a charitable action that you can do for someone else in the next twenty-four hours. This can be anything from listening to a friend to donating food. See how your spirit feels after this act, and harness that power into good for others every day. Some only associate charity with monetary deliverances, but there are so many different ways to help others. It’s up to you to lend a hand, though.

(If you care to read my poem on greed, check it out here.)


DAY 3 OF THE SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE.

Thank you so much for reading and participating in this series! I hope you all are having a fantastic day, and make sure to comment below if you have any thoughts on this post. I love interacting with you all and getting to know you a little bit better through this platform.

Your support means the world to me!

-K. ❤

 

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poetry

TEMPERANCE (a poem)

why do i want so much
of the things that corrode
my body and my soul.

instead of recognizing
the power of restraint
that mends my body whole.

temperance,
oh how i want you
as a friend and a guide.

so one day
i will say: my
gluttony has died.

MODERATIO

1. moderation or self-restraint in action, statement, etc.; self-control.
2. habitual moderation in the indulgence of a natural appetite or passion, especially in the use of alcoholic liquors

Hello, my dear readers! Today is Day 2 of the Seven Heavenly Virtues series, and we’re going to focus on temperance today. While temperance in my home country of the United States is generally associated with the Temperance Movement (an effort to curb the consumption of alcohol in the Prohibition Era days), I don’t really want to talk about alcohol today.

Instead, I want you guys to realize that the antithesis of gluttony (consuming things in excess) is temperance, which asks us to control and monitor what we are putting into our souls. To me, this can be food, alcohol, or drugs that we’re taking in excess. But it can also refer to things of a mental nature, such as social media or insert whatever is bothering you at this current point in time.

Today I want to challenge you to consider something that is restraining you. For example, I struggle with the amount of time I’m on my phone, so I have created a time limit of two hours for each day. (Does this seem like a lot? It does, but somehow it is so easy to blow through two hours.)

Whatever is bothering you, whatever you’re consuming… Think on it, and practice self-control. Set limits. Talk to friends. Realize that the best thing you can do is open up with yourself to cut out negative energy.

(And if you’d like to check out my poem on gluttony, the antithesis of temperance, check it out here.)


DAY 2 OF THE SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE.

Thank you guys for reading!! So far I have not been too impressed by my poems in this series, so I am hoping I can produce some better material for you all soon. We’re headed to my favorite virtues soon. Comment below the ones you’re excited to see, if you want!

Much love everyone,

-K.

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blogging

Liebster Award & A Quick Thank-You

Hello, my dear readers!

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me… (Well, actually only a few hours ago, but still.) Today is a rainy, hurricane-ridden day in the Southeastern United States, which provides a perfect moment to stop, reflect, and take a breath. Over the past week, I have been struggling with some calendar-related stresses, and now that it is a peaceful Sunday afternoon my spirit is more relaxed. And a big part of that relief is from this blog.

I just want to take a moment and thank all of you for supporting me on this journey. You guys don’t have to read my materials or follow my blog–but you do, and for this I am forever grateful.

As a young writer with no traditionally published credits to her name, I sometimes struggle with the idea that I will never “make it.” What I mean by this is successfully navigating the publishing world and seeing one of my books in print. But two years ago something changed. My aunt asked me to start a travel blog documenting my year abroad in South America. I relented, but barely posted anything. A year ago I started to implement more focus into what this blog is, and it took off from there. You guys are the catalyst, and my heart goes out to you–wherever you may be in this beautiful world we get to call home.


LIEBSTER AWARD.

This morning I was nominated for the “Liebster Award” by FantasyNovel1. Please check out FantasyNovel1’s blog if you can and help support another burgeoning writer. (To do so, click here). Thank you again, FantasyNovel1.

I’m not exactly sure how these awards work, but I’ve seen a few examples on other blogs, so I’m going to try my best to answer questions and nominate three other blogs. We will see what happens!

11 Facts About Myself

  1. I can’t roll my tongue.
  2. Thunderstorms are my favorite type of weather activity.
  3. I have a weird “ghost spot” in my mouth. It’s like a ghost tooth, if that makes any sense at all. It shows up on X-rays but nothing else.Weird, I know.
  4. My sister/best friend/redonk person is eight years younger than me. Sometimes I am mistaken for her mother, which INFURIATES me, but I understand.
  5. I was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina, but only lived there for a year.
  6. Growing up I lived on a “farm.” While we didn’t have a barn or animals (allergic, unfortunately), my childhood was invigorated by acres and acres of Tennessee land.  This really instilled my love of storytelling. (Maybe a blog post on this soon?)
  7. My favorite movie is Pan’s Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno) that was directed by Guillermo del Toro. The movie is an example of magical realism that incorporates the Spanish Civil War into a redemption story for the books. (While I am not as enchanted by this movie now, it definitely inspired me to try my hand at magical realism, so I will forever be indebted to this guy.)
  8. I am a Southern Baptist. (This is a denomination of Protestant Christianity for those of you who don’t know.)
  9. I am going to be a bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding in a little over two weeks!
  10. I developed my “allergies” when I was eighteen. Now I cannot be around pets for extended periods of time. 😦
  11. Currently I am writing this blog post at a burger joint in the middle of a hurricane.

