Thursday, December 26, 2013

Music Production Laptop

I know, I know. I'm not writing blogs as often as I'd planned. I have to admit, when I made up my mind to work on music I thought it would happen a lot faster, as it did when I was in high school. Back then, I really maximized my resources and was fine with the little bit that I had. Now, my imagination is pretty grand and I find it difficult to put my music out into the world when I know it could sound better. So, I've been struggling in a familiar place of wanting to make something, but being stuck needing money to create my dream, and ironically the means I have to make money leaves me with very limited creativity time. Heck, even with working from home, it leaves me with very little time, period! But, I have a good job, a wonderful family, and a few nice supporters. :) Yay!

So, as long as I move forward slowly, that's still progress. I remind myself daily that no one starts where they end up, and that's okay.

I also had a problem where the nice old production computer my big bro gave me suddenly died and wouldn't wake back up. EEK! But, playing with it taught me a lot about what I really wanted in a music production computer. I need portability, so I can record in places with different acoustics and not have to move giant instruments to the computer; I could bring the computer to them. And, likewise, I could bring a laptop to other artists for collaboration.

So, I saved up, sacrificed some things, and found a laptop that while not advertised as being for music seems perfect. On December 24th, I finally acquired my music laptop! Even better, it's very equipped for making music videos, so that's something I will try to accomplish in the future. Huzzah! One milestone reached!

Sadly, my DAW is another $500-$525 (depending on where I can purchase it from). Right now, I have $270 saved up toward that objective, so we're well on the way! In the meantime, since my laptop is more portable, I'll hopefully be able to carry it around and work on notating my music in MuseScore on the go instead of just when I'm not exhausted and still have a moment in my office. This is nice because it will allow me to move to my piano, or hang out with my family in another room while they do other things, and so on. For me, this is a pretty huge achievement. The best part? It cost less than the desktop computer I had been looking into getting originally. Like, nearly $1000 less. Yowza!

Therefore, while there are no new stories, art, or music posted right now, I am still progressing in the right direction behind the scenes. :) Thanks to those who have supported me thus far. We will keep on trucking along! Never give up! =^--^=

--Jessica / Dream Senshi

P.S. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Baseball Cap" by Jesse T. Jones

"Baseball Cap" 

By: Jesse T. Jones

WARNING: This poem is not G/PG-rated. Parents/authority figures, please read through the poem to determine if it is appropriate for your child/dependent/person-you-are-currently-responsible-for before sharing it with them. Thanks!

This is my baseball cap, I got it from my dad
This is my baseball cap; it's blue, white, and red
This is my baseball cap, I got it when I was ten
I wore it all the time, back then

This is my baseball cap, I wore it at eleven
I wore it when we won, fourteen to seven
This is my baseball cap, I wore it at twelve
I wore it with my friends, laughing at ourselves

This is my baseball cap, I wore it at one and three
I wore it as I climbed grandpa's apple tree
This is my baseball cap, I wore it at one and four
I wore it while I worked at the grocery store

This is my baseball cap, I wore it at one and five
I wore it every day, when I was still alive
This is my baseball cap, I wear it as I'm dead
I wore it when I put the bullet through my head.

This is a poem which was written by my husband, perhaps to be put into a collection of short stories and poems we have written at a later date. If you enjoy this, or things we've done like it, please consider being a patron at . Patreon allows fans to help artists create more by donating a small amount each time an artist creates something. :) You control how much you pay entirely! Donate as little as $1 a month, reap behind-the-scenes and other benefits from your favorite artists! Check it out, even if you don't want to be our patron. Perhaps there's someone else out there you can be supporting. :)

Hope this poem gave you feels. Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Call Centers - Abuse

This is going to be a serious conversation, folks. If you're here for the fluffy kitties or music, then I'm sorry. I need to say this, and it's dark enough that I don't really care to put it to song at this time. We're going to talk about violence.

I work in a call center. I'm the dreaded person you have to call to when you need help with your issues. I do it because I genuinely enjoy helping people. Whenever people ask me about what I do for a living, I immediately feel the need to apologize because . . . let's be honest: who enjoys calling in to call centers? And it's a double-whammy for me because I work in insurance; most people hate insurance too. I think just about everyone has negative connotations with customer service because we can all think of a time when we've had bad customer service.

The problem is  . . . we feel like it's our right be angry. Okay, sure, it's natural to be upset when we are violated in some way, and emotions are hard to deal with. I definitely don't think people should try to ignore or suppress their feelings. We have to figure out how to resolve them, and that can only be done by being aware of them and facing them.

I think we can all agree that someone walking into an office building with a shotgun to threaten the receptionist to get to whom they want to see is a wrong way to resolve feeling upset. That actually happened at a former place of business I worked at a call center for; the result was that we were no longer allowed to give out addresses or even the city we were in, and we were told to lie about the weather outside because we didn't have the resources to protect us at our call center. Isn't that nuts? We've also had to have security guards on alert because of very serious death threats and other violence that people said they would come to the office to commit. And, some of said people have actually come to the office, so these are not empty threats.

Physical violence is something that we know to be extreme and not okay. Self-defense is one thing; attacking people is another. I think we can also agree that attacking people physically is not productive. If the person can fight you back, then your attack is futile. If they can't, you're a bully and that person isn't more likely to do what you want or to have "learned their lesson." They will just be violated by you. If your end goal is anything honorable, it should be to have an issue resolved so that you are no longer violated. Obviously, violence won't resolve your issue, though some people make believe that revenge is justice. It isn't. It's just revenge and makes you worse than the people you've hurt. And, those people that get physically hurt aren't always in power to help you stop being violated anyway.

Let me allow you in to a secret: in customer service, I would love to always tell you the answer that you want to hear. That would make you happy, which means that I can feel good about my job and knowing that I made you happy. But, I can't always do that. We have rules we have to go by, like in every other job. And, before you say, "That's why I ask for a supervisor," our supervisors have rules too. We have to obey government and state laws that govern our workplace, the work itself, and rules laid out by everyone above us. And no, you can't talk to the CEO. Does the CEO at your job take calls? No? I didn't think so.

