Martin Luther King Jr

Fun fact you may not have heard about Martin Luther King Jr from History.com

King’s Birth Name Was Michael, Not Martin

King was born Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929. In 1934, however, his father, a pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, traveled to Germany and became inspired by the Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther. As a result, King Sr. changed his own name as well as that of his five-year-old son.

In 8th grade, I was a fan of Martin Luther and it inspired me how he reformed the church. I wrote a paper on him and was actually motivated to write it, which was rare. It makes me wonder, though what’s in a name? Martin Luther King Jr reformed an entire nation just as the man he was named after. I wonder if things would be the same if Martin Luther King Sr had never changed his and his son’s name.

My name means helper of mankind. I wonder if that will have anything to do with my legacy? I suppose I’d have to make that my legacy if that’s what I wanted. I know Martin Luther King Jr didn’t just happen across his legacy. He worked hard everyday leading, organizing, and sacrificing his own safety to make change. We can’t give all the credit of his hard work to his name, can we?

Either way, I’m forever grateful for the sacrifices that Martin Luther King Jr and his family made to support the black community.

Valentines Day

I love Valentines day. I love the hearts and the pink things and all the romance. I tried for a little while to not like it, but it is just a holiday I love. I always hear guys saying, “It’s a Hallmark holiday, blah blah blah.” But why would you not want a designated day that you get to show the one you adore that you love them. Why would you not want to do that collectively? That’s what’s nice about holidays that most of your community celebrates, celebrating together. I’m going to celebrate it this year, just like I have been because it makes me smile. Maybe I’ll even plan an art date with myself for Valentines Day. If I do, I’ll try my best to share my day with you guys.

I’m Overwhelmed with Domestic Duties

And I’m not just talking about house work. I’m talking managing the entire household. So I’m taking a break from it. Here’s a quote from NPR

On how women often assume the responsibility for “invisible work,” such as maintaining schedules and maintaining family ties

https://www.npr.org/2020/05/21/860091230/pandemic-makes-evident-grotesque-gender-inequality-in-household-work

There’s also this from the same article,

There’s a whole body of research around what’s called “the mental load.” It’s something that women also disproportionately bear. … It’s all of the stuff that you have to keep in your mind. 

Here’s a quote from a journal titled Invisible Work by A. Daniels from Oxford University Press that speaks on both women and impactful volunteer work

The lack of social validation implicit in disregard of all the [home planning] required tells women this effort doesn’t count as work; and they themselves often discount the effort it requires. Another area where the folk idea of work is too restrictive is in the distinction between paid and unpaid labor commonly associated with work–even in the public world. The work of community service volunteers is useful, but that it is not paid tells others— and volunteers themselves that it is not needed, not really important work despite all the lip service about the value of altruistic endeavor.

Daniels, A. (1987). Invisible Work. Social Problems, 34(5), 403-415. doi:10.2307/800538

I don’t need all this “credible” validation but it makes for better writing when you add quotes from people who paid a lot of money to have authority to say them. I’m taking a break from the invisible and visible domestic duties. I felt like sharing so other women who share their home can take a break with me. Then we’re not in this alone. I don’t mind breaking alone but aren’t we so much better together.

I’ll be writing my book if you need me. #momsaway

Creating Starts Out Messy

Amazing things don’t start out as a masterpiece. There’s just this chaos of thoughts with many different names that we as artists morph into one thing. We grab a bit here a bit there and create where we need to.

There’s many different reasons people decide to create things. Some people do it to heal. Some people do it solve a problem and some people create just for the sake of creating. I like to think, I dabble in all of those things. Which is why when I start, it’s chaos. There’s three different things that need to come out in one versatile medium. I have something to say, something to heal, and I have creativity inside me that needs to let out.

For me, Creating is a mosaic. It’s a collection of so many things. I want it all with one amazing idea to work with. Even if the idea seems simple enough, it takes the messy creativity to get to the simple idea.

So how do you get to what matters most?

How to Love a Symbolist Poet

Advice from a symbolist poet on how to love a symbolist poet.

