empty

365 Challenge: Day 364 – Reprieve

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Reprieve: a cancellation or postponement of a punishment (ha… is the 365 a punishment?)

repreive.jpg

Two days left until the 365 Daily Challenge ends on the This Is My Truth Now blog. I’ve shared all the new segments with you, but as I write this post I find myself a little emotional. Since I’m sharing the official 365 goodbye in tomorrow’s ‘finale’ post, I’ll contain my feelings for another twenty-four hours. My message today applies to all of us who have been working hard toward a goal. Sometimes you need to take a break and give yourself the opportunity to rest and recover. I plan to do so in the next few days and weeks, but for now, here’s where my head is at:

  1. I submitted the final version of ‘Father Figure’ to the publisher today and we are done with all editing. We will finalize the cover and new title next week, but this second book is coming to an end in terms of the writing phase. Next up is the launch phase.
  2. Tomorrow completes the 365 Daily Challenge. I blogged for 365 consecutive days except for the five where my focus was on a sick Ryder. I made those up here at the end. Throughout the months, I’ve provided inspiration, laughs and tears. I made beautiful connections and friends. And I learned a lot about myself. Tomorrow I will share my true thoughts and emotions.
  3. On Sunday, I hit another milestone as it is my next birthday. My parents are visiting for brunch, then W and I will spend the evening together. I’ve asked for a sushi dinner! It will be the first day after the 365 Daily Challenge is completed. My mind will be free from one part of the blog and preparing to think about the next one. But the key thing: there will be no post this Sunday!

***

Before I jump into the new segments on my blog in tomorrow’s announcement and final post, I wanted to tell everyone to expect a short reprieve from me once this ends. I will need a few weeks to pull together the new segments, but I also need a few days without the requirement to post something. I’ve loved every moment of it, but with these 3 big events happening all at the same time, it’s important for me to recognize the need for a bit of rest. I still plan to post book reviews in the next few weeks. And if something happens to strike my fancy, I will post about it! But there will be nothing forcing me to stick to a schedule in the near term future.

I’m also thinking about the structure of the new segments, e.g. weekly, monthly, whenever I want but with the same title so everyone knows the scope of the post… lots to consider. I would like a bit of freedom not to have to write something unless I feel like the words or message are fully ready to be shared. I also want time to read other blogs and comment back and forth! Between books, short stories and posts, I’m always on and that falls to the wayside. I love being busy, but at the same time, let’s see what happens when I get a bit of a reprieve… maybe I’ll find my brilliant side… see you all tomorrow on the final post!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 171 – Blank

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Blank: (a) showing incomprehension or no reaction, (b) unrelieved by decorative or other features; bare, empty, or plain, (c) a space left to be filled in a document

blank

I spent a little energy this morning thinking about the posts I need to write in preparation of a long-weekend getaway to visit family in Louisiana this weekend — if we are able to get down there given all that’s occurred with Hurricane Harvey (more on that later). A few words popped up, which I’m outlining in my head as to how I will blog about them for Saturday thru Tuesday while I’m away. The one that felt pertinent for today is the word ‘blank.’ I checked the trusty online dictionary, as I always do, and found a few appropriate definitions for the 365 Daily Challenge.

It all started yesterday when I was attempting to be funny with a comment on a post from my friend Nel @ Reactionary Tales. I left a few words blank with “____” for her to complete. She came back with a hilarious response and it just made me laugh until it then bugged me because I couldn’t remember the name of the game/quiz/magazine that you could buy to play with your friends and fill in the words. I kept thinking… am I getting old enough to be one of those guys who says “wuz that ole game we done played back when…” (yeah, apparently when I get old I bring out some southern accent that I do not have) and then I just wanted to cry about it. I did not cry. Too many other things got in the way. But sometimes a good old-fashioned cry helps. There I go again… “old-fashioned” — why is age such a big deal today? OK, I am way off topic. Nel finally knew what I meant, after a few back and forth jabs, she said “MadLibs?” For a second, I wondered if she had an expression on her face, sorta like, ‘dude, that game is so 1990s…’ Does anyone even know what I am talking about?

madlips

Anyways… ‘blank’ started it all. Then I was walking home from meeting a friend for lunch and I had a song that kept popping up along the way. I  found myself singing along (in my head — at first), not really knowing who sang it or what the name was. Finally, there I am walking down 1st Avenue in NYC with my phone, searching the lyrics I could remember, finally stumbling upon it. And then I was sadly ashamed of myself. Not because I couldn’t remember the song name or the artist. Not because it was someone very current and popular. Not because it made me feel so old. But because it was Taylor Swift. I mean no offense here. And I know very little about her. But for some reason, I don’t like her. Too many news articles about all the issues she has dating. “Get over yourself girl, shut the hell up and live your life. Stop telling me about it.” OK, rant over… again, if you love her, sorry, I don’t mean any offense.  The song was “Blank Space.” Well… I’m still not a fan of Ms. Swift, but it’s been playing on Spotify a few times a day around my apartment. I really need to take away Ryder’s permission to use my laptop.

