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Unfinished Stories

This past weekend I made chutney, a spicy Indian relish you can make by chopping stuff up and pureeing it in a blender. Mint-cilantro chutney is my favorite, and homemade is oh so yummy. But that got me thinking about the word, chutney, and how once upon a time I started writing a story that included a town called Chutney.

Whatever happened to that story? It was exciting, epic, and intriguing. Truth is, I just got tired of it and totally ran into a wall with the plot, the myriad characters seemed neverending, as did problem of sticking to the point of the story: A point-less quest. The idea for the story came about after thinking about Lord of the Rings and how it was a worthy quest to take a ring that brought out the evil in people to a place where it could be destroyed. What would be an unworthy quest? How would that story play out?

What I came up with was a convoluted tale of a people enslaved, a long-lost princess, and a quest to save a despicable master and mistress. It was a long tale with some parts that were really good and others that, well, didn’t make sense. To this day it sits collecting dust in a binder in my office desk and will probably remain there until I finally decide to dump it.

One might think that a writer or author is defined by the stories they publish, but that isn’t the whole truth. What’s published is the proverbial top of the iceberg. The other ninety percent are all those stories and ideas either waiting to be finished or even destined never to be completed. Those incomplete stories tell of wishes, hopes, and dreams, plots and characters the author has visions for, but finds that either lack of will or ability defeats them. Some stories are simply bad ideas, but writers can’t let them go because something in the story touches their inner heart and soul. I have many such stories, and think about them from time to time, retelling them to myself in my head. No one will ever read them but me and God, and sometimes that seems a shame, but for a lot of artists, their art is mostly for themselves anyway, and wouldn’t mean as much to a larger audience. Much like diary entries, these stories or pieces of them remind us who we once were, how far we’ve come, and where we want to be in the future.

Then there’s those stories, unfinished at present, but ones we are planning on completing once we have more time to devote to them, time for more research, care, and attention. These are the jewels in a writer’s satchel–the possibilities of greatness that will someday be. Even with the will to complete them, time curtails a lot of these stories. An author’s life is cut short, emergencies and duties overwhelm the energy and resources they have to give to the budding tales, and other events and people demand the author’s time elsewhere. Life just gets in the way and sometimes manuscripts or poems or other works are found completed or nearly-so, unpublished and waiting away in dusty drawers or an old hard drive until someone should come across them. Most simply vanish with the passing of lives and history. Once in awhile, though, authors take the time to share these stories, ideas, and characters. They may share them with strangers on a sudden impulse, or with someone they love, telling the story out when they can’t yet write it.

I find it fascinating how my unfinished stories have changed over the years, how often the endings have played out in so many different ways depending on my mood, with new ideas popping up the older I get and the more I learn. How surprising, too, to remember a story I once was excited about, but for some reason forgot. Mostly, the forgetting part had to do with growing up. The unfinished ones I continue to hold onto are those that have stood the test of time in my mind. Those characters, storylines, and themes are crucial elements I someday want to share with the world, but I want to share them at their best, when I’m able to devote the most time and energy to them. Which ones will remain unfinished and which ones will be completed? Even more, what future stories do I have yet to envision?

Unfinished is exciting in some ways. Things are still in play, there’s still a “game” going on even if it’s under the surface. Life is not done being lived and adventures are still to be had, if only for a time. An artist is really only as good as the next thing they are working on, and we can never complete anything to perfection, so we’re always writing and creating more to try and try again. We continue on in imperfection. Never will we have our seventh day of rest because we know that even what we’ve already written or published still isn’t “good” enough. Unfinished stories, unfinished life. Exciting and tiring at the same time.

Hotel stories

I’m working on a couple of different stories these days, a sort-of medical thriller, and an intriguing idea for a Korean drama involving a hotel. Thus I have on my list to watch the new series Hotel de Luna starring IU, and a couple of older series about hotels: My Secret Hotel and Hotel King, respectively starring Yoo In Na and Lee Dong Wook. Probably should add Lie to Me to the list as it also involves a large hotel. As skeptical as I am about being able to do the Korean rom-com genre justice, it’s just too intriguing of an idea to let go of, kind of like Trolls for Dust was.