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These days more and more symbolist poets are stepping out and showing their true colors. Some of you may have had a loved one step into the world of symbolist poetry and feel as though you have lost touch. Some of you might have found a symbolist poet you’re interested in on your timeline. I’m here to let you know, there’s a sliver of hope when it comes to connecting with the symbolist poet of your dreams.

When you’re outside of the symbolist community, it can feel overwhelming. You might even feel like you have to compete with other symbolists who seem to know exactly what to say to your symbolist poet. Those damn poets, they are good with both words and emotions, but let me tell you, there is hope. There is a way to connect with your poet. There is more than one way to cultivate a strong connection with your poet and I’m here to share these ways with you.

First things first, since I am a female poet, this will be advice on how to connect with a female poet. I’m not a man, so I’m not sure I could write an honest piece on how to connect with a male symbolist poet.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Know that you are worthy enough for her.

Symbolist poets study humans down to the nitty gritty. They learn to feel everything because if they didn’t, they would not grow as poets. So, the first way to cultivate a strong connection with your poet, is to know that you are valuable and you are enough. Yes, poets like beautiful things, but what they appreciate more is honest things. If you’re trying to connect with your poet while having a false sense of self, she will know. Your best bet is to know you’re worthy with or without her so she doesn’t feel you’re being fraudulent right off the bat.

Be Honest.

Charles Bukowski isn’t popular among writers because he’s an asshole who slept around. Ok that might have something to do with it, but mostly he’s popular among writers because he told the truth. As a writer, he was open and honest about all of his feelings. He wrote about how bad he felt for the shitty things he did. He wrote about how empty he felt at times. As a writer, Bukowski was an open book. He was open even about something as small as the shame he felt after road rage. Don’t confuse a poet’s love for Buk’s honesty, with the idea of craving a rockstar boyfriend. This can be applied to any poet really. So the point is, just be honest about everything. Poets crave to hear you be honest about what you’re feeling.

Learn how to use your honesty.

Ok, so this is where honesty can get tricky. Some people think you should always be honest. Some people think you should not tell your wife when she looks fat. I’m here to say, you’ve got to learn how to use your honesty. Chances are, this symbolist poet already knows the truth. Chances are she values your opinion. So how can you learn to use your honesty? If you feel like you’re telling her the truth just to prove that you will, that’s not honesty. Being honest with your poet takes a lot of being honest with yourself. Self-acceptance is required in order to learn how to be honest with your poet.

Accept Yourself.

If your poet is into you or has already committed to you, it is vital that you learn to accept yourself for who you are. Even if you are courting a poet, when you don’t accept yourself, your lack of acceptance can come out toward her in underhanded remarks. You may not even notice that you’re doing it. Be aware of the parts of you that you’re ashamed of and then love those parts. Do this over and over again, so you don’t unintentionally hurt your poet.

Give snacks as gifts.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of snacks. Learn her snacks. Know her snacks. Gift her with her most loved snacks. Trust me on this one.

Show consistency.

Show up. Keep doing it for her. Do it when she’s sad. Do it when she’s happy and everything is going great for her. Show up when she doesn’t need you at all. Just show up. This will cultivate a sense of trust. Symbolist poets have an interesting understanding of the human condition. They understand the strong desires inbred in our DNA. The chance of you abandoning them are always high in a symbolist poet’s mind because that’s reality. I’m not saying they have abandonment issues but they are always prepared to be abandoned. Prove them wrong.

Listen to her.

They have thoughts running through their minds on vast levels on a regular basis. They are recalling and connecting poetry, poets, images, movies, history, occult knowledge, mysteries of the universe, serial killers, astrology, what time they should post, a lecture they heard ten years ago, last time they showered, ok you get it. So let them get a few things off their chest by listening to them ramble, so they can move on with their lives.

Let her love you.

This one is not easy. It sounds really easy. Who doesn’t want to be loved, right? Symbolist poets love entirely. They have and are always learning to accept all parts of themselves. They are constantly learning and relearning themselves so, the way they love you is going to be some of the most pure love you’ll ever receive. They aren’t perfect by any means. But chances are, they’ve already taken notes on your body language, on your choice of words, on your interests and dreams and can pretty much love you exactly where you are. It’s going to feel real weird. It’s going to feel almost unreal, like when people just give away good quality free shit. With free shit there’s always a catch, but with symbolist poets, this isn’t the case. Self acceptance is required in order to grow as a symbolist poet and self acceptance is the root of unconditional love. They are always working on self acceptance. So, if you’re questioning whether your symbolist poet will always love you, you can stop questioning, because she will always love you. Soak up her love while following the guidelines above, and you’re golden.