Okay. So, why do people think it's okay to use emotional violence?

I hope that anyone who has read this far really stops to think about this. People know it's bad for children; how many people aren't aware of the uproar on MySpace or Facebook when a child or teen commits suicide? This type of violence is also called psychological, mental, or emotional abuse.

We, as a society, seem to think it's okay to use verbal/emotional abuse to get what we want or to let off steam. It is NOT. It is the same as physical violence (I have littered some links to studies throughout this blog; read or google your own, but be aware of the consequences of actions). Because it is less tangible, we struggle to regulate it. This is in combination with the cultural thing where feeling hurt and emotional because of being abused is somehow unacceptable. People are even cowed into believing that they can't allow their bad feelings of being hurt by emotional abuse be a "burden" to friends and family who could listen and help them heal. And, if you think that I'm overreacting because I just work in a call center, I was physically abused growing up for years . . . and trust me, I went to the police and I went to school counselors all to no avail. This is a real problem. One of them didn't even want to discuss it, it made her so uncomfortable. Even the man I married struggled with this at first, and he loves me. People are uncomfortable dealing with these kinds of feelings or hurt and are even less comfortable committing to assisting with them because it is difficult to prove. So, people can get away with a lot of emotional abuse; that doesn't make it okay. Also, it's very upsetting that the rules favor the customers when it comes to emotional abuse; customers can abuse all they like, and that's supposed to be part of one's job. Even the research on abuse in the workplace is focused on co-workers and supervisors, but not customer abuse. Because of this, there is higher awareness within organizations, but customers tend to feel like they are always right and are not responsible, no matter how badly they behave.

At my first job in a call center, no matter what kind of emotional abuse we endured, we were not allowed to hang up. I'm sure some people reading this are already trying to justify that in their minds. "Oh, but most of your calls aren't that bad," and "We all  have rough times at work." The fact that we accept this culture is the problem. And, there is no justifying it. It is persistent over time, and it hurts. Do you know that I literally stayed on the line with people for 4 hours at a time, sometimes 2 hours after my shift was supposed to have ended, being emotionally abused? Granted, that wasn't every day, but it was regular. Unsurprisingly, I didn't feel bad when I left that job.

Today, my work is far more reasonable, but the emotional abuse is still there and it is regular. I'm there to help, and I will do everything that the rules allow for me to do. I will even challenge rules I think are bad and risk my professional reputation because I believe it is the right thing to do. I take my responsibility to be respectful seriously; I don't want to be an abuser either and I know it doesn't help. I know that most people in customer service don't take everything that seriously; trust me, that's frustrating to me too. They make it harder for me to help people who are relying on us. And, like all slackers, they make our supervisors and supervisor's supervisors create rules that are obstacles for the folks who are genuinely trying to do good work. But the thing that kills me inside daily, makes me sparkle a little bit less, that makes others resentful and give up on trying to be good employees, are the emotional abusers. The people who call in and think that it's okay to yell and scream, ask tasks that they know are impossible, or refuse to help the customer service representative to help them and then act indignant about it. And, it's not just our civilian customers. In fact, other professionals tend to be the worst. :( It's really upsetting.

No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. And, I'll even give kudos to the person who calls me up and vents and says, "I'm sorry. I know it's not you specifically, but I'm just so angry about the situation!" Hey! You have a right to be angry, and I appreciate that while I'm there to take on the onslaught, you took the moment to realize that I'm a human being with feelings. To the person who calls up to do nothing more than be a bully, though . . .STOP. I think so many people justify it as, "I'm calling in to fix my problem that you jerks messed up, so you deserve what you get," and then they go on to allow nothing the other person tries to do to help them to be good enough and are abusive the whole way.

And, this emotional abuse really does hurt! We don't talk about it in the office because, again as a sickness in our culture, we think it's "not professional" to have feelings. That is . . . so messed up on so many levels that I don't even know what to say about that aspect of it yet. But, I have seen people get off a call where you could hear the person on the other line across the ROOM yelling at them, and they go to the bathroom in tears to try and hide their pain and suffering while they do what they can to recover, scared to return to the phone and be abused again. Multiple people. They never say a word, but they suffer. I don't tell others, either, for that matter, because I'm scared of losing my job or having people think less of me, like they did with my other abuse. And guess what? They aren't any better at their job afterward, bullies. If anything, they're worse because they are shaken up. If you don't want us to screw up, then stop creating a hostile work environment! No one works well under those conditions. Even worse, some of those people feel the poison of that emotional abuse and take it home with them. They bottle it up to keep their families safe, but the hurt just festers and festers. Sometimes, despite best efforts, it spreads, and that's the worst. :( Or, good people just quit. I've thought about it recently. In fact, I almost called my supervisor this morning because I was in tears. Thankfully, it came at the time of my first break so I had time to talk to my husband and calm down.

Go out there and look up psychology studies. Nothing supports this kind of behavior for conflict resolution. If you are emotionally abusing anyone, you are just as bad as the person who threatens to come in with a shotgun. Acts of emotional terrorism are not okay. They don't make you cool. They don't make you tough and more empowered; it rarely changes anything except for riling other people up to behave just like you and create more acts of emotional terrorism or break people down so that they're not functional anymore. We do have to stand up against being violated, but that isn't the way to do it.

I know it isn't easy, especially with movies promoting the notion that this kind of "justice" is amusing and cool. All that I can ask is for everyone to stop and think. Before you yell at your kids, your co-workers, your employees, or your loved ones . . . before you say something negative of any kind, think about the repercussions. Think about how you could do it more productively. Work at it; it's not easy. I've struggled too. When people don't listen, it makes it hard and it's easy to feel like the only option left is violence, physical or emotional. There's no real resolution in that, though. And, if something isn't working, the only thing to do is find another way. For every person, that other way might be different, but I encourage you to find it.