Speaking of Trolls for Dust, everything is looking well for focusing on book three in the series this fall. I’m excited to see if I actually will have enough material for book four or if I will choose to end it as a trilogy. I signed up to be in a couple of book fairs in Minnesota this fall, so will have more news up about that as we get closer to the dates. My plans to do more with the trollsfordust blog haven’t exactly materialized, but it’s on my list as a way to help brainstorm and get back into the series.

As for other dramas, I am finishing up Goblin for the second time and find it to be just as good, if not better than the first time, though a little slow in parts. Also, the soundtrack really makes the show even more magical, enhancing the writing and giving extra life to the various plot lines, my favorite of which is the romance between the grim reaper and the Olive Chicken BB.Q owner. I’d also forgotten how funny a lot of the scenes were and how they take the time to really show the “goblin’s bride” growing up, bit by bit.

Reading This Week

What am I reading this week? Q and Neon Revolt. Flynn, Planned Parenthood, Epstein: It’s all going down as Q says we are now moving things at 10x speed as the Mueller report is out of the way. Interestingly enough, Mueller will testify before the House on the seventeenth. 17=Q. Coincidence? Maybe.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I highly, highly encourage you to read up on Q aka Qanon. The mainstream media dismisses it as a “conspiracy theory.” Oh, those scary words meant to shame anyone looking for the actual truth. Truth is, there are conspiracies, many bad, some good, and it’s better to know about them than not. Q has a lot of followers, many called “anons,” and Neon Revolt is one of those. He’s got a great introduction to Q on his website neonrevolt.com as well as a number of articles detailing the research that comes from what the Q team shares. Q is ultimately about research, the research the MSM will never do as they have given up on anything resembling journalism.

So, why am I reading a lot of Q and Neon this week? Well, Q is back to posting regularly, which is exciting, and the fact that Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested again brings the hope that Q’s vow to bring bad actors to justice might actually become reality. Epstein is the lynchpin, and Neon’s recent article explains why: As if being a pedophile with a creepy island sporting a weird temple isn’t enough, Epstein is likely a spy for a government agency acting in very bad faith. His job is to capture people of power, especially government power, in compromising circumstances, saving video documentation of their bad deeds so these people can be blackmailed, forcing them to act against the best interests of the countries in which they are elected or in which they have power. What government, what country would do this? How exactly did Epstein get all that money? I leave that for you to speculate on. Or you can just read Neon’s article.

If this all does go down and Epstein is looking at actual punishment for his crimes, he will likely sing like bird and start naming names, perhaps all of the names, including the names of his handlers and the country they work for. As for the Planned Parenthood stuff, it’s only a matter of time before they lose their government funding and are raked across the coals. The pendulum of public sentiment is swinging back to children and family being positive states, not burdens, and such a public display of baby killing and selling off their body parts to the highest bidder may soon no longer be tolerated. Interestingly enough, one of the biggest aspects of Trump’s Presidency has been the take down of human and child traffickers all around the world including his executive order allowing the assets of anyone connected with trafficking to be seized. That’s big right there, because trafficking is where the big money comes from, money stolen from tax payers through fraud and lies. Taking down the shady characters who hurt children will be Trump’s legacy. As for General Flynn, many think he’s in on the Q team and was involved or is still involved in a gamble of a sting operation. It’s possible, just like it’s possible that when Q+ posts it’s actually 4, 10, 20, or Donald J. Trump.

Q is fun and interesting, more interesting than most of the other news out there. It seems that by now (Q has been posting since fall of 2017) that if Q was not somehow connected to the White House, that Trump would have said so. For some reason the journalists who are so against him haven’t asked him about it. Are they scared it’s real? Well, the information the anons or researchers have found is certainly real, and that’s the part that really matters, that actual real news and truth be out there for people to find. For once, in for what’s been a very long time, the hold of power that certain groups have on our world is beginning to falter. Many can feel it, and many around the world are starting to question many of the big lies they’ve been fed. As the bad actors lose their power, they will try and force the world into a one world government, globalism instead of nationalism, and like the people who built the Tower of Babel before them, they are doomed to fail. There is only one God, and He made the nations with all of their lovely and strange varieties. It’s interesting isn’t it, that for all the calls for “diversity” today what the powers that be really want is for everyone to be the same, to believe the same things, to think the same things, and to do the same things. These bad actors really think that the differences in the nations run only skin deep. As Q says: These people are stupid.