Questions asked by FantasyNovel1

  1. What do you admire most about yourself? Shoot. All ready starting out with a tough question! Hmm… I think I enjoy helping others as much as I can, even when I receive pushback from it. (INFP, anyone?)
  2. How many languages can you speak and write? English is my native language, but I am studying Spanish in college and learned to speak/write it fairly well in Argentina, where I lived for eight months. However, my Spanish is getting rustier now that I do not use it as much in my home state of Tennessee. Maybe I will write a blog post in Spanish soon.
  3. What is your favorite quote? “The darker the night, the brighter the stars. The deeper the grief, the closer is God!”–Fyodor Dostoevsky.
  4. Favorite book and reasons why? People love to ask this question and I never know how to answer it. I’ve read a lot of books, so how could I possibly choose one? But for the sake of this question, I’ll choose… (Got you there, didn’t I?)
  5. Favorite actor? Daniel Day-Lewis, hands down. I love his acting, and I’m so sad he is retired, though I can understand why, as Hollywood doesn’t produce that many quality films anymore. Check out some of his classics: The Last of the Mohicans, There Will Be Blood, Lincoln, My Left Foot.
  6. Which countries have you been to? The United States, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Perú.
  7. Who inspires you the most? My parents. They’re not perfect, but they’re close to it.

Questions For Nominees

  1. What is your favorite book and why?
  2. If you could go anyplace in the world, where would it be and why?
  3. Do you believe in love at first sight?
  4. Why did you start blogging?
  5. When did you discover your love of writing?
  6. What author has made the most impact on your writing abilities?
  7. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Nominees

  1. http://johnwhowell.com
  2. https://tutoringyoudotorg.wpcomstaging.com
  3. https://wonderblogz.wordpress.com

THANK YOU GUYS!

I know this blog post is not my normal setup, but I thought I would participate in this chain. Thank you for viewing, and be prepared for some Heavenly Virtues poems beginning tomorrow…

You guys are the best!

-K.

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updates

MARCH 1, 2019

Hello, my wonderful readers!

It is the first day of March, and that means spring is just around the corner (at least in the Northern hemisphere). I’m ready for fresh flowers, clean air, and the rejuvenation that comes with my favorite season of the year. Spring is a symbol for Earth’s revitalization, where green replaces the deadness of winter; plants bloom in full abundance; and we catch a few moments of sunny, breezy days before the scorch of summer.

So, to celebrate the first day of March, I want to briefly mention some things that are on my mind in anticipation for the springtime ahead.

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Flowers… Perfect for springtime.


1. CHANGE WILL HAPPEN, AND IT CAN BE A GREAT THING

February was a hard month, but it taught me the importance of friendship and family. It also taught me that nothing is set in stone, and it never has been. Some humans crave stability, and others desire the opposite. I think I’m in the middle here, but I’ve learned that stagnation leads to rifts in my happiness.

Sometimes we can’t control the change in our lives, but sometimes we can. Instead of wallowing in what is tossed our way, however, we must remember that we can find immeasurable growth in the darkest spots.

I’m learning to embrace the change in my life, and it feels weird and wild and natural. If life didn’t hurl mysteries our way, then we’d be chugging along in boredom. But when we recognize that things are shifting in our life path, we can harness this energy into something positive.

Life is going to be hard. That is a guarantee. Change will come, whether we want it to or not. It’s up to us whether we’re going to embrace the future, or fear it instead.

2. LISTEN TO YOUR HEART, AND THINGS WILL FALL INTO PLACE

When I dropped out of my spring break trip to Hawaii, I was adamant that I needed to fly as much as possible. For those of you who don’t know, I’m working on my private pilot license, and the weather hasn’t been too great in California this past year. I’m lucky to fly once or twice a week normally. But then the skies opened, the sun bled through the clouds, and I was able to fly four days in a row. The weather was absolutely perfect, and if I had gone on that trip, I would have lost valuable time to fly.

There was a perfect window of opportunity, and I flew through it. 😉 The same can be applied to your life as well. Now I’m not going to say you should always listen to your heart. We’re only human, and we do stupid things at times, because we want what we want. We’re selfish and stubborn, and that can be problematic.

But if we never listened to our hearts, we would find no passion for the world around us. If we had no emotion or feeling, then what would be the point of anything at all?

3. WE’VE ALL GOT GIFTS AND TALENTS TO SHARE WITH THE WORLD

A lot of you guys can relate to this, I’m sure. Most of us bloggers are writers. We find value in what we write, and there’s a sort of addiction to sharing our thoughts and seeing them in the form of words. 

At college I get minimal writing done, and when I come home, I’m struck by a million jolts of creative energy. Being home for the past few days has given me the chance to write, reflect, and realize that we are all given talents and gifts to return to the world.

What is yours? What makes you happiest, and what’s something you want to share with the world? We were all placed on this Earth for a purpose, and each purpose relates to the rest of humanity. I think this is an interesting point to ponder on, as there are billions of people on this planet, and even more who were before and will be after us.

What is your purpose? It’s a difficult question, but there is an answer. 🙂


THANK YOU, GUYS!

As always, thank you for reading this post. I know it’s a short one, but I wanted to share some things with you before this weekend. You all are amazing, one-of-a-kind individuals with immeasurable potential. This month I challenge you to consider that things are not always going to be what you plan, but that’s okay too. As we enter this new season, we will find strength in our weakest moments, and that is something tantamount to the human experience.

There is so much joy in the world around us. ❤

Until next time,

-K.

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More fake flowers. So beautiful, though!!

P.S. Today is also one of my good friend’s birthdays, so I’d love to send her a special shoutout. 🙂