Respect her.

Now chances are, you could do all of these things right to a T, but if she’s not interested, and voices that to you, your best option is to respect her and let her be. Letting a symbolist poet go when she asks is one of the most divine acts of love and she will respect you far more for it.

If all else fails,

become a symbolist poet yourself. You know what they say, “If you can’t beat em, join em.”

Thanks for reading,
Your humble symbolist poet,
Saschia Johnson

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Metamorphoses III

Ode to Ovid

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This is the third part to a three part series

Read Part I here

Read Part II here

Part III Metamorphoses

Her hair weaved with precious flowers,
her skin glowing from bathing in the hidden waters.
Her eyes set upon her woodsman.
Her heart as pure as a heart could be;
she walks toward the town.

Some of the enemies who survived the war
were on their way by foot
to return to their king.
They, with bitter and tired hearts, noticed her
emerge from the woods.

In their bitterness they raped and beat
the divine woman to death. Her glow dimmed.
Her hair cut short with flowers scattered about.
The fathers grieved the loss of their daughter.
They begged Hades to do something.

Hades, who felt for the girl once again,
sent the soldier who found her body.

He was immediately stricken with grief and
wailed at the sight of her battered body
The birds gathered and mourned the loss of
their dear friend.

He buried her in the king’s garden.
The birds of the forest moved their nests
to be once again in her presence.
The flowers she picked and weaved
into her hair were dropped as seedlings
from the birds wings.
And in her honor, Hades turned the waters
to flow toward her.

The knight vowed from that day on
never to leave such
an innocent being’s side again
A day of celebration was organized
by the knight
a memorial to the divine woman
of the woods

Because of him, the kingdoms to come
would celebrate
a day in the garden
forever more.

~Saschia Johnson~

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This is the third part to a three part series

Read Part I here

Read Part II here

Blocked? There’s a Way Out

Encouragement For the Conscious Writer

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Writer’s block’ is an emotional or logical incoherence in a future work slowly working its way through our unconscious. — Alain de Botton

So you’ve hit it, the emotional block. It grows. That block grows and grows until you’ve spent the day avoiding the one thing you love doing. It then turns into doubt and fear and all sorts of negative thoughts. So you shift your focus some more. It can turn into a vicious cycle gnashing at the little bit of confidence you have left.

I’m here to shed some light.

What is a writer’s block? More importantly what is a writer’s block for conscious writers?

Well, let’s start by discussing the fact that you are an amazing writer and you having a block does not make you any less or any more of a writer. It makes you a healthy functioning human being. If you’ve written to the point of a writer’s block, you are doing a phenomenal job. You have gotten past the hardest part and that’s being consistent enough to reach a block. On top of that, you are reading a post about how to unblock that block, which means, you are actively seeking to fix the problem instead of just walking away when it got hard. This is progress. This is maturity. Seriously. You are doing a great job. Do not let negative thoughts make you think for one second that you are not cut out for this, because let me tell you, if there’s anything you’re good at, it’s this.

So what is writer’s block?

It isn’t just a part of the story you can’t figure out. It is a psychological barrier that is holding you back. Before you can work on the block you’ve get to get yourself back into that creative space. Some things that help me step back into my creative space are to:

walk
talk it out
put away the story
edit parts I’m not stuck on
do something else creative
focus on something else I’m interested in like research, empowering friends, or whatever else will take my mind off of it.
write an unrelated poem or short story

These things really loosen up my brain space from tension. Once you get relaxed you can return to the writing space.

When you get back to that space it doesn’t mean the block is gone. It means you’re ready to figure out why it’s there so you can continue. Is the block emotional? Is something in this scene or idea triggering you? It seems at surface value that you’re fresh out of ideas but this isn’t true because you are an idea machine. You are made of amazing ideas sparked by infinite creativity.