There are things I could personally request of our customers that I think I would be perfectly justified in asking (and I'd love to blog some things to help folks understand more about what we do), but all that I am going to ask for is the most important thing: Please, recognize that emotional abuse isn't okay. Realize what a monster it turns people into. Stop accepting it. And, if you have any suggestions about promoting this change, then put them in the comments!! Let's share the thoughts, ideas, and support, and spread them! That's all I'm asking for.

Friday, August 23, 2013

"Believe" - MuseScore Draft

So, last month I had been planning on drawing and/or writing stories on here as filler. Then, I had some mental breakthroughs . . . I got courage, and I started working harder. My big brother gave me his old music production computer until I can afford the one I've been dreaming of. This all really changed everything!

In the past few weeks, I started plowing through the software on my brother's computer, getting familiar with it and wanting to record directly from my keyboard. What I discovered is that isn't really my style. At least, not until I have my music notated. I know many people I admire do it entirely the opposite way; they play it, record it, and worry about sheet music later. Quite likely because I am playing all of the parts myself right now, my mind can't contain it until it's notated. So, I chose the instruments (roughly) that I want to use in the fancy software on the old production computer, and then I've spent all of my time cramming in MuseScore, my favorite notation software (it's free and SO fast and easy to use). I was amazed! Once I knew what I wanted to hear from the fancy instruments (although, I may change my mind about them . . . there's so many options!! GAH!), between that and hearing the song in my head, it spilled out so easily. And so, I have the rough midi draft of "Believe" available below.

I was going to start with a different song, one that I was sure would be very well-received, but this one was insistent. I heard it every time I woke up, as I was falling asleep, in the shower . . . It demanded to go first. :} So, it shall. I hope you like it! And, though I am scared of it, bring on the constructive criticism. * hides behind a boulder * Although, I'm going to say before you can, yes I know the sound isn't leveled. I left this intentionally rough because when I port it over, I'd just have to redo all of the work again. So, meh. BUT, that being said, any ideas on what needs more or less would be good. I'm considering taking down the percussion during the chorus a notch, but we'll see.

I hope you listen all the way through and check out the lyrics! For your convenience, I have also added them below.

So, if you like this as a midi, please consider becoming a patron for me at Patreon. You'll get a free copy of the official song once it's released as well as more secret background information about it if you're a patron! And, being a patron doesn't have to cost much at all. You can be a patron for $1 for each piece I create or less (you set the max you are willing to pay per month!). So, check out my patreon account here:

Believe by Dreamsenshi

"Believe" lyrics:

It's alarming how while
I had meant to feel nothing at all . . .
I give you all I can.
I don't know what to do . . .

Do you harm or beguile?
I shouldn't think on things so small . . .
It's not part of my plan,
or all I thought I knew.

Because I've learned not to believe
in faerie tales.
Who are you to come and undo
all the pain that I've gone through?

If I try to believe,
you will break my heart . . .
So, I'll just imagine . . .

. . . Your disarming smile.
You make me the belle of the ball.
Not ashamed of who I am.
It's too good to be true . . .

Because I've learned not to believe
in faerie tales.
Who are you to come and undo
all the pain that I've gone through?

If I start to believe,
you will break my heart.
So, I'll just ignore . . . that . . .

I know I can't stay,
even if danger weren't in the way.
I just wish this dream could be

It's charming and futile.
I fear I . . .am starting to fall . . .
Moth to the flame of this man.
My heart beats only for you.

Because I long to believe
in faerie tales.
I want to be free and undo
all the pain that I've gone through.

I need to believe
you will hold on to my heart . . .

Monday, August 5, 2013

Music Computer

As anyone who has been reading my last few blogs probably knows, I've been saving up to get a music production computer so that I can record my music and finally get it going. I've been posting stories in the meantime, but they really aren't primarily what I want to do (even though I love them!). So, I had reached out to my brother to actually apologize for being stupidly busy and not spending time with him more often in the past year. :( I felt bad, because my big bro is a really great guy. After explaining to him what's going on with Terinati and I, he responded back excitedly about his own music projects and that he had an old music production computer I could  use until I can afford the one I'm saving up for! :D

So, Mike came over yesterday and we set up the old computer, and it's amazing-sauce. Seriously. I can't believe how awesome things sound on that machine, even with cheap $10 speakers. I've got some work to do now. =^--^= I am one lucky kid sister! This couldn't have happened at a better time because on my personal computer, the hard drive is going . . . which means I will more than likely need to replace that before I can afford the new production computer. 

The good news is, MUSIC SOON! Sooner than would have been possible otherwise. I'm really going to work hard to get some demos so you guys can see why you'd want to be a patron of mine (if you're not a patron already). Also, I will have to show you some of my brother's work, because in my humble opinion, he is far more talented than myself and deserves to be heard. :) Maybe we'll even make music together (that would be one of the greatest things ever, I think). Only time will tell though.

There's a lot of work ahead of me, to be sure, but this knocks out a big obstacle. I do have a goal list, but it is quite long and complicated, so I don't think you'd be interested in that. :} I will keep you posted so that you know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth! I'm so pumped right now. Every time I woke up last night, I had songs in my head . . . and they finally have a really good place to go. SQUEEE!

SOON!! =^00^=

Monday, July 29, 2013

"Everybody Dies"

The following is a mock children's book. If you enjoy it and would like to see more things like it, or more things like this, please consider becoming a patron at .

"Everybody Dies"

Written by Jesse T. Jones

Illustrated by Jessica P. Jones

PARENTAL WARNING: Not intended for use with small children or impressionable adults. For entertainment purposes only.

There's something I'm going to share with you

That I've come to realize

No matter where, or when, or who you are,

Everybody dies.

Your favorite musician

Is likely very close

To dying of something terrible

Like suicide, or overdose.

If you have a hamster,

Or a kitty or a pup,

Some day they will play dead,

And never get back up.

Your grandma and your grandpa

Could bite it any day

So tell them that you love them

Before they go away.

Every time your parents drive

While talking on their phone

They raise their chances even higher

Of leaving you alone.