You can find Q posts at qmap.pub and other sites.

K-drama Review: Because This Is My First Life

This will be more a review of the second half of this sweet contemplation on couples in their thirties trying to adjust to the work, social, and romance demands that come with being an adult. For my thoughts on the first part, please see Winter’s Last Hurrah. Because This Is My First Life stars Lee Min Ki (Shut Up Flower Boy Band) and the awesome Jung So Min (The Smile Has Left Your Eyes). The writing of this series is good, which is always a helpful thing when one of the characters is a writer, too. Somehow, the show managed to hit the right combination of sentimentality, comedy, and drama.

Would you enter a contract marriage? In America, living together while not being married is pretty commonplace, so it’s more difficult to imagine that people would find it necessary to do a contract marriage unless some huge amount of money was involved or some high stakes circumstances. South Korea’s a bit more conservative and traditional still, so the plot works in this show and they highlight especially the family pressure on the two: Living as landlord and tenant like they want to do would not be at all acceptable to their families.

Would I enter into a contract marriage? As a forty-something-year-old single lady, spinster if we were in Jane Austen’s world, the thought of it is sometimes tempting. Dating has never really been a fun thought for me, though romance and marriage always have been. And my family is conservative Christian, so living together wouldn’t be acceptable, for me or for them. I just couldn’t carry on the charade. And they’d be so disappointed with the lie and really disappointed that there was no love, not to mention being a huge diss on the institution of marriage itself. We often joke about marriage being just a contract, but it’s not, it’s absolutely not. It’s a commitment unlike any other, which is why so many cohabitate instead of taking the plunge. Jumping with both feet in takes real courage, and I don’t get writers like Agatha Christie, for example, in which her characters get married after a couple of weeks. It boggles the mind. Besides, what would I have to offer in a contract marriage: Money? Nope. Carnal favors? Yikes. No, marriage for me would have to be about love, but it is hard sometimes. I have four weddings to go to this spring and summer and they are all for beautiful young women in love and loved, and it seems something, well, only for the young. It seems something that’s passed me by, or I’ve passed it by. Did I mention it’s going to be a difficult season?

Back to the review: I last watched, I think, episode six, when writing the first half review, and the writers had just introduced a corny love triangle. I am happy to report that the love triangle really isn’t one, merely a vehicle to test the main characters’ contract–is it really that, or is their marriage more a real marriage than they want to acknowledge? Of course it’s the latter. Both have already given each other their hearts by this time, and there’s no going back. The biggest problem they have, is really the Korean traditions of one having to help one’s in-laws for certain events. We have a little bit of this in America, but it’s not this pressure of making one person do all the work for something just because they are the new daughter-in-law.

On the night they first met, Jung So Min’s character, Ji Ho, kissed Lee Min Ki’s Se Hee out of the blue because she’d never kissed anyone before and wanted to have a first kiss. Later on, when he’s acknowledging how into her he is, he scoffs, “That wasn’t a kiss, that was a peck, a touching of lips at most,” and shows her what real kiss is. It was very swoon worthy and had me thinking of Crocodile Dundee: “That’s not a knife, this is a knife.” 🙂 Se Hee is so hilariously robotic and analytic, yet he is sweet and alluring as a man in love, and probably more dangerous, too. His goal is simply to not be a hindrance to Ji Ho. If that’s not romantic, I don’t know what is. Like I said before, there was no way she would not fall for him. He’s offering her safety, stability, security, and love that allows her to be who she is instead of asking her to become a pretzel.