How to get to the block.

Look at what you’re adding to your story. Is it something directly related to your life? Is there something you feel limited from in your life. If it is, how can you change your perception to use what’s limiting you in a positive way?

Another way I’ve learned to look at a block is what’s going on outside of my writing. Am I exhausted? Have I been pushing yourself too hard? Am I getting too comfortable or eating too much junk. Now, don’t let your head spin from all these questions. These are good questions to ask regularly whether you have a writers block or not.

When I first started writing, I’d walk away and say I can’t write or I don’t know what to write. I’d have all sorts of writers block excuses but the truth was I was frustrated about something else. The longer I tried to ignore it, the longer I couldn’t write. So when I was ready to face the reason why I couldn’t write, things would begin to fall back into place.

Even if you’re not going through the dreaded writer’s block, these questions will help you learn who you are.

Keep Writing. You got this.

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Not Your Worries

For the Conscious Writer

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You’re going to the edge and leaping over it. No one is going to understand that and don’t expect anyone to. Not even the few that have known you and understood you you’re entire life. Conscious writing leads you to new horizons. Conscious writing is going to take you to places you want and then it’s going to show you the places where you need to go. These are often two different things. But first, know that people are going to place their own fears and insecurities on you. They are going to make you question things you didn’t even think of doubting the minute you made this commitment. Just know, deep down in that beautiful soul of yours that those are not your worries to carry.

I’m excited to share this piece of mine published by An Idea (By Ingenious Piece) on Medium Read more here

Dear Author

A letter from your characters

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Dear author,

I am a living breathing human being. I’m not your show horse! I need thoughts and some external stimulation. I need you to give me something to solve or avoid solving by solving something else until I realize the true importance of what I was supposed to be solving. Those ah ha moments, I like those. When all the different things finally come together to make a bigger picture, it feels good. I’m not here to stroke your ego. I’m not here to gain you awards. I’m here to be like you in ways you don’t quite understand until you write in order to understand me better. Don’t change me simply because I point out your flaws. I heard Toni Morrison say the slave was important to the white man because it defined his freeness. So I ask that you don’t take away my freeness in order to know you are free. You are free to write me in worlds with clothes and people and situations and thoughts as you choose. You are in control of my story. You are in control of my ending. So let me be entirely myself. Let me be who I become in the unfolding of this particular story. Don’t just develop my thoughts, give me some way to share them. Don’t give me everything I could ever imagine with no internal dialogue. I want to think and to grow and to develop new perspectives. Don’t tell me why I’m here, give me reasons to be here.

Sincerely,

Your Character

Sources

Toni Morrison From Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the literary Imagination in the Critical Tradition pg 1791

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Can literature Act as a Preparation for Inexperience?

Literature Theory

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Spoiler Alert Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

I vividly remember when I finished reading Charlotte’s Web in fourth grade. I cried when Charlotte died. Her loss left me in a strange place where I was contemplating death for days. I also remember the day my grandmother died. These two experiences are not the same. The loss of Charlotte did not prepare me for the loss of my grandmother. There is no book that can prepare you for some life experiences.

Literature supports in experiences we are going through or have gone through. When I thought of death without the real life experience of losing someone, the understanding felt distant. It was something foreign to me that I wanted to grasp without gaining it through my own experience. I was left with a world full of uncertainty and hugged my mom a little tighter after reading it.

Trying to prepare someone for a new experience is like describing what an orange tastes like to someone who’s never tasted an orange. We can explain how to eat it and that the peel isn’t the good part. We can even tell them the juicy fruity part is on the inside, but we can’t tell them if they will enjoy it or how much they will enjoy it. They may even find a different way to eat it than we taught them. That’s how I feel about literature. It can explain what to do and give some insight on how to do it, but an individual can not be prepared for how they will feel in new experiences using literature.

I do believe seeing how characters react to an experience can suggest the right thing to do and it may even give some insight on how someone else is feeling. I don’t think literature can prepare us for how we will feel going through our own life experiences. I do feel it can help readers learn to use understanding and empathy toward someone else’s experience by seeing the world from another characters point of view.

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