At any time, night or day,

Anyone can die

From burglars, terrorists, and nasty storms

Or possibly things falling from the sky.

So before you go to bed tonight, know that this is true:

Every person must die some time; tonight it might be you.


If you enjoyed this children's book parody written by Terinati and DreamSenshi, please consider being a patron here:

You can also purchase a PDF or book of this story as a gift for yourself or someone else on here:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Self-Doubt and Poop Cakes

There are so many things that I've considered writing about in my blog lately!

First, I had a major breakthrough about my perceptions of things. I think most people know that it's bad to live life feeling obligated to follow the philosophies of others. We need to do what's right for ourselves. What is less obvious (or at least was less obvious to me) was that I could create my own obligations built entirely on fear of the potential reactions of people without even knowing what their actual philosophies are. For example, now that I own my own house and there's so much repair and cleaning up that it needs, I was constantly feeling inadequate because we don't have the funds  or the time to do the repairs or the gardening. I had been feeling miserable because of hundreds of things circulating in my mind like this, so getting out of that trap was beautiful. I'm me! My house isn't perfect and I'm a bit sloppy! But, I'm also a cute kitty! YAY! =^..^=

It was so beautiful that I wanted to create more! Share more! I went on a mission to go through my old things, apparently dated all the way back to the 1990's, pulling out old songs and poetry and stories. I was feeling especially secure after posting my last blog didn't kill me, and because I checked and saw the crazy high number of views I had on this blog (clearly, I should write about nothing but ninja crafts to have a successful blog). In searching, I found some real forgotten treasures from my past self. But then . . . I also found a LOT of really bad stuff.

Most of these things were never meant to be shared. I didn't even actually like them myself, but I created them as a form of catharsis. They helped me to feel better; I could probably have ignored them, but there was more.

The worst were the things I thought were "okay" at the time of their creation, but really were like a brick to the face of anyone who experienced them. At least, that's how it seems in retrospect. Back then, I felt so invisible and had a dark problem I couldn't tell anyone about for reasons that would make this blog too long if I explained them. Essentially, this recipe of my life created a situation where I was desperate to express myself and be heard, but couldn't be honest. This recipe makes poop cakes out of everything, and that's how I'm going to refer to those pieces of work going forward. :} They are so bad that they are poop cakes.

Those works did not come out like real music or a good story. Good music and stories are magic, or miracles. They take something ordinary and change it into something that can be felt in an entirely intuitive way by hundreds, thousands, and maybe even millions of people, if you're lucky. What I had put together was basically an emotional catapult full of ammunition instead of inspiration. It was harsh, immature, and annoying. It was a catapult full of poop cakes.

So, after that humbling and nausea-inducing experience, I went back timidly to work on the stuff I did like . . . and now I find myself questioning everything. "Is this actually good?" "How could I possibly expect people to pay for this?" "I used to have a wealth of experience, but it's been a decade since I worked seriously, even though I've worked. I'm mediocre. A fraud! These are all poop cakes!" "I don't even have a music production computer yet! When I finally save up enough money, what if I'm too stupid to use it?!" "I should get lessons! I can't afford college again. From who? From where? WHY DO THESE WEBSITES SUCK SO BAD?! I NEED THE RIGHT KIND OF LESSONS NOW SO I CAN STOP SUCKING SO MUCH!!" . . .

. . . I've been a tad stressed out over this. :} To compound this, I'm very introverted, which means I've got an extremely limited support group. My husband has been here for me as much of possible, of course.

Then, today, something happened and kind of brought me back down to earth. I'm not sure why it helped calm me down. I think because it was simple. I wrote a quick little story about it, so here it is:

Me: [feeling queasy, having gotten my first patron on Patreon. Moving along with my songwriting/story-writing, but still feeling like it isn't even worth the generosity of this one patron. Having an introversion panic attack and needing fresh air in the office – opens the window for break.]

10 minutes later . . .

Me: [goes to close window before end of break and a relatively larger-than-average, black spider falls off of the top of the window into the little window slot at the bottom] “AHHH!”

Black spider: “AHHH!”

Me: [staring] “. . .”

Black spider: [wiggling its… head or butt at me; it’s unclear when they’re that small, though it was obviously shaking SOMETHING at me.] “. . .”

Me: “Okay, well. Do you want back out?” [starts to open the window again]

Black spider: “AHHHHHHHHHHHH!” [starts climbing to where it will get killed by the window if I keep going.]

Me: [stops opening the window, and closes it again] “Okay. I’ve got to get back to work. We good until then?”

Black spider: “eep?” [settles down on the window.]

Me: “Cool . . . Watch out for the cats.”

Black spider:   .,;00;,.

I'm not sure what it was exactly, but somehow . . . this very tiny bonding experience with this spider I may never see again really lifted my spirits. I know, it has no direct relationship with my talent or my skill level whatsoever, but I think that's the thing. I needed to stop thinking about it so much for a moment, and the weird little guy (or girl?) gave me that.

Sometimes, I'm afraid to say how afraid I am. Self-doubt is seen as weakness, and negative people tend latch onto it as a way to validate that they are better than you. But, I want to be honest. I don't know if I'm good enough. I believe that I can be, but it's horrifying. As much as music is a miracle to me, like wielding real magic, that's a huge responsibility! If I don't do it well, then I feel like I'll disappoint people who are putting their faith in me. But, the way I felt when I was talking to the spider, considering its feelings . . . that sharing moment is what I feel like my music is really about. I don't really connect with people well, so music and stories are my way to reach out and put my love in the world. I'm going to keep trying! On the up side, I've heard people say that you can't be brave if the thing you're trying to do is easy. :}

So, there's another milestone on this crazy journey.