More on the pretzel thing: A few posts ago, I talked about Alison Armstrong, her Keys to the Kingdom and The Queen’s Code. Because she’s truly curious, Armstrong has a learned a lot about men, women, and their differences. She often gives the advice: Don’t go for the people you’re super physically attracted to. It will never work. Why? You can’t be yourself. You won’t be yourself, you will constantly be trying to be someone else that you think will impress them. And you won’t be able to turn that off. It’s true, when you think about it. Mostly, I hate all exercise except walking and dancing, and I have professed a profound interest and love in running all to impress a guy that would have never have been the right one for, and who would have never been right for me. I know now, I would have exhausted myself, turning myself into a pretzel for him and still wouldn’t have felt good enough. Armstrong says it best: The people you’re most attracted to, don’t really like you, mostly because they’ve never met you and never will. The people who are attracted to you, but you’re not so physically into them, they’ve actually met you and know you quite well, which is why they like you so much. She says if you’re not having any luck in romance, to give those people a chance. Se Hee’s kind of that man that’s not super attractive, mostly due to his manner, but for the woman he loves–and the love probably came a lot sooner that he thinks it did–he is gold. He is the perfect one for her. With him, she is loved for who she is and she doesn’t have to be somebody else to please him.

The two of them do end up happy, though it takes a mild separation for them to get there. They first have to acknowledge just how much they’ve been dissing marriage and each other, as a whole, but they do end up getting married for real, but keep their “contract” part for fun. And that is great, because, that kind of communication about the relationship is vital to keep it going. They assess where they are, what their expectations are of each other, etc. It’s actually very romantic. As for the other couples, they, too, end up happy, but the women especially have to put aside timelines and expectations. There’s no year in life in which you absolutely have to be married by or have a baby by. Some people have families under the most dire of circumstances and thrive; for others, not even a six-figure salary and a mansion is enough. The question is, what do you want? Do you want marriage? Is it something you can plan for or do you just want to jump in with both feet?

Babies are trickier. In our whole march on the feminism road, we often forget that women’s bodies are built to have babies when their young. Instead it’s encourage in their 30s or even 40s and more as an afterthought after they’ve accomplished career goals or other kinds of goals. As a woman whose time is running out, whose biological clock is ticking: Don’t wait. Your body will drive you crazy wanting to make a baby, and failing the ability to do that, you will want to mother and take care of everyone–the whole world!–with comedic, yet, decidedly disastrous results. All I’m saying is if you’re in your twenties now, I can say as a forty-one year old, you might someday regret that you didn’t have children sooner, and this is a choice that cannot be corrected. There’s no cure. You could have a baby in your forties, but you would every day realize how much easier it would be if your body was younger. Am I being too depressing? I don’t mean to be, it’s just as a person ages, you start to look back on your life and see all the missed chances. The times where if you’d just taken the time to stop, or given that person a chance, that maybe now, you might be so happy in love and family. And I expect it only the gets worse the older one gets. I don’t see it as anything to be depressed over, just contemplating the new perspectives, the new information. Because this is my first life. As Se Hee says, this is all our first lives. We’ve never done this before, and of course we will make mistakes.

Honestly, I am glad to be a Christian where we only have one life to live. If I could go back and relive my life, not only would I likely make the exact same mistakes, but I’d probably make even worse mistakes and would always have the memory of how the first life went a lot better when I couldn’t anticipate what was coming. Like a time traveler who keeps going back to save the life of the woman he loves, but he can never do it. She was always supposed to die. You were always supposed to be as you are now and with who you are with now. Reliving life won’t make you a cooler more sexy person. You might win at sports gambling, but if you didn’t have money in your first life, in your second you probably wouldn’t be able to hang on to it. This first and only life is precious, every second. And a commitment like marriage should be honored, not brushed off as merely a business contract. If it’s a contract, it’s one of the heart, and hearts shouldn’t be navigated idly. Who can win another’s heart? It’s just given, isn’t it? In this, our first lives, we should appreciate that.

Love Cooking

Is there anything better than cooking for those one loves? Well, maybe eating a dish someone who loves you made you is a close second, but any work, any toil, becomes a wonderful thing if you’re doing it for the love of others. On this eve before Easter morning, I think of the great spread and banquet in heaven waiting all believers in Jesus Christ someday. It will be feasting and drinking that will never end, as that’s how great our God and Savior is! Is, because Jesus lives! He rose from the dead, conquering death, sin, and the devil for all time and eternity.