For a small laugh, picture me… shorts and a tank top… walking down a NYC street… with my iPhone blasting “Blank Space” and no headphones… just speaker volume on high… singing… I’m a little shocked I made it home without someone — really, anyone would have at that moment — beating the cr*p out of me for torturing them with my awful voice and dance routine. Yeah, the head was bopping side to side… “cause we’re young and we’re reckless… go down in flaaaaaaaaames” {Aside: Ironic word. Eh, I will not validate that this happened. Never put in writing what might come back to haunt you.} It’s playing right now as I type this post. Here you go, enjoy my torture, click to listen to the song (not me):  Blank Space.

Back to the 365 word… I began creating my author website yesterday (https://jamescudney4.com) and it’s got so much blank space because I don’t have a lot of graphics, photos or images to use yet. Once the book cover comes back to me and I approve it, I can load more. Until then, it feels so blank! And I kept thinking… what do people want to know about me? How much should I put on an author website. I mean… I reveal EVERYTHING about myself on “ThisIsMyTruthNow” but what should I do on the new site? Any ideas? I could use some advice and input as I am apparently not creative enough to figure it out on my own. Or maybe I’m so creative in writing that I can’t design a visual blog and website. Help!

And lastly, but MOST IMPORTANTLY, my mind is a complete and utter blank over what is happening in Texas and Louisiana from all the impacts of Hurricane Harvey. I lived through the super storm Sandy in NYC years ago. I lived in NY during 9/11. I watched Katrina hit New Orleans years ago. But for some reason, seeing the flooding — and what it’s done to all the people of Houston and the surrounding areas — has created a huge blank space in my mind. Blank over shock. Blank wondering how do they survive. Blank at how anyone can possibly handle this much water and not lose everything they ever loved. It’s awful to witness, which means it’s impossible to imagine what’s really happening to the people most impacted by it. My mind is just blank as to how / why / who / what / when / where…. and everything that comes with it. I send tons of love and prayer and hope to any of the victims and people impacted by this tragedy.

I considered just leaving the whole post ‘blank’ as a very small way to remind us all not to be empty or blank in our support of others, but words often do more justice. We love you Houston. We should do anything we can to help them. And while I am and will do something outside this blog, I also dedicate this post (completely poking fun at myself) to them, in the hopes a little laughter will go a long way to pushing everyone to help the victims survive and carry forward.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

“Watching a Glass Shatter” – Chapter 2

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Chapter 2 “Who is Olivia Glass?” has been released and the widow reacts to her husband’s untimely death prior to sitting for the reading of the will.  What secrets are going to come out?

Summary:  The wealthy Glass family has lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons prepare for the will reading in their own way but Olivia receives a very unexpected confession via a letter from her late husband that will shatter the whole family: one of their 5 boys is not really their biological son. Prior to revealing what Ben put in the letter, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past.  Olivia visits each son with the expectation she will reveal the newly learned family secret while with each son but when she arrives, Olivia learns that her sons have each been keeping a secret from her.

In this family drama, Olivia and her sons are on a quest to determine the course of their life without Ben.  Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life altering.  As she spends time with each son, she gets a clearer picture of what she needs to do. By the final visit, Olivia is ready to move forward but will her family ever be the same?

Chapter 1 – Who was Benjamin Glass?

Chapter 2 – Who was Olivia Glass?

-jjciv

“Of a Secret Kept” – Short Story

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Alice experienced an intense and excruciatingly toxic level of torture at the hands of the man she thought had loved her.  Years later, she’s trying to recover but the nightmares won’t go away.  When she comes face to face with the devil who stole something from her all those years ago, she’s determined to move her life forward.  Will she be able to or will the bastard claim her whole life all over again?

Read more here…Of a Secret Kept

Author’s Note: I’m still torn with the ending as I want Alice to win and be able to move forward, but the Edgar Allan Poe-esque storyteller in me had to end with a twist. Perhaps there should be a sequel so that Alice’s faith and hope is restored (deservedly so!)