SIDE NOTE: I am managing to get work done toward another story/song/video release in the near future, probably later this month, so I'm not just panicking. :} LOL. I am managing to get some stuff done. And, if you're interested in being a patron of mine because of what you've read so far, you can support me here: . I will do my best not to present you with any poop cakes.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Goodbye, Kitten"

I have to resist the urge now to tell you all of the background on this story, even though I really want to, because I promised to save that for my patrons. :} It's so hard! Despite being introverted, once I open up, I do tend to over-share. At any rate, as promised, here is a story. I'm not putting it on Blurb; I figure that I will collect several of my short stories about cats (amongst other things) and put them into one small book of short stories on Blurb that can be purchased upon completion, with illustrations I will do myself. I am also considering composing instrumental music for the stories I write which I can then read to on YouTube. Let me know in the comments if you think that's a good idea! If not, say that too. :) I want honest opinions. I will say that I wrote this short story in 1999, so it is quite old. I make no claims to be a great wielder of words like Peter S. Beagle, but a mere sharer of dreams and feelings.

Before you read, I also want to mention that if you like it, please tell your friends about what I do or subscribe to my blog . . . and then make your friends subscribe too. ;) It has an RSS feed, so you can just add it to yours if you have one. Love RSS feeds. Since Google's Reader is going away, I highly recommend FeedDemon, which is free.

Or, if you really like it and want to help me to create more, please consider becoming a Patron on my Patreon account here: . I don't create as much as many others on Patreon do, but I plan to do more. Plus, you can get bonus content! =^..^= And, even the tiniest offering helps. Right now, I'm desperately trying to save up money for a music production computer and am facing the fact that my current computer may have had too much corruption due to overheating and may need a replacement soon as well. D: I'll keep working my butt off toward these ends regardless and keep posting stories for free on my blog as well as other art and music as I go along. And, if money isn't an option for you (I totally get that! I am in the same boat!), then support in the comments is also a huge help because it shows me what you like or don't like and will make for good positive reinforcement in my efforts to share what I have to give with you. =^--^= Hooray for classical conditioning!

Alright! Enough blah blah blah! Here it goes! This story is PG, if you're wondering.

"Goodbye Kitten"

(A story for Penelope)

By: Jessica P. Jones / DreamSenshi

I'm going to die, Mimi thought as she dragged her offering across the floor toward Synthia's bed. The dove hung limply in her jaws with only a few feathers plucked away. So soon. Why so soon? She took a short leap up to the bed and put the bird to rest on a pillow. Carefully, she reached out a paw to fix the placement of the corpse. This is for you, Synthia. Maybe you can forgive me. She curled up on the foot of the bed, legs too wobbly and tired from jumping up to go back down. Her tail swung to wrap around her frail, grey furry body and she placed one paw gracefully over one eye, perhaps in her last pose this life.

As Mimi's soul became distant from the world, all her memories started to come back to her . . .

*                                       *                                       *

Synthia was a girl of about six years when she first met Mimi. Two boys from down the street traded the bright little kitten in a box for two classic baseball cards.The little blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl had never been so full of smiles. She ran home with her box to show her parents.

Despite all the past arguments of having a new kitten in the home while Synthia still had her aged cat, they instantly fell in love with the big green eyes and bold personality Mimi had to offer. The kitten strutted around her new home, not interested in a personal life with anyone else. She admired herself in mirrors whenever she had the chance and enjoyed being brushed by the mother of the household.

But no matter what Synthia tried to do to impress her, Mimi was not interested in her.

"Cmon, Mimi! Play in the nice building I made for you! It's your own little house. D'you like it?" Synthia waited eagerly to see her new kitten's reaction.

"Mew?" Mimi barely gave it a sniff. What a waste of my time. I have better things to do than play with this filthy child. She will only muss my fur.

Certain that the kitten would enjoy the cozy, cat-nip-filled cardboard box with cut-out windows, the girl reached for the small, grey fluff ball. "Please come here, Mimi."

But the kitten was too insulted by the child's efforts. She swatted at Synthia with her claws, folding her ears back and hissing before running off to hide inside her scratching post tower.

*                                       *                                       *

Why did I treat her that way? I should have played with her. All that time I wasted, thinking only of myself, when she was always thinking of me. Mimi opened her eyes again when she heard the door to the bedroom open. Synthia, now twenty, walked in with her purse swinging at her side and her boyfriend close behind her.

At first, Synthia did not notice the cat on the end of her bed. When she saw the dead bird resting on her favorite pillow, she gasped and dropped her stack of books. Her boyfriend raised an eyebrow and made a disgusted noise.

"Oh! What is this? Some kind of sign? Did Mimi do this? She never left these around for anyone else to find. She always kept them to herself," Synthia commented as she drew closer to the bed.

Her boyfriend blinked. "Mimi? Who's Mimi?"

"My, um, my father's cat. I had to leave her here after I started college. But she never has done anything like this. At the same time, it's hard to believe a dove got in here and just died on my bed."

A smile crossed his face. "Really? I could have never been without my cat. She's such a sweetie.She always leaves mice in the closet. Some people say it's a cat's way of showing affection to its owner."

Synthia blinked. "Sign of affection? How silly. Cats don't love people."

You're wrong, Synthia! You're so wrong. But, it's my fault. I made you think it works that way. You don't really believe that, do you? I tried so hard to change your mind. Mimi lifted her head slightly, but found it too heavy and lied back down as another memory overwhelmed her thoughts.

 *                                       *                                       *

"Miaow! Mrrrrow!" Mimi was full grown now, and Synthia was fifteen. After Synthia's brother moved out and the girl's mother was forced to leave because of the divorce and the father of the house was always at work, the feline found herself lonely. She twined and danced between Synthia's legs while the teen worked at the computer, attempting to lure her with a dulcet purr.

The teen reached to gently push Mimi away. "I'm busy now, Mimi. I have to finish this report."


Synthia rolled her eyes and turned from her work. "Look, you didn't want my attention before. Why d'you want it now? Are you hungry again? I just fed you five minutes ago. I've changed your box three times today. You don't care if we spend quality time together because you're just a cat. You didn't even care when my other cat died. You know, she took care of you." Swirling around in her chair, she went back to work without another thought.