I sit on my comfy couch, thinking of the pleasant day I had with my family getting ready for tomorrow. My signature dish, an Indian khorma made with chicken, is bubbling away on my gas stove and the house smells glorious and exotic. The spices sink into everything and I will probably smell of food at church tomorrow, even after I shower well and put on my spring dress and sandals. This korma is a dish of love, and it smells so much better than when I only make it for me. Ok, that doesn’t really make sense, but neither does love, so there. I am glad I was able to make it again as I found some garam masala that was the right taste.

Years ago, shortly after I graduated college and was firmly obsessed with India, and especially Bollywood, I made this dish for the first time. It tasted alright, but, wow, did it take me forever, as at that time I was not a cook. It took me half and hour just to chop the onions, and even longer to cook them, as I was too afraid of burning them, that I didn’t give them enough heat. But, try after try, and the khorma became a constant request from both friends and family. And now it’s back in my life like a old friend and I feel like pulling out my Shahrukh Khan films and Bollywood soundtracks. Will I ever visit India again? Not sure. It’s an overwhelming place where I almost died due to my own recklessness. Getting used to food bacteria in China does not mean one will fare well with bacteria in India. I should have skipped the ice-cream shake made with tap water, no matter how hot it was outside.

Really, I can’t think of another dish I like cooking so much for people. I do have a recipe for bacon-wrapped water chestnuts that’s rather popular, but it’s not quite the same caliber. Kimchi fried rice might be a contestant, but I haven’t really made it for many people yet. Mostly it’s become a recurring lunch staple for me. Butter chicken. That could be it, but it’s never quite as popular as the khorma. Maybe it’s because I add spinach. Why would anyone add spinach to the meat candy that is butter chicken? True, adding too much can give the dish a bit of a sour taste, but I thought it would be something “healthy” to add. I put that in quotes because who knows what’s healthy is these days? When my mom was in college it was “everything in moderation.” These days, it’s: Eat only these certain kinds of food and nothing else. Only meat. Only vegetables. Only fruit. We’ve made eating and cooking into a morality tale that it was never intended to be.

Food is sustenance, food is nutrition. Food really has nothing to do with morality, and we are all so different, different bodies, different blood types. Can we really all have the same diet? Does even everything in moderation work for everyone? How about garlic? This khorma has enough garlic to kill twenty vampires and it will be delicious. Eat and eat well. Eat food that sustains you and keeps you and your family running on all cylinders and out and about doing their thing. Love cooking and cook with love. Cook nutritious, sustaining food. What more can we ask of food? Eat and be satisfied: That’s the goal. Love food, love cooking, love people.

This Is for All the Marbles

This week’s been a bit tiring, so I didn’t get in as much reading and/or watching as I wanted to in order to post a review. After 2+ years I am still reading War & Peace, but I am still reading! It’s a sad story so far, and so…human. People are awful to themselves and to each other, and this causes so much unnecessary conflict and heartache in the world. I am also almost halfway through Silence by Shusaku Endo. The missionary life is so unique no matter what country you’re in. It’s at once so much easier to witness to the truth of Christ, but so much harder. Anyway, more on that when I finish reading it. As for Kdramas: I am almost done with Devilish Joy (odd title) and hope to have a review up soon.

On to some fun stuff, if one considers politics fun: If one is winning, politics can be very, very fun. A few times I have mention Q or Q-anon. If you search for this person/team/phenomenon, you will find many, almost too many articles writing it off as a “conspiracy theory.” The older I get the more I realize that things are lumped into a category of conspiracy theory in order to get the questions to stop. Since the dawn of time those in power have been lying to those not in power, mostly to keep their power, but for various other reasons, and sometimes just because they can. Conspiracy theories actually have a lot of truth at the heart of them, one just has to get past the idea that the government or the media or whoever has been telling the truth this whole time. In many, many instances they have not been telling the truth. Sometimes it’s staggeringly because they don’t know, especially when it comes to truths about the natural world or what we call “science.” I don’t know what science actually is. I know what we’re taught it is, but what it actually is has nothing to do with the truth or seeking it out.