Mimi's ears folded back and she mewed silently again. Is that what you think of me? That I don't care? Hmph. Of course I care! "Mew?" Synthia? Please talk to me. I made a mistake. "MROW!" Synthia!

"Shh! I've got to finish this. Go torture someone else, Mimi."

  *                                       *                                       *

A soft mew broke the silence and Synthia turned to see the weak shadow of a feisty creature she used to know. Her blue eyes widened and she sat on the edge of the bed. "Mimi? You asleep?" She reached out a shaking hand to touch the soft, unkempt fur. Please don't be dead, kitty. Please.

The boyfriend stood back, watching silently. 

As the gentle fingers caressed Mimi's slowly rising stomach, the cat opened her eyes and peeked out of under her paw to look up at her girl. "Mew." Synthia! It's so good to see you now. She gently bumped her forehead against Synthia's hand.

Synthia sighed in relief. "Mimi! You had me scared there. You don't look very good. Maybe I should call Papa in to take a look at you. This isn't like you at all."

The feline's burning green eyes looked toward the pillow in a suggestive way. The dove is for you. I heard humans say a dove is a symbol for love. She purred softly, then closed her eyes again, resting her head on her girl's hand.

Grinning, Synthia reached out to stroke Mimi's back with her free hand. "So, you did do this for me? You really musn't be well."

Her boyfriend stepped up, hands in his pockets. "Not to be insulting, but your cat looks like she's near death."


"Look at her. She must be very, very old. This uncommon behavior is surely a sign of affection, but it is also a sign of change. Didn't your old cat do something along the same lines before she died?"

Synthia bit her lower lip, leaning closer to her cat. "Mimi, you're not leaving us, right? There's so much I have to show you now, if you care to see."

No response. The purring had stopped.

"Mimi?" The woman's face went pale. The feline was barely breathing. "You are, aren't you?"

I'm sorry . . .

"I'm sorry . . . I'll be right outside?" As she nodded to him, he quickly stepped out, leaving the two alone.

Taking paw in hand, Synthia lied down on the bed to be closer to her friend. "I'm sorry I left you behind. You should be angry with me. I held that stupid grudge. Isn't this silly, Mimi? Look how sentimental I'm getting. You're just a cat." She had to stop and think. "Right?"

Mimi was pleased. She knew she was not just a cat anymore. Finally content, she could die. Goodbye, Synthia. Maybe we'll meet again in another life. Don't let the mice take over after I'm gone. She nuzzled the hand one more time before striking her final pose with her head resting gently on Synthia's knee.

Slowly, tears began to come like the beginning of an awful storm; slow at first, then flooding. "Mimi, I love you. I know you know what I feel. That's something special about cats that human relationships never have. We can trust our emotions together." She had to pause to catch her breath. "I'll never forget you."

After a moment of silence, the rising and falling of the grey fur stopped and Mimi became very still.

Synthia sobbed, then leaned close to whisper into the pointed ears. "Goodbye, Kitten."


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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ear Infection Musical OMG-WAT

After my previous post, I had a lot of energy to really give everything my best! Last week, I worked out harder than I have in the past, practiced more piano, started really cracking down on my favorite piece, and even wrote up a list of songs I've worked on over the years and realized I have enough to make a CD!

On Tuesday, I felt a little dizzy, and kind of queasy. A lot, actually. But, I usually get sick when I start a new workout routine, so I told myself, "No! Just push through it!" Sadly, my symptoms got worse, until Friday when after a lot of blood and unbearable pain, I actually begged my husband to drag me away to the urgent care near to us, since it was the only place we could get an appointment right away (despite the hefty cost; ouch, crappy health insurance!) and it was almost immediately diagnosed as an ear infection, which I had also figured out by that point. I was prescribed antibiotics, and I went home somewhat relieved that, as the doctor said, "Your ear drum might pop, but it's okay because it will heal." =^00^= What a thing to say to someone who has just committed themselves more than ever to their music! AHHHHH!

It was my intention, at first, to push through the illness, but I couldn't hear. I kept falling over or feeling like I would throw up. For the first time ever, I had to miss belly dance class for a reason other than work! And, I was so worried that I wouldn't get my hearing back (and, more importantly, for things I heard to be back in tune and non-robotic) that I convinced myself that resting was the best thing. I still think that it was. I mean, even playing the piano physically hurt.

I still didn't want to lose time to make progress, though. I couldn't think to work on or upload stories, and I couldn't really practice music since it was literally painful, and making art . . . that takes a lot of focus for me. So, in my downtime, I decided to Google "aspiring songwriters" and see if I could find a guild to join like the cool Piano Technician's Guild or advice on how to proceed since I have a significant disadvantage at not being able to afford instruction (I need to save up $1400 just to get a computer that can record my songs on it) and am doing all of my work on my own at this point.

Well, you know how there's those people who really shouldn't research diseases online because they're paranoid and will assume that they have everything? That's basically me when it comes to music, apparently. Reading about the hundreds of types of copyrights and enforcers, various "constructive criticism guilds" that want lots of money to tell you things like "lyrics have to rhyme to be good" (NO! Some lyrics don't even need to make sense to be good!), and seeing the horribly done websites for the groups that do exist out here (I'm not a great web designer myself, but I do have standards) was enough to make me feel like I was spiraling out of control. I started worrying that I can't do this alone, that maybe I'm even worse than I think that I am, or that I won't be able to handle the business end of my affairs if I do manage to make some money sharing what I love. Why does the song writing community suck so bad? Am I looking in the wrong place?

Honestly, I don't have the talent, knowledge, or equipment to make fantastic videos. And, I don't have the technical know-how of some musicians, furthermore handicapped by the lack of equipment at this point in time (although, I have what I need to compose the songs, so it's only a matter of time and practice... I will be READY when the computer arrives!). Then I reminded myself that the Beatles couldn't even read music and touched us the way that they did. "I can do this. Calm down." :}

Thankfully, everything is sounding more and more normal every day, and going through that insanity early on was better than doing it later, which surely would have generated more panic. :} And, I did manage to get some things done!

First, I've updated the blog surroundings to be more useful and generate revenue. The comments are now also open (EEK) so that more people can post comments without my having to mediate each one before it shows up. Admittedly, I just wanted to avoid negative posts that lacked anything constructive altogether, but this was keeping people from posting most anything. I actually do want advice and thoughts from people, though I'm not sure how much I can keep up with it working full time and trying to take care of a crazy house and working on this stuff, but I will do my best.

I also updated my YouTube account in the hopes that I'll be able to make some videos in the future. I updated Patreon so that you can now be a patron for my work and get rewards for it! Yay! To learn more about how it works, watch the cool video below.

Also, I set up my Blurb account; that will most likely be the first thing to get hits, since uploading my stories that I've already written will be relatively easier. You can support my stories at my Patreon site too! :)

Higher registers still sound slightly out of tune in my hearing, and my cat Tatsu still sounds like a robot, but I'm making progress and am going to get back on the ball soon. More to come!! :) Even a crazy ear infection and scary things on the internet will not stop me! XD

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Just DO IT!!

When I was about 7 or maybe younger, I looked up to everyone to tell me what to do. I especially looked up to my creative elder brother, Michael, for advice on many things. Like any sibling would, though, he got tired of it. One day, I was pestering him with questions on how to do something, probably something music-related, and he simply turned me to me and said, "You just do it!" His advice, in retrospect, was probably more or less to get rid of me, or was out of wonderment that others could possibly not just know what to do since he himself was so humbly talented. Despite this, it's been some of the best advice I've ever gotten.

While many people sit and say, "I wish that . . ." I would wish, and then I would do what it took to make it happen. I believed in this philosophy passionately, and it has done pretty well by me! But, as I grew older and grew apart from people, especially after high school, I got discouraged. Was I really the person I thought I was? Was I as talented as everyone thought I was? Did I have the potential that everyone claimed? Or, were they just people with low self-esteem looking at me as a big fish in a tiny fish bowl situation? I've been relatively alone, so I really don't know the answers to these questions. The only people in my life are those who wouldn't want to crush my spirits entirely, especially since someone can come out of not being so talented and make something amazing of themselves if they really, really work at it! I found myself waiting again for someone to give me permission to follow my dreams. I didn't have permission when I started them, but once I got it . . . it's like I forgot how to function without it.

Today, I am taking a stand! I am going to fight against the lack of time that comes with having to have a full time job that isn't my dream career (though I honestly do enjoy it!) just to pay the bills! I am challenging the problems of not having the perfect equipment to do what I want to do! And, I am solidly starting to set goals for composing music and writing stories. And possibly drawing up some art, but that's more of an on-a-whim sort of thing.


It's actually very horrifying for me! I haven't had lessons for a long time, so I'm working off of what I learned growing up and continuously on my own. I haven't had anyone beg me to sing since I was 17, and my voice has most definitely changed, so I'm not sure what the response will be. On the other hand, telling stories on the fly has been met with a lot of positive feedback, and it's not even the stories I really put some work into, so I feel pretty encouraged on that end! Mostly, I guess I have the fear that I have something that means everything to me that I want to share, and I know there will be people that hate it. I know there are people who hate it right now, and it hasn't even manifested yet. That's not really the problem. I'm afraid no one out there will get it. Not even afraid that I can't make enough money to support it, though it's a nice dream to be able to be supported by what you love to do; I'm just afraid that I'll put these things out into the world and they won't be good enough to mean anything to anybody besides my family and close friends. Maybe not even to them! D:

But, that's not a good enough reason not to try anymore. So, I am DOING THIS!

Of course, this has been in the works for a long time, actually. I've been studying books on music production, created an account on bandcamp this past autumn in preparation for finishing songs to put up, and just created a Patreon account. Now, I'm looking at creating a Blurb account for my stories. The reason I haven't told anyone that I've done this, though, is that I have nothing to show for it and I didn't want to be a disappointment if I lost the courage to follow through and post something. I was holding off to have a song ready first to unveil or something, but that doesn't feel right to me right now. I feel like this is the time to put this out there, so I am.

As of today, I've also started putting together a list of songs that I've had for forever or really love and recently composed that I could put onto a CD of 11 or 12 songs. To my surprise, I already have 9 songs. Actually, tons more, but I don't want to share the others right now. Or maybe ever. :p So, yeah! All of this magic is floating around in my head, and I just need to get it out somehow! So, that's something I'm going to try and do! And, I'm going to have to accept that it will probably never sound as perfect and magical as it does in my imagination, but I'm going to go for it and I'll probably have to post one song at a time as I go on Bandcamp and then eventually maybe a whole CD! That's my goal, really, because I feel like music deserves a nice lyric book, and I'd love for my lyric book to be like Ace of Base's lyric book for their CD, "The Bridge." This was my favorite CD booklet because it included notes about what inspired their songs. I love that depth of sharing! I've wished that every piece of music I've gotten since would include stuff like that, and I've yet to see it! I thought for sure it would become commonplace, but alas. Perhaps it costs too much to print that much? I don't know, but it's a goal and I'm going to my best to make it reality.

Okay. So, before I sweat through my t-shirt in nervousness posting about this goal, which makes it so much more real because other people are going to read about it, here are the links to my currently-empty sites, if you're interested in eventually supporting me. :)

And, I haven't decided if I'm going to go ahead with Blurb yet. Does anyone have other recommendations for posting stories online similar to posting music on Bandcamp? Any recommendations are welcome!

Alright! Enough blogging! Time to start doing!

P.S. - My last blog about belly dancing and Roshana Nofret has been updated with some photos one of my friends took when she came to see the performance. :) Enjoy!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Belly Dancing - Roshana Nofret

I know I haven't posted in a very long time. I encountered several problems along the way, to be honest.