But I digress. Back to Q. Q, who says he/they are “military planning at his finest,” is starting to have a very, very good year. Q has been posting on 4-chan, and now 8-chan since the fall of 2017. The other anons or anonymous posters on the chans have been doing research on the information that Q drops. It’s a lot of info that is often expressed vaguely. This is understandable: Q is supposedly working in conjunction with President Trump to bring bad actors to justice, bad criminals whose only intent is harm to others and enrichment to ourselves. The information relayed has a lot to do with American national security and the security of other nations around the globe. Q isn’t a conspiracy theory at all, it’s one group of, probably military, people cryptically bringing information to light to those whom the media has failed (that would be all of us). It’s also a great way to reach people who would rarely watch the evening news even if it was truthful. Researching things for oneself can be very rewarding and eye opening. It can also be a joy to share the info one has found. Q is really training a whole lotta of people to be real journalists in pursuit of the truth.

I’ve been following Q since last summer. I’d heard about it from a controversial writer named Vox Day. He would mention in passing about something “Q” had posted and I always thought that it must be just some political insider. Eventually something sparked me to looking further into Q, but I can’t recall what. I think I thought that if someone as smart as Vox was following this person, maybe I should too. It was amazing to find out what a huge following Q has and that it was actually a plan to subvert the lying, mockingbird media. Since following Q posts, drops, and the anons, some not so anonymous, who decode them, my view of the world has been, well, turned upside down. Not so much in the sense that evil is always trying to dominate (aka the cabal behind the scenes), but that those on the side of good are fighting back in a spy vs. spy alternate reality that rivals any movie. I don’t know for sure if the Q team’s (essentially President Trump’s plan?) to save the world from criminality run rampant will ultimately succeed, but it appears that it just might. At least for a time. We can’t expect to keep evil in check permanently. Only God can do that.

Q has long indicated that President Trump will be using the Army Corp of Engineers (clues being Red Castle/Green Castle) to build the wall. This week it appears as if that will indeed be happening, although the president was careful to have exhausted every other effort first. Optics are important. Q has also long been saying that criminals like the Clintons will be brought to justice and that they can’t escape the pain that is coming. Q has said that the fake “Russia, Russia, Russia” investigation into Trump will soon be ending. As if on cue (Q?) the mockingbird media has begun squawking about not being disappointed if Mueller’s investigation doesn’t reveal collusion like they’d hoped. The media is setting the stage so they won’t look either stupid or like liars once all of the information about the true, treasonous collusion against the American people and their duly elected president, Donald J. Trump, comes to light. Q is being proved right faster and faster and it is clear, if one truly looks around, that thousands of people who were in power a couple of years ago are not now. They have either been arrested, fired, or stepped down from their positions. It is mostly the new, alternative media that has been reporting on these things, especially the staggering amount of human trafficking and pedophile rings that have been busted worldwide since Trump took office. Check that. It’s probably been since he started campaigning.

Why are Q and Trump succeeding? They know how to play the long game and they are playing for all the marbles. They are not in this halfway; they are all in because their lives, the lives of their families, and the lives of their fellow countrymen depend on this plan working. This wasn’t just another four year election. This was about bringing back power truly to the people. By the grace of God, their plan is working, and both Q and Trump do acknowledge God, asking us to pray, pray, pray! There’s a Christian saying: Pray as if everything depends on God, and then act as if everything depends on you. This is exactly what Q and President Trump appear to be doing. And if they ultimately succeed, so do we, the American people, and also the nations of the world. It is an amazing time to be alive. This, this takedown of criminal power, is WW3 happening right before our eyes. Pray for good to win, and keep an eye on Q to find out what the media’s not telling you. Q drops are posted on various sites like qmap.pub

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Merry Christmas everyone! It’s the time of year when Christians celebrate the miracle of Jesus Christ, our Savior. He paid the punishment for our sins and suffered hell so we don’t have to. Someday we will live eternally with Him in heavenly bliss.

But the angel said to them [the shepherds], “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrap in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:10-12

God be with you in your travels and bless your time together with family and friends. May His gift of life for us give you comfort and joy this Christmas season and always!