First, I felt discouraged. I had lost some very important friends to me toward the end of my blog, and I sat there going, "What am I writing this for? Does anyone even read it? Does it help anyone, or is it just junk on the internet, bogging down someone else's Google search?" I had wanted to reach out and be closer to people, but honestly . . . I got scared and retreated. Now, I'm trying to overcome that again. I'm still scared of being judged and writing crap, but I feel like if I start out going through the motions, then maybe I can create something good and nice for folks. And, I was recently inspired by Amanda Palmer (when I say recently, I should say that she's been inspiring me ever since I discovered her shortly before my birthday in September! She and her husband! So much love!!) to be more of myself and just get out there and make what my heart wants to make, even if it's not "perfect," and even if my childhood bus driver still would say I couldn't make money doing it . . . Why was I listening to a bus driver? :p No offense, bus drivers! We need and love you!! I'm just skeptical that that was his dream job, though he did seem pretty happy at the time.

Then, my husband and I also had less money to work with. I didn't realize how much our previously convenient financial situations really helped our creative lives! Baking food costs money! Taking classes costs money! Everything I wanted to do and blog about costs money. And then, we settled in our house (it's still so much in the works that I'm not eager to share photos. Sorry!), made enough that I could start belly dancing lessons while still paying down our debt on mandatory repairs to the house (sewer repair and replacing our furnace shortly before winter because the other one the house came with had suddenly died the day after we moved in). Now, we've paid off one credit card (wahoo!) and my husbie Terinati thinks that we can start being a tiny bit more flexible.

Finally, the most damaging problem was time. I was doing a new job, we've moved twice really since I've been blogging steadily, and between the commuting and the different type of work I was doing both at home and in the office, I had no time for blogging or doing much of anything. It was sleep, work, and sleep some more. Then, I started working from home! :D Commutes all gone, and easy access to my own computer during breaks.

So! No more excuses not to blog! . . . Except for my humility, I suppose. :}

I'm starting a lot of new things, and while it was easy to blog or talk about my achievements when I was younger (learning to bake in one's early twenties is not so strange, since I had just moved out on my own), I find it really hard to tell people, "Hey! I'm 31 and starting to really focus on composing music and dance," because it seems like adults (haha, I'm really more or less a cat!) are held to a different standard than younger people. :p Not allowed to wear as much sparkly and colorful clothes, not given the same kind of patience that children are given . . . Frankly, I don't understand why children are treated so much better than adults. I mean, they just grow up. We're all still people. Do you stop loving a kitten you adopted just because they got older? It's so bizarre! But, that seems to be the reality I'm in, so . . . be gentle. :} I'm going to share things with you, and I admit up front that I'm far from perfect. But, maybe because you will share my victories and failures with me, the times when I'm doing well will mean that much more to both of us. :)

That being said, here are some videos and pictures of belly dancing!! =^00^=

This was my second time ever performing belly dance-related stuff with Gypsy de Rose (in this case, my first time with her higher-level group, Afet). It was for the Roshana & Friends Nomadic Dance Concert on April 19th, 2013. We had high ambitions for being able to perform outside at Country Village in Bellevue, WA, but the rain just wasn't having it, so most of us were ushered inside. This resulted in the event being more crowded than planned as well, so I have to apologize because we didn't get video of all of the dancing, and many fabulous dancers (and a cute doggie too) were left out. Half the time, we couldn't see the dancing ourselves as I insisted upon standing in the back so that those who paid for admission had better seats or were standing in front of us. :( I also don't know the names of everyone since there was no pamphlet that listed all of the musicians and dancers (I suspect some were added after the signs were made.). But, I will update this as I discover more!

   So, first, take a peek at the bandari dance that Afet did together. Tamalyn Dallal, the owner of the Zamani Culture House (and a fabulous dancer herself, of course!) created the choreography for us and taught Afet how to dance it only weeks before we were scheduled to perform! So, while there's room for improvement, I think we did pretty well!

Next up, Shimmy Sister Kate! Love her amazing shimmies, plus her amazing expression . . . She had me at the Halloween Halfa with her vampire dance. Of course, every teacher at the Zamani Culture House has their own unique style and crazy flavor that blows me away!

This dance, if I remember correctly, roughly translates to "The Mirror Dance." I know that Janelle Bel Isle is one of the lovely dancers in this trio, but I'm not sure who the others are! I will update if I find out.

And, last but not least, the featured artist of the event, Roshana Nofret! Watching her dance, to me, was like watching a magical doll come to life. I was fortunate enough to arrive at just the right time in the evening for volunteer work, before dancing started, and got to make jallab with Roshana! :D Admittedly, I didn't recognize her (I'm horrible at faces, probably near aphasic) until I was already helping out for a few minutes, and then it was a pleasant surprise! Not the least bit of diva about her. :) She was sweet and patient, and she even made me forget how awkward I am, just by being in her presence. To me, that's like, something I imagine being true of fantasy princesses. I think there is nothing better than meeting someone wonderfully talented, plus obviously dedicated to the hard work that requires, and then discovering that they are sweet and kind as well. =^--^= Just another inspiration for my own future, though I have to find my own style, of course.

Sorry to say that I missed the names of the incredible musicians behind her, but if someone tells me who they are, I will update this ASAP!

Anyway, speaking of dancing, I believe that I've run out of my fleeting time after work to post this as we're to get together and practice! EEP! I hope you enjoy the videos, and perhaps some pictures will be forthcoming as well.

UPDATE ADDED: 5/8/13: More photos one of my friends took while she saw us performing of the various dancers at this fun event:

Afet, dancing bandari.

Bella Rosa Troupe

Dahlia Moon! Such an amazingly skilled dancer! Her precision always blows my mind. One of these days, I'm going to have to take one of her work shops. :)

Malia! Another sweet instructor at the Zamani Culture House.

The musicians who backed up Roshana Nofret. Love them! If anyone knows their names, let me know so that I can add them here. :)

And the lovely Roshana Nofret, of course!

She made it all look so comfortable and easy! Magical, dancing doll, I tell you!!

And Roxy, dancing with bowls on her head. I was so nervous for her, but she was amazing as